A Menagerie of Outspoken Opinions on Science, World Politics, and Geek Culture

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

The Blogosphere Political Compass Project

Updated February 2006

The Blogosphere Political Compass Project is graphing the approximate political affiliation of bloggers from all corners of the Internet. The chart below shows the relative positions of the bloggers who have responded thus far; graphing is done two-dimensionally in order to show both economic (liberal vs. conservative) and social (authoritarian vs. libertarian) leanings.




I'm sure everyone will notice that there are no longer labels on the graph; it has simply become too crowded in the moderate and conservative regions to include them. I am working on a plan to remedy this, but for the time being people are going to have to use the coordinates listed with each blogger to find their place on the chart.

New to the BPCP in February 2006

286 Xyba of Once More Into the Breach (7.3, 0.8)
287 Nehring of Nehring the Edge (1.3, -0.6)
288 Patrick of Born Again Redneck (5.6, 1.7)
289 eyerocker of eye'm off my rocker (3.9, 2.4)
290 Gary of Easter Lemming Liberal News Digest (-5.1, -5)
291 David of Dave's Not Here (3.4, -6.4)
292 Kiril of Sneakeasy's Joint (0.6, -0.2)
293 DR. Zubov of Banter in Atlanter (4.3, 1)
294 Laura of Survival Theory (3.5, 0.9)
295 Niall of Plain of Pillars (-7, -5)
296 Aaron of Aaron Kinney's Weblog (-3.8, 1.9)
297 Err0r of Mind of an Err0r (-0.4, -2.3)
298 FrauBudgie of Red Hot Cuppa Politics (-0.1, 0.2)
299 Sisyphos of Le Mont De Sisyphe (4.5, -2.8)

