Friday, November 30, 2007

WW III?

Let me start by saying that I enjoy reading Slate Magazine. It's filled with snarkiness, topical trendiness, and a sufficiently off-kilter view of the world that it's a refreshing change from most offline magazines.

They screwed up BIG on one part of this story on WW III.
World War III broke out. Not the thing itself, obviously, but the concept, the memory, the nightmare, which had been buried in the basement of our cultural consciousness since the end of the Cold War. The beast suddenly broke out of the basement and it's in our face again. The return of the repressed.

There was George Bush's Oct. 17 warning that "if you're interested in avoiding World War III," you ought to worry about the prospect of Iranian nukes. Many found the phrase jolting, coming out of the blue. First, because it had not been in widespread use, certainly not from a White House podium, and second because "World War III" generally connotes a global nuclear war, while Bush was speaking about regional scenarios involving Iran and Israel. Why the sudden rhetorical escalation?
The problem isn't the "rhetoric", the problem is that - in actuality - WW III is already here. It just isn't nuclear - yet.

That omission isn't for lack of trying. Ukranian wiseguys are peddling radioactive materials 'round the world. About every other month, a small story (which is buried DEEP in the MSM) surfaces about a plot to acquire fissionable material. Usually, the villains are Muslims that religion which CANNOT be named.

Other parts of the story are dead-on accurate.
I hate to say it this way, but if nuclear arms are outlawed, only outlaws will have nuclear arms. Even gun-control advocates, and I am one, don't believe that the abolition of all guns is possible or necessarily desirable. An outlaw with a gun can rob a gas station. If nukes are outlawed, an outlaw with nukes can rule or destroy the world, or blackmail it at the very least. Do we want a world where the only nondisarmed nuclear power is al-Qaida? What's to prevent such an outcome in the abolitionist scheme?
In other words, don't disarm the lamb because the lion expresses a desire to lay down with him.
But the real danger is not "unauthorized" launches but unwelcome "authorized" ones. The real worry is what happens when Musharraf falls, which seems at least a good possibility. What happens if the authority to authorize a launch falls into the hands of either al-Qaida-sympathizer elements in the military and intelligence service or, worst case, al-Qaida itself? After all, polls in Pakistan have consistently shown Bin Laden to be more popular than Musharraf. From a cave to a nuclear control room is not an utterly unforeseeable nightmare.

I think this is the urgent debate question that should be posed to both parties' candidates. What happens if Pakistan falls into the hands of al-Qaida-inclined elements? What happens if Musharraf hands over the launch authorization codes before he's beheaded?
Too many women have given a pass to Bhutto, because she's a woman. She has had no hesitation is allying herself with thugs before. Why should things be different now?

Look, I think Bush has mismanaged many things in foreign policy. Some of it, though, is a reasonable attempt to keep the situation from hitting the "flash point" - in chemistry, that's the point at which something bursts into flame. Below that point, the material just smolders. However, after that point, it's a full-fledged fire.

In some respects, Annapolis is a windy waste of time. OTOH, while the parties are at the table, there is an uneasy, temporary truce.

Sometimes, just keeping a lid on things for a while makes sense. You can't fight a war on every front, all at once.

And, make no mistake about it, we ARE in a war. A worldwide one.

We just haven't officially called it that.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Myths of War

This is an outstanding list of Myths of War. These myths wouldn't be so widely believed if the Education Nazis hadn't stripped History classes of what I so loved about them:
we’ve stripped in-depth U.S. history classes out of our schools. Since the 1960s, one history course after another has been cut, while the content of those remaining focuses on social issues and our alleged misdeeds. Dumbed-down textbooks minimize the wars that kept us free. As a result, ignorance of the terrible price our troops had to pay for freedom in the past creates absurd expectations about our present conflicts. When the media offer flawed or biased analyses, the public lacks the knowledge to make informed judgments.
The changing of History from rigorous examinations of reality, to touchy-feely, uber-PC marshmallows of "whatever you do, don't offend the offensive" nonsense is why I'm glad that I wasn't able to get a Social Studies position, and, instead, used my General Science certification to get work. Since then, I've come to love the science discipline. But, initially, the only reason I wasn't teaching History was that I wasn't a coach (for the uninformed, the History Dept. in high schools is traditionally where the coaches are found).

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Elephant in the Room

Immigration is the elephant in the room for all the candidates - it's the one issue that won't win them any votes, only potentially lose them. Recent activity on the part of The People have demonstrated that they are strongly in favor of border control, and just as strongly against amnesty, even the sneaky, back-door kind.



The first candidate who is willing to go on record as being anti-illegal immigrants stands a good chance of capturing their party's nomination, if not the election. I think it's true even for Democrats - opposition to illegal immigration cuts across party lines.

