Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Perspective and Reason

The events of the US Memorial weekend included continued shocking and sad news from Iraq. Two CBS newsmen were killed and a reporter was injured in a Humvee bombing. This event shone more light on the violence in Iraq, since there were several dozen other deaths due to combat at the same time.

A reporter, in Baghdad, on the Today Show answered Matt Lauer’s question of how this tally of casualties fits in with the overall picture—the answer is, while the media focuses on the injured and death of their own, the bombings and death tolls are business as usual in a country occupied by foreign US forces, with no downturn or end in sight.

Further weakness and misjudgment by Bush was clear in his handling of the threat of resignation by the US Attorney General and FBI head. They would have quit if documents and evidence seized from the House office of Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., as part of a bribery investigation, without giving House leaders advance notice, had been returned. Why would they be returned? Because some House leaders criticized the raid, saying it crossed the line of separation of powers between legislative and executive branches of government—even though the warrant for seizure was signed by the third, judicial, branch. So Bush had the evidence sealed for 45 days in order for everyone to cool down a reach an agreement. Today, hearings will be held on this issue:

Bush's directive to temporarily remove the documents from FBI custody was an implicit rebuke not just of FBI Director Robert Mueller but of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales—both of whom signed off on the search of Jefferson's office before it took place. "What is he [Bush] saying? His own Justice Department was wrong?" said one senior law-enforcement official who, like other senior officials NEWSWEEK spoke to, asked not to be identified because of the political sensitivity of the case. "People are livid about this."--Newsweek, June 5 issue

The idiocy of all sides’ handling of this case even brought together notorious left-wing spokesman James Carville with a right-wing radio host this morning. The two agreed that, after the finding of $90,000 in Jefferson’s home freezer, there might just be due cause to look further for evidence of wrongdoing. Carville explained in his usual dry southern drawl, that holding hearings on this matter, when all the other serious issues we face should be getting the spotlight, was absurd.

Perhaps today was the exact right time for this commentary to appear by the great playwright Edward Albee in the Los Angeles Times Op-Ed section:

Few Americans are educated in the ways government works — or does not work — and our passivity, our downright apathy, in the face of the headlong retreat from democracy in this country makes us wonder if perhaps the late Max Lerner was not right: We are a civilization in decline without ever having reached its zenith.

They tell us that in a democracy, we can have anything we want. True. But it is also true that in a democracy, we get exactly what we deserve. We'd better figure out what we deserve.

Yesterday I wrote about the Pope visiting Auschwitz, and I tried to find any meaning in it. It takes an objective and more seasoned mind than mine to give a concise answer, from the perspective of the overall—my Dad is mainly concerned with seniors getting the short end of the stick with the Bush drug plan, and how to end the misbegotten occupation of Iraq as soon as possible.

Here’s his email today about the Pope and other things:

"What to make of it---in the overall scheme of things --it don't amount to a hill of beans—

This pope spoke in German, the other in Polishand anti-Semitism still is on the increase.

So what does it mean Pious X11 closed his eyes to it while he had a chance to do something?

We have ethnic cleansing--mass murders starvation, floods and tsunamis.And worst of all the killing and maiming of our boys and their people daily.

Why doesn't the pope try to talk some sense today--and ask G W to withdraw(or at least try)?"

Why didn't someone as that question on the morning news?

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