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Monthly Archives: July 2003


July 22nd, 2003 - 1:15 am

The bloody mess we’re seeing in Iraq today is typical for the end of any war.

World War II ended in Europe in May of 1945. But the fighting, on several fronts, lasted for years. Italians battled Yugoslavs around Trieste; Greeks and Turks fought their own; there was a practical mini civil war in France against collaborators; French colonial forces found themselves at war in Indochina; the denazification of Germany was sometimes bloody (much like what we’re seeing in Iraq today); and more. “It’s a little-known fact, Diane,” that partisans in the newly-annexed western Ukraine kept fighting against their Soviet overlords well into the ’50s.

Probably the only reason the occupation of Japan went so smoothly is that the Emperor had commanded his people not to fight

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You’ll Feel Better, Too

July 22nd, 2003 - 12:02 am


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Technical Difficulties

July 21st, 2003 - 4:35 pm

Today’s “late start” got sidelined by an all-day-long, city-wide Adelphia internet outage.

Back after dinner.

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After These Important Messages

July 21st, 2003 - 9:23 am

Late start to a busy day — back in a bit.

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See Ya

July 18th, 2003 - 3:14 pm

Geek-boy here got his copy of KOTOR today.

The weekend just started early.

UPDATE: I’ve been playing, and it is good. But now it’s time to shower, shave, and throw on the tux for the opera. No, I’m not kidding. Xbox, opera, it’s all good.

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Just Wait II

July 18th, 2003 - 8:52 am

This will set the conspiracy theorists’ hearts to poundning:

Police searching for Dr David Kelly, the Ministry of Defence official quizzed this week over the government’s Iraq dossier, have found a man’s body.

Officers have confirmed that the body matches Dr Kelly’s description.

Come to think of it, “Yellowcake” does sound a bit like the name of a lame Bond villian. Maybe from one of the Timothy Dalton movies…

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July 18th, 2003 - 1:13 am

In a post earlier this week I asked, “Now, can some of you smart network-type people tell me if any of these ideas [to improve spam-proofing ad email security] are doable without needing an entirely new email system and software?

Eric Raymond responds:

Dvorak is, as usual, completely out to lunch. The fundamental problemwith spam has nothing to do with authentication or virii; it’s that spam is cheap to send but blocking it is expensive. The only way to solve the problem is to make spamming cost money to the spammers.

There are ways to approch this. A simple extension to SMTP would require senders to perform provably expensive computations (that is, burn up a fixed and large amount of computer time) to get mail into your box. But there’s a serious retrofitting problem….

But enough techie stuff — go read the excellent new post over at Eric’s Armed and Dangerous blog.

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Sharp-Dressed Man

July 18th, 2003 - 12:54 am

Lileks explains, far better than I ever managed, why I still wear button down shirts, even in summer:

Spoken like someone who wore a skinny tie and thrift-store jacket through his twenties. Why? Simple: Made me feel sharp. Not slack, not def, not fresh, not bad, not unHerbert, not whatever word has come along in the last few decades to describe slavish devotion to the mode du jour, but sharp. That suggests a certain amount of crispness, and of course a certain amount amphetamines as well. (Coffee, in my case. And lots of it. I’m still a dawn-to-dusk man with the stuff; just as Churchill could knock back a rejuvinating gin for breakfast, I can drink a quart of hot stern joe at midnight and sleep the sleep of the just.) Sharp was borrowed from the early 60s, or a recycled notion of the era. Sharp came through the New Wave musicians who had narrow-cuffed pants, narrow lapels, inch-wide ties. It was the look of people who were alert, present and accounted for, and well aware that we had best enjoy ourselves before Reagan set off a nuclear war, man. Sharp was a direct reaction to all the blowsy billowy gunny-sack that made up the tail-end of hippiedom; sharp was an unironic thrift-store aesthetic. Sharp was cool and cool was sharp.

Hey, Lileks — I still have my inch-wide black leather tie. Where’s yours?

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In Case You Missed It

July 18th, 2003 - 12:30 am

Ladies and gentlemen, Tony Blair.

