Various bits of flotsam that washed up on our computers, before we moved to a better blog system in November 2004. Now a repository for YouTube videos and testing new tools. Go to for more recent content.

Friday, July 30, 2004

Airport Express on Ethernet network

Configuring AirPort Express on a wired-only Ethernet network:
Even though AirPort Express includes a fully-functional wireless access point, it's totally legit to use it on a wired-only network for its print server and music streaming features. When setting up for a wired-only environment, you could get a bit confused by the fact that AirPort Express Assistant refuses to hook you up. This is because AirPort Express Assistant will only connect wirelessly from a computer that has a wireless card. Don't worry -- you just need to use AirPort Admin Utility instead, as shown here.

instructions here

Tom Ridge, pauper

as noted by the econ prof I never had by virtue of attending U of Texas instead of Berkeley, Brad DeLong,

Tom Ridge Is Leaving the Administration: Archive Entry From Brad DeLong's Webjournal:
A nice catch from Jeffrey Dubner of The American Prospect. Tom Ridge is not leaving the administration to spend more time with his family; he is leaving the administration to spend more money on his family:

TAPPED: July 2004 Archives: STANDARD OF LIVING. I've got no speculation as to the reason Tom Ridge has made it public that he's likely to step down from his post as Secretary of Homeland Security after the November election. But the given explanation seems a bit off-message for the Bush-Cheney reelect campaign:

Ridge, 58, has explained to colleagues that he needs to earn money to comfortably put his two children, Tommy Jr. and Lesley, through college, officials said. Both are now teenagers. Ridge earns $175,700 a year as a Cabinet secretary.

Ridge doesn't need to spend more time with his family -- he just needs to spend more money on his family. Even Ridge's salary, which on its own puts his family among the top 5 percent of household incomes, isn't enough to pay for college. So much for the idea that families would "start to see some relief on the tuition front."

yes, the tears are about to flow any second. Wait for them. In the interim, Mr. Ridge should start placing money in Vegas, picking when next the "Terror Alert" will be change to some darker, more sinister shade. I would guess somewhere in late October, or even early November.

GM Alternative Media to Starcom

General Motors Corp. has named Starcom, Chicago, to handle its roughly $30 million out-of-home advertising media-buying account, the automaker said. See story at

Starcom, part of Publicis Groupe's Starcom MediaVest Group, prevailed in a review, beating out the incumbent, Interpublic Group of Cos.' GM MediaWorks, Detroit, a spokeswoman said. She wouldn't disclose whether other agencies participated.

GM put the account up for review because the automaker intends to step up spending on outdoor advertising moving forward, the spokeswoman said. There are no plans to put up for review the national media and print buying work handled by GM MediaWorks.

Starcom's scale and expertise in outdoor put it over the top, the spokeswoman said.

The spokeswoman wouldn't disclose outdoor spending. An executive familiar with the automaker pegged it at $25 million to $30 million for core brands. GM spent $7.9 million on outdoor advertising last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR

Starcom sibling GM Planworks handles media planning for GM.

Message: I care

I guess they were out of cake.
Reuters News Article:
A campaign worker for President Bush said on Thursday American workers unhappy with low-quality jobs should find new ones -- or pop a Prozac to make themselves feel better.

"Why don't they get new jobs if they're unhappy -- or go on Prozac?" said Susan Sheybani, an assistant to Bush campaign spokesman Terry Holt.

The comment was apparently directed to a colleague who was transferring a phone call from a reporter asking about job quality, and who overheard the remark.

When told the Prozac comment had been overheard, Sheybani said: "Oh, I was just kidding."

those Bushies, so compassionate, so caring, such kidders.

Sandy Berger - Berger Cleared of Withholding Material From 9/11 Commission:
Officials looking into the removal of classified documents from the National Archives by former Clinton National Security Adviser Samuel Berger say no original materials are missing and nothing Mr. Berger reviewed was withheld from the commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

I guess apologies will be forthcoming from all the rabid-republicans, right? [cricket-related-sounds]

However, why would Berger bother to take the documents? Did any of these documents subsequently get leaked to the press? or were they for his personal archive for a future memoir? Did he think false allegations in the actual 9/11 report could be rebutted by the documents he took? I'm still confused to Mr. Berger's motives.

Archives spokeswoman Susan Cooper said officials there "are confident that there aren't any original documents missing in relation to this case." She said in most cases, Mr. Berger was given photocopies to review, and that in any event officials have accounted for all originals to which he had access.

Late last year, archives personnel called in investigators when some classified materials were discovered missing after Mr. Berger reviewed them in response to a 9/11 Commission request for Clinton-era national-security records. Staff members became suspicious that Mr. Berger had removed items during a first visit, and on a second visit secretly numbered copies given to him and determined afterward that not all had been returned. By some accounts, Mr. Berger had been observed by the staff stuffing papers into his clothing, although Mr. Berger's lawyer, Lanny Breuer, has denied that.

Very odd story.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

SBC still sucks ass

Received this email today:

Dear Customer:

We were unable to submit your web hosting charge to the Billing Telephone Number that you provided as your method of payment. What we show is not a valid local telephone number in our SBC region.

Your Billing Telephone Number, xxx-xxx-xxxx, has been found invalid against the following line items:


Please contact our office as soon as possible so that we may update your billing information. Please remember that if you would like your web hosting charges added to your phone bill, the billing number MUST be a 13 digit valid line in our SBC region (no cell phone #'s).

If you choose to pay with credit card you may add this yourself by going to "Change Credit Card" in your Control Panel, (Edit Account Info screen). All fields must be filled in with the required information (first name of cardholder, last name of cardholder, credit card number, etc.) The credit card information will be immediately updated.
SBC Internet Services, Inc.
888-WEB-HOST (932-4678)

Now, last summer (June 03 or maybe July 03- that is, ALMOST A FREAKING YEAR AGO), our DSL provider,, folded up their offices in Chicago. We then were suckers, and signed up for a SBC Webhosting account. After about 2 weeks of back and forth with tech support, and multiple emails/calls with various marketing and tech support people, we got the account to work, sort of. The upload/download speed was atrocious, and the pop3 email was horribly flaky: frequently would time out, or fail to connect at all. After another week or so, we canceled our account, and even took it a step further, and canceled our local phone service to move everything to a fractionated T1 line with Allegiance Telecom. We had a little problem with a lightning strike-electric spike ruining our first modem, but in general, have been very happy with ALGX.

SBC can kiss my ass. I guess I have to go through my old Amex bills to see if I have been charged at any time in the last year for some phantom SBC hosting account. I wouldn't put it past them.

Update from some snotty SBC rep called Erica J.

To cancel an account we must receive written authorization from the contact e-mail address on file. Such a request to cancel was not recieved until today, thus the account has been canceled effective today, 7/29/03.

Unless a request to cancel has been received we continue to renew the contract automatically for the initial term specified by the customer. This is what has occured. Our renewal procedures were provided to you when this account was first created. I have included an excerpt for your review:


"2.3 Renewal term(s). If Account Holder wishes to terminate the Services at the end of the Initial Term or any subsequent Renewal Terms, notice of intent to terminate must be given in written form faxed to: 561-999-8215 or emailed from email contact account to at least 30 days prior to the termination date. Neither U.S. mail nor phone notification shall be acceptable. If Account Holder fails to notify SBC of its intent not to renew, this Agreement will be automatically renewed for a period equal to the Initial Term ("Renewal Term") at SBC's then-current rates and charges."

I have done a who-is look-up on your domain name and found that your hosting service is no longer pointing to our servers:

Domain Name: xxx
Updated Date: 08-jun-2004
Creation Date: 02-sep-1999
Expiration Date: 02-sep-2009

However, please be advised that moving your services to another provider does not automatically cancel your previous hosting services. We are not notified that such changes have been made if not by the customer themselves.

Your account was on a month to month contract. Please be advised that there are no refunds offered for accounts canceled after the renewal date. This account last renewed on 7/09/04. No credit will be issued.

If you have a copy of a previous request to cancel, complete with headers, please forward us a copy for review. Once we verify when the cancellation request was originally sent we will gladly issue any necissary credit due.

Otherwise, without written documentation of a previously requested cancellation, we can not offer credit for previous months.

Cancellation/Refund Policy Link:

You currently have an open invoices for this account.

You will need to contact our Customer Service Department to make payment:

(888) 932-4678 option 2
Monday-Friday 8:00a.m. to 11:00p.m. EST

Ain't that a bitch! So, even though I cancelled my SBC in May (I looked it up) of last year, I'm liable, in SBC's minds at least, for calling them, waiting on hold, and so forth. Dream on. I want to work at SBC's data center, that sounds like a slacker's job by any definition of the word.

Obama and Durbin

Another reason I'm living in Illinois and not Texas is that my Senators are going to be Dick Durbin and Barack Obama. Now, if only Danny Davis could denounce his Moony folly, and return to being a centrist Democrat, I'd be happy. In Austin, there was Lloyd Doggett, and and and, well Ann Richards used to be Governor, even though she wasn't really all that liberal.

Anyway, from TalkLeft, one of the good lawyers....
TalkLeft: Interviewing Senators:
"Wednesday night, just before John Edwards spoke, a group of bloggers were invited to interview Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL). We jumped at the chance since we think Durbin has introduced some of the best legislation in the past year and opposed some of the worst.

He has been a strong critic of the Patriot Act. He introduced an anti-torture amendmant. He co-sponsored the Civil Liberties Restoration Act. He fought for (and lost) proposed amendments to Sen. Feinstein and Hatch's terrible Anti-Gang bill.

Durbin has been in the forefront of the fight to protect our civil liberties. "

I led off, first commenting on how much I appreciated his legislative efforts, and asked him if he thought John Kerry would be a strong defender of our rights and liberties, and how John Kerry would differ from Bush in this area. His answer was that the biggest difference between John Kerry and George Bush would be in their judicial selections. Judges are lifetime appointees. Their impact can last 40 years or more. Kerry will preserve the independence of the judiciary and appoint highly qualified judges. We must take back our courts.

Needless to say, this was music to my ears. Senator Durbin's expressed these views very forcefully. He sits on the Judiciary Committee. It's a view TalkLeft shares, and has expressed many times. See, for example, here and here.

Byron of Burnt Orange Report asked Durbin about Obama. Durbin had nothing but praise for him. Ezra of Pandagon noted that Durbin had served on the Judiciary Committee with John Edwards, and asked him what he thought of Edwards' work on the Committee. Durbin said Edwards was great on the Committee because he had such a direct and insightful way of asking questions and getting to the heart of the matter very quickly, probably a skill he developed in his trial practice. American Amnesia asked a question about foreign policy. Natasha of Pacific Views asked a question about farmers and big agricultural companies.

Durbins' answers to all questions were excellent.

Sibel Edmonds investigation

Whistle-Blowing Said to Be Factor in F.B.I. Firing
A classified investigation has concluded that an F.B.I. translator was dismissed in part because she said that the bureau had poorly translated important terror documents.

A classified Justice Department investigation has concluded that a former F.B.I. translator at the center of a growing controversy was dismissed in part because she accused the bureau of ineptitude, and it found that the F.B.I. did not aggressively investigate her claims of espionage against a co-worker.

The Justice Department's inspector general concluded that the allegations by the translator, Sibel Edmonds, "were at least a contributing factor in why the F.B.I. terminated her services," and the F.B.I. is considering disciplinary action against some employees as a result, Robert S. Mueller III, director of the bureau, said in a letter last week to lawmakers. A copy of the letter was obtained by The New York Times.

Ms. Edmonds worked as a contract linguist for the F.B.I. for about six months, translating material in Turkish, Persian and Azerbaijani. She was dismissed in 2002 after she complained repeatedly that bureau linguists had produced slipshod and incomplete translations of important terrorism intelligence before and after the Sept. 11 attacks. She also accused a fellow Turkish linguist in the bureau's Washington field office of blocking the translation of material involving acquaintances who had come under F.B.I. suspicion and said the bureau had allowed diplomatic sensitivities with other nations to impede the translation of important terrorism intelligence.

The Edmonds case has proved to be a growing concern to the F.B.I. because it touches on three potential vulnerabilities for the bureau: its ability to translate sensitive counterterrorism material, its treatment of internal "whistle-blowers," and its classification of sensitive material that critics say could be embarrassing to the bureau.

The Justice Department has imposed an unusually broad veil of secrecy on the Edmonds case, declaring details of her case to be a matter of "state secrets." The department has blocked her from testifying in a lawsuit brought by families of Sept. 11 victims, it has retroactively classified briefings Congressional officials were given in 2002, and it has classified the inspector general's entire report on its investigation into her case. As a result, groups promoting government openness have accused the Justice Department of abusing the federal procedures in place for classifying sensitive material.

iPod in car

Jeez, now I have to change my car stereo to an Alpine too?
Seriously, this sounds like a cool toy.

Alpine Electronics of America, Inc. - iPod:
"Now you wonder how you could ever live without an iPod after owning one. What if there was an even better way of cruising to your tunes? Introducing the KCA-420i, the best in-vehicle interface adapter which allows you to cruise to your iTunes™! Simply use the KCA-420i to plug in your *iPod or iPod mini into a compatible 2004 Alpine Ai-NET head unit, and voilà! Get ready to groove to your iPod in your car.
KCA-420i, Target Retail Price $100.00
Availability: Late September"

Bloody Mary

From the Chicago Magazine, we read....

"A patron at the Ambassador East Hotel in the 1960s ordered a Bloody Mary, and when it arrived without the usual swizzle stick, he grabbed a stalk of celery from the relish tray to stir his drink. The drink has come a long way since then. Now John des Rosiers, executive chef of Bank Lane Bistro (670 N. Bank Lane, Lake Forest; 847-234-8802) and South Gate Café (655 Forest Ave., Lake Forest; 847-234-8800), has concocted an heirloom tomato Bloody Mary with 25 ingredients including veal stock, horseradish, a variety of trendy tomatoes, and, yes, a celery stalk."

This Land is My Land, biatch

The political flash movie, making the email/blog rounds recently, has stirred up a wee bit of acrimony...
Wired News: Sue You: This Song Is Our Song:
In the wake of their short's popularity, which began soon after its July 9 Web release and has been punctuated by appearances and mentions on almost every major U.S. news show, the brothers found themselves in a legal skirmish with Ludlow Music, which, Ludlow attorney Paul LiCalsi said, owns the copyright to Guthrie's famous tune.

