Saturday, July 20, 2002

Unsung Hero

Most left-leaning (and more than a few libertarian) websites were (understandably) upset over the asinine TIPS proposal put forth by the Bush Administration, under which millions of Americans would essentially become professional snitches. Lost in the sound and fury was yet another proposal to create a national ID card. Both plans were killed on Thursday, but few of the sites identified who was responsible for killing them—Dick Armey, the House Majority Leader, despised by the left for his unalloyed conservatism. The Washington Times, however, did note his actions, and praised him in today's editorial.

(Link courtesy of campc.)

posted at 07:58 PM | permalink | Comments (1)

I haven't come upon a blog or a commentator of any political stripe that approved of the TIPS idea; at last, something we can all hate together.

posted by Andrea Harris on July 20, 2002 08:23 PM

Note to Self

Sunburn on the back of one's knees is a reminder to use sunscreen liberally.

posted at 03:12 PM | permalink | Comments (3)

at least it's not the tops of your feet. worst feeling in the world is struggling to get pink or red skin into a pair of combat boots when you get dressed for work monday morning.

posted by Kevin on July 20, 2002 04:51 PM

Ow! I've done that. To the tops of my feet. Once I fell asleep on the beach with my jeans rolled up to my knees. I had to buy extra-strength hospital-grade sticky burn stuff to put on my legs and feet, and I could barely walk for two days. That was the last time I exposed myself to that much sun for any length of time, and in Florida that's not easy.

posted by Andrea Harris on July 20, 2002 08:25 PM

Twice in my life I've had sunburn on the backs of my legs so bad that I couldn't walk. Now I respect the healing power of aloe and the preventitive power of sunblock or protective clothes.

posted by Laurence Simon on July 21, 2002 12:10 PM

Another Move

Quana Jones got fed up with Blogger and Blogspot, and has moved her blog, Eristic. The new address is

All of her archives (including her Jeremiad against the Saudi ambassdor) are still on blogspot, but her new material will be powered by Grey Matter.

Check her out.

posted at 08:56 AM | permalink | Comments (0)

Blinded by bias

Dodd, over at Ipse Dixit, links to this idiotic editorial in the Louisville Courier-Journal, which includes an absolutely ludicrous statement. I sent them an e-mail.

...the nation's second most important political party ...

You are referring to the party that controls the White House, the House of Representatives, and a sizable majority of governorships. How does this translate to "second most important", as opposed to most important?

I understand your editorial board's obsessive need to flack for the Democratic Party, but do try to keep the facts straight when you are coordinating your releases with Terry McAuliffe and James Carville.

posted at 12:06 AM | permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 19, 2002

A note on Comments

I just deleted a comment because it broke my site.

The comments section is not designed for long rants, If you have a lot to say on a subject, use you own blog and a link. There is no reason to post a 1440 word comment (totally off-topic, for what it's worth), on ANYONE'S blog. If your comment is long enough to prevent my site from loading correctly, it's too long, and it's history as soon as I find it.

UPDATE-19 July 11:15PM I have exchanged e-mails with the individual involved, and it appears to have been an unintentional screw-up on his part (the post was intended for another blog who has a link to mine; he might have clicked on the link to my blog before he started posting). I have deleted the entire comment, including his name; no need to embarass him.

posted at 10:30 PM | permalink | Comments (2)

Could be worse. I once got a 7538-word comment, all but 26 of them quoted from Noam Chomsky. Apparently 'Zack' the evil Gnoam thought Chomsky's words would have the magical power of convincing anyone who read them. Or maybe he was hoping the huge wad of words would choke MT and kill my site. If so, he was disappointed.

posted by Dr. Weevil on July 20, 2002 03:46 PM

Oh, yes. I remember that one. He was a piece of work.

The biggest difference is in how comments are handled on your blog and on my blog. Inline comments (such as mine and Daily Pundit's) directly affect site load time. Other sites don't see much of an impact until someone attempts to access the comments.

