Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Off Topic

Dems Iraq strategy. Suburban spread. Sitemeter.

  1. What needs to be done in/about Iraq?
  2. What do you think Hillary would do about Iraq if she were president right now?
  3. What should the Democrats be saying about their strategy for Iraq?
My answers:
  1. Form a coalition with the stable Middle East nations and the NATO members to (occupy and) stabilize the country (am I in the ballpark?).
  2. No idea.
  3. We’ve laid out a dynamic exit strategy based on shifting contingencies. We don’t want to repeat mistakes. It’s about listening to the experts and being prepared for surprises. If Iraq were an accident victim in the ER, we’d first stop the bleeding, we’d make sure vital signs were stable, and then we’d assess the damages and start reconstruction. Right now in Iraq we need to stop the bleeding.

    Sure, it’s a dodge – but isn’t it better than saying nothing (are they actually saying nothing – I haven’t been paying close attention)?

Notes on urban blight and life in the ‘burbs.

The great thing about the suburbs is that we can all have enough space to stretch out. It doesn’t matter so much what our neighbours think about the way we live. No one will complain about our cats. We can give free reign to our unique tastes without the manager coming to our door to tell us that the koi pond we’ve installed in the living room violates the terms of our lease.

When Vancouver confronted the problem of urban blight a few years ago, the city planners developed two key multiuse areas that would draw people of all ages and lifestyles back to the downtown core. In Coal Harbour, the city installed an underground community center with windows right on the seawall, so that you could go to your reasonably priced pilates class and have a view of the joggers and rollerbladers and sailboats and cruise ships, A city-owned, licensed bistro opened up on the seawall behind the art-deco water park. There had always been moorage in both areas, but now tennis and squash courts offered Yaletown residents a greater variety of recreational activities. The courts stand between the public art installation and the kids’ park. The boutiques and the restaurants were already there, but now grocery stores and video stores have moved in next door. The community centres provide daycare for urban parents. People have moved back to the city in droves. These two areas are among the most desirable in the region, and much of the new housing they encompass remains affordable to the average family. Whenever I have guests in town, I take them through both communities. They’re perfect examples of everything that’s desirable about the city.

Sitemeter mystery solved!
From: "webmaster"
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 2007 19:22:53 -0500
To: [DC]
Subject: Re: Concerning the lag on sitemeter

Thanks for writing. We apologize for the lag and delays you have been experiencing with our reporting and statistics.

Please be assured that we are aware of the issue and are doing everything we can to resolve the problem as quickly as we can.

The problem you are experiencing is due to a handful of sites on your particular server exceeding normal traffic levels, which unfortunately affects all those assigned to this specific server. While we work to fix the problem we offer a couple choices if you need immediate resolution ˆ

1. You can create a new account, which will assign you to our newest server and thereby provide you with faster statistical updates. You can still log in to your old account if you need historical data. You will however need to replace your old Sitemeter code with your new account code on your sites pages for the new account statistics to function.

2. You may find lag is reduced during off peak hours (i.e. late evenings and early mornings). While this is not a solution it may provide you with a temporary fix while we address the server load issues.

Again, we apologize for any inconvenience this is causing you.


Site Meter Support

-----Original Message-----

From: [DC]
Date: Sun, 21 Jan 2007 19:39:56 -0800
Subject: Concerning the lag on sitemeter

Dear Mr. Smith,

I’m writing to inquire about the lag in statistical information on the free sitemeter counter. I have the counter installed on my blogger site. It is also installed on the group blog I belong to, as well as on the blogs of several other group members. Many of us have been experiencing various degrees of lag. I installed a second sitemeter to my blog, and the data on it remains up to date, with the old one lagging hours behind. The group blog’s meter was more than 21 hours behind when I last checked it this afternoon.

Given the apparent age-related lag, it is natural to speculate -- as some are doing -- that sitemeter’s non-paying clientele get downgraded after a time when they do not purchase the upgrade. If this is not the case, I look forward to your explanation.

