Sunday, October 09, 2005

  • "President George W. Bush's overall job approval rating has reached the lowest ever measured in this poll [since 1983], and evaluations of his handling of Iraq, the economy and even his signature issue, terrorism, are also at all-time lows."

  • Washington Post:
    "The CIA will not seek to hold any current or former agency officials, including ex-director George J. Tenet, responsible for failures leading up to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, CIA Director Porter J. Goss said yesterday, despite a recommendation by the agency's inspector general that he convene an "accountability board" to judge their performance."
    "The inspectors general of the departments of State, Justice and Defense completed their own investigations without publicized disciplinary actions taken against anyone. The CIA's report, which severely criticized actions of senior officers, will remain classified, Goss said in his announcement, which was welcomed by some former officials mentioned in the document but assailed by families of victims of the attacks."
    So in other words, Goss protects the guilty at the expense of the innocent. Just one more crony in high power.

  • Molly Ivins:
    Separation of church and state is in the Constitution because this country was founded by people who had experienced both religious persecution and state-supported religions. I think John F. Kennedy's 1960 statement to Baptist ministers ("I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute.") should stand as a model of how public servants should handle the relation between religious belief and public service.

    Nevertheless, we are now beset by people who insist on dragging religion into governance--and who themselves believe they are beset by people determined to "drive God from the public square."

    This division has been in part created by and certainly aggravated by those seeking political advantage. It is a recipe for an incredibly damaging and serious split in this country, and I believe we all need to think carefully before doing anything to make it worse.

    As an 1803 quote attributed to James Madison goes: "The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe with blood for centuries."
  • Financial
    It is possible that this Peak Oil is an empty threat, like Y2K--something to keep alarmists up at night. But even if this is so, bear in mind that preparations for Y2K served the U.S. well in a later emergency, the terrorist attacks of 2001. Despite serious damage to electric, phone and data lines in lower Manhattan, the vital financial information generated there was never endangered.

    Likewise, it can't hurt us to prepare for Peak Oil. In the worst case, we'll have spent some money to develop alternative energy sources while oil remains plentiful. That's hardly a disaster, and could even have positive economic consequences.

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