August 31, 2006

The American Thinker

The American Thinker-Warning to the Islamofascists

Push too far and your ass is grass, RATs is the message of this piece.

Stereotyping is leading to terror, says first Muslim Miss England | the Daily Mail

Stereotyping is leading to terror, says first Muslim Miss England | the Daily Mail:

Utter bullshit! Perhaps she can be forgiven because she's still a teenager.
"She said: 'The attitude towards Muslims has got worse over the year. Also the Muslims' attitude to British people has got worse.

'Even moderate Muslims are turning to terrorism to prove themselves. They think they might as well support it because they are stereotyped anyway. It will take a long time for communities to start mixing in more.

'People may feel I am just a sugar coating on the situation. I am a symbol to show it's not really that bad.

But at the same time, she said, 'there is this hostility' which comes 'mainly from the Government'."

A Guide for the Perplexed - New York Times

A Guide for the Perplexed - New York Times

Go David Brooks!!

The left can't stomach being wrong and the media (MSM) can't bring itself to provide airtime or very much column space to be truthful if it flys in the face of opinion, political tirade and bias.

One more reason we cannot trust the media and its left-leaning bias.

President Bush Addresses American Legion National Convention

President Bush Addresses American Legion National Convention:

The President's speech should be required reading for all Americans.

Below is the key quote from President Bush's speech today to the American Legion convention in Salt Lake City. This is not a political statement, yet the initial 'Big Media' analysis has been to link it to partisan politics. Here is the New York Times quote from two Democrat leaders:

"Democrats were quick to denounce the president's speech. Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the minority leader, said the president's 'failed policies' have made the United States less safe in the past five years. Democrats will lead the American people with tough and smart policies that will make us safer by beginning the redeployment of troops from Iraq, refocusing our efforts on the war on terror, and protecting Americans from terrorism here at home,' Mr. Reid said.

And Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts called the speech 'a cynical attempt to help his Republican enablers survive the November elections at a time when he should be spending all of his time working to chart a new course in Iraq.'

(my comment: The Democrat leaders have added nothing to the policy discussion. Where is their alternative? How would it help? They are close to the edge of being non-patriots. Yet The Times believes alternative voices must be heard, though they are purely political and lacking substance.)

This President has not made a political statement. He speaks the truth and Americans of all political parties and persuasions should be able to embrace it as a key reason for our national war policy. If the Democrats and President Bush's opponentsdifferentiapproach approah, let's hear it.

Those who refuse to accept the reality of Islamic fascism (I call them RATs) that threatens us do not understand the nature of the world today or are so blinded by their biases they become a detriment to our country's success in this war.

Dissent and debate over the particulars of how the war on terrorists should be conducted are valid, but no disagreement should exist on the basic goals of our enemies as stated today by the President. Those who argue with the present strategy have a responsibility to present a different, hopefully better, alternative. Let's hear it.

Sitting on the sidelines taking pot shots, as so many people do, particularly those who oppose Bush, is not helpful behavior.

"When terrorists murder at the World Trade Center, or car bombers strike in Baghdad, or hijackers plot to blow up planes over the Atlantic, or terrorist militias shoot rockets at Israeli towns, they are all pursuing the same objective -- to turn back the advance of freedom, and impose a dark vision of tyranny and terror across the world. The enemies of liberty come from different parts of the world, and they take inspiration from different sources. Some are radicalized followers of the Sunni tradition, who swear allegiance to terrorist organizations Qaidaal Qaeda. Others are radicalized followers of the Shia tradition, who join groups like Hezbollah and take guidance from state sponsors like Syria and Iran. Still others are 'homegrown' terrorists -- fanatics who live quietly in free societies they dream to destroy. Despite their differences, these groups from -- form the outlines of a single movement, a worldwide network of radicals that use terror to kill those who stand in the way of their totalitarian ideology. And the unifying feature of this movement, the link that spans sectarian divisions and local grievances, is the rigid conviction that free societies are a threat to their twisted view of Islam. The war we fight today is more than a military conflict; it is the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century. (Applause.) On one side are those who believe in the values of freedom and moderation -- the right of all people to speak, and worship, and live in liberty. And on the other side are those driven by the values of tyranny and extremism -- the right of a self-appointed few to impose their fanatical views on all the rest. As veterans, you have seen this kind of enemy before. They're successors to Fascists, to Nazis, to Communists, and other totalitarians of the 20th century. And history shows what the outcome will be: This war will be difficult; this war will be long; and this war will end in the defeat of the terrorists and totalitarians, and a victory for the cause of freedom and liberty."

