Colleges have discovered that removing trays from school cafeterias cuts down on wasting food and water. If you can only carry what will fit in two hands, you’re not likely to take more than your proper share nor to indulge in tasting a little bit of many meals instead of selecting just one. Reducing the size of the plate would further prove what restaurants with buffets already know - people eat less when there’s a smaller area for food to cover. It occurs to me that using the same principle, we can find many other applications to consider during our current economic depression/recession/downturn/crisis.
Arlen Spector’s departure from the Republican party is a delicious irony. For the past two decades, conservatives in the party have been told that they need to abandon their principles in order to protect “northeast Republicans” like Arlen Spector, Lowell Weicker, Susan Collins, James Jeffords and Olympia Snow.
Forget the panic it caused in lower Manhattan. And really, who cares about the cost? The far more interesting and urgent question is how much damage was done to the environment by the wasteful Air Force One photo-op?
While the Free Speech Protection Act languishes in Washington, the judicial committee of the California state senate just approved by 5-0 a bill to protect California authors and publishers from libel tourism judgments.
One generation never knows exactly what world it will pass to the next. But there is an alarming term making the rounds these days that seems a likely adjective for the era we are being guided toward: “Post-American.”
We are told that the reasons we have such a hard time stopping the pirates is that our forces have a very hard time locating them in the vast sea. An odd statement, given that the pirates have no trouble locating our ships in the same sea, and they have no drones, satellites, AWACS, and all the other means of modern technology. Moreover, we hardly need to look for them; they present themselves to us, quite regularly. Most recently they captured six ships with a few weeks.
There is something about the concept of a nation “losing” that conjures up pictures - a shredded flag lying on a desolate battlefield, a surrender ceremony aboard a gray battleship, two generals sitting at a small table at Appomattox. We think of losing as something that occurs violently, and at the end of a long, bloody struggle.
Every once in a while I skim through Andrew Sullivan’s blog, just to pump up my blood pressure, I guess. There is no one else out there more inconsistent in his arguments, more self-righteous about his positions, and more libelous of everybody else’s motivations. The problem with politics these days is the utter lack of open minds–the inability to consider for even an instant that the other guy wants something good for his country and his family, and that he’s not abject evil with arms and legs. Consider Sullivan on the matter of torture. As on so many issues, he’s not only certain he’s right, he’s screaming for the blood of those who had to make hard decisions about protecting America in the wake of 9/11. Heaven have mercy on Sullivan if he had been responsible in those days for the lives of Americans. Would he have clung to his precious academic posturings, or would he have acted to protect his fellow countrymen to the best of his abilty, knowing that the ingrateful among them could and would come along and second-guess his best efforts years down the road? If America had suffered subsequent attacks after 9/11 and President Bush hadn’t taken the actions he did, it is reasonable to believe that Sullivan would have been at the head of the line to say Bush was negligent for not doing everything he could have, and that the terror debate was over mere semantics compared that can’t compare to the lives lost.
Maybe Sullivan is right about “enhanced interrogation techniques.” I don’t think he is, but I’m willing to consider that he’s right and I’m wrong. And that’s the difference between Andrew Sullivan and me.
Apparently, releasing CIA interrogation memos, and the backlash that resulted, hasn’t deterred some of the nuttier appointees of the Obama administration. Get this one, as reported by the Los Angeles Times:
In its latest sop to the far left, the Obama administration is going to release hundreds of photos showing U.S. troops ostensibly mistreating prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan. The true number of pictures runs into the thousands. Why release some, but not all? According to Fox News, “(the Pentagon) is choosing not to include the substantial number of additional photos submitted as evidence, many of which did not lead to disciplinary action.” Translation: pictures which don’t show America in the worst possible light don’t make the cut.
“When the world catches a cold, Jews catch pneumonia,” goes the saying. As the world has been suffering from a major cold since 9/11 recently aggravated by the economic meltdown, historically minded Jews everywhere have been worrying about the dangers of rising Antisemitism. Should we make our worries public? Should we call to task those whose careless words may be increasing our peril? Or is it better to just let sleeping dogs lie? These questions have dogged me since the morning of Saturday the 18th. I have finally decided to share the story with you. I hope I am doing the right thing.
Since the election, I’ve rarely posted here. Somewhat burned out from the hate directed at anyone who doesn’t endorse Obama as King for Life. But this torture prosecution business brings me back to make a point:
I have tried to stay away here from the Natasha Richardson controversy I was involved in. For those of you unfamiliar, I wrote a piece in the Chicago Tribune that said that there was a delay in her care and that had she had the accident in one of our Colorado ski resorts equidistant from Denver, as hers was from Montreal, she probably would not have died. My intent was not to denigrate the entire Canadian medical system; it was about good medicine, not socialized or private medicine.
Gallup reports that 56% of the public believes that Obama is doing an excellent/good job. Gallup reported 62% approved of George W. Bush’s job performance after the first 100 days. MSM tells us how popular Barack Obama is but the numbers tell a different story especially when used comparatively. Comparing the Gallup poll taken following the first 100 day of George W. Bush and Barack Obama is rather informative especially given the highly contentious nature of the 2000 election.
With the kind of 20/20 hindsight that only “progressive” thinkers possess, demands are being made to prosecute those who authorized the use of coercive interrogation techniques on hardened terrorists. Too bad those of us who believe in protecting America couldn’t engage in the same kind of “after the fact” choices. Maybe some of us would choose the alternative to waterboarding Khalid Sheikh Mohammed: letting Los Angeles suffer the same kind of attack New York and Washington D.C. did on September 11, 2001.
Late last week, President Obama released CIA memos that detailed interrogation techniques used on top al Qaeda terrorists. It was the single most irresponsible act by a Commander-in-Chief in the middle of a war. Ever.
President Obama says former Vice-President Cheney’s request that memos showing the success of “harsh interrogation” be released doesn’t tell the full story. But you know what DOES tell the whole story? A Gitmo detainee when he hears the water start running.
As the U.S. administration and its allies are devising a new strategy for the next steps in Afghanistan, the jihadists have already begun their next move — but this time it’s inside Pakistan. As I’ve written over the past few months, we need to look at Afghanistan, Pakistan and India as one regional battlefield where the “other side” is coordinating strategically, acting methodically and for sure beating the international coalition in speed. If Washington and its allies fail to see the big picture in the fight against the Taliban and Al Qaeda, which unfortunately may be the case now, the rapidly deteriorating situation will soon exceed the northwestern provinces of Pakistan to spill over to both Afghanistan and India, if not beyond. That’s how I suggest “reading” the recent worrisome leaps achieved by the Taliban from the SWAT valley into the neighboring district of Buner. So what’s the story and why should we consider it as a crossing of the red lines?