Wednesday, April 26, 2006

'W' as Jimmy Carter...

I've heard the rumblings from some on the internet that 'W' is really just another Jimmy Carter. Other than both being unpopular presidents, 'W' and Carter could not be more different. And while it might be interesting to compare and contrast these two, I had a thought I found more compelling. I think 'W' is the new Nixon.

I think Bush will leave the Republicans high and dry in the upcoming elections. The Democrats stand a good chance to sweep many national elections and will probably put a person in the white house in '08 regardless of who they put forth, solely on the public opinion backlash against Bush. I don't see the Democrats earning these seats on merit or promises, but merely on the bad state of public opinion left by the Republicans, much as Nixon left things in the early '70s.

What came of the Nixon backlash was what I consider to be the worst economic period of my lifetime, the late '70s and the Carter administration. I truly fear that a directionless Democratic party will take their new found power and make matters worse. The Democrats need to shore up their platform and start planning now. I was watching a Michael Moore speach on CPAN a couple of months ago. He was talking to a large group of Democrat big wigs. He asked a very simple question: "What do the Democrats stand for?" I was the only one with an answer, the Democrats are the party of abortion. Its their one unifying issue. Its not an issue that will help with any of the large problems the country faces now (large deficits, oil dependance, Iraq etc). Without a more reasonable response to this query the country stands to lose greatly in the upcoming elections.

The white house has already come to the same conclusion as I have as evidenced by their staffing shake-down. They realize that they have very little time to reverse public opinion and shore up poll numbers before election time. I know I hope they can turn things around, but I know many more people who are gleefully fiddling while Rome burns.

I'd be interested in seeing what others think (and explore the 'W' as Nixon/Carter angles).

Monday, April 10, 2006

Meeting with the Neighbors

So I'm typing this entry while sitting in the USCMS meeting in Lincoln Nebraska. About 90 physicists from around the US (and the world) are here to give status reports and concerns about the status of the CMS experiment from the US collaborators. Its meetings like this that give me mixed feelings. Although I'm very proud to be a small cog in the 'most complex undertaking in human history' (not my words, but I assure you its true), I'm always bothered by being but a small cog. I could throw my half drunk can of pop and hit any number of luminaries in the field but I assure you no one cares to throw a soda at me.

It also bugs me that very few consider me to be a physicist anymore. I'm a sysadmin. A computer guy. I'm basically staff now. The equivalent of a mail room clerk. Although they're right, its rude of them to remind me.

I will say that watching all the reports on what people have done over the past n+1 years makes me want to get more done. If nothing else these meetings make us want to work harder.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Not dead yet....

I know I haven't posted for awhile, but I'm finding myself pretty busy of late. I'm still finishing up the new kitchen. The University of Nebraska is hosting the USCMS meeting this week (which means there will be more big wigs around than you can shake a stick at). I have to give a short talk Thursday about the joys of trying to hurd cats in grid computing.

We're still on pace to have a baby in early June. The house is totally not ready for it and neither am I. The cat has no idea what's coming.

I'll give some thought to other issues and give them voice soon.