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Wednesday, March 31, 2004
[Tech - Geek] Using Windows Server 2003 as a workstation

Several months ago, I bought an second-hand nVidia GeForce FX 5200 video card for my gaming computer, which also functions as the server cum domain controller for my home network. When I tried to install the drivers for the "new" card, they wouldn't install. When I checked the nVidia web site for updated drivers, it didn't list any for Windows Server 2003. Grumbling to myself, I decided to revert the OS to Windows Server 2000, which had a driver for the card. Just after I finished installing the OS, I discovered that the problem with Win2K3 was just a matter of settings. So today I finally got around to reinstalling Win2K3 Standard Server. Following these instructions, I successfully installed the nVidia drivers, and that baby screams. So, for anyone who wants to use Windows Server 2003 as a workstation, check out the Microsoft Software Forum Network.

The horror in Fallujah

The latest from Iraq:
FALLUJAH, March 31--Four civilian contractors were killed in the Iraqi city of Fallujah Wednesday in an attack that left their vehicles in flames, and afterwards at least three of the burned bodies were mutilated, dragged through the streets and suspended from a bridge while a group of Iraqis danced in the streets.
These are people that only deserve our contempt. But I'm sure that folks like Michael Moore feel happily vindicated. Update: Michele considers the coming storm of blame for this atrocity at A Small Victory.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

During my 20-year naval career, I was prepared to give my life for my country. I won't detail all the circumstances where my life was in jeopardy, but suffice it to say it wasn't an uncommon experience. Inspired by Jean-Christophe Mounicq, I've come to the conclusion that I'm willing to sacrifice the lives of some innocents to expunge terrorists from the face of the Earth. I used to be squeamish about it, but Jean-Cristophe has taught me, that just as I was willing to sacrifice myself for the betterment of the world, I'm willing to sacrifice others to free the world of the scourge of terrorism. I make no apologies. Via One Hand Clapping. Update: Jay Tea, guest posting for Kevin over at Wizbang, touches on a similar theme.

Selfishness yields altruism

While reading Marc Fisher's Washington Post column regarding labor difficulties at two Washington D.C.-area supermarket chains, I was reminded of my philosophical belief that selfishness, rationally pursued with an eye on the long term, counterintuitively results in what is usually regarded as altruism. Giant and Safeway have been negotiating with United Food and Commercial Workers, the union which represents most of the workers in their stores, to reduce (admittedly quite generous) benefits for current employees, and reduce benefits and pay for new employees in the future. This renegotiation has resulted from increased pressure from non-union stores, such as Walmart and Wegmans, which are causing Giant and Safeway to lose both money and market share. [Ahem...when are you going to get to the point? — ed.  I'm getting there, but folks have to understand the background.] From Marc's column:
Giant and Safeway's only chance is to focus on superior service. Instead, faced with a struggle against non-union upstarts such as Wal-Mart, Wegmans, Fresh Fields and Price Club...the supermarkets fight back by making their workers' lives harsher, turning careers into mere jobs. The employer wins lower costs, and the workers . . . well, they just vanish into a disaffected mass.
I agree. The big corporations are turning to the quick and easy rather than thinking about what will help them the most in the long run. And Fisher dings the union bosses as well, with the same rationale: superior service by their union members will help them the most over the long haul. And that's the way, in my experience, it tends to work just about everywhere. Looking at it from the negative side, the short term, me-first, selfish action will end up hurting you in the end. I maintain that my most altruistic actions are also my most selfish. They give me what I'm really looking for. I'll acknowledge that there seem to be some exceptions, but there aren't many. Helping others is almost always the best way to help yourself. Update: As of this writing, Safeway workers have unanimously (yes, unanimously!) approved the new contract. Giant workers will vote this afternoon. Update II: The Giant workers voted in favor of the new contract, too. All is well — for now.

Monday, March 29, 2004
My Clarke revelation

If the only difference between what you said as a member of the Bush administration and what you say as a book author is a matter of "the tenor and the tone" and "spin," then there is really no substantive difference in your various statements. So what was praise in the past, and condemnation today, is really neither. You're just changing "the tenor and the tone" with your "spin." Forgive me, dear reader, if I'm coming late to this realization. It sometimes takes a while for stuff to sink into my hard head.

The liberal media and Richard Clarke

I was reading Bob Novak's op-ed in the print edition of The Washington Post, and decided I wanted to write about it. So I went to the Post's web site, and it's nowhere to be found. The other four op-eds in today's paper were there, but not Novak's. Why is that? I'm an "anti-conspiritarian," so I'm not trying to impute some evil motivation, but this makes no sense to me. Anyway, Novak's column today is titled The transformation of Richard Clarke, and he recounts Clarke's obvious (to me, at least) change from a hard-working anti-terrorism bureaucrat into a Kerry campaigner. Why are Clarke's inconsistencies being ignored by the mainstream (non-conservative) press? Does anyone believe that if William Cohen, a Republican who was Bill Clinton's Secretary of Defense, had resigned from the Clinton administration and fallaciously gone on the attack on his former employer, that the press would fail to point out, in painstaking detail, where he had said one thing in the past and was singing a completely different tune today? But we're not plagued with a liberal media. Nope, not here.

Sunday, March 28, 2004

As every red-blooded American knows, fire trucks are supposed to be red. Over the past few decades, though, we've gone through so-called fluorescent yellow, white and various other colors on fire trucks. From the Washington Post:
They are yellow and white and altogether wrong. At least that's how many Arlington County [VA] firefighters feel about their yellow-and-white firetrucks, which have bucked tradition ever since studies showed that those colors were easier to see -- and therefore safer on the road -- than classic red. Science said one thing, but their hearts said another. Now, 30 years after the switch to yellow and white, the safety studies have been refuted, and Arlington is bringing back the fire-engine red of Norman Rockwell and so many childhood memories.
Ah, things are going back to how they're supposed to be. The idea, back in the '70s, was that yellow, lime green and other colors were supposedly more visible at night. I mean, they had studies and everything.
But fire safety experts now say there are factors that influence visibility more than color does.
Yeah. Things like, I don't know...maybe lights? Volunteer fire companies have traditionally gone their own way:
[V]olunteer companies have vehicles painted in different colors, including one that is black with gold trim. Prince William and Loudoun counties are dominated by volunteer companies, and the colors also vary a great deal. "We have red, white, lime green and yellow," Battalion Chief Matt Smolsky said of the Prince William fleet. "There's not one dominant color."
And, in this day of limited government budgets, the best reason for painting fire trucks red?
Red firetrucks are also more valuable, a reflection of their popularity. [Arlington Fire Chief Edward P.] Plaugher implemented a program in 2002 to buy the county's vehicles and then sell them back to the manufacturer for 50 percent of their value after five years. If they're red and white, Plaugher learned, they are worth 15 percent more. "They cost the same to paint them any color we want, but in the buyback program, they're worth 15 percent more if they are red and white," he said.
'Nuff said.

