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I've a long record in editorial work in book and magazine publishing, starting 1974, a variety of other work experience, but have been, since 2001, recurringly housebound with insanely painful sporadic and unpredictably variable gout and edema, and in the past, other ailments; the future? The Great Unknown: isn't it for all of us?

I'm currently house/cat-sitting, not on any government aid yet (or mostly ever), often in major chronic pain from gout and edema, which variably can leave me unable to walk, including just standing, but sometimes is better, and is freaking unpredictable at present; I also have major chronic depression and anxiety disorders; I'm currently supported mostly by your blog donations/subscriptions; you can help me. I prefer to spread out the load, and lessen it from the few who have been doing more than their fair share for too long.

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"The brain is wider than the sky,
For, put them side by side,
The one the other will include
With ease, and you beside"
-- Emily Dickinson

"We will pursue peace as if there is no terrorism and fight terrorism as if there is no peace."
-- Yitzhak Rabin

"I have thought it my duty to exhibit things as they are, not as they ought to be."
-- Alexander Hamilton

"The stakes are too high for government to be a spectator sport."
-- Barbara Jordan

"Under democracy, one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule -- and both commonly succeed, and are right."
-- H. L. Mencken

"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
-- William Pitt

"The only completely consistent people are the dead."
-- Aldous Huxley

"I have had my solutions for a long time; but I do not yet know how I am to arrive at them."
-- Karl F. Gauss

"Whatever evils either reason or declamation have imputed to extensive empire, the power of Rome was attended with some beneficial consequences to mankind; and the same freedom of intercourse which extended the vices, diffused likewise the improvements of social life."
-- Edward Gibbon

"Augustus was sensible that mankind is governed by names; nor was he deceived in his expectation, that the senate and people would submit to slavery, provided they were respectfully assured that they still enjoyed their ancient freedom."
-- Edward Gibbon

"There exists in human nature a strong propensity to depreciate the advantages, and to magnify the evils, of the present times."
-- Edward Gibbon

"Our youth now loves luxuries. They have bad manners, contempt for authority. They show disrespect for elders and they love to chatter instead of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants, of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up their food, and tyrannize their teachers."
-- Socrates

"Before impugning an opponent's motives, even when they legitimately may be impugned, answer his arguments."
-- Sidney Hook

"Idealism, alas, does not protect one from ignorance, dogmatism, and foolishness."
-- Sidney Hook

"Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"We take, and must continue to take, morally hazardous actions to preserve our civilization. We must exercise our power. But we ought neither to believe that a nation is capable of perfect disinterestedness in its exercise, nor become complacent about particular degrees of interest and passion which corrupt the justice by which the exercise of power is legitimized."
-- Reinhold Niebuhr

"Faced with the choice of all the land without a Jewish state or a Jewish state without all the land, we chose a Jewish state without all the land."
-- David Ben-Gurion

"...the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right; that it tends also to corrupt the principles of that very religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing, with a monopoly of worldly honours and emoluments, those who will externally profess and conform to it;[...] that the opinions of men are not the object of civil government, nor under its jurisdiction; that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty....
-- Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, Thomas Jefferson

"We don't live just by ideas. Ideas are part of the mixture of customs and practices, intuitions and instincts that make human life a conscious activity susceptible to improvement or debasement. A radical idea may be healthy as a provocation; a temperate idea may be stultifying. It depends on the circumstances. One of the most tiresome arguments against ideas is that their 'tendency' is to some dire condition -- to totalitarianism, or to moral relativism, or to a war of all against all."
-- Louis Menand

"The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis."
-- Dante Alighieri

"He too serves a certain purpose who only stands and cheers."
-- Henry B. Adams

"The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to beg in the streets, steal bread, or sleep under a bridge."
-- Anatole France

"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."
-- Edmund Burke

"Education does not mean that we have become certified experts in business or mining or botany or journalism or epistemology; it means that through the absorption of the moral, intellectual, and esthetic inheritance of the race we have come to understand and control ourselves as well as the external world; that we have chosen the best as our associates both in spirit and the flesh; that we have learned to add courtesy to culture, wisdom to knowledge, and forgiveness to understanding."
-- Will Durant

"Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?"
-- Herman Melville

"The most important political office is that of the private citizen."
-- Louis D. Brandeis

"If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable."
-- Louis D. Brandeis

"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."
-- Louis D. Brandeis

"It is an error to suppose that books have no influence; it is a slow influence, like flowing water carving out a canyon, but it tells more and more with every year; and no one can pass an hour a day in the society of sages and heroes without being lifted up a notch or two by the company he has kept."
-- Will Durant

"When you write, you’re trying to transpose what you’re thinking into something that is less like an annoying drone and more like a piece of music."
-- Louis Menand

"Sex is a continuum."
-- Gore Vidal

"I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibit the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state."
-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to the Baptists of Danbury, Connecticut, 1802.

"The sum of our religion is peace and unanimity, but these can scarcely stand unless we define as little as possible, and in many things leave one free to follow his own judgment, because there is great obscurity in many matters, and man suffers from this almost congenital disease that he will not give in when once a controversy is started, and after he is heated he regards as absolutely true that which he began to sponsor quite casually...."
-- Desiderius Erasmus

"Are we to have a censor whose imprimatur shall say what books may be sold, and what we may buy? And who is thus to dogmatize religious opinions for our citizens? Whose foot is to be the measure to which ours are all to be cut or stretched? Is a priest to be our inquisitor, or shall a layman, simple as ourselves, set up his reason as the rule of what we are to read, and what we must disbelieve?"
-- Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to N. G. Dufief, Philadelphia bookseller, 1814

"We are told that it is only people's objective actions that matter, and their subjective feelings are of no importance. Thus pacifists, by obstructing the war effort, are 'objectively' aiding the Nazis; and therefore the fact that they may be personally hostile to Fascism is irrelevant. I have been guilty of saying this myself more than once. The same argument is applied to Trotskyism. Trotskyists are often credited, at any rate by Communists, with being active and conscious agents of Hitler; but when you point out the many and obvious reasons why this is unlikely to be true, the 'objectively' line of talk is brought forward again. To criticize the Soviet Union helps Hitler: therefore 'Trotskyism is Fascism'. And when this has been established, the accusation of conscious treachery is usually repeated. This is not only dishonest; it also carries a severe penalty with it. If you disregard people's motives, it becomes much harder to foresee their actions."
-- George Orwell, "As I Please," Tribune, 8 December 1944

"Wouldn't this be a great world if insecurity and desperation made us more attractive? If 'needy' were a turn-on?"
-- "Aaron Altman," Broadcast News

"The great thing about human language is that it prevents us from sticking to the matter at hand."
-- Lewis Thomas

"To be ignorant of what happened before you were born is to be ever a child. For what is man's lifetime unless the memory of past events is woven with those of earlier times?"
-- Cicero

"Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue." -- François, duc de La Rochefoucauld

"Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it." -- Samuel Johnson, Life Of Johnson

"Very well, what did my critics say in attacking my character? I must read out their affidavit, so to speak, as though they were my legal accusers: Socrates is guilty of criminal meddling, in that he inquires into things below the earth and in the sky, and makes the weaker argument defeat the stronger, and teaches others to follow his example." -- Socrates, via Plato, The Republic

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, represents, in the final analysis, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children."
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower

"The term, then, is obviously a relative one; my pedantry is your scholarship, his reasonable accuracy, her irreducible minimum of education, & someone else's ignorance." --
H. W. Fowler

"Rules exist for good reasons, and in any art form the beginner must learn them and understand what they are for, then follow them for quite a while. A visual artist, pianist, dancer, fiction writer, all beginning artists are in the same boat here: learn the rules, understand them, follow them. It's called an apprenticeship. A mediocre artist never stops following the rules, slavishly follows guidelines, and seldom rises above mediocrity. An accomplished artist internalizes the rules to the point where they don't have to be consciously considered. After you've put in the time it takes to learn to swim, you never stop to think: now I move my arm, kick, raise my head, breathe. You just do it. The accomplished artist knows what the rules mean, how to use them, dodge them, ignore them altogether, or break them. This may be a wholly unconscious process of assimilation, one never articulated, but it has taken place." -- Kate Wilhelm

"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed."
-- Albert Einstein

"The decisive moment in human evolution is perpetual."
-- Franz Kafka, Aphorisms

"All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."
-- Samuel Beckett, Worstward Ho

"First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you."
-- Nicholas Klein, May, 1919, to the Third Biennial Convention of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (misattributed to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, 1914 & variants).

"Nothing would be done at all, if a man waited till he could do it so well, that no one could find fault with it."
-- Lecture IX, John Henry Cardinal Newman

“Nothing is more common than for men to think that because they are familiar with words they understand the ideas they stand for.”
-- John Henry Cardinal Newman

"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."
-- James Madison

"Those who are free from common prejudices acquire others."
-- Napolean I of France -- Napoleon I of France

"Our credulity is a part of the imperfection of our natures. It is inherent in us to desire to generalize, when we ought, on the contrary, to guard ourselves very carefully from this tendency."
-- Napoleon I of France.

"The truth is, men are very hard to know, and yet, not to be deceived, we must judge them by their present actions, but for the present only."
-- Napoleon I of France.

"The barbarous custom of having men beaten who are suspected of having important secrets to reveal must be abolished. It has always been recognized that this way of interrogating men, by putting them to torture, produces nothing worthwhile. The poor wretches say anything that comes into their mind and what they think the interrogator wishes to know."
-- On the subject of torture, in a letter to Louis Alexandre Berthier (11 November 1798), published in Correspondance Napoleon edited by Henri Plon (1861), Vol. V, No. 3606, p. 128

"All living souls welcome whatever they are ready to cope with; all else they ignore, or pronounce to be monstrous and wrong, or deny to be possible."
-- George Santayana, Dialogues in Limbo (1926)

"American life is a powerful solvent. It seems to neutralize every intellectual element, however tough and alien it may be, and to fuse it in the native good will, complacency, thoughtlessness, and optimism."
-- George Santayana, Character and Opinion in the United States, (1920)

"If you should put even a little on a little, and should do this often, soon this too would become big."
-- Hesiod, Work And Days

"Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free."
-- Eugene V. Debs

"Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself."
-- Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign

"All that we have to do is to send two mujahidin to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written "al-Qaida," in order to make the generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic, and political losses without their achieving for it anything of note other than some benefits for their private companies."
-- Osama bin Laden

"Remember, Robin: evil is a pretty bad thing."
-- Batman


Gary Farber is now a licensed Quintuple Super-Sekrit Multi-dimensional Master Pundit. He does not always refer to himself in the third person.
He is presently single.

The gefilte fish is dead. Donate via the donation button on the top left or I'll shoot this cute panda. Don't you love pandas?

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Contents © 2001-2013 All rights reserved. Gary Farber. (The contents of e-mails to this email address of Gary Farber are subject to the possibility of being posted.)

And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself in another part of the world

[Blogroll now far below the sea line! Dive, dive, dive!]

You Like Me, You Really Like Me

Gary Farber! Jeez, the guy is practically a blogging legend, and I'm always surprised at the breadth of what he writes about.
-- PZ Meyers, Pharyngula

...Darn: I saw that Gary had commented on this thread, and thought: oh. my. god. Perfect storm. Unstoppable cannonball, immovable object. -- Hilzoy

...I think Gary Farber is a blogging god. -- P.Z. Myers, Pharyngula

...writer[s] I find myself checking out repeatedly when I'm in the mood to play follow-the-links. They're not all people I agree with all the time, or even most of the time, but I've found them all to be thoughtful writers, and that's the important thing, or should be.
-- Tom Tomorrow

‎"Gary Farber is a gentleman, a scholar and one of the gems of the blogosphere." -- Steve Hynd,

"Well argued, Gary. I hadn't seen anything that went into as much detail as I found in your blog." -- Gareth Porter

Gary Farber is your one-man internet as always, with posts on every article there is.
-- Fafnir

Guessing that Gary is ignorant of anything that has ever been written down is, in my experience, unwise.
Just saying.

