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December 29, 2003
Stuff that matters

I disagree about the hazelnuts, because I really like hazelnuts, but I'm in totally agreement about the Brazil nuts. There are never enough of them. For what it's worth, I buy mixed nuts, pick out the ones I like (no, not with my fingers) and then bring the rest of them into the office. It's a well-known fact that people in an office will eat anything someone brings in and leaves on the kitchen counter. (There's some good food for thought in The tyranny of politically correct attitudes, so read that while you're at the site.)

There was a plumbing problem in our apartment building last week. Nothing major, they shut down the water for an hour or so and fixed it and flushed the pipes. But somehow, ever since the moment when I turned on the faucet and got no water...followed a few seconds later by a gush of smelly, brown yuk, I've been flashing back to this post from Riverbend.

In case you were wondering, this is what Canadian scientists have been up to during the past year. Recreating the Big Bang is an interesting goal but naturally what caught my eye was the gorgeous picture there on the right.

In some spots, it's a sad tale of who we are but it's all absolutely the "real" America, the one the politicians don't seem to see.

Speaking of cognitive dissonance, and Safire is, why don't some of you indefatigable letter-writers drop him a note and ask him how he can pontificate on how dreadful it is that us Great Librul Conspiraters are more concerned about the secret meetings of a group with the power to directly influence and direct energy policy in this country than we are about the routine, time-limited "closing" of a governor's records while he, Safire, ignores the very unusual step Bush took jumping back a decade or so to seal Daddy's presidential records which is a lot closer of a parallel to Dean's actions than the Cheney thing.

Okay, that got a little confusing. Basically, the step Bush took to seal Daddy's presidential papers up is a closer parallel to Dean sealing his gubernatorial records than the Cheney energy committee thing, except that it's unusual for a president to go back that far in sealing presidential records while it's quite routine for a governor (who is staying in politics) to seal his own records for a time and it's worth asking why Bush decided to take that step and don't give me that "national security" guff again.

Anyhow. Safire seems to have missed this parallel, probably because he was trying to avoid the aforementioned cognitive dissonance.

Not that I care. I mention the whole matter just so I can type, "aforementioned," a word I'm unaccountably fond of.

Maybe I'm blogging wrong and maybe I should revise my methods but since I scan over 100 news sites and blogs a day, I might need a slightly more intensive intervention program than just the gentle advice Dave Pollard is offering. (Thanks to Pacific Views for the link and to Avedon Carol for the link to Pacific Views.)

And if you want a quick review of what happened over the last year, you know, the important stuff, you'll be glad to know Dave Barry's annual review is out.


. . . which begins with traditional New Year's Day celebrations all over the world, except at the Central Intelligence Agency, which, acting on what it believes to be accurate information, observes Thanksgiving.

[. . . . ]

And things only get worse in . . .


. . . when North Korean troops invade Oregon, prompting a grim-faced President Bush to declare that "time is running out for the Iraqi regime." But the United States continues to have trouble getting other nations to join the coalition, and is forced to bribe Turkey by giving the Turkish government an "economic aid package" consisting of $37 billion in cash, plus unlimited nighttime and weekend minutes, plus what is described as a "hard-to-get video" of Britney Spears. With Turkey onboard, the coalition now consists of seven nations, assuming you count Guam, Puerto Rico and Staten Island as nations.

More seriously, Lawrence Korb at talks about the damage an ill-defined war with no end in sight does to the all-volunteer military force. I'm no expert, but I think he raised some interesting points. (Mostly though, I got mad when reminded of the infamous Rumsfeld memo blaming the military for their failure to "change" fast enough to be used to fight a "war on terrorism." I always get mad when I read that bit. How lousy is it to blame the fighting forces because their leaders didn't "train" them to fight the kind of war we've never had to fight and that cannot, in fact, be fought along conventional lines with conventional troops? I'm no warmonger, but I have a tremendous amount of respect for the all-volunteer military and every time I think of Rumsfeld dissing their results because of failures of foresight on his level, I get aggravated.)

What are ya gonna do in Iraq? Do it Right or Quick?

Anyhow. I have to go back to rewriting the User Guide for the new software, so you're on your own for a while.

Posted by AnneZook at 12:09 PM


Thanks for pointing this out: I linked, attributed and blogrolled.

Posted by: Moe Lane at December 30, 2003 06:53 AM

I dunno about office goodies - yesterday the HR person put out a Godiva gift basket that someone had sent our company, and I actually got two truffles out of it because nobody else wanted 'em! Also, much empathy on that water situation (see my blog from last Friday)...

Posted by: Elayne Riggs at December 30, 2003 07:08 AM

Heh. I think that's a sign of the time of year, Elayne. Truffles aren't normally something that lay around unloved and uneaten. ;)

Posted by: Anne at December 30, 2003 04:11 PM

The way my father used to say it was:

"You can have it right. You can have it cheap. You can have it fast. Pick two."

Posted by: Jonathan Dresner at January 2, 2004 01:38 AM

Heh. I used to hear that from a marketing guy I knew. He used to say we could get what we wanted fast, cheap, or good. You can have any two, but not all three.

As for Iraq - well, we're already spending billions, so I think it's pretty clear we didn't opt for "cheap" but I'm a little aggravated that we seem to be going for only one out of the two remaining.

Posted by: Anne at January 2, 2004 09:25 AM