I’ve tried to enjoy schlepping water, thinking that it serves to keep us to some human roots.
Annoyances and upsets with the iPhone 4S have been more than offset by its screen, the silkiness of its surfaces, the camera, and the third-party market for both software and hardware.
After they finished watching the Bond movies, I figured the next series John Gruber and Dan Benjamin would discuss on The Talk Show would be Stanley Kubrick’s oeuvre. But Gruber refused — too personal for podcasting, he said. Disappointed, I rewatched 2001.
Instead of acknowledging the wisdom of leading from behind, the Right jumped on the Obama administration’s handling of Libya as yet another example of at best incompetence. They lost me there.
Steve Jobs we lost at the age of 56; when Frank Lloyd Wright reached that age it was still only 1923, the time of merely his second comeback with Tokyo’s Imperial Hotel.
It’s amazing, given the adulation he enjoyed elsewhere, that the Israeli public knew from the start not to trust this US President.
Nobody from usesthis.com has asked me what my setup us, nor is likely to anytime soon. So I’m just going to mouth off here about it. But first, some background.
On the Leon Wieseltier/Andrew Sullivan spat, Walter Russell Mead seems to want to have his strudel and eat it too.
Defeat in the Olympics bid may focus the mind in the Oval Office where it should be: Afghanistan.
There’s nothing else around here except empty desolate pretty hills. The Israel Trail passes by a bit to the west. It’s a hot July Wednesday morning. Things are reasonably busy. The shops are mostly franchises, almost all homegrown — Super-Pharm, Aroma, Tzomet Sfarim, Cup O’ Joe’s, LaMetayel, Mega, Fox, Castro, H&O.
ere’s my thinking, thin though it may be. The recent US National Intelligence Report, which opens by saying, “We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program,” will ensure the election of Rudy Guiliani as US president.
Say what? Well, this intelligence report is so obviously political, so obviously worded to deflate the Administration’s stance against Iran, that the electorate will be far less persuaded of its conclusions than outraged over the authors’ audacious, mendacious, improper and dangerous attempt to shape policy. It will suggest to the electorate just what Bush has had to face not only among enemies, not only among friends abroad and the opposition at home, but within his own bureacracy [though see this completely opposing viewpoint by David Brooks].
National security will continue to top the presidential agenda and that means staying tough on Islamism. The electorate is aware — largely through the spectacle of violence in post-invasion Iraq — that without security, nothing else can flourish. Whomsoever is elected in 2008 will have demonstrated that he or she will be at least as tough as Bush on terror. The electorate believes that Bush has followed correct — even inspired — policies, preventing any further large-scale terror attacks on US soil, but that he has failed to implement them as well as he might. As we all suspected, George W Bush gets the big picture right, but is fuzzy on the details, too tolerant of incompetence.
The electorate will therefore turn to someone who demonstrates both the ideological conviction required to continue to prosecute Islamism and the administrative savvy to turn around entrenched bureacracies. If a man can transform New York City from financially broke murder capital to a city that’s safe and citizen- and business-friendly, then he can transform the State Department into a body that implements rather than subverts the letter and spirit of the President’s policies.
What of the other candidates? Mitt Romney clearly has the administrative savvy — he’s a self-made billionaire — but while he seems to also possess the ideological strength, he’s not had the opportunity to demonstrate that to the nation in any seminal moment or act. In contrast, everyone remembers Giuliani’s refusal of a $10m check from an Arab prince in the wake of 9/11. Furthermore, Romney, with his appealing voice and all-American face, seems a slicker and therefore more pragmatic character, a man more amenable to collegial compromise when what’s needed is not only determination and energy but bull-headed resolve.
Moreover, Giuliani will successfully unify the nation. His positions on social issues render him palatable to the left-of-center, quietly relieved that no sacrifice of resolute defence (and offence) need be made for the boon of continued social progress. With his strangely unpleasant face and voice, Giuliani lacks rock star charisma. This is a good thing. Back in the Clinton era there would have been much less loathing for the president if there hadn’t been such love for him as well; it was this love that the loathers found so outrageous and mortifying, because the problem seemed to be not just one man but half the country following the pied piper into gleeful debasement. In office, Giuliani will be less beloved as a man than respected for his results, making it easier for those further left and right afield alike to accept and even embrace his leadership.
And the other party? Hillary Clinton is a radical who alarms people and won’t get the nomination. Barack Obama, as exciting and fresh as he may be, is just too much of a national security gamble to defeat the Republican — this time round at least.
A Restoration and Return