September 28, 2005

Once more...

into the breach, dear friends. ;)

Dear Technical IT Support,

Eighteen months ago, I upgraded to Girlfriend 1.0 from Drinking Mates 4.2, which I had used for years without any trouble. However, there are conflicts between these two products and the only solution was to try running Girlfriend 1.0 with the sound turned off.
[Except putting on the mute seems to make the software buggy. ;) ] To make matters worse, Girlfriend 1.0 is incompatible with several other applications, such as LadsNightOut 31, Football 4.5, and Playboy 6.9, and successive versions of GirlFriend have proved no better. [No $#|+!] Eventually, I tried running GirlFriend 1.2 and Girlfriend 1.0 at the same time, only to discover that, when these two systems detected each other, they caused severe damage to my hardware.

I eventually upgraded to Fiance 1.0, only to discover that this product soon had to be upgraded to Wife 1.0. While Wife 1.0 tends to use up all my available resources, it does come bundled with FreeSexPlus and Cleanhouse2004.
[My version of Cleanhouse seems to be going buggy. Wife 1.0 now wants the costly add-in of Maid 1.0 to be installed. :P ] Shortly after this upgrade, however, I found that Wife 1.0 could be very unstable and costly to run. Any mistakes I made were automatically stored in Wife 1.0's memory and couldn't be deleted. [No $#|+!!!] They would resurface months later when I had forgotten about them. [No $#|+!!!!!!] Wife 1.0 also has an automatic Diary, Explorer and E-mail filter, and can, without warning, launch TurboStrop and Whinge. These latter products have no Help files, and I have to try to guess what the problem is. [The software sometimes becomes buggy; the mute button's off, but no sound comes out!]

Additional problems are that Wife 1.0 needs updating regularly, requiring ShoeShop Browser for new attachments and Clothing Express which needs to be reinstalled every other week. Also, when Wife 1.0 attaches itself to my Saab 93 Convertible hard drive, it often crashes. Wife 1.0 also comes with an irritating pop-up called MotherInLaw, which can't be turned off.
[I must have gotten a clean copy of that software; amazing, isn't it? ;)]

Can you please urgently advise the best course of action?

September 25, 2005

Answering PseudoArab on Teaching Overseas

PseudoArab wrote: "...if you don't mind, would you be willing to share some information about this whole thing about some agency helping you get a job?"

Well, if you're hoping I can tell you the name of my agent or the agency, that will be impossible. I've forgotten the names of both, and the woman who was my agent left that company after I got to Korea (we happened to meet on the street one day and she told me). However, I can give you some other, basic information.

Many countries around the world require ESL (English as a Second Language) teachers to have either a TEFL or TESOL certificate in addition to a Bachelor's degree (usually in any subject). Korea is one of the few countries that doesn't (or didn't) require any additional certification, just the Bachelors. Even if you don't have a degree in Education or English, it will help if you know the English language fairly well (how to write well, being able to answer grammar questions, etc.). We Western teachers had a steady barrage of questions being asked of us, not only by the students, but even by our Korean colleagues. So the more you know about English (syntax, grammar, vocabulary, etc.), the better.

There are, of course, lots of pros and cons regarding teaching overseas. Most of the following information concerns Korea, but I may throw snippets in about teaching in Singapore as well.
* The pay in Korea was good. I averaged about 2.1 million won a month (pay was variable at my school, depending on the number of hours taught and whether any classes were special, higher pay classes, such as teaching Business English or Writing). The cost of living in Korea was low enough that I was able to save up several thousand dollars in that one year in addition to buying a very expensive 35mm SLR camera set. I saved far more money in Korea than I had ever been able to save up in the US. Other benefits at Korean schools included: a bonus equal to one month's average pay if you finished the entire 12 month contract, a one month vacation (but they only paid one week's worth of salary for that time), and free airfare to and from Korea (you may need to pay for the trip upfront, but they'll reimburse you). Some schools may also pay your rent; mine didn't, but they were very helpful in getting me set up in a nice apartment.
* The free airfare deal is quite handy. I worked with one guy from Ireland who travelled from country to country around the world with his wife and dog. That was how they got to see the world and make a living at the same time. Of course it also helps to have a sense of adventure. :)
* Other countries may not be as generous as the Koreans. Singapore pays decently, and the cost of living is roughly the same as Korea's, but the schools here don't pay either a 13th month bonus or airfare. I don't know if I would have saved as much money in Singapore as I did in Korea (in part because I got married fairly quickly after coming to Singapore). Chinese pay scales seem to be very cheap, although I believe they all provide housing.
* Don't forget that, wherever you teach, you may still have bills to pay in your local currency (e.g., the US dollar). I was able to arrange monthly wire transfers of money to my US bank account to pay local bills (like student loans and storage fees). You need to keep fairly up to date regarding all of your finances (not just local, but at home as well).
* Working in Korea was tough on women. Of course, virtually every expatriate who works there is not in a relationship. For some reason, women seemed to have a tougher time handling Korea than men did. Many blamed Korea's male-dominated society, but I'm not sure that's entirely true.

