Bald Eagle Picture

2.22.2003

1:42 PM
Still looking for clever anti-anti-war slogans. The easiest way to create one is to take an anti-war slogan and twist it into something more to a pro-warrior's liking. Funny's the best, but bonus points go to slogans including the French.

Sean Hackbarth |

2.21.2003

10:59 PM
I have a question for my MT-using readers: MT has this fascination with titles for posts. If you've read TAM for any significant amount of time, you know my posts are title-less (and I don't mean golf balls). I imported my Blogger Pro posts into MT (here's the import file and here's my test weblog), but the software gives each post a title. Does anyone know of a way around this so my old posts don't have goofy-looking titles? If I can't figure out a solution, I may just have to abandon my attempt to import my Blogger Pro entries into MT. By the way, have I told you how much I just love MT?

Sean Hackbarth |



10:50 PM
Jim Schwab has plenty of links about the Great White club fire.

Sean Hackbarth |



10:35 PM
German Christian Democratic Union leader Angela Merkel sees the need for the war with Iraq. She also wants to retain the post-WWII link between her country and the U.S.

This is a grave matter: Peace is a supreme good, for the sake of which every effort has to be made. But it is also true that responsible political leadership must on no account trade the genuine peace of the future for the deceptive peace of the present. The determination and unity of the free nations will, in the Iraq conflict, have a decisive effect not only on the outcome of the crisis but on the way in which we shape the future of Europe and its relationship with the United States. They will have a decisive effect, too, on how we guarantee peace, freedom and security, and how we find appropriate answers to the new threats of our time. Will it be alone or together, with determination or in despair, with our partners or against them?

I am convinced that Europe and the United States will have to opt for a common security alliance in the future, just as they did in the past. The United States is the only remaining superpower, but even so it will have to rely on dependable partners over the long term. Germany needs its friendship with France, but the benefits of that friendship can be realized only in close association with our old and new European partners, and within the transatlantic alliance with the United States.

"Schroeder Doesn't Speak for All Germans" [via Shark Blog]

Sean Hackbarth |



8:59 PM
The first ever Critiquees have been announced. I'm happy to say that as a reviewer for Blogcritics.org, I got to throw in a vote here and there. Too bad none of my choices won. Bruce Springsteen got too many votes, but The Chemical Brothers did take the fifth spot for best Electronic Album. But do the Critiquees match the world famous TAM Music Awards? I'll let you be the judge (just be nice in the comments).

Sean Hackbarth |



1:34 AM
We pro-war types should be prepared for the next round of anti-war/anti-American protests. I'm not any good at coming up with witty things off the top of my head, so I'll open this up to the vast TAM audience. I want pithy phrases that fit on protest signs. The funnier the better, but it will be hard to top "Except for ending slavery, fascism, Nazism, and Communism, war has never solved anything." Just put your entry into the comments or e-mail me.

Sean Hackbarth |



1:13 AM
War can begin. The troops are in place with or without Turkey. The only thing left is one last try at the U.N. I predict that war will begin with two weeks.

"Anti-Iraq Force Ready; New UN Resolution Possible"

Sean Hackbarth |

2.20.2003

2:22 PM
Martin Sheen cut a commerical where he tells the world, "Don't invade Iraq. Inspections work; war won't." He opposes a war where U.S. interests (national and economic security) are deeply involved, yet his West Wing character orders the invasion of an African nation that appears to be based only on human rights concerns. So, for Sheen it's alright for the U.S. to go to war as long as she doesn't benefit from it.

"Sheen Leads Antiwar Forces"

Sean Hackbarth |



3:22 AM
A pro-war guy joined the San Fran peace march last weekend with a great sign that read, "Saddam Kills his own people. It's none of our business." I wonder if any of the A.N.S.W.E.R. people and their sheep caught the joke?

Sean Hackbarth |



2:57 AM
It looks like the Department of Homeland Security hired the same people who make airplane emergency graphics. [here], [here], [here], [here], and [here]

I'm glad the government is giving citizens some preparedness information, but for me if terrorists decide to hit my little town, I'm toast. No plastic sheeting and duct tape for me. I'll take my chances.

Sean Hackbarth |



2:44 AM
Turkey still hasn't agreed to host the 80,000 troops needed to create a northern front against Baghdad. Here are the key paragraphs from the AP:

Washington had originally offered $4 billion to $15 billion depending on the scope of the war, and has now reportedly raised the offer to a minimum of $7 billion in grants and debt forgiveness with additional money in loans.

When asked whether the U.S. proposal was a "final offer," Fleischer said: "I think that's a pretty good way to describe it."

Turkey's leaders brushed aside the offer.

Turkey's "demands have to be met," Erdogan said. "Only then can we put the authorization on the agenda. These demands are not being met, and Turkey is constantly being expected to make compromises."

Turkey is trying to squeeze as much money out of the U.S. as they can. There in a position to do it, but they could end up with nothing if the U.S. abandons the Turkey plan. Donald Rumsfeld told reporters that war without a Turkish front is "doable...There are work-arounds." This is a very expensive game of chicken.

"U.S., Turkey Fail to Agree on Iraq Plan"

Sean Hackbarth |

2.19.2003

1:55 PM
The Iraqi National Congress is worried about how the U.S. will reconstruct a post-Saddam Iraq. Ahmad Chalabi writes:

As deliverance approaches, we therefore intend to be full participants in shaping the future Iraq. American help is essential--and is welcomed--in winning the fight against Saddam. But the liberation of our country and its reintegration into the world community is ultimately a task that we Iraqis must shoulder.

This is why the proposed U.S. occupation and military administration of Iraq is unworkable and unwise. Unworkable, because it is predicated on keeping Saddam's existing structures of government, administration and security in place--albeit under American officers. It would ultimately leave important decisions about the future of Iraq in the hands of either foreign occupiers or Saddam's officials. Unwise, because it will result in long-term damage to the U.S.-Iraq relationship and America's position in the region and beyond.

The current U.S. plan proposed for Iraq, as outlined by senior officials in congressional testimony and in discussions with the Iraqi opposition, calls for an American military governor to rule Iraq for up to two years. American officers would staff the top three levels of Iraqi government ministries with the rest of the structure remaining the same. The occupation authorities would appoint a "consultative council" of hand-picked Iraqis with non-executive powers and unspecified authority, serving at the pleasure of the American governor. The occupation authorities would also appoint a committee to draft a constitution for Iraq. After an unspecified period, indirect elections would be held for a "constituent assembly" that would vote to ratify the new constitution without a popular referendum.

Now, it's vital that an Iraqi democratic republic is built from the bottom up to best reflect the nature and circumstances of the Iraqi people. Also, an American imposed government would only further the imperial arguments of America's opponents in Islamdom and the world. But in the near term, a post-Saddam Iraq has to be prevented from falling into dissaray or forced again under the thumb of another Saddam. If chaos were to break out or another dictator took over Iraq while ABC weapons were still in existence, then the war would have been a waste. Yet another attack would have to happen.

The goal of a post-Saddam Iraq must be a democratic republic that protects the rights of Iraqis. Such a government will send the very important message to rest of the Middle East that Muslims and Arabs are capable of self-government. Once the ABC weapons are destroyed and Iraq's territorial integrity is stabalized, groups like the INC can forge together the public will needed for a new government.

"Iraq for the Iraqis"

UPDATE: OxBlog comments on the INC and doesn't trust them to build a stable post-Saddam Iraq.

Sean Hackbarth |



12:11 AM
Michael Kelly on last weekend's war protesters:

To march against the war is not to give peace a chance. It is to give tyranny a chance. It is to give the Iraqi nuke a chance. It is to give the next terrorist mass murder a chance. It is to march for the furtherance of evil instead of the vanquishing of evil.

"Protests: Give Tyranny a Chance"

Sean Hackbarth |

2.18.2003

11:42 PM
Jacques Chirac might be cracking. Getting told off by Italy's Silvio Berlusconi, then hearing Tony Blair make it plain, "There is no intelligence agency of any government around this table that does not know that the government of Iraq has weapons of mass destruction" doesn't help in building a united Europe in opposition to the U.S.

"Chirac Finding Pro-US Stances Hard to Stomach"

UPDATE: Tony Blankley gets into Chirac's blackmailing of Eastern European countries that signed letters backing the U.S. "If France doesn't want to do business with the Eastern Europeans, we should invite them to join our free trade union. It would be an honor for us to trade freely with people who know the value of freedom."

I'd sign them up anyway.

"France the Bully"

Sean Hackbarth |



3:13 PM
So, Arkansas can pump enough drugs into a man to make him sane just so they can kill him off. A dissenting judge used the words of Justice Thurgood Marshall by calling such an act "the barbarity of exacting mindless vengeance."

