The Battle of Cutlery Pod

Siege_engines_illustration_medium
For reasons more clearly outlined here and here, posting has been light. With luck, more hard work, and the hoped-for implementation of statistical curving, your scribe might yet make it through this period of extreme stress. Yet, as is surely the case for many other couples in similar circumstances, the daily flow of domestic life, like the local tides, continues unabated.

That is to say, the sharing of domestic responsibilities continues relentlessly. The need for extra study time, brief periods of self-pity, stress induced neurotic moments, none of these episodes are deemed worthy of a respite from my "responsibilities". No slack is forthcoming from the wife. No pity is to be found.

Recently, perhaps because my humanist side has been, to an extent, supplanted by an objective, quantifiable aspect, I determined that I was wasting time emptying the dishwasher due to the random placement of cutlery in the cutlery holder (the pod). Thinking that I had found a technique which would save valuable seconds in my hectic schedule, I happily shared the discovery with my beloved. Her expression, accompanied by a rolling of her baby-blues, indicated a complete lack of enthusiasm for my discovery.

And so it began. My duties include cleaning up after supper. I implemented the cutlery assignment plan, with great effect, I thought. However, since I am not in charge of breakfast cleanup, cutlery was randomly placed in the pod by the other half. Although the chaos in the pod was reduced, maximum effectiveness was not achieved. Gentle entreaties have so far not yielded the desire solution. Diplomacy has, yet again, failed. Heeding Clausewitz, who said: "war is nothing but a duel [or wrestling match, a better translation of the German Zweikampf] on a larger scale.", our wrestling match has ensued. So far, there is no clear winner. In fact, one might say that we are in the siege stage of this conflict.

This is the kind of battle that is measured in weeks, if not months. It requires planning, commitment, and the implementation of engineering skills to erect the weapons to batter the walls of wifely certitude. As other husbands, I suspect, will agree, this will be a mighty struggle.

Stay tuned.

PS – tactical insights from veterans of similar conflicts would be appreciated.

Continue reading “The Battle of Cutlery Pod”

War and Politics

Over the last few days, we citizens have had an opportunity to watch our US Senators in action, as they stake out positions on the next step in the Iraq War. I have not, in my watching, had occasion to compare our current gaggle of elected officials with the likes of Clay, Calhoun, Goldwater, or any other "lions" in the history of the Senate.

The link takes us to a definition of gaggle, to wit: "An unorganized group doing nothing", which, I think, describes the state of the Senate today. Unwilling to follow the war policy of a President whose approval ratings are in the low 30s and high 20s, declaring that such numbers indicate a failed policy and voter alienation, some Senators cannot, apparently, read further down the page that describes their approval rating as below that of the President.

One might think, given the existence of common sense, that some of those "bright lights" taking down their recently enhanced pay package might take their low approval rating as evidence that the public does not support their positions.

Which leads me to an editorial in today’s Washington Times:

The Senate is emitting an embarrassing level of emotional policy
twitching on the topic of Iraq. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid can’t
take the war any more. He "knows" it is lost. Sen. Olympia Snowe has
just about had it with the Iraqi government. If they don’t meet her
benchmarks — that’s it. Sen. Mitch McConnell thinks "that the
handwriting is on the wall that we are going in a different direction
in the fall and I expect the president to lead it." Who authored that
wall graffiti, he doesn’t say. After talking with grieving family
members of one of our fallen warriors, Sen. Pete Domenici "wants a new
strategy for Iraq."

I haven’t seen such uncritical thinking
since I hid under my bed sheets to get away from the monsters back when
I was 3 years old….

But the debate today in Washington is about none of these strategic
concerns. It is exclusively about Washington’s political timetable and
when the president will bend to such political necessity. For
self-admitted politics — rather than national security — to be driving
decision making in wartime Washington is not only an unpatriotic
disgrace — it is a national menace…

What we need from politicians in Washington is something more than the emotional response to crisis. What we need is men and women whose moral fiber, intestinal fortitude, and commitment to the best interests of our country rise above their petty, venal quest for political advantage.

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The Courage To Act

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Just when I think that our great nation is on the slippery slope to ruin, when I cannot stand another bit of bloviation from another G..D…. politician feigning rage while secretly enriching self and cronies, when I wonder if the national press corps will ever ask a thoughtful question, happily, a snippet of news like this comes along to brighten my day. It reminds me that we are a nation of strivers, that no dream is too remote, no challenge too great, no limit unattainable. God Bless him……

Via: Instapundit

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Amazing…

Bill Clinton, the disbarred attorney (perjury)who was also our 42nd President, has spoken on President Bush’s commutation of Mr. LIbby’s sentence for perjury. Apparently Mr. Libby may also face disbarment procedures, and, like Mr. Clinton, will avoid jail-time for his crime.  One wonders what problem  Mr. Clinton has with the result. Oh, wait a minute, he’s quoted in the New York Times on the subject……let’s let him speak for himself:

“It’s wrong to out that C.I.A. agent and wrong to try to cover it up,” Mr. Clinton added. “And no one was ever fired from the White House for doing it.”

