Friday, December 22, 2006

Warming up to McCain again...

Larry Kudlow sings McCain's praises in a blog entry today. I was surprised to find that I agree completely with Larry's Sentiment. Despite voting for McCain against Bush in the Republican Primary a few years ago, McCain has disappointed me on 2 key issues since then: First I hate his McCain-Fiengold Campaign "reform" bill, and secondly he voted against the Bush Tax cuts. Despite the fact that I like McCain, those 2 issues were deal-breakers for me. Times have changed though. With all of the defeatist sentiment going around, I've realized that the war against Sharia Islam (I believe the more politically-correct term is the "war on terror"...) is becoming a far more important issue to me, and I want a Republican Candidate who can win the general election and who will fight that war vigorously.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Francine Bugsby courts the illegal immigrant vote.

But what's that you say? Illegal immigrant can't vote? Well here it is from the horses mouth. Powerline has audio of Francine Busby (Democratic running for the House of Represenatives in San Diego) telling an illegal allien that he doesn't need "papers for voting".

Thursday, May 25, 2006

You gotta be kidding me....

So the FBI catches Rep. Jefferson (D-LA) red-handed on videotape accepting a $100,000 bribe. They search his capital office and what does Speaker of the House Hastert (R-Illinois) do? Condemn the FBI and demand that they return the evidence they collected in the raid?!?! Unbelievable...I am so angry about this. The first thing that pops into my mind (other than a stream of profanity that would make the houseplants wither) is that obviously Hastert has something to hide. This makes no sense otherwise. He has nothing to gain politically from defending a Democrat who's guilt is undeniable at this point. This can only hurt him. I mean if Jefferson was a Republican, then we could at least attribute this to partisanship, and I would still be equally angry about this, but I wouldn't be as suspicious of Hastert himself. The only logical explanation is that Hastert is also guilty of a crime, or he knows Republicans who are.

Hopefully this doesn't hurt the Republican Party to much. As disgusted as I am with the Republican party, the security of this Nation just cannot be trusted to the Democrats right now, while they are pandering to their wacko base. Their is a revolt going on in the Republican Party. I predict that a lot of these scumbags will get kicked out of office in the primaries in the next few years (those who don't go to jail), but the Republican's have got to hang onto power while this process happens, because the Democrats simply cannot be trusted with National Security right now, not even for a little bit of time.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The UAE will make our ports MORE secure.

I just think the idea that entrusting our ports to the UAE will make them less secure is ridiculous. If anything a UAE owned company can do far more to keep a port secure than any American company running the same port.

Let me use an example to illustrate how the UAE can make our ports more secure. Say an American company thinks an Arab employee is suspicious and would like to ask him some questions or perhaps run a background check on the guy. Say the background check or their questioning indicates that the guy may have been a member of the Taliban and been the best friend of a hijacker or something, and so although they have no proof that this guy himself may have terrorist sympathies, they decide to be on the safe side and fire the guy. Well of course the fired employee will get a lawyer and sue the company for violating his civil rights. He'll win millions of dollars against the company, and furthermore ensure that the company will never question or investigate any Arab man working for them again. An American company really can't do anything proactive to prevent suspicious people who otherwise haven't done anything wrong from working at the port. If the guy shows up for work with a green headscarf and a bomb belt strapped to his chest then maybe the American company will be able to file a grievence with the guy's union to begin termination hearings. That's about it.

Now say the UAE gets suspicious towards one of their citizens working at the port. They can begin their investigation by tapping all of the employee's families and friends' phone conversations, back in the UAE where there are no civil rights. Then they can recall him to the UAE, throw him in jail torture him for months, torture his family members, torture all of his aquiantances until they either find out he's not a terrorist or that he is. If they find any shred of evidence that the guy is even slightly sympathetic to terrorists they'll probbaly execute the guy and no one will ever know what happened to him. Furthermore, they'll probably bring the guy's foreman back to the UAE, and maybe his Foreman's boss as well. Then they'll probably execute the foreman as punishment for not identifying the terrorist working for him, and flog the foreman's boss to encourage greater vigilance in the future. Do you see now how there are can be security advantages to having cruel money-grubbing monarchs running American ports?

