29 January 2007

Myths about Suburbia

Cars aren't as evil as we're told. Mass transit is not the magic bullet it's touted as. Global warming is coming, but it probably won't be as bad as the worst-case scenarios we hear about - and the best thing we can do for developing areas is to build infrastructure, not make them comply with global environmental standards like Kyoto that are too much of a compromise to actually have a meaningful effect anyway.
Huh. Who knew? (another hat tip to Instapundit)

28 January 2007

The mythology of Iraq

Lookie Here


NGO - Non-Government Organization. It sounds good. It sounds neutral, unbiased, apolitical. Just some right-minded people making a difference in the world.

I'm not sure when I stopped thinking of them that way. This piece is what made me think about it now, but I've felt disillusioned about NGOs for a while now. A little rational consideration would suggest that a large organization that depends on contributions and grants for capital would have to be somewhat political - naive to think otherwise. 

But the failure of organizations like Amnesty International to condemn tyrants and dictators in favor of attacking anything associated with the US - and especially its President - has really sealed the deal for me. Their actions are so at odds with their stated goals and concerns as to be comical.

I don't think we're perfect, but I'm confident that President Bush does not deserve to be tarred with the same brush as such evil people as Hitler, Stalin, and Saddam.

26 January 2007

Letter to my Senator

Senator Coleman,

I'm disappointed to hear you have expressed some measure of support for a resolution criticizing our efforts in Iraq. In this matter you do not represent me.

Anyone who expected a quick and painless solution in Iraq was not being realistic. By any reasonable measure, Iraq is a success story. The soldiers know this. The Iraqis know this. Surely with your access to information, you know this.

Any effort to allow Congress to interfere with the military's warfighting would be a mistake, as well. We don't need any additional politicization of our armed forces.

The most likely way - I think the only way - for us to lose the war on terror is for the US people to give up.

Please stand behind our soldiers and their mission instead of undermining it.

tom clements

23 January 2007

Are they just saying what so many really think?

Or are they really that stu-pid.

"The Web site, meanwhile, has been temporarily taken down."

No doubt.
(tip o the hat to instapundit)

17 January 2007

Hot Air in Iraq

Michelle Malkin's latest report

"The troops we met ask only three things of their fellow Americans back home - time, patience, and understanding of the enormous complexities on the ground.
The Iraqis we met had similar requests. No one we talked to wanted American troops to withdraw - there was universal agreement that abandoning the mission would be a disastrous capitulation to two-bit thugs and rogue operators ."

Michelle's co-embed, Bryan Preston, concludes his latest report "Having said all of this, Iraq is still very winnable." (link to Instapundit's blurb)

Failure in Iraq would be disastrous for Iraq and for the US.

13 January 2007

Haven't seen this in the news

In July, a poll by the nonprofit International Republican Institute found that 94% of Iraqis said they support a "unity" government. Nearly 80% opposed Iraq being segregated by religion or ethnicity, and even in Baghdad where sectarian violence is heightened, 76% opposed ethnic separation.

-- from a British soldier

11 January 2007

Jamil and the AP

So Jamil Hussein was a pseudonym, but the AP didn't say so in any of the many articles where they quoted him.

What would they have said if someone had targeted one of the real live people with the same name as their anonymously pseudonymous source for something they wrote?  Bad enough for people to be killed for what they actually say, but worse I think when they didn't really say it. (Hat tip, Glenn)

05 January 2007

Compact Fluorescents

Prof. Reynolds has been discussing compact fluorescent bulbs.

I've been using them for years. I put them everywhere I can. I have them in lamps, in the overhead fixtures that pepper my kitchen, living room, and hallway ceilings. Apparently I'm not that picky about the quality of my light. I buy them on sale, in the cheapest per-fixture package I can find. I'm not that green-minded, I just want to pay less for electricity.

My experience has been that they don't seem to last as long as their claims. I'm not anal enough to have actually tracked the time of individual bulbs, but I know I've changed them more often than expected.

I think LED lights will be a better option as that technology matures. I just bought a package of three LED night lights to put in my garage so that - hopefully - my family will quit leaving on the six large overhead fluorescent fixtures for which there is one switch by the door into the house. Not sure why the builder wouldn't have put a switch on the other side of the garage by the door that goes outside. Anyway, the LEDs do a nice job - plenty of light to pick your way around vehicles, lumber, toys, and whatever else might appear in the path between doors.


"Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work." - Stephen King (1947-)

03 January 2007

Lies, damn lies, and statistics

I had wondered about, but not bothered to look for these stats. (The headline doesn't reflect my opinion on these particular numbers. I just like that quote - even if it's provenance is in question.)

Bottom line - on average, Saddam Hussein killed 20,000 civilians every year. Last year the war killed 14,298 civilians.

I'm sure we'll see that tidbit in the Star Tribune any day now.