Friday, February 21, 2003

Over the past few months, I've been struggling to understand Bush's recent illogical (almost insane) foreign policy. Last night, I got a few answers when I watched a Frontline on PBS about the ten year history of Bush's foreign policy. The show, Chronology: The Evolution of the Bush Doctrine, traced the battle between the evangelical Hawks, epitomized by Paul Wolfowitz, who support pre-emption and the more moderate Republicans, epitomized by Colin Powell, who support containment and international cooperation. The rivalry started at the end of the Gulf War when Saddam Hussein was left in power and, although the U.S. had encouraged rebellion, U.S. forces were told not to intervene when the rebellions were squashed. Partly in response to what they considered failed U.S. policy, the Hawks developed a defense strategy of pre-emption and regime change using American hegemony focusing on countries like Iraq and North Korea. Bush Senior, firmly in the moderates' camp, had the plan re-written focusing on containment and cooperation. The plan resurfaced after September 11th. The disaster seems to have changed Bush into a Hawk. While Colin Powell and the other moderates have been arguing that moving on Iraq at this time will inflame the situation in that area, pull us away from our true target of al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden and erode international support for the United States, the Hawks have been arguing that Iraq is a major threat, that containment of Saddam Hussein hasn't worked and that regime change is the only solution for bringing stability to the area. One interesting point that Alan made during the show was that Colin Powell and Gen. Richard B. Myers, Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, both soliders, supported the moderates and the Hawks at the Dept. of Defense like Wolfowitz didn't have combat experience. While I still don't completely understand where the urgency is coming from and I definitely don't agree with the policy, I feel like I have a little more insight into Bush's decision making. The full show, The War between Closed Doors, should be available on the website starting February 25th.

Monday, February 17, 2003

Alan's science fiction essay, "The Dream of the Unified Field." is up at Fantastic Metropolis. It's already sparked some good discussion elsewhere. While you're there you can check out Robert Wexler's very good bread porn story, "Tales of the Golden Legend."

Just when you thought there wasn't enough speculative fiction attitude on the Internet, Nightshade Books has added a Ratbastards discussion. To celebrate, send a Virtual Squeak Ratcard to your friends and loved ones.

Saturday, February 15, 2003

Our Minneapolis F15 protest attracted 10,000 people today. We marched from Uptown to Loring Park, closing half of busy Hennepin Avenue. It was a little cold (a high of 19 today), but we had bright sunshine. At the end of the march, before we turned into the park, the Basilica rose above us with its bells ringing - very beautiful. It was the largest protest I've ever been part of and the most diverse. The war with Iraq doesn't seem as inevitable now with so much oppposition.

Friday, February 14, 2003

Happy Valentine's Day!

While a certain someone watches Lizzie McGuire, I thought I'd sneak away to update the blog. Don't worry, he's sneaking in periodically (whether I want him to or not) to give me updates. I had a lovely day with very nice gifts from my significant other. They included a couple of CDs and a book about the neuroscience of Love. The book might not seem romantic to most people, but he must know me well because I thought it was sweet. I can't wait to read it.

Yesterday, someone came home with a new writing notebook...
I am the perfect writer's notebook. I am just the right size so you carry me with you always. I am green with snails and beautifully retro. Open me. My pages are the perfect width, so pretty and inviting. Your sentences will flow across me. My spiral binding lets you place me flat, but unlike regular spiral notebooks, my pages never catch. I am peerless. You would pay anything for me, but you don't have to as I'm reasonable priced. Once I'm yours, you are in Heaven. But wait. I am from Spain. You will never be able to find another one of me. Open me again. Look at the first page. Each word you write needs to be worthy of me. Think carefully. There's no space to waste. It is the beginning of the end.

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Last Thursday, I finally had to admit that the winter cold had kicked my butt so I went to the doctor for the second time. The antibiotic prescription I got helped with the sinus infection but all the other parts of the virus continue. I'm still congested and I feel like sleeping all day long. I've spent most of the time that I wasn't working, doing just that with little bouts of reading and T.V. in between. Despite a series of sick days, I somehow managed to upgrade the server and several workstations to Windows 2000 at work. I spent so many hours troubleshooting, that I burned myself out and stayed completely away from the computer when I was home. Those are my excuses, and thank you to those of you who e-mailed to say you missed me.

Our cable was installed just in time for the virus induced veg-fest. I'm now completely addicted to The Osbournes (it makes me laugh) and Made (I'm a sucker for an underdog) and Farscape (Yay, for SciFi channel holiday marathons which allowed me to catch up on the series!) which were all new to me. I'm not sure I can go back to pre-cable days when my only addictions were Eastenders, Stargate and Angel. Alan's also got me watching The Shield. Too much TV!

All the veg time was not wasted, though, because as soon as the sinus headache and fever periods passed, I could read. The recommended reads from my sick bed include: The Translator by John Crowley (wonderful), Things That Never Happen by M. John Harrison (The stories are in order chronologically. I found his earlier work a little slow but was wowed by his later work.) and Philip Pullman's Dark Matter series (I'm on the second book and loving it). I also enjoyed the latest book in Cherryh's Foreigner series. It's my one ongoing series addiction other than the Anita Blake books.

Other news: Susan's added a comment section to her blog. There seems to be a lively discussion on speculative fiction going with many, many posts.

Go out and buy the latest Third Alternative. It looks great and includes new stories by John (Johnzo) Aegard and Brian Aldiss. I'm going to read it tonight if I can tear myself away from The Subtle Knife for a little while.