(My disagreement with the quote above: the previous wars were much shorter than this one will be simply because the number or people (Islam) involved and the several countries that sponsor and support terrorists are much larger than in the wars we have fought and won before.)

August 30, 2006

Israel rejects U.N. blockade appeal | Top News |

Israel rejects U.N. blockade appeal | Top News |

Israel is right to insist upon full implementation of the U.N. Resolution. I wonder if the U.N. classifies Hizbollah as a terrorist group as does the U.S. and the E.U?

August 27, 2006

In Israel, a Divisive Struggle Over Targeted Killing

In Israel, a Divisive Struggle Over Targeted Killing

This is exceptional journalism, deserving of a Pulitzer. She describes how the leadership in Israel travails over each decision to target the killing of Hamas leaders. This is as it should be in a civilized society.

Nevertheless, targeted killings are appropriate given the terrorist strategy of killing innocent civilians using homicide bombers.

Blumenfeld has captured the emotions surrounding these difficult decisions surrounding each opportunity to kill Israel's enemies.

Israeli intelligence is obviously very good to know when the targets are ripe.

Kudos to Blumenfeld!

August 26, 2006

Mondo Italiano a Montreal

Italian design and culture was on display August 5, 2006 as we joined two busloads of Middlebury College Italian students, faculty and friends for a day of Italian immersion in Montreal. Notwithstanding the pledge of 'Italian only spoken here,' this non-Italian was able to 'cheat' a lot in order to converse about the wonderful sights and sounds of Italy in Montreal.

Arriving at the Museo delle Belle Arti a Montreal late in the morning we feasted (visually, since we had already devoured our box meal in the bus) on Il Modo Italiano, an exhibit of painting, sculpture, photography, paintings, furniture, glass, textiles and ceramics and appliances...even a superbly restored Fiat cinquecento, the 500 cc people's car.

After Montreal the exhibition will also be shown at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, and the Museo d’Arte Modernae Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Italy.

Some students chose shopping, but others visited the Centro Leonardo da Vinci not far from Little Italy. Josie Verillo guided us through this magnificent $10 million, three story sports and cultural center that was built with corporate and private donations a few years ago. The Center serves many community needs with an indoor soccer field, several bocce courts, class and meeting rooms, cafeteria, fountains and gardens...all designed for people to enjoy. The da Vinci center is a wonderful tribute to the Italian community in Montreal and Canada.

Then on to Piccolo Italia where we roamed through the Jean Talon open air market savoring the wonderfully displayed fresh produce, cheeses and fruits as a prelude to dinner. The remnants of the big bash when Italy won Soccer's World Cup were clearly visible on the streets.

The walk through the market stimulated my appetite for supper and I was not disappointed in our fine meal at Trattoria Dai Baffoni on Rue St. Laurent. Complete with a rousing atmosphere, strolling minstrels and energetic waiters and cooks , our folks enjoyed a wonderful meal complete with tiramisu. I was truly amazed that less than 15 cooks and waiters served our two busloads and another hundred or so people.

Trudging back to the buses, I was happy to nap until our driver deposited us back in Colchester at midnight.

Europe Pledges a Larger Force Inside Lebanon - New York Times

Europe Pledges a Larger Force Inside Lebanon - New York Times

A recipe for failure, I'm afraid. The result will be that no one will disarm Hezbollah. I conclude the world is not serious about fighting terrorism. Instead, they have this foolish belief that they can coexist with it.

August 23, 2006

A Law Unto Herself - New York Times

A Law Unto Herself - New York Times

Ann Althouse expounds her well-reasoned opinion. She clearly shows why the case decided by Judge Anna Diggs Taylor concerning the National Security Agency's terrorist surveillance program was poorly reasoned, whimsically decided and likely to be overturned on appeal. More grist for the political mill.

Publish Post

August 22, 2006

Why "the market" alone can't save local agriculture | By Tom Philpott | Grist Magazine | Victual Reality | 16 Aug 2006

Why "the market" alone can't save local agriculture | By Tom Philpott | Grist Magazine | Victual Reality | 16 Aug 2006

A current perspective on local food production and the financial viability of small farms producing for local markets and CSAs.

