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April 25, 2003
Things I miss(ed)

Right now, I'm missing Blogger, which is being a pig today. Earlier I was reading the headlines and missing some other things.

ABC's The Note. I'm glad it's back from its wartime hiatus.

Sometimes I miss my sense of humor.

Nowadays, things just get so insane it's hard to laugh at them.

Like Bush, unable to ramrod a $726 billion dollar tax cut through and pushing for a $550 billion dollar tax cut instead. And he's scoffing at lawmakers who prefer ''a little bitty tax-relief package" of only $350 measly billion dollars.

This is your president, people, a man who refers to $350 billion dollars as a "little bitty" sum of money.

''Now, you hear talk about deficits,'' Bush said. ''And I'm concerned about deficits. I'm sure you are, as well. But this nation has got a deficit because we have been through a war.''
Excuse me? Are we now pretending, in defiance of published evidence to the contrary, that no deficit existed or was going to be created even without your war?

You may soon see assault rifles on your street corner. Won't that be nice? Haven't we all missed those nightly news reports of this or that assault rifle being used in a crime over the last ten years?

While I don't miss pictures of the civilian dead on television every night, I miss having a leadership that thought the numbers of civilian casualties were important. History shows us that these numbers are important.

I miss being part of the United Nations, but maybe under this particular Administration, it's good that we're semi-estranged. Because while we're sitting in the corner and sulking, they're getting on with the business of securing human rights for oppressed people. (Frustratingly, there's no news about this yet on the U.N. site.)

I miss my na´ve perception that the world was a place of law and order, but that's been AWOL for over 20 years, so it might just be nostalgia. I doubt if we'll engage in a war to protect the women being oppressed in this country. I don't remember hearing much about Burma's oil reserves and they're not strategically placed where we'd like to have some permanent military bases.

I miss living in a society where the majority people routinely debated important ideas with an eye to keeping us honest and on the right track, but maybe that's just because I'm not 20 and in college any more.

And I'm not talking about the religious right trying to legislate what we can do in bed with another consenting adult.

(Guys. Seriously. Get laid, okay? Have a little wild and crazy sex and get over this obsession with whether or not other people are having more fun doing it than you are.)

(If you don't like anal sex, don't have anal sex. If you don't like the idea of anal sex, don't think about it.)

(Although I do think about the fixation the religious right has about anal sex, don't you? They're positively obsessed with the subject.)

Ahem. Where was I? Oh, yeah. Intelligent, informed citizens who paid attention.

In two famous books, "The Affluent Society" (1958) and "The New Industrial State" (1967), John Kenneth Galbraith argued that in modern economies, producers are mostly satisfying demands that they themselves have created. The same is true of modern government.
For what it's worth, I read both of these, albeit decades after they were first published. Galbraith was right then and he's probably ten times as right now.

The LATimes scoops in Galbraith, takes a side-swipe at Bush's war, and moves on to what's really important in L.A. Traffic problems.

It's interesting how they try to make "congestion charges" for crowded cities part of a larger, philosophical/ethical/sociological picture. (Interesting, but stupid. The congestion on big city streets is as much a result of poorly designed and inconvenient public transportation facilities as anything else. Instead of hacking everyone for a fee every time they drive in a "toll" district, the city should take a look at what they've got and design a sensible mass transport system.)


Read Dan Savage on G.O.P. Hypocrisy.

Sometimes you run across an article or a column that's just interesting to read.

Posted by AnneZook at 09:41 AM