Bear Droppings
Friday, March 29, 2002
Business Casual Friday
Between Congress being out of session, my boss taking today off, and us being allow business casual on Fridays I decided it was a good day to brighten up the office and wear a bright Hawaiian shirt. Comments have varied from "Book'em Dano", "Hawaii Five O" to "When is the Luau?" even the President of the Association made a comment. I guess I got what I wanted for people to notice and make them smile. I am out of here to sushi with friends and then going to shoot pool at Atomic, have a good weekend all.
Traficant article over at the American Prowler, you have to love an article that begins
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey advertise their product as the Greatest Show on Earth. But for my money that designation is better applied to the show going on right now in a federal courtroom in Cleveland, where nine-term Rep. Jim Traficant (D-OH) is fighting to stay out of jail.
It goes on from there a very fun read on the trial, although I get the impression Mr. Carter (the author) hasn't actually attended the trial. I also disagree with his viewpoint on getting reelected if he does get around the case. (Thanks to Edward)
Many thanks to Lex for a spelling correction, not his first actually. I confess, I need to upgrade to Blogger Pro so I can get the spell checker function back into my blog. I am a bad speller and have been for a while. To which my Mother a former teacher would argue, "But you did well in spelling in school", here's the thing rote memory is easy and lasts a short time. Her response, but you read so much, yes I read, ALOT. I will sooner spend money on books than food and perhaps even beer. But for some reason the enjoyment of reading has never translated into the ability to spell. It's so bad I even misspell words that are common and I should know. I look at them and wonder "Is that right?" So if I misspell, do me a favor and tell me so I can correct it. Hell my brain gets ahead of itself and I forget whole words in sentences on occasion. Sloppy, I try to edit myself, but I often miss things, that's why I started Bear Droppings, to use my writing muscles more and like any exercise you make mistakes.

Thanks for your patronage and to Lex first beer's on me.

The Management

PS- I even just had to go look up muscles because I knew I was spelling them wrong.

I admit it, I have been a bad soul, I have enjoyed RageBoy rants, but haven't gotten around to buying Bombastic Transcripts. Since Rageboy took me and a few other folks out behind the woodshed and beat us like a red-headed stepchild, I finally got around to buying it. While I was on Amazon, I bought David Weinberger's book too. I'll review them as soon as I get done reading them, perhaps next weekend.
But we’re only beginning to grasp how weird it is to have wireless Net access all the time. One harbinger: during Tuesday morning’s session with Qwest telecommunications CEO Joe Nacchio, several conference participants were typing their impressions into personal “Web logs,” online diaries available to all on the Internet. One of these “bloggers,” Doc Searls, got an e-mail from a friend across the country, who noted that Nacchio—who at that moment was onstage complaining about how tough life was in telecom—had sold huge amounts of stocks over the past two years. Searls located a page from Yahoo Finance with the particulars and linked it to his log. Another blogger in the room read Searls’s log, and copied the link to his own site, acidly commenting on the inappropriateness of Nacchio’s whining. Though it’s not clear how many in the room were reading the Web logs, apparently there were a lot. In any case, it seemed that the room palpably chilled toward the pugnacious executive. This is a dangerous trend for public speakers everywhere.
(From MSNBC)

Danergous, because they can't BS a crowd, I think a little accountablity is a good thing, although granted a voice in the back of my head says becareful what you ask for today it may bite you in the ass tomorrow :-)

This guy made a killing as a monopoly and the crowd was able to call Bullshit on him. I like it, hell I love it. It makes presenting at conferences much like everything else the web is infecting, a conversation. The person who just wants to speak at conference to push their idea with a few little questions at the end is forced to realize his crowd is interacting with their speech, whether they like it or not.

I have even a better example of this, at this same conference Dan Gilmor was blogging and made a mistake, during the Q&A the Presenter called him on it and corrected him. So it's not just one way street this accountability is a two way road. But the fact he was called on it, didn't make him mad, it made him even more excited about the medium.

Then, in the Q&A, he corrected something I'd written in the blog. In other words, he'd caught this in near-real time and had better information (he should). I immediately posted another paragraph, which began, "I've been corrected...."

Whoa. I'm still not entirely sure what happened. But I do know this. My journey in journalism hit a pivot in that moment. Maybe journalism itself hit a pivot point, as pretentious as that sounds.

All I know for sure is that I'm jazzed that it happened, and I'm going to think about it, hard.

Stories like this disprove cynical theory that the web is over. Lisa Guernsey thinks Fun is Hard to Find online, I suspect it's more that she doesn't have a clue and is like one of the Blind men trying to describe an Elephant. Weblogs, IM, Metafilter, Google, Indendent Content, just because the Dot Bombs have left doesn't mean people have gotten off line, they have just gotten smarter.

The world is interactive, not broadcast. "It's not the medium, it's the message." The message a simple one, come on guys let's have fun. (Thanks David for the Steve's Quote)

Friday Five
1. If you could eat dinner with and "get to know" one famous person (living or dead), who would you choose? Hmm, perhaps James Woods, although he seems egotistical at times and I wouldn't agree with him on most political issues, I think he's intelligent and would make for interest person to get to know. Otherwise Kate Winslet, you know she available now...

2. Has the death of a famous person ever had an effect on you? Who was it and how did you feel? I think the old Hollywood stars deaths effect me more than anyone else, Jimmy Stewart, Bogart, while the studios were big movie factories those days the quality of the writing and the actors were better overall.

3. If you could BE a famous person for 24 hours, who would you choose? Be famous and myself, the best of all worlds. More seriously I can't say I wouldn't have interest in being any of them, it's not my bag baby.

4. Do people ever tell you that you look like someone famous? Who? Without the beard, the Gerber baby. Shut up, got a lot of emotional scaring over it ;-) Actually people occasional say Al from tool time, but I don't buy it.

5. Have you ever met anyone famous? Outside of the political world, which the list is too long, yes, I have met Richard Roundtree aka SHAFT and Charlton Heston. I met Charlton Heston while on the Hill, I knew he would be in our office that day, I was just interning and was sent off to run an errand. I came back in and he was in meeting with the boss. The office was buzzing about how he had shaken EVERYONES hand on the way in, I was bummed that I had to run the errand and missed out. So it was a Friday and slow so I had an IM window open with a buddy, telling him all about it, how it sucked I missed out. I look over my shoulder down the hall and see he's leaving now. I quickly type "There he is, Moses in person, cool." I turned and he realized I hadn't been there on the way in smiled came up shook my hand, he's a big guy, said hello chatted for a second, then left. I turned back to the computer and typed "I shook hands with Moses!" So regardless if you like his politics or not, he is considerate towards staff, he didn't have to stop and say hello. My little brush with fame.
Thursday, March 28, 2002
Food for Thought:

(A) The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

(B) On the other hand, the French eat a lot of fat and also suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans

(C) The Japanese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

(D) The Italians drink excessive amounts of red wine and also suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

(E) Conclusion: Eat and drink what you like. It's speaking English that kills you.

Ich spreche Deutsch und du? Danke Christine.

Traficant Update - A 600lb Welding Tool, Ant Testicles, and Destroying Potential Evidence
I haven't really made the effort to post my Traficant updates this week. A shame perhaps, but now we can catch up. It has been a busy week and some of the best material of the trial has taken place, examples you ask?

I shall provide, how about a 600lb welding tool, ant testicles, and destroying potential evidence. Let's bring it on!

Monday started off with a bang as Traficant asked to bring a 600lb welding machine into the Courtroom, that's right folks 600lbs, he will need some heavy weight tools to keep his case together *RIMSHOT* (Sorry couldn't resist, thanks Paul Singer)

Today Traficant refered to the prosecution as

"They have the testicles of an ant."
Judge Wells got upset at the comment for some reason, not sure why. Thanks Mr. Singer
Lastly, I am sure there will be follow up stories on this but...
Assistant U.S. Attorney Bernard K. Smith asked about a recording Traficant supposedly had of a conversation between him and Saadey. A copy of the tape should have produced for prosecutors, Smith argued, under the Jencks Act that sets forth federal rules of discovery. Traficant admitted he destroyed the tape last night.
Destroying evidence, Hmmmm maybe the tape wasn't as good as evidence as Traficant thought......
Advantage Bear Droppings
Foxnews covers the Speedy Gonzales story, I covered it two days ago. I even linked to the Hispanic Online story which they mention but don't link to, shame on you Fox. That's right folks you want to hear it first about Cartoons and James Traficant I am your source. (some how those seem alot more related then I intended when I typed it, also thanks to Howard Kurtz for pointing out the story)
Damn that Internet it's going to ruin the economy.
According to a study the economic recovery could be slowed by the market efficiency.
One reason that firms won’t do so well this time around is because the Internet is essentially killing profits by turning earnings that formerly went to businesses into savings that go directly into customer pockets, the report said.

