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Month: September 2006

What We’ve Lost

Everyone should read this piece at Andrew Sullivan’s blog titled What We’ve Lost. In summary, a reserve soldier who served in Iraq during the invasion writes of Iraqi soldiers surrendering to the Americans because they knew the Americans would treat them fairly. (But don’t take my summary at face value; read the piece.)

But now that’s gone:

I can’t get past that image of the Iraqi, in the hood with the wires and I’m not what you’d call a sensitive type. You know the picture. And now we have a total bust-out in the White House, and a bunch of rubber-stamps in the House, trying to make it so that half-drowning people isn’t torture. That hypothermia isn’t torture. That degradation isn’t torture. We don’t have that reputation for fairness anymore. Just the opposite, I think. And the next real enemy we face will fight like only the cornered and desperate fight. How many Marines’ lives will be lost in the war ahead just because of this asshole who never once risked anything for this country?

To which Andrew replies:

This president must never be forgiven for what he has done to the reputation of this country.

Amen. And not just the reputation but the security of this country. Every candidate for president in 2008 — Democrat or Republican — should be made to address this issue.

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Arrrh! September 19th be Talk Like a Pirate Day!

This be yer only reminder, ye scurvy knave! Now get yer [pirate name]( and get to work — th’ decks don’t swab themselves! ARRRH!

— Mad Russ Graybeard

[Be ye never heerd o’ Talk Like a Pirate Day? Then [get clicking](!]

_Update_: Arrrh! There be _two_ [sites!](

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Just Imagine… Stan Lee's Watchmen

[Dr. Manhattan:] As an alienated Syn-Man who was created by gamma rays, I find myself confused by mankind.

[The Comedian:] Ha! What’s so confusing about kicking the Commies back to Red China where they belong, Blue Boy?

Just for people like me that spent more time in the eighties reading comic books than he’d like to admit: Stan Lee’s bold reimagining of Watchmen.

[Caption:] You’ve always heard that TV was bad for you, but can it be bad for the entire world? Find out in 30 when “Savage” Stan Lee and “Dashing” Dave Gibbons bring you an issue that had to be called… THIS MAN… THIS WATCHMAN!

Too rich. (Via BoingBoing.)

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School laptops

While I’m generally in favor of access to computers in school (ideally Macs), I recognize that it’s not just as simple as handing out a bunch of laptops to middle-schoolers and saying “Here you go, now learn something”; so it’s not surprising that a backlash to school laptops is being reported. Glenn Fleishmann, in particular, has been outspoken about this subject. (2007-08-28: Added references and corrected spelling of Glenn’s last name.)

I would have to place among the undesirable side-effects listed in the linked WSJ article (kids wasting their time chatting over IM or building MySpace pages) the following, cited by a parent who favors the program:

Anne Carson, a 49-year-old parent in Glen Allen, Va., says the laptop has helped her twelve-year-old son master critical professional skills like how to compile a PowerPoint presentation. “He’s really picking up on a lot of opportunities I don’t think he would have gotten without the laptop,” she says.

That’s not the sort of opportunity I’m hoping my kids will experience…

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