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May 8, 2004

I've been trying to say this for a long time.People (expecially a certain person whose first name is John) keep hounding on the economy and how Bush has decimated it. It's just not true. In fact, I'd be somewhat amazed if he could actually do such a thing. The economy naturally rises and lowers, and it just so happened that the market hit its peak and then crashed at a time Bush was president. Was Clinton at fault? No, blame the "irrational exuberance" of the many investors, out to make a quick buch regardless what a stock's P/E was.And hounding on the economy as a campaign theme is rediculous.

Posted by charr at 5:18 PM
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I also can't stand how people are passing the blame onto one person - President Bush - for the abuse of those Iraqi prisoners. Yes, I know what those soldiers did was horrific, and they should - and will - be punished for what they did. But why is President Bush at fault? It just makes *no* sense to me. Things like this have happened in every wartime, even during World War II American soldiers abused many, many prisoners. Times are harsh in war, especially for soldiers, and it takes a really tough emotional and psychological toll on all involved. If those soldiers had issues before entering the military, being a soldier in war is only going to magnify those issues a hundred fold.
Anyway. Rant over.

Posted by Heather at May 8, 2004 8:15 PM

I didn't read the whole thing, but this article talks about the economy, saying the Democrats are to thank for jobs.Of course they're also the source of the site claiming that states with the highest IQs voted Democrat.It's entertaining at least.

Posted by dan at May 9, 2004 2:05 AM

Well, I have a hard time believing his job creation numbers have any merit, but aside from that, the guy doesn't know how to make a decent argument. He basically states that as long as everyone doesn't have a good job, the economy can't be improving. He makes some other dumb statements too, but that's the one that really makes me realize he doesn't have a clue.The second article is basically a joke, and I have to admit it's kinda funny, but I highly doubt there's any merit. I noticed they have Utah pinned as the second-to-most-dumbest state. I'd be very interested to see where it really stands. Utah has some stereotypes, but it really has a pretty intelligent population. Judging by this SAT breakdown, Utah is well above the national mean (look at page 9).

Posted by Cameron at May 9, 2004 10:53 AM

I got kinda hooked on this :)This article" states that Utah is 4th in the highest number of high school grads, at 87.7%.

Posted by Cameron at May 9, 2004 11:01 AM

Not to be partisan, but just to stick to the facts, the dumbest states in the nation - as judged by IQ, test scores, and school ratings - are Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and many of the other southern states (funny, including Arkansas.) That totally debunks that guy's theory - all of those states are predominantly Democrat.

Posted by Heather at May 9, 2004 12:06 PM

Yeah, the South has the lowest test scores as well as the highest high school dropout rates in the US. And we vote predominantly Democrat. (We also spend the most money on education.) Anyway, I have a hard time believing that you can equate IQ with political affiliation, though it is fun to think about. Oh, and "irrational exuberance" = dot com bubble.

Posted by Jan at May 10, 2004 5:13 AM

I'd like to take a stab at Heather's initial question.Is G.W. Bush the Commander in Chief or not? Is that just some meaningless title? Yet this administration has consistently defied Geneva Convention and made the treatment of prisoners and everything relating to them completely secret. In that kind of climate of secrecy and no accountability to anyone in the public, abuse thrives and flourishes. I do not believe these cases are isolated nor limited to just a very few -- of course nobody has any idea how widespread or how far up the chain of command they go. GW can act shocked and surprised all he wants, as can the rest of them. Who knows where it starts and where it ends? But then that's the whole point. Those ultimately responsible never have to be held accountable for anything, because it's "none of our (the public's) business". Any time you create a situation where people become a law unto themselves, and assume complete autonomous authority, you can guarantee that bad things will happen ("We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost ALL men...)". I'm not saying GW's guilty of ordering these crimes, but he is responsible for giving the world the finger as far as how the US military operates without regard to world or public opinion, and that's a very, very bad precedent/president.

