Friday, December 28, 2007

Optimistically Pesimistic

Calendar year 2007 is fast growing to a close, and I don't know about you, but I'm not making any New Year's resolutions. In fact, several years ago my New Year's resolution was to never make New Year's resolutions again. It's the only one I've ever kept.

For your viewing pleasure this morning, I have posted a picture of the The Colonel and The Colonel's newest grandson. Taylor was born, if you remember (and if you do, it means that you waste precious time reading this blog and you have got to get a life), three weeks ago today. I haven't seen him, or his big brother, since his birthday--probably the only significant drawback to having moved up here to the Northern End of Southern Nowhere from the Redneck Riviera.

Added a new feature to my blog this morning. In the top right hand corner of the page, adjacent to the picture of the twins whose birthdays are separated by nearly 51 and 3/4 orbits of the sun, is the first of what may become an irritatingly common feature--a poll. Unlike most other insignificant polls (BCS, Iowa Straw, etc.), this poll has real meaning. First of all, it will allow me to gauge whether my readership has increased the forecasted 25% (e.g., from 4 to 5). Secondly, it will allow me to provide yet another method of wasting your precious time (maybe I'll actually provide a public service by using up time you would ordinarily use to see what Brittany Spears did last night). Last, but not least, it will allow me another avenue by which to subtly infer what are really the most important matters of our life on the big blue marble.

On another topic, I am pleased to note that my fellow Marine and favorite fishing buddy has returned safely from his third Babylonian Excursion in as many years. He reports that it is "much quieter" than was his experience two years ago advising the governor of Al Anbar Province. Seems the first few chapters of the manual that General Petraeus wrote regarding defeating an insurgency, and which the good general made required reading upon his assumption of command in Baghdad, are amazingly effective if followed. Now to see if the bickering tribal chiefs and megalomaniac mullahs will take advantage of the increased security to hammer out a lasting political agreement by which a New Iraq can govern itself in relative peace and stability. It took a relatively monolithic and demographically homogeneous late-18th Century America nearly a decade to come up with a workable national political system following cessation of hostilities with Great Britain. So, I'm not so optimistic that a hundred tribes and three diverse and diametrically opposed religions can make it work any time between now and the end of my parasitic existence on this third rock from Sol.

And, I'm an optimist.
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