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April 30, 2003

Second Take: Apples Music Store

I've been reading some comments on Apple's Music Store service and it is taking a step backwards in the fight against price gouging by major music labels. Paying 99 cents a song for a CD with 14 tracks is more expensive than those in stores usually. Someone commented that it's better than paying $12-$14 for a CD that usually only has 3 good tracks. Well, wouldn't you rather get 10 good tracks instead of 3? Also the quality of CD audio is "better" than the Apple Music Store files not to mention the liner notes that you get.

That aside, iTunes and Apple's Music Store seems to be getting decent feedback mainly because it's accessible. The masses are still content with the old music model and even individuals who complained about how labels and the RIAA rip people including artists off seem not to be fussing much.

Apple's applications make things *easy* to do it seems so by having applications that people regularly use like iTunes and iPhoto, it's not hard to make things like buying music or photo prints *easier* for consumers.

This is the way blogging and technology need to be for people. Even things technologically savvy people say are simple are exceedingly complex for the masses. People say this over and over but it seems Apple is headed in the right direction.

Posted by beamz at 2:49 PM | Comments (0)

Macs

The more I see of Mac OS X and Apple hardware, the more I find myself wanting one. I switched from Windows to a Unix-type operating system back in '95. Lately I've been running linux but I'm constantly reminded of its shortcomings ranging from manual loading of hardware drivers to unpolished applications.

I keep seeing the polished approach apple takes to hardware and software and can't help but want one even though they are a little pricey. I didn't switch to Linux because it was free, I switched to it because it was stable but now I want some bells and whistles too.

The Apple Music Store is interesting as well because over the past couple of days, I've noticed that people who have tried it out say it's really neat. However, I don't know if people realize it but buying digital music online has been around from a couple of outlets for a couple years. Why isn't there much animosity towards Apple's Music store like there is towards record labels trying to sell the same songs for nearly the same amount? Is it because it's not from the "Enemy" or group who has always seemed to take the first strike?

Posted by beamz at 12:26 AM | Comments (0)

April 28, 2003

social circle balance beam

mamamusings: ridiculously easy group-unforming

Liz Lawley was part of a distribution list that lead to the invitation on a mailing list. Dave Winer had started the list and invited some select bloggers and social software players. She discusses how social software may not be a new concept but still deserves attention.

Anyway a spat with Dave Winer ensued resulting in him silencing the yahoo group and making it moderated. Regardless of what people are thinking about "social software" at the moment, the best demonstration of the kinks in the hose were, as Liz discusses, the ability to silence everyone. This showed how a budding group producing good discussion can break like a light bulb thrown to the grown. No more light, no more thoughts.

P2P was a popular term when Napster, Gnutella, Kazaa, and other file-sharing networks came about and then the scope broadened to include blogging and other communication mediums. A lot of people believe that the P2P bubble popped just like the dot com one did but it's still alive. The bubble just keeps growing even though smaller ones around it pop. The fact is that P2P didn't start when file-sharing programs came about, it started when humans started talking. It is just a medium encompassing a bunch of different technologies and the people make the medium, not the other way around. There's no doubt that the medium dictates the scope but once people decide to expand beyond what the original means allows, they develop something new.

Blogging still isn't the easiest thing still because computers remain difficult to use to many and the breadth of information out there is still difficult to wade through. Out of all of this though we will keep evolving and learn better and better ways. We just need to keep plugging away, in the end it will make the world a different place, hopefully for the better but possibly for the worse.

Posted by beamz at 11:55 AM | Comments (1)

April 27, 2003

Follow up on Denis Horgan

I forwarded a friend of mine an email I sent the Hartford Courant earlier today about Denis Horgan's situation. He asked for permission to post it on his site and I thought I would post it here as well. Here it is:

I caught wind of Denis Horgan being told to shut down a weblog or
journal that he writes in at http://www.denishorgan.com and it is
appalling. I could understand if he was writing on company time,
attempting to profit from it but he isn't.

Brian Toolan's comment, "Denis Horgan's entire professional profile is a
result of his attachment to The Hartford Courant" is utterly ridiculous.
The writers make a paper what it is, not the other way around. If it
weren't for them, the paper would have no stream of revenue from
advertisers because readership depends on content. This isn't to say
that the journalistic reputation of the newspaper is not important,
quite the contrary, but to say it is what makes a writer who he or she
is is completely false. If it were true, then you should be able to hire
anyone, teach them how to write and the newspaper's reputation should do
the rest.

His writing online at a minimum can only serve to help the newspaper.
People respond to honest voices and when you read what a writer has to
say in addition to their normal content, a sense of trust is developed
which can only help strengthen that voice. In the end, it is the voices
of the writers at the Hartford Courant that help make the paper what it
is today, if it weren't then every single story would be fine just
ripped from Reuters and A.P.

I hope after reading this, it makes a minute impact and causes people at
the Courant to think twice about freedom of expression. The first
amendment not only gives freedom of the press but freedom for
individuals to speak freely.

--
Ed Saipetch

Posted by beamz at 2:53 AM | Comments (0)

April 26, 2003

Your Employer Owns You and Your Thoughts

JD's New Media Musings: April 24, 2003 Archives

[via Doc Searls]

The Hartford Courant has told one of its employees to kill their blog. Denis Horgan, a travel writer, was told to stop blogging because it represented a conflict of interest despite the fact that the blog is done on his own time using his own resources. The worst part about it is that the Courant's editor Brian Toolan believes for some reason that they made Horgan who he is and therefore they own his speech.

From JD's post, "I've sent emails off to Letters@courant.com and associate editor Karen Hunter, the paper's reader representative (phone (800) 524-4242, ext. 3902). I urge you to do the same."

Also via JD's log is Cosmo Macero Jr. of the Boston Herald take on the whole thing.

Posted by beamz at 12:59 PM | Comments (4)

April 25, 2003

US Embassy Conundrum

As you may or may not know, I'm getting married in 2 weeks. I'm half Thai which means that my father, stepmother, brother, and two aunts are traveling here for my wedding.

I got a phone call from my father 2 nights ago saying that my oldest aunt was denied a visa for a 2 month stay here in the states. She has never traveled outside of Thailand, is unmarried, retired, and supports herself. Apparently bringing $5,000 in cash to the U.S. embassy isn't proof enough that you have money on hand and aren't trying to plot a trip to the U.S. to work illegally. She has many ties to Thailand but it just bothered me that she spent $100 on an application only to be denied without a chance to provide documentation proving she didn't intend on screwing up our country by not going back to Thailand.

It seems we have enough issues including illegal immigrants from Mexico, terrorism, lack of school funding and a million other things going on that should prevent us from preventing someone to come to the U.S. for a vacation. Obviously I'm wrong. I've pondered calling my senator and asking what the hell we're doing scrutinizing a 60 year old retired lady as opposed to someone else who may have more devious interests in mind.

I don't get much feedback here but if anyone has any good suggestions, I'm all ears.

Posted by beamz at 9:49 PM | Comments (1)

April 24, 2003

Tidbits

Body & Fitness:
Today after a lengthy day at work, Kris and I went to go work out. It is getting a little bit easier now that my body is getting back in shape. It has definitely benefited me more than sitting in front of a PC surfing the web or other blogs. Tomorrow my legs are going to kill.

Entertainment:
I also ordered the Home Media Option which allows you to share photos and music from your PC/Mac, share shows between Tivos, and do remote scheduling from the web. We were charged a one time fee of $99. Tivo was nice enough to provide an SDK which gives specifications and sample code to use to develop your own applications that will work with the Tivo. It's nice to watch shows when I want to and also not miss shows I enjoy due to prior commitments.

