6.10.2004

Prediction

In less than 24 hours, I am supposed to see some new Vin-Diesel movie. I don't know the title, have never seen a Vin-Diesel movie, do not even know what the guy looks like or who he is other than some beefcake movie star and have no desire to change any of that.

Anyway, I am going to go way way out on a limb here and predict that this movie will not go on the list of top cinematic masterpieces of all time. It will be so dense that light bends around it. It will suck like a black hole and blow like a tornado.

Await my update, shall I survive.

80s

With all this Reagan stuff going on, I thought we should step back to the eighties for a bit of political music. Some of it may be from the early 90s, but they all remind me of the same time period.


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Born In The U.S.A.
by Bruce Springsteen

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Born down in a dead man's town
The first kick I took was when I hit the ground
You end up like a dog that's been beat too much
'Til you spend half your life just covering up

[chorus:]
Born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.

I got in a little hometown jam
And so they put a rifle in my hands
Sent me off to Vietnam
To go and kill the yellow man

[chorus]

Come back home to the refinery
Hiring man says "Son if it was up to me"
I go down to see the V.A. man
He said "Son don't you understand"

[chorus]

I had a buddy at Khe Sahn
Fighting off the Viet Cong
They're still there, he's all gone
He had a little girl in Saigon
I got a picture of him in her arms

Down in the shadow of the penitentiary
Out by the gas fires of the refinery
I'm ten years down the road
Nowhere to run, ain't got nowhere to go

I'm a long gone Daddy in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.
I'm a cool rocking Daddy in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.

-----------------------
Another day in Paradise
Phil Collins

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She calls out to the man on the street
'sir, can you help me?
It's cold and I've nowhere to sleep,
Is there somewhere you can tell me?

He walks on, doesn't look back
He pretends he can't hear her
Starts to whistle as he crosses the street
Seems embarrassed to be there

Oh think twice, it's another day for
You and me in paradise
Oh think twice, it's just another day for you,
You and me in paradise

She calls out to the man on the street
He can see she's been crying
She's got blisters on the soles of her feet
Can't walk but she's trying

Oh think twice...

Oh lord, is there nothing more anybody can do
Oh lord, there must be something you can say

You can tell from the lines on her face
You can see that she's been there
Probably been moved on from every place
'cos she didn't fit in there

Oh think twice...

---------------------------------
We are the world (usa for africa)

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Lionel richie
There comes a time when we heed a certain call

Lionel richie & stevie wonder
When the world must come together as one

Stevie wonder
There are people dying

Paul simon
And it's time to lend a hand to life

Paul simon & kenny rogers
The greatest gift of all

Kenny rogers
We can't go on pretending day by day

James ingram
That someone, somewhere will soon make a change

Tina turner
We are all part of god's great big family

Billy joel
And the truth, you know, love is all we need

Chorus:
Michael jackson
We are the world, we are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving

Diana ross
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives

Michael & diana ross
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me

Dionne warwick
Send them your heart
So they'll know that someone cares

Dionne warwick & willie nelson
And their lives will be stronger and free

Willie nelson
As God has shown us by turning stones to bread

Al jarreau
So we all must lend a helping hand

Chorus:
We are the world, we are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving

Bob dylan
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me

Michael jackson
When you're down and out, there seems no hope at all

Huey lewis
But if you just believe there's no way we can fall

Cindy lauper
Well, well, well, well let us realize that a change can only come

Kim carnes
When we stand together as one

Chorus:
We are the world, we are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving

There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me

We are the world, we are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving

There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me

We are the world......

---------------------------------------------------------
It's The End of the World As We Know it (and I Feel Fine)
REM

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That's great, it starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes, an aeroplane and Lenny Bruce is not afraid.
Eye of a hurricane, listen to yourself churn - world serves its own needs, dummy serve your own needs.
Feed it off an aux speak, grunt, no, strength, Ladder start to clatter with fear fight down height.
Wire in a fire, representing seven games, a government for hire and a combat site.
Left of west and coming in a hurry with the furies breathing down your neck.

Team by team reporters baffled, trumped, tethered cropped.
Look at that low playing! Fine, then.
Uh oh, overflow, population, common food, but it'll do.
Save yourself, serve yourself.
World serves its own needs, listen to your heart bleed dummy with the rapture and the revered and the right, right.
You vitriolic, patriotic, slam, fight, bright light, feeling pretty psyched.

It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.

