g r o t t o 1 1

Peeve Farm
Breeding peeves for show, not just to keep as pets
Brian Tiemann
Silicon ValleyNew York-based purveyor of a confusing mixture of Apple punditry, political bile, and sports car rentals.

btman at grotto11 dot com

Read These Too:

Steven Den Beste
James Lileks
Little Green Footballs
As the Apple Turns
Cold Fury
Capitalist Lion
Red Letter Day
Eric S. Raymond
Tal G in Jerusalem
Aziz Poonawalla
Corsair the Rational Pirate
Ravishing Light
Cartago Delenda Est

Cars without compromise.

Book Plugs:

Buy 'em and I get
money. I think.
BSD Mall

 4/14/2014 -  4/18/2014
  4/7/2014 -  4/13/2014
 3/31/2014 -   4/6/2014
 3/24/2014 -  3/30/2014
 3/17/2014 -  3/23/2014
 3/10/2014 -  3/16/2014
  3/3/2014 -   3/9/2014
 2/24/2014 -   3/2/2014
 2/17/2014 -  2/23/2014
 2/10/2014 -  2/16/2014
  2/3/2014 -   2/9/2014
 1/27/2014 -   2/2/2014
 1/20/2014 -  1/26/2014
 1/13/2014 -  1/19/2014
  1/6/2014 -  1/12/2014
12/30/2013 -   1/5/2014
12/23/2013 - 12/29/2013
12/16/2013 - 12/22/2013
 12/9/2013 - 12/15/2013
 12/2/2013 -  12/8/2013
11/25/2013 -  12/1/2013
11/18/2013 - 11/24/2013
11/11/2013 - 11/17/2013
 11/4/2013 - 11/10/2013
10/28/2013 -  11/3/2013
10/21/2013 - 10/27/2013
10/14/2013 - 10/20/2013
 10/7/2013 - 10/13/2013
 9/30/2013 -  10/6/2013
 9/23/2013 -  9/29/2013
 9/16/2013 -  9/22/2013
  9/9/2013 -  9/15/2013
  9/2/2013 -   9/8/2013
 8/26/2013 -   9/1/2013
 8/19/2013 -  8/25/2013
 8/12/2013 -  8/18/2013
  8/5/2013 -  8/11/2013
 7/29/2013 -   8/4/2013
 7/22/2013 -  7/28/2013
 7/15/2013 -  7/21/2013
  7/8/2013 -  7/14/2013
  7/1/2013 -   7/7/2013
 6/24/2013 -  6/30/2013
 6/17/2013 -  6/23/2013
 6/10/2013 -  6/16/2013
  6/3/2013 -   6/9/2013
 5/27/2013 -   6/2/2013
 5/20/2013 -  5/26/2013
 5/13/2013 -  5/19/2013
  5/6/2013 -  5/12/2013
 4/29/2013 -   5/5/2013
 4/22/2013 -  4/28/2013
 4/15/2013 -  4/21/2013
  4/8/2013 -  4/14/2013
  4/1/2013 -   4/7/2013
 3/25/2013 -  3/31/2013
 3/18/2013 -  3/24/2013
 3/11/2013 -  3/17/2013
  3/4/2013 -  3/10/2013
 2/25/2013 -   3/3/2013
 2/18/2013 -  2/24/2013
 2/11/2013 -  2/17/2013
  2/4/2013 -  2/10/2013
 1/28/2013 -   2/3/2013
 1/21/2013 -  1/27/2013
 1/14/2013 -  1/20/2013
  1/7/2013 -  1/13/2013
12/31/2012 -   1/6/2013
12/24/2012 - 12/30/2012
12/17/2012 - 12/23/2012
12/10/2012 - 12/16/2012
 12/3/2012 -  12/9/2012
11/26/2012 -  12/2/2012
11/19/2012 - 11/25/2012
11/12/2012 - 11/18/2012
 11/5/2012 - 11/11/2012
10/29/2012 -  11/4/2012
10/22/2012 - 10/28/2012
10/15/2012 - 10/21/2012
 10/8/2012 - 10/14/2012
 10/1/2012 -  10/7/2012
 9/24/2012 -  9/30/2012
 9/17/2012 -  9/23/2012
 9/10/2012 -  9/16/2012
  9/3/2012 -   9/9/2012
 8/27/2012 -   9/2/2012
 8/20/2012 -  8/26/2012
 8/13/2012 -  8/19/2012
  8/6/2012 -  8/12/2012
 7/30/2012 -   8/5/2012
 7/23/2012 -  7/29/2012
 7/16/2012 -  7/22/2012
  7/9/2012 -  7/15/2012
  7/2/2012 -   7/8/2012
 6/25/2012 -   7/1/2012
 6/18/2012 -  6/24/2012
 6/11/2012 -  6/17/2012
  6/4/2012 -  6/10/2012
 5/28/2012 -   6/3/2012
 5/21/2012 -  5/27/2012
 5/14/2012 -  5/20/2012
  5/7/2012 -  5/13/2012
 4/30/2012 -   5/6/2012
 4/23/2012 -  4/29/2012
 4/16/2012 -  4/22/2012
  4/9/2012 -  4/15/2012
  4/2/2012 -   4/8/2012
 3/26/2012 -   4/1/2012
 3/19/2012 -  3/25/2012
 3/12/2012 -  3/18/2012
  3/5/2012 -  3/11/2012
 2/27/2012 -   3/4/2012
 2/20/2012 -  2/26/2012
 2/13/2012 -  2/19/2012
  2/6/2012 -  2/12/2012
 1/30/2012 -   2/5/2012
 1/23/2012 -  1/29/2012
 1/16/2012 -  1/22/2012
  1/9/2012 -  1/15/2012
  1/2/2012 -   1/8/2012
12/26/2011 -   1/1/2011
12/19/2011 - 12/25/2011
12/12/2011 - 12/18/2011
 12/5/2011 - 12/11/2011
11/28/2011 -  12/4/2011
11/21/2011 - 11/27/2011
11/14/2011 - 11/20/2011
 11/7/2011 - 11/13/2011
10/31/2011 -  11/6/2011
10/24/2011 - 10/30/2011
10/17/2011 - 10/23/2011
10/10/2011 - 10/16/2011
 10/3/2011 -  10/9/2011
 9/26/2011 -  10/2/2011
 9/19/2011 -  9/25/2011
 9/12/2011 -  9/18/2011
  9/5/2011 -  9/11/2011
 8/29/2011 -   9/4/2011
 8/22/2011 -  8/28/2011
 8/15/2011 -  8/21/2011
  8/8/2011 -  8/14/2011
  8/1/2011 -   8/7/2011
 7/25/2011 -  7/31/2011
 7/18/2011 -  7/24/2011
 7/11/2011 -  7/17/2011
  7/4/2011 -  7/10/2011
 6/27/2011 -   7/3/2011
 6/20/2011 -  6/26/2011
 6/13/2011 -  6/19/2011
  6/6/2011 -  6/12/2011
 5/30/2011 -   6/5/2011
 5/23/2011 -  5/29/2011
 5/16/2011 -  5/22/2011
  5/9/2011 -  5/15/2011
  5/2/2011 -   5/8/2011
 4/25/2011 -   5/1/2011
 4/18/2011 -  4/24/2011
 4/11/2011 -  4/17/2011
  4/4/2011 -  4/10/2011
 3/28/2011 -   4/3/2011
 3/21/2011 -  3/27/2011
 3/14/2011 -  3/20/2011
  3/7/2011 -  3/13/2011
 2/28/2011 -   3/6/2011
 2/21/2011 -  2/27/2011
 2/14/2011 -  2/20/2011
  2/7/2011 -  2/13/2011
 1/31/2011 -   2/6/2011
 1/24/2011 -  1/30/2011
 1/17/2011 -  1/23/2011
 1/10/2011 -  1/16/2011
  1/3/2011 -   1/9/2011
12/27/2010 -   1/2/2010
12/20/2010 - 12/26/2010
12/13/2010 - 12/19/2010
 12/6/2010 - 12/12/2010
11/29/2010 -  12/5/2010
11/22/2010 - 11/28/2010
11/15/2010 - 11/21/2010
 11/8/2010 - 11/14/2010
 11/1/2010 -  11/7/2010
10/25/2010 - 10/31/2010
10/18/2010 - 10/24/2010
10/11/2010 - 10/17/2010
 10/4/2010 - 10/10/2010
 9/27/2010 -  10/3/2010
 9/20/2010 -  9/26/2010
 9/13/2010 -  9/19/2010
  9/6/2010 -  9/12/2010
 8/30/2010 -   9/5/2010
 8/23/2010 -  8/29/2010
 8/16/2010 -  8/22/2010
  8/9/2010 -  8/15/2010
  8/2/2010 -   8/8/2010
 7/26/2010 -   8/1/2010
 7/19/2010 -  7/25/2010
 7/12/2010 -  7/18/2010
  7/5/2010 -  7/11/2010
 6/28/2010 -   7/4/2010
 6/21/2010 -  6/27/2010
