Monday, December 22, 2003
From Scott Shuda's Radio Weblog:
Robert Novak on the Democrat's Dean Dilemma.

The Dean dilemma was spelled out to me by a sage Democratic practitioner whose views I have sought since 1968. He has felt for months that the former Vermont governor faces horrendous defeat against President Bush. Last week, this party loyalist told me he felt Dean will be nominated unless an act of intervention stops him. He added that he is sure Dean can be stopped but at the cost of unacceptable carnage. Implicitly and reluctantly, therefore, he is swallowing Dean.

The hope inside the Democratic establishment has been that once Dean perceived himself on the road to the nomination, he would pivot sharply toward the center. He may be unable to perform or even attempt this maneuver. He is no ideologue, but he has not outgrown being the smart-aleck kid from Park Avenue with a hard edge. The Democratic savants I have contacted can only shake their heads over his stubborn insistence that Saddam Hussein's capture has not made the country safer.

Most Americans and, indeed, most Democrats are hardly aware of Howard Dean's existence. The national polls that have propelled him well ahead of any other candidate still give him support from only one of four Democrats (slipping slightly after Hussein's capture). He runs far behind Bush in any one-on-one poll.


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From Scott Shuda's Radio Weblog:
WSJ Editorial on Libya's WMD Retreat.

The timing and nature of this conversion also vindicates the Bush anti-terror Doctrine. Gadhafi's emissaries first approached British officials in March, just as the war in Iraq was getting under way. From the first days after September 11, Mr. Bush offered state sponsors of terrorism a choice to be with us or against us. If Gadhafi had any doubts about U.S. resolve after the Taliban fell in Afghanistan, they vanished once he saw that Saddam Hussein was also headed for the spider hole of history.

It's amusing to see the same people who have opposed the Bush Doctrine now claiming that Gadhafi's conversion is the triumph of "diplomacy." European Commission President Romano Prodi averred on the weekend that Libya's reversal "demonstrates the effectiveness of discrete diplomacy and engagement, which has been the European Commission's consistent approach." The French and Senator John Kerry said something similar, as usual.

But years of diplomacy by itself didn't seem to move Libya from its terrorist ways. Only when Gadhafi could see that WMD programs were a path to his own self-destruction, as they were in Iraq, did he agree to turn state's evidence against himself. Mr. Bush's new Proliferation Security Initiative, which is attempting with 10 other nations to use the military to intercept WMD shipments, was also noticed by the Libyan.

Mr. Kerry's Saturday statement that "this significant advance represents a complete U-turn in the Bush Administration's overall foreign policy" shows why he's going to have to mortgage more than his Beacon Hill home to become commander-in-chief. He doesn't understand that the credible threat of force, and often its use, is essential before diplomacy has any chance of working.


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From Scripting News:
I started a moderated mail list for people who use RSS, either as a publisher or reading feeds in an aggregator. The list is moderated to keep it on topic and away from personal issues. It's just about using RSS, not debating its merits or other formats that may be like RSS. I wanted to have this list to get ready for the session I'm doing at RSS Winterfest, below, and of course if it's an active resource it'll be around for a long time after that.
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From Scripting News:
In Salon, Scott Rosenberg explains how Microsoft is using weblogs to spawn a culture around the Longhorn version of Windows, in development. You have to get a free day pass or buy a subscription to read Scott's column.
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From Radio UserLand Messages:
Here's a Userland opportunity. This happens too often for a product in use by many novices.
Lack of customer support?. I post this reluctantly. I have used the customer service 'support' e-mail address provided when I sought to upgrade my storage capacity. I sent 3 friendly informative e-mails on 19.12.2003. and have received absolutely no response. Each e-mail more clearly explained my position as I sought to diagnose more fully the problem. Can someone advise what I need to do to receive support please? Surely, if I have used the contact e-mail address Radio UserLand provides, it ought to have been processed by now? Any thoughts anyone? Martin [Radio UserLand Messages]

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From Scripting News:
Scott Rosenberg: "Our office tower just started swaying. Stopped now. Seems like there was just a medium-size quake in the Bay Area."
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From Scripting News:
AP: "An earthquake estimated at magnitude 6.5 rocked California from Los Angeles to San Francisco on Monday, collapsing downtown buildings in one town near the epicenter, causing several unspecified injuries in the region and a widespread blackout."
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From Scripting News:
You can tell Ralph to run, or not, in this Web form.
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From Scott Shuda's Radio Weblog:
Interesting Article on the UN in WSJ Online.

For the U.N., it seems, no task comes easy. Charged with everything from preventing war to regulating international mail, the U.N. and its galaxy of agencies, funds and programs appear accountable to nobody, yet micromanaged by many.

