Convoluted Condoleezza

This Condi breakdown begins courtesy of John H. Brown, former member of the U.S. Foreign Service circa 1981 until the invasion of Iraq (similar gems posted daily in Brown’s Public Diplomacy Press Review):

?SOON AFTER ARRIVING AT THE STATE DEPARTMENT EARLIER THIS YEAR, I HUNG A PORTRAIT OF DEAN ACHESON IN MY OFFICE.?

— “The Promise of Democratic Peace…” Condoleezza Rice, Washington Post Dec. 11, 2005
——–

… At any event, a country half slave — or all slave — to foreign criticism cannot stand, except as a mental institution. We cannot gird ourselves for the war against poverty or in Vietnam until we exorcise image worship.

“The American Image will Take Care of Itself,” by Dean Acheson, New York Times Magazine, February 28, 1965

Acheson, despite his contradictions, maintained the type of grounding in reality that has always been expected of Condi. Many credit Acheson, as Truman’s Sec of State, with navigating the U.S. out of Korea, however…. Vietnam, etc. Others say Acheson’s men had a role in turning the tide against McCarthy and overturning the “communists war on christmas”-type philosophy that hindered the progress of the Cold War. Ohhhh for a semblance of a reality check (or does Rumsfeld have to tender his resignation a couple more times first)?

The mixed messages in Rice’s editorial not only poke at her reticence to separate action v. inaction and progress v. hallucination but can also be read reassurance that her boss is in fact doing the right thing, or so time will tell. Just read this five times front and back:

In times of extraordinary change such as ours, when the costs of inaction outweigh the risks of action, doing nothing is not an option. If the school of thought called “realism” is to be truly realistic, it must recognize that stability without democracy will prove to be false stability, and that fear of change is not a positive prescription for policy.

Continue reading “Convoluted Condoleezza”

Tookie Williams: The Death Penalty lives on

Stanley Tookie Williams / LA TimesCalifornia Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger denied clemency Monday to convicted murder Stanley “Tookie” Williams.

“I can find no justification for granting clemency.” “The facts of the case do not warrant overturning the jury’s verdict or court decisions.”

Read the Governor’s Announcement (.pdf).

Tookie Williams’ guilt was never in doubt. In fact, he has never denied responsibility for the cold-blooded murder of four helpless robbery victims in 1979.

But the death penalty is an antiquated and barbaric practice that is rarely if ever endorsed in Western civilization (outside of Texas, that is). In fact, “more than half the countries in the world have abolished the death penalty in law or practice,” according to Amnesty International’s figures.

TalkLeft sums it up best in regard to the future of humanity:

Clemency is about mercy. It is an act of grace. You have the opportunity to stop a needless killing. Tookie’s execution will not bring the victims back. It will not heal. The welfare of the people of California is best served by the message clemency would send — one of hope to the tens of thousands of disadvantaged young people your administration has professed to care so deeply about. A denial of clemency will send a message of despair.

Unfortunately, it seems, Schwarzenegger lacked the political capital to commute Williams’ sentence to life in prison.

Marc Cooper put it in perspective in last week’s LA Weekly, and placed the accidental governor’s odds at 2:5 for granting Williams clemency.

Mahablog points to data revealing that homicide rates are actually HIGHER in death penalty states.

All the stars came out to rally for Williams, but nobody ever asked for his release. It seemed a simple enough cause to ask for a six-time Nobel Peace Prize-nominated death row inmate’s sentence to be commuted to life in prison.

Mr. M from Left Field
wonders why American society insists that vengeance, not redemption, is the ultimate justice.

Dust my Broom speculates on the irony of a possible violent fallout in response to the denial of clemency based on a supposedly changed man’s peaceful mission.

Abolish the Death Penalty / Tookie / Nbc 4 TV

Wolcott on the MSM’s circus of “Circle jerks”

via cagle.com
James Wolcott, as he is apt to do, just annihilated my post-in-progress with this vapid and hilarious assessment of the msm v. blog credibility dichotomy in light of so-called “top-tier” journalists recent escapades in patheticism.

No blogger has comported him or herself with the lazy arrogance and sloppy ethics of some of the Big Names in journalism (Bob Woodward, Judith Miller, Bob Novak), nor has done as much damage to the public’s right to know and their own profession.

Go ahead, read the rest of his “Circle Jerks” post.

[Vanity Fair has just released writer Seth Mnookin’s feature expose on Judith Miller. E&P has the lowdown here. James Wolcott is a contributing editor to VF]

Frank Rich: Pentagon Propaganda is “Pure Ali G”

Early reviews are mixed on the charge-for-content concept — personally, I think I’m in good as my Sundays-only New York Times print subscription includes full access to TimesSelect.

Today I had one of those couple-times-a-year multimedia zen moments and it involved listening to Mark Moran read Frank Rich’s Sunday NYT column It Takes a Potemkin Village while trying to read theh broadsheet in my hands.

Stricken by the sharp humor after one and a half paragraphs… i had to just sit back and listen — i was laughing too hard to even read.

Its a challenge to find the podcast page even if you DO have TimesSelect access, so I’ve decided to take the liberty and host this .mp3 right here for all to enjoy.

Click the icon to get to the TS podcasts page.

Click here to listen to (or download) the .mp3 (podcast) of the aforementioned op-ed column, especially if you find yourself convulsing too hard with laughter to enable a proper read.

For a great contextual run-down of the term “Potemkin village,” including its historical meaning; see Ed Strong’s blog.

Victory for Bush!

2005 Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush (Reggie, that is)!

Congrats to Reggie Bush, winner of the 2005 Heisman Trophy.

Collecting over 90% of the total points in the voting, over the formidable Vince Young, The President secured the largest margin of victory in Heisman history.
reggie bush - LATimes
Bush averaged 8.9 yards per carry this year, prompting bewildered 1976 Heisman winner Tony Dorsett to proclaim:

That’s crazy. That’s ludicrous. It is just unheard of. Reggie’s a game-breaker, a big-game player. That’s all you need to say.

Here’s to #5 and to another monumental rout… Jan. 4 @ the Rose Bowl v. Texas.

For Bonus Coverage: Boi From Troy compares Bush #43 and Bush #5 in tabular form.