Complete List of Participants

001 Ben England of Galen's Log (3.9, -2.6)
002 Clare of The Sicilian (8.9, -3.8)
003 Ezra Klein of Pandagon (-5.4, -4.2)
004 Frank J. of IMAO (5.6, 0.1)
005 Harvey of Bad Example (8.9, -1.7)
006 Jesse Taylor of Pandagon (-4.3, -6.6)
007 Linus Gelber of Pepper of the Earth (-7.5, -5.3)
008 Lynn of Reflections in d Minor (-3.4, -1.1)
009 Neil of The Great War (8.0, -3.6)
010 Puddle Pirate of Brain Shavings (6.3, 1.1)
011 RadarRider of Musings of a Techno-Geek (4.0, -2.6)
012 Rich of SeldomSober (1.9, 2.7)
013 rockynogin of Cornpone (7.1, -0.7)
014 sandor at the zoo of The Zoo (3.4, -5.2)
015 sarahk of Mountaineer Musings (3.5, 2.4)
016 Susie of Practical Penumbra (3.4, 1.9)
017 Al Barger of Culpepper Log (6.3, -1.4)
018 Al Maviva of SashaCastel.com (4, 0.3)
019 Bill of Bill's Comments (6, -1.4)
020 LibertyBob of LibertyBob.com (1.1, -1)
021 Boudicca of Boudicca's Voice (-2, -2.1)
022 Physics Geek of Physics Geek (6.3, 0.3)
023 Chase of Wide Awake (8, 3)
024 CRVeck of Chris Veck's World (5.4, 2.9)
025 yayaempress of YaYaEmpress (-1, 0.4)
026 DaDougster of DaDougster (4.1, 1.2)
027 not perfection of not perfection (2.9, 1.4)
028 Elliot Temple of Curiosity (9.3, -4.4)
029 jfielek of Quibbles-n-Bits (6, -2.1)
030 xipe of XiPE (7.3, -3.2)
031 S. Michael Moore of Fuki Blog (6.6, -6)
032 GuyS of Snug Harbor (0.8, -0.4)
033 Semi of Tram Town (5.3, -2.3)
034 Gilly of Gilly's World (3, 3.3)
035 bo the nook of a geezer's corner (2.4, -1.3)
036 Jim of Snooze Button Dreams (0.1, -0.1)
037 Joe of Cold Fury (3.4, 0.4)
038 Beck of INCITE (5.5, -1.5)
039 Laurence Simon of This Blog is Full of Crap (-0.3, 0.4)
040 Andrew Ian Dodge of Dodgeblogium (10, -1.5)
041 Matt Harris of Launch Pad Zero (6.4, -2.1)
042 Patton of Not Just One Man's Opinion (3.6, -0.2)
043 Michelle Malkin of Michelle Malkin (6.8, 0)
044 Metallica Rat of FlashBang (1, -0.5)
045 stig_mata of NewsDesk (4.1, 0.2)
046 Nick Queen of Patriot Paradox (2.9, -0.2)
047 Pierre Jelenc of Pepper of the Earth (-2.3, -0.5)
048 Pink Kitty of Pink Kitty's Scratching Post (3.9, 0.2)
049 Richard of Pearly Gates (7.6, -0.7)
050 Rick of Brutally Honest (3.4, 0.9)
051 The Anonymous Conservative of Conservatives Anonymous (6.1, 2.1)
052 Scott of Confessions of a Jesus Phreak (3.5, -0.4)
053 Steve Rugg of JusTalkin (6.4, 0.5)
054 timekeeper of Horologium (6.4, 0.2)
055 Chris of Sworn Enemy (8.4, 0.2)
056 Tex the Pontificator of Tex the Pontificator (5.3, 0.3)
057 Mad Anthony of Mad Anthony (7.4, -0.5)
058 The Discerning Texan of The Discerning Texan (5, 0.4)
059 Curtis of a_sdf (3, 2)
060 Elliot Fladen of The Fladen Experience (7.6, -5.2)
061 William C. Fisher of The Crusader (3.1, 4.5)
062 Paulie at The Commons of The Commons (4.3, 0.9)
063 Gary of RightPundit.com (3, 2.6)
064 geekWithA.45 of The Musings Of The geekWithA.45 (6, -3.9)
065 Mr Minority of Mr Minority - Speaks His Mind!! (1.8, 1)
066 Jacqui of Enviropundit: The Green Building Blog (-0.8, -0.9)
067 Mark Humphrys of Mark Humphrys (4.1, -2.5)
068 Maureen of Aliens in This World (0.6, -0.4)
069 Joel of Good Morning America (4, 3)
070 One Ordinary York U Student of The Truth About York (0.8, 1.2)
071 Stan of The New American Revolutionist (9, -4.3)
072 Rachel Ann of Willow Tree (-3.8, -1.8)
073 Tim Worstall of timworstall.com (7.1, -4.4)
074 Tom Grey of Liberty Dad (5.4, 1.5)
075 Tom of Hilarity Ensues (6, 4.4)
076 Zackery of Zackery Shalom Berger (-4.4, -2.8)
077 Doug Payton of Considerettes (3.4, 1.4)
078 liberty of My Arse From My Elbow (7.8, -3.3)
079 KevinE of Jperspective (1.6, 0.4)
080 Kevin of LeanLeft (-7.3, -8.1)
081 Michael of The Common Virtue (7.9, 1.6)
082 SpaceMonkey of The Flying Space Monkey Chronicles (3.6, 2.5)
083 tallglassofmilk of Drink This ... (1.4, 0.5)
084 the tiger in winter of The Tiger in Winter (3, -3.3)
085 The Overlord of Freedom Nation (8.9, 0.6)
086 Jerry Lawson of Milblog (1.1, -0.9)
087 E! of The Monkey Diaries (-2.5, -1)
088 Andy of έχω ζωη (7, 1.6)
089 Gary of The Owner's Manual (4.1, 0)
090 RTO Trainer of The Signaleer (1, -1.5)
091 el Seco of Rant Fever (5.9, 1.1)
092 Wacky Hermit of Organic Baby Farm (2.1, 2.1)
093 Scott of Scattered Thoughts (-7.3, -6.2)
094 Boileryard Clarke of The Boileryard (5.4, -3.1)
095 LEMadison of Strike Thee With Curses (5.1, 4.7)
096 Ogre of Ogre's Politics and Views (7.1, 2.3)
097 Vince of Southern Watch (7.5, -1.1)
098 The Liberal Avenger of The Liberal Avenger (-4.5, -6.7)
099 Fester of Fester's Place (-1.5, -4.4)
100 Sam of Very Simple (-4.1, -6.1)
101 Shaula Evans of Tsurezduregusa (-9.5, -6.3)
102 Mark Gisleson of Norwegianity (-7.1, -7.4)
103 Mark Madsen of Extended Phenotype (-4.4, -6.3)
104 r@d@r of ex-Lion Tamer (-9, -8.6)
105 Doug Mc of The Reality Stick (-7.8, -2.9)
106 Hal of Hellblazer (-2.8, -6)
107 David Parsons of This Space for Rent (-4.8, -6.6)
108 Kris of Dummocrats.com (4.8, -1.3)
109 Mike Jones of The 18 Minute Gap (-2.9, -4.7)
110 Dave Johnson of Seeing the Forest (-7, -3.5)
111 Brew of Brew's World (0.3, 2)
112 Sarah of Eleventh in Line (5, -2.2)
113 J.A. Olinger of Hello Infidels! (1, 3.23)
114 Jeff of Au Fait (5.6, 0.8)
115 Cyclopatra of Cyclopatra (-2.4, -5.6)
116 Matt Jordan of Matt's Rants (0.9, 2.5)
117 Lord Floppington of Imaginary Conversations and Random Thoughts (5.1, 0.4)
118 Justin Mason of Happy Software Prole (-7.1, -6.6)
119 Richard of Philosophy, et cetera (-5.4, -5.7)
120 Desert Cat of Desert Cat's Paradise (5.5, -1.3)
121 Paperwight of Paperwight's Fair Shot (-4.6, -4.9)
122 Libby Spencer of Last One Speaks (-5.8, -5)
123 Dennis of Dennis' Ramblings (7.1, -1.4)
124 Tinker of The Secret Life of Shoes (-4, -0.6)
125 J. Thomas Lowry of The Right Journal (6.5, 3.3)
126 The Chainik Hocker of The Chainik Hocker (4.4, -0.6)
127 Nixon Casablanca of Nixon's Memoirs (5, 0.5)
128 William Teach of Pirate's Cove (1.8, -0.4)
129 Daniel W. Casey of Daniel W. Casey's blog (7.6, 2.5)
130 Ptiza Odelay of Chicken Soup For the Vegan Soul (0.8, -4.9)
131 Anonymous of Vowels in the Mouth (4.6, 2.3)
132 Daniel K. O'Leary of Daniel K. O'Leary dot com (0.5, 0.5)
133 Steven of Plep (-5.8, -8.1)
134 Gullyborg of Resistance is Futile! (6.1, 2.1)
135 Susan Cook of Easy Bake Coven (-5.8, -6.5)
136 Ebabe of A Modicum of Decorum (4.9, 0.9)
137 Robert of Let's Try Freedom (6.4, 2.1)
138 Machelle of Quality Weenie (0.4, -0.6)
139 Zendo Deb of TFS Magnum (6, -1.6)
140 Jeremy of Parableman (1.1, 2.1)
141 Chris Edwards of The Real Ordeal (-0.8, -0.8)
142 Desert Tusk of The Desert Tusk (4.8, 1.2)
143 Sqotty MacKlingon of Kowabunga (7.2, 1.2)
144 Becki of The Question Fairy (1.1, -0.7)
145 Snay of Malnurtured Snay (-6.3, -6)
146 Eric of Vince Aut Morire (7.5, 3.5)
147 VW of One Happy Dog Speaks (-2.6, -1.3)
148 Rachel Richardson of Nonsensical Musings (-6.4, -5.6)
149 Rick of Unspun™ (-5.6, -5.4)
150 Ferdinand T. Cat of Conservative Cat (5.6, 0.4)
151 Beth of My Right Wing Conspiracy (7.6, 3.4)
152 Marcus of artitumis (3.6, 3.4)
153 RazorKiss of RazorKiss (4.8, 1.6)
154 Kevin of Preemptive Karma (-5.6, -4)
155 The News Writer of What It Is Today (-8.4, -6.4)
156 Jay of Accidental Verbosity (6.1, -3.3)
157 Gus Van Horn of Gus Van Horn (7.1, -1.6)
158 Dominic of Serenade (3.9, -1.2)
159 Janette of Common Sense Runs Wild (7.5, 4.4)
160 Mike of The Big Board (-7.3, -7.5)
161 John Nada of Try on the Glasses (5.5, 2.6)
162 Ace of The Pryhills (1.1, -2.1)
163 Romeo Cat of CatHouse Chat (5.1, -1.4)
164 Brian of brianpatton.org (-5, -4.2)
165 John Clifford of Thirty Second Thoughts (0.1, -0.9)
166 Ex Mea Sententia of Ex Mea Sententia (-4.5, -5.5)
167 basil of basil's blog (1.9, 3.1)
168 Len Kutchma of Rite Turn Only (5.5, 5.6)
169 Dr. Sanity of Dr. Sanity (6.8, -3.7)
170 Sisyphus of Sisyphean Musings (2.3, -1.2)
171 Eric of The Cliffs of Insanity (1.5, 0)
172 Marc Coffeyof Decision '08 (3.3, -2.3)
173 Anslem of Hill Country Views (2, -0.8)
174 Kilabe of Kilabe's Hive (1.5, 1.4)
175 Jeff of Oh-Dark-Thirty (-0.5, 2.8)
176 Kevin of www.eckernet.com (6.3, 2)
177 Kari Holtz of Dogwood Dreams (0.8, 1.7)
178 Sal of Stand Up and Walk (0.3, 1.1)
179 SilverBubble of Echoes of Forever (1.4, 1.2)
180 Michael of Davidson's Law (5.9, 2)
181 birdwoman of the flightless hag (5.3, -2.1)
182 Flaming Duck of VARepublicMan (3.5, 0.1)
183 Jeremy Bol of American Warmonger (-0.8, -1.6)
184 Tom of The Age of Reason (7, -0.5)
185 Linda of tired atheist (-5.3, -7)
186 Doug Pascover of Developmental Disability System Reform (4.3, -2.4)
187 tincanman of The Tincanman (-4, -1.6)
188 Dave of Shadydowns Soapbox (6.4, 1.7)
189 Antonion Artaud of Meself is Steam (-0.3, -4.5)
190 Andrew Donaldson of Bread and Circuses (-6.4, -5)
191 Daryl Cobranchi of Home Education & Other Stuff (3.9, -6.1)
192 Amigo of Amigo's Place (5.3, 2.2)
193 Lori of Home Burrough (-5.3, -6.6)
194 Curtis Gale Weeks of Klados (-5.9, -4.8)
195 PW of Prarie Weather (-3.9, -6.3)
196 Karl of This is not a Fugazi T-Shirt (-7.4, -6.6)
197 Dylan of Something Requisitely Witty and Urbane (-5.6, -7)
198 Auguste of MalkinWatch (-6.1, -4.7)
199 Anátema of o uno e o múltiplo (-9.3, -8.6)
200 Umm Hmm of Nur al Cubicle (-7.4, -7.7)
201 The Man of GOP and the City (4, 0.4)
202 J Rob of JRob's House of Opinions (1, 0.8)
203 Toby of bilious young fogey (9, -2.3)
204 Andy of Andy's Intestinal Bloggage (-4.8, -6.4)
205 Carol of Ain't chicken (-3.6, -3)
206 John of Ravings of John C. A. Bambenek (-0.5, 0.6)
207 Jody of thebandwagon (4.4, -0.1)
208 John Climacus of Alpaca Burger Forum (4, -0.2)
209 Alex of BLOGZIL! (-2.8, -5.9)
210 Bill of Possibility Knot (2.5, -0.1)
211 Angelo of Poisoned Cordials (7, 2.6)
212 Oddybobo of Bobo Blogger (5.6, 1.8)
213 Cosmic Siren of Echoes through space (0, -1.4)
214 Merri of Rachael Ray Redux (4.3, 4.5)
215 The Maximum Leader of Naked Villainy (5.3, -0.2)
216 Ahmed Bilal of a journey to the end of time (-4.9, -2.7)
217 Vigil of Neocon Cabalist (7.9, 3.9)
218 Dave C of The Unexamined Lifeboat (-9.6, -7.1)
219 GreenEggs of Daily Fry (-6.8, -6.9)
220 Tom of The Donegal Express (-1, 3.1)
221 Cao of Cao's Blog (0.6, 3.7)
222 Rebecca of The New York Minute Blog (2.3, 0.6)
223 Kevin Trainor of Wombat Rampant (5.3, 0.3)
224 Brian Bonner of The Uncooperative Blogger (0.9, 1.4)
225 Drew of Conservative Friends (5.3, 2.7)
226 Richard of Highway 290 Revisited (-6.8, -5)
227 Larry of Blog Inside Larry's Head (3.5, -1.8)
228 Travis Benning of Metaphysically Wrinkle-Free (7.4, 0.8)
229 Brian of Psychopolotik (4.8, -3.8)
230 MichelleB of Elshell (5.9, 0.8)
231 ButterflyLane of Butterfly's Flutterbys (-6, -1)
232 Ray of Shared Daily (1.4, -0.5)
233 Mustang 23 of Assumption of Command (0.1, 0.7)
234 Shamalama of Common Folk Using Common Sense (3.6, -1.1)
235 Gun-Toting Liberal of A Gun-Toting Liberal (-5.4, -4)
236 Mike of Grendel's Dragon (6.5, 2.3)
237 Pwyll of Carnal Reason (4.9, -2.9)
238 Buckley F. Williams of The Nose on Your Face (6, 1.5)
239 Carol Lee Susman of For the Curious (-0.8, -1.1)
240 Some Soldier's Mom of Some Soldier's Mom (-0.6, -2.3)
241 Two Dogs of Mean Ol' Meany (8.1, 2.6)
242 rjschwarz or rjschwarz.com (5, -0.9)
243 David Aitken of Life's Better Ideas (5.6, -2.7)
244 David of Third World Country (2.1, 0.1)
245 Cerebus of The Gates of Hell (-2.9, 0.4)
246 rgcombs of Combs Spouts Off (8.9, -2.7)
247 C. Diddy of Intermittent Stream (2.1, 1.9)
248 GoNavy25 of The Underscore (3, 2.3)
249 Jim Hartline of Dr. Hartline (7.5, 2.7)
250 Sarah Beth of Reclaim Your Brain (6.6, -2.7)
251 Lil Bobo of Bastard Art and Commerce (5.5, -7.5)
252 mattfast1 of The Random Ramblings of mattfast1 (3.1, -1.6)
253 Steve of Steve the Pirate (6.9, 5.6)
254 Joe of Joe Missionary (0.6, 0.9)
255 Jacqueline Passey of Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey (7.5, -4.9)
256 David of Kaufmanet (5.6, -2.4)
257 TJ of NIF (5.3, 3.4)
258 Cranky of Balance Sheet (4, 4.1)
259 Merri of Merri Musings (5.4, 3.2)
260 David Farrar of David Farrar (10, -6.2)
261 Pierre Legrand of The Pink Flamingo Bar & Grill (9.8, -1)
262 rightwingprof of RightWingNation (8.1, 1.7)
263 Kevin W. of The Kevin Show (1.8, 2.2)
264 Michael Holtum of Raven's Realm News Feed (2.4, 4.4)
265 Funky Dung of Ales Rarus (-4.8, -1.4)
266 DLW of The Anti-Manicheist (-5.5, -2.9)
267 Rob Carr of Unspace (-2.8, -5.4)
268 George Dienhart of The Catholic Conservative (6.3, 3.7)
269 Fitch of Fitch is Always Right (5.1, -1)
270 DJ Waletzky of Casual Asides (-9.4, -6.9)
271 David of DavidAndLara (2.5, 3.1)
272 Abe of Don't Let Me Stop You (7.6, -1.8)
273 fmragtops of Fmragtops Spews (5.3, 1)
274 Pete of iHillary (4.3, 0.5)
275 The Artist of The Art of the Blog (8.1, 0.3)
276 Tad Babbert of Chronicles of the Knights Simplar (6.5, 0.5)
277 Pamela of Atlas Shrugs (8, -1.2)
278 Tommy of Striving for Average (0.6, -0.4)
279 Everyman of Everyman Chronicles (5, 3.6)
280 Katelyn Sills of Stand Up and Speak Out (1.3, 1.1)
281 Robert of Immature With No Conscience (0.4, -0.9)
282 Dane Bramage of Dane Bramage (4.1, 3.5)
283 Lost of Lost … in Lima Ohio (4, 4.1)
284 Peter Porcupine of Peter Porcupine (3.1, 1.1)
285 ir8-n8 of The Irate Nation (4.5, 2.5)
286 Xyba of Once More Into the Breach (7.3, 0.8)
287 Nehring of Nehring the Edge (1.3, -0.6)
288 Patrick of Born Again Redneck (5.6, 1.7)
289 eyerocker of eye'm off my rocker (3.9, 2.4)
290 Gary of Easter Lemming Liberal News Digest (-5.1, -5)
291 David of Dave's Not Here (3.4, -6.4)
292 Kiril of Sneakeasy's Joint (0.6, -0.2)
293 DR. Zubov of Banter in Atlanter (4.3, 1)
294 Laura of Survival Theory (3.5, 0.9)
295 Niall of Plain of Pillars (-7, -5)
296 Aaron of Aaron Kinney's Weblog (-3.8, 1.9)
297 Err0r of Mind of an Err0r (-0.4, -2.3)
298 FrauBudgie of Red Hot Cuppa Politics (-0.1, 0.2)
299 Sisyphos of Le Mont De Sisyphe (4.5, -2.8)

