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February 17, 2004
Stop it. I'm working.

Why is it that on a day I have actual work to do, the headlines insist upon being so interesting?

Ah well. Forgive me if this entry comes out rambling and vague (because that would be different). I'm glancing at the headlines while I work.

Via Jonathan Dresner, my day started out with a smile and a frown. At first, the article was amusing, but ten seconds later, I'm thinking, they're accused of universal ignorance and intellectual vacuity and they respond with a parade? Why not, oh, I don't know, respond by doing something about the educational system?

No, no, let us, instead, celebrate our stubborn refusal to think.

Speaking of stupidity.

Alternatively, in other news of idiocy, part of the Canadian border was closed for a time. Apparently someone was trying to smuggle a bomb across. I understand how the driver got lost. I don't understand why she was toting a grenade around, and the story doesn't say.

I'm all about alternative energy and a material that can turn heat into power sounds pretty cool, but where ya gonna get the heat? Still burning coal and gas, are we? Well, it appears the answer is, 'yes' but maybe we could burn a lot less of them.

Maybe there is a growing desire for freedom among the younger generation of Arabs, but it takes more than that.

There was a growing desire for freedom in China once. All that generation got was Tienaman Square.

Don't get me wrong. I like the sound of these people arguing their future. I'm just saying, it takes more than an urge to be free. When I started thinking about that article, I was thinking, "Well, why is it any of our business? I wish we'd keep our noses out of it and let people determine their own destinies."

And then I thought . . . Tienaman Square.

So, I read the article again and decided we should help if they want us because we're not much of a beacon of liberty if we're not willing to spread it around.

I'm just saying, the more I read, the more it confuses me which battles we choose to fight or run away from.

(By the way, China hasn't changed as much as some people want you to think.

They've made some more arrests in the Parmalat case.

Is being a gay male a defense against a charge of rape? It might be . . . if rape were about sex and if just because a man was gay meant he wasn't functional sexually with a woman, neither of which is true.

Should a citizen vote, even if the elections are unfair and qualified candidates were prevented from running?

And what about democracy, anyhow? As a follow-up to a recent book review I did, here's a little discussion of how you can't just staple democracy onto a medieval society and expect the graft to take. Read it.

Wasn't it H. Beam Piper's science fiction stories about "Fuzzies" that introduced that chair...you know the one . . . you sat in it and it read your brain waves and used colors to tell the court if you were telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I'm sure it was.

Pravda isn't reliable, but it's very entertaining. "Fidel Castro: "Bush couldn't debate a Cuban ninth-grader"

And while I'm sorry this woman decided she'd made the wrong marriage choice, but I really don't think a political campaign is the vehicle she should use to publish her woes.

Is Google practicing censorship?

And look at this...CBS's Bob Schieffer is actually discussing Friday Trash Day.

The timing of the release of Bush's military records (which, it seems, the press may be failing to read correctly, Bush's sudden decision to meet with the 9/11 commission (but not all of them), and Bush's upcoming visit to yet another military group (Louisiana National Guard), are all combining to make Schieffer suspicious.

That polio outbreak in Nigeria is worrying.

Anyone curious about the primary in Wisconsin? Unsure what the outcome is going to be?

Anyone doubt Kerry can take Bush?

Didn't think so.

I think he's a good candidate. Really I do. There are individual things about the others I like more and certainly Kerry's opposition to gay marriage has given me many second thoughts. Given my preferences, I would probably have preferred to see Edwards out in front, but I didn't think he could do it and he hasn't. But Kerry's a good candidate. He can beat Bush. He already has the Bush re-election pot simmering with anxiety.

He's just not . . . exciting. I'm already missing the passion Dean brought to the campaign and he's not even out of the race officially.

Posted by AnneZook at 10:13 AM


As ever, way too much for me to comment on at once so I'm cherry-picking. :)

Re: the closing of the Peace Arch border crossing - interviewers determined she didn't know the grenade was in the car, the grenade probably belonged to her husband but "soldiers are barred from removing hand grenades and other weaponry from the army post." The woman, originally from Houston, "inadvertently followed signs to Vancouver, B.C., which led her north to the border, about 400 kilometres in the wrong direction." So in conclusion, she's probably innocent but she's still a ditsy idiot.

Posted by: Elayne Riggs at February 18, 2004 08:31 AM

I know. I should make shorter posts. :)

As someone who gets lost often, I have sympathy for her.

But I'd like to know why her husband thought it was a good idea to have a grenade in the car.

Posted by: Anne at February 18, 2004 10:12 AM