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Mail 319 July 19 - 25, 2004






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Monday, July 19, 2004

Subject: Product Question

My son stumbled across this and sent me the link today.  The product apparently lets you take massively deep control of your windows install.

I was curious if you or your readers have any experience with this.

Regards, John

-- John Harlow, President BravePoint

I never heard of it, and being at the beach with just my Tablet I don't think I can test it. I'll be home tomorrow, maybe I can get at it then.

I never had any problems with XP installations.


Subject: Duts.

---- Roland Dobbins

This is a laboratory virus but can a wild one be far behind? and

Subject: Bluespamming.

Combine this with Duts: 

--- Roland Dobbins

All of which indicates that computer security is not easily come by. Eternal vigilance and all that...

Meanwhile good news for Apple users (including me):

Subject: Contribute 3 fixes rendering ugliness whilst editing, adds offline mode.

-------------------- Roland Dobbins

And I will have to get this: with something like that to maintain my web pages, the Mac becomes a lot more useful as a travel system.


Subject: Maxtor

This isn't for your column, but this deal came out this weekend and I bought several to mirror in my main linux server and to keep around as spares. The best part is no @^$# rebate to deal with.


For $400 and an old computer you can now have a box of drives: say two sets of mirrored 160 GB drives, or 320 GB of utterly safe storage; or twice that of fast backup storage that can then be written incrementally to DVD.

I wish I had the old Palindrome (wasn't that it? backup system that wrote to DAT working for DVD+Rw or DVD-RW now. Some system that would do incremental backups and backup management the way the old system did before it was bought out. I still have those old tapes although they won't do my any good now, since I haven't a DAT reader installed anywhere. But that was a good system.

A big box of drives is the simplest backup system...


From another discussion group:

> Apropos my previous post: Would any academic care to pass an opinion > as to whether this chanting of PC slogans by scholars in math and the "hard" > sciences is sincere, or just something they feel they have to do once > in a while so they can get on with their work undisturbed?

> > The late Sir Kingsley Amis used to refer to all the sweet nothings, > goo-goo talk, feigned "sensitity" &interest that men do in order to > get what they want out of a woman, as "the cock tax." Is this PC > stuff a sort of "research-grant tax"?


In my (abundant) experience of observing it, especially, these days, in Oxbridge, it is none of the above. It is the hubristic emission of an academic who is pretty damned smart about his (or her) specialty, but doesn't know shit about much of anything else.

Because he believes so firmly in the unique truth of his own statements about his own work, he believes -- even if sometimes he doesn't admit it -- that his colleagues at so great a place as Harvard (or Michigan? or Berkeley?) are equally sound in their areas of expertise. It is not credible for your average mathematician or biochemist that much or all of what is currently promoted by colleagues in distant fields (e.g., cultural studies) is bullshit, sometimes erudite bullshit, through and through.

So, if you are a deep-thinking but cardboard-narrow string theorist (say), then it is likely that you will judge the nice (academic and business) people of Oxbridge to be as smart -- and as correct about things -- as they come. Ditto if you are a Hollywood character who is making tons of money and dining from time to time with one of the dozen real idea-men in the place, all of whom are, basically, doctrinaire 1930s leftists or children of the SDS in the 1960s-70s. It is inconceivable to such people that they could be wrong about something as basic as their root political stance.

The rest, the specialists, however smart, go along. It's convenient, comfortable, and self-aggrandizing. To say "shit" about the proceedings at a Harvard commencement, as the great physicist Alan Bromley recently did, is to guarantee for oneself a great deal of social discomfort. You will be shunned in Berkeley or Cambridge or New Haven, and indeed in Hollywood and the arts generally, and the good folks in the bible belt will never have heard of you anyway and wouldn't know what the hell you were talking about.


Which may or may not explain some of the goings on at academia, but tells us precious little about how to get out of the hole we have dug ourselves.


Also from another conference, a wonderful contest:

Contest: What were the *worst* American public policy actions of the 20th C

My top 10...

1) merit-blind immigration act of 1965 (far & away the worst)

2) banning/stigmatizing stem cell & human genetic engineering research (along with #1, results in decline of US as superpower)

3) Invading Iraq without being sure WMD were there (or else planting them). Along with #1 & #2, these are the seeds of US decline.

4) banning the use of IQ tests among employers, leading to the culture of credentialism and the societal stigma of frank discussion of IQ

5) judiciary-motivated expansion of criminal rights during the 60's

6) self-righteously sanctioning South Africa (has domestic consequences as well - enshrines apartheid with Nazism as ultimate evils, doesn't look at what's happening in post-apartheid era).

7) losing the Vietnam War

8) no-fault divorce + sexual harassment laws + feminist custody laws

9) entitlement programs (and losing the propaganda war that says "entitlements are untouchable").

10) hate crimes legislation

And while I may not agree with all of those, or the ranking, it's a pretty good start.


Regarding the #1 position:

"Immigration optimists, ever ready to trumpet the benefits of today's immigration wave, have refused to acknowledge its costs. Foremost among them are skyrocketing gang crime and an expanding underclass. Until the country figures out how to reduce these costs, maintaining the current open-borders regime is folly. We should enforce our immigration laws and select immigrants on skills and likely upward mobility, not success in sneaking across the border."

Louis Andrews

Stalking the Wild Taboo 


 City Journal The Immigrant Gang  Plague Heather Mac Donald Summer 2004

Before immigration optimists issue another rosy prognosis for America's multicultural future, they might visit Belmont High School in Los Angeles's overwhelmingly Hispanic, gang-ridden Rampart district. "Upward and onward" is not a phrase that comes to mind when speaking to the first- and second-generation immigrant teens milling around the school this January.

"Most of the people I used to hang out with when I first came to the school have dropped out," observes Jackie, a vivacious illegal alien from Guatemala. "Others got kicked out or got into drugs. Five graduated, and four home girls got pregnant."

Certainly, none of the older teens I met outside Belmont was on track to graduate. Jackie herself flunked ninth grade ("I used to ditch a lot," she explains) and never caught up. She is now pursuing a General Equivalency Diploma-a watered-down certificate for dropouts or expelled students-in the school's "adult" division. Vanessa, who sports a tiny horseshoe protruding from her nostrils, is applying to the adult division, too, having been kicked out of Belmont at age 18. "I didn't come to school very often," says this American-born child of illegal aliens from El Salvador. Her boyfriend, Albert, a dashing 19-year-old with long, slicked-back hair, got expelled for truancy but has talked his way back into the regular high school. "I have good manipulative skills," he smiles. After a robbery conviction, Albert was put on probation but broke every rule in the book: "Curfews, grades, attendance, missed court days," he boasts. "But they still let me off the hook."

These Belmont teens are no aberration. Hispanic youths, whether recent arrivals or birthright American citizens, are developing an underclass culture. (By "Hispanic" here, I mean the population originating in Latin America-above all, in Mexico-as distinct from America's much smaller Puerto Rican and Dominican communities of Caribbean descent, which have themselves long shown elevated crime and welfare rates.) Hispanic school dropout rates and teen birthrates are now the highest in the nation. Gang crime is exploding nationally-rising 50 percent from 1999 to 2002-driven by the march of Hispanic immigration east and north across the country. Most worrisome, underclass indicators like crime and single parenthood do not improve over successive generations of Hispanics-they worsen.

Debate has recently heated up over whether Mexican immigration-unique in its scale and in other important ways-will defeat the American tradition of assimilation. The rise of underclass behavior among the progeny of Mexicans and other Central Americans must be part of that debate. There may be assimilation going on, but a significant portion of it is assimilation downward to the worst elements of American life. To be sure, most Hispanics are hardworking, law-abiding residents; they have reclaimed squalid neighborhoods in South Central Los Angeles and elsewhere. Among the dozens of Hispanic youths I interviewed, several expressed gratitude for the United States, a sentiment that would be hard to find among the ordinary run of teenagers. But given the magnitude of present immigration levels, if only a portion of those from south of the border goes bad, the costs to society will be enormous. <snip>


And on another topic, an exchange:

>Subject: Lie detectors

> >I imagine that a lie detector machine is a useful prop in the hands of
>a talented interrogator.

