Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Fri 10 December 2010 by Kevin van Haaren

A few nights ago (but I just watched tonight) Jon Stewart had General Hugh Shelton on for the interview segment. It went long and they put the full interview on the web (and in the iTunes episode, which is how I watch them.)

One of the topics they discussed is Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT). General Shelton was against repeal of DADT right now, saying it needed to be studied a bit more. His reasoning for saying it needed a bit more study was because the Marine Infantry and Army Infrantry, when surveyed, were the most likely to say it would affect unit cohesion. And because the infantry units are the core foundation those arms of the military DADT should not be repealed until further study into unit cohesion in the infrantry is complete.

I think the General is wrong, but we'll get to that in a minute. I just want to say that General Shelton had the best argument for a delay in this whole moronic debate. He had a reason for the delay, he had facts from the study, he presented it well. Meanwhile John McCain is over in the senate acting like he's terrified of the gays and desperatly grasping at straws for reasons to delay (the economy was the last reason. Are you effin serious?)

The reason I think General Shelton is wrong is because he's really arguing against gays being in the military at all. DADT doesn't keep gays out, but it forces those gays that do serve to lie (and lies of omission are still lies), and it creates taboo subjects for military to talk about. When people in military units are keeping secrets, I'm pretty sure that has an affect on unit cohesion, right now. Delaying the repeal just keeps the lies coming.

Other effects of DADT affect the security of the nation, making gay service personal keep secrets just gives more ways to blackmail. Being able to start a witch hunt against anyone by making implications they're gay is another good way to threaten unit cohesion. All around DADT is a bad policy. It was the delay needed to study the affects of gays being in the military, and it's pretty clear that except when they're hounded and hunted down, or can't take lying to their fellow soldiers anymore, it works out pretty well.  Take away the lies.

Interview from the Daily Show (DADT part starts at 11:20):

Hiroshima & Nagasaki - A biased opinion

Fri 06 August 2010 by Kevin van Haaren

Today is August 6th, 2010. The 65th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. In 3 days it will be the 65th anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki. Many claim these bombings should not have taken place, or been done in different locations, specifically that a demonstration on an empty island should have been done first. I disagree, I think that these bombings were necessary both to end the at-the-time current conflict, and to provide a warning to future generations exactly what it was we had developed.

I'm not unbiased in my opinion. My father and his family were held ...

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We haven't learned

Mon 19 July 2010 by Kevin van Haaren

Argh. I wrote this back in 2006: More Analysis Not More Data

Information gathering is certainly needed, but that isn’t what we’ve been lacking. We’ve been lacking good analysis of the information we do have. Why the administration insists it needs the ability to spy on anyone/anywhere without warrants when they can’t even analyze the current information they have is beyond me.

Now the Washington Post has an in-depth look at this building and building and building of intelligence agencies to suck in more data but not actually analyze it. Complete waste of time that ...

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More analysis not more data

Wed 22 March 2006 by Kevin van Haaren

Read stories about what we knew about the 9/11 hijackers before 9/11 and most of them read like this:

Moussaoui Trial

Over and over again it is shown that red flags were thrown up about people taking airline training, interested in flying but not take-offs/landings, etc….

Pretty clear that we had the information in front of us that something was going on but that we failed to connect the dots and see what was being planned.

Unfortunately since 9/11 all the administration wants to do is gather more dots, not actually spend time putting the dots ...

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And now a miracle occurs

Sat 10 September 2005 by Kevin van Haaren

There is an episode of South Park where the Underpants Gnomes explain business to the boys. The Gnomes have a business plan that consists of 3 steps:

Step 1 – Collect Underpants
Step 2 – ???
Step 3 – PROFIT!

Unfortunately nobody knows exactly what step 2 is, only that it leads to profit, and that it will occur.

Underpants Gnomes

Equally unfortunately the more I observe the operation of the Bush administration the more I think their planning is equally inept. Their planning for Iraq seemed to be:

  1. Defeat Army!
  2. ???
  3. Democracy!

When they got to step 2 they just kind of assumed we ...

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Why I'm not voting for George W. Bush

Sun 31 October 2004 by Kevin van Haaren

you probably assume from the domain name for this web site that i’m some sort leftist liberal that would never vote republican, but the truth is the domain name is more of a joke, and I have voted republican in the past.

I voted George H. W. Bush and on other occassions in lower races. I’m a big believer in split government, the more congress, the president and the judiciary argue the less gets done and the less governement that gest done the better off we all are.

Of course, from the statement that I believe in less ...

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The Subservient President

Wed 04 August 2004 by Kevin van Haaren

Yeah, yeah, the subservient chicken was all the rage and now the subservient president is the cute site of the day. but for some reason i find it amazingly entertaining.

Click for the subservient president

Things I’ve found he’ll respond to:

  • count to ten
  • give the bird
  • dance for me
  • tell me a secret
  • pray
  • kill reagan (actually i think anything with reagan in it does this)
  • vote kerry
  • get osama
  • do a magic trick (same as get osama)
  • how can i win the war on terror (same as osama)
  • find wmd
  • give speech
  • raise money
  • laura
  • drink ...
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Reagan (now with 100% correct spelling)

Sun 06 June 2004 by Kevin van Haaren

Ronald Reagan was the first president I paid attention too. I wasn’t old enough to vote for him, but I was old enough to begin paying attention to politics. The fact that I rode with my father to a bus stop in downtown kc to catch a city bus to go to high school, and that my father listened to NPR’s Morning Edition the whole way probably had a lot to do with this (why I turned out more to the left than my right-wing father is unknown.)

I never liked Reagan. Listening to him, I always thought ...

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Electronic Voting

Sat 13 March 2004 by Kevin van Haaren

As big a tech geek as I am, I’ve always distrusted electronic voting systems. Especially the current ones being sold. And internet voting is right out.

Voting has some particular requirements. Voting requires both authentication and anonymity. Authentication because you don’t want people voting that aren’t supposed to. Anonymity because you don’t want to be able to track a vote back to the person that cast it.

Openness of the process is another requirement. Voters should feel that the process of voting, moving votes to the counting location, and counting votes is reliable and trustworthy. In ...

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