Monday, April 07, 2003

Human beings are human beings, and things are going to happen

In another stupid ruling, the Supreme Court ok’s bans on cross-burning, saying that it isn’t speech, but intimidation. 1) Nonsense. 2) Intimidation is already a separate crime (the particular case involved white guys burning a cross on the lawn of a black person, which is obviously already illegal, so no ban on cross-burning per se is necessary). 3) They’re complaining about the historical meaning of cross-burning, which is not the province of the courts--individual, present-day cases are. 4) You want to talk about the history of crosses in terrorizing people, go into any Catholic and many Protestant churches and you’ll see crosses with images of some actual guy nailed to them, so you really have to ban all non-burning crosses too, in which case, 5) The vampires win. 6) Not that they don’t have rights too. Still, what do you expect from a country whose soldiers spend all their time tearing down statues and pictures of Saddam Hussein.

Saw one General Benjamin Freakly on CNN talking about supposed chemical weapon components (or pesticides). Suddenly we’re in Dr. Strangelove.

Speaking of people with oddly appropriate names, Otto Reich threatened the Caribbean countries, telling them to shut up about the Iraq war and we’d screw them over bananas (again).

Interesting article on friendly fire. It says that with “smart” targeting systems, mistaken identity incidents tend to be a lot more fatal. Also, with advanced weaponry, there is a premium on being the one to shoot first (and ask questions never). Rumsfeld has given a pithier analysis: “Human beings are human beings, and things are going to happen.” Especially when you decide that equipping military vehicles with friend-or-foe devices is too expensive, as he did in 2001.

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