A very interesting quote:

"...The USDA reckons that farmers' markets account for less than 2 percent of the more than $70 billion Americans spend on produce. And, as I've pointed out before, the overall income picture for small commercial farms is dismal. Key USDA stat: Farms with annual revenues between $10,000 and $99,000 -- which describes the vast majority of farmers' market vendors -- have an average operating profit margin of negative 24.5 percent."

Slow Start for Revival of Nuclear Reactors - New York Times

Slow Start for Revival of Nuclear Reactors - New York Times:

I wonder if Peter Bradford, never a friend of the utilities, would make the same statement about wind energy, or solar?

"“What dismays me about the present situation is the extent to which the Congress and the administration, and now an occasional state legislature, have rushed to anoint it as the solution to climate change,” said Peter A. Bradford, a former member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and former chairman of the public service commissions of both Maine and New York. If nuclear plants cannot compete without subsidies, he said, they should not be built." (emphasis added)

August 21, 2006

The American Thinker - The Lebanon War and What Lies Ahead

The American Thinker

Some straight talk form a professor in Montreal.

Waiting for Jacques - New York Times

Waiting for Jacques - New York Times

America should not rebuild Lebanon and the French are acting as we have come to expect, untrustworthy. The U.N. is a basket case on Lebanon. Think of the message this foot-dragging sends to the terrorists.

If the U.N. and France are incapable of dealing with Hezbollah, the Israelis will be back to finish the task. The terrorists must be disarmed and prevented from rearming. It's clear the U.N. is not up to the job. Tom Evslin sums up the situation nicely in this post.

Meanwhile, Iran and Syria come out winners. Alas, but true, the world we live in today is one where evil trumps most attempts to deal with it.

Meanwhile, American women have tough fashion choices about their eyebrows in one of The Times' most emailed articles! Woe is us.

August 19, 2006

State Tax Data

Interesting information from The Tax Foundation comparing the sources of revenue in the 50 states for 2004.

G.O.P. Deserts One of Its Own for Lieberman - New York Times

G.O.P. Deserts One of Its Own for Lieberman - New York Times

I have always believed that Joe Lieberman is a decent man and deserves to be reelected. The flamers backing Lamont may well rupture the Democrat Party nationally. The fact that Kerry, Clinton and other Democrats are backing Lamont reinforces what everyone already knows, their very liberal leanings.

August 18, 2006

Can We Afford Our Vermont Desires?

Much has been written and said recently about our needs in Vermont, particularly about our energy future, health care, education and the future of agriculture, among others. These mega- issues deserve serious public debate and close scrutiny as our Legislature grapples with the options and the advocates for one position or another jockey their philosophies into the public discourse.

Meanwhile, Governor Douglas and others correctly have begun beating the drum about affordability as Vermont's already sky-high tax burden threatens to escalate. In the face of stagnant population growth, relatively little creation of high paying jobs, and other cost of living increases, we must be wary of over-committing our resources or allowing costs of existing government programs to escalate

What's missing in most of what I see in the media and from the discussion generally is a willingness to realistically estimate and assess the costs of policy change. If we we don't know the likely costs for change or how we'll pay for them, how can we reasonably judge their worth? We must be wary of too many 'feel good' initiatives that may have dire economic consequences.

The cost of new programs or major changes in policy directions is given scant attention. Because we frequently ignore the costs in favor of the perceived benefits, we find ourselves in the undesirable position of scrambling to pay for our past decisions. One prime example is the escalating cost to educate our children in the face of declining enrollment. A similar fate may await the recent health care initiative depending on the implementation details.

I propose that all major programs or policy changes include a serious estimate of the per capita costs for Vermont at future milestones compared to some reference standard, say the average costs in the Northeast or in the U.S.

For example, if Vermont were to implement the dramatic renewable energy portfolio sponsored by VPIRG in their just released report, A decade of Change: A Vision for Vermont's Renewable Energy Future, what would be the costs per capita or per household compared to other regions or states 5 years and 10 years from now? Would it be the same, 10% less, 20% more. Of course, we must make some estimates of what others would do, but without some quantification of the costs of the future and the alternatives others may choose, we have economic information.

Unless we set some meaningful parameters in advance for the costs of our decisions at the time they become law or ensconced in regulations compared to other places and the present costs, how will we know if the decision is affordable?

I urge Legislators and other public policy makers to pursue quantitative measures of the costs of programs and initiatives compared to the status quo and to other locations. The Burlington Free Press would do well to ask the tough questions about future costs compared to other places to live. We may find that we cannot afford our 'needs' and continue to operate at an economic disadvantage. If we do, those who can afford to move away will; those who remain will be stuck with the bill.

