Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Local News, Stuck on Stupid

The local Palo Alto paper reported on Ambassador Joe Wilson's talk at Stanford and displays a level of common ignorance about this story. The article says that Wilson's report on uranium in Niger revealed that no 'deal' took place. Fine, perhaps no deal took place, but President Bush never said any such a thing to begin with. His famous 16 words in the 2003 State of the Union speech merely said: “The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently 'sought' significant quantities of uranium from Africa .” Not that they had a contract to sell, a confirmed sale, or an understanding to purchase unranium--merely an effort. In addition, British intelligence continues to stand by their claims and that was the source cited by the president.

Wilson's reception at Stanford and elsewhere depends on a press that insists on ignoring this as well as those disclosed by the United States Senate Select Committee on Senate Intelligence. The committee found (page 43) that no one in the CIA believed Wilson's report added much to the Iraq Niger uranium story except to note that the former prime minister of Niger said that an Iraqi delegation visited Niger in order to discuss uranium sales. It also charged the ambassador with making claims about forged documents about which he was in no position to know and of falsely claiming his wife had nothing to do with his work for the CIA. Following the devastating conclusions of the committee, and of, Ambassador Wilson went into hiding and waited for the country to forget this humiliation. Wilson, apparently, believes that he is free to make false statements without being challenged.

In a recent speech at San Francisco State University Wilson was urged to run for elected office. His response: (I've had) "too many wives and taken too many drugs. And, yes, I did inhale." It would seem that those applauding the Stanford talk are in a long term relationship with Wilson and breathing his second hand smoke--including the local reporter Jean Whitney.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Ward Politics

An article in the New York Times discusses Democrat challengers to California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Former San Francisco supervisor Doris Ward chimes in.
The only hope Democrats have in defeating a celebrity is with another celebrity, Ms. Ward said. "With a Meathead?" Mr. Reiner interjected, a reference to his television role as Michael Stivic in the 1970's sitcom "All in the Family." Ms. Ward said later in an interview that many Democrats were rooting for Mr. Beatty, in part because he is better looking and better known than Mr. Reiner, who is bearded, bald and paunchy (Mr. Beatty still looks like a movie star). Like it or not, she said, voters often care about such things. But Ms. Ward said she would be pleased if either of the men entered the race.
Consider the implications of Wards remarks 1. if they had been made by a man towards a woman 2. the shallowness of thought being passed off as mainstream political calculation. Then you'd also have to consider Doris Ward's history and wonder why she has any role in deciding anything.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Arnold's Props

We've heard plenty about the declining popularity of Governor Schwarzenegger. This despite the fact that he is not currently facing election. What is about to be decided at the polls in November is a collection of propositions favored by the governor. What we're supposed to conclude from all this is that the success for these propositions somehow rests on the this gubernatorial popularity. They'd rather you not know this.