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This blog is the work of an educated civilian, not of an expert in the fields discussed.

Saturday, April 17, 2004

How Unfortunate! On the subject of complexity, it annoys me when things are blamed on one individual -- for instance, 9/11 is Bin Ladin's fault, so let's not look into our missteps. Or rather, let's ignore (de-emphasize) the wider forces of discontent that is the true danger. The alternative is misguided narrow focus on a person like Saddam Hussein or select evil doers, when the underlining forces that allowed him to stay in power is also a major problem, perhaps the core problem. Many on the President's side would agree with this, since they sometimes make the generalization that we cannot trust those in the region with democracy. I find this an exaggeration, but it has some truth in it -- remember the people of Iraq allowed Hussein to stay in power, even given all the horrible things he did. Why? Well, because the society did not develop enough to demand a more civilized system of leadership. We shouldn't damn them too much either. After all, we supported such leadership for years. [more]

Various: I guess Bin Laden might still be alive, huh? Timothy Noah's column (and fray commentary) today on an interesting aspect of Sen. Kerry's tax plan is instructive. Economic policy is of somewhat limited value, it is often largely used for (somewhat misleading) rhetoric effect alone, and who knows if Congress would accept the plan anyhow? I'm not sure what to think of the President's acceptance of Israel's plan for peace, but it does seem one-sided, and thus likely to be trouble. [see, e.g., Legal Fiction's coverage]

The importance of the "wall" between the FBI and CIA in investigating prior to 9/11 has been exaggerated. The wall, for instance, could be breached if there is "reasonable" evidence that a serious crime "may be committed." [Those that want to totally knock the wall down also ignore history (1/2).] There might be a reasonable argument that Commission Member Gorelick, involved in setting the policy (which Ashcroft continued), should recuse herself in its investigation. On the other hand, why was she appointed (an appointment okayed by the President, along with others with thier own conflicts of interest) if it is so troubling? To those who oppose the Commission per se, I offer this eloquent defense. As well as the opinion that, yes, it is political (thus the party affiliations of each member), but would the alternate not be?

And, Mets baseball (putting aside the injuries, hard losses, and the like) is starting off in a respectable fashion -- Glavine is doing well, newcomers are showing life, and the team as a whole just might have a pretty good year. Splitting the first six games against Atlanta (banged up) helps as well. The Yanks had a bit of a rough start, but Kevin Brown is 3-0. Yes, all against Tampa, but they count too, right? Both teams, especially the pathetic Mets eighth, left something to be desired today, though.