Sunday, July 23, 2006

Sunday Tapas

Today is Sunday, 23 July 2006.

Since 2002, the NASA mission statement was “… to understand and protect our home planet; to explore the universe and search for life; to inspire the next generation of explorers …”

In February, that was changed: “… to pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research.”

I don’t think I’m being overly-suspicious in seeing the fine hand of the White House here. Why drop protection of our home planet, if not to discourage research and action to counteract global warming?

The San Francisco Chronicle yesterday reported that Rep. Gil Gutknecht (R, MN), formerly a sure bet for support of the pacification of Iraq, had visited same, and said the situation there is far worse “than we’d been led to believe”. He now advocates the immediate commencement of American troop withdrawals.

Better late than never, perhaps, but best earlier than later. It will take Gil quite a while to wash the blood, caused by his ethical obtuseness, off his hands.

Congress finally passed and sent to the White House a 25-year extension of the Voting Rights Act. This occurred over the opposition of some Southern Republicans who claim the states of the Old Confederacy are being unfairly singled out.

Given their record (including widespread disenfranchisement of African-American voters in the 2000 presidential election in … golly yes, Florida), this claim is absurd. There are, however, ample grounds to warrant spending a decent fraction of the $1 trillion that the “democratization” of Afghanistan and Iraq are projected to cost on democratizing elections in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.


Once Upon a Distant War: Young War Correspondents and the Early Vietnam Battles, by William Prochnau (Times Books, 1995). (Vintage paperback under the title: Once Upon a Distant War: David Halberstam, Neil Sheehan, Peter Arnett--Young War Correspondents and Their Early Vietnam Battles.)

Vietnam is a graveyard of lost hopes, destroyed vanity, glib promises, and good intentions.” --- “The lead sentence filed by Time magazine correspondent Charles Mohr for an August 9, 1963 cover story. The sentence was not published.”

If their newspapers and magazines would have had the courage to publish the truths they saw, and the American people the decency to stop the war ... An excellent antidote to the 82nd “Fighting Keyboardists” Division of the right-wing, who claim liberal media back-stabbers are losing the conquest of Iraq. [RATING: 5 bullets]


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