StreetLegalPlay by Kyle Thomas Smith


Posted in Uncategorized by streetlegalplay on August 15, 2008

I just gotta say it. Who is he to be accusing anybody of bullying and intimidating? Who is he to be standing in front of the world, demanding that another country’s “sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected”?

Mind you, I agree with the general statement about Georgia, just as I fully agreed with the same statements issued against George W. Bush with regards to the Invasion of Iraq.

And I fully agree that we have to do something – I don’t know what yet – about the situation in Georgia.

But I still have to ask, who is he to be saying these words with over 1,000,000 dead in Iraq as a result of his evildoings?

This is hypocrisy at its worst.

(Having said that, yes, Russia has been a despicable bully against Georgia and they must be held accountable.)

Georgia on My Mind

Posted in Uncategorized by streetlegalplay on August 14, 2008

This all came on so suddenly. Georgia is in shock from the invasion. It went into even greater shock when the Russians went back on the cease-fire. Russian troops are now staking out the rest of Georgia and surrounding territories from their strongholds in South Ossetia and Abkahzia.

For once I agree with the Bush administration. It’s true, we can’t let this go unnoticed. Like Condelezza Rice said, we have to send a message to Russia that this is not Prague 1968 and they can’t feel free to arrogate neighboring regions to expand their power and influence. I’m glad we’re sending aid to Georgian refugees. (Having said all that, let me clarify that I don’t think Bush himself has any right to take a moral high ground on this tragedy, not after all the atrocities he’s committed in Iraq to line the oil company’s pockets and settle his daddy’s score with Sadaam.)

Julius and I discussed all this last night at a sushi restaurant on 7th Ave.

“I’d hate to say this, but we have to stand up to the Russians,” Julius said, “They have been imperialist throughout their history. If they take over Georgia, they’ll be able to force every other former state to rejoin their union.”

“I agree,” I responded, “But what does standing up mean?”

That’s the question we’re left with for now. Are economic sanctions enough? Europe might join with us in those to some extent, but, then, they are dependent on Russia for so much of their natural gas. If they stop trading with Russia, EU economies will tank.

I don’t want to see us go to war if we can avoid it. I understand that sometimes military aid and intervention are necessary. I just hope it doesn’t come to that. Afghanistan is a stone’s throw away from the former Soviet Union. I’d hate to be a prophet of doom, but, along with all the horrors of war in the mid-east, the Russian insurrection could spark a world war. America’s economy and military is in no shape to deal with this.

Again, I’m hoping that it doesn’t come to that.

I’m going to go back and read Pema Chodron’s Practicing Peace in Times of War. Buddhist perspectives are of tremendous value in times like these.

Naturally, I’m also concerned that the invasion’s timing is poor as can be for Barack. Will the American people be snookered into thinking we need McCain, a Vietnam Vet, as a wartime president?

(By the way, how can McCain get away with passing himself off as a maverick reformer when he has supported a full 95% of Bush’s initiatives?)

If the worst were to happen as a result of the Georgian ordeal, McCain wouldn’t have any interest in peace-making missions. He’d only want an American victory.

But maybe, instead of getting all riled up over things I can’t control, I should go back to my meditation cushion and hope that one’s own spiritual practice does indeed have effects beyond what one can perceive or even imagine.

Total Failure? Maybe. But Let’s Take the Log Out of Our Own Eye First.

Posted in Uncategorized by streetlegalplay on July 18, 2008

This week George W. Bush criticized the Democratic-led Congress for moving into the last three weeks of legislative session without passing a single government-spending plan.

At long last, Nancy Pelosi made bold to laugh at Bush on CNN, saying:

You know, God bless him, bless his heart, president of the United States, a total failure, losing all credibility with the American people on the economy, on the war, on energy, you name the subject…Challenging Congress when we are trying to sweep up after his mess over and over and over again.

Great comeback, Nancy! But why were you saving all this up until just now? Because the coast is clear? Because he’s out of office in six months?

In 2006, didn’t you tell us that impeachment was “off the table”? Did the Republican-led Congress offer Bill Clinton the same courtesy for infinitely less heinous crimes in 1998? Didn’t you put the kibosh on Dennis Kucinich’s articles of impeachment against Bush? (Note: in typical new-guard Democrat fashion, Kucinich voted down his own bill!)

Bush may be a blight on our nation, but was he wrong to call out a patently ineffectual Congress? Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid joined Pelosi’s jamboree against Bush with the words: “Who would be afraid of him? He’s got a 29% approval rating.” Yes, but let’s also recall that Congress now has an 18% approval rating – a low grade that it has dutifully earned.

I know that “a house divided cannot stand.” I know that conservatives love to see liberal eat liberal, and I don’t want to play into that trap. However, I can’t think of a worse period in history for Democrats to perform so poorly. Why are they constantly snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory? Remember John Kerry’s 2004 campaign? (Of course I voted for him, but I was more voting against Bush.) I hate like hell that Rush Limbaugh was right about how Republicans uphold their own positions and Democrats don’t. Like I said in an earlier blog, after the last battery of capitulations in Congress, I officially left the Democratic party and declared myself an Independent.

Now, Barack Obama is a great beacon of hope. I am voting for him even more than I’m voting against McCain. But this Congress better get its act together and defend its own ideals and values, rather than, in effect, saying, “Oh, we do uphold these ideals and values. And we will vote to enforce them. When it’s more convenient.”