Monday, November 14, 2005

Where have you gone, Jimmy Carter?

This editorial here at the LA times is a depressing reminder of how bad it's all become here in the U.S. Jimmy Carter, the last left President (was Clinton on the left?), writes in an opinion piece about the "host of radical government policies that now threaten many basic principles espoused by all previous administrations...[including] peace, economic and social justice, our environment and human rights."

Well of course I share his concern, but I don't know what U.S. history books he's been reading - hasn't the U.S. always produced social inequality, war and pollution?

Like most nation states the U.S. is far from innocent but it just seems now that the gloves are off. When the Vice President openly espouses torture, I would just like to say that the great American century is over.

It's not that, as Jimmy says, "This isn't the Real America." It's that the possibilities that the U.S. once embodied in the Civil Rights movement, the Women's Movement, and other progressive projects - even with all of their obvious failings - have now fallen by the wayside and are gone.

Last year when the country put that idiot back in the White House I commented to one of my students that many people I knew in the U.S. were talking about leaving and going to Canada. She had an interesting response. She said that it had never occurred to her to abandon her political agency.

What a smart kid. Now is the time, I guess, to find new forms of political agency and to draw deep down into the wells of hope to believe that something good can be salvaged in this country. Because frankly nothing less than massive protest on the p-art of the citizens of this country will ever redeem the U.S. in the eyes of the world again.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Joe Sucks

Ever since Joe Lieberman claimed that in order to return dignity to the White House America needed a religious president (news flash, Joe: religious does not mean moral), I haven't liked him. Now it seems that he wants to be seen as not only really religious and moral but also really tough on terrorism: he and 3 other Democrats voted to limit the rights of Guantanamo Bay detainees.

This seems to me to be a very short sighted political move.

Policy wise, I can't understand the need to refuse the men at Guantanamo Bay the right to legal representation. Surely if any of the men there are of interest, either any valid information they had was obtained from them or no longer valid. If any could be threats to the US, then charge them. I can't imagine what information that would come out could jeapordize national security - they were picked up 4 years ago. Not to mention the fact that it just makes America seem like a big bully around the world. Yes, I know these are horribly mean terrorists we're trying to fight but it also seems to me that some worldwide goodwill would help a lot in the international fight against them.

Politically, too, it seems like a bad move on behalf of the Democrats. The Republicans are divided over this issue of how to treat "enemy combatants". A unified Democratic party would make it seem all the more so. Similarly, it would help if more Democrats came out and agreed that the war in Iraq was misguided and taken under false pretenses. But for some reason, Joe doesn't agree. With Democrats like him, who needs Republicans?

Monday, November 07, 2005

Fair's Fair

I guess it's fair for the IRS to question the tax status of a church where the pastor questioned the invasion of Iraq. After all, I'm sure they've done the same for all those churches where the pastors applauded the decision.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Is it me?

Am I the only one who's seen the trailer to Memoirs of a Geisha and can't help but think: Couldn't they find Japanese acresses to play the leading roles? I mean, I don't think I'm particularly sensitive to these things, but throughout the entire trailer, all I could think was why are these Chinese women wearing Kimonos?

I really hope this wasn't the conversation in some Hollywood boardroom:

"Hey I know, let's get those chicks from Crouching Tiger. That movie did really well."

"Uh, but sir, that was a movie about China. This movie's about Japan."

"Oh, c'mon. Who's going to notice the difference? I can hardly tell them all apart."

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

A Question for You

Since the nomination of Alito to the supreme court, there's been a lot of talk about his views on abortion, but little else about what perspectives will be lost as the Supreme Court loses half of its female representation. So here's a question for you. Other than abortion, what issues brought before the court will suffer as a result?

Monday, October 31, 2005

Diversity Checklist

Male? Check.

White? Check.

Religious? Check.

Straight? Check.

All systems go.

I can't help but wonder what Sandra Day O'Connor's thinking today. (Not that I think it's her job to fix this. Just wondering, that's all.)

Wait a Sec

This seems a little disingenuous to say the least. Quoting Scott McClennan from today's White House press briefing:

I don't think while this investigation and this legal proceeding is ongoing, that we should make such presumptions. We should let that process continue.

So, let me get this straight. For the last two years, before the indictment, he couldn't comment because the investigation was ongoing. Now, after the indictment, he can't comment because the legal proceeding is ongoing. So, the only possible situation where he could have commented was when there was no indictment. But then there wouldn't have been anything to comment on anyway. How convenient.

Can someone please stop them from getting away with this? Please?

Friday, October 28, 2005

The Big Picture

Ok, so we now know at least Libby will be indicted, but really I think the bigger question is what happened to his eyebrows? Maybe that's why Fitzgerald is thinking about another inquiry.

Canada's Katrina - No Hurricane Necessary

In case Canadians were at all feeling smug after Katrina, there's this story.

I've lived in four countries other than Canada and for the most part, I can hold my head high as a Canadian (but not get all preachy, you know, 'cos no one likes that). The one and only topic that continually causes me to cringe is our past and present treatement of our First Nations people.

What amazed me even more, when working a summer job at Customs Canada, was hearing civil servants complain about "those people" who don't even pay taxes and just lie about drunk downtown. I don't know about you but if I was forced, within several generations, to watch most of my people die of foreign diseases, have my freedom and land taken away from me, be moved to the land nobody wanted and be forced to catch up with about a thousand years of European cultural development, not to mention a possible genetic predisposition to alcoholism, I'd be a little bummed.