Archive for March, 2003

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Net-Friendly Photo Printers

March 29, 2003

Ever heard of Snapfish? It’s a photo printing place. Internet-based. They send you your prints in the mail. What sets them apart from the others is, you can send them digital or film. They were nagging me to do 10 free prints so I sent them a few I’d shot with the G2 and also a few older one’s for comparision with other printing services I’ve used. I figure if I sent the same photo to them as I sent to Ofoto or Apple, I’d have an “Apples to Apples” thing to compare, so to speak.

I’m pleased to report that the 4×6’s I ordered arrived in a timely fashion (6 days?) and look really nice. The packaging they come in isn’t as cool as the other two, but the photos look as good or better. All of them use Kodak paper.

I’ve been on a mission to try all the various internet-friendly photo printers. I’ve done Apple and Ofoto (which are the same thing I suspect, just different branding), and now Snapfish. Next up, I should send some film to Snapfish. And then I’ll try sending digitals to Walmart and Shutterfly.

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Dan Got In A Fight

March 26, 2003

Daniel got in a fight at school yesterday. He got sent home with a “Poor Choice” note which briefly explained the situation. It said he’d punched another kid in the chest “hard.” Naturally his mother and I asked him to explain his behavior.

He’d been playing basketball with friends at lunch. Another friend came over to their court and stood in the way. When my son asked him to move, the boy refused. So he went to a nearby adult and asked for help. That adult was, for unknown reasons, too busy to give her attention at that moment and didn’t arrive on the scene until several minutes later. Meanwhile Daniel was back on the court telling this other kid to move again. The kid wouldn’t. Things escalated. My son tried to slap the other kids ball out of his hands.
Read the rest of this entry ?

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Pat Robertson At It Again

March 25, 2003

Oh, the irony. I’m sure it’s lost on the man himself, but I think it’s funnier than hell. Apparently Pat Robertson is advocating separation of church and state!

But not for us. Not here in the United States of America. No way. While such liberties are apparently “very important” for the future of Iraq, we don’t need them here.

What a kook. Him and anyone else who think he’s anything but a nutjob. You can quote me on that. Want an example? It was shortly after the 9-11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center when I read what Pat Robertson and his colleague Jerry Falwell had had to say about the incident. I was so stunned that I searched the net until I found an actual audio clip. And listening to them I had an epiphany. I suddenly understood with startling clarity what the entire thing was about.

You see, these two men were saying that the attack was “probably what we deserve.” I’ll let them speak for themselves:

Falwell: “The ACLU has got to take a lot of blame for this. And I know I’ll hear from them for this, but throwing God…successfully with the help of the federal court system…throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools, the abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked and when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad…I really believe that the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who try to secularize America…I point the thing in their face and say you helped this happen.” Robertson: “I totally concur…”

So what I realized at that time was this: the conflict was between two groups of people. On the one hand you have those who think secular government, tolerance, freedom with regard to religion and speech are good things and worth having even if they do have distasteful side-effects. On the other hand you have those who believe such a way of life is so wrong that, not only will they themselevs not choose it, they may actually kill anyone who tries to live that way.

Here’s the important bit: Which side are these two on? Think about it. Really. Aren’t they on the other side? The side of the terrorists? I mean, they did say we deserved it. In fact I bet Osama says the same thing…and for some of the same reasons.

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Shield for Saddam

March 24, 2003

The most thought-provoking thing I read about the war today is an opinion piece at the telegraph written by a self-described “naive fool.” What do you think?

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Oppose Bush & Support Iraqi Liberation

March 23, 2003

I’ve reduced my position on the war to this: no matter how unjust the motivation and no matter how misguided the process which brought us here, I find it hard to be genuinely opposed to a war which will liberate millions of people from a horrible, repressive, murderous tyrant. It’s weird that while other people are still stuck in the “how do I oppose the war and still support our troops?” dilemma, I am asking myself “how do I oppose the politicians who made this war happen and yet support one of the wars major outcomes?”

My fellow liberals seem largely unfazed by this contradiction. From another article at salon:

Many antiwar protesters, though, seemed unprepared to contemplate that the war could have any positive effects on the Iraqi people all. All acknowledged that Saddam is a monster, but few imagined that Iraqis might hate him even more than war and occupation, and that the imperfect salvation of a savagely repressed people might be a positive side effect of even the most unjust and cynical war.

