Big rain

09/29/04 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General
The red is where an excess of 10 inches fell.

rain from jeanne Lincoln Drive

And this is what it caused on lincoln drive.

Demonstration effects and opportunity costs

09/28/04 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General
James Fallows is on Fresh Air giving a perspective to what the results of the Bush policies have been. He is discussing his article in this month's Atlantic Monthly entitled "Bush's Lost Year". At first blush, you may think 1972, but this is the year 2002.

This was the year that Bush decided to go after Iraq instead of following up the growing nuclear threats in Iran, North Korea, or chasing Bin Laden and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

It's lost in the sense that by delaying these actions, there were the huge opportunity costs of allowing each of these situations to worsen greatly.

The popular neo-con theory was that the demonstration effects (i.e. the results from a demonstration of the United States' might) would cause potential belligerent states to reconsider their actions. The actual effect has been just the opposite: those on the verge of nuclear deterrence have only accelerated their programs. North Korea most certainly has nuclear weapons and Iran cannot be far behind.

Libya gets pointed out as a nation that has changed its tune. However, the question remains as to how much this was caused by the Bush Administrations posturing and how much was caused by Qadaffi's change of heart, which appears to have been rather well documented over these past years, well before Bush started sabre rattling.

I'm personally scratching my head over how anybody could have expected a set of regimes like Iran or N. Korea to do anything ELSE besides what they've done. Considering the fact that 'reasonable' and 'considered' are not words you would associate with those states, how could any level-headed analysis conclude that they wouldn't make every attempt to gain a nuclear deterrence once the United States demonstrated its itchy trigger finger?

That part still has me stunned. It would be like expecting David Koresh of the Branch Dividians or Randy Weaver at Ruby Ridge to act with reason and simply come out with their hands up. For that matter, could you even expect that members of the Republican party would all of a sudden see that belligerence doesn't work and call a special session of the UN to gain some international understanding and cooperation? In your dreams pal.

If the leaders of Iraq or N. Korea were born in America, they'd most certainly be Republicans. Don't their fellow he-men see that?


Here's a link to the text of James Fallow's article.

The horror that the US is inflicting in Iraq

09/28/04 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General
Here's an article that gives a first-hand account of American activities in Iraq.

The irony is that the activities of the Americans are resulting in approximately three times as many Iraqi casualties as terrorist activities.

In response to the retort that there isn't a link to the activities of the terrorists here, I can only ask: "Is that who you want to use as a yardstick to compare your activities with" ?

What kind of Postmodernist are you ?

09/28/04 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General
Well, why not find out?

You are a Gender Nazi. Your boundary-crossing lifestyle inspires awe in your friends and colleagues. Or maybe they're just scared you will kick their asses for using gender-specific language. Either way, the wife-beater helps.


Now, all I need to do is meet the Theory Slut

theory slut

O'Reilly vs Stewart

09/28/04 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General
O'Reilly accuses 'Daily Show' watchers of being slackers:
O'Reilly's teasing came when Stewart appeared on his show earlier this month.

"You know what's really frightening?" O'Reilly said. "You actually have an influence on this presidential election. That is scary, but it's true. You've got stoned slackers watching your dopey show every night and they can vote."


When in fact It turns out the opposite is true:

So they did a little research. And guess whose audience is more educated?

Viewers of Jon Stewart's show are more likely to have completed four years of college than people who watch "The O'Reilly Factor," according to Nielsen Media Research.



On the Issues

09/28/04 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General
Here's an interesting website on political resources.

And here's a quiz on who shares your values from the same site.

Seagull Commanders

09/28/04 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General
An op ed piece in Military Week has an opinion on the current administration's leadership capabilities.

An absence of leadership qualities in our military leaders gives rise to terms like "Seagull" Colonels and Generals, a species known to swoop in, make a lot of noise, crap all over everything, and then fly away. But our seagulls had an advantage over Bush and Cheney. Regardless of the mistakes made and not remedied, regardless of the illogic, stupidity and sheer idiocy of our present unit's existence under a seagull commander, at least we could be 100% sure they wouldn't be around for long.

High level incompetence seems to be the natural sea-state of our militarized foreign policy, launching forth with the proud Guardsman George W. Bush at the helm and Dick "Other Priorities" Cheney as navigator.

This track record of sheer stupidity, hubris and other seagull qualities is marred only by the existence of rare officers, like retired Marine General Tony Zinni, who knew their job, led their men and women, and spoke the truth to power about the inanity of the plan to invade Iraq early on. Looking further for aberrations to the rule, we find retired Army General William Odom, conservative through and through, who speaks the truth about Bush's fantasy adventure in Iraq, politely but publicly calling it "a strategic error."

Retired officers and NCOs have had their opportunity, and we are all armchair quarterbacks now. What about active duty soldiers and Marines, who have recently seen both ugly ends of the Bush-Cheney foreign policy baby?

The words of Generals Zinni and Odom are echoed in the more earthy vernacular of thousands of military members in tanks, humvees, cockpits, trucks and mess halls and tents. These words reveal the most important tenet of leadership. With competence, an ability to learn from mistakes, and humility, there is a final critical ingredient. Leadership must demonstrate a hard-headed, stubborn and almost masochistic recognition of the truth, the harsher the better.

On the truth about Iraq, Bush and Cheney have told us it's going just fine, we are killing the appointed number of "terrorists" and "evil doers." We are winning, they say. From the key top officers, whether General Casey, General Abizaid, General Meyers or any of the lesser flag officers on active duty today, we hear only a ricochet of the President's fantasies, or else deafening silence.

But from lower ranking soldiers and marines, we hear plenty. One former marine refers to Iraq as "Bush's Magical Middle Eastern Mystery Tour." He explains why we will leave Iraq, eventually, with nothing. It is one of the rules that should have been learned early on by all leaders, even mediocre ones. Apparently Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld missed the lecture called "Nobody wins a shitstorm."

Who is Bin Laden voting for ?

09/28/04 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General
Michael Kinsley writes in the LaTimes about who is working best in Bin Laden's interest, and therefore who he may want to see in office:

In fact, the administration's response to Sept. 11 — focusing on Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with it — might well be a point in the president's favor as Bin Laden sits in his cave studying documents from the League of Women Voters and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, trying to make up his mind.

If there is one thing we knew about Bin Laden before the start of the Iraq war, it was that he wasn't in Iraq. With the invasion of Iraq, Bin Laden got all the benefits of being America's public enemy No. 1, but none of the disadvantages.

He got an explosion of anti-Americanism around the world, potential recruits lined up out the cave door and around the block for future suicide missions, swell new opportunities for terror in the chaos of Iraq itself, and the forcible retirement of Hussein, whom he never cared for. He got more than 1,000 Americans dead and hundreds of billions of infidel dollars gone — results that would make any terrorist episode a huge success — without having to lift a finger. And meanwhile, every bomb dropped on Iraq was a bomb not dropped on him. What's not to like?


He concludes by saying:

At least Bin Laden is probably concentrating on what really matters in this election. He is not spending a lot of time comparing ancient typewriter fonts, or reviewing the circumstances of Kerry's third Purple Heart. In that sense — and only in that sense — he may be a good influence.


Study for Lapeyrouse Wall

09/27/04 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General

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