Blogging:
The couple who develop MovableType (the software I use to blog) have been working on a competitor to blogspot and other hosted blog solutions called TypePad. They ended up getting funding from Joi Ito. This seems like more of a money-making venture than a social software move. On the other hand, it may lead to the masses becoming more exposed to blogging resulting in more voices out there. There is still much more noise than decent content out there (Hell, I'm mostly noise anyway) but I enjoy reading people like Joi who I don't consider pure noise.

Posted by beamz at 12:46 AM | Comments (0)

April 23, 2003

Oops Part 2.

U.S. Planners Surprised by Strength of Iraqi Shiites (washingtonpost.com)

This is the latest breaking story and it indicates that we are unprepared to handle the huge Shiite uprising that could occur in Iraq leading to the formation of an Islamic fundamentalist government.

I'm still thinking that even though we "won" the war, we may not have thought this through well enough. That aside, we're not any safer from "Terrorism" when comparing Islamic fundamentalists who hate America and Saddam Hussein himself are we?

Posted by beamz at 3:13 PM | Comments (0)

April 22, 2003

Do you own a TV?

The Onion | Area Man Constantly Mentioning He Doesn't Own A Television

This is old but I just stumbled upon it while reading some stuff on the web. It goes in line with, "I don't drink Folgers, I drink Starbucks." Or also how it's so cool to hate or dislike things that the masses enjoy.

Posted by beamz at 4:22 PM | Comments (1)

April 21, 2003

Bachelor Party Weekend In Vegas

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, I spent my weekend in Vegas for my bachelor party. My best friend set it all up and we ended up meeting another 10 people there, 2 of which I knew already. It was one of the best times I've had in a long time.

We got in Friday around 11pm, checked in to Cesars Palace and got a nice 1100sq ft room that we didn't spend much time in. After that we went to meet the group at the bar at Harrah's where they were staying. We spent the rest of the time roaming the casinos, playing slots and the tables and also got to see a wonderful comedy show at The Improv at Harrah's. The comedians were hilarious.

Being around good people and having a good time with no laptop or on-call responsibilities made the trip amazing. I got to bond more with 2 people I had seen a couple of years ago at my best man's birthday party in Michigan. I'm going to try to plan a trip with them and go back with Kris. Next time we'll probably see more shows and spend less time on the casino floors.

I'll post pictures and some stories throughout the next coming days.

Posted by beamz at 9:45 PM | Comments (0)

April 18, 2003

Not much new

Not much going on. I'm sore from working out for the 2nd time yesterday. I'm horribly out of shape but at some point I'll get there. I had a long day but it's over now and I'm excited about tomorrow.

Why you ask? Well my best friend who I manage to see once every year or two years told me to meet him at the airport where he's flying in. He advised that I should have enough clothes until Sunday and our flight out leaves at 6pm. He said the weather should be warm. So this is pretty much my bachelor party since locally there isn't much to do and I don't have local friends really since I'm not an Indiana native.

Anyway I need to finish some stuff up at work tomorrow but then I'll be off to some place away from home which will be nice. There has been a lot of stress around here due to work, classes, and a wedding.

Posted by beamz at 12:12 AM | Comments (0)

April 16, 2003

You want privacy, you got it.

Homeland Security Dept. Fills Privacy Post (TechNews.com)

According to the WaPo, Nuala O'Connor will report directly to Tom Ridge. She's from DoubleClick who is well known for lawsuits against it for violations of privacy. What is interesting is that her job will be the Privacy Czar in the Dept. of Homeland Security. She was brought onboard DoubleClick to clean up some of the mess there.

I had a discussion with a coworker about a week after September 11th about our freedom. My thought was that if things got much worse around here, people would trade their freedom card for a safety card. His simple response was, "No, nobody would do that." To make people safe, it seems that you have to know what's going on. In the age of the Cold War, we used spies, satellites, U-2 spy planes, etc to find out what our enemies were doing. Now in our so-called "melting-pot", we have supposed enemies who are our next-door neighbors. The Oklahoma federal bombings were blatant proof that anyone including an American citizen could be a terrorist. The "war on terror" involves "preventing acts of terror" and to do that, authorities need to find out what's going on.

My simple point is that this means compromising some of our liberties and freedoms. I personally don't think we should but it seems inevitable. We have people in the White House who dictate our foreign policy (which seems to be a huge subect of debate) trying to protect us. However the policies they have almost fuel the fire which only give fundamentalist whackos more support from the Arab nations.

Posted by beamz at 4:28 PM | Comments (0)

April 15, 2003

Misc. happenings.

My taxes are done, the weather is nice, the wedding is approaching.

While studying some philosophy over the past couple of weeks, it has sparked my curiosity a little. I've been wondering if out of all of this philosophical analysis on metaphysics and other things philosophy, if I had anything to tie in to my blog. Well, it's almost as if there really isn't any good tie in so far. Many of the individuals like Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Anselm, and Descartes explore the meaning of our existence, God, and reality but the topics seem to be confined to purely philosophical discussion about the nature of humans. I'm learning a lot but it's explaining things, not providing momentum to move forward.

Philosophy has its place but not as much as keeping the ship running forward. Right now it just doesn't seem to tackle issues like politics and society's issues in general.

In other news, Colin Powell is toning down the rhetoric towards Syria, we caught the mastermind behind the Achille Lauro cruise ship hijacking, and the calm is deceptive in Tikrit, Iraq.

Posted by beamz at 11:52 AM | Comments (0)

April 14, 2003

Stress

Mental note to self: "DON'T READ WORK EMAIL THAT IS LIKELY TO PISS YOU OFF WHEN YOU ARE AT HOME."

Ok now that I got that out of the way. Done with half of my taxes, tonight I need to finish the rest.

The only thing that has been on my mind really of any compelling thought lately is listening to Evanescence's debut cd "Fallen" got me curious as to the nature of their music. More specifically, while searching for lyrics I noticed christianlyrics.net or something had a reference to them. After digging a little deeper, I found that though a couple sites that said they were a Christian rock group. I was impressed.

Well I stumbled across a site that had a letter from Wind-Up Music's CEO (Evanescence's music label). In it he stated the reason for pulling the music from the Christian retail chain because of Evanescence's desire to not be associated with Christian rock. They explained their music was purely secular and meant to entertain.

The only reasons I could think of is that they really wanted to focus on entertaining instead of coming across like they were pushing a religious agenda even though they had religious underpinnings in their music. The band according to the letter is "opposed to promoting or supporting any religious agenda." I hear frequently about people criticizing bands not necessarily because of their musical talent but because of the religious tones. I don't really have anything earth-shattering to say about it except that it's sad that people reject art (as secular as it may be) because immediately they reject an entire set of ideas instead of examining things closer.

Here's a post at blogcritics.org about Evanescence.

Posted by beamz at 7:07 PM | Comments (1)

April 13, 2003

Next on the list, Syria.

CNN.com - Syria, U.S. exchange charges on weapons - Apr. 13, 2003

Strong rhetoric coming out of the West. I figure we're 2/3rd's done with Iraq. Tikrit is still a wildcard at this point with Saddam loyalist there fighting. Either way, we cut off Syria's oil supply and we may be our own worst enemy.

Posted by beamz at 11:19 PM | Comments (0)

Taxes, housekeeping, reading

I need to do my taxes here shortly. A friend of mine described doing taxes like getting raped by the government. I think it feels like so much of raping because there are so many loopholes the richer you get. As you start to make more money through investments, stock options, etc, there are larger loopholes.

Kris and I also have to work on cleaning the house up so we can accommodate guests for the wedding.

Right now I'm just watching flares and gunfire in the middle of Baghdad near the Palestine Hotel where all the journalists are.

