Saturday, July 16, 2005

Summertime

I am on vacation for two whole weeks from work, at least, if not from school. I still have quite a bit of work to finish up before I'm done for the summer and ready to get my bachelor's degree. Instead of writing in this silly blog, I should be doing chi-squared analyses of the frequency distribution of retired versus non-retired members of state legislatures in term-limited versus non term-limited states. Exciting? You bet! I also need to research and write a presentation on global warming in North America, and write three more essays for English class. Not a lot of work, really.

The missus and I are heading to Montana next week for five days. Her great aunt is turning 100 years old. Big Sky country. I imagine it will be hot and dry, and there will be lots of barbecue and beer (I hope).

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Righteous indignation.

Senator Santorum's comments, and his stubborn defense of them, don't bother me because I am a Bostonian. They don't bother me because I am a liberal. And they don't bother me because I work in academe.

If the senator from Pennsylvania takes issue with the liberal point of view prominent in this city's institutions of higher education, so be it. I am a firm believer in defending to the death the right for a man or woman to express their point of view.

What disturbs me about the honarable senator is that he isn't criticizing the liberal attitudes simply as contrary to his ideals, but as dangerous to everyone. But this is typical of neo-conservatives.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Deep throat? Deep shit!

So, since Friday night's McLaughlin Group the buzz has been that Karl "I have less to work with and I'm doing a better job at it than Lee Atwater" Rove played Deep Throat to Bob Novak's Woodward. This is the kind of stuff I feel like I should give a shit about, as a political science student. But I just can't get all that excited about these journalistic, cloak and dagger, fantasy league games. Yes, it is terribly interesting that a White House (or at least "administration") source outed a covert CIA agent. But when you start to read deeper into it, you realize that Valerie Plame was probably doing analysis more than anything. She wasn't sneaking around under deep cover, blowing poison darts into enemy agent's legs.

This looks like nothing more than a distraction. Karl Rove dropped a name to make someone on the other side of the fence look bad. That's politics, and it's exactly what we should expect from Rove. The real issue is the justification for going to war in Iraq, which was built on misinformation and exaggeration. But those are frequently used to justify wars. Wilson, Roosevelt and Johnson certainly used them. And remember that Bill Clinton used the very same justification as George Bush for military action against Iraq. Clinton just didn't have the "advantage" of 9/11 to work with. Recall the town hall forum at Ohio State University in February 1998.

I'm getting off track, though. My point is that the news media create as much as they report the news. Then they provide the media consumer with sides to choose and divide us, as citizens, where we weren't divided before. It is akin to convincing a baseball fan to root for the infield only. We should be upset that we are being lied to, regardless of who is doing the lying.