-- Hilzoy

Gary Farber gets it right....
-- James Joyner, Outside The Beltway

Once again, an amazing and illuminating post.
-- Michael Bérubé, Crooked Timber

I read Amygdala...with regularity, as do all sensible websurfers.
-- Jim Henley, Unqualified Offerings

Okay, he is annoying, but he still posts a lot of good stuff.
-- Avedon Carol, The Sideshow

Amygdala - So much stuff it reminds Unqualified Offerings that UO sometimes thinks of Gary Farber as "the liberal Instapundit."
-- Jim Henley

...the thoughtful and highly intelligent Gary Farber... My first reaction was that I definitely need to appease Gary Farber of Amygdala, one of the geniuses of our age.
-- Brad deLong

Gary is a perceptive, intelligent, nice guy. Some of the stuff he comes up with is insightful, witty, and stimulating. And sometimes he manages to make me groan.
-- Charlie Stross

Gary Farber is a straight shooter.
-- John Cole, Balloon Juice

I bow before the shrillitudinousness of Gary Farber, who has been blogging like a fiend.
-- Ted Barlow, Crooked Timber

Favorite.... [...] ...all great stuff. [...] Gary Farber should never be without readers.
-- Ogged

I usually read you and Patrick several times a day, and I always get something from them. You've got great links, intellectually honest commentary, and a sense of humor. What's not to like?
-- Ted Barlow

One of my issues with many poli-blogs is the dickhead tone so many bloggers affect to express their sense of righteous indignation. Gary Farber's thoughtful leftie takes on the world stand in sharp contrast with the usual rhetorical bullying. Plus, he likes "Pogo," which clearly attests to his unassaultable good taste.

One of my favorites....
-- Matt Welch

-- Virginia Postrel

Amygdala continues to have smart commentary on an incredible diversity of interesting links....
-- Judith Weiss

Amygdala has more interesting obscure links to more fascinating stuff that any other blog I read.
-- Judith Weiss, Kesher Talk

Gary's stuff is always good.
-- Meryl Yourish

...the level-headed Amygdala blog....
-- Geitner Simmons

The only trouble with reading Amygdala is that it makes me feel like such a slacker. That Man Farber's a linking, posting, commenting machine, I tell you!
-- John Robinson, Sore Eyes

...the all-knowing Gary Farber....
-- Edward Winkleman, Obsidian Wings

Jaysus. I saw him do something like this before, on a thread about Israel. It was pretty brutal. It's like watching one of those old WWF wrestlers grab an opponent's face and grind away until the guy starts crying. I mean that in a nice & admiring way, you know.
-- Fontana Labs, Unfogged

We read you Gary Farber! We read you all the time! Its just that we are lazy with our blogroll. We are so very very lazy. We are always the last ones to the party but we always have snazzy bow ties.
-- Fafnir, Fafblog!

Gary Farber you are a genius of mad scientist proportions. I will bet there are like huge brains growin in jars all over your house.
-- Fafnir, Fafblog!

Gary Farber is the hardest working man in show blog business. He's like a young Gene Hackman blogging with his hair on fire, or something.
-- Belle Waring, John & Belle Have A Blog

Gary Farber only has two blogging modes: not at all, and 20 billion interesting posts a day [...] someone on the interweb whose opinions I can trust....
-- Belle Waring, John & Belle Have A Blog


Gary is certainly a non-idiotarian 'liberal'...
-- Perry deHaviland

Recommended for the discerning reader.
-- Tim Blair

Gary Farber's great Amygdala blog.
-- Dr. Frank

Isn't Gary a cracking blogger, apropos of nothing in particular?
-- Alison Scott

Gary Farber takes me to task, in a way befitting the gentleman he is.
-- Stephen Green, Vodkapundit

My friend Gary Farber at Amygdala is the sort of liberal for whom I happily give three cheers. [...] Damned incisive blogging....
-- Midwest Conservative Journal

If I ever start a paper, Clueless writes the foreign affairs column, Layne handles the city beat, Welch has the roving-reporter job, Tom Tomorrow runs the comic section (which carries Treacher, of course). MediaMinded runs the slots - that's the type of editor I want as the last line of defense. InstantMan runs the edit page - and you can forget about your Ivins and Wills and Friedmans and Teepens on the edit page - it's all Blair, VodkaP, C. Johnson, Aspara, Farber, Galt, and a dozen other worthies, with Justin 'I am smoking in such a provocative fashion' Raimondo tossed in for balance and comic relief.

Who wouldn't buy that paper? Who wouldn't want to read it? Who wouldn't climb over their mother to be in it?
-- James Lileks

I do appreciate your role and the role of Amygdala as a pioneering effort in the integration of fanwriters with social conscience into the larger blogosphere of social conscience.
-- Lenny Bailes

Every single post in that part of Amygdala visible on my screen is either funny or bracing or important. Is it always like this?
-- Natalie Solent

You nailed it... nice job."
-- James Lileks

Gary Farber is a principled liberal....
-- Bill Quick, The Daily Pundit

December 2001 January 2002 February 2002 March 2002 April 2002 May 2002 June 2002 July 2002 August 2002 September 2002 October 2002 November 2002 December 2002 January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 December 2011 January 2013

Blogroll is Always In Progress:

Roger Ailes
Alas, A Blog
The American Street
The Aristocrats
Avedon Carol
Between the Hammer and the Anvil
Lindsay Beyerstein
The Big Con
CantBlogTooBusy The Center for American Progress
Chase me Ladies, I'm in the Cavalry
Doghouse Riley
Kevin Drum
Fables of the Reconstruction
Gall and Gumption
Gin and Tacos
House of Substance
The Hunting of the Snark
If I Ran The Zoo
Lawyers, Guns & Money
Lotus: Surviving a Dark Time
Matters of Little Significance
Nancy Nall
Charlie Stross bastard.logic
Daniel Larison
American Conservative
American Footprints
Andrew Sullivan
Angry Bear
Balloon Juice
Beautiful Horizons
Bitch Ph.D.
Brad DeLong
Crooked Timber
Cunning Realist
Daily Kos
Debate Link
Democracy Arsenal
Edge of the American West
Ezra Klein
Glenn Greenwald 13th Floor
Hit & Run
Juan Cole
Kevin Drum
Lawyers, Guns and Money
List Project (Helping Iraqis who worked with us get out)
Marc Lynch
Mark Kleiman
Katha Pollit
Market Square
Matthew Yglesias
Megan McArdle
Metro Green
Pam's House Blend
Paul Krugman
Philosophy, et cetera
Radley Balko
Sadly, No!
Southern Appeal
Stephen Walt
Steve Clemons
Ta-Nehisi Coates
Taking It Outside
Talking Points Memo
The Poor Man
The Progressive Realist
The Sideshow
U.S. Intellectual History
Unqualified Offerings
Volokh Conspiracy
Washington Monthly
William Easterly
Newsrack Blog
Ortho Bob
The Poor Man
Prog Gold
Prose Before Hos
Ted Rall
The Raw Story
Elayne Riggs
Sadly, No!
Texas Liberal
Think Progress
3 Weird Sisters
Tristram Shandy
Washington Monthly
Ian Welsh
James Wolcott
World o' Crap
Matthew Yglesias
Buzz Machine
Daniel Larison
Rightwing Film Geek About Last Night
can we all just agree
Comics Curmudgeon
Dum Luk's
Glenn Kenny
Hoarder Museum Juanita Jean
Lance Mannion (Help Lance!
Last Words of the Executed
The Phil Nugent Experience
Postcards from Hell's Kitchen
Vanishing New York
a lovely promise
a web undone
alt hippo
american street
city of brass
danger west
fierce urgency of now
get fisa right
great concavity
happening here
impeach them!
kathryn cramer
notes from the basement
talking dog
uncertain principles
unqualified offerings
what do i know
crooked timber emptywheel
ezra klein
The F-Word
glenn greenwald
schneier on security
ta-nehisi coates
talking points memo
tiny revolution
Roz Kaveney
Dave Ettlin
Henry Jenkins' Confessions of an Aca-Fan
Kathryn Cramer
Monkeys In My Pants
Pagan Prattle
As I Please
Ken MacLeod
Arthur Hlavaty
Kevin Maroney
MK Kare
Jack Heneghan
Dave Langford
Onyx Lynx Atrios
Rittenhouse Review
Public Nuisance
Scoobie Davis
Nathan Newman
Echidne Of The Snakes
First Draft
Rising Hegemon
Cab Drollery (Help Diane!
Southern Beale
The Kenosha Kid
Culture of Truth
Talk Left
Black Ag=Q< Report
Drug WarRant
Nieman Watchdog
Open Left
Meet the Bloggers
Dispatch from the Trenches
Crooks and Liars
Campaign for America's Future
Iraq Today
Daily Kos
Lefty Directory
News Hounds
The Brad Blog
Informed Comment
UN Dispatch
War and Piece
Glenn Greenwald
Schneier on Security
Jim Henley
Arthur Silber
Julian Sanchez
The Agitator
Balloon Juice
Wendy McElroy
Whoviating (LarryE)
Scott Horton
Tennessee Guerilla Women
Looking Glass
Charles Kuffner
Brad DeLong
Busy, Busy, Busy
Oliver Willis
The Carpetbagger Report Shakesville
Down With Tyranny
Professor B
Monkey Media Report
The Grumpy Forester
Ian Welsh
Pacific Views
Booman Tribune
Matthew Yglesias
The American Street
Media Bloodhound
Liz Henry's Composite
The Heretik
Arizona Eclectic
Sisyphus Shrugged
Interesting Times
Talking Dog
Liberal Desert
Under the Lobsterscope
Seeing The Forest
Sean Paul Kelley's The Agonist
King of Zembla
Mark Kleiman
Liquid List
Elayne Riggs
No More Mr. Nice Blog
Fanatical Apathy
Blue Gal
Mark Evanier
Roger Ailes
Suburban Guerrilla (Help Susie with money!)
The Mahablog
Brilliant at Breakfast
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People I've known and still miss include Isaac Asimov, rich brown, Charles Burbee, F. M. "Buzz" Busby, Terry Carr, A. Vincent Clarke, Bob Doyle, George Alec Effinger, Abi Frost, Bill & Sherry Fesselmeyer, George Flynn, John Milo "Mike" Ford. John Foyster, Mike Glicksohn, Jay Haldeman, Neith Hammond (Asenath Katrina Hammond)/DominEditrix , Chuch Harris, Mike Hinge, Lee Hoffman, Terry Hughes, Damon Knight, Ross Pavlac, Bruce Pelz, Elmer Perdue, Tom Perry, Larry Propp, Bill Rotsler, Art Saha, Bob Shaw, Martin Smith, Harry Stubbs, Bob Tucker, Harry Warner, Jr., Jack Williamson, Walter A. Willis, Susan Wood, Kate Worley, and Roger Zelazny. It's just a start, it only gets longer, many are unintentionally left out. And She of whom I must write someday.

Thursday, August 29, 2002
THE BUFFY BLOG BURST is explained by the Very Fine Meryl Yourish.

Which is a good thing, as I'd otherwise not know what it's about. :-)

8/29/2002 06:38:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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HARLAN ELLISON phoned me last night. That's always interesting.

8/29/2002 06:35:00 AM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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Monday, August 26, 2002
GERMAN DEBATE A DRAW: Badly surprising Gerhard Schroeder's incumbent Social Democrat coalition majority, the first ever tv debate of contenders for German chancellor was declared a draw by pundits, commentators, and pollsters.
A poll for the publicly owned ZDF channel gave the two men equal marks, but 57% of the viewers responding thought Mr Stoiber had done better than expected, against only 9% who felt the same about the chancellor.
The election will be September 22nd, and it will be a pretty important one for Europe. Schroeder's recent remark about seeking a "German way" was likely a quite ill-spoken choice, reminding Germans and others alike of the past downsides of an independent German Way.

