Thursday, December 14, 2006

Old Fogey's Quotes for Thursday

"If we lose our nerve, if we're not steadfast in our determination to help the Iraqi government succeed, we will be handing Iraq over to an enemy that would do us harm."
King George the Unchangeable
Joint Chiefs Advise Change In War Strategy
[But, of course, this is no longer "stay the course." Georgie can be talked into changing slogans--just not policies. I think this is why the framers of the constitution intended Congress to have the sole power to declare war. They could envision the mischief one person could make. Too bad the Cold War overturned this idea. Even then the expanded powers were only meant to allow the president to react to an incoming attack. Future congresses need to reassert their constitutional perogatives.]

"There were periods of time when al-Marri felt he was losing his mind. He went months without hearing a human voice. . . . And these weren't rogue officers, but it was part of a deliberate violation of the laws of the U.S. by the top levels of the administration."
Jonathan Hafetz of the Brennan Center for Justice and an attorney for Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, a Qatari citizen and former student in Peoria, Ill., imprisoned in South Carolina
'04 Pentagon Report Cited Detention Concerns
[His interrogators also took away his bedding and Koran and made him eat unheated MREs. This was not outside our borders--unless some of you northerners consider SC beyond your borders. Can't these idiots realize every time we flagrantly disregard our proclaimed values, we seem more hypocritical and lose significant amounts of the effectiveness of 'soft power?' Unfortunately, we are learning the limits of hard (military) power, only after destroying much of the world's respect for our society and government.]

"I think they're afraid of science. Our findings on ecology could be embarrassing to the administration."
James Estes, a marine biologist at the U.S. Geological Survey's Western Ecological Research Center, referring to new Bush administration policy for reviewing scientific documents before publication
USGS Scientists Object To Stricter Review Rules
[Bushies don't want facts to get in the way of their ideology. It happens in other settings. As a history professor, I saw a few colleagues blinded by their pet theories. However, to see so many people in positions of real power unwilling to accept reality is quite disconcerting, and dangerous.]

"Income inequality is widening quite rapidly. It does matter to people that there are such unequal chances to get ahead.''
Alice Rivlin, a former vice chairwoman of the Federal Reserve who's now a public policy professor at Georgetown University in Washington
Rich-Poor Income Disparity Is Cause for Alarm Among Americans, Poll Shows
[This article brings very good news for me. A recent poll showed over 70% of the American public sees the widening gap in incomes as a problem. Even 3/5ths of those making over $100,000 agree, as well as 55% of Republicans. Poverty issues are a major focus of my volunteer hours, including an advocacy group trying to make Americans more aware of the problem. This poll is a refreshing change, which I hope will signal our casting aside the culture of greed that had become so rampant. Just maybe poverty will become a major issus in 2008. I have to be optimistic or I'd just give up.]


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