Incite -- (v) 1: give an incentive; 2: provoke or stir up; "incite a riot"; 3: urge on; cause to act
Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Deep Throat comes forward. No, not Linda Lovelace.
Written by: Beck

Unconfirmed by Bob Woodward, still, vaguely interesting for those who, for whatever reason, are really into Richard Nixon trivia.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Written by: Goemagog

Sudan is now arresting people for reporting on the ongoing ethnic cleansing campaign the government is waging against indiginous blacks. I found it funny that Medecins Sans Frontieres has national branches. Amnesty International apparently remains unaware that anything bad happens outside of U.S. control.

Somalis have their priorities right and are fighting to have their capitol located somewhere else. Good to keep the politicians at bay.

And according to the United Nations, plants have difficulty growing in places where HIV infection is common.

"You have to remember that Zimbabwe was on an economic downturn for several years, and the drought then impacted on that, and you cannot forget the impact HIV-Aids is having on the population there as well," said Mike Huggins.

"There already is a weakened population, there is not enough adequate health care throughout the country to really deal with the pandemic, and that is also have a major affect on agricultural production," Mr Huggins told the BBC.

maybe this has something to do with it?

However, Mr Mugabe himself said in March he was disappointed that only 44% of the land seized from whites was actually in cultivation and warned that the remainder would have to be cultivated

Funny how voting for a candidate with a campaign based on "kill whitey" hasn't made any country on the planet better off. Now that he's cut food production in half by seizing land, Mugabe wants to do it again!

Goe, not in a position to fix anything.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Magnetic questions
Written by: Goemagog

I was reading a book containing a bunch of randomly selected things from science when I noticed something I hadn't noticed before. The north polarized end of a magnet points north, and the south polarized end of a magnet points south, but since in magnetic fields opposites atttract and likes repel, that means that the north end of the magnet is actually the same as the south magnetic pole of the planet. naming something by what it naturally pulls itself too is reasonable, unless it pulls itself towards an opposite. either i'm missing something important or this naming scheme has gone horribly wrong.

Goe, noticing random things in his world.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Just plain weird
Written by: Beck

A while ago, I received an email from someone (named Alex) who apparently found me through Google or some such and reached the conclusion that I was somehow affiliated with Beck the musician. I attempted to disabuse him of this notion, but he remained undisabusable. And if "undisabusable" isn't a word, well by God, it should be.

So I decided to play along, and with each succeeding email, I would say things that were more and more random, until by the end I'm fairly certain I was making no sense at all. It's possible that Alex is pulling my leg, but his emails seem too sincere. A while ago, I thought he had given up, but then I got a new email. The exchange has since resumed. And so, for your reading entertainment, I present you with the completely unedited email conversation between John Beck (that would be me) and "Alexander X" (no, really, that's how he signed his first email).

Alex to me

Can i right to this address and get some sweet ass update's on what Beck is doing now? You know i wrote him year's ago trying to get my self a copy of the tape "Golden Feeling's" but i never got a responce to that. So please let me know if i can get some update's and all on newer realeses and getting the tape of "Golden Feeling's".I hope that this e-mail still get's checked because i am wanting to get this tape pretty bad. So please right me back if i can some how get this tape from you. Talk soon,

Alexander X
John Beck to Alex
This is not Beck the musician. I go by Beck, as my full name is "John Beck." Nifty, eh?

Alex to me

But can i get the tape of " Golden Felling's" from you?I have been looking all over for it but couldnt find one. So if i can get it from you please let me know. The hole cover and all with it.Hope to hear from you soon,

Alex [last name cut --ed]
John Beck to Alex
Well, I can shoot you a copy of Golden Fellings, but I'm afraid I dubbed every single B-flat over with a duck quack noise when I was high on paint thinner a while back, and accidentally destroyed the original. Let me know if you're still interested.

Alex to me

shure thang. I am just wanting to get a copy of it,so when ever you can you can send it still, you have my address right? Well see what happen's.Thank's

I love his presumption that I--or anyone for that matter--am going to up and fire something off in the mail at his emailed request.

John Beck to Alex
I think I have your address. You were the guy who lives above the warehouse in Hoboken, right?
Weak one there, but I was in a hurry at the time and didn't put any effort into it. After this, I didn't hear from Alex for a couple weeks, so I thought the exchange was over. Then, today, when I got into work, I found this in my inbox:

Alex to me
Hey Jon,

Have you sent off the tape yet? Just wanting to know if i should have the Beck tape Golden Feeling's with me soon.Let me know if you got my address for you so i know it is on the way or so,thank's

John Beck to Alex
I sent the copy (Morse code format--hope that's ok, I'm assuming your player can translate it) to the Hoboken warehouse address. Was that not the correct address? If it is not, let me know, and I will send you a signed pair of boxing gloves to make up for it.

Alex to me

Just incase you need my address again for like the 3 time or so then hear it is again,

Alex [redacted]
Hanford CA,93230

Hope to see it soon and there is my address again just incase you were needing it,

John Beck to Alex
Oh heck, I thought you lived in the United States, I didn't realize you lived in California. I'm going to have to dig out my special California-approved environmentally friendly packing scissors to get your package in the mail. Fortunately, the CD is recorded on atmospheric re-entry heat resistant plastic made from genuine whale gonad.

Would you like some free Beck wheel cover spinners? They have a picture of Ray Charles (manufacturer's mistake, but you can hardly tell the difference), and every time they make a 360, they blare out, "Where it's at!"

That's the last email I sent to good old Alex. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he responds.

I can't tell whether this guy is just a very unobservant kid, or some drug addled moron with a burned-out absurdity detector. Either way, it's keeping me entertained, and now, hopefully, it's keeping you entertained as well.

I do not like New Jersey Senator John Corzine
Written by: Beck

Not in the least. There are sufficient things to say about Corzine alone to fill up an entire blog. Fortunately, there's no need for myself to dedicate my time to Corzine dirt digging, as Enlighten-New Jersey is already doing all the heavy lifting. A representative sample from the past three days:

We’ve always been a bit suspicious of people that feel the need to promise you that they’ll be honest.

We were struck by just how out-of-touch Corzine is with the people of New Jersey. People in our state are concerned with the high cost of government and Corzine’s response is to ignore the major issues and propose another major government program.

New Jersey’s going broke and Jon Corzine, the soon to be Democrat nominee for governor, is proposing a universal health care plan.