Ludlow Music is a unit of music publisher The Richmond Organization. JibJab Media, the proper name of the Spiridellises' company, never got permission to use Guthrie's song in This Land, and Ludlow Music is telling them to pull down the short.

About a week ago, the brothers were served with a cease-and-desist order on behalf of Ludlow Music, demanding they remove This Land from their website. LiCalsi said Ludlow has not filed a lawsuit yet against JibJab and hopes to resolve the case without taking that step.

and from Mr. Guthrie, himself, this comment...

And what would Guthrie, who died in 1967, think of JibJab's use of his song? If a message reportedly written at the bottom of one of his songbook pages in the 1930s is any indication, it's possible he wouldn't mind.

According to various Internet sources, including the website of the Museum of Musical Instruments in Santa Cruz, California, Guthrie allegedly wrote, "This song is copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright #154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ourn, cause we don't give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that's all we wanted to do."

Harmony vs Apple - Apple Blasts RealNetworks As Music War Heats Up:
Apple Computer Inc. blasted rival RealNetworks Inc. and said it is investigating the legal implications of Real's recent move to begin selling songs in a special format Apple uses for its popular iPod player.

In a brief press release Thursday morning, Apple said: "We are stunned that RealNetworks has adopted the tactics and ethics of a hacker to break into the iPod." Apple also cautioned RealNetworks and its customers that "when we update our iPod software from time to time it is highly likely that Real's Harmony technology will cease to work with current and future iPods. "

What did Real think Apple's response would be? Oh, fine, reverse engineer us, we don't mind that you are stealing sales from our store. Come on. I smell a lawsuit brewing here.

However, Real's swipe at Apple was seen as possibly running into legal problems, even ahead of Apple's statement Thursday. A 1998 federal law, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, prohibits the "circumvention" of copy-protection technologies, the digital locks used to prevent piracy of everything from DVDs to electronic books to songs purchased over the Internet. Legal experts say RealNetworks may run afoul of the law if it had to crack Apple's copy-protection software to figure out how it works.

Wouldn't that be a trip? And the ex-executive of Real is now a Senator, Maria Cantwell. I wonder if she voted for or against the Digital Millennium Copyright bullshit?

Now playing in iTunes: Woodgrain, from the album Enhanced EP by Wilco (released 2003)

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Mossberg on Sony's iPod challenger

I can't remember a review in which Mr. Mossberg is quite so harsh, especially to such a major player as Sony. But, I'm quite happy with my new iPod anyway. - The Mossberg Solution:
For my test, I used a very modest collection of 431 standard MP3 files. SonicStage 2 refused to transfer 15 of the files, posting a nonsensical error message. After that, it took an agonizingly long two hours and 13 minutes to transfer the remaining 416 tracks to the Walkman. By contrast, Apple's iTunes software transferred all 431 songs to an iPod in about four minutes.

Also, the Sony software stores a shadow copy of your music library on your hard disk in ATRAC3 format, so the tracks don't ever have to be converted again, but this takes up much more hard-disk space than iTunes requires.

And, unlike the iPod and other hard-disk players, the new Walkman can't be recharged, or connected to a computer, directly. You have to first place it in a cradle, which has the connectors for the charging and computer cables. That means you have to carry the cradle on trips. And, even with the cradle, the Walkman can't draw power from a computer for recharging, as the iPod can. You have to plug the cradle into an electrical outlet.

But the Walkman's biggest weakness is its lousy user interface, which is dense and confusing. The SonicStage 2 software and the Connect music store are also badly designed. This is because, for all its historic brilliance in designing hardware, Sony stinks at software.

For instance, while the Walkman's tiny screen shows lists of artists, albums and genres, it can't display a list of all your songs. And neither Katie nor I could figure out how to make it shuffle through the entire song library, even after poring through the 45-page manual. Two Sony officials gave us conflicting advice.
On top of all that, Sony's marketing claims for the new hard-disk Walkman are over the top. The company claims the player can store up to 13,000 songs. But that's only if you use a very low-quality standard, 48 kilobits per second, which reduces audio quality. In fact, the new Walkman holds the same 5,000 songs as the 20 gigabyte iPod when you use a quality level roughly comparable to the default on the iPod.

If you love the Sony name, or the Walkman's size and design, or if you regularly take flights lasting more than 12 hours, you might be willing to pay $100 more for this new Walkman over an iPod. But, for everybody else, until Sony fixes the multitude of sins in this product, steer clear of it.

HP Laserjet 4550 N

My HP Laserjet 4550N is refusing to print, and prints reams and reams of paper before every job. Every once and a while I get "49.2FD3 Service Error".
Piece o' crap! Incredibly inconsistent behavior. Mac OS X Panther 10.34, Windows XP, and even directly from the printer menu: all exhibit the same symptoms.

update: workaround here

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Atrios outed

According to Tom Tomorrow and corrente, Atrios is Duncan BlackMedia Matters for America:
Duncan B. Black holds a PhD in economics from Brown University. He has held teaching and research positions at the London School of Economics; the Université catholique de Louvain; the University of California, Irvine; and, recently, Bryn Mawr College. He also has been involved with grassroots political activism. Black is a Senior Fellow at Media Matters for America.

Not that it really matters, but still


I've been getting Word of the Day emails since 1995; there are a lot of words I still don't know, such as....devoir (duh-VWAR) noun

1. Duty; responsibility.

2. An act of respect or courtesy.

[From Middle English devoir (duty), from Old French, from Latin debere
(to owe). Ultimately from Indo-European root ghebh- (to give or receive)
that is also the forefather of such words as give, have, endeavor, handle,
able, and duty.]

As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both
instances there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged.
And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the
air - however slight - lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.
-William O. Douglas, judge (1898-1980)


Monday, July 26, 2004

AirTunes tip

Actually, I discovered this tip myself while hooking up an iPod to my stereo several months ago. At first, I just thought that the iPod wasn't strong enough, and just turned the bass way down. Eventually I figured out that if I used the Tape 1 input (because, being honest, when is the last time I even used the freaking thing), I got a much improved sound. Anyway, from AppleUsing AirPort Express with the Phono jack on your stereo:
Do your AirTunes sound funny when you connect AirPort Express to the Phono (or phonograph) input jack on your stereo? Well, it should! This is because many record turntables produce a very low signal. Consequently, most stereos are designed to boost the Phono channel.

When you connect a normal line level device to a Phono jack using an analog cable, the resulting sound may be distorted, too loud, or have too much low end boost.

To avoid this, simply connect AirPort Express to another jack such as CD, Tape 1, Tape 2, Video 2, AUX, DVD, or DAT.

Tip: This applies only when connecting AirPort Express via analog cables, not digital.

Web Worm

Hmmm, let me guess: this worm only targets Windows users, who also use Internet Explorer and/or Outlook. I see a better solution in my crystal ball: stop using Windows!

That is all

The New York Times > Technology > Web Worm Spreads, Slowing Online Search Sites:
A fast-spreading computer worm that uses Web search sites to find victims made a broad assault on computers worldwide on Monday, causing problems for Google Inc. on the day it offered new details about its initial public offering, security experts said.

The spread of the worm, a variant of an Internet attack called MyDoom, was blamed for sporadic outages and slowdowns on Google -- the most popular search engine -- as well as the search sites of Yahoo and AltaVista.

The new MyDoom worm searches victims' computers as well as Internet search engines for e-mail addresses, and propagates itself by sending an infected file to the addresses it finds, security researchers said.


Congrats to Lance. I've driven countless hours along the highways in Central Texas surrounding Austin, and anyone ballsy enough to train there is ok, dope scandal or News | The greatest sports story ever told?:
For the sixth year in succession the Star-Spangled Banner sounded on the Champs-Elysées as he ascended the podium to accept the trophy and don the yellow jersey under the eye of his girlfriend Sheryl Crow, the rock singer, who not only followed him around the race but accompanied him on the weeks of training runs with which he reconnoitred the course in the spring. His friend Robin Williams, the actor, was also at hand.

Although Armstrong, who lives most of the year in Spain, has pointedly expressed his disapproval of George Bush's foreign policy, the president, a fellow Texan, yesterday called him to congratulate him on behalf of the nation. "You're awesome," he told him.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Coors Lite

Hey, watery domestic Senator candidate as well as brewmeister, Peter Coors looks suddenly like a long shot......Road Is Bumpy for Coors's Senate Bid (
The beer baron has come across as ill-informed and unprepared on national issues. "Coors light on facts," declared a Denver Post headline after one campaign appearance.

In his TV ads, Coors calls for more federal tax cuts and a balanced federal budget. Asked how he would reconcile those two goals, he replied: "That's probably a fair question, but I just don't have an answer for you."

In a debate, the wily Schaffer demanded to know whether Coors agreed with Paul Martin on U.S.-Canadian trade. Coors fell right into the trap. "I'm not sure I know who Paul Martin is," he said warily. Schaffer pounced: "A U.S. senator needs to know who the prime minister of Canada is."

Even if he prevails in the Aug. 10 primary, however, Coors looks like an underdog in the fall campaign. State Attorney General Ken Salazar, a popular figure with statewide appeal, seems likely to win the Democratic Senate nomination. Polls show Salazar leading both Republican hopefuls in head-to-head matchups.

All of which reflects the stunning turnabout of Colorado's 2004 Senate race. A seat that was universally rated as a "safe Republican hold" at the beginning of this year has suddenly become a "likely Democratic gain" in most pundits' predictions.

The Republican incumbent, Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, seemed unbeatable until March, when he got snarled in a federal investigation of alleged financial kickbacks in his office. Citing health problems, Campbell abruptly dropped out of the race. Democratic leaders quickly settled on Salazar as their consensus choice.

The attorney general faces a challenge from newcomer Mike Miles in the Democratic primary, but polls suggest Salazar will take the nomination easily. The state's Republicans, in contrast, went through an embarrassing month as all their best-known prospects declined to run.

Schaffer's backers have also criticized a campaign ad in which Coors boasts that he moved up from floor sweeper to chairman of his company -- without mentioning that he inherited the top job from his father. Even worse, the campaign is caught in an ongoing squeeze involving the candidate, his family firm and social conservatives who are critical of the company.

Although he hesitated at first about backing the constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, Coors eventually endorsed the proposal -- a requisite stance in a GOP primary here. In response, Coors Brewing virtually accused Peter Coors of endorsing discrimination.

"We do not support discrimination against the gay-lesbian-bisexual-transgender community, via legislation or otherwise," the company said. Coors, the brewery, is now buying ads in gay newspapers to emphasize its disagreements with Coors, the candidate.

At the same time, social conservatives backing Schaffer are running TV ads that denounce candidate Coors because of the "degrading and nearly pornographic" ads that his company uses to sell beer to young men. The same ads argue that Coors's family firm has embraced "the homosexual agenda" with its financial support of gay organizations.

Criticized early in the campaign for his failure to take any stand on the war in Iraq, Coors eventually declared that he agrees with his opponent on all major issues. "It's the most unimaginative campaign message I've ever seen," Schaffer says. "So we looked for something where he had taken a position, and finally we found it."

As a beer salesman, Coors has regularly argued for lowering the drinking age. So, now, Schaffer is highlighting that stance. "The drinking age wouldn't normally be an issue in a Senate campaign, but it's what we've got," he says.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Good news

From John NicholsThe Online Beat:
"The American people appreciate being told the truth," announced Cynthia McKinney, as she and her cheering supporters celebrated what the former Georgia congresswoman described as "one of the greatest political comebacks in history."

Swept from office in a 2002 Democratic primary that saw thousands of Republicans cross party lines with the specific goal of defeating the woman whose fierce criticism of President Bush shocked Republicans and frightened timid Democrats, McKinney on Tuesday won the Democratic nod to retake her Atlanta-area seat. Running against a field of five other Democratic contenders that included a former Atlanta City Council president and a prominent state senator, McKinney stunned pundits by securing 51 percent of the vote in Tuesday's primary election.

Because she won more than 50 percent of the vote, McKinney will not have to face a run-off election against a more moderate Democrat. In an overwhelmingly Democratic district, McKinney's chances of returning to the Congress next January look exceptionally good.

And McKinney's got some issues she would like to discuss with her former colleagues -- and the American people.

"We've got to make America, America again," McKinney declared in a victory speech that echoed the themes of the poet Langston Hughes. "We've got to reject backsliding on civil rights and human rights. We've got to get our troops out of harm's way and bring them home. We've got to turn around this Bush economy and get the American people back to work. In fact, while we're at it, let's just turn the whole Bush administration around and install a new resident in the White House!"


Songaila should have gotten more minutes last year, but I suppose that wasn't my decision to make.
Yahoo! News - Lithuanian star re-signs with NBA Kings
"Lithuanian free agent forward Darius Songaila re-signed with the Sacramento Kings, allowing the NBA team to retain a key member of their frontcourt lineup."

Friday, July 23, 2004

Friday afternoon surprise

Interesting. I wonder what will turn up in these records? Why not wait till Monday to release them?The New York Times > National > Pentagon Releases Bush's 1972 Military Records:
The Pentagon on Friday released newly discovered payroll records from President Bush's 1972 service in the Alabama National Guard, though the records shed no new light on the future president's activities during that summer.

A Pentagon official said the earlier contention that the records were destroyed was an ``inadvertent oversight.''

Like records released earlier by the White House, these computerized payroll records show no indication Bush drilled with the Alabama unit during July, August and September of 1972. Pay records covering all of 1972, released previously, also indicated no guard service for Bush during those three months.

The records do not give any new information about Bush's National Guard training during 1972, when he transferred to the Alabama National Guard unit so he could work on the U.S. Senate campaign of a family friend. The payroll records do not say definitively whether Bush attended training that summer because they are maintained separately from attendance records.

and from the Times cryptology department....

(SUBS grafs 4-5, The records, and 9, Records of, to correct that dispute is over how much time Bush served, sted whether fulfilled commitments, and ADD background)

All Music guide

AMG (AllMusicGuide) has finally updated their site, but damn is it slow!

That is all.

Convention notes from all over

Apparently, the New York Police Department is planning a real hoe-down for the Republican National Convention. No word on whether any delegates caught with hookers will be placed in solitary confinement.....NYPD Floats A Prison Ferry At Convention:
When Tom DeLay and the Republicans proposed spending the week of the Republican National Convention on a cruise liner in New York Harbor, they were laughed off the water.

