[star]The American Mind[star]

September 28, 2001

Washington politicians and free-spending liberals

Washington politicians and free-spending liberals may hate the thought, but I love the fact that less money is coming into the federal government. Reduced tax revenue combined with much needed defense spending may force the government to act more inline with its own constitution.

"Tax Receipts Show Decline for First Time in 18 Years"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 02:54 AM | Comments (0)

They say laughter is the

They say laughter is the best medicine. Well, The Onion is doing it's part with stories like "Hijackers Surprised to Find Selves in Hell." Then there is "American Life Turns into Bad Jerry Bruckheimer Movie." Just reading it straight gives a great sense of the power pop culture has on American lives.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:44 AM | Comments (0)

September 27, 2001

Yesterday, one George got fired,

Yesterday, one George got fired, while another one should have. The 9.11 attacks were the greatest intelligence failure in U.S. history. But President Bush still has "a lot of confidence" in CIA Director George Tennet. Bush may have faith in Tennet, but I don't. He should have been fired as soon as the fires were put out at the Pentagon. The blame game is looking a little like Waco: everybody says they're sorry it happened, but everybody keeps their jobs. I'm on Sen. Shelby's (R-AL) side when he says, "We need a rapid response. And, I'm afraid that the calcified bureaucracies of our national security institutions are not capable of rapid change." The Agency needs a shaking up.

"Bush Confident in Tennet"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 02:11 PM | Comments (0)

It's embarassing for Reagan National

It's embarassing for Reagan National Airport to still be closed with no idea when it will reopen. If there's a danger, at the very least, officials should say so. There are thousands of people in limbo who depend on that airport. Such uncertainty isn't doing them any good.

"Congress Set to Reopen Reagan Airport" [via Drudge]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 02:02 PM | Comments (0)

September 26, 2001

A war on global terrorism

A war on global terrorism is impractical. There are so many groups out there and only one or a handful took part on the 9.11 attacks. An open-ended quest to rid the world of terrorism would be a bigger failure than the War on Drugs. Terrorists would still exist and would attempt counterstrikes.

The U.S. response must be focused on the groups behind the recent attacks, the nations that harbored or supported them, and any terror groups or nations that pose a direct, immediate threat to national security. Much of this will be done through covert operations, but the occasional blatant military strike will be called for (think Libya).

To address Mike's question: the U.S. may be coordinating with Britain, but the U.S. shouldn't go after the IRA unless they took part in the attacks.

"A War, Not a Crusade"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 05:40 PM | Comments (0)

This was Rachael Anne Fajardo's

This was Rachael Anne Fajardo's first thought after glimpsing the first pictures of the attacks on 9.11:


Now everyone will have to realize how evil our government is, and this will be a great leap for liberty.

This just goes to prove that wacko thinking is still wacko thinking even if it comes from the anarcho-right. Add Ms. Fajardo to the Blame America crowd.

"Through the Eyes of a Child" [via ETWOF]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 03:11 AM | Comments (0)

UPDATE: Phil Zimmerman was upset

UPDATE:

Phil Zimmerman was upset over the loss of life from the attacks on 9.11, not because he developed technology that could have helped the terrorists keep their plans hidden. Zimmerman writes on Slashdot, "Read my lips: I have no regrets about developing PGP."

Zimmerman shouldn't be looked at as a villian in anyway. What he did was valuable to freedom lovers world-wide. He allowed any computer user access to powerful encryption. That's a good thing, not a bad thing.

"No Regrets About Developing PGP" [via InstaPundit]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 02:45 AM | Comments (0)

Simply beautiful. "What Is An

Simply beautiful.

"What Is An American?" [via Reductio]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 02:24 AM | Comments (0)

If NASA can build a

If NASA can build a satellite that can catch a comet millions of miles away, we can certainly build a missile defense shield. Unproven technology: I don't think so after the journey of Deep Space 1.

"NASA Probe 1, Comet 0"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 02:02 AM | Comments (0)

September 25, 2001

The fight over school vouchers

The fight over school vouchers will come to a head next year. The Supreme Court will hear arguments over the constitutionality of Cleveland's voucher program.

Voucher opponents should actually hope the Supreme Court allows vouchers. If vouchers are thrown out, parents will still search for ways to get their kids out of failing public schools. Homeschooling will rapidly grow, and there will be serious talk of removing government from education, which isn't a bad idea.

"Supreme Court to Decide School Voucher Issue"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 12:37 PM | Comments (0)

September 24, 2001

Bill Clinton wasn't as close

Bill Clinton wasn't as close to taking out bin Laden as he now thinks. The man in charge of the opperation, Gen. Anthony Zinni didn't even think they would kill him.

"Another Clinton Tale?"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 02:02 PM | Comments (0)

September 23, 2001

George Reisman demonstrates that free-market

George Reisman demonstrates that free-market advocates can offer sensible solutions to these trying times. Instead of taking a knee-jerk neo-isolationist approach to dealing with world terrorism, Reisman aims for the source of Islamic terrorist funding: OPEC oil. A free market in energy production would reduce dependence on OPEC oil. That would lower the price of oil and reduce the money available to fund terrorism.

"Free Markets Would Be OPEC's Undoing"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 04:49 PM | Comments (0)

What a great Sunday. The

What a great Sunday. The NFL is back, there were stirring displays of patriotism, and the Vikings lost.

"Chicago 17, Minnesota 10"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 04:38 PM | Comments (0)

T-minus 6 and counting. "Bonds

T-minus 6 and counting.

"Bonds Hits 65th Homer"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 04:34 PM | Comments (0)

British news reports that British

British news reports that British SAS officers have already engaged elements of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

"First Salvos Fired In War"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:37 AM | Comments (0)

If it wasn't for the

If it wasn't for the September 11 attacks, Andrea Yates would be America's biggest story. The mother who killed her five children was found competent to stand trial.

The angle that interests me is if she's found guilty, should she be put to death. The crimes took place in Texas, so the death penalty is virtually assured. But should it be? After seeing the carnage of 9.11, many anti-death penalty advocates are all gung-ho about going to war and seeking retribution. How does that differ from "seeking justice" by killing Andrea Yates? I'm still opposed to the death penalty, but that view must be reconciled with my hawkish stance internationally.

"Jurors: Texas Mom Competent for Trial" [via Drudge]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:31 AM | Comments (0)

September 21, 2001

Did scientists working on the

Did scientists working on the Manhattan Project feel the same guilt as Phil Zimmermann after the bombs were dropped on Japan?

Encryption use by terrorists goes to show that technology has a double edge. It can be used both for good and evil. Encryption--like knowledge about atomic fission, like guns--is just a tool, a means to allow people to achieve their goals. Good people can use it to resist oppression, while evil people can use it to pass on their plans of destruction.

The encryption cat is already out of the bag so laws to restrict its use will be useless against future terrorist attacks. Like gun-control laws, only law-abiding people will obey. What's needed is a re-evaluation of how the U.S. government collects and analyzes intelligence. Something went seriously wrong for such a well-exectued attacks to occur without any warning. I have a hunch that much of the information that would have tipped off authorities to the attacks are sitting on some hard drive in Langley. But because of a poor allocation of resources it was not examined. An overhaul of our current intelligence system must occur before any mention of limiting civil liberites is breathed.

"To Attacks' Toll Add a Programmer's Grief" [via Politech]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 06:10 PM | Comments (0)

The first battle of the

The first battle of the war took place in the skies over Pennsylvania.

"Passengers Likely Halted Attack on D.C." [via The Scene]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 04:43 PM | Comments (0)

September 20, 2001

To the heros of United

To the heros of United Flight 93.

UnitedHeroes

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 02:08 PM | Comments (0)

September 19, 2001

Wisdom and history do not

Wisdom and history do not suggest a full-scale invasion of Afghanistan. Just to defend an airfield inside the country would take 20,000 troops. Then there's the complete lack of any human intelligence. Ahmed Rashid reports on a possible military strategy using bases in Pakistan.

U.S. troops might also use a base in Tajikistan. Stratfor.com sees Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan as possible Central Asian partners. Turkmenistan is crucial so planes from Turkey can penetrate Afghanistan.

"US 'Lacks Knowledge to Launch Land War'"

"Frontier Bases Deal Moves One Step Closer"

"Central Asia: Backdoor to Afghanistan"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:12 AM | Comments (0)

September 18, 2001

Richard Dawkins may be one

Richard Dawkins may be one of the smartest people on Earth, but he's insulted all people of faith by naming Religion as the prime weapon that struck the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon.

This is some of the evolutionary vitrol Dawkins spewed on Man's quest for the transcendent:


As luck would have it, we have just the thing to hand: a ready-made system of mind-control which has been honed over centuries, handed down through generations. Millions of people have been brought up in it. It is called religion....

