This Blog is Stolen Property

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Support Our Ribbons

Ok, ok--this isn't the freshest topic, but I am so damn tired of seeing those magnetic yellow ribbons on cars. And I am really tired of the soi-disant Left, who at the merest mention of the phrase "our troops" start back-pedalling like the Roadrunner when he realizes that he's run off the cliff.

Look--I know everyone feels really bad about spitting on soldiers coming home from Vietnam. That was both indecorous and counterproductive. But it certainly wasn't representative of all the protesters, and it sure as hell isn't a good reason for the "left" to flinch like a novice submissive any time someone mentions "the troops." A great many of "the troops" don't support the war, and dollars to doughnuts it isn't because they want to be spit on. Sending people off to kill/be killed or spitting on them are not the only two options. The "left" needs to grow a pair and point this out.

The right proudly declares that they have overcome the "Vietnam Syndrome" every time they use excess force against another nation. It's time for the "left" to do the same thing. I'll start: "Hey veterans, we apologize unreservedly for any spitting. It was very wrong. We know that."

Good. Now we can stop letting 35 year-old saliva get in the way of protesting an unjust war.

Meanwhile, I think it would be nice if our boys over in Iraq would wear t-shirts showing their support for our ribbons. It would do so much for the morale of our sedans and SUVs. God Bless those brave little ribbons, making the world safe for platitudes.

Do You Remember When People Magazine Said That Rumsfeld Was Sexy?

I do, but I'm hoping it was a bad dream.

Donald Rumsfeld can't coin a phrase as memorable as "nattering nabobs of negativity," but he sure doesn't like bad press. When he can't manage to bribe his way into journalistic favor, he does what today's leading conservatives typically do: he whines like a schoolchild. He whines that no one understands him. That no one's listening to him. And most of all, that it isn't fair.* The latest complaint is about unfavorable (i.e. truthful) accounts of American activities in the international press. Rumsfeld complains that these activities are being:

"reported and spread around the world, often with little context and little scrutiny, let alone correction or accountability after the fact."

U N B E L I E V A B L E. No accountablilty after the fact? Little scrutiny? Gosh, Rummy, that sounds a lot like some yellowcake uranium documents that just happened to provide the specious "justification" for your war. Well, when the justification wasn't that Saddam and Osama are the same guy.

The Niger documents needed exactly this much scrutiny to be proven false: GOOGLE.

They were proven false with google (GOOGLE!?!!), and yet no one in any of the intelligence agencies was capable of disproving them until we were already in the middle of a war. And accountability after the fact? Bush blamed other people for believing them. People to whom he had presented them as reliable intelligence.

Unlike the Straussians, Rumsfeld and Bush haven't intellectualized their program of deceit. They just instinctively believe that what's good for them is good for the country. They have the same stunted moral imagination responsible for supply side economics: "If my golfing buddies and I are better off, this MUST be the right course of action for the nation. Now who wants to get bagged and score some trim?"

*I recently spent about an hour discussing fairness with two delightful six year-olds who were having a reasonably polite argument about how to divide up some stickers. Certain methods of dividing would "be fair to her but not to me," one explained, "and the other would be fair to me and not to her." I (mis)spent a good deal of time trying to explain that "fair" necessarily excludes the dative. There is no "to me" or "for her" in fair. Fair is impartial. The six year-olds didn't quite get it. Neither, apparently, does the administration.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Subtlety For Our Time

I heard that Steven Speilberg has a new movie coming out called Munich. Finally, I thought, finally, here's a Speilberg picture I can get behind. Maybe he's finally found a mode other than "epic" or "schmaltzy."

But it turns out that the movie's about some explosions. And not at all about Neville Chamberlain. As I had hoped.

Chamberlain got off the plane after meeting with Hitler in Munich and gave one of the most famous speeches ever: "I believe it is peace for our time. Go home and get a nice quiet sleep."

That, Mr. Spielberg, is tragedy. Sophocles couldn't improve on that.

But I'm sure that the explosion picture will be nice, too, with it's neatly telegraphed and conveniently simple moral complexities and some sort of tidy lesson.