Sunday, December 28, 2003

Steve has posted helpful information on donating to help with the Iran earthquake. Very nice. We may want their government to change for the good of Iranians and the world, but the Iranians themselves are fine folks who don't deserve to die tragically by the tens of thousands. A good cause and sentiment indeed.

10:08 AM 0 comments
Monday, December 22, 2003

There's another interesting conversation going on over at Dean's place in regard to the Homeland Security alert levels. Dean likes 'em. Many don't.

Something that was briefly addressed and dropped again was the question of who, exactly, we are informing with these alerts. Government agencies, check. The American public, check. The enemy, check.

Yeah, the enemy.

Think about this for a moment...the vagueness of the alert serves a purpose there, too. It says: We know you're up to something. Now you know that we know.

But they don't know how much we know. It says such without giving away anything specific about what information has reached us. The splodeydopes, or whatever variety of terrorist we're anticipating trouble with, can still change their plans--but now they face a heightened level of security throughout the nation and a wary populace.

This makes very good sense. It makes it harder for an attack to succeed, and ideally it discourages the shitheads from attempting an attack at all.

In the same vein, increasing and decreasing the alert level based on the information that we have also makes good sense. It keeps us from suffering impairment from long periods at a higher alert level, thus helping make the increased vigilance due an increased alert meaningful. It keeps the public from exhaustion and the laxity that can come with a constant state of high alert, when we are prone to quit believing that there's any meaning to it. It gives our emergency personnel much-needed breaks at a lower level when the higher one isn't truly necessary. And it communicates to the enemy that we know enough about them to judge when they are a particular threat and react accordingly.

Intelligence is never 100%. I think, though, that our government is handling the alert levels with skill, foresight, and an eye to communicating what we want to communicate to the enemy. That message to the bad guys is a vital part of the system, and shouldn't be discounted in the consideration of the usefulness of the alerts.

Meanwhile, Rosemary thinks one of the commenters has a pretty good idea.

UPDATE 2145: Andrew has an even more vicious idea. That one would bring the war to an end without a bomb even being dropped, methinks. Heh.

9:40 AM 0 comments
Sunday, December 21, 2003

Eric graciously linked us, implying, in what we hope is a tongue poking through cheek fashion, that the expressions "heh" and "indeed" uttered or written together or apart, are proprietary. Read the whole thing.™

The Man himself has echoed that sentiment, in his typical (which is not to say "trademarked") fashion.

Those stirring words are not the property of any one blogger, human, or bug-eyed monster from space. Think of them as Open Source Verbiage; the shared heritage of all thinking beings.

Ever has it been so, since that day in the dank recesses of prehistory when Grok the caveman was faced with the first attempt at taxation and faced the would-be despot down with a derisive sound, invented on the spot, that sounded much like "heh" as we know it. Grok's monogamous female life-partner, who would surely have been his wife had Church and State been around to codify and constrict the concept yet, always more verbally clever and less guttural with words than Grok, punctuated it with a parting "indeed" viciously hurled at the speed of sound in the general direction of the fleeing culprit's back.

Since there was no Senator from Disney to promulgate perpetual intellectual property to keep rights to the words in the Grok family name for the next thousand generations or so, and they were passed along at the speed of gossip until their origins were long forgotten, they came to be a generic part of human babble.

Nor are they associated with a commercial product in this instance, and therefore no trademark would apply. My partner and I care not if other people persist in using "heh" or "indeed," together or apart. We hope you won't either.

9:17 PM 0 comments

Since my partner is doing such a bang-up job providing you with that wondrous thing popularly known as "content," I thought I'd break for a little holiday cheer:

"Phrosty the Photon" (sung to "Frosty the Snowman")

Phrosty the Photon was quite a quantum sight,
With a zero mass and an endless life, and a speed approaching
Light.

There must have been some magic in a physics lab one year,
For when they studied X-Ray beams, old Phrosty did appear,
Ooooooh...

