« January 2004 | Main | March 2004 »

February 24, 2004

One Paragraph

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

\"\;

Peggy Noonan is asking for a paragraph which defines the case for re-electing George Bush. (Hat tip: Porphyrogenitus) Here's mine:

This election takes place at the dawn of a new world. Terrorists attack around the world, striking not just at America, but at the idea of Liberty and at all people who would be free; the economies of all nations are increasingly intertwined; at home, we are polarized and unsure of ourselves and our neighbors. This election is a choice between the politics of American greatness, of Liberty, of growth and of hope; and the stale leftovers of a bygone era of international retreat, of government intrusion, of taxing and spending, and of division and malaise.


Comments
Post a comment
















Posted by jeff at 12:00 AM | TrackBack

February 23, 2004

No Margarine for Error

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

\"\;

Talk about buttering up the Queen...


Comments
Post a comment
















Posted by jeff at 12:00 AM | TrackBack

Fist of the West Side!

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

\"\;

Via uBlog, it's SecDef Rumsfeld's unarmed combat technique.


Comments
Post a comment
















Posted by jeff at 12:00 AM | TrackBack

February 22, 2004

Flailing and Failing

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

\"\;

I have a small desk ornament, which describes the phases of a typical project, and goes something like this:

  1. Enthusiasm
  2. Disillusionment
  3. Panic
  4. Search for the Guilty
  5. Punishment of the Innocent
  6. Praise and Honors for the Non-Participants

I've see a lot of IT projects fail, and a few succeed, and it comes down to this: bad management kills IT projects. There is no other significant cause. (Note: I was a manager for five years, before I gave up and went in to consulting. Between consulting and permanent employment, I've worked on or around something like 35 major ($5M+) projects.)

In general, there are more good managers than bad managers. However, in an enterprise computing project, there will be many managers with a piece of the project under their control. In a typical multi-group, multi-city project you might have 25 or so managers, project managers and executives with a direct influence or control over all or part of the contract.

I'd guess that two out of five managers are good personnel managers, and two out of five are good project managers, and when you put them together you get about one out of five that are good at both. Most failures of projects, though, come from the bad project managers . (Bad personnel managers can cost you good employees, but that won't be the most likely cause of project failure.) On the other hand only about one in ten are wholly incompetent or truly terrible personnel managers, and only about one in five are wholly incompetent or truly terrible project managers.

This means that you will have as many as 5 of various managers and executives involved in such a project who are incompetent or terrible.

Here are some ways to help a project fail, most taken from my current project. Accumulate enough of these (and there are many more that can be added), and you will fail.

There's more, but I'm too tired to deal right now.


Comments

The schedule before requirements policy always amuses me. "If you don't know where we're going, how can I tell you how long it'll take to get there?"

In my MS program we actually got a recommended method for dealing with that--just do a spiral development with rapid iterations adding one feature at a time, so when the milestone is hit you hand over a working program with whatever you've had time to implement. Meanwhile I just got an email about management graciously allowing the structure team to take valentine's day off as they work frantic overtime to meet the scheduled CDR date. I suspect giving them all copies of Peopleware wouldn't help. Sigh.

Posted by: Karl Gallagher on February 11, 2004 01:47 PM
Post a comment
















Posted by jeff at 12:00 AM | TrackBack

Fibre is Good for You

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

\"\;

Soon, very soon, Verizon will apparently be installing fibre to the home in Keller. Drool...they should be wrapping up just in time for me to be in Keller to switch my server over to fibre (if they offer a static-IP service, that is, and aren't stupid about it).

Then I'll be able to waste time much more efficiently.


Comments

I mentioned this to Steph yesterday. :)

Posted by: Susie on February 18, 2004 09:18 AM
Post a comment
















Posted by jeff at 12:00 AM | TrackBack

Curious

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

\"\;

Isn't slamming President Bush for supporting a Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage a bit like lambasting your State's governor for scoffing at the Commerce Department's latest changes to the CAFE standards? I mean, the president has zero input on a Constitutional amendment:

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress


Comments

See, there you go again - getting all TECHNICAL on us and quoting things like THE LAW to support your position. How dare you!

(Too bad California state judges don't do this)

Posted by: Mark L on February 26, 2004 08:35 AM

But, but... it's Bush see... and we must defeat him...see?

Posted by: Brian on February 26, 2004 04:51 PM

Wait, isn't that exactly why most people are upset with Bush on this issue?

He keeps talking about this amendment knowing full well he can do nothing about it. He's throwing around the idea for political purposes, which is making people on both sides of the gay marriage debate pretty uncomfortable.

Posted by: Chris on March 4, 2004 07:23 PM

Well, he is a politician, so I guess you could say that he eats breakfast for political purposes. I'm not sure why there would be any outrage in any politician being political as a general rule.

In any case, the President is still a citizen, so he gets the same right to voice his opinion as the rest of us. It's just that when he does so, more people hear him.

I don't favor the amendment; but nor do I favor judges making law. I can understand where the President is coming from, even if I don't think that his proposed solution is a useful one. But it doesn't upset me that it's not a useful solution, because it doesn't matter in the end what his proposed solution is.

On the other hand, both Texas Senators and my Representative all favor the amendment, and that I care about.

Posted by: Jeff on March 5, 2004 07:32 AM
Post a comment
















Posted by jeff at 12:00 AM | TrackBack

February 21, 2004

Must.Control.Fist.Of.Death

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

\"\;

So Law and Order tonight features an emotionally abusive homeschooler (who apparently denies her kids sufficient food). Because we all know that the only reason to homeschool is to hide abuse of your kids. And, oh great, now the younger boy is apparently dead. Why did I walk out there? Why is my wife watching Law and Order? (Rhetorical question; I was upgrading my MovableType installation.) Why does anyone believe anything on TV is representative of real life? Most importantly, why is it illegal to strangle TV producers and writers with their own entrails, while incessantly singing It's a Small World at the top of my (off-key) voice?

UPDATE: Steph has comments about the show, too.


Comments

"Law & Order" stopped being interesting a few years ago when they went from "legal drama" to "Ripped from the headlines" melodrama.

Oh, and maybe the reason your wife is watching L&O is because YOU are too busy upgrading your programs instead of paying the proper attention that she deserves :)

Posted by: Mark L on February 17, 2004 09:33 PM
Post a comment
















Posted by jeff at 12:00 AM | TrackBack

Don't Mess With What You Don't Understand

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

\"\;

John Hawkins of Right Wing News and I would agree on many things. But not, apparently, on gay marriage - and in particular on the idea of a "defense of marriage" amendment to the Constitution. Hawkins thinks it's a good idea; and after all, the public supports it. While I'm sure that Mr. Hawkins would disapprove of a number of things the public basically supports (including abortion pretty much on demand) being written into the Constitution, I would actually like to approach this in a more fundamental way.

The purpose of the Constitution is to define the nature and limits of government, in particular, of the Federal government. There is exactly one instance in the Constitution of a prohibition on individuals: the prohibition on ownership of slaves. There is exactly one individual crime defined in the Constitution: treason (and that is defined specifically to limit the power of government to call any actions against the current government "treason"). The Constitution is intended to create an environment in which society can evolve as necessary, renewing itself and reinventing itself according to the best judgement of its members. The Constitution is not and never was - and if we are wise never will be - used to define the shape and parameters of society.

I oppose a "defense of marriage" amendment to the Constitution because I oppose any and all attempts to remove contentious issues from the normal political realm and place them beyond reasonable chance of representative change. (For the same reason, I think Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided, despite my general agreement with the outcome.)


Comments

What angers me is the total disregard of the rule of law. In San Francisco, the mayor is flouting the law. I think he's perfectly justified in suing the state to challenge the constituionality of California law, but he has crossed the line in granting faux marriages in the meantime. That California courts have failed to order them halted until the lawsuit is resolved is outrageous. The claim that these unions pose no irreparable harm so we'll let them stand is perplexing. The fact is that as of right now gay marriage is against the law in California, and the burden of proof should be on the proponents of reversing that law. Until the law is changed or struck down, the courts should order it's enforcement.

In Mass. it's frustrating in that the court is basically writing the law. Ok, they all of a sudden found a right that they overlooked before; I'll not question that. But demanding the legislature write a law rectifying the situation and then telling them it can't be some compromise but must explicity allow gay marriage is exceeding their jurisdiction. Their job is not to tell the legislature what the law must allow, only to judge any such law as is passed.

So my major question is, that with gay marriage illegal everywhere in the nation, why is it that it's proponents are not the ones having to amend the Constitution?

Not that I really care anymore. The rule of law has become an absolute joke as of late. Why would amending the Constitution help? Mayor Newsom could ignore the Constitution just as easily as he ignores state statutes. I don't see a desire to hand down any repercussions for violating the law right now. We've come to a point where if someone doesn't like the law, they simply ignore it. Don't like a line of questioning in a deposition - simply decide for yourself it's irrelevant and commit perjury. Your party's candidate going to lose an election - ignore all the laws governing a candidates placement on the ballot and find a ideologically sympathetic court to let you replace him. The Constitution prevents descrimination on race and religion - who cares, we feel like preserving systems that are doing just that. The Constitution prevents government regulation of speech, particularly political speech - who cares, we are going to explicitly prevent certain politcal speech within an arbitrary number of days before an election.

So who gives a RAT"S ASS what the laws are!?! They apparently are diregardable at the whim of those in power, including our highest court and greatest arbiter of the law.

Posted by: Brian on February 26, 2004 04:38 PM

Good post. The distinction you make is very important and needs to be more widely understood: the purpose of the Constitution is to define government not society.

Posted by: phil on February 26, 2004 07:51 PM

Well, Brian, if the law doesn't FEEL right ...

This is our want-it-right-now society. We don't really have any concept that laws, rules and procedures mean anything.

Posted by: Stephanie on March 4, 2004 08:42 AM
Post a comment
















Posted by jeff at 12:00 AM | TrackBack

February 20, 2004

Bigger Army - Same Size

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

\"\;

The Dignified Rant (sorry, no permalinks) notes this StrategyPage article (look at the February 12 entry) I somehow missed.

February 12, 2004: The U.S. Army wants to spend $20 billion over the next seven years to create a force of 42-48 active duty combat brigades (from the current force of 33), and increasing the number of National Guard combat brigades from 15 to 22. In addition, many unneeded field artillery, air defense, engineer, armor and ordnance battalions will be disbanded while increasing the number of military police, transportation, petroleum and water distribution, civil affairs, psychological operations and biological warfare detection units. The new combat brigades would be smaller than the current ones (two combat battalions each versus three) and have more support units attached to enable the brigades to operate independently. The current 33 brigades include 11 light infantry, 17 heavy mech infantry and armor, 5 Stryker brigades) will be turned into 15 infantry brigades, 22 armored brigades and five Stryker brigades. The new armor brigades will combine tanks and mech infantry by having four companies (two tank and two mech infantry) per each of its two battalions. The armor brigade would also have a recon battalion. The exact details of the reorganization are still being worked out. For example, the fourth and fifth brigades in divisions would use the current headquarters of the aviation and engineer brigades to form headquarters.

It's certainly an interesting proposal. Combined with the intent of reorganizing units to serve together longer (can't find the link), it allows the US to deploy more of the combat power we need for the kind of war we're fighting now, while not increasing the size of the Army in terms of end strength.

I might have to take back some of my prior comments on the size of the military. It appears that SecDef Rumsfeld might actually succeed at engineering a qualitative reorganization within the current authorized end strength numbers.

