Archive for September 2006

The Cut and Run Party

President Bush nails it:

“I strongly believe that Iraq is a central front in the War on Terror. The Democrats may not think so, but Usama bin Laden does,” Bush said.

Data Recovery from a Dead Hard Drive

I’m on a mission from G-d.

12 days ago I killed this drive when I accidentally plugged in the power backwards.

WD800 Drive - RIP
Click here for closeup.

Yes I know the molex plug is keyed, but I still managed to do it and pfffft! killed the drive’s logic board.

Here are it’s stats:
Western Digital 80 GB Caviar IDE Drive
Model: WD800JB-00FMA0
Man Date: 23 April 2004
DCM: HSBHNTJCH

On this drive there are about 3 gigs of the Wife’s photos SHHHH! Don’t say a word!
And a poem that (I kid you not) I have been composing for 16 years, adding one verse on the same day every year.

So far I scored one drive off Ebay with the same model number, but the DCM was different and swapping the logic board didn’t boot it.

If anyone has this drive laying around, let me know.

Dog Park Rule #1

If you don’t neuter your dog, don’t bring him to the dog park.

Last night some guy brought his “unaltered” male schnauzer to the dog park. The dog commenced to hump everything in sight. At first he politely pulled his dog off the other dogs but got tired of it after awhile and pretty much forced the job onto the other owners.

Soon a rather attractive young woman came into the park with her small Chiahuahua-mix. The guy zeroed in on the girl as soon as she entered the enclosure, and his dog was all over the chiahuahua. He tried to chat her up as the woman struggled to keep her dog away from the male. The guy was completely clueless that the actions of his horny dog pretty much outweighed the moves he was putting on the girl.

We’ve Got a New Dog…

... a young dopey lab-border collie mix with a gentle nature and a fear of vacuum cleaners.

Pix are forthcoming.

I’m looking forward to going home again.

Welcome to America

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Slender, elegant, stylish and articulate (in English, Dutch and Swahili), she has found an intellectual home here at the American Enterprise Institute, where she is writing a book that imagines Muhammad meeting, in the New York Public Library, three thinkers—John Stuart Mill, Friedrich Hayek and Karl Popper, each a hero of the unending struggle between (to take the title of Popper’s 1945 masterpiece) “The Open Society and Its Enemies.’’ Islamic extremists—the sort who were unhinged by some Danish cartoons—will be enraged. She is unperturbed.

HP Scandal: How Executives Think

This Washington Post article walks through the anatomy of the sting operation set by the HP board on Dawn Kawamoto, a CNET reporter. It shows how even the highest members of a multi-national firm can act like second rate actors in a bad episode of Moonlighting.

The Increasingly Popular War in Iraq

That’s the problem when you write what you think is obvious: you get sucker-punched when you are wrong.

Coup in Thailand

If you regularly read StrategyPage, you wouldn’t have been surprised by yesterday’s coup in Bangkok. StrategyPage ran several stories over the Summer that show the Prime Minister was running on borrowed time due to corruption and the simmering rebellion in the country’s south.

Not bad for a bunch of “bloggers” that predicted al-Zarqawi’s trip to “paradise” in June.

The Pope Steps in It

So the Pope reads from a book and says the following: Source

Benedict quoted from a book recounting a conversation between 14th century Byzantine Christian Emperor Manuel Paleologos II and a Persian scholar on the truths of Christianity and Islam.

“The emperor comes to speak about the issue of jihad, holy war,” the pope said. “He said, I quote, ‘Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”’

Benedict did not explicitly agree with the statement nor repudiate it

Not very politically correct, but then again the passage is 700 years old – written at a time when Islam controlled Spain and was expanding through the Balkans.

“Anyone who describes Islam as a religion as intolerant encourages violence,” (Pakistani) Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said.

So anyone who says that Islam is intolerant is shown that Islam is in fact, intolerant through violence. Hmmm…

Perhaps Benedict hasn’t forgotten that the last Pope was nearly killed by a Muslim.

Stephen Zunes – Professor of Anti-American Studies

The following is a revised version of this post.—-
Research United Nations Security Council Resolutions and you will inevitably discover the work of Stephen Zunes, Professor of Politics and International Relations at the University of San Francisco, and Middle East editor for the Foreign Policy in Focus Project. During the run up to the American invasion of Iraq, Zunes published “United Nations Security Council Resolutions Currently Being Violated by Countries Other than Iraq” which attacks the Bush Administration argument that Iraq’s failure to comply with UN resolutions necessitated military action.

