Oh, don't mind me, I'm just trying to pump some life back into this blog. Now stand back!
I have literally never been so busy in my life as I have been over the past few weeks - but they were a profitable few weeks so I'm not complaining. Consequently, I haven't been able to follow the tortured health care debate as closely as I would have like to, but I'm almost up to speed and will have sanctimonious preachings on the subject shortly. In the meantime, trivia!
I consider the "supermax" prison system to be a monstrosity. Don't get me wrong - I do believe there are people who are such a danger to themselves and others that they need to be sequestered from the rest of society. It's just that I believe the strictures and privations of the supermax system only serve to make those SOBs even crazier, and that doesn't benefit anyone.
And yet, here I am arguing that the our domestic supermax prisons are viable alternative to Guantanamo because at least there the Guantanamo detainees would have some access to counsel and some protection under the law.
Man, Bush really did a number on all of our souls, didn't he?
Rather than sending thousands of nuclear warheads at the United
States, killing millions and wrecking tons of arable land, Russia could
simply attack a handful of banks and other financial institutions,
rending the U.S. economy effectively nullified.
“There is no need to destroy the whole planet in order to paralyze a
country and push it back into the Stone Age,” Pravda wrote at the
That being said, it is an uncomfortable reminder that there are still a frightening number of nuclear weapons in the world, enough to make it an ex-world with alarming ease. Obama's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but one of the many encouraging signs that grown-ups are back in charge is his willingness to address, once again, the issue of nuclear disarmament. I can't remember the last time there was someone in the White House who seemed to think nuclear weapons were anything other than fine and dandy. (Also, in retrospect, I should have called this post "Throw the Nukes Down the Well So We Can All Be Free.")
This renewed attention to the issue of nuclear disarmament has had one unfortunate side effect, at least for me personally: My Lovely and Talented and Precocious Eight-Year-Old Daughter Who is Smarter Than Me™ has been seeing headlines on newspapers I've left lying about the house and started asking questions about nuclear weapons. I am completely and utterly unprepared to discuss the fact that there are enough of these terrible weapons around today to kill every single one of us several times over. How the hell do you even start that conversation? She's old enough to know that there is such a thing as a lousy President, too, so there's no use in asking her to trust that those in power will behave wisely. There's no way I could ask her to do that, either.
She's been studying Japan in her history class, and they've covered Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They've even read Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes as a class assignment. She does know, on some level, what nuclear weapons are capable of. But she's eight. Hiroshima and Nagasaki are dim facts of history to her. She is, as far as I can tell, relatively blissfully unaware of the continuing nuclear threat.
I guess I'm starting to sound like one of those insane parents who clutched their pearls and wailed, "How do I explain fellatio to my kids?!?" during the Clinton impeachment. But, for me at least, explaining oral sex will likely be a walk in the park compared to explaining why we have a massive stockpile of weapons that we don't ever dare use. I understand the motivation behind oral sex!
It seems like every time I try to make a renewed effort to post substantive material here on a regular basis my schedule goes boink and I get buried in work. Seeing as this is all paying work, I'm not complaining. Really. It beats the hell out of the alternative. In fact, I'd like the fates to note that I am now once again planning on posting here more often. Not just posting, but posting exhaustively researched, intricately structured pieces of such dense verbosity that Glenn Greenwald will send me an e-mail saying simply, "Dood, it's called an editor." Yep. That's my plan.
Now, while I wait for the phone to ring and end up with another dozen projects to work on, a quick thought: am I the only one who finds it kind of hilarious that Rudy Giuliani spent years cultivating his "America's Mayor" image and licking all the GOP boots he thought were appropriate only to find himself sidelined by the likes of Sarah Palin?
Ah, schadenfreude - hope may disappoint, joy is fleeting, but schadenfreude is eternal.
I've been dealing with some health issues lately; those, combined with my typically hectic schedule and the usual holiday insanity have made getting a coherent sentence out of my head about as pleasant as passing a breach-born calf. I'm feeling somewhat better now, and recovered a bit of strength, so of course the only thing to do is give myself even more stuff to do!
It's the way of the blogger. It's not for the weak.
Sorry for the temporary suspension of the blog. It had nothing to do with the financial crisis; I've just been working my ass off. (I played a small but absurdly time-consuming role in this project - which you should check out because it's quite good and it's for a good cause.)