An example is the hotel industry. In the past a price cut by one hotel would only attract a few customers, so there wasn’t as much incentive to cut rates, the report said.

But a price cut posted in cyberspace is quickly matched by other hotels fighting for guests — competition that leads to lower profits for everyone, the report said. “This competition on the Internet reduces price to operating costs, leaving no return on investment at all,” the report said. “It is autos, it is PCs, it is airlines.”

My god, you mean that business may have to start have more than just low price, they might have to show some quality to differentiating from other companies, oh how will the market ever survive? Stupid study, that is why the price is not the only factor people and smart businesses will use it to their advantage. In auto's it might be the ability to access your car better, in PC's it's Dell and Apple, and in airlines it's Jet Blue and Southwest. They know the truth, customers are people, not numbers. I am not saying people at those companies don't make mistakes, but I think they are trying harder than most companies out there.

My roommate told me George Burns had died, it was actually Milton Berle. Burns had been dead for 6 years, I hadn't even realized it. A buddy of mine said things like this always happen in threes, and we lost Dudley Moore, so I am waiting for the last one.
Lex, if you think $5.25 is high for an Anchor Steam, one piece of advice don't order one in Adams Morgan, at Cities they run $8 and that was at least two years ago....funny I wonder why I haven't gone back. Speaking of which I tried to set up a tour at said brewery for an upcoming trip out West, but no dice they aren't giving tours *sob* I have been trying to get a tour there for 8 years. I even had a tour set up a few years ago, but a friend who had been to San Francisco before told us the wrong bus and I haven't been able to arrange it since. For the record he was on the bus and missed the tour too.

The bombing in Israel yesterday has started alot of discussion and sourness. So to brighten your day I only have one thing to offer and now your moment of Zen.......Look at the puppy! (Idea stolen from Jon Stewart and reminded to me by Dan Brown)

Damn what Dave said last night must have gotten posted by the Professor or someone of that stature for traffic, because I am getting a huge traffic spike starting last night and it's all from him. You da Man, Dave!
POSTSCRIPT: Dave was mentioned by the Professor, as they say in Stalag 17 Acht Zzzzssoooo, Acht Zzzzssssoooo. Cool Beans.
Wednesday, March 27, 2002
Michelle Malkin's view on Washington
Dave's right, I must grant certain caveat's to Michelle's opinion, DC is not perfect, I haven't seen a perfect city either. DC is too humid for my taste, and she is right housing is too expensive, and Dave's right traffic can get ugly. But most of her judgements are way off base and sound like sour grapes of someone who interned, but never actually found a job in town, at least that's what she sounds like to me. A few tasty excerpts and comments...
Written by Beltway types and drawing on the self-delusionary opinions of other Beltway types, this Brookings report leaves out some of the most obvious reasons why Washington repulses normal Americans.
You seen very obsessed about types and inside the Beltway types specifically, but then throughout the article you generalize about K Street, the Hill, and people.
I speak from experience as an intermittent and reluctant resident of Washington and the surrounding area over the past 10 years.
She interned in DC once and visits for stories...(okay looking at her bio she works for papers as a columnist)
Up close, it's a rude, family-unfriendly, ego-infested, tax-subsidized, creep-coddling swamp.
No more rude than any major city of any size and in fact in neighborhoods the people are friendly, it's scary three years after leaving Old Town when I am down there how many people I see I know or know me from when I lived there, very small town like in an area of 3 million people. I have heard the same thing said for Cleveland Park, Adams Morgan, and more recently Ballston. As for family unfriendly, tell that to all the families who visit every year on the metro (esp. in the Summer), it's cleaner than New York's subway, and fairly simple to get around on. On top of that you could go on a museum trip once a weekend for three months without visiting the same place twice, so unlike Phoenix which doesn't have many family activities, there are many here. Ego-infested, unlike New York, LA, San Francisco.....there are egotistical people everywhere I hate to be the one to break it to you, DC has no monopoly. And yes DC was a swamp and feels like it again every August, them is the lumps.
Try walking along K Street - D.C.'s famous corridor of power brokers -- on a weekday morning with a baby, stroller, and diaper bag.
Why would you want to walk down K Street on a weekday morning? The Mall and there are plenty of parks that make a better place to walk. Besides would walking down Wall Street in New York at the same time be any more pleasant? It's a business area.
If you're lucky enough not to get mowed down by a profanity-spewing driver in an expensive car sporting diplomat license plates, you'll freeze to death under the icy glare of cheerless and condescending lobbyists who automatically assume you are your child's paid caretaker. Pedestrians and stay-at-home parents are endangered species in this part of town.
Diplomats drive that way, why were you in the street? Of course stay-at-home parents aren't found in that area, it's a business district, not residential.
Try walking the halls of Congress. It's Abercrombie & Fitch meets the Hair Club for Men. Lots of really photogenic young people kissing up to lots of insufferable blowhards. Separated by one or two generations, most of these players have only one real thing in common: they have never been weaned from the public teat. The closest they've ever come to meeting a payroll is when they come together to spend everyone else's payroll taxes.
I was one of those people, I hate to tell you, but I ain't photogenic. I never had the high end clothes and I wasn't alone. On top of that both of the members I worked for had run their own business before coming to Congress. In fact alot of members have, I would bet you never actually worked on the Hill, but applied for alot of jobs and sound bitter about it.
In Washington, you don't have friends and neighbors. You have "contacts" and "sources." And nobody ever travels alone on Capitol Hill. Happiness is a groveling entourage. Weekends are made for "networking." The typical Beltway denizen's idea of social stimulation is a constantly vibrating beeper.
Gee, I better tell all these people I have called friends for the last five years they are not. Hmmmm I have some contacts, but no sources, the only people who have sources are journalists. Hate to tell you Michelle, but I travel alone up on the Hill all the time. I don't have an entourage, but if you would like to apply let me know and I'll get you an application. ;-) Hmmmm I really don't think she did live in the city, weeknights are for networking (not weekends), weekends are for getting out of Dodge, going camping or to the countryside, or just relaxing. Although I fully admitt, I don't go to a party without a couple of business cards in my pocket, they are good for notes or a phone number. The last comment about a beeper is funny, I don't know anyone in DC who has had a beeper in the last few years they all have cell phones, get with the times. ;-)
Except that most Washington dinner "parties" are dreadfully joyless affairs, filled with more rivalry than revelry -- and enough name-droppings to fertilize a football field.
I don't think I have ever been to a true "dinner" party maybe once or twice, but I tend to suspect they are the previous generations thing, not the current one. I do go to a fair amount of receptions and happy hours.

Okay so you don't like the Brookings report, good for you, but when you make blanket judgements, it says more about you than those you try to cover. I may be leaving DC in the next year, but you know I honestly don't regret my time here, the people, or the experiences, I have made some wonderful friends, worked some amazing places, seen some wonderful things. This town isn't perfect, but it isn't that bad either.

Pre-painted Easter Eggs
As a kid that was one of my favorite parts of Easter coloring the eggs, even though I didn't eat hard boiled egss at the time, that just stinks, how can kids have fun, how hard is it to boil an egg? This is just silly, I don't know which is worse, that they are doing it, or idiots will buy them....
Has anyone else seen this latest annoying thing? Gator tries to automaticly load their program into your computer without even asking you if you wanted to load the program first, luckily my security settings are high enough it asks for a prompt first, but that still bothers me. Talk about arrogant, I will not shop through their affiliates. I'll post it the next time it happens, I have already closed the window.
D-A-M-N Roger Ebert Rocks....yup you heard me right. (Thanks Kevin)
So who the hell is Neil Pollack? And why did Jill write him? These questions and the fact he was mentioned on Dawson's Creek drove me to wonder who this guy is....I'll report back if I find out anything interesting...