That said, I still would have deleted the Chomsky electronic book. Comments of more than 200 words are generally inappropriate (especially on someone else' site).

posted by Timekeeper on July 20, 2002 04:05 PM

Enviro-dollars—A Primer

(Note: This was originally posted as a comment—see this thread. I decided to slightly reword it and post it in a thread of its own.)

This is a quickie list of large groups that fund environmental activism. It is by no means all-inclusive. I provide it as a counterweight to the argument that big business has no well-funded opposition to prevent it from controlling politicians and dominating the media markets.

Turner Foundation

-Provided grants totalling $23.5 Million in 2001.

Daivd and Lucille Packard Foundation

-Provided grants of $360.2 Million just to environmental groups 1999-2001. They also donate to several other causes.

The Pew Charitable Trusts

-Provided grants of $42.1 Million just to environmental groups in 2001. They have an extensive grant program covering a wide variety of causes.

John D. and Carolyn T. MacArthur Foundation

-Provided grants of $72.8 Million just to environmental groups and $62.7 Million just to Human and Community Development groups in 2001. (A significant portion of the latter goes to family planning and "social justice" agitation groups; most goes to projects that are worthy of funding.)

Ford Foundation

-Provided grants totalling $652.1 Million in 2001. This is a total for all grants. I could not find a breakdown of grants by area on their site, only totals and individual grants, through which I was not going to spend hours sorting.

Even the Environmental Protection Agency, an arm of the federal government, has joined in—they contributed a total of $4.6 Million to the Natural Resources Defense Council from 1996-2001, and over $3 Million to the Tides Foundation from 1993-2001 (that is a total, not a yearly amount).

Of course, one's personal beliefs will dictate whether the groups that have received funding can be considered "extremist", but groups such as EarthSave, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Natural Resources Defence Council, Greenpeace, PETA, and Ruckus Society are probably likely to be considered extremist by a large majority of the populace of the United States. These groups are not the only ones that have received funding from the above foundations, but all have received significant chunks of change.

Because their brand of environmentalism is one of opressive regulation, they are inherently anti-capitalistic, another reason to oppose them. Some, such as CSPI, wish to impose taxes upon the food we eat in an effort to socially engineer our society to one that is more to their liking. Others simply want to impose regulations that will eliminate industry and return us to the pre-industrial age, regardless of what the rest of the people want. Some, like the Ruckus Society, specialize in training protesters such as the anti-globalization and anti-WTO protesters that have wreaked havoc in Seattle, Quebec, Washington, DC and elsewhere. These people are "watermelons"—green on the outside, red on the inside. I don't like watermelons, and I don't want any part of their agenda.

(Apparently I am not alone; No Watermelons Allowed derives its name from the same concept.)

posted at 10:08 PM | permalink | Comments (2)

Wow, you do good work! Although I can appreciate the "No Watermelons" sentiment, there's also a different thing happening here. Quite a few people have decided that existing formal institutions are hard pressed to respond to increasingly chaotic world situations or complex emergencies. Hence they're looking at the idea of strengthening civil society by supporting a wide variety of groups capable of working out local solutions even when existing formal institutions can't. Perhaps the civil society movement is inherently wrongheaded, in that it is challenging the idea that church, family, corporations and government are the only appropriate avenues for addressing social issues?

posted by sassafrass on July 20, 2002 12:19 PM

I feel that the overlooked option of "grassroots support" is vital to effecting any sort of change.

This is similar to family, but not quite the same; my family of four has four different political views, and three different political registrations. Family ties often don't extend to political beliefs.

I visited the link to Civil Society International (the link in your post). At the risk of sounding arrogant, I don't object to most of their programs, because they don't operate in the United States. I agree with the aims of some of the groups, and I disagree with others, but what they do doesn't directly affect me or this country. Further, some of the groups are pursuing goals that are desperately needed elsewhere, but are not necessary here; pushing a similar agenda in this country would irritate and insult me.

