Blog Smith

Blog Smith is inspired by the myth of Hephaestus in the creation of blacksmith-like, forged materials: ideas. This blog analyzes topics that interest me: IT, politics, technology, history, education, music, and the history of religions.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Emotionally Moving Video of Islamic Submission

Quran: 8:12: “I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers; smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them.”


The emotionally moving video of submission, such as the tales of murdered Theo van Gogh and the Dutch exile Ayaan Hirsi Ali who has to remain guarded because of death threats, are shown in a first-person account and statement.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Internet Evolution

A plethora of opinion can be found on Internet Evolution.

Declassified Papers Show Lebanon Asked Nixon to Attack Syria

 
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Is it any wonder?


Jordan asked Nixon to attack Syria according to 10,000 papers released by the Nixon Library in recently declassified papers. We have heard so much of how the U.S. is recently intruding into the Middle East but as these recently declassified papers show, the U.S. was more intimately involved, and more reluctant to commit troops to the Middle East, than the pundits would allow.


King Hussein urged a U.S. strike on invading Syrian troops in 1970 but Nixon did not agree and the attack was never launched.


Nixon, ever the "realist" in foreign affairs wisely cautioned the Saudis to distance themselves from the PLO's Fatah organization. All the Saudis have done in the meantime is to foster their own brand of financial fanaticism in the form of Wahabism.


Nixon apparently had concerns about some of the terrorist issues which plague us today.


One of the things revealed in the documents is that there was a move to get the Saudis more involved in solving the growing terrorist problem.


A 1973 diplomatic cable cites this objective: "isolate and undermine terrorisms [sic] and commandos [sic] by establishing another, more stable and respectable Palestinian political entity and political personality."


Nixon accepted the fact that Israel possessed nuclear weapons in 1969.


And in these troubled days, a telegram from Hussein reveals that he contacted the U.S. at 3 a.m. to ask for American or British help. "Situation deteriorating dangerously following Syrian massive invasion...," the document said. "I request immediate physical intervention both land and air ... to safeguard sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Jordan. Immediate air strikes on invading forces from any quarter plus air cover are imperative."


The documents reveal American involvement at a deeper level and during a time when the world was unaware that Middle Eastern leaders appealed to the U.S. for assistance. It becomes clearer that Bush hardly can be accused of jumping in too quickly in Iraq. The Eisenhower Doctrine initiated the principle and reason for U.S. involvement in the Middle East. Nixon was asked to be involved in Jordan. Bush the First led the U.S. in Persian Gulf I. In this light, the Iraq War is more of a continuum, rather than an exception.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

On Improving Research and Alternatives to Google

On improving research, use search engines and Wikipedia to lead you to better sources. Try other search engines like GeniusFind and Beaucoup to categorize topic-specific databases. Blogs are filled with experts in Web topics. To search blogs QuackTrack is a large browsable blog index, listing more than 11,000 blogs. Technorati aggregates user-generated content like blogs but it does have ads as well so you have to tune them out. Anther website that helps locate blogs is Blogdigger. For example, Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge, which is a forum for business innovation conversations, can assist a search as well. BizSeer is a free online database of academic business literature that reveals the impressive amount of data that "B" schools produce. Last but not least, a few more sites can be mentioned. Zuula is a search tool that lets users send the same query to a number of well-known and not-so-well-known search engines. A resource for locating relevant blogs: http://www.blogcatalog.com. And finally, you can search social bookmarking sites like del.icio.us.

How To Harm Children. Brought to You By the Wonderful Folks at Lancor

Let me try to help you says the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) Association. Well, fine then, I'll sue you for patent infringement.


In one of those stories of the nattering nabobs of negativism (thank you Spiro Agnew, wherever you are), a A Massachusetts company has sued the OLPC Association, charging the project with stealing its designs for a multilingual keyboard.


Lagos Analysis Corporation, or Lancor, filed the lawsuit in the Federal High Court, Lagos Judicial Division in Nigeria.


The OLPC is accused of illegally reverse-engineering the company's patented keyboard, which, with its four shift keys, allows computers to better handle multiple languages. A settlement would award "substantial" damages and issue a permanent injunction to prevent OLPC from manufacturing and selling its XO laptop.


OLPC released a statement, "To OLPC's knowledge, all of the intellectual property used in the XO Laptop is either owned by OLPC or properly licensed."


The goal of the nonprofit OLPC, founded by MIT professor Nicholas Negroponte, is to donate laptops to children in developing nations, such as Nigeria, so the irony is that Nigerian children and others would be stymie the OLPC project.


Lancor should be ashamed of themselves. The patent is a simple idea that others can easily emulate and the goal of the OLPC is humanitarian. Even the XO laptop has gradually crept up in price although the Foundation made a sincere effort to keep costs down. Other companies have similar products, such as Encore's Mobilis and Intel's Classmate PC, so the cynicism of filing an infringement on the patent is, well, patently obvious.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Swimming or Sinking in Annapolis?

The Israeli and Palestinian leaders committed themselves to negotiate a peace treaty by the end of 2008. Will it happen? My guess is that it will be difficult and it may tie in quite directly with who is in, or appears to be in, the White House.


The most optimistic aspect of the negotiation is that the peace process is revived from the past seven years of dormancy.


The key issues:


*the dismantling of Israeli settlements in the West Bank


*the borders of a Palestinian state


+the status of Jerusalem and the fate of Palestinian refugees who left, or were forced to leave, their homes in Israel.


It remains to be seen if Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel and the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, can settle their differences while the regional struggle against extremism seems to be raging in the Middle East.


Interesting, the conclave brought about the highest-level official contacts yet between Israel and Saudi Arabia, which do not have diplomatic relations. Prince Saud al-Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister, vowed that he would not shake Mr. Olmert’s hand.


According to news reports, Olmert looked directly at Prince Saud and said that Israel aspired to “normalization” with the Arab world.


Olmert stated:

you know that religious fanaticism and national extremism are a perfect recipe for domestic instability and violence, for bitterness and ultimately for the disintegration of the very foundations of coexistence based on tolerance and mutual acceptance.


Prince Saud was less diplomatic in response as he stated: "the time has come for Israel to put its trust in peace after it has gambled on war for decades without success.” He asked that Israel withdraw from the West Bank.


Bush waved his magic wand and stated that this was an opportunity to advance democracy in a region torn by conflict, not to mention filled now with United States troops. Bush said: “And when liberty takes root in the rocky soil of the West Bank and Gaza, it will inspire millions across the Middle East who want their societies built on freedom and peace and hope.”


If only that were true. It is more likely that any voting in most of the Middle East would be a vote against liberty.

Where Should Americans Be Shopping During the Holidays

Sears Responds to the Needs of Deployed Associates
Sears has once again extended the time period for its military pay differential and benefits continuation policy.

Sears salaried and full-time associates who have been called to active duty since September 11, 2001, are now eligible for continuing pay and benefits for up to 60 months, an increase from the previous 36-month policy.

Under the policy, Sears pays the difference between the associate’s Sears pay and military pay. Sears military absentees can continue to participate in the company’s life insurance, medical and dental programs for themselves and their dependents for up to five years. While deployed, associates are also eligible for annual merit increases, incentive pay and stock options. The company also will hold a comparable position for up to five years.