What Dawkins is doing is just attacking Religion to preserve his own worldview. Dawkins is an atheist and an evolutionist. Any possibility that truth revealed through Religion is an assult on his worldview. This article is as insulting and "insensitive" as Jerry Fallwell's remarks, but you can bet they will receive little condemnation.

"Religion's Misguided Missiles" [via Arts & Letters]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 10:01 PM | Comments (0)

Either Italy's Defense Minister Antonio

Either Italy's Defense Minister Antonio Martino was misquoted or he had a change of heart. Whatever the reason, Martin Sieff reports that he (and Italy's armed forces) are squarely behind the U.S.

"Italy Backs U.S."

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 09:44 PM | Comments (0)

Rich Lowry is already cheerleading

Rich Lowry is already cheerleading for the cause. He (rightly) worries that pundits and the American people will be dismayed at the obstacles against destroying Osama bin Laden and anyone who stands in our way.


So, let's remember.

We breached the Atlantic wall in 1944: Osama bin Laden is a dead man.

We--thirty years ago!--put a man on the moon: Osama bin Laden is a dead man.

We vanquished Saddam's army in a 100-hour ground war: Osama bin Laden is a dead man.

"It?s Not Hard"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 09:29 PM | Comments (0)

Sam Dealey sees some real

Sam Dealey sees some real inadequacy with the FAA's new security measures:


So far the likely effect seems to be longer waiting lines, increased flight delays, and the banning of knives at airport restaurants - it's forks and spoons only, now. What's more, the procedures still don't work. Last Thursday three Northwest Airlines employees deliberately walked through security at the Phoenix airport with a pocketknife and a corkscrew. That a corkscrew has now been deemed a weapon gives one a sense of the impossibility of this approach. After all, if a corkscrew is a weapon, then conceivably one could hijack a plane with a fork.

In a related note Midwest Express is looking at changing their meal offerings, possibly moving towards more finger food. The gormet meals Midwest Express was famed for may be dumped for chicken fingers and egg rolls. Just so no one has the slightest possiblity of having a knife on a plane. Forget overreactions in schools, the new zero tolerance policy overkill will be in airports and on airplanes.

"How Not to Fix Airport Security"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 12:18 AM | Comments (0)

September 17, 2001

It amazes me that people

It amazes me that people from other countries can put the Idea of America so much better than many of her own citizens.

"The Idea of America Still Lives"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:42 PM | Comments (0)

Real-world thought from an ex-spook.

Real-world thought from an ex-spook. I especially agree with Gallagher when he writes, "I ask you to resist efforts to 'Do something, anything, NOW' and to speak out when you hear this type of rhetoric."

"Musings of a Former Spook"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:35 PM | Comments (0)

It looks like the next

It looks like the next battle of the war will be along the Pakistan/Afghanistan border.

"Taliban Bring Scud Missiles Near Pakistan Border" [via Drudge]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:29 PM | Comments (0)

I know this sounds really

I know this sounds really cliche, but Tuesday's attacks are a true coming-of-age event for children. I remember watching the Challenger explosion in school years ago, but this is so much more impelling. What happened Tuesday wasn't an accident. It was diliberate and evil. But if 13-year-old Natalie James' words are any indication, her generation can learn from this disaster. Too bad so many had to perish for this lesson.

"Teen Learns Patriotism From Terrorist Attack"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 12:03 AM | Comments (1)

September 16, 2001

One result of Tuesday attack

One result of Tuesday attack is the run on Nostradamus books. I'm sick of telling customers that we ran out of tomes filled with his vague prophecies. It's disappointing to know that some people try to deal with reality by running to mysticism. These people need to accept the fact that evil does exist. Evil people planned out a brutal assault that killed thousands. Tuesday wasn't the fulfillment of a Middle Ages seer. It was the fulfillment of people who hate America, Americans, and what we stand for.

God gave us free will. People act. Regardless of the awful words said and written by some on both the Right and Left the U.S. did not have this attack coming to her. Existence isn't some preconceived plan that can be glimpse beforehand. Instead, it's the result of actions of billions of people. The future isn't inevitable. It isn't preordained. It really is what we make of it.

"Did Nostradamus Predict Attacks?" [via Arts & Letters]

"Death, Downtown"

"God Gave U.S. 'What We Deserve,' Falwell Says"

"When Will We Learn?"

"Terror: The Price of Hegemony"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:27 PM | Comments (0)

I've added the banner on

I've added the banner on top of the page so you can donate funds for the victims of the September 11 Massacre.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 10:39 PM | Comments (0)

While a Florida company can't

While a Florida company can't handle employee patriotism, my boss is looking for a big flag to hang prominently in the store.

"NCCI Pulls Workers' Flags" [via Drudge]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 08:53 PM | Comments (0)

President Bush or Collin Powell

President Bush or Collin Powell should phone the Prime Minister of Italy to make sure they'll hold up their end of the NATO treaty. Or is this minister just hoping his country can free-ride off of the U.S.'s campaign against terrorism?

"Italian Defence Minister Rules out Italian Troop Role" [via Drudge]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 08:42 PM | Comments (1)

It's not just the sheer

It's not just the sheer horror of seeing an attack on your nation live on television that rips a hole in your soul. It's finding out you're only a few degrees of separation from someone who was turned into a human missile that shocks you.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 08:35 PM | Comments (0)

September 14, 2001

While the military hunts down

While the military hunts down and destroys the bad guys, we citizens at home must remain vilgilent over threats to our personal liberties.

"Fellow Americans"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 08:13 PM | Comments (0)

Jerry Taylor & Peter VanDoren

Jerry Taylor & Peter VanDoren explain why gas prices went up in some areas after Tuesday's attacks. Politicians and pundits should read up on their basic economics before prosecuting people for price gouging.

"Panic at the Pump"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 06:20 PM | Comments (0)

Rep. Bob Barr (R-GA) has

Rep. Bob Barr (R-GA) has introduced a Declaration of War against "Any entity that committed the acts of international terrorism against the United States on September 11, 2001, or commits acts of international terrorism against the United States thereafter."

This declaration must be passed to show American citizens and the world that the U.S. is committed to defeating those who threaten the lives, liberty, and property of the United States.

"Declaration of War Proposed"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 05:10 PM | Comments (0)

Europe mourns with us. That's

Europe mourns with us. That's wonderful, but will they stand by us when the counter-attacks begin and the body count grows?

"Arrests Reported As Europe Mourns Terrorism Victims"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 05:03 PM | Comments (0)

Rudy Gulliani: Time's Man of

Rudy Gulliani: Time's Man of the Year?

"Giuliani's Finest Hour"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 05:00 PM | Comments (2)

Unfortunately, civil liberties are threatened

Unfortunately, civil liberties are threatened by an over-reaction to the attacks. I hope the House of Representatives can take the time needed to thoughtfully look over the bill the "World's Most Deliberative Body" passed. Americans should not be considered guilty-until-proven-innocent cyber-terrorists.

"Senate OKs FBI Net Spying"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 04:57 PM | Comments (0)

How serious is the U.S.

How serious is the U.S. government in letting loose the hounds of war? Here's a quote from Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz:


It's not just simply a matter of capturing people and holding them accountable, but removing the sanctuaries, removing the support systems, ending states who sponsor terrorism.

Notice the mention of "ending states." Serious talk is being used for serious action. Pin-prick cruise missile attacks on asprin factories? I think not.

"Pax Americana"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 04:45 PM | Comments (0)

President Bush looks beyond our

President Bush looks beyond our small blue marble in this vast universe to comfort a nation:


On this national day of prayer and remembrance, we ask almighty God to watch over our nation, and grant us patience and resolve in all that is to come. We pray that He will comfort and console those who now walk in sorrow. We thank Him for each life we now must mourn, and the promise of a life to come.

"President's Remarks at National Day of Prayer and Remembrance"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 04:31 PM | Comments (0)

The AP reports that those

The AP reports that those detained last night at New York airports were not connected with Tuesday's attacks.

"U.S. Releases Names of Hijackers"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:47 PM | Comments (0)

Today is a national day

Today is a national day of prayer and rememberance. Even if you're agnostic or atheist, please offer some time for comtemplation and thought for the victims of the September 11 Massacres.

National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for the Victims Of the Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 02:39 AM | Comments (0)

Regardless of this latest attempt

Regardless of this latest attempt to attack the United States, we must remain defiant to any threat to our civilization.

"5 Arrested Trying to Board Plane"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 02:30 AM | Comments (0)

Stratfor.com is providing some of

Stratfor.com is providing some of the best, most well-thought out analysis I've read so far. Here's an obvious observation that hasn't been offered by any talking head I've listen to:


In an operation of this sort, the probability of detection is always high. There are too many people, too many actions required, too many possibilities for error. These operatives did not commit any detectable errors. They were very good. Simply consider that they were skilled enough with the use of cutting devices like box knives to intimidate plane-loads of people.

The attackers' level of secrecy is incredible. However, I do think that with enough money an ordinary citizen like myself could have organized a similar attack. The tools were simple. These people only needed knives and dedicated people to carry out the attack.

"The Sophistication of the Attackers" [via Jason]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 02:04 AM | Comments (0)

September 13, 2001

CNN is reporting more on

CNN is reporting more on United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania. Thomas Burnett, Jr. and Jeremy Glick are heroes. How many lives they saved by sacrificing their own, we will never know. R.I.P.

"Passengers Voted to Attack Hijackers"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 12:49 AM | Comments (0)

Stratfor.com doesn't think the U.S.

Stratfor.com doesn't think the U.S. could win a conventional war if it is found that Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, or any combination of states helped in some way with Tuesday's attacks. They advocate the "Israeli Model" where covert operations across the globe destroy the organization behind the attacks.

I disagree with the notion that the U.S. could not win a war with any nation harboring terrorists. Unless it's found that Russia had something to do with the attacks, there's no potential nuclear threat. The U.S. and its allies do have the economic and technological base to offer enough military force. The question would be whether there would be enough political support for a potentially bloody war.

A problem with the Israeli Model is that it would be invisible to the American public. There wouldn't be 24/7 news coverage over an assasination here, a bombing there, a plane crash over there. There is strong public anger. People want to see a response.

More information about who was behind the attacks is needed to figure out the best form of counter-attack. If it turns out that our foes can't be defeated by conventional means, then other options will be necessary. However it's done, those people and organizations behind these attacks must be destroyed. Nothing less will be adequate.

"Attacks on U.S.: Redefining the Response"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 12:24 AM | Comments (0)

September 12, 2001

Virginia Postrel offers this very

Virginia Postrel offers this very interesting bit of insight:


After yesterday, you will no longer be able to hijack a plane with a knife. You may not even be able to hijack a plane with a gun. In fact, you may not be able to hijack a plane at all. The incentives have completely changed. Now resistance could save thousands of lives.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 07:22 PM | Comments (0)

Eric Raymond (of The Cathedral

Eric Raymond (of The Cathedral and the Bazaar fame) points out the failure of current anti-terrorist measures and looks to a "policy of a distributed response to a distributed threat." Laws and regulations that limit our liberties are not the answer to prevent future attacks. Improved human intelligence without feel-good restrictions along with swift military retribution are part of a solution.

"ESR: Decentralism Against Terrorism -- First Lessons from the 9/11 Attack"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 07:04 PM | Comments (0)

How about a Die Hard

How about a Die Hard twist to the WTC attacks? There might be over $1 billion in gold burried underneath what's left of the towers. With the series of events looking so much like a movie, would anyone be surprised to discover the gold missing?

"Gold Depositories Buried Beneath Trade Center Rubble"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 06:34 PM | Comments (0)

No request from President Bush

No request from President Bush for a Declaration of War. I'm hoping it's because officials want to be sure they know who was behind the attacks, rather than a lack of will.

"Bush Requests Emergency Funding, Not War Declaration"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 06:22 PM | Comments (0)

How many lives were saved

How many lives were saved because passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 challenged the terrorists? Horrible events are the font of heroism.

"Passengers' Actions May Have Helped Curb Tragedy"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 05:08 PM | Comments (0)

What happened to Jish is

What happened to Jish is absolutely unacceptable. Just because someone looks a certain way it doesn't mean they harbor ill will or violent feelings. People must be treated as individuals. Such blatant ignorance is intolerable.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 05:01 PM | Comments (0)

A NASA satellite saw the

A NASA satellite saw the smoke trail from ground zero in Lower Manhattan.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 04:53 PM | Comments (0)

This intro from the San

This intro from the San Jose Mercury News:

The twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York were designed decades ago to withstand the impact of a 707 jetliner.

But when just such a disaster struck Tuesday, it was not the impact that brought the 110-story buildings down. Rather, it was a pair of infernos fed by tons of jet fuel that weakened steel supports and caused floors to pancake into rubble.

``Steel structures usually do not disintegrate due to impact. They are very resilient,'' said Abolhassan Astaneh, a professor of structural engineering at the University of California-Berkeley. ``But they are vulnerable to fire.''

Structural engineer Darell Lawver said, "The terrorists were very smart. All the hijacked planes were going coast to coast, and they were full of fuel. That was the primary weapon.''

"Fuel-fed Inferno, not Impact, May Have Toppled Towers"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:22 AM | Comments (0)

September 11, 2001

Evil's shadow fell upon the

Evil's shadow fell upon the United States today. Even now, a cloud of death covers the ruins of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

The survivors from the WTC looked like ghosts. Their skin and clothes were covered with grey-white ash. Their mouths gaped open gasping for air. They were moaning spirits with very disturbed souls.

Colin Powell said, "A terrible, terrible tragedy has befallen my nation."

Newt Gingrich called these attacks a "21th Century Pearl Harbor." It's haunting that the spirit of that 1941 attack comes only a few months after a horrendous movie on it came out.

After watching the television clips over and over, all the events still don't feel real. Sure, I saw a real-life plane dive-bomb into a perfectly good building and then I watched two of the world's tallest buildings collapse, but it just doesn't completely register as real for me. Last night, I watched a James Bond movie filled with explosions and typical Hollywood over-the-top antics. Then this morning, my mother yells for me to wake up because airplanes crashed into the WTC and the Pentagon. At first, I didn't believe it. I just laughed it off and asked her if it was the end of the world. Evil people actually hijacking planes and using them as flying wrecking balls is what happens on the silver screen, not in real life.

But what happened is very, very real. Thousands of people are probably dead, and millions more fear of what will happen next (while causing gasoline runs as local stations).

I refuse to succumb to simple-mindedness and blame foreigners in general and Arab-Americans in particular for these awful acts. Neither a racial nor ethnic group is responsible for the acts of individuals. In the Milwaukee area, Arabian Fest was cancelled for this weekend. I hope people will realize that very, very few Arab-Americans condone suicide bombing.

Strong, decisive action is required to maintain the integrity and security of the United States. What happened today was an act of war and must be treated as such. Any action less than a declaration of war by the Congress will be a dissapointment. Of course, there needs to be a thorough investigation to determine who the bastards are who orchestrated these acts. If it does end up being Osama Bin Laden, he should be hunted down and destroyed along with every vestige of his organization. In war there is no place for trials. The United States is at war and must leave every possible military option available. Nations that have helped harbor the terrorists also must pay the price for their uncivilized deeds.

America's way of life is at stake. We are the leader of the free world. This threat must be dealt with.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:45 PM | Comments (0)

September 10, 2001

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel deservedly

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel deservedly calls her "the most generous Milwaukee philanthropist ever." Jane Pettit helped build the Bradley Center which kept the Bucks from moving; the Pettit National Ice Center which made Milwaukee the place for Olympic speed skaters to train; and the Lynde and Harry Bradley School of Technology & Trade. She gave without fanfare and with a sense of dignity. Although Milwaukee lost a wonderful person today, her gifts will carry on her generous spirit.

"Philanthropist Jane Pettit Dies of Lung Cancer"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 02:10 PM | Comments (0)

September 09, 2001

Will America buy cards of

Will America buy cards of ordinary people? I know I won't.

PeopleCards.net

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 10:50 PM | Comments (0)

September 08, 2001

Gary Trudeau is still the

Gary Trudeau is still the same unfunny jerk even after his lame apology. Boy, do I miss Bloom County.

"Doonesbury' Creator Sorry for Hoax"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:44 PM | Comments (1)

The march to the Super

The march to the Super Bowl begins tomorrow. My fantasy teams are set, and all that is left is to make my predictions for this season. My team, the Green Bay Packers, have one of the best quarterbacks of all time in Brett Favre. There offensive line is young, big, and has a nasty streak. Barring injury Ahman Green and Dorsey Levens are one of the best one-two halfback combinations in the league.

So how do I think the Pack will do? The schedule is tough with games against Jacksonville, Tennessee, and the champion Baltimore Ravens.

I really question their receivers. Antonio Freeman was non-existent in the pre-season and Bill Schroeder has to step up as the number two receiver.

What most concerns me is their defense. Number one draft pick Jamal Reynolds couldn't generate a pass rush in practice, let alone in a game. Cletidus Hunt is suspended for the first four games, and LeRoy Butler is another year older.

My conclusion: I'm an optimist, but my head will overrule my heart and I pick the Packers to go 8-8. Here's hoping I'm wrong.

As for the Super Bowl, I'll go with St. Louis versus Oakland with the Rams winning their second championship.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:36 PM | Comments (1)

The Security Systems Standards and

The Security Systems Standards and Certification Act (SSSCA) would mandate copyright functions in computers and electronic equipment. This is central planning that looks like something straight out of Havana. Media companies think copyright protection is important for their business. Fine, they have the ability to implement whatever technologies into their products and let consumers decide if they don't mind them. No matter how stupid, asinine, or cumbersome they are, these copyright-protections technologies should be allowed to compete in the marketplace. What is deplorable is using the federal government to make rules that force computer and consumer electronic makers to put copy-protection controls into products.

This age of digital media is still very young. Who knows how consumers and producers will settle this copyright battle. Musicians, writers, and the companies that back them should be able to defend the work they help to produce. They shouldn't be able to use the government to create at one-size-fits-all solution.

"New Copyright Bill Heading to DC"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:03 PM | Comments (0)

Salon's Eric Boehlert thought the

Salon's Eric Boehlert thought the VMAs were as boring as I did. The King of Perverts--I mean Pop--looked old and danced worse than a 60-year old James Brown. U2 was the highlight performance, but the show just couldn't keep my interest. I must disagree on one of Boehlert's points: Andy Dick isn't funny. He makes Tom Green seem highbrow.

"Rock Stars for Sale!"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 09:50 PM | Comments (0)

In a strange bit of

In a strange bit of post-modern, technological irony, my new US name is Dean Bell.

US Name Generator

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 09:41 PM | Comments (0)

September 07, 2001

In Milwaukee the homicide rate

In Milwaukee the homicide rate has stayed flat while in other cities it has gone down (New York City). Also in the past few years, more and more police officers have resigned. Questions and concerns are being raised about the effectiveness of Police Chief Arthur Jones. How does Jones respond? He accuses the Journal Sentinel of race-based coverage. While it remained just below the surface, no critic or news story focused on Jones' race (he's black). Jones is the first person to add racial fuel to the fire. This is Jones' trump card. He knows an already weakened Mayor Norquist will not attempt to boot him if it becomes a racial issue. What Jones is doing is cynical and wrong. To inject race into a non-racial debate only riles passions and deflects painful truths. For playing the race card for purely defensive purposes Jones should be fired. A city leader must make efforts to unite and lead, not divide and survive.

"Jones Goes on Offensive as Backers, Foes Collide"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:36 AM | Comments (0)

Todd Dominey mentions seeing Anne

Todd Dominey mentions seeing Anne Heche interviewed last night. I saw her on Larry King and was saddened by her spectacle. Now, I don't know if she really was chasing a UFO that would take her to the 4th Dimension, or if she really did have deep conversations with God. Maybe she's making all this up for publicity. But accept for a moment that she was (is?) as mentally unstable as she said, why make a fool of yourself in front of millions of people? A way to self-healing is self-control. Spilling out embarassing problems to Larry King or Barbara Walters isn't self-control. It's self-absorbtion and too typical of the Hollywood set.

I hope Heche gets better. Maybe married life and motherhood will provide the stable environment she craves.

"Confirmed: Anne Heche 3 Months Pregnant"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:22 AM | Comments (0)

Hooray! Team Bush is seeing

Hooray! Team Bush is seeing the light and is pulling back from the U.S. government's attack on Microsoft.

The whole case against MS defies logic. Under the abstract, foggy law of antitrust, MS is guilty of breaking the law by selling lots of software to people. In fact, they sold so much software that they are the king of PC software. But a point has been ignored by nearly every advocate of government prosectution of MS: no one forced consumers to buy and use MS software. Sure, MS has done its best to get its products in front of as many people as they could, but they never could force an individual or business to fork over the cash for the software. In the end there has been free choice. David Dieteman puts the incoherent ideas of antitrust law into focus when he writes, "Charge more than your competitors? Price gouging. Charge the same? Collusion. Charge less? Predatory pricing. It is actually illegal to charge: more, the same, or less. 'Bundle' your products? Unfair. Who gets sued for what depends on which way the political winds are blowing."

"U.S. Abandons Microsoft Breakup Effort"

"A Back to School Warning: Anti-Trust Law After Microsoft"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:04 AM | Comments (0)

September 06, 2001

Phil Gramm is justly praised

Phil Gramm is justly praised (I did back his losing effort for President in '96) for his efforts to restrain the scope of government, but the downside to his retirement is the Republicans will have a harder time taking back the Senate. Sure, Texas will likely stay Republican, but in politics anything can happen.

