random findings, Uncategorized 0 comments on Random Findings IX

Random Findings IX

From the Freakonomics interview with Dilbert Creator Scott Adams

Q: How come the blogs in my Google Reader intertwine so much? I subscribed to The Dilbert Blog following a recommendation from Tom Kyte,
and I know about Freakonomics from a neighbor. Suddenly, these blogs
are not only heavily quoting each other, but Scott Adams gets to guest
blog on Freakonomics, and Kyte does the same over at Worse Than Failure.

A: It means your alleged life is nothing but a program running in a computer somewhere, and the author reused code

just thinking out loud, School Year 07-08, Uncategorized 0 comments on A Plea to Turks Everywhere

A Plea to Turks Everywhere

On the topic of H.R. 106 suggesting that the events in Eastern Anatolia during the dying days of the Ottoman Empire were genocide, I ask my fellow Turks to consider the following argument.

This isn’t an issue of hate, but an issue of reconciliation.

We can continue to sling mud over the definition of a word, or we can move beyond it, and show the world that whatever happened in 1915 isn’t who Turks are today and instead we’re a people focused on progressing as a positive influence in the 21st Century. We’re a model for democracy in a developing part of the world where only bad things happen to people on a daily basis. For better or for worse, we’ve had a woman prime minister. We’ve become a globally pivotal nation, and we need to act as a role model, and not a rebel without a cause.

In my opinion, we should be lobbying the Turkish government not to be as foolish and childish as the American government and to stand as an example of how democracy, a government of choice, works. Democracy should push
forward the thoughts and concerns of the people. How many Americans are concerned with this? Assuredly less than the millions worried about health care, employment, education, etc. If the Turkish government focused on the
domestic issues at hand, and not answering to petty claims by the Democratic leadership, then we would truly trump the American political system which has become a joke since Election 2000.

Another important point to note is that we won’t catch up to the Armenians on this issue. They’re much more organized, and for them it’s as integral an issue as the blood that runs through their veins. Instead we should lead the world to closure on this issue, and allow everyone to reconcile their differences through healthy, non-petty methods.

just thinking out loud, School Year 07-08, Uncategorized 1 comment on When Reason Doesn’t Exist

When Reason Doesn’t Exist

If you haven’t kept track of the recent workings of the U.S. House of Representatives, then please read this link first.

When something like this comes up, the human response is to try to understand why. The main question that I end up asking myself and the people around me is:

“Why when we can’t feed the poor, clothe the needy, medicate the sick, care for the old, educate the young, and protect the earth, do we need to worry about events that happened almost 100 years ago?”

The answers come in many forms. House Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) continues to tell us that there is never a good time for resolutions such as H.R. 106 to come to the floor. As such, now is as good as ever. Others, including the chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Tom Lantos (D-CA), say that if we can’t brand all exterminations genocide, then our moral authority looks to be compromised when we attempt to take action on situations such as that in Sudan’s Darfur region. There is also the strongly organized Armenian-American community who have spent nearly 90 years with the support of the NY Times and the various historical scholars around the world asking the world to recognize the events as genocide. Organization, and the money that comes with it, often have a way pushing an issue to the front of the docket. However, there are some alternatives that I’ve been thinking about and have dug up in my research that I would like to offer.

An interesting fact that I found out was that Mr. Lantos is a survivor of the Holocaust. While he was never in a death camp, his views are obviously strongly influenced by his experiences and the losses that he experienced during the war, and there is a strong affinity over this matter between the scholars of Israel and the Armenian people. There is often a quote by Hitler that is attributed to this issue. While the veracity of the quote is contested, it goes something like, “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?” Therefore, these two groups can find a common theme in their experiences.

A more sinister motive that I suspect however deals with the lack of action by the Democratic leaders in Congress on their promise to end the War in Iraq. Imagine how brilliant it would be if the Democratic leadership claimed that by manipulating the ability of supplies to enter into the Iraq theater, that they could force the troops to come home. By destabilizing all of Iraq, they could make the situation so dire that the very safety of American troops in the region would be questioned. As a result, the war ends, the troops come home, and the Democrats are victorious. If Turkey, who controls 70% of the flow of certain cargo into Iraq, were to close its bases and air space to the United States, and in turn invade the northern portion of Iraq that is autonomously controlled by the Kurds, then this scenario could become a reality. From the article linked above, it is clear to see that Turkey feels the need to have its opinions heard and its autonomy as a nation-state exercised. The result could be devastating for Turkish-American relations, but, more importantly to the individuals involved, devastating to the survival of American troops in Iraq.

One must ask, can a bullet-less army still be called an army? What will be the fate of the innocents thrown into battle as a result of the actions of these 27 representatives who pushed this bill into the House? Are we selling the basic safety and provisioning of American troops over phrasing in an historical debate? I don’t know. The only answer that consistently comes to mind is – why?