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The Tally Ho

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Hooray for Elwood!

My husband rocks. After a lot of fussing on my part about how I couldn't find a quote from Rumsfeld that I heard yesterday on NPR, Elwood managed to find the text on Darrel Plant, nicely sourced.

When I heard this beckpedaling yesterday about partial elections and explaining how American cities weren't totally safe either, I was about ten seconds away from a Stupid Man Rant. Suddenly, I flashed back to all the patronizing bosses I'd ever had, most of them male. I was rescued from Man Rant mode when I suddenly remembered Mary Beth, my supervisor from my First Real Job who would smile sweetly when she told me my ideas were all wrong but that my attempts at logic were cute. Well, maybe that's not exactly what she said, but that's the impression that I got from her when I noticed flaws in the system we were attempting to operate. So it's not a male thing; perhaps they teach you the smile and the offhand tone in management school? Where else could Mary Beth have learned it? Where else could Rummy have learned it? He was glibly directing the press in a voice that feigned conversational, explaining that *real* democracy and *real* safety were just models they taught in civics class, and Iraq wasn't entirely safe or democratic in the same way that America wasn't entirely safe or democratic. He even threw in a bogus statistic to reassure us--"...200, 300, 400 people killed in many of the major cities in America last year. Is it perfectly peaceful? No. What's the difference?..." in a tone that implied it was great that we were paying attention to his partial election idea but that there was really no need to be hysterical, honey, because us big boys have already anticipated and handled those messy democratic issues you were so concerned about. We've got it all under control.

For the record, Mr. Rumsfeld, here were the murder rates in 2002:
New York = 580 (lowest in almost four decades! Woo hoo!)
Los Angeles = 653
Chicago = about 645
according to this CNN article. Perhaps you'll want some real statistics on hand the next time you attempt to con us into something that is just not true. It will make you more believable, if not more accurate. I probably would not have noticed the statement if it weren't for your half-assed, flagrant abuse of numbers.

Of course, if Rummy would like to look at our crime rates in context, he could read If America Were Iraq, What Would It Be Like? for a much more accurate picture. Again, thanks to Elwood for the link.


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