"State Can Make Inmate Sane Enough to Execute"

Sean Hackbarth |



3:41 AM
Occasionally I read fiction. Usually it has to be something unique in its premise, but there are always exceptions. I recently finished William Gibson's Pattern Recognition. Unlike his famous Neuromancer, PR is set in the here-and-now. September 11 has happened. Cayce Pollard, the protagonist, lost her father that day in that very city, but no body was ever found. She works as a freelance coolhunter who's allergic to logos.

The story revolves round finding the creator of video clips that has achieved cult status on the Internet. An ad exec considers this "footage" to be the greatest marketing idea of the young 21st Century and hires Cayce to find the maker.

Her hunt takes her from London, to Tokyo, back to London, then to Russia. Gibson paces the story well. If he wanted to he could get bogged down in the intricacies of steganography, viral marketing, or signal intelligence. He doesn't. Instead, we follow Cayce running into interesting characters who's lives all revolve around late 20th. Century technology.

There are references to old calculators and old computers, and there's the Net itself playing a supporting role without any lines. The global linking of computers, digital devices, and minds allows the story to even exist. The footage first appeared on the Net. That's where obsessive fans analyze every pixel on message boards. We read Cayce's e-mails to friends, business partners, and her mother.

PR isn't an action-filled novel. There is a small fight and chase through Tokyo. What drives the story is the intrigue: who's really working for who? what are someone's motives? what is the purpose of the footage?

These questions do get answered. What Gibson also addresses is the role of Media in our lives. It permeates our every waking moment, whether we know it or know. We're not just passive, only consuming, we also produce media by how we communicate with others to how we wear our clothes. The constant questioning of the Man/Media relationship threads itself throughout.

A problem with Gibson's books are they get dated quickly. Neuromancer founded the cyberpunk genre, but I laugh reading his guess of a vast global network far into the future (we're already there). The same thing will happened with PR. There are just too many references that fit perfectly in 2003, but will get stale in a few years (characters "Google" each other). Fun, yes, but not timeless.

"Gibson Looks to the Future"

Ian Kaplan's review

Sean Hackbarth |



2:47 AM
The Nation's publisher, Victor "Alger Hiss is innocent" Navasky thinks Fox News Channel bought an ad in his magazine as a publicity stunt. It got attention, but it also ticked off a bunch of readers.

"A Fox News Ad Roils Some Readers of The Nation"

Sean Hackbarth |



12:21 AM
I'm not winning.

All I want to do is start over from the beginning, but could MT either have an uninstall feature or some documentation to quickly do that? No. And then there are the geeks with attitude at the MT "support" (found little) forums.

Before MT lauds the world with a new update filled with whiz-bang new features I have no idea what they're for they have to make the installation and importing method easier. Whether it requires better documentation or better software (I want the latter--make it more automatic), it makes little difference to me. Also, they must put in a "select all" feature to be able to select lots (even 1800+) of entries instead of having to click on check boxes over and over and over...

Even if I get MT working, I may never recommend it to someone. This has been, by far, the worst comptuer experience of my life, and it's still not over. The Google-Blogger monolith is looking better and better every time I play around with MT.

Sean Hackbarth |

2.17.2003

1:31 PM
Jonathan Gewirtz uses Google more than online tech support to fix his computer problems. He thinks this is a good thing. It may be, but it might encourage software companies no offer even less documentation and support. Instead, they'll rely on users to do the work they should be doing. [via InstaPundit]

Sean Hackbarth |



1:16 PM
During the Spanish Civil War, anarchists used modern art to torture prisoners. I knew some of that stuff was bad, but that bad?

"Anarchist Cells"

Sean Hackbarth |



12:39 PM
Reuters has a story on the Google's purchase of Blogger. It's one of the rare big media stories on weblogging that doesn't mention Glenn Reynolds. But the story mentions an Ariana Huffington weblog, but I haven't found it.

"Google Buys Popular Web Publishing Tool"

Sean Hackbarth |



1:30 AM
NATO is finally supporting its ally, Turkey. It required going to a committee that didn't include the French.

"Europe Struggles to Close Rift Over Iraq"

Sean Hackbarth |



1:08 AM
Kevin's done some serious remodeling of Reductio Ad Absurdum. It looks really nice, but just you wait until the new TAM revamping (assuming I don't buy Google to buy Movable Type so I can get some engineers to get it to work for me).

Warning: if you hear screams today that sound like they're coming from the general direction of Wisconsin, that's me losing in my battle with MT. May the force be with me.

Sean Hackbarth |

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When I'm not pondering the fate of the universe, I'm reading, writing, or selling books. Here you'll find comments on politics, culture, books, and music. Not necessarily in that order.

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