Through Thick and Thin
Well, an interesting week here in Berkeley. Not surprising, “As above, so below.” The world is undergoing convulsions, not surprising that stuff is coming to the surface in people’s personal lives as well. In my case, my ex-fiancé has returned from the dead. Well, not literally, but I hadn’t heard from her in years, and the last time I saw her she had a serious alcohol problem and was getting into meth. So when she dropped off the radar in 2003 I hoped for the best but feared the worst. Well, she just got in touch with me and apparently my hopes came true. She has been sober for years, owns a home, works as a firefighter, and just in general has gotten her act together. Certainly a pleasant surprise. Now if only the Bush administration could pleasantly surprise me as well, but I fear that is a wasted hope.
In fact the Bush administration got a nasty surprise itself this week. A former spokesman for Bush has released a tell-all book that is none too flattering about the Bush administration. It’s kind of funny really, because his accusations are basically nothing that wasn’t obvious to observers from the get go. The Bush administration is more concerned with spin and public image than actually getting the job done. It’s interesting that it comes from a long time Bush loyalist, but otherwise I don’t think means much. Most of us long ago figured out most of it, Bush didn’t get his historically low approval rating for nothing; and the folks that still support Bush aren’t going to be swayed by anything. The Bush administration wasted no time in issuing all sorts of denials and accusations against the author, proving in at least two ways that the book hit very close to home.
I suppose some will claim that this book shows disloyalty and is unpatriotic in a time of war. Nope. First of all the “war on terror” is a scam, not a war. Secondly, I’ll stick with what Theodore Roosevelt had to say on the subject: “To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”
In other politics…they’ve tried driving a stake through her heart, they’ve tried silver bullets…but Hillary Clinton just won’t go down. Will the Democratic primary race never end? Will she pull a Leiberman if she doesn’t get the nomination and run as an independent? Does anybody still care?
Disasters continue apace in the world. The quake in China is really a mess. It was an 8.0 quake, which is really almost beyond comprehension. For locals, that translates to about ten times as much ground motion as our 1989 Loma Prieta Quake. Which basically means the quake was so violent that objects on the ground were tossed into the air and that waves could be seen travelling through the ground. Or if one wants to be scientific, there were large areas where ground motion reached 12 on the Mercalli Scale. Even in the west, virtually every building in the 12 zone would be damaged beyond repair, even if most didn’t collapse because of our better building codes.
In some odd news out of Japan, a woman was found living in a man’s closet. I mean, we have homeless problems here, but they sleep in doorways, not people’s closets. She would sneak out when he wasn’t home, he became suspicious when food disappeared from his fridge. Yes, she was homeless. More proof of what a polite and civilized people the Japanese are. One of our homeless couldn’t pull that off, the smell would give them away. Sigh. While on the subject of Japan, I came across this link to “Seven Mysterious Creatures of Japan.” There’s a Japanese version of Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster just for starters. Who knew?
In some final good news, over 100 nations have agreed to ban cluster bombs. Cluster bombs are one of those things that show how the west’s pretence of civilization is just that, a pretence. Basically a cluster bomb is a bomb that contains hundreds of small bombs that it scatters widely upon detonation. Some percentage of these bombs do not explode, and litter the landscape for decades afterwards maiming people, often children. A weapon that maims children decades after its use is, in a word, diabolical. The USA, Russia, Pakistan, India, and Israel refuse to sign the ban. I’ll leave the gentle reader to infer what they may from that.
Have a great weekend everyone.
(The above image of an open grave is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It is not being used for profit and is central to illustrating at least two points in the post. Credit and copyright: Steve Bell. I mostly just thought it was a cool photo.)