Democrats & Liberals Archives

December 2003 Archives

December 25, 2003

Rudolph And Unemployment

As shocking as it might be to those who think that everyone is now ok because the country�s economy is on the mend there is a casualty of the recent economic malaise that you will never believe. Rudolph is being laid off at the end of this Christmas season. A lot of Santa�s elves will have to go soon too if the flood of cheap toys based on $.15 (that�s fifteen cents) an hour labor in China doesn�t slow down. But Rudolph not at the front of the sleigh, what is happening in this best of all possible worlds? I talked to the publicity officer for the No Pole Enterprises Consortium that you must remember has taken over Santa�s operations. The recent acquisition fever that caused No Pole to state, before the takeover, that few things would change with the change of ownership has abated. The real truth is that Rudolph is being replaced by a set of red L.E.D. headlights that will be worn by the new lead reindeer.

» Continue reading "Rudolph And Unemployment"

Posted by Henri Reynard at 2:00 PM

December 24, 2003

Santa Claws

Are you scared yet, really, really scared? Is the big baaaaad boogeyman coming out from under your bed again? Make sure your chimney doesnt let the wrong claws in your house this Christmas. The vigilance level is being raised again so that we can really catch those terrorists this time. But be careful because Kris Kringle just might be a bearded terrorist this year.

» Continue reading "Santa Claws"

Posted by Henri Reynard at 8:53 AM

December 23, 2003

Putting Iraq in Perspective

The more I hear about Saddam Hussein's capture, the more I get upset about the war in Iraq.

Political chatter in the wake of the one-time CIA operatives capture on Sunday, December 14 centered on what it meant for the Democratic Partys chances of unseating President George W. Bush. A better question would have been: Was capturing Hussein worth the loss of the life, billions of American tax-payer dollars, surge in Anti-American sentiment, curtailment of civil liberties, and diverted world attention begot by the Bush Administrations misadventures in Iraq? This question is seldom asked and no one, not even Howard Dean, has been able to give voice to an answer that resonates among a broad cross-section of the country.

Perhaps, if the Democrats were to couch anti-war critiques in terms of tradeoffs, the public would be forced to rethink their stance on Iraq. When the costs and benefits of the quagmire are compared to a bigger problem facing the world and America, the fact that our priorities are grossly out of whack becomes clear. This strategy would also demonstrate that Democrats have an alternate vision of the world.

» Continue reading "Putting Iraq in Perspective"

Posted by at 5:32 PM

December 21, 2003

Headlines, Reactions and Story Flow

Back when I was in the Community College, where I had my first real experience with journalism, they taught us to stack a story based on the importance of the information in the stack. They also taught us that headlines were used to attract the attention of the browsing reader and should make the story more accessible to potential readers. These of course were rules of journalism for students, if you own a newspaper you can use whatever standard you like to decide how a story will be presented. You can even choose a standard that conveys an opposite conclusion to that of the reporter who wrote the story. This type of chicanery used to be the purview of the tabloid press. Guess what folks, the Martians (Actually led by an Aussie!) have landed on our journalistic industry, and they are making hash out of our fourth estate.

» Continue reading "Headlines, Reactions and Story Flow"

Posted by Henri Reynard at 9:14 AM

December 20, 2003

Framing the question

Have you ever wondered who gets to frame an argument?

Why is it that global warming must be proved before doing anything? Why do polluters get to say "Well, since there is no proof of global warming, we don't need the regulations." Instead of "Before releasing gases into the environment, prove they won't cause global warming". Why do the polluters get to roll the dice with our environmental future.

» Continue reading "Framing the question"

Posted by Al Maline at 11:54 AM

December 18, 2003

The Policy Creep In The White House

So it doesnt matter if there are any weapons, weapons programs are equally valid as a cause of war? Now in my entire life of sixty years I have seldom seen quite as gratuitous and grating a lack of honor and honesty as is contained in that posture. I did not have sex with that woman, not only pales in comparison, but doesnt belong on the same printed page except to demonstrate how far we have moved toward accepting duplicity in our leaders as our due. My friends, this is not garden variety duplicity, this is the kind of duplicity that winds the prize for boldness and timing. Most of the people in this nation will not believe that there is any truth in this position. Far fewer in the outside world will believe this posturing. The Bush Administration knows this restatement of their justification for the war is not true, but who is going to notice if we slide it in on the eve of the week we captured Saddam? Moreover who is going to raise their voice in protest and be heard while the nation is celebrating the good news? Is this clever policy creep and sharp political chicanery or what?