As one may infer with the thrust of my post, I have more of a problem with environmental groups than I do with social issues lobbies. I am sometimes irritated by some of the civil-rights groups, but the tactics of the eco-extremists send me over the edge. I don't drive (I've never had a license), I lived in a small studio before I moved onto the military base I now call home (my barracks suite is just a bit larger than my old studio apartment) and I recycle a large portion of my trash. However,I am considered anti-environment because I don't agree with the aims of the greens that wish to force my personal choices upon everyone else, whether they like it or not. That is totalitarian.

posted by Timekeeper on July 20, 2002 03:59 PM

I'm back

Posting has been very light this week, due to an unexpectedly unpleasant week at work. Monday morning, one of my test benches smoke-checked, and it was downhill from there. However, the weekend is here, and I will be posting more frequently than in the earlier part of the week.

posted at 04:53 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

Stupid Letters Entry

From today's Seattle Post Intelligencer comes this screed, straight from Karl Marx's decomposing brain. I doubt that commentary will be needed on this one.

The source of corporate corruption is not greed, dishonesty, fraud or plain highway robbery. The source is the capitalist system.
The system itself is based upon exploitation of workers for the sake of profit. It steals a share of what labor produces and pockets it as profit. If there is any other explanation for the source of profit, it is yet to be discovered.
Just ask yourself, where would profit come from without labor? It's obvious there would be no production, no market, no money and no profit. The system would cease to function. Yet, under the profit system the critical role of labor in the system is disrespected.
The evil is the system. It takes part of labor's production in the form of profit without compensation. This thievery amounts to two or more hours of uncompensated labor. There is no other source of profit.
Why should capitalists be reluctant to engage in fraud, deception and manifold ways of stealing for more profit at the expense of workers, shareholders, pensioners and the public? After all, they are acting strictly under the rules of the system.
Del Castle

Pardon me while I wash my hands; I feel soiled.

posted at 04:50 PM | permalink | Comments (5)

Posting that's going to net you a lot of search hits you probably don't want.

How much you wanna bet that Del Castle is either (a) a university student living off his parents who's never had an electric bill to pay in his life or (b) a tenured professor who has never had a real job in the private sector because he gets to peddle this tripe to the likes of Option (a) for a living?

I'm guessing (a), myself, since it's pure regurgitation - the professor types usually can't help but reprocess it some to demonstrate their own "brilliance."

posted by The Dodd on July 19, 2002 11:58 PM

Oh, no, Dodd. It's much better. Del Harris is an old-timer. He was brought before the House Un-American Activities committee in 1954, as a suspected Communist. He showed up at the hearing with his "Joe Must Go" button. See here. According to this news item, the retired longshoreman picketed outside the Seattle Post-Intelligencer during a strike against both Seattle papers in 2000. It also notes that he was King County Chairman of the notoriously Communistic Workers' Alliance in 1936, the last time the paper's employees went on strike.

posted by Timekeeper on July 20, 2002 09:53 AM

Ugg, pardon me while I wash my EYES. They're covered in a thin layer of stupid.

posted by Sean Kirby on July 20, 2002 10:42 AM

Thin? That layer of stupid they're wearing goes TO THE BONE.

posted by Kevin McGehee on July 20, 2002 03:20 PM

You're right, that is much better. This screed proves he hasn't rethought a single thing in 66 years. He's still peddling the same Party Line that got him going in the years before Stalin's purges. Delicious.

posted by The Dodd on July 21, 2002 10:03 AM

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

Truth behind Cheney stock sale

Mike Hendrix, over at Cold Fury, has this fantastic post about Cheney's stock sale, and why the whole incident reeks of double standards and Democratic hypocrisy. I'll let Mike tell the story; go check it out.

posted at 09:18 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

Brendan O'Neill steps in it again

Brendan O'Neill needs to have the dosage of his meds adjusted.

In this little rant, a worthy follow-up to his temper-tantrum about lousy writing, he works so hard to bash those of us who posted the open letter of support to the Iranians that he forgets that the Iranians are not Arabs. (see the second paragraph)

And of course, there is the requisite bashing of those of us who have the colossal nerve to run a weblog without having a background in journalism (that is the first paragraph). By the way, isn't a single-sentence paragraph a faux pas? I commit it often enough, but then, I'm not a journalist, so substandard writing is clearly all one can expect from the likes of me.

Of course, there *is* the rest of the post, but I am way too burned out to dissect it. Maybe Andrea will take a whack at it.

posted at 07:33 PM | permalink | Comments (1)

How is this?

posted by Andrea Harris on July 16, 2002 09:22 PM


We interrupt this period of unplanned non-posting for this announcement:

Protein Wisdom has been yanked off the net by its host, which abruptly changed its rules and now demands more money to continue hosting the site. Jeff is attempting to resolve the issue. Hopefully this will be resolved soon. Good luck, Jeff.

posted at 06:32 PM | permalink | Comments (3)

Thanks, TK.

Not that I have much more to say this evening. But still.

posted by Jeff G. on July 16, 2002 07:02 PM

Contact Os Tyler at Nothing Special Network. He hosts all the LA blog Mafia including Welch, Layne and Myself.

posted by Brian Linse on July 17, 2002 02:52 AM

Oddly, I got notified his site was down by someone who evidently mistook me for Jeff. I think the resemblance is pretty minimal, aside from the fact that we are both males of the same species, and I think we both have dark hair.

Here's the text. I think the mistake pretty much rules them too incompetent to provide the service they attempt to market:

SUBJECT: Error accessing

On Wed Jul 17, 2002 at 11:18:34 AM EDT we were unable to reach your web site:
due to the following error: 404 Not Found

As recommended by the Robot Guidelines, this email is to explain our system and to let you know about the problem we encountered accessing your site.

The error listed above was initially detected by our primary site monitor in Philadelphia, Pa. then verified by our secondary site monitor located in Los Angeles, Ca.

InternetSeer is the largest web site monitoring company in the world, monitoring over 1.1 million web sites worldwide every hour. Many of our subscribers pay as much as $300/year
for our monitoring services. However, your site has been selected to receive a free subscription to our service if you subscribe before Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 11:18:34 AM EDT.

If you would like to receive alerts as soon as we detect an error accessing your site,
click here for instant signup. Remember, your subscription to our service is free, but only if you act now.

As part of your free web site monitoring subscription, you'll receive immediate notifications when we encounter problems accessing your web site and weekly performance reports.

There is no need to cancel because InternetSeer WILL NEVER CONTACT YOU AGAIN at this email address: If you have other email addresses that you would like excluded from any potential future contact click here to have those email addresses excluded from our system.

InternetSeer does not store or publish the content of your pages, but rather uses availability and link information for our research.
Click here to learn more about InternetSeer.


Kathy Phillips
Connectivity Analyst
Website Monitoring Service

posted by David Perron on July 17, 2002 01:50 PM

Sunday, July 14, 2002


To show our support for the Iranian people, we each have agreed to display this letter, in English and in Farsi, on our pages from sunrise to sunset today, Tehran time.

We are not politicians, nor are we generals. We hold no power to dispatch diplomats to negotiate; we can send no troops to defend those who choose to risk their lives in the cause of freedom.

What power we have is in our words, and in our thoughts. And it is that strength which we offer to the people of Iran on this day.

Across the diverse and often contentious world of weblogs, each of us has chosen to put aside our differences and come together today to declare our unanimity on the following simple principles:

- That the people of Iran are allies of free men and women everywhere in the world, and deserve to live under a government of their own choosing, which respects their own personal liberties

- That the current Iranian regime has failed to create a free and prosperous society, and attempts to mask its own failures by repression and tyranny

We do not presume to know what is best for the people of Iran; but we are firm in our conviction that the policies of the current government stand in the way of the Iranians ability to make those choices for themselves.

And so we urge our own governments to turn their attention to Iran. The leaders and diplomats of the world's democracies must be clear in their opposition to the repressive actions of the current Iranian regime, but even more importantly, must be clear in their support for the aspirations of the Iranian people.

