aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Saturday, August 20, 2005
Bill Kristol, a smart man I rarely agree with, on The Newshour last night:
I think it’s grotesque. I think the left has found a new weapon to oppose the president and the war, and that weapon is martyrdom, and they are using the death of a soldier in this case and the mother’s grief over that death to try to, obviously, rally support, as Mrs. Sheehan has made perfectly clear to get the troops out of Iraq. Her complaint isn’t that we aren’t grieving enough over these young men and women who have died; it’s that President Bush isn’t following her preferred policy alternative.
Yes, she’s trying to rally support for her preferred policy position. She, like all of us, has every right to do that. What’s key here is that her preferred policy position is rooted in her experience of loosing a son in war.
What’s really grotesque in this instance is that Kristol, after claiming that the left is “using the death of a soldier” to make a point, uses the death of a soldier to attempt to score his own left-wing media bias point:
Tom mentions this woman from Georgia whose son died. We’ll see how much attention the media pays to Linda Ryan, the mother of a Marine who died, who’s very offended by what Mrs. Sheehan is saying. Are we going to now pull out competing mothers, competing widows? I think—it’s just grotesque, I think.
Uh, who pulled out a competing mother?
Oliphant on Sheehan: It’s not antiwar
More from Tom Oliphant last night on The Newshour:
I don’t think this has anything to do broadly with antiwar sentiment or even bring the troops home. I think, through an odd confluence of events, Cindy Sheehan became a metaphor for America’s impatience, frustration, and ambivalence about the continuing American involvement. It’s much bigger than her. And I don’t think it has anything to do with antiwar sentiment, per se. That’s involved, but that doesn’t account for the phenomena… There is exactly one Democratic senator who is even in favor of setting a date. There are a handful of Republicans and Democrats in the House who are in favor. This is not an antiwar movement. It is a frustration movement.
The one, Russ Feingold, may prove to be so popular among those impatient, frustrated, ambivalent Americans that we can expect a good number of pols to follow. And I’m guessing they’ll come from both sides of the aisle. Recall please that I am explicitly not anti-war, though I wouldn’t have supported it had I known then what I know now.
I don’t agree with Oliphant. I think it is anti-war.
I expect history will show that President Bush’s biggest mistake was not truly leading us into war. Taking advantage of the pro-American sentiment after 9/11 to rally the world to our side instead of hubristically telling them that we’re taking charge. Focusing on the real terrorist threat rather than invading a country that had nothing to do with 9/11.
Were we to succeed, the damage would be undone. But we continue to leave failed leaders in charge, try the same old same old and blame the media for not looking at the progress, while back-peddling and reducing expectations. Instead of building resolve we’re twiddling it away. For that I do now and will forever more blame Bush.
Georgia’s Cindy Sheehan?
Tom Oliphant last night on The Newshour:
I think it makes sense to suggest that America’s about to meet another woman. Her name is Patricia Roberts, and she comes from Georgia, and her son was the first kid from Georgia to die during the invasion. And she’s been active in opposition to the American involvement in Iraq since her son died two years ago. And she apparently is on her way to Texas to fill in for Cindy Sheehan.
So I did a Google search. Not a lot there:
It is traveling day for Evelyn Allen and Patricia Roberts, two mothers who lost their sons to the war in Iraq.
“We just don’t know the truth behind the war,” Allen told 11Alive’s Jerry Carnes “We’re at a standstill. Why is it going on? We want to know why.”
Allen is the mother of Jonathan Shields who was 25 when he died in Iraq. Patricia Roberts is the mother of Jamaal Addison, who was killed at the age of 23. With The mothers boarded a plane at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, bound for Crawford, Texas. They’ve joined in a protest there in front of President Bush’s Texas ranch, demanding that president Bush end the war.
Interesting that they’re both black. I don’t know the numbers, but I am under the impression that there are a disproportionate number of blacks serving. Many I know here are ardent supporters.
I’m buying me a Mac Mini!
The sleek Mac Mini from Apple Computer costs $499 at retail, but the total sum of the parts is less, says research firm iSuppli.
Analysts at the research firm dissected one of the Mac Mini computers and estimated that the total component bill likely comes to $274.69.
“With manufacturing costs added, the total rises to $283.37,” iSuppli stated in a recent research note.
First off, I’d like to see equivalent numbers for any Dell machine (as there is no equivalent Dell machine) and for other electronic items sold at retail. But more:
The total does not include costs for intellectual property, software, licensing fees, shipping, marketing or other expenses, so Apple’s total bill for putting a Mac Mini together is actually higher.
“In general, the Mac Mini’s high level of integration makes it one of the most cutting-edge systems iSuppli has ever dissected,” iSuppli stated.
I don’t know what percentage of Apple’s profits the Mini might be but my guess is not much.
It is a darned good machine (my former boss in NY has one--at work!) that takes up no desk space (I’ve got a small house) and is perfectly adequate for photos, music, email, blogging and web surfing—the things I use a home machine for. (I’ve even edited video on Macs with less muscle, so while not ideal for that, it’s doable.)
I.T.’s antipathy for it is a symptom of their benchmark mentality and distance from the actual user’s needs and experience. It is affordable high-design and functionality and allows folks like me, who want to own both platforms, or those who just like Macs, a good entry-level option.
I say if you like it, buy it!
Missing in action
Have I mentioned that I’m working real hard? Through last weekend and late every day this week.
So I declared that yesterday I was going to leave work early. Fat chance—I not only didn’t leave early, I missed lunch! I get cranky when I don’t eat. And migraines. Last night’s was killer.
Given that, I hardly had a moment for blogging. And I have so much stored up to say! But still, this weekend I’ve got to catch up with work on the house. I hope to pick back up to my normal posting goal (4 a day, some with substance*) in the coming week.
*Of course I believe all my posts are substantive. In this instance I’m defining “substance” as something more than a “check this out.”