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May 28, 2005
Making The World Safer

Sure am glad we're winning that war on whatever the hell it is we wound up fighting against, aren't you?

5 More Iraqis Killed in Suicide Bombings

20 Dead in Suicide Bombing at Muslim Shrine

Iraqi Shias 'tortured and shot'

Iran Lawmakers Want Nuclear Development

Japanese hostage confirmed dead

U.S. Warns Americans in Uzbekistan

Twin Bomb Explosions in Indonesia Kill 22

Yep. I sure am glad we invaded Iraq to make the world a safer place for everyone.

Posted by AnneZook at 10:53 AM | Comments (0)
May 27, 2005
What The Heck?

A teacher gets fired for this?

A group of parents dig into their own pockets to save a school program and the school rejects the money on the grounds that it's unfair to schools whose families can't afford to do the same? I agree, But is anyone else ashamed that even schools in so-called "wealthy" districts are reduced to this? I mean...in a month when our national so-called leaders think they're able to find another eighty-two billion dollars to kill people in Iraq?

People are still obsessing over Lakoff's "frames" instead of doing something important. Exactly how clearly (and how often) do we need to say, "say what you stand for" before the "leadership" gets a clue and starts just, you know, doing so? Because...I'm thinking if they don't know what we stand for, we so totally need new "leadership."

For example, that whole Filibuster Fiasco. Democrats so completely did the wrong thing.

Also, murdering helpless prisoners? Precisely how often do we have to explain that It's. Wrong. before it sinks in?

And lying about what happened doesn't change what happened. (Let's be clear. I feel more sympathy for these individual soldiers than otherwise. Surely after a couple of hundred years of making war, the military could have come up with some kind of training for these situations?) (Or, should I instead be grateful that, soldier or not, the idea that you've just shot someone still freaks these guys out?)

(Or, should I be worried that they freak out? The psychological cost of war to the individual soldier has been much on my mind today.)

And while I'm taking potshots, allow me to inform Mr. Rumsfeld that it wouldn't matter that news has a global reach if we weren't doing anything to be ashamed of.

I'm happy to see that DeLay's ethical issues haven't disappeared from the news.

Just exactly how serious is Blumenthal about the Bush Administration's "drive for absolute power"?

She's a woman. He's a man. They're married. What's the big deal?

A lot of people died in Uzbekistan but it's hard to find much continuing interest in the USofA media.

Sun-Times Quick Takes

News Item: States that voted for President Bush will gain 11,852 jobs, while states that voted for John Kerry will lose 24,289 jobs, in proposed closings of military bases.


Do you know who Jeff Luers is? Do you know he got 22.5 years for a property crime...less than most manslaughter convictions warrant? Yeah, he torched 3 SUVs. No one was harmed or even in any danger. Twenty-three years. There has to be more to this story....

If we had a dozen White House reporters like Helen Thomas, maybe we wouldn't be in this mess.

Progressive talk radio could yet help to save this country.

Posted by AnneZook at 01:31 PM | Comments (0)
Nothing To Talk About

I dunno. I've been surfing around, reading internet content (new and old), pondering my mood.

At first I was going to write about the state of public education in this country. Not about the Bush Administration's stupid NCLB legislation, but the real stuff. bigger problems around individual states and communities failing to adequately fund education and the problem around too many absentee parents in the system. (The PTA isn't a social mixer, you nitwits. It's where you start when you're trying to get your child a good education.) But then I realized that since I have no children of my own, it's not really my personal issue.

So then I was going to rant and rave about the welfare system and pitch some more abuse in the direction of the people who think welfare recipients are living high and wide on the fat of the land and other people's tax dollars. Because the perception that these people don't want to be independent and self-sufficient just Drives. Me. Bonkers. But then I realized that Iím not on welfare and never have been and am unlikely ever to be, so it's not really my personal issue.

