July 31, 2002

Get thee to a bloggery

In case you haven't seen it, the Top 20 Blogger Insults are over at Davezilla's place. Howard Kurtz offers quotes from John Leo of US News, who has found an anti-NY Times slant in some blogs. I'm not sure I agree that it's anti-NYT as much as it is obsessive refusal to take "facts" blindly as stated, but nevermind.

If anyone knows how many therapeutic drugs make it out of Phase 2a trials successfully, let me know; I've been trying to update a 1996 number all day.

Posted by Linkmeister at 05:44 PM | Comments (4)

July 30, 2002

Words and Wizards

I'll be damned. Bill Safire has noticed the terms blog and props in the same column (note: this is Safire's On Language column in the magazine, not his editorial column). Speaking of newspapers, an outfit called ProQuest has digitized the entire New York Times archive, from 1851-1999. That's four terabytes of info, folks.

There's a new director general of Int'l Planned Parenthood, and he's ready for a fight. Good thing, since the Administration has decided to rekindle the culture wars, to the detriment of women and children worldwide.

The new Harry Potter book (Goblet of Fire) is out in paperback today, at the low price of $8.99. 734 pages! Back in a week.

Posted by Linkmeister at 03:59 PM | Comments (4)

July 29, 2002

Who needs a boss like this?

Why I deplore George W. Bush, Part whatever: because he continues to bash and belabor civilian employees of the government he's supposed to be leading. As previously noted, he would dearly love to eliminate civil service protection from all those folks about to get merged into the Department of Homeland Security, but that's not the only time he's attacked them. Tom Friedman cites a few examples. So does Benjamin Barber.

For Christmas, I want a time machine. The movie industry also wants such a device; it seems to think if it could only revert to the days when it owned the distribution channels (theaters) all would be well. Unfortunately, Congress seems to be listening. Among the Congresspeople listening, according to News.com, is Sen. Joe Biden. "Biden's new bill would make it a federal felony to try and trick certain types of devices into playing your music or running your computer program." So, in theory, if you had to resort to trickery to get past some protection scheme in order to play your garage-band recording, you could end up in jail.

Where were these services when last I worked for somebody else? For a fee, they'll sell you salary data about your job industry-wide.

Posted by Linkmeister at 03:49 PM | Comments (1)

July 27, 2002

Raindrops keep fallin'

What a freaking morning! I had intended to get up and begin exhorting kd & skarlet, Faith, Cooties, Michele, and all the other myriad folks (212 participants, 2,207 sponsors for $54,258.06 at this writing) taking part in the 2nd annual Blogathon, but...

We have an automatic sprinkler system for the yard; it has four zones, sequentially watered every third day. Today, for reasons as yet undetermined, one of the zones got out of whack and started at 0530 as it should, but then didn't shut off. The controller has no master On/Off switch; you can control the frequency and duration only by moving little slide levers up and down, and this didn't work. Several calls to the supplier ensued, reaching only his answering machine. Finally, after three hours of futzing around with it, I got the water off; I shudder to think of the amount of water poured back into the island aquifer at unimaginable expense.

The zone which wouldn't shut off is directly outside the family room; outside the room is a bank of four louvered doors, behind which are such things as boxes of plumbing and electrical supplies, the space where a big chest freezer used to be, etc. A shed, in other words. Anyway, the brick deck below the now extremely well-watered orchids and in front of said doors was soaking wet. The dog enjoys being outside while I am, so she was prowling around this very wet deck, when suddenly she began charging one of the doors. Since she weighs about forty pounds, the door gave, and several louvers broke out. We have had an occasional rat find its way into this shed (hey, it's the tropics; rats are not unusual), so I assumed that there was another of these unwanted visitors hiding in there. Wrong. After much yapping, yelping, growling, barking, and general hubbub, what should appear in a flash but a large orange cat, taking off over the gate as though the hounds of hell were after it (there, Tigger, wasn't that a nice compliment?). Fortunately, the cat got away, and the dog was frustrated. She was also extraordinarily muddy. Can life hold more?

