February 28, 2002
Another Gerstein!

Adam at adam.gerstein.net just announced number three: Abigail Grace Gerstein!

Posted by Lee at 01:33 PM | Comments (0)
ashcroft is our national daddy

"Terrorism: the new communism" by Troy Pickard, from today's YellowTimes.org:

The Whole Article (YellowTimes encourages reproduction as long as there's a link):

There was a time, a few decades ago, when the U.S. government wanted to silence people who wanted to change our government. They did this in two steps: First, the government convinced American citizens that communism was evil. Then, the government made a list of every person they didn’t like and called them communists.

This period, known as the McCarthy Era, is looked upon as one of the most shameful times in American history. Americans learned about this era in high school history and thought that such a thing could never happen again, at least not in our great country. Sadly, the terrorist attacks of September 11th have initiated a new McCarthy Era, which promises to be just as ugly as the last one.

Attorney General John Ashcroft put it as plainly as any government official has in recent months, when he said that U.S. citizens who disagree with George W. Bush’s policies “aid terrorism.” That accurately sums up the government’s policy, which is to demonize anyone who dissents with governmental actions. But, make no mistake; this sort of negative behavior towards political and social activists is nothing new.

In May of 2001, nearly 100 activists were arrested at a demonstration in Long Beach, California. Almost all of them were released without being charged with a crime, and of the remainder, most were found not guilty. Police have become increasingly brutal at protests and marches, in a largely illegal effort to quash domestic dissent. The only difference is that now the government has a legal pretense under which to conduct their authoritarian actions.

The U.S. government has its citizens worried about terrorism. The government is now taking every opportunity to call activists “terrorists.” The Utah state legislature recently passed an amendment to their criminal code, House Bill 100, which establishes the crime of “commercial terrorism,” which is when a person “enters or remains unlawfully on the premises or in a building of any business with the intent to interfere with the employees, customers, personnel, or operations of a business.”

This bill sets a dangerous precedent. For example, remember in the 1960s when some restaurants in the south wouldn’t serve Black people food, soley because of the color of their skin? Remember how groups of Black civil rights activists entered those restaurants and refused to leave until they were served? Under laws like the Utah House Bill 100, those activists would have been classified as “terrorists” because of their “intent to interfere with the employees” of the restaurant.

Another term which the government has been fond of using is “ecoterrorism.” One would think that an ecoterrorist is someone who is terrorizing the ecosystem. This term would logially apply to corporations that have cut down 96% of America’s old-growth forests, that have eliminated the habitats of thousands of animal and plant species, and that spew forth deadly pollution into our air and water. But, these companies do not fall into the definition of “ecoterrorism.”

No, the people who fall into the definition of committing “ecoterrorism” are the same people attempting to save the environment from certain companies following a policy of destruction-for-profit.

In the end, profit is what it all comes down to. The McCarthy Era of the 1950s occurred in order to secure the foundations of corporate power in the United States. The government wasn’t really scared of a communist invasion. They did not fear Soviets arriving by the boatload.

Their true fears were that the American people would catch a glimpse of something better than our dubious economic system. The government has always been worried that people would some day realize that the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer, and that the people might rise up and do something to stop that.

This has not happened yet. But today 75% of the wealth in America is owned by just 8% of the population. The U.S. government makes it seem that this is the way it’s always going to be, and back in the 1950s, when people almost saw through that, the government convinced people that wanting to change our economic system was evil.

Even in 2002, the U.S. government and its corporate sponsors will viciously attack anything that dares to stand between a company and a healthy profit, and that includes anything that makes people think their lives don’t have to be this way.

In this country, you have the right to believe whatever you want. But if you believe something that endangers the status quo, you’d better watch out; you are a “terrorist!”

Posted by Lee at 07:33 AM | Comments (0)
February 27, 2002
why am i not surprised

E-Commerce News: Lawsuit Claims AOL Fleeced Customers. By shipping them merchandise advertised in popups and charging the credit cards used to pay the aol bill.

Posted by Lee at 03:19 PM | Comments (0)
February 26, 2002

The truth is out there ... right?

Posted by Lee at 01:41 PM | Comments (1)
Does this mean salvatore has to give back his pizza joint?

