Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Feliz Ano Novo, Feliz Ano Nuevo, Happy New Year!

Hey All,

Sorry to end last year on a bit of a down note -- though it's really good that violence in the world is down, really really good! Even if I was smart-assedy about it and used it to explore the Bush Administration's continued Iraqi * pogrom.

So some news in a similar vein -- some profound quotes from J-fave 2 Political Junkies. The first is from atrios via 2PJ, concerning our new democracy under dear leader GW:
2005 was the year that the president of the United States declared proudly that he had broken the law repeatedly and with full intention, that he had the power to do so whenever he wanted to, and that he would continue to do so whenever he determined it to be desirable. This declaration was met with basic approval from much of the beltway chattering classes, prominent libertarian bloggers, and just about every small government conservative... By conferring dictatorial authority on himself Bush has declared that this is, in fact, a dictatorship even if he hasn't (yet) bothered using such authorities to the fullest of his claimed ability... 2005 was the year the president declared he was the law, and few of our elite opinion makers and shapers bothered to notice, or care.

Second, a nice bit by Kurt Vonnegut on 2PJ:
... I am a man without a country, except for the librarians and a Chicago paper called In These Times.

Before we attacked Iraq, the majestic New York Times guaranteed that there were weapons of mass destruction there.

Albert Einstein and Mark Twain gave up on the human reace at the end of their lives, even though Twain hadn't even seen the First World War. War is now a form of TV entertainment, and what made the First World War so particularly entertaining were two American inventions, barbed wire and the machine gun.

Shrapnel was invented by an Englishman of the same name. Don't you wish you could have something named after you?

Like my distinct betters Einstein and Twain, I now give up on people, too. I am a veteran of the Second World War and I have to say this is not the first time I have surrendered to a pitiless war machine.

My last words? "Life is no way to treat an animal, not even a mouse."

Napalm came from Harvard. Veritas!

Our president is a Christian? So was Adolf Hitler.

Ok... not so cheery... but profound.

Go with Goodness, my friends. With God, with Good, or whatever you believe in, go with righteousness and humility, compassion and reason, humanity and activism, into the new year, dear fellow travelers.

1 comment:

J said...

This link is to a news report on a "Lancet" study estimating 100,000 Iraqi deaths. The report was very much debated, but this report shows why many of the objections weren't fully founded. Also, the statistical range of 95% confidence (8,000 to 194,000) belies the tighter range at lower confidence. Sadly, I can't find the quote I heard from the author Les Roberts that the 90% confidence interval is still something like 60,000 to 120,000 deaths -- still twice as much as the lower Bush/Iraqbodycount.net estimte -- and still a 9 out of 10 chance.

Another good source rebutting the dominant criticisms of the Lancet study: here.