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We will never have true civilization until we have learned to recognize the rights of others. — Will Rogers

Making Iraq Safe From Democracy 2003.06.29.23:15

Yes, I said safe from, not safe for. The following story is at the Washington Post Online, which likes you to register. If you don't already have an account, use the username/password "freethepresses" (same word for both username and password):

SAMARRA, Iraq – U.S. military commanders have ordered a halt to local elections and self-rule in provincial cities and towns across Iraq, choosing instead to install their own handpicked mayors and administrators, many of whom are former Iraqi military leaders.


"They give us a general," said Bahith Sattar, a biology teacher and tribal leader in Samarra who was a candidate for mayor until that election was canceled last week. "What does that tell you, eh? First of all, an Iraqi general? They lost the last three wars! They're not even good generals. And they know nothing about running a city."

I know that there will be those who would comment that we have to first ensure that things are running again, without the risk of Saddam loyalists and Baath party members re-establishing a hold on local power. But this just doesn't strike me as the way to do it. We've claimed from the outset that the people of Iraq truly wanted our help in getting rid of Saddam and his regime, but now we aren't interested in giving them a voice in replacing him. And military officers? Generals, no less? How certain can we be that they opposed Saddam, versus telling our reps just what they want to hear, in exchange for being given seats of power?

# [/politics]

28 Days Correction 2003.06.29.07:30

The stickers I got at the midnight showing of 28 Days Later... actually read, "The end is extremely fucking nigh," not "really fucking nigh." Oddly enough, I find the difference in wording very significant. Something about the usage of "extremely" just works in that context. And no, I'm not giving the second sticker away. Not without hefty favors in return, at least...

Something else about the movie– more about the setting. Since this was a midnight showing, sponsored and promoted by a college radio station, it wasn't just sold out, it was packed with mostly college-age types. Which made for a fairly rowdy time before the movie started. One thing I nearly choked at, during the previews, was this: the preview was for The Eye, a new horror film from Hong Kong. Which looks really good, by the way. I plan to see it when I can. Anyway, the trailer opened with a voice-over of the phrase, "The sensation that's sweeping Asia." To this, someone in the audience shouted, "Oh no! SARS!" We pretty much missed the first third or so of the preview itself.

But despite the trend set in the time right before the movie and during the previews, the audience was pretty rapt throughout the movie. It really grabs you and holds your attention. Have I admonished you yet about the need to see this film?

# [/entertainment/movies]

Who Am I:
Randy J. Ray
Software Engineer


Buy my book!

Programming Web Services with Perl

I've also contributed three chapters to:

Computer Science & Perl Programming

Category quick-links:


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Reading and Re-reading
· The Annotated Thursday: G.K. Chesterton's The Man Who Would Be Thursday, G.K. Chesterton, Martin Gardner
· The Feeling Good Handbook, David D. Burns
· Organizing From the Inside Out, Julie Morgenstern
· XML Schema, Eric Van Der Vlist
· BEEP: The Definitive Guide, Marshall T. Rose

High in the queue
· Silk, Caitlin R. Kiernan
· Coldheart Canyon, Clive Barker
· Idoru, William Gibson
· Shared Source CLI Essentials, David Stutz, Ted Neward, Geoff Shilling

Recently finished
· Planetary Vol. 3: Leaving the 20th Century, Warren Ellis, et al

Recommended favorites
· The Cowboy Wally Show, Kyle Baker
· Lost Souls, Poppy Z. Brite
· The Alienist, Caleb Carr
· Quarantine, Greg Egan
· The Authority: Relentless, Warren Ellis et al.
· Planetary: All Over the World and Other..., Warren Ellis et al.
· American Gods, Neil Gaiman
· Good Omens, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
· Neuromancer, William Gibson
· A Philosophical Investigation, Philip Kerr
· Say You Want a Revolution (The Invisibles, Book 1), Grant Morrison et al
· You Are Worthless: Depressing Nuggets of..., Oswald T. Pratt and Scott Dickers
· Cryptonomicon, Neil Stephenson
· Rising Stars : Born In Fire (Vol. 1), J. Michael Straczynski

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