Well, not much to report. I had a nice dinner at Hyde Park last night with Don, Mandy, and Braxton. It was good to see them, and I was really happy to be invited.
Not much else. I've been feeling allergies or a cold or something coming on, so I went to bed kinda early last night.
What else? I just want to say that in terms of my political postings, and my postings about Russia and whatnot- I know I probably come across as some kind of self righteous blowhard when I write about some of that stuff, and sometimes I take a step back and ask myself what right I have to even comment on all of this public policy and foreign affairs stuff at all (I'm certainly not delusional enough to think I'm any kind of expert).
I guess I just write about these things, in the end, because I'm interested in them and because I enjoy discussion about the things that are going on in the world, even when they may not be happening right at my doorstep. I expect people to read the things that I write and to take them with a grain of salt and to know that they're just one person's opinion.
At the same time, I think part of the power of the internet is the way that it can connect people and help ideas to spread.
Another thing that keeps me writing about these things is that I think it's cool that we can apparently get Russians to weigh in on debates about things going on in Georgia, half a world away. I think it's cool that we, as private citizens, can discuss foreign policy with each other instead of just letting our leaders do all of the talking for us. Wouldn't it be crazy if one day the leaders of our countries tried to start a war, but the people refused to fight because they had already made too many friends with people on the "opposing side"?
I know, I know. I'm just a crazy hippie.
I understand that different countries have competing interests, but the more that we talk things out and get to know each other, maybe the more we'll realize that we're more alike than we thought, and the more we'll want to find mutually beneficial solutions rather than trying to blow each other up. Granted, it's a simple concept, but that doesn't make it wrong.
Given the many awful technological advances that we've made in finding ways to destroy each other, I think it's more important now than ever that we find ways to avoid going to war. But it all starts with making peace a primary goal. We need to see the pursuit of peace as a goal that deserves dedication, resolute willpower, and the ferocious support of the people on a global scale.
But once again, just crazy hippie talk.
Still, if crazy hippie talk is one of the best ways to avoid dead bodies and bombed out landscapes, then somebody help me find my Grateful Dead tapes...
In other news, LeRoi Moore, the saxophonist for the Dave Matthews Band, has passed away after developing complications from injuries that he suffered during an ATV accident. Moore was one of the founding members of the Dave Matthews Band, and he was a really good musician.
I haven't listened to as much of the DMB lately as I once did (like a lot of other people, I think I just got a little burned out on them because of overexposure on radio and television), but they really are one of the more musically talented pop musical groups out there, with members who are truly professional musicians- able to perform jazz, funk, etc. in addition to more mainstream rock (I've been playing guitar and bass since I was about 15 or 16, and the music of the DMB is still pretty difficult stuff to learn).
Anyway, it's sad to hear about a good musician passing away early in his life like that. Props to LeRoi Moore for being one of the guys who tried to include talented musicianship as a fundamental ingredient in modern rock/alternative music. Pop music needs more instrumentalists with that kind of focus. Via con dios, LeRoi.
And the U.S. just signed a deal with Poland to put a missile defense shield into that country. I guess that on one level this is an achievement, but on another, perhpas more pragmatic level, I wonder if the costs are worth it. For starters, the Russians aren't at all happy about this. They don't like America messing with the state of the nuclear arms race and trying to change the balance of power by creating this deterrent system. They also see this "defense shield" as but a first step in the U.S. placing missile systems within Poland. So the Russians essentially see this Polish missile shield as a sort of act of aggression, or an attempt to change the balance of power by the United States. In response, the Russians have threatened to invade Poland. So at the very least, this missile shield is putting additional strain on our already frayed relations with the Russians.
In addition, one of the pundits that I heard on CNN this morning was saying that the missile shield technology really isn't prefected yet, and it really wouldn't do too much to stop Russian missiles if they were to launch any kind of serious attack.
So I'm not sure what the missile shield gets us in Poland. I guess that we'll now have permission to have this system in Poland, and we can keep working on improving the technology once the system is in place (because if the shield really did a great job of stopping missiles, that would tend to weigh more heavily in favor of the whole endeavor).
Once again, going back to my crazy hippie theme, it would seem to me that the best way to shield us from Russian missiles would be to try to stay on positive terms with the Russians. I know this is more easily said than done, but there's gotta be a way. Maybe we can bribe them. We've got all these SUVs over here that no one is interested in driving anymore...
Whatever. Way too much babbling. Hope you guys are having a good one.