Tons of goodness

I know this is a few weeks behind the time, but we finally made it to Wegmans for the first time since they opened their store here in Sterling, VA (or is it Dulles? The boundary lines are a bit vague). And all I have to say is... Oh, my! Kevin gave some initial feedback from opening day, but fortunately the furor has subsided a bit in the intervening month. At any rate, that place is amazing. I couldn't resist the temptation of the spinach and feta stuffed flank steak. The grill will be ready in about 10 minutes. Yum!

Saturday, March 27, 2004
Meata for PETA

While I enjoy big events such as the International Eat an Animal for PETA Day, some things are just too good to limit. So, I'm continuing in my daily support of PETA with a big hunk of beef, currently soaking up heat and smoke on my beloved Webber charcoal grill. My mouth is already watering. Of course, my mouth has been watering since I followed James's Beltway Traffic Jam link to Stephen Green's recipe for making croutons. There's also a recipe for Caesar salad involved. As I was writing this, I pulled the roast after grilling for about an hour and a half. Now I go slice, serve and masticate. Yum.

The nature of military service

When I hear about problems with vaccines which the military services require members to take, I get pretty squeamish. I've had to take my fair share of vaccinations and immunizations prior to deployment overseas, but I never thought too hard about whether or not they were safe. I figured that the Navy had a much better handle on their safety than I did, and they had no interest in losing me. So if I was told to get a shot, I got a shot (well, except for the flu shot, but avoidance is different from refusal). Apparently, some troops have had adverse reactions to the anthrax vaccination. Based on the overall numbers, though, it would seem that the vaccine is, on the whole, safe for those who take it. And it's not unheard of for the military to over-emphasize some aspect of safety from health risks, such as the flu shot, or the sometimes ridiculous attitudes toward severe sunburns. Nonetheless, had I been ordered to undergo the six-shot anthrax regimen, I'm quite sure I would have done it. That's the nature of military service. It can't really be otherwise. And while I sympathize with some military folks who feel it would unnecessarily jeopardize their health, they're not really in a position to judge that. I have an immediate, negative reaction when I hear them say something like this:
"I have a kid to take care of," said [Airman Jessica] Horjus, 23, the mother of a 2-year-old, who lives with her daughter in military housing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, N.C. "The Air Force can always fill my slot with someone else, but who's going to fill the mommy slot?"
Her refusal had an unsurprising result.
When a January order came for Horjus to get the vaccine before deploying to a Kuwait air base about 30 miles from Iraq, the soldier with commendations and Good Conduct Medals declined. Her commander demoted her and cut her pay in half, to less than $800 a month. In February, she declined a second and third order. ... "There is no evidence that stockpiles of anthrax exist in Iraq or with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan or elsewhere," Horjus wrote in a memo to the base's appellate authority. "As a single mother, I cannot afford to unnecessarily risk my long-term health on a highly-reactive vaccine that supposedly protects against a threat that cannot be found."
We should be glad that we have no less an authority than Airman Horjus to evaluate the threat of being attacked with anthrax by insurgent forces in Iraq, or by Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Snarkiness aside, this is not the outlook and attitude that a military servicemember can have. The military just can't work that way. You can use your head, fight for changes that you feel are necessary, but when the order comes down, you obey it. You can't pick and choose. The Post article has a parting story:
At Fort Campbell, Ky., Army Sgt. Richard Norris, 27, is awaiting punishment for refusing the shots. When his unit of the 101st Airborne Division left for Iraq in February 2003, Norris was sent anyway, with no vaccine -- and no questions asked. He returned in December to find himself still flagged as "punishment pending," a status that has "put my whole career basically on pause. "I've served my country for seven years," said Norris, a Seventh-Day Adventist who tried unsuccessfully to get a religious exemption from the vaccine program. "Refusing this vaccine is the first bad thing I've ever done. It wasn't even necessary to have this vaccine, and still I'm going to be punished.
And if you can't figure that one out, then you're not cut out for military service anyway, Sergeant. Update: It didn't occur to me while I was writing this post originally, but this is what Sgt. Mom was talking about when she said that some military folks are unclear on the concept of military service. It's a marvelous post, so you should go read it if you haven't already.

Friday, March 26, 2004
Where did I put my mind?

It just happened again. I wanted to do something, and I know it involved a browser, but when I clicked on the browser, I noticed something that caught my eye. After a few brief seconds, I realized that I had, once again, lost track of what I was doing. I managed to remember my dilemma long enough to start this entry, and find an email I recently received which nails the description of this disorder.

Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder

Recently, I was diagnosed with A. A. A. D. D. - Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder. This is how it manifests: I decide to wash my car. As I start toward the garage, I notice that there is mail on the hall table. I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car. I lay my car keys down on the table, put the junk mail in the trash can under the table, and notice that the trash can is full. So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the trash first. But then I think, since I'm going to be near the mailbox when I take out the trash anyway, I may as well pay the bills first. I take my checkbook off the table, and see that there is only one check left. My extra checks are in my desk in the study, so I go to my desk where I find the can of Coke that I had been drinking. I'm going to look for my checks, but first I need to push the Coke aside so that I don't accidentally knock it over. I see that the Coke is getting warm, and I decide I should put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold. As I head toward the kitchen with the coke, a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye -- they need to be watered. I set the Coke down on the counter, and I discover my reading glasses that I've been searching for all morning. I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first I'm going to water the flowers. I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water and suddenly I spot the TV remote. Someone left it on the kitchen table. I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV, I will be looking for the remote, but I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs, but first I'll water the flowers. I splash some water on the flowers, but most of it spills on the floor. So, I set the remote back down on the table, get some towels and wipe up the spill. Then I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do. At the end of the day: the car isn't washed, the bills aren't paid, there is a warm can of Coke sitting on the counter, the flowers aren't watered, there is still only one check in my checkbook, I can't find the remote, I can't find my glasses, and I don't remember what I did with the car keys. Then when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all day long, and I'm really tired. I realize this is a serious problem, and I'll try to get some help for it, but first I'll check my e-mail.