A few months later, however, the New York Police Department was mulling its own harbor cruise—a free ride on the Staten Island Ferry for unruly convention protesters.

The NYPD considered turning the troubled commuter ferry into a prison barge for some of the thousands of activists who could be arrested during the convention. A police official approached the city’s Department of Transportation in May with the ferry plan, one city official said. And Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne confirmed that converting the ferry into a floating prison "was discussed as an option."

That the ferry plan was even considered attests to the sheer volume of arrests anticipated during the four days of the convention, which runs from Aug. 30 to Sept. 2 in Madison Square Garden. Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau and other law-enforcement officials have said that they will be ready to process as many as 1,000 arrests each day. That worst-case scenario would mark the largest set of mass arrests in America since May Day, 1971, when the last major protest of the Vietnam War ended with police and National Guardsmen herding 13,000 demonstrators onto the playing field at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium.

"There is the potential for mass arrests this time," said Miami Police Chief John Timoney, a former top official in the New York Police Department who was responsible for security at the Democratic National Convention here in 1992.

The behind-the-scenes scramble for prison space underlines the massive security challenges that face political conventions and other major American events, and it offers a glimpse at the sprawling set of preparations concealed behind those friendly ads starring Ed Koch and an elephant. Even as they scramble for jail space, officials are collecting antidotes to various poisons and studying the effects of a bomb blast on Madison Square Garden. They’re also setting up barriers in city streets and bringing in detectors for biological and chemical toxins.

Reefer Madness, part 96849

You mean, the government is politicizing research? How novel!

Yahoo! News - Scientists Say Marijuana Research Blocked
The government is violating federal law by obstructing medical marijuana research, scientists contend in lawsuits seeking faster action on applications to grow the drug.

In lawsuits to be filed Wednesday, researchers assert that Washington is refusing to act on legitimate research projects and delaying studies that could lead to marijuana's use as a prescription drug.

"There is an urgent need for an alternative supply of marijuana for medical research," said Lyle Craker, director of the Medicinal Plant Program at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, the main force behind the lawsuits.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the Health and Human Services (news - web sites) Department, "maintains a monopoly on research marijuana. Many researchers believe that NIDA's monopoly is an obstacle to getting needed studies done on a timely basis," Craker said in a statement.

The lawsuits, which target the Drug Enforcement Administration, HHS, NIDA and the National Institutes of Health, are being filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Joining Craker in filing the suit are Rick Doblin, president of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, and Valerie Corral, co-founder of the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana in Santa Cruz, Calif., who uses marijuana to control epileptic seizures.

"As a patient, each day brings new struggles," she said in a statement. "Instead of providing relief for critically ill Americans, our government refuses to allow the research that would free sick and dying members of our collective from living in fear of an administration that views medical assistance as criminal activity."

The case claims an unreasonable delay in acting on a three-year-old application by the University of Massachusetts-Amherst to grow marijuana for federally approved researchers.

Scientists also want the government to act on a year-old application by Chemic Laboratories in Canton, Mass., to import 10 grams of marijuana from Dutch authorities for research into a device called the Volcano Vaporizer. The device potentially offers a nonsmoking way to deliver the medicinal value of marijuana.

"Every day DEA delays the applications necessary to initiate research is another day that the patients with illnesses susceptible to treatment using marijuana must either suffer otherwise remediable pain, or risk arrest to use marijuana as medicine," said the scientists behind the suits.

Haymarket Contruction continues

2004-07-21 18-38-0901
Click for larger size.

They've torn up all the bricks out of the alleyway (I saved one as a memento), and are now hauling away dirt. I wonder when the street lights are scheduled to be removed (to be eventually replaced with 'vintage' street lamps)?

Bullshite junk fax law

I already get an average of 10 a week, none from companies I've ever done business with. If there was a way to prosecute, I'd be all for it. This seems like a step in the wrong direction....Wired News: Seven-Year Hitch for Junk Faxes:
A bill relaxing anti-junk-fax rules is close to becoming law, after the Senate Commerce Committee passed it without amendment or discussion on Thursday.

The Junk Fax Prevention Act of 2004, which passed the House on Tuesday, would reverse a pending FCC rule that would soon require businesses and individuals to have signed permission slips before sending a commercial fax advertisement.

That rule is slated to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2005.

The proposed change would let a business send faxes to customers for up to seven years after the last business transaction between the two parties unless a customer tells the company not to send such faxes.

Backers, including the politically powerful U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Realtors, call the bill a sensible measure that protects small businesses from an expensive regulation, while providing strong consumer-protection measures.

Critics, however, say the bill will lead to new barrage of fax advertising from legitimate businesses and allow unscrupulous junk-fax blasters to argue in court that they had been contacted by the individual years ago.

Lawrence Markey Jr., a staff attorney at the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, calls the bill the "Junk Fax Impunity Law."

Thursday, July 22, 2004


Collected Poems, volume 13:
We drum upon the stones
to release their time-honored energy
in an angry flutter of confused notes
A sing-song tongue of all tongues
teaching us impatiently in explosive primal!
understatement that -

 All thoughts remain known: but the words
are so musically muted as to be unintelligible ...
Proudly announcing their nakedness
they diffuse across vast fields of sky.
Igniting prairies of stars into silent raging fires;
consuming nothing except time
burning the ashes into light.

 And here in this sacred occasion to spin quicker
than the wheel of spring-fall
the swaying trees listen intently
Branches outstretched to clutch at
any drip of comprehension
we might carelessly fling aside
in our mindful and hurried extravagance.


Click for larger size.

I kept expecting Spiderman to swing into view.....

Wednesday, July 21, 2004


Now I'm just going to fill up my blog with Weiner-stand photos......

Haymarket Contruction begins

2004-07-21 18-39-0601
Click for larger size.

The Haymarket Riot memorial construction has finally commenced. See my livejournal for more details.


Wired News: Bono Moves to Preempt Thieves:
Irish rockers U2 will release their recently stolen album on Apple's iTunes music store if it shows up online, according to a report in the London Daily Telegraph.

An advance copy of U2's brand new album, which is not due in stores until November, was stolen last week at a photo shoot in the south of France.

The band is worried the new songs will be posted to file-sharing networks. If so, lead singer Bono has a plan:

"If it is on the Internet this week, we will release it immediately as a legal download on iTunes, and get hard copies into the shops by the end of the month," Bono told the paper.

Student Paper sources

Los Angeles Times: Bush Took Quote Out of Context, Researcher Says:
In a hotel conference room in Tampa, Fla., on Friday, Bush told law enforcement officials that Fidel Castro was brazenly promoting sex tourism to Cuba.

"The dictator welcomes sex tourism. Here's how he bragged about the industry," Bush said. "This is his quote: 'Cuba has the cleanest and most educated prostitutes in the world.' "

Asked about the source for the quote, White House officials provided a link to a 2001 paper, written by Trumbull, on the website of the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy.

At the time he wrote the paper, Trumbull was a Dartmouth College undergraduate, and the paper won a prize from the association as the best student paper of the year. Now a law student at Vanderbilt University, Trumbull does not remember the source for the wording of the Castro quote, which he did not footnote.

"I don't know why I don't have a footnote for that," said Trumbull, 24, who is clerking this summer for a federal judge in Puerto Rico. "That was before I was in law school and understood that you have to footnote everything."

Trumbull says the quote was probably a paraphrase of comments the Cuban leader made in 1992, which have been oft-repeated and seem to have taken on a life of their own.

But regardless of the exact wording, Trumbull says the president's speech misconstrued the meaning, which he says should have been clear from his paper.

"It shows that they didn't read much of the article," Trumbull said in a telephone interview.

According to Trumbull, who conducted field research in Cuba, prostitution boomed in the Caribbean nation after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, providing an important source of currency for the Cuban economy. Castro, who outlawed prostitution when he took power in 1959, initially had few resources to combat it. But beginning around 1996, Cuban authorities began to crack down on the practice.

Although prostitution still exists, Trumbull said, it is far less visible, and it would be inaccurate to say the government promotes it.

Even when Castro made the remarks, Trumbull said, he was not boasting about Cuba's prostitutes as sex workers.

"Castro was merely trying to emphasize some of the successes of the revolution by saying 'even our prostitutes our educated,' " Trumbull said. "Castro was trying to defend his revolution against negative publicity. He was in no way bragging about the opportunities for sex tourism on the island."

On Monday, administration officials acknowledged that they did not have a source for the wording of the president's citation other than Trumbull's paper. A White House spokeswoman defended the inclusion, arguing it expressed an essential truth about Cuba.

The State Department official later found the original quote, which he acknowledged was much less succinct than the president's version.

"There are hookers, but prostitution is not allowed in our country," Castro told Cuba's National Assembly in July 1992, according to a translation by the British Broadcasting Corp. "There are no women forced to sell themselves to a man, to a foreigner, to a tourist. Those who do so do it on their own, voluntarily…. We can say that they are highly educated hookers and quite healthy, because we are the country with the lowest number of AIDS cases."

Soldier Field

Soldier Field, eyesore of the future, is about to lose, rightfully so, its Landmark Status.
From the Chicago Trib
The National Park Service on Tuesday sent its recommendation to withdraw landmark status, the highest honor the government bestows on buildings and places, from the Chicago Park District, which owns the structure. Federal officials also recommended removing the venerable stadium from the National Register of Historic Places.

That was the first step in a monthslong process to decide whether the stadium will lose its historic designations, something historic preservationists warned would be triggered by the controversial $660 million renovation of the Bears' home.

Soldier Field "no longer retains its historic integrity," states a three-page report written by staff for the National Park System Advisory Board. "The futuristic new stadium bowl is visually incompatible with the classical colonnades and the perimeter wall of the historic stadium."

"During the process of new construction, many historic features and spaces were obliterated," it continues. "With the exception of the colonnades, exterior walls and a small seating area on the south end of the bowl, very little of the historic fabric remains."

The report now goes to the Advisory Board Landmarks Committee, which in September will make a recommendation to the full board, which will forward its recommendation to the U.S. secretary of the interior for a decision.


Isn't the point of drinking to get drunk? or at least alter one's reality a little? Makes sense to me, but then I have some German ancestry.
Yahoo! News - The Point of Drinking Is to Get Drunk?
The survey showed that 17 percent of German adults believe "the point of drinking is to get drunk." This was twice the proportion of adults in Britain who felt the same way.

"The fact that German adults are seemingly more inclined than the British to get drunk could help ease the British reputation for lavish drinking and an over-indulgent pub culture," Strutton said."

Haymarket starts

The City of Chicago has finally started working on the new Haymarket Memorial. They are busily tearing up the alley, street and sidewalk. I have a few snapshots that'll I'll post later.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Serious Downgrade

Uhhh, a serious downgrade for the Kings, even if Vlade was getting a little old. Ostertag just has no style at all, zilch, none, nada. Bleh! - NBA - Ostertag leaves Jazz, joins Kings after 9 years
Center Greg Ostertag signed with the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday, leaving the Utah Jazz after nine seasons. The terms of Ostertag's deal weren't immediately available. He signed with Sacramento on the same day center Vlade Divac left the Kings to rejoin the Los Angeles Lakers.

Greg Palast

From Greg Palast
Like Christopher Columbus blinking in shock at first seeing an American Indian, John Kerry has just discovered African-American voters.

On Thursday afternoon, Kerry landed at the NAACP convention, stepped off his slow-moving campaign boat and announced that he was exploring for one million missing Black voters.

Let me explain -- because the New York Times won't. In the 2000 elections, 1.9 million ballots were cast which were never counted --"spoiled" is the technical term. Ballots don't spoil because they are left out of the fridge. There's always a technical reason: a stray mark, or my favorite, from Gadsden County, Florida, writing in Al Gore's name instead of checking a box.

According to data from the US Civil Rights Commission and the Harvard University Law School Civil Rights Project, about half the nation's spoiled ballots -- one million -- were cast by Black folk. Just as African American communities get the worst schools, the worst hospitals, they also get dumped with the worst voting machines, which eat, mismark, mangle and void ballots.

Poof! A million Black votes gone, zapped, vanished.

And the nasty secret is that for years that suited many white leaders of local and state Democratic organizations -- Zell Miller of Georgia is a case in point -- who feared Black voters as much as they feared Republicans.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Chicago bike map

The summer 2004 edition of the Chicago Bike Map, identifying the best streets and off-street paths for bicycling in Chicago, is now available. The free maps can be requested by calling the Chicago Department of Transportation's bike hot line, 312-742-2453, or sending an e-mail to

Maps also can be viewed on-line at The Web site contains a lot of bicycle-friendly information. Ben Gomberg, CDOT's bicycle program guru, says that by September there will be 100 miles of bike lanes on Chicago streets and 10,000 bike racks in the city.

Silver Line

From today's truncated Trib:
The Chicago Transit Authority is studying new rail service--tentatively called the Silver Line--linking the Blue and Green Lines in neighborhoods near downtown and forming the first piece of the ambitious Circle Line concept.

But residents of the West Side who have long sought better transit in their communities say they fear that the proposed Silver Line would prompt further service reductions on the Cermak branch of the Blue Line, where train schedules were cut in 1997 and have not been restored.

The Silver Line would send Cermak trains over a little-used 109-year-old stretch of elevated track being renovated, called the Paulina Connector, just west of Ashland Avenue. The Silver Line would connect the Blue Line at the Harrison junction--where the Blue Line's two branches meet--with the Green Line at the Ashland station.

New CTA stations are proposed at Madison Street serving the United Center and at Van Buren Street, which would be a transfer station with the existing Blue Line Medical Center station on the Forest Park branch of the Blue Line.

It would also represent the first phase of building the Circle Line, a more than $1 billion project aimed at improving rapid transit in the central area and surrounding neighborhoods and to major employment corridors and recreational destinations. Kruesi calls the Circle Line the "single most important transit improvement in the region," making it possible for trips between the CTA and Metra's radial lines to become more competitive with automobile travel.

The Circle Line would link all CTA rail lines, except the Skokie Swift, as well as Metra lines in an area six times larger than the Loop "L" system. It's touted as a remedy to rush-hour gridlock downtown while also serving as a catalyst for development beyond the central area and better transit connections throughout the six-county region.