I don't know how many of INCITE's regular readers are especially interested in and/or are impacted by New Jersey politics, but for those who are, Enlighten New-Jersey is an excellent resource for news and analysis.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Trotsky on fascism
Written by: Goemagog

Trotsky defined fascism as a pseudo-socialism set up by the middle and upper classes to make themselves rich by slumming with the lower classes. some funny bits he wrote about fascism:

"If the Communist Party, in spite of the exceptionally favorable circumstances, has proved powerless seriously to shake the structure of the social democracy with the aid of the formula of "social fascism", then real fascism now threatens this structure, no longer with wordy formulae of so-called radicalism, but with the chemical formulas of explosives. No matter how true it is that the social democracy by its whole policy prepared the blossoming of fascism, it is no less true that fascism comes forward as a deadly threat primarily to that same social democracy, all of whose magnificence is inextricably bound with parliamentary-democratic-pacifist forms and methods of government.."

Apparently Trotsky never thought he posed a 'deadly threat' to all those people he was killing. Deadly threats are for fascists!

Goe, not a signatory to the Warsaw Pact.

George W. Trotsky
Written by: Goemagog

After reading comments one genocidal idiot made on some other posts, I thought I'd point out again that George W. Bush is actually to the left of Clinton. People keep calling him a right-wing extremist, or a religious zealot, but despite all the heated rhetoric, he's on pretty much the same ground as most of the Democratic Party leadership. Dean doesn't count, because he's insane and not really aware of where he is, either on issues or geographically.

I thought I'd go with a Bush as Trotsky explanation. Trotsky, loyal socialist and establisher of the first death squads and gulags on Lenin's behalf, was expelled from the russian communist party in a power grab by Stalin. The Stalinists claimed that Trotsky betrayed the revolution and was really a opponent of genocide, while Trotsky's followers claimed that Stalin was the betrayer and not killing enough people.

The problem is corruption, not bribery but power. Two groups wanting the same thing (absolute power) and intending to rule on the same tyrannical principles still can not share power. Sharing power means their power is not absolute, so they squabble over petty details.

Democrats claim that they're the victim of a suppression campaign by republicans, despite having spent decades suppressing people who disagreed with them. Anarchists almost universally support tyrannical governments over a free and open society.

The republicans are openly shifting to the left under the leadership of Bush. The democrats are upset because this will force them to the right. They want absolute power for themselves so they can't support giving absolute power to a government they don't control. They'll shift right until they gain control, then shift left again trying to turn that control into absolute power. They might not do this right away though, their claims that Bush has betrayed them by doing what they wanted to do is strengthening the commitment they are getting from groups who have already agreed to subjugate themselves to Democratic Party tyranny.

That the government should have absolute power to control every aspect of your life is not disputed in political circles. The only thing that matters to them is which party's leadership gets to pick the tyrants. It'll be a long time before we get there, but it's good to know where the road is heading. Of course, one day a supreme court justice may notice that there are ten amendments in the Bill of Rights, but they're all lawyers so I wouldn't count on it. The lust for power is a fundamental and irreverisible flaw of human nature, and while we may be okay, your grandkids are pretty much fucked.

Goe, noting that any country with "Democratic" or "People's" in it's name is neither.

The Libertarian Party slips another notch deeper into irrelevance
Written by: Beck

The Libertarian Party platform, it would seem, now endorses "revolutionary actions" against "governments that violate rights." And what governments would those be, you ask?
Today, no government is innocent of violating human rights and liberty.
This is closer to the philosophy of Michael Moore than of Friedrich Hayek.

Much more at Q&O (from whence I boosted virtually this entire post).

Theocracy watch
Written by: Beck

I'll admit, I share in some of the concern that the Shiite majority in the Iraqi government would stear the company towards an Iran-style theocracy. It's a legitimate concern, and something which the State Department needs to remain especially vigilant about.

This is a great sign.

Ripping on Arianna
Written by: Beck

A debate has been raging in this post wherein I tossed out some generic smear at Arianna Huffington's new Huffington Post blog. Regardless of one's opinion of the blog's many and various contributors (some of whom, and it really pains me to admit this, I'm actually a big fan of, such as Eugene Volokh).

What I haven't done is taken any direct shots at Arianna Huffington herself. Long overdue, don't'cha think? Arianna is a vapid, bootlicking prat whose trite, hollow pronouncements are evidently sculpted to please those she perceives as her primary audience, without achieving anything remotely logical or rational. Two examples should suffice.

First, she decides to discuss Howard Dean's appearance on Tim Russert's show Meet the Press. You see, Russert asked Dean some tough questions. Arianna didn't like that.

She starts out in what reads like an attempt at self parody:
There I was, as is my Sunday morning tradition, watching Meet the Press while doing yoga. (Or is it doing yoga while watching Meet the Press? Whatever.) Tim Russert was interviewing Howard Dean. At least, I’m pretty sure it was Russert. For one thing, I was in the Uttanasana II position, so I couldn’t see very well. For another, what I was hearing sounded remarkably like some White House flack
Of course, when George Bush was on Meet the Press during the election season, and Russert asked Bush a bunch of tough questions to which Bush had nothing but lousy answers (you'll recall that was the interview in which the famous episode occurred wherein Bush was asked if he had any regrets from his first term in office, and he couldn't think of a single one). After that episode, Russert was hailed as a media hero by the left, unafraid to ask tough questions of powerful people. Now that he's asking tough questions DNC Chairman Howard Dean? White House flack.
Then there's the extremely frightening conclusion to Arianna's post:
Okay, back to Downward Facing Dog
If you follow the link and scroll down to the "downward facing dog" yoga posture, well... like I said: self-parody.

Unfortunately, I can't provide you with a link to the second sample of her inanity. It's currently an excerpt at the upper left of The Huffington Post front page, under "On The Blog Now," only the excerpt isn't actually on the blog anywhere, and there's no permalink to the snippet. As such, I'll just quote the whole thing here.
What to make of an agreement that preserves the filibuster while guaranteeing that it can only be used "under extraordinary circumstances"? Isn’t that like being told by the police that you can keep your car -- on the condition that you only drive it to get away from an erupting volcano? And you live in Nebraska. The real question is what will the Democrats do now? Social Security isn’t going private; the Senate isn't going nuclear. Could it be that they can no longer avert their eyes from Iraq? As the Greek poet Cavafy famously asked: "What are we going to do without the barbarians? They were, after all, some kind of a solution."
I'm not sure if it's really even necessary for me to explain the various things wrong with this brief paragraph. But then, why miss a chance to take a few more potshots at someone I don't like?

No, Arianna, it's not like that. Not like that at all. First, you're comparing the filibuster procedure--something which was intended to only be used rarely (under extreme circumstances if you will)--to a tool one uses every single day. Were senators to use the filibuster in a manner in any way, shape, or form comparable to a car, the senate would never get anything done. Ever. In its history. Which, come to think of it, might not be such a bad thing, but then, I don't think that was your intended point.