If you have a blog and would like to be part of this project, please follow these instructions:

1) Go to the Political Compass web site and take the Political Compass Quiz. It takes about 10 minutes. Here at The Zoo we are well aware that the questions are not perfectly designed, so please refrain from sending us complaints. The BPCP is an attempt to get a general idea of blogger's political affiliation and should not be construed as definitive or infallible.

2) Send me your results, along with the name of your blog and the name you use when posting. The BPCP Graph will be updated once each month (on or about the 15th). Note that all respondents will be researched to ensure that quiz results are coming from actual bloggers and have really been sent by the party in question.

3) Each update includes links, immediately below the BPCP Graph, to the bloggers new to the project. A permanent list of BPCP participants is maintained further down the page and new additions will "slide down" onto it with the following update.

Thanks to everyone who is participating! Non-bloggers are also invited to take the test and leave their results in the comments section; we're all interested in where our readers stand.


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Tuesday, June 29, 2004

More On Moore

Frank J. has linked to an NRO article by Jonah Goldberg about Michael Moore's new film. Unlike Goldberg I do intend on seeing Fahrenheit 9/11 once it hits DVD ("know thy enemy" and all that) but I agree completely with his take on Moore's character and intentions. Moore is not a documentarian, he's a propagandist. And those who think highly of his work are either politically naive and easily fooled or downright stupid and woefully illiberal.

Also, I remind all of you of Mike Wilson's Michael Moore Hates America film, which is coming out this summer. If you dislike and distrust Moore, see Wilson's movie to support his effort and see your views put to film for once. If you're a Moore fan, see it to get a look at how the other half of America thinks.


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More On Sudan

I'm still working on the BPCP graph, but here is some quick Tuesday morning blog stuff that continues in the vein of last Thursday's "Vile Enemy of the Week" post.

This article, released by IRIN (a UN communications and information body) shows the crux of the conflict within Sudan; Bashir's government keeps promising to rein in and disarm the militants who are engaged in ethnic cleansing of the Darfur region, but said militants still remain un-reined in and un-disarmed. I find it difficult to believe that a government which admittedly desires the "Arabization" of Darfur is even seriously attempting to do either.

Far more likely is that Bashir is letting the militants do his dirty work for him, clearing out Animist and Christian villages under the guise of "civil unrest" and "rebel activity". I'm willing to bet that if the Kalishnikovs being carried by those militants could be traced, the trail would lead back to government armories in Khartoum. Though it's certainly raising a skeptical eye from every civilized nation on Earth, the ethnic-cleansing-disguised-as-civil-disorder is essentially a win-win for Bashir; he gets continued "Arabization" (via the murder and displacement of non-Arabs and non-Muslims) but his government takes none of the official blame. And the continued delay of UN aid meant for the region means more of the Animists and Christians starve or flee, leaving the militias free to loot that aid when it finally does arrive.

Bashir is engaged in ethnic cleansing by proxy and he's swindling the UN out of everything he can get. When Powell visits today he should do nothing but hand Bashir a simple note listing five countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, and Syria ... with "Afghanistan" and "Iraq" crossed off. Bashir will get the message.

And the people who are doing all this and more still sit on the UN Human Rights Commission.


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Monday, June 28, 2004

BPCP Update

I now have twenty responses from bloggers for the Blogosphere Political Compass Project (I actually received more than twenty, but some were not from bloggers). So, my blog project for the first part of this week will be to create the graph, chart everyone, notify all the participants via e-mail, and then get it all posted. Look for it late tomorrow or early Wednesday.

Meantime, here is quite an interesting BBC article. It's a collection of little "sound bite" quotes from people all across the world about the early transfer of sovereignty in Iraq. Just regular people, no reporters or pundits or pols. The spectrum of opinion expressed is so wide that everyone will find something offensive, something agreeable, and perhaps something uplifting in the article. Go give it a read.


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Saturday, June 26, 2004

Saturday Sick Stuff

I've come down with a nasty cold or something (which, if I were speaking to you, would sound something like "Ibe cub down wib a nasty cold or subting"). Anyway, I feel like merde - pardon my French - and I'm not really in the mood to sit at my desk and blog. I'll do "Saturday Fun Stuff" tomorrow ... assuming I feel better.