Yes, I'll admitt his mention on Dawson's is probably why I am following up to figure out who he is, it's my guilty pleasure show, I confess. I watch Dawson's Creek. Happy?

Email addresses
I am sick of email to my Yahoo account taking forever to process, literally some of the posts to the DC Bloggers Group are taking a day or two to arrive, when other members of the group are not having any problems. This is particularly funny since the Blogger group and my Yahoo email are hosted by the same company. So I am getting back to using my bears account more often, check out the BIO page if you don't have the email address. I really have liked the fact that my bears address wasn't exactly my public one, more of the account old friends used to reach me. But considering how slow the Yahoo email is in processing messages I decided to leave my Yahoo account as the public spam account. It's a shame because I liked the fact I could access Yahoo mail from any browser and read messages for instance at the gym on a web-enabled exercise bike. It wasn't just Blogger group email either, I am also on Declan's listserv and I would get things hours after my boss did, it has just gotten annoying. My only problem with the bears account is my work web connection gets buggy and can't hold a telnet window open for any length of time, if I leave it alone for 5 minutes it will crash. This only happens at work though so I know it's on our end of the connection. I won't stop checking my Yahoo mail, but I'll probably only scan it once a day instead of the 5-6 times I do currently.
Zonitics, how can he stand to be right so often?
Edward Boyd must have been reading my mind because I considering posting a very similar column about Josh Marshall
myself. I had nearly the identical thoughts, except perhaps to add that since the Professor links to him, I would expect a little better. As Edward said says I too like his site, but he makes claims, "Oh there's gunna be scandal here, oh there's a gunna be a scandal there" but nothing ever materializes. I'll leave the conclusion to Zonitics.
Don't get me wrong, I really like Marshall's web site. His problem is the same problem that infected some of the right during the Clinton years -- he so wants to see a scandal that will hurt President Bush, that he sees suspicious shadows in every corner. That's fine, but he should be a little more circumspect when he writes about his suspicions on his site. In other words, after so many false starts I'll believe that Marshall is about to deliver "more" of substance on a political scandal when I see it.

Wednesday Poem

The Way
The Way that can be experienced is not true;
The world that can be constructed is not real.
The Way manifests all that happens and may happen;
The world represents all that exists and may exist.

To experience without abstraction is to sense the world;
To experience with abstraction is to know the world.
These two experiences are indistinguishable;
Their construction differs but their effect is the same.

Beyond the gate of experience flows the Way,
Which is ever greater and more subtle than the world.
From Tao Te Ching

Tuesday, March 26, 2002
What do Hollings and Fidel have in common, more then you would expect, or perhaps not. (Thanks Tom)

Also when Elephants dance it's a good over-arching look at Copyright and Music, actually the best article I have seen as of yet.

The World Food program released a report about potential food shortages in Southern Africa. I think it's poor form to release such a report, or perhaps it's just the Reuters coverage, without mentioning the actions of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe. Who has been taking very productive farmers and running them off the land. No doubt his government will blame America, the West, and the UN for the troubles, but if South Africa wasn't so quick to certify the elections and took actions with the international community than the effects of this potential problem would have been eased and perhaps not occurred at all. Considering until recent years Zimbabwe was a food exporter, this change in status is alarming and early indication that a major problem is there. Reading the official report among other reasons of rainfall and other issues they cite "disruption to the commercial farming sector due to land acquisition activities" in other words, the farmers were kicked off their land, but it's a political correct way of saying what it is...Zimbabwe brought it on itself. It's small wonder why average American's dislike the UN, they coddle dictators and berate those who pay the bills. Don't get me wrong I support what their efforts and think they do overall good, but it doesn't surprise me when right wing people rant about the organization. They have some valid criticisms (and yes I do believe we should pay our dues).
You have to enjoy a President with enough of a sense of humor to pull this off.
If Oprah hosts the Oscars next year then the terrorists have already won. (Of course it's Drudge so who the hell knows if it's true)
I'll second Lex's nomination for Allura (actually I think her bedhead looks cute) to Dave's blogger calender.
Ted Turner's censorship of cartoons he doesn't like because they aren't PC is nothing new, a friend showed me a tape a few years ago of many of the ones banned today and funny thing was 85% I remember being on the air when I was a kid. That's part of the problem with political correctness it is so obessed with not hurting anyones feelings it censors speech in the process. So this story about Speedy Gonzales not being aired on tv doesn't particularly surprise me, the funny thing is he is a very positive character, looking out for friends, a gentlemouse if playboy. This is exactly the kind of BS that would make Chuck Jones turn in his grave.

I have been requested, no it was more like demanded to post this link on Bear Droppings. Why because Renee doesn't have a blog yet, perhaps I need to help her with that. *shrug*

Anyways, if Renee wants, Renee gets, so here it is, just remember folks if your not into doing demented things with Easter Marshmellow Peeps then don't go there it's not a pretty sight. You have been warned.

A few notes about fellow DC blogger Lex Gibson, I love the fact when you do a search for him Bear Droppings shows up, tell you what I'll add you to the direct blogrolling list so if anyone gets here by mistake they can find their way home, heh. I also enjoy the fact you have added a counter, Come over to the Dark Side Lex. More seriously I think Scully is right about knowing where people visit from, I just wish I could stop the traffic from people looking for Britney Spears nude pictures (wait until google gets a hold of that). Last many, many thanks to Lex for spell checking my previous entry which goes to prove I shouldn't post my theories late at night without a spell-checker or another person look over my shoulder, besides the gov'ment of course.
Monday, March 25, 2002
Just a little theory...lets see how it works out...
Cheney not to long ago made a trip to the Middle East and chat with alot of folks, like the Saudis. Let's say Cheney had a more specific mission to workout details on a plan for Middle East peace and stop the violence between the Israelis and Palestinians. Cheney has a plan that he gives to the Saudis that they present as their own plan for peace, involving the Arab League normalizing ties to Israel if the Israelis return to the 1967 borders. Cheney goes so far as to tell the Saudis, we will not outright support the plan and even speak alittle negatively of it, just to give the Saudis more creditablity among Arabs as the originators of the idea. Cheney even tells the Arabs to tell it to Thomas Friedman to publicly leak the plan in advance (not sure that the timeline plays out, but perhaps the plan was given to the Saudis in advance of the Cheney trip, his trip was just to finalize details). This week at the Arab League the Saudis sell this idea to the other Arab nations, Yassar shows up and if the Arab League agrees to the plan they tell Yassir this week his times over, he has lost legimacy in international eyes and if he steps down they will make him a cushy non-profit foundation for Palestinian development. Some how they get him to agree (not sure of the dynamics here). Then the Arab League takes the plan to the UN and says here, we have this idea and while we are setting up a new government but we need UN observers and police to manage the process during nation building. After intense negotiations the USA agrees to back the idea...and with US pressure on Israel they agree. This isn't just a stick though, the carrot is the US will be doubling it's foriegn aid in the next few years and money will go to Israel, Palestinian, and Arab states.

Very complex idea and tough to pull off without leaks to the press. W, Cheney, Powell, and Rice would have to be involved in the process and probably few others. But obviously common opinion says W wouldn't be smart enough to formulate such a plan, so who could come up with it. Someone smart, well experienced in Middle Eastern politics and alot of time available to think it all through, some like a former head of the CIA. Also someone who perhaps has been out of the game for a while and would love one last major feather in his cap, even if he couldn't get credit for the idea.

Just an idea....I am going to look at some timeline issues and see how they fit, but most of the pieces let's see how it plays in the next few weeks and months. Alot of variables out there, but it makes for an interesting think piece, no?
3/26/02 4:00pm POSTSCRIPT: Yassir was just denied exit visa, or he turned it down due to the return conditions. Regardless it shoots a hole in the theory, but doesn't mean it couldn't play out....I'll continue to monitor.

