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September 05, 2003
War and other problems

Ahhh...the pleasures of business. From time to time, you get to go spend the morning talking "collaboration concepts" over a restaurant breakfast with clients instead of, you know, coming to the office and slogging through the unloved work on your desk. It's a nice way to spend the first three or four hours of a Friday morning.

In many parts of this country, the word "reconstructon" is still a four-letter word. I think Iraq is going to have some sympathy with that position before long.

Other than that, I feel a moment of extreme annoyance at the repetition? confirmation? of the previously announced news that we allowed family members of one of the world's most famous terrorists to fly out of the country in the wake of 9/11 at the same time we were forbidding law-abiding citizens of this country to get near an airplane. (I know I first read this report a month or more ago...wish I could remember where.)

France is right. After spitting in "old Europe's" eyes before the invasion, this Administration is, indeed, now trying to jump-start Bush's re-election on the backs of those same countries.

The Administration as much as admits that they want to bail out on the unsatisfactory aftermath of their invasion before it becomes a campaign issue. Especially since, among the other issues, it's just possible that someone might ask them point-blank how they expected to fund the occupation of Iraq with one hand while handing out multi-million dollar tax-rebate gifts to wealthy friends with the other.

I mean, I doubt that any reporter lives who has the guts to ask that question in front of an open mike and certainly if the government suspects it might happen, we all know they'll refuse to be interviewed by that person, but it's not completely outside the realm of possibility that the situation might arise.

I'm absolutely in favor of access to health care for all citizens, but exactly how are we going to define "health care"? Is access to expensive in vitro fertilization (scroll down to NICE paragraphs) procedures a legitimate "health care" service? Is there some kind of fundamental right to reproduce that we should be protecting? Can someone who cannot afford the cost of getting pregnant afford to raise six children? (Multiple live births are such a common side-effect of in vitro fertilization that such questions have to be considered, I think.)

I find myself seriously wondering who the customers of the Italian winery are who find Hitler's picture on the label an inducement to buy.

I oppose this. I oppose most "pre-kindergarten" programs. I have an intense dislike for this trend of regimenting toddler education so that these wee ones walk into kindergarten reading, writing, and 'rithmaticking like fifth-graders. What's wrong with letting tiny children just be children? Is it not enough that from the age of six to sixty-six, they're going to be part of the production-oriented machine of society? Is it really necessary to start indoctrinating them at the age of three?

And, speaking of stupid ideas, who is it in the White House who's got the rest of them sold on the power of positive speech? They actually seem to believe that if they just keep saying everything is getting better all the time, things will, in fact, get better without any other action being taken. (And is there anyone left in Washington who's going to buy into the magical rejuvenation powers of a third round of massive tax cuts at a moment when tens of billions of dollars worth of unfounded debts are piling up in front of them.)

600,000+ since the first of the year. That's pretty much what August's layoffs bring us to. Over half a million jobs lost since Bush started "improving" economy.

2.7 million jobs lost in the manufacturing sector since mid-2000. 2,700,000

One "war" supposedly won and subsequently being lost inch by inch for lack of proper attention.

Another "war" being lost in full view of the voting public as report after report proves that the Administration never had a half-way decent idea of what they were going to with the country once they'd signed the Halliburton contracts after the initial invasion was over.

Corporate scandals. Enron, Andersen, Worldcom, Global Crossing, and others. Everything from careleless stupidity to outright criminal fraud.

Do you ever have days when you wonder if the Frat Boy In Office regrets calling in Daddy's Supreme Court markers to get himself appointed president?

And just how far to the Right has this country shifted, anyhow? So far that, as this article points out. our Left wing is now sitting somewhere to the right of Nixon on some issues. (No wonder that studies show that a disproportionate percentage of the millions of non-voting citizens are liberals.)

Posted by AnneZook at 01:01 PM


Well, I'm in favor of healthcare paying for in vitro, but I would be. Still childless at 45, not for lack of trying...

Posted by: Elayne Riggs at September 5, 2003 04:01 PM

I'm in favor of pre-kindergarten because although public school is all about churning out people who's will to question and fight injustice has been drummed out of them, every kid needs access to the prevailing system - even it that system has problems. Also, it's hard to turn pre-schoolers into robots. You can try, but they win every time. I've seen it attempted. If pre-kindergarten helps disadvantaged kids hit the ground running in public school and keeps them able to compete with the other kids, I'm all for it.

Posted by: casadelogo at September 6, 2003 11:39 AM

"...we allowed family members of one of the world's most famous terrorists to fly out of the country in the wake of 9/11 at the same time we were forbidding law-abiding citizens of this country to get near an airplane."

Sorry, not true:

"[Two] planes, one jumbo jet carrying 100 family members, and the other 40, were eventually allowed to leave when airports reopened and passports were checked."

I have no idea why this rumor is once again resurfacing. Well, actually, I do, but I try to keep my worst opinions of humanity at under control.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at September 7, 2003 01:46 AM

Check: http://www.msnbc.com/news/963025.asp?0sl=-10&cp1=1 for confirmation that the government allowed the flights to take place. As far as who was on them, the government isn't denying there were bin Laden family members, which, from this Administration, is tantamount to an admission.

Posted by: Anne at September 8, 2003 09:12 AM

Never mind. I guess you didn't bother to read the link I sent you. One teevee show "rushed" transcript over Snopes careful -- and continuing -- research. Okay. Whatever you say.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at September 8, 2003 07:42 PM

Most of what the Snopes report was "debunking" wasn't what I was saying, so it was irrelevant.

I quoted an interview with a prominent government official who might be expected to know a little more about what was going on than the people at Snopes.

Posted by: Anne at September 9, 2003 08:11 AM

Elayne - My question wasn't about whether or not healthcare should pa6 for in vitro. I know, I expressed myself badly. I was musing over whether, in this country, public funds should be used. Should, for instance, Medicaid pay for in vitro for those who can't afford private healthcare but want to get pregnant?

Posted by: Anne at September 9, 2003 11:15 AM