Who gassed the Kurds?

One of the most popular arguments in favor of annihilating Iraq is that Saddam Hussein is a monster who used chemical weapons on his own civilians. One problem with this logic is that, although such action is indefensible, it doesn’t make much sense to rush into a war that will result in the deaths of more of these civilians that we are allegedly avenging. Another problem with it, which I just recently learned, is that it might not really be true. A New York Times op/ed from someone in a position to know indicates that this popular “fact” is really speculation at best.

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Lovely Lisa, Meter Mountie

Apologies to the Beatles for butchering their song title. No apologies to the Lexington Herald-Leader for stealing their copyrighted picture. If they had been nice enough to put this picture of my neighbor on their website so I could link to it, I wouldn’t have had to scan the printed copy and put it on my server.

Update .. thanks to an alert reader (see comments) for letting me know the picture had hit the AP newswire and was on a SF Chronicle website, so now we have a legal link.

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Leave no child …

“Leave no child behind” was one of the favorite slogans of the Bush 2000 campaign. They “borrowed” it from the Children’s Defense Fund, who weren’t very happy about it, according to a report from Ralph Nader. Since his election, Bush watchers have been pointing out the huge discrepancy between the slogan and the actual policies of the Bush administration. Several have suggested that “leave no millionaire behind” would be more accurate. As I read reports like this one describing the expected impact of US military action on Iraqi children, it occurs to me that a more appropriate mantra for W’s Warlords might be “Leave no child alive”.

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Editorial Administrivia

I was informed today that the link I provided to John le Carré’s column in an earlier article no longer worked. I apologize if you followed that link to a dead end. The London Times apparently changed their links after I posted that. I found the column again and updated the link in my article so it should work now.

Another Internet Worm, thanks to Microsoft

A CNN report provides some information about a worm which affected Internet traffic Saturday morning, and for the geeks, McAfee provides a technical report. Although I avoid Microsoft software like the plague that it is, some of my computers at work (including a couple providing back-end hosting for many of the images displayed on this site) are surrounded by Microsoft-infected machines, and were off the air for much of Saturday when network technicians had to isolate large segments of campus in an attempt to contain the disease. So I’m taking this one personally. The CNN report says “The latest attack was likely to revive debate within the technology industry about the need for an Internet-wide monitoring center, which the Bush administration has proposed.” I think it would be better to revive debate about the quality of Microsoft software and the wisdom of allowing such a grossly incompetent and negligent corporation to have such an impact on all of us.

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W’s War Two

Sometimes you just gotta wonder why the current occupant of the White House doesn’t fire his speechwriters. Then you realize that he thinks they make him sound good. I’m sure he fails to see the irony in his recent sabre-rattling about Iraq: “This looks like a rerun of a bad movie, and I’m not interested in watching it.”

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More MLK Musings

This is a belated expression of a thought that occurred to me earlier this week. I participated in two marches on Monday to commemorate Martin Luther King and his ideals. One was in Lexington, the moderately enlightened college town where I work; the second was in Paris, a smaller, more rural town which is as close as I can get to a “hometown” (Tatertown wouldn’t be able to rouse much of a crowd)

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