Posts from August 2003

Sexist twaddle

Sexist twaddle
: As a man, I’m offended by this bigoted foolishness from a New School twit writing for Pacific News Service:

President Bush may not face much opposition in Congress to his plan for perpetual preemptive war, but he better watch out for the women.

Angry over the swagger of violence coming out of the White House, disgusted by the bring-them-on itch for a fight as the solution to political problems, women around the globe are organizing in new ways.

These gender activists are on the Internet, in the streets, packed into rooms forming more groups and pushing resolutions through the United Nations.

What’s most offensive is that they lump together bin Laden and Bush and act as if the problem is testosterone, not terrorism.

Kelly’s case for war

Kelly’s case for war
: The Guardian finds a piece written by Dr. Kelly supporting regime change and war:

A remarkable article by Dr David Kelly, published for the first time today, reveals the government scientist’s true views ahead of the war on Iraq and his expert assessment of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein.

In a development which could have a major influence on the Hutton inquiry, Kelly said that, although the threat was ‘modest’, he believed military action was the only way to ‘conclusively disarm’ the country.

He also argued that there was evidence Saddam still had chemical and biological weapons and regime change, the policy of the United States, was the only way to stop the Iraqi dictator….

Kelly’s article reveals a hawkish stance on Iraq which will come as some comfort to Number 10. ‘Iraq has spent the past 30 years building up an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction [WMD],’ he wrote. ‘Although the current threat presented by Iraq militarily is modest, both in terms of conventional and unconventional weapons, it has never given up its intent to develop and stockpile such weapons for both military and terrorist use.’

Kelly argues that any co-operation with UN weapons inspectors was superficial and that rockets specifically for chemical and biological use had been found.

Take that, Blair bashers.

: Dr. Kelly’s own conclusion:

Perhaps the real threat from Iraq today comes from covert use of such weapons against troops or by terrorists against civilian targets worldwide. The link with al-Qaeda is disputed, but is, in any case, not the principal terrorist link of concern. Iraq has long trained and supported terrorist activities and is quite capable of initiating such activity using its security services.

The long-term threat, however, remains Iraq’s development to military maturity of weapons of mass destruction – something that only regime change will avert.

: It’s time to give the Guardian credit: They have covered the Hutton inquiry well and fairly even as it tightens the noose around Andrew Gilligan and the BBC.

Meanwhile, do you think Gilligan has started looking for a new job?

The Party’s party

The Party’s party
: The Daily Kos takes a page from Howard Dean’s playbook and says Meetups have worked so well for him that plain ol’ Democrats should meetup, too:

The progressive grassroots can start wielding the influence it deserves on the Democratic Party by self-organizing as well. And I’m not just talking about the DNC, but also state and local parties.

We can do a lot of good by banding together and working to help elect Democrats at all levels of government. MeetUp can provide the vehicle for that self-organizing — especially in places were the local Democratic Parties are moribund, ineffective, or non-existant.

I’m thinking of setting up a meeting for real liberals (read with a German accent, as in real politik) but I’m afraid only Roger L. Simon and Michael J. Totten would show up.

RSS and sliced bread

RSS and sliced bread
: Lots of people are jumping on the mail-is-dead-long-live-RSS bandwagon. See Chris Pirillo and Steve Outing. In theory, I agree: RSS is a good delivery mechanism for newsletters (but clearly not personal email) because there can be no spam; you get only the feeds you ask for.

But, as I’ve said before, there’s a problem: RSS readers are not ready for prime time. They’re getting better. After Newzcrawler ate all my feed info and hard work, I started using Bloglines, web-based reader, and, by Outing’s recommendation, Feed Demon, a downloaded client and they’re both good. (Yeah, I know, you Macites have great readers but you are, sadly, a minority smaller than one-legged, left-handed, stuttering, albino Navajos.)

Here’s the problem: The audience using RSS readers is tiny. That isn’t going to stop me from publishing lots of RSS in my business — headlines and, yes, newsletters. It’s a good thing and a coming trend.

But the truth remains: If you’re an email newsletter publisher and you have to convince your customers to have to download and set up a new program, you’re sunk.

The only way RSS is going to work for business is if it is integrated into Internet Explorer.

So, at last, here’s my point for all the RSS evangelists out there: You should be making a pilgrimage to Redmond to sell Microsoft on the need to integrate RSS into IE (as well as Outlook). Pirillo, Winer, et al: Hop that next jet west. And there are lots of RSS-informed Microsoft bloggers; enlist them in the cause; get them to start selling RSS inside the fortress.

That is the one sure thing that will make RSS take off. Without that, sad but true, RSS will remain just a neat geek thing.

: A commenter reminds me of a point I forgot to make: Of course, the Mozilla folks and other open-sourcers should be integrating RSS into their work to put additional pressure on Redmond. But, of course, IE is the homerun for it is the ubiquitous client.

Oh, and putting pressure on AOL would be good, too. AOL is providing RSS feeds of its new blogs (pat them on the back) but not providing its huge audience with a way to utilize them (hello, left hand, I’d like you to meet the right hand).

‘I’m here to move love to the top of your to-do list’

‘I’m here to move love to the top of your to-do list’
: It’s a mistake to judge a series by its preseason promos but if we were to do that, Alicia Silverstone’s Miss Match would be sure be be a bomb, based on lines like that.

Send the man some Prozac spam

Send the man some Prozac spam
: Matt Welch points to evidence that Bill O’Reilly is starting to crack under the strain.

: More evidence here.

A simple request

A simple request
: A simple request to the wonderful group blogs I read (you know who you are, Corante and Hit & Run and Command Post and Harry): Put the name of the post’s author at the top of the post so I can hear the right voice as I start to read. Also, put your authors’ names in the RSS feed. Thank you.

The bloggers on the bus

The bloggers on the bus
: Dave Winer tells candidates how to blog and echoes my call to let bloggers on the campaign bus.

Bloggers should also be credentialed to cover the conventions (see wi-fi and conventions, below). I plan to do just that myself.