July 23, 2004

Remembering What Peace There May Be In Silence

from - smijer

I've been under the weather for about a week now, to explain in part why I've been quiet. I'll just pipe in to make a couple of remarks on the last weeks' news, to the extent that I've digested it.

  • Berger: I see this as a non-story. The only truly incriminating line is that he was stuffing documents into his socks. That line, however, is flatly denied by Berger, and is not credibly sourced.
  • Wilson: Joe Wilson may have been caught in a couple of fibs. That doesn't mean that Iraq ever tried to get uranium from Africa, or that the administration ever had any credible evidence that it did.
  • 9/11 comission report: I spent the months anticipating its release hearing how awful and partisan this commission was - for the Democrats. Now all I hear is how there isn't a hint of partisanship or fingerpointing in the report. Instead there are recommendations and an explanation of the institutional failures that paved the way for 9/11. Let's hear it for Democratic partisanship.

    I'll leave the full text of the Desiderata in the extended entry, if my post title made anyone's mouth water for it.


    Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

    As far as possible, without surrender,
    be on good terms with all persons.
    Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
    and listen to others,
    even to the dull and the ignorant;
    they too have their story.
    Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
    they are vexatious to the spirit.

    If you compare yourself with others,
    you may become vain or bitter,
    for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
    Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
    Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
    it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

    Exercise caution in your business affairs,
    for the world is full of trickery.
    But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
    many persons strive for high ideals,
    and everywhere life is full of heroism.
    Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
    Neither be cynical about love,
    for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
    it is as perennial as the grass.

    Take kindly the counsel of the years,
    gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
    Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
    But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
    Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

    Beyond a wholesome discipline,
    be gentle with yourself.
    You are a child of the universe
    no less than the trees and the stars;
    you have a right to be here.
    And whether or not it is clear to you,
    no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

    Therefore be at peace with God,
    whatever you conceive Him to be.
    And whatever your labors and aspirations,
    in the noisy confusion of life,
    keep peace in your soul.

    With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
    it is still a beautiful world.
    Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

    - Max Ehrmann

    Posted by smijer at July 23, 2004 08:00 AM
  • Comments

    Apparently, you haven't done all of your homework yet (or just don't want to acknowledge facts): http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2004/7/22/94049.shtml

    Just because he denies doesn't mean his denial is credible. Just curious, wonder who he was calling on his cell phone...... Here's another one to further substantiate that Sandy did in fact remove items:

    Also, I wonder if this was Condi Rice instead of Berger how the media would be portraying it. I can guarantee you that it would be on the front pages for weeks instead of 1 day, which is how long Berger's case stayed there.

    Isn't it funny when a known liberal is actually caught in a couple of "fibs" it's no big deal, but "BUSH LIES" is the call of the day with no facts or clear examples of the lie!

    9/11 commission was a waste of time. To have a panel member intimately involved with the "wall" between departments not called to testify further shows what a joke the commission was. The report recommendations (not that I have read it, but I assume...) probably won't be to insightful, just more of what we are already trying to do. Our airport screeners spend too much time frisking the elderly instead of potential hijackers for fear of 'racial profiling'. Unfortunately, those who have hijacked airlines in the past have a certain 'look' about them and profiling is one of the best ways to prevent further episodes. As far as I'm concerned, profile away, maybe we'll catch the next ones.

    univar.jpg Posted by tickletickle on July 23, 2004 11:01 AM
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    Newsmax isn't really a credible source, either. If Berger was stuffing documents in his socks, then he was likely up to something. He wasn't likely stuffing documents into his socks. The FBI doesn't seem to think this is a big case - I think they would if there was credible evidence that he was involved in any real wrong-doing.

    As to whether it's different for a "known liberal" and for the president of the U.S., a "known right-winger" and starter of wars-of-choice to be caught in outright deceptions intended to bolster his case for war will remain a subjective issue. I suppose that for those who support the President for ideological reasons, the "known liberal" is the bigger story.

    If you think the 9/11 commission was a waste of time, then more power to you. It is difficult to take you seriously when you are ready to offer your solution ("profile away"!) to the problem of terrorism, but you think the investigation into how the biggest terrorist action in the history of the U.S. came about was a waste of time.

    It's often the case when there is a national crisis that the most fearful among us start looking for civil liberties to jettison in favor of "security". Terrorism is so called because it fosters a culture of fear. It is inevitable that the weak-kneed will start screaming for racial profiling and start writing editorials like "Terror in the Skies". It is inevitable thta some will see spooks in every corner. Now is the time for Americans to get some backbone and get ready to show the world that we can rise above our fear and stand as a beacon to liberty and justice even in our times of crisis.

    univar.jpg Posted by smijer on July 23, 2004 11:37 AM
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    I've always preferred Invictus. I think that embodies most of the difference between us.

    Too bad McVeigh poisoned that one.

    univar.jpg Posted by Phelps on July 23, 2004 11:40 AM
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    I find it hilarious that the current administration would seek to call into question the credibility of anybody, anywhere, anytime. To these guys the truth is the same as the pretzel. Just something to choke on.

