A War Without End?

Category: Thoughts_, Randoms_
I was over at my friend Beau’s blog yesterday, and he was talking about a post from a guy named Bob Parks, who has a blog called Black and Right. The blog post was called “War Without End“, and in essence it exposes the differences between the ‘liberal’ and the ‘conservative’ points of view on the war on terror:

I do know that it’s true that if you wanted to reduce terrorism, you could — if that were your sole purpose, abort every Muslim extremist in this world, and your terrorism rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your terror rate would go down. So these far-out, far-reaching, extensive extrapolations are, I think, tricky.

Couldn’t resist….

Obviously, to the sheer denial of the left, sitting down and talking with them won’t work. We’ve all witnessed “the word” of terrorists in Israel. Every time the Israelis came to some kind of truce, cease fire, “peace”, the Palestinians would send in another suicide bomber, set off another car bomb, or launch a few mortars into the most densely populated areas possible. So as much as there liberals who think a nice chit chat would smooth things out, are there any volunteers?

Read the article. And then answer me this: If the military was ‘unencumbered’ by the media, and therefore allowed to ‘do what needs to be done’ without any (American) cameras watching, will that really win this war? I don’t think so. Our military will not have to be burdened with the conscience of the country when they kill, mutilate and torture terrorists. I don’t want to win a war that way. I don’t even care to ‘win’ this war at all. All I want is for the terrorists to no longer have the reasons or the ability to do what they do. Does that mean that if someone shoots as us, we try to kill them? Is that our only solution? Surely we, as a human race, can think of a better way to deal with fringe elements than gradual, partial, extermination until they (whoever they are) give up (which will never happen). We cannot march into their country and take over – they have no borders. We cannot kill their leaders – another will always take their place. So the only solution left to a military armed with guns and WMDs is to use them. This is an enemy that will not back down, will not surrender, will not go away unless you exterminate them. Are we prepared as a country – as a world – to live with that?

Category: Thoughts

Consider this:

This is a list of benefits that committed gay and lesbian couples do not enjoy, and may never enjoy, because of the legacy of the Bush administration:

State-Granted Legal Marriage Rights
(these may vary somewhat from state to state, but on the whole are fairly accurate):

Assumption of Spouse’s Pension
Automatic Inheritance
Automatic Housing Lease Transfer
Bereavement Leave
Burial Determination
Child Custody
Crime Victim’s Recovery Benefits
Divorce Protections
Domestic Violence Protection
Exemption from Property Tax on Partner’s Death
Immunity from Testifying Against Spouse
Insurance Breaks
Joint Adoption and Foster Care
Joint Bankruptcy
Joint Parenting (Insurance Coverage, School Records)
Medical Decisions on Behalf of Partner
Certain Property Rights
Reduced Rate Memberships
Sick Leave to Care for Partner
Visitation of Partner’s Children
Visitation of Partner in Hospital or Prison
Wrongful Death (Loss of Consort) Benefits

Federally-Granted Legal Marriage Rights
Access to Military Stores
Assumption of Spouse’s Pension
Bereavement Leave
Insurance Breaks
Medical Decisions on Behalf of Partner
Sick Leave to Care for Partner
Social Security Survivor Benefits
Sick Leave to Care for Partner
Tax Breaks
Veteran’s Discounts
Visitation of Partner in Hospital or Prison

There. That is what the “Defense of Marriage”, both Federal and state, is keeping from honest, hard working American families. This is not about my opinion vs. another’s opinion. This is about directly impeding my and my friends, colleagues and hundreds of thousands of others’ rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This is not some intangible concept. This is my life. And that is why my teeth clench every time I see a Bush sticker. It’s been made perfectly clear that Bush and his pundits hate me and my friends and loved ones…or at least think I’m sorely misguided. And yet, I am not the one who sent our sons and daughters to the sands of Iraq on shaky, and based on the Downing Street Memos , fairly trumped up reasons. No, I am just another one of ‘those’ people. Those people who go to work every day, do a good job, come home to their love and best friend, weed the garden, walk the dog and chat with thier neighbors. Yep…My quiet little happiness is a huge threat to the ‘institute of marriage’.

To quote Senator Barbara Boxer, (D) California:

But I think, when we do this, we do lose something. I think we lose our soul.
That is what you lose when you scapegoat a group of people, a whole group of
people who have never even asked us to legalize gay marriage. Scapegoating is
ugly. History has seen it too many times. You know that and I know that. Groups
of people who are different are identified. It becomes ‘we’ versus ‘them.’ Their
identity as individuals is lost and they become faceless. Special rules are
written for them. They are singled out as a group. Read the history books, my
colleagues. You will find it there. We are all Americans in this country,
regardless of our differences. We are Americans first. We are God’s children,
all of us, regardless of our differences. Why do we need to craft a piece of
legislation designed to hurt our fellow Americans when there is absolutely no
need to do it?

And finally:

Bible Notes on Marriage

Marriage shall consist of a union between one man and one or more women.
Genesis 29:17-28

Marriage shall not impede a man’s right to take concubines in addition to his wife or wives.
II Samuel 5:13 and II Chronicles 11:13

Marriage is considered valid only if the the wife is a virgin. If she is not a virgin, she shall be executed.
Deuteronomy 22:13

Marriage between a believer and non-believer is forbidden.
Genesis 24:3

Since there is no law that can change things, divorce is not possible.
Genesis 38:6-10

If a married man dies, his brother must marry his sister-in-law.
Deuteronomy 25:5-10

Perhaps we’re taking Homeland Security a *bit* too far…

I was recently cruising the ‘net in search of random Sharepoint ideas. I’d been tasked with finding solutions to a variety of customization and web part development issues, and was theoretically looking for a good map of the object model. I came across Jan Tielens’ blog, who has some really great tips and ideas relating to Sharepoint. Not suprising, since he’s an MVP for SPS, but I digress. One of the solutions he and his pals have dreamed up is the SmartPart, a web part that will host any user control. The great thing about the SmartPart is that now you can use all the VS.NET designer tools for developing web parts, instead of having to code all the visual elements by hand. Great! Here comes the problem though: Jan is a ‘foreign national’ (From Belgium too, my mother would be so proud). I work for a government agency. Soooo…we can’t use any products created outside the US.

Say what?? But this guy is endorsed my Microsoft? An MVP!! And this SmartPart was voted the favorite web part of 2004!

Whatever. How lame is that?

Category: Tech