Category Archives: The World

[BlogEntry] So, what is the right time, right war?

On a mailing list from a former employer, someone just posted the following (edited to protect their identity):

My son is over in Iraq. A few weeks ago,
he said to me "I've got my job to do here. Your job is to go
out and help get Kerry elected!"

You might say I have a vested interest
in ousting the man who put my baby in "the wrong war, at the wrong
time", to quote Senator Kerry. I'd feel much better about his
deployment if he were in Afghanistan or Sudan – someplace that makes
sense!

I daresay that this same person, and the rest of the Kerry supporters (along with most Bush supporters), had they been asked on September 10, 2001 about going into Afghanistan or Sudan, would have said "wrong war, wrong time." Had we inspected Afghanistan on 9/10/01, we would have found no weapons of mass destruction. By the standards we suddenly find ourselves so attached to, it would have been difficult to justify such an invasion. Yet, that invasion is now justified in most peoples' minds, including Kerry supporters.

Over the course of his eight years in office, Clinton got away with several military maneuvers including Bosnia, Somalia, and even bombing Iraq with 200 cruise missiles over a four-day period! Where were the standards then? What made each of those "the right war at the right time"? Was it just his lack of commitment to actually winning that made it palatable? Or was it just the fact that he was a Democrat?

Had we invaded Afghanistan and captured Osama bin Laden prior to 9/11/01, many people would have objected. However, if we had prevented the attack on the World Trade Center and Washington, D.C., there would have been no way of knowing what disaster had just been averted. Yet, it still would have been the right move. How, then, can people be so damned sure that eradicating the Saddam Hussein regime was the wrong move? Is it possible they are just using that strategic move as an opportunity to bash a political foe?

Hindsight is 20/20. It is so easy to second guess the choices made by someone else after the fact. Candidate Kerry would have us believe his foresight is as keen as his hindsight. But even hindsight does not give you the benefit of seeing what might have been. Hussein had years to develop all kinds of weapons and then conceal or export them. Look how long it took to find Hussein, himself, living in a hole. For all we know, Bush's invasion of Iraq prevented a 9/11-style attack with nerve gas. Or maybe he was too late, and it's still sitting underground in Iraq or hidden in Syria, yet to be deployed.

But it's awfully cheap and easy to just say "wrong war, wrong time" when you have no idea what could have been. There's a reason Saddam Hussein refused to comply for so many years. I'd rather accept Saddam Hussein's evil intentions at face value, consider his unwillingness to comply with the weapons inspectors as the crime it was, and be safe rather than sorry. If you choose to opportunistically use this perfectly valid interpretation against the President who had the nerve to act, even though it was unpopular, I hope you're right, because the cost of being wrong is another 9/11 or worse.

And I don't think Kerry has the nerve or the conviction to do anything unpopular, based purely on principles. So, be an ostrich, if you like. Just hope you're a very lucky ostrich, because these Muslim terrorists are not kidding around. How many more horrific acts must they commit before you are convinced?

[BlogEntry] Who writes these headlines?!

It's amazing how the sound bites and headlines claim to tell the whole story, when they are really intended to mislead and convince you not to look any deeper.

From Power Line Blog:

I've barely had time to dip into the Iraq Survey Group's report, but it's apparent that the report is a treasure trove of information. No one could read even a small portion of the report and conclude that "Iraq had no WMDs" is a fair summary of its contents. [My bold.]

I used to scoff at the "liberal media," but the headline that "Iraq had no WMDs" as the sum total of the Iraq Survey Group's report is offensive, unfair, and an abuse of the power of the press.

Liberals don't play fair. They play to win. At all costs.

[BlogEntry] Are you stingy with your clicks?

The Internet has become such a gift to humanity, but I wonder how aware of this we actually are.

  • My wife got the oil changed in her car, but they put in 10W30 instead of the recommended 5W30. She wanted to know the difference, so she went to Google. How would she have researched this before the web? Go to the library. Try to find a mechanic willing to answer her question.
  • As a developer, I am blown away by the quantity and quality of all the free software out there for the taking. From bottom to top, there is just so much it boggles the mind. Linux, Java, Apache, Tomcat, Eclipse, Spring, Struts, Hibernate, Log4j, JUnit, etc. Look at all the free blogging software! (Thanks, Simon!) As a friend of mine says, we are living in the Golden Age of Software. (It's a GAS, GAS, GAS! <-- That corny part is mine, not his. 🙂
  • Virtually any question that comes up nowadays, I immediately turn to the web, and primarily to Google.