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THE ASIMOV/AL QUEDA LINK story, now nearly a year old, having long since been bruited about in science fiction circles, and made its way into the mainstream press, is exhumed by the Grauniad for re-examination. The story is notably clueful and detailed, however, going so far as to cite expert fan bibliographer Denny Lien of Minneapolis, and quoting multiple Hugo-winning Dave Langford's insider British sf newszine Ansible. The story takes a good general look at possible sf influences on young bin Laden, how he might have seen himself as a proto Hari Seldon vs. the Empire of the US, as well as a look at sf influences on other real world apocolyptic sects, such as Aum Shinrikyo. Notably well-researched: kudos; Grauniad.

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Sunday, August 25, 2002
STRANGELY FAMILIAR: Iraq's War Strategy Is to Tie Up Invaders With Fighting in Cities. Like I said, um, eleven days ago.

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Friday, August 23, 2002
BUFFY: BADDER THAN YOU THINK: Buffy is "the worst show on TV for family viewing" according to "The Parents Television Council, a conservative watchdog group."
What's the worst show on TV for family viewing? The Parents Television Council, a conservative watchdog group, says it's UPN's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," the Associated Press reports. "Buffy," which stars Sarah Michelle Gellar, topped the group's list of the 10 least family-friendly shows in primetime. The PTC criticized "Buffy" for its graphic violence, sex and occult elements.
Bite me.

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Thursday, August 22, 2002
JUST NOTING, in case you missed it, that both Republican Bob Barr and Democrat Cynthia McKinney went down in overwhelming defeats in their parties' primaries in Georgia on Tuesday. I am not displeased.

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Tuesday, August 20, 2002
TELL IT, BILLY: Once I start following a story, sometimes I can't stop, it keeps piling on endless new fascinating or appalling details. I'd not had the faintest intention of becoming highly interested in Cynthia McKinney, but one new detail after another keeps happening.
Neither McKinney nor her father -- Georgia Rep. Billy McKinney -- had anything to say about strong remarks made by the elder McKinney Monday night regarding Jewish involvement in political campaigns.

The comments followed 11Alive asking Billy McKinney about his daughter using an old endorsement from former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young.

"That ain't nothing. That's nothing," he said. "Jews have bought everybody. Jews... J-E-W-S."

I'm glad he cleared that up. Frankly, given that the Jewish community in Atlanta is extremely bitter, for the most part, about Rep. McKinney's turning her back on them, but assert that she is not, herself, anti-semitic, I think this reflects well on her, given the attitudes her father must have displayed during her childhood.

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YI -- AS WE SAY -- KES!: I've not Googled myself in months. I'm now, out of "about 252,000" entries for "Farber," "#3, with only the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (I figure they do better work than me), and David J. Farber ahead of me. Thus perishes Farberware cookware, and all other Farbers before me.

More stunningly, I'm now, out of "about 8,900,000" entries for "Gary," #8. The entire city of Gary, Indiana, not to mention the song, as well as mere unknowns Gary Condit, Gary Ackerman, and all but seven other Garys (curse Gary Gygax!) have fallen in my wake. Mighty is my might. Famous is my fame.

On the flip side, hardly anyone seems to be reading me any more, according to my logs, nor linking, and almost no one is commenting or e-mailing lately, so I'm still as 'umble as can be. More or less.

8/20/2002 06:45:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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Monday, August 19, 2002
PREDICTABLY, losing no time, the National Review Online sternly denounces the outrageous extreme fringe idea of polyamory. I note: edge into the NY Times, and you've moved a world.

Here's their logic and cite:

As a friend commented, eventually the New York Times, which just announced that it will run announcements for homosexual unions on its wedding and engagement pages, will run "polyamory" announcements too.

8/19/2002 10:35:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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Young says McKinney campaign 'fudged' taped endorsement

Former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young says a recorded telephone message with him endorsing Rep. Cynthia McKinney is "a fudge."

The message, coupled with recorded endorsements by actor Robert Redford, former basketball star Magic Johnson and former President Bill Clinton, played to thousands of homes in the Fourth Congressional District over the past weekend.

However, the popular former mayor and U.N. ambassador did not record the endorsement this year and said Monday he told the campaigns of McKinney and challenger Denise Majette that he was going to sit this primary election out.

"It must be recycled," he said of the recording. "I really didn't want to get involved."

No comment necessary.

8/19/2002 07:34:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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PLEASE GO READ JOHN M. FORD'S 110 STORIES here. Yes. I know you don't read poetry. Try this one, please.
That's got to be a rumor, but who's sure?
The Internet is stammering with noise.
You turn and turn but just can't turn away.
My child can't understand. I can't explain.
The towers drain out from Boston to LA.
The cellphone is our ganglion of pain.
What was I thinking of? What did I say?
You're safe? The TV's off. What do you mean?
I'm going now, but not going away.
I couldn't touch the answering machine.
I nearly was, but caught a later bus.
I would have been, but had this awful cold.
I spoke with her, she's headed home, don't fuss.
Pick up those tools. The subway job's on hold.
Somebody's got to pay, no matter what.
I love you. Just I love you. Just I love --
The cloud rolls on; I think of Eliot.
Not silence, but an emptiness above.
There's dust, and metal. Nothing else at all.
it's airless and it's absolutely black.
I found a wallet. I'm afraid to call.
I'll stay until my little girl comes back.
You hold your breath whenever something shakes.
Just part. ( Via Electrolite.)

8/19/2002 06:47:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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IT'S STARTED: Inevitably, the first Concerned Environmentalist worrying over nanotechnology has begun.
The great Gray Goo debate is beginning to matter.

The controversy involves the potential perils of making molecular-size objects and devices, a field known as nanotechnology.

From its earliest days, nanotechnology has had its fear-mongers, warning of novel and terrifying risks.

Who could be sure how products so small that they would be invisible to the human eye would behave, particularly when the nanoworld's basic design elements — atoms and small molecules — are governed by the surreal laws of quantum mechanics rather than the more familiar Newtonian physics of large objects?

The ultimate nightmare was the so-called Gray Goo catastrophe, in which self-replicating microscopic robots the size of bacteria fill the world and wipe out humanity.

Until recently, though, the debate was restricted to the relatively small community of nanotechnology researchers and experts. The risks they discussed often seemed cartoony or vague compared with the dazzling breakthroughs they projected in fields like medicine, supercomputing, energy and environmental cleanup.

Now, though, nanotechnology is toddling into commercialization, with nanoscale particles being embedded in consumer products like sunscreens, stain-resistant khakis and wound dressings.

A number of companies are racing to scale up production of carbon nanotubes — molecule-size cylinders of carbon with unusual electrical, thermal and structural properties.

For the first time, nanotechnology is encountering the kind of real-world headwinds that have impeded biotechnology.

Nanotechnology is becoming a new organizing focus for groups like the Science and Environmental Health Network [...] One notable addition to the go-slow bandwagon is the ETC Group (so named for Eco-Equity Erosion, Technology Transformation and Corporate Control), based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. In the 1990's, under its previous name — the Rural Advancement Foundation International — the group became a well-known opponent of agricultural biotechnology, pasting the science-fiction label "Terminator Technology" on research....

Etc. The pool opens now on how soon the anti-nano marches begin. "Hey, hey, ho, ho, nanotech has got to go." Etc. Which is not to say that nanotech doesn't have potential dangers; of course it does; every technology does, and the vast potential of nanotech includes vast potential for danger. Which people have been writing about for decades now, both in scientific papers, and in that wacky science fiction stuff.

8/19/2002 07:23:00 AM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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American Arsenal in the Mideast Is Being Built Up to Confront Saddam Hussein.

In the first tangible signs of a logistical buildup around Iraq, the Pentagon is sending weapons and other supplies to the Middle East that could be a critical part of the war stocks if President Bush decides to attack President Saddam Hussein, Defense Department and military officials have said in recent interviews.

I'd never have known.

8/19/2002 07:09:00 AM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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Sunday, August 18, 2002
Just this week, Lord Jeffrey Archer signed a three-book deal with Macmillan/St. Martin's reportedly worth millions of pounds -- from his jail cell, where he is doing four years for lying on the stand. His agent told the press that, because Archer has "never been writing better," he jokes that he's leading a campaign to keep him inside.
Perhaps he can get some tips from Doris Kearns Goodwin on writing nonfiction.

8/18/2002 11:54:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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THE RERUN SHOW: CNN has obtained in Afghanistan a store of ~250 video tapes made by al Queda of themselves Doing Their Things. Including testing chemical agents on animals, including a dog.
Experts say the collection is the largest known assembly of videotapes ever made by Al Qaeda of its activities — a library that was collected, cataloged and stored by unknown individuals, apparently to document the history of Al Qaeda.

The archive includes instruction tapes on bomb-making and on how to shoot surface-to-air weapons, as well as the first meeting of Osama bin Laden and other Qaeda leaders with foreign journalists in May 1998, and other tapes — often violent — contributed by affiliated groups in Bosnia, Chechnya, Somalia, Sudan and elsewhere.


In one tape's early frames, a white Laborador-like dog, wearing a green ribbon, is sleeping in a small room. A man wearing typical Afghan clothing, and without protective gear, drops something on the concrete floor and leaves quickly.

As a white liquid oozes across the floor and a vapor fills the lower part of the room, the dog sits up, alert, apparently sensing danger. In the next frames, the dog begins licking its mouth, salivates and sneezes.

The dog then tries standing; its head shakes violently, and its breathing quickens. Its hind legs appear to collapse. Seconds later, the dog falls and struggles to stand. Unable to control its front legs, it wimpers and moans. Then the dog appears to vomit. Its moan becomes a piercing wail.

The dog then seems to have trouble breathing. Its tail is all that moves as the screen goes blank.

A second later, the video replayed the first scene, of the dog's exposure to the gas, then jumped ahead, documenting the subsiding of its cries.

Finally, one of the dog's hind legs shoots up in the air, as its head goes down. It then lies motionless.

This tape was intended for North Korean consumption, of course.

8/18/2002 10:49:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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THEY DON'T LEARN, do they?
ATLANTA, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Coca-Cola Co. announced on Friday a packaging face-lift for its flagship Coca-Cola Classic soft drink brand, which will be reintroduced next year with a more modern graphic design.

The world's No. 1 soft drink maker said a bright yellow thread and a series of intertwining ribbons, a modification of Coke's so-called "dynamic ribbon" graphic, would be added to Coca-Cola Classic cans and bottles beginning in early 2003.

Not so bad as monkeying with the formula, to be sure. And I kinda like Vanilla Coke and Cherry Coke. But I'm not sure "modernity" is what people are looking for when they want something to go better with Coke.

8/18/2002 09:42:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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YOU CAN'T BUY PUBLICITY LIKE THIS. Well, you can, but it's terribly expensive.
CABLE king Bill O’Reilly isn’t amused by a new Web site called oreilly-sucks.comwhose mission is to "expose Mr. O’Reilly as the right-wing spin doctor that he truly is." Fox News Channel lawyer Dianne Brandi recently sent a letter to the site’s creator warning that it violates O’Reilly’s civil rights by using his name "for trade or advertising purposes." Brandi demands that the site "immediately discontinue using Mr. O’Reilly’s name in any way . . . To the extent that you ignore this request, you do so at your own peril."
The result?
This website is currently unavailable due to exceeded monthly traffic quota. Please visit again later.
I think it sucks that a "journalist" would try this sort of intimidation. If he can prove libel, let him. Otherwise, it sounds as if Bill O'Reilly sucks.

8/18/2002 07:57:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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THEIR MUSIC IS JUST NOISE, I TELL YOU, and since thousands of kids are dropping dead across the nation from drugs at raves, we have to
pass new laws to ban them.

What's that? You want statistics on rave deaths? So far as you can tell, we're talking about numbers in the high single or low doubled digits per year? Pshaw, we proved the effectiveness of crackdowns with Alcohol Prohibition, and the success in eliminating marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and meth, via criminalization. You say that Ecstasy is already illegal? What's that argument folks use about new gun laws versus enforcing existing laws?

