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Monday, February 10, 2003

What's it called when no matter what the facts say, no matter how anyone else sees the situation, no matter what the consequences are, you plunge blindly forward as if you and you alone could see clearly? Is that tunnel vision? Or is it possible that our president is right and the rest of the world is wrong?

Every time something is revealed that contradicts the notions that lead him toward the course of action he's already decided upon, he finds a creative reason to disregard whatever wisdom and truth the rest of the world sees and comes up with a new excuse to keep going in the same direction.

Why, it's almost as if he doesn't want to hear what anyone has to say unless they agree with him! It's hard to imagine anyone being that self-destructive, but it's the way things appear.

Threatening war seems to be working. Iraq is making concessions, and the inspectors are satisfied that their work is keeping things moving in the right direction. NATO wants to give them more time. Our friends are closer to the potential war zone, and they want to exercise more caution than we do.

War itself would undo any good the threat of it has done, and would create scars that wouldn't heal for a long time. It would get the U.S. and whatever allies it can muster into the business of setting up and propping up a puppet government in a country halfway around the world. In a time of economic distress, the aftermath of war could drain our resources even more than the war would.

Of course, the advantage would be that the oil barons backing the war would help the "people" of Iraq build up their "infrastructure," with an eye toward "economic revitalization" and "stability." Yeah, that's what'll happen, because we're always looking out for the well-being of those with fewer advantages.

Even if I thought war were a good idea, there's still no compelling reason to rush into it before other methods have a chance to work. There's no clear, imminent danger. No one else in the world sees things the way the Bush administration does. Even Germany is against a war. Doesn't that tell him something?

on the peak

The black phoebe and the satellite dish share my roof.

Pre-emptive strikes seem like a really bad precedent for a superpower to set. Every country in the world thinks it has right on its side, and every thug with a weapon at his disposal would believe he has a right to use it. If everyone is armed and there's no way to regulate weapons use, the whole world would be like Texas, and who needs that?

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It's hard to have much focus when I'm spending the day working on a single, massive project. Besides the simple fact that entering data into a spreadsheet holds no intrinsic worth, there's the more general sense that everything I do is pretty insignificant.

But isn't that just the way? Everyone does a little something, and in the end society holds together. You can take out one cog and the machine will still roll on. You get the guy at the controls steering us all in the wrong direction, though, and we're liable to veer off the edge and into a swamp. Yes, a swamp, right in the middle of a desert.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Top to Bottom
"It must take a special kind of dementia to embrace this task."

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And I should be on my way by now
Walking across the floor
Reaching for the door