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Saturday, April 26, 2003
12:13 PM      

"This is an independent commission, and there's no reason why any branch - legislative, judiciary or executive - should be filtering information or denying access." -- on the matter of access to transcripts from the [public?] hearings on the causes of the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks. Story | Site


Why do "they" hate us? They hate us because...

Fox News: Al-Jazeera with an American agenda -- tactical tips for the other networks

Well-said by Joe Bob Briggs


Meanwhile on the space station...
"With station construction on hold until shuttle flights resume, NASA is now focused on just keeping people aboard the outpost and doing what little science can be supported with equipment already aboard. "


Denise and I were having a conversation about American history this morning. We landed on the topic of how this nation was founded by aristocrats -- many of them successful and particularly wealthy for their time. The notion of "free enterprise" is as important a component of our founding philosophy as democracy, and even though they are generally lumped together under the rubric of "Democracy," they're actually two separate concepts. With that heritage, should it surprise any of us that our government tilts toward big business or that our government is intent on advancing globalism as "Democracy"?

It also occurred to me that anger is an insufficient and ineffectual response to what's going on. It's not that anger is inappropriate, but stopping at the level of being pissed-off doesn't do anything. In fact, it's easy to be discredited as one of "the usual suspects" if you can't back your argument with anything cogent. Raising the bar another level, martialing a valid critique is only half the battle. Offering a workable prescription is what's needed. Unfortunately, I don't see any new prescriptions from either of the major parties, and I don't have anything to offer in terms of healing the political system in this country.

[ link | e-me ]

Friday, April 25, 2003
8:02 AM      

Viral behavior
Ali, a friend of mine from Boston, sent an apologetic message explaining that her computer had been infected, and that she'd unwittingly infected everyone in her address book. She forwarded detailed instructions on how to fix the problem, but something sounded a little fishy. A quick Google search, and voilà: another hoax. People have taken to sending out plausible-sounding messages telling folks that valid system files are worms, and giving instructions on how to delete those files. In some cases, deleting the specified file is almost as bad as the corruption caused by renegade software. Unfortunately, there is no Norton Antivirus for wetware.


Heritage of scares
I saw an ad for "Identity" today, and got a good chuckle. The hype line says it's "the scariest movie since 'The Ring'." I passed by a poster for "The Ring" at a nearby video store. The poster is sagging, so you can't read the whole thing, but it says "The Ring" is "the scariest movie since 'The Blair Witch Project'", which has been described as the "scariest movie since 'The Exorcist.'" The Exorcist has long been referred to as "the scariest movie ever", perhaps for good reason.


Throw your flag in the air, and wave it like you just don't care

Got this lovely promotion in the mail from Capital One. So many patriotic styles to choose from! I think the most interesting one is "Heart of America" on the lower left. Those stars look awful military. I'd say this collection of designs covers all the bases of "patriotic" expression. But where are the other themes? Seems like they're not offering anything else. The flip side of this buck slip features a plain-vanilla platinum card, nothing else.


Finally, every dimension of the streets?!...

This magazine is supposed to be the hottest hip-hop magazine there is. Check out the tag at the bottom: "Convicted criminals • Street thugs • Music • Fashion • Film • Etc" It's everything I wanna know about -- finally! Yikes!

The House of Nubian lists back issues.


Gotta say, I'm loving the way tabbed browsing is implemented in beta2 of Safari. It's obvious that Dave Hyatt put a lot of thought into the interface, and it shows. I still can't use it for everything -- some web apps are still having problems, so I keep IE on hand -- but I try everything in Safari first.

[ link | e-me ]

Wednesday, April 23, 2003
8:20 AM      

Nina Simone is gone. What an amazing talent she was. If you've never heard her music, you owe it to yourself to check some of it out.


From: Rageboy
Date: Mon, 21 Apr 2003 08:38:56 -0600
Subject: RE:this is haiku?!

just wanted to see if you were paying attention.

