Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Is Bush and company pursuing a Wag the Puppy strategy. Having talk about the upcoming war drown out any attention paid to the economy and budget mess?
Good NY Times opinion, free registration required, about the stupid fuss being made over requiring incoming freshman to read about the Koran.
Writer points out his daughter had required English reading on sections of the Bible this summer.

"A monolithic framework does not create a critical mind," remarked the religious philosopher David Hartman. "Where there is only one self-evident truth, nothing ever gets challenged and no sparks of creativity ever get generated. The strength of America has always been its ability to challenge its own truths by presenting alternative possibilities. That forces you to justify your own ideas, and that competition of ideas is what creates excellence."

Scott Rosenberg further makes my case. Yes, we want Saddam gone, but what is there to justify massive military intervention now?

One main thing is technological advances. True, Saddam is likely to have effective Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD's) relatively soon so it could be we should deal with him very soon. The other hand is every country in the world and every terrorist group with over a million dollars can have access to that capability fairly soon. On the gripping hand, I don't think the Bush team is smart enough to evolve whatever kind of doctrine that is needed to protect the American people. Maybe Lexx is right, we are a type 13 planet species doomed to near term extinction.

Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Tara Sue Grubb is my kind of Libertarian candidate. Smart, heart in the right place and running against a corporate Republican dinosaur. It is also nice she has no Democrat opponent. ;-)
"Bush's administration has squandered a budget surplus, left the economy adrift, had some of its biggest campaign contributors plead guilty to corporate fraud and handled the war on terrorism so ineptly that the United States finds itself with little support in the world despite being horrifically attacked less than a year ago." James Carville in Bentonville, Arkansas.
He also said that a Democrat who "runs the type of campaign that lets you get run over by the Republicans, the type of campaign dictated by the elite Democrats in the Georgetown and Bethesda crowd, is going to get beat."
There have been recent hate attacks on the National Education Association by the usual rabid right dogs. The object of the ire was educational material they prepared for teachers on how to talk about the 9/11 attack. In the 20 or more links they seized on one that said teachers should avoid suggesting that all Arab-Americans are to blame for the attacks. Hunh? This is not a good thing?

Somehow in the last couple of weeks I have listened to Rush and O'Reilly a couple of times for a few minutes and find I have to turn it off for being too ludicrous. Rush starting attacking some Indiana worker who complained he was forty years old and couldn't find a job paying $10 an hour. (Indiana has lost most of it's good paying blue collar jobs. Related article on Indiana education and job issues here.) O'Reilly incensed that a college was requiring incoming freshman to read a book on Arabs and Islam. Of course, I imagine that Rush and O'Reilly would naturally oppose education and reading, they would lose their audience.
Alan Hale, co-discoverer of comet Hale-Bopp, is mad that an op-ed peice he wrote did not run in his newspaper. I think the paper is within its rights to run whatever the hell it wants to run. But I do very much like Hale's opinion on Bush.
While we all wish Iraq had a new government there is no "clear and present danger". The reasons Cheney gave for attacking Iraq apply to between 5 and 80 other countries as Saletan in Slate points out.
Indian Opinion about the US and Iraq I do not agree with it but seems to be the common opinion.
Current American politics. I am not crazy about his title "24 Ways Republicans Lie" because this is simply the current American political process but Republicans are better at it.
Bush considering assassination squads. Interesting that the reuters version of this article disappeared from U.S. sites. Their is a minor technical error in the article. The U.S. Army Rangers also have assassination squads. My nephew requested a transfer when he was asked to take that special training. He's still a Ranger, just not an assassin.
Two recent television heroes.

"We have a mindless boy right now with the most powerful job in the world. And that is perilous. We have an attorney general who is like the guy Arthur Miller described in "The Crucible" in Salem, Massachusetts, 300 years ago, who urges people to spy on other people, witchcraft, and all women are hanged. So we have this.

So am I being subversive now? Because we were told, to criticize George Bush now, in view of 9/11, is un-American. I'm very un-American in that respect. Except that I’m really American.

Because we were founded with the idea of somebody being free. That's the idea of Thomas Paine. He was the one who was admired by Washington and Jefferson. And he wrote of a new society-we never had one-in which a person speaks his mind of his public servant.

Bush is my public servant and yours. Does something wrong, you must speak out. It’s not simply your right, it’s your duty to do so. And I speak my mind right now. And that’s American.

I really feel there's a new silent majority that may agree with me to some extent, and that’s to you. There’s a new silent majority, if I may use a Nixonian phrase..." Studs Terkel

James Carville
, the other hero, literally exploded when a right wing guest said that all of Islam is evil.

"...people in these mosques in these countries that are praying, that are working, that are good Americans, that pay taxes here. They're not evil people. They're good people. And for you to suggest that and Franklin Graham to suggest that is just wrong, god damn it, it is wrong. "

Both from weblog commentator's site BuzzFlash.
"Wouldn't it be nice if just once, on some issue, the Bush administration came up with a plan that didn't involve weakened environmental protection, financial breaks for wealthy individuals and corporations and reduced public oversight?"

Bush recently announced plan to prevent forest fires is to blame the environmentalists for starting them and give government subsidies to corporations to cut the underbrush while also letting them cut more mature trees. This would be run the US Forest Service which is effectively run by the logging industry while pretending to be a government bureau. NY Times.
I have been reconsidering my position on this coming Iraq war.