I'm not a thief. I'm a customer. When you treat me like a thief, I won't be your customer.
Well said. (Thanks Meg)
Review Fast Food Nation
In recent months, across the web I have seen this book in people's reading mentioned on various blogs. I decided I would like to read this book for myself. I had every reason to like what this book would tell me, I eat fast food infrequently, don't like what it is doing to America, it's culture, or our health. All that being said while I think this book has interesting and useful information, but one must read it with health skepticism.

I am an aspiring author, but as I study my craft I read the words repeated over and over again "Let the story tell itself". My impression of Fast Food Nation is that Mr. Schlosser had a very set opinion approaching this work and looked for answers that matched his thesis. He uses facts and studies very effectively to represent these viewpoints. When facts are unavailable he uses an anecdotes to suffice and leaving the implication that his one story is the norm. Lastly when this method fails him he uses someone else's opinion and leaves it to give the impression of the overall state of the industry.

There are numerous examples of this approach, but I will briefly cover a few. On page 118 he uses the words of a Bert Moulton to implies collusion and price-fixing throughout the potato growing industry without any direct evidence. On 174 he blames supervisors for widespread sales of amphetamines to meat packing plants. In describing and E. coli out break he describes on page 208 that no direct source of the outbreak can be traced, he states that the meat came from a specific plant that was dirty according to federal inspectors so therefore it was the source.

His political viewpoint is accented throughout the book. He repeatedly uses terms such as "right-wing", "conservative", and "republican" in a negative context, but is careful not to include them in the index to show how wide spread his bias is in the text. This shows through to the additional section where he discusses the changes since the original book. Specifically he goes after the Wall Street Journals editorial staff as right wing without mention of the reviewers name or what was wrong with the review. It isn't until page 277 that he confesses that he was light on the role of the Clinton administrations record and ties to the Tyson family. After a bare three sentences he turns to attack the current administration.

Finally, the charge of American cultural imperialism rings hollow. He notes on page 244 of various acts against McDonald's by Dutch anarchists. McDonald's uses an orderly system for distribution, a natural target for an anarchist regardless of culture. He mentions that one McDonalds was blown up in Cali, Columbia in 1997, I just wonder how many other buildings were blowup in Cali that year? On Page 250 he mentions Plauen only having McDonalds the only store open in the town square on Unification day in Germany. I'll confess to have never been to Plauen, but if he knew anything of German culture he might know that all businesses close in Germany except restaurants. He continues in last few pages of the chapter implying blame for the high unemployment in East Germany on McDonalds and other Western institutions, I am sorry this doesn't wash. The Wall fell in Eastern Germany to an economic system whose end had come. Afterwards it has been a difficult adjustment period for those people, trying to get over the chains of Communism and it cheapens those people's struggles, sacrifices, and dreams to use it as a cheap plot device to drive a personal opinion.

This book has some positive characteristics, I agree with it's statements about the danger of genetically altered food. I enjoyed when he talked about the good actors in the industry and feel they deserved a full chapter, rather than a few paragraphs. This would have been a better book if he had let the story tell itself, rather then use it as a personal opportunity to push his political agenda. If he had then I think Fast Food Nation would have been great book instead of just an Upton Sinclair knockoff.

Back folks, I hope you enjoyed the weekend...

Saturday night I caught Dave on Jeopardy, I fully confess the smartass in me watched thinking up jokes to make for the blog, but at the end I realized he won on Jeopardy (I know he mentioned he was on, but I didn't know or realize he had won) and I have never been a contestant, so therefore Dave is way cool than me and I haven't a leg to stand on. But I must ask this, what's with the glasses?

Monday Mission 2.12

1. What helps you get started every morning?Coffee.

2. What is the most memorable thing anyone has ever made for you? Perhaps this green sandbox my father made with me as a kid, I got the paint all over myself, my parents still have the pictures I am sure.

3. What music are you currently listening to in your car? No Car, I have managed 30 years on this planet without taking ownership of one. When I am on the metro in my CD player I have my gym CD in at the moment, the soundtrack from "Run Lola, Run" or Lola Rennt. Normally it's either Warren Zevon, Jewel, or whatever strikes my mood.

4. What is one "splurge" you allow yourself, even when you shouldn't? Books.

5. Have you ever been given a "second chance?" What happened and did you make the most of it? Have to think about it...

6. Do you have a lot of friends outside of your own ethnic background? Most of my Friends are....

7. What was the last situation that really, really pissed you off? The fact our systems admin doesn't keep presentation equipment in conference rooms and there is no formal proceedure to ensure the equipment will be there when necessary. It sounds minor, but after 3-4 times of not having equipment when you need it, it gets old.

BONUS: Who's your friend when things get rough? The friends that have shared this path with me for a long time...

Friday, March 22, 2002
No pool for me...but heading out the door, have a good weekend all...
If you made stuff like this no publishing house would believe it.
That phrase contains alot of truth concerning the Traficant trial, perhaps that's why I continue to follow it. It's like a train about to crash, you know you should turned your face away from the pending train wreck, you know it's going to happen, you can feel it in your bones, but you just want to see how it will occur. This describes me and the trial I suppose.

But maybe I exaggerate, build this story into something it's not, that it eventually will quietly fade into the night. Then I read stories like this...

The court docket in the U.S. District Court case officially filed under the number 4-01-CR207 now includes a subpoena for a Mahoning County resident convicted of bribing judges.

Russell Saadey Jr. has been subpoenaed by U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant Jr. to testify as a defense witness. Saadey is scheduled to be sentenced in April on charges that he accepted bribe money to fix criminal cases while employed as an investigator for former Mahoning County Prosecutor James Philomena, now imprisoned after pleading guilty to taking bribes.
A man convicted of bribing judges as part of your defense...folks you couldn't even get that idea into a script on FOX.

Go read Tim Blair he has a great article....I won't tell you about who though...(Thanks to Instapundit)
Transforming Humanoid Optimized for Mathematics and Accurate Sabotage

Obviously whoever designed this has never seen me do mathematics, three times to pass Stats in college folks, that's right three times.
Damn! Between Dave on Jeopardy and Professor Pencek on Win Ben Stein's Money I know all these game show masters....I some how feel like I should be humbled by knowing them or something...or may just I hang out with people who know too much trivia? That being said the last time I played Trivial Pursuit with friends at Christmas it took us 6 hours to play a game and one of the people had Disney cards instead of the regular cards, of course the Margaritas we consumed during the game I am sure weren't a factor in the game taking forever. And yes for the record I won that game.
I spoke to a friend last night who lobbyies for the webcasting companies, I mentioned the discussion of a march on Washington. He looked at me with a disgusted sigh and said he'd rather have a campaign to write and fax members actively than a march. After a minute I realized his point, in DC groups come in Unions, Pro-this, Against that every other week, Congressfolk are used to it. They will be welcoming but the effort will be forgotten a week or two later.

Any one day effort is not answer, be it a March or shutting down the net for a day. Most of Congress and the general public has a short memory finding a more active way to keep it fresh in people's minds is necessary.
I admitt it, I thought I was a badass when for Sweet 16 I had 11 of the 16 teams, a bit like the old school SNL "Uhh, we bad, we bad" of course I actually hadn't laid down the cash on a pool. Why? Because usually I have 3 of the 16 teams, a true wasted effort. Although after last night I am at best 3 of the 8 teams depending on tonight's results. Worse than that half of my final four are gone along with my champs. So it just rings true, I suck at determining the winner in the 64 and I am glad I didn't bet after all. Good luck Kent State (my parents' school) and congrats to Indiana, good showing last night.
Friday Five
1. What is your favorite time of year? Autumn, then Winter

2. What is it about your favorite season that, well, makes it your favorite season? It's isn't so freakin hot, trees changing colors, smell of leaves and the crunch they make underfoot.

3. What is your least favorite time of year? Why? Summer. A wise man once said you can always put on a coat, but you can't remove your skin, summer in DC August especially, the humidty is oppresive. Phoenix in the summer is an oven, except folks in Phoenix summer starts in May and lasts until October. That's right folks they usually break 100 degrees in May and while it might go into the 90's in June for a few days it continuies to reach 100 until the first or second week of October, yuck.

