Thursday, September 08, 2011

Libya, A Success?

I'm no fan of dictatorship. Far from it. I'm generally a fan of rebels against dictatorships. Generally, because it's hard to know whether today's rebels against dictatorship are merely tomorrow's dictators. In the case of Libya, it seemed impossible to form an opinion... although now it may become easier. Time has a way of making it so. From an AP article on Yahoo News:

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Rebel forces and armed civilians are rounding up thousands of black Libyans and migrants from sub-Sahara Africa, accusing them of fighting for ousted strongman Moammar Gadhafi and holding them in makeshift jails across the capital.

Virtually all of the detainees say they are innocent migrant workers, and in most cases there is no evidence that they are lying. But that is not stopping the rebels from placing the men in facilities like the Gate of the Sea sports club, where about 200 detainees — all black — clustered on a soccer field this week, bunching against a high wall to avoid the scorching sun.

Handling the prisoners is one of the first major tests for the rebel leaders, who are scrambling to set up a government that they promise will respect human rights and international norms, unlike the dictatorship they overthrew.

I'd say they failed the first test, if the rebels are specifically rounding up black men.

So, why again did we bomb Libya? What exactly was our national interest?

Did the Administration learn nothing from Iraq? And The Left, fervently anti-war until Obama was elected, stridently silent for fear of undermining a Democratic administration. Had so much to say about destabilizing nations, about the power vacuums caused by dislodged strongmen in 2008. Precious little to say about it in 2011.

I hope this causes migraines in certain quarters. Intense migraines. Hypocrites deserve at least as much.

I remember how much I heard about how foreign policy under Bush damaged our standing around the world. This was so much the case that Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize within weeks of inauguration. (sarcasm alert) I'm sure our standing is vastly improved, and the Nobel folks are pleased with their selection.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Paxton Memory Gone

Little known fact- I spent a little more than a year that I can barely remember in a small Illinois town called Loda. But Loda was (is) so small, that the 'big town' everyone from Loda went to was Paxton. They had a grocer and a single screen movie theater. I went back there in 1999 (I think) and again in 2007 to see the old place.

My mom loves telling the story about seeing movies in that theater in 1971. Mainly, when a train went past, the place shook, and sometimes it shook so hard the movie cut out for a few seconds. It was comical to her.

Anyhow, not long after my most recent visit, the old theater apparently burned down. I was surfing YouTube and typed in 'Paxton Illinois' just to see what gem I might turn up. Poof.

It's funny how memory works. I distinctly remember nothing from those days. I was 2 years old. However, I clearly had some images etched into my mind. One is that of the logo of the Illinois Central railroad. I recall one day seeing an orange box car bearing the black circle with an 'IC' shaped like a rail, while I was stopped at a grade crossing for a passing train, was overwhelmed with emotion, and couldn't figure out for days why. (See the video below at about the :58 second mark.)

The other memory that similarly jumped right into my mind was of a three story old farm house. I was driving around somewhat aimlessly when all of a sudden I saw the farm house and absolutely knew that I had lived there. I drove up and talked to the folks living there, and sure enough, the owners knew the names of the people my parents rented the top floor from. I called my mom and described the house, and she confirmed it.

I want to find the pics I took in 1998. I find it hard to believe, but it seems that I didn't take any pics in 2007. Maybe I just can't find where I stored them. Yeah, that's more believable.

On Yer Belly!

If I've learned anything from the Andre Carson comments... and then the Jimmy Hoffa comments, and the rush by many on the left to defend said comments, it's that the same defenders have decided not to try to elevate discourse, but to accept the belly-crawling nature of it, and slither alongside. This is after watching exactly the same from the right, of course.

I keep waiting to see which side will take the high road. Neither is apparently up to the task.