Between CNN (which I listen to way too much) and Huffington Post, I am constantly baffled by how incredibly stupid politicians are, how incredibly stupid they think WE are, how totally self-serving our Congresspeople are as a group, though I think there are a few honest, dedicated folks int he mix.
One of the things that's been leaving me dumbfounded is the whole thing about how "the American people" don't want Gitmo prisoners on our soil. These people have been locked up and brutalized (without any proof in most cases that they are even guilty of anything) for years. They aren't supermen. They aren't invincible. They are people who have been accused of a crime. They can't be jailed on our soil? What will happen if they are? Will we implode? Are they so clever that they will escape en masse? Are our jails so feeble that they can't hold accused terrorists? Absurd. Every time some polititian intones how "the American people" feel this or that or don't want this or that, it makes me cringe. It's like code for I'm about to say something that's total nonsense, but if I claim that "the American people" want it, nobody can argue with me or accuse me of political game playing because it's not me, it's the American people.... How stupid are we? How stupid is our media that they just repeat this crap ad nauseum without actually checking out whether it's true. Jon Stewart said it with humor:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||M - Th 11p / 10c|
|Guantanamo Baywatch - The Final Season|
Speaking of checking out whether things are true or not. Polls. I don't believe them. I think we pay way too much attention to them. A cleverly worded/interpreted poll can be made to say what you want it too. I got polled last year on my opinion of the natural gas companies invading my state. The questions asked were geared to make it seem like I'm thrilled with the gas companies digging up my state. (I'm not.) "Do you have any negative opinion about XYZ company?" Well, no, I've never heard of XYZ company.... I could go on. Polls can be manipulated. Questions can be intentionally or carelessly written to give false results.
Nancy Pelosi vs. Newt Gingrich and the CIA. I don't know if Nancy Pelosi knew about waterboarding. She's not the only one on the committee saying they weren't told. She is one of the people pushing for a truth finding commission. I think this is the kind of thing where people can talk past each other.... and of course there is conveniently nothing in writing but people's "notes" and "recollections." I think it's possible that both sides in this conversation are telling the truth as they see it. Nancy Pelosi didn't get to be the first woman speaker of the house by being reckless. I don't think she made here statement casually. She could also be lying to protect her ass. I concede that. This is one of the areas in which I disagree with President Obama. I understand why he wants to avoid investigating the questionable actions of the Bush administration. He has so much on his plate and such grand ambitions for healing what's wrong with this country that he doesn't want to get mired in the political quagmire and divisive psychic pain that will come with confronting the Bush administration's behavior. I don't think we can heal as a nation unless we do, though. A nation that spies on it's citizens and tortures other human beings isn't the one I think of as my country.
I am still stunned that so many people are comfortable justifying torture. Fascinatingly - truly - is that in a recent poll, the people most comfortable with using torture are born-again Christians. Have they read the Bible? I continue to be baffled that people think we can protect our way of life by defiling it. Or that such actions make us safer. There is little evidence that it does. It is, to me, antithetical to what being American is. If it is who we are and who we want to be, then I think we need to face it head on. There's a thing about playing the victim card that really troubles me. I think Israel does it and I think America has been doing it. It's also how many of the terrorists we so loathe justify their actions. Something bad happened to us and therefore we are allowed to justify anything we want to do in retaliation. Thing is, that's not how laws and ethics work. Lots of bad stuff has happened to me in my life. That doesn't give me carte blanche to go out and pillage and murder anyone who I disagree with or suspect of not being a nice person.
Republicans, given that they have nothing much new to offer of their own, are trying to rename the Democratic party as Democratic Socialists. Give me a break. Colbert did a brilliant "WORD" segment last night on the penchant for rebranding.
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|The Word - I Know You Are But What Am I?|
Health care is another thing where Republicans are allegedly speaking for "the American people." I know a few people who are frightened by Universal Health Care, but not many. I know I have been in favor of it forever...
Credit cards... Well there's something I'm happy about (!!!). Finally some action to reign in the legalized usuary of credit card companies.
I could grumble on and on, but this is probably way more than enough. Here are some Spring photos to atone for my political ranting.
By the way - is anybody else having a weird glitchy thing with blogger where the comments count changes back and forth? I fear I may have some kind of virus or something.