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October 15, 2003
The Ides of October

(Can you have "ides" if it's not March?)

Here's more on the dangers of black-box voting.

And Atrios is angry. With good reason.

And the more I read about the Rush-on-drugs story (which honestly isn't that much, since I couldn't care less if Rush walks the planet or falls off into a black hole), the more I agree with Digby. He's right, and so is Steinback because we all know Limbaugh isn't going to see the inside of a jail cell, no matter what. Rich people and celebrities aren't jailed in this country for the kinds of offense that would send us non-privileged citizens up the river for five or ten years. (And, no, none of Limbaugh's followers and their ilk are going to rethink their mindless idiocy.)

I heard an excerpt from Bryant's speech this morning. Let's hope his two-year, transitional government achieves its goals. Bryant sounded calm and sincere, but politicians generally do. His lack of ties with any of the previously warring factions is a very good sign. I have no how idea how many, if any, "Taylor loyalists" might infect the remaining government power structure, but this is a golden opportunity for Liberia and I'm going to watch them closely over the next couple of years.

You know, I saw some kind of poll on CNN (or somewhere else) about a week ago, asking if I'd shop at a store that sold, "Ghettopoly" and I had no idea what they were talking about. Now I do, and I'm appalled.

And I suspect I could be a racist or some other kind of -ist, because while the idea of 'Ghettopoly' strikes me as a massive display of cultural and social insensitivity, I can see the humor in "Redneckopoly" and find myself wondering if laughing at 'those people' might not be a valuable tool against spread of their backward philosophy?

Speaking of cultural insensitivity, does this strike anyone but me as a prime example? In today's world, being bilingual is an asset. In the USofA, being English-Spanish bilingual is doubly an advantage. And even if it weren't, what right does the court have to accede to such an arbitrary and pointless request? There must be more to this than the story gives us.

There's probably another –ism involved in my instinctive distaste for acts of mass murder committed by people who claim to be the hand of god of whatever the world's religious fanatics think they are.

This strikes me as extremely odd. A Palestenian suicide bomber? In the Gaza Strip, that wouldn't seem out of place. A missile strike? Typical Israeli reaction. But a remote-controlled bomb planted in the middle of a diplomatic convoy? Someone desperately wants to derail any potential peace plan, that's clear, but which group? And precisely who was in the vehicle?

The Iraqi ruling council said, thanks, but no thanks to USofA attempts to recruit tens of thousand more peacekeepers from around the world and especially to the idea of troops from other Muslim countries. I hope our government listens to them. One of the things I keep hearing over and over from Iraqis interviewed in the country is that the USofA is not handing over any real power to the Iraqi people.

And this is a good editorial on the question of just how good things are, or aren't, getting in Iraq. (Hint: Things are improving, but the Iraqi people still distrust the USofA's motives.)

Consider Islam versus the world. There is, as the author points out, a difference between a "muslim society" and "repressive society." but the question remains whether this or, indeed, any militant religion can truly accept peaceful coexistence with "rival" religions. (Well, of course they can. You see it all over the world.)

A persuasive editorial on the Pledge of Allegiance dispute. The part I want y'all to pay attention to is the, "inherently coercive nature of a classroom" okay? Because that's true. Children, especially young ones, feel an urge to conform, without any real understanding of underlying issues.

In any case, religion or no religion, I have a marked dislike for letting this remnant of McCarthyism survive and even flourish in our society. As the column points out, removing the words is not "hostile to religion" so much as it is a re-establishment of religious neutrality.

Lessons From A Liberal Cop is a good column. I'd be interested in reading the books.

And The (timely) death of outrage is a good entry from Ted at Crooked Timber.

Posted by AnneZook at 09:54 AM


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