Saturday, September 30, 2006
- More than 300,000 Iraqi security forces are operational today, with a goal of 325,000 within the coming months.
- Their training and experience has greatly increased over the last couple of years. For example, two years ago, Iraqi police fled when attacked by militia members. This year, when they attacked an army base, the Iraqi army counterattacked and killed over 50 militia.
- By the end of August, the Iraqi Special Ops Brigade had netted 1,320 detainees in 445 operations all over the country, with Coallition help limited to military advisors.
- Two of ten army divisions are now under complete Iraqi control. More will soon follow.
Flaky Blogger photoblogging
My suspiciion is that at some transition between modes, I temporarily lose communications with Blogger, and so it couldn't upload the images for display. In both situations, I think I was switching from "Preview" to "Compose" mode, and if my surmise is right, that makes sense. Going the other way is less likely to result in Blogger revising the code, and the "Edit HTML" mode doesn't display images (Duh).
What I find I have now in abundance are printers. I now have five of them hooked up to my systems, most often through multiple paths. Why so many?
- Different printers have different advantages and disadvantages.
- Epson EPL-8000:
- High speed laser printer.
- LPT1 on router to Ethernet.
- Very fast, esp. for easy printing;
- Relatively cheap to operate;
- Runs through print server to Ethernet.
- It is old enough that it doesn't feed labels or envelopes anymore;
- It doesn't have a sleep mode;
- So, it uses a lot of power due to its age and lack of sleep mode;
- Enough power that it can heat up the room in the summer;
- Print cartridges are expensive (but last a for a lot of pages).
- Brother MFC-5100C:
- Multifunction inkjet scanner, copier, printer, FAX.
- USB to SYSH
- LPT1 to SYSB
- Flatbed scanning;
- Expensive to run due to cost of ink cartridges (esp. because it uses all four colors when printing B/W);
- Somewhat flaky.
- HP BusinessJet 2300:
- High speed business quality inkjet printer.
- LPT2 on print server to Ethernet.
- Very cheap to operate for an inkjet printer;
- Cheap for color printing;
- Capable of taking HP's biggest cartridges, which are now refillable;
- Two paper bins/cartridges (I use the top one for labels and envelopes, and the lower has plain paper);
- Fast for an inkjet printer;
- Reliable and built to last - this is the type of printer that HP built its reputation on;
- Runs through print server connected to network (I can buy an Ethernet adaptor for more than I paid for the printer, but with the print server available, why bother?)
- More expensive for B/W than laser printers;
- Prints colored text quickly, but complex images like photos are slower than Photosmart printer.
- HP Photosmart 7450:
- Photo grade printer.
- USB to SYSH
- Fastest for printing colored graphics, such as photos;
- Able to read different memory chips (which is how I now upload photos from my camera);
- best quality print.
- Most expensive ink;
- Slower printing text than 2300 or laser printers;
- Not built to last.
- Brother MFC-8300:
- Laser Multifunction for print, copy, and FAX.
- LPT1 to SYSH
- USB to SYSB
- Sleep mode for laser printer;
- Laser printer for FAX (better cost and reliability);
- Phone for FAX;
- Laser for copying.
- Scanner isn't flatbed;
- Missing feed tray extender;
- Shortage of software, esp. compared to MFC-5100C;
- Somewhat flaky.
So, about 10 minutes ago, I was using this system, and all of a sudden, it went dead. I think I remember a flicker or something, indicating that other things were affected too. But I am not quite sure, which is why I don't know if my problem is the older UPS system or this computer. The one piece of equipment that would usually give it away, my old high speed laser printer, was somehow turned off last night. Usually, you can hear it powering back up. All of the rest of my printers, etc. are "Green" enough that they don't make a noticable sound when powering back up.
Actually, the more I think about it, the more likely I think it is that it was either the UPS dropping out or the computer doing so, most likely through a power supply failing. If it had actually been a power spike, the alarm in the new UPS would have gone off, and the power conditioner would have made some loud clicking noises. I am suspecting the computer's power supply right now - so I won't go out and buy another UPS yet (though they are fairly cheap at Sam's Club).
I used to use the power conditioner for my computer systems back when UPS systems were too expensive. It equilizes the voltage across little ups and downs in the supply. Now, I primarily use it for my printers, as they don't have to ride out power spikes. If they crash, then fine. They all reboot just fine when they get power back.
Friday, September 29, 2006
Not really. It just looks that way. Here are the screenshots in reverse order.
I didn't really need five photos to get this effect - three or four would have probably worked. Beyond that, you lose resolution. Part of my problem was that I didn't figure out how to do it right until about the third one.
The way I did it was to start with a screen shot - in this case, the one I used in my previous post. I then used Print Screen to copy it to the Clipboard, and then copied that into MSFT Paint. I saved it as a .jpeg file, and uploaded that into Blogger. I then refreshed the browser, and repeated. Once I got it set up, it only took a couple of minutes per cycle.
BTW, if you carefully at the Task Bar, you can see that I have active for this project:
- Mozilla for the actual blogging;
- Microsoft Paint for copying the screen shots to .jpeg files; and
- Mozilla Firefox for displaying the blog for the screenshots.
Note that I have added two rows of buttons to Firefox, as well as enabling a Favorites bar and a Site Navigation Bar. On the bottom, I have a Windows Quick Launch bar with the open tasks displayed right above them.
I was turned on to this by "Favicon for your Blogger blog" in blogger-tricks.blogspot.com. I had stumbled into one of his blogs while trying to get Blogger to turn off posting Word Verification. And as a result, he sent me an email requesting that I vote on whether links opening new windows is good or bad (I think bad - but I use Mozilla and Firefox because I hate extra windows). And then I looked this his blogs to see what I could find that was interesting.
It is really quite easy to get an icon on the tab with your blog name. You just need to create an icon, upload it somewhere on the Internet, and add two lines of HTML in your blog header. And a lot of this is provided by MyFavatar. You upload a relatively square picture to their site, they then convert it to an icon, and then generate the HTML that you can insert.
The author has a lot of other little tricks, like swapping sides for text and sidebar. Indeed, it was in that post that I discovered that IE doesn't handle fixed column widths well when something in one of them exceeds the column width. The result in a blog is that IE pushes the sidebar down below all of the posts. This can apparently be solved by using percentages instead of fixed widths for columns.
