Sine Qua Non Pundit

And what is good, Phaedrus, And what is not good -- Need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ------ ------ ------ ------ E-mail:

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Thursday, June 13, 2002

Computer Problems

The home computer is really acting up. It might take a couple days to fix. Scourges on hold for the moment.


A Palestinian State

I want to come out firmly as an advocate of a Palestinian State.

As soon as it can be accomplished, I think we should make Palestine the 51st State of the Union with the 1967 borders. Why? Lots of reasons!

Pros for the Palestinian people: Stable government, real schools, a real police force, WIC, Welfare, Workfare, Medicare, Social Security, jobs, and oodles of other Federal programs resulting in direct transfer payments to people in need. Security for the borders and for the people within their homes. An unquestioned end to Israeli incursions -- regardless of justification. Criminals will be arrested and prosecuted with due process, beginning with Yassir Arafat. All the arguments over land will go away immediately. Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms (speech, worship, assembly, no more summary executions) available on Day 1. Imagine the boost to tourism once peace is secured! Can you imagine how busy everyone will be enforcing the hate crime laws?

Pros for the people of Israel: Peace. Stability. No more Fatah, Al-Aqsa Brigade, Islamic Jihad, etc. Who's going to risk attacking Israel in its 1967 borders knowing that an errant show lands on U.S. soil? Maybe in a few years we could have a Mediterranean Free Trade Agreement. Imagine the boost to tourism once peace is secured!

Pros for the people of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, etc.: The money and energy saved from having to abandon the destruction of Israel will be a boon to their respective populations. Imagine the boost to tourism once peace is secured!

Pros for the U.S. (general): Lot's of money saved having to prop up the "peace agreements" of the past. If Germany can be reunited, this is certainly doable. In time the State of Palestine will seem normal and they'll even be paying taxes! The new Department of Homeland Security will be able to practice on an area that really needs help right now! A military base can be established on the West Bank and a Naval base on the Gaza Strip as a staging area to make the other actions the U.S. needs to take in the Middle East a little easier.

Pros for the U.S. (Democrats): Two shiny new U.S. Senators, perhaps one shiny new Representative for the House.

Pros for the U.S. (Republicans): A major international policy success that will earn enough goodwill from registered Democrats and some voting blocs to offset the additional new Democratic seats.

Pros for the EU: As if I cared.

Other miscellaneous notes: With Israel on one side and the U.S. on the other, perhaps Jerusalem can become an international city with open borders. Let's face it, there is no solution to the disposition of Jerusalem that can have either entirely within Israel or entirely outside of Israel. This is a compromise that could work for everyone. It could even function as Israel's capitol. And for fun, let's move the U.N. there.

Cons for Everybody: Makes too much sense.

Cons for the Palestinian Authority: Will cease to exist. This is not a bad thing, especially for the people of Palestine and Israel.

Cons for the U.S.: Nothing obvious that I can think of. This will give the op-ed writers and bloggers something to keep them busy for a long, long time.

Cons for the EU: A lot of whiners and whingers would be forced to admit that the U.S. (and President George W. Bush) is competent, capable, and successful. A lot of NGOs and media critics would have to put up or shut up. In time, it will make it harder and harder to keep Turkey out of the EU.

Cons for Communist China: The U.S. is a world hegemon! Oooooo. And this would be bad because ...?

And once we make this work we can try and tackle a really intractable basket case like the District of Columbia.


Scourge Preview

Richard Cohen must be trying to get a lot of blog commentary this week. It worked on Tuesday, even without a posted Scourge.

Sure J. Edgar Hoover did some bad things, but he also did some good things for a long, long time. Richard Cohen is entitled to his opinion that the name of the FBI building should not bear Mr. Hoover's name, but isn't his memory a little selective here? I don't recall any complaints from his column when the building housing the Justice Department was named after Robert F. Kennedy, who also did some very bad things in addition to some good things and the promise of so many good things.

Monday, June 10, 2002

Speaking of Hell ...

John Gotti has died. Out of the (Teflon) frying pan and into the fire.


Watch It

I watched all four hours of "War of the Century" on the History Channel last night, which focuses strictly on the conflict between Germany and the USSR during WW II.

