The Talking Dog

March 19, 2011, Saturday pot pourri

Gorgeous day here in NYC-- high 40's, low 50's-- full sunshine. And so, the weather is probably just fine in Turtle Bay, just a few miles away in mid-town Manhattan, where the UN Security Council authorized the mother of all jihads a no-fly zone and other international military intervention against the Libyan regime (and in favor of Libyan rebels), after the United States government finally got behind such a proposition, it seems that the President shifted in favor of same because Hillary wanted him to. (on this point, Althouse goes much farther than I would, or than is reasonable... and she didn't even tell us what Michelle or Valerie thinks.) While I remain "cautiously pessimistic" about this intervention for one reason (Joe Biden favors the measure), maybe it will do some good... it's not as if Moammar Qaddafi deserves any of our sympathies.

Meanwhile, over in Japan, where we know the current nuclear plant crisis is "not Chernobyl"... radiation levels in spinach and milk grown within 100 miles of the stricken plant have been measured higher than usual. The level of tragedy in Japan is really more than we can fathom... nuclear calamity, over 10.000 dead from the earthquake and tsunami, hundreds of thousands homeless, power out for millions... nothing my small, insignificant thoughts can shed any more light on than that. Other than to say that this would be an excellent time to re-think the premises of our age, including that we always need "more" of everything, including and especially electrical power. Maybe... we should consider the ultimate price and risks of same? Just saying...

Former Secretary of State Warren Christopher passed away at 85. Christopher was the last White male to hold the job, which prior to him, had been held exclusively by White males, and since him... hasn't. Christopher was Deputy SecState in the Carter Administration, and later the first SecState in the Clinton Administration, and brought the same kind of bland carefulness to the post that he maintained in his law practice at Los Angeles's O'Melveny & Myers (a firm that would demand to see the law school transcripts of anyone it hired, even if they had been practicing law for decades)... Christopher was fanous for ordering a latte "decaf, with skim milk and sweet 'n lo"... indicating his preternatural caution. I suppose "de mortuis nil nisi bonum" applies here. Nuff said.

Look up at sunset will ya'... we're gettin' a super perigee moon to look at!

A judge in Madison, WI has blocked the controversial collective-bargaining rights-stripping law recently passed by Republicans in the Badger State from taking effect... for now, anyway. The grounds for same appear to be procedural-- violation of state open-meetings law... where it stops... nobody knows. Just know that this whole thing is a 'beta-test" in a state full of comparatively well-behaved people in pretty good financial shape over-all. What will happen when similar tactics are applied in different states... like say, New Jersey or Florida or Illinois or Michigan? Stick around...

And I'm not even talking about the mirth and merriment of Saudi and UAE troops and police joining forces with the local regime, which has been committing brutalities in Bahrain, or that oil has hit $100 per barrel again (say what you will, but high oil prices were a key precipitating factor in the 2008 financial melt-down, not to say that something else wouldn't have eventually toppled an otherwise unsustainable financial system).

And on those notes, in a world that just seems like it's on some kind of a death-spiral... this has been... "Saturday pot pourri."