Archive for the ‘American Idol’ Category

America Needs To Do More Hard Work

March 10, 2008

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom 

“We have lift off!”

Those words, spoken at every space launch, bury decades of work and investment necessary to make tough missions successful.

After U.S. military forces toppled Saddam Hussein in Iraq, President George W. Bush confidently marched across the flight deck of USS Abraham Lincoln beneath a banner bearing the words “Mission Accomplished.”

That was May 1, 2003.
President Bush addressing sailors aboard USS Abraham Lincoln
Democrats have derided the president since as over confident and ill prepared for the long-term work needed to insure peace and security in a new democratic Iraq.

Today, as we approach May 1, 2008, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz and Linda J. Bilmes say the war in Iraq is costing the United States $12 Billion every month – three times the predicted monthly costs in 2003.  Add to that thousands of wounded and dead.
USS Lake Erie docked at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
USS Lake Erie (CG-70) docked at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

When USS Lake Erie, a U.S. Navy guided missile cruiser, shot down an errant satellite on February 20 of this year, the missile and satellite intercept was rooted in a ship and combat systems development that began in the 1970s and a missile and ballistic missile defense effort that started in 1991. The costs would be staggering but are difficult to tally.

The point is simple: as we watch space shuttle Endeavour launch from the Kennedy Space Center tomorrow for a rendezvous with an orbiting International Space Station, the important thought is not those few seconds of “We have lift off.” The more important part of our space “endeavor” is the huge investment made by engineers, scientists, astronauts, mission planners, financial analysts and tens of thousands of others since the 1950s.

Endeavor’s mission to the ISS will last 16 days: the longest shuttle mission ever to the ISS.  A main task at the ISS will be installing the first stage of the Japanese laboratory called Kibo, a micro-gravity research facility which aims to open a vital new stage in deeper space exploration. Kibo, which means “hope” in Japanese, will be delivered in three stages. Once installed, it will complete the research nucleus of the ISS along with the American, Russian and European laboratories.

The space shuttle Endeavour lifts off from its launch pad at ...
The space shuttle Endeavour lifts off from its launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, August 8, 2007.(Scott Audette/Reuters)

Projects like our shuttle and ISS efforts take tons of sweat.

The same might be said of the war in Iraq. The same Democrats that criticized George W. Bush for “Mission Accomplished” are now critical of Senator John McCain for saying that American troops could be in Iraq for a long time – maybe up to 100 years.

This should not be too much a surprise to a nation with troops in Germany since 1945 and troops in South Korea since the brokered cease fire in the mid-1950s.

Tough tasks take a very long time and they also cost a lot of money.

The United States is the richest nation on earth ever – and the longest lasting democracy ever. And the Founders didn’t create our Constitution and the other underpinnings of this greatness overnight: it took years.

Life — and especially foreign policy — is not a viedo game.  It takes care, patience invested energy and time. Patience (for those who have forgotten) is the ability to endure waiting, delay, or provocation without becoming annoyed or upset, or to persevere calmly when faced with difficulties.  Thus goals are achieved.

In a society now enamored by lighting fast cell phones and an American Idol contest that only has drama for weeks at a stretch, we might reflect upon American greatness and history which teaches us, without a doubt, that great achievements are only within our grasp after long-term effort and investment — and plenty of it.

Only in America: Boundless Technology; Brilliant Youth

Strippers Are People Too

March 5, 2008

I have known my share of strippers (whatever that means) in my time and my assessment is that strippers are people too.  Often times, it seems to me, strippers are no better and no worse that a lot of the permanently clothed population.

I make this observation, with more than a little of what the Brits call “cheeky humor.”  This because the American media has now revealed that “American Idol” singing sensation David Hernandez is a former male stripper — complete with lap dances for men and women.

This last fact, it seems to me, is particularly grating to a segment of the U.S. population such as Christian Conservatives.  While you might find some of these folks sneaking into a “girls entertaining guys” strip club, they wouldn’t (normally) be caught dead in a “guys entertaining everyone” strip club.

Despite a quiet controversy, “American Idol” producers say Mr. Hernandez can stay in the competition despite his past as a stripper.

According to the Associated Press, executive producer Ken Warwick said, “We’ve had strippers on the show before. We’re never judgmental about people who do things like that.  If it were some sort of heavy porn, then maybe we’d have to take action. But certainly not on this.”

Meanwhile, the Washington Post sent reporter Jose Antonio Vargas to a place called Gun Barrel City, Texas to get a story on gay men who support Hillary Clinton.

I assume “Gun Barrel” was named a long time ago and has something to do with firearms, but who knows?

Mr. Vargas writes in today’s editions, “She’s been picked on, ridiculed, bullied. Those haircuts, that laugh, the clothes. Oh, and Monica. But she never gives up. She’s got good policy positions. She bullies when she needs to. She’s ‘a diva.'”

“And that about sums up why gays — not all, of course, but many — are such ardent, longtime and downright defensive backers of Sen. Hillary Clinton.”

“This historic primary race has turned the American electorate into a demographic pizza pie. Alongside white women and Hispanics, blue-collar folks and Catholics who currently form Clinton’s core constituency, count gays and lesbians, too.”

So putting together a winning coalition of voters has gotten a lot tougher in America since say about 1960.

I’ll just say this about that: strippers are people too.

China orders strict curbs on ‘Idol’-style TV shows

September 22, 2007

BEIJING (AFP) – China has ordered strict curbs on “American Idol“-style TV shows, including a ban on voting via the Internet, telephone or text messages, state media reported.

The rules also say participants must be healthy and mature, while hosts of the reality TV programmes should not flirt with each other or be nasty.

Read it all at: