Anything from current events, campaign finance reform, sports (especially baseball), corporate/political/legal ethics, pop culture, confessions of a recovering comic book addict, and probably some overly indulgent discourses about my 3-year old daughter. E-Mail: sardonicviews -at-
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Friday, August 09, 2002

BEDCO Donations Update

Back at the end of May, I wrote about some problems for BEDCO (Black Elected Democrats of Cleveland, Ohio) regarding unfiled campaign finance reports (for a two year period) and the troubles accounting for $117,000 received from the Ohio Democratic Party in 2000 for GOTV drives. BEDCO in turn, wrote checks to the personal bank accounts of State Sen. C.J. Prentiss and State Reps. Shirley Smith and Claudette Woodard for about $15,000 each about 10 days before the 2000 election.

Well, the Ohio Election Commission cleared them of any wrongdoing. The OEC sided with BEDCO in finding that the money from the Ohio Democratic Party originated with the Democratic National Committee, and as federal campaign funds, not subject to the state laws.


Don't Think, Just Regulate

The stupidity of digital TV just kicked up a notch.

TV manufacturers have until 2004 to include tuners that translate digital signals in sets with screens at least 35 inches wide. Smaller screens will be exempt until 2007. The tuners, which only benefit the 13 percent of Americans who watch TV without cable or satellite hook-ups, are expected to add as much as $250 to the cost of sets that range from $500 to $3,000 at retail outlets like Circuit City and Best Buy.

Who the hell has a 35 inch TV or larger but no cable or satellite?

Thursday, August 08, 2002

Now This Is Ridiculous

I really need to pack it in for the day.

I am 25% Tortured Artist

I have some artistic ability, but it is probably a hobby and doesn't drive my life into a dark abysmal hole were I am alone and against the world.

Take the Tortured Artist Test at

I can't believe I scored that high.

Code Name: Productivity Killer

I don't know why I let myself get sucked into this one, but:

Your blogger code is:

B2 d- t- k+ s+ u f+ i+ o x-- e l c+

Via Andrea Harris (damn you!).

So Far Behind

Howard Kurtz does the round-up on the media obsession with child/teen kidnappings. Noting that the actual numbers haven't gone up, but there has been an overblown hyping to make it seem like an epidemic.

The mocking of the media scaring was done a few weeks ago by South Park, Episode 611, Child Abduction is Not Funny (look for the item dated July 22). I can't really be the first to point this out.

Real Observations

This sort of thing must drive the Left nuts. National Review actually employs intelligent people who acknowledge that BIl O'Reilly is not much more than bluster

Incidentally, isn't it about time that someone on the Right noted that Bill O'Reilly is a demagogue, not a principled conservative or even a serious thinker?

Brighten Your Day

Happy Fun Pundit has a lengthy but hilarious take down of the "First Vote" idea. I was too tired to link to it last night, but it really improved my disposition.

See also, getting change when the register is not working.

Waiting for the Lawsuits

Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court has already run out of its allotted money to pay defense attorney fees. This, despite already paying the lowest rates in the state. While the attorneys cannot go on strike or refuse to complete the cases they have, they can refuse to take any further cases.

What Julian and others plan to do is refuse to take on new clients. Last year, 5,000 abuse, neglect and dependency cases were opened in juvenile court alone.

The court spent $1.9 million on attorney fees in 2001. This year, despite pleas from court officials, the county gave them $1.1 million to pay those same bills - nearly 60 percent less than what they needed, said court administrator Ken Lusnia.

The court last month already cut what most consider the bargain-basement fees paid to attorneys representing youths charged with felonies and misdemeanors. The lawyers fees now range from $225 to more than $2,000, depending on the crime.

Lawyers who represent abused and neglected children are still earning $250 a case, one of the lowest rates in the state. Ohio law requires that a lawyer - called a guardian ad litem - be appointed in all such cases.

5000 divided by 12 is 416.6667. With 5 months left, that is roughly 2083 cases. That does not include all of the other cases that come before the court, that will not be accepted.

Now, from what I gather from the Budget Report for 2002, the Prosecutor's office (page 141), they took a 10% cut (which includes all divisions) versus the Public Defenders Office (page 191) also a 10% cut. For the record, the budget differences is about 3:1; Prosecutor's office gets almost $20 million and the PD gets about $6.5 million. The PD office handles many of the regular criminal juvi cases, but the great majority of the abuse, neglect and dependency cases are handled by private attorneys.

