A facebook friend was fixing to break down and get a cell phone. Sometimes it seems like you are the last holdout, but there are plenty of folks without. There are still people renting a land line from the phone company, and that has been over for thirty plus years.
PG is still a smart phone holdout. He is happy with his stupid, twelve button device. When you can prepay for a smart phone by the month, then maybe it will happen. Until then, PG is a neo luddite.
For the sake of recycling text on a day with writers tackle, here is the reply: I am a tracfone fan. I got one at a yard sale, but they are cheap enough to buy new. I buy the time card at a store. The time lasts for three months, and then you get more. You don’t need that many minutes if it is just for emergency use. I might pay five dollars a month for my cell phone. If you are going to keep it, you can buy a card which gives you double minutes as long as you have a tracfone. For twenty dollars, this is a good investment. For people that never know what to get you for christmas, a time card is a great present. ~~~
The outdoor office thing is moving along. There were some paving stones in the back, which have been fashioned into a walkway to the office entrance. The good news/bad news is a hurricane going ashore south of here. This is supposed to bring a bunch of rain to Georgia. When you have a shaky source of drinking water, rain is always appreciated. Using the outdoor office can wait.
The other option was the front porch. After looking high and low through the house, PG was about to give up, until he looked in one more spot and found his mother’s old sewing table. It is now is use on the front parch, and the wifi reception is *good*. Wifi may trump feng shui after all.~~~
Which is the best phrase, writer’s block or writers tackle” The traditional saying is writer’s block, meaning that you are blocked from thinking of anything to say. However, if you take the football paradigm, then it has a different look. A tackle is something that stops you. A block is what prevents a tackler from stopping you. In that case, a block would be something that sets you free to get a first down, and a tackle stops you behind the line of scrimmage. ~~~
There is a dandy website, Musings On Iraq. The offering today is How Operation Desert Fox Finished Off Iraq’s WMD Programs.
ODF was a four day bombing procedure in December 1998. It was probably motivated, at least in part, by the desire of Bill Clinton to divert attention from the impeachment proceedings. Apparently, it did a lot of damage to the WMD program in Iraq, or what was left of it.
Operation Desert Fox was widely derided for years, but turned out to have a far larger impact upon Iraq than most critics believed. Only lasting four days, many analysts doubted that it could have much affect upon Saddam Hussein. After all, he was still in power, and many thought that with inspectors no longer in the country, Iraq would restart its weapons programs. As it turned out, Iraq had destroyed most of its WMD stockpiles, and was largely trying to hide the extent of its programs from the outside world by 1998. Desert Fox convinced the regime that the U.S. was intent on maintaining sanctions to contain the government, and there was no way for it to rebuild its WMD effort as a result. Those operations ended, with only some small-scale work on toxins for assassinations left. This was not known until after 2003 however when Saddam was overthrown, and outside experts were able to go through all of Iraq’s documents, and interview its personnel. Even though Desert Fox was very limited in scope, it came at just the right time in the history of the Saddam regime to put an end to its weapons of mass destruction.
In 1998, Saddam Hussein was playing both ends against the middle. He wanted Iran to think that there were WMD, and for the rest of the world to think otherwise. This strategy played into the hands of those who wanted to invade Iraq.
The truth is that WMD were the excuse for the war, not the reason. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz was quoted as saying “The truth is that for reasons that have a lot to do with the U.S. government bureaucracy, we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on which was weapons of mass destruction as the core reason.” When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, there was no search for issues to satisfy U.S. government bureaucracy.
Today, the talk is of an attack on Iran, to prevent it from getting a nuclear weapon. The situation with the Palestinians is the need for distraction. What does Operation Desert Fox say about the wisdom of an attack on Iran? “General Anthony Zinni (commander of Desert Fox) was much more positive about the campaign he had just commanded. The General knew that any military strike could only have limited impact upon the WMD program. Since some precursors, agents, and weapons could be made in small rooms, there was no way to eliminate those elements.”