A Long Time In Politics

Hurricane Wilma shines the spotlight back on the U.S. government's ability to handle emergencies.
The 2,000th American dies in Iraq.
Presidential aide Lewis Libby implicated in the Plame scandal.

Supreme Court nominee Harriet Myers withdraws under criticism from the President's core supporters.
Lewis Libby is indicted for perjury and faces 30 years if found guilty. Karl Rove is also under investigation. The President's approval rating falls to 39% - the lowest on record for a second-term administration.

With facts like these you don't need much editorial. But spare a thought for the thousands of mothers worldwide who have outlived their children. It's not right that the incompetent send the loyal to their deaths.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Round these parts, you get yourself called unpatriotic for thoughts like that. You're not allowed to question the war or want the soldiers to stop dying in a war we don't understand because that's just un-American, liberal, hippy-talk.

Anonymous sarah said...

What scares me is I don't even know who's really running the investigations (Miers did step down due to pressure from Bush's people). I'm pretty sure Rove won't get in trouble and that Libby will take the fall entirely, because Rove needs to keep concocting evil ways with Cheney until 2008. How can the majority of our country be in such denial that things have to get *this bad* before we start paying attention? And Clinton was impeached for getting a blowjob. It's so backwards.

Blogger The Paranoid Mod said...

With the possible exception of Churchill in WWII (and even he made some dodgy decisions), the incompetent always send the loyal to their deaths.

The trick is I think to have less loyal people around so the incompetent have to get off their fat arses and do it themselves. Well, it's a nice thought.

Here's to noone ever joining the military and thinking guns are cool...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

sarah, where did you blog go?

The military isn't an inherently evil thing; it's just being weilded by evil forces at the moment. It's like there's nothing wrong with someone owning a gun--but when they start waving it around wildly at shooting their neighbors that people need to be concerned.

Blogger Trundling Grunt said...

Yeah, but Churchill didn't exactly shine in WW1 (Gallipoli???), did he?

The only worrying thing about the withdrawal of Harriet Myers is who Dubya will propose to replace her.

How about this link....

Blogger DrHeimlich said...

Yes, it's backwards. And that's just the way it is. Just look at the violence and gore depicted in the average episode of CSI. Then consider the fallout from Janet's "Nipplegate" scandal. Violence is fine in American society. Sex is not.

Apparently we're fine depicting how to take lives. Just not how to create them.

Blogger thisismarcus said...

Honestly, I didn't expect many dissenting comments from my regular readership but that was hardly the point. The point was to be able to post freely with no fear of deportation. Yay me!

I think the real shock with Janet's nipple was that the Borg Collective got there first.

Blogger The Paranoid Mod said...

Not sure about that Borg collective remark.

For the record, round here at Mod Towers guns are held to be inherently evil, and the military to be stupid eejits who deserve to be sent to a desert and blown up.

To misquote Bill Hicks, anyone dumb enough to want to join the Army should be allowed in. It's social Darwinism at its finest.

There is everything wrong with someone owning a gun, this is why the UK, and indeed most of the world, has a fraction of the shootings the US has.

(People's Socialist Republic of Brighton, Chess secretary).

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey mod, Canadians own a zillion guns just like us Americans and also have a fraction of the shootings. It's not the guns--it's the fucking crazy American people. Go figure. I personally don't own a gun, and I don't like the idea of owning one, but having one doesn't make you automatically violent.

Also, there's nothing wrong with wanting to defend one's country. Unfortunately, there are bad people out there and having some kind of a defense is a smart move. Notice I'm saying defense, not "offense," which is why I'm not in support of what our military is currently doing.

I know my husband is a smart man, and he did not join the military because he was too stupid to go to college or stay out of jail or some such thing. He has the proper training, so that when his services are needed we can rely on him (and other personnel) to do a good job.

I do hope you plan to tell the families of the British soldiers who have died on behalf of your country that their sons, daughters, husbands, wives, brothers, and sisters were too stupid to live and deserved to die.

Blogger Candace said...

Wow - harsh. I guess I deserved to die when I was in the Air Guard then. Seems a tad ironic to purport that guns are evil while in the same breath wishing death upon thousands. . .

Blogger The Paranoid Mod said...

Hey kitkat. Yep, quite happy to tell the grieving families that, after all, it's what soldiers do, die, right? It's kind of in the job description.

Most of my ire is reserved for Tony Bliar of course, but it's pretty stupid too to put yourself in a position where you have to do what you're told and aren't allowed free will or speech. They bring it on themselves.

I definitely know Canadians are a whole lot saner, but I think if you own a gun you must be a notch more violent, cos otherwise you wouldn't want to shoot that burglar/deer/beer can. Violence is violence, whether it's socially acceptable or not.

There hasn't been a justified war in the western world since 1945, and everything else, from Burma and Vietnam to Colombia and Iraq is just ideological bullying, and entirely corrupt.

I don't accept that there are that many bad people in the world, there will always be some nutters out there, but bombing your way round the planet and spending more on military research than you do on welfare doesn't seem like the way forward to me. The continuing belief that we're all under attack and we all need big armies is nothing short of a lie.

When is your husband ever going to need to defend North American soil? For him to have to go somewhere else to "defend" it is idiocy.

Candace, no offence, but did you really consider who you were working for? Your country has demonstrably done more to make the world less safe over the last 4 years, as indeed has mine, and if you're happy to go work for these people then there's not much more I can say.
I'm aware of the irony and I know pacifists shouldn't get angry, but there you go. There's too much at stake not to get furious about the stupidity we see in the news every day. And the stupidest of all are the people who think big shiny guns are a good thing.

Mod out of breath and in need of some tea.

Blogger TheGirard said...

Maybe if someone went and blew up the big space needle building in Toronto you might be signing a different tune.

