Sunday, March 19, 2006

Coming Monday...

My take on the madness over Iran.
Mister Bush's new National Security Strategy echoes Secretary of State and former National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice's recent admonition that America "may face no greater challenge from a single country" than one that has an economy the size of Holland's, no nuclear weapons at present, no navy or air force to speak of, a ground force that couldn't beat Saddam Hussein's army, and is halfway around the world from the American continent.


  1. Anonymous7:53 AM

    Ah, but it does have a mad, mad leader and nothing grinds Bully Bush's jaw more than the thought of going after a fellow megalomaniac. Conservatives do love things that go boom in the night.

    And if r. scott kissme wants to talk "assinine," we can start with the photo that accompanies his comments ...


  2. LOL. I suspect there's a method to Iran's Predident Syllables' madness. Seems to me he's learned a thing or two from Kim of North Korea.

  3. N. Korea's gotten out of the habit, but I suspect they'll soon go back to pushing BushCo.'s buttons: "Missile test? what missile test? look, (singsong taunting voice) we stepped over the line...! (giggles)"

  4. Yeah. I address that in Part II of Iran and Irrational Security Policy. Part I should be up in an hour or so.

  5. I've read several comments, including some from Juan Cole, who is one of the 2 or 3 wrold experts available to US citizens, that state the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, doesn't have a great deal of political power. The real power in Iran is held by a council of senior clerics. It appears that President Ahmadinejad may not be the 21st century Adolph Hitler the neocons and their Likud apparatchiki wants us to believe he is.

  6. That's how I understand it too, Lurch. I've read op-eds in both the WaPo and WASHTIMES that say our diplomacy on Iran is totally counterproductive.

  7. Lurch:

    That's what I understand to be true as well. Of course, it is more convenient for the administration to oversimplify the situation. If you can point to one guy and say "He's the evil guy who is the root of our problems," then it is easier to sell to the public. The fact that the guy is a nut doesn't hurt either. I don't foresee the Bush administration actually coming clean with people and talking about the complexities of the regime in Iran or our relations with that country (such as they are).

    Just this morning I heard on the radio that Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld are going on a bit of a media tour with their Iraq mantra. Bush is basically saying "We have a strategy for victory in Iraq." Oh yeah? Well, then, what is it? Of course, he's not saying. And he's not defining victory either. He might as well be saying "Trust me, American people, and don't worry your pretty little heads."

    And the Admin wonders why they've lost so much support for the war in Iraq. It's bad enough that things aren't going well, but their attitude toward it makes it even worse. When people hear Bush and Co. talking about they war, they know they aren't getting the whole story. They're getting hand-wavnig and pie-in-the-sky talk about 'staying the course' and 'we have a strategy for victory.' People aren't stupid (though the admin wishes they were, no doubt). They know this is a load of crap when they hear it, and consequently Bush and Co. aren't going to see a dime's worth of improvement in public sentiment as a result of this speaking tour.

  8. Kerstin:

    I apologize for having reduced you to criticizing photographs. It does occur to me, however, that one aspect of the photograph in question is the clear Asian ancestry of the person depicted (Pei Mei has you on his list, I'm sure).

    Therefore, I can only conclude that you are, in fact, a racist. I recommend immediate enrollment in diversity and racial sensitivity training courses, followed by a rearrangement of your entire home to maximize positive energy flows.

  9. Scott: I'm staying out of this thing between you and Kerstin.

    But I have to admit I'm fascinated by the idea of kung feng shui......

    (Wouldn't a projection of chi dissolve the harmonic aspects of placement? For that matter, how does a broken mirror affect feng shui......)

    Just some aberrant thoughts on a Monday when I should be cleaning the swimming pool.

  10. Lurch:

    Much of the ancient ideas of China and Japan on energy and balance are interesting. I can't claim to know much about feng shui, however. I only know a little bit of the ideas of chi from a short period of time spent doing Akido.

    One thing I've found interesting, though, is the convergence (or apparent convergence anyway) of physics and ancient philosophies, at least when you get down to the quantum level. It's pretty cool. The Greeks, for example, spent a lot of time on harmonics and mathematical theories of music, and we are now at a point where one of the major unification theories relies entirely on the idea that either closed or open strings oscillating at different frequencies give rise to all of the characteristics of matter and the fundamental particles in the universe.

    There are a lot of neat comparisons of quantum theory to eastern philosophies. Much of it is undoubtedly 'hindsight,' which can often appear to show connections where there really aren't any, but it is nevertheless very interesting to think about.

    I wish I could be thinking about a pool. We're supposed to get 4-8 inches of snow tonight. Grrr.

  11. Hey Scott, I'm surprised you failed to mention that "Western" theories of mathematics descend from Greek philosphers. And as a dabbler in music I can state that music is really mathematical harmonics is demonstration.

    Note: One of the finest mathematical concepts, the "null" or "zero" is an Eastern concept, grafted to western mathematics after intercultural discourse following the Moorish conquest of southern Spain.

    As for the pool, what can I say? You get snow, I get sunburn. You get tornados, I get hurricanes.

  12. William Bollinger4:40 PM

    So that's where the pic comes from. I always assumed that was you at some sci-fi con or sca event.

  13. Lurch:

    Yes, didn't the zero originate in India, from where it made its way to the middle east and then the west? There have been a great many contributions to mathematics from the middle east; the contriobutions of al kwarizmi (sp?) in Algebra, for example. His work built on that of the Egyptians and hindus (and I think babylonians), but his writings persisted and are really advanced the math.

    If you like the interplay between math/science/music, there is a neat book called The Dancing Universe.


    Yeah, Pei Mei from the Kill Bill movies. Although that WOULD make an interesting SCA look....

  14. Anonymous6:42 PM

    Dear r. scott kissme ~

    Oh, how I do thrill upon receipt of an insincere apology. While you may desire to take credit for reducing me, I fear the deed was done long before you found me in the comments box.

    Pei Mei, you say? Wow, I need a new pair of specs. Thought I was dealin' with Colonel Sanders.


  15. That brings up an interesting point, because Pei Mei and Colonel Sanders are actually known to be one and the same individual. Much like Superman, the removal of the glasses apparently prevents recognition of one as the other.

    There's been speculation that Sanders is Pei Mei post-bird flu infection, but I don't believe it.

  16. Colonel Sanders? Silly me....all this time I though Pai Mei (spellcheck - it's important to call people what they are, as Maj Drapes said,) was just Gordon Liu in drag. (wink)

  17. Gordon Liu, eh? Hmmm...well I suppose there's a bit of similarity there. Heh.

  18. Are you bald?


    Lucky you.

    (Please laugh. Public ondwemnation of my bad jokes violates Federal Law because I am a minority.

  19. Lurch:

    I laughed and groaned at the same time :)