President Bush Has Kept Us Safe

There was a great article by Thane Rosenbaum in the Wall
Street Journal today. The article is entitled The President Has Kept Us Safe. In the article he goes on to
discuss how he believes that our President has kept us safe from terrorists in
the nearly 7 years since 9/11. Here is my commentary on the article:

I, as Mr. Rosenbaum, also did not vote for Bush in 2004 (I
wasn’t of age in 2000), but regardless of whom I voted for, President Bush was
reelected and I accepted that choice. I’ve never talked badly about him at all;
I realize that he has an extremely difficult job, much more difficult than I
can even imagine I am sure.

That doesn’t mean that I support absolutely everything that
the President and his administration have done, as the article mentions the
Patriot Act as an example: I certainly don’t agree with our government
infringing on the rights and the privacies of our nations citizens, in fact I
am very much against it; but I can at the very least understand why such
measures were taken. They were undoubtedly put into place to protect the American
people, not to hurt them. I also do not believe that they are wire-tapping my
telephone or reading my messages.

I was also in New York on 9/11, and it’s absolutely correct that the people had a completely
different mindset at that time. I can clearly remember the most liberal people
that I knew, people who now support Barack Obama, suggesting that our country
simply attack other nations without any evidence at all against them, nations
in the middle east, simply because they may have had something to do with the
9/11 terrorist attacks.

Those very same people quite suddenly changed their tune as
the years passed; now they’re against the war in Iraq and think that it was a
terrible idea from the very beginning. They’re vehemently supporting Barack
Obama and the Democrats, and they trash our President every chance that they
get.

Now you could make the argument that the people that I speak
with are simply ignorant, but if you actually read some of the comments made by
Barack Obama followers right here on the internet, you can see that the people
that I speak with are not much different from any other Barack Obama follower.

The article is absolutely correct in saying that the winds
of change take to the American people as a hurricane takes to a wind chime.
They forget that not even 7 short years ago they were the very thing that they
are now so against. They are the ultimate hypocrisy.

The Greatest Songs of All Time: The Diamond Sea

From Various Thoughts on Music

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I’m going to write about some of the greatest songs of all time. Some
songs are not only classic, but they are also musically, lyrically,
artistically pure and genuine, beautiful. I will discuss what the songs
mean to me, why they are great, as well as information about where you
can listen to these songs, when they are from, where they are from,
where they were recording, as well as other miscellaneous information.
It should be fun!

The Diamond Sea by Sonic Youth

The song itself is from 1995 and was written by Thurston Moore. It
was first released on the brilliant Washing Machine album. There are
three versions of this song: The album version which is 19 minutes and
35 seconds, a radio edit which comes in at 5 minutes and 26 seconds,
and an extended version which is an amazing 25 minutes 50 seconds. It
was released in 1995 as the first single from the Washing Machine
album, the single has the radio edit and the extended version of the
song, as well as the song My Arena. There was a video created for the
song which used compiled footage from the 1995 Lollapalooza tour, Spike
Jonze and several other well known directors were involved in the
creation of the video.

The lyrics read:

time takes its crazy toll
and how does your mirror grow
you better watch yourself when you jump into it
cause the mirror’s gonna steal your soul
I wonder how it came to be my friend
that someone just like you has come again
you’ll never ever know how close you came
until you fall in love with the diamond rain
throw all his trash away
look out he’s here to stay
your mirror’s gonna crack when he breaks into it
and you’ll never ever be the same
look into his eyes and you can see
why all the little kids are dressed in dreams
I wonder how he’s gonna make it back
when he sees that you just know it’s make-believe
blood crystallized to sand
and now I hope you understand
you reflect into his looking-glass soul
and now the mirror is your only friend
look into his eyes and you will see
that men are not alone on the diamond sea
sail into the heart of a lonely storm
and tell her that you’ll love her eternally
time takes its crazy toll
mirror falling off the wall
you better look out for the looking-glass girl
cause she’s gonna take you for a fall
look into his eyes and you shall see
why everything is quiet and nothing’s free
I wonder how he’s gonna make her smile
when love is running wild on the diamond sea

To me, these are some of the greatest lyrics ever written. The
combination of the lyrics and the music make for not only one of my
favorite songs of all time, but a song which I believe is one of the
greatest ever recorded. The music is simply gorgeous, a masterful
composition of sound invading, pummeling it’s way down your ear canals.
At some points you won’t know if you want it to stop or not, but you
will most certainly continue listening, waiting for that breakthrough
of pureness and beauty that we are all so hopeful for. At times the
song can seem a sonic stillbirth, an amalgamated abortion of sounds
destroying your eardrums and you know it, yet you turn it up a little
louder.

The lyrics are much the same. They are an expansive
journey inward and within ones deepest self, tickling our egos and
insecurities in ways that we never thought were, and hoped not
possible, especially from this punk band from New York. What were they
doing writing like this, playing 20 minute explosions of emotion,
touching us on nearly every level? This was unchartered territory for
the band, a new and great discovery to be shared with everyone that
wanted to expand their musical horizons.

Lyrics written,
interpreted as I may, looking, digging, finding, deep within oneself,
some deeper meaning of what is of a real, actual value, and what isn’t.
Exploring how not only this revelation affects you, but how others
around you, in your life and out, affect you just the same. Discovering
and overcoming whatever insecurities that you personally may have had
by ripping them to shreds with words and feedback seemingly from
another planet, certainly from another level, a level that we were most
definitely not on until The Diamond Sea.

Then in the end, we
come to an understanding and hopefully even an acceptance of what we’ve
come to realize by the end of the song. We have been a witness to true
artistic beauty and that can never be taken away from us. In one single
song we have learned to search, find, explore, and then understand and
accept the innermost feelings that we allow to be affected.

That’s just it: The Diamond Sea, just like any other music, is what it
is, and is what you make of it. If we allow ourselves, then we end up
seeing and understanding that these things are not of any great
importance, and only then are we able to break from our bonds and
prejudices, whatever they may be, and truly be free.

Ride a Bike

Posted on Various Thoughts on Culture

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I am very pro cycling myself. I have an
extreme dislike for the car culture that we have here in the US in
general. I absolutely feel that if mass public or self transportation
without the use of a motor vehicle is possible, then it should be used
in nearly all cases.

Personally I do not drive currently and I do not even own a car.
Using mass transit and self transportation is environmentally sound and
much more cost effective than operating a motor vehicle of your own.
That’s why I don’t understand the car culture that we have, I don’t
understand how it has spread and is generally accepted everywhere, even
in our large cities.

That’s why I thought that Bloomberg’s tax was a brilliant idea for
NYC. Having actually biked through New York on a regular basis, it’s
not exactly the greatest experience that I’ve ever had, and certainly
not something that I would want to do every morning to get to work. If
there were less vehicles, less congestion and less hostility in general
though, then I would be all for cycling to work most of the time. But
still it isn’t a huge issue as we have a fine public mass transit
system in our subways.

Anyway, I’m hoping that the recent housing issues in the US will
make more and more people come to the cities, which should lead to less
reliability on vehicles for people in general if they have a quality
system for public transportation in place.

I have other huge issues with suburban sprawl and the whole suburban
culture here in the US as well, a different topic, I know; but it has
to be stated as it undoubtedly plays a key role in the want and need
for motor vehicles by many Americans. If we didn’t live 20 miles away
from where we go to school and work, then there would be much less of
an issue and the car culture in the US would simply dissolve. It is
honestly ridiculous to live so far away from the places that you need
to go on a regular basis when you could just as easily live in the
city, much closer to the places that you need to go.

Both are huge issues that people need to get over in my opinion. You
don’t need an acre or two of land surrounding your home, really. There
is absolutely no need for that, it’s wasteful and harmful to all of us
in the long run. Living in the city is a much better option. Hopefully
more and more people in our future generations realize this and stop
moving into and building new unnecessary suburbs.

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