Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Dickie's Quickies

Yes, it's bee a long time since I blogged. I set aside Illustrious Fridays and other tidbits for a little while. I apologize. I want to thank those who wrote in their bully stories. They have given me much to consider. Keep them coming! I'll be posting on the topic, soon.

One of the reasons I haven't posted lately is that I'm still considering the options regarding one of the personal aspects of the story. This particular tale has gotten out of hand and been blown out of proportion - by the bully in question, natch. I'm trying to decide A)if I want to resolve it and B) if yes, then how I go about that. At the moment, I'm inclined to address the issue, but I'm not certain how I phrase things in order to maintain the friendship. I certainly don't want to exhibit the same verbal diarrhea that the bully displays with each missive. So, I ponder.

Speaking of bullies, I suppose people saw that in yesterday's Senate testimony, U.N. Ambassador nominee, John Bolton, was referred to as a bully. Laura Rozen at War and Piece says there's a third employee that will come to light who was also "bullied" by Bolton (love that alliteration!) In her personal comments on the issue, Laura writes:

One could perhaps respect a bully if that bully was a bully in the cause of making the UN an institution that saved human life more effectively. Some might say Richard Holbrooke fits this model. But you can't respect a bully just because he's a bully. From Bolton's testimony yesterday about not having any particular interest in the UN intervening to stop genocide in Rwanda, even with the benefit of all that we know now that close to a million innocent people were slaughtered, it's clear Bolton's bullying is in no service to the good of making the UN save lives, or preventing North Korea from getting nuclear weapons, or Iran. His grandstanding has done nothing to prevent North Korea from becoming a nuclear power. It's just asshole for the sake of being an asshole. It's in the service of nothing. The worst you can really say about Mr. Bolton is not that he's a bully, but that he's a failure. So why vote for this guy, Mr. Chafee? [Apparently, serious pressure from the OVP.]

I respect Rozen's opinion on this issue. But since I'm wondering about bullies and bullying in general, I wonder if it's really ever OK to be a bully. Rozen suggests that it is if one is fighting the good fight and getting results. Perhaps I'm attempting to apply these personal concepts to a larger political arena and that doesn't work in this instance. On the other hand, if that is so, isn't Rozen doing the same thing? After all, Bolton's bullying of the employees is one thing, but does bullying also carry over into the larger arena? Just curious.

I love the libertarians. Seriously. I don't agree with them on many things, but there are some principles we share - such as a government that promotes personal liberties by knowing when to step aside as opposed to one that wishes to regulate every aspect of life. If only all libertarians worked sensibly towards that end, I'd probably join the party. The bloggers at Hit and Run reported yesterday on a Grandma who is running for office in order to promote the delivery of safe medicines. In this case, that medicine is marijuana, which she'll be happy to include in your cookies for dessert or your curry for lunch.

Libertarians have been all over the recent disclosures of identity theft. They've generally been appalled at the invasion into the private information of citizens (though, as I noted, libertarians are hardly a uniform bunch and some more conservative, or paranoid, members believe a lack of privacy promotes security). So, expect them to post heavily today on the recent disclosure that the Lexis Nexis breach was MUCH larger than originally thought - oh, ten times as much. So, rather than 30,000 identities possibly poached, we're talking 300,000. And counting.

Those conservative libertarians who think that identity theft is appalling, but still support the concept might re-think their position when they read this from Boing Boing. Apparently it is legal for Ohio cops to steal your identity and use it while attempting to catch other criminals.

Speaking of Boing Boing, they pointed me towards an interesting article in the New Yorker on the falling U.S. Dollar. Readers may recall that last fall, I suggested that this needs to be a major topic of the political campaign. Sadly, it was barely mentioned and swiftly ignored just as my suggestion in the previous presidential election that foreign policy should be the focus of that campaign.

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