"Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties. Truth was never put to the worse in a free and open encounter..."
~ Milton
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
~Benjamin Franklin

Reading:
A Fistful of Euros
Andrew Tobias
Angry Liberal
Archy
Bad Attitudes
Common Dreams
Fablog
Hullabaloo
Informed Comment
Madelaine Kane
Mahablog
Obsidian Wings
Off the Kuff
Orcinus
Sarah Kendzior
War and Piece
Washington Monthly

Books
The Emerging Democratic Majority (Judis & Teixeira)
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them (Franken)
Rush Limbaugh Is A Big Fat Idiot (Franken)
The True Believer (Hoffer)
Still Being Bushwhacked

All Book Reviews
Race, Gender, and Sexuality
It's always "us" vs "them"
Women's March on (fill in your location)
Children learn what their parents teach them.
You Got My Support. But.
Even Endangered Penguins Do It

All Race, Gender, and Sexuality
Campaigns and Voting
Where do we go from here?
It's always "us" vs "them"
Some interpretations
On and on I go
Just appalled

All Campaigns and Voting
Lecture Circuit
It Was 40 Years Ago Today
July 2, 1964
Pledge
May 14-15, 1970
The Erotica of Bare Knees

All Lecture Circuit
Media
The Liberal Media, At It Again
Fairly UNbalanced
P.S.
What's this?
OHMIGOD

All Media
Big Brother
Shoulda' Guessed
Where did my country go?
You know what you never thought you'd read?
Not in his name
Sleight of Hand

All Big Brother
World O'Blog
It's Vocabulary Time!
They wrote it
Mighty-fine blogging
Other People Said....
Phillipines

All World O'Blog
Aimless Ranting
It's always "us" vs "them"
So, I'm thinking with half my brain
Do You Know Peter?
Long, Little Privacy Rant
My Takeaway

All Aimless Ranting
Archives
February 05, 2017 - February 11, 2017
January 22, 2017 - January 28, 2017
January 15, 2017 - January 21, 2017
November 13, 2016 - November 19, 2016
October 09, 2016 - October 15, 2016

All Weekly Archives


Electioneering
Open Secrets
Political Wire Exit Polls
Politics1
Polling Report

Information
American Research Group
Center for Democracy and Technology
Center for Public Integrity
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Congressional Report Cards
Death Row Roll Call
DebtChannel.org
Democracy Now
Economic Policy Institute
FairVote Colorado
Foreign Policy In Focus
Global Exchange
Human Rights Watch
Independent Judiciary
Inequality
Institute on Money in State Politics
Institute for Public Accuracy
JobWatch
Lying in ponds
Media Reform
Media Transparency
Move On
One World
Open Democracy
Pew Research Center
Project Censored
Public Citizen Health Research Group
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
Take Back The Media
The Urban Institute
WHO Outbreak News

Connections
XML & RDF
Peevish for PDA



Blog Directory


Search








Credits
Powered by Movable Type

Site Design by Sekimori





All content © 2002-2005 Anne Zook

May 16, 2008
Random Links

I've had the urge to blog over the last few weeks, but never quite got around to it. Therefore, under the heading of, "things I found interesting," I offer a handful of links. (No time for proofreading, sorry.)

The Most Disappointing President from April 22.

To accompany that one, I offer The GOP's Ideas Deficit.

Achenbach is uncharacteristically serious in The Next Big Scandal from April 21. To accompany it, you might want to take a look at In Sadr City, Basic Services Are Faltering and the happy news that War costs could be under $170 bln: Pentagon. (If you're interested in a bit more background on the failure in Iraq, you might try How Much Did Rumsfeld Know?)

Afghanistan, the forgotten country, may be back on the radar. On May 9, I read that the Pentagon Is Open to Moving More Marines to Afghanistan.

They should never have left before the job was done, but don't let me bore you by repeating myself on that subject for the five thousandth time.

There's plenty of history to tell us what not to do. I can't help but wonder if any of our so-called 'leaders' know any of it.

I can't really say I'm at all sorry to read that one 'legacy' Bush is leaving to posterity is record-breaking disapproval numbers.

I've always said he was dangerously crazy (not really the point at this moment, but I'm having trouble getting past it) and a liar. Like with that Texas Two-Step he's dancing around what he's calling "appeasement"* when he's really just in a snit because someone said he was wrong, wrong, wrong, and public opinion is agreeing with them.

