Thursday, July 29, 2004

The Blogs Keep On Comin'
I've added a link to In Perpetual Thought Jo on the side bar, another great blog in this ever-expanding universe of weblogs. And I'm not just saying that 'cause she's family! Go check it out. No, really, right now!

DNC Thoughts....
The running theme of unity versus division is a good one, and is the best "pre-emptive" strategy since the DNC comes before the Republican convention. Many folks have been praising Barak Obama and calling him the next rising star within the Democratic party, and he definitely delivered. Clinton remains the Big Dog, however, and his speech Monday night only underscored his "rock star" power. Poise, charisma, intelligence and the ability to work a crowd........these traits are possessed by a few, and you can see why he stirs up so much ill feelings within the Republicans: I think that they truly envy him! I met him once during the 1998 Florida wildfires, when he made a trip to the Daytona Beach Speedway to speak to firefighters. Before he made his appearance in a small tent, many firefighters milled around, discussing Monica-gate (remember when our great national scandal revolved around sex and not inappropriate wars?). Many of the female HotShots were mad as hell with him, talking about betrayal of the marriage, etc. Then Clinton made his appearance, and I'm telling you, he worked that tent effortlessly, without teleprompters, and really won over the crowd. These same female firefighters were then clamoring to get their picture taken next to him. Amazing. Rock star indeed.

Friday, July 23, 2004

THEY Are Among Us.......
One of the most absurd things to come out of our fevered paranoia in the post-9/11 world was to actually encourage citizens to ferret out suspicious activity and report it to the proper authorities. Now, while it may be a good idea to watch out for people loading missle launchers onto a boat, the actual chance of any of us witnessing such an act is remote. The chance that we will all fall into a crazed stereotyping is good, however. Annie Jacobsen's account of her flight to Los Angeles with "terrorists on a dry run" gives us an example. Her "terrorists" turned out to be Syrian musicians. Go and read what David Neiwert has to say about this....it's very good.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Simple Choices......
I've heard Dubya keep repeating that same phrase "take the word of a madman or defend America" as his justification to head into Iraq while al Quaeda was hiding in the hills of Pakistan. One of the things that has always bothered me about Dubya is his penchant for oversimplification.....his world truly is black and white, and perhaps that is why many voters still support him to this day. This bothers Matthew Rothschild as well, and he has written a a good piece shattering the myth of Dubya's black/white choice:

"Bush keeps defending the indefensible: His reckless, illegal war against Iraq.

In his speech at Oak Ridge, he repeated one of his favorite lines: "I had a choice to make: Either take the word of a madman, or defend America."

But that was not the choice he had to make.

Though Saddam was still playing games with the U.N. weapons inspectors, they were allowed to go anywhere and everywhere in Iraq. This was the most intrusive inspection effort of all time, and Bush refused to let it proceed and refused to believe what the weapons inspectors were telling him.

On top of that, the United States, Germany, and Russia were able to fly spy planes over every square inch of Iraqi territory.

So, no, Bush didn't have to take the word of a madman.

He could have taken the word of the U.N. weapons inspectors, but he chose not to."


Instead, he chose to plunge into war for ulterior motives. Some were petty (to get back at Saddam for allegedly trying to kill his daddy, or to clear up the blemish on daddy's record for not "finishing the job" and going to Baghdad). Some were about oil: controlling it, and letting U.S. companies get their hands on it. Some were about geopolitics: hedging a bet against an unstable Saudi Arabia, and eliminating a foe of Israel.

But Bush never has spoken honestly about these motives, and his speech at Oak Ridge was no exception.

Back in the buildup to the war, anyone who dared voice their objection based on what many perceived as flimsy evidence of WMD, or even why we were looking at Iraq when bin Laden was still hauling his tired carcass around the foothills of Pakistan, were vilifed and branded as traitors.......in that atmosphere, dissenting voices were not heard in the loud drumbeat of war.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Noam is in the House....
I've added the weblog of Noam Chomsky, the amazing historian and linguist, to the list on the right....go check him out at Turning the Tide.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Pay No Attention to that Veep Selection!
The Democratic Presidential ticket got a nice bump in the polls with the selection of Edwards, so....it's time to scare the crap out of us again! Enter Tom Ridge with a scary (but vague) threat to our lives:

"Al-Qaeda is aiming to attack the US to try to undermine the presidential election in November, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge has warned.

There were credible reports that the terror group was moving ahead with plans to "disrupt our democratic process," Mr Ridge told reporters."

Holy crap!! Well, if Tom Ridge has called this press conference, he will give us some specific details, right? Where will this happen, when and how?

"The intelligence agencies were actively working on finding out exactly where, when and how an attack might happen."

Uhhh....OK, well at least the terror alert level will be raised, right??

"But the US would not be raising its level of terror alert, Mr Ridge said."


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