Microsoft wireless keyboard and mouse
Last time I bought a wireless mouse and keyboard, it was from Logitech, and they just weren't that responsive. But I figured I could return them if they weren't responsive, and so spent over $100 on the package. The next day, I found the identical combination at Sam's Club for about 60% of that prices, so bought another set and returned the first set to Best Buy and got my money back there.
Overall, they have worked fairly well. Surprisingly, I get a message about once a month that the batteries in the mouse are running down, and replace them. No problem, I now buy my batteries at the Dollar Store, and have bought as many as a dozen or so for a buck there. They work fine in the mouse, but not in my digital camera.
Interestingly, the software has never given a similar message for the keyboard. I have been having problems with a couple of the keys recently, and after cleaning the keyboard, the problems persist. Indeed, it got so bad that I couldn't select more than one item at a time (using the control key with the mouse). So, I checked the battery monitor on the keyboard control panel. The batteries looked almost full - which is surprising after almost 9 months. So, I tried swapping them for another set, and, voila, the keyboard works perfectly now.
Overall, I am very happy with the keyboard / mouse combination. Because the mouse is a laser mouse, I do have to clean it at least once a month. But other than that, I have been quite satisfied. Now if that company could build software like it builds hardware....
Musing on the Internet (#1) - a retrospective
Twenty-five years ago, I was starting to work in data communications. My initial project was to get the Sperry (now Unisys) DCP front end processors to communicate well over async connections to dump terminals like the Omerons and Hazeltines above. By then, we had mostly moved to 1200 and 2400 baud. Shortly thereafter, after fixing the DCP problems, I moved to remote batch or remote job entry. This was primarily a question of remote printers to print out the results of what the programmers did on their dump terminals.
By twenty years ago, I was firmly ensconced in the data communications world. By then, I was at the USDA site in Fort Collins, supporting the largest remote batch configuration in the world - we supported some 3,000 remote printers/card readers - though many of them were really mini-computers by then, and this was an early mechanism for computer-computer communications.
Because of the logicistal nightmare of supporting over 3,000 remote sites over primarily dial-up lines in this manner, we developed at that time a remote batch protocol that ran over X.25. Our management divided us into two teams, the alligator fighters and the swamp drainers. I was happily a swamp drainers. And, indeed, after a year and a half of development, the project was rolled out to the Forest Service, and it was an immediate success with them, and with us. Within a couple of months, the entire team of almost a dozen alligator fighters could be reassigned, as trouble calls dropped 95+%.
The problem was that this project was so successful, that the Dept. of Agriculture wanted us to implement something like it across their other 5,000 or so remote sites. Unfortunately, this meant dealing with a lot of other vendor equipment, notably IBM, its mainframes, and some of the most atrocious minicomputers ever built. It was a System 36 or 38 or something like that, and it didn't have an async interface, which made communicating with Telenet/Sprint over X.25 problematic. IBM of course assummed that no one would want to communicate between their minicomputers and anything except their own mainframes over a channel connection. This sort of thinking didn't work well with the DoA, with its 5,000+ offices, with at least one office in each county of the country, esp. since the remote ones were by sattelite. Oh, and the X.25 provided the agency (on an agency wide contract) provided for async/TTY access.
Indeed, one of the breakthroughs for reliability in our remote batch project above was when we, as a central site, got direct X.25 connections to the Telenet network. Interestingly, we had a T-1 into the building, multiplexing up to 24 56kb channels. We never used more than a half a dozen of them. The channels were syncronous, so were capable of two or more times the speed that those same lines would have been capable of if running async (and now, we are nearing 56kb on those very same channels).
So, we started a development project for the next generation of remote batch to handle all of the departments computers, minicomputers, and, now, amazingly enough, personal computers.
The first step was to immerse ourselves in the OSI model. The government (Sperry's biggest customer by far) had mandated that all of its future procurements would be OSI compliant, and so all the computer companies were madly trying to implement it. On the other hand, our chief architect / consultant had worked on the original Arpanet program designing TCP/IP. We spent about a year evaluating TCP/IP and trying to bring up a pilot project. But that had a lot of problems:
- TCP/IP was not OSI compliant, or even close. Instead of a seven layer protocol, it was really only about 4 layers. As noted, the U.S. government had mandated OSI compliance.
- At the time, TCP/IP was running through IMPs. These were dedicated processors that communicated among themselves using their own protocol. We were still a couple of years away from it being implemented over Ethernet, etc. Indeed, Ethernet was brand new, and competing with other technologies such as token ring for acceptance. The betting was on the later, since it was being pushed by IBM.
- The Sperry (soon to be Unisys) solution ran through DCP front end processors and worked well with IMPs. But the DoA needed it to run over X.25 (from Telenet/Sprint). The Sperry implementation was highly layered and structured, in keeping with the, then current, drive towards OSI. And we were having a horrendous time translating between IP addresses at the top level and X.25 addresses at the bottom. All of the data structures were just too short to accomodate those long X.25 addresses (remember, IP addresses are really only 32 bits long).
In the end, we opted for a rewrite of our original remote batch (RB) protocol. I left Sperry right after it merged with Burroughs to form Unisys, and spent the remainder of the decade working as a consultant for the DoA during the day and going to law school at night. One of the reasons that I was hired as a consultant was so that I could implement the RB protocol on IBM mainframes. So, I learned a lot about MVS internals. We had two competing designs: mine, and the one for the Data General machines. In the end, my design was portable enough that we were able to port it to run on the IBM mainframes, PCs, some IBM minis, DEC minis, and even the DG minis. Unfortunately for IBM, my design called for what was essentially an in-memory database, and I implemented this in MVS using their Data In Virtual (DIV) subsystem. Unfortunately for all concerned, this feature, that had been around for awhile, was untested, at least until I got my hands on it (it was a horrible design on IBM's part, since it was built over VSAM - which went into update mode when a file was expanded, locking out all other users, and I was sharing it among several processes).
A little over 15 years ago (1990), I graduated from law school and got laid off my consulting contract, all within two days. My wife at the time (laid off at the same time) went to work as a network administrator, and as a result, suggested that I get involved in some discussion groups to follow the law, esp. as it relates to where I was trying to go, which was into computer law. At that time, the Internet, as it was, was primarily email, news groups, and ftp. It was also mostly dial up, except for some lucky corporate users. I think the modems were mostly about 12k or so at the time, though I do remember them being able to downshift to 2400, and maybe even 300, if necessary (the big reason for this for me was Nistime - to get the time of day from the Bureau of Standards (now NIST)).
