Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Rain...and more Rain!

The big concern here is Ireland is the weather. I'm told that it has rained every days for the past 60 days. I know it has rained every day since I arrived last Saturday.

The Celtic Tiger seems to be alive and well. Everything is pretty expensive here in Dublin. A regular cup of coffee costs at least 3 dollars.

I've been pretty much out of touch with news from the U.S.. Did hear that things are not going well in Iraq. I still believe we should declare victory and bring our troops home.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Light Blogging...

Except for an occasional visit to an Internet Cafe I will have few opportunities to post over the next three weeks. No broadband on my brother's farm in Ireland. As usual it will be interesting to view the political landscape in America from the other side of the pond.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Write a caption for this photo...

Looks like Laura is holding on for dear life!
This past weekend I satisfied my appetite as a political junkie by watching two presidential debates.

On Saturday I saw the Democratic debate that was held in Chicago at the YearlyKos convention. Easily the most spontaneous of the debates held so far. All the candidates had their good moments. The consensus seems to be that John Edwards was the most impressive. Hillary Clinton's defense of taking money from lobbyists did not go over well with the YearlyKos audience.

On Sunday morning I watched the Republican debate that was held at Drake University in Iowa. What a contrast with the Democratic debate! One candidate claiming that he would bomb the holy sites in Saudi Arabia. It was clear that all of them except Ron Paul have moved beyond advocacy for the "War on Terror" to advocacy for a "War on Islam." Scary stuff. It was depressing to see Romney, a member of a religion that was once persecuted, using every opportunity to demonize members of the Islamic religion.

The Republicans must have some focus group evidence that there is a considerable number of people out there that will buy into hate and fear-mongering.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Bad news from U.K....

The nightmare of foot-and-mouth disease returned to Britain last night, forcing Gordon Brown to cut short his holiday after only a few hours in Devon to chair a crisis meeting of Cobra, the emergency planning unit in Downing Street today.

The outbreak among cattle on a farm in Guildford has caused an immediate ban in all transport of cattle and pigs in Britain and raised the spectre of the 2001 outbreak that disfigured Britain with pyres of burning of cattle carcasses and cost the nation £8bn in compensation.

This outbreak is a matter of very serious concern. I'm sure the concern extends throughout the U.K. and to neighbouring Ireland. My brother who had a small farm in the Midlands (Ireland) will be following developments closely.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Are we winning in Iraq?

A few days ago Michael O'Hanlon and Ken Pollock published an Op Ed in the New York Times claiming that we are winning in Iraq. This was based on a brief visit to that godforsaken country.

Today Juan Cole is reporting that July was the deadliest July for US troops since the war began. He also noted that with the largest group of Sunnis pulling out of the government the Maliki government is on the verge of collapse.

I don't think the facts on the ground support what O'Hanlon and Pollock are saying.