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October 22, 2005
World O'Blog

What the heck? (Via Profesor Kim.)

And, as might be expected, David Neiwert is the go-to guy for the full story on the recent riot in Toledo. Many photos. Neo-Nazis (who come off sounding scary, but mostly just pathetic) and what sounds like racist behavior from the police. Much like the press's coverage of black "looters" in New Orleans versus white "scavengers." We have a long way to go.

Don't ignore this story people. It's not an anomaly and the next generation is already being indoctrinated.

(In any sane country, this would be classified as child abuse.)

The women of Iceland are going on strike again. (Via Pandagon.)

It seems the question is answered. Meirs is not qualified. In my never-ending search to find intelligence and some kind of plan in the Bush Administration's inexplicable moves, I find myself wondering if they now consider themselves "off the hook" for nominating a woman?

Doesn't look like the Bush Administration wants New Orleans evacuees to be able to vote in upcoming elections. Now why do you suppose they'd be afraid of that?

Avedon Carol is always worth reading, but I was especially happy to see the story and link in her "Crime watch" post.

PoliticalWire has yet another great Gore Quote:

"It wasn't, 'We the conglomerates.' It wasn't, 'We the corporations.' It was, 'We the people.'"

Those of you complaining because the Left has no one of courage and conviction willing to stand up to the Bush Administration? Are you listening?

Best entry of the week. (The problem, of course, is that this President has no shame.)

Posted by AnneZook at 10:41 AM | Comments (0)
October 21, 2005
A Day In the Park

From one of our free, local, independent rags (Denver Daily News):

"It is really important for us to let young people know how magnificent our world is and our country is and how important it is for them to be outside to experience nature like all of us got to when we were children," Laura Bush told a Denver group Thursday.

She thinks kids watch too much television and spend too much time on-line and wants to help "raise $10 million for the National Park Foundation's Junior Ranger program, which teaches children about national parks."

Which they should learn, before her husband and his cronies fill the parks with oil and gas drilling equipment and plaques about how only god can make a tree but, if properly funded, Halliburton can turn a tree into part of the war on terror.

"She said that even children who cannot get to national parks or are disabled can take part in the program by going online to the program's Web site."

Because we don't want to waste any time letting disabled children actually see a national park. They can look at pictures, online!

Except when they're outside enjoying the beauty of nature, since she's advising them to spend less time on-line which seems confusing but I guess she means rich, healthy kids should travel to national parks and disabled kids should surf the net except that poor kids or poor disabled kids should not mess up a good speech.

More locally, State parks prep for budget cuts

Colorado State Parks have trimmed $2.6 million from its 2006 budget in preparation for possible cuts in the state's general fund.

With a 50 percent reduction in general fund support, the plan calls for full closure of some parks, seasonal closure of selected parks, and reduced hours and staffing of parks, as well as decreased administrative services and programs

The budget was prepared in response to a request by the Office of State Planning and Budget, which needs to trim $365 million from the state budget if Referendum C does not pass.

Vote Yes on Referendum C. And not only for the children.

The plan calls for full closure of 11 state parks: Crawford, Barr Lake, Lory, Bonny Lake, Roxborough, Harvey Gap, Sweitzer, Mancos, Spinney Mountain, Paonia and San Luis.
Posted by AnneZook at 03:10 PM | Comments (2)

Kansas takes a little step toward equal protection under the law.

“Moral disapproval of a group cannot be a legitimate state interest,” said Justice Marla Luckert, writing for the high court.

Thats' nice.

It's a pity that justice tends to move slowly.

“We are very happy that Matthew will soon be getting out of prison. We are sorry there is no way to make up for the extra four years he spent in prison simply because he is gay,” said Limon’s attorney James Esseks, of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Gay and Lesbian Rights Project.

Well, compared to 17 years, he did get lucky. In the State of [Evolution? What evolution?] Kansas, it could have been much worse. But still. Four years robbed from a young life just for bigotry. No word on whether or not Matthew will be allowed to return to living at a group home for the developmentally disabled or not.

