Friday, December 20, 2002

Dear Lord, wake me up from this nightmare.

"Terrorists most likely wouldn't come to the INS to register," said Sabiha Khan of the Southern California chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations.

She said the detainees were "being treated as criminals, and that really goes against American ideals of fairness, and justice and democracy".

Thursday, December 19, 2002

Boycott Nestle.

The multinational coffee corporation, Nestle, is demanding a $6m (£3.7m) payment from the government of the world's poorest state, Ethiopia, as the country struggles to combat its worst famine for nearly 20 years...

The famine, brought on by the failure of rains for the third year in a row has been intensified by a collapse in the price of coffee which supports a quarter of the country's population. Nestle, the world's largest coffee processor, made $5.5bn in profits last year.

Aid agencies have reacted furiously to the company's demand.

"At the very least Nestle ought to be accepting the settlement offered by the Ethiopian government," said Sophia Tickell, a policy analyst at Oxfam. "But frankly they should be thinking about how the money could be spent on famine relief and drop the claim altogether."

Ethiopia has the lowest income per head in the world, with the average person surviving on $100 a year. More than a tenth of its children die before their first birthday.

And how weird is it when Sully almost makes sense?
Isn't it nice to know that we can always count on Ann?
I hate getting to blogger late. Oh well. Atrios has the good stuff anyway today. Krugman's plugging him so I might as well too.

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Hey, NPR. What the hell is the difference between a racist remark and a racially insensitive remark?
Joe reveals more white hoods in the closet.

The political result has been a form of racial schizophrenia. The President’s father sided with Barry Goldwater and the National Review against the 1964 Civil Rights Act. A few years later, the senior Bush voted for an open-housing law. When he ran for President in 1988, his supporters employed the inflammatory racial symbolism of the Willie Horton ad to win over white voters.

Leading figures in the Republican hierarchy today carry heavy racial baggage. As a Supreme Court clerk, Chief Justice William Rehnquist wrote memoranda supporting the notorious "separate but equal" jurisprudence of Plessy v. Ferguson. As governor of Missouri and later in the U.S. Senate, Attorney General John Ashcroft maintained ties to "white power" advocates in his home state and displayed little concern for racial equality. The President himself, and many of the conservatives who now demand the ouster of Mr. Lott, have never evinced much concern about the blatant bigotry of Jesse Helms, another ancient symbol of the bad old days.

The truly annoying thing here is that NONE OF THIS IS NEWS. Which isn't to say that it doesn't bear repeating over and over. All of us black people here in the present are shrugging our shoulders because racist politicians have always been there. And we know who all of them are. Now the rest of you are finding out.
Curiouser and curiouser.

The two Pratt and Whitney engines and propellers made by Hartzell were thoroughly examined and ``no evidence of pre-impact engine or propeller failure was found," the report said...
..Toxicological reports revealed no evidence of drug or alcohol abuse by pilot Richard Conry or the first officer, Michael Guess. The NTSB said based on radio transmissions it believes Conroy was at the controls at the time of the crash.

The report said investigators have documented the crew's activities for three days before the flight through interviews with Conry's wife and Guess's fiancee. They still are reviewing employment, pilot and medical records.

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Gore revives Saturday Night Live.

First he won the popular vote; now Al Gore has won the Nielsen race as well.

NBC's Dec. 14 edition of "Saturday Night Live," hosted by the former vice president, scored the sketch show's best household ratings of the season in the top "metered" markets, and ranked as its best performance since last February (an episode hosted by Britney Spears).

I think I've reached a point where I'm not quite as bummed as I was. For one thing it clears the road for Kerry who is the only one with chops, though I'm still chaffing at his decision on Iraq which smacks of the namby-pambiness of the DLC.

Monday, December 16, 2002

Last night I went to my parents' house with a visiting friend to watch the taped SNL episode with Al Gore and ended up staying for dinner. My brother, father, friend and I were eating and chatting when my mother came downstairs. Now my mom has had the really bizarre cold that she hasn't been able to shake for a month and her medication makes her drowsy. So she was upstairs falling asleep to NPR before she stumbled downstairs.

She gives us this bewildered glassy-eyed stare and says, "Gore's not running. They just announced it."

I say, "Are you sure?'

She nods,takes a deep breath, and turns to go back upstairs. My dad calls out to her, "How do you feel?" Meaning of course physically.

She turns back, pauses, and says, "Shocked."

Sunday, December 15, 2002

So Gore's out. And after SNL I was so ready to believe again.

Clinton said Sunday night: “Al Gore was the best vice president America ever had. He would have been a fine president had history taken a different course two years ago.