Monthly Archives: April, 2004

Honoring US Troops is unpatriotic?

If you’ve been listening to Air America Radio you’ve probably heard about how the Sinclair Broadcasting Group has ordered it’s affiliates to kill Ted Koppel’s tribute to those of our soldiers who’ve paid the ultimate price for Bush’s war.

If you haven’t been listening to Air America Radio, then you really need to start doing so! In the meantime, here’s the scoop. As reported in the Los Angeles Times, Nightline & Ted Koppel were planning to read the name and display a picture of every US soldier killed in combat over in Iraq; however they later changed their minds and extended the special to include every soldier killed while serving in Iraq.

This special episode is clearly intended as a tribute to the soldiers as evidenced by this quote from the executive producer of Nightline, Larry Sievers:

These people have paid the ultimate price in our name, and it’s important to remember them whether you think the price is worth it or not. It may not be great television. But it’s the right thing to do, and that’s why we’re doing it.

To most people this seems obvious that Nightline is doing something that’s extremely patriotic; however the Sinclair Broadcast Group (amoung other right-wing nuts1) disagrees and says:

“appears to be motivated by a political agenda designed to undermine the efforts of the United States in Iraq.”

It should be noted that SGB owns a large proportion of the ABC-affiliated stations and their blocking of this Nightline special, effectively means that most of the country will not get to see it 2. After hearing all week about how the Bush administration is doing everything they can to stop people from truly feeling the impact of the war on our troops (e.g. blocking the photos of the returning dead, for more info see; you’d think the right-wing would let this go through; so that their bashing of the left wouldn’t be quite so blatant. You might think that, but you’d be wrong.

*shakes head and sighs* What a world we live in, eh?

So why did I go to the trouble of posting this to my blog? Because it makes it very angry that this SBG it blocking the special. Numbers of the dead or even a list of names don’t bring the full impact of the horror that is war, but maybe just maybe seeing the faces of those soldiers will help to wake America up about what we’re doing over in Iraq. And maybe that will lead to bringing our boys home that much sooner. We can only wait and see what happens.

1 Another example is Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center:

I think it’s intellectually dishonest to deny the partisan nature of this broadcast. Of course, it’s partisan! What’s the purpose? There’s only one goal in mind: It’s to turn public opinion against the war.

2 This is according to Air America Radio’s Unfiltered morning show.

The Ladies of Mandrigyn and my next book to read

I finished reading The Ladies of Mandrigyn last night and I have to give Ms. Hambly a bit of credit; she didn’t go with the more obvious of the 2 scenarios that I thought she was going to. In the end the book wasn’t all bad, but I definitely wouldn’t recommend anybody buy this book at the cover price; still it’s short and if you can find it for just $1-$2, then that’s probably worth it. Overall, I’ll give this book 2 out of 5 points.

I looked around the house some more and found that I did have 2 more sci-fi books from the last library book sale, huzzah! 🙂 So the next book I’m reading is an oldie, but a goodie; it’s Joe Haldeman’s Forever War. I’ve read this before –actually when I was going through my closet I found I’ve got multiple copies of it– and really enjoyed it. I’ll let you know how I feel about the book after I finish reading it again.

Though I should mention that reading Mr. Haldeman’s work has a slightly unreal feeling for me. Why? Because unlike most of the authors I read; I’ve actually met Mr. Haldeman and his wife. In my area, there is a local sci-fi club, called SFLIS that was founded in part by Mr. Haldeman back when he was attending the UofI. That group also started a sci-fi con in the area called ICON. When I moved into this area several years; I started going to ICON to meet the local geeks. After going to the con for a couple of years, I heard about it’s history and then realized 2 of the people that the con staff were always friendly with were in fact Joe & Gay Haldeman.

No, I’m not a slobbering-gooberhead fanboy but it still throws me for a bit of a loop when I meet/see the author of a book I really like. Anyhoo, I need to get back to work; so keep those pages turning.

The Ladies of Mandrigyn

For my next book, I’ve started reading Barbara Hambly’s The Ladies of Mandrigyn. I’m about halfway through with it and looking very forward to finishing it, as it’s really not that good (so far, it could improve but I’m not holding my breath).

Why so harsh? Well, when I read a book; I generally don’t try to analyze it. I just try to let the events in the book wash over me and absorb myself in them. As such, I allow myself to be surprised by events that occur later in the book, which if I were analyzing it would be obvious. There are several characters that have appeared in the story which are making it pretty, dang obvious that certain other events will take place later.

I realize that sounds vague, but I don’t want to include any spoilers in my reviews so you’ll just have to live with it. When I’ve finished the book; I’ll either post another review and let you know if I was right or I’ll come back to this one and add a comment.

The Bicentennial Man and Other Stories

I finished reading The Bicentennial Man and Other Stories over lunch today but I’ve got to hurry back to work for a meeting; so for now I’ll just give this book a quick score of 4.5 out of 5 points.

The Golden One

I finished reading Ms. Peter’s The Golden One last night and while I found the book slow to start off; it definately picked up towards the end (nice punch, Bertie!). It’s my understanding that there are two more books after The Golden One, in the Amelia Peabody series; but we don’t have copies and frankly I’m ready for a break from reading mysteries. I started digging around looking for a copy of Asimov’s I, Robot as I’d seen the trailer for the new movie, with Will Smith, and wanted to refresh my memory of the story before the movie came out.

Unforuntately, I was startled to learn that I don’t have a copy of that book around the house (or at the very least, it’s nowhere that I could find it). To make up for the lack, I dug out my copy of THE BICENTENNIAL MAN and started reading throught that. I’ve nearly finished it –what do you expect? it’s really short!– and I’m just like, wow!

Reading Asimov was such a refreshing experience; the crisp, clean style just flows so easily past the eyes and though the stories in the book are fairly old (20-40 years, I think1they still don’t seem… entirely foolish, in the light of how the modern world has been turning out.

On another side note2, I was somewhat annoyed last night because I thought I had several used sci-fi books from the last library book sale but I couldn’t find them. So either my memory is worse than I thought (entirely possible) or they got moved around when we last straightened up the apartment because people were coming over. Grrr…

1 If I get a chance during my lunch hour, I’ll double-check the copyright years.
2 It occurs to me that many of the entries in this blog are little more than side notes and even the non-side notes are still peppered with side notes. What’s my point? I’m not sure, but I felt it was worthing makeing a footnote about my incoherent writing style which mostly consists of adding more side notes whenever I have another thought that I’d like to record.

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