Secretary Fleeces Boss Using Erasable Ink

Posted by Lee at 01:24 PM | Comments (0)
February 25, 2002
Must Read. must have.

AFDB. How did you ever get along without one or ten? Do it for your mind.

While you're at it, you need to read this, too: A Guide To Metric Time.

Posted by Lee at 05:05 PM | Comments (1)
February 24, 2002
alleviate web rage

A Brit bank created a website to get people through those moments of web rage:
Moments of Simplicity.

It's rather silly, really.

Posted by Lee at 05:25 PM | Comments (0)
February 23, 2002
Oscar Pool - vote!

Vote here, maybe win some crap: Oscar Pool at Pith & Vinegar.

Posted by Lee at 03:11 PM | Comments (0)
"Notes from the Road" vol. 25

Eric Gauger just released the latest edition of "Notes from the Road." It's a follow-up to an earlier piece about Afghani expatriates, the "Lost Sons of Afghanistan."

"A Museum for Kabul" follows the journey of a fictional art dealer that documents the status of art and artifacts from Afghanistan. Pictures of lost antiquities emphasize the tragedy of Afghanistan.

It begins:

"The Lost Sons of Afghanistan - the ousted souls of war who kept a dream alive from far corners, are uncovering their paperwork, packing their bags, and heading home to do for their country or their cause what they have been working for over twenty three years - to save, restore and return Afghanistan's plundered antiquities back to the country.

"What was not blown to bits from twenty years of war, exists in the dark cellars and long hallways of other countries' private mansions and museums. The museum of Kabul is now a cracked skull in a dusty desert - all its years of knowledge perhaps lost forever, no redemption."

Posted by Lee at 02:26 PM | Comments (0)
wonders of the world

Here's your chance to vote on the New Seven Wonders of the World. (The Eiffel Tower? I think not ... )

Posted by Lee at 02:10 PM | Comments (0)
Yahoo specializes in spam

Apparently, Yahoo does nothing to prevent spam slimeballs from signing up and using Yahoo mail to spew spam. If I didn't have friends, family members, and customers who [legitamately] use Yahoo email, I'd block the domain altogether.

I did the math: 83% of the spam I get is from a Yahoo mailbox. Don't they put limits on the number of messages that can be generated from one mailbox? Ten seems reasonable. Hotmail used to be the worst for spam, but Yahoo is the overwhelming "winner" in the spamscum contest.

I'm getting tired of sending each spam I get via Yahoo to abuse@yahoo.com. I don't believe they do anything, anyway.

Posted by Lee at 01:55 PM | Comments (0)
February 22, 2002
Skakel circus comes to town

Oh, great, a "Kennedy" trial is going to be here, half a mile from our house. The Skakel trial looks like it's going to be in Norwalk since Stamford hasn't finished building the new courthouse. Norwalk traffic is bad enough without having all the satellite trucks and other media trappings. Why can't they have the trial in Greenwich - that's where it all happened? Let the Greenwich police deal with all the crap that they swept under the rug when Skakel murdered - uh, oops, I mean allgedly murdered - Martha Moxley in 1975.

Posted by Lee at 12:16 PM | Comments (0)
February 21, 2002
I thought I saw a CNN Headline news reference to this

But thought I must've been mistaken when I couldn't find any reference to it. Unitl now. Man buried alive next to murdered son.

Posted by Lee at 05:25 PM | Comments (0)
things neuro: art by psychos

Neuroscience Art Gallery

Some absolutely fascinating artwork. The one by a 25-year-old Canadian - "Inside the Skull" - is represented only in fragments (in the Art by Psychotics section) - I would love to see the piece in its entirety. Very Bosch.

Thanks to Stanley at Puppet Press Journal for this little corner of the web.

Posted by Lee at 12:48 PM | Comments (0)
February 20, 2002
dog doings in court

Dramatic start to mauling trial / Grisly photos, litany of attacks highlight scene in court. Not to mention the defense attorney doing it doggie-style. If my attorney crawled on the floor like a dog, I'd try to get a mistrial.

Posted by Lee at 07:10 PM | Comments (0)
bands on the run in connecticut

Check out CO2 - a band from the Hartford area.

