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All content © 2002-2005 Anne Zook

May 14, 2004
Just For The Record

Here and there I've read complaints about how the Blogging Left is ignoring the Nick Berg murder.

That's not true. We're not reacting en masse, no. We're not a gang of freepers or it's in today's talking points, okay?

Many of us have good reasons for how we're individually handling the story.

Some of us are discussing it frequently.

Some of us are searching for someone to blame.

Those of us headed for Iraq have personal concerns.

Some of us are focusing on our core beliefs.

Me, I have two thoughts.

First, I have finally learned to wait for the entire story before I jump up and start screaming. I've learned, over the last few years, that much appears in the first 4-5 days after a major story appears and sometimes those facts change the story.

Second, I don't really feel anything about it at the moment. There comes a point when your brain refuses to accept any more. On the heels of the constant stream of stories and images about the murders, rapes, and tortures in Abu Ghraib, I haven't been able to muster a fresh crop out outrage for this additional murder.

It's not that I don't care. It's just that people have been dying in Iraq for a year. USofA soldiers have been dying. Other soldiers have been dying. Aid workers, civilians, and children have been dying. A lot of people have died over the last year.

He was an adult who made an adult choice. Nick Berg knew he was going into a war zone.

I can't find it in myself to regret his death incredibly more than I regret the deaths of the hundreds of Iraqi children, killed, maimed, or wounded by our troops when we dropped a war zone on top of them.

The fact that Berg was "an American" doesn't make his death a worse crime. The fact that many seem to think his death is a worse crime than, for instance, the murder of helpless prisoners in Abu Ghraib suggests to me that in spite of fine words about equality and freedom, many are failing to understand that being in custody doesn't prove guilt.

It doesn't mean we haven't rounded up and imprisoned innocent bystanders. It doesn't mean that when these men (and women) stand, bound, possibly blindfolded, and helpless in front of USofA soldiers, they aren't terrified and afraid of dying.

Yes, it's wrong to kidnap someone and then murder them. But it's no more wrong for "them" to have done it to Nick Berg than it was for "us" to have done it to Iraqis. It's the same crime. Don't you see that?

The people of Iraq didn't invite us in. They do not accept the right of a foreign government to come into their country and dictate to them. Many of the people we rounded up were dragged from their homes, sometimes in the middle of the night. They weren't committing crimes. Some of them were only guilty of Sleeping While Iraqi.

We imprisoned them. We humiliated them. We tortured them. We killed some of them. There is little or no difference, in my eyes, between them and Nick Berg. It's all an outrage. It's all a crime.

But, no…let's not think like that. We're making "war on terror." Let's feed the hatred.

Posted by AnneZook at 10:18 AM | Comments (2)
Three stories

Suddenly 315 of the detainees at Abu Ghraib are back on the streets. Wonder how that happened?

About a week ago, there were about 3,800 prisoners at Abu Ghraib. The new U.S. commander of detention operations in Iraq, Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, said he plans to reduce that number to somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000.

Okay, either we had reason to believe these guys were dangerous, or we didn't. If we did, they shouldn't just be released. If we didn't, someone should be punished for locking them all up.

And what is it with targeting a number of detainees? If they get the number down to 1,999, will they just hold all of them, regardless of guilt or innocence?

On the same story, an interesting argument for why Rumsfeld should step down.

Campaign spending.

Congress banned the use of soft money by political parties and certain political groups in 2002, but that law did not address activity by 527s.

As a result, a number of high-profile Democratic groups have emerged this year attacking President Bush and drawing cries of foul from GOP officials as well as from the Bush campaign.

Anyhow, we all need to remember that this would have passed if the Right really wanted it to pass. Congressmen with their eyes on the future realize that they're going to need this money themselves before long. The difference, you see, is that the conservative groups tend not to be high profile. Liberals tend to put their organizations and issues openly out in public, as well as being proud to attach their names to what they believe in. Conservatives? Not so much.

Turning our attention elsewhere, let's consider the recent elections in India.

