Monday, June 28, 2004

Blogging will be light for the next few weeks. I will be heading to Los Angles, via Boston to my brother’s wedding tomorrow morning! It will be an interesting trip, especially with a three month old baby and an almost three year old girl. I will be able to post once in a while. Go out side and have some fun!

A panographic view of Nottingham facing south from Nottingham Castle. This was taken during May.
Here is the BIG image.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles(UAVs) blog shows you the latest news about one aspect of the future of aviation.

More problems with Microsoft. That is why I am going to move to a Linux machine.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

The Witty Worm is a nasty bugger.

How to find bio weapon labs.

A new tool for the warfighter.

BBC has a great profile of the Bell Inn with a 360 degree photo!

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Can we expand the Army? I think we can, but it will cost lots of money and take time to do it right or we will be filling body bags. more here here and here.

Want to change jobs? Here is a possible career move and the training is free.

First it was the WWF or E or what ever it is and now Professor Bob Robertson of the University of North Tyneside has figure what is the baddest animal around.

The goals of the al Qeada.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Here is a good blog on the activities in space.

Here is a good report on security in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)

Channel 4 had an interesting show with the title “God is Black” that showed the crisis that is facing the Church of England. The Church of England is more diverse collection of churches than it sister in America. This show tried to illustrate how events will be coming to a head. Personally it simplified groups of people for TV, but overall it was better than most TV shows that dealt with religion. Also it stirred up a lot of comments.

An economic comparison of America and Europe.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

The army is now in the video game industry.

With Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) lurking around, it is best to stay out of the hospital and tell people if your kid is sick stay home.

I like to carve on my snowboard and here is a cool vid from Japan.

Fun and mysterious ways with the Israel, Kurds, Turks, Iraq, Iran and America.

Here is a great blog with good analysis of what is going on in the world.

This is tale of the how and why of US broke the Iranian codes from Cyrptogram.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

The top 100 British albums.

Parameters has a good book review section. This issue reviews The New Chinese Empire: And What it Means for the United States. By Ross Terrill. New York: Basic Books, 2003. 432 pages. $30.00. Reviewed by Richard Halloran.

Here are some excerpts:

This is an altogether splendid book, lucid in writing, erudite without condescension, courageous in spirit. The author boldly predicts the end of the Communist Party’s rule of China at a date uncertain but to be followed by a time of turbulence. The book should be read by military officers, political leaders, diplomats, business executives, and anyone else who plans to deal seriously with China over the next decade or longer.
The author acknowledges, “I do not know how and when Communist rule will end in China,” but he gives seven possible scenarios for what will happen to “the Red Dynasty” over the next two decades.

Some possible future scenarios for China:
One: “China lives with the contradiction between politics and economics,” the CCP remaining authoritarian as it tells the Chinese people to “get rich” by adopting a form of capitalism.
Two: “China reaches the brink of regional fragmentation, as the prosperous south, together with restive Tibet and Xinjiang, seek more freedom.”
Three: The CCP will be “subtly transformed, somewhat like South Korea and Taiwan in the 1980s, into a looser authoritarianism seemingly headed for rough-and-ready democracy.”
Four: “Economic growth continues, but at a lower level. The erosion of faith in communism, long in process, becomes total. . . . Quick crumbling of Communist rule occurs, similar to that in Moscow in 1991. . . . In a puff of smoke, the Red Dynasty has gone.”
Five: A violent quarrel breaks out between the hard left and the reformers within the CCP. “The dispute is protracted and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) steps in to settle it.”
Six: The PLA intervenes and “hustles the leaders of both sides off the stage, declares military rule, and fascism arrives.” This suggests, once again, that the political spectrum is circular, with the hard left and the hard right not far apart.
Seven: The PLA intervenes but permits “an evolution toward a new political system. . . . A crunch occurs; there is a watershed beyond which the Leninist system does not exist. . . . A reasonable chance exists that after some time China will establish a democratic federation.”

Read the rest.

Ralph Peters makes a good argument for maneuver and killing terrorists.

I will be traveling to America soon and I might be playing the game of spotting the Air Marshal too.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Here is one of the reasons that the rail system in Great Britain has slipped. Fragmentation of the railways has added duplication. You can not treat trains as buses.