Hi, my name is Boyd, and I'm a Blogaholic

It happens to many of us. It's probably already happened to you, and I'm behind. So maybe I'm just joining the party. I have a very serendipitous nature. Since my early teens, at least, I've been known to grab a dictionary to look up a word, and an hour later still be poring over it. By that point, I've usually forgotten why I started looking in the dictionary to begin with. I also have wide interests, including many mundane things. Including many subjects I didn't realize I was interested in, but only because I hadn't stumbled across them yet. I'm not a history buff at all, but a couple of years after I first met my wife, who's British, I had picked up a book from the library on the history of British monarchy. My sister-in-law, who is British also, being my wife's sister, commented at the time that I read the oddest things. Guilty as charged. But it interested me. So, when I seriously started reading blogs, you can see how I was predisposed to getting sucked into the vortex of links. It's probably worthy of mention how this actually happened. I had been reading blogs every so often for a couple of years, but I hadn't run into any that truly held my interest. I had signed up with Blogger, pointing it to one of my web sites, and dabbled around a bit, but it was truly a plaything that I toyed with on rare occasions. Then one day I was googling for something regarding my local school system, the Loudoun County Public Schools. One of the top items that appeared was an old post from Kevin Aylward's blog, Wizbang. Kevin had been a supporter of one of the Republicans vying for the Potomac District seat last year, and attended the convention to vote for John Andrews. Coincidentally, I also participated in the convention to vote for my good friend, Bruce Tulloch. Kevin posted the results of the convention: Bruce beat John by one vote, because John forgot to register as a delegate (doh!). Anyway, it was obvious that Kevin lived in the same area as I do, and his blog interested me, so I became a frequent visitor. In line with my serendipitous leanings, I followed many of his links, leading me, either directly or indirectly, to James Joyner, Donald Sensing, Kate McMillan, Dean and Rosemary Esmay, Meryl Yourish, and many more (see my Blog links in the left pane). I was starting to realize that work was so inconvenient, because it inhibited me from staying up-to-the-minute with my favorite blogs. Then I started losing sleep, because I couldn't tear myself away from the computer at night, because...well, you know. To make matters worse, I realized that I could get news feeds into my aggregator, so now there was even more stuff to read. On and on and on it went, squeezing everything else out of my life. I should note that this didn't sit too well with the wife and kids. Well, rather than the "big event" that usually happens about this point in similar tales, I just kinda shook myself and realized that I couldn't just go and follow every little thing that evokes mild interest. I've got to scan descriptions, or even just titles, and decide to let some of them go. It pains me, because I know I'm going to miss some neat stuff, but I've got to wrestle my life back from the blogs. But the beast is still in me. I'm still a blogaholic, and expect ever to remain so. But hopefully I can exercise enough control to "just have one," so to speak. Yeah, right.

Armada arrives in Washington, DC

Nissan placed a plexiglas box containing their new SUV, the Armada, on Massachusetts Avenue near Union Station, causing its fair share of traffic tie-ups. Break Glass in Case of Adventure According to the Washington Post,
Text printed on the side of the box ["Break Glass in Case of Adventure"] suggested that a machine as imposing as a new Armada SUV -- which boasts enough room for seven to eight extremely thirsty passengers (14 beverage holders, standard) -- is a good way to steamroll over many of the challenges of a big city.

Thursday, March 25, 2004
Tool Time Gopher Control

Want to get rid of those burrowing rodents?

Then you need the Rodenator.

...the Rodenator Pro™ uses a controlled mixture of propane and oxygen that is injected into the rodent's burrow. A built-in, self contained ignition system then ignites the mixture, creating an underground shockwave or concussion that instantly eliminates the rodent and collapses the tunnel system.
Be sure to check out the Rodenator videos (link on the left of the Rodenator page).

[Loudoun County] HHMI contributes to biotechnology schools program

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute, currently building a $500 million research facility on their Janelia Farm property, intends to donate $1 million every year to Loudoun County Public Schools to establish a biotechnology magnet program for high school students and improve science education countywide. This compensates the county, in part, for the $6 million annual tax break approved for HHMI late last year. On its own, this is insufficient, but we'll have to see, over time, what other revenue is generated for Loudoun County both directly by the Institute and indirectly through their mere presence and other activities in the area. I'll be open-minded, but we're going to need to get much more than the $6 million we gave up in tax revenue to make it worthwhile. Through donations such as this, we're still getting the money, but we lose some control over how it's spent. That's why we need to get back more than we gave up.

Bloggers: Help me (and others) read your blog

Can I whine a bit, please? Why do my fellow bloggers make their RSS feeds so hard to find? As you might guess from looking at my own blog, I prefer to have them right there at the top of the page, with a standardized graphic that can be dragged to a newsreader. But some folks bury them in one of the sidebars, after the first list of 483 links and before the next list of 1072 additional links, and it's a regular link that may not even say anything about "RSS" or "feed." So let me get this straight: you want to make it hard(er) for folks to read your blog on a regular basis, is that it? I'll admit to a few shortcomings of my own here. I use Blogger rather than Movable Type, which seems to be more popular among the crowd of blogs that I frequent. But I started with Blogger long ago (even if I didn't post much), and that's where my posts are. I could move them, but I'd need a compelling reason. I say this because my biggest gripe with Blogger is that they only support Atom feeds. I realize the Atom folks think they have "a better way," but I tend to prefer changing and improving standards from within, rather than going off and creating what will become the latest and greatest new standard. Or so the authors think. I try to do things at least similarly to what I've seen elsewhere, for several reasons. 1) I am imagination impaired. I'm a very literal person, and not one of those folks who can say, "Ooh, let's have a sweepy over here, and a bold over there, and we'll use mauve and puce to highlight a delicate ecru," and have everything come out beautiful. I have to depend on the artistic talents of others. 2) I'm a firm believer in best practices, with a splash of innovation. As I wander through the web, I see what I like and what I don't like, what seems to work best for me as a user of a site, and then try to incorporate those approaches that seem to make my life the easiest. 3) Standardization is a marvelous thing. With standards, people know what to expect, how to do things, without having to read a tutorial or make a bunch of mistakes through trial and error. So anyway, my fellow bloggers, I and I'm sure many others would deeply appreciate it if you'd make it easy for us to find your feeds. Put a standard graphic somewhere above the fold, to borrow a newspaper phrase, and make it a link so I can click-and-drag or right-click-and-copy-shortcut and add your site to my aggregator without spending a grunch of time figuring out how you implemented a feed, or even if you have one at all. Thank you. And now that you've had the whine, go and get some cheese. Update: Donald Sensing gets religion sees the light.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004
Ex-Adviser: I'm confused