However, I've become aware of the fact that I have been stingy about clicking on links that would benefit the people and sites that make this treasure trove available.

Have you ever avoided buying something on someone's site, because it was through their affiliate link? I have noticed I have a resistance to that.

Do you ignore or avoid Google Ads on peoples' sites? I have.

Now, admittedly, we're all as busy as we can be, writing our own free software or putting our own free information on the web. But it makes sense for us to support all that we benefit from by taking a moment to encourage and reward the effort.

Where would we all be without Google? I rely on Google hundreds of times a week, if not a day. I make use of tutorials and software I find through Google every day of my working life. And while Google is doing quite well in the process, they offer their service to me for free any time I want, as much as I want. When you think about it, that's an unbelievable gift! Sure, they're in it for themselves, but they genuinely enrich my life. (I could go off on a tangent here, singing the praises of capitalism, but I will restrain myself. You're welcome. 🙂

I just went to codehaus.org to download Groovy when I noticed that they have Google Ads on their site. I immediately looked away, as if it has become a reflex to block out all rectangular, revenue-generating portions of a web site — a web site that it giving away a powerful development tool and even the source code for me to use in any way that I please!

This just doesn't make any sense. It costs me virtually nothing to click on a link intended to be relevant to the page I'm on. That click also benefits the owner of the site making something valuable available to me for free. It also benefits Google, and it potentially benefits the advertiser, if I buy what they are selling. And what they are selling may benefit me! Why would it be so automatic for me to ignore or avoid it?

I'm turning over a new leaf. I'm going to start giving back to the sites that give so much to me. I'm going to be more generous with my clicks, in an effort to say thank you for open-sourcing your hard work, thank you for enriching the world wide web, thank you for your generosity.

The more we reward people and companies for providing what we want, the more they'll offer us. (Another nod to capitalism.) I intend to say thank you with my clicks, in order to enrich my own online world. Care to add your clicks to mine?

If you would like to join me in this resolution, please just remember that it is unfair to overdo it. If people start heedlessly clicking on Google Ads or banner ads, it could hurt the advertisers, which would ultimately hurt the providers such as Google. So please be supportive, not abusive.

Here are some of the many sites or products I benefit from daily that ask nothing of me in return for their service:

At the time of this writing, I have no Google Ads or any other revenue-producing banners on this blog. But I reserve the right to add them. 🙂

[BlogEntry] From Terrorism's Darkest Day Comes a Ray of Hope

I cannot think of anything more depraved, more perverse, than women calculatingly killing children. Is there anything more taboo, more unnatural, more counter to Life than this? I've always thought that young men with too much testosterone flooding their brains were the worst perpetrators of evil acts, but these women have trumped nearly all other acts in offensiveness and turpitude.

The Chechnyan terrorists have unwittingly done the world a great service (and their poor victims have made a noble sacrifice) by sinking lower than any of us had ever dreamed we would see, thereby horrifying the vast majority of the planet. By pushing the envelope so far, so fast, these black widows have shaken all but the most hardcore. We may have, G-d willing, seen terrorism hit bottom. Surely, there can't be much lower to go.

One hopeful sign comes in the form of this apology to the world by a group of moderate Muslims. I am heartened by the blunt honesty in this letter. I know nothing about its author or the group behind it, but I appreciate the sentiment. I wish them swift success in their herculean task.


In the process of hunting for the text of the apology, which I heard on the Michael Savage show, I came across An Apology to the Pigs of the World. Perhaps Ms. Stock is finally going to hear a bit of the Muslim outrage that she — and the rest of us — have been looking for for so long.

[BlogEntry] GO !BUSH! != GO KERRY

GO KERRY!

-Anand

The sad thing is that you don't really mean "GO KERRY!" You don't believe in him. How can you? You don't even know what believing in him means. What you really mean is "GO !BUSH!" (For all you non-programmers out there, !BUSH in programming terms means "not BUSH.")

Even if Bush has reframed the war in Iraq and the war on terror to be the same thing for his own political gain, I support both, because I strongly believe that there is common ground there. Had we not invaded Iraq, Saddam Hussein could have hit us harder than 9/11/01 did, and then we'd be kicking ourselves for yet another "failure of imagination." Admittedly, the reframing is typical political maneuvering, but the end result is a reduction in violent, genocidal madmen, so that's cool with me.

I agree that Bush has not done everything right, but the choice between him and Kerry is an easy one. At least with Bush, you know what you get. I can live with that. (Pun intended.)

