Friday, June 04, 2010

Tactical Matters

I've got a dilemma. I can't really get too much into detail, but in a nutshell, I'm trying to make a decision on how to proceed from one stage to the next in regard to certain issues. The problem is that the current stage has to be brought to a definitive end point, one way or another. By that I mean I need to figure out how to decisively close out this stage, or find a way to continue the current stage and use that continuation as a means of moving on to the next stage.

Confused yet? Well I am too, but basically there are two ways to approach this thing, and as usual, I'm going back in history to illustrate them.

First is what I'll call the Bayint Naung approach, named after a Burmese king who I had no clue about until a few days ago. I haven't had a lot of time to research the history, but the story goes like this. King Bayint Naung viewed an enemy encampment across the river from his own camp. The enemy outnumbered his own forces 4:1, so he had a decision to make. Take them on in what most likely would be a hopeless cause, or retreat and live to fight another day. Being a 16th century, southeast Asian bad ass, Bayint Naung decided to fight. He took his men across the river and once on the other side, ordered them to burn their boats. Then he gave a rousing action adventure movie type speech (think Braveheart, Independence Day), and proceeded to rout the superior forces of his enemies. The end result was the solidification of the Burmese kingdom and Bayint Naung's greatest victory.

Pretty cool huh?

The second approach is named after the Continental Army. Facing overwhelming odds in the early days of the American Revolution, the leadership of the Continental Army under Gen. George Washington decided to not fight in the officially sanctioned, gentlemanly manner of European armies of the day. You know, nice neat lines of men who marched smartly onto the battlefield and took turns shooting at each other until they were close enough to charge. Instead, they adapted the tactics of the Native Americans; hit and run attacks, tactical retreats, do the unexpected, shoot officers, etc. This approach kept the army intact and essentially achieved victory by not being defeated. The end result was, well, you know the end result. I'm writing from the United States of America after all, so the approach worked.

So there you have it, two distinctly different approaches to basically the same tactical issue of how to deal with overwhelming odds and live to tell about it. What does all of this have to do with me? Well, nothing really. I mean, I'm not facing overwhelming odds in anything. My challenges are not life and death either. I do find historical analogies helpful usually and these two seemed fitting at this time.

Now without my actually having told you anything, what do you think? Are there any analogies or quotations or anything of the sort that you fall back on during times like these? Let me know, I'm interested to hear from you.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Phone Envy - It's A Bad Thing

I'm feeling just a little bit inadequate today. Why,you ask? Well...

Alright here's the deal. I've always been the technology guy in my family. I work in the technology field, teach technology to kids, rebuild computers, etc. I'm the guy you all call when your computer is infected with viruses and malware because you haven't bothered to run a scan for 17 months. Not to mention because you're too cheap (or should I say 'fiscally responsible?') to take your computer in for repair. Got an email issue? Need a new program installed or your operating system upgraded? Can't figure out how to activate the speaker phone on your mobile?

You know what I'm saying, I'm that guy.

But all of that has come into question now because of the technology I carry around on my hip. That's right, that Blackberry Curve I bragged about right after the election is suddenly not so hot anymore. Not with my wife, who's smartphone challenged by the way, rocking a G1 with the Android 1.6 OS. Word on the street is that phone will be upgraded to version 2.0 soon as well, bringing it on par with the Droid and other newer phone models as far as capability.

But that's not the worst of it.

My Mother-In-Law called last night to brag, and I mean BRAG, about her new phone, the HTC HD2. Oh yeah, she let me have it. The same woman who cornered me for hours to work on her computer while I was on vacation in Colorado decided to ruin my evening by running down the features of her new phone with the Windows Mobile OS. "Do you know I can watch TV on this thing?" "It runs Flash, does your Blackberry?" "The screen is so big!" I mean it went on and on an on. I tell you I was dying y'all. My Blackberry started to remind me of an old rotary dial phone attached to the wall. It was that bad. So bad that I actually I started surfing the web to scout out the upgrade. I mean I can't have the lowest tech phone among that group, can I? What about my reputation? I just don't think I can take that hit.

But then a funny thing happened. Her other line rang, she answered, came back on the line and said, "I don't know how it happened but the speaker phone came on and I don't know how to turn it off."

In that moment equilibrium was instantly reestablished and all was right with the world again.

I'm still getting a new phone though.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Friends - How Many Of Us Have Them?

What's up y'all? I'm back for my biannual blog post.

That's right, after a couple of years posting at a furious rate (which happened to coincide with a national election, but that's beside the point), I've been reduced to patting myself on the back for posting for the second time this year.

Talk about lowering your expectations.

Regardless, I'm compelled to post now because I've made a new friend. Well not really new, I've known her for a while. In fact we even dated, got married, and had kids. But we weren't friends until now. That's right, my wife friended me on Facebook. Which is cool. Very cool in fact. But what took so long?

Actually I know the answer to that question, which is she didn't have a Facebook account until a few days ago. Which I set up. Here's the story: She'd been searching high and low for a friend of hers from back in the day to no avail. My suggestion was to look for her on Facebook, which met some initial resistance. But y'all know your boy DP doesn't take a no as no. It just means not right now. So I set up the account, Showed her how to use it, and lo and behold she found her friend within 5 minutes.

Technology, it's amazing.

Anyway, I'm rambling on about all of this to say that I've found a lot of my own friends on Facebook lately too, and keep in better touch with those who aren't long lost. So here's to you Steve, Sheryl, Teresa, Steve, David, Joanie, John, Anissa, Haywood, Glen, Shunte', Tonya, Devin, Cedric, Roz, Mary, Ray, Randy and all of the rest of you who've connected or reconnected over the past few months. Thanks for friending me, and ain't social networking grand?

Stay in Touch!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Cold Enough For Ya?

Almost a foot of snow in Dallas. Three consecutive blizzards in Washington D.C. Coldest winter anyone can remember here in Houston. Snow in 49 of the 50 states at the same time. How about that global warming huh?

Ok, I've obviously been away for a while, and what better way to break the ice than to talk about the weather instead of, say, a political post.

This is NOT a political post.

I think I'm taking a more or less permanent break from that stuff. Not because I'm not interested or don't care, but rather that I'm a little disillusioned by the whole darn process. For the life of me I can't figure out how a political party that controls the presidency and both houses of Congress with substantial majorities can't seem to get anything done. I know, there's another team on the field too, but that team, when in a similar position during the last Presidential administration, were seemingly able to get any and everything that they desired pushed through Congress and into law. What has this group achieved after one year?

Well, basically nothing.

So rather than wallowing in the frustration that defines the healthcare debate, or complaining that we are still fighting the same series of never-ending wars, or the financial crisis, Iran's nukes, or anything else that I'd hoped would be dealt with in a different way with new leadership in Washington, I've decided that snow in the mid-Atlantic is a much more fascinating subject for the time being.

In other words, how's the weather?

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Colorado Dreaming

Newsflash: It's hot in Houston.

Real hot. After a week of the idyllic weather conditions and scenic beauty (see the shot from Estes Park above) of Colorado, I'm back in the broiler called H-Town. Funny thing is that I lived in Colorado for more than 20 years, yet this was my first visit there where I basically acted like a tourist.

We spent time in Morrison for a friends wedding, went up to Estes Park, toured the Madhava honey facilities, played golf at the fantastic Meadows golf course at the base of the Rockies, and in general just had a lot of fun.

Of course I visited with friends and family as well, but the highlights of this trip were the things that we normally don't do when we visit. Which got me thinking about Houston.

We've had a lot of people visit us in the years we've been here and we always show them the touristy stuff, like the Space Center, Galveston Island, etc. What I'm wondering is if there are other "must see" attractions here in town that I should do or see. I mean, I'd hate to leave here one day, return as a visitor, and wonder why I never did that while living here.

So in that respect I pose the question to those of you living here now, who lived here at some point, or have visited this fine city: What belongs on the must see and do list for Houston? Please let me know your thoughts and I'm looking forward to hearing from you. In the meantime I think I'll go soak in a tub of ice and try to lower my dangerously high body temperature. You know, typical summer in Texas stuff.

While I'm at it I think I'll try to figure out how to make enough money to spend part of the year somewhere cooler, like Colorado. Any ideas?

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July from beautiful Morrison, CO!

The picture above is from the incomparable Red Rocks Amphitheater where my friend Steve and his lovely lady Wendy just tied the knot. Congratulations to them and all I can say is he'd better never forget their anniversary!
Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday. Enjoy yourselves responsibly, but by all means have fun!

