Reasonably Ascertainable Reality

Thoughts and musings on current events and other random occurrences.

Location: South Jersey, United States

Friday, May 30, 2008

Scott McClellan....

Better or worse than the Bruce Ismay (White Star Lines executive) character from Titanic who boards the life raft with women and children?


You see, thats basically what Scotty's done. Scotty was part and parcel of the Bush Administration. Right in the thick of it...standing at the podium and feeding the MORE than willing press corps, and the American people, lie after lie, after lie.

But now, the ship is going down. Some people have gotten to the life rafts already, to try and salvage their reputations, or what is left of them. But there aren't enough life rafts for everyone and time has already expired for anyone with a conscience to have spoken up about what actually was happening in the inner circle of the White House.

Enter Scotty. He'll be damned if he's going down with the ship. So he slyly jumps on board the last remaining raft to salvage his reputation. Unfortunately, as with Ismay, trying to save yourself this late only makes you look infinitely worse.

Because, now you see, we already know what you are trying to do. We see your shame for what it is. We know you SAT BY IDLY while this was going on. Worse than that, you participated fully in feeding it all to us. All the lies. All the propaganda. All of it. Its more than too little too late. The horse left the barn and you are trying to shut the door.

If you read one article about McLellan, and of course, his detractors and the defenders (still!) of the Bush Administration, read this one:

We confess that here at McClatchy, which purchased Knight Ridder two years ago, we do have a dog in this fight. Our team - Joe Galloway, Clark Hoyt, Jon Landay, Renee Schoof, Warren Strobel, John Walcott, Tish Wells and many others - was, with a few exceptions, the only major news media organization that before the war consistently and aggressively challenged the White House's case for war, and its lack of planning for post-war Iraq.
* The Bush administration was gunning for Iraq within days of the 9/11 attacks,
dispatching a former CIA director, on a flight authorized by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, to find evidence for a bizarre theory that Saddam Hussein was responsible for the first World Trade Center attack in 1993. (Note: See also Richard Clarke and former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill on this point).
* Bush decided by February 2002, at the latest, that he was going to remove Saddam by hook or by crook. (Yes, we reported that
at the time).
* White House officials, led by Dick Cheney, began making the case for war in August 2002, in
speeches and reports that not only were wrong, but also went well beyond what the available intelligence said at that time, and contained outright fantasies and falsehoods. Indeed, some of that material was never vetted with the intelligence agencies before it was peddled to the public.* Dissenters, or even those who voiced worry about where the policy was going, were ignored, excluded or punished. (Note: See Gen. Eric Shinseki, Paul O'Neill, Joseph Wilson and all of the State Department 's Arab specialists and much of its intelligence bureau).

Hungry for more? Read the whole thing. There were dissenting voices at the time. I didn't make up my mind based on fantasy to protest this war or to oppose it at time. The media, the administration and yes, you Scotty, are responsible for this entire debacle. No life raft will save you now.

hat tip Glenn.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Interesting perspective on the Immigration debate

One of the points I keep hearing being raised in discussions with people over immigration is that they are afraid that our "way of life" will change should we keep allowing all of this immigration. My point was always that we need to do something about illegal immigration, but that it was silly to think our way of life would change. I always figured that common sense would say that within one or two generations, those immigrant's children and grandchildren would be just as Americanized as you or I. Now, there is proof.

Immigrants of the past quarter-century have been assimilating in the United States at a notably faster rate than did previous generations, according to a study released today.

The study, sponsored by the Manhattan Institute, a New York think tank, used census and other data to devise an assimilation index to measure the degree of similarity between the United States' foreign-born and native-born populations. These included civic factors, such as rates of U.S. citizenship and service in the military; economic factors, such as earnings and rates of homeownership; and cultural factors, such as English ability and degree of intermarriage with U.S. citizens. The higher the number on a 100-point index, the more an immigrant resembled a U.S. citizen.

The report found, however, that the speed with which new arrivals take on native-born traits has increased since the 1990s. As a result, even though the foreign population doubled during that period, the newcomers did not drive down the overall assimilation index of the foreign-born population. Instead, it held relatively steady from 1990 to 2006.
"This is something unprecedented in U.S. history," Vigdor said. "It shows that the nation's capacity to assimilate new immigrants is strong."

I don't think that there is any denying that something must be done about illegal immigration. But the sentiment that we should stop immigration, particularly from Mexico, because somehow our way of life is threatened, seems to be to more fueled by the color of the immigrant's skin rather than whether our way of life is actually threatened.

Which Category does this fall into?

Is it the "ticking time bomb" scenario whereby torture must be legal in case a hypothetical person knows of a hypothetical incident that we could hypothetrically stop?

Or is it the Rush Limbaugh "fraternity hazing" type of torture?

The alleged torture, which he detailed in a written statement, included being beaten, restrained for long periods in uncomfortable positions, threatened with dogs, exposed to loud music and freezing temperatures and stripped nude in front of female personnel.

Either way, I guess it was our bad, eh?

The Pentagon has dropped charges against a Saudi at Guantanamo who was alleged to have been the so-called "20th hijacker" in the Sept. 11 attacks, his U.S. military defense lawyer said Monday.

How anyone could not be ashamed that their country is behaving this way is beyond me. This administration is chock full of war crimials, and there is really no other way to say it.

The attorney said he could not comment on the reasons for the dismissal until discussing the case with lawyers for the other five defendants. Officials previously said al-Qahtani had been subjected to a harsh interrogation authorized by former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Then again, I guess it was just "harsh interrogation".

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