Next, you use the escape from an erupting volcano as a metaphor for an extreme circumstance, which is fine, but then with the Nebraska line you imply that such extreme circumstances never happen. If extreme circumstances never happen, dear Arianna, why the need for a filibuster in the first place? Perhaps the Democrats have been filibustering Bush's judicial nominees because--going out on a limb here--they thought Bush's judicial nominees were extremists, and their nominations constituted an extreme circumstance? (For the record, I disagree that the Bush's nominees have been extremists of any sort--their records don't support such an argument at all--but that's not the point of this post).

Finally, she tries to bring things around to Iraq, suggesting, as she has every right to, that Iraq is a more important issue to be occupying the Senate's time than judicial nominees or Social Security reform. Followed by a quote from a Greek poet about barbarians.

You know, I'm genuinely unsure of what exactly this quote is supposed to suggest to us in this context. Are the barbarians American soldiers? Republicans? Islamists? Terrorists? Iraqi insurgents? I'm assuming that a politically correct socialite like Arianna would never suggest that impoverished foreigners are barbarians, so it must be intended as a reference to the United States. Which, if you read the whole quote, you'll realize suggests (in a condescendingly contemptuous manner) that Bush's various wars are ultimately, "Some kind of a solution."

And if there's one thing I know, that is not what Arianna had in mind. Only remaining possible conclusion? That Arianna is a pretentious twit with no idea how to cobble together a coherent statement who prefers sounding intelligent to actually being intelligent.

Frankly, I'm astonished that people like Christopher Hitchens (who, say what you will of his politics, is one of the two greatest living polemicists) are willing to allow their words to appear on the same URL as hers.

I think I'll stick to reading her on Huffington's Toast.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Must read of the day
Written by: Beck

You go read now.

Game selection
Written by: Beck

Poker blogging time!

One subject all the poker strategy guides tend to agree on is game/table/seat selection. Most of the advice is pretty obvious, and I've never paid it much attention. For instance, it's advised that you only play limits that are within your "comfort zone." This makes perfect sense--if you're playing higher stakes than you feel comfortable with, you may make bad decisions--you'll tend to play more passively, not calling, betting out, or raising as often as you should because the dollar signs in your head are just too intimidating.

What sometimes surprises people is that you also shouldn't play at lower stakes than what you're comfortable with. The reason is that at lower stakes, good players tend to care less about the amount involved in any bet/call/raise, so they play a lot more loose-aggressive than they should. Many professional players, I've read, regularly lose money playing low stakes games to kill time before tournaments.

Once you've settled on the game you want to play, you then have to pick your table. There might be three or more tables spread for the limits you want. Ideally, you want a table that's weak-passive. In other words, you want a table where people play too many hands and take them too far, but don't bet/raise enough when they have a good hand.

Once you've picked your table, you have to pick your seat. The general advice here is that you want to be to the left of the best players, and to the right of the worst players. Also, you want to be to the left of any maniacs--people who play any hand, and bet/raise with it all the way.

The problem with all that--and the reason I've tended to ignore this advice--is that in a casino, while you can pick the stakes you want to play, you can't pick your table or your seat. You just put your name on a list, and when they call you, you take whatever seat is offered. The alternative is to drop back down to the end of the list, which could well result in you spending the entire day waiting for a game.

But there was something to this general advice which I never thought of or realized until a recent trip to visit family in Houston. Picking your game is more than just deciding whether to play $2-$4 or $20-$40, it involves picking the casino to play it at as well.

You see, on that trip to Houston, one day a couple friends and I took a side trip out to Lake Charles where we played some poker at Harrah's. Before this trip, the only casino I had played at was the Borgata in Atlantic City. For those unfamiliar with casinos in AC, the Borgata is by far the nicest casino in that town. It's Atlantic City's analogue to the Belagio in Las Vegas (in fact, the Borgata is 50% owned by the same company that owns the Belagio).

The Belagio is widely acknowledged to lay the toughest poker games in Vegas--which, by implication, makes them some of the toughest poker games in the world. It's where the top pros in the world go to play their "money game" between big tournaments.

The Borgata doesn't even compare--the highest stakes game they usually lay is a $80-$160 game. The Belagio lays a $1000-$2000 game (the famed "White Chip" game), and if there are players for it, they'll jack the limits up even higher. Nonetheless, Borgata attracts the best players in the area.

I've been somewhat frustrated in my poker playing there, as even playing perfect by-the-book poker, I'm still just breaking even (although considering tips to waitresses & dealers, plus the $4 that the casino rakes out of every pot, I'm still playing above the level of the "average" competition).

That's why playing a day at Harrah's was so eye opening. I was still kicking out just as much money in tips, and the house was raking a whopping $6 out of every pot. But I couldn't lose. It was the ideal table. Everyone would just call my bets down to the turn, and then throw their hands away for a $12 bet on the end. I was able to play far more hands than I usually would, bet them more aggressively, and win far more pots--with less risk no less.

So while I love the challenge of playing poker, I'm spending all that time playing because I want to make money, not so I can sit for 16 hours spinning my wheels in a fruitless back-and-forth contest between people I'm evenly matched with, battling for the occasional weak player's buy-in.

I won't be going to Borgata again, except perhaps for tournaments. I'll be going to Tropicana or Bally's or the Taj Mahal. Game selection ain't just about picking the best seat, it's a holistic consideration of the entire playing environment, and that's what I was failing to realize until my big eye-opener in Louisiana.

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Monday, May 23, 2005

Written by: Goemagog

A "charity" calling itself "the veterans" calls me an average of once a day asking for more money. It's very annoying and I've asked them to stop repeatedly, but they won't. Verizon wants to charge me if I make a formal complaint. It's corporate extortion, 'Pay us or your phone will not stop ringing!'. Pisses me off.

On top of that, once upon a time I decided to join a group protesting protesters. There are anti-civilization protests in town every month or so, and there's a local chapter of Protest Warrior, so I thought I'd do my bit and exercise my right to peaceably assembly and wave a sign around. I asked to get on Protest Warriors mailing list for local anti-protest activity. I've received exactly one email in the handful of months since doing so, trying to sell me a dvd of past protest warrior anti-protests. That pisses me off as well.

Goe, mad as hell but has to keep taking it because he's not got any nuclear weaponry.

No nuclear/Byrd/constitutional option
Written by: Beck

The Senate has reached a compromise on judicial nominees.

Bush gets all but two of his judicial nominees, filibuster free. In exchange, Republicans agree not to change Senate rules for debating judicial nominees.

The wage of education
Written by: Goemagog

A local radio commentator said last week that if a teacher and a police officer, each making the average salary in the state for their respective professions, married, they would have a combined income more than three times the average household income for the state. It's worth noting that the only people I know who aren't worried about being able to afford housing are government employees.

Goe, also noting that Edison was self-taught past the age of 12.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Newsweek: thoughts
Written by: Beck

For those unaware of the furor sparked off by a recent article in Newsweek, well, I'm glad to hear you finally got an internet connection in your cave. You can find some background from my initial reaction in this post. Captain Dave posted his own thoughts on the matter, and a lively debate has been going on in the comments section of his post. The main issues as I see it are these:

1) Is the recent outbreak of violence in Afghanistan (and elsewhere) a result of the Newsweek article, or did it happen independently (i.e. would it have happened regardless)?

2) What were the motives of the Newsweek reporter, Michael Isikoff, in the first place?

3) Just what in hell did happen down at Guantanamo?

I'll attempt to address the second issue first. To answer it accurately and precisely is impossible--only Michael Isikoff really knows what Michael Isikoff's motives were. Instead, we have to infer from what evidence is available.

First of all, Isikoff was instrumental in pushing the Paula Jones and Monica Lewinski scandals during Clinton's administration. This guy even over rode significant resistance from his editor to run the Paula Jones stuff (he was working at the Washington Post then). So while he doubtlessly suffers from political bias as much as anyone, he's at least willing to be bi-partisan in his criticism. I would say that alone elevates him above the level of mere "hack."

What of his activity during the Bush administration then? Well, according to his Newsweek bio, he did a lot of work reporting on the Abu Ghraib scandal, but apart from that, things aren't at all abnormally anti-Bush. Indeed, Media Matters has an article up listing prominent conservatives who have spoken out in defense of Isikoff. What's more, Isikoff was "blistering in his criticism of CBS' 2004 story about President Bush's National Guard record," and called for top people at CBS to be fired. Of course, that same Media Matters report claims that Isikoff was guilty of "frequent reliance on questionable sources."

Isikoff has even been critical of Michael Moore, which moves a person up several notches in my esteem immediately (Christopher Hitchens article "Unfairenheit 9/11" being a masterpiece of the genre).

The problem, then, isn't that Isikoff had any kind of political axe to grind. He just wanted what every reporter wants--a big scoop. Shoddy work in this one case merely lead to disastrous consequences.

The motives of Newsweek, however, are far less pure. Newsweek has a transparent anti-Bush bias (this is no secret--if anyone would like to debate this particular point, feel free, the evidence is pretty overwhelming that Newsweek is a liberal leaning mag). As Ann Coulter summarizes (yes, I know Ann Coulter hardly constitutes an uncontroversial source, but the facts here are nicely summarized by her, and are not in dispute):
When ace reporter Michael Isikoff had the scoop of the decade, a thoroughly sourced story about the president of the United States having an affair with an intern and then pressuring her to lie about it under oath, Newsweek decided not to run the story. Matt Drudge scooped Newsweek, followed by The Washington Post.

When Isikoff had a detailed account of Kathleen Willey's nasty sexual encounter with the president in the Oval Office, backed up with eyewitness and documentary evidence, Newsweek decided not to run it. Again, Matt Drudge got the story.

When Isikoff was the first with detailed reporting on Paula Jones' accusations against a sitting president, Isikoff's then-employer The Washington Post — which owns Newsweek — decided not to run it. The American Spectator got the story, followed by the Los Angeles Times.
The guilt, as such, should then be laid not so much at Isikoff's feet, but rather, at Newsweek's. Their hyper-eagerness to run a story which reflected negatively on Donny Rumsfeld's DOD prompted them to run with a poorly sourced story.

Next, what actually happened at Guantanamo? Have there been Koran desecrations? And what of Isikoff's "reliable source" who later backtracked on his claims? Salon reports that,
After the controversy arose, Isikoff's primary unnamed source told the magazine that although he'd read reports of Quran desecration in some official papers, he couldn't be sure exactly where, and he was no longer sure that it was in a report on the U.S. Southern Command in Miami, which is what he had earlier claimed.

The Washington Post had this to say:
"There had been previous reports about the Koran being defiled, but they always seemed to be rumors or allegations made by sources without evidence," [Newsweek editor Mike] Whitaker said, referring to reporting by British and Russian news agencies and by the Qatar-based satellite network al-Jazeera. The Washington Post, whose parent company owns Newsweek, reported a similar account in March 2003, attributing it to a group of former detainees. "The fact that a knowledgeable source within the U.S. government was telling us the government itself had knowledge of this was newsworthy," Whitaker said in an interview.

In another article, Salon reports that there have been multiple allegations of Koran abuse in the past, but that none have been substantiated, and have mostly been dismissed as rumors.
...there have been numerous past reports -- including from the New York Times, Washington Post, UK Guardian, and the Center for Constitutional Rights -- of desecration of the Quran by U.S. interrogators at Gitmo:

"One such incident -- during which the Koran allegedly was thrown in a pile and stepped on -- prompted a hunger strike among Guantanamo detainees in Mar. 2002, which led to an apology...


"The toilet incident was reported in the Washington Post in a 2003 interview with a former detainee from Afghanistan: 'Ehsannullah, 29, said American soldiers who initially questioned him in Kandahar before shipping him to Guantanamo hit him and taunted him by dumping the Koran in a toilet.
Salon then qualifies all this with an important reminder:
It bears mentioning here that the testimony of detainees can warrant some skepticism; terrorists are trained to undermine the enemy when taken prisoner by using allegations of abuse (we know this from al-Qaida training manuals, among other things.)
And that was about all I could dig up on Koran desecration. That aspect of the issue remains unresolved. Hopefully more information will come to light in the near future.

Finally, to what extent are the recent outbreaks of violence in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and elsewhere--which have contributed to 17 deaths so far--a result of the Newsweek story?

Newsweek, to their credit, seemed to remove any doubt in the matter early on by taking full responsibility and apologizing.
Michael Isikoff, one of the two Newsweek writers who reported, based on an anonymous source, that U.S. interrogators at Guantanamo Bay had desecrated the Quran, said "we blame ourselves" for the furor created by the now discredited report.


"The big point that leaps out is the cultural one. Neither Newsweek nor the Pentagon foresaw that a reference to the desecration of the Quran was going to create the kind of response that it did.