One of my only clients that first year was involved in BBSs (Bulletin Board Systems). They were disabled and ran a yearly BBS convention to make a little money. Someone had grabbed their convention away from them, running one at the same time in the same city with a very similar name.
Twelve years ago, I took a job with Motorola Semiconductor sector in Austin. Initially, we had internal email (all Mac based), as well as some external email. It was about this time that Mosaic really got going, and I would use such at home using a dial-up modem. At some point, the company switched from an Apple to a TCP/IP internal network.
About a decade ago, the VP running our office got Web access into his office. He also provided limited access to the dozen+ patent attorneys in the office for officially sanctioned projects. This lasted about six months, at which time, he was overriden by the powers above him, who mandated that we all get access. Of course, there wasn't that much content available back then, but...
Maybe eight years ago, I jumped to Bull Worldwide Information Systems in Phoenix, a manufacturer of legacy mainframe computers. Web access was fairly universal by then at work. At home, I spent a couple of years fighting to get either cable or DSL service. The problem was that I was living in a new subdivision - which had been built just before Cox and Qwest had started putting in broadband support as standard. So, both companies were spending their money upgrading older neighborhoods. It was only when I moved into one such about sxi years ago, that I could finally get broadband (in that case, Cox cable).
One of the highpoints at Bull was being on their Y2K management committee, and was second level support (for legal matters) at the rollover. That meant that I had to be in town, available by phone, but didn't have to be at the command center at the plant. Interestingly, Bull had installed any number of now obsolete computer systems around the world, and many of their former customers were still running such. The biggest worry, from a political point of view (since Bull is French), was the Swedish National (electrical) Grid (SNG), which was I think the only company in the world running one long discontinued system. A big sigh of relief from all when the rollover came through Europe, and Sweden didn't go dark.
As a slightly related and somewhat interesting side note, Bull was by then the owner of the Multics OS. I was involved in finally shutting it down. Multics, of course, was the basis for the design of Unix (though Multics, being mainframe based, had much better security). And a lot of the Unix command language ended up in DOS, as well as being the basis for Linux. The most engineers at Bull were fairly militant on the subject: Multics was a far superior product to GCOS, but it had lost out through Honeywell company politics.
Five years ago, I found myself at a law firm in Salt Lake city, just in time to see the 9/11 coverage on the big screen TV in the conference room there. By then, I was writing a lot of patents on web interfaces, and remember complaining to the firm's PR person about the firm's Web site - on how it would fade in, and then you would have to click to get to the real site. My point was that the target audience for a patent firm is engineers, and engineers are turned off by that sort of inefficiencies.
Of course, looking back at that today, I think that their web site was fairly inocuous, esp. compared to many I see today. It was in SLC that I discovered that I can't work as a patent attorney withoug good Internet access. Everything is so much more quickly available on the Web than it used to be. I no longer buy most of the books that I needed when I entered patent law 15+ years ago. Rather, it is at my finger tips (or, more accurately in many cases, only a mouse click away).
Indeed, the Internet and the Web have become so ubquitous that there are many businesses in which a web presence is required. Back when I was entering patent law, having email did that. Not any more. I know two artists who now have web sites for just this reason. Not techie attorneys like me trying to practice computer and cyber law, but artists.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
HTML Editing - First Page
Awhile back, I tried installing 1st Page level 2.x. It was nice, but wasn't free, and didn't add that much. Imagine my pleasant surpise to find 1st Page 3.0, and that so far, at least, I haven't been asked to pay for it. Most of the older features are in it, but it has cleaned up the interface a bit. It now also provides a nice project interface. For heavy HTML editing, I will most likely primarily use it in the future, while using the level 1.0 version for light editing.
However, it does have a couple of places where it falls down:
- It seems a lot bigger, taking significantly more time to load than the earlier version.
- It still has the problem of losing button bar changes that the older version does.
- I am still struggling with making DIV and BLOCKQUOTE work correctly.
- You can't mix "Hard Core" and "Expert" modes. In the older version, you could have both sets of buttons available, and sometimes the Hard Core pull down menus were extremely useful, in, for example, inserting blockquotes and divisions.
- Project mode (as mentioned above)
- Integration with Mozilla - you can pick either IE or Mozilla OR BOTH for your previewing.
- Many more useful buttons to put on the button bars.
Mozilla Firefox (#1)
But the Mozilla foundation has been moving away from an integrated suite for awhile now, and its efforts have been going into the Firefox browser and Thunderbird email client. Inertia was keeping me from downloading the latest and greatest of these two programs, but I ran into problems yesterday with a client and its brand new web site. Mozilla would hang occasionally, and downloading and playing audio and video was a bit uneven. I ended up using IE 6, with all of its problems and inconveniences.
So, last night, I downloaded the latest versions of Firefox and Thunderbird and installed the former. At first, I was a little disconcerted - it was missing a lot of the features that I had grown to love in the Mozilla browser:
- Print button
- Top and bottom navigation buttons
- Site Navigation Bar
But then I went to the Mozilla/ Firefox web site and looked through the available extensions, and almost everything that I was used to with Mozilla was there as an extension. So, I very quickly had a Site Navigation Bar almost identical to the one I use in Mozilla, as well as Mouse Gestures, Copy Plain Text, Copy Location, etc. But Firefox allows you to customize the button bars and menus (like MSFT Office), which I immediately did. Vanilla Firefox only provides a handful of buttons to add, but there are extensions that provide a lot more. So, now my Firefox is button heavy, with the Firefox menu bar, navigation bar, two personal bars, the bookmark bar, site navigation bar, and tabs.
Add to this that I have also been able to edit all of the menus, including the context (right click) menu, allowing me to order and group functions a lot more logically than the Mozilla mostly chronological ordering.
All in all, I think I will like it. And there seems to be some integration between Firefox and Thunderbird, which is one of the reasons that I tried them a year or so ago and went back to the integrated Mozilla suite.
The truculence of the Sunni Arabs has brought forth the Shiite vengeance that a steady campaign of anti-Shiite terror was bound to trigger. Sunni elements have come into the government, but only partly so. President Jalal Talabani put it well when he said that there are elements in Iraq that partake of government in the daytime, and of terror at night. This is as true of the Sunni Arabs as it is of the Shiites. The (Sunni) insurgents were relentless: In the most recent of events, they have taken terror deep into Sadr City. The results were predictable: The death squads of the Mahdi Army struck back.