4. Do you do anything to celebrate or recognize the changing of seasons? Little personal rituals in recognition of the season....putting an autumn leaf on my noteboard in Autumn (and it's still there). Taking care to notice the wonderful array of greens in Spring after plants bloom.

5. What's your favorite thing to do outside? ~Oh you and me baby ain't nothing but animals~ ...ummm never mind hiking in the woods in Spring or Autumn.
Thursday, March 21, 2002
Go directly to Jail! Do not pass go, do not collect $200!
Well, the trial didn't go that far, but Judge Wells turned down Traficant's request to drop the charges against him. The Business Journal also offers a transcript of his appearance on O'Reilly last night. There is also a report by RollCall on the Ethics commitee's response to Traficant inquiry, basical it disputes any written ethics ruling stating they only gave a verbal opinion, which happens fairly often when a staffer calls.

Before I forget Happy Birthday to Kelly Dixon!
FYI, if your attending the Computers, Freedom and Privacy 2002 conference in San Francisco from April 16th-19th, I have started a blog for it at I hope to add a comments section, open it to other bloggers to post questions, events of interest and make use of a blog much in the same way as people did at SXSW this year. If you want to be added as a publisher let me know, if you know of an easy way to add a comments section to blogspot I appreciate it also.
Bloggers who write on politics sooner or later mention Lileks, he's like the Professor, someone everyone points to, now after reading his rant on Michael Moore I understand why. He's great. (I know, I know I said no more MM posts...thanks Ken Layne)
Great article on civil disobedience and I totally agree, just one minor point. It's easy for this guy to make this arguement...he lives in Canada. We have to live and fight it here, but it's a good fight. (Thanks JOHO)
I need my coffee in the morning, I love my coffee in the morning, I don't really qualify as awake until I get around the cup of coffee. As evidence has shown. My friends know this, in fact a friend of mine took a trip to Disney world and while there bought me this HUGE coffee mug with Donald Duck that says "Cranky To The Last Drop", when she gave it to me I had been in a really bad mood, which I think illustrated the point perhaps all too well.

I get that way, perhaps I'll get better, but I am glad for the friends along the way.

Wednesday, March 20, 2002
The Internet needs another Meme like I need a hole in my head...
That being said and my enjoyment of some of the weekly questions like Friday Five. I got to thinking, I would like to do something like that, but something of my own and if others are interested they can join, but I wanted something a bit literary. So I decided to have the Humpday Poem. 9 to 5 working office stiffs sucks the soul, humpday is the worst of lot, so perhaps it's the perfect day for alittle poetry. I started liking poetry back when I went to summer camp, back at Sky Y camp in Prescott, our counseler read a poem or two every night after lights out. The rules for the Humpday Poem will be simple, just publish a poem on Wednesdays, either of your own writing or of a poet whose work you enjoy.

Summer Night in Muinch
The streets are alive,
global city realized,
As the rain soaks us
we gather under cover
the world becomes smaller.

Later a Japanese woman types away in an internet cafe,
we share experiences of the Hofbrau haus
to half a world away.

Newsstand in the train station
has newspapers the worldwide.
No matter the taste
Muinch will provide,
Beer, Sex, Love, History,
she welcomes all.
Thomas Vincent, August 2002

Certainly not my best, but upbeat mood to start the Humpday Poem.

The adept pool playing Lex Gibson thinks Bear Droppings is Traficant Central, while I haven't been as on the ball this week appreciate the sentiment. The trial has changed phases, Traficant has started his defense and naturally he did it with a bang. He started off the week cross-examining the government's lead witness accusing the man of lying on the stand, in the process making statements, not asking questions. Judge Wells called him on it and a shouting match ensued. Since yesterday his defense has begun which I suspect more resembles the Alamo than Perry Mason, of course at the Alamo you didn't have the Texans shooting themselves either I suppose. Traficant will be on O'Reilly Factor tonight. Beam Me Up...
Sony launchs it's new robots, but I doubt these things will really sell well in the US. The reason I say that is after the debacle with Aido dogs why would early adopters and people willing to play with them give Sony any chance? Tivo and Lego both have supported user efforts to enjoy their products, part of the reason for their continued success. Sony remains close-minded and clueless.
Pooh on you NY Post
The Post kicked off the reporter who made the Disney document shredding allegations, but if it's serious enough to fire an employee, then why haven't they publically apologized as well? I think the Village Voice has it right.
In Passing is a great site, if you haven't been there yet I highly recommend it, why?
"I wonder if the 'No Shit, Sherlock,' School of Medicine is accepting applications this semester."

Thomas Friedman takes a ballsy stance on the Middle East. It would put US troops in potential jeopardy, but if we want to see progress he may be right.
Read of the day Zonitics
They can have my bread, when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers.
Quack, Quack.
My dream centers have been alot more active of late. The funny thing is usually my dreams revolve around long term things, but lately it has been revolving around new aspects of my life...Blogging, the DC Blogging group, and work environment. I'd like to point to a dream interetation site, but I never found one that was even vaguely correct from what my instinct tells me about my dreams. Oh well, at least my creative mind is doing something.
Tuesday, March 19, 2002
It's must be my great lunch week. I had lunch with Dan Brown, a fellow DC Blogger, and while the atmosphere filled with wandering high school students was annoying, the conversation was very entertaining. Technology, further education, and whatelse do bloggers discuss when they meet, blogging. The standard refrain of internet life, people are always the same/different than they are online when you meet in real life, it's always alittle odd, and very interesting to meet someone you have had conversations online irl.

Two more lunches out this week and if they go like the first two it will be an outstanding time.

Instapundit reminds us once again why Michael Moore is the King of Say One Thing Do Another...I am thinking about not posting comments on the guy anymore, I don't see much use in prolonging his 15 minutes of fame.
I like the Simpsons, I watch the Simpsons, I think they are as smart, well written and articulate a vision as well as anything on television today. However they are not an explaination to all the worlds problems. Interesting metaphors, but it's getting over blogged. Ah, much better!

*Thomas walking out of the room and runs into the door* DOH!
Instapundit notes Corsair asking what the South Koreans will do when 300,000 North Koreans ask for help, well we have already seen what happens. Look to Germany. I think you will see a near identical series of events with unification as a final result. I dare say many of the same mistakes that have been made over the last 12 years in Germany will be repeated in an effort to bring the two nations together. It will be sad and at times painful, but that is what will happen. Resentment by the Southern Koreans against the 'lazy' North Koreans, unemployment spikes in the North, North Koreans wishing for state promised jobs and other goods. The Professor is also correct that we will step in and offer assistance and some folks will scream bloody murder on the Hill about giving the aid, but it will pass.

On the bright side when Castro dies and Cuba converts to a full market economy, they have sun, beaches, and cigars to fund their transition, so it will happen without as much trouble and I suspect in a third of the time of East Germany or North Korea.

Maybe we as a global community need to start paying attention to things like this? Not saying that we will, just asking the question....something to ponder. (Thanks /.)
Interesting article from the New York Times from Sunday by Kevin Kelly about Music, worth a read... (Thanks to alot of folks pointing it out...)
Osama yo' Mama!
Not all that surprising really, kids using Sept 11 as the basis for slang....I bet your average linguist worth their salt saw it coming that day. Also them using humor to deal with the event as well, it makes perfect sense, I think I was one of the first kids at my school telling Space Shuttle Challenger jokes after it blew up.
POSCRIPT: Actually Dave I think punchline was "Needs another seven astronauts"
Monday, March 18, 2002
Another story on snow making in Flagstaff, the city council is going to consider if they will sell the waste water for it. I hope they vote no. While I want Flagstaff to have strong economy, I don't think continuing on this tourism only economic path is the town's best interest and efforts should be directed in other more pragmatic areas. Besides spraying human waste of the mountains is sick, if the water were fully cleaned and drinkable water then I wouldn't care as much, but it's isn't safe to drink so I don't like the idea. The town may need to recycle that water for drinking in a few years anyways.
I kept the lights on. And this sounds a little presumptuous, but I think I should at least get a round of applause. I don't get squat.
I think it sounds presumptuous Governor Davis. This from the same guy who in an election year decided his face should be on all the states websites.
NEWSFLASH: Just so that no one starts any rumors, I am NOT running for the Senate in Tennessee (Although if Tipper had run I would have dug into my wallet for money for her opposition).
Heard of the Hill is good today for a Strom Update (Go get 'em Strom!), Sheila Jackson-Lee story, and a note on nearly my landlord John Feehery. Day 123 of the Strom Thurmond Death Watch(TM)

I had a great lunch today with a friend from the Goethe Institute DC, if you interested in German culture it's a 'must see' group in the DC area (okay enough obvious commercial plugging), and it was great, we have been wanting to having lunch together for a year or two and we finally got around to it. Why was it interesting? Because we discussed San Francisco, Tech life in SF in late 1980's, Online airline reservation sites, use of genetically altered material in food products, organic foods, Cisco, biotech, Media, German Embassy, Congress, and personal web-publishing AKA blogging. He is extremely busy and we never get more than a minute or two to talk at receptions so it was nice to just sit and talk. Thanks Werner!