Thank you,



sydbristow said...

How strategic is Iraq?

Let's say we leave it alone. Here is what you lose: control of their oil; control of their oil revenues; forward bases for/re South Asia and the Middle East. (I deliberately leave out "terrorst training ground, etc.) These are huge losses for America, especially given that the loss could translate into a gain for one or both of Russia and China.

[While huge though, compare for a moment the perceived loss of Vietnam. At the time it was that the whole of Southeast Asia would fall under Russian domain (just as Eastern Europe did), making them that much more formidable a foe to America. Except it didn't happen.]

My suspicion would be that Hillary or whatever Democrat takes office (exception: Dean) would bow to the realpolitik (not just the China strategy, but also the domestic economic imperative [mil.-ind. complex, etc]) of the situation, perhaps moving to a McCain strategy of retreating to the borders while continuing to exert a meddling type influence and construct the permanent bases. In the end, you just can't take the chance ...

Gregor Samsa said...

1. Buy a fiddle.

2. Hillary will probably buy an overpriced grand piano, which will get seized by customs.

3. "We'll start with some Russian folk tunes and as the flames reach skywards, build towards a finale of The Barber of Seville."

Dawn Coyote said...

syd: well, obviously what's going to happen is the dems will take the whitehouse, and they'll simply keep doing what this administration has done, only maybe they'll bring back the draft, "because we'll never get out of Iraq without it", or something like that. I don't think there's any intention to get out of Iraq, nor was there ever. I think it was always about occupation, sticking close to the oil supply to keep China's dirty mitts off it. That seems the most rational explanation to me. Perhaps, after they get settled in there, they can work to ensure that it doesn't become another Rwanda when they pull out thirty or so years from now, after the oil's all gone.

Does that sound cynical? I tend to oversimplify these things, and I don't really know what I'm talking about, but why let that stop me?

Gregor: loved the bit about crashing the party to slap a bioethics term paper on the unsuspection baon.

Can I play kazoo?

sydbristow said...

One thing about Batman that always bugged me: he was so smart, with all his gadgets and his Batbelt and Batcave and Batmobile and other Batdrap stuff, not to mention all those millions he made as an industrial tycoon .. yet at the end of the day he always won out by having to beat the crap out of the bad guy. "Why, Batman, why! Why can't you win with your wits!"!

So this is America: they (well, Bush et al) are choosing militaristic versus economic competition against China. It's insane.

And people quote the direct cost of the Iraq war .. well, I was going to say they woefully underestimate the cost because they miss the opportunity "multiplier", i.e. money not spent on the war generally would generally have a nultiplier effect if spent (wisely) elsewhere: say on education and training, alternative energy, etc. "Gonna say" in that when I googled "cost of Iraq war" I found this which is a teensy weensy (necessarily, because anything more would need too much of a technical introduction to be palatable to the mainstream) attempt to expand that concept.

Dawn Coyote said...

Interesting article. Given the attention span of the typical NA news consumer, I'd bet that most people don't make it to the part of the article with the cost/benefit analysis. I wonder how much truth is in the oft-repeated criticism that people are more interested in celebrity panties than in Iraqi lives. Or is it just that the protest had little effect?

Batmanism ... John Wayneism ... the Gonadal Imperative—whatever you call it, it always seems to me a tragic failure of imagination. "We'll beat the tar out of 'em, because that's what we've always done..." The appetite for the lowest common denominator is not restricted to the celebrity-gossip consuming public.

sydbristow said...

saw Hillary defending her pro war vote today (more on her via Rich, here), it really reminded me a lot of Kerry .. no matter what you say you look like an idiot. It's almost like you have to say "I was wrong" .. not even "I was fooled", just straight up take responsibility directly and see where that leaves you. I don't know, she's obviously got the brains, but it just doesn't seem to come together.

My wife by the way is a huge Condi fan, doesn't understand why she isn't running (esp given the walking-dead guys in that race).