The Current Situation

"The First Time as Tragedy, the Second Time as Farce"

I found the table below in the article That was Diem; This is Now below on this page thanks to Patrick Nielsen Hayden’s “Sidelights” list on Making Light. Your reaction to it will vary depending on your opinion of the current U.S. administration. Feel free to fire away in the comments.

Communist revolution in China 9-11
Red Scare Fifth Column
China Lobby Neo-Cons
Taiwan/Republic of China Israel
International Communism Axis of Evil
None Dare Call It Treason Treason
Red Channels David Horowitz
John Foster Dulles Dick Cheney
Liberation roll-back One Percent Doctrine
Hungary, 1956 Marsh Arabs
Domino Theory Terrorist havens
North Vietnam Iran
Cardinal Spellman Israel Lobby
Ngo Dinh Diem Ahmed Chalabi
Walt Whitman Rostow Paul Wolfowitz
Quemoy and Matsu Kuwait
Gulf of Tonkin WMDs
Catholics and Buddhists Sunni and Shi’ites
Robert McNamera Donald Rumsfeld
Association of Southeast Asian Nations Coalition of the Willing
Rolling Thunder Shock and Awe
Advisers Embedded Trainers
Vietnamization “We’ll stand down when they stand up”
Fact-finding missions Iraq Study Group
Joseph McCarthy Tom DeLay
Hubert Humphrey Hillary Clinton
Barry Goldwater John McCain
George McGovern John Edwards
Bobby Kennedy Barack Obama
Walter Winchell Rush Limbaugh
Joe Pyne Bill O’Reilly
Commies Secular progressives
Edward R. Murrow Keith Olberman
I.F. Stone Josh Marshall
Whittaker Chambers Christopher Hitchens
Joseph Buttinger Peter Beinart
Dan Rather (covering Nixon) David Gregory
I Led Three Lives Sleeper Cell
Al Capp Mallard Fillmore
Martin Peretz Martin Peretz
Lyndon Johnson, peace candidate of 1964 ?
America The Current Situation

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The Current Situation

Lost Camera, Bad Samaritans

“Why do the wrong people travel, travel, travel, /
When the right people stay back home?”
— Noel Coward

[via Boing Boing] An American who lost her camera in Hawaii thought that she’d been dealt a lucky break: a park ranger phone her to let her know that a Canadian family had found her camera and gave her their contact information. However, things started going downhill as soon as she’d phoned them:

“Hello,” I said, when I reached the woman who had reported the camera found, “I got your number from the park ranger, it seems you have my camera?”

We discussed the specifics of the camera, the brown

pouch it was in, the spare battery and memory card, the yellow

rubberband around the camera. It was clear it was my camera, and I was thrilled.

“Well,” she said, “we have a bit of a situation. You see, my nine year old son found your camera, and we wanted to show him

to do the right thing, so we called, but now he’s been using it for a week and he really loves it and we can’t bear to take it from him.”

I listened, not sure where she was going with this.

“And he was recently diagnosed with diabetes, and he’s now convinced he has bad luck, and finding the camera was good luck, and so we can’t tell him that he has to give it up. Also we had to spend a lot of money to get a charger and a memory card.”

It started to dawn on me that she had no intention of returning the camera.

“We’d be happy to return your photographs…”

I was incredulous. “This is an expensive camera, you know.”

“Oh, we know, we looked it up.”

They browbeat her into a bad deal: they’ll send back the memory cards and $50.

When the package arrived, it turned out to be just CDs with an attached note: “Enclosed are some CDs with your images on them. We need the memory cards to operate the camera properly.”

More phone calls ensue, with the Canadians defending themselves by saying “You’re lucky we sent you anything at all. Most people wouldn’t do that.”

Attempts to call the police in the family’s town are fruitless, as the crime took place outside their jurisdiction.

This is low. It’s theft, plain and simple. It sets a bad example for the kid who found the camera. It tarnishes the good reputation that Canadians travelling abroad have earned. The diabetes excuse is lame; my dad lost his leg to the disease, and he’s not out robbing tourists.

What recourse does she have? Many have suggested publicizing the Canadian family’s contact information, which I would consider as a “nuclear option”. Is there something less privacy-invading that she can try first, such as the suggestion that she contact a paper in the family’s town with her story while concealing the family’s identity, as a means of pressuring them into returning the camera? Could she file a report with the police in Hawaii? Or a civil suit in Canada? Please comment away…

The Current Situation

America: A Brief Parable

File it under “It’s funny, because it’s true”: the latest edition of the This Modern World comic:

Comic: 'America - A Brief Parable' from 'This Modern World'.

funny The Current Situation

To Get Ahead, You Have to Wear More than the Minimum 15 Pieces of Flair

Click the photo to see it at full size.