For the last few months, while prof bug's mood changes surged one way or another or just up and down, he kept intending to return to his bugged-out commentaries any day then. By late summer, it was clear the buggy prof was over-optimistic, and so he decided to extend his web site's unwilled leave of absence with a voluntary one . . . a kind of self-awarded sabbatical for the rest of the year. The year, of course, is drawing to an end, with 2008's start just ahead; and prof bug has already started gathering some materials for some new articles, and on a variety of subjects: the US economy, viewed in comparative perspective; the global status of American power and influence; the Middle East, and especially the problems of events in Iraq and in Iran; the status of the NATO alliance at a time when increasingly pro-American governments have come to power and replaced openly anti-American ones the last two or three years in Germany, France, Canada, and for that matter elsewhere as in South Korea this last week; some books worth reading or avoiding; and . . . well, the list is long and fairly ambitious.
As for the current political primary campaigns, prof bug hopes that on the Democratic side the winner will be Obama --- a fresh and hopeful presence on the American political landscape --- and John McCain on the Republican side, a man who early on (in 2003) urged far more US troops in Iraq as with the current surge that began last summer, condemend Guantanomo and water-boarding, and has been notable for his stand on campaign financial reform. In short, if these candidates came through the primaries as winners, we'd have a promising choice between a young energetic Senator on one side and an experienced middle-of-the-road Republican Senator of impressive integrity on the other side.
In the meantime, prof bug wishes everyone a very pleasant holiday season.