29 March 2006
It now appears than most of the protesters from the recent anti-immigration marches were mobilized through the Spanish language media. The report indicates that media hosts promoted the event nationally and even provided tips on how to protest. The result was stunning, although no surprise to students of Latin culture in the United States. Typically the Hispanic / Latin communities in every city represent tight knit, potent groups. As a youngster growing up in Tampa, Florida, I was witness, firsthand, to the clout wielded by these communities. It is a measure of strength to be admired and understood.
For the record, I am for a guest worker program with a pathway to citizenship. I am also in favor of strong penalties for employers and violators of immigration law. The risk falls into the category of health, economics and security. Assimilation is also an issue! Persons arriving in a foreign country have an obligation to learn and adapt to the prevailing culture, as well as influence it with their own experiences and values. The role of assimilation is critical to the success of our nation.
27 March 2006
23 March 2006
A group of naïve interferons has been freed from the clutches of the perpetual, religiously psychotic. Within their press release, they extol the need to love their enemies despite their evil acts.
Just who are their enemies? Is it the young Sergeant First Class who retrieved them from almost certain death? Or is it the Baathist / Al Qaeda operatives who seem to take bizarre pleasure in the misery of others and wreak havoc among innocents? Our invasion and present occupation of Iraq are realities on the ground. We have an undeniable obligation to leave that nation in a better state than when we arrived. You may wish to debate the details, legalities and what not of the time up until the invasion, however, that is now official history.
Our commitment to the Iraqi people must be unwavering, we need to provide security for the redevelopment of their government and institutions. This will take a long time, longer than 2008 if I were to guess. The fact that most of the conflict is localized in a specific geographic region should not surprise anyone. The sectarian troubles have been brewing for millennia. This is not news. And yet to our major media outlets, who confine their reporting to second string accounts funneled into the Green Zone which are very difficult to verify, this is quickly laid at the feet of the Coalition forces. In fact, the major outlets seem to have a lot of trouble getting even domestic stories correct.
If we are to recall history, then we can remember what happened after the iron curtain fell in the Balkans. A rash of unspeakable and unholy conflicts broke out resulting in our engagement and ultimately, occupation. Almost all of these events were driven around deep seated ethnic tensions fostered by external agitators. The Iranians were even involved in some of the destabilization of the area, and we interceded on behalf of the Muslim side, rightly so. In fact, we are still in the Balkans, many years after the cessation of hostilities. Rebuilding takes time, just look over at New Orleans. That city is in our own country and we are still far from any recognizable progress in some areas. Much of that is being hampered by…POLITICS!
22 March 2006
20 March 2006
It was a good film.
It was a good film for all the right reasons. It was well acted. It was entertaining. It had a sense of mystery. There were believable villians and a conflicted hero.
It wasn't anything new. For many reasons I can no longer watch (or rather listen to) Hugo Weaving without impressing the image of Agent Smith, Elrond or the insatiable realtor from Bedrooms and Hallways into the mix.
The movie is a wide departure from the original graphic novel. Largely seen as an answer to Thatcher's England, much of the story is the result of the Wachowski's own designs. Is it a stab at the present state of affairs?
One may assume so, however, in the movie the implication is made that the threats to the population are "fictitous". It is only fear and hate which are driving events. This is certainly a valid position, however, the reality of our planet makes such oversimplified statements duplicitous in their meaning.
One may just as easily argue the need for freedom from fear from those who even now seek to oppose or destroy our societies from without and within. It is a good film, but it bears more witness to the fragility of our own security than any warning to the populations of lawful nations.
16 March 2006
A new children's book has been published espousing the reasons why mommy is a democrat . This matches the democratic demographic, with more women than men voting democratic in national elections.
The book is illustrated with ethnic neutral squirrels (why not use the time honored donkey?) going about their daily business. Within the pages are many, not so subtle, references to republicans and the current president. I am all for marketing your message, even to impressionable kids. After all, the cigarette and alcohol industries do it. I also like the "poor" figure in the background who forlornly stands about "excluded".
