This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Saturday, April 12, 2003

WELCOME. A big fat Tapped welcome goes out to Political Aims, a new blog authored chiefly by occasional Prospect Online...
[via TAPPED]

Students on music downloads USA Today: As the record industry starts to come down hard on unauthorized music downloading on college campuses, students are responding with defiant words and defensive actions....

Wretched RAVE Act Passes Through the Backdoor Late on Thursday (April 10, 2003) the Senate and House passed the Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Act (formerly known as the...

Castro Waves Arms, Says, 'Hey, Still A Ruthless Dictator Down Here!' Plastic::Politics::International: 75 Cuban dissidents found themselves on the receiving ends of prison sentences of as much as 28 years. The last of the group received their sentences following trials which typically lasted less than a day.

Iraqis Now Free To Do Whatever We Want Them To Do? Plastic::Politics::International: Democracy VERSUS capitalism in reconstructing Iraq.

Kevin Sites, Warblogger and CNN reporter, captured (then released) in Iraq Kevin Sites, CNN correspondent and blogger was captured by Iraqi Fedayeen soldiers and held at gunpoint today along with other CNN crewmembers. Thankfully, all were released. During the ordeal, which Sites says lasted about four hours, he and colleagues were told repeatedly that they would be killed. Their captors fired guns at them, destroyed equipment, and repeatedly told the CNN crew that they were about to be executed. Thanks to the quick thinking of their Kurdistani translator, he reported on CNN today, they were all eventually released. story here. Discuss

GAO Report on Critical Infrastructure Information Security: Progress Made, but Challenges Remain to Protect Federal Systems and the Nation's Critical Infrastructure, by Robert F. Dacey,...
[via beSpacific]

Great News Aggregator List Excellent resource, via Sabrina, beSpacific, out of Jenny, the Shifted Librarian. It's amazing how many news aggregator programs there are. Another Jenny-link of special interest: RSS Workshop: Publish and Syndicate Your News To The Web.

Pyschologists Address Post-War Iraq Psychologists for Social Responsibility, opposed the war in Iraq before it began. Now that it is about to conclude, they...

NYT: Who owns the Rules of War? Who Owns the Rules of War?. The war in Iraq demands a rethinking of the international rules of conduct. By Kenneth Anderson. [New York Times: NYT HomePage]

Arab anger US victory in Baghdad sows bitterness across the Middle East - Fri Apr 11, 11:17 pm GMT

This changes the map of the Middle East forever - Sat Apr 12, 06:00 am GMT

From Pakistan: an analysis of how territory can expect to be diplomatically chopped up in the Middle East, now that the US has won the war and liberated the Iraqi people.

Mideast Peace?: An Arab-Israeli Pact Must Come First - Sat Apr 12, 07:07 am GMT
Mideast Peace?: The Key to Peace Is a Stable Gulf - Sat Apr 12, 07:07 am GMT
Going to be running a little late with new goodies today. A mid-afternoon break from studying, perhaps. Until then, I must entertain you with this local news article about my law school: NSU Blocks Auction for Class Space. Is it that it's a law school? Or a law school in Florida? - that produces this kind of plan. When I checked the auction page, about 1/2 hr after the email was bulletined to all the 1L's, the bidding had already reached $239!
Been a rough couple of days here on CaffMonster, due to some baffling "null pointer exception" bs Blogger has dragged me through. I had been pulling out my hair, and even set up the alternate "caffymonster" not as cool mirror newsblog. And then I came across Phil's Blogger FAQ Blog, contacted its informed and benevolent writer, who got back to me after half a day (this is approx. 4x less of a wait than Blogger's help techs were putting me through). So, three cheers for Phil! And go visit his site if you have a Blogger blog. Even if you don't.

Friday, April 11, 2003

Guilty Or Not, The DHS Always Gets Its Man! Plastic::Politics::Law: Sahim Alwan plead guilty to lesser charges, and agreed to cooperate with the government's investigation in exchange for a nine-year sentence. Mr. Alwan's admission of guilt has some crying foul.