Shock & awe in world media over Vajpayee Govt's ouster

The Upset In India

Indian Congress Party takes historic return

'Queen Sonia' Is India PM-In-Waiting; Markets Crash

But the country's markets, which at first welcomed Gandhi's big win as a sign of stability, plunged after a day of criticism by key communist leaders of economic reforms -- especially plans to sell India's inefficient and monolithic state firms.

Tired of Tech, Hungry Farmers Vote for Change

Posted by AnneZook at 09:22 AM | Comments (0)
May 14-15, 1970

It was May 14-15, 1970, ten days after the student shootings at Kent State. Protests were erupting on college campuses across the country.

We all remember Kent State but, as someone pointed out recently, no one talks about Jackson State.

In the Spring of 1970, campus communities across this country were characterized by a chorus of protests and demonstrations. The issues were the escalation of the war in Vietnam and the U.S. invasion of Cambodia; the ecology; racism and repression; and the inclusion of the experiences of women and minorities in the educational system. No institution of higher education was left untouched by confrontations and continuous calls for change.

At Jackson State College in Jackson, Mississippi, there was the added issue of historical racial intimidation and harassment by white motorists traveling Lynch Street, a major thoroughfare that divided the campus and linked west Jackson to downtown.

It didn't take much to trigger a march of protest in those days, and these students had ample cause to be protesting. The spark seems to have been when "rumors were spread that Fayette, Mississippi mayor Charles Evers (brother of slain Civil Rights activist Medgar Evers) and his wife had been shot and killed."

This wasn't Kent State's brief outburst of violence that, I've always suspected, shocked the shooters as much as it did the victims. This was a night of protests, a confrontation with local and state policemen that drove students back to gather in front of a dormitory.

There may or may not have been a shot fired toward police. There was...a noise, maybe shot, maybe a bottle dropping. Reports differ. A policemen was hit by a thrown rock and fell.

Kent State:

On May 4th, 1970, U.S. National Guardsmen opened fire on students demonstrating against the war in Southeast Asia at Kent State University in Ohio. The National Guard had been sent in to prevent riots and regain control of the campus but began shooting after some of the students began throwing rocks. More than 60 shots were fired and when the dust had settled four students were dead and nine wounded.

Jackson State:

The five-story dormitory was riddled by gunfire. FBI investigators estimated that more than 460 rounds struck the building, shattering every window facing the street on each floor. Investigators counted at least 160 bullet holes in the outer walls of the stairwell alone -- bullet holes that can still be seen today.

The injured students, many of whom lay bleeding on the ground outside the dormitory, were transported to University Hospital within 20 minutes of the shooting. But the ambulances were not called until after the officers picked up their shell casings, a U. S. Senate probe conducted by Senators Walter Mondale and Birch Bayh later revealed.

You can't help but wonder if the cover-up would have waited until after medical aid was given...if the students had been white.

Jackson State didn't get the big headlines. It didn't become a rallying cry for a generation. I suppose the nation was in shock from hearing about Kent State and police shooting black students in the south just wasn't news like white students getting shot was.

Lest We Forget.

Posted by AnneZook at 07:56 AM | Comments (2)
May 13, 2004
Ahhh

Thanks to Ralph E. Luker I found a brief discussion of one of my favorite authors, Mark Twain, and one of my favorite books, Innocents Abroad, but this short treatment doesn't begin to do justice to either of them.

Twain's tourists, the quintessential "Ugly Americans" traipse through the wonders of Abroad, chewing gum and wiping their feet on the sacred prayer mats and are, in turn, treated with something less than complete reverence by the world they encounter. No one escapes unscathed, but to be scathed by Mark Twain is an honor.

Embarrassingly, I was previously unaware of the existence of Common-Place but I've got it bookmarked now. It won't escape me again.

I see they're also offering an essay reminding us that the "sanctity of marriage" crowd cherry-picks history to support their position.

What a fascinating site. I'll be weeks working my way through the archives.

Also via Ralph E. Luker today, In Nothing We Trust.

Also? This is just octopus voyeurism.

Posted by AnneZook at 04:41 PM | Comments (0)
Many Topics

What about prisoners in Afghanistan?

Who says, "Support Our troops, Impeach Rumsfeld"? Could be the troops, depending on who you ask.

I've complained before about candidates who are out campaigning when they should be voting in Congress.

I don't agree with everything Joyce Marcel says here but there are things worth considering.

I may not agree, I may not want to agree, I may want to be living in a different kind of world, but it took courage to say torture might be necessary, especially in the current climate.

Republican lawmakers aren't loving the White House or it's pet causes these days.

Tit-for-tat warfare continues around the globe.

Using a PR firm to handle democracy advertisements in Iraq is problematic, at best. If you're telling the truth to a population accustomed to hearing rhetoric that doesn't match reality, using the language of advertising, an industry expert at offering rhetoric that doesn't match reality might not be your wisest move.

A major political upset in India will mean…what for their simmering war with Pakistan?

Another harsh evaluation of ChoicePoint.

But an insider at ChoicePoint says the chairman told him about a longer-term plan. “Derek [Smith] said that it is his hope to build a database of DNA samples from every person in the United States,” from birth to death and beyond linked to all other data on a person. The plan, said the source, is for now kept under wraps because Smith expects “resistance” from the public.

There's also a plausible discussion of the use of such "intelligence" in overthrowing governments.

I think the scoffing and scorn directed at the blatant (and illusionary) display of "compassion" on the Bush re-election website is quite justified.

Have you read, Bush's Secret War Chest?

Reproductive Rights in a new generation…and with a growing equality of voices from both genders.

Is Journalism deciding it's time for Journalism to get back to Journalism?

Baseball's history expanded.

Posted by AnneZook at 10:06 AM | Comments (2)
May 12, 2004
The Erotica of Bare Knees

I am just so appalled by such limited thinking.

First, there's a serious danger to men in an excess of on-line pornography, yes. At the beginning of the topic I was really pleased that Hugo was (finally) addressing that aspect of porn, after his posts on the 'dangers' of porn to women.

But that's not the topic of the essay.

The topic is that in a society where a man never sees female flesh, his wife defaults to being really hot. (Because everyone wants to be hot because their partner has no other choice.)

Women, you see, should cover up from head to foot and the female body should go back on the list of prohibited public sights because it's better for men's sex lives.

Hugo also argues that women feel sexier if they're sexier to their husbands and now we're right back to the dark ages, aren't we?

Maybe he'd rather we started binding our feet because small feet, when you're allowed to see them, are sexier? And how about a whalebone corset, to hint at that sexy hourglass silhouette under the burka? A little arsenic to brighten the eyes, anyone?

Let's just go all out giving men that erotic power trip. Let's remove the right to own property, drive a car, and vote, okay?

I have a better idea. Women are as vulnerable to men to the erotic of the "things unseen" so let's, instead, drape every man in the country in a drop cloth and let the women do the fantasizing.

No more men jogging and jiggling down the street with their unseen erotica threatening to peek out from under their dinky shorts at any moment. No more taking off your shirt when you're exercising and the temperature tops 100. No more sitting around the house in your underwear, or traipsing from the bathroom to the bedroom with those naughty knees flashing at every step.

And put a hat on that head, boy. That receding hairline isn't nearly as sexy as the unseen potential of a head of thick, wavy hair. Try to make yourself sexier for your partner.

Don't worry. You'll learn to be turned on by her arousal.

You think modesty is proof that morality is sexy, guys? Practice some modesty.

Checking the review of A Return to Modesty that he praises, I find much to complain about in the first few paragraphs. Actually, there's almost nothing I don't object to.

Hugo, though, offers high praise to the article, which contains Victorian references to a woman enhancing her womanhood by modesty and says, essentially, that if modern women get preyed on by men, we were asking for it.

Rather than taking it all point by point let me just say that accepting women as equals and as human beings instead of as private sex objects hidden behind neutering clothing is going to require some social adjusting. For a substantial swath of recent Western History, women have been denied this equality. Now we have it.

Get used it. (And stop pretending like you want to "liberate" me. I've had enough of that lie from the fundamentalists.)

