THE VIEW FROM CHAOS MANOR
View 317 July 5 - 11, 2004
Highlights this week:
This is a day book. It's not all that well edited. I try to keep this up daily, but sometimes I can't. I'll keep trying. See also the monthly COMPUTING AT CHAOS MANOR column, 4,000 - 7,000 words, depending. (Older columns here.) For more on what this page is about, please go to the VIEW PAGE. If you have never read the explanatory material on that page, please do so. If you got here through a link that didn't take you to the front page of this site, click here for a better explanation of what we're trying to do here.
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July 5, 2004
It's column time. There was lots of mail over the weekend, and some other stuff.
|This week:||Tuesday, July
Column is done but still polishing, and I want to do a couple of thousand words of fiction today. I don't know if the world has slowed down or not; I'm just coming up for air.
July 7, 2004
The column is done. Much of it is about the Internet Explorer situation; it has taken a lot of work to get that right. At least as I think of it as right...
Everyone has their hair on fire on this one.
Speaking of which, my system experience progressive communications failure. It turns out that the DNS server I was relying on died this morning while I was working (not mine, it was "out there"). After a while I couldn't connect to much, and it became less and less.
Eventually I called Adelphia, got a frontline tech who instantly realized this was more than just a "reset the router, reset the modem, reset your XP machine" problem and passed me along to Sal, who didn't understand the situation but was able to help intelligently as I looked the router settings while he looked at the cable modem from his end. Eventually they found each other, and all was well, and I have new DNS servers maintained by Adelphia.
Subject: DNS issue
From what you write, you had only one DNS server, and when that went down, you lost all ability to resolve host names. Your router should have room for both a primary and secondary server, giving you the redundancy to survive the occasional failure of either. Of course, it helps if they're on different subnets, so that no one router failure takes down more than one. (Does MSN still have all their DNS servers on the same subnet, or have they finally learned their lesson?)
-- Joe Zeff
Yeah. And each machine has a primary DNS which is local (192.168.x.x to a fixed address of one of the servers ) and the servers all pointed to the router, and when the DNS that the router was looking at went south...
More later: Sable is insisting on a walk, and that's what she gets paid for.. .
The column is in. The site is working. Both my primary and secondary DNS servers are from Adelphia, and perhaps I ought to have one from elsewhere, although in fact if Adelphia is down I may have to go to satellite or dialup anyway....
Francis Hamit sends me a link showing that there are now about 15,000 NEW web logs per DAY, and the number grows without limit.
So since everyone is talking, no one is listening. Fortunately we are still here and have a pretty respectable readership.
July 8, 2004
The column is in, and I got to bed early, which means I woke up early. Feeling pretty good, too. Then I looked at mail, and got a stomach ache. I am now sitting here in a state of cold fury.
I once contemplated a novel to be called "The Brotherhood" in which a group of combat veterans well trained in violence take an oath: whenever one of these aging former heroes discovers he has an incurable disorder, he will go out in glory, taking with him as many enemies of the United States as he can: the petty tyrants who make a mockery of all that they fought for.
I haven't written that novel, but I now have at least one episode in mind.
Now I should be clear here: the problem is not that these security people don't have a legitimate job to do, it's that they are both arrogant and incompetent, and like all such people they put rules and regulations ahead of the job they are supposed to do.
Their job is to prevent terrorists from killing people and disrupting the nation, and in this specific case, to stop them from harming the Ballard Locks railway bridge. There are a lot of ways to do this. One would be to see if anyone takes an unusual interest in the bridge; and if so, to determine if that unusual interest stems from improper motives. If they could find someone taking a surreptitious interest in the bridge they ought to shout for joy, because that might lead them to someone else, etc.
But sending successive waves of people to demand identification and throw their weight around isn't going to accomplish their task, as anyone with average intelligence would realize; what it's going to do is anger someone who is paying a lot of attention to the bridge, and who might actually be helpful some day. But if you treat people as if they were enemies you get enemies.
"Excuse me, sir, but why are you photographing that bridge?"
"No need to be alarmed. We do keep track of such things. If you see anything we ought to know about, here's my card, please call..."
