Friday, April 29, 2005

...On Nuclear Weapons

Note: This is the text of a reply I made to a post at Zaphod's Heads. I thought I would post it here as well. Read the original first to put this in context. This one has all the spelling errors corrected, Doh!

I doubt there are many Western politicians who are big fans of these weapons. The reality is that they exist and the knowledge of their creation cannot be unlearned. It would be a wonderful world if everyone could be trusted to destroy these weapons and prevent anyone from every building them again, but it is naive to think this could ever happen.

For nations, the development of these weapons forces a re-evaluation of the importance of conflict with other nations. Even for the US facing a nation with the weapons is not high on the to-do list. Hence the reason countries like Iran and North Korean want them. It immediately makes them MAJOR players on the world political scene and they believe it moves them to a new relationship with the US. In a way they are right, the US, GB or anyone else would not take military conflict with a Nuke state lightly but it changes the strategic attitude of how to deal with the countries.

A North Korea with the bomb can NEVER attack South Korea. Why? The US strategic policy towards North Korea would have changed to a policy of all options on the table. Not even North Korea is willing to risk total destruction in a nuclear war. North Korea without the bomb has a much freer hand is its aspirations vis-a-vi South Korea because the US is forced into a limited conventional war in which the possibility of high death tolls AND protracted combat could turn public opinion against the defense of South Korea (see the Vietnam War for more info).

In much the same way, the relationship between Pakistan and India is actually much safer today than it was twenty years ago. Before both sides had the bomb, relatively minor differences, as the two countries have recently experienced, would have lead to open, conventional war. Instead the two sides have been forced into communication over their differences.

This is not to say that everything is rosy once a country has the bomb. In the case of Pakistan, if a radical government were to take power the danger to India, and in fact everyone in the world, would be very high. While North Korea could not take overt military action the danger comes from covert action. Supplying these weapon to terrorist groups that share a common enemy (the US) is where the real danger lies. The attempts by the US and others to limit who has access to these weapons is based on concerns over the covert application of them. The Iranian government would quickly discover that using these weapons openly would be impossible but their history of supplying tools to terrorists becomes a huge concern.

Nuclear weapons are not inherently evil (no inanimate object is). What causes so much fear (rightly so) is that if they are used for evil purposes they can far out-reach any other human invention for death and destruction. As long as these weapons are controlled by rational governments the danger they present is minimal. If they fall into the hands of irrational governments or terrorists everyone is in grave danger.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

More on Corrupt Canadians

Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin is starting to feel the heat for the growing corruption scandal that has rocked his government (for all us dumb Americans the Prime Minister is kinda like the President). When was the last time the US government was brought down by a scandal? Hmm…I wonder.

Thanks to the Belmont Club for digging up these articles concerning the connection between Maurice Strong and the U.N. Oil for Food scandal. Maurice Strong is shaping up to be one of the most corrupt people on the international stage. Ironically, he is the primary author of the Kyoto Protocol and a devout Socialist. He is also the man responsible for the tsunami relief money mentioned in a previous post.


Maurice Strong

This may be one of the scariest people on the planet! Here is another take on the Strong connection in the Oil-For-Food scandal. Keep and eye on this guy…something is not right.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Oh Canada!

Liberals in Canada are just as bad as anywhere else. Here is a story about what is happening with the tsunami relief money that was promised by the Canadian government to Sri Lanka. This has all the earmarks of a brewing scandal…as if Canada doesn’t have enough of those already. And the Canadians think the US government is corrupt.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Education and Immigration - two things that piss me off!

This is a good article about the flight of highly qualified people from the teaching profession. I have long believed that the teacher union was one of the biggest problems in public education and this story seems to back that up. It is time that teachers get paid on performance like so many other professions. Another example of how the NEA promotes mediocrity is the lawsuit they are filing in order to get the federal government to spend MORE money on the No Child Left Behind act. They claim that the government has not provided enough money to meet the standards - the government is spending 24 billion on this program. This comes out to about $2000 per student per year (assuming about 12 million students). The NEA wants the government to spend an additional 27 billion. What could the NEA possibly do with $4000 per student per year? This is in addition to the monies that schools are already spending from local taxes. This is just a ploy to make the program so expensive it will be overturned and the teachers will not be forced to teach.