As an employer, Sears has been recognized for its generous military leave policy. By law, companies are required to provide deployed employees access to 18 months of continued medical coverage at the employee’s expense. Sears’ policy goes well beyond the law’s requirements and is part of its long-time historical support of the military. As far back as 1917, Sears records reflect that associates were paid their normal wages when they were absent on military duty during certain military engagements.


Cf. Sears Policy


I recently became aware of Sears policy from a friend's email. By shopping at this establishment Americans can practically, and helpfully, support service personnel which sounds like a great idea to me.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Chinese Burden in Africa

When the West was colonizing Africa the world agrees that this is indicative of their imperial, jingoistic misadventures.


So, what if China creates a misadventure?


Catumbela, in Angola, is the abandoned site of a group of Chinese railway engineers and laborers. The team attempted to build a railroad but without success. The $2 billion project washed out like so many African roads hampered by flash floods, mud, and land mines.


About the Chinese, one Angolan soldier guarding the abandoned site stated: "They're gone. . . . I don't know when they're coming back—they ate their dogs and left."


The railroad stalled in a high-level dispute between the Angolan and Chinese governments, along with a $2 billion contract to build an oil refinery. The American Embassy reports that the project will most likely be awarded to American company, Bechtel.


However, China's has had a good run in Africa. To wit,


*oil from the Sudan


*timber from Guinea


*mining copper and zinc from the Congo


*a major stake in South Africa's Standard Bank


*the Chinese are far out pacing their Western rivals. China has opened more embassies in Africa than the United States


*in 2006, trade between Africa and China topped $50 billion. By 2010 it's projected to reach $100 billion.


On the negative side though China has had kidnappings, killings, and death threats that plague its workers. 17 Chinese oil workers were slaughtered last year. Angola is China's biggest supplier of crude oil, but the land is a hazardous, corrupt country as well.


There is no fraternization between Chinese and Angolans. If a worker becomes romantically or sexually involved with a local, he's on a slow boat to Shanghai.


Racism is common, both sides refer to the other as monkeys or pigs.


Beijing may express an interest in Angola, but that move may only attract rivals. American firms Bechtel, KBR, ExxonMobil, and Chevron have moved in as well.


Other nations are making their presence felt. The Brazilian firm Odebrecht competes with the railroad as they are building a highway. South African companies are repairing the electrical grid, and the Portuguese are involved in construction projects.


The Chinese are finding a Chinese Burden all of their own.

Its Not Just the Money

Cyber Monday is not just about the money but consider the investment of time that working people devote to buying online, and at work.


This year, U.S. online sales could top $700 Million.


This is a new record for online spending, according to comScore Inc.


If comScore's prediction proves correct, the figure for Cyber Monday would be a 15% increase over last year's sales of $608 million.


ComScore said the hottest product category was video games, consoles and accessories, which was up 134% from last year.


Internet performance analysis company Keynote Systems Inc. said that one-third of the 30 major brick and mortar retail sites it monitors for its holiday retail index showed significant slowdowns. Site outages caused purchasers at sites such as The Buy.com and Lowe's Home Improvement to abandon their purchases. The extensive day long outages of years past, such as when I managed online sites in the '90s and into '01 seem to be passe.


The conclusion seems to be that people are more loyal to their purchases and that they wait to use their faster online experience at work to buy.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ian Hunter Slide Show

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Anti-Insurgent Graphic Creations

The anti-insurgent sentiment in the U.S. has spawned graphic creations as a response.


 

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Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, An Excerpt

 
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The central theme of this book is that culture and cultural identities, which at the broadest level are civilization identities, are shaping the patterns of cohesion, disintegration, and conflict in the post-Cold War world. The five parts of this book elaborate corollaries to this main proposition.

Part I: For the first time in history global politics is both multipolar and multicivilizational; modernization is distinct from Westernization and is producing neither a universal civilization in any meaningful sense nor the Westernization of non-Western societies.

Part II: The balance of power among civilizations is shifting: the West is declining in relative influence; Asian civilizations are expanding their economic, military, and political strength; Islam is exploding demographically with destabilizing consequences for Muslim countries and their neighbors; and non-Western civilizations generally are reaffirming the value of their own cultures.

Part III: A civilization-based world order is emerging: societies sharing cultural affinities cooperate with each other; efforts to shift societies from one civilization to another are unsuccessful; and countries group themselves around the lead or core states of their civilization.

Part IV: The West's universalist pretensions increasingly bring it into conflict with other civilizations, most seriously with Islam and China; at the local level fault line wars, largely between Muslims and non-Muslims, generate "kin-country rallying," the threat of broader escalation, and hence efforts by core states to halt these wars.

Part V: The survival of the West depends on Americans reaffirming their Western identity and Westerners accepting their civilization as unique not universal and uniting to renew and preserve it against challenges from non-Western societies. Avoidance of a global war of civilizations depends on world leaders accepting and cooperating to maintain the multicivilizational character of global politics.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Not a Politically Correct Music Site

This is not politically correct music but Age of Liberty portrays itself as an alternative to the usual Hollywood and left-leaning entertainment industry.

"Stupid in America," a Report by John Stossel

A report by John Stossel entitled "Stupid in America" is sobering, and scary.


About This Video

20-20 investigation by John Stossel entitled "Stupid in America" highlighting some of the flaws with the education system in the United States.

The story started out when identical tests were given to high school students in New Jersey and in Belgium. The Belgian kids cleaned the American kids' clocks. The Belgian kids called the American students "stupid", which gave the piece its name.

Jay Greene, author of "Education Myths," points out that "If money were the solution, the problem would already be solved. We've doubled per pupil spending, adjusting for inflation, over the last 30 years, and yet schools aren't better."

Lebanon in Chaos

In a development straight out of how not to elect a leader the Lebanese presidency ends in chaos. President Emile Lahoud leaves office refusing to recognize the Prime Minister's government.


There is now no elected successor and a bitter dispute looms over who is in power.


The pro-Syrian and anti-Western Lahoud left the presidential palace and he issued an order that the army should take over control.


However, pro-Western Prime Minister Fouad Siniora rejected the move and says that under the constitution he and his cabinet are in temporary power.


The president is elected by parliament, but a vote was scuttled by the pro-Syrian opposition who did not allow the necessary quorum to be achieved.


The election of a president requires a two-thirds majority, which means that the pro-Western ruling bloc--with only a slim majority--could not force its preferred candidate through parliament.


The streets reflected the chaotic mood with the army deployed in force and schools closed.


The US, Russia, Syria and Iran have all been intensely involved.


Russia should provide regional leadership and the U.S. should take a step back.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

New Far Rightist Party Gains Ground in Germany

 
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The National Democratic Party (NPD) is a neo-Nazi German entity that is gaining ground.


According to some Social Democrats, the Party is anti-Semitic and racist. It opposes a multi-party system and is undemocratic.


The NPD is prone to weekend demonstrations involving radical, violence-prone neo-Nazis.


In fact, the NPD was created in West Germany more than 40 years ago, mainly by Nazi war veterans. It lost members and direction until German reunification in 1990. As unemployment and unhappiness increased in the old east, the NPD gained ground.


