Thirteen Years of Wedded Bliss

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Tue, 20 Apr 2004 12:00:00 GMT
From The Federalist:
"We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount....The world has achieved brilliance without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants." -- 5-Star General Omar Bradley

# Today is 420, 2004. It's the thirteenth anniversary of my wedding. It's also Hitler's birhday, at least that's what Herr Vögel told me when he picked me up at the train station in Lahr on April 20, 1983.

# Publicola has a new address: I updated my links and the file that stores the shortcuts for the link between square brackets at the end of this sentence. [publicola]

# Publicola - Patriot Day - well put description of what happened on April 19, 1775: [publicola]

But today marks the day when common citizens with paramilitary arms fired on troops of their own government when said government moved to implement gun control. Let that sink in for a moment: the reason the first shots in the war for American independence were fired was because the citizens of Massachussetts were violently opposed to gun control. (Yes - that Massachussetts!)

# Fred's M14 Stocks - Scores Killed, Hundreds Injured As Para-Military Extremists Riot - how modern journalists would have described the shot heard round the world. [publicola]

BOSTON, April 20 - National Guard units seeking to confiscate a cache of recently banned assault weapons were ambushed on April 19th by elements of a para-military extremist faction. Military and law enforcement sources estimated that 72 were killed and more than 20 injured before government forces were compelled to withdraw.

Speaking after the clash, Massachusetts Governor Thomas Gage declared that the extremist faction, which was made up of local citizens, has links to the radical right-wing tax protest movement. Gage blamed the extremists for recent incidents of vandalism directed against internal revenue offices.

# Anthony Gregory at - Eleven Years Since Waco and Very Little Has Changed - I disagree. Things have gotten worse. The fascist branch of the Boot On Your Neck Party is more openly brutal than the communist branch was eleven years ago. [claire]

Like the Waco hearings, the 9/11 commission is in reality a joke. Not only does the commission fail to address the real causes of 9/11, it will ultimately fail to implicate any high officials for their negligence. Just as the real purpose of the Waco hearings was to create the illusion of government accountability while exonerating all those guilty for the tragedy of April 19, 1993, so too the actual motivation behind the 9/11 commission is to provide the appearance that the government is improving its counter-terrorism operations while removing blame from the bureaucrats, intelligence officials, and administration officers who were sleeping at the wheel on September 11, 2001.

The real way to stop future Wacos is to keep the federal government's armed agents out of trouble at home, and the real way to prevent future 9/11s is to keep the federal government's armed agents out of trouble abroad.

# Kim du Toit - RE: Hiking With Heat - letters Kim got about his Hiking with Heat article. Bottom line: in brown bear country, carry a .45-70 or a slug-loaded 12 gauge. Includes this joke, told twice: [kimdutoit]

An Alaska greenhorn is showing off his .44 Ruger; An old timer asks the newcomer if he could examine the handgun. Quite pleased that the grizzled fellow would be interested and proud of his piece, the man surrenders the pistol. The old timer examines the pistol carefully, sights down the barrel and so forth. He returns the gun to its owner. "Ya know, son," said the old timer, "that is a fine pistol and I am sure it cost you plently, but I would grind off that front sight." Stunned, the gun owner immediately asks the reason. The old timer replies, "cause it will hurt less when the bear shoves it up your ass."

# Paul Boutin at Salon - Read My Mail, Please: The silly privacy fears about Google's e-mail service - why targeted ads in Google's new GMail service shouldn't bother you. [grabbe]

Ten years from now, we'll probably look back at the Gmail dust-up with similar befuddlement. Even now, most Google-bashers have one thing in common: They haven't actually laid eyes on Gmail. Critics have falsely claimed that Google staff, rather than automated software, will read your e-mail, that ads will be inserted into e-mail message text, rather than alongside it in your browser window, and that Google will collect a log of which ads are served to your account. Most important, Gmail critics have ignored the fact that automated software already scans the contents of your incoming e-mail messages. Antispam and antivirus software at most ISPs and corporate firewalls comb through the personal contents of your e-mail all the time. Gmail is just a little more upfront about it.

Gmail's ads are text-only, in the same spartan format used for the ads next to Google's search engine results. In my tests, a mailing-list discussion about in-ear headphones was flanked by terse ads for headphones and audio stores. Press releases about developments in the Wi-Fi industry were accompanied not by ads, but by links to "related pages" from Google's search engine. Social chit-chat, such as "let's catch up" or "what are you doing Friday," got no ads or links at all. I tried forcing Gmail's hand with keywords like "Claritin" and "suicide," but it ignored them.


But Gmail's user-friendliness won't quiet critics who fear that Google has implemented a tool akin to Carnivore, probably far more efficiently than the FBI did. I called Google co-founder Sergey Brin about this and got a half-encouraging response. Gmail's ad server, he says, doesn't collect any info on which ads it serves to which specific users, nor does it record users' browser cookies or IP addresses. There's a twofold benefit to that. Advertisers can't get reports on who saw what, Brin says, and Google won't have personal data about your ad viewing to hand over to the Man, should a subpoena or warrant be served.

The real threat of using Web mail--from Google or from anyone else--is having your mail itself subpoenaed or just plain leaked. Web mail accounts have been cracked despite the best efforts of their administrators. CNET cyber-rights advocate Declan McCullagh listed past security breaches at Yahoo! and Hotmail in a column this week, then slammed critics of Gmail's ad plan on his Politech mailing list. "I'm starting to suspect that these pro-regulatory privacy folks who are so upset about Google are really just anti-advertising," he wrote, because they haven't raised similar cries over antispam software.

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