Posted by beamz at 4:16 PM | Comments (0)

A dose of good news

My buddy Erin had a baby this past Tuesday morning. A boy named William was born. I asked him how the experience was and he said, "Think about being 10 years old and getting the xmas present you always wanted, now multiply that 100x and thats what it feels like."

It's things like that in life that make me smile for one brief moment amidst the downward spiral this world appears to be in. Perhaps the interconnectedness of the world has a big part to do with it but regardless, a new life born is a good thing.

Not to drag a good thing down, here's a link I found interesting before I found out the good news from Erin.

Daily Kos: Morally bankrupt leadership

We have apparently toppled "The Regime" in Baghdad but the war is far from over. Not because we haven't taken all the towns in Northern Iraq but because destroying things is the easy part, the hard part is rebuilding things. For Iraqi's to enjoy freedom, they need water, food, and shelter first. With it, freedom is nothing. People are looting and destroying the very infrastructure that they are supposed to rely on. Instead of individuals picking up the pieces and helping to rebuild their own cities, they've turned to stealing and setting buildings on fire.

Initially the U.S. seemed to take the stand that we were there for war, not peacekeeping. It's amazing how we secured their oil fields but fail to secure their safety and long term future.

Posted by beamz at 12:33 AM | Comments (0)

April 11, 2003

Getting In Shape

Kris has been going to this really cool personal trainer for the last few weeks and today I went for the first time.

Let me just say that I got my ass kicked. Plain and simple. It probably didn't help that I only got 5 hours of sleep and had been running on E for the better part of the week trying to convert schedules. It's a good thing though and I'm going to try to go at least once a week.

Hopefully this will counteract sitting at a computer for at least 8 hours a day and get me healthier. It's not cheap but I can't ever find the motivation to do it regularly on my own.

Posted by beamz at 10:45 PM | Comments (1)

Good Things in Iraq, Ignorance at home

IndyStar.com : : AP

"NEW YORK (AP) -- Thousands of construction workers and firefighters packed a noontime rally at ground zero Thursday in support of the war in Iraq which, to many of them, began right there on Sept. 11, 2001."

There are some good things apparently happening in Iraq but this story from the AP in its lead paragraph demonstrates how well the American public understands Iraq's relationship with Al-Qaeda and 9/11.

Simply put, it has never been proven. As much as we would like to paint Sadam's regime as the culprit and person responsible for 9/11, there has been no link found.

Posted by beamz at 12:51 AM | Comments (0)

April 10, 2003

The Dixie Chicks Treatment(TM)

Baseball Hall snubs celebrities

Dale Petroskey sent a letter to Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins cancelling their appearance at the National Baseball Hall of Fame because they've been outspoken against the war.

In the letter, Petroskey criticizes their views on the war and makes statements like "The President of the United States as this nation's democratically elected leader, is constitutionally bound to make decisions he believes are in the best interests of the American people."

The election of 2000 was one of the most highly contested and it came out that more people voted for Gore than they did Bush. It's the past but the problem is that democracy was and is at stake, not the votes of one state. Adam Flint, a sociology professor at Hartwick College is quoted as saying "One, I'd say Bush's status as a democratically elected leader is perhaps the most questionable in our country's history."

There are other broad ranging statements about Iraq's deadly weapons and the fact that they are putting our troops in danger by speaking up against the war. Flint makes the statement, "And as far as putting our troops in harm's way, I think George Bush has done that."

The main point of all of this is that shunning someone because they are publically outspoken about the war when justifying the war as fighting for America's freedoms is a bunch of idiotic banter.

I have yet to see any celebrities who have had their appearances cancelled because they are in support of the war. People should be able to state their opinions for and against in not be shunned for it.

