Friday, August 26, 2005

Newt, Hillary, and Intel?

First Newt joined her heinous in proposing better security for health care records and increased IT compatability in the medical industry.

Now Intel has jumped on the bandwagon.

Of course, as Medical IT is my bread and butter, I am ecstatic.
However, I am quite concerned about the reliability and security of the proposed systems. Moreover the whole strategy remains flawed.
Technology will not fix poor record keeping. It will only add a layer of complexity.
The systems will only be as good as the Doctors, Nurses, and Secretaries allow. Since this combination is failing now, adding computers will no more improve medicine than it has public school education.
I will not tell you how many doctors can diagnose diseases without lenghty tests, but lack the common sense to delete emails that read "You have 1 the Albanian 10TT0".

While there are some wonderful computer programs, these only work when implimented as part of a larger set of management and patient-doctor-nurse-secretary communications. Moreover, any set of changes must also be easy enough to be consistantly practiced, especially in emergencies.

PS. I still preffer AMD.

The anti-War Red-Green-Brown Alliance.

Neo-Nazis have joined their allies in the War on the War on Islamist Terrorism by standing in Solidarity with Mother Sheehan.
I'm sure this won't bother the Isolationist Conservatives who claim merely to be anti-Zionists.

The other Aryan Fuhrer outlines his Struggle
Newly "elected" Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has a plan.
The former leader of the Revolutionary Guards, standing against the West and Democracy, sees a multi-polar world, with the Islamic world led by Iran.

Michael Graham's new gig

Now that CAIR has managed to cow ABC-Disney into firing him, Michael Graham has been picked up by my Freeper friends at
Moreover, his daily show will be streamed for replay and ipoding 24/7.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Perhaps our enemies will simply wait us out this time

VJ Day + 60
Today marks the 60th anniversary of the informal end of hostilities in World War II.
As hid from the oppressive heat and thunderstorms of this mid-August day by watching TV, I was struck by the lack of coverage of anniversary. Outside of a few mentions on TV News, there was little coverage. The only relief came from the History channel, which replayed a wonderful documentary "The Last Mission", a special live program from the USS Intrepid, a repeat of last weeks appalling documentary on Hiroshima, and, sadly, episode one of "Band of Brothers".

The showing of Band of Brothers was ill timed, only because the 101st airborne Division served gallantly in Europe, not the Pacific. The lack of a similarly powerful series on the war against Japan says much of our politically correct times. Until this year, the recent movies on this theater were horrendous. "Wind Talkers" was a touching movie, which was marred by the theme of the betrayal. The Navajo code talkers were betrayed by the Marines, who were supposedly ordered to kill them, rather than allow them to fall into enemy hands and the Marines, in general, were betrayed by their rear-guard officers. The "Thin Red Line" supposedly a complex drama about fear in battle, justified desertion. Pearl Harbor was an insipid display of poorly planned special effects and worse writing.

Fortunately, I did see a wonderful movie about the Pacific War. Last night, I ignored the reviews and went to a showing of "The Great Raid". This was an uplifting tale of bravery honor and sacrifice, which vividly portrayed some of the war crimes and depraved behavior of the Japanese towards American and Filipino soldiers and civilians.
Given the political climate in Hollywood, which is set on releasing near treasonous movies like "Syriana", I was surprised to see execution of "The Great Raid".

I wish that more Americans would see this film. According to Exhibitor Relations, which track box office sales, "The Great Raid" took in a mere 3.4 million. To put this in perspective, the sophomoric scifi gore-fest "Alien vs Predator, made 11 times as much last year and this weekend the sequel to "Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigalo" made 9.4 million.
Half of the audience for "The Great Raid" was over 50. It seems that generations X and Y have no problem with blood, but have been deprived of a sense of honor and respect. Worse, the American populace as a whole, seems to have been worn down by two and half years of fighting in Iraq.