H, who used to be a resident of Nottingham, wrote to me about his experiences with crime:

The popular crime at the time was squatting and it seems the laws of the UK allowed someone to break into your home and live there and you were unable to remove them by threat or do such things as disconnect the gas and electricity as that was deemed endangerment. Luckily all the houses we lived in in the UK had ONLY deadbolt latches, no exterior door knobs. Just a keyhole and a little brass handle to push/pull the door with. The latch would automatically lock when the door was closed so there was no way to have an unlocked door. Still we observed that robbery was rampant in Nottingham and London. My office in the science park was burgled regularly and copiers, PCs, and radios taken. I volunteered to spend a few nights there to deter or catch the culprits but the manager was aghast and forbid me on the grounds that I might injure the thief and the company would be liable for legal action. The firm installed an expensive alarm and despite being only 4 minutes from the police station the burglaries continued with police response times never being less than 20 minutes.

We quickly found that the laws in the UK seem to encourage theft. We have lived all over the world and the only place my wife has ever had a problem was in Notts where a teenager tried to snatch her purse on Clumber street. She kept the purse and pointed out the culprit to a WPC who refused to do anything. When we bought a car, our friends warned us to expect it to be broken into or stolen at least once a year, just one of those things. In our 40 years in the US we had never been burgled in home or car and were astounded at the calm acceptance of crime as normal.

We loved our time in the UK and hope to live there again but we understand that the British view of crime and punishment are far different from our colonial American view.

The Belmont Club has a great post that says the same thing that I have been saying that the next phase of war on terror will be waged by the three lettered agencies. I figure that our allies in the Middle East and through out the Islamic world will be fighting a proxy war for the US and western democracies. It will be a nasty and brutal effort. Can you fight fire with fire? The US will lend logistical and intelligence to these forces, because they are on the front lines and they can move trough the Islamic world easier than an American. No Westerner, even one who is fluent in Arabic could pass themselves off as an Arab. They would be speaking the “Queens” Arabic versus the local dialect and that could be a fatal liability. There will be a few ethnic Arabs of Christian or Islamic faith that are willing to fight al Qeada since they are intolerant of anybody, even other Muslims, who do not tow the party line. This will be a long struggle that will last many years. Also Donald Sensing has a great post with four possible outcomes to this fight.

This past Saturday I went with the family to a polo match in Langham near Oakham, in Rutland County. It was a relaxing affair. In America matches are a bit more structured, but here it is free to attend, there are two playing fields, a bar to get a pint of Pimms and a small tack shop. Everybody was friendly, asked questions about the game in the States and told tales of Price Harry who played for Eton and his body guards and minders. I think we will be attending a few more matches during the summer and I will post more photos for Navin, Sean and Marty.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Lenton Hall, Nottingham. This actually a guest house, not the entry to Wollston Park

Do you want to see what the Chernobyl area looks like? Elena rode through on her motorcycle and took lots of photos. It is like a modern Pompeii with communist overtones.
Update: Sean, pointed me to this site about the Elena’s story about driving to Chernobyl. It is another fraud and I thought it was true until Sean sent me an email about it. Thanks!

People have accused GWB of being Hitler and other accusations. Here is an Alternate History site where GWB takes off the gloves and goes after Osama. After reading it I wonder how many people will say that he is too harsh.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Is email finished? I think we are hitting the limits of email with spam overwhelming inboxes and the time it takes to type out a message.

Here is one theory on why “YBM” Young British Males get in trouble at soccer or football matches.

Speed Cameras are horrible.

The galleria in the Council Building, Nottingham

Friday, June 18, 2004

Redefining Counterterrorism ,The Terrorist Leader as CEO, By Bruce Hoffman. This is a great article that show the workings of al Qaeda a flexible corporation that can bounce back from setbacks. It is a very good read.

Are hybrid cars really worth it? At this stage of development they are not, in my opinion. Ian Murray writes a great article about them. This is a blog from an owner of a Honda Civic hybrid car and he is not happy. A Wired Magazine article backs him up.

The PC safety Nazis are in Nottingham. I found out the children are not allowed to wear baseball hats at school because if they run into somebody they might injure them with the brim of the hat. I think the brim of a baseball hat is the least of their worries.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

What the French really think of the US.