I'll admitt it, I enjoy those blogger question lists, like Friday Five. I would fill out the This or That that Webgrrlie does, but I don't like diametrically opposed questions. I tend to think there is too much of that thinking in the DC area already, perhaps because of the nature of the legislative beast. Everything is just PRO and CON, usually based on the Legislation, Court case, or the person in the White House. They don't allow other options in thinking, okay, okay enough of this rant. Dave has found some interesting questions so I am going to answer as well.

Monday Mission 2.11
1. As a child, did you ever wish you had a different name, maybe a name you wish your parents had chosen? To what would change it if you could? I have never felt in my heart my name was really right, I have gone by Tom to avoid confusion with my father (I am a Jr.), but in the last few years I have started liking Thomas, especially the way Europeans tend to pronounce it "Tomas". (And remember folks as Magnum said "Tommy is a little boy with an all day sucker.")

2. What skill have you been wanting to learn but have just kept putting off? I don't write enough, but thanks to the blog, I am making more of an effort. I would like to be able to program web design a bit better, but I know I don't have enough interest in the back-end to get around to it, hence my blog on blogger.

3. Are there there any regional foods you love but just can't get where you are living now? (burger chain, ice cream shop, etc. that was in your hometown but has no locations where you are today) So many things, good Mexican food like in Arizona. Good fish and shrimp tacos, although with Baja Fresh in town I can get by....In N Out Burger, I miss those, about the only chain burger I eat anymore. Jack in the Box, I make jokes about the quality of their food, but I like their taco's after a night on the town and their spicy chicken sandwich isn't bad.

4. What recreational activity would you take up if you had the time and/or money? Kayaking, specifically sea/lake variety. I have kayaked alittle at a friends house up in Maine, on the Ocean and it was fun.

5. What's the biggest lie you've ever told? Has anybody ever found out? I think my biggest would be certain Omissions rather than lies, and no, noone has found out and neither shall you.

6. What was your favorite Saturday morning cartoon when you were growing up? Tough I like alot of them, perhaps Battle for the Planets, kind of an anime series.

7. Let's say one of your relatives slipped you a $100 bill, to help you out for the month. Your significant other didn't see it, would you tell them or keep it to yourself? No S.O. so no issues, but if that were to happen, I think it's between me and the person helping out. My mother and grandmother have a little saying, I can't even say it's in Dutch, but translated as "A little white lie, does no harm".

BONUS: Whatever happened to Saturday night? Why what have you heard, lies, I tell you lies!

RollCall has trial coverage, more kind of a summary piece, but interesting to read a DC reporters perspective on the case. Oh and there is thanks to the Business-Journal a re-print of this RollCall piece in which Norman Ornstein kicks Traficant while he's down. Not only that, he goes after anyone who has spoken kindly of Traficant in the article, sad really. And when I say sad, it's about Ornstein and his character, I haven't met the guy, but what advantage does he get trying to knock all these people about the Traficant case? None really. I think it's just Ego Boosting. Quick personal story, as I was moving out here and looking for contacts and help, a kind word and the right direction. I approached everyone I knew, including all my former Political Science professors. One of them knew Ornstein, perhaps only alittle, but they knew each other. I wasn't in Washington then and didn't realize Ornstein was Mr. Pundit. But I wrote him, like many other folks, just asking for an informational interview, to get my bearings and point me down the right path. I never got a reply, I got to DC and called too. Not even turned down, just ignored. A real shame, a met with alot of folks over those first few months and while they didn't have answers they turned me on to some good places to look, often times places I had never known existed. Point of this, I am not saying Ornstein is a bad guy because he didn't get back to me, maybe it was a busy time for him *shrug*, but my experience combined with attacks like this one on Traficant and others I have seen in the past, make me think, maybe, just maybe Pundit's like these don't deserve the authority the Beltway gives them.
Dave did improve his reputation in my book Friday with playing better pool than when I last posted about him and the word finesse, I think it's time I give him a break, maybe. All and all I played decently until the last game of me and Rick. Unfortunately, I don't know if it was the beer, hunger, or the long day, but it was the game that would not die. Thankfully it eventually did so Dave, Rick, and Will all went out for pizza. It was fun to compare experiences over in Europe and getting around, makes my wish I was back over there for a while to get my German back in proper order. I am enjoying the Cue Crew experience on Fridays, good to hang with you'all.

18 hits over the weekend and I never posted, maybe people are telling my if I don't post I'll get more traffic, I have to ponder that notion. Best Google hit for my page, someone was looking for Jesus smoking crack, I dunno why, but I love the fact that while they were looking for it it brought them here, just wish I had some related content, if anyone knows of some send it to me and I'll post links.
Friday, March 15, 2002
Outtahere....Atomic Billards bound.....looking for sharks that swim on the land....
Maureen Dowd has an interesting Op/Ed on Disney and media worth the reading. The best part is, perhaps the way she subtile cuts apart the industry, no the best part is she gets the word donnybrook into the article. (Thanks Dave)

Friday Five

1. What's your favorite animal? Bears, specifically the kermode bear in British Columbia, it's a white version of the American black bear. An amazing creature. But animal you can have as a pet, Dogs, no doubt.

2. What pets have you had in your lifetime? I number of dogs, muffin, a finky little beast but a true sweet-heart. Rick-o-shay, she is getting up in years but still around.

3. Is there any specific pet that you've wanted but never had? Why? If not for the sheer inpracticality of it, I would love to have a Grizzly, whenever I watch Growing Up Grizzly on Animal Planet, I'd love to be there playing with them. The reality of them needing their freedom would keep me, even if I lived out in mountains.

4. Are you allergic to any animals? Nope.

5. Do you have any 'pet' pet peeves (your pets or others')? People who keep big dogs in Condo's or other small houses. These animals need room to live and when people keep them closed it makes the dogs mean, I have seen it too many times. I feel bad for the animal. In point of fact anyone who mistreats an animal.
Thursday, March 14, 2002
The last bit of really news about Strom was that he had moved into Walter Reed Medical Center. I recently received unconfirmed reports that he was still alive and voting. These reports have now officially been confirmed by outside sources. That's right folks it's Day 119 of the Strom Thurmond Death Watch(TM). He's in a wheelchair, but still going.

Oh Dave, yes I know and use the mighty Google, but with all due respect...
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy
or Google.
(Thanks Will Shakespeare & Quotes page)

Everyone and their brother has blogged about the National Geographic picture of the Afghan girl with green eyes, so it begs the question in my mind.
Does she have any idea how much of an Icon she has become?
Of how her picture has been used throughout the USA and perhaps the rest of Western Society? The symbols it conveys, the number of college dorm rooms it's posted on the walls. If you think about it, I suspect I see that picture, even before the recent story, an average once a month at least for the last 10-15 years. A modern Mona Lisa of the developing world, I just wonder if she knows how Iconographic she has become.

I suspect not...

Oh interesting story at Salon yesterday on payola....nope still not gone, and probably part of the reason a $2 CD is costing customers $20, let's trash these vultures. (Thanks Doc)
Judge Admonishes Rep. Traficant

I am beginning to regret I started covering this trial....Typical AP story about Traficant embaressing himself by not following the rules of proceedure. He really should have hired a lawyer for this case, but his ego got the best of him and it will cost him. Also I am shocked by this picture of him, his denim suit must have been at the cleaners, he almost looks respectable.