-----Original Message-----
From: Louis Benjamin []
Sent: Sunday, March 30, 2003 7:37 PM
Subject: this is haiku?!

"So they're not all (4)
strictly speaking (4)
limericks. But this (5)
is a haiku. " (4)

-- um, what Haiku book have you been reading?

Most say the American Haiku form is 5 - 7 - 5: three lines with that many syllables in each. Further, Haiku is specifically about Man's relationship to nature and the universe. *Senryu* has no such restrictions...

Want backup?

- Lou


Defining Evil Empire
Denise is looking at courses for the next semester at The New School. In the description for the course "The Symbolism of Evil" is this intriguing phrase: "Becker defined evil paradoxically as the frenzied attempt to eradicate evil from the world through violence." It has a certain resonance as a Muslim majority in Iraq begins to say "Yankee go home" loud and clear.

If the weapons of mass destruction and biological warfare agents never turn up (some have suggested sending over members of the LAPD to assist in the search -- they're sooo good at finding things), and the Shiites manage to coalesce a significant power base, will w-boy's campaign have been successful in the long-term?

By the way, if you're thinking that any of the stuff the gang of Bush has been presenting is new, think again. The "Project for the New American Century" has been underway for some time. Read the letter they sent to Bill Clinton in '98, and you'll hear a lot of familiar rhetoric. Read their Statement of Principles, and you'll see where this is all headed. Oh, and check out who signed the statement -- it's an interesting who's who -- and remember, this was written in 1997...

Established in the spring of 1997, the Project for the New American Century is a non-profit, educational organization whose goal is to promote American global leadership. The Project is an initiative of the New Citizenship Project (501c3); the New Citizenship Project's chairman is William Kristol and its president is Gary Schmitt.


Got an e-mail from the Democratic National Committee this morning.

At the end of June, the current Supreme Court session will come to a close. When that happens, all signs point to one or more of the current Justices retiring, providing an opportunity for President Bush to nominate an extremist Justice who will put our most cherished American values at risk.

• There hasn't been a retirement in almost nine years, the longest drought in nearly 200 years.
• Several Justices are facing serious health issues and have indicated a strong desire to retire soon.
• Chief Justice Rehnquist has recently held secret meetings with the White House.
• Two weeks ago, President Bush's father hosted a fundraiser at his home to raise money for an ad campaign to push Bush's judicial nominees.
• The Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Orrin Hatch, is pressuring Justices to make their move.

Civil rights. The freedom to choose. Environmental protections. The hard-won rights of workers. If President Bush stacks the Court with right-wing ideologues, all of these cherished values are in peril. You must get involved today to help protect these values.

At the DNC, we're organizing on every level to make sure the voices of average Americans are heard on this issue. And, with your help, I promise you that we can and will defeat this threat to our values.
I'm asking you to do three things:

1. Come to our Supreme Court Action Center and sign the petition to President Bush letting him know you'll fight his attempts to attack our values and stack the Supreme Court with right-wing extremists.
2. Once you've signed the petition, get as many as your friends as possible to sign it.
3. Join our Supreme Court Action Team by signing up to become a Democratic eCaptain today.

The letter is signed by Terence R. McAuliffe, Chairman of the DNC. There are a few interesting things here. One is the sophisticated use of web technology being employed, from the HTML format of the e-mail to the use of viral marketing techniques to get the word out.

There's another element worth noting here: The Democrats, who'd gone silent on Iraq, are suddenly vocal again. The emphatic use of the phrase "cherished American values" drove home the message that both parties are working to define what constitutes "American values."

Considering that the Supreme Court laid down on the issue of the last Presidential Election and OK'd California's "Three Strikes" law, I think this is a fight worth getting into.


I also got an e-mail from Network Solutions:

We recently learned that our customers are receiving domain name renewal notices from companies falsely representing themselves as Network Solutions. These notices inform customers that their domain name registration is due to expire and provides instructions on how to renew.

The message goes on to give instructions on how to verify that renewal notices are legit, and what to do if you've already been "slammed."

[ link | e-me ]
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