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Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 05:56 AM PDT

If there was a Christian God?

by agincour

If there was a Christian God, and God had all the good and positive attributes he or she is supposed to have, and that God were looking down on this world in the position of an impartial judge, which government would be most likely to be punished for a failure to live up to his or her high standards?

Of course, there are plenty of candidates.  The world is full of despots, demagogues, and criminal governments, but most of them began exactly as that: criminal enterprises dressed in the gaudy robes of government.
 
What if one of the criteria God used in making his or her decision was ‘failed promise?"  

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Wed Jul 18, 2007 at 08:04 AM PDT

Whither Capitalism

by agincour

Within my memory (I’m 64 years old) there was a time when Capitalism wasn’t yet as exploitive as it appears now, not only in our foreign dealings, but here at home.  

The prevailing ethic of American business was still to make money and profit, but there was also an underlying desire to do it in an honest way that benefited both the customer and the company itself, and by extension the commonweal.

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Wed Jan 25, 2006 at 04:26 AM PST

Overheard from Congressman Seuss

by agincour

I can't take credit for this but it's funny.

Update: Credit goes to Witlist Overheard from Congressman Seuss

That Abramoff!

That Abramoff!

I do not like that Abramoff!

"Would you like to play some golf?"

I do not want to play some golf.

I do not want to, Abramoff.

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Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 03:54 AM PDT

The Underappreciated Bureaucrats

by agincour

What's the significance of the Duke Cunningham, Tom Delay, Jack Abramhoff, Valerie Plame (Cooper and Miller), and other current investigations?

What can be inferred from the vigor in which they're being pursued?

Many things, of course, but one of the salient features, for me at least, is that there is a stunning and unappreciated number of honest and responsible people in the middle and lower ranks of the federal government, folks whose lives and careers have been dedicated to forthright and honest service to the American people.
Here's my example:

The government's top expert on Medicare costs was warned that he would be fired if he told key lawmakers about a series of Bush administration cost estimates that could have torpedoed congressional passage of the White House-backed Medicare prescription-drug plan.

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Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 05:20 AM PDT

What Dkos Means to Me, and a Thank You

by agincour

A safe harbor of sanity and an appropriate indignation in the face of the political and social tsunami that's swept across America in the last 4 ½ years.

I haven't always felt this way. My earliest political memory is of Harry Truman and of his daughter Bess playing piano on our old black and white television. In that time every man wore a hat, and Truman's be-hatted presence is still alive in my mind, as are the pot-bellied men who collegially manned the polls at the George L. Horn Elementary school at Frankford and Castor Avenues. Mostly, I remember election day as a celebration and a chance to trash-pick Cuban cigar boxes from the cans behind the Republican Club.

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Here's mine:

After reading the news today it struck me how changed the U.S. Government has become in my short lifetime, but especially in the last four years. For most of my life government (the steady Civil Service) was an authority whose expertise on any given issue or subject was mostly to be trusted. This is no longer the case. From the FDA to the OMB to NASA to the National Archives, whose ranks are filled by men and women who have spent their lifetime in bureaucratic service to changing administrations, there's been a perverted and perverting influence asserted by the Bush Administration.

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Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 06:14 AM PST

An Absolutely Irrefutable Prediction

by agincour

In the midst of make-over shows, reality TV (what a joke), and an avalanche of advertising, the termites are eating the foundation of America away. Now there's sentiment most American's would agree with, but apportioning blame is where the difficulty lies. In much of America the blame is laid at the feet of liberals and free-thinkers (gay lovers, bleeding hearts, professors, pornographers, immigrants, immoral weaklings, etc.), not to mention those possessed by Satan and the minions of Hell. On the other hand, there are those who say the small-minded, bigoted, racist, corporation driven, non-reality based Right is at fault. Are either correct?
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Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 05:40 AM PST

At What Cost?

by agincour

Has anyone stopped to wonder how much Bush's jaunts around America to hype the Social Security crisis is costing the U.S. taxpayer? I have no idea, really, but if the massive Secret Service security precautions and cost of local police and other authorities (not to mention any lost revenue to local businesses, etc.) are rolled together it must total millions of dollars each time the trained chimp takes his Washington circus on the road. Whatever the actual cost, if his latest European trip trip is any example the cost is in the millions, and the current travel agenda is 60 stopsin 60 days.
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I think there might be some cognitive dissonance in the U.S. Government.

The State Department on Monday detailed an array of human rights abuses last year by the Iraqi government, including torture, rape and illegal detentions by police officers and functionaries of the interim administration that took power in June.

New York Times
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Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 05:19 AM PST

What I Heard, by Eliot Weinberger

by agincour

Another long article and the best on Iraq I've read yet.  Eliot Weinberger, using the words of those responsible, creates a timeline detailing the fraud and travesty the invasion was and still is.  I found it in the London Review of Books.  If nothing else, it shows how flawed human memory fails to connect the dots--one of the prime vehicles for George Bush's political success.  As far as I'm concerned, every single person in the USA should be forced to read this, not that it would change the deranged thinking of those who have their heads firmly lodged in their asses.

Actually, it just occurred to me how this would lend itself to a dramatic reading.  Three or four voices reciting the following would be quite dramatic.  There would be a few hurdles (Weinberger's permission, and so forth), but it could be done.  Just imagine, Eliot Weinberger, playwright.

My block quotes are only a fraction of the original article. The whole thing must be read.

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v27/n03/print/wein01_.html

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Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 05:29 AM PST

The Newest Plan For Iraq

by agincour

The plan is finally firming up. What the Bush Administration wants is a malleable government in Iraq, permanent military bases, and control of Iraqi oil. The proof (there's been plenty of it before) is shown in how the administration is now allowing the U.S. military to voice sentiments such as this:

The insurgency in Iraq will last at least a decade and American troops alone will not be able to defeat it, a senior US military officer in Baghdad has predicted.

Speaking on the eve of Iraq's first free election for 51 years, the officer conceded: "Iraqis are the ones who will have to defeat the insurgency, not multi-national forces.

"It is not necessarily a growing insurgency but it is a resilient one," he told The Telegraph. "We're looking at a long-term insurgency, probably at a lower level of violence than now. Historically, you look at a decade - and this is no different."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/01/30/wirq230.xml

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Sun Jan 23, 2005 at 05:14 AM PST

New Plan For Iraq?

by agincour

Is this the new plan for Iraq after the election, not to leave exactly, but to pull most American troops back to secure bases and give the country over to the ineffective Iraq National Guard--augmented, of course, with US advisors?

It makes sense. After all, we've in essence given up most of the trouble spots in the Sunni Triangle anyway, and this will give the Administration a breather from the casualty numbers being reported in the domestic press. Who cares if the Iraqi's tear each other apart. We'll have fewer casualties, permanent bases, and access to Iraqi oil--all the Administration really wants anyway.

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