Monday, January 21, 2008

Saturday, January 03, 2004

Making it official

smijer's got new digs. Don't expect too much. The furniture is still in storage. The phone isn't on yet. I've gotta call the plumber about the pipes. But the family is in and its time to leave a forwarding address. Come by smijer's own dot.com and please, please, please, leave a housewarming gift. Most needed now is feed-back about the format and help on making a better three-column style sheet.


Clandestine operations hinted at in recent posts go badly. Please be patient with an old man.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

Holy Cow!


Happy New Year!

My new year's resolution: to finish the Project Whose Name I Dare Not Mention. By, errmmm, next week. To that end, I follow my policy of OPB, as outlined yesterday:

The cool kids at dKos have been reviewing the MoveOn.org ads. This one may be the best of the bunch.

Can Glenn Reynolds please move to Alabama? No, Kevin, most of us aren't like that.

Oliver has gotten featured in Discover, while dKos made USA Today. Cool.

¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Down with OPB?

I'll be posting links to Other People's Blog entries in the next few days. I'm working on a new project. I can't say what it is, but I'll give you a hint. I am trying to figure out a way to set FTP transfer mode (ASCII or Binary) on an ad-ware FTP prog in order to avoid having to do it from a DOS shell command line on a bunch of files.

I notice that fletch has featured my hometown in his most recent entry.

Max speaks about a subject that ties into my upcoming entry on anti-boortz.

Lastly, even though I cannot stomach his politics, I find that Les Jones has a new entry in his Biology category.

Update: Downloaded WS_FTP Pro. Its an evaluation version, but if this takes more than 30 days, I'm not doing it anyway. Anyway, no more problem with the transfer mode.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

The Cracked Crystal

I should mention: I've never missed a single blog-based new year prediction. My record is immaculate. Maybe this will be the first year I get one wrong, but are you willing to take that chance? Read and heed - this is what happens in 2004:

January: Dennis Kucinich fails to win the Iowa caucuses in what would have been an upset.
February: Economists and pundits hail gains in floral delivery sector. Gains are short-lived.
March: John "F." Kerry, if still in race for nomination, still does not "get it."
April: Spring comes to certain parts of the nation. North Dakota sees thinning of permafrost layers.
May: Rain, heavy at times.
June: Weather-based predictions are down. Segue portends increase in political predictions. Wife has birthday.
July: Iraq transforms into stable democracy. US begins "transfer of power" according to schedule. Much winking and back-slapping among cabinet members. Colin Powell's bon homie seems somewhat strained.
August: Republican National Convention is held in New York City. Timing and location carefully chosen to avoid any hint of politicizing past terror events. Timing also chosen to allow Republican candidates enough time to wage expensive primary campaign. Tom Delay's potential plans to house delegates in Houston and commute to the convention are never realized.
September: John "F." Kerry, if still in race for nomination, still doesn't "get it."
October: Chicago Cubs fail to win World Series.
November: Hillary Clinton is unable to capitalize on her possible 2004 presidential bid due, in part, to rumors that she is a lesbian.
December: The nightmare is over: only one month until the inaguration of a Democratic party President, unless George W. Bush won the November election. Snow in some regions.

Monday, December 29, 2003

Real Life Intrudes

I will be on leave today, in order to deal with real life demands. I hope to be back tomorrow.

Sunday, December 28, 2003

In the mixed metaphor department

Olliver Willis reports the big story: that Paul Bremer puts the lie to Tony Blair's claims.It sounds like a bit of a red herring to me. It sounds like someone who doesn't agree with the policy sets up a red herring, then knocks it down.No, you mean a Red Man (chewing tobbacco).. err... a Straw Herring. errr...
Another good cause

Frankly, I'm impressed. Some background:

My family, eldest sister included, are political conservatives.
We only exchanged ornaments among adults for this year's Christmas. (Unfortunately, I did not get to see eldest sister during this year's abbreviated celebrations.)

My eldest sister's family has given to my family a knit stocking Christmas ornamnent for Christmas this year. It is red, white, and green with a brown card attached. Upon that card is this inscription:
Bosnian Handicrafts Bosnia & Herzegovina Handmade by Rajka. www.bosnianhandicrafts.com With the purchase of these lovingly made products you get an item which you will cherish, while directly assisting refugee women to improve their lives. As most of our products are made out of local raw materials your purchase also supports the reviving of Bosnian economy.I did my research before I chose to endorse this as a good cause. It appears that while the CEO is a Serbian Christian, the women who are earning a livelihood through this project include Muslims and Croats. In other words, the formerly warring factions are coming back together on this cause. And that is something that conservatives and liberals can both appreciate.

If you are reading: thanks, sis.

Death to Saddam...?

As per my usual habit of being the last to chime in about last week's blogospheric buzz, I will now comment on whether I think Hussein should get the death penalty.

Let me first disclaim that I will be perfectly happy either way. I will not be among the hand-wringers crying pity for the man should Saddam find himself suddenly without a head.

I will not be among the blood-thirsty who will undoubtedly shriek with howls of displeasure, should they be deprived of the spectacle of an execution.

It's good that Saddam Hussein will come to justice, and I will be pleased that he does no matter what means is used. Before I move on, l must still mention that Oliver Willis made a fantastic appeal to my visceral feelings that scream "Death to Saddam!" But, after some reflection, I settled on the other answer instead.

Yes, I think we owe the Iraqi people something. I think they deserve a balm for the hurt they sufferred under Saddam, and seeing him executed would do their hearts good. But America has already given of her sons and daughters to the ultimate benefit of the Iraqi people, and it is time to look at American interests first.

Execution is not a deterrent for future enemies of America. An execution speaks the language of jihad: violence, revenge, and martyrdom. The sentiments that inflame the Arab world against us are universal feelings. We all share them. The extremists have found a way to fan the flame of those feelings to incite susceptible Arabs to violent action. Throwing another body on their fire is not going to defuse the situation in the least. Just ask Prime Minister Sharon, if you doubt.

On the other hand, keeping Saddam alive and in prison is a net positive for American interests. Whether it is an individual or a state, a killing sends a message of fear. It says we feel safer with a powerful enemy dead. To keep him alive is to trivialize him. We feel safe enough already, because our enemy has no power. We send the message: we really aren't afraid.

More importantly, it creates a chink in the armor of fanatacism. Recruits to the radical cause do not "hate America for our freedom," even though their leaders clearly believe religious freedom is a blight. The real reason that the leaders of Jihad are able to attract plentiful followers is that the followers believe America is waging a war on Islam and on Allah. These words are excerpted from bin Laden's 1998 call to arms:Here they come today to eradicate the rest of these people and to humiliate its Muslim neighbors. Although the Americans' objectives of these wars are religious and economic, they are also to serve the Jewish state and distract from the occupation of the Holy Land and its killing of Muslims there. The most evident proof is their persistence to destroy Iraq, the most powerful neighboring Arab state. All those crimes and calamities are an explicit declaration by the Americans of war on Allah, his Prophet, and Muslims. {emphasis added} Radical Muslims believe that Americans hate and want to kill Muslims. They believe it because jihadists leaders tell them so. By passing up an easy opportunity to kill a Muslim, and doing it in a highly visible way, we show a generation of Muslims torn between the call to Jihad and the beacon of peace that the jihadists are wrong about us. The only way to kill a movement based on fear and lies is by exposing its recruitment base to a healthy dose of the truth, and by proving to them that peace is a real option.

Killing Saddam would not be unjust, but it would be a lost opportunity.

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