This has some interesting implications that need to be explored. We'll have less artillery in the field. In modern warfare, artillery has been the most effective battlefield killer, hands down. On the other hand, artillery (especially self-propelled units) require a huge logistical tail. If we can use aircraft to largely replace artillery, and the Iraq war shows that this is to some extent possible, and integrate other artillery directly into the front-line combat units, it means that we can repurpose some of these combat support units (we'll still need some - there will be a continuing need for some artillery into the future). Certainly, one can make the that having an air-defense capability in the military is currently not necessary. It is appearing more and more as if helicopters are going to prove to be too vulnerable to use unsupported, meaning that we'll have to use them strictly as part combined arms operations (a lesson we also learned with tanks, decades ago). The combination of these reductions means we can have more combat troops on the ground, but only if we can compel the Air Force leadership to put a lot of effort and focus into close air support. That means that we'll have to look at dropping either JSF or (more likely) the less-useful F22 Raptor, and using the savings to procure a replacement for the A-10 - a dedicated CAS aircraft.

Another consequence of this will be that there will be no possibility of fighting with a conscripted Army. If we want to institute the draft, we'll have to build a completely new Army (except for the tail end) with a different doctrine and TO&E from the regular forces. We simply couldn't maintain a draft Army long enough to train them to the requisite standards for the kind of warfare that would be undertaken by these smaller brigades.

A third consequence would be that this organization should be capable of sustaining a Middle Eastern war (same or slightly smaller size than Iraq) every other year, with a full-scale occupation ongoing at the same time, pretty much indefinitely. This implies that we expect to be turning countries back to largely local control in each case within a two-year time frame. If we were to perform an invasion every third year, we could likely sustain two occupations in varying stages.

If we can pull off a further transformation, and move a lot of the current administrative tasks off to civilian contractors, or simply reduce the overhead (easier said than done), we might be able to build a large enough force to have a pair of full-scale, ongoing occupations and still fight a war. It won't be easy, but it might be possible.

UPDATE: Here is the missing link on the Army's attempt to keep units together longer.

UPDATE: The Dignified Rant now has permalinks, sort of. But they're not retroactive (at least not yet).


Comments

If it's any comfort, the AF is now considering buying the STOVL variant of JSF. It's not an A-10, but it's a Harrier-equivalent and the Marines have done well with them.

Posted by: Karl Gallagher on February 17, 2004 06:10 PM
Post a comment
















Posted by jeff at 12:00 AM | TrackBack

February 19, 2004

Identity Management Architecture

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

\"\;

It's odd that I write so little about computers, given that shepherding large, complex computer systems from concept to operational reality is what I do for a living. For a taste of the project I'm on right now, Windley's Enterprise Computing Blog has a recent entry on Identity Management Architectures. My current project happens to be the implementation of such an architecture.


Comments
Post a comment
















Posted by jeff at 12:00 AM | TrackBack

They Almost Write Themselves

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

\"\;

Here's the ad I'd love to see run against Kerry during the campaign. Since it's an attack ad (which are fair game when Democrats run them, but bad when they target Democrats), this would have to come from some group not directly connected to the Bush campaign:

[Distinguished older gentleman, preferably black and preferably an amputee, for maximum effect, in VFW cap and/or a vest with service ribbons, being interviewed. You don't actually see or hear the interviewer.]

[Disgusted tone of voice] Of course I remember John Kerry. He came home from 'Nam and started working for the enemy. John Kerry told the Congress that I and all of my fellows - his very own brothers in service - were war criminals. John Kerry got up with Hanoi Jane Fonda and denounced as war criminals our boys who were being tortured in Communist prisons. John Kerry betrayed us. John Kerry betrayed me. Yeah, I remember John Kerry.
[pause for "question"]
[Look of astonishment and matching tone of voice] For President! You gotta be kidding me!
[fade to black, with white block letters: "Would you trust John Kerry in the White House?"]

Kerry is going to lose, and lose big, because that is milder than most of the attacks that he'll suffer, and Kerry has no positive message to counter those attacks with. And this could be one of a series, and they could all be real vets, and they could all be real and unscripted interviews. The war records of the people in the ads could be played. So Kerry can mention Viet Nam all he wants, but the voters won't see his service, they'll see his post-war record. A lot of vets of more recent wars could also be interviewed, about equipment that helped them win their war, and how John Kerry voted to stop funding for that equipment that saved their lives.

If his entire campaign is that Bush is overblowing the threat of terrorism, you'll see ads featuring the WTC and the Pentagon and Shanksville, PA, with slogans like "Were we missing something on September 11, or was John Kerry?" Frankly, I don't care what the polls are now. I want to see what happens when once Kerry wraps up the nomination. It will be brutal, and the Democrat response will basically be to whine. Whining doesn't play well in Presidential elections.

The thing is, there are lots of issues I have with how the Republicans do things. And they don't matter at all in comparison to ensuring that I don't get killed by terrorists. The only Democrat candidate whom I would have trusted with that at all was Lieberman, and he's out of the running. So even if I thought the above ads unfair (and I don't, particularly in comparison to this sort of calumny), it would not change the fact that the current Democrat leadership and establishment are fundamentally unserious about defending me from foreign enemies.

And as long as that is the case, the Democrats can expect to lose, and lose big.


Comments

I can't believe Kerry is the best the Dem's can manage to drag out this time around. He actually reminds me a lot of Dole in '96. His sole qualification for president seems to be he served in Vietnam. He whines that everyone should judge him by that and not by the votes he has cast as a Senator (or his anti-Vietnam stance after returning, for that matter). I'm sorry, but as president he is more likely to have to deal with votes and laws and policies than serving in battle.

'Yes, I voted against the cruise missle, the F-15, F-16, etc. - and, yes, I voted to cut our on the ground intelligence capacity - and, yes, those are important tools in the war against terrorism, but they are irrelevant, see, because I served in Vietnam.'

Um, ok.

He never has anything to say except for empty bumper sticker soundbites and juvenile taunts. About a week ago I heard an interesting (and I'm sure unintentional) comparison between Kerry and Bush on ABC radio news. They start out reporting on a speech Bush was making. Bush is talking about his policies on taxes and the economy and why he thinks lower taxes is a good thing for the economy. No soundbite, just part of the speech he made. They then report on a Kerry speech. This is what he said: "Send Bush to Mars! Send Bush to Mars!"

Now, the thing is, I listen to ABC's radio news a lot. They are, like ABC itself, friendly to the left and hostile to the right. But this is pretty much how every report of the two actually speaking plays out. I never hear Kerry giving a speech about policy. Hell, I've NEVER heard him say a thing about how he would fight terror, just that Bush is wrong, and by the way he served in Vietnam, you know. It's always just childish taunting.

