27 August, 2007

Are the fires a weapon?

John Robb, over at Global Guerrillas (a good site to bookmark, if you haven't already done so),
published this photo to illustrate the extent of the fires plaguing Greece. Several people have already been arrested for starting the fires, but I find it hard to believe that 200 fires have been started across this country by the number of perpetrators already accused. Robb says his sources link the locations of the fires to major electrical plants. Conspiracy? A swarm attack?

Maybe. Another possibility is that more people live near electrical generating facilities (I know next to nothing about the relationship between electrical infrastructure and population density in Greece, but a relationship is plausible). In that case, we may have more copycat crimes and/or accidents in a very dry season.

Which do I believe? Neither, actually, although several possibilities (including these) are worth a look. If nothing else it illustrates the problem of identifying an "attack" when an attack may look much like a natural disaster.
UPDATE: I learn that most of the electrical plants (and fires) are in relatively unpopulated areas. Assuming the fires aren't natural events, this points to preplanning.

17 August, 2007

Room for hope

Thomas Barnett gets it right, again, in his comments on how the insurgency--and globalization in general--is pushing each of us to make a choice, and there is a real hope of getting it right. Usually I'm not as optimistic as he is, but I agree we have to have a vision of a better world, and policies to get there.

06 August, 2007

Ron Paul

On Friday, I attended the Ron Paul rally in Pittsburgh (Cranberry), PA. I don't always agree with Dr. Paul, but I have always admired him as a man who emphasizes the rule of law. He voted against the Patriot Act, for example (and was the only Congressman to do so) because he considered it unconstitutional.

It was an interesting evening. I was most impressed by the range of people--nominally "left" and nominally "right"--who were coming together in the room. Afterwards, I followed a group over to a nearby restaurant for a meet and greet. Unlike some politicians I've met, he was the same person one-on-one as he was at the podium: witty, enthusiastic, and more than a little surprised that he is getting the support he has.

Enough. Let him speak for himself: