19 November 2001
Hawai'i 2001, Day Two
Overdue, I know, but here are the pictures from Day Two of our 2001 Hawai'ian adventure.
16 November 2001
On the federal government
"The primary obligation of the federal government under the Constitution is to provide for the common defense. This is why the Framers empowered Congress to raise up armies and naval forces, rather than armies of welfare state bureaucrats. Yet in recent years, federal military expenditures have represented the smallest share of the national economy since before Pearl Harbor. Defense accounts for only 15 percent of federal spending. While the constitutional responsibility to defend our people and our borders from invasions and aggression has not changed, the threats to our republic are vastly different than George Washington faced. With a globe populated by so many rogue states and international terrorist organizations, our cities should not be left vulnerable to a missile attack, necessitating a comprehensive missile defense program." —W. James Antle III
Jack Spencer has prepared A Defense Agenda for 21st Century Warfare for The Heritage Foundation. PDF available.
Windows XP: Not Just For Accountants
David Nagel has a thoughtful and insightful article on Microsoft's latest operating system.
15 November 2001
"Where liberty dwells, there is my country." — Benjamin Franklin
What would Ben think of America today?
Truth in advertising?
Someone in London's East End is having fun with Microsoft's new ad campaign for Windows XP.
President Bush addressed the nation a week ago. Oh, you didn't know he spoke? That could be because two of the networks (all of which are on public airwaves, mind you) chose not to air his speech on Operation Enduring Freedom and the ongoing war on terrorism. CBS and NBC decided that this wasn't nearly as important as the mostly-dribble they pass off as entertainment.
So let me get this straight: we can air Bill Clinton all misty-eyed and apologetic for lying to the American people for getting a little action in the Oval Office, but we won't air George W. Bush talking about terrorism and national security? Where are these networks' priorities? Oh, that's right. Their priorities are whatever their corporate masters tell them they are. Is it just me, or have all of the networks gone downhill since they were all bought by multinational conglomerates? Thanks for the discussion, Dan!
14 November 2001
The Irony of Hating Apple...
My pal Rodney O. Lain is at it again . . . You tell'em Rod!
October's news bits have been archived.
13 November 2001
Hawai'i 2001, Day One
I have the pictures online from Day One of our 2001 Hawai'ian adventure. We stayed the first night in Honolulu so we could go out to Pearl Harbor the next day.
12 November 2001
"The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind. Many circumstances hath, and will arise, which are not local, but universal, and through which the principles of all Lovers of Mankind are affected, and in the Event of which, their Affections are interested. The laying a Country desolate with Fire and Sword, declaring War against the natural rights of all Mankind, and extirpating the Defenders thereof from the Face of the Earth, is the Concern of every Man to whom Nature hath given the Power of feeling." —Thomas Paine
A big thank you to American fighting men and women, past and present, for your service. This country remains the greatest in the world because of you.
We have returned from our wonderful Hawai'ian adventure on the Big Island, and pictures will be posted shortly.
Terrorists 2, Constitution 0
In the continued assault on our civil liberties, the Justice Department has now decreed that attorney-client privilege is null and void when it comes to the communications of terrorist suspects. Mind you, these are not people who have even been formally charged.
"This proposal is a terrifying nightmare for innocent people who are under suspicion by the attorney general," said Laura W. Murphy, director of the national office of the American Civil Liberties Union.
"What do you think monitoring does in terms of a client being honest and communicating in good faith whith his lawyer? When they know the government is listening, why would they ever talk about pleading guilty?" [This from Gerry Goldstein, past president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.]
So why should you care? You have not been arrested, charged with a crime? You have nothing to hide? Then please, email me all of your personal details, including but not limited to your medical records, shopping habits, personal preferences, financial records, any conversations with your financial planner, attorney, etc., and I'll be sure to post them on this site for whomever wants to, to see. You have nothing to hide, right?
Just because this order is currently limited to 13 individuals does not mean it will stop there. The Justice Department has stepped upon a slippery slope that will be difficult for the American public to prevent further slippage.
Irish Locator Records
At least we can breathe a sigh of relief that this isn't Ireland, where mobile operators Eircell and Digifone have been holding customer "locator records" for more than six years. These locator records can pinpoint a user's location to within a few dozen feet in urban areas.
The Irish are not alone, however, as British mobile operator Virgin Mobile revealed it had retained all call records since it went into business in 1999. The holding of individual locator records "for longer than a few months is illegal in Ireland and the European Union under the EU's strict data privacy legislation." Makes you wonder what Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon Wireless may be hiding, doesn't it?
Kids' Psych Files Posted
Yet another example of what happens when personal data is mismanaged, "[d]etailed psychological records containing the innermost secrets of at least 62 children and teenagers were accidentally posted on the University of Montana web site last week in one of the most glaring violations of privacy over the Internet."