Illegal immigration is now the number one export from Mexico. If you have ever wondered why the Mexican government has refused to stop illegal border crossers now you know - Mexico makes more money from exporting people than oil. Countries have gone to war over economic issues such as this.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

This brings a tear to my eye...

Gun Safety and Target Shooting can now be taught in Arizona schools!

I am a resident of the Great State of Arizona and I have never heard of this new law that was recently past. Foxnews has a transcript of an interview with the author of the law. This could possibly be one of the best new laws! As soon as I get more info I will share with you...

The Sabre of Loving Kindness

The Drunken Samurai has been dubbed The Sabre of Loving Kindness by the Unitarian Jihad Name Generator. Very wierd stuff, but I like it!

Thanks to Rambling's Journal for the link

Monday, April 18, 2005

Daily reading to get you through work

The Tax Foundation has the results of an interesting survey about taxes. Enjoy.

It is time to end the asbestos madness! This has to be the most over hyped and abused public health issue ever. Some of the proposed solutions seem to be worse than the out of control litigation problem.

Americans are over medicated, and I believe it! I think it is time to BAN (yes I said ban) advertising of medicines on TV and radio. These ads should be limited to print and only in health related publications.

Europe is in decline, of this there can be no argument. George Will has an interesting perspective on the causes of this decline. The Belmont Club has another take on this same issue. Both articles agree that Europe, as we know it, will be gone in just a couple of generations and I think they both make great points.

Sin City

The wife and I have been really busy lately and needed a night out to relax. Dinner and a movie it is! Dinner was the Miracle Mile Deli for a New Yorker (Pastrami and coleslaw) sandwich. The movie was Sin City. Wow! What an incredible move! This movie is so sexy and violent it took my breath away. A true masterpiece, much better that the Kill Bill movies. Go see it and enjoy, just don't take the kids!

Friday, April 15, 2005

Tax Day Madness

This is a great story from the Christian Science Monitor about the impact of illegal immigration on the people who live in Southern Arizona. The sad fact it the problems these people are have are now beginning to move North.

Ann Coulter comments on the new trend of throwing food at conservative speakers. This is just amazing, what would happen if someone threw food at Bill Clinton or Jesse Jackson? is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the climate scare. They dug up a beautiful article from Newsweek that seems to mark the start of the debate. This is classic stuff!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Immigration stories

While I have been away the immigration issue has come front and center. Our local newspaper has been closely covering immigration stories. Just today the Arizona Republic had a front page story of an Army reservist that held seven illegal immigrants at gun-point at an AZ rest stop. This is clearly a big deal but they do not have on their web site the story of the illegal immigrant who car-jacked and shot a person in October of last year and then escaped from the county jail yesterday. You can find this story in the print edition on page B4 in a small article. It seems as if our local paper thinks it is more important to talk about injustices of American citizens against illegal aliens than it is to talk about the criminal elements associated with illegal immigration.

In Arizona there is an effort to allow the police to arrest illegal aliens. This will not be popular with police departments but I think it is an important step. Would the police not arrest any other person who commits a federal crime?

Defective equipment guarding the border may be contributing to the large number of border crossers. Not only do we need more agents to patrol the border but these agents need tools that actually work.

Illegal immigration is not a race issue; it is an issue of life or death. People are dying and something has to be done.

Illegal immigration is also a security issue. What is to stop a terrorist from entering the country across the Mexican border and doing what thousands of illegal aliens do every day - take jobs in high security risk areas?

UPDATE: After careful checking of the azcentral site I did find this article about the jail break. It make no mention of the immigration status of the escapee. I still find it strange that a story about a dangerous felon escaping is less important than a story about a person who was trying to help protect his community.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Things that make you go Hmmm…

This is a great article about the Wal-Mart effect. I really hate all the Wal-Mart bashing that goes on these days. I, for one, would have a very tough time raising 3 kids without Wal-Mart.

I hate SPAM email as much as the next guy but I am not sure about this case. I guess I need to know more about the Virginia law.

Wow! Al Sharpton is a corrupt politician! Who would have thought?