Rather than deciding today don't work and stepping back in time, why don't we look to the future and figure out a way men can relate to women that encompasses the total person and not just the orifices and protuberances?

Yes. I'm pretty angry at the moment. Probably all the more angry because I feel blindsided by reading this from someone I thought was more enlightened.

Posted by AnneZook at 12:37 PM | Comments (16)
So Not True

Here I mentioned that I mistrust being given the results of polls without any discussion of the polling methodology. At the time, it seem like everyone was discussing the (Liberals Get Cross-Wise) article.

For instance:

All polling data indicates that more than 90% of Americans think of themselves as religious.

All polling data, huh? All polls done since the beginning of the world or just in the last century or two? All polls, including those conducted by communist bricklayers? All polls, including those conducted Martians temporarily domiciled on the Moon?

Please be informed that I distrust such sweeping, absolute statements unless I'm the one making them.

And progressives must accept the fact that people who are religious might dare to apply the moral concepts they derive from their faith in the public square. After all, progressives would claim that morality does have a place in public policy whether it applies to a declaration of war or the enactment of legislation to care for the poor or the ill.

To be honest, I seriously doubt that the majority of liberals object to people who are religious applying their moral concepts in the public sphere. We want morals and ethics in public servants.

Heck, we want them in everyone. We just don't want Judge Roy deciding that his religious belief trumps the country's secular law.

(rant deleted) There's a difference between applying one's personal moral standard and force-feeding one's religious beliefs. That's all I'm saying.

Topic…topic…do we have a topic?

Yes, we do.

Via the invaluable Avedon Carol, I was led to this page where I see that my original objections were valid.

In 1990, ninety percent of the adult population identified with one or another religion group. In 2001, such identification has dropped to eighty-one percent.

So, you see, I was right to question the methodology of the poll cited in the Cross-Wise article. (At least one poll differs significantly from what Cross-Wise claims. Also, please note that "ninety percent" is not the same as "more than 90%".

(And that not all of the 81% currently identifying as "religious" also identify as "Christian.")

[…] the greatest increase in absolute as well as in percentage terms has been among those adults who do not subscribe to any religious identification; their number has more than doubled from 14.3 million in 1990 to 29.4 million in 2001; their proportion has grown from just eight percent of the total in 1990 to over fourteen percent in 2001 […]

The good news is that more people in this country are shaking off the shackles of religious superstition, so the religion problem may solve itself. Like those doomsday millennium cults.

That last paragraph was unfair (Sorry. Cranky.), and the article didn't say that religion is dying out. What it said is that there's also been an increase in the number of people identifying themselves as non-religious and in the number of those refusing to discuss religion, which is odd and interesting.

Even at "only" 81%, the religious far outnumber the non-religious in this country and yet I'll bet it's not long before some wingnut says these people have been "intimidated" into hiding their faith.

Actually, the thing that stuck with me longest was the thought about how tired I am of people fudging the facts to make their point.

(Consider yourselves lucky. The original draft was three times as long, but I decided that the amusement value of reading me ranting, yet again, about the iniquities of organized religion was…so very limited.)

Posted by AnneZook at 10:18 AM | Comments (2)
May 11, 2004
Browsing

In the land of No Permalinks, take a look at PatriotWatch for a timely Roosevelt quote.

One Russian worker killed and two abducted in Iraq. I've heard that Iraqis may have kidnapped close to 100 "foreigners" in the last year.

I'd hope there was more behind women's support of John Edwards, when he was running for the Democratic presidential nomination, than a few hormonal idiots cooing over his 'pretty face' and the article suggests that there is, as well as discussing some other voting "demographics." (Plus which, I think anyone who bothers to actually listen to what Kerry is saying instead of thinking about whether or not they think he's attractive, finds that Kerry talks a lot of sense.)

Wind energy is a renewable source I've always been interested in.

I didn't know the Mainstream Media project was actually on the air. I wish I could hear it here in Denver.

As I should have guessed, Major Barbara has a lot about private armies, prisons, and the problems in Iraq.

