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June 11, 2004
Reading

I've found an excellent new blog to try out and today I found an excellent post that reminds me of something I've been wanting to say.

Is it really an issue if only 7% of journalists identify themselves as "conservative while a reported 30% of the population identifies themselves that way?

I don't believe it is and I won't believe it until someone addresses a few issues for me. Are liberals just more drawn to journalism? Does knowing "the rest of the story" (those dirty little details that don't get printed) make moderates move to the left? Is there some institutional bias against conservatives when hiring journalists?

I always think journalism is about paying attention, about what's going on and how it effects people. That's much more a liberal trait than a conservative one (in my definitions) so it doesn't surprise me to read that few "conservatives" choose journalism for a career. And, until someone proves that "conservatives" are being kept out of journalism deliberately, that's how I'm seeing it, that "conservatives" don't choose to go into journalism in the same numbers that "liberals" or "moderates" do.

Anyhow. They may not represent many voices in "journalism" but conservatives have a loud, shrill edge when it comes to commentators and pundits. What more do they want?

Don't tell me…they want affirmative action for themselves, right?



Update: I knew it. They do want a quota for Conservatives!

Posted by AnneZook at 05:23 PM | Comments (12)
Up, Up, and Away!

Terrorism is up.

Oil prices are going up.

Defense spending is up.

Interest rates are going up because inflation is going up all over the place.

Reports of a history of US prisoner abuse are up.

The number of dead and wounded in Iraq is up.

On the other hand, voter dissatisfaction with the war in Iraq is up.

Things are up all over, aren't they?

Posted by AnneZook at 07:35 AM | Comments (6)
June 10, 2004
Hey, lookit this!

Conservatives and liberals…does it have to be "us versus them" and what do those labels mean anyhow? The fluidity of political definitions and more from Mike Finley. (Via Avedon Carol.)

Looks like the Bush Administration is getting pretty desperate for "good news about Iraq doesn't it? I mean, they're just making stuff up and fudging the figures.

You just can't make this stuff up.

Sometimes I don't agree with things I read but don't have the time to elaborate. It's frustrating.

Now, though, it's time for today's round of merry meetings.

Posted by AnneZook at 01:44 PM | Comments (2)
Quickie Thursday

A string of meetings starting soon, so just a few links.

Looks like no matter what Administration supporters want to believe, the evidence that the Bush Administration deliberately explored and authorized the use of torture against prisoners is mounting.

Jobless claims are up.

[…] the number of Americans filing initial claims for jobless aid rose unexpectedly last week, the Labor Department said, and the rolling average rose to its highest level since late April.

Economy Provides No Boost for Bush, says the headline, and they wonder why not.

War has usually been good for the economy in the short run, and this one appears no different. In the first three months of this year, defense work accounted for nearly 16 percent of the nation's economic growth, according to the Commerce Department.

I'd like to point out that the problem with using defense spending as the foundation for "economic growth" is that you have to stay at war in order for the effect to continue.

And what about the famous chritian-compassionate-conservative thing? How do the voters see that?

"I think he gets more joy, he gets a bigger rush, out of doing world war," she said of Bush. "The United States economy just bores him or confuses him, I guess."

Republicans weep because over a million jobs have been created, but Bush's approval ratings continue to tank. Why don't those darned voters appreciate what's being done for them?

This go-round, jobs are coming back, but Americans may sense that those jobs are not of the same quality as the work that was lost, Newport said. Any good economic news is being tempered by high gasoline prices, and a generally sour mood has made voters skeptical.

In the end, though, the column concludes that it all comes back to Iraq.

I thought about Reagan again, but I still couldn't think of anything nice to say. I didn't like him, okay? I don't suffer from any primitive superstition that dying erases someone's sins. It don't work that way.

I don't like the Bush Administration, either.

I do like polling numbers of Kerry 51 / Bush 44 but those are apparently on a two-candidate race, which is unlikely to happen. (What I can't figure out, and I've been paying a certain amount of attention recently, is precisely what it is Nader thinks he's actually bringing to the table this time around. This is not the year when, "I'm not them" is a viable or sensible platform.)

Good grief. This comes to me via the comments section and I'm not sure whether to laugh to lose sleep over it.

I'm still pondering over how the world could help Darfur.

I'm still pondering over how to articulate what it is I believe, too.

Posted by AnneZook at 07:56 AM | Comments (0)
June 09, 2004
What are they saying?

Hightower takes a side-swipe at mercenaries and outsourcing war. He leaves on thing out…the "one week" of training Halliburton gives their new hires before sending them to Iraq? That's not as relevant for most of the "security" people, since they tend to have been trained in the armed forces, with tax dollars, before leaving the military and becoming private soldiers-for-hire.

Sirota brings five critical votes to your attention.

Kjell Magne Bondevik shared his (and Norway's) opinion of Abu Ghraib with Bush.

Opinions about Kerry seem to be mixed. Especially on the Left.

But most of the 2,000 attendees appeared ready to fall in line behind Mr. Kerry while chuckling at chiding references to his talents as a campaigner. Jim Hightower, the liberal Texas humorist and former state agriculture commissioner, got a rise from the crowd by observing at one point: "I don't care if John Kerry is a sack of cement. We'll carry him to victory."

