Friday, May 29, 2009
It's a powerful scene. By denying the reality of the horror all around them, Clinton's message essentially extinguished the hopes of rescue for the poor souls barracaded in the hotel. The world had determined there was no political will to engage, so it was simply decided to deny reality.
At that moment my anger, outrage and disgust at the inhumanity of the crisis was transformed into a profound shame. No longer was watching this movie a historical experience. Sure, movies about prior genocides, like Schindler's List were eye-opening and soul-wrenching. But there was always the distance of time. Besides, in most of the stories we are taught in our youth, Americans are on the side of justice.
Now, however, here was something I could not depersonalize. The comfort of time and distance evaporated in an instant. A man I had cast a vote for, a man I believed would do the right thing (especially when confronted with evidence of genocide), chose the politically expedient option. I felt dirty, ashamed. At that point, I became responsible.
Now, with US Army General Antonio Taguba (the one who investigated the Abu Ghraib crimes) revealing the contents of the photos President Obama has chosen to keep from the public, a sinking feeling overcomes me. Is another president putting political expediency over doing what's right? To make it worse, the potential crimes were committed by Americans against prisoners. And they were done in the name of keeping me safe.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I'll say this again, although it isn't all that popular. The passage of Proposition 8 was a pivotal event in the fight for LGBT civil rights. A community has been transformed. Yesterday's court decision is another important step forward, despite the defeat. The public debate (although at times ugly and nasty) is creating more support for equality more quickly than any court-ordered mandate ever could have accomplished.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Thanks to Media Matters, we've got video footage of these fools.
Now that Petraeus has come out in support of closing Gitmo, will they follow their own advice? Or will Rush, Hannity and Beck pillory their once-beloved general to protect Darth Cheney?
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Wall Street: This is what happens when a political party devoted to small government and lax regulation is in charge:
With such lax oversight, how can investors and American taxpayers regain the confidence in the financial system necessary to revive the global economy?
The Securities and Exchange Commission abandons investigations for lack of resources, allows corporate wrongdoers to skip fines and drops cases because of a bureaucratic culture of risk aversion, according to a recent federal report...
The report raises questions about how well the SEC can do its job protecting investors with such glaring deficiencies.
The number of SEC enforcement attorneys declined 11.5 percent from 2004 to 2008 while cases were closed prematurely or not investigated at all, the report says.
Although a wide range of cases is pursued, "one attorney told us of closing several cases that were promising but which could not be pursued for lack of resources," according to the report.
Detroit: It was once unthinkable, but now seems inevitable.Capitol Hill: The Roberts Court does corporate America's bidding.
Has anyone checked the temperature in hell lately?
Republican talking heads, full of hot air and blinded to science.
Politics:GOP 2012: In the race to crazy that is the GOP nomination fight, Sarah proves she's still in the game.
The Golden State's tarnished future: California's kids to pay the price for political failure. The draconian spending cuts now facing the state's school districts is an unconscionable abandonment of the state's children, it's most important resource.
Foreign Policy/Military Affairs:
South Central Asia: As President Obama goes "all in" in AfPak, I find myself wondering if anyone has clearly defined America's end goals in a region known as the graveyard of empires.
Capitol Hill: Disappointing the anti-war left that propelled them to power over the past two elections, a Democratic Congress passes another "no-strings attached" Iraq/AfPak war supplemental funding bill. But this year, it's a Democratic President who launched his national career as the anti-war candidate who receives the money. Was this the change we had in mind?