aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Sunday, April 24, 2005
Microsoft’s most famous blogger criticizes Microsoft
As to the religious’ guy’s claims. I’m not gonna name him cause that just makes his popularity even higher which is EXACTLY what he wanted. He says that Microsoft should not be pushing an agenda outside our walls. Well, sorry, the religious right has pushed an agenda outside of THEIR walls. My money says “in God we trust.” That’s not my agenda. It’s one that was pushed on us. (Our money didn’t always say that, by the way). Same thing for a whole raft of issues.
But, I guess, religion in America has become so powerful that even we are willing to cowtow to them.
Armstrong lets protÃƒÂ©gÃƒÂ© win
From the NYTimes, an hour ago:
Lance Armstrong, the greatest individual bike racer America has produced, was a team player on Sunday as he ended his domestic racing career.
Armstrong, who announced last week that he would retire this summer after attempting a seventh consecutive Tour de France victory, was content to help ensure that a Discovery Channel teammate, Tom Danielson, wound up the winner of the Tour de Georgia.
Our own Tour de Georgia has become “the most important stage race in America:”
Thousands of spectators lined a six-kilometer loop on the streets of Alpharetta, hoping for a glimpse of Armstrong and wishing that he would make one last charge to the front of the pack. But Armstrong, the defending champion, sat back and let his protÃƒÂ©gÃƒÂ© win what has become the most important stage race in America.
For the second year in a row, Armstrong chose the Tour de Georgia as a prelude to the Tour de France. His presence attracted almost all of the leading American riders, including Bobby Julich, Levi Leipheimer and Floyd Landis, who left Armstong’s team last year for the Phonak team.
See also my post Enhanced Lance?
We had to return the tables that we had borrowed for the party and on the way back were listening to This American Life. This week, Backed Into A Corner, “Stories about people who end up making choices they’d rather not make.” Act 3 (listen via Real Player, about 40 minutes in) was so good we sat in the driveway and listened:
Confessions of a Not-So-Dangerous Mind. How NOT to get a job in U.S. intelligence: Admit to being a pervert during your job interview. Somehow, though, that’s exactly what happened to a perfectly normal, nice guy who we’re calling Matt for the purposes of this story. On paper, Matt was a perfect candidate to be an analyst for the National Security Agency. He was bright, ambitious, spoke Chinese. But he was also a little neurotic. So somewhere in the midst of his final round of testing for the NSA job, he started to worry about this riddle: What if I’ve done something bad, but I don’t know I’ve done it? Am I still guilty? This, it turns out, is not the best way to approach a lie detector test. Brian Montopolis, Matt’s friend, interviewed him about what happened.
He is gay and admits to looking at kiddie porn even though he never had. False confessions are a serious problem. “Matt” didn’t get a job, others end up in jail or worse. I am familiar with the topic in an all too personal way. Here’s a Washington Post series on the issue.
The photos of penguins put through airport screening at Denver International Airport are too good to resist, but I did the first time I saw them via Cory at Boing Boing. When I saw them the second time via Lindsay at Majikthise I decided I could use the occasion to again point to Dave Neiwert’s excellent post from March:
So far, most of the evidence that the Bush administration is mishandling the domestic side of the “war on terror” has been a matter of omission, that is, what isn’t being done: We haven’t caught the anthrax killer. The William Krar case was swept under the national carpet. Even the recent concerns raised by the Lefkow killings raised nary an eyebrow.
There have been clearer indications that this administration is playing politics with the “war on terror,” particularly in the skewing of priorities at the FBI, where investigators who specialize in right-wing extremists have been shunted to the back, and the FBI instead has announced “eco-terrorists” as the top domestic-terror threat.
Emphasis mine. The AP got to the story three weeks later:
The Homeland Security Department is focusing on possible terror threats from radical environmental and animal rights activists without also examining risks that might be posed by right-wing extremists, House Democrats said Tuesday.
A recent internal Homeland Security document lists the Animal Liberation Front and the Earth Liberation Front with a few Islamic groups that could potentially support al-Qaida as domestic terror threats.
The document does not address threats posed by white supremacists, violent militiamen, anti-abortion bombers and other extremists that Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, D-Miss., called “right-wing hate groups.”
Thompson said he reminded Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff of threats by right-wing groups in a letter sent to the department Tuesday—the 10th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. That attack, which killed 168 people, marks the worst act of domestic terrorism on U.S. soil.
ALF and ELF are accused by the FBI of committing hundreds of acts of arson or other attacks on property in the United States, causing millions of dollars in damages. None of their attacks, however, have caused human deaths.
John at AMERICAblog and Crooks and Liars posted about it. Salon reported it. But I’ve yet to see it on TV. Maybe I just missed it. Or maybe we’ve got to make still more noise about it. I do believe the terrorist threat is a real one, and this another example that our response is not just bureaucratically vapid but also influenced by politics and off the mark.
1,347: Number of days from the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, to VJ Day (Victory in Japan) on August 15, 1945.
1,317: Number of days from the airplane-bombing of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, to today.
If Osama makes it to May 21, he will have survived the self-declared world’s only superpower in a presidentially-declared war longer than did Tojo, Hitler, and Mussolini working together.
Last night lying in bed on the way to sleep I had a flash of the fear I had in New York in those first nights after 9/11, when my apartment still smelled of the smoke from the towers. I was in Brooklyn when the planes hit, but I was downtown years before when the bomb went off in the garage; a fireman friend told me then that they came a whole lot closer to tumbling the towers then the world would ever know. He was back on 9/11 and became a hero that day.
Here’s what I find fascinating: while one arm of the government (the Federal Air Marshal Service) has vehemently maintained all along that “nothing happened on flight 327,” the other, more muscular arm (the Department of Homeland Security) has been conducting a rather large investigation about it. Based on my 4 Ã‚Â½ hour meeting with the agents, I can tell you that not only have they been investigating what did happen during the flight, but they’ve also been investigating who botched the subsequent investigation as well as how it got botched. [...]
Since 9/11 the Justice Department has been widely criticized for one particular tactic it uses in fighting the War on Terror: it detains suspicious persons for long periods of time and puts them under heavy questioning before they are ever even charged with a crime. Flight 327 seems to have had an extreme case of just the opposite. There were 13 men on a domestic flight acting in such a way that many passengers felt their lives might be in danger. And yet not one of the individuals responsible for that threatening behavior was detained. Only two were put under light questioning, let alone medium or heavy questioning. Two individuals from a terrorist-sponsoring nation were allowed to speak on behalf of the other 11 men.
But we put penguins through metal detectors at airports.