Posts from May 1, 2003

(in)Security

(in)Security
: The human Brit bomb who blew himself up in Israel worked at Heathrow for two years, says the Sun.

: Meanwhile, in Jordan, an idiot Japanese reporter’s war souvenir turned out to be a bomb that exploded in the hands of an airport official, killing the man.

Imagine if it had gone off on the plane in flight.

: Update: Witnesses now say the airport official was the one with the grenade that exploded.

Tina the obscure

Tina the obscure
: Drudge says that Tina Brown’s CNBC show got a tiny rating and only 65,000 households in the audience. Compare that with Glenn Reynolds’ stats: an average of well over 100,000 visits a day (almost double that at a peak).

OK, his accent’s not as cool; neither is his haircut; ditto his wardrobe.

But Glenn Reynolds is a bigger media beast than Tina Brown.

Bush

Bush
: I didn’t care for George Bush and it was so obvious my kids could tell. I didn’t vote for him and likely won’t again. I disagree with him about most of his agenda.

I also was not sure about this war some months ago; I fretted about it.

But I have to say that Bush and his team executed this war brilliantly. I have no problem saying that this was a right war to fight for a right cause and they fought it well.

So I was impressed with Bush’s speech tonight on the deck of the Abraham Lincoln (more impressed, by the way, than Glenn Reynolds, who’s not as far right as many think but who’s surely to the right of me).

It was the speech of a leader. He did not gloat but he did show a firm and clear direction.

There will be controversy over some things he said, of course. Yes, he all but linked Iraq to 9.11 but, you know, it’s not a far stretch in the minds of most Americans and for a reason: Looney fanatics from over there who hate us are birds of a feather. And there was a time in my life when I would have found the idea of smarter bombs to be distasteful, but now that I see the necessity of a war like this, even as I mourn the lives that are lost, I’m thankful for those that are not.

I’m still a liberal. I’m still not a Bushy. But give the man his due: He won the war against Iraq; right won the war against wrong. Well done.

I was right

I was right
: Ken Layne does have an Australian accent, but only when he sings.

Fame

Fame
: I had a convivial (been helping my kid with his vocabulary) interview yesterday with Chuck Olsen, who’s working on his Blogumentary. Can’t wait to see the show.

More’s a crowd

More’s a crowd
: So Popdex started a new group weblog called Metapop. Sorry, but I’m unimpressed.

It’s a bit of a mess with no organizing principle and no apparent quality control.

So you get posts like this:

Z39.50 OCLC has, in the PowerPoint presentation Non-Member Use of Cataloging Records called Z39.50 users rogues. The tone is much like the RIAA going after KaZar. Z39.50 the next P2P?

Arrrgh. It reminds me of the old, bad days of Usenet: Clutter clatter.

This is so old net. We’ve advanced past this. Slashdot and Plastic added technology to organize things. Metafilter and especially BoingBoing have a collective voice.

To me, the state of the art in collaborative blogging is unquestionably Command Post. That’s because (1) it has a theme, a raison d’etre that gives the posters a clear reason to post and the readers a clear reason to read (read: it’s more than just blather) and (2) it had a self-correcting means of editing itself (that is, in the first days, there were repetitive posts but the community created its own editing standards).

Command Post has true value. Beat that.

: Update: Metapop blogs the blog on the blog (this being our habit, here among the blogs). I’m impressed that they take the criticism well. My suggestion: Decide what the hell Metapop is about; give it a mission; give it a tagline and live up to it. What separates Metapop from Metafilter and BoingBoing? Decide and do that and you’ll be much better.

Sina Motallebi update

Sina Motallebi update
: Eyeranian gives us the update on the jailed Iranian blogger:

Emrooz (Today) Newspaper in Tehran reported yesterday that Sina had appeared at a special court division in Tehran’s Mehrabad international airport(!!). He told Judge Zafarghandi that he would prefer not to answer to his charges at this point. He also confirmed that he has accepted some charges and would like to present his case about others. Sina is then quoted to say he may need a lawyer at the trial stage but in this primary investigative phases he does not need one. He then asked everyone concerned with his case to not judge him until he clears any misunderstandings and verified that he has been allowed to meet with his family.

Sina’s wife Farnaz has also been vocal about him. In her blog manioman (Mani & I, Mani being her young son) complained of people attributing certain quotes to her. She states that she has not had done interviews with any radio stations broadcasting to Iran from abroad or even local newspapers. She then asks friends to remain silent on the matter and let things be.

My 2 cents: don’t be surprised if Sina is forced to accepting any charges or even confesses to certain misdeeds. This is unfortunately the norm for Iranian prisoners. Remember this, for Sina and his family, the priority right now is to get the most lenient sentence for him. Remaining silent and/or accepting some misdemeanors is the easiest way to achieve that. I can completely understand their rationale too. Getting a 5 year sentence or a 10 year one for a 30 year old with a baby in waiting is a huge difference.

Good God, think about that, fellow free people: Someone has to consider a five-year-sentence good or better than the alternatives on this relative scale just for the crime of free speech!

We take it too much for granted in this country — and thank God we can — that you can’t be sent to prison and thus silenced just for saying something. Oh, yes, you can be argued with and attacked with words or, unfortunately, sued and attacked with lawyers.

But in this country, you have the right to speak. It’s so fundamental. It’s such a basic right, the most basic human right of all.

But here is a man who merely wrote on his blog — just what so many of us do without a second thought every day — and he’s at risk of becoming a victim and a martyr.

Democracy

Democracy
: On the one hand, it’s good news that Qatar went to the polls yesterday to vote on a constitution. On the other hand, it’s a sad commentary for the nation and the region that holding an election is unique news.