Old Style National Guard

War, terror and Internet era: Rumsfeld stresses ‘new realities’,” AFP, http://www.turkishpress.com/world/news.asp?id=050213053638.xrov0yys.xml, 13 February 2005 (from Roth Report).

Hometowns embrace returning troops: Field artillery unit home without a scratch,” by Peter Harriman, Sioux Falls Argus Leader, http://www.argusleader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050213/NEWS/502130314/1001, 13 February 2005.

This was the payoff for Sgt. Gerry Tracy.

Riding in the crook of his arm, clutching a tiny U.S. flag, 14-month-old Tim Tracy looked comfortable enough to make this a permanent mode of transportation.

“This is as good as it gets,” said his father.

The toddler perched there for most of the next hour. He was there when Tracy stood to answer roll in the crowded high school gym with a sharp “Here, First Sergeant.”

And even if Tracy and the other 82 members of Battery A, 2nd Battalion of the 147th Field Artillery of the South Dakota Army National Guard had not been showered with repeated compliments on their devotion to duty, resourcefulness and competence during the past year, Tracy still would have known he had accomplished a great thing simply by returning from Iraq to his wife, Lexi, and their son.

Little triumphs of reunion like this bloomed all across northeast South Dakota on a bright February Saturday that felt like spring as the three batteries of the 2/147th F.A. were welcomed home and deactivated.

I am thankful that the guardsmen returned from Iraq safely. I thank them for your efforts. I have friends and mentors who are in Iraq or the Guard.

But field artillery seems very last-war. We have a National Guard designed to fight a land war in Germany. In the 1990s it was rejustified as a National Guard designed to fight conventional wars in Iraq and North Korea at the same time.

The world the 147th field artillery was built for is gone. A 147th System Administrator force, built for national building and 4GW struggles, would be useful. This would be designed so that we never lose a 4GW conflict, like Vietnam, Lebanon, or Somalia again.

A 147th Superempowered Individuals force or 147th Leviathan force would be useful. This latter force would be designed to get inside the enemy’s decision loop, winning battles before the enemy knows they began. This would be the army that destroys the DPRK in a sneak attack and hedges against a PLA attack on Taiwan.

Some Defense Secretaries would be too bureaucratic to push for this military future worth creating. Not Donald Rumsfeld

But at the annual Munich security conference this weekend, the controversial US defense secretary mounted a passionate argument for his conviction that the Internet and other modern means of communication have magnified the value of the most powerful weapon of all: information.

“Bloggers and hackers and chat rooms!” Rumsfeld exclaimed Saturday during a question-and-answer session with defense and security officials and experts from around the world. “E-mails and cell phones with global reach!”

The United States has “an executive branch of government that really is still organized for the industrial age, not the information age. We have an enemy, these terrorists, that don’t have democracies … and are able to turn on a dime.

In the 2000 campaign, Bush promised to “skip a generation” of military equipment. After abandoning crusader cannons and comanche helicopter, Bush and Rumsfeld are not focusing on building the next generation.

Good for us.

Democratic Wives

Teresa Heinz drops ‘Kerry’,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, http://pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/opinion/columnists/whispers/s_300508.html, 6 February 2005 (from Fark).

Wife Will Not Join DNC CHairman Howard Dean in Washington,” Drudge Report, http://www.drudgereport.com/flash3hd.htm, 13 February 2005.

Trouble for DNC Chairman Howard Dean

Howard Dean won the chairmanship of the national Democratic Party over the weekend and quickly began looking for a home in Washington.

“This is really goodbye to Vermont, for now. There’s lots of work to do,” Dean told supporters.

Eyebrows were raised after it was revealed that Dean’s wife, Judy, will not be joining her husband in his move.

“She has a career as a doctor, her patients require her attention,” said one Dean friend.

The Deans will join the growing ranks of “commuter marriages,” with both partners living in different locations.

Trouble for Senator Kerry

A campaign convenience is no more.

According to The Washington Times, Teresa Heinz, the erstwhile Teresa Heinz Kerry, has stopped using the last name of her husband, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, last year’s Democrat presidential nominee.

Preceding its Women Who Make a Difference Awards dinner next month, the National Council for Research on Women is featuring “a conversation with Teresa Heinz,” according to a release from the organization. The council failed to mention the final half of the Fox Chapel ketchup heiress’ formerly elongated last name in several other references.

Update: Riding Sun adds:

You might see Teresa’s decision as a real slap in the face to John, but I’ll bet he’s not taking it too hard. You see, there’s plenty of nuance involved here. After all, she did change her name to Kerry, before she changed it back.

Cole Boat

Shiites, Kurds, win Big: Bush Loses Election in Iraq,” by Juan Cole, Informed Consent, http://www.juancole.com/2005/02/shiites-kurds-win-big-bush-loses.html, 13 February 2005.

Cole on Iraq, post election” Discussion Thread, by Collounsbury, et al, Lounsbury, http://www.livejournal.com/users/collounsbury/286441.html, 10 February 2004 through present.

ZP’s Mark has a high opinon of Juan Cole. Mark is more knowledgeable, more experienced, and wiser than me. Mark is a genius and I defer to him.

Nonetheless, I will keep criticising Juan Cole.

His quasi-Marxist leanings intrude themselves again

Allawi’s defeat (he will not be prime minister in the new government) is a huge defeat for the Bush administration, though it will not be reported that way in the corporate media.

