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03/30/2003 Archived Entry: ""So long, and thanks for all the fish.""
On the Political Front:
To begin with an item from the lighter side of the news..."The US Marines have suffered an embarrassment with reports last night that one of their most prized investigators may have defected. Takoma, the Atlantic bottle-nosed dolphin, had been in Iraq for 48 hours when he went missing on his first operation to snoop out mines." Swim free little dolphin.
IRAQWAR.RU offers an insightful analysis of recent military events and a run-down of strategic mistakes the US has made thus far. An interesting editorial in the St. Petersburg Times Online claims "Civilian ideologues in the Bush administration made optimistic assumptions about the war in Iraq that may have endangered our troops on the ground." The first two words of the piece are "Richard Perle," the guru of civilian ideologues who has disappeared from Bush administration ranks. Alexander Cockburn's commentary in CounterPunch on the breakdown of strategy is entitled "From 'Plain Sailing' to 'Where the Hell Are We?' to 'Up the Creek'." Cockburn opens with the observation, "Barely into its second week Operation Easy Sailing is in big trouble. One simple way of measuring just how big is by adding up all the time you hear the phrases 'all according to Plan', and the 'Our strategy is sound'." Meanwhile, military officials are voicing public criticism of the war games that were used to prepare soldiers for Operation Iraqi Freedom. None of the game even vaguely resembled the subsequence realities. If you wish to play a rather cynical Iraq Game , this one is a distraction from the news. And, yes, that's a good thing.
EINnews is also worth checking out every day tho' registration is necessary to read many of the articles.
The US is losing the hearts and minds of the iraqi people if, in fact, they ever had them. The following article about a Baghdad neighborhood that was bombed gives a glimpse into one of the reasons why. Fari warning...it is a disturbing. I hate Saddam Hussein. I wish luck to anyone who tries to personally assassinate him. But bombing and invading the Iraqi people is the worst strategy possible. Saddam becomes a symbol of "Arab resistance to US imperialism" As an article in the Sydney Mail Herald explains, "Saddam Hussein may previously have been largely discredited as a dictator, but by standing up to the might of the United States-led coalition, however ineffectively in the long term, his men are transforming him into an Arab hero once more." People rally around a leader during times of crisis. The Iraqis are rallying around Saddam in much the same manner as the support of the American people for Bush rose the commencement of war. Brad and I listened to a BBC report on the shortwave radio last night and an interviewed Iraqi explained why his nation would provide continuing stiff resistance. He listed three reasons: 1) the people may hate Saddam but they hate the US more; 2) the people are fighting for their homeland and, literally, their homes; 3) they are fighting against a US occupation in post-Saddam Iraq.
On the Personal Front:
I just received the following email from Suzanne Riggenbach: "I have sad news Dyanne [Petersen] passed away this morning suddenly, she was here in the Bay area to attend Joe Fuhrig's memorial services which was held this afternoon. I will have more details as soon as possible." I am in shock. You always think there is time to catch up with friends from whom you've drifted away. We were good friends once. During Dyanne's almost ten years of obscene imprisonment on a victimless crime, we wrote back and forth, and I sent her books. After her release, we stayed in touch...but our lives had become so different. I embrace a rural lifestyle on a farm in Canada; she lived in San Francisco and, later, the San Diego area. Our circle of intimates had changed and there was no overlap. When I visited San Francisco last year, we planned a breakfast and a party together but both fell through when she had to accommodate her crazy schedule. Instead, we spent time together a few days later at the conference in Las Vegas that had drawn me toward the Pacific coast in the first place. I thought there was more time. Otherwise, I would have requisitioned a full evening of good food, good wine, and the sort of conversation that makes you cling to each other at the end because you realize that friendship is one of the gifts of life...and there aren't that many. I have been looking at a photograph she sent me a few months ago of the two of us. We are at a party, standing side-by-side, both of us with big grins on our faces watching something that is going on outside the frame. We look so young. Dyanne wrote on the back of the photo..."Can you believe we were so hot?" Dyanne...I not only believe it, I remember it. And now I will have to remember you.
Of necessity, life goes on. Sean Gaab announces that "the following new publications have been uploaded to the libertarian Alliance Website. They are in Acrobat format, but will soon be made available in html."
1 85637 559 5 The Third Way: Where To, and Between Which? Antony Flew Political Notes 182
1 85637 560 9 The Nature Of Christian Democracy: A Review and Critique of Maurice Glasman's Unnecessary Suffering: Managing Market Utopia Nigel Meek Economic Notes 95
1 85637 561 7 Economic Freedom, Civil Freedom, and Material Prosperity: An International Correlational Study Nigel Meek Political Notes 183
1 85637 562 5 Real Welfare: Self-Reliance or State Dependency? David Marsland Economic Notes 96
1 85637 564 1 An Overview of Individualist Anarchist Thought Joe Peacott Economic Notes 97
1 85637 565 X Healthcare Without Government Joe Peacott Economic Notes 98
1 85637 566 8 The Framing of Michael Stone for the Chillenden Murders: How Prison Confessions Have Become the Antidote to PACE Charles Earl Legal Notes 39
Brad and I just received stand-by notice about the "declared provincial health emergency" in Ontario. The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak is widening with two Toronto hospitals now shut down because the staff are being affected. Other hospitals are admitting only critically ill patients and necessary staff. Both Brad and I are members of ARES -- the Amaterur Radio Emergerncy Service -- and may be required to use our ham radios to forward messages from hospitals, etc. in order to provide additional channels of communications should the normal ones slow down further. 25,000 calls a day, almost all about SARS, are now being received by the Toronto Public Health hotlines. I urge everyone to volunteer their time in some manner toward the safety and welfare of their local communities.
As a last comment...People who value their privacy should be aware that there is a new feature that makes it possible to type a telephone number into Google's search bar, click the search button, and have a MapQuest page returned as a result. Any person wishing to discover the physical location of a phone number, be it a home or business address, could use this feature to locate a physical street address, and receive explicit directions on how to get there from anywhere in the country. One positive use of this feature could be to determine the location of, say, a party for whom you may only have a telephone number. On a negative note, this feature could also be used by an angry party to find out where you live.
Google has made available an option that will allow anyone to remove their telephone number from the database that is linked to the mapping feature. You will first need to check if your number is listed in this manner by attempting a search - entering your full telephone number separated by dashes (e.g., 404-524-5811). If the number appears in the mapping database, an icon resembling a telephone will appear next to the first or second entry on the results page. Clicking on this icon will take you to a page containing a description of the service, and a link to request your number be removed from the database. Go to www.google.com, then type in your phone number to check if you are listed.
Best to all,