The iniquities of Dell

A reader writes in to tell me that based on my description, it is almost certain that my motherboard is dying – post warranty, of course. This is the second Dell laptop in a row in which the motherboard has croaked. The other one, fortunately, was still under warranty when it passed away. The good news is that I can start thinking about my next machine, which will certainly NOT be a Dell. Of all the things there were to be learned from the object lesson of the American auto manufacturers, why is it that planned obsolescence should be the one that they latched onto.

Muslims against Rod Dreher

“Muslims Against Defamation is calling for the immediated removal of known Islamophobe Rod Dreher from the staff of The Dallas Morning News. Rod Dreher is responsible for several articles painting the entire Muslim community as suspicious, a threat and anti-Semites. Rod Dreher is a direct threat to the safety of our community…. Your Muslim child’s safety is at stake!”

Somehow, I find it a little difficult to picture the mild-mannered former National Review editor kitting himself out like Duke Nukem and mowing down rows of burkha-clad women and children clutching trading cards of Yasser Arafat, Osama bin Laden and Sheihk Yassin.

Islam does not mean “peace”. It means “submission“. As in yours.

A man of honor

Jay Nordlinger declares that this letter from Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, a physician imprisoned by Fidel Castro, “deserves some kind of fame — or at least a modicum of attention.” I agree, even if I am myself no supporter of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which subsumes all human rights to the United Nations. (Dr. Biscet is serving 25 years for defending the declaration, though his real crime is opposing the socialist Cuban dictator.)

Cubans deserve freedom too. Let everyone who thinks that relations with the socialist dictatorship should be normalized read this first.

Free Biscet.

So this is World War III

The points Rumsfeld made include these: The US has no way to measure whether it is winning or losing the global war on terror; we have not made truly “bold moves” to fight terrorists and we are in for “a long, hard slog” in Iraq and Afghanistan. Pointing to Iraq’s al Qaeda-linked Ansar al Islam, Rumsfeld asked: “Are we capturing, killing or deterring and dissuading more terrorists every day than the madrassas and the clerics are recruiting, training and deploying?” Later, in a briefing to Washington Times staff, he called for a new agency to help fight “a war of ideas” against international terrorism. He suggested a “21st –century information agency in the government” to help in the international battle of ideas, to limit the teaching of terrorism and extremism and to provide better education.” However, in his memo, he said private organizations could counter Islamist “radical madrassas.”

Clearly, the defense secretary is convinced that the war on terror cannot be won by military victories alone and wants more emphasis on the struggle for hearts and minds. Fighters and defense officials, says Rumsfeld, must start asking themselves: “Are there things we aren’t doing that we might be doing?”

I don’t always agree with the Defense Secretary, but he’s certainly got a mind of some magnitude and his thinking is always worthy of due respect. As usual, the press is focusing on irrelevant trivialities from the leaked memo, but there are some interesting points revealed here. First, it’s pretty clear that the whole “war on terror” and “Islam means peace” line is simply pacification cover for the idiot press and public. You aren’t concerned about madrassas – Islamic academies – and memes if you don’t view the war as a long-term clash between civilizations, or as the Islamists put it, the inevitable conflict between the Dar al-Islam and the Dar al-Harb. Also, his mention of the need for private organizations rightly recognizes that government can only accomplish so much in terms of winning a war of ideas and implicitly recognizes – I suspect – that Christian missionaries and aid societies can accomplish more in Iraq at this point than the USMC. Finally, it’s both true and intriguing that Rumsfeld does not consider successfully invading Afghanistan and Iraq to be bold moves…. though perhaps ending the Saudi, Palestinian and Iranian threats would be.

I dislike that our government is still hiding the true nature of this revival of war between Islam and the West, I reject the notion that a new propaganda agency will solve anything and I very much distrust the government’s ability to resist the temptation to further assault American liberties while using the war as an excuse. But until our Islamic enemies are willing to declare a real peace with their Christian, atheist and Hindu foes, it’s still somewhat of a relief to know that those running the show aren’t quite as clueless as they are somehow determined to make themselves appear to be.

Dogs and light bulbs

Yeah, this sort of circular email is only one half-step up from Spam, but some of these were pretty funny and it will amuse a certain pretty blonde girl to see them here. How many dogs does it take to change a light bulb?

Golden Retriever: The sun is shining, the day is young, we’ve got our whole lives ahead of us, and you’re inside worrying about a stupid burned-out bulb?

Border Collie: Just one. And then I’ll replace any wiring that’s not up to code.

Rottweiler: Make me.

German Shepherd: I’ll change it as soon as I’ve led these people from the dark, check to make sure I haven’t missed any, and make just one more perimeter patrol to see that no one has tried to take advantage of the situation.

Greyhound: It isn’t moving. Who cares?

Poodle: I’ll just blow in the Border Collie’s ear and he’ll do it. By the time he finishes rewiring the house, my nails will be dry.

Ridgeback: I’ll bark at the next delivery guy. He’ll change it. After he changes his underwear.

Vizsla: Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.

Beagle: WHAT? THE LIGHT BULB NEEDS TO BE CHANGED?? HEY! HEY! THE LIGHT BULB NEEDS TO BE CHANGED! WOWOOOO, WOWOO! SOMEBODY BETTER CHANGE THE LIGHTBULB!!

Cat: “Dogs do not change light bulbs. People change light bulbs. So, the real question is: How long will it be before I can expect some light, some dinner, and a massage?”

Rush was right – Week IV

The Eagles squeaked out another win, moving them to within one game of the NFC East-leading Cowboys. One could argue that McNabb is finding ways to win, though of course even winning a Super Bowl that way wasn’t enough for Trent Dilfer to keep his job. Nor is a quarterback usually anointed a superstar because his team wins a few low-scoring games against mediocre opposition.

CMP ATT PCT YDS AVG TD INT RTG

108 213 50.7 995 4.7 3 7 54.8

At least he’s got his completion rating up over fifty percent again after last week’s 17/23 performance. I’d hardly characterize a 141-yard, 1-TD, 1-INT performance as “McNabb Outduels Pennington“, though.

28th in Yards Passing. 34th in Touchdowns. Tied for 12th in Interceptions. Off the charts – below 35th – in Completion Percentage, Yards per Attempt and Quarterback Rating. This is well below quarterbacks who have lost their job this season, such as Mark Brunell and Tim Couch. Of course, we’re still waiting to hear the sportswriting community confess that Rush was right about McNabb being overrated.

Dell-iberations

Three of the four laptops I’ve owned are Dell machines. I’m not sure how I feel about them anymore, though. I was just considered moving from 256 megs of memory to 512, now that Linux will prevent my current Latitude from becoming hopelessly outdated in another year or two, when I had a chilling reminder of a past problem with my other Dell. I’ve experienced:

1. Broken clamshell holder – old machine, gave it away

2. Broken Delete key – keyboard replaced under warranty

3. Broken PCMCIA socket – replaced under warranty

4. Broken USB socket – didn’t even know this was possible, still broken

5. I, K and , keys didn’t work this morning. A hard boot seems to have taken care of this, but I’m nervous. It’s hard to write without any letter in the alphabet, but partcularly hard wthout one of the fve vowels. Just kddng!

Still, these are not problems that I’d expect, considering that I seldom move my laptop and have never treated it roughly. And when I consider that Dell gives you your choice of which flavor of XP you want pre-installed, I’m not as sure as I once was that my next laptop will be a Dell.