30 May 2006

A New Blog to Recommend

I found a blog that I think is worth sharing. It's by a Lebonese man who often travels to Israel and is very conflicted by what he finds there, within himself. He is a wonderful writer in English so check him out. He calls himself the Perpetual Refugee.

[Let's see if I can redeem myself and get this one right]

Conservative Rock Songs

Over at Jon Swift there is a list of rock songs that are a big hit with the conservative crowd (and you thought they only listened to C&W and Lawrence Welk). Here's a sample, but I encourage you to read all 50 of them.

1. Bobby McFerrin
"Don't Worry, Be Happy"
Has there ever been a more succinct summation of the philosophy of conservatism? I could listen to this song again and again and again and again.

2. Bruce Springsteen
"Born in the USA"
How could the National Review have missed this one? Ronald Reagan loved this patriotic song and used it during his campaign, which must have made Bruce Springsteen very proud. I love to sing the words aloud: "Something, something, something, etc./BORN IN THE USA!"

3. Silhouettes
"Get a Job"
The conservative welfare plan in three little words.

You might also want to check out his account of being diagnosed with the dreaded, but not terminal, CFS (Conservative Fatique Syndrome). People suffering from this need all the help they can get.

29 May 2006

My Reading Program

This summer I have stacks of books to get through, some for research and some just for fun. There seems to be an 'end of Empire' theme here, starting with Pelikan's The Excellent Empire, and continuing with Aldo Schiavone's The End of the Past: Ancient Rome and the Modern West, Bryan Ward-Perkins The Fall of Rome and the End of Civilization, followed by Peter Heather's enormous The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians. Since Heather is an historian of the Goths of considerable reputation I am looking forward to that one the most. That should occupy some time.

For research I have started on The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture: the Indo-Aryan Migration Debate by Edwin Bryant. It's a good book from several standpoints. Bryant surveys the origin of the notion that the Aryans of India originated from outside India in some Proto-Indo-European homeland located close to Europe, if not actually in Europe. He then shows how this notion was used to shore up the British colonialist project in India and is now assumed to be, at least in the West, unassailable. But what is original and fascinating is that Bryant then goes on to look at the rejection of this narrative by Indian scholars and intellectuals and why they are so hostile to it. Unlike most western scholars, he is willing to look at their arguments in detail, noting carefully where they make good points. This is a contentious issue, and one that I would like to know more about while I work on my projected article on the origins of chariot warfare in the Bronze Age.

I try to get in my fiction reading by listening to novels read on tape and CD while I commute, walk the dog, or work in the kitchen now that I am once again Captain of the Kitchen. I am finishing up Horizon Storms by Kevin Anderson. Characters and dialogue are hopeless, but he creates a future clash of civilizations on a scale so vast it can only be compared to Doc Smith's Lensman and Skylark series of decades ago. Not sure that is a complement.

I am also listening to An Instance of the Fingerpost, a very good murder mystery set in Cromwellian and Restoration England. It is set up as a Rashamon style story told from several viewpoints, with the reader left wondering just what the truth is. Just before I started these I finished listening to Baudolino by Umberto Eco. Since it also dealt with the nature of truth and storytelling, and set in Constantinople when it was being sacked by the Fourth Crusade, I was completely engaged by it. Not least because last semester I taught a course on medieval warfare and we read a chronicle written by an eyewitness to the sack of the city. Truth was a lot stranger than fiction in this case.

Next week - Stephen King's The Dark Tower.

Gibbon and Religion

When Gibbon completed the first volume of his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, he was roundlyl criticized by many Christians for his attitude towards the history of the Church. As Pelikan points out, what they found most distasteful was Gibbon's using the same methods and standards for church history as he would for any other type of history. As Gibbon said:
The theologian may indulge the pleasing task of describing Religion as she descended from Heaven, arrayed in her native purity. A more meloncholy duty is imposed on the historian. He must discovere the inevitable mixture of error and corruption which she contracted in a long residence upon earth, among a weak and degenerate race of beings.

He also had a few ironic words to say about the beliefs of the Empire before Christianity,
The various modes of worship which prevailed in the Roman world were all considered by the people as equally true; by the philosopher as equally false; and by the magistrate as equally useful.

