Thursday, September 23
Thursday, September 16
It ain't the way thatcha do it, in fact; it is whatcha do.
"Consider the source" is probably what we'll hear about the latest bleak assessment of where our Mess O'Potamia is headed. Apostropher's right; everybody tried to tell the Administration where it was headed before the shooting started. But hey, the majority rules, right? All the polls said support for the war was over 50%, which is a higher number than any Presidential candidate has gotten on Election Day since 1988. And make no mistake, 43 learned the lesson of 41; if you gain tremendous support after a military success and the economy is circling the bowl, the only way to stay on top is to keep fighting. Hell, isn't that pretty much how Rome built her empire?
So, under the simple schoolyard dogma that it's easier to get forgiveness than permission, the hawks (whatever their affiliations) decided to just go for it, and devil take the hindmost. And every step of the way we've blared our own horn about bringing Democracy and Liberty to benighted corners of the globe. What kind of image are we giving Democracy? In a democracy, whenever a majority can be cobbled together to commit any old global crime, the whole damn population can sit around and wring their hands after without blame -- as if the possibility that maybe we'll fire the guy who did it at some point in the future means the crime doesn't matter. It does.
If Benito Mussolini preferred fifty thousand rifles to fifty thousand votes, that's because he understood that on the stage of history, rifles get clearer results. The Iraq adventure has written the lead for the first quarter (at least) of the new century, and there's nothing about how cool our Constitutional government is.
Thursday, September 9
Congrats to the late shift at AmericaBlog for seeing the new journalism in real time. There's more than one way to skin a cat, though -- and look who's holding the knife!
Developing story, indeed -- or shall we say "evolving"? There are more links coming below.
Some say the left needs to engage a "rapid response" on emerging issues. Hell, I say it myself (more colorfully I hope). But he said/she said is the problem. For about ten minutes the media actually had to say, in black & white, that "President Bush failed to carry out a direct order from his superior"... now it's back to leading with "Democrats pounced". Umm, okay, but isn't that dog-bites-man in this age of the permanent campaign?
Yes, when a politician gets caught lying and teaching others to lie for him, his opponents get a bit riled up. But why does everyone insist on equivalence as "balance"? The worst accusation against Kerry, from an affadavit whose contents have been widely contradicted by people who signed it themselves, is that he didn't stick around in Vietnam long enough to save more lives; Bush has been confronted with written orders, and can't demonstrate that his orders were carried out by him or countermanded by others.
Equivalence creates "balance" by weighing the degrees of relationship between the two accusing organizations and their respective standard-bearers, but doesn't address the question of evidence at all, or even the nature of the allegations. And that's where the big-M Media get their easy, safe response. That's why they always return to equivalence -- because otherwise they might have to say something that some noticeable portion of their audience doesn't want to hear.
Monday, September 6
The Ownership Society
Actually, ownership is a big deal for preserving the middle class in a consumer economy. If multinationals keep shipping the jobs overseas until there's nothing to do but sell things to each other at Sprawl-Mart, how long will the workers making things overseas keep shipping stuff for us to consume? It's perfectly good stuff, why shouldn't they just keep it?
If the ownership of the multinationals is sufficiently diffused among us, we'll have to remain a market because we own the factory. There are some sorta scary implications in all this which I'm not smart enough to grasp, but the argument was made (IIRC) in The Atlantic a few months back.
Anyhow I suspect this lingers somewhere in the long-term view of the GOP (to the extent they have one). How it applies to health-care & such is beyond me.
I suspect what Bush proposes is essentially to privatize the financial assets held by the U.S. Government by dumping them into HSA's and other accounts where they will carry the name of an actual citizen but be controlled by some manager somewhere and invested in corporations that dick citizens over and sell us shoddy goods.
To assume that Bush is talking only about tax shelters for rich people could be dangerous. Rich people are voting for him anyway. He's talking to people who hope that his plan will make them rich. That's going to take some actual debunking.