There’s nothing wrong with me. I feel fine

hemingway-war.jpg
It is one thing to be a good observer, I've known plenty of people that are good at taking note of the small details of life, it is a whole other diminsion to be a good observer and have the talent to write about what one sees. Observation and a talent for prose also happen to make for being a good spy, Ernest Hemingway, secret agent

In an oral presentation to White, Hemingway also suggested that if war did break out with the Japanese, the allies should consider launching an offensive from Hong Kong that would drive north to liberate Canton and eventually open up a communication route to Chungking.

As it turned out, the intelligence work proved to be the only success that came out of the trip. The publisher at PM, a former Time magazine executive named Ralph Ingersoll, found Hemingway's articles too dry and analytical.

Hemingway, however, caught the espionage bug in Asia and didn't shake it until World War II ended. When he returned to Cuba, he headed an FBI-funded spy ring to monitor Spanish fifth columnists in Havana. Gellhorn nicknamed the operation "The Crook Factory." After that, he loaded drinking buddies on to his fishing boat with guns and a bomb and plied the Caribbean looking for U-boats.

Later, in France, Hemingway headed a small band of irregulars that moved in tandem with other allied troops heading westward to Berlin.

snip

Hemingway's articles were indeed heavy on analysis and light on colour, but taken together with his six-page letter to Morgenthau they reveal an incredibly quick read of the Asian situation before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Hemingway only spent 11 weeks in Hong Kong, China and Burma, and he was drunk much of the time, yet he was able to piece together a compelling analysis of the political, economic and military forces at play in the Asian theatre.

Rove revamps the Republican strategy

Rather than defend Bush, Rove will seek to rally the Republicans’ conservative grassroots by painting Democrats as the party of tax increases, gay marriage, secularism and military weakness. That’s where the national message money is going to be spent.

With what Fineman calls generic approval rating of 55% for Democrats what are conservatives to do but take the Rovian track. Rove's political strategy as Bush's spinmiester has been to attack at their opponent's strength. Only this time he's shifting gears and conservative bloggers and pubdits have been quick to follow, they can't defend their record. Most of their tax cuts have gone into the pockets of the people that need them least. It turns out that liberals were right about Iraq. Iraq was not a hot bed of terrorism, there haven't been any WMD there for years and despite any moral reservations about sanctions on the right or far left, they worked. Many Americans are uncomfortable with the concept of gay marriage, but conservatives must overcome two things to push gay marriage to the front burner, convince the public we need to make a ban on gay marriage a part of the constitution of the United States of America ( this will only serve to increase sensitivity to gay issues) and they must find a way to look like they aren't self righteous hypocrites on moral issues considering their string of sex scandals – “Nine Fingers” and the Third Man, The Relatively Charmed Life Of Neil Bush, The Fear That KillsLast week, Col. Janis Karpinski told a panel of judges at the Commission of Inquiry for Crimes against Humanity Committed by the Bush Administration in New York that several women had died of dehydration because they refused to drink liquids late in the day. They were afraid of being assaulted or even raped by male soldiers if they had to use the women's latrine after dark.
Then there is not jus lack of respect for the constitution, but utter contempt for the constitution and the rule of law – Bush violated 750 Laws. This is no biggie for a party and movement drunk on its own power. On the other hand conservatives are have not been winning elections by huge margins, the last two presidential elections have been tight. Can Rove and company convince Reagan Democrats, independents, and the few remaining moderate conservatives that the bribes, prostitutes, golf trips, and general corruption don't matter because two people of the same gender that already live together should not be allowed to get married. Rove knows that right-wing fundies will shoot themselves in the foot regarding the general good governance that Democrats would provide in favor of anything that punishes personal behavior of which they do not approve, but that sub-group of conservatitism power has been eroded over the past few years and ironically because of the national visibility they've worked so hard to achieve, most Americans have seen what they are warts and all. All this makes for issue and scandal overload, never the less, more then anything else there is the general mood, and one that Rove and Company are underestimating, that the country is and has been headed in the wrong direction. It may even be that while all the arrogant abuses of Bush and his party's hit various nerves of various groups, the one thing that could be their death knell is Medicare. While Democrats are keenly aware of Reagan Democrats, conservative policy makers just can't bring themselves to acknowledge Clinton Republicans who rely on Medicare to take care of themselves or someone in their family. Except for the one infamous incident, Clinton was incredibily ethical as far as politicians go, and it turns out he really did empathize with everyday working people. People were also, despite a few incidents, which the unhinged right has had printed and plastic coated, safer when we had Democrats leading the nation. American's are wondering how Bush let Afghanistan slip back into substantial control of warlords. Why a suspected Iranian spy is still a Bush point man in Iraq. Why did Bush demonize the middle-east for five years and then suddenly turn around and want to turn over control of our ports to those same people. Why does congress with Bush's aid continue to run the economy on a national debt that will take half a generation to restore to fiscal sanity. Rove can pull out the rusty war wagon of political character assassination, but while people may not say it out loud, they'll be thinking that they've seen this play before and since it has such a loosey second act there is no reason to think the third act will get much better. Too many people have heard the exaggerations, the half truths, the lies to all be fooled one more time. I am of the school of never underestimating your enemy or overestimationg yourself; current trends may not uktimately end with large Democratic gains. Though all indications are that its conservatives that will need to button down, the wild and wooley days of big gov'ment conservatism are about to end.

What did she say?' asked the girl.

'That the train is coming in five minutes.'

The girl smiled brightly at the woman, to thank her.

'I'd better take the bags over to the other side of the station,' the man said. She smiled at him.

'All right. Then come back and we'll finish the beer.'

He picked up the two heavy bags and carried them around the station to the other tracks. He looked up the tracks but could not see the train. Coming back, he walked through the bar-room, where people waiting for the train were drinking. He drank an Anis at the bar and looked at the people. They were all waiting reasonably for the train. He went out through the bead curtain. She was sitting at the table and smiled at him.

'Do you feel better?' he asked.

'I feel fine,' she said. 'There's nothing wrong with me. I feel fine.'

from the short story Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway