Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Always Certain, Often Wrong, Usually Ignorant

When Bush first "won" in 2000, after I recovered from the stun, I took the perspective that he'd just be a benign idiot. But that was when we were still in the peaceful and prosperous glow of Clinton's terms. We know how all that turned out.

This deal with the UAE company to run a port is perplexing. Frankly, I don't buy into the xenophobic stereotyping to think that everything the UAE does is evil (that's Bush's style of thinking, usually), but clearly this is the kind of deal that warrants a special level of scrutiny. Yet Bush not only vehemently defends it and threatens a first-ever veto of legislation to block the deal, but he also revealed that he didn't even know about it. Neither did Rumsfeld, who's on the board that approved the deal.

Now, I can think of 3 potential reasons for this position:
  1. He wants to show he's an independent thinker by vetoing something that everyone likes.
  2. He wants to give Frist an opportunity to show strength (Bush's favorite word) by heading the effort to kill the deal against Bush's apparent wishes.
  3. He's just plainly after a deal to benefit his friends.

I can see any of these holding up, but these are bizarre times, and I can't tell when he's playing stupid and when he's actually stupid. Let's just hope it doesn't take lax security to find out.

PS Jeez, I'm actually writing about "security." I've been sucked in by them!

Reunion

Just in the last couple weeks, I've established contact with Jeff, a guy who was probably my best friend in the mid-late-elementary years. He moved to another school, and then I moved to Tulsa, and we haven't had any contact until this month, when he sent me an email via classmates.com. I'm not totally keen on those kinds of things, but it's been a kick to hear about this guy for the first time in 25 years.

I remember him well, but I think that's a time when you don't really have much of a personality, so it's weird to think that we could be friends now. He lives in Taiwan, so I expect we won't establish contact beyond email for the foreseeable future. But we seem to have a lot in common. Mainly, he referred to the present federal administration as "fucking scary." True, that. So now I'm looking over the past to look for signs foreshadowing our common worldview, at least as far as I can tell. We both lived in small-town midwestern America, which should have made us Republicans like Fred Phelps. But we're not. Anything but.

So, I'm looking forward to learning more about Jeff. We were both in some of the "gifted" classes (Jeff considerably more gifted than I, as I remember), so maybe we had more curiosity about other people and ideas. 'Course, that's what the conservatives call the liberal elite, so maybe I'm full of shit.

Cheers, Jeff.