Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Does Dick Cheney even know what "irony" means?

I'm sure I won't be the only person to point this out, but if only for the sake fo not making comparisons so easy for the journalists and historians, can't Dick Cheney avoid saying things like this?

Vice President Dick Cheney said on Wednesday the United States wants to finish its mission in Iraq and "return with honor," despite the war's growing unpopularity at home and doubts among U.S. allies.

And here's Richard Nixon on Jan. 23, 1973:

Good evening. I have asked for this radio and television time tonight for the purpose of announcing that we today have concluded an agreement to end the war and bring peace with honor in Vietnam and in Southeast Asia.

Of course, Dick Cheney is not a stupid man. So ultimately, I think this just goes to show that he truly doesn't give a shit what anybody thinks. He believes Nixon and Kissinger's strategy to prolong the Vietnam War so they could save face and try to put a positive spin on our loss (a.k.a. bring the nation "peace with honor") was the right choice, and he and Bush are pursuing the same strategy in Iraq. Great. Fucking great.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Piracy is in the eye of the beholder

I know I haven't blogged in a long, long time, but this is a story that must be told...

This morning I'm at a press conference about a new anti-piracy study and task force featuring L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and various other government and business officials. As at most events decrying the evils of piracy, there's a wide array of pirated goods seized by law enforcement on display such as bootleg DVDs and CDs, counterfeit purses, shoes, watches, etc. They're out there for the cameras because, hey, the evenings news needs a good visual.

The event was held right outside of Staples Center, which for those of you not familiar with L.A. geography, is a big pedestrian area in the middle of downtown. So the Mayor or somebody else is talking about how awful piracy is, how it harms the Los Angeles economy and costs jobs and tax revenue, etc., etc., when I see a group of about a dozen tourists walk by. They're definitely Asian, probably Japanese.

They look at the goings-on for a minute, clearly unsure what's happening. Then they walk up to the counterfeit goods on the tables and start perusing... like they're SHOPPING. I seem to be the only one noticing this because everyone else's eyes are on the speakers in the press conference. The Japanese tourists look around, clearly expecting that somebody is going to tell them what the beautiful fake Chanel purse, or the DVD of "Norbit," costs. After a couple of minutes, they realize nobody is going to help them, and they walk away, obviously thinking that this is a poorly run counterfeit merchandise store.