 6/14/2010 -  6/20/2010
  6/7/2010 -  6/13/2010
 5/31/2010 -   6/6/2010
 5/24/2010 -  5/30/2010
 5/17/2010 -  5/23/2010
 5/10/2010 -  5/16/2010
  5/3/2010 -   5/9/2010
 4/26/2010 -   5/2/2010
 4/19/2010 -  4/25/2010
 4/12/2010 -  4/18/2010
  4/5/2010 -  4/11/2010
 3/29/2010 -   4/4/2010
 3/22/2010 -  3/28/2010
 3/15/2010 -  3/21/2010
  3/8/2010 -  3/14/2010
  3/1/2010 -   3/7/2010
 2/22/2010 -  2/28/2010
 2/15/2010 -  2/21/2010
  2/8/2010 -  2/14/2010
  2/1/2010 -   2/7/2010
 1/25/2010 -  1/31/2010
 1/18/2010 -  1/24/2010
 1/11/2010 -  1/17/2010
  1/4/2010 -  1/10/2010
12/28/2009 -   1/3/2009
12/21/2009 - 12/27/2009
12/14/2009 - 12/20/2009
 12/7/2009 - 12/13/2009
11/30/2009 -  12/6/2009
11/23/2009 - 11/29/2009
11/16/2009 - 11/22/2009
 11/9/2009 - 11/15/2009
 11/2/2009 -  11/8/2009
10/26/2009 -  11/1/2009
10/19/2009 - 10/25/2009
10/12/2009 - 10/18/2009
 10/5/2009 - 10/11/2009
 9/28/2009 -  10/4/2009
 9/21/2009 -  9/27/2009
 9/14/2009 -  9/20/2009
  9/7/2009 -  9/13/2009
 8/31/2009 -   9/6/2009
 8/24/2009 -  8/30/2009
 8/17/2009 -  8/23/2009
 8/10/2009 -  8/16/2009
  8/3/2009 -   8/9/2009
 7/27/2009 -   8/2/2009
 7/20/2009 -  7/26/2009
 7/13/2009 -  7/19/2009
  7/6/2009 -  7/12/2009
 6/29/2009 -   7/5/2009
 6/22/2009 -  6/28/2009
 6/15/2009 -  6/21/2009
  6/8/2009 -  6/14/2009
  6/1/2009 -   6/7/2009
 5/25/2009 -  5/31/2009
 5/18/2009 -  5/24/2009
 5/11/2009 -  5/17/2009
  5/4/2009 -  5/10/2009
 4/27/2009 -   5/3/2009
 4/20/2009 -  4/26/2009
 4/13/2009 -  4/19/2009
  4/6/2009 -  4/12/2009
 3/30/2009 -   4/5/2009
 3/23/2009 -  3/29/2009
 3/16/2009 -  3/22/2009
  3/9/2009 -  3/15/2009
  3/2/2009 -   3/8/2009
 2/23/2009 -   3/1/2009
 2/16/2009 -  2/22/2009
  2/9/2009 -  2/15/2009
  2/2/2009 -   2/8/2009
 1/26/2009 -   2/1/2009
 1/19/2009 -  1/25/2009
 1/12/2009 -  1/18/2009
  1/5/2009 -  1/11/2009
12/29/2008 -   1/4/2009
12/22/2008 - 12/28/2008
12/15/2008 - 12/21/2008
 12/8/2008 - 12/14/2008
 12/1/2008 -  12/7/2008
11/24/2008 - 11/30/2008
11/17/2008 - 11/23/2008
11/10/2008 - 11/16/2008
 11/3/2008 -  11/9/2008
10/27/2008 -  11/2/2008
10/20/2008 - 10/26/2008
10/13/2008 - 10/19/2008
 10/6/2008 - 10/12/2008
 9/29/2008 -  10/5/2008
 9/22/2008 -  9/28/2008
 9/15/2008 -  9/21/2008
  9/8/2008 -  9/14/2008
  9/1/2008 -   9/7/2008
 8/25/2008 -  8/31/2008
 8/18/2008 -  8/24/2008
 8/11/2008 -  8/17/2008
  8/4/2008 -  8/10/2008
 7/28/2008 -   8/3/2008
 7/21/2008 -  7/27/2008
 7/14/2008 -  7/20/2008
  7/7/2008 -  7/13/2008
 6/30/2008 -   7/6/2008
 6/23/2008 -  6/29/2008
 6/16/2008 -  6/22/2008
  6/9/2008 -  6/15/2008
  6/2/2008 -   6/8/2008
 5/26/2008 -   6/1/2008
 5/19/2008 -  5/25/2008
 5/12/2008 -  5/18/2008
  5/5/2008 -  5/11/2008
 4/28/2008 -   5/4/2008
 4/21/2008 -  4/27/2008
 4/14/2008 -  4/20/2008
  4/7/2008 -  4/13/2008
 3/31/2008 -   4/6/2008
 3/24/2008 -  3/30/2008
 3/17/2008 -  3/23/2008
 3/10/2008 -  3/16/2008
  3/3/2008 -   3/9/2008
 2/25/2008 -   3/2/2008
 2/18/2008 -  2/24/2008
 2/11/2008 -  2/17/2008
  2/4/2008 -  2/10/2008
 1/28/2008 -   2/3/2008
 1/21/2008 -  1/27/2008
 1/14/2008 -  1/20/2008
  1/7/2008 -  1/13/2008
12/31/2007 -   1/6/2008
12/24/2007 - 12/30/2007
12/17/2007 - 12/23/2007
12/10/2007 - 12/16/2007
 12/3/2007 -  12/9/2007
11/26/2007 -  12/2/2007
11/19/2007 - 11/25/2007
11/12/2007 - 11/18/2007
 11/5/2007 - 11/11/2007
10/29/2007 -  11/4/2007
10/22/2007 - 10/28/2007
10/15/2007 - 10/21/2007
 10/8/2007 - 10/14/2007
 10/1/2007 -  10/7/2007
 9/24/2007 -  9/30/2007
 9/17/2007 -  9/23/2007
 9/10/2007 -  9/16/2007
  9/3/2007 -   9/9/2007
 8/27/2007 -   9/2/2007
 8/20/2007 -  8/26/2007
 8/13/2007 -  8/19/2007
  8/6/2007 -  8/12/2007
 7/30/2007 -   8/5/2007
 7/23/2007 -  7/29/2007
 7/16/2007 -  7/22/2007
  7/9/2007 -  7/15/2007
  7/2/2007 -   7/8/2007
 6/25/2007 -   7/1/2007
 6/18/2007 -  6/24/2007
 6/11/2007 -  6/17/2007
  6/4/2007 -  6/10/2007
 5/28/2007 -   6/3/2007
 5/21/2007 -  5/27/2007
 5/14/2007 -  5/20/2007
  5/7/2007 -  5/13/2007
 4/30/2007 -   5/6/2007
 4/23/2007 -  4/29/2007
 4/16/2007 -  4/22/2007
  4/9/2007 -  4/15/2007
  4/2/2007 -   4/8/2007
 3/26/2007 -   4/1/2007
 3/19/2007 -  3/25/2007
 3/12/2007 -  3/18/2007
  3/5/2007 -  3/11/2007
 2/26/2007 -   3/4/2007
 2/19/2007 -  2/25/2007
 2/12/2007 -  2/18/2007
  2/5/2007 -  2/11/2007
 1/29/2007 -   2/4/2007
 1/22/2007 -  1/28/2007
 1/15/2007 -  1/21/2007
  1/8/2007 -  1/14/2007
  1/1/2007 -   1/7/2007
12/25/2006 - 12/31/2006
12/18/2006 - 12/24/2006
12/11/2006 - 12/17/2006
 12/4/2006 - 12/10/2006
11/27/2006 -  12/3/2006
11/20/2006 - 11/26/2006
11/13/2006 - 11/19/2006
 11/6/2006 - 11/12/2006
10/30/2006 -  11/5/2006
10/23/2006 - 10/29/2006
10/16/2006 - 10/22/2006
 10/9/2006 - 10/15/2006
 10/2/2006 -  10/8/2006
 9/25/2006 -  10/1/2006
 9/18/2006 -  9/24/2006
 9/11/2006 -  9/17/2006
  9/4/2006 -  9/10/2006
 8/28/2006 -   9/3/2006
 8/21/2006 -  8/27/2006
 8/14/2006 -  8/20/2006
  8/7/2006 -  8/13/2006
 7/31/2006 -   8/6/2006
 7/24/2006 -  7/30/2006
 7/17/2006 -  7/23/2006
 7/10/2006 -  7/16/2006
  7/3/2006 -   7/9/2006
 6/26/2006 -   7/2/2006
 6/19/2006 -  6/25/2006
 6/12/2006 -  6/18/2006
  6/5/2006 -  6/11/2006
 5/29/2006 -   6/4/2006
 5/22/2006 -  5/28/2006
 5/15/2006 -  5/21/2006
  5/8/2006 -  5/14/2006
  5/1/2006 -   5/7/2006
 4/24/2006 -  4/30/2006
 4/17/2006 -  4/23/2006
 4/10/2006 -  4/16/2006
  4/3/2006 -   4/9/2006
 3/27/2006 -   4/2/2006
 3/20/2006 -  3/26/2006
 3/13/2006 -  3/19/2006
  3/6/2006 -  3/12/2006
 2/27/2006 -   3/5/2006
 2/20/2006 -  2/26/2006
 2/13/2006 -  2/19/2006
  2/6/2006 -  2/12/2006
 1/30/2006 -   2/5/2006
 1/23/2006 -  1/29/2006
 1/16/2006 -  1/22/2006
  1/9/2006 -  1/15/2006
  1/2/2006 -   1/8/2006
12/26/2005 -   1/1/2005
12/19/2005 - 12/25/2005
12/12/2005 - 12/18/2005
 12/5/2005 - 12/11/2005
11/28/2005 -  12/4/2005
11/21/2005 - 11/27/2005
11/14/2005 - 11/20/2005
 11/7/2005 - 11/13/2005
10/31/2005 -  11/6/2005
10/24/2005 - 10/30/2005
10/17/2005 - 10/23/2005
10/10/2005 - 10/16/2005
 10/3/2005 -  10/9/2005
 9/26/2005 -  10/2/2005
 9/19/2005 -  9/25/2005
 9/12/2005 -  9/18/2005
  9/5/2005 -  9/11/2005
 8/29/2005 -   9/4/2005
 8/22/2005 -  8/28/2005
 8/15/2005 -  8/21/2005
  8/8/2005 -  8/14/2005
  8/1/2005 -   8/7/2005
 7/25/2005 -  7/31/2005
 7/18/2005 -  7/24/2005
 7/11/2005 -  7/17/2005
  7/4/2005 -  7/10/2005
 6/27/2005 -   7/3/2005
 6/20/2005 -  6/26/2005
 6/13/2005 -  6/19/2005
  6/6/2005 -  6/12/2005
 5/30/2005 -   6/5/2005
 5/23/2005 -  5/29/2005
 5/16/2005 -  5/22/2005
  5/9/2005 -  5/15/2005
  5/2/2005 -   5/8/2005
 4/25/2005 -   5/1/2005
 4/18/2005 -  4/24/2005
 4/11/2005 -  4/17/2005
  4/4/2005 -  4/10/2005
 3/28/2005 -   4/3/2005
 3/21/2005 -  3/27/2005
 3/14/2005 -  3/20/2005
  3/7/2005 -  3/13/2005
 2/28/2005 -   3/6/2005
 2/21/2005 -  2/27/2005
 2/14/2005 -  2/20/2005
  2/7/2005 -  2/13/2005
 1/31/2005 -   2/6/2005
 1/24/2005 -  1/30/2005
 1/17/2005 -  1/23/2005
 1/10/2005 -  1/16/2005
  1/3/2005 -   1/9/2005
12/27/2004 -   1/2/2004
12/20/2004 - 12/26/2004
12/13/2004 - 12/19/2004
 12/6/2004 - 12/12/2004
11/29/2004 -  12/5/2004
11/22/2004 - 11/28/2004
11/15/2004 - 11/21/2004
 11/8/2004 - 11/14/2004
 11/1/2004 -  11/7/2004
10/25/2004 - 10/31/2004
10/18/2004 - 10/24/2004
10/11/2004 - 10/17/2004
 10/4/2004 - 10/10/2004
 9/27/2004 -  10/3/2004
 9/20/2004 -  9/26/2004
 9/13/2004 -  9/19/2004
  9/6/2004 -  9/12/2004
 8/30/2004 -   9/5/2004
 8/23/2004 -  8/29/2004
 8/16/2004 -  8/22/2004
  8/9/2004 -  8/15/2004
  8/2/2004 -   8/8/2004
 7/26/2004 -   8/1/2004
 7/19/2004 -  7/25/2004
 7/12/2004 -  7/18/2004
  7/5/2004 -  7/11/2004
 6/28/2004 -   7/4/2004
 6/21/2004 -  6/27/2004
 6/14/2004 -  6/20/2004
  6/7/2004 -  6/13/2004
 5/31/2004 -   6/6/2004
 5/24/2004 -  5/30/2004
 5/17/2004 -  5/23/2004
 5/10/2004 -  5/16/2004
  5/3/2004 -   5/9/2004
 4/26/2004 -   5/2/2004
 4/19/2004 -  4/25/2004
 4/12/2004 -  4/18/2004
  4/5/2004 -  4/11/2004
 3/29/2004 -   4/4/2004
 3/22/2004 -  3/28/2004
 3/15/2004 -  3/21/2004
  3/8/2004 -  3/14/2004
  3/1/2004 -   3/7/2004
 2/23/2004 -  2/29/2004
 2/16/2004 -  2/22/2004
  2/9/2004 -  2/15/2004
  2/2/2004 -   2/8/2004
 1/26/2004 -   2/1/2004
 1/19/2004 -  1/25/2004
 1/12/2004 -  1/18/2004
  1/5/2004 -  1/11/2004
12/29/2003 -   1/4/2004
12/22/2003 - 12/28/2003
12/15/2003 - 12/21/2003
 12/8/2003 - 12/14/2003
 12/1/2003 -  12/7/2003
11/24/2003 - 11/30/2003
11/17/2003 - 11/23/2003
11/10/2003 - 11/16/2003
 11/3/2003 -  11/9/2003
10/27/2003 -  11/2/2003
10/20/2003 - 10/26/2003
10/13/2003 - 10/19/2003
 10/6/2003 - 10/12/2003
 9/29/2003 -  10/5/2003
 9/22/2003 -  9/28/2003
 9/15/2003 -  9/21/2003
  9/8/2003 -  9/14/2003
  9/1/2003 -   9/7/2003
 8/25/2003 -  8/31/2003
 8/18/2003 -  8/24/2003
 8/11/2003 -  8/17/2003
  8/4/2003 -  8/10/2003
 7/28/2003 -   8/3/2003
 7/21/2003 -  7/27/2003
 7/14/2003 -  7/20/2003
  7/7/2003 -  7/13/2003
 6/30/2003 -   7/6/2003
 6/23/2003 -  6/29/2003
 6/16/2003 -  6/22/2003
  6/9/2003 -  6/15/2003
  6/2/2003 -   6/8/2003
 5/26/2003 -   6/1/2003
 5/19/2003 -  5/25/2003
 5/12/2003 -  5/18/2003
  5/5/2003 -  5/11/2003
 4/28/2003 -   5/4/2003
 4/21/2003 -  4/27/2003
 4/14/2003 -  4/20/2003
  4/7/2003 -  4/13/2003
 3/31/2003 -   4/6/2003
 3/24/2003 -  3/30/2003
 3/17/2003 -  3/23/2003
 3/10/2003 -  3/16/2003
  3/3/2003 -   3/9/2003
 2/24/2003 -   3/2/2003
 2/17/2003 -  2/23/2003
 2/10/2003 -  2/16/2003
  2/3/2003 -   2/9/2003
 1/27/2003 -   2/2/2003
 1/20/2003 -  1/26/2003
 1/13/2003 -  1/19/2003
  1/6/2003 -  1/12/2003
12/30/2002 -   1/5/2003
12/23/2002 - 12/29/2002
12/16/2002 - 12/22/2002
 12/9/2002 - 12/15/2002
 12/2/2002 -  12/8/2002
11/25/2002 -  12/1/2002
11/18/2002 - 11/24/2002
11/11/2002 - 11/17/2002
 11/4/2002 - 11/10/2002
10/28/2002 -  11/3/2002
10/21/2002 - 10/27/2002
10/14/2002 - 10/20/2002
 10/7/2002 - 10/13/2002
 9/30/2002 -  10/6/2002
 9/23/2002 -  9/29/2002
 9/16/2002 -  9/22/2002
  9/9/2002 -  9/15/2002
  9/2/2002 -   9/8/2002
 8/26/2002 -   9/1/2002
 8/19/2002 -  8/25/2002
 8/12/2002 -  8/18/2002
  8/5/2002 -  8/11/2002
 7/29/2002 -   8/4/2002
 7/22/2002 -  7/28/2002
 7/15/2002 -  7/21/2002
  7/8/2002 -  7/14/2002
  7/1/2002 -   7/7/2002
 6/24/2002 -  6/30/2002
 6/17/2002 -  6/23/2002
 6/10/2002 -  6/16/2002
  6/3/2002 -   6/9/2002
 5/27/2002 -   6/2/2002
 5/20/2002 -  5/26/2002
 5/13/2002 -  5/19/2002
  5/6/2002 -  5/12/2002
 4/29/2002 -   5/5/2002
 4/22/2002 -  4/28/2002
 4/15/2002 -  4/21/2002
  4/8/2002 -  4/14/2002
  4/1/2002 -   4/7/2002
 3/25/2002 -  3/31/2002
 3/18/2002 -  3/24/2002
 3/11/2002 -  3/17/2002
  3/4/2002 -  3/10/2002
 2/25/2002 -   3/3/2002
 2/18/2002 -  2/24/2002
 2/11/2002 -  2/17/2002
  2/4/2002 -  2/10/2002
 1/28/2002 -   2/3/2002
 1/21/2002 -  1/27/2002
 1/14/2002 -  1/20/2002
  1/7/2002 -  1/13/2002
12/31/2001 -   1/6/2002
12/24/2001 - 12/30/2001
12/17/2001 - 12/23/2001
Sunday, April 13, 2003
23:47 - The Whitewash Continues

