Friday, November 30, 2007

More of this and that

A rather peculiar complaint came from a fellow writing to the Roundtable of the Spokesman-Review on this fine day of the 30th of November 2007. He did have an excellent point that the S-R has published many a cartoon that was "below the belt" but he stopped short of the fact of mentioning that the cartoonists while being highly partisan also made it plainly known where their sympathies lie. Not always "on the left." Glenn McCoy is highly partisan, often disgusting and the S-R would publish him frequently. So, regardes the cartoon in question that the writer was responding to, where it seems some chickens got dressed up as members of the KKK, and another writer had freaked out about it, too bad the S-R didn't publish more letters of people freaking out at Glenn McCoy's off-the-wall tirades. Or as point taken, ceased to publish something that was utterly dirty (out of a need for civility). However, where the writer went on a tangent was to describe frequently republished Leonard Pitts, jr. as a guy engaging in reverse discrimination. Well now, Pitts is going to discuss his people without a doubt. He is going to discuss the flaws of his people along with their pluses. And he is also going to discuss the fact that racism (Caucasian v African-American) continues to be a problem in this nation today. I fail to find "reverse discrimination" in a guy who'd discuss the pitfalls, pratfalls and achievements in his own community. Unless you'd like to call it discrimination that white folk describe the history of their own kind too. The irony of the argument went completely over the author's head.

Ellen Goodman took the Bush administration to task over stem cell research. I do believe that her republished to the Spokesman-Review column (circa the Boston Globe) was quite a useful little history in how we got from point A. destroying embryos for their stem cells to establish heart muscle, etc. to point B. where stem cells can be teased out of human skin. But to do so, as Ms. Goodman wrote, was the heavy research of point A. which in the name of "pro-life" GW, radical religionists and GOP in Congress were actively opposed to allowing. Ms. Goodman named names in her column that such research did bitterly divide the GOP. Now here is the interesting catch; Ms. Goodman made it known graphically that embryos as far as the radical religionists were concerned, far more important than say your grandma with diabetes. So that say, an Orrin Hatch might just argue that an embryo happens to be an existing life. That is, we can exploit it as such against your grandma with diabetes. Apparently, "existing life" right along with what defines a human doesn't expand to your neighbors with chronic and terminal illnesses that such research might just cure. There is still plenty of room for the Dems to run with this issue in an election year given that skin stem cells won't cross transplant to someone in need of a new heart. The scientists already admit that the only effective use for such research is to cure the ailments of the person from whom the skin cells had initially been extracted.

Then a book review of a Scott McClelland expose' of the GW administration coming out in April of 2008. This too had been a republished editorial in the Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Washington. Seems McClelland was whining that he had been lied to and from there had passed the lie along to the American public. Most specifically, it involved the Valerie Plame case. The author in this case wondered about GW's leadership skills when it came to his administration being willing to lie to him... Now if the author had been willing to check the expose's run by The Nation in the year 2000 as GW was first running for president, he would have found no different a man as president as had been governor of Texas. He'd let other people do the work, the administration lackeys who'd engage in yes-men antics and help create a lasting mess in government that GW couldn't be bothered with straightening out. GW, a figurehead in his own administration (reference the late Molly Ivins biographies on Bush). So why would McClelland's book be a surprise? The only surprise is that some 52% of the American public would put a figurehead back into office.

Finally, a Bush bashing editorial that is a delight to the eyes. Bruce Ackerman takes GW to task for not inviting Congress into any foreign policy deals with Iraq's government... The question I have here is why did it take guys like this so long to come to the conclusion that GW regards the U.S. Constitution as a piece of paper to be disregarded at whim. And to be finally dismayed by it. It took all of 7 years before GW's very public and well published anti-constitutional acts finally filtered down to the minds of the news media who were quicker to take to task Bill Clinton over his sexual sins. At one time, I informed people writing their endless tirades about Clinton, their tendencies to strain at gnats and swallow camels. Since the time GW has assumed office, the news media has done a lot of swallowing of camels in order to have access to the White House. If they had been doing their jobs (and nitpicking Clinton's sexual escapades, incidentally, did not deny them continued access to the White House) they would have raised bloody hell about GW's truly graver scandalous acts years before. Ackerman is a professor of law and political science at Yale. He is also an author of a book, "Before the Next Attack: Preserving Civil Liberties in an Age of Terrorism." His commentary was originally published in the Los Angeles Times.

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