» Continue reading "The Policy Creep In The White House"

Posted by Henri Reynard at 1:31 PM

December 17, 2003

Redefining Our Nation

Participation in the great debates of our time like most times in history is not restricted to those who tell the truth. The Bush administration lies so effectively that a majority of the people in this country still believe that Saddam Hussein had a direct connection to the events of 9/11 2001. Of course it is true that there was never any evidence of any link and much evidence to the contrary, but the lie still stands. Now in an attempt to turn reality on its head once more and defy the evidence of our senses it is clear that the voices of the right have come up with another entire new lexicon. They have now redefined the Bush teams ineptitude at diplomacy as candor, an amazing twist of sensibilities that makes buffoons into master strategists and liars into those who would uphold the truth at any cost. The amusement level would be rising if so much were not at stake in these matters of such vital import to the women and children of Iraq to say nothing of the men.

» Continue reading "Redefining Our Nation"

Posted by Henri Reynard at 8:31 AM

December 16, 2003

Beyond Red & Blue States

Realizing the shortcomings of the traditional maps showing all states as either red or blue to represent whether they vote Republican or Democrat, Commonwealth magazine has created a more detailed 10 region map to show the primary voting blocks within the country. Here is a close-up of the map and links to descriptions of the ten regions.

Posted by blipsman at 11:10 AM

December 15, 2003

Why Dean still has a shot

As anyone with a media source within 10 feet of him this weekend discovered, the nefarious Saddam Hussein, that brutal dictator who murdered hundreds of thousands to stamp down an insurgence against him, was captured. And, oh, what a field day the media is having! The sight of a humbled, seemingly distracted, unkempt, glassy-eyed Hussein, opening his mouth obediently while the cameras gazed upon his downfall is now as familiar as the scene of a plane crashing into Tower One was made a little over 2 years ago. And what beautiful timing-such a coup!- for Diane Sawyer to nab the 'first interview with the President since the capture' of Saddam Hussein.

While this love-fest parades on, and giving a nod to the fact that, yes, one less of this man's ilk in power is certainly not a deplorable situation, it seems important to remind others of certain facts that may be glossed over in the next few days.

» Continue reading "Why Dean still has a shot"

Posted by tamsen at 11:19 PM

Just "the end of the beginning"

In the wake of Saddam Hussein's capture, the world expressed joy and relief that a great tyrant has been captured. He was an evil dictator who killed his own citizens, attacked his neighbors and intimidated a region. Bush will likely see a pop in his popularity in the polls. But it is certainly too soon to hand him the 2004 election. As Winston Churchill stated, " it's not the beginning of the end but the end of the beginning."

There is much work to be done in order to ensure peace in the Middle East and ensure our protection from terrorism. Unfortunately, Bush's actions in the region may end up being counterproductive to these goals. History has repeatedly shown that iron-fisted rulers supress ethnic and religious differences within politically created multi-ethnic states, which quickly boil over once the dictator is removed. Just look at the ensuing wars that ravaged for former Yugoslavia following the fall of Communism. Wars continue as the former Soviet Union splinters. Take note of the power warlords have in Afghanistan following the fall of the Taliban. The American-sponsored government has little real control outside of Kabul.

» Continue reading "Just "the end of the beginning""

Posted by blipsman at 12:44 PM

The Tyrant is Gone!

Long live those who oppose tyrants! Unfortunately that is not usually what happens or tyrants could never exist. Think what could happen if every citizen of every nation on earth awoke tomorrow and decided that it was time to depose tyranny. We would lose the leaders of many of the nations on earth; Putin would go, along with Kim of The North. The royal family of Saudi Arabia would be gone, as would many of the leaders in the Middle East. China would have a new regime, as would Pakistan and Egypt and Singapore. Wait, I can hear your voices crying out, some of you who think I am going too far, but there is more, much, much more.

» Continue reading "The Tyrant is Gone!"

Posted by Henri Reynard at 10:42 AM

December 14, 2003

They've caught Saddam.

It appears that Saddam Hussein has been arrested (source: BBC. other sources).

According to other news reports, there does appear to have been a DNA match made; and although, at this point, it's a good idea to remain skeptical, it appears that American forces have Saddam Hussein in custody.

This in-depth report on the capture by the BBC says that:

Searching the compound, troops discovered a tiny 'spider hole' camouflaged with bricks and dirt. At about 2030, they entered the hole and found Saddam Hussein hiding at the bottom.

The former Iraqi leader had secreted himself about 6-8ft underground in a chamber barely large enough to allow a person to lie down.

No shots were fired during the operation, and Saddam Hussein offered no resistance.

Posted by Thomas Scott at 9:34 AM

December 13, 2003

Monopoly, Wealth and Capitalism

The eventual end of every monopoly game I ever played as a youth was the concentration of all the wealth in the hands of one individual. I won more than a few of those games but real life and real money are played on a different board. Nonetheless my family has done all right in my generation; most of my siblings went from poor to middle class during their lifetime. While that is a long way from winning monopoly, it is a classic case of why our nation has worked so well to provide growth in wealth for many families in the past. Unfortunately, the future is likely to be another case entirely if the direction in which our society is changing isn�t altered consciously by significant changes in our policies that govern the exchange of wealth.

» Continue reading "Monopoly, Wealth and Capitalism"

Posted by Henri Reynard at 9:41 AM

December 11, 2003

Watch The World Dance

There is always a dance going on between nations in the world community, and right now we are dancing a tango when much of the rest of the world is dancing a waltz. Maybe we could find a way to negotiate an international treaty that will assure our dance partners that in the future we will try not to step on their toes quite so hard. It will help if we have a less tone deaf Administration in charge here, but I am sure that Ws education included dancing. The first rule of dancing is to recognize the music, the second, to agree with your partner what dance you will be doing once you take the floor.

» Continue reading "Watch The World Dance"

Posted by Henri Reynard at 10:14 AM

December 10, 2003

You Can't Play in My Sandbox!

U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz has ruled that prime contracts to rebuild Iraq will exclude firms from nations that opposed the U.S. war. This means that nations like France and Germany will not be allowed to bid for any of the reconstruction projects.

Wolfowitz's statement used "national security" as the justification for this policy. However, "Procurement specialist Prof. Steven Schooner from George Washington University said it was 'disingenuous' to use national security as an excuse." This policy seems to be instead to be both retaliatory and coercive, in that countries are forced either to provide support to the coalition or shut their country's businesses out of the lucrative contracts.

This policy creates a number of problems:

» Continue reading "You Can't Play in My Sandbox!"

Posted by blipsman at 2:45 PM

December 6, 2003

Risk of Terrorism

I finished reading Michael Moore's book "Dude, where's my country?" a couple of weeks ago. In the book, he made an interesting claim: There is no terrorist threat.

He wasn't claiming that there is no RISK of death by terrorism. He meant that the RISK is so low we shouldn't be basing our entire foreign policy, defense policy and domestic policy on that RISK.

» Continue reading "Risk of Terrorism"

Posted by Al Maline at 10:29 AM

December 3, 2003

Interview with God

Political Humor

In a pursuit of a story, reporters sometimes have to go to the ends of the universe. Well, this reporter has done just that. I secured an interview with The Source. Last week I had an exclusive interview with God.

TD: Hello God, uh can I call you God?

G: Of course.

TD: Thank you for your time.

G: Not at all. I would have done this interview with Dateline but they bumped me for a segment on Scott Peterson.

TD: YikesUhWe should probably start then.

G: Yes, dear - go ahead.

» Continue reading "Interview with God"

Posted by at 2:53 PM

December 2, 2003

Truth or Fiction?

Soon after news of Bush's secret trip to Iraq broke, reports indicated that the trip was almost called off mid-flightafter the plane was spotted by a British Airways pilot.

According to a pool report from aboard Air Force One, reporters were told a British Airways pilot spotted the president's plane and radioed, "Did I just see Air Force One?"

After a long silence, the British Airways pilot, seeming to get that he was in on a secret, said, "Oh."

However, now that no British Airways pilots have come forward to say that they did infact see the plane, the White House has begun to change the story.

Claire Buchan, White House spokeman now claims that actually, the exchange was between the BA pilot and an air traffic control tower, not between the BA pilot and AirForce1.

Or did any of it happen? Was this tall tale invented and passed on to the pool reporters travelling along with the President to make the trip seem Bush seem more heroic, more brave?

Posted by blipsman at 4:55 PM