Posted by Linkmeister at 02:59 PM | Comments (3)

July 26, 2002

To cut or not to cut

Here's a tricky question: should scientific journals and their publishers self-censor articles which might reveal information potentially useful to terrorists? There's precedent: back in the '30s and '40s there was an embargo on articles having to do with uranium in 237 different journals. On the lighter side, herein find a few humorous squibs from the world of science, including a glaring faux pas on Sony's part; "Spider-Man's copy-protection does not stop people copying but it does prevent them from accessing Sony's promotion for the movie."

There's a new remote control device out which promises much, delivers most.

I found these thoughts about blogging interesting. Kind of an apologia/elegy for a soon-to-be extinct blog.

Posted by Linkmeister at 05:32 PM | Comments (2)

July 25, 2002

Be careful out there

Privacy advocates, take note: here's a cautionary tale about Google and its ilk. Here's another privacy article, with some useful links in the right sidebar.

The initial act of a suicide bomber isn't the only danger he or she presents; his victim may end up with embedded bone fragments from the blast. One such injury tested positive for Hepatitis B.

Our boy Ashcroft is still in the NRA's pocket, in case you had any doubt.

Just for fun, here's a genuine old-fashioned liberal diatribe against Bush pere, fils and their corporate buddies. Anyone for storming the barricades, now that Ashcroft will let us own guns with impunity?

Posted by Linkmeister at 03:56 PM | Comments (2)

July 24, 2002


1. Koko and Yum Yum--Lillian Jackson Braun's "The Cat Who..." series

2. Pyewacket--van Druton, "Bell, Book and Candle"

3. Mehitabel--Don Marquis, "Archie and Mehitabel"

4. Hot Dog--Dennis the Menace's Cat

5. Macavity--T.S. Eliot's "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats". Master criminal.

6. Graymalkin--Macbeth. Shakespeare makes the Witch in Macbeth say, “I come, Graymalkin,” Malkin being the name of a foul fiend. The cat, supposed to be a witch and the companion of witches, is called by the same name.

7. Polar Bear--Cleveland Amory's "The Cat Who Came For Christmas"

8. Hodge--Samuel Johnson's cat; reputedly was given fresh oysters daily

9. Spot--Data's cat from TNG

10. Selima--A real cat that belonged to Horace Walpole. Selima was immortalized by Thomas Gray in the poem "Ode on the Death of a Favorite Cat Drowned in a Tub of Goldfish."

So the two participants between them got seven of ten. Very good!

Posted by Linkmeister at 10:43 PM | Comments (0)

Hairy observation

I've had a mustache continuously for about thirty years. Once during that time, for about three years, I had a full beard. For the past year-and-a-half or so I've had a goatee. At 11:00 am Tuesday morning I shaved off the goatee, keeping the mustache. As of 3:30 pm Wednesday, my mother had not yet noticed I'd cut the thing off.

Batty was talking about crop circles the other day; what should appear in the current issue of Popular Science but an interview with Colin Andrews of Circles Phenomenon Research International.

Cat answers later.

Posted by Linkmeister at 04:28 PM | Comments (4)

July 23, 2002

Advice and other verbiage

Do not balance a newly-opened 9-lb bag of dog food on a kitchen stool; it may fall off. This message brought to you as a public service announcement.

The SF Chronicle chimes in on blogging. This, of course, brings responses. In other blogging news, if you have any interest in the merits/demerits of various self-publishing tools (28, no less!), this article might be a good place to start. It also has a brief history of the evolution of "blogware," as author John Hiler calls it. He includes Blogger, MT, Greymatter, Userland, LiveJournal, and most others.

Posted by Linkmeister at 04:03 PM | Comments (4)

July 22, 2002

Goosesteps, anyone?

Just when I thought this Administration had exhausted its attempts to destroy civil liberties, at least through September or so, Fascism, here we come. Ridge seems to think the posse comitatus law forbidding US military personnel from enforcement of civil laws "should be discussed." General Eberhart's comments, cited in that transcript, can be found here.

While the country is digesting that thought, the Administration has also very quietly ("The White House has kept the politically delicate decision a closely guarded secret") repudiated its earlier decision to help fund UN Family Planning programs, presumably hoping to please its conservative base. To hell with the lives of women and kids, apparently; its political life is far more important. It makes me think of the Lily Tomlin line: "No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up."

