Your Thoughts Exactly: May 2005

Thursday, May 19, 2005


Fear Not

I know, you are sad. The posts havent been coming like they used to. Has Your Thoughts Exactly gone soft? Are the authors working on a potential book deal? Have they been wiped out by the Department of Homeland Security?

No we've just been really busy. Or I have at least, attempting to squeeze in some travelling in Australia, some partying, and a whole lotta school work. On June 7th, however, I make my return America. And upon said return I will give you the summer of Blog. This will be made easier by my presence in the Eastern time Zone, my NESN subscription, and most importantly, impending unemployment.

Anyways a quick summary of everything that has happened in the last three weeks

Surfing is awesome, John Bolton sucks, The Star Wars movie will suck, nuclear weapons are bad, the nuclear option is a joke, and I am really going to miss Australia. It's a much better country than the US. Now if only I could get all my friends and fam to move here.

Thursday, May 12, 2005


Nuclear this, nuclear that

So the big word on everyone's tongue is nuclear. Or nuke-ular, if you're our president. Actually, I am going to make a prediction- in 100 years, Webster's will have two pronunciations for it, and have a footnote- "popularized by the President at the start of the 21st century." Seriously though, nuke-ular is just so much easier to say. Thank you W, for showing us the way.

Ahem. Anyway the blog is on "uh-oh, they haven't updated in two weeks, I think I'm going to stop coming" ground here, so it's time to post, and since I'm at work and in danger of getting fired if I get caught, what better time than now to post? (Note to my employer: Seriously, I'm at my hotel and just trying to be funny. Even if I did blog at work, I'd be really stealthy. So you don't have to worry.)

So topic 1 is "nuclear, as in atomic nucleus": North Korea says it has the bomb, Iran just wants some reactors. Iran clearly needs more energy- they don't have enough oil. And who's really surprised that North Korea has a weapons program? Nevertheless, the entire Asian continent is treading lightly on this one. No one wants a totally psychotic and totalitarian regime with possibly the largest per-capita military in the world to have nuclear weapons. But if they really have the bomb, why haven't they tested it? What would be the advantage in the world thinking that North Korea is incompetent and might not have nukes? So, that's my foolproof evidence that they don't have 'em. They're probably close, and they may yet test one in the very near future, but until they I won't believe it. Of course, it's not that hard to make a bomb once you have the materials- and that brings us to the next country, Iran.

Now Iran, of course, says they strictly want it for peaceful purposes. Of course, most experts believe that this would make Iran a virtual nuclear state, because once they master controlled nuclear fission, it's almost a trivial step to turn it into an uncontrolled nuclear reaction in a bomb. So of course, most nations are threatening sanctions on Iran if they don't shut down the program. Many Iranians feel that this is just another example of the West trying to keep themselves in power and others weak. And of course, they're right, because by what right do other countries tell other countries what technologies they can and cannot possess? Personally, I do fear the idea of fundamentalist and totalitarian states owning nuclear weapons, just like I would fear the idea of an individual owning a large bomb- they're too unpredictable with something so poweful.

But at their heart, nuclear weapons are technology- and to deny another country technology precisely because it IS powerful isn't right. But that isn't to say we should just hand over some nukes to everyone in the world, because power is important. With only 200 some nations in the world, the rules and morals change all the time, and whoever's in power has to do what they can to stay in power, even if that means doing things that individually seem wrong.

Topic number 2 is "nuclear, as in 'we obviously don't have any sense of what a nuclear weapon is, or we wouldn't be using it to describe senate tactics', the nuclear option". Perhaps you've heard them talking about it- The banning of filibusters for judicial nominees. Many federally-appointed judges have drawn the ire of the Democrats for being too right-wing, and are trying to make the Republicans withdraw the nominations for some of the most offensive. Republicans, of course, are trying to take advantage of the fact that they control the executive and legislative branches, to help them take over the judicial branch. But because the Democrats are being unruly, they're going to take away their rights from under their feet. Now, I do think that the Republicans do have a couple of points here-1) that filibuster wasn't really meant to hold up nominees by the president- as long as they weren't so offensive that a majority of the senate could approve them, and 2) that the democrats can appoint judges when they are in power.
But I think the rest of the argument falls on the democratic side-1) That the judicial branch, being the least political of the three branches, should be palatable to more people than just a simple majority of the senate, 2) that filibuster is vitally important in a time when the minority party is at a disadvantage, and 3) that the republicans are pushing especially borderline candidates simply because they hold the house, senate, and white house, and that it may not be a long time before the democrats do the same to counter-balance this.

Anyway, that's all I got. Feel free to stay tuned for the following posts:
Next-generation video consoles
Judicial review to be killed off?
A new paradigm to view world politics

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