Monday, February 26, 2007

Lost time

I looked up and said to myself, hmmm, I haven't posted for a week. That was a moment ago. Then I looked up and said, wow, what happened to that other week.

We have been a little exhausted. I had a throat thing and lost my voice for a little while. I've needed cough drops to fall asleep, and I've woken up in the middle of the night coughing too.

I got a haircut and gave myself my first structured facial hair (by structured, I mean hair that I have left on my face deliberately rather than negligently). It's a goatee. I'm sure it will show up on Sarah's blog sooner or later. I like it ok, but some of the hair seems to be attacking my upper lip. As so much else about my appearance, I'll probably get back to ignoring it soon. We are considering a nice clipper/trimmer so that I can ignore it slightly less before interview time.

We have lacked sleep, we have lacked time. My father gave up sugar for two weeks worth of Lent (that is all refined sugar, even as an ingredient in something) on the condition that his children would give up sugar with him. It has been wild, but I've made it through the first six days all right. Naturally, I bought two ice cream just before I heard about the challenge, so they have been sitting, waiting, whispering. Peanut Butter Cup. Peach.

I've been reading this Gene Wolfe epic for a long time, but it's almost done.

I am consulting at WestWords to train someone to take over one of my old jobs. A year later, and my replacement left without really training his replacement. The orderly transition of power is important. Fortunately, when I arrived at the office, I found all the documents I wrote to train the last guy still intact on the servers, so the orderly transition was from myself (then) to my future (present) self.

I am finishing experiments for my thesis. I should defend on time.

My dad cheerfully offered to move us to Seattle if I don't have a job by graduation time. This actually relaxes me. My parents redid the basement when it flooded, and it's turned into a massive, much-needed renovation. There will be plenty of space down there. I can't wait to see it, and, if necessary, live in it.

Alex is still not talking much, but he is making letter sounds and experimenting with vowels. Ooo eee, he might say. Ahhh yuh. One doctor says that intense daily speech therapy would be helpful, but we are having trouble signing him up for the next couple of months before everything is up in the air.

We got the second season of Angel on DVD. It is way better than Season 1 so far. It's a sort of strange situation because Sarah and I have watched all of Buffy, but the Angel seasons happened concurrently: Buffy 4-7 happened at the same time as Angel 1-4 and sometimes the storylines crossed each other. On a typical week, back then, you would see Buffy Season 5 episode 6 back-to-back on TV with Angel Season 2 episode 6. It would take a lot of energy to simulate this experience, swapping out the discs one episode at a time, watching about 50 episodes to get to the ends of the two simultaneous seasons. We might get to it one of these years.

We also saw Man of the Year, the Robin Williams film about a sassy Jon Stewart type who runs an upstart independent campaign for President, only to be elected by a voting machine company without a paper trail. It was a little preachy, rejecting the partisanship of Washington in favor of government that actually works, I think. The last time we had a government that worked, of course, it was divided government by a man who governed from the center. Then he got impeached on partisan lines and acquitted on partisan lines.

This is not a movie for our time. This partisanship in Washington did not spring fully formed from the inscrutable mind of Zeus. It was pushed and promoted by our radical president and his minions, by their propaganda machine and the leadership of the Republican party. They did it because they sensed an opportunity to destroy bipartisan comity and still hold onto the reins of power. They did it for six long years. They're still doing it even though we have divided government again. They've forgotten how to do anything else.

In the current political climate, "bipartisanship" is a code word that means "everybody get together right now... and support the President's open-ended occupation of Iraq." This is obvious if you read editorials by Joe Lieberman, or listen to interviews of Dick Cheney, or watch the President say "support the troops" dully and repeatedly.

On this definition, it is time now for partisanship. It's not just a coincidence that the public elected Democrats in the fall and that the vast majority of the public favors retreat from Iraq. The Republican party favors staying in Iraq, the Democratic party favors leaving Iraq, and it's that simple. For evidence, see, among other things, this handy table of the declared 2008 presidential candidates' positions on Iraq. All 8 of the Democrats are opposed to President Bush's plan to escalate the Iraq occupation by sending tens of thousands of troops. 7 of the 9 Republicans are in favor of the increase. 6 of the 8 Democrats favor explicit deadlines to end the Iraq occupation. 1 of the 9 Republicans favors an explicit deadline.

If you oppose the senseless waste of life that the Iraq occupation has deteriorated into and favor a foreseeable end to it, bipartisanship is not actually an option. The debate for you begins and ends under the big tent of the Democrats.


Adam said...


For a well-armed opinion against the senselessness of occupation in Iraq, read Edward N. Luttwak's article in Harpers entitled "Counterinsurgency warfare as military malpractice".

vince said...


No sugar until Palm Sunday! May God give you strength.

When do you graduate and ... sniff ... maybe return to Seattle area?

Finally, it is too bad that the Bush administration has embraced the concept of 'War on Terror'. Our actions against unruly, non-state, terrorist groups should always be based within a law enforcement effort (national and international). Wars are between nations. Wars between nations can end. Wars on terrorists will never end.

Really, the 'War on Terror' has all been a ruse to use the U.S. military to perform imperialistic actions for economic reasons. The Neo-Cons are not interested in old-fashion imperialism where countries are reduced to colonies, but they interested in spreading large-corporation capitalism.

The 'War on Terror' was used to remove a misbehaved nationalized-oil despot ... Sadaam Hussein. We know it had nothing to do with Sadaam's human rights abuses or weapons of mass destruction or Al Qaeda.