The Watch

The Watch is concerned about the increasing pressure towards feudalism in the United States from corporations, social regressives, warmongers, and the media. We also are concerned with future history concerning our current times, as non-truths which are “widely reported” become the basis for completely false narratives.

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

The Columbia and the "Comforter-in-Chief"

I meant to write a few words about the Columbia yesterday. I think many people feel like honorary members of NASA. When I was a kid I read a lot about the Apollo missions and the astronauts and the solar system, and as I grew up I felt that it was amazing that the human race was able to do something so ennobling. Instead of just scratching around in the dirt trying to feed ourselves, we were exploring a little bit of our neighborhood - an important and dangerous job. It is very sad that those people died.

And yet . . . and yet. It has been four days now, and I still can't listen to NPR for longer than 5 minutes without hearing about it. The "facts" of the story can be almost entirely summed up in a single sentence: the space shuttle broke apart upon re-entry. Everything else is just speculation, and will continue to be for a long time. As a country, we are expected to feel like we've been punched in the gut, I guess, but I feel that almost every day as I read the papers anymore. We should feel sad for the families of the people killed. But why can't the media summon up even a shred of the same kind of empathy for the innocents we bombed to death in Afghanistan, or the innocents we are about to kill in Iraq? It is as if we can only express our humanity in the face of high-profile death, but I think we could be human in the face of all death and come away better for it. Anyway, I don't mean to seem callous, it just a really weird juxtaposition. We (through the media) feel so sad about seven people dying while doing a risky job they had worked their whole lives to do, while at the same time we (through the media) are encouraged to not even humanize the people we are about to blow into bloody little chunks, who are just going about their daily lives. This week's Pundit Pap, which I recommend to you anyway, has a very well-written essay about the media's reaction to this - scroll down to the "Meet the Press" section, written by "Dash Riprock".

Another thing - if I have to hear one more time about our "Comforter-in-Chief", I'll puke. This is the same emotional and intellectual child who said "There's only one person who is responsible for making that decision [to go to war], and that's me. And there's only one person who hugs the mothers and the widows, the wives and the kids on the death of their loved ones. Others hug, but having committed the troops, I've got an additional responsibility to hug, and that's me, and I know what it's like." -- GWB to Barbara Walters, ABC "20/20," 12/13/02. Mark Crispin Miller, author of "The Bush Dyslexicon", has an essay on that gem.

You may recall that in the first Gore-Bush debate, Gore claimed to have toured a Texas fire disaster site with James Lee Witt, a FEMA director. He was roundly denounced as a huge liar over this (by the "liberal" media), since even though he had been on many visits to disaster sites with Witt, and even though he had been to the Texas site with one of Witt's aides, it was technically not true. Bearing this in mind, here is an interesting item. Bush, who was actually governor of Texas, can not remember if he ever did or did not visit the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

In other good news, a Bush administration official says we need to do more stringent means testing for school lunch programs. That's an important issue!

Humor Watch

On a lighter note, please see these very funny Bush Haikus.

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