"Grand Gramm" [via Reductio]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 12:14 AM | Comments (0)

September 05, 2001

Just what television news needs:

Just what television news needs: another morning show set on a street-side studio in New York City. What is mildly interesting is how Paula Zahn ended up with CNN.

"Paula Zahn Heads for CNN As Anchor"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:28 PM | Comments (0)

The October Vanity Fair might

The October Vanity Fair might be the biggest seller in its history, and it's all because of Harry Potter. There will be kids who never heard of the magazine begging their parents to traipse from one Barnes and Noble to another searching for a copy.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 03:21 AM | Comments (0)

Who in the states would

Who in the states would want to watch Chinese Communist television? We already have CNN, MSNBC, and MTV News (I know the last one is an oxymoron).

What shows would the Chinese show? Would they have their own version of Survivor where the tribe of Falun Gong votes on which person gets sent to the firing squad? Or how about a version of The West Wing only set in Bejing?

But in all seriousness, this cultural opening could bring about the demise of Communism. Whether the Chinese leadership likes it or not, News Corp. and AOL Time Warner will bring in the West's idea of liberty and freedom through the programming and attitude behind it.

So while Drudge will be crying over the amoral actions of uncaring multi-national corporations, I will be quietly cheering "Go Bugs! Go Bart!

"China Offers Access Deal to News Corp and AOL"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 03:14 AM | Comments (0)

Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft have had

Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft have had a cantankerous past, while MS and Compaq have been busom buddies. Even though HP has been lately more accepting of MS technology, they still have the "HP way" philosophy.

"Merger May Complicate Microsoft Relations"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:29 AM | Comments (0)

September 04, 2001

Mark Levin is short and

Mark Levin is short and sweet when it comes to Janet "Earthquake" Reno. "Janet Reno shouldn't be running for governor, she should be running from the law."

"Reno Running"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:56 PM | Comments (0)

Some Wall Street analysts are

Some Wall Street analysts are lukewarm on the HP-Compaq merger. They see difficulties integreating the two companies while it gives Dell a year to operate without such distractions.

European observers think the merger will spur others across the tech sector.

"Wall Street: HP Plus Compaq May Not Add Up"

"European Stocks Rise: L'Oreal, Marconi Gain; Ericsson Declines"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:48 PM | Comments (0)

Since the biggest problem with

Since the biggest problem with the economy is a drop in capital spending, a capital gains tax cut would have a greater economic effect than the checks the Treasury Department is sending out to everyone.

"Bush 'Open-Minded' on Possible Cap Gains Tax Cut"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:39 PM | Comments (0)

September 03, 2001

HP will buy Compaq. This

HP will buy Compaq. This news is a total jaw-dropper. This could be a sign of consolidation in the computer hardware industry. This is going to have Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and everywhere in between talking. What will Dell do? What about EMC? How does Sun fit into all this? Will IBM seek out some purchase to retain its dominance? How does Microsoft fit into hardware consolidation?

Then there are the questions of whether Carleton Fiorina and HP can pull this off. Compaq had a really hard time with their acquisition of Digital a few years ago. Will Fiorina do better? One things for sure, with this deal, Fiorina becomes the most powerful in business.

Shares of stock and rumors will be flying at a frenzied pace tomorrow. Here's my bit of speculation: With Gateway in a weakened state, look for rumors of it being bought, possibly by Dell.

"HP to Buy Compaq for $25 Billion"

"Hewlett-Packard to Acquire Compaq in $25 Billion Deal"

They're already discussing the story at Metafilter.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 10:47 PM | Comments (0)

Since Janet Reno appears to

Since Janet Reno appears to have the balls (be they real or not) to enter the race for Florida governor, she should be ready and willing to fully explain why she took responsiblity for the deaths at Waco but never held federal agents working at the siege accountable for the deaths. She should also be completely forthcoming as to her decision to use brute force to snatch Elian Gonzalez from a loving family and send him back to the prison island that is Communist Cuba.

She can look all cute cruising around in her red pickup truck and wearing an anti-Jeb Bush t-shirt, but Reno has serious questions about her ability to lead a state in a civilized manner.

"Reno Plans to Run for Florida Gov."

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 10:33 PM | Comments (0)

September 02, 2001

The rest of the U.S.

The rest of the U.S. Open will be quieter: Monica "The Grunter" Seles lost today.

"Seles Eliminated at U.S. Open"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 03:13 PM | Comments (0)