Thursday, September 21, 2006

Chavez rocks

Here's an incomplete, incompetent translation of Hugo Chavez's remarks at the UN General Assembly. Here's a more complete, competent one. Just compare the first few lines and you'll notice significant differences, including the Chomsky references.

The press in the US, and Democrats like Pelosi too, are villifying Chavez for his "sulfur" remark. I for one found it amusing, as did several of the delegates to the UN, who could be heard laughing in the background. And if you read the entire text of the well-presented translation you'll see that the sulphur references, in context, are solidly metaphorical, speaking of the stench of the demon who'd spoken from that podium the day before.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Declaring war

What do you think? Should we declare war? And on what?

Rove's a genius

I've got to admit it, much as it hurts. You see, here's what he's lately attempting--after years of manipulating a majority of us on other matters. He's got his minions, with one voice, conflating our soldiers' ongoing miseries in the Iraq occupation, with honorable sacrifice in support of the "global war on terror." This will, if successful, not only isolate us peaceniks as traitors but concurrently completely reverse the effect of bad news from Iraq. Now, deaths of American soldiers will be no longer be hidden. They'll lose their nature as outrageous waste and be trumpeted as necessary tragedy.

Rove's campaign is already underway, as can be seen in this AP dispatch, in which the Army spokesman, as part of the revelation that deaths of American troops increased lately, appeared to connect that fact with the announcement by al Qaida in Iraq's recent call to arms. In the past, the two wouldn't be connected, for fear of being evidence of al Qaida's effectiveness. But now, the connection serves the administration's purpose of showing Iraq to be part of the "global war on terror," and the soldiers' deaths as heroic losses in that cause.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Goldwater for President

I just watched an HBO special about the life and politics of Barry Goldwater. Although most of my life I've been far left of his position on issues of government involvement in issues of social welfare, and certainly I've opposed his bent toward military might, I always believed in the truthful, principled posture he maintained about limited government in the citizen's personal affairs. Goldwater opposed the intrusion of government in issues of abortion, homosexuality, religion and the like. Once, in 1964 when he was running against Lyndon Johnson for President, he came to Tucson for a fundraiser and I heard a local interview of him on radio. I even recall where I was when I heard the interview, driving down Broadway near Park Avenue, headed west. Here's what I recall hearing:

"Senator Goldwater, what is your position on the question of legalizing marijuana?"

"Well, I'm a conservative, and on that issue my position is clear. I think that unless the government can demonstrate an evil--a tangible, danger--from any behavior, I think government should keep the hell out of it. That goes for marijuana use, or any other thing that hasn't shown to be dangerous."

That's as close as I can get to a direct quote, and my recollection is borne out by the positions Goldwater was shown on the HBO special to have held on similiar issues. Maybe now he'd be called a Libertarian, but back then he was a true conservative. And what the special pointed out at the end was this: Goldwater's views about conservative government didn't change throughout his life. What changed was the Republican Right. It's now a bunch whose beliefs Goldwater abhored. Intrusive, driven by religiosity and small-minded. All of which leads me to say: Goldwater for President.