Richard Clarke, testifying before the 9/11 Commission on March 24, 2004:
The government's former top counterterrorism adviser testified Wednesday that the Clinton administration had "no higher priority" than combatting terrorists while the Bush administration made it "an important issue but not an urgent issue."
Richard Clarke, in a background briefing with journalists in August, 2002:
...the overall point is, there was no plan on Al Qaeda that was passed from the Clinton administration to the Bush administration. ... ...that process which was initiated in the first week in February (2001), uh, decided in principle, uh in the spring to add to the existing Clinton strategy and to increase CIA resources, for example, for covert action, five-fold, to go after Al Qaeda. ... Over the course of the summer (2001)...(the newly-appointed National Security Council deputies) developed implementation details, the principals met at the end of the summer, approved them in their first meeting, changed the strategy by authorizing the increase in funding five-fold, changing the policy on Pakistan, changing the policy on Uzbekistan, changing the policy on the Northern Alliance assistance. And then changed the strategy from one of rollback with Al Qaeda over the course of five years, which it had been, to a new strategy that called for the rapid elimination of Al Qaeda. That is in fact the timeline. ... JIM ANGLE: You're saying that the Bush administration did not stop anything that the Clinton administration was doing while it was making these decisions, and by the end of the summer had increased money for covert action five-fold. Is that correct? CLARKE: All of that's correct.
So, what's your story, Dick? Which administration made counter-terrorism a higher priority? Thanks to Rosemary, the Queen of All Evil for pointing to the August 2002 transcript.

France protects itself from terrorists - Swiss terrorists

From Slate:
Who says France isn't doing its part in the war on terror? After all, Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin just struck a mighty blow against al-Qaida. He has deployed the rhetorical and financial heft of the French government to support a hostile takeover bid in the pharmaceutical industry.
Get that? He's using the government to support a hostile takeover of French pharmaceutical firm Aventis. It seems that another French drug company, Sanofi-Synthelabo, made an unwanted bid to buy Aventis, so Aventis went looking for a partner more to their liking: Novartis. The problem here is the fact that Novartis is Swiss.
Enter [French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre] Raffarin, alarmed at the prospect of a Swiss invasion. Last week, he said a Sanofi-Aventis merger would be crucial to the French "national interest." He suggested that the nation's ability to access vaccines in the case of a bioterror attack would be hindered were Aventis to fall into foreign hands—you know, the dangerous, shifty hands of the Swiss. Meanwhile, a unit of the bank CDC-Ixis, which is majority-owned by the French government, has agreed to help back Sanofi's bid for Aventis.
Yes, France is playing an important role in the War on Terrorism.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004
Mars Rover Finds Evidence of Ancient Sea

They expected to find evidence of water on Mars, and now it appears they have.
A detailed analysis of rocks in the shallow crater where the rover has been studying the Red Planet's geology indicates the formations were shaped by gently flowing salt water, indicating the area was probably once the coastline of an ocean, scientists said.
This will provide the impetus to continue looking for evidence of life on Mars. UPDATE: Kevin Aylward believes this puts us one step closer to the roots of Marvin the Martian. UPDATE II: Smash wonders about Marvin, too.

New high-tech tools for US forces in Iraq

From the Washington Post's TechNews:
The Pentagon is rushing into service in Iraq a pair of technologies developed under its advanced research arm: a Humvee-mounted sensor for pinpointing hostile gunfire and a "command post of the future" designed to cut down on combat leaders' travel and streamline decision-making.
On DARPA's new Humvee sensor:
The sniper detector, named "Boomerang" and developed by BBN Technologies Inc. of Cambridge, Mass., is all about diluting the element of surprise in urban ambushes. Sensors atop an aluminum pole on the back of a Humvee pick up supersonic shockwaves to give an approximate location of gunfire, and soundwaves measured from the muzzle blast narrow it some more. A cigarette box-sized display on the dashboard or windshield then shows the findings. "Incoming, 5 o'clock," says a speaker inside the box.
The new command post system reminds me of the Combat Information Center aboard US ships, with a boost from 21st Century advances:
New computer systems designed to streamline the command bureaucracy -- letting senior officers collaborate in real time with visual tools -- will get tested in the field by the 1st Cavalry Division, which will take 50 such computer banks to Iraq in about a month. Half will go in the division's Baghdad headquarters while the rest are sprinkled at eight command posts in the area. All will be connected by one overarching wireless network. Each bank of computers has three screens: one for the user's own work, one for 3-D simulated battlefields and a third to peer into what's happening on other systems throughout the city. Commanders will also be able to talk to each other using voice over Internet technology.
And there's more stuff coming:
Special Operations forces recently tried a handheld vacuum chamber that sucks heat from the body, much like a radiator does for an automobile. They hit the treadmill in a 95-degree room at a Stanford University lab, saddled with backpacks. During breaks, they stuck their hands in the bubble-shaped vacuum, developed by Avacore Technologies Inc. of Palo Alto, Calif. The Special Operations Command was encouraged enough by the results to ask for more devices, which they will test on their own, said Dr. Brett Giroir, deputy director of DARPA's defense sciences office. DARPA's next step is designing a body cooler small enough to fit inside a soldier's boot.
It's great that DARPA is working on bringing technology advances down to the personal level.

Marriage amendment retooled

From the Washington Post: The congressional sponsors of the proposed "marriage amendment," Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.) and Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.), unveiled the updated text yesterday.
'Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.
Many say it's better, some say it's still not good enough. Of course, many say the whole thing's unnecessary. UPDATE: Of course, almost immediately after posting, I read again how Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) "call(ed) the whole West Coast love-in a 'well-intentioned mistake.'" Of note, he could see himself getting married, but also frets that he's a little old (63).

Monday, March 22, 2004
Justifiable homicide

Through Kate and Lileks, how would you react to seeing this? Imagine you're armed.

Lives are boring

Glenn at Contractor Peon is highly unimpressed with Army and Navy TV commercials these days (aside: where have the Air Force commercials gone?). He contends that people's lives are too boring to read about in a blog, much less watch on TV, and nowhere near all the action seen in those ads. Okay, fine. I'll agree that my naval career wasn't an awful lot like all the military recruiting ads you see. But he steps over the line toward the end:
So why read the blog of some dork in Iowa that likes to play with his Ham radio?
Well, I may not live in Iowa, but c'mon, why bring Amateur Radio into it, Glenn? In the words of the little old lady, when the pastor of her church expounded on the evils of gossip, "You done quit preachin' an' gone to meddlin'." :) Brought to my attention by James Joyner's Beltway Traffic Jam.

Sunday, March 21, 2004
The Madrid bombings weren't just about Iraq

In today's Washington Post, Gustavo de Arístegui, a Spanish legislator and parliamentary spokesman for the Popular Party of outgoing Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, reminds us that there's more to Islamist terrorism than just Iraq. Understandably an apologist for his party's actions while in power, he does conveniently overlook some of their misdeeds, in particular their misreporting vital information to other European law enforcement agencies regarding the train bombings. But he still makes several valid points.
Already, I sense a worrying confusion between the excuses that terrorism offers to justify itself and what people believe to be the causes of terrorism. Even as terrorist violence tore through Baghdad, Fallujah and other Iraqi cities last week, it became clear that some in Europe believe that if you feed the beast and satisfy its apparent demands, you will calm it. But the beast feeds on surrender and appeasement; it only feels sated if it obtains totalitarian power.
This is a point that many of the "blame America first" crowd (extended into blaming America's allies, blaming the West, blaming anyone and everyone except those who commit these atrocities) miss. Terrorists don't operate from the same moral base as we do. While we may legitimately separate their complaints from their acts, we can never allow their complaints to justify their acts. There is no justification for mass murder. Period. This is a lesson that I try to teach my children: no matter what someone else may have done to you, their acts can never serve to justify, for example, punching or kicking them in retaliation. I guess there are some whose parents never taught them that lesson.

Saturday, March 20, 2004
How did this guy get elected?

I was reading The Loudoun Connection this afternoon, and came across this guest editorial by the Loudoun County School Board member from the Broad Run District, Bob Ohneiser. It's practically unreadable. Here's an example:

If there is enough money to provide a wonderful education for all, then challenging the current paradigm is fruitless but given we have just seen supervisors deny to accept the school request for schools and to support the current budget request, perhaps it is time to look for deeper change than just trimming numbers.

Really, I don't have a problem with long sentences per se, but this reads more like a stream of consciousness than a sentence.

Now, check out this bulleted paragraph:

Third, the school system does not like to admit it subsidizes anything yet the law requires education of children of school age. A systemic change would be to outlaw subsidies such as adult education that doesn't even cover the cost of the teacher much less the multi-million dollar facility the program is housed by, gymnasium and auditorium usage for the cost of the extra person who has to stay there and monitor it is a giveaway and with a policy that forbids all but non-profits to use the schools the ability to generate needed funds for the schools is artificially limited. Non-county residents who use our schools don't even pay the average cost of such an education etc.

Punctuation, anyone? A little organization of thought?

There's more, but I won't beat this horse. My question, directed to the residents of Ashburn and the rest of the Broad Run District, is how did this guy manage to communicate to you during last year's campaign? I haven't heard him speak, so I don't know if he's coherent with the spoken word, but man, this guy certainly can't write!

Why can't we be gay any more?

Kate McMillan reports on Equality for Gay Heterosexuals. I've idly wondered for years why we let homosexuals misappropriate this word. Picked up from James Joyner.

John Kerry: A man of courage and conviction

Kevin Aylward links to a New York Sun article which reports that a Vietnam War historian and expert on activism during that period, Gerald Nicosia, has obtained several documents related to a Vietnam Veterans Against the War meeting held in Kansas City, MO, in November 1971. Why should we care about this meeting? 1. John Kerry denied he was present for the meeting. 2. Five or six different FBI agents reported Young Mister Kerry's presence at the meeting. 3. A significant topic of discussion at the meeting, which lasted several days, was the proposal to assassinate several U.S. Senators who were "pro-war." This assassination plan was known as the Phoenix Project. Several attendees at the meeting recall John Kerry voting against the plan. 4. An FBI informant stated that "John Kerry at a national Vietnam Veterans Against the War meeting appeared and announced to those present that he resigned for personal reasons but said he would be able to speak for VVAW." Let's see here, he resigned from the organization for personal reasons, but he still wants to speak on their behalf. I can see how he became a politician. 5. Additional FBI documents indicate that "Mr. Kerry resigned from the group on the third day of the meeting, following discussion of the assassination plan and an argument between Mr. Kerry and another VVAW national coordinator, Al Hubbard." Okay, that's enough. Go read the whole Sun article for more info. So, it seems apparent that Sen. Kerry, then in his late twenties, was present for the discussion of a plan to assassinate Senate leaders, and all he did was resign from the organization, while still offering to speak on their behalf. Yeah, that's the guy I want for President. A man with principles and conviction.

Friday, March 19, 2004
Who am I?

In order to put my blog in proper context, I suppose I should lay out my position in the societal scheme of things. Not surprisingly, as a Texan and a (retired) career sailor in the U.S. Navy, I'm generally on the conservative end of things, with a sprinkling of "little-L" libertarian principles. I'm definitely not a Republican, although I have participated in the Republican "process" locally, to help a good friend of mine.

Another of my facets revolves around the fact that my late father was a retired Southern Baptist minister. My oldest brother was a Southern Baptist missionary to Mexico for about twenty years, and is now the pastor of a Southern Baptist church. I have certainly strayed from the ways I was taught in my youth, but I still hold the vast majority of values that were instilled in me. And lest anyone want to accuse me of hypocrisy, I'll be the first to say that I'm not always true to my values. I stumble quite frequently, but that doesn't undermine the fact that they are my values.

