Lounging about the Internets Cafe here in Hackensack, Minnesota while the Hammer clan is at an amusement park up in Walker. Apparently, Bully the Dog barks too much when left alone at the cabin. His barking keeps the jet skiiers from hearing the loon calls. Or something. At any rate, the dictate (which I believe is breach of contract, but I'm not yet prepared to sue) is that Bully may not be left at the cabin unsupervised. He's out in the car (it's 68, the windows are rolled down, and he's got a liver-pate filled kong, so he's fine) while I type this.
On Pat Robertson's call to assassinate Hugo Chavez. Robertson calls Chavez a communist (largely true) who is allowing the spread of militant Islamists (utterly untrue). Look, folks, the entire Islamist movement can be traced back to the communist expansion into Afghanistan. That's the original jihad, which turned a nationalist Afghani struggle into a religious war which has since spread to Kashmir, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and New York City. Communism and Islam are not compatible -- if you don't believe me, ask a Chechen. Robertson also calls Chavez as dictator. Chavez was popularly elected. Whether the U.S. government had a hand in the Chavez coup is someting we won't know for sure until the Bush administration papers are made public, some 25-75 years from now. Until then, we'll simply have to rely on the fact that the U.S. rushed to endorse the military junta that attempted to overthrow Chavez and was thoroughly embarrassed when Chavez quickly regained power. Here's a hint -- we shouldn't antagonize all the oil-rich nations in the world at the same time.
On Iraq, I really don't know what's going on. Is there a constitution for the national assembly to consider or not? Sounds like there is a draft that's still be negotiated. Also sounds like the Sunni are not going to be happy. The assembly will pass the Constitution to be voted upon by the provinces. Will the Sunni provinces reject the Constitution? Will the Sunni opposition and the Sadrist opposition be as thin and ineffective as grandma's coffee? The worst possible result not seems most likely: the Sadrists and Sunnis reject the constitution, but not in large enough numbers to force a new draft. The new government, repugnant to Sunni and Sadrist alike, fuels a growing insurgency. With no more excuses or democratic goals to cling to, Bush withdraws most of the American forces. Iraq descends into chaos and a new generation of jihadists is born.
A final note: here in the northwoods of Minnesota, I've got Firefox 1.0.6. There is no longer any excuse for using IE for anyone, anywhere.