Thursday, January 17, 2008

Sharing Might Work

The Times story today about a beating in Shaker Heights is depressing. Shaker Heights is a community we've all admired over the years--upscale yet biracial--one of the few perhaps, at least that I've heard about. So now some Black teenagers from Cleveland gratuitously beat up a 52-year-old white lawyer out for a walk at night and the only thought is increased police presence. Cleveland, which Shaker Heights is basically a part of, has been getting poorer every year. It's one of the poorest cities in the country. Does it ever occur to anyone in Shaker Heights (or to any of us) to share some of their good fortune with their poorer neighbors outside the borders of the suburb? Like instead of paying more taxes for more police, how about spending that money on better schools in Cleveland, more services for poorer residents, whatever. Wouldn't that be a smart way of approaching things? But that idea apparently doesn't come up,even in such a progressive community, at least according to the Times, which doesn't so much as mention such a possibility.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

thank you, new york times

The story today about how the army turns people into killers, even after they come home, is a killer in itself. Surely no one of any feeling could read this tale without tears. This is what war does to people, destroying on purpose the civilized persona carefully built up by parents, schools and society from infancy. Of course, the Pentagon doesn't keep track of such events. They are in the business of denying the effects of their dirty racket. And it was all optional, a "war of choice." Its effects will cascade down over the years with more deaths, more tragedies, through the generations of motherless and fatherless children. Stop, for chrissake, you hard hearts you cruel men of Rome.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Saint John McCain

People who talk publicly and derisively about the looks of a former president's daughter are simply beneath contempt. That, apparently, would include Senator McCain. It has been reported that in the last campaign (2004) he told jokes about this matter. I am simply revolted and to quote my son, "may puke." John McCain may have suffered torture, he may have adopted a Vietnamese child, but even these things do not excuse such revolting behavior. He is over.

Who's killing who?

From a story in The Times about how the army's relationship with the press is improving (and how bad it was just a short time ago): “What is clear to me,” General Sanchez told a media group, Military Reporters and Editors, “is that you are perpetuating the corrosive partisan politics that is destroying our country and killing our service members who are at war.” General Sanchez, you will recall, was one of the men responsible for Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. I don't think it's partisan politics that are destroying our country and killing our service members. The war might be over if our Democratic politicians knew how to use partisan politics as well as Repugs do. We don't have enough partisanship. Our representatives simply march in lockstep with der fuhrer despite what their constituents clearly want.

Oh well must remember that this morning I awoke with Miss Kitty America and Miss Doggy America, both in bed. Two titled persons. But of course they are the kind of persons who feel utterly entitled and so, when I mumble "more sleep" they pay no attention. Why would they?

How can Paul Krugman bear to be part of the same op-ed stable as William Kristol. Will Kristol really last? It's hard to believe The Times can allow it. But I guess they chose him and they have their (ugly no doubt) reasons so...

Saturday, January 5, 2008


What does that word mean when applied to Republicans? See below from this morning's Times:

“Among the intelligentsia of the party, there is definitely a deep concern about Huckabee getting the nomination because a lot of them think he can’t win,” said John Feehery, a former senior House Republican aide and party operative. “Part of it is self-interested panic since they have their own horses in the race, and none of them are riding Huckabee.”

Certainly John Feehery is smart at re-labeling but otherwise.... As usual, I don't get it when these people try to make their cohort sound thoughtful or smart or even, well, rational.

As in the Greenfield (?), S.C. woman at a Huckabee tea party describing her crowd. "Well, we're pro-life." Is she against the war which is killing people every day? Apparently not. Why do we let these people get away with such unvarnished nonsense? Let's work on getting rid of "pro=life" as a label. "You mean you're against choice," should be the standard rejoinder. Only endless repetition gets this kind of thing into people's minds. They do it? Why don't we?

Friday, January 4, 2008

One old one

This is an example of a letter to the Times that was never published. Of course, as my son said, "I see what you mean, your letters are too pointed to get published." To wit:

Must your writers write as if they were still in high school? "With Katrina Fresh, Bush Moves Briskly," Sheryl Gay Stolberg's piece on the fires in California, largely reads as if everything this administration says is to be taken at face value. I can't believe Ms. Stolberg thinks that, so it must be in the editing. Mitt Romney was a lot more revealing of Republican attitudes when he said in a debate the other night, taking a position against national health insurance, that he wouldn't want the people who made a mess of New Orleans handling our health care. They want government to fail at everything--get it? It's just that when rich white people are in a disaster they move--that's the difference here; not that they've "learned from their mistakes" in New Orleans. Your chart tells it like it is. Your story does not.

Who needs the Times?

Finally, I get it. If the Times won't publish my letters, I can publish them here! That's the whole point of a blog, isn't it? So I'm writing this in hopes I'll remember to come to que pasa again whenever I feel like ranting at the Times (New York, that is).