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Salmon - It's What's For Dinner

If everything goes well you should see, somewhere in this post, what my family will be eating for dinner tonight.

That's right, sitting there on that piece of foil is a salmon filet, seasoned with red onions and other herbs and spices, that's about to be placed on the grill. I know already it's going to be delicious because everything my wife cooks is excellent.

What we're having for dinner is not the point of that picture however. Instead its a part of my continuing evolution to mobile blogging via Blackberry from my tethered past of laptops and PC's.

I'm not sure how this post is going to look, not sure if the picture will be clear or fuzzy or above, next to, or below the text. This is all still in the experimental stage but so far so good. Later on I'll figure out how to insert hyperlinks, format text, place photos where I want them, etc. But for right now you get... salmon.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Musical Interlude: Old School Friday - Michael Jackson, 1958-2009

What a tremendously sad day. Michael Jackson has passed away. This is a devastating loss for the music world and the world in general. Many people my age grew up, came of age, and matured along with Michael Jackson and his music. We watched the Jackson 5 cartoons on Saturday mornings, sang along to "I Want You Back" and "Dancing Machine." We watched as he hit the superstar level with the "Off the Wall" album. Everone knows that happened after that - "Thriller" - only the best selling album of all time, followed by another mega seller in "Bad." Everything Michael Jackson touched turned to gold. Even some obscure dude named Rockwell was set up for life thanks to a hook sang by Michael Jackson in the song "Somebody's Watching Me" which you might know from the current Geico commercials.

Michael Jackson is a legend likely never to be surpassed in the field of entertainment. I'm just happy I had the opportunity to enjoy his music first hand, and to now watch my 11 year old discover his music a generation later. His music just had that affect on practically everyone, across the generations. I haven't even touched on his live performance ability, but having seen him and his brothers live on the Victory Tour, consider me a witness to his electrifying ability on stage.

I could go on and on, but there are only so many ways to describe the indescribable and the incomparable. Plus you're here for the music, so here is one of my favorite Michael Jackson songs, "Man In The Mirror." Here Michael sang about himself and his inner struggles in a personal way, and the song's message is still today one that we all should listen too.

Rest in Peace Michael. The world will not soon, if ever forget your name.

Don't forget the rest of the Old School Friday crew. I'm sure there are some great tributes up much more eloquent than mine.

Electronic Village - Chatting Over Cocktails - Ms Grapevine - Quick - Marcus LANGFORD - Cassandra - Danielle-Lisa C -Chocl8t - DP - Kreative Talk -MarvalusOne - Regina - LaShonda -AJ - Sharon - Invisible Woman - Believer 1964 -Dee - SJP - sHaE-sHaE - Songs In the Key of Life - Shawn - Hagar’s Daughter - freshandfab - Creole Pimp - Wonderland or Not - SoulAfrodisiac - Bria Bria - CCGroovy -

Thursday, June 25, 2009

English (and Football) Only

What do you call a person who speaks two languages?


So what if that person speaks three languages?

That's easy right, trilingual.

So what do you call someone who only speaks one language?

The answer: An American.

Sorry for the corny joke but that one has been going around in my bilingual circle of friends for years and there's more than a bit of truth to it. We Americans are notorious in our stubbornness to speak English and only English, which is a disservice to us all, but particularly our kids.

When it comes to opportunity these days, speaking additional languages is a major advantage. To illustrate that fact, all you need to do is visit practically any service related industry and look who's the people are who are front and center. In many cases it's a bilingual English/Spanish speaker because hey, companies aren't stupid and definitely understand who their customers are and which customers they would like to have. In a lot of cases, those new customers speak Spanish.

Not to say they don't speak or will never speak English, but you reach people where they are at. That's why I make it a point to practice my Spanish with whomever allows me to inflict it on them. In fact, if there's anyone out there with a similar mindset let me know in the comments and we'll figure out a way to practice together.

A lot of people feel that English is the unofficial global language but I disagree. The true international language that most Americans also don't speak is soccer, or more accurately, football. I'm a big fan of the game, especially the internatinal tournaments pitting national teams, one of which is going on right now. It's the Confederations Cup being held in South Africa which will also host the World Cup next year. The American team is doing quite well in this tournament, so far advancing through group play and defeating the mighty Spanish team today to earn a spot in Sunday's championship game.