Posted by beamz at 10:41 AM | Comments (2)

April 9, 2003

Persuasive Thinking

So today in addition to a couple of days ago, Kris suggested I become a lawyer. Initially I took it as a compliment but after thinking about it for awhile, I take it to mean that I'm horrible at persuasion. Lawyers are very good at the ability to get others to see what they want them to (right and wrong aside).

I'm a persistant person but persistance does not make a good lawyer, being able to persuade does. This begins my journey to figure out how to be more persuasive. If the views and opinions are logical and sound, then there must be something else preventing me from being persuasive. Persuasion involves two-way communication which to say kindly is one of the things that apparently I'm not doing. However, does the insinuation that I'm not listening to the other side mean that I'm really not listening or that I'm not giving up in my arguments.

Of course some people say I come off a little harsh but as much as I try to work at it, I seem to revert back to a very vocal and strong-spoken tone which people take as a belittling or put-down.

People write things for a number of reasons but one of them is persuasion and a general theme seems to be change. Changing the world around us by using blogs, the web, and the internet as a medium itself to present those thoughts in an effort to share with like-minded people or persuade those who disagree. In academia, persuasion is almost like an art but has a very scientific way about it.

This is just the beginning of the journey towards being a better persuasive thinker.

Posted by beamz at 7:49 PM | Comments (1)

Making the Patriot Act permanent

Republicans Want Terror Law Made Permanent

The Patriot Act (dare you call it something else because disagreeing with the "War on Terror" would be unpatriotic) has many of its critical provisions provided under "sunset" clauses which means they will expire at then end of 2005. Republicans and the Justice Department have been working together figure out how to alter it so that people could be investigated without having to have proof shown by law enforcement that they are tied to another terror group.

With Democrats disagreeing, it is potentially turning into a tit-for-tat argument with Republicans threatening to eliminate the sunset clause and make the Patriot Act permanent.

Temporary or permanent, it's clear that the Act itself has many questionable elements which infringe on our freedoms.

Will the next Enemy Combatant please stand up?

Posted by beamz at 4:01 PM | Comments (0)

April 8, 2003

Librarians show opposition to Patriot Act

Librarians Use Shredder to Show Opposition to New F.B.I. Powers

Librarians understand very well the basic right people should have to be able to read a book about Hitler and Nazi Germany and not be arrested as a potential teror suspect for learning some history.

The Patriot Act in broad terms allows the FBI to get records of book borrowing, Internet use, and book purchases of people "under suspicion." It allows many other things and seems to infringe on those very freedoms we are supposedly fighting for in the "War on Terror."

A good quote from the article:
""I am more terrified of having my First Amendment rights to information and free speech infringed than I am by the kind of terrorist acts that have come down so far," Ms. Turner said."

Posted by beamz at 1:46 PM | Comments (0)

Another reminder it's a small world

While reading Joi's blog this morning, I blinked a few times at his post. He said that Chris Goggans was invited to Tokyo as an Assistant Professor. I don't know Joi personally at all but I've been following his work on social software and democracy. In some ways, slowly going over his things has motivated me to do more nowadays. Anyway it was bizarre to see someone who I've met and drank with before hanging out with Joi in Japan.

Even better though is someone with some skills educating people about security. The majority of the voices speaking to the public about security seem to be journalist pumping out FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) or PR folks from a company saying they have the silver bullet for software and systems security.

Posted by beamz at 9:50 AM | Comments (0)

April 7, 2003

Disruptive people

WARNING: THIS IS GOING TO STING A LITTLE

Major protests happened in Oakland California today. Some people would like to knowwhy protesting makes people do this:

and lead to this:

Posted by beamz at 6:45 PM | Comments (1)

60 minutes

I enjoyed two major segments on Iraq and the War on Terror this evening in the news. The first segment was about an Egyptian national who lived in the midwest with his American wife. He was detained for 73 days in a Federal maximum security prison in solitary confinement. He was never charged with anything and is now suing the government. He apparently used a computer at the same kinko's that September 11th hijacker Atta did.

