Saturday, November 25, 2006

Underwood whine: Letter to the editor from a supporter

The continuing saga of Bill Underwood and his disdain for 300,000 potential customers milling around Dickson Street finally has another citizen speaking out publicly in favor of forcing Bikes Blues and BarBQ out of downtown Fayetteville. Rob Kennedy (dunno who he is) wrote a letter to the editor today in support of his "lifelong" friend Bill Underwood in the NW AR Times.

The body of Kennedy's letter is as follows:

"The truth is that moving the event to another location, one that doesn’t block off Dickson Street for four days, will not harm anyone in any way like Mack tries to say. He claims that the poor little bars on Dickson Street make all their money in the fall and then scrape by for the rest of the year like retailers do with Christmas sales. I live a block away from Dickson Street and see it packed winter, summer, spring and fall. If a place isn’t making any money it’s not because there aren’t enough customers; it’s because they aren’t competitive. Beer tents, food vendors, live music, motorcycle shows, etc. aren’t held in any of the bars or restaurants, save Jose’s and other sanctioned venue’s[sic]."

The italicized sentence does more to offend rather than help the cause of his friendUnderwood. Maybe Underwood should spend more time inventing ways to take advantage of 300,000 potential customers milling around downtown rather than whining about 300,000 potential customers on Dickson. Maybe Bill needs to devise a way to be competitive for 4 days in September. I am astounded that one weekend out of the year has such a dramatic impact on a friggin jewelry store. The Underwood jewels have been included in schwag bags in Hollywood; a jeweler of Underwood's "stature" shouldn't be so dependent on one weekend in September.

Jeweler's ads have been some of the real "gems" of television and radio in this region such as David Justus' 34 hour trip to Antwerp to save the jewelry customers of NW AR and beyond(which is another plus for Underwood one might believe in establishing a clientele beyond NW AR who might return each Septmeber to the lovely building along Dickson that houses his store) where he felt bad, he smelled bad, he just wanted to get some sleep...til he saw the DIAMONDS! Classic. And Underwood's famed "no leaky diamonds" campaign of yore or his new "beauty grade"-o-meter which will "prove" to you what a beautiful diamond you'll be purchasing. What is Underwood looking for here...a payoff? Does he want to share in any proceeds of BBB? What does he seek to gain by shooing away a 4 day event held within a 365(6) day period each year? I'm not convinced he's not looking for some kind of financial benefit other than attracting 300,000 potential customers to Dickson Street he seems to have no idea of how to attract to his store to make a purchase. Today's Harley riders are hardly the infamous crowd of Harley riders of yesterday who were afoul of the law and basically poor and unable to afford an "Underwood" diamond. Many well-off folks are the only folks who can afford a Harley these days. In other words, these folks have disposable income that could be used to purchase luxury items like Underwood's jewelry.

It's time to call Underwood's hand and ask him what it is he really hopes to gain by forcing BBB to (God forbid) Drake Field or wherever he believes it will continue to grow. The BB King concert I attended there could have turned into a drunken riot had the citizens who attended not displayed a great deal of patience exiting the one gate for all to enter or exit. Such great planning. Where else will this event be held in Fayetteville? BBB has farmed out venues to Randall Tyson Track complex, the NW AR Mall, and Drake Field . If the festival grows more, it will naturally spread to the whole city, but still must remain centered in downtown Fayetteville including Dickson Street to Underwood's chagrin. Underwood's complaint is getting such ink because he is a major advertiser in the region for media interests and this region's news outlets are not going to step on his toes and cause him to drop all ads for one outlet or other. His level of ad spending does betray how tough the business is, but he needs to level with everyone and truly EXPLAIN the damage to his business because it sounds like a big joke for him to whine about a 4 day period where Dickson Street is innundated with humanity and motor bikes.

All I've heard from Underwood and his supporter is noise. Time to hear the true aim of Underwood. It would be nice to hear some his private conversations about the subject which might betray other reasons for his disdain for the festival. He makes a dollars argument because it might engender more public sympathy for his private position which might have nothing to do with dollars.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Would hanging Saddam be yet another unwise decision by this failed administration

From AP:
AP Top News at 11:25 a.m. EST
Baghdad on Alert Awaiting Saddam Verdict
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - U.S. and Iraqi forces drastically tightened security across Baghdad on Saturday in advance of the expected guilty verdict against Saddam Hussein, and the Iraqi prime minister said he hoped the ousted dictator will "get what he deserves." Saddam has been on trial for murder and crimes against humanity and, if convicted, could be sentenced to death by hanging. Violence is already running high, with police finding the bodies of 87 torture victims throughout the capital between 6 a.m. Thursday and 6 p.m. Friday. Across Iraq, at least 16 people were killed or found dead on Saturday.