For now, visit any of the fine blogs on my sidebar; The Sicilian, Neil the Omnipotent, and Cornpone update frequently and probably have interesting stuff for you to read. I'm goin' back to bed.


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Friday, June 25, 2004

Activist Sandor

During lunch I was surfing through some blogs I'd never visited before and I came across this story (hat tip to Puddle Pirate of Brain Shavings). Bryan Henderson is a brave kid - smart, too - and is to be commended for standing up to leftist intimidation.

Anyway, I got sucked into browsing through ProtestWarrior.com and the next thing you know I'm joining up. I'm not a big activist, but if the Tampa chapter ever gets together to counter-demonstrate the anti-war knuckelheads I'll join'em for an afternoon. They have a bunch of cool signs, by the way; here's my favorite:


The Horrible Jewish Incursion! Posted by Hello

When they coined the term "A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words" this is the kind of thing they were talking about. One could not possibly point out the hypocrisy of Islamist anti-semitism any better.


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Vile Enemy of the Week: Sudan

Colin Powell is taking a trip to Sudan. It is almost certainly a pat on the back for Sudan's cooperativeness in The War on Terror: They've gone from "Blatant Terrorist Refuge" to "Snidely Obstructive Neutral Party". It's probably also an attempt to shore up the Islamist government's cease-fire with the Animist and Christian rebels of the south; since 1983, two million Sudanese have died in or from the effects of a religious civil war. Three times as many have been displaced, and the refugees have badly disrupted regional stability.

The CIA factbook profile also notes the country's ethnic cleansings, and that despite some newfound fiscal responsibility the vast majority of Sudanese will remain desperately poor do to the effects of repression and war. And though they no longer officially harbor bin Laden or his organization (as they did up through 1996) the general chaos caused by the Islamist government's authoritarianism and ineptitude does provide a breeding ground for terrorists.

This is the nation that now sits on the UN Human Rights Commission; in a stinging rebuke to US efforts to re-introduce sanity to that body, a junta of African countries put Sudan on the commission for another term. The US representative had a few choice words, which he gave before walking out of the proceedings:


"But the least we should be able to do is to not elect a country to the only global body charged specifically with protecting human rights, at the precise time when tens of thousands of its citizens are being murdered or left to die of starvation," the US Ambassador said, addressed to African governments. The election of Sudan was "allowing the Commission to become a safe-haven for the world's worst human rights violators, especially one engaged in 'ethnic cleansing'."

"The US will not participate in this absurdity. Our delegation will absent itself from the meeting rather than lend support to Sudan's candidacy," Mr. Siv told the Commission's President. "We ask that the Secretariat take note of our action in the record of this session," he added.


To which the Sudanese official predictably responded:


The Sudanese government's representative to the Commission however did not let Mr. Siv's statement pass without protest. Omar Bashir Manis, responded by criticising the US for engaging in human rights abuses around the world, especially citing the "infamous and degrading treatment of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers in Abu Ghraib prison."

Mr. Bashir went on naming the latest known examples of excessive use of force by the UN Army, including Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantnamo Bay in Cuba. "It is yet very ironic that the United States delegation, while shedding crocodile tears over the situation in Darfur, is turning a blind eye to the atrocities committed by American forces against the innocent civilian population in Iraq," Mr. Bashir said.


Yes, Mr. Bashir, a pyramid of naked Iraqis is equivilent - no, no, surpases! - two million dead and six million homeless due to your government's attempts to enforce Islamic law on non-Muslims. The American soldiers who abused prisoners in Abu Grhaib are being tried and punished; one of them is already in jail and has been dishonorably discharged from the military.

When does your trial start, Mr. Bashir?


S



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Thursday, June 24, 2004

I'm a spy! No wait, I'm a pundit! No, wait ...

Yet another book has been published lambasting the Bush Administration’s strategy in The War on Terror. This time it’s by an “anonymous CIA insider” who has served for over 22 years. In his interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell he raises some interesting points, and one certainly has to respect his experience. There can be little doubt that he presents a valid alternative to Bush’s plan … but is it a better alternative? Does it present a long-term solution to the problem of terrorism, as Bush’s admittedly difficult and risky plan does?

What Anonymous advocates is a war that ignores Iraq and Saddam and concentrates solely on Al Queada. I know many smart people who’d agree that this would have been a good idea. Get the bastards that got us, and get them all the way. Furthermore, Anonymous calls for far more powerful and unilateral attacks on Al Queada even if it means lots of civilian casualties; he regrets the necessity of it but he feels there’s no other choice at this point. He favors a military approach over a law-enforcement approach.

I find most of his points hard to argue with. I agree that fighting Al Queada is a military matter. I agree that they are a huge threat. And I agree that invading Iraq has turned more Muslims against America and towards bin Laden, even though we got rid of a guy responsible for more Muslim death and suffering – by at least a factor of 10 – than all of the west combined.

However, I do find a few certain critical flaws in his thinking.

First of all, Anonymous says quite plainly of bin Laden that:


“… he's not a man who rants against our freedoms, our liberties, our voting, our — the fact that our women go to school. He's not the Ayatollah Khomeini; he really doesn't care about all those things. To think that he's trying to rob us of our liberties and freedom is, I think, a gross mistake.”


This flies in the face of things we know bin Laden has said. I posted a couple yesterday, in fact:


In his November 1998 “Letter to America,” Bin Laden condemned the United States because, he said, like all democracies, it is a “nation who, rather than ruling by the Sharia of Allah in its Constitution and Laws, chooses to invent your own laws as you will and desire.” After September 11th attacks, he gloated triumphantly that “the values of Western civilization… of liberty, human rights, and humanity, have been destroyed.”



In his “Declaration of the World Islamic Front for Jihad,” issued in February 1998, Bin Laden says that “to kill Americans and their allies, both civil and military, is an individual duty of every Muslim… every Muslim who believes in God and hopes for reward [must] obey God's command to kill the Americans and plunder their possessions wherever he finds them and whenever he can.”


It sounds to me like the man does indeed have something against “… our freedoms, our liberties, [and] our voting…” That a 22-year veteran of the CIA misses or ignores this is rather surprising (to say the least).

Secondly, publishing an attack like this anonymously is a cheap dodge. I understand that CIA officers have to protect their identities, but it’s kind of convenient for someone coming out against the President to be able to hide behind the cloak of anonymity. No one can call him to account for his claims or demand evidence of him. He can basically say anything he likes with no repercussions whatsoever. As far as I’m concerned the claims of an “insider” must be substantiated just like anyone else’s; just saying “this is the way things are” doesn’t mean that that is really the way things are. Until all of Anonymous’ evidence can be freely examined and he submits his opinions to rigorous inquiry it’s all just hearsay and supposition. No one ever said publishing opinions about war was safe in any case, least of all for a spy; if you want to be a pundit, be a pundit and drop the backlighting. If you want to be a spy then shut the hell up and get back to killing the enemies of your country.

My suspicion – based on some of the things said in the Mitchell interview – is that Anonymous presented and advocated a strategy that was turned down in favor of someone else’s. Our current strategy – which we call President Bush’s but which certainly didn’t originate solely with him and his cabinet – is probably the strategy that was in competition with and eventually beat out the one that Anonymous supported. I have a sense that the motivation behind this book is at least partly revenge for the perceived slight of that rejection. And again, I wish Anonymous could come out and refute that idea – or any others I’m presenting – but he has chosen to remain cloaked in secrecy. I have to make semi-educated guesses about his means and motivations because they’re not available for direct examination.

Finally, I think that the strategy he advocates was rightly discarded in favor of the one we’re following now. Not because it isn’t aggressive or informed – it certainly is both of those – but because it doesn’t present a viable long-term solution to terrorism. It’s a courageous and tough-minded plan to smash Al Queada utterly and protect American lives above all else. I can get behind that. But what it doesn’t do is strike at the conditions that led to the creation of Al Queada: Failed tribal dictatorships (in Arabia specifically) and the spread of Fascist Islamic Theocracy (across the Muslim world in general). Anonymous’ strategy certainly chops off the snake’s head, but the problem is that we’re not fighting a snake. We’re fighting a hydra.

As a closing thought I’d like to point out that I found this interview – which can hardly be called anything but a promotion for the book Anonymous wrote – on MSNBC. I had always considered MSNBC something of a compromise between CNN and Fox (and for the record, I agree that CNN is far more left-slanted than Fox is right-slanted) but lately I’ve been noticing a distinct anti-Bush tone to their reporting. Perhaps it’s just the rising hysteria of election time, but The Zoo is going to have its media bias sensor pointed squarely at MSNBC for the next few weeks.


