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It’s been a while since I’ve written anything. I’m back in school after a few semesters as a drop out (again). This semester I am taking just 5 units. I am taking Library Science classes. Introduction to AudioVisual Services is my 3 unit class and Introduction to Children’s services is my 2 unit class. I enjoy the Children’s services class much more than the AV class. Some of the AV equipment we have to use is ancient. We have had to do a lot of tape splicing in the AudioVisual class. I do NOT enjoy that at all. I’ve been in school for about 3 weeks now. So far I’m getting A’s in both classes but we haven’t really done much yet in either class.

My ISP (Verizon dsl) has sucked lately. I can’t stay connected, especially at night. I’ve ordered Time Warner Cable but that can’t be installed until the sixth of September. The cable is going to cost me an extra ten bucks a month but it’ll be much more stable than what I have now. I never had problems with cable. I switched when they raised my monthly rate from $24.99 to about $55.

I’ve got an annual pass to Disneyland. My mom and siblings also have passes and so do two of my friends. Tomorrow my friends and my 15 year old brother are going despite the fact that it’s going to be very busy.

I joined a women’s fitness center called Butterfly Life a few months ago. My grandma said she would pay for it but then changed her mind after a couple months when I hadn’t lost enough weight. Now I’m stuck with a $39 bill every month which I cannot afford. I plan on going there on Wednesday and begging to be let out of my contract. I don’t know if they’ll let me but I have to try.

Congratulations Dawggy! I’ve never seen you as happy as you are when you talk about your daughter.

Congressional Democrats have an idea: Hold a vote of 'no confidence' on the Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld. Votes of confidence are well established in parliamentary systems where multiple parties form governmental coalitions but they are rare in the U.S. with regular election cycles. In fact, I cannot think of a precedent though one may exist. Naturally this a purely political move by Democrats, but on those grounds alone Republicans have no right to complain, having set something of a record on partisan maneuvers. Nor will it have any legal effect, as it would not bind the President, who is known for his loyalty. The vote may not take place, given G.O.P. control of both houses of Congress. Rest assured the Republicans will do everything they can do to avoid such a vote. Nevertheless I think it a good tactic.

Donald Rumsfeld has been a failure as Secretary of Defense. He started out well, and would have made a good peacetime SecDef. He had the institutional skills and force of personality needed to change the U.S. military from a Cold War posture to one more oriented around Low Intensity Conflicts, which include insurgencies and terrorism. Under his leadership the military has gotten lighter and more moblie. But his abilities in the peacetime environment are the very same things that rendered him a failure at war. Rumsfeld was a junior officer in the U.S.Air Force. The Air Force and Navy are highly technological forces, where hight tech rules and peacetime operations are very similar to what these forces do in wartime. Those things Rumsfeld understood. The problem is that he has no conception of ground warfare at all.

Air forces do not control territory. At sea, the good guys are very easy to tell the good guys from the bad. None of those things are true of ground warfare. In offensive combat, where Saddam Hussein's troops were forced to defend fixed positions the technical models apply. Firepower and precision rule. Those same rules could not be applied to fighting an insurgency.

Terrorists and insurgents do not maintain long logistical tails that can be easily identified and destroyed. They don't maintain enough firepower so that a temporary loss of supplies significantly impinges on their ability to make war. They just bide their time. They don't wear uniforms, or defend territory. Most of the time they're civilians. Only when they enjoy special advantage do they attack. Once they have struck they melt away, for they know very well they cannot sustain combat against trained combat soldiers. They have only one goal: Inflict casualties. Remind everyone that they are there. Remain a force in being.

Under such circumstances human intelligence matters far more than technological sophistication. There is no replacement for the Mark One eyeball and plenty of infantrymen (or better yet military police) who understand the culture and can become effective advocates for the state. There is no substitute for numbers.

The lesson we of the left and most centrists drew from Vietnam was this: "Other people are almost always more serious about their country than you are." Rumsfeld felt that the display of precision firepower that defeated Saddam would intimidate any potential enemies into quiescence. That was stupid.

He needed to look no farther than Lebanon to learn the opposite lesson. In 1982 Israel annihilated PLO fighters in Lebanon and the token Syrian forces sent against them (Syria used just enough force to say they'd fought and no more). Twenty years later the Israelis and their last satraps, the South Lebanese Army, were driven from Lebanon by Hizbullah. Hizbullah used tactics developed over thirty years of warfare.

If you concede that the Israeli military is pretty darned good, and enjoyed total firepower superiority the entire time, then it seems likely they should have won. But Hizbullah wasn't playing for a fast victory, but a slow one. The Islamic world does not think in election cycles, they think in terms of centuries. Twenty years is a blink of an eye in human history.

Rumsfeld and his fellow neocons should have taken note of this. But he belongs to a group that in many cases wanted a 'do-over' in Vietnam, contending that if only we had been more forceful early there we could have won. That delustion was useful because it preserves the fantasy that American power has no limits. That America can do anything if we put our minds to it. We can do a lot, but great power is in no way infinite.

So when we took over and looting came, we found that we had enough troops to take Iraq, but nowhere near enough to control it, as the dismissed General Eric O. Shinseki had warned. The riots showed Iraqis our weakness, and in a single night undid the shock and awe created by what was a fine military campaign. Then we discovered that Pentagon planning under Rumsfeld was practially nil, and every optimistic assumption blindly accepted.

Rumsfeld was warned, But his 'barrage of questions' technique insulated h im from contradictory advice. Rosy-eyed assumptions stood unchallenged because the alternatives would have been to institute a draft, which would have galvanaized the anti-war movement overnight, and put it squarely in the mainstream before the 2004 elections.

Rumsfeld would have been a fine peacetime Secretary of Defense. Instead he led us to a predictable defeat in Iraq, and undid every bit of good the successful (and non-controversial) war in Afghanistan. He has no idea how to get our troops out and even less of an idea how to bring about the impression of victory. He has failed in every imaginable way, has repeatedly accused any dissenters of idiocy, delberately insulted America's allies and generally behaved like a pig. His failures led to a totally unprecedent act, as five retired generals to made public calls for his resignation. It is appropriate to vote on his fate.

Of course the vote is political. In todays' America, partisan maneuvers are the norm. By seeking a vote on Rumsfeld Democratic leaders want to force GOP leaders to stand on the record behind the war. If they bail in large numbers, that kills they 'cut and run' GOP election strategies. It's an admission of what the publc has begun to realize, that conervatives are terrible at protecting America. If they don't bail Republicans will tie themselves to a war that has clearly failed and which grows more unpopular every day.

GOP leaders will try to prevent a vote by parliamentary means. I think they'll fail. If Democratic leaders keep up the pressure, and the war continues to spiral downward (both safe assumptions) public presure will build. Rumsfeld will probably be forced to step down, but even that action will serve as further evidence of the failure of conservative policies in the Middle East.

Democrats can't lose this time. Sure they'll be accused of partisanship, but the GOP is pinned. They must choose between appearing blind to reality or joining John Murtha and the peaceniks. Either way they'll pay the political price.

It couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of guys.

It's interesting thinking about how many out of all the loads and loads and megaloads of noders read my daylogs and the other stuff I actually managed to keep from being eaten by Klaproth. There are so many people here, it blows my mind! This is part of the reason I like the internet, even though I'll have to be switching to some sort of DSL soon. The net gives me a direct connection with... humanity. Yeah, I am pretty familiar with Moore County and stuff, but where I live, there are loads of people I may never meet.

I used to be bothered by the fact that I know I can never live long enough to experience everything there is, but now that I am online at home, it almost seems like I have more to live for now because I can talk with people I may never be able to visit. I cried yesterday because I thought my old video-game systems felt neglected since I started taking up so much time with my computer. How foolish is that? But that's the way I feel.

I am scared. I have actually found something that scares me. I have no idea what I would do if my Mom died anytime soon. I don't know what is supposed to happen with this God-forsaken land situation when I turn 21. I don't make enough at my current job to support myself and my brother without Mom's help, and moving is totally out of the question right now. Even if I did move, I would have to take so much stuff with me, I have no idea how I would get it accomplished, or even where I might go.

Furthermore, I lack a sense of direction. This is one reason I am so badly wanting to find a good, decent, happy little woman to love and cherish, because I feel that if I could find a mate who could "complete" me, so to speak, she could give me a sense of direction, and then I would go at it 100% to make our dreams a reality.

Damn I'm lonely!

If anyone has a kind or supportive word, please don't hesitate to send it my way. I will also listen to constructive criticism if anyone has any idea how I can avoid stagnation. Otherwise, we'll call it a night, and I'm about to go in for third shift, which is 11:00 at night til 7:00 the next morning where I work at.

Tomorrow maybe we'll discuss the bravery of the noders of E2.

There's an old, white haired, 5-foot-tall, Italian-looking janitor who works in my office building. I see him at least a few times a week. He keeps about the same schedule as I do so most times I see him coming or going from the loading dock at the start or end of the day.

I've said good morning to him a few times. I've said Hi when I've seen him in the hall. He's never said anything back to me. Nothing. Not ever.

And it's not like he doesn't recognize me. A couple weeks ago we both got into the freight elevator from the loading dock and he pushed his button and then pushed 6 for me. He knows I work on the 6th floor. He remembers me.

I just assumed that maybe he didn't speak English. Or maybe he's got a speech impediment or a thick accent and doesn't like to talk.

Maybe when he was a kid he used to live on the street in some eastern European country and one time he got in a knife fight with some other street kids over a bag of dinner rolls they found in the gutter and even though he won the fight he still got stabbed in the throat and now he can't talk so he came to Canada to find a better life and raise his kids in a place where they don't have knife fights in the streets over a bag of bread.

Anyhow, none of that's true. He's just snubbing me for some reason. See, the other day I got on the elevator around 4pm and he was already in there with the other janitor guy and they were both gabbing away, having a bit of a laugh too.

The guy can talk! He spoke English just fine. He doesn't even have a thick accent or a speech impediment. There was no knife fight injury. No bag of dinner rolls. He's just being rude.

Next time I see that guy I'm going to look right at him and with a clear voice that he can't pretend not to hear I'm going to say "Hello". And then I'm going to keep looking at him until he says something back. And if he just stands there and says nothing I'm just going to keep on looking right at him, waiting for my answer.

And if he does say something back to me I'm going to yell "HA!" and point my finger right at his face. Then I'll turn away from him never speak to him again. Rude little janitor man.

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