The Juvi. Court has a budget this year of about $41 million and they are running an estimated deficit of about $2.7 million (page 4).

There will be lawsuits over inadequate funding and unequal justice against the Juvenile court and the county commissioners, unless some funds are provided. As it stands, with the low fees offered, there stands a good shot of a lawsuit.

After all, it is for the children

RIAA, Banned in Australia

Interesting Howard Berman (list of PAC contributions for 2002 election -- including well over $28,000 from Big Entertainment, plus well over $175,000 in individual contributions from executives, artists, and agents in Big Entertainment -- including the members of the Eagles, Barbara Streisand, Alanis Morrisette, Jackson Brown, Bonnie Raitt, Trisha Yearwood, and the heads of DreamWorks [Geffen, Spielberg & Katzenberg] -- but not even taking into account the contributions from the numerous attorneys who likely work for big entertainment. So well over $200,000 raised from Big Entertainment out of a total so far of $846,782 in the 2002 election cycle alone.) may make his entertainment buddies wanted criminals in Australia if he passes his Copyright/Hacking Bill:

American movie, recording and software executives could be prohibited from entering Australia or extradited to face criminal charges if a copyright protection bill before the US Congress passes into law.

Californian Democrat congressman Howard Berman has proposed legislation to deal with the rising tide of copyrighted works illicitly traded over peer-to-peer (P2P) networks such as KaZaA.
Under section 9a of the Victorian Summary Offences Act (1966), "a person must not gain access to, or enter, a computer system or part of a computer system without lawful authority to do so". The penalty if convicted is up to six months' jail.

On the bright side, it might cut down on Russell Crowe movies. I can dream.

Tech Strike Zone

MLB Umpires are still arrogant. Despite agreeing to allow technology to be used to gauge the accuracy of their calls of balls and strikes, the upmpire union is filing suit against MLB. The system uses high speed cameras set up at different angles around home plate. This allows the review of calls by the umps. Well, they don't like it. They also fear that they might one day be replaced with the technology.

I don't think they will be replaced, but they will have to serve the technology more at some point (like in tennis). I can foresee the day when home plate will have sensors in the black of the plate's rim; the players will have a sensor taped to just below their knee and at their chest -- to allow an accurate strike zone to be created each time a player bats. It could also serve to stop players (like Mo Vaughn and Barry Bonds) from illegally hanging out over the plate.

I look forward to this day.

Wednesday, August 07, 2002

Stop or I'll Write Another Letter

Human Rights Watch has sent a letter to the leader of Hamas, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, urging him to order Hamas to stop murdering civilians in terrorist operations. Well, not exactly in those words.

We strongly urge you to adopt and publicize a policy of full respect for the laws of war, including an immediate and total stop to the practice of targeting civilians. We ask that you publicly and unequivocally call on the military wing of your organization, the 'Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, and any other groups or individuals acting on behalf of the Islamic Resistance Movement, to desist from any attacks or acts of reprisal that deliberately target civilians or are indiscriminate.

Well, that ought to do it.

So HRW does view this as a war. Funny, but in all the condemnations, I have yet to see anything from HRW condemning the hiding of bomb factories, the terrorists themselves, and their headquarters among civilians. Also violations of "the laws of war."

To be fair, HRW does take Yassin to task over inaccurate statements:

You yourself have acknowledged that the Geneva Conventions prohibit attacks against civilians, but then claimed that such protections do not extend to "occupiers." In an interview published in the August 11, 2001 St. Petersburg Times, you are quoted as saying: "The Geneva convention protects civilians in occupied territories not civilians who are in fact occupiers.... All of Israel, Tel Aviv included, is occupied Palestine. So we're not actually targeting civilians-that would go against Islam." This is a gross misreading of international law. International humanitarian law in fact makes no exceptions whatsoever to the prohibition against targeting civilians.

I'll let it slide that it is not a "gross misreading of international law" but an out and out lie since this is a courtesy letter. Of course, HRW does have to qualify the occupied areas and continues.

Human Rights Watch has made clear that, in our view, Israeli settlements in the territories occupied in 1967 are illegal under international humanitarian law. This illegal status, however, does not in any way make civilians associated with those settlements, or any other civilians, legitimate targets of armed attacks.

