Topic: In these times...
This isn't funny anymore. But it never was.
I was out of town today, down south in the San Diego area, and didn't get a chance to see much of what was being said here and there in the world of those who try to make sense of the current events. And I've been distracted by the purely personal - as the Hollywood cat, Harriet, is quite seriously ill and tomorrow she's off to the veterinarian. The news I heard on the long drive south and the log drive back seemed to be all about Hurricane Dennis. What's to say about that? It will blow itself out as it moves up the Mississippi river valley and finally disappears somewhere over Cincinnati. The nation's news resources were consumed with that. Fine. That's what people want to hear about. I got home, walked in the door, and the cat, marginally better from a day of sleep in the shade on the cool concrete floor of the balcony, mewed pitifully and then ate a bit, and flopped down for some more sleep.
Time to see what's up – beside the hurricane. So while she was sleeping I scanned the Monday papers in the eastern time zone, and I see Bob Herbert in the New York Times is telling me this: It Just Gets Worse.
In his usual pedestrian prose he explains, as he's writing about the war -
And he covers the usual. We had lost six hundred guys when Bush was making those jokes to the National Press Club. We're well over seventeen hundred now. He mentions the London bombings last week and quotes Larry Johnson, the former CIA analyst who served as deputy director of the State Department's counterterrorism office, who said on National Public Radio last week: "You now in Iraq have a recruiting ground in which jihadists, people who previously were not willing to go out and embrace the vision of bin Laden and Al Qaeda, are now aligning themselves with elements that have declared allegiance to him. And in the course of that, they're learning how to build bombs. They're learning how to conduct military operations."
And he ends with this:
This is what you call belaboring the obvious.
As a diversion I scanned what was on television, as there are lots of cable options. Let's see. "The Mummy Returns." "Legally Blond." A rerun of Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes in the Abbey Grange story. "Airplane" - dated, but a movie always good for a laugh. And on Showtime, Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" of all things. Ten minutes of that convinced me the film may do more good now that it did back then. Fewer and fewer folks will see it as foolish nonsense now. Events in the last several weeks make it seem almost prescient. Sometimes you have to wait. What's up with the folks at Showtime? (Other movie news is that Oliver Stone, the master of conspiracy theory, is planning a movie on the September 11th attacks of 2001 - and the right side of the world is up in arms.)
The business with Karl Rove is heating up - David Corn says this:
Well, there's tons of discussion about that, mostly speculation. (You can find a survey of that here.) But it will all play out. Harriet-the-Cat is something I can actually do something about by carting her off to the vet in the morning.
And Sunday was time with the mother of the fellow just transferred from Mosul to Baghdad, to a staff job in the Green Zone. Yeah, I'm worried about him. What Bush says is nonsense, and most people know it. Folks say it doesn't matter, but I don't feel like cutting Bush any slack because he's a good old boy. I want my honorable, decent and thoughtful nephew back in one piece. There actually are real drawbacks to having a smirking frat boy who doesn't like to think things through in charge of it all. It's not funny anymore.
And it's not funny that the Catholic Church under the new pope is saying evolution is incompatible with Catholic faith. (Good discussion here and here.) But being of little faith why does this matter to me?
More interesting is this post on the origin of the name al Qaeda, and the connection Isaac Asimov's 1951 science fiction trilogy "Foundation" - which was translated into Arabic under the title "al-Qaida". Odd. I remember the books. Very depressing.
But the post to read is this: Bush's War on the American Soldiers - not only has the Veterans Administration been underfunded as the Republicans have successfully blocked all increases for care for the returning wounded, it seems advances in body armor have meant that far fewer of our guys than ever before die in combat, but as the new armor only protects the torso (magnificently) those injured who now survive usually have multiple amputations and massive brain damage. This takes enormous new resources. They aren't there.
Why aren't they there? Try this -
The power of positive thinking - if you believe it isn't so you can make so that is isn't so.
This isn't funny anymore. But it never was.
Ah well, I'll worry about the cat.