une 21, 2005
Curiouser and Curiouser
Does it get any stranger than this? I hope not because 7 a.m. is just too early for an acid trip. But that’s how I felt this morning as my still groggy mind collided with headlines like these:
Bush Says Vietnam Must Respect Human Rights
WASHINGTON -- In a meeting that marks a decade of normalized relations, Vietnamese Prime Minister Phan Van Khai is asking President Bush to help his nation join the World Trade Organization while Bush is raising concerns about human rights abuses. (Full Story)
So, let me try to get my brain around that one. Here’s the guy who runs a country ten thousands miles away, where just 35 years ago the government he was visiting yesterday was defoliating jungles, napalming civilians and even engineered the assassination of its president, having to sit there a listen to lectures on human rights from a the latest president of that country who is now running off-shore torture camps, killing civilians in another country thousands of miles away while restricting freedoms at home.
I got it. Makes perfect sense, is suppose, if you’re on the right drugs.
Congressman Accuses Democrats of Anti-Christian Crusade
WASHINGTON -- Business on the floor of the House was halted for 45 minutes yesterday after Rep. John N. Hostettler (R-Ind.) accused Democrats of "denigrating and demonizing Christians," prompting a furious protest from across the aisle….The House was debating a Democratic amendment to the annual defense appropriations bill that would have required the Air Force Academy to develop a plan for preventing "coercive and abusive religious proselytizing." (Full Story)
If you doubt that reading the Bible too much can result in what I call a “non-surgical, Biblical-lobotomy,” look no further than John Hosteller. If stupid were music this guy would the Marine Marching Band. Example: He got busted last year for trying to sneak a loaded Glock 9mm semiautomatic onto a flight to Washington. No, he wasn't testing airport security. It was his gun. Apparently Jesus wants his disciples packing.
Anyway, after Hostettler's remarks set off a firestorm of protest from Democrats he stood and, the story continues,
“...read a sentence that had been written out for him in large block letters by a young Republican floor aide: "Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent to withdraw the last sentence I spoke."”
Block letters. Now you know why born-agains don't believe in evolution.
Public Broadcasting Monitor Worked at Center Founded by Conservatives
WASHINGTON, June 20 - A researcher retained secretly by the chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, to monitor the "Now" program with Bill Moyers for political objectivity last year, worked for 20 years at a journalism center founded by the American Conservative Union and a conservative columnist, an official at the journalism center said on Monday. (Full Story)
Now that conservatives have effectively de-nutted the commercial media, the last remaining fly in the propaganda ointment is public broadcasting. So, like those mothers who drowned or smother their own kids, the administration plans deny PBS of federal money.
Someone sent me a proposal the other day suggesting that the best thing that could happen to PBS would be for some liberal, like George Soros and progressive non-profits to simply take over PBS and turn it into an instant, nationwide progressive network. It's an idea with merit. After all, the entire infrastructure is there and ready to go. And, now that this administration has loosened ownership rules to the point where they are meaningless, it would even be legal.
How sweet that would be. Eat your heart out Limbaugh. Imagine the value of such a progressive, independent network the size of CNN as the 2008 general election approaches. (And yes, Big Bird, Bert and Ernie, your jobs are safe. And under progressive ownership you might even get a livable wage out of the deal.)
Anyway, now that the Bushites have their own shill in charge of CPB/PBS it’s going to be downhill for PBS anyway.
Bill Moyers, you’re fired. Get your pinko, bleeding heart ass out of our studios. Call Armstrong Williams. Tell him we have a new job for him. Is that documentary, "From Crawford to Legend," ready to roll?
Reporters Learn Today If They Are Going to Jail
NEW YORK Journalists Matthew Cooper and Judith Miller may find out as soon as this week whether the U.S. Supreme Court will hear their appeal of a contempt ruling for refusing to disclose who leaked the identity of a CIA agent to them -- a decision that could send them to jail before the end of the month. (Full Story)
You might have forgotten the details of this little mess, so let me refresh. Neither Miller nor Cooper wrote stories blowing CIA agent Valerie Plame’s cover. But Conservative columnist Robert Novak did. His source, he said, was a highly placed government official.
Since blowing the cover of a CIA agent is illegal, a grand jury was empanelled and Miller and Cooper were called. The prosecutor wanted them to reveal source(s) they quoted in their follow up stories on the flap Novak started. They refused to squeal and now face prison for contempt of court.
Which begs the question --- why the hell isn’t Novak facing prison too? There can only be one explanation – he did spill the beans.
Which begs another question – why would serious news people, like CNN and the Chicago Sun Times would continue having anything to do with a quisling journalist the likes of Novak?
Miller and Cooper go to jail while Novak continues to hold court on CNN talk shows. Disgraceful CNN.
Anyway, even as O.J. Simpson continues his search for the “real killer,” your government does the same in the Plame case.
Iraq Strategy Will Work, Bush Tells Europeans
“WASHINGTON, June 20 - President Bush, opening a two-week effort to defend his Iraq policy, told visiting European leaders on Monday that his strategy for ending the insurgency and stabilizing the country "is going to work."”
I turn 60 this August and with age comes the burden of memory. I’ve been here before. I didn’t like it the last time and I don’t like it now. The last time I was here was nearly 40 years ago. The times were different but the words the same.
“We are making steady progress… we are dealing the enemy serious blows.. they can’t hold out forever… the Vietnamese army are making real progress and will soon be able to take over form US troops.. we can’t just cut and run.”
It was a lie then and it’s a lie now. All Bush is doing is what Johnson and Nixon did before him -- buying time with US and Iraqi blood, in the hope something -- anything -- good will develop that will get him out of this fix.
George, I have some reading for you. Not to worry. It’s short. You can read it on the toilet. Here’s what the last guy who ran a war like this had to say once he got a clue:
“One reason the Kennedy and Johnson administrations failed to take an orderly, rational approach to the basic questions underlying Vietnam was the staggering variety and complexity of other issues we faced. Simply put, we faced a blizzard of problems, there were only twenty-four hours in a day, and we often did not have time to think straight.”
Robert S. McNamara, In Retrospect, 1995
Sound familiar, Gomer -- like another day in the Oval Office? So far you have gotten 1700 American kids killed over there. Will it take another 58,300 before you figure out it’s not worth it? Never was. Never will be.
Here's some more reading. If only Lyndon Johnson had followed his own rhetoric when he said this while running for President in 1964:
“We are not about to send American boys nine or ten thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves.”
But he didn’t follow that advice, which is why the Vietnam Memorial Wall takes up so much real estate on the Mall. Had he taken that advice it would be a lot smaller and there'd be more room for your monument, George, the Iraq Memorial Wall Monument --- where a new generation of children who never met their father or mother can leave Teddy Bears, photos and tears.