Wow. The world is getting strange

by William Grosso

I'm working on my next java.net article and having problems focusing. Why? Well, Richard Monson-Haefel is publicly broadcasting that he's looking for a job (depressing news about the state of the computer industry), the EU is posed to do the software-patent shimmy (ditto), and (and this one boggles me) I just realized that I'm probably going to vote for John Kerry.


As to the latter-- I think
Don Park nailed it. I didn't think the war was a particularly good idea to start with, but I thought it could be justified. And I'm actually okay with the (so far) non-finding of weapons of mass destruction. And I think that, for better or worse, the US has to stay the course in Iraq. Leaving now, or in the near future, or before Iraq is a stable and functioning society again, would be a very bad decision.


But wow-- invading Iraq wasn't a no-brainer when the decision was made, and in hindsight it looks like a very bad idea indeed. Moreover, the follow through in the post-Saddam era is a mess; a total failure of foresight and planning. The sort of thing that causes boards to fire CEOs, if you ask me.


It's also depressing to see the recent flood of pathetic commentaries along the lines of America: Not as bad as Saddam. It's hard for me to even respond to most of those articles because they're so deeply steeped in moral corruption (briefly: if you invade a country on humanitarian grounds, and a major part of the justification for this invasion was humanitarian, AND if you want to take the moral high ground when defending the invasion, and the defenders of the invasion did take the moral high ground, then saying "well, the other guys rape too" indicates an inner emptiness that boggles the mind).


All this is subject to revision, of course. I'm well aware that there is a lot of information that hasn't been shared with the public (and a lot of that was probably withheld for good reasons). And that the media has a tendency to over-report sensational news and thereby blow things out of proportion. And the last thing in the world I want to do is post yet another silly article
linking rapes in Iraq to the patriot act
.


But, from where I'm sitting (very faint voice) Kerry in 2004?.




Anyone taking bets that the economic recovery will be over by 2005 and we'll be slipping into a depression? Or is that over-reacting?


9 Comments

caseydk
2004-05-09 10:46:09
Kerry!?
Everyone in the technology world should be concerned about Kerry for a few simple reasons.


1) He supports the UN's governance over international issues. Now, without going into the deepness of the UN issue, they are already making a grab for control over ICANN. Do you really want this un-elected body having any control over a major means of communications. It scares me to know that some countries (China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, North Korea, Cuba) could have any control over Internet policy. Do you want them determine what's "okay" for the Internet?


2) His support of the Kyoto Protocols as they now stand has some serious implications. If we push back our energy consumption to 1990 levels, we can say "goodbye" to many of the technological advances that we hold dear. Did we have the Internet in 1990? Yes, in a few places. Did everyone have a computer in 1990? No. Did everyone have a cell phone in 1990? No. How can we (as technologists, engineers, software developers) call for the rollback of these things that would be required by Kyoto?


3) Voting for both the DMCA and the PATRIOT Acts.


The Libertarian and Constitution Parties are getting to be the only way to go here...

Chui
2004-05-09 13:34:18
I'd vote for the Kyoto Protocol
The internet and SUVs will disappear, and I'd be 20 again. Why would anyone pass up the chance?
jwenting
2004-05-09 23:45:36
Kerry!?
Well said.
Kyoto would effectively mean the end of the economic recovery the US is starting to see.
It is in fact a major reason why there is as yet no recovery in Europe as the implementation is leading to restrictions which are putting undue strain on companies and individuals (fuel prices, "environmental" taxes, etc. etc. are bleeding us dry leaving noone with money to spend on durable goods which would drive economic recovery).
Of course the SUV-mum phenomenon in the US is kinda silly if you think of it. Anyone who thinks she needs a HMMMV to bring the kids to school and get the groceries either lives in a seriously backwater neighbourhood or has serious mental problems. But Kyoto isn't going to cure that, it will just remove that car from the street without changing the person who used to have it (it will make that person poor enough that they can't afford to buy that car or any other though).


Kerry is the worst that can happen to the US both for the economy and for foreign (and domestic) policy.
He'll effectively bring your country back to the 1930s (economy down the drain, severe isolationism, etc.).

hbinder
2004-05-10 06:20:53
Kerry!?
As far as I know nobody is going to impair new technologies just for the sake of Kyoto here in Europe. What they do here is to force requirements on the more traditional industries (use better filters to reduce emissions, etc.)
Also nobody here thinks that our economic problems are due to reduced energy consumption/less available money due to restrictions cauesed by Kyoto.
One of the main reasons often cited is the changing age structure of to population together with a failure to adjust our social systems...


lolajl
2004-05-10 07:10:28
Anyone but Kerry
Kerry wants to give up all control to UN. Meanwhile, UN is stonewalling on the oil-for-food. Go over to Friends of Saddam. And - there's at least one terrorist group that has set a bounty on the head of the UN - that should tell you just how much respected UN is.


And, there's that little problem of the fact that Kerry met with the Vietnamese communists when the war was still going on.

wegrosso
2004-05-10 10:02:09
Anyone but Kerry
My point was that this decision, to invade Iraq, looks like it was bungled pretty badly. Managerial failure on an pretty-large scale. And that, when managerial failures occur, and they occur on this scale, you kind of gotta sack the manager.


More generally. The president has to have the ability and authority to make Iraq-level decisions (it's part of the job description. Every now and then, you get to make big, world-altering decisions).


Would you trust this administration with another big decision? I'm not talking politics or belief sets; I'm just talking competence.

indigenous
2004-05-10 15:57:37
November is half a year away ...
And a lot can happen in that time. Kerry might not even be runnning by then ... but I digress.


The Park article you linked to calls for Bush to resign to help heal the image this country presents to the rest of the world. Though I understand the sentiment, I feel it would serve no purpose other than further undermine our position in our war on terror. The president has already sincerely apologized for the misdeeds of the soldiers in question and their criminal treatment of the prisoners. And, yes, they will be tried and punished no matter how painful it is for us to see. At this point I think it shows more inner strength to stay the course. A lesser president would use this as an excuse to bow out and leave the mess for someone else to clean up.


Let's face it, as long as the US is a major economic and military power in the world there will be those that will love us or hate us ... and sometimes both at the same time. We can't base our foreign policy on making friends, and as others have implied, the UN can't be trusted to look after our best interests, only we can do that.


As I said, Bush was sincere in his apology. Kerry, on the other hand really has no clue what sincerity is. The apology doesn't suddenly make everything right with the world, but at least there is a sense of a real person there running the country and not just a facade repainted day to day and week to week depending on the mood of the electorate.


Bush does many things that I don't agree with but based on his character and the alternatives I'll stick with him.

caseydk
2004-05-11 05:20:04
Anyone but Kerry
Hey, if you want Bush out, that's one thing.


If you want Kerry in, that's another.


As I laid out below, Kerry is not fit for the job for a multitude of demonstrable reasons that he has expressed (by words, actions, and votes) numerous times.

kbedell
2004-05-11 15:06:21
Evaluate Bush on his own record.
Bush simply hasn't done a good job as President. He doesn't deserve to be reelected because he's just not done a good job.


Iraq is a mess. The economy is looking better, but it stunk most of the time he was in office.


Stop bashing Kerry based on what the Republicans tell you to think -- if you look at what Bush has done while in office it's hard to justify saying he did a good job unless you're just a hard-core republican.


I consider myself an independent and have voted for both Republicans and Democrats. It's time to give someone else a chance.