Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Cut and Rum (and Geek Wednesday)

Ladies and gentlemen, before we get to Geek Wednesday, a grim treat for you all, from a correspondent we haven't heard from in a few weeks. Here's Shady Acres Mike:

Rummy, Cheney and Bush Cut and Run on Logic

These guys are so very desperate! They are entirely transparent to a majority of the American public now:

Rumsfeld: Terrorists Manipulating Media

The Associated Press
Tuesday, August 29, 2006; 2:29 AM

FALLON NAVAL AIR STATION, Nev. -- Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Monday he is deeply troubled by the success of terrorist groups in "manipulating the media" to influence Westerners.

"That's the thing that keeps me up at night," he said during a question-and-answer session with about 200 naval aviators and other Navy personnel at this flight training base for Navy and Marine pilots.

"What bothers me the most is how clever the enemy is," he continued, launching an extensive broadside at Islamic extremist groups which he said are trying to undermine Western support for the war on terror.

"They are actively manipulating the media in this country" by, for example, falsely blaming U.S. troops for civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, he said.

"They can lie with impunity," he said, while U.S. troops are held to a high standard of conduct.

Later, at a Reno, Nev., convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Rumsfeld made similar points.

I agree with Rumsfeld on one thing; he is right that we are not waging a war on Islam and that there appears to be some press in the mid-east that promotes that point of view. We are, however, waging war for oil and geopolitics and providing ammunition for those can make a strong argument to their religious fanatic following that we are waging a war on Islam.

As for throwing in the towel, how is trying to find a peaceful resolution to the mess that Rummy and the Bush administration caused called quitting? Quitting, in my book, is not trying. In this case, quitting is not trying a new strategy. The Iraqi troops are not going to bring order and stability, they are part of the problem. They are actively engaged in a religious and tribal civil war that we directly caused. Why have Bush and Rummy quit trying to provide peace and stability to the region? Why have they cut and run on sensibility and strong diplomacy? Wasn't it reason, containment, strong alliances, and strong diplomacy that kept the evil communist empire in the form of the old Soviet Union at bay and then allowed it to destroy itself from its own corruption? Its time to split this country in three so they stop killing each other wholesale, so that stability can be brought to the region, and so that we can pursue a sane policy of containment of Iran.

On the manipulation thing: It is sooooo desperate and weak - it smacks of Spiro Agnew type bullshit after the Tet offensive. It has a secondary meaning as well: the main stream press and the Democrats (or any any one, for that matter) support Hezbollah and the terrorists whenever they criticize any policy, tactic, or reveal any truth that in any way that lies in the way of the actions or policies of the Bush administration in regard to Iraq.

The whole Rummy stance that the wool has been pulled over the main stream media's eye by our enemies is just more smoke. It's just more distraction from what is happening in Iraq. They just make this stuff up. Has the American public forgotten that the wool was pulled over our eyes in the lead up to the invasion to Iraq by Rummy and the Bush administration? Not most of us.

Rumsfeld said Tuesday the world faces "a new type of fascism'' and likened critics of the Bush administration's war strategy to those who tried to appease the Nazis in the 1930s. In unusually explicit terms, Rumsfeld portrayed the administration's critics as suffering from "moral or intellectual confusion'' about what threatens the nation's security.

Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., a former Army officer and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in an interview Tuesday that "no one has misread history more than'' Rumsfeld. "It's a political rant to cover up his incompetence,'' said Reed, a longtime critic of Rumsfeld's handling of the war.

I think that the quotes above prove that Rummy and the Bush administration are trying, once again, to infer that any one who disagrees with the Bush administration in regard to Iraq is outright unpatriotic at worst and, indeed, a sadly misguided person whose opinions, in the end, are the same as being a terrorist sympathizer at the very least. They have been doing it for years and it is the main theme regarding the Iraq war on Fox, and with Rush, Coulter, Ingraham, Hannity, Beck, Carlson, Scareboro - all the hate mongers and fear spreaders.

Rummy should be fired. His credibility is entirely shot. He has been wrong on every major aspect in regard to Iraq and the pursuit of Bin Laden. His analogy of using pre-WWII appeasement to the situation with Iran today holds absolutely no water. Where are we surrendering to state terrorism and real threats? In Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, that's where. If there has been any appeasement it has been from Bush. Iraq was for oil and geopolitics, it has nothing directly to do with the "war on terror." Iran is not Germany prior to WWII. They and their Islamo-fascist fringe group friends do not have the capacity to wage world war. The Germans, Japanese, and Italians did. Any major Western power could crush Iran. No one is giving up the Sudetenland, parts of Austria or Czechoslovakia, or Alsace to the so called Islamo-fascists, except perhaps Bush giving them Iraq, now that I think of it. Rummy's logic is just completely screwy. Here we have Iran being the main winner of the war in Iraq and people who criticize this are morally and intellectually confused? Methinks the confusion lies elsewhere.

Given the above, better yet, lets keep Rummy and Rove for now. The American public has come around and now sees through all the bullshit. The Republicans are going to lose the House with this rhetoric. Rove is a one trick pony: fear and hatred. Many Republicans are beginning to put some distance between themselves and Bush. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, shame on all of us.

—Shady Acres Mike


Geek Wednesday

Hey you goofy people, it's me, Night the Cat. The other day, I was lying around on the CRT, thinking about technology, and a thought came to mind, as they will occasionally do. Have you ever had to swallow, for just a moment, a kind of aesthetic cringe on first looking at a new Google beta? Let's face it, some of their UI design ranges from nondescript to plug-ugly as a Doberman in heat. But Bast be praised, that stuff sure does work. Here, take a look at Google Spreadsheet's front end (just click any image for an enlarged view):

Now, compare that with this lovely looking Excel 2007 screenshot:

Well, MS wins the beauty pageant, but when it comes to function, Google's beta always gets the catnip. Why? Because it works. MS Office 2007, on the other hand, is the cute package with the bomb inside. My human has documented all that before, so I won't go on. But just heed the warning: when you're dealing with tech, a baby blue front end may be the very thing you want to avoid.

Here's another example: the toolbar (which Google bought a few months back) above; the MS Word 2007 toolbar below. But I'm writing this in writely, and it's such an elegant, reliable, and convenient word processor that I've got my human seriously thinking about uninstalling MS Office. We're not quite there yet, of course: G-Spreadsheets will have to develop a little more; someone will have to come up with a Windows-based presentation software that rivals Powerpoint (if you have a Mac, you've already got a winner there—Keynote is the best slideshow maker on the market, hands down); and database geeks will have a rough time wandering from Access. But for pure functionality, Gmail with Google Calendar has it all over Outlook, and Writely is an amazingly efficient WP program.

And speaking of Keynote, what kind of cuddling could Google and Apple be contemplating? Google CEO Eric Schmidt has joined Apple's Board of Directors . That ought to rattle Uncle Bill's halo a little...

Maybe it's got something to do with the parade of fawning reviews that are being written for the new Mac Pro desktop. Looks like it would make a pretty comfortable little crash-pit for the kitty. Not only is this some seriously cool hardware (that now runs Windows); it also compares favorably with Dell when you get down to the kitty-gritty. And that Apple box isn't something you'd want to hide in the closet with the litter pan.

But let's leave the big dogs out there in the yard, Google and Apple teaming up to whale on that poor philanthopist from Redmond. We've got news about yet another alternative in the operating system universe.

Ubuntu, the New Age Linux for tree-huggers like my human, has had a little trouble lately, after they (apparently for the first time ever) dropped a lame upgrade of their OS onto users, and then had to send them back to the command line for another go. But as peace-loving and unassuming as it may be, Ubuntu is a solid contender in the OS wars. We installed it onto our Wintel machine here at Daily Rev and liked how it went and what we saw. Very briefly, we created a partition for Ubuntu, using what may be the best software Norton's ever made, Partition Magic. If you're as uncomfortable with geekery as my guy is, but you need to partition a drive, Partition Magic is your stuff—get it. Next, we let Ubuntu install itself, after advising it to use the G: drive we'd made with Magic, while leaving the C: drive (Windows) alone. Ubuntu complied effortlessly, and within an hour had installed itself and delivered this fine-looking front end.

Next week on GW, we'll have a look around Linux and see what it can—and can't—do. Meanwhile, be cool—and remember, scratch behind the ears and keep the litter pan clean.

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