The sultans who run the UAE are interested in exactly one thing: Making themselves as rich as possible. They don't care about Jihaad. They care about money. The port deal will be a major investment for them. This is an investment that could potentially cost them a lot of money if there is another major terrorist attack in the United States. You can bet they will do everything they can to prevent terrorists from gaining access to any port that they manage. Furthermore, as Arabs themselves they will be more likely to recognize suspicious behavior among Arab and/or Muslum people be they UAE citizens or not around any port they manage.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

NSA Wire Taps? *yawn*

This editorial from the LA Times, which Instapundit recently linked to, really puts the NSA Wiretap "uproar" in perspective. I put the word "uproar" in quotes because the uproar is only amongst Democrats. Polling shows that Americans in general don't care about the issue one way or another. The problem with the Democrats is that they use so much hyperbole that I think people become numb to any issue they raise. No one believes their exagerations anymore. In this particular case, if you listen to say Al Gore's recent speeches on the matter, you'd think this was the worse violation of civil liberties in the history of our nation. (This coming from the former administration that brought you Echelon, the expansion of warrentless searches, and the Clipper chip.) That LA Times article shows us what real violations of civil liberties look like.

My understanding of the "controversial" NSA wire taps in question is that whenever the troops captured or killed a terrorist in Iraq or Afghanistan, and got ahold of his rolodex, the NSA was automatically wire-tapping every phone number in America that had called or been called by one of those numbers in the terrorist's rollodex. So we are supposed to be outraged that the NSA taps the phone lines of those people in communication with known foriegn terrorist colaborators? I mean wouldn't you kind of assume that this was done as a matter of course? The fact that special legal wranglings might be required to do this is what disturbs me most.

The problem with the left's hollering over such "civil liberties violations" is that it does make us numb. There are plenty of gross abuses of power by government out there, but I don't think they are occuring in the war on terror. If anything the government is to cautious in that arena because it knows it's being watched carefully there. The real abuses of power are being perpetuated in the war on drugs, the war on intellectual property piracy, and soon to be the war on blogs (in the form of bloggers who violate Mcain/Fiengold by making "in kind" political contributions whenever they write their opinion of a candidate.) , not to mention liberal city and states' war on gun ownership, and the public schools' war against Christianity. In these arenas the violations of civil liberties are often obvious and blatent, but maybe the noise drowns them out.

Monday, October 24, 2005

The Experiment Worked!

My Dad told me a humourous story the other day. When my Dad was in grade school, Science education in America wasn't considered a priority. Apparently Science education was given about the same importance as Music and Art is now-a-days. It was tought as a subsection of English class apparently. They did a Science unit once a month or so. Then one day, Americans woke up with Sputnick beaming down radio signals over their heads and Science education became a priority almost over night as mass fear of losing the space race with Russia took hold in the U.S. The next year they had new science textbooks (separate from the English textbook) and science class regularily if not every day.

One day the lesson was that dark colors absorb more light than light colors. To test this hypothesis, the class did an experiment from their textbook. The textbook called for wrapping 2 jars with construction paper. The first jar was wrapped with white construction paper and the second with black construction paper. The jars were filled with water and left in the sun during recess. After recess, the temperatures were measured but the jar wrapped with black construction paper was actually colder. (The dark construction paper was probably actually shading the water more than the white construction paper, and since the paper was glued to the outside of the jars the paper did not have enough thermal contact with the water so it did not transfer much heat to the system.) So the teacher decided to repeat the experiment by leaving it out in the sun all afternoon, but when she measured the temperature the dark jar was still colder. So the next day she left the jars out all day long. This time the dark jar was slightly warmer than the light jar. The teacher said "See the experiment worked!".

So lets review this "experiment". 3 determinations were conducted, and 2 out of 3 times the results didn't confirm the hypothesis, but the "experiment worked" because one time it did. So this teacher was teaching her students, to ignore data and accept what the science book told them, instead. An example of the triumph of rationalism? hardly.

