Thursday, December 31, 2009

Equal and Opposite Reaction.

The Doser wonders if we are really doing well in defending against the attacks of persons who hate us. What seems to be going on is that they make an attack using air-planes and we respond by putting all our energies into protecting air-planes. The use of the terrorist's underwear has caused us to respond by installing elaborate body-sensors. Too late, in both responses. Now it does seem that the persons who hate us are planning ahead on how next to damage us. We've been saying: "By golly they got us that time, we'll stop that gap in our defenses." What it seems to The Doser we should be saying is "What are they likely to be planning next and let's attempt to prepare for that eventuality." They seem to be acting and we seem to be re-acting.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Are We losing?

"They" are willing to die for what they believe in. "We" don't seem willing even to live for what we believe in.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The War is the Demon

Four states, including our neighbor Washington, are going forward with steps to legalize marijuana - and, by making those steps, are moving toward the termination of our preposterous "Drug War"

Not surprisingly at least one of the officials that benefit by the irrational "Drug War" puts forth a negative reaction: "There's no upside to it in any manner other than for those people who want to smoke pot," said Travis Kuykendall, head of the West Texas High Intensity Drug-Trafficking Area office in El Paso, Texas. "There's nothing for society in it, there's nothing good for the country in it, there's nothing for the good to the economy in it."

This person who benefits from the "Drug War" fails to note the human and financial costs, the devastating enforcement structure we've built, the way we have overwhelmed our judicial and penal systems with users and the way we have trashed our neighbors to the south with our efforts. He also fails to take into account two other realities: Marijuana has not been shown to be more dangerous than tobacco, which we subsidize, or coffee in which we are drowning ourselves. This is not even to take note of the fact that the "Drug War" has been a dismal, totally unpromising, failure.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Downing is easier than upping.

Even Doonesbury is dissing O'Bama. The Doser worries that, when we pull the country together, it will not be easy to recover our feelings of approbation for the President.

No Change for that Amount of Change.

So Citibank and Wells-Fargo have paid back much of the money that we gave them to "bail them out." The message is clear - "We didn't need your money - just took because it was lying around loose. We're not willing to pay back with the modified behavior you expected just for a few measly billion dollars."

Friday, December 18, 2009

Time for Adamantine Party Lines.

It is difficult for The Doser to understand the solid, unanimous, forty-person Republican opposition to the Health Care Reform impetus. It appears that every single one of those people can't find the need for Health Care Reform to be more important than their individual grouse on the package? That is what is going on. It certainly sends a clear report to O'Bama: You're a woos to believe in bi-partisan action on important issues. The Doser's model for what is going on was developed in Greece. The "in" group that runs the government in Greece has nothing but routine, total, opposition, on every issue, from the "out" group. The result is that New Democracy and Pasok alternate their ineffective regimes.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Body of Slain Girl "Misplaced."

It does seem to The Doser that somebody should be a tad chagrined about losing the physical evidence of a murder under investigation. Were not receipts given and taken for evidence in the dark ages of 1985? Wasn't some agency wondering why they had a left over piece of evidence? Didn't some policeman say,"Where's the evidence of the crime that I'm investigating?"

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

High Price Hide and Seek.

It does seem that, every year, some people put themselves in such a position on Mt. Hood that massive efforts are expended to get them down.

The Doser lacks any understanding of why three people would venture -
on a dangerous avalanche-prone slope
in mid-winter
with a heavy storm in the immediate offing
without sufficient means to weather a storm and
without any of the inexpensive signal devices.

Who pays for attempts to save such persons? Have those who have made those attempts ever lost their lives in the process? (Other than the one helicopter pilot who died trying to get the whining John Day off Denali a few years ago.)

The Doser has acquired one, incomprehensible, explanation for the lack of signal devices: they are not required because carrying one would make the adventurer overly-confident and, thus, cause him to do what his good sense tells him not to do.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Old style lynching rare nowadays.