Further coverage by the Business Journal details what he had filed and it's'll play to the press, but not in the Court is my read of it. The mid-day report covers the trial witnesses, but the interesting thing that is mentioned in the article is that Traficant may call himself to the stand in his defense. I some how picture the scene a bit like the Bugs Bunny cartoon where he is on trial and cross-examining himself. The late day report gets more into Judge Wells discussion about Traficant's allegations.

I am a bit worried about our good friend Dave, I think he has gone off the deep-end in his "Shiksa Goddess Watch" and picking Kylie Minogue, I mean she's nice and all, but it just looks like there has been alot of time under the knife, if you know what I mean. Who do I like the? Well, I must admitt a liking for Kate Winslet (some friends may think this harkens back to an ex-gf, maybe they're right *shrug*)

Postscript: As to Dave's "wondering who else is in his noggin", don't worry the Doctors' say I am getting much better, we think.

Weather is alot better today, bright sunny, so is my mood, so let's start off the day with the Big Dance, the Final 64, that's right kiddies it's NCAA Tournament time. While my beloved NAU didn't make it this year, I am interested in a few teams anyways. I have to cheer Arizona, because it's the home state and besides I like their chances I think the West will end with them and Cincinnati. In the South I hate to say it but Duke will likely dominate, although the team I am cheering is Pittsburgh. Why Pitt? Coach Ben Howland is the same guy who turned around NAU's team in the late 90's and actually got NAU to the Final 64, for the first time, so I'll always be a fan. In East, Turps! 'Noff said. Midwest I have no favorities, but I'll say it will come down to Kansas and Texas. I'll call Final Four AZ, Duke, MD, Kansas. The Championship will be AZ vs. MD with AZ winning. Okay so you think my picks stink....well your probably right. That's why I don't bother betting on this, I always lose in the first round...
Wednesday, March 13, 2002
Cold, Grey, Crampy Weather day....on the bright side we need the rain but it's still leaving me unmotivated.
The Daily Sun has a write up on some potential development for the theater spaces around Flagstaff. It's a good and necessary idea, while a discount chain would be nice, students generally can get that from the University (well if they are still showing movies on north campus, it has been 8 years since I have been a student). It would be nice for students to have an independent and foriegn film theater walking distance from campus. About the other proposed uses I can say that Trader Joe's idea is outstanding, it's the only store I really ever missed while living in Flag. A former prof and I used to make TJ runs on occasion for one another (yum pickled garlic) while I was a student and it's really something Flag needs, a high quality inexpensive grocery store.

Those spaces need to be used especially the Greentree Plaza Shopping Center and the Orpheum Theater. The Greentree plaza is right around the main entrance into Flag and it sticks out like a sore thumb that that space is empty, and I suspect it's the reason a few other shops in that center have closed as well. As for the Orpheum Theater it symbolizes "Historic Downtown Flagstaff" a phrase the city has been trying to use to drum up business for years, and it's one of the few properties that hasn't turned into a bar of late. You want to have a community, open back up the Orpheum and on weekends have kids shows, maybe even old time cartoons, that would get locals and not just tourists or students coming downtown more often. And if you can't find a contractor to take on the job, perhaps it should be offered it to local community theaters in return for working to improve the space and turn it into a true community space that Flagstaff could be proud.
Ken Layne demonstrates why he is such a bad-ass over on Fox News Blog yesterday. He's right to people do trust John Stewart and Letterman more than the average media talking head, for while they are comedians, they know it. Network anchors don't seem to understand that same fact.

Instapundit also had some great Michael Moore notes yesterday, but considering blogspot is acting all funky, I'll point when I can...Postscript: blogspot is back

Another fun filled day at the Traficant trial. Alot of excitement around trial yesterday with such lines as
In pleading his position, he uttered one of his favorite political lines, "I’m just the son of a truck driver," to which the judge responded, "And I’m just an army brat."
You know almost makes me wish I was in Cleveland....note I said almost....

Great pictures of the memorial in New York. (Thanks Declan)
Tuesday, March 12, 2002
Perhaps the third paragraph is a little too Cluetrainish.....
Rough Draft
Our Founding Father's understood that true economic, social, and scientific development required a delicate balancing act. On one hand creators have earned an opportunity to profit from their hard work, on the other hand true growth does not occur unless these discoveries fall into the public domain.

Congress has faced a difficult challenge over the years trying to maintain this balance. However the DMCA and the proposed SSSCA go too far. These measures have taken the power out of the hands of the creators and out of the public domain and placed them in third party agents. These agents did not have the spark of human creativity and yet seek to profit from it. Profit that is misplaced in an age when technology has made the distance between creator and customer shorter than ever before.

Markets are about conversations. Creators conduct conversations, customers conduct conversations, unfortunately companies cannot or perhaps more tell will not. The most basic function of a market is supply and demand. When supply is unwilling to discuss terms with demand, demand goes and finds other means to meet it's needs. This is the beginning of what we have seen in this information age.

While some kids may have taken advantage of free music during the napster era, the vast majority of music listeners want their music. Their music meaning their taste and interest, not a preprogrammed mix of study-grouped interests. We want to be able to take our music with us, without worry if it will not play on that machine, or be loaded into that machine. We want the artists whose creative acts we are enjoying to receive the due compensation they deserve, without a fancy accounting audit. AND WE WANT IT NOW. The technology exists, we are already using it, we won't stop. Time won't flow backwards.

We seek to reestablish balance on the subject of fair use and fair compensation. We are pro markets; they are the basis of sound economies. We would like to organize a March on Washington DC by artists, authors, musicians, technologists, and anyone else who values the freedoms on which this country was founded. Our goal is to educate lawmakers that fair use matters today, just as much as it did in our nations founding days.

Join Us.
Commuter Tax in DC? Yes, that is a very bright idea for attracting business to DC, especially after it worked so well in Philadelphia. Is it any wonder all the technology and biotech companies have opened in Maryland and Virginia? With ideas like a commuter tax, I wouldn't base a business in DC either. Come on folks your looking for ways to stimulate investment, not drive companies to the burbs.
You know I am not a lawyer, but
Throughout the trial, the congressman has boasted to reporters that he has not looked at the boxes and boxes of evidence the prosecution plans to use against him.
That just doesn't sound smart. (From the Business-Journal)
Monday, March 11, 2002
Seek, we will not find...
Search, only to become more lost,
Struggle, and we become more entangled...

Just be, perhaps so simple?

Interesting Traficant article over at RollCall, discusses expulsion from the House which will likely occur after his conviction, yup I said after as in just a matter of time, it's been fun to follow, but I think that is the result we will see. (Once he is convicted he will still be able to keep his Congressional pension, $38K a year)

Friday's Trial report from the Business Journal, it has a short bit how Traficant was due for a television appearance Thursday night but never actually occurred, alittle odd. Then today

Sugar Says He 'Felt Obligated' to Give Traficant Free Work

Latest in long line of contractors to say he traded favors with the congressman.

Having my office between the White House/Pentagon and CIA I have a feeling I am constantly being exposed to Microwave radiation from the point to point communications devices that are used to avoid the messages being intercepted by the Russian Embassy. A friend laughed at me for my belief last week, asking "do I believe in Black Helicopters or wear a aluminum hat, too?" But if I am so crazy why does my monitor blink like a powerful magnet is sitting next to the monitor whenever I get the feeling these waves are being sent? Coincidence or am I just Crazy?

Only time will tell ;-)

From the logs people are finally starting to view this page with Netscape, thanks then you can seen it the way this page is meant to be seen, or Opera it looks fine as well. All you IE viewers, I'll get it looking right for you someday....
Back to work...never got around to getting online this weekend after all. I golfed Saturday (poorly, but had fun) As I mentioned in the Friday Five, had fun at the German's party...and spent yesterday recovering :-)

Traficant surprise surprise is in the papers over the weekend, I really think he will end up in jail with stories like this out there. Off to get work done.