"The Pentagon saw the item before it ran, and then they didn’t move us off it for 11 days afterward. They were as caught off guard by the furor as we were. We obviously blame ourselves for not understanding the potential ramifications."
While the weasel wording--trying to pawn some of the blame off on others--is rather disingenuous, the apology is nonetheless refreshing after the recent history of media malfeasance (Dan Rather anyone?).

There's only one complication: General Richard B. Myers, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated that the recent violence was "not at all tied to the article in the magazine." Media Matters goes on to report,
[A]ccording to Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, the commander of Combined Forces Command-Afghanistan, the violence "was not necessarily the result of the allegations about disrespect for the Quran" but was "more tied up in the political process and the reconciliation process that President [Hamid] Karzai and his Cabinet is conducting in Afghanistan." Myers directly noted Eikenberry's belief that the violence "was not at all tied to the article in the magazine."
Nonetheless, the fact remains that there has been significant damage to America's image abroad as a consequence of the Newsweek report. On Austin Bay's blog, you'll find the following, from a correspondent of his:
I’m on my way back to Kabul, as I typically do every summer, but my family is completely opposed to my travel and work this year in Afghanistan even though I’ve safely transited there, in and out of State and UN/NGO service for nearly 20 years. The word I receive from Kabuli friends is that Isikoff has single-handedly turned US triumph in the country to a total disaster. It was thought an anomaly last summer that some wonderful–and tragically forgotten–American DynCorps workers (mostly ex-military and my good friends) were killed in an environment that was pro-American to the core. That could be seen as a terrible tragedy, an unreasonable sad event impinging on an overall positive atmosphere–a last ditch effort by desperate Al Qa’eda remnants from outside Afghanistan to vent anger at the overwhelming success of the Americans. Now thanks to one Bush-hating reporter (Google Isikoff if you doubt his intentions, [I did Google Isikoff and found nothing of the sort, as already written above --Beck]) the recidivist Taliban-Pathans of southeast Afghanistan once again have an issue to de-legitimize the Karzai-US alliance.
That's just the least of it though. Witness the violent protests going on in England in front of the US embassy.
About 300 people have taken part in a noisy protest over the alleged desecration of the Quran outside the U.S. Embassy in central London.


Shouting, "Down, down USA; down, down USA," the protesters called for the killing of Americans, the death of the U.S. president, the death of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the bombing of Britain, and the annihilation of the U.S. capital: "Nuke, nuke Washington; Nuke, nuke Washington! Bomb, bomb the Pentagon."

Some of the militant Islamic rhetoric smacked of incitement to commit murder, CNN's Senior International Correspondent Walter Rodgers reported. "Death, death Tony Blair; death, death Tony Blair. Death, death George Bush," the protesters chanted.
Lovely. The protests haven't just been confined to England and her former colonies, however. Reuters reports on protests around the Muslim world, and on the impact it has had on American diplomacy.
The article cites protests in Afghanistan, Indonesia, Gaza, Pakistan, this list goes on. And yes, these protests are directly tied to the Newsweek story, as evidenced by this quote from the Reuters report:
In Gaza, several thousand Palestinians marched through a refugee camp in a protest organized by the Islamic militant group Hamas. Several hundred Palestinians also marched in the West Bank city of Hebron.

"The Holy Koran was defiled by the dirtiest of hands, by American hands," a protester shouted at the Jabalya refugee camp in Gaza, where U.S. and Israeli flags were also burned.
Then there's this:
"Demonstrations serve no purpose, we should do something practical. I am ready to blow myself up for the sake of my religion to embrace martyrdom," said Mohammad Ghafoor, 18, a student protesting in Peshawar, Pakistan.
Conclusions: The Newsweek report has the aspects of a partisan "gotcha" episode, though not to the hyperbolic extent characterized in much of the recent commentary from the right. Michael Isikoff is not a partisan hack. It's unknown whether a Koran was indeed desecrated, though there have been multiple unsubstantiated reports of such desecration. And while much of the violence in Afghanistan was not a result of the article, violence throughout other areas of the Muslim world most certainly were.

And there you have it.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Written by: Beck

You may have heard of the Huffington Post, a new blog run by Ariana Huffington populated by random B-list celebrities and other people, the airing of whose opinions the world benefits from none at all. You may not, however, have heard of Huffington's Toast, a parody site created by Steve of Hog On Ice fame, designed by Aaron of Aaron's cc:, and authored by, among others, Jeff Goldstein of Protein Wisdom. It's by far the funniest thing to hit the blogosphere in, well, probably its entire history. So have a look. This Dennis Miller parody (I suspect written by Steve) is one of the sharpest parodies I've ever read. Really.

Next, Varifrank has a good point about Koran desecration that everyone, regardless of their political orientation, should be reminded of.

Finally, John Cole has a handy-dandy checklist of conservative principles which have been forsaken--either in part or in toto--by the Republican party. Yeah, it's sort of depressing, frankly, but it's something of which conservatives need to be reminded. Remember, folks, you're the "constituents." You can, you know, contact these politicians and try to influence them. And whatnot. Because if that weren't possible, there'd be nothing left we could conclude but that they must be corrupt.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Can't win for losing.
Written by: Goemagog

PuppyDrinker once again shows a lack of contact with reality, as he links to and quotes two fundamentally opposite claims.

He agrees with Balloon Juice (whom this illustrious blog pushed into last place during the webblog awards) that the republican party is abandoning much of it's core ideology.

He also posts an e-mail excerpt claiming that Bush is "an ultra-right wing conservative"..

It's hard to call Romney an ultra-right wing conservative in the vein of Pres. Bush

With the exception of a few hot-button issues on which the press disagrees with him (primarily foreign policy and abortion), Bush has been pretty staunchly planted next to Clinton on the political spectrum, maybe even a little to his left.

Will we ever have republican leadership that isn't just a pro-life democrat in disguise? Probably not, because most republican ideology is centered on either leaving people up to their own devices or governing based on some consensus of new testament guidance. Religious fervor doesn't preclude socialist policies, so it's really not a reason to call someone right-wing, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton both claim to be ministers of religion and nobody is calling them "ultra-right wing".

That leaves libertarianism, which has been mostly chucked aside by this administration and many of it's predecessors. Even "Anarchists", who are theoretically against government controls invariably support not just government controls but complete abolition of individual freedom, purpose, and meaning.


It's the problem of corruption. The same reason third-world countries never get better. Nobody wants to fix the problem if they can benefit from it. Nobody wants to be free if being un-free gives them a chance to control someone else. The people who are best positioned to stop bribery are the same ones getting bribed. Voters don't want Congressmen to vote against wasteful projects, they want the wasteful projects in their neighborhoods.

Both power and money corrupt people, and most people will support continuing corruption if they believe they will gain power or money from it. The Libertarian National Socialist Green Party will promise you anything you want. The Democratic Party will do the same, and increasingly so for the Republican Party.

The right-wing is the territory of conservatives. What American conservatism is about conserving is personal liberty, making libertarianism the ultimate conservative ideal in the United States. Balloon Juice is correct in that Bush and the Republican Party are not conservative, and this prevents them from being right-wing.

In other news, Hillary Clinton asserts that the Republican Party wants "absolute power". So she wants what they want? Does that make "absolute power" a 'moderate' position?

The PuppyDrinker thinks so.

Goe, against corruption.

A little fiction
Written by: Goemagog

He stopped staring at the crossword puzzle long enough to rub his eyes. He was too tired to think clearly. He needed an eight letter word for down for eleven across, or an eleven letter word for across for eight down, but even staring at the puzzle didn't make it clear to him which. He folded the page shut around his pencil and laid it on the table beside his chair. He checked the clock to see if it was midnight, then turned to sigh at his cat, swatting excitedly at the concealed pencil.

He turned to look out the window. It had been a long day and he desperately wanted some sleep. The cars raced past on the street as he waited and watched. He had done this enough that he knew what he was waiting for, even if everyone else missed it. It came along soon enough, a car floating a few feet off the ground, a large glass canopy encasing what would have otherwise passed for a convertible. A few more whizzed by before the robots emerged, scouring the graffiti off of the walls and fences.

The man smiled slightly and patted his cat on the head before rising slowly from his chair and making his way to bed. When he woke up, it would be today again, but he knew that tomorrow would be better because it already was.

Goe, wrote that using more facts than cbs and newsweek COMBINED!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The Media's Good Faith
Written by: Dave

Newsweek says it made the Koran mistake in good faith and that no one would be fired.

So let's review - Newsweek published an incendiary charge that badly damaged the image of the U.S. abroad and put our soldiers at risk. They based the charge on a single unsubstantiated source who had heard the info second hand.

The way I see it, there's two likely explanations for Newsweek's lapse. Explanation #1 is that the reporter and Newsweek's editorial staff weren't acting in good faith and rushed to publish the bad news because it hurt Bush. If this is true, they effectively betrayed their country by putting their ideology first and publishing unsubstantiated rumors that damaged America's interests and reputation. Explanation #2 is that they were acting in good faith but that they are an incompetent news organization that doesn't understand the basic reporting skills Beck and I learned on the Junior High newspaper.

Although I generally don't give the media too much credit for competence, I would still place bets on explanation #1.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Uzbekistan bloodshed
Written by: Beck

Anti-government protestors in Uzbekistan have evidently been masacred by government forces. Gateway Pundit has the round-up.

Happy Blogiversary...
Written by: Beck a great blog.

Here's to two more years Eric!

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Yellow journalism yields results
Written by: Beck

Newsweek published an article about abuse done to the Koran at Gitmo as part of terrorist interrogations. As they themselves report, the article sparked riots in Afghanistan and across the Muslim world, resulting in lots of death and destruction.
By the end of the week, the rioting had spread from Afghanistan throughout much of the Muslim world, from Gaza to Indonesia. Mobs shouting "Protect our Holy Book!" burned down government buildings and ransacked the offices of relief organizations in several Afghan provinces. The violence cost at least 15 lives, injured scores of people and sent a shudder through Washington, where officials worried about the stability of moderate regimes in the region.
Well, I just heard on FoxNews that Newsweek's "anonymous source" couldn't say for sure whether he'd even "seen a Koran" let alone watched one get "flushed down a toilet." Newsweek is in full apology mode, backpedaling as fast as possible.

Long story short, Newsweek, a notoriously liberal rag, was more than happy to print any allegation made by anyone, regardless of how reliable, so long as it would reflect negatively on the Bush administration and its War on Terror. Now they've set American foreign policy back an enormous amount, not to mention getting a bunch of people killed.

Great work Newsweek. It's not everyone who can say that their printed fabrications are capable of unleashing all four of the apocalypse's horsemen.

Update: Jawa Report is on the case. Rusty observes:
Another reliable "anonymous" source. To make a contention with this sort of potential impact Isikoff should have had at least 3 sources two of which would be willing to go on the record. Don't these people have the slightest concern for the consequences of their actions. Are they so myopic in their zeal that thinly verified assertions are synonymous with fact.

The pen is mightier than the sword and when used indiscriminately equally as deadly.
Further Update: Instapundit picks up on the story. Glenn Reynolds has much the same insights that Rusty & I have:
Two points: (1) If they had wrongly reported the race of a criminal and produced a lynching, they'd feel much worse -- which is why they generally don't report such things, a degree of sensitivity they don't extend to reporting on, you know, minor topics like wars; and (2) If a blogger had made a similar mistake, with similar consequences, we'd be hearing about Big Media's superior fact-checking and layers of editors.

People died, and U.S. military and diplomatic efforts were damaged, because -- let's be clear here -- Newsweek was too anxious to get out a story that would make the Bush Administration and the military look bad.
Just heard: Newsweek apologizes to those who may have been hurt. Talk about a day late and a dollar short.

Kidnapped in Yemen
Written by: Beck

Jane at Armies of Liberation has done more work than just about anyone in drawing attention to pro-Democracy and anti-terrorism forces within the middle east. One such person, Nabil al-Wazer has been kidnapped. What's more, the Yemeni government evidently knows where he's being held and is doing nothing about it. Regardless, head over to Armies of Liberation and educate yourself.

Update: Armies of Liberation has more background info on Nabil here.

Big Update: Nabil has been released, according to an update on the original AofL post.

New blog on the main blogroll
Written by: Beck

Regular INCITE reader Jaxia has a blog (and has since March--I'm only just now discovering it), and wouldn't you know it, it's a poker blog!

So if you're interested in poker, or just have nothing better to do with your time (which I typically assume is the case if you're spending your time on a Sunday reading blogs), drop by Steal the Blinds and pay Jaxia a visit.

In case you need any more motivation to go visit the site, witness this excerpt from her most recent post:
Remember, the greatest thing about playing poker online: Clothing is optional!
Three words: naked lesbian poker.

What are you waiting for?

Where is the outrage?
Written by: Beck

President Fox of Mexico stepped in it at a meeting with Texas businessmen:
Mexican President Vicente Fox called recent U.S. measures to stem illegal immigration a step back for bilateral relations on Friday and said Mexican migrants do jobs "that not even blacks want to do."
Isn't this the part where the multiculturalist crowd is supposed to begin frothing in outrage? A quick look at Technorati shows that, at least as of 8:44 Eastern time, not one blog from the left side of the spectrum has commented on this story. Quite a few on the right, naturally, have jumped on it.