I've got more to write on this topic, but it will have to wait for now. In the meantime, a good place to start is Dave's ESL Cafe Job Board. Look around, see what's available, think about whether this type of life is what you want (not a clearcut question to answer), and if you have any other questions, by all means feel free to ask.

This looks fairly accurate too...

You are a

Social Liberal
(60% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(36% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid

September 23, 2005

"Americans need to beware of the Muslim scourge within"

This letter appeared in CAIR's daily e-mail under its "Incitement Watch" heading. While the letter is worthy of that heading, trying to incite other non-Muslims to hate Muslims, it's also one of the more unintentionally funny letters I've read in a while. This clown is truly "red" to the core. Thirty years ago, he would have been writing about the communists; today it's the Muslims. It's a sad day when the average American can only see "enemies." My comments are in blue.

Dear Editor, I pray that the silent majority in our great nation is not being at all fooled by all the latest rhetoric being distributed in the media regarding President George W. Bush. He has more on him at this time than any person in the history of America.

But never believe he can't handle it. The Bible says that up until a person becomes a child of God, he or she just never realizes the true light when they see it. This absolute gives our president a lot of strength, and this silent majority is praying for him every day. And every American should be doing the same thing. Please start doing so.

He has many big problems, but the biggest by far is the nation of Islam.
1 I have done a lot of research recently2 and the following are a number of truths -- which I can prove. These things started long ago, but the Muslim world did not appear to be intelligent enough to pose much of a threat to anyone except themselves.3

1. One wonders if this guy knows the difference between Orthodox Islam and the "Nation of Islam." I'm not completely convinced that he does.
2. I'm sure you have (rolling eyes).
3. The pot calling the kettle black - as you'll be able to read for yourselves all too soon.

We have a very large number of Americans that are doing everything they can to cause America to fail. And since our president has had the courage to address hard subjects that absolutely must be resolved, it takes a true Southern Christian gentleman to grab the bull by the horns.4 Can you believe that since Sept. 11, 2001, there have been approximately 34,000 Americans who have become Muslims?5 How about this one: There are 1,209 Muslim mosques existing in America at this time, and 25 percent of them have been built since 1994 -- just one year after the first bombing of the Trade Center buildings.6

4. Don't evuh let dem dam' Yankees evuh run the gubbuhmint ag'in, dagnabit! ;)
5. Really? Alhamdulillah! (Singing) "We shall overcome...we shall overcome..." :)
6. Alhamdulillah! A chicken in every pot, and a masjid on every street corner. :)

And did you know that if you ask 100 Americans who we were fighting a war with in our country for the first time, they would probably say England. Wrong! The great U.S. Marine Corps was fighting the Muslims in the country of Tripoli. It was called the Tripolitan War. Hence the song: "to the shores of Tripoli."7

7. Almost. Actually, the US's first military engagement after the Revolutionary War was the Quasi-War with France, which ended one year (1800) before the First Barbary War started (1801). Nice try, though.

Wake up, America. There are at this date 6 million Muslims who reside here in our country, all over most states.8 And there are 1.5 billion on planet earth.9 Our historians have let us down since our conception.10 It is time we learned who our enemies are! They are Bush-bashers who run down our president and have a total of nothing in the suggestion box to do anything any other way!11

8. We're everywhere! ;)
9. Horrors! 20% of the Earth's population is Muslim.
10. It's the historians' fault! Why don't they nevuh teach me nuthin' at skool?
11. And then there's this wonderful leap of "logic." Who are the "enemies?" Is it the Muslims? No! It's the "Bush-bashers!" :) Those darn democrats! :) And they don't ever make any good suggestions either! ;)

I do not have a copy of the Muslim Quran, but I have one on the way. It has 114 chapters.12

12. The last sentence gives me the mental image of a schoolchild reciting a "fact." This guy is going to be in for a surprise when he finds the latter 30 "chapters" or so are just a few lines each. No doubt he's expecting something along the lines of Hitler's "Mein Kampf" or Marx and Engels' "Manifesto of the Communist Party."