All attacks that target civilians constitute crimes of the gravest sort. There can never be any justification for such blatant disregard of basic principles of international human rights and humanitarian law. We will press vigorously for those who commit these crimes, as well as those who direct or sponsor them, to be brought to justice.

So, Yassin, please turn yourself over to Israel for trial. Great point to the guy. Stop ordering the attacks, or we will call for you to be arrested.

"Illegal under international humanitarian law"? What the hell is that?

HRW is as irrelevant as Amnesty International.

But these are details. The broader question is this: Given AI's mandate and limited resources, why is the group wasting its time and resources complaining about inconvenienced lobster thugs and "stereotyped" refugees when people are being butchered and railroaded en masse in places like Angola, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia? The answer is that it has become more politically fashionable to sniff for racism in the First World than to hunt for torture in the Third. Like Human Rights Watch and other brand-name NGOs, AI has been tempted away from its original mandate, and now fritters away its credibility attacking Zionism, globalization and the West.

I would add, though, that another part of the answer lies in an armchair quarterbacking cowardice, that many leftists accuse those supporting military actions of:

It is far easier and safer to criticize and condemn civilized, Western countries; then to take the personal risk of standing up to the crimes committed in the truly repressive countries. HRW and AI are no longer small activist groups. They are mainstream, corporate headquartered, lobbying, fundraising organizations.
Lileks is a daily read. He is always entertaining, and usually his stuff is just simple observations from the day and what Gnat is doing. It reads wonderfully, and for me, it seems something like a preview when my telecommuting begins and I and home with the howler monkey. Every now and again, though, he takes on some of the crazy s**t out there and simply states his feelings about it. This excellent Bleat is just such a piece.

Congressional Ethics Sham

The Washington Post picks up on the Roll Call piece I cited last week, regarding the cease fire between the parties in Congress over ethics violations. It sheds a little more light on the present members of Congress who have benefited from the cease fire, and places the blame squarely on Newt Gingrich.

In the late '80s, Rep. Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) turned the ethics process into an art of political war, torpedoing the career of then-Speaker Jim Wright (D-Tex.) over a dubious book deal and questionable payments to his wife.

Gingrich bombarded Wright with so many ethics charges that Wright pleaded upon his resignation: "We members on both sides must resolve to bring this period of mindless cannibalism to an end." They didn't.

After the 1994 elections, which elevated Republicans to the majority and Gingrich to the speakership, Democrats turned the ethics weapon on him. It culminated in 1997 with the House ethics committee fining him $300,000 after an investigation into his vast political empire, as well as his own book deal, which paid him $4.5 million in upfront royalties.

"Anyone who looks at the circus that went on back then must conclude that 99 percent of all that sound and fury was politics," says GOP lawyer Jan Baran, who represented Gingrich.

Shortly after the Gingrich case, congressional leaders finally heeded Wright's advice. They agreed to a conditional cease-fire in the ethics war, according to several lawmakers and aides involved in private talks about the ethics process.

In addition to the unofficial cease fire, the parties rigged the system to prevent others from bringing charges. Now, only sitting members may file an ethics complaint.

What's really bothersome, is the arrogance of the Congressmen and their staff. They virtually concede the ethics charges will be used as a weapon of tit for tat if one is filed against the other.

Republicans, including Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (Va.), who chairs the House GOP campaign committee, were looking for a member to file a complaint against Kanjorski -- until Gephardt's office warned of retaliation, according to accounts first reported by Roll Call newspaper.

Erik Smith, a spokesman for Gephardt, said: "We don't believe the ethics process should be politicized, and that's exactly what happens when the chairman of the campaign committee [Davis] is actively shopping around ethics complaints. If he felt so strongly about it, he should file it himself." A Davis spokesman declined to comment.

Smith did not dispute that Gephardt sent word to the speaker's office that Democrats might retaliate by going after Republicans. "Once that starts," he said, "it's hard to stop."


Tuesday, August 06, 2002

More Bad Polling Questions

FoxNews has a poll on its site with three choices:

Saudi Arabia
Do you think the Middle Eastern country is a friend or foe of the U.S.?

They are a foe because they support terrorism.

They are a friend and ally in the war on terror.

I'm not sure.

That's a lousy choice. "They are a foe because they support terrorism."
That's only part of why Saudi Arabia should be considered a foe of the US.

It's a good thing they excuse it with the disclaimer
This is not a scientific poll.

