Lessons of War

bq.Now, I’m not suggesting that it’s useless to learn about modern literature. War itself teaches enough practicality for a lifetime, and quickly. The speed with which Iraqi universities were up and running following the invasion is a testament to the desire people here have to distance themselves from war. Maybe soon, Americans and Iraqis will be communicating less often with guns between them and more often in a classroom. As for me, I wrote my final poli-sci term papers while in Baghdad, and sent them back to Beirut. My work was all firsthand material about occupation politics, policies, and economics. In the end, I learned what I needed to graduate in the real world — not the other way around. – “David Enders(Learning Lessons of War on the Streets of Baghdad)”:http://chronicle.com/free/v50/i37/37b00501.htm

Documented FBI Sighting

bq.A couple of months ago, I was sitting in Lawson-McGhee’s new “Rothrock Café(Rothrock Café Opens)”:http://www.knoxlib.org/aboutkcpl/news/cafe.php chatting with a friend who works there. Midway into our conversation I noticed two dark-suited men in conversation near the circulation desk. They seemed out of place and were obviously discussing the library. They also exuded a strange kind of ownership, like maybe the mafia had just bought the building and had sent two kingpins over to scope out renovation. Finally, seeing that my friend was also eyeing them, I said, “What is it with those two guys over there?” He leaned toward me and said, “They’re FBI.” – “Judy Loest(Not in the Library!)”:http://metropulse.com/dir_zine/dir_2003/1348/t_commentary.html

Thinking Back

“Two years ago(September 11, 2001 Archives)”:http://www.libraryplanet.com/archives/2001/09/11/, I stayed up late night to watch the game on Monday Night Football. Before I went to bed, I posted a slate of entries so that the blog would be updated for the day. Later on in the day, I actually decided to post one more. “Last year(September 11, 2002 Archives)”:http://www.libraryplanet.com/archives/2002/09/11/, I did a semi-elaborate change in the CSS file for the day and created a list of Amazon books that seems to have gotten lost when I switched servers in January. This year, I think I am going to just write this sentence and stop for the day.

Technology and Seniors Take 2

“Today Maryam and I went house hunting and I was reminded just how much work we have to do at Microsoft. At one place a nice lady opened the door for us and said ‘show yourself around, we’re up playing on the computer upstairs.’ Eventually we got upstairs we overheard her and her husband, both in their 70s, trying to install a new printer on their older computer. Drivers were giving them hell on their Windows XP computer. I listened to them go back and forth ‘right click on that to see if it’s the right one,’ he said. ‘It doesn’t work,’ she said. Just another reminder that our products are too freaking hard to use. They got it setup, though, and are now printing out their grandkids’ photos. It’s nice to meet average users who are just trying to do basic things. Gets your perspective back onto what really is important for the industry to do.” – “Robert Scoble(Today Maryam and I went house hunting)”:http://radio.weblogs.com/0001011/2003/05/31.html#a3166

Second Superpower

When I skimmed James F. Moore’s essay about a new kind of government formed as a check on a power of the United States, my first thought was not Howard Rheingold’s Smart Mobs that I just finished reading. It was actually CyberNation from the Net Force series. CyberNation claims to want to be a virtual country, but is in actuality a multi-faceted front for a terrorist group.

Iraq Body Miscount

I noticed a couple of sites has some sort of link to something called Iraq Body Count today. Out of curiosity, I went the site. Interesting methodology used: First of all, it has absolutely nothing to do with Operation Iraqi Freedom. If you read the fine print carefully, the count includes alleged incidents for all of 2003. All of them are gathered from websites, but no actual links to the stories are available that I can see. I wonder how many people who placed the counter on their site are actually aware of what it represents. It kind of reminds me of the Independent Media Center , which purports to be “a collective of independent media organization.” I can see where a collection of stories could be interesting, but I also note one urging people to find a protest to attend. Not exactly within the ethical canons of most legitimate media organizations. I added this link to Josh Chafetz via Glenn Reynolds on April 3rd, 2003.

Salient Quotes

“We infinitely desire peace, and the surest way of obtaining it is to show that we are not afraid of war.” – Theodore Roosevelt, speaking in San Francisco, California, May 13, 1903

“Sometimes people call me an idealist. Well, that is the way I know I am an American. America, my fellow citizens – I do not say it in disparagement of any other great people – America is the only idealistic nation in the world.” – Woodrow Wilson, speaking in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, September 8, 1919

“America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.” – Harry Truman, Special Message to Congress, January 8, 1947

“And in the final analysis [America’s] strength depends upon the willingness of the citizens of the United States to assume the burdens of leadership.” – John F. Kennedy, speaking in Fort Worth, Texas, November 22, 1963

Patriot Act and Patrons

Santa Cruz County library branches now post signs alerting patrons that federal agents can review their reading habits. In Santa Cruz , the library has begun posting signs warning patrons of the ramifications of the Patriot Act. The article also has some good information about Bernie Sander’s Freedom to Read Act .

Pinkos for Peace

I just saw a story about how some of the members of CODE PINK , including author Alice Walker , were just arrested while demonstrating in a restricted area outside the White House. Their name is said to be derived from the Homeland Security Advisory System . Homeland Security is part of the war on terror, not part of the war on Iraq. When they make fun of it like that, in my opinion, they are making fun not of the President, but of everyone who died on September 11th .