Back to the political end of things. Let me state right here that I'm going to paint politicians with a broad brush, and acknowledge that there are some exceptions, but they constitute a minuscule proportion of the group. With very, very, very rare exception, I have little respect for politicians. The way our political process has evolved, they have to spend way too much time lying for my taste, and all too often have to violate their own principles, those that have them.

I tend to vote for Republicans, because they tend to be most closely aligned with my own opinions on issues, but there are times when I'm torn, and a few where I have to go with the Democrat. Very few, but they're there. I usually don't like either the Democrat or the Republican running for office, so I have to hold my nose when I vote.

So, when a politician with whom I mostly agree steps over the line, I'm going to call them on it. If I'm convinced you're a liar (well, that's kinda redundant for a politician), a thief, and so on, I'm not going to give you a pass, no matter how much we agree politically.

So, in the context of this blog, I suppose that's me.


I'm a retired Navy Chief, and my son is a Marine Lance Corporal, so I'm entitled to post this.

USMC Rules For patrols

1. Be courteous to everyone, friendly to no one. 2. Decide to be aggressive ENOUGH, quickly ENOUGH. 3. Have a plan. 4. Have a back-up plan, because the first one probably won't work. 5. Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet. 6. Do not attend a gunfight with a handgun whose caliber does not start with at least a "4." 7. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammo is cheap. Life is expensive. 8. Move away from your attacker. Distance is your friend. (Lateral and diagonal movement is preferred.) 9. Use cover or concealment as much as possible. 10. Flank your adversary when possible. Protect yours. 11. Always cheat; always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose. 12. In ten years nobody will remember the details of caliber, stance, or tactics. They will only remember who lived. 13. If you are not shooting, you should be communicating and reloading. 14. Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty.

US Navy Rules For Patrols

1. Go to Sea 2. Drink Coffee 3. Send in the Marines


Kevin Drum relates a story from the Financial Times that, following last Friday's train bombings in Madrid, Spanish authorities deliberately misreported information on the case. And not just to the public, but to law enforcement agencies from other European countries. I'm constantly reminded that there is no depth to which a desperate politician will not stoop to remain in power. Unconscionable. N.B.: The FT story is actually about selecting a counter-terrorism chief for the European Union, and the report of the misleading information is limited to the third paragraph.

Happy Birthday!

My daughter celebrates her birthday today. Happy 12th, Megan!

Thursday, March 18, 2004
Fisk and counterfisk

Where do I start? A couple of days ago, I addressed Reverend Donald Sensing's article for OpinionJournal. Now, it appears that Sheila Lennon has fisked Don over the premises of his article. Rather than an inadequate effort at refuting her positions, instead I'll refer you to Justin Katz's masterful counterfisk. I'm mightily impressed, Justin. Hat tip to Reverend Sensing.

March Madness - I'm in 1st place!

Twelve games having been completed as I write this, I'm currently tied with about eight others for 1st place in our NCAA Tournament "office pool." My pick of Nevada over Michigan State pushed us into the top spot when the two guys who had been tied there both selected Michigan St. I have no illusions about holding that position for long.

Dick and Lynne Cheney: Master Biologists

In his Chatterbox article on Slate, Timothy Noah speculates that Vice President Cheney employed a novel approach to avoiding the Vietnam draft in 1965: he and his wife, Lynne, conceived their first child, Elizabeth. Based on research conducted by The Washington Post's Phil McCombs back in 1991, when Cheney was Secretary of Defense, Mr. Noah observes that on Oct. 26, 1965, "The Selective Service declares that married men without children, who were previously exempted from the draft, will now be called up. Married men with children remain exempt." Then we learn the Elizabeth Cheney's birthday is July 28, 1966. So the conclusion?
Dedicated students of obstetrics will observe that Elizabeth Cheney's birth date falls precisely nine months and two days after the Selective Service publicly revoked its policy of not drafting childless men. This would seem to indicate that the Cheneys, though doubtless planning to have children sometime, were seized with an untamable passion the moment Dick Cheney became vulnerable to the Vietnam draft. And acted on it. Carpe diem!
As the father of five, and assuming that Mr. Noah is a fair and honest journalist, I have to conclude that he is not a father. I have never known of an instance where conception occurred on demand. Unless, of course, pregnancy is undesireable. Then, conception is certain.

March Madness

Every year, my employer sponsors a pool for the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. Participants make their predictions for all 63 games (it is 63 games, right?) using one Internet tool or another, and whoever comes out with the most points wins a gift certificate and gets their name on a plaque. Well, I've never followed college basketball very closely, so I've never participated in the fun, but this year I thought I'd give it a whirl. I gotta tell you, I've got literally no stake in this thing, it matters not one whit to me who wins the tournament, and the prize for winning our company's competition is so small (just like the likelihood of my winning it), that there's just nothing to get excited about. But. Close games, down to the wire, and I'm sweating over who's going to win. My pick is down by 3 at the half, and I'm muttering under my breath. Florida gets upset by Manhattan (who?), and I'm shaking my head. But I don't follow college basketball. And I don't care who wins. Except for the fact that Pittsburgh will beat Maryland in the finals, 83-78.

Viriginia's welfare for rural areas

James Joyner discusses the division of Virginia based on a Washington Post article. As every non-comatose Virginia resident knows, Northern Virginia, often in conjunction with the Tidewater area, has largely different needs than the rest of the state, and pays a huge subsidy to support government services for the more rural parts of the state. State legislators are trying to cobble a budget together, and the General Assembly and the Senate are far apart on both the details and the overall size. A common theme throughout, although more prevalent in the Senate version, is increased taxes. Ouch. I'm still stunned that we don't elect legislators in Northern Virginia who have a major plank of there platform focused on improving the return on our tax dollar. I don't mind this more affluent region providing disproportionately more bucks to keep the whole state (rather, Commonwealth) of Virginia running, but it's way, way, way out of whack. Give me a candidate who has in the forefront of his mind the rebalancing of government expenditures, returning more of our tax dollars to our region. I'm not really interested in being represented by someone whose primary concern is sending fetus models out to liberals, but he's definitely the lesser of two evils.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004
Those nutty Brits and their loopy Home Secretary