You are not special

The American League of Lobbyists (they have their own league?) wants to skip the security in the Capitol (link via InstaProf):

But lobbyists say the access is necessary for them to do their jobs — and that those jobs are essential to the legislative process.

“When a lobbyist goes to the zoo, he doesn’t mind standing in line,” Albertine said. “But when we’re working, and trying to represent the interests of the people that we are sent to represent, and we can’t get from one side of the hill to the other … then there needs to be a reconsideration of the issue.”

Correct me if I'm wrong, but lobbyists are not a special class of citizens. They may be paid to represent the interests of people, but anyone can be a lobbyist for a purpose. They exist as specialists in utilizing the right that all US citizens have for petitioning the government.

In a recent American League of Lobbyists survey, more than 93 percent of League members who responded supported the card, and 84 percent said they would be willing to pay some of the associated costs.
“It’s not the position to be in as a lobbyist to complain to members of Congress,” Albertine said. “That’s part of the problem, the lobbyist community has been virtually silent.”

Lobbyists admit that the negative perception held of their profession by many Americans creates a problem for lawmakers who don’t want to be seen as giving them special privileges. Last year, when lobbyists first began to complain about security on the Hill, Sens. Jon Corzine (D-N.J.) and Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) sponsored a resolution that would deny lobbyists any special rights “not available to other American citizens.”

Willing to pay for some of the costs? Gee, that's noble. As for the negative image issue. Well, stop acting like asses who are entitled to special treatment -- it might help.


Two great Op-ed pieces in the Wall Street Journal today (sorry, subscriptions req'd). The first by Victor David Hanson on America's need to go it alone against Iraq and Islamicists:

The world suddenly appears a very strange place. Our friends act as if they were enemies, our allies pose as neutrals, and our foes claim they are poor victims. In the present lull before the storm, pundits and experts advise us what we cannot do rather than what we can and should, and what we are told is so often not at all what we perceive.
There is not a single consensual government in the Arab Middle East, so we ask autocracies like Egypt to help draft consensual government for the Palestinians. The past American policy of bribing or protecting purportedly pro-Western strongmen is in shambles. Terrorists who murder our innocents are more likely to come from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Palestine, our supposed friends, than from our declared enemies in Iraq, Syria and Libya. The Palestinian Authority and other tyrannies of the Middle East are treated like the Soviet Union of the 1930s: Seen in the West as confused rather than evil regimes, they are given a pass to lynch their own and terrorize others without moral condemnation.

Our European allies -- whether out of military weakness, fear of its tumultuous past, envy, concern over oil, terrorists, the thin buffer of the Mediterranean, their own rising Islamic populations, or the old anti-Semitism -- are likely to oppose us on every issue that has arisen since last September. ...

We should not be alarmed at all about this hypocrisy because paradox is to be expected in times of uncertainty. Instead, we should remember that in all the recent crises of the past, America has stood nearly alone. By 1942, Europe and most of Asia were fascist, the other continents neutral at best. England was our sole democratic ally. ...

The reason that we so often must stand by ourselves is that the United States really is different. Our Constitution singularly preserves the sanctity of the individual; American culture is truly a revolutionary society that has empowered millions of free and freed peoples without regard for religion, race, or background -- and so unleashed economic and military power never before seen. The common anti-American slurs of "exceptionalism" and "unilateralism" are, in fact, compliments of the highest order.

If the past is any guide to the present, Americans -- hard to arouse and rightly reluctant to go to war -- will finally have enough of the present nonsense and so seek clarity out of the chaos. We will probably act alone against Iraq. We will defeat the fundamentalists and end the terrorist havens. As before, we will let Europeans stew in their own juices of resentment and inaction. And we will at last rediscover that democracy -- as was true in postbellum Germany and Japan -- must follow any victory over autocracy, as aftershocks in the Middle East will approach the magnitude that we witnessed in Europe in 1945 and 1989.

Expect most other nations publicly to condemn us as harshly during the ordeal as they will privately thank us in the aftermath. But then, they, not we, are once again on the wrong side of history.