August 17, 2006

The American Thinker -Hezbollah Plays Oprah

The American Thinker

A reasoned analysis of the current threat and the outfall of the Israeli-Hezbollah war

The American Thinker - Throwing Pinch Overboard

The American Thinker-Throwing Pinch Overboard

The Times is dying a slow, painful death. Can they salvage it from a business point of view? There is much of value at the Times, however its biases as 'the newspaper of record' may do it in.

August 15, 2006

The American Thinker - Corruption of the Faith?

The American Thinker-Corruption of the Faith?

Why do we never receive this kind of information from the MSM? Are they afraid of the consequences? Do they believe it's not true? If so, why won't they refute it?

If it is true, we are seeing the nature of Islam. If it is not true, Islam should be denying it.

In any event, the continued rise of terror as a tactic in jihad cannot be denied. Western civilization must confront this belief system with all its energy before it is too late.

August 14, 2006

Fat Factors - New York Times

Fat Factors - New York Times

I just got around to reading this wonderfully written article that explains current research on the complex issue of obesity. Well worth the read.

For the present, though, despite the biological, bacteriological, genetic and viral factors that may affect fatness, the solution for most of us is to eat less and exercise more if we want to lose weight or keep those lost ponds off.

The Many Voices of Wikipedia, Heard in One Place - New York Times

The Many Voices of Wikipedia, Heard in One Place - New York Times

I have long been a supporter of Wikipedia because of its broad coverage of knowledge. Critics contend there is no central authority responsible for the content, thus it cannot be trusted. Conversely, I maintain that, by and large, over time the tens of thousands of people who create and edit the entries will insure that the content is current, accurate and relevant. The work of a mischievous few will be found and corrected by the diligent majority.

What isn't clear is whether the momentum Wikipedia had in its infancy and now in its adolescence can be maintained. Will the enthusiasm burn as brightly 5-10 years from now when people move to other things.

I think wikis also have substantial value inside enterprises for people to maintain project, client, supplier or marketing information all in one place for all needing to know it and contribute new or changing information.

My experience, albeit a few years dated, is that information content was not shared as widely as it could have been and that wikis could improve collaboration and sharing. People relied on email and attachments because they were comfortable with it, but for the kind of focused content sharing in a common repository, email was lacking. Wikis would be far superior, but require a culture change that probably would be tough to implement in corporate cultures that rely on email.

August 13, 2006

The Culture of Nations - New York Times

The Culture of Nations - New York Times:

Moynihan's thought is a foundational insight that ought to be examined and contemplated by everyone interested in politics and culture and the 'wars' now being fought by liberals and conservatives in the U.S.

Can we in the short term ( a few decades) expect to change the culture that breeds RATs? I think not, so I agree with Brooks:

" is no wonder that young Muslim men in Britain might decide to renounce freedom and prosperity for midair martyrdom. They are driven by a deep cultural need for meaning. But it is also foolish to think we can address the root causes of their toxic desires. We’ll just have to fight the symptoms of a disease we can neither cure nor understand."

" of Daniel Patrick Moynihan's greatest observations: "The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of a society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself."

August 12, 2006

Israelis Chase Hint of Victory - New York Times

Israelis Chase Hint of Victory - New York Times

A typical Times analysis that points fingers at Israel and few at Hezbollah and Iran.

By quoting clear opponents of Israeli policy, they once more play into the hands of terrorists and the RATs. To think there is some social/cultural/political balance to be struck between Israel and those who call for its eradication is craziness and in the long run will be shown to be wrongheaded. A cease fire will only be a temporary measure. Iran has accomplished what it wanted...taking its nuclear ambitions off the front pages and away from the talking heads.

Your Life as an Open Book - New York Times

Your Life as an Open Book - New York Times:

You can bet that the AOL breach will trigger legislation in this arena. Google in particular and the other search companies have a lot at stake here and will oppose much of what consumers may expect.

I have long maintained that privacy has been long gone for people who live a digital lifestyle unless they take great pains to remain anonymous. A few do, but the overwhelming majority do not.

"As it stands now, little with regard to search queries is private. No laws clearly place search requests off-limits to advertisers, law enforcement agencies or academic researchers, beyond the terms that companies set themselves."



Here's the text of the UN resolution that's intended to end the hostilities in Lebanon.

