Print Story Today was a blustery day
By lm (Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 11:46:16 AM EST) (all tags)
And I decided to take advantage of that to record this, that, and the other thing for posterity.

As per the usual, blather follows.

The Wall Street Journal has an article on a former Soviet intelligence analyst who predicts a second US Civil War in 2010 followed by a break up of the US. The proposed map is pretty funny. Per the WSJ, he claims that the analysis is based on classified information fed to him by FAPSI, the Russian equivalent to the NSA.

The AP reports that Ohio has a genuine case of voter registration fraud. Personally I'm not certain whether this guy was a bigger moron for registering and voting in Ohio or for calling the board of elections to tell them not count his vote the following week. At least the second of these acts was noble in a way.

:: :: :: :: ::

I saw and heard some analysis of the current dustup between the Gaza Strip and Israel on MSNBC and NPR this morning. It's a bad deal all around. The interesting thing that folks on the Gaza side of the equation brought up on both MSNBC and NPR was that (1) strictly speaking it isn't Hamas doing the rocketing but private citizens and (2) Israel violated the cease-fire two months before it expired. The interesting thing to me is that the folks interviewing the Gazans just sort of ignored that presentation of the facts instead of digging deeper.

The general media also tends to ignore that Hamas was elected fair and square. It is true that they seized control of Gaza through force of arms but that is because they were prevented from taking control of the government to which they were elected. The anti-democratic actions of Fatah to unseat Hamas were generally supported by the international community. So much for the triumph of democracy.

On the one hand, it's clear that an opportunity to bring Hamas into a dialog was lost. On the other hand, it's clear that Hamas is bunch of violent asshats who, while perhaps not as corrupt as Fatah, can't even control their own supporters, can't police the territory they control and apparently have no desire to move the peace process forward.

:: :: :: ::

The holiday travels went well. The eve of the 23rd we drove through the mountains to the flatness of the midwest. Once square into flatlandia, we came across freezing rain for two hundred miles or so. It sucked. But, taking it slow and easy, we arrived safely at the hotel 2 hours later than we would have if the weather had continued to be clear.

The hotel was fun. Being a new, swanky hotel that just opened in an economically depressed region of an economically depressed state in a country suffering a recession, there were only a few rooms rented out. Christmas Eve, we were all alone save for the desk clerk. So it was a very nice present for our family. All my aunts and uncles (all 7 of them) pooled money together to rent the room for us. They didn't realize they were renting not just a room but the whole hotel.

Christmas Eve was quite nice. I had some good conversations. I think the presents we brought were well received. We had 4 generations present. The most humorous bit of the night is that my grandmother slipped me some money and told me to stop someplace nice to eat on our trip. `Not McDonald's,' she sternly warned, `but someplace nice!' Of course, the amount of money she slipped me would barely feed a family of four at McDonald's.

Christmas Day, we drove up to Toledo to visit with my wife's family. It was also a nice visit. I had some interesting, but odd, discussions with their next door neighbors. We played some board games. I won at Monopoly. My eldest daughter won at Life. My brother-in-law won at Pirates. I spent quite a bit of time reading the beginning of An Introduction to Phenomenology while my brother-in-law studied to be LEED certified as an architect. The wife and girls took off to the mall.

The drive back was amazing. Coming through the Alleghenies during sunset was astounding. The soft rays of the sun during the ``golden hour'' of dusk was met by the coming darkness of night with dancing streaks of pink and amber.

:: :: ::

I did some upgrading to my aging old PowerBook. I took out the half gig chip and dropped in a full gig. It doesn't run much faster but (knock on wood) seems much more stable. This somewhat confirms my impression that the Leo Tard is chock full of memory leaks. More memory, I conjecture, gives the machine a longer amount of time before it begins to crap all over itself.

I also took apart my old, dead iBook to get at the disk drive. Good grief, WTF was Apple thinking when they designed that? Even with a good set of instructions, removing the hard disk was like performing brain surgery. It's a good thing that the logic board was already fux0r3d. But at last, the old hard disk is now in an external enclosure and I can have a real back up of my files.

:: ::

Healthwise, I gained five pounds over the drive to Ohio and back. I shed all of it back off by this morning. Today was the first day that I really got back into the swing of my daily routine.  I ``ran'' while traveling but it was on treadmills which isn't quite the same. And none of the hotels had weight machines. (One did have free weights up to 50 pounds. The other hand no weights at all and a treadmill that operated at the same speed regardless of what speed setting it was placed on.) Then on Monday, Mother Nature brought her dear friend Captain Chucks to visit me for the day. Yesterday, I ran but slowly. Today, I'm back into the saddle.


