Tim insists that I link to this article about the cost of the US involvement in Iraq. Surprise, surprise, “reconstruction” is costing a fortune. Probably the biggest cost of the war is the cost in increased oil prices (no “blood for oil,” eh?) Since there has been some misunderstanding about my stance on Iraq, let me clear things up.
Re: “Iraqi Reconstruction”
I adamantly oppose the reconstruction of any oil refinery, factory, or even one golf shack with money taken from me without my consent. Furthermore, I oppose any “peacekeeping” or policing efforts in any foreign country, including Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kosovo. What I oppose even more than the above however, is die-happy fundamentalist terrorists blowing up my countrymen and putting my life in danger. This is why I support the US military taking whatever steps to kill those bastards as fast and as efficiently as possible, while risking the lives of American soldiers as little as possible. The best way to do this would have been to take out the two governments that are the most active in supporting terrorism around the world: Iran and North Korea. Having failed to do that, Iraq is better than nothing. This involves taking out the Iraqi government by whatever means necessary. What the Iraqis decide to replace Saddam with is not my concern, though I doubt that any semblance of a democracy is possible.
Long before I got my first CD-RW drive, I had friends make CD’s for me and stayed up late in the school’s computer lab to transfer my files by ftp and back up my stuff on the ancient 2X burners. Because CDR’s store data digitally and CDROM drives do not touch the surface when reading them, I always assumed that my CD’s would last forever – just like the manufacturer promised. You can imagine my shock when I read that many CDR discs become unreadable after just two years! A little research confirms that CD’s are not nearly as long-lasting as their manufacturers claim. This makes me very concerned about the dozens of CDR’s I’ve accumulated over the years. While I usually use name-brands like Memorex and Imation, I’ll be testing my old cd’s to see how they held up. When I scanned my family’s old black and white photographs to preserve them, I was sure the cd’s would outlast the photos!
The lesson that we should draw from the results of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 is that efforts to partially privatize the industry are likely to retain those elements of regulations that benefit concentrated interests in business most.
If this point is not immediately evident to you, I highly recommend you read “The Question of the Cable Monopoly“
A successful Chinese businessman was jailed earlier this year for his anti-communist statements as well as for “illegal” competition with state banks. This case is typical of the resistance state-run industries in China put up to better and more efficient private companies. The spread of private enterprises in China is creating a new class of entrepreneurs who challenge the state monopolies both economically and ideologically. The military-run state industries often respond by having the businessman sufficiently harassed or quietly disappear. While the situation is depressing in the short run, this mix of freedom and force is unstable – sooner or later, China will have an intellectual revolt and will be forced to choose capitalism or tyranny. If it chooses tyranny, it will surely look for an outside scapegoat to blame for the economic collapse that follows. This turn of events is probably the greatest threat from China to America’s security in the long run.
(Thanks, Keenan )
I’ve spent the last two days installing and playing with Windows Server 2003. It ads some much-needed features and improvements to IIS that make it a much better server OS than the Windows 2000 line. Aside from some unnecessary hardware and software compatibility issues, I have one complaint: it’s missing Microsoft’s own optimized version of Java. Is this a case of Microsoft trying to “bully” Sun? No, the missing Java is a result of a Sun lawsuit intended to force Microsoft to scuttle its superior version of Java in lieu of Sun’s because Microsoft’s implementation is “incompatible” and “obsolete.” My own experience with both versions indicates that Microsoft’s Java is better, faster, and just as compatible as Sun’s.
In the latest decision, the judge ruled that by producing a better version of Sun’s “open” standard, Microsoft was using its monopoly power to help its .Net platform. Apparently, making your competitor’s product (which MS had a license to) work better is “anti-competitive.” To his credit, he ruled that (for now) Microsoft does not have to include Sun’s inferior Java in Microsoft’s own operating systems.
Why is a company supposedly dedicated to innovation and open standards preventing others from making their own improved versions? How can Sun criticize Microsoft for being “monopolistic” while trying to force its Java into Windows and engaging in the same deals with computer manufacturers as Microsoft to bundle Java onto desktops? There are many complex licensing and technical issues here, but it is clear to me that Sun has realized that its client and server-side Java products are inferior to .Net and (like SCO) is trying to win in the courts where it has failed in innovation.
“Anatoly Chubais, chief executive of Russia’s national power monopoly Unified Energy System, called the [NYC] blackout “the biggest accident in the history of world energy systems.”
From personal experience, I can assure you that he’s wrong. (Thanks, Jaboobie )
Free speech is not the issue, Mayor Pro Tem A.H. “Buddy” Wighaman said during a break at a Monday council meeting.
“It’s nu-dity!” he blustered.
Asked if he thinks the mural lacks social value, he replied, “Did you not hear me? It’s nu-dity!“
If these hicks object this much to a biblical scene, I wonder what the penalty for secular art is…