From the D'oh Department

This must have been a serious computer meltdown!
Chicago Tribune | Home page
The production of Monday's print edition of the Chicago Tribune was delayed significantly because of an extended computer system failure Sunday night.
Many subscribers therefore will not receive their Monday newspaper until as late as Tuesday morning. And the content of Monday's edition was reduced.
The Tribune deeply regrets the inconvenience caused to our customers. Timely, reliable service is a top priority. On-schedule delivery will resume Tuesday, and all Monday subscribers and advertisers will receive credit for the curtailed edition.

The Tribune's art department uses Macs, perhaps their production system should switch too!

Sunday, July 18, 2004

iPod envy

as my original 5 gig pod looks at its snazzy cousins recede into the horizon.....MSNBC - The New iPod:
Veteran Podsters understand that at least once a year Apple performs a feat that at once infuses them with dread and delight: an iPod upgrade. The delight comes from a new look and new capabilities. The dread comes from the realization that you're a step behind the cutting edge and must consider whether to buy your way back on it.

And here it goes again. The considerably tweaked fourth-generation iPod will roll out this week, and NEWSWEEK got an advance peek. It looks a bit different, operates more efficiently, has a few more features and costs less. Here are the highlights."

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Marina Towers, blue two

marina towers blue2
Click for larger size.

See post below for explanation. I love walking on Wacker Drive at night, with the bridges lit up in different colors, reflecting off of the Chicago river.

Marina Towers, blue

marina towers blue
Click for larger size.

I'm not sure which version I like better, the flash, or no flash. Anyway, whoever has the American Express Blue campaign (the agency is Digitas, I think, but am not absolutely sure) is doing good work. This was really eye-catching.

U2 songs stolen

Guardian Unlimited | Arts news | New U2 songs feared stolen:
Rock superstars U2 were counting the cost of a carelessly misplaced CD yesterday, after a disc containing songs from their forthcoming album disappeared during a photoshoot in Nice.

French police have launched a major investigation amid fears it may have been stolen to order by bootleggers to make pirate copies, potentially costing the band and their record company millions of pounds in lost revenue.

So far detectives have interviewed more than 20 people, including hairdressers and photographers, who were at the photoshoot in the Victorine studios on Tuesday afternoon.

The missing CD belonged to the group's lead guitarist, Edge. It was not clear yesterday exactly where he had left it, but in a statement released on the band's website he said: "A large slice of two years' work lifted via a piece of round plastic. It doesn't seem credible but that's what's just happened to us ... and it was my CD."

The band had only recently completed much of the recording of the new album in Dublin. They were in France for the photoshoot and to complete post-production work in Nice, where lead singer, Bono, has a house.

Following the disappearance, the band's drummer, Larry Mullen, and Edge were pictured going into a police station near the studio.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Millennium Park

Millennium Park
Click for larger size.

Taken last night at the pre-pre Millennium Park celebration.


Defined by Ms. [Jean] Gonick thuslyGumby goes away, at least in frontal photos:
"Sickening solipsists? My own solipsism (the first definition of solipsism is "the theory that the self is the only thing that can be known and verified") was thwarted."


Citing Falwell's Endorsement of Bush, Group Challenges His Tax-Exempt Status
Hoping to send a warning to churches helping the Bush campaign turn out conservative voters, a liberal group has filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service.

Yesterday, the Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, argued in a letter to the I.R.S. that one of Mr. Falwell's religious organizations, Jerry Falwell Ministries, had disseminated the message in violation of tax rules, which restrict tax-exempt religious groups and charitable organizations from engaging in politics.

In an interview, Mr. Lynn said the complaint was also a response to the Bush campaign's effort to enlist thousands of pastors and churchgoers to help get members of conservative congregations to the polls.

"I certainly hope that this sends a clear message that religious organizations have got to operate within federal tax laws restricting partisan politicking," he said. "And I think the message is that the campaign has been reckless in its approach to churches, recklessly trying to lure them into political activities."

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Negative Nabobs

I already typed this up myself, a few months ago, but now Harpers has it available online, & its still funny. So you have to indulge my solipsism, and non- Tinsley Mortimer -nessNegative Capability (
Negative Capability

Posted on Thursday, July 15, 2004. The following assertions were collected from public statements made by George W. Bush and his official spokesmen since 1997. Originally from Harper's Magazine, May 2004.

The President of the United States is not a fact-checker.

I’m not a statistician.

I’m not a numbers-cruncher.

I’m not one of these bean counters.

I’m not very analytical.

I’m not a precision guy.

The President is not a micromanager.

I’m not a member of the legislative branch.

The President is not a rubber stamp for the Congress.

I’m not a censor-guy.

I’m not a lawyer.

I’m not a doctor.

The President is not an economist.

I’m not a stockbroker or a stock-picker.

I’m not a forecaster.

I’m not a predictor.

I’m not a pollster, a poll-reader guy.

I’m not a very good prognosticator of elections.

I’m not a committee chairman.

I’m not of the Washington scene.

I’m not a lonely person.

I’m not a poet.

I’m not a very good novelist.

I’m not a textbook player.

I’m not an emailer.

I’m not a very long-winded person.

I’m not a very formal guy.

I am not a revengeful person.

I’m not an Iraqi citizen.

I’m not a divider.

I am not a unilateralist.

I’m not a tree, I’m a Bush.

P&G account

Procter & Gamble Co. has awarded its communications planning business, including media planning, to Publicis Groupe's Starcom MediaVest Group and Aegis Group's Carat, the packaged goods giant said.

P&G spends more than $4 billion annually on all forms of communication in the U.S. alone, including advertising, communication and trade promotion, all of which are part of the communication planning assignment. Cindy Tripp, associate director of North American media and marketing, who headed the review, declined to say how the planning agencies will be compensated, but based on past industry standards for planning assignments, total agency compensation is likely to be less than $150 million.

Starcom MediaVest Group launched a dedicated P&G planning unit last year, incorporating planning staff from Publicis roster agencies Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett, Publicis and Kaplan Thaler Group.
Category assignments
Starcom MediaVest will handle fabric care, health care, home care and beauty care, including feminine care. Carat will handle baby care, family care (includes tissue towels), pet care and snacks and beverages.


From James Moore, of Salon, we read of aWol and the Case of the Missing News | The case of the missing Bush documents:
If the narrative weren't so difficult to trace, the story of President Bush's missing records from his service in the Texas Air National Guard might be gaining more attention. Last week's revelation from the Pentagon that microfilmed records related to the most controversial months of 1st Lt. Bush's service in Alabama (where he had been transferred at his request) were "accidentally" destroyed should cause alarm and energize new endeavors by the media to determine what Bush did in Alabama. But there's no sign of that yet.

There are several reasons for the media's reluctance to investigate this issue more aggressively. Documents can be hard to find. Freedom of Information Act requests take a long time to produce results. No one who might have information is authorized to answer questions without White House clearance. So reporters get frustrated and discouraged. I understand. I've been trying to sift fact from conspiracy on the Bush Guard story for a decade, first as a Texas television reporter and then as the author of two books on Bush's political ascension.

When the New York Times, Washington Post and Associated Press opened their mail from the Pentagon, they learned that the microfilmed records had been destroyed during an attempt to restore the spools of film. The latter two publications either did not know what they were being told or simply thought the matter was not significant enough to warrant a story. When Ralph Blumenthal of the Times called me to ask about the relevance of the missing records, I told him I never expected definitive information to turn up in an official record. But I continue to be amazed at this "coincidence" that effectively hides the truth about Bush's military service.

Blumenthal wrote that DFAS said Bush's microfilmed payroll records were lost as the agency was beginning a project to restore old files. But reporters so far have not received answers on what precipitated the restoration efforts. DFAS is a minor government agency, and it is unlikely someone working there woke up one day and proposed that the aging film be unrolled and examined for salvaging. The logical conclusion is that the decision was prompted by an external consideration. It is not totally out of the question that an energetic government employee decided to show some initiative, but if so, that worker needs to be asked why the particular years 1969 through 1972 were included in the project. Moreover, did the same three months in 1972 disappear for all of the service members whose records were on film? Or just for Lt. Bush? According to the letter accompanying the CD-ROMs, the first three months from 1969 were also lost. Bush was in flight training at that time and there is no doubt about his fulfillment of that responsibility, but an explanation would be helpful in clarifying how the records were destroyed for the first quarter of 1969 and the third quarter of 1972.


DFAS said its microfilm salvage project went bad in 1996 and 1997. This, too, suggests certain possibilities as to what prompted the examination of the records from that specific time. The year 1997 was when Texas National Guard state plans officer Bill Burkett said he heard a speakerphone conversation between Gov. Bush's chief of staff, Joe Allbaugh, and Gen. Danny James, commander of the Texas Guard, telling James to "clean up Bush's file and make sure there's nothing embarrassing in there." Burkett said that about 10 days later he witnessed Gen. John Scribner purging the Bush "military personnel records jacket" in the museum at Camp Mabry, the Austin base that serves as the Guard's state headquarters.

Scribner and James have denied Burkett's claims, and George Conn, who Burkett said was present at the time of the purge, no longer supports Burkett's version of events. But Burkett remains unwavering, convinced there was a covert effort to leave enough of a trail to show Bush served during the months in question but not enough evidence to answer questions about fulfilled obligations. If he is correct, it is possible that the 1997 purge of hard-copy records in Austin was part of a plan that included making inquiries to DFAS in Denver to see what was in its files. Is it possible that a call from the office of the governor of Texas caused DFAS to examine Bush's payroll records and "accidentally" destroy them? Isn't it just too convenient that the three mysterious Alabama months are the ones ruined?

Nevertheless, the payroll documents would not answer a number of other lingering questions about Bush and the Guard. Was there something more to his grounding than failing to show up for a physical? Were Bush and his drinking buddy, James Bath, involved in any kind of incident involving alcohol or drugs? They were both suspended from flight duties in the same set of orders. That might explain how the hard-partying Bush suddenly ended up working with disadvantaged children in Houston's inner city through Project PULL -- a swift, radical change from his jet pilot persona. Was Project PULL part of a deal to keep any illegal behavior off his record and get Bush on the right track?

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Shaq to Miami

In a NBA column, Simmons sez: Page 2 - Lakers ignored history's mistakes
but I always thought the Lakers would secure something close to equal value. Instead, Dallas Mavs held strong; they wouldn't give up Nowitzki, the German Bob McAdoo. Sacramento Kings wouldn't include Peja Stojakovic in any potential deal, and you can't blame them -- he's been a crucial part of those Kings teams that choke every spring. Indiana Pacers refused to dangle Jermaine O'Neal, who's a full notch below KG and Duncan (the Kilmer to their Cruise & Hanks).


And then there's Angry Shaq. He needed this to happen. Honestly, he hasn't given a crap about basketball for four years, since they won that second title and crushed the Nets. After that happened, Satiated Shaq stuck around and kept playing, knowing that he could accomplish more on cruise control than just about every other player in the league. I don't think it was a malicious act on his part. It was his version of MJ scurrying off to hit baseballs for two years.

Maybe we were insulted as basketball fans, but this was also the one quality that made him stand out over everyone else: This is a good guy. He takes care of his family, looks out for his friends, never stops having fun. He dabbles in movies, music, TV, even comedy roasts. He figured out how to handle the media early in his career -- mumble through your answers, use intimidation when necessary; and eventually, everyone will leave you alone. I think he's one of the smartest athletes in any sport. Seriously. Who leads a better life than him? What team athlete makes more money than him? Who balanced the characters of Public Superstar and Private Superstar more brilliantly than him? We don't know ANYTHING about him, yet we feel like we do. And he likes it that way.

Which made it especially ironic that, for years and years, Shaq wore the "black hat" and Kobe wore the "white hat" on the Lakers. To the general public, Shaq was just a big mumbling monster, a physical freak with no discernible basketball skills, someone who couldn't even make a damn free throw. Casual fans (and Lakers fans, which is basically the same thing) gravitated towards Kobe, partly because he reminded them of a young MJ, partly because he seemed like such a decent guy. Nobody realized that Kobe was an impossible prima donna behind the scenes, a brooding loner consumed with basketball and nothing else, someone lacking the requisite social skills to get along with teammates on even a rudimentary level

ha. Perhaps why Jim Grey, resident asshole who works for ESPN or TNT or somebody, was so surprised when Shaq knew bigger words than the script called for....b12

AIDS v Terrorism

From the CBC

France accused the United States of bullying poor countries into ceding rights to make affordable generic medicine.

A U.S. official denied the French allegation at the International AIDS Conference as "nonsense," while delegates lamented that only about seven per cent of the six million people in poor countries who need anti-retroviral treatment are getting it.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan urged Washington to show the same leadership in fighting AIDS as it has in fighting terrorism.

"We hear a lot about weapons of mass destruction, we hear a lot about terrorism. And we are worried about weapons of mass destruction because of the potential to kill thousands. Here we have an epidemic that is killing millions. What is the response?" Annan said in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corp. in Bangkok.

Ambrose Bierce

Ambrose Bierce
"Absurdity, n.: A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one's own opinion."

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Death to Disco lives

Yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of the day disco died, when as many as 90,000 people showed up at Chicago's Comiskey Park to participate in radio disc jockey Steve Dahl's Disco Demolition.

Disco Demolition Disc

Jockey Steve Dahl in 1979
The "Disco Sucks" demonstration is widely credited for causing the official demise of disco, and 25 years later, Dahl, who hosts a daily radio show on Chicago's WCKG-FM, is still sending his message.

"People said I did the world a favor by taking one of the most inane music genres and relegating it to karaoke bars for all time," Dahl said. "I was just doing what came naturally: hating disco."

The event began as an effort to sell seats to a White Sox-Detroit Tigers' doubleheader, and turned into a mass anti-disco movement from which disco never recovered. Dahl had been pretending to blow up disco records on the air at WLUP-FM, and Mike Veeck—son of White Sox legendary owner Bill Veeck and the team's promotions manager—invited Dahl to do it live at Comiskey.

Fans were encouraged to show up with an admission of 98 cents and a disco record that would be blown up by Dahl in center field between the games.

But the promo event turned into a riot.

News reports said that an estimated 54,000 were admitted to the game (Comiskey Park had a seating capacity of about 45,000), while at least 20,000 roamed the parking lots hoping to get in (some even scaled walls to get in the ballpark without a ticket), and another 10,000 were stuck in traffic trying to reach Comiskey Park.