The other piece from Michael B. Oren, a senior fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem, and author of "Six Days of War" discusses the disgusting celebrations by Palestinians following murder and carnage from terrorist bombs. He also offers a Nazi comparison, though not the kind that the Arab world or Europe likes to offer with regards to the Palestinians:

In Gaza last week, crowds of children reveled and sang while adults showered them with candies. The cause for celebration: the cold-blooded murder of at least seven people -- five of them Americans -- and the maiming of 80 more by a terrorist bomb on the campus of Jerusalem's Hebrew University. The joyful response of so many to the death, suffering, and mutilation of students and university workers raises pointed questions about the health of Palestinian society, both mental and moral. It makes many Israelis ask whether, even if a cease-fire is reached and negotiations someday resume, peace with the Palestinians is possible.

There is, of course, nothing new about Palestinians applauding terror. During the Gulf War in 1991, they danced on rooftops in praise of Iraqi Scud missiles raining on Israeli neighborhoods. Again, in the mid-1990s, after bus bombs in Israel killed dozens -- one of them was my sister-in-law -- an estimated 70,000 Palestinians filled a Gaza stadium to cheer a reenactment of the massacre. The deaths of over 3,000 Americans on Sept. 11 was another cause for dancing in Palestinian streets, though Arafat's men suppressed foreign coverage of the fete.
Beyond the controversy over settlements and territory, beyond the bitter conflict over Jerusalem, there is something else at work in the delight displayed by Palestinians over slaughter -- something sick and perhaps even evil.

Readers of Richard Rhodes's recently published book, "Masters of Death," learn that, after a day of shooting thousands of Jews, members of the SS Einsatzgruppen often repaired for a celebratory drink and banquet. The Nazis' behavior is readily identified as barbaric and insane. Surely those same adjectives apply, then, to Palestinians who rejoice not only when great numbers of Jewish civilians are butchered, but when their own children are blown up in the process.

For all the kudos discretely given SS killers by the regime, Nazi Germany never publicly lionized them, never plastered their pictures on the streets, or openly encouraged children to emulate them. That kind of adoration for mass murderers can only be found, in abundance, among the Palestinians.

Stadium on the Razor's Edge

The New England Patriots have not yet played in their new stadium, and it has already had a name change. What was to be CMGI Field is now going to be Gillette Stadium. CMGI is an Internet holding company that has seen its revenues and value plummet. It originally agreed in 2000 to pay $7.6 million a year for 15 years for the naming rights. To get out of the deal CMGI will pay $1.6 million per year from 2003 to 2015. Nice.

17th Congressional District Seat

Now that convicted felon Jim "fluoridating the water is yet another IRS trick" Traficant has been kicked out of the House, the issue of whether there would be a special election held on November 5 to fill the seat (for about a month until the recess) until the candidate elected in the general election -- that same day -- would assume the seat in January. Gov. Taft (Republican) has to call for the special election; considering the Republican majority in the house, the additional cost for the election ($800,000), and the difference of only about a month; well Taft has opted against bothering. Now the Ohio ACLU has filed suit demanding the special election to protect residents of the 17th District from being disenfranchised. Interestingly, none of the candidates are even quoted in the article about whether they care about the special election. Do they not care or was the Plain Dealer reporter just plain lazy?

Sorry, but surely the Ohio ACLU has something more worthy to pursue than this. If one was cynical enough, one might almost believe that this was more a political ploy to embarrass Taft then actual concern over no representation for a month.

Also in the article, was news of Jimbo being taken to a federal prison in White Deer, PA, which is in the middle of nowhere in Pennsylvania. This may effect Jimbo's reelection bid since he will not be a resident in Ohio. Of course, no one has ever run a federal election campaign from prison before, so it is entirely new ground.

Federal Cyber-Security

Next month (September 18) the federal government releases its cyber-security plan.

The biggest change being discussed would require government agencies to purchase hardware and software that have been certified under the National Institute of Standards and Technology's National Information Assurance Plan standard.

The Department of Defense requires NIAP certification for all technology purchases, and if the entire federal government follows suit, it could shut out all but a few vendors from the federal procurement process.

I'm not sure how I feel about that. The certification may be a good idea, but it seems to give a real advantage to the companies already in bed with the DoD. That wouldn't change very quickly since NIAP certification takes time. On the other hand, the government needs to make sure it gets the safest and most secure software and devices.

Monday, August 05, 2002

Reading List

As a new father seeking to broaden my daughter's education, I have to recommend this children's book list, courtesy of bitter girl.

More Bad Karma

The second installment continued from Friday.The Phils: 119 years of ineptitude, part two

• The owner bet on a Phillies team heading for a 42-109 season. That did not deter William Cox, a New York lumber dealer, from getting down on his eighth-placers. Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis suspended Cox for life. Hear that, Pete?

