i want to take a moment to note the passing of william f. buckley, jr. even though my political views have always been 180 degrees opposed to his, i always enjoyed his stewardship of "Firing Line" on PBS. here was an erudite, forward, and immensely entertaining conservative moderator who actually encouraged civilized discourse. his intellect was prodigious, but it was his manners and his respect for articulate debate that set him apart from the conservative mob, and certainly from the mobsters who now run the republican party. he tolerated disagreement with his views, so long as that disagreement was clearly stated and supported. which is more than can be said for many political thinkers today, conservative or liberal or progressive. sic transit gloria mundi.
(yes, i studied latin in high school for two years, the best "foreign" language investment one could hope to make in our culture, since latin provides the foundation for its descendent romance languages -- italian, spanish, french -- as well as a significant chunk of english. no disrespect to arabic or chinese or german.)
so how may republicans does it take to change a light bulb? believe it or not, it takes five. one to actually change the bulb, and four to sit around and reminisce about how good the old bulb was.