S


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Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Frank J. Is Not Laughing ...

... and when a guy with that many guns suddenly turns serious it's probably a good idea to pay attention to him. In this post the Grand Poobah of blogosphere funnymen wonders what ordinary citizens like us can do to wake the rest of the nation up to the fact that we're actually at war with an enemy who desires nothing less than our complete destruction. The attacks on New York, Washington, and Madrid don't seem to have gotten the message across to everyone; neither do the grisly murders and beheadings of civilians who are only trying to help rebuild Afghanistan and Iraq.

Personally I think large numbers of civilians in Europe and the US don't want to believe we're at war. They're afraid of the costs - in both blood and money - and so would rather distract themselves with the prissy, bloodless mannequin-people on shows like The Simple Life than pay attention to what's really going on. I believe that many thousands of leftists, robbed of their Soviet idol for over a decade now, have willingly thrown their lot in with the Islamists (communism failed to defeat democracy and capitalism, but radical Islam might still have a shot). And finally there are those millions of folks who in their hearts know we're at war, but who will never join or support the fight while a Republican leads it. Political partisanship all but disappeared in America for almost a year back in 2001 / 2002, but such unity began to evaporate the second someone said the word "election".

My contempt for all three camps is nearly total, and I'm not sure anything can be done about them. However, I'll be damned if I'm not going to try.

So there are going to be some changes here at The Zoo. First off, the blogrolls are going to look very different; the topmost section will now be devoted to blogs and other web sites that are dedicated to exposing Islamic Fascism, helping people understand the enemy we're fighting, and winning the hearts and minds of Middle Eastern peoples. Secondly, the main thrust of my blogging is going to shift towards coverage of the things you don't see in the mainstream news: The small, daily victories of the coalition; the blatant authoritarian extremism of our enemies; the virtues of secular democracy, the failings of tribal dictatorship, and the outright evil of fascist theocracy. There will still be fun stuff here on Saturday and occasional posts about science and libertarianism. But three or four times a week The Zoo is going to be exclusively about waking up the liberal sheep, swaying the unconvinced moderates, and debunking and anti-war jackasses.

And lastly, since I'm making all these changes anyway, I'm going to switch over to one of Blogspot's newer templates; the "pea soup" layout has got to go.

To usher in this change in Zoo perspective, I leave you with some quotes taken directly from the lips of our enemies. These are excerpted from a speech by Senator Joe Lieberman that has been posted over at Defense of Democracies; go read the entire thing when you have a chance. It is appropriately alarming.


There is no better way to know this enemy than to read their words. The father of the jihadist movement, Sayyed Qutb [KUH-tahb] of Egypt, wrote in 1952, “The death of those who are killed for the cause of God gives more impetus to the cause, which continues to thrive on their blood.” The cause of which he speaks is to “establish a [Muslim] state” that “sets moral values,” “abolish[es] man-made laws” and that would impose, by force if necessary, the Islamic system on “all human beings, whether they be rulers or ruled, black or white, poor or rich, ignorant or learned.”

...

In his “Declaration of the World Islamic Front for Jihad,” issued in February 1998, Bin Laden says that “to kill Americans and their allies, both civil and military, is an individual duty of every Muslim… every Muslim who believes in God and hopes for reward [must] obey God's command to kill the Americans and plunder their possessions wherever he finds them and whenever he can.”

...

In his November 1998 “Letter to America,” Bin Laden condemned the United States because, he said, like all democracies, it is a “nation who, rather than ruling by the Sharia of Allah in its Constitution and Laws, chooses to invent your own laws as you will and desire.” After September 11th attacks, he gloated triumphantly that “the values of Western civilization… of liberty, human rights, and humanity, have been destroyed.”


There will be periods today when The Zoo is bizarrely distorted, de-linked, or offline completely. We apologize for the inconvenience.


S





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Tuesday, June 22, 2004

You First

I've read nearly everything in Steven den Beste's Essential Library; the articles he has archived there are almost certainly among the finest ever published to the web. Without hesitation I urge you, good readers, to look through all of them. Each time you visit USS Clueless for a dose of Steven's unmatchably smart blogging, go to the Essential Library and read something posted therein. When you're done you'll be smarter ... believe it.

There is now a brand-new addition to that library. Steven found and archived this article, which talks plainly about terrorism and its strategic use throughout the Arab and Muslim worlds. Here's an excerpt:


So what is all the fuss about suicide killings? It creates headlines. It is spectacular. It is frightening. It is a very cruel death with bodies dismembered and horrible severe lifelong injuries to many of the wounded. It is always shown on television in great detail. One such murder, with the help of hysterical media coverage, can destroy the tourism industry of a country for quite a while, as it did in Bali and in Turkey.


The author - apparently a Lebanese scientist named Harari - hits on something here that I feel could use a little elaboration. Acts of terror are obviously meant to frighten and impress those they are aimed at - usually the US and Israel - but these terrorists are also fighting a war at home for the hearts and minds of their own civilian populations. The vast majority of Arabs and Muslims are not terrorists, but as Harari also points out:


The problem is that the vast silent majority of these Moslems are not part of the terror and of the incitement, but they also do not stand up against it. They become accomplices, by omission, and this applies to political leaders, intellectuals, business people and many others. Many of them can certainly tell right from wrong, but are afraid to express their views.


My opinion is that the acts of terror aimed at us are also aimed at this "vast silent majority" of Muslims. By striking so dramatically at strong enemies the terrorists say to their own people: We are powerful. If we can do this the mighty Americans, just imagine what we can do to you.

They terrorize us (or try to) with shocking and grisly death; they simultaneously terrorize their own people with their ability to bring such shocking and grisly death to "the enemy". It's a double-edged sword and they're swinging it in both directions.

Further into the piece, Harari continues:


What is behind the suicide murders? Money, power and cold-blooded murderous incitement, nothing else. It has nothing to do with true fanatic religious beliefs. No Moslem preacher has ever blown himself up. No son of an Arab politician or religious leader has ever blown himself.

No relative of anyone influential has done it. Wouldn’t you expect some of the religious leaders to do it themselves, or to talk their sons into doing it, if this is truly a supreme act of religious fervor? Aren’t they interested in the benefits of going to Heaven? Instead, they send outcast women, naïve children, retarded people and young incited hotheads. They promise them the delights, mostly sexual, of the next world, and pay their families handsomely after the supreme act is performed and enough innocent people are dead.


This is hugely important. It echos the sentiment expressed by, of all characters, Wolveriene in the original X-Men film. The villan Magneto is boasting how his plan will sacrifce one mutant (Rogue, who is chained to his "mutantizing" machine) in order to teach the mutant-haters a valuable lesson they'll never forget. Magneto says his goals are noble ... someone has to be sacrificed to bring his plan to fruition, a plan that is for the good of all mutants.

To which Wolveriene essentially says: Yeah? If you're so noble how come it's not you strapped into the machine?

Every last Muslim in the world should be saying something similar to the sick, selfish, corrupt bastards that send children to kill other children with bombs in their backpacks. We're doing this for Allah? For the greater good of all Muslims? Fine.

You first.


S


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Monday, June 21, 2004

Capitalist Evil In Space!

Those crazy American capitalists and their wacky achievement-oriented culture. Their innovation and daring has brought so much to revile; cures for virulent diseases, moon landings, victory over fascism and communism ... and now look what they've done! Put a man in space with nothing but ambition, courage, and an investment of filthy money from private citizens!

Oh, why won't they embrace "third-way" social democracy like the wise and nuanced Europeans? Don't they see that a huge welfare class and a 30-hour work week are superior!?! Why won't they listen to us socialists? What do they think is so great about evil, evil capitalism?


Pilot Melvill Post-Flight Posted by Hello

The next time you hear some whiney far-left liberal spew out anti-capitalist nonsense like what you just read, show them the above picture and tell them you'll consider the value of socialism when the private citizens of any nation that embraces it can do what Mike Melvill did today. Then smack them over the head with a copy of Atlas Shrugged until they wise up.

Congratulations to everyone at Scaled Composites! A job astoundingly well done.


S

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News From Here and There

The news from here is relatively minor: The Blogosphere Political Compass Project page has been updated. Those of you involved in it (and those who would like to be) can go check out what's happening with all that.

The news from there - specifically the Mojave Desert - is much more important: "10:51 a.m. ET: SpaceShipOne has been dropped from its mothership, the White Knight. Pilot Mike Melvill fired the rockets and SpaceShipOne is now rocketing toward space. Goal: 62 miles (100 kilometers) up, where Melvill will earn his astronaut wings. Under the rising Sun the rocket firing was visible to the thousands of shouting, whooping enthralled spectators." (from space.com)

Mankind's first privately-financed human spaceflight is underway. Good luck and Godspeed to Mike Melvill and his lovely maiden, SpaceShipOne.


