Tuesday, January 9, 2007

A Compendium of Sanity

Let's celebrate, for a moment, the voices of sanity that still exist in our media, art, and politics.

We begin with Krugman & Herbert, the rock 'em-sock 'em writing tandem of each Monday's New York Times op-ed, who delivered again yesterday—this time trading hats, with Herbert doing the economic piece (on the beyond-appalling abyss that widens between the ultra-wealthy and everyone else) and Krugman taking on Bush's troop surge. If you don't have Times Select yet, and have the smallest appreciation for lucid social and political commentary, these two guys alone are worth the $50 a year.

Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, makes a point about the hanging of Saddam that I have made every time I've talked about capital punishment. Here's an excerpt:

Kill Hitler? You would have to be mad to do so. Yet that is undoubtedly what we would have done if he hadn't killed himself in 1945. Hussein is not in the same league as Hitler, but, nevertheless, in a small way his execution represents a wanton and vandalistic destruction of important research data.

He should have been locked up, by all means. Kept him in jail for the rest of his life, to be sure. But to execute him was irresponsible. Hussein could have provided irreplaceable help to future historians of the Iran-Iraq war, of the invasion of Kuwait and of the subsequent era of sanctions culminating in the invasion. Uniquely privileged evidence on the American government's enthusiastic arming of Hussein in the 1980s is now snuffed out at the tug of a rope (no doubt to the relief of Donald Rumsfeld and other guilty parties; it is surely no accident that the trial of Hussein neglected those of his crimes that might — no, would — have implicated them).

I haven't read any of Dawkins' books yet, though I intend to; yet every time I see or hear him in the blogosphere, his voice resonates. Whatever your feelings about religion and Dawkins' views about it, there can be hardly any dispute that this guy is a ringing voice of sanity in the midst of an increasingly insane world.

We have written a lot here about the utter depravity of the Catholic Church—or specifically, its leadership and its clergy. Now come more revelations: some of their heavy hitters were stooges for the KGB and their ilk. But by God, if we let that Madonna woman climb onto one more cross in a concert or let Dan Brown write one more novel about Jesus' sex life, why all hell will break loose...But in case you haven't been visiting here lately, we featured a BBC video a while back that clearly exposed the perversions and deceit of the Catholic hierarchy.

Finally, let's join Code Pink in letting Congress know what we voted for back in November; and it sure as hell wasn't troop surge.

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