Why would a western woman live in Saudi Arabia? Here is an article that explains the reasons behind that decision.

Here is Bush’s campaign strategy.

Here are some photos and a description of the new Army Combat Uniform. More here. Civilians my think that it is butt ugly, but when you are in the field, who gives a rats ass about fashion? I think it is functional and I can not wait to get my first set. Also no more black boots! I wonder about how long velcro will last in the field and the noise it will make when pockets are opened. I don’t get to buy kiwi boot polish any more? Last, here is the website from the US Army PEO Soldier with all our toys

Lance Armstrong has another battle on his hands and I hope he wins this one too. He is smart to sue in the UK, since liable laws are more to his favor than in the US.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

The loony left loves Chomsky and here is a site to debunk a lot of his crap. When I meet some of the loony left and they start their anti-American rants, I use some of the arguments that are on this web site punch holes in their logic. Most of the time they can not grasp it, because it like deprogramming members of a religious cult.

Highway 99 just added me to his list of links, so I will return the favor. It is a good site with insightful views.

If you want to see where your child might be working in the future check this site out. You got to get them interested in the physical sciences, chemistry or other sciences. Also will you get involved in your child’s education from going to parent teacher conferences, school board meeting that will shape the curriculum and pick books that they will learn from? I will, because it is my child’s future that I am shaping today.

Now anybody can track your email and the excuse of not opening it up is gone according to this article in ZD net news. Is it time to go back to Pine?

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Hello from Munich Airport. I am waiting for my flight and typing this out on a free demo by Lufthansa and Boeing Connexion. Barvaria and the Zugspitze are beautful! I had a few minutes to think and read on the train coming from Garmish and the subway in Munich, so I will have some posts that I will type up later this week.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

I am heading in a few minutes to Munich, Germany for a few days for work. Unless I can find a computer with internet access, I will see you on Wednesday.

When we first move to Nottingham, England, we thought it be a nice sleepy town, but it has most of the ills of a modern society. When we first moved to our neighborhood, the local warden gave us a paper with a warning on it about eight burglaries. He told us that the police were slow to respond to them. One lady saw someone break into a house, she called the police and they showed up the next morning to take a statement. Our warden was not happy to tell us about this development and with a speedy American police was operating in out neighborhood. Now we just had two more burglaries on our street. Since car alarms are working, thieves are breaking into houses and stealing the car keys. The thieves will enter a house while the occupants are glued to their TV watching the soaps and then drive off with their car later on that night. This is becoming a nation wide problem. Before we used to set our house alarm on when went out, but now when we go to bed at night, we gather up our wallets, car keys, mobile phones, bring them upstairs and enable the alarm. Crime knows no boundaries.

The roll of sports in America from a societal and historical view.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

We were in London a few days ago and since London has expensive and scarce parking, a toll to enter the city to reduce congestion and driving around it is for the insane, wifey and I thought it would be smart to take the underground in. I would advise people if you are going to take the tube give yourself lots of extra time. The trains do not show up like clock work.

Also if you have a baby pram (carriage) give it a second thought, may be a baby carrier like one from baby bjorn will come in handy because there are hardly any elevators around to get to the topside other than major stations. We could not find one at Hyde Park or at Knightsbridge. It is a blast to carry a pram up two flights of stairs . Now I am thankful to President Clinton for signing the Handicap Access Bill for all public facilities in the US. How do people in wheel chairs get to work in London?

With this in mind a taxi is starting look to be a better way around London.

If you have any rubbish (trash in American English) there are no more bins (baskets) to put it in. They were a pulled down in a security effort.

Here is the insider’s account of the massacre at Khobar Towers. I think the news media and Saudi Government are not giving use a full account.


Here is the Lace Market section of Nottingham. Lace was an important section of the economy of Nottingham and when industrialist learned how to mass produce it, it was like a gold rush for Nottingham. Building, warehouses, factories and the entire supporting infrastructure was quickly developed. In the cycle of industry, the lace industry moved to cheaper source of labor the early 1900s and this section of city laid in neglect. Now it is being redeveloped in to office space, trendy restaurants and upscale apartments.