Posted by AnneZook at 02:53 PM | Comments (0)
Loving the Beeb

Saddam trial lawyer is found dead

A lawyer who was defending an associate of Saddam Hussein has been found shot dead after he was abducted in Baghdad.

Looks like law and order can be hard to find in George Bush's Iraq.

Avian flu found in parrot in UK

A parrot that died in quarantine in the UK has tested positive for avian flu, the government has said.
The bird was imported from south America and arrived in mid-September.

Closer and closer....

Amazon 'stealth' logging revealed

Scientists from Brazil and the US say new research suggests deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon has been underestimated by at least 60%.
Deforestation in the Amazon is on such a massive scale that the only way of measuring it is by using satellites.
Posted by AnneZook at 02:28 PM | Comments (0)
Nominations, Please

I dunno. For the next official head of FEMA, I think I'll nominate Marty Bahamonde.

At least he understands that an "emergency" doesn't have anything to do with dinner reservations.

Posted by AnneZook at 02:21 PM | Comments (0)
A Little More News

Cheer up. This might make you feel a little better about the future of this country, so read the first eleven paragraphs, at least. We progress...slowly, but we do progress.

One does have to wonder precisely how the exact charges to be brought against Saddam Hussein were chosen. Did the Bush Administration, currently under fire for arresting and hiding potential "troublemakers," not to mention for torturing people arrested and never charged with any crime, approve it? Did the U.K., still reeling from the revelation that over-anxious police beat and killed an innocent bystander under the umbrella of "national security" see them?

There's a lot of blogworld fuss about (okay, a little fuss about) (okay, a teaspoonful of notice of) that whole suspending of the Bacon-Davis Act in Louisiana, but I think it's just reactionary. I approve of the move.

After all, we wouldn't want people whose lives have been mired in poverty and who have lost almost every one of their pitiful possessions actually making enough money while jobs are available to get back on their feet, would we? No...we'd rather add them to the dole lists and then thunder from the political pulpit about how lazy and worthless the poor are.

Besides. Think of the poor Halliburton stockholders. We don't want to cut into their obscene profits, do we?

Also? Don't get too wound up about the Op-Eds and Letters in your local rag until you know who wrote them.

One doesn't like to think of our military as being disorganized and incompetent. One doesn't like to think of any group of 100,000 heavily armed people as being scatter-brained and bungling. But we either have to accept that our military is like that, or start to seriously consider if there's a massive cover-up going on.

And, speaking of chaos and incompetence, not to mention fraud, for once, I do understand why senior Republican officials needed anonymity. Any behind-the-scenes story of how Bush's White House is going down for the third time and still arguing over what to call the surging vortex that will make it seem more like a jacuzzi would probably be career suicide for the person telling it.

But? Ken Mehlman? The party that, just weeks ago, was afraid to have David Dreir as their Majority Leader is thinking of bringing Mehlman in as Bush's White Knight? (Not that he hasn't already been putting his two cents' worth in, but that's his job, after all.)

I wonder if FOX's Shepard Smith will cover the story?

(While I'm Googling around, let's tie Mehlman, Bush, and framing all in together with an interesting bit of history.)

Cribbing talking points? Yesterday we had the "background noise" quote from Bush about ongoing criminal and fraud investigations around members of his staff and the Republican leadership. Today we get backroom noise" from Judith Miller's lawyer as a description of the circumstances surrounding Judith Miller's willingness to go to jail for a principle. I guess we're not supposed to consider whether she was really upholding a principle in the way most of us think of it. We're just supposed to assume that if she's a reporter and went to jail, she's a noble victim.

He also referred to the ongoing discussion as a, "sideshow." Me, I think it's the real show. I approve of the broadest possible protection of freedom of the press because when you start limiting freedoms and putting conditions on it, then it's not really freedom. But I also think exercises of such freedom should be open to public debate.

An Op-Ed worth considering. There are multiple faces to the truth. Much depends on what you want to see.

Gosh, with information like this going around, do you really wonder why the NYTimes is falling out of favor with people addicted to honest journalism? And yet, they did publish this.

Posted by AnneZook at 01:42 PM | Comments (0)
Thanks, Molly

Reading Molly Ivins always makes the day better.

We are looking for progress, not perfection, so anyone who tells you the entire tax code should fit on a postcard is a bona fide, certified, chicken-fried moron.

She goes on to say:

But listening to the Democratic debate on what to do now, it seems to me some of the brethren and sistren are asking the wrong questions. The question is not, "How Do We Win?" That's a technical question that comes after, "What the Hell Can We Do About This Disaster?"

Darned right. Come up with a plan, or, considering the gross mess this country is in, a handful of complementary plans for dealing with the Top Five problems or whatever, first.

Tell the people what you believe, and what you're going to do. Let them decide, in the voting booth, if they want to follow you.

I personally think some good ideas and a plan should come first -- and to this end, let me chime in on a note of agreement with some Actual Moderates, William A. Galston and Elaine C. Kamarck, a couple of Clintonites still carrying on in that old Third Way that was good enough for Bill C. They are opposed to putting too much stock in the political strategy of "reframing" issues as advised by the linguist George Lakoff. This seems to me merest common sense, and I'm not sure Lakoff himself wouldn't agree.

I wish that stupid book had never been published. There were ten thousand of us out here in the world o'blog advising that the Dems needed better slogan-writers, and that's all the book was about, boiled down to the basics.

It's a good column. Read it.

Posted by AnneZook at 12:12 PM | Comments (0)

I am just so annoyed.

Feeling guilty does that to me.

In spite of this building, and our specific suite, being labeled with "No Soliciting" notices, we're faced with a stream of hopeful salespeople on a daily basis. It's become part of my job in the last year to run them off and my boss expects me to do so in less than 10 seconds.

Now, I do understand that all these entry-level foot-soldiers want is to collect enough business cards to prove to their bosses that they were out there, trying to contact people, so they'll continue to collect their base salaries until the job market stops looking like quicksand.

I also understand that if I start feeling sorry for them and handing out business cards, our company name will go into a pool of "warm leads," or people who had at least enough interest in whatever the product is to chat with a salesperson. And in the future, we'll be bombarded with dozens of repeat calls from people who naively believe there's actual potential, sales-wise, from our company.

I also understand that handing out a business card to someone we have less-than-zero interest in doing business with is, at least tangentially, helping them to defraud their employer, so I can't just meet them at the door, hand them a card, and shut said door in their faces.

I have a lot of sympathy for people trying to find and keep a job in this economic climate. You know I do, since I'm about to be one of the unemployed. But I don't want to help someone commit even a small fraud, I don't want to spend my day listening to sales pitches from people whose products or services have no relevance to our business, and it really bothers me to have to be point-blank rude to complete strangers several times a day.

And yet...they walk by the "No Soliciting" notices on the building's entry doors. They pass by the warning that there are security cameras. They ignore the "No Soliciting" notice on the door of our suite. How else can I get through to them but to be rude, faced as I am with that 10 second deadline?

Today we had the door locked because there are only a couple of us in the suite. One guy actually knocked on the door and when I opened it, standing right next to the sign, he started giving me a sales pitch. This is why people hate salespeople.

I have sympathy for them. Really I do. They're just trying to stay employed.

And I have sympathy for the businesses they work for. The businesses are just trying to stay in business, so they can continue to pay their employees (and owners).

I hate this economic climate and I'm not too crazy about the gang of dimwitted idiots who put us here and are keeping us here.

There are days when I'd be hard-pressed to choose if you asked me if I'd rather have the "real" Democratic Party back, or the "real" Republican Party. Certainly it's starting to become clear to me that today's faux-Republicans can do a lot more actual damage to the country. Today's faux-Democrats may fail to do good, but is that really as bad?

Posted by AnneZook at 11:33 AM | Comments (2)
October 20, 2005
Our Mutual Friend
He was brought up in the--' with a shiver of repugnance, '--the House.'

'The Poor-house?' said the Secretary.

Mrs Higden set that resolute old face of hers, and darkly nodded yes.

'You dislike the mention of it.'

'Dislike the mention of it?' answered the old woman. 'Kill me sooner than take me there. Throw this pretty child under cart- horses feet and a loaded waggon, sooner than take him there. Come to us and find us all a-dying, and set a light to us all where we lie and let us all blaze away with the house into a heap of cinders sooner than move a corpse of us there!'

A surprising spirit in this lonely woman after so many years of hard working, and hard living, my Lords and Gentlemen and Honourable Boards! What is it that we call it in our grandiose speeches? British independence, rather perverted? Is that, or something like it, the ring of the cant?

'Do I never read in the newspapers,' said the dame, fondling the child--'God help me and the like of me!--how the worn-out people that do come down to that, get driven from post to pillar and pillar to post, a-purpose to tire them out! Do I never read how they are put off, put off, put off--how they are grudged, grudged, grudged, the shelter, or the doctor, or the drop of physic, or the bit of bread? Do I never read how they grow heartsick of it and give it up, after having let themsleves drop so low, and how they after all die out for want of help? Then I say, I hope I can die as well as another, and I'll die without that disgrace.'

Absolutely impossible my Lords and Gentlemen and Honourable Boards, by any stretch of legislative wisdom to set these perverse people right in their logic?

'Johnny, my pretty,' continued old Betty, caressing the child, and rather mourning over it than speaking to it, 'your old Granny Betty is nigher fourscore year than threescore and ten. She never begged nor had a penny of the Union money in all her life. She paid scot and she paid lot when she had money to pay; she worked when she could, and she starved when she must. You pray that your Granny may have strength enough left her at the last (she's strong for an old one, Johnny), to get up from her bed and run and hide herself and swown to death in a hole, sooner than fall into the hands of those Cruel Jacks we read of that dodge and drive, and worry and weary, and scorn and shame, the decent poor.'

A brilliant success, my Lords and Gentlemen and Honourable Boards to have brought it to this in the minds of the best of the poor! Under submission, might it be worth thinking of at any odd time?

As I read about budget and tax hopes and plans of the Republicans in Congress, my mind keeps turning to Dickens.


(Our Mutual Friend, Charles Dickens,)

Posted by AnneZook at 02:55 PM | Comments (2)
Sexism in Pharmacies

John in DC has a point. (Link fixed.)

In fact, he has several good points as do most people speaking out on this issue. If you're not willing to do a job, you shouldn't accept the position and this is pure sexual discrimination.

I've always shopped at Target for those pesky but necessary household items (paper towels, light bulbs, batteries, etc.) in preference to either of the big -Mart stores. Now I'm reluctant to hand them any more of my money. I may have to....but...wait!


I get it!

Wimmin: No marital intercourse without the marital and no squishing the fruits thereof.

Men, married, single, etc.: Have some viagra! And we got a special on condoms and lube today, so stock up!

So just who are all of those guys all lubed up and raring to do supposed to be intercoursing with? Excluding the man-on-dog crowd, it has to be each other.

By gosh, there is a Sekrit Homoseckshul Agenda, and it's on the Right!

That's enough for me. I'm going to go read a book.

Posted by AnneZook at 01:52 PM | Comments (2)
So Many Questions

In spite of actually remembering to buy a lottery ticket, I seem to have managed to fail to win the $340,000,000 jackpot. I'm not sure how that happened. I was fairly certain I had an arrangement with destiny to wake up rich today.

Question? Does the gentleman who thinks it was weird and scary for Bush to curse at a campaign heckler think it's weird for weird and scary for Paul Hackett to curse at a campaign heckler?

How unpopular is the Bush Administration? Marty Bahamonde, FEMA's guy on the ground in New Orleans testified that he told Brown, that day and repeatedly, how bad things were getting in the Superdome. Which pretty much puts Brown's own claim that he didn't know nuthin' for days in an interesting light.

(So? Is this payback for gutting the Agency and putting thousands of lives at risk? Or is it, be still my beating heart, a sign that some parts of The System actually do still work, in spite of everything the Bush Administration and associated neocons have done to try and destroy the government's ability to do anything but kill (brown) people?)

Oh, my. Did Lawrence Wilkerson (whoever he is) really come out swinging against the Bush Administration?

As top officials in the White House and Vice President Dick Cheney's office await possible criminal indictments for their efforts to discredit a whistle-blower, a top aide to former secretary of state, Colin Powell, on Wednesday accused a "cabal" led by Cheney and Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld of hijacking US foreign policy by circumventing or ignoring formal decision-making channels.

And did his former boss, Colin Powell, know he was going to do this before he did it? Does it matter? He was sitting on the sidelines, but near the top of the tree for a lot of years, putting him in a good position to watch what was going on, so his remarks are worth reading.

Wilkerson was particularly scathing about the former under secretary of defense for policy, Douglas Feith, citing (retired general) Tommy Frank's famous description of the neo-conservative ideologue as the "f...ing stupidest guy on the planet".

"Let me testify to that," he said. "He was. Seldom in my life have I met a dumber man. And yet, and yet, after the [Pentagon is given] control, at least in the immediate post-war period in Iraq, this man is put in charge. Not only is he put in charge, he is given carte blanche to tell the State Department to go screw themselves in a closet somewhere ... That's telling you how decisions were made and ... how things got accomplished."

It was entertaining reading until I got to the last paragraph. Sheesh.

Why did the latest attempt to raise the minimum wage fail? Because Republicans think the worst way to help people is to help people, or something like that.

Whatever else I am, I am not that kind of feminist. No "human rights" movement should base its policies on unjustly belittling and demeaning any other group of people. I applaud Switzerland for being the place in the world where these issues can be openly addressed. (It's too bad the USofA isn't that kind of place.)

Remember when tens of thousands of anti-war protesters were dismissed as a "focus group" to be ignored? Well, it looks like criminal investigations of top-ranking Bush Administration and Republican Party officials are just background noise. You know...when I'm not fantasizing about how those people would look behind bars, I sometimes allow myself a moment to be in awe of their astonishingly ability to ignore the parts of reality they don't feel like dealing with.

Today's Geek-Moment. I'll be keeping an eye on this but my #1 complaint, after spending 5 seconds on the site, is that if I want my IE toolbars removed, I'll do it myself, thankyouverymuch. (Also? A site that allows you to set it as your "home page" without allowing you access to any of your bookmarks or other IE functionality? Strikes me as a site that doesn't understand the purpose of the internet.)

Why is it that by the time I make it through just the major headlines these days, I'm just exhausted and discouraged?

Posted by AnneZook at 07:52 AM | Comments (0)
October 19, 2005
The Good Stuff

Not all the Good Stuff, because the World O'Blog is a mighty big place, but a sampling.

Wow. Timeline of a Disaster Creation Team, from the American Street. Sometimes blogs don't have to do Original Reporting. Sometimes they just have to lay out for us the information that's already there. Thank you, Kevin Hayden.

Jim Kunstler kicks the NYTimes in the shins and, not incidentally, tries warn us that there's a big, ugly, serious energy crunch a'coming. One that will make today's already-unconvincing "debate" over whether or not there's a "housing bubble look ludicrous.

I don't know who Res Publica is, but I'm adding him/her/it to my blogroll watch-list.

Pondering Kevin Drum's analysis of the likely tax reform proposal by Bush's Bunch, I find...nothing much to like.

Eliminate the marriage penalty by making tax breaks for married couples worth twice that of individual taxpayers. Benefits: Not sure.

I can see why the government is in the gay marriage debate. It's a civil rights issue. But can we get the government out of the Marriage Promotion business elsewise? Taxes shouldn't change based on marriage status. Just the deduction(s) around having children.

David Sirota has links to a good story about "getting real" about energy.