Speaking of PowerBook G3s on-screen...

It's an oft-repeated story, and it's happening over and over again, in what's turned into literally hundreds of sightings throughout film and TV and all media. Apple products get used because they look cool, but the ad agency Photoshops out the Apple logo.

Favorite candidates include the PowerBook G3 (as in this Vehix.com ad) and the TiBook; these are easy to turn anonymous, as the big illuminated white Apple logo can be eliminated with a quick paint-bucket or rubber-stamp, and the result is (in the latter case) a smooth unbroken landscape-format silvery metal expanse on the opened lid as the actors beam at whatever's on the other side.

(Unless it's Austin Powers, in which case they don't airbrush out the logo at all; because the purpose is to demonstrate the advancement of the modern Internet by showing the butt-sniffing monkey video playing in QuickTime 4.)

Apple's LCD monitors are common too; but it's not so easy to wipe out the logo on those; usually, as in those stupid Fandango ads that get played before the feature presentation in movie theaters, they just stick on a little square of silvery tape. But there's no misidentifying the transparent feet at the edges, or the subtle horizontal striping, or the landscape format...

Oh, the guilt and shame that must keep them up at night.

Saturday, April 12, 2003
02:08 - Plumbing the depths

I thought I'd relax tonight with a good ol' big, dumb pachyderm of a movie: The Core. I gotta say, it fulfilled all my expectations of it.

Seriously-- I didn't exactly expect a hard-core sci-fi thriller. But as action/adventure movies of this sort go, it was by-the-numbers, but executed fairly well. It had a lot of scenes that really took things to the limit, scenes I wasn't expecting at all. Very well-done effects for the most part. A predictable plotline and timetable for cast members dying in valiant acts of heroism, but it was sold well. It pushed all the right buttons.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the science wasn't as dumb as I was expecting. Now, granted, that's like saying the movie was more light-hearted than Schindler's List or shorter than Titanic, but I'm serious. It sounded as though they got someone with a reasonable grasp of the requisite jargon to vet the dialogue, if not the overall plot.

They did make a game attempt to do the same for the computers used in the movie; but while at least the computers don't beep with every keystroke anymore, they still run ILM-OS; the Internet still consists of big high-resolution digital maps of the world with messages traveling in big ballistic arcs from points labeled "Venice, CA" to "New York" and "Atlanta" and "Belize" and so on. And at least the heaviest-guarded and hardened DoD systems all give 404 errors now, before with one second left on the countdown clock putting up big banners saying CONGRATULATIONS - AUTHORIZATION GRANTED - FULL ADMINISTRATIVE ACCESS. And omniscient l33t h4X0r kids with gigantic ears and noses still make demands for unlimited supplies of Xena tapes and Hot Pockets in exchange for their all-powerful wisecracking. (Real live white-hat types are more indebted for their legitimacy to Hollywood for turning bizarre, preconceived caricatures of them into ingenious protagonists than to their own real-world actions.)

They certainly got one thing right, though: as everybody knows, all white-hats use PowerBook G3s for taking over the world.

(Well, maybe not; but those things sure are easy on the eyes, particularly on the big screen.)

Fun movie. Still a bit jarring to see a scene revolve around a desperate attempt to salvage a Space Shuttle reentry, but oddly moving in that it succeeds. Nice microcosm of the movie as a whole.

01:22 - Massive suckitude

You know... this war has gone about as well as could possibly have been expected, for anybody who has considered the war a good thing. Casualties have been extremely low; damage to property and infrastructure has been unprecedentedly light; and the liberation on the popular level has proceeded without the need for sneer quotes except by the most cynical. It's hard to find a real point to pick at from the past three weeks.

But then something like this happens, and there's really no way to look at it in a positive light.

The National Museum of Iraq recorded a history of civilizations that began to flourish in the fertile plains of Mesopotamia more than 7,000 years ago. But once American troops entered Baghdad in sufficient force to topple Saddam Hussein's government this week, it took only 48 hours for the museum to be destroyed, with at least 170,000 artifacts carried away by looters.

The full extent of the disaster that befell the museum came to light only today, as the frenzied looting that swept much of the capital over the previous three days began to ebb.

As fires in a dozen government ministries and agencies began to burn out, and as looters tired of pillaging in the 90-degree heat, museum officials reached the hotels where foreign journalists were staying along the eastern bank of the Tigris River. They brought word of what is likely to be reckoned as one of the greatest cultural disasters in recent Middle Eastern history.

A full accounting of what has been lost may take weeks or months. The museum had been closed during much of the 1990's, and as with many Iraqi institutions, its operations were cloaked in secrecy under Mr. Hussein.

170,000 artifacts-- many of them indiscriminately smashed in place rather than stolen, according to the video. These aren't art, they're millennia-old pieces of our past, irreplaceable. One wishes to think that they're mostly just destined for private hoarders in hopes of ransom and extortion, but that's a hell of a best-case scenario-- and the amount of stuff that's just been casually destroyed would seem to discount it.

There's not much of a spin that can be put on this. Reportedly, the museum keepers pleaded with Marines for protection, and we gave some-- for like half an hour, before leaving. I know we're not equipped to act as MPs (why weren't MPs deployed by now? Is this an unintended consequence of Franks' taking advantage of the opportunity to strike while the iron was hot-- he gave up the MP presence he hadn't ordered to show up until later?); I know we're not deployed with enough manpower to protect against looting while still engaged with enemy forces-- but shouldn't the National Museum of Iraq, considering its contents, be considered one of the sites whose protection is an objective of ours?

As some of the commenters at The Command Post said, this is probably the worst news yet to come out of Iraq since the war began. On one hand, that says a great deal for the war as a whole-- if this is the worst disaster to occur, we've done pretty well. But equally true is that this is pretty damned bad.

It's certainly not enough to indict the war or its motives, in my view-- but it does represent a screw-up on our part. I hope we can sort of salvage what we can by offering hefty rewards for Iraqis to turn in what they've looted (considering Saddam's cultivation of the idea of Iraq as the historical heir of the great Mesopotamian cultures, perhaps there is some sense of civic/national pride that we can play on here). But that will only be a partial solution at best, and a messy one. The fact remains that this is a black eye-- a real shiner.

Granted, there would have been plenty of consequences of our trying to cordon off the museum, among which would be accusations from the world community that we're obviously trying to make off with the Iraqis' national treasures, or that our priorities apparently extended to museums and banks but not to hospitals or embassies, and so forth. But c'mon... this isn't just Iraq's national history we're talking about here; it's the whole world's.

Damned if you do, damned if you do something else. The best we can do, I guess, is try to prevent more such things from happening. Yuck.

UPDATE: A good counterargument to our applying martial law. Not much of a consolation, but...

Friday, April 11, 2003
01:04 - Ghost Town

I've been watching CBS' live webcam of this square-- the one with the big Saddam statue that the tank-extractor pulled down-- off and on for the past couple of weeks.

It's usually been deserted. Maybe a person or two walking around; a tank was parked in the foreground a couple of days ago. No cars were ever to be seen.

The square is totally packed with traffic now-- the curbs are lined with parked cars, and the street lanes are moving slowly but resolutely. People are walking up and down the sidewalks in long, unbroken lines. No running or shouting or looting in sight; some car horns can be heard, but only in a typical "big city" kind of way.

It looks for all the world like the surface streets near a stadium on game day, or the access road to a university. Busy, crowded, energetic, but in no way chaotic.

I don't know what "normal" looks like in this square, not having seen it before the war started. But if what I'm seeing here isn't what could be described as "normal", I'd be very surprised.

... Dan Rather's blurbs in the right-hand pane notwithstanding.

18:05 - The Legacy of General Woundwort

It's not my fault that I'm so evil
It's society... society!
You see, my parents were sometimes abusive
And it made... a prick of me!

In the dusty playground the chanting children's voices grew louder and louder, ringing inside the head of a dark-haired boy who stood alone by a crumbling school wall.

"Bastard, bastard, bastard," the children spat.

The boy tried to run but the taunting continued - just as it did most days for him in the village of Al-Ouja near Tikrit in north central Iraq.

But on this sweltering hot summer's day the six-year-old had had enough.

The lonely, taciturn child slowly bent down, picked up an iron bar lying on the ground then slashed it through the air towards the other children.

The rag-tag group of boys ran off in fear. And Saddam Hussein first learnt the power of terror.

As one of the commenters at The Command Post suggested, this might well become a cautionary tale for parents to paraphrase to their bullying youngsters. "You want to grow up like Saddam Hussein?"

