Almost Got It

It was heartening the other day to hear news that North Korea had agreed to end its nuclear weapons programs in exchange for economic concessions. On its face, the accord was quite an accomplishment. Leaders in the Bush administration were cautious in touting its success. Understandable for a number of reasons, most notably North Korea’s reputation for being a nation that backs out of agreements. The main reason for such reticence on the part of the Bush administration and the State Department, however, had less to do with North Korea’s unpredictability, than it had to do with the accord’s unique ability to be interpreted in two manners. Continue reading “Almost Got It”

Political Disaster

There is a strong undercurrent among the citizens of this country. A monster, really, lurking just below the surface, waiting for the right blow to the veneer of respectability, law, order, and routine that Americans have built around them to shatter our precious sense of security. I don’t think that we are unique in the world. But it must be truly frightening at times for the rest of the world to know that the citizens of the most rich and powerful country on the planet are being held together by a very thin coalition of local, state, and federal government that at times seems blindly unaware of threats to its own stability. America’s power unleashed is intimidating enough, but when large numbers of its individuals are seen struggling in a life or death free-for-all, the animalistic nature of such an event can seem like the unleashing of a marauding beast that our society works very hard to hide. Continue reading “Political Disaster”