Thursday, May 31, 2007

"We hate people who think" 

Although I believe that Jonah Goldberg has retired the lifetime achievement trophy, David Brooks' recent column attacking Al Gore indicates that he remains in the running for the "most stupid thing written" award.

Summary of the article: "Al Gore thinks he's so smart, but he's not!"

Brooks completely misinterprets (and that characterization is being charitable to Brooks)the point that Gore is trying to make. Instead, Brooks mocks Gore for using "graduate school" words and seems to question the desirability of using reason and logic to overcome irrational emotions.

Too bad that Brooks did not call on his own intellect to overpower the emotional urge to dash off a shallow, ad hominem attack.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Gypsies in the Palace 

Is there no end to the incompetence emanating from the White House?
Al Hurra television, the U.S. government's $63 million-a-year effort at public diplomacy broadcasting in the Middle East, is run by executives and officials who cannot speak Arabic, according to a senior official who oversees the program.

That might explain why critics say the service has recently been caught broadcasting terrorist messages, including an hour-long tirade on the importance of anti-Jewish violence, among other questionable pieces.

Facing tough questions before a congressional panel last week, Broadcasting Board of Governors member Joaquin Blaya admitted none of the senior news managers at the network spoke Arabic when the terrorist messages made it onto the air courtesy of U.S. taxpayer funds. Nor did Blaya himself or any of the other officials at the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees the network.
However, I'm sure that they are all "loyal Bushies".

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Voter Fraud Fraud 

While a student at the University of Florida during the Watergate era, I remember one of my professors commenting that we have had good presidents and bad presidents, but that Nixon seemed to be the only one that did not have a commitment to democracy.

If anyone has still the least bit of doubt the Bush administration has surpassed Nixon's in that dubious category, read Richard Hasen's article on its voter fraud scam.

Monday, May 21, 2007

You Really Can't Go Home Again 

The St. Petersburg Times' Bill Maxwell had an idea: to leave journalism and go teach at a historically black college in order to "give back."

In a fascinating series, he describes his experiences, his surprises and his heartaches.

Maxwell has been one of my favorite columnists, and this three-part essay (the first installment ran on May 13th, the next on May 20th and the final part will run on May 27th) does nothing but confirm to me his talent and intellect.

Far from Florida 

James Fallows has an interesting observation (first hand, of course) on one of the the most visible differences between China and India.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

If I was the King of the Forest . . . 

Last night's Republican debate was a sorry sight, with almost all the candidates trying to out-macho each other. The nadir was hit when, in response to a "what if" question about terrorists blowing up U.S. cities, Tom Tancredo stated he would be looking for Jack Bauer.

Some actually thought this showed how tough he might be.

David Weigel had the proper perspective on all this hard guy blabber:
. . . too many conservatives fantasize about the war on terror in lieu of studying the actual war on terror and making morally uncomfortable decisions about whether we can "win it." What's it say about the GOP field that they're more comfortable answering hypothetical questions about a terrorist plot on a TV show than answering questions about the Iraq War - which, you know, actually exists? Nothing good.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

How Many More? 

There's a shameless game of moral chicken that war supporters play in which they dare opponents to say the war is a mistake because, they claim, saying so would then dishonor all the men and women who've already died in its cause. So to spare the dead that ignominy, kill many more of our children. All to avoid swallowing that bitter pill.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?