Thursday, September 15, 2005

Democracy Now! and my professor is checking out the community

Good evening. We'll get things started with Democracy Now!

170 Die in Iraq Over Two Days of Violence
In Iraq, a suicide car bomber has killed at least 21 people after he rammed his car into a convoy of police vehicles in Baghdad. This comes a day after 150 people died in one of the bloodiest days of the Iraq war. In the deadliest incident on Wednesday up to 114 Shiite day laborers were killed after they were lured to a car packed with explosives. Over a dozen other attacks were reported in Iraq on Wednesday injuring as many as 600 people.

Iraqi Justice Minister Condemns U.S. For Arbitrarily Detaining Iraqis
The U.S. is also coming under criticism in Iraq by the country's Minister of Justice, Abdul Husain Shandal. In an interview with Reuters he condemned the US military for arresting Iraqis without a warrant and for holding thousands of them without charges. The Justice Minister also said he wants to strip immunity from foreign troops.

Elaine and I are going with the same items again today so check her out at Like Maria Said Paz for her take. We're also both agreed that the two stories go together and require one response.

The two things go together like milk & cookies. You get a violent response when Iraqis are treated violently. There's cause and effect. We need to get out of there. This has been an American mission. It's been Operation Enduring Falsehood from the start. The hawks and their fine tuning never address that. They keep saying, "We broke it, we must fix it." It's like Elaine said when she was subbing for Rebecca, about the time the person spilled red wine on her white carpet, she didn't want their help, she just wanted them to go away.

So we've shot up the mosques, we've let the museums be plundered, working water and electricity is not in abundance, we're patrolling their streets, we've wrongly imprisoned many, we've tortured in the prisons and you get the little minds saying, "We need to fine tune!"

They don't get that there is not trust there. That trust will not be rebuilt by our remaining in charge and remaining over there.

It's time to "Time to Head On Home." (And Jess has a song he wrote by that name that he played for me last week that is awesome!) Last night, I mentioned a student who spoke before the debate. She was a big hit judging from campus talk today. Her name, everyone says, was Monique. (If that wasn't her name, I'm sorry for getting it wrong. I didn't catch her name last night and I'm going by whatever was saying today.)

People were saying they wish that Amy Goodman would bring her on Democracy Now! because she was making so much sense and she knew what she was talking about. Of people who heard it, they think she would make a strong spokesperson for people our age. She knew her stuff and was talking about everything from recruiters to the war itself. She has a lot more sense than a blogger who lost the audience with tales of fine tuning. (You know who I mean.)

The debate itself, between George Galloway and Christopher Hitchens and moderated by Amy Goodman, was kind of a disappointment. Most people felt Christopher Hitchens was just not up to a debate and resorted to cheap tactics and no real argument. Now no one I know wanted him to win the debate, but we did expect he'd be able to offer an argument. He didn't.

George Galloway was great. Amy Goodman did her usual excellent job. Tony said he wished, as Christopher Hitchens kept going limp, that Amy Goodman had jumped in and said, "Look, I'm not for the war but there's no debate here so I'll take the pro-war side just so we can have a debate."

We were talking about that in one of my classes and the professor said that Hitchens has just lost it. He says that Hitchens mind can't handle anything complex anymore so he makes his "nasty little jokes" and acts like that's an argument. He said the death of Hitchens' mind was now "official and an autoposy should be performed to see if the cause was extreme alcoholism."

My professor surprised me by saying Elaine called it right:

Well the debate's over. It wasn't even close. Hitchens tried to Bully Boy it by tossing around references and tie-ins to 9/11. He couldn't frame an argument because he was too busy sloganeering. (Some people think he can't frame an argument period. Janeane Garofalo has wondered if he's damaged himself with all his drinking.)
It reminded me of a high school event, actually. Of two people running for class president. And one thinks that everyone loves him so he can just offer slogans. The other was prepared to debate. George Galloway is the one who was prepared to debate. I think he did a great job.
But at the end, when he was winding down the debate, when he called for it to end, I understood.
His argument, other than that we need to leave Iraq, was an attempt to appeal to Christopher Hitchens' better nature. But Hitchens didn't have a better nature tonight.
So Galloway would make statements and arguments and Hitchens would try to come back with jokes and not address the issue. I don't like Hitchens but I honestly felt sorry for him because he made such an idiot out of himself.
I doubt he'll admit that. I see that in a lot of patients. They'll rewrite it in their heads and, over time, convince themselves that they came out on top. I wouldn't be surprised if Hitchens did that.

I was only surprised because my professor reads Elaine. I think Elaine called it right. But I didn't know my professor even knew about Elaine's site. He knows I blog and he's read a few things here but that's all I knew about.

I spoke to him after class about it and he really surprised me because he's always seemed to me like one of those centrists. He goes that he read here and started thinking about the war and then started checking out The Common Ills community. He goes that C.I.'s editorial Saturday was the "best thing" he's read. And then he goes that in the early seventies he was this big anti-war protester and he can't just sit on the sidelines anymore. I asked him if I could interview him and he goes if I don't put his name in sure. So I'll probably do that soon. Probably after the semester so it doesn't hurt my grade. :D

He was asking me about Democracy Now! and all. He's seeing the stuff that C.I., Elaine and I highlight and he's interested in it but he's never watched or listened. So we talked about that for about twenty minutes.

That's pretty cool to me and about all I have time for tonight because Nina and I are volunteering for something tonight. But I got to put in this from The Third Estate Sunday Review's "13 Books, Ten Minutes:"

Mike: Mine's a Halloween book because I always loved Halloween best because you got to dress up in costumes. Christmas is great for presents, but Halloween's still my favorite. My book is by Bernard Wiseman, he did the words and the pictures, and it's called Halloween with Morris and Boris. It's about a moose and a bear who go trick or treating. My favorite character was Morris the moose. Boris was kind of a know it all and had a short temper. Morris ends up being a clown for Halloween and Boris ends up being a ghost. They get candy and go to a party and play pin the tail on the donkey and bob for apples. I just liked the book when I was little. Halloween, the color of the drawings.

Gina & Krista are doing a big thing on children's books tomorrow in the gina & krista round-robin and we did the thing above to make sure everyone was thinking about it this week. So look for that in tomorrow's round-robin. And Nina says her favorite book was Anne of Green Gables. Nina just reminded me that Rebecca agreed to be interviewed next Wednesday so I'll pass that on and be Matt Lauer and say, "Now for some good news, next Wednesday we'll have Rebecca." rel="tag">The Common Ills