Monday, September 25, 2006

Former President Bill Clinton

William Jefferson showed his repertoire on Fox Sunday with his interview with Chris Wallace that has generated a lot of interesting press and subsequent discussion. I'm a long-time Fox Sunday watcher, so I caught it - didn't think it was quite the meltdown widely reported.

I must admit always liking Clinton. I don't know if it is because we are both Southerners, or because I have lots relatives in AR (my father, brother and sister live there currently) some of whom know Clinton personally, or what.

If there is anyone else in elected office who understands the workings of government better, I don't know who it could be. And with Rubin in his administration, it was arguably the best economic management ever.

Former President Carter (who is likable, keenly intelligent, but a flaming disaster as President) has gone on to notable charitable work, largely with Habitat for Humanity. Former President Ford is by all accounts in very poor health. And the gentlemanly older Bush seems to have retired to enjoy himself golfing, playing with grand kids and fly fishing. Isn't there a way to harness Clinton's intellect? We need to find something useful for this guy to do.... he is too young and too capable to just be a television personality.

It appears that he is working to elect his wife (some speculate that the whole Fox episode was contrived to set up the new tougher Democratic movement). Then he could at least be the man behind the throne.
gene
gene

The Devil Makes a Comeback

Hugo Chavez compared President Bush to the devil; Jerry Falwell stated that Hillary C. would motivate religous conservatives to vote more than if Lucifer himself was on the ballot....

That old debil must have a new PR agency...
gene

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Hugo Chavez & The United Nations

Apparently during his crack-cocaine induced nutball rant, Presidente-For-Life Hugo Chavez called for the relocation of the U.N. to Caracas. I know this looks like the biggest opportunity for the Conservative Movement since Clinton played with cigars and interns, and actually may even hold some appeal to liberals, I ask you to stop and think for a moment.

Where did old Hugo, and his hirsute simian sidekick Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (who clearly is striking a powerful blow against the creationism doctrine) hang out while in the Big Apple?

I'm betting on a suite in the Mandarin or the Penninsula at $1,200 per night or so. And I bet that dinner was something other than a slice at The Original Ray's. Add in the other several thousand erstwhile world leaders living the loca vida in NY courtesy of the starving peasants back in whatever Godforsaken hell hole they escaped, and the U.N. must be pumping billions into the U.S. economy.

They're buying suits at Barney's, dinner at Nobu, handbags at Tod's, renting $15,000 per month apartments, and most of all, it is very safe to assume they aren't trading in U.S. dollars for their home wampum and repatriating it back for deposit in the First Despot Bank.

While I'll admit to fantasizing a little about Kofi and buds playing real life Grand Theft Auto south of the border, at the end of the day I'm a financial guy. Let's keep the money.
gene

The Pope's Comments

The Pope quoted someone quite relatively unknown from 600 years ago or so, and thereby rhetorically asked for a statement of the positive, redemptive values of Islam.

Some enlightened Al Qaeda member called for his assassination.

It was so pathetically obvious that there really wasn't any irony.
gene

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Economic Connections

In my running stream of consciousness connections, here is the next one.

I was driving from VA to PA Sunday, cruising at about 85 and getting passed uphill by folks in Escalades. (I was listening to the Earth to America CD by Widepread Panic, produced by star producer Terry Manning at Compass Point Studios in Nassau. Second Skin alone is worth more than the cost of the CD). Anyway, the thread goes like this:

We have a crystal meth/crack/heiron addiction to Middle Eastern Oil.

Electric Cars could finally be a reality. See www.teslamotors.com or search for wrightspeed.

But, somewhere we've got to get the juice for these dynamo driven rockets.

Therefore, we need new power plants; nuclear power plants.

So, Congress needs to pass legislation that allows fast track construction of nuclear plants without twenty years of environmental obstructionism lawsuits, which enables power plants, which enables electric cars, which sends us all to the Betty Ford Center for eliminating dependence on foreign oil....
gene

Monday, September 18, 2006

A Civil War Required?

I've been thinking a lot about the situation in Iraq. I'll admit to been discomfited as soon as it became obvious that there weren't stashes of nerve gas, anthrax, etc. there, much less the chemical lab trucks Colin Powell described to the United Nations as being as ubiquitous as UPS trucks.

However, he is obviously a bad actor, and I could rationalize it. But it now looks like we are getting in the middle of a cross fire between religious factions.

Let's put some long view perspective on the topic, place some disparate data together and see if a skein of argument results. First, about 146 years ago, the U.S. splintered into two political entities, and proceeded to fight a horrific civil war that resulted in casualties of about 3% of the population (source: Wikipedia). According to the late Shelby Foote, who wrote the definitive history of the U.S. civil war, the war created America. Second, in the immediate two centuries or so following the death of Christ, there were multiple Christian movements. In a vast over-simplification, we can say that two key camps emerged, one that became today's mono-theistic religion that articulates salvation through Grace, and a second, gnosticism, that claimed (a kind of) salvation through mastery of specialized, secret knowledge. The Gnostic, or at least some of them, believed in a complex cosmology of aeons, demiurges, and some additional angels not seen in the current mainstream Bible. Over the next two hundred years or so, the monotheistic Christian movement emerged, and gnosticism is largely relegated to a historical curiosity.

A few centuries later, Muhammad died, with Abu Bakr becoming the leader of the Islamic movement (Caliph). Twenty years or so later, Muhammad's son-in-law became the Caliph. Subsequently over the next 100 years or so, believers who thought the method that elected Bakr should be the method of establishing leaders -- this became the Sunnis. And, those who thought hereditary lineage should prevail became Shia. (For a concise history see the BBC summary at http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/Islam/subdivisions/sunnishia_1.shtml ).

The conclusion: perhaps we need to get out of the way and let the Iraqis have their Civil War. If they have casualties at the same rate we did, they would actually have a similar number: about 865,000. If the Iranians joined in, then 2,000,000 or so would need to be killed or injured. Along the way, they might settle which branch of Islam survives....
gene

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Sean Hannity

Driving from Philly to VA last night, I listened to Sean Hannity. He seems like a nice young man and sincere. Unfortunately, he has drunk the Kool Aid. The Republican Party now treats real conservatives like the Democratic Party treats blacks: they are taken for granted. After all, where would a conservative voter go? Sean continues to defend the Republicans and recommend voting for them to retain power.

With Brobdingnagian deficits, uncontrolled borders and increasingly protectionist trade policies, it is hard for me to see where a conservative fits in this party...George Bush will prove to be the John Major of the U.S. conservative movement, banishing the conservatives to minority status for a generation.

Learning to blog

I'm just learning how to use the blogging tools here at Blogger.com. So far, I have to say that they are impressively easy. After battling FrontPage, this is refreshing.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

First Draft

After a complete crash of my FrontPage site at genemorphis.com and the associated crash of my laptop, I've gotten the bug to resume blogging.

It's late; I've had a long day at work with an impressive string of bad news. So, I wanted to just get this set up tonight and get to real work over the weekend.
gene