Mr. Hightower, always reaching for a laugh, then offered: "I have a two-step program for you. First we get rid of Bush. Then we get rid of Kerry." That jibe did not seem to sit well with the next speaker, columnist Arianna Huffington.

"We don't want to carry John Kerry into the White House like a big sack of cement," she said, "we want him to lead us there," an observation that drew applause. "I'm solidly behind the Democratic nominee, period."

Can someone ask the Senator precisely when he intends to start campaigning with specifics and passion?

I don't care about thrilling crowds at rallies. I care about knowing what's important to him. What does he care deeply about? (I need to go check his report card when I have a moment. Maybe this evening.)


If you've never read about McCarthy's witchhunts communist hunting, you're doing yourself a disservice. It's a fascinating story.

The work of balancing the multiple interests in Iraq is a thankless task today. Let's hope long-term benefits to Iraqis reward the efforts of those working in good faith.

Speaking of all of those memos exploring torture in Iraq, the audio I've heard of Ashcroft's testimony suggests he's walking the line to getting slapped with 'contempt of Congress'. He can't or won't produce the March, 2003, memo, isn't claiming executive privilege, and can't identify which if any of the documents Congress is discussing might be classified under what circumstances, but he says he won't give Congress copies. He keeps saying the president has a right to confidential advise and has no response when told that his opinion in such a matter isn't a law and that if he can't cite a law to support his contention, he stands in danger. (Excerpted transcriptions here.)

Equality is a beautiful thing. Those born into it have to work to figure out why others might deserve it. Not everyone does the work.

Posted by AnneZook at 01:51 PM | Comments (3)
Um. No.

I received an e-mail from TrueMajority, titled, "Let's Put an Ad on Arabic Television" and let me start by saying that the subject line of the e-mail alone worried me, even before I read the content.

Dear Faithful American,

The torture scandal continues to grow, and with it the outrage of the Arab world. As our leaders continue to blame a few rogue soldiers, a cycle of mutual suspicion and dehumanization between the Arab world and the United States deepens.

We need to send a message directly from the people of the United States , to the people of Iraq and the Arab world, telling them that, as Americans, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them in demanding justice for these sinful abuses committed in our name.

To do this, we’ve filmed a television ad with Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith leaders to be broadcast on Arabic-language television in the Middle East. You can view the ad using the link below. If you feel the message expresses what is in your heart, let the world know by endorsing the ad. You can even donate to help put it on the air.

www.faithfulamerica.org/AdClip.htm

As the number of endorsers grows, we will add that figure to the end of the ad. The more people who endorse the message, the more effective it will be. Please send this e-mail to anyone you think might want to get involved.

Blessings,

The FaithfulAmerica.org Team

First, I don't appreciate TrueMajority passing my e-mail address along to other groups, but that's how these organizations 'grow' so I guess I can't complain. I knew there was a risk when I signed up.

Second, if someone wants to show Iraq that USofA citizens are appalled and outraged by the revelations of torture, the appropriate thing to do is to demand that our government accept the resignations of those in charge. All the way to the top.

Sending, Hey, we're with you" messages is all very well, but apologies that matter come via prompt and definite action.

Moving on…more things I don't approve of.

The following joke was forwarded to me today.

A lobbyist, on his way home from work in Washington, D.C., came to a dead halt in traffic and thought to himself, "Wow, this traffic seems worse than usual."

He noticed a police officer walking between the lines of stopped cars, so he rolled down his window and asked, "Officer, what's the hold-up?"

The officer replied, "The President is depressed, so he stopped his motorcade and is threatening to douse himself with gasoline and set himself on fire. He says no one believes his stories about why we went to war in Iraq, or the worsening deficit and economy, or that his tax cuts won't help anyone except his wealthy friends. So we're taking up a collection for him."

The lobbyist asks, "How much have you got so far?"

The officer replied, "About four gallons, but a lot of folks are still siphoning."

That's mean, but it's within the bounds of acceptability.

On the other hand, I think this may go outside the bounds. I've heard the Nixon stories that B.J. quotes and never really doubted them, but I find this story of Bush's behavior harder to accept.

Where did they get this story? There are no named attributions at all. I know anonymous sources are the lifeblood of Washington journalism, but I think accusations like this need some kind of back-up.

Also? I find it hard to "hear" Bush saying 'that's it George. I cannot abide disloyalty. I want your resignation and I want it now." Who talks like that?

Posted by AnneZook at 07:53 AM | Comments (0)
June 08, 2004
No Kudos

I've nothing nice to say about Reagan but I'll withhold any rude remarks until after the appropriate 1-week national observance for the death of a former president.

I'm back from San Francisco, I had a marvelous time in spite of having to wait until mid-morning on Sunday to actually get to step outside the hotel (traveling on business can be frustrating on those rare occasions you go someplace interesting), and am less than thrilled to be home and finding the temperatures hovering around 100.

So, anyhow, I could talk about people dying in Iraq or the Bush administration's exploration of their right to torture people or the way the West continues to do little or nothing to prevent genocide in Darfur or a dozen other things, but I think I'll commemorate my return to my desk by actually dealing with some of the work piled up on it.

Posted by AnneZook at 07:52 AM | Comments (7)