SS 1 Flight Plan Posted by Hello

More about this later in the afternoon; politics and war can wait till tomorrow.


S

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Sunday, June 20, 2004

Victory Over Spyware

Sorry for the lack of blogging this weekend my friends, but most of my computer time was spent chasing down some very malicious spyware. I came fairly close to taking reader star_thoughts' advice and giving up on IE completely; The Zoo almost ended up being run from Opera.

But in the end my pri ... er, fortitude proved unwilling to submit to the malware goblins quite so easily. This evening I downloaded the newest update from Ad Aware and Sysinternal's Autoruns (thanks to Neil of Whatever the Hell He's Calling His Blog This Week for pointing that one out) and one or both did the trick. Ding dong the spyware's dead.

Tomorrow I'll have an update on the Blogosphere Political Compass Project and some thoughts on the weekend of mayhem in Saudi Arabia.

But for now, I'm off to see the wizard.


S

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Friday, June 18, 2004

So Good Even His Mail Is Better Than My Blogging

I had wanted to keep the previous post at the top of the page for a day; I think it's important. But I came across something over at Andrew Sullivan's place that just blew me away. Emperor Misha I of The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler has already linked to it in this post, and now I'm going to as well. It's that good.

Everything in this e-mail that Sullivan received from one of his readers is just bursting with truth. But the fifth point this guy makes hits so close to home that I feel like someone was reading my mind.

Over the din of public discourse in America one voice will occasionally ring forth with such honest clarity that all others should silence themselves so (s)he can be heard. Whoever sent the letter to Sullivan is such a voice, and I believe President Bush genuinely needs to listen up.


S

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Marshall Sandor vs. The Cool Web Search Gang

I hate advertising. I mean I loathe it. I keep 12 radio stations preset in my truck so that I can switch the very instant any of them go to commercial. I’ll listen to the Wham! marathon being played by the local 80’s station before I’ll listen to ads about cellular phone service or the big car sale going on this weekend over at Fast Eddie’s Lemon Yard. I’m the same way with TV; the few shows I watch I try to Tivo so I can fast forward through the commercials. If I must watch something live I try to find a couple other stations showing something interesting enough to flip over to during breaks. With the exception of a couple "Snickers" commercials, I’ve never met an ad I didn’t hate.

So you can imagine how annoying, how infuriating, how murder-spree inducingly enraging I find homepage highjackers. I mean it forces you to view advertising every time you open your web browser! Grrrargh! When I get one – and I have taken great pains to see that I don’t – my aura goes black as midnight in a coal mine. The dogs slink out of the study and my roommates hide all of our sharp gardening tools. My computer, sensing immanent mortal peril, suddenly starts running smoother than it did on the day I bought it and decides that this might not be the best time to ask if I’d like to download the newest MSN Messenger update. Its high noon in PC Gulch and Marshall Sandor is gunning for the Cool Web Search Gang.

And today I’m going to deputize you loyal readers so that you too can blow those no-good, yellow-bellied homepage rustlers right out of their boots if they ever ride into your town.

First of all, what exactly is a homepage highjacker? Well, those of you who’ve had or have one know exactly what they do even if you don’t know how they do it. One day you’re innocently surfing the web and Zap! – you hit a page that starts opening pop-ups like mad and redirecting your browser to web sites that would make Larry Flint blush with shame. This most often occurs in the web’s red-light district (sites about gambling, porn, or DNC investments in Air America) but it can really happen anywhere; just because someone gets highjacked it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve been losing the rent money on internet poker or ogling virtual boobies while their roommates are out walking the dogs. Anyway, after you close all of the pop-ups and return your browser to the civilized internet you suddenly discover that your home page is no longer your home page. It is now something like Cool Web Search, Home Search, or even a web site that could potentially land you in divorce court.

At this point bright computer users will go to Tools - Internet Options and delete their cookies, temporary internet files, and history, and then click Use Default. This might work and is the first thing you should try. But more often than not you’ll find that your default page has been reset to the highjacker page, and worse yet will always reset itself to the highjacker page when you reboot. As I said: Grrrargh!

What has happened is that a program has inserted hooks into your registry that automatically call up functions on reboot (or sometimes when you start certain software) which, in turn, reset your homepage. So you can delete all of the cookies and empty your temporary files all you like; setting your homepage back to where you want it will only last until the next time you reboot (at best – the newer highjackers set the default back to their own page every time you open your browser).

Good gracious, Marshall Sandor, what shall we do?

Well, fine townspeople, what you’re going to do is load up a six shooter with the ammunition listed below and then blast those highjacking varmints right to internet hell:

Chamber One: I’ve already loaded it for you. Go to Tools - Internet Options. Delete your cookies, temporary internet files (all offline content), and history. Click Use Default. If you have a wimpy highjacker, this first shot might do him in.

Chamber Two: Spyware Blaster (SB). Go here and download it – it’s free. It’s very simple to use but you might want to read some of the Help File anyway. When you feel you have a handle on how to run it, do so but check for updates first. I cannot stress this enough; check for and download the updates before running SB. New spyware is being created all the time and it does you no good to hunt only for the old stuff. When you run SB it will search for (and, with your permission, destroy) all sorts of nasty crap you’ve probably picked up on the internet. Most people are amazed at the amount of spyware on their system the first time they do this. Afterwards, click Immunize to prevent all of it from coming back. SB might get rid of tougher hijackers, but I recommend that you put another round into that bastard anyway:

Chamber Three: Ad Aware (AA). AA is similar to SB in form and function. Download it, get comfortable with the controls (once again, they’re relatively straightforward), get the latest update, and run it. In conjunction with SB, AA can solve most spyware / adware / homepage highjacker problems.

Even if you don’t have a highjacker it’s still a good idea to run SB and AA every once in awhile. Spyware and adware are diseases you should keep your system free of; no one needs to know about your internet habits but you, and anyone trying to sneak a peak is violating your privacy.

Chamber Four: He’s still a-comin’, huh? Some of these banditos are fairly resilient. If the Spyware Blaster / Ad Aware combination doesn’t solve your problem, you’ve got a highjacker with its hooks in your registry. One possible solution is CW Shredder. Shredder was specifically designed to handle the Cool Web Search highjackers and is pretty powerful stuff; chamber four is loaded with a Teflon-coated man-stopper. Download and use it like you used Spyware Blaster and Ad Aware ... it’s even easier to run than they are. About 90% of highjackers can’t survive SB, AA, and Shredder.

Chamber Five: Jeez, where the hell have you been web surfing? Really? Me too! I had no idea people could do such things with a live weasel and six feet of garden hose.

You’ve got one tough hombre` here, partner. I’ll give you the fifth bullet, but it comes with a warning: This one has a flaming magnesium casing, spews red-hot rocket exhaust, and releases a troop of poisonous monkeys when you fire it. You can very easily hurt yourself as badly as the highjacker by using it, so be careful. Comprende`?

Hijack This will scan your registry and display any out-of-place objects it finds hiding there. You can select and delete them as you like, but some are almost certainly things that you want – even things you purposely customized your browser with. Unless you are familiar with poking around in this part of your computer I highly recommend you follow the advice that Highjack This gives you: Instead of deleting anything, just create a log file of the registry values HT finds and show it to someone who knows what they’re doing. If you don’t have a buddy who’s big into IT you can lurk around the HT web page and try to get one of their big brains to help you out. Do not just randomly delete things; you’re likely to make things worse instead of better.

Chamber Six: I don’t have a bullet for chamber six, but someone else might. I can’t imagine what kind of highjacker could get past a Hijack This scan-and-delete done by a knowledgeable user, but web bandits can be creative. If your problem can’t be solved by anything I’ve outlined here, you need to write down the exact page title you’re being highjacked to (and as much other information as you can get) and do a Google search on it. Chances are excellent that someone, somewhere is working on or has found a solution. Don’t give up just because your highjacker turned out to be some kind of freakishly strong werewolf version of the breed; the silver bullet you need to waste him is out there, or will be. Keep looking.

The Stove Lid Under Your Poncho: There is a fairly simple, straightforward defense against homepage highjackers and other spyware. No, it isn’t "stay out of the web’s red-light district"; Marshall Sandor ambles over to the saloon - or to Miss Kitty’s Cat House, for that matter – whenever it suits him, highjacking homepage rustlers be damned. Limiting your movement to the safe, boring, vanilla parts of the ‘net is no guarantee anyway … I know people who’ve gotten highjacked looking at china patterns.

