The Best Defense

Does the Israeli action in Gaza portend attacks on Lebanon and then Iran?

A friend writes:

"If Israel is on the cusp of preempting Iran, it would be a very smart thing to crush Iran's surrogates on the border and neutralize prepositioned weapons that might be brought to bear when the gloves come off with the Farsi folks.  At least, this is what I would do in advance of an attack on Iran. Tick-tock, tick-tock.

Another friend suggested that if this analysis is correct, then southern Lebanon will be next.

The Best Defense

West Coast thought: People who applaud tax increases also support having a draft

Last week I had a series of appearances in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. A couple of observations from that trip:

--Tax increases are not anathema, as least to the people to came to my talks. When the person introducing me at the Seattle Library mentioned that a recent approval of a tax increase would keep open more library branches on weekends, there was a round of hearty applause. I heard the same sentiments from people in LA about the recent vote in their state to raise revenues, I think for education.

--Nor is a draft out of the question to these people. To my surprise, the same crowd in Seattle that applauded the tax hike also warmly welcomed my suggestion that the country would benefit from having some sort of draft.

--Overall, I sensed a kind of nostalgia for the days when government worked, and a fingers-crossed belief that it still can. It is amazing how potholed California's highways have become. One woman says she has her wheels realigned every three months. 

--There sure didn't seem to be any recession in Seattle or San Francisco. But LA's Westwood neighborhood had a surprising number of vacant storefronts. I don't know LA well enough to interpret the significance of that. Real estate is the most local of businesses. I remember a smart guy telling me he only invested in commercial real estate on the north side of Orlando and stayed away from the city's south side, which he said was a whole different market, one distorted by Disney World's force field.