It is idle to debate whether Iraq is in a state of civil war. The semantics are tendentious, and in the end irrelevant. There is mayhem, to be sure, but Iraq has arrived at a rough balance of terror. The Sunni Arabs now know, as they had never before, that their tyranny is broken for good. And the most recent reports from Anbar province speak of a determination of the Sunni tribes to be done with the Arab jihadists.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
In an extended 15-page homage to the glories of this site, they report: "Matt Drudge is the gatekeeper... he is the Walter Cronkite of his era."If this were about anyone else, I would question it. But Drudge is Drudge.
"In the fragmented, remote-control, click-on-this, did you hear? political media world in which we live, revered Uncle Walter has been replaced by odd nephew Matt."
Declassified Key Judgments of the National Intelligence Estimate "Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States" dated April 2006
- Although we cannot measure the extent of the spread with precision, a large body of all-source reporting indicates that activists identifying themselves as jihadists, although a small percentage of Muslims, are increasing in both number and geographic dispersion.
- If this trend continues, threats to US interests at home and abroad will become more diverse, leading to increasing attacks worldwide.
- Greater pluralism and more responsive political systems in Muslim majority nations would alleviate some of the grievances jihadists exploit. Over time, such progress, together with sustained, multifaceted programs targeting the vulnerabilities of the jihadist movement and continued pressure on al-Qa’ida, could erode support for the jihadists.
- We assess that the operational threat from self-radicalized cells will grow in importance to US counterterrorism efforts, particularly abroad but also in the Homeland.
- The jihadists regard Europe as an important venue for attacking Western interests. Extremist networks inside the extensive Muslim diasporas in Europe facilitate recruitment and staging for urban attacks, as illustrated by the 2004 Madrid and 2005 London bombings.
- The Iraq conflict has become the "cause celebre" for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement. Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight.
- Four underlying factors are fueling the spread of the jihadist movement: (1) Entrenched grievances, such as corruption, injustice, and fear of Western domination, leading to anger, humiliation, and a sense of powerlessness; (2) the Iraq "jihad"; (3) the slow pace of real and sustained economic, social, and political reforms in many Muslim majority nations; and (4) pervasive anti-US sentiment among most Muslims, all of which jihadists exploit.
- The jihadists greatest vulnerability is that their ultimate political solution an ultra-conservative interpretation of sharia-based governance spanning the Muslim world.is unpopular with the vast majority of Muslims. Exposing the religious and political straitjacket that is implied by the jihadists' propaganda would help to divide them from the audiences they seek to persuade.
- Recent condemnations of violence and extremist religious interpretations by a few notable Muslim clerics signal a trend that could facilitate the growth of a constructive alternative to jihadist ideology: peaceful political activism. This also could lead to the consistent and dynamic participation of broader Muslim communities in rejecting violence, reducing the ability of radicals to capitalize on passive community support. In this way, the Muslim mainstream emerges as the most powerful weapon in the war on terror.
- Countering the spread of the jihadist movement will require coordinated multilateral efforts that go well beyond operations to capture or kill terrorist leaders.
Al-Qa’ida, now merged with Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi’s network, is exploiting the situation in Iraq to attract new recruits and donors and to maintain its leadership role.
- The loss of key leaders, particularly Usama Bin Ladin, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and al-Zarqawi, in rapid succession, probably would cause the group to fracture into smaller groups. Although like-minded individuals would endeavor to carry on the mission, the loss of these key leaders would exacerbate strains and disagreements. We assess that the resulting splinter groups would, at least for a time, pose a less serious threat to US interests than does al-Qa.ida.
- Should al-Zarqawi continue to evade capture and scale back attacks against Muslims, we assess he could broaden his popular appeal and present a global threat.
- The increased role of Iraqis in managing the operations of al-Qa'ida in Iraq might lead veteran foreign jihadists to focus their efforts on external operations.
- We assess that such groups pose less of a danger to the Homeland than does al-Qa'ida but will pose varying degrees of threat to our allies and to US interests abroad. The focus of their attacks is likely to ebb and flow between local regime targets and regional or global ones.
- CBRN capabilities will continue to be sought by jihadist groups.
Anti-US and anti-globalization sentiment is on the rise and fueling other radical ideologies. This could prompt some leftist, nationalist, or separatist groups to adopt terrorist methods to attack US interests. The radicalization process is occurring more quickly, more widely, and more anonymously in the Internet age, raising the likelihood of surprise attacks by unknown groups whose members and supporters may be difficult to pinpoint.
- We judge that groups of all stripes will increasingly use the Internet to communicate, propagandize, recruit, train, and obtain logistical and financial support.
I think that what anyone should do here is read all three of them, and decide for themselves whether it was the government, or the NYT, that was acting in bad faith.
My vote is on the NYT. Their original disclosure of the NIE, while still classified, dwelled on what was really only a minor part of the NIE. In particular, the paper ignored that the NIE spent a lot more time discussing why the government's democrazation was so critical in Iraq, and that that was the best way to stop the spread of terrorism.
If democratic reform efforts in Muslim majority nations progress over the next five years, political participation probably would drive a wedge between intransigent extremists and groups willing to use the political process to achieve their local objectives. Nonetheless, attendant reforms and potentially destabilizing transitions will create new opportunities for jihadists to exploit
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Look and Feel of blog (#6) IE
Another problem cropped up - I couldn't change the display mode on a global basis in IE 6. The way I do this in a Gecko based browser is to use the getElementsByName function to acquire an array of DIVisions (<DIV>) that have a common NAME attribute. The problem is that I have also assigned a unique ID attribute for these DIVisions, and IE apparently first checks the ID attribute in its implementation of the getElementsByName function, and only if that is missing, does it check the NAME attribute. Earth to Microsoft: there is a reason the function is named: getElementsByName - there is another function named: getElementById. In other words, it is again out of standard, as these two attributes are not interchangable.
So, the way I got around that was to first try getElementsByName. And, then if that function returns an empty array, I create a new empty array and then get an array of all the DIVisions in the entire blog by using calling the getElementsByTagName. I then check each of these DIVisions, and if its NAME attribute is the one I am looking for (the one I used in getElementsByName), I push it onto the array of DIVisions with that NAME attribute (PostDivs). The result, with a bit more overhead and code, is identical. The resulting code is now (with IE kludge emphasized):
function SetGlobalDivs()While playing with that, I found that IE 6 had another annoying feature. Blogger sets up its columns using pixal widths. The width of the this blog is 660px, the width of the blog entries is 410px, and the width of the sidebar is 220px. That works great in Gecko based browsers, but in IE 6, if a blog entry exceeds the 410px width (for example, a long URL or big picture), the sidebar is pushed down below the blog entries. Since this is apparently an IE problem with most Blogger templates, I haven't addressed it yet, but apparently it can be fixed by using percentages instead of pixals for the widths.