Six o'clock - TV hour. Don't get caught in foreign towers.
Slash and burn, return, listen to yourself churn.
Locking in, uniforming, book burning, blood letting.
Every motive escalate. Automotive incinerate.
Light a candle, light a votive. Step down, step down.
Watch your heel crush, crushed, uh-oh, this means no fear cavalier.
Renegade steer clear!
A tournament, tournament, a tournament of lies.
Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives and I decline.

It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.

The other night I dreamt of knives, continental drift divide.
Mountains sit in a line, Leonard Bernstein. Leonid Brezhnev, Lenny Bruce and Lester Bangs.
Birthday party, cheesecake, jelly bean, boom!
You symbiotic, patriotic, slam book neck, right' Right.

It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it. can't I have some time alone?
It's the end of the world as we know it can't I have some time alone? and I feel fine...fine...

It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it. can't I have some time alone?
It's the end of the world as we know it can't I have some time alone? and I feel fine...fine...


----------------------------------
Pride (In the Name of Love) Lyrics
U2

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One man come in the name of love
One man come and go
One man come, he to justify
One man to overthrow

In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love

One man caught on a barbed wire fence
One man he resist
One man washed on an empty beach.
One man betrayed with a kiss

In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love

(nobody like you...)

Early morning, April 4
Shot rings out in the Memphis sky
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride


In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love...

-----------------
God Bless the USA
Lee Greenwood

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If tomorrow all the things were gone
I'd worked for all my life,
And I had to start again
with just my children and my wife,
I'd thank my lucky stars
to be livin' here today.
Cause the flag still stands for freedom
And they can't take that away.

And I'm proud to be an American
Where at least I know I'm free
And I won't forget the men who died
Who gave that right to me
And I gladly stand up
next to you and defend her still today
Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land
God bless the USA

From the lakes of Minnesota
To the hills of Tennessee
Across the plains of Texas
From sea to shining sea
From Detroit down to Houston
And New York to LA
Well there's pride in every American heart
And its time we stand and say..

That I'm proud to be an American
Where at least I know I'm free
And I won't forget the men who died
Who gave that right to me
And I gladly stand up . . next to you and defend her still today
Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land
God bless the USA

And I'm proud to be an American
Where at least I know I'm free
And I won't forget the men who died
Who gave that right to me
And I gladly stand up . . next to you and defend her still today
Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land
God bless the USA

---------------
Rock The Casbah
The Clash

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Now the king told the boogie men
You have to let that raga drop
The oil down the desert way
Has been shakin' to the top
The sheik he drove his cadillac
He went a' cruisnin' down the ville
The muezzin was a' standing
On the radiator grille

Chorus
The shareef don't like it
Rockin' the casbah
Rock the casbah
The shareef don't like it
Rockin' the casbah
Rock the casbah

By order of the prophet
We ban that boogie sound
Degenerate the faithful
With that crazy casbah sound
But the bedouin they brought out
The electric camel drum
The local guitar picker
Got his guitar picking thumb
As soon as the shareef
Had cleared the square
They began to wail

Chorus

Now over at the temple
Oh! they really pack 'em in
The in crowd say it's cool
To dig this chanting thing
But as the wind changed direction
The temple band took five
The crowd caught a wiff
Of that crazy casbah jive

Chorus

The king called up his jet fighters
He said you better earn your pay
Drop your bombs between the minarets
Down the casbah way

As soon as the shareef was
Chauffeured outta there
The jet pilots tuned to
The cockpit radio blare

As soon as the shareef was
Outta their hair
The jet pilots wailed

Chorus

He thinks it's not kosher
Fundamentally he can't take it.
You know he really hates it.

------------------------
We Didn't Start The Fire
Billy Joel



Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnny Ray
South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio

Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, Television
North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe

Rosenbergs, H Bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom
Brando, The King And I, and The Catcher In The Rye

Eisenhower, Vaccine, England's got a new queen
Maciano, Liberace, Santayana goodbye

We didn't start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No we didn't light it
But we tried to fight it

Joseph Stalin, Malenkov, Nasser and Prokofiev
Rockefeller, Campanella, Communist Bloc

Roy Cohn, Juan Peron, Toscanini, Dancron
Dien Bien Phu Falls, Rock Around the Clock

Einstein, James Dean, Brooklyn's got a winning team
Davy Crockett, Peter Pan, Elvis Presley, Disneyland

Bardot, Budapest, Alabama, Khrushchev
Princess Grace, Peyton Place, Trouble in the Suez

We didn't start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No we didn't light it
But we tried to fight it

Little Rock, Pasternak, Mickey Mantle, Kerouac
Sputnik, Chou En-Lai, Bridge On The River Kwai