Even Hitler didn't gain the ignominy of being reduced to a tale to terrify or entertain children. Even today he's still a name that people avoid saying in polite company or in front of kids, and maybe-- like General Woundwort in Watership Down, who did become such a cautionary tale-- his legacy wouldn't have displeased him. Saddam, who was already on the way there (thanks to Parker and Stone, though I had no idea they were apparently quite accurate), now seems to stand an excellent chance of suffering that ultimate humiliation.

Good. Unless, like Woundwort, he would have gotten off on it.

15:58 - (Yester)day of the looters

Don't declare Iraq lost to permanent anarchy and chaos just yet.

The meeting had barely begun when the officer proclaimed: "Gentlemen, I am here to get this power station up and running. I've got engineers and contractors itching to get started. Is there anything you would like to add?"

"Actually," said the station's planning manager, Adel Hussein al-Shati, a stout, elderly man who once studied at Portsmouth Polytechnic, "we'd like to do it ourselves." He then explained how long it would take and how many men he needed.

"Well that's a relief," the officer said. "Get to work."

"Of course," Mr al-Shati said. "This is our job and this is our country".

That's in Basra. The same thing will soon be happening all over Iraq.

When it's the Iraqis themselves who will be (willingly) doing the bulk of the reconstruction and the reorganization of the country, they'll increasingly be some of the most realistic and urbane people in the Middle East. We'll have removed just one major roadblock, the one they couldn't have eliminated on their own-- Saddam. We won't, however, have built them a new country out of charity. If there's one lesson we need to have learned by now, it's that charity doesn't win us friends. Removal of obstacles does. Charity just breeds resentment.

And it seems to me that to assume that without a dictatorial hand on their shoulders-- either Saddam's or Bush's-- the Iraqis will automatically devolve into the kill-or-be-killed mud-hut proto-civilization of the Y2K episode of The Simpsons is to suggest that they're a bunch of little brown savages.

Somehow I don't think that's a fair characterization.

15:09 - Goddamn hippie crap!

A student by the name of The Drunk Russian has posted a long, comprehensive Fisking of the long, consumptive April 2 Arundhati Roy column in the Guardian.

It's rich and chewy.

10:54 - So that's their little game...


Okay, so: last month we heard about Apple's plans to create a new digital-music service that reportedly had won the hearts and minds of the whole record industry, scheduled to bow in late April. A couple of days ago we heard about the new iPod models with separate control buttons, 15 or 30GB drives, USB2, and a docking station-- said to be slated for the end of April.

And today, this news breaks (via Mike Hendrix):

Apple Computer Inc. is in discussions about buying Universal Music Group, the world's largest record company, for as much as $6 billion, according to a published report Friday.

Talks between Apple and Vivendi Universal, Universal Music Group's parent company, have been held secretly for months, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Apple may offer $5 billion to $6 billion for the music company before Vivendi's April 29 board meeting, the newspaper said, citing sources it did not identify.

Those who see Apple as being a company that's perpetually on the edge of bankruptcy might do well to recall that they're actually doing quite well, thank you, with billions of cash in the bank and a healthy record of managed profit margins in recent quarters; but Vivendi, one of the record labels having to cope with the sudden digital revolution as well as the present sad state of the music industry, is actually on the verge of bankruptcy. Enough so that they apparently represent a good acquisition target to Apple.

Presumably what all this means is that Apple's getting into the music business in a big way. (Theme song for the upcoming ad campaign: Sosumi.) Presumably all the artists owned by Universal would then become part of Apple's marketing machine, hawking iPods in malls and running giant Keynote-created presentations on the giant screens behind them at live concerts.

Seriously, I'd love to know what form this will all take. Word has been that the online music service Apple plans to unveil will offer free 30-second clips and $1-a-song downloads, based on AAC (which has no built-in DRM technology, unlike Windows Media); they've also been reported to have signed up five of the biggest labels as participants, enthusiastic about the interface of the new system and its foolproof profitability and usefulness to the point where they're willing to jump on board and finally start endorsing the digital generation rather than fighting it. It'll be Mac-only, but so was the iPod at first. (Now, according to the Think Secret article, 58% of all iPods sold are Windows models.)

On an unrelated note, I've been hearing that the PPC 970 chips are on an accelerated production ramp, already being seeded to development machines, possibly for demonstration at WWDC. We might have them on shelves later this year after all-- soon to be followed by the 9800, if yar rumors be true. And OS X 10.3-- "Panther"-- will be unveiled then as well, with full 64-bit support and God knows what else.

It's an interesting time to be a Mac user, yes sirree.

UPDATE: CapLion has some comments on these developments.

Incidentally, here's some self-effacing Mac humor, in response to Den Beste's suggestion that Apple hire al-Sahhaf as their new spokesman.

Thursday, April 10, 2003
02:22 - More dollars than sense

Okay, so here's something that's been bugging me about Fox's coverage since the start of the war.

No, it's not about the political angle, or the commentators, or anything like that. It's about the video screen they use as a digital chalkboard for describing troop movements and such.

It's one of those big widescreen flat-panel plasma displays-- the ones that were like $15,000 a year or two ago, but now are "only" about $7,000; now you can see them in every booth at any given trade show, lining the walls of airports, and even showing ads above the concession stands at movie theaters. Yeah, they're expensive as hell-- but they're cool.

The trouble is, Fox appears to be using one purely for the sake of this camera shot shown here, with the screen off to the side so the commentator can gesticulate at it. It looks nice and slick.

However, the image displayed on it is stretched. It's a widescreen display; but they have to put a map on it, and then switch it to the full-screen feed so it fills the TV audience's 4x3 screen. When it's on the plasma display, it gets stretched to fill the display shape.

Which is usually fine for abstract stuff, but for maps it sucks butt. It means half the time, the displayed map or satellite image or flyover is distorted horizontally, and the rest of the time that big gore point in the Tigris looks more like a gentle bend in the river and less like a pancreas. When you're dealing with maps in particular, this makes distances misleading and undermines the point of trying to display a map.

I guess there isn't a good solution to this, other than not using the widescreen display for the gee-whiz camera angle in the first place, but then they'd look all low-tech and stuff! We can't have that, now...

... Okay, rant over.

17:08 - The horror of victory

Somehow, somehow they'll find a way to turn this into a defeat for America. Somewhere they'll find something to blame us for, some way in which they can paint us as war criminals and global oppressors bent on world domination and the slaughter of innocents.

NPR just had an hour-long segment of interviews with UN officials and diplomats, wringing their hands, anguished, frustrated almost to the point of tears over the current situation. "The mood around here is very bleak," they said. "It hasn't been this tense in the hallways of the UN since the Cuban Missile Crisis." In pained, agonized voices the interviewees mourned for the diplomatic process, the inspections, the human dignity inevitably destroyed by any war. "This is a humanitarian crisis," they wailed, as though Baghdad were the site of a nuke blast.

Not a word about the cheering throngs, the felled statues. Not a word about the tears of joy in Dearborn. Not the slightest peep about what the Iraqi people are saying to the world. You'd think it didn't matter.

They're confronted with the fact that a great good has just been done, and not just without the UN-- but in spite of the UN. They've been whisked through a scene change on the stage of history, and the curtain's just been raised-- and they're finding themselves on the side of evil. Yeah, they'd better be tense.

Meanwhile, Robert Fisk does his valiant best to wrap himself once again in a bloody flag of moral rectitude-- which he himself rescues from a mud puddle. The hero.

BAGHDAD, 11 April 2003 - It was the day of the looters. They trashed the German Embassy and threw the ambassador's desk into the yard. I rescued the European Union flag - flung into a puddle of water outside the visa section - as a mob of middle-aged men, chadored women and screaming children rifled through the consul's office and hurled Mozart records and German history books from an upper window. The Slovakian Embassy was broken into a few hours later.

At the headquarters of UNICEF, which has been trying to save and improve the lives of millions of Iraqi children since the 1980s, an army of thieves stormed the building, throwing brand new photocopiers on top of each other and sending cascades of UN files on child diseases, pregnancy death rates and nutrition across the floors.

The Americans may think they have "liberated" Baghdad after the most stage-managed photo-opportunity since Iwo Jima, but the tens of thousands of thieves - they came in families and cruised the city in trucks and cars searching for booty - seem to have a different idea of what liberation means. It also represented a serious breach of the Geneva Conventions. As the occupying power, the United States is responsible for protecting embassies and UN offices in their area of control, but yesterday their troops were driving past the German Embassy even as looters carted desks and chairs out of the front gate.

"Stage-managed photo-opportunity".

Some people are so incapable of joy that they refuse to see it in even the most inarguably positive and joyous event to have occurred in the Middle East in decades. It takes a special kind of person to watch the sledgehammers at the statues and the looters kissing the cameramen, and to then put sneer quotes on the word "liberation".

To be working so hard to turn such a massive humanitarian victory into an ignominious defeat has got to be one of the most contemptible things a "journalist" can do.

12:54 - What is it with these people?

Information Minister Al-Sahhaf is alive and well, and working in Iraqi embassies all around the world under assumed names.

After TV showed Saddam's statue come tumbling down in Baghdad, Iraqi diplomats in Brazil carried box after box of papers out of their embassy -- and set them on fire. Then they denied police reports that documents were being destroyed.

