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June 30, 2004

Powell Threatening Sudan with UN Sanctions - Oh the Fear!!!

Colin Powell today threatened the Sudan with UN sanctions if it does not "crack down on Arab militias whose actions he said were approaching genocide against African villagers in the western Darfur region".

Yawn. How many times is the West going to go down this same road so we can pat ourselves on the back and say that we did something and feel good about our empty rhetoric while thousands, tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of people are killed? The administration needs to be doing a hell of a lot more than threatening UN sanctions. After Iraq, will there ever be a country that will take them seriously?

As a sidenote, a friend of mine the other day didn't even know where Darfur was let alone what was going on. I was surprised so I decided to do an informal poll of other liberal friends of mine (ones that I would categorize as liberal) to find out what people thought about what was going on in Darfur. 13 of 15 had no idea. The other two had heard something about it but couldn't tell me what was going on. So I asked 8 conservatives about Darfur and 7 of the 8 knew what was going on and had very strong opinions. I guess the left only cares if its the US killing people. Who cares about real ethnic cleansing (our new PC term for genocides that are not quite genocides).

05:12 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack

All in the family at the UN

Wonderful tongue-in-cheek depiction of the UN family of nations by Claudia Rosett. Actually, it would be pretty funny if the facts were not so pathetic.

08:17 AM in Liberal International Democracy | Permalink | TrackBack

June 29, 2004

Michael Moore Will Sue for Libel

Given the supposed liberal use of fact (or lack thereof) in Michael Moore's latest movie, expect someone to take Michael Moore on regarding his threat to sue critics for libel. Given the difficulty to win a libel suit, this would probably provide manna from heaven for those people who would like to confront Moore publically over his selective use of reality. I doubt he'd be dumb enough to fall for the bait, but who knows. Definitely be fun public theatre if nothing else. Maybe Moore will start with Michael Moore is a Big Fat Stupid White Man.

09:23 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

Hillary Clinton Needs to Pick up a tip or two from Bill

Can anyone ever see Bill Clinton saying something like this: "We're saying that for America to get back on track, we're probably going to cut that short and not give it to you. We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good." Talk about handing Rove a sound bite on a silver platter - expect an ad or two to focus on these words of Hillary's "as the voice of the left..."

09:13 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack

More Harsh Words on Kerry and his Union Mistake

Mitt Romney wasted no time standing in for Kerry at the recent Mayoral conference. As I commented previously, Kerry made a mistake by refusing to attend the conference because he would not cross a picket line that may not even have been a picket line. Romney was invited by the Democratic mayor, Thomas M. Menino, to replace Kerry and Romney wasted no time in letting the delegates know what he thought.

"A mayor, a governor and a president have a responsibility to make tough decisions and balance budgets. A senator doesn't, and that's a big difference. Senators don't have to balance budgets. Senators don't have to make those kinds of trade-offs. That's what the mayor has to do, and that's why I want to be here for him."

09:07 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

Things quieter with the French? Yea right.

Pundits all over have been saying the US and France had been papering over their differences. The latest spat over Turkey should put that to rest.

In an address at Istanbul university, Bush refused to back down in the face of Chirac's criticism that Bush had no business urging the EU to set a date for Turkey to start entry talks into the union.

He said that Turkey was moving rapidly to meet the criteria for EU membership.

"America believes that as a European power, Turkey belongs in the European Union," Bush said.

Given that the French have been against Turkey inclusion in the EU for a number of reasons, this should give rest to any ideas that the US are allies on their way to rapproachment. The US and the French have never been particularly close allies since World War II and they are only going to grow further apart.

Another separate incident in Turkey displays how allies do behave. At the exact moment of the Iraqi power turnover, Bush looked at his watch, gave a smile and then turned to Tony Blair who also smiled and then they both shook hands and clapped their backs. Of course, at the time, nobody understood what was going on but there was something about that momment that spoke volumes about the relationship between a real ally.

04:59 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

A Tale of the Reviews

Hilarious juxtaposition of reviewers comments on 9/11 and the Passion. Interesting how they praise Moore for the same reasons they denigrated Gibson.

04:40 PM in 2004 Election | Permalink | TrackBack

The Man is a Devil

I used to be a pretty heavy-duty liberal 10 years ago. In addition to organizing marches for homelessness issues, I participated in quite a few protests against the 1st gulf war. Somewhere between then and now I found myself turning against liberalism. I definitely have not become a hard core conservative - I still find myself about in the middle on a lot of things, however, this oped by William Rasberry displays in all its glory why I now find the liberal ethos and rhetoric so distasteful.

But why did the mostly liberal crowd at last week's Washington premiere -- people who like to think of themselves as thoughtful and fair-minded -- applaud so unrestrainedly?

They applauded, I suspect, for much the same reason so many members of the black Christian middle-class applaud the harangues of Black Muslim minister Louis Farrakhan. Some of his facts may be wrong and some of his connections strained, but his attitude is right. What's more, he'll say in plain language what nice, educated people cannot bring themselves to say: The man is a devil.

The belief in their self-righteousness and sincerity really strikes me as quite similar to the religious fervor that I find so frightening on the right side of the aisle. What Rasberry describes is not very dissimilar. In essence, facts and reality are not important as long as a person's "attitude" is correct when fighting the "devil." Isn't that the attitude my most liberal friends harangue when it comes to the attitudes of the religious believers they criticize so mercilessly and often?

Good lord! Is there nobody sane left in this country's political debate or has everyone turned into glaze- eyed zombies who simply march to the tune their ideology is playing at the momment, regardless of how right it is?

04:37 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack

Get The Equipment to the Troops

Equipment procurement for the military has always been rife with problems. In WW II, we couldn't get the right equipment to some troops invading on DDay which resulted in many possibly unneccessary deaths. Some would say the procurement process is even more difficult today. Congresspeople, in love with the pork inherent in mlitary procurement, are not making it any easier. Bush and Kerry should both join together to criticize the people in their party. Full bill can be found at http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdoc.cfm?index=5529&type=1 and see how your congressperson voted.

09:41 AM in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack

June 28, 2004

Talk About Spin

Today the Supreme Court released several decisions on the right of the government to hold suspects as enemy combatants without a trial. The rulings came down to the government having the right to hold US citizens as enemy combatants but that the suspects had the right of access to a lawyer and the lawyer could challenge the factual basis for the designation with the courts. The court also decided in a separate decision that the US could hold foreign nationals as enemy combatants as well but that those combatants could sue the US government in court. To me, this seems like a mixed verdict - not quite what the administration wanted and not quite what its critics wanted. Usually a sign of good decisions. The central issue, was in fact, was whether the administration could continue to hold suspects indefinitely as enemy combatants and this was upheld by the Court as they judges from becomming arbiters of the nation's security.

Listening to the press, however, one would not get such an outlook. Some outlets seem balanced while others seem anything but.

CNN sees it as a mixed verdict as they titled their article "A mixed verdict on the terror war". Fox saw it similarly, Mixed Rulings on Terror Detention Policies. On the other hand, MSNBC seems like it could not decide how it felt. This morning, the thrust of their reporting was essentially that this was a win for the administration although it did not get exactly what it wanted. Seemed editors did not like that interpretation as this afternoons coverage is the opposite. I can't find this mornings reporting so I can't give exact comparisons, however, this afternoon their lede calls the decision a "defeat for Bush" and a "blow to administration's policy on terror." Reuters releases a small article who's title is not even factually correct "U.S. Citizen Can't Be Held in Bush's War on Terror."

Spin one way in the morning and spin another in the afternoon. At least make up your mind guys and gals!

03:23 PM in Media Bias | Permalink | TrackBack