Lebanon, Charles de Gaulle, California baseball
Starkwether, Homicide, Children of Thalidomide
Buddy Holly, Ben Hur, Space Monkey, Mafia
Hula Hoops, Castro, Edsel is a no-go

U2, Syngman Rhee, payola and Kennedy
Chubby Checker, Psycho, Belgians in the Congo

We didn't start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No we didn't light it
But we tried to fight it

Hemingway, Eichman, Stranger in a Strange Land
Dylan, Berlin, Bay of Pigs invasion

Lawrence of Arabia, British Beatlemania
Ole Miss, John Glenn, Liston beats Patterson

Pope Paul, Malcolm X, British Politician sex
J.F.K. blown away, what else do I have to say

We didn't start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No we didn't light it
But we tried to fight it

Birth control, Ho Chi Minh, Richard Nixon back again
Moonshot, Woodstock, Watergate, punk rock
Begin, Reagan, Palestine, Terror on the airline
Ayatollah's in Iran, Russians in Afghanistan

Wheel of Fortune, Sally Ride, heavy metal, suicide
Foreign debts, homeless Vets, AIDS, Crack, Bernie Goetz
Hypodermics on the shores, China's under martial law
Rock and Roller cola wars, I can't take it anymore

We didn't start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No we didn't light it
But we tried to fight it

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When the Children Cry
White Lion

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Little child dry your crying eyes
How can I explain the fear you feel inside
Cause you were born into this evil world
Where man is killing man and no one knows just why
What have we become just look what we have done
All that we destroyed you must build again

CHORUS
When the children cry let them know we tried
Cause when the children sing then the new world begins

Little child you must show the way
To a better day for all the young
Cause you were born for all the world to see
That we all can live with love and peace
No more presidents and all the wars will end
One united world under God

CHORUS

What have we become just look what we have done
All that we destroyed you must build again
No more presidents and all the wars will end
One united world under God

When the children cry let them know we tried
When the children fight let them know it ain't right
When the children pray let them know the way
Cause when the children sing then the new world begins

----------------------------
All She Wants to Do Is Dance
Don Henley

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They're pickin' up the prisoners and puttin'
'em in the pen
And all she wants to do is dance, dance
Rebels been rebels since I don't know when
And all she wants to do is dance
Molotov cocktail-the local drink
And all she wants to do is dance, dance, dance
They mix 'em up right in the kitchen sink
And all she wants to do is dance
Crazy people walkin' round
with blood in their eyes
And all she wants to do is dance, dance
Wild-eyed pistol wavers
who ain't afraid to die
And all she wants to do is-
And all she wants to do is dance
and make romance
She can't feel the heat comin' off the street
She wants to party (oooo)
She wants to get down (oooo)
And all she wants to do is-
And all she wants to do is dance
Well, the government bugged the men's
room in the local disco lounge
And all she wants to do is dance, dance
To keep the boys from sellin'
all the weapons they could scrounge
And all she wants to do is dance
But that don't keep the boys
from makin' a buck or two
And all she wants to do is dance, dance
They still can sell the army
all the drugs that they can do
And all she wants to do is-
All she wants to do is dance
and make romance
Well, we barely made the airport
for the last plane out
As we taxied down the runway
I could hear the people shout
They said, "Don't come back here Yankee!"
But if I ever do-
I'll bring more money
'Cause all she wants to do is dance
and make romance
Never mind the hear comin' off the street
She wants to party (oooo)
She wants to get down (oooo)
All she wants to do is-
All she wants to do is dance
All she wants to do is dance
and make romance
All she wants to do is dance

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Nena - 99 Red Balloons

(originally sung in German as 99 Luftballoons)

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You and I in a little toy shop
buy a bag of balloons with the money we've got
Set them free at the break of dawn
'Til one by one, they were gone
Back at base, bugs in the software
Flash the message, "Something's out there"
Floating in the summer sky
99 red balloons go by.

99 red balloons floating in the summer sky
Panic bells, it's red alert
There's something here from somewhere else
The war machine springs to life
Opens up one eager eye
Focusing it on the sky
Where 99 red balloons go by.

99 Decision Street, 99 ministers meet
To worry, worry, super-scurry
Call the troops out in a hurry
This is what we've waited for
This is it boys, this is war
The president is on the line
As 99 red balloons go by.

99 Knights of the air
ride super-high-tech jet fighters
Everyone's a Silverhero
Everyone's a Captain Kirk
With orders to identify
To clarify and classify
Scramble in the summer sky
As 99 red balloons go by.

As 99 red balloons go by.