Jerry Pournelle wrote:
>Very much so, as I can say from experience.


Yes, the main objection to lie detector tests is not that they don't work, but that they do.


All true. However, I do want to emphasize that it takes a skilled and talented interrogator who is familiar with what the various measures mean, and a much better polygraph than the usual kit available to most police. It needs among other things face and hand temperature measurements (separate) with fast response times, as well as GSR, heart rate, and breathing pattern (not just breath rate). But given good measurements and someone skilled, you can play "20 questions" with considerable accuracy despite determined resistance by the subject. "Did you bury the body north of the river?  Ah, south, then. Near the river? Ah, how near? What do you think is near?  Is a mile near?  Half a mile? Less than half a mile. Let's see, you live less than half a mile from the river, did you bury that body east or west of your house..."


While we are being discouraged by discussions from another place:

The New York Times July 19, 2004 OP-ED COLUMNIST An Emerging Catastrophe By BOB HERBERT

Drive through some of the black neighborhoods in cities and towns across America and you will see the evidence of an emerging catastrophe ‹ levels of male joblessness that mock the very idea of stable, viable communities.

This slow death of the hopes, pride and well-being of huge numbers of African-Americans is going unnoticed by most other Americans and by political leaders of both parties.

A new study of black male employment trends has come up with the following extremely depressing finding: "By 2002, one of every four black men in the U.S. was idle all year long. This idleness rate was twice as high as that of white and Hispanic males."

It's possible the rate of idleness is even higher, said the lead author of the study, Andrew Sum, who is director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston.

"That was a conservative count," he said. The study did not consider homeless men or those in jail or prison. It is believed that up to 10 percent of the black male population under age 40 is incarcerated.

While some of the men not working undoubtedly were ill or disabled, the 25 percent figure is still staggeringly high. And for some segments of the black male population, the situation is even worse.

Among black male dropouts, for example, 44 percent were idle year-round, as were nearly 42 of every 100 black men aged 55 to 64.

"I was surprised by the magnitude of the population that was idle all year-round," said Professor Sum. "Typically, some groups will find work part of the year, but not the other part, and you end up with a high joblessness rate. But here we've got a growing number of men just not working at all."

Black men, already in an employment crisis, were hit particularly hard by the last recession and have not done well in the fitful recovery that followed. Jobless rates for some subgroups, black teenagers for example, have been all but off the charts.

Professor Sum and his colleagues got closer than official statistics usually get to the dismal employment reality of black men by using the so-called employment-population ratio, which represents the percentage of a given population that is employed at a given time. The government's official unemployment statistics are often misleading, particularly because people who have stopped looking for work are not counted. <snip>


The "idleness" number is even a better metric than the "workforce participation" number, which in turn is better than the "unemployment" number (because discouraged workers are not counted in the last). We do need a composite number that takes into account incarceration and even homicide, since I have read that 5% of Afro-American males die violently at a young age on average.

Of course, in this editorial there is no mention of the need for immigration reform to drive up the wages of the unskilled, much less the need for family planning to reduce the supply of new citizens for this man-made hell on earth.

God, these numbers are awful. One wonders why the black female suicide rate is not just as high as the black male homicide rate. Especially since in addition to incarceration and homicide, black male out-marriage is vastly more common than black female out-marriage. All of these factors add up to an effective sex ratio that seems totally hopeless to me.

And people worry about China's male *surplus*! I will believe that China has a dire surplus of males when I read of Chinese men importing brides from America's inner cities.


All of which is discouraging but true, and there isn't much debate about it, much less much done; it's not PC to think about such things.


Subject: IMPORTANT - Bagel Attacks Increasing

Dr. Pournelle:

Various Bagel virus variants are becoming widespread. The AV companies are paying attention; McAfee released two updates in one day (currently at version 4379 as of about 2pm PDT).

The current crop of Bagels will try to disable any anti-virus and firewall protection found. The intent appears to be to allow the infected computer to be used as a 'bot' — a remotely controlled computer, used for spam or other evil purposes. If you get infected, it's probably best to rebuild your system (and any others that are on the same network. Data backups are getting more important.

Expect more Bagel variants, as the source code is widely available (and included in some variants of Bagel).

The usual mantra applies....

Rick Hellewell, Information Security at

Bagel is one of the virus variants that require you to cooperate:

"This new variant is a mass-mailing worm that is packed using UPX and comes in the form of a password-protected .ZIP file, with the password included in the message body as plain text or within an image, McAfee says. "

There are other variants but they all require you to open a file. Don't do that...

Subject: Bagel/Beagle?


A recent correspondent wrote of the "Bagel" virus; my company warns of the "Beagle" virus:

"This threat, known as the Beagle.AG virus, can be identified in the "Subject" line of e-mails that simply state "Re:""

Two different things, or one being a "mis-hear" of the other?


And I asked:

Wrong spelling on my part. I must have been hungry when I wrote "Bagel" rather than "Bagle".

On Symantec's site, they call it "Beagle". So "Bagel" == "Bagle" == "Beagle" .


Normally I might have caught that, but being at the bottom of a dialup well it wasn't so easy to do checking...




Subject: Iraq & the Sun

Dr. P,

Finally, an explanation for those temperatures in Iraq ... 

This from , one of the positive-news blogs from Iraq.

Bill Mackintosh





This week:


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Tuesday,  July 20, 2004



Dr. Pournelle,

NOTE: if published, please use my home address of . Feel free to remove the work disclaimer at the end, unless you think it would amuse the readers.

John Harlow wrote:

My son stumbled across this and sent me the link today.  The product apparently lets you take massively deep control of your windows install.

I was curious if you or your readers have any experience with this.

I use XPLite (and its predecessor, 98Lite) on my home PCs. The program originated as a way of automating the registry hacks that completely remove IE from Windows (contradicting Mr. Gates' comments at the anti-trust trials that doing so would crash the OS). XPLite temporarily removes Windows File Protection and adds options to Add/Remove in the Control Panel. For example, I never use Outlook Express so I used XPLite to remove it, and even after several MS updates and Service Packs it hasn't returned.

I wouldn't recommend it unless you have a good idea of what you're doing with Windows Install, but you can always put things back if you find you need them after all.

Moving on, I hope you and Mrs. (Dr.?) Pournelle are having/have had a relaxing time at the beach house. If you're considering a new lap-top for her, and you say it's only going to be used for e-mail and web-browsing, then Apple's 12" powerbook seems to be remarkably good value for money at the moment. I don't have one myself, but a friend's has so far survived travelling to and from work on a push-bike for the last 18 months. There's also the Apple OS with its current security advantages over Windows XP. 

That's it for now. I must go and check our correspondence. I've not really looked-in here for a while, and I have a nasty feeling my subscription is overdue...

Regards, -- Harry Payne


Safe roads, Reliable journeys, Informed travellers

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On leaving the GSi this email was certified virus-free

On Mac and FreeCell:

Well, actually, there are a few Freecell versions for the Mac.

This one is free (as in both free speech and free beer) 

For an amazing variety of solitaire games, one might try "Solitaire Till Dawn" at 

And finally, there's the unique Burning Monkey Solitaire (packed with juvenile humor) 

Steve Setzer

I am not at all sure I want an amazing variety of solitaire games or that I could endure having them, but thanks... I'll grab FreeCell.


The President uses an out of context, non-footnoted college paper in a speech and it was "vetted the same way all the president's speeches are vetted." Is this what passes as political discourse these days? Is the bar really this low now? I mean come on, this guy went to Dartmouth, the same school that served as inspiration for the movie "Animal House.",1,4979908.story?coll=la-headlines-nation  On Monday, administration officials acknowledged that they did not have a source for the wording of the president's citation other than Trumbull's paper. A White House spokeswoman defended the inclusion, arguing it expressed an essential truth about Cuba.

"The president's point in citing Castro's quote was to highlight Castro's morally corrupt attitude to human trafficking," White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan said. She pointed to two other instances in which Castro boasted of the education level of Cuba's prostitutes; in neither case was the context a direct promotion of sex tourism.

The speech "was vetted the same way all the president's speeches are vetted," Buchan said, declining to provide details.


Interesting...  Reagan wrote his own speeches, from drafts by others, and the facts were checked pretty closely. At least in my day.


Subject: Byte v DDJ

Hi Jerry, As a long time fan (originally via the printed Byte, then via your own web site, and more recently both the free and subscription based, I've just worked out I'm getting two lots of Chaos Manner - lucky me! One via and the other in DDJ. Looking back over them they obviously have lots in common but are not quite the same... How would you describe the relationship between the two... I get a very strong feeling of deja vu when reading DDJ but with some things that seem new in the mix....



BYTE.COM and Doctor Dobbs Journal have the same editor and much the same staff, and of course both are owned by CMP. I write a monthly column, which I turn in early in the month that it will be published; thus it's a few days to two weeks from the time I turn it in until the first installment appears. The column, usually about 10,000 words, is broken up into parts, and all of them are run in BYTE.COM, one a week, so that the latest one is 5 to 6 weeks after I turn it in; when BYTE was a paper magazine, I would turn in the January column on January 7, and it would appear in the April issue which went on the stands in March; so under the current arrangement, what I write for BYTE.COM comes out at latest a bit before any of it would appear in the printed magazine.

DDJ editors take the 10,000 word column and extract what they think is the part most interesting to Dobbs readers, typically about 2500 words, which may or may not have been consecutive in the original column. That gets run in the issue following the month I send in the columns.

So on BYTE .COM there is more of my stuff and it comes out a bit sooner; but in DDJ it's on paper....


Subject: "New" Russian Booster, NASA as Semi-Socialist Bureaucracy

Did they really mean "Semi"-Socialist?

A long time Pournelle reader

From the article:

The irony of the rocket's new popularity has not been lost on the veteran space engineers of Baikonur. America's National Aeronautics and Space Administration, their old rival of 4½ decades, is now grounded despite annual approval of budgets of close to $20 billion. NASA operates as a semi-socialist bureaucracy in a nation dedicated to capitalism, and it is currently failing at its job.

By contrast, the Russian space program has survived, and its rocket construction companies are now prospering because they have been able to adapt so quickly and so well to the international free market.

 Well it says semi...

RE: Open Borders


"If you want a formula for unemployment try Open Borders plus a high minimum wage and compulsory benefits for legal workers. Now that is a great way to run a country..."

Hey, that's Canada!

Bill Grigg


Thought you might find this interesting coming as it does from your old home-town newspaper. 

Why bag screening has to be such an ordeal is a mystery to me. In Germany when you fly out of the Munich airport your bag is screened by a couple of members of the Federal Border Police (Bundesgrenzschutz) before you even get in line to get your boarding pass. The bags are X-rayed and if anything looks suspicious they pull you aside and ask you, very politely I might add, to open your luggage so they can look at it. I speak from experience here as I ended up carrying a lot of Cisco router cards in my luggage on trips between my company's European offices, these look really interesting on an X-ray to anyone who is paying attention. This system is fast and efficient, and afterwards you can lock up your bags with the confidence that some sticky fingered screener isn't going to take a liking to something in your luggage.

Jamie Jamison

May be they don't have so many people who must be employed?





This week:


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Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Running out of those satphone minutes


Hi tech meets the US military.


July 20, 2004: Every war is different in its own way. The fighting in Iraq has created some uniquely surreal moments, but one of the more surreal occurred when a young captain ran out of minutes on his cell phone while calling in an air strike. Say what? Let us explain.

In some parts of Iraq, the standard army radios have reliability problems, so satellite phones were issued to get around this. There was one minor draw back. Rather than given unlimited time for the phone, users were given a wallet card containing codes to enter to "fill up" the phone with more air time minutes. The codes were of the scratch off type.

Then, a captain with one of these satellite phones was driving along in bandit country one night and begins to take sniper fire. There were apparently two snipers, but a lot of other civilians wandering around. His units solution for problems like this was to call in an Apache gunship, which could use its superior night vision equipment to spot the bad guys, and help kill them.

There was a problem, as the captain had left on this trip without checking his satellite phone to make sure it was "charged" with minutes. It wasn't. The card with the refill codes was in his BDU blouse pocket, which, of course, was underneath his protective vest. With the snipers popping away, he shed his bulletproof vest, got out the card, scratched if to get the numbers, entered the numbers to recharge the cell phone, called in for the Apache gunship, got his protective vest back on, made sure where all his troops were, and awaited the gunship. Soon the gunship showed up, found the snipers, and began taking care of them. At this point, a few hummers full of heavily armed troops from a nearby unit showed up and their leader announced; "we heard you were in a fight, can we join in?" The captain immediately thought, "I haven't heard that kind of talk since high school." There were no American casualties.

From , July 20, 2004


Subject: Byte down, column available


Just in case you have readers who are suffering from Chaos Manor deprivation...

As of a few minutes ago the front page of is still a week behind, but I was able to read your column on Tuesday morning. Just go to the old column linked on the front page, then click on 2004 at the top, then pick the latest column from the top of the list. Almost every week on Monday the same approach lets me read the column up to a couple of hours before the front page lists it.

Of course by the time you read this the entire site will probably be up to date.

Roy Harvey Beacon Falls, CT

You can find the current column at  and I suggest you read that before this letter:

Subject: Adware, Spyware, Malware, et al


If Microsoft had a shred of common sense and a willingness to admit that there is a fund of valuable knowledge about computers and software that has been accumulated outside of Microsoft over the last 40 plus years, all of this worm, malware spyware stuff wouldn't be causing very many problems.

The absolute worst vulnerability in Windows is the Registry. Any program can write to the registry without permission or the user's knowledge. This would have been easily solved by making the registry somewhat secure by only allowing programs registered for registry write privileges to write to the registry and then only after providing a warning to the user that something is about to happen that they may not desire. I am not holding my breath on this and will be surprised if such a scheme is implemented in Longhorn.

While on the subject of the registry, the whole registry scheme is much to fragile. IBM spent a lot of time and effort addressing this problem with the OS/2 .ini files and had made excellent progress by the time I stopped using OS/2 8+ years ago. Of course this work was done by IBM not Microsoft so it can't have any value as far as Microsoft is concerned.

Once the some small measure of security has been added to the registry the next step is to provide a screaming Dialog box any time the user clicks on a executable that has not be registered.

Of course, we still have the user hostile features of HTML and HTTP that allow Phishers to make a link look like it is taking the user to some legitimate site, while, in fact, the user is being directed to the Phisher's site. Mozilla 1.7 usually gives a warning when this sort of redirection is taking place.

I suspect that Microsoft will fail to pay much heed to these concerns until they start losing significant market share. At that point it will probably be too late for them to recover and ultimately we will have to look for a new market leader whipping boy.

Bob Holmes formerly the OS/2 Curmudgeon

Well, few have got rich betting against Microsoft so far, but it's certainly possible. IBM had every chance to end the Windows monopoly with OS/2 but shot itself in the foot, ankle, shin, knee, and hip, reloading each time, before giving up.


The Fall of France...

This from another conference:

MANY OF YOU would have heard of the horrific problems in France with the outbreak of unprecedented crimes amongst an estimated five million Muslim immigrants. Middle Eastern males now make up 45,000 of the 90,000 inmates in French prisons. There are no-go areas in Paris for police and citizens alike. The rule of law has broken down so badly that when police went to one of these areas recently to round up three Islamic terrorists, they went in armoured vehicles, with heavy weaponry and over 1000 armed officers, just to arrest a few suspects. Why did it need such numbers? Because the threat of terrorist reprisal was minimal compared to the anticipated revolt by thousands of Middle Eastern and North African residents who have no respect for the rule of law in France and consider intrusions by police and authority a declaration of war.

Full text: 


And we have war on learning: 

The War on Learning

by Robert Fisk; UK Independent; July 14, 2004

The Mongols stained the Tigris black with the ink of the Iraqi books they destroyed. Today's Mongols prefer to destroy the Iraqi teachers of books.

