Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Hey, the scribe is back after writing light last week and enjoying Memorial Day for all it was worth.

Remember kiddies, it’s good to stop, take a nap, truly cool the engines and contemplate the navel.

Even a fellow like the scribe, whose name is his vocation, needs to stop and remember that work, however self-defining and gratifying, is not the reason we live, rather the other way around.

Life is, if you’re lucky, what happens when you’re off the clock.

the scribe subscribes to Shelley’s invocation of writers and poets as “unacknowledged legislators” and this blog acknowledges his both his lack of acknowledgment and his desire to legislate.

And this accomplished, sometimes silence is the prettiest sound of all (“Mute Expression,” May 24).

In fact, last week’s time was given over to a review of Camilo José Cela’s “The Family of Pascual Duarte” for the Web site “Margin,” dedicated to the dissection and delectation of magical realism, which is the scribe’s idea of contemplating the navel.

The site’s focus this month is the Iberian Peninsula. The issue will dedicate some space to the scribe’s “Vedette,” which all of you have used the “buy my book” button immediately left to purchase by now. A link and more on “Margin” will be available here once the scribe has more to relay.

So let’s beat up on the (p)resident for a bit.

Are Americans having buyers’ remorse just six months after Mr. Bush was sworn in? If yes (yes), is it leading to a waning influence.

A good sign that it is was the (p)resident’s denial of it yesterday at his press conference. So was the press conference itself, which the White House called to again “regain the initiative.”

When he was at the top of his game, ignoring the opinions of millions across the country and world and shoving things down their throats, Bush refused to hold a press conference unless his staff wrote the questions.

Now he’s calling press conferences once a month, which doesn’t leave a lot of time to “prepare” and suggests W. needs the media more than they’re feeling they need him these days.

At that press conference Bush complained about the Democrats tying up approval of John Bolton for the U.S. Ambassador post to the United Nations. Senators, whose job it is to look into the worthiness of candidates, have requested some documents.

Bush, true to his promise bipartisanship, told the reporters he had no intention of handing anything over.

the scribe thinks that, under the circumstances, that’s a good way of tying up your nominee for good since Democrats seem to have found their backbone and are looking at a lot of these battles as chances to deal the administration, which is teetering, a real death blow.

He also called an Amnesty International report on human rights “absurd” for criticizing U.S. internment practices since the war on terror was launched.

“It seemed to me they based some of their decisions on the word of – and the allegations – of people who were held in detention, people who hate America [wouldn’t you?], people that had been trained in some instances to disassemble – that means not tell the truth.”

No it doesn’t. It means to take something apart. The (p)resident meant dissemble, but that’s a blog for another day.

Amnesty International undertakes the most thankless job in the world, taking on its tough guys, thugs, and torturers with little more behind it than the private contributions of its supporters and the moral superiority the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights lends it.

The (p)resident, who has never done anything wrong and stands as a beacon of liberty for all humanity, does a tremendous disservice when he denigrates the work of such groups.

A friend of the scribe was in a RedStateLand a week ago where they get different kinds of facts. Talking about the deaths of Iraqi civilians and the torturing of prisoners her cross-table mate wanted to know where she was “getting this information.”

Well, Amnesty International for one, my good man. Check out the report here:

And for the readers of highwayscribery, some of the actual text in the report:

“The blatant disregard for international human rights and humanitarian law in the ‘war on terror’ continued to make a mockery of President George Bush’s claims that the USA was the global champion of human rights...War crimes in Iraq, and mounting evidence of the torture and ill-treatment of detainees in the US custody in other countries, sent an unequivocal message to the world that human rights may be sacrificed ostensibly in the name of national security.

“[p]resident Bush’s refusal to apply the Geneva Convention to those captured during the international armed conflict in Afghanistan and transferred to the US Naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was challenged by a judicial decision in November. The ruling resulted in the suspension of trials by military commission in Guantanamo and the government immediately lodged an appeal. The US administration’s treatment of detainees in the ‘war on terror’ continued to display a marked ambivalence to the opinion of expert bodies such as the International Red cross and even of its own highest judicial body. Six months after the Supreme Court ruled that the federal courts had jurisdiction over the Guantanamo detainees, none had appeared in court. Detainees reportedly considered of high intelligence value remained in secret detention in undisclosed locations. In some cases their situation amounted to ‘disappearance’.”

All of which is “Newsweek’s” fault, you see.

And here’s an interesting clip of how are rights to free speech are protected down in Houston, Texas. The protestors had a beef with Halliburton and somebody else lent Halliburton some beef.

Thanks to ruby771 for the contribution.

The good news is the amendment to prevent the sale of wild mustangs on federal land for commercial purpose mentioned here a few weeks ago (“Things You Don’t Know Much About,” May 17) passed. Our contact on this measure is not too clear on exactly what bill it was attached to, but we’ll keep you informed should we find out about its ultimate success in protecting these beautiful, innocent animals.

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