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All content © 2002-2005 Anne Zook

January 12, 2006
Do you even notice when I'm gone?

Sorry for the unexpected silence. I had the chance to do some more temp work this week, but it's nothing computer-related, so I'm not on-line during the days.

So, what kinds of things are hitting the headlines these days?

Newsweek is wondering, "have we learned anything from the Alito hearings?" And they're pretty much concluding, "no, nothing new." It could have been an interesting discussion of "the system" had they not decided to focus on Mrs. Alito's brief show of emotion one day instead of, oh, I don't know, the topic at hand? Sometimes I really wonder why I have some of these trash sites bookmarked.

For the record, the NYTimes editorial disagrees and says the hearings have been full of excitement.

I think Ruth Conniff is right Roe V. Wade is disturbing enough, but what does he think about the increasingingly paranoid and imperial Bush Administration?

_____________

If anyone still cares about abused and tortured prisoners at Abu Ghraib and (possibly) Guantanamo, they might care about this WaPo story.

Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller, a central figure in the U.S. detainee-abuse scandal, this week invoked his right not to incriminate himself in court-martial proceedings against two soldiers accused of using dogs to intimidate captives at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, according to lawyers involved in the case.

Miller was a pretty central figure in what happened at both prisons. If he's taking the Fifth.... (To be clear, his lawyer says he's just refusing to answer questions he's answered a lot of times before already, but there's nothing in the law that says you don't have to answer the same question more than once, so that's pretty lame. I wonder if it has anything to do with this:

Miller's decision came shortly after Col. Thomas M. Pappas, the commanding officer at Abu Ghraib, accepted immunity from prosecution this week and was ordered to testify at upcoming courts-martial. Pappas, a military intelligence officer, could be asked to detail high-level policies relating to the treatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib.

The Big Boss cut a deal? Doesn't sound good.

In the meantime, the military is moving ahead with plans to build a permanent prison at Gitmo, so I guess we know what the military thinks of the chance of those people getting any kind of hearing or trial.

And it seems that Amnesty International wants us all to know that the abuse goes on.

_____________


What else? Well, Pat Robertson opened his mouth again, something that always leads to disaster. And now he's apologizing again. I mention this because I think it's dangerous to forget that there are some rather influential and unsavory people who would really, really, really like to see us involved in a religious war in the Middle East.

_____________


The political party that pretends to stand for small government and cutbacks in government spending is presiding over a record-breaking budget for 2006. The $400 billion in deficit spending is being blamed on Hurricane Katrina. ($400 billion. That number is familiar. How much are we spending in Iraq, again?)

The deputy director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, Joel Kaplan, said White House officials believed that by sticking to Bush's economic policies and spending restraint "we will return to our downward trajectory and remain on (a) path to cut the deficit in half by 2009."

Shorter: "There will be a huge improvement, we promise, as soon as Bush and Cheny are out of office!"

I had a lot to say about that "spending restraint" remark but every sentence I started led to language my mother won't let me use, so I'm going to move on.

_____________


Unable to shove drilling for oil in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge down the country's throat, the government has, instead, slipped a sneaky approval for drilling for oil & gas in the Teshekpuk Lake area past us. An area so fragile and so worth preserving that James Watt, a man who never saw a greenbelt he didn't want to put an oil rig on, designated as protected?

Pipelines must be seven feet high, at least initially, to allow caribou and hunters to pass beneath.

Later, of course, they hope the caribou just learn to duck.

_____________


My Lai, Colin Powell, and the real heros.

And Hugh Thompson again.

I'll confess, I read Powell's name when I read up on My Lai several years ago. But I also thought...I don't know. I thought it was the kind of mistake that could happen. That he'd been na´ve or something. It wasn't until I saw what he was willing to do while serving the Bush Administration that I realized just how political he's always been.

_____________


Molly Ivins says...well, just go read it.

_____________


And last, but certainly not least, Hitchcock was right. The Birds were after us.

_____________


Wow. Lots happens when I turn my back for a few days.

Posted by AnneZook at 05:14 PM | Comments (2)