Outrage? North Korea’s testing of a nuclear weapon couldn’t possibly cause outrage. Well, I suppose it can, but thats akin to my being outraged that Alexander spilled his milk at dinner.

The Free Dictionary (hopefully worth more than the price) defines outrage as “deep indignation, anger, or resentment.” Indignation? I probably should look that one up as well, but what did the world’s leaders expect?

I’m still waiting for Dear Leader (sorry, I mean Obama) to tell Kim Jong il that his actions are a distraction from nationalizing US health care, so would he please get with the program? I’m also waiting for him to tell Iran (I can’t spell Ahmadinejad off the top of my head) the same thing.

You people are distracting me from the important stuff a slim majority of the US population wants me to do!! And I’m outraged!!

Unless one is prepared to use force against these regimes, then we might as well just shut up because that’s the only thing that works when two or more countries are working from different frames of reference. Except biding for time of course, which is what Iran and North Korea have been doing while we talk to them about undoing what is it is they are doing while they bide their time.

If I weren’t so freaking scared of who is running the foreign policy apparatus of my country right now I’d probably write something sarcastic, like “Let’s see how well ‘Smart Power’ deals with these crises.”

I just did a google search of Hillary and North Korea. The first result is an article by a woman named Hillary in the Jerusalem Post. This is the second, and I kid you not it was written in February about Hillary’s naivete in regards to North Korea.,0,6500861.story

If you don’t think that’s fair do the same thing substituting “Obama” for “Hillary.” You’ll find several articles with “outrage” within Lexis distance of “Obama.” I suppose Ms. Smart Power gets every other nuclear crisis off.

It’s almost as if all the problems of the world don’t start and end with George Bush.

{{{{{{{{{{{{{{ A friend’s reply:

I was listening to NPR this morning, and they had a clip from John Kerry (Chairman Senate Foreign Relations Committee), who said (I’m paraphrasing) “the Obama administration has made it clear that they are willing to negotiate. I don’t understand why they would do this…”
Can the Democrats be that naive?

My reply:


They simultaneously believe that you can’t impose Western values on other cultures while mistakenly believing that all people universally hold the only-recently-developed Western value of “agreeing to disagree,” not to mention the virtue of Democracy.

It truly is amazing.



The Lorax

May 7, 2009

A friend of mine told me his son upon hearing (or, perhaps, seeing) “The Lorax” opined the Onceler was a good man for wanting to make things to help people and the Lorax was rude.

I’m doing my best not to plant the idea in my son.


May 5, 2009

A friend writes:

My dad sent this to me, and I have to share it.

I’ve been looking for these words for several years now. I agree in most part. I’ll have to read it a couple more times to find where I differ.

OPINION | May 05, 2009
Op-Ed Columnist: The Long Voyage Home
Republicans are so much the party of individualism and freedom that they are no longer the party of community and order.

)))))))))))))))))  I reply:

I was all set to disagree with Brooks even before I read the article. After all, a man who holds truth as a core value better well acknowledge his prejudices. But this paragraph struck me as correct:

“Then they will have to explain that there are two theories of civic order. There is the liberal theory, in which teams of experts draw up plans to engineer order wherever problems arise. And there is the more conservative vision in which government sets certain rules, but mostly empowers the complex web of institutions in which the market is embedded.”

I see the repeal of Glass-Steagall was the first really major step along a slippery slope of Republican abdication of their responsibility to set the right rules. No one will remember Bill Clinton was President when that happened.

That said, before reading his editorial I had already formulated what I thought would be a counter-point to his thoughts. I don’t really know how I did that, but I spend a lot of time thinking about my response to potential things that may happen in the future. So, I suppose it’s not that unnatural for me to think about how I would respond to something that I haven’t yet read.

Regardless, perhaps these thoughts are more a complement to his thinking than a counter-argument. So here goes.

That the Republicans can still be seen to stand for anything is somewhat of a miracle at this point. Noonan wrote three years ago or so that Bush had destroyed the Republican party. I tend to agree.

The Republican’s electoral defeat problem seems to have its origin in three basic areas:

Iraq: It was harder than we were expecting and what we ended up fighting for isn’t what we were initially sold, even if it ends up working out in the end.

Government Excess: Medicare prescription entitlements, no child left behind, rampant pork-barrel spending eroded any Republican claim to be the party of responsible. limited governance.

Corruption: Jack Abramoff and all that.

In Stephen Baker’s book, the Numerati, he describes how Democrats have analyzed the country household by household to identify voters who can be swayed. They look at donations and what we read to get a sense of our politics. This information is readily available from companies like ChoicePoint and Acxiom. This is why when you give to the USO, for example, all of a sudden you get a deluge of solicitations from similar organizations.

The gentleman behind this effort is Josh Gotbaum, who first entered politics working in the Carter administration. If you are skeptical, then read pages 67 – 95 of Stephen Baker’s book and then make your judgment.

So, what’s this got to do with David Brooks?

Let’s put the Republican losses in perspective. The margin of error in many of these campaigns is razor thin. Keep in mind with all the mistakes the Republicans have made and the press solidly behind Obama, he still received only 53% of the vote. Part of that was message and part of that was due to superior organization skills, like those spearheaded by Gotbaum.

Gotbaum devoted a lot of energy to the swing voters. Think of it this way. Getting the party faithful to show up gets you one vote each. Getting a swing voter to your side essentially gets you two net votes. So, while the Republicans are figuring out what they want to be when they grow up, they need to also work on their mechanics.

Because unless we get this country to move in a different direction, my fear is we’re going to look more and more like Argentina as time goes on.