Two more first-day-of-spring photos. By now, the snow has gone, and the temps have gone up a bit, but it's still several degrees shy of 50. Which is weird, because this morning I could swear I looked at the outdoor thermometer and saw 50, clear as snow, on the digital readout. And it felt like 50 outside. So much so, I was convinced it was 50.
But it was 44. Or so the thermometer said when I came back in the house. I don't recall ever having had this problem with analog thermometers--just the digital ones. Maybe it's that 1) digital readouts are easier to misread, or 2) digital readouts are intermittently unreliable, or 3) the temperature dropped six degrees while I was outdoors. Only God knows, and he doesn't care.
I haven't ranted for a while, so it's time for a minor rant. A low-key rant. First, the United States of 9/11. You'll recall that Helen Thomas got really rough with President 9/11--at least, according to James P. Pinkerton at Newsday. Pinkerton depicts the 85-year-old journalist as a rougher-upper of the right, and, yeah, that just about says it all. It doesn't take much to rough those folks up. Amazing that we allow such profiles in courage to send our sons and daughters off to die, no?
Hm. I think I've said it all, there. Save for, "Go, Helen!!"
All of the brave souls speaking up for the people--Helen, Jack Murtha, Lou Dobbs, Cindy Sheehan--are doing great Christian work. I think, anyway. Maybe it seems that way because I've been praying for such heroes to step forward.
Another thing--when Bush went into his pathetic "9/11 changed my life" routine, it didn't even register with me, so many times have we heard Bush connect Saddam and 9/11. Meanwhile, and pretty ironically, Nathaniel Fick (in a column printed today) points out that soldiers "near the bottom" shouldn't be taken seriously because the majority of these "junior" personnel believe that Saddam was connected with 9/11. Which Bush and Cheney and a zillion columnists have claimed, flat out, again and again. The folks in power believe it, but soldiers "near the bottom" should know better? Is that it?
Fick was a Captain in the Marines, and he's not happy with the recent Zogby International poll--the one that reveals the average soldier wants out of Iraq. The poll, says the headline, was "fatally flawed." Why? Not because it lied, but because "the opinions of junior troops on the ground matter little in crafting national policy, and rightly so." And for a bunch of other reasons Fick tosses in for good effect, er, measure.
"The troops have no control over the broader strategy directing policy in Iraq, so they are suspicious of it," explains Fick. I see. So, let's use a little bit of logic here. Fick was a Captain. Do you think that the policy-makers spent much, if any, time listening to Fick? Did Rumsfeld ever say "Wait--let's find out what Fick thinks?" I'm guessing no.
According to Fick, average soldiers ought not to be listened to because they have no ability to shape policy. Right. Well, neither did Fick, so why the hell are we listening to him? I'm not.
Sorry I wasted five paragraphs on nothing. I'll try not to let it happen again. (Column? What column?)
And that's life today, March 23, 2006, in the United States of 9/11. Since we're on the subject of Bush' leadership, why not listen to a 1948 hit by Carson Robison which describes, decades before the fact, Bush's philosophy of leadership?
Life Gets Teejus, Don't It, Carson Robison, 1948. From MGM LP.