And check out The Jeremiah Long Band, from Norwalk.

Posted by Lee at 04:43 PM | Comments (0)
February 19, 2002
WTC memorial or navigation hazard?

See Proposal for 9/11 Memorial and A Novel Idea For A WTC Memorial (CBS News).

My initial reaction is this is a silly concept. I have to think about it some more. Mainly, I think it's silly because it's even uglier than the WTC was.

Posted by Lee at 05:37 PM | Comments (0)
catholic mythology revealed ...

Vatican bishop diagnoses sin as cause of sickness.

Posted by Lee at 12:26 PM | Comments (0)
February 16, 2002
After ELF - FBI/Congressional castrati hunt environmentalists

The Earth Liberation Front has been branded the top terrorist group in the nation. Now that political conservatives and corporations are making steady inroads into our inconvenient civil liberties with nary a slap on the hand in sight, they're broadening their scope and taking aim at any group that even remotely threatens the short-term corporate bottom line.

The Christian Science Monitor has an article about this: "Eco-terrorists, too, may soon be on the run" (written by Brad Knickerbocker). (I first heard about it on NPR the other night.) He writes:

It may be the wartime mood, but lawmakers and law-enforcement agencies around the country are hot on the trail of terrorists.

Not the kind who attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon last September, but those who - in the name of animal rights and environmental protection - attack logging trucks, slaughterhouses, fur farms, and university research facilities.

Congress is working on legislation that would stiffen penalties and bring such crimes under federal racketeering laws. The FBI is deploying more agents to fight "ecoterrorists." Government land managers are stepping up security.

Concluding with:
"How best to deal with this home-grown brand of Al Qaeda? I propose that we use the model that has worked so well in Afghanistan," says Rep. George Nethercutt (R) of Washington. "Cut off their funding. Give them no rest and no quarter."

But Rep. Nick Rahall (D) of West Virginia takes a different view. "Robbing future generations of Americans of the splendor and grandeur of publicly held natural resources is, in my book, a form of terrorism," Rahall says, referring to timber theft.

The Associated Press reported:
FBI expert James F. Jarboe said that since 1996, the ALF and ELF have caused $43 million in damage in more than 600 attacks, ranging from spray-painting buildings and breaking windows to firebombing fur farms, research centers and a ski resort.

``They're the most active. They cause the most damage,'' Jarboe said, although white supremacist groups are still considered more dangerous because their attacks are often aimed at people.

Nobody has been killed in an ELF or ALF attack, but McInnis said it is wrong to think of the ecoterrorists as ``nature-loving hippies'' or misguided youths.

So there ya go - our government's official policy: "We'll go after groups that cause property damage, but we won't worry about those groups that kill people. No siree - we gotta protect those bulldozers and chain saws ... "

Makes one wonder if there would've been such a response to terrorism if 3,000 people were killed with no property damage. What's the gubmint doing about the anthrax deaths lately?

The FBI says:
Domestic terrorism is the unlawful use, or threatened use, of violence by a group or individual based and operating entirely within the United States (or its territories) without foreign direction, committed against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.

Under this definition, our country was founded by terrorists.

"Currently, more than 26 FBI field offices have pending investigations associated with ALF/ELF activities. Despite all of our efforts (increased resources allocated, JTTFs, successful arrests and prosecutions), law enforcement has a long way to go to adequately address the problem of eco-terrorism. Groups such as the ALF and the ELF present unique challenges. There is little if any hierarchal structure to such entities. Eco-terrorists are unlike traditional criminal enterprises which are often structured and organized."

They can't find them to prosecute them because eco-activists successfully operate in exactly the same way the men and women who founded our country operated - the strategy book is right there in a United States history book for anyone who cares to read. (Ohmigod - terrorist tactics laid out in our history books - burn 'em! Both - the terrorists AND the books!) And/or the FBI is its usual competent self.

The problem with a witchhunt is no one knows who's going to get swept up in the hysteria. It could be you. Recommended reading:

If an Agent Knocks on the ELF site:
Excerpt: Do I have to talk to the FBI?
No. The FBI does not have the authority to make anyone answer questions (other than name and address) to permit a search without a warrant, or to otherwise cooperate with an investigation. Agents are usually lawyers, and they are always trained as investigators; they have learned the power of persuasion, the ability to make a person feel scared, guilty, or impolite for refusing their requests for information. So remember, they have no legal authority to force people to do anything -- unless they have obtained an arrest or search warrant. Even when agents do have warrants, you still don't have to answer their question.

A law enforcement official can only obtain your name and address if he or she has a reasonable suspicion to believe that you have committed or are about to commit a crime. Thus, if an FBI agent knocks at your door you do not have to identify yourself to him; you can simply say "I don't want to talk to you," or "You'll have to speak to my lawyer," and then close the door. An FBI agent, unlike a local police officer, does not have jurisdiction to investigate violations of state statute.

Posted by Lee at 12:40 PM | Comments (0)
February 15, 2002
more internet archives: movies

The Internet Archives has an amazing collection of ephemral movies donated by the Prelinger Archives. Nearly 1,000 of them. A collection of stills as well (though I'm not sure yet how they're organized). Ephemeral films are those like those old science movies you saw in grade school, or films made by company PR departments, government safety films, stuff like that.



Posted by Lee at 02:04 PM | Comments (0)
February 14, 2002
February 13, 2002
Now this is just a total crock of guano

No matter the cost, Afghan hounds pay the price.

Lou Guerrero had no problem spending whatever it cost to show off his champion dog and bring it from California to Westminster this year.

He had more trouble dealing with the backlash caused by the name of its breed: Afghan hound.

"Now that 9-11 happened, I'm very careful where I go with my dog," Guerrero said Tuesday. "When people ask what kind she is, I just say, 'She's a hound dog.'

"The only reason I do this is for fear of possible retaliation."

Is stupid a gene or is it something in the water?

Posted by Lee at 01:02 PM | Comments (0)
More useful usability stuff

developerWorks: Usability : Seven tricks that Web users don't know. This was pretty interesting - as a developer, I really do forget that I had to learn this stuff at one time.

Posted by Lee at 09:54 AM | Comments (0)
WSJ Spent $28 mil on overhaul

From ComputerWorld: WSJ.com Completes Web Site Overhaul

It cost $28 million over two years! Twenty-eight million smackeroos! Revenue is just $36 million/year. They switched to Vignette for content management - planning to spin off customized newsletters. The sites run on IBM's apache-esque servers. The figured personalization is the way to go, so that's why they spent the big bucks. That works out to be about $45 per existing subscriber - seems like a pretty steep retention cost.

One would think a financial newspaper would know what it was doing. We'll see. I've been a subscriber (to the interactive edition - not print) for years - since day one as a matter of fact - and frankly, I didn't have any problems with the old version and see nothing special about the new version - at what, $6 a month, it's not something that's preying on my mind to cancel - I think it's a good deal. It's one of those monthly charges you don't really notice - under-the-radar charges are what content sites should aspire to - so I have a hunch their churn rate isn't particularly high. I dunno - I guess I'm just awestruck that $28 million can even be SPENT building a website (or series of websites, as in the case of WSJ). Least they could've made it PRETTY!

Posted by Lee at 09:43 AM | Comments (0)
February 12, 2002
states threaten micromerchants with paypal attacks

PayPal Booted Out of State, Under Legal Siege. " ... the state of Louisiana ordered PayPal to stop doing business with its residents without a license.

"Although the company faces the threat of regulation from several other states, Louisiana was the first state to order the company to stop transferring money to and from residents until it obtains a money transmission license.

"If PayPal fails to abide by that order, it could be fined US$1,000 per day by the state.

"PayPal said it will 'comply promptly and suspend the ability of Louisiana residents to make payments through our service,' although it reserves the right to contest the order."

The article in eCommerce Times continues, stating PayPal is facing legal challenges in other states, including New York.

Let's see, PayPal has been around how many years now? And states are only NOW looking at it? Is Amazon.com subject to these same complaints, or any other net-based money-transfer services?

I don't know the legal ins and outs of the way PayPal is supposed to conduct business. I do know that this should've been resolved long ago - before thousands and thousands of small online businesses came to depend on PayPal for ecommerce functions. Including the thousands on eBay alone.

PayPal isn't a cheap service for a micromerchant to use, but it sure is cheaper than most bank merchant accounts and it is absolutely easier to set up than every single other shopping cart program out there. It may not be the best service out there for the microbusiness, but as far as I've seen, it's the only one out there that makes sense. It's flawed, but works well enough to have generated $40 million in revenue in 2001 and more than 2 million business acounts.

What I want to know is what micromerchants are supposed to do if PayPal sinks under the weight of regulatory cinderblocks in 50 states. Are banks going to step in an offer comparable services that are comparably easy to use? I doubt it.

If PayPal falls, it will be the death knell for thousands of micromerchants who cannot afford the expense of merchant accounts or hiring programmers to set up expensive shopping cart programs for their sites. Even sites proclaiming to be easy-to-use and cheap are not - witness Yahoo.

So what's going to happen? I don't know. Is eBay going to step in to the fray? If they want their success to continue, they'll have to.

Posted by Lee at 03:08 PM | Comments (0)
Jared's wombat??

Just received Jared Spool's latest UIEtips enewsletter: "Determining How Design Affects Branding." Lately Jared has been annoying me with his spam all about attending some conference on the west coast (once is okay. Three times is NOT okay). But aside from that, methinks he should start selecting more substantial stuff for his newsletter if he has any hopes whatsoever of selling my company reports on his research. These examples just won't do it:

"The more shoppers could purchase their desired products, the more their positive attitudes about the site's brand increased."

"The usage of certain design elements correlated very strongly with people's brand attitude changes. For example, shoppers who used size charts while buying apparel were more likely to show brand strength increases on those sites. While shoppers who used Search correlated strongly with decreases in brand strength."
Correlations do not a conclusion make. How strongly correlated? Was it a statistically significant correlation or just a line moving on a chart? What were they searching for? Why were they searching? What's a brand-strength increase, anyway? And the only reason to use a size chart is if you're already committed to buying - otherwise, it's a pain in the ass to figure them out. So if someone IS ALREADY committed to buying, of course his or her brand awareness is going to be higher.

"These two findings tell us that when we create designs that focus on ensuring users accomplish their goals, we are likely having a long-term positive effect on the strength of the brand."
As opposed to what, deliberately designing sites to be user unfriendly and to thwart user goals? How much money was spent on this study? Time?

If you want USEFUL web-building information, go here: Criteria for optimal web design (designing for usability) from the Software Usability Research Laboratory at Wichita State University.

Posted by Lee at 10:01 AM | Comments (0)
A design journal - interesting

the dcn

Posted by Lee at 09:50 AM | Comments (0)
February 11, 2002
Why, yes i am

Are you Addicted to the Internet?


Hardcore Junkie (61% - 80%)
While you do get a bit of sleep every night and sometimes leave the house, you spend as much time as you can online. You usually have a browser, chat clients, server consoles, and your email on auto check open at all times. Phone? What's that? You plan your social events by contacting your friends online. Just be careful you don't get a repetitive wrist injury ...

The Are you Addicted to the Internet? Quiz at Stvlive.com!

Founds this via adam.gerstein.net- thanks Adam, I think ...

Posted by Lee at 11:37 PM | Comments (0)
Laura bush sends a message to enron victims

Reaching Out: The First Lady's Message to Victims of the Enron Collapse. From the White House.

Posted by Lee at 01:05 PM | Comments (0)
Oh Just write your own like everyone else does ...

Gerry McGovern writes in his Feb. 11 newlsetter:

If you have, Gerry McGovern would like to hear about it.
(Constructive criticism is welcome too!) If you have a minute,
please send a brief accolade (max: 100 words), describing what
you like about the publication. This may then be published on
Gerry's website, or in other promotional material for Gerry
McGovern. Please also include your name, title and organization
(if appropriate)."

