Monday, February 28, 2005

The Making of a 9/11 Republican

The phenomenally named "Cinnamon Stillwell" writes in the San Francisco Gate about her transformation from a woman "indoctrinated in the postcolonialist, self-loathing school of multiculturalism, [who] thought America was the root of all evil in the world," to a "9/11 Republican."

I wonder if we're going to really see a lot more of this. As the Democratic Party finds itself more and more in thrall to the left which seems increasingly divorced from reality, the Republican Party stands to gain membership. Hopefully, the more libertarian wing of the Republican party will be strengthened as well, and we will really see a change in the way the country is run.

It seems to me my parents were ahead of their time in this -- my father having transformed from the folk-singing "hippie lawyer" wearing black armbands to a Reagan Republican. I recall him telling a story about a Nina Simone concert in which the crowd was exhorted to cheer for the death of Barry Goldwater and his horror at the supposedly sensitive crowd's bloodlust. He has mentioned that his conversion began at that moment. I expect that, as for the columnist, 9/11 created many of those moments for others.

Hat tip: LGF.

RIP, Jef Raskin

Jef Raskin, the man who pretty much invented the Macintosh computer, has died.

One of his best quotes (noted in the linked article) is this: "Have you ever noticed there are no Maytag users groups? That's because you just put the clothes in, push the button and they get clean."

It's a point lost on most computer guys.

Good Column in The Scotsman

There's a very good column in The Scotsman. Some excerpts:

THE thought is heretical, but I’m having it all the same. Iraq, notwithstanding future setbacks that will undoubtedly occasionally spin it off course, is slowly turning into a good-news story....

The truth is that hatred for George Bush and all he stands for is so entrenched in the eyes of bien pensant western commentators, that using the word "success" about Iraq would choke them. If word ever slips out, in relation, for example, to the highly influential Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani’s rejection of an Iranian-style theocracy, or that both Sunni and Shia openly state that they must get on together and not destroy the country through civil war, it comes hedged with such portentous and lugubrious caveats that it sounds more like a distasteful disease....

Much to the disappointment of western journalists, it seems that, under the country’s new thick rash of satellite dishes, Iraqis are actually enjoying themselves.

This longing for the failure of Bush’s Iraq policy is understandable but rather childish. It is also behind the times. US policy has certainly not been perfect. There are blackspots and boiling points, particularly in Baghdad. Yet somehow "on-the-spot" journalists fail to remind us that Iraq is more than Baghdad and that, in vast swathes of the country, not only is normal life resuming, but it is resuming with hope for a democratic future that was impossible under Saddam.

And if you do not believe me, listen to Walid Jumblatt, the patriarch of the Druze Muslim community in Lebanon. He has stated publicly that, although he is cynical of the US invasion of Iraq, the election has turned out to be, "the start of a new Arab world". He went on: "The Syrian people, the Egyptian people, all say that something is changing. The Berlin Wall has fallen. We can see it." If this is heresy, I’m happy to own it. There may be trouble ahead, but Iraqis are now making sure that Iraq is on its way.

And, I hasten to note the mention in the final paragraph of Walid Jumblatt (but, sadly, neither his parents, Ward & June Jumblatt, nor his brother, "Beaver" Jumblatt).

Friday, February 25, 2005

Overheard on The Gates

There's this fun site called Overheard In New York, which is, basically, a site in which people post stuff they, well, overhear in New York. (Duh.)

Anyway, there was a funny comment about The Gates:

Guy: We just saw The Gates. And you know what they are? They're a bunch of curtains in the park. That's right, curtains in the park. You wanna see a bunch of curtains in the park, then go see them. But that's all they are: a bunch of curtains in the park. Oh, yeah, and they're "saffron".


[Listening to: Overkill - Men At Work - Contraband - The Best Of Men At Work (3:43)]

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Food at the Israeli McDonalds

Well, this is just too good. McShwarma.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

NASA Artist in Residence?

I really like Laurie Anderson's stuff, but why does NASA need an "artist-in-residence"?

Cox & Forkum: USS Ironic

I actually had much the same reaction as Cox & Forkum did to the "most heavily armed submarine in history" being named after Jimmy Carter...

I mean, huh?

Friday, February 18, 2005

Greenpeace invaders get their butts kicked; continue whining...

It seems that a bunch of Greenpeace idiots "activists" thought they'd commemorate the Kyoto Protocol by shutting down trading on the Internation Petroleum Exchange in London. Unfortunately for them, they got their hippie butts kicked.

They made their way to the trading floor, blowing whistles and sounding fog horns, encountering little resistance from security guards. Rape alarms were tied to helium balloons to float to the ceiling and create noise out of reach. The IPE conducts “open outcry” trading where deals are shouted across the pit. By making so much noise, the protesters hoped to paralyse trading.

But they were set upon by traders, most of whom were under the age of 25. “They were kicking and punching men and women indiscriminately,” a photographer said. “It was really ugly, but Greenpeace did not fight back.”

Mr Beresford said: “They followed the guys into the lobby and kept kicking and punching them there. They literally kicked them on to the pavement.”

My favorite part -- the continued whining and response from the traders:

[O]ne protester said, rubbing his bruised skull[,] “I’ve never seen anyone less amenable to listening to our point of view.”

Another said: “I took on a Texan Swat team at Esso last year and they were angels compared with this lot.” Behind him, on the balcony of the pub opposite the IPE, a bleary-eyed trader, pint in hand, yelled: “Sod off, Swampy.”

Aw, he's "never seen anyone less amenable to listening to [their] point of view"? These guys storm the floor of the exchange with air horns trying to destroy trading, potentially ruining companies employing hundreds of people, and they're surprised that they didn't get invited for a cuppa and a discussion group on Noam Chomsky's new book?

I'm with the trader.

Sod off, Swampy.

[Hat tip: TIA Daily]

Monday, February 14, 2005

VW Commercials

I can't decide whether I like or don't like this commercial.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Budding Jordan cyber love ends in divorce

I assume that their emails read:

"If you like Pina Coladas, and getting caught in the rain..."

Thursday, February 10, 2005


Well, this is totally useful. Enter your New York City start location and destination, and HopStop will tell you how to get there, by foot, subway and bus.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Pick a good password

Lifehacker notes a great password-picking tip:

Two things characterize a good password: 1. it's easy to for you to remember and 2. it's hard for others to guess.

Web expert Eric Meyer's got a great method to pick a good password: choose two words you'll remember, and interleave the letters. So if you chose life and hacker, your password would be lhiafceker. Looks like gibberish, right? But it's easy to remember (and even type after some practice.)

If you don't want to use one password for every place that requires one, a variation on Eric's method is to combine the service name with a word you choose. So if blue's your word, your Ebay password would be ebblauye and your Paypal password would be pbalyupeal.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Mark Steyn on the Iraqi Elections...

Inside Steyn's good-as-usual piece on the Iraqi elections and the dumbass Spaniards who actually protested it, is an interesting point:

The most fascinating detail in the big picture was this: Iraqi expats weren't voting just in Sydney and London and Los Angeles, but also in Syria. Think about that. If you're an Iraqi in Syria, you can vote for the political party of your choice. If you're a Syrian in Syria, you have no choice at all. Which of those arrangements is the one with a future?

Read the rest, but I really liked that point.