"It's all lies," said Brazilian embassy official Abdu Saif. "We are only burning debris and recently cut tree branches."

In Tokyo, Iraqi diplomats hauled garbage bags stuffed with shredded documents out of the embassy. Neighbors whispered that the amount of trash was three times the usual level.

I swear I've never heard the words "it's all lies" so frequently as over the past three weeks, unless it was over the past six months from Arab ambassadors in the UN. Everything's always lies. Hollywood lies. Zionist lies. Crusader lies. Liars-- they'reall liars!

Would it be gauche of me to suggest that it takes one to know one-- or more appropriately, to see one where none exists?

Some of these guys must be so steeped in lying as a part of their professional lives that they honestly believe that the rest of the world is lying. I heard a story on the radio some time ago about a woman who as a professional hobby would attempt to defraud department stores into giving her refunds for clothes that she didn't actually buy there. She would do this at dozens, even hundreds of department stores; and whenever the store saw through her lies and refused to pay up, she grew furious and indignant-- after she left. "They wouldn't even believe me! How dare they? The eye-dacity!"

I'm beginning to think that the real threat to the US stems not even so much from state-supported Islamism (which has failed to follow through on its threats of devastating attacks to coincide with the start of our war in Iraq), as from the deeply ingrained mechanism of institutional lying that is de rigeur throughout the Middle East. Iraqis were prevented from seeing newspapers from outside the country until a few days ago; only now are they starting to see what the rest of the world really thinks about this war. (Remember that before we invaded, Iraqis routinely thought that the "human shields" were there because they'd been paid by Saddam. From the Iraqi viewpoint, what other explanation could there be? Think about it.) And in Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Iran, the Arab Street is turning out not to be made up of throngs of young and willing suicide bombers-- but rather of average men and women who are suddenly finding out, to their shock and horror, that all the sources of information that they've been listening to all their lives have been lying all along.

They never even knew they were being lied to; the first indication that anything at all was amiss from the party line was when Al-Jazeera was forced to about-face from "Saddam's forces are slaughtering the invaders" to "There was practically no resistance, and the Iraqis are smothering the Americans and British with kisses and flowers" in the space of a day. Until that happened, they had no idea that what they were being told wasn't the truth. Suddenly their whole lives are thrown into chaos. So they're reacting with everything from disbelief to horror to throwing things at their TV sets to going home and crying. They've just had their minds punched in the gut by cold hard reality. That'll fuck you up.

But what does it tell us? That there's an infrastructure of media-based mind control in place in the Middle East, and that it's very closely tied in with the various state apparatuses; it's this system of manufactured truth that is the real enemy in this war, because it's what is preventing the Arab world from seeing the US as liberators rather than as oppressors. It's what turns even the less-than-devout against us on religious terms. It's what prevents people from learning from history, from understanding the world in which they live, from knowing what kinds of ways of life there are besides their own. It's what tells the people in these Middle Eastern countries that their way of life is the only pure and good one, and that America and Israel are the great evil powers in the world which threaten all that is good and just, for their own selfish ends.

We worry about violence on TV corrupting our children. Well, we might instead want to worry about propaganda on TV corrupting a whole region. Yeah, the media is to blame for the ills of today's world-- but not in the way Michael Moore thinks.

Which means that our current plan for reform in the Middle East is right on track. Liberating Iraq has been a twofold blow: on the one hand, it freed the people of Iraq, which is all to their own benefit as well as to ours, in removing Saddam from the equation; 26 million Iraqis now have a better future, and we have a more secure one. But on the other hand, the Arab media machine has been dealt a serious wound; Al-Jazeera has been severely demoralized and had its credibility shattered among millions of its critical viewership. Now that they know that what Al-Jazeera broadcasts is lies, or at least it was revealed to be such here and now in Iraq, the Arab viewers know that they can no longer trust it. And if they can't trust Al-Jazeera, who else might have been lying to them all this time?

Could it be, maybe, just possibly-- that all the people who have been using the words "It's all lies" are the ones most likely to be lying themselves?

Wednesday, April 9, 2003
01:53 - Here's a peace demonstrator for ya


Poor misguided fool. If only he knew that IndyMedia and International ANSWER were his people's true allies, that the Americans were only motivated by slaughtering Iraqi babies on a bloodthirsty lark, and that Bush = Hitler.

22:05 - VB Day

Andrew the Punnng Pundit has declared today "VB Day", the day of victory over the Ba'athists. And he makes a point that I think is frequently lost, even on those who have Bill Whittle on a slow intravenous drip:

The US is designed, from the ground up, for one specific reason, to do one specific task: to make life for Tyrants as hard as possible. America is not about Homelands, but rather about constitutions. During the darkest days of the Civil war, when the whole world waited outside to recognize America's dissolution—and the disillusion of the American people—the greatest president our nation had ever known stood up and made a speech. There he said that we would no longer be fighting just for the sake of being one nation, we would also fight for a bigger task; freedom for everyone. It was not until the call for Americans to free a people held in bondage went forth that America began to win the war. Singing John Brown's Body they marched into battle. Behind them they left Freedmen, and Freedmen's Bureaus. The fact that it took a generation to reconstruct a shadow of that Tyranny is a tribute to the men who ended it the first time...

And so today, we see that America has once more; this very day, 9 April 2003; fulfilled her mission. We have once more helped topple a dictator, a tyrant. We are told that theGame is over. We have fulfilled once more our historic mission...

It's a world of blogs and space travel, of McDonald's and destruction derbies. But one thing that this world has not outgrown, for all its progress, is tyranny. Tyrants existed back in the eighteenth century too-- imagine that. And oddly enough, that's what makes the Constitution as applicable today as it was then. That, I might venture to say, is why the USA still stands, in much the same form as it did two hundred years ago.

The world today is much freer of tyranny than it was then, but it'll never be completely free. There will always be Saddams who create themselves the moment they see the opportunity. In their absence, it's easy for America to evolve toward the postmodern middle ground that Europe has become; but as has now been demonstrated, that globalist paradise makes a poor deterrent against such men arising, and an even poorer countermeasure. Those are the occasions when the world needs America to be America.

The whole world can't be America; perhaps that's as it should be. But history will record April of 2003 as another of those occasions, repeated every few decades, when the world was saved from being a much worse place because America existed.

19:05 - One-liners

The comments pages at The Command Post (and other sites, such as LGF) are frequented by a lot of people who rattle off great one-liners that I wish weren't doomed to be lost. Blogging rolls forward; sizzling zingers succumb to bit-rot.

I can't resist commemorating this one. In response to this post, linked to an article in which Syria vows not to recognize any post-war "occupying" US military government in Iraq, "Ankchank" says:

Syria won't recognize the new government in Iraq? Yeah, it's called democracy. No wonder they won't recognize it.


18:30 - The Real Heroes

Good-- I'm glad this is happening. I hoped it would.

First, they have to find him. But when they do, residents of this small town want to thank the Iraqi man who helped save POW Jessica Lynch by bringing him to West Virginia.

The man, a lawyer known only as Mohammed, reportedly led U.S. troops to the hospital where Lynch was being held. The 19-year-old Army private was rescued last week and is recovering at a military hospital in Germany. Mohammed's role hasn't been confirmed by the military.

The effort to track down the man is being led by James Thibeault, who has founded Friends of Mohammad. The organization will be based in Lynch's hometown of Palestine, which is about 70 miles northwest of Malden, a Charleston suburb.

The man walked fifteen miles-- from the hospital out into the desert to where the troops were, then back, where he made maps of the hospital (undoubtedly at severe risk of life and limb) and then back again-- to save a woman whom he didn't even know from torture and certain death. Whatever awards we have that can be given to foreign nationals, he deserves. I hesitate to "rank" such things, but his deeds' merit is easily on par with that of Lynch's own, if not greater.

That said, and as alluded to in this article, there may be something either very hopeful or really bizarre about an organization based in a place called Palestine named "Friends of Mohammad", whose purpose is something so non-partisan and human. It's about time.

I wonder how they'll find him, though. "Um... we're looking for a man named Mohammad. Anybody know a Mohammad living in this town...?"

14:51 - Mark your calendars

There's too much to link to. Everywhere I go, there's only one subject on bloggers' minds: the war's all but over. Sure, there are some regiments left in the north of Iraq; the 4th ID is still arming for entry "within a week" to clean up whatever might be left. Saddam might be in Moscow by now. But the overwhelming preponderance of blog content right now is the visual and textual evidence, today, April 9, 2003, of history in the making. Whether it's the 9th or the 10th, or whether people remember that it falls in April of 2003 or Safar of 1424, this will be a day to remember.

