Sunday, March 4, 2007


NYT: Swiss Accidentally Invade Liechtenstein

I wonder how badly those soldiers got chewed out. At least they're neutral.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

I can't believe this! Or, maybe I can.

And I don't know which is worse.

For those who have not heard, Ann Coulter just said something offensive. For those who have not heard her comments, you should take a look at this video.

On the one hand, it really doesn't surprise me that she says this stuff. I mean, it is kind of like watching The Network: she started just a little too crazy to be "normal" then the rest of the right-wing punditry "caught up" with her bile -- so she had to push it a bit further. Soon, the only way that anyone listened to her was to hear what insanity would come from her mouth next. So, the only way for her to survive is to continue with this crap.

On the other hand, it does surprise me that the right continues to listen to her. I mean, Peter Finch's character in The Network was silenced by his own exectives [1]. I am tired of watching right-wing attack-dogs get away with this BS. It is not surprising that she would say something incendiary. She did so last year at the SAME EVENT! (link via Glenn Greenwald) And, while the right-wing will try and distance themselves from her, they will invite her back again next year. I guess if you push the envelope far enough to the right, you make the crazies seemingly less crazy. Meanwhile, John Kerry is painted as the left-wing crazy for a botche joke.

Although it does me no good to think about this for half a second (or write a blog about it for that matter), there needs to be some way to stand up to this kind of absurdity. I actually really appreciated Elizabeth Edwards' statement about the comment. While she is obviously asking for money, I think that this kind of statement is really written to organize (as much as one can effectively organize through blogs). In fact, I have a lot of respect for the way that the entire Edwards campaign has handled themselves throughout this whole thing. Their attitude seems to be, "Don't get mad, get even."

Just like bullies when I was young, it seems like this is the best advice for dealing with these bullies.

[1]Incidentally, Peter Finch's character was shot. I am not suggesting that Ann Coulter be shot. She, however, has advocated assissinating a Supreme Court justice.

The Buck Stops Where?

So, I have to say that it is nice to finally see accountability somewhere above the ranks of over-worked bureaucrat or low-ranking solider. After the scandalous way in which the Valerie Plame case and Abu Ghraib are handled, in which no one at any high level is held accountable by the Administration, it is nice to see someone finally doing it.

As most probably know, the Secretary of the Army, Francis J. Harvey, resigned (see MSNBC story). It seems that Defense Secretary, Robert Gates is not going to try and blame the duty officers and NCOs like his predecessor did over Abu Ghraib. Instead he says:

From what I have learned, the problems at Walter Reed appear to be problems of leadership,” Gates said. “The Walter Reed doctors, nurses and other staff are among the best and most caring in the world. They deserve our continued deepest thanks and strongest support.

And, it seems like he was behind Harvey leaving. Although I certainly have my problems with anyone in the Bush Administration, it seems like Gates is actually holding true to some of his promises to clean up the Pentagon.

Finally, the buck stops somewhere inside of this Administration.

[see WaPo article for more]

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Global Warming Hullabaloo

I was watching the Oscars with E and her roommate. We started joking around that it would be funny to see Al Gore waving from his SUV while talking about saving the earth from global warming.

It turns out that we weren't really that far off. The Tennessee Center for Policy Research, a libertarian think-tank cited Al Gore's electricity bill in this report.

Now, the debate has turned to carbon offsets and whether that makes up for Gore's $30,000 a year electricity bill. Now, those people at the Tennessee Center for Policy Research should like this kind of proposal, as carbon offsets are a "free-market" "solution" for global warming - so it shows you just how partisan the crazies are, and how out of touch limousine liberals can be.

While Al Gore continues to maintain that his lifestyle is not the issue and that his "net carbon footprint" is zero, the fact that he consumes FAR more his fair share of carbon emissions is exactly the problem. Technology is not going to save us or the earth; only changing our behaviors and consumption will really work in the end. While I don't think that Al Gore is a hypocrite, I do believe that he is being disingenuous. As long as he is taking up as much energy as he does, and as long as the Oscars continue to be the lavish affairs that they are (for example, how many people carpooled in their limos on the way to the Oscars?), neither is truly "green"; both are just "less bad" than they would have been otherwise and distract us from viable solutions.