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January 22, 2004
Making war

I acquit him of warmongering, he seems only to be guilty of pleasure in using the skills he has developed, but forgive me if I don't share his enthusiasm for the opportunity.

We may be in for another round of terrorist attacks. Terrorists, as we all know, make war on others using a difference in beliefs, usually religious, as a rationale. Terrorists, as we all know, are promised a reward in heaven if they show up toting the bodies of enough enemies. Terrorists, as we know, revel in their own superiority and consider that they're specially chosen by their deity, that their acts of violence raise them above the level of ordinary people. Some of 'us' are more like 'them' every day, aren't we?

I read something like this:

January 20 - President Bush will use tonight’s State of the Union speech to call for limiting the legal rights of patients injured by medical malpractice, saying such laws will lower health care costs. This is a blatant misrepresentation of fact."

And I get annoyed. It's not a "misrepresentation of fact."

It's a lie.

And Bush's 'proposal' for health care reform was, as we've all read here and there, a hodgepodge of minor suggestions that he's waved in our faces before. Also, as you can see, they're not likely to do much good. What do they come down to? Malpractice "reform" that's going to make it hard for the individual to file suit, even with cause. Deregulation of the insurance industry, overriding state laws that ensure the quality and coverage of healthcare insurance. Yeah, those are things that are going to help the average citizen.

Also? What about AIDS? Or was he afraid to mention money for what some halfwitted idiots still think of as a "gay disease" at the same time he was coming out (heh) against equality for gays and in favor of counseling poor people on how to get married?

The mind just boggles every time I read about how Bush is just so good at reaching out to the poor.

Is Salt Lake going to come out in support of the 'war on terror'?

It's a tricky war, though. No doubt about it.

It was always difficult to imagine how the war on terror would end. There could hardly be a moment when the president would don pilot's gear, descend on to an aircraft carrier and declare that major combat operations were over, as he did after the toppling of Saddam. You can't do that with a worldwide, open-ended war on an abstract noun.

In the SotU, we learned that the 'war on terror' is essentially over because Bush has a campaign to worry about and things at home are kind of sucky so he's going to spend the next year pretending to care about the UsofA people. It's one way of interpreting the speech anyhow. (They're right about the order of the items, though. Putting the WoT first does suggest it's a lesser matter now.)

Mostly I find Maureen Dowd entertaining, but today's column sort of annoyed me.

The Philippines. Thailand. Italy. Spain. Poland. Denmark. Bulgaria. Ukraine. Romania. The Netherlands. Norway. El Salvador.

Can you believe President Bush is still pushing the cockamamie claim that we went to war in Iraq with a real coalition rather than a gaggle of poodles and lackeys?

I know I've had plenty to say about the makeup of our "coalition" in Iraq, but to call a significant percentage of the world's civilized countries "poodles and lackeys" is more than a bit over the top. Not that she doesn't make some good points, once she gets her spleen under control, but there's no point in taking potshots at Romania for not being a world power just because you're made at the Bush Administration for being slippery customers prone to telling half-truths.

On the other hand, members of the ruling elite aren't always the lackeys of repression. (Don't you love buzzwords and phrases that save you the bother of coming up with your own words?)

Seriously. Just because you're rich and have powerful relatives doesn't mean you won't risk yourself for the freedom of others.

If poor get richer, does world see progress? Interesting question.

Lynn Sweet on the perks big political donors can expect.

Parents, beware! Is your child involved in karaoke?

Posted by AnneZook at 07:19 AM


Japan had the same problem with karaoke a few years back: people were using them as a cheap alternative to short-stay "love" hotels (I never heard about a problem with criminal activity, but I wouldn't be entirely surprised). Their solution was to refit the doors with windows, so the booths were no longer truly private.

You'd think someone in San Mateo would know that, or look it up.....

Posted by: Jonathan Dresner at January 22, 2004 05:07 PM