Monday, July 30, 2007

NY Times OpEd: A War We Just Might Win
Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms. As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration’s miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily “victory” but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with.

After the furnace-like heat, the first thing you notice when you land in Baghdad is the morale of our troops. In previous trips to Iraq we often found American troops angry and frustrated — many sensed they had the wrong strategy, were using the wrong tactics and were risking their lives in pursuit of an approach that could not work.

Today, morale is high. The soldiers and marines told us they feel that they now have a superb commander in Gen. David Petraeus; they are confident in his strategy, they see real results, and they feel now they have the numbers needed to make a real difference.

Everywhere, Army and Marine units were focused on securing the Iraqi population, working with Iraqi security units, creating new political and economic arrangements at the local level and providing basic services — electricity, fuel, clean water and sanitation — to the people. Yet in each place, operations had been appropriately tailored to the specific needs of the community. As a result, civilian fatality rates are down roughly a third since the surge began — though they remain very high, underscoring how much more still needs to be done.


R.I.P., Bill Walsh


Sunday, July 29, 2007

Is Europe Weak and Flabby?
Europe as a whole seems to have lost its nerve. Last week in Kabul, I heard the bizarre ineffectiveness of much of the 41,000-strong NATO-ISAF forces because many of the national contingents don't believe in confronting the Taliban. The US and the British, to be fair, are not among shirkers but Afghans see the Dutch, Spanish, German and Canadian forces as having been already defeated in the mind. The US is not loved but it is feared; the Europeans (Britain apart) are viewed with contempt in Afghanistan.

The interesting thing is how being "nice" is viewed. Soft, weak, "with contempt."

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Dubai Port Deals Part of CIA Prid Pro Quo?

Too bad it didn't go through.

Democratic-YouTube Debate

Apparently, Joe Biden tried to give a realistic answer about pulling out of Iraq. He has no hope for being President.

Hillary Clinton completely smoked Obama in one answer.
Senator Obama said in the debate that he would meet with the leaders of rogue nations; Senator Clinton said she would first make sure that such meetings were not intended as propaganda.

Pundits generally saw hers as the better answer, underscoring her experience on the world stage and at the same time casting Senator Obama as inexperienced.

Today, Senator Clinton drove home the point by directly criticizing Senator Obama’s statement.

“I thought that was irresponsible and frankly naïve,” Mrs. Clinton told the Quad-City Times in Iowa.

Hillary Clinton is completely right. Obama's answer is incredibly naïve.

Diplomacy is a good thing. But when you need to be diplomatic from a position of strength, craziness, etc. Not weakness. I think Hillary actually understands this.

Unless Obama is just saying what he thinks will sound good to Democratic voters.

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Study Says That Atheism Not Created By Science

I think you will generally find that your assumptions will usually color how you view the data of science.
Ecklund and Scheitle concluded that the assumption that becoming a scientist necessarily leads to loss of religion is untenable.

Ecklund says, "It appears that those from non-religious backgrounds disproportionately self-select into scientific professions. This may reflect the fact that there is tension between the religious tenets of some groups and the theories and methods of particular sciences and it contributes to the large number of non-religious scientists."
RAAS data reveal that younger scientists are more likely to believe in God than older scientists, and more likely to report attending religious services over the past year. "If this holds throughout the career life-course for this cohort of academic scientists," Ecklund says, "it could indicate an overall shift in attitudes toward religion among those in the academy."


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Video of Babies Lying

As I recently posted, kids lie from a very early age. We aren't born good.


U.N. Secretary General Warns Against U.S. Withdraw from Iraq
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned Monday that an abrupt U.S. troop pullout could deepen the crisis in Iraq, and he urged the United States to keep the Iraqi people in mind when making decisions on the increasingly unpopular war.

Ban said both the United States and the international community have a responsibility not to abandon the Iraqi people.

Now, a good conservative would say if the U.N. wants input they need to sacrifice. And we wouldn't be in the mess in the first place if the U.N. hadn't handled their responsibilities with Iraq prior to the war.

However, what can a good liberal say? The U.N. and world opinion should count for a lot.

But regardless, it should give us pause when the head of the U.N. thinks a withdraw would be so dire that he is unwilling to toe the leftist line. That's serious.

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Pentagon Rebukes Hillary Clinton Over Iraq
"Premature and public discussion of the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq reinforces enemy propaganda that the United States will abandon its allies in Iraq, much as we are perceived to have done in Vietnam, Lebanon and Somalia," Edelman wrote.

He added that "such talk understandably unnerves the very same Iraqi allies we are asking to assume enormous personal risks."

Analysis of how we leave our allies to the wolves because it is convenient for us seems right on the mark. We are a disposal society that aborts babies because they are inconvenient to us. Our allies have noticed the general pattern from Vietnam onwards.

When the going gets tough, we get going.

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Unbelievable: John Kerry Says No Bloodbath in Vietnam, Re-education Camps Not 'Pretty' But Many in Them Are Thriving Today

Here is another link to the video.

Here is what Breitbart wrote:
Sen. John Kerry said during a C-SPAN appearance that fears of a bloodbath after the US withdrawal from Vietnam never materialized. He says he's met survivors of the "reeducation camps" who are thriving in modern Vietnam. An award-winning investigation by the Orange County Register concludes that at least 165,000 people perished in the camps.

Not to mention what happened in neighboring countries like Laos and Cambodia.


Thursday, July 05, 2007

Joey Chestnut Wins Hot Dog Eating Competition

66 hot dogs in 12 minutes. Congratulations.


Monday, July 02, 2007

Hwang and Macroeconomics

My friend Hwang is spending his time picking apart my comments on taxation and macroeconomics. While I'm not buying his counter-arguments, I'm willing to give them a close listen.

Unfortunately, I have too much stuff on my plate to be diverted by macroeconomics. What could be more important than macroeconomics?

Here is my summer reading list:

"No Free Lunch" and "the Design Inference" by William Dembski. I want to read up on the mathematical framework of design arguments. Unfortunately, these are on the bottom of my list.

"Jesus and the Eyewitnesses" Apparently this book is a landmark apologetic work which everyone must grapple with. The author covers the internal evidence which indicates the gospels are from eyewitness testimony.

"The Limits of Orthodox Theology" This book is about the history of Maimomedes' thirteen principles in Orthodox Judaism and disagreements on them within Orthodox Judaism.

"What Make You Not a Buddhist" The title is self-explanatory. But it is written by a Buddhist.

When I get to economics, I should probably read Thomas Sowell's books on micro and macroeconomics.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Law Enforcement Can't Be Partisan?

Senator Leahy says that law enforcement, referring to the firings of U.S. Attorneys, can't be partisan.

While I don't want a highly politicized Judicial branch, where is the support for that in the Constitution? The President can fire for any reason whatsoever.

And let's say that a President made a political promise to prosecute X, whatever X may be. U.S. Attorney Smith isn't prosecuting violators of X. The President fires Smith. Is that political? Yes. Is it wrong? I don't think so.

Having attorneys prosecute opponents would be bad. The above scenario is fine.


Babies Lie and Deceive From a Really Young Age
Behavioural experts have found that infants begin to lie from as young as six months. Simple fibs help to train them for more complex deceptions in later life.

While most people would say that people aren't born good, only Biblical Christianity would say that people are born sinful. Babies lying, to the best of their limited ability, doesn't surprise me.

The Psalmist tells us that we were conceived in sin.

People who want to hold to the myth that people are inherently good will be constantly contradicted by reality.


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