The Pelikan and the Gibbon

I have started reading The Excellent Empire, the Fall of Rome and the Triumph of the Church by Jaroslav Pelikan. Essentially the book is a collection of extended conversations with Edward Gibbon and his views on the fall of Rome and the rise of Christianity. Consequently I love it.

In a passage describing the struggle within the Third Century Christian community over whether or not a man who had sinned could possibly be a priest (sometimes called the Donatist Controversy) Pelikan makes the arresting statement about the nature of the Church that should still be valid:
The church was not a moral all-star team for which one could qualify by being an athlete of holiness; it was a moral hospital in which, by the medicine of the sacraments, one could be gradually healed -- provided that one subjected oneself to the discipline of the doctors and nurses.

Pelikan then goes on to discuss many other aspects of the social triumph of the Church within the empire, always in dialogue with some of the most famous quotes from Gibbon, including his boast that
In the preceding volumes of this History, I have described the triumph of barbarism and religion.

Pelikin then goes on at length to show what this might mean.

26 May 2006

American Business: A Few Bad Apples

This paragraph sums up an editorial in today's Washington Post:
There is a danger in this verdict [i.e. conviction of Lay and Skilling], however. In the wake of Enron's bankruptcy, some argued that the problems of corporate America were the work of a few bad apples. That argument lost, for the good reason that fully 250 U.S. public companies had to restate their accounts in 2002, up from 92 five years earlier. Corporate America's problems reflected lax oversight of auditors, conflicts of interest at audit companies, accounting rules with too many inviting loopholes and so on. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, passed in 2002 to fix these systemic weaknesses, now faces a backlash from firms that complain of stiff compliance costs. Although some tweaks in the way the law is implemented may be justified, the welcome Enron verdict should not color the regulatory question. This decade's business scandals were not just about bad apples, and putting those apples in jail is not going to change that.

24 May 2006

Fratricide: a Muslim view

Mona Eltahawy is a Muslim commentator based in New York. In an essay posted on Muslim Wake-Up about the Muslim vs Muslim nature of al-Qaeda's self-styled 'Jihad.' She concludes with this (and please note that it is an Arab TV reporter who makes the final, damning observation):

For those of us in the Muslim world fed up of the bloody toll of bin Laden's lies, the solution is to highlight, clearly and unequivocally, who bears the brunt of his message.

I saw an interesting example of doing just that in the aftermath of November’s Jordanian bombings. Seventeen members of a wedding party killed in the blasts were from a village
in Jenin on the West Bank.

A correspondent for al-Arabiya TV went to a community centre at the village to report on families receiving condolences. He ended his report by saying "bullets of (Israeli) occupation killed 12 people from this village, but in less than five minutes the Amman bombings killed 17."

23 May 2006

More Wisdom from Derbyshire

Another interesting post from the NRO Corner from John Derbyshire.

A New Nation [John Derbyshire]

Montenegro has voted for independence (from Serbia).

This will (they still have to do the thing formally, this was just a vote) complete the breakup of the old Yugoslav federation. I suppose an uncharitable person, perhaps one with an eye on Iraq, might conclude that the moral of the whole sad mess has been that people would rather live in a small, un-diverse nation than a big, diverse one. But that, of course, would be wrong, wrong, wrong.

In case you miss the point, we live in a 'big, diverse one,' one that Derbyshire seems increasingly out of sorts with. The whole issue gets Jonah Goldberg pining for the Hapsburg Empire, of late great fame. For myself, I always had a soft spot for the Ottoman Empire. After all, it gave us most of our marching band equipment and traditions.

Goebbels, delusion, and the reality of war

Some time back I wrote a post quoting George Orwell about how you can only spin things so far until reality pushes back. He added that this was especially true in war. Here is a fascinating entry from Joseph Goebbels' diary the day after D-Day. What's fascinating about it is that this is not the public b.s of the designated liar, like 'Baghdad Bob'. This is Goebbels writing only for himself.

June 7, 1944
Yesterday: During the night, the first reports started arriving about the Allied invasion in the West. The Führer was in an exceptionally lively mood. The invasion is taking place exactly where we had anticipated it. Unless absolutely everything goes wrong, we should be able to cope. Unfortunately the enemy has already sent some tank units into action; but we will be mobilizing our reserves. Two top-rate tank divisions have already left. The Führer is convinced that we will expel the enemy units that have landed, and wipe out their paratroops

PBS and 'The Man Behind Hitler'

Tonight I watched 'The Man Behind Hitler', the PBS show consisting almost entirely of readings by Kenneth Branagh from the diaries of Joseph Goebbels. Hitler has become the modern West's exemplar of evil, in fact, he and his circle sometimes seem sufficient proof for the existance of real evil. Not Sunday school evil, not evil as a philosophical abstract, but the product of humans, just like you and I in most physiological aspects, working their twisted will on the flesh and souls of others.

The show was a startling depiction of 'a brilliant but toxic mind' as the NYT called him. It takes you into the inner workings of that mind. At some points, when you see him dragging his polio deformed foot and hear him mention the pain it caused him, or when he starts bubbling over with joy for falling in love with his future
wife, you begin to realize just how human he was. It is important never to forget that. When you then see how twisted, delusional, and genuinely vicious the man was and all the horrors he was responsible for, it is important to see that he was just another human, like you or I. And he and Hitler had the population and resources of a great Christian nation at their disposal.

If you know the story of World War II the show takes on a creepy, morally challenging aspect. See his cute, blond children playing musical instrument for daddy's birthday - you have already seen pictures of their six tiny bodies laid out by the Russians after Mommy and Daddy poisoned them. His wife Magda - you have already seen the films and pictures of her horrifically burnt body after she and her husband committed suicide. And those thousands of cheering party leaders screaming 'Ja! Ja!' when Goebbels demands to know if they accepted 'total war, no matter how extreme or radical'? Well, you know what happened to most of them. The Russians got there first, with what we can call, at the very least, 'total war.'

In some ways, studying the Nazis and their rise and fall is a religious experience. How can it not be with so many ideas of sin and retribution, the destruction of innocents, the escape of perpetrators, the moral confusion of it all. The scale of the suffering is almost beyond our grasp now, the depth of its subtle destruction on the mind and soul easy to miss.

But if you saw this show, you would at least know that something was there to contend with, and you can glimpse it all there in the mind of one man.

21 May 2006

Gibbon on the French

Cleaning my office, throwing out notes, drafts, scribbled messages to myself. Here is one, from chapter xxxviii of Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire in which Gibbon uses the Roman author Agathias to illustrate the society of the early Franks.

[Agathias] celebrates their politeness and urbanity, their regular government, and orthodox religion; and boldly asserts, that these Barbarians could be distinguished only by their dress and language from the subjects of Rome. Perhaps the Franks already displayed the social dispositions and lively graces, which in every age have disguised their vices, and sometimes concealed their intrinsic merit.

19 May 2006

Also without Comment

Dana Milbank of the Washington Post, on his slant right or left:

"I am of course terrified of the Ombudswoman. She is my own Patrick Fitzgerald. Just last week she told me the Pentagon was complaining about a story I wrote about a Rummy briefing. Evidently I didn't appreciate how effective he was in fact being. They sent a tape of the briefing to prove their point. Then, several days later, it was discovered that they had sent a tape of the wrong briefing.

This may explain some of the troubles in Iraq."

Without Comment

"When Gen. Michael V. Hayden called the tenure of Porter Goss at the CIA 'amateur hour on the top floor,' or when he criticized a Rumsfeld inspired ad hoc intelligence office set up in the aftermath of 9/11 to 'find' Saddam Hussein links to al Qaeda and build the WMD case for Iraq, they were small but rare and delicious moments."

'Early Warning' by William Arkin

18 May 2006

One more good reason to like Georgie's speech!

In case you were wondering where all the anti-immigrant rhetoric was going here is a quote from Vox Day on World Net Daily in reaction to Bush's speech the other night [http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=50198]:

And [Bush] will be lying, again, just as he lied when he said: "Massive deportation of the people here is unrealistic -- it's just not going to work."

Not only will it work, but one can easily estimate how long it would take. If it took the Germans less than four years to rid themselves of 6 million Jews, many of whom spoke German and were fully integrated into German society, it couldn't possibly take more than eight years to deport 12 million illegal aliens, many of whom don't speak English and are not integrated into American society.