    How politicians do what they do with a straight face will always be beyond me.

    univar.jpg Posted by boortzlistener on July 23, 2004 05:03 PM
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    I take it you didn't look at the Washington Times article about Berger, which in part said:

    "At the end of the day, Archives employees determined that that draft and all four or five other versions of the millennium memo had disappeared from the files, this source said."

    Sounds like "credible evidence of wrongdoing" to me if the versions "disappeared from the files". Looks like he was stuffing his socks after all, huh? But then again, do you not put any credence in the Wash Times either???

    Not necessarily support for ideological reasons. I think the war was the right thing to do at the time based on the advice the President received from his advisors (one of which was hired by Clinton, does Tenet's reference to a "slam dunk" ring a bell?? Apparently it wasn't a "slam dunk" and Bush takes the heat and blame for relying on Tenet's advice). I don't necessarily think this is a war of "choice" either. Why does no one ever mention the fact, yes fact, that Saddam repeatedly ignored more than 10 UN resolutions, kicked out weapons inspectors, and just prior to the start of the war, there was credible evidence of a considerable amount of truck movement out of Iraq into Syria and other border countries, more than likely relocating weapons that were previously hidden from the inspectors?? Bush was the only one who had the resolve to enforce resolutions that were agreed to by all parties in the UN although he never gets credit for that.

    Why is it that no one wants to mention the fact that Saddam killed hundreds of thousands of his own people, had torture and rape rooms, strangled his country's economy, made a joke out of the "oil for food" program to build bigger palaces, and had two thugs for sons who took direct part in the above items?? Iraq is better off without Saddam and time will show how much better off the entire country will be given the new government gets a chance.

    Unfortunately, it was a waste of time (oh yeah, and $$$). What, after months and months of hearings and testimony, did the commission actually come up with to aid us in our fight with terrorism?? Ahhhh, that's right, the people compiling the data had a "lack of imagination". Thanks for that one. Looks like we should start hiring people from the Imagineering department at Disney, maybe Phigment??

    Obviously, profiling isn't the only means for preventing another terrorist act, but it is a major one and should be a part of our policy regarding homeland security. The point I was trying to make was that as soon as you implement a conscious effort to remotely try to profile, you'll have a ton of civil liberty groups threatening lawsuits about civil liberties.

    To have someone of Middle Eastern descent go through a little more screening based on past experience isn't "jettisoning" their civil liberties. Besides, if they aren't a terrorist, it should be obvious and readily apparent in my opinion. Implementing a bit of profiling is not "weak kneed", it's smart and makes sense based on who has historically taken part in airline hijacking and our current terrorist situation. In fact, I would be willing to bet that citizens of our country who are of middle eastern descent wouldn't have a problem going through a little more security as long as it was done professionally and respectfully if it meant that travelling would be that much more safe.

    univar.jpg Posted by tickletickle on July 27, 2004 10:23 AM
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    I take it you didn't look at the Washington Times article about Berger, which in part said:

    "At the end of the day, Archives employees determined that that draft and all four or five other versions of the millennium memo had disappeared from the files, this source said."

    Sounds like "credible evidence of wrongdoing" to me if the versions "disappeared from the files". Looks like he was stuffing his socks after all, huh? But then again, do you not put any credence in the Wash Times either???

    There's no dispute over whether he removed items from the archives. There is a dispute over whether there was major wrongdoing. The FBI isn't handling it like a case where major wrong-doing is suspected and the sock-stuffing charge, specifically only comes from reporters' interviews with unnamed archive employee(s) - not from the FBI or any credible source.

    As for the Wash Times, generally no... I give them less credence than I do actual news outlets. You may be aware that they are the Fox News of print, owned by a man who thinks he is the Messiah and has long been in cahoots with the farthest right wing in American politics. I do think they reported this story correctly, but I don't think they reported that Berger actually stuffed documents in his socks. I think they reported that he was accused of it by at least one person from the National Archives. I doubt seriously that particular charge will hold up.

    I read the rest of your post. I don't have a lot to say back. If you support Bush because you think he is a leader instead of for ideological reasons, my only explanation is that you have listened to too much of the propaganda put out by those who do only support him for ideological reasons.

    Of course it was a war of choice. Iraq posed no threat to us. The accusations of human rights violations, while exaggerated, do gain my sympathy. However, those civil rights violations had zero to do with Bush's choice for war there. Bush likes murderous dictators.

    If you think that racial profiling doesn't violate civil liberties, then I can't help you. I recommend a civics class or two. If you think racial profiling might effectively deter terrorism, then I disagree, and say that such a viewpoint is naive. There are about a million things the U.S. could be doing to improve security against terrorism and to address the root causes of terrorism. Why some people jump to racial profiling and wars of choice in Iraq ahead of all of those other measures is beyond me. My only explanation is that they have an ideological affinity to anti-egalitarian policy (where it concerns profiling) or an ideological affinity to neo-conservative manifest destiny (where it concerns wars of choice), or they believed too much of the B.S. being put out by those who do have those ideological affinities.

    univar.jpg Posted by smijer on July 27, 2004 01:28 PM
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