As, I believe, he seriously misinterprets our actions in Iraq

Ironically, [Kurdish leader Jalal] Talabani is extremely close to Tehran and has been a client of the Iranians for many years. His alliance with the UIA will ensure warm relations between the new Iraq and Iran. The US, in pushing for Talabani for Iraqi domestic reasons, is creating a Baghdad-Tehran axis in regional politics.

As I wrote on Lounsbury

An objective of the war is forcing common interests with Iran. That relies on Shia predominance.

Further,

We changed the region so that Iranian and American interests now largely overlap. Iran has proven itself a cynical and realist power.

U.S. and Persian interests now overlap. We both have reasons to put pressure on Saudi Arabia. We both are leary of Pakistan’s ISI. We are maneuvering both to have pacific relations with the current Guardian government of Iran and to be the natural ally of a future free Persia.

Am I right? I think so. However, I know that Dr. Cole’s simplistic interpretation is focused more on politics than on academic honesty. He has built a niche for himself — regular reporting of Arabic-language news in English. He should be proud of that achievement. But he should also focus on using his knowledge to create something other than an anti-Bush screech.

At Least Farkers Use Firefox

Woke up this morning. Checked Zen Pundit. Blogged on the fear of synergetic mergers. Found out that the Economist Swimsuit Issue made it on fark. Managed to start a flame war:

2005-02-13 11:25:33 AM Fark It

-tdaxp 01 February 2005

Update: Fark has picked up the story. Good, but too bad Fark is a fourth-rate site. Better photoshops are at Something Awful. And better girls are at The Economist.

Never underestimate the power of the dark side.

2005-02-13 11:30:19 AM KvanCetre

Yeah, SA is totally better than fark… you know because they do multiple photoshops EVERY DAY.

I like how idiots try to compare us to other sites like SA… because you know SA is totally a site all about posting major news links and minor random funny crap.

Idiots like him piss me off. It makes me hate people even more… How the hell do you get so damn stupid and ignorant?

2005-02-13 12:01:53 PM Phishy

KvanCetre:

It makes me hate people even more… How the hell do you get so damn stupid and ignorant?

Perhaps by typing enraged comments on the internet. Or maybe by hating people for their opinions. Or taking this whole “internet” think way too seriously

But you know what? I take it all back. Because Fark has singlehandedly made Firefox the #1 browser for this site.

Firefox: 51%
IE 6: 26%
Mozilla 1.x: 7%
Safari 1.x: 5%

So Fark is my kind of site. As Joh would say: All right.

Ashcroftian Socialization of Virtue

Gonzales Seeks to Reinstate Obscenity Case,” by Mark Sherman, Associated Press, http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=544&u=/ap/20050216/ap_on_go_pr_wh/obscenity_appeal&printer=1, 16 February 2005 (from Democratic Underground).

South Dakota isn’t the only place where the government knows what is best.

The Bush administration said Wednesday it would seek to reinstate an indictment against a California pornography company that was charged with violating federal obscenity laws. It was Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ first public decision on a legal matter.

Billed as the government’s first big obscenity case in a decade, the 10-count indictment against Extreme Associates Inc. and its owners, Robert Zicari, and his wife, Janet Romano, both of Northridge, Calif., was dismissed last month by U.S. District Judge Gary Lancaster of Pittsburgh.

Iran and Europe don’t have secular irreligious populations by accident. Both places socialized religion and virtue, which let people to forget both. “No one ever washes a rented car,” and no one ever cares for virtue, once it is public.

I’m with the judge in this one

If allowed to stand, Lancaster’s ruling would undermine obscenity laws as well as other statutes based on shared views of public morality, including laws against prostitution, bestiality and bigamy, the department said in a statement.

In his opinion, Lancaster said the company can market and distribute its materials because people have a right to view them in the privacy of their own homes.

Lancaster relied in part on the Supreme Court’s June 2003 ruling that struck down Texas’ ban on gay sex, which it called an unconstitutional violation of privacy.

Anticobuyitaphilia

The ‘HP Way’ Hits the Highway,” by Steve Neiderhauser, Steve Neiderhauser, http://sneiderhauser.typepad.com/blog/2004/01/the_hp_way_hits.html, 27 January 2004.

Spin Offs for HP,” by by Steve Neiderhauser, Steve Neiderhauser, http://sneiderhauser.typepad.com/blog/2005/02/spin_offs_for_h.html, 11 February 2005.

If cobuyitaphobia is fear of “synergetic” mergers, then anticobuyitaphilia is love of rational spin-offs. Neiderhauser has been on the case for years

The Register posts an article describing the fear that now pervades the HP-post-merger workplace. In 1999, HP was ranked 10th on Fortune’s annual survey of top corporate cultures. In 2004, HP didn’t even make the list.

A savvy executive limits exposure to a merged company, since he understands the downside.

An unhappy workforce is likely to create customer vigilantes.

If you’re developing IT strategy, it’s important to understand that merged companies tend to lose focus and the ability to create compelling products. Typically, you will benefit by purchasing products from companies with targeted markets. There’s a reason why most spin-offs outperform their peers — focus.

And after Fiorina’s resignation

Carly’s departure from HP and the failed mergers were so predictable anyone could have blogged about it.

Now look for HP to spin off some of its merged units so marketing can develop products that focus on the needs of customers.