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November 05, 2005


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That number rings a bell

Sure does.

As a chickenhawk, Bush the Lesser need the comfort large retinues and displays of executive privilege can bring. I gather they didn't teach him anything about diminishing returns or diseconomies of scale when he was mincing his way through b-school. And while a naval task force can be invaluable when you're fighting a war, threatening a nominally friendly country with an offshore bombardment makes for a poor guarantee of personal security. My guess is that all the wingnut intellectual moaning about the failures of the Progressive Era doesn't extend further than lingering resentments over modest reforms in the way labor is treated.

The break up of the combines and trusts, and the creation of regulatory standards for food safety are also a legacy of the progressive era.

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of high
Rode the two thousand.
"Forward, the Light Brigand!
"Charge for La Pampa!" he said:
Into the Rio Negro
Rode the two thousand.


"Forward, the Light Brigand!"
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' apparatchik knew
Someone had blunder'd:
Their's not to make reply,
Their's not to reason why,
Their's but to quaff and imbibe:
Into the valley of high
Rode the two thousand.


Llamas to right of them,
Llamas to left of them,
Llamas in front of them
trot'd and canter'd;
Shat at with poop and pellets,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the paws of Dung,
Into the mouth of Wool
Rode the two thousand.


Flash'd all their sabres bare,
Flash'd as they turn'd in air,
Greeting mestizos there,
Charging the unarmed, while
All the world wonder'd,
Plunged in the mirror's-smoke:
Right thro' the line they broke;
Quechua and GuaranĂ­
Reel'd from the greeting's stroke
Shatter'd and sunder'd.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the two thousand.


Llama's to right of them,
Llama's to left of them,
Llama's behind them
gallop'd and loped;
Storm'd at with thread and wool,
While humvee and hero fell,
They that had dressed so well
Came thro' Cat Ballou,
Back from Palermo Soho,
All that was left of them,
Left of two thousand.


When can their glory fade?
O the wild scene they made!
All the world wondered.
Honor the charge they made,
Honor Brooks Brother's parade,
Noble two thousand.

Tennyson and Kipling and Thomas Friedman and Judith Miller too.

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