Bush’s designated successor

John McCain is being groomed, and every Hamletesque soliloquy which he performs against the administration’s excesses is to be understood as an act in order to make him appear as if he will be kinder and gentler when he is to be crowned king.

He will not, I think. From what I have seen of McCain he is a bitter and angry man who wants “justice” done for what was done to him, and he wants to exact that price in blood. He is not against torture unless it is against himself, and even so he believes it made him stronger. It did, it gave him a political career. It could give him the Presidency.

In that context, his performance on Face the Nation on Sunday can be understood. He does not want to end any of these practices, he does not want to close Guantanamo, or bring the troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan, but more than this, he does not want them brought under tighter control. He wants to expand all of them. He won’t come out and say this directly, but he will empower the administration to grab whatever authority it needs by playing the part of the independent, conscientious Republican.

Update: Scout Prime on Richard Perle. Not directly related, but part of tracing this whole family tree of darkness. Anyhow I didn’t want to make another post.

Update 2: This is becoming a bit of a catch-all post, and I’m updating it a day later because, again, I don’t want to make a brand new post about this. Shakespeare’s Sister gives some more context to John McCain, and his desire to swiftly approve whatever the administration wants.

Stop the drug war

Partial comment from elsewhere today

As I see it, <50% voter turnout = a majority vote for a better solution than politics. I don’t think that voting can fix anything, at best you can slow down the process by which the state takes all authority for a few privileged people and deprives the rest. What we need are new institutions, new ways of governing ourselves which do not depend upon force and which rely more upon persuasion and agreement.

That’s really what I think blogtopia is becoming (skippy the bush kangaroo invented that word and it fits in well with my own thinking on what we are trying to do). We are the government, for real. You are part of the new government. We’re just small right now and not very powerful, but powerful enough to make a difference.

People are reading blogs, people who you might not expect. People like Bill Clinton who is meeting with bloggers and showing them respect. I don’t care about Bill or his politics, I do care that people are willing to stand up and be seen with bloggers. We are credible and influential.

I am representing the cannabis coalition, if you like. I am a representative to the blogtopia, self-selected.

Update: I should make it clear that the rest of this comment was an encouragement for more of us to become representatives. I do not believe my own viewpoint is privileged in any way. I speak only for myself, but my views are largely unheard in many parts of the world, and in many parts of this country. So by virtue of the minority for which I speak as a member of, I am a representative, but just one of many.

Protect the free press

Go and read what Lindsay Beyerstein has written today about the case of Bilal Hussein. Independent journalism is at stake. Your right to read information critical of the administration is at stake. Your ability to see images that the administration does not want you to see is being deprived, not because of any threat to national security, but because the administration does not want bad news to be known, or anything that makes them look bad.

A comment made elsewhere today

Without suggesting that people drive under the influence of cannabis, there are no statistics to show a heightened risk of vehicle accidents related to cannabis use.

This is not true at all of alcohol, where the data is unambiguous. One of the points that is being made in Colorado and other places is that if people are going to use something recreationally, whether it be cannabis or alcohol makes a difference. Cannabis is safer.

Conservatives are like frightened children

I’ve changed

Tracy Chapman – Change 

We can be friends, too

Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. has a lot of power. He is the publisher of the New York Times, the so-called “paper of record.” What he says goes in the paper, goes in the paper unless someone wants to put their job on the line to prevent it. And what he says stays out of the paper, stays out of the paper unless the story is going to come out regardless.

But Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. is not an independent man, in some ways. He depends upon the other members of his own class, to support him and promote the well-being of his paper — the people who, like him, wield vast power to inform or deceive the public — and many of whom do not like him or the New York Times very much at all.

He may be a very good man. I do not know him personally, but I believe that he is doing what he believes he can, and we should be glad that he does help inform more than some people would like him to.

I think that there is a base of power and support that the “blogtopia” can provide to the news media if they will work with us and not against us.

For more on the internal workings of the Times and its executive editor, Bill Keller, there is an excellent article this morning in the New York Metro.

Thanks to Lindsay Beyerstein for the link.

Update: RickD reminds us:

The cited article passes on misinformation.

“a national poll shows 54 percent of Americans in favor of wiretapping without warrants.”

See the ACLU poll for comparison.

Update 2: Attaturk gives a visual demonstration of how Newsweek is painting their coverage of current events. Hat-tip to NTodd.

Update 3: Sometimes posts just seem to evolve on their own in a direction I never intended originally, but the Newsweek issue cover is so blatantly ridiculous that this is getting coverage all over. See The Carpetbagger Report and thanks to skippy.

It’s not just New York

I know that in Pennsylvania, district justices are also rarely even attorneys. The New York Times has an exposé on how many people in their state are terrorized by an incompetent local judiciary, and Lindsay Beyerstein has more.


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