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From an article in today’s Los Angeles Times : Defense Secretary Donald H.
May 31st, 2003 by Ken Hagler

From an article in today’s Los Angeles Times:

bq. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld also defended the administration’s actions in the months before the Iraq campaign, saying in a radio interview Thursday, “This war was not waged under any false pretext.”

And Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz, in an interview with Vanity Fair magazine, sought to minimize the importance of weapons of mass destruction in the administration’s calculus for war.

“For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction, because it was the one reason everyone coudl agree on,” Wolfowitz said in comments released Wednesday.

The illustrates the only real difference between the Bush administration and the Clinton administration–Bush’s people are bad liars, so they’re constantly getting caught contradicting each other or changing their story.

Philip Cornford, Malcolm Brown and Tom Allard at The Sydney Morning Herald
May 31st, 2003 by Ken Hagler

A picture named pencil.jpgPhilip Cornford, Malcolm Brown and Tom Allard at The Sydney Morning
Herald –

Bloody battle for Qantas jet
– a man attempted to hijack an
Australian jet-liner with two sharpened wooden stakes. Expect the
Taking Scissors Away folks to start searching all bags for similar
weapons. The passengers on this jet illustrated the reason we don’t
need the t.s.a. folks. They stopped this crazy, with their bare
hands. [grabbe] [End the War on Freedom]

The Airport Nazis will have a hard time of it, as there are many millions of sharpened wooden stakes around, with millions more being sold every year. I do look forward with some amusement to the prospect of the government school “zero tolerance” enforcers suddenly discovering the weapon-like nature of all those sharpened wooden stakes.

On the Banks of the Salton Sea .
May 30th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

On the Banks of the Salton Sea. The title of this L.A. Times article is “A Dangerous Slum Sprouts in the Desert” and the writer is quite obviously horrified.

“They call it ‘Duroville,’ a haphazard village of roughly 4,000 people and dozens of unregulated businesses that has sprouted from the desert scrub in just two years. It was named for its founder, Harvey Duro, a husky member of the Torres-Martinez Band of Cahuilla Indians, who said he just may double the size of the place.

Whether anybody can stop him remains to be seen. Duroville sits on sovereign Indian land, beyond the reach of state and local laws. So, although one county official says it is the worst and largest substandard housing development of its kind in the region, there’s nothing she can do about it.”

(I’m not really sure what’s supposed to be more horrifying, that these people are living in substandard conditions, or that there’s nothing the state can do to stop them.) [Hit & Run]

Here’s a rare bit of good news from California. The linked article requires registration, unfortunately.

Comments Revive Doubts Over Iraq Weapons [ AP World News ] European critics of the Iraq war expressed shock Fr
May 30th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

Comments Revive Doubts Over Iraq Weapons [AP World News]

bq. European critics of the Iraq war expressed shock Friday at published remarks by a senior U.S. official seen as playing down the importance of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction as a reason for going to war.

In an interview in the next issue of Vanity Fair magazine, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz cited bureaucratic reasons for focusing on Saddam Hussein’s alleged arsenal.

“The truth is that for reasons that have a lot to do with the U.S. government bureaucracy, we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on which was weapons of mass destruction as the core reason,” Wolfowitz was quoted as saying in a Pentagon transcript of the interview.

If those European critics are really shocked, they must have been asleep for the past year. It’s been obvious all along that the government was using “weapons of mass destruction” as one of many excuses, which were changed or played up whenever it was convenient.

Iraqi Intifada? .
May 30th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

Iraqi Intifada?. An intifada is brewing in Iraq, and American troops are about to stop being liberators and will be forced to embrace their inner occupiers. And many Americans don’t give a damn. Twenty soldiers have died in fighting or accidents since May 1, the day Bush declared the major fighting over. Five have died this week alone.One was killed yesterday in an ambush on a military convoy about 25 miles north of Baghdad, according to CENTCOM “Two US soldiers died and nine others were wounded Tuesday in a second day of guerrilla attacks in the flashpoint town of Fallujah, west of… [Back In Iraq 2.0]

After commenting on the ignorance of reporters who believe government press releases, it’s nice to read this excellent article by someone who actually pays attention to what’s going on.

Calling a chair ‘a cow’ will not make it go ‘Moo’ .
May 30th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

Calling a chair ‘a cow’ will not make it go ‘Moo’. With Orwellian double-think, the preamble to the European Convention begins with a quote from Thucydides: Our Constitution is called a democracy because power is in the hands not of a minority but of the whole people. So should we not vote on it? It is about as ‘democratic’ as the Warsaw Pact Treaty. Paul Staines… [Samizdata.net]

Does the proposed EU Constitution allow the 80 million people of Germany to vote on taxes and spending for the 60 million people of the UK? If so, then it truly does capture the essence of democracy.

Here’s a novel approach to hypertext storytelling: K.C.
May 29th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

Here’s a novel approach to hypertext storytelling: K.C. Bolton has created a Groove space as a medium for telling a children’s story. Groove users can take a look by downloading the invitation.

Editorial: Feeling Lucky Perp? .
May 29th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

Editorial: Feeling Lucky Perp?. Be dead or be arrested. That’s the choice New York’s mindlessly enforced gun laws force upon otherwise law-abiding people.

Consider:

Mohammed Dramy, a 40-year-old Gambian immigrant, was shot dead Tuesday during an apparent robbery in Harlem.

The perpetrator is still at large.

Meanwhile, two bodega employees, Jose Acosta, 69, and Victor Alejandro, 23, are alive following an attempted armed robbery the same day.

And it’s a perp who’s dead.

Sadly, Acosta and Alejandro are now charged with criminal possession of a weapon.

As three armed would-be robbers entered their store waving guns, Acosta pulled out a .22-caliber pistol, fatally shooting one; the others escaped. [FirearmNews.com]

Here’s a question that article doesn’t even ask: if Acosta was the one who used an “illegal” weapon in self-defense, why is Alejandro in trouble? Is it against the law to have your life saved in New York now?

J.J.
May 29th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

J.J. Johnson at Sierra Times –

Whack’em & Stack’em – Kill the Unarmed; No Questions Asked

another unarmed innocent dies at the hands of New York City’s
“finest”. [sierra]
bq.
If you are reading this wondering if the shooting officer is in
custody, the answer is no. In fact, at the time of this writing, the
shooter hasn’t even been questioned. But thou shallt not pass judgment
on this fine officer. After all, we must put ourselves in their shoes,
and understand things from their viewpoint.

But, any civilian under the same circumstances would have been
immediately charged with first degree murder, discharging a weapon
within the city limits, and heaven forbid if he didn’t have a license
for that firearm. And that line about “He was reaching for my gun?”
Tell it to your loy-ya. So let ‘s not put a civilian in this officer’s
shoes.
[End the War on Freedom]

I found another good use for “Tinderbox” recently.
May 29th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

A picture named UplinkNotes.gif

I found another good use for “Tinderbox” recently. It’s very good for keeping notes while playing Uplink! I create a note for each mission, and each mission has a link to a separate note for the target system. The map view even fits with the graphic display of the Uplink user interface.

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