Friday, February 09, 2007

A News Peruse

Reflections on a wild week in the newspaper:

-As Mr. Oakley rightfully reminded us Wednesday, the Tar Heels systematically wore down Josh McSoberts (photo courtesy of; nickname courtesy of my brother) and the Dookies Wednesday night, even though Dook outplayed them for a large chunk of the game. Regardless of the boisterous claims coming from ESPN and Chapel Hill, this Carolina team is currently flawed. A good team would have buried their staggered half-court offense and lackadaisical perimeter defense during Wednesday's first half and not allowed them to comeback. They do this often enough that one has to think some team will get them over the 6-game run needed to win it all. Still, if they get hot at the right time, the potential is there for them to be the best team in the country. You can't ask for anything more than a chance.

-The political cartoon in the "Charlotte Observor" yesterday portayed two young girls walking down the street. The caption: "Well they wouldn't let us into the movie without our parents. Let's go get an abortion."

-From the You-Would-Call-Me-Silly-If-I-Made-Up-A-Story-Like-This-Up-But-It-Actually-Happened-In-Real-Life file, a former astronaut drove 900 miles from Houston to Orlando to confront the woman whom she believed was romantically involved with her husband. Her inventory for the trip included a trenchcoat, a wig, a BB gun, pepper spray, a four-inch knife, a steel mallet, rubber tubing, and large trash bags. She also wore a diaper (Ed.'s note: This is not a typo.). In her defense, it was well thought out. The diaper allowed her to avoid time-consuming bathroom stops. This story is rather sad if it weren't so bizarre. You just couldn't make something like this up.

-A recent headline in a New York newspaper concerning the astronaut situation: Lust in Space.

-I had heard that a man had bought a 30-second Super Bowl ad for the purpose of proposing to his girlfriend. I never saw the commercial and wondered what happened. According to today's paper, it turned out he discovered his girlfriend would have turned down the proposal, so the commercial was pulled. Mystery solved.

-I almost spent my whole post today on this last article, but I would have been angry by the end. Plus, I have learned that political rants are exceedingly unattractive, so many of you might have stopped reading. A columnist for the "Washington Post" named William Arkin wrote an article on his blog in response to our solidier's frustration with opposition to the war in Iraq. In the article he calls our troops "mercenaries" who are the beneficiaries of "obscene amenities." The overall tone of the article implies that the soldiers owe us, the American people, something.

Now Mr. Arkin, an activist with ties to Green Peace, has the right to write whatever he pleases, but these sentiments reflect poorly on him as a writer and a citizen. First off, I have yet to hear anyone claim to know what these amenities are that he speaks of. If you want to see obscene amenities, watch the Grammy's. Perhaps Mr. Arkin would prefer our volunteer soldiers to be under-clothed in Valley Forge or barefoot at Gettysburg in order to earn their keep.

The other horrifying thing about this whole situation is that Arkin's opinions may not be as rare as they seem, evidenced by the hesitation of the "The Post" and NBC to distance themselves from the comments. Also, recall only a few months back when John Kerry warned an audience that they must pursue higher education so that they don't get stuck in Iraq, directly insulting the intelligence, among other things, of our troops. For whatever reason, certain elite liberals possess little respect for those fighting on our behalf.

I try hard to understand multiple sides of issues and feel like I do a decent job of at least understanding where people are coming from. But, for the life of me, I cannot understand this attitude of disdain and disrespect that Arkin seems to hold for our troops.


Jeff said...

I think your comments on Mr. Arkin's article speak for themselves, so I don't really have anything to add to that. The comments on Mr. Arkin's article are worth reading though.
It's good to see that a UNC fan agrees with me on the Tarheels. They have the talent to be the best team in the country but can't seem to get it together. Watch out for a upperclassmen laden team in the tournament (Texas A&M and Butler come to mind).

Wilson said...

I agree with you on the Tarheels. But I must say I thoroughly enjoyed seeing McSoberts, as you call him, crying on the bench during the game. He put Adam Morrison to shame with that one.

Anonymous said...

As a Duke grad, let me be the first to say that I would freely trade McRoberts for seven dollars. I kinda wish he would leave for the NBA already. Sheesh. As to UNC, they've got talent (a la the Kansas teams of Roy's past), but they're liable to sudden off-days (a la the Kansas teams of Roy's past).

Arkin? A sad state of affairs.

Kimberly Drye said...

You say the elite "show little respect for those fighting on our behalf" but I think Mr. Arkin's point is that the troops are not fighting on our behalf. Unfortunately, you are right, he was extremely disrespectful and I in no way support his terrible insults, but there are a lot of people who love our soldiers over there who just want them to come home and see that they have no business in Iraq, that wish our soldiers could see that we do support them because they are the very ones we chose to stand up for our beliefs, but unfortunately right now, the government is ignoring the beliefs of the American people and their demand to bring these troops home. I think the people protesting the war have nothing but regard and love for the troops in Iraq, thats why they won't them home and away from a never-changing, never-ending situation. I feel that the majority of our troops are ignorant to the causes for this war, as well as a majority of the American people. I dont think they are over there for the money or the luxuries, that idea is absurd, but I do think that Mr. Arkin is right when he says they are naive. They fight for our ideals, but don't seem to realize that they are not accomplishing these ideals and are mercenaries in the sense that they are fighting a war that is not their own. The response of some soldiers that we can not support the troops without supporting the war seems ignorant to me. By not supporting the war, I feel that I am much more supporting the troops than those supporting the war. Think of all the young men who are needlessly put in to danger every day. It's time we all, ESPECIALLY our troops, realize that we don't belong over there. I support our troops, I support the love they feel towards our nation and the desire they have to protect it, but I do not support this war and their ignorance to its effects. I want them home.

MWK said...

Two comments on your entry:

First, you missed a key fact in your coverage of the “Lust in Space” story, which in my opinion makes this story even harder to believe. Nowak allegedly assaulted Shipman over Shipman’s relationship with one of Nowak’s fellow astronauts, Oefelein, not Nowak’s husband. Nowak and her husband had recently separated, and Nowak claims that her own relationship with Oefelein was above the level of friendship, but not romantic.

Second, in response to your comments on Senator Kerry’s botched “joke” insulting the intelligence of our troops, I have to believe that the authors of Kerry’s comments (and I believe it wasn’t Kerry himself) did not intend this comment to have quite the negative impact it did. What he was supposed to have said is this: “Do you know where you end up if you don't study, if you aren't smart, if you're intellectually lazy? You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq.” While I personally do not like the nature of this intended jab at our current administration, by leaving out the key word “us”—and it was just that single word Kerry missed—the entire flavor of this statement soured. I am not defending Kerry, because I unfortunately feel that his flub, while likely a genuine mistake, was a Freudian slip that revealed his true personal opinion of our troops’ intelligence, but I do believe you should acknowledge that his comment was not simply misinterpreted, but misspoken.

Ben said...

Ms. Drye and MWK,

Thanks for the comments and for the humility in which you gave them. As stated earlier, this attitude is something I find rare in political discourse and, in my opinion, reflects well on you both. Thanks for contributing to the discussion!