Thursday, April 29, 2004

As much as I want and no more

Trying to pay attention to my body today, stopping eating even if my plate isn't clean. That could save money, too. I keep expecting my pants to start falling off, but that hasn't quite happened yet. It's a bit disorienting because, the propaganda is correct, my body does seem to have changed shape somehow so I'm not quite sure whether it's fatter or leaner or what. That should change.

Not Wyatt Earp

Hate to disagree with Ralph Peters, but Iraq doesn't need a Wyatt Earp or a Rudy Giuliani. Peters thinks order on the streets is the basic medicine that will purge Iraq of its chaos:

In addition to the military reduction of the last breath of resistance in Fallujah and the arrest or killing of the renegade cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in Najaf, we need to change the rules on Iraq's streets.

If any adult touches a damaged or destroyed U.S. military vehicle, he must be shot. Start with a one-week warning period to get out the new rules. Then execute. The Iraqis playing trampoline on the hoods of our charred vehicles aren't the ones who will build a better future.

As for the juvies, send them to reformatory camps. No exceptions, even if daddy's the Sheik of Araby.

If we can't or won't bring order to that festering country's streets, we'll never see a lawful state emerge. I still believe that most Iraqis want democracy - in some adjusted form that gives them a voice in their country's affairs. But they want and need security even more. You can't build a legal economy or hold honest elections if you can't control the neighborhoods in broad daylight.

Law first, then democracy. Sorry, but it doesn't work the other way around.

He seems to forget that Saddam used the "all force all the time" method for years, although concededly in a less than judicious manner. But even Wyatt Earp could not get the Iraqis to feel like Iraqis who need to subordinate their factional interests to democratic methods for the good of the nation.

Iraq needs an Ataturk. I'm not saying Turkey's perfect. But most Turks do think of themselves as Turks these days. An Iraqi leader who can get Kurds and Sunnis and Shi'as to think of themselves as citizens of a modern, respectable nation state would take the country far beyond simple civic order to true nationhood. The Ataturk reforms:

Between 1926 and 1930, the Turkish Republic achieved a legal transformation which might have required decades in most other countries. Religious laws were abolished, and a secular system of jurisprudence introduced. The concepts, the texts and contexts of the laws were made harmonious with the progressive thrust of Atatürk's Turkey. " The nation", Atatürk said, " has placed its faith in the precept that all laws should be inspired by actual needs here on earth as a basic fact of national life."

Among the far-reaching changes were the new Civil Code, Penal Code, and Business Law, based on the Swiss, Italian and German models respectively.

The new legal system made all citizens - men and women, rich and poor - equal before the law. It gave Turkey a firm foundation for a society of justice and equal rights.

are not that different from what the new constitution is trying to introduce to Iraq. The problem is the lack of a charismatic leader who can personalize the reforms and offer an Iraqi vision of the new democratic man. Is there no survivor of the Iran-Iraq war and the Gulf wars with military and political leadership credentials and not too many atrocity rumors attached to him who could be Iraq's Ataturk?

Wednesday, April 28, 2004


The Cortislim website says that a Cortislimmed body will send you signals as to when to stop eating. They're right, but I am really finding it difficult to obey the signals. For instance, yesterday we had a lunch for the secretaries at work. I had a chicken sandwich with fries. Halfway through I can remember thinking, "Gee, I don't know if I want this whole thing." But I have a strong impulse to "clean my plate" even though I can't actually remember my mother using that "Think of all the children starving in China" line on me when I was a kid. Maybe I just hate to pay for a meal and then leave half of it. Then it happened again at supper, when I insisted on eating a whole box of breaded scallops because I'd cooked them all, even though I practically had to force the last of them down. Sigh. Maybe I'll train myself by making smaller portions. Also, I'm back to a usual carbohydrate ratio, after being on a modified Atkins for years. So maybe that's confusing things. I really want to see if Cortislim will work with a "regular" diet, though, to clarify whether it's my Atkins efforts or the Cortislim that's working. Oh, yeah. Day 11. Haven't dared weigh myself the last two days because I feel fat. That may be the carbs talking.

Kerry implosion

Even hard core Dems seem to be getting really worried about Kerry's campaigning competence. I can't believe this. Who did they think they were voting for in all those priimaries, anyway? John Feckless is a pretty known quantity, or lack thereof. I know, Bushies shouldn't be too quick to carp and caper with glee. The last thing we want is to have to deal with Hillary or even John Edwards instead of Liveshot. But it is delicious to watch the Dem-mobile driving over a cliff with Craggy X. Blowhard pontificating at the wheel, not even aware of the spectacle he's presenting.

Monday, April 26, 2004

Day Nine
Pretty frustrated at my scale, for refusing to show the weight loss that my body tells me I've experienced. Ah, well, according to the testimonials on the Cortislim website, I should lose ten or fifteen pounds this month. That's all I care about. If I had already lost ten, I would be a bit scared. Still feel good and am sleeping better, no doubt about it. I must say I'm not exercising much, either, on the theory that I need to be thinner before I can do enough of the Combat Conditioning exercises to make a difference. I did do a whole sixty second "Wall Chair" yesterday, though, which felt good. Is it my imagination or does my gout feel better since I started taking Cortislim? Hmm. I bet the Cortislim folks would be interested to know that, although they probably couldn't use any testimonial I might make to claim a cure for gout without going through sixteen years of FDA paperwork.

Oil for Anti-Americanism

Claudia Rosett has really put it all together about the U.N.-scam known as the Oil-for-Food program. I'm glad to see the Kurds are still demanding their four billion dollars that - surprise, suprise! - Satan, I mean Saddam, never gave them. Hard to believe the UN's auditing never discovered that fact. Does anybody seriously maintain any more that the UN - or any agency of the "international community" - is good for anything? Wait, there is one thing. That big building in New York would make fantastic condos. And think of the parking revenue the city would pick up. Mayor Bloomberg? I hear they're smoking in there. Can't you condemn and confiscate the building on that basis?

Billy Joel

Is anyone really wondering why Billy Joel has all those car accidents? Has anyone actually looked at his CAR?? I thought Citroen Deux Chevaux couldn't be imported to the US because they were so lame. That one looks just like the one my landlady had in Paris in 1964. (Scroll down, on the right, until it goes away). And this is spoken by the proud but frustrated owner of a 1987 Peugeot 505.