December 2004 Archives

Things are Looking Up!

Well, we've passed the shortest day of the year so I can begin to looking forward to the rest of the year now. I hate the winter, at least in Mississippi. I love the winter elsewhere where there is snow and cold temperatures. But here, we go from 17 degrees one night to 50 degrees the next. Instead of snow we get rain, rain, and more rain. By February I will be waterlogged.

I do however miss the sun. While I am not to the point of needing medication, I do get a little depressed in the winter; I assume from the lack of sunshine. Coming home from work in the dark is no fun. And who knows why need so much daylight in the mornings. Apparently we night owls have not yet taken over the time keeping stations.

This is the time of year that also brings vacation from work. As a rule I enjoy it because the entire University is shut down. That means while I am not at work, no one else is either and work really does stop instead of just piling up. Family and friends will often wonder why I also travel with a laptop even on vacation. The answer is simple--it is easier to do a little "work" each day while on vacation than to play catch up when I return.

Today I addressed Christmas cards and mailed them. Yes, some will receive them late but considering I have not sent Christmas cards out for the last several years, I am very pleased with myself. I have been spending some time thinking about papers I need to write and reading some as well. Never enough time to read.

I did finally finish Tom Barnett's The Pentagon's New Map. I've been working on it way too long but I did enjoy it. And it is not like did not have other things to read the last few months--things like class work. The book is very eye opening and I did enjoy. I also caught Tom on CSPAN again. This was a slightly new presentation with a call-in Q & A following. His blog is also one I read daily. Found an interesting letter from a Marine posted there today.

The Marine's letter makes me proud of what we are doing over there. I read the polls that show the President is losing the support of American's for the war and it concerns me. It also tells me that they are listening to too much network news reporting and not seeking other sources. Dan Rather et. al. are far too happy to talk about the bad news but never seem to have the time to report the good news. It is easy to find soldiers who are complaining about the conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan but a little more difficult to find the news of those who are proud of what they do. The good news is not hard to find because there is little of it, it is hard to find because the bad news takes center stage.

I am also troubled by the apparent ignorance of many these days. We've been in Iraq for, in reality, a few months, yet the expectations are that the democracy should be up and running and Iraq should be petitioning for membership in the G-8. How long did take the American colonies to achieve independence? How, in relatively peaceful times, did it take to draft and adopt the US Constitution? How did it take to fight the Civil War (or the War of Northern Aggression, depending on your point of view)? And more importantly, how long did it take our country to recover from that war? Keep in mind that we all shared a common heritage, liked each other as people (for the most part), but disagreed over a few principles. I would argue that some in this country are still over that war which ended some 140 years ago. But we expect Iraq to roll and be democratic overnight?

I'm with Barnett on this one. There is a future worth creating and we are creating it through what we do in Iraq and elsewhere.

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This page is an archive of entries from December 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

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