Saturday, October 29, 2005

Five Questions Totally Unrelated to Architecture

Beware: If you're uninterested in postings that deviate from the primary architectural theme of the ITscout Blog, then you'll want to skip this one because it's totally unrelated to architecture.

First, I congratulate the Chicago White Sox who unquestionably deserve the title of world champions. Their finish to the 2005 baseball season was incredibly reminiscent of the Boston Red Sox run last year, including a sweep of their National League opponent and an end to a longstanding curse. My question, though, is, why is this team called the White Sox? The Red Sox actually wear red socks. Why do White Sox players wear black socks with their uniform?

Second, because of the work of Chicagoan and special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, we've learned quite a bit about the Plame probe now that "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, has been indicted. Bottom line, it's fairly evident that the Bush administration's approach to governing, including foreign policy, has been handled pretty much like a political campaign -- divide people into friends and foes. This partisan warfare strategy, perfected by presidential advisor Karl Rove, is what has led to the current legal and political problems plaguing the White House. But, after 22 months of investigation into the CIA leak, I still have one burning question. Who gave Valerie Plame Wilson's name to Chicago Sun-Times reporter Bob Novack? It was his newspaper column that started this whole sordid affair. In his press briefing Fitzgerald only mentioned N.Y. Times reporter Judith Miller, Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper, and NBC's Meet The Press Washington bureau chief Tim Russert. What about Bob Novack? Who told him?

My third question involves the United Nations. Specifically, how is the U.N. going to react to Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's remarks that "Israel must be wiped off the map?" Supposedly, respect for the principles of national sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of member states is the bedrock of the United Nations charter. But, I suspect nothing will happen, except maybe corruption, because Iran, like Iraq, has oil. Of course, given how Saddam Hussein's regime bilked the U.N. oil-for-food humanitarian program of almost $2 billion through illegal kickbacks, coupled with how U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell misled the world body regarding WMDs in order to justify America's invasion of Iraq, one has to wonder, does the United Nations still have any legitimate purpose?

Speaking of oil, Exxon Mobil just earned $9.9 billion in third quarter profits. Shell made a quarterly profit of $9 billion. ConocoPhillips and ChevronTexaco earned a paltry $3.8 and $3.7 billion, respectively. So, now we know where all that money went as drivers paid over $3.00 per gallon for gasoline after Hurricane Katrina. Let's see, oil companies are reporting astronomical record profits while Texas oil man George W. Bush is president and both houses of Congress are controlled by the GOP, the Gas & Oil Party. Is anyone really shocked by all this? My question, though, is, if the oil companies are rolling in dough like they are, how much of Middle East oil money is going to fund the Iraqi insurgency? As N.Y. Times Op-Ed columnist Thomas Friedman has pointed out, "we are funding both sides in the war on terrorism." This insane situation is absolutely nuts, which leads to my fifth and final question of the day.

How in the world did George Bush get re-elected? My question, which I'm sure John Kerry must also be asking, is, did Abraham Lincoln perhaps get it wrong -- not about slavery, but rather, about secession? In 2004, Bush received 62,040,606 votes; Kerry 59,028,109 votes. That's a difference of 3,012,497 votes. But, if you breakdown the numbers you'll find that Bush carried the 11 states of the Confederate States of America by a whopping 5,039,494 votes, meaning that Kerry carried the rest of the country by 2,026,997 votes. If you toss into the equation Kentucky and Missouri, both often considered unofficial members of a 13-state Confederacy, then Kerry's lead in the non-Confederate USA widens to 2,580,245 votes.

StateBush VotesKerry VotesDifference
South Carolina937,974661,699276,275
Louisiana 1,102,169820,299281,870
North Carolina1,961,1661,525,849435,317


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