Me? I figure Fox didn't bother to think about how his statement would sound prior to its escape from his mouth. I don't especially like the guy, but I'm willing to give him some benefit of the doubt--namely that even if he is a raging racist prick, he's at least smart enough to not deliberately put it on display. So it's probably just a bad case of foot-in-mouth disease.

That doesn't alter the fact that Fox has been lobbying as hard as he can--going to all sorts of ridiculous lengths--to make it easier for aliens to illegally enter the United States.

Because everyone knows that the best citizens are minted from those whose first act upon entering their adoptive nation is breaking the law.

(Hat tip: Ramblings' Journal. Cross posted to ISOU)

Friday, May 13, 2005

Written by: Beck

First, a blog called UN Dispatch (run by the UN Foundation, the fund created by Ted Turner) slams Roger L. Simon for being so darned critical of the UN in the past. (I can't imagine how they'd react if they'd read through my own series of posts critical of the UN).

Second, various bloggers point out this exceedingly lame and highly ineffectual bit of criticism.

Third, Roger L. Simon has a chuckle at the UN Foundation's expense.

Fourth, various other people share in the chuckle.

Fifth, I crank out a post on INCITE detailing the relevant sequence of events.

Meanwhile, corruption at the United Nations seems to be bottomless.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

John Bolton to head to full Senate for vote
Written by: Beck

The controversial UN ambassador nominee John Bolton is headed to the full Senate for a vote. While this is a step in the right direction, it's far from a certain thing that the Senate will confirm him. Republican Senator George Voinovich--who voted for Bolton to be moved out of committee--has said that he will actively seek to thwart Bolton's final approval on the Senate floor.
Committee member Sen. George Voinovich, R-Brussels, told reporters that even though he voted to send the nomination on, he would not vote for Bolton on the Senate floor.

"It is my opinion that John Bolton is the poster child of what someone in the diplomatic corps should not be," Voinovich said.

The former Ohio governor appeared to suggest that Bolton's nomination would not be approved by the full Senate membership, and said he would encourage other senators not to approve it. Republicans have a 55-45 majority in the chamber.
Senator Richard Lugar points out something which I feel has received strikingly little attention:
Lugar said dozens of officials have supported the pick -- including U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. He also said a letter of support had been signed by former Secretaries of State James Baker, Lawrence Eagleburger, Alexander Haig, Henry Kissinger and George Shultz.
But God forbid we send an ambassador to the UN who doesn't think the primary purpose of an American foreign service employee is to be uncritical of foreigners.

Back in the saddle
Written by: Beck

Miss me?

First, thanks to Goe for cranking out the Carnival of the Capitalists this past Tuesday. He put it together on short notice, and saved me a major nightmare.

Next, I'd like to direct your attention to the greatest blog post ever involving the UN oil-for-food scandal and a grey-cheeked mangabey.

Finally, as I don't currently have anything intelligent of my own to post (though I've got several ideas in the hopper. Really. Yes, I have a hopper), allow me to direct you to one of the most thorough dissections of political flim-flammery (a.k.a. a speech by Al Gore before a rally) I've seen to date. The real key to a successful endeavor along these lines, of course, is heaps of dripping sarcasm, which I can pleasantly report are to be found in abundance.

When was the last time Conservatism wasn't dying?
Written by: Dave

Recently John Derbyshire lamented in NRO that Conservatism is a quickly dying movement. He cited a definition of Conservatism as adherence to the following six principles:

1. a deep suspicion of the power of the state
2. a preference for liberty over equality
3. patriotism
4. a belief in established institutions and hierarchies
5. a skepticism about the idea of progress
6. elitism

If these are in fact the principles by which we define Conservatism, I wonder, when was the last time conservatism wasn’t dying?

I'd argue that under this definition, American Conservatism has been around for hundreds of years. I'd also argue that it has been losing the battle to the Left for at least the last one hundred of those years, as government power has been inexorable growing, egalitarianism increasingly enforced, and patriotism stripped of more and more of its meaning.

Consequently, if we really want to determine whether Conservatism as an intellectual movement is dying any more quickly than it was 25, 50, or 75 years ago, we can’t simply ask which direction society is moving toward, because it has consistently been moving away from Conservative principles. The real question is whether the pace of retreat is quickening.

Looking back on the 20th Century, I don’t think we are caving on Conservative principles at nearly the clip we were in the early 1900’s (the so-called Progressive Era), or the 1930’s, 1960’s, or 1970’s. You might make an argument that the 1920’s and/or 1990’s were better years than the present decade for Conservatism, but that would be overlooking the tremendous success the Left experienced on social fronts during those decades. The 1910's and 1940's also included rapid increases in state power, despite the fact that many of these changes were made necessary by the threat of foreign enemies. That pretty much leaves the 1950's and 1980's, which I believe were draws rather than victories for Conservatives.

I also don't think Conservatives' acceptance of many of the changes the Left has wrought implies that they are no longer Conservatives. I believe most American Conservatives still adhere to the Conservative principles listed above, despite their resigned acceptance of some elements of the welfare state. Conservatives' hesitation to demand more radical reform has less to with support for the welfare state, and more to do with their small “c” conservatism – that is, their belief that the established order shouldn’t be overturned too quickly if it can be helped, and a flexibility of ideology that allows them to accept that some of the changes might have been for the better.

So with all that said, I don’t think Conservatism as a philosophical movement among intellectuals is dying. Perhaps what Derbyshire was really emphasizing is the fact that the mainstream population is becoming less philosophically Conservative as the post-modern nanny state becomes more institutionalized. I would agree that this is certainly a problem, as it may eventually dry up new recruits to Conservatism. More importantly, the continued retreat on principles of liberty, individual rights and responsibilities, and patriotism will at some point lead our nation to begin collapsing upon itself. The more immediate danger is that we will soon weaken to the point where we are unable to face up to challenges from external enemies.

To summarize, I don’t think Conservatism as an intellectual movement is dying; it’s simply losing, just like it has been for most of the last 100 years. The more important issue is how much longer we can afford to lose.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Not a correction
Written by: Goemagog

Someone from New Millenium is upset about how they are referred to in the carnival post. I don't have anything against them in particular, but I think that their whole industry is built on devaluing someone else's service. It's like having disrespect for the company (and I really can't think of the name right now, some gambling place, goldensomething?) that pays people to do stupid stunts with the company name written on them. search engines have paid advertisers, like television networks, so for a person/company to not buy advertising space but pay someone else to hop around in the background with a sign or logo is piggybacking on someone else's service. everyone standing outside the window of a morning talk show isn't advertising something because the broadcasters know that it would lower the value of the advertising space they do sell. I'm not going to change it, but I will mention that the Other Bloke isn't taking a higher road, they're both in the same business.

