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Showing posts from January 19, 2003
Remora Well, Donald Rumsfeld's crack about "old Europe" has created some odd alliances. For instance, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung actually soliticted an opinion from Jacques Derrida, hero of this site, on the matter. Here's the story from Liberation : "Even the very conservative and traditionally pro-American Fr. Allgemeine Zeitung consecrated two pages of editorials to Rumsfeld's remark, with contributions from philosophers as well known as the German Jurgen Habermas and the French Jacques Derrida. Their criticisms with regard to their European friends put them in contradiction with the great American ideals of the 18th century, estimates Habermas, making reference to the influence of the great European thinkers of the Enlightenment on the "founding fathers" of American Democracy. Derrida, for his part, wrote in the FAZ: my reaction can be summed up in a few words. I find this declaration (of Rumsfeld's) shocking, scand
Remora The best comment on the looming war this morning comes from an Independent columnist, Mark Steel. Steel zeros in on the logic of this caper. Here are two delicious grafs : "Blair admitted how pointless the inspections are when he justified military action by saying "The inspections can't go on forever." Which seems to miss out the point that the reason the inspectors are asking for more time is they haven't found anything. So another way for Blair to have put this would have been to say, "Saddam continues to try and hold up this war by not having weapons of mass destruction, and that is something we simply cannot allow. He consistently flouts the inspectors by not having a secret cave full of chemical warheads, with Tariq Aziz laughing loudly next to a giant map with a ring drawn round Chicago while a digital clock counts down, and that is, frankly, intolerable. "Blair went on to say he wasn't prepared to play "hide-and-seek&qu
Remora Yesterday, LI went downtown and witnessed the remains of the inauguration parade that heralded the enthronement of Rick Perry as Governor -- surely one of the luckiest politicians in Texas history; surely, also, one of the dumbest. Perry is at the crest of the Republican tide in this state. LI was delighted to see old men, in coonskin caps, carrying rifles, walking down Congress avenue. These had surely come from pockets of Perry's warmest supporters -- little villes in East Texas where lynching is looked back to, nostalgically. We nearly bumped into two cowgirl cheerleaders, who flashed very, very pearly smiles at us. While one governor of Texas was whooping it up, our gift to the world -- the current commander in chief -- was pouting. Or at least for the cameras. As the war Bush has been planning on is about to take off, there are these last minute hitches. The American press has been especially kind about this. How often, in the last four months, have we been assur
Remora The Bush administration, in pursuit of its policy of why not the worst? is pushing for tax credits for SUVs. Of course, many of you think LI is pulling your leg, but we aren't. Here's the story in the NYT: "ETROIT, Jan. 20 � The Bush administration's economic plan would increase by 50 percent or more the deductions that small-business owners can take right away on the biggest sport utility vehicles and pickups. The plan would mean small businesses could immediately deduct the entire price of S.U.V.'s like the Hummer H2, the Lincoln Navigator and the Toyota Land Cruiser, even if the vehicles were loaded with every available option. Or a business owner, taking full advantage, could buy a BMW X5 sport utility vehicle for a few hundred dollars more than a Pontiac Bonneville sedan, after the immediate tax deductions were factored in." Surprisingly, this is not surprising, considering that the Bush administration is beginning to look exactly l
Remora Protests Martin Luther King's holiday weekend was appropriately chosen as the time to protest by about a hundred thousand anti-belligerents in D.C. -- although the press coverage has been typical. The Washington Post quoted the police as saying that "three people and a cat" showed up; then they quoted a man, claiming to be David Bowie's Martian twin, who said a million people showed up; then they sagely opined that it might have been in the middle, say, six men and two cats. The NYT claims the number of cats was, well, chuckle, sorta exaggerated, and then respectfully quoted an unnamed Bush administration official on the problem of using nuclear tactical weapons against protesters and their cats. The Democratic leadership denounced the idea of nuclear weapons being used against the cats -- although Lieberman, saying he was a "different kind of Democrat," admitted to being fascinated by the possibilities of blasting protesters with nuclear tacti