Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Sometimes we see numbers, and don't really think about what they mean.  I'm not intending this post to be for or against John McCain or Barack Obama. 

I don't think there are many Americans who would deny that the attack on 9/11/2001 was horrific, or that the death toll was catastrophic, or that the scope of it all traumatized our nation and changed us in a profound way. 

I looked up these numbers on the Internet, therefore they may not be entirely accurate, but I believe they're close.

The number of American lives lost as a result of the terrorist attack on 9/11/2001:


The number of American lives lost in Iraq as a result of the American invasion:


Interestingly, I also found this number.  I have no idea of it's validity.

The number of Iraqi lives lost as a result of the American invasion:


I suspect this number might be inflated in order to serve the anti-war movement's point of view, however, according to an article I found on CNN, 5,800 Iraqis died in June 2006.  I'm sure many, if not most of these deaths were caused by insurgents, not by the American Military, but they happened because we were there. 

At this point, I feel the need to clarify that I am not disparaging the American Military.  Like any other cross section of society, the military will be made up of those who are good and those who are bad, if there really is any such thing.  I support the soldiers in Iraq.  They're Americans, and they're going through a kind of Hell I can't imagine.  And they're following orders.  I only question the orders, something they aren't allowed to do.  And over 4,000 of them are dead.

I got to wondering, this is a lot of death.  How many people did Hitler murder?  I looked it up.  Six million.  That number, by the way, does not include military deaths. 

What's hard to imagine, is exactly what these numbers mean.  We hear these numbers: 2900, 4000, 1.2 million, 6 million, and we think that's horrible, but do you really think about what that means?  Imagine you come home and find a dead body in your kitchen.  Imagine the horror of finding a body shot to death violently in your kitchen.  Hollywood has made us a little desensitized to this kind of violence, but try to imagine what it would be like in real life? 

Now imagine it's two bodies.  That adds a whole new dimension to the horror. 

Imagine ten.  This gets harder for a sane person to imagine.  Ten murdered bodies in your kitchen.  Given an average of 150 pounds per person, that 1500 pounds of dead human in your kitchen. 

We're only up to 10, folks.  If you can imagine 10, try to imagine that 10 more times.  It takes a few minutes to really digest the horror there, doesn't it.  That's only 100 people, and yet we can barely fathom it.  100 people would not fit in your kitchen, we'll have to move them to the back yard.  That's 15,000 pounds of dead human.  The mind really can barely grasp this kind of horror anymore, and we're only up to 100. 

Following our average of 150 pounds per person, the death toll in Iraq has resulted in 600,000 pounds of dead American bodies. 

At 600,000 pounds of dead American, I want a good explanation of why we're there. 

"We believed that Saddam Hussein had weapons of Mass Destruction"

We've [the American public] since found out that the only evidence to that effect known before invading a sovereign country in another part of the world was a single report that was out of date by years.  The Soviet Union had weapons of Mass Destruction for decades, and the remnants of the Soviet Union, to the best of my knowledge, still has them.  We've never invaded the Soviet Union, and they really didn't like us.  Nor have we invaded North Korea, and I think we be pretty sure they have them too, and probably more likely to use them on us than Saddam ever was.

Saddam Hussein didn't like or trust Osama Bin Laden (or so I heard on CNN). 

We basically had no evidence whatsoever that Iraq was linked with Al Queda and the terrorists that attacked us seven years ago.  Afghanistan, on the other hand, admitted they had him and wouldn't give him up.

Saddam Hussein defied the U.N. weapons inspectors, but he had been doing that for over a decade since the original invasion of Kuwait.  Suddenly in 2003 it became a crisis that couldn't wait for diplomacy. 

We've lost over 4,000 American Soldiers in a war that, as far as I can tell, had nothing to do with the 9/11 attack which resulted in 2,900 American casualties. 

"We have to finish the job in Iraq."

What job?  What is it we have to finish there?  We declared hostilities ceased in 2005.  I watched it on the news.  Why are we still there?  What do we have to do in Iraq which is more important than finding the man who was responsible for killing 2,900 American Citizens?  Seriously, I want to know, this isn't rhetoric. 

Think about this when deciding who to vote for this November.  And think about this too.  Watch these, then watch anything from John McCain and/or Barack Obama, and ask yourself, who would you rather have running our country? 

Henry '08.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Netflix and XBox part II - It's true!

Back in Feburary I caught wind of a possibility that XBox might be partnering with Netflix to allow streaming movies to the XBox.  Here's an update: They are.  It was officially announced at E3 a couple of days ago, along with some other pretty cool XBox enhancements.  The official announcement to the world is on XBox.com

I'm seriously stoked about this.  I've complained before how expensive XBox movie rentals were, this totally alleviates it.  This would really be great if it were available now, instead of this fall, since I'm stuck in a studio apartment 500 miles from my family with nothing much to do.  As usual, the timing kindof sucks, but whatever.  Welcome to the future of movie rentals.