Not Playing Nice with China



Would love to be a fly on the wall, listening in while Hillary talks to the Chinese government. This is likely to be perceived of as a gutsy move, taking on the Chinese (who are notoriously sensitive to slights). Perhaps it will offset the criticism she's been getting on her financial entanglements with the Asians.

Friday, November 23, 2007

I Am Thankful

Today, I am surrounded by my family. My eldest daughter is on the couch, dozing. The youngest 2 grandkids are watching "Spongebob". My SIL has been working to get me connected to the house network (I am the oddball Mac in the PC network).

Life is good. The girls and I (with my eldest grandson) will be seeing "Enchanted" later today. I saw my elder brother in the hospital yesterday - he is healing, and may be discharged today. The full recovery will take longer, but he is on the mend.

I'm a half-full kind of girl. I try to focus on the positives, rather than the negatives. It keeps my blood pressure down, and make me more pleasant to be around.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Enjoying Some Well-Deserved Time Off

I'm with family this weekend. We had to travel from SC to Cleveland, OH. My spine felt the stress, but we were able to use the local Bally's whirlpool, which helped a great deal.

My grandchildren are a joy to see. The youngest is wearing monkey slippers - when prompted, he will make monkey sounds.

He's also learned to dance. Very 70's action, but fun to watch.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

What's a Library For?



Silly me - I always assumed that a library's purpose was to ensure free and unfettered access to information.

Not the Clinton Library - apparently, it's sole purpose is to bury evidence of malfeasance, duplicity, scandal, and potential crimes - at least until 2013, which, BTW, is just after a presumably-re-elected Hillary Clinton would no longer need to keep her record from the public. Judging from recent history, she and Billy-Bob could lie, bluff, and stonewall until they end up under the marble headstone.

I Don't Understand

Will someone please explain why Bush 41 talking to his son is an unforgivable creation of a dynasty, but THIS isn't?




The Asbestos Pantsuit?



Well, I don't think that apparel would be necessary if she didn't LIE so much.

Let's say it plainly - you're not being UFAIRLY attacked, you're being FAIRLY questioned about double-talk, changes of position, lying about your finances, shady past dealings, shady pesent dealings, and using your gender as a way of getting out of a tough situation (can you do the Lucy Ricardo "WAH!").



Back From My Temporary Hiatus

I just logged on, and noticed that it's been a full week since I posted.

Mea culpa.

I've been busy with family issues, work, and, as of last evening, a sprained ankle and bruises (yeah, I tripped over a stone in a parking lot - yes, I'm unbelievably clumsy - 'ya got something against that?).

One GOOD side effect of the temporary lameness is that I'm less mobile, and, therefore, may be able to catch up on paperwork and computer stuff.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Inner Dutch

This result REALLY surprised me. The funny thing is, on my father's side, some of the first people in this country were, in fact, Dutch.




Your Inner European is Dutch!



Open minded and tolerant.

You're up for just about anything.



Veteran's Day - Not a "Happy Holiday"

I found this poignant video on Curmudgeonly & Skeptcal. Today, it reminded me of my dad.

Dad only told the funny stories of WWII. We always enjoyed his tales from the front. About the actual subject of the war itself, he was generally silent. He did mention having been in the Battle of the Bulge, but said no more.

If you have the time, and the fortitude, you can read about the Battle itself. Dad's records show him to have been an artilleryman. His unit was moved around a few times - during part of the war, he served with Patton. Despite modern-day depictions of the man, Dad never considered him to waste men needlessly. Of course, Dad always liked ornery SOB's. He was a bit of one himself.



Don't Treat Clinton Badly - Because She's a Woman!

Peggy Noonan administers a long-needed smackdown to Hillary - using the example of another Tough Broad, who:
would no more have identified herself as a woman, or claimed special pleading that she was a mere frail girl, or asked you to sympathize with her because of her sex, than she would have called up the Kremlin and asked how quickly she could surrender.

She represented a movement. She was its head. She was great figure, a person in history, and she was a woman. She was in it for serious reasons, not to advance the claims of a gender but to reclaim for England its economic freedom, and return its political culture to common sense. Her rise wasn't symbolic but actual.
The woman who had demonstrated her toughness under fire?

Margaret Thatcher.

Go read the whole thing - it's a classic, and it deftly captures the seeming dichotomy of the ball-busting, swearing, swaggering Hillary - who runs like a girl when the big, bad, boys say mean things about her.

I Am Shocked, Shocked!

Imagine - turning illegal aliens over to ICE after their arrest on other charges might make them change what they do.

I know, it's - absurd! But, see what they've done:




You Don't BUY Digital Media - You Only Lease It

This thread brings up an important concept. We have become a Renter Society, rather than an Ownership Society. Some things that used to b...