And at some point during the first game, thousands of anti-disco fans rushed the field, burning records, lighting cherry bombs and even knocking over the While Sox's batting cage. They also ignored then-White Sox announcer Harry Carray's pleas to get off the field.

After umpires decided the field—which was charred in center field and littered with broken records—was unplayable, the White Sox were forced to forfeit the second game. The rare cancellation of an American League baseball game due to fans destroying the field is still listed by ESPN as one of the top 10 most shocking moments in baseball history.

...The Northern League St. Paul Saints, a team that Mike Veeck now presides over, celebrated the 25th anniversary of Disco Demolition on Saturday. The Saints allowed fans to bring disco records to the ballpark in exchange for one Saints buck, and the records were destroyed between innings of their game against Schaumburg.

"Disco Demolition Night has been a 10,000 pound gorilla on Mike's back for 25 years," Saints VP Derek Sharrer said. "We think revisiting that infamous event will be a healthy exercise for him. Hopefully, we'll get it right this time."

Election year scare tactics

From the WaPo
Lawmaker Doubts U.S. Warnings of Possible Attack to Stop Elections (
A Democratic congressman who receives classified briefings on the threat of terrorist attacks said yesterday that top U.S. government officials' repeated statements that international terrorists want to disrupt the American electoral process this year "appear to have no basis."

Rep. Jim Turner (Tex.), ranking Democrat on the House Select Committee on Homeland Security, said that after several recent briefings by U.S. intelligence officials about perceived terrorist threats this summer and fall, "I don't have any information that al Qaeda" plans to attack the election process. "Nobody knows anything about timing" or the exact nature of any possible attack, although U.S. officials say al Qaeda wants to mount an attack this year, Turner said."

we read that the Bush White House is playing politics with terrorism, and terrorist threats. Go figure.

Free login to Washington Post, and elsewhere, via BugMeNot

Ken Lay

Allan Murray, no Liberal he, thinks Ken Lay should go to jail.... - Political Capital:
Ken Lay should go to jail.

That isn't a legal judgment. The legal case against Mr. Lay isn't a slam dunk. Mr. Lay spent more time schmoozing with politicians and picking fabric swatches for his Gulfstream V corporate jet than studying special-purpose enterprises. As a result, his footprints inside the energy company are shallow, and his fingerprints few. Conviction will be difficult.

It also isn't a repudiation of the principle, plaintively repeated by Mr. Lay last Thursday, that "everybody should be innocent until proven guilty."

In the case of Enron, we already know a giant financial fraud lay at the heart of the enterprise. The convictions of former Chief Financial Officer Andrew Fastow and former Treasurer Ben Glisan established that. At stake in the Lay case isn't whether fraud was committed but whether the chief executive should be held responsible.

For the sake of American capitalism, he should.

The Enron scandal -- and those at WorldCom, Tyco, Adelphia and others -- exposed a glaring flaw in the oversight of America's top executives. At the time, three cures were suggested: the regulatory cure, the corporate-governance cure, and a third tonic, advocated by U.S. Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan and former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, which might be called the "CEO responsibility" cure.

The regulatory cure was the first to be adopted, but is in many ways the least satisfactory. That is because the bad guys will always outrun even the most nimble of regulators, because regulations impose costs on the good guys and because regulations produce unintended consequences. I'm not yet ready to agree with those who grouse that Sarbanes-Oxley went too far. I do agree regulation is a clumsy, though sometimes necessary, solution.

And the crux:

The corporate-governance cure has more appeal, because it is an attempt to fix the system rather than regulate it. In the textbooks, capitalism works because corporate managers are kept in check by shareholders, who operate through directors they elect. The truth, however, is that many American directors are handpicked and handsomely compensated by the very executives they oversee. Giving shareholders more power over boards would seem a reasonable way to improve the system.

That was the goal of U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman William Donaldson when he made a very modest proposal last year. The proposal would have allowed shareholder groups to nominate their own directors, but only if a majority of shareholders had expressed disapproval of the board by withholding votes at the previous annual meeting.

The chief executives in the U.S. reacted as if their Gulfstreams had been grounded. Under heavy pressure from the Business Roundtable -- and from a White House eager to maintain good relations with big business during an election year -- Mr. Donaldson backed down.

That leaves the "CEO responsibility" cure. In unusually clear testimony in July 2002, Chairman Greenspan railed against the "infectious greed" that had invaded American business, arguing that the best antidote was strong and ethical CEOs. "It has been my experience on numerous corporate boards that CEOs who insist that their auditors render objective accounts get them," Mr. Greenspan said, "and CEOs who discourage corner-cutting by subordinates are rarely exposed to it."

In their book "The Smartest Guys in the Room," Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind tell a wonderful story about Mr. Lay speaking to his employees after the scandal broke. Referring to Mr. Fastow, Mr. Lay said: "I and the board are also sure that Andy has operated in the most ethical and appropriate manner possible." A written query submitted by an employee asked: "I would like to know if you are on crack. If so, that would explain a lot."

Mr. Lay on Thursday finally acknowledged that Mr. Fastow had "betrayed" his trust. (Mr. Lay's lawyer was more blunt, calling the former financial officer a "liar and a thief.") Mr. Lay added that "to the extent that I did not know what he was doing ... then indeed, I cannot take responsibility."
Democrats are silly to suggest that the indictment of "Kenny Boy," as President Bush called him, was delayed because of his political connections. But Mr. Lay is equally silly to suggest prosecutors were afraid not to indict him. This isn't about politics. It's about one of the largest financial frauds in American history. Ken Lay enjoyed the hundreds of millions of dollars he was paid for running Enron; now he should share in the penalties for looting it.

Monday, July 12, 2004

More unusual spam

This time, maybe just a case of mistaken identity, sent from a CPA firm in Oklahoma
I am using our domain name (IP Address), my user ID, and password, but still can't access webmail. I am using the following form:
and on the login screen, I use my user ID and password, as example:

I can't get in to manage my account... What's wrong?

I replied, saying he probably is asking the wrong person, but couldn't resist this dig:
p.s. SBC is a notoriously poor ISP, my company dropped them after 30 frustrating days.

Billboard data - Outdoor Ads, Here's Looking at You:
.Nielsen, a unit of VNU NV of the Netherlands that for decades has provided ratings for TV and radio, is testing a cellphone-size gizmo it calls the Npod, or Nielsen Personal Outdoor Device. In a test in the Chicago area that started in April, about 400 people have each spent 10 days carrying the Npod around town. The device uses the satellite-based global positioning system to track the wearers' locations, and Nielsen matches their courses of travel with a coded map of 12,000 outdoor-ad units in the area.

The cellphone-size Nielsen Personal Outdoor Device, is being used to develop an audience measurement system for outdoor advertising in the greater Chicago area.

Nielsen, which recruited a total sample of 750 people for the test, will gather data until the end of this month and plans to present in September a detailed demographic breakdown -- including age, gender, income and education -- of Chicago-area outdoor-ad viewers.

One of the findings thus far is that more than 50% of all outdoor advertising impressions among Chicago-area residents earning more than $100,000 a year happen in such neighborhoods as Calumet City, Elsdon, Melrose Park and Englewood. "These are all lower- to mid-income areas, and our findings dispel the myth that only the location of outdoor sites determines who is exposed to the advertising message," says Will Thoretz, head of communications for Nielsen Outdoor.

The Npod project "will allow a media buyer to look at outdoor at a level playing field with other measured media and determine where to invest advertising dollars across the entire media mix," Mr. Thoretz says.

Sunday, July 11, 2004


Now playing in iTunes: Bujioudia Bujioudia Dancing With Aisha Qandisha, from the album Apocalypse Across The Sky by The Master Musicians of Jajouka Featuring Bachir Attar (released 1992)

From the Department of Overstatement

NYT: Online Battle of Low-Cost Books:
Publishers, particularly textbook publishers, have long countered used-book sales by churning out new editions every couple of years. But the Web, particularly sites like Amazon and eBay, have given millions of consumers an easy way to find cheap books - often for under $1 - without paying royalty fees to publishers or authors.

Mass-market publishers are not certain the used-book phenomenon is a problem worth addressing, but others in the industry have already made up their minds.

"We think it's not good for the industry and it has an effect, but we can't measure it," said Paul Aiken, executive director of the Authors Guild, a trade group. "There has always been used-book sales, but it's always been a background noise sort of thing. Now it's right there next to the new book on Amazon."

Lorraine Shanley, a principal at Market Partners International, a publishing consultant, said that the industry was just starting to appreciate the dimensions of the problem.

"Used books are to consumer books as Napster was to the music industry," she said. "The question becomes, 'How does the book industry address its used-book problem?' There aren't any easy answers, especially as no one is breaking any laws here."

yes, that is the crux of the argument. Used books exist, and are a sellable commodity. Wouldn't it make sense that eventually, some retailer would figure out how to sell them online and make profits? However, calling Amazon the Napster of the industry is a bit of an overstatement, isn't it?

Saturday, July 10, 2004

NBA news - NBA - Source: Shaq won't try to stop trade to Heat:
"A source told ESPN's David Aldridge Saturday that the Los Angeles Lakers center has agreed to accept a proposed trade that would send him to the Miami Heat in exchange for guard Caron Butler and forwards Lamar Odom and Brian Grant.

The trade has not been finalized, but O'Neal has informed both the Lakers and Heat that he will not do anything to hinder the swap and would not opt out of his contract after next season."


Franklin side, originally uploaded by swanksLB.

Found art in Lincoln Park, near North Avenue.

Friday, July 09, 2004

David Bowie

| Bowie undergoes heart surgery:
David Bowie has undergone an emergency heart operation for an acutely blocked artery, it emerged last night.

The 57-year-old rock star fell ill after playing the Hurricane Festival in Sheesen, Germany, on June 25, his spokesman said, and and had had an angioplasty procedure at a German hospital.

The spokesman said that Bowie had sought treatment for a pinched nerve in his shoulder but discovered the blocked artery.

"Bowie, who was able to leave the clinic early this week, is now at home in New York convalescing with his wife and daughter and hopes to start work next month," he added.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Larry Flynt spills the beans

So, Flynt's book is finally out, and he asserts (as others have done as well, including Bartcop) that a young George Bush paid/forced his girlfriend to have an illegal abortion (before Roe v. Wade). Books | Citizen Flynt:
"The first thing in your book that everyone is going to jump on is your claim that young George W. Bush paid for his girlfriend's illegal abortion.

You can't stay with a story this long and not believe in it. In 2000, I got a call from a lawyer in Houston. He told me that his client, "Susan," could prove that George W. Bush arranged for his girlfriend to have an abortion back in the early 1970s. Her boyfriend at the time, "Clyde," was pals with Bush and set up the procedure. We checked up and found that indeed "Clyde" was responsible for keeping Bush out of trouble. Bush had knocked up a girl named "Rayette." We talked to the doctor that performed the abortion. We felt we really had a blockbuster story, but about two months before we were going to break the story, "Susan" disappeared. We finally found her. She was living in a half-million-dollar home in Corpus Christi, Texas. Before that she was living in a small apartment working for $13,000 a year as a cocktail waitress. I'm not saying Bush bought her off, but I'm confident that one or more of his cronies did. The only thing that interested me in this story is -- I'm pro-choice, but to have a guy who is running on a pro-life platform ... and this procedure was committed in 1971, two years before Roe vs. Wade, which would have made it a crime.

I went to two members of the national press (during the 2000 presidential campaign) and said, "Look. I don't have anyone out on the stump. You guys do. At least ask Bush the question." You know what? They refused to. One of them had the nerve to tell me that the election was too close. "We don't want to be the ones to tip it in any direction." I thought, that gives you a really great feeling about the press."

Flynt is certainly a character, read more of the interview, here

Though, I'm not sure about the relevance of this Q&A sequence
Do you care about Bob Dylan?

I've always liked Bob Dylan.

But other than that, a good, interesting interview.

Billmon's Whiskey Bar in Wired

One of the best political bloggers is interviewed in Wired

Wired News: Bloggers Suffer Burnout:
In the days following the U.S. invasion of Iraq last year, a new blog called Whisky Bar quickly became a popular online destination for opponents of the war. The site's author, who ran the site as a virtual bar with himself as the bartender, encouraged visitors to share their views on the topic at hand.

Over the last six months or so, however, a surge in traffic has transformed Whisky Bar into something more like a jam-packed nightclub than the cozy neighborhood watering hole the site's owner, known as Billmon, had originally envisioned. His postings often generated hundreds of comments, each of which he moderated.

But running the website soon became a dominant activity in his day, and on June 28, Billmon announced: "Last call." Whisky Bar would no longer accept comments.

"You've only got so many hours in the day, and like most bloggers, I've got a full-time day job, and something had to give," Billmon said. "In the end, monitoring comments on my blog was becoming a progressively larger part of my blogging time, and I just got to the point where I wasn't able to keep up with it."

Still, cutting readers out of the conversation was a disappointing solution for Billmon, a former journalist who relished the kind of feedback newspaper reporters rarely get.

"When I started out, I really wanted (Whisky Bar) to be very interactive," Billmon said. "That's one of the most exciting things about blogging, that ability to have dialogue with your readers."

I'm hoping that, when the summer is over, and there is less incentive to be outside, the mighty Billmon will reopen his bar, or I tell you we will die.....

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Clinton & David Corn

Funny and telling anecdote from David Corn, in regards to a Clinton appearance on NPR
Capital Games:

While I was tussling with rightwing activist Grover Norquist this morning on NPR's "Diane Rehm Show," Norquist did what many conservatives do when confronted by the charge that George W. Bush dishonestly hyped the WMD threat in Iraq. He referred to Bill Clinton. The 42nd president, Norquist maintained, supported Bush's invasion of Iraq because he (Clinton, that is) also believed there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

As it happened, that same fellow was scheduled to be a guest on the show after we were done. And when Norquist and I left the studio--with Norquist noting that Clinton had recently been attacking only two conservatives by name, Kenneth Starr and himself--there was the famous author entering the station. Clinton glad-handed his way around. A dozen or so security people clogged the hallway. So I stood and waited for the whirlwind to pass.

