Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Random Thoughts on Politics, the War, and the Olympics

No, not Jack, just some random thoughts on the topics of the day.

Georgia

  • Putin's a bad guy. This should surprise nobody but George Bush, who looked into his eyes and saw his soul.
  • When there are no plausible military options, talking tough just makes you look stupid.
  • The new domino theory about Russia is just as wrongheaded as the old one.
  • According to the neo-cons, every war is World War II and all diplomacy is appeasement. The argument from analogy is perhaps the most dangerous of all logical fallacies.
  • They also seem to be excited about the prospect of a new cold war.

Olympics

  • I hope and tentatively believe that more good will be done by letting China have the Olympics than would have been done by refusing them or by boycotts.
  • The opening ceremony was just gorgeous, an unbelievable spectacle. It was also kind of creepy and disturbing on several levels.
  • Some of the Chinese gymnasts look 8 or 9 years old, and I don't believe their claims that all are 16. I also believe that every country 's gymnasts have had their growth artificially stunted.
  • I love that basketball is becoming so popular around the world.
  • George Bush is, as ever, an embarrassment. (n.b. I do not necessarily endorse the claim that these pictures are evidence Bush was drunk.)
  • LeBron James's greeting to former President George H.W. Bush was hilariously inappropriate: "What's up, pops?"
  • The men's 4x100 m swim relay was incredible. Track down the video if you can.
  • I hate having to think that world records keep falling because the drugs are getting better, but that seems like the most reasonable conclusion.

Domestic politics

  • I find Suskind's claims that the White House ordered the CIA to forge a letter alleging a connection between Saddam and Al-Qaeda and that "a high-level American intelligence agent" admits the U.S. "knew" there were no WMDs before the invasion to be somewhat credible.
  • Those allegations dovetail with Sy Hersh's report of a meeting in Cheney's office discussing ways to trigger a war with Iran:
    HERSH: There was a meeting. Among the items considered and rejected — which is why the New Yorker did not publish it, on grounds that it wasn’t accepted — one of the items was why not…

    There was a dozen ideas proffered about how to trigger a war. The one that interested me the most was why don’t we build — we in our shipyard — build four or five boats that look like Iranian PT boats. Put Navy seals on them with a lot of arms. And next time one of our boats goes to the Straits of Hormuz, start a shoot-up. Might cost some lives.

    And it was rejected because you can’t have Americans killing Americans. That’s the kind of — that’s the level of stuff we’re talking about. Provocation. But that was rejected.
  • Looks like we Democrats (and Americans) dodged two bullets in the primaries. One, John Edwards turning out to be a douchebag and the other, Hillary turning out to be just as bad as some of us feared.
  • Why hasn't McCain's extramarital affair been a bigger story? (I'm talking about the one with his now-wife during his first marriage, not the unsubstantiated, more recent claims.) Is it the liberal media?
  • Speaking of the "liberal" media, I've been watching more cable news than usual lately to follow the war in Georgia, and, well, it really sucks. Lou Dobbs is out there on CNN giving his opinions as fact, while CNN coyly pretends that its viewers carefully differentiate between journalists and know-nothing blowhards opinion columnists.
  • It's funny watching the McCain camp trying to find an attack that will stick, ranging from the lies (Obama will raise middle class taxes!) to the bizarre (Obama's really popular!)

19 comments:

abandoning eden said...

dude you hear that those footprint things during the opening ceremony were fake? So disappointing.

I agree the opening ceremony was kind of creepy. The drumming people were so precise...as were the people who lifted those square things up and down. Precise like robots.

Holy Hyrax said...

>Is it the liberal media?

I don't see what a past incident (I think almost 30 years ago)has to do with the present. He probably also cheated on a test in high school as well. Also, wasn't it the New York Times that jumped on some story that McCain WAS cheating with some lobbiest that turned out to be false?

Jack said...

The Olympics have been fun. As for the politicians, well they all suck. I don't have much faith in any of them.

Comrade Kevin said...

Lou Dobbs is the definition of blowhard, and what I find even more amusing is the self-serving way the network advertises his show, with a huge disembodied head of him leering at the camera, emoting nothing but ego and grandiose self-importance, which in that context looks like an advertisement for narcissism.

G said...

I hate having to think that world records keep falling because the drugs are getting better, but that seems like the most reasonable conclusion.

Bzzzzzzzz, guess again. It's the swimwear technology...for real, look into it.

Theresa said...

I don't really see the big deal about Edward's affair. It wasn't like Clinton's where it was in the Oval office with some flake and he lied about it under oath in a trial about other alleged sexual misconduct. Or like Spitzer's where he laundered money for prostitutes. In both of those cases, there were complicating issues that made it the public's business.

But in this case, it is in the past and it really was him just fucking up and cheating on his wife who knew about the past affair long before it became public.

Is calling him a douche bag and putting down Clinton your way of showing that regardless of the problems Obama may have, he was still the better choice?

G said...

George Bush is, as ever, an embarrassment.

Are you for real?
Sometimes you are just as bad as those you decry.

Jewish Atheist said...

G:

Bzzzzzzzz, guess again. It's the swimwear technology...for real, look into it.

I'm not just talking about swimming.


Theresa:

I don't really see the big deal about Edward's affair. It wasn't like Clinton's where it was in the Oval office with some flake and he lied about it under oath in a trial about other alleged sexual misconduct.

He not only cheated on his wife, but he ran for president immediately afterwards, knowing that it could have come out. He put the whole country at risk of getting another Republican president.

Is calling him a douche bag and putting down Clinton your way of showing that regardless of the problems Obama may have, he was still the better choice?

I think Obama's one of the best candidates in decades.


G:

Are you for real?
Sometimes you are just as bad as those you decry.


Really? You're not embarrassed for our country when you see the president looking like a 13-year-old with ADHD during the opening ceremonies, constantly fidgeting and looking at his watch?

Holy Hyrax said...

>Really? You're not embarrassed for our country when you see the president looking like a 13-year-old with ADHD during the opening ceremonies, constantly fidgeting and looking at his watch?

Are you just nitpicking? Don't we all fidget? look at our watch? Trip? Come on, there has to be some leniencys to allow for simply being human.

Jewish Atheist said...

Did you see the opening ceremony, and how Bush looked? I'm really asking. He often looks much more like a fidgety child than the average adult, let alone the average world leader. Other times, he comes off more as the outgoing frat boy he once was. Nothing wrong with that for a normal person, but he's the president.

Holy Hyrax said...

I saw snippets of it, but what does that matter. Look at the link you put up. Holding a flag? Cupping his mouth? Tripping?

I will admit the oddball picture is with the vollyball girls.

asher said...

The Olympics have always been political. I seem to remember the Jesse Owen incident in 1936 and when our liberal olympic committee wouldn't allow Marty Glickman to run (hey..a jew showing up the Nazis). In 1972 in Berlin of all places, the Israeli atheletes were killed and the games just went on. Well, we need to continue despite some jews getting killed....they must have brought it on themselves anyway. This year, the Iranian swimmers just left the games rather than have to compete in the same pool as an Israeli. I guess he was afraid the Jew might win.

The modern olympic 'games' are something like 140 years old at best. It's interesting that badminton, syncronized swimming and diving are sports and, (listen hard JA) they left out Baseball!
Hey...maybe it's not a sport at all. However, there is nothing more interesting than women's beach volleyball. I'm sure the female bloggers out there are all for this of show athletic prowess.

How having the Olypics in China will benefit anyone is something only JA can answer. I mean, they had to re-locate about a million chinese to create the Olympic stadiums, journalists are limited to certain areas, their intenet is restricted and censored, the girl singing the chinese anthem is lip syncing to the voice of one the party didn't think was pretty enough. I guess you have to go along with a fascist dictatorship in order to preserve the games.

Oh, by the way, Obama did a real stand up job in analzysing the situtation in Georgia didn't he? Oh right, he was on vacation. But her certainly knows how to handle an international situation like this one. Hey, Putin is not to blame. Like John McCain said, I looked in Putin's eyes and saw three letters ...K-G-B.

It's gonna fun in October when the bombshells begin to drop.

G said...

I'm sorry, I must have missed the link to the entire openning ceremonies or the reference to them.
All I saw was a link to a number of pictures with captions used to make innocuous scenes seem worse than they were.

Again I ask, are you for real and why is that any better than those you decry?

G said...

>Bzzzzzzzz, guess again. It's the swimwear technology...for real, look into it.

>>I'm not just talking about swimming.
-----------

Do tell, watch much weightlifting do you?

Jewish Atheist said...

G:

You seem to be bizarrely hostile. I'm not sure who "those I decry" are or why you think I'm "worse" than them. I also don't know why every sentence of yours is dripping with sarcasm.

Do tell, watch much weightlifting do you?

I'm kind of a track guy, actually.

G said...

Avoiding.

Do you think your bullet point about the President, as written and with the link provided, was fair?

Being bias is one thing, being blindly unfair is something else.

--i am so lost about the world record thing...track hasn't even started yet?

Jewish Atheist said...

Do you think your bullet point about the President, as written and with the link provided, was fair?

He does look pretty silly in those pictures, but to be honest, it was really his fidgeting during the opening ceremonies that inspired that bullet -- I just couldn't find pictures of that, per se.

--i am so lost about the world record thing...track hasn't even started yet?

I'm speaking of the pattern in all athletic events in general, not just in this olympics. I'm thinking of cycling, football, baseball, track, and yes, swimming.

G said...

>Do you think your bullet point about the President, as written and with the link provided, was fair?

>>He does look pretty silly in those pictures, but to be honest, it was really his fidgeting during the opening ceremonies that inspired that bullet -- I just couldn't find pictures of that,
per se.
-------

Should I take that as a No?

Jewish Atheist said...

I think the pictures of Bush with the beach volleyball players are sufficient for a Yes.