The Doser just read Lynching Photographs by Dora Apel and Shawn Michelle Smith. The authors point out that American lynchings
were composed of almost stereotypical parts. They were:

One or more African American men were identified as the candidates. It was broadcast that they raped a white woman. A mob formed. No investigation was made of the rape claim. The police did not do anything to disburse the mob. The lynching occurred. Photographs of the lynched persons were taken. Sometimes a special purpose photograph was posed. The photographs were widely disseminated. The police will did nothing to stop the lynching or reduce the public display that followed. The murderers were not brought to justice. Part of the press reported the event with approval; part of the press did not report the incident; part of the press viewed the event with disapproval.

Here is what the process told African Americans.
1. It could be you, since being selected is arbitrary.
2. It matters if white women are raped; it doesn't matter if African American women are raped.
3. The weapon of resolution is a mob - meaning an insensitive, out-of-control group drawn from the immediate area.You are isolated among persons any of whom may be hostile.
4. The police are not going to help you.
5. The photographs affirm to interested people that the matters of white superiority, sanctity of white women, necessary abasement have been taken care of.
6. It is a lynching offense to be an African American; it is not an offense to lynch an African American.
7. The media is not to be regarded as helpful.
8. Essentially, you are very vulnerable. You'd better keep in your place.

Does some of this action and reaction seem reminiscent of the events at Abu Ghraib?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Still not pretty pictures
On the above site there are shown several photos that deal with the Little Rock, Arkansas, school desegregation. Several, taken just 52 years ago, demonstrate the intensity of the feelings against desegregation and the isolation of the persons against whom the feelings were directed. A couple of 2007 pictures are added to show that all is forgiven and forgotten. The Doser says: Whooee. I'm sure glad racial discrimination is a thing of the past because it wasn't nice at all.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Let me count the ways.

The Oregon ballot initiative gad-fly, Bill Sizemore, has been charged with tax evasion for failure to file income tax returns for three years. The new problem that he has raised is that he has told the trial judge that he wants to act as his own lawyer. The judge doubtless received that absurd revelation with a shudder! Does the judge fret about this? Let me count the ways.

1. Facing a calendar back-log, the judge doesn't want to take on a trial that will take three times what it would take if a lawyer were involved. 2. He will have step repeatedly out of the judicial role to tell the defendant what to do and how to do it. 3. He will have to help the defendant introduce evidence and then have to rule on its admission. 4. Trials under self-defense conditions are rife with reversal possibilities and judges do not like to be reversed. 5. Judges like their court-rooms to be orderly and judicial and the self-defender usually turns the process into a farce. 6. Even young law school graduates are not adept at participating in trials in their early days. 7. If the defendant wants to have a jury, the above reasons should be multiplied on the messiness scale by a factor of at least three.

They allow THEM to have boats?

The US Corps of Army Engineers added another deficiency to their ineptitude list! They had been issued some boats and they let them sink.

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Bygone Saved is a Bygone Earned.

The Doser notes that we are scarcely startled by the reality that we have transferred our willingness to lynch black people into the willingness to torture Islaamic people. In fact, it would seem, that we are so anxious to suppress our comprehension in this regard that we call our attention to our shame only in somewhat remote publications. One of them is: Art Journal in its Summer 2005 edition. In that Journal, Dora Apel reminds us of what we seem so determined to forget.

The main-line journals that we read have commented calmly upon our torturing of prisoners. Some got out on a limb to speculate if it might be illegal or, somehow, not permitted. We even engaged in a national colloquy on the subject of whether drowning a person just short of killing him was actually "torture." Our media has not viewed with alarm or followed up on the implications.... Nor have we....

The author of the article in Art Journal doesn't do that. She lays it right out. We've been following our national bent to humiliate, denigrate, mutilate and lynch black people - and we've done it again. We've been humiliating, denigrating, mutilating Islaamic people. Bush and his minions told us it was OK and we did it and accepted it - and, now, we are willing to let bygones be bygones.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Well, that takes care of that.

It seems to The Doser that this sort of thing is happening with dismaying frequency these days. It goes something like this: The whole elaborate process around the study of Global Warming is discredited because one remote research-group fudged on their findings. Well, Okay. No believable Global Warming issue anymore.