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Salon Does It Again

March 21, 2003

Salon does it again. Just the other day it ran a brilliant piece on Iraq which struck me as the most intelligent thing I’d read about the whole thing so far. And today a second homerun. This time it’s an interview of Paul Berman, political and cultural critic (whatever that is), and author. Read it and judge for yourself. (Rember, you can read the whole article even if you’re not a subscriber by clicking the “sponsored day pass” link at the bottom of the page.)

So how good is it? Here’s a taste.

“The defeat and overthrow of Saddam Hussein is in the interest of nearly the entire world and although it is in the interest of nearly the entire world, nearly the entire world is against Bush. That situation is the consequence of Bush’s ineptness.”

“One of the scandals is that we’ve had millions of people marching through the streets calling for no war in Iraq, but we haven’t had millions of people marching in the streets calling for freedom in Iraq.”

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Scott on The War

March 20, 2003

We’re at war with Iraq now. That’s what I heard on the radio this morning. And it occured to me that I haven’t really stated whether I am for or against this war. So here goes…

President Bush is a dangerous fool and the way he has handled this situation is nothing short of shocking. First, it was he himself, who, for inexplicable reasons, started this “crisis” out of a decade-old issue, and at an already sensitive time in our nation’s history. Second, he tried and failed miserably to garner international support, unabashedly attempting to goad the members of the UN security council into backing his mad rush to war. Third, his embarasingly transparent lies with regard to 9-11 and Saddam Hussein made me feel shame at my own nationality. I find his record on the entire issue literally staggering. Vote for him? If i met him on the street I’d be tempted to take a swing at him, secret service or not. (Maybe he’d have better luck garnering support against this agressor.) I honestly believe that 20 years from now we will collectively look back on this time and all agree that Geogrge W. Bush himself and his unilateral push for war were both colossal blunders.

On the other hand, I find it totally impossible to identify with, let alone join, the peace protesters I keep hearing about. They say their primary (perhaps their only?) concern is for the Iraqi people who will suffer horribly in this war. They claim they are “speaking for” the millions of Iraqi women and children who have been suffering under the economic sanctions put in place after the last war. Are these the same millions Iraqi women and children who suffer daily under the brutal dictatorship of Saddam Hussein? Are the protesters at all concerned about the murder and torture that, by all reputable accounts, happens on a massive scale in Iraq? Are they concerned about the utter lack of freedom that these people have? Do they ask themselves if the Iraqi people would be better off without Saddam, even if it took a war to get rid of him? I would feel better about what they were doing if I thought that they had actually sat down and tried to weigh out the costs of war versus the costs of leaving millions of Iraqis in the hands of this monster. Even if they still came down on the anti-war side, I’d feel better about them. But I don’t think they consider these issues at all. I believe, rather, that they are naively clinging to their fairy-tale “war is never the answer” rhetoric. I can’t agree with that.

I don’t for a moment believe, however, that GWB or Tony Blair or any of the top decision makers on “our side” are actually engaging in this war for humanitarian reasons. I believe they would allow the Iraqis to be roasted alive if it weren’t also in our “strategic interests” to bring down their brutal dictator. But given that both of these goals, humanitarian and “strategic,” do in fact seem to coincide, I find myself hoping, now that it’s begun, for a successful war which topples the Iraqi government quickly and makes way for one which serves the needs of the Iraqi people.

To that end, I will hold the leadership of my country (such as it is) responsible for, not only the well-being of our troops, but also for doing right by the Iraqi people during and after this war. I will demand that they not only minimize casualties but also take swift actions to ensure the smooth and safe progrssion to a Iraqi-run government which establishes a measure of justice and peace for the people of that country.

Summary:

1. George is a dangerous fool.

2. Saddam is a madman.

3. Peace protesters are naive.

4. Post-war humanitarian efforts are essential.

(By the way, this article at Salon resonated with me more than anything I have read on the issue thusfar. I highly recommend it. Note that you can read the entire article even if you aren’t a subscriber by clicking on the sponsored “day pass” link at the bottom of the page.)