Archive for June, 2007

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Tony Soprano and George Bush

The most interesting analysis I have seen of The Sopranos final episode was in a letter to the New York Times today from Elizabeth Seydel Morgan of Richmond, VA, who I understand is a prominent poet.

“The last episode of The Sopranos is neither a prank nor a joke.
I believe that David Chase’s brilliant ending is in the mind of Tony Soprano, whose world goes dark at that moment.”

In other words, Tony Soprano was shot at that very moment and his brain went blank like our TV screen. Brilliant! This fits in with the discussion that Bobby had with Tony about whether or not they would feel anything at the moment they were shot. Earlier in the episode when Phil Leotardo was shot in the head at point-blank range, apparently without even seeing it coming, I wondered the same thing. Was he shot without ever knowing it was happening?

I went back and watched the episode last night for the second time, because quite frankly I was totally caught up in wondering what was going to happen that I missed some of the details of the show. I was impressed with how Phil lost the support of his underlings by being arrogant, demanding, and acting like a dictator. It showed me once again that even the strongest dictator needs the support of the people to retain his authority.

I well remember when Communism fell from power in Russia and the other Soviet nations. It happened because the leaders lost the support of the people, even though they technically didn’t require that support to remain in power. That was a defining moment in my life to realize that all authority comes from the people ultimately.

It is ironic that in our democracy in the United States we are stuck with George Bush until his term is over in another 2 years. That is because we believe in our electoral system in this country, and unless a leader is impeached he has the right to finish out his term even though 70% of the nation wants him to be gone. This could also be considered a drawback to democracy by some, but it is the system we have chosen and that we honor.

Of course we could always impeach him, but that seems unlikely, ironically again because the Clinton impeachment by the Republicans was such a fiasco that most Congressmen never want to participate in such a spectacle again.

Giuliani retains GOP lead for presidential nomination as Fred Thompson gains – Los Angeles Times

In a recent Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll, Guiliani and Clinton still lead in the race for their parties’ nominations. But the big news as far as I am concerned is that Both Obama and Edwards do better than Hillary if Guiliani is the GOP candidate.

This is what I was afraid of; Hillary just has too many negatives, so that even though she leads among Democrats, she is currently the only leading Democrat who would lose to Guiliani in the general election. My choice of an Edwards/Obama ticket still seems like the winner.

The other interesting note is that of the unnanounced candidates, Fred Thompson runs second among Republicans and Al Gore runs third for the Dems right behind Obama.

Dori Monson Can’t Possibly Really Believe Himself

I tuned in briefly to Dori Monson again today. I have reached the conclusion that he has just decided to pander to the ignorant with his show and that he can’t possibly believe all the dumb things he says. Lately he has been hot on opposing a tax on either gasoline or SUV’s in order to encourage people to drive more energy-efficient automobiles. His argument seems to be that Americans have a right to drive as much as they wish with as large a car as they want. While I encourage his belief in freedom, there really does seem to be a need to encourage less gasoline usage in this country. I mean, isn’t this a slam dunk issue, to use the words of George Tenet?

Today he was speaking to a legislator from Snohomish County who is thinking of proposing a bill to tax new SUV purchases an extra $2500, similar to what is being done in California. In my experience in California they sure could use something to stop people from buying humongous cars. That state is definittely the capital of Hummer usage.

Anyway, the legislator was quite well-spoken. He kept pointing out to Dori that his concern was about his own children and the condition of the atmosphere that we are leaving to our children. You would think that Dori would be concerned about this since he himself has 3 daughters, but Dori instead kept bringing up the fact that he carpools 7 people in his car for his childrens’ basketball teams. The legislator did say he would probably make allowances in his bill for larger families, etc., but this of course begs the issue. Dori is really arguing for the right of 1 person to drive a large SUV, which is what too many of these cars are used for. And besides, the last time I heard Dori was driving a Hyundai Sante Fe, which is not one of those huge SUV’s anyway.

He also brought up the supposed fact that Mars and Venus are also getting hotter, the implication being that all the carbon dioxide and smog in the air is natural and doesn’t have anything to do with all the pollution that man is spewing out of the atmosphere. Interestingly, I saw George Will bring up this same issue on ABC’s This Week last Sunday, and he was laughed down by Sam Donaldson and the others on the panel.

The legislator also pointed out correctly that 98% of scientists believe in global warming, which led Dori to mention that 98% of scientists once believed that the world was flat. My salute to the legislator who pointed out that Dori in this case was more like the 2% who now believe the world was flat. Or I might add, the 2% or so who believe in creationism, oops I mean Creative Design, rather than evolution.

Predictably the callers to Dori’s show all agreed with him. Thoughtful liberals have long ago given up on listening to him and putting up with the abuse he heaps upon his liberal callers. Obviously he has made a decision to appeal to the ignorant listeners, and that is pretty much his audience these days. Makes me appreciate Dave Ross and Ronald Reagan, Jr. much more than I already do.

As I said, I have a great deal of respect for Dori’s intelligence. All you have to do is listen to his brilliantly thought-out obfuscations to realize that. One thing I have always wondered, however, is what his daughters are thinking of all this. Surely, they will turn out to be liberals, like most intelligent and educated kids are, and I wonder how he is going to deal with them.