And the attack on the Iraqi pipeline isn't going to affect Iraqi oil exports. Some of us might suspect that's because Iraqi oil exports are pretty low already, but whatever.

What an appalling story. And, after you read it, consider that this may be the most appalling sentence of all. "John Money remains an emeritus professor at Johns Hopkins."

What's the biggest money-maker in the USofA entertainment field? (No, it's not porn.)
Gambling.

One of the most fascinating sites I never seem to have enough time to explore is Disinfopedia. I thought abuut surfing it tonight, but I forgot I had UW bookmarked, and now I'm involved with reading my way down this page.

The nightmare scenario.
November, 2004 - Bush gets elected.
Spring, 2005 - The draft.

And lookit this. Scary Plastic Surgey. Not one of these people but looked a lot better in the "before" pictures.

Posted by AnneZook at 09:13 PM | Comments (2)
Gorgeous

red rectangle.jpg

It looks like someone getting creative with their graphics software, but it's not. It's the Red Rectangle Nebula.

There's a schematic here.

Posted by AnneZook at 06:45 PM | Comments (0)
I'm Nothin' But Soapboxes

This made me think it's about time I jumped on one of my pet soapboxes, the allocation of state electoral votes in a presidential election.

Each state decides for itself whether its electoral votes go entirely to the candidate who wins most of the votes in a state or are divided up proportionately among candidates according to the votes they received.

I think there are only two states that current split their electoral votes. The other 48 states use the "winner take all" system.

I think this is a serious mistake.

First, it helps cement the perception that an individual vote has no impact on an election. What's the point of voting (Democrat) in a state whose 2 or 4 or 7 or whatever electoral votes are always tossed to the Republican candidate?

It effectively throws away the opposition votes. If 50,000 people always vote Democrat in a state, and 49,999 people vote Republican, then the votes of those 49,999 Republicans are essentially tossed into the trash when the state's five electoral votes are tossed to the Democratic candidate year after year.

Second, it discourages new voters from turning out. What's the point of registering an impressive 1,000 new voters if the margin of victory for the other side is 10,000 votes?

Imagine, instead, the effect of district by district, or even street by street "get out the vote" drives if people living in a largely Republican neighborhood felt that their vote for a Republican candidate would actually matter in their largely Democratic state, and vice versa.

Third, it helps create situations like the '00 scandal in Florida. Allegations of widespread fraud that went to the very top of Florida's voting commission and (according to some) even to the governor's mansion. Allegations of voter intimidation or abuse. News after the fact that a key reporter discussing Florida voting results may have been "influenced" to call Florida for Bush early, to discourage Democrat voters from coming out.

There was a lot at stake. A huge amount, in fact. When stakes get that high…let's just be brutally honest…when stakes get that high, fraud waltzes in the door.

Even assuming (quite generously and without foundation) that no one in Florida did anything even remotely "wrong" during the '00 elections, I think most of us would admit that the perception of misdoing did a lot of damage in voters' minds across the country. (As does, I should add, the insistence on using untraceable, unreliable electronic voting machines.)

Anyhow. That's this morning's rant. If y'all are looking for something to fret about in your own states, take a look at how your electoral votes are divvied up (if they are). Find an on-line map that outlines your "red" and "blue" counties.

This county by county map of Colorado, for instance, shows that while it's generally considered "red," well over half the geographic area of the state is solidly blue. The areas in lighter colors (seven counties) were "Republican" or "Democrat" majority by less than 5%. A voter-registration drive on the Left could easily change the face of this state.

Anyhow…not to get all distracted with statistics and stuff, you should check your state. If you have a good representation of both blue and red counties in your state, then there are a lot of people whose votes are being thrown out. I'd imagine many people would be happy to vote in an election like the one coming up, but why should they if their votes won't count? (Note that changing these situations can't be done between now and November, but there will always be another election, so don't hesitate to correct the situation before 2008.)

Posted by AnneZook at 11:28 AM | Comments (4)
1, 2, 3, 4

Worth reading no matter what your age.

Organizing protests in the land of the (Boston) Tea Party.

Hey! In These Times has a nice, new look. And if I weren't on a conference call, I'd read this right now.

