Bald Eagle Picture

3.1.2003

2:17 PM
The Turkish front was on, then off, then on, now off again. Bulent Arinc, the Turkish parliment speaker, has a lot of power to be able to void a vote. Imagine Dennis Hastert (or even Newt Gingrich) with such power. The Turks are in a dilemma: either they can accept U.S. troops and billions in aid or reject both. Either way the war is going to happen despite Turkish public opposition. The Turks can get something positive out of it or end up with a potential crisis on their southern boarder with no U.S. aid.

What the speaker's act does is push back the war a few more days. Even if the parliment vote wasn't voided, it would have taken a few weeks for U.S. troops to be in place. I'm guessing war will happen in late March/early April barring some other obstacle.

"Turkish Parliament Nullifies Vote on U.S. Deployment"

Sean Hackbarth |

2.28.2003

12:30 PM
Daniel Libeskind's design for Ground Zero is the winner. It beat out THINK's strange scaffold gardens that reminds one of the fallen towers but without a soul. That's not to say I'm real hot on Libeskind's design. The spire rising over the ruins is a positive American idea, but does it have to be filled with gardens? What's wrong with making the tallest structure a place of commerce? One of the reasons the twin towers were targets is because they were symbols of America's economic nce. Libeskind's spire implies that there's something wrong placing a vibrant economy on a pedestal.

"New Phase Starts to Rebuild Ground Zero"

Sean Hackbarth |



1:00 AM
Frazier Moore has a positive personal experience with Fred Rogers. The same can't be said for a friend of mine.

Years ago, this friend--I'll call him Sam--worked at a record store in Manhattan. It was one of the largest record stores in New York City, maybe even in the country. They had lots and lots of records--the old vinyl kind. One day a man came up to Sam and asked him where the Fred Rogers records were. Sam went to the section and began digging around. No Fred Rogers records to be found. Sam told the man and suddenly the man burst out shouting, "God damn it! I want to see your manager now!"

Sam went to the manager's office and got him. After being informed of the situation, the manager said to the man, "Yes, Mr. Rogers, I take care of this myself. I'll order more records immediately."

Even Mr. Rogers can have a bad day.

"Fred Rogers Was The Same On and Off Air"

Sean Hackbarth |

2.27.2003

2:10 PM
I grew up with Mr. Rogers. His gentleness soothed me after watching the more energetic Sesame Street. The world's lost a gentle man with a big heart. Godspeed Fred.

"'Mister Rogers' Dies of Cancer at 74"

Sean Hackbarth |



2:06 PM
Since we're down to yellow alert, what should I do with all the duct tape and plastic sheeting I bought?

"U.S. Lowers Terror Alert Level to Yellow"

Sean Hackbarth |

2.26.2003

2:16 PM
Noah Shachtman defends his Los Alamos security (or lack thereof) piece with e-mail comments and a link about a special forces mock attack that stole a wheelbarrow-full of nuclear material.

Two thoughts on Shachtman's break-in:

  1. Based on comments from other people who have been at Los Alamos, I'm not as worried as Noah. Unless he took pictures of classified stuff or stole something, the lab's security wasn't breeched. It may be vulnerable, but Shachtman's story doesn't demonstrate that for me.

  2. The special forces attack happened in 1997. Another successful mock attack took place in 2000. Has security been improved since then? We don't know, and a reporter jumping over some barbed wire and sneaking around abandoned buildings doesn't prove there is a problem. This is gotcha journalism.


Sean Hackbarth |

2.25.2003

10:50 PM
Saddam's offer to debate President Bush is 11-year-old recycled pap, and CBS gobbled it up with glee.

"CBS's Rerun Publicity Gimmick: Saddam Floated Debate Idea in '90"

Sean Hackbarth |



9:47 PM
HUMOR: Scott Ott hits a home run with this one. It's the best thing Blix has done.

"Blix Orders Iraq to Destroy Human Shields"

Sean Hackbarth |



9:12 PM
ROUND 2

More feeling out between the U.S. and France. France's U.N. Ambassador Jean-Marc de La Sabliere met with the 10 non-permanent security council members. The U.S.'s John Negroponte came back from talks in Russia. The U.S. ambassador to France did hand out a solid shot to the gut by saying a French veto would be "very unfriendly."

Then suddenly out of no where, Canada comes out with its compromise resolution. They want Iraq to meet a list of benchmarks by the end of March. The U.S. just brushes the idea aside. President Bush reiterates that he doesn't need another resolution to go to war.

On the French plan for months of continued inspections, Condi Rice jabbed the French by calling the plan, "worst of both worlds."

No haymakers are being thrown. Both sides know the seriousness of their actions. An early misstep could mean quick victory for their opponent. The U.S. and U.K. plan for a final knock-out punch in two weeks; but in a world moving at Internet time, anything could happen.

The U.S.'s next challenger, Iraq, is trying to win public sympathy by trickeling out weapons information to U.N. inspectors.

To Be Continued...

"U.S. Warns France in Struggle Over Iraq" [via Blaster's Blog]

"Blix Says Iraq Signaling Real Cooperation"

"Bush Says Only Full Iraqi Disarmament Will Avert War"

Sean Hackbarth |



7:46 PM
Cyanide was sent to a foreign embassy in New Zealand in opposition to the war with Iraq. I'm waiting for the anti-war movement to denouce this terrorist attack. I won't be holding my breath.

"Iraq-Related Cyanide Threatens America's Cup Finals"

Sean Hackbarth |



7:31 PM
As an introvert, I completely agree with Jonathan Rauch:

The only thing a true introvert dislikes more than talking about himself is repeating himself.

Put me in front of a computer screen and I'll babble until the early morning sun. But put me in a bar with friends and I have the tendency to clam up. Of course, put a few drinks in me and all bets are off.

"Caring for Your Introvert" [via Reflections in D minor]

Sean Hackbarth |



7:22 PM
Hey, bin Laden and Saddam,

If any of your agents haven't been into Los Alamos yet, the security's pretty lax. The guards at the main gate are unarmed, and there are places where only some barbed wire is the only thing between the lab and the rest of the world.

Hello, Mr. Ridge, we have a problem. Since one of your agency's missions is to "Reduce America's vulnerability to terrorism," you've got some serious work to do in New Mexico.

"Nuke Lab Can't Keep Snoops Out"

UPDATE: There's more to Los Alamos' security than meets one reporter's eyes. A local writes, "I can assure Mr.
Shachtman that any area the lab truly regards as sensitive, he will not be able to get in."

Replies to Noah Shachtman's "How I Snuck Into Los Alamos"

Sean Hackbarth |



6:29 PM
Fellow warmongers, sign on the bottom line.

I believe that it is the just right -- and sovereign duty -- of the United States to prosecute terrorists aggressors and their state sponsors around the world. I believe that Patriot Americans should register support for our Commander-in-Chief and our military forces standing in harm's way in defense of our liberty. While military action must, necessarily, be a last resort, I support preemptive war when faced with a clear and present danger to the security of our country, our heritage of liberty, our communities, our families and our posterity. In the case of Iraq, I recognize that this is not a new war -- it is the prosecution of a dangerous but necessary war front in our nation's ongoing offensive against terrorist aggressors and their state sponsors around the world. I support our President and armed forces in their effort to enforce "regime change" in Iraq, to eliminate the serious threat posed by Saddam's weapons of mass destruction, and to liberate the Iraqi people. I reject the rhetoric of anti-American celebrity, academic and political opportunists, whose real objective is to tear down all that is good and right with America.

Let it be said that, when our President and Congress declared war on terrorism in defense of our nation, American Patriots responded with overwhelming support.


Sean Hackbarth |



3:12 AM
Ladies and gentleman! Today, we have for the world's entertainment, 12 rounds of diplomatic boxing.

In the red, white, and blue corner is the once great power and ocean-spanning imperialist, now multilateral-obsessive. Weighing in at 60 million people, 9% unemployment, and a vicious security council veto. The masters of wine, cheese, and surrendering...France! France!

In the star-spangled corner is the world's remaining superpower (hyperpower to the French). Weighing in at 280 million people, 5.7% unemployment, and the most powerful military in world history. The land of the free and the home of the brave...the United States of America! (Hometown NYC crowd chants, "U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!")

After months of trash talking where the French called the U.S. reckless cowboys, and the U.S. called the French "cheese-eating surrender monkeys" and "weasels" it's come to this confrontation in the U.N. Security Council. The stakes are high but paradoxical. Should France stand firm and resist the body blows of a United States intent on ridding the world of Saddam Hussein it will show the world it can withstand the world's most powerful nation. But by doing so, France severely weakens the legitimacy of the security council and loses future influence in international crises. Should the U.S. bob and weave past France's veto, its war with Iraq will have international backing, but popular opposition worldwide could explode.

ROUND 1

France comes out with its resolution calling for more inspectors with months of more time to run around the Iraqi desert. At the same time, the U.S. comes out with its own resolution declaring, "Iraq has failed to take the final opportunity afforded to it." Both sides are feeling out one another. U.S. trainer/Secretary of State Colin Powell is trying his best to convince countries like Mexico and Cameroon that the U.N. must take a strong stand. While Powell persuades, U.S. manager/President George W. Bush warns that the U.S. will go to war with or without the U.N. Strong words for a man many thought to be a foreign policy lightweight. France's Jacques Chirac rejects the need for such tough rhetoric. Instead, he wants extended timetables so Iraq can peacefully disarm. He hopes he can prevent war, weaken the U.S., and keep his dream of a Franco-dominant EU from fading away.

And while this fight is taking place, Iraqi challenger, Saddam Hussein told Dan Rather that he wouldn't destroy his illegal missiles, and he wants a pre-fight debate. At the same time, he prepares for his mother of all matches. U.S.A. fans hope this bout ends more conclusively then their previous fight in 1991.

To Be Continued...

"U.N. Readies for Heated Debate on Iraq"

"U.S.: Iraq Failed Last Chance"

Sean Hackbarth |

2.24.2003

4:26 PM
Well, I'm off to watch the new-look, Gary Payton Milwaukee Bucks. I'll post later tonight. It will probably be a screed on the new U.S./U.K. U.N. resolution. I'll also bite my lip and mess around with MT some more.

One last thing: here's my last call for anti-anti-war slogans. No one has offered anything. Here's your last chance.

UPDATE: The Bucks lost because they couldn't stop Kevin Garnett.

"Steam Shipwreck"

Sean Hackbarth |



4:21 PM
Orin Kerr thinks that the music business will want a Norah Jones effect of their own. So, they'll "start to put their money into pleasing older listeners who might actually buy music, and who also tend to have more sophisticated tastes. Ergo, more sophisticated artists will be signed to the major record labels, and we listeners will get more sophisticated music to enjoy." Since older listeners "don't know how to download" music, the plan will boost music sales.

That's a short-term solution until the Napster generation gets old and music downloading becomes so easy, my grandmother could do it.

Sean Hackbarth |

ABOUT
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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