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Just Wait

July 18th, 2003 - 12:28 am

Krauthammer on the uranium non-scandal:

The threat [of Iraq] had not yet even fully emerged, Bush was asserting, but nonetheless it had to be faced because it would only get worse. Hussein was not going away. The sanctions were not going to restrain him. Even his death would be no reprieve, as his half-mad sons would take over. The argument was that Hussein had to be removed eventually and that with Hussein relatively weakened, isolated and vulnerable, now would be more prudent and less costly than later.

He was right.

In fact, Bush’s case was simply a more elaborate and formal restatement of Bill Clinton’s argument in 1998 that, left unmolested, Hussein would “go right on and do more to rebuild an arsenal of devastating destruction. And some day, some way, I guarantee you, he’ll use the arsenal.”

That was true when Clinton said it. It was true when Bush said it. The difference is that Bush did something about it.

This one is for-sure gonna come back to bite the Democrats on the ass.

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The Man to Beat Himself?

July 18th, 2003 - 12:21 am

So far this week, we’ve looked at why Dick Gephardt and Joe Lieberman can’t get their presidential campaigns off the ground. Let’s do something different, and see how high-flyer Howard Dean could crash and burn.

In almost every nominating race, one candidate surges strong early, gets all the adoring media, poses a surprising challenge to the front-runner, and then self-destructs. In 1980, we had Ted Kennedy. What killed Ted? Two things: Chappaquiddick and failure to ask an important question. The question was, “Why do you want to be President?” Kennedy’s answer was an incoherent jumble.

Oops. But that was a small oops, compared to our other flame-outs.

That brings us to Gary Hart. Hart didn’t quite crash in the 1984 race. It’s just that, like Bob Dole in 1996, ’84 was Walter Mondale’s year. He was old, he’d been around longer than anyone else, and, uh, he was old and had been around longer than anyone else. So he got the nod. But Hart did well enough that 1988 should have been his year.

Then he got caught with a bikini girl on his lap in a yacht called Monkey Business, and we got stuck with Mike Dukakis. I’d say that’s the sort of spectacular idiocy you only ever see on TV, except that TV is where you saw it.

Four years later and another wide-open race for the chance to run against popular war President George H. W. Bush. Mario Cuomo and Gephardt both bowed out when Bush’s poll numbers were at record highs. Almost no one of any stature was willing to run. And so Bill Clinton looked likely to take it all

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More On the Way

July 17th, 2003 - 10:31 pm

One uninteresting event after another today, so not much in the way of blogging.

But now I have a lovely gin & tonic in front of me, and a little tiny vanilla cigar behind me. Let’s get to work.

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July 17th, 2003 - 3:27 pm

Hit Andy’s tip jar, will you?

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July 17th, 2003 - 11:50 am

Late start today, obviously. Back this afternoon.

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July 17th, 2003 - 12:10 am

There’s something about a fine dinner, a bottle of wine, and cuddling up on the sofa with your honey and Ken Branagh’s Much Ado About Nothing that really takes away one’s will to blog.

But in the morning I can promise you a follow-up to this week’s look at the failing Gephardt and Lieberman campaigns, with an analysis of how Howard Dean might prove to be his own undoing.

Until then — hey, nonny nonny.

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Need to Know

July 16th, 2003 - 4:01 pm

John Dvorak has six ideas on how to spam-proof email. The last three are the biggies:

Spoof-proof authentication. Much of the problem with spam is that it comes from unknown senders who cannot be isolated or shut down. Spoofing is just too easy; we should be able to spoof-proof the system. Along with this idea comes authentication, so you know whom the message is really from. This would also minimize virus outbreaks; today, when you get mail from a friend with an attached virus, you can’t be certain who is really sending it.

Privacy. E-mail systems should be completely encrypted and secure. The U.S. Postal Service guarantees that mail is secure and cannot be opened (once posted) by anyone except the recipient. E-mail should have the same basic safeguards.

Systemic antiviral agents. There is no doubt that e-mail is the major distribution mechanism for viruses. This makes it less useful, because many people will no longer open or examine attachments from anyone. All messages should be signed and encrypted before transmission.

Now, can some of you smart network-type people tell me if any of these ideas are doable without needing an entirely new email system and software?

