MoonDawg's Den: June 2006

MoonDawg's Den

Friday, June 30, 2006

What the Net can bear...

This week Computerworld catches on to a story I blogged about way back in April, regarding a bird flu pandemic simulation conducted at this year's World Economic Forum in Switzerland - well, better late than never, I suppose. The simulation predicted that an overloaded Internet would shut down within days of the outbreak of a pandemic, thus eliminating telecommuting as an option for companies that intend to implement social distancing measures in response to a mass outbreak of the virus.

However the Computerworld article does provide some more good background info, and indicates that during a global outbreak of avian flu, the Net might hold up better than was predicted in the simulation:
"We don't believe that the Internet will be compromised within a matter of hours or days," said Brent Woodworth, worldwide manager for IBM's Crisis Response Team, which does consulting on disaster preparedness. "Most Internet traffic is reroutable, and as different areas are affected at different rates by a pandemic, the networks could anticipate increased traffic and adjust accordingly -- with the caveat that critical components will be maintained."
I hope Woodworth is right - many firms, including my own, rely on the Internet to serve our customers as well as conduct internal company functions. With the limits on movement that could be imposed by the government in response to a bird flu crisis, telecommuting via the Internet may be the only way many businesses can continue to maintain near-normal operations.

Without telecommuting a lot of companies would fail during a pandemic emergency, which could last weeks or even months. Hopefully we'll never have to find out just what the Net can bear...

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Big Vote in the Senate

This is an interesting and important issue

Confessions of a Mormon Liberal: Big Vote in the Senate

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

GARRY ADDS: I agree with Jeff that this is an important issue. How can we balance the obviously desirable goal of keeping access to all Internet content free, versus the need for the major Internet infrastructure providers to be fairly compensated for maintaining and upgrading their systems? Read Jeff's post linked above, and also read this article from Monday's Washington Post that gives a good overview of Net Neutrality.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The compassionate and tolerant Left

Last evening a local CBS station in Miami reported that talk show host Rush Limbaugh had been "detained at Palm Beach International Airport for the possession of illegal perscription drugs" and that he could "face a misdemeanor charge". As it turned out, Limbaugh, who was returning to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic, had a bottle of prescription Viagra that his doctor had put his own name rather than Limbaugh's on the prescription label, "for privacy purposes".

Limbaugh has often been vilified by liberals for engaging in so-called "hate speech" on his show (the best I've been able to figure out, any time logic and fact are applied in critical analysis of an issue it constitutes "hate speech" for lefties). As well all know, liberals are a compassionate and tolerant lot, above engaging in any sort of "hate speech".

Er, well no, actually. Check out the reaction to last night's Limbaugh story from the Left side of the blogosphere:

Do I wish too much for a little cooler time for Pigboy? You betcha!

...what kind of human-animal hybrid is willing to have sex with the Oxycontin Kid? looks like Roy Black is going to earn himself another boatload of Blimpo's money.

I wonder if the inmates will find his fat head sexy?

Funny, I thought you needed a dick to take Viagra. the hell is that fat, impotent bastard getting laid and I'm not?

... "human being" as vile as OxyBaugh needs Viagra just to jerk himself off.

Bloated Drug-Abusing Racist's Junk Don't Work

Fat, useless, bigmouth, junkie, Rush Limbaugh got nabbed by airport security

Notice that most of the these bloggers invoke Rush's weight in their diatribes - i.e., they judge a person for their appearance, something I thought "tolerant" liberals would never do. Such is the intellectual level of their discourse - schoolyard "nyaahh nyaahh, fatty fatty" name-calling. The Anchoress nails it:

We’ll have to endure the usual suspects basically acting like 5 year-olds sitting around the table saying “poopyhead” and imagining that they’re terribly funny, while they laugh and drip and dribble, and we roll our eyes and wipe up their wee spills.

Indeed. Just remember this episode the next time that liberals try to decry conservatives for "hate speech". If conservatives engage in "hate speech", at least it is not on such an infantile level as this.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Pushing the envelope - then folding, spindling, mutilating, and tearing that sucker to pieces

The folks at IBM and the North Avenue Trade School have announced a remarkable advancement in computer chip technology, getting a cryogenically frozen silicon-germanium chip to run at 500GHz, about 250 times faster than chips used in most cell phones and home computers. Sure, home air conditioners typically don't have a thermostat setting for minus 451 degrees, but even at room temperature "the IBM-Georgia Tech chip operates at 350GHz, or 350 billion cycles per second", which is still insanely faster than today's processors.

We could see the faster chip in commercial products in as little as a year. What's even more remarkable is that researchers may be able to push the envelope of processor speed much farther than even 500GHz. As a technology consultant in Portland said of the achievement:
"There's been talk that we've started to hit the physical limitations of chip performance," he said. "The news here is that we're not coming anywhere near the end in what processors are capable of."

