April 2nd, 2008

Apollo 4 on column of fire

An e-mail I just sent to Nova M Radio’s Mike Malloy

[The parenthesis at the end seems kind of awkward, the way out of the blue my regret at having lost Wellstone gets stuck in, but such is life. I’ll leave it as written.]

Subject: Result of further thinking: I don't thirst for leadership
From: Barry Schwartz
Date: Wed, 2 Apr 2008 01:21:09 -0500
To: Mike Malloy

I have been thinking about what you said on the show, and no, I simply
do not understand what you are looking for in this thirst for
political "leadership". Is there an example that can't be torn down
one way or another by professional curmudgeons?

The best people are those who thirst to develop themselves and others
personally, towards better humanity. I think Barack Obama is one of
those, and that Hillary Clinton is not. Benjamin Franklin had that
thirst, and developed himself into a great politician, late in life;
Al Gore has it, and has developed himself into a great

I understand that kind of thirst, but not this other one, for
"leadership". I think Paul Wellstone represents "leadership" to a lot
of people, but, Jesus Christ, Barack Obama is better on the Iraq war
than Wellstone was. Wellstone purposely kept us waiting, waiting,
waiting, to find out whether he would decide for or against the war
authorization. That's effectively a weak, partial endorsement of the
war, as "something reasonable enough for Paul Wellstone to think about
a long time and have trouble deciding about". (I don't know whether he
was actually having trouble deciding or was just being weaselly to get
re-elected. Too bad we lost him.)
Apollo 4 on column of fire

The Miracle of the Draft

Jeff Farias (Nova M Radio) is having a discussion on his about the draft. The first caller was for a draft, saying that if there were a draft this ‘war’ (really an occupation) would be over immediately.

It is amazing to me how people will reason by fact-selection. This argument for a draft is based on the example of the Vietnam war, in which the draft helped mobilize vehement opposition. Yet the same example shows that this opposition did anything but end the war immediately.

It’s not like this is a seldom known fact. The Vietnam War dragged on and on, the National Guard shot American civilians, and so forth.

Life simply is not that easy. The draft is not a war-ending miracle.