Maybe the Party should look up how that whole unemployment and ill-will thing worked out in 1930s Germany.

American Students: As Good As Slovakia and Estonia

Students in Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Japan significantly outperform American students on math and science tests.


The study's author is Gary Phillips, chief scientist at the American Institutes for Research, a nonprofit independent scientific research firm.


Eighth-grade students were compared with peers in 45 countries.


American students trailed the top students and were comparable to pupils in Slovakia and Estonia, but they were well above those in countries like Egypt, Chile, and Saudi Arabia.


The highest-performing state in math was Massachusetts; in science, it was North Dakota. The new study shows that average math achievement in Massachusetts was lower than in the leading Asian nations and Belgium.


Mississippi was the lowest-performing state in both math and science.


Is this really where the U.S. should be?

There Must Be 50 Ways . . . To Tell a Story With Web 2.0 Tools

There are so many more possibilities to tell a story; and, Web 2.0 Web 2.0 tools have increased the promise of the Web to relate stories in an effective manner.

Excellent Free Cleaner

An excellent and helpful (did I mention free!) tool is linked here.CCleaner - Freeware Windows Optimization

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Paul Berman Biography, Terror and Liberalism

Paul Berman is an American author and journalist who writes on politics and literature. His articles have been published in The New Republic, The New York Times Book Review and Slate, and he is the author of several books, including A Tale of Two Utopias and Terror and Liberalism.

Berman received his undergraduate education from Columbia University, from which he graduated in 1971. He has reported on Nicaragua's civil wars, Mexico's elections, and the Czech Republic's Velvet Revolution. Currently he is a senior fellow at the World Policy Institute, a professor of journalism and distinguished writer in residence at New York University, and a member of the editorial board of Dissent.

Totalitarianism and Islamic Fundamentalism

In Terror and Liberalism, Berman suggests that the appeal of totalitarian movements emanated from liberalism's apparent failure in the aftermath of the First World War. Movements like Fascism, Nazism, Falangism, and Communism all share, according to Berman, two essential similarities. Firstly, they envision themselves as a force being attacked by barbarians who can only be defended by the internal purification of the movement. Berman sees the Communist striving for ideological purity, the Falangist pursuit of religious purity, and the Nazi pursuit of racial purity as being related efforts in this regard. Together with this purifying impulse, Berman argues that these totalitarian movements share a similar nihilist strand.

Berman then tries to trace these commonalities between the various totalitarian ideologies into the modern Islamic world. He splits Islamic thought into two broad categories: Pan-Arabism and Islamic fundamentalism. Pan-Arabist movements like the Ba'ath Party, he suggests, was influenced by traditional European totalitarian thought. In the Islamic fundamentalist movement, Berman sees the re-emergence of the nihilist strand in the form of suicide bombings and the celebration of martyrdom.

History of the 1968 Generation

Berman's A Tale of Two Utopias and Power and the Idealists are the first two parts of a history of the so-called Generation of 1968 (of which he was a member). He argues that packaged together with the liberal ideals in this movement were decidedly disturbing elements. Joschka Fischer, for example, the 1968 activist who would later become the leader of the German Green Party and Foreign Minister, decided that there was in fact the presence of anti-Semitic impulses in this movement when he saw a fellow activist participate in the Entebbe hijacking. The hijackers split the passengers by religion, with Jews on the one side and non-Jews on the other, with the intention to kill all of the former. Similarly, Berman tracks major figures like Bernard Kouchner - the later founder of Doctors Without Borders - a member of the 1968 Generation who would later marry active improvement of human rights to established political goals.

At the close of the book, Berman considers the effect of the war in Iraq on these graduates of '68. He suggests that the war split the movement greatly, with many now deeply aware of the dramatic excesses of the regime of Sadaam Hussein, as well as the potential negative consequences if such a dictator remained in power. Nonetheless, they were deeply concerned by the arguments offered by the Bush Administration. Though his fellow activists were split, Berman argues that the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan and 2003 invasion of Iraq were justified by the doctrine of "liberal interventionism" - intervention to safeguard and promote liberal democratic freedoms. Some have grouped Berman with neo-conservatives for these positions. Others believe he is more closely aligned with traditional liberal internationalism because of his disdain for the neo-conservative policies of George W. Bush.

Are Palestinian Kids Really Suffering Most From Outsiders?

If a recent report is to be believed, 93% of Palestinian kids suffer domestic violence and this would indicate that outsiders are the least of their problems.


New Family, a pro-family rights organization, reported these disturbing statistics in its annual 2007 report.


Their sources included the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics and the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion (PCPO). According to these sources, 93.3% of Palestinian children have experienced domestic violence. Only 52.2% of Palestinian families feel they can provide a safe environment for their children.


Undernourishment causes 10% of these Palestinian children to suffer impaired development. These people are poor; I'm not sure you can blame all this on Israel. The leading cause of infant deaths in Gaza is low body weight. The infant mortality rate is three times greater than that of Israel, and also higher than the rate in the Western world.


The study revealed that 95.1% of Palestinian girls spend the majority of their free time at home, in contrast to 80.5% of Palestinian boys, making the home the only place where female children suffer more violence than males. Because of family poverty, 73.4% of these children work for their families without pay.


Palestinian suffering sparks conflict and Israel opens a window into Middle Eastern Islam, abusive and poor.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Iranian Censors At It Again

The Iranians are out to get the latest damaging reading, this time a novel by Colombian Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Marquez almost got away with the dastardly deed--until censors actually translated its title for what it is.


The actual title is: Memories of My Melancholy Whores but this initially slipped by the censors and thus was published in Farsi as Memories of My Melancholy Sweethearts which is a horse of a different color.


The uncensored first edition of 5,000 had sold out before the authorities corrected their mistake and banned the work.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Violent Oppression of Women in Islam

The violent oppression of women according to the dictates of Islam has no correspondence in the West.

UK Preachers from Saudi Arabia and the UAE: Undercover Report

The deception is real because numerous of these groups are praised for their inter-faith efforts. However, British journalists went undercover to report the actual radical preaching done by Saudi and UAE imams.

On Janet Murray's work Hamlet on the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace

Janet Murray's work Hamlet on the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace, asks whether the computer can provide the basis for an expressive narrative form, just as print technology supported the development of the novel and film technology supported the evolution of movies. I don't believe it can.


In fact, I think the future of the computer is impossible to predict due to the innovative uses the computer is being used for. Murray, on the other hand, provides an optimistic answer. Murray’s analysis rests on an understanding of the computer as a medium of representation with a distinct set of properties. I don't think it does.


The computer is not procedural, as she argues, but dispersive. The computer is often participatory, as she argues, but it is also just as easily isolating. One of the most interesting points of the work is the connection between research and artificial intelligence (AI) with cultural forms such as games, movies, literature, and television. The most promising of her connections is that between AI and games.


Nonetheless, Murray’s main point is that the new computer formats expand the possibilities of expression available for storytelling which has not been proven true as indicated by the failure of any major computer work to gain literary acceptance. Indeed, one of the major literary contributions of the computer age is one that for all intents and purposes predated computers. In 1984, William Gibson contributed Neuromancer which depicted the developing human-machine interface created by the widespread use of computers and computer network.

