Well, here it is Friday morning...and I got nothin'. No brilliant ideas, no musings on the fate of the universe, no crotchety witticisms directed at Ann Coulter or Rush LImbaugh. I don't feel funny, or articulate, or even particularly inspired. So, in order to maintain the illusion that I actually have something useful to add to the public discourse, I'm going to take a couple of ideas and see where they take me....
Michael Steele is now pro-choice except when he's pro-life (thanks to Craig Powell): Good God, y'all...you'd think that the nominal leader of the party of Ronald Reagan and Bush-squared would at least be able to follow the script- if not the party platform. There are few things more sacrosanct to Social Conservative Republicans than
controlling women's reproductive functinos abortion, which can only charitably be described as the third rail of Republican politics. And there are few things more entertaining these days than watching Michael Steele attempting to extricate his Cole-Haans from his mouth. The fact that Steele was even elected to his position ought to tell you something about the intellectual and moral state of today's GOP, no?
If Rush Limbaugh and Michael Steele represent the future of the Republican Party, we can probably count on Republicans wandering in the wilderness for a full generation or two. In the meantime, we can all sit back and enjoy the spectacle of Republicans eating their young. Damn, but life is good....
Canada Should Bar or Prosecute Bush: Lawyer "Canada Has a Duty." (thanks to David Flanders): Only fifty-some-odd days removed from the Reign of Error ©, and it seems the ugly revelations just keep on coming. Then again, what else could we reasonably have expected from a
monarch President who had to steal Florida in order to win the 2000 election...and then proceeded to demonstrate an almost utter disdain for the rule of law in the aftermath of 9.11? (Uh, Jack? Ari Fleischer's on line two for you. Something about Saddam Hussein being the unseen hand behind 9.11....)
Canada actually has solid legal grounds- some might even argue a solid legal obligation- to bar George W. Bush from Canadian soil at the very least...and perhaps even to prosecute him if and when he does arrive in Canada. Will this ever happen? Doubtful, because I'd imagine that the Canadian government would do everything in it's power to spare itself the embarrassment. Then again, what could possibly be more embarrassing than welcoming a known war criminal in the name of democracy?
I firmly believe in karma. Though it might take awhile, I believe that Bush's astoundingly bad karma will come back to haunt him...and deservedly so. To say that the man has blood on his hands wouldn't begin to do justice to the depth and breadth of the thugocracy he presided over for eight years. Ultimately, I believe there's a reserved parking place waiting in Hell for George W. Bush. My only hope is that the God he so fervently believes in will spend eternity punishing him.
As Cities Go From Two Papers to One, Talk of Zero I understand the economics of market forces and the inevitability of change. That said, nowhere is it written that I have to like all of what I see happening around me. I grew up with newspapers, and like many Americans, my morning rituals revolve around my morning coffee and my morning newspaper. Yes, I understand that I can get my news online...and for free...but there's something about about a newspaper that I've always loved. Perhaps it's the tangible evidence of a larger world out there, a world that I can read and learn about at my convenience. A newspaper is portable, available...and to me it's a symbol of the best sorts of very American freedoms- the right to get information free from government filtering. Having lived in parts of the world where this is nowhere near true, I value what we have here that much more.
As a child, I delivered newspapers for the Minneapolis Star and Minneapolis Tribune for years. I had a paper route for the Star after school, and I delivered the morning Tribune on the weekends. It was my first real job, and I learned to love the feel, the weight, and the smell of newsprint. Living in a small town in Minnesota's far north, newspapers were my link to, and proof of, a larger world outside of the small-town bubble I lived it. Newspapers were what got me to thinking about my future and what it might hold for me.
I realize that I'm dating myself here, but I'm finding myself increasingly distressed by the state of today's newspaper industry. Yes, I understand that newspapers by and large really are relics and symbols of a bygone era. Nonetheless, when cities lose a newspaper, they're losing a watchdog, the one entity truly equipped and able to cover local issues over the long term and in depth. Newspapers have the ability to hold local government to a level of honesty and competence that no other public servant can. Take that away...and it may not be Armageddon, but I can't see how the public interest is served by losing eyes and ears.
I may be worrying about nothing, of course, because it's entirely possible that online news sources may assume the roles traditionally played by newspapers. That would be a good thing, but it doesn't mean I won't miss newspapers and the memories they engender in me. I still find it hard to imagine a world in which I don't begin my day with a pot of coffee and my morning paper.