Rather: White House Request Not Its Best. Disappointed that I had missed the Saddam Hussein interview earlier this week, I was happy to find the content on the CBS site the following day. I would recommend reading the summary instead of the transcripts. I found it amusing that the White House offered up Ari Fleischer instead of the President. Without his handlers, GW would likely make an ass of himself in an unscripted interview.

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Bush Faces Increasingly Poor Image Overseas.

The messages from U.S. embassies around the globe have become urgent and disturbing: Many people in the world increasingly think President Bush is a greater threat to world peace than Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

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Inspectors Call U.S. Tips 'Garbage'. Not too surprisingly, U.S. claims about Iraqi weapons are so far proving to be a load of crap. It occurred to me that without an actual war, the Bush administration will be hard-pressed to justify the existence of the PATRIOT Act and other legislation which threaten our civil liberties.

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Is there any way the pending war cannot end badly?

  1. In addition to the handful of American casualties (more likely to occur as a result of friendly fire and accidents than enemy combat IMO), thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians will lose their lives or homes.
  2. With our economy already hobbled, the government will spend billions to finance the war (over $5B in aid to Turkey alone).
  3. Many countries (and perhaps Americans as well) already view the U.S. as a greedy, imperialistic bully, a perception which will become even more difficult to disprove. Saddam outplayed Bush and continues to do so. In acting so brashly, the President has managed to lose the support of major allies as well as his own constituents.
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I was just recalling the Gibson book signing last week. The reading from Pattern Recognition was not particularly inspiring, but the Q&A session which followed was quite entertaining. At one point, a member of the audience asked the writer's opinion regarding the extent to which terrorism might affect the Internet. Gibson said he was not very knowledgeable about technology but quoted from a colleague that the SQL Slammer worm had reached global saturation in ten minutes. When asked if he knew what that meant, Gibson grinned and admitted he had no idea. The audience burst into laughter.

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Walked knee-deep into snow almost as soon as I set foot outside the apartment today. Wahoo! Don't forget extra socks if you're out in it... Office is a bit of a ghost town today.

Locks and Full Disclosure. In this month's Crypto-Gram, Schneier discusses security through obscurity with regard to physical locks, software security vulnerabilities, and government-imposed antiterrorism measures.


White House Patriotism Comes With a Price Tag. The Executive Office of the President blew $23k of taxpayer money on flag pins to boost national resolve.

Warnings trigger a run on disaster supplies. Y2K-style panic is trendy again.

Anti-War Leader Launches Campaign to Impeach Bush. Small chance that the local axis of evil (Bush, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft) will be dismantled any time soon, but one can always hope and pray.

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Britain Admits That Much of Its Report on Iraq Came From Magazines. Dunno how I missed this in the weekend paper, but I just noticed this on cryptome. Utterly disturbing considering how badly these clowns are trying to drag us into war.

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William Gibson is scheduled to make an appearance at the Barnes & Noble at Union Square this Thursday. Sweet.

Converted my sports news pager from C to Perl today. My bizarre idea of fun... I came up with a better way of dealing with the parser, which makes me very happy.

The GnuCash conversion may have to wait as I tried an import from a Quicken QIF and somehow lost 25% of my net worth. :-p


Tax Program Develops An Insulting Approach. The product activation introduced in TurboTax 2002 ticked me off as well, but maybe not as much as the need to upgrade to Quicken 2001 to import my data. Looks like Intuit is borrowing a page from the Microsoft playbook. This could be the year I switch to GnuCash and TaxCut...