10th of Av, mourning continues
At 5:05PM tonight, I was moved to tears at the expected announcement of the forced evacuation of Gaza. The site of the IDF preparing to uproot Jewish communities located in part of the land God gave to Israel was more than I could tolerate. I am not a particularly observant Jew. Nevertheless, I remember that the Day of Mourning, Tisha B'Av (Ninth of Av) actually lasts until noon the following day. Thus, it is not until Monday afternoon that Orthodox Jews end the rituals. To have an operation begin, at a time that symbolizes both the continued burning of the Second Temple and the continued spiritual exile, was an insult no government of a Jewish State should ever have even considered.
The current leadership of Israel has less faith than the generation of Israelites, who were cursed to die in the desert after they lost faith and refused to conquer Canaan.
Israel won 4 wars and numerous small campaigns against larger Arab armies, but the hero of the 1973 retaking of the Sinai cowers at a re-arming Hamas, a left wing media, and the vacillating rhetoric of the Bush administration. The plan was to hand over Gaza to the Palestinian Authority after Hamas had been disarmed. Instead, Hamas is openly arming and Israel still trades land for no peace.

For its sorry part, the Bush administration, hoping to appease Eurabia has pressured Israel into creating a new enclave for a sister organization to Al Qaida, Hamas- Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Meanwhile we sit back and make empty promises of a possible "military option" against Iran, while we have no public plan to win in Iraq, other than to hope that the Iraqis do it for us.

The Muslims conquered the Persian and Byzantine Empires over 800 years. They outwaited the Crusaders. They laid seeds of dissent and betrayal in smaller kingdoms dooming attempts to survive the waves of Jihad. The West may be rich and technologically superior, but we are decadent and historically ignorant. If the yoke of dhimmitude falls on future generations, it is because we lacked resolve today.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

My comments on Tom Tancredo’s extension of MAD to the War on Islamist Terror gets Blogged

Two weeks ago Lawrence Auster celebrated the now infamous comments by Tom Tancredo suggesting that we may bomb Mecca in response to nuclear attacks on the homeland. PBS Watch posted a blog entry on my off-the-cuff response to Auster’s optimistic perspective.

I apologize for the belated response.
My original comments, when addressed, will be in a bullet.
PBS Watch comments will be italicized.

  • Does MAD work with Islamists? I'm not sure that they would believe that a President Tancredo would nuke Mecca.
“Credibility is essential to MAD doctrine. A President Tancredo implies a President who has been through a campaign, which thoroughly airs this issue. If he or someone espousing a similar doctrine were to be elected, the Islamic world would be forced to believe he would act in accordance with the doctrine. This is absolutely crucial. If the threat is credible, it never need be made good. If not, it is a huge incitement.”

Essentially, everything rests on credibility. The sad fact is that many Republicans have made campaign promises and proposals that buoyed conservatives and enraged both liberals and enemies of the US, only to cave once in office. Eisenhower is remembered more for undermining the last vestiges of the British and French empires than for stopping communist expansion. Nixon, whose saving grace was anti-communism, went to China and undermined Taiwan. President Reagan’s tenure was marred by the Arms for Hostages scandal. President George HW Bush signed over part of Alaska to the USSR in 1990. There are powerful liberal, internationalist, and fifth column institutions undermining us in the War on Islamist Terror. All of these are attacking Tancredo now and the drum beat would only get louder. The Arab states may well intervene politically and economically by playing a small part of the oil-card, by having OPEC switch from US Dollars to Euro Dollars as the currency of exchange for oil transfers.

MAD with Muslims also means that we must convince not only corrupt Gulf princes and North African dictators, but also the Mullahs in Iran and the Jihadists.

I like Tom Tancredo, but he has broken campaign promises in the past, such as his term-limit pledge. This may make him seem indecisive.

  • Moreover,how much would this comment help in recruiting more terrorists willing to do everything but use a WMD on us?

The terrorists would not only have to know amongst themselves that they were not going to use WMD, but they would also have to convince their friends, family, associates, governments, etc. that they did not pose a WMD threat. A rational person would not be willing to give them that leeway. Either way, it is victory if we take WMD off the terrorist option list.

Assuming that terrorists are bound by the rules MAD, we need only worry about non-nuclear risks. Unfortunately, we remain far too unprepared for other scenarios. Al Qaeda likes bold statements.