Since the Anglo-American invasion, they have murdered at least 13 academics at the University of Baghdad alone and countless others across Iraq. History professors, deans of college and Arabic tutors have all fallen victim to the war on learning. Only six weeks ago - virtually unreported, of course - the female dean of the college of law in Mosul was beheaded in her bed, along with her husband.

Just who the modern-day Mongols are remains a painful mystery of our story. Disgruntled students they are not. Baathist-hunters some of them might be - all heads of academic departments were forced to join Saddam's party - but none of the murdered Baghdad university staff were believed to be anything more than card-carriers.

Even the former president of the university, Dr Mohamed Arawi - a surgeon shot at his clinic a year ago - was regarded as a liberal, humane man. But professors now watch the doors of their lecture theatres as carefully as they do their students. And who can blame them? After all, Dr Sabri al-Bayatiy of the department of geography was shot dead only a month ago, just outside the arts department, in front of many of his students.

"He was gunned down just over there by the wall," one of his colleagues told me yesterday. "Many students saw his killer but they could do nothing. Two bullets. That's all."

Edward Gibbons thought Europe finally safe from the barbarians. Little did he know.

Subject: Sharp claims power breakthrough on solar cell tech

Half the price for 150 watts, they claim. 




"If you want a formula for unemployment try Open Borders plus a high minimum wage and compulsory benefits for legal workers. Now that is a great way to run a country..."

Hey, that's Canada!"

Canada it may be, but it sure ain't Alberta, not with a minimum wage of $5.90/hour. There's talk in Parliament of raising the bar some. Knowing King Ralph I figure it'll hit $6/Hour. Big increase, that.

-- Michael J A Tyzuk, CDOSB Tarnished Knight


"Do not meddle in the affairs of Anti Depressants, for they are subtle and will make you play Spot The Side Effect." - Michael J A Tyzuk, Tarnished Knight


Subject: Separation of church & state

After seeing this madness about removing the cross from the city of LA seal, I came to a realization. By these standards US courts have long been violation this "prohibition" on church & state by using depictions of the Greek goddess Themis. Someone who is offended by depictions of pagan gods should file a lawsuit. 






CURRENT VIEW    Wednesday


This week:


read book now


Thursday, July 22, 2004

This is all done by  handwriting so bear with me. But it works on an airplane.

X-33 query

Dear Sir,

I have been an avid reader of yours for many years and I will buy any book with your name on it.

I have just discovered 'Chaos Manor' and I love it !!

I am a recently retired aircraft engineer and when the X-33 was being developed I followed its progress with keen interest. I suppose I had a wish that if Venture Star was built and operational I might be able to save up my pennies and afford a quick trip into space.

Sadly this was not to be and I was very disappointed when I heard the news that the program had been scrubbed at a time when the prototype / demonstrator seemed to be about one month from first launch.

Could you or perhaps one of you readers possibly explain what went wrong ? Was the idea behind the project fundamentally flawed or was it a political decision because Venture Star was seen as a threat to the people who supply parts and services to the shuttle program.

I heard that US$ 13 Billion was spent on this project. A lot of money to spend on a flawed concept.

Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated.

Best Regards,

Richard Woodhouse Australia

This requires a  longer answer than I can give here. The X-33 was not alas a real x project. Lockheed had long wanted a lot of money for ground tests that they thought would show how to build a VTO  - HL  SSTO  rocket. Some of their technical people were  sure they could make it work if they could do some ground tests, particularly on aerospike engine configurations for altitude compensation.  I thought it premature. We Needed an x program first: incremental tests, not a one big effort to a final  design. 

 Then the  Lockheed engineers  who conceived the system lost a political battle and  it was decided they would go. The company went for profit  on the X-33  contract.   after that the result was inevitable. They designed in tanks that wouldn't be constructed and a bunch of stuff that was ill conceived, and it never flew because it wouldn't fly.

X  -33  Was Never an X  project.   We still need a good X  program on  SSTO .  It needs to do incremental flight tests.


The FBI abuse of the bacteria guy is hardly surprising. This is what happens when you give guns to lawyers.

Am I alone in thinking that the FBI would be doing its job much better if they went back to their original function, which was acting as an information clearinghouse and accompanying local police for Federal-charge arrests?

Matthew Joseph Harrington

I have always thought so.

Dr Pournelle,

Which way would you like the votes to be fixed?

This has just come to my attention. I am assured (and am convinced) it is no joke. 

In it the author comments:

€ The net impression is that GEMS [the Diebold Software] was designed to be tampered with in ways that would evade the detection of local elections officials.

€ California Elections Code 19205(c) specifies that any certified electronic voting system "shall be safe from fraud or manipulation". GEMS doesn't qualify.

€ Note that we haven't covered any of numerous other possible issues: GEMS contains a large number of DLLs which can have all sorts of hidden, funky features. Worse, Diebold supplies the Windows system to the customer on a pre-set machine; the Windows code itself could be hacked to hell and gone and it wouldn't be tested in a lab.

€ This program should never have been certified. It is a fraud, and quite possibly part of a literal coup attempt. Whoever certified this thing at the state and/or Federal level should be subject to serious scrutiny and review, as should the entire certification process.

€ This is NOT hyperbole, or "conspiracy theory" - this is an outright disaster in the works and undermines everything the United States stands for.

As a non-American, I don’t want to say too much, but concluded the best thing is to bring it to your attention

Jim Mangles

A long time ago I had Dan Alderson  look at the electronics vote count for  California when I was a  Campaign manager. That was the punched card  system.  It preserved a paper trail  and was satisfactory.  Now to accommodate stupid voters we go to systems more easily defrauded. why  not ?

 We prefer to make this easier for knaves to make  It Look easier for dummies.  Why Nor?


Now a long but important message .I leave  it to you to decide on its Value.   ...


Resending this memo because I realized that the first version might come to you as an attachment since I forwarded it.

This is one way of looking at recent events...probably coming from the Neojacobian side, but it does present an argument to think about.

Jim Woosley

This is one that everyone MUST read. We're in the most important battle of our nation's history. If we don't understand the enemy's intentions we're doomed to failure. Don't buy the liberal baloney that we can "be nice" to these people and they'll leave us alone. Pass as far and wide as you can.


Subject: Another look at the Third Jihad

>This is an extremely well written article explaining what we are facing today in the War on Terrorism. The article was written back in January of this year but is still appropriate to the situation we find ourselves in today. In essence, not all has been laid on the table relative to why we invaded Iraq. While the article is rather lengthy it is worth your time to read what is being said by Larry Abraham pertaining to the Third Jihad. It provides you an entirely new perspective over and above what you see on TV and read in the papers or in Bob Woodward's new book.

>We are in very serious times and need to understand what befalls us if we back out of Iraq now for whatever reason. The issue is much bigger than just Iraq. As Larry Abraham says in his last paragraph, "We are in the battle of our lives, a battle which will go on for many years possibly even generations. If we fail to understand what we are facing or falter in the challenge of "knowing our enemy" the results will be catastrophic." The upcoming November election is an extremely important decision making time for all Americans and the rest of the free world.

>EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ THIS ONE AT LEAST TWICE!! > >********************************************************************** >Subject: Another Look at The Third Jihad


>by Larry Abraham, January 29, 2004

>I urge all of my readers to make copies of this report and send them to your friends and relatives. The information is too critical to be over looked in the madness of this election year.

>Watching and listening to the Democrat Party candidates is tantamount to enduring the Chinese water torture. The blah, blah, blah goes on and on and nothing of value comes out except the pain of listening to the same nothingness over and over again. I won't take the time or space to repeat what you have heard so many mind numbing times but what you have not heard is crucial.

