Friday, November 20, 2009

Odds and Ends

It sure gets dark early here in Scotland. I don’t know how the Scots handle it!

In other news, I have started a new music blog with a few other bloggers from around the web (including The New Centrist) called “Some Lost, Some Found.” Each day we should have up a new post that contains streaming audio and/or mp3s to download. We will also hopefully give a little information about the music we are posting and why we think it’s worth a listen. So drop by when you can, take a listen, and leave a comment.

Speaking of the New Centrist, he has returned from his sabbatical and has returned to posting. It’s good to have him back.

Here are a few recent posts worth checking out from some other fine bloggers.

Anti-German Translation - Some disgusting "anarchists"

Airforce Amazons - The Short of It (on Afghanistan)

Bob's continuing conversations, 1 and 2. Definitely worth looking through.

Greater Surbiton - The Difficult Road to Balkan Stability

Harry's Place - No Sharia Law: Support Muslims fighting religious tyranny

Martin in the Margins - Frank talk on Education

Michael Totten - Post Communist Postcards (more wonderful pictures from Michael).

Normblog - Ways of Respect

Poumista - Democratic Green Stalinst?

Simply Jews - Too Many Dupes

Terry Glavin - What Do You Mean You're "Pro-Palestinian"?

The Contentious Centris - "Jew Flu"

The Poor Mouth - Q: How do you find a Nazi war criminal?

Evan Daniel - Pathology and Ideology: Major Nidal Malik Hasan and the Case of Leon Czolgosz

Christopher Hitchens - Palin's Base Appeal

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

On Health Care Reform

I would never have imagined that I would at one point support a hack like Harry Reid over Joe Lieberman, but then came along health care reform, and the specific plans the Democrats are pushing. Lieberman said he will filibuster to stop the Democratic plan that is now headed to the Senate, something I find terribly unfortunate. On the issue of health care, I am still very much to the left of the debate in the US, as I think a universal single-payer system is inevitable and desirable. The fact that it is so incredibly difficult to even implement a “public option” that covers just a handful of Americans is a depressing reflection of how politics is currently practiced in the good old US of A.

You may have noticed that this is my first post on the whole health care debate that has engulfed American politics for the last few months. It’s not that I don’t think it’s important, I think it is perhaps the most important domestic issue the US currently faces; it’s that I truthfully have little to add to the debate in any meaningful way. I read the papers and browse the alternative bills offered up by members of congress and various think tanks, but the specifics behind the plans is beyond my realm of interest.

I haven’t lived in the US for some time now which adds to my dislocation from the debates around domestic issues back home. A few years back I was slamming the Democrats for their foreign policy naivety and posturing, and found myself conversing with other liberals and lefties who believed the US needed to commit itself to the promotion of democracy, and should not make the mistake of falling back into the realpolitic trap. Many of us still supported liberal and socialist programs, but that debate took a backseat to the foreign policy one. Now that American attention has focused intensely on local issues and less on international concerns, I find that I have little of substance to contribute to the things other bloggers and commentators are arguing. Which is why, in a nutshell, I have said nothing of America’s healthcare woes.

I do however hope that a better system will be in place by January, but I have serious doubts we will see any type of change.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Wise Words from Mark Twain

"Monarchies, aristocracies, and religions....there was never a country where the majority of the people were in their secret hearts loyal to any of these institutions."
- Mark Twain in The Mysterious Stranger.