Phrosty the Photon says he knows he's not that large,
But he said one day, if he comes this way, he will give us
All a charge.

Thumpity, thump, thump, thumpity, thump, thump,
Moving fast as light.
Thumpity, thump, thump, thumpity, thump, thump,
Phrosty's out of sight.
May all your Christmases be light.

6:47 PM 0 comments
Saturday, December 20, 2003

Another Steve, or perhaps his handlers, of Big Bad Truths, goes on record about Bush, Carter, Shithead Gaddafi Qaddafi Khadafy Khaddafi, and sensible strategy that is not dim at all. This is excellent stuff, for an award winning losing humor, cigar and cooking blog.

1:28 PM 0 comments

Speaking of content, Steven produces a weekly feature of interest to the politically-oriented. This week's Toast-O-Meter is up in all its crumbly goodness.

Ultimately, they are all toast. It's just a matter of darkness and crumb production.

1:08 PM 0 comments
Friday, December 19, 2003

You've heard of the "third rail of American politics," which is widely considered to be Social Security. Straightening that out will require a President, perhaps second term with less to lose, and some legislators with previously unexercised courageous profiles. Otherwise there will be a serious crash or generational clash after a while. This post is not about the third rail that will electrocute your political career if touched, keeping it insular from action. This post posits the war on terrorists as the "toe pick of American politics."

Master it and you skate your way gracefully across the political landscape. Fail to master it or even recognize what it's for, and you fall ego-bruisingly on your tail. Trip hard and often enough, and you'll fracture your campaign bone beyond protection or repair by any cast of characters or coating of Teflon. Some candidates for President would have been better off listening when told "don't quit your day job." They will never master the terror-fighting twist. Especially in competition with the guy who invented the move and recognized its importance to a winning world historical choreography.

The whole thing is simple, really. Accept that we must terrify those who would terrorize and tyrannize out of taking or remaining on the road of terrorism and tyranny. We will be safer. The world will be safer. All but the worst will eventually see the light, and the worst will be dead or too scared to come out of their hidey holes.

This isn't optional. This isn't a campaign issue yea or nay. Shades and degrees of how it is approached? Maybe. But there is no skating around it; no avoiding the jump. The score is our way of life. The bonus is a better way of life for others. These are things worth competing for, even when it seems too much of an Olympian task.

1:11 PM 0 comments
Thursday, December 18, 2003

Despite the continued failure of the promised "content" to materialize, your not-so-humble hosts have already drawn the attention of James, he of Outside the Beltway fame. We appreciate his amusement at our little project more than we suspect he knows.

We would also like to assure Steven that his reaction to our pitiful efforts has not gone unnoticed, and we would like to reassure him that we are laboring to improve his opinion of us. Unfortunately, we are unable at this point in the evening to muster the mental energy to provide the sort of substantial analysis he desires, nay expects, from any blog worthy of mention, but we would like to point out that we agree with this post quite strongly. Appearance is, indeed, not everything.

9:20 PM 0 comments

Heh.

Indeed.

8:50 PM 0 comments

I think not. I have to agree with James about this court verdict.

11:14 AM 0 comments
Wednesday, December 17, 2003
2:09 PM 0 comments

In an unexpected (*snork*) development, I have found myself unable to access the template for this site, and thus unable to add Sitemeter and, furthermore, unable to discover exactly how few visitors a site only two and a half hours old can attract.

The worst part is that I would have gotten away with it if it weren't for those darned kids...

1:08 PM 0 comments

Heh.

11:24 AM 0 comments

Ka-BOOM! This is also a test. Will the world explode in an uncontrolled chain reaction? Let's find out...

11:06 AM 0 comments

This is a test. It is only a test. If this were an actual blog, the post you are viewing would be replaced by what is popularly referred to as "content." Such will be forthcoming with time, and your not-so-humble authors appreciate your patience.

10:33 AM 0 comments