Language of Conquest, Vocabulary of Occupation In CNN, from the report on the 25,000 rally for the US troops at "Ground Zero" in New York: "Some of you may have seen yesterday in Baghdad a picture of a statue of that evil dictator being toppled and dragged through the streets by Iraqis," Pataki said to the cheering crowd. "Let's melt it down. Let's bring it to New York and let's put it in one of the girders that's going to rise over here as a symbol of the rebuilding of New York and the rebuilding of America." Though there has never been any proof that Saddam Hussein or the people of Iraq had anything to do with 9/11 or Al-Queda, the Governor of New York talks about using Saddam Hussein's statue in the rebuilding of the World Trade Center. After the US flag draped over the statue yesterday, could there have been any other act more guaranteed to continue the confusion and the alarm with which the Arab world views our presence in Iraq? Perhaps 25,000 of us need to march to New York and tell the Governor that if he wants the statue, he'll have to ask the owners. The people of Iraq. You know,...

Rhetoric Sharpens Over Proposed Patriot Act Extension As a follow-up to my posting yesterday, Legislative Maneuvering to Extend Patriot Act, see today's press release from Sen. Patrick...
[via beSpacific]

Resources on News Aggregators Jenny, the Shifted Librarian, has linked to her April 9 PowerPoint presentation, Keeping Current Using RSS, from the 5th Annual...
[via beSpacific]

Condi Rice or Schwarzenegger The Terminator versus the national security adviser for California governor in 2006? Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger and National Security Advisor Condoleeza...

New Frontiers

Breaking news: Rick Klau has the scoop on Movable Bloggerland.

Sleuthing Patriotic Slogans The questionable grammar of the patriotic signs and stickers dotting the American landscape is enough to drive an English teacher batty.
[via AlterNet]

Is Syria next?  Big question.  One thing most people don't understand, is that given our focus on the Loose Nuke Problem Syria rises to the top target.  Why?  It is the prime sponsor of the delivery system for loose nukes (terrorists).  More than any other country in the world.  While it may not have programs to produce WMD, it can deliver them (remember, N. Korea is about to engage the capacity to produce 60 nukes a year, likely to be sold to the highest bidder).  Given this logic, Syria is on thin ice as it attempts to reinforce Iraqi resistance.  It is providing ammo to its critics.  

Here is my question:  Do you think we will go to war with Syria in the next year?

The Draft Law About Social Insurance - Fri Apr 11, 12:52 pm GMT
Farmington woman sentenced for Internet fraud - Fri Apr 11, 12:57 pm GMT

House, Senate Chiefs Strike Budget Deal - Wed Apr 9, 11:55 pm GMT

They've probably decided to tax the living shit out of the lower middle class in order to fund their Reaganistic inflated defense programs.  Oh wait.  They're doing that already.

U.S. Uses Iraqi TV to Send Message - Fri Apr 11, 03:37 am GMT

Schwarzenegger, Rice Eye Calif. Gov. Race - Fri Apr 11, 06:53 am GMT

One of the names in this headline prompts the phrase, "you can't be serious."  Can you guess which one?

Bush addresses Iraqis as media blitz begins - Fri Apr 11, 10:24 am GMT

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Naturally, We-Jenius makes a ton of improvements on the overall look of CaffMonster, and Blogger shits out on me. If you could see this, you'd see how many awesome articles I have posted for you today. Bawls.
Today's goodies deal mostly with the war's effect on the American individual. But I threw in some occult shake: Voodoo being Haiti's official religion, some pressing legislative news (Medical weed bill is on the floor again), another take on the 'evildoing' going on in Cuba, and a progress report from Boston's Big Dig.
I'm only in the testing phase of putting these little messages from me to you at the top of the day's stew, so if you don't like it, no worries. I'll either improve upon this sort of thing, or discontinue the practice.
But, again, lookit how cool the logos look here! And at!

Falling America and Revolution

News Corp. buying DirecTV Here's terrible news: The News Corp. has reached a deal to buy control of Hughes Electronics and DirecTV. From the NY Times: Completing the final piece in Rupert Murdoch's global satellite empire, the News Corporation agreed today to buy control...