It isn't often when you find one so excessively honest about the intellectual roots of his program. Apparantly at least some of the anti-immigrant party clearly see a comparison between the 12 million illegal aliens and the Jews of Europe.

[Thanks to a comment writer SR on 'Reason Online: Hit and Run.']

16 May 2006

Another Beautiful Theory destroyed by Ugly Fact

'I also lay aside all ideas of any new works or engines of war, the invention of which long-ago reached its limit, and in which I see no hope for further improvement.'

Sextus Julius Frontinus
Governor of Roman Britania, AD 84

A Little Pharmo Fact to Amuse You

"When you look at the highest quality medical studies, the odds that a study will favor the use of a new drug is 5.3 times higher for commercially funded studies than for noncommercially funded studies."

John Abramson of Harvard Medical School in Discover magazine.

One GOOD reason to like Georgie's speech

The Dementor Cons over at National Review Online's Corner hated it! It's actually amusing to watch them contorting into pretzels to bite themselves on the tail in frustration. I'm feeling better already. Do yourself a favor and read some of it. One of their readers wrote in with this post. Kathryn Jean Lopez, who they endearingly call KayLo (just a sample of their cleverness), apparently did not understand just what it meant, so she posted it. Or maybe she likes being compared to a Dementor. I love the imagery. See what you think.

I just stopped by the Corner to see what was happening. I think I have discovered a new group of conservatives (crunchy cons, neocons, etc.). Dementor Cons. If you haven't read Harry Potter, Dementors are creatures that suck all happiness out of people. I think you have more Dementors at the Corner than a convention of Azkaban prison guards (see Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban if you wonder)

15 May 2006

I liked Georgie's speech - this time

Considering that his sacred 'base' that Rove has been so anxious to placate and pander to hates it, I found Bush's speech, well, courageous. There's some garbage in it, like trying to use Guardsmen as border guards (one would have thought we had better things for them to be doing, what with hurricanes and wars and all), but I found much of the rhetoric surprisingly considerate of the opposite side. I think this is one case where Bush's innate decency, no matter how uninformed and self-absorbed it might be, wins out over Rove's advice. Because of his family, and his familiarity with the situation in Texas, his instincts are to try to find a reasonable compromise. I can live with that. It is much more than we usually get out of Bush. On the whole, I agree with Andrew Sullivan (again):

I have to say I found little wrong with it. The president's insistence on both goals - border security and gradual legalization of millions of illegal immigrants already here - makes sense to me. His eschewal of inflammatory rhetoric was welcome. His enthusiasm for immigration and his empathy with immigrants are genuine, it seems to me. The rhetoric wasn't inspiring, but it wasn't pedestrian either. In all this, he was doing what a president should do: try and bring factions together for a constructive and comprehensive reform. I fear the tenor of the debate on the right has gone too far for the president to win back much of his base; and the Democrats are not likely to go out of their way to help him win a victory this year. But the future base of the Republican party, if it manages to appeal to the exploding Latino population, will be in a better mood. The Bush we saw tonight was more like the Bush we thought we were getting in 2000. Which is why, perhaps, his increasingly extreme and angry party will only turn on him some more.

10 May 2006

An Aside

I was going to write more on that last one, but I'm tired and think I've said too much already. I should get back to some old history, or maybe some more Sci-Fi and Fantasy, Christian or otherwise. But thanks to Parker and his comments. I would welcome any other comments, from Parker or anyone else. As I said in my very first post on this blog, I have no particular skill or knowledge about politics. Generally I study dead people, who did not leave a paper trail.

Good night folks.

09 May 2006

Rove's Paw III: A response

Parker, from Washington, my home town, has written a comment to the last post wondering, among other things, "what is wrong with wanting an impeachment?" You should read the whole comment to see his argument, it's certainly heartfelt. It will also help you to understand this post.

Nothing is wrong in wanting an impeachment. It might be politically fitting, morally just, and perfectly legal. It might also be a mistake.

It will be a meaningless desire if Democrats don't start winning some elections soon. One of the ways to do that is what any student of chess is taught in the first game or two: Always ask yourself why an opponent made that last move.

