September 24, 2005 § Leave a comment
I’ve got it, thanks to Juan Cole and Billmon and lots of confusion..
We have to get out of Iraq. The reason is that other wise this administration will keep escalating, and the end of that is Iran, Cuba or Venezuela, and tactical nuclear weapons. The administration is in a no win situation. We might think they would try to get out of it, but no, ego and success are too attractive. The course of madness. Like Hitler , or Napoleon, going to Russia.
The choice is not withdrawal and lick our wounds with a civil war in Iraq vs stying the course to a semi-democratic Iraq. the choice is between withdrawal with civil war mi Iraq, or not withdrawing and escalation to ever higher levels of lying, national security imposing a military like mindedness, and living with a sad defeated man in the white house.
The civil resistance that needs to emerge is here, and every legal means must be tried to remove this president. Or soon the folks who want a job in the new national security administration will find ways to fight the civil minded progressives. There are enough nuts on both sides to make this all too easy.
September 24, 2005 § Leave a comment
Here is the core of the emotional problem: not only is this bad, but it looks bad. The administration does not seem to notice, lacking elementary sympathy. This lack of ethical leadership undermines the country’s self esteem, and vastly undermines the perception of the US from abroad. It undermines the core logic of the cration of the country – to avoid tyrrany.
Abdul Amir Younes Hussein Not Charged 5 Months LaterArianna Huffington explores the case of CBS cameraman Abdul Amir Younes Hussein, who was detained by the US military after a car bombing in Mosul over 5 months ago. The US military maintains that he had a connection to the guerrilla movement. That may or may not be, but we cannot know unless he is charged, indicted and tried. The Pentagon is refusing to bring him to any kind of trial or even reveal the charges against him. He was briefly turned over to an Iraqi court, which did not find enough evidence to prosecute him. But then the US military reasserted its jurisdiction over him.The severe weakening of the Bill of Rights under the Bush administration is a more fateful policy than the Iraq War or dealing with the hurricanes. The Republic can survive those disasters. The Republic cannot survive if its very foundation, the Constitution, is undermined. Bush has been kicking the pillars out from under it assiduously for nearly 5 years now, and soon nothing will be left but the imperial presidency. Even if Hussein is not a US citizen, it is un-American to hold him forever with no formal charges or trial.
September 23, 2005 § Leave a comment
Katrina/Rita like an accident to the body, reveal underlying realities that usually stay hidden. The blackness in the lungs of a smoker are covered by healthy skin and only revealed in surgery or autopsy.
Have you thought about the way K/R is a communications/automobile event? Without the info and the mobility, this would seem really different. How could such a storm play in the 18th or 19th century for the fewer who lived along the gulf coast? The ability of a million or so people to flee something that hasn’t happened yet is new. how much is the whole a self reinforcing event. Cars allow for the mobility. The cars require the gasoline, the refining requires people..
So, allowing us to go a bit deeper, and maybe here crossing political lines, I read the following about the state of the country through the personality of the leader we allowed to be chosen. I don’t think this writing could have happened pre K/R.
“He has no heart, no human feelings for other human beings. It never grew in. It’s twelve sizes too small. Alone on the stage in his mind, everyone else and everything else are props in a lifelong play about him, only him. He’s the only real person in the world. And so he plays with real people like boys play with little green soldiers, crashing waves of men upon one another, and making explosions with their mouths and minds.
The extent of the damage done in his childhood and young adult life is right there in his frightened eyes, in his twitchy and tumbling gait and manner, in his total inability to genuinely work, to accept criticism, to abide stress, to hear bad news, or to show mercy. It’s right there in his need for constant praise and agreement, in his view of himself as God’s Agent, in the way he confuses himself with America.
Bush is stuck in his ‘adjustment’ phase, still running from his wounds, still lashing out in pain of them. He hates himself, and the absentee father and cruel mother who built his hellish inner life. But he very likely will be stuck there all of his life, since he shows no inclination to take his inner life for himself and do something about it.
Well. I’m sorry about that, but that is his concern, and his family’s.
Our concern is that he is not in control of himself while he is largely in control of our country. What harm he does to our nation while he plays with soldiers and follows the scripts put in front of him by his handlers is amusement to Bush; it is of no real interest or concern to him. It is to us.
That country he’s set fire to? That’s the one we were going to give to our kids.
Bush has long been described as a dry drunk. Now the Enquirer pegs him as a wet drunk. What a dumbed down question. Wet or dry — it doesn’t matter in the least. What matters is the drunk part of the phrase.
A drunk is a person who flees immediate reality because they find it too painful to abide. Whether they flee by chemical means — or by a contrived structure of mental, emotional, social, religious and physical supports that let them live in fantasy — is entirely incidental and secondary. Make a wet drunk dry or make a dry drunk wet — you’ve still done nothing about the drunk. You haven’t touched the crippled part, and you haven’t put them in charge of their own inner life.
You’ve labeled them wet or dry, clucked over them a bit, and left them acting out and avoiding their windowless room. In Bush’s case, acting out on a world stage. Literally, he’ll start a nuclear war rather than examine himself.