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

"locked and loaded" in the Big Easy

The city of New Orleans has requested that 300 National Guard troops be deployed there to help combat an increase in violent crime. On Saturday a "slaughter" took place in New Orleans, with five teenagers killed by gunfire as they drove their SUV through the Central City area. Just this morning the city suffered its 54th murder of 2006, when a 22 year-old man was gunned down inside an apartment.

According to the New Orleans police superintendent, the NG troops being deployed will have arrest powers and authorization to use deadly force:
"They will be armed, locked and loaded and prepared," he said.
When President Bush announced that a few thousand NG troops were being sent to help support border enforcement, some liberals cried that the President was "militarizing" the border - even though those troopers are being deployed without any arrest powers. Will these same people decry the "militarizing" of Bourbon Street?

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin notes the the "total silence of civil liberties Chicken Littles who would be screaming 'police state!' if Nagin were white and he and Blanco were Republicans sending convoys of armed military police officers into any other city in the country."

Thursday, June 15, 2006

How Nations Die

Mark Steyn wrote about the Toronto terror plot in Maclean's this week, and - as always - he is dead on the money. He discusses the "Islamoschmoozing" that followed the arrests of the Muslim extremists in Toronto, such as the oh-so-politically-correct statement from a Canadian Security Intelligence Service official who said "it is important to know that this operation in no way reflects negatively on any specific community, or ethnocultural group in Canada." Such is the mindset of multiculturalists:

The multicultural society posits that each of its citizens can hold a complementary portfolio of identities: one can simultaneously be Canadian and Jamaican and gay and Anglican and all these identities can exist within your corporeal form in perfect harmony. But, for most Western Muslims, Islam is their primary identity, and for a significant number thereof, it's a primary identity that exists in opposition to all others. That's merely stating the obvious. But, of course, to state the obvious is unacceptable these days, so our leaders prefer to state the absurd. I believe the old definition of a nanosecond was the gap between a New York traffic light changing to green and the first honk of a driver behind you. Today, the definition of a nanosecond is the gap between a Western terrorist incident and the press release of a Muslim lobby group warning of an impending outbreak of Islamophobia.

This Islamoschmoozing is not just idiotic, it is downright dangerous in the context of confronting an enemy who will not - cannot - be placated (emphasis mine):

The best summation is a line I first quoted in 2002, when a French oil tanker was attacked off the coast of Yemen. Back then, you'll recall, the French foreign minister was deploring American "simplisme" on a daily basis, and M. Chirac was the principal obstructionist of the neo-con-Zionist-Halliburton plan to remake the Middle East. If you were to pick only one Western nation not to blow up the oil tankers of, France would surely be it.

But they got blown up anyway. And afterwards a spokesman for the Islamic Army of Aden said, "We would have preferred to hit a U.S. frigate, but no problem because they are all infidels."

Such is the Islamofacist mindset. Feckless appeasement will not work with this enemy - they have plainly and repeatedly stated their goals, and will not stop until they have achieved them - or until democratic nations forcefully confront their ideology and smash their organizations. But if the leaders of those nations are willfully blind to the threat? That, Steyn says, is "how nations die -- not by war or conquest, but by a thousand trivial concessions".

Friday, June 09, 2006

Prison Break

The Ayatollah Hossein Khomeini, the grandson of Ruhollah Al Khomeini - yes, that Khomeini - said in an interview last week that Iran "would be powerful if freedom and a democratic society were being developed there, rather than weapons and the bomb." Others in Iran aren't happy about the country's nuclear ambitions either, if the recent rioting by university students against the nuclear program is any indiciation.

Moreover, Khomeini is calling for President Bush to stage a big bust-out (emphasis mine):

About his call for U.S President George W. Bush to occupy Iran, Hossein Khomeini clarified: "freedom should be promoted in Iran in any way possible, and it is irrelevant whether this freedom comes as the result of domestic or foreign developments. If I were imprisoned, what does it matter? It is in my interests that someone come and break me out of that prison."
Sheesh, doesn't Ayatollah Grandkid know that Bush is only after oil, oil, oil, and not freedom & democracy?

Meanwhile, the Iranian government continues to thumb its nose at the UN, brazenly admitting what the IAEA had recently said it suspected - that Iran is accelerating its uranium enrichment program, and is "pursuing a plan to have a 3,000-centrifuge cascade" in operation soon. But Iranians shouldn't hold their breath waiting for the big prison break to happen - on the contrary, some say it's back-to-the-future time, and we are replaying 1994 all over again.

Tip o' the hat: Instapundit

Thursday, June 08, 2006

RIP, you SOB

This morning brings us the great news that the butcher Abu Musab al Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, was killed in a US airstrike against a not-so-safe house in Baquba. Apparently Jordanian agents assisted in locating him (Zarqawi himself is - was - Jordanian). The leftist media, of course, wasted no time in trying to put a bad spin on this wonderful development. The citizens of Iraq have a different take on Zarqawi's demise, however, as "Joy filled Baghdad's hot streets".

