Saturday, August 27, 2005

The Brooks Factor

Well finally, the more intelligent and considerate of the righties are now moving into the real world. Although I've always considered David Brooks to be a progressive who felt he could make a better living posing as an intellectual rightie (oxymoron?), he has nonetheless consistently made considered, factual (in some cases), and non-emotional cases for the Bushies, complete factual context notwithstanding. He's different from most righties, preferring to lay out a series of intellectual arguments against the progressive thought rather than a series of goose-stepping rants about god, country, liberal weakness, and "tearists", "hard work", aid to the enemy, etc. (like the Michael Moores of the right). He recognizes that you can't put any more lipstick on this pig called Iraqi occupation. But unlike most stiffies, I welcome him; I don't see this as a soft underbelly to exploit, a weakness to exaggerate. I see it as a step toward sanity.

His latest column reflects the recent "the emperor has no clothes" epiphany that a number of moderate righties (some no doubt preparing for the 2006 mid-terms) are having lately regarding the W administration's foreign policy, or lack thereof, specifically about the debacle in Iraq(where the hell were you last November??? What information did you lack????). While he is careful to remain a constructive rightie, there's no doubt as to his concern that the present course is off-course, and is unlikely to change soon. Also missing is the drumbeat notion that "liberal" opposition to war endangers the American people and troops. And lastly, the fact that the last election was less a strength of John Kerry, and more an-anybody-but-Bush has turned into a "did we miss something about national security" issue. We certainly have a lot more useless "security", a lot less freedom, and much less guarantee of safety.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Slip Slidin' Away

For those following world events beyond the White House Press briefings, an Iraqi fact has become painfully clear: the situation in Iraq may have now slipped beyond the point of return. There have been many articles and op-ed pieces reporting on the deteriorating situation over the last 6 months (after the breast-beating declarations of victory for the "elections"), but the following two pieces do a good job of framing it: Baghdad Mayor & Porn Biz . The US military is increasingly at risk, services are getting worse, not improving, only about 10% of the Iraqi militia forces envisioned by now are trained and ready (with scores being slaughtered weekly), and the fragile governing infrastructure is collapsing. Secretary of State Colin Powell warned W 2 1/2 years ago "you break it you own it". Even the best rightie spin cannot put lipstick on this pig now; we broke it, but we're not owning it.

Look for major US military withdrawals just prior to the midterm elections next year, regardless of the chaos in Iraq.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Why Am I So Serious?

So why am I so serious? Should I lighten up?

Children Love Fairytales!

It is a very sad direction for the state of education in our country, that some school districts should be compelled to teach fairy tales as possible fact; And now this "museum" to bolster it.......

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Enough Already!

If it wasn't so tragic it would be comical. The space shuttle Discovery returned to space last week after a 2 1/2 year break, and its crew is now performing a series of repairs to ensure its safe return. And the shuttle program is back on hold again. Maybe some sharp legislators will start to see this ridiculous program for the sham it is and call for its merciful end. As John Tierney points out in a recent column, while space exploration may be a noble cause, the shuttle program is not exploring. The whole purpose of the program seems to be getting the thing safely up and down, and performing what he calls "high school science experiments". The technology is outdated, hopelessly complex (requiring a complex bureaucracy to run it), and seems to have no other purpose than to supply the Internation Space Station (and the ISS seems to exist solely as a destination for the shuttle). It flies a fraction of the times it was designed to, and costs 30-50 times more per flight projected. It seems to be NASA's PR tool to keep the funding coming. The US has not had manned space flight beyond LEO (low earth orbit) since the early '70s and the end of the Apollo program. Lets take the opportunity to put this suffering beast out of its misery, and focus on real space exploration. The only ones who won't benefit are the contractors making billions off this useless and dangerous project.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

A Man for all Seasons

I know nothing about newly anointed Ambassador John Bolton beyond the differing views I'm told to adopt by the stiffies and the bleeders. This much I do know, however: W's recess appointment of such a controversial figure to such a sensitive position is yet one more example of the current administration's disrespect for the United Nations, its refusal to acknowledge the UN's potential promise and the administration's positive vision for its future. It is one more of many examples of its unilateral, negative approach to real problems. I hope the American people are learning at last.