What gives me the most hope, though, is this account by Dean Esmay of what happened in East Dearborn, Michigan today. In a part of the world where the anniversary of Iraq's liberation will be reckoned by the Gregorian calendar rather than the Muslim one, it's a day of gladness unlike anything America's Muslim population ever hoped to enjoy in the days following 9/11.
Then I heard it rising above the traffic, that famous trilling sound Arab women make in moments of triumph. It came from a group of black clad women in front of what used to be the Camelot theater but is now a fruit market. They modestly covered their mouths with their headscarves, but I knew it was them. Their daughters in modern dress, looking like typical Brittany Spears teenage girls, danced with one another to the sound of Middle Eastern pop music like the MTV-influenced kids they are, waving to the boys with the flags in the Chevys and Ford pickups and PT Cruisers as they drove by.

One vehicle summed up this palpable outpouring of joy. Painted on the side of a black SUV: "No more fear in Iraq!"
It's been hard, and it will continue to be hard, selling the idea of freedom to a people for whom the coming of liberation is necessarily going to look like the threatening hand of an outsider power. But the first step has now been taken; Iraq will be the first true example of the post-9/11 US policy toward the Middle East, in which we cast off isolationism and show that we have a vested interest in creating democracy and freedom in a part of the world that for the most part has never known it. Like Kuwait, Iraq will become a net exporter of human dignity, and the people in the surrounding dictatorships and theocracies will see that there is a real alternative ready and waiting-- one that is gaining ground.

Maybe these folks in Dearborn can pass on the message, just through their actions today-- that the US is not, in fact, the great evil that they've always been told it is. It's not Satan. It's just a country-- albeit a country that's a success without a need for state-controlled TV, or for religious enforcement, or for thought police. It has no designs on other countries' sovereignty; only on its own security. And it is no disgrace to see in that, as Leonard Cohen put it, the machinery for change and the spiritual thirst. Democracy is coming, he might have said-- to the world.

The 14th century struck us in the back on September 11. Today, the 21st century strikes back, and not with a weapon-- but with the greatest gift a country in the position of the US can give: the removal of the obstacles which prevent the 14th century from transforming into the 21st and joining the rest of the world.

We remove obstacles. It's what the job description is of any manager at a corporation: I remove obstacles so that those underneath me can succeed. Sometime in the past two years, America decided to become a manager. Not a policeman; a manager.

Managers are often reviled and ridiculed; maybe America is the Pointy-Haired Boss to the world, fat and ignorant and isolated in its big cushy corner office. But it's those pointy-haired bosses that turn the engineers' individual miracles and stockholders' dreams into world-changing successes. All the engineers and stockholders have to do is buy into it.

Today is America's Middle Eastern IPO.

09:28 - Faces

Drop your masks, everybody; take a bow. The show is over.

International ANSWER responds:

On Saturday, April 12, join the tens of thousands of people of conscience who will surround the White House. The whole world is watching to see if the people of the United States can intensify the power of the anti-war movement at the moment that the Bush Administration is intending to slaughter tens of thousands of Iraqi people and occupy their country.

We urge every anti-war organizer and concerned person to bring your friends, neighbors and family members to this all-important mobilization on April 12.

...Baghdad has been bombed relentlessly, terrorizing the occupants of that city and of the entire country. ... U.S. and British forces have laid siege to Basra, bombing and destroying the electrical supply to the main water plant and blocking the Iraqi food distribution system...
Arab world incredulous at Saddam's fall
The overwhelming emotion for many was one of disbelief, tinged for some with disappointment after weeks of hearing Saddam's government pledge a "great victory" or fight to the death against "infidel invaders."

"We expected resistance, not what happened," said Ghadah Shebah, a business administration student at the American University in Cairo.
"You won't be seeing footage like this on al-Jazeera", the Fox anchor said.

And dozens of Syrians, Jordanians, Egyptians, Saudis, and others continue to pour into Iraq to defend their poor helpless Iraqi brothers against the horror of genocide at the hands of the Americans.

I wonder if they'll listen to the liberated Iraqis they meet when it's explained to them what has really happened-- or if they'll just slaughter them.
Realization dawns
A captured Iraqi colonel being held in one of the hangars listened in astonishment as his information minister praised Republican Guard soldiers for recapturing the airport.

He looked at his captors and, as he realised that what he had heard was palpably untrue, his eye filled with tears. Turning to a translator, he asked: "How long have they been lying like this?"

The "minders" have all vaporized. Minister of Information al-Sahhaf is gone. And suddenly, al-Jazeera has no more propaganda to broadcast; we in the West have been expecting this victory and these scenes of celebration for days now, but for those who get all their information from al-Jazeera and who take al-Sahhaf's words at face value, their world has suddenly gone from a promise of total victory over the infidels to the crushing reality of absolute, near-effortless defeat, in less than 24 hours.

"The whole world isn't like the US"; I've always known that, but I may not have really felt it until now. I may not have had a context in which to understand just what it means to have to face the reality, one day, that everything you've been told, all your life, from your most trusted information source, the most benevolent and compassionate and authoritative father figure(s) in the world, has been a lie.

I'm trying to figure out how it is that an entire swath of people can be trained so deeply and effectively to shut out reality, to believe in the most transparent and insane of propaganda, when there is so much counterevidence immediately available to anyone who chooses to look. What we're seeing here is the same state of mind that allows people to listen to imams who shriek for Allah to freeze the blood in the Americans' veins and believe that that represents the best and only positive future for the world.

"Freedom" is one of those words that has been tinged with cynicism, more so every time we put it in the name of some food or sexual device, or every time we talk to a contemptuous European. But we never really do get a sense here of just how much we take that simple concept for granted, and what it means to the people in these pictures, and how alien it is to those glued to their TVs waiting vainly for the next reassurance from the Information Minister. A simple concept, but really not all that common in the world today. The freedom to know.

Many seem not only to not know of other viewpoints, but not to want to know of other viewpoints. It's a bizarre kind of creation of reality through selectively allowing only certain bits of information in through the eyes and ears. It seems a whole lot of people, in fact, like it that way.

What is it that has driven so many people into this mindset? Is it their religion, their culture, their countries' political systems-- what? What common element is there? What culprit is there that we can identify without seeming racist, or bigoted, or ethnocentric, or intolerant, or (worst of all) generalistic?

How do we call a spade a spade, without being denounced by the Union of Differently-Shaped Shovels?

I'm sure the historians will be able to come up with something to explain the situation the world is in, the thorough rejection of reality throughout the Middle East and the desire to die in waves for an illusion.

I'm sure it will turn out to be the Americans' fault-- and Israel's.
UPDATE: AP and Reuters report on the incredulous reaction among Arabs in the region. Disappointment, disgust, the dawning understanding of a world turning upside down.
"We discovered that all what the (Iraqi) information minister was saying was all lies," said Ali Hassan, a government employee in Cairo. "Now no one believes (Arab satellite TV channel) al-Jazeera anymore."
Really? If that's true, that's a big first step.
UPDATE: Glenn Reynolds says that watching the footage of the celebrations and the statues toppling is "better than blogging". I agree; 'scuse me.
UPDATE: Balloon Juice has a much better photo-fisking than this post.
Tuesday, April 8, 2003
11:52 - Innocent Iraqi Children

"War is bad for children and other living things!"

BAGHDAD (AFP) Apr 08, 2003
More than 100 children held in a prison celebrated their freedom Tuesday as US marines rolled into northeast Baghdad amid chaotic scenes which saw civilians loot weapons from an army compound, a US officer said.

Around 150 children spilled out of the jail after the gates were opened as a US military Humvee vehicle approached, Lieutenant Colonel Fred Padilla told an AFP correspondent travelling with the Marines 5th Regiment.

"Hundreds of kids were swarming us and kissing us," Padilla said.

"There were parents running up, so happy to have their kids back."

"The children had been imprisoned because they had not joined the youth branch of the Baath party," he alleged. "Some of these kids had been in there for five years."

Yep. That's a regime that cares deeply about international law and the well-being of its people, all right; I'm sure they would have voluntarily disarmed if we'd just given them more time.

In other news, anti-war sentiment has reportedly fallen to about 15% of the US public in polls. I wonder if those who continue to forlornly wave signs on Market Street or try to sabotage the Port of Oakland had (or have) any idea that these are the kids they've been working so valiantly to "protect".

UPDATE: Yeah, hush it up, Scott Ritter.
You've spoke about having seen the children's prisons in Iraq. Can you describe what you saw there?

The prison in question is at the General Security Services headquarters, which was inspected by my team in Jan. 1998. It appeared to be a prison for children - toddlers up to pre-adolescents - whose only crime was to be the offspring of those who have spoken out politically against the regime of Saddam Hussein. It was a horrific scene. Actually I'm not going to describe what I saw there because what I saw was so horrible that it can be used by those who would want to promote war with Iraq, and right now I'm waging peace.

Yeah. Heaven forfend we should, you know, like do anything about it. It's bad and all, but the warmongers are worse!

Chalk this up as another great UN moral victory, along with the Congo, Rwanda, and Srebrenica.

09:17 - Evil Oppressors Part II

What was that again about how this is a war against Islam?

It is a sound which has echoed down the centuries but which has not been heard here for 15 years - the wailing call to prayer.

On Friday however, at 0430 (0130 GMT), in the minutes before the desert dawn, the voice of the Imam rang out.

What Saddam's Baath party had forbidden, the British Army had restored.

