Tagged: letters

You Have Listened To Good Music, Right?

For Sam

Dear Stereo Makers,

How many times have you ever broken a nail with a hammer? Or how many times have you sat on a chair and had the chair just simply break? I know! I know! How many times have you turned on a faucet and the water came out so fast that it put a hole in the sink? No, better yet, how many times have you read a book so fast that it broke?

Zero, right?

Then why, for the love, do you sell a product which allows me to turn up the volume so loud that it breaks my speakers? Why? Surely there’s a way you can prevent this. Surely you can put a line on the knob that lets me know “any louder now, Bub, and you might break your speakers”. I would obey. Promise.

Thank you for reading. Just do better.

Pete

****

PS – If you’re interested, I ended the affair. The End.

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A Letter to the Editor

The NSA conducts surveillance.  The New York Times commits treason.  Which is worse?

In publishing what can only be described as a paid advertisement–Leonard H. Schrank and Juan C. Zarate’s, “Data Mining, Without Big Brother,”–the Times dragged itself through the gutter just to sell papers.

In their July 2, 2013 editorial, Schrank and Zarate abused the responsibility the national spotlight demands.  Their piece informed us that they worked on a program—Swift—that has no practical correlation to the NSA’s surveillance program beyond the quite obvious fact that they both work with big data.  To a hammer, everything looks like a nail.  The Times should be ashamed for printing this.

Schrank and Zarate conclude, “Ultimately, the Obama administration needs to demonstrate that the programs are not only valuable and legal, but also that the government’s use of that data can be constrained and verified.”  In other words, they conclude that the Obama administration must prove a negative.  With all their schooling, professional accomplishment, and first-hand experience deterring terrorism, their big conclusion is a logical fallacy?  Not even President Obama’s rhetorical abilities can overcome their logical error and prove someone is not doing something.

Let’s switch gears for a moment.  What is the problem in this whole Snowden story?  The problem is that an NSA employee couldn’t keep a secret.  Are we or are we not a country who understands the value of secrecy when it comes to security?  If Americans want to keep “winning”, we need to be sure our enemies do not know our capabilities.  Thanks to Edward Snowden, they just became more aware.  We should be asking, “What was he thinking?”

The elementary lesson Snowden somehow missed, the truth that the New York Times allowed itself to be distracted from, is that for secrets to work they must be kept secret.  A secret’s power is derived from the requirement that it remains secret.

The Times, in running this editorial, demonstrated either that it never took an undergraduate course in logic, or that like Snowden, it too has committed an act of treason.

When Jeffrey Wigand revealed that Brown and Williamson knowingly included carcinogenic additives to boost the nicotine in cigarettes, it was a clear case of acting in good faith to better inform the public about a commercial product.  On the other hand, revealing one method an agency charged with national security uses to accomplish its mission is a clear case of treachery.  Since not everyone is able to immediately discern the distinction, an established publication such as The New York Times decidedly has the responsibility to publish writers who can.

Rather than publish a distracting paid advertisement for Swift, the Times should publish a case study on Edward Snowden.  Publish the study because in every failure there is a lesson.  We need to learn the events of his life which led him to the conclusion that revealing national security secrets is somehow in the best interest of national security.  Our freedom depends on it.

A Letter To My Friend (That I Hope To Write)

To My Friend,

We’ve known each other for some time now.  We’ve seen how we each live, how we each make decisions, how we each handle problems.  More than most, you’ve seen my relationships with women unfold.

I’m writing to you now because a new day has dawned.  People like us, we’re different.  Our brains maintain a tighter grip on information than most.  We have been given all the tools necessary to accomplish great things in this life, you and I.  That’s just a fact.  We also know that leading a family must be one of those things.  It is a timeless tradition that must be honored by all men aspiring to greatness.  There is no escaping this feeling.  We’re surrounded by weak men holding their hands out, expecting help.  They’ve got it wrong.  We’re the ones who give help, not receive help.

The point is, we made it this far, and owe it to everyone, literally everyone, to use the rest of our time to be an example.

Some maladjusted part within us wants us to believe that if a woman would have us, then she could be the one.  First hand experience however, tells us that nothing could be further from the truth.  First hand experience also tells us that that’s not enough.  That’s why I’m writing this letter.  We need to help each other stay focused on the goal.  Alone, the future is bleak.  Together, we can lead a revival.

Only because of you am I confident to share the news.  You reminded me of something I once knew; something that over the last several years I repressed, hid, denied, and pretended to forget.  You reminded me that I, too, believe ideal women exist.  I, too,  believe in women of such high quality that they seem unearthly.  I’m talking about a quality so rare that it is only whispered about.  I believe in ideal women who possess so much more than the ability to attract.  My friend, we’ve always hoped we were right.  Now I am certain we were, because I found mine.  I hope this letter brings you good fortune, and motivates you to stay the course.

Your Friend,

A Mugwump