October 29, 2003

Diagnosis

Friends,

I have been in the hospital for a few days, where I received a diagnosis for Multiple Sclerosis. (My friends in college suspected liver sclerosis...). It is, of course, a shock. But I have been having difficult times of late and I suspected something pretty serious, so I feel I have "pulled a card out of the middle of the deck." It could be so much worse. I am pretty upbeat about my prospects.

Blogging has been pretty light these days. I have a new job and a new disease. If you want day to day info, my wife is posting news on her blog, tat ergo sum.

I'll be back with the politics here (possibly light posting) and any big news.

UPDATE: Physical Therapy started yesterday. There is a lot of hope for progress on that front as well as an ankle brace/orthonics device that I will get next week. As Larry Kudlow says, hope is currency.

Posted by jk at 11:08 AM | What do you think? [0]

October 23, 2003

Distractions to the War on Terror

I love it when Lileks drifts into politics. Today's Bleat underscores the importance of defending liberal democracy. On that note, EVERYBODY BUY AND READ Cristopher Hitchens's "The Long Short War."

Lileks also does a nice riff on what this country and its military can do when it has to:

You want to talk about what we can do when things seem urgent? Remember: they built the Pentagon during the war. That's gearing up. That's focus. At a congressional hearing on July 17, 1941, the chairman of the House Subcommittee on Appropriations suggested that the War Department might solve the problem of its scattered offices by building, you know, one building. That was a Thursday. A request was made for plans to be delivered to the War Department on Monday morning. Tuesday morning the plans were presented to Congress; they were approved by the House on July 28, and by the Senate two weeks later. (Typical.) The bill authorizing construction was signed on August 25.

Construction began in September, 1941.

September 11, to be exact.

Construction took sixteen months.

Posted by jk at 12:02 PM | What do you think? [0]

October 22, 2003

Cheers to FedEx

Those Wicked, evil, multinational corporations!

FedEx is now delivering toys to Chief Wiggles / Operation Give. at no charge. The Chief says:

I don't know what to say, these people are incredible. We looked into what it would cost us to ship via air to the Chief and the cost was prohibitive.

Excellent!

Posted by jk at 01:22 PM | What do you think? [0]

Terrorism, Epidemics, and Hamburgers

David Carr at Samizdata picks one of my favorite topics and hits the UK equivalent of a home run (I think that's a 89 wicketer smedley...) in Silly Burgers. Picking up a quote from the UK Times:

In defence of the "nanny state", Professor Dr John Ashton, regional director of public health in the North West, said yesterday that government intervention was needed to protect those incapable of protecting themselves. "Individuals cannot protect themselves from bioterrorism, epidemics of Sars, the concerted efforts of the junk food industry, drug dealers and promoters of tobacco and alcohol," he said.

Posted by jk at 01:14 PM | What do you think? [0]

Clark Comes out for Raising Taxes

Would he or won't he? General Clark has said he will roll back tax cuts for those earning more than $200,000. Yawn.

"Franklin Delano Roosevelt ran on the New Deal, Harry Truman promised a Fair Deal, George W. Bush ran on the free lunch and the free lunch, it turned out, was a bunch of baloney," Clark said.

Posted by jk at 11:37 AM | What do you think? [0]

October 21, 2003

Great New Iraqi Blog

Healing Iraq

I'm sure everyone agrees that war, any war, is horrible and is certainly not a fun experience. But this war was different, not in it's form, but in what it was about. I was somehow convinced that this will be our final war, our mother of all battles. Even Saddam correctly described it as 'hawassim', The Decisive. During the months before the war, I was very nervous that Bush would suddenly decide not to go to war. I had endless debates with friends about it and at work. Of course there was always someone against it, either out of fear of losing his position or previleges, those were mainly Baa'thists, or out of genuine concern over his family, friends,.. But I was for it.

This is a great site, run by a 24 year old dentist in Baghdad -- spend a liitle time there.
Thanks to Andrew Sullivan

Posted by jk at 04:59 PM | What do you think? [0]

October 20, 2003

Bad News

I have been fired from ever making football commentary on ESPN or its website. I guress they've had just all they could take...

Posted by jk at 02:57 PM | What do you think? [1]

October 18, 2003

Chief Wiggles is Back in Business!

Donations of toys and clothes to Iraqi children had been suspended because of problems with the mail. But the chief is back with a new address:
Operation Give
7155 Columbia Gateway Drive
Columbia, MD 21046

I am so proud to share a planet with these good people and I encourage everybody to send some gifts or make an online donation.

Posted by jk at 01:54 PM | What do you think? [0]

October 17, 2003

Welcome

Jay Nordlinger brings some great news in today's Improptus. A young, cuban couple has defected.