Only 30 percent of the Muslims in the world are literate.13 They must listen to their leaders for the contents of the Quran.14 I have several verses copied from one of the books of the Quran, and it is very clear that no Muslim is our friend.15

13. One can only guess where this "statistic" came from.
14. Ooooh, mind control. No wonder dem Muslims is always fightin'. :)
15. But Hugh, we like you! You're very entertaining! :)

I'm probably running out of time. I'll tell you more of this enemy when I get my copy.16

16. Hurry on back now, ya hear?

Sept. 18th is Constitution Day. Pray for America and pray for John Roberts and for George Bush.

God bless you all and God bless America.

Hugh Jenkins
Confederate States of America
Camp 747

Come on, say it! (You know you want to.) "The South will rise again!" :)

September 22, 2005

Actually, I think this is fairly accurate of me... :)

Fourth Anniversary

Today is my fourth anniversary: I've lived in Asia for four years now.

2001 was a rather turbulent year for me. I had been working for Shasta, a swimming pool company, since late 1999, but felt that my job and career as an accountant had completely stagnated. I had reverted to Islam in June of the previous year, and while I felt comfortable living my new life as a Muslim I found it somewhat difficult (at the time) to find a Muslim woman to marry. So I turned to the Internet, and began a correspondence with a Moroccan woman living in Switzerland. I thought we had a chance to develop a serious relationship, and so I began to divest myself from my life in America - I wrapped up my affairs and traveled to Geneva in June...

Only to be rejected by her almost as soon as we met at the airport. I spent two weeks there, my first trip to Europe. We did spend some time together, testing to see if the relationship could be re-started, but I left Europe with bitterness (at having been spurned after all the emotional and financial capital had been invested) and relief (talking to a friend after I returned to the US, I told her that being with this woman would ultimately give me an ulcer; my friend said, "Are you kidding? She'd have given you a heart attack!"). And so I returned to the U.S., only to find that I was unemployed. I stayed with a relative for a while, but she kicked me out after not being able to pay rent (I had gone completely broke). For three days, I found myself homeless, rejected by family and friends, but welcomed in by Muslim brothers who were otherwise complete strangers. (May Allah (swt) bless these men for the kindness they showed me in my darkest hours.) Eventually my relative asked me to return, in part (ironically) because her dog missed me and would wait at the door every evening for me to come home. (May Allah (swt) bless "Pete" too.)

And while I couldn't find a permanent, full-time job, I was able to go back to Shasta for a few months as a part-time employee. I paid my relative her rent, and began looking for other work. The thought crossed my mind that I had a brand new passport; was there any work I might find overseas that would allow me to travel? Eventually, I came across an Internet advertisement for a job teaching English in Korea. On a lark, I submitted my resume, and an employment agency contacted me very quickly, saying they'd be more than happy to help me find a job. Thus began a dance between the agency, myself, and three schools who were interested in hiring me (the third school ultimately did). The funny thing was that I was very much torn as to the whole idea of moving to Korea. I knew virtually nothing about the country, and I wasn't quite sure if I really wanted to leave the U.S. One week I would say, "I'm definitely moving to Korea," and the next week it would be, "There's absolutely no way I'm going to Korea." It wasn't until I talked to my dad over the phone, when I asked him what I should do, that I made my final decision. "Go!" he said, and I did, and it was the best decision.

So I packed everything up one final time…and then waited. September 11th happened. (I was originally supposed to leave on the 14th, I believe.) Of course, I had to rearrange all my travel plans and get a new ticket. After a 14-hour flight from LAX, I finally got to Incheon International Airport late at night on September 22, 2001, where some woman (an employee of the agency) quickly got me off my Asiana flight and onto another plane bound for Busan (I was the last passenger to board; the plane for Busan had been waiting for me).

So I lived for a year in Korea, falling in love with that country and still missing it even today. Since then, I’ve lived in Singapore, where I started another life here with my wife. I’ve had the opportunity to visit a few other countries out here: Malaysia a few times, Japan for a day (to get my Korean work visa), and a few hours at the Bangkok International Airport – if you want to count that. ? There are lots of places I’d love to visit around here in time: China, Japan (again, but much more thoroughly), Cambodia (to see Angkor Wat), Vietnam, Brunei (to visit one of my wife’s relatives, who frequently asks us to come over) and, of course, Korea once more.

It’s been a wild ride. Lots of fun, happiness, pain, and sorrow. Real life, just like anywhere else. My dad was ultimately right. Coming to Asia was one of the best decisions I ever made. I’m glad I’m here.

September 19, 2005

Cronin's Criticism regarding Sania

Two weeks ago, if you had mentioned the name of Sania Mirza, I'd have said, "Who?" :) However, this topic has started to take on a life of its own (based on the number of hits and comments I've received in the past few days).

Adarsh Krishna, who has a nice blog on Sania Mirza, had a recent post in which he referenced an article about Ms. Sania by Matthew Cronin of Following are some of my remarks to Mr. Cronin’s commentary:

“She's a national hero in short skirts, and the Islamic fundamentalists do not want her to exert any real influence on other young women who might get "heretical" ideas about dressing the way they want to.

Horrors! Now, if a Muslim suggests that a young Muslimah should cover herself, he (or she) is an “Islamic fundamentalist.” Actually, the “heretical” ideas about dressing come from the non-Muslims, but Mr. Cronin appears to be blind to that perspective.

“To her credit, Sania has stuck up for the positive principles of her religion. But, the fact is, there are numerous negative ones, such as the existence of extremists who have declared a "fatwa" on her.”

Mr. Cronin shows his ignorance of Islam when he equates the writing of a fatwa to that of extremism. As I’ve written before (and which many other Muslims will tell you), a fatwa is merely an opinion about a religious question, frequently having to do with mundane, day-to-day issues. Ms. Sania is free to accept or ignore the fatawa that have been written regarding her. (Obviously, she has ignored those fatawa so far to date.)

“That's when it's either time to stand up and say that your religious opponents are wrong and don't represent the thinking of many young Muslims, or you leave that religion.”

What a hoot! “Islam is wrong” vs. “Become an apostate!” What a “choice.” Mr. Cronin proves the Qur’an correct once more: Never will the Jews or the Christians be satisfied with thee unless thou follow their form of religion. Say: "The Guidance of Allah,-that is the (only) Guidance." Wert thou to follow their desires after the knowledge which hath reached thee, then wouldst thou find neither Protector nor helper against Allah.” (2:120)

Mr. Cronin, how about the choice of “I go against the norms of the tennis world by covering up in a way that preserves my modesty, but still allows me to compete effectively.” Oooh, “heresy!” No doubt that would rock your world.

The Next Star Wars "Kid"

OK, this is too funny. Check it out! :) Magazine Man vs. Art Lad (Episode I).

Yo, MM, next time, may the Force be with you. ;)

Response to a Comment regarding my Sania Mirza Post

Steve came by the other day, and had an interesting comment regarding my Sania Mirza post. I've decided to post my response here, and also at my Learn About Islam blog.

Thanks for your comment, Steve, and I hope you'll make more in the future, insha'allah.

Steve wrote: "I think a reasonable person can debate what kind of clothing is acceptable under Islam. I know dozens of Muslims who ruitinely wear shorts and skirts, and at the same time affirm most of the basic principles of Islam."

Those shorts-and-skirts Muslims must be young. :) Yeah, I've heard of cases up in Malaysia where a young woman might go out in public wearing something skimpy but also wearing a hijab. Go figure. Still, there are clearly defined dress codes for both Muslim men and women. Those women who wear the shorts and skirts are not following the dress code. While they may "affirm most of the basic principles of Islam," Islam is not a "pick and choose," cafeteria-style religion. Muslims should (ideally) follow all aspects of Islam as much of the time as possible. As my wife would say, "We strive to be better Muslims."

"That being said, whats at issue is whether or not the actions of this tennis player is worthy of a 'fatwa.'"

