Ross Mackenzie

A random walk among a leafy litter of issues near and far….

So, another crisis on nukes — with North Korea. Is it time for China, Japan, and South Korea to belly up to the table? Should there have been talks — multilateral, or bilateral between Washington and Pyongyang?

Should Japan rearm? Should we renew the push for missile defense?

Whatever the Bush administration does, or has done, the Democrats will hit the blast button. Hillary Clinton immediately set to blaming President Bush’s “failed policies” for failing to stop NK’s nuclear program. ’Sfunny. She doesn’t mention husband Bill’s 1994 “Agreed Framework,” regarding which he declared: “This agreement will help achieve a vital and long-standing American objective: an end to the threat of nuclear proliferation on the Korean peninsula.”

And negotiations? Regarding negotiations with Iran about nukes, the European Union’s Javier Solana is sounding like a liberal who has been mugged. Having negotiated for four months with Iran about its nuclear program and coming away feeling like a used fool, Solana now says it’s time for UN sanctions, at least. Without somebody doing something soon, Iran may follow North Korea down the nuclear path.

And in D.C., the Senate vote on the compromise measure regarding aggressive interrogation techniques drew nays from 32 Democrats, among them: would-be presidents Hillary Clinton, Joseph Biden, and John Kerry. This means, according to The Wall Street Journal, “they were opposing aggressive interrogation of even the worst al-Qaida captives.” What are these people thinking?

That’s a good question for others in Congress, mostly Republicans — e.g., Tom DeLay, Mark Foley, and now Dennis Hastert. And let’s not forget, throughout Washington but primarily in Congress, Jack Abramoff. Is it any wonder that Congress’ approval rating, with the approach of the November elections, is the lowest in 11 years?

It’s comforting to have at last computer programmer Peter Shann Ford’s clarifying analysis of astronaut Neil Armstrong’s first words from the moon in 1969. Armstrong says he intended to say, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” But: Transmitted seemingly without the a, it makes no sense. With the latest technology, Ford has analyzed the NASA tape containing Armstrong’s words, and says the a actually is there but did not clearly come through. And Armstrong? He finds Ford’s analysis “persuasive.”

Ross Mackenzie

Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.

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