The day before the renowned Cuban National Ballet took to the stage in Daytona Beach, two of its young dancers slipped away in a startling pas de deux, hoping for a new life in America.
[...]
''I began to see how people around the world live, what their individual capacities can achieve in an atmosphere of freedom,'' he told El Nuevo Herald.

Look at the picture and share their joy. We are so fortunate.

Posted by jk at 10:41 AM | What do you think? [0]

October 10, 2003

A Kyoto Alternative

Dr Madsen Pirie at the Adam Smith Institute challenges the developed wortd to conquer Malaria and provide clean water to the developing world.

The cost of doing it would be large, but would less than the cost of one year's compliance with the Kyoto Protocol, as Lomborg has pointed out. Furthermore, it would save millions of lives each year, whereas it has not been established that Kyoto will save a single life. There are doubtless many worthwhile targets, but surely these two cry out for our attention?

It is an excellent site and an interesting challenge. Some of us who are new WIlsonians after the liberation of Iraq might consider these as a positive alternative to isolationism and a realistic alternative to Kyoto and possibly African AIDS initiatives.

Posted by jk at 10:55 AM | What do you think? [0]

The "Arrival of Goodness"

The Wall St Journal Ed Page shares a different view of the US presence in Iraq.

Sayyid Hussein Khomeini is the grandson of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, leader of the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran. Earlier this year, the liberal 46-year-old cleric left Iran for the Shiite spiritual centers of Karbala and Najaf, where he has been exploiting Iraq's newfound freedom of speech and thought to advocate democratic change at home. Mr. Khomeini visited our offices last week as he wrapped up a U.S. tour that included stops on Capitol Hill. He painted a far different picture of Middle East developments than President Bush's critics in Congress and the media.

"We consider [the U.S. invasion] as the arrival of goodness, and I hope the American people understand this," Mr. Khomeini emphasized from the start. It is important for Americans to keep their eyes on the big picture, and "to make the [democratizing] mission possible" by not getting discouraged by the day-to-day difficulties.


Posted by jk at 10:40 AM | What do you think? [0]

October 02, 2003

Andrew Sullivan on Reagan

AndrewSullivan pens a nice piece on our 40th President for the Sunday Times. Mr S. has been bugging me lately with swipes at President Bush. But this piece is a great reminder of his superb writing and his great perspective.

Reagan was a highly articulate, well-read and subtle man. The range of his interests, the extent of his knowledge and understanding of world events and history, his grasp of detail are all completely counter to the image we have long held.
[...]
But the tenor of a man is something letters do reliably reveal: and there's an old-world civility to Reagan that has been lost in contemporary American politics, a dignity and empathy with middle America that is as rare as it is touching. His diligence in hand-writing long letters to obscure pen-pals, even while holding down the most stressful and busy job on the planet, leaves me slack-jawed.

Posted by jk at 12:58 PM | What do you think? [0]

October 01, 2003

From the Front Lines

KBZ at ZogbyBlog has found a great new site: FrontLineVoices.org, which brings you the words of those on the Front Line.
Navy Corpsman Lonnie J. Lewis writes:

Dear Mom:
It's really your decision to march if you want to or not. You are the one who has to decide if what we are doing out here is right or not. My opinion is not yours. I do, however, have things I would like for you and Grandma and everyone else at home to know.
I am a United States soldier. I was sworn to defend my country against all enemies, foreign and domestic. People may not agree with the things we are ordered to do. I would like to address those people by telling them that terrorism is not only a threat to us as Americans, but to many other innocent people in the world.
What type of country would we be if we didn't defend the rights and freedoms of others, not because they're Americans, but how about just because they're human?
We live in a country where people feel secure with their daily lives. They do business like usual and don't worry about the thought of terrorism actually happening to them.

Thank you for you service, Corpsman!

Posted by jk at 09:45 AM | What do you think? [0]

Extreme Ironing

The world truly has gone mad. A WSJ.com article (paid site only, sorry!) introduces us to "Ironman" Philip Shaw.

The 29-year-old British technology consultant is the founder of a small, thriving underground of "extreme ironing" enthusiasts. They iron their laundry while rock-climbing, sailing, skydiving, or pursuing other risky sports.

In the last six years, extreme-ironing clubs have sprung up from Chile to South Africa. There's been a world championship in Germany, an expedition to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro and an ironing session under the frozen ice of a Wisconsin quarry. Extreme ironing is the subject of a forthcoming British book of photographs and a television documentary that first ran in December on Britain's Channel 4.

Posted by jk at 09:43 AM | What do you think? [0]
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