Now he's out there writing a letter to the press, I mean the Bush campaign ... no actually it was for the press, saying 'I don't know what those Republicans who did not fight in a war have against us Democrats who did.' Give me a break!

'Boo hoo! Those mean Republicans are attacking my patriotism (read 'voting record'). Boo hoo! By the way I served in Vietnam.'

The electoral college breakdown would seem to indicate a close race, but I'm not sure anymore. Kerry is such a (surprisingly to me) weak candidate, that Bush might win fairly comfortably. I don't think the popular vote will end up being all that close. Bush will win the red states by a larger margin, and lose the blue ones by less. Of course, all of that is subject to change, just how I see it shaping up at the moment.

Posted by: Brian on February 24, 2004 10:04 AM
Post a comment
















Posted by jeff at 12:00 AM | TrackBack

Blogiversary

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

\"\;

This blog is one year old today.


Comments

Happy Anniversary, Jeff. Keep up the fine and important work.

Posted by: Francis W. Porretto on February 23, 2004 07:24 PM

You've been ranting a whole year, and I'm STILL reading it! Wow! I'm not sure what that says. Happy anniversary.

Posted by: Brian on February 24, 2004 10:08 AM

Well, happy birthday. May you have many more.

Posted by: Brian J. Dunn on February 24, 2004 10:45 AM

Thanks, all. And, Brian, I've been ranting for 35 years or so. I've only been doing it on the blog for a year.

Posted by: Jeff on February 24, 2004 03:00 PM
Post a comment
















Posted by jeff at 12:00 AM | TrackBack

Twenty Songs

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

\"\;

So I have seen on several blogs now an interesting exercise (with some variations): put your MP3 player on shuffle, and list the first 20 songs. Here are mine, from my "general music" list, which excludes holiday music (mostly Samhain/Halloween and Yule/Christmas), spoken word works, comedy and the like, but still manages to contain 4842 songs:

  1. They Dance Alone (Gueca Solo) - Sting
  2. From The Inside (acoustic) - Def Leppard
  3. Brainscan - HooDoo Gurus
  4. Tears - Rush
  5. Don't Hide Your Love - The Rembrandts
  6. Miss America - Styx
  7. Interstate Love Song (live) - Stone Temple Pilots
  8. Magical Wave - Kitaro
  9. The Only One I Know - The Charlatans, UK
  10. Sadeness, find love, sadeness (reprise) - Enigma
  11. Come a Little Bit Closer - Fleetwood Mac
  12. I'm no Angel - Dido
  13. Pacha Mama - Mike Oldfield
  14. Kommotion - Duane Eddy
  15. Metaphor on the Floor - Art of Noise
  16. As the Sun Sets over London - Jools Holland
  17. Your Haunted Head - Concrete Blonde
  18. Kiss of Spring - Bel Canto
  19. Kick - INXS
  20. Constant Craving - k.d. lang

Actually, this is fairly representative of my collection. No metal, no blues and no folk; but other than that representative. I didn't really expect that, given that it's such a small proportion of the overall collection.


Comments

So is there any point in this, or is it just the fun of it?

Posted by: Brian on February 26, 2004 04:49 PM

Point? Next thing, you'll be asking for reason, logic and consistency. Bah! I scoff at your idea of "point"! Bah!

Um, I mean, no, no point. Just for kicks.

Posted by: Jeff on February 26, 2004 10:59 PM
Post a comment
















Posted by jeff at 12:00 AM | TrackBack

February 18, 2004

That Would be Great!

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

\"\;

Bigwig at Silflay Hraka shows the beauty of capitalism: it finds a better solution to any problem.


Comments
Post a comment
















Posted by jeff at 12:00 AM | TrackBack

President' Bush's National Guard Service

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

\"\;

So lots of people were asserting that President Bush didn't serve in the National Guard the way he was supposed to (calling him a "deserter" and "AWOL"). Now that the pay records have been released, some have gone silent, and some have decided that it doesn't make a difference. For example, look at this press conference transcript on the issue, where a reporter is trying to push the idea that being paid doesn't mean the President served (even though, actually, it means exactly that in the National Guard):

Q It's your position that these documents specifically show that he served in Alabama during the period 1972, when he was supposed to be there. Do they specifically show that?

MR. McCLELLAN: No, I think if you look at the documents, what they show are the days on which he was paid, the payroll records. And we previously said that the President recalls serving both in Alabama and in Texas.

Q I'm not interested in what he recalls. I'm interested in whether these documents specifically show that he was in Alabama and served on the days during the latter part of 1972 --

MR. McCLELLAN: And I just answered that question.

Q You have not answered that question. You --

MR. McCLELLAN: No, I said -- no, I said, no, in response to your question, Keith.

Q No, so the answer is, "no"?

MR. McCLELLAN: I said these documents show the days on which he was paid. That's what they show. So they show -- they show that he was paid on these days.

Q Okay, but they do not show that he was in Alabama when he was supposed to be --

MR. McCLELLAN: These are payroll records, and they reflect the fact that he was paid on the days on which he served.

Q Do any of them show that he was paid on days that he served in the latter part of 1972 when he was in Alabama? I don't see any dates for that.

MR. McCLELLAN: It just kind of amazes me that some will now say they want more information, after the payroll records and the point summaries have all been released to show that he met his requirements and to show that he fulfilled his duties.

Q But these documents do not show that. They do not show that he was in Alabama and served at that time. I don't even see any pay dates during that period.

MR. McCLELLAN: They show payments. No, they show pay dates during that fall of 1972 period.

Q They do?

MR. McCLELLAN: There's October on there, there's November on there, and then there's January on there, as well, in '73. There's some pay dates on there.

Q Okay, so then, do they specifically show that he served in Alabama during that time?

MR. McCLELLAN: They show payments in October; they show payments in November.

Q But just because he's paid doesn't mean that he served and worked there, does it?

Q Come on.

