Aug 31, 2013

The Internet and Sexual Identity Crises

Sometimes I worry about me.

Who's the hippie chick of "Clouds Got in My Way?"  Can't remember and don't care enough to look it up.

But I'm like that, God save me. Jake could have been comforting me with a slight adaptation, "A Focus is a Sometime Thing."


I was up, coffeed, and ambitious at sunrise. Goal-oriented, ya might say. Get that durned shop straightened up for Phase Two of the kitchen beautification project  and, at a decent hour when the neighbors are up, put the screaming diamond blade to the slate.  For 30 minutes I was Mr. Achievement. Hell, Babbitt would have approached me about joining Rotary.

Then I got to the cluttered bench where I usually do crude metal work. In a far corner, on top of some chain hooks, shone the Combat Commander hammer with strut.  I was happier than Betty Furness with a really white wash. Been looking for it ever since I brought the new Commanderish project home, looking in all the wrong places, like the room where I keep gun parts.

A true Rotarian would have smiled, pocketed the hammer assembly, and continued methodically accomplishing the Main Thing, checking off the shop titivation achievements one-by-one on his carefully prioritized list.

Damned clouds. Two minutes later I was at the gun room bench with the Commander parts spread out. It seemed wrong because the other half of my attention was locked on the ugly holes in the kitchen wall. But what pretty steel parts...

I was the starving donkey between two hay stacks. Clearly a decision was called for. So I came in and wrote it up for the furshlugginer internet.

Aug 30, 2013

Dear Secretary Kerry


Just caught your speech about Syria. You're probably right that President Assad gassed a few  thousand of his fellow Syrians and it was horrible.

Sorry to say that after that part, you got a little gassy yourself. Part that I had the toughest time understanding is that Assad is the guy who did it but
you and your boss want to bomb somebody or something else. If you said who or what, I missed it.

I figure Bashir needs punishing, but it seems to me that since he gassed Syrians, Syrians ought to do the punishing. I listened to you say it was really our job (this was your gassy part I mentioned a sec ago), but I didn't hear anything more than about  Saddam Hussein's old Weapons of Mass Destruction that will be shot  at us pretty soon. You remember. Bush and those guys.

Seems to me if your boss reallly needs attention that bad, you might just go ahead and have somebody shoot Assad. Geez, with all the money we give you guys, how hard can it be to keep another Matt Helm on the payroll? Or maybe Nicolai Hel if you don't mind working with foreigners.

The CIA could pay a pretty handsome hit fee out of its petty cash drawer. 'course, you'd want to find a different bunch of guys to actually find Bashir.

And you'd have to make your staff write a speech for your boss full of plausible dunnowhodunnitability, but with a wink and a nudge everyone will know he's the hero. You too.

Anyway, just my 2 cents. Have a nice day.


Aug 28, 2013

Introducing Audra J. Wolfe

I suppose some readers already know of this young scholar, but she is new to me. I found her on my electric teevee a few minutes ago, on  C-Span's American History channel.

She is mentioned here for one reason only.  In discussing pre-Vietnam Pentagon funding for basic academic research, she said usually anti-militarist universities rationalized taking defense money because (a) they assumed military goals and general state goals to be one and the same and (b) they assumed state goals to be proper.

I read into her comment that she has vast doubts about a goal being proper simply because it is a policy result desired by the high federal establishment.

Her book on the subject,  Competing with the Soviets, will be my next serious read. She says of it:

"... a short, accessible introduction to the special role that science and technology played in maintaining state power during the Cold War, from the atomic bomb to the Human Genome Project."

Maybe I'll find us another credentialed libertarian thinker who does her home work. Hope so.