PostDivs = document.getElementsByName(PostGlobalDiv);
PostDivs = new Array(0);
var divs = document.getElementsByTagName("DIV");
for (var i=0; i<divs.length; i++)
if (divs[i].name == PostGlobalDiv)
This is, of course, good news for hackers, but bad news for the rest of us.
Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Germany and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California at San Diego has proposed one way to curb global warming (natural and/or man-made) is to purposely shoot sulfur into the atmosphere, in much the same way that major volcanic eruptions do. Injecting sulfur into the stratosphere would reflect more sunlight back to space and offset greenhouse gas warming, according to Crutzen. Crutzen suggests carrying sulfur into the atmosphere via balloons and using artillery guns to release it, where the particles would stay for up to two years. The results could be seen in six months.Maybe we can see from their reaction to this how serious the proponents of Global Warming are to really solving it.
The commission was also silent on other important issues. Despite a plethora of evidence that higher education lacks intellectual diversity, especially amongst faculty members, there is no mention whatsoever of this eyesore in the report. This was a glaring oversight, especially since many important groups have documented this problem extensively in recent years. In the same vein, the report ignores areas such as grade inflation, the unnecessary increase in university bureaucracy, the explosion of labor unions on college campuses, the shift from faculty instruction to faculty research, and the growing costs for non-academic activities such as intercollegiate athletics and the construction of Taj Mahal dorms and fitness centers. The commission's work would have been significantly stronger if they would have at least examined these issues.
Of course, this is big advantage that leakers have in situations like this. The government can't respond to these claims w/o disclosing the classified documents. So, we are left with possible spin, because the only ones willing to disclose parts of the classified documents are those who are disclosing for political agenda reasons.
It should come as no surprise if the Bush Administration undertakes a preemptive war against Iran sometime before the November election.I think that the idea of using foreign military excursions for political gain was perfected by Bill Clinton. I can only surmise that this is projection on the part of Hart. Since Clinton would do this, then the evil Bush would do worse.
What is embarassing is that Hart was able to win election here in Colorado. On the other hand, he was never quite as bad as his colleague, Tim Worth, who was giving "Global Cooling" speeches into the 1990s.
Mitt Romney is an extremely attractive candidate. He is very articulate, highly intelligent, well educated (Harvard MBA/JD), and one of the best looking candidates out there. He also brings along some geographic advantages - with roots in Mass., Mich., and Utah. The big question has been whether he can attract Christain conservatives, and, in particular, Evangelicals. There is increasing evidence that not only can he, but that he is becoming their candidate of choice. I liked this:
"He was impressive in explaining how he governed as a conservative in Ted Kennedy's home state," said columnist Robert Novak. The next morning, Mr. Romney appeared before the Family Research Council's summit. "He won over a lot of people when he recalled how as a businessman he had rescued the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City," says Chris Butler of Americans For Tax Reform.Romney is an interesting combination of policy wonk and manager. Bill Clinton was the ultimate policy wonk, but couldn't manage if his life depended on it. On the other hand, George W. Bush is one of the best managers we have seen in the Oval Office, but rarely is an expert on policy. Mitt Romney appears to be able to meld the both. Of course, he does have an Ivy League J.D. like Clinton, and a Harvard M.B.A. like Bush. So, maybe this is no surprise.
That experience helped solidify Mr. Romney's reputation as a can-do manager who knows how to delegate. "He is the only elected official I've met with who gave me a detailed power-point briefing on my area of expertise," says Bob Moffit, a health-care expert at the Heritage Foundation who worked with Mr. Romney to craft a law mandating that everyone in Massachusetts buy health insurance.
Last-minute changes to legislation authorizing the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping program have won the support of three balking Senate Republicans, improving the chances that a bill expanding the Bush administration's surveillance authority will pass Congress this week.I think that the Senate changes are more significant than critics are suggesting. In particular:
The lawmakers say a third change is aimed at ensuring that warrantless surveillance of an agent of a foreign power does not include an American. Under the change, the lawmakers said, the administration would be expected to obtain a warrant if the attorney general cannot certify a "reasonable expectation" that the warrantless surveillance will not involve a U.S. citizen.I would have to see the actual wording here, but part of the problem with FISA right now is that targetting is irrelevant when the surveilance is w/i the U.S., and this would seem to retain that - but limit it to most likely "U.S. Persons", i.e., those here legally. The Senate bill prior to this appeared to apply the 1801(f)(1) standards to surveilance whether or not it was done w/i the U.S., and this meant that a warrant would be required if a U.S. person in the U.S. is targetted and surveiled. The proposal would appear to drop the "targetted" aspect of that.
Monday, September 25, 2006
Ski Season (#3.2)
A view of North Peak looking north from Dercum's Mountain at Keystone.
Admittedly, a lot of this snow will be gone in the next couple of days, but, it still means that ski season is on the way.
Friday, September 22, 2006
Three political groups in the European Parliament have warned that the possibility of introducing software patents is re-emerging.As you may or may not know, legally you can't patent software in the EU. You actually can, but it is a lot more difficult there than here, and somewhat akin to the state of patent law in the U.S. when I was gettring ready to sit for the patent bar 15 or so years ago.
I have never quite understood their reasoning when it comes to patenting software. In my experience there is little difference in patenting software and in patenting electronics. This is from personal experience, as that is what I do for a living. It may be a result of some silly idea that software is a result of a couple of geeks sitting in the back room and hacking around. Tell that to Microsoft or IBM, which both spend billions of dollars a year designing and implementing software. And this is really the problem here - the Europeans moan and groan about why their economies are stagnant, and why they can't get on the high tech bandwagon. Even with large state support, they fall further and further behind. And one reason for this may well be that they are at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to software development, since they don't provide as much intellectual property protection as we do here.