Good ol' reliable Hanoi Jane It's comforting to know that there are some things in life that are constant.

Question Authority (Unless They Have Tenure) Plastic::Politics::Flame War: Professors who remember the '60s are having trouble connecting to their students. What's with kids these days?

Global Civil Society - Sectoral Blur

Posted by The Happy Tutor

Langemark's Cafe: Now - as I have NGOs [Non-Governmental and Non-Profit Organizations]among my clients, and I see the change in the selfimage and the behavior of these types of organisations, I cannot but believe that things are changing fundamentally these years. From being "grass roots", "pinkish", "anti establishment" these organisations are increasingly adopting a self image which includes business goals, political clout, media management and marketing and other management and business related issues - which were, just a few years ago, not part of the "package" when dealing with such organizations. Likewise, he adds, businesses, at least some, are adopting the NGO ethos, or rhetoric of doing good. In America this is called in Social Venture circles, "the double bottom line." In small locally-owned businesses a "double bottom line" may even be commonplace: The shopkeeper is the Sexton at the Church, coaches soccer, gives to the local charities. The local press is owned by a family concerned about its status and reputation for probity and taste. The local banker protects its loans and its community by extending credit to distressed farmers (whom she has known all her life) during a drought. All that changes, though, with a global business -- a Wall Mart, a Time/Warner/AOL, an international financial combine. These global entities, tapping the global equity markets, must maximize return or their stock prices, or their managers' stock options, will be pummeled. Against such considerations, the local pre-teen girl's soccer team in some small town, where the company has an outlet, really doesn't matter much. A tobacco company giving money for cancer research does not strike me as a counter-example. ...

Voodoo is official in Haiti Jean-Bertrand Aristede, President of Haiti, has recognized voodoo (practiced by three quarters of Haiti) as an official religion.
Aristede paid tribute to national hero Toussaint L'Ouverture, the leader of African slaves who rebelled against the French colonial government. In 1802, he was taken to France, where he died in prison in 1803.

Later that year, rebels overthrew Napoleon's troops and declared independence early in 1804, the first Latin American and Caribbean country to do so.

Link Discuss (via FARK)

U.S. Congressmen Introduce Bill to Legalize Medical Marijuana U.S. Rep. Sam Farr is introducing a bill Thursday to legalize medical need as a valid defense in federal prosecutions....

Librarians' Opposition to Patriot Act Becoming More Vocal Librarians are rising up in opposition to the Patriot Act. Every public computer inside Monterrey Park's public libraries has a new warning taped to its screen. Beware, the message says, anything you read is now subject to secret scrutiny by federal agents.

The Roots of War War is too complex and collective an activity to be accounted for by any warlike instinct lurking within the individual psyche.
[via AlterNet]

A Crippled Home Front The Department of Veterans Affairs is being targeted for billions in cuts. Evidently, President Bush's support for the troops doesn't include their health care.
[via AlterNet]

Saddam's fatal error:  he imagined he was Stalin in Russia during WW2.  He thought that he could trade territory for time to wear down the enemy.  This was a scale error, one on an order of magnitude in its disparity (German troops in Stalingrad were 1,200 miles away from their nearest "safe" zones vs. ~ 250 m for US troops in Iraq).  He also didn't destroy infrastructure.  This was due to his inability to appreciate the ability of US airpower to disrupt his C3I.   Baghdad was for all intents and purposes left intact in the last war.  This war was different.  This left Saddam without bridges blown, fires burning in oil fields, etc.  All of which in combination could have delayed this fight for up to three months.  In the strategy of hyper-war:  we got inside his decision making loop.

4 guilty, 4 acquitted in Miami police trial - Thu Apr 10, 11:51 am GMT
State Senate Passes Jenny's Law - Thu Apr 10, 11:59 am GMT
War Funding Bill's Extra Riders - Tue Apr 8, 01:40 pm GMT
Final Decision on Tax Cut Delayed - Wed Apr 9, 08:00 pm GMT

Democratic Candidates Tout War Support - Thu Apr 10, 06:44 am GMT

Yea.  Now that we've supposedly won the war they support it.  Morons.  I say we start a new political party: one that is different from the others in relevant ways.


