Reasonably Ascertainable Reality

Thoughts and musings on current events and other random occurrences.

Location: South Jersey, United States

Monday, January 31, 2005

Looking Good...

Well, so far the news on the Iraqi elections has been really positive. I'm hoping it stays that way. Approximately 93 percent of Iraqi ex-patriates voted in the election, and while that is great news, I was more worried about citizens still living in Iraq and the dangers they faced. I always hope that when situations like this occur around the world, that Americans will take notice, stop being apathetic and start realizing that voting is their right and how people have died, continue to die and will die in the future to obtain that right. Taking it for granted it typical American excess and pains me to no end.
I hope the news stays encouraging from Iraq.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Ever get that feeling...

This might be one of the funniest things this year. Ever get the feeling like you under-dressed for an event? You wore khakis and everyone is black tie. You are sporting dress slacks and everyone else is in evening gowns. Your favorite store is Old Navy and you are surrounded by Prada and Gucci. Poor Dick...he sticks out like a sore thumb. Of course, the operative word there...dick.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

You say tomato...

The recent debate over the privatization of Social Security has become almost comical. Its now not a battle over whether these 'private' or 'personal' accounts will actually help Social Security, its a battle over whether to call them 'private' or 'personal'.
As Talking Points Memo has been diligently reporting, Senators and Congressmen from both sides have been positioning themselves for the upcoming battle. The word from the White House is that calling is 'privatization' apparently scares people, especially seniors, away from the idea. So now...we are to refer to it has 'personal accounts'. This, despite years worth of the President and other lawmakes calling it 'private accounts' and 'privatization'.
I mean, is this where we are as a country? Its no longer important if this will actually work, its more important WHAT it's called. According to Republican pollster Frank Luntz, anyone who uses the term 'private' or 'privatization' is betraying a bias towards the plan. So the media should just be good little reporters and begin using the term 'personal' at the administrations direction.
This exchange with the President is actually comical (emphasis mine):
The Post: Will you talk to Senate Democrats about your privatization plan?
THE PRESIDENT: You mean, the personal savings accounts?
The Post: Yes, exactly. Scott has been --
THE PRESIDENT: We don't want to be editorializing, at least in the questions.
The Post: You used partial privatization yourself last year, sir.
The Post: Yes, three times in one sentence. We had to figure this out, because we're in an argument with the RNC [Republican National Committee] about how we should actually word this. [Post staff writer] Mike Allen, the industrious Mike Allen, found it.
THE PRESIDENT: Allen did what now?
The Post: You used partial privatization.
THE PRESIDENT: I did, personally?
The Post: Right.
The Post: To describe it.
THE PRESIDENT: When, when was it?
The Post: Mike said it was right around the election.
The Post: It was right around the election. We'll send it over.
THE PRESIDENT: I'm surprised. Maybe I did. It's amazing what happens when you're tired. Anyway, your question was? I'm sorry for interrupting.
The Post: So have you talked to Senate Democrats about this?

Yes, Mr. President, it IS amazing what happens when you are tired. I mean, oops, we accidentally screwed up the planning for Iraq and now its a complete mess. I guess the team was pretty tired the day we were planning for what happens after the initial mission was accomplished? Now that we are planning for Iran, I think you and the rest of the team could use a month in Crawford for some R&R so that we don't f&*k that one up too.
I dont even know what to say about this exchange. For how many years has everyone been calling it 'privatization'??!! Now, typical of this administration, we are supposed to erase the past, embrace their idea of the future and anyone who doesn't is biased, politically motivated and doesn't think in the best interests of America. Its like the Iraq war. Erase the past of we were going there to make Saddam get rid of WMD's, embrace their idea of the future of democratic Iraq (because supposedly thats NOW why we went there) and if you don't embrace that, you WANT Iraq to fail because either you are racist and don't believe Muslims deserve democracy or because of your personal animosity towards the President.
Completely ridiculous...and sad to say, typical.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Be afraid, be very afraid

Its shit like this that makes me afraid for the world into which we are evolving; as Americans, as human beings and as world citizens.
Christian groups however have taken exception to the tolerance pledge on the foundation's Web site, which asks people to respect the sexual identity of others along with their abilities, beliefs, culture and race.
"Their inclusion of the reference to 'sexual identity" within their 'tolerance pledge' is not only unnecessary, but it crosses a moral line," James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, said in a statement released Thursday.

Emphasis mine. First of all, lets ignore the obvious insanity that people like this want to label cartoon characters with a sexual identity. Watch out! I'm assuming Tinky Winky has been spreading his homosexuality like the common cold!
But for a Christian person to take exception to tolerance and respect is abhorrent. This FOUNDATION (not Spongebob) is asking for tolerance and respect of all people. Not acceptance, not moral equivalency. I can't stress enough that what James Dobson is saying is so diametrically opposed to Christianity that he makes me ashamed that I'm a Christian and that someone might ascribe these beliefs to me. Christ and Christianity is about compassion and tolerance and love--these are the values that Christ taught.
The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.' Matthew 25:40
James it, learn it.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Shame on you...Shame on us...

Recently, all the talk has been of 'torture' and 'prisoner abuse' and the administration's accountability or lack thereof.
Last night I was watching Hardball on MSNBC, and they had on Laura Ingraham, that charming political commentator. She was matched with some ho-hum Democrat strategist. When, oh when are they going to book a Democrat or liberal that can match up to these vitriol-spewing Conservative commentators like Ingraham, Coulter, Hannity..etc. I mean, every show that claims balance is like watching an episode of Hannity and Colmes. The Conservative yells and accuses and the Democrat talks very low and doesnt respond to any of the accusations and sticks to the talking points. Lets go people...wake up! You are losing the war because you won't answer the baseless accusations! Ok, sorry to get off on a tangent.
Anywa, Ingraham used what has become my all time favorite topic changer/response for most conservatives out there--I call it the "Clinton and Switch"..similar to the bait and switch. Its when you dont have a response, so instead, you bring up our former President and hope that your opponent will start to defend Clinton, at which point you can bring up any number of points that have nothing to do with anything based in what we can define as 'current events'.
Exhibit #1: Ingraham...Here is the transcript (emphasis mine):
MATTHEWS: Let’s go back to the merits. Under U.S. law—under U.S. law, you can be executed for mistreatment of prisoners.
INGRAHAM: That’s—no, for torturing them.
MATTHEWS: You can be executed. This is serious business. This isn’t just P.R. and politics. On the merits here, has Gonzales done something wrong?
ROSEN: On the merits, Gonzales did his job. And the president supporting his recommendation is what was wrong. So the president is entitled to his attorney general.
But to suggest that it is OK for the White House counsel to sit around with the Office of Legal Counsel of the Justice Department and...
INGRAHAM: They’re not sitting. They’re talking. They’re trying to figure out what the policy is post-September 11.
ROSEN: And a group of other people from the administration, but not including those who have more experience in treatment of prisoners, who have more influence in the military.
INGRAHAM: Did that happen in the Clinton administration, Hilary? Did that happen?
ROSEN: I don’t think anything like this ever happened in the Clinton administration. And you know it.
INGRAHAM: Oh, you know why? They actually didn’t have to deal with the terrorist threat that this administration has to deal with.

Someone help me out here. I dont understand how there is any relavence WHATSOEVER with what happened in the Clinton administration. I wouldn't have any relavence even if 9/11 didn't happen. This is classic Republican/conservative tactics. I was argueing with someone over world threats and I mentioned North Korea and he said "well, Clinton didn't do anything about it". I granted the point to him, but he seemed to be saying that because Clinton didn't address it, Bush should get a pass.
To date, no one, NO ONE has been held accountable for the prisoner abuse that has happened in the name of the 'war on terror'. If you read the reports, there are atrocities in there that I can't even type. Yet, the man who drafted the policy, the man in charge of the military, and the man in charge of us all--not accountable.
I have to laugh when all these conservatives talk about 'moral values' and 'pro-life' when they will defend the abuses suffered by prisoners in Iraq and elsewhere. We have a moral standing in this world to uphold, if we don't have that, what are we fighting to protect????
I don't want to live in a world where for my safety and my protection, others are tortured. I don't want to defend the policies of a country that does this! Where is the moral outrage?? Why can't people be angry at this? It doesn't mean you aren't a patriot, it doesn't mean you don't support Bush or the war. It means you have some moral compass or sense of whats right and whats wrong.
Ingraham then employed the other well known conservative tactic employed by others, such as Michael Savage...I call it the 'this is what really happened' offense:
Exhibit #2 (emphasis mine):
MATTHEWS: No, you said it was politics to oppose him. I want to talk about the merits.
INGRAHAM: Of course he should be confirmed.
MATTHEWS: OK. All right.
INGRAHAM: He’s the president’s choice.
To say that this guy is responsible for Abu Ghraib is an insult. The American people see past this. The American people do not lose sleep over whether Zubaydah is getting three culturally appropriate meals a day, OK? They’re not losing sleep over it. If there are excesses, they should be dealt with. The president has dealt with them.
And the idea that the Justice Department shouldn’t be speaking with the Office of Legal—the office of White House counsel is crazy. Ted Olson made that point. He’s exactly right.

Laura, you do yourself a disservice. You and I know both know that you are making a molehill out of a mountain. I have no respect for statements or people who make statements like that.
The second emphasized portion was just for fun...I mean, Laura, its time to up the meds if you think that the President has dealt with anything. Unless you call Lyndie England the mastermind behind the prisoner abuse scandal.
All conservatives and Republicans do themselves a disservice by not being more outraged at these actions.

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