Quite an accomplishment though you wouldn't know that living here in the States. Anywhere else such an achievement would be cause for celebrating in the streets, but not here. Most of us just don't pay any attention to soccer, I mean football, at all. Just like our inability to carry on a conversation in anything other than English, we are pretty much incapable of conversing in this global language of sport as well, and I think that's a shame.

So in addition to pummeling anyone who'll engage me with my Spanish, I'm trying to do the same in regard to soccer. The question is whether anyone's listening.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

When PAC's Attack

I was watching one of the Die Hard movies the other night, the second one I think that was set in an airport. The head honcho at the airport was none other than Fred Thompson, he of the recent failed Presidential bid. I couldn't help but to think what an amazing leader we missed out on by not electing this man President.

Ok, not really. The Republicans didn't even see fit to elevate him to the top of the ticket, and they're never wrong about that sort of thing.

Anyway, imagine my surprise to receive an email this morning from the FredPAC, Thompson's political action committee, lambasting the Obama administrations handling of the current situation in Iran.

I won't bore you with details but suffice it to say it was the same old refrain of "weak" in the face of a challenge, etc. without laying out a more effective strategy of his own.

Opposing for the sake of opposing, in other words.

What was conveniently not mentioned is that the U.S. has a less than stellar track record as far as Iran is concerned and virtually no influence in their internal affairs whatsoever. Not that it would matter if they had remembered to include those facts.

In my opinion the Obama team is handling this thing just right, so that no matter what emerges on the other side of this situation, the U.S. is still positioned to take on the challenging negotiations ahead in regard to their nuclear program and other issues. We currently have no idea how this thing is going to play out but I have a hell of a lot more confidence in the current administrations ability to handle it than I did in the prior administration. Or would have in a Thompson administration.

So FredPAC, if you deem someone withthis line of thinking as not worthy of receiving further emails from your fine organization, I understand. I hope you keep me on though. As the old Reader's Digest magazine proclaimed, "Laughter is the best medicine" and your email was the best laugh I had all day.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Cure For The Lazy Blogger - Well, Maybe

Well it's a well established fact that I'm a lazy blogger but I've been racking my brain to figure out why.

I mean, I don't think I'm lazy in the true sense of the word. I work hard every day, I can write effectively when motivated to do so, and if the subject is something I'm truly interested in I'm capable of generating a ton of material in relation to it. So what gives? Why has it been so difficult lately to regularly post on my blog?

The answer? Well... I don't know, but I have a theory. I think it boils down to technology, time, and motivation.

First technology. Most of the blogging I've done over the years was on my laptop. Over the past few months however I've basically stopped using the thing, instead using my Blackberry for most of the same tasks that the laptop formerly was the instrument of choice. Not to mention the fact that I can take pictures and make phone calls with the same device. And it weighs a few pounds less. To make a long story short, my blogging has slowed because I don't tote the tool around nearly as much as I used to.

So what about time? I have as little free time as I've always had, yet blogging output has decreased tremendously. Work consumes, but that's nothing new. So it must have something to do with motivation.

The latest Presidential campaign and all of its twists and turns provided an endless source of inspiration, yet once it ended it was like the air leaving a balloon. There are still endless topics worthy of discussion that I have opinions on but the motivation to write about them in depth just hasn't been there lately. I'm sure it will resurface but in the meantime... nothing.

So I've decided what I'm going to do, and basically that is to start blogging using my ever present Blackberry, to create posts whenever time allows at work or at home, and to try, try to focus on a topic of real interest at least once a week.

This post is the first test of the new There... Already blogging protocol. Stay tuned, there's definitely more to come as long as my thumbs don't wear out first!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Swine Flu, Politics,Smartphones, and Bean Pies?

Random thoughts in no particular order of importance for your Sunday morning.

I'm a little bit worried about the H1N1 flu virus because I'm in schools all of the time. Not to mention grocery stores, church, and all kinds of other places where people, and flu viruses, congregate. But I'm not so worried about it (yet) that I'm pushing the panic button. Looking at the news reports, you'd think it was the second coming of the bubonic plague. Maybe it is, but until we start flipping out about the regular flu that kills tens of thousands every year, or car accidents, or gunshot deaths, or..., well you get the idea. We're going to be careful of course, but life still has to go on.