Over a six-decade history, the U.N. has evolved into a world unto itself. Its 18-acre New York compound is international territory, not part of the U.S. or any other country. The U.N. operates everything from its own post office to a basement workshop that continually reupholsters hundreds of now-vintage chairs, keeping the organization's modernist headquarters perpetually in the 1950s.

As the U.N. struggles to redefine itself in a fast-changing world, a central problem is its own ritualized culture and bureaucracy, which seems stuck in another era. Diplomats still smoke under no-smoking signs. The General Assembly's regular session lasts just four months a year, on a schedule many delegates believe dates from 1940s steamship timetables.


11:49:20 AM  #    leave your own ramblings []  trackback []
From Scott Shuda's Radio Weblog:
Santa Gets Wired (PC World). PC World - The Web helps you track Santa's progress, learn his history, and send e-mail wish lists.
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From Scripting News:
Reuters: "Ralph Nader said he wants to make another White House bid in 2004 and will announce a decision next month."
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From Scripting News:
Lessig's on a roll. Lots of interesting posts today. Go get em.
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From Scripting News:
Taegan Goddard reports on a poll showing Dean leading narrowly in a crowded field in South Carolina. "Dean leads with 16 percent and is followed by Wesley Clark at 12 percent, Al Sharpton at 12 percent, and John Edwards at 11 percent. "
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From Scripting News:
Jon Udell: "XML documents, flowing through XML plumbing, can now deliver very real and tangible benefits."
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From Scripting News:
The Clarkbot is a "Perl script written by Rick Heller. It searches the Feedster RSS search engine for references to "Wesley Clark" To be picked up by the Clarkbot, a blog must generate an RSS Feed, and that feed must be listed with Feedster."
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From Scott Shuda's Radio Weblog:
Oh how it must have pained the NYT editorial board to write this. Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair are entitled to claim a large share of the credit for Libya's surprising announcement. To an extent that cannot be precisely measured, the fate of Saddam Hussein, who was ousted from power by the American military with British backing after endless prevaricating about Iraqi weapons programs, must have been an important consideration in Libya's decision.
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From Scripting News:
Ed Cone: "North Carolina should be a great proving ground for Internet campaigning at a state level."
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From :
I put up a new category yesterday called Userland. I downloaded and installed the "multiAuthorWeblog" tool a couple of months ago but didn't find an immediate use. Now I have. With Userland's management change, I wanted follow all of their postings to see how much was Userland content, how much was personal and whatever else is leftover.

Surf on over and take a look. I'll be disassembling the multiAuthorWeblog tool over the next month, mainly to tweak it and also to see if it's the core of Channel Z.
9:38:48 AM  #    leave your own ramblings []  trackback []

From Scripting News:
A picture named dean.jpgI went to see Dean speak yesterday. I wonder how many people who support him have. Then I stumbled across an essay I wrote in 1998, about the Vietnam War and Clinton, and how we got to this place where we elect people who are "Successively better airbrushed, more and more tuned to polls, fighting for the center, telling us what they think we want to hear, trying to nudge the numbers up, but not relying on the minds of the electorate. They were smart not to rely on our minds, because there was no evidence that we wanted to use our minds." That was totally consistent what I saw with Dean last night. There were 150 people in the room, mostly it was about lies, bedtime stories, telling people what they want to hear. No minds activated. Some good lines, a glimmer that minds may have played a role in the Dean campaign at one time, but not today. Now they're trying to get elected, and I believe in doing so are guaranteeing that they won't. If you're looking for an airbrushed guy, Clark is much stronger. I don't know why people care how much money Dean has raised, that's just going to buy commercials. I'd love to see one of the pols use their money to solve some problems now, whether or not they get elected. Put some teeth behind the We Love The Internet and The Internet Loves Us.
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From Scripting News:
Two years ago today Brent Simmons said: "I'm 200, you're 200." It's cool because you have to know HTTP to get it.
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From Scripting News:
Love RSS.RSS Winterfest is a two-day conference, Jan 21-22, for people who use RSS. An audio conference that you participate in over the telephone. No charge, but registration is required. Should be very interesting. I'm doing the opening session, from a conference room at Harvard Law School, with people who are using RSS, and we'll talk about what they want to do with RSS, what they like about today's software, what they don't like; products and services they might want to buy. How do you feel about ads in RSS? How can schools, businesses, the government, better use RSS? I asked to lead a discussion about and with users so this doesn't turn into the usual Boy Kills Boy technology slugfest. Maybe RSS has something greater to contribute than just being the latest battleground for techies.
7:49:16 AM  #    leave your own ramblings []  trackback []
From Scripting News:
Phillip Pearson: "I wrote a Python script that downloads a web page, then examines all linked pages to try to find their RSS feeds."
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From Scripting News:
Jessica Baumgart's notes on yesterday's trip to NH.
7:49:15 AM  #    leave your own ramblings []  trackback []
Last updated: 12/31/03; 7:51:55 AM
Copyright 2003 Steve Kirks
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