But then the author cited another article: "Population aging and future carbon emissions in the United States" which looks at the effects of an aging population on energy consumption (and, thus, CO2 emissions), and apparently finds that the older you get, the less energy you expend just running around. No more fast cars, but rather the ubiquitous golf carts you find on the streets in Sun City (yes, you they are a menace there, but there is nothing you can do about it, since you have to be 50 to live there). I should also note that the retired no longer have to commute to work, nor take the kids to school, sports, etc. And this too has apparently not been taken into account in those economic models.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Specifically, the government opines that when it asserts a classified information privilege, a classified document (or testimony based on a classified document) should be precluded from use at trial unless the Court determines (1) that the document is relevant; (2) that the document is “helpful to the defense,” and (3) that the defendant’s interest in disclosure of the document outweighs the government’s need to protect the classified information.This was rejected by the court. My guess is that #3 above was the clincher: the idea that even if the evvidence were determined to be both relevant and helpful to the defense, the government could still withhold it if it determined that its interests were greater. Because this is a criminal trial, that sort of thing won't fly, and the government has the choice of dismissing or diclosing evidence under the controlling evidentiary rules:
If the government is still not satisfied that the classified information is adequately protected at the conclusion of these hearings, the government has the power to preclude entirely the introduction at trial of the classified information. 18 U.S.C. App., § 6(c)(2). While invocation of this option may require dismissal of this case, now, just as during the discovery process, “[t]he burden is the Government’s, not to be shifted to the trial judge, to decide whether the public prejudice of allowing the crime to go unpublished is greater than that attendant upon the possible disclosure of state secrets and other confidential information in the Government’s possession.”
Labels: Plame Game
Congrats to Eugene.
Banks and other companies switching their phone systems to VOIP (voice over Internet Protocol) are making themselves vulnerable to phishing attacks for which there are currently no effective detection or prevention tools, a security researcher warned Wednesday.The idea apparently is that someone hacks your VoIP box, redirecting your conversations with your bank to their bank of phishers, who then proceed to steal you blind as a result. And, BTW, the "expert"
announced the release of alpha code for SIPhallis, a tool he wrote that allows security managers to manage SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) VOIP packets on their networks. "It gives you an interface to create and send VOIP packets; it also allows monitoring of VOIP packets," he said, adding the application can also be used to inject packets into a VOIP stream.So, let's summarize. The anonymous expert has identified a security breach that can only be guarded against by implementing his proprietary solution. You would almost think that this was a sales article, and not a news article.
The most controversial measure of the three, offered by Committee Chairman Arlen Specter with the White House's blessing, has drawn attacks from Democrats and civil liberties groups who claim it would erode the 1978 spy law's checks on executive power and violate Fourth Amendment privacy protections for Americans by authorizing unchecked intrusions on Internet and telephone communications.Con. Law 101: Congress can't violate the 4th Amdt., and if it tries, such a law would be unconstitutional. But this has little to do with the 4th Amdt. because the NSA TSP almost assuredly falls into the exigent circumstances exception.
Meanwhile, civil liberties advocates have accused the administration of intruding into phone calls and e-mails of millions of innocent Americans, and even Attorney General Alberto Gonzales conceded earlier this year that some "ordinary" citizens could be swept up in the quest for rogue targets.Oh, My. Millions? And as a result, there have been how many prosecutions for those alleged millions of instances of evesdropping? Precisely zero. The alleged "civil liberties advocates" cannot point to a single American in the U.S. who can prove that they were survieled by this program. Zip. Zero. Nada. And even if they could show being surveiled by the program, they can't show that it wasn't under FISA or Title III warrant.
The article was highly partisan fear mongering with little relationship to reality. What the article doesn't mention is that the goal of the critics of the NSA TSP and the Republican verisons of FISA reform is a shutdown of the program. The President is going to continue the program as long as he can, and implementing the Democratic proposals here to barely tweak FISA to bring it into the 1980s, instead of the 21st Century, are not going to change the calculus. Rather, the TSP would continue to operate in apparent violation of FISA, but under the President's plenary Article II powers. Or we get the same result with a stalemate here, only FISA remains stalled in the 1970s.
What the Republicans are trading for allowing FISA to address 21st Century threats and technology is oversight. There is effectively none right now, and that isn't good. And if the TSP really is listening in on millions of calls of Americans, without warrants, and the NSA is feeding all that information elsewhere in the government, then that should become apparent with oversight.
But the problem is that eBay does provide a major service to consumers worldwide by acting as a much more efficient market in many products. If these luxury brands manage to shut down the selling of their brands on eBay, in the name of shutting down the selling of knock-offs, they also shut down the resale of their own products. That might be fine with them, forcing their customers into the vendors' preferred distribution network, but it is bad for consumers who often can get significantly better prices on genuine products this way, either because the product is being sold outside the normal distribution chain, or it is used.
Of course, the question arises, why should it end with Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior. Why not HP? This summer I picked up two new HP printers on eBay for about $80. Suggested retail on the one was around $500, and $100 for the other. Of course, it is far harder to fake an HP printer than a Louis Vuitton handbag.
The difference, of course, is that there really is a big difference in quality between a $100 inkjet printer and a $500 inkjet printer. In my case, the $500 printer weighs about three times as much, comes with two removable 150 page cassettes, and uses high volume ink cartridges (which was one of my reasons to buy it). Everything about it is a lot sturdier. But what is the difference in quality between a $500 handbag and a $100 knock-off? Will the $500 handbag last 5 times as long? Highly unlikely. Rather, you are paying that premium mostly for the name.
My hope is that eBay can figure out a way of restricting resale of these name brand luxury goods to countries not in thrall to the fashion industry (i.e. France and maybe Italy). Then, the people in those countries can suffer for their judiciary, and not pass that cost on to the rest of the world.
Chairwoman Patricia Dunn and the company's general counsel have been invited to testify next week before a House panel investigating the affair.Back on October 5, I commented on the breaking scandal saying that:
With federal and California prosecutors conducting criminal investigations of HP's use of deceptive tactics to find a boardroom leaker, some experts say the executives' testimony to Congress could be fraught with legal peril.
And, find the leaker, she did, revealing it to the board on May 18. Unfortunately for her, not all the directors were thrilled about this invasion of privacy.Well, now she is now potentially facing criminal charges, and will give up the chairwomanship at HP at the end of the year.
Ski Season (#3.1)
Village at Copper:
Keystone looking north from Dercum's Peak:
Horseshoe Bowl at Breckenridge:
As is obvious from the photos, we have snow. Today, we are supposed to get 3" accumulation in Dillon, another 3-6" tonight, another 5" Friday, more on Saturday, and clearing Sat. night. A bit more should fall at the ski areas nearby - the top of Dercum's Mountain at Keystone (see above) is about 3,000' above Dillon.
The reality is that Bolton has done a good job at the U.N. Yes, he has made enemies there, and made them earlier in the State Department. But the reality is that most of the opposition to his nomination is really based on opposition to President Bush's foreign policy, and Bolton is just carrying out his President's wishes - which is probably the problem.
We may not have either detainee or FISA reform out of the Senate before they all recess so some can run for reelection.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
“If we put a column on the front page,” said Mr. Bodkin, “we want it to stand out as something different from the rest of the pieces on the page.”Of course, this doesn't address the problem that the NYT doesn't always seem to realize when its editorial opinions have migrated into its "news" stories. Maybe someone can have some fun, complaining when opinion masquarading as news is mistaken as such because it is improperly fully justified, instead of the left justification required for opinion. Should be fun.
Labels: Plame Game
Look and Feel of blog (#6)
The big change though is that I added Mozilla navigation to the blog. Mozilla browsers offer an additional "Site Navigation Bar" that can be enabled through the "View" menu:
The key elements required for this were already in place. First, I had put <DIV> elements around each post, giving each one a unique ID and a common NAME. And I was already utilizing the "getElementsByName" function to get a list of these post <DIV> elements. I optimized this by saving off the list, and only built it the first time I needed it (via function SetGlobalDivs()) (and moved this into my previously implemented code for global post mode changes). I thus was working with a static array of <DIV> elements (PostDivs), one per post, sorted as displayed.
var post = PostDivs[post#];This works fine for First and Last buttons, but more is needed for Previous and Next buttons. In particular, these require situational awareness: where the user is in the Blog. This is accomplished by use of the "ONMOUSEOVER" parameter assigned to each post <DIV> element, which assigns the post <DIV> element's ID to a local variable: PostDivID. The resulting core code is thus this function:
function GoToDiv(index)There is also a function (FindDivIndex) that translates a posts DIVision ID into its index into the PostDivs array. And, thus, Next could be implemented as:
if (index < 0)
PostDivID = "";
var length = PostDivs.length;
if (index >= length)
index = length-1;
var post = PostDivs[index];
PostDivID = post.id;
GoToDiv(FindDivIndex(PostDivID)+1), etc.After a bit of debugging, it all works great. Here is a picture of the blog showing the new elements:
Ski Season (#3)
Monday, September 18, 2006
Consider the most prominent Democratic politicians and power brokers of recent years: Nancy Pelosi (daughter and sister of Baltimore mayors, net worth $14 million); Harold Ickes (son of FDR's secretary of the interior, Sidwell Friends, Stanford, Columbia Law); Howard Dean (Park Avenue, St. George's, Yale); George Soros (Hungarian currency speculator, net worth $7.2 billion); Ellen Malcolm of Emily's List (heiress to the IBM fortune); Jane Fonda (record-breaking contributor to a liberal nonprofit in 2000 with a gift of $11.7 million); Michael Dukakis (son of a Harvard Medical School graduate, Swarthmore, Harvard Law); John Kerry (St. Paul's, Yale, Skull & Bones, net worth nearly $167 million); Al Gore (St. Albans, Harvard, son of a U.S. senator); Hillary Clinton (former first lady, Wellesley, Yale Law, now worth $10 million).Sounds just like Joe Sixpack whom they want to reenlist. He did miss though some other big targets here, i.e. Ted Kennedy and Jay Rockefeller. Kennedy's father, of course made his money running booze during Prohibition, and he would have graduated from Harvard except for a little cheating episode. Oh, and his mother's family was the First Family of Boston politics. And Rockefeller is of course descended from the old Robber Baron himself.
Many Democrats--and writers such as Thomas Frank--have called for the party to reconnect with the white, working-class, male voters it has lost over the decades. The problem with this call to populism is that the party's most influential wing is not populist; it is elitist--affluent, welleducated, urban, indifferent (or hostile) to organized religion, and, on the controversial social issues of abortion and gay marriage, well to the left of the general public. The values of this elite tend to prevail in party debates and in the crafting of Democratic platforms. Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union--and himself an Ivy League graduate--recently said that the perception of Democrats as "Volvo-driving, latte-drinking, Chardonnay-sipping, Northeast, Harvard- and Yale-educated liberals" isn't a perception at all, but rather "the reality. That is who people see as leading the Democratic Party. There's no authenticity; they don't look like them. People are not voting against their interests; they're looking for someone to represent their interests."I think that a lot of people now see the rank hypocricy of these multimillionaires coming from elite backgrounds and having attended top schools trying to preach about what is good for the common man. How would they know? We all remember Al Gore trying to convince us that he really had worked in the fields growing up (amidst his summers in Europe, home from school in D.C.) To John Kerry's credit, he really didn't bother trying.
But knowing how non-standard this is, AOL strips them out when sending email outside its domain, resulting in the Illegal Message display for each photo enclosed.
I did a bit of testing with my new AOL account, sending to and receiving from it. And attaching photos works fine, either way. It is just when you send embedded photos outside AOL that you have a problem. Also, I sent them to two different ISPs, as well as my own mail server, and the results were identical.
One cute little feature is that when you sign on to mail the first time, they automatically try to launch a feature to import your datebook, in order to notify everyone there of your new AOL account, and then to set up to forward all your correspondence from your old email account to your new AOL account.
Sounds like a nice feature, if anyone would actually think of moving permanently in that direction. Of course, AOL's big business model problem is just the opposite - it is considered by many to be Internet training wheels, and when you learn enough to navigate on your own, you jump ship. And if the board at Time Warner had actually tried AOL before allowing themselves to be bought out by them, they should have known that this interface is at best, horrible.
Someone like me, who is more cynical, and less charitable, would probably think that this was a way to lock people into AOL. Of course, the company doesn't help its side of the argument by making it almost impossible to drop their services.
Finally here, I thought, what the heck, I will get set up for Instant Messanger. That was until it told me to disable my pop-up blocker. As if. The constant stream of constantly changing advertisements is bad enough using their email system. The last thing I want is for them to start magically appearing on my screen.
Which brings me to another AOL gripe about it being obviously designed for IE. Everything you do there pops up new windows. One after another. I am used to Mozilla tabs, where I can have a dozen sites up at once, in only two windows (I average 6-8 tabs per window). And this is with pop-ups blocked.