Why are mini-subs going missing off Norway's coast?

(Update: The runaway USofA mini has been found. No word yet on the Norwegian one.)

Posted by AnneZook at 08:40 AM | Comments (0)
May 10, 2004
Later that same day

USA Today has their own story about Abu Ghraib. I am…dismayed.

About Rumsfeld, this time.

He does not remember exactly what he knew when. He can not recall hearing about the Red Cross report warning of prisoner abuse.

It's the language of cover-up. We've heard it before. It's all so very Richard Nixon.

An order was given to put Abu Ghraib "under the command of military intelligence officers" then the order was rescinded. Who rescinded it? When? For what reason? Did someone in high authority become aware of the abuses that took place when the order was in effect?

And who is choosing, now, to scapegoat the soldiers under the pretence that they should have considered the Geneva Conventions and protested orders given by (one presumes) officers?

Is anyone else appalled to realize that such orders could be given?

Abu Ghraib has already accumulated a "history" since the USofA "coalition" showed up. The Signs Were There.

Posted by AnneZook at 03:43 PM | Comments (0)
Sell!

As of this moment, the DOW is back below 10,000 (9990.2 at close).

It's been dropping for weeks (today's drop puts it down 4.42% for the year), but there's something of a shock in seeing the numbers move under five digits.

(A sort of "there goes my retirement...again...shock.)

NASDAQ is down.

The S&P 500 is down.

The NYSE composite is down.

The Fortune 500 is down.

Things I never even heard of are down.

This is the kind of moment that makes me glad high finance is a closed book to me. If I were an expert, I might be concerned.

Posted by AnneZook at 02:10 PM | Comments (6)
Hee.

Andy Rooney offers a campaign approach for Bush and it's better than anything Rove has rolled out so far.

"I'm going to shut up and get on with the job."

Problem is, it comes with Bush apologizing, and that's not gonna happen.

Diet update: Lost two pounds. Want a cookie. Eating an apple.

Posted by AnneZook at 01:03 PM | Comments (3)
Proudly Presenting

Avedon Carol on that lawyer arrested in connection with the Madrid train bombing. His most concrete offense, we learn, is his choice of clients. Anyone else remember a day when lawyers weren't allowed to cherry-pick clients based on race and the fuzzy possibility that in some remote future said clients might commit an actual crime?

Via the same source, we find ourselves reading George Will and wondering if he realizes that in Hard America, George W would be working in a factory somewhere and grateful for the protection of the ergonomic legislation that, in this reality, was killed by the Bush Administration.

All's well that ends well, but ouch A critical 30 seconds from Denita.

Mustang Bobby covers Nancy Reagan's support of stem cell research. I wonder what this will do to the halo of fools' gold the Right has been trying to build around Reagan's "legacy"?

Ted at Crooked Timber goes where my brain refuses to go…Andrew Sullivan's blog. Seems like Andy's disenchantment with the Bush Administration is almost complete. He now accepts that, on the face of it, those who said the Bush Administration was incompetent appear to have been right.

Dreyfuss discusses "Kerry imperialism." If we're going to fight more Iraq-style wars, then we really do need to be better at doing it.

Global warming is, indeed, a real threat. It doesn't matter if you're unsure (or sure and arguing) over whether the problem is caused, accelerated, or unaffected by what we've done to the planet and the atmosphere. It's still real. Having said that…I haven't decided if I want to go see a movie about it or not.

Eric Alterman puts it in a nutshell.

Hello, Messrs. Friedman, Wolfowitz. Et al, war is not a civilizing instrument.

Hal points out that Rush Limbaugh is still a big, fat, idiot.

Via someone who doesn't seem to want to cook for himself (but few of us do), a court decision I approve.

Deliberately setting out to prove you can hurt yourself with a product does not, in fact, prove that the product itself is inherently or unreasonably dangerous.

Stuff your silly face with the most fattening fast food you can find and you'll gain weight. Duh.

There has to be some allowance for common sense in this lawsuit-happy society.

