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January 28, 2004

I thought the Constitution already provided for the government's continuation in case of catastrophe?

Apparently senseless censorship hasn't been killed. It was just resting, and now it's trying for a comeback.

Ferial Haffajee is the first woman to become the editor of a major South African Newspaper.

Occasionally some incident like this drives home to me the absolute lack of freedom and equality around the world. Because we enjoy so freedom in this country, I think these concepts become a bit abstract sometimes. It's a shock to get hit with the truth.

This is an amazing site and likely to get only more important over the next year. Fact-checking media coverage of the coming election cycle is a huge undertaking.

The Taliban is still active in Afghanistan.

The Israeli army ran another raid in the Gaza Strip and killed at least 8 Palestinians.

Under the heading of, "funny but true" you do need to remember when people in office or seeking office talk about the sad state of health care today, they're not talking about insurance companies. Insurance companies are doing just fine, thank you.

Also, when you hear that they need to remove caps on media ownership to save the poor, beleaguered media from disaster, don't forget to check earnings to verify these statements. (And consider the possible consequences of too much media consolidation.)

Have you read that book, Nickle and Dimed? Reality TV met with this concept in the U.K. (many years ago) and continues to be a phenomenon today. Allow me to point out that any idiot who thinks "living poor" for a week, a night, or even a month, is quite mistaken. In order to understand the real cost and the real pressure of poverty, you have to live that way, day in and day out, for years on end. Maybe even your entire life. Some well-fed politician or reporter who dips a dainty toe into the lifestyle for a few days, smug in the knowledge that it won't last long and if it gets too bad, they can always bail out, is never going to get it.

And what about trafficking in human flesh? It's now being called 'sexual slavery' which is maybe closer to the truth but it's time to stop coming up with labels and start addressing the problem seriously.

Fred Barnes tries hard to paint Kerry as inconsistent, but really only manages to make himself look like an idiot.

Inconsistency? 30 years ago, Kerry didn't plan to run for president and now he's running for president. Anyone ask Bush, Jr. if he wanted to be president 30 years ago? Anyone ask Reagan if he planned on being president 30 years before he ran? Is that the dumbest "inconsistency" you ever heard of?

Inconsistency? In 1991 he didn't want to invade Iraq because Iraq invaded Kuwait. Twenty years later, after sanctions were clearly not working, he was in favor of ousting Saddam Hussein. (For the record, had 9/11 not happened and had Bush made that his reason for taking down Hussein, it's quite possible I would have supported the war. But it did and he didn't and I didn't. And it's far from certain I would have, anyhow. There are doubts about that rationale.)


There are a few other points, none of them any more convincing. The 'gay marriage' issue has been my biggest problem with Kerry all along and yet I have no problem believing that Republicans were trying to create a "wedge issue" with DOMA.

Kyoto? Okay, there I have a few problems, but I've taken on trying to figure Kyoto out as a sort of part-time hobby, so I'm abstaining from coming out 'for' or 'against' for a while.

Posted by AnneZook at 10:44 AM


Re: "Nickel and Dimed". I haven't seen whatever reality shows are supposed to be based on the concept of "living as if you are poor when you're totally not". But I have read Ehrenreich's book, and found her awareness of her privilege to be an ongoing issue in her book, one which she describes scrupulously. In no way did I get the impression that Ehrenreich was unmindful of her guaranteed escape route. I don't know if your criticism was intended for Ehrenreich or just the goofy reality shows using a similar premise, but I still recommend the book as insightful and moving.

Posted by: larkspur at January 29, 2004 02:38 AM

Not so much for the book (I know her interest was more economic than social) than for the politicians cited as 'living poor' for a few days so they could claim they understand the plight of the poor. And, yes, for those building "entertainment" shows around such situations.

Honestly, though, I found N&D to be less insightful than I'd hoped. An interesting read, yes, but shallow. I'm aware that mine is a minority opinion and I know of no one else who wasn't moved by the book.

Posted by: Anne at January 29, 2004 10:57 AM