Reporters Flout Cuban Censorship - Thu Apr 10, 09:37 am GMT


Media Seeking Audits Of Big Dig Contractor - Thu Apr 10, 11:44 am GMT

When I lived in Boston, they were about 4 years into the dig, they did a little check on how progress correlated to the budget, and found out that they we $20 billion over there projected budget. ... or some comparably astounding monetary figure.  So bad, that the contractors weren't being paid.  Suspension bridge looks way cool, though.  Used to pass by it while it was still in construction on my way North to NH for the weekends.


Iraq first domino in Mideast plan - Thu Apr 10, 03:36 am GMT

Whoops.  Are we back to this metaphor for interstate relations?

The Middle East "roadmap" - Thu Apr 10, 08:32 am GMT

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

The Incredulous Stare on Transhumanism UFO Breakfast gives Nick Bostrom and Transhumanism the old incredulous stare: It appears that Yale's philosophy department is hiring "transhumanists,"...
[via Waggish]

Foundations and Empire You can say all you want about push polls, badly phrased questions, the sort of dullards who have the time...
[via Waggish]

Surveillance Nation Read this last night in MIT's Technology Review, the hard-cover magazine. It's an overview of private and governmental surveillance, workplace monitoring, traffic cams, cell phone intercepts and more, by Dan Farmer and Charles Mann. A quick, one-time registration is required...

SHOVE Your PC Garbage When is enough, enough. How far does this PC garbage have to go? When are we going to go back to the time when adults were expected to behave as adults instead of having to follow some rulebook so as not to offend the plethora of special interest groups, cliques labels, etc... ? 

Tie Your Tubes And Get $200 For Crack! Plastic::Politics::Health: A foundation that gives drug-addicted women money in exchange for birth control is getting bigger and bigger. Is it racist eugenics?
Posted here, so you may have the benefit of Plastician commentary, and below, for the actual article and spin.
Org pays crack addicts $200 to get sterilized If you're addicted to drugs, CRACK (Children Requiring a Caring Kommunity) will pay you $200 to undergo sterilization. Link Discuss

A blog on digital rights JD Lasica points to a new blog that focuses on copyright and digital rights issues, Paul Pedley's Information Law Web log. Pedley works at The Economist in London and is author of the forthcoming book, Essential Law for Information Professionals, from Facet Publishing.
[via LawSites]

Dean Tong: Elizabeth Smart a victim of Stockholm Syndrome Forensic legal consultant Dean Tong concludes that kidnap victim Elizabeth Smart had fallen victim to Stockholm Syndrome. A nationally recognized legal consultant and author on child abuse, custody and abduction cases, Tong believes kidnappers waged a psychological battle against their young victim. [PRWEB Mar 21, 2003]
[via PR Web]

the LSAT question that never was... Pablo has ten kilos of cocaine that he wants to distribute amongst five people: Jose, Pedro, Ernesto, Manuel, and Carlos. If Jose can only take an odd number of kilos of cocaine, and Manuel only takes twice as much cocaine as Carlos, and Ernesto has a ch...

Desktop Blogging

Tech TV suggests w.bloggar (Windows) and Kung-Log (Mac) as applications to run on the desktop to provide a more full-featured blogging interface. These strive to afford more editing flexibility than your blogging tool may offer. They'd also address the occasional "lost post" problem.

War Tax Resistance Made Simple What to expect and how to prepare if you want to withhold your hard-earned cash from the Pentagon. PLUS: The Noble American Tradition of Tax Evasion.
[via AlterNet]

Presstime:  Syndication Made Simple.

RSS can build loyalty among current visitors to your site and help attract new ones. It's a customer-service initiative, too, because you're helping your audience find articles quickly. RSS shows that you're innovative, and yes, there's even potential for revenue down the road.

