The Hess Report


Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Apathy begets tyranny. Freedom lives in action.

Said it during a discussion/argument. Liked it. Googled it. Couldn't find it, so I put it up here. Just in case anyone else ever says it, I want to claim firsties.

Monday, September 15, 2003

It's hard to believe, but lots of people are still on the Bush Lied! There were no WMD in Iraq! bandwagon. There are quite a few folks like that on the message and support boards for my 3D software of choice. Every now and then, it puts a bug in my butt, and I feel almost compelled to respond. Here's what I wrote to them this morning. I know it won't change any minds, but maybe it'll embarass them into shutting up for a couple of days. It's not the greatest thing ever written, but I wanted saved, once again, for my kids, for much later.

Pretty broad audience there, too. High school kids, red-white-and-blue Americans, LLLs, crazed New Zealanders, jaded Europeans. Anyway, my contribution to a particularly odious thread:

To all of you no WMD/Bush Lied folks, just think for a minute. Not a single intelligence service or nation in this world doubted for one second that Saddam's regime had WMD. No one. Why? Because, well, he acted like he them. He distributed chemical suits and gas masks to his troops. He threatened people with them. His internal documentation showed that he had them. Did he actually have them? Hmmmm...

If someone in the neighborhood starts making threats against my family, and saying that he has a gun, and has actually shot people in the past, how hard do I look to see if he really has a gun this time? Right. I'm calling the cops. Oh wait. The cops are too busy riding around in the sports cars they bought with the cash that the crazy fellow has been funnelling their way, so they're not too keen on helping. The most they offer is to do a ride-by. So I warn the guy to knock it off, but he refuses. Then I tell him that I feel myself and my family are in mortal danger from him, and that if he doesn't can it, I'll take forceful steps to defend myself.

"I don't really have a gun," he says. "I was kidding." But you know he used to have guns, at least, because he's shot folks before, and you know that he'll lie, steal, kill, or do pretty much anything to keep his guns, because he hates your guts. So I tell him that he needs to prove it, or lose it. He refuses to prove it, all the while making stage whisper threats of shooting me and my family. Everyone in the neighborhood is afraid of the guy, even the folks on his payroll.

So what am I supposed to do? Show up at his front door in a kevlar vest armed for bear, that's what. At this point, he gets to choose whether he lays down in the cul-de-sac and lets me search his house unhindered, or if barricades himself in the baathroom and starts blazing away. His call. I'm ready for both. When I'm finished, does it matter if the idiot really had a bunch of guns or not? I think not. Maybe you think differently. But whether he did or didn't, I'll make the exact same call each time. Nations, like people, can only act on the information that they have at the time. We cannot be expected to do more than that.

Did Bush lie? Match up the official pronouncements of the administration with what they have actually done. They're quite predictable, really. They say what they are going to do, then hang back for a couple of months while their opponents/detractors squabble. Afterward, they do exactly what they said they would do. There is not an administration in recent memory that was so upfront and transparent in its actions.

And for those of you thinking that we want benign dictatorships, oil, etc., do a little bit of research, for goodness sake. Bush's doctrine is almost completely informed by the neocon movement. He's executing it almost point for point. Ultimate goal: democracy/economic development for ME = more stability for the world. Democracies do not attack each other. It's as simple as that, and the current US administration knows it. You will see, but I suspect by that point, you'll have moved on, forgetting how wrong your pronouncements were, just like you've forgotten about the civilian casualty and refugee predicitions that you made before the war, and the Soviet-reminiscent explusion from Aghanistan that never happened. Yes, you'll find some new way to underestimate and demonize America, and once again, you'll be wrong.

If your methodology leads you to demonstrably wrong conclusions time and time again, you are foolish to hold to your beliefs. How many times do you have to be wrong before you realize that it's your basic assumptions that are flawed? You're like Bart Simpson, grabbing the electrified cupcake over and over. Dumber than a hamster, at best.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

More random things from the last few weeks...
Lucy has finally discovered the glory of the whole Disney princess thing. She's into Snow White. We watched it at movie night last week (lights going down on a dimmer switch, movie tickets, popcorn/candy/soda, the whole movie straight through, Dolby digital 5.1 on new big TV).