That is what the posts on Karl's Paw are about. If Rove thinks that the way to defeat the Democrats is to make Nancy Pelosi their poster child for the demonization of the Democrats, somebody among the Democrats ought to ask "why is he doing that?" Pelosi's rhetoric might be appealing to the roughly one third of the electorate who think like Parker. It would certainly encourage them to go to the polls this fall. Parker, however, seems committed enough already. I don't think anyone who feels the way he does needs to be jacked up further - they'll vote if they have to wade through molten asphalt to do it. If the usual supporters for Bush and the Republicans are disgusted enough with the failing presidency to stay home (a real possibility) than the committed Democratic voters carry the day.

That will probably only happen if a large segment of the electorate that is not particularly charmed by either party and their political methods decide to go to the polls and vote. I am of this ilk. Right now all indications are that they would vote against Republicans.

Here is where my reconstruction of the Rovian plan kicks in. Nancy Pelosi is anathema to many of the Right and talk of impeaching Bush and investigating all kinds of things about his administration will madden them to the point where they will swallow their increasing disgust with this administration and head to the polls. They won't be voting for Democrats.

Since I believe that such voters would roughly equal the committed anti-Bushies trooping to the poll, victory would then go to whoever attracted, or at least failed to repel, the broad middle of the electorate. By and large they do not want to hear talk of impeachment or investigations. They didn't like it for Clinton and they won't like it for Bush. They would like to hear talk of practical solutions to problems that effect them right now: the high cost of gas, the cost of health insurance, Social Security, etc. They are, I believe, highly susceptible to rhetoric that clearly points out how the Republicans have done nothing to solve these problems, but the Democrats can.

Rove is also counting on the Hayden nomination to fit this mold. Once again, why is he making this move? I saw Hayden on the Jim Leher TV show yesterday and he looks great in his Air Force uniform and build. He looks like, as the Republican Representative from New Mexico kept gushing "a great leader! Our military produces great leaders!" Now such talk gives me a tummy ache, but consider how Rove can play it: "Look at this brave strong leader. A proud military man! 20 years of service to his country! Tons of experience in Intelligence! Exactly what we need to make sure that you, and little Buffy and Muffy, are safe! And those liberals over there, those anti-military, unpatriotic, treat-the-enemy-with-kid-gloves LIBERALS, are opposing his nomination! Why, they don't even want leaders like General Hayden to listen in on what the terrorists are plotting!"

I know it sounds witless, but then so did the Swift Boat campaign. Parker also asks, "Are you saying that the GOP shouldn't be held to the same standard they expected of Clinton and the Dems in the '90s?" Absolutely. I thought 'their' standard was wrong, hypocritical, cheap destructive politics, over the top - and politically inept.

It boils down to whether you want to punish the Bushies, or help push the Republic onto a better path.

08 May 2006

Rove's Paw II

From Andrew Sullivan: "The NYT says today that Rove's strategy will be to emphasize the horror of Speaker Pelosi as a reason for Republicans to show up in November. We'll get the usual gay-baiting, nicely timed to be rolled out in the Senate on 6/6/6."

And here is why it might work, in her own words, taken from a John Fund column in Wall Street Journal, and he surely is more tuned in to White House strategy than I am. In lamenting how hapless the Republicans now are, he hopefully looks on the bright sided:

"So far Democrats are offering little should they take control of the House. Nancy Pelosi, the minority leader, told the Washington Post last week, that she planed to launch a series of investigations, starting with the five-year old meetings of the energy task force that was convened by Vice President Dick Cheney and that the Supreme Court has already ruled was within its rights to hold secret meetings. The Washington Post reported that "Pelosi denied Republican allegations that a Democratic House would move quickly to impeach President Bush. But, she said of the planned investigations, 'You never know where it leads to.' "

This is the perfect straw man (sorry Nancy) for the Rovian machine to spin. No one but the liberal base cares about these things for the moment, and no one but the liberal base seriously wants to see an impeachment. If this is all they have to offer in return for a Democratic House it will simply be a race to see how much the public has turned against the Republican party: it will have to be willing to see Pelosi in charge rather than the Republicans.

But as in the last post, I think we can clearly see the first roll out of the Rovian counterattack.
Surely you knew there would be one.

The Fine Paw of Karl Rove?

Bush has just named Gen. Michael Hayden to be head of the CIA. Several Congressmen, Democratic and Republican, have registered their unease with the idea of a military man heading a civilian agency. The Democrats can be expected to fight it, and are practically salivating at the chance to get themselves and Hayden in front of TV cameras at his confirmation hearings. They will be able to grill him in public on his role in the warrentless wiretapping program.