The next logical step for Hezbollah is to capture control of the government of Lebanon.

The resolution does not label Hezbollah a terrorist organization.

It does not identify the countries that will provide the 15, 000 troops for the intervention force.

Like many U.N. resolutions, this one probably will not be implemented in all respects.

August 11, 2006

Visit to Montreal

Last weekend we accompanied a tour in Montreal with the Middlebury Collge Scuola Italiano including a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts for a special exhibit of modern Italian design through the decades. We then visited the Leonardo daVinci Center, a marvelous multi-purpose cultural facility constructed by donations a few kilometers from Little Italy.

The day was finished in fine style by a traditional Italian meal at Trattoria Dai Baffoni in Little Italy

RealClearPolitics - Articles - Stage Two

RealClearPolitics - Articles - Stage Two:
This Canadian journalist gets it. Perhaps even that liberal American journalist icon, Dan Rather, is getting it, too

"And even some of our more 'liberal' journalists have been taken aback. We have had such startling performances as that of Dan Rather, the retired CBS anchor, on Fox TV. He admitted that the media are reporting Lebanon without factual and historical background, that what 'doesn't get reported is the bigger picture'.

'It's a problem that those of us in journalism have been reluctant to address. I do not exclude myself from this criticism. Reluctant to address that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization, committed to the destruction of Israel. It isn't committed to trying to just gain territory. It's committed to its destruction.'
And he could add, committed to our destruction. Israel is facing the same enemy all free peoples in the West are facing -- and that we, Canadians, are fighting in Afghanistan. And if we do not support Israel, we do not support ourselves"

August 10, 2006

Europe - Thy Name is Cowardice

This piece first appeared in November 2004 in Germany. It is as appropriate now as then. We see the European appeasement in action as France has cave at the U.N. regarding the resolution proposed a few days ago

Europe will have to stand up and be counted. They are fearful because of the large Muslim populations in various countries, but is precisely because they have these large and growing enclaves of Islam that clear stands against terrorism are needed.


EUROPE - THY NAME IS COWARDICE (Commentary by Mathias Dapfner CEO, Axel Springer, AG)

A few days ago Henry Broder wrote in Welt am Sonntag, "Europe - your family name is appeasement." It's a phrase you can't get out of your head because it's so terribly true. Appeasement cost millions of Jews and non-Jews their lives as England and France, allies at the time, negotiated and hesitated too long before they noticed that Hitler had to be fought, not bound to toothless agreements. Appeasement legitimized and stabilized Communism in
the Soviet Union, then East Germany, then all the rest of Eastern Europe where for decades, inhuman suppressive, murderous governments were glorified as the ideologically correct alternative to all other possibilities. Appeasement crippled Europe when genocide ran rampant in Kosovo, and even though we had absolute proof of ongoing mass-murder, we Europeans debated and debated and debated, and were still debating when finally the Americans had to come from halfway around the world, into Europe yet again, and do our work for us.

Rather than protecting democracy in the Middle East, European appeasement, camouflaged behind the fuzzy word "equidistance" now countenances suicide bombings in Israel by
fundamentalist Palestinians. Appeasement generates a mentality that allows Europe to ignore nearly 300,000 victims of Saddam's torture and murder machinery and, motivated by the self-righteousness of the peace-movement, has the gall to issue bad grades to George Bush... Even as it is uncovered that the loudest critics of the American action in Iraq made illicit billions, no, TENS of billions, in the corrupt U.N. Oil-for-Food program.

And now we are faced with a particularly grotesque form of appeasement. How is Germany reacting to the escalating violence by Islamic fundamentalists in Holland and elsewhere? By suggesting that we really should have a "Muslim Holiday" in Germany? I wish I were joking, but I am not. A substantial fraction of our (German) Government, and if the polls are to be believed, the German people, actually believe that creating an Official State "Muslim Holiday" will somehow spare us from the wrath of the fanatical Islamists.

One cannot help but recall Britain's Neville Chamberlain waving the laughable treaty signed by Adolph Hitler, and declaring European "Peace in our time". What else has to happen before the European public and its political leadership get it?

There is a sort of crusade underway, an especially perfidious crusade consisting of systematic attacks by fanatic Muslims, focused on civilians, directed against our free, open Western societies, and intent upon Western Civilization's utter destruction. It is a conflict that will most likely last longer than any of the great military conflicts of the last century - a conflict conducted by an enemy that cannot be tamed by "tolerance" and "accommodation" but is actually spurred on by such gestures, which have proven to be, and will always be taken by the Islamists for signs of weakness.

