Thursday, October 4, 2007

Much ado in the Spokesman-Review

For once Kathleen Parker manages to chide a Republican, Rudy Giuliani for phone calls from his lady love, his wife Judi. What is most remarkable about Ms. Parker's column is that she actually managed to write something substantive about a GOP presidential hopeful preferring to take phone calls from his wife in the middle of important speeches. The one thing she did not happen to mention, and this might be why, was the fact that opponents (perhaps to include the new Christian radicals) were prepared to make much of the fact that Guiliani is not an ideal family man. Having been divorced and remarried more than once. The politics of family values. She did better with a Republican on nitty picky issues than she did when it came to John Edwards and a video of his primping. In Edwards case, Ms Parker was all about style, nothing of substance. --Orlando Sentinel.

Also republished in the S-R, an editorial about a Children's Hospital that was supposed to be built and in operation in the Basra area of Iraq. Edited by Tiare Rath. Source here is the Institute for War and Peace Reporting; a non profit organization that trains journalists in areas of conflict. A brief summation: Bechtal Corp. had the contract to build a state of the art children's hospital to serve all of Iraq. Bechtal hired locally among Iraqi subcontractors and soon after, the Iraqi subcontractors were both threatened and murdered. The task for building this hospital was then given to the Army Corp of Engineers. Two points:

  1. The Basra area was supposed to be stable and peaceful. However, this claim did not take into consideration that there would be rival Shi'ite militias jockeying for power in the region. As noted in the editorial.
  2. I remember when the American contractors hired by the GW administration were bringing in their own people to do the work. Then the Iraqis complained there was no work for them. But as events were to subsequently prove, Iraqis working with Americans would find themselves at risk for doing so.
Which is why we should never have a president who screams loudly for months on end that we must be at war in Iraq; we need to shift our focus on GWOT from where Al Qaeda is based in Afghanistan and Pakistan to anywhere else that we damned well please; for rationales that don't match the facts. And then declare the war over with on the 1st of May 2003 and we can now reconstruct Iraq without sitting down to negotiate peace between Iraqi peoples. Even if we had, we bumbled so hard in trying to make Iraq into our [western] image that we would have lost on any peace agreements we did make. So, both GW, General Petraeus, columnists such as Michael Barone and Cal Thomas can tout all they wish about our "successes" in Iraq but "we need more time." "If we leave too soon" and yada, yada, yada. As the Rath editorial illustrates, we actually haven't had any successes in Iraq when we can't even get a children's hospital built.

Ruth Marcus did the book review on Clarence Thomas' autobiography and she writes for the Washington Post. In summation of what I think of the guy who wrote the book, no less than a U.S. Supreme Court judge. He was well-favored by Affirmative-Action. Without it, would he have ever gone to Yale? Rather than being grateful for such government provided generosity, he seems to think that what he earned in graduate degrees didn't mean anything. Where'd he get the idea from, if not from his fellow and white college students. Young people not really ready to embrace the idea that African Americans like Thomas are actually smart enough to have an equal shot at education esp. in universities like Yale. So, where does Thomas take his anti-Affirmative-Action stance to when going on the bench? Well, the principle targets are his fellow black Americans, the first beneficiaries of Affirmative-Action as Thomas himself was. His resentment is with his own race. But not, remarkably enough, the white race. And that is what spells "conservative?" I'd spell it far more bluntly, toady. Then on to the Anita Hill saga and what she got smeared with after testifying about Thomas less than gentlemanly characteristics. (In fact he reminds me of a guy I once soldiered with back in Germany. Black, resentful of white folks, just had to have a fight going, then playing the race card the moment he gets into trouble. And everyone else try to excuse his bad behavior.) Thomas manages to leave out any mention of bad behavior as he leaps onto the victimology wagon and begins beating his breast. But as Marcus noted from another book, "Strange Justice," Thomas had a long track record of misbehaving among those of the female persuasion. Of being in fact, a very crude man.

So, play the race card, if you aren't a Clarence Thomas, and white radicals are all over you and trying to be highly dismissive of any credible beefs that you have with the system or society. Thomas, after 16 years on the U.S. Supreme Court, where with the stroke of a pen can literally change lives and futures of ordinary Americans just because of how he feels about laws; but he diminishes his own stature by playing the race card in his book. Will the white radicals snap up his books and whine along with Thomas about what such a victim he is? Well, so victimized I guess, that he is now on the most powerful court in the land for a lifetime tenure. Whoopie damned do. I won't be picking up his book for any price.

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