Tag Archives: Afghanistan

Accountability

What is a reasonable cost for a conference for 300 civil servants from across the western US?  Airfare, food, lodging, conference facilities, speakers, prep, etc., etc.  From the news stories, it’s clear that $823,000 is way too much.  Next year’s conference, I’m just guessing, will be substantially less extravagant, so let’s say $300,000.  That means [...]

To Appease the Gods

So the last Americans pulled out of Iraq, eight and a half years later, leaving an uncertain nation with an even more uncertain future. As I watched the video of the last trucks crossing the Kuwait border, all I could see were the black hulls of the Greek ships sailing away, gray smoke still hanging [...]

Vacation, Then and Now

JOE’S POND, VT – We’re on vacation this week at Joe’s Pond (formerly “Injun Joe’s Pond”) in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. Swimming, canoeing, reading on the dock, getting sunburned, walking down to the little store for an ice cream after dinner, hearing the loons call at night. It’s the kind of vacation I had as a [...]

Proof / Not Proof

Representative Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) was raving on the floor of the House yesterday. “We’re talking about Eric Massa 24/7 on the TV. We’re talking about war and peace, $3 billion dollars, a thousand lives and no press? No press?” Mr. Massa is the recently resigned congressman from New York who may or may not have [...]

The Audacity

The need to address the co-option of Newsweek and the Washington Post was so strong last week that I left hanging President Obama’s decision to send 30,000 troops to Afghanistan. Accepting the Nobel Peace Prize today, Mr. Obama spent a good portion of his speech addressing war in general and the Afghan war specifically. So, [...]

Condemned to Repeat It

The actual quote from George Santayana is, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (Those who cannot remember the quote are condemned to misquote.) Today’s New York Times has a story about Ted Kennedy’s posthumous memoir, in which he says President John Kennedy’s “antenna” was up over the misbegotten situation in [...]

Who’s Anti-War Now?

I am. Principles aren’t principles unless they’re consistent. Now that the White House and Congress have changed hands since 2006, it’s interesting to see politicians and pundits on both sides of the ledger flipping and flopping. Still, the world is not two-dimensional and those who pretend it is do an injustice to reality. I’m willing [...]