Tuesday, January 30, 2007


I couldn't help but reminisce when I discovered this account of recent peace protests in our nation's capital. Where are the youth? --just a bunch of geezers from the sixties!

"A man could make a fortune selling Geritol to these people."

Well at least the capital police don't have to worry about marijuana.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Christopher Hitchens on "Facing the Islamist Menace" -- he reviews Mark Steyn's book America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It.

Monday, January 22, 2007


I finally finished The Looming Tower. Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright. Wright is a journalist, not a historian, and as a result there were a number of things I did not like about the book as he built his case. However, I would highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to get a feel for the events leading up to 9/11. During the Clinton administration there were a number of missteps and misjudgments. The FBI and the CIA (and even the State Department) do not come off well. So much pettiness prevailed. . .but this is government at work. It is not a book for idealists. Since Wright writes for the New Yorker and even has Dan Rather recommending the book, it cannot be labelled as a "right wing hatchet job." Wright even refers to the "sexual decadence of the Clinton administration" -- I haven't seen many liberal Democrats use this kind of description of Clinton's presidency.


I received an interesting email with a url sending me to the The American Conservative, "Selective Amnesia." This is Pat Buchanan's organization; a group I have noted in the past. Pat Buchanan is a conservative very much opposed to the war in Iraq. The author of "Selective Amnesia" attacks other conservatives who supported the war for now ignoring some of the pro-war statements they made in the past. The author focuses his attack on Michael Ledeen, a noted conservative. Ledeen in 2002 made a number of statements pushing to take Sadaam out. Krauthammer is also quoted and noted as reversing or maybe moderating his views as the war has gone badly.

I haven't seen how these men have defended themselves, but it did get me thinking about how pundits and politicians change their views over time. No one seems to have the historical memory to hold these individuals accountable for past statements and reversals in opinion. . .or at the very least make them justify why a position they advocated so fiercely several years ago is no longer advocated.

For me this was most apparent in the eulogies of the late President Gerald Ford. It seemed like liberal Democrats, including Senator Ted Kennedy, were eulogizing him as one of the great post-World War II presidents. I couldn't believe it! When Ford was in office, Kennedy, and many of his ilk, despised Ford--particularly for the Nixon pardon. Ford was attacked with the same vigor they now attack Bush. I wonder if 20 years from now we will be hearing how great a president Bush was. . . . . .from the mouths of some aged liberal Democrats?

Friday, January 12, 2007


I have been bothered for some time by the news media, and probably it is more CNN and Foxnews, for not really covering the news. They tend to overwhelm us with the current car chase or some current news crisis in D.C. and ignore other major issues that might come crashing into our living rooms at a later date. But at the moment, I guess they feel no viewer would be interested in some event or trend that just does not seem to capture the theatrical vision for news they want. They seem to hop from crisis to crisis spending days talking about one issue.

Therefore it was with some surprise that I opened up the "Points" section of the January 7, 2007 Dallas Morning News. It contained an article on the "Top 10 Stories You Missed in 2006." However, I don't like the headline, because it is not the reader who missed the stories, it was the news media which failed to keep us informed because they just focus on only a few issues to somehow enlighten the public on. The interesting thing to me was that if a person were following a number of bloggers, the stories would not have been missed.

In case you interested the top ten were:

10. Hackable passports
9. The possible effects of Tamiflu (to counteract the bird flu)
8. Oil producers are investing in Euros, not just dollars
7. The gender gap is getting smaller
6. Iran and Israel held secret talks
5. The US is funding the Taliban
4. Russia is fueling an arms race in Latin America
3. Bush's post-Katrina power grab
2. China's African debt is increasing
1. India is helping Iran develop its nuclear program

As I look at the list, a number of these have far more significance for the future of America than what I see being discussed or reported.

Monday, January 08, 2007


The French have been stereotyped in many ways by the right in America and especially since the Iraq invasion cutting jokes about the French have circulated, especially on the internet. For example: AP and UPI reported that the French Government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from "run" to "hide." The only two higher levels in France are "surrender" and "collaborate."

But the problem is that this kind of humor does not really help us understand the French. Rod Kedward's book France and the French: La Vie en Bleu since 1900 attempts to focus on finding or defining "Frenchness." There is a good review of it at H-France. I am not sure the study will resolve "what makes France tick," but it does get into the complex historical, social, and cultural issues of the last century or two.