What in the hell is going to happen if Saddam gets hanged? Our troops have just endured one of the worst months for casualties and have recently abandoned a Shiite community to Muqtada al- Sadr, chief "architect"(among others) of the Shiite campaign to finally break the back of Sunni power ethnically cleansing areas under his control or influence of Sunni faithful. Since the U.S. unwisely took control of the war effort against Viet Minh forces for the bloody, inept French administrators, our nation has committed a series of blunders including the Iraq invasion. The second major Bush blunder is the acquiescence of the Israeli destruction of an emerging democratic government in Lebanon fresh off the incredible victory achieved after the Syrians murdered beloved Lebanese former Prime Minister Rafiki Hariri, who had planned a political comeback and hopes for curbing the influence of Syrian interests, and Syrian troops forced to leave in April 2005 after waves of protests against the assassination. The third major Bush blunder is practically abandoning Afghanistan to a reemerging Taliban. We could certainly have used more than 15-20,00 troops there after the fall of the Taliban in 2002 instead of committing our assets to a needless invasion of Iraq which seems to have been something this adminsitration desired PRIOR to the attacks on Manhattan. The fourth major blunder is the ineptitude of the Bush administration in dealing with N. Korea when DubyaDick pulled the plug on Powell's hope to continue negotiations begun in the Clinton administration seeking to curb Kim Jong-Il's plans for building nuclear armaments.

My view in this case is that if the Bush administration doesn't try to postpone execution of Saddam when he's found guilty of ordering the murders of Shiites, they should outright refuse to allow it. Shiites all want Saddam dead, but Sunnis will likely intensify their attacks forcing Shiites to murder still more Sunnis causing one hell of a conflagration, as if our troops need any more of that sort of violence. Iraq is unlike Vietnam in that there was no civil war taking place under the firm, bloody hand of Saddam. After the American invasion, there is a bloody destabilizing civil war which has given every hateful character in the global saga of Islamic radicalism a chance to join in the fray fighting literally for influence much like Afghanistan encountered after the Soviets were finally ousted. The Bush administration have created history with bloody consequences for Americans just as Carter and Reagan unwittingly(perhaps) achieved by aiding Islamic fundamentalists who sought global revolts against western-sympathizing leaders of Islamic nations. The Soviets invaded Kabul in RESPONSE to the Islamic fundamentalist revolution in Iran and hoped to quell such movements before the U.S.S.R's heavily Islamic southern satellite states erupted in the same kind of violence. The Soviets correctly assessed the impact of Khomeini's victory over western interests in ousting the Shah. Yeltsin and Putin have had their hands tied in oil-rich Chechnya throughout their administrations and have unwisely committed terrible atrocities and have blundered militarily in painful fashion wasting lives of their young people needlessly (ever the case for Soviet or czarist leadership).

Saddam's death must threaten a number of scary scenarios for actual war planners who actually have experience in combat, unlike their civilian leadership in the White House. Cheney wasn't about to expose his ass to combat, nor was HW about to let little Dubya get smoked by the notorious commie SAMs in the skies of Viet Nam. Let Saddam rot peacefully, quietly in jail for the rest of his life if his death is going to increase the risks that Iraq will overflow with worse violence and spread throughout the middle east and southern Asia. Iran has already gained another veritable province where once their influence was limited by a ruthless dictator and al-Qaeda gained real influence in a nation where a ruthless dictator correctly feared they would kill him in an instant if he let down his guard. Iraq's instability can achieve millennialist American fundamentalist Christians' desire to witness a bloody global conflict centered in the middle east, as long as they or their children don't have to fight it. A war of Armageddon proportions could kill us all with all the nutcase fundamentalists of the Christian, Jewish, Islamic, and Hindu faiths gaining influence and capacity to make war on those who don't share their beliefs. Edshu the Trickster is succeeding in his mission these days.