Have you ever sent e-mail to your elected representative in Washingon? They might have had a small excuse for slow response times, it appears. They have been using a less-than-current system. In other digital news, this one has been/will be worrying archivists for a long time. What happens when the playback device for digital images becomes obsolete?

Posted by Linkmeister at 03:50 PM | Comments (6)

July 21, 2002


Here's one for all the cat lovers out there; These are all cat names which have appeared in either history or fiction. Name the owner or text where they appear.

1. Koko and Yum Yum
2. Pyewacket
3. Mehitabel
4. Hot Dog
5. Macavity
6. Graymalkin
7. Polar Bear
8. Hodge
9. Spot
10. Selima

Have fun. I'll post the answers, say, Thursday.

Posted by Linkmeister at 08:55 PM | Comments (11)

July 20, 2002

Morbidity Report

R.I.P., Alan Lomax. The NYT article is pretty good; if you want a better feel for the man and his accomplishments, go to his website. It's not too much to say that he educated an entire country about its musical history. Thanks to Skarlet for pointing me to the website.

Another leading light in American music also died Thursday: Seymour Solomon and his brother started Vanguard Records fifty years ago. The company was one of the first to take advantage of new LP recording techniques to record symphonic works, among other things. Solomon sold the company, but had since re-acquired the old classical catalog, which can be found at Omega Records.

Yousuf Karsh also died this week. His most famous photograph is probably a portrait of Winston Churchill; links to exhibits of his work can be seen here.

Posted by Linkmeister at 01:38 PM | Comments (3)

July 19, 2002

Smash the spin

SMASH. That stands for "simple, many, self-healing." It's a concept more grandly called "autonomic computing," and it's becoming a mantra at IBM. The idea is to create computer systems which instantly recognize internal failure (at the processor, at memory, etc.), figure out how to resolve the problem, do so, and go on with the job. Interesting stuff.

Here's a news story about the White House AIDS office: White House Reshuffling AIDS Policy Operation. Here's the Family Research Council's spin. Apparently the White House didn't consult. Tch, tch.

Posted by Linkmeister at 03:17 PM | Comments (0)

July 18, 2002

Drowning in Activism

If anyone is up for political action, and in particular action which strongly opposes the diminution of American civil liberties, tax giveaways to the corporate sector and the wealthy, and energy policy centered on resource use rather than conservation, I recommend you sign up for MoveOn. Read their FAQ and their press notices; then sign up for their bi-weekly bulletin. No contributions required (accepted, sure, required, no).

There's been lots of marine archaeology news recently, what with the probable discovery of JFK's PT-109; now the Monitor is being excavated. Excavating web sites from certain countries, however, is problematic...trying to figure out why a nation blocks access can be amusing. Not so amusing: is steganography in use on E-Bay?

Not to make light of his capture, but what's radical leftism coming to when one of its primary Greek proponents "currently had homes in France and Greece"? Meanwhile, homes in Northern Ireland appear to be sinking back into a pre-Good Friday accord miasma, at least from the Unionist point of view.

Is the reform baby in danger of being thrown out with the Congressional bathwater? This story argues that some of the ideas being tossed about by legislators might have less than desirable consequences, no matter the appeal of those ideas.

Posted by Linkmeister at 03:28 PM | Comments (2)

July 17, 2002

Gov't. regs, yea or nay

Here's a heartfelt op/ed from Andy Grove, expressing dismay at what's happening in corporate America, with ideas for solving the problems. On the other hand, here's a précis of objections to current suggestions in Congress from the business community.

Digital photography is being used by prosecutors in more and more domestic violence cases, according to this story in Salon. A Newport Beach cop estimates that nearly 25% of all US police departments have swapped Polaroids for digicams. Another cultural item: "Who are those guys?" No, not the posse after Butch and Sundance, but the guys behind the Nigerian e-mail fraud.

Go read this. Verisign is attempting to monopolize the market in lapsed domain names, and we've seen just what lousy proprietors they can be.

Posted by Linkmeister at 05:09 PM | Comments (2)

July 16, 2002

When Worlds Collide

Ezrael might appreciate the irony here: Sci-fi and sci-fact are merging more quickly than ever before. For those art history majors out there (to quote Click and Clack), here's an astronomer who's pinpointed the exact date on which Van Gogh painted "White House at Night", using the star depicted in the painting as his guide. Continuing in the art/science commingling vein, here's an explanation for the classic melodramatic faint (see Mystery backgrounds on PBS). I have to say, science takes much of the amusement out of the visual. Moving from science to culture, anyone interested in Inuit history as told by its owners? Here's a little more culture (in its broadest sense): need an uncontested divorce? Read this.

