If only that he would just shut up and act, he’d be "moron neutral" and intellectually-friendly….
From the San Francisco Chronicle:
(03-24) 18:20 PDT OAKLAND — Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn was the star attraction at a town hall meeting today in Oakland, where hundreds of people gathered to denounce the war in Iraq and call for an immediate withdrawal of American troops.
Neither Penn nor Rep. Barbara Lee, the Oakland Democrat who has opposed the war since before it began four years ago, offered much in the way of specifics for ending the conflict, and they were largely preaching to the choir. The enthusiastic and occasionally boisterous crowd of 800 or so crammed into the Grand Lake Theatre wildly cheered as Penn excoriated President Bush.
"You and your smarmy pundits — and the smarmy pundits you have in your pocket — can take your war and shove it," Penn said. "Let’s unite not only in stopping this war, but in holding this administration accountable."
What a statesman! Lol….if only that I were being paid to be a smarmy pundit! Here’s some more of what he said:
But now, we are encouraged to self-censor any words that might be perceived as inflammatory – if our belief is that this war should stop today. We cower as you point fingers telling us to “support our troops.” Well, you and the smarmy pundits in your pocket, those who bathe in the moisture of your soiled and bloodstained underwear, can take that noise and shove it. We will be snowed no more. Let’s make this crystal clear. We do support our troops in our stand, while you exploit them and their families. The verdict is in. You lied, connived, and exploited your own countrymen and most of all, our troops.
Certainly Sean Penn can speak however he sees fit; but wouldn’t a more mature tone gain him wider acceptance and credibility? Juvenile insults and posturing will only appeal to his amen chorus of movon.org lefties.
The town hall meeting came six days after "peace marches" [my quotations- wordsmith] were held nationwide to mark the fourth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq and one day after the House of Representatives voted 218-212 to withdraw combat troops by Sept. 1, 2008.
Penn reiterated a point often made by opponents of the war when he said he supports the troops but opposes the war.
"Let’s make this crystal clear: We do support our troops, but not the exploitation of them and their families," he said. "The money that’s spent on this war would be better spent on building levees in New Orleans and health care in Africa and care for our veterans. Iraq is not our toilet. It’s a country of human beings whose lives that were once oppressed by Saddam are now in Dante’s Inferno."
Moron offset: Maybe Sean Penn is moron neutral and does support the troops, as well as others who don’t approve of this war. But there are also many on their side who really don’t support the troops; for them to claim that they support the troops is because it would be "politically incorrect" to admit otherwise; it’s a knee-jerk bumpersticker mantra, used as an aegis for their conscience, similar to how they are always hypersensitive about their patriotism being questioned. I think CJ made an astute point to a protester he debated with a couple of weeks ago:
before I left I wanted to impart one more piece of wisdom. I motioned towards his encampment and asked him which of the tents before us were collecting letters, cards or care packages for troops. I asked which tent was asking for donation of shoes, clothing, toys, school supplies or other good that Soldiers can hand out to the Iraqi people to make their lives better. I told him I don’t have a problem with the peace movement and anti-war movement. But, I DO have a problem with a peace movement and anti-war movement that purports to do it in the name of supporting the troops and yet nothing there makes me feel supported. I told him the reason why his cause will never gain acceptance from Soldiers is because they go about it all wrong. I may feel more inclined to listen to their speeches and read their literature if I actually something there that REALLY supported the troops. I asked him when the last time they went to Walter Reed and brought cookies, movies, music, flowers, letter, cards, drawings, anything to make those Soldiers they supposedly support feel better. NEVER. And that, my tin foil hat wearing friend, is why I don’t support you and made an effort to thank that ONE lady standing alone on the side of the road instead of any of the many people mulling about without deodorant. I also thanked him for the civil conversation (up to the point of "chemtrails") and that it’s a rare day that I have a conversation with people like him and don’t get called names or have to deal with screaming and yelling. We shook hands and departed.
I’m sure you can find war-supporters as well, who don’t really support the troops in any meaningful way; but at least they don’t undermine the mission and endanger lives by giving aid and comfort to America’s enemies and critics. Most of those I know of who do support the war, actively show their support by sending care packages, offer well-wishes, fund soldier support charities, express gratitude and recognize the service and sacrifice.
Lee was among the California Democrats who voted Friday against the $124 billion war spending measure that President Bush has promised to veto. Lee is a member of the "Out of Iraq Caucus" that includes Democrats Lynn Woolsey of Petaluma and Maxine Waters of Los Angeles.
"We can’t afford to spend one more dime or lose one more American or Iraqi life on this illegal and unwinnable war," Lee told the crowd, which offered several rousing standing ovations.
