Saturday, February 1, 2003


ANOTHER TRAGEDY: To blog is to comment, critique, analyze and argue about disputes of the day. There is nothing to dispute about the explosion of the space shuttle Columbia. All one can do is mourn.

InstaPundit's already linked to it, but here's a link to Ronald Reagan's address to the country following the Challenger explosion 17 years ago. It may be Peggy Noonan's finest speech. The final paragraph still gets me.

posted by Dan at 11:45 AM | Trackbacks (0)

Friday, January 31, 2003

I'm back

I’ll get back to real posting tomorrow, once I’ve caught up and avoid the embarrassment of blogging behind the curve, but first, a paean to New Zealand, which is now first on my list of countries I’d consider defecting to if I didn’t live in the U.S.:

If, for some reason, the Blogosphere should ever decide to have a conference, a convention, a gathering of some sort, I’m afraid I must insist on holding it in New Zealand. Why? Well, for starters, it’s just gorgeous. After ten days there, I was unable to find a view that was NOT gorgeous. And this was on the supposedly more pedestrian North Island. Click here some views.

Another compelling reason is that every ideological stripe of the Blogosphere would find something to adore about the country. Conservatives would admire the modesty of the country’s welfare state, the largely rural nature of the country, and the sheer delight the citizenry takes in hunting possum and most forms of deer (man is the only predator of those species in New Zealand). Libertarians would admire the lack of stultifying regulations and the accelerating rate at which New Zealanders invent new ways to have fun (this is the country that invented bungee-jumping). Liberals would admire New Zealand’s steadfast environmentalism and its historically enlightened policies (compared with Canada, Australia, or the United States) towards the indigenous population.

Finally, it’s just such a nice place. From the customs officials at the airport to the local rafting guides to the people you met on the street, everyone in the entire country was friendly and laid-back, but not in a lobotomized way. By day 3 of my trip, I’d forgotten both the day and the date, the best indicator of a good vacation. And a final, guilty confession -- as someone who studies international relations for a living, it was very relaxing to be in a country where the leading paper had -- maybe -- two pages of global news coverage. This is in contrast to the endless coverage of the America's Cup.

posted by Dan at 10:28 AM | Trackbacks (0)