Getty Images caption - Baghdad, IRAQ: Iraqis dance with soldiers in Baghdad after hearing Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki announcing 08 June 2006 the death of al-Qaeda leader in Iraq Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Nuri said Zarqawi "has been eliminated," in a combined US-Iraqi raid north of the restive city of Baquba, southeast of Baghdad. AFP PHOTO/KARIM SAHIB (Photo credit should read KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Evil in the Peach State

Authorities are revealing more about last week's arrest of a terror cell in Toronto, saying that the 17 men arrested planned to destroy a major Toronto building or buildings (they were caught with an "astonishing and startling amount" of ammonium nitrate, three tons worth) and open fire on crowds in a public venue. What has also been revealed is that two radical Islamists from Georgia, Syed Haris Ahmed (a student at Ga. Tech) and Ehsanul Islam Sadequee, traveled to Canada and met with members of the Toronto cell to discuss possible targets in the United States:

The Americans' meetings in Toronto bolstered intelligence that Canadian authorities had gathered on the Toronto group and played a key role in the arrest of two members of the Toronto group in August as they tried to enter Canada through the Peace Bridge with three loaded handguns, a law enforcement source said Monday.
This is not the first time Georgia has had a connection to terrorism; in early 2001 two of the 9/11 hijackers - including the terror ringleader, Mohammed Atta - did some of their flight training at a private airport in north Georgia not far from where I live and work. It's hard to imagine such evil being in your own backyard - this ain't the slums of Sudan or the hinterlands of Afghanistan - it's Jaw-juh, for crying out loud.

UPDATE: More info about the Toronto cell's terror plans was disclosed today at a court hearing for the suspects:
Spectators and family members of some of the 17 Muslim men accused of plotting terror attacks in Canada were stunned Tuesday when they heard allegations of plans to storm Parliament, take hostages and behead the prime minister.

Friday, June 02, 2006

A word about the media...

I've wanted to write a post about the media for some time now, but I've been putting it off. Plus, I've been so extremely busy with end-of-the-school-year activities that I haven't had a moment to breath.

Anyway, the media is often accused of having a bias. Liberals scream about a conservative bias, bashing FOX News as if it were Satan's little helper, and conservatives yell about the liberal media with their traitorous and anti-American rhetoric. I have a much different idea about the American media.

In my opinion, the media in this country does have a bias--GREED! Media outlets in this country are run by large companies whose main concern isn't fair reporting--it's better than fair profit margins. Media outlets want to make money. They want people to buy their product--ie. read, watch, or listen to the news--and they want people to ignore the competition. Therefore, what do you see on the news? You see things that sell: sex, violence, scandal, corruption, hatred, abuse, feel-good stories, lottery winners, etc.

I'll give you a perfect example. Garry just had a blog post about the Dixie Chicks running their mouths off to sell records. That's a nice subject for the blogs--music fans should know what their favorite musicians think and feel and should judge them accordingly. However, it isn't news worthy. It isn't a story that affects our lives at all, really. I don't like the Dixie Chicks much, but it's not because of their politics. Besides, I don't need CNN or The New York Times telling me that I should or should not listen to them anyway. I'm a grown-up, and I can make that decision myself.

So, why were the Chicks in the news? Scandal. Scandal sells. People tune in to watch it. They don't care about the subtle nuances of the immigration debate or the fine print in the Patriot Act. The public processes things in small sound bites, and that's what the media gives them. Is it because they are conservative or liberal? No, it's because they are greedy. Period.


Thursday, June 01, 2006

And the winds fell upon them...

The last time a major (Category 3 or higher) hurricane hit Georgia was over a century ago in 1893, when the "Sea Islands Hurricane" smashed into coastal Georgia near Savannah with a 16-foot storm surge and at least 120mph winds. The storm then moved up into South Carolina and left parts of Charleston under as much as ten feet of water. Thousands were left dead and homeless by the hurricane, according to an 1894 article in Scribner's Magazine:
Savannah was more directly in the path of the storm, and the Sea Islands, that lie between that city and Charleston, were exposed to the full fury of the tempest. And the winds fell upon them as if trying to tear the earth asunder, and the rains beat upon them as if to wash them away, and the tide rose and swept over them twelve feet above high-water mark. Pitiable as the story is, it may be condensed into a few words: near three thousand people drowned, between twenty and thirty thousand human beings without means of subsistence, their homes destroyed, their little crops ruined, and their boats blown away.
Unfortunately, Georgia is long overdue for a repeat of the above cataclysm. Certainly today's technology and infrastructure will permit coastal Georgia to better prepare for such an event, but one wonders if a century of good luck will lull area residents into complacency. Such a thing is hard to imagine after a disaster like a Katrina happens, but one never knows.

The Weather Research Center's Orbital Cyclone Strike Index predicts a 90% chance of Georgia and the Carolinas experiencing a tropical storm or hurricane landfall during the 2006 season, which begins today. Georgians (and everyone else on the Gulf Coast and the Eastern Seaboard) should start preparing now.