Saturday, November 02, 2002
someday, things will be different ...click HERE to savor air travel in the Post-Mineta age...
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weblogging, finest kind ...Wise, witty (and good-looking) Natalie Solent is celebrating a year of blogging! I will be writing more about her around Nov 12, because that's when I started weblogging --and who inspired me? She did. Natalie writes:
If you are in a mood for giving birthday presents, she has a tip jar ...... A year ago today, Dale Amon, writing in the Libertarian Alliance Forum said something along the lines of "I get almost all my news from the blogs now." "What's a blog?" said I. "This," said he. Thirty seconds later I had decided that a blog was right up there with "oxygen" in my List of Desirable Possessions ...
Friday, November 01, 2002
Australians, gotta love 'em ...I was wandering through a favorite forum (for the happy few who use the graphics program Canvas, by Deneba), and found this picture of some Australians playing despite a raging brushfire...
Posted By: Phil Hamson
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Tuesday, October 29, 2002
remember ...It's good to keep in mind that we are able to tap tap tap on our keyboards, discussing the fine points of politics, economics, morality and justice, because these guys and gals are guarding our peace and prosperity.
USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN-72), now deployed in the Gulf.
Remember that 60's bumper sticker: Don't like cops? Next time you're in trouble, call a hippie. Well, these are the cops, these are the good guys, and if things get hairy, yer gonna hope they are there, and you don't have to call the UN.
Being a historically-minded fellow, I hurry to add that a younger United States was able to grow and develop the stupefying prosperity that can support 12 Carrier Battle Groups without noticeable strain, partly because for several centuries the British Empire carried the burden of keeping things peaceful, and the sea-lanes were guarded by the Royal Navy. Thankee, cousins.
pleasing response ...I felt good to get this in an e-mail from Anthony, who I was responding to on Sunday:
Thank you for linking to me. It was quite a nice bit of thrill to see my name on someone's blog. One of your comments struck me:You can read his thoughts here.
Actually, Anthony, if you pursue your plans to become a lawyer [ Aaaaggh, don't do it! You have to hang around with other lawyers all day.-- Charlene] you will be in demand by the military. They probably have more lawyers than shooters.
Monday, October 28, 2002
some of these deaths could have been prevented !Everytime there is a shooting like the one at Arizona U., I have the same thing to say. You can read my original post here.
The important point is, if someone is shooting at you at close-quarters, you are not as helpless as you think you are. If those students had all picked up their chairs and thrown them at the shooter, he would have been squashed in seconds.
... Flores walked to the front of the classroom and shot the first victim several times, then went to the back of the room and killed the second victim, police said.You are rarely completely unarmed. You have things that can be thrown; keys, purses, books, cell phones. If a group of people is throwing things, even small objects can make a deadly barrage. Your belt can be a wicked flail. Keys can slash.
Cowering under a table is the worst thing you can do.
I wish I could put up notices in public places, In case of shooting, everybody throw things.
Of course, if you have a gun, by all means use it. So much the better. And places like Arizona U are just asking for trouble by advertising that they are 'gun free.' Stupid.
"Those of us who are optimists believe that someday sanity will return to our society. Our media, our officials -- perhaps even our schools and colleges -- will begin to talk sense. Those of you who are young may live to see it. But there is a downside to sanity. Once there is a whole generation raised to think -- to examine evidence and use logic -- you are going to be confronted with a need to explain to your grandchildren how our generation could have done the things we did. You don't want your grandkids to think that your whole generation was crazy.
Sunday, October 27, 2002
another dog in the night ...Anthony Parisi has cogent criticisms of some common anti-war arguments, from his own anti-war, but also anti-idiotarian (I would guess), perspective...
The Anti-War movement has a problem. The problem is that their arguments really, and I mean really, suck. In every beginning logic class (call it speech 1, English 1, etc), I have had to memorize a set of fallacies. (Fallacy: an often plausible argument using false or invalid inference). I am an anti-this-war type, myself, so I am very sympathetic to the desire to not invade Iraq, but it seems that most of the arguments I read are disingenuous at best. Although piss-poor may be a better term, were I in a less charitable mood…One good point of many:
First, we are not going to war with Iraq, we are going to war with Saddam. The war will most likely in Iraq, but that is because that is where Saddam is. By that same token, we didn’t go to war with Afghanistan; we went to war in Afghanistan. It drives me nuts to see this mistake made repeatedly.I don't think his list of "good" anti-war arguments is entirely devoid of fallacies. For instance, "the right wing seems to welcome open war with the whole mid-east. As bad as these regimes are, shouldn’t we use other methods first? A vaguely inferred argument by a vaguely specified group is just assumed to be the pro-war position, and then "demolished" by a vague reference to "other methods." [Possibly I'm unfair here, that may just a reference to a type of argument, rather than the whole argument.]
But what really interests me about Anthony's post, is that it's a lead-in to talk about what's on my mind (gotcha) ...
How have things come to such a pass, that is just assumed, by Right and Left alike, that the Left can have no possible interest in joining in in the rebuilding of Iraq, or other nations, after a war? After WWII, the US and the Allies did a LOT to reorganize Japan and Germany. (It wasn't nation-building by the way, these were already nations.) But that effort was led by FDR Democrats, New Dealers, and by academics and labor leaders. I recall reading how Walter Reuther, leader of the United Auto Workers, had much to do with Germany's post-war labor laws. (I believe he pushed for industry-wide unions, thus avoiding the bickering craft-unions that are such a mess here.)
Am I the only one who thinks it's CRAZY, that the Left does not seem to imagine itself playing ANY creative, constructive, positive role in the world?
Am I the only one who thinks it's CRAZY, that a clever youth like Anthony can say, "Given the Administration’s previous statements and actions in Afghanistan, I don’t know that I trust them to do a proper job rebuilding the country after the war… " and not see that he is damning the Left by assuming, just assuming, that rebuilding is something that only the Right will do?
Am I the only one who thinks it's CRAZY, that no one on the Left is eager to roll up their sleeves and get involved in this opportunity? For opportunity it is. People newly-liberated from a hideous tyranny will be far more appreciative of freedom and democracy than most. And they will be ready to take new paths, and motivated to make them work. Bringing good government to any Arab country will be an uphill struggle at best, but if ever there was a good time to give it a try, it's now, in Iraq.
Perhaps an uncharitable, nay cynical person might suggest that the Left is not all that fond of freedom and democracy; perhaps has something else in mind, like, say, running the circus.... Hope not. Maybe I'm just living in the past, bookworm that I am.
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a moment of good-living ......
Charlene and I had a lot of fun last night at a barbecue at Dave Trowbridge's. Good food and wine, witty people, and sitting late outdoors around a blazing fire, under the redwoods. Pure bliss. And I won a blog-butterfly bubble wand in the pumpkin-carving contest! Greater glory than that is hard to achieve.