|Friday, January 21, 2005
Night Capper Liberal: Yes, I check in with James Wolcotts blog from time to time. He usually arrives with just enough platitudinal ammo to get him safely through light political conversations at old-school Democratic social gatherings. Today hes uptight about the security at Bushs inaugural parade.
Despite the fact that there was no specific terrorist threat, the security was unprecedented even for these unprecedented times, with FBI snipers on rooftops, clusters of antiaircraft missiles, layers of police and checkpoints
You get the picture. Basically, Wolcott argues, there was no real need for such security:
Whats on display in Washington today isnt strength, its fear. Fear the White House wants every American to share, so that they wont mindwill acceptendless rows of men in visored helmets and boots.
Is there a better example of why Boxer Democrats cant be trusted with the war on terror? They respond to the Dealey Plazas of this world on November 23rd. And, by December, theyve forgotten what the fuss was all about.
If conservatives are guilty of overplaying the terror hand, then Wolcott is equally as guilty of seeing jack-booted Big Brothers where there are none. Both sides have their standard issue scare tactics.
You say po-tay-to, I say po-tah-to. Convervatives say nuke-you-lar, liberals say Fascist!
The Voice II: A few weeks back, I mentioned that Aslan's voice had been chosen for the movies. Well, now another key voice is set for the silver screen: the voice of The Guide for the movie adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Stephen Frye will do the honors.
Many of us, upon hearing of Douglas Adams' passing, found a response from Frye posted on Adams' official site:
"Oh Douglas -- your friends don't know what to think or say. You've left the party far, far too early. All those who knew you -- and that includes millions who never met you -- loved you. I can't think of anything more to write. Love, Stephen".
Just another reason to start getting excited about this movie.
Thursday, January 20, 2005
Chuckles: I like little chuckles. Huge, gasping laughs that lead to uncontrollable coughing are great, too. But chuckles will do.
Harpers has posted a guide intended to help foreigners understand the idiosyncrasies of British English. Some good examples:
What they say: With the greatest respect
What is understood: He is listening to me.
What they mean: I think you are wrong, or a fool.
What they say: Quite good.
What is understood: Quite good.
What they mean: A bit disappointing.
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Revisionist History: Theres a new twist to the charge that President Bush lied about WMDs in Iraq. Bush is now guilty of wastefully using tax dollars to fund the search for WMDs in Iraq. At least thats what John Nichols writes in The Nation.
Nichols goes on to explain that there was never any credible evidence to suggest that Iraq had a serious WMD program. The Clinton Administration certainly thought there was, but Nichols is too busy branding Bush a liar to bother addressing that problem within his narrative.
To further whip his nutter thesis into shape, Nichols says that Congressional no votes against authorizing the war in Iraq can be interpreted as rejections of the charges that Iraq possessed WMDs or WMD programs. That was not the case. In fact, the vast majority of no votes were cast by folks who wanted to allow diplomacy to continue at the U.N., or for inspections to continue; or who thoughtget thisa war would create an environment in which Iraqs WMDs could be more easily smuggled out of the country. This last objection to the war, of course, assumes the existence of WMDs.
Nevertheless, Nichols concludes that the suggestion that there was broad acceptance of the premise that Saddam Hussein possessed WMDs, or was deep into the process of developing them, is absurd.
Did I say revisionist history? That would imply a malicious motive, wouldnt it? An intent to deceive? Maybe Nichols is too sloppy an observer of current events to be aware of his columns deficiencies. Is that possible? Ya think?
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
"Bring 'Em On": President Bush told a round-table of reporters last week that his famous declaration of "Bring 'em on" had unintended consequences:
"Sometimes, words have consequences you don't intend them to mean," President Bush said Thursday. "'Bring 'em on' is the classic example, when I was really trying to rally the troops and make it clear to them that I fully understood, you know, what a great job they were doing. And those words had an unintended consequence. It kind of, some interpreted it to be defiance in the face of danger. That certainly wasn't the case."
So... bring 'em on was really a message to the troops that their president thought they were doing a great job? How disgusting. A lot of us thought "Bring 'em on" was Bush's Iraq-terrorism strategy in a nutshell: If Al Qaeda and other Islamo-Fascists were drawn to the battlefields of Iraq, all the better! Let them fight soldiers with guns in the Middle East--not unarmed civilians on U.S. soil.
I still think it's impossible to defend our homeland from terrorism. Our land mass is too expansive and our borders too porous. It's essential that we keep the battlefield on the doorsteps of the terrorists. Over time, we'll thin them out, and we'll make their fates seem undesirable to the next generation of would-be Al Qaeda recruits.
But Bush's attempt to distance himself from the "Bring 'em on" strategy is highly discouraging. John Kerry's critique of the Bush's post-war Iraq seems more accurate than ever.