Hey, Bunny, shouldn't you work at the new espionage museum? Should you do so, however, do not fall afoul of new legislation approved yesterday by the House; if the Senate agrees, hackers may get life sentences. It's all part of something called the Cyber Security Enhancement Act. In less worrisome news, if this story is to be believed, the White House press corps is finally beginning to question the quality of the gruel Fleischer et. al. has been feeding it for nearly two years. Oh, and with its lawsuit against Cheney and Halliburton, it turns out that Judicial Watch is apparently an equal opportunity gadfly.

Finally there's this piece of idiocy: the culture wars are now embroiling poor Sesame Street. Rep. Billy Tauzin has apparently written a letter to PBS demanding to know if it plans to introduce an HIV-positive character on the American version of the show, and suggesting it probably shouldn't happen. Nice implicit threat contained in the letter, too: "Daily Variety said Tauzin's letter gave Mitchell until Friday to answer such questions as the amount of money PBS dedicates to "Sesame Street," how much is being earmarked for the new Muppet..." Gosh, Mr. Congressman, aren't there a few more important items on your agenda right now?

Posted by Linkmeister at 04:05 PM | Comments (2)

July 15, 2002

Truckers into Smokeys?

This smacks more of Stalinist Russia than the United States of America; a DOJ program called TIPS hopes to enlist ordinary citizens in its attempts to thwart terrorism. Sounds fine in theory, but the practice could easily devolve into a nation of informants. So says the WashPost in a Friday editorial. (Thanks to Michele for posting something about this).

Here's the only public information currently available, if the Post can be believed:

"Operation TIPS - the Terrorism Information and Prevention System - will be a nationwide program giving millions of American truckers, letter carriers, train conductors, ship captains, utility employees, and others a formal way to report suspicious terrorist activity." Further: "Operation TIPS, a project of the U.S. Department of Justice, will begin as a pilot program in 10 cities that will be selected.

"Operation TIPS, involving 1 million workers in the pilot stage, will be a national reporting system that allows these workers, whose routines make them well-positioned to recognize unusual events, to report suspicious activity. Every participant in this new program will be given an Operation TIPS information sticker to be affixed to the cab of their vehicle or placed in some other public location so that the toll-free reporting number is readily available.

"Everywhere in America, a concerned worker can call a toll-free number and be connected directly to a hotline routing calls to the proper law enforcement agency or other responder organizations when appropriate."

That's it, folks. That's the entire content of government-provided information about this new program. Turn in your neighbor now.

Posted by Linkmeister at 04:38 PM | Comments (2)

July 14, 2002

Baker Street Irregulars

As a preface to this, I should say that I was 14 when I got a copy of The Complete Sherlock Holmes, and I still have it. I've been a fan forever.

Batty made a remark in her comments which contained sufficient mystery for it to remind me of the Giant Rat of Sumatra, a tale mentioned in the Sherlock Holmes story The Sussex Vampire; the kicker in the story was the description of the events surrounding the rat as "a tale for which the world is not yet prepared." Upon investigation, there are no fewer than 930 listings in a Google search which contain the words "Giant Rat of Sumatra" in some order. I couldn't resist looking up some of them, and I found these. Additionally, the Firesign Theatre titled one of their later albums after the beast; I had thought I was familiar with their work, but that record was new to me.

This is an intriguing suggestion linking the tale of the rat to a later Holmes case. A discussion of the mysterious critters which appear in the stories can be found here. Like audio? This is a list of many of the classic Basil Rathbone Holmes radio broadcasts, with links to Amazon and B&N where cassettes are available.

Here's a list of cases mentioned in the tales but left untold, and for those who want pastiches, see this list.

Posted by Linkmeister at 10:07 PM | Comments (0)

Photojournalists galore!

