Thursday, May 12, 2005

So how would you rate the second four years of the Bush administration so far?

Me? Hmm...honestly, Mike, since the beginning of his second term, I keep looking for the genie to come out of the bottle. I keep waiting for the beginning of the end of the war in Iraq, the insurgency to be squelched, Bush's social security plan to start getting kudos and rave reviews from at least the majority in Congress...for SOMETHING that he promised and that our country elected him to do.

I must admit, at first the war in Iraq was finally starting to look like it was coming to some kind of slow, but glorious end with the elections in Iraq. I was actually beginning to taste my foot in my mouth about the whole thing. I was hoping it was coming to be--for you, for me, for all the people in Iraq, and for our brave soldiers there. But now, again, things seem to be spinning out of control. People are turning off the news, tired of it all, and wounded too.

And what's with this recruiting scandal? Why aren't our kids just lining up to go and serve this great country in this war? How come the recruiters have to threaten them if they don't? Give this much longer and we'll have a draft.

What's happening with social security? I think we've all lost track on that one.

You know, if Bush was really smart, he'd jump on the only train that's moving right now, and start lauding and funding alternative energy sources and begin making the move to free us from the oil strangle hold the Middle East has on us, and will have for decades to come if we don't change. Now is the time for someone, you'd think it would be our president, to do that. End this tyranny! Free us from the oil barons in Saudi Arabia and the terrorism of the Middle East. But no, there's Bush, sweetly holding hands and playing kissy-kissy with the Saudi Prince...his old oil buddy. The Sauds and the Bushes go way back....sigh. Some things never change. Although I must say, Bush looked so oddly in tune with the gay community for the first time in his life on that little walk!

Well, at least Laura has a new talent emerging--comedienne! (Speaking of which, we are going to see Seinfeld at the Stanley theatre in Utica tomorrow night, for a small fortune, of course!)

Anyway, come, rebutt my trash, slay me, gallant knight of the Republican round table!


Mike Netherland said...

It is to your eternal credit that you are at least familiar with the taste of your own foot. But what we all must keep in mind is that even in our advanced information age certain things certain human endeavors will take time. One of the greatest of these endeavors is to learn the ways of peaceful democracy. What the Iraqis and others have that we didn't is a proven example and a great power willing to help foster the necessary institutions basic to a functional democratic republic. As a teacher and a student of education you more than anyone should understand what it takes to instill concepts that lead to certain behaviors.

This task is magnified by each generation that has not known these concepts and has been taught only hate and fear
The future of Iraqi and democracy in the Middle East is not scripted and will be attained only through great sacrifice and perserverance.

My son and I watched on the History Channel a chronicle of the War of 1812 (for +the +second +time). He was impressed at the human toll and how the merchants of Baltimore sacrified their ships their livlihood to block entrance to the harbour should Fort McHenry fall.

And somehow I sensed that he understood that the reason why he is able to see this is because of their sacrifice.

Well, Bush, like all politicians promise to do a lot of things. Some things he can't do all by himself. I wonder sometimes why that there are some things he just cannot do.

But there is one thing that he can do and has done since the Muslim world declared war on America and attacked brutally, indescriminately and without warning. He has sworn to protect the U.S. and the Constitution against all enemies.
He has provided the leadership necessary to fulfill this oath. May God continue to give him strength for the sake of future generations of Americans.

Mike Netherland said...

The recruiting scandal? You mean the scandal the Columbia University is perpetrating in barring ROTC programs within its ivy-covered walls?

I am not familiar with any other armed-forces recruiting scandal.

Mike Netherland said...

OK, Just as I have lost track of "the recruiting scandal" I guess I'll give you Social Security.

The president held a very important press conference two weeks ago (covered in its entirety live on Fox News and C-SPAN). Very interesting concepts and new policy items were given national coverage. The goal remains the same as it was laid out in the State of the Union. Solvency of the pension system as it was envisioned, in perpetuity without overburdensome taxation and with benefits that are not insignificant.

