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December 02, 2003
Page Two

This one's tricky. " Smithsonian Accused of Skewing History to Please Anheuser-Busch"

The Smithsonian Institutionís National Air and Space Museum (NASM) should restore a historic plane to how it appeared when it won the aerobatic titles that earned it a place in the museumís collection, according to the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). But Smithsonian officials claim--incredibly, says CSPI--that it should retain the controversial Bud Light advertisements it began sporting after the Loudenslager Stephens Akro Laser 200 ended competitive flying. CSPI says that the Smithsonian is sacrificing historical accuracy in order to please Bud Lightís corporate parent Anheuser-Busch, which has donated at least $1.5 million to the museum.

I say, take off the beer ads. It's not the plane as it looked when taken out of service the Smithsonian is supposedly commemorating. It's the earlier, no-advertising version of the plane.

When you have a few minutes to spare, reading In Defense of State Building
States, Rights, and Justice
would be a good way to spend them. An excellent way, in fact.

Critical Collaboration: Empire versus Sovereignty in Iraq is another good article. (Not as good as the previous one, but good.)

"All politics and no policy" sounds to me like a good epitaph for the Bush Administration, although Presidential Stunt Man has a humorous ring to it.

Reagan's Liberal Legacy is a headline that boggles the mind, but the article did remind me of something I've never quite understood. Just why are conservatives so determined to canonize Reagan?

His Administration was fraught with controversy and criminality, there were constant reports of his disinterest in the minutia of policy, and he nearly spent the USofA into bankruptcy following the (now habitual) Republican path of starving the government of revenue while giving what little money it does collect to the Department of Defense.

Multiple members of his Administration were charged with various kinds of criminal behavior, the economy sucked as a result of ill-considered tax cuts, we were involved in a unwinnable "war" based on a lot of lies told to the public and . . . wait . . . this is starting to sound familiar, isn't it?

Hee. Hee.


Seriously. What is it that the man did, exactly, that conservatives find so laudable? Other than the economic collapse of the Soviet Union (which his spending policies no doubt hastened, but hardly caused and let me point out that we're still dealing with the fallout of excess military spending in our own society) what did his Administration accomplish that was so worthy?

(Okay, sure, it provided the funding and, through the CIA, guided the creation of the Taliban, but I'm thinking the number of USofA citizens prepared to publicly celebrate that at this moment is probably vanishingly small.)

Okay, for anyone interested in healthcare, here's a three-part series that's non-technical enough for the layperson and full of really interesting information about where the treatment of disease is going in the near future.

Defeating Major Diseases--Part 1

Defeating Major Diseases--Part 2

Defeating Major Diseases--Part 3

Posted by AnneZook at 01:41 PM


You're missing the central tenet of today's right: Faith and hero worship. Reagan is an icon in the truest sense of the word. He is the sum of all hopes and illusions. Everything to everyone. A screen on which they project their fictional version of reality.

Posted by: JohnC at December 2, 2003 04:01 PM

What John said, plus the (mis)remembrance of many people is that the '80s were a time of prosperity - when they were actually a time of prosperity for a relative few, and the start of the widening gap between rich and poor that's grown ever since.

Posted by: Elayne Riggs at December 3, 2003 08:05 AM

Yes, John, but WHY is what I don't understand. He wasn't anything special, as presidents go.

As Elayne points out, he did good things for rich people, which was nice if you were rich, but the rest of us didn't really get to play in that sandbox.

Are the wealthy, those who rose to ever-more riches on the platform of his Administration's "supply-side" theories the ones funding this attempt to rewrite history to enshrine him as the icon of the Republican Ideal?

Or is it that the Republicans really are that desperate to create their own version of a JFK (as evidenced by the Bush Administration's repeated efforts to co-opt the mantle of JFK and drape it around Bush's inadequate shoulders)?

Posted by: Anne at December 3, 2003 01:25 PM