And to the people of Iran, we say: You are not alone. We see your demonstrations in the streets; we hear of your newspapers falling to censorship; and we watch with anticipation as you join the community of the Internet in greater and greater numbers. Our hopes are with you in your struggle for freedom. We cannot and will not presume to tell you the correct path to freedom; that is for you to choose. But we look forward to the day when we can welcome your nation into the community of free societies of the world, for we know with deepest certainty that such a day will come.

(Courtesy of Daily Pundit.)

posted at 10:39 PM | permalink | Comments (0)


At 11:23 this morning (Pacific Time), a visitor from the University of Georgia became my 5000th visitor.

Thank you.

We now return to our scheduled broadcast.

posted at 04:13 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

Letter to the Editor

Reading the letters to the editor in the Seattle area papers can be tremendously frustrating; any time an issue arises that involves big business or the Republican party, the resultant torrent of letters to the editor show that most of the letter writers are reading from the same playbook. Here's a few of the more popular myths I've seen in the past week's worth of letters to the local news outlets.

Myth 1: George Bush was 34 weeks late in filing the paperwork from the sale of his stock.

This is partially true. When selling stock, there are two forms filed, Form 144 (filed on the day of the sale) and Form 4 (due within one month of the sale. The Form 4 was late; the Form 144 was filed on time. If Bush was truly trying to avoid scrutiny of the sale, one would think that he would not have filed the Form 144 (or he would have filed both to avoid an investigation).

Myth 2: Bush sold the stock to avoid a huge loss.

This is untrue. Bush sold the stock to purchase an interest in the Texas Rangers baseball team. At the time he bought into the Rangers, his most valuable asset was the stock he held in Harken; he sold $800,000 worth of Harken Energy stock to pay off a $600,000 loan for the purchase of the team.

If he "knew" the stock was going to tank, would it make sense to hold on to the 100,000 shares he didn't sell? Yes, that's right—Bush only sold two thirds of the stock he owned in the company. Krugman, McAuliffe, and Daschle never mention that fact.

Myth 3: Bush knew that the company was in trouble.

Another falsehood. Bush knew the company was going to have a bad quarter, but it was far worse than he could have known. At the time of the stock sale, Harken was forecast to lose about $4.2 Million for the quarter—it was actually more than $20 Million, a figure Bush had no way of knowing. The reports he received as a member of the auditing board at the time of the sale showed the company had lost $3.9 million. After the stock sale, write-downs and charges significantly increased the company's loss for the quarter.

Myth 4: Harken "cooked the books" to keep the stock price artificially high.

No, they didn't. Harken Energy's stock fluctauted between $4 and $5/share prior to the Bush sale. It began a slow decline though August, 1990. The day Harken released their third quarter results, the stock, then trading at $3/share, dropped to $2.38/share. However, the next day, it recovered to $3/share. The stock continued dropping for the rest of the year, however, bottoming out at $1.25, at which point the stock began recovering. By June of 1991, the stock was trading at $4/share again, and by August, it was $8/share.

Myth 5: Bush dumped the stock on unsuspecting shareholders.

Bush was actually contacted first by a stockbroker representing a large institutional shareholder interested in Harken stock. He contacted Harken's in-house counsel, the company's chairman, another director, and the company's outside counsel to verify that the sale would not raise insider trading issues. Only then did he sell the stock.

Myth 6: Bush's proposals are hypocritical because they prevent anyone else from doing what he did.

Yet another falsehood. Nothing Bush has proposed would make illegal the sale of stock by company board members, whether at a loss or at a profit. To propose that board members cannot sell stock in a company of which they are board members is absurd; nobody would serve on the board of a company in which they owned stock, which would mean that the boards would be composed of members with no financial interest in the company's health.

Perhaps if the left wing actually did a little checking, instead of regurgitating what they hear from the DNC and its media adjuncts, they would realize that they are being sold a bill of goods—one not emanating from the GOP or big business, but from the Democratic Party's anti-capitalist puppeteers.

posted at 02:32 PM | permalink | Comments (2)

"Bush knew that the company was in trouble. Another falsehood."