MR. McCLELLAN: You know, like I said, people call on us to release the records. We didn't even know they still existed until just the other day. Now we've released the records, which document that the President fulfilled his duties. And now people are trying to move the goalpost even more.


And the other amazing line of questioning was this one:
Q Scott, when Senator Kerry goes around campaigning, there's frequently what they call "a band of brothers," a bunch of soldiers who served with him, who come forward and give testimonials for him. I see, in looking at our files in the campaign of 2000, it said that you were looking for people who served with him to verify his account of service in the National Guard. Has the White House been able to find, like Senator Kerry, "a band of brothers" or others who can testify about the President's service?

MR. McCLELLAN: All the information that we have we shared with you in 2000, that was relevant to this issue. And all the additional information that has come to our attention we have shared with you. The President was asked about this in his interview over the weekend, and the President made it clear, yes, I want all records to be made available that are relevant to this issue; that there are some out there that were making outrageous, baseless accusations. It was a shame that they brought it up four years ago. It was a shame that they brought it up again this year. And I think that the facts are very clear from these documents. These documents -- the payroll records and the point summaries verify that he was paid for serving and that he met his requirements.

Q Actually, I wasn't talking about documents, I was talking about people -- you know, comrades-in-arms --

MR. McCLELLAN: Right. That's why I said everything that came to our attention that was available, we made available at that time, during the 2000 campaign.

Q But you said you were looking for people -- and I take it you didn't find any people?

MR. McCLELLAN: I mean, obviously, we would have made people available. And we -- Mr. Lloyd, who has provided a statement to put some of this into context for everybody, made some public statements during that time period to verify the records that the President had fulfilled his duties. And he put out an additional statement now to put this into context. He's someone with some technical expertise and someone that understands these matters, because he was in the National Guard at the time.

Q Scott, can I follow on this, because I do think this is important. You know, it might strike some as odd that there isn't anyone who can stand up and say, I served with George W. Bush in Alabama, or in Houston in the Guard unit. Particularly because there are people, his superiors who have stepped forward -- in Alabama and in Houston -- who have said in the past several years that they have no recollection of him being there and serving. So isn't that odd that nobody -- you can't produce anyone to corroborate what these records purport to show?

MR. McCLELLAN: David, we're talking about some 30 years ago. You are perfectly welcome to go back and talk to individuals from that time period. But these documents --

Q Hey, we're trying. But I would have thought you guys would have had a real good handle on --

MR. McCLELLAN: - these documents make it very clear that the President of the United States fulfilled his duties --

Q Well, that's subject to interpretation.

MR. McCLELLAN: No. When you serve, you are paid for that service. And these documents outline the days on which he was paid. That means he served. And these documents also show that he met his requirements. And it's just really a shame that people are continuing to bring this issue up. When --


Also, just for grins, it appears that Melinda Hawkish was at the press conference:
Q Since there have been so many questions about what the President was doing over 30 years ago, what is it that he did after his honorable discharge from the National Guard? Did he make speeches alongside Jane Fonda, denouncing America's racist war in Vietnam? Did he testify before Congress that American troops committed war crimes in Vietnam? And did he throw somebody else's medals at the White House to protest a war America was still fighting? What was he doing after he was honorably discharged?

I can't believe that this issue is still out there. Well, this (hat tip: Kim du Toit) should put the issue to rest. But probably won't.


Comments

All political witch-hunting. I didn't care about the allegations about Quayle or Clinton either. The decisions someone makes at 21 have very little bearing on how they make decisions 30 years later. I know I don't want to hold up my college decisions to much scrutiny (right Jeff? :))

There are much more important decisions about the economy, the war(s), entitlements, etc. to be made this year.

Posted by: Mark L on February 12, 2004 02:37 PM

Bush Served Honorably - Not AWOL - Home Page

http://www.geocities.com/bush_not_awol//index.html

Posted by: Michael on September 30, 2004 04:59 PM
Post a comment
















Posted by jeff at 12:00 AM | TrackBack

February 17, 2004

Excellent Advice for Parents

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

\"\;

Donald Sensing offers excellent advice for parents of all kids, not just little girls:

Here is what my wife and I have taught our daughter, after consulting with law-enforcement officers I know:

You cannot child-proof the world, so you must world-proof the child.


Comments
Post a comment
















Posted by jeff at 12:00 AM | TrackBack

February 16, 2004

Careful Whose Side you Take

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

\"\;

I happen to believe in free immigration. Should a person desire to come to the US, they should be allowed to do so without any hassle at all, unless one or more of the following is true:


In other words, I have no problem with the massive waves of (mostly-Mexican) immigrants coming into the US to work, and sending money home to their families. Hey, let's face it: it's how most of our ancestors got here. It's just that most of our ancestors didn't have to face the kind of immigration laws we have now.

On another note, I know that many Mexicans are, like most of the world, huge soccer fans. I realize that Mexicans have pride in their soccer team. I applaud that. Part of the world tradition of soccer fandom includes boisterous rooting for your team, and taunting of the other team. All well and good.

But with all that said, you guys ought to seriously consider how you choose to taunt the US at this point: we're kind of touchy about a few subjects right now. 'Cause I'd hate for this kind of idiocy to cause the US to effectively close our borders and start expelling our guests. And if it is not an isolated incident, it could seriously turn Americans against immigration, and that would be bad for all of us.


Comments
Post a comment
















Posted by jeff at 12:00 AM | TrackBack

February 14, 2004

Competition

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

\"\;

My friend Nathan is sufficiently unique that everyone who knows him defines words and phrases such as "everyone" and "no one" to explicitly exclude Nathan. I believe I have found his competition.


Comments
Post a comment
















Posted by jeff at 12:00 AM | TrackBack

Can't Do That

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

\"\;

Josh Chafetz suggests that the US should abandon our plans for holding a caucus in June to pick the next Iraqi government, instead pushing off the time until later and holding a general election.

GAH! WHAT IS HE THINKING???

Sorry, got hold of myself, now.

What would be the benefits of doing that? We could claim to have gone with Iraqi opinion - or at least with Ayatollah Sistani. Many people equate elections with freedom, for some reason, and would therefore see the process as more legitimate than a caucus.