Friday, November 16, 2007

French Detain 7 Suspected Islamists

French authorities detained seven suspected Islamic militants who allegedly trained to fight in Iraq. Six of the men are French nationals of Bosnian origin, while the seventh is Algerian. They ranged in age from their early 20s to mid 40s. At least one was a student: another a teacher.

Islamic State: Against Democracy

The Islamic State of Iraq released a graphic video decrying the failures of democracy in Iraq. The production advocates the return to tribal warfare as an improvement over the imposed attempt to bring democracy to Iraq. The strident tone and the impassioned speakers on the video denounce their opponents and advocate violence against. them.


On the other hand, this is the same group which has issued the ideal establishment of their state. Their statement reads:


Anyone thinking that Islam can gain power through videos, books, appeals, parliaments and election leaflets is an ignorant [?] who does not know how this religion was established. Cf. The SITE Institute.


The Islamic State establishes itself as a non-democratic entity but criticizes the failures of democracy in Iraq. I guess that's clear.


And, meanwhile, roadside attacks against U.S. troops is down to the lowest levels in two years.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Musharraf, One of Our Thirty Tyrants

President Pervez Musharraf's imposition of a state of emergency is regrettable, inevitable, and a harbinger of ill times to come.


The U.S. is too closely allied with a repressive regime and one which we should have severed ties to a long time ago. He may be a draconian but he is one of our hoi triakonta, Thirty Tyrants, seems to be the thinking in Washington.


Musharraf's inability to rein in the Pakistani Taleban is part and parcel of his danger of being swarmed by a deep structural crisis at the heart of Pakistan.


The flaw is an over reliance on the army to sustain the constitution, the independence of the judiciary, the bureaucracy, a collapsing economy, and the dichotomy between army elites, the political parties, and civil society.


I've advocated that a greater regional stability is to be found in the combined efforts of India, Russia, and China. It is, after all, in their background that the Taleban is rising and it is their issue more immediately than it is of concern to the U.S. India's traditional hostility may be offset by the Russians and the Chinese.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

News Reports All Muslims are Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm

The British publication Guardian ran a story about a survey which shows a 'demonisation' of Muslims. I wouldn't want to suggest that Muslims did anything negative so as to be newsworthy but maybe it is implied in the study.


The research reflected one week's news coverage that showed 91% of articles in national newspapers about Muslims were negative; only 4% of the 352 articles studied were positive.


Journalists will have to spend more time finding positive, uplifting newsy stories about Muslims.


Wait, that's not what they do for anyone, including other religions.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

India the New Player On the Block

India is making its presence known in the exclusive group of supercomputing nations. This is the arrival of India in the HPC crowd.


The U.S. leads supercomputing by a significant margin but India-based Computational Research Laboratories (CRL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Sons Ltd., which is actually part of a conglomerate itself, has just built the world's fourth most powerful supercomputer.


The supercomputer was built with Hewlett-Packard Co. servers using Intel chips with 14,240 processor cores. The system achieved a performance of 117.9 TFLOPS. The fastest system is quite a bit faster, with a 213,000 processing core, is IBM's BlueGene/L System, a joint development of IBM and the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration. It achieved a benchmark of 478.2 TFLOPS.


India's supercomputers make up only nine, or just under 2%, of supercomputers. he U.S. houses 283 of the systems, or nearly 57% of the total. The U.K. is second best with 48 or nearly 10% of the supercomputing systems.


The question to wonder is India just a new player or will the nation be poised to make even more significant gains.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Russia and India: Just Like Old Times

In a singularly good move for regional stability Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in key talks. The goal of the meeting is to cement economic and military ties between the two countries. The two nations were close during the Cold War and although India has liberalized its economy the pair has remained close. India has traditionally been a heavy buyer of Russian weaponry. Russia is bidding to broker more than 120 fighter planes to India. Russia and India are discussing collaborating on the next generation of fighter jets and medium-range transport aircraft.


On the energy front, Russia is also bidding to build four nuclear reactors in India.


The West should stay away from interfering between the two which may lead to more regional cooperation and supervision of Middle Eastern rogue states. The alliance might lead to regional leadership thereby freeing the U.S. from wasting its resources and manpower in a troubled region.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Upcoming Research

Samuel Huntington's Clash of Civilizations; Terrorist Hunter
The Extraordinary Story of a Woman Who Went Undercover to Infiltrate the Radical Islamic Groups Operating in America
, Anonymous; Paul Berman, Terror and Liberalism, Norton.


And, a quote: Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)
. . . I must say, it [the Koran] is as toilsome reading as I ever undertook. A wearisome confused jumble, crude, incondite; endless iterations, long-windedness, entanglement; most crude, incondite; — insupportable stupidity, in short! Nothing but a sense of duty could carry any European through the Koran . . . It is the confused ferment of a great rude human soul; rude, untutored, that cannot even read; but fervent, earnest, struggling vehemently to utter itself in words . . . We said "stupid:" yet natural stupidity is by no means the character of Mahomet's Book; it is natural uncultivation rather. The man has not studied speaking; in the haste and pressure of continual fighting, has not time to mature himself into fit speech . . . The man was an uncultured semi-barbarous Son of Nature, much of the Bedouin still clinging to him: we must take him for that. But for a wretched Simulacrum, a hungry Impostor without eyes or heart . . . we will not and cannot take him. Sincerity, in all senses, seems to me the merit of the Koran; what had rendered it precious to the wild Arab men . . . Curiously, through these incondite masses of tradition, vituperation, complaint, ejaculation in the Koran, a vein of true direct insight, of what we might almost call poetry, is found straggling. On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History, pp. 64-67.

Tracking Terrorists in the Dark Web

While there are those who do not see terrorist web sites as a threat a project seeks to track the posts.


One such page is entitled: "A guide to kill Americans in Saudi Arabia."


Programmers can often leave digital clues as to their identity: in their greetings and terms, punctuation and syntax, and the coding they employ for multimedia attachments and links.


Accordingly, a University of Arizona project is developing a tool that uses these clues to automate the analysis of online jihadism. The project is entitled The Dark Web Terrorism Research project which scours Web sites, forums, and chat rooms to find jihadists and learn how they reel in adherents.


Lab director Hsinchun Chen calls the project "al-Qaida University on the Web."


The massive amount of data is a huge issue which makes the project all the more valuable. There has been a tenfold increase in the last two years in jihadist content appearing online.


One other existing computer-generated research of terrorist Web sites is at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.


A $1.3 million grant the National Science Foundation gave Chen's group will focus on who produces IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices); Chen started the project with about $3 million from other Artificial Intelligence Lab programs.


The AP carried a story about how the project works:


Dark Web's software, Writeprint, samples 480 different factors to identify whether the same people are posting to multiple radical forums. It can analyze everything from a fragment of an e-mail to videos depicting American soldiers blown up in Humvees and fuel tankers.


Writeprint is derived from a program originally used to determine the authenticity of William Shakespeare's works. It looks at writing style, word usage and frequency and greetings, and at technical elements ranging from Web addresses to the coding on multimedia attachments. It also looks at linguistic features such as special characters, punctuation, word roots, font size and color.



Dark Web compares writings it finds to others in its logs of about 500 million pages of jihadist-produced content.


Most of the material is in Arabic, but the terrorist network has expanded to include Chinese, Spanish, and French sources, soon, others will be added.


The methods used here are unproven but data collection and analysis is common in enterprise applications and I see no reason to doubt that their efforts could lead to breakthroughs. One of the best sites of violent postings collected by a group that tracks jihadists is at the Search for International Terrorist Entities. One shocking fact to consider is how many of these violent sites are housed on U.S. ISPs.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The End of Faith

I'd like to compare Sam Harris with some other recent reading. Harris has controversially, but correctly I think, identified recent movements in Islam as representative, but incompatible, with notions of Western freedom.


The End of Faith can be compared with other thinkers about the battle between Western ideas and Islamic thought. There are no spokespersons for genuine Islamic moderation. All Muslims, by definition, adhere to the House of Islam or the House of War. There is no middle ground.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Have You Seen Alicia?

You may not have seen Alicia Keys like this but interesting information is included about her. Her MySpace web page was hacked and was infected with exploits. Exploit Prevention Labs blogged about the incident.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Lyrical Terrorist Takes a Fall

 
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Samina Malik, the so-called "Lyrical Terrorist," became the first Muslim woman in Britain to be found guilty of terrorism charges. She worked air-side for WH Smith, posted a series of poems on websites across the internet about killing non-believers, pursuing martyrdom and raising children to be holy fighters.


Malik is 23 and was born and raised in Southall, West London. Another nom de plume was "Stranger Awaiting Martyrdom."


Her poems were filled with death and destruction by writing about killing heathens, adding: "Kafirs your time will come soon, and no one will save you from your doom."


In one writing, "Raising Mujahideen [holy fighter] Children," she advocated the indoctrination of children from the age of seven.


She saw herself as doing "anything in defence of Islam."


She promoted her ideas on a website called Hi-5 which is similar to social networking sites such as Facebook or MySpace.


Her favourite TV shows were videos by "Muslim brothers in Iraq," in particular, the beheading ones.


She enjoyed "videos which show massacres of the kaffirs."


In this way, she was advertising her availability for marriage.


I can't help but wonder if she liked long walks on the beach and romantic dinners at home.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Sarkozy Cozy?

Bush and Sarkozy are indeed just that, cozy over Iran but I have my doubts.


Sarkozy and Bush speak warmly of French-US relations but I remember not too long ago a certain French nation denouncing the U.S. over Iraq.


Sarkozy is the first French leader in a decade asked to address a joint session of Congress.


Sarkozy also pledged to US lawmakers that France would support the US in Afghanistan.


I wonder where he has been the past four years while American troops have been committed to both Iraq and Afghanistan.


If Sarkozy were sincere there would be tangible action taken and not just the empty words spoken to Bush.


Is Sarkozy hinted that he expects a Republican victory next year?


Shouldn't he be cozying up to the leading Democratic nominees in anticipation of an anti-Bush, diplomacy-hinged Democrat in the White House?


Sarkozy did state: "The idea of Iran having a nuclear weapon is dangerous and therefore now is the time for us to work together to diplomatically solve this problem."


He added: "I want to tell you that whenever an American soldier falls somewhere in the world, I think of what the American army did for France."


If he would think harder, he would commit French troops and monetary support. With none forthcoming, his diplomacy falls on deaf ears.


In any case, Sarkozy is attempting to be much warmer than his predecessor, Jacques Chirac.


Is Sarkozy to be believed when he says: "Let me tell you solemnly today, France will remain engaged in Afghanistan as long as it takes, because what's at stake in that country is the future of our values and that of the Atlantic alliance."


Sarkozy will bring France back into NATO's military command structure after several decades outside which is a step in the right direction. But, what role should NATO take in a post-Soviet world is the more important, but unspoken, question.


Sarkozy's promise is to "reconquer America's heart" but frankly the man leaves me cold, the nation even more so. I want to figure out what his angle is.


Sarkozy is identified as the most pro-American French leader in some time and indeed his own background seems like a typical, mixed bag of types: he is the son of a Hungarian immigrant and a French-Greek woman whose father was Jewish. He enthusiastically endorses the American work ethic and popular culture. On the other hand, maybe he should be taken at his word. He stated in Testimony, his 2006 campaign book: “If I was in love with the American model, I’d go and live there. This is not the case." 'Nuff said.


What should be kept in mind in all this mutual admiration sentiment is the actual 2003 position of France which opposed the US-led invasion of Iraq. Meanwhile, we have shed our blood and paid the price. What has France done for the cause?


The mystery player is the former Soviet power in the form of Russia which more recently has been cozying up as well, to Iran.

Too Much Jihadist Web Spew?

 
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Who would want the West to stop Web radicals?


Radicals on the Web open themselves up to refutation which is a good thing and is what usually works in person. The Web should be no different.


In London, student Younes Tsouli used the Internet to spread al-Qaeda propaganda, recruit suicide bombers, and promote Web sites that encouraged the killing of non-Muslims. In person, one could use reason, argument, or discussion to oppose Tsouli.


Fortunately, the Moroccan-born student and two accomplices, one of whom he had never met in person, became the first to be jailed in Britain for inciting terrorism over the Internet. I do think the offense is similar to those nations that prohibit hate speech intended to incite a reaction.


The Internet contributes to spreading extremist propaganda and recruiting sympathizers to Islamist militant causes but so does ordinary speech in Hyde Park and no one wants to censor free speech in traditional discourse sites.


The European Commission urged the EU's 27 states to crack down on militant sites.


A report by New York's police chief in August described the Internet as "the new Afghanistan." U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has stated that potential recruits no longer needed to travel to al-Qaeda camps.


As in so many enterprise examples, jihadists train themselves over the Internet.


Web sites are difficult to censor because they can simply keep moving or Islamists can use chat rooms because of their transitory nature.


Chinese censorship has resulted in clever "work arounds," stated Johnny Ryan, senior researcher at Dublin's Institute of International and European Affairs, and author of the book Countering Militant Islamist Radicalisation on the Internet.


Akil Awan, of the Royal Holloway, University of London, states that it would be morally questionable to censor jihadist Web sites that presented an alternative world view.


He is wrong. People who oppose jihadists, or anyone, have an obligation to denounce what they understand as wrong-headed. The tangible difference between the jihadist, and Web material that is skewed, tendentious, and indoctrinating, is that much of the dross of the Net is harmless.


Jihadists are not harmless, or blameless.


Radical preacher Omar Bakri Mohammed, was banned from Britain after the government ruled that he was not "conducive to the public good." Syrian-born Bakri thought that jailing would be seen as part of a campaign against Islam.


The Islamists should be opposed, directly and consistently, by Western authorities.


He stated:

They should open debate, discussions, dialogue with the Islamists. There is no need to censor. If you think it is bad, why do you not debate it and destroy it in national media?


Bakri stated:

They should open debate, discussions, dialogue with the Islamists. There is no need to censor. If you think it is bad, why do you not debate it and destroy it in national media?


Islamists should be debated in the media.


Bakri claimed that the 09/11 hijackers the "Magnificent 19," has continued to communicate with followers in Britain via Internet chat rooms.


The Royal Holloway's Awan said, adding it is estimated there are more than 5,000 extremist Web sites.


Let them spew their rot. Those who are committed to open and free discourse should engage the Web jihadists.


I only wonder if there are enough Western academics committed to the idea of confronting specious ideas.


And, in the meantime, the serious business of tracking down and eliminating al-Qaeda threats in Iraq continues.


 

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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Yahoo is Evil

I've been advocating a hard line in the Yahoo vs. Chinese human rights issue. The advantage for human rights advocates will increase as Beijing gets to host the prestigious Olympics soon. Now is the time to put the squeeze on the Chinese government for tangible results while they are in the world's limelight.


In a related story, Yahoo's General Counsel, Michael Callahan, states that he regrets testimony in a China human rights case.


Well, hello, Michael, what did you think? These are not folks who are fooling around with any rights nonsense.


Callahan provided testimony to a congressional committee about the company's role in the jailing of Shi Tao, a Chinese journalist.


Shi, a reporter, was arrested after posting material about a government crackdown on media and democracy activists on Democracy Forum, an overseas Web site.


Yahoo caved in to Chinese authorities demands as they asked Yahoo to hand over information about Shi's e-mail account, including his IP address, log-on history and the contents of his e-mail over several weeks. Yahoo complied. Using Yahoo's duplicity, Beijing police tracked Shi and arrested him.


Shi got 10-years; thanks Yahoo.


Callahan was blasted by House Committee on Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos (D-Calif.). Lantos stated:

Let me be clear -- this was no misunderstanding. This was inexcusably negligent behavior at best and deliberately deceptive behavior at worst. I wish to repeat this: This was inexcusably negligent behavior at best and deliberately deceptive behavior at worst. ... Either Yahoo has little regard for providing full and complete information to a duly constituted committee of the Congress, or it has little regard for the issue of protecting human rights.


Yahoo has been lambasted for its corporate behavior.


Lantos continued:

When he first appeared before this committee, I asked Mr. Callahan whether he had reached out to Shi Tao's family to offer an apology and to provide assistance," Lantos said. "The answer was a resounding 'No.' Fifteen months later Yahoo has yet to provide any aid to Shi Tao's family. Mr. Yang, Mr. Callahan: Shi Tao's mother is sitting in the first row right behind you -- I would urge you to beg the forgiveness of the mother whose son is languishing behind bars due to Yahoo's actions.


Yahoo's Callahan has not provided any aid or comfort to Shi's family following this debacle.


"Do No Evil," indeed.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Ready for a Serve?

HP is the first major manufacturer to team up with Microsoft Windows Home Server (WHS) software and will release its MediaSmart Server.


MediaSmart will ship towards the end of the month is priced at $599 with 500GB of storage, or $749 with a terabyte of disk space.


MediaSmart Server features automatic backup, data restore, file and printer sharing, and remote Web-based access for up to 10 Windows XP or Vista PCs on an Ethernet or wireless network.


Some estimates have been made of the home server market and it has been suggested that there are enough people who are ready to move up to a server. The households with multiple PCs and home networks are estimated to contain 24 million U.S. households that are equipped with home networks and more than one computer.


Microsoft sells WHS separately only as a system-builder edition, but the company has also talked up other partners' products, including servers from U.K. vendor Tranquil PC Ltd. and Richmond, Va.-based Velocity Micro Inc., as well as future releases from Iomega Corp., Fujitsu Siemens Computers and Medion AG next year. Other servers with the new OS will ship at the end of this year and into early 2008 which includes boxes from Iomega Corp. and LaCie Ltd.

Who 'Ya Gonna' Call?

In an emergency, can you call Grandma on your cell phone?


The real question of course is can network overload be prevented?


All of us who have lived through California's earthquakes, such as Tuesday's 5.6 magnitude earthquake in the San Francisco Bay Area, realize quickly that all services go awry. In this last earthquake, the number of cell phone calls on the Verizon Wireless network skyrocketed.


The normal load is 300,000 calls between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. in an area of Santa Clara County, however, post-earthquake, the call volume soared to 2.3 million.


People were trying to reach their loved ones, but most calls did not go through.


Can our communications systems be re-engineered so that all calls are completed?


It is not an easy answer.


The wireless carriers could solve the problem but at a hefty price. The network would be huge and only used a few times in the case of emergencies.


Local communities can increase their capacity, allowing of course for those places where the required increased number of towers are acceptable and the community will absorb the added expense.


In the San Francisco example, Verizon had all systems back to normal within 30 minutes and none of its cell phone towers were damaged or lost power.


One work-around in an emergency is to send short text messages, which use less capacity on the networks because they pass through in bits and bytes instead of requiring a dedicated circuit as an actual phone call does.


Emergency first responders have cell phones that use codes to automatically route their calls to the highest priority to ensure they get through. They are not using the same call waiting system as regular users.


The days are past when regular users could be relegated to play second fiddle. Users are dependent on cell phones for business and steps should be taken so that work more effectively during emergencies. If not, this is a huge gap in our communications systems, and is subject to attack as a vulnerable point.


Alternatives should be explored. Several have been suggested, such as metering cell phone use in emergencies so that all users can get some time to make their important calls. A second option is a callback service, like those used in the 1950s, where if a circuit is busy, the customer gets a phone call back when the circuit is available to make a call.


If the government can be kept out of an intrusion oversight posture, communities and businesses with critical interest in the service and continuity should take the lead. Emerging areas and companies can show others how it is possible, and necessary to make phone use ubiquitous.

Government Open to Open Source

 
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Open source is increasingly attractive to decision makers in the U.S. government. 55% of all U.S. government executives have implemented open-source software at their agencies, and 71% believe their agency can benefit from the software.


These statistics may still obscure the fact of when the agencies rolled an update out. And, the statistics may not reveal that open-source runs unobtrusively on back-end operations.


A recent survey, commissioned by the Federal Open Source Alliance, a group pushing the use of open-source software in government, allied with Intel, Hewlett-Packard, and Red Hat.


A summary by ComputerWorld noted:

The survey of 218 IT decision-makers in the U.S. government found that 88% of those in intelligence agencies said that their operations can benefit from open source. That may not be surprising, given that the U.S. National Security agency has been supporting a secure Linux project, called Security Enhanced Linux, since 2001.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

On Islamofascism

Stephen Schwartz, who claims to have coined Islamofascism, describes American Muslims offended by the term. According to Schwartz, "the only American Muslims offended by the term “Islamofascism” are those to whom it is best applied, i.e. the “Wahhabi lobby” centered on the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)."


He states that the term refers to present-day jihadists. These individuals and "movements should be treated as Islamofascist, first, because of their congruence with the defining characteristics of classic fascism, especially in its most historically-significant form – German National Socialism.”


Schwartz continues: “Islamofascism [like Nazism] pursues its aims through the willful, arbitrary, and gratuitous disruption of global society, either by terrorist conspiracies or by violation of peace between states."


He believes the analogy holds true in that the resentful middle classes, frustrated in their aspirations and anxious about loss of their position characterized the Italian middle class and the German middle class. He is on good historical grounds here but he continues that the frustrated middle class is congruous with Al-Qaida based on it is in the Saudi, Pakistani, and Egyptian middle classes. I don't know enough about these middle classes to make a comparison with pre-World War II Italy and Germany but I can suspend judgment for the moment. Hezbollah is said to be another parallel because the growing Lebanese Shia middle class believes itself to be the victim of discrimination. In all four examples, this is grist for the mill, I simply don't know if the claim is credible.


