What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. Memory. My memory isn’t what it was. Although it was never particularly strong, I find I need to write down ideas more quickly now than before. At least twice this week while driving I had ideas that passed the “this would be something good to write about” test. Sadly between the time I had that good idea and when I safely parked the Jeep, the thought had completely flown. It seems I’m going to have to start sending voice notes to myself just to stay on top of random thoughts throughout the day – and *that* is a thought that annoys me to no end.

2. Rain. Enough with the goddamned rain already. I’ve had to mow the grass three times in the last 10 days just to keep the place from being completely overrun. I’m not looking to turn the mid-Atlantic into a desert or anything, but a little moderation would go a tremendous way towards letting the yard be something other than a muddy hot mess.

3. Thoughtcrime. I’ve come to the conclusion that despite what good it may also bring, social media is essentially toxic – or at least it has become toxic at the hands of its users. Wide swaths on the left and right are committed to their ideal of thought purity where anyone expressing any except the conventional and sanctioned opinion must be set upon and beaten down by one side or the other. Deviate from approved goodthink and the thinkpol will be johnny-on-the-fucking-spot to make you pay for it. There’s no interest in rational discussion or differing opinion. Thoughtcrime must be rectified until goodthink prevails. At the risk of being declared an unperson in the eyes of social media, I’ll continue to live my ownlife. To do otherwise in the face of popular adherence to minitrue orthodoxy is cowardly and fundamentally doubleplusungood.

World War III…

Author’s Note: With a few minor revisions, the following is excerpted directly from an ongoing email discussion considering the current and future implications of the ongoing war on terror. Although some of the ideas are derivative, the sentiment is entirely my own.

Although I do like the rhetorical punch of a “War of Civilizations,” I tend to agree with the current White House likening the current fight to a “War for Civilization.” The Middle East is the cradle of civilization and gave rise to humanities first great peoples. The vast majority of those living in the region still embrace that legacy, but events are not driven by the masses, but rather by fanatical fringe elements who value human lives only to the extent they can be used to deliver a vest of explosives or a truck full of artillery shells.

I like the analogy of our times being reminiscent of the mid-1930s, as England and France sought to placate Hitler by ceding more lands and condemning more and more of the continent to Nazi tyranny. Like our parents and grandparents, we are being called to once again be the arsenal of democracy, to stand in the gap, and muster the power of the new world to preserve the freedoms of the old. Personally, I have no moral compunction with the concept of preemptive war, of stopping terrorists and rogue nations from doing harm before they have a chance to carry out their plans. We don’t expect our policemen on patrol to wait until a crime is committed to act, and in fact, they are punished when they could have prevented a crime, but did nothing.

Sadly, I agree that it is only a matter of time before a terrorist, or one of the countries who supports them, figures out how to smuggle a nuclear device into the heart of an American city and bring catastrophic destruction and war to American soil. While I concede that it is almost inevitable, that does not remove our obligation to do everything within our power to prevent that from happening. We must dramatically tighten security along our borders and at our sea ports and airfields, but our vigilance must not stop at our boarders. We must develop better system of sharing intelligence with our key allies in the global war on terrorism and develop strategic plans that allow American and allied forces to respond rapidly to areas of increased or known threat. Finally, we must seek out and destroy the financial backers of terror in all its forms; false-front charities, illegal drugs, and legitimate businesses throughout the Middle East that funnel money to organizations that would do us harm.

Global public opinion may rage against their vision of an “Imperial America,” but it is a small price to pay, in the end, to preserve American lives and to defeat the barbarians at the gate. I shudder to think at the response America would have to a nuclear detonation on our shores. I know for certain that the destruction that would rain down on our enemies would be of such a proportion to make the world long for the days of “civilized” war that led to the fire-bombing of Dresden and Tokyo.