And note that the Rightwing has succeeded in shoving oil drilling in the Alaska Wildlife Refuge into yet another piece of legislation. I guess they're going to keep doing it until they somehow shoehorn it through.

When I have a moment to read this post, I look forward to discovering if I'm a liberal or a progressive.

Hee. Hee. Hee.

(P.S. Please note: It's not that I don't care about "PlameGate" because I do. Very much. But as I look around the W O'B, I see that that one issue is getting coverage from every angle, so anything I might say or link to would be redundant.)

(Un) Employment: Okay, now two people have said they want to hire me...in January. If funding for their new projects comes through. And I repeat...very flattering, but a bit speculative and no substitute for receiving paychecks in November and December.

Also, in a case of Chinese Food Confusion today, I ate half of one prospective employer's lunch, so I might have to cross him off the list anyhow.

Posted by AnneZook at 04:12 PM | Comments (5)
Rainy Day Blogging

I'm in an awfully good mood today.

It seems rather a pity to spoil it by checking the headlines and seeing what's going on in the world, but maybe the world will exceed my expectations and things will be going well?

To begin, word of mouth tells me that Ehrenreich's new book is an even worse representation of the "middle" class than her first one was of the "working poor." (I will be reading it, I just haven't read it yet.)

Me, I don't think the "middle" class is largely populated with PR people making $100-$150k a year, which is how she was presenting herself in her latest push to prove that you can't get a decent job in Amerika but whatever. She is, at the very least, a voice speaking up, loud and strong, for the majority in this country, and for that I can forgive her what I consider to be failings of methodology in her experiments. When I read interviews with her, I'm always very impressed, which is why I'm linking to this one. If I needed an excuse.

Speaking of the working poor, and going undercover to investigate their lives, take a look at this. Tom Meagher's story is here and it's a Must-Read.

I still say Congress should never get a pay raise unless the minimum wage goes up, but no one cares what I think.

I'm of two minds about whether or not senior federal executives should be awarded big bonuses as the deficit eplodes and the economy crumbles around us, but a lot of these people are career civil service...they're just people doing a job and are entitled to raises like any civilian worker. If we ask them not to take bonuses, we should expect non-government executives to show similar bouts of conscience and that's not going to happen.

If you're from Louisiana and you're rich? You can go home again.

On the topic of abusing the poor, let's turn our attention to the Bush Administration...a natural segue. Having failed to turn Saddam Hussein and Iraq into a monolithic enemy that they could battle à la the Evil Empire, they've found a different group of (brown) people they want to mold into an enemy they can rally the troops 'round (and, not incidentally, push their own criminal and ethical failings to the background).

I don't normally cite the WashTimes but "Bush vows to oust 'every single' illegal" was a headline I couldn't resist.

President Bush said yesterday that his goal is eventually to expel "every single" illegal alien from the United States as his administration pressed Congress to pass a guest-worker program.

I'm sure I don't have to explain to you that illegal aliens in this country do the jobs that most of us are too finicky to take on. Thus, they pick our crops, work in our warehouses, clean our hotel rooms, wash our restaurant dishes, and mind our children.

And I'm sure I don't have to explain to you that:

(a) A "guest worker" program big enough to process enough people to do these jobs would mean a hugely increased federal government department for dealing with them; and this is being proposed by the "smaller government" side of the political spectrum; and

(b) If we don't have "guest workers"...someone in the USofA is going to have to do these jobs. What's your guess? Pressure on welfare families to take janitorial and housekeeping jobs? Forced labor from prisoners or parolees? (A choice of "mop floors for three years or do three years of hard time>) Does the Bush Administration fantasize about emptying our ghettos into the kitchens and broom closets of America? What precisely are they thinking? Are they thinking at all? Can they think?

And, speaking of depressing, I see the Bush Administration is still at it with "yet another in a long string of crony nominations of unqualified individuals for critical positions".

Read a too-short but very thought-provoking discussion of Moral Hysteria and the Persecution of Difference?