[BlogEntry] Benjamin Franklin and John Stuart Mill

"They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security."
           – Benjamin Franklin

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling that thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."
           – John Stuart Mill

What's interesting about Franklin's quote is that liberals like to use it to bash Bush for the Patriot Act and the war in Iraq. Meanwhile, look at the qualifiers Franklin uses: essential liberty and temporary security. I would say that liberals are much more guilty of deserving neither when they institutionalize taxing people and providing government handouts and programs like Social Security, welfare, unemployment, and all the other great ways that our government has created a society upon which its citizens rely for survival. The essential liberty of keeping the fruits of your labor has been sacrified for the temporary security of having the government ease the burdens of life. Do you think people looked to the government to bail them out and take care of them when Franklin made this statement? No, Americans were tough back then. They stood on their own two feet and didn't whine when life was hard. Today, we don't have a population that would fight for its own independence the way they did 228 years ago. Life is hard, and we've grown soft. Listen to people whine about battling the evil we face today. This is not the King of England. This is not taxation without representation. This is televised beheadings and women killing children.

Mr. Franklin was talking about frivilous sacrifices not worthy of the cost of liberty. Protecting our national security is hardly temporary, nor is it frivilous. We are in a battle with an evil enemy that does not tolerate our very existence. What is all of our idealogical debating worth if more attacks disrupt our way of life to the extent that we no longer have an organized government that is able to protect and defend the Constitution? Look at what the 9/11 attacks did to our economy. How much more could we absorb, before it started to genuinely affect our ability to feed ourselves, transport goods, do business, and aspire to more noble things than basic survival? We are indeed vulnerable, and there is nothing without survival. I am confident that Ben Franklin didn't think we should perish from the earth neglecting security in favor of liberty. It makes no sense. Benjamin Franklin made sense.

Which brings us to John Stuart Mill. What a wonderful quote. Peace at all costs is a life not worth living. Our enemies threaten us far worse today than ever before, yet we still have the Supreme Court deciding that prisoners in Gitmo deserve the right to a hearing. The Patriot Act has not turned this nation into a police state, despite all the alarmist propaganda about it. We are still living by our Constitution, in the face of this threat. I am proud of us for that.

I guess what I'm saying is stop worrying so much about the "small stuff." We are imbued with faith in and love of our Constitution. We can be counted on to uphold its principles and remain steadfast in protecting it. The checks and balances devised by the geniuses of the late 18th century really work. Our economy will bounce back. Our liberty will always be safeguarded. Every four years, we will elect a new President and have a peaceful transition of power. This nation will continue to operate by laws it was founded on. Stop being alarmist about the unrealistic threats, and let's not lose sight of who the real enemy is and where the real threats are.

[BlogEntry] Censorship at the Beattie Blog

Well, they're just having the best ol' time blaming Bush for everything and burying their heads in the sand over at the Bee-OTCH blog. ("It's not bee-tee, it's bee-AT-tee.")

I posted a comment over there yesterday, but I notice that poor Russ doesn't have the male parts necessary to accept opposing opinions. Fortunately, I anticipated this and saved a copy of my comment:


You people are amazing. Does anyone remember 3000+ innocent civilians who died on American soil on 9/11/01? How about the hundreds of school children and other innocents who just died in Beslan?! You don't think Saddam Hussein had plans to use his sarin gas on more of us infidels?

What on earth are you thinking??? Do you actually believe that John Kerry can make nice with the radical Islamic fundamentalists? Are you that out of touch with reality?

How many attacks took place while Clinton was in office? The WTC in '93, the U.S.S. Cole, two American Embassies.

At least Bush has the backbone to do something about it. All Clinton did was lob a few ineffective cruise missiles. He certainly didn't make friends with the terrorists. What do you expect Kerry to do?

Do you simply not believe that terrorists are out there? I just can't imagine what you think is going on. Please explain it to me. Are you simply going to ignore the problem until we have suicide bombers on our streets the way Israel has? You find it so easy to blame Bush for everything, but how are you going to deal with terrorism?


How much are they going to be whining about the government not taking care of them when our economy falls apart because people are too scared to go to work or school or shopping malls, because terrorist attacks are happening throughout America? It's practically destroyed Israel's economy, and Americans are not as tough as Israelis; we're not used to living with Palestinians. What would happen to air travel (and, therefore, business and leisure industries that rely on it), if two American commercial aircraft were shot out of the sky as recently happened in Russia? How many Americans would be willing to get on an airplane after that? What would that do to our economy? How is the government going to take care of your every want and need if it has to contend with the fallout from that kind of attack?

