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August 23, 2006

I was driving, so most of my critical thinking brain cells were not paying attention to the radio, but I did catch most of KUOW's interview with Noah Feldman, author of What We Owe Iraq: War and the Ethics of Nation Building. How refreshing to hear someone speaking rationally on the topic, weighing in somewhere between "Stay the Course!" and "Bring the Troops Home Now!"

His logic: No matter what flawed logic got us there, the US has more or less completely dismantled Iraq and, having made a mess, it's our responsibility to clean up after ourselves. We owe the people of Iraq an apology and a functioning government. What's more, Mr. Feldman has ideas on how to get there: change our "nation building" policy to one that doesn't automatically hand out contracts to US companies. (He's got a point there: if our point in invading Iraq was to liberate the Iraqi people, then what's with all the money going to US companies? How does that help the Iraqi people?)

I've never been in favor of this particularly misguided example of foreign policy. But there's something about the angry agitation for complete and immediate withdrawal that doesn't sit right either. It's kind of like making a really big mess in your friend's house and then saying, not my problem. It may be your friend's house, but you'd be low-life, short-term friend for behaving that way, and eventually everyone would move and not leave a forwarding address just to get rid of you.

August 19, 2006

Caitlyn and I went to the aquarium the other day. This was the first such outing where she found the exhibits interesting. Sure, she seemed to appreciate the orange fish on her first aquarium trip (at 7 months), but this time she marched up to the tank windows, put her hands on the glass and stared at the occupants. At the sea otters, she pointed at the otters, turned to me, and announced, "Dog!" In contrast to our trip to the zoo a month ago, when she found the fences irresistible. Not the enclosure fences, but the "serving suggestion" fences along the paths through the zoo. They were cable and about 14 inches high, perfect for Caitlyn to lean on and swing on and hang over. I kept pointing out animals ("Caitlyn, look! Hippos!"), and she kept going back to the fences.

Back at the aquarium, we also saw a large sea star moving at high speed down one of the tank windows. I'm familiar with the idea that sea stars move, but, never having actually seen any such activity, figured they moved about the speed of drugged snails. This star made it from top to bottom of a 30-inch window in under five minutes. We could see his many tentacles in his many arms reach and grab and contract and release, over and over. Two windows over, another sea star was moving at sea star speed, pulling a fish toward it's mouth so slowly that we couldn't see the motion, only the creeping disappearance of the fish when we looked back after watching some other, more active, fish for a while.

August 13, 2006

We watched V for Vendetta over the weekend. I wonder if in fifty years we will look back on it as an amusing celuloid fiction or as prophesy.

I wonder if it will take fifty years before we know.