Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Human beings are human beings

Good Paul Krugman piece in the New York Review of Books on the Bush dynasty.

A cute 2 paragraphs in an AP story:
The White House has not been able to produce fellow guardsmen who could testify that Bush attended guard meetings and drills. "Obviously we would have made people available" if they had been found, McClellan said.

Sen. John Kerry, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, is regularly accompanied by a "band of brothers" of military veterans who served with him in Vietnam.

The French Parliament passes the ban on religious symbols 494-36 (the No’s and abstentions came from the Communists and a Catholic party), or to be precise, “signs and dress that conspicuously show the religious affiliation of students.” Sounds like a loophole to me. My advice: every student should go to school wearing the symbols of other religions than their own. Boys should wear burquas. Girls should wear yarmulkas. Make schools that try to enforce this law have to enquire into the religion of their students, to find out if they are showing their own religious affiliation or someone else’s. Let the Thought Police be the Thought Police, I say.

Telegraph: “Japanese police have arrested Nobuhiko Takahashi, a 42-year-old undertaker, on suspicion of murdering his aunt so that his ailing company could carry out her funeral. In the event a rival firm of undertakers did the work.”

Reuters: “Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, asked about Tuesday's car bombing in Iraq that killed about 50 people, said there are murders in every major city in the world "because human beings are human beings."”

He also said he couldn’t remember Blair making the 45 minute-claim.

The “partial-birth abortion” ban has led inevitably to John Ashcroft trying to subpoena women’s medical records (although it has been stopped by a district judge--possibly just for that district, though?).

Cognitive dissonance: NYT headline: “US Tightens Grip on Groups Offering Ways To Visit Cuba.” Quote from Treasury Sec John Snow in that story: “Castro’s regime has crushed freedom”. Like what, the freedom to travel?

McNeil-Lehrer has long been dedicated to the proposition that on every issue there are two sides--and no more than two sides. Today in the introduction to a story on Bush’s National Guard record was the phrase “Some Democrats claim...” that Bush was AWOL. Contrary to Bush’s line on Russert, this issue is not “political,” and contrary to McNeil-Lehrer, it’s not a he-said-she-said thing.

There will be a Simpsons movie.

You know the saying that if you don’t vote, you can’t complain? My addendum is that if you vote for a candidate purely because he’s not George Bush, you don’t get to complain about him unless he actually literally becomes George Bush.

In California justice news, the man that Governor Ahnuld was going to execute without even a clemency hearing, Kevin Cooper, got a stay, when the needle was practically in his arm, the first 9th Circuit stay in decades not immediately overturned by a cranky Supreme Court. He will now get the benefit (or not) of DNA evidence, to see if the blond hairs in one victim’s hand came from Cooper, who is black, and whether blood stains contain preservative (i.e., were planted by the police).

And the lawyers for 3 12-year olds arrested at their schools in Orange County says the humiliation of that arrest is punishment enough for sending a homeless guy to jail for 8 months for attacking them. He hadn’t, but they needed an excuse for being late getting home.

Howard Dean tells children to drink from the toilet.

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