Friday, May 19, 2006
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Monday, May 08, 2006
What is interesting to me is that throughout his trial he antagonized the judge and jury claiming that he wanted to be a martyr. The government strongly urged the jurors to give him the death sentence, but instead they gave him life in prison. And now he wants to change his plea. Not when he was faced with death. Although he may be telling the truth and have a newfound faith in the American system, I am skeptical. My belief, or at least a theory that seems plausible to me, is this: he wanted to die. He antagonized the court in order to provoke them so they would hate him and give him the death penalty. Now that they haven't he is faced with decades in isolation in a maximum security prison. He wanted to fly planes into buildings to die as a martyr. When that didn't work he wanted to die at the hands of "infidels" so he could still be a martyr. When instead he was sentenced to life imprisonment, with no more chances at martyrdom, he tried to escape. He doesn't want another trial because he wants to be innocent, he wants another trial so he can get another shot at martyrdom.
I don't think that this conclusion seems remarkable to many, including those involved in his trial. I'm sure he won't get another trial since it is illegal for him to change his plea at this point. But it should make us consider our approach to people like him and the culture he comes from. Our culture values life above almost anything. That is reflected by the fact that Western soldiers from many countries often are taken prisoner in wars and do not fight to the death. We were confounded by the Japanese willingness to die for their country in World War II. This enemy is very similar. An "honorable" death is better than life. These men do not want to kill for their cause, they want to die for it. This makes confronting this threat much more complicated. Military power will not deter them. As the Soviets learned in Afghanistan, it doesn't matter how many you kill, they will not give up. We cannot simply overpower them unless we are going to kill every last one of them. There can be no surrender obtained through military action. We have to win men away from this cause while they are alive. We have to change minds and hearts. I'm not saying that military action should always be out of the question -- it may be that we have to prove that we are strong and willing to fight back before they will respect us at all. But we also have to understand that military action alone will not win this war and we need to have a plan in which military action is just one tactic, not our entire strategy.
Friday, May 05, 2006
'I wish I wasn't,' Gates said in the interview broadcast online."
I'm speechless, Bill. He acts like its a disease or something. You wish you weren't? I understand that when you have that much money it feels like an endless supply, but seriously, who does he think he's kidding? If he doesn't want to be the richest man alive he can certainly solve that problem. In fact, I'll help him out. Bill Gates, if you ever read this you have my word that I will gladly accept any sized gift (above $0) that you would like to give me to help remove some of your wealth. If we can get enough people to volunteer then we might be able to lower Gates' bottom line enough to make him the second richest man in the world.
I like reading articles like these. It always entertains me to see rich people and celebrities pretending like they'd rather not be, especially when they could easily cure the problem they complain about if they really wanted to. Bill Gates doesn't want to be anything but the richest man alive, or he would be.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Avs beat the Mighty Ducks in 6 games -- the Ducks are good this year; they did force game 7 before beating the Flames after being down 3-2 in the series. However, I think that the matchup favors Colorado in most aspects -- we have a solid defense, a red-hot goalie, and a formidible four-line attack that features a few great scoring lines as well as some grinders. I love the Avs, I'm sure I'm not objective.
Sharks beat the Oilers in 7 games -- The real matchup here will be Roloson vs. Thornton+Cheechoo. My prediction is that in the end the league's leading scorer will crack Dwayne Roloson, talented as he is.
Sabres beat the Senators in 7 games -- this is a really tough one, but I think the Sabres played with a lot more energy and intensity than the Senators last round, in my opinion.
Hurricanes beat the Devils in 6 games -- this is another tough one. But again I'm looking at last round. The Devils steam-rolled the Rangers with little competition. It'll be hard for them to gear up to play the Hurricanes. The Hurricanes, on the other hand, just came from being down 2-0 in the first series. They have some good momentum and intensity built up after that.
Not all the series will probably go as long as I've predicted, but I don't feel good enough about any of my choices to predict a faster finish. I thought that many of the series last round were incredibly exciting and I found the games very entertaining to watch. And I think its only going to get better with these new matchups.