Republic Day (Brazil)
Remembrance Day (Bermuda)
The photo above (via Wikipedia) is of the Remembrance Day parade in Hamilton, Bermuda, taken in 1990. I didn't post on Saturday for Veterans Day, but I do think it's important for all of us to take a moment from time to time to honor those who have left behind their lives to defend their country. I think it's also important to remember that there are veterans everywhere, and that taking a moment to remember those who have shown bravery, patriotism and commitment to their country and their fellow countrymen should not be something we limit to those inside our borders. Bravery is not a purely American concept.
Moving on. I was greatly disappointed, as were many others, by Russ Feingold's decision over the weekend not to seek the 2008 nomination. The best post on the matter comes from Noneed4thneed, who published it at Common Iowan and at Iowa for Feingold. You can also read the letter he sent to supporters announcing his decision at Blog for Iowa.
Another topic gathering a lot of discussion is the restructuring, or the need for restructuring, within the Republican party. Krusty, Ted Sporer and State 29 have all weighed in, but I think the most interesting and thought-provoking proposals have come from Joe Kristan and Steve Salem via Bret Hayworth. As a registered Democrat, I'm not exceptionally inclined to support and probably not qualified to assist in the rebuilding of the Republican party, but both Joe and Steve Salem add something else to the debate: an opportunity to have a legit discussion on issues, which I'm always in favor of. I'm keeping Joe's post starred in my Google Reader so I can do a more in-depth response later.
Finally, from the Register via State 29, apparently my alma mater, Drake, along with the U of I and DMACC, is considering banning smoking on the entire campus. As a non-smoker and someone who uses his voice for a living, I'm always in favor of smoke-free places, but this seems a little extreme. Even at Drake's relatively small campus, a campus-wide smoking ban would turn some students and employees' five-minute smoke break into a half-hour walk. An outdoor smoking ban would be difficult at best to enforce, and it's not really necessary. We're talking about college campuses, not hospitals. Anyone who's lived in a dorm for a week has undoubtably been exposed to a variety of smells and pollutants that make cigarette smoke seem pleasant.