A fatwa in and of itself is merely an opinion, and does not necessarily have to be obeyed. Most people who ask for a fatwa normally ask for themselves (i.e., they have a particular situation they would like resolved, and they are looking for guidance in the form of a fatwa). That someone asks, "What about the type of clothing a female tennis player wears in public, like Sania Mirza?" seems a little odd, but is still not out of the realm of the ordinary. In that regard, Ms. Sania is worthy of a fatwa, as is any other Muslim in the world.

"I completely agree that an Islamic council should be more worried about things like Wahhabism or the Mujahadeen than tennis attire."

In all honesty, the vast majority of fatawa that are issued deal with very mundane, daily life issues. There's nothing wrong with an Islamic council dealing with the bigger issues (many Muslims wish they would), but most of their work deals with very small issues.

"However, it is the position of some Islamic scholars that if the purpose of rules and regulations regarding attire is to not attract attention to ones self, then covering up in conditions such as western society and or tennis courts might actually defeat the intended purpose of such modesty..."

Possibly, but... The purpose of the dress code, of course, is for modesty; it's not necessarily not to attract attention to one's self. While a pro female tennis player might attract attention initially by, say, wearing a sweat suit instead of a skirt and blouse, don't you think the fuss might die down fairly quickly (within a year's time at the most)? Is women's beach volleyball popular because we value the women as athletes...or because they wear bikinis? Was Anna Kournikova as popular as she was because of her tennis skills (her having never won a Grand Slam tournament) or because of her looks?

September 11, 2005

Sania Mirza

The Sania Mirza controversy seems a little odd to me. If you haven't heard, Sania Mirza is an Indian Muslim tennis player who started the year ranked #206. However, she was able to reach the fourth round of the U.S. Open, and will possibly be among the top 35 women tennis players in the latest rankings, insha'allah. The controversy is that Ms. Mirza has been the subject of two fatawa recently due to her wearing standard tennis clothing (a shirt and skirt).

"Sania Mirza is a Muslim and she stands half-naked on the tennis court while playing, which is against Islam," said Siddikulla Chowdhury, secretary of the Jamiat-Ulama-Hind Islamic movement in Kolkata. "She is trying to ape some Western tennis players who dress in a similar way."

"The dress she wears on the tennis court not only doesn't cover large parts of her body but leaves nothing to the imagination of voyeurs," said another cleric, Maulana Hasheeb-ul-Hasan Siddiqui of the Sunni Ulema Board. "She will undoubtedly be a corrupting influence on these women."

Ms. Mirza herself has declined comment on the fatawa. "I have nothing to say about that."

My own thoughts:

  • First, I wonder at the credibility and motivation of the people who are issuing these "fatawa." Who are they? The Sunni Ulema Board in particular has been described in some news articles as "little known." Likewise, is this just grandstanding by people who want to take advantage of this young woman's recent success? According to one article, "Zafarul-Islam Khan, editor of The Milli Gazette, a bi-monthly publication with a focus on Islamic issues, told AFP no fatwa had been issued. 'It is just for sensation,' he said. 'There is no fatwa.' According to Khan, a fatwa is a response given in writing to a specific question, and can only be given by a qualified scholar, or 'mufti.' 'But every time a bearded person says something it is called a fatwa,' he said, adding that Mirza's attire was not an issue among most Indian Muslims."

  • On the other hand, what the two groups are asking for is not unreasonable either. I don't think it's necessary that she be covered up completely, but I also don't think her performance on the court would be hurt if she, say, wore sweat pants instead of the skirt.

    The Shia have given an interesting response to the controversy so far: MYOB! The All-India Shia Muslim Personal Law Board on Saturday disapproved the edict issued by some Muslim clerics on dresses worn by Indian teenage tennis sensation Sania Mirza while playing and asked them not to meddle in [the] sports arena. "The fatwa issued against Sania by a section of Muslim clerics is unnecessary and uncalled for. It is not for them to issue guidelines on what players should wear during matches," Board Chairman Mirza Mohammad Athar told reporters in Lucknow. Asserting that Sania had committed no sin by wearing her choice of dresses on [the] field, he asked clerics not to interfere in matters pertaining to sports. Athar said it was regrettable that the clerics issued the fatwa against Sania who did the community and the country proud by becoming the first Indian to reach pre-quarterfinals of the US Open. The Chairman told them to understand that sports had its own dress code, and a player, belonging to any religion, was the best judge to decide what dress suited him or her while playing. Lauding Sania's achievements, he said she had become a role model for her community and the country by her performances. Athar urged clerics and countrymen to encourage her to bring more laurels for herself and the country. "They should not demoralise her by issuing fatwas on her dresses," he said. For the record, my wife (who is Sunni, as am I) is surprised at the Shia response in that she does believe that a woman showing that much skin is committing a sin. She would have expected the Shia to take a more conservative response (i.e., agreeing with the fatawa).