>President Bush and his administration spokesmen are not telling the American people what they really need to know about this "war." If they don't do that between now and November it may cost them the election. > >The war against terror did not begin on September 11, 2001, nor will it end with the peaceful transition to civilian authority in Iraq, whenever that may be. In fact, Iraq is but a footnote in the bigger context of this encounter, but an important one none the less. > >This war is what the Jihadists themselves are calling the "Third Great Jihad." They are operating within the framework of a time line which reaches back to the very creation of Islam in the seventh century and are presently attempting to recreate the dynamics which gave rise to the religion in the first two hundred years of its existence. No religion in history grew as fast, in its infancy, and the reasons for the initial growth of Islam are not hard to explain when you understand what the world was like at the time of Muhammad's death in 632 AD. Remember that the Western Roman Empire was in ruins and the Eastern Empire, based in Constantinople, was trying desperately to keep the power of its early grandeur while transitioning to Christianity as a de facto state religion. The costs to the average person were large as he was being required to meet the constantly rising taxes levied by the state along with the tithes coerced by the Church. > >What Islam offered was the "carrot or the sword". If you became a convert, your taxes were immediately eliminated, as was your tithe. If you didn't, you faced death. The choice was not hard for most to make, unless you were a very devoted martyr in the making. At the beginning, even the theology was not too hard for most to swallow, considering that both Jewry and Christianity were given their due by the Prophet. There is but one God-Allah, and Muhammad is His Prophet, as was Jesus, and the pre-Christian Jewish prophets of the Torah (Old Testament). Both were called "children of the book"--the book being the Koran, which replaced both the Old and New Testaments for former Christians and Jews. > >With this practical approach to spreading the "word" Islam grew like wild-fire, reaching out from the Saudi Arabian Peninsula in all directions. This early growth is what the Muslims call the "First" great Jihad and it met with little resistance until Charles Martel of France, the father of Charlemagne, stopped them in the battle of Tours in France, after they had firmly established Islam on the Iberian Peninsula. This first onslaught against the West continued in various forms and at various times until Islam was finally driven out of Spain in 1492 at the battle of Granada. > >The "Second great jihad" came with the Ottoman Turks. This empire succeeded in bringing about the downfall of Constantinople as a Christian stronghold and an end to Roman hegemony in all of its forms. The Ottoman Empire was Islam's most successful expansion of territory even though the religion itself had fractured into warring sects and bitter rivalries with each claiming the ultimate truths in "the ways of the Prophet". By 1683 the Ottomans had suffered a series of defeats on both land and sea and the final, unsuccessful attempt to capture Vienna set the stage for the collapse of any further territorial ambitions and Islam shrunk into various sheikhdoms, emir dominated principalities, and roving tribes of nomads. However, by this time a growing anti-western sentiment, blaming its internal failures on anyone but themselves, was taking hold and setting the stage for a new revival known as Wahhabism, a sect which came into full bloom under the House of Saud on the Arabian Peninsula shortly before the onset of WWI. It is this Wahhabi version of Islam which has infected the religion itself, now finding adherents in almost all branches and sects, especially the Shiites. > >Wahhabism calls for the complete and total rejection or destruction of anything and everything which is not based in the original teachings of The Prophet and finds its most glaring practice in the policies of the Afghani Taliban or the Shiite practices of the late Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran. Its Ali Pasha (Field Marshall) is now known as Osama bin Laden, the leader of the "Third Jihad", who is Wahhabi as were his 9/11 attack teams, 18 of which were also Saudi.

>The strategy for this "holy war" did not begin with the planning of the destruction of the World Trade Center. It began with the toppling of the Shah of Iran back in the late 1970's. With his plans and programs to "westernize" his country, along with his close ties to the U.S. and subdued acceptance of the State of Israel, the Shah was the soft target. Remember "America Held Hostage"? > >Thanks, in large part to the hypocritical and disastrous policies of the Jimmy Carter State Department, the revolution was set into motion, the Shah was deposed, his armed forces scattered or murdered and stage one was complete. The Third Jihad now had a base of operations and the oil wealth to support its grand design or what they call the "Great Caliphate". > >What this design calls for is the replacement of all secular leadership in any country with Muslim majorities. This would include, Egypt, Turkey, Pakistan, Indonesia, all the Emirates, Sudan, Tunisia, Libya, Algeria, Morocco, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Malaysia, Indonesia and finally what they call the "occupied territory" Israel. > >As a part of this strategy, forces of the jihad will infiltrate >governments and the military as a prelude to taking control, once the >secular leadership is ousted or assassinated. Such was the case in >Lebanon leading to the Syrian occupation and in Egypt with the murder >of Anwar Sadat, along with the multiple attempts on the lives of >Hussein in Jordan, Mubarak of Egypt and Musharraf in Pakistan. Pakistan >is a particular prize because of its nuclear weapons. (Please note al >Qaeda call for the Islamic-militant overthrow of Musharraf in Pakistan >on March 25, just yesterday.) > >The long-range strategy of the Third Jihad counts on three strategic goals. First, the U.S. withdrawing from the region just as it did in Southeast Asia, following Vietnam. Second, taking control of the oil wealth in the Muslim countries, which would be upwards to 75% of known reserves; third, using nuclear weapons or other WMDs to annihilate Israel. A further outcome of successfully achieving these objectives would be to place the United Nations as the sole arbiter in East/West negotiations and paralyze western resistance, leading to total withdrawal from all Islamic dominated countries. > >Evidence of the Bush Administration awareness of this plan is found in the events immediately following the 9/11 attack. The administration's first move was to shore up Pakistan and Egypt, believing that these two would be the next targets for al Qaeda, while Americans focused on the disaster in New York. The administration also knew that the most important objective was to send a loud and clear message that the U.S. was in the region to stay, not only to shore up our allies but to send a message to the Jihadists.

>The attack on Afghanistan was necessary to break-up a secure al Qaeda base of operations and put their leadership on the run or in prison. The war in Iraq also met a very strategic necessity in that no one knew how much collaboration existed between Saddam Hussein and the master planners of the Third Jihad or Hussein's willingness to hand off WMDs to terrorist groups including the PLO in Israel. What was known were serious indications of on-going collaboration as Saddam funneled money to families of suicide bombers attacking the Israelis and others in Kuwait.

>What the U.S. needed to establish was a significant base of operations smack dab in the middle of the Islamic world, in a location which effectively cut it in half. Iraq was the ideal target for this and a host of other strategic reasons. Leadership of various anti-American groups both here and abroad understood the vital nature of the Bush initiative and thus launched their demonstrations, world-wide, to "Stop The War". Failing this, they also laid plans to build a political campaign inside the country, with the War in Iraq as a plebiscite, using a little known politician as the thrust point--Howard Dean. This helps to explain how quickly the Radical Left moved into the Dean campaign with both people and money, creating what the clueless media called the "Dean Phenomenon".

>By building on the left-wing base in the Democrat party and the "Hate Bush" crowd, the campaign has already resulted in a consensus among the aspirants, minus Joe Lieberman, to withdraw the U.S. from Iraq and turn the operation over to the U.N. And, if past is prologue, i.e., Vietnam, once the U.S. leaves it will not go back under any circumstances, possibly even the destruction of Israel. Should George W. Bush be defeated in November we could expect to see the dominoes start to fall in the secular Islamic countries and The Clash of Civilizations, predicted several years ago by Samuel Huntington, would then become a life changing event in all of our lives.

>What surprised the Jihadists following the 9/11 attack was how American sentiment mobilized around the president and a profound sense of patriotism spread across the country. They were not expecting this reaction, based on what had happened in the past, nor were they expecting the determined resolve of the President himself. I also believe this is one of the reasons we have not had any further attacks within our borders. They are content to wait, just as one of their tactical mentors; V.I. Lenin admonished..."two steps forward, one step back". > >A couple additional events serve as valuable footnotes to the current circumstances we face: the destruction of the human assets factor of the CIA during the Carter presidency, presided over by the late Senator Frank Church. This fact has plagued our intelligence agencies right up to this very day with consequences which are now obvious. And, Jimmy Carter himself, the one man who must bear the bulk of the responsibility for setting the stage of the Third Jihad. Americans should find little comfort in how the Democrat contenders constantly seek the "advice and counsel" of this despicable hypocrite.