Being a drunk is a lizard brain condition, a fight or flight response that takes place before any higher thought. Those responses erupt first. Mr. Bush is on some good meds to keep his underlying fears and angers within respectable parameters consistent with living in thousand dollars suits and oval shaped offices, but the demons are there in his face for all of us to see.
He cannot function ‘as is’ in any serious capacity. He can pretend to work, if he is kept on meds and living in a bubble of praise and good news only. But problems in our nation have gone beyond having someone pretend to work on them. Our house is on fire, where it isn’t flooded or fallen down. There are roaches crawling out from under the desks in our Congress. There are thousands upon thousands of cripples being flown home after dark and squirreled away in hospital wards where reporters aren’t allowed to hear them adjusting to their room at the end of the world.
Our nation is in a dance of death with a madman. Just as the high court of King Louis at Versailles held fanciful balls far into the night while hundreds of thousands starved in the villages of France, King George is acting out his hatred and fear and loathing for himself, his father and his mother with our young men and women in Iraq.
Bush will invade Syria and Iran next, if he is not stopped by his handlers or others — it won’t be his choice not to nuke them. He’ll have to be stopped or talked out of it. He is acting out his rage and fear upon a world stage, and we are all helping him do it by pretending he is up in the polls or down in the polls week by week, or he is a wet drunk or a dry drunk today, or he is a lame duck or a strong leader with a mandate this year.
As if his fantasy world were our real world, too. At this rate we will be posting the body count from Tal Afar on the evening news right beside a graph of how many shots Bush downed between breakfast and lunch. Some will cheer him on and some will say tsk tsk, and the game will go on to its merry end.
There is only death and destruction and misery and hunger and poverty and pain and sorrow down the road Mr. Bush is walking on. He is making a room at the end of the world for each one of us.”
Think of the kinds of conversations we have if we are traveling say in Italy or Scotland, about the US. Think of the value of the dollar. Think about the skew in economic benefits of living in the US. Think about the stupidity of the war in Iraq ( I was a wait for Hans Blix guy a year before the war), and harder think of the US policy toward Latin America, the fact that when the Mayflower dropped off the pilgrims it went to Africa to pick up slaves, that early Americans couldn’t see that the Indians had a relationship with the land, and the fact that we have become a one dollar one vote society, turning citizens into consumers.
I am saddened this morning by conversations with the three sets of friends of a friend who live in Houston all of whom have great financially rewarding “important” jobs in the technology and medical worlds there, reduced to tears, fear and the feeling they have of having chosen a false life.
September 17, 2005 § Leave a comment
back into the agenda. The south asian Tsunami began that process, but to the exttent we could live in an american bubble about ourselves, it was them. Now it is more us, and the comparisons to the third world is also making an equation: policy creates poor world wide, and we have lots of work to do.
The Heritage report is an accute symptom of a lack of a social contract among much of america’s leadership.
September 15, 2005 § Leave a comment
The pres has spoken. Problems are cost and beneficiaries.
For me I find his presentation scary. He smiles after getting off a sentence, saying an interesting if totally conventional idea, and of course his direct gaze is to the teleprompter so he can read the lines he never could have writ. Remind anyone again of the wizard of oz? It is particularly scary because of the Roberts appearance in the Senate Judiciary. Apparently smart – but no trace of brilliance or wit, irony or self reflection( the kind that made Oppenhiemer so often going “hmm” after one of his own sentences came full of ballet grace into the world.)
Is robert a real person? I swear he looks like Ken grown up and a little heavier. Or with that makeup weird texture that reminds me of a wax museum.
He is either good and independent, believing tin the law, will be a Cjief Jusice who, eye on the history of the law, will render wonderful thoughtful decisions. Montesquieu’ important book was “the spirit of the laws”. It requires more than cold logic.
Or is he a careerist who will do wat ever it takes?
Or does he like working for power and will align himself with the club?
Or worse, is a he a stealth justice, beholden to Bush and Cheney, and a complete self imposed slave?
No real record, no opinions, no articles – for Chief Justice? I hope he is ok, but Bush has made mediocre appointments, men of little talent but countryclub manners.
So Katrina, after the speech, issues…..?
September 12, 2005 § Leave a comment
Summarizing for a moment, I think that about Katrina we are facing three critical issues
- first, how different should the new New Orleans be?
- Second, what happens to the people who used to live there ?
- Third, the implications for American politics ?
There certainly are other issues so this list of three is supposed to be helpful, not limiting.
September 11, 2005 § Leave a comment
I think this president already has those political controversies. I think what it suggests is that we all must work really hard now to find a solution. This is made especially hard because the democrats are not presenting in any kind of coherent alternative , and many of them share the same problems. We really have a crony republican party that supports bush and a moderate republican party that is mostly pro business and has no agenda for supporting the bottom half of the population . That makes it the resurgence of a responsible American party very difficult but with the press willing to play on issues, such as the new Newsweek and the new time, being so critical of bush, seem willing to do , and of the poll results showing such a disaffection with bush , there are possibilities.
It is hard to see why there is no politics that is both pro business , and pro people. My own view is that given the nature of the world now , a good business environment means high tech and lots of regulation that protects the environment. I would think that technically inclined would be attracted by this agenda , but where is the politics for this obvious path?