Or if you are really suspicious do nothing and follow the guy with the camera in hopes he leads somewhere.
But it's a lot easier and safer to turn out in force, and having done that, justify to yourself that this guy might have been a bad guy, and thus we really were doing things the right way, and ....
There is a great shortage of women (or a great surplus of males) in China. Celibate men tend to be pretty good warriors. This situation will continue for a while. And Chinese women can insist on fidelity...
Rumsfeld watch: recall what the neos were saying not all that long ago:
Now the reserve system is strained to the breaking point.
I haven't heard what is happening with recruiting. And the borders are wide open.
And it isn't as if there were no examples of the results:
France 'forming ethnic ghettoes'
By Caroline Wyatt BBC correspondent in Paris
Many French city suburbs are becoming ethnic ghettoes, a report has warned. The study by the French domestic intelligence services found many areas were populated by poor, young French of north African immigrant backgrounds.
The report, leaked to Le Monde newspaper, found at least half of the 630 suburbs it looked at had already become separate ethnic communities.
The report warned the ghettoes, cut off from mainstream French society, could encourage radical Islam to take root.
The intelligence service report deals with an extremely sensitive issue for France: just how bad the sense of alienation has become in the suburbs, among the French-born children of north African immigrant background.
Sometimes, besides the withdrawal to the culture of origin and the rejection of Western values, a kind of negative identity is built which mixes the cultures of origin, the values of the public housing projects and rudimentary references to Islam. French domestic intelligence report
The report - given to the interior minister, Dominique de Villepin - concludes that the situation is actually worse than previously thought. Of the suburbs studied, the report says at least half could already be called ghettoes, whose inhabitants felt rejected by, and were in turn rejecting, mainstream French society.
The areas studied were chosen because they already had problems with unemployment, crime and violence, had a high proportion of immigrant families - some still practising polygamy - plus a growing number of Islamic prayer rooms as well as frequent anti-Western and anti-Semitic graffiti.
The intelligence services noted that many families of immigrant origin were rejecting French values and even the French language, following instead more traditional ways of life associated with their ethnic origin - including an increasing religious radicalisation among young Muslims, and a backlash against young Muslim women who wore Western clothing.
Better-off families, mainly those of white European origin, were leaving such suburbs, creating an even greater sense of isolation.
The report's conclusions will worry the government, although they are not entirely unexpected.
For decades, France had hoped that its immigrants and their children would simply integrate into secular French society.
Instead, it seems, the opposite has been happening, with the divide becoming ever greater.
France's new law, banning the Islamic headscarf from state schools, had already provoked a national debate on integration.
In an attempt to solve the problems of France's city suburbs, the government has proposed a five-year plan to improve social cohesion - although, as the newspaper Le Monde concludes, it will be a race against time.
Story from BBC NEWS: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/europe/3871447.stm
Emphasis added. The French melting pot isn't working; and how can the American melting pot work when it is overwhelmed by numbers? But neither major party cares one whit.
I have never been a big fan of Buchanan's American Conservative with its interviews of Norman Mailer and Ralph Nader and other people who have always opposed everything I thought good in America; but the July 19 issue, at least the first half (far as I have got so far) is superb, from the opening page on through the review of Huntington's book, James Antle on the laptop bombardiers, Bacevich on lessons from the Iraqi War.
It's all worth reading. That issue is not yet posted; I recommend it when it comes up.
Army Looks for Airmen and Sailors
Here's something that makes sense for a change:
And indeed it does...
This had to happen--Saddam's case appealed to the US Supreme Court:
Now that would put the cat among the pigeons, wouldn't it? I can see the reaction now.
July 9, 2004
Yesterday I mentioned The American Conservative, which I don't always care for -- I particularly deplore their habit of putting anti-Americans on the cover simply because they are also anti-Bush -- and that the July 19 issue is superb you should look at it when it comes on line.
Or, as editor Scott McConnell says, subscribe: they don't put everything on line.
And I have to agrree, that issue is worth the subscription price.
July 10, 2004
Busy day. And we have Sondheim's "A Little Night Music" at the opera house tonight, and a cast party afterwards so it is a busy weekend...
July 11, 2004
Just too many things to get done. See you tomorrow.
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