What would be the downside, though? We would be accused of trying to sabotage the right of Iraqis to self-determination, of cancelling the caucus because "our guy" was not going to win, and of using transparent tricks to maintain absolute control. We would be giving the Jihadists more time to organize a civil war between Sunni and Shia groups in Iraq. The process of drawing up election lists and so forth, and maintaining them through the violence that is still ongoing (though apparently decreasing) would be open to exploitation and manipulation. (It will be even more so after the Iraqis are in control, but at least then it won't be the US being accused of manipulation.)

So, really, did Josh think about this for more than three seconds before he posted?


Comments
Post a comment
















Posted by jeff at 12:00 AM | TrackBack

The 2-Party Canard

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

\"\;

Jeff Jarvis at Buzzmachine defends the two-party system in America. He gets it completely wrong. Here is the core of his argument:

When it comes to the presidency, only one person can win. When it comes to Congress, for that matter, only two parties can efficiently win, given our system of majorities and supermajorities needed to get the work of the people done and given the fact that governments won't fall because of any legislature's failures or whims and given the size of the country and the cost of running for office and marketing a message here. The same system operates down to the state and local levels.

And that system works. It is more stable and effective than any other you can name.

But, again, the system forces us to make a choice. We get a long time to make that choice. We get a long (albeit too long and too expensive) campaign season to push and support (and defeat) candidates. We get to push special-interest candidates to push the agendas they represent. That is how we build coalitions; that is how diverse interests get represented; that is how change erupts. That is why, for example, Al Sharpton and Howard Dean and Joe Lieberman, losers all, are telling people voters that the best way to change the system and get represented is to do it from within the party, not without. They all tried to win the top spot. But they lost. Yet they all believe they influenced the debate and the election and the winners. So votes for them were still votes for the left and not votes discarded.
[snip]
[T]the system works. The two-party system works.


Sharpton, Dean and Lieberman "are telling people voters [sic] that the best way to change the system and get represented is to do it from within the party, not without" because they are partisans. They are, first and foremost, representatives of their political party, not represenatives of the voters as a whole, or of the country as a whole. Sadly, even some of the people elected President only represent their party in real terms. Some people cannot rise above that. (Nixon and Clinton are the two most obvious recent examples.)

But none of the stability of our system comes from the number of parties we have. If we had 25 parties in the House and 8 in the Senate, with varying numbers of representatives and senators, the system would not destabilize. Any given bill would either be voted on by a majority of each chamber, and thus pass, or would not, and thus fail. The stability of our system comes from the fact that the executive is not a subset and servant of the legislative, and thus the President cannot be removed by the legislature for failing to do what the legislature wants done. (See Italy between 1950 and 1980) for an example of how this works when a few major and a large number of minor parties have fundamental, unbridgable differences can paralyze a government in a parliamentary system.

So let's look at some hypotheticals. To make it easy, we'll use three parties, assume strict party discipline (bye bye Chaffee, McCain and Miller), and only consider the Senate. Party A has 48 senators, party B has 38 senators and party C has the remaining 14 senators.

Hypothetical 1 - Committee assignments: It's time for the organizing sessions. Absent dealmaking, each party will vote for its own, and no one will get the required majority; so there'll be dealmaking. Party C could throw in with either A or B, and that would create the majority needed to assign chairmanships and such. So both A and B would be compelled to offer a good deal to C. Alternatively, if C turned out to be, say, the American Nazi party or the Black Panther party, A and B could band together to deny any effective power to C. In other words, some kind of deal would be made, and committee assignments would be handed out. If A were to offer the best deal to C, but were to do something antithetical to C during the course of the legislative session, C could "defect" to B, thus changing the committee memberships and assignments. This happens now, but rarely. (The last example I can think of was Jim Jeffords' move from Republican to independent.) But even if this happened, the courts would still go on with the law they had before, and the executive would still consider with the power and budget it had before.

Hypothetical 2 - Advise and consent: The President submits a judge or a treaty for the approval of the Senate. The Senate votes. No difference from now, except that it is likely that the President would have to give some concessions to one or more parties (such as placing some of their members as cabinet secretaries) in order to get other choices approved.

Hypothetical 3 - Lawmaking: There would have to be more deals in order to get a bill passed. The largest party would still need minor-party support to get bills passed, so the amount of pork in the budget would likely go up. On the other hand, it's likely that fewer bills would get passed, causing a net increase in personal liberty. The lawmaking process would get harder to follow as it happened, but there wouldn't be any substantive differences from a 2-party system.

Hypothetical 4 - Impeachment: Given the fact that the Vice President is elected on the same ticket as the President, a party coup is not possible (the President would be replaced with a member of the same party if the President were removed). As a result, impeachments would likely continue to be extraordinary events, and convictions likely still unheard of.

The dynamic of the House would be similar, if more contentious.

The presidential elections would differ in important ways, presuming that the parties had different amounts of influence in different regions. In particular, the electoral college would suddenly take on a vast new relevance, and people would begin to understand its true relevance to our system (which relevance is masked by having a winner-take-all two-party system). Likely, the presidential candidates would have to do considerably more reaching outside their party bases. On the good side, this would encourage moderation, while on the bad side, it could encourage blatant pandering.

But in sum, there would not be a destabilization of the system. The president would continue to be elected as he is now, and would serve outside the vicissitudes of any turmoil in the legislature, while the legislators themselves would continue to pass laws, just with more effort required.

The stability of our political system is not because we don't have more than two major parties; it's because we don't have a parliamentary system.

Frankly, there's only one point of agreement between me and Nader: our votes are not the inherent right of any given political party. They have to earn them, and when they fail us, we should look elsewhere.

Actually, British author Douglas Adams had a great take on this. In one of his Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books, he noted a system with lizards and robots. The lizards were in power and horribly oppressed the robots. But it wasn't a dictatorship; it was a true republic. Why did the robots keep voting in the lizards? Because if they voted for the robot, the wrong lizard might win.


Comments
Post a comment
















Posted by jeff at 12:00 AM | TrackBack

February 13, 2004

Where Have I Been?

