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    Saturday, May 21, 2011

    Twitter - still great after all these years

    As some know, I am a big fan and user of twitter.  In fact, you have a better chance of finding me on twitter than at this blog.

    Twitter has several things going for it that I enjoy:

    • It's immediate.  Those of us watching our twitter feeds on the night OBL was killed, knew it very soon.  The rest of you, waited.
    • It forces you to think in 140 character thoughts.
    • You can follow a heck of a lot of people quicker than web surfing, and even using a good RSS reader.
    • Many dedicated tweeps will respond in real time.  Want to take Buster Olney to task for something he has reported on ESPN, he may respond.
    • You can engage in real time conversations over whatever topic you want, pretty much whenever you want.
    • It's a good way to actually find out how the other side thinks, even if that is maddening.
    • It's great on an iPhone!
    Of course, Twitter has some disadvantages:
    • If you can't express a cogent thought in 140 characters, well, forget it.
    • Your stream can move fast.
    • Some of those conversations can get stupid, real quick.
    • 140 characters at a time is not a great way to debate
    • It's addicting
    Some advice for my fellow tweeps, or those considering jumping in:
    • Don't let it rule you
    • If you engage in conversations with those with differing views, try to keep it civil, and remember that 140 character limit means you can't express complicated ideas easily, and neither can they.  Have some compassion.
    • Don't expect to change minds.  Likely the lefties are following other lefties, as you are following right-minded people.  Like I do with this blog, I usually consider that my audience is my right-wing family and friends and a few open-minded, independent thinking people.  The committed Leftists - they are only good as your foil.
    • Follow a few people who disagree with your views, it's eye-opening.
    • Related to these - keep a thick skin,  I guarantee if you're in a conversation with a Lefty, they are eventually going to get frustrated and devolve into name calling.  Get used to it, at that point, they've lost the debate and control, and this is how they react.
    Well, there you have it.  Twitter.

    Thursday, May 5, 2011

    Bin Laden is dead - kudos to Bam, and where to now?

    I don't normally give kudos to Rob Schumacher and his political beliefs,.but his analysis on the take-down of Osama Bin Laden is pretty much dead on.

    Bottom line is that the SEALS deserve the credit for carrying out this mission, and Obama deserves credit for taking the risks inherent in putting men on the ground, in order to absolutely be able to say we got Bin Laden.  He also deserves credit for keeping the Pakistani's out of this.  He rightly identified them in the 2008 campaign, and was blasted for it, as part of the problem, and people we honestly couldn't trust.  If anyone believes that in what is essentially a military town, that OBL's presence there was totally unnoticed, well, they are an idiot.

    This is one of the failings of the Bush administration, which although may have seemed a bunch of cowboys, was really filled with veteran Washington insiders, and perhaps Bush's background meant he deferred too often to the State Department, who's veteran bureaucrats, I am sure, argued to inform the Pakistani's of everything going on in their country.

    For NOT doing that, I give Obama some credit.  You should, too.

    On other aspects of this, you need my analysis, so here it comes.

    • Pictures.  I am ambivalent about the release of pictures.  I personally do not need to see pictures to believe that we got OBL.  This is way too important for the President, his national security team, a bevy of Congressmen, and the military parties involved to be caught up in a conspiracy.  He's dead, you can count on that.  Do you really need to see a bunch of gory pictures to prove it?  You'd still need some "expert" to tell you it was OBL.
    • Burial at sea (Islamic type).  If you don't think in 10 years of planning we hadn't thought long and hard and charted various courses of action on this, you don't know how these things work.  I think burial at sea was a great idea so that there is no ready-made shrine for a bunch of nuts to go to.  Whether he received a proper Muslim send-off or whatever, I don't really care.  I do think it's slightly hypocritical on one hand to say he perverted Islam, and on the other to make sure he received a proper Islamic burial.  But, that's probably more a cover story to mask the real reason, which is the at-sea burial.
    • Administration dithering and confusion.  Readers of this blog know I am a massive critic of the Far-Left Obama administration.  Their politics is borderline Socialist/Fascist, but they also have demonstrated an amazing level of incompetence.

      I said I agreed with Obama and the manner this mission was carried out, but, I found the 10:30 pm Sunday address that didn't go down until 11:30pm ridiculous, and I thought the speech itself was overwrought and too self-congratulatory.  A simple announcement by the President, without all the me, my, I, etc, would have been sufficient, especially since the word was out on Twitter at 10:30 and people had an hour to digest it.  Just poorly handled.

      Since then, we have had all the conflicting reports of what happened, and the back-and-forth on the photos.  Just horribly managed, and a sign of the general incompetence of this administration, even when they hit the nail on the head with the actual event.  If you're a critic, it's business-as-usual, if you're a fan, you have to cringe at them.
    • Political gain.  I don't think we'll see too much.  There are some positive signs to me that this administration may be getting it on the global war on terror.  They have adopted pretty much every Bush administration policy.  If we can just get them to turn back the clock on enhanced interrogation, they'll be at 100% compliance with Bush's policies.  Just remember how quickly things change in politics.  After Gulf War 1, GHW Bush was at 90% approval.  18 months later, we had President Clinton.  2012 is going to be about deficits and the economy, and those are both looking pretty crappy right now.
    • Afghan War.  Some on the right are questioning whether we should be in Afghanistan now that the Taliban and Al Qaeda are neutered and OBL is dead.  Larry Kudlow asks some good questions on this, as does Charles Krauthammer, suggesting this is the way we can get out of Afghanistan having completed our mission with dignity and victory.  If we can finally put the Taliban to rest, let's leave that hellhole to the corrupt Karzai regime, and only come back if they become a threat again.
    • GWOT.  OBL's death certainly does not mean the Global War on Terror is over.  It's not, but it's a powerful symbol of the steadfastness of this country.  The Bush doctrine still applies - if you're not with us, you're against us, but the need for direct military action in Iraq and Afghanistan is over.  Time to get out of those places with Iraq ultimately being a success, and Afghanistan, well, see above.  We need to focus our efforts on nurturing the Arab Spring, and we need our military forces refocused on the potential take down of Iran, who remains the sole capable, and determined resistance in the Middle East.
    I could go on and on, but that's enough for now.