Monday, July 21, 2003

OK, flatter than a pancake

That mysterious disappearing WaPo story about the Dept of Heimat Security’s shortcomings finally reappears. Pretty much as expected, at least by me, the dept that Bush didn’t want got crushed by its competitors, the CIA and FBI, and where it does anything at all, it’s another layer of bureaucracy where another layer is not needed. It is not performing and never will perform any function in coordinating intelligence. Which is probably just as well, since it wouldn’t have the institutional strength to stand up to demands to “prove” whatever the administration wants proven.

From William Safire’s column: “Drop the premature conclusion that if we can't yet find proof of the destructive weapons, they never existed. That's like saying because we haven't found Osama or Saddam, those killers never existed.” Or the Easter Bunny.

I complained a while back that the petitions to recall Gray Davis weren’t being turned in immediately (of course once the recallistas did get around to turning them in, they wanted them counted immediately, faster than the law required, and got a tame judge to go along, necessitating the hiring of new personnel by registrars--hey, might I suggest you hire some of those day care workers the state just stopped paying because of the budget crisis? God this state is fucked up). This got up my nose because of the attitude that petitions, which are properly a matter between citizens and their government, were being treated like the property of the recall committee. Well, it’s even worse than that. Some of their paid signature-takers were not legally qualified to take signatures, being felons and non-Californians and whatnot, so they just threw away all the signatures collected by those people. That should be a criminal act, just like tampering with an election. The right to petition is mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, one of the things that is supposed to prevent government from becoming a tyranny between election periods.

For that last sentence, I looked through the Declaration. It is especially ironic reading because the “representative” “Governing” Council in Iraq’s first action was to declare April 10, “Independence Day.” (The Daily Show asked whether that means next year they’ll advertise Independence Day sales--almost as cheap as looting!) Ironic because the things our Founding Fathers were complaining of are exactly the things we bequeathed to Iraq on its “Independence Day”: standing armies, protected “by a mock Trial” from punishment for murders of the locals; “He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution,”; depriving us of trial by jury, transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offences; “He has plundered our Seas, ravaged our Coasts [ok, deserts], burnt our Towns, and destroyed the lives of our People”; excited domestic insurrections--check--large armies of foreign mercenaries--check--multitude of new officers, swarms of officers to harass our people & eat out their substance--let’s see, Paul Bremer, Achmad Chalabi, Haliburton, check and double-check.

(Later:) Kofi Annan says the UN should certify the US-appointed fake government in Iraq, and the Security Council should “confer legitimacy on the process”. As far as I’m concerned, Annan just declared himself unfit for the office he occupies.

The US has finally sent troops to Liberia. Of course they’re only there to protect the embassy, which is pretty much the definition of adding insult to injury. Liberians are piling up their dead bodies in front of the embassy, which I take to be a subtle criticism of Bush’s wait & see policy of “monitoring events,” events which included the massacre of 90 civilians in Monrovia today.

The first human tongue transplant has been performed successfully.

It is scientifically proven that Kansas is in fact flatter than a pancake. Whether this says more about Kansas or about pancakes, I simply lack the scientific credentials to say.

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