Only two recent American Presidents had the courage needed for anti-appeasement: Reagan and Bush. His American critics may quibble over the details, but we Europeans know the truth. We saw it first hand: Ronald Reagan ended the Cold War, freeing half of the German people from nearly 50 years of terror and virtual slavery. And Bush, supported only by the Social Democrat Blair, acting on moral conviction, recognized the danger in the Islamic War against democracy. His place in history will have to be evaluated after a number of years have passed.

In the meantime, Europe sits back with charismatic self-confidence in the multicultural corner, instead of defending liberal society's values and being an attractive center of power on the same playing field as the true great powers, America and China. On the contrary - we Europeans present ourselves, in contrast to those arrogant Americans", as the World Champions of "tolerance", which even (Germany's Interior Minister) Otto Schily justifiably criticizes.

Why? Because we're so moral? I fear it's more because we're so materialistic so devoid of a moral compass. For his policies, Bush risks the fall of the dollar, huge amounts of additional national debt, and a massive and persistent burden on the American economy - because unlike
almost all of Europe, Bush realizes what is at stake - literally everything.

While we criticize the "capitalistic robber barons" of America because they seem too sure of their priorities, we timidly defend our Social Welfare systems. Stay out of it! It could get expensive! We'd rather discuss reducing our 35-hour workweek or our dental coverage, or our 4 weeks of paid vacation... Or listen to TV pastors preach about the need to "reach out to terrorists. To understand and forgive". These days, Europe reminds me of an old woman who, with shaking hands, frantically hides her last pieces of jewelry when she notices a robber breaking into a neighbor's house. Appeasement?

Europe, thy name is Cowardice. God Bless America

Aircraft Bomb Plot Thwarted in Britain - New York Times

Aircraft Bomb Plot Thwarted in Britain - New York Times

Does anyone on this planet need further convincing that Western civilization and culture are in a serious war with the RATs (Radical Arab Terrorists)? The RATS will never give up these plots until they're dead. Kudos to the Brits for unraveling this one before any loss of life or bombing of aircraft.

We are planning a trip to Britain next month.

"British police said Thursday they had arrested 21 people in connection with a terror plot against airlines traveling from Britain to the U.S. which was ''intended to be mass murder on an unimaginable scale.''"

August 9, 2006

Anti-U.S. Feeling Leaves Arab Reformers Isolated - New York Times

Anti-U.S. Feeling Leaves Arab Reformers Isolated - New York Times

This article is infuriating, but to be expected from the Times. If 'moderate reformers' favor Hezbollah, they are not reformers at all. American policy is clear. We are at war with terrorism and terrorists whose avowed policy is to eliminate Israel and Western civilization as we know it. If 'reformers' think the groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah and Al Qaida have some other goal, they don't understand the problem we face, or don't care.

Sprint Will Build an Intel-Backed Network - New York Times

Sprint Will Build an Intel-Backed Network - New York Times

This is big news because WiMax will advance the wireless Internet, particulary if their claimed 5x speed advantage is real and can be used when when moving at auto and train speeds. WI-FI is fast and free, but inconvenient in that you must find a hot spot.

I use Verizon's EV-DO technology and have found it very reliable and convenient. The next generation of EV-DO will be even faster. In the very long term, customers will be well served by high speed wireless using a ubiquitous technology. I think the jury's out as to which it will be but Intel's considerable clout and deep pockets give WiMax a fighting chance.

August 8, 2006

More Rules, More Money - New York Times

More Rules, More Money - New York Times

Oh so true! Campaign finance reform, IMHO , works poorly and the lawyers associated with the endeavor are the ones that truly benefit.

I have long advocated that for the First Amendment to mean anything in politics in this media age, people should be allowed to give and candidates should be free to spend what they want. Full and prompt disclosure is the sunshine that will keep most campaigns free from corruption.

August 7, 2006

Lebanese reject French-US plan |

Lebanese reject French-US plan |

The Lebanese army appears to be more like a police force. They can't fight Hezbollah or Israel so they are certainly incapable of disarming Hezbollah. So it seems the only force capable of disarming Hezbollah are the Israelis or the Syranians.

