Britney Spears makes death threats, can the republic survive? And other minor news items August 1st 2007.
Last night I tried to pre-write a post and made great progress, but finally realized that the post I was working on would take many more hours to finish to my satisfaction. It’s a post about logical fallacies, and somehow I felt that a post about logical fallacies shouldn’t contain any logical fallacies. Does that make sense? It’s harder than one would think, we live in a society so permeated with logical fallacies that one can hardly turn around without stepping in one. So once again my readers are stuck with a rambling post about my take on the day’s headlines.
Iraq: Well, US deaths in Iraq were down in July. That’s good news, fewer dead Americans is a good thing. Still, 20 odd fewer deaths is not much to hang one’s hat on, though of course the Bush administration is hailing it as “progress.” Iraqi deaths are up, the Iraqi government is falling apart, and other grim reports are making the news. In other words the Bush administration continues it pretend that it has a policy in Iraq beyond “hang in there till we can pass the buck to the next administration.”
US Economy: The stock market is all over the place, home sales are down, mortgage foreclosures are spiking. There’s all sorts of other economic reports and such, I really don’t try to keep up with it. People have been predicting the imminent melt-down of the US economy since at least the eighties. I think there’s way to much wealth floating around the nation for anything like that to really occur. At least not without some trigger like a world war or climate catastrophe. My economic fear is that the USA is slowly turning into one giant company town. We’re still making progress down that road. And the world stock meltdown can’t be a good thing.
Middle East Peace Conference: One would suppose that the US proposed upcoming Middle East Peace conference is a good thing. Since the conference is only going to include parties the US approves of, if it even happens at all, this is more of the same old same old. IE do nothing, make noises about peace, then blame it on our Arab enemies when it fails. A peace conference that does not include Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran among others is not actually a peace conference, it’s a continue-the-status-quo conference.
Darfur: A joint United Nations/African Union peacekeeping force has been approved for Darfur in the Sudan. Peacekeepers don’t seem to have a particularly good record at actually keeping the peace, but I suppose one could see this as a good thing. The ugly truth is that governments can do pretty much what they want to the people living inside their borders, and there’s usually little the world can do about it. The even uglier truth is that all governments like it this way, they only protest when they can score political points by doing so. No government on Earth is proposing redrawing the world’s outdated colonial borders in a fashion that makes sense or setting up actual human rights standards that have to be followed. So this is good news for the people of Darfur if the Sudanese government is actually on board with it, or simply UN cover for further atrocities of the government if Sudan wants to play it that way. I’m betting the later.
US Politics: In the latest round of chest thumping, Obama claims he would send US troops into Pakistan if elected president. American politics, a 21st century political system still based on the quaint 18th century US tradition of electing the best damn Indian Fighter to office, it’s kind of sad really. My current suspicion is that the Republicans will manage to manoeuvre the Democrats into running another un-electable candidate for the White House in 2008, and that the Republican candidate will slide in under the wire with the media pointedly ignoring any problems that might suggest something funky with votes in a few key states. And by unelectable, I mean a candidate that middle of the road red state voters simply could not jump ship for. I’m thinking an Obama/Hillary ticket myself, that should clinch the Republicans another 4-8 years in the White House easily.
What does it all mean? Beats me, all I know is that the people who seem most sure they know what is going on are the ones who make the biggest mistakes. There’s a blog post in there somewhere I’m sure, but enough digression for today. The picture of happy cats at an animal sanctuary is just that, don’t those cats look happy? It made me smile. My cats mostly look asleep, it doesn’t photograph well. Have a good and peaceful August everyone.
(The above image of happy cats at the Peace Plantation Animal Sanctuary is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s not being used for profit, is at least somewhat related to the post, and in no way harms the sanctuary in question or the photographer. Credit: The Meditative Cat.)