February 28, 2003
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"
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"
February 27, 2003
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"
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"
February 26, 2003
Two thoughts on Shachtman's break-in:
February 25, 2003
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"
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"
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...
"Blix Says Iraq Signaling Real Cooperation"
"Bush Says Only Full Iraqi Disarmament Will Avert War"
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"
As an introvert, I completely agree with Jonathan Rauch:
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.
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.
Replies to Noah Shachtman's "How I Snuck Into Los Alamos"
Fellow warmongers, sign on the bottom line.
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.
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"
February 24, 2003
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.
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.
February 23, 2003
If I had a broadband connection, I'd really dig the ability to rent games over the Internet. Instead of plunking down $40 dollars for Roller Coaster Tycoon 2 only to find it lame, I'd risk $4.95 for three days of play.
February 22, 2003
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.
February 21, 2003
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?
Jim Schwab has plenty of
Jim Schwab has plenty of links about the Great White club fire.
German Christian Democratic Union leader
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.
"Schroeder Doesn't Speak for All Germans" [via Shark Blog]
The first ever Critiquees have
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).
We pro-war types should be
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.
War can begin. The troops
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"
February 20, 2003
Martin Sheen cut a commerical
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"
A pro-war guy joined the
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?
It looks like the Department
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.
Turkey still hasn't agreed to
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:
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"
February 19, 2003
The Iraqi National Congress is
The Iraqi National Congress is worried about how the U.S. will reconstruct a post-Saddam Iraq. Ahmad Chalabi writes:
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.
Michael Kelly on last weekend's
Michael Kelly on last weekend's war protesters:
"Protests: Give Tyranny a Chance"
February 18, 2003
Jacques Chirac might be cracking.
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"
So, Arkansas can pump enough
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"
Occasionally I read fiction. Usually
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
The Nation's publisher, Victor "Alger
"A Fox News Ad Roils Some Readers of The Nation"
I'm not winning. All I
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.
February 17, 2003
Jonathan Gewirtz uses Google more
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]
During the Spanish Civil War,
During the Spanish Civil War, anarchists used modern art to torture prisoners. I knew some of that stuff was bad, but that bad?
Reuters has a story on
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"
NATO is finally supporting its
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"
Kevin's done some serious remodeling
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.
February 16, 2003
The Stalinists of ANSWER were
The Stalinists of ANSWER were out and about in NYC yesterday.
Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 02:49 AM
Australia's John Howard understands the
Australia's John Howard understands the need to rid Iraq of Saddam now:
He also said that an alliance with the U.S. is more important than supporting the U.N. Right before our eyes we may be seeing the death of the U.N. as a force in international relations.
"Australia Leader: U.S. Alliance Important"
Google bought Blogger. Their vast
Google bought Blogger. Their vast server farms should help prevent future outages and give Evan Williams plenty of money to make the software really good. Since Evan has found some deep pockets should I even bother with the MT move? I haven't played with MT in a few weeks because just the thought of my past problems infuriates me.
"Google Buys Pyra: Blogging Goes Big-Time"
Samizdata.net covered the London protests.
In contrast to the millions
In contrast to the millions of anti-war, knee-jerk anti-American protesters all over the world, the NY Times editorial page gets it that Iraq isn't disarming.
A protester in NYC said, "We need to leave Iraq alone." However, the Times has the intellectual honesty to see what the situation in Iraq really is:
Does that protester think that if we leave Saddam alone, he'll stop make ABC weapons and sing "Cum By Ya" with all the peace-nik? What will the protester say after thousands of Americans are killed when Islamist terrorists used those weapons? Will he continue the vapid, Noam Chomsky-response that the U.S. deserved it?
Protester call for more inspectors--talking points from the French. You could have thousands of inspectors running around Iraq, but without Saddam's compliance, they'll find little.
Then there's the call for another U.N. resolution. What's the point of another threatening one toward Iraq when 1441 is being ignored? Friday, the Security Council showed it's more concerned with checking U.S. power than with stopping a dangerous man from having very deadly weapons. Anti-American sentiment killed the U.N., not the U.S. who's bent over backwards to build multilateral support.
Moral leadership sometimes requires doing the right thing when the rest of world tells you otherwise. President Bush does possess that moral backbone to move forward with his plans to make the world safer. After all the bombs have fallen and Iraq is liberated, the world may still not agree with the war. But who cares? What really matters is that the world is a little bit safer.
"Protesters at U.N. Rally Against Iraq War"
February 14, 2003
U.S. business economists come to
U.S. business economists come to a similar conclusion as a British business group: there could be good economic growth if the Iraq War is short. The NABE also concur with Alan Greenspan: the economy is sputtering because of uncertainty surrounding the war.
"Possible U.S. Economic Rebound Predicted"
February 13, 2003
I second Johnathan Pearce's idea
I second Johnathan Pearce's idea to open the world's markets to Iraqi goods if Saddam and his cronies were booted (hopefully killed). Maybe that would be an incentive for Iraqis to rise up and reject the years and years of suffering caused by that brutal thug. I doubt it, but could it hurt?
I'll take Johnathan's idea one step further. After the war (it will happen), part of Iraq's reconstruction should include a free-trade pact with the Allied forces. After 12 years of economic sanctions, those people will need lots of opporunity to rebuild the economy. If Iraqis are as enterprising and resourceful as some think, access to U.S. markets would certainly put Iraq on the right path.
Robert Lane Greene is pretty
Robert Lane Greene is pretty sure France won't veto a war resolution.
Even without using their veto, the Iraq War has shown a considerable rift in U.S.-Europe relations. The U.S.'s strongest European allies are in the east while the E.U. tries to develop an independent military but without paying for it. To put it lightly: things won't be the same.
"Plague of Frogs"
TNR on the death of
TNR on the death of NATO:
France's and Germany's last place as serious international players is at the United Nations, the rotary telephone of international relations.
David Frum on Valentine's Day:
David Frum on Valentine's Day:
All Frum wrote is good except for the flowers. Don't send someone an anonymous bouquet. It might get their hopes up. As for me, I'll be deciding among white zinfandel, New Glarus Brewing's Spotted Cow, or tequilla.
Gregory Breisger had a problem
Gregory Breisger had a problem with a library's computer catalogue. His wife was interested in checking out a video. She called, and they said they had it. Gregory sauntered down to the library only to discover "we only have it here, but we don't have it here." Computers are wonderful things, but total reliance on them is foolhardy.
When a customer asks me if a book is in the store, I not only look it up in the computer, but I also check to see if it's on the shelf. There are a bunch of reasons the computer could claim we have a book, but we don't: it could be shelved incorrectly; someone else could be looking at it; it could be on hold for another customer; or the computer could just be wrong. I try my best to get the book the customer wants into their hands. It definitely cuts down on the frustration.
In Gregory's case, the public library has little incentive to improve their customer service. There's no competition. At least if one of the big bookstores doesn't have the book when they claimed they did, you can saunter to another one.
"Not in Stacks"
February 12, 2003
Can you say Rep. Tom
Can you say Rep. Tom DeLay is a little ticked with the French?
"U.S. Lawmakers Weigh Actions to Punish France, Germany" [via The Corner]
Last week, I posted on
Last week, I posted on big companies coming out in favor of university race-based admissions. Thomas Sowell goes after them:
Businesses may worry about needing "diversity" in the workplace because of "diversity" in society. If that's so important, how does Japan compete with the rest of the world?
What university race-based admissions do is mismatch minority students with universities. Ending Michigan-type affirmative action wouldn't keep minorities away from higher education. It would redistribute them.
"Big Business and Quotas"
Gov. Doyle is doing something
Gov. Doyle is doing something a Republican governor would get blasted for: he said the public schools shouldn't expect the same portion of state aid they've been getting since 1995. Because of Wisconsin government's financial mess "[t]he state simply cannot afford the two-thirds commitment."
No word from the teachers' union, one of Doyle's biggest backers.