This caught my eye, and I just had to put it up for my British friends and family: We locked you up in jail for 25 years and you were innocent all along? That'll be £80,000 please
WHAT do you give someone who’s been proved innocent after spending the best part of their life behind bars, wrongfully convicted of a crime they didn’t commit? An apology, maybe? Counselling? Champagne? Compensation? Well, if you’re David Blunkett, the Labour Home Secretary, the choice is simple: you give them a big, fat bill for the cost of board and lodgings for the time they spent freeloading at Her Majesty’s Pleasure in British prisons. On Tuesday, Blunkett will fight in the Royal Courts of Justice in London for the right to charge victims of miscarriages of justice more than £3000 for every year they spent in jail while wrongly convicted. The logic is that the innocent man shouldn’t have been in prison eating free porridge and sleeping for nothing under regulation grey blankets. Blunkett’s fight has been described as “outrageous”, “morally repugnant” and the “sickest of sick jokes”, but his spokesmen in the Home Office say it’s a completely “reasonable course of action” as the innocent men and women would have spent the money anyway on food and lodgings if they weren’t in prison. The government deems the claw-back ‘Saved Living Expenses’.
In reality, this seems to be a very targeted effort. The only people mentioned in the article that the Home Office is trying to pursue were a member of the Birmingham Six and one of the Bridgewater Four. Oh, and I picked this up over at Outside the Beltway. Thanks, James!

Tuesday, March 16, 2004
Is it too late to save marriage?

Rev. Donald Sensing writes about expanding the legal definition of marriage to include homosexual couples on The Wall Street Journal's OpinionJournal. After he cites the background on the pre-historic development of marriage and establishing the stake that society has in marriage as an institution, things start to get depressing.

Reverend Sensing accurately relates the effect that the invention of The Pill played in decoupling (no pun intended) the relationships between sex, pregnancy and marriage:

That led to what our grandparents would have called rampant promiscuity. The causal relationships between sex, pregnancy and marriage were severed in a fundamental way. The impulse toward premarital chastity for women was always the fear of bearing a child alone. The Pill removed this fear. Along with it went the need of men to commit themselves exclusively to one woman in order to enjoy sexual relations at all. Over the past four decades, women have trained men that marriage is no longer necessary for sex. But women have also sadly discovered that they can't reliably gain men's sexual and emotional commitment to them by giving them sex before marriage.

One theme that Rev. Don didn't mention that he has addressed in the past is the further erosion of marriage by the advent of the no-fault divorce. So now much of the incentive to marry has been undermined by The Pill, and then after getting married, no-fault divorce has dismantled many of the obstacles to abandoning the relationship.

DISCLAIMER: Lest anyone think I'm looking down my nose at anyone else, I'm on my third marriage, with offspring from the last two of them. I recognize and acknowledge my own failure in this area.

Then Rev. Sensing fatalistically, in my opinion, declares the battle lost, with the effect of opening the door to same-sex marriage:

Men and women living together and having sexual relations "without benefit of clergy," as the old phrasing goes, became not merely an accepted lifestyle, but the dominant lifestyle in the under-30 demographic within the past few years. Because they are able to control their reproductive abilities--that is, have sex without sex's results--the arguments against homosexual consanguinity began to wilt.

When society decided--and we have decided, this fight is over--that society would no longer decide the legitimacy of sexual relations between particular men and women, weddings became basically symbolic rather than substantive, and have come for most couples the shortcut way to make the legal compact regarding property rights, inheritance and certain other regulatory benefits. But what weddings do not do any longer is give to a man and a woman society's permission to have sex and procreate.

Apart from my semantic quibble over using "consanguinity" to describe marriage of any sort, I would disagree that the societal meaning behind marriage has disintegrated, and certainly not to the point that we, society, should redefine the term.

I certainly can't agree completely with his conclusion that "...traditionalists...need to get a clue about what has really been going on and face the fact that same-sex marriage, if it comes about, will not cause the degeneration of the institution of marriage; it is the result of it."

Marriage has been severely damaged over the past several decades, but the optimist in me refuses to believe that this is a one-way trip. The current state of marriage cries out for us to rescue it, not abandon it.

Sunday, March 14, 2004
Haloscan Comments and Trackback

I've included the Haloscan system for offering Comments and Trackbacks on my blog. Please forgive me if things get weird or don't work correctly while I'm implementing these features. Of course, no one is reading my blog but me, so I doubt that anyone will be incovenienced. Hopefully, I will start generating a little bit of traffic at some point.

