by Danny Schechtor
hat tip: News dissector
We wish a speedy recovery to our least favorite person. CNN had it first. Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger released from hospital in South Korea. [watch video for the “history” of Mr. Kissinger]
The IDES of March
Real Afghan Fight: How To Negotiate War’s End
Haitians Fear Future of independence
Just in case you were wondering what the IDES are, InfoPlease.com has the answer:
“The soothsayer’s warning to Julius Caesar, “Beware the Ides of March,” has forever imbued that date with a sense of foreboding. But in Roman times the expression “Ides of March” did not necessarily evoke a dark mood—it was simply the standard way of saying “March 15.” Surely such a fanciful expression must signify something more than merely another day of the year? Not so. Even in Shakespeare’s time, sixteen centuries later, audiences attending his play Julius Caesar wouldn’t have blinked twice upon hearing the date called the Ides.”
March 15 is also the 42nd anniversary of the radio station that dubbed me its dissector. Happy Anniversary, WBCN, even as your spirit and substance is now only online. Visit WBCN.com and click on FreeFormBCN: 1968 – 1990 It’s all the music from back in the day, thanks to DJ extraordinaire, Sam Kopper.
Welcome to the Ides, anyway. Daylight savings is here but will we ever get a season of truth? As the seventh anniversary of the war on Iraq approaches—actually it started well before the 1991 campaign—Americans still don’t have much of a clue of why we went there, how we fight there, what the costs and casualties are, and what has really been accomplished.
During the Bill Clinton impeachment idiocy of 1998, many on the left said that if Clinton were removed from office, let it be for gutting welfare or for imposing sanctions on Iraq, and not l’affaire Lewinsky.
Today, Tiger Woods, the famous, wealthy and most PR-conscious athlete on earth, finally finds himself subject to scrutiny. But, similar to Clinton’s scandal, his scandal has more to do with his personal life than more substantive issues. The media has staked out his Isleworth home for round-the-clock coverage about a bizarre “car accident” this past week involving his wife, a fire hydrant and a golf club. The questions being posed are as breathless as they are weightless: “Were Tiger’s facial lacerations the result of the car crash, or an attack from his wife, Elin?” “Is this about the rumored ‘other woman’ in New York City?” “Did Elin Woods smash the rear of his car with a golf club to rescue Tiger, or was she smashing up the car as he pulled away?” One last question: Who the hell cares? Granted, there is a “man bites dog” aspect to this story. In Woods’s roughly fourteen years in the public eye, he has never even been caught littering. His image has been cemented as a man of ungodly intensity.
This squeaky-clean reputation has helped Woods become the richest athlete in history. His career course earnings are $92 million. When you factor in advertisements, corporate appearances and other off-course aspects of “Tiger Inc.,” it makes sense that Tiger Woods is America’s first athlete to reach billionaire status.
As the saying goes, behind every great fortune is a great crime. Following his car “accident,” Woods’s canceled his appearance at his foundation’s Chevron World Challenge Golf Tournament. In 2008 Chevron entered a five-year relationship with Tiger Woods’s foundation under the guise of philanthropy. But if Woods had a shred of social conscience, this partnership never would have existed. Lawsuits have been issued against Chevron for dumping toxic waste all over the planet. Alaska, Canada, Brazil, Angola and California have all accused Chevron of dumping. Even worse, Chevron has a partnership with Burma’s ruling military junta on the country’s Yadana gas pipeline project, the single greatest source of revenue for the military, estimated at nearly $5 billion since 2000.
Ka Hsaw Wa, co-founder and executive director of EarthRights International, wrote in an open letter to Woods, “I myself have spoken to victims of forced labor, rape, and torture on Chevron’s pipeline—if you heard what they said to me, you too would understand how their tragic stories stand in stark contrast to Chevron’s rhetoric about helping communities.” Chevron is underwriting a dictatorship, but Tiger Woods apparently sees them as upstanding corporate partners.