Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Off to the Big City
from the mind of  Duke.

Tomorrow morning I'll be making the drive to my new home in Seattle. It should be a lot of fun, although it is a little strange to be moving from one blue state to one that is bluer still. I can console myself with the certainty that my new location will provide a lot of good material for the blog.

On a completely unrelated note, I've finally picked up the comic book that is the namesake for this blog. It's brilliant stuff, and you'll spend hours tracking down all the Victorian literary references.

I promise that it's more fun than I just made it sound.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Will the Real China Please Stand Up?
from the mind of  Evan Kruse.

Our 'Dear Friend' Kim in the past week as stated something that we all know already... that he has a nuclear weapon. Does this surprise many of us? If it does surprise you, then you need to quit watching the 'Daily Show' as your news source. (it is NOT news...)

The fact that Kim acknowledges something that we already knew does not change things very much. If there is a chance that he might have a weapon, then we must assume he does. When he claims that he actually has one, something that he had been denying for years... can we take his word for it? Nope. We can just keep making the same assumptions that we have in the past based on intelligence and evidence. That's the only thing we can do.

But, China, on the other hand... they must step up and take some action. Even though they oftentimes treat Kim and Co. as an ugly stepchild... they are still China's baby. Much of the nuclear technology is there because of China... North Korea's continued existence can be much attributed to China. So now the burden is on China to bring this issue back to a diplomatic state. China must take a proactive role in bringing the leaders of North Korea back to the bargaining table and must take extreme measures to do so. China must threaten economic sanctions, trade barriers, and military blockades. Even more important, if they threaten something, it must have firm deadlines and the deadlines must be held. China must pull out all of the stops.

Will this happen? Probably not. What we will see, however, is where China truly stands. China is growing into an uncontrollable beast in many ways... we will get to see if yet another facet of the quasi-communist empire can play nice with the other great nations of this planet or if it will fall back to its Stalinist roots and continue to prop up the horrible regime of Kim Jong Il.

Let's hope it's not the latter.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Thoughts On The State Of The Union
from the mind of  Zeke_Wilkins.

While I watched the State of the Union address Wednesday night I tried taking notes on topics mentioned that I wanted to comment on. Unfortunately due to the fast pace of the speech, the lack of details in many instances, and the scatter-shot manner in which topics were covered I was not able to take copious notes. Rather, I have tried to grade the President on several factors as well as make comments and ask questions below.

Presentation: A-

The President seemed to have done well. I cannot remember many gaffes, be he did say "nu-cu-ler" again, so he's marked down for that. He gracefully resisted the urge to respond to Democratic boos when mentioning the dire situation of Social Security. He cleverly named ideas proposed by Democrats regarding reworking Social Security.

Content: B-

The President was able to discuss some specifics on his idea for the partial, voluntary privitization of Social Security. However, I was disappointed with how the President's immigration policy got short shrift. His proposal for an immigration policy that makes it easier on migrant workers while "resisting amnesty" sounded oxymoronic. The structure in which topics were covered was not at all intuitive to me, and his one-line mention of "a culture of life" seemed more like a token throw-in to pro-lifers rather than a rallying point of his agenda.

Relevence: A-

Despite the shortcomings in content, one area shone through: the elections in Iraq. It was this point that made the whole speech relevent. The power of freedom, the moral value of democracy, and the importance of U.S. actions abroad were perfectly illustrated in the presence of the Iraqi woman whose father had been murdered under Saddam's Baathist regime, and had now been able to participate in Iraqi self-governance.

Questions:

When was the last time a President was booed during a State of the Union address?
Did the Democratic response seem at all apropos?