Supreme Court: Cross burning - Wed Apr 9, 12:07 pm GMT
Man sentenced in mom's car death - Wed Apr 9, 12:41 pm GMT

Postwar UN role remains blurred - Tue Apr 8, 01:28 pm GMT

Please note the more cynical caption than the hokey American spin on this story immediately below.


U.N. to Have 'Vital Role' in Iraq - Wed Apr 9, 12:52 pm GMT

As in the vital role they've had up until now, right?

TV Ads Target Companies Moving Offshore - Wed Apr 9, 12:56 pm GMT

Bush Sees a Model for Mideast Peace - Wed Apr 9, 12:52 pm GMT

It probably comes in the lovely shape of world domination...

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Fighting Spam by Outing Spammers The Washington Post reports on another way to fight spam: publicizing the names, addresses and phone numbers of spammers. One spammer so targeted is suing the public-spirited person who "outed" him. As much as I hate spammers, I'm reluctant to endorse this approach, because it could just as easily be used to harass people who oppose the war in Iraq, for example.

(de)lovely (de)lovely For some reason, I have become obsessed with comparing the rhetoric of the various media outlets. I?ve cut back...

WHAT ELSE DID SHE GET WRONG? In this otherwise unremarkable and cliched National Review article on leftists in the academy,...
[via TAPPED]

BBC's lectures on cognition, consciousness and the brain The BBC's Reith lectures are a series of learned and fascinating lay-oriented educational pieces about the relationship of the human brain to conciousness and cognition. They're proceeding on a weekly schedule, and the Beeb is posting the entire text of the lecture along with the full audio and video clips. The first installment, Phantoms in the Brain, conducted by V.S. Ramachandran, is up now. It's totally engrossing -- there're about five science-fiction-novels' worth of material there.
A patient I saw not long ago who had been in a car accident, had sustained a head injury and was in a coma for about a couple of weeks. Then he came out of this coma and he was quite intact neurologically when I examined him. But he had one profound delusion - he would look at his mother and say "Doctor, this woman looks exactly like my mother but she isn't, she is an imposter".

Now why would this happen? Now the important thing is this patient who I will call David is completely intact in other respects. Now to understand this disorder, you have to first realise that vision is not a simple process. When you open your eyes in the morning, it's all out there in front of you. It's easy to assume that it's effortless and instantaneous but in fact you have this distorted upside down image in your retina exciting the photoreceptors and the messages then go through the optic nerve to the brain and then they are analysed in thirty different visual areas, in the back of your brain. And then you finally after analysing all the individual features, you identify what you're looking at. Is it your mother, is it a snake, is it a pig, what is it? And that process of identification takes place in a place which we call the fusiform gyrus which as we have seen is damaged in patients with face blindness or prosopognosia...

Now what's happened in this patient? What we suggest is that maybe what's gone wrong is that the fusiform gyrus and all the visual areas are completely normal in this patient. That's why when he looks at his mother, he says "oh yeah, it looks like my mother", but the wire, to put it crudely, the wire that goes from the amygdala to the limbic system, to the emotional centres, is cut by the accident. So he looks at his mother and he says - "hey, it looks just like my mother, but if it's my mother why is it I don't experience this warm glow of affection (or terror, as the case may be). There's something strange here, this can't possibly be my mother, it's some other strange woman pretending to be my mother". It's the only interpretation that makes sense to his brain given the peculiar disconnection.

Link Discuss (Thanks, Alaina!)

A MeFi for ad-people AdRag is a pretty amazing advertising community site, with over 10,000 ads online and discussion boards galore. Marco calls it "a MetaFilter for ad- and ad-obsessed people." Link Discuss (Thanks, Marco!)

Report on Khmer Rouge trials The United Nations has released Secretary-General Kofi Annan's report to the General Assembly on negotiations for the establishment of a special Cambodian tribunal to try cases arising out of the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. The report says tha...

Chicago Tribune Wins Pulitzer for Death Penalty Editorials The 2003 Pulitzer Prizes for Journalism have been announced: Cornelia Grubman and the Chicago Tribune has won the 2003 Pulitzer...

Blawg Tide

New to me; new to you?

