I Still Oppose Our Invasion
and Occupation of Iraq
The Rational Radical's Weblog
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Friday, October 04, 2002
Again tonight we saw O'Reilly the activist. He gave out the phone number of a radio station whose shock jocks pulled a cruel stunt on a baseball widow, and he also called for a boycott of amazon.com because it's selling a pro-pedophilia book.
Thursday, October 03, 2002
Isn't O'Reilly stepping over the line? A talk show host can express opinions, that's the job description. But becoming an activist is another story. O'Reilly has implicitly called for a boycott of Coke over its use of Ludacris as a spokesman, leading Coke to fire Ludacris; he got Snoop Dogg canned from a Muppets movie; O'Reilly is using Fox's legal analyst to help him file a complaint with the California State Bar against the defense lawyers in the Danielle van Dam case; and today he gave out the phone number of one of the Congressmen who criticized Bush while visiting Baghdad, urging his viewers to call and complain. O'Reilly also gave out the phone number of the California Bar ethics hotline and urged viewers to call in to get forms to file complaints on their own. This is highly irresponsible on O'Reilly's part. Thousands of people calling all at once will effectively shut down the switchboard in the Congressman's office and at the ethics hotline. People who have legitimate reasons to call, some perhaps urgent, won't be able to get through. If O'Reilly wants to transform himself from cable talk show host to activist, he needs to do so more responsibly. And isn't there some kind of issue about the Fox News Corporation allowing one of their hosts to use the airways to agitate in favor of causes he espouses?
Tuesday, October 01, 2002
This article, 10-Month bin Laden Mystery: Dead or Alive? got me thinking: when we thought bin Laden was in Tora Bora we didn't want to send our troops there to seal off escape routes. Yet now Bush wants to send up to 200,000 troops to get Saddam. But certainly Osama bin Laden is more responsible for 9/11 than Saddam Hussein! Why is Bush willing to do more to get Hussein than bin Laden? I bet the answer relates to the Afghan pipeline and Iraq's oil. You see, once we got rid of the Taliban, Afghanistan was safe for a gas pipeline. Spending blood and treasure on finding bin Laden wouldn't have helped further that goal. In Iraq, overthrowing Hussein and installing a U.S. puppet government will allow us control of the world's second biggest oil reserves. That's why Bush is willing to expend the troops on overthrowing Saddam that he wasn't willing to expend on capturing bin Laden. And if we overthrow Saddam and achieve control of Iraq's oil, but Saddam personally escapes, I bet Bush won't risk troops finding him either. In my opinion, I'd like to see us send those 200,000 troops to find bin Laden in the Afghan/Pakistan border region.
Can't some Democrats think before they speak? Precious time that could have been spent debating the wisdom and morality of an attack on Iraq, is instead now being spent debating whether the two Democratic Congressmen should have made their comments in Baghdad. Congresswoman Defends 'Baghdad' Jim McDermott
Monday, September 30, 2002
Accusing someone of a crime is slander per se. This means that the person making the accusation is guilty of slander unless that accuser can prove the truth of their assertion, that the person has really committed a crime. Treason is a capital crime, so accusing someone of treason would be the grounds for a slander lawsuit. Maybe this is a way to shut Ann Coulter up: the next time she tells an opponent of the Iraq war to his or her face that they are part of the "treason lobby," call her on it. Pin her down. Ask her "Are you seriously accusing me of committing the crime of treason, such that the federal government could try me and if I am found guilty, execute me?" If she says she is, then sue her for slander. Then Coulter will have to prove in court that the person really did commit treason by opposing the Iraq war. She would not be able to do so. On the other hand, Coulter's a lawyer, so she may well be smart enough to back off, and reply that no, she was engaging in a bit of rhetorical hyperbole. If she does that, then blast her for engaging in such dangerous rhetoric, that could inspire some right-wing nut who takes what she says seriously to go shoot someone.
Don't think Bush is kidding about going all over the world waging war: U.S. Drew Up Plans to Strike North Korea
Sunday, September 29, 2002
Guess how much of the $17.99 price of a Walt Disney shirt the garment worker in Bangladesh who made it gets? $3.00? $1.00? 50 cents? Well, all those are way too high. The garment worker is paid a nickel, 5 cents. An Effort to Better Labor's Lot So what that means is, such workers could have their wages doubled, and be lifted out of poverty and suffering, if Disney made five cents less profit on the shirt! Or, let's not put the onus on Mickey Mouse. How about if consumers said, "OK, here's an extra five cents, funnel it to the worker." Wouldn't it be great if you could do that? And why stop there? As I wrote elsewhere, if a head of lettuce cost two cents more, the farmworkers who pick the lettuce wouldn't have to live in abject poverty. So little stands in the way of providing desperately needed help to the suffering, yet we don't do it.
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