The Potter Book: Fun. Halfway through, and already lots of death. Will anyone survive? Or is this J.K Rowling's version of the Book of Revelation? Although, it is amazing how so much of You-Know-Who's rise to power is eerily reminiscent of the tactics of a certain Vice-President Who Must Not Be Named.
But then we have Poor Lindsay. Sad, I never thought you could digress lower than Brittany Spears, but think again. Are you two in a race for the Neely O'Hara Memorial Scholarship to Betty Ford, or what?
Of all, though, I think it is the conspiracy theories on Datalounge which interests me the most. Not wanting to fall victim of Deux's accusation of being "headline philosopher", let me just say that I do not actually buy any of the theories, but I am intrigued by them none the less. The latest, and most prevalent, is in regards to Michael Chertoff's "gut theory" about an impending large scale terrorist attack on the U.S., a "presidential emergency broadcast test" gone awry in Chicago, and the despotic plans of Bush/Cheney/Gonzales, et. al.
The gist of all of this is that there are a lot of supposedly normal, sensible people, out there who think that the current administration is going to allow a terrorist attack (or, in the most extreme conspiracy theories, stage one) to occur in order to A) at the least, bolster support of the war and impending invasion of Iran, or B), at the worst, suspend the Constitution, declare Martial Law, cancel the next presidential election, and create a Halliburton driven dictatorship. What has happened in our country in the last seven years that so many normal, decent, usually non-tin-hat people may be thinking like this? I think that this is a relevant question to ask in these trying times. Unlike Fox Mulder, I do not want to believe, but there is a part (mind you, a small part) of me that is just naive and scared enough of the people running our country to believe just a tiny, tiny part of it all.
More importantly, though, is if such a far-fetched, Clive Cussler meets Stephen King meets Left Behind scenario were to occur, how would we as a nation respond? Would we rise up in defense of the Constitution, or would we, like the citizens of Rome when the Republic became an Empire, respond with a collective yawn? Just some food for thought.....Of course, I am nothing more than a "headline philosopher", so what does it even matter?
On the non-tin hat front, however, just to show that there are a lot of conservatives out there who also think that Bush has F@#$ed up our nation and standing in the world, is an excellent OpEd piece in today's WaPo in which none other than former Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. P.X. Kelley and Robert F. Turner blast last week's "executive order" which attempts to broadly redefine Common Article 3 of the Geneva convention. Here are the two most telling statements in the article, and ones in which I whole heartily agree:
"...we cannot in good conscience defend a decision that we believe has compromised our national honor and that may well promote the commission of war crimes by Americans and place at risk the welfare of captured American military forces for generations to come....
Of all U.S. military personnel killed in action in Afghanistan and Iraq, America's losses total about 2 percent of the forces we lost in World War II and less than 7 percent of those killed in Vietnam. Yet we did not find it necessary to compromise our honor or abandon our commitment to the rule of law to defeat Nazi Germany or imperial Japan, or to resist communist aggression in Indochina. On the contrary, in Vietnam -- where we both proudly served twice -- America voluntarily extended the protections of the full Geneva Convention on prisoners of war to Viet Cong guerrillas who, like al-Qaeda, did not even arguably qualify for such protections....The Geneva Conventions provide important protections to our own military forces when we send them into harm's way. Our troops deserve those protections, and we betray their interests when we gratuitously "interpret" key provisions of the conventions in a manner likely to undermine their effectiveness. Policymakers should also keep in mind that violations of Common Article 3 are "war crimes" for which everyone involved -- potentially up to and including the president of the United States -- may be tried in any of the other 193 countries that are parties to the conventions.
It is an excellent, non-tin hat read. Now, back to see what that nasty Condelezza Ri...er, Delores Umbridge, is up to now!