The work immediately attacks Israel, beginning with Resolution 252 which calls upon Israel to cede control of Jerusalem, a city it gained complete control over in the Six Day War of 1967. The list ends with the 2002 Resolution 1435 calling for Israel to leave positions around the West Bank town of Ramallah. Its conclusion is that Israel stands in violation of more UN Security Council Resolutions than any other nation, and that the United States – Israel’s primary foreign backer – cannot remove Saddam Hussein from power using sanctions violations as a casus belli.

However evidence supporting his analysis is as hard to find. Zunes fails to mention that Israel has been party to roughly 270 UN Security Council Resolutions to begin with – about 16% of all resolutions made by institution. Nor does he tell the methodology used to determine whether a state is in compliance with a UN Security Council Resolution, merely stating “I did not include those resolutions which simply criticised a particular action by a government. Nor did I include resolutions where the language is ambiguous enough to make assertions of non-compliance debatable.”

Zunes’s bias begins to creep in when he states, “Since the early 1970s, the United States has used its veto power nearly fifty times, more than all other permanent members during that same period combined.” This is a bit disingenuous, given the fact that since its founding, the Soviet Union and its successor state Russia hold the record for most solo vetoes – 119 compared to 58 by the US acting alone. By compressing date ranges one can use statistics to make any point. What point exactly is Zunes is trying to make?

It’s all America’s Fault

In his essay “U.S. Government Must Take a Consistent Stance Against Terrorism,” Zunes compares a terror attack on the Shiite city of Najaf in Iraq to the assassination of a Hesbollah cleric in 1985 masterminded, he alleges, by the United States: “While no existing government is believed to have been behind the An-Najaf bombing, the Beirut bombing was a classic case of state-sponsored terrorism: a plot organized by the intelligence services of a foreign power. That foreign power was the United States.” He then goes on to criticize the American refusal to extradite to Venezuela four alleged bombers of a Cuban plane in 1976. As for the War in Iraq, Zunes states that America propped up Saddam Hussein in the 1980s, and as a result has no moral authority to remove him from power simply because it was in America’s interests to do so.

Like your garden variety conspiracy buff, Zune sees American power behind every troublespot in the world. Somalia? The prolific Stephen Zunes pens “The Long and Hidden History of the U.S in Somalia”. East Timor? “For example, in 1975, after Morocco’s invasion of Western Sahara and Indonesia’s invasion of East Timor, the Security Council passed a series of resolutions demanding immediate withdrawal. However, then-US ambassador to the UN Daniel Patrick Moynihan bragged that “the Department of State desired that the United Nations prove utterly ineffective in whatever measures it undertook. The task was given to me, and I carried it forward with no inconsiderable success.” East Timor finally won its freedom in 1999.” Global Warming? Our Fateful Choice: Global Leader or Global Cop.

Anything bad that happens in the world – rest assured that there is some nameless group or corporation of American origin behind it. However he refuses to name names or provide specific examples of these groups, relying instead upon meaningless cliches of American “policymakers”, “elites”, “wealthy class”, and “corporations” in the assumption that proof is not needed and that the reader knows instictively who he is talking about. After all, he is a tenured professor at University of San Francisco – the backup school for Bay Area Catholic kids who didn’t have the grades for Berkeley or UCSF and whose parents didn’t want them partying away their education at San Franscisco State.

Where he differs from Chomsky and much of the rest of the anti-Semitic Left is his viewing of the Jews and Israel as puppets of America, “mercenaries of America to fight the wars of what the ruling persons in America consider to be American interests.” In fact, take any one of his papers, swap the terms Israel for America, Jews or Jewish for American, and the piece reads like your run of the mill anti-Semitic diatribe.

Zunes believes that no country has done more to thwart the authority of the United Nations Security Council and its enforcement mechanisms than has the United States. While the UN Security Council had a strong case to insist that Iraq be more fully compliant with its resolutions, Zunes argues that the United States is the last country to claim the right to enforce alleged non-compliance militarily. Not only does the UN Charter and UN Security Council resolution 1441 explicitly recognise that only the Security Council as a whole – and not any single member – has the legal authority to enforce such resolutions militarily, but the United States is the last member of the world body to claim any kind of moral authority to do so.

By Zunes logic, no country can be held accountable to the UN because some have gotten away it. This is akin to a serial killer saying that he should be freed because Scotland Yard never caught Jack the Ripper.