  • What would the result of bombing Mecca, Media, and/or Qom?
    Would it shatter the faith of Muslims or lead to a new militancy? (I hate to bring this up, but Jerusalem was destroyed in 69CE, but Jews rebelled against Rome in 117, 135, and 617CE.)

This is another argument against the Tancredo tit-for-tat exchange. It is a moot point in the overwhelming response scenario. [side note -- spare me the PC CE's, A.D. suits me fine]

Your solution of nuking all Muslim countries due to an attack by one or by a terrorist group affiliated with one is disproportional. Not only would innocent Muslims die by the hundreds of millions, but we would irradiate the entire region, hurting allies.

It would also mean further attacks on the US. Turkey is a member of NATO and the UK and France would be obligated to respond in kind. Likewise, Russia would be obligated to respond to an attack on Kazakhstan. India, which sits between Pakistan and Bangladesh would be none to pleased, even if we did solve the Kashmiri problem.

[Side note: I use the term “Common Era” as I believe that Jesus of Nazareth was neither the Messiah, nor son of God. As a Jew, I await the Messiah and pray to the one God. Were I to use BC or AD, I would have to be disingenuous.]

  • If multiple U.S. cities where bombed, we would be weakened and dependant on European and Japanese support. Were we to nuke Mecca or Medina, the entire Muslim world would declare war on the U.S., sell off its U.S. currency reserves, and suspend oil sales. At what point would Europe and Japan be neutralized?

Again an argument against tit-for-tat but moot in the total destruction response strategy. Clearly there would be huge global economic dislocation in either scenario, but in the latter case the analysis proceeds on the assumption of no Islamic players. Third parties may be key to this analysis. See the China comments below.

Did I forget to mention the issue of OIL, in my comments above? It still applies here. Light-sweet crude almost bubbles out of the Arabian Peninsula and the world runs on it. Oil funds jihad as well as the dabblings of Venezualan "President" Hugo Chavez in aiding communists in Columbia and Nicaragua. We must reduce our dependence on it.

Tancredo joined 274 other Congressman in passing the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which does little to reduce our dependence on Muslim energy sources.
I suppose that if more nuclear plants are built and energy from this source is used to create ethanol for fuel cells and gasoline additives, we will marginally reduce our dependence. However, given the direct threat, I believe that a crash programs on fuel cells and safer nuclear power are necessary. I believe that a tax on oil would be worth while. This cost could be offset by streamlining regulations on fuel composition by nationalizing environmental standards.

  • Unless Tancredo sees this, his response is still shallow. Sadly, it indicates a greater understanding of the threat than any statement by the other presumptive presidential candidates.

I can't comment on the level of analysis which Tancredo has done. I believe I read that he wanted to open a public dialogue on this topic. I certainly agree with that. It is sad that most of the blogosphere, let alone any known potential presidential candidate, finds this topic to be off limits.

A losing presidential candidate opens a public dialogue. (Buchanan and Perot did this in 1992.) A winning president has an agenda with clear solutions and defined principles.

This isn’t Littleton, Colorado and Tancredo is no longer just looking to be one of 535 members of Congress. He is toying with running to be the most powerful man on earth.

  • Cui bono; China. If I were the ChiComs, I might just launch nuclear tipped cruise missiles from an "Iranian" oil freighter, just to watch the West crumble. It's not like they care about human life or even their short term wealth.
The possibility of third party instigators is troublesome. Here again I think this point favors the all out response scenario over tit-for-tat. But careful analysis is needed of the capabilities and intentions of possible instigators, counter instigation strategies, our own ability to accurately determine the source of an attack, and the probabilities and penalties of mis-identification.

