The Big Think

August 24, 2005

… and Statistics

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 10:46 am

Sometimes it becomes necessary to state the obvious: being a soldier is a dangerous thing. This is why we honor our service members’ courage. For a soldier, sailor or Marine, “courage” isn’t an easily-abused abstraction–“it took a lot of courage to vote against the farm bill”–it’s a requirement of the job.

Even in peacetime. The media’s breathless tabulation of casualties in Iraq–now, over 1,800 deaths–is generally devoid of context. Here’s some context: between 1983 and 1996, 18,006 American military personnel died accidentally in the service of their country. That death rate of 1,286 per year exceeds the rate of combat deaths in Iraq by a ratio of nearly two to one.

That’s right: all through the years when hardly anyone was paying attention, soldiers, sailors and Marines were dying in accidents, training and otherwise, at nearly twice the rate of combat deaths in Iraq from the start of the war in 2003 to the present. Somehow, though, when there was no political hay to be made, I don’t recall any great outcry, or gleeful reporting, or erecting of crosses in the President’s home town

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Firefly Lego!

Filed under: Humor and Fun — jasony @ 10:29 am

An Excellent Lego model of Serenity.


Filed under: Games — jasony @ 10:25 am

Screen Shots from the new Unreal 2007 (a little early, guys).


Dell Hell?

Filed under: Computing — jasony @ 10:12 am

Patrick has a good experience with repairs on his Dell.Jeff Jarvis doesn’t

What Biased Media?

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 1:23 am

It’s time for newspapers, many of which helped get us into this war, to consider using their editorial pages as platforms to help get us out of it. So far, few have done much more than wring their hands, or simply criticize the conduct of the war, or the lack of body armor for our troops. Not many months ago, in fact, some papers, including The New York Times, were calling for more U.S. troops for Iraq.
Now it’s literally do-or-die time

Because we’re the newspapers. We’re impartial and all.


We The People…

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 12:24 am

We the people of Iraq, newly arisen from our disasters and looking with confidence to the future through a democratic, federal, republican system, are determined — men and women, old and young — to respect the rule of law, reject the policy of aggression, pay attention to women and their rights, the elderly and their cares, the children and their affairs, spread the culture of diversity and defuse terrorism.

We are the people of Iraq, who in all our forms and groupings undertake to establish our union freely and by choice, to learn yesterday’s lessons for tomorrow, and to write down this permanent constitution from the high values and ideals of the heavenly messages and the developments of science and human civilization, and to adhere to this constitution, which shall preserve for Iraq its free union of people, land and sovereignty.

When I read this on this site, I thought it was fake. A hopeful but pie-in-the-sky attempt at what the blog author hoped could maybe, possibly be in the Iraq constitution before the lawyers and terrorist sympathizers got ahold of it.

Imagine my wonder when it turns out….. this is the real preamble to the Iraq constitution. Seriously, this document just takes my breath away. Simple and to the point, it speaks no less clearly than our own “We the People”. Full of hope and the desire to change.

I’m sure we’ll see much discussion, nitpicking, and snide insinuations from our jaded intelligentsia in the next few days, but in the mean time, let us welcome the New Iraq to the table of Democracy.

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