After that, I was going to have a little hissy fit about the stalled economy and the failure of the Bush Administration's massive tax giveback to the incredibly wealthy to produce any jobs or any real economic improvement, but we already knew it wouldn't, so what's the point? I have a job where I'm paid far more than I should be on days when I spend too much time blogging. Also, I'm not incredibly wealthy but I'm nowhere near poor enough that an extra $100 or $250 off my annual tax bill would have made any difference to my life, so it's not really my personal issue.

Of course, I could always have gone back to Iraq and said, for the nine-thousandth time, that it was the wrong war fought at the wrong time and controlled by the wrong people who had the wrong motives, and then I could have pointed out the valid (although not overwhelming) Vietnam parallels, but no one I know personally is fighting in Iraq, I don't understand half the intellectual arguments over it, and I'm certainly not going to be drafted myself, so it's not really my personal issue.

I considered doing a little more shouting about Darfur and wondering why a country that can lose its sanity over a runaway bride or a brain-dead woman's feeding tube can face with indifference the idea that there are tens of thousands of people in danger of dying every single day for lack of a meal. Much of the "civilized" world is big on mourning disasters after the fact while being indifferent to the sustained effort a commitment to trying to prevent a disaster might take, so I'm skeptical of lavish new aid commitments I'm not hungry though, nor ever likely to be living in a third-world country, so it's not my personal issue.

I could complain about the Walmartization of our economy where even people of ostensibly good morals still can't resist shopping at the evil giant if it saves them 10 cents a roll on toilet paper, but I do understand that the poorer classes in this country have to shop there because they're working for Wal-Mart wages and they need to save a dime anywhere they can so they can pay for their healthcare costs. So maybe that's not my personal issue.

What else is there? Torture, toxic waste, healthcare costs, the environment, corporate fraud, our food (and water) supply, transparent voting systems, nuclear proliferation by this country, a woman's right to choose what to do with her own body, government lies and secrecy, gay rights, racism, media responsibility, and conspicuous consumerism. I've blogged about a lot of things over the years.

Of course, I'm not likely to be tortured, don't live near a toxic waste dump, have healthcare, work for a company too small to be a candidate for big-time fraud, am able to be careful with my food supply, don't have any trouble voting, am not likely to need an abortion, am not gay, and have an apartment too small for really excessive consumerism. The world is full of issues but I live in a protected little bubble of privilege and all of those are Someone Else's Problems.

I wonder why I'm not a Republican?

Posted by AnneZook at 07:51 AM | Comments (0)
May 26, 2005
Custer's (Last) Battles?

So, I haven't even remotely had time to read through all of my blogroll and reading list to see what everyone is talking about these days, but I assume that Custer Battles is on a lot of lists. (Background here.)

For billing fraud. Assault on civilians. Just generally running amok, probably thinking their political connections were enough to protect them.

Yep, they're another poster-child for corruption and fraud, courtesy of the USofA. (Well, what do you expect when you tell a multi-billion dollar corporation to come on over and help itself to yet-more billions and, by the way, bring your own army?) In the unregulated world of mercenary soldiers, they're a peach.

I suppose we have to wait for a judge to decide if USofA firms working in Iraq are bound by USofA law. I predict they won't be. That will be a sign of strong support for the current Iraqi government (and, not incidentally, allow that convenient blanket protection from prosecution in Iraq to kick in). It would also be in line with the Bush Administration's position that Guantanamo isn't "USofA soil" and so people being tortured detained there aren't protected by USofA laws.

The war in Iraq isn't going well. Evidence continues to mount in unexpected ways. Filling the country full of lunatic private armies isn't really helping matters.

Everyone who voted for Bush/Cheney in the last election told the Middle East, and the rest of the world, that they were okay with torture, massive civilian casualties, and this kind of fraud. As the reports of wide-spread corruption, profiteering, and murder continue to spread, each of you who voted to support this can think with pride of your own contribution to the destruction of that ideal that used to be "America."

Is it any wonder that millions of us believe the most dangerous enemy the USofA has today is the Right?

Posted by AnneZook at 01:16 PM | Comments (0)