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October 13, 2003

I just have to wonder about people who spend their entire lives persecuting others.

And I think Kucinich is wrong. The only thing stupider and more irresponsible than this unwarranted invasion would be abandoning Iraq now that we've created a mess. I do intend to read his plan carefully, though.

Freedom of speech is under attack again.

The question is, should 'potentially damaging allegations' be repressed just because an election is close?

"The timing was a problem. Hitting people with allegations that generate a strong emotional response that affects the vote should be done only in extreme cases."

Well, these weren't new allegations, so it's true that they maybe could have received front-page coverage a little sooner. And I think the women in this case felt that sexual harrassment bordering on abuse is fairly extreme.

On the other hand, isn't that just why certain people wanted the recall election held as quickly as possible? To keep 'voter indignation' at Davis from subsiding and to prevent any protracted campaigning that might reveal candidate weaknesses? I'm just saying. If the Times (or another paper with the same courage> had aired what's commonly known about Schwarzenegger earlier, his campaign probably would have gone down the tubes.

I haven't noticed that any bias the press has toward 'officialdom' doesn't seem to kick in when it's headline-grabbing scandal at stake. Or, rather, it doesn't kick in when there's headline-grabbing scandal at stake about Democrats. Republican sins seem to miss the front-page, or disappear into the void, with astonishing frequency.

And it looks like no one can work with Arafat. Not even his hand-picked cronies.

This is how we keep our promises. ('Not well' in case you're wondering.)

The Quick Takes are worth reading today.

News Item (1968): Pentagon sends out press releases to hometowns across the United States containing identical quotations about progress being made in Vietnam War, with the names of local soldiers typed in following the quotations the Pentagon had written.

News Item (2003): Identical form letters about the progress being made in Iraq, supposedly from hometown soldiers serving there but written by someone else, start turning up at local newspapers.

Wait. No. Let's not be overly suspicious.


Hey, now that there's a spying scandal at Guantanamo, do you think the military regrets targeting and ousting their previous translators on the grounds of sexual preference?

Let's give Cheney a smack-down.

There's no gratitude in the world. I mean, we paid convinced Turkey to join our 'coalition' in Iraq, and now those ingrates are saying they'd rather rule themselves, thank you.

And here at home, Garrison Keillor takes on the recall fallout.

Okay, I debated this, but at the risk of incurring wrath, I'm linking to it anyhow. I think there's truth in this. The only issue I have with it is that the analysis is confined to a discussion of racial differences whereas, in my opinion, this is a more valid theory when discussing class differences. Cultural expectations and cultural norms have a lot to do with achievement. Aside from those bell-curve wrecking success stories, the expectations of family, friends, and society are significant factors in how far children go in life.

Look at George Bush. A born slacker, a guy with an eye for the main chance, looking to get-rich-quick with the minimum of effort. Without the expectations, the unwritten assumptions that underpinned his entire cultural upbringing, he'd be selling "Rolexes" that "fell off the back of a truck" on some street corner today. Or, you know, the white-collar-criminal-staying-out-of-the-elements equivalent.

Anyhow. I think there's a lot to be said for how cultural assumptions, especially unspoken ones, can shape the minds of the young.

Posted by AnneZook at 09:29 AM