Now Cough

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Not Yet March

Winter Blah

Quit yer complainin'.

Oh sure, wiping the snow and scraping the ice off the car is getting to be a real drag now. What started as a seasonal, 'pretty' snow has devolved into a freezing cold chore. I especially hate:

* boots dragging snow indoors and the puddles of filthy wetness
* the sweaty humidity that comes from exerting in this weather
* the 'where the hell are my gloves' routine
* the 'which damn coat did I put the my keys/sunglasses/inhaler in' routine
* the nasty gusts of cold air that shoot through the smallest crack in the house
* my skin that starts to feel like the scales of a snake because it is so freaking DRY
* Groundhogs as prognosticators

But if you want to really feel smug, check out the reports from Kyrgystan by my friend Benjamen Walker who flew there earlier this week. His blog, Theory of Everything gives witty accounts of what grimness is really like. He also explains how the widespread use of concrete put the 'bloc' in the former Soviet bloc.

Back in the USSR

Speaking of the Soviet Union, isn't that the place where they used to--gosh, still do-- put journalists in jail? And it sure felt reassuring to hear the president admonish The Putin for being undemocratic (though the former KGBer got in a snarky comment about our own Electoral College..heh heh).

But then prexy is Lenin in the Russian direction, too, with a federal prosecutor aiming to throw Judith Miller and Matt Cooper in jail for l'affaire Plame. Now, Ms. Miller never even WROTE about the outed CIA agent. And Matt Cooper only posted a small item about this on the Time web site. Whereas the colonic columnist Robert Novak who actually DID identify Ms. Plame as an agent--a federal offense--is, apparently not facing any jail time whatsoever. Nor, apparently, is whoever leaked her identity to Novak or the gay-male-escort/pretend White Corrrespondent Jeff Gannon or whatever the hell his name really is.

Ann Cooper of the Committee to Protect Journalists was on NPR this morning drawing the appropriate conclusion: other countries are watching what the US is doing in regard to press freedom. If we throw members of the Fourth Estate behind bars, everyone else will think this is ok. Sort of like ignoring the Geneva Convention. Or torture of political prisoners. Or whitttling away democratic principles when they are no longer convenient.


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