Wellstone was "a hunted man"

"Sure, the Bush Administration is targeting Paul this year, but Paul is never a shoo-in. Paul's a controversial guy. He's the little guy who takes on the big guys. That is not something the political process is designed to reward these days. If you take strong stands you put yourself at risk--and Paul takes more strong stands on more issues than just about anyone else."

- Myron Orfield, Minnesota state senator, quoted in The Nation, May 9, 2002. Senator Wellstone died in a plane crash on October 25. The cause of the crash has not been discovered.



Some people aren't too distracted to keep updating their websites. If you're interested in sports or sprawl, visit Travacado's Thoughts (on this very server)


More John Morse is

An easy interface to find out who, what, when or where anything is (according to Google) is Googlism.com.

Also, I should mention that John Morse is now a homeowner, as well. Most of you should be receiving a PDF with new address information in your email. If not, then you can reach me at dystopos-at-yahoo-dot-com and I'll get one out to you.



Microsoft unveiled a counterstrike against Macintosh's "Switch" campaign. Unfortunately they were unable to find anyone who had a positive experience moving from a Mac to a Windows platform, so they hired a PR firm to fabricate an ad, which they illustrated with a photo from a stock photography catalog. Here's the story from WIRED. (Most of the links to MS sites are dead now)


I find myself in almost total agreement - in mind and heart, with this rich and comprehensive summation of what's going on this past year in this country.


Pax Americana

Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Jay Bookman connects the Bush administration's foreign policy agenda to much more boldly-worded reports written in 1992 and 2000 by a group of strategists -- many of whom have found positions in the White House or Dept. of Defense. The gist is that the world has been laid at America's feet and we're going to pay the cost and reap the harvest of running the globe as an American empire. Scary stuff. Nobody mentioned it in the campaign...


White House Joins Fight Against Electric Cars

"I am disappointed that the federal government would intervene with our efforts to protect our air quality."

- Governor of California, Gray Davis


Not easily to be put down - More from The Seven Pillars of Wisdom

"...the Arabs had tasted freedom: they could not change their ideas as quickly as their conduct; and the stiffer spirits among them were not easily to be put down....Suppression charged them with violence. Deprived of constitutional outlets they became revolutionary. The Arab societies went underground, and changed from liberal clubs into conspiracies....who swore to acquire the military knowledge of their masters, and to turn it against them, in the service of the Arab people, when the moment of rebellion came."

- T. E. Lawrence, 1926


Hurricane Party

A peculiar institution, native to New Orleans, and absolutely characteristic of life there. Listen to this commentary by a Times-Picayune columnist on All Things Considered last Thursday (Thanks to Pete Rasche for the link). Something about that news program -- they always seem to get things right. Have you ever seen a network news story on a subject you knew something about and noticed how their treatment always seemed so far off-base? NPR tends to go to better sources and listen to them more closely to get the attitude as well as the facts.


Riding with spur and rein over our doubts

"We were a self-centred army without parade or gesture, devoted to freedom,
the second of man's creeds, a purpose so ravenous that it devoured all
our strength, a hope so transcendent that our earlier ambitions faded
in its glare.

As time went by our need to fight for the ideal increased to an
unquestioning possession, riding with spur and rein over our doubts.
Willy-nilly it became a faith. We had sold ourselves into its slavery,
manacled ourselves together in its chain-gang, bowed ourselves to serve
its holiness with all our good and ill content. The mentality of
ordinary human slaves is terrible--they have lost the world--and we had
surrendered, not body alone, but soul to the overmastering greed of
victory. By our own act we were drained of morality, of volition, of
responsibility, like dead leaves in the wind.

- T. E. Lawrence, Introduction, Seven Pillars of Wisdom

This observation from Lawrence's own experience fits neatly with the thesis of a recent book (Holocaust: A History by Debórah Dwork and Robert Jan van Pelt) which attempts to place the Holocaust within the social context of modern Europe. (Salon interview)


Statesman Smurf

Montana's Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate has gone and turned himself blue by drinking silver solution as a preventative for Y2K-spawned disease outbreaks.


Short-Term Memory

"The UNSCOM team, explained the New York Times' Barbara Crossette in an August 3 story, was replaced "after Mr. Hussein accused the old commission of being an American spy operation and refused to deal with it." She gave no hint that Saddam's "accusation" was reported as fact by her Times colleague, Tim Weiner, in a front-page story three years earlier.

"As recently as Sunday, Iraqi officials called the inspectors spies and accused them of deliberately prolonging their work," the Washington Post's Baghdad correspondent wrote recently in a story casting doubt on the Iraqi regime's intentions of cooperating (9/8/02). Readers would have no way of knowing that the Post's Barton Gellman exhaustively detailed the facts of the spying in a series of 1999 articles.

"Iraq accused some of the inspectors of being spies, because they remained on their host countries' payrolls while reviewing Iraq's weapons," the Boston Globe's Elizabeth Neuffer wrote recently, in an oddly garbled rendition of the charges (9/14/02). She could have boasted that her paper's own Colum Lynch (now with the Washington Post) was widely credited with first breaking the story of UNSCOM's spying in a January 6, 1999 front-page expose. But she chose not to.

FAIR Action Alert via Robot Wisdom