Archive for April, 2002:

Middle East Peace

Neither Yassar Arafat nor Ariel Sharon want peace. It’s that simple. Neither of them will be happy until they’ve completely crushed the other. There is nothing we can do about it. We need to just forget about going after Iraq until they are thrown out by their people or die. The only thing I can think of that might help is to urge the UN to refuse to recognize either as a nation until they get their act together, but that would never work, for many reasons.

If neither combatant can remember why they are fighting, or who started the fight, it might be time for them to stop for a minute and figure out why they want to continue. Somebody needs to send Sharon and Arafat copies of Gulliver’s Travels and The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, and maybe The Giving Tree just for a goof.

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The US Flag is Not a Fad

This has been pissing me off since September, and I just have to vent somewhere.

The US flag is not a fad. You should fly a flag because you’re proud of this country, what it represents, and who sacrifices for it. You shouldn’t put a flag on your car just because all your friends have one, or because it’s the cool thing to do.

The flag represents the sacrifices and the hard work of the people that came before you–disrespecting it means disrespecting them, so learn how to display it properly. The blue field always goes in the upper left, whether it’s hanging vertically or horizontally. Do not roll the flag around the pole, or bunch it up (unless it’s a bunting). Do not fly it at night unless it is well lit. Take it down in the rain. Don’t let it touch the ground. Fold it properly when you store it. If it gets tattered, learn how to retire it respectfully by a solemn burning or burial.

Flying the flag is meaningless unless you understand and respect what it stands for.

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My parents finally sold their house and are moving to Missouri. It’s just weird.

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Social Cycles

It occurs to me that societies go through a cycle.

First they are fairly nomadic and aggressive in nature, expanding by conquest and subjugation. Then when they have a bit of land, people start settling it, which leads to agriculture, then a division of labor that allows people to spend more time on intellectual pursuits. Now that the society is making more efficient use of it’s land, it has less need for conquest. Because the society is becoming more intellectual it has less desire for conquest. There is an inevitable shift of energy away from aggression towards more peaceful advancement of the society, leading to a golden age. The golden age declines when the society becomes spoiled by it’s advancement and loses touch with the reality of it’s lifestyle. Then it is conquered by an aggressive society.

That’s how I see it from where I’m sitting anyway.

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Oil is Finite

I don’t know how to spell Anwar, so let me apologize in advance.

Does anyone else see the oil under Anwar as a last ditch reserve? People seem to forget that oil is not only used for cars and electricity. All plastic, some medicines, and many other chemical processes depend on crude oil. Why do people want to burn through all the oil we have in the least efficient way we know? Would it not be better to redirect the effort we spend on finding more oil into making our use of it more efficiently? Then, we would make the new oil we find last a lot longer. I think this is the only real solution.

Oil is finite. I don’t know why we don’t treat it that way. I guess abundance is just our culture. There is always a seemingly endless supply of almost everything; it is hard for us to imagine that something we depend upon so heavily will eventually expire.

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