10/07/2007

another good stanford reason

Ok, now, granted, Stanford's men's football team isn't quite as excellent as its women's ultimate frisbee team, but who isn't still excited this morning about that 4th and goal against the number one team in the country?

Ah, poor USC. Yet another reason there really should be a playoff system.

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10/06/2007

human energy

The Chevron ads have to be an instant classic. Amidst the general backdrop of oil wars and global warming and former directors in the Executive Branch, there's the particular fun of the hubbub in Burma (er, Myanmar) where the totalitarian state is basically abducting, assaulting, and killing citizens in rather sizeable numbers. Those ever dangerous monks appear to be especially troublesome.

How does the government stay in power? Why, that little oil pipeline Chevron invests in certainly helps a tad.

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10/03/2007

fall is here

Yay fall. A season almost as good as summer and spring. It occured to me as tonight was the first night I've driven home from work after the sun has set. Woohoo.

(P) As it's been about five years now since the Bush Administration ramped up their Iraq invasion sales pitch, I've been thinking a lot about where we're headed. The initial justifications are so obviously absurd, that it makes one conclude that the Administration must think eventually public opinion will force Congress to do something. Are they hoping the situation stays under control until they're out of office? Are they making a nice little retirement fund out of the cash that's unaccounted for? Are they planning to stay in office longer than January 2009? Do they have the goods via domestic spying on enough Congressmen to prevent real legislation or accountability?

About the only way this can be beneficial long term is if they convince the Iraqis to privatize their oil and sign sweetheart PSA deals with Western firms. But that seems far from certain, and the trends seem to favor the political forces opposing cooperation with the US.

So it begs the question of what if something catastrophic happens? We are so much more powerful than any other nation that it's hard to express the scale of the superiority of our equipment and offensive capability. Yet, it's worthless against an asymmetric foe; we're basically at an impasse. We're going through our stocks of equipment, we're paying huge sums of money to unaccountable private companies, we're destroying decades of international leadership, we're burning out tens of thousands of highly trained troops, and it's all we can do to hang on to a few bases against a fractured resistance. What happens if nationalistic groups manage to work together and overrun a base? What if they take the embassy compound we're building and a couple major airstrips? You can't airlift a quarter of a million people out of a country overnight. What if a real security concern arises unexpectedly, the whole point for having a standing army in the first place?

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