Mr. Clinton pardoned 140 people in the final hours of his presidency, including Marc Rich,
the fugitive broker who had been charged with evading tens of millions
of dollars in taxes, and who was the former husband of a top donor to
Democrats and Mrs. Clinton’s first Senate campaign.

Wait a minute, I thought we all agreed with Mr. Fitzgerald that Richard Armitage was the leaker. "No partisan gunslinger" was the phrase used to describe Mr. Armitage by Robert Novak in his fateful column.

"No was ever fired from the White House for doing it", said Mr. Clinton. Well, say I, that’s because no one in the White House did it. And when Mr. Libby was charged with another crime, guess what? He was no longer in the White House.

Sheesh….is it too much to expect some honesty from Mr. Clinton?

CWCID: Jules Crittenden

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I Agree!

There are many posts on the subject, and I have not felt the urge to contribute my thoughts to such a partisan issue. However…….The Oxford Medievalist says exactly what I would have written, if perhaps in a more coherent and pithy version than your scribe would have scribbled.

With apologies to the original author, herewith the post in its entirety:

I suppose I owe the obligatory Scooter Libby post this morning. Regular readers will note that the Valerie Plame
CIA "leak" case hasn’t interested me much (at least enough to write
much about it), though I am enraged every time I see, hear and read Joe Wilson’s lies. That said, I haven’t been energized to the degree that some other bloggers
both conservatives and liberals – have been over the news that
President Bush commuted Scooter Libby’s 30 month prison sentence.

After
Libby lost his bid to remain on bail while seeking to overturn his
perjury and obstruction of justice convictions, President Bush immediately commuted the 30-month prison sentence, while leaving the $250,000 fine and probation in place:

President Bush
spared former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby from a 2
1/2-year prison term in the CIA leak investigation Monday, delivering a
political thunderbolt in the highly charged criminal case. Bush said
the sentence was just too harsh.

Bush’s move came
just five hours after a federal appeals panel ruled that Libby could
not delay his prison term. That meant Libby was likely to have to
report soon, and it put new pressure on the president, who had been
sidestepping calls by Libby’s allies to pardon Vice President Dick
Cheney’s former chief of staff.

"I respect the jury’s
verdict," Bush said in a statement. "But I have concluded that the
prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am
commuting the portion of Mr. Libby’s sentence that required him to
spend thirty months in prison."

In assessing the decision
to pardon or commute Libby’s sentence, I start from the premise(s) that
A) no crime was committed for which the special prosecutor, Patrick
Fitzgerald was empowered to investigate, namely, whether a covert CIA
officer’s identity was unlawfully leaked, and B) if there was a crime
committed for which Fitzgerald was empowered to investigate, it
apparently was Richard Armitage who was the source of the leak.

Separately,
C) I believe that unless it be found that charges are bogus and
evidence clearly manufactured, the decision of a jury must be respected.

During
the course of the investigation, Mr. Fitzgerald saw fit to seek – and
secure – an indictment of perjury, obstruction of justice, et al.,
against Mr. Libby. Mr. Libby’s defense was that he was a good and very
busy public servant who happened to get some dates wrong, but who did
not lie. Whether or not this is the case, to me, is now irrelevant –
Mr. Libby was given a fair trial and convicted by a jury of his peers.
We can argue whether or not Libby should have been brought to trial in
the first place – I think that he should not have been. But he was, and
was convicted, and the jury’s decision must be respected; indeed,
perjury and obstruction of justice are very serious crimes. The
"two-wrongs-make-a-right" arguments that Bill Clinton pardoned far
worse criminals, or that Sandy Berger committed a far worse crime but
was given no prison time again, to me, are irrelevant. (FYI: Clinton’s
pardons were at once both laughable and egregious, and Sandy Berger
should be in prison, period.)

Truthfully, I didn’t really care
all that much one way or the other, but I’m fine with what President
Bush has done. I thought all along that the Wilsons
are money-seeking, attention-grabbing liars, and especially that the
case against Scooter Libby was bogus, but that’s really not for me to
decide. The President could have pardoned Libby altogether, which would
have cleared Libby criminal record, but instead respected the jury’s
decision.

I completely agree.

Continue reading “I Agree!”