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January 31, 2003

Jonathan’s Manifesto for Amateurs

Jonathan’s newish blog at Corante has a manifesto that says it all. Gotta love it!

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Winning the Peace

Dana Blankenhorn points to the most important objection to the Shock and Awe plan: how it will affect the possibility of peace.

Why was poisoning wells unthinkable according to Just Law doctrine? Surely poisoning the drinking supplies of enemy villages might shorten a war. But, it was understood that doing so would make it impossible to return to peace. And that’s the aim of war: to return to a more just peace.

So, while we will hear — and should listen to — arguments about how Shock and Awe will reduce the number of casualties, we also need to think about the effect of launching 800 missiles to make cities unliveable. If our soldiers are not greeted in the streets with cries of joy, then we will have lost the war.


From David Isenberg, in a posting to a mailing list:

Let’s call the U.S. strategy for the attack of Baghdad by its true name — it’s not “Shock and Awe,” it is Terrorism.

I know it is hard for some people, even some people who don’t like the idea of the coming war, to equate what happened in New York with what is likely to happen halfway around the world.

However, when I read about the United States’ “Shock and Awe” strategy I imagine 800 Boeing 757s, each one crashing into a New York building in a ball of fire, a new World Trade Center disaster every four minutes for two days — terrified people jumping from windows to escape certain death by fire, terrified people running from the dust clouds in panic as buildings collapse, grieving loved ones with pictures begging strangers for news, and the sickening smell afterwards. Only it will be 800 times worse, because airplanes are not *designed* to kill people, but the United States will drop weapons designed to kill. In addition to the fire and explosion, thousands of little daisy cutters will rip the flesh of office workers, janitors, restaurant workers, firemen, policemen, rescuers, people on the street.

If the U.S. “Shock and Awe” program is not Terrorism, we have lost the meaning of the word.

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Shock and Awe

Plans are leaking about our strategy in the war against Iraq. Called “Shock and Awe,” the aim is to spend two days bombing Iraq so intensively that life becomes unlivable there and thus the demoralized troops just don’t fight. To do this, we will send 800 cruise missiles into Iraq in the first two days, more in one day than were launched in the entire Gulf War. “There will not be a safe place in Baghdad,” a Pentagon official told America’s CBS News after a briefing on the plan. “The sheer size of this has never been seen before, never been contemplated before.”

Links:

smh.com. au
CBS News
CommonDreams

This comes from Tom Atlee via David Isenberg

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Connecting the Fuel Dots

Peter Kaminski notes that Bush proposes hydrogen fuel cells, that the Dept. of Energy says that natural gas is the best source of hyrdogen, and that Dick “Dick” Cheney’s old firm, Halliburton, is developing Bangladesh’s natural gasfields. And should I add that there are those who think one of the forces behind our Afghanistan policy is the desire for a pipeline for natural gas?

But you don’t actually need a conspiracy theory to explain W’s new fascination with hydrogen fuel. Since hydrogen won’t be feasible for 15-20 years, supporting hydrogen is a way of postponing ecological responsibility. Let loose the snow mobiles! Roll back the CAFE standards! Open up the wilderness for drilling! Hell, I’m an environmentalist because I support hydrogen fuel!

Which isn’t to say that the conspiracy theory isn’t true also.

(For a commentary on a similar W feint, see here.)

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AOL’s First Strike Capability

Marc Abrahams, the editor of the actually funny magazine, Annals of Improbable Research and creator of the Ig Nobel Awards, in an email writes:

>AOL lost $99 billion. That’s over $300 for
>every person in the country!

Uh, oh. Now THEY might decide the best thing to do is go start a war.

Incoming! AOL CD’s!

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Amos on DigID

Amos has some crisp musings (hmm, do musings admit crispness?) on digital ID and the positive value of privacy. For example, he writes:

The tie between the digID and products is clear. In a short time, the subject will not be called digital rights management but instead Digital Access Management. You will be unable to access significant content without a digID, and the class of digID you have will determine what level of access, both in terms of content and throughput, available to you.

And once DAM has been established, the “public” network will be marginalized…

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Crud Factor

Margaret writes that her family calibrates colds and flu by a 1-10 Crud Factor. I am today at CF 7, an improvement from yesterday’s CF 8. However, enough parents have cancelled from the Understanding Disabilities program my wife is running this morning at the local elementary school that I have to fill-in, creating a CF Wind Chill factor of 11.

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Wireless Book

I just got a copy of The Wireless Networking Starter Kit by Glenn Fleishman and Adam Engst. I’ve thumbed through it and it looks like a clear and lively explanation of everything you wanted to know about goin’ wifi. Maybe now I can find out how my PPPoE bone connects to the Tx bone.

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January 30, 2003

Prior to SBC

Dan Gillmor, whose countercultural journalistic cry is “My readers know more than I do,” asked his readers to come up with “prior art” to dispute SBC’s stupid claim to have invented navigation elements on Web pages. And his readers have responded convincingly.

Hell, a company I worked at invented it also: Interleaf’s Worldview electronic publishing product let you design a stable frame with links to within the document itself. Damn, we should have patented it! Oh, and we should also have patented the idea of having a window that can display pages sequentially! And pages! Yeah, we invented that!

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The Last of Ted?

Steve MacLaughlin suggests we haven’t seen the last of Ted Turner:

So now the 64-year old Turner is stepping down from his executive role at AOL Time Warner, and many think he will fade away into the sunset. Off to work on his philanthropic endeavors or perhaps to write his memoirs. But I believe that Turner has spent too much of his life in the arena to just walk away. Having watched most of his personal fortune go down the tubes thanks to the AOL whiz kids, Turner might be game for a little revenge. I wouldn’t be surprised if Turner is the first person to pull out his pocketknife to help carve up the media giant’s fallen carcass. Play ball!

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