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Monthly Archives: November 2002

Hunkering Down

November 24th, 2002 - 9:13 pm

Busy weekend. The good kind of busy. After weeks of searching, we might just have found our house.

Two people with serious “me time” needs and too many clothes cannot long survive in a 1,600 square foot townhouse — no matter how good the closet space is. Not if they don’t want to hurt each other.

(Yeah, Jesse, I’ll probably take the time to explain just why you were wrong. Although I’ll admit right up front that of all bloggers, I have no excuse for complaining when someone else is being snide.)

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Dial-Up Problems

November 22nd, 2002 - 2:59 pm

How to save AOL? Make it more like TV! Everybody loves TV, right?

Miller wants to divide AOL’s 25 million U.S. subscribers into six groups and serve them news, advertising and other features tailored to their interests.

The segmentation strategy is consistent with the renewed focus on subscribers that is the mantra of AOL Vice Chairman Ted Leonsis, who says the company has lost its way in recent years by letting big advertising deals drive its content, rather than catering to the interests of its members. AOL subscribers pay $23.90 a month for dial-up access to the Internet and to receive exclusive content.

I used AOL as my backup ISP for several years. Under the “BYON” (Bring Your Own Network) plan, I paid ten bucks a month to keep in touch with my many friends who used AOL. AOL jacked up the price, and so I left.

Their original content wasn’t worth fifteen dollars, since it mostly consisted of grainy RealPlayer movie trailer videos — and RealPlayer had a nasty habit of crashing my system, reassigning my default players (even when told not to) and leaving a string of ugly pop-ups every time I tried to close it.

And that’s to say nothing of AOL’s rudimentary email system (essentially unchanged since the early ’90s or earlier), annoying advertising, and endless shilling for Time-Warner stuff. “Synergy” is business-speak for “interminable boosterism.”

Now they want to make it more like the wreck that is cable television? Spare us, please.

If AOL wants to survive, they

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Throw Parties, Not Fruit!

November 22nd, 2002 - 2:10 pm

We’ll round up all the Jews, just as soon as we get our suits back from the dry cleaners.

Matt Drudge has the story on the latest bit of infantile behavior from an anti-globo “protestor.”

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He Got Paid for That?

November 22nd, 2002 - 2:04 pm

Jesse, I usually enjoy your work. But this snide, willfully ignorant and misleading little piece is beneath you.

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Privacy? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Privacy

November 22nd, 2002 - 1:35 pm

I heard someone on the news yesterday — Rumsfeld? — try to cool worries about the Pentagon’s planned database. You know, the one that will record every single credit card purchase made by every single person in America.

Paraphrasing, he said that our fears are overblown. No one worries that banks and grocery stores and insurance companies already collect all this data.

Actually, some of us do worry about those little details. But what is left unsaid, is that banks and insurance companies don’t have guns or jails. The government does.

Shut down this project before it gets started.

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Republican-Eagle Axis

November 22nd, 2002 - 12:41 pm

At NRO, Randy Barnett has some advice for Republicans on how to capture more libertarian voters. His suggestions boil down to:

Oppose intrusions into privacy as vociferously as you would if it had been proposed by the Clinton administration.

Oppose intrusions upon the Bill of Rights more consistently in Congress.

Nominate more libertarian-conservative judges like Clarence Thomas to the courts who care about protecting individual liberty, not just traditionalist-conservative judges like Robert Bork who care most about the “liberty” of the majority to enshrine its preferences into law.

Care about federalism in the Congress.

Care more about the free market.

Stop making snide gratuitous remarks about libertarians. [You reading this, Jonah? -ed.]

Back off Prohibition.

Barnett’s got my vote.

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Write It and They Will Come

November 22nd, 2002 - 12:28 pm

I really don’t have the heart (well, stomach) to write the whole thing, but the first line of the TV promo running through my head goes:

Coming in January on Fox! Celebrity Baby-Dangling!

Maybe Dan or Steve will tackle it.

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“Deal With It, Pink Boy”

November 22nd, 2002 - 12:07 pm

I just read Alterman for the first time this week. Why did I bother?

I find all of this CIA post Cold War self-congratulation most tiresome. I don

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I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up

November 22nd, 2002 - 11:44 am

With the Senate now in Republican hands, expect Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist to retire this summer.

A fall like this one should convince him.

Now — anyone want to make a wager on who will replace him?

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Good Questions

November 22nd, 2002 - 11:41 am

Mark Steyn worries over the pace of the war:

Oh, to be sure, there’ve been some useful bits of intelligence co-operation, and London and Washington have frozen the bank accounts of the dodgier Canadian charities. Two weeks ago, President Bush scored remarkable double victories over Tom Daschle’s Senate Democrats and the French Security Council veto. But Senator Daschle and the French are not the enemy; they’re just speed bumps on the way to the enemy, and both ought to have been receding into the distance in the rear-view mirror a long time ago. Instead, it’s the war that keeps getting deferred, to the point where it’s beginning to look like the Bush version of the Soviets’ endlessly rolled-over Five Year Plans.

Sitzkrieg anyone?

Okay, I’m not that worried. Not yet, anyway. But the troublesome question is, where are the troops? I figured by this point, we’d have three divisions of armor, mechanized infantry, and Marines in Kuwait. The 101st, I figured, would be poised at Incirlik. Instead, we have reports that a mere 8,000 troops are in Kuwait — and most of the increase (from the usual 4,000) is in headquarters and support, not in combat forces. If we need to be ready to go shortly after December 8 and these numbers are true, then we simply can’t be ready in time.