Friday, March 12, 2004
The nature of marriage

Donald Sensing riffs off of a Dean Esmay posting which discusses poor journalistic technique, holding up the relative success of sexual abstinence programs. Rev. Sensing changes direction a bit and talks about women waiting longer before getting married, and also before having children. He quotes Time magazine's cover story of Aug. 21, 2001, which says, in part,
Michael Broder, a Philadelphia psychotherapist and author of The Art of Living Single, decries what he calls the "perfect-person problem," in which women refuse to engage unless they're immediately taken with a man, failing to give a relationship a chance to develop. "Few women can't tell you about someone they turned down, and I'm not talking about some grotesque monster," he says. "But there's the idea that there has to be this great degree of passion to get involved, which isn't always functional."
So now I'm going to turn it in an even different direction, the nature of marriage. Or more specifically, the role of romance in marriage. American society today operates under the belief that romance is a necessary precursor to marriage. I certainly grew up believing that, but as I've grown older and accumulated more information, I've learned that this is a relatively new phenomenon. Let me pause here to state that I'm not discussing religion here in any way. Marriage predates religion, and has always existed outside of religion, as well as inside it. So to my mind, there's nothing in the foundation of marriage that is inherently religious; rather it's the recognition by various religions of the importance of marriage (and in my Christian belief, instruction from God) that has caused religions to designate it as a sacrament. So anyway, that's the extent of the religious discussion in this post. Let's move on. As Rev. Sensing has pointed out several times in his various posts on same-sex marriage, marriages have traditionally, extending back through the millennia, been contracts between the two families involved in the arrangement. And I do mean "arrangement." It has been quite common, and is still common in some cultures, for the bride and groom to have literally no input into the decision. You'll notice there's no mention of romance here. The good Rev said it best, so I'll just quote him.
The affirmation of love and affection of the spouses for one another has only rarely been a cause for marriage in human history. Until recently in the West (including America), the emotional feelings that spouses had for one another was not considered very important; what was important was their social or economic similarity, and their compatibility in a myriad of other ways. Marrying because of love is a latecomer to the scene and is not really the norm in most of the world's people now. There are billions of people living in cultures in which brides and grooms hardly have met before their wedding day.
His next point goes to the essential purpose of marriage: progeny.
The very fundamental purpose of marriage has been and remains the propagation of the next generation. Look at it this way: just as "a hen is an egg's way of making another egg," marriage is the means by which parents become grandparents. While it is biologically possible for children to be born outside the marital bond (obviously), it is empirically provable that what biologists call "survival advantages" of those children is so relatively low that non-marital childbearing is literally a dead end.
And further, just because some marriages fail to produce offspring, either by choice or by happenstance, that doesn't invalidate its fundamental purpose of perpetuating the species in general, and the family in particular. We'll get back to this point in a bit. Don's on a roll, so let's get back to him.
Hence, marriage is self-perpetuating, self-referent upon itself and self-defining. Marriage throughout human history has never needed to be defined be relying on something else. However, same-sex "marriage" has no existence or meaning apart from male-female marriage. Male-female marriage is self-perpetuating within itself; same-sex marriages cannot self-perpetuate within itself at all. In fact, if not for male-female marriage, same-sex marriage cannot occur at all. Self-perpetuation is the critical element of marriage without which a same-sex relationship, no matter how affectionate, fails to be marriage.
"In fact, if not for male-female marriage, same-sex marriage cannot occur at all." It seems that traditional marriage and same-sex marriage aren't really the same thing, then, are they?
Elements of marriage such as property rights and the like do not centrally define what marriage is. Indeed, the historical and present record shows that such matters have varied widely across human cultures and experience. The wife as an equal partner is a modern development, but its lack in other times and places does not obviate the essential character of marriage, the procreation of the next generation. The various legal and social rights and recognitions that pertain to married couples are the result, not the cause, of marriage, intended to buttress its central purpose. Therefore, they are added or discarded inasmuch as they do so, though not without other influences as well. Thus, the legal rights and social claims of married partners are incidental, not essential, to defining what marriage is.
And I've got absolutely no problem with psuedo-spouses having the same legal rights as traditional ones, if they commit to that sort of contract. Homosexual spouses should, if they so choose, have the right of survivorship, the ability to make medical decisions in times of incapacity, the ability to make hospital visits as members of the immediate family, and so forth. Those are things that are conferred on marriage, but don't compose marriage. It makes perfect sense to me to allow anyone to enter into a similar contract, and have similar benefits -- at least, non-financial benefits. But I'm jumping the gun. Back to Reverend Sensing:
Marriage is therefore a social institution, not a merely personal one. All society has a vested interest in the propagation of the next generation and the health thereof. As a social institution, marriage is defined in aggregate, not in particular. This fact argues against a Nominalist position that if two same-sex persons obtain a marriage license, that they are in fact married. It also shows why the pro side's snark that many male-female married couples never have children is irrelevant: out of any random 100 heterosexual marriages, the overwhelming majority will conceive children of their own, within the marriage bond, but out of any 100 same-sex unions, exactly zero will do so. Hence, the lack of children in a small minority of male-female marriages is accidental to what marriage does and what it is for, but the inability of same-sex unions to have children within the bond is inescapably central to their relationship.
The fact that some marriages fail to conceive children doesn't undermine the underlying nature of marriage: repopulation. Nor does the cavalier attitude by some heterosexuals toward marriage invalidate the definition. I don't believe anyone regarded Britney Spears' wedding with Jason Alexander to have been anything approaching an actual marriage. And just because some heterosexuals do harm to the institution of marriage (I confess to having done some harm to it myself) doesn't mean that it is no longer what it's always been, or that we shouldn't defend it against further assaults. Let's let Don wrap up his post.
All of which is to say that the accidental characteristics of marriage - love, affection, property and other rights - spring from what marriage is rather than define what marriage is. Therefore, whatever relationship homosexuals may have with one another, and whatever legal rights civil authority may confer upon them, marriage is inherently - indeed, metaphysically - the province only of men and women united in matrimony.
So, my question is this: why do gays and lesbians want to get married? Some say because they want society to recognize their relationship for what it is, but I think they're just fooling themselves, based on the rationale above, into believing their relationship is something that it's not. Are there any other reasons they want same-sex marriages to be legal and recognized? Yes. For the money. For the benefits, paid for by the government, employers...well, let's just say "society," because whatever the conduit, the source is the same: everybody's wallet. Why do married couples get these benefits? Is it because they love each other? Because they've committed to spend the rest of their natural lives together? Because we "respect" them? No, clearly not. Husbands and wives get these benefits in recognition of the benefit that marriage provides society. Because it's the institution which keeps our communities, states, nations, and even our species going. If you want me to respect your relationship, fine. I've got no problem with that. I'll recognize your life-long commitment to each other, your deeply held love for each other. And it doesn't matter to me whether you're homosexual or heterosexual. But you want me, in proportion, to support your lifestyle? Sorry. The institution of same-sex marriage provides me no benefit, so please keep your hands out of my pocket.

Thursday, March 11, 2004
Will the cowards be ashamed?

Will Muslim extremist attacks on our allies in the war on terror mean that those craven nations who try to obstruct us avoid similar attacks? After years of profiting off the backs of Iraqi citizens, though, I can't be too surprised if France, Germany, Russia, et al aren't ashamed of not being targeted by Al Qaida.

If you can't keep a virus off your computer at work, should you even have a computer?

I was recently informed of a new policy at a rather large U.S. corporation, which shall remain nameless. Citing concerns about virus infections from employees checking their email accounts at Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, AOL, etc., they are "blocking access to external Internet e-mail systems." If they want to block access to these systems because their employees would be goofing off, they may have a point. But they want to do it because their employees apparently can't follow instructions on how to keep from infecting their computers with viruses? Sounds to me like these folks need to seek employment elsewhere, or at least change to a lesser-paying job where following relatively simple instructions isn't required. They are certainly either too incompetent, or too disrespectful of their employer to be holding their current positions.


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In loving memory
Dr Edward N Garrett
1925 - 2004

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