The RAVE Act, which stands for "Reducing Americans' Vulnerability to Ecstasy," expands the federal "crack-house" statute, designed to prosecute anyone whose buildings are used as drug havens, to include party promoters. Under the Senate bill, anyone involved with the planning of a rave who knows drugs are used, exchanged or made there could face criminal charges and be subject to a civil penalty of $250,000 or two times the gross receipts derived from each violation.

The legislation's broad language may appear to encompass any nightclub or other venue where drugs may be present, but the act's title suggests that the real targets here are raves.

Who's the chief sponsor of this nonsense? Infamous right-wing repressive Republican no-nothing on civil liberties, Senator Joe Biden of Delaware.

Oh, oops.

8/18/2002 07:18:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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THERE WAS A PROBLEM IN 2000?: Florida has spent a lot to improve balloting this year. Palm Beach County has spent $14.4 million on their new voting machines.

8/18/2002 06:45:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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IRVINE WELSH says he isn't depressed. His new book is titled Porno.
Pornography, it seems, became the new rock'n'roll while Welsh wasn't looking. "It's massive," he says, then, lest he has understated the massive massiveness of massive, adds, "Fucking massive." First he knew of it, he sauntered into one of the old Edinburgh dives to see a few old mates, expecting to find the place as he'd left it, the punters all popping Es and bopping around in a sweat haze, and found himself the only man with his clothes on in the middle of some kind of huge, gonzo sex orgy. It seemed that while his back was turned, everyone he knew had gone through a process of disinhibition that had passed him by. All the old clubs are now sex clubs. You don't go back to your place for more drugs and loud noises any more, you go back to your place to get your kit off, shag everyone in sight, film everyone shagging everyone in sight, then sit about watching the film of you shagging everyone in sight from your last night out. You can buy a knock-off digital camera for a few hundred quid and make your own porn. And they do. They even get quite precious about it, talking about proper scripts and storylines and production values... "I know this is a voyeuristic culture," Welsh says, faintly puzzled, "but people have become sex-mad at a grassroots level."
And from this interview, I get the impression he's as unilaterally positive about this as his past writings about drugs suggested he was about drugs. The journalist, Sally Vincent, says what a lot of people say about Welsh:
It had not been easy for me to read his books. Initially it felt like being led down a dark alley and assaulted by demented aliens with no faces, which problem turned out to be more one of aural failure on my part. In the ordinary way I must tune in laboriously to heavy Celtic accents, and when they're written down the effort to comprehend is doubled because I have to translate the spelling into voices that I can hear in my head. Get past that one and you find there are more voices, different voices, as many voices as there are characters, layer upon layer, by-passing, interlocking, each as ruthlessly individual as the next. As though life wasn't hard enough.
Irvine's reply?
He says he has a similar problem, which he solves by not reading what he's written.
Anyway, I must go visit Scotland, and try to avoid being beaten up. (Also noticed via Daze Reader.)

8/18/2002 06:27:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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THE INSIDIOUS EVIL OF WAL-MART has been uncovered! Is it their employee practices? Their effect on communities? No, it's their promotion of soft-core pornography!

What, you missed that large section of the store? The walled off one?

Nah, you missed that they sell Cosmopolitan magazine,

"the most blatantly aggressive soft core pornographic magazines in America,"
with the cover visible. And
The Timothy Plan, the nation's leading mutual fund group offering funds that are based on moral responsibility...
knows what to do about it! Campaign for divestiture!
Initial action by the Winter Park, Fla.-headquartered Timothy Plan ($135 million in assets) includes the divesting of 9,200 shares of Wal-Mart stock held in the company's large mid-cap growth fund, followed by an announcement of this action and their invitation to join them in a personal boycott of Wal-Mart to a national network of 4,000 Christian financial planners and to 10,000-plus Timothy Plan shareholders. In addition, Wal-Mart has been added to the Timothy Plan's list of companies that are screened out of their funds because of their involvement in pornography.
And a good thing, too. Cuz ya know what seeing Cosmopolitan covers leads to?
As for Wal-Mart, "there is a definite dichotomy in what Wal-Mart is doing in this situation and what they say they are," Ally added. "Is there an agenda there ... I don't know; but I do know that soft core pornography has this country on a moral slippery slope. It's the initiation to hard core pornography, child molestation, bestiality and worse."
Worse. It likely leads to dancing. (Via Daze Reader.)

8/18/2002 05:43:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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MCKINNEY: Interesting, calm profile of Rep. Cynthia McKinney's relationship with the Atlanta Jewish community, with accompanying interview, done in 1999, by the Atlanta Jewish Times, as pointed to by Reid Stott.

The article makes clear that:

Despite the strong criticism expressed by many of the Jews who were interviewed for this article, none accuses McKinney of being anti-Semitic, although some believe her father is. At the same time, many believe she uses the politics of divisiveness as a weapon. American Jewish Committee board member Elaine Alexander said, "I've known her for too long to think that Cynthia's anti-Semitic. But I think her tactics really reflect the burn-and-kill philosophy of politics today. Would she use anti-Jewish feelings to win an election? Absolutely."
Interesting outline earlier of how McKinney sought support from the Jewish community during the 1996 election; then her father made his notorious declaration about her opponent being a "racist Jew."
The incident sent shock waves through the Jewish community and cast Shapiro's fund-raiser in a new, controversial light.
"When all this started coming out she seemed to call me more often," Shapiro said. "I think she was trying to keep me from canceling. She kept saying her father didn't speak for her." As for Shapiro, "I was determined to go forward because I wanted to give her a chance to speak for herself." The fund-raiser was a success, and McKinney went on to win a convincing victory over Mitnick. Shapiro was pleased. "When she won, I was genuinely thrilled for her." In high spirits, she called McKinney to congratulate her on her victory, and left a message with the campaign office. There was no response. "I must have called her a dozen times and she wouldn't talk to me," Shapiro said. "Not one phone call; and to this day she hasn't called me one time." Shapiro now believes McKinney was exploiting her: "Coming to me and using my platform was strictly political. She wanted to make an inroad into the Jewish community." Shapiro isn't alone. A number of Atlanta Jews who spoke for this article said they've had no contact with McKinney since the election of 1996.
And goes on with further details. Reid notes:
Interesting how Tipper Gore, the wife of the man about whom McKinney claimed his "'Negro Tolerance Level' has never been too high," was an indicator of McKinney's visible Democratic support in 1996.
Somehow Al Gore seemed to tolerate Donna Brazile, but it's not as if such concerns can be objectively measured well.

8/18/2002 04:34:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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P. J. O'ROURKE WAS INTERVIEWED by The Atlantic, for which he regularly writes.
And one finds, especially by the time one reaches one's fifties, that there are a limited number of types of people in the world, and you went to high school with every single one of them. You can visit the Eskimos, you can visit the Bushmen in the Kalahari, you can go to Israel, you can go to Egypt, but everybody you meet is going to be somebody you went to high school with.
And wherever you went to high school, you knew that it was situated on a hellmouth.

8/18/2002 12:38:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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WHAT TO DO ABOUT KIRKUK?: We must have it; it's ours!. Say the Kurds. And the Turkmens. And Ankara backs their ethnic brethren. All we need is for the Greeks to come to the aid of the Kurds....

8/18/2002 12:22:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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WHEN THEY START PRODUCTION ON KALI, LET ME KNOW: I know what I want to be when I grow up: a weapons dealer.
India plans to start production of an intermediate-range missile that is capable of carrying nuclear weapons, government officials said today.

The Agni missile, which is now in field trials, has a range of 1,500 miles, sufficient to hit most targets in neighboring Pakistan and deep into China.

The government also announced that it would begin production of a short-range, supersonic cruise missile called the Brahmos, which can be launched from ships, submarines and planes and has a range of 185 miles. If fired from near the border with Pakistan, the Brahmos could easily strike locations in the Pakistan-controlled portion of Kashmir and other parts of the country.

Coincidentally, yesterday we saw this:
Cruise Missile Threat Grows, Rumsfeld Says

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has sent the White House a classified memo warning of the spread of cruise missiles among hostile nations and ...

But every day is a good day to build and sell missiles!
Head of Counterterrorism Firm Charged With Possessing Missiles

The president of a counterterrorism consulting firm has been charged with possessing 2,352 unregistered small military missiles....

Or, of course, anti-missile missiles! Whoosh!

8/18/2002 11:47:00 AM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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BUT WAIT!: Norm Scheiber tells us on the 14th in The New Republic:
And therein lies the most encouraging news to come out of Bush's otherwise useless summit. Despite the fact that the administration has never before shied away from proposing tax cuts as an economic panacea -- and despite the fact that many conservatives outside the administration are enthusiastically touting tax cuts as the cure for our current economic ills -- the summit yielded not one new tax cut proposal from anyone in the administration.
Today's WashPo:
CRAWFORD, Tex., Aug. 17 -- New tax breaks will be a marquee part of the economic package President Bush is developing for unveiling this fall, his aides said today.
Five Claudes.

8/18/2002 11:26:00 AM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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WHO'S SUING KATHERINE HARRIS?: Her Republican primary opponent is suing to have her thrown off the ballot on grounds she appears to have severe reading disorder. No, wait.
Hill, a businessman and former TV anchorman, said Harris should be disqualified because she missed a July deadline for declaring her resignation plans from her old job. State law required Harris to announce her intentions by July 15, the day she qualified to run for Congress. Harris says she did not realize the law applied to her position, and she subsequently resigned "retroactively."

Hill says if he does not get her thrown off the ballot now, Democrats will do it after the Sept. 10 primary, in which Harris is heavily favored. And that, Hill says, would deliver the mostly Republican district to the Democratic nominee. Rep. Dan Miller (R-Fla.) is retiring from the seat.

Perhaps Harris might instead be appointed by Jeb Bush to run Florida's child welfare office? I hear they may have another opening soon.

8/18/2002 03:18:00 AM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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Saturday, August 17, 2002
THE INSIDIOUS LIBERAL MEDIA: Times Will Begin Reporting Gay Couples' Ceremonies.
Starting next month, the Sunday Styles section of The New York Times will publish reports of same-sex commitment ceremonies and of some types of formal registration of gay and lesbian partnerships, the newspaper announced yesterday. On occasion, the Vows column will be devoted to a same-sex couple.

The reports will appear in the pages that are currently headed "Weddings," and the heading will change to "Weddings/Celebrations," the announcement added.

Speaks for itself.

8/17/2002 11:20:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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IT IS WHAT IT APPEARS TO BE is the conclusion I've come to regarding the Administration's position on regime-change in Iraq. This is just one more straw. I think that the Administration really hasn't settled on any particular military plan, and that therefore it's most likely nothing serious will happen until at least October, and probably not until after the election.
"Timing is everything when you do this," said Richard Perle, a former Reagan defense official who is close to key figures in the Bush administration. "If you launched [a public campaign] too far in advance and nothing followed, that would raise questions and fuel a debate that would not be helpful to the administration. . . . If you join the debate now, but don't act for months, you pay a worse price."
I think this isn't disinformation, but what the actual stance is. As ever, I may, of course, be wrong.

I also think Perle may be at least partially wrong, insofar as if they do favor going to war (more than we've been at since 1991, that is) with Iraq, they're making an error by allowing the opposing case to be clearly made without attempting to clearly refute it. This, rather obviously, allows the opposing case to become solidified in people's minds.

Tom Friedman put it well today in pointing out that two years after the start of Intifada II, the Palestinian factions have finally been meeting to define agreement and why they're fighting and how to fight, and they've yet to come up with a bumper-sticker justification, and that the Bush Administration has also yet to settle on a bumper-sticker justification for war with Iraq.

When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there — just ask the Palestinians. But when you're talking about an unprovoked war to dismantle a government half a world away, any road just won't do. You need a clearly focused end, means and rationale.

Because we certainly don't want to pick up a newspaper two years from now and read that there was just a heated meeting of Bush advisers about what the war in Iraq was supposed to be about.

And you have to explain your focused end, means, and rationale. (Apparently I have a more positive stance towards the serial comma, I note, than the Times style guide.)

