Cheney Has a Heart?

Dick Cheney had the battery to his pacemaker changed. So in the event that his heart skips a beat, say, if he gets a chance to detain more teenagers for torture, a little electric shock will go off and get him back to normal. The miracle of modern science. Now if we could only do the same thing for a conscience ...


Clinton and Obama - Talking to the Enemy

Clinton accuses Obama of being naive because he is willing to talk to nations like Cuba, North Korea and Iran if he gets elected President. She is wrong. Having a list of countries with problematic behavior and refusing to talk to them about it means conducting communications through the press and third parties. You will always have to have communications. It's just a matter of how.

Look at this Administration. They are finally talking to Iran. They had to. If there was ever a group of people invested in not talking to Iran, it would be this Administration. But essential discussions needed to be had, and you should have thought of that when you decided to invade the country next to Iran. So now you have to talk to them.


U.S. Talks With Iran: Is War Still in the Air?

Yes. Don't be fooled. The Bush Administration acknowledged that the country cannot be run like Texas when it agreed to have conversations with Iran. It only took them six years. As a national leader, you have to talk to people you hate. Freezing them out is ineffective.

But the Bush Administration is populated with people who don't change their minds and hate new ideas. So their thoughts from twenty years ago, namely, to invade Iraq and then Iran, are still driving their thinking and policy decisions.

It would be wise to watch the news reports and the rhetoric. Recently, an article appeared about Iranian problems with drug smugglers. It was a sympathetic article to Iran and likened their border issues with ours. The appearance of this article can be seen as a signal that the U.S. position towards Iran is open to cooperation. It would be a declaration of "common ground," if you will. The Bush Administration would be feeding the notion that Iran and the U.S. could unite in fighting narcotics trafficking.

How strong would that "common ground" be? Almost illusionary. Iran should not be baited into any conciliatory stance.

Don't be surprised if a sudden reversal of rhetoric occurs, painting Iran as an enemy of the U.S. One would be mistaken to think that any gains in understanding between the U.S. and Iran would preclude manic accusations from our President. That is not the case.

And when the President speaks, he is speaking to his political base. So the reassurance of "don't listen to what I say, watch what I do" would be hollow.


Russia and Official Murder

Another Western publishing worker was murdered in Russia. Putin does not stop at killing Russians in London. He does not stop at killing critics in the Russian media. He does not stop at killing rivals at home. Why would he stop at killing troublemakers here in Washington, DC?

London has expelled four Russian diplomats because Russia refuses to extradite the killer of a Russian exile critical of Putin, Litvinenko. The man, a former KGB agent, was killed in London. In other words, allegedly acting under Putin's orders, someone in London was killed. I hope I am not the only person outraged at this.

Where is the screaming right-wing media on this one?


Food Quality Through Public Executions

So the Chinese have shot the guy in charge of their food quality. Do you feel better now? Given the Chinese government's penchant for shooting people it hardly gives me any comfort, anyway.

Fundamentally, if someone at the top is allowing lousy and dangerous food to be exported, no one in China cares until they get caught. China doesn't even have one consistent set of trade laws. How are they going to enforce "quality" even assuming they agree with us on what that means.

If you want a great example of the failures of deregulation of business, the import of bad foodstuffs into the American diet would be a good place to start. Profit motive fails as a substitute for good policy. Profit motives are short-term and short-sighted. U.S. business has an equal share in the blame for poisoning our food supply.

Imagine: all the dogs that died from bad food from China could have been children. Would we be embracing the free market then?


Thong + Silk Skirt + No Slip = Obvious

For God's sake, who taught you how to dress? This particular fashion offender was at 17th & M NW today around Noon. If you've never actually worn a skirt before, talk to someone who has!


Evicting Dave the Actor

So it has finally come to this. This time, not only has he not paid his rent, he handed me a few rubber checks as well. The good news is that he pays week to week, so I'm not out of all that money.

So he gives me this story that $7000 will be arriving. And each time I ask, he tells me "it hasn't cleared yet." This goes on for two weeks. Finally, I tell him he has to leave and he tells me "but I won't have any money until my paycheck on Friday." Huh? What happened to the $7000 that was coming in? I'm so angry I can't even look at him.

Since Dave lives in the house with us and rents a room, we don't all the restrictions associated with kicking him out.