It gets even worse. After 30+ years later, and no doubt countless billions spent by our government to improve science education, I have to report that science education had not improved by the time of the 1980's. What I didn't get a chance to mention to my dad the other day (because he won't let a word in edge-wise when he is talking) is that I did the same EXACT experiment 30+ years later in second grade as part of my science education.

My entire class was told to bring 2 jars to school. (We had science class every day in the 1980's!) When I told my dad why we needed to bring jars to school. He told me then that the experiment wouldn't work because the paper wasn't able to transfer heat to the water through the glass. (I didn't realize at the time that he had done the same experiment in elementary school himself.) The next day in class while we were glueing our construction paper to the jars I was telling the kid sitting next to me why the experiment wouldn't work. The teacher was angry that I was talking, and asked me if I "had something that needed to be shared with the rest of the class". So I confidently told her that "Yeah the experiment isn't going to work." She said "Oh and why is that?" I replied "The paper needs to be inside the glass in order to transfer heat to the water." My answers seemed to irritate her, but at least I didn't get into trouble for talking.

Sure enough 30 years hadn't changed the laws if of physics or the outcome of the experiment. After recess we all retrieved our jars from the Texas sun, and dipped our fingers into the 2 jars to measure the temperature. All of the students dutifuly reported that the water in the black jar felt warmer since this was obviously the answer that was expected, and which most pleased the teacher. Funny thing, the temperature of the water in my 2 jars felt the same to me. Even funnier, the teacher dipped the single thermometer our class had into a few jar pairs, and even though the temperature on the thermometer didn't change from jar to jar, she agreed with most of her students that the "water in the black jar felt warmer.", exactly as the text book said it should!

I remember that day so well because it had a profound impact on my 7 year-old world view. For the first time I realized that adults were not necessarily smarter, which was a great thing to know for a 7-year-old. Although I extend my sympathy to any teacher after that date who ever had to try to teach me anything, I have to lay the blame on my 2nd grade science teacher for letting the secret out..the secret being that teachers usually don't know much about what they are teaching. I can only assume the experiment was intended to teach us some rudimentary ideas about Thermodynamics and energy, but I learned a more valuable lesson that day. I learned never to believe anything without emprical evidence, and since empiricism is basically the essense of Science, I guess the experiment did work in the sense that I learned something valuable about Science despite my science teacher's best efforts to teach faith instead.

This is why I don't worry much when I read of the "poor state of science education in our nation". I also don't worry when I read that some school in mississippi or Utah or wherever wants to teach creationism or intelligent design as part of their science curriculum. Science education has always been poor in this country, and guess what? It always will be. Teaching creationism can't be any worse than teaching children to ignore experimental evidence in favor of what a science book says the results of the experiment should be. I fully expect one day that I will be helping my children (once I have some) clean out peanut butter jars so that they can do the same experiment at school. Hopefully just as my dad and I did, they too will learn skepticisim from the experiment.

The good news is that the poor state of science education in our country obviously hasn't hurt us. Even with the dismal state of science education prior to sputnik, the USA was still home to most of the great inventions and innovations of the 20th and 19th centuries. Despite the poor state of Science education since sputnick Americans and people who immigrated to America, still somehow managed to put men on the moon, invent transisters, microprocessors, and the internet, etc...The reason for this, is that primary education is not what makes great scientists, engineers and inventors. Thank God for this.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

If you don't want to play by the rules in my sandbox then go build your own!

This is disturbing news: Apparently the UN and EU are trying to take over administration of the internet. This drive is being led by China and other oppressive governments in the UN, for whom free speech is incredibly inconvenient. I believe the effort is being assisted by Europeans who's collective nationalist feelings are hurt by the very existance of US wealth and power.