I'd like to see taxes raised on the wealthy, drugs decriminalized and homosexuals free to marry. I also think that the Bush administration deserves most of the criticism it has received in the last six years — especially with respect to its waging of the war in Iraq, its scuttling of science and its fiscal irresponsibility.But in his article in the LAT: Head-in-the-Sand Liberals - Los Angeles Times, he takes liberals to task for their views on militant Islam and its danger to western society:
We are entering an age of unchecked nuclear proliferation and, it seems likely, nuclear terrorism. There is, therefore, no future in which aspiring martyrs will make good neighbors for us. Unless liberals realize that there are tens of millions of people in the Muslim world who are far scarier than Dick Cheney, they will be unable to protect civilization from its genuine enemies.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Somehow, I got one of the five photos I need when the send client sent them directly from AOL. But not the ones I needed. Then, client (A) sent them to a friend (C) on another network, and AOL kindly removed them from that email also. It is almost as if the company strips photos, etc. when going out fo the AOL network. I can't believe that they are that stupid, that would be the type of anti-trust violation that MSFT got itself into with tying Windows 95 to its version of DOS.
So, out of desperation, I tried signing up for a free AOL mail account. And I haven't seen a worse setup in my life. To start with the boxes are not big enough, so you can only see the top 3/4 of the text you type in. But then, you have to put in a bunch of biographic data. Fine. It is free, and I fake it. Then, you pick a "screen name", password (twice) and do something similar to Word Verification here, and submit. Except that it is in vivid color, and it is almost impossible to read. So, I asked for another one, and had to retype the passwords and month and date of birth and their WV characters.
Then I submitted it. Whoops, brucehayden was taken. How about bhayden13? Had to retype in the passwords, birth month and day, and WV characters. Oh, that one is taken too. How about softpats? Oh, "soats" is already taken. What? I must have mistyped. So, I went through the retyping the screenname of softpats, the two passwords, birth month and day, word verification, and resubmit. Still thinks I typed in "soats". One more try. Well, this time I can't read the WV, so ask for another one, and have to retype everything again. Still thinks I want "soats" instead of "softpats". Well, let's try the old one, copatlaw. Whoops, got the WV wrong. Try it again, and finally suceed.
Is it any surprise that these guys have to make it impossible to terminate service? I haven't seen as bad a user interface in years, and this is one of the biggest, if not biggest, ISP in the country.
Jonah Goldberg at The NRO Corner asked what word was missing from the story, and gave a hint that it started with a "D". Fires is, of course, a Democrat, and Steele, a Republican. And that is what is being studiously ignored by the AP - that this was a white staffer trying to play the race card against a black Republican candidate. And, as we all know from the conventional wisdom, it is the Republicans who are the racists, despite the fact that they are the ones running the African-American here, and it was they who were making the racist appeal. Also, there were apparently some anti-Jewish actions also taken by this former Fires' staffer, which just compounded the problem.
That said, what I never quite figured out is why the former Fires' staffer thought that would help his candidate (maybe a Rove plant?) While it might sway a couple of blacks not to vote for Steele, it would likely drive even more Whites to vote for him. After all, the point of the Oreo slur is that Steele is supposedly Black on the outside and White on the inside. Why would the White's mind that? And remember, most of the Blacks would vote Democrat anyway, even if Steele is the only Black in the race. The cost of keeping a couple of potential stragglers in the fold is not likely to compensate for all the White's it sells on the other side. Besides, the most likely affect of Steele's candidacy is that Black turnout is down because they would rather not vote than vote for or against a Black Republican, but White turnout is up, because a lot of Whites think that would show they were not racist.
Chris Muir has managed to hit two or three issues with one cartoon. I love the idea here that we are feeding the detainees so well that they want to be photoedited like Katie Couric to slim them down for propoganda pictures. Also, the Club Gitmo allusion suggests that Muir is sometimes a Dittohead.
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Ski Season (#2)
But what is interesting to me is that most of the ski areas in Colorado close before they have to, based on ski conditions. Keystone closed last year about the first of April, and probably could have stayed open most of the way through the month. By mid April every year, we are left with Arapahoe Basin, which stays open most years as long as it can, occasionally beyond the 4th of July.
But the reason that Keystone closes so early is that by then, most of the ski crowd is from the Front Range (i.e. Denver, Boulder, C. Springs, etc.), and they are thinking summer sports. Now, while you can still sail on Lake Dillon, bike, ride, etc., everyone is ready for the snow again. Weird, but I am as bad as anyone. Last year, I only skied once after Keystone closed, even having a pass that worked at A-Basin. Mostly, I was tired of skiing, though I only skied 50 or 60 days last year. (I have two 100+ day seasons, the most recent being 4 years ago).
Ski season is around the corner
Unfortunately, I suspect that Copper and Loveland will react to this faster than Vail Resorts, and, in particular, Keystone. Keystone isn't scheduled to open until about Nov. 7, whereas, at this rate, these other areas may be able to open by mid-October.
Of course, Copper Mountain is always a bit problematic. It opens early, just not to the public. It has found that it makes a lot of money off of lodging for early season race training, and typically opens for such a week or two before the regular season. Indeed, you can often see some of the best alpine racers from around the world there the first week or two of November.
My next brother race trains (for the Masters' series) at Copper and thus is able to sneak in with the Summit County junior racers for early season training. I don't have such connections, so will have to wait.
While U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton has said he will not allow the Libby trial to become a trial about the war in Iraq, the prosecution most certainly appears to have been deeply influenced by the debate over the decision to go to war. Those who accused the administration of lying and deception were assumed from the outset to be "good leakers" and "whistle-blowers" deserving protection. Those, like Libby, who shared the president's views were targets to be pursued for having attempted to answer the serial lies of a prominent critic. That the original leak came from a repentant Armitage, who apparently testified that he was unaware Plame had ever been under cover, should have been a clue for the prosecution. The theory of the case in which a "thuggish" White House set out to punish Joe Wilson simply wasn't true. Instead, as noted by the astute observer Tom Maguire (who reported on the case in great detail at his website justoneminute.typepad.com), Fitzgerald seemed "to be investigating 'Did the White House conspire to out Ms. Plame?' rather than 'Who outed Ms. Plame?'"I should note that Clarice is the resident Plame expert at Justoneminute.com. Nevertheless, this is a remarkable job of laying out a large number of the relevant facts and tying them together with a timeline as could probably be done in the 6,000 word limit she had for her article. Necessarily dense in detail, but remarkably thorough.
Labels: Plame Game