• Righthander Frank Sullivan, a one-liner king, surveyed a large crowd that had gathered on the airport runway when the Phillies returned from a 1961 road trip that saw their losing streak reach a record 23 straight. They won the second game of a doubleheader in Milwaukee to break the free fall, but Sully wasn't taking any chances. "Walk single file," he barked, "so they can't get us all with one burst."

• Traveling secretary Eddie Ferenz reached his whine limit after a charter was delayed for hours by weather and mechanical problems and was short on food and beer when it finally took off. After landing in Newark, N.J., relief pitcher Dick Selma approached Ferenz to complain about the buses failing to show up. Fast Eddie, a former minor league hockey player, dropped Selma onto the baggage carousel with a short right.

Antonio Bryant Watch

A new feature, that probably only myself and one or two others will care about. Antonio Bryant is a rookie wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys. I try not to think about that. He was an outstanding WR on the Pitt Panthers, my alma mater. As such, I will be keeping my blog on him at least once a week. This is the first installment. He is giving his usual cocky attitude, but backing it up.

Good Call Against Moral Equivalence

Cathy Young, an editor at Reason has an Op-Ed piece in the Boston Globe puts some clarity into the differences between Israeli reaction to civilians of the other side dying and Palestinian:

Even so, the day after the airstrike in Gaza City, we did not see crowds of Israelis cheering for the deaths of Palestinian children. The day after the bombing at Hebrew University, thousands of Palestinians streamed out to celebrate the terrorists' latest ''victory'' in a downright festive atmosphere.

Blatant Plug

I recently did some updating on my links list. Finally added, and worthy of special mention (and not just because he linked me) is the Cracker Barrel Philosopher at the Country Store. He has some excellent stuff, and some things I haven't noticed elsewhere like:

More Trial Lawyer Hypocrisy working through the Senate
The British Poet Twit who wanted Israeli settlers killed since they were worse than Nazis feels he is being treated as a leper
Low-rider jeans for guys

Definitely worth regular viewing.

Still Incoherent After All These Years

There aren't enough synonyms for shit to describe this whack-job of a rant from Andrea "all women are victims of the male-dominated hierarchy" Dworkin on Palestinian women as suicide bombers. (Via Tim Blair)

The more women want to prove their worth, the more women suicide bombers there will be. The lower the Israelis push the "cockroaches," the angrier the accomplished Palestinian women will be, and sisterhood between them and the young bombers will also disappear. The older women will let the younger women do the dirty work. They will not stop them.

Both Israeli and Palestinian men push women into an anti-sisterhood camouflaged as nationalist liberation.

Hello in there, Andrea. Tell us, what color is the sky in your world?

Inching Closer to the Real Hard Line

After another series of violent, terrorist attacks in Israel, naturally the "Palestinian Street" voiced its opposition to the activities:

On Sunday, a Palestinian blew himself up on a crowded bus, killing nine passengers and himself and injuring 37.

The suicide bombing, at Meron Junction in northern Israel, turned the green bus into a fireball.
About 4,000 people celebrated the bus bombing in Gaza City late Sunday, passing out sweets and praying near Shehadeh's destroyed house. Militants shouting over loudspeakers vowed to "avenge every drop of his blood."

"We advise (Israelis) to prepare more body bags and wait for the coming operations," a masked Hamas militant said.

On the heels of the documented celebrations by Palestinians for the Hebrew U bombing, I find myself amazed that anyone would have any sympathy for any people who express glee over that kind of action. I lost any and all remaining sympathy following the Passover Massacre. Everything afterwards has merely been further evidence.

Part of me thinks Israel is getting closer and closer to real, serious, and violent crackdowns on Palestinians that will make Operation Defensive Shield look like a picnic trip. I believe Israel must take these actions soon. There is no other way.

The cynical part of me, however, thinks that Israel will once again pull up short of the necessary actions needed for what ever reason. Morality, world opinion, US pressure, leftist political pressure.

HP Backs Down

After threatening to u se the DMCA against a company regarding the report of security flaws in one of its server lines, HP has done a hasty retreat. It seems, it did not expect programmers, users and free speech activists -- HP decided to reaffirm its devotion to the free flow of ideas.


(Copyright © 2002-2005 Chas Rich All rights Reserved.);
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