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   "Light for all"? Only if you connect the dots.

A Typical Day of Reading The Sun:

“Light for all”? Only if you connect the dots.

by J. Russell Tyldesley

In any given issue of the Sun there is enough material to ruin your whole day. If it weren't for Molly Ivins and Jules Witcover, it might not be worth the struggle. But it is not the reporting per se but the content that most distresses these days.

Actually, today the editorials were pretty good and the op-eds as well. In the straight news part, however, we had a story about the House Judiciary approving, on a straight party line vote, a Bush nominee for the federal appeals court in D.C. who has no judicial experience, and wouldn't answer simple questions put to him by Democratic legislators such as, "What is your legal thinking?"

We read about the prospect of gambling our way to prosperity in Maryland. And we are spending untold billions and committing even more on homeland security when Tom Ridge apparently doesn't have the foggiest notion of what is causing terrorism. He is looking for the proverbial terrorist in the haystack. It reminds me of how we treated diseases before germs were discovered.

This time, however, we are bleeding the treasury, and the patient is the taxpayer. Mr. Ehrlich, whom I call "clone of Bush," has appointed another fox to guard the henhouse, this time in the person of Ms. Buhl from Michigan, whose claim to fame is as a corporate attorney for the automotive industry, where she successfully lobbied to allow continued pollution of the waters. The environmental community in Michigan considers her "infamous." Her statement in acceptance of this honor bestowed upon her by Ehrlich was that we needed to bring corporate thinking into environmental decisions in Maryland—a Christy Todd Whitman clone.

Another article excoriates the President of South Korea for allegedly "bribing" the North Korean president to meet with him in a "summit." Of course, South Korea is trying hard to broker peace between N. Korea and the US, which is not the easiest thing to do when they are both itching for a fight. The money that we will pay our allies for their votes in the U.N. Security Council for a war resolution, on the other hand, will not be called bribe money.

The final observation of the impending war with Iraq, which is scheduled to start March 1, is that we have managed to turn legal theory on its head, and in an Alice in Wonderland magic trick, we are able to pronounce the sentence first, and then search for the evidence. Even our US Senators with legal training are saying that we have a circumstantial case. We have a lot of allegations, but no proof. Last time I checked, we were not executing criminals on some evidence or on a circumstantial case. The standard I remember was proof beyond a reasonable doubt. I believe it also requires a unanimous decision of a 12-member jury to convict for a capital crime leading to the death penalty. Then again, I'm not sure how it is done in Texas. Anyway, we are about to call off the investigation, and proceed with the execution of tens of thousands of people, based on circumstantial evidence we can't show anyone.

Our poll-driven President will now ignore the polls that suggest the American people don't want to be the cowboys on this one. Hey, maybe this is how incompetence works, and how terrorism becomes attractive to those marginalized by stupid rhetoric and macho posturing. This time the collateral damage will be the respect we used to command in the world.

It's bad enough being an empire. It's worse when you are compelled to strut it every day. Mr. Bush has painted the US into a corner, and we can now only bomb our way out.

All this, gleaned and digested from just one day’s reading of The Sun—with my own interpretations and annotations to fill the vacuum left by all the unanswered questions and missing facts.

J. Russell Tyldesley, an insurance executive, writes from Catonsville, Md.

Copyright © 2003 The Baltimore Chronicle and The Sentinel. All rights reserved. We invite your comments, criticisms and suggestions.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle and Sentinel content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

This story was published on February 10, 2003.
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