Here is a blistering essay “Iraq and the Arab illusion" (translated article by Dr. Shakir Al-Nabulsi) (5/30/04 post)
It is good that you get to see the Arab world through their eyes in critical manner that is not accepted in the Arab world. Maybe with this type of thinking, real progress can be made.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Do you really want to know what our enemies are thinking and saying to each other?
Read this. It is a transcript of a video that the Leader of the Salafi Group for spreading the faith and fighting. It is plain that they don’t like anybody who is not part of their organization and do everything to spread their message.

Also here is some analysis from the UPI on: Reading from al-Qaida's playbook

Here is the second tier of al-Qaida and their allies. A very good and detail report in all of the newspapers of North America, the Oakland Tribune.

Last, here is two images of pubs in Nottingham. These places would be burned if al Qaida had their way.

The Weekly Standard has a great article on the transformation of public radio in America. The Reagan haters will have to give it’s due to the Gipper for opening up public radio so they would have a forum to air their views and get rid of “boring” classical music and inflict the BBC on the US.

Here is a top ten list to help the world using cost-benefit analysis.

Francis Fukuyama writes in Slate Identity Crisis :Why we shouldn't worry about Mexican immigration a book review of Who Are We : The Challenges to America's National Identity by Samuel P. Huntington. Mr. Fukuyama paints a brighter future saying that Hispanics embody the “Anglo-Protestant” work ethic more than the Europeans and their descendants. I think he is right.

Here is some common sense information concerning oil supplies.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

We are back from London. I will have a post about our adventures in London with a baby pram and the tubes.

More troops for Iraq from Korea.

Here is a list of troops by country and unit that is in Iraq.

Here is a way to save energy and generate more electricity.

I think we will have to rewrite the Geneva Conventions when dealing with terrorist. Should they apply to them when they have not signed or abide by it? Via Futurepundit.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

I will be in London tomorrow and Monday, so blogging will be light. Also since I posted the image of County Durham, the side bar with all the links have been displaced to the bottom of the page.

I am a big fan of P.J. O'Rouke and his latest work in the Wall Street Journal is classic. What would happen if America said screw the world, we are leaving.

One thing to whine about will be the fate of Israel. Without American safeguards that nation is certain to be militarily attacked. To judge by previous Israeli wars, in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973 and 1982, the result will be serious headaches for Israelis as the Knesset furiously debates the status of Jewish settlements outside Damascus and on the west bank of the Euphrates.

The threat of nuclear proliferation will abate as dangerous stockpiles of atomic weapons are quickly used up. The loss of life will be regrettable. But this will be counterbalanced by the welcome disappearance of long-standing international flashpoints when the India-Pakistan border is vaporized, Tehran disappears in a mushroom cloud, and whatever is left of the Korean Peninsula becomes reunited.

Read the whole thing and have a good laugh.

The Disposable car. The price of cars are now on a trend to be inverse to the price of maintenance. This will start another trend of return of the backyard mechanic who will be heading to the junk yard to get spares in the DIY spirit. If you screw it up, just bin it, as the Brits would say.

I have a lot of respect for Jane Jacobs and I have read her books years ago and her new book “Dark Ages Ahead” is not the most uplifting, but Francis Fukuyama in Wired says life will not be as bad as Jane Jacobs paints it.

Friday, June 04, 2004

I was driving around Northern England last week and here is a photo of the beautiful country side in County Durham.

If you like to see the BIG IMAGE click here.

Via One Hand Clapping. Here is a movie that you should see. You really want to see Baghdad? Go over to Gunner’s Palace. The trailers are excellent.
Now I know why I like Ray Bradbury and dislike Michael Moore

Over at the Belgravia Dispatch the question is asked can anybody see the big picture. I think many have a view, distorted by our biases, and this limits the options that can we can be put on the table. This mean we will lengthen the time we will have to search for a solution to our problems.

Wretchard at the Belmont Club has written a post “Memo to Osama” that is worst case scenario for the west. I pray that it not come true.

Would you drive this Toyota in the future?

Thursday, June 03, 2004

How safe is oil supply in Saudi Arabia? It looks safe right now, but there is always the future to think about.

I wonder how long I will keep going to the Church of England with this crap going on.