WRONG! Bush was a member of a three-member special committee dealing with the terrible shape the company was in after defaulting on loan covenants. He was advised in writing that Harken's investment advisers believed an equity offering to raise cash would fail.

Bush knoew exactly what position the company wa sin.

posted by Jak King on July 16, 2002 06:04 AM

Let me guess: English is your third language? Maybe fourth?

posted by David Perron on July 17, 2002 01:52 PM

Stupid Letters entry

From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

Let's get this straight. The market's downward spiral is entirely the fault of our nearly-elected President Bush. Investors were looking for serious solutions to three particular issues: corporate governance, accounting fraud and stock options. Instead, we got the signature Bush diatribe full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. It is absolutely beyond belief that the characters in this administration have such little regard for our intelligence that they think we'd be duped by such pathetic drivel. Now we have a situation where foreign investment is leaving the country at a perilous rate and the rudderless ship of state is headed toward the nearest reef.
It's time for George W. to stop doing the bidding of his corporate benefactors and do something for the common good. Let's all hope that the habits of a lifetime are somehow reversible.
Mike Whitney

Let's get this straight: The stock market downturn began in March 2000, before it was even a sure thing that Bush was going to be the GOP nominee. Clinton issued a lot of high-toned rhetoric, but did absolutely nothing to address the issues you address.

"Foreign investment is leaving the country at a perilous rate"—were you one of the people screaming about the country selling out to the Japanese during the Reagan administration? I'm willing to bet that you were. We don't have a rudderless ship of state—we have Tom Daschle playing obstructionist to any proposal suggested by the GOP-controlled house of Representatives or the GOP-controlled White House.

It's time for idiotarians to stop doing the bidding of their eco-extemist and anti-capitalist benefactors and do something for the common good. Let's all hope the habits of a lifetime are somehow reversible.

posted at 11:28 AM | permalink | Comments (2)

You've found some eco-extremist and anti-capitalist benefactors? With money? What's their URL? :)

And howcome we're not hearing the expected comparisons between Bush and Teddy Roosevelt, the great reformer?

posted by sassafrass on July 19, 2002 02:11 PM

Okay...try these on.

Turner Foundation

-Provided grants totalling $23.5 Million in 2001

Daivd and Lucille Packard Foundation

-Provided grants of $360.2 Million just to environmental groups 1999-2001.

The Pew Charitable Trusts

-Provided grants of $42.1 Million just to environmental groups in 2001.

John D. and Carolyn T. MacArthur Foundation

-Provided grants of $72.6 Million just to environmental groups and $62.7 Million just to Human and Community Development groups in 2001.

Ford Foundation

-Provided grants totalling $652.1 Million in 2001. This is a total for all grants. I could not find a breakdown of grants by area, only totals and individual grants, through which I was not going to spend hours sorting.

This is a small sampling of the largest groups involved in environmental advocacy funding (which is usually anti-capitalist as well).

posted by Timekeeper on July 19, 2002 06:35 PM

Links Juggling

Yes, I've been juggling the links again. I've separated the Sekimori-designed blogs into a category of their own (at the top) and added a number of new blogs to the bloglist.

New Entries:

Amateur Economist

Andrew Olmsted



Cold Fury

Silflay Hraka

What Was I Thinking?

Check them out.

posted at 09:15 AM | permalink | Comments (4)

Watch out, or you'll be accused of blog-racism!

posted by Laurence Simon on July 14, 2002 10:06 AM

Coyote Howling is another Sekimori blog...and my esteemed husband. Robyn just finished 2 Blowhards and I'm nearly done converting Samizdata...

posted by Sekimori on July 14, 2002 11:36 AM

How clever of me to have my blog name start with an "A". I get to be at or near the top of a lot of lists.


posted by Ross N. on July 14, 2002 02:19 PM

Stacy--Dan and 2 are added; I'll add Samizdata when their site officially goes live (looks good, BTW).

Bigwig & co--sorry about the URL screw-up; I don't speak rabbit. The URL is fixed now. :)

posted by Timekeeper on July 14, 2002 05:11 PM

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