Monday, July 17, 2006


I'm very busy; probably won't get to Random Flickr Blogging until tomorrow, if then. I'd hoped to do some posting over the weekend, but c'est la vie. (Actually, I wound up spending most of a day helping my uncle get rid of some furniture in preparation for a move to a smaller apartment. The result: hundreds of dollars, probably, for the local thrift shop and humane society that got most of the furniture. Somebody better want that big, heavy dresser that damn near wore us out getting it on the U-Haul, is all I'm sayin'.)

I'm ashamed to say that I forgot about the Space Shuttle landing this morning—but boy, did I hear the sonic boom when Discovery came in for its landing up at the Cape. I'm also ashamed to say that I thought it was thunder until I heard a news update a little later. You'd think the fact that there were no thunderstorms around at the time would have tipped me off, but no. What can I say? My head is elsewhere today.

Meanwhile, for a boom of a different sort, check out this story about post-9/11 option grants that Quiddity passes on. It seems that while the rest of us were mourning the dead and dreading the future, some members of the owning class found a nifty way to cash in on 9/11. Who'd a thunk it?

And for a boom of a still different sort, behold William Rivers Pitt bringing one down:

It is all quite terrifying, but most frightening of all are the voices being raised in support of widening this crisis into total war. William Kristol, editor of the far-right periodical The Weekly Standard, has openly stated that the crisis should be used as an opportunity to attack other Middle Eastern nations. "While Syria and Iran are enemies of Israel," wrote Kristol in an article titled "It's Our War," "they are also enemies of the United States. The right response is renewed strength - in supporting the governments of Iraq and Afghanistan, in standing with Israel, and in pursuing regime change in Syria and Iran. For that matter, we might consider countering this act of Iranian aggression with a military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities."

It should be noted that Kristol was one of the most vociferous cheerleaders for the invasion and occupation of Iraq, which has been working out splendidly thus far. One hopes there are some wiser heads somewhere who will remember this, and take Mr. Kristol's advice with a large grain of salt.

Even so, it is disturbing to hear these kinds of things. The last several years have established, beyond doubt, that the Bush administration is at best inept, and at worst deliberately destructive. Watching Bush observe the carnage with a "What me worry?" look on his face has been disgusting, if not terribly surprising. The United States has abandoned its position of leadership on the world stage, and the mayhem erupting in the Middle East, combined with provocative actions from North Korea, is a direct result of that.

If further proof of this is required, look no further than the exchange between Mr. Bush and Russian president Vladimir Putin on Saturday. Bush offered a critique of Russia's so-called democracy, and Putin shot back, "We certainly would not want to have the same kind of democracy as they have in Iraq, I will tell you quite honestly." Bush tried to laugh it off, but his face purpled with rage. And so the president of the United States is publicly slapped by the leader of Russia, and we are all lessened and shamed by it, because Putin was correct.

But hey, he got his precious pig, so all's well that ends well, right?

Back tomorrow, hopefully.

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