  • Muslim clerics lash out at 'half-naked' Indian tennis star Mirza

  • Fatwa on Sania dress uncalled for: Shia Board

    Update: (1 April 2010) A lot of people are visiting this blog post now that Sania Mirza has announced her engagement to Pakistani cricket player Shoaib Malik. For more information, please visit Sania Mirza Engaged.
  • September 7, 2005

    Problems with Husband 1.0?

    I got this from a friend in Malaysia (hence the "odd" references, like to Teh Tarik and the lack of other American sports like baseball). Cute.

    Upgrade Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0

    Dear IT Support,

    Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a slow down in the overall performance, particularly in the flower and jewelry applications that had operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0.

    In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5, but installed undesirable programs such as Formula One 5.0, NBA 3.0 and World Cup 2.0.

    And now Conversation 8.0 no longer runs and House Cleaning 2.6 simply crashes the system. I've tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail.

    What can I do?



    Dear Desperate,

    First keep in mind: Boyfriend 5.0 is and entertainment package, while Husband 1.0 is an operating system. Try entering the command C:\ I THOUGHT YOU LOVED ME and download Tears 6.2 to install Guilt 3.0.

    If all works as designed, Husband 1.0 should then automatically run the applications Jewellery 2.0 and Flowers 3.5.

    But remember, overuse can cause Husband 1.0 to default to Grumpy Silence 2.5, Happy Hour 7.0 or Late Night Teh Tarik 6.1. Late Night 6.1 is a very bad program that will create SnoringLoudly.wav files.

    Whatever you do, DO NOT install Mother-in-Law 1.0 or reinstall another Boyfriend program. These are not supported applications and will crash Husband 1.0.

    In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have a limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly.

    You might consider additional software to improve memory and performance. I personally recommend Hot Food 3.0 and Lingerie 6.9.

    Good Luck!

    IT Support

    September 4, 2005

    A Cultural Mutt

    ChaliceChick (a Unitarian and ex-BeliefNet poster) had an interesting question on her blog recently. Her post is about how location and culture influence the way we are, how our personalities are shaped over time. Or, as she writes, " what cultures do y'all come from? Which influence who you are the most?"

    Here's most of my response on her blog:

    "...It's not only about where I've lived, but also what cultural attributes I've picked up along the way. Up through HS, I lived in upstate NY. My family lineage is primarily Irish-English, but I never felt any strong ties to those cultures (my family has lived in America since the Colonial days). Moreover, certain relatives had married Italian immigrants, and I've often felt I grew up Italian, even though I'm not.

    "After HS, I moved to Arizona where the Italian influence continued, but I was also influenced by Mexican culture as well, having many Mexican-American friends.

    "Now, the past four years, I've lived in Asia and I've noticed how my thinking and lifestyle has started to assimilate East Asian thought and cultural practices (especially as my wife comes from this area).

    "So, based on all these different places of residence and cultural influences, I feel like a real mutt. :) "

    September 3, 2005

    Iraq/New Orleans

    A few thoughts on the travesty that has befallen New Orleans after Katrina:

    • If the government (take your pick: federal, state or city) is unable to provide security for the people of New Orleans immediately after a natural disaster like Katrina, is it any wonder that the US government is unable to provide security to the people of Iraq? The "insurgency" that has happened in New Orleans the past few days merely shows why the insurgency in Iraq has gone on for so long.
    • The US government will never, ever gain international support for another Iraq-type invasion. Governments around the world will look at both the Iraqi and New Orleans insurgencies and say, "The US is very good at destroying things, but they cannot build something back up again. If they can't provide a stable environment after a disaster (natural or man-made) so that we can help these people (which is to the benefit of everyone), why should we help them?" This shows very clearly where American priorities lie.
    • I haven't heard any news about the likes of Halliburton or Bechtel licking their chops to help rebuild New Orleans anytime recently. ... Oh, I forgot, there's no money to be made in helping one's own people.