Monday, February 28, 2005
Sorry I've been so quiet lately. I did write one post but it got eaten up by the Internets before it got posted and I didn't have the energy to recreate it. In the meantime, I just haven't had much to say. I know it doesn't do much for my popularity to write so infrequently, but y'all are going to have to deal. I'm no Atrios.
What I'd really like to do someday is join the Corrente team and eventually discontinue this blog entirely. Perhaps I'll try commenting there a bit more and somehow work my way into the rotation.
Speaking of Corrente, they have an excellent post on Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel which I just happen to be reading now (and it's about time). I recommend you go and read their post and then go out and buy and read the book. At least, read it if you are interested in the intersection between geography and history. It's a Pulitzer Prize winner, and is well deserved in my opinion.
Thursday, February 17, 2005
* Social Security
Just because I haven't been posting on social security doesn't mean that I haven't been following it. I'm not as opposed to private accounts as some are -- if we had an extra $10 trillion sitting around and didn't have to borrow anything to make it work, it would be an ok (although low priority) thing for the government to do. Borrowing to make it work is ridiculous, however.
Anyway, the best thing about the whole story is that it's looking more and more like an albatross for Bush. Today the Senate Democratic Communications Center created this Social Security calculator to show what kind of benefits you might lose under Bush's plan. It's a nice piece of work.
If you do check it out, you'll notice that unless your salary is really low, the only variable that makes any difference is age. As a 35-year old, I'm down 22%. In theory.
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
* Military: Robots Coming Soon?
This NYTimes article on the use of robots in the military is worth a read if you are interested in this type of stuff.
Tuesday, February 08, 2005
** Iraq: Welcome to the Theocracy
If you are not paying attention to the interim Iraqi election results, you should be. The good news from my perspective is that Allawi's ticket seems to be failing. According to this NYTimes article, his ticket is running at about 13% of the vote so far. The main Kurdish party is at 25%, and Sistani's Shia ticket has about 50% of the vote.
These numbers are fluid. But, regardless, it appears that Iraq is heading towards religiously dominated government, despite Cheney's assertions otherwise. I highly recommend this Juan Cole post on the subject.
Bottom line: I'm not sure how the Bushies are going to spin this when it's over, but to me it looks like the election results are not favorable to American interests. And I haven't even mentioned the complete lack of Sunni participation in the process. Last, but not least, with the Kurdish parties doing so well, watch out for increasing signs of Turkish displeasure at the situation.
Monday, February 07, 2005
OK, this is a funny story about a husband and wife who met each other on the internet and fell in love ... but they were already married ... to each other. So I guess they were actually cheating on each other with each other. Oops.
Thursday, February 03, 2005
* Politics: State of the Union Wrap Up
- Mediocre delivery: worst ever?
- Seriously, did anyone even watch this thing?
Tuesday, February 01, 2005
** Iraq: Election Wrap-up
- No bloodbath, so the election beats expections. Big win for Bush.
- Left puzzled how to react to this. Can't feel happy because Bush is happy. But can't state this outright because you can't be hoping for a bloodbath.
- Still, Democrats have a window of opportunity to make the case that the election is over, when is Johnny coming home?
- Let's hope for the Iraqis' sake that Allawi didn't get many votes.
- On the other hand, for Iraqi womens' sake, let's hope that Sistani didn't get many votes, or otherwise it's back to the Middle Ages.
- Go Kurdistan?