It appears Chinese mariners may have beaten Columbus to the New World. Interesting.


The NY Times with a cheat sheet describing Alito's position on major issues.
Fresh on the heels of our discussion about veterans making peaceful politicians (and thanks for all the great feedback btw) Slate weighs in with the notion that drunks are the best leaders.


Here's a human face made completely by computers. Amazing.
Interesting piece about why the Supreme Court tends to make justices liberal.

(short answer: “fundamental attribution error”)


Right is more precious than peace. -- Woodrow Wilson

I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity. -- Dwight David Eisenhower

War leaves an indelible mark on a man. It seems the witnesses of the carnage of battle are working the hardest to find peaceful alternatives and just resolutions.

John McCain's successful campaign to pass anti-torture legislation was in no small part driven by the time he spent in the Hanoi Hilton. While pundits and politicians argue about the effectiveness of torture, it took one who experienced it to galvanize the political opposition.

Ariel Sharon's stroke may have ended the latest effort at reaching a peaceful compromise in the region and it raises again the possibility that ex-soldiers are the best to lead us to peace. Sharon was involved in every major Israeli battle since the 1948 War for independence, including the slaughter that occurred in the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila. His first wife died in a car crash, his second to cancer. His 10 year old son died in his arms. The old soldier had seen enough death and was working for peace when his stroke occurred.

One doesn't have to look far to find examples of vets who fought in wars and later fought War. Examples include Colin Powell, the impotent "dove" of the Bush administration, who not only supported McCain's anti-torture bill, he also was the cabinet member most reluctant to invade Iraq. At the dawn of the Cold-War, Eisenhower, the general turned US President, famously warned of a military industrial complex and its systemic opposition to peace. During the Vietnam war battle scarred returning veterans infused energy and credibility to the anti-war movement.

It's difficult not to compare and contrast the beliefs about war these men have to so-called "chicken-hawks". It's long been believed that men who have never seen battle are more likely to send other men to battle for less reason. Is the corollary that old-warriors are best suited to lead us to peace?