I don't know why this made me laugh, but it did. Reminded me of a bad TV commercial. I like Gerry's columns when he has something to say. Usually he's very good at pointing out the obvious (in an Emporer's new clothes kinda way), and usually he's right on the money especially if you agree with him on what constitutes content, what the web is about, and why people use the web (oh, I mean "Web" per Gerry's style guide). His conclusions are usually sound, but his solutions sometimes leave me breathless (this is not a Good Thing). Not necessarily breakaway stuff, though - Jakob Nielsen has been saying pretty much the same thing for a lot longer, albeit Jakob is even dryer than Gerry.

Posted by Lee at 11:44 AM | Comments (0)
web techniques gone amok

It's amazing how ugly you can make something if you try just a little. Oh, and let's see - let's make navigation as confusing as possible and, while we're at it, rehash news that's already featured in a zillion places - oh, that's leveraging content, I get it [yawn]. Way not to go, CMP!

Posted by Lee at 11:20 AM | Comments (0)
I dunno - just check it out

From Fred Langa's enewsletter: BeezleBugBit. Some interesting stuff - and some pretty awful stuff.

And from Stanley at Puppet Press Journal, here is a site worth poking around in for a while: Erwan Bezie's stuff.

Posted by Lee at 12:33 AM | Comments (0)
February 09, 2002

Thursday night went to hear The Jeremiah Long Band again at Caffeine in South Norwalk. They're good! Not a huge crowd, so they were relaxed and obviously enjoying playing.

Posted by Lee at 10:10 PM | Comments (2)
February 08, 2002
What font am I?

More sillies:

redensek.gif Wowie! I am Redensek! I am techy yet cute, and pretty much all around cool. Everyone loves me! I'm fun, popular, and can mold myself to fit right in to any situation.

Posted by Lee at 11:27 AM | Comments (0)
My favorite illusion: shrub is in charge ...

Outside of that one, there are plenty to look at, pick apart, watch interactive demos of, learn about, etc. at ILLUSIONWORKS.

This is one of my favorites:

The site isn't gorgeous, but is packed with information and examples. Time Sink rating: 10 (out of 10, 10 being the best).

Posted by Lee at 11:11 AM | Comments (0)
I'm a red-winged blackbird


You spend an incredible amount of time primping, preening, and posturing to attract the opposite sex. As much as you want to attract that devoted love, though, you know these efforts serve another purpose: rivals won't enter your territory because of your intimidating presence.

At least according to The Mating Game on eNature.com, web home of the National Wildlife Federation.

"When a male Red-winged Blackbird detects another male in its territory, it approaches the intruder, drops its wings, and raises its beak, all of which serve to make the bird appear large and intimidating. The male exhibits the same behavior when it approaches a female. But it's not trying to frighten off the female. In both instances it's demonstrating its fitness and dominance. Presumably a female will be most interested in mating with a male that can defend a territory and, by extension, provide a steady supply of high-quality food."

This is a GREAT site!

Posted by Lee at 10:39 AM | Comments (1)
February 07, 2002
well, this is one way to drive print sales ...

Weekly World News says if you want to know why the three-legged skater was banned from the Olympics, you have to actually BUY the "paper." You won't find it on the website. If the carrot doesn't work, try the stick. WEEKLY WORLD NEWS SITE

Posted by Lee at 12:28 PM | Comments (0)
February 06, 2002
Vote Early, vote often!

Why is this man famous?

Vote for your favorite annoying celeb. (I voted for Hallie Eisenberg.)

Posted by Lee at 01:12 PM | Comments (0)
The info is good, but ...

HFI has quite a bit of free information on the site: Human Factors International.

My main problem is it is one of the more annoying sites I've visited. The pages (asp) are very slow to load, navigation is slow, and the menu bars are EXTREMELY annoying - they pop the images into place o n e a t a t i m e and veeerrryy slowwwlllyyy.

Is the information I read good? Yes. Would I hire them to recommend usability fixes for our websites? Not unless they fix their own.

Posted by Lee at 10:34 AM | Comments (0)

An ex-Enronite's site: laydoff.com.

Posted by Lee at 09:55 AM | Comments (0)
How to Drive

This is supposedly a parody: Offensive Driving: The Driving Style of Choice. But it seems to be the norm here in Fairfield County, Connecticut, land of the self-absorbed and self-important, where the worst offenders are the moms hauling kids in oversized SUVs.

