We're not out to get plumbers whose pants creep down while they're working on your pipes," O'Neal said.
Stratford councilman Alvin O'Neal on his proposal to ban low riding trousers.
"...everyone is bored,and devotes himself to cultivating habits..these habits are not peculiar to our town.." Albert Camus "The Plague"
Stratford councilman Alvin O'Neal on his proposal to ban low riding trousers.
He states in conclusion:
U.S. Rep. Brian Baird said Thursday that his recent trip to Iraq convinced him the military needs more time in the region, and that a hasty pullout would cause chaos that helps Iran and harms U.S. security.
"I believe that the decision to invade Iraq and the post-invasion management of that country were among the largest foreign-policy mistakes in the history of our nation. I voted against them, and I still think they were the right votes," Baird said in a telephone interview from Washington, D.C.
"But we're on the ground now. We have a responsibility to the Iraqi people and a strategic interest in making this work."
As James Taranto points out in Best of the Web Today (8/20/07):
.... the United States tore up Iraq with its invasion in 2003, dismantling civil government and industries and tossing a half-million people out of work, but that three years of U.S. help is not enough to let Iraq rebuild.
Baird said he would not say this if he didn't believe two things:
• "One, I think we're making real progress."
• "Secondly, I think the consequences of pulling back precipitously would be potentially catastrophic for the Iraqi people themselves, to whom we have a tremendous responsibility … and in the long run chaotic for the region as a whole and for our own security."
The distinction Baird makes is a crucial one, and one that war opponents usually elide. Whether Congress made a mistake in authorizing Iraq's liberation is a separate question from what to do now. Yet war opponents act as if favoring a precipitous withdrawal logically and necessarily follows from regretting the decision to liberate.
Why? Part of it, we suppose, is a sort of binary simplemindedness: It was bad to go in, ergo it would be good to get out. Real life is more complicated. It may be that it was a mistake to go in but a precipitous withdrawal would compound the error.
But maybe those who argue for withdrawal seek precisely to compound the error. Failure in Iraq would vindicate the position of those who originally argued that the war would be a mistake. Likewise for those who supported the war but later changed their minds--they may be cynical opportunists, but they may also have the zeal of a convert. If America loses the war, they win the argument.
And defeat in Iraq would vindicate not only opposition to Iraq but an entire worldview--what we've called the worldview of baby-boom liberalism. America's defeat in Vietnam was a triumph for baby-boom liberalism--a triumph that some seem never to have given up trying to relive.
We make it too easy for those who want to hate us to hate us. We make ourselves look bad in our media, which helps future jihadists think that they must, by hating us, be good. They hit their figurative garbage bin lids on the ground, and smirk, and promise to make a racket, and then more than a racket, a boom.In the above linked article columnist Peggy Noonan takes note of the New York Police Department's Intelligence Division report on the radicalization of Muslim youth and the growth of jihadism in our homeland. (The 90 page report titled "Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown threat" (PDF} can be found here ) Ms. Noonan comments on the report:
Peggy Noonan (Wall St Journal 8/17/07)
The report suggests an evolution in thinking. "We're very good at capturing these guys after a terror incident," John McLaughlin, former deputy CIA director, told me, "but in the past we haven't spent as much time at the front end--how do they get to be terrorists." He said terrorists "are changing their profile. . . . Al Qaeda knows what we're looking for. They're not dumb." The terrorists of our future will likely be more credentialed, and here legally; they will be "integrated into American life."Here is an excerpt from the NYPD report:
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told me, "I want a better understanding on the part of all law enforcement as to how radicalism takes place. This report connects the dots." It is also meant to heighten awareness. If the terror of the future is homegrown, local eyes will see it first. Cofer Black, former director of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center, told me that an important message of the report is similar to the signs on New York subways and in train stations: "If you see something, say something."
I am really deeply worried. We have two grandchildren who are 6 and 8, and I believe they are in greater danger of dying from enemy activities than we were in the Cold War. There are thousands of people across this planet who get up every morning actively seeking to destroy the United States. They are spreading their poison by sermons, by the Internet, by a variety of recruiting devices......I believe we are on the edge of a precipice. The Iranians are desperately trying to build nuclear weapons, and they will use them. This is a state — look — read what Ahmadinejad says. He writes poems about the joy of being a martyr nation. He gets to wipe out Tel Aviv; maybe the Israelis use nuclear weapons and wipe out Tehran. He would accept that in a minute because he believes everybody in Tehran goes to heaven and everybody in Tel Aviv doesn’t.....We are in trouble, and somebody had better start talking about it in a blunt way.....We are simply not prepared today to be a serious country. I’ve been at this a long time. I am genuinely afraid that this political system will not react until we lose a city, and nobody in this country’s thought about the threat to our civil liberties the morning after we decide it’s that dangerous and how rapidly we will impose ruthlessness on ourselves in that kind of a world. I think those of you who care about civil liberties had better be thinking through how we win this war before the casualties get so great that the American people voluntarily give up a lot of those liberties.
Above are a few excerpts from the Gingrich speech relating to national security and the war on terror. He also had a great deal to say about our national political discourse which I hope to cover in a later posting. Meanwhile, the entire speech transcript is here and the complete video is here. The video is a 155 MB MPEG download.
A truck driver getting ready to leave the Marjam Supply Company in West Hartford on Wedensday morning tore down more than half of a storage building on the property, officials said.Source: Hartford Courant 8/8/07
“We’d be grandfathered in, I would think,” said David Frei, who has been a host of the Westminster Kennel Club dog show in New York since 1990. The word is a formal canine label that appears on the competition’s official materials. But Mr. Frei said he worried about the word’s impact on some viewers, especially younger ones.This was a response to the New York City Council's silly, and purely symbolic , attempt to legislate language. Seemingly having dealt with the "N" word they've moved on to the "B" word.
We’re seeing some slight hints of positive news for the Bush administration. For one thing, Bush’s job approval rating has stopped its downward trajectory. Bush hit bottom with his administration low point of 29% in early July..... Now – in the data just about to be released..... Bush's approval rating has recovered slightly to 34%. That’s not a big jump, but it is the second consecutive poll in which the president’s numbers have been higher rather than lower.
Unlike most apparently intractable problems, which have a tendency to go away when examined closely and analytically, the climate change predicament just seems to get bigger and scarier the more we learn about it.
Now we discover that not only are the oceans and the atmosphere conspiring against us, bringing baking temperatures, more powerful storms, floods and ever-climbing sea levels, but the crust beneath our feet seems likely to join in too.
Source: The Guardian (emphasis added)