I'm not sure why, it seems pretty clear that we either have no reason or pretty flimsy reasons why we should start a war. The US shouldn't start wars.
But if I would like to see Saddam Hussein gone, like about every other American, and I could be willing to use our military to do it.

Maybe I am becoming another Wimps on Iraq. NY Times registration required.

Saturday, August 24, 2002


Operation Tips: American Citizens Stopping Evil-doers
Camps for Citizens: Ashcroft's Hellish Vision

"Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft's announced desire for camps for U.S. citizens he deems to be "enemy combatants" has moved him from merely being a political embarrassment to being a constitutional menace."

"Every generation has its test of principle in which people of good faith can no longer remain silent in the face of authoritarian ambition. If we cannot join together to fight the abomination of American camps, we have already lost what we are defending."

Yeah, I thought this was important enough to repeat.

Thursday, August 22, 2002

"My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building."

-Ann Coulter in an interview with the New York Observer.
She has a number one book out. It also is filled with outrageous lies. Despite that she is invited on show after show. Can someone whisper "right-wing media bias"?

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Someone besides me is pointing out that Bush is very populist on photo opportunitites while squeezing the programs that helped the people in his photo opportunities. NY Times (free registration required).
Bush in Florida is doing what Bush in Washington is doing about water pollution. Redefine pollution so no business has to stop doing it and no one has to clean it up.

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

We'd better speak up now -- before, not after, the body bags start arriving.

Marc Cooper is complaining about the Democrats not objecting to the coming war with Iraq.
He managed to be in Iraq shortly before the last war and notes the "sheer and sinister megalomaniacal evil" that pervades the country. But he felt that war was unjustified and this coming war is even less justified.

During Iraq War 1, I was deeply troubled but supported it because the world should not permit invasions of other countries and doing nothing when Iraq took Kuwait would be a terrible precedent.

This time there is no strong case other than the evolving doctrine of Pax Americana.

"We don't like you. We are the World Empire. No one can stop us from destroying Evil around the world."

I have no problem opposing this war.

Monday, August 19, 2002

The Supreme Court ruled in 1939 that the Second Amendment provides a constitutional right for arms for militias, not individuals. The amendment in whole reads "A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." Why do whacko's not understand that? There was a good reason for their ruling too. Criminals after World War 1 were outgunning the police with automatic weapons, armor piercing munitions, and other high technology.
NY Times (need to register) - Interesting, the Republican majority of Supreme Court justices rejects as ''ahistorical literalism" a plain reading of the Constitution.

There is also opinion that Daddy Bush used Scowcroft to send Junior a message that Junior is going about the coming 2nd Iraqi War wrong.
A Republican congressman was illegally trying to influence the Taliban before 9/11. "Federal law – commonly referred to as the Logan Act -- makes it a felony for a citizen to negotiate with any foreign government or agent of a foreign government with the intent to influence the conduct of that foreign government." Probably as a good Republican Rohrabacher must have felt at home with the Taliban and so just offered advice as a friend.
Ashcroft is a constitutional menace. He now wants to strip US citizens of their rights and place them in internment camps.
Be careful of winning a civil rights case, the IRS may take more than you win.

Saturday, August 17, 2002

"I have friends who are more libertarian. I am moderate in that I think
government is necessary and even good as long as checks and balances
evolve. Lebanon and Somalia are examples are what happens when you
have no government, you get rule by gangs instead.

I am further to the left economically, more than years ago, as I have
experience with corporations and am familiar with history.
Corporations serve their owners interests and unchecked can result in
loss of liberty.

Maybe I am more a "check and balance" guy who isn't described properly
by anything I've seen

I did notice that Political Compass was a British site. I score 80% personal
self-government and 40% economic self-government" here
- My reply to a comment on political links on this blog.

"Hayek would have us all so concerned about the government
making us serfs that we would willingly enserf ourselves to private capital
just to avoid it.

I'd rather eliminate serfdom. Of course some people would not want that to
be possible ..." - B. Ross Ashley in the sff.people.elizabeth-moon newsgroup

I agree with the above and think Hayek ignores the loss of liberty caused by corporations.

Thursday, August 15, 2002

I think Paglia, here on Andrew Sullivan, is almost a nut case, but a fascinating, intelligent nut case. I do find myself agreeing with her at times.

Here she is on the current Middle East conflict: "World Islam, it has become clear, is a totalizing creed that, whatever its spiritual beauties, invades politics and stifles dissent."

I would have to add to that American Christian fundamentalism and Mormonism. This is due to the authoritarian nature of their belief structures. Don't worry, I'll also add elements of Catholicism and Judaism so I can be an equal opportunity offender.

Libertarian Harry Browne has some very good points to make in his commentary.

Why is Bush going after Iraq now and is Bush fit to be president?

True or False?

Well-organized ideologues of the extreme right are far more numerous, have far more access to money, and are far more single-minded than their left-wing bogeymen.

It is impossible not to laugh when you hear claims of "left-wing media bias".

Are you a true American?

I have to answer all of these true.

This is a blog that links to and from my Easter Lemming Notebook.