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Xander at 17 Weeks

July 16th, 2003 - 3:27 pm

Here’s how I’ve been spending my day.

(Click for full-size pics.)

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Required Reading

July 16th, 2003 - 12:48 pm

CD Harris apologizes for Jews everywhere.

(Found on Caerdroia.)

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Playing With Fire

July 16th, 2003 - 9:17 am

Now this is a tequila story.

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Restraining order
Time served
Hair remover
Dangling chads
Government cheese
Babs (Does not apply to first dates with women named “Babs”)
Redi-Wip (Does not apply to first dates with women named “Redi-Wip”)
Walking pneumonia
Barnaby Jones
Clean needles
Paul Krugman
Third base
Oozing pustule

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Blogger v. Pseudo Blogger

July 16th, 2003 - 1:36 am

We have here what might just be the first fisking of a 2004 presidential candidate.

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Laugh and/or Cringe

July 16th, 2003 - 1:30 am

Alan Bromley has a list of activities New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg hasn’t yet taxed, but probably will.

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Same Topic, Different Blogger

July 16th, 2003 - 1:17 am

Andrew Olmsted weighs in on gay marriage, and it’s so good, I wish he’d done so sooner.

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Preaching to the Choir

July 16th, 2003 - 1:13 am

Thomas Friedman weighs in on the uranium non-scandal:

For me, though, it is a disturbing thought that the Bush team could get itself so tied up defending its phony reasons for going to war

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One More Minute

July 16th, 2003 - 1:05 am

This story hurts so much, I hesitate even linking to it.

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Shoeless Joe

July 16th, 2003 - 1:03 am

Yesterday we talked about why Dick Gephardt‘s presidential campaign is losing steam. Today, a reader asks me why Joe Lieberman hasn’t gained any traction with the money men, or (if polls are to be believed this early) with the voters.

OK, I’m game.

Let’s get the silly reasons out of the way first. I’ve heard some folks (mostly conservatives) complain here that when Lieberman was tapped to be Al Gore’s running mate in Naught-Naught, that he reversed himself on some of his more conservative positions. That’s a bogus complaint, and people who read this site frequently should know better.

The Veep’s main job, other than maintaining a pulse at least slightly longer than his boss does, is to stump for him. Whenever the Prez says A, the Veep has to say A, too. Saying B sows discord and confuses the voters. Remember that in 1980, George H. W. Bush called Reagan’s proposed tax cuts “voodoo economics.” Then he lost the nomination and got the nod to be Veep, and suddenly voodoo econ sounded like a pretty damn fine program to him.

That’s just the way the game is played, so there’s no sense in hammering Lieberman for playing by its twisted rules. Besides, playing second fiddle to Al Gore should help Lieberman with Democratic primary voters

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Separated at Birth?

July 16th, 2003 - 12:28 am

Am I the first person to notice that Johnny Depp’s performance in Pirates of the Caribbean seems to be based almost entirely on Keith Richards?

The voice, the accent, the beads in the hair, the not-ever-quite-sober way of talking

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July 15th, 2003 - 5:44 pm

Hey, New Yorkers — help Sheila O’Malley get a line on a new apartment.

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The Man to Beat?

July 15th, 2003 - 3:21 pm

The Sacramento Bee‘s Daniel Weintraub thinks Arnold will be the next governor of California, should he decide to run:

If Schwarzenegger runs, Democrats won’t be able to lay a finger on him with issues they’ve long used to demonize Republicans: abortion, gun control, gay rights, the environment. And Republicans who think they can hit him on culture issues (he smoked pot as a young bodybuilder) will find their bullets bouncing off him as if he were a machine.

That’s because Arnold has something that few modern politicians possess: a story. It’s a captivating personal tale that meshes perfectly with his political beliefs. And if he runs, I think, it will get him elected.

The rest of the piece is a quick bio, including one thing I hadn’t read anywhere else. Arnold made his first million in real estate, before he ever starred in a movie. That speaks well of a man who arrived here penniless, but it doesn’t mean he — or anyone else — can quickly, easily, or painlessly ease California’s budget problems.

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Under the Mattress

July 15th, 2003 - 1:21 pm

Some days, I know how this guy feels.

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