Monday, May 21, 2007

Once in a while, a tiny bit of justice. Or perhaps not.

So, Paul Wolfowitz has resigned as president of the World Bank. It is about time.

Let us admit it. The fact that he got that job was a slap in the face to the American people. Here is a man who said the Iraq war would pay for itself. We all know how amazingly incorrect that assessment was. So, he was either deliberately lying to the American public, or he is really, really incompetent about financial matters.

Which one of these is a qualification to head the World Bank?

But then, something occurred to me. Paul Wolfowitz has now had to publicly own up, in some sense, to the mistakes he has made. But what was the mistake, really? He made mistakes and a bunch of his friends have collectively become several hundred billion dollars richer as a result. But then, if you have to make a mistake, that is a good kind of mistake to make.

Some mistakes make people stop returning one's calls. Other mistakes make other people so rich they could give you a house or three and not even blink at it. Do you think Paul Wolfowitz will ever run out of people to stay with when he is on vacation in Europe? Or Asia? Or anywhere? Probably not. I am sure that all those military contractors have a special place on their Christmas lists for Wolfowitz. As their earnings keep making interest over the years, do you think they will forget one of the people who made it all possible? Probably not.

I wish I could make such mistakes. I bet we all do.

Friday, May 04, 2007

The Hills Around Us

A while back, I went to the Four Corners area of the Southwest. It was not my choice, but my brother was arranging the trip and he wanted to get in some rock-climbing.

The local Ute tribe had, a long, long time back, named one of the hills in the area with the moniker, "the sleeping Ute". I did not see it. I looked at the hill and could not see where it came from. One day I happened to be at the right place at just the right angle and I saw it. After that, strangely enough, I saw it everywhere I went. I could look over my shoulder to check lanes while I was driving down the road and, if I was glancing in the correct direction, I would see it.

I cannot imagine being aware enough of my surroundings to see these things without trying. If I had not looked for this shape, many times, I would have missed it. Yet, it was so obvious.

I think about the shape of the hills around the South Bay, where I live. I know that the Mount Hamilton Observatory is sitting up on one of them. That's about all that I can think of.