Posted by kris at May 10, 2004 10:14 AM

Kris - I come from a military family. My father spent over 25 years serving in the United States Air Force. For the first half of his career, he patrolled borders during the cold war. Since then, he's been a war planner, tactical deception specialist, and camoflauge expert. In fact, now that he's retired from the Air Force, he's still doing the same job for a government contractor.
I really don't think it's fair to say that the military shouldn't operate the way it does. There's a point to that secrecy, not all military/intelligence secrecy is a bad thing. We *need* it, otherwise we wouldn't have the most formidable force on this planet. The United States simply wouldn't enjoy its freedoms and its way of life if the military were not around. To say that all men have the potential, in that environment, to become such radical abusers, is simply untrue. I was born on a military base, I've lived many years on over five different installations around the world. My entire life, short though it may seem, has been spent in the presence of military officers, enlistees, and reservists. I can guarantee that the men and women who committed those horrific acts of abuse are the minority in the military. They never have to be held accountable? Do you realize that the Court Martials have been started long before any civil or criminal case would be heard? It takes months in the civilian world to go through a trial, and yet the military is acting as swiftly and as accurately as possible to make sure everyone involved will answer to justice. I have every confidence in the military's ability to handle this issue, because I've seen military justice in action. As far as speed is concern, this is no different than any other court martial I've ever seen - when they see a problem, they act. And they act as quickly as humanly possible. Has President Bush himself defied the Geneva Convention? No. A few soldiers and maybe a few commanders, yes, I'll agree with that. But like I said, they'll be held accountable. Do you realize what it means to be stripped of rank, kicked out of the military, and sentenced to time in a military prison? It may not sound like much to most people, but having lived with the military, I know just how extensive it is. It ruins the rest of that person's life. When you're kicked out of the military, it is next to impossible to ever get a job in the civilian world. They'll be spending the rest of their days as gas station attendants. Another thing a lot of people seem to be forgetting in this situation is that American soldiers weren't the only ones committing these atrocities. Many British soldiers were involved as well. I think that clearly illustrates that, in this particular case, it was simply impossible for President Bush to have known about what was going on. I believe the facts, when surfaced during the Congressional hearings and court martials, will attest to the fact that only a small band of soldiers were involved, and maybe a few local commanders knew what was going on. For it to have gotten any farther than that would have meant a whole lot of beaurocratic nonsense, and literally hundreds - potentially thousands - of honorable men and women in the military risking their careers for the sake of a few abusive soldiers. Logistically, that's just impossible. As for George Bush giving the rest of the world the finger, I'm really tired of rash generalizations like that. That's ignoring the dozens of countries who are dying in Iraq to fight for this cause right alongside us. The truth is, the only nations in the UN that were adamantly against the war in the first place were Russia, Germany, and France. And you know why they opposed it? They had oil deals with Saddam Hussein. It wasn't in their best interest financially to liberate the country. Regardless, those three nations hardly count as "the rest of the world."I'm also really sick of the general civilian belief that all military officers are the kind of trigger-happy, irresponsible, gun-crazy wild men that are typically portrayed in hollywood movies. It's an inacurate depiction that is skewing the nation's view of our servicemen and women, and unfairly judging all of the innocent, law-abiding, and well meaning people who live and die for our country. Like I said, my Dad was in the Air Force; he's the most mild-mannered man you'd ever hope to meet. He's a very religious and devoted man, father, and husband. My brother Timothy entered the Air Force about five years ago in order to become a doctor in the military. He's kind and has a great sense of humor. Throughout his entire teenage years, and well into his twenties, he spent his time volunteering in homes for the mentally disabled. He's working toward becoming a child psychologist, so he can help traumatized and abused children. In Italy, I met a man named Philip, who was also in the military. He and his wife of over 20 years have seven children, and run a home for troubled teenagers in Utah. For over 18 years, Philip was a pilot in the Air Force. One of my neighbors recently moved to Hawaii on assignment from the Army - he has four children, a loving wife to whom he has been married for over 25 years, and two sons who are serving missions abroad for their church. And finally, one of my best friends' fathers is a high-ranking official in the anti-terrorism unit for the US Army. He has spent the past few years in Saudi Arabia, leading the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, even during the days not so long ago when many people were trying to convince us here at home that the military had "given up" their search for bin Laden. This man he two children, a loving wife, and he too was an active part of his community before shipping off to the middle east. The people in the military are real. Yes, there are crackpots, but there are crackpots in any system. The military doesn't make people perfect, but the good folks definitely outweigh the bad. Don't color them all as abusers because a few people crumbled under the pressures of war.

Posted by Heather at May 12, 2004 2:15 AM

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