Originally pro-war (in Iraq) "by a whisker", George Packer takes a look at what we have wrought.

For now, and into the foreseeable future, U.S. interests have been badly damaged by the fighting in Iraq. The war has been a disaster for our military, which has suffered grievous death and injury, lost a measure of its honor at Abu Ghraib and been overextended to the point where withdrawal might become necessary simply for lack of available troops.

We've done good in Iraq, haven't we? Apparently they're now Number One! The most corrupt country in the Middle East.

I know we all know that the Bush Administration has been twisting arms, offering bribes, and threatening punishment in an attempt to force the world to grant USofA soldiers immunity from any prosecution for any war crimes committed at any time in any place, right? Spain doesn't care.

Spain orders arrest of US troops

A Spanish judge has issued an international arrest order for three US soldiers over the shelling of a Baghdad hotel that killed a cameraman.

For sheer nerve, this opening paragraph takes the prize for its bland indifference to means, methods, causes, or effects:

With their backs against the wall on a series of upcoming spending votes, Republican House leaders went on the offensive yesterday, hoping to pressure Democrats to support their effort to reduce the deficit.

I'm just...speechless.

Reach for your checkbook. Your taxes may be about to skyrocket. (But, you know, not. Bush isn't popular enough in his own family these days to get something like that passed. However. For the record? I'm in favor of simplifying the tax code, starting with the myriads of deductions and exemptions offered primarily to rich people and multinational corporations.)

Rice Wants to Follow Afghan Model in Iraq Considering that Afghanistan is widely reported to be falling back under the control of factions of competing warlords, color me underwhelmed by this grand plan.

Whoosh An hour later, my good mood isn't even a memory.

I went and soothed myself with art.

Posted by AnneZook at 11:11 AM | Comments (2)
October 18, 2005
* * * * Next * * * *

Hah. Told you so.

Don't be deceived by the polls: The "median voter" is more of a liberal than you may realize.

* * * *

Okay, so Washington is on tenterhooks? It should be.

Wrapping up a two-year investigation that a growing number of legal analysts expect to yield indictments of at least one, and possibly two, of the George W. Bush administration's most powerful men as early as this week, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has Washington on pins and needles.

And I can hear the question echoing in the back of my head.... "What did the President know, and when did he know it?" (I know, I've said it before. I like that quote. I like what it represents...not about the venality of some of our elected officials but that they will wind up facing a reckoning. Unless they develop Alzheimer's or something, of course.)

* * * *

Frequently, over the past three years, someone has challenged my defense of the U.N., saying that our formation of NATO and individual alliances with favored nations provides us with the international leverage, security, and influence over world affairs, all that we need, and the U.N. is corrupt and ineffectual.

I disagree. The U.N., I insist, stands for something, for a kind of equality of international cooperation that our strong-arm NATO tactics really cannot replace.

Someone else had better words:

Straddling that question last week, I was interrupted by the voice of a 93-year-old Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, Studs Terkel, on a late evening TV news show.

When he was asked what scares him the most about the world in which we live, he essentially said that too many of us have lost our memory, which affects our collective intelligence and our sense of decency.

The creation of the United Nations 60 years ago arrived upon the memory of atrocities and destruction in world wars. Founders stretched to forge a bond of human decency between nation-states that could override war as the first solution to conflict and create a system for addressing world problems.

A bond of human decency.

* * * *

From Cursor.org, I read this:

Amid indications that 'Cheney May Be Entangled' and his 'office is a focus,' TalkLeft predicts that if a New York Daily News report of a "secret snitch" is true, "it's Karl Rove who flipped on Friday and gave up Cheney."

And you know what I think?

I think back on last week's rumor of Cheney staying out of D.C. because he's reported to have said that he's sick and tired of cleaning up Bush's messes, and I think that, yes, Rove would turn on Cheney if Cheney turned on Bush.

But I don't really believe it because nothing suggests that Cheney is an idiot and he had to know what kind of incompetent nitwits he was tangling himself up with when he signed on to this Idiot Parade. Right?

