Posted by lex, on November 9, 2005
The dry recitation of facts: Names, places, actions. The way things were, rather than the way some folks might like them to have been. The things that people said, rather than what they might later wish to have said.
You either like it or you hate it.
Some folks are really going to hate this: Writing in the on-line magazine Commentary, Norman Podhoretz has assembled a history of the facts leading up to OIF: Who knew what, or thought they did, when: About WMD, an al Qaeda-Iraq terror axis, “imminent” threats, Colin Powell’s speech to the UN, the “sixteen words” spoken by the President to Congress. Who it was that insisted that action was necessary, and then publicly recoiled when action was taken.
Who told the truth and who lied.
Who is lying still.
Posted by lex, on Saturday February 19, 2005 at 12:03 PM
Martin Peretz, the editor of The National Review The New Republic (tks MT), has a compelling article up today, outlining the intellectual bankruptcy that is modern American liberalism. (Registration is required, but it is free, and definitely worth it.)
“Ask yourself: Who is a truly influential liberal mind in our culture? Whose ideas challenge and whose ideals inspire? Whose books and articles are read and passed around? There’s no one, really. What’s left is the laundry list: the catalogue of programs (some dubious, some not) that Republicans aren’t funding, and the blogs, with their daily panic dose about how the Bush administration is ruining the country.”
By lex, on November 28th, 2003
Fear and loathing in the blogosphere
Once, at a nice Irish pub (I know many) in Alexandria, Virginia, I was having a soothing pint of Guinness (for strength!) while the ladies of the household were Christmas shopping. A young lady walks in to the rather crowded, very republican (in the Irish sense) place, plops down next to me and smiles to me nicely. Which doesn’t happen all that much, having passed that age where things like that usually happen (and having missed them having happened at all, the first time through). She strikes up a conversation, and it’s quickly apparent to me that 1) she is an employee of a rather sensitive government agency (at the clerical level, I gathered) and 2) this wasn’t the first bar she had frequented that winter afternoon. Sort of explained why she was being so nice to a gent at least 15 years older than her: she had her beer goggles on! Still, company is always pleasant on a cold day, and who was I to judge another’s use of that ol’ demon rum? Been there, done that, myself.
Three years ago, I wrote a bit in response to President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima.
Probably nothing in American actions in WW2 have had more controversy than the use of the atomic bomb first in Hiroshima, and then Nagasaki.
Locally we had a mayor years ago who decided to travel to Hiroshima and apologize for our use of that weapon.
Certainly nobody disputes the horrible effects upon the citizens of those cities.
It was 25 years – 1970 – before the Defense Dept. released a classified film on the devastating effects of the blasts at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
But how would the war in the Pacific have ended if these bombs weren’t used?
“Money is the mother’s milk of politics”
Jess “Big Daddy” Unruh
California Speaker of the Assembly 1961-1969
Unruh was one of our more colorful politicians – another quote of his that bears repeating for the professional politician:
On lobbyists: “If you can’t eat their food, drink their booze, screw their women and then vote against them you’ve got no business being up here.”
He was right on both counts.
I had a friend with an interesting commute. He worked in San Jose for a now defunct disk drive manufacturer, Maxtor (bought by Seagate I believe). He used to write the system code for the drives.
He lived in Reno, Nevada and every Sunday night would start his long commute to San Jose. I would say that he drove almost 300 miles, down the Sierras, through the Valley, then into the Bay Area. This could be through rain, snow, traffic.
Every Friday evening, he would drive back to Reno. I can only imagine trying to navigate the Bay Area traffic gridlock on the way back to Reno after a week’s work – then, what has become common, Sacramento area gridlock.
I can remember a time, back in the 70s, when General Motors was worried about having too much market share and stirring the Justice Department for divestiture. They had close to 50% of the market. Alfred P. Sloan’s plan from the 1920s of having a model for every budget and keeping a family in GM products for a lifetime built GM into an industry juggernaut.
In the interim, because of a bloated management – too many layers of bureaucracy – and a union that was ever more demanding with rigid work rules and some of the highest labor costs in the world, the once-mighty company was brought to its knees on June 1, 2009 declaring bankruptcy.
So you’d think that the UAW – United Auto Workers – would do every thing it could to help nurture the company and protect the jobs of its members.
Government Regulations vs. Property Rights
Some years ago, my family spent a Thanksgiving at Bodega Bay, made famous from Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. There really isn’t a whole lot to keep you occupied at Bodega Bay. There is a golf course, whose houses are dangerously close to the fairway.
The breaking of plate glass windows along the fairway is so routine there was a sign at the clubhouse detailing the procedures – who to call – should you hook or slice at the tee.
Knowing my errant drives (and golf game in general) I chose to chip my way up the fairways.
So there’s golf.
Not much else.
Reading, and walking.
One thing that seems to be constant at Bodega Bay is the wind.
I’ve been trying to decide how to write this the last few days. The battle lines were set years ago, and the same arguments keep coming back.
Today, some of my early experiences with firearms seems so foreign and other-worldly.
Some public schools even taught firearms safety.
In a move that seems at least to me to be common sense, President Trump plans to deny issuing “Green Cards” (permission for US residence) to legal immigrants who use, or seem likely to use, social programs such as Medicade, Food Stamps, or housing assistance once here.
But these are politically contentious times.