Philippine Past, Iraqi Future? .
Jun 29th, 2004 by Ken Hagler

Philippine Past, Iraqi Future?. John Judis in the pages of Foreign Policy thinks President Bush should be discouraged by the example of the Philippines when contemplating the future of Iraq. An excerpt:bq. [T]he U.S. Navy ousted Spain from the Philippines in the Spanish-American War of 1898. But instead of creating a Philippine democracy, the McKinley administration, its confidence inflated by victory in that "splendid little war," annexed the country and installed a colonial administrator. The United States then waged a brutal war against the same Philippine independence movement it encouraged to fight against Spain. The war dragged on for 14 years. Before it ended, about 120,000 U.S. troops were deployed, more than 4,000 were killed, and more than 200,000 Filipino civilians and soldiers were killed. Resentment lingered a century later during Bush's visit.

As for the Philippines' democracy, the United States can take little credit for what exists and some blame for what doesn't. The electoral machinery the United States designed in 1946 provided a democratic veneer beneath which a handful of families, allied to U.S. investors

Groove and the US Government .
Jun 29th, 2004 by Ken Hagler

Groove and the US Gov­ern­ment. : Acci­den­tal Con­trac­tor When he found­ed Groove Net­works in 1997, tech­nol­o­gist Ray Ozzie envi­sioned a tar­get mar­ket for its col­lab­o­ra­tion soft­ware: busi­ness­es eager to com­mu­ni­cate with their part­ners and sup­pli­ers. ”In the found­ing doc­u­ments, I don’t think there was… [Jeroen Bekkers’ Groove Weblog]

Acci­den­tal or not, the con­nec­tion, espe­cial­ly when con­sid­ered togeth­er with Ray Ozzie’s his­to­ry of col­lab­o­rat­ing with the NSA, means that only a fool would rely on Groove for any­thing where secu­ri­ty was impor­tant.

From madogre : “Ogre — The animal rights activists would lynch me for this, but here is how to stop a rodent infestation.
Jun 29th, 2004 by Ken Hagler

From mado­gre:
“Ogre — The ani­mal rights activists would lynch me for this, but here
is how to stop a rodent infes­ta­tion. Green and Brown glass (wine and
beer bot­tles) fine­ly ground into pow­der between two bricks. Mix the
glass with molasses into a run­ny mix­ture. Set out this mix­ture in
promi­nent rodent loca­tions. The rodent packs this into his cheek
pouch­es, and if he does not bleed to death on the way back to the
bur­row, the rest of the rodents in the bur­row swal­low this mess, and
they all die. I have used this on mice in the grain bins on our
farm. Works great. Mart”
[End the War on Free­dom]

It sounds clever, but I’d wor­ry about oth­er ani­mals (cats and dogs) being drawn to the molasses. I’ll stick to cats for han­dling rodent infes­ta­tions, I think.

Hiibel Tells Us Why .
Jun 28th, 2004 by Ken Hagler

Hiibel Tells Us Why. Brush­ing aside mouth­pieces like me and Tim­o­thy Lynch, Lar­ry Dud­ley Hiibel tells us why he went all the way to the Supreme Court over not want­i­ng to tell a cop who he is, in the pages of the Chris­t­ian Sci­ence Mon­i­tor. [Hit & Run]

Over the weekend I tested “Skype“‘s new Skypeout service by leaving a message for myself on my office voicemail.
Jun 28th, 2004 by Ken Hagler

Over the week­end I test­ed Skype’s new Skype­out ser­vice by leav­ing a mes­sage for myself on my office voice­mail. It worked fine, although it was dif­fi­cult to find out how to make the call. It turns out that to call a tele­phone from Skype, you need to dial “+” (plus sign), the coun­try code, then the num­ber. This wasn’t made par­tic­u­lar­ly clear, nor was there any way in the UI to look up a coun­try code. Per­son­al­ly, I had no idea what the coun­try code for the Unit­ed States was, and I sus­pect that prob­a­bly most peo­ple won’t know the code for their own coun­try.

# Clay S.
Jun 28th, 2004 by Ken Hagler

Clay S. Conrad at The American Jury Institute -

Doing Your Best as a Trial Juror: Surviving Voir Dire
- you can't
nullify a law if you're not on the jury. How a fully-informed juror
can get on a jury without perjuring himself. [clairefiles] [End the War on Freedom]

As it happens, I had jury duty last Monday. There were no cases requiring juries that day, though.

Bush is an awful leader, but so far there’s no indication that he’s compar
Jun 27th, 2004 by Ken Hagler

A picture named bush.jpgBush is an awful leader, but so far there's no indication that he's comparable to Hitler. But he's running an <a href="mms://">ad with pictures of Hitler, between pictures of John Kerry, Al Gore, Richard Gephardt and Howard Dean. How could someone want to win so badly that he would be willing to do that? What are we supposed to think about this? Does he know that Americans have families who were murdered by Hitler? Is this what compassionate conservativism is? What does he stand for? This should be question #1 at the next Bush press conference. [Scripting News]

Personally I find it rather amusing that he's ripping off the Democrats for ad ideas.

House Passes ‘National Concealed Carry for Cops .
Jun 26th, 2004 by Ken Hagler

House Pass­es ‘Nation­al Con­cealed Car­ry for Cops. The House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives today over­whelm­ing­ly passed H.R. 218, leg­is­la­tion that would allow qual­i­fied off-duty and retired law enforce­ment offi­cers to car­ry their firearms con­cealed in all 50 states.

Orig­i­nal­ly draft­ed by Rep. Randy ‘Duke’ Cun­ning­ham and Law Enforce­ment Alliance of Amer­i­ca (LEAA) Exec­u­tive Direc­tor Jim Fotis in 1992, the ‘Nation­al Con­cealed Car­ry for Cops’ leg­is­la­tion has been a 12-year fight that has been embraced by near­ly every asso­ci­a­tion rep­re­sent­ing rank and file police offi­cers and a sig­nif­i­cant bipar­ti­san major­i­ty in the House and Sen­ate.

At a press con­fer­ence mark­ing pas­sage of the life-saving leg­is­la­tion in the House, Fotis remarked, ‘After more than a decade of fight­ing, a major vic­to­ry has been won for America’s men and women in blue. For 12 years the Law Enforce­ment Alliance of Amer­i­ca has backed Con­gress­man Cun­ning­ham in his efforts and helped lead the fight to pass H.R 218. In that time Duke has proven him­self, time and time again, to be a good friend and the great­est ally a good cause — and cops — could ever have. We owe a debt of grat­i­tude to Law Enforcement’s ‘Top Gun’ on Capi­tol Hill. Thank you Con­gress­man Cun­ning­ham.’ []

The cops are obvi­ous­ly hap­py about this, but it’s bad news for us peas­ants. This is just one more step on the way to mak­ing cops into the new samu­rai class.

# Harvey Silverglate at — Ashcroft’s Gulag — on the Communist Russian tacti
Jun 26th, 2004 by Ken Hagler

Har­vey Sil­ver­glate at -

Ashcroft’s Gulag
— on the Com­mu­nist Russ­ian tac­tics of the
Bushe­viks’ “jus­tice” depart­ment. [lew]
See the emerg­ing pic­ture? It’s an end­less series of faux
pros­e­cu­tions in which defen­dants are threat­ened to “coöper­ate” and
plead guilty, or face indef­i­nite incom­mu­ni­ca­do impris­on­ment, with all
the phys­i­cal and psy­cho­log­i­cal ter­rors that accom­pa­ny find­ing one­self
in a bot­tom­less legal pit. Like a Ponzi scheme, the struc­ture of these
pros­e­cu­tions resem­bles a pyra­mid: defen­dants are pres­sured to tes­ti­fy
against oth­er friends, asso­ciates, and cohorts, who are then indict­ed
regard­less of whether the tes­ti­mo­ny, giv­en under enor­mous pres­sure,
would ever stand up in a real tri­al — and, in fact, it nev­er
will have to stand up at a real tri­al. Those new defen­dants are
then, in turn, sub­ject­ed to the same pres­sures. None of the “evi­dence”
ever gets to be heard and eval­u­at­ed by a jury of hon­est Amer­i­cans, but
the march of pros­e­cu­tions and guilty pleas rolls onward, and the Bush
administration’s war on ter­ror is palmed off on the pub­lic as a
huge suc­cess.
[End the War on Free­dom]

There were some oth­er cas­es, not men­tioned in the arti­cle, that end­ed in plea bar­gains that looked sus­pi­cious­ly coerced; for exam­ple, the guys who were sent to prison for play­ing paint­ball.

Islam believes in self-defence too .
Jun 25th, 2004 by Ken Hagler

Islam believes in self-defence too. In Sau­di Ara­bia the government’s response to attacks on for­eign work­ers is to allow them to car­ry firearms. Any chance of that hap­pen­ing in Lon­don? I can get a for­eign pass­port if nec­es­sary. How­ev­er, for­eign con­trac­tors for the Sau­di gov­ern­ment will not be allowed to car­ry weapons because they are under the pro­tec­tion of the State. Good luck to them. On bal­ance, I think I would swap the British Home Sec­re­tary for his Sau­di coun­ter­part:… []

The orig­i­nal sto­ry con­tains this quote:

bq. “In prin­ci­ple, a Sau­di has the right to car­ry a weapon if he has a per­mit. Like­wise, a for­eign res­i­dent, if he felt in dan­ger, could get a per­mit to car­ry a weapon,” the prince said in remarks report­ed by the offi­cial Sau­di Press Agency.

Inter­est­ing choice of words. A Cal­i­forn­ian also has the right to car­ry a weapon if he has a permit–in prin­ci­ple. Of course, in prac­tice, you have to be very rich and pow­er­ful to get a per­mit. I won­der if the Saud­is intend to take their “prin­ci­ple” seri­ous­ly, or if this is just lip-service–like the US gov­ern­ment with armed air­line pilots.

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