Friday, September 22, 2006

Mark Twain quote on Iraq, um, I mean the Phillippines

Mark Twain could have been a prophet, it looks like. As you read the following quote, change "the Phillipines" to "Iraq," "Filipino(s)" to "Iraqi(s)," and "Spanish" to "Saddam Hussein's," and this quote could have been made recently about the current war in Iraq, instead of one hundred years ago about a war halfway around the world in the Phillipines (from Wikipedia):

"There is the case of the Philippines. I have tried hard, and yet I cannot
for the life of me comprehend how we got into that mess. Perhaps we
could not have avoided it -- perhaps it was inevitable that we should
come to be fighting the natives of those islands -- but I cannot
understand it, and have never been able to get at the bottom of the
origin of our antagonism to the natives. I thought we should act as
their protector -- not try to get them under our heel. We were to relieve
them from Spanish tyranny to enable them to set up a government of
their own, and we were to stand by and see that it got a fair trial. It was
not to be a government according to our ideas, but a government
that represented the feeling of the majority of the Filipinos, a govern-
ment according to Filipino ideas. That would have been a worthy
mission for the United States. But now -- why, we have got into a mess,
a quagmire from which each fresh step renders the difficulty of
extrication immensely greater. I'm sure I wish I could see what we
were getting out of it, and all it means to us as a nation."

As always, this quote refers to a miscalculation on the part of the US government. Or, rather, it resulted from the custom of going in shooting first, then figuring out what the suitation is and what is at stake. In this case, Spain had lost the Spanish-American War -- which many believe the US provoked by blowing up an American ship docked in Cuba and blaming it on the Spanish -- resulting in the US gaining rulership over Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Phillipines. Since Filipinos had been putting up an armed resistance to Spanish rule, the US mistakenly thought the Filipinos would be happy with their new rulers.

Wrong. They didn't want new outside rulers, no matter who they were. The result was four years of war in a land where both the terrain and the culture were totally unfamiliar to the US forces, resulting in four years of war and over four thousand of American solders killed.

Seem the least bit familiar?

Free Dunkin Donuts Coffee?? Where?! When?! Oh, *Iced* Coffee...

I got an email this morning from about a supposed Yahoo promotion, offering free Dunkin Donuts iced coffee to anyone who visits Yahoo's site and prints out a coupon. I've never been a fan of cold coffee, but hey, it's free, and I like their hot coffee. So, I went to Yahoo, and there's no mention of it on the site's front page.

OK, I thought, they want to make you work for it. No problem. So, I did a Y!Search (I tack a "Y" onto all things Yahoo) found a bunch of sites with varying versions of the same story, but no actual links to a Yahoo page with a printable Dunkin Donuts free coffee coupon. One of those sites suggested that it may be just a publicity stunt. Its version of the story claimed that you had to make Yahoo your Web start page in order to be given access to the Web coupon, raising the question (as that particular site did) of how Yahoo could even know that you've switched your start page in the first place.

But, hey, free coffee, even if it is cold. So, I clicked on the link at the top of Yahoo's front page that's supposed to make it my computer's start page, and it didn't work. Not a surprise, since I work in a government office, and the combination spyware/anti-spyware that runs on all our computers probably prevents that kind of thing.

It's looking more and more like a publicity stunt by the second...

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Somaya Reece

(that's a link, son)

Nothing more needs to be said. Somaya Reece is a beautiful woman, a nice person, and takes great photos (on both sides of the camera!) Also, her standalone website is being reorganized, so the link leads to her MySpace portfolio.

Check out the Somaya Reece music page also: