July 31, 2007

Is Bush a Dry Drunk?

Ellen Ratner's thought has crossed my mind as well. Alcoholics who quit drink without dealing with the psychic aftereffects are sometimes described as stark raving sober.

Maybe Bush rationalizes the symptoms as divine guidance.

Of course, Gore exhibits similar self-righteous inflexibility. In 2000, Bush seemed the more human of the two. Afaik Gore (or Kerry or McCain or Howard Dean, for that matter) have never had drinking problems.

July 27, 2007

Beverly Sills May 25, 1929--July 2, 2007

I missed the breaking news and learned of her death by chance.

I'm not much of an opera person, but I finally got a recording of 'The Barber of Seville.' The female lead was a singer with talent but a reputation for being difficult. The performance didn't make much of an impression. Figaro Figaro Figaro la la la la la...fine, okay, but I'm not an opera person.

Then for whatever reason I bought another recording with Sills in the role. The thing just came alive. I'm still not an opera person, but I'm an admirer of Sills as a performer. And for what she surmounted in human terms. And for what she achieved after singing.

A tribute site is here.

July 22, 2007

Moon Landing

Friday was the anniversary of the first moon landing. Tax dollars were well spent, as they were on Voyager etc. Hubble.

A salute to all involved in Apollo. May we soon return to the moon...at will and in numbers.

We sent men to the moon while sending conscripts to an ill-thought-ought overseas war. While disrupted by racial and generational turmoil. While in a half-century sumo match with another superpower. It's a glib claim that the country is not what it used to be, but such assessments are properly left to history.

Back when technological progress was characterized by the space race, the foundations of the Internet were being laid.

A salute to those who persevere in obscurity.

July 19, 2007

Attn John Doe: Keep Quiet or Get Sued

I give the Republican party a higher failing grade than I give to Democrats. That doesn't mean I trust the Republicans.

Congress has considered a measure that would protect citizens from being sued if they report suspicious behavior that is potentially terror-related. According to Michelle Malkin, Democrats have succeeded in deflecting the measure despite a clear majority in both houses.

In the Polipundit post about this, I commented that Republicans called for public pressure on the measure, but they were listless about rallying such support.

No surprise that the Democrats don't want to do anything anytime that might restrain any trial lawyer anywhere under any conditions, but could the Republicans also be playing politics here?

Might they let the measure fall just short, at least for a time, in order to create a national-security campaign issue? I don't want to believe that, but I'm unable to disbelieve it.

Update 20070731: The immunity provision has been restored in somewhat diluted form. Analysis, links, and a sensible call that a pro bono organization be formed to protect John Does from legalistic retaliation are here.