Remember all those "Day in the Life" photo books which came out about ten years ago? Well, Patti proposed a similar project for today within her circle of blogging friends, and the issue has been what in Wall Street parlance would be called oversubscribed. She's got a whole list of participants and links to their sites posted here or here. There are some really fun pictures posted, from everyday food items on up. To borrow from Patti's blog tagline, "I Must" get a digital camera and USB card soon!

Now back to putting a new seal into the toilet and snaking the kitchen sink...rats.

Posted by Linkmeister at 01:32 PM | Comments (2)

July 12, 2002

Trials and tribulations

The nice voice on the answering machine yesterday told me that the prospective trial I might have had to sit for was cancelled; no reason given, which I find annoying. What? Plea-bargained, charges dropped? What? Ah well.

From Mr. Bush's speech in Minneapolis yesterday: "the bottom line and this corporate America stuff, is that important?" Like father, like son? I hear echoes of "the vision thing."

Here's Sports Illustrated columnist Tom Verducci on the All-Star Game fiasco.

For those MeFi readers who feel disenchanted, he feels your pain.

Posted by Linkmeister at 04:00 PM | Comments (2)

July 11, 2002


This is disturbing, even though much of it is not really unexpected; it's USA Today's take on Web use by terrorist organizations.

If you wander through urban downtowns and see odd-looking graffiti, it may no longer be gang tagging; it may, in fact, be the geeky equivalent of hobos marking houses offering free or cheap food during the Depression. Here's a brief description of the WiFi phenomenon known as "warchalking." What interested me was the apparent adoption of this "marginally legal" idea by Utah's CIO. Another fascinating idea about which I was clueless: the insertion of pop culture characters into PC game software. Barney in a Nazi game? How weird is that?

I remember hearing about the Canadian government's attempts to preserve local culture a few years back; I thought then they were at risk of becoming (gasp) French-like! Amazon's new Canadian site has just been deemed acceptable, no doubt reluctantly.

Here's a different culture entirely, with a short background. I have no idea where/how I found Corante, but I find it interesting. It bills itself as an independent news service; it basically does what I do, except that it has a staff of people to do it. It scans many different news sources, finds articles which fit into several über-categories, and puts up a blurb with a link to the original source. Since two of the categories (Biotech and Venture Cap) are ones I look at daily for clients, I find it useful. I also find it amusing that easily half the time the articles they cite are ones I've already seen in my reading. However, it also has categories I don't ordinarily look at, which is broadening. Anyway, it has its uses.

Posted by Linkmeister at 03:49 PM | Comments (0)

July 10, 2002

(Don't) Play Ball!

Dear Mssrs. Selig, Torre and Brenly,

Could you have found no other solution to your pitcher shortage last night than cancellation of the game? Each of the 41,871 people in the stands had paid up to $175 ($175!!) for a ticket to watch; and the only thing you could come up with was "Oops, sorry?" If this is the kind of leadership you intend to exhibit in the current labor negotiations, you'll be lucky to have a quarter of the fan base left once a deal is made. That was bold decision-making, that was.

(For more on this debacle from better writers than I, go see Michele, Todd, and Stacy).

On to other things: to broaden your link list (like it needs it?), here's a highly subjective list of blogs from The Guardian.

Oh, the inner side of my forearm now has a distinct similarity to Gorbachev's port-wine stain.

Posted by Linkmeister at 05:01 PM | Comments (8)

July 09, 2002

Regs? What regs?

I've been wondering when the chapter and verse about Eric Shaeffer's departure from his job as chief enforcement officer at EPA would come. Now it has. (Link lifted from Lavonne, with thanks).

It appears that in his prior life, Mr. Bush too felt that being a corporate director meant never having to conform to SEC rules. He seems to be guilty of oversight, at least. I liked the quote from some aide: "It's like doing 60 in a 55mph zone," implying that everyone does it. Well, let's see. If there are 10,000 publicly-held corporations in the country, and each has nine directors, that would be 90,000 potential cases like his. Last I looked, there were about 287.5 million people in the country. That would mean that there are 286,410,000 people who are not doing it. Voodoo math, Mr. Bush?

Posted by Linkmeister at 03:05 PM | Comments (3)

July 08, 2002

Mixed media

Digital art memorializes September 11; it can be found here. It's quite something; reminiscent in some ways of the Vietnam Memorial. For more frivolous thoughts, perhaps you should renegotiate your contract with the television content purveyors.