8/17/2002 10:59:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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Cameras to Record Ground Zero Rising, a Frame at a Time

Since late May, three 35-millimeter movie cameras have been trained on ground zero from atop nearby buildings, each programmed to take a picture of the vast site every five minutes, night and day. By Sept. 11, they will be joined by three other cameras rigged to do the same.

They will all keep taking pictures — 288 a day — for at least the next seven years.

They've got to make these webcams.

8/17/2002 08:42:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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GAS? WHAT GAS?: This will be talked about. It's worth remembering that the US was covertly providing intelligence and bomb damage assessment to Saddam Hussein during the Iraq-Iran war, and that we perfectly well knew at the time that he was using various forms of poison gas, from nerve gas to mustard gas. It's also good, of course, to consider that:
"The use of gas on the battlefield by the Iraqis was not a matter of deep strategic concern," he said. What Mr. Reagan's aides were concerned about, he said, was that Iran not break through to the Fao Peninsula and spread the Islamic revolution to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
And that, cold and terrible as it may be, is also not just part of how geopolitics work, but also has a moral component as well. How many more people might have suffered or died had Iran overrun Iraq, and possibly more of the Gulf states? We can't know, of course, and will never know which would have been the greater evil. What we can know is that it isn't clear that helping Iraq at that time was surely the greater evil.

8/17/2002 08:29:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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WHO'S WHO: The Grey Lady covers whether Satanists are actually Godless, and discovers polyamory. It's August!
American Atheists, the New Jersey-based organizers of the march, has invited "all groups and individuals who sincerely declare themselves to be 'Godless Americans' " to be listed as endorsers of the march, a protest against a long list of actions and attitudes considered prejudicial to nonbelievers.

Two of the many groups that responded, the Order of Perdition and the United Satanic Convenire, describe themselves as satanist; and satanists, in the view of the Council for Secular Humanism, are insufficiently godless.

"Satanism is a religion, with supernatural beliefs and a belief in the occult," said Tom Flynn, the editor of Free Inquiry, published by the council. "They should not qualify as endorsers of an event for Godless Americans."

The United Satanic Convenire responded with a long comment on its Web site. An unidentified leader of the group described himself, or herself, as "a disbeliever in the existence of a metaphysical being called 'God.' " Some satanists have a deistic view of Satan, it was explained, but apparently not this one. The Convenire promised it would not arrive in Washington waving "pentagrams and other occult paraphernalia."


The problem, he said, "was partly a public relations thing" — Christian preachers frequently denounced nonbelievers as satanic. But there was more to it, he continued: Satanism dallies with supernatural beliefs that most atheists simply do not entertain.

Groups that use invocations like "Hail Lucifer!" — as the Order of Perdition does — are definitely "not our style," Mr. Buckner said. "That would be just as mistaken as saying "Hail Mary, full of grace."

Further down on the same page is the story of the Unitarian Universalist Association wrestling with whether to accept the Unitarian Universalists for Polyamory Awareness (U.U.P.A.) as an affiliate.
"The board would have a lot of questions about how their agenda fits with the values and principles of the organization," said Janet Hayes, the Unitarian Universalists' public information officer. She called the group "cutting-edge in the sense that its time has not yet come — but I wouldn't want to say it won't."
Then there's this new form of proselytizing:
Mr. Owens was discussing "Shoes of the Fisherman," simple sandals with raised letters on their bottoms. As the wearer walks along the beach, the right sandal leaves an imprint saying "Jesus" The left sandal's imprint says "loves you."

The sandals, the company's Web site said, "are made in Thailand in a clean, Christian-owned factory that employs adult Christian workers who are paid a living wage."

Clearly Satanists need to get their own sandals.

8/17/2002 01:53:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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WHERE IS MY BUG FAN?: I'd hitherto missed this fascinating analysis of the legal writings of Zacarias Moussaoui. It's bizarre stuff; Gary-Bob says check it out.
After declaring that "The Fascist Bureau of Inquisition with the Special Services of Furor Brinkema" are preparing him for the "GAZ CHAMBER," he traces over the initial letters of Special Services, so they appear in boldface. Thereafter Brinkema is SS Brinkema. He also precedes her name in some pleadings with DJ, for Death Judge.

His references to her allude, at times, to discomfort about her gender and power (evident from his "mental" evaluation of her as suffering from gender inferiority). He says, "She is a master of deception deceiving everybody with her Grandnany Look." He calls her the "She Clinton," and says she is "Without a doubt Pro Choice . . . The Choice for the killing of Zacarias Moussaoui."

Clearly he's quite conservative.


8/17/2002 01:30:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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VATICAN STUDYING U.S. SEX ABUSE is the headline that you just want to fill in the subhead for it as "Seeks To Learn How Other Countries May Increase Sex Abuse."

Interesting line:

Some at the Vatican are said to be worried that innocent priests could be removed by overly zealous bishops.
Is this a rampant problem?

8/17/2002 12:57:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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EMBASSY ELAN: Amusing story on how embassies in Washington are trying to outdo each other in building bigger and fancier buildings, and how the diplomatic scene has changed since the Eighties.
"This is the most powerful country in the history of the world, and we need a showpiece for Sweden," said the ambassador, Jan Eliasson.

Then, to underline the seriousness of the venture, the ambassador pointed to a successful Nordic rival, "Like the Finnish Embassy."


"Before, embassies held exclusive, glamorous events," said Ina Ginsberg, a journalist and Washington grande dame. "That's almost all gone. Now it's practical, down to earth and open to all because of their involvement in civic charities. Local charities couldn't exist without embassies now."

I wonder who the Duchy of Grand Fenwick works with.

8/17/2002 12:51:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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LAUGH, SAL, LAUGH: The Musée Mécanique made the Times.

8/17/2002 12:43:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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Thursday, August 15, 2002

Amygdala wishes to apologize to its readers, and announces that it, too, is reporting $49 million dollars in revenue errors. This is due to a miscounting of how many times you people have clicked on the PayPal "donate" button.

Revision: Amygdala wishes to apologize once again to its readers, and announces an updated re-accounting. It is now reporting a $49 billion jillion gazillion dollar error in revenue accounting. As a result, all readers are required to make up this unforseen deficit by clicking ten billion jillion gazillion times on "donate." Our only other alternative will be to accept our merger as InstaAmygdalaTalkingPointsKausSullivanSideshowOfferingsBoingPunditLite. Stay tuned for our upcoming quarterly report, and our IPO!

8/15/2002 05:40:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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IS E-MAIL FREE SPEECH, OR "TRESPASS-TO-CHATTELS"?: Guess which Intel and the US Chamber of Commerce say, and which the Electronic Frontier Foundation, ACLU, AFL-CIO, and other free speech suspects argue. The California Supreme Court will decide, and my bet is that they'll say you're not trespassing when you send an unwanted e-mail.

Which I slightly reluctantly favor. Perhaps even more critical is that the decision would almost certainly apply equally to sending an HTTP request to look at, or link to, a URL. I'm tempted to favor making it illegal for someone to send me unwanted e-mail, but I'm willing to deal with it technologically and socially instead. Bringing such application of trespass-to-chattels tort law to other online digital packets, though, could conceivably destroy the Internet. (Of course, this could save the world from the evils of the US hegemonic Internet.)

8/15/2002 04:49:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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We were driving around the suburban-industrial wasteland south of San Francisco, on our way to a corporate presentation, while Schneier looked for something to eat not purveyed by a chain restaurant. This was important to Schneier, who in addition to being America's best-known ex-cryptographer is a food writer for an alternative newspaper in Minneapolis, where he lives. Initially he had been sure that in the crazy ethnic salad of Silicon Valley it would be impossible not to find someplace of culinary interest—a Libyan burger stop, a Hmong bagelry, a Szechuan taco stand. But as the rented car swept toward the vast, amoeboid office complex that was our destination, his faith slowly crumbled. Bowing to reality, he parked in front of a nondescript sandwich shop, disappointment evident on his face.
Gee, I've had dinner and lunch with Bruce (and Karen Cooper) a bunch of times, and he was always happy, but those meals were mostly in NYC, so we didn't lack for choice.

Spiffy article on (of course) internet security, and its application to post-9/11 security in general, one of Bruce's famous areas of expertise. But most Atlantic articles are great; it's one of the best magazines out there.

8/15/2002 02:46:00 AM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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BRUCE STERLING IS CRANKY about Open Source. Cory Doctorow responded. (Bill Joy fretted.)

8/15/2002 02:13:00 AM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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Jordan, US units continue routine exercise programme

AMMAN (JT) — Jordanian and US troops start their annual joint military exercises in the southern part of the Kingdom today. US troops disembarked from two vessels at the Port of Aqaba Tuesday morning to take part in the routine exercises.

Minister of State for Political Affairs and Minister of Information Mohammad Adwan was quoted by the Jordan News Agency, Petra as saying that a unit of the Jordan Armed Forces is undertaking joint exercises with an American unit as part of an annual training programme implemented with the armies of several friendly countries.

Adwan said the exercises will be carried out over a two-week span, after which the US troops will leave the country.

Yes, but where they they be leaving for? The Baltimore Sun noticed Millenium Challenge. Number to note:
As of May, Boeing was producing each month 1,500 Joint Direct Attack Munitions, one of the prized U.S. precision weapons. Boeing expects to increase the number to 2,000 a month by the end of the year.
From Singapore's Straits-Times we learn:
The US Navy is contracting two commercial ships to move military hardware, including Bradley fighting vehicles and helicopters, to Jordan and an undisclosed Red Sea port, US officials said on Tuesday.


But a spokesman for the US Central Command said the shipments were part of a broader transfer of military equipment out of Europe.

'We consider this just a routine shipment,' said Commander Frank Merriman.

The first ship had moved Bradley fighting vehicles, armoured recovery vehicles, Humvees and other equipment from Europe to the Central Command's area of operations, which extends from Egypt to Afghanistan.

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said the equipment was for an exercise in Jordan and for weapons stockpiles in the region.

US troops began arriving this week in Jordan for an annual exercise called Infinite Moonlight which, in the past, has involved mock helicopter and mechanised assaults.

Jordanian officials said all 4,000 US troops taking part would leave the country after the exercise but it was not clear whether their equipment would stay behind.

The Scotsman notes:
Downing Street was also forced to damp down speculation that the deployment of the aircraft carrier Ark Royal to the Mediterranean next month was connected to possible operations in the Gulf.

A spokeswoman said it was "absolute rubbish" and that the ship was taking part in a long-planned Nato exercise, due to last 20 days, in October.

Just working on paying attention.

8/15/2002 12:36:00 AM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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ROLL YOUR OWN SUSHI is sweeping America, it says here. Doesn't seem at all fishy to me.

8/15/2002 12:01:00 AM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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Wednesday, August 14, 2002
The Intel Corporation said today that its next personal computer chip would pack in twice as many transistors as the company's best-selling Pentium 4, use less power and have some of the tiniest parts ever made in high-volume chip manufacturing.


The circuit size was cut to 90 nanometers; 50-nanometer gates to conduct electricity are the thinnest ever built, Intel said. A human hair is about 2,000 times as wide.


In its new process, the company increased the number of transistors, to 120 billion from 60 billion, on the wafers from which processors are made, Mark Bohr, a senior Intel manufacturing-process engineer, said in a conference call.

Intel, based in Santa Clara, is building the chip with thinner insulation, which is 1.2 nanometers, or less than five atoms thick. The material has been changed to speed up communication inside the chip and decrease energy use, Mr. Bohr said.

Look at the progress. Lee De Forest invented the vacuum tube in 1906. 1945, Bill Shockley's team invents the semiconductor amplifier. At the end of 1947, the the point-contact transistor. Schockley gets pissed off, and invents the junction (sandwich) transistor.
Bell Labs decided to unveil the invention on June 30, 1948. With the help of engineer John Pierce, who wrote science fiction in his spare time, Bell Labs settled on the name "transistor" -- combining the ideas of "trans-resistance" with the names of other devices like thermistors.
(I noted John Pierce's death in May.) Then came the integrated circuit, and the world changed.

Benchmarks on the march to the Singularity.

