Saturday, October 25, 2003

Long hard slog

I've gotten tired of waiting for something to attach that subject line to, so don't go looking for relevance.

Still dead: the right-wing Spanish government is offering to repatriate the remains of Spaniards killed fighting for the Germans in the Soviet Union. The republicans killed by Franco’s fascists, on the other hand, are still buried in mass graves.

The Senate votes to ease travel restrictions on Cuba while the Dept of Homeland Security plans to use intelligence resources to identify the tourists. Evidently there is no longer any terrorist threat to the United States, and the department of Homeland Security, its job complete, may now be safely disbanded.

LA makes it illegal to shit and/or piss in public, punishable by a $1,000 fine or 6 months in jail. They say it won’t be enforced where there are no public toilets, but since they don’t put that into the law, so it’s just another arbitrary power put in the hands of the police.

There was a bizarre attempt at spin by the Israeli military this week. After a bombing/assassination attack in which 14, I believe, were killed, they released some of their footage from drone planes allegedly showing empty streets when they fired missiles at a car. They didn’t show all of the footage, and they never explained how all those people got deaded, unless Palestinian militants are now traveling by clown car. I guess they got away with it, in that the first headlines were about Israel releasing footage that proved something, while the stories the next day didn’t get nearly the same play. Because the film didn’t show what Israel claimed it showed, empty streets, if you actually looked at it closely.

The NYT has an article about something I’ve been meaning to talk about, and now don’t have to, the increasing use by R’s of conference committees to rewrite legislation behind closed doors, the rewriting being done by just a few very powerful R’s, and always, always in the direction of special interests and the right wing. It’s secretive, undemocratic (and unDemocratic, since D’s are excluded from the work). Conference committees are supposed to reconcile differences between bills passed by the two houses, but that’s not how they’re being used now.

George Bush the Elder was shot down during a bombing run on the island of Chichi Jima, as were 8 other airmen. He escaped. The other 8 were all captured, tortured, beheaded or stabbed to death. 4 of them were then eaten.

Israel is planning to release 400 Hezbollah and other prisoners in exchange for one live drug dealer and 3 dead soldiers.

Frank Rich on Bush’s media wars.

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