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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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