What I find interesting is the pictured page about sharing. Apparently this version of the democratic platform advocates redistribution of wealth. As a parent, I certainly work to enforce a false equity among my children, however, this in no way reflects the reality of the real world.
14 March 2006
I still owe Scoot a post on polls and their power to mislead. Howeer, I came across a great article in the Guardian on Murdoch's prophecy's for the future. In short, he states (rightly so, I believe) that the future lies with the Internet as opposed to the "Old Media". This is nothing new, however, for someone who built his own fortune in the traditional channels, this is nothing shjort of the fall of the Berlin Wall in my opinion.
I do not revel in the conversion of old media into new. I do delight in the multiple new outlets available to me at the click of a button. Some of these outlets are valuable insights into individual persona, some are good collections of information and news and yet still others fall into the "tin foil hat" category.
The opportuntity is for a group to arise which can provide certification as to the veracity and balanced nature of the new media. Much like the MPAA or ESRB ratings. I hereby propose the lamp and scale rating system. A system of lamps and scales representing the quality and equity of a site. For example a five scale and five lamp site would be dead on for factuality and equal in its presentation of all sides.
I suspect that like Diogenes, I will be searching for this site for sometime. Nonetheless, my own site might rate one scale and two and a half lamps, only as I do not work to validate every link and quotation.
08 March 2006
The Iranians are talking tough, no surprise there. Their intentions seem clear, establish a Persian dominance in the region, destroy Israel and establish an Islamic Hegemony.
What would an Iranian conflict look like? It would be far different from the blistering assault of steel in the Iraq War and certainly not the deft, surgical actions undertaken in the Afghan Conflict. Iran has the inherent ability to restrict oil flowing out of the Persian / Arabian Gulf with ease. Any US action would have to include the destruction of any of their numerous Silkworm anti-ship missile emplacements as well as the elimination of their Shahab IRBM facilities.
The Iranians have at least three functioning diesel submarines, very unlikely to engage a warship, but ideal for mine laying and commerce raiding. These would also have to be destroyed at their docks immediately. In short, any action by the US against Iran would have to be fairly comprehensive. It would most likely involve very hard strikes against military installations, denying the Iranians any ability to impact shipping in the Gulf, as well as neutralizing their air forces and retaliatory assets. Special forces would aid in the delivery of GPS and laser guided munitions while US Navy forces would provide protection for the numerous countries across the Gulf.
There have been a number of speculations on the outcome of any hostilities. Some of these I believe are far-fetched, some less so. The ability of Tehran to unilaterally affect the behavior of its allies and associate non-state players is in some doubt. There is no doubt that any initial action by the United States could be executed with impunity. There would likely be no follow on with ground troops, but rather a continual pressure from internal and external sources.
A retired United States Marine Corps friend of mine, a major, runs a number of wargame simulations based upon a unique rules set developed by himself and some other officers to teach young second lieutenants some basic tactical decision making. The rule set has expanded to include modern, future and Napoleaonics. He is committed to his craft and I would hope to see him pose this next potential conflict through one of the scenarios.
06 March 2006
Did I scoop Matt Drudge? In his latest posting he points out the fact that Indianapolis International Airport is operated by a foreign company. During an exchange a few days ago with Major John on Misearble Donuts, I pointed out the exact fact. One of the interesting aspects of this fact is that airports operated by private firms tend to perform better than those operated by municipalities.
In fact, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport has been a target for privatization for some time. Let’s not forget that airports have been built with tax dollars. There are few, if any, privately built, commercial airports in the United States. As such, our ability to utilize inexpensive air travel has been underwritten by the population. As is the case with our highways and ports. Almost every mode of transportation, with the exception of rail.
But anyway, I scooped Drudge?
Maybe I can become a contributor to the Huffington Post!
What a minute…it looks just like Drudge!
03 March 2006
01 March 2006
Hat tip to Iowahawk for this outstanding synopsis of drag racing and its effect on race itself. More power to him!
Drag Racing and Black History Month
Please check it out, a great read and chock full of cool information, even a linkage to the Vin Diesel flick The Fast and the Furious .