Wednesday, September 06, 2006


I watched the debut of Katie Couric on CBS News last night. Yecccch. I like Katie, but yeccch. Too much "unprecedented coverage" and "exclusive interview" types of self promotion. Somebody needs to tell her to at least draw a breath between unrelated news headlines. The Tom Cruise baby, another "exclusive," received equal gravity with coverage of resurgance of the Taliban. Then she winds up with a discussion about how she should sign off. Please. To repeat, I like Katie, but I think they have set her up to remain firmly mired in third place.

I have been trying to give George Bush the benefit of doubt, but he has removed all doubt by attempting to revise the US War Crimes Act of 1996, and to make that revision apply retroactively. You can read about it in more detail here. So the excuse that he thought he was "doing the right thing" and merely violated federal law because he was too dimwitted to understand the law doesn't stand up. Only the guilty seek to escape punishment. Contact your legislators and make sure that his attempt to change a long-standing and necessary set of laws does not succeed.

Glenn Greenwald has two pieces on his blog Unclaimed Territory which I regard as particularly important, although pretty much everything on there is well worth reading. One is this about journalistic integrity. It reads in part,

Journalistic neutrality does not justify -- nor does it permit -- journalists to repeat the factually false statements of government officials without clearly stating that they are false.

The other is this about the complexities of terrorism. Everybody except George Bush (well, also Cheney and Rumsfeld) seems to understand that the terror issue is about as much like Hitler as the Mississippi River is like Lake Superior. (They are both water, but…) That may have something to do with why we are losing, and it certainly points out the need for new leadership.

Actually we don’t need new leadership so much as we need leadership to fill the vacuum at the top of our government where leadership should be but isn’t.

My father, in addition to being a career USAF officer, was an Episcopal priest. He studied for the priesthood after WW2 on his own time, and much of the time that he was serving in the Air Force he practiced as a civilian priest on a volunteer basis. The military uniform and the round collar were compatible, for him, because he knew without question that his country would never, ever, start a war. (We would damn well finish one started by someone else.) That was embodied in Strategic Air Command, whose motto was proudly emblazoned on all of their bombers, “Peace Is Our Profession.” I admired my father and loved him, and I’m glad that he didn’t live to see George W. Bush.

Some weeks ago a news item reported that our armed forces had begun flying supplies to Baghdad since the truck convoys had become too hazardous. Since news from Iraq has slowed to a trickle (somewhat suspicious in itself), I am unable to find out if this is still the case. If anyone knows, please post a comment letting me know.

Good news/bad news department: Katherine Harris won the GOP primary victory in Florida. Bad news is she won. I guess the GOP would elect Bobo the Clown if he claimed to be "born again." Good news she's enough of a flake that the Democrat will probably beat her even in Florida.

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