And it's not just Bush. Hypocrisy abounds. Check out Hypocrisy on Hamas, just to emphasize the point that more than one of today's prominent Republicans is as devoid of principles as he is of rational plans for the welfare of this country. (You know what's sad? What's sad is that in today's climate, he very well might manage to sell himself as a "moderate." I mean, I still remember the days when "I'm not psychotic" wasn't actually enough to get you elected in this country.)

On another site, I didn't even have to read the article. I read the headline and knew everything I need to know about McCain. McCain: Victory in Iraq by 2013 the article said.

I see it now. Entirely ignoring reality and common sense, he's declaring that if we elect him, he'll get us almost there by the end of his term, but we'll need to re-elect him in order to get us all the way to the finish line. It's as callous a piece of calculated manipulation as I've seen in this primary season.

Anyhow. I clicked through to see if my expectations were going to be met and found out that the real story was both better and worse than I had anticipated. No flat statement of actual success, but a hope that in another five years, "most" of our servicemen and servicewomen would be home. Most. Not all. He admits there will still be violence in Iraq and that the effects of the region's entire history and culture won't magically be erased. From what I gather, he's picturing some voodoo-based, magically healing version of democracy that will inexplicably grow out of our illegal and unwarranted (unless you believe we're trying to make up for having installed Hussein in office in the first place) invasion.

Eyeballing his predictions from a distance, what I see is an unstable society, divided and prone to outbursts of mass violence, with a frightened and divided population made up of factions that neither trust nor like each other.

You know, that reminds me of something...what is it?

Oh. Yeah. The whole Palestine-Israel situation.

I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but somewhere online I read that War Is A Racket would make good reading for those of us worried about what's called the "military-industrial complex."

More amusingly, I offer this little gem. I make no statement concerning the factual truth of the story and I certainly don't accuse Shrub of neo-Nazism*, but I do suggest that if you look at his behavior, especially in the last 8 years, there's a long string of events that paints a plausible picture of someone who would doesn't have much trouble imagining himself ruling over a chastened mass of obedient consumer-laborers.

The scary thing about Bush, is that his family had the money to whitewash him into the White House. He doesn't have what it takes (for reference, see everywhere) and everything he's done has been a catastrophe (ditto) but he's going to be living in an ex-presidential bubble for the rest of his life, so I doubt that he'll ever be forced to really face the consequences of his actions or to understand how very wrong he was on almost every point. Money can buy protection from that kind of reality.

I swear, the only thing that's saved him from impeachment is that the failures are coming so thick and fast--botched invasions, illegal wars, massive corporate frauds as the result of government indulgence, skyrocketing unemployment numbers, disintegrating housing market, collapsing infrastructure, natural disasters both national and international, and massive inflation--the failures are coming so thick and fast that there's just no time to work up a case around any one issue.**

Now all we can do is to try to keep the pieces wired together for a few more months until we have (one certainly hopes) a saner leadership in place to start fixing the damage.

Drat. I swore to myself I wasn't going to go on a rant, and I just had to spend ten minutes removing a lot of gratuitous insults from the last three paragraphs. Time to stop blogging.




___________________________

* Although I'm sure he'd fancy himself in jackbooks. (And now I have to go rinse my brain out with bleach.)

* * Also, as I'm sorry to say, as I'm always sorry to have to say, being extremely stupid and criminally short-sighted isn't illegal in this country. Doing the wrong things in the wrong way for the wrong reasons might be morally indefensible, but you don't pay for them in a court of law.

Posted by AnneZook at 02:30 PM


Comments

being extremely stupid and criminally short-sighted isn't illegal in this country. Doing the wrong things in the wrong way for the wrong reasons might be morally indefensible, but you don't pay for them in a court of law.

If you're not a member of the government, it does make you vulnerable to civil liability, though. Unfortunately, acting officials of the state are immune from most civil actions, especially ones arising from their official duties.

I wonder if there's any way around that?

Posted by: Ahistoricality at May 16, 2008 05:04 PM

I suppose not.

Obviously the original thought was that it would be hard for elected officials to do their jobs if they faced the prospect of lawsuits by unhappy voters, and it's a worthy idea.

I guess what I want are occasional exceptions--except that I don't know many people I'd trust to decide when the moment had arrived for an exception. :)

(What I want is an execption for "criminal stupidity as defined by Anne.")

Posted by: Anne at May 19, 2008 07:09 AM