Posted by Lee at 09:35 AM | Comments (0)
February 05, 2002
Shrub's Budget compared to this year's

Everybody was screaming about the numbers, but I couldn't find a coherent breakdown of actual increases in the 2003 federal budget compared with the 2002 budget. Finally, via the SF Chronicle, the numbers: Seeing red / A $2.13 trillion budget buster.

Still digesting the numbers, but what amazes me is this so-called "Education President" [gag] is proposing just a 2.1% increase in education spending vs. a 12% increase in defense and 5.9% increase in foreign aid spending.

Posted by Lee at 12:55 PM | Comments (0)
February 04, 2002
Dying in America

An interesting look at our country through the eyes of a Canadian: ''America's strange political culture of grief and dying'' by John Chuckman in YellowTimes.org.

"Death in America does not come easily. That is, unless you are homeless or live on an Indian reservation or in one of the nation's vast urban ghettos or are one of tens of millions of working poor with the kind of health insurance that features exceptions instead of coverage. In all these cases, likely few will note your passing. Losers don't count in America, except at Fourth-of-July speeches by congressmen in tight races."

"Now, don't misunderstand. When the terrorists attacked, America deserved the world's sympathy and help, and she richly received it. But now, quite apart from its being well past time for a grossly self-indulgent people "to get a life," the country's brutal, stupid response - undoubtedly killing more innocent people than died in the attack itself and causing more misery than can be imagined in such a poor land - means she has relinquished further claims to the world's sympathy.

"It's hard to sympathize with people who insist on the very special, precious, eternal nature of their own loss, while failing even to notice what they do to others. The moral values here closely resemble those of certain survivors or victims in Texas who parade outside the prison during an execution and excitedly talk to newsmen about the closure someone's death is bringing to their lives."

But read the whole thing. Keep your knees in check for a change. At least admit what is true.

Posted by Lee at 02:06 PM | Comments (0)
Bush couldn't go to the space station

He wouldn't be allowed to fly to the Space Station because of his history of "notoriously disgraceful" conduct, according to an article on Space.com: Partners Set Standards for Station Tourists; Miscreants Need Not Apply. He'd have to prove he went to rehab and somehow get back into the good graces of NASA in order to go.

Posted by Lee at 11:44 AM | Comments (0)
February 03, 2002
its patriotic to commercialize patriotism

Been watching all the displays of patriotism and pseudpoatriatism during the last few months. Read all about the trademark wars over "Let's Roll!" on Puppet Press Journal. How the Todd Beamer Foundation (which has no readily apparent purpose other than to promote being the eyes and ears of homeland security, whatever the HELL that means) is somehow claiming it has more of a moral right to a commercialize the phrase "Let's Roll!" than companies or people using the phrase to sell bumper stickers and t-shirts. I think probably the Todd Beamer Foundation is going to have their application denied because here in the good ol' US of A, the commercialization of patriotism has a long, proud tradition. Here's some evidence: a Nabisco ad from 1914.


This is from University of Minnesota's Digital Collections: War Posters. (Thank you to fimoculous for this little corner of the web.)

The commercialization of patriotism isn't nearly as offensive to me as reading about the families of 9-11 complaining bitterly that they're not getting a big enough piece of the pie fast enough. Or that they're not getting health insurance for life from their lost one's employer. As if losing someone to 9-11 automatically entitles them to more - a whole lot more - than losing someone to a heart attack or a car accident. I wish I could take my donation back and donate it instead to the Afghani children who need it more. I'd rather subsidize need than greed.

Posted by Lee at 01:41 PM | Comments (0)
February 02, 2002
UPI asks:

Who will utter the 'P' word?.

Hmm, a good question. Why isn't anyone calling for a special prosecutor for the Enron debacle?

Posted by Lee at 01:02 PM | Comments (0)
February 01, 2002

Heard this on the radio yesterday, and Stanley found the story for me: Guardian Unlimited Observer | UK News | Anarchists sell tune to US car giant. Of course, the puny bit - relative to the money GM spends on marketing - CorpWatch got out of the deal amounts to maybe one dog pissing in the ocean. Could it be they're counting on the Butterfly Effect? But ya never know ...

Posted by Lee at 12:06 AM | Comments (0)