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Archive: March 30, 2003

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Sunday,  03/30/03  11:49 PM

Yeah, so I took yesterday off.  Sorry.  But - I'm baack...

Tomorrow marks the three-month anniversary of Critical Section.  Yay!  We have served 10,715 unique visitors, of whom 1,636 have come back at least three times.  Wow.  That is so cool.  Thanks to all of you for stopping by.  I'll keep it up if you will ;)

Here's a new and interesting war blog: Back to Iraq 2.0.  Christopher Allbritton is an ex-AP reporter who raised enough money from his website readers to travel to Kurdistan (Northern Iraq), and he's reporting from there.  Wild.

My post last Thursday about boycotting French and German companies drew some interesting mail, especially from European visitors.  { And how cool is it that my little blog has European visitors! }  Some of the points made in email:

  • Several correspondents pointed out that there are many people in France and Germany who are not anti-U.S. and who support the war effort.  That's great, and I am grateful for the support of anyone anywhere who is opposed to terrorism and totalitarian regimes.  However, the fact is that the governments of France and Germany are anti-U.S. and oppose the war effort, and this made it much more difficult to obtain a diplomatic solution.

What is particularly frustrating about the opposition of France and Germany is that they are Western democracies on the “same side” as the United States in opposing terrorism and totalitarianism.  Of course reasonable people may disagree about the best of course of action, whether continued inspections would have disarmed Iraq and whether military action was required.  But it seems to me that if France and Germany would have supported the U.S. at the U.N., the pressure might have been sufficient to cause Saddam to back down, to disarm, and maybe even to give up power.  The opposition of France and Germany gave Saddam hope that the U.N. would remain divided, and encouraged his continued non-compliance, which ultimately led to war.

  • Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Shroeder may honestly believe their opposition to the U.S. and to the attack on Iraq was in the best interests of their countries, but I don't think so.  I think they were lying.  I think each of them took a position which was in their own best interest as politicians, to become more popular.  Tony Blair on the other hand took a tremendous political chance by supporting the U.S. and almost lost power, but in the end he prevailed and now we have the British side-by-side with us. 
  • I am not sure war was the best answer.  I am not sure diplomacy would fail.  Reasonable people may have reasonable doubts about this.  But I am sure that now we are at war, we have to support our troops and our allies.  And I am sure that France's and Germany's opposition to the U.S. in the U.N. was not constructive, and that their unconstructive opposition reduced the chances of a diplomatic solution and led to war.
  • So - I am actively boycotting French and German companies, this is my way of expressing my opinion.  I also support British, Spanish, and Australian companies every chance I get.  At times like this you find out who your friends really are, and you have to support your friends.  And I encourage all Americans to do likewise...
  • And also - When the situation in Iraq is settled and Saddam is no longer in power, I do not expect France or Germany to have much say in the post-war settlement, nor do I expect French or German companies to get many of the contracts to rebuild the country.  There will be diplomatic and economic consequences to their actions.
  • Finally, I want to correct my statement that Daimler Benz makes Rolls Royces; a correspondent who works for Volkswagen in Germany pointed out that BMW owns Rolls Royce, and Volkswagen owns Bentley.  They are German owned, so don't be buying Rolls Royces or Bentleys!

Canadians are increasingly disenchanted with their government's opposition to the U.S.-led war on Iraq - this new poll suggests Jean Chrétien is losing support.

There is a new Eject!Eject!Eject! entitled "History".  Great as usual.  Please, please read it, it will give you perspective and make you feel good.Perpetual Motion Wheel

Here's something really cool - the Museum of Unworkable Devices.  I love it.  Can you spot the fallacy in the perpetual motion machine at right?

A BBC article says "ET fails to 'phone home'"; a preliminary review of the most promising 150 signals found by the SETI@home project has failed to find evidence of an extraterrestrial signal.  { I am currently ranked 797th among SETI@home users, having analyzed 45,948 results. }

Tom's Hardware has a review of Microsoft's new wireless bluetooth keyboard and mouse which use bluetooth; probably a harbinger of many devices to come.  Actually it is more than a review, it is a great overview of bluetooth.

If you like Wi-Fi, you may like Wider-Fi - Forbes takes a look at new wireless technologies which feature higher bandwidth and longer range.

Jon Udell reviews InfoPath: "the next version of Microsoft Office is, among other things, a family of XML editors".

Business 2.0 notes Internet Mania Returns!  In 2003 eBay is up 33%, Amazon 47%, and Yahoo 51%.  Quoting from the article "the valuations are, to put it mildly, absurd".  Yeah, sadly, I'm afraid there is still air left in the bubble.  Fasten your seat belts.

BlogShares is a fantasy stock market for weblogs.  Blogs are valued by inbound links.  Cool idea!  This meme will probably burn out, but for a while expect to see this a lot:

Listed on BlogShares

I'm having a hard time getting excited about the final four.  First UCLA didn't even make the tournament.  Then Stanford and Cal were eliminated, and then Arizona.  I have no rooting interest whatsoever in any of the teams.  I have to admit Kansas gave Arizona a great game, but I felt Arizona gave the game away.  I liked watching Marquette against Kentucky, maybe I'll root for them...

If you watched the NCAA tournament this weekend, I sure hope you did it via Tivo.  The number of commercial breaks was unbelievable.  The commercials were definitely targeting the far end of the Bell Curve.  Junk TV.  Yuk.

Finally - today is of course (ta da!) opening day.  Hope springs eternal.  Play Ball!

 
 

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