Sunday, September 04, 2005

No Useful Purpose

The vast majority of judgments that people make about other people serve no useful purpose.  I find that it is very difficult to keep this in mind, but it is very important.  After all, it was a rush to judgment (indeed, the glorification of judgment)  that led to the Dark Ages.  Here is perhaps the most self-disclosing and least modest essay I've ever posted.  

It was inspired by one of my favorite sources.  

Having said that, though, there are times when judgment is appropriate.  What is important, though, is that we exercise independent judgment.  No automaticity, as they say at the UN.  

I never liked George W. Bush.  But at first, I did not judge him.  After all, he initially ran as a moderate; he positioned himself as a better moderate that the good moderate, Al Gore.  But things happened.  Tax cuts for the rich.  Increased disparity of wealth distribution.  Corporate welfare.  ("When poor people ask for government handouts, we call them bums.  When rich people ask for government handouts, we call them entrepreneurs.")  

In the first meeting of the National Security Council, the third item on the agenda was "plans for post-Saddam Iraq."  that was in February 2001.  Then 9-11.  Then Afghanistan, which nobody complained about.  Then the Downing Street Memos, vaporware WMDs, nonexistent links to terrorism.  Then Iraq, Abu Ghraib, Gitmo.  Alberto "Torture Memo" Gonzalez.  Colin Powell sacked.  Poverty goes up.  Bush boasts that home ownership is up, fails to mention that poverty and homelessness also are up.  More people go without health insurance.  Lies about Social Security.  Valerie Plame.  Black box voting.  

Now, we learn that a $250 million investment in infrastructure might have prevented our nation's worst natural disaster ever.  The pressure for tax cuts and war led to a $250 million gamble that has cost at least $10 billion, and cost thousands of lives.  

OK, I'm ready to make a judgment.

Usually, I link all the crucial facts in my argument, but this time, no links.  Look them up yourself, then make your own judgment.

Categories: armchair musings, politics
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