January 07, 2003
Down from the Mountain Top
Here's a series of articles the New York Times published recently, following ten individuals whose lives are modern day reflections on the Ten Commandments. They include stories like the child of an adulterous affair who grew up in abusive foster homes and is now struggling to be a responsible father on his own with no role models, a girl who obsessively idolized the rock band Phish so much that she basically lived as a nomadic hermit as she followed their tours around the country, and a Vietnam vet who led ambuses where he and his team personally killed hundreds of people who is now trying to find absolution as a priest & chaplain for the Army. Beyond the fact that this is some of the best journalistic writing I've seen in recent memory, it's also an interesting treatise on how how these Biblical edicts illustrate issues that remain at the center of human existance, despite the passage of time.
As I side note, I'd heard somewhere that the actual 10 commandments where really single words or characters in Hebrew or Yiddish or whatever it is they wrote in those days, so something like "I am the Lord your God" is represented as a single character etched in stone. Assuming this is true, this is a stark contrast to the 2nd set of commandments that the Hebrews received, now contained in Deuteronomy & Leviticus, which are much more legalistic and, clearly, culturally specific. Makes me wonder if they were all really written by the same hand. I mean, really, why would God issue an appendix? It's not like that whole Red Tent thing just slipped his mind the first time around.
Bush Fears Edwards
24 hours after Sen. John Edwards (D-North Carolina) announced he was running for President of the United States, the Republican National Committee issued this statement, clocked in at around 10 pages, ripping the freshman legislator.
Notice, that, when John Kerry, John Dean, or Dick Gephardt announced their candidacy, there were no such statements of this kind or magnitude. If this guy is such a lightweight, as suggested by this annotated press release that can be found at the very top of the RNC's webpage, above the announcement about Bush's economic stimulus package, why is he drawing so much fire?
Fear has such a distinctive smell.
Look for Bush to pull a Gray Davis in the Democratic Presidential Primary, i.e. since he's presumably running unopposed for the Republican nomination, El Presidente will drop a ton of money into the Democratic Primary states aimed directly at Edwards in hopes of knocking him out in favor of a weaker opponent (someone like Gephardt). It's a tactic that, to my knowledge, originated with Richard Nixon and his under-the-table efforts to support Hubert Humphreys instead of groovy peacenik Eugene McCarthy. Governor Davis just raised the shamelessness quotient to Olympian levels last year, which is why he was sworn in for a 2nd term yesterday instead of Richard Riordan.
But I digress.
You think that guy Edwards might be onto something?
Manhattan was just the beginning...
After the United States government crushed and basically enslaved the various Native American nations of this country in the late 19th Century, they cut a deal with them where the Department of the Interior would manage the captured lands on behalf of the Indians and provide them with the proceeds of any profits gained from business and real estate transactions on the land.
Is anyone surprised to hear that our government has since spent the last 120 years cheating the Native Americans out of nearly $140 BILLION (yes, that's right. BILLION, with a "B")?
This New York Times article talks about the noble lawsuit that the Native Americans have brought against the Department of the Interior. But, in a way, suing the government is alot like David asking Goliath to stab himself. The day G.W. Bush OKs any kind of equitable settlement for this dispute is the day, quite frankly, that I might have to change my tune and vote for that dude.
Exactly. It's NEVER going to happen. But, at least the truth is out.