Saturday, December 30, 2006

Doing the Macabre Math

According to the U.S. government, about 290,000 Iraqi bodies have been discovered in mass graves, their deaths attributed to decisions of Saddam Hussein. That's deeply evil, but consider that Hussein ruled Iraq for about twenty-four years (not more than thirty as alleged in the San Francisco Chronicle) before the U.S. military, under Bush's orders, bombed and invaded Iraq, deposing the government, thereby taking responsibility for Iraqi lives. In the three and three quarter years of the Bush invasion and occupation more than 600,000 Iraqi's have been murdered.

So Hussein was responsible for about 14,500 Iraqi murders per year while Bush is responsible for 160,000 Iraqi murders per year. Who really needs to be brought to justice, now?


The show trial and pretend appeal are over and Saddam Hussein has been executed by the Bush-backed government of Iraq. A Washington Post report gave us a closer look at the fairness of the Iraqi justice system: Taha Yassin Ramadan, one of Hussein's co-defendants, appealed his life sentence. Showing that fine sense of justice for which American service people are fighting and dying, the Iraqi court "upgraded" Ramadan's life sentence to death.

Apparently the court was in a good mood during Hussein's appeal. They could, afterall, have ordered him to be hung and hung and hung again. Fine court, that.

I won't miss Saddam Hussein, but I would have preferred that he wasn't murdered. It is time for the Bush Administration to be brought to justice: impeached and handed over to a world court for bringing about the death and/or maiming of hundreds of thousands of people by an illegal invasion of a sovereign country. I'm sure they would get a much fairer trial than Hussein and that would be justice.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Words Matter. Truth Matters.

These items landed in my inbox this morning. The first is from the Encyclopedia Brittanica's "On This Day..." Newsletter. The second is from the Act for Change Newsletter.

"1890: U.S. troops under Colonel James W. Forsyth massacred more than 200 Sioux Indians in the Battle of Wounded Knee."

EB correctly calls what happened at Wounded Knee a massacre, then calls it a battle. It was a massacre. You can't have it both ways.

"Judicial appointments -- Despite repeat attempts, four of President Bush's unqualified and ideologically-extreme nominees (Myers (sic), Haynes, Wallace and Boyle) were never confirmed for lifetime appointments to the federal bench. "

Act for Change identifies Harriet Miers as an unqualified and ideologically-extreme Bush nominee for the Supreme Court. She may or may not have been qualified. She was at least as qualified as Sandra Day O'Connor and Clarence Thomas, faint praise though that be, and she was not ideologically-extreme, as far as anyone knew. In fact, that's the main reason why her nomination sank so quickly. She was not known to be extreme enough to satisfy Bush's base. Bush's opponents rejected Ms. Miers because he nominated her. Lacking support from either side, her nomination was scuttled.

Words matter. Truth matters.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

John Edwards Announces in Louisiana?!

Today, the former U.S. Senator from North Carolina announced his candidacy for President in the 2008 election. As a backdrop for his announcement, Edwards chose an area of New Orleans' Ninth Ward, which was hit hard by Katrina and its aftermath. He gestured to a group of young people standing nearby, indicating that he had worked with them the previous day, because, he said, you not only have to understand problems, but work to solve them.

So, why am I troubled by this? Edwards had no reason for being in Louisiana other than to use it for a scripted moment, a staged image, he wanted associated with his candidacy. What troubles me is the moment, the words, the image were so terribly Bush.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Do Not Believe

  • Do not believe what you have heard.
  • Do not believe in tradition because it has been handed down many generations.
  • Do not believe in anything that has been spoken of many times.
  • Do not believe because the written statements come from some old sage.
  • Do not believe in conjecture.
  • Do not believe in authority or teachers or elders.

But after careful observation and analysis, when it agrees with reason, and will benefit one and all, then accept it and live by it.

--- Buddha

Gerald Ford and James Brown

I won't miss either of them. My condolences to those who will for I do know what it is like to lose and miss someone.