Friday, March 25, 2005

Protest of the day all over the world

Protests, protests, protests. Terri Schiavo is surrounded by those protesting that she must die, and those protesting that she must be kept alive at all costs. In Kyrgyzstan, protesters are clashing with government supporters. And right here in DC, just outside my office building, there are protesters, too.

I forgot about the 'Good Friday' protest. But it was brought back to mind this morning when I hopped out of the car in which I was slugging (a Mercedes today). Last year was interesting. Protesters got close to the building and tossed red paint at people entering. I guess they were trying to simulate blood. This year, in anticipation of the tactic, the PFPA (cops) set up a stand-off checkpoint and put up sheets of plastic to protect us from paint balloons. I noticed they had fire hoses ready, too, but don't think they had been used. Anyway, the gang of about 50 protesters was singing softly. Too softly for me to hear what it was they were singing, but I'm guessing it was not 'Battle Hymn of the Republic" or "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition". There were many of the usual signs about depleted uranium, Bush as a terrorist and 'thou shall not kill', but there was a new one, in honor of Good Friday (along with the obligatory pictures of an Aryan Jesus):

Who are you going to beat and torture today

with the obligatory splatters of red paint. I admit it is a creative sign, much more so than the usual cant or cathaholics against war tripe (the two most frequent 'guests' in our protest zone). It got me thinking, though not in the way they intended, I'm sure. Jesus was, in fact, beaten and tortured by the military arm of the occupying power, but His mission on earth was to fight a spiritual battle. He led an insurgency against the ruler of the world. He suffered for His impertinence, and was tortured and killed. He was posthumously awarded the highest award ever given to anyone on earth or in heaven for any action, ever. At His Name, every knee shall bow and tongue confess that He is the risen Lord. Victory came through His death, and His life. Not in Ghandi-esque passive civil disobedience, but in actively taking the battle to the enemy, on the enemy's home turf. He showed us how to live in this life, by showing us that there is so much more to life than eating, drinking and cognitive function. Life in abundance is the knowledge that life on this earth is a thread, a wisp of dried grass soon blown away by the wind. But it is also precious, as it is our one chance to choose the Way. For all eternity. He fought the battle to give us that one chance. Take it. Now, while you have life, breath, and the cognitive will so to do!

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Quote of the Day

I don't have much time to write these days, but I couldn't pass this one up:

"Every place we went, there were people with guns: men, women," said [Sen. Harry] Reid, D-Nev. "It was remarkable."

Comments on his trip to Iraq, which, I gather from the news, is something of a war zone...

Monday, March 21, 2005

Where are the protesters?

With the 2 year anniversary of OIF, I thought that there would be more protesters than usual. I was wrong. As usual. Only a handful were there this morning, with only the usual signs. And Kathreja and Christine weren't able to make it (at least by the time I came in, see comment on the last post). And no, Nathan, I haven't died, or forgotten how to type. Last week was just unbelievably busy. Sometimes my job is like that. I get put on different projects, and they ebb and flow. Sometimes I can just cruise through the week in 'monitoring' status, and other times I am in meetings and typing reports from the time I walk in until the time I flee home. And sometimes even then work manages to chase me home. That was last week. Slugging, normally a relaxing trip in a stranger's car, became a chance for me to catch up on some of the unclassified reading I had to do for work, and after-dinnertime, usually reserved for playing with JB, became a time to type up thoughts and papers to be ready for the next day. I can't complain, though, since weeks like that are few and far between, and the work is very interesting.

Of course, it means I scarcely had a chance to ready the news, so now, if this week is slow, I'll spend some time catching up on current events. Oh, wait. I have meetings from 9 to 1 and 2 to 5 today, in addition to a classified paper due today. Well, maybe tomorrow I'll have some time to catch up on the news.


Friday, March 11, 2005

Friday roundup

It has been a busy, busy week. That means less time for posting. It has been great having Jonathan stay with us, though Tams wishes we'd play less AoE. But when else can I get someone likeminded in a military sense to help me out strategize the computer?

Anyway, some interesting reading. First, there is an article in the WSJ (subscribers only, sorry) about the Air Force cutting a deal with Mircosoft to get patches before their general release. Why do I find it interesting? Because it is one small indication of where this concept of infowar is going. National physical boundaries are less important than institutional ones (companies, governments, NGOs), and an attack on a company can have as global implications as an attack on a nation's sovereign soil. In the next decade, centers of gravity will shift and war will look very different.

In other news, homeschooling is no longer for anti-social, tinfoil-hat-wearing, conspiracy-munching freaks and gaia-worshiping, tree-hugging, granola-eating counterculter types. It is now also for those oh-so-normal Hollywood movie stars. Interesting.

Moving on, and how I found that last link, is this excellent article about the latest Harvard kerfluffle, discussed earlier. Thanks, Nathan!

Finally, though I don't have time to comment on it now, an interesting article about the 'religious right' which makes some excellent points about the dangers of mixing politics into religion. I agree with a lot of what he says, but disagree with his conclusion. In case I don't get around to it later, here is my short reply: Our relationship to Christ is paramount, and must consume our very being. That relationship is based on love, and love is the standard by which we judge our interactions with our fellow man. However, love is not a feeling, it is an action based on Truth, the truth that is revealed to us in the Word. And that Word, made flesh, came and did not abolish the Law, which pointed the way, but fulfilled it so we no longer have to fear it, but can gaze into the perfect law, knowing that it leads to perfect love. And that love drives us to do what is right, for the right reasons. There is sin in the world. That sin stands in between God and Man, and saying that there is sin, though often unwelcome, is a necessary first step to the recognition for the need for Christ's sacrifice, the way to salvation. So a true relationship with the savior will bring action, and He calls different people to different action. As long as it is word and deed from love, we all, members of one body though different parts, are in the same fight.