If the deadline slips, Saddam and his terror cronies will be emboldened, what little international support we have will erode, and the period of good fighting weather will be over.

It’s true that we have much equipment pre-positioned around the Middle East. It’s also true that we won’t need nearly as large a force. But neither fact changes the third fact that inspections minus the threat of immediate reatliation make war more likely, not less, and also puts some doubt into the outcome.

So I ask: Where are the soldiers, sailors, and airmen to win this war?

And I ask another question: Is Bush II making the same mistake as Bush I, hoping Saddam will be killed in an uprising?

I haven’t given up faith yet, but I am starting to wonder.

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November 22nd, 2002 - 12:56 am

It’s tough to remove a link from the blogroll, even if the blogger hasn’t blogged in a blog’s age. However long that is.

So dead blogs have been moved to “Under the Table.” It’s down there at the bottom, after “Cover Charge.” Give’em a visit — then send’em some email and tell’em to get back to work.

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Exit Strategy

November 22nd, 2002 - 12:18 am

The only way to get into a quagmire in Iraq is by not fighting.

Some worry that Anglo-American forces will get

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Greatest (Party) Generation

November 22nd, 2002 - 12:12 am

Peggy Noonan uses a surprisingly gentle tone discussing the

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November 22nd, 2002 - 12:09 am

We need a word meaning both scary and exciting.

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November 22nd, 2002 - 12:07 am

I know it

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Friday Recipe

November 22nd, 2002 - 12:04 am

By popular request, I

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All Play and No Work. . .

November 21st, 2002 - 11:03 pm

Yes, I’m back at work. Yes, there’s some good stuff coming up after midnight.

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Best Submission Yet

November 21st, 2002 - 1:09 pm

Jesus drives an old 1941 Zephyr. Need proof?

Sayeth the Lord:

Son, You’re going to drive Me to drinkin’
If You don’t stop drivin’ that hot rod Lincoln

Or maybe it only counts if you worship Charlie Ryan.

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Happy Birthday

November 20th, 2002 - 12:00 am

If you’re wondering what I’ve been doing with my time the last few days, let me say that house hunting has been the least of it.

Today is my bride Melissa’s birthday, and here is tonight’s menu. (Recipes available on request.)


Yeah, I’ve been in a lot of grocery stores lately. And let’s not even talk about the kitchen.

Happy birthday, darling. You’re not just loved; I adore you.

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November 19th, 2002 - 11:13 am

My bride thinks that Jesus drove a Volvo, because I’m always shouting, “Jesus Christ, would you get out of my way?” at them.

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November 19th, 2002 - 10:22 am

The combination of a light dinner and Sudafed leads to very interesting typos.

I think I got’em all fixed. . .

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Separated at Birth

November 19th, 2002 - 12:21 am

Al Gore

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Welcome Aboard

November 19th, 2002 - 12:08 am

The good folks at Spinsanity take on Michael Moore and

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Glass Half Shattered

November 19th, 2002 - 12:04 am


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Windbags and War

November 18th, 2002 - 10:33 pm

And so it begins.

The White House last night began to build its case that Saddam Hussein was already defying the United Nations.

It said Iraq’s repeated attempts to fire on American and British aircraft in the no-fly zones amounted to a “material breach” of the latest Security Council resolution.

I think we all know by now what “material breach” means. To the US — you know, the guys with all the tanks and planes and stuff, ie, the people who count — it means war.

What I found most interesting this weekend, albeit in an obvious way, is how the new UN resolution is being viewed in the White House versus UN Sec-Gen Kofi Annan. Annan was on the news Friday or Saturday, explaining how he hoped, for the sake of peace of course, that the inspections were “thorough” and “complete” and “given a chance to work.”

In other words, Annan sees the new inspections regime as a way to forestall Iraq’s disarmament and prevent any regime change. His language is that of further delay and obfuscation.

In the White House (notice I didn’t say, “in Washington”), the resolution is little more than a nifty way of keeping the proponents of delay and obfuscation off out backs while we move men and material to the Middle East, and rebuild our supply of JDAMs and cruise missiles.

December 8 is, as others have noted, the key date. The White House will build its case over the next three weeks, building up to the crescendo of dropping bombs.

The whole process will feel tedious to those of us who know this war — however undesirable — is both necessary and just. The diplomacy will seem pointless at best, and a needless opportunity given to our political foes to hector and namecall and cloud the issue.

But the legal issues were settled on Friday. The important issues will be settled by force of arms, sometime after 12-8-2002.

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He’s (Not) Dead, Jim

November 18th, 2002 - 3:37 pm

A nasty head cold, a trip to the dentist, and preparations for Melissa’s birthday dinner tomorrow night all have me a bit too busy to blog today.

More tonight, honest.

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Friday Recipe

November 15th, 2002 - 12:01 am

This is the show-off entr

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Not the Last Word on Iraq

November 14th, 2002 - 12:08 am

The inspectors will go in. They won’t find anything. But there will be lots of shell games by Saddam.

Then comes a frustrating period of continued diplomacy, ending in war — which won’t go quite as expected.

Other than that, I got nothin’ right now. More in the morning.

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Shopping Hell

November 13th, 2002 - 1:22 am

Been busy cruising the web catalogs all night, what with Christmas coming up next month and Melissa’s birthday next week. Little or no blogging today — there’s just too much to do.

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Brain Rumbles

November 12th, 2002 - 8:51 pm

Acid Man lays down the rules for the new Republican Majority. They’d do well to listen, if they want to keep it that way.

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