Both fascism and Islamofascism are imperialistic: granted.


Both are totalitarian: granted.


Both are paramilitary: granted.


Schwartz states: “I do not believe these characteristics are intrinsic to any element of the faith of Islam.” I believe this is the case.


He rightly points out where the largest contingent of pro-Islamofascist forces are to be discovered in: "the army of apologists for radical Islam found in Middle East Studies departments on American campuses." American campuses are inundated with apologists, that much is true. Rarely will an American academic be heard denouncing violent Islam.


However, Schwartz writes optimistically:

I believe Islamofascism will be defeated by Saudi Sufis, Shias and other non-Wahhabi Muslims, who are pressing King Abdullah to break the official links between the Wahhabi clerics and the monarchy; anti-Wahhabis in other Gulf states; Iranian reformist intellectuals and Sufis; Iraqi Shia opponents of the Khomeinist state system in Iran, and Iraqi Sunni enemies of Al-Qaida; Algerians and Egyptians who survived Islamist terror; Balkan Sufis and traditional Hanafi Muslims confronting Wahhabi infiltrators; Turkish Alevis opposed to the Sunnicentric AK party regime; Sufis and traditionalists in West Africa, Sudan, Kurdistan, Central Asia, and southeast Asia, and the brave opponents of Wahhabis, other takfiris, and the Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan. And Western help is crucial in this war, as in earlier wars against tyranny.


Islamofascism will not survive due to grass-roots oppositional forces. The West is crucial to this war against tyranny.


There are native forces against Islamofascism, Western sources are secondary. He writes:

The left and liberals long ago ceased to advocate for such people, and instead placed all their confidence in the Western academic elite, i.e in themselves and those who aspire to become like them. Academic leftists, yearning for the ‘60s, are as repellent as old rock stars; they are to politics what Mick Jagger is to pop music – pathetically believing they are immortal. I am sorry, but I do not eat that bread.


Stephen Schwartz is the Executive Director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism in Washington, DC and author of the bestselling The Two Faces of Islam: Saudi Fundamentalism and Its Role In Terrorism (Doubleday).

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Egypt Appoints the Same Authoritarian

Egypt is going to stick with its ruling party and will keep Hosni Mubarak in power.


The National Democratic Party congress voted to keep Mubarak as party head and was uncontested.


Party delegates voted overwhelmingly to retain Mubarak for another five years in an uncontested secret ballot.


His son was speculated to possibly be in contention for the top spot, but he congress did not see fit to promote the president's son, Gamal Mubarak, to head the party.


This is the first time the party has held a leadership vote since Mubarak took over after the 1981 assassination of President Anwar Sadat.


Egypt is just as authoritarian as ever although Gamal has been credited with economic reform.


Whichever Mubarak is chosen, neither is likely to lead Egypt to genuinely democratic elections.


Egypt continues its interest in developing its nuclear program.

Friday, November 2, 2007

I've Met Nurse Ratched

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest addresses the issue of how authorities control individuals through subtle and coercive methods.


Nurse Ratched is the memorable foil who controls the denizens of the mental ward through a twisted synthesis of rewards and shame.


She is despicable because her actions unfairly exploit the less gifted.


The primary thrust of the novel is as a critique of the conformity inherent in post-war American consumer society.


There is an echo of the analysis, and with the mental ward an analogy can be drawn to instruments of oppression, comparable to the prison analysis developed by French intellectual Michel Foucault at roughly the same time.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Bullets for Bullies

Gulf states are pitching the idea of offering Iran uranium. Prince Saud al-Faisal of Saudi Arabia said that the plan was meant to stop a nuclear arms race. The Gulf states would set up a Middle Eastern organization to provide enriched uranium to Iran.


In a way this idea seems like giving Hitler a gun and the bullets but I like the idea that the U.S. is not involved.


The body is a Middle Eastern solution, and coupled with Russia's 2005 to do much the same thing, this may be a way out of the impasse with the U.S. In addition, this is something that Middle Easterners need to deal with, an armed and dangerous state in their area, but that the U.S. need not be committed with troops and funding.


The six states that are involved in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC): Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, would form the body.


The basic premise is set up in a collective manner through a consortium that will distribute according to needs, give each plant its own necessary amount, and ensure no use of this enriched uranium for atomic weapons, according to Saud.


In a related development, the five permanent UN Security Council members--the US, China, Russia, France and Britain--along with Germany would meet on Friday in London to discuss the next step on Iran's nuclear programme.

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Reading since summer 2006 (some of the classics are re-reads): including magazine subscriptions