More later, Lord willing. Gotta run.

Monday, March 07, 2005

The flags were a nice touch!

Goaded by the springlike weather, the hoards of 10-12 protesters were out today. But the monk was still missing. And no new signs, either. You'd think with that much brain power they could come up with something a little more original than "thou shalt not kill" and "no blood for oil", which reminds me, I have to fill up my great gas-munching SUV today. Guess I'll bypass those expensive gas stations and go straight to the secret, military-only outlet, Iraqco, and get some of that refined black gold we have been shipping back here on the sly. Heh. Those libs will never suspect!

Of course, my favorite anti-protesters were there, and today they were waving Old Glory. Yep, nothing tweaks the noses of the 'Amerika is wrong' crowd like the stars and stripes. Nice going, ladies! Your efforts are noticed, and appreciated.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Disconcerting news: discrimitation still rampant

Note: some links might ask you to register. Don't. Unless you want to. Instead, go here. is a great way save time and privacy. Anyway...

I thought that we had done in discrimination years ago. I thought that the world was enlightened. Or at least that our country was. I thought that we had reached that state of education where children grew up and learned that judgment was wrong for any and every reason, that hatred had no place in this world and only existed because of talk radio. I thought we were free from evil, morally charged words like...well, evil, moral, wrong and right.

I thought that.

But it seems I was wrong.

First the Harvard Crimson opened my eyes to the problem. I know that Larry Summers is a vile, despicable person who has no business leading a university since he has a propensity to ask what he calls 'challenging questions' but would make any normal person sick. So it didn't surprise me that his attitude has carried over into the rest of the university, at least according to this. Yes, friends, sadly it seems that the door to doctrinal hatred has been opened, and someone made 'heteronormative' remarks at a Cultural Rhythms show. Now, I know what you are thinking. It might be that someone's culture uses heteronormative language to define itself, but, unless it is a sorely misunderstood culture like Islam, it is wrong to use loaded, heteronormative words, especially when describing relationships. Fortunately, the Harvard Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Multi-sexual, inter-sexual, transgendered and other-sexual alliance has stepped in to re-educate all those who were unwittingly brainwashed by the remarks (which have been omitted from the article, in case anyone were to read them and thus also need retraining).

However, my eyes have now been opened, and I see that in addition to heteronormative language, agenormative language has seeped into news reports, even in the NYT (see yesterday's blog). "Pedophile" is such a loaded term! It implies that there are appropriate age roles related to sexual relationships. And it doesn't end there! Enlightened now, I have seen homosapienomative language in judgmental news stories such as this.


Why can't we all just get along?

Hat tip to Nathan for getting me going on this little rant...

Good Samaritan Gun Use - Views - Good Samaritan Gun Use

It is not remarkable that someone such as Mark Wilson was there at the scene to stop the attack before police arrived. For example, in about 30 percent of the multiple victim public school shootings that have captivated Americans’ attention starting in 1997, people used guns to stop the attacks before uniformed police were able to arrive on the scene. Few people know about these cases because only about one percent of the news stories on these cases mention how the attacks were stopped.

Usually I look long and hard at the circumstances surrounding these high profile shootings, but I have been busy this week and missed it until I saw this article by John Lott.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Flowers for a grieving...paper?

I think I’ll send flowers to the Gray Lady. They can’t feel too well at the NYT after writing this:

Still, this has so far been a year of heartening surprises - each one remarkable in itself, and taken together truly astonishing. The Bush administration is entitled to claim a healthy share of the credit for many of these advances. It boldly proclaimed the cause of Middle East democracy at a time when few in the West thought it had any realistic chance. And for all the negative consequences that flowed from the American invasion of Iraq, there could have been no democratic elections there this January if Saddam Hussein had still been in power.

The Opinion Journal(WSJ) has another interesting piece today:

By elevating the war on terror to a struggle over human liberty, President Bush has given us a larger moral reason to continue the fight. And he also is ensuring that we'll find natural allies in the people we are fighting to liberate--the very people who we need to stand against the radical Islamists in their midst. It's probably the only way we can win the war on terror. But it is also a policy that will take on its own momentum. If our peace is best secured through other people's democracy, than why not put boots on the ground the next time Haiti or Liberia needs help? Or in Darfur, Sudan, or even North Korea? Presently, this question can be deflected with a simple answer--our military is a little busy right now with Iraq and Afghanistan. But there will come a time when it will not be too busy, when the logic of today's rhetoric will be inescapable. At some point in the near future liberating countries and stopping mass graves from being filled will become an end in itself.

This mirrors a debate that has been on-going among some of us here at the Pentagon, just for fun, where we are considering if it is a good idea to be using trained killers and those who have the job of "killing people and breaking things" to hand out food and heal the injured. To go from firing an M-4 at RPG wielding 'towelheads' to being a compassionate listener to the father whose son may have just killed your buddy--that is not an easy job. Yet we ask 19 year olds to do it, and to do it with cameras on their every move. Is it a good idea? Do we have any other choice?