As You Were

Devin Coughlin's blog.
Styles: Serious Spare

September 30, 2004

Debates

I promised myself I would watch the debate, but I just couldn't force myself to. Anticipation of disaster is worse than disaster itself, for most instances of disaster. I find myself flipping from pole to pole, from we're gonna lose, but what's the worst another four years could do to goddamn it, Rehnquist, Stevens, and O'Connor are probably going to retire in the next four years so we better win, or else.

In preparation I got really drunk, but not drunk enough, so I watched my new West Wing first season dvds instead of the debate. This makes me a bad person, I know, but really I knew what they were going to say before they said it, godammnit.

I miss Bill Clinton.

Now I guess I'll see what Chris Matthews has to say on Hardball.

Update: Ha! We won won, motherfucker! (at least for now) I only hope it means something.

Posted by coughlin at 9:05 PM | TrackBack (0)

September 24, 2004

Potemkin Village

While driving home this afternoon I heard an interview (WMA only, sorry) on The World with a reporter who was kidnapped in Iraq two weeks ago but has since been released. The whole thing is worth listening to, but there were a couple of points that I think were important.

  • The reporter was kidnapped by insurgents working alongside Iraqi police — the guy was captured because he police at a checkpoint told him to get into the kidnappers' car. There has been a lot of rhetoric flying back and forth between the Bush and Kerry camps (and between various factions of the Bush Administration) about exactly how many trained police are deployed in Iraq. But what good are policemen if they're working for the other side?

  • The kidnappers verified that he was, in fact, a reporter and not a spy by looking him up on Google in an internet cafe. The internet (and cell phones even more, I think) have lifted the fog of war in Iraq. This is good and bad for both sides, obviously, but probably worse for us because we used to have a lock on the tech to pierce the fog.

On a related note, Juan Cole has an essay (just published in the LA Times) about what the U.S. would be like if it were Iraq. It is a little bit ridiculous but is worth reading to get a sense of perspective on the magnitude of the mess we have created.

Posted by coughlin at 3:36 PM | TrackBack (0)

Priorities

Every now and then I am reminded of exactly why I am not a Republican.

It is not that they are evil — it is that they are mean.

Listen to NPR's reporting on the middle class tax cut extension. For most of the story I was thinking hey, the Republican Congressional leadership sounds pretty reasonable. Now might not be the best time for a tax cut, but if you were going to have one it might as well be for the middle class. Sure it's an election year stunt, but this is, after all, an election year.

But the last minute (or so) of the report blew my mind: mean, mean, mean.

It is worth mentioning that those in the bracket the Republicans screwed over (for no apparent reason other than general dislike of poor people) make less in a year than a congressperson does in a month and that even though the threshold income above which a percentage credit can be claimed has risen with inflation, the actual income of these people has fallen or stayed the same.

See the Washington Post's article on the situation for more. Compassion, my ass.

Posted by coughlin at 12:28 PM | TrackBack (0)

September 21, 2004

First Snow

I woke up this morning to the first snow of the season. Officially, it will still be summer until tomorrow at 10:30am MDT (pagans take note), but the snow means summer is truly over. It doesn't seem to be sticking — way too warm — but still, it counts as first snow.

I was planning to hike up to Royal Arch this evening with Jonah and Loren, but it looks like it will be too muddy.

Some photos:

Tree with snow dusting
A tree behind the house

Valley with snow and fog
The valley. Bear peak is obscured by fog in the background.

Posted by coughlin at 9:45 AM | TrackBack (0)

September 17, 2004

The Sixth Borough

The Sixth Borough.
Posted by coughlin at 6:27 PM | TrackBack (0)

September 11, 2004

Return to Blue Lake

This absurdly early morning I met Jonah and Ben, and we drove up to Brainard Lake, past Nederland, on the Peak-to-Peak.

We hiked up to Blue Lake, about half a mile east of the continental divide. After lunch we walked around for a bit. It was a great day — blue sky, barely a cloud in sight, pretty warm. I got sunburned, though. We drove back to Boulder via Ward, down Left Hand Canyon.

Some photos:

Mount Audubon, from Mitchell Lake
Mount Audubon, from Mitchell Lake

Mount Toll
Mount Toll, behind a cairn on the trail

Blue Lake
And, almost out of nowhere, Blue Lake appears

Ben rests int the sun
Ben rests in the sun

Blue from the other side
The lake from the other side

Jonah with headache
Jonah gets a little altitude sickness on the way back. Nothing a little aspirin couldn't cure. Too bad we didn't think to bring any.

The view from Brainard Lake
Mount Toll, Paiute Peak, and Mount Audubon from Brainard Lake

Row of mailboxes
Stopping to get the mail on the way home

Posted by coughlin at 9:28 PM | TrackBack (0)

September 9, 2004

Dream, Dreams the Dreamer

Last night I dreamt I was explaining P and NP to Katie Holmes.

Katie Holmes
But I made so many mistakes I erased a hole through my piece of scratch paper.

Posted by coughlin at 11:44 AM | TrackBack (0)