1,000 Americans have died in a war to keep American civilians safe from terrorist attacks like those that took place three years ago, as well as freeing the Iraqi people from the clutches of an evil despot. While those deaths are indeed a tragedy, and war is a truly terrible thing, 58,000 Americans died in Vietnam for a dubious cause (at the hands of a Democratic president). Even if, in retrospect, we acknowledge we had no business protecting South Vietnam from a communist takeover half a world away, how can anyone question the wisdom of protecting one's own land from the horrors of terrorism? 1,000 soldiers is still only a third of the number of civilians who died in their offices on 9/11/01. Besides, who would have imagined that the tiny-brained miscreants causing all the trouble in Iraq would react so violently to freedom. That just shows you what kind of losers we're dealing with.

Russell and his buddies want to make Bush out to be worse than Saddam Hussein. Not like any of this hasn't been said before, but let's review:

  • Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait
  • One of the terms of Saddam Hussein's surrender was that Iraq had to submit to UN weapons inspections
  • Saddam Hussein kept the weapons inspectors out of Iraq for about twelve years
  • There is evidence that Saddam Hussein had a weapons program
  • Saddam Hussein gassed the Kurds
  • Saddam Hussein had enough sarin gas to kill about 300,000 people
  • Saddam Hussein had plenty of time and opportunity in twelve years to develop and hide or export all kinds of weapons
  • Saddam Hussein paid the families of Palestinian suicide bombers $25,000 each
  • Saddam Hussein was known to be an evil, cruel tyrant who tortured and murdered thousands of people
  • Saddam Hussein's sons were going to take over the family business
  • Saddam Hussein held plenty of ill will towards the United States, Israel, and the rest of the civilized world
  • Given the right opportunity, he would have been more than happy to attack and destroy the United States

So let's no kid ourselves about how wrong it was to invade Iraq. Once a surprise like 9/11 hits you, you've got to be a freakin' idiot to sit back and wait to be attacked again. We have been attacked. We are at war.

The 9/11 Commission found that it was a "failure of imagination" that allowed the terrorists to use four commercial aircraft as bombs against innocent civilians. Only the genuinely deluded would lack that imagination again, after the events of three years ago and after what just happened in Beslan. Trying to opportunistically blame Bush for everything is so selfishly partisan that it offends me. When you are fighting for survival is not the time to be a liberal or a conservative, a Republican or a Democrat. In this, we are all Americans.

Please stop trying to score points for your chosen party or agenda while brave American soldiers are dying in Iraq to protect your ability to go right on doing so. Acting so lacks grace, gratitude, and honor. Not to mention underscoring how totally clueless you are about the world around you.

[BlogEntry] If Veterans Make Good Presidents…

  • What was wrong with the first George Bush, a truly decorated war hero? He flew 58 combat missions, was shot down by the Japanese, rescued by an American submarine, and awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery in action. Did you suddenly veteran-loving Democrats vote for the elder George Bush when you had the chance?
  • Why was Clinton the draft-dodger perfectly acceptable?
  • Why not pluck some other veteran out of the crowd and make him or her President? Are all veterans equally qualified to be President? Wouldn't a veteran of the Gulf War make a more compelling candidate? I'm sure you can find someone who fought in Kuwait and is now 45 years old. If that's your criteria for a President, why go with the guy who fought in Vietnam thirty-five years ago?
  • Why choose a veteran who then protested the war? I'm confused. Is being a veteran good, is being a war protester good, or do you have to be both?

I'm just amazed to hear the on-going discussion about Kerry's Vietnam experience, as if it's relevant. He just served as a Senator for nearly twenty years, and no one has anything to say about that??? You've got nothing to say about those recent 20 years of service as a United States Senator, but being in the Navy from 1966 to 1970 is what you think makes Kerry worthy of being elected President??? Would any of his Swift Boat buddies on the stage at the Democratic Convention be equally wonderful, given their years as veterans? If not, then let's hear about something else, other than his Vietnam war record!

With Clinton, you told us that a sexual indiscretion in the Oval Office doesn't matter, that lying under oath doesn't matter, and that dodging the draft didn't matter. Now, you've got a candidate that fought in Vietnam, and it's the most important thing about him. It seems to be the only thing about him!

58,000 Americans died in the war in Vietnam. Was every one of them a potential Presidential candidate? Since when does serving in the military make you Presidential material?!

The fact that you Democrats are hanging your hat on such tenuous, meaningless drivel as a war record from 35 years ago, and ignoring his more recent, more relevant history in the Senate, just makes me want to run the other way. At Kerry's own web site, it is easy to find detailed information about his four years of military service, but there is virtually no information about his twenty years in the Senate. There were tens of thousands of Vietnam veterans. There are one hundred United States Senators. Why would there be so much focus on Vietnam???