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

\"\;

You can make maps of the States and countries you've visited. I saw this the other day on Peeve Farm, but now that Steph has written about it (here and here), I guess I'll have to.

So here are the States:


create your own visited states map
or write about it on the open travel guide
And here are the countries:


create your own visited country map
or write about it on the open travel guide

UPDATE: Brian corrects my memory. No, plane stops don't count.


Comments

I bet you also have been in West Virginia, Wyoming, Montana and maybe Hawaii.

I know we went through West Virginia a time or two on our way to Pennsylvania. And you were on the trip to Idaho when we went to Yellowstone right? We went throung Wyoming to Montana for that one. And I seem to remember mom saying we stopped in Hawaii, coming back from Taiwan. I don't know if that counts as a visit if you never leave the airport...

Posted by: Brian on February 2, 2004 01:10 PM
Post a comment
















Posted by jeff at 12:00 AM | TrackBack

The Power of Information

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

\"\;

Bigwig at Silflay Hraka provides us with an example of the power of information networks such as the Internet. This kind of research will make political influence harder and harder to conceal, over time.


Comments

Just posted an update. The "escape" was entirely staged. Thanks for the link.

Posted by: Bigwig on February 2, 2004 10:12 PM
Post a comment
















Posted by jeff at 12:00 AM | TrackBack

Progress in Iraq

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

\"\;

It's good to see stories like this. It indicates that Iraq is moving away from its socialist and centralized past, into a new and prosperous era. Once the education starts to sink in about how capitalism works, Iraq has a real shot at transformation.


Comments

It's great to see all the books flying off the shelves as fast as they get them. It shows a real thirst for knowledge and new ideas. This exposure to new philosophies and examinations of principles that have been denied for so long is what will bring Iraq into a new, modern era. That they crave such knowledge, shows me that they want this to happen, and, as long as they remain free, there is no doubt that it will.

Posted by: Brian on February 14, 2004 10:39 PM
Post a comment
















Posted by jeff at 12:00 AM | TrackBack

I'm Game

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

\"\;

OK, why not. Frank J's having another contest, and the rules are great, except for the "minus a million dollars" bit.

(I'm really just posting this because Steph and Brian should see this, even if they don't see the IMAO contest, and be publicly shamed into entering the contest themselves.)


Comments

I have been so shamed.

Posted by: Brian on February 15, 2004 12:41 AM
Post a comment
















Posted by jeff at 12:00 AM | TrackBack

February 12, 2004

Who Watches the Watchers?

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

\"\;

The fundamental reason for the existence of an independent press (from the viewpoint of citizens of a free republic) is to examine the actions of government, put them into context, and inform the judgement of the citizens.

It's hardly a secret that Western media, by and large, fails miserably at that task. For example, the savings and loan crisis of the early 1990s could have been detected and possibly averted, had any of the myriad reporters in DC actually spent any time looking at the records at the various banking regulators. No one did. Reading through paperwork - government forms at that - is hardly a glamorous occupation, especially when 99.99% of the time there's nothing interesting in the paperwork. But you cannot know what's going to be interesting unless you have the background, and you cannot get the background unless you do the boring stuff that doesn't get you noticed. If there's anything that media cadres are in reality, it's addicted to glamour. Watergate taught them the wrong lesson about their jobs.

Donald Sensing calls attention to another example. The al-Zarqawi memo capture recently in Iraq is analyzed by Mr. Sensing here. Why indeed was it from our enemy, rather than our reporters, that we got this in-depth analysis of the results of our strategy in Iraq? Were the reporters too busy looking for sexy angles and horrible aftermaths (and, most importantly, something - anything - to use against the President) to actually find out what's going on? I hate to say it, but the question answers itself.


Comments
Post a comment
















Posted by jeff at 12:00 AM | TrackBack

Delicious Irony

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

\"\;

Following a comment from my wife, I think it would be worth taking up a collection to pay al Qaeda to shoot Michael Moore. As long as they promised to use the money only for that. And it would not matter if they broke their promise, because after Moore was dead, we could turn them in. If we made a documentary about it... oh, never mind.


Comments

Any luck in tracking down America's #1 enemy to help in your quest to kill a fellow American for the crime of free speech? If this is an attempt at humor, it's a miserable failure. Just like your leader.

Posted by: Colin on July 1, 2004 06:20 AM
Post a comment
















Posted by jeff at 12:00 AM | TrackBack

Software Design Errors

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

\"\;

As a sometime software designer, it annoys me no end when I see software that has really fundamental errors. One of the fundamental characteristics of software is that applications (as opposed to, say, daemons) are run by users. If the application can be run by users, it can be run by more than one user. On a multi-user operating system, an application could theoretically be run by several users at the same time.

This leads to an interesting problem: how do you keep separate what's happening to an application when different people are using it? For example, if two users are running an email program how do you differentiate between the mailboxes of each user?

This is not a new problem, and was solved many, many years ago. (UNIX is 35 years old, and was not the first multi-user OS.) But still, application designers can forget this fundamental truth: more than one person might want to use the same application, and might want to use it at the same time. The basic design strategy to overcome this is to separate an application into up to three parts: the core, which doesn't change from machine to machine or user to user; the system-specific configuration which is different based on the configuration of the machine the software is installed on, but is shared by all users of that machine; and the user-specific configuration, which is specific to a particular user.

With that in mind, here are some MacOS X apps which are particularly annoying offenders. (Why MacOS X? It's what I use at home, so I'm seeing these issues. I suspect that Windows will have the same problem the moment that they come up with something like Exposé.)

Age of Empires II - When you install AoE II, it apparently creates some files in your user space. When you attempt to run the game as another user, the game just dies. If the program needs to store information on a per-user basis, it should check for that information at run time, and create it (with appropriate defaults) if necessary. Crashes are not user-friendly.

Eudora - Eudora creates a directory for each user, with their prefs, mail files and so forth. However, there is apparently some file which cannot be shared between users. If one user is running the application, no other user on the machine can do so. Eudora will crash in generally less than a minute for any user that was not the first to start running it. Crashes are not user-friendly.