>Lastly, we should not expect to see any meaningful cooperation from Western Europe, especially the French. Since failing to protect their own interests in Algeria (by turning the country over to the first of the Arab terrorists, Ammad Ben Bella), the country itself is now occupied by Islamic immigrants totaling twenty percent of the population. > >We are in the battle of our lives, a battle which will go on for many years possibly even generations. If we fail to understand what we are facing or falter in the challenge of "knowing our enemy" the results will be catastrophic. Imagine a world where al Qaeda regimes control 75% of the world's oil, have at their disposal nuclear weapons, legions of willing suicide soldiers, and our national survival is dependent on the good graces of Kofi Annan and the United Nations.

>There is one final footnote which may be the scariest of all. Either none of the Democrats currently leading the drive to their party's nomination are aware of the facts of the Great Caliphate and Third Jihad or they do know and they don't care so long as their power lust is satisfied. But, I can guarantee you one thing for sure: some of their most ardent supporters are aware of this and will do anything they can to bring it about.

>**************End of Report************************

>Note....this was written before John Kerry had the nomination sewed up...but recent events clearly demonstrate that Kerry is going to fulfill Abraham's prediction of the Democrats calling for the UN and the French/Germans/Spain coalition to force the US out of Iraq. Also understand that the current 9/11 hearings are a political 'show' and Clarke's book were timed for these hearings and the campaign. And this is why Condoleezza Rice is seeking a private meeting with this commission to 'tell it like it is'. The national security issues involved around 9/11 cannot be an open book to the public, and I believe we have to understand that. > >This is scary stuff. President Bush and the Republicans are obviously extremely cautious in bringing this issue to the campaign because the left-leaning media and the Kerry Democratic left would call this 'racist' against Islam and a distraction for the alleged lies of WMD and our reasons for going into Iraq. Bush correctly referred to the 'axis of evil' (Iran, Libya, Iraq and North Korea) as a pointed strategy to blunt the WMD-terrorist movement and he has been very successful in thwarting al Qaeda, despite what everyone on the left says. We are far better off without the threat from Iraq and Libya Π all within the last 12 months. We are threatened in Pakistan and if Musharraf is assassinated (it's been tried several times in the past year), we can see how the militants will gain control of Pakistan's nuclear weapons, which have already spread to Iran (by a militant Islamic scientist) and if Musharraf is 'taken out' we have both Iran and Pakistan as militant Islamic power bases armed with nuclear weapons. And let's not overlook Abraham's issue about the potential for militant Islamic states who would control 75% of the world's oil.

>This probably why Dick Cheney, Rice, Powell, and Wolfowitz are so committed to the belief that we are in this struggle for the free world as we have known it and focused on defeating the militant Islamic-al Maida's global strategy. They skirt the core issues raised by Abraham in this article because of the political-correctness implications, but after reading this, you understand what is at stake here. Kerry and the liberal Democrats want control of Washington at any price. Abraham clearly spells out what price that is: Victory for al Qaeda and the Islamic militancy. Abraham's article brought all of these issues together and why it is important for us to gain this perspective and educate our friends and associates. > >This is a deeply impressive, cogent, and intelligent overview of the militant Islamic movement. Pass on Abraham's article to those who have a need to know, which is just about everybody.

>James T. Clifford Program Manager, WMD Training The International >Association of Chiefs of Police


Dr. Pournelle,

There are a few good parts to the Third Jihad article, but it seems mostly like more campaign rhetoric involving a conspiracy theory, and not well done, at that. Just a few high spots (starting with the positive):

First, the overall historical direction and context of the Third Jihad seems interesting and plausible, whether its's driven by personal ambition or religion. It should be understood, discussed in public, and addressed. This new long cold war should be planned strategically and fought subtlely, more often with culture than tanks. I can't say I see that happening yet. BTW, just like it was in the last cold war and all the hot wars, freedom is the best weapon the US has, strategically and tactically, and giving it up would be a huge mistake. We should be increasing 'personal freedoms', not limiting them.

Second, if the Wahabbi's / Saudis et. al. are planning an oil-funded takeover of the world, the last thing the author should want is a President with a history of significant oil business dealings with them. He should want a President with no real or percieved conflict of interest in an oil-funded cold war, who is willing to stop funding the Third Jihad by achieving energy independance regardless of the impact on the oil industry (via nuclear power, earth/space solar power, increasing auto/SUV mpg standards, oil tariffs, high gas taxes, 55 mph speed limits, etc, etc). That the author doesn't call for anything like that leads to a better conspiracy theory for the Liberals (e.g. the neoJacobins are greedy war profiteers) than it does for the neoJacobins (e.g. the Liberals are stupid dupes). I'm pretty sure the author didn't want that.

There are other gotchas like that (e.g. claiming the Bush Administration has always known all about the Third Jihad, but then not explaining why they didn't make terrorism and energy / oil independance their number one and two priorities the instant they gained office), but this statement I dislike intensely: "The national security issues involved around 9/11 cannot be an open book to the public, and I believe we have to understand that." No, we don't have to understand that. Seems literally anti-American, since we're supposed to be an informed citizenry, and not a bunch of subjects. Maybe it is neoJacobin philosophy. After all, they want power, and a common line from any political movement that wants power is:

1. There is a scary conspiracy ("This is scary stuff") that only we take seriously. 2. Our leader is the only one who can protect us. 3. Our leader can't tell us how he will protect us - it's secret. 4. Anything our leader does, particularly the wierd or contradictory or bad stuff, is part of this secret effort to protect us. 5. It's us vs. them. "They" are all evil, period, and to be with "us" you must think and do whatever we say.

Which looks a lot like what the Wahabbis are saying, come to think of it. I'd rather stay conservative.


Why so would I...

I am leaving this to the readers. I am working through a thin pipe and mostly without a keyboard...

Conventional wisdom says that Shi'ites and Wahabi hate each other and won't work together, contrary to Larry Abraham's assertion. Certainly, Iran spent a good deal of time and money throughout the nineties making trouble for the Taliban in western Afghanistan.

Yet, after October 2001, we started getting open source reports of Al Qaeda and even Taliban leaders taking refuge in Iran, and admissions by Tehran that they had some AQ people "in custody" and would either try them or deport them. We have no public evidence that either has occurred in the 3 years since 9/11.

Some counts (unverified) show nearly 400 known AQ members in Iran, with the full knowledge of the Iranian government. The Iranian mullahs don't play patty-cake. Why is it that these Shia-hating Wahabis aren't dead or serving hard time?

Permanent alliance between Shi'ites and Wahabis is probably impossible. But "temporary" can be a long time. Khamenei and Bin Laden could conceivably have an alliance of convenience, and be planning to duke it out after the victory.

I find Abraham to be believable, which is not the same thing as believing him. I'm not sure the Iranians are in league with our direct enemies, al-Qaeda. But I don't think they're our friends, and they could well do business with AQ.

Iran qualifies as a real state, moreso than Iraq, Sudan or Afghanistan. An insurgency supported by a real state can continue indefinitely, to paraphrase the fictional Dr. Whitlock.

Steve Setzer






Dear Mr. Pournelle,

To try to take as little of your time as possible, I'm trying to be brief.

On the education debate, you made a statement that teachers credentials should not be issued by teachers unions or Departments of education. If not them then who?

Disclosure: Both parents are teachers, a brother , a sister, some friends. My mother was a union rep. The union here does not give, or determine the requirements for credentials. Here being Philadelphia. The state did until recently. I am not saying that they have done a good job. Or that a union could do better. But who else could concievably do better ? Assuming that an Ed. Board member or union had teaching experience. Lawyers, Economists, Physicists ? Even your self. In your letter your list your degrees. That tells me what you know (hopefully). Not that you can convey it. Your books do that. Even so, can you teach a second grade class every day for 30 years? I don't expect so. Maybe High school physics. So I don't think you can do the second grade job. Therefore I don't expect you to know how to regulate or credential it. But the Ed. Boards and teachers unions at least have a chance of getting it right. At least the 10 percent that isn't common sense. ( And you know how common that is.)

On Fallujah. You don't have to sack the city. But something should have been done to show that this was not acceptable behavior. To be effective it had to happen within 24 hours of the incident. Be known by looking at it why it was done. And not kill innocent people. Given that we don't know who the bad guys are, and won't probly in 24 hours. My opinion is to use the solution the people chose. The bridge.