"The army reflects Lebanon's own sectarian mosaic and ethnic balance, with roughly one-third each of Shiite, Sunni, and Christian troops. But analysts say the Shiites are close to Hizbullah, and that any enforced effort to disarm the Shiite militia - the last to keep its weapons after Lebanon's 1975-90 civil war - could cause the army to disintegrate.

'Even their movement depends on peace resolution ... they just don't have the means, the capability, or the equipment,' says Timur Goksel, a 24-year veteran senior adviser and spokesman for the UN Interim Force in Lebanon, who now teaches conflict resolution at the American University of Beirut.

The Lebanese Army 'is a very respectable internal security force ... their capability is very high, [but] we should not test the loyalty or cohesion of that army by putting it in an impossible role,' says Mr. Goksel. 'It can't take on the Israelis, and can definitely not take on Hizbullah.'"

August 6, 2006

A Disciplined Hezbollah Surprises Israel With Its Training, Tactics and Weapons - New York Times

A Disciplined Hezbollah Surprises Israel With Its Training, Tactics and Weapons - New York Times

Finally, some detailed analysis of the Hezbollah military strategies and tactics. They seem well prepared, but Israel will eventually kill most of the active fighters unless they decide to morph into 'civilians.'

They will gain a bright reputation in the Arab world and unfortunately encourage others to mimic their discipline. The comparison with Hamas and the Palestinians is particularly interesting.

“They have staff work and they do long-term planning, something the Palestinians never do,” he said. “They watch for two months to note every detail of their enemy. They review their operations — what they did wrong, how the
enemy responded. And they have flexible tactics, without a large hierarchical
command structure.”

U.S. and France Back Plan to End Lebanon Fight - New York Times

U.S. and France Back Plan to End Lebanon Fight - New York Times

This resolution will amount to little or nothing. The only positive thing it accomplishes is initiating a process, that will be difficult at best and not implementable at worst.

Who is this 'Lebanese army' I hear about. Are they Shia, Christians, a mix of the two or, perhaps, infiltrated by Hezbollah? How are they armed? trained? led?

Let's have some media reporting about them.

August 4, 2006 Worldwide - Israel to Destroy Arsenal Worldwide

This is good reporting. Bloomberg gives the number of Lebanese and Israelis killed without identifying them as 'civilians,' or otherwise. Compare this to the inflammatory reporting of most of the MSM where 'civilian' deaths are reported. How do you tell a dead Lebanese Hezbollah person from a 'civilian?' The MSM serves to inflame public opinion against Israel when the Hezbollah frequently mix, mingle and shoot from 'civilian' locations.

The Sound of One Domino Falling - New York Times

The Sound of One Domino Falling - New York Times

The New York Times fails to acknowledge the threat to the world from the RATs (Radical Arab Terrorists). They rant about America's mistakes and want America out of Iraq. They are blind to the consequences if Iraq becomes a RAT's nest supporting worldwide terror as Afghanistan was.

I have become very discouraged about the state of affairs created by 'the perfect world' people who refuse to believe that evil can be negotiated with.

Well, it's hurricane season again and if they take aim at the U.S., that will change the news focus.

The uneven calculus of Mideast victory |

The uneven calculus of Mideast victory |

If 'civilians' have this attitude, they are not 'civilians.' This is why this war is so difficult for Israel. If the international community continues to be riled by the death of people with this attitude, they don't understand terrorism or are afraid to confront it.

"Zeinab Jaber exemplifies why analysts say Israel's deepening offensive in Lebanon will not dislodge Hizbullah.

In the ruins of her destroyed apartment block of Haret Hreik, Hizbullah's stronghold in Beirut's crowded southern suburbs, she digs with grimy hands for any evidence of her family's daily life.

Empty-handed, and with gritty dust clinging to her shoes and pant legs, Ms. Jaber climbs a mountain of pulverized concrete and twisted girders.

'Hizbullah are not terrorists!' Jaber shouts, holding out her arm like a fiery preacher. 'Israel and America are terrorists! We take our children to Hizbullah, and God save Nasrallah!'

August 3, 2006

The Long-Term Battle: Defining ‘Victory’ Before the World - New York Times

The Long-Term Battle: Defining Â?VictoryÂ? Before the World - New York Times

This analysis is probably realistic. What it does not define is the lesson that all 'peacemakers' on the international community now must have learned. Land for peace is a dead concept when negotiating with the sworn enemies of Israel. Israel should never try this approach again.