This is exactly what I'm talking about when I talk about sweeping legislation by the Department of Justice removing many of the freedoms we are apparently fighting for in this "War on Terror."

Information here, here, here, and here

The second segment on 60 minutes was about the government in a post-war Iraq. We thought very quickly on how to destroy the country (debatable) but seemed to give a lot less thought on how to rebuild it. They are wildly unsure of the number of U.S. troops it will take to do peace-keeping there once the war is over. The cost estimate could be around $20 billion dollars a year to maintain peace there. Also of note, the companies who have been selected to rebuild Iraq are primarily companies that contribute the most to Republican party campaigns.

Posted by beamz at 12:23 AM | Comments (0)

April 6, 2003

news on piracy and social software

I relaxed most of the day today. Information seemed to permeate the web rather slowly. Some of the things that I did take time to look at were:

Piracy:
The RIAA is going after a few students at a couple major universities for piracy. Even though the students probably won't pay the $98.6 billion dollars they are being sued for, the RIAA has decided to use this opportunity to make an example of them. Note: The Detroit Freepress has their math wrong. I know people have echo'd the similar sentiments but for repetitions sake let me just say that piracy is wrong but outmoded business models also need to adjust with the times. The most likely ways I see this going is either a) laws completely obliterate peoples' freedom to use products the way they want resulting in a "bite the hand that feeds you" effect or b) the companies evolve with the needs of their customers (notice I did not say consumers).

Social Software:
mamamusing's has some commentary on some things said about social software. I've been quite interested lately in the concepts of social software motivated a bit by Doc Searls and Joi Ito and their discussions relating to empowering people through the web. I think a lot of great ideas are being thrown around.

I may be naive but I believe empowering people with software and the net has great potential. I do however think that the mass of information is reacted to similar to spam. The noise starts to drown out the signal.

Posted by beamz at 12:44 AM | Comments (0)

April 4, 2003

Intel programmer detained

Warblogging.com: Mike Hawash in New York Times

According to the NYTimes, a programmer from Intel was arrested by the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force. He has been held as a material witness and is in jail. Warblogging.com goes into greater detail but the main thing is that the government is using "material witness" unfairly.

If this person is guilty of some form of terrorism, he has a right to 1) be charged 2) right to an attorney 3) right to a speedy trial. Unfortunately a lot of that went out the window when Ashcroft pushed the Patriot Act and other anti-terrorism bills along.

Posted by beamz at 8:06 PM

Real Martyrs?

Headline news from Sky News - Witness the event

[via The Command Post]

Everyone has heard about suicide bombers before, especially in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict but with the second incident occuring against our troops in the war, I started wondering.

According to the report, "A pregnant female stepped out of the vehicle and began screaming in fear," officials said." What is there to be afraid of if you're doing some supposed great thing for God?

Of course if they were screaming because they were forced to do it at gun-point then it's unfortunate and a certainty that the Iraqi people won't hear a word about it.

Posted by beamz at 7:57 PM | Comments (0)

Computer issues

My main machine's hard drive decided to puke today. I'll try to post some more later if time permits.

For now read a little bit of SARS information from Joi Ito's blog. Apparently a friend of his from Hong Kong said people are pretty freaked out about the whole situation. It's not only impacting peoples lives but air travel and businesses in Asia pretty heavily as well. I'll have to ask my dad who lives in Thailand about it this weekend when I talk to him.

Posted by beamz at 1:09 PM | Comments (0)

April 3, 2003

Mainstream picks up Oregon Law

Oregon Law Would Jail War Protesters as Terrorists (washingtonpost.com)

It seems that the Washington Post has picked up the story referenced here.

The bill is meant to deal with protesting that "stops a city" but critics say the vagueness of the bill erodes basic freedoms. The vagueness of the bill seems to border on being as ridiculous as a senator suggesting Peter Arnett committed treason. I wonder what the hell these people are thinking.