8/14/2002 11:29:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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8/14/2002 11:05:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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THAT DARN ASHCROFT: Mr. Clymer reports:
The Justice Department has rebuffed House Judiciary Committee efforts to check up on its use of new antiterrorism powers in the latest confrontation between the Bush administration and Congress over information sought by the legislative branch.

Instead of answering committee questions, the Justice Department said in a letter that it would send replies to the House Intelligence Committee, which has not sought the information and does not plan to oversee the workings of the U.S.A. Patriot Act.

Big surprise, eh? The piece also summarizes other instances of the administration's "Congress? Who are they?" attitude which is pissing off Republicans as much as it does Democrats.

8/14/2002 10:03:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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THE LANGUAGE GENE: Fascinating piece.
The analysis indicates that language, on the evolutionary time scale, is a very recent development, having evolved only in the last 100,000 years or so.

The finding supports a novel theory advanced by Dr. Richard Klein, an archaeologist at Stanford University, who argues that the emergence of behaviorally modern humans about 50,000 years ago was set off by a major genetic change, most probably the acquisition of language.

The new study, by Dr. Svante Paabo and colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, is based on last year's discovery of the first human gene involved specifically in language.

The gene came to light through studies of a large London family, well known to linguists, 14 of whose 29 members are incapable of articulate speech but are otherwise mostly normal. A team of molecular biologists led by Dr. Anthony P. Monaco of the University of Oxford last year identified the gene that was causing the family's problems. Known as FOXP2, the gene is known to switch on other genes during the development of the brain, but its presumed role in setting up the neural circuitry of language is not understood.


In a report being published online today by the journal Nature, Dr. Paabo says the FOXP2 gene has remained largely unaltered during the evolution of mammals, but suddenly changed in humans after the hominid line had split off from the chimpanzee line of descent.

Here's a Grauniad version. Next: discovery of the blogger gene.

8/14/2002 09:43:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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THE SPIDER-MAN LAWSUIT was rightfully quickly dismissed. A small victory for freedom of artistic expression via digital alteration, it was a remarkably stupid lawsuit. One tangential favorite bit:
Judge Owen, who also writes operas, composed a lyrical ruling. "Once upon a time," it began, "at a gathering of many thousands in New York's Times Square for the `World Unity Festival,' the crowd was murderously attacked by the jet-powered Green Goblin, who was, however, eventually put to flight by the timely arrival of Spider-Man."

He also dismissed a claim by the plaintiffs that the filmmakers had committed trespass by "bouncing a laser beam off the building to create a digital photograph."

Also, shining a flashlight on property is committing trespass. Or Maybe Not.

8/14/2002 08:00:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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CAN WE SAY "DRY RUN"?: I knew we could. U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM)'s Millennium Challenge 2002 wraps tomorrow. Note particularly the list of players at the bottom.

I'd love to see an evaluation briefing on this game like this one. Here's a key piece of analysis:

What we learned in the operational games is that you can break that paradigm, and if you can see the enemy in fine-grained aggregations, down to individual weapons systems in some instances, and see him array himself in this sliming pattern, and watch him move. And what that does is it changes the Blue's reaction to it. If the Blue commander can break through the sort of cultural barriers and break his force into pieces that are equally that small size. So instead of maneuver being, say, a movement to contact, or a frontal attack, or an envelopment, it became a pattern, if you will. A series of hundreds, or perhaps even thousands of discrete bits that are broken and juxtaposed next to the Red, in a position of advantage, each one of them, and arrayed across it like a blanket, and dropped over the enemy very quickly. You know, shades of Panama again. Dropped over the enemy very quickly, so that the enemy commander finds himself not so much destroyed, but he finds his command and control, he finds his Red force disassembled, disintegrated, unable to coordinate his bits and pieces, and each bit and piece finds a Blue piece in a position of relative advantage. So he's left with two unacceptable alternatives -- he can sort of abstain and lose, or he can attack in a position of disadvantage and lose there, too. And the Red commander ... particularly as we moved further along in this endeavor, told me that it was a sense of paralysis, not so much as a sense of defeat. He was unable to move and maneuver.
Why is this important now?
There's a downside to it, because as soon as the Red commander saw that this was happening, he went straight to the cities, particularly in the ... European scenario. And when he went to the cities, then the two-hour takedown went to a two-day takedown; in one case, a one-week takedown. Because the equations became much more complex, and your ability to apply precision maneuver, or precision fires then was denigrated to some degree, which made us go back and think about how we're going to do combat in cities in 2025. Another interesting point. If you stay too long, or if you repeat yourself ... the enemy learns to get knowledge from points where there is no knowledge. He maneuvers against the white spaces. Shades of Somalia.
And that's what Saddam is apparently planning to do. Which doesn't mean it will work, but it's probably the closest thing to an effective battle plan he can make, other than, as well, Samson options. What's the counter?
I don't know how many of you are history buffs or not, but we went from a sort of an Aachen-Chechnya-Stalingrad approach into something more akin to the siege of Paris (siege of Paris, 1870) ... where the object was to form, to use technology, again use technology ... to form a sort of loose cordon, if you will. A high tech cordon. Again, if you can see with exquisite clarity you can see and intercept almost anything with this loose cordon. And it goes to a postulation we made, Tom, before we started, is that urbanization will continue by 2025 and cities in many of these countries will be barely be able to hang on day to day in good days, much less in war time. So the thought is you use the inherent instability of the urban structure as a means for it to defeat itself. Form a loose cordon. Takes time, but remember if the enemy retrenches into a city, he cedes maneuver, and therefore time then moves to your side. So we formed a loose cordon, and we only struck those points within the city that would cause the physical collapse of the city, or the collapse of the leadership.
There's a lot of fascinating stuff in this piece, dare I say?

8/14/2002 07:37:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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BLOGGER CODE: B4 d- t- k+ s u- f i- o x++ e l+ c-

8/14/2002 07:06:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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Tuesday, August 13, 2002
CRAP, YES, I DON'T WANT TO GO ALL BLAND: I'm thinking some more. You want me to think about it, right?

I want intelligent argument without abuse and idiotic name-calling. I'm funny that way. Work with me on this.

8/13/2002 11:28:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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SECOND FUNDEMENTAL VIOLATION: I thought "I've not looked at Max's site in a while, so I'll do that."

First words I read were " Professor InstaCracker says...."

So, there's another person I'd hope would be thoughtful, but is into abuse and name-calling. *Bleep*. Next blog.

My hope is that everyone will stop reading name-calling three-year-olds, but I'm a dreamer.

Let me be clear: if you're a blogger who talks like this, I'm going to cease to link to you. And if I'm missing such cases, as I will, I urge readers to point them out to me, please.

Oh, and if you disagree, be sure to tell me what a right/left winger I am. And read as I laugh. Come back when you're interested in text, thought, and honest discussion of ideas, and not being a child. Alternatively, that's when I'll be back to such a site.

I've been wracking my brains, organs, and glands, trying to think of a way to cut down on my blogroll, and I suddenly realized that this is a knife that slices deeply, even though it cuts out friends, colleagues, and lovers. I'm sorry about that, but it's an objective knife.

8/13/2002 10:56:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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BARBARA EHRENREICH'S RUDDER IS BRAD DELONG, as seen here. Ehrenreich has done great work, in my opinion, and, like all us humans, has and does sometimes go astray. Bradford rightfully praises the admirable parts of Ehrenreich's book, which deserve due attention, and puts his finger on the part where she seems to suddenly go Republican in deciding that Government Can Do No Good.

I know I have readers who believe that, but they're wrong, and even the idea that Government Is Least Able To Help is something I strongly argue against. Which is, wackily, as every sensible person knows, not the same as arguing that Government Is Always The Solution, or Government Is The First Answer.

Can we say "happy medium"? Does that make me a "moderate" or a "liberal"?

8/13/2002 01:44:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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Monday, August 12, 2002
THE EURO/GERMAN RESPONSE. I linked to this earlier, but only finally read it closely and carefully today. Where there are certainly sporadic thoughts and ideas in it I, and any reasonable person, would entirely agree with, I regret to say that there are more points and perspectives that I consider -- the technical term is "dumbass" -- than I'd care to spend the hours necessary to discuss and argue with. I'll let it lie for now with this simple quote, and declare that with this single disagreement, finding common ground may, alas, be a more rare and exotic experience than anyone, I expect, would wish for.
The war of the "alliance against terror" in Afghanistan is no "just war" - an ill-starred historical concept that we do not accept -
If we can't agree that war is terrible, but that sometimes it is the least terrible alternative, that taking up arms in self-defense, or to liberate suffering people into greater freedom and circumstances, is ever just, than we truly have a Great Divide.

The irony, of course, is to find this view argued by German intellectuals, whom, if we had followed their advice, would have us, and Europe, therefore still living under the Nazi regime, and they'd likely all be dead. But that would be, apparently, the proper moral course. Because there are no just wars.

8/12/2002 07:21:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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NAME THE SPEAKER of this ringing and tasteful declaration, that will go down with the greatest inspirational perorations in history:
"I call upon all nations to do everything they can to stop these terrorist killers. Thank you. Now watch this drive."
Hint: it wasn't Winston Churchill.

8/12/2002 05:19:00 AM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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I’d have no interest in this website whatsoever were it not for three things:

1. When there’s a subculture out there ranking the best jihadi decapitation video, you’d best pay attention.

2. When a message board devoted to guidance for Islamic youth doesn’t delete the posts about stabbing Jews, you’d best pay attention.

3. This thread. As far as I can tell, the debate seems to be whether it’s a brother’s job to kill his sexually active sister, or the religious authority’s job.

What’s the British expression? Isa wept.

I'm just trying to pay attention.

8/12/2002 04:59:00 AM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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the cool months between December and February, so troops can wear full- body chemical protection suits.
I'm opening the Amygdala Iraq Invasion Pool. Pick your week, and send me your entry! Winner gets, um, not to be killed by an Iraqi biological weapon? Tough luck on the rest of us, to be sure.

Dept. of Unfortunate Names from this story: the CO of Britain's 45 Commando is Lt. Col. Tim Chicken.

8/12/2002 04:45:00 AM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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THE SAUDI NUCLEAR OPTION is covered with a number of links by Geitner Simmons. (Must... resist...more...blogroll entries. List...too long. Strength...weakening....)

8/12/2002 04:41:00 AM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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Y'ALL KNOW THAT Israel has strict gun licensing laws, right?

8/12/2002 03:50:00 AM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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ANN COULTER. No link here, but I'm listening to AC on C-Span's Booknotes, as I write, and she keeps coming back, in between galactic-cluster-sized declarations about "liberals," to how resistant the Liberal Media (owned by such Big Liberals as Rupert Murdoch) was to publishing her diatribe. Her proof? It took her two months from when her manuscript was sent out until it was bought.

People with the faintest familiarity with trade book publishing are now rolling on the floor, frantically gasping for breath in between gales of laughter.

Then she complains about the size of her advance, and having to pay some of it back. I impatiently await the announcement that the Coulter and Michael Moore are going on tour together, putting forward identical evidence of How They And Their Side Are Suppressed By The Establishment. (Think Tim Leary and G. Gordon Liddy.)

Come see the repression inherent in the system!

More wonderment: Ann denounces liberals as "snobs" and "elitists," of course. Shortly thereafter, she explains that no one in the entertainment business, and no liberals, would be watching "Booknotes" because "we're using words with more than two syllables." Then that "if liberals actually read about politics, they'd be conservatives."

Such wisdom.

8/12/2002 03:31:00 AM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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RON KIRK IS TOUTED for the Texas Senate seat in a New Yorker profile.

8/12/2002 03:24:00 AM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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TERMS OF USE: what she said. Except, like, swap in my URL and name for hers. Cuz, like, this is easier than my writing stuff on my own.

Oh, and: Meryl is the kewlest person ever11! She rUlez, d00dz!1!11!

8/12/2002 02:22:00 AM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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IT'S A START: Maybe. Haaretz reports:
A Gaza Hamas representative has taken part in drafting an all-Palestinian political platform that defines their national goal as establishing a state inside the 1967 borders, and implying it rejects attacks inside Israel.

