Tuesday, December 19, 2006

2+2=5

Don Hinchcliffe has an interest article looking at the ways in which Web software can leverage collective intelligence to particular effect.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Three Branches Of Government, Two Parties, One Decider
The Bush administration is so corrupt and in such disarray that all this new Congress will be able to do is contain the damage and follow the ugly, sordid truth of the last six years. Obviously, Iraq will be the main item on their agenda and all indications are that the President will continue to dig in his heels and press forward in his ill fated mission to “democratize” (read, turn over the management of Iraqi oil supplies over to American interests) Iraq. His daddy’s pals may be trying to provide Junior with an out, but if he thinks that his legacy depends on “winning” in Iraq, he very well may stay the course. What in his presidency would suggest “the decider” would do anything else?The discredited neo-cons are whining that Bush took their great idea and messed it up, but that is just ass covering of the highest order. The neo-cons simply don’t know what to do when their fantasy world collides with reality and we should make sure that they are forever branded with a scarlet N to signify the nutjobs they have proved themselves to be.The Bush administration’s Holy War has spun out of control and the damage will last for generations, how many generations exactly will be determined by how quickly they can be forced to accept their failure in Iraq, because there is no winning and mitigating any further damage will only be possible once this obstinate administration is put down. That can happen while Bush is still in office, but only if the Democrats are willing to flip the switch and take control, at the very least, of the public debate.There are signs that traditional media may be ready to provide a forum for the Democrats to do just that. Hell, even Tim Russert is trying to save face with his audiences by (finally) challenging the architects and executors of the Bush administration’s failed foreign policy. As far as I’m concerned, Russert has already lost all credibility, but that he sees an opportunity to convince some of the American people that he is still relevant may prove to be a good thing. After six years of a free pass, Russert’s attempts at confrontation of Bush administration officials may seem jarring enough to his audience to actually make an impression.The reality on the ground in Iraq has made it impossible for anyone outside the Bush administration to continue to defend anything resembling a stay the course strategy. Even John Bolton can recognize a lost cause when he sees one and now that he’s out as Ambassador to the UN, Bush is left holding the bag. Our President can’t even convince his own Party that his policy in Iraq will work, so how in the hell could he possibly believe there is any way to convince the rest of the world? Does he think he can manage that with his superior diplomatic skills? I think not.I like the synchronicity of finally being rid of John Bolton on the same day that Augusto Pinochet has a massive heart attack. Both men have black hearts that appear to protect them from anything resembling introspection, remorse or empathy for their fellow (wo)man. It’s true that power corrupts, but sometimes it’s simply a matter of evil rising to the top. I don’t think these men were corrupted by the power they wielded, but rather sought power because they had an unquenchable desire to spread their vile ideology and conquer their corner of the world. We’ll all be better off once men such as these are permanently denied any avenue to power or influence on world events. That list is unfortunately, pretty long, but luckily many of them currently work in the Bush administration so they’ll be easy enough to find and neuter so they won’t be able to propagate their special brand of evil in the future. Nature will take care of some of them, but political pressure and public action will be required to make sure the rest of them pay their debt to society and serve as a warning to future “public servants” with a desire to obtain power for the sole purpose of abusing that power for personal gain.The Bush administration and Congressional Republicans hate government, it’s a cornerstone of their ideology, and they have had great success in destroying the institutions they were entrusted to protect and short changing the people they were sworn to serve. The damage is so big and so deep and so wide that it will take many, many years to rebuild the many agencies and programs they infected. Government is meant to serve the people and now that we have a Congress that at least believes in the government’s ability to do that, we should be on our way to a better day. How good things get and how quickly that happens will still depend on how much effort we the people are willing to put into making that happen. We can hope that the Democrats in the Senate and House provide a vision for a better future and we can even hope that a Presidential candidate emerges that will present a path that will take us there, but we must never again detach from our responsibilities as citizens the way we have in the recent past. To make this country work, we must vote, we must educate ourselves on the issues and we absolutely must engage. We have seen first hand the damage unchecked power can do and we must never again allow one branch of government to cede its power to another.