Posted by beamz at 2:03 AM | Comments (0)

April 2, 2003

"Try Arnett for treason, senator says"

Try Arnett for treason, senator says

Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky. said Peter Arnett should be arrested at the border for committing acts of treason for apparently aiding and abetting the Iraqi government during war.

Since when did free speech constitute aiding and abetting a country during war-time? Stating the obvious apparently does much more damage than Geraldo Riviera drawing positions and plans of U.S. troops in the sand while on live TV.

It's too bad Peter Arnett got slammed for stating what a handful of insiders at the Pentagon and inside the government said under conditions of anonymity to the press.

Posted by beamz at 10:08 PM | Comments (1)

Why not to invade N. Korea

International Update: Why We Won

Orson Scott Card's article forced me to realize why we probably aren't dealing with North Korea. It goes so much deeper than, "Well N. Korea has WMD, why not take care of them first?" The simple reason according to Card is that it makes no sense to. Like it or not China pushed us out of the North back in the 50's and only agreed to am armistice then preserving the Kim legacy for the past 50 years. He makes a great argument on why we should leave North Korea to China since they left him in power.

This all from a guy who says:
"...The Chinese don't care what I say. I don't speak for the government. I don't have any contacts in the White House or the State Department." and "I'm just a guy who knows how to read a map."

Posted by beamz at 4:24 PM | Comments (0)

Procrastination & SARS

Economist predicts recession, partly linked to SARS - Apr. 2, 2003

I've been procrastinating as always today. It's evil, it climbs into my head and won't get out.

On another happy note, if we weren't already in a recession, Morgani Stanley is predicting SARS + War Fears == recession. Looks like those interest rates won't be going anywhere anytime soon if that is true.

On another note, the weather is gorgeous outside today.

Posted by beamz at 2:54 PM | Comments (0)

London's Daily Mirror picks up Arnett

Arnett says US does not want credible reporting from Iraq - By Khalid Hasan

[via Daily Times]

Peter Arnett has been picked up to continue reporting in Iraq. He also has some comments regarding the incident in which he calls it his "Waterloo" and the future of his career.

Posted by beamz at 2:06 AM | Comments (3)

Teaching our children

CNN.com - Teachers placed on leave over war posters - Apr. 1, 2003

I believe things that disrupt the learning of others is bad. Fighting, porn, drugs, guns, etc don't have a place in a school but according to a high school in Albuquerque, New Mexico, anti-war posters created by students don't either. We are effectively teaching them that they must fall in line with the masses (determined by an authoritarian figure) and not think for themselves or voice their own opinions.

Posted by beamz at 1:32 AM | Comments (0)

April 1, 2003

Ari Fleischer fan club

When President Bush deceided to make him

If you're an Ari Fleischer fan, here is your chance to voice your support for him.

"Ari, Are you married? -MH"

"Ari is an absolute pleasure to watch. I look forward to seeing him everyday. I believe he is the first bald man I have ever been attracted to!!! But after reviewing this fan club I realize I am not the only one who thinks he is hot!! Putting that aside, I think he is incredibly intelligent. which only makes him hotter!) Keep up the good work,Ari!!- JR"

"Hi Ari, You are so damned hot... And smart, too! I watch your press conferences everyday and am enthralled by your intelligent handling of the facts, suave handling of the press, and adorably handsome appearance. Keep up the good work ---DM"

"Ari represents the informed and intellectual approach we should all have in this war. My only wish is that he would tell Hollywood "where to go"......"

Ok. Now where is my fan club.

Ed. note:Apparently they can't spell "decided". Link posted as titled.

Posted by beamz at 4:55 PM

Civilian deaths 'unavoidable': Pentagon

The Globe and Mail

Troll: Uh oh. Do I see a picture of an POW? Oh they are Iraqi, they are terrorists and aren't eligible for the Geneva Convention Program(TM).

Posted by beamz at 2:19 PM | Comments (0)