It's unclear from the article how the EU/UN would actually wrestle control fo the internet from the US. I think basically what the EU/UN wants is to control the administration of the top-level domain servers. For example, say you get internet service from Comcast, and you want to communicate with www.cnn.com. Well you type www.cnn.com into your browser and it communicates with servers in comcasts' privately owned network which check if there is any computer in the comcast network that it has assigned the name "www.cnn.com". Of course Comcast doesn't have www.cnn.com on it's network, but Comcast has a relationship with a higher level network that connects it to other parts of the internet, like say AOL, or earthlink, etc... so it forwards the request over to the domain servers of that parent network. If that parent network has the "www.cnn.com" server on it, or knows which networks below it have "www.cnn.com", it will forward the information request to the relevent network, otherwise it forwards the request further up to another network. Eventually this process keeps going up the network hierchy until it reaches the top-level servers. These servers know how to get to every address on the internet, because every subnetwork on the internet has voluntarily made the choice to connect to these servers or networks that are eventually connected to these servers.

The key thing to understand though is that comcast doesn't have to connect to the other networks it connects to. These connections are all voluntary. Furthermore, the networks that comcast is connected to don't have to connect to the higher level networks they are connected to. They also connect to the higher level networks on a voluntary basis. No government forces internet service providers to "hook into" the internet. It's a voluntary structure that emerged organiclly from individual network oporators working in their own best interests. Generally, if you have a network it is in your own best interest to allow your users access to as many other networks as possible.

Comcast doesn't have to connect to the rest of the internet (or all of it), and they don't have to give ultimate authority to those top-level domain servers. They could connect to any servers and networks they want to. However, if they didn't connect to "the internet" I wouldn't pay them 30 bucks a month or whatever for their services, and I doubt anyone else would either.

Again, the key point is that the internet is all voluntary. It's just a bunch of private and public networks who's owners have agreed to connect to each other and agreed to use the same standards for communicating with each other. So really what can the UN do? The only thing I can think of is that they could create their own domain servers. But who would connect to those domain servers. Well China, the EU, or any nation with a planned economy, could mandate that all of the networks within their soverign borders communicate with only the UN domain servers instead of the US domain servers I guess. This would be basically creating their own "internet".

What they cannot do is force American internet service providers, universities, and companies to connect to UN domain servers, or networks connected to the UN domain servers., if those private entities don't want to. Even the US Government can't really force the PRIVATELY owned networks in the US (and almost all of the networks in the US on the internet are privately owned) to communicate with any particular network or any particular domain server. So, I just don't see what the UN could really do. About the only thing the UN could do is make their own internet, and refuse to connect to the US networks that won't agree to use their domain servers. That's about it.

I welcome them to try this. See, when I was a little kid, I had the biggest sandbox and the best swingset in that sandbox of all of my friends. If any of my friends wanted to play in my sandbox they had to play what games I wanted to play, and play by my rules. If they didn't like this, they could go home and play in their own sandboxes, or go swing in another friend's swingset, and sometimes they got pissed off playing by my rules and they did just that. But if they did, they weren't playing in the best sandbox in the neighborhood, because the best sandbox was mine. So to the rest of the world...If you don't want to play by my rules in my sandbox, then go build your own fucking sandbox and play by yourselves.

They would never do this. Why? Almost everything of any value on the internet is in the US. I mean seriously, when was the last time you absolutely needed to use a Chinese website? When did you last order a book from the Nigerian Amazon.com? Do you ever try to sell your beeny -babies on the Tunisian Ebay? The entire value of the internet to these other countries is it gives them access to the markets and infrastructure of the most inmportant and largest economy of the world. Without access to the US markets, the internet is largely worthless. Let the Chinese, Tunesians, Cubans Europeans, etc...go play on their own internet. No one using this internet would miss them. They get far more benefits from connecting to us, than we do from connecting to them.

This is why the UN wants control of the internet. Almost every country in the UN has a despotic form of government. Remember this is the same UN that has the following members in its commision on world human rights: China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Cuba. These despots like getting access to our economy, infrastruture, information, and our markets, but they don't want the entire package. The problem with allowing access to our markets, information, and infrastructure is that they necessarily have to allow their citizens access to some of our political ideas and freedoms. The despots spend vast amounts of effort and resources to keep their citizens from being exposed to US ideas about freedom. Their goal of bringing control of the top-level servers under UN administration is for only one purpose. That purpose is to make it easier for them to keep free speech out of their countries.