Monday, December 11, 2006

McCain: U.S. may have to confront Iran militarily

JTA - Breaking News:
A nuclear Iran poses an “unacceptable risk” and may have to be confronted militarily, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said.

Sen. McCain continues to impress me with his clear and concise opinions on the war, and the path to victory,

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I am not interested in "bringing the troops home"

I am only interested in the safety and well being of America. I am only interested in victory.
I am glad to see Sen McCain stand tall.
"In war, my dear friends, there's no such thing as compromise. You either win or you lose."
- Sen. John McCain

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Don't Close Your Blinds

SlagleRock's Slaughterhouse: Don't Close Your Blinds:
"Now I want you to stand there and look out the window and
pretend you see Saddam come out of his house with his wife, he has her
by the hair and is hitting her. You see her bleeding and crying. He hits
her in the face, he throws her on the ground, then he starts to kick her
to death. Their children run out and are afraid to stop him, they are
screaming and crying, they are watching this but do nothing because they
are kids and they are afraid of their father. You see all of this,
son....what do you do?"

Read it all. Read it to your children. This war won't be over on our watch. I want to finish it now, but that is not going to happen. So I do my part and train a new generation.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Build/Test is part of software design.

In "What is Software Design?", Jack Reeves asserts

... the only software documentation that actually seems to satisfy the criteria of an engineering design is the source code listings.
I love it and quote it often. He goes on to assert
We in the software business are close to being engineers, but we need a couple of perceptual changes. Programming and the build/test cycle are central to the process of engineering software. We need to manage them as such. We need to manage them as such. The economics of the build/test cycle, plus the fact that a software system can represent practically anything, makes it very unlikely that we will find any general purpose methods for validating a software design.

Put these two together, and the engineering design includes the build code, the test code, and the source code that automates the builds and the tests.
In my experience, if the build and test cycles are too expensive, then developers will try to do the design without including the results of the build and test cycles in their analysis. Every meeting I have ever been in with QA, someone always says "we need to get QA involved early in the process". This can only happen if the cost of building and testing software is cheap.

Here is the point I have been dancing around. If you have to ask someone to "build the product" for QA, and then have to ask QA to run this or that test, developers are going to avoid doing it. If you want QA involved in the Design Process, then building and testing must be automated. Every developer must be able to build the entire system and run any or all of the tests himself.

It doesn't have to be cheap to make the tests, making good test is often harder than writing the code, but it must be inexpensive to actually run the tests or it won't happen as part of the design cycle. Developers will delay paying that cost as long as possible.

Continuos integration tools like cruise control can help, but only if you commit your code often.

This more than just Test First Design. I am encouraging the automation of the entire build and test cycle as much as possible.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Flags of our Father's

It is about the men, not the battle.
"Flags of Our Fathers" (Clint Eastwood)

Makes all of my sacrifices seem small, because small they are. We either buy war bonds, and win the war, or we get fatigued and instead find "peace with honor" or "peace in our time". The kind of peace that brings devestation.

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

What one word describes Black Belt to you?

The Family Academy of Martial Arts (aka FAMA) held black belt test last Friday. I was there as the Uke or training partner for Gary Price. One of the questions the board asked was
What one word describes Black Belt to you?

That is what black belt means to me. I am still a year or two away from black belt. For me getting there, testing, learning is all about doing. Doing is actually the largest struggle I am facing personally, and that is one of the things I enjoy about working out at FAMA. Doing. Punch, Kick, Throw, Choke. DO.

[posted with ecto]

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Monday, July 17, 2006

A Prayer for Israel

Psalms 83:

1 O God, do not keep silent;
be not quiet, O God, be not still.
2 See how your enemies are astir,
how your foes rear their heads.

3 With cunning they conspire against your people;
they plot against those you cherish.

4 "Come," they say, "let us destroy them as a nation,
that the name of Israel be remembered no more."

5 With one mind they plot together;
they form an alliance against you-

6 the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites,
of Moab and the Hagrites,

7 Gebal, [a] Ammon and Amalek,
Philistia, with the people of Tyre.

8 Even Assyria has joined them
to lend strength to the descendants of Lot.

9 Do to them as you did to Midian,
as you did to Sisera and Jabin at the river Kishon,

10 who perished at Endor
and became like refuse on the ground.

11 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb,
all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,

12 who said, "Let us take possession
of the pasturelands of God."

13 Make them like tumbleweed, O my God,
like chaff before the wind.

14 As fire consumes the forest
or a flame sets the mountains ablaze,

15 so pursue them with your tempest
and terrify them with your storm.

16 Cover their faces with shame
so that men will seek your name, O LORD.

17 May they ever be ashamed and dismayed;
may they perish in disgrace.

18 Let them know that you, whose name is the LORD—
that you alone are the Most High over all the earth.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Pres Ahmadinejad invites Pres Bush to Islam

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said here Thursday that his letter to President George W. Bush did not concern the nuclear dossier, but rather was an invitation to Islam and the prophets culture.

President says his letter to President Bush was invitation to Islam - Irna

This should clear up the purpose of Ahmadinejad letter to Pres Bush and it's relevance.

Sunday, April 30, 2006


This post is a little bit late. But I am home at last.

Nick's Home

And here is why I am smiling all the time now.


Saturday, January 21, 2006

Review: Odysseus in America

Odysseus in America Odysseus in America by Jonathan Shay M.D uses the story of Odysseus 10 year trip home fromthe Trojan War as an allegory for Vietnam Veterans return home. It is interesting reading with lots of good “war stories” to keep the pace lively. However the book can be quite academic at times. The allegory is very plain. Odysseus is a soldier having trouble getting home and adjusting. Some Vietnam Veterans had trouble adjusting.

Dr Shay defines Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as persistence of valid adaptations to danger into a time of safety afterward. In other words the Veteran with PTSD that freak’s out in crowds is doing so because “crowds draw mortar fire”. He lists some of the skills that combat veterans learn are:

  • Control of fear
  • Cunning, the arts of deception, the arts of the "mind f---."
  • Control of violence against members of their own group.
  • The capacity to respond skillfully and instantly with violent, lethal force.
  • Vigilance, perpetual mobilization for danger.
  • Regarding fixed rules as possible threats to their own and their comrade’s survival.
  • Regarding fixed “rules of war” as possible advantages to be gained over the enemy.
  • Suppression of compassion, horror, guilt, tenderness, grief, disgust.
  • The capacity to lie fluently and convincingly.
  • Physical strength, quickness, endurance, stealth.
  • Skill at locating and grabbing needed supplies whether officially provided or not.
  • Skill in the use of a variety of lethal weapons.
  • Skill in adapting to harsh physical conditions.
With the expectation of physical fitness all of these can cause problems in civilian life.

The book is completely Vietnam biased, which is to be expected, because all of Dr Shay’s patients are Vietnam Veterans. However the book contains a strong bias that he shares from his patients views. In particular there was an overall opinion that officers were incompetent and not to be trusted. It is noteworthy that none of his patients were officers.

The solutions that he recommends are hardly novel. Cohesion, Leadership, and Training. He makes a strong case that the individual rotation method used in Vietnam left a returning veteran alone to deal with his demons without the support. However he does come to a conclusion that I am sure surprised him given what seems to be his natural “anti-war’ tendencies and hopes that war can be abolished. In the end he comes to the conclusion that it is a moral responsibility for Officers to train themselves and their men to the highest level possible, because the quicker the war, the fewer the physical casualties, the fewer the psychological traumas.

Personally I did draw some conclusions from the book. First, survivors are superstitious. Second, reservists should deploy as at unit in company or larger size.