I believe there are Social Security reform bills in both chambers moving ahead in committee. At least one is scheduled for a floor vote.

Mike Netherland said...

Ah, alternative souces of energy. The market (not the GOVERNMENT) has and will continue to provide the demand signals for alternative sources of energy.

The funny thing is, this will happen exactly at the same time you decide to stop buying gasoline. You will think that this is an individual decision. You, for your reasons and purposes, made the rational decision to save money by riding a bicycle to the market everyday.

But because you are rational, there are millions of other rational people (yes, me included) who are making the same or similar decisions. This will not be lost on the suppliers of energy sources. Somehow, without any government involvement, all of these rational human beings will communicate with one another in the language of the marketplace; prices. The most efficient form of communication,in any language is price.

Barb said...

1) I will give you the time element. Large land animals, huge volumes of sea water, and intricate and twisted wars all take time to sort themselves out. The war in Iraq is like the wake of the tsunami...huge volumes of sea water twisted and mangled the land, the land animals, and the people, and it will take decades to straighten all that out.

2) I will give you that price determines market...or some such thing.. ECON 101. However, no one is going to go backwards. No one wants to ride a bicycle or a horse. What I am envisioning is a presidency that declares that we will find alternative fuels to power our cars with by the end of the decade, just like Kennedy did back in the 60's, when he said man would walk on the moon. It takes a national effort and MONEY for experimentation and development, which like NASA, COULD come from the govt, if we want it bad enough. But Bush, the old oil man that he is, doesn't.

3) Today's news revealed that they've found that most of the insurgents in Iraq that have been killed or captured so far (a full 49%, which is the largest majority) are Saudis. Saudis, Mike. Oil. Saudis. Oil. Bush.

4) Saddam who? Oh yeah, I forgot, that guy who was responsible for 9/11.

5) The Muslim world did not declare war on us Mike. I think you'd better suck that one back just like Newsweek did when they published the Koran in the toilet story. It didn't happen that way, now did it?

Mike Netherland said...

1. The invasion of Iraq did not create the "...twisted and mangled..." mess that needs straightening out. To believe otherwise is to ignore the history of the Gulf War. Like starting a book in the middle, you are left to assume or invent the past based on your current knowledge. "...and the bridge collapsed, unable to support the weight of the traffic of cars an trucks, plunging all into the icy waters of the Potomac."

This is the snapshot of a tragedy. Obviously the arrogant motorists had invaded the poor 14th Street bridge with little regard for anyone or anything other than themselves. Of course, only an idiot would blame the bridge for its own collapse.

So you see, without knowing that an airliner taking off from then-National airport crashed into the bridge due to wind-shear or icy wings or both, you have to invent the cause of the tragedy.

But of course we know the whole story in Iraq (whether you choose to acknowledge that history is another matter). The invasion of that country did little damage. If we had arrived by minivan and RV, we would have discovered the same "twisted and mangled" mess that was the result of decades of malign neglect at the hands of a bloodthirsty dictator. An abusive neglect, we are now learning, that was abetted by the same United Nations that looked the other way while cronies pocketed millions in bribes from Saddam while he gave his people substandard and spoiled food and medicine.

If we had dropped nuclear bombs on Iraq, we would have caused less damage than Saddam Hussein.

Mike Netherland said...

2. Barb....Earth calling Barb...Economics theory aside, Google this name Burt Rutan or SpaceShip One. Then get back to me on how it takes a national government effort and money to do anything. It's funny, though, how you are willing place your faith national government except when it comes to doing what is Constitutionally required of our government.

And Barb, I will bet ANYTHING, that if you offered people the slightest chance of riding a bike to work instead of driving a car, 99.9 percent of them would literally jump at it. I would take a cut in pay to be able to bike to work. I know that even in small Italian enclaves of upstate New York, people would dump the car-commute faster than you can say "Oil-for-Food."