Sunday, September 12, 2004
I believe the AI was making a semi-humorous comment. In the post-9/11 world we're constantly reminded by editorials and TV appearances, that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance where harming even a tree is a sin worthy of a public stoning. We are also living in a time where seemingly every day there's a terrorist event conducted by members of the religion.
I think the AI was finding the whole thing ironic, because it makes the PR compaign seem silly. What is the point of convincing us that Islam is a religion of peace when people are being blown up in the name of Islam every day?
Clearly only a small minority of muslims actively conduct terrorism. You're not very bright for pointing that one out.
There's a thread from a day or two ago about Islam "shooting itself in the foot" with terrorism. In that thread someone posed the brilliant idea that if only the west was less selfish and managed to raise the quality of economic life for muslims around the world, there would be no terrorism.
With that in mind, I was amused (ok, really not amused because there's nothing funny about terrorism, but I cannot find a better word at 2:40am) at the news. You see, Indonesia is on the verge of an election, and there is a lot of western money sitting on the sidelines, paying attention to who wins, so the potential investors can decide if Indonesia is or is not worth the risk.
A few hours after the bombing, one of the wires had a story about the outcome of the election probably not mattering much now, in that regard.
I don't really subscribe to that line of thought, because if an investor is looking to invest in (to put it mildly) an emerging economy like Indonesia, they are already quite comfortable with risk and an embassy bombing probably is within some people's margin of tolerance, but the general picture remains.
Next time someone blames the West for poor terrorists that have nothing else to do with their lives but blow us up, let's give some of the credit for that stuff where it belongs. To use another example, when Arafat started the second intifada (4 years ago?) the Palestinian GDP dropped something like 60%. So the people are now on average more than twice as poor (less than half as wealthy) as they were a few years ago.
Maybe it's more fair to blame the economic conditions in these places on the terrorism, rather than making terrorism seem to be the consequence of economics, and then blaming the West.
Just a 2:45 in the AM thought.
Russia has fine special forces. 11 of them died during the rescue, mainly because the operation happened chaotically. They were not about to storm the school, but when the hostage takers started firing at the children and anyone who went inside to remove the boddies of the dead, the special forces responded immediately. It was probably the right thing to do.
Frankly, from the onset of this thing, I knew that the Chechens (although only half of them were actual Chechens) had no interest of letting the thing end peacefully. I believe that they were looking back at Nord Ost (the Moscow theatre where the Russians used gas) as the template. They wanted to force the Russians to storm so that Russians would be blamed for the deaths. I think this is why the Russians avoided storming for a very long time (what was it, 2 days?) and that's why the hostage takers started shooting the hostages, to force the storming.
There is no way that anyone would have been left alive if the Russians did not storm the school. Just like no one would have been left alive at Nord Ost if the Russians had not intervened, gas or not.
A large number of hostages died but how can you blame the special forces when there were bombs going off and machinegun fire exchanged in a building full of children? What number of casualties would make you think the Russian special forces were good? What should they have done differently?
Chill out, I don't mean to sound like I am particularly concerned for the record companies (I steal a lot of music so I don't have a moral high ground even if I wanted one) but they do have a point.
Basically, the record companies have their distribution methods and they have come to expect certain ownership rights associated with their product. They've had their intelectual property protected for decades.
Now we come along with our mp3 players and Kazaa installations and have a very easy way of bypassing the rights of these companies. The technology makes it very easy, and therefore the companies feel (correctly) that the technology will be used to further deprive them of their right to control their own product.
So indeed the "principle" of the technology is of a threat to them.
Here's an analogy that you won't be happy to get behind but I feel it's valid. If the gov't was building some vast database to keep track of everyones' purchases, we'd be threatened by the "principle" of this technology, because we'd easily anticipate this technology to be used to curb our individual rights to privacy.
Similarly, the record companies see mp3, p2p, etc, as technologies that are dangerous to them because they can and are used to strip them away of THEIR right to control how THEIR information/product is distributed.
I don't expect them to have much success with trying to stuff the technological genie back into the bottle (just like I don't expect the tinfoil hat crowd to manage the Big Brother technology into the bottle) but let's not pretend that it's somehow unreasonable for RIAA, et al, to be upset about advent of technology whose chief use is to bypass their own control of their product.
As a New Yorker I find some of this protesting to be in poor taste, and I am glad it has not materialized into more yet (and hopefully will not)
Basically, there has been talk of "disrupting" the convention. What is this about?
There's a Replublican national convention every four years (right?), and it has never yet been to NYC. Since NYC is by far the most important city in this nation, it's overdue for the convention. The protesors cite the selection of NYC by Republicans as some evil, but provide no real argument for it. Why not have it here? New York is heavily democratic, but we're currently having a Republican Mayor and a Republican Governor. Granted Pataki and Bloomberg are hippies next to "real" republicans, but still. So I don't see the convention being held in NYC as a reason for anger.
But yes, the whole thing is in poor taste. "Protestors" have been herrasing delegates (several have been punched). There is a movement to "shut it down" — encouraging people to call in sick during the convention such that there would be no service industry to take care of the delegates.
Don't think that's in poor taste?
What if during the DNC, some right wingers tried to "disrupt" the convention, went around punching delegates and in general tried to make themselves a nuisance.
We'd not like that very much. It would be examples of right wing hacks trying to cause trouble and deny the proper flow of politics in this country.
Similarly, the actions of the current protestors are in bad taste.
Coincidentally, I live within a few blocks of the convention (I am on 42nd st, right off of times sq) and my daily commute has not yet been affected much. The bus I usually take in the morning has been rerouted to 44th st from 42nd st, but overall, in the past 2 days I was delayed by about 10 minutes only on account of the convention.
You don't sound like a communist, just silly. You're expecting GM to be like "well we're making tons of money in the Finance dept but we make more cars than we can sell" and use that as a reason to hire more autoworkers?
I realize that some business models, like that of pseudo-communist China, treat labor as a fixed cost. But in our accounting model, labor costs are pretty closely tied to output.
The more cars GM can sell, the more people they will hire. And the other way around. The economy functions as a global system, which is the context of the need for job growth. Your last comment is like "They're silly, they should hire more people so that these people will have jobs and buy cars from them" which doesn't really work.
Hiya [name removed to protect the innocent]
The problem with your point of view is that the world is somewhat different from a highschool debate club. In the latter, your argument is perfect: if it is OK for the US to have nukes, then why is it not OK for Iran or North Korea? Call hypocrisy and be done with it.
In the real world, there are other considerations. Like, whether the world is a safer place (for me) with NK and Iran having nukes. And I don't see any reason why would be.
So while you aptly explain why a North Korean dictator should wish to poses nuclear armaments, you do not convince me that it is a good thing. I realize this line of reasoning may not seem fair to Kim Jung-Il, but to be honest I am not really interested in being considerate of his feelings. In fact, fuck him.
So while it may not be "fair," it makes perfect sense for those who have nukes to keep those who do not have them, from obtaining them. Ultimately, we recognize that nukes obtained by nations like NK and Iran are meant to influence us and our allies politically, if not downright attack us/them. So why let these countries gain the advantage?
I recognize how this is not "fair," but why should we let a questionable government get a weapon to use against us, in the interests of "fairness."
I don't really see any reason.