aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
With friends like these
On Gold Star snubs
The Cunning Realist on snubbery:
I’ve been trying to remember if there have been any significant historical examples of an elected official refusing to meet with an average citizen. As it so happens, one example from the recent past has some interesting parallels to the Cindy Sheehan story.
In the early months of Hillary Clinton’s term as senator, a story “broke” that she had snubbed a group called “The American Gold Star Mothers” that had come to her office in Washington seeking a meeting. The Gold Star Mothers is a group of mothers whose sons and daughters have been killed while serving in the military (note that this is not the same group founded by Cindy Sheehan, which is called “Gold Star Families For Peace”). The story of the alleged snub first appeared on the website Newsmax.com, a sort of quasi-legit underbelly of the Right. Its homepage currently features Michelle Malkin, Bill O’Reilly and Mike Gallagher in its “Pundits” section. You get the idea.
The usual cast of keyboarding smearsters latched onto and ran with the story, and a massive email campaign mysteriously started that pushed it---emails, by the way, that somehow continue to find their way around the internet in great numbers even now.
Via Kos: “Hillary snubbing Gold Star mothers is an act of utter betrayal to the troops, but the same from their president spurs oppo research on a Gold Star mother. To them, Bush can do no wrong.”
Gas guzzlers get a break
Brew’s post wondering why we’re going to exempt large SUV’s from the fuel economy standards gives me the opportunity to point again to my Heat Wave post quoting James Wolcott’s 100F post:
“As the world warms, we expect more and more intense tropical hurricanes and cyclones,’ said James McCarthy, a professor of biological oceanography at Harvard University.”
But if the climate is changing, attitudes are cemented in place, especially in the Red State of Denial.
“What hasn’t changed in the United States is the lack of concern about climate change, said Ross Gelbspan, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and author of two books on global warming, most recently one titled: Boiling Point: How Politicians, Big Oil And Coal, Journalists and Activists Are Fueling the Climate Crisis—And What We Can Do to Avert Disaster.”
UPDATE: Slate points helpfully to TerraPass (Eek! the site talks at you!) where “For a yearly fee of around $80 [they] will offset the damage your SUV does to the atmosphere by spending your money to reduce industrial carbon emissions and to promote the spread of clean energy.”
And send you a decal and a bumper sticker too.
When I first heard about the laptop program I thought it was a good one. I still think it is one legitimate and cost effective way to handle educational technology needs. In response to a lawsuit, a judge halted the program on July 31.
On Sunday the school board moved to terminate its contract with Apple Computer. AJC:
Cobb County schools Superintendent Joseph Redden said Monday he will respond in detail to an investigation that found his administration “deceived” the public by choosing Apple Computer to supply a controversial program with thousands of laptop computers.
Redden, in an afternoon press conference, slammed the report, submitted to school board members over the weekend by corporate investigation specialist Kessler International, as “filled with speculation and circumstantial conclusions.”
He also said it “attempts to evade any responsibility for harm caused to the hard-working, dedicated individuals it impugns.”
My sense is Superintendent Joseph Redden, described as morally and ethically upstanding, believed in the idea. People who didn’t like the program and the voter-approved tax to fund it went to court.
I said then and believe still now that we need to give leaders those rights and obligations required to do their work, then butt out! Hold them accountable for the results but let them do their work.
They voted on it for crying out loud!