Friday, March 08, 2002
Work has been busy, but more importantly, it has been looking more and more likely Traficant will go to jail which is alittle depressing, so I haven't made as much effort to report on the trial. If you interested I recommend checking out the Business Journal or this section of the Plain Dealer. (Perhaps I'll be more in the mood next week)

Off to Cafe Asia for sushi and perhaps join the DC Bloggers for pool afterwards. Unlike most weekends, I may be online, I have somethings I need to do. Enjoy the weekend!

This article from the New York Times reassures me, I am so glad the recording industry would never lie to us, I can sleep much safer at night.</sarcasim>

Friday Five
1. What makes you homesick? Little stuff generally out of the blue...turning on the webcam for Flagstaff and seeing the mountain covered in snow. Thinking of homemade vegtable soup. My mom telling me what they are having for dinner and asking if I want to come over (I in DC and her in Phoenix)
2. Where is "home" for you? Is it where you are living now, or somewhere else (ie: Mom & Dad's house, particular state/city)? Flagstaff, AZ (and no I am not there)
3. What makes it home for you? People? Things? It's a place I am comfortable, both because of friends and climate. While I like DC in general, because of climate (both people and the weather) I don't think this will ever be a permanent home for me. I need alittle snow, some cold in the winter and a mild summer. Plus my friends.
4. Where is the furthest you've been from home, miles-wise? 5900 miles from home from my trips to Europe (Prague, Italy, Germany)
5. What are your plans for this weekend? Haven't decided if I will make pool at Atomic with the Bloggers, I'd like to go, but some friends are in town and going for Sushi around the corner from work, so i think that will be a higher priority tonight. Tomorrow golf and a party with the Germans. Sunday recovering from the Germans party (you think I am joking)

Thursday, March 07, 2002
Actions Speak Louder than Words
I have had the same thoughts, many, many times...

Don't you hate it when...
Your sitting in your office there is a large BOOM and your whole building shakes? Luckily, it was just some accident at the construction site across from my building. But for a couple of minutes everyone was ready to evacute the office....
Michael Moore's 15 minutes
I was visiting Wil's blog to see what the reaction was when I heard that Shatner had setup a blog. I ain't a Trekkie though I'll watch it if it's on. His mention of Michael Moore registered the same reaction I always have when I hear people go on about how cool he is....general disgust. I dunno I just always thought he was, at best, the left-wing version of Limbaugh (and while a Republican I have never liked Rush...). It seems he seems to enjoy putting folks in bad situations to make himself look cool. So as I am going through the comments I got to "The awful truth about Michael Moore." It's a great rant about Moore, well worth the read.

The other story I heard about is a former employee of Moore's ticked off at the bad treatment he received, so he did a Michael Moore style treatment of Michael Moore until Mr. Moore went and filed a restraining order against the guy.

That 15 minutes of fame are ticking away...

David mentions that Greg Cavanagh's suggestion is to shutdown the internet for a day the problem with that 90% of the Congress wouldn't notice or care....marching on Washington may be old world, but Congress doesn't understand unless the people are there in person.

If members suddenly have groups of 5-10 well educated people from diverse backgrounds arguing the same position, for instance, librarians, musicians, scientists, and tech community. All coming in together from different perspectives, but arguing the same basic viewpoint on copyright and fair use. AND PERHAPS MOST IMPORTANTLY from their home state and district the message gets powerful quick.

Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit fame has a great article on copyright and Senate politics at the Fox blog.....the Senator from Disney..I love that line...
Wednesday, March 06, 2002
Doc's post stirred something I have been thinking
about on similar lines this last week about fair
use/copyright issues. My thought was a giant teach-in
in DC around followed by going to Congressfolks
offices and telling them we are serious, this issue is

If we want to do it and have real effects I think the
following groups need to be included and
coordinated... (Don Henley and enough
artists to get mainstream media attention, besides
they are getting screwed here too)
American Library Assn (Publishers are going after them
Scientific Community (don't remember the group but
there was something in slashdot about them discussing
not publishing because of fair use)
and the tech folks

With a lineup of each group going in and saying this
is serious and it deserves attention, you'll get
members listening...especially if we can draw from
people all across the nation to attend. I can help
coordinate the DC end.

If anyone else is interested in getting this started
let me know...

Yummmmmmmmmmm Chorizo....(yes I recognize the irony of a NY Times article on a very Spanish-Mexican item)
The Onion is sick and go read it.
I don't have my blogrolling up, yet, some day, promise, but when I do I will have Wil Wheaton on it. You may ask to yourself, why have that Star Trek guy? Well things like this...
Gary Condit's Top Ten Campaign Slogans
So very was great (I wasn't going to point to anything Condit related, but for every rule there is an exception)

A quick note out to everyone, Dave has noted an interesting viewpoint of copyright. So go read Dave's blog it has interesting things to say and he's a fellow DC Blogger, just don't ask him to finesse anything on a pool table.
AP has a brief note of Traficant in a redistricting story, but not really worth the read. But then again, that's why I am out scouring the news on Traficant so you don't have to...

I am not really ging to dive into the Steel Tariff issue, but the Business Journal has alot of coverage for those interested. They did have a couple of Traficant stories.

Billak on Traficant Influence: 'When a Congressman Speaks, People Listen.'
True they do listen...but then they usually laugh in DC, or perhaps it's just me...More seriously it is a very good in depth coverage of what occurred in the courtroom, so I recommend if your interested in the trial got read it. As for today, it may be movie time in the court as they will likely watch the testimony of former Ohio Department of Transportation inspector Thomas Williams. There was also the testimony yesterday of a bank teller, it didn't sound good for Traficant.
He was just helping the people.
That's what JimmyT is all about...or so starts the trial report from the Plain Dealer begins. Goes down hill from there as the Journal reports....There are also a couple of AP Wire reports, but they only report the ground covered in the other stories.
Tuesday, March 05, 2002
Scene New Jersey Courtroom
Defendent: But your Honor it was an Accident...he fell on the knife...
Judge: 27 times?

Thank you for another episode of stupid criminal theater...(Thanks for the link Charles)

I soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo want to go. (Thanks Doc)
According to the following I have...
Human Virus Scanner

The virus that have infected you will be show here along with thier cures, if known.
Viruses you suffer from:

Eat some real food. Something which you can identify the source of every ingredient, not the point of manufacture.

Stop wearing the stick-on ears.

Free love is passe and potentially dangerous, and patchouli smells like cat piss.

Consume more stuff! It's easier to buy new stuff than to recycle.

Use a mouse with more than one button.

Viruses you might suffer from:

Linux (80%)
Install the latest version of Microsoft Windows. Learn to love it.

USA (70%)
Rule, Britannia! Britannia rule the waves! [repeat]

Free BSD (90%)
The GPL isn't that bad really. Adopt a penguin at the zoo.

Politics (85%)
Stop caring!

Brand Names (85%)
Having a well-known name doesn't make it good.

Computer Games (60%)
Stop staring at the screen and get some fresh air. You should see a doctor about the RSI in your thumbs.

Prog Rock (60%)
Long hair looks dumb with a bald spot. Listen to CD's they don't crackle.

Japan (60%)
Big is good. Small is bad. Giant robots would not make a good last line of defence for Earth.

Kevin Mark is an evil person who sent out the scanner and this out so don't go there 'K? (Then again he is saying cool things about copyright issues, so maybe it's ok, but just maybe)
Yeah, right, like this will help the economy. Only one thing to say...
In 1930, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, in an effort to alleviate the effects of the... Anyone? Anyone? ...the Great Depression, passed the... Anyone? Anyone? The tariff bill? The Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act? Which, anyone? Raised or lowered? ...raised tariffs, in an effort to collect more revenue for the federal government. Did it work? Anyone? Anyone know the effects? It did not work, and the United States sank deeper into the Great Depression. Today we have a similar debate over this. Anyone know what this is? Class? Anyone? Anyone? Anyone seen this before? The Laffer Curve. Anyone know what this says? It says that at this point on the revenue curve, you will get exactly the same amount of revenue as at this point. This is very controversial. Does anyone know what Vice President Bush called this in 1980? Anyone? Something-d-o-o economics. "Voodoo" economics.
You think his father would tell him, it's BAD, BAD, not gunna do it! (Thanks IMDB)

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