She likes Snow White and the dwarfs. But she loooves the peddler woman. That's the old hag into whom the wicked queen magically transforms. Lucy runs around quoting her, with a maniacal look on her face. "You little fools! I'll crush yer bones!" she'll shout. Occasionally, she'll let slide a sinister hiss: "The dwarfs will think she's dead!"

We've also trained her to say "My preciousssssss...." and wring her hands nastily.

Best first week of school
Maddie won the best first week of school story amongst those we know. Teachers love her, work level insultingly below her capabilities, making friends, bus driver yells a lot, etc., what-else-is-new?

When I picked her up on her second day of kindergarten, she handed me plastic bag.

"These are my pants," she said. Fifteen scenarios run through my mind, all of them bad. "One of the boys ['boys' was said in a kind of them vs. us manner, already] barfed, and I slipped in it."

"Oh. Only on your pants?" I said, finding that hard to believe.

"A little on my shoes, too." We're in the car by then, and I can't smell it, so it must not have been too bad.

I asked her if it was gross. According to her, all the girls and most of the boys were grossed out, but she didn't mind.

She's goes on to tell me how the nurse has extra clothes for stuff like this and how she's really nice. She also tells me about the other kids in the nurses office. The boy with the bloody nose that won't stop flowing. The ten year old girl who hurt her hand in the door, and was trying not to cry, but all they could do was change the ice pack every now and then and wait for her mom. All of which means that Maddie chatted their ears off the entire time she was in there.

"Hi, I'm Maddie. I'm five and three quarters. I slipped in barf, but it didn't gross me out. What's your name? Why won't your nose stop bleeding? Do you want to see a picture I drew of me falling in barf?"

Monday, September 08, 2003

Congratulations to my brother Dustin and his wife Shannon on the birth of Ethan Michael Hess. Well, I suppose Shannon should get more congrats than Dust.

Woo-hoo! Cousins for my kids! And I'm Uncle Rol. Hmmmmm.....

As one of the main purposes of this blog is to give my kids something to read twelve years from now when they refuse to believe that I'm anything but a robotic voicebox whose sole reason for being is to say "no", I'm going to play a little catch up today. In other words, these aren't necessarily the most recent events, but stuff that I want to have written down for future, um, legal purposes.

First on the list: Maddie's Literary Analysis
Sitting at the dinner table, keeping company with Maddie while she eats her bedtime snack. Earlier that day, she'd watched Sleeping Beauty for the first time in many months, and we were discussing it.

"Maleficent made her outside like her inside," she said, referring to the evil fairy's transformation into a black dragon at the end. I know that she says stuff like this simply because it pleases me, but I'll take it. Oooo, and bonus insight opportunity coming up.

"So if you could use that spell on yourself, what it make you?" I asked.

"Oh, I'd just be myself," she said. I was waiting to hear a princess or somesuch, and this was much cooler than expected.

"What would I be?" I said.

"You'd be Batman!" Oh, you good, perceptive, intelligent girl.

A Kid Just Knows
Lucy wants me to watch a certain Wiggles song with her, which I can actually tolerate. It's the one with the scary puppets, the helium voices, the disco beat and the psychedelic background. I honestly believe that they made this "video" in the hopes that it would be become an underground drug-culture club hit. Whatever. It's completely nuts, and I like watching it every now and then. So this wacky song plays through and the next one on the tape starts.

It's a song about dancing in which all four wiggles flit about the screen singing serenely, performing ballet moves like ballerinas. I'm no fan of ballet, but I'm not a complete rube either. There's ballet for men. And there's ballet for women. These four guys were doing the ballet for women. One of them looked like he wanted to kill himself.

Maddie's question: "Why are boys doing that?"

Okay. Think a second. "Because some boys like to do girl stuff."

"All boys?"

"Nope."

"Why?"

"They just do." Because it's in their DNA. And, to a greater or lesser degree, because they're Daddies weren't around in one way or another. But she doesn't need to hear that yet.

"Oh. Do you?"

"What do you think?"

"You play Barbies with me."

"Right. I play Barbie's because it's fun to play with you, and you like Barbies. If you didn't like Barbies I wouldn't play with them." And don't tell the neighbors.

So we've got the gay thing covered pretty well already, I think.