My WashPost letter to the editor: Don’t blame the military for the Iraq fiasco

From my letter to the editor in the 10/30/06 Washington Post, in response to the editorial Insult to Injury in Iraq by Frederick W. Kagan (resident scholar/conservative hack at the American Enterprise Institute):

In his op-ed, Insult to Injury in Iraq, Frederick W. Kagan blames the U.S. military for the Iraq fiasco, saying that Central Command “never actually made establishing order and security a priority.”But wasn’t it Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld who threatened to fire anyone who brought up the subject of “post-invasion operations” (also known as nation building) in Iraq? And wasn’t it the Bush administration’s aversion to nation building that limited our postwar options?

Mr. Kagan shouldn’t blame the military for following orders.

I wrote this because nobody in the Washington Post seemed to be making a distinction between the military and the ideologically driven agenda of the Bush administration. More people need to do so.

The Twelve Tribes of American Politics

From The Atlantic Monthly: A chart which breaks the 2004 electorate into twelve politically relevant “tribes” based on their values, behaviors, and religious affiliation. Each circle corresponds in relative size to the group it represents. The chart reveals some polarization of the electorate. But it also shows that voting preferences do not sort as neatly by cultural values or religious affiliation as people might expect:

Object oriented design lesson: Control flow should not be a class behavior

From an article in the journal IEEE Software, May 1996, page 37. Unfortunately, I don’t have the author or title of the article and searches for the content on ieee.org don’t seem to find it, so I’ve scanned it in below.

Although most of the software world doesn’t seem to talk about OOD this way, the “lesson” below seems reasonable based on my experiences.

If the control flow is partitioned into a “separate dynamic control flow object” as mentioned below, isn’t that object really not an object at all, based on the definition of an object containing data and actions modelling an entity? Stated another way, object oriented design only makes sense when the actions are centered around a piece of data. In this case, the actions are centered around coordinating control flow.

Could the whole computer science industry be so wrong about something for so long? I seems similar to the repudiation of psychoanalysis after 60 years of the dominance of the theory:

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