"No 'Open Checkbook' for Schools, Doyle Says"
John Keegan doesn't see the
John Keegan doesn't see the death of NATO:
He concludes that France and Germany aren't "serious about denying weapons of mass destruction to rogue states."
Virginia Postrel's next book will
Virginia Postrel's next book will be entitled The Substance of Style: How the Rise of Aesthetic Value Is Remaking Commerce, Culture, and Consciousness. It doesn't have the zip and flare of Look and Feel. I should claim that title. Now, I only need a book idea for it.
February 11, 2003
Jack over at SCSUScholars echoes
Jack over at SCSUScholars echoes my thoughts on diversity and the university:
This NY Times story gives
This NY Times story gives Enron's Ken Lay a defense that looks like reasonable doubt to me.
Alan Greenspan told lawmakers that
Alan Greenspan told lawmakers that geopolitical uncertainty is the reason for the economy's sluggishness. Until war with Iraq is settled one way or another, he thinks it's uncertain whether economic stimulus is needed. Greenspan's concerned about growing budget deficits, but supports ending the dividend tax.
"Greenspan Questions Need for U.S. Economic Stimulus"
NATO's still dying before our
NATO's still dying before our eyes. Colin Powell told a Senate committee, "The alliance is breaking itself up because it will not meet its responsibilities." Sen John Warner (R-VA) suggested Congress reduce funding for NATO. France and Germany, way to go.
"Powell: NATO Risks Breakup Over Iraq Rift"
Since I gave up on
Congratulations to Jonah and Jessica
Congratulations to Jonah and Jessica on the birth of their daughter.
The former director of Iraq's
The former director of Iraq's nuclear weapons program has an answer for France's and Germany's opposition to war: they've both profited heavily.
"The Inspections Dodge"
February 10, 2003
Affirmative action may be preventing
Affirmative action may be preventing more minorities from becoming professors:
This fits right into Thomas Sowell's argument that affirmative action causes a mismatch between student and university.
"Advantage Card: William F. Buckley's Affirmative Action Legacy"
People like Eric Schlosser and
People like Eric Schlosser and George Ritzer fear the "McDonaldization" of society. However, looking at how regional foods like Krispy Kreme doughnuts and New York bagels have conquered the nation, what's really happened is that people are open to new foods. We like the stuff from the big brands because we're confident in what we're getting (even if it isn't that great), but we're also looking for new tastes out of natural curiosity.
Rich Galen might have a
Rich Galen might have a book up his sleeve.
The Mullings Book
What weird time-space continuum is
What weird time-space continuum is Andrew Sullivan Living in? I'm writing this post at 10:40 PM on 2.10.03. Sullivan has a post dated 12:15:37 AM on 2.11.03. Even with the one-hour difference between central and eastern times, it means Sullivan is living in a world at least 35 minutes ahead of mine. It some tweaking of how Blogger handles time stamps, but why bother?
I haven't been a Sen.
I haven't been a Sen. John McCain fan since he went off on his campaign finance (i.e. First Amendment restriction) crusade, but his speech in Europe was very good. McCain's correct that we may be watching NATO die right before our eyes.
McCain then echoes the thoughts of many that Iraqi liberation would bring a positive shake-up to the Middle East.
"The Global Fight against Terrorism: Status and Perspectives"
France and Germany have said
France and Germany have said the U.S. is being shortsighted in its rush to war with Iraq. But what about the Franco-German alliance's reluctance to even allow NATO to plan for a possible Iraqi attack on NATO member Turkey?
What NATO is is a U.S. defense umbrella. That's because only the U.S. has the ability to project massive amounts of military power quickly. The Europeans spend very little on their defense. They rely on the thousands of U.S. troops stations there for protection. Since the end of World War II this situation worked fine for all parties. Western Europe could focus on building their welfare states with the confidence that the U.S. would stop the Soviet Union in an invasion. For the U.S. a pacifistic Western Europe prevented another war. France, Germany, and the U.K. didn't fear each other because none of them were building up their militaries. Instead of conflict and division, Western Europe moved toward economic and political union--all under the umbrella of U.S. military power. (See Robert Kagan's Of Paraside and Power or "Power and Weakness" for more on this trend and the pschological differences between the U.S. and Europe in the international ring.)
Right before our eyes we're seeing an alliance die. Turkey joined NATO to improve its security and it more closely associate itself with Europe. They took the chance of abandoning the political economic wasteland of the Middle East for the hope of West. And what have they gotten in return? An indefinite pause to EU inclusion and a rejection of a sensible defense request. Some allies NATO are!
Rejection of Turkey's request for NATO help comes months after plans to bring the Muslim nation into the EU were tossed aside. With fears from the large Muslim populations already in their countries, are France and Germany afraid of closer union between Europe and Islam?
"Rifts Over Iraq Plunge NATO Into Crisis"
UPDATE: Peter Brownfeld writes on Turkey and the EU. He writes,
"A Lesson from the EU Founders"
February 08, 2003
As The Agonist shows, for
As The Agonist shows, for being a unilateralist, the U.S. has gotten a lot of other countries to support war with Iraq.
I just wish we could get those Haitians to commit.
Kofi Annan said Iraq ha
Kofi Annan said Iraq ha to show they want to disarm, yet he said the U.S. should avoid war. The two go together. Either Saddam disarms or the U.S. goes to war. It's that simple.
Annan then made this remark at the College of William and Mary:
The man is quite mistaken. War with Iraq would be in defense of the U.S. Since the U.S. is the dominant world power any nation with an arsenal of ABC weapons has them to even the odds with the U.S. Also, when an enemy of the U.S. has ABC weapons and connections to terrorists, there's a reasonable chance that some nasty bomb will end up killing thousands of Americans.
And what should we make of the U.N. Security Council's "unique legitimacy?" It only has legitimacy if it can employ force to back its resolutions. To make idle threat after idle threat and to demand additional inspections when there's a history of disception robs the security council of moral force. Every time France asks for more inspections I laugh. Either they're fools, or they're using more inspections as a diplomatic weapon against the U.S. Such a pitiful world player doesn't deserve a permanent place on the security council.
"Annan Urges U.S. to Avoid Gulf War"
February 07, 2003
I've been thinking of going
I've been thinking of going on a trip to Turkey in the next few months, but with a war happening in next door Iraq, that wouldn't be the smartest thing for an American to do. (TAM versus the Turkish Street, who would win?) Ever since I got my passport a few years ago, I've wanted to use it. I doubt I will this year. Bummer. Heck, maybe the war will dampen the travel industry so much that I'll find a good deal to England, Germany, or *gasp* even France. I'd love to spend a few more days wandering through Paris.
"State Dept. Warns Americans Abroad"
Rod Dreher on Michael Jackson:
Rod Dreher on Michael Jackson:
The King of Pop treated as Frankenstein. Not a bad comparison. They both are freaks of science.
February 06, 2003
Economist Edward Castronova has studied
Economist Edward Castronova has studied the economy of Norrath, the world of Sony's EverQuest. Some interesting findings are that the currency of Norrath, platinum pieces, is worth about one penny which makes it stronger than the yen or lira. The average wage is $3.42/hour, but deflation is boosting the real wage.
In writing about Castronova's paper, Robert Shapiro comes to this conclusion about what we may learn about real economies from virtual ones:
Daniel Drezner links to the Shapiro article and talks about political science and computer simulations.
My God, a story in
My God, a story in Big Media about weblogs with no mention of Glenn Reynolds. Unfortunately, there wasn't any mention of TAM either.
"New Kids On the Blog"
The foam is still a
The foam is still a possiblity, though small, as a cause of the Columbia's demise. Since NASA hasn't found shuttle pieces crucial to the investigation, they don't have much to go on.
"NASA Still Considering Foam Launch Damage"
A bunch of big companies
A bunch of big companies are coming out in support of race-based admissions in universities. Steelcase CEO, James Hackett told the AP, "If you're going to be a global company and you're going to attract and retain the best people, then the mirror you have to present is that you're a very diverse company." An Intel spokesman said, "Is a diverse work force something we feel we need to work for? We do."
Well, even if the Supreme Court rules that race can't be used at all in college admissions (it won't happen, too radical for O'Connor and/or Kennedy to back) that wouldn't stop companies' affirmative action programs. If Steelcase and Intel think treating the races unequally is good for their businesses, fine. It's their decision. What isn't right is the government, through state universities, treating individuals differently depending on their skin pigment.
This is just an example of why Big Business isn't always an effective way to promote conservative pubic policy.
"Firms: Affirmative Action Helps Recruits"
Gerhard Schroeder may have to
Gerhard Schroeder may have to really charge up the anti-American rhetoric to dodge his economic disaster.
"German Jobless Rate Rises to 11 Percent"
February 05, 2003
Add Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia,
Add Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia to the list of Allied forces against Saddam.
Still no France, German, Russia, or China, but who cares?
After making a case for
After making a case for war with Iraq, Secretary of State Colin Powell finished by asking the Security Council to do what needs to be done:
UPDATE: Courtesy of Stephen Den Beste, here's a link to the State Department website with slides and video used in Powell's presentation.
In last week's State of
In last week's State of the State address, Gov. Jim Doyle reaffirmed his pledge not to raise taxes. He also told lawmakers that the deficit problem was from too much spending, not too little taxing. Sen. Alberta Darling, a Republican, called the speech a "Republican message."
Doyle may have an easier time dealing with the state budget deficit than if Scott McCallum would have gotten re-elected. Because of Doyle's insistence on education as his top priority, his no-new-tax pledge is keeping liberals quiet. There is also the possibility that with Republicans in control of both houses of the legislature Doyle has to give them something or nothing will get passed.
"Wisconsin Governor, a Democrat, Sounds Positively Republican"
NASA doesn't think foam from
NASA doesn't think foam from the main fuel tank caused damage that led to Columbia's demise. The fallen piece wasn't big enough or moving fast enough to do that much damage.
"NASA Says Foam Likely Not Cause of Shuttle Disaster"
LeBron James can play again.
LeBron James can play again. A judge issued a temporary restraining order that allows him to play. Another hearing is scheduled for 2.19.
"Lebron James Cleared to Play, for Now"
February 03, 2003
A sad thing about Michael
A sad thing about Michael Jackson's revelation is that he could still fill up Madison Square Garden like he and his brother's did two years ago. People may not buy any new albums, but they'll come out to see the King of Pop perform his hits.
The space shuttle is yesterday's
The space shuttle is yesterday's technology. It's too expensive ($500 million per launch) and hasn't brought space travel anywhere near something available for the average American. (The Russians have done more on that front.) Despite the efforts of really smart people at NASA, the shuttle program has failed.
As Gregg Easterbrook points out, many experiments that take place on the space shuttle and the space station could be done on unmanned space probes. Of course, that isn't as romantic as having someone risk their life by riding atop a rocket.
If the U.S. is serious about manned space travel, then easing restrictions on private firms is the answer. If the government thinks its role is to expand human knowlege by funding space research (one I don't necessarily agree with), then rely on unmanned space craft. But if the U.S. insists on government-funded manned space travel, then look for a goal much more lofty than keeping three people floating around in earth orbit. A bold goal would be a mission to Mars.
"The Space Shuttle Must Be Stopped"
February 01, 2003
Horlick High School in Racine,
Horlick High School in Racine, WI is remembering its former student, Laurel Clark.
"Sadness Shrouds Racine Horlick"
I'm back. Here's the latest:
I'm back. Here's the latest:
"Columbia's Problems Began on Left Wing"
I've been at this for
I've been at this for almost seven hours, and I'm suffering with a cold. I need a few hours of R n' R.
The second NASA briefing does
The second NASA briefing does point to a damaged wing. There was a loss of temperature sensors on the left wing just before NASA lost contact with the shuttle. The left wing was the one damaged at lift-off.
Iraqis (presumably pressured by Saddam's
Iraqis (presumably pressured by Saddam's government) praised God for the Columbia explosion. "God is avenging us," said a government employee.
