Archive for August 18, 2011

Gadhafi to Leave Libya

After insist­ing that the only way he’d leave Libya was in a body bag, Moam­mar Gad­hafi sur­prised the world by saying…nothing. OK, he didn’t sur­prise the world that way. But it looks as if, after five months of bat­tle, he is prepar­ing to leave Libya, due to what appears to be his inevitable demise.

Rebel forces are rapidly cap­tur­ing key cities through­out the coun­try, while NATO holds the line at “the shores of Tripoli”.

So if he’s not talk­ing, how do we know he’s plan­ning to leave? Some­thing a lit­tle more than rumor among US national defense employees.

Is this the return of Arab Spring in the dog days of summer?

The Spy in Your Pocket

Full dis­clo­sure: I do not own a cell­phone. I do not carry one. I never have, even though a cou­ple of them live at my house. In fact, there are fre­quent bit­ter accu­sa­tions made within our fam­ily along the lines of, “What if we were all out hik­ing and some­body on the trail with you was mauled by a bear, and they would bleed to death because you don’t even know how to use the damn phone?”

I serenely resist this pres­sure. I don’t want peo­ple to be able to reach out and touch me when­ever they choose. I don’t want my peace­ful soli­tary hikes to be inter­rupted with com­plaints about how long the line-​​up is at the car wash, or ques­tions about which kind of cheese is best for lasagna, or reports on how fussy the baby is while teething on these hot days.

Human beings were not meant to be in con­stant, round-​​the-​​clock con­tact with one another. Our souls are nour­ished in solitude.

And call me para­noid, but I don’t want sin­is­ter quasi-​​governmental orga­ni­za­tions hav­ing the abil­ity to track my every move.  I find this kind of stuff deeply alarm­ing, because it hints at the poten­tial for kinds of mis­chief I can barely imag­ine, let alone under­stand. Per­haps peo­ple will become less enam­ored of their cell phones when they slowly begin to real­ize they are car­ry­ing a spy in their pocket.

Some­how I doubt it.

The 2012 Republican Primary Field: August, 2011

Once a month, we give a run­down of the Repub­li­can field for the 2012 Pres­i­den­tial nomination.

With Con­gress on recess, and vot­ers’ atten­tion focused on a whip-​​sawing stock mar­ket, a grow­ing Euro­pean (and Amer­i­can) debt dis­as­ter, and slug­gish eco­nomic recov­ery, it didn’t look like much was going to hap­pen on the Repub­li­can polit­i­cal front in late July and early August. Wis­con­sin Democ­rats tried, and failed, to gain con­trol of the State Sen­ate, falling one seat short. The Super-​​Congress was appointed.

In the race for the 2012 nom­i­na­tion until August 13, there was lit­tle move­ment in the Repub­li­can field. Then, on that one day, per­haps in response to some prim­i­tive olfac­tory cue, ele­phants stampeded:

  • Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Michele Bach­mann (R-​​MN) and Ron Paul (R-​​TX) vir­tu­ally tied for the lead in the Ames (Iowa) Straw Poll.
  • Texas Gov­er­nor Rick Perry announced his can­di­dacy in South Car­olina, thumb­ing his nose at Iowans in the process.
  • For­mer Min­nesota Gov­er­nor Tim Paw­lenty, dis­ap­pointed at his dis­tant third-​​place show­ing in the Ames Straw Poll, announced that he was fold­ing up his tent and leav­ing. (more…)
Go to Top