This first round of this year's NBA playoffs have been outstanding so far. Of course I'm beyond thrilled that the Houston Rockets finally made it out of the first round for the first time in 12 years. This after trading away their starting point guard and having their "best player," Tracy McGrady, sidelined for the season. I think the Rockets are going to give the Lakers a tougher time than anyone seems to think right now.

President Obama is doing a good job. No elaboration, I just think he's doing a pretty good job all the way around and I'm looking forward to his first appointment to the Supreme Court.

Arlen Specter? Sometimes you should just lie to people. I mean, you don't want your fate decided in a Republican primary? Come on man, weren't you a Republican for like 45 years? What an insult to the people who voted for you, although I'm sure a lot of them are switching parties right about now too. I remember when Ben Nighthorse Campbell won a Senate seat as a Democrat way back in 1992. I voted for him. Then, I think within a year or so he switched to the Republican side. I know I was hot then and I'm I'll bet a whole bunch of Pennsylvania Repulicans are plenty pissed off right now too. But oh well, that's the way it goes I guess.

Still haven't bought the wife a new smartphone yet. Hey, it's not me. She's resisting. I'm pretty sure I know what phone I'm going to get her. Want a hint? We're on T-Mobile, she uses Google for everything, needs directions or phone numbers all of the time, and can't text on her regular phone keypad to save her life. Based on that, can you figure out the phone she'll be getting?

Speaking of smartphones, I know all of the talk is about iPhones and the App Store, but I've got to give it up to Blackberry and their recently launced App World. Talk about a utility for pretty much everything with more coming online everyday. And a lot of them are free, like Slacker Personal Radio. There's a war going on in my office, half of the people are iPhone fanatics and the rest are just as crazy about their Blackberry's. It'll be interesting to see how this all plays out over the long run, especially when Palm jumps back into the fray.

The pirates are still attacking and capturing ships. How about a central government that works?

Finally, my wife makes a mean bean pie. Now if you're not Black and/or you haven't been around those Nation of Islam brothers at some point in your life, you probably don't know what a bean pie is and more than likely have never tried one. Well we're Black, non-members of the Nation, but we do like bean pies. One of her best friends however is neither; she's of Puerto Rican descent, born and raised in Chicago and has spent the last quite a few years in Texas. No bean pie exposure in other words. Until this past weekend when our families got together for dinner at our place and my wife made a bean pie for dessert. Suffice it to say they loved it! So much so that she's been working all week trying to make them herself. For some reason, the thought of it just brings a smile to my face.

And that's where I'm going to end this post, smiling. Happy Sunday.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

I'm DP, and I'm a Lazy Blogger

They say admitting it is the hardest part, so I admitted it. I'm a lazy blogger. There's no excuse for the lack of posting here.

Well, actually, yes there is, but what's the point of repeating them when there are so many internet based tools that can do it for me. Take this excuse post generating tool for for example:

Geez I just discovered I have not updated this since last month. You would not believe how insane my life has become. I prostrate myself in sorrow and beg thy forgiveness.

I am overwhelmed with work, personal projects, just generally being a nuisance to society in general.
My day is full to overflowing from sun up to sun down and beyond. I am looking at rectifying this, but hey, life happens.

I won't promise anything to you but I will update you with my nefarious activities as soon as I get a chance. Well, I'll try. What do you mean you don't believe me?

Not bad huh? And to think that was generated by a postbot on some blogger's site from halfway around the world and all I had to do was a little minor editing. Like I said, it's too easy to be lazy and still post on your blog every now and again. And obviously I'm not the only one out there, witness this guy who I lifted the Lazy Blogger certification from.

See, there's still hope for me yet.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Musical Interlude: Old School Friday - If Mama Only Knew

If Mama Only Knew. That's today's theme for Old School Friday. Where to go with this one? The obvious choice would be to cue up a couple of songs that made her pull her hair out back in the day and say "What's wrong with you kids? That's not music!" I'm sure we've all experienced that, it's a generational thing that I'm now saying/doing with my own daughter. But I'm not going to go there because this theme presents the opportunity to go a little deeper.

Most of y'all know I lost my Mother last year at the way too young age of 64. That threw me for a loop no doubt. As time goes by, I find myself reflecting more on what she meant to me, the things she taught me, and the sacrifices she made for my siblings and I. The unconditional love in other words.