What you can do is stop your system from running Active X controls without your okay. Highjackers almost always need Active X controls to run in order to download their hooks into your system, so if you stop those controls you stop the download. If you go to Tools - Internet Options - Security tab - Custom Level and scroll down a bit you should see an option marked Run Active X Controls and Plug-Ins. I’ve switched mine from Yes to Prompt. Now my system asks me if I want to allow such controls to run anytime a web page tries to run them. If I am anywhere I don’t completely trust the content I click No. No Active X control, no highjacking. It does get a little annoying having to click Yes or No on half the web pages you visit, but I despise spyware enough to do it. It’s a minor hassle that you get used to, trust me.

So, there you have it – Marshall Sandor’s guide to wrangling those lily-livered homepage highjackers. Now go load up your peacemaker and clean up your town. I have a sunset to ride off into.


S
 
 

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Thursday, June 17, 2004

His Brothers, Our Heros

On the 60th anniversary of D-Day, reader Cartagia's dad presented a speech at Operation: God Bless America XIV. Chief Warrant Officer 4 Douglas Tait (Ret) spoke of heroism, sacrifice, and the dubious intentions of an increasingly slanted media. What follows is the text of his speech, whole and unedited.


S


My fellow veterans and brothers; It is indeed an honor and a very special privilege to be here today to pay tribute to you who have served and sacrificed for our blessed nation - not forgetting those who continue to sacrifice in the mountains of Afghanistan and the desert of Iraq and throughout the world.

The patriotism, and vitality of America’s veterans is a quality that sadly is not always seen among the general population, however patriotism is very evident here among this group who have come to honor you today.

Speaking of vitality let me tell you an example of one veteran’s vitality. A few nights ago two seasoned WWII vets were in the day room reminiscing about the liberation of Paris and all the young Mademoiselles that befriended them in the rescued city. One old-timer looked at his friend and said; "Charlie can you remember the last time you had sex?" Charlie thought for a moment and said, "Well it was around 1957". "1957!" Replied his friend; "Do you know how long ago that was?" Charlie just grinned at his buddy and said, "Hell, that wasn’t so long ago" - and looked at his watch and said, "It’s only 2030 now!" …………. Now that’s vitality!

I am not here today as some war hero, or famous person. All I did was leave my burning helicopter in the jungle of Vietnam one night, and was lucky enough to survive the experience. You know, they say a good landing is one you can walk away from, and a great landing is when you can use the aircraft again. Well I did neither, and I address you today, as simply a fellow citizen and veteran and bring you a message of profound thanks and gratitude for your service to our great nation.

We are here today to pay tribute to you, but the fact is each of you is a tribute - a living example - of that which has made this country great. Citizens who were willing to answer a call to duty and who were willing to sacrifice for the greater good. Many of us cannot imagine what each of you has lived through or the memories that you carry, be they of Normandy, the Argonne Forest, Iwo Jima, Midway, the Chosin Reservoir, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Iraq or any other military action undertaken by the United States Armed Forces.

But we can all imagine how different life in this country might have been had each of you, and all our veterans, not chosen to serve to protect our great nation. Your honor as veterans is great, our debt to you is greater, and our nation, as a result of your efforts, is greater still.

The title of veteran is a term deserving of great respect in America. All who served, whether for a few years or for many, have put our nation's needs above their own. All stood ready, if the order came, to risk everything for their country's cause. Our wars have taken from us some of our finest citizens, and left many with scars that will never heal.

Some may ask "What is the price of freedom?". My answer is: It is the most costly thing in the world. And freedom is never paid for in one lump sum. Installments come due in every generation. All any of us can do is offer the generation that follows an opportunity for freedom. This you have done.

And despite the much-reported failures of a few, today's military is acting in the finest traditions of the veterans who came before them. They are showing bravery in the face of ruthless and merciless enemies thousands of miles away in the heart and center of their power, so that we do not face those enemies in the heart of America.

Today’s deadly threats of tyranny against our liberty come from rogue powers and stateless networks of extremists who have nothing but contempt for the sanctity of human life and for the principles civilized people hold dear. And one again our uniformed citizens have been called upon to stand up to that tyranny.

We know America’s soldiers are strong, compassionate and decent for they represent the goodness that our country stands for. By their courage, they keep us safe; by their honor, they make us proud. And let not the mistakes of a handful taint the memory of the millions who have and are serving with honor.

But how often do we hear about the courage and selflessness of or soldiers? Not nearly as often as we hear about the doom and gloom that pours forth from network television and our major newspapers.

The odd fact about the American media in this war is that it's not covering the American military. The most plugged-in nation in the world is receiving virtually no true information about what its warriors are doing. We don't often hear about the heroes - the incredibly brave Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen who serve with honor.

Would you like to hear about a real American, somebody who honored the uniform he wears? Let me tell you about 29 year old Brian Chontos of Rochester, NY. Husband and father-to-be. A United States Marine and a genuine hero.

How do I know Brian is a hero? Well the secretary of the Navy said so last month when Brian was presented with the Navy Cross, the second highest award for combat bravery the United States can bestow.

But you never saw it on the network news or read about in any newspaper. In fact Brian's hometown newspaper coverage was two paragraphs of nothing. At this same time we couldn’t turn on the TV or pick up a newspaper without hearing about some misguided MPs and seeing never-ending photographs of naked Iraqis.

It was a year ago on the march into Baghdad. Brian Chontosh was a platoon leader rolling up Highway 1 in a Humvee when all hell broke loose. The column was halted by coalition tanks blocking the road ahead when they came under intense enemy fire.

The young Marines were being cut to ribbons by mortars, machine-guns, and rocket propelled grenades. And the kid out of Rochester was in charge. It was do or die and it was up to him.

So he moved to the side of his column, looking for a way to lead his men to safety. As he tried to poke a hole through the Iraqi line his Humvee came under direct enemy machine gun fire.

It was like shooting fish in a barrel and the Marines were the fish.

And like a typical Marine when under fire and out-numbered, LT Chontosh gave the order to attack. He told his driver to floor the Humvee directly at the machine gun emplacement that was firing at them. And he had the Marine on the Humvee’s .50 cal unload on them.

Within moments there were Iraqis slumped across their machine guns and the Marines were still advancing, Brian ordered his driver to run the Humvee directly into the Iraqi trench that was attacking the Marines….HIS Marines.

Over into the battlement the Humvee went and Brian Chontosh bailed out the door, carrying an M16, a 9 mm pistol and 228 years of Marine Corps pride.

He ran down the trench, filled with Iraqi riflemen, machineguns and grenadiers.

He fought with his M16 until he was out of ammo. Then he fought with his pistol until it was out of ammo.

Then he picked up a dead Iraq’s AK47 and fought with that until it was empty. Then he picked up another AK47 and continued to advance, empting it into the Iraqi ambush.

At one point he even fired a discarded Iraqi RPG into an enemy position, sending attackers flying with its grenade explosion.

When he was done, Brian Chontosh had cleared 200 yards of entrenched Iraqis from his platoon's flank. He had killed more than 20 and wounded at least as many more.

"By his outstanding display of decisive leadership, unlimited courage in the face of heavy enemy fire, and utmost devotion to duty, 1st Lt. Chontosh reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service."

That's what the citation says. And that's what nobody will hear.

That's what doesn't seem to be making the evening news. Accounts of American valor are seemingly dismissed by the press as propaganda, yet accounts of American difficulties are heralded as objectivity. It makes you wonder if the role of the media is to inform, or to depress - to report or to disparage. To tell the truth, or to deceive us. I am tempted to ask - Where is their honor?

Each of here knows about honor and believes in it. But you cannot believe in honor until you have achieved it. No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor is the reward for what you give. When there is a lack of honor among our nation’s institutions, including the media, the beliefs and ideals of the whole people are poisoned.

Our men and women are fighting for the security of America and for the advance of freedom, a most difficult task and one worth fighting for.

Our nation gained its own freedom and helped free much of the world by taking on difficult tasks. We're a confident people, and we have a reason to be confident. Our Armed Forces are skilled and powerful and dedicated. They're the best in the world and always have been.

In his inaugural speech, JFK pledged that the US should "pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of liberty." It is you, the veteran, who has paid the price, born the burden and felt the hardship of his promise. He also said: "The rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God." Not a false god that advocates the slaughter and beheading of the innocent, but the God of mercy and righteousness that we acknowledge when we pledge allegiance to "One nation, Under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." This is the heritage our young men and women are protecting around the globe today.

My fellow veterans, this nation once placed the final success or failure of our heritage in our hands, and we have handed that responsibility to a new generation. History will be the final judge of our deeds. I pray with His blessing and His help, we will prevail according to His will, but knowing that here on earth, God's work must truly be our own.

