Friday, April 29, 2005

Schadenfreude - and Its Direct Opposite

Three news items caught my eye this morning, and two of them induced a smug laugh at the expense of a couple of well-known right-wing blowhards who deserve to be taken down a few pegs. The first had to do with notorious bag of fecal-matter-laced wind Rush Limbaugh's court troubles (they denied his appeal of the seizure of his medical records); and the second one was simply a captured image of bug-killing dwarf Tom DeLay playing the ultimate hypocrite by lighting up a Cuban cigar. I have to admit to smiling at both of these stories, even though they don't really mean much in the larger scheme of things.

The last item was sobering, however, and long overdue in coming. After filing a request through the Freedom of Information Act, a former CNN reporter has forced the Pentagon to release some 268 pictures (available on a CD-ROM) of flag-draped coffins being shipped home from Afghanistan and Iraq. The costs of these wars are totaled in the billions of dollars, which is bad enough in itself, but too many people here in America forget about the real costs -- the sacrifice of human lives -- unless they're given visual reminders like these. This is the big picture view of life in these United States and what our current foreign policy really entails in the 21st Century. Sad, sad, sad.
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