April 16th, 2007

politics-sideways_flag

That's telling them!

I heard a snippet on NPR this morning about a speech Karl Rove gave here in Oregon Friday castigating Democrats for handcuffing the generals in Iraq by trying to run the war from Washington. (Sorry, no hard cite yet...haven't run it down except indirectly here.)

Irony is now officially dead. Drawn, quartered, buried at a crossroads at midnight with a stake through its heart, and sown with salt.

Also, I really don't understand why Paul Wolfowitz continues to hold his job at the World Bank. Apparently there's simply no accountability for giving his girlfriend an 80% raise and a cushy promotion -- something he's not even trying to deny at this point. I have no knowledge of World Bank personnel policies, but if they're anything like those of any other major enterprise, that would be a firing offense for anyone below Wolfowitz's management tier.

Without respect to partisanship (admittedly difficult where uberNeocon Wolfowitz is concerned), where is the meaningful consequence for this behavior?
politics-rifleman

Virginia Tech Shootings

I wasn't going to post about the Virginia Tech shootings. Long time readers of this blog know my passionate views on widespread private gun ownership. To put it simply, if you believe widespread private ownership of firearms is a public good, then you have to accept the consequences of that availability. Dead children, for example. Pray it is never your child trapped in a classroom.

However, the White House today said, in part, "The president believes that there is a right for people to bear arms." Nice to see your Republican Party has its priorities straight. Wouldn't want to draw a connection between availability of firearms and firearms deaths or anything now, would we?

Two of the most idiotic counterarguments I get on this subject, near and dear to Second Amendment conservatives, seem apropos today. One is that assertion that an armed society is a polite society. Iraq is a heavily armed society, and no one but John McCain could possible interpret it as polite in the intended sense of that saying. The other is the oft repeated statement that angry people will find a way to hurt others, and why should law abiding gun owners be punished?

Other than firearms, could one angry, disturbed person kill thirty other people by any reasonable means without being stopped?

I hope you enjoy your Second Amendment rights, people. Thirty kids died in Virginia today for you. In a rational society, that would not have happened.
jay-chef

Mmm...garlic

After a recent discussion about garlic bread, for some reason I decided to bake some this afternoon. I used the momo dough as my base. It doesn't make especially wonderful bread, but it's quite serviceable, and stupid simple -- both virtues in this context. However, I went to New Seasons over the lunch hour and bought a jar of roasted garlic bits in olive oil. I used the oil in lieu of the cooking oil the recipe called for, then shoved a couple of tablespoons of garlic bits into the dough as well. I coated one of the two miniloaves I made with an egg wash.

Oh my.

Next time, I'm going to sprinkle rock salt and oregano on the egg wash.

Plus the house got shown twice this afternoon, with the scent of garlic and baking in the air.
jay-China-avatar

One more bit about the gun thing

Several people have observed (correctly) that my intense feelings on the gun issue are emotional. james_nicoll directed to me to statistics on accidental death among children, pointing out there are greater threats than firearms homicide.

Well, yes. Of course. Guilty as charged.

I guess my response is thus: there are so many issues of concern. To name only a few: drunk driving, overseas humanitarian crises (Darfur), domestic humanitarian crises (post-Katrina), the prevalence of prison rape and violence in the US penal system.

Just as with charitable donation, commitment to social issues is very much a matter of personal reaction and emotional investment. That there are other issues, either within the realm of child fatality or within the larger realm of social breakdown, is painfully obvious. For some reason, gun violence, specifically school-related gun violence, resonates with me. Not because I've ever lost someone to such an event, for I haven't, but simply because it does. I suppose I can all too readily imagine the_child spending the last moments of her life in soul-wrenching fear and panic, wondering why I haven't helped her.

That makes it personal.

And guess what? More guns, in my hands or yours, won't help her. Instead of deciding to arm myself to defend her, I'd rather disarm society to keep her safe. Unless I want to barricade her in my home round the clock, or follow her at all times while I'm carrying, making society safer is the only way to defend her.