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17 November 2006


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Charles Cameron

My (Welsh-identified though technically American) wife told me the other day she saw a (Korean era?) vet alone in the local diner the other day and picked up his tab, seven bucks or some such, and he cried because it was so unexpected. She did it to honor my own father, who was gunnery officer on HMS Sheffield against the heavy cruiser Hipper in the Battle of the Barents Sea up towards Murmansk.

My apologies for the incident in San Francisco.

different clue

Bush's plan, whatever the reason or psychological motivation, is to keep us fighting in Iraq right through election day 2008.
He and the Republican Party
together will say, "We stayed the course unto this
very day. Are the Democrats
man enough to keep staying
the course? Or are they a
bunch of quitters?" That
will be the Bush/Republican
theme for election 2008. And being just as stuck in
Iraq in 2008 as now will be
very helpful to the kind of
campaign the Republicans plan to run. The plan is to
force upon the Democrats the
Hobson's choice of either going down in history as the
cowards who lost Iraq, or
staying the course long enough that the Iraq war becomes "one more Democrat
war" for the Republicans to
run against in 2012.

How can the Democrats avoid stepping into that
neatly layed trap? They are
just going to grab the bull
by the horns of the dilemna,
and run a totally Cut And Run candidate on a Cut And
Run platform, with a Cut and
Run Vice Presidential candidate as well. And the
slogan will have to be: Cut
and Run and Take the Consequences. Put that starkly, the American Voters
will be given a chance to
choose between Cut and Run
or Stay the Course. That makes the stark choice into
the Voters' stark choice.
If the Voters agree to support Cut and Run, then the Voters will have agreed
to own the consequences.

When caucus-time comes in
my state, I plan to vote for
the cuttest and runningest
candidate in the contest.


For us, listening to our president may be somewhat akin to what ancient Greeks may have felt when they journeyed to the Delphic Oracle and tried to decipher the Pythia's words.

Some recent research ties the spacy behavior of the Pythia to inhalation of ethylene. Which causes one to wonder: any of that in Texas?

Oh, and I never got spat upon, but I was cussed out and called a baby killer a few times.

different clue

As I re-read and think about cynic librarian's comment, it occurs to me that if we do a national cultural self-analysis, we
should give ourselves more
than two models to consider
as guidepaths to a way forward. I would like to see us at least consider the
model perfected here over
untold thousands of years
by the Indian Nations, whose
approach to land management,
among other things, made this continent the garden spot which our First Settler
ancestors (or predecessors),
found here. That model was
time-tested, and could have
something to offer us. Perhaps more and better than
Athens or Sparta.

anna missed

Right after I got back from VN, while still in unifom, I walked by the Avalon Ballroom early on a warm San Franciscan night, and a group of hipsters sitting on the front steps gave me the evil eye. I stopped, and then they stopped, and in that second before things got really ugly I reached into my jacket pocket real slow. And then I whipped out my mime camera and took their picture -- it reduced them all to laughing hyenas. Then I walked on down the street without saying a word.


Could someone tell me how long a foreign country is going to be permitted to control the United States Government?


For those of you who do not know who Chris Bowers is, Chris Bowers predicted the result of the last election and helped mightily to produce it. Karl Rove didn't and couldn't.

W. Patrick Lang

Semper Fubar

It was a horrendous war, but then, all wars are horrendous. In this case there must be some reason why millions of Vietnamese chose to leave the country when the the NLF/VC took over.

No, dear lady, we (my boys and I) would not have thought you a traitor. We would have thought it was cute, a 15 year old girl circulating petitions would not have struck us as treason, the opposite actually, even if we might have disagreed with you about the issue. Besides, leaving aside the age issue, none of them had seem an American woman for so long that the last thing they would have wanted was to be ugly to one. On the other hand, those who marched in the streets of America carrying the enemy's flags and chanting that they wanted the NLF to win were another matter. My men, and I, did not consider them to be pacifists at all. pl


I recall being ordered not to wear uniform to work on "demonstration days" to avoid "inflaming and provoking" the protesters.

Having Harman on the Intelligence committee merely hands America's intelligence product to Israel.

When working on a defence project that involved an Israeli component, I watched an Israeli Engineer innocently ask for the schematics of the IFF we used (same as US). Fortunately the project manager overheard the request and queried as to why this device had any relationship at all with the systems they were providing. He retreated blabbering gibberish and didn't try again (He disappeared back to Israel shortly after). I was subsequently told that such activities were a regular occurence and that the State Department hated the Israelis guts for this, but could do little about it for political reasons.

During Gulf War One, when the Israelis threatened to attack Iraq themselves, I wondered what would have happened if our engineer had handed over those blueprints.

I say this as a prelude to my point.

Israel and AIPAC will not allow us to leave Iraq. If we leave, the U.S. economy will go south very quickly. Do not expect the Democrats push too hard for leaving either.

Antiquated Tory

Don't look at me, I'm an American working for a Czech company that sells IT to DARPA. We have a fellow from Hanoi in the company whose family came to the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic to pay with their labor for the weapons the Czechs were selling N Vietnam to fight us. He's gone back now and set up a satellite office in Ho Chih Minh City (which everyone including him calls Saigon) where they work on the simpler coding projects. He and the other Vietnamese I've known here, all from the North, tell me that the government there is a joke now; all the young people want to go into business and the Communist Party is having trouble keeping its memebership up. It's certainly not a liberal government but a kind of senilocracy, you dress it in its old war uniforms and humor it now and again but basically ignore it.

Antiquated Tory

Then again Walrus, you sound like an AIPAC poster child for how "the Left" blames everything on "the Zionist conspiracy."
The Israelis are ruthless bastards who have their backs against the wall, or think they do, which just confirms them in their ruthlessness. So they try to grab our military secrets and do other hardcore stuff, as would any other country in their situation who could get away with it. I doubt very much they could 'crash the US economy,' especially since even after all their liberalization (which has created great class differences among Israeli Jews where none had hitherto existed) they are pretty much dependent on the US to put the dime in. Right now they benefit from an odd situation in US politics where a small number of very wealthy right-wing Jews cashes in on the blind pro-Israel sentiment of my parents' generation and the improbable backing of right-wing Christians to get US support for some pretty damn irresponsible Israeli policies. This is not a stable situation, it will not last, they do not control the world (or even the US Jewish community) and they will not come all hook nosed and suit-wearing after your lovely batik'ed granola-eating blonde daughters.



Like you, I hope the AIPAC ascendency will not last. I'm not worried about nice Jewish boys chasing any daughters, I have jewish roots.

Antiquated Tory

The AIPAC ascendency, to the extent that it really exists, is built on a pretty flimsy base. The Israelis have a much broader range of debate on Palestinian issues than there is in the States; the hard hawks ascendency there is based mostly over despair that there is any reasonable way out of the mess. Some days I'm afraid this is true, but I don't think that there's an unreasonable way out, either. The US and Israel just don't have the power and certainly not the will to perform the Biblical level of butchery required. If AIPAC has so much power in the US, maybe they can get the Americans to set up Long Island as a Jewish state to take in the refugees when the dam finally breaks...Oops, nope, AIPAC would lose the US fundie backing right there.
The current Zionist hawk coalition are some very strange bedfellows indeed, and strange bedfellows tend to end up in messy divorces.

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