Saturday, March 31, 2007

Saint John-Paul II? Oughtn't they wait?

It's all over the news services, but The New York Times' website is handy, so here it is; and these are some opening words: "If the story Sister Marie Simon-Pierre told Friday is true..."

Therein lies the tale.

Since Parkinson's Disease is a slow death warrant, my mother died of it in the early 1980's, and the disease is one of "a degenerative disease of the nervous system," perhaps it would be best to wait to see if this remission is more psychological than physical.

J2P2 made some good decisions as pope. He also made some very questionable ones, along with the assistance of "The Rotweiler."

For the Vatican to slow down this express train of "Santo subito! — Sainthood now!" might be a very good decision.

Trust, but verify.

Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A Neo-Con's Admission...if half-hearted

Andrew Sullivan has a long quote in The Daily Dish today (You might have to to the archive for March 28, 2007) which comes from a neo-con. In it the writer admits to coming around to agree with many of the critical points which have been aimed at the Bush Administration vis-a-vis Iraq.

At the end of the piece, Sullivan writes, "This is almost exactly my view. It doesn't exculpate me from what I once supported; but it's honest. And honesty is a start."

That's nice. Honesty is a start. In the middle of the piece, though, one finds this:

"But conservatives and a lot of moderates rallied around Bush and Co. because of the unfair attacks from the left and the media, whose objectivity was never in evidence, and in doing so we ratified and enabled every bad decision Bush and Co. made in Iraq."

What that amounts to is "the devil [aka liberals and Main Stream Media] made me do it." Further, the question must arise that, at the time, the objectivity of the neo-cons was where? In evidence? Where was the skepticism of the right? Compromised by the skepticism of the left?

The left seems to have learned the lesson of Reagan, the right yet has learned to "Trust, but verify."

Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Castro, No! Cuba Exports, Yes!!!

It was bound to happen. Who exports a lot of food to Cuba?

U.S. farmers, that's who.

According to an AP story by Will Weissert, "Since December 1999, governors, senators and congressmen from at least 28 U.S. states have visited Cuba, most to talk trade."

Read the article. There are a lot of red state governors looking for a piece of the "more than $1.5 billion for American food and agricultural products..." A lot of blue state govs have gone, too; but the Republicans have "owned" the Miami Cuban expat vote for a long time.

Trade defeats communism. Economics defeats communism.

Isn't it time to look at facts (including the fact that Venezuela and China are increasing aid to Cuba) and end the boycott of our near neighbor?

Maybe Florida could benefit from a trade with Cuba. Maybe that trade would hasten the fall of the communist influence on the island.

Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Reconstruction Progress in Iraq

In case you don't have this site, United States Central Command, you should. Bookmark it now.

Among linked sites, you will find this one, Iraq Reconstruction Report. Bookmark that one, too.

Too often we don't hear about reconstruction successes. Let's not argue about the specifics, there are some, and those need to be recognized.

Here's a clip from the default bookmark written by Donna Miles for American Forces Press Service:

Despite a challenging and often hostile work environment, [Army Major General Ronald] Johnson reported that some 4,000 Corps of Engineers soldiers and civilian employees have seen more than 2,800 projects completed. “We have completed 13 refurbished hospitals that can serve 5,500 patients a day, restored water treatment facilities benefiting over 2.3 million Iraqis, completed over 250 border forts, helping to secure more than 2,000 miles of Iraqi borders, completed over 800 new or renovated schools serving 325,000 Iraqi children, and have increased electric power generation, benefiting 1.3 million homes,” he said.

That's good news. Let's share it.

Sphere: Related Content

Friday, March 23, 2007

Andrew, Politico, Reagan

Yesterday several bloggers jumped the gun with respect to the Edwards campaign and the effect Mrs. Edwards' battle against cancer would have on it.

While most people are crediting (?) Politico with the first erroneous posting, too many were too eager to follow suit and several, among them Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish, posted that the campaign would be suspended, just a few minutes before the actual news conference would announce that Edwards would continue his campaign in defiance of the cancer and its ramifications. Politico should have waited a few minutes; Sullivan certainly should have waited, why risk one's integrity on the word of someone else's "scoop" in this day of easily verifiable facts?

Back in the 1960s Mark Lane's Rush to Judgment warned against arriving at a conclusion without proper investigation.

Ronald Reagan in the 1980s warned against accepting too easily Soviet assurances of geo-political detente with "Trust, but verify."

It seems ever 20 years or so we need to be reminded of engaging in precipitous actions without having taken prudent precautions--planning for peace in an invaded country; repeating a "scoop" without double checking the scoop.

While it might be easy to forget Mark Lane's contribution to caution, it is less easy to understand how so many contemporary conservatives forget Mr. Reagan's suggestion. They invoke his memory, reverentially, with frequency.

Sphere: Related Content