Saturday, August 24, 2002

Steve DenBeste is having an interesting discussion of tanks and guns and other cool stuff over at USS Clueless.

Friday, August 23, 2002

Here's a great quote from Michael Moore that actually explains a lot (I found it in Entertainment Weekly. Don't ask.)
"But I guess the French like me. I found out that they show Roger & Me in schools here... It's like Economics 101."
A question: Have the gay-rights activists who claim that the NYT's printing of same-sex union announcements pushes these unions more into the mainstream ever actually looked at the NYT's wedding page? Let's just say you'll never see this announcement:
Joe Smith/Juanita Diaz

Joe Smith and Juanita Diaz celebrated their marriage this weekend. The groom is a graduate of P.S. 124 and is now assistant foreman for ABC Construction. The bride fled Haiti at age 3 and is now a maid. The couple will reside in Trenton, NJ and are honeymooning for the weekend in Atlantic City.
Today's Washington Post leads with:
Secret Court Rebuffs Ashcroft
Justice Dept. Chided On Misinformation
The secretive federal court that approves spying on terror suspects in the United States has refused to give the Justice Department broad new powers, saying the government had misused the law and misled the court dozens of times, according to an extraordinary legal ruling released yesterday.

Wow, this sounds like great proof that Ashcroft is bent on undermining the Constitution, eroding civil liberties, yada yada yada. But you have to read the related editorial to get the full story.
Most or all of the misstatements appear to have taken place during the prior administration, and the court notes that the department and bureau wrote new rules last year to ensure the accuracy of FISA applications. The judges, moreover, appear to have no complaints about the quality of applications since Sept. 11.

Obviously there is a serious problem here, one that needs to be fixed fast. But how hard would it have been to include the above information in the main article?
UPDATE: The SF Chronicle runs the same story, but with the headline:
Court says Justice misused spy power
Terror-fighting request brings scathing criticism

So was it a "scathing criticism" or a mere "chiding"?

Thursday, August 22, 2002

Today is my birthday. It is also the birthday of John Lee Hooker, Norman Schwarzkopf, Valerie Harper, Paul Molitor, Deng Xiaoping, Ray Bradbury, Carl Yastrzemski, Claude Debussy and Howie from the Backstreet Boys! Happy birthday, all. My apologies to those of you who are dead.
So poor Colin Powell is being sent to the United Nations Blame America For Everything conference in South Africa. There's a thick brown cloud of death cruising around Asia - must be our fault, but let's exempt China and India from Kyoto anyways. The worst flooding in Europe in 150 years - must be our fault. But doesn't the statement "worst flooding in 150 years" imply that there were worse floods 150 years ago? Long before America caused global temperatures to rise?

Have fun, Colin!
I was going to write something about Maureen Dowd's typically juvenile and utterly pointless column the other day, but I think Josh Chafetz says it all.