Anonymous sarah said...

Kitkat--I had to take my blog down to force myself to stop procastinating so much. If I ever get out of adjuncting and get a job with a saner schedule, I'll probably put it back up. In the meantime, I'll still be reading yours.:)

As for the discussion over whether or not soldiers choose their position--the economics of this country have been carefully orchestrated to keep many in the military. It has nothing to do with intelligence and a lot to do with the lack of privilege and the need to survive. It's hard to go to college in this country without accruing massive debt (and that's when you're already entering college with a middle class background--some people literally can't afford college, at all--this country isn't as full as opportunity for everybody). Also, it's harder and harder to find jobs that offer the benefits and the security of the military, especially under our current administration, because everything keeps getting more expensive but no one is making any more money, and it's harder and harder to get health insurance. Economically, the military offers a pretty stable means of living. No one (well, maybe a few--but only because there are a few crazy people in any batch) joins the military because yay! they want to kill people! I can't fault individuals for joining the military but I can fault those in charge, who are manipulating them and sending them to die.

I've almost always been a pacifist, as well. But being a pacifist means recognizing that while you disagree with violence and don't understand it, you can't villainize those with good intentions. Alienating others only leaves room for more conflict and misunderstanding. I know quite a few people in the military, and while I don't agree that the military is currently defending our country, I do understand that all of them have joined with good intentions, that all of them are sacrificing themselves for others, no matter the cause. Yet, if I just label soldiers as stupid, how am I going to create any sort of understanding between them and myself? How is our population going to ever become less complacent and more informed if we're constantly on the defensive with each other? Now, granted, I have no patience with the Bush administration--I pretty much think Cheney and Rove are the embodiment of pure evil. But, neither of them have good intentions, and that's where I allow the patience to stop. But if we don't separate the soldiers from the administration, it's that much easier for the adminstration to keep soldiers on their side and doing their dirty work.

Kitkat, I do hope your husband hasn't had to spend any time in Iraq.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

sarah, unfortunately he has and will again in the next few months. Being in the Navy, he isn't in as much danger as the poor guys on land, but war zones are war zones.

Blogger thisismarcus said...

And this is what happens when idealists and pragmatists meet.

Advice to bloggers: make sure you have something light to follow-up a political post because the top story always gets more comments.

Note to self: avoid politics if you want to keep your friends.

Blogger Candace said...

Sorry Marcus. You have a cool blog and I almost didn't weigh in with my 2 cents worth cuz it makes no diff anyway, really. I'll activate the Chinese finger traps now.

mnakeios it hjard tro rtype trhough. . . ;o)

Blogger The Paranoid Mod said...

Sarah, from a distance, I have read about the weirdness of having to join the military to afford school. That situation just seems so fucked on this side of the Atlantic that I don't know what to say. It seems glib to say that you always have a choice, but...

No offence meant, seriously. It's just a classic case of don't get me started.
I avidly watch WW2 documentaries, thank the lord every day that people like my uncle were at Dunkirk to get the boys home, but still reckon I would have been a concientious objector when push came to shove.
Like Mr. Prefect said, idealism vs. pragmatism.

Misquoting Eddie Izzard - "Guns don't kill people, but they help"


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mod, you're right. We always do have choices to make--but our choices aren't always infinite. Some people are faced with bleaker consequences than others. And what about those who joined the military before even knowing this war was going to happen? Bush has broken a lot of trust with Americans. But what I was really trying to get at was, regardless of why someone joins the military, it doesn't do any good to assume that soldiers and Bush's agenda are one. I also resent hearing anti-American sentiment, because I think Bush and America are two entirely different things. I don't think he legitimately won either election, and even if he did, I still don't support him just because I'm American. The whole divide between politicians and real people--wouldn't it be nice if we could function without politics? And I'm with you in that I wish violence didn't exist. What's sad is that if our government weren't made of greedy oil-men, and if we just used the alternate fuels we already have, we wouldn't be interfering with the Middle East, and we'd cut off the funding for terrorists. And while that should be considered pragmatism (it is, indeed, possible), it unfortunately falls into the category of idealism because our administration's too greedy to do otherwise.

Blogger The Paranoid Mod said...

I would argue that joining the military per se is a dodgy decision, and with the right wing climate in the US at the mo' it's downright suicidal. But anyway.

I'm not sure how I was anti-American, didn't mean to be. I'm well aware it's not all Republicans and preachers. There are some lefties in some of the cities, even, I've found. I spoke to a bloke in Miami last year who was downright socialist. Hope he hasn't been thrown into Guantanamo.

When will Rove get his, that's what I want to know!

Anonymous sarah said...

Mod, I didn't think you came across as Anti-American; I probably should've put a paragraph break in there so you knew I was addressing you only when talking about the choice to join the military. I agree that joining the military right now is downright suicidal--I'm not sure what the numbers are, but I'm guessing the reasong so many tours-of-duty are being extended is that fewer people are joining. Still, a lot of people feel they have no choice (even if they do) because economically, they've been herded into joining the military. And the military had an entirely other definition before the Bush administration--and many who are in it now joined before Bush. Again, I'm a pacifist with socialist leanings (uh-oh, some goverment agent is reading this as I type and they're going to follow me now), but I just believe that you've got to separate the organization that is the military from the individuals. Otherwise, we get no where in trying to actually change things. I'm pretty sure that if you and I sat down and talked, we'd be pretty in-line politically and that we haven't really been arguing against on another. I, too, would like to see Rove get his but I'm not sure it'll happen. What I'm most concerned with right now is making sure Scalito doesn't get sworn in--that is one scary man.

Anonymous sarah said...

Oh, and I keep listing myself as "anonymous" by accident--I'm not trying to be secretive.:)


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