Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I love this meme. Right out of the GOP talking points, or Karl Rove's playbook, but maybe with the DLC's help. Yeah, like GW Bush had a lot of experience coming in. And the wrong experience at that. And Hillary's experience? 6 years in the Senate compared to Obama's 2 and beyond that...what? I don't mean to belabor the point, but wisdom always trumps experience, especially in 2008. I will repeat this meme ad infinitum. Wisdom trumps experience, wisdom trumps experience...repeat after me.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

I'm staring occasionally beyond the dual screen, Dell Optiplex GX 620 here in the office, out the window at Hwy 280, my pipeline back home to Santa Clara from up here in SF, where I spend my weekdays 8-5. 280's the reason I endure the commute from there to here. The rain broke this afternoon and I'm counting the minutes now.

Sometimes, on slow days like today, I'll restlessly paw through sites of old band pals, feeling woefully detached. Today I poked through some of JV's more recent tour photos, and wonder how he keeps doing it. I feel so far away from all of that now. I can't say I'm feeling sorry for the direction I've taken, but every once in a while I get sentimental for the old days. I threw on an old pair of Adidas I haven't worn since one of our last European tours for some reason. They're a little tight.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Okay, this is the kind of shit I'm talking about when I worry about the "4th branch." On the day of a school shooting (within hours), the local newspaper decides to post a little digitally enhanced image in the form of a target on a school bus. Have some fucking respect! I tried to upload the image itself from the article to blogger, as I'm sure it will get yanked at some point. but I couldn't.
I should add to my remarks yesterday about Saddam's execution. It's not that I have a problem with his execution. But the way in which it went down clearly shows that it's mob rule over there, and it sure seems like Al-Sadr's the one pulling the strings. Al-Maliki looks like a figurehead.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

About two weeks after K's uncle gave me his copy of The Arms of Krupp, by William Manchester last summer, coincidentally I came across this entry in David Byrne's Journal. I filed it away, to be re-read after finishing the Manchester book. Call it an inquisitive re-inquiry into what a sequel to Manchester's book might look like, a sort of "where are they now" tale.

In my re-read, David postulated the following question, which I think I can now answer based on my reading of Manchester:

"Berlin and Dresden were reduced to smoking hulks while so many of these factories and steelworks, so essential to the German war effort, survived. Did the Allies think they would do a Halliburton and take them over for themselves, and therefore they spared them the bombing? Or maybe they realized that without industry a defeated Germany would have no possibility of reconstruction — they would be shattered refugees — desperate, pathetic, ready for anything that would restore some dignity."

But since David doesn't blog and doesn't provide a place for comments, I'll provide my reading of Manchester in the form of an answer here: It was because of the Cold War. We had an eye on Stalin by that point, and probably long before. Later, after the war, the Allies tried to "do a Halliburton," but due to the fact that the Krupp Works were basically a family dynasty for upwards of eighty years by that point, the record keeping, financing and the like were a convoluted mess.

It was for this reason, according to Manchester, and also in part due to the Marshall plan (reconstruction, as David Byrne postulates) and the onset of the Korean conflict, that Alfried Krupp was released from prison in 1951, a repudiation of an already lenient sentence at Nuremburg. Krupp himself was responsible for many of the atrocities performed at the concentration camps, among them ordering the "disappearance" of children (many of whom were infants) born in the labor camps near the end of the war. Others, like General Alfred Jodl, were executed for lesser crimes. Krupp's trial was also bungled, but that's a whole other topic.

It could be argued that, if we were thinking of Russia alone, we should have bombed out the works Dresden style, for fear of Essen falling under complete control of the Red Army. But I think by then it was clear that the US or Great Britain were closer at hand.
KEEP MILLEN! We Packer Fans love him in Detroit. I'm guessing the real onus is on William Clay Ford. Not such a good track record, with what's happening at Ford and with the poor, poor Lions.
I am going to take a brief moment in the new year to reinforce what I said earlier about the dangers of YouTube and related mediums, if taken too far. This article, which related to an open investigation as to whom was responsible for filming and posting Saddam's execution, is a further spark, at least in my mind. The chants of "Muqtada, Muqtada, Muqtada" you hear in the background might as well be retranslated to say "burn the witch!" And it makes me wonder if, in the official "4th branch" of government (media), there is no check or balance, what the future holds.

The holidays were fantastically chaotic. All of my family have safely returned home or, in the case of my sis and family, have safely arrived at their next stop. Now it's on to the resolutions, among them how to better handle embarrassing situations involving disrespectful behavior from an increasingly erratic friend. I'll save that subject for a later time, after I figure out a way to handle the situation personally. It is not clear to me how this is to be done.

On another (more) uplifting topic, I'm almost finished with Obama's "Audacity of Hope." My first thoughts to those who would cite executive inexperience as a disqualifier for the presidency: After six plus years of experienced neocons running the show, wisdom trumps experience in '08!