Wednesday, December 14, 2005

"Peace won't be found in people who can't face reality"

Remember to check out Mike's site Mikey Likes It! for his take on the two headlines we selected from Democracy Now!

Pentagon Monitoring Anti-War Events Across the Country (Democracy Now!):
Meanwhile, NBC News is reporting the Pentagon has been extensively monitoring the events and gatherings of peaceful anti-war groups across the country. A military database obtained by the network lists small activist meetings and events among 1,500 "suspicious incidents" over a 10-month period. The events included a gathering at a Quaker Meeting House in Lake Worth, Florida, to plan a protest of military recruiting at local high schools. In total, the database listed over four dozen anti-war meetings or protests.

This is something that Matthew Rothschild's been covering. This happened in California, it happened elsewhere. It happened in this country before as well. One time that comes to mind is when another bully was in the White House, Richard Nixon. No, Bully Boy wasn't the first Bully. It's also not hard to see that when you have a Bully Boy in the White House, civil liberties go out in the window because bullies always think they're more important than democracy.

As do the those serving a Bully Boy. Which is a point Ava and C.I. made.

"TV Review: Barbara and Colin remake The Way We Were" (The Third Estate Sunday Review):
This is how he [Colin Powell] wants to be remembered:
"A good public servant somebody who truly believes in his country. . . . Somebody who cared, somebody who served."
Yeah well, Nixon wanted to be remembered a certain way as well. Liar's the way many remember him now. Liar's the way many will remember Colin Powell. Belief in your country doesn't allow you to lie to your country. Belief in your Bully Boy does. That's something this adminstration fails to grasp. They all think they're working for the Bully Boy. Powell makes statements to that effect. He's full of many things including his "service" to the Bully Boy.
The administration is supposed to be working for the country. Presidents come and go. The nation is what is supposed to matter. Belief in your country would mean you tell the peoplethe truth.

That's what happens when the people who are supposed to be upholding the Constitution decide that the Bully Boy, or any single person, is more important than the ideas of democracy.

Iraq Officials Deny Report on Seized Forged Ballots (Democracy Now!):
Meanwhile, Iraqi officials are denying a New York Times report that said border guards have seized a tanker filled with thousands of forged electoral ballots headed from Iran. According to the Times, the driver of the vehicle reportedly told interrogators another three trucks carrying forged ballots have already crossed into Iraq.

The article being noted was by Dexter Filkins. Here's C.I. on the story:

Dexter Filkins does love what he's told. (Spoonfed in the Green Zone?) "Police Seize Forged Ballots Headed to Iraq From Iran" relies on "official said" four times. Sometimes, to spice up the single source for his story, an anonymice one, he will add a subclause between "official" and "said." Maybe you'll count more. For fun, go through the article and find named sources and note if they spoke to Filkins or not? (I think you already know the answer to that one.)

So I called C.I. and asked, "What was the tip off, other than it being written by Filkins?" C.I. said listening to Democracy Now! broke the story of possible questions about the story. Reading it, C.I. just noted that the story was basically built around a single source who was anonymous and the rest of the article was an attempt to pad out what couldn't be verified by using public statements from "official sources" on other topics.

I want to note that Mike interviewed new community member "Kansas" and that Rebecca interviewed Martha (who is wonderful) and Maria (who provided the title for this site so you know she's wonderful as well). Following Mike's interview, my name came up. Kansas wondered, actually his wife had wondered, if I'd look at the e-mail he was sent and weigh in?

So reading it, my first question would be this: What was the goal of the person who wrote this e-mail?

The backstory is that the person was supposedly wanting to contact Kansas. She apparently attempted to, after C.I. noted that we had contacted Kansas, and had problems doing so. At which point, Ava contacted Kansas who gave permission for something to be passed on to the woman.

So the woman gets Kansas' e-mail that Ava forwards. The woman writes "apology" in her e-mail heading. It would be easy to conclude that the woman wanted to apologize.

The confusion results from the fact that the woman never apologizes. She doesn't. I read the e-mail. She lectures Kansas on Kat. She notes that she had the wrong e-mail address. That's pretty much it except for the weak ending of "I'm sorry you won't be visiting" her site "anymore."

Did I think it was an apology?

That was Kansas and his wife's question?

No, I don't think it's reasonable to conclude that the text of the e-mail offers any form of an apology. I think to call it an apology is to distort what it is. I also believe, quite firmly, that whether it was intended to be antagonistic or not, it comes off as antagonistic.

Kansas felt he was at a mature site where people conducted themselves in a mature manner. When Maria pointed out the nature of the comments on that site, at that site Maria pointed this out, the woman wrote of how the comments were more than she would like or something similar. There's no statement making that in the e-mail to Kansas, the e-mail that has been labled an "apology."

The sincerity in e-mailing such an e-mail is questionable. Possibly, the woman is so focused on Kat that she couldn't focus on what she thought she was doing. Possibly, the woman wasn't even attempting to be sincere. Possibly, she just wants the last word.

But it's not an apology and labeling it that won't make it one.

Kansas and his wife are offended. They have every right to be. It is a reasonable expectation when someone writes you an apology that it, indeed, be an apology. That's a reasonable expectation. It is a realistic one.

When someone has been hurt and what's labeled as an attempt to apologize for the hurt that was caused isn't a realistic attempt to do that, you have to be realistic because it's not reasonable to expect that someone who thinks that is an apology can be realistic.

Kansas can't blink his eyes and make the woman grasp how she has now twice offended him. What he can do is take steps on his own to avoid further disappointment from the woman.

Hope that addresses the issue.

Peace Quote (from me):
Peace won't be found in people who can't face reality.

Remember Mike's motto:

The Common Ills community is important and the Common Ills community is important to me. So I'll do my part for the Common Ills community.