I've also realized that there were points in my life where the unconditional love wasn't returned to the full degree that it should have been. Nor was the acknowledgment of and appreciation for the sacrifices she endured to raise us kids adequately expressed nearly enough by me in plain, easily understood language. Now that she's gone, what I want to say, know I should have said or done, and wish I still had the chance to say or do is amazingly clear in my mind.

But it's too late.

So If My Mama Only Knew how much I love her, miss her, and cherish each day that I had with her; and how the lessons she taught me in life I'm really just beginning to understand; and that I can still see and hear her in the voice and mannerisms of her granddaughter; I think she'd be proud and happy.

So how do you express all of that emotion through song? By playing one of the best songs ever written to express just those feelings of course. Here's Maxwell doing his version of Kate Bush's "This Woman's Worth."

Unfortunately most of Maxwell's videos can't be embedded, but here's a link to the original music video.

That's it, and I hope you enjoyed my interpretation of the theme. Happy Old School Friday and don't forget the rest of the OSF crew!

Electronic Village - Chatting Over Cocktails - Ms Grapevine - Quick - Marcus LANGFORD - Cassandra - Danielle-Lisa C -Chocl8t - DP - Kreative Talk -MarvalusOne - Regina - LaShonda -AJ - Sharon - Invisible Woman - Believer 1964 -Dee - SJP - sHaE-sHaE - Songs In the Key of Life - Shawn - Hagar’s Daughter - freshandfab - Creole Pimp - Wonderland or Not - SoulAfrodisiac - Bria Bria - CCGroovy -

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Pirates- Does Anbody Have A Plan?

There's been lots of talk about piracy in the news lately, what with a huge international naval flotilla patrolling the area to interdict it, and now the news that after scores of attacks on vessels from seemingly every country on earth, at long last the pirates have got around to attacking an American flagged ship. Unfortunately for them it looks like they attacked the wrong ship.

The pirates tried to hijack the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama on Wednesday, but Capt. Richard Phillips thwarted their takeover by telling his crew of about 20 to lock themselves in a room, the crew told stateside relatives. The crew later overpowered some of the pirates, but Phillips surrendered himself to the bandits to safeguard his crew, and at least four of the pirates fled with him to an enclosed lifeboat, the relatives said. It was the first such attack on American sailors in about 200 years.

Wow. That's one bold, selfless, bad-assed Captain. Or a sad, sorry lot of so-called pirates. Either way I'm glad that at least a small victory against such lawlessness has been won. But the war is still far from over because we (meaning U.S.) don't seem to have a strategy in place to deal with the broader issues of piracy in the Horn of Africa region. Sure, there are a hundred naval ships in the waters off Somalia, but even this massive military show of force hasn't slowed down the number of pirate attacks. Or as stated by Galrahn at the influential Information Dissemination naval blog:

...the naval power accumulated off the coast of Somalia includes the greatest collection of global naval power collected since the invasion of Iraq, and even with virtually every major navy in the world involved, the pirates are winning.

That site by the way is a fantastic resource if you're interested in international naval and maritime issues, but I digress. Strategy. Ours isn't working because apparently there's is nothing in that part of Somalia that a decent person can do that remotely comes close to paying the bills like being a pirate. Throw in the fact that there's no central government and thus no one to turn pirates in to even if they are caught, and you start to see the true scope of the problem. In other words, you can't solve the piracy problem at sea. It has to be dealt with on land and that means helping establish a stable, central government. Wait a minute, I seem to recall..., remember this?

...So let me get this straight; the U.S. backs an Ethiopian invasion of Somalia in order to bring peace and security to the region even though the Somalian Union of Islamic Courts had already pretty much done that.

...Regardless of the fact that the Islamicists had, through their earlier victory, ushered in the longest period of relative peace in Somalia since the late 1980's, the decision for regime change was made because hey, they're Islamic. Unfortunately for the Somalian people, that aforementioned period of peace only lasted for about 6 months.

Yep, that was your boy DP writing in April 2007 about our support of Ethiopian invasion induced peace and security, and the one size fits all approach to fighting terrorism. Here we are a couple of years later and Somalia is in worse shape than before and now the whole world is feeling the effects.

I truly hope the Captain of the Maersk Alabama makes it home safely. But I can't help but wonder what might have been, for us and the Somalis, if we had left well enough alone back then. With the attempted hijack of an American ship, I can only hope it influences our best and brightest to come up with a proper strategy to deal with the issue in all of its complexity.