Monday, June 26, 2006

Best of Enemies

New Links: I've had a Daily Kos account for a long time, and have finally gotten round to posting a diary entry. This one is about the Brooks op-ed piece in the NYT, and focuses on Brooks' feeble attempt at satire.

And our friends at World Wide Rennaissance have opened a page with a "Reprimand Your Government" letter. Check it out, and consider signing it.

So I found this story in the Washington Post yesterday, and had to wonder: why is President Bush treating Iran as it if were an enemy? After all, Bush and He-Whose-Name-Cannot-Be-Pronounced believe in the same things. Take an issue that's at the very core of the Bush agenda—the constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. The Crawford Cashew has a thing or two in common with our friends from Iran, and maybe a lot to learn, as in:

Homosexuality is a crime punishable by death in much of the Islamic world. In Iran last year, two gay teenagers were publicly executed, while in Afghanistan, the Taliban government would torture homosexuals by collapsing walls on them.

And maybe the Dobson/Falwell/Robertson crowd should be building mosques instead of those glass churches with solid foundations of good old Muslim hatred. Here's their ally, Muzammil Siddiqi of the Islamic Society of North America, speaking:
Homosexuality is a moral disorder. It is a moral disease, a sin and corruption. . . . No person is born homosexual, just like no one is born a thief, a liar or murderer. People acquire these evil habits due to a lack of proper guidance and education.

So what's all this axis-of-evil nonsense about, boys? For when it comes to pure, Godly hatred, you're all one. So come on, join hands and sing:
I'd like to teach the world to hate
For Christ and Allah's sake
I'd like to round up all the gays
And make 'em eat yellowcake...


Neocon Corruption Update: Frank Rich of the New York Times has done some research into the public record for us, and he provides his findings in the context of his usual crystalline perspective. I guess what I'm really saying is that Rich has done the work of journalism (remember that?). Here's an excerpt, in which he describes the result of the neocon policy of the "competitive sourcing" of government services (a marriage of K Street and the fattest corporate campaign contributors):

The result was low-quality services at high cost: the creation of a shadow government of private companies rife with both incompetence and corruption. Last week Representative Henry Waxman, the California Democrat who commissioned the first comprehensive study of Bush administration contracting, revealed that the federal procurement spending supervised for a time by Mr. Safavian had increased by $175 billion between 2000 and 2005. (Halliburton contracts alone, unsurprisingly, went up more than 600 percent.) Nearly 40 cents of every dollar in federal discretionary spending now goes to private companies.

WMD Bullshit Update: While Uncle Donny and Sanctum Santorum were making blithering idiots of themselves getting their panties gooey over the appearance of some ancient sarin that wouldn't even clear a clogged drain today, some actual facts about the WMD story were emerging:

In late January 2003, as Secretary of State Colin Powell prepared to argue the Bush administration's case against Iraq at the United Nations, veteran CIA officer Tyler Drumheller sat down with a classified draft of Powell's speech to look for errors. He found a whopper: a claim about mobile biological labs built by Iraq for germ warfare.

Drumheller instantly recognized the source, an Iraqi defector suspected of being mentally unstable and a liar. The CIA officer took his pen, he recounted in an interview, and crossed out the whole paragraph. A few days later, the lines were back in the speech.

It all makes me want to sing another song—join in, everyone:

Que sarin, sarin,
Whatever we say, will be;
The future is Dick Cheney,
Que sarin, sarin!


For those of you who have gotten used to seeing Terry McKenna in this space on Monday, I have disappointing news: he's taking a week off. From blogging, that is—both of us still have to work, because we don't get a nickel out of doing this. It's fairly common here in the blogosphere, and to my mind indicates one of its greatest strengths: people put in a lot of time and energy because they have a perspective to share with fellow citizens—you know, democracy (remember that?). Capitalism, with only a few heavily-trafficked and profitable exceptions, generally doesn't cut ice here. And fortunately for us, David Brooks isn't comparing me to Tom Delay, as he has done for Kos (I'm serious, he really did).

In any event, Terry is the positive node of the DR battery. Every Monday, he offers solutions and forward-looking ideas to the corruption and incompetence that have infected government over the past few years (or more). It's not that I'm exactly negative, but more that my solutions speak to the individual. My guiding axiom is that society is transformed when enough individuals within it discover themselves. In a time where the air is filled with the noise of competing groups with their institutional solutions to problems that are really as old as the human race itself, mine is a voice that is easily passed off as just another New Age tree-hugger's cloud of fluff.

But Mr. McKenna is not so easily dismissed. Every week, he offers detailed, constructive, carefully thought guidance for legislators, policy makers, and voters, in a real-world political context that I can't match, either for wisdom or its comprehensive perspective. One of these days, some think-tank or policy making organization is going to stumble across Monday with McKenna, recognize the hidden treasure there, and make Terry an offer he can't refuse. But until then, he's here every Monday; and since his arrival here, the quality and direction of the content here at Daily Rev have been immeasurably enriched. For that, I am—both as the editor and as a reader—grateful.

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