I don't think that is a good idea. If I were the Democrats I would just say nothing and vote against him, or not. Hayden was not named without careful consideration by Rove and others of the political fallout. It is a trap. Go after Hayden, get the headlines, the TV coverage, and once again Democrats bring up the issue of national security in a way that the White House can picture as unpatriotic. They want to handle our enemies with kid gloves! They're soft on security! Etc, etc, etc.

Now this may be nonsense (unfortunately it isn't, at least not entirely), but that isn't the point. The hearings will burn up air time, hog headlines and newsprint, and divert attention from the issues of the fall election, like how bad this Republican White House really is. The resulting fog will be enough for the Bush administration and the Republican party to hide behind. The motor to this will be two things the Bushies can depend on from the Democrats: hatred for whatever Bush proposes, and their own egos. As long as national security is the topic, Democratic opposition to the proposed CIA head for any reason other than sheer incompetence will play to the Bushies.

It is a work of genius.

By the way, have you ever noticed that genius is a thoroughly amoral attribute?

05 May 2006

John Derbyshire, the fate of the Republic, and manhood

The following quotes are found in a post at the National Review's 'The Corner'. If you want a good taste of what has happened to at least some of the thinkers of the Right, and how far they have fallen during the Bush years, 'The Corner' makes for enlightening reading: puerile humor, bombast, ad hominem attacks, sloppy thinking. A few genuine nuggets. The only thing that prevents William F Buckley from spinning in his grave is that he is not dead yet.

Anyway, here it is for what it's worth:

"Shame [John Derbyshire]

Thank God the Moussaoui trial is over. I have never been so embarrassed for my country. The low point of the thing — and a low point for our nation in its accelerating slide to oblivion — was when that U.S. Navy Lieutenenat sniveled and blubbed on the witness stand while Moussaoui jeered at her — quite rightly, in my opinion. ... An American officer, in uniform, weeping IN THE FACE OF THE ENEMY! ....

Judge Brinkema's closing remarks were typical of the whole sorry performance, and gave Moussaoui yet another opportunity to play the man — the only man in the courtroom. [my emphisis] I wonder if you can win a war without deploying hatred. Homer didn't think so.

"When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, naturally they will favor the strong horse."—-Osama bin Laden. Yes, they will. We are doomed, doomed."

Well, if Derbyshire thinks "we are doomed, doomed", than for the first time in months I become optimistic about the fate of the Republic. Derbyshire is becoming something of a small, mean, nut case on the Right. I cannot imagine why a magazine founded by Buckley keeps him around.

For what it's worth, I do not believe that Derbyshire has served his nation in uniform. As for Homer, he was part of a society that thought homosexual relationships between real men were perfectly ok - even noble. And that human sacrifice was fine too. Not sure that the NR scribe realized this. But then, Derbyshire seems to think, if you can puzzle any real sense out of his rant, that Moussaoui was acting at the trial like a real 'man'.

04 May 2006

When did Americans become cowards?

The most puzzling thing to me about the aftermath of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon is the depressing spectacle of a great people acting as if they were motivated by nothing but fear bordering on terror. We are in danger - get over it. Don't go into a frenzy of trashing the Constitution, don't hand over 'unitary power' to the chief magistrate of the central government, and don't rush out to buy duct tape because the Chief of Homeland Security (those wonderful people who brought you the Katrina fiasco) has declared it a 'Red' threat day.

Now we are frightened because someone has recorded a Spanish version of the National Anthem! It has caused El Presidente to sound like a truculent xenophobe and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) to sound like a blithering idiot, demanding that "statements of national unity" be read or sung in English.

Here are a few views of others in this hour of national emergency under the great threat of --- well, what exactly?

"Are Americans really so insecure that they can't bear to hear their anthem sung in Spanish? We suggest that readers take a moment to listen to "Nuestro Himno" -- a respectful, recognizable, stirring version of a familiar song -- before making up their minds."
The Washington Post

"We have nothing to fear but fear itself."
Franklin Roosevelt

"We have met the enemy and he is us."
Pogo the Possum

"Get a grip."
Sam'l Clemens