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January 14, 2011
Republican Boondoggle!

Get this:

Homeland Security chief cancels costly virtual border fence

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Friday canceled the controversial virtual fence along the U.S. border with Mexico, citing technical problems, cost overruns and schedule delays since its inception in 2005.

The Secure Border Initiative-network, a high-tech surveillance system to reduce border smuggling, so far has cost taxpayers almost $1 billion for two regions in Arizona, covering 53 miles overall on the 2,000-mile border, according to a Homeland Security report.

That's five years, and ONE BILLION DOLLARS for fifty-three of the 2,000 miles.

Bigotry is expensive.

I guess I should be grateful someone finally pulled the plug on that monstrosity but all I can think of is how much good ONE BILLION DOLLARS could have done the economy, if spent wisely over the past five years.

Well, no, that's not all I can think of. I also want to know who got the money.

Later the story talks about those drones they're setting up to start watching us all. I read a few days ago about how someplace in Florida is also planning to implement them over the city.

If I had the time and the energy, I'd be bitter about how fearmongering and paranoia are leading us ever-closer to a totalitarian state and about how bigotry kills liberty, but I don't and anyhow the people who need to be convinced don't hang out around here.

Posted by AnneZook at 04:12 PM | Comments (0)
January 12, 2011
Moderation In All Things

Just when I'm about to write Brooks off, he goes and says a lot of sensible things.

"Moderation", as he makes clear, is not the same as centrism, weakness, or ineffectualness. What our politics needs is more moderation.

To be moderate--measured and thoughtful--in one's approach to ideas and events does not preclude being passionate about one's beliefs.

Also, shut up already with blaming the Rightwingnuts for Arizona. Stories, even those that came out less than 24 hours after the shootings, make it clear that this young man was mentally ill, and has been for a very long time. As distasteful as I find the Rightwingnut rhetoric*, I have to say that rhetoric didn't make that kid sick. Those of you who jumped into the driver's seat of the Blame Wagon over the weekend should be ashamed.

Sometimes I find myself wondering--if he hadn't fixed on a political target, would he have wound up as another "school shooter"? Who would you have blamed then?

With the stories that have come out in the last 24 hours, it seems to me as though that young man had been crying out for help for a very long time. Why no one helped him get that help--we'll probably never know.

P.S. Others might make a good case of disagreeing with my stance that a sick person is not the fault of someone who never met them.

There's validity in Wright's position. Unless someone points out a specific target to a disturbed person, the disturbed person probably won't focus on that specific target. It does not follow, though, that the disturbed person won't find some other target.


*Rightwing talk radio isn't a new phenomenon and I've always thought the Lefthand side of the blogosphere had as much or more to do with its rise to prominence as anything else. If you pay attention, how can the Republican Party ignore them? If you take them seriously, why would you not expect the Right to do so?

And, yes, Palin is a fame-hungry ignoramus. So what? Don't feed the animals. You also empower her with your attention and your vitriol. Just ignore her. Trust me, she doesn't have the staying power to be a problem in the long term. The more the Left talks about her, the longer her quasi-political 'life' will last.

Posted by AnneZook at 12:49 PM | Comments (3)