Revitalize the prison system of rehabilitation through education; how often have we heard this? In Ireland it appears to be working. Other examples of technology in use: a profile of Netflix.

Posted by Linkmeister at 04:18 PM | Comments (0)

July 07, 2002

The Scales of Justice

Here's the drill for jury pool summonses: you get the notice and you're told to call the night before your scheduled appearance for a recorded message, which will tell you whether it's still on for the following day or not. So I called tonight after 5:00pm, as instructed, and listened for the message pertaining to my group (J, not W, regrettably; it would have been fun to be on the Group W bench). The appearance is postponed until Friday, which means I have to call for the recording again Thursday evening. I remember this from ten years ago; plenty of "hurry up and wait," as the Army puts it. American justice can run extremely slowly, even on the administrative side.

Also, do not pick up flimsy plastic dinner trays from a baking sheet after they've been heating at 350 degrees for a half-hour, particularly if they have a main dish in gravy. They may splash and burn your wrist.

Posted by Linkmeister at 08:31 PM | Comments (6)

July 06, 2002

They were giants

In two days America has lost three of its finest citizens to age: Ted Williams, baseball player par excellence; John Frankenheimer, an extraordinary filmmaker; and Gen. Benjamin O. Davis, leader of the Tuskegee Airmen.

Mr. Williams passed away on Friday, thus the newspapers have had time to publish many tributes, in New York, Washington, and especially Boston.

General Davis and Frankenheimer both died today; you can expect to see many stories about them in tomorrow's papers. The US Air Force official bio for General Davis is so matter-of-fact as to be terse; the AP is not much better about Mr. Frankenheimer's career.

Posted by Linkmeister at 04:05 PM | Comments (1)

July 04, 2002

I Declare

June 14, 1777 - The Continental Congress passed the first Flag Act stating, Resolved, That the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain [George III] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Posted by Linkmeister at 09:14 AM | Comments (6)

July 03, 2002

Holiday food

So what's it to be on the Fourth, folks, slow-cooked low-heat barbeque or quick-cooked high-heat grilling? Somehow I've missed living in locations which have heated debates about the authenticity of their particular version of BBQ, so I'm open for whatever tastes good. Beef brisket, pork shoulder, tomato-based sauce, whatever. If grilling, then what? Steaks, dogs and burgers, chicken, tofu? What goes with? Coleslaw, potato salad, ears of corn? Who's got favorite 4th of July menus out there?

Posted by Linkmeister at 09:15 AM | Comments (9)

July 02, 2002


Goodness; I hope the authors of this report about Arab life are wearing shields; they are going to need them. It always hurts worse to be criticized from within, and the authors are all Arab.

The Cheney Presidency. Who knew it packed this much into such a brief period? More Administration news: you can now report "government mismanagement and waste" on the White House and/or OMB sites, opening a feature called "The Wastebasket" there. My suggestion? Tell Mitch Daniels that the whole idea of National Missile Defense seems to be very wasteful, especially after the arrest of Mr. Padilla and the alleged dirty bomb plot.

When BlogCon was first proposed, there was much hilarity about the possibility of "real-time blogging" the event; right now, a lady named Donna Wentworth is "real-time blogging the many high-level discussions and lectures currently happening at the Berkman Center's Internet Law Program." Lots of interesting topics, including NPR's linking policy (and, by extension, copyright), ICANN, and Napster.

Posted by Linkmeister at 03:41 PM | Comments (2)

July 01, 2002

Grumble, grumble

Once again, the Administration shows more interest in principal rather than principle. "Women's rights in places like Afghanistan are important to me, as long as they don't offend the right wing of my party" appears to be the message here. I'm reminded of the late Senator Tsongas' line in the primaries in 1992, when he called Bill Clinton a "pander bear." In another example of pandering, the textbook publishing industry is apparently cowed by Texas conservatives.

The Administration also appears conflicted about business ethics; at the same time Mr. Bush is railing against corporate fraud, the EPA has cut funds to continue Superfund cleanup and abandoned one of its guiding principles: "polluter pays." The idea was that the industries which created the mess should be taxed to clean it up; after the "Republican revolution" in 1995, those taxes were discontinued.

Posted by Linkmeister at 03:23 PM | Comments (2)