While criticizing the number of American vetoes of UN Security Council Resolutions, Zunes does not address the number of resolutions passed by that body, meaning that the United States stood in agreement with the permanent members of the council other than to criticize Israel directly (and by association, the United States indirectly) for not implementing them completely. Of the 1,427 resolutions passed between 1970 and August 11, 2006, Israel has been party to 195 of them or roughly 14% of them. While that may sound like a lot, as a percentage it is actually less than the 16% of resolutions it was party to prior to 1970.

Zunes’s “logic” leaves one feeling like one has just been rolling around in the intellectual mud with the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and other great conspiracy fictions. Reading him one is reminded of the conservative intellectuals of the 1920s and 1930s who were seduced by the fascism of Hitler and Mussolini. In fact, little beyond being born 70 years too late separates him from his intellectual peers of that bygone era.

Worse, his logic dehumanizes those he defends. In Zunes world, the Palestinians, Jews, Hezballah, North Koreans – everyone – are merely automatons, reacting to Americans in predictable ways. All their actions are instigated by Americans; they have no will to act on their own. Only Americans are born with the human quality of free will.

Unfortunately for the world according to Zunes, Americans use this free will to choose greed and avarice. In a sense, by imbueing these qualities to Americans alone, Zunes in effect advocates a type of “super nationalism,” where the only nation that matters is America, and like the warriors of old that ate the hearts of their enemies to gain their bravery, its only by overcoming and destroying America that the rest of the world becomes human. This problem is not Zunes alone; it is inherent to the “politics of victimization” where suffering is the only scale that matters while true power remains in the hands of the victimizer.

Zunes advocates this destruction of the United States by using a common tactic of the Left: Denying the right of the United States to pursue its goals, while allowing other nations to pursue their own goals. Zunes criticizes any American action when it pursues a goal to its benefit, for example by denying the United States the right to pursue a strategic victory over Syria or prevent Iran from attaining nuclear weapons. At the same time, Zunes argues that Iran has the right to nuclear weapons because its in its own interest.

Leftists like Zunes are fundamentally terrified by the hegemony America represents, and seek to bind it with Lilliputian threads. It must be frustrating for Zunes, who is so widely quoted in the Leftist media to see his threads ignored as the United States moves forward and follows its strategic interests. Luckily for Zunes, and the Leftists like Chomsky who are his intellectual peers, the nation sees men like him as evidence that the United States is not the nation they believe it is – for the nation that Chomsky and Zunes claim exists would have executed both men long ago and burned their writings. Instead, both are esconced in Academia where they can safely promulgate their vision of a world terrorized by the United States.

Waking the Dead

What Civil War?

StrategyPage reports:

...there’s a growing attitude among the majority of Iraqis (Kurds and Shia), that the country would be better off with no Sunni Arabs at all. This is never even brought up by the government, but it commonly heard on the street, where the police and soldiers are recruited from.

Unless the Sunni Iraqis get with the program, there will no longer be any Sunni Iraqis. Given my support of Kurdish nationalism, I’d have to say that an ethnically cleansed Iraq may be the best solution for Iraq as well as America and the West.

Just can’t help myself sometimes…

Club Celebrities Image

Sept 11, 2006

NYPD in the Pit 9-11-2006

5 Years Ago

There are certain defining moments in my life.
The first was the death of my father when I was an adolescent.
The second was my acceptance to school in San Diego.
The third was the kiss that began the relationship that led to my sixteen year marriage with my wife and best friend.
The fourth was acceptance of my new role as a father.

The fifth came on a crystalline blue day 5 years ago.

For weeks afterward I was too stunned to speak. But over time I was felt like the main character in Harlan Ellison’s classic work “I have no Mouth and I Must Scream.”

5 years ago, I had no mouth and I wanted so badly to scream. Three weeks later, this journal was born.

It has functioned as my mouth since I published this piece – still one of my favorites – that takes me back to the weeks following that strike when the world abruptly and irrevocably changed for all of us. It remains poignant and relevant to me today:

In a sense this is an attempt by minds to make sense of the nonsensical. By providing motive to the attack, people feel better. They can take comfort in people having been killed for a reason, that the attack was some kind of message which we now must heed.

The attack was meant to change us, and it did – just not in the ways that the attackers wanted.

It has steeled me to the fight. It has energized me with a fire that I have passed along in these writings and newspaper columns since then.

I have found my mouth but strangely as I remember that day so long ago when everything changed, I feel that the best way for me to remember those who have died in this fight for our survival is to do so with silence.

It’s the best commemoration I’ve come up with so far.

Silence.

But the anger will flow again, rest assured. I have a mouth, and I will scream.