And via Hugo Schwyzer...feminism. This is one of the things I admire about academics…they're willing to take on questions many of the rest of us are afraid of.

This is a praiseworthy and thoughtful assessment of what "feminist" might mean today. Beyond pointing out that a culture fixated on producing male offspring will find a way to rid itself of unwanted female children even without abortion, I have almost nothing to quibble with in his post and I'm very impressed with his insight (well, it's a subject he teaches, so I suppose I should have assumed some expertise, but personal experience....) and his commitment.

Posted by AnneZook at 11:32 AM | Comments (3)
Death, Disaster, And Dunces

Not having had a chance to check the world o'blog recently, I'm not sure how people are interpreting the death of the Chechen president, but I'm concerned about the additional violence this could touch off. I also regret the deaths of the six people caught in the blast and the count so far of 57 wounded.

If anyone cared about the dozens of dead babies in China in that "fake baby food formula" story, you might be interested to know that 47 people have been arrested. The problem is the same as it always is in a repressive society…are these, in fact, the people responsible or scapegoats arrested to stop a public panic?

Texas is about to celebrate another execution…that of a mentally ill man.

It's always possible that Colin Powell stays stubbornly in the middle of the Bush Administration because he's one of the few people in this country who is high-profile enough to try and balance their policies and that, in fact, they'd be happier with him out of the way. That's one way to explain how he seems to be left out of the loop so often.

Most of the information "scrubbed" from government websites should be returned to the public eye. Out of 629 Federal databases, only 66 have the potential to offer aid to a terrorist. The rest offer information that can be found elsewhere (and sometimes of better quality) on-line. (I mean…I'm assuming the Bush Administration used the "national security" argument for everything they removed. Like references to condoms or homosexuals.)

Among the "whiners" complaining about gas prices could be Denver-area subsistence-level workers facing pricing up to $2.15/gallon. I've seen it as high as $2.25 (for premium, of course.)

Has 'history' found the filter it will use to define the occupation of Iraq? (Or, at least, that part of history concerned with EvilAmerica?)

Once again we hear the argument that Bush is dumb because he wants to be.

By the way, That Story that I'm not covering any more? Rumsfeld says they told everyone it was under investigation but he underestimated how important it was to share more information because he hadn't actually seen all of the evidence.

On the other hand, Safire says people are not being fair to Rumsfeld.

I contend that the choices remain the same. Either the Bush Administration is full of evil overlord-wannabes or they're incompetent idiots unfit to be in charge of a country. Insane or inept, those are the choices.

I'm sick to death of skimming the morning headlines and seeing this kind of thing, that's all.


Posted by AnneZook at 09:08 AM | Comments (4)
May 09, 2004
And Another Thing

Another thing it seems necessary to point out to the younger generation, is that in my day (I'm practicing to be a geezer), when you wanted to protest something...you protested it.

If you wanted to picket, you got people, pickets, and a place and you just did it.

Today, of course, you have to hire security, negotiate with the police, talk the city into giving you a permit, buy liability insurance, and rent port-a-potties.

I think the maximum number of people allowed to gather without all of that is three these days. It may be two, but I'm pretty sure you can go as high as three without trouble.

It's hard to know if the increasing restrictions on gathering freely and protesting openly are the result of some growing tendency toward violence on the part of protesters or the violence is the result of the inevitable presence of armed police officers at today's gatherings, isnt it? (Maybe it's just that most of the people willing to jump through all of the necessary hoops in order to stage* a legal protest are really, really angry.)

* In my day protests weren't necessarily "staged." Sometimes they just happened.

Maybe protests have grown more violent because our entire society has grown more violent?

Maybe protests have grown more violent because some people have been screaming for 20 years and the government still isn't responding?

For whatever reason, you're not allowed to assembly freely and protest the goverment any more. You're either an active supporter (read: campaign contributor) or you're the enemy.

We're never going to know What Really Happened at Kent State but we're living with the fallout every day any more.

(For the record, I'm back on the diet and I'm likely to be in a bad mood for the next week. Just so you know.)

Posted by AnneZook at 01:15 PM | Comments (0)