Bald Eagle Picture

9.21.2001

6:10 PM
Did scientists working on the Manhattan Project feel the same guilt as Phil Zimmermann after the bombs were dropped on Japan?

Encryption use by terrorists goes to show that technology has a double edge. It can be used both for good and evil. Encryption--like knowledge about atomic fission, like guns--is just a tool, a means to allow people to achieve their goals. Good people can use it to resist oppression, while evil people can use it to pass on their plans of destruction.

The encryption cat is already out of the bag so laws to restrict its use will be useless against future terrorist attacks. Like gun-control laws, only law-abiding people will obey. What's needed is a re-evaluation of how the U.S. government collects and analyzes intelligence. Something went seriously wrong for such a well-exectued attacks to occur without any warning. I have a hunch that much of the information that would have tipped off authorities to the attacks are sitting on some hard drive in Langley. But because of a poor allocation of resources it was not examined. An overhaul of our current intelligence system must occur before any mention of limiting civil liberites is breathed.

"To Attacks' Toll Add a Programmer's Grief" [via Politech]

Sean Hackbarth |



4:43 PM
The first battle of the war took place in the skies over Pennsylvania.

"Passengers Likely Halted Attack on D.C." [via The Scene]

Sean Hackbarth |

9.20.2001

2:08 PM
To the heros of United Flight 93.

UnitedHeroes

Sean Hackbarth |

9.19.2001

1:12 AM
Wisdom and history do not suggest a full-scale invasion of Afghanistan. Just to defend an airfield inside the country would take 20,000 troops. Then there's the complete lack of any human intelligence. Ahmed Rashid reports on a possible military strategy using bases in Pakistan.

U.S. troops might also use a base in Tajikistan. Stratfor.com sees Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan as possible Central Asian partners. Turkmenistan is crucial so planes from Turkey can penetrate Afghanistan.

"US 'Lacks Knowledge to Launch Land War'"

"Frontier Bases Deal Moves One Step Closer"

"Central Asia: Backdoor to Afghanistan"

Sean Hackbarth |

9.18.2001

10:01 PM
Richard Dawkins may be one of the smartest people on Earth, but he's insulted all people of faith by naming Religion as the prime weapon that struck the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon.

This is some of the evolutionary vitrol Dawkins spewed on Man's quest for the transcendent:

As luck would have it, we have just the thing to hand: a ready-made system of mind-control which has been honed over centuries, handed down through generations. Millions of people have been brought up in it. It is called religion....


What Dawkins is doing is just attacking Religion to preserve his own worldview. Dawkins is an atheist and an evolutionist. Any possibility that truth revealed through Religion is an assult on his worldview. This article is as insulting and "insensitive" as Jerry Fallwell's remarks, but you can bet they will receive little condemnation.

"Religion's Misguided Missiles" [via Arts & Letters]

Sean Hackbarth |



9:44 PM
Either Italy's Defense Minister Antonio Martino was misquoted or he had a change of heart. Whatever the reason, Martin Sieff reports that he (and Italy's armed forces) are squarely behind the U.S.

"Italy Backs U.S."

Sean Hackbarth |



9:29 PM
Rich Lowry is already cheerleading for the cause. He (rightly) worries that pundits and the American people will be dismayed at the obstacles against destroying Osama bin Laden and anyone who stands in our way.

So, let's remember.

We breached the Atlantic wall in 1944: Osama bin Laden is a dead man.

We--thirty years ago!--put a man on the moon: Osama bin Laden is a dead man.

We vanquished Saddam's army in a 100-hour ground war: Osama bin Laden is a dead man.


"It?s Not Hard"

Sean Hackbarth |



12:18 AM
Sam Dealey sees some real inadequacy with the FAA's new security measures:

So far the likely effect seems to be longer waiting lines, increased flight delays, and the banning of knives at airport restaurants - it's forks and spoons only, now. What's more, the procedures still don't work. Last Thursday three Northwest Airlines employees deliberately walked through security at the Phoenix airport with a pocketknife and a corkscrew. That a corkscrew has now been deemed a weapon gives one a sense of the impossibility of this approach. After all, if a corkscrew is a weapon, then conceivably one could hijack a plane with a fork.


In a related note Midwest Express is looking at changing their meal offerings, possibly moving towards more finger food. The gormet meals Midwest Express was famed for may be dumped for chicken fingers and egg rolls. Just so no one has the slightest possiblity of having a knife on a plane. Forget overreactions in schools, the new zero tolerance policy overkill will be in airports and on airplanes.

"How Not to Fix Airport Security"

Sean Hackbarth |

9.17.2001

11:42 PM
It amazes me that people from other countries can put the Idea of America so much better than many of her own citizens.

"The Idea of America Still Lives"

Sean Hackbarth |



11:35 PM
Real-world thought from an ex-spook. I especially agree with Gallagher when he writes, "I ask you to resist efforts to 'Do something, anything, NOW' and to speak out when you hear this type of rhetoric."

"Musings of a Former Spook"

Sean Hackbarth |



11:29 PM
It looks like the next battle of the war will be along the Pakistan/Afghanistan border.

"Taliban Bring Scud Missiles Near Pakistan Border" [via Drudge]

Sean Hackbarth |



12:03 AM
I know this sounds really cliche, but Tuesday's attacks are a true coming-of-age event for children. I remember watching the Challenger explosion in school years ago, but this is so much more impelling. What happened Tuesday wasn't an accident. It was diliberate and evil. But if 13-year-old Natalie James' words are any indication, her generation can learn from this disaster. Too bad so many had to perish for this lesson.

"Teen Learns Patriotism From Terrorist Attack"

Sean Hackbarth |

9.16.2001

11:27 PM
One result of Tuesday attack is the run on Nostradamus books. I'm sick of telling customers that we ran out of tomes filled with his vague prophecies. It's disappointing to know that some people try to deal with reality by running to mysticism. These people need to accept the fact that evil does exist. Evil people planned out a brutal assault that killed thousands. Tuesday wasn't the fulfillment of a Middle Ages seer. It was the fulfillment of people who hate America, Americans, and what we stand for.

God gave us free will. People act. Regardless of the awful words said and written by some on both the Right and Left the U.S. did not have this attack coming to her. Existence isn't some preconceived plan that can be glimpse beforehand. Instead, it's the result of actions of billions of people. The future isn't inevitable. It isn't preordained. It really is what we make of it.

"Did Nostradamus Predict Attacks?" [via Arts & Letters]

"Death, Downtown"

"God Gave U.S. 'What We Deserve,' Falwell Says"

"When Will We Learn?"

"Terror: The Price of Hegemony"

Sean Hackbarth |



10:39 PM
I've added the banner on top of the page so you can donate funds for the victims of the September 11 Massacre.

Sean Hackbarth |



8:53 PM
While a Florida company can't handle employee patriotism, my boss is looking for a big flag to hang prominently in the store.

"NCCI Pulls Workers' Flags" [via Drudge]

Sean Hackbarth |



8:42 PM
President Bush or Collin Powell should phone the Prime Minister of Italy to make sure they'll hold up their end of the NATO treaty. Or is this minister just hoping his country can free-ride off of the U.S.'s campaign against terrorism?

"Italian Defence Minister Rules out Italian Troop Role" [via Drudge]

Sean Hackbarth |



8:35 PM
It's not just the sheer horror of seeing an attack on your nation live on television that rips a hole in your soul. It's finding out you're only a few degrees of separation from someone who was turned into a human missile that shocks you.

Sean Hackbarth |

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When I'm not pondering the fate of the universe, I'm reading, writing, or selling books. Here you'll find comments on politics, culture, books, and music. Not necessarily in that order.

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