Tuesday, October 23, 2007

on the Turkish involvement

Back in 1991 a number of us believed that if the U.S. invaded Iraq to take out Saddam Hussein we would destablize the whole Middle East, including bringing on a war involving the Kurds and the Turks. Some of us also made the same predictions when the U.S. planned to invade Iraq in 2003 when it was obvious there were no WMDs and no threat to us from that place. So we been involving the Saudis, the Sryians, the Iranians, the Lebanese and the Isrealis in a general hot porridge in that area now (admittedly, the Isrealis and their neighbors were involved before the invasion) involving the Saudis (to some extent), the Iranians (to a larger extent), the Pakistanis (to a much larger extent) and the Afghans. We took on the defense of our country by attacking Afghanistan. Then we withdrew most of our troops from the punishment detail (that should have been only a quick strike taking out the Al Quaida camps and maintaining a continuing pressure on the group) to put them iinto an Iraq which has led to more and more destablisation in the entire area. And now, with the Turks crossing Iraq's northern border to take on the Kurds, the final domino may be falling. How soon will the Kurds in the former SSR and in the north western Iran begin to get involved in this new aspect to war? What bothers me the most is that no one seems to take in the context that we are involved in a war that started in August 1914 and has remodeled the entire world we live in. How soon will we begin to realize that the world of 1913 is not one we can find a home in anymore? That world is as gone as the medieval times. When will we ever learn?

Monday, October 01, 2007

on "justice thomas"

Here it is October and I haven't posted anything since August and now I have two thoughts brimming over. One I've just posted. The other has to do with the great justice thomas of the U.S. Supreme Court. I lower case his name because that's the respect I think he deserves. From the reviews I've seen that the few comments of his interview on 60 minutes that i saw last night, I think it has to be the most self-serving piece of cow manure to come out of Washington lately, and there have been large numbers of cow pies around that city in recent. From his decisions, whether they are in the majority, or most likely in the minority, thomas is so strict a constructionist that he apparently does not believe that the Constitution should ever have been amended, although he might give a passing approval to certain of the Bill of Rights. But he obviously opposes those changes that outlawed slavery and that made the Bill of Rights pertain to the actions of states as well as those of the federal government. He seems to think that state governments should still be allowed to have a state religion even though the Constitution denies it to any government. And his statement that he made his own way is as much crap when he says it as when anyone says it. Any person who makes it in this society does so because the society makes it possible for him or her to do so. Most people who deny the role that society plays in creating the adult them are whistling in the wind. Until professional sports got to be so pupular that they enabled the payment of huge salaries, the type of people who gain the most from them last played a major role in society during the days of yore when knights were bold. And it wasn't clarence thomas who got trashed in those confirmation hearings; it was Anita Hill.

on Tarzan and Jane

Ed Kemmick, of the Billings Gazette, wrote a delightful column about the efforts in Austria to get a chimpanzee considered as a human. But it also contained one of the great canards of modern "literature." He said that Tarzan and wife Jane had a common law relationship. Heaven forbit that her father, a Methodist minister, would have allowed that. Unfortunately, what most people who think about Tarzan today may know is what was in the series of rather bad, Z movies made in the thirties and forties, that never showed the origin of Tarzan. As someone who read the books something a gazillion years ago before I had quite reached puberty, it is my proud awareness that Jane's father married them on the station platform as a small town in Wisconsin just before they boarded the train to begin the return to Africa. It is the final scene in the book, "The Return of Tarzan," the sequel to "Tarzan of the Apes." Their son, Jack, then was the star of the third book, "Son of Tarzan." And you thought the constant sequels of today were something new. Then Burroughs turned to the stock effect of turning out pot-boiler adventures for his ape man and that was a different sort of thing. Incidentally, he also had a series that started with John Carter of Mars and went on for a number of books that were much more in the way of a continuing series than the Tarzan books. He also did a series based on Venus that were never quite as popular and don't seem to be on the horizon of most science fiction fans of today, although you may be able to find them in book stores in paperback. Sorry, Ed, but it was a good, entertaining column, even if you misspelled Cheetah.

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