* * * *

I heard about this on NPR this morning.

A damaged, century-old dam continued to hold Tuesday as the water level behind it was reduced, but an evacuation order remained in effect and schools and highways were closed amid fears of a flood.

This is in Massachusetts.

While the Bush Administration is pushing through tax cuts for their wealthy friends, while the short-sighted and poorly educated on the Right are agitating for smaller government, doing less, this country's infrastructure is disintegrating.

The billions of dollars we've spent killing people in Iraq could have rebuilt huge chunks of our infrastructure and stimulated our economy.

* * * *

At one time, maybe even as recently as a year ago, it was almost inconceivable to think of this happening:

In the latest sign of the deepening split among conservatives over how far to go in challenging President Bush, Bruce Bartlett, a Republican commentator who has been increasingly critical of the White House, was dismissed on Monday as a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, a conservative research group based in Dallas.


Mr. Bartlett, who was a domestic policy aide at the White House in the Reagan administration and a deputy assistant Treasury secretary under the first President Bush, confirmed that he had been dismissed after 10 years with the center but declined to make any further comment.

We spend so much time talking about how the Democratic Party doesn't actually represent (real) Liberals that maybe we overlook just how far the Republican Party is these days from representing (real) Conservatives?

Well, I know I don't because I’m not Conservative myself, but I also know that I used to have a certain respect for Conservative positions on some issues, so I sympathize with those who are watching in shock and horror at the wreckage of what used to be.

* * * *

In this month's Business Travel News, I see that the TSA is going to be allowed to charge us for doing background checks on us to see if we are the kind of people the Bush Administration wants to allow to go from one place to another.

This is, you understand, just one more brick in the wall that separates the poor from the not-poor. Rich folks will sail through airports while the have-nots are degraded to hours-long waits and potentially full body scans or searches. The people who have a staff to answer their e-mail, scan their calls, pick up their dry cleaning, and screen out unwanted visitors can saunter through airports with nary a check while those mentally calculating what the extra time is going to cost them in babysitting charges or parking fees and wondering if they can afford to get an overpriced (and nasty) cup of generic airport coffee while they try desperately to check in with their offices and assure their bosses that they are not wasting company time and please don't fire them for being late are stuck standing there for hours.

And thus, with the time they save, the rich will have the leisure to make a little more money. And they'll get richer.

(Okay...it's possible I got a little carried away there.)

Anyhow. Rich people don't commit crimes and decide to hop on a plane at a moment's notice and flee the country.

And rich people aren't wingnuts with radical causes or private agendas that will not benefit the USofA public. So we're not afraid of them.

And our fight against "terror" doesn't include USofA citizens who terrorize other citizens by stealing their money anyhow, so why did I even bother to write about this story?

Anyhow. The same publication also has an article titled, "Fuel Surcharges No Deterrent To Charter Jet Demand" and man it must be nice to be rich.

At the moment I start getting cranky and feeling my Inner Wingnut fighting me for the keyboard, I always think that's the time to stop blogging for the day.


(For those following the saga and caring about it, no less than three potential employers have wistfully expressed the wish that they could afford to hire me.

Which is flattering but not particularly useful at the moment.

I have one more solid lead...to a recruiter recruiting for jobs that I could probably do but would not enjoy. It's my opinion that any job that can be done without a computer in this day and age is....well, I don't want to be insulting. So I'll say, "...is not for me.")

Posted by AnneZook at 01:27 PM | Comments (2)
October 17, 2005
Oh, be quiet.

The CNN headline says, Miers intellect praised

I'm thinking, "If she was picked for her smarts, someone would have said that in the first place" but, nooo, all we heard was, "Lookee! It's a gal!" and "Don't be scared. She loves Jesus."

Personally, I'd prefer that the highest court in our country be populated, if not with people who aren't superstitious, at least with people who are embarrassed to be superstitious and try to hide it, but whatever and I'm tired and cranky today.

Posted by AnneZook at 02:03 PM | Comments (4)