Thursday, June 02, 2005

The Oath of Office.

The blockbluster revelation of my generation's political history has occurred:

How Mark Felt Became 'Deep Throat'

Was Felt's conduct consistent with an FBI Agent's oath of office?

I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

Was it consistent with the Pledge of FBI Officers, which states in part:

Humbly recognizing the responsibilities entrusted to me, . . . . I accept the obligation in connection with my assignments to . . . consider the information, coming into my knowledge by virtue of my position as a sacred trust, to be used solely for official purposes. . . . In the performance of my duties and assignments, I shall not engage in unlawful and unethical practices . . . . While occupying the status of a law enforcement officer or at any other time subsequent thereto, I shall not seek to benefit personally because of my knowledge of any confidential matter which has come to my attention. I am aware of the serious responsibilities of my office and in the performance of my duties . . .

The question remains, posed by none other than G. Gordon Liddy: what was Felt's duty as one of the highest law-enforcement officials of the United States? Wasn't that duty to bring his information to some authority (like the grand jury) to pursue the criminality in the Nixon White House through our laws? Or did Felt feel that there was no such untainted authority to which he could turn? Or was this payback for Patrick Gray being named as FBI chief rather than him?

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Whar's Ol' Possum?

WSDS 1480 bites the dust tonight, as we knew the funky little classic country radio station that brought SE Michigan George Jones, Loe-rettie Lynn, the Man in Black, Ernest Tubb, and all the other legends. At midnight tonight it transmogrifies into an all-Spanish language format. More of the story courtesy .

Monday, May 30, 2005

Bob Herbert's Troubled Psyche.

In recognition of Memorial Day, Bob Herbert offers up this dreck:

This Memorial Day is not a good one for the country that was once the world's most brilliant beacon of freedom and justice.

...The U.S. is now widely viewed as a brutal, bullying nation that countenances torture and operates hideous prison camps at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and in other parts of the world - camps where inmates have been horribly abused, gruesomely humiliated and even killed...

...William Schulz, executive director of Amnesty International USA, said in an interview last week that it's important to keep in mind how policies formulated at the highest levels of government led inexorably to the abusive treatment of prisoners.

"The critical point is the deliberateness of this policy," he said. "The president gave the green light. The secretary of defense issued the rules. The Justice Department provided the rationale. And the C.I.A. tried to cover it up."

...In much of the world, the image of the U.S. under Mr. Bush has morphed from an idealized champion of liberty to a heavily armed thug in camouflage fatigues...

It's waste of time to try to refute the claims of a mind so convinced of the inherent evil of our government. One can pity him, though.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Celebrating the Slob.

Brent Staples has offered his interpretation of the brouhaha caused by Bill Cosby's recent comments on the misguided priorities of some inner-city parents, namely that such comments are an example of class antagonism with the African-American community. And of course, class antagonism is a bad thing.

Staples' arguement is an insult to anyone - of any race - who wanted greater meaning to their life than eating, sleeping, and reproducing. It is antithetical to the American ideal, which is to make our children's lives better and more significant that our own.

Mr. Staples, what Bill Cosby was confronting was the phenomenon of "The Celebration of the Slob": anti-intellectualism, narcissism, immediate gratification, and apathy. This malady has infected all of American life. If it's snobbery to reject such behaviors, then let us "Celebrate the Snob".