Sunday, August 26, 2007

mixed results


On Friday, "Brig. Gen. Richard Sherlock, deputy director for operational planning for the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs of Staff, said violence in Iraq 'has continued to decline and is at the lowest level since June 2006.'"

This morning, the Associated Press says its count of Iraqi civilian deaths in 2007 is running nearly double the number in 2006.

This is, perhaps, what they mean when they say the results of the surge of US military forces into Iraq are mixed.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

things are (still) not as they seem


I posted here on alleged photo retouching of the lovely — but not lovely enough — Faith Hill.

Now, courtesy of Moby, more insight into what it takes to be picture perfect (click on the portfolio, select a beautiful person and move your cursor on and off the photo to see the cleanup.

I had a zit on my nose the day I took my senior portrait in high school. I was glad they painted it out. Maybe that's the same thing.

I have a propensity to talk and write as if things were better than they are . . . maybe that's the same thing too.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

are Republican voters as stupid as Tom Cole thinks?


Are Republican voters as stupid as Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole thinks?

I don't beleive so. I hope not.

It could have been any of a number of elected officials but it happened to be Congressman Cole I heard last weekend saying, "We are the party of small government, low taxes and a strong defense."

Really? He believes his constituents will buy that? He is relatively new to the Congress but I see he attended . . . well, look for yourself:
A former college instructor in history and politics, Cole holds a B.A. from Grinnell College, an M.A. from Yale University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma. Cole has been a Thomas Watson Fellow and a Fulbright Fellow at the University of London. He currently serves on the national Board of the Fulbright Association. He also serves on the board of the Aspen Institute.

So if he's not the dumb one, who does he think is?

I doubt Congressman Cole or anyone else would consciously settle for an ineffective government solely on the basis of it's runty size.

I doubt anyone would seriously contend that taxes too low to contribute to the common good were better than higher but measureably more beneficial taxes — any more than they would insist on only the cheapest footware and brag that they are "the family of worthless shoes."

Insisting "We are the party of strong defense" is a triumphalist jingo devoid of meaningful metrics. Everyone knows that . . . now.

I should think Congressman Cole would wish to be in the party of wildly efficient government, intelligently scaled taxation and universally effective foreign policy. I would be willing to wager a small amount that behind closed doors he would say that, or something like it, is precisely what he wants.

But not in public. Because he apparently thinks Republican voters are stupid . . . bless their hearts.

— RANTS + REFLECTIONS ON THE COMMON GOOD —

[mostly]