Seven Degrees from Normal

Two people, eighteen years of marriage, seven college degrees.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Homeland Security

Thursday, January 25, 2007


Grenier is one of three government officials to testify, so far, that they held conversations with Libby about Wilson's wife weeks before Libby contends he learned her name.

Three? "So far"?

It gets more interesting by the minute.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Best SOTU synopsis

From William Rivers Pitt:

This was a tiny, tepid performance by a tiny man who is shrinking, even now, before our very eyes. Let all the gods that are or ever were be thanked that he only has one more speech to go before history swallows him, before this nation and the world is faced with the grueling challenge of cleaning up all the bloody messes he has made.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

New Blogger?

Blogger keeps asking me to switch to its newer "more reliable" incarnation. I am leery. But if things get weird for a few days, you'll know I've taken the plunge.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Cut the funding

for God's sake.

Such measures would have broad initial public support: 59 percent of all Americans, including more than a quarter of Republicans, want Congress to try to block the president's plan. (Washington Post Poll)

Monday, January 15, 2007

Then and now

In February 1942, The Family Circle Magazine reprinted a list of ten things its readers could do to support the war effort, originally produced by the U. S. Office of Civilian Defense:

1. Enlist in the local volunteer offices of the Civilian Defense. Register so that you can be assigned a job, can take your place quickly if disaster should come.
2. Put into practice the principles of good nutrition; begin at home with your own family; study sound food selection and preparation; spread the knowledge to others and co-operate with any group supporting and furthering good nutrition.
3. Begin now to build a new, strong America through giving every child in this country a feeling of real security through adequate housing, food, clothing, recreation. Begin with your own children, then help others.
4. Be prepared to take care of the sick and the aged in order to release nurses for care of war casualties. Keep fit yourself; learn nursing duties in a professional way.
5. Make a determined drive to prevent accidents at home and on highways. Keep calm, clearheaded.
6. Save! Salvage everything that is usable; put it to work. Buy intelligently. Learn about new and substitute materials. Conserve what you have.
7. Learn a new skill, something which contributes to defense and the welfare of others. Teach to others what you have learned.
8. Study deeply, thoroughly, into how true democracy functions. Good government begins with the individual citizen. Women must take a deeper interest in local government, must work together for the good of all.
9. Do everything you can to make the men and boys fighting for us feel that folks at home are behind them; "adopt" them en masse into your care.
10. Build morale through old-fashioned neighborliness and religion. Don't repeat gossip; talk constructively. Co-operate with others. Be strong! Be brave! Be confident!

What do we have in 2007?

We are told to
1. Prepare a kit to ensure our own personal survival in the event of disaster.
2. Plan to seal ourselves into our rooms.
3. Dwell on, and try to prepare for, 18 different types of disaster that may occur.
4. Have our kids play games where they attempt to identify "hidden treasure" objects that would "aid family communication" during a disaster, in the home of a bunch of anthropomorphic mountain lions.

I was going to do a point-by-point comparison, but it's too depressing.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Just what we needed

Let's see; Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea--where else can we compromise global stability and our own national interest?

Oh yes--Somalia:
The US is hardly in a position to commit more regular forces to Somalia, given its over-stretch in Afghanistan and Iraq, but the tacit endorsement that it has given to an illegal foreign invasion of yet another Muslim country, coupled with today's direct military intervention opens the prospect of yet another bloody battlefield in an increasingly futile war.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Two birds with one noose

In response to Amy's comment, "Why now?":

The tribunal also had a unique sense of timing when choosing the day for Saddam's hanging. It was a slap in the face to Sunni Arabs. This weekend marks Eid al-Adha, the Holy Day of Sacrifice, on which Muslims commemorate the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son for God. Shiites celebrate it Sunday. Sunnis celebrate it Saturday –- and Iraqi law forbids executing the condemned on a major holiday. Hanging Saddam on Saturday was perceived by Sunni Arabs as the act of a Shiite government that had accepted the Shiite ritual calendar.

From Juan Cole's excellent analysis in Salon. (You'll have to watch an ad to get to the whle thing).

Monday, January 01, 2007

All we've got

Put the New Year into perspective with these NASA photos of the Earth from space.