But as Clinton walked by Norquist and me, he shook our hands and said, "You guys did a good job," referring to our hour-long segment. Norquist nodded and made no mention of Clinton's criticism of him. Clinton then asked me about a front-page story in The New York Times about those still-missing WMDs, saying he had only glanced at it.

This was a classic Clinton encounter, in which Clinton, ever the natural charmer, engaged the person in front of him by asking that person about something he knew was of interest to him or her and by asking for that person's opinion (rather than spouting his own).

Then I recalled the exchange I had with Norquist.

When we were just on, I said to Clinton, Norquist claimed that you supported Bush's invasion because you were concerned about Saddam Hussein's WMDs. Is that true?

The moment was reminiscent of that scene in Woody Allen's Annie Hall when Allen is standing on line inside a movie theater lobby and listening to some blowhard in front of him expounding on the theories of real-life media critic Marhsall McLuhan. Allen then produces McLuhan from behind a movie poster, and McLuhan tells the man on line, "You know nothing of my work." After that Allen says to the camera, "Boy, if life were only like this!"

With Norquist squeezed next to him, Clinton said that had not been his position. He acknowledged that he had endorsed the congressional resolution granting Bush the authority to wage war. But, he explained, that was because he had figured Hussein would not have permitted weapons inspectors to return to Iraq without the threat of force. "Hans Blix [the chief weapons inspector] was tough," Clinton said, adding that he had wanted to see inspections continue.

Clinton, who later told Diane Rehm that he had indeed been concerned about the possibility of unaccounted-for WMDs in Iraq after inspections ended in 1998, dismissed WMDs as a reason to go to war. "Paul Wolfowitz tried to get me to invade Iraq," he recalled. In the 1990s, he said, Wolfowitz considered Iraq to be "the biggest problem"--greater than terrorism or the absence of peace in the Middle East.

Being kind to an ideological foe, Clinton noted that Wolfowitz had developed a whole theory about how a US invasion of Iraq would lead to a democratic Iraq and that the existence of this new Iraq would remake the region. Clinton indicated he never accepted this point of view, but it was, he said, a theory worth debating. Referring to the Bush administration's rationale for war, he remarked, "They should have just said that, without the pretext [of WMDs]." It was a polite way of saying the Bushies had been untruthful. After all, who is Clinton to call another president a liar?

With radio station staffers and security people trying to coax Clinton into the studio, our brief interview was over. "Good to see ya," he said in his drawl, and he headed down the hallway.

"That was illuminating," I said in Norquist's direction. I don't recall if he responded. I was too busy writing in my notebook."

thanks to Brad De Long for the catch.

David Corn's book, The Lies of George W. Bush, is pretty good, but I haven't finished yet (got sidetracked by first Joyce, then Dylan, whatcha gonna do?)


I don't know how long this has been there, but apparently I contributed to Tidbits few years ago, and got my name in the big lights.

TidBITS Contributors:
"TidBITS has supported the Macintosh Internet community for over ten years with weekly publication of award-winning news, reviews, analysis, and opinion, along with in-depth technology explorations and practical how-to articles. "

Of course, it links to my old earthlink page, which is so dormant, that it consists of moldy electrons.

I noticed by looking at my web traffic referrer report.

I'm glad that tidbits is still around, though for whatever reason, tidbits is not such a compelling read anymore.

From MacOSXHints

comes this useful hint:

macosxhints - Reset Microsoft Office personalization and ID info
A company called McGimpsey & Associates has published information regarding the remove of the Office ID for several versions of Microsoft Office. This is useful to anyone distributing licensed copies of Office in a campus or office environment, ie. as a custom Mac OS X .pkg.

Two files must be removed to clear the Office 2004 personalization:

~/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Microsoft Office Settings (11)

/Applications/Microsoft Office 2004/Office/OfficePID

Remove those files and you'll be presented with a registration window next time you launch any Office app, allowing you to input a new name/key combo.

[robg adds: This hint does not explain how to pirate Office. When you remove these files and re-run any Office application, you'll get the registration dialog box again, allowing you to type in your name and serial number again. I actually had to go through this once at my previous job -- a user had typed their name incorrectly, and wanted to re-enter it correctly. I was thinking there would be an easier method, but in the end, we found and removed the above files. Note that the linked page also explains how to reset prior versions of Office, which have slightly different files.]

Organics - Crowding the market

When the US government said it was relaxing organic standards, small farmers and green consumers fought back. Their suspicion, Dan Glaister reports, is that big corporations want to hijack a growing sector

In April, the US agriculture secretary, Ann Veneman, announced a relaxation of the rules governing organic produce. Without public consultation the US department of agriculture (USDA) issued four directives which would have allowed organic farmers to use chemicals of unknown provenance on crops, to treat organic dairy cows with anti- biotics, and to feed organic cattle with non-organic fish meal.

The last directive was perhaps the most alarming and also the most comical. Declaring that it would take too long to come up with definitive guidelines as to what precisely constituted an organic fish, USDA declared that for the time being, any fish could be considered organic.

The outcry was immediate and took government officials by surprise. Where was the public consultation mandated by law, asked critics? Why was a government famously friendly to big business relaxing the regulations governing organic produce? And why introduce uncertainty into a market that was flourishing quite nicely without interference?

Now America's organic farmers are watching the Bush administration to see if it makes good its pledge to consider their views in drawing up new definitions of just what can and cannot be called organic. Many fear the worst, and suspect that the attempt to lower the threshold for organic goods is merely a prelude to a general relaxation of standards, paving the way for agribusiness to market itself as organic and sell its products in the farmers' markets that provide the lifeblood for so many small growers.

Read the rest here

Insanity and sports

Hey, nutjobs! Sports is just an idle past-time, and isn't worth getting all worked up over. Please, get a life. - NBA - Black Magic: GM threatened over trade:
Orlando Magic general manager John Weisbrod reportedly received written death threats at his home about trading two-time NBA scoring champion Tracy McGrady.

Florida Today reported Wednesday that Weisbrod received two such threats since mid-June, and was forced to check into a hotel under an alias for two nights last week.

On June 17, one week before the NBA draft, Weisbrod found a threatening note taped to the front door of his home. He said he called Magic assistant general manager Scott Herring and went ahead with plans to take draft prospect Emeka Okafor to dinner.

Nearly two weeks later, on the day the Magic announced McGrady's trade to Houston, a death threat was scribbled on the glass door of the house with a grease marker, Weisbrod said.

Ikea in Chicago, nyet!

From the Trib

Ikea, the chic furniture retailer that draws customers from as far away as Iowa to its iconic blue-and-yellow store in Schaumburg, will open a second Illinois location in southwest suburban Bolingbrook, the Swedish company said Tuesday.

The new store, which is expected to open in the fall of 2005, will ease overcrowding at the 6-year-old Schaumburg outlet--the retailer's busiest U.S. store.

Yet Bolingbrook's gain is the city of Chicago's loss, as earlier efforts by Ikea to build a store in the city to sell its inexpensive but stylish armchairs, bookcases and housewares could not come to fruition.

Ikea canceled plans to build a store on the Near South Side at Roosevelt Road and Clark Street in December. One reason was because the store wouldn't have been ready until 2007.

I disagree strongly: I represent Chicago too, and having massive traffic increases in an already congested area is not good for my version of Chicago. Who needs more generic box stores? Let them locate to the suburbs, where parking is not a problem. I don't want Wal-mart, I don't want Ikea, I don't want Target: please don't build any of these on Clark & Roosevelt.

That is all.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Vice presidential footsie

Thanks to Daily Kos, even though I don't really get the context, I get the picture.....

Grant Park

Park life 13
Click for larger size.

found art along Michigan Avenue, south of the Art Institute. The exhibit involved plants that pull heavy metals out of the earth, but most of the plants have not yet grown into their space. We'll have to visit later in the summer to really grok the exhibit.

Still was cool.

Soldier Field

Soldier Field
Click for larger size.

Soldier Field and the most lovely Amoco building (now called the BP Amoco building, I believe. Too close to Butt Plug, but whatever), taken from the new Pedestrian bridge across Lake Shore Drive.

Barbara Ehrenreich

Draft Ehrenreich! - The summer replacement series we can't afford to lose. ByTimothy Noah :
"If no one else has said this, let Chatterbox be the first. On the strength of two columns thus far on the New York Times op-ed page—to read them, click here and here—Barbara Ehrenreich has established herself as the Times's best columnist. This is, of course, a snap judgment, but Ehrenreich has long been one of the most eloquent voices on the left, which, as distinct from liberalism, has not had much access to the mainstream press for many years. The Bush administration has revitalized the left, making it necessary for the rest of us—liberals like Chatterbox as well as conservatives—to keep abreast of what it's saying."

Uh, I said it here, but since my site traffic consists mostly people looking for sexy gossip about Tinesly Mortimer, I guess that doesn't count.

Anyway, I'm with you, Tim Noah, where do I sign?

Kerry VP selection over

finally, Kerry selects his V.P., and a pretty good choice too. I'm happy that limp-fish candidate Dick Gephardt didn't make the cut, nor Senator McCain, who may be an interesting guy, and a good interview, but is most certainly not a Democrat.

Kerry Selects Edwards as His Running Mate

John Kerry selected former rival John Edwards to be his running mate, picking the smooth-talking Southern populist over more seasoned politicians in hopes of injecting vigor and small-town appeal to the Democratic presidential ticket.,,SB108911401668156035,00.html

or here

Monday, July 05, 2004

Sibel Edwards

Boston Globe: Translator in eye of storm on retroactive classification:
Sifting through old classified materials in the days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, FBI translator Sibel Edmonds said, she made an alarming discovery: Intercepts relevant to the terrorist plot, including references to skyscrapers, had been overlooked because they were badly translated into English.

Edmonds, 34, who is fluent in Turkish and Farsi, said she quickly reported the mistake to an FBI superior. Five months later, after flagging what she said were several other security lapses in her division, she was fired. Now, after more than two years of investigations and congressional inquiries, Edmonds is at the center of an extraordinary storm over US classification rules that sheds new light on the secrecy imperative supported by members of the Bush administration.

In a rare maneuver, Attorney General John Ashcroft has ordered that information about the Edmonds case be retroactively classified, even basic facts that have been posted on websites and discussed openly in meetings with members of Congress for two years. The Department of Justice also invoked the seldom-used ''state secrets" privilege to silence Edmonds in court. She has been blocked from testifying in a lawsuit brought by victims of the Sept. 11 attacks and was allowed to speak to the panel investigating the Sept. 11 attacks only behind closed doors.

Meanwhile, the FBI has yet to release its internal investigation into her charges. And the Senate Judiciary Committee, which oversees the bureau, has been stymied in its attempt to get to the bottom of her allegations. Now that the case has been retroactively classified, lawmakers are wary of discussing the details, for fear of overstepping legal bounds.

''I'm alarmed that the FBI is reaching back in time and classifying information it provided two years ago," Senator Charles E. Grassley, a Republican from Iowa and a leading advocate for Edmonds, said last Friday. ''Frankly, it looks like an attempt to impede legitimate oversight of a serious problem at the FBI."


She had a job application at the FBI before Sept. 11, and it was accelerated after the attacks so she could start work Sept. 20. One of her main assignments, she said, was to expedite requested translations from field agents, including material that a field agent in Arizona submitted for retranslation on a suspicion that it had not been examined thoroughly before Sept. 11.

''After I retranslated it verbatim, I went to my supervisor to say, 'I need to talk to this agent over a secure line because what we came across in this retranslating is gigantic, it has specific information about certain specific activity related to 9/11,' " Edmonds recalled. ''The supervisor blocked this retranslation from being sent to the same agent. The reasoning this [supervisor] gave me was, 'How would you like it if another translator did this same thing to you? The original translator is going to be held responsible.' "

In the end, Edmonds said, the field agent who requested a reinterpretation of the intelligence material ''knew there were things that were missing, and yet he was reassured by the Washington field office that the original translation was fine."

Edmonds said the intercept jumped out at her because it contained references to skyscrapers and the US visa application process. Such references might have triggered suspicions at Immigration and Naturalization Services before Sept. 11 if they had been correctly translated, she said, but they seemed unrelated before the attacks, in part because they were gathered during the course of a criminal investigation.

Edmonds said she made another troubling discovery: One of her colleagues admitted being a member of an organization with ties to the Middle East that was a target of an FBI investigation. The colleague, also a Turkish translator, invited Edmonds to join the group, assuring her that her FBI credentials would guarantee admission. Edmonds declined to name the organization, because she said it has been under surveillance.

Two months later, Edmonds said, one of the agents she worked with found hundreds of pages of translation that her Turkish-speaking colleague had stamped ''not pertinent" and had therefore gone untranslated.

The agent asked Edmonds to retranslate her colleague's work. ''We came across 17 pieces of extremely specific and important information that was blocked, and at that point, this agent and I went to the FBI security department in the Washington field office, and found out my supervisor had not reported my original complaints," she said.

Edmonds said she was repeatedly warned that she would be opening a ''can of worms" if she kept filing security complaints, but she continued reporting lapses to ever-higher levels of management until, in March 2002, she wrote a letter to FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, she said. She also contacted the Senate Judiciary Committee. In response, the FBI confiscated her home computer, challenged her to take a polygraph test, which she said she passed, and terminated her contract.

Sunday, July 04, 2004


almost clever enough spam, received today in my Eudora "junk" folder, allegedly from "U.S. Bank"

Dear U.S. Bank valued customer:

In an effort to protect your U.S. Bank account from fraudulent activities, we
have upgraded our security software.

Your account will be automatically upgraded once you enter your security
information in order to verify your identity. Access to your bank account will
not be interrupted and will continue as normal. However, failure to do this may
result in your account suspension for a certain period of time.

Please fill in your account information below:

The link says:
U.S Bank Internet Banking
but the IP number you are sent to if you are foolish enough to click is

Lookup has started ...