Don't any of you Bush-haters find anything troubling about this?

[BlogEntry] Previously Declared Retaliation

A potentially effective strategy for dealing with terrorist threats is to let them know in advance how we will respond if they attack us again.

If we put the Muslim world on notice that an attack on American soil will result in five cruise missiles destroying the most holy sites in Mecca and Medina, it may be the one and only thing that could give terrorists pause.

These people don't care about their own lives or the lives of their own children, and they certainly don't care about the lives of non-Muslim civilians. They are barbarous murderers that cannot be reasoned with, negotiated with, or persuaded. The one thing they do understand, though, is destruction. That, and religious fervor.

Perhaps by combining the two things that their feeble brains are able to understand, it will make them less eager. If they know that their legacy will be the destruction of major Islamic holy sites, they might actually reconsider their attacks. I don't know of anything else that will sway them from their single-minded purpose.

If this is distasteful to you, as it is to me, consider the alternative. These people are not going to stop. They are not going away. They have been brainwashed into believing that everything that sucks about their miserable existence is due to America and Israel. It's a lot easier to believe that than to pull your miserable ass out of the muck and actually make something of yourself.

Good people don't want to do ugly things, but we face an enemy that is bent on our destruction and is not going to just go away. They are single-mindedly focused on destroying the western world. (Where the $%&@ is that going to leave them, when there is no one left to buy their oil, which is the only thing they've contributed to the world in over a thousand years? Oh, that's right, they are nostalgic for the days of the Stone Age.)

We're going to have to face the fact that this is a war in which the enemy has no qualms about either killing or dying. If we don't want to be burying lots of our own innocent citizens, we're going to have to accept burying lots and lots of terrorists. They are going to force us into this choice. As unpleasant as it is for us to deal with, it's not a difficult choice between the two.

How long are we going to try to be the good guys and take their abuse? How many more 9/11's will we have to endure before we say enough is enough and finally give them the ass-whooping they are so desperately in need of?

There is a point where civility ends and irrational behavior begins. Is it moral for us to let our children's future and our peace-loving way of life be threatened in the name of our so-called "goodness"? I say that is an immoral act of great arrogance. We are betraying all that we know to be good and right in the world to allow ourselves, our children, and the survival of our way of life be threatened by this evil! Shame on us for our equivocating on this matter. Is it an act of goodness to let evil overcome?!

Let's grant them their 72 virgins, thus making their dreams come true and making our children safe to grow up in a world of peace and creativity, rather than terror and destruction. Enough pussy-footing around these bastards. They don't respect it, and they certainly don't deserve it. It is nothing but weakness to them. They don't appreciate it or like us any better for it. It is our Achilles heel. Civilized behavior and fair play are lost on them. We do it at our own peril. Is it worth dying in an office building so that we don't do the "wrong" thing? Are our values not worth defending up-front, rather than as a response to an act of terror? It's not like their intentions are a mystery.

As horrific as the atom bombs on Japan were, they served to end a war that could have gone on for much longer. Previously Declared Retaliation. Let them know about the destruction they will bring on their own religious sites if they insist on attacking innocent Americans.

PDR. Not the Physician's Desk Reference, but just what the doctor ordered.

[BlogEntry] The Height of Selfishness

I awoke to over 1300 spam messages this morning.

It's just amazing to me how many people think only of themselves and not of the greater good. It's true of the Saddam Husseins and Yassir Arafats of the world. It's true of spammers. It's even true of the morons who proposed and promoted the CAN-SPAM Act. Gee, what a difference that has made.

Everybody's got their agenda, their axe to grind, their own self-interests to look out for.

Next time you do something, try to consider the Greater Good. Is what you are doing going to be positive for you but negatively impact someone else? If so, don't do it. Stop and think of another way to do something good for yourself that also does something good for others. It takes a little more effort, but it's well worth it.

This concept is what makes capitalism work. To do well for myself, I have to create a product or service that is positive and desirable for others. It's so simple, but it's a paradigm that brings about the best in most of us. Nay-sayers will gleefully throw the Enrons and their ilk in my face, but I would say they are an anomaly, not a natural result of capitalism. Besides, they got caught and are going to jail. The United States is a nation of checks and balances, from the three branches of government to the battle between corporate greed and journalistic integrity.

Just do your job with honor and a little thought to how it impacts others. This is all that's required to live in a peaceful world. Is that so much to ask?