Some tiny creature, mad with wrath,

Is coming nearer on the path.

--Edward Gorey

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. Outlying Islands

Writer, lawyer, cyclist, rock climber, wanderer of dark residential streets, friend.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Sunday News

So tomorrow I close on my first house; I imagine this will be my last post for a while, as I will be overwhelmed the two days I intend to work this week, and won't be doing much in the way of leisure at home this week, as I slowly move my life from one place to another.

Today, however, I found -- or rather made -- time for some reading, and turned up these gems.

First, locally, Pittsburgh police loosed a dog on sextagenarian war protestors in Oakland. Pepper spray, too. Those white-haired pre-Boomer agitators must be stopped. Thank God Pittsburgh's finest were on the case. (Hat tip, Binky.)

A propos, Frank Rich notes the "Swift Boating of Cindy Sheehan:"

When the Bush mob attacks critics like Ms. Sheehan, its highest priority is to change the subject. If we talk about Richard Clarke's character, then we stop talking about the administration's pre-9/11 inattentiveness to terrorism. If Thomas Wilson is trashed as an insubordinate plant of the "liberal media," we forget the Pentagon's abysmal failure to give our troops adequate armor (a failure that persists today, eight months after he spoke up). If we focus on Joseph Wilson's wife, we lose the big picture of how the administration twisted intelligence to gin up the threat of Saddam's nonexistent W.M.D.'s.

The hope this time was that we'd change the subject to Cindy Sheehan's "wacko" rhetoric and the opportunistic left-wing groups that have attached themselves to her like barnacles. That way we would forget about her dead son. But if much of the 24/7 media has taken the bait, much of the public has not.

The backdrops against which Ms. Sheehan stands - both that of Mr. Bush's what-me-worry vacation and that of Iraq itself - are perfectly synergistic with her message of unequal sacrifice and fruitless carnage. Her point would endure even if the messenger were shot by a gun-waving Crawford hothead or she never returned to Texas from her ailing mother's bedside or the president folded the media circus by actually meeting with her.

It's a column well worth reading.

The Times Editorial Page also offers an incisive critique of the "Freedom March" the government is arranging for the Washington Mall on the fourth anniversary of 9-11. While others have duly excoriated the idea as reminiscent of the propaganda practices of authoritarian governments, the Times stays away from the inflammatory and ultimately alienating and thus self-defeating tactic of drawing historic comparisons to fascist dictatorships of the past and instead focuses far more closely on the message itself.

It is perfectly appropriate for the Defense Department to organize a memorial for Americans who died on Sept. 11, since many were Pentagon employees. It is also fine to pay tribute to the sacrifices being made by the troops in Iraq. What is disturbing is the Bush administration's insistence on combining the two in a politically loaded day of marching and entertainment.

Having failed to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the administration has been eager to repackage the war as a response to Sept. 11. The Freedom Walk appears to be devised to impress this false connection on the popular imagination.

The walk will end with a concert by the country musician Clint Black. Mr. Black is a gifted entertainer, but his song about the Iraq war, "I Raq and Roll" - which contains such lyrics as "our troops take out the garbage, for the good old U.S.A." - sends a jingoistic message that is particularly out of place at a memorial service.

Um, yeah. The music of real Americans, or so I am told.

Well, there was something else, but I can't remember it or find it on the website. So with that, I bid you all adieu; I hope you'll visit me in a week or so when I start moving asymptotically toward normalcy, or whatever passes for normalcy among homeowners. {shiver}


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"David Meieran, another group activist, said when the marchers got to the recruiting station with the intention of shutting it down, it already was closed."


1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Congratulations on the new house!


6:59 PM  
Blogger emily said...

i will give you a dollar if you can actually stay away from blogging for more than 2 or 3 days. i mean it -- a whole dollar!

(this will be the easiest dollar i never spent)

12:39 PM  
Anonymous binky said...

An update, while moon is off doing house things:

Video and photos of the protesters. One is of a woman - already lying on the ground - getting tasered.

12:41 PM  

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