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April 29, 2003
Items of interest

Looks like not even "coalition" members can be guaranteed their share of the Iraqi pie. Not only are we lying warmongers, we're so dishonest that not even our allies are safe.

Over at the OpinionJournal, Shelby Steele says that Black citizens should get over their history. Shelby Steele says Black citizen need to stop protesting oppression. Shelby Steele says such oppression no longer exists. Shelby Steele says that what ails Black America today is that these newly liberated people just don't know how to handle their freedom. They're blinking myopically in the golden light of opportunity and not sure what to do with their new lives. Shelby Steele says, "the sin of protest was to diminish and defame black responsibility in its rush to make black problems into white burdens."

Shelby Steele is something of an idiot.

(Oh, drat. I promised not to do any more namecalling, didn't I? Sorry about that.)

(Later note: I may be reconsidering my position on this one. I'm not sure yet.)

What do you do when someone achieves success, but they don't do in a way you can approve of? Well, you pick and choose and pull out the tiny piece you agree with and make that the centerpiece of the argument.

I'm not a warmonger. I'm totally not a warmonger, and I think you know that, but at the same time I find myself getting just a little aggravated with North Korea. Blackmail is blackmail. Extortion is extortion.

Korea had asked for a step-by-step package under which it would receive oil shipments, food aid, security guarantees, energy assistance, economic benefits and construction of a light-water nuclear reactor in return for very small steps by North Korea.

The officials said that under its proposal, North Korea would dismantle its nuclear weapons only at the end of the process. Moreover, they said, it was not clear that this would affect both its plutonium weapons program, frozen in 1994, and the highly enriched uranium program disclosed last year.

This is clearly a moment for the U.N. to intervene, but just as clearly, North Korea intends that the USofA be the one to pay the bill.

(Which is probably best, since we're so far behind on paying our UN dues that I don't know how the organization keeps operating. Speaking of extortion, you should know that the USofA habitually withholds or underpays their UN dues in order to try and force the organization to act as we direct.)

Over at the Guardian, Brian Whitaker is arguing that, " Widespread Middle Eastern repression of homosexuals stems from outdated ideas about the role of the state" and I find myself wondering if the same applies to repression and attempted repression here in the USofA.

A diplomat speaks out about his resignation and the current Administration's foreign policy.

"The more aggressively we use our power to intimidate our foes," says Kiesling, "the more foes we create and the more we validate terrorism as the only effective weapon of the powerless against the powerful."
I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm not really happy with our new position as the biggest, meanest bully on the planet. It's embarrassing to watch the Administration strut and crow over their ability to wage war on an underdeveloped country full of poor and starving civilians.

Also, over at the LATimes, Robert Scheer is staying on the Lies of Mass Destruction story. Are We Dumb Or Just Numb?

Selective compassion. Paul Krugman is on it.

For those confused, check out Iraq for Dummies. It won't explain the insanity of things like Iraqi-issued press credentials being preferred over a valid USofA passport, though.

Many of us in the USofA tend to be pretty squeamish. We don't like to think that the hamburger on our plates came from a living creature, or that the chicken who laid our breakfast egg is living in a sterile pen and not roaming around some farmyard, soaking up sun and pecking at grain.

Get over it. And be glad that a certain sensibility, a sort of underground foundation of liberalism, exists in this country. A drive to treat living things, even those destined for the dinner table, with respect.

One sign of how attitudes have shifted: Hundreds of farmers, truck drivers and slaughterhouse managers recently attended workshops on such topics as "Inside the Mind of a Steer," "Humane Turkey Production" and "Creating an Animal Welfare Mind-Set in Your Company," in a seminar sponsored by the American Meat Institute.
these topics might sound amusing to those not in the industry, but they're not a joke.

Also, all of that experimentation on lab rats has finally produced results. They've developed a cancer-proof mouse. (I joke, but this is a huge breakthrough.)

And, finally, read this interview with Roger Ebert.

Q: What do you make of the criticism of Hollywood celebrities for speaking out against the war--the Sean Penns, the Susan Sarandons?

Ebert: It's just ignorant; it's just ignorant.

You go, Roger.

Posted by AnneZook at 10:12 AM