Unbelievable! A million Soviet soldiers dead at Stalingrad alone. Seven million Ukranian civilians killed during the war, after Stalin had starved about 20 million implementing his collectivization during the preceding decade. The personal interviews are very well done and some of the film clips are amazing. I don't know that the "new revelations" are all that new or important, but it cannot hurt to learn, or be reminded, of how utterly horrific that time was. Listening to the fates of the captured German soldiers makes Club Fed at Gitmo seem like paradise. And at the very bottom of the pit of hell, where the open sewers from the all the rings of hell drain, Hitler and Stalin (and probably Mao and Pol Pot) are at the very bottom taking turns standing on each other's shoulders for a gasp of sulphrous air, forever suffering the gangrene-inducing bites of septic serpents, experiencing the pain and agony they inflicted on so many others, one after another, over and over for all eternity. We all know how much of a monster Hitler was. Maybe it's just me, but can somebody please tell me again why Stalin wasn't every bit the monster that Hitler was?


Are You Sure That's Not Gary Owens?

While I certainly don't mean to make light of the fires raging in Colorado, let's get a grip:

Gov. Bill Owens, who visited the fire scene at Glenwood Springs, said, "All of Colorado is burning today. It is a very, very serious situation."

Serious? Sure. But, all of it burning? Not according to Stephen.

"It is an amazing spectacle. It looks like nuclear winter," Owens said.

Oh? And where has Gov. Owens seen a nuclear winter before?


Waiter, More Hubris for Table 7

Just when I was beginning to think that I no longer cared about whether I had a lot of hits or not, I noticed that I've been blogrolled by the Professor.

Woo Hoo! Made my day... and no one I interact with in real life cares!

I was beginning to think that in this great conversation I was the guy on the outside listening to everybody else, awkwardly interjecting an occasional comment that alternately amused or alienated the "in" crowd. But now, as a registered anti-idiotarian, a usual suspect, a featured spot for my life's work, membership in the Axis of Weevil, literally dozens of links and kind words from so many in the blogosphere, and now this; perhaps a little less self-deprecating prose is in order. I'd like to thank all the bloggy people who helped get me where I am today! Someday, I will be able to reciprocate. Meanwhile, my current status as an adorable little rodent (this is not news, by the way) may now be in jeopardy as the equilibrium has been punctured and my meteoric evolution through the blogosphere will not cease until I am a Higher Being!

Or not.

And just in case anyone was wondering after my last post, I do not have to worry about my wife reading my blog. She is so not interested in my hyper-critical, quasi-political crypto-punditry. But she is a great wife and mother, so I'll keep her... and keep troubling all of you with my epistomological snipe hunts, twisted etymology, stream of semi-conscious free word association, abjectly obscure aural puns, half-assed commentary about four-assed Saddams (still twice as many asses as most blogs -- and at no extra cost!), yellow journalism, purplish prose, and undistinguished -- though relatively unique -- set of life experiences viewed through dung-colored glasses; as I comment on the real world events that interest me, news and columns that inspire my muse to some fresh (at least to me) witticism, blog posts that demand the regurgitation of an old insight, and, of course, the never-ending public service of bringing Richard Cohen down to earth. Come to think of it, I'm pretty lucky she's keeping me.

But seriously, thanks to all of you for linking and reading!


Kirkwood Area Restaurants

OK, St. Louis BlogBash 2002 participants (or anyone else who can express an opinion), tomorrow is my 19th wedding anniversary. My wife wants to go out to eat at a "local" restaurant, meaning Kirkwood or Webster Groves. This time last year, we were cruising the Inside Passage off the coast of Alaska and British Columbia for our anniversary. I can highly recommend that experience, but that's a whole 'nother story.

Any suggestions? And it will have to be exponentially better than anything within 5 miles of the homestead to justify going beyond these environs, but that's also a whole 'nother story.

Out of deference to the occasion, the next couple of Scourges may be delayed a day or two.



Thanks to all those who provided suggestions. The best alternative thus far seems to be to compose however I wish, but to cut and paste the final result into Notepad or another ASCII text editor before cutting and pasting into Blogspot. I've noticed this problem in some other blogs, so I'm not alone.

And now my mouse is acting up, giving me 2 or 3 clicks for one about 50% of the time. Looks like I'm gonna find out how much a new mouse costs at CompUSA.

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