April 16th, 2003

Enterprise Bridge

Random rants

  • It seems spammers are getting wise to the workings of spam filters like spamassassin. I'm seeing more and more messages in the spamtrap spool with misspelled keywords. "c0ck", "VI@GR@", and the like.

  • Parents of teenage children are pretty dumb, but for that matter, so are the cell carriers. This week's episode of Third Watch reminds me of a common complaint I hear from parents around the high school, that they can't control their kids' abuse of their cell phones, because they can't take them away for safety concerns. The Qualcomm/Kyocera can't be the only company that includes a dial restriction security feature on their products. Turn it on and secure it with the keypad lock code, and the phone only dials 911 and the numbers in its phone book. You can't restrict incoming calls, but limiting the outgoing ones to home, school, mom and dad's office and cell phones, AAA, and 911 should cut problems in half.

  • Speakeasy called this morning to follow-up on the searches I've been doing on their web site. The caller ID actually showed the 800 number to reach them at.

    I originally planned to jump to DSL to cut my broadband bill back down. I had been paying $40/month for Cox@Home back in the day, until they killed inbound SMTP and WWW service for residential customers, while I was out of town. Since I needed service turned back on Right Now, I had to jump to their $100/month business offering, which (unbeknownst to me) had a 1-year commitment tagged to it.

    Since the shakeout last year in the DSL market, the only useful DSL packages out there won't save me more than $10 or $20/month. But for the same money I'm paying now, Speakeasy will include another IP, a shell account on their system (useful for diagnostics) and a nationwide dialup account (useful for Palm and travel use.) And they're known to be Clueful and reliable. I see this as a Win, and I'm happy to give more money to people that use it well, than less money to people who haven't a clue. (As an example, Time-Warner dismisses complaints about its e-mail services with "E-mail service is for entertainment purposes only".)
  • Current Music
    Rob D - Furious Angels
Enterprise Bridge

Memo to Cpl. Joshua Miles

A damnportlander quoted this poem today.

For all the free people that still protest.
You're welcome. We protect you

In general, yes. That's what you signed up for. But right now? How are you so sure that what you're doing now is actually protecting your countrymen?

Your voice is strong and loud,
but who will fight for you?
No one standing in your crowd.

Have you missed that raising their voice is how they fight? Or have you bought into the fallacy that one only "fights" en masse with weapons? And even if we were to assume this fallacy is true, for the sake of argument, who are you to say that in the face of a dire enough threat, for a just enough cause, that some of that crowd would not fight as you seem to define it?

What makes you think your cause is so just, or that the threat you perceive is so dire?

So please stop yelling, put down your signs,
and pray for those
behind enemy lines.

Why can't one do both?

When the conflict is over and all is well,
be thankful that we chose
to go through hell.

You aren't assuming that all will be well when this conflict is over, are you?

What if this conflict has only made it worse? Should we still be thankful? Or will it be okay then to be angry with the people who sent you on so counterproductive a mission?

As I understand it, a major aim of military basic training is to break recruits down, to re-form them as a unit which will do what it is told, to not act upon questions they might have about what they are ordered to do, perhaps not to even think those questions at all. How can a person commit themself to that life, freely, and fit in, and succeed, yet not become a mindless drone that embraces whatever comes down from on high in Washington? I know this is possible, but I don't understand how it happens.

It's people like this Marine that disturb me. While they are not their commanders, their commanders are products of this system. The people advising the legislators and Presidents that make decisions about where and in what numbers to send forces, they are products of this system. Aren't they?

This poem grabs at sentimental and patriotic emotional strings, which throws red flags for me. I checked it out on snopes.com and didn't find anything. However, I did find this floor speech by Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) It's really, really good.
  • Current Music
    Rob D - Furious Angels