Friday, April 08, 2005

What I did on My Medical Leave

As I have mentioned, and as some of you already know, I had Hernia surgery a couple of weeks ago and have been cooped-up at home recovering. During my long, boring recovery I have had ample time to catch up on so many things, so I though I would share with you what I have been up to.

The first 24hrs after my surgery was taken up mostly by sleep. In fact, I couldn’t get out of bed for about three days! Good thing the hospital sent home one of those handy urinals. Over the course of the next 2 weeks I watched some TV, a few movies, listened to some new CDs, and read a few books.

The Connection: How al Qaeda’s Collaboration with Saddam Hussein Has Endangered America by Stephen F. Hayes. This is a book that I actually started before the surgery but it still counts. The gist of this book is that al Qaeda and Saddam have had a relationship for many years and that this relationship was geared towards attacking the U.S. and the West. It is a very quick read and covers some very interesting information. I just wish they had done better at referencing their sources.

Bloody Aachen by Charles Whiting. This book covers the battle for the German city of Aachen in September 1944. This was the first German city captured by the allies and the story of the battle is compelling.

War in the Desert: The Eighth Army at El Alamein by James Lucas. As the title clear states this book is about the British Eighth army in one of the most famous battle of World War II. The book spends a lot of time, not only with the battle, but also on what it was like for the troops in the field. An excellent book if you are interested in the desert war.

Idoru by William Gibson. I love William Gibson’s novels! I am not much of a fiction reader but his stories have always struck a cord with me. He seems to have a way of seeing the world as it is today and then dreaming of how it will be; he does this in a chilling and compelling way. This is a really good book but I can’t describe it. Just read it!

Flames of War. A set of WWII miniature wargaming rules. Very nicely produced rulebook and a fun game.

The Smiths “Singles” This is a Best of compilation and really the only CD the casual fan needs. Very cool.

The Infinite Steve Vai: An Anthology This is a massive double CD set…it is not infinite, however. Great stuff if you like over-the-top guitar rock instrumental stuff – which I do.

Iron Maiden Killers This is a great CD by the second most important band in Heavy Metal.

The Cure Greatest Hits Not much to add, a good collection of songs for the casual fan of The Cure.

Modest Mouse Good News for People Who Love Bad News Wow! This CD is so much better than the two radio hits. This is the type of CD I love, one that is better than the popular songs. This band is very tough to pin down – kinda like rock meets ragtime meets ‘80s new wave.

Incubus A Crow Left of the Murder I love this band but I hate their politics. A good CD that I need to spend some more time with.

I didn’t get to see anything new but I did get to watch some old favorites. The highlight was finally being able to watch the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy back-to-back! These were the Special Editions and it took me two days but I did it, Woo Hoo!

OK, let me just say that I hated TV before my surgery – now I hate it even more! I think I have seen every home decorating, landscaping, cooking, chopper building, truck building, hot-rod building, historical documentary ever made. In addition I know everything about Terri Schiavo and the Pope. I discovered that most cable TV channels show a 4 hour block of programming and just repeat during the day. This can be very disappointing when you find yourself unable to sleep and discover the same shows that you watched all day. Boo for TV!

Well, I must say that I am looking forward to getting back to work – for as long as I have a job anyway. I need to start putting some serious energy into the school planning and the wife and I need to check over the finances to see if the school plans will work. Anyway, I am feeling better and really looking forward to getting back into the swing of things.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

The Times They are a Changin'

Sorry it has been so long without any updates (wow! almost a month!). I have had a lot on my mind lately - my job is going away at the end of May and I had Hernia surgery on 3/25. For the last week or so I have been recuperating at home and hope to be back to my old self in another week.

The job situation is very weird. Ordinarily you would expect that I would be very concerned about no longer having a job - but I'm not. You see, my wife just got her LPN license and has started her career as a nurse. She makes more money than she has ever made. This means that I do not need to work (full time) in order to keep the same standard of living. This has opened many new doors for me. The first is the ability to return to school and finish my degree. I started my degree program in 1992 and in 1996 I had a nervous and financial breakdown. Since then I have only been able to finish one class. I only need 26 more hours for a B.A. in History.

The other positive is I no longer have to work in the IT field to make a living. After nearly 10 years of help desk work and several more as a Tech I am ready for a change. Now I just need to decide what to do with my degree (once I get it)...

More later, I promise!