For MEB, forever.

President Pbama had asked Congress to do three things after the last government shutdown ended, one of which was immigration reform.

That there was a budget deal at all, one that avoids more financial uncertainty, was a good Christmas present, save… Read full post »

For MEB.

There's no question that Nelson Mandela will be remembered as one of the most important political figures of the twentieth century.

He was also much more than just a politician, as to symbols. 

The longer South Africa remains democratic, governed by the rule of law, the more and mo… Read full post »

For MEB, forever.

De Doubus Malis, minus semper eligindum. Of two evils, chose the lesser. 

That's a clever strategy, to release jihaddists, and probably create them too, in order to rationalize his existence, as the lesser of two evils. 

Of course Assad isn't the only one to have… Read full post »

For MEB, forever.

It seemed fitting to write about Lawrence, of Arabia of course, since Peter O'Toole passed away today. (The Stuntman is an awesome movie, btw.)

Peter O'Toole of course was famous in no small measure for his cinematic portrayal of Col. T.E. Lawrence, Distinguished Serv… Read full post »

For MEB, forever.

NOC, NOC

Who's there?

It's your NOC.

Who?

You know, your man in Tehran, the NOC. Help.

Who?

Recently it came to light that the former FBI officer who vanished on an Iranian island seems to have been a NOC, the hardest job you could ever hate, depending on how it… Read full post »

For MEB, forever.

Now some people think people in Alabama take football too seriously, and that may well be true.

That's easy to say from a safe distance too.

Of course A.J. MCarron was right that the sun in fact did rise after losing to Auburn in such a heartbreaking fa… Read full post »

DECEMBER 13, 2013 9:05PM

Of China and Breathing

For MEB, forever.

Lately, Shanghai has been much in the news, because of a horrible pollution problem reaching a breathtaking peak.

Lately, the People's Liberation Navy, PLAN, has been making news of a different sort, declaring an Air Defense Zone over disputed islands with Japan, while sailing… Read full post »

DECEMBER 13, 2013 6:41PM

AFRICOM and American Strategy

For MEB, forever.

Twice in the last year, AFRICOM has made the news by transporting French soldiers to quell violence in Africa, first in Mali, and now in the Central African Republic.

That is an unusual feature of AFRICOM in terms of American Unified Combatant Commands; normally, there is some… Read full post »

DECEMBER 13, 2013 4:47PM

America's Tax Reality: Death and Taxes

For MEB, forever.

Lately, there was a piece which said rich people pay all the taxes for the various Leviathans that rule us, I mean serve the people.

In fact that is not the case, death and taxes being one of life's certainties, as Benjamin Franklin once said, people I have… Read full post »

For MEB forver.

"Yo, Mr. White, chill, we got 30 out of $32,000. Here take my share."

Of course Walt didn't do that, "Skank, skank" and someone got mushed by an ATM machine, among other destruction Walt left in his wake.

"Please, at least tell me it was all about th… Read full post »

For MEB, forever.

Off and on for the last four years, I have lived in Avondale, a neighborhood within Birmingham, Alabama.

It's about half that total time, if I got to see Alabama beat LSU for a title n the best place that is possible, if they don't want to be known either.

It was… Read full post »

For MEB, forever.

We used to just throw chemical weapons into the sea, if in sealed containters and into thousands of feet of water.

We are in fact still here, even though we did that, not that people are proposing to do that, although I wouldn't lose sleep if they… Read full post »

For MEB, forever.

I knew someone for a minute who died there, while her killers were chanting "one settler, one bullet." It does and doesn't matter how that happened, although I was very proud of her, and proud of how here family reacted, which was to build a school.

This is what… Read full post »

For MEB, forever.

The author explored the Obamacare website the other day, partly out of curiousity, partly to shop, to examine the optimal decision, although having lived for eight out of nine years without insurance as a lecturer, I just don't think about ever having health insurance, and… Read full post »

DECEMBER 10, 2013 6:08PM

My Failed Philly Sports Fan(atics) Tales

For MEB, forever.

I saw the story of the Lions fan supposedly beaten after an E A G L E S Eagles! story on the MSN feed. and it brought back some fond memories of a failed idea for a reality kind of show.

The beginning of the show was to… Read full post »

DECEMBER 10, 2013 4:44PM

Ukraine And And In Russian History

For MEB, forever.

The Ukrainian President just set off a lot of protests by failing to come to agreement with the European Union and then reaching an agreement with Russian President Putin.

To be fair, the IMF was short-sighted to require him to raise natural gas prices within Ukraine, as Ukraine… Read full post »

For MEB, forever.

That's really all there is to say, that Putin read the board, saw the divisions, IMF economists didn't see the politics on gas prices, the Eurpeans can't make foreign policy very well by committtee, the generic problem with the EU, Ivan's still got the nukes, and our divisions… Read full post »

For MEB, forever.

As the Superpower, America often has a tricky task of balancing competing interests among allies, frenemies, and enemies.

The same is true in the Middle East, friends with Jews and plenty of Arabs, good luck with that already, and then throw in Persians and&… Read full post »

For MEB, forever. One thing I will always respect about Amy Biehl is that it cannot be said that she saw South Africa from a safe distance, and that her ultimate lesson in her school remains, to let go of bitterness, like Mandela.

 South Africa is a complex country ethnically speaking,… Read full post »

For MEB, forever.

Nigel Ferguson makes an important point in his book The Pity of War about the origins of WWI, in which he notes that Norman Angel's book The Great Illusion, was way more nuanced as to it's claim that a modern Great Power War was impossible.

People mock that now,… Read full post »

For MEB, forever. Das Leben ist komisch und grausam. Joel Klee told me that proverb, Life is strange and cruel, curious now as the Vice President returns from Beijing in the wake of B-52s flying over the Senkoku-Dioyiu Islands which was after China declared that set of Iwo Jima type rocks to… Read full post »

For MEB, forever.

Clearly, some Israelis are made nervous by the pending nuclear deal with Iran, not untypical in alliance relations, as to one risk, abandonment, the other main one being entanglement.

As to the case at hand, the potential for a nuclear deterrence relationship in some sense between I… Read full post »

For MEB, forever.

"The use of nuclear weapons would be a significant escalation in the use of force, and would involve many considerations." STRATCOM 2004

I laughed out loud when I read that, and yet, that is the nature of things too, in the sense that one can't wish away the existence of&n… Read full post »

DECEMBER 3, 2013 11:20PM

Freedom as Nothing Left to Lose

For MEB, forever. You are always so loved, MEB.

And my brother John and father, and of course mother too. Not many posts left. 

"Freedom's just another word, for nothing left to lose, and I'm nothing, I'm nothing if I ain't free." Me and Bobby McGee.

Those classic lines were writt… Read full post »

For MEB, forever. And for a very thought provoking discussion group at the Avondale Library, as to Pride and Prejudice, "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in need of a wife." 

Of course, cultures also vary as to sensuality… Read full post »