The townspeople, whose mosque was destroyed years ago, prayed in the privacy of their own homes.

But instead of their worship being a secret and dangerous thing, it was freely performed with new joy.

The 1st Battalion Royal Irish secured a public address system for the Imam and men from their attached Royal, Electrical and Mechanical Engineers installed it on Thursday night in time for Friday prayers.

Not that anybody will notice.

Via The Command Post.

Meanwhile, someone on Ar-Rahman posts these pictures, under the subject line "A New Crusade is going on!!"

Yeah, wouldn't you just love it if it were? There's only one problem: it's a horrific paranoid fantasy from Bizarro World.

Monday, April 7, 2003
00:21 - That ain't good.

Fox just finished hashing out its theories on a rather disturbing incident that was caught on camera an hour or so ago-- I saw it happen live, and since then the various commentators have been plying their speculation, with varying levels of success.

A camera position on a rooftop next to the bridgehead right behind the New Palace compound, where M1 tanks were positioned as though ready to cross the bridge into the eastern city, was feeding video to Abu Dhabi TV and Al-Jazeera. The camera was manned by Al-Jazeera's Tareq Ayoub, a Jordanian journalist.

A large bomb blast went off right between the tank on the bridge and the camera position; but it kept rolling. The footage showed an F-14 (?) streaking overhead, presumably having released the bomb.

Several minutes later, the camera captured the following sequence:

First one spray of concrete chips went up, right in front of the camera; then another, larger one, a little closer, a second later. Then, after another second, the camera suddenly tilted backward, skyward, and then fell sideways. The clip ended shortly afterwards (the feed cut away).

Fox's first theory was that the camera was actually sitting on top of a machine gun emplacement, and that those fragments we saw flying up into frame were shell casings. But commenters at The Command Post quickly dismissed that angle; the chips were clearly concrete, from incoming fire.

So we speculated (while Fox was fumbling with the timeline, getting the whole thing screwed up) that the tanks were prepping an assault across the bridge, and that they knew they had cameras on them-- so they called in a strike, either from the air or the ground, to take out the camera (like with taking Iraqi TV off the air-- with which this would be moralistically about equivalent, probably.)

But a more likely scenario, which Fox's commentators eventually explored as well, was that this was counter-sniper action; guns on the tanks probably saw the camera's lens and took it for a sniper scope, and returned fire. "If it looks like a sniper, you shoot first and evaluate later," said Joe in the comments.

But then there were those missile strikes beforehand-- three in all, they're saying. Sounds like they were pretty determined to hit that one spot. (In the video, you can see what do appear to be black-clad snipers; they may have been shooting at the tanks and the tanks called in strikes against the snipers, and then themselves turned and shot at the camera lens, thinking it was the sniper.)

So it's a mistake at best (or a justified action against a legitimate threatening target in a war zone), and a rather grave action at worst, and Fox has run the gamut. I'm sure we'll release a plausible alibi soon; I'm sure it will be defensible.

But I'm worried that we haven't seen the last of this video. I'm worried that even if we come up with a good alibi, the crystal clarity of the video will give it a life beyond our control. It will be adopted as clear and stark visual proof of the infidels' barbarity. It will elevate Tareq Ayoub, lamentable though his death is, to shaheed status. This video might be getting airtime five or ten years from now, in certain circles. We may have just created the Islamists' Danny Pearl.

I hope I'm wrong. Maybe this will not amount to anything; maybe both sides will come to agree on the unfortunate nature of misunderstandings and errors of judgment in the fog of war.

But I'm not holding my breath.

16:24 - An Exile Comes Home

Via The Command Post.

I once had the privilege to travel to Russia with a school group, in 1992, in the company of a man who had been living in Northern California in exile for ten years. This was only shortly after communism fell, and he was taking the first opportunity that availed him to hitch back to his family's home outside Leningrad, which had just become St. Petersburg once again.

The scene of reunion, in front of our whole group, drove home to all of us the real meaning of the fall of the old regime-- what it meant for the people it affected most. We all got to see first-hand what it means when freedom is restored to individual people who had had it withheld from them, who had had their families forcibly split up by the political realities of living in a real, live police state.

And it's starting again-- this is one of what are likely to be thousands of similar stories unfolding soon:

Khuder Al-Emeri, 43, left his Seattle restaurant behind three months ago to join the Free Iraqi Forces, a group of exiles trained by the U.S. military to serve as interpreters and guides in Iraq (news - web sites).

Wearing desert camouflage and assisting the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, his return to the Shiite village where he once led an uprising against Saddam's regime was a whirlwind of tears and hugs - seeing relatives he didn't even recognize after 12 years away.

"I came to help my people," Al-Emeri said.

. . .

Leader of a Shiite uprising during the first Gulf War (news - web sites), Al-Emeri left the country in April 1991 and said the Iraqi regime placed a price on his head. He was only able to communicate with his family - who was regularly questioned about his whereabouts - by relaying messages through acquaintances in Baghdad. The restaurant he ran, named "Peace" in Arabic, was seized by the government along with his other businesses.

His family were among those who rushed out to greet him - including his 15-year-old son, Ali, whom he hadn't seen since he left Iraq. When they first saw each other, they embraced tightly and wept.

Ali Al-Emeri said he was afraid to ever let his father go away again, but Al-Emeri assured him: "Stay home. You are safe. I am here, the U.S. forces are here."

I wonder what his family might like to say to the anti-war folks here in the US.

10:11 - All Your Base: 2003

It had to happen. There was no stopping it.

Spotted by CapLion.

10:01 - Photographic quandary

I've been trying to figure this out since last night... watching the Fox footage of the 3rd Georgia State Battalion rolling into the downtown Presidential Palace and parking an M1 in the portico, I just can't seem to reconcile the view they're showing with any of the satellite photos.

The buildings in the upper left and the lower right have both been labeled "Presidential Palaces" at some point or another; the upper one is what Glenn Reynolds pointed out as the Republican Palace when he posted the satellite images, and the lower-right one is the one they kept pointing to on the video-board on TV as the one they were occupying right now. (The video from across the Tigris showed the wide flat area by the riverbank, out behind the lower-right palace.)

But I can't seem to decide where on either of these buildings the Fox video was shot from. There are these two porticos, sort of "linked" by a small covered causeway; and there's a dome in the background. I can't find the angle on the building, in the satellite photo, where that would be possible. There are those two portico structures in the curved colonnade areas out front, but the video seems to show a straight colonnade wall... and the rear, taller portico seems to blend right into the colonnade wall, after a low shoulder area, rather than being in an angle behind the curved wall as the satellite photo shows.

Can anybody shed some light on this? Are they maybe at some completely different location?

UPDATE: Ah! It's not this palace at all; it's the "New Palace", further west along the riverbank:

Thanks to Capt J.M. Heinrichs for setting me straight!

09:34 - Silence your Wind Tunnel


Marcus has created an eight-minute video detailing how to swap out your Power Mac G4's power supply. It's not just really helpful, it's also funny as hell.

If you happen to have a "Wind Tunnel" Mac, and you love the smell of voided warranties in the morning, check this out.

09:29 - Color me surprised

I'm sure this will come as a complete letdown to some, and to others it won't be anywhere near enough.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. forces near Baghdad found a weapons cache of around 20 medium-range missiles equipped with potent chemical weapons, the U.S. news station National Public Radio reported on Monday.

NPR, which attributed the report to a top official with the 1st Marine Division, said the rockets, BM-21 missiles, were equipped with sarin and mustard gas and were "ready to fire." It quoted the source as saying new U.S. intelligence data showed the chemicals were "not just trace elements."

Yawn... blah blah. Whatever. They weren't fired, so how can they be a "smoking gun"? And 20 missiles? C'mon, all he could wipe out with that is Israel! We shouldn't concern ourselves with these decisions of a legitimately elected government of a sovereign nation. It's Bush who's the real terrorist! We have WMDs toooo! We've probably been... uh... secretly using them on Iraqi babies for three weeks now! In fact, that Presidential Palace that they bombed-- that was really a hidden cache of innocent Iraqi babies! A few measly sarin missiles is no excuse for exterminating the Iraqi people!

In seriousness, let's wait for CENTCOM confirmation, though. These kinds of things have turned out to be false alarms before.

09:20 - Modern product placement

Greg Kihn is a riot this morning... he had to break from his normal cheerleading about the war and savaging people writing clueless letters to him to do his standard on-air endorsements.

Well, I was watching the war coverage, and I saw this Toyota pickup truck, with three idiots in it with AK-47s, pull up to an M1 Abrams tank... and-- well, I say "idiots" because... well, isn't that like sending a tricycle up against one? And the tank just turned and blew that truck right off the road.

...So if you should go and buy a Toyota at Stevens Creek Toyota, you have to promise-- because as good as these cars and trucks are, they simply won't stand up to an M1 tank. So promise that if you go down and buy a Toyota right now, which you should, you won't use it to go up against any tanks. It just doesn't stand a chance.

Not quite the endorsement they would have asked for, I'm sure...

Previous Week...

© Brian Tiemann