01 October 2011

A week

1) I'm not sure what the deal with the perpetual search for the next fling within the Republican party is. I'm not entirely displeased that Christie's the "next" thing. He's a mixed bag, like most major political figures, and he's no libertarian, but he does at least run some high notes out there about how governments actually work for the idiots among us. And also things like "Muslims are not all terrorists, so shut it morons", which is refreshing if sad that it is refreshing.

I just don't think he will actually run so it all seems sort of pointless. (Plus his positions on homosexuals and immigrants are basically persona non grata in the national stage GOP, and they're still too far to the right for my taste... and his positions on foreign policy are really, really ill thought out. Which is to say that they're marginally more thought out than say, Romney or Perry's, but still on the dumb side of foolish things to say).

2) Speaking of Muslims and terrorists, we finally got around to killing American citizens without trials. After all that unpleasant cheering over the death penalty, I guess we figured we should just skip it. I'm not sure that our friend in Yemen is necessarily the most sympathetic figure of course. But making our policy choices based on sympathetic figures isn't any better than making them based on unsympathetic figures. A war which has assumed global characteristics (or at least we assume it to have global characteristics) means that enemy combatants can be killed anywhere at any time. To an extent, this is in fact reasonable. What concerns us now is these means being used against American citizens (or otherwise used against people living or visiting our legal jurisdiction).

In a related story, the FBI has busied itself creating yet another disgruntled worshiper. This time with the inventive method of using remote controlled planes to blow up Washington. Or perhaps a Bell of Tacos or something similarly useless. I realize that there are really people out there who want to attack or do something otherwise heinous. Our friend in Norway was a considerable reminder of this. I'm not convinced that running around encouraging them in order to arrest them is the best method of defence. Kind of seems like entrapment problems?

3) In another related "why does this matter" story, a bunch of protesters showed up in Wall St. I have more or less the same reaction I had to the tea party protests. It sounds and looks like an incoherent mess. There's a lot of "dirty commoner" feel to both formats and a lot of reading signs and then wondering what the hell such people were smoking. I'm still not much impressed that the tea party has mattered much on a national stage, if at all, and it largely impressed upon me the notion that vast numbers of Americans have become so disengaged with politics that they don't have any idea what they are supposed to be protesting. They might as well be annoyed with Roswell conspiracies for all the sense they've made (cut taxes, not medicare/defence/ and pretty much any popular government programmes that account for most of the budget...). I'd hardly expect a quasi-economic protest to go off with a much better informed set of dumb masses. If there's anything substantial to our daily lives that the public knows less about than politics, it might be economics.

Naturally, I've seen commentators and activists trying to anoint this as the leftist response to the tea party. Good luck with that. Let me know when you get around to having a point besides "we hate bankers!".
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