More SIUC fun
Going through the State Journal-Register archives for this week, I found a little gem that had been passed on to me earlier by SIUC professor Jonathan Bean. Apparently the head of the SIU Public Policy Institute, Mike Lawrence, has quit writing a column about state government policies. That's a shame, really, since he manages a group whose job it is to analyze and interpret the lawmaking process for academic and public consumption. The way that Bernard Schoenburg writes the article, it doesn't look like he stopped writing it due to political pressures. Mr. Lawrence's quote at the end leads me to wonder if that's truly the case. That's a real shame if that's the case, since Glenn Poshard seemed to be a pretty decent guy by all accounts.
More Federal fun
I'm still trying to figure out how anyone could let an Arab company run US ports. After 9/11, I'm leery of companies even from friendly Arab countries doing any security or commodity-moving business here. I'm seriously disappointed in the Bush administration on this account, as there should have been a lot more scrutiny of what was happening in the business world that could lead to such a problem. Combine this with an immigration policy that is obfuscatory at best and arcane at worst, and you have another reason to be disappointed overall. I don't want people to think I've joined the anti-Bush crowd. I haven't, and I won't. I will, however, use this blog to state when and where I think he and his advisors need to step back and analyze the issue once or twice more.
More Iraq fun
While I'm at it, the bombing of the Golden Mosque in Iraq is a sign that maybe just maybe we need to re-think our current tactics (that is, what we do in the short-term, not an overarching goal) in getting Sunnis and Shiites to make nice. I know we are supposed to be the good guys even to when it's our disadvantage, but frankly, we might need to let our darker nature out a little and let this current fight wear itself out while we casually ignore it and rebuild what we can. The Kurds seem to be doing pretty well, and we should reinforce the northern part of Iraq as best we can. No, the government of Turkey probably won't like it, but frankly, we're rebuilding a country here, and much like remodeling a house in a built-up neighborhood someone will complain about the noise. Setting these factions at the table and saying "Look, we got rid of Saddam Hussein for you when you either wouldn't or couldn't do it yourself. Now, work together or else you'll wind up in a situation wosrse off than when Saddam was running the place" might help. It might not, and they'll tell us in no uncertain terms to get out. Well, they have their own democracy now. At least they do if they can keep it. They'll keep trying the dictator trick until they've killed enough people. And as much as I don't really enjoy the violence and chaos that is occurring there, maybe it's time for the Sunnis to understand first-hand what the rest of Iraq suffered because of their boy from Tikrit. It's not good medicine by any stretch, nor am I condoning any violence done to Sunnis. I don't want anyone to take that from what I wrote. My guess, though, is that this fighting will continue as everyone finally gets retaliation and counter-retaliation out of their system. I hope this will make people realize that Iraq is as much their country to maintain as it is to destroy and that everyone has to pitch in. I hope that God will have mercy on these people and that the fighting will end so the country can get back to joining us in the family of nations. If you want a good view of what's going on in Iraq at the moment, check out Iraq the Model for day-to-day policy and first-hand news from Iraqi civilians.
On the personal front, I do apolgize for not getting this out in a timely fashion as I used to. This blog was something I used to do during my breaks and lunch at work. As of now, I don't have that kind of time, so I have to post in fits and starts. I also don't have the time to roam through the news sites like I used to, and I do miss that. But, business demands at work have changed, and so I've had to change my fun to match up with work. Quite frankly, I hate he extra workload, as it digs into my fun. I think you need to have a little fun at work, just not so much fun you become unproductive. But, this blog doesn't pay my bills, so it goes by the wayside until work is done and social time with roommates and friends is over for the day. I'll still be posting as regularly as I can, though.
I was going to write in this post about Lent, but eh, that'll be another post. Take it easy.