Non-authoritative answer: name =

traceroute led to:
traceroute to (, 30 hops max, 40 byte packets
4 ( 10.09 ms 16.143 ms 6.521 ms
5 ( 6.525 ms 6.531 ms 6.672 ms
6 ( 9.076 ms 8.378 ms 6.163 ms
7 ( 6.886 ms 7.22 ms 8.484 ms
8 ( 6.965 ms 7.767 ms 7.148 ms
9 ( 32.311 ms 32.546 ms 32.453 ms
10 ( 36.709 ms 32.133 ms 32.391 ms
11 ( 32.12 ms 32.549 ms 33.428 ms
12 ( 32.663 ms 32.532 ms 32.58 ms
13 ( 116.422 ms 108.985 ms 108.354 ms
14 ( 108.08 ms 111.482 ms 108.162 ms
15 ( 118.447 ms 109.05 ms 108.49 ms
16 ( 144.127 ms 267.191 ms 208.658 ms
17 ( 653.22 ms 654.954 ms 652.117 ms
18 ( 653.786 ms 653.848 ms 653.105 ms
19 ( 672.944 ms 787.767 ms 656.367 ms
20 ( 962.878 ms 845.888 ms 833.412 ms

I'm guessing that this site is located somewhere in Madagascar. Maybe that's U.S. Bank's new tax dodge location, but I doubt it.

The actual U.S. Bancorp lookup:
Lookup has started ...

Non-authoritative answer: nameserver = nameserver =

Authoritative answers can be found from: internet address = internet address =

I wonder how successful such 'phishing' is? I suppose I would have looked more carefully if I was an actual U.S. Bank customer.

I guess all it would take to be profitable is a few suckers a month who respond....

Winblows part 3435

A follow up to my kvetch regarding constant patching required to use a Microsoft computer, David Berlind notes, in part, Microsoft's patchwork mess | Perspectives | CNET
Microsoft had no comment at the time this story was published about why the statement refers to a download that can't be found. But it did offer a link that leads directly to the download. Unfortunately, following this link reveals yet another problem.

Instead of mentioning Download.Ject or "keystroke logging" (some keywords that users will want to see in order to know that they've reached the right place), the heading on the page appeals to software developers instead. It says "Critical Update for Microsoft Data Access Components - Disable ADODB.Stream object from Internet Explorer (KB870669)." The more recognizable keywords aren't mentioned in the description of the update either.

This glitch in Microsoft's processes doesn't speak well of the Trustworthy Computing initiative or the attention to detail that Microsoft is applying to the most dangerous of transgressions. In order to breed confidence, Microsoft still must go to greater lengths to make sure that updates for securing systems are ready to go before announcing them. And it must also post prominent and easy-to-understand road signs that point regular users and administrators of Windows systems to the highest priority updates as quickly as possible.

Microsoft sux, part 3436

From the Inquirer

THE US GOVERNMENT has sent out a warning out to internet users through its Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), pleading users to stop using Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

Following a malware attack last week which targeted a known flaw in IE, like so many other attacks, the US-CERT recommended using alternative browsers thanks to their increased security.

ouch. That would seem to hurt one's market share. At least in a perfect world.

Barbara Ehrenreich

Can't Tom Friedman just stay on vacation? and Ms. Ehrenreich get hired permanently? Pretty please?

NYT: Their George and Ours...
It would be silly, of course, to overstate the parallels between 1776 and 2004. The signers of the declaration were colonial subjects of a man they had come to see as a foreign king. One of their major grievances had to do with the tax burden imposed on them to support the king's wars. In contrast, our taxes have been reduced — especially for those who need the money least — and the huge costs of war sloughed off to our children and grandchildren. Nor would it be tactful to press the analogy between our George II and their George III, of whom the British historian John Richard Green wrote: "He had a smaller mind than any English king before him save James II."

But the parallels are there, and undeniable. "He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power," the declaration said of George III, and today the military is indulgently allowed to investigate its own crimes in Iraq. George III "obstructed the Administration of Justice." Our George II has sought to evade judicial review by hiding detainees away in Guantánamo, and has steadfastly resisted the use of the Alien Tort Claims Act, which allows non-U.S. citizens to bring charges of human rights violations to U.S. courts.

Fear the Fro

Feel-good "puff" piece on Ben Wallace, who should have gotten the finals MVP vote, IMHO.

NYT: Ben Wallace: A Folk Hero Whose Roots Run Deep
..A sign held up by someone in the crowd more or less told the tale: "Fear the 'Fro."

And in the back of a pickup truck, waving to the cheering multitude along the rolling, tree-lined thoroughfares was the lengthy honoree himself, Ben Wallace, the imposing, 6-foot-9, strong-as-a-wrecking-ball center for the Detroit Pistons, with his braided hair under a floppy blue hat.

Two and a half weeks earlier, Wallace, with his hair in an Afro as big as a bush and a wisp of a goatee, led his little-heralded, so-called blue-collar team to victory over the celebrated, highly favored Los Angeles Lakers in the N.B.A. finals by outdueling the mountainous Shaquille O'Neal.

"I like coming back home," Wallace said last week. "Do it every July Fourth. Everybody's cooking, and I'm just being Ben, just Ben, like the little kid I was running around the neighborhood."

More here

"That 'Fro, it was the symbol of black pride when the civil rights movement began. I know; I marched with Dr. King. And all of that paved the way, in my opinion, for Ben Wallace to become a full-fledged prime example of the American dream."

Wallace has never made a point of the Afro as a symbol, and Shirley Wallace, the eldest of his four sisters, said he wore it only because "he just loves it." But the echoes of the hairstyle's history, conscious or otherwise on Wallace's part, are unequivocally there. "I don't just play for myself," he said. "I play for everybody who was behind me."

After the Pistons won Game 5 against the Lakers for the title, Wallace said Shaquille O'Neal told him: "You worked for it, you deserved it. If anybody deserved it, it was you, Ben."'

Speaking of Shaquille O'Neal, according to ESPN, Shaq wants to go to either the Dallas Mavericks or the Sacramento Kings. Now, that would be something......

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Proud obsessives

Googling for a good picture of the sign in front of Weiners circle, or pix of Swank Franks (to compare to my own), and stumbled upon a funny site. Seems to be a website, authors probably based in New Orleans, who have a healthy fixation with finding good dogs, and blogging about them. The tour of Chicago dogs is pretty spot on, I'd go out drinking with these guys....

Watch Me Eat A Hot Dog:
Chicago Hot Dog Stand Reviews

Here are reviews of Chicago hot dog stands that we visited, ranked in order from favorite to least favorite.

Found art

fliers, originally uploaded by swanksGM.

Walking somewhere near River North, found this in the window, and liked how the shadows overlapped. Click for larger version...

Merchandise Mart

Merchandise, originally uploaded by swanksGM.

click for larger version.

Friday, July 02, 2004


Viper Networks Releases Wi-Fi Phone For The Mac :
Viper Networks Inc. on Friday launched a Wi-Fi phone for Mac computer.

The Wi-Fi vPhone is available for Mac users who are also using Apple Computer Inc.'s 802.11b wireless router and its AirPort or AirPort Extreem wireless base station, the San Diego-based Viper said.

A broadband phone adapter will soon be available to allow Apple computer users with high-speed Internet connections to use Viper's voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) calling services as well.

Big Ole Jet Oceanliner (sic)

Brad DeLong - the economics prof I should have had - comes up with (or borrows, what the hell would I know) an apt metaphor for Shrubs "economy" and the dismal job creation

Brad DeLong's Semi-Daily Journal (2004): a Weblog:
Is George W. Bush responsible for the fact that the employment situation is lousy? No. The economy is an ocean liner, but the president is not its captain. Presidents influence the economy. They don't control it.

But are he and his administration responsible for the fact that the employment situation is as lousy as it is? Yes. He sold his tax cuts as employment-generating stimulus programs, while in fact they got only about half as much employment bang for the deficit buck as a reasonable program would have. Think of it this way: Suppose your insurance agent tells you you ought to get homeowner's insurance. You give your insurance agent $4,000 to buy homeowner's insurance. You then have a small fire. And your insurance agent then tells you that you're only getting half of the damage covered--that he only used half the money to buy insurance, and spent the rest buying his friends large flat-screen TVs. That's the situation were in: sold as jobs programs, the Bush tax cuts got us only about half as much insurance against a lousy labor market as a real job-promoting stimulus that cost the same in deficit terms would have generated.

read more here

Toronto vignette

Toronto Collagiate Vignette

Vignette from Janice Spellerberg's back yard (Marty was in Texas).

Terminal top command

from a suggestion somewhere (mailing list? web page? I forget)
in OS X (Panther, and other), open terminal and type:

top -u -F -R -s 3 -n15

Updated to explain variables
per request, (which you can get via 'man top' command)
-u = Deprecated, equivalent to -ocpu -Otime

-F =Do not calculate statistics on shared libraries, also known as frameworks. This substantially reduces the amount of processor time top consumes.

-R = Do not traverse and report the memory object map for each process. This substantially reduces the amount of processor time top consumes.

-s + integer "delay" = Set the delay between updates to "delay" seconds. The default delay between updates is 1 second.

n + integer "nprocs"= Only display up to "nprocs" processes. "nprocs" can be specified as the last command line argument without the -n flag preceding it. However, doing so is deprecated command line usage.

Colin Powell

This article doesn't say which Village People member Colin most resembles, you'll have to imagine it yourself.....
Update: looks like the Construction worker. I guess, no chaps were available in Jakarta....

Colin Powell Sings Village People Song

JAKARTA, Indonesia - U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell donned a hard hat and tucked a hammer in his belt Friday to perform a version of the Village People's hit "YMCA" at the conclusion of Asia's largest security meeting — which tradition says ends with a night of skit and song.

Powell danced alongside five other U.S. officials dressed in fancy dress and blasted out a version of the 1970s disco classic to the delight of foreign ministers from across the Asia-Pacific and Europe.

"President Bush, he said to me, Colin I need you to run the department of state. We are between a rock and a hard place," Powell and his colleagues sang to the tune of the disco classic.

One term President



How come every time I go to use my Windows XP machine, I end up having to reboot becaues of some critical security flaw just discovered? Doesn't it get old to you Microsofties?

Microsoft Windows Update: "An issue has been identified that could allow an attacker to compromise a computer running Windows and gain complete control over it. You can help protect your computer by installing this update from Microsoft. After you install this item, you may have to restart your computer

Security Update for DirectX 9.0 (KB839643)

Download size: 443 KB, < 1 minute
A security issue has been identified that could allow an attacker to cause DirectX, or applications using DirectX, to become unresponsive. You can help protect your computer by installing this update from Microsoft. "

Brando RIP

Factoids and Quotes re: Marlon Brando:
"I don't know what people expect when they meet me. They seem to be afraid that I'm going to piss in the potted palm and slap them on the ass."

"I don't want to spread the peanut butter of my personality on the mouldy bread of the commercial press."

"Would people applaud me if I were a good plumber?"

Received more money for his short appearance as Jor-El in "Superman" (1978) than Christopher Reeve did in the title role.

Uses cue cards in many of his movies because he refuses to memorize his lines. His lines were written on the diaper of baby Kal-El in Superman (1978)

Refused to take a religious oath at his son's murder trial, citing reasons that he is an atheist.

On the set of The Score (2001) he referred to former Muppets director Frank Oz as "Miss Piggy".

Two years before Brando declined his Oscar for Best Actor in the 1972 movie, "The Godfather", he'd applied to the Academy to replace the one he'd won for "On the Waterfront" (1954), which had been stolen.

Spotlight on spotlight

From Wired, we read of an intriguing new Mac system tool:
Wired News: Searching for the Perfect OS
In Jobs' scheme, the hierarchy of files and folders is a dreary, outdated metaphor inspired by office filing. In today's communications era, categorized by the daily barrage of new e-mails, websites, pictures and movies, who wants to file when you can simply search? What does it matter where a file is stored, as long as you can find it?


Jobs demonstrated Spotlight by finding a place-name reference in a PDF map, which the system had indexed in the background seconds after it had been downloaded from the Net.

As well as indexing the content of files, Spotlight also parses metadata: information about a file's type, size, date and kind, as well as the author, creation date and dozens of other parameters.

To track information as it comes in, the system will enable users to create smart folders that automatically archive new material corresponding to specified search terms.

This is one of the 'hats' I wear in my company, I am the designated 'finder of old files'. When you have a shared network with thousands of folders and subfolders, finding a letter written to Gristede's, for instance, is not as easy as one might think. We shall see how well Spotlight actually works, once OS X "Tiger" gets released.

more from Wired:
Ken Bereskin, Apple's director of Mac OS X product marketing, said Spotlight has been a couple of years in development -- before Panther -- and incorporates several complex system technologies. Bereskin said the system was inspired by the speedy search engine in iTunes, which instantly returns results as soon as the user starts typing: whether the match is in the song's title, album, genre or artist fields.

"We noticed that people just search all the time," he said. "We asked if that could be applied to everything: contacts, calendar, e-mail and the contents of your hard drive."

Outlook cannot receive attachments

Outlook 2002 (XP) Can't Receive My Attachments (Mac Eudora):
"Document ID: 2453HQ

I'm using Macintosh Eudora. When I send attachments to users of Microsoft Outlook 2002 (Office XP), they don't receive the attachments OR don't get a paper clip icon to open the attachment properly.

This is a known bug in Microsoft Outlook 2002 (Office XP) that prevents them from receiving attachments from non-Microsoft products (Microsoft bug fix number OfficeQFE:4781). As of this writing, Microsoft has planned an update to fix the Outlook issue.
Until Microsoft fixes the issue, Eudora users have reported success with the following work-around. In your Mac Eudora, open a new message, then copy and paste the following text into that message-

The text will highlight in blue as a URL. Double click on it. In the new window that appears, change the following text-

from - %r: < %p>%p

to - %

Click Set Setting.

That should do it. Now Eudora will send out a mangled 'Content-ID' header to trick Outlook 2002 (Office XP) into correctly interpreting the attachment."

F*ck outlook. "Prevents Outlook 2002 from receiving attachments from non-Microsoft products". Thanks to the D.O.J., there won't be these sorts of problems in the future. Oh, wait, not really. Yeesh.

But, useful info to stow away nonetheless.


So I guess commentators who besmirch Moore for being a money grubbing 'fat man' or some such twaddle are all going to publically apologize now, right? right? [sounds of crickets chirping] - The Biggest Slice Of 'Fahrenheit' Profit Will Go to Charity:
After Walt Disney Co. refused to allow its Miramax Films unit to distribute the controversial Michael Moore documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11," Miramax co-Chairmen Harvey and Bob Weinstein paid $6 million from their own pockets to acquire the film from the company.

Six weeks later, "Fahrenheit 9/11" is a smash sensation, and the Weinsteins are widely assumed to be laughing all the way to the bank. If so, the laughter may be muted.

