That’s the shame of it because you don’t value anything. You don’t respect nothing. You keep no check on your appetites at all.

A diarist at dKos has made an easy reference list of just the recent Bush/Republican scandals. Some are a continuations of previous scandals like the administrations false Niger claims, but the rest look as though BushCo’s New Year’s resolution was to continue to be the petty corrupt power mongers that they have always been, Total Scandal Count : 17 as of March 31 and includes, but not limited to the purging of U.S. attorneys based on ideological purity, possible violations of the Hatch Act and use of external e-mail servers by Rove and the Whitehouse in violation of the Presidential Records Act. Not last or least Gonzales, Mueller Admit FBI Broke Law

The nation’s top two law enforcement officials acknowledged Friday the FBI broke the law to secretly pry out personal information about Americans. They apologized and vowed to prevent further illegal intrusions.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales left open the possibility of pursuing criminal charges against FBI agents or lawyers who improperly used the USA Patriot Act in pursuit of suspected terrorists and spies.

This is actually a good way to cover your arse, just make all three hundred million Americans suspects. That well meaning, but over zealous law enforcement officials end up running around like chickens minus heads hardly matters just bill the costs to Republi-Debt and totally disregard the toll on our Constitutionally guaranteed rights.

McCain Wrong on Iraq Security, Merchants Say

The delegation arrived at the market, which is called Shorja, on Sunday with more than 100 soldiers in armored Humvees — the equivalent of an entire company — and attack helicopters circled overhead, a senior American military official in Baghdad said. The soldiers redirected traffic from the area and restricted access to the Americans, witnesses said, and sharpshooters were posted on the roofs. The congressmen wore bulletproof vests throughout their hourlong visit.

“They paralyzed the market when they came,” Mr. Faiyad said during an interview in his shop on Monday. “This was only for the media.”

He added, “This will not change anything.”

Yesterday I suggested that McCain’s visit seemed more like a political stunt then an actual fact finding mission. Nothing like having confirmation from the horse’s mouth, Snipers back at Baghdad market after McCain visit

Shorja market merchant Abu Samir, 31, said McCain bought an Egyptian rug from him and told him through an interpreter: “I want to run for president. And, don’t worry, because I’ll handle the war better than Bush.”

Some of the shop keepers did say they felt a little safer since the crack down, but asked why it wasn’t done sooner. Which speaks to the heart of the problem. That extraordinary security measures are needed to have even a marginally safe area. That after four years the neocons and their enablers can’t explain away the world’s best military, abet directed by the worse possible commander-in-chief being unable to establish a stable functioning government with institutions and officials that are not under constant threat. The the supposedly safe Green Zone isn’t all that safe and is the only safe haven in a country of 25 million people. Senator McCain is deserving at this point of a little heckling, but despite Matt The Sludge Drudge’s assertions CNN reporter Michael Ware did not heckle him, CNN reporter slams Drudge’s charge that he ‘heckled’ McCain; Exclusive video confirms his claim

Ware instead accused the officials running the press conference of preventing the CNN correspondent from even asking a question.

“Indeed, I didn’t say a word. I didn’t even ask a question,” Ware added. “In fact, when I raised my hand to ask a question, the press conference abruptly ended, so what I would suggest is that anyone who has any queries about whether I heckled, watch the videotape of the press conference.”

McCain seems well on his way to becoming Bush III, not allowing any tough questions and not allowing anything to intrude on his fragile grasp of reality.

While there are elements of censorship or political correctness in this story it is more a case of over-sensitivity – from the BBC in Britain, Schools ‘avoid Holocaust lessons’

“In particular settings, teachers of history are unwilling to challenge highly contentious or charged versions of history in which pupils are steeped at home, in their community or in a place of worship.”

The report gave the example of a history department in a northern city which decided not to teach the Holocaust as a topic for GCSE coursework.

‘Worrying picture’

It cited another school which taught the Holocaust, but then avoided teaching the Crusades because “balanced treatment” of the topic would have challenged what some local mosques were teaching.

Emotive issues such as the slave trade can be taught too blandly, portraying Afro-Caribbeans as victims and isolating black children, the report said.

But when teachers downplay the role of the white authorities in abolishing the slave trade, white children can become alienated.

They did point out that teaching the Holocaust was still part of the curriculum until 2008. Still teachers wanted more guidance on how to teach these various aspects of history without offending anyone. Schools ‘afraid’ to teach sensitive history

* A department avoided teaching students about the Crusades because of concerns it would contradict what Muslim children were being taught in mosques;

* Christian parents at another school complained over the way the Arab-Israeli conflict was taught;

* The way the slave trade was taught could lead to white, as well as black, pupils, feeling alienated;

* A lack of factual knowledge among teachers, particularly in primary schools, led to “shallow” lessons on emotive subjects.

How does one teach history without offending whites, blacks, Christians, Muslims or some group or other. Damn near impossible. Get the facts straight and then let the class discussion begin – moderated by a teacher who is up to speed and is able to guide the discussion in a productive way. Not teaching certain aspects of history like the Crusades, the slave trade or the Holocaust will not make them go away. A spokesman for the Commission for Racial Equality said and I tend to agree,

“The teaching of history provides the perfect forum for stimulating the development of shared values that are essential if everyone is to contribute and play a full part in an integrated British society.”

Certainly at the end of the day students don’t forget their cultural heritage or lose their pride in same if the classes are properly taught – we had some pretty lively discussions in Western Civilization as I remember. Allowing a certain amount of give and take gives people a chance to challenge and be challenged with the side benefit of letting folks vent a little. It does require a teacher that knows how to play umpire so those discussions do not degrade into shouting matches and insults.

The botched US raid that led to the hostage crisis

A failed American attempt to abduct two senior Iranian security officers on an official visit to northern Iraq was the starting pistol for a crisis that 10 weeks later led to Iranians seizing 15 British sailors and Marines.

Interesting background story and is pretty damning of the Bush administration umpteenth spin on why they did something and then lied about the circumstances. Still the Iranians have handled the whole thing badly. The world sees some very nice well spoken British soldiers being held for no real reason. No matter how well treated they look they are being held prisoner. If Iran’s leaders wants the world to think they are smart civilized people that are just concerned about violations of their sovereignty then the best way to do that is to show the world their humanitarianism and let the captives go without any demands.

Homer Bannon: You don’t care about people Hud. You don’t give a damn about ’em. Oh, you got all that charm goin’ for ya. And it makes the youngsters want to be like ya. That’s the shame of it because you don’t value anything. You don’t respect nothing. You keep no check on your appetites at all. You live just for yourself. And that makes you not fit to live with.

from the movie Hud (1963)