What makes her believe that not one more American or Iraqi life will be saved by an immediate withdrawal? Or that not engaging the enemy and surrendering from Iraq will be economically less costly to us? Calling the war "illegal" is pointless to her argument, other than to still be stuck on stupid. "Coulda, shoulda, woulda" is fighting yesterday’s arguments and trying to apply them to today’s problems.
Lee introduced Penn to the crowd as movie star and temporary journalist for The Chronicle, referring to his dispatches published in the newspaper when he visited Iran in 2005. Penn also has visited New Orleans as part of the post-Hurricane Katrina rescue effort.
Outside the theater, protesters carried signs saying "Impeach Bush." Among those who attended today’s rally were members of Grandmothers Against the War.
After the meeting, everyone from grandmothers and students to veterans and mothers pushing strollers marched along Lake Merritt to Oakland City Hall for an afternoon rally at which Lee again spoke.
As she took the microphone, the crowd chanted "Barbara Lee told you so. Bush’s war has got to go."
"The only thing this government needs is for the people to be silent and then they can do whatever they want," said Joan MacIntyre, a 74-year-old great-grandmother from Oakland. "As long as the government keeps doing what it’s doing, I’ll be out in the streets."
Does anyone else see the irony in her statement? Moron offset for Joan MacIntyre:
I asked about this odd idea that "curing" poverty was an easy matter. If it really could be cured with ease, then why did Lyndon Johnson have such a tough time with his "War on Poverty" here in the United States? As President Reagan noted: "We declared war on poverty, but poverty won." Charles Murray and other scholars made clear that despite the vast spending on "Great Society" anti-poverty programs (some five TRILLION dollars by most estimates!) economic destitution only got worse, until Reaganomics finally began to make a positive difference in the 1980’s. Later, welfare reform in 1996 made an even more positive impact — helping to destroy (at last) the culture of depenedency. The idea that cures for poverty come easily has been a distinguishing characteristic of the international left. The only sense in which it ever worked in Communist countries was relative: by making nearly everyone poor and destitute (except for the party bosses) they created an illusion of equality.
As Michael Medved also points out: A just society doesn’t require that everyone earn similar rewards. It does require, however, that hard work should be reliably rewarded.
MacIntyre, like many who attended today’s events, was no stranger to anti-war protests. She has marched in numerous rallies since the Iraq war started in March 2003 and on Monday was arrested during a San Francisco protest on Market Street. It was her 41st arrest, she boasted proudly.
"At least I can hold my head up and say that I tried," she said.
And how will you hold your head when there comes a point in history when the actions of President Bush and those who stood for victory in Iraq are proven right? How will those Congressmen who voted for nonbinding resolutions undermining soldiers in the field justify their position to their grandchildren? That they preferred to align with the Neville Chamberlain appeasement wing of American politics rather than side with the pro-active, pro-victory, far-sighted Winston Churchills?
At the rally, which was organized by a coalition of Oakland community groups, folk singers led the crowd in song and a rapper rapped about violence in the streets. There were calls for impeachment of the president and for troops to be brought home and pleas for federal dollars to be spent on schools rather than on the war.
Rodney Brown, a 30-year-old Oakland substitute teacher, said he would have liked to see more people attend the protest. While organizers said between 500 and 700 attended the rally, many remarked that the crowd seemed significantly smaller. Police declined to provide a crowd count.
"Money needs to be going to our schools and the communities here instead of funding for this war," Brown said. "And we need to have more events like this and get people out here and taking some action."
Moron offset for Brown vs. real education:
public K-12 spending is approaching $10,000 per pupil — double what it was three decades ago, adjusting for inflation. And total school spending is approaching $500 billion — more than we spend on national defense ($454 billion) and more than the entire GDP of Russia ($433 billion). Many people believe that teachers are horribly underpaid. In fact, the average elementary-school teacher makes $30.75 per hour, more than architects ($26.64), mechanical engineers ($29.46), and chemists ($30.68).
And the only moron neutral person quoted in the report:
Hava Ratinsky, a native of Israel who now lives in Oakland, attended the protest with her 6-year-old son, Aviv. She wondered whether, after four years of protesting, people were just too tired of not seeing any change.
"There’s a war going on and it’s mind-boggling to me that people can continue to live their daily lives and not pay attention," she said.
Disclaimer: The links embedded in the quoted passages from the SF Chronicle were not part of the original article; wordsmith felt the need to insert moron offsets (credit Jon Sanders for the term) in order to balance out the moronic emissions prevalent in the anti-war sentiments of Sean Penn and Barbara Lee.
A former fetus, the “wordsmith from nantucket” was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1968. Adopted at birth, wordsmith grew up a military brat. He achieved his B.A. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles (graduating in the top 97% of his class), where he also competed rings for the UCLA mens gymnastics team. The events of 9/11 woke him from his political slumber and malaise. Currently a personal trainer and gymnastics coach.
The wordsmith has never been to Nantucket.