It has been said that war is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The sad, misguided sentiment of those who believe that nothing is worth fighting for is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. A duty evaded is like a debt unpaid; it is only deferred, and someone must come back and settle the account at last.

Last week we witnessed the dedication of the World War II memorial in Washington DC a memorial that will stand forever in tribute to the "The Greatest Generation" of Americans. And today marks the 60th anniversary of D-Day. When General Eisenhower gave the go-ahead for the invasion to begin, he turned to his adjutant and said, "It is out of my hands now, I am just an observer. The future of the world is in the hands of the Privates on Omaha and Utah beach."

And the Privates on those beaches saved the world from fascist tyranny. Their sacrifice secured the blessings of liberty for hundreds of millions of people around the world.

The 400,000 who gave their lives in Europe, Africa the Pacific and on the oceans of the world in the name of liberty were lives that were not lost in vain - for it is by their the sacrifice and the courage and of all who served in that war that has given us every hour that we live in freedom.

I would like to take a moment to give special recognition to those of you here today who served in World War II. If you are able, would you please stand, if you cannot stand please raise your hand and allow us the privilege to acknowledge your service and sacrifice.

I pray that our country will never forget and always care for and support our veterans and their families. In his 2nd Inaugural address, Abraham Lincoln expressed this thought. "With malice toward none; with charity toward all; with firmness in the right - as God gives us to see the right - let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for those who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan." To you who have borne the battle, I pray that our nation heeds his words.

Over 200 years ago the freedoms that we cherish today were put on paper in our Constitution, but they were only words unless those freedoms were secured for us. So who gave us our freedoms?

It is the veteran, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the veteran, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the veteran, not the anti-war protester, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.

It is the veteran, Who salutes the flag, Who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protestor to burn the flag.

I would like to close by reading you parts of an article written by Father Dennis Edward O’Brien, USMC Chaplain. Chaplain O’Brien was once asked. What is A Veteran? This is his answer.

WHAT IS A VETERAN?

He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn't run out of fuel.

He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.

She is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.

He is the POW who went away one person and came back another - or didn't come back AT ALL.

He is the parade - riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand.

He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb Of The Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor dies unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean's sunless deep.

He is the old guy who bags groceries at the supermarket - palsied and aggravatingly slow - who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wished all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.

He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being - a person who offered some of his life's most vital years in the service of his country, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs.

He is a soldier and a liberator and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known.


Remember: At the close of life the question will be not how much have you got, but how much have you given. Not how much you have won, but how much you have done. Not how much you have saved, but how much you have sacrificed;

The sacrifice of each and every one of you is recognized by all those gathered here. You have defended the God-given liberty and freedom that this nation was founded for and you have our utmost respect and gratitude for a duty well done. May God bless you, may this nation bless God and may God bless the United States of America.



CW4 Douglas Tait (Ret)


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Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Blogosphere Political Compass Project (updated 21June04)

The plan for the Blogosphere Political Compass Project is currently as follows:

Twenty bloggers have been invited to take the Political Compass quiz and then send their results to me for posting. I have received just over a dozen responses, plus a couple from folks who were not on my original pilot list but who were kind enough to take the quiz and send me their results; this is strongly encouraged. I want lots of bloggers sending me results, there is just no way I can send out hundreds and hundreds of invitations. If you are a blogger who wants to have your results from the Political Compass quiz posted here, just take it and e-mail them to me. Be sure to include your name (or your nom de blog) and the name of your blog.

I'm sending out twenty more invitations today, including five to some of the true blogosphere giants. If any of you have some personal leverage with Frank J., Bill Whittle, Andrew Sullivan, Glen Reynolds, or Kos I ask you to beg, cajole, and threaten them into submiting their quiz results to this project.

Anyway, my next step is to create a large graph and add the positions of all the respondents to it; when I have twenty bloggers to chart I'll do so. Then the graph will be updated twice a month (1st and 15th) with further responses as they come in. Remember that every blogger who sends a response will be visited to make sure it actually is coming from a blogger, and anything that looks suspicious will be checked into thoroughly before it's posted. Also, I'll be temporarily linking each blog that sends a response; there will be a "New to the Project" list of links that will be updated along with the graph.


S


Note: One of the original invitees (Nathan Newman of nathannewman.org) has let me know that something like this was attempted in the past. The Deltiod Political Compass Survey met with mixed results, and I hope to outdo it in number of respondents, breadth of sample, and coolness of graph. So keep'em coming in.


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Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Navigating By Political Compass

Okay, I think it's about time we all had a lesson in just what is meant by terms like liberal, conservative, libertarian, and authoritarian. The standard, one-dimensional "left = liberal, right = conservative" political chart is woefully inadequate; what if your opinions are not all on one side? It certainly does not make you a centrist, because political outlook doesn't balance like a math equation (an eco-terrorist who strongly supports the death penalty is not a moderate).

To really have any useful meaning, political affiliations must be charted on at least two separate axis: Economic and social. The Political Compass by politicalcompass.org uses a two-dimensional grid to chart both, economic being left-right and social being up-down. Answering a series of questions gives you a score that appears on a graph. I took my results and added them (in blue) to a graph that also includes some famous political figures for comparison:


sandor's political compass Posted by Hello

I suggest that everyone go read The Political Compass Introduction (it's a little less than a page of text) and then take the quiz (which takes about five minutes). For a 10 or 15 minute investment of time you'll likely come away with a broader insight into your own political stance.

For those who don't want to bother, here's a quick-and-dirty explanation of the axis:

Authoritarian ("Up"): An authoritarian wants to exert control over others and make them behave in a certain way. Authoritarian ideals are often nationalistic, religious, or even racist. An authoritarian extremist is a fascist.

Conservative ("Right"): A conservative believes in free-market economics; they favor few (if any) government controls on business, few (if any) social programs, and low taxes. A conservative extremist is a laissez-faire capitalist.

Libertarian ("Down"): A libertarian believes in individual freedoms and personal responsibility. They resent government (or any other) intrusion into what they see as their personal business. Libertarians very often use the motto "Your right to swing your fist ends at the tip of my nose" (you can do whatever you like so long as it hurts no one else). A libertarian extremist is called a libertine.

Liberal ("Left"): Liberals desire a planned or managed economy. They believe a large, central government that collects high taxes and regulates business will protect people from exploitation. A liberal extremist is called a Socialist.

So when we speak of a conservative here we do not necessarily mean someone who is religious, pro-death penalty, and anti-abortion. We mean someone who is a capitalist.

Your (stereo)typical far religious right Republican is correctly referred to as a authoritarian conservative. I myself am a libertarian conservative - and an almost dead-center one at that. I'm too far from the central X-Y point to be considered a moderate in any respect, but I'm not close enough to either end to be called an extremist either. I'm a strong, solid individualist and capitalist who takes neither to the point of fanaticism ... and I know and accept that there are some things I'm going to have to compromise on if I want to be able to vote for one of the two or three main presidential candidates.

I wish I had the luxury of voting for a nice centrist (from either big party) or a genuine Libertarian. I really do. Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, however, I've been a single-issue voter; I'm going with the guy who I think has the best plan to win the war on terror. Not the guy who has the perfect plan (because that doesn't exist) but the one who has put forth solid, workable ideas than can end terrorism by destroying its root causes of Islamic Fascism and Arabian Tribalism. George Bush is that guy. He's not my first choice - I'd prefer we had John McCain leading us right now. But President Bush and his administration at least understand that we are at war (our enemies have been at war with us for decades ... we just didn't start fighting back until the Autumn of 2001) and that the time for half-measures and "proportional responses" is past. We're in this for our way of life. We're in it for western secular Democracy. I want someone at the helm who intends to win.


S

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Monday, June 14, 2004

Powerless

Well, one of our badass summer thunderstorms knocked out the power in our neighborhood yesterday afternoon. It still hadn't come back on when I got up this morning, so I'm unshaven for work and facing a fridge full of spoiled food when I get home. Grrr. Stupid TECO!

Anyway, about my late-night outburst (see previous post): Apologies for the self-indulgent hand wringing. It's difficult to be called "right wing" when you're a nonreligious social liberal ... being lumped in with the likes of Pat Buchanan and Ann Coulter is demoralizing. But I've made my political decisions carefully and informedly, and I believe they are the right ones. Other's misconceptions - no matter how close and important those others might be to you - do not change what is right.

The good folks involved have been e-mailed links to some of the posts I've made here that clearly delineate the difference between conservative and libertarian. Reading them and understanding them is another matter; one hopes that self-described liberals are open enough to carefully consider differing viewpoints. I guess we'll see.

More to come on this, probably.


S

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