Israel should insist upon disarming Hezbollah. Either the international force must have it as a mandate or more realistically, Israel should continue the fight until as many terrorists as possible are eradicated, particularly the leadership, and the group disarmed. Whether the international force can preven the RATs from rearming remains to be seen.

What the U.N. decides will be important. Let's hope they can rise above the irrelevance they have demonstrated in the past. If the Freench lead the border force to be inserted, They will be sorely tested.

August 2, 2006

Telecom tax imposed in 1898 finally ends | Tech News on ZDNet

Telecom tax imposed in 1898 finally ends | Tech News on ZDNet

Hooray! It's about time this tax was repealed.

Israel Expands Ground Forces Inside Lebanon - New York Times

Israel Expands Ground Forces Inside Lebanon - New York Times:

Israel is taking the right position and the U.S. is right to support it. The EU is out in left field on this conflict ("Meeting in Brussels, the European Union foreign ministers called for Â?an immediate cessation of hostilities, to be followed by a sustainable cease-fire.Â?).

"... Mr. Olmert and the Israelis say they will not stop fighting until a political package is in place, including the release of captured soldiers and the formation of a buffer force that can take the place of the Israeli Army inside Lebanon without leaving a vacuum for the resupply or reinfiltration of Hezbollah."

Electrical Use Hits New Highs in Much of U.S. - New York Times

Electrical Use Hits New Highs in Much of U.S. - New York Times

Required reading for Vermonters. Pay attention, folks, because future demand will increase despite the best efforts of conservation. Windmills are no help in heat waves. Robust base load power is needed plus peak demand capacity to handle the spikes.

Customer Loss to Internet Continues to Hurt Phone Carriers - New York Times

Customer Loss to Internet Continues to Hurt Phone Carriers - New York Times

These mega-changes in the technology providing phone and other services means that eventually competition will drive down the prices for services. Let's hope government regulation is also reduced and that providers are encouraged to continue to invest, particularly in 'the last mile.'

August 1, 2006

The Heartland Institute - Texas Will Host First New U.S. Nuclear Plants Since 1970s - by James M. Taylor

The Heartland Institute - Texas Will Host First New U.S. Nuclear Plants Since 1970s - by James M. Taylor:

This is good news indeed...for Texas. Nuclear power is the realistic alternative among the many choices for reliable base load power. Meanwhile, Vermont 'whistles in the wind' rather than pay attention to the important decisions it faces as the existing nuke plant (Vermont Yankee) is up for relicensing within the the next decade. Also up for renewal is the contract with Hydro Quebec for water generated electricity. Expect to pay much more for this source in the future.

We'd better get our act together and the candidates for leadership in the state should be questioned on their energy policies. The good news is we have a reasonable mix of sources.

We can gain some benefit from conservation, but real demand growth has to be met an dthat means more electricity.

Meanwhile, we have this ongoing onerous debate about the upgrade of VELCO transmission lines. It's a crying shame that the cost of this project has been so poorly estimated. It's not reasonable to think that the original estimate should have doubled in 2-3 years. Certainly, the requirements added by the Public Service Board have been the source of some of the increase, but not all of it.

"'Quite simply, nuclear power offers the only large-scale, feasible alternative to fossil fuels,' said Sterling Burnett, senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis. 'Wind and solar power are intermittent, and solar power in particular is prohibitively expensive. It is not surprising that to the extent people buy into global warming theory, nuclear power is becoming the power source of choice.'"

Israel, Palestine, and the Middle East - A 2004 Message from David Piper

Israel, Palestine, and the Middle East

Here is an excellent exposition (written in 2004) of the spiritual dimension of the fight raging now and in the past in the Middle East regarding Israel's claim to land. It is based on the Scriptures including both Old and New Testament from a Christian perspective. The author's key point, that the divine inheritance promised to the true followers of God in Christ is fulfilled in the Second Coming of Christ, is more fully explained below.

'Finally, this inheritance of Christ's people will happen at the second coming of Christ to establish his kingdom, not before; and till then, we Christians must not take up arms to claim our inheritance; but rather lay down our lives to share our inheritance with as many as we can.

You recall that all-important word that Jesus spoke to Pilate in John 18:36: Â?My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.Â? Christians do not take up the sword to advance the kingdom of Christ. We wait for a king from heaven who will deliver us by his mighty power. And in that great day Jew and Gentile who have treasured Christ will receive what was promised. There will be a great reversal: the last will be first, and the meekÂ?in fellowship with the Lamb of GodÂ?will inherit the Land.'