A fighter firing a missle close to, but not on the bridge, at closer intervals ( time and distance) would clear it of people. Then 10 or so thousand pounders directed at each support of the bridge. Delivered one at a time over five minutes. From a B-52 so high up only the contrails are visible. I believe they would have understod the message. With only a minor adjustment to the city's life. And no dead. (There was a second bridge.)

Mike Trois

PS: Just for information. Are you still offering a reward for a non reaction engine? Do you have a link to the details if you are. Things like how big a vacuum chamber is available for a ballistic pendulum test?

Let  local school boards decide who should teach.  they can seek advise or not  but they should be responsible for  results, and let them choose teachters.


I guarantee  if you have a  reactionless drive that works  you will get rich. You Need no reward from me.


In the Washington Times recently, great article on Annie Jacobsen's experience with Syrian "musicians" but also includes other warnings, like this:

"A second pilot said that, on one of his recent flights, an air marshal forced his way into the lavatory at the front of his plane after a man of Middle Eastern descent locked himself in for a long period. The marshal found the mirror had been removed and the man was attempting to break through the wall. The cockpit was on the other side."

Good, freaking, night! A man of Middle Eastern descent trying to break through the lavatory wall into the airplane cockpit! Why do you suppose he wanted to do that?

I'm sorry, but when I'm on a plane, I'm not worried about black kids from Compton, Hispanic moms from Texas, blonde teenagers from St. Paul or a visiting Chinese grandma from Taipei. Elderly Marines with the CMH don't bother me either.

"Profiling" hell. Our family is flying next week, and you can bet your bottom dollar I'm watching closely anyone who looks or sounds Middle Eastern.

It's a bad world when your children's bedroom has a sign in it saying "Let's roll." It's a worse world when you and your wife have to decide you'll do the same thing if needed.

Steve Setzer

I have not heard this one before. Cum grano salis? I would think it would be well known and the guy charged with all kinds of things...

And we have

Subject: Mystery of Middle Eastern Musicians Solved. 

Michael J Smith




Dr Pournelle,

Keeping it in the family 

Jim Mangles



Subject: Glorious

Jerry, You may already have received a dozen notifications of this, but in case you haven't, newly scanned images from Apollo 11 are now available at  <> . Note that this is for high-bandwidth connections only, and has already been slashdotted for much of today. If at first you don't connect, keep trying.

Chuck Wingo







CURRENT VIEW    Thursday


This week:


read book now


Friday,  July 23, 2004

Matthew Joseph Harrington wrote: "Am I alone in thinking that the FBI would be doing its job much better if they went back to their original function, which was acting as an information clearinghouse and accompanying local police for Federal-charge arrests?" I don't disagree with Mr. Harrington, but this may fall under the "be careful what you wish for" rule. The last time there was serious talk of pruning a branch of the armed central bureaucracy (BATF) we got the Mt. Carmel raid as a publicity stunt...

-Scott Miller

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

And some good news:

El Salvador to Continue Iraq Deployment

By Jim Garamone American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 22, 2004 – El Salvador has "reupped" and will continue its deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, DoD officials said today.

El Salvador has had infantry and special forces personnel in Iraq since August 2003. The unit is part of the Multinational Division Central/South.

El Salvador is actually increasing its commitment. The country is sending 380 soldiers to Iraq, up from 360. "Given the size of the country and the size of the armed forces, this is a significant commitment," said Roger Pardo-Maurer, the deputy assistant defense secretary for Western Hemisphere affairs.

El Salvadoran troops first went to Iraq as part of a Central American battalion. Troops from Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic were part of the Spanish-led brigade. The Salvadoran troops provided security in the city of Najaf. "They performed 'shrine security,'" Pardo-Maurer said.

It was there that they distinguished themselves. In early April, the illegal militia of Muqtada al Sadr attacked a 16-member El Salvadoran squad. The Salvadoran troops fought until they ran out of ammunition and then fought with knives, said Pardo-Maurer. They held on until coalition forces broke through. One soldier was killed and several wounded in the hand-to-hand fighting. "They are very high-quality soldiers," he said.

The troops now work with U.S. forces in the area, and will probably stay in the same location for the next deployment.

Twenty years ago, El Salvador was going through its own version of hell. The country was wrecked by a civil war. El Salvador is now a democracy and has adopted a free trade policy. The military is under civilian control. "Now the country is an exporter of security," Pardo-Maurer said.

MAY YOU BE POOR in misfortune, Rich in blessings, Slow to make enemies, Quick to make friends, But Rich or poor, quick or slow, May you know nothing but happiness from this day forward, And may you live to be a hundred years with one extra year to Repent.


And many will consider this good news:

Subject: SCO out of action on Unix suits buffy willow

SCO Lawsuit Against DaimlerChrysler Is Thrown Out Michigan judge's ruling is likely to discourage SCO from suing other Unix licensees that failed to certify their use of the operating system.  <>

Jim Woosley


Subject:  california stats?

The FBI says Whites were 58 % of murderers in Los Angeles in 2002.

 You don't believe it ? It's in the FBI's Supplemental Homicide Report: File listing 2002, pages 13 to 31. This is the latest FBI data available, it was released in March 2004.

In the column of race of the offender the FBI counts of murderers are as follows:

Whites 314
 Blacks 218
 Asians 7

Because this is California, there is a special column, "column E." California uses E to list whether a person is "Hispanic" or not. If Hispanic, it's marked with an "H," and if it's not it is mark with an "N".

Guess what ? 288 of the 314 "Whites" are actually "Hispanics" (really basically Mongoloid, Asiatic-derived "Indians"). Leaving only 26 non-Hispanic "Whites", (remember this government classification includes European Whites, Arabs, North Africans, Jews, Turks, Iranians, etc.).

Only Texas and California forward "E" to the FBI. All other states just automatically count Hispanic as White. When the FBI compiles summary statistics comparing Black and White killers they ignore E.

For example: The FBI's Uniform Crime Report for 2002 says there were 5,579 Black killers, 5,356 White killers, and 274 other killers. In other words 50 % of killers are Black, 48 % are White and 2 % are other race.

That is a lie.

When the FBI says "White," they mean Whites and Hispanics combined.

Substitute the words "White and Hispanics combined" for "White". Thus, 50 % of the killers were Black, and 48 % were White and Hispanic combined.

Lets review Los Angeles, after adjusting the false "White" column for Hispanics:

LA Killers in 2002: Source FBI
 Race     Number     %
White       26           4.8 %
 Hispanic 228         53.4 %
 Black       218         40.5  %
 Asian         7            1.3 %
 Total        539         100.0 %


I am never sure what to make of such numbers, although they do seem consistent both here and in Europe. Historically the "whites" (whoever they are) have been pretty good at mass destruction, (Hitler; Stalin) but so have the Asians (Genghis Kahn, Tamurlane, Babur the Tiger), while the Blacks have to make do with Chaka Zula and Cetewayao, and the Hispanics with Cortez and Pizarro, who were pretty vicious but pikers compared to the others. But once settled in the whites and orientals are pretty peaceful, and have orderly societies compared to black and hispanic communities. The white on white murder rate is low enough that murder mysteries might still be popular if it weren't for the weekend driveby shootings and such. Of course commentators like John and Ken in Los Angeles are now saying that the thing to do is seal off and abandon areas of the city: pump in guns, and let them kill each other, because no one cares.

When I was Executive Assistant to the Mayor of LA I had a request for more police from some black ladies of a church group who were sick of what was happening to their once peaceful black middle class community. I explained, in the precinct captain's office, that we didn't have any more police, but I did have the Metro units, who were elites: I could send them in at community request with the recommendation of the precinct commander. The Captain said he'd approve if the ladies would sign a formal request. They did. I explained that the Metro cops were elites and they would bust anyone they saw committing any crime: that was what they did. They were not "community police."

