Wednesday, January 31, 2007

John C. Stennis Leaves Port

Courtesy of MSNBC, the John C. Stennis leaves Bremerton on an unusually frosty day. I think she's about two miles north of town, getting ready to go through the little narrows.

No Baby Einstein He

Bush's SOTU this year contained a stirring tribute- a tribute to a woman who, thrilled with her new baby, immediately retired to her basement studio to create videotapes that might substitute for a real mother's presence.

Research has confirmed the intuitively obvious- parking an infant in front of a television is bad for their brain. As always, Bush is resolutely on the side of cold uncaring parents marketing harmful products in an effort to escape the obligations laid on them by nature and society, the obligations to provide nurture and guidance for the young people they chose to bring into the world.

Some things never change.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Most of 'Em

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

What a tangled web we weave...

Well, maybe not the first time the British Empire has practiced to deceive. Still, this story is a doozy, even by their standards.

Remember the IRA bombing campaign of the 70s? Now we know that many of the bombs were provided or planted by British agents- agents provacateurs. And in the 90s dozens of murders were winked at by the Royal Ulster Constabulary. But maybe the capper is that the IED explosive devices that have been most effective against our troops in Iraq, were given to the IRA in yet another agent provacateur incident, and subsequently transferred worldwide by the IRA.

Now, that's a gift that just keeps on giving, decade after decade. Ironically, the Iraq War in turn may spur the independence of Scotland and Wales, as Blair's refusal to leave gracefully undermines the Labor Party. We are so past the point of diminishing returns for the policy of England dominating Ireland.

Saturday, January 13, 2007


They're telling us the war in Iraq could go on for decades, cost us a trillion dollars, ruin millions of lives, result in the los of our freedoms. But that's already happened in the other war- the war on drugs.

Thirty years, tens of millions imprisoned, a cost over a trillion dollars, and what can only be described as a police state compared with life as we once knew it- that's the war on drugs. Perhaps with the passing of the "Greatest Generation" it will become possible for rational people to influence public policy here- we can only hope.

Because, compared to the War on Drugs, the war in Iraq is just an infant.

The Echo Chamber

As any neuropsychologist could tell you, an echo chamber is just what the human brain needs, if you want to learn something. What we learn goes first into short-term memory and, if not reinforced there, down the memory hole in short order.

And that, in a nutshell, is what is so fascinating about the blogosphere. The memory or idea is refined in successive iterations and reiterations and thank you Mr. Wolcott, I do not need serial commas here. Just take a deep breath and read it aloud.

It is, in short, the creation of a collective brain. Of course, with the actual human brain you begin the study by looking at a brain and trying to understand the pathways and synapses, while with the virtual internet brain you begin by lookng at pathways and synapses and trying to visualize the brain, but basically we're talking intelligence, in portions so small that trillions inhabit a pinhead, but of such activity that an impulse traverses the globe in under a second.

No small thing.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Dk also likes Chester...

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Pb 'n Chester

Friday, January 05, 2007

Devil Kitten Seizes the Catbed

Monday, January 01, 2007

Wilsonian Dmocracies

A striking aspect of the situation in the midEast is the similitude with the Europe created by Woodrow Wilson's postwar mapmaking exercises. Employing a team of demographers, Wilson proposed that new states be created in Europe (Austria, Hungary, Chechoslovakia) with borders grouping viable political units of ethnic minorities. This idea was enormously popular with the democracy loving peoples of Europe.

Unfortunately, in the absence of the other elements of a stable democracy, the idea turned out disastrously. Most of the new states were semi-fascist semi-dictatorships by the early thirties and things got worse from there.

It's always possible to draw too much from a historical parallel, and equally possible to draw too little.