Thursday, December 28, 2006

Da Snibbles

Yesterday I felt a sinus problem coming on. There’s a choice on what the problem might be; viral, allergy, or bacterial. I decided to take it easy for the day, foregoing the Blues Jam at Little Fox and did some net surfing.

There was no way I was going to be able to take advantage of bed rest as the over the counter node medication is heavy on stimulants. I visited the San Jose Library’s site and was able to download a fun book. Avalon by Stephen R. Lawhead is a novel based on Arthurian Legend. Well written, slightly preposterous, and highly entertaining. That was a very pleasant way to pass a low key day.

Adobe has made huge strides in their Reader and many, many books available for download makes the investment in a good computer display unit very worthwhile.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Nancy Does It Again

The all-important House Intelligence committee has some thirteen federal snoop/law enforcement/diplomatic agencies to oversee.

Alcee Hastings who was a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence was Nancy’s first pick to Chair the Intelligence Committee. Round peg in a round hole, wouldn’t you say?

It didn’t work out that way. Representative Hastings had a spot of bother in the past with allegations of accepting bribes and such while he was Federal District Judge. Prosecution came to naught when the key witness declined to tell all. He was then impeached by the House, but suffered a most irregular guilty verdict in the Senate. He is tainted meat as it were. The new Democratic majority wasn’t going along on that one.

Nancy, to make up for putting forward a shady Representative who might be able to find his way out of a closet on intelligence matters, then named Silvestre Reyes to head up the Committee. When questioned by reporters, Reyes couldn’t identify with which Islamic sect Al Qaeda was linked and had no notion as to who, what, or where Hezbollah might be.

So, let’s see . . . Murtha? Uh-uh. Linked to influence peddling and stuck his nose into a sensitive investigation which most certainly will bias the outcome. Hastings? Well, no. He’s a crook . . . we think. Reyes? You betcha! Can do! The sumbitch is dumber than a box of rocks. Just what we need to keep the Intelligence Czar trembling in his Florsheims.

I think I’ll take a class in cartoons. Nancy-babe looks to be great grist for the giggles mill. She’s going to cost us . . . how many billions?


Today is Donald Rumsfeld’s retirement day, and it is long overdue.

When Dubya started beating the war drums to see which nations would muster to go after Sadam’s WMD, Rumsfeld went a calling on Helen Clark, the no-nonsense Kiwi PM.

The administration linked participation of an invasion of Iraq to MFN status. In other words, we would allow New Zealander products to be imported here with lowered tariffs, but only if they would send troops in harm’s way. I have a pen friend in New Zealand who writes a sensitive, articulate letter when the spirit moves her. I felt that the American position was demeaning and my pen friend was aghast that we would offer to barter for the life and limb of young Kiwis in exchange for a tawdry X% advantage in the market place.

Up until then, the Kiwis were very ready to send troops to Afghanistan to help destroy the forces that had unleashed 9/11 on the US. Oh, well. One more former would-be ally that would rather stay home and tend their own business. What a dipshit diplomatic move.

Rumsfeld’s management of the war and the ensuing “peace” is held up to ridicule in Doonesbury. The cartoonist, Trudeau, depicts an Arab militant having the time of his life in RumsyWorld; something of a Disney Land for terrorists. Doonesbury evokes a somewhat wry laugh almost every day, but the mayhem underlying the inspiration for the cartoon is absolutely sickening. Knowing that it is all totally unnecessary makes it even more so.

He’s left his stamp on things; billions wasted and thousands upon thousands of needless deaths. In addition, the instability that has been introduced to the region will haunt us for years to come.

Good riddance, I say. Let’s hope we can get Dubya and Shotgun Dick out of office soon.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Off To The Left We Go

I get a giggle out of Hugo Chavez; one time paratrooper, now President of Venezuela and buffoon laureate. He’s managed to return humor to politics to the point that his challenger in the most recent election is a professional comedian. For politics he is distinctly left wing. As Latin American odd balls go, he is in the right company with Fidel.

In late December of ’05, Evo Morales, a distinctly left politician and nose thumber at DEA, was elected Chief Executive of Bolivia. Coca – the basis of nose candy – was a crop of sustenance among Bolivian farmers. They feel it is unfair to lose a traditional crop just because Americans have taken a liking to a highly refined derivative of the plant. And Evo is their champion.

Next in the leftward trend is the election of Sandinista Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua which happened about the time Nancy Pelosi became Speaker of the House making her the first woman to gain that position. For those of you who have yet to learn why California is often called the Land Of Fruits and Nuts, all you have to do is follow her antics over the next couple of years and the lesson will be indelibly implanted.

Following right along is the French Socialist Party has pulled out the stops and named Segolene Royal their candidate for the ’07 Presidential election. From where I sit, she looks like a shoo in. You might as well get ready for the outlawing of toy guns among their kiddies as the lady has come down hard on children’s television programming depicting violence including slap stick. Le Grande Charlie will probably turn over in his grave, but there it is.

Continuing the leftist trend, Rafael Correa was elected president of Ecuador. He’s a left-centrist economist who has the good sense to want to reverse the decision to adopt the US dollar as the country’s currency.

I readily anticipate a move to the left for our election in 2008. It is a good thing John Kerry went foot hunting and nailed his own. His crack about having to serve in Iraq if one is illiterate was a joke that backfired . . . badly. Just remember, Rockjaw was so bad last time out, that Dubya looked good by comparison.

I have already seen a Hillary bumper sticker, but I think we have had enough of the Clintons for a while.

Barack Obama, Democratic Senator from Illinois, has put forward a refreshing perspective on the Iraq debacle. Putting him into the presidential primary just may get people to thinking outside the box formed by Stay-The-Course Republicans and Cut-And-Run Democrats. Both approaches are recipes for disaster.

He proposes a major troop withdrawal, with a substantial stay-behind force to be located in Iraqi Kurdistan. After giving the idea some thought, I came to the conclusion that it is an elegant solution.

We can stand back and let the Shi’ites and Sunnis fight it out, while having a response force in the region in the event Iran or Syria get froggy. It also has the benefit of having a force able to prevent the Kurds from stirring up trouble with Turkey.

More laughing gas comes from the Chairman-designate of the House Intelligence committee. The poor fellow wrongly identified the Islamic sect Al Qaeda follows and was at a loss to explain who are what Hezbollah might be.

Nancy, He's your nominee; do you think he can count to 13 without taking off his shoes? That's the number of intelligence agencies he will be watching over, in case you didn't know.

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