Osama bin Laden is Dead
“The universe is probably littered with the one-planet graves of cultures which made the sensible economic decision that there’s no good reason to go into space–each discovered, studied, and remembered by the ones who made the irrational decision.”
— Randall Munroe
Better a has-been than a never-was.
Some folks are irritated with American reactions to the death of Osama bin Laden. Julie indicated that she had mixed feelings upon seeing our “own countrymen basically holding a frat party outside of the White House, hanging off of trees and singing ‘Nah nah nah nah, hey hey hey, goodbye!'” I have heard others moan that this doesn’t change anything, why are we celebrating?
So, I expressed my own feelings in a comment on Julie’s blog:
I was happy about the news yesterday, and I still am. We killed a bad guy who has devoted his life to killing us. That is a victory, and I am proud and glad.
When the crowd outside the White House gathered and sang the Star Spangled Banner, it brought a tear to my eye. Then, America the Beautiful. People gathered at Ground Zero for a candle light vigil. In both places, the crowd chanted “USA! USA! USA!” They spoke for me.
I think it is debatable who kills the most Muslims. Our military adheres to Rules of Engagement that put them at greater risk in order to protect Muslim civilians. On the other hand, extremists recruit the young and naive to walk into crowds of Muslims wearing explosive vests.
We are not perfect and we shouldn’t pretend to be. We make mistakes, we kill innocents, and we have failed to hold ourselves to our own standards of humane treatment of prisoners and jurisprudence.
We are drawing down forces in Iraq, which has changed from a brutal dictatorship built on terror to a messy, unstable, imperfect democracy vulnerable to sectarian violence. We now have one less reason to linger in Afghanistan, which may help motivate the government there to get its act together.
Last night was progress. America done good and a bit of pride is perfectly reasonable.
I mean, its no Moon Landing. No sincere attempt to curb global warming or end world poverty, hunger, disease . . . but it is progress and I’ll celebrate it just the same.
Midwesterners know that after the discombobulating experience of TSA screening, that you need a space to recombobulate yourself and your luggage, and they designate that area appropriately. Them’s my people!
As a Systems Administrator, I have spent my share of time in various data centers. So, I was keen to read Ben Rockwood’s Personal Must-Haves. He wants a Leatherman, a particular mug, a particular water bottle, an iPhone and a particular bar code scanner. Honestly, it kind of felt like reading a marketing advertisement. I like the idea of a bar code scanner that can dump ASCII as if it were a keyboard device:
Your laptop will register it as a keyboard, so when you press the button to scan the contents of the barcode are “typed in” where ever you like, which means you can use it with Excel just as easily as my prefered auditing format, CSV’s created in vi.
I explained that I keep my liquids in the break area, so I don’t need any fancy mugs. And I don’t know if an iPhone supports making calls over wifi, which is important because mobile signal is often poor to none in a datacenter, nor have I any idea if the camera is all that handy for quick, low-light macro shots.
My own list would include:
In the Cage
In the Cage – Networking and Comunications
In the Cage – Human Sanity
I like wearing the earplugs, then earbuds under noise-cancelling headphones, or over-the-ear earphones. You block out most of the noise and can enjoy some tunes while doing what is often non-thinking physical labor.
Some of my fondest memories of my Dad involve long expeditions in a VW bus. I rented a VW camper bus for a few days on Oahu, and had him pose. Given Dad’s health challenges these past years, to see him make it to Hawaii for the wedding and to enjoy the scenery in an old Volkswagen . . . that’s a good time.
Trivia: my camera operates on UTC, and my computer interprets that as PDT, its just not worth it to figure out what day my photos were taken in Hawaii.
See Also: Morning Coffee
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Arrr! . . . Avast!