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Ovid (2709)

Ovid
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http://publius-ovidius.livejournal.com/
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Stuff with the Perl Foundation. A couple of patches in the Perl core. A few CPAN modules. That about sums it up.

Journal of Ovid (2709)

Sunday March 16, 2003
02:44 PM

Peace Rally

[ #11057 ]

Warning: this is a rant and it's very political. You might want to just ignore it.

I was at the Portland, Oregon peace rally yesterday. Estimates on attendance vary quite a bit. The Oregonian, our local daily, always reports lower numbers for turnouts compared to other sources. The Portland Police Department stopped issuing estimates because every second guesses them. In any event, it looks like there were about 30,000 to 40,000 people at the protest. I also noticed very few pro-Bush supporters. We're a fairly liberal town.

What is really sickening to me is that Bush and friends don't seem to care. Fears of war are dividing our nation, turning the world against us and according to the Federal Reserve, further depressing the US economy. How can we possibly benefit from a pre-emptive strike against an impoverished regime when the much of the "threat" seems to be detailed in forged and plagiarized papers? We're making fools of ourselves.

And for me, it just got personal. Today, my father is landing in Dubai (a city in the United Arab Emirates). He should be there for a week, but even in a "pro US" Arab country, the danger to US citizens can be enormous. I know it's his job, but I don't want him there.

The Bush administration is busy destroying our civil liberties, selling us out to the Christian right, destroying any goodwill we have with the rest of the world, has no economic policy to speak of and is pretending that environmental policy is best dictated by business considerations. Now many innocent (and some not-so-innocent) people are going to die and much of the world has no idea why. Is there any good associated with this White House? If there is, I can't see it. This is a very dark time for our country.

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  • Rhetoric (Score:3, Insightful)

    by chromatic (983) on 2003.03.16 15:20 (#17970) Homepage Journal

    "Depression" means something very specific in economic terms. Looking at the latest BEA [doc.gov] data for GDP (not GNP; that's a little harder to find in Google) shows increases in 3Q and 4Q 2002. That's not even a recession.

    I agree that war is an ugly thing, that unemployment is terrible, and that things like Total Information Awareness are nasty, horrible things.

    There's really no excuse for an intelligent, reasonable person to make things up to support an argument. "The White House wants to kill orphans for oil" is one of those unsupportable claims.

    My problem with the anti-war movement is twofold. First, I think a great deal of its arguments are simplistic and completely at odds with history. (Why is there no longer a League of Nations?) Second, I find its rhetorical tactics deplorable. "Bush is scarier than Hussein"? Please.

    I don't mean this as a personal assault on you, Ovid. You're about as reasonable person as I am. (Sorry :)

    It's really tiring to be considered a baby-killing, warmongering, hateful fool when all I really think is that some people will never budge without a show of force.

    • Re:Rhetoric (Score:3, Insightful)

      chromatic, I consider you a friend, so I trust you won't take this personally!

      When I used the phrase "further depressing the US economy", I did not mean that we were experiencing a depression. I meant, very explicitly, to "Lessen the activity or force of; weaken". In fact, for this definition, dictionary.reference.com [reference.com] specifically uses the example feared that rising inflation would further depress the economy. I was not implying that we were experiencing a depression. As reported in the Washington Po [washingtonpost.com]

      • I misunderstood your intent with "depressing". It's a word with connotations in this context.

        Most of my rant is against the simplistic logic found on protest signs and in the editorial pages of the Oregonian. Too few people seem to understand either economics (your focus) or history (mine). Whether that's due to institutional bias, concidental accidents, or the simple realities of publishing, it's not a place to find well-supported arguments.

        Like you, I'm uncomfortable with the idea of going to wa

      • Re:Rhetoric (Score:2, Insightful)

        • If, however, we use the "Hussein is a really, really bad man" argument (which I concede that he is), then why do we remain silent about many other nations headed by brutal dictators?

        I don't think anyone but those wishing to knock down a strawman use the "Hussein is a really, really bad man" argument.

        I feel that we must enforce the conditions of the original armistice [fas.org]. Iraq has been in non-compliance, and been warned about serious consequences for quite some time [fas.org].

        I believe Iraq has failed to live up

  • Please don't confuse Bush's actions for Christian ones. He is making decisions based on the oath he took for office, though he often infuses the Bible and God into his rhetoric.

    JFK (a Catholic) said during his campaign that he would not base his decisions on any decrees from the Pope, putting the interests of his country first.

    IMO, the only Christian response is peace (the whole "just war" doctrine is a cop-out {again, IMO}, but that's a whole other discussion) - but if the U.S. were a Christian country,