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What Else Is In Scott's Head?

The blog site for writer Scott C. Smith. Some observations on the world we live in and life in general. And maybe some politics.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

The Bush Inauguration

I don't know if I'm supposed to feel guilty, but somehow I managed to miss watching George W. Bush's inauguration this morning. I'm sure Bush gave an inspiring speech, full of lofty goals and, potentially, a few lies. He can't help it. For reference read any Bush speech from the end of 2002 through March 2003, where he talks about Iraq's WMDs. That part of those speeches is a lie.

A poll released today to coincide with the inauguration, conducted by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal show 50% of respondents give Bush a favorable job performance rating.

On the subject of Iraq, a majority of respondents, 52%, say removing Saddam Hussein was not worth the costs in human lives and money to wage a war. Not that a poll has ever stopped our man Bush.

Here's an interesting line from Bush's speech:

"We will persistently clarify the choice before every ruler and every nation: The moral choice between oppression, which is always wrong, and freedom, which is eternally right. America will not pretend that jailed dissidents prefer their chains, or that women welcome humiliation and servitude, or that any human being aspires to live at the mercy of bullies."

Quick: which nation that is a good friend of the United States also has one of the worst records on human rights? Which nation routinely jails dissidents, humiliates women, and oppresses its people? If you said Saudi Arabia, you're a winner! Yes, Saudi Arabia. If you're curious, you can read Human Right Watch's report on Saudi Arabia, or Amnesty International's report.

Here's an example of Saudi Arabia's oppression: a group of protesters calling for an elected government were arrested on Dec. 16, 2004, and received sentences that included jail time and flogging. Yes, flogging. Between 100 and 250 lashes. Just for demonstrating against the government. I guess this is one of those situations where the United States looks the other way. What else would we do, considering how dependent we are on Saudi oil.

Here's another line from Bush's speech:

"All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you."

Does this mean we're going to do something about the oppression in Sudan? I hope so. That could be Dr. Condolezza Rice's first task when she becomes secretary of state.

Protests of the inauguration have been planned all across the country. Another group is taking part in a boycott by not purchasing anything today. The organization Not One Damn Dime is one of those groups urging people not to spend money today.

I'm not sure what good it will do to not purchase anything today. The Urban Legend References Pages at Snopes has an article about this sort of boycott and how effective it is. Snopes doesn't think it will be an effective boycott, and I agree with Snopes.

I think it's time to fire Halo 2 back up.

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