/* Am I A Pundit Now?: February 2005

Sunday, February 27, 2005

The Bush Effect Takes Hold In Egypt.

Via Patrick Ruffini comes this Washington Post article -
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Saturday ordered a revision of the country's election laws and said multiple candidates could run in the nation's presidential elections, a scenario Mubarak hasn't faced since taking power in 1981.
Let's look at the scorecard thus far: Bush has freed millions in Afghanistan and established elections there, freed millions in Iraq and established elections there, and caused Libya to give up its secret WMD programs, put pressure on Syria to remove its troops from Lebanon (which may now actually happen), and now Egypt is on the brink of joining the ranks of authentic democracies. Pardon me, but I think this makes Bush one of the greatest leaders and humanitarians ever. Will he get his Nobel Peace Prize now? No, of course not, because the Nobel Prize is not about actually creating peace, but about who talks the best game about peace. Thus, it gets awarded to the great tyrant-enabler Jimmy Carter, but not to the great tyrant-killer George Bush. The Bush democracy blitz through the middle east might even eclipse 1989, enshrining Bush in the pantheon of the great presidents. Much wailing and gnashing of teeth on the left no doubt, but then again that is always a sign that good, sane things are happening.

3:02 AM | | |

Thursday, February 24, 2005

New Hot Word Spreading Like A Virulent Meme.

The word 'risible' seems to be replacing 'kerfuffle' as the hot new blog word. Never liked the word 'kerfuffle' - it sounds like some kind of pastry. 'Risible', on the other hand, has the air of a legal term that only cool intellects would use, but it means 'to provoke laughter'.

8:44 AM | | |

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Washington versus Lincoln.

Was just thinking, since we had president's day and all, which of these two presidents had a more difficult career? Or, which guy had to put up with more crap? Washington lost nearly every battle he fought, and had to watch his troops tramp around in the snow with bloodied bare feet. Lincoln aged about ninety years while in office, and had to make the most difficult decisions of any american president. All while in the middle of what was perhaps the worst marriage ever. It is just amazing we still have a United States of America.

5:08 AM | | |

You Haven't Lived Until You've . . .

From Dizzy Girl - Bold the things you haven't done. I've Never Kissed A Member Of The Same Sex I've Never Kissed A Member Of The Opposite Sex I've Never Crashed A Friend's Car I've Never Been To Japan I've Never Been In A Taxi I've Never Been In Love I've Never Had Sex In a Public Place I've Never Been Dumped I've Never Done Cocaine I've Never Shoplifted I've Never Been Fired I've Never Been In A Fist Fight I've Never Had Group Intercourse I've Never Snuck Out Of My Parent's House I've Never Been Tied Up I've Never Regretted Having Sex With Someone I've Never Been Arrested I've Never Made Out With A Stranger I've Never Stolen Something From My Job I've Never Celebrated New Years In Time Square I've Never Gone On A Blind Date I've Never Lied To A Friend I've Never Had A Crush On A Teacher or Professor I've Never Celebrated Mardi Gras In New Orleans I've Never Been To Europe I've Never Skipped School I've Never Slept With A Co-Worker I've Never Cut Myself On Purpose I've Never Had Sex At The Office I've Never Been Married I've Never Been Divorced I've Never Had Sex With More Than One Person Within The Same Week I've Never Posed Nude (tricky question) I've Never Gotten Someone Drunk Just To Have Sex With Them I've Never Killed Anyone I've Never Received Scars From My Sex Partner I've Never Thrown Up In A Bar I've Never Taken a Hallucinogenic Drug I've Never Purposely Set A Part Of Myself On Fire I've Never Eaten Sushi I've Never Been Snowboarding Heh, this obviously makes me more of a libertine than a conservative.

2:51 AM | | |

Friday, February 18, 2005

The Harm From Gannon.

I get why the left thinks that the Jeff Gannon 'kerfuffle' is a big deal, but it is not really. So, the president's staff plants a guy in a news conference to ask the president a softball question. Dumb, 'cause if you get caught you look kinda stupid. That is about the extent of it. The great lesson we have learned is: sometimes the Bush administration does dumb things. Not exactly earth shattering, it seems to me.

9:01 PM | | |

Sunday, February 13, 2005

North Korean talks to start again?

The AP tells us that China might get the talks rolling again:
China has pledged to try and revive talks aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear programs, after the isolated, Stalinist state's declaration that it had atomic weapons and was boycotting disarmament negotiations. The United States and other countries involved in the six-party talks have called on China to use its influence over North Korea. Beijing is Pyongyang's last major ally and a key supplier of food and energy to the impoverished dictatorship.
We should defer to the chinese in this matter I think - only they have any true leverage over North Korea, and have a lot to lose if conflict breaks out. Whatever the chinese think will keep the region stable should be considered. I wonder whether tightening the geographic noose around North Korean might not prompt Kim Jong-Il to toe the line. Or, if completely opening the borders and draining the population, as happened in eastern europe before the Berlin Wall fell, might not also do the trick.

5:34 AM | | |

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Life Imitates Art.

Something I found at Jane's -
Self-powered exoskeleton assists human locomotion. Potential functions include allowing dismounted soldiers to carry much heavier loads - such as weapons, other equipment and wounded troops - than is possible with muscle power alone. The Berkeley Lower Extremity Exoskeleton (BLEEX) consists of mechanical metal leg braces that are connected rigidly to the user at the feet and more loosely elsewhere. BLEEX is designed so that the wearer becomes an integral part of the exoskeleton and requires no special training to use it. More than 40 sensors and hydraulic actuators form a local-area network for the exoskeleton that functions much like a human nervous system. The sensors, including some that are embedded within the shoe pads, constantly provide the BLEEX central computer with brain information so that it can adjust the load based upon what the human is doing.
Like right out of Aliens! How cool is that.

9:37 PM | | |

Friday, February 11, 2005

'Peaceful Purposes'.

Speaking of nuclear proliferation, Tehran stated that its nuclear programs are all aimed at 'peaceful purposes'. David Ben-Gurion used the exact same phrase, 'peaceful purposes', to describe the aim of Israel's nuclear facilities in the Negev Desert when its existence was discovered. General Zia of Pakistan used the phrase to describe their nuclear program. North Korea of course said the same thing, until yesterday. One might get the feeling that the phrase "for peaceful purposes" is code for "my lips are moving, I must be lying."

7:54 AM | | |

North Korea Has The Nuke: Now What?

North Korea states they have nuclear weapons. No surprise, this has been suspected for a long time. This does not settle questions, but rather raises them:
Is it possible to take out North Korea's nuclear capability without creating a holocaust? Have they matched their weapon to a delivery system that works? How accurate is it? Is it possible they do not actually have nuclear weapons? Will they shun the six-party talks forever now?
I have a weird fascination with North Korea, a country that out-Stalinized Stalin. I don't know all that much about it, but I do know that bluster is one of their favorite diplomatic techniques. Thus, this announcement may mean nothing at all. Or it may be portentous. Who knows?

3:28 AM | | |