December 28, 2002


Well, the family and I have returned to Maryland after spending Christmas in south Texas. We had a great week, but it's also nice to be home and online and still have a couple of days to recharge before work on Monday. Right now I'm watching the Oakland Raiders whip the Chiefs, which as a Raiders fan (especially when the Cowboys are pathetic, which they currently are) makes me happy. The Raiders are looking at home field advantage throughout the playoffs--this could be a Super Bowl year.

Speaking of the Cowboys, I can't say that the ongoing coaching controversy surprises me. As you may have heard, owner Jerry Jones has been chatting with Bill Parcells about football, the state of the league, etc, which really means that they're dancing around the topic of replacing the 'Boys' current coach, Dave Campo, with Parcells. The Cowboys have been signalling that a coaching change might happen at season's end for a while now. On Thanksgiving Fox aired Jimmy Johnson's interview with Jones, and the thrust of that interview was that Johnson had more control over the team than was previously admitted by either. To me that set the stage for the Cowboys to be able to attract a strong coach, since the rap against them was that the Cowboys' coach had little say over personnel matters, and most quality coaches won't accept that state of affairs. So Jones does the interview, supposedly patching things up with three-time Super Bowl winner Johnson (yeah, he only actually won two but Barry Switzer's ring really belongs to Johnson), but actually showing that he's willing to do what it takes to bring in a coach with a real track record for winning. Campo and the previous coach, Chan Gailey, were hired as nice-guy yes-men, under Jones' theory that he could make the personnel decisions that would enable any coach to win. He's been proven wrong for the past several seasons, so it's time for a coach with personnel power to come in. If not Parcells, then someone similar will likely replace Campo, which is good. The Cowboys need to clean house, and since they can't replace the owner (who's always been the real problem), it's time for a new coaching staff.

Other than that I didn't keep up with the news much while on the road, but I did manage to keep an eye on the North Korean situation. While it seems to be spiralling out of control, I think Pyongyang's aim is mostly to blackmail us, South Korea and Japan into giving it all the goodies we promised them in the Agreed Framework without incurring the penalties it deserves for breaking said agreement. The North is crippled and starving, and therefore desperate enough to try this very dangerous gambit. While it is definitely something to monitor, it's not yet on the brink of real hostilities in my opinion. Should the North continue to pursue its current tactic, it's likely to reap some unintended, and very unwelcome, consequences for itself. The more North Korea pushes the situation, the more likely Japan is to re-arm and the less likely South Korea is to make a deal. The US will continue to use the UN to keep the North isolated, and continue to work with Japan and the South to make sure the promised aid isn't delivered, and relations between Japan and the North aren't normalized. In fact, Japan may increase its own push for an accounting of the adbuctees the North still holds captive, which will only serve to further isolate Pyongyang. The North is also increasingly the likelihood of some sort of pre-emptive US strike against the nuclear plants it's re-opening. The North can only lose if it maintains its present course, but it may decide to go out with a bang instead of a whimper.
Posted by B. Preston at 08:18 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack