Greg Roach's Berkshires Blog
This Old House
100 year old plumbing is a pain in my ass. Just sayin'....
Safer? Yeah right.
I read Donovan's blog a couple of times a week mostly just to see what one of the more "respected" public minds in North County is thinking about. Blogging is usually a means of personal expression, so the fact that I find Donovansblog to be boring and often a little off the mark is of absolutely no consequence. But one of the main themes that Bill harps on, domestic opposition to bad foreign policy, bugs the crap out of me.
Today is no different. He uses his space to chide the Transcript for their editorial lauding a college student who called "BS" on Senator John "Straight Talk" McCain's outspoken support of the Iraq debacle. Bill takes great exception to the notion that our recent military actions are anything but noble, just and wonderful. In particular he feels that criticism of policy is an attack on the men and women in the military. That's a very weak straw-man argument and I am pretty sure that Bill knows it.
This line would make me laugh it were not so tragically naive and flat out wrong in many, many ways:
America and her soldiers have made today safer for Ms. Rohe and all of her fellow graduates, none of whom will have to worry about doing anything to repay them or help shoulder their burden.
Where to begin....?
- We are not safer. Policy decisions made in the White House throttled down our efforts in Afghanistan in 2002 to ramp up for the war in Iraq. This allowed many of the culprits and actual leaders of Al Qaeda to continue their efforts.
- By invading Iraq on false pretenses we have created a rallying cry for an entire generation of new and future jihadists from almost all sects of Islam, rather than just the previously isolated radicalized Wahabis from the Arabian Peninsula. The neo-con fantasy of "teaching the Arabs a lesson" has completely backfired in multiple ways. And let's not get started on the radicalizing effects of the decisions made by our civilian leadership to toss off the ideals of the Geneva Conventions when it comes to dealing with the enemy.
- The notion that those who oppose the policy behind the war do not care about soldiers, marines, airmen and sailors and their travails is offensive and false. (I tend to take this particular jibe very personally for reasons that I will not get into here. Since anybody who stumbles on this probably has not read my prior writings, let me just say that I am a liberal hawk and quite pro-military. The late Senator Scoop Jackson and I would have much in common.)
Donovan is partially correct about one thing in this regard - The justifiable and necessary War on Terror has indeed been compromised.
When, and if, the next major terrorist attack or attempted attack in the USA occurs (and it probably will) Donovan and many like him will likely be tempted to blame their fellow Americans for supposedly undermining the War on Terror by criticizing the decisions that have been made by this administration. The sad and tragic truth is, if people want to point fingers at anybody in America for making us more vulnerable by massively screwing up the most basic strategies of this fight and emboldening and enlarging the enemy, they should start at the top with the man currently in the Oval Office - not with some college kid giving a speech.
Tell Me Something I Don't Know Firsthand
The expected work ethic in the United States is an interesting balance between European priviledge and Third World exploitation. Just for example - Isn't it funny how things like unions and minimum wages are considered dirty words by the ruling class.
Things are Going to Get a Little Funky
Congrats to the new Arts Editor at The Transcript. I'm not sure if it has been made public yet so I'll hold off on actually naming Karen Gardener's replacement, but you know who you are.
Some of the Stupidest Folks I Know Have PhD After Their Names
Underage drinking and hazing on college campuses is a problem. Heck, I wrote a column chastising Williams students for their over-priviledged cries of pain when booze was banned at football games. However, when an institution institutes draconian measure to curb such behavior, they only drive it underground, which makes it potentially a far more dangerous problem.
With that in mind, the award for a Knee-Jerk Overeaction by a College Administrator
... Northwestern University
- for their idiotic decision to suspend the women's soccer program
because of what appears to be a very mild team initiation party:
In the letter, the team did not detail the alleged incidents or address specifically the photographs that appeared earlier this month on a Web site that allegedly showed members of the team clad only in T-shirts and underwear, some blindfolded and others with their hands tied behind their back. Nor did they address the photographs that appeared to show some team members drinking alcohol.
For pete's sake! When I was in high school, the theater group "kidnapped" new members from their homes on a Sunday morning while these poor 14 and 15 year olds were still in pajamas. The inductees were blindfolded, driven to an undisclosed location and made to perform "stupid human tricks". We then all ate a wonderful breakfast.
Oy. Maybe I'm wrong about this, but could this have anything to do with paranoia created by the Duke lacrosse team party scandal?
This is the first post to the newest of one of my various blogs. This blog will be used for short-format posts on whatever subject is on my mind while I spend what little time I can surfing the news and analysis of the day. My more formal writings and columns will still appear at greg.tpmcafe.com