Civilized International Discourse

eTaiwanNews.com/Washington throws out PRC threats

With my emphasis added:

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said at a daily briefing that “threats to, quote, ‘crush’ Taiwan, or drown it in a, quote, ‘sea of fire, ‘ have no place in civilized international discourse, and Beijing merely hurts its own case by using them in such comments. Pointing out that such tough warnings are especially unhelpful at this delicate time, McClellan said that “they necessitate that we firmly restate our intention to fulfill our obligations under the Taiwan Relations Act.”

Finally, some statements that are not all about caving in to the PRC’s constant tantrums.

He’s So Gone

SFGate: BLUNT ASSESSMENT: S.F.’s Pelosi calls Bush ‘incompetent’ and lacking in judgment

I’m just going to paraphrase a few of Nancy Pelosi’s quotes here, and let them stand as is. Not much more needs to be said, except “you go girl!”

“Bush is an incompetent leader. In fact, he’s not a leader,” Pelosi said. “He’s a person who has no judgment, no experience and no knowledge of the subjects that he has to decide upon.”

“He has on his shoulders the deaths of many more troops, because he would not heed the advice of his own State Department of what to expect after May 1 when he … declared that major combat is over,” Pelosi charged. “The shallowness that he has brought to the office has not changed since he got there.”

“Not to get personal about it, but the president’s capacity to lead has never been there. In order to lead, you have to have judgment. In order to have judgment, you have to have knowledge and experience. He has none,” Pelosi said.

“This president has demonstrated very clearly that he does not have the capacity to present a plan to transition,” she said. “The only way we can get more troops from other countries is to have a president who respects the other countries. It’s hopeless for George Bush. He has made it hopeless.”

“He’s gone,” Pelosi said of Bush. “He’s so gone.”

Envisioning Information

Envisioning Information is the second book in a three-volume series by Edward Tufte. This book takes a look at ideas, concepts, and the world’s multidimensional properties, and how to transfer it all to a two-dimensional illustrative piece of art.

The book itself is a gorgeous, hardcover-bound work of art in itself. Minute details have been carefully attended to, from the quality of the paper to the little fold-up reproduction of a solid pyramid from Euclid’s Elements from 1570. The book is full of beautiful examples of illustrations, and the accompanying narrative is helpful in identifying what the interesting features are of each picture.

I work near the SFMoMA here in San Francisco, and I often go to the museum at lunch to check things out. Admission is free, since the founder of my place of employment was so generous as to make a very large donation to the museum – I just wave my company ID badge and I’m in. Very convenient for a designer-type like m’self to have such access. Many of the artists cited in this book such as Lichtenstein, Haring, Mondrian, and Klee have works represented in the SFMoMA, so it was nice to first read what Tufte had to say about them and then go and look at comparative works firsthand. For some reason, I thought that Miró was mentioned in the book too, but now that I look I can’t find it. Regardless, there are some beautiful examples of Miró there at the SFMoMA that relate directly to Tufte’s discussion of color, lines, and space.

The only funky thing about this volume is that now and then the writing style seems a bit, well, scattered. I don’t know exactly how to describe it, but it has been bugging me since I read his first book. Sometimes it’s the way ideas seem to run together a bit abruptly, and sometimes it’s his choice of words. Not a really big deal, just a minor thing that probably has no validity anyway. This weblog is no better, so I’ll just shut up now.

The book is nevertheless an excellent resource and well worth reading for any person involved with art, graphic design, or simply greating charts for your company presentation. Check it out.

Poignant

CNN.com – Hastert questions McCain’s GOP credentials – May 20, 2004

All to common that there is punishment for being outspoken, for being a free-thinking individual, for not towing the party line, blindly playing follow-the-misleader. Hastert’s attempt at ridicule against McCain are sad, but predictable, and I think it will backfire on Hastert to attack a vet and former POW senator like McCain in this way. Seeing this kind of thing from Hastert really puts a bad taste in my mouth.

However, in the face of such a cheap, childish shot, McCain offered this response:

“All we are called upon to do is not spend our nation into bankruptcy while our soldiers risk their lives. I fondly remember a time when real Republicans stood for fiscal responsibility. Apparently those days are long gone for some in our party.”

Well spoken, Senator McCain…

Robbing Grandma Millie

Yahoo! News – Enron Tapes Hint Chiefs Knew About Power Ploys

Enron Corp. employees spoke of “stealing” up to $2 million a day from California during the 2000-01 energy crisis and suggested that their market-gaming ploys would be presented to top management, possibly including Jeffrey K. Skilling and Kenneth L. Lay, according to documents released Monday.

Who was Bush’s largest donor in his 2000 Presidential Campaign? Enron. Who said that the California Energy Crisis was a California problem? Bush. Bush stood by and grinned greedily as Enron proceeded to gouge California on the price of energy. Now Enron’s karma is coming back to get them – the company has collapsed, it’s executives are serving prison time, and the ties of the whole sordid mess to the White House have become obvious.