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ok, first post fuzzies are over. time to mix it up.

israel has stormed the west bank and siezed the city of nablus killing five palestinians in the process, one of whom was an old lady. i can hear the palestinian apologists howling for blood even now. the occupying forces and their brutal, terrorist tactics. the cruel oppression of the palestinian people. the wholesale slaughter of innocent civilians...

and then there's the de facto palestinian apologists, which is precisely what you are if you are one of these muddle-headed boobs who thinks that there is some sort of moral equivalency to this whole mess. i have less respect for these sorts than i do for the avid palestinian apologists since they at least have taken a side. this type is characterized predominantly by intellectual laziness which is passed off as high-mindedness, but which is really just a cheap counterfeit. a high-minded person does not tolerate the deliberate and indiscriminate killing of civilians, and while israel is certainly not perfect and has certainly taken innocent life, it has never been her policy to do so. with the palestinians, however, it's all they've got. both sides have made their mistakes, but that does not alter the fact that there is a clear good and a clear bad--hence my calling the supposed high-minded de facto palestinian apologists: if you elevate the bad and lower the good so that they meet in the middle, you have done the bad a favor. what's more, as long as the two sides are seen as morally equivalent, all anyone will really notice is that israel has the tanks and planes and heavy armor and the palestinians are a small, poorly equiped underdog struggling heroically against overwhelming odds. it's a bit like starwars, and americans love that sort of thing.

"but locdog," says you, "the bottom line is that both sides have killed innocent civilians. everyone is tainted by the bloodshed. how can you say that anyone is right or wrong?"

imagine for a moment that it's world war two and you are leading a bombing run against occupied territories trying to drive back the germans. you know that there is a good chance that some innocent civilians will be killed by your bombs, but if you don't fight, many more will die. what do you do? some say that you fight, and if any innocent civilians are killed then the ends justify the means. what you have done is wrong, but you were fighting for a greater good, so in the end it's all ok. i agree to the extent that you ought to go ahead and fight, but i do not agree that the taking of that innocent life is justified by the ends. taking innocent life is never justified.

the resolution to this paradox is the key to seeing why israel's actions are morally acceptable while the palestinians actions are rank terrorism. whenever one is forced to fight against evil, then the guilt of innocent lives taken in the process is placed on the heads of the evil-doers who forced the fight in the first place. if israel accidentally kills a palestinian civilian, then that is the fault of yassir arafat and hamas, because without them deliberately targetting civilians, israel never would have had to fight in the first place.

now granted, i'm assuming that reasonable precautions are taken to spare innocent life whenever possible, that one isn't being wreckless in the defense of good. for instance, one could make a convincing argument that israel's recent missile strike against the hamas chief of operations (call a spade a spade: it was an assasination) was not morally justifiable if they knew that there were civilians in the immediate area but fired anyway. that isn't an accidental killing, it's acceptable colateral damage, and i simply can't get the knack of thinking about human beings that way. unless there was some pressing, urgent need for them to fire at that exact moment to save an even greater amount of life than they would take, than that particular raid comes off looking a lot more like unfocused wrath rather than a surgical strike in the war on terror.

but then, locdog doesn't know all the facts


hi, sonny morning here. call me locdog since sonny ain't my real name anyway. this is my first entry, so i guess i ought to say a little something about myself. except that i hate talking about myself and you have no way of knowing whether or not anything i say is true anyway.

ok, fine, you twisted my arm: i'm the king of spain.

of course, if i tell you a little about what i plan on doing here then not only would i be talking about something that i find interesting (being a royal is surprisingly dull) but i would also be telling you things that you could easily verify simply by reading this blog. will i write about what i say i'm going to write about here in this post? the burning curiosity rising within you even now ought to be enough to get you to drop by once in a while--that and i'll knight you for it if you do.

and no, i never use caps. except when refering to Deity. and yes, there will probably be a lot of spelling mistakes, like the word "refering" when what i meant was "referring". that's why i'm posting on this blog and not editing the new york times.

to be truthful with you, i haven't yet decided what exactly it is i'm going to talk about here. (if you are a blogger, do you think of what you are doing as "talking" or "writing"? it's a little of both, i think, but for me it will be more talking.) i have broad interests and lots of lousy opinions on all of them, which is probably why some friends of mine suggested that i try my hand at the web log biz. what can you expect? the usual, i guess. politics and social commentary and all of that will take up the lion's share i'd imagine. i would almost be willing to guarantee that there will be some sports thrown in the mix. i'm a Christian (the really, really fundamental kind but no i don't handle snakes) so i'd say future theological content or commentary on non-theological issues from a Christian perspective is a virtual lock. i'll probably want to ramble on about the latest film i've seen or the new book i'm reading. i tend to drone on endlessly about philosophy and physics as well, except that i don't know a whole lot about either of those so i make up creative things like "neutrons are particles completely lacking in political affiliation". come to think of it, i do that with every topic. i may even post a bit on my daily experiences as a computer sytems administrat--er, i mean, king of spain. if i were you i'd skip those posts. actually, if i were you i'd skip most of them...but then you wouldn't get knighted!

well i guess that's it. there's a tradition that when a captian accepts a new command, his opening remarks are brief. the outgoing guy gets to go on for three hours. so someday when i make my last post i'll tell you all about how the internet has changed my life and the revolution that is the blog and how way back in the days when i first started...well, actually, in the days when i first started--those days being today--pretty much everyone and their mother had a blog and i was the slimey bandwagoner jumping on at the end. at any rate, you'll want to skip down to the really good parts where i talk about all the petty rivalries i've formed and actually name names!

locdog will usually end his posts by speaking in the third person, and reserves the right to use the "royal we" whenever the mood strikes him