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May 01, 2005
Snowy Sunday

Yes, I know it's May 1. It's also snowing in Denver. Has been, off and on, since Friday. It's one of those spring snows that melts as soon as it hits the ground, so we're not getting any accumulation. Just cold winds and gray skies.

I took a look at the book Start Making Sense that Alternet is promoting. The except contains one item, Accept What We Are Powerless to Change that totally annoyed me. We're not powerless to change anything except human nature. The fact that the Rightwingnuts are fearmongering to keep themselves in power is one thing, but we can change the terms of the debate and we can force the MSM to tell the truth.

So, you know, although I'm thinking of adding Alternet to my donations list, I don't want the book because I already think it's on the wrong track. If I bought it and read it, I'm sure I'd have to say rude things about it. (I'm also really sick of us acting like we can twelve-step our way to any goal. One thing I dislike about unchangeable human nature is our tendency to believe that thinking up a catchy slogan is the same thing as doing something.)

The Bush Administration is being astonishingly low-key on North Korea's missile test. Looks like they're not as eager as they used to be to take on the "axis of terror."

And, speaking of terrorizing people, another Pentagon-contractor scandal. This one is worse than Halluburton. These guys aren't just scamming money, they're killing people. (Well, there's a big money scam going on, too.) I read, not long ago (can't remember where) about a company leaving behind a spreadsheet at a meeting that revealed fraud, but I don't remember the contracting company's name being mentioned at the time. Looks like "Custer Battles" is a name to watch.

(While you're over there, read up on San Diego's breaking corruption scandal.)

(And while you're reading up on politics and fraud, the latest story on " Republican superlobbyist Jack Abramoff." You know... reading all of these breaking investigations, I'm starting to think that our system actually still works.)

And Congress isn't as eager to push accountability up the ladder for Abu Ghraib and other sites of torture as they were a year ago, either. But, as I've said before, if the USofA public isn't screaming for accountability, we can hardly blame those whose careers could suffer if they pushed for it.

I mean, it's good news that the CIA may no longer be allowed to "ghost" detainees at military facilities but everyone who thinks they won't just stick them somewhere else, please hold up your hand.

And, speaking of potentially illegal invasions of unaggressive countries, Tony Blair is under attack for the documents that barely made the news here. While our news media was obsessing over a photogenic, runaway bride, the U.K. has been unraveling the details of the lead-up to our invasion of Iraq. It's never good when the military top brass turns on you.

The Times Online reports on the U.K.'s Elections Centre poll, though, and Blair's chances for re-election still look good. It's not that he's popular. It's that the voters really don't like the other guys.

Here at home, Norman J. Ornstein muses on why politicians have little ethical lapses.

Looks like love and marriage are not ideal partners.

I'll have to lay down and think about these things.

But later. Because this is not the way I intended to spend my day.

Posted by AnneZook at 12:02 PM


I hope you will not let your disagreement with one essay stop you from reading the anthology. As the co-editor of Start Making Sense, I can assure you that the book contains a wide range of views that are smart, thoughtful, and provocative. Where else will you get Adam "liberalism is dead" Werbach, Amy Goodman, Barbara Ehrenreich, Jim Wallis, and Wes Boyd -- all in the same place.

Besides, if you donate, we throw in the book as a thank-you gift. Or you can buy it for $10 plus shipping from us or for a little less over at Amazon.

In any case, thanks for mentioning the book -- any publicity is good on our marketing budget.

Posted by: Lakshmi Chaudhry at May 3, 2005 01:10 PM

Lakshmi - Let's make a deal. When I get back to town, I'll make a donation to your site (I'd intended to anyhow.)

And I'll buy the book and read it, and post my impressions once I know what I'm talking about.

I shouldn't be flip and dismissive of things I haven't read. It's rather a habit of mine.

Posted by: Anne at May 3, 2005 03:01 PM