AOL Client - Cannot be run by multiple users. It simply exits out with a non-useful message (that is, the error message displayed does not tell you what the problem actually was, that another user was already running AOL). It's arguable that AOL should not be run by multiple users at the same time, since they would be contending for hardware, though I have a hard time believing that it would be difficult to allow for this, simply by running a daemon (launched with the client the first time only) to schedule requests to the network ports in question. Error messages which don't identify the problem are not user-friendly.

Those are a few I've noticed. I'm sure that there are many more. The lesson here is that if you are doing software design, you should avoid cheap shortcuts like assuming that you have the system to yourself, and the user has your application to himself. Otherwise, you look stupid when other software designers run your apps.


Comments
Post a comment
















Posted by jeff at 12:00 AM | TrackBack

February 11, 2004

Viggo Mortensen, Call Your Office

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

\"\;

I suspect though, that John Rhys Davies would approve: Tolkien's Ace in the Hole


Comments
Post a comment
















Posted by jeff at 12:00 AM | TrackBack

Things that Keep me up at Night

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

\"\;

It occurs to me that what this election is really all about is whether we should stick our heads into the sand, and obsess about Janet Jackson's breasts and Michael Jackson's paedophilia; or whether we should attempt to prevent our people and civilization from falling into ruin. The media has made it's choice: please ignore the man behind the curtain.

The nuclear proliferation containment regime is over. At this point, any country that wants one can get a nuclear weapon within a few years, at small cost, so long as it keeps its nose clean in other ways. In other words, short of overwhelming American pressure on or occupation of places like Iran, Syria and Egypt (possibly Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia as well), the timeframe for a terrorist organization to have at least one nuclear weapon can now be definitively measured in years, not decades. We're probably less than 20 years away from a nuclear attack on a major western city. What are we prepared to do to stop it? What are we prepared to do if it happens? We're all soldiers now.

Let's take it as a given that most people want to hide their heads in the sand. It has, after all, been more than 2 years since the 9/11 attacks, and sometimes it seems like the President and a few bloggers are the only ones paying attention to the world at large in an adult way. OK, given that, will it take the destruction of a major American or European city to force people to once and for all leave their naive illusions behind, or can the people be convinced to act in aggressive preemption of serious threats to the existence of the West?

I believe that the American people, while they would by and large not like to think about it, are happy to have the government taking care of threats without bothering us much with it. Since Kerry would almost certainly fold our cards and act French (that is, surrender now in the hopes that we'll be treated kindly when the Mullahs sit in the White House), I guess we'll see in November, at least for the US. I'm guessing that for most Europeans, it will take a radioactive crater in a major European city to make them realize their danger.

UPDATE (2/13): Steven Den Beste has a post responding to Belmont Club. I believe that Steven misses the critical part of the proliferation pipeline: it's not that designs are getting out, but that centrifuges are getting easier to make and more efficient designs are getting out. This will make the acquisition of fissionable material much easier for a state actor. Steven makes excellent points about whether or not a state would trust al Qaeda with a nuclear weapon (though Iran would likely trust Hizballah with one). Then, however, we get into intentions vs. capabilities. I'd like to see the acquisition of the capability prevented (and I'm sure Steven would, as well).


Comments

Kerry may not be a problem for much longer :)

Posted by: Mark L on February 12, 2004 02:41 PM

If there's anything less of an issue than Bush's National Guard attendance (but not pay) records being lost more than 25 years ago (along with everyone else in the unit), whether or not Kerry is having an affair has to be it. Of course, with the revulsion Clinton unleashed, it could still be Kerry's undoing, but it's not like Kerry - as far as has been alleged - has committed perjury over the matter, nor for that matter lied brazenly to the public about it.

Posted by: Jeff on February 12, 2004 04:45 PM

And it may be that the Democrats are just going to elect him anyway - just to show how wronged Clinton was.

Posted by: Mark L on February 12, 2004 08:00 PM

Your post reminds me of this book I read recently.

There's this really evil guy with evil friends out there poised to attack the good guys. The good guys are telling everyone that the bad guy is out there, he's gaining power, and he wants to kill his enemies. While a lot of people are sufficiently warned, there is a sizable number who refuse to believe the threat is real. They don't want to believe there is a threat because then they would have to do something about it. They think the good guys are just making it up, so they start to defame the leader of the good guys as a witless dullard.

Whoever thought "Order of the Phoenix" would be allagorical (sp?) to the war on terror?

Actually that would probably make a good term paper...

Posted by: Brian on February 15, 2004 12:05 AM
Post a comment
















Posted by jeff at 12:00 AM | TrackBack

We Pass Each Other on the Stairs

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

\"\;

Steph has a great post about how anonymous living downtown in a large city can be.


Comments
Post a comment
















Posted by jeff at 12:00 AM | TrackBack

Yes, Daddy

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

\"\;

One of the fun things about having kids, especially about having 4 kids, is that you get some very funny exchanges, such as today's:

Me: Aidan, are you done with your oatmeal?
Aidan [age 6, watching Scooby Doo]: Yes, Daddy.
Me: Clear your place, please.
Aidan: Yes, Daddy. [Takes bowl to kitchen. Opens cabinet with trash can. Puts bowl as close as possible to trashcan lip. Tips remaining cold oatmeal onto floor. Does not notice.]
Me: Aidan, when you are tipping something into the trash, you need to take the trashcan out of the cabinet so that you don't make a mess.
Aidan: Yes, Daddy.
Me: [after a pause] And you can take the paper towels and clean up the mess you made.
Aidan: Yes, Daddy. [cleans up mess]
Me: Do you want me to shut up and let you watch the show?
Aidan: Yes, Daddy.
Me: Can you be less condescending about it?
Aidan: Yes, Daddy.

Gotta love kids.


Comments
Post a comment
















Posted by jeff at 12:00 AM | TrackBack

February 9, 2004

It was 2 Years Ago Today

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

\"\;

Happy Birthday, Lachlan.


Comments
Post a comment
















Posted by jeff at 12:00 AM | TrackBack