  • Abbot, Edwin A., Flatland;
  • Accelerate: Technology Driving Business Performance;
  • ACM Queue: Architecting Tomorrow's Computing;
  • Adkins, Lesley and Roy A. Adkins, Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome;
  • Ali, Ayaan Hirsi, Nomad: From Islam to America: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations;
  • Ali, Tariq, The Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads, and Modernity;
  • Allawi, Ali A., The Crisis of Islamic Civilization;
  • Alperovitz, Gar, The Decision To Use the Atomic Bomb;
  • American School & University: Shaping Facilities & Business Decisions;
  • Angelich, Jane, What's a Mother (in-Law) to Do?: 5 Essential Steps to Building a Loving Relationship with Your Son's New Wife;
  • Arad, Yitzchak, In the Shadow of the Red Banner: Soviet Jews in the War Against Nazi Germany;
  • Aristotle, Athenian Constitution. Eudemian Ethics. Virtues and Vices. (Loeb Classical Library No. 285);
  • Aristotle, Metaphysics: Books X-XIV, Oeconomica, Magna Moralia (The Loeb classical library);
  • Armstrong, Karen, A History of God;
  • Arrian: Anabasis of Alexander, Books I-IV (Loeb Classical Library No. 236);
  • Atkinson, Rick, The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945 (Liberation Trilogy);
  • Auletta, Ken, Googled: The End of the World As We Know It;
  • Austen, Jane, Pride and Prejudice;
  • Bacevich, Andrew, The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism;
  • Baker, James A. III, and Lee H. Hamilton, The Iraq Study Group Report: The Way Forward - A New Approach;
  • Barber, Benjamin R., Jihad vs. McWorld: Terrorism's Challenge to Democracy;
  • Barnett, Thomas P.M., Blueprint for Action: A Future Worth Creating;
  • Barnett, Thomas P.M., The Pentagon's New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-First Century;
  • Barron, Robert, Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith;
  • Baseline: Where Leadership Meets Technology;
  • Baur, Michael, Bauer, Stephen, eds., The Beatles and Philosophy;
  • Beard, Charles Austin, An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States (Sony Reader);
  • Benjamin, Daniel & Steven Simon, The Age of Sacred Terror: Radical Islam's War Against America;
  • Bergen, Peter, The Osama bin Laden I Know: An Oral History of al Qaeda's Leader;
  • Berman, Paul, Terror and Liberalism;
  • Berman, Paul, The Flight of the Intellectuals: The Controversy Over Islamism and the Press;
  • Better Software: The Print Companion to StickyMinds.com;
  • Bleyer, Kevin, Me the People: One Man's Selfless Quest to Rewrite the Constitution of the United States of America;
  • Boardman, Griffin, and Murray, The Oxford Illustrated History of the Roman World;
  • Bracken, Paul, The Second Nuclear Age: Strategy, Danger, and the New Power Politics;
  • Bradley, James, with Ron Powers, Flags of Our Fathers;
  • Bronte, Charlotte, Jane Eyre;
  • Bronte, Emily, Wuthering Heights;
  • Brown, Ashley, War in Peace Volume 10 1974-1984: The Marshall Cavendish Encyclopedia of Postwar Conflict;
  • Brown, Ashley, War in Peace Volume 8 The Marshall Cavendish Illustrated Encyclopedia of Postwar Conflict;
  • Brown, Nathan J., When Victory Is Not an Option: Islamist Movements in Arab Politics;
  • Bryce, Robert, Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of "Energy Independence";
  • Bush, George W., Decision Points;
  • Bzdek, Vincent, The Kennedy Legacy: Jack, Bobby and Ted and a Family Dream Fulfilled;
  • Cahill, Thomas, Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter;
  • Campus Facility Maintenance: Promoting a Healthy & Productive Learning Environment;
  • Campus Technology: Empowering the World of Higher Education;
  • Certification: Tools and Techniques for the IT Professional;
  • Channel Advisor: Business Insights for Solution Providers;
  • Chariton, Callirhoe (Loeb Classical Library);
  • Chief Learning Officer: Solutions for Enterprise Productivity;
  • Christ, Karl, The Romans: An Introduction to Their History and Civilization;
  • Cicero, De Senectute;
  • Cicero, The Republic, The Laws;
  • Cicero, The Verrine Orations I: Against Caecilius. Against Verres, Part I; Part II, Book 1 (Loeb Classical Library);
  • Cicero, The Verrine Orations I: Against Caecilius. Against Verres, Part I; Part II, Book 2 (Loeb Classical Library);
  • CIO Decisions: Aligning I.T. and Business in the MidMarket Enterprise;
  • CIO Insight: Best Practices for IT Business Leaders;
  • CIO: Business Technology Leadership;
  • Clay, Lucius Du Bignon, Decision in Germany;
  • Cohen, William S., Dragon Fire;
  • Colacello, Bob, Ronnie and Nancy: Their Path to the White House, 1911 to 1980;
  • Coll, Steve, The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century;
  • Collins, Francis S., The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief ;
  • Colorni, Angelo, Israel for Beginners: A Field Guide for Encountering the Israelis in Their Natural Habitat;
  • Compliance & Technology;
  • Computerworld: The Voice of IT Management;
  • Connolly, Peter & Hazel Dodge, The Ancient City: Life in Classical Athens & Rome;
  • Conti, Greg, Googling Security: How Much Does Google Know About You?;
  • Converge: Strategy and Leadership for Technology in Education;
  • Cowan, Ross, Roman Legionary 58 BC - AD 69;
  • Cowell, F. R., Life in Ancient Rome;
  • Creel, Richard, Religion and Doubt: Toward a Faith of Your Own;
  • Cross, Robin, General Editor, The Encyclopedia of Warfare: The Changing Nature of Warfare from Prehistory to Modern-day Armed Conflicts;
  • CSO: The Resource for Security Executives:
  • Cummins, Joseph, History's Greatest Wars: The Epic Conflicts that Shaped the Modern World;
  • D'Amato, Raffaele, Imperial Roman Naval Forces 31 BC-AD 500;
  • Dallek, Robert, An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy 1917-1963;
  • Daly, Dennis, Sophocles' Ajax;
  • Dando-Collins, Stephen, Caesar's Legion: The Epic Saga of Julius Caesar's Elite Tenth Legion and the Armies of Rome;
  • Darwish, Nonie, Now They Call Me Infidel: Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel, and the War on Terror;
  • Davis Hanson, Victor, Makers of Ancient Strategy: From the Persian Wars to the Fall of Rome;
  • Dawkins, Richard, The Blind Watchmaker;
  • Dawkins, Richard, The God Delusion;
  • Dawkins, Richard, The Selfish Gene;
  • de Blij, Harm, Why Geography Matters: Three Challenges Facing America, Climate Change, The Rise of China, and Global Terrorism;
  • Defense Systems: Information Technology and Net-Centric Warfare;
  • Defense Systems: Strategic Intelligence for Info Centric Operations;
  • Defense Tech Briefs: Engineering Solutions for Military and Aerospace;
  • Dennett, Daniel C., Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon;
  • Dennett, Daniel C., Consciousness Explained;
  • Dennett, Daniel C., Darwin's Dangerous Idea;
  • Devries, Kelly, et. al., Battles of the Ancient World 1285 BC - AD 451 : From Kadesh to Catalaunian Field;
  • Dickens, Charles, Great Expectations;
  • Digital Communities: Building Twenty-First Century Communities;
  • Doctorow, E.L., Homer & Langley;
  • Dodds, E. R., The Greeks and the Irrational;
  • Dostoevsky, Fyodor, The House of the Dead (Google Books, Sony e-Reader);
  • Dostoevsky, Fyodor, The Idiot;
  • Douglass, Elisha P., Rebels and Democrats: The Struggle for Equal Political Rights and Majority Role During the American Revolution;
  • Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan, The Hound of the Baskervilles & The Valley of Fear;
  • Dr. Dobb's Journal: The World of Software Development;
  • Drug Discovery News: Discovery/Development/Diagnostics/Delivery;
  • DT: Defense Technology International;
  • Dunbar, Richard, Alcatraz;
  • Education Channel Partner: News, Trends, and Analysis for K-20 Sales Professionals;
  • Edwards, Aton, Preparedness Now!;
  • EGM: Electronic Gaming Monthly, the No. 1 Videogame Magazine;
  • Ehrman, Bart D., Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scriptures and the Faiths We Never Knew;
  • Ehrman, Bart D., Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why;
  • Electronic Engineering Times: The Industry Newsweekly for the Creators of Technology;
  • Ellis, Joseph J., American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson;
  • Ellis, Joseph J., His Excellency: George Washington;
  • Emergency Management: Strategy & Leadership in Critical Times;
  • Emerson, Steven, American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us;
  • Erlewine, Robert, Monotheism and Tolerance: Recovering a Religion of Reason (Indiana Series in the Philosophy of Religion);
  • ESD: Embedded Systems Design;
  • Everitt, Anthony, Augustus: The Life of Rome's First Emperor;
  • Everitt, Anthony, Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome's Greatest Politician;
  • eWeek: The Enterprise Newsweekly;
  • Federal Computer Week: Powering the Business of Government;
  • Ferguson, Niall, Civilization: The West and the Rest;
  • Ferguson, Niall, Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power;
  • Ferguson, Niall, The Cash Nexus: Money and Power in the Modern World, 1700-2000;
  • Ferguson, Niall, The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Decline of the West;
  • Feuerbach, Ludwig, The Essence of Christianity (Sony eReader);
  • Fields, Nic, The Roman Army of the Principate 27 BC-AD 117;
  • Fields, Nic, The Roman Army of the Punic Wars 264-146 BC;
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