IDF sources said they regard progress on the document as "positive" because, said one source, "the direction they are going for is positive. If it brings a little quiet, there will be something to talk about with the Palestinians."

The 12-member organizations in the Supreme Intifada Monitoring Committee - an umbrella group of all Palestinian political organizations - met yesterday to sign the draft platform.


In the last three weeks the Supreme Committe's deliberations accelerated since the joint Hamas-Fatah statement about a cease-fire inside Israel collapsed when Israel assassinated the Hamas military commander. The document has three parts:

l An outline of Palestinian national goals - ending the occupation, political independence within the 1967 borders, and a just solution to the refugee problem

l Details of the means to achieve the goals - political struggle, legitimate popular struggle, and popular resistance to the occupation

l A plan to democratize Palestinian institutions.

The document's aim is to prevent any one of the organizations from choosing its own tactics and strategy for the struggle. The methods of struggle are defined as ones "that serve the national Palestinian cause and do not sabotage it" - which is considered a reference to suicide bombings and attacks inside Israel.

And let's not forget that anyone who doesn't support the Palestinian Authority and Arafat is an anti-Palestinian Sharon supporter. Oh, wait:
In another development, a Fatah representative in the Palestinian Legislative Council, Kadura Fares, has proposed dismantling the Palestinian Authority, on the grounds that the current leadership (which mostly came from Tunis) is more interested in self-preservation than in ways to solve the political, social, and economic crisis.

According to Hanan Ashrawi, those in favor of "dismantling the authority" believe Israel "allows itself to violate all the Oslo agreements, imposes a harsh military occupation on the population, and then refuses to take any responsibility with the argument that there's an 'authority' to do so. At the same time Israel demands the 'authority' to meet all its Oslo security commitments, when the agreement and the declaration of principles on which it is based have been turned into a dead letter."

Therefore she, Fares and others say the PA itself should be dismantled. Fares says the PLO should resume its leadership role.

What amazes me are all the lefties around the world who support Arafat, and a regime that most Palestinians know and declare is oppressive and corrupt. But they know better what's best for Palestinians than Palestinians do. That's entirely different than making that complaint about the Israeli or American administrations, of course. Virtue makes right. Er, left.

8/12/2002 02:02:00 AM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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HERE'S WHY ARAFAT HAD more different security forces than most folks could keep track of.

8/12/2002 12:47:00 AM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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FLY ME TO THE MOON, just not from the US, if you're an Israeli diplomat.
A Delta Air Lines subsidiary refused to fly Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Michael Melchior from Cincinnati because the pilot thought Melchior posed a security risk, an Israeli radio station reported yesterday.

Melchior, who was being escorted by State Department officials for Friday's flight, told the radio station that he waited on a plane for more than an hour before the pilot evacuated it, saying there was a security risk.

When Melchior disembarked, he said he was told he could not get back on the plane.


This is the third time an Israeli official has been pulled from a flight because of a pilot's sense of a security risk, the radio reported. The others reportedly were Alon Pinkas, the Israeli consul general in New York, and a bodyguard of Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres.

Inspiring. Same AP version here.

8/12/2002 12:30:00 AM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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Sunday, August 11, 2002
SING OUT!: Top twenty corporate anthems. What, this isn't modern folk music? (Via Charlie Stross.)

8/11/2002 11:42:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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ALSO, A SCARLET LETTER: Privacy? Whuzzat?
A handful of women are challenging a Florida law that requires mothers who don't know who fathered their children to detail their sexual past in newspaper notices before they can put the children up for adoption.

A Palm Beach County judge has already ruled that rape victims are exempt from the law. But six women plan to appeal in hopes of having the law abolished.

Under the law, mothers who have exhausted other searches must place a notice in their local paper describing or identifying men who may have fathered their child. They also have to disclose when and where the baby was likely conceived.

The measure is intended to prevent the biological father from coming forward later and disputing an adoption. But critics said Wednesday that it is a humiliating invasion of privacy.

Ya think?! (Via Jim Henley.)

8/11/2002 11:30:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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HOW WE CAN CO-EXIST is the reply I mentioned to the quite thoughtful What We Are Fighting For. I've been reading the Saudi statement, and here's how persuasive they can be:
Moreover, Islam teaches that the Christians are closer to the Muslims than any other people. [...] The Qur'ân speaks about the Christians as being the most morally virtuous in their dealings of all religious societies outside of Islam: "You will find that the strongest among men in enmity to the believers are the Jews and pagans, and you will find that the nearest of them in love to the believers are those who say: 'We are Christians'." [5:82]
Yup, that's quite a basis for co-existence, all right. That's sufficient, but here's further explication on the state of things:
Yet, when one faction prefers to create a conflict with the Muslims or to ignore their rights, then Islam responds by resistance and self defense, which are among the objectives of jihad. The West must realize that by blocking the specific options and moderate aspirations of the Muslim world and by creating conflicts, they will bring about perspectives in the Muslim world that will be hard to overcome in the future and will create problems for generations to come all over the world.
That faction is, of course, the You-Know-Whos. But let's explain further:
It is unreasonable to assume that those who attacked the United States on September 11 did not feel in some way justified for what they did because of the decisions made by the United States in numerous places throughout the world. We by no means hold the view that they were justified in striking civilian targets, but it is necessary to recognize that some sort of causative relationship exists between American policy and what happened.
Some sort. It's necessary to recognize that. Of course. And who is at the root?
If the Americans view what happened on September 11 as a turning point for them in how they define their relationship with the Muslims generally, not merely with the group of people that actually carried it out, then can we be blamed when we see that the presence of the Jewish state of Israel on Palestinian land and the control they hold over it through the support of the major powers was and still is a decisive factor in defining and shaping our relationship with the West, as well as with its values and institutions?
The usual. (Let's set aside that only bigots have changed "how they define their relationship with the Muslims generally." I ain't changed my relationship or opinions about Islam in the slightest, and have no more brief against Islam than against Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Shinto, or whatever. It's people who kill in the name of such beliefs, and seek to enforce their views in totalitarian theocratic world government that I have a wee problem with. If Buddhafascists, or extremist Jews start flying planes into buildings, I'm all for defending against them, and fighting them, too.)

Another knowledgeable insight:

In spite of this, every individual in the Muslim World perceives that China and Japan have not caused the Muslim World any clear problem, nor have they done anything detrimental to its concerns, countries, and societies. The average Muslim perceives Easterners to be more just, balanced, and more clement than the West.
Yes, indeed, China is highly supportive of the right of its citizens to practice Islam. Uh-huh. Great grasp of reality there. But back on the main Saudi hobbyhorse:
The United States, in spite of its efforts in establishing the United Nations with its Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other similar institutions, is among the most antagonistic nations to the objectives of these institutions and to the values of justice and truth. This is clearly visible in America's stance on the Palestinian issue and its unwavering support for the Zionist occupation of Palestinian land and its justification of all the Zionist practices that run contrary to the resolutions passed by the United Nations.
Zionism, the idea of a Jewish nation, is, after all, racism, unlike, say, Palestinian nationalism, or Saudi Arabian nationalism. Everyone knows that. More logic:
We see secularism as inapplicable to Muslim society, because it denies the members of that society the right to apply the general laws that shape their lives and it violates their will on the pretext of protecting minorities. It does not stand to reason that protecting the rights of the minority should be accomplished by violating the rights of the majority.
The rights of the majority to suppress minorities, that is. Ya folla? Thus, the rights of the minority to, say, practice Christianity or Judaism in Saudi Arabia are protected by protecting the rights of the majority to forbid the rights of the minorities.

I had no idea Kafka was actually Arabian, but it's a richer culture than many imagine.

I won't bother pointing out the rest of the endlessly self-serving illogical, outright threatening, bullshit, in this "How We Can Co-Exist," but I will say that reading it is again educational. This is the "liberal," "moderate" Saudi response. It threatens more terrorism, in numerous ways, if they are not agreed with.

Oppressing others necessarily means that a choice in favor of conflict has been made. It is the catalyst that inflames the strength of resistance, which crates conditions where causing injury to others takes little instigation. The West has to realize that destruction is the least technologically dependant product in the world. It can be produced in countless ways.


Therefore, it is both unreasonable and unjust to irrationally push the issue of Islamic radicalism and then take a course of action that will further instigate it without dealing with all forms of radicalism in the world, both religious and otherwise.


We are on the realization that many of the extremist Islamic groups - as they are called

We thought of calling them "Fred," but that was already taken by Ringo's haircut.
- not want to be that way when they started, but were forced into that category by political or military forces or their media machinery that blocked their access to channels of peaceful expression. Such powers were able to do away with any possible opportunity for moderation and to strike at the rights of people. This is the major cause for the extremism of Islamic movements and groups. We are also on the realization that this same situation is right now occurring under the guise of the Western program known as the War on Terror.
And on and on. They haul out every excuse in the book, from "we didn't do it," to "you do it too," to "you made us do it," to "if you don't stop, we'll do it again, and it'll be your fault!" to "the dog ate our homework." And most of all: Israel, Israel, Israel, evil Zionism, Jews, Jews, Jews.

At least they have the PR sense to not go into how we're pigs and monkeys.

Just mass murderers. It's very educational to read the moderate Saudi position on "How We Can Co-Exist." Especially with us pagans and Jews, "strongest among men in enmity to the believers." But there are solutions to those problems. Final solutions, even.

8/11/2002 11:02:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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THE ECONOMIST weighed in:
The danger Mr Hussein poses cannot be overstated. He is no tinpot despot, singled out for arbitrary American punishment. Nor is Iraq a banana republic. With the possible exception of North Korea, but perhaps not even then, Mr Hussein is the world's most monstrous dictator, who by the promiscuous use of violence has seized unfettered control of a technologically advanced country with vast oil reserves. He has murdered all his political opponents, sometimes squeezing the trigger in person. He has subdued his Kurdish minority by razing their villages and spraying them with poison gas. In 1979 he invaded Iran, thus setting off an eight-year war that squandered more than 1m lives. In 1990 he invaded and annexed Kuwait, pronouncing it his “19th province”. When an American-led coalition started to push him out, and though knowing Israel to be a nuclear power, he fired ballistic missiles into Tel Aviv, in the hope of provoking a general Arab-Israeli conflagration. Next time you hear someone ask why, in a world full of bad men, it is Mr Hussein who is being picked on, please bear all of the above in mind. He may very well be the worst.

And yet it is not simply in his record of aggression, cruelty and recklessness that the peril to the wider world resides. If that were all the story, the danger might be easily contained. The unique danger in Iraq is that this country's advanced technology and potential oil wealth could very soon give this aggressive, cruel and reckless man an atomic bomb.


None of this is to argue that a war to remove Mr Hussein should be undertaken lightly.

The casualties this time—especially the civilian casualties—could be much larger than they were before.

It is little wonder, given this, that people of goodwill are groping for a safer alternative. But wishful thinking in the face of mortal danger is bad policy. Perhaps the best hope is that, as the noose tightens, Mr Hussein will save himself by letting the inspectors return. If they did so on a credible go-anywhere, check-anything basis, such an opportunity would be worth grabbing, at least to see if it worked.

Failing this, however, the outlook is grim. Some argue that a better alternative to war is to keep Mr Hussein in his box, persevering with the strategy of containment. But after 11 years, it is time to acknowledge that the box is full of holes and that containment has failed. [...] The honest choices now are to give up and give in, or to remove Mr Hussein before he gets his bomb. Painful as it is, our vote is for war.

One thing that can't be said is that people aren't having an honest debate about this.

8/11/2002 10:11:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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JAPANESE ICE CREAM: do you dare? Via Avram Grumer's LiveJournal, this site.

Mmm, Sanma Aisu: who doesn't get a frequent hankering for saury fish ice cream? With brandy! And octopus ice cream: have eight helpings! Squid. Ox tongue ice cream, yum. Sweet potato seems comparatively, well, vanilla. Dunno if I want the fried eggplant ice cream, though. Maybe with the corn ice cream, mixed with Koshihikari Rice ice cream.

I'd really like to try the eel IC mixed with crab IC and, yum, wasabi ice cream. Really. And who hasn't wondered about Nagoya Noodle IC?

I'm less sure about the miso ice cream, and the fried chicken wing ice cream. Gotta try the cactus IC, though, so long as it's spineless. If we try all these, we're not, though.

8/11/2002 09:51:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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A doll caused a security alert at an American airport because its two-inch plastic gun was considered a dangerous weapon.

Judy Powell, 55, from Walton on the Hill, Surrey, bought the GI Joe toy in Las Vegas and packed it in her hand luggage.

But security staff at Los Angeles International Airport refused to let Mrs Powell on board the plane with the replica rifle.

Mrs Powell had to put the gift - minus the rifle - in her suitcase so it could go in the aircraft's hold.


A spokesman for Los Angeles International Airport said: "We have instructions to confiscate anything that looks like a weapon or a replica.

"If GI Joe was carrying a replica then it had to be taken from him."

Etc. Rest assured, no toy soldiers will be taking over airplanes while Homeland Security is on the job!

8/11/2002 06:27:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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WHY WE FIGHT, OR DON'T: Scott Koenig, like others, notes the important What We Are Fighting For, a pro-war statement of values epistle, and various counter-responses, such as How We Can Coexist, a critique by 153 Saudi intellectuals;
A World of Justice and Peace Would be Different, a critique by 103 German intellectuals; and A U.S. Letter to Europeans, a critique by over 100 American intellectuals. Lastly, the original authors respond with Is the Use of Force Ever Morally Justified?

8/11/2002 03:02:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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THE CYNTHIA MCKINNEY/DENISE MAJETTE DEBATE was covered by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The Photodude also comments. Here's another report. The Indepundit has also been on the McKinney story.

Fun Fact I Did Not Know:

McKinney’s campaign coordinator, Wendell Muhammad, moonlights as a spokesman for Louis Farrakhan.
And here is McKinney speaking up for poor maligned Robert Mugabe, and his entirely just and wise policies.

In other Georgia news, I can't say I'll miss Lester Maddox much. We're supposed to remember this:

Maddox is typically described as "colorful" -- in the way that elected officials who ride a bicycle backward are colorful. [...] As governor, he appointed more blacks to state boards and commissions than all prior governors combined. He instituted prison reform after listening to four black inmates who escaped from a South Georgia prison farm to attend one of his "Little People's Day" receptions at the Governor's Mansion.
And forget this:
In 1964, he chased off civil rights activists trying to integrate his Pickrick Restaurant on Hemphill Avenue near Georgia Tech, waving a pistol as white patrons brandished pick handles. In the 1970s, he sold pick handles at an Underground Atlanta shop.

Maddox, a Democrat, ran for governor in 1966 as an unapologetic segregationist. He finished a slight second in the popular vote, but the choice fell to the General Assembly because no candidate had a majority, and the legislators picked Maddox.

I have trouble forgetting, or being understanding of people who were so very very wrong so very very emphatically and harmfully.

I do, as a rule, try to be a forgiving person. But some things seem just too large.

8/11/2002 02:40:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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I'VE BEEN PRETTY PRO-WAR-ON-IRAQ. I still lean heavily in that direction. But I'm not close-minded. Here's part of a fair case arguing against war. At the very worst, to support war on Iraq, these are arguments that need to be refuted or at least responded to.

Questions have to be answered clearly:

1. How dangerous are Saddam Hussein's potential weapons of mass destruction?
2. Is military attack the best and most prudent means of ending that danger?
3. Is the threat of use of such weapons made more or less dangerous by attack?
4. Laying aside the WOMD aspect, is it justifiable to "effect regime change" in Iraq, preferably to a friendly and reasonably just democracy, simply on cold grounds of drastically changing the geopolitics of the region, leading to, in theory, an outbreak of friendly democracies in the Arab world, liberating the Arab peoples from theocratic or autocratic oppressive regimes, and making settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict simpler?
5. Can that actually be likely accomplished, not just wished and hoped for?

My own tentative answers, today?

1. I don't know, and always want more data. But they're extremely worrisome. (Here's another report out of Whitehall.)
2. I don't know. I'd hope so, but it, from my level of knowledge, seems very uncertain, and 3 makes for further worry. Unfortunately, this is the sort of thing where we can't really know until either a) attack is tried and succeeds or fails, or b) we get to look back at then-available historic records thirty or forty years in the future.
4. Maybe. But 5 is a big hunk of theory, a reverse Domino Theory, that demands a whole chain of events. It may be possible. If it is, it certainly would be a wonderful thing. But events tend towards unpredictabilty, and the Law Of Unintended Consequences is a constant enemy we have few precision weapons against.

I lean towards support of a war, but like almost everyone else, I want clear explications, and Congressional debate, and hearings, to get the best possible answers we can, in public, to these questions. Oh, and I want a Congressional Declaration of War. Call me old-fashioned.

Only then could I fully support it, not just lean. I certainly can't just put blind trust in Our Leaders. That hasn't always worked out so well, y'know?

And it bodes ill for this Administration that they lean so heavily on the Trust Us, and Trust Us To Keep Secrets argument in all areas of government.

That elephant won't hunt.

8/11/2002 01:05:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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HI-TECH POLITICING makes for precision targeted hits. The modern Farley file is an increasingly detailed database. And the web and cel phones and e-mail and PDAs and Blackberries and all the other communications devices coming are delivery tools to get to you.

Myself, I prefer pull technology. Such as a blog.

8/11/2002 12:38:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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VULNERABILITIES OF BUSH AND THE GOP are usefully analyzed in this WashPo piece.
The memo's emphasis on Bush's record on such domestic issues as education, corporate accountability and prescription drugs underscored the new reality that Bush and his aides confront: It's no longer enough just to be a wartime president.

Although Bush still has strong overall approval ratings, there are growing signs of concern about his handling of the economy. The president no longer enjoys the aura of invincibility that surrounded him only a few months ago -- and both Republican and Democratic politicians know it and are acting accordingly.

It's his election to lose, just as much as it's the Democrats' election to lose at this point out. It's all in play.

Meanwhile, it appears that Charlton Heston won't have to wait until they pry his guns from his cold dead hands. Seems like the humane thing to do is let him keep his guns, and just make damn sure there's no ammo in his house.

8/11/2002 11:50:00 AM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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POSSIBLE ORGAN-LEGGING IS LOOKED INTO BY EUGENE VOLOKH HERE. After reading a fair amount in recent times, I'm not remotely able to make a definitive prouncement, but it's a hell of a lot further as a cultural norm than an urban legend, it seems, unsurprisingly. It's all very unsurprising. It's all, indeed, about different cultural mores.

What value a body party? What value to you? What other values to consider? It's a cross-cultural thing.

With respect, Larry Niven barely had a clue. But I'm not calling him up for an opinion. Now.

8/11/2002 12:08:00 AM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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Saturday, August 10, 2002

(In other words: weirder than you might think.) Must-read.

8/10/2002 10:52:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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THIRTY YEARS LATER, Israeli Athletes Return to Munich.
Israeli athletes know they are potential targets for terrorism wherever they travel in the world.

They are raised to endure their fear, and this camaraderie was a comfort to several athletes who slept at the site of one of the most horrific attacks against their country.

Thirty years after 11 Israeli athletes and coaches were killed by Palestinian terrorists at the Olympic Games in Munich, Israel's entire contingent at the European track and field championships are staying at the same housing complex where their countrymen were taken hostage in 1972.

The Israelis say it was an important symbolic gesture for them to be here.

"You feel shivers when you close your eyes and think about the terrible things that happened,'' said distance runner Nili Abramski. "But we had to come and show that even the most terrible things won't stop us.''

And all that there.

"We wanted to show that we are even stronger -- that we never give up,'' she said. "We know we are targets everywhere we go, but you can't live in fear.''

No more need be said.

8/10/2002 10:37:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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Thursday, August 08, 2002
NUMBERS : In one telling statistic, the police reported that in all of 1999, before the current conflict, 12 bombs were detonated or discovered in Israel. From Jan. 1 though July 18 this year, that number was 465. I was recently informed that I
"...have, for a long time, been overwrought and offensive whenever the subject touches on Israel...."

I guess so. I can't imagine why, and I welcome such understanding sensitivity with a true historic perspective. Yeah. Sure. Perhaps 38.12 times more "overwrought and offensive."

Funny, that. Why aren't you, those who aren't? Would you welcome my questioning why you are "overwrought" and "offensive" at seeing people in your neighberhood slaughtered and maimed, and the blood flowing everywhere?

Tut, tut, how "overwrought" you are. Limbs torn off a neighbor? Nails in her eyes? "Overwrought" is a response. It's just politics, after all, and far away.

Let the knees shatter, the bone flecks fly, and people cough out all of their blood flow in under a minute. It's "offensive" to note it or care about it, or write about it. They're not my direct relatives, usually. Why should I care?

Am I "overwrought" about Israelis being slaughtered? Could be. My response?

Never again.

I'm just saying in my calm and contemplative and thoughtful way.

Never again, and if you don't get that, you don't get that.

I'm a Jew. Come for them, come for me. Don't stand up for them, don't stand up for me. Make up your mind. If you're with me, I'm with you. If you're against me, I'm against you. Here's my line. It's that simple. Stand and be counted.

Reactions such as this make me think I've not been nearly overwrought and offensive enough. I'm a Jew.

8/08/2002 02:09:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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BLACK HELICOPTERS? PSHAW. CHECK OUT flying black triangles. Reportedly:
NIDS makes the case that Big Black Deltas, or BBDs, are U.S. Defense Department airships. They are so large they can carry massive payloads at low altitudes, cruising at speeds three to five times as fast as surface ships.

Among a range of NIDS observations, the group believes the BBDs are powered by electrokinetic/field drives, or airborne nuclear power units. These craft also fly at extreme altitudes, high above conventional aircraft and the pulsing of ground-based traffic control radar.

Elecrokinetic propulsion means that no propellers or jets are used. A hybrid lighter-than-air craft would rely on aerostatic, lift gas, like a balloon. No helicopter-like downwash would be produced. Except for a slight humming from high-voltage control equipment -- and in older BBD versions an occasional coronal discharge -- a Big Black Delta makes no noise.

Given a slew of BBD capabilities -- from silent running, diminished drag, elimination of sonic shockwaves, to operation from ground level to full vacuum -- NIDS calls for pushing this black world technology out into daylight for commercial benefit.

I have no idea what the truth is here, but this sounds at least plausible. And, of course, k00!.

8/08/2002 01:28:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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Wednesday, August 07, 2002
ANOTHER NOSTALGIC EYE-POPPER: I'm too young, or something, to be truly fascinated by a page with thumbnails for every woman who ever appeared on Star Trek: The Original Series, but it seems remarkable enough to be worth noting that it exists with attendent links and pictures and the Great Bird of the Galaxy knows what.

8/07/2002 09:53:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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CAR LOBBY DEFEATS UNIVERSITY EFFETE LIBERALS: Oh,well Dingell crushes effete academic politically corect campaign of Rivers. Notable, if sad.

Rivers says she:

conceded the race shortly after 10:30 p.m., saying, "The fight for gun safety, the fight for the right to choose and the fight for the environment is not done, and I'll be back."

Dingell chewed on steel, grunted a lot, and scratched his private parts, while grunting and spitting and slapping backs.

Democracy in action, doing the seniority dance.

Lessons learned? Don't underestimate canny old polls and alliances and interests. Watch out for your own, and make the best deal you can. Luck for the vulnerabilities of the old alliances, and don't accept then unquestionablly, but reanalyse their contemporary strengths and weaknesses, and target those as you can.

Note that in Michigan,as in many places, mostly non-urban, fighting for restrictions on guns is not a winning argument, and stimatizes you in a way that hurts you badly. At the end, the non-news is that it's damned hard to fight a powerful successful incumbent, who has a huge array of tools and support to hit you with. Revelation, eh?

8/07/2002 01:01:00 AM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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