My daughter asked me to read a story she's writing for school and give constructive criticism. The story is surprisingly compelling and deep for having been written by an eleven year old. Rather than critiquing plot structure and themes as I'm wont to do when reading my eldest daughter's writing, I found myself only making stylistic changes to grammar and paragraph breaks.

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Today was a blustery day | 9 comments (9 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Best analysis of Israel/Palestine by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #1 Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 01:10:19 PM EST
Since no action in the region has occurred without plausible provocation for 4,000 years or so,


Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

I really like the second half of that sentence ... by lm (4.00 / 2) #2 Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 02:45:48 PM EST
``this requires constantly shifting the metrics by which you measure whichever side you happen to favor.''

Although, I think that is a bit of an overstatement, just not much of one.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
The rocketeers in Gaza by MohammedNiyalSayeed (2.00 / 0) #3 Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 03:33:54 PM EST

Are frequently wearing Hamas symbology, regardless of whether Hamas claims them or not, but even that overlooks the fact that it is Hamas's duty, as the allegedly elected government in what is almost that state, to maintain law and order inside that state, which probably includes "not letting your individual dudes continually rocket your neighboring dude's dudes, particularly when those neighoring dudes are better armed, and capable of extracting a disproportionate price in retaliatory flesh", but I'd have to see the Palestinian law books to be sure. Maybe it's just a misdemeanor or something. Laws are crazy sometimes.

You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
Sure by lm (4.00 / 1) #4 Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 04:07:00 PM EST
It's a somewhat well recognized principle that if a regime cannot control its citizenry and that citizenry attacks another country, that country has the right to invade.

What made me curious was that the interviewers just ignored the allegations that the rocketeers weren't Hamas and that Israel broke the truce first.

In some ways it reminds me of a local episode. A month or so ago some youths on a bus were taunting some members of MS-13. The MS-13 members got off at their stop, pulled out their guns and busted some caps, killing one of the youths on the bus. While the behavior of the MS-13 dudes were certainly uncalled for, one has to wonder at the behavior of the youths taunting them on the bus. In more way than one, Hamas is like those youths. At some level, they don't seem to be very cognizant of their own safety and the safety of the bystanders around them.

Israel, on the other hand, just created a whole new generation of suicide bombers. But they're kind of in between a rock and a hard place even if its of their own devising. If they make no response, more rockets get tossed their way. If they do respond, they piss people off and create more recruits for Hamas. Were they smart, they would have negotiated a two state solution back in the seventies or eighties. There is no way they'll get the Palestinians to agree to such now.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
i don't see 2 states working. by garlic (4.00 / 1) #6 Thu Jan 01, 2009 at 06:19:11 AM EST
i don't really see 1 state working either.

[ Parent ]
A two state solution won't work /now/ by lm (4.00 / 1) #7 Thu Jan 01, 2009 at 08:14:56 AM EST
There was a window of opportunity when it might have worked. That window is now firmly shut. A single state solution also isn't going to work. In five more generations or so, it will be apartheid all over again.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
The Alleghneies are nice. by dev trash (2.00 / 0) #5 Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 05:19:36 PM EST
what good is democracy when the elected population just wants to bomb the jews for being mean.

Rocket club by duxup (4.00 / 1) #8 Fri Jan 02, 2009 at 05:28:11 AM EST
What is it about Russian military dudes and professors making all sorts of crazy predictions?  I see it a couple times a year.  I guess maybe it serves some sort of internal propaganda purpose and when gets to the outside it just looks silly as it is.


strictly speaking it isn't Hamas doing the rocketing but private citizens

How sure can anyone be about that?  Do these citizens register their affiliation with the local rocket launching club?  Either way both sides are assholes and I agree some opportunity to move the peace process forward was lost.


I need to find someone on the internet who blogs about how their little child is a moron.  Just for my own sanity's sake.  Also yes when I have kids I'm sure they will be exceptional as well.

Moron kids by lm (4.00 / 1) #9 Fri Jan 02, 2009 at 05:48:59 AM EST
Christmas day, we left breakfast at Awful House, and took State Route 444 to US 4 to I75. Between that bit of Fairborn and the city limits of Dayton there is nothing but forests and corn fields. My eldest daughter looked out the window and said, `One thing about Ohio is that it's so urban.'

I'd like to say she was being ironic. But she wasn't.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Today was a blustery day | 9 comments (9 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback