Defending the virtues of liberty, free markets, and civilization... plus some commentary on the passing scene.
Friday, September 22, 2006
Words of Wisdom
As usual Thomas Sowell's random thoughts are better than my well thought out thoughts. Despite its simplicity this one in particular caught my eye:
Doing 90 percent of what is required is one of the biggest wastes because you have nothing to show for all your efforts. But doing 110 percent of what is expected is one of the smartest investments because it can pay off with a big reputation for just a little more effort.
I see this all the time at work and I've been guilty of it myself. You spend 6 hours putting together a report, but not the extra 30 minutes it takes to quality check it. Invariably the result is an end product with a silly, careless and an often immaterial error, that none-the-less causes a client to lose confidence and lays the foundation for a reputation of apathy. Or, one can do just a little bit more and gain an exponentially better reputation as one who regularly goes above and beyond expectations.
It seems so simple doesn't it?
Friday, September 15, 2006
It is unfortunate that the name Cindy Sheehan rings more bells than Oriana Fallaci, who just died. Fortunately, Wretchard properly honors her in a very moving and beautifully written post.
Monday, September 11, 2006
5 Years On
I don't have anything especially new or insightful to offer on this 5th anniversary, but I will note that 5 years on and there has been no further attacks on American soil - an unthinkable proposition in the wake of 9/11.
So the questions is, Why?
According to the opinions of some, the Bush administration has done absolutely nothing right. The reason there has been no attacks is, apparently, a mystery. It can't possibly have anything to do with the Patriot Act, or with any NSA programs that involve listening in on overseas conversations, or any disruptions of terror financing. Nothing related to interrogations at Guantanamoo Bay or any CIA prisons in Europe. The fact that Libya gave up its ambitions for chemical weapons and that Syria ended its occupation of Lebanon, and that elections have occurred in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, and other parts of the Middle East must also be due to randomness.
And it is most definitely not because we invaded Iraq and are keeping terrorists busy there so they don't come here.
In 2003 I heard that invading Iraq will only create more terrorists, now in 2006 I'm hearing that terrorism isn't even a serious threat, and that rather, it was something manufactured by the Bush administration to instill fear, secure re-election, steal oil, and harness those approval ratings that are now looking up at the bottom.
Some Machiavellian fool he must be.
But the tragedy of the Bush presidency may turn out to be that he has done so competent a job of protecting America that a critical mass of people now have that false sense of security and are back in that comforting late 1990s fantasy world where history has ended. They have allowed Lee Harris's forgetfulness to set in. There are no internet snuff videos of beheadings, gays and women do not own cultural status that dogs look down upon. The seemingly senseless mass murder, rape and enslavement of whole populations can be easily ignored. After all, those perverted pathologies exist far far away, on distant shores, with the deepest oceans between us and there is nothing we can do to fix it anyway.
I used to think like that, but 5 years ago today, that position proved untenable. Just after 9/11/01, I happened across a piece of the World Trade Center which now sits prominently in my living room to remind me - every day - what this world is made of. Each day that I come home I see it and I recall those that went to work on a beautiful sunny Tuesday morning and died a fiery death for their routine. In the days following, I remember even more vividly the images of desperate family members holding pictures of their missing loved ones as they quite literally breathed in their remains.
It is an important thing to remember, so on this 5th anniversary, I'm sharing my daily reminder with you. Do not forget.
Don't Ever Forget.
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Notice: I've been offline for the better part of the last two weeks, and that will probably continue for the next few as well.
Having read blogs just about every day since late 2002, it is quite interesting to suddenly stop for an extended period of time. I feel like I'm missing so much! But it is also relaxing.