Despite their personal investment, the Weinstein brothers will not be the biggest financial beneficiaries of "Fahrenheit." The real winner: a charity, or charities, as yet unnamed, that will receive about 60% of the net profit ultimately generated by the film -- a tally that could be tens of millions of dollars. The Weinsteins, meanwhile, will pocket about 40% of the net, according to people familiar with the deal.

And who will pick the charities that get the money? Disney, the company that refused to release the movie, without having to consult either the Weinsteins or Mr. Moore. It's all the unexpected result of yet another strange tussle between Disney and the Weinsteins, the corporate odd couple that has had a tough time getting along since Disney's 1993 acquisition of Miramax.

Too bad Disney controls which charities benefit, Disney is not known to be very progressive. But, still, this is good news.

White City

Sorry for the long post, but I'm excited about this list: I plan to take a tour of these spots (some I've already seen of course, but not in sequence like this). Also the Trib's articles go behind firewall rather quickly. The dead trees edition includes photos, but I'll have to take my own I suppose. Matt: this will be on your tourist itinerary when you and Karen visit......


Chi Tribune: Remnants of the White City
"the time is right to recall the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893, the predecessor to our logjam of city festivals.

In the course of its six-month run, that remarkable World's Fair drew 27 million visitors to Jackson Park. Attendees sampled new foods (including Cracker Jack and Pabst Blue Ribbon beer), marveled at new technologies (including the zipper), and listened to music transmitted live via telephone from New York all while surrounded by a "White City" of buildings envisioned by Chicago's architectural legend Daniel Burnham.

The 1893 fair has, of course, gained new prominence since the publication of "Devil in the White City," in which author Erik Larson examines the architecture of the World's Fair and profiles one of the nation's first serial killers, H.H. Holmes. For most readers, the book is an examination of a simultaneously grand and gory period of American history. For the local reader, the book doubles as a treasure map to remnants of a place in time when the eyes of the world widened at the fest on Chicago's South Side.

The World's Fair still exists. One need only know where to look.

Palace of Fine Arts/Museum of Science and Industry

The Museum of Science and Industry represents the only major building remaining from the World's Fair of 1893. Unlike the other structures that were destroyed after the fair, the Palace of Fine Arts (as it was known), which was built to showcase artworks, remained. The backside of the museum (over-looking Jackson Park Lagoon) was actually the front of the palace during the fair, and the color of the exterior was changed during renovations. But the building looks almost exactly the way it did in 1893. Some of the light posts from the fair still illuminate the museum campus.

Ferris wheel

Visitors to the 1889 World's Fair in Paris marveled at the Eiffel Tower. When Burnham challenged American engineers to "out Eiffel Eiffel," a Galesburg, Ill., native presented his idea for a massive, riding wheel. Initially, fair organizers doubted whether George Washington Ferris' wheel was feasible (or safe). But the young engineer persisted, and the world's first Ferris wheel amazed fairgoers.

Ticket booth

While most of the grand buildings and monuments were destroyed, smaller elements of the World's Fair have withstood the past century. One in particular is a ticket booth from the fair now stands in the sideyard shadows of a famous Oak Park home.

The DeCaro House, 313 N. Forest Ave., designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1906, draws most of the attention from historians, but the unusual shack in the yard is a treasure. In its retirement from the ticket business, the structure has been used as a garden toolshed, a rabbit hut and now a garden decoration.

Rebecca Hyman of the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust: "It's a small shed, but it still looks like a ticket booth. The original window grills of the booth were found in the basement of the house."

The Rookery

With partner John Root, Daniel Burnham built The Rookery building in 1888 and situated their office on the 11th floor. As lead architect of the World's Fair, Burnham attracted the nation's top builders to The Rookery and drafted blueprints for the White City in the building that today stands at 209 S. LaSalle St. The Rookery is a Chicago landmark, hailed as much for its unique architecture as for its role in history.

Larson: "It's a gorgeous building. The library is still there and it's like you walk back in time. It was so tall when constructed that Burnham would have looked out and seen nothing at that level. It's a fantastic relic."


Statue of the Republic/Big Mary

Perhaps the most memorable image of the fair is that of Big Mary, the 111-foot tall Statue of the Republic that oversaw the Midway of the fair. Cast in gold leaf with arms uplifted, Big Mary welcomed the fairgoers and set a tone of classical wonder. The original statue was destroyed. Today, a replica welcomes golfers to the Jackson Park public course, which blankets in green what was once the White City. Perhaps better nicknamed Big Bertha, the replica statue's uplifted arms seem to inspire duffers to greatness.

Graceland graves

The grave sites of Burnham, former partner John Root, architect Louis Sullivan, Mayor Carter Henry Harrison and other Chicagoans central to the story of "Devil in the White City" can be found at Graceland Cemetery on the North Side. "On a crystalline day," wrote Larson, "you can almost hear the tinkle of fine crystal, the rustle of silk and wool, almost smell the expensive cigars." Serial killer H.H. Holmes is buried in a cement-filled grave (to thwart grave robbers) in Holy Cross Cemetery in Philadelphia.

Trees/gardens/lagoons in Jackson Park

The grounds of modern-day Jackson Park are remnants of the work of the fair's lead landscape architect, Frederick Olmsted. Built to awe the millions of 19th Century fairgoers, these grounds today welcome the crowds that congregate to sunbathe, barbecue or admire the natural beauty.

Larson: "The lagoons and hills can be considered remnants of Olmsted's work; with his team he essentially re-created that whole place. All the hills were manmade -- constructed of residue from digging the canals. The landscape has changed significantly since the World's Fair, so you have to be careful judging what is from that era and what is new. The contours of Jackson Park have changed; there's now a marina and a golf course.

Brian Williquette, district forester with Chicago Park District: "There are living trees in the park that were planted for the World's Fair, and there are trees that predate 1893, which Olmsted designed around. There is a burr oak just north of the rose garden with a spectacular 990-foot spread. And there is a fenced-in area that was a rose garden at the fair. The majority of the lagoons are Olmsted's work"

Wooded Island
Rising like a patch of wiry hair out of the Jackson Park Lagoon, the Wooded Island has an elegant history. Olmsted dug out portions of land to turn a peninsula into this island, on which sat a Japanese Garden amid a variety of plant life. The island may look unkempt to the weekend gardener, but this was the intent all along.

Larson: "The Wooded Isle was Olmsted's treasure. It's now overgrown and very much tangled -- probably how Olmsted would have loved to see it. I would bet divers would find artifacts in the lagoon surrounding the island."

Williquette: "Olmsted used native and non-native plants, which were eventually allowed to grow wild."

The Midway

The Midway, once the main grounds of the World's Fair that hosted belly dancers, side shows and oddities from around the world, is today a portion of Jackson Park. When construction crews recently broke ground to create an ice skating rink, they unearthed massive foundations supported the Ferris wheel.

Midway Plaisance (5950 south; the grassy median that cuts through the University of Chicago campus) snakes through what was the center of the Midway. With its ambling path, the street seems more suited for a fair than a thoroughfare. The area is beautiful in a sleepy way, yet it's hard to imagine that, for a period in history, citizens of the world were transfixed by this spot.

Holmes' Hotel

The White City dazzled the millions of attendees, but also blinded Chicagoans to atrocities such as murders, disappearances and muggings -- the most vicious at the hands of H.H. Holmes. Described at his trial as "the most dangerous man in the world" by district attorney George Graham, Holmes body count will never be known, but in Larson's estimate he was responsible for at least nine murders around the time of the World's Fair.

Holmes built a hotel/torture chamber near what is now the intersection of 63rd and Wallace Streets in the Englewood neighborhood, where he killed and disposed of his victims. Today, a post office sits on the lot that once hid ghastly secrets.

Larson: "It's a pretty tough neighborhood. But Chicago is a far safer city today that in the 1890s."

Troy Taylor, author of "Haunted Chicago" (Whitechapel Productions): "Holmes' hotel is a mysterious location; there are only a couple photos remaining. We still don't know how many he killed there. The building was destroyed right after his trial [Holmes was put to death for murder]. No one took credit for destroying it, but it could have been a group from the neighborhood; the hotel had been attracting curiosity seekers. The lot sat empty until 1938 when the post office was built. I've heard there are strange noises there, and animals won't go on that lot. I doubt that people in the neighborhood even know about what happened there."

Millennium Park

Burnham died in 1912, long before the city broke ground on Millennium Park. But his legacy is alive in the new park, opening July 16. "Millennium Park is similar to the World's Fair in a lot of ways," says Tim Samuelson, cultural historian with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. "They are both symbols of Chicago's achievement and progressive nature. They are huge public works projects built for as many people as possible to enjoy."

Both were overdue as well. Originally the World's Fair was scheduled for 1892 -- 400 years after Columbus -- but didn't open until 1893. And Millennium Park's name seems a bit dated in 2004. But big projects often have big delays -- the focus is the finished product.

My Pet Goat

which is really "The Pet Goat", according to this WSJ article.... - Bush's Goat Tale Is Tough to Find:
Suddenly, "My Pet Goat" is one of the most famous stories in America. But the tale, which goes by a different title, is tough to find, and its author doesn't understand all the fuss.

In an early scene in Michael Moore's film "Fahrenheit 9/11," President Bush sits before a Florida elementary school class on Sept. 11, perusing the pages of "The Pet Goat," the story's real title. After being told that both World Trade Center towers have been hit, Mr. Bush remains fixed in his chair. As the children read, the camera focuses in on Mr. Bush, who is trying to keep under tight control.

Mr. Moore portrays Mr. Bush as indecisive in a crisis. ...

But what about the book? "The Pet Goat" was designed to teach words ending in the letter E. The story involves a girl whose parents insist she get rid of her pet goat when it eats everything in sight. Then a burglar enters the house. The goat butts him, and the grateful parents let the goat stay. Everyone smiles but the burglar, who says he is sore (note the "e" ending).

Because the story is part of a classroom anthology, finding a copy -- except for one listed under "My Pet Goat" on eBay yesterday -- has been near impossible. The story is contained in a book called "Reading Mastery: Rainbow Edition, Level 2, Storybook 1," a school reading aid offered by SRA/McGraw-Hill, an educational publisher owned by McGraw-Hill Cos. Armed with that less-than-lilting title, fans of the story may be able to find stray copies on

The author, Siegfried Engelmann, is a retired professor who taught special education at the University of Oregon. The creator of many such stories, and a noted scholar on the subject of reading skills, he hasn't seen the movie. "It hasn't brought me any fame," he says. "It's fascinating that anyone would even be interested in something like this."

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Alaska GOP could lose Alaska seat in U.S. Senate
Juneau, Alaska -- Alaska might seem like the last place where Democrats would have a shot at stealing a Senate seat from the Republicans. The state has not had a Democratic senator since the Carter administration. Republicans outnumber Democrats nearly 2-to-1. And the Senate seat in play is held by the daughter of one of Alaska's most powerful politicians.

But the contest between GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski and former Gov. Tony Knowles has emerged as a key race in the Democrats' attempt to retake control of the Senate.

Democrats believe Knowles' popularity from his two terms as governor and his pro-oil development views in this energy-rich state put him in perfect position to pull off an upset against Murkowski, who also faces a tough primary battle.

In other words, those pundits who have already counted each state as "Red" or "Blue", whatever the fuck that means, are wrong. Where's LBJ when you need 'em? and not the smarmy egotistical LBJ who got caught up in Kennedy's war in Indochina, but the Senate Majority Leader who gave liberalism a good name.

Now playing in iTunes: Act Like You Know, from the album Vice City Soundtrack GTA3 by Fat Larry's Band

Data points

From the Beeb:

Oil prices have surged once again amid concerns over dwindling reserves in the US and fears oil cartel Opec may decline to raise its output.

On the London market Brent Crude jumped $1.08 to $35.58, while US traded oil jumped $1.20 to $38.25 a barrel.

so that vaunted relationship that the Bush regime has with OPEC and oil producing countries is working to someone's advantage, unfortunately, not to consumers.


courtesy of the ChiTrib

Even as we learned recently that almonds can carry salmonella germs, news came that cilantro kills them. Researchers have found a substance in cilantro called dodecenal that has twice the antibacterial power of the antibiotic usually used to treat salmonellosis. It explains an earlier finding: that salsa seems to fight bacteria. But while cilantro may be a great new antibiotic in this age of drug--resistant germs, salsa must have too little of it to make a difference--Mexico still has the world's 7th highest rate of salmonellosis, 40 cases per 100,000 population (Germany leads with 200). Bangladesh, though--which cooks almost everything with cilantro (aka coriander)--has the lowest rate-3 cases per 100,000.

Source: World Health Organization.

Swank Franks

Swank Franks
Originally uploaded by swanksalot.

The woman moved in front of the Deep Fried Twinkies 1.99 sign. I'll have to retake it at some future date....

Nader is toast

Looks like Nader shouldn't have run this time, the so-called 'bloom' is certainly off of this rose. Too many allegations of less than progressive behavior, and too many Republicans involved in his funding. Buh, Bye, Ralphie. News | The dark side of Ralph Nader:
While Nader's legacy as a consumer advocate is unparalleled, it is worth noting that the onetime national hero wasn't celebrating his landmark birthday surrounded by the hundreds of people he has worked with and influenced over four decades. Indeed, virtually no one who worked with him since the heady days of Nader's Raiders is supporting him politically or personally today. He has inspired almost no loyalty and instead has alienated many of his closest associates. The estrangement between Nader and many of his former intimates is not a new phenomenon; it's not the result of his ruinous campaign for president in 2000; it dates back to his earliest days as a public figure.

Dozens of people who have worked with or for Nader over the decades have had bitter ruptures with the man they once respected and admired. The level of acrimony is so widespread and acute that it's impossible to dismiss those involved as disgruntled former employees, disillusioned leftists or self-seeking turncoats. Usually it was Nader himself who ratcheted up what was often just a parting of ways into professional warfare and vitriolic personal attacks.

While Nader continues to campaign against corporate abuse, his own record, according to many of those who have worked closely with him, is characterized by arrogance, underhanded attacks on friends and associates, secrecy, paranoia and mean-spiritedness -- even at the expense of his own causes. If he were a corporate CEO, subject to the laws governing publicly held and federally regulated firms, there can be little doubt he would have been removed long ago by his company's board of directors.