Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Have you been trying to access Air America Radio? Perhaps they don't have enough bandwidth just yet-- I haven't been able to get it online.

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Vaara at Silt claims that legendary marketing guru Clotaire Rapaille
will be helping John Kerry with his image. I can only imagine what conservo-pundits will make of a Frenchman advising Kerry on his image, but I wonder if it's true.
Joe Gandleman of The Moderate Voice tells this joke:

AT&T has a new cell-phone called the Condi: it has speed-dial presets for ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News, but won't dial 911.

My only question for Joe, upon perusing his site: do you really look like Tony Curtis?

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Another Internet Quiz:

Which Classic Novel do You Belong In?

thanks to Amygdala.
More pilfery by me:Jens, a regular poster at Tacitus says:

Remember the half-jocular ironic offer of a duel Bush vs. Hussein?

Well, Kirk would have accepted and won it! Even if he would have to strangle three Iraqi Fedejin, win the heart of some Iraqi beauty queen and find out the true secret of Saddam's beard. Within fourty minutes.

Janeway would have teleported Saddam on board of Voyager and talked to him until he would have offered unconditional surrender to anyone ;).
and, some additional BBC links:

"Iraq's hopes split along class divide":

"I don't feel secure in my home," says Intisar. "Because there is nobody to protect us. There's no law, nobody respects the police.

"We expect anything. Any time, any minute, you are sitting in your home, somebody could come and kill you, nobody cares."

"Life for me is going better," Zohair admits.

"But for Iraqi society it's getting worse. Now I get better jobs, I'm better off financially, I can express my thoughts easily and freely, but generally speaking the society collapsed."


BBC National poll of Iraq, Feb 2004(PDF)
BBC NEWS | Europe | French lawyer 'to defend Saddam':

Jacques Verges, 79, will be Saddam's lawyer. In the past he has defended Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie, Carlos the Jackal and former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic. (Barbie got 20 life sentences. How many would Saddam get?) M. Verges said the request for his services came in a letter from Saddam Hussein's nephew, Ali Barzan al-Takriti. He says he will also defend former Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz.

Max takes note of this National Review article comparing Dubya with Nixon, and says:

The comparison is unfair to Tricky Dick. Tricky's domestic policies -- minus the abuses of Constitutional democracy and civil liberties -- make Bill Clinton look like a reactionary. That's why I look like a communist. Reagan warped our minds
And sometimes Mark Kleiman gets it exactly right too:

What John Kerry should say about Clarke's book:

I don't blame George W. Bush or his advisers for making what, in retrospect, look like mistakes in the months before 9-11. The Oval Office doesn't come equipped with a crystal ball in which the President gets to see the future.

But the only way to avoid repeating mistakes is to figure out how they were made and fix the systems and processes that produced them. That is something this Administration has been stubbornly unwilling to do.

They're far more interested in discrediting Richard Clarke -- a fine, nonpartisan civil servant of three decades' service, who was closer than almost anyone else to being right about al-Qaeda before 9-11 -- than in understanding what he has to say and incorporating those lessons into new systems and processes.

Making mistakes is human. Refusing to learn from mistakes mistakes is unforgiveable.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Sometimes Jeanne d'orleans says it best:

It hit me then how often this administration expresses outrage that anyone would raise difficult issues "in an election year." The fact that this is an election year, and that every issue is politicized, has virtually replaced "national security" as a reason why no one is supposed to raise difficult or controversial issues.

But shouldn't that excuse be laughed out of the arena? Obviously the Bush administration has exploited national security concerns for political purposes all along, but national security isn't a laughing matter, or a matter for bickering. But isn't the whole point of elections to force people running for office to answer questions about what they've done and what they will do? In an election with an incumbent, is there anything more important than accountability? Clarke's charges aren't coming a week before the election. The administration has more than seven months to refute him and argue for the validity of its own vision. If they had any sense whatsoever of how a democracy worked, that's what they'd be doing, not arguing that there's something underhanded about discussing actual issues in an election year

(apropo of the attacks on the timing of the appearance of Richard Clarke's book(which the Bushies held up in review for some months.) and Joe Conason's Salon interview with Clarke.)

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Spain held a memorial service in Madrid today for the 190 confirmed dead in the 3-11 train bombing. Powell attended for the US, while both PM Tony Blair and Prince Charles attended on behalf of the UK. Would've been nice if Dubya could've seen fit to attend-- it would have served many purposes, both for the US in general and for his administration: help heal the rift between the US and the EU countries(which Bush helped create, of course) and serve to deflect attention from Richard Clarke's testimony before the 9/11 commission, which also occurred today. But that would take a certain humility that our president seems to lack... and oh, yeah, it would highlight his refusal to attend so much as a single service for one of the hundreds of American soldiers who died for his war.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

The Seattle Weekly has a nice article up on Bev Harris of

see also

thanks to

Monday, March 15, 2004

from Movie & TV News @

The lead critic of the Toronto Star said...[Friday] that he has been deluged by hate mail and telephone calls denouncing him for his negative review of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ but, in the end, forgiving him for his sin. Under a photograph of the marquee of a Pentecostal Church emblazoned recently with the title of a pastor's sermon -- "The Jews Killed Jesus" -- critic Geoff Pevere said that the response, mostly from filmgoers who regarded Gibson's presentation as "truth," did convince him of its "undeniably impressive power as a pop culture phenomenon." He went on to write: "In these days of carefully engineered mass-culture mediocrity, anything that unleashes this kind of response compels a certain degree of attention and respect."

Sunday, March 14, 2004

the idea of being raised atheist is amusing. children grow up with classmates and teachers and stories that gravitate them towards at least a perfunctory belief in a deity, at least till middle school. I imagine atheist parents vigorously debunking little freddy and sissy's school-formed beliefs of santa claus and whatnot, and little atheist children growing up with a sense of resentment towards their parents and superiority towards the other kids because their atheist ceremonies are better:

Christmastime: The Great Debunker brings us presents-- from the store, of course.

Easter: The Bunny debunker brings us bran sandwhiches-- they don't have all that egg-yolk cholesterol.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

Courtesy Altercation, here's a link to Yeah, it looks like a NY Times page, but look closely:Corrections

Friday, March 05, 2004

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Joshua Marshall at Talking Points has an informative post about the nbc story on the Zarqawi raid that the White House is said to have quashed because it would have supposedly diluted their case for war.

MSNBC: before the war in Iraq, the Bush administration had several chances to wipe out the operation of Abu Musab Zarqawi, a Jordanian militant with ties to al-Qaida, now blamed for more than 700 terrorist killings in Iraq -- but decided against it.

Three different times, the Pentagon drafted plans to strike Zarqawi and his network, but the White House was set on its path to wage war against Saddam Hussein and refused
Yahoo News stories don't stay at their urls, but here's this item:Virus Writers Use Internet Worms for War of Words

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The creators of the Netsky, MyDoom and Bagle e-mail viruses have taken to exchanging insults in what amounts to a war of words in computer code between rival hackers, anti-virus experts said on Wednesday.

On one side are the creators of MyDoom and Bagle, who are believed to be spammers or spam groups because many variants of the viruses leave backdoors on infected computers that can be used to turn them into spam zombies, said Chris Belthoff, senior security analyst at anti-virus company Sophos Inc.

On the other side is the person or group responsible for the Netsky virus, who do not have any profit motive, he said.

"It almost seems like they are playing a war of one-upmanship," Belthoff said. "They could be jealous over the media attention the others are getting."

Versions of the three computer viruses, all self-propagating e-mail worms, have wreaked havoc on computers across the Internet since early this year.

Updated anti-virus software can detect and block the viruses.

The latest version of Netsky, dubbed Netsky.F, has a message in the code that says "Bagle - you are a looser!!!! (sic)" and an earlier version says: "MyDoom.F is a thief of our idea!"

Code in Mydoom.F and Bagle.I and Bagle.J addresses Netsky's creator directly, using expletives. One message tells Netsky: "don't ruine our bussiness, wanna start a war?"

Bagle.K, the latest version of Bagle, masquerades as an e-mail from a company's information technology department, Belthoff said.

The most recent variant of MyDoom, MyDoom.G, opens up a backdoor and directs infected computers to launch an attack on the Web site of anti-virus company Symantec Corp.

Netsky.F, the newest version of that virus, tries to deactivate earlier MyDoom and Bagle variants, he added.

Five of the latest versions of the viruses were released within three hours on Wednesday morning, according to Russian-based anti-virus vendor Kaspersky Labs.

"It's hard to imagine a more comical situation: a handful of virus writers are playing unpunished with the Internet, and not one member of the Internet community can take decisive action to stop to this lawlessness," Eugene Kaspersky, head of anti-virus research at the company, wrote in a release.

(Additional reporting by Alberto Alerigi in Sao Paulo.)

Monday, March 01, 2004

Any Coupon Works!

apparently they're called spongemonkeys...
Slate on the Quiznos creatures-
and, the web site of their creator, a fellow named Joel Veitch.