Goe, was going to write something else but lost his train of thought again.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Written by: Goemagog

For those of you who liked it, In Search of Utopia is back.

Goe, isn't sure why David Anderson wants him to die.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Carnival of the Capitalists
Written by: Goemagog

Evils of the world.

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Coyote Blog explores the parallels between Fascist economic policies, and the New Deal. Interesting reading despite the lack of gondoliers, pidgeon droppings, or flying nuns.

Chavez and Castro are working to isolate us from Latin America, but Will from Willisms thinks we should isolate them first! That'll learn 'em good! He doesn't offer much on how to deal with the socialist governments across Latin America that support Chavez and Castro. He does notes that there might not be much economic infrastructure left in a post-Chavez Venezuela. Given the history of non-capitalism, there won't be many people left either.

Half Sigma wants a "sensible minimum wage". While minimum wages are nice for many people, they're definately not a free-market thing. And how can labor be undervalued when a minimum value is set, but no maximum value? I'm no economist, but it sounds like commie talk to me. Read what they say and make up your own mind.

Beer prices are held up by a beer tax, but Fresh Politics doesn't assert that beer is undervalued.

Internet Business

Gongol looks at how businesses can benefit from blog based advertising and information streams.

In the fight between Eliot Spitzer and spyware companies, it's hard to identify the greater evil. The Internet Stock Blog has taken sides, and hope you'll join them.

Logical Meme gives us outsourcing news. It seems that McDonalds will have it's drive-thru orders taken by call centers elsewhere. How many goats is a sensible minimum wage? Ashish thinks that outsourced call centers shouldn't have to identify themselves as such.

Entreprenurial Mind tells you to consider whether or not you really want to devote your existence to running a business before you try starting one. JSLogan points out the pointlessness of a business-operated blog that doesn't help the business.

TopLine Creators reminds you to be flexible in your business plan. Business Pundit thinks that hunches can be taken out of the plan, says you should see a doctor about 'gut feeling'.

Statistical Manipulation

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Political Calculations gives us an investment calculator using hypothetical return rates by King Midas, and the ever depressing Lemony Snicket. Goe's investment tip: If you ever meet King Midas, don't shake his hand.

The Truth About York notes that the "rich" pay a lot in taxes. They also note that most of the people they know who qualify as "rich" are the teachers that the "rich" are paying to teach them. Note: the site is Canadian, so when they say rich is greater than $64,500, they're talking Canadian dollars, and the real income level for Canada's "rich" is lower in America's non-metric dollars.

Stock statistics at GT's Market Rant. Doesn't mean much to me, but I'm confused by numbers. Looks like the sort of information they have on the investment shows, but without the hyperactive monkey host.

Textile tarriffs fall, but is china the only one who gains? Tim looks at the numbers.

Chocolate and Gold Coins considers whether or not the gas tax counts as a subsidy of single-passenger hybrid vehicles clogging the carpool lanes. And would a corn syrup tax lower obesity rates? Roth & Company want to know!

The Skeptical Optimist claims that inflation is on the rise! He's got the numbers to back it up!

Ferdinand, from Conservative Cat, gives a brief lesson on how to use all of the above numbers to make whatever point you wanted.

Misfortunate Marketing

Other Bloke talks about the differences between getting your site a higher search engine profile, and tricking search engines to give you more traffic.

Futuristic music marketing over at Small Business Trends. New ways to reach customers and sell them your music. Goe's tip for selling your music: Don't suck.

Heather, apparently impacted by pro-wrestling, talks about tactics for marketing your business in a small geographical area. Good for businesses that are small geographically, not so good for Gateway, whose founder gets a glowing review from Drake View.

pc4media has some marketing terms and tips for you. Having a pretty woman with a drink on the top of the page doesn't hurt, but didn't make their list.

Marketing Eye looks at how to be a good marketer, even if you don't have a product.

Martin at the Egoist says internet ad sales are going to increase, and he's not talking about spam.

Wayne says that customers are good, and you should try to keep them. Lot of tips for developing relationships with customers instead of relying on in-store buying decisions.

Adventures in Self-Publishing brought to you by the letter J.

Malicious Managers

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Slacker Manager recommends that managers who are slacking should have someone else do the work. Delegated writing of article to employee, claims new worker-manager paradigm discovered therein.

Rick Cecil tells you it's ok to interrupt if you have to, but it'd better be important! Time is money when you're using the office phone for 1-900 calls to "Bambi".

The Headmaster gives tips on how to bond with employees. Glue not recommended.

Say Leadership gives tips on bonding with your manager. Glue still not recommended, but duct tape optional.

The necessity of corporate change is covered at Lead and Gold, as well as the importance of knowing what changes are good or bad. Changing is easy, changing wisely isn't.

Pernicious Policies

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North Shore politics thinks that anti-business measures are creating a localized brain drain.

Free Market Project asserts that the press is slanting stories against social security reform.

Russell at Moble Technology says that worms, virii, and other such nastiness directed at mobile devices are nothing to get concerned about. Apparently Russell isn't in Paris Hilton's PDA.

The Business Word points out the pork involved in current social security reform. There's a lot of it. Mmm... bacon.

The Conglomerate has recentish updates on the Arthur Andersen court drama.

Mover Mike thinks both sides need flexibility in the Chinese exchange rates. Gives a good explantion, too. DAtum thinks there's already too much flexibility though, so read them both and make up your own mind already.

The Big Picture provides a lot of information about oil in their Petroleum Day post.

Photon Courier expresses their discontent with voicemail systems. Turns out that dynamic systems are hard to pin down, solid information easier to digest.

Installing security cameras is a good thing if you have inventory sitting around unguarded. Not watching the cameras is a bad thing when your expensive lobsters are being stolen. Interested Participant has more.

Featuring Dave offers an argument against government economic control, using the Federalist Papers to assert that a government of and by the people can not control the economy without a conflict of interest.

Goe, just filling in for Beck

Sunday, May 01, 2005

In case you were wondering
Written by: Beck

On the road. Back in a week or so. In the mean time, Goemagog is here to keep you company, and expect the Carnival of the Capitalists here on Monday.

In the mean time, try not to think about purple elephants.

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