Since there is no way that we would ever take out the entire Muslim world, this is not an option.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Broadway Chutzpah
According to Page Six and the New York Post , gay actors Harvey Fierstien and Rosie O'Donnell will have the lead roles or Teyve and Goldie for the end of the fourth revival of the musical production of "Fiddler on the Roof". To have homosexual activists, one a gentile, play the best known fictional Orthodox Jewish couple may seem to be poor casting. However, this is far more insidious it is an attempt to appropriate or destroy the cultural impact of the only widely known theatrical piece on Shtetl life. Lenin and Hitler merely destroyed shtetls. David Leveaux, Harvey Fierstien, and the others involved wish to deconstruct their memory. It is an affront to Jewish heritage.
Of course, American Jews who stood by watching this historical revisionism and political correctness run amock in American society will probably embrace the cultural suicide in the name of tolerance.
I, for one, wretch at the thought of two normalizers of the practice of an abomination sing "Tradition".
Were I to remember any, I would probably translate a verbose Yiddish curse. However I believe that the purveyors of such filth should go back and read Isaiah chapter 5.

Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that change darkness into light, and light into darkness; that change bitter into sweet, and sweet into bitter!

IT in the cross hairs of lawyers
As a recovering former programmer and current techie, I feel obligated to pay attention to the effect of legislation, lawsuits, and proposed policies on the IT industry.

Today, The Committee to Fight Microsoft announced their intentions to sue Microsoft to prevent the release of the upcoming Windows Vista operating system.
Of course Microsoft has written horribly flawed software. (There are many Microsoft jokes that end with the punch-line - "It's not a bug; its a feature!" In the case of Word 4 for the Macintosh, this was an actual explanation from MS regarding printing issues.) Windows 3.1, Windows 95, and Windows 98/ME were consumer operating systems designed for ease of use connectivity, not security. Windows NT, and 2000 were designed for secured networked environments and Windows XP falls somewhere in the middle.
Operating systems are huge projects that take years to complete. The scale and complexity of such a project is hard for non-programmers to grasp. Imagine producing the Encyclopedia Britannica from scratch and insuring that the end results is equally legible for all dialects of English and be understood by those with a 4th grade education, while still valuable to graduate students.. Each major subject matter or theme would have to be farmed out to a different set of authors. Moreover, new and exciting content and methodology would be needed. consumers would demand both text and multi-media content. The style of all the articles would need to be similar, regardless of the subject matter. Finally, any spelling or grammatical errors, or faux pas would suddenly open the company up to punitive damages.
Aside from the actual scale of the project coders must make a flexible solution that can adapt or be updated to deal with new hardware or software, which may or may not be written properly. Finally, operating systems are under continuous attacks from hackers, crackers, worms and virus writers.
While some of these issues can be mitigated by better planning and a shift in focus from ease of use and interface changes to security, there is simply no way to build an operating system that does not need periodic updates any more than one can build a perfect anti-virus program.

While I emphathise with the complaints, an attempted injunction is ridiculous. That the "public interest" lawyer, Andy Martin, supposedly plans to run for governor of Illinois as a Republican is sad. Whatever happened to the free market?

At the same time, 13 Pennsylvania high school students are being charged with computer trespass for " bypassing security with school-issued laptops, downloading forbidden Internet goodies and using monitoring software to spy on district administrators."
How exactly are we to produce decent code-writers and techies if students are threatened with imprisonment for testing the boundaries of current systems or youthful experimentation. There was no cracking, violation of school records, or other malicious acts reported. Moreover, the students did not install spyware. Rather they first circumvented and then took over horribly mismanaged remote monitoring software.
They and other students downloaded IM software and even pornography. While this should not be done on school computers, the fact that the password for blocking software was easily identifiable and occasionally left in plain view, makes me wonder who the real criminal is.
Whoever set up the network, and the blocking software was either utterly inept or bound by s school polices that border on negligence. Were I to set up such an open network for a client, I would be fired for incompetence.
I would briefly discuss my youthful hijinx and how they set the basis for my current work, but I am unsure of statute of limitations for certain acts.

In an all too expected development, Google is being sued for the chronic administration problems with Google Adwords.
As a user of Google Adwords, Overture, and similar services, I am constantly annoyed with "over performance", where in I budget $50/day on a campaign, only to get clicks charges for $57. However, I have learned to budget in a 10% error in such services.

Of course, I can't complain about everything. Recent legislation mandating better security of patient records is both necessary and personally lucrative. Likewise, I am gleefully looking forward to President Bush's proposal that all patient records be available online.