Last night, after work, I enlisted the aid of Eric to go to a local driver's license place to renew my (now kind of vestigeal) license. I shaved off my beard, partly for the new photo, partly because I'm taking a plane trip soon, and partly because CMU is making me get a new ID (in the switch to "smart" IDs). I might grow back the facial hair after all this is wrapped up, I might not. My first impressions after shaver and scissors were resting were generally that I looked like a child. The second was to note that without my glasses on, my perpetual black eyes (my mom gets them too, seasonally) make me look really ill. Driver's license cameras, as usual, love me, and my driver's license looks great.
A question: Why do I oppose America's "War on Terror" and approve of Israel's actions in Lebanon? There are several points that seperate the two -- the terror war is ill-defined, more PR than reality (given that the U.S. created most of these groups and has an incredibly dirty past), impossible to win because it's based off of false understandings of human nature, and, more importantly, isn't even meant to be won. The Israeli invasion has a clear objective (wipe out Hezbollah or at least prevent them from cross-border activities), the possibility of success, it's good for the world (and might even be good for Lebanon, although in an incredibly embarassing way), and it meets a pressing need. The fact that it's been conducted in as humane a way as possible, and that it's been Hezbollah forces that have been doing their best to engineer as much bad PR and death of lebanese citizens also speaks well of Israel's conduct in this manner, accidents notwithstanding. I am not a consistent booster or detractor of Israel, but this matter I believe it's doing a good thing, and doing it pretty well.
In either case, this American "war on terror" is something that I visualise as a "reformed" mob boss going after their former thugs, twisting truth like a funhouse mirror in order to pretend they act out of virtue.