Arafat was smart. No anti-American demonstrations like after Sep. 11. Instead, Arafat offered his condolences.
"Iraqis Call Shuttle Disaster God's Vengeance"
President Bush speaks: The same
President Bush speaks:
President Addresses Nation on Space Shuttle Columbia Tragedy
Dale Amon is still theorizing
Dale Amon is still theorizing on what happened:
"Columbia Breakup Over Texas"
Welcome, Scripting News readers. Too
Welcome, Scripting News readers. Too bad it's an awful moment to get a link.
David Janes is doing play-by-play
David Janes is doing play-by-play of the television coverage including tv screen shots.
Here's a story on fallen
Laurel Clark was a local
"Racine's Clark Among 7 Astronauts Killed"
"Racine Astronaut Takes off with Family Close"
UPDATE: Here's Space.com's bio of Clark
Dale Amon hypothesizes on what
Dale Amon hypothesizes on what happened:
If this is what happened, the damage may have taken place during launch.
"Columbia Feared Lost"
Rand Simberg also speculates and mentions that building another shuttle is impossible because all the tooling is gone.
Space Flight Now has a small video (animated gif) which appears to show something coming off the main fuel tank during lift-off.
Ilan Ramon gave Israelis something
Ilan Ramon gave Israelis something to cheer about after years of fear and saddness. On Israeli television, a commentator said Ramon "is fulfilling everyone's dream, to be the first Israeli in space."
Ramon was one of Israel's best pilots. Interestingly, he took apart in the 1981 attack on an Iraqi nuclear reactor.
"First Israeli Astro Brought Joy to His Troubled Nation"
The BBC's Dr. David Whitehouse
The BBC's Dr. David Whitehouse reports that during re-entry "the crew have no means of escaping from the Space Shuttle."
"Analysis: Nasa Emergency"
NBC reports that a US
NBC reports that a US satellite picked up a 'spike' at the time Columbia exploded. I don't know what that means.
"NASA Confirms Columbia Exploded on Reentry (UPDATE)"
Spaceflight Now's Stephen Clark gives
Spaceflight Now's Stephen Clark gives us this account of Columbia over Texas:
Here's more on the shuttle's
Here's more on the shuttle's damaged wing:
I have a bad feeling they should have took this more seriously.
"Shuttle Columbia to land in Florida on Saturday"
NASA has lowered flags to
NASA has lowered flags to half staff in Florida and California. The mourning has begun.
American "arrogance" may have led
The AP has a brief
The AP has a brief profile on all 7 astronauts. Here's Ilan Ramon's
"Profiles of 7 Astronauts Aboard Shuttle"
A CBS Radio reporter is
A CBS Radio reporter is seeing a smoking piece of wreckage in a field.
Body parts may have been found near St. Augustine, TX. Ick!
NASA has sent out search
NASA has sent out search and rescue teams. The Department of Defense Manned Space Flight Support Office is running that operation.
"When Trouble Comes to Shuttle, DoD Comes to Rescue"
Haaretz's story doesn't add any
Haaretz's story doesn't add any details about the explosion, but they focus on Israel's first astronaut, Ilan Ramon.
"NASA Declares Emergency After Losing Contact
Racine, WI's Laurel Clark was
Racine, WI's Laurel Clark was one of the crew members of Columbia. She loved being in space:
"Racine Astronaut Finds Space to be Magical"
Early speculation should focus on
Early speculation should focus on what happened during take-off of the Columbia:
"Shuttle Landing in Question"
Glenn Reynolds links to the
CBS Radio is reporting that sonic booms were heard over Dallas.
The space shuttle Columbia is
The space shuttle Columbia is gone. At about 8 AM, NASA lost contact with it. CNN has shown video of streaks that looked like large meteors flaming through the sky over Dallas. NASA is now telling the public that debris over Texas could be considered dangerous.
Almost 17 years ago, the Challenger exploded soon after take off.
"NASA Loses Touch With Shuttle Columbia"