The ladies said that is what they wanted. We sent in Metro. The crime rate in that area plummeted. Then the LA Times began running articles roasting the Mayor for "overpolicing" the black area, and "invading" it; and editorials by "black community leaders" (who had not shown up at the meeting at the precinct house) denouncing the "invasion"; and the usual. The Mayor called me in and said "What the hell are you doing to me?"

"The community likes it."

"The Times doesn't say so. The community leaders don't say so. Nobody down there votes for me anyway, and you're just stirring things up. Get Metro back out in Sun Valley where they LIKE them and vote for me."

The crime rate began to soar down there, but of course it stayed low in the Valley...

And some more numbers:

The stats aren't quite so disproportionate, though this issue is an important one.

Consider the California DOJ violent crime statistics for 2001 

Murders for Juveniles + Adults

Whites 335 , 20.6%
 Hispanics 794, 48.9%
 Blacks 396, 24.4%
 Other 99, 6%

Compare to California population data: 

White 46.7%
 Hispanic 32.4%
 Black 6.4%
Asian 10.8%

Note that those figures don't include multiracials - see the pdf for more details.

Overall, Blacks offend at about 4x their rate in the population, Hispanics 1.5x, whites .5x, and Asians around .3x (can't see the Asians from this data, but you can from national data).

As one way of putting those stats in perspective, take a look at the gender data:

men commit violent crimes & murders at about 8-9X the rate that women do, which is about the same as the black:white. So blacks are statistically about as much more violent than whites as men are than women.


Subject: Demographics

Re: Jim's violent crime racial data comments

Simplifying "Hispanic" as "non-white" and chiefly of Amerindian extraction ignores the extreme complexity of this subject. Spaniards are "Hispanic", white, and European. Argentinians are Hispanic, 97% of Argentinians have NO Amerindian blood. Many Hispanics are black, not white, being of mixed African and Amerindian blood (and considered Hispanic because they are from Spanish speaking Latin-American society). In times when racial distinctions were socially important there were extremely specific terms to describe the precise extraction of those lumped as Hispanics or blacks. There was one term for European-born Spaniards, one term for New World born Hispanics without Amerindian blood, distinct terms for 3/4, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8 Amerindian extraction, distinct terms for varying proportions of African and Amerindian and European mixes. These terms were still in common usage in Mexico two generations ago. They would be the equivalent of continuing usage of mulatto, quadroon, octoroon, etc. in referring to African-Americans of mixed heritage. Classifying a 7/8 Danish, 1/8 unknown African person as "black" and a 15/16 European, 1/16 Amerindian as "Hispanic" and conflating their respective genotypes with those of a full Zulu or a full-blood Apache makes relatively little sense to me.

Best, Ben Pedersen








Mr. Speaker, I rise to explain my objection to H.Res. 676. I certainly join my colleagues in urging Americans to celebrate the progress this country has made in race relations. However, contrary to the claims of the supporters of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the sponsors of H.Res. 676, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 did not improve race relations or enhance freedom. Instead, the forced integration dictated by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 increased racial tensions while diminishing individual liberty.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 gave the federal government unprecedented power over the hiring, employee relations, and customer service practices of every business in the country. The result was a massive violation of the rights of private property and contract, which are the bedrocks of free society. The federal government has no legitimate authority to infringe on the rights of private property owners to use their property as they please and to form (or not form) contracts with terms mutually agreeable to all parties. The rights of all private property owners, even those whose actions decent people find abhorrent, must be respected if we are to maintain a free society.

This expansion of federal power was based on an erroneous interpretation of the congressional power to regulate interstate commerce. The framers of the Constitution intended the interstate commerce clause to create a free trade zone among the states, not to give the federal government regulatory power over every business that has any connection with interstate commerce.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 not only violated the Constitution and reduced individual liberty; it also failed to achieve its stated goals of promoting racial harmony and a color-blind society. Federal bureaucrats and judges cannot read minds to see if actions are motivated by racism. Therefore, the only way the federal government could ensure an employer was not violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was to ensure that the racial composition of a business's workforce matched the racial composition of a bureaucrat or judges defined body of potential employees. Thus, bureaucrats began forcing employers to hire by racial quota. Racial quotas have not contributed to racial harmony or advanced the goal of a color-blind society. Instead, these quotas encouraged racial balkanization, and fostered racial strife.

Of course, America has made great strides in race relations over the past forty years. However, this progress is due to changes in public attitudes and private efforts. Relations between the races have improved despite, not because of, the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, while I join the sponsors of H.Res. 676 in promoting racial harmony and individual liberty, the fact is the Civil Rights Act of 1964 did not accomplish these goals. Instead, this law unconstitutionally expanded federal power, thus reducing liberty. Furthermore, by prompting raced-based quotas, this law undermined efforts to achieve a color-blind society and increased racial strife. Therefore, I must oppose H.Res. 676.

Ron Pauls, Member of Congress


I got this from an Asian friend on how to understand Asia. I do not say it is true: 

One Bengali is a poet
Two Bengalis is a film society
Three Bengalis is a political party
Four Bengalis is two political parties

One Punjabi is a 100 kg hulk named Pinky
Two Punjabis is a Pinky with his brother Twinky
Three Punjabis is an assault on the McAloo Tikkis at the local McDonalds
Four Punjabis is a combined IQ equal to one Tam-Brahm

One Bihari is Laloo Prasad Yadav
Two Biharis is a booth-capturing squad
Three Biharis is a caste killing
Four Biharis is the entire literate population of Patna

One Mallu is a coconut stall
Two Mallus is a boat race
Three Mallus is a Gulf job racket
Four Mallus is an oil slick

One UP bhaiyya is a milkman
Two UP bhaiyyas is a halwai shop
Three UP bhaiyyas is a fist-fight in the UP assembly
Four UP bhaiyyas is a mosque-destruction squad

One Gujju is a share-broker in a Bombay train
 Two Gujjus is a rummy game in a Bombay train
Three Gujjus is a Rs. 10-crore sprocket manufacturing business
 Four Gujjus is an all-night dandia-raas session

One Andhraite is a chilli farmer
Two Andhraites is a software company in New Jersey
Three Andhraites is a Naxalite outfit
Four Andhraites is a song-and-dance number in a Telugu movie

One Kashmiri is a carpet salesman
Two Kashmiris is a carpet factory
Three Kashmiris is a terrorist outfit
Four Kashmiris is a shoot-at-sight order

One Tam-Brahm is a priest at the Vardarajaperumal temple
Two Tam-Brahms is a maths tuition class
Three Tam-Brahms is a queue outside the U.S. consulate at 4 a.m.
Four Tam-Brahms is a Thyagaraja music festival in Santa Clara

One Bombayite is a footpath vada-pau stall
Two Bombayites is a film studio
Three Bombayites is a slum
Four Bombayites is the number of people standing on your foot in the train at rush hour

One Sindhi is a currency racket
Two Sindhis is a papad factory
Three Sindhis is a duplicate goods shop
Four Sindhis is the Hong Kong Retail Traders Association

One U.S. Desi is a software guy
Two U.S. Desis is a lunch group at work
Three U.S. Desis is a bitching session about the U.S.
Four U.S. Desis is four software guys, heating tamarind rice in the office microwave, cooked that morning, in their shared one bedroom apartment, and bitching about life in the U.S.

I suppose this had to happen:

Gay newlyweds file for divorce 

July 22, 2004, 8:48PM

Gay newlyweds file for divorce

The marriage lasted 5 days, but a legal catch means splitting up could take a lot longer


TORONTO - Two Toronto women who were among the first same-sex couples to marry in Canada are now seeking what may be the first Canadian same-sex divorce.

The couple married June 18, 2003, a week after a landmark court decision legalized same-sex marriage in Ontario, Canada's most populous province. They had been together for nearly 10 years, but separated after five days of marriage.

The women are now seeking to change Canada's divorce law, which still applies only to marriages between a man and a woman. Their identities have been kept secret by court order. <snip>










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CURRENT VIEW     Saturday

This week:


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Sunday, July 25, 2004

Headed home. Actually this is Monday 0 dawn thirty in Chicago...

Safe in Dallas. Rolling the pages...





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