Politically Inspired Fiction: The War Is Over "Here is a secret that everyone knows: pictures lie. Remember that when they play loops of crates found full of white powder on the evening news."
[via AlterNet]

Chemical-warfare agents confirmed in early testing CNN - Material found at paramilitary camp in Hindiyah, Iraq, tests positive for chemical-warfare agents in preliminary testing, Pentagon sources tell CNN. Samples being flown to U.S. for confirmation.


One word: "evildoer."  And "Before Night Falls" has been playing on the premium channels every day this week.  Here is a people who want freedom, but will never get US intervention to help them achieve it.  And, furthermore, the US could make plenty of money briefly occupying Cuba.  We did in the 50's.

Shame, by the way, on Oliver Stone, Bono, Steven Speilberg and any other famous Hollywood figures proposing that they are peace-lovers who go an luxuriate on this island paradise at the expense of the blood and sweat of an oppressed people.  Morons.  Especially Bono, with his diplomatic visits to oppressed countries.  I don't hear anybody rising up in support of the dissidents.

Cuban Dissidents Sentenced To Up To 27 Years In Prison - Tue Apr 8, 11:49 am GMT


More positive advertising for my local area of my home state...

Delray-area priest sentenced to prison in online sex case - Tue Apr 8, 11:54 am GMT

State Bans on Cross Burning Upheld: High Court Affirms Parts of Va. Law but Strikes Down Others - Tue Apr 8, 12:28 pm GMT
A chronology of Darryl Strawberry's legal troubles - Tue Apr 8, 12:44 pm GMT
Edwards Touts Diplomacy on N. Korea - Tue Apr 8, 12:00 pm GMT
Media Notes: The Endless War - Tue Apr 8, 12:40 pm GMT
List of Journalists Killed in Iraq - Tue Apr 8, 12:43 pm GMT

Monday, April 07, 2003

Blogs: flavor of moment or publishing revolution? I'm quoted in today's Richmond (Virg.) Times Dispatch in a story titled Blogs: flavor of moment or publishing revolution? I met the author, McGregor McCance, at the session Rusty F. and I gave on weblogs at the new media conference...

We Three Kings in Iraq Are... In today's NY Times, David Edelstein acclaims Three Kings a great movie, and unambiguously anti-war: I agree with the former...

Ladylike Behavior Under the banner of equal opportunity, the demand for full integration of women means special treatment for women. They want special breaks-a woman shouldn't have to perform the same physical tests as a man. This agenda is driven not by women in uniform, but by their civilian advocates, who would never find themselves or their children serving in the military. The most powerful argument against women in combat, however, is not their relative physical strength. It is that decent men protect women in the face of a physical threat. The typical American male cannot pretend that the soldier to the right of him is a man and not a woman. If this bizarre social experiment of moving women closer and closer to the front lines is going to continue, American mothers had better be put on notice that we've got to start raising our sons differently. We've got to start telling them, "You'd better go hit that girl. Well, what did you do when she called you a name? Did you hit her?" Kate O'Beirne, Washington Editor of the National Review in interview         I was struck by the ethnic diversity of the photographs of the women who...

A Vet Watches Rerun of a Bad War While the military sings the praises of depleted uranium rounds, a veteran of the first Gulf war says civilians and troops will bear the cost of the Defense Department's lies.
[via AlterNet]

Cannabis law 'will breed layabouts' - Mon Apr 7, 11:37 am GMT
Antispam company seeks poetic justice - Mon Apr 7, 12:19 pm GMT
N.C. Supreme Court to hear potentially historic death row appeal - Mon Apr 7, 12:30 pm GMT
Former S. Florida reporter David Bloom remembered for integrity, passion - Mon Apr 7, 11:48 am GMT
Reinventing MIT's Media Lab - Mon Apr 7, 11:56 am GMT
'We need a new Middle East of understanding' - Mon Apr 7, 11:55 am GMT

Sunday, April 06, 2003

CNN reports - France and Jordan Aid Iraq CNN reports - France and Jordan Aid Iraq
Command Post - CNN reports that large amounts of weapons found in Iraqi hands are from France and Jordan.