Tuesday, July 05, 2005

War, Wimps, Wack-jobs, Wusses and Waste

Oooh... Ahhh...

Okay, so I didn't post a lot over the holiday weekend, but I had the best of intentions. I didn't spend much time at home, several friends had barbecues and parties, and I felt it was my DUTY to NOT let these people down. I did my duty with honor and dignity. Read: I never once puked.

I wonder how much money went up in amazing, colorful smoke this weekend. Not that I'm against it, but it is probably a figure that would boggle the mind. I have a friend whose subdivision collects around $50,000 from its residents every year for a display. That's ONE subdivision in ONE town. The city in which they live also sponsors a display that I'd estimate spends upwards of $100,000 each year, and that's a small town.

Don't misinterpret, I love me some fireworks. I "ooooh" and "ahhh" with the rest of them, while the fiscally aware side of me cringes each time I hear BOOM.

But there is something ancient and ancestral about explosions and bright flashes of light. Just neater 'n shit.

And Happy Birthday America.


I reflected over the holiday about freedom, democracy and the human spirit. I also read news stories that made me wonder why there are humans on Earth who don't long for their own freedom.

"The airstrike came Friday in Kunar province, which borders Pakistan, the same area where a U.S. transport helicopter was downed late last month, killing 16 troops in the deadliest single blow to American forces since they ousted the Taliban in 2001."

The rekindling of unrest and insurgency in Afghanistan worries me.

The basic tool with which armies win wars is not a piece of equipment... it's fear. Fear motivates every surrender. Unfortunately, the people we're fighting don't experience fear. They are convinced, lock stock and barrel, on an idea that they are doing Allah's will, and a reward is waiting on the other side. There never seems to be a shortage of people who are willing to strap on C-5 and press their own button.

They produce fear in others, yet don't appear to experience it themselves. Troubling.


This story made me laugh. Chirac getting his teet in a political ringer just feels so... right.

"French President Jacques Chirac cracked jokes to Russian and German leaders about bad British food and mad cow disease, a Paris daily said on Monday, in comments that could further strain Anglo-French relations."
The French have no room to talk about anyone, anywhere. Oui the people wish you'd just shut your tarte-hole, Jacques.


The creator of the "Sasser" virus, a German 19-year-old, goes on trial this week for his actions. He released the virus in hopes of gaining fame as a computer programmer. I'd say "mission accomplished."

"Five suspected accomplices — including the informant — also are under investigation, but Jaschan "is the big fish," prosecutor Helmut Trentmann said before the trial."
Throw. The. Book. At. Him.


Well... maybe THIS explains all the whining.

"Men are supposed to be wimps who won't suffer in silence and take to their beds at the first sign of illness. They could never, or so women tell them, deal with giving birth. Not so, say researchers, who claim men actually cope with pain better than women because they do not get so emotional about it."

Another myth, busted! I think I will just shut up now and let all this soak in.



OldHorsetailSnake said...

Thanks, Dave, for that report on how men and women react to pain. I knew there were some differences between men and women, but I didn't know what they were.

Anonymous said...

Reports are that not all "suicide" bombers are aware that is what they are signing up for...nice, huh? "Drive the car from here to there" they are told and then it is remotely detonated.

Bernadette said...

I was having those same thoughts about the cost of fireworks. I'm glad to be rid of the hot St. Louis summers, though I do miss Ted Drewes. Your wife need to update her blog.

Weary Hag said...

Isn't fireworks sulpher not so good to take into the lungs? Just curious. It sure smells like it shouldn't be. Maybe I'm all washed up but there are an awful lot of don't-burn-your-tobacco-anywhere-near-me folks sitting quite happily below those rapidly descending stench-clouds on breezeless Fourths ~ year after year. Maybe it's not even sulpher at all, but it acts that way around my olfactory sensors.
I hear you loudly and clearly about the fearless maniacs willing to blow themselves to smithereens for the sake of attaining a whore or two in Allah's heaven. Scary indeed.
As to that last bit... you mean women are supposed to be emotional? AS IF ...
[now running off with my box of tissues at the thought of being perceived as a wuss]

Rob Seifert said...

Zealotry is frightening on a number of levels. Pehaps the most disturbing for me personally is the level of trust and blind faith that these people have in an ideology which is so different from my own.

My own ideology is also somewhat blind and even I trust it most days but my commitment to it is not so absolute as to allow me the mental space to assume and even assert that I am absolutely right and you are absolutely wrong. Absolutes in any form beg to be challenged.

It's my opinion that we are engaged in a war of ideologies and that it is unlikely such war will end well - someone must always be right and someone always wrong. The struggle between absolutes is one of brute force - the unstoppable force meets the unmovable object. In such a conflict, the stronger and/or most capable always wins. We must, as a people, continue to refine the art of compromise and flexibility because even the mighty oak will shatter under a strong wind.

I think flexibility is a problem for us (humans) because we are unwilling to be wrong or accept that there might be multiple workable answers to a single problem favoring instead our own answer. I think the "War on Terror" can be won but I think the costs and consequences will extend well into the lives of my great-grandchildren and that winning will look nothing like what either side would envision.

I think these conflicts to be an expression of the growing pains of our civilization. It's an old story. Looking at this, I'm going to have to cut and paste it to my blog and expand on it a bit. Thanks for raising the thought in my mind!


Chris Cope said...

Men are better at handling immediate and or intense pain, I think. We would better handle losing an arm and I suspect we would better handle birthing a child. We're not good at the things we can't actively fight against.

Kerouaced said...

Ill give that little computer cocksucker fame. After I strangle him and leave him in the middle of a busy highway. I had a virus wipe out my hard drive a while back. Months of hard work lost. The penalties for these people need to be stiffer. Two weeks at a place that is like band camp doesn't cut it. How about cutting off both hands? It's hard to write virus programs typing with your nose...

Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm said...

I love the smell of sulphur, so I'm not bothered by the acrid aroma of fireworks.

One of my friends lit off five of them, and later told us he spent $100 on them. Modest fireworks.

If they're free.....

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

You've become the clearinghouse of current events, Dave.

Ari said...

Next time you see fireworks, Dave, just imagine that the flaming, falling sparks are $100.00 bills.

Did that hurt? ;)