99 dreams I have had
In every one a red balloon
It's all over and I'm standin' pretty
In this dust that was a city
If I could find a souvenier
Just to prove the world was here...
And here is a red balloon
I think of you and let it go.

--------------
West End Girls
Pet Shop Boys

(I used to think this was about the Berlin wall, but it's really just a pointless pop song. But I will always think of boys and girls falling in love with that wall between them 'cause I'm a sucker like that)

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Sometimes you're better off dead
There's gun in your hand and it's pointing at your head
You think you're mad, too unstable
Kicking in chairs and knocking down tables
In a restaurant in a west end town
Call the police, there's a madman around
Running down underground to a dive bar
In a west end town

In a west end town, a dead end world
The east end boys and west end girls
In a west end town, a dead end world
The east end boys and west end girls
West end girls

Too many shadows, whispering voices
Faces on posters, too many choices
If, when, why, what'
How much have you got?
Have you got it, do you get it, if so, how often?
And which do you choose, a hard or soft option?
(how much do you need?)

In a west end town, a dead end world
The east end boys and west end girls
In a west end town, a dead end world
The east end boys and west end girls
West end girls
West end girls

(how much do you need?)

In a west end town, a dead end world
The east end boys and west end girls
Oooh west end town, a dead end world
East end boys, west end girls
West end girls

You've got a heart of glass or a heart of stone
Just you wait 'till I get you home
We've got no future, we've got no past
Here today, built to last
In every city, in every nation
From lake geneva to the finland station
(how far have you been?)

In a west end town, a dead end world
The east end boys and west end girls
A west end town, a dead end world
East end boys, west end girls
West end girls

West end girls

West end girls
(how far have you been?)

Girls
East end boys
And west end girls
And west end girls
And west end girls

East end boys
The west end girls
The west end boys
And west end girls

The west end girls
The west end boys
The west end girls

---------------
Wind of Change
Scorpions

(My favorite and one of the most memorable of them all. As one of the first western bands to play behind the iron curtain, the Scorpions played in St. Petersburg and Leningrad in 1988. This song was written in 1989 and was the first song played at the Moscow Music Peace Festival that year in Moscow and Russians absolutely loved it. Later in the year it became the anthem of the fall of the Berlin wall and a year after the wall fell, the Scorpions were invited by Gorbachev to play an international rock concert at the Kremlin. They were one hit wonders in the US but they have become legends to the Europeans who lived through this era. To give some idea of their popularity, they played for 750,000 fans in Cracow in 2000.)

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I follow the Moskva
Down to Gorky Park
Listening to the wind of change
An August summer night
Soldiers passing by
Listening to the wind of change

The world is closing in
Did you ever think
That we could be so close, like brothers
The future's in the air
I can feel it everywhere
Blowing with the wind of change

Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow dream away
In the wind of change

Walking down the street
Distant memories
Are buried in the past forever

I follow the Moskva
Down to Gorky Park
Listening to the wind of change

Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow share their dreams
With you and me

Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow dream away
In the wind of change

The wind of change blows straight
Into the face of time
Like a storm wind that will ring
The freedom bell for peace of mind
Let your balalaika sing
What my guitar wants to say

Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow share their dreams
With you and me

Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow dream away
In the wind of change


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Honorable Mention: Fall Of The Peacemaker, by Molly Hatchet.
I could not find lyrics but, um, I found this...

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6.09.2004

the torture memo

I do not know what to make of this, and honestly I dare not try to make anything of it. I am only reporting what is out there on the interwebby thing and if you don't believe me read it for yourself.

The WSJ has the 56 page April 2003 Defense Department memo (PDF) outlining the legal basis in regards to questioning detainees. I vaguely remember hearing it referred to somewhere as the "torture memo" and I've read it and that is indeed what it deals with. Not sleep deprivation, but torture, killing and maiming people in custody.

Let me be the first to say that these things are obviously important to define in case someone accidenatally kills or maims someone, but you see no sentences like this in the memo; "If a soldier accidentally runs over a prisoner with a forklift we will defend him in this way..."

Instead you see "If any foreigner is taken prisoner, tortured then shot in the back of the head in the Oval Office, since they can't prove anyone premeditatively tried to expose him to prolonged mental harm, we can argue that although it may be illegal, it may not be unlawful."

That's an exaggeration, of course. It does not come out and say "we think torture can be justified in such and such way" but it has a pattern of laying out the president's role in war, then laying out the laws regarding things like torture, maiming, and killing prisoners, performs a deconstruction of them all, then gives examples of good defenses.

I suppose the key is in the pattern of the deconstruction. If you can read it and walk away thinking happy thoughts then everything is fine with the memo, but my guess is that you will want to take a shower afterwards.

I can't copy the text because it's not a real PDF, it's a PDF of photocopies of the memo, but I'll paraphrase:

where "X" is something like killing, torturing, maiming, making fun of their hair, or whatever...

"Doing X to a prisoner is considered illegal under these laws"
(bunch of laws)
"in order to prove it, these things must be proven"
(bunch of things to prove)
"a defendant could negate this in this way"
(a defense)
"so while it may be illegal under all known national and international laws it may also be possible to argue that while illegal, it is not unlawful"

I'm going to go take a shower.

Saddest thing I've seen in a while

Like him or not, it's a somber thing to see the horsedrawn cassion, followed by one riderless horse, taking Reagan's body to the Capitol. But maybe not as much as seeing Nancy reaching out to touch her husband's casket. Say what you will, but those two shared a lot of love.

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My political aspirations destroyed

I can't reconcile conservatism with using government to tell people how to live and much as no one ever grows up wanting to be a crack whore, I've never had aspiration of being a politician. I do admit, however, that I have had the fleeting thought that it would be nice to start a party on my own to preach conservatism as a philosophy rather than an agenda. I never for a second considered it to be something I would really do, but I confess the thought.

The problem is that a party has to have a catchy name or it'll never get off the ground and someone has already ruined the only name that readily rolls off the tongue; "neoconservative".

That would have been a good name for a party, but it was squandered in the course of a few short months by a cadre of loathsome and traitorous whores who never knew what they had.

At first it was a proud title of triumph and people labeled themselves with it in pride and strutted around with their chickenhawk beer bellies sucked in and their noses pointing to the heavens as they preached with their forked tongues the eternal gift of freedom by the sword.

But they quickly decided it was a mark of shame, which it certainly is now, and those very same people started dismissing it as a slur. It's comic thing to watch these rats try to paddle for shore as they claim no association of the ship they just deserted.

"Don't call us that", they say, while their shirts still have the faded spots where you can still make out the words "I heart neoconservatives" across the front. And they aren't fooling anybody with that multi-font tattoo, with "I'm not a" in shiny black Comic Sans MS, and a Times New Roman "neoconservative" in faded black just below.

It was a fine word, too, and a damn shame they ruined it. It would be no use trying to start a party without a good name at the ready.

6.06.2004

I have mixed feelings about Reagan

I've been thinking about it a little more and I wasn't fair before when I spoke of Reagan. The past few years have been filled with a idealogical PR barrage that can in many ways be traced back to the Reagan campaigns and presidency, but speaking about that only judges his style and not his substance.

I'm really too young to remember much about the man. I vaugely remember seeing the Iran-contra hearings on television but I didn't know or care what they were about.

Probably my best memory was when he left office. I remember thinking how strange it was going to be to change presidents. It seemed like such a huge step for the country to make and I remember telling myself not to worry, we've done this 40 times, it's a regular thing. But I grew up with the guy, life suddenly felt so uncertain.

Phil Carter hits the nail on the head when he says Reagan "formed my expectations of what a President should look like."

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tomorrow's Newsweek (Time is running the same cover photo)


I can't help but look at this photo and wish he were president again. He looks like a real man, not like the politicians we have today whos every move and every photo is calculated to produce the best PR image possible. Reagan's years actually were marked with intense PR practices, but it seems that if you can peek through that facade you find a fairly decent guy.

He looks nothing like the confused dubya sweating through his make-up as he tries to formulate a coherent sentence.

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"Can I go back inside and play Xbox now?"


His presidency was augumented by PR, today's are based upon it.

But Reagan had as many faults as strengths. This was a man who helped win the cold war but he did it by creating huge deficits. He was a fairly beloved president, but his administration broke all the records for federal indictments. He had a tough military mind, but appeased terrorists every single time. He won his victories by landslides, but his tenure was a full frontal PR assault which is only magnified today.

However, on C-SPAN radio today, I listened to one of his speeches from 1992 or '94, I can't remember, and it was great. He talked about America's role in the world and different policies and he even, gasp, mentioned details.

It was not empty rhetoric about "defending freedom from evil" or any of that hollow crap, it was very specific, very intelligent and all true. And that was 4 to 6 years after he was out of office and it wasn't a policy speech or a stump speech for the party, it was just a speech to a university.

I'm sure someone wrote it for him, but it was still nice to hear and after listening to it, I knew that Reagan would make a better president dead than that blathering idiot we have now.

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