Wednesday, July 30, 2003


Bush Refuses to Declassify Saudi Section of Report  

Bush Refuses to Declassify Saudi Section of Report: "By DAVID JOHNSTON and DOUGLAS JEHL

WASHINGTON, July 29 — President Bush refused today to declassify a 28-page chapter of a Congressional report on the Sept. 11 attacks. He said disclosure of the deleted section, which centers on accusations about Saudi Arabia's role in financing the hijackings, 'would help the enemy' and compromise the administration's campaign against terror."

Yeah, right ;^)

What we have here is a classic case of the government using any means it can to save itself from having to act. Of course, if anyone with an ounce of brains thought about what they were doing, they wouldn't bother. As long as we KNOW that there is a section dealing with Saudi Arabia, then it becomes painfully obvious that the reason the government doesn't want it released is that the American people would be out for blood (internally and externally) when we discover that the Saudi's were involved in funding Bin Laden. I don't know if it's enough to send us to war, but Bush doesn't want to chance it, given his hawkish stance on interfering in foreign governments.

Now, would it "help the enemy" to reveal the info? I'm not sure how, unless we are to believe that we have a spy highly placed in the Saudi government whose identity would be revealed, should this section of the report be published. We have yet to hear about that and it's highly unlikely that we ever would. Again, not revealing info because it would compromise the source is just as bad as showing your hand. All this because if someone knows that the question exists, there can't be any rational explanation for hiding the answer unless it's the one that no-one wants to see.

Tuesday, July 29, 2003


Pentagon Abandons Plan for Futures Market on Terror  

Pentagon Abandons Plan for Futures Market on Terror: "By CARL HULSE

WASHINGTON, July 29 — The Pentagon office that proposed spying electronically on Americans to monitor potential terrorists has quickly abandoned an idea in which anonymous speculators would have bet on forecasting terrorist attacks, assassinations and coups in an online futures market."

Well, the Stupids win. Again. But then what can one expect under George Bush?

Pentagon Prepares a Futures Market on Terror Attacks  

Pentagon Prepares a Futures Market on Terror Attacks


WASHINGTON, July 28 — The Pentagon office that proposed spying electronically on Americans to monitor potential terrorists has a new experiment. It is an online futures trading market, disclosed today by critics, in which anonymous speculators would bet on forecasting terrorist attacks, assassinations and coups.

Traders bullish on a biological attack on Israel or bearish on the chances of a North Korean missile strike would have the opportunity to bet on the likelihood of such events on a new Internet site established by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Well, it seems that not everyone in Washington is infected with The Stupids. Maybe if more people there were science fiction readers, this would have happened some time ago, though whether the Internet could have handled this ten years ago is open to some doubt. Anyway, we see the beginning of the scenario painted so effectively by John Brunner in his great book Shockwave Rider. In the book, the entire world had access to just such a system, except that the results shown to the public were being manipulated by the government in order to influence public opinion, instead of using it as a weather-vane to the future. I can't see anything wrong with the system as a whole, but lets hope that they don't try to follow through on the catastrophic ending!

Sunday, July 27, 2003


From the Top Branches  

Well, here it is! What? Well, it's going to be my observations on life, the universe, and the rest of the beings on this planet. I figured "Hey! Why not give myself plenty of space (and time) to wander around in?". I didn't feel like drawing lines around my blogs and trying to make myself walk inside the lines.

I'm involved with computers and have been for many years. Since my dad was highly involved in developing the RAM that keeps all our systems humming, you might say that I've been involved with computers all my life. My interests don't stop there, by a long way! I've been reading since the age of 7 and I've seldom met a book I didn't like. All those years add up to a LOT of books. And, they've given me a love of knowledge that I don't think I could have gotten any other way.

That's not to say that I think that the current crop of kids - the first 'online' generation - is slighted in any way. To the contrary, through the wonder of computers and the Internet, their horizons are limitless and they have access to more libraries than can fit in any one town or city. I hope that they'll take that power and use it to begin knitting the human race back together. It's happening in many small ways, every day. Every time some kid in front of a keyboard in Des Moines starts trading jokes with a kid in front of a keyboard in Vladisvostok (even or especially if they don't realize it!), then the world gets just a little bit better and the gulf between us all shrinks a microscopic amount. And that's a good thing. If we get lucky and the human race is still here in a hundred years, I don't think that there will be so much emphasis on borders or colors or any of the other things we've invented to try and make ourselves feel like we're above anyone else. Maybe we've finally started to grow up. I hope so.

The thing that makes it all possible, of course, is the same one that makes it possible for me to slap this stuff against the wall to see what sticks :). In terms of what the net makes possible, it's likely to be the saving of us all. Anything that makes communication between people easier has to be a good thing.

It also makes it possible for us to write this intangible graffitti on the walls of time. Who knows, maybe it will do some good!

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