Appalling

When I read the news this morning, I saw that President Obama had made the trip to Dover Air Force base to honor those who had fallen in the line of duty in Afghanistan. My initial reaction was this: Here is a noble gesture I can give the president credit for. But as I clicked around various sites and saw photos of the president saluting as caskets were being carried off an Air Force transport, I began to get irritated. The irritation grew into anger, which grew into disgust.
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Irony Continues To Abound

I was reading this Newsweek article the other day and was struck by a section in it about our president his proposals to build a smart power grid in the US. I found it a bit humorous that this president, who wants to bring government into the lives of our country’s citizens in unprecedented ways and at unprecedented levels, has been stymied in his quest to develop a smart grid because changes to the grid require the sign off of up to 231 government regulators.

Sadly, though, no lessons have been learned…

2666

2666I’m reading a book now called 2666 by the late Chilean author Roberto Bolano. I picked it up about a month ago. I’d gone to Borders looking for something to read and the cover art caught my eye. Clocking in at nearly a thousand pages, the book is divided into five parts, which Bolano wanted published separately. His literary executors overrode him and the work was published in the form of the gargantuan tome I have sitting here in front of me.
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Sitting Ready To Apply Windows Updates To Seventy Five Servers While Thinking of Afghanistan

Unpaid bills….Afghanistan hills

That’s a lyric from “Bombs Away”, by the Police. I haven’t heard that song in over twenty years. I thought of those words on the way to work today. Quite succintly describes the predicaments, both domestic and international, our president finds himself in.

There’s been a lot of talk from the administration about shaping the strategy before sending in the troops. I thought the strategy was shaped last March, but I appear to be wrong. Regarding the decision of Afghanistan, I wonder what happened to the “fierce urgency of now”? It sounds like its turned into the “fierce urgency of waiting for the Afghans to elect a government” or the “fierce urgency of trying to time the sending of more troops to Afghanistan because I painted myself into a corner by calling Afghanistan the necessary war and if I send more troops I’ll piss off my base and they’re going to already be pissed off because that public option thing ain’t gonna fly…”

I’m worried about our troops in Afghanistan. Over the first weekend in October, our troops fought a bloody battle against a force of Taliban estimated to be between 200 and 350 strong. Eight Americans were killed and 24 wounded. As most of America’s enemies have learned over the past fifty years, the Taliban is keenly attentive to public opinion in the US. I fear that, while disucssions are going on in the White House, the Taliban is planning more spectacular attacks in an attempt overrun a fire base and sending images of Americans being executed or the dead being abused into America’s living rooms.

Hurry Mr. President. Our enemies are watching.

Lessons Unlearned

Over twenty years ago, Tipper Gore founded an organization called the Parents Music Resource Center and began a campaign to require advisory warnings on recordings containing sexually explicit and and violent lyrics.

Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler made a comment thanking Tipper Gore, explaining that all he had to do was stick a couple curse words into his band’s songs, earning it an advisory label and guaranteeing a million more album sales.

Fast forward to present day. The Obama Administration has is involved in a little dirt war with Fox News, hoping to marginalize and isolate the network. Indeed, White House hacks such as Rahm Emmanuel and David Axlerod denigrated Fox as a valid news organization, holding up networks such as CNN (they of the fact checked SNL skits) as “real” news channels.
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