Here is a real development from Iraq that will not get any play in the media. I saw the plans for the next rotations for Operation Iraqi Freedom 4 and 5 that are being firmed up, so we will be slowly moving forces out of Korea and Germany back to the states or Iraq. Then they will prepare for rotations, just like we did in Bosnia and Kosovo. The command structure is being set up for a long stay in Iraq as we did in other places. We will be there for a long time and maybe our kids will get a service ribbon for duty there.

Here is a paper from the EU that outlines how they see the future. It is a bit bloated of a pdf file, but would you expect anything less? The first page has a good summary then it dives into the philosophical quagmire.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Over at the Expat Yank Robert asks:
What if John Kerry wins? And I can't even imagine what Utah Bob, Marc, Eric and Debbye and Murdoc might do.

Here are a few related thoughts on this question.

Many people have an inflated view of the President and the powers of the executive branch. The president can not create jobs or spend money. That is up to congress to do. The constitution states that congress ratifies the budget. It is just like mom and dad at the dinner table. Who has makes the stock market move more: Alan Greenspan, Chairman of the Federal Reserve or the president? The president can set the tone or atmosphere of the country. Ask people who can remember how America felt after Kennedy was elected. My father was asking what is with Nixon and his “phases” for the economy. Carter was trying to bring honesty back to the government and society. You could say the president is a big cheerleader. Also people invest a lot of emotional effort on the office of the president, he symbolize what is right or wrong in America based on that persons values. Look on how much money was raised by the Republican Party when Clinton was in office or Bush with the Democrats. Nothing rallies the troops or fills the money plate more than the president from the opposite party.

Before George W. Bush was elected many “celebrities” said that they would leave the US. More here. I wonder what will happen if he is re-elected? Will flights leaving for Paris be filled? I hardly doubt it, why leave your biggest market or gravy train. Will I go crazy if Kerry is elected and move to Australia or Guatemala? Nope, I will respect the office of the president, get up every morning and go on with life.

I can only answer for myself, but I will keep doing what I normally do: work, make difference and be a positive influence for those around me, my country and society in general. As an American living in England, I realize that I am an unofficial ambassador of the US. For many English, I will be the only American that they will meet in the flesh. I try to point out to them that not all Americans act like the characters in American TV shows or movies. Do all Brits have bad teeth and start riots at football games? No, all my British friends are honest and hard working individuals that are making the best of their situation. So I tell them don’t believe everything that you read or see. Many of them have been to America and generally have a good image of America.

If Kerry is elected not much will change. The late night talk host will have lots of new joke material, fund raisers for the Republican Party will have a new theme, Hollywood will be back in Washington with a bit more somber mood and life will go on for the rest of the country. I will stay in uniform, be the best father to my daughters and husband for my wife. It is the right thing to do.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

This past weekend I was part of a ceremony to honor fallen American Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Coast Guard and Airmen who are buried at the Brookwood Cemetery, in Surrey England. It was a somber event with representative from the British Army, local dignitaries, British and American veterans groups, Navy, Army, US Boy Scouts, and civilians from America and England. It is moving to walk among hundreds of American graves in England. Also before the ceremony I walked among the final resting places of the French, Polish, German, Czech, Canadian, Austrian, New Zealand, Irish and thousands of British military who are buried there. It made me think, are we are willing to pay the same price for fredom that they did and to make sure that their sacrifices are not in vain?

Over at the Belmont Club there is a post that you should read. There is a silent, but powerful movement in the Army and in the rest of the military that is changing the way that we will conduct operations. The media and civilian segments of society are slow to pick up on this, since they are looking for great images or are not on the front lines face to face with the enemy or foreign societies. We are in age of integrated battlefield. There is no home front, rear area or front lines. Front line responders (police, fire departments, emergency medical) in the civilian world will be tried just like infantry, armor and other combined arms of the military to protect American society. The division between the State Department, Department of Defense, other part of the US Governement and civilian contractors will have to be fused to achieve the aims the government and people of America. What role will the media play? Will it just report the facts or interject it own biases and agenda? Since news can move across the world in seconds and operations can be staged instantaneously globally, we will have to move quicker and cover more ground to mitigate the enemy’s effects and to regain the offensive.

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