Critical Section


Sunday,  03/23/03  10:05 PM

Tonight Shirley and I attended a black-tie fund-raiser with the theme "An Evening With The Stars", held at the Ronald Reagan presidential library.  The Academy Awards were broadcast live via satellite on a huge screen.  You can't imagine a more conservative group, or a more proper one.  When Michael Moore criticized President Bush, you might have expected some restrained and horrified tisk-tisking.  No way.  There was serious and sustained booing, laced with angry comments.  Afterward, the volume level of conversation was noticeably higher and more directed, as each table agreed he was a complete idiot.  Sure, we recognize his right to have an opinion, and sure, we recognize his right to voice that opinion.  But we sure don't have to agree with it.

Perhaps it was the environment, but I don't remember the reception his remarks received by the academy the way the San Francisco Chronicle does: "A standing ovation and a handful of jeers"...  I remember it more like this: "Michael Moore booed as he slams Iraq war at Oscars".  Seems to me he was basically booed off the stage, by a very liberal audience.  Steve Martin got loud applause for commenting "It was so sweet backstage, the teamsters are helping Michael Moore into the trunk of his limo".

_____ WAR _____

If you are concerned about the coalition forces meeting resistance, you're not alone.  But this was not unexpected, and overall things have gone exceedingly well.  Read James Lileks' thoughts on this...  and Steven Den Beste's...  CNN has put up a "war tracker"; note especially the graph showing coalition deaths.  Every death is a tragedy, but each day of this huge operation involving hundreds of thousands the death toll has been in single digits!  If you have a city of 300,000 people, each day people may die, too.  Meanwhile the rabidly anti-war Iraq Body Count website lists only 126 confirmed Iraqi civilian casualties.  Again, I abhor any deaths, but, in a country of 22M that's pretty good.

Just want to call your attention again to Nick Denton's map, which is frequently updated to show coalition forces' locations within Iraq.

Isn't it a bit weird that in CNN's coverage of the soldier who committed treason and attacked his superiors with a grenade they never mention he's Muslim?  That seems relevant, doesn't it?

The Jerusalem Post reports that Blix and company missed a 100-acre chemical plant.  Of course, it isn't their fault.  The inspectors were not spies.

I pulled up L.T.Smash and the lead post was "life during wartime".  Right.  Cueing the Talking Heads right now...  the sound of gunfire, off in the distance, I'm getting used to it now...  this ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no fooling around...

_____ NON WAR _____

Interconnected: If you had to get rid of one planet, which one would it be?

Did you catch the terrific Arizona-Gonzaga game last night?  Probably old news for many, but I Tivo-ed it, of course.  What a game!  Man, the excitement was palpable.  I think squeakers like this are good for teams, UCLA had several of them in their improbable 1995 championship run.  At this point my money's on Arizona (speaking metaphorically...).  Kentucky seems to be cruising, and Michigan State is the other team which looks hot.

I didn't get to see it, but Australia crushed India to win the cricket world cup.

I've been trying Mozilla 1.3, and I like it.  It is definitely faster than 1.2, and nearly as fast as IE.  More importantly, it can handle twenty or so concurrent loads with no problem.  The input line search is as good as the Google toolbar (just change Mozilla's preferences to use Google for searching).  The only problem left from my list of drawbacks is the lack of support for my laptop's trackpad scrolling.  So when I'm traveling I still use IE.  If you haven't tried Mozilla, give it a whirl.  You'll love not playing whack-a-mole with pop-up windows, and you can block images from any server, so after a while you don't see ads anymore.

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