Explaination - actually thinking
The lack of recent posts is primarily due to my taking a pause in posting, and instead spending sometime assimilating new information and thinking - a radical departure I know. But there is also some truth to the suspected 'election hangover' charge - I'm having a hard time dealing with the fact that I live in a country so oblivious.
Oh, another contributing factor is, as usual, C-SPAN
. During the past few weeks, the US Congress has been recessed in the obligatory 'celebration' of various myths, and C-SPAN fills the time with outstanding programming. In fact, I wish we could cut congress down to meeting twenty days a year since they don't accomplish very much anyway, and what they do accomplish is largely in the interests of NOT ME. I could watch what may be the best programming on television on a more regular basis, and not have to worry about congress actually passing important legislation when I'm not looking.
Some recommendations for those who aren't C-SPAN junkies:
C-SPAN Special: Thomas P.M. Barnett, Author, "The Pentagon's New Map"
[if the link doesn't work, search for the title on 12/20/04] - he actually does what Rumsfeld can't: he has a plan for revamping our military, the 'transformation', that makes sense; including the creation of a Department of Peace, and he's no dove. C-SPAN presented an earlier presentation by Thomas P.M. Barnett (he blogs!!!)
that he did around Labor Day of this year, which is where I first encountered him, but I can't find it at the C-SPAN site. If you have any interest in transforming the military to deal with the issues of 21st century, that might even work, this is worth your time: "The Pentagon's New Map"
[if the link doesn't work, search for the title on 12/20/04].
Note: Original broadcast here -> Booknotes: Search Results
I could take the time to link to the following via C-SPAN, but I've spent enough time here for today -
, by Robert Higgs - I found it good, but somewhat two dimensional i.e., he talks about protecting our freedoms from government, but never addresses who will protect us from the major corporations when we've done away with many government powers. I think the problem is far more complicated than can be addressed in a 'govt vs the people' type argument. Still, his arguments are worth considering.
"Future of the All Volunteer Army", panel discussion from the Center for American Progress. Interesting, some good points, but I didn't find any of the arguments so convincing that I wrote down the arguers name - so that may tell you something, but they do a great job of presenting some of the issues involved.
Is American Liberty Imperiled?
from December 18, 2004
Andrew Napolitano, author of "Constitutional Chaos," and Gene Healy, editor of "Go Directly to Jail," argue that the federal government has become a threat to our civil liberties. Mr. Healy shares stories about American citizens, including Martha Stewart, who have been thrown into jail for violating obscure federal laws or for committing non-violent, victimless crimes. Judge Napolitano argues that the USA Patriot Act and the recently approved intelligence reform bill both violate the Constitution. He also gives a historical overview of government efforts to curtail civil rights in this country. The event was hosted by the Cato Institute in Washington, DC. Includes Q&A.
Also worth your time. I was impressed with Andrew Napolitano ["Constitutional Chaos"], FOX legal analyst, presentation and responses to question, though I was all set to write him off. A much better thinker than I expected, and another example of the payoffs I get, when I put my prejudices aside long enough to hear what someone is saying. Another case of not finding an easy link quickly, Book TV.org
Okay, I'm also reading Descartes' Meditations
- of "I think therefore I am" fame. It's actually a pretty good argument. And I have an Aldous Huxley book and one on theories concerning Orion in the wings.
I did have a personal Epiphany
and am still trying to see it's ramifications. Basically, you choose your universe. We'll see.
Because the IMF is crap
Well, that's my opinion, anyway. I see the IMF and World Bank as schills for the already wealthy countries and the bankers who control them. Their constant demand for countries to throw their economies on the winds of the 'free market', read markets we already control, has done more to damage developing countries than just about anything else. The former Soviet countries that have performed the best since the USSR fell, are those that largely ignored the IMF and World Bank 'demands' to reform without constraining the 'free market'. Anyway, this sort of supports my contention that there are better ways for developing countries to handle their economies - The New York Times - Argentina's Economic Rally Defies Forecasts