I'm James Maxey, the author of numerous novels of fantasy and science fiction. I use this site to discuss a wide range of topics, with a heavy emphasis on cranky, uninformed rants about politics and religion and other topics that polite people attempt to avoid. For anyone just wanting to read about my books, I maintain a second blog, The Prophet and the Dragon, where I keep the focus solely on my fiction. I also have a webpage where both blogs stream, with more information about all my books, at jamesmaxey.net.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Best Wishes, Mr. President

I wound up with the day off due to snow. I listened to the Obama swearing in on the radio. I'm fairly jaded when it comes to ceremony in politics, or ceremony anywhere, for that matter. Still, I appreciate him mentioning for mentioning "non-believers" in his list of Americans. He didn't mention Scientoligists, though. I bet they're pissed.

Over at World Net Daily, Joseph Farah has asked his readers to pray that Obama fails. I suspect this will have about as much success as their prayers that Bush would suceed, but it still strikes me as a little mean spirited. Let me be blunt: I think that Obama has made a lot of promises to do things that I think are pretty dumb things to do. I think running up the national debt another trillion bucks in the name of stimulating the economy is crazy. I think that promising to sink more money and troops into Afgahnistan is pointless. I'm deeply afraid of the economic damage that might result from some of Obama's environmental policies.

Despite all this... I hope that I'm looking at the data before me and interpretting it wrong. The world is big and history is vast. People can argue that doing "X" lengthened the Great Depression, while others argue "X" shortened it. We'll never really know. And, this isn't the Great Depression. History can't repeat itself, not really, because time never allows the same initial conditions. The reality is, I can weigh facts and make arguments, but it all comes down to soothsaying. I like to think my opinions have a little more logic behind them than, say, astrology, but, honestly, I don't have a whole lot of evidence for that. If I was actually any good at predicting future economic trends, why the hell aren't I rich?

I honestly with Obama all the luck in the world with his plans. I hope he proves that everything I think I know is wrong. I'd love to see things turn around in his first year in office. It would be good for my friends and family and nation, and it would be good for me.

And if things turn out to be a disaster... well, I guess hard times can sometime enoble people. Even the worst can all work out for the best.


rastronomicals said...

I didn't have the day off, but I still spent the day celebrating.

Not that I necessarily was all that interested in seeing Obama take the oath, or even in hearing his inaugural address. Any slob can swear on a bible, you could see it on Court TV every day, and although I can't fault Obama for delivering platitudes in his speech (they are, after all, kind of called for in that situation), I definitely didn't have the goosebump moment many of my friends in reality and in cyberspace are claiming they had.

I kind of dug though watching Obama's hands as he speaks. He's not over the top demonstrative when he speaks, but he's always flexing his hands, enumerating points with his knuckles, things like that. Fun to watch, but not in a my country tis of thee kind of way.

Still. A celebration for me. And that's because of the helicopter that took off shortly after Obama's swearing in. The most ineffectual, perhaps the most intellectually laggard, and absolutely the most bullheaded president in our country's history was leaving town.

Obama may not have all the answers, in fact I suspect he doesn't. But here is a man who applies intellectual rigor to the problems he is presented with. For the last eight years, we have had a leader who bent over backward NOT to take that approach, who was actively suspicious of an intellectual approach to problem-solving. We've had a leader who tackled problems by applying kneejerk reactions and emotional responses, along with a heaping helping of received and inflexible neocon doctrine. Most of all, we've had a leader who when confronted by a problem, simply handed the ball off to one of his PNAC buddies.

It's not surprising that America under George W Bush was ruined. Given the autocratic and absolutist way that he ruled, it would be surprising if it hadn't been.

So Bush and his PNAC neocon buddies split town yesterday, and good luck Obama, but THAT was the reason for my celebration.

I voted for Barack, but I would have spent yesterday partying if it been McCain who had been elected, as well.

Sumbitch, rastro now has a music blog

James Maxey said...

Yeah, I'm happy to see Bush go. But, I'll defend him from the charge of being ineffectual. He was stunningly effective at seeing his war agenda passed, and a lot of the problems that happened on his watch can't be blamed just on him. The economic collapse is something that's been building for two decades. The rise of nuclear Korea and Iran has also been coming for a long time before he got into office. And some people say he damaged the environment--but, if there is man-made global warming, it didn't start in 2000, and no president could have stopped China from burning its own coal so aggressively over the last decade.

I view him as a reasonably effective president, just not a president who was doing things that I approved of.