Wednesday, January 24, 2007

1/25/2006 - Of nameless streets and lousy presidents

Yesterday was a day on which it was easy to imagine myself the J. G. making his way across frigid plains of Montana. The day was such when it was convenient to walk 4+ miles on the way home from work. My car was in the garage (many thanks to the wonderful people at the Memorial Drive Sunoco for their excellent work on my car). And my office isn't terribly convenient to public transport.

I knew that there was a T-station somewhere in the area, so I mapquested it and set off after work. Now, in truth, I knew that the walk would end up being around 2 miles, so that was no surprise. What I did not realize was that my map contained many unlabeled streets between me and the T. I must admit that, being of the temperment that I am, I rather enjoyed the experience of waiting for the world to converge with my paper representation of it and, eventually, I got home.

Presidents

An astute reader notes my tendency to recognize the good in our presidents. I'll take a stab at recognizing some lesser qualities today. But first, I have to admit that I like Ike. In 1956, Eisenhower was wrestling with the Soviet Union's occupation of Hungary when the Suez Canal was nationalized by Egypt. An alliance of the U.K., France and Israel occupied parts of Egypt. Embarassed that his allies would be occupying one country as he was trying to clean up another occupation, Eisenhower went to work on the trio, forcing them to disengage without any consessions.

Imagine that, a president who holds his allies to the same standards as his enemies. So, President 43, I hand you 10 demerits for coddling the autocracies of Egypt, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia even as you hand other autocracies their pink slips.

While I'm at it, I'll Bush another 15 debits for one of his lovely accounting decisions. While pushing through the Medicare Perscription plan, Bush had to balance a noble aim (helping folks pay for expensive perscriptions) with a significant cost. The solution? Decrease the accounting horizon from 10 years to 5 years. By ignoring the costs that were known to be coming as the program expanded, Bush was able to promote a "cheaper" plan.

Astronomy

Contrary to hopes, there is not ice in the southern pole of our moon. Remember to pack some when you next visit.

13,800 steps today. Cheers,

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