Musings of a Philosophical Scrivener...
Idle ramblings of an intermittently philosophical nature... Apologies to Martin Gardner, whose The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener is one of the best books you've (probably) never read.

An Idle Thought...
What a misfortune, and injustice, for the University of Tennessee College of Law that [Glenn "InstaPundit"] Reynolds should now be their best-known faculty member.
--Brian Leiter, Professor of Law and Philosophy, University of Texas, Austin

About Me (the condensed version)
A member of the tail end of the boomers; a middle aged recovering lawyer turned professional computer geek. Native of St. Louis, Missouri, transplanted to Memphis, Tennessee. Avid reader, amateur philosopher, St. Louis Cardinals fan, one of the last Renaissance men.

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A bit about me (The uncondensed version) Memorial to a dear friend
Frederick W. Benteen
The Web of Leonards
The St. Louis Cardinals
The Memphis Redbirds
BlogMemphis (The Commercial Appeal's listing of Memphis blogs)
The Guide to Life, the Universe, and Everything
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Listed on Blogwise



And in case you're interested, here's how many other 'net denizens need a life, or at least more compelling reading:


A blog worth reading:

Bloggus Caesari (Julius Caesar's Warblog)

Two blogs worth reading that I'll plug because the blogger is another Linux geek and a fellow Cardinals fan besides:

Frankly, I'd Rather Not
uptime

Other links of interest (to me, at least), in no particular order:

The Daily Howler
Spinsanity
Bill Maher Blog
The Progressive
The O'Franken Factor
Majority Report Radio
The Gadflyer
Daily Kos
Steve Gilliard's Blog
Whiskey Bar
Just a Bump in the Beltway
The Village Gate (formerly The Right Christians)
Juan Cole *Informed Comment*
Christopher Orlet
lileks.com
TomPaine.com
The Online Gadfly
The Crisis Papers
Ted Rall Online
MikeHersh.com
The Smirking Chimp
Talking Points Memo
Molly Ivins
This Modern World, By Tom Tomorrow
Tom the Dancing Bug, by Reuben Bolling
Bob the Angry Flower
Conservatively Incorrect, by Rack Jite
BartCop
Media Whores Online
Butterflies and Wheels
The Leiter Reports
Nathan Newman
Brief Intelligence
Half the Sins of Mankind
The Swing State Project
Glorfindel of Gondolin
Turquoise Waffle Irons in the Back Yard
Missouri Liberal
different strings
Shock and Awe
Gotham City 13
Pen-Elayne on the Web
Empty Days
Censored Story of the Day
Roger's Profanisaurus
Rhonda & Jane present: 525 Reasons to Dump Bush
The Bush Scorecard of Evil
Sherman P. Wright's Moderate Weblog
Quaker in a Basement
World Phamous
NLSO Subic Bay (Navy unit alumni blog.)
GRAPHICTRUTH
Iraq Coalition Casualty Count
Bracing against the wind
Rants Vitriol and Spleen JRI
Apostate's Weekly
Redbird Nation
Go Cardinals
The Cardinals' Birdhouse
The Birdhouse Minor League Report
CardsClubhouse.com
The Cardinals Fan Site
St. Louis Cardinals Ultimate Fan Site
RedBird Central
Get Up, Baby!
Royalties and Cardinalate (an all-MO baseball blog)
Pro Sports Daily: St. Louis Cardinals
Topix.net: St. Louis Cardinals news
RobNeyer.com
Rob Neyer's ESPN.com column
The Hardball Times
The Baseball Widow
Management by Baseball
The Nashville Files (RTB member in waiting?)
Madeleine Begun Kane's Notables Weblog
The Select Group of Toys
Pesky the Rat
I, Cringely
The Gripe Line Weblog, by Ed Foster
The Register
MS-BS
Evil Empire
Watching Microsoft Like a Hawk
Three Years of Hell to Become the Devil
Public Defender Dude
Punishment Theory
Savage Cruel Bigots
Treason Online
Hell for Halliburton
Hollywood Lost and Found
Popdex
Popdex Citations

Rocky Top Brigade:



RTB Lounge
NationStates Region

A Little More to the Right
A Moveable Beast
A Smoky Mountain Journal
AlphaPatriot
Beyond the Whispers
Big Stupid Tommy
Bjorn, Again
Bugly
Bully Pulpit
Busy Mom
Celtic Grove
Classless Warfare Jane
Conservative Zone
Dagley Dagley Daily
Damn Art Diary
Damn Foreigner
Democratic Veteran
Dingbust
Doc B
Doug McDaniel
Drawing Dead
Elephant Rants
Filthy Hippy Speak
FishKite
Frank Cagle
Free Speech News
Goobage
Granny Rant
Growth Spurt
Guy Montag
Hatamaran
HobbsOnline
Hypotheses Non Fingo
In a Mays
infozo
Inn of the Last Home
Instalawyer
Jaded Journal
Johnson City Stories
Knock/Snooze
Lay Lines
Lean Left
Les Jones
LissaKay
Loco Parentis
Long Pauses
Longmire
Mike Hollihan
Mike Reed
Mind Warp
Missives Anonymous
Mr. Lawson
My Quiet Life
Newsrack
Newton's Kumquat
No Quarters
One Hand Clapping
Opinari
Orfinanny
Pathetic Earthlings
Philosophical Scrivener
Queen Medb's Castle
Rebel Yell
Resonance
Rex Hammock
Rich Hailey
Road Warrior
SayUncle
SemiPundit
Sick of Bush
Smijer
South Knox Bubba
Southern Reporter
Straight White Guy
Sugarfused
Team Rock
The Golden Calf
Up For Anything
Voluntarily in China
Wandering Hillbilly
William Burton
InstaPundit (link removed, because I think Reynolds is an idiot, and he doesn't need the linkage. If you really want to waste your time reading his drivel, you know where to find him.)
Adam Groves (MIA)
Fat Ass Politics (MIA)
Oz's Lion (MIA)
Rapmaster (MIA)
Rush Limbaughtomy (MIA)
Secret City Scene (MIA)
Twelfth Parsec (MIA)
Uncommon Sense (KIA)
Underground Man (MIA)
Xyon's Rambles (MIA)

Memphis Blogs not in the Rocky Top Brigade

Signifying Nothing
m e m p h i s . c o o l (Jon W. Sparks's personal blog)
Sparks on Memphis (Jon W. Sparks's CA blog)
/home/geek
Peggy Phillip
Tread lightly on the things of earth
Rachel and the City
webraw
Well, I think I'm funny
PhilHarwell.com
Voice of Golden Eagle
when you're 21, you're no fun

The League of Liberals:


Democratic Veteran
The Spy Game
Cosmic Iguana
People's Republic of Seabrook
Philosophical Scrivener
The Mahablog
WTF is it NOW?
blunted on reality
Happy Furry Puppy Story Time
All Facts and Opinions
MadKane
Dubya's Daily Diary
Futurballa
ARMACT Action Alerts
Cup O' Joe
Grateful Dread on the Web
The Poison Kitchen
Indigo Ocean
The Felonious Elephant
Sick of Bush
Arms and the Man
Clareified
Rick's Cafe Americain
A-Changin' Times(ACT)
Estimated Prophet
Gotham City 13
Officially Unofficial
The Gunther Concept
The Mudshark
Hammerdown
Screaming Points
Ink from the Squid
Left Is Right
Byte Back
The Huck Upchuck
Pharyngula
The Sesquipedalian
Stageleft
DeanLand - Dean Landsman's Weblog
Turquoise Waffle Irons in the Back Yard
Wilson's Blogmanac
Ayn Clouter
iddybud
Anarchy Xero
Anonymoses

The Liberal Coalition

Archives
01/01/2003 - 01/31/2003
02/01/2003 - 02/28/2003
03/01/2003 - 03/31/2003
04/01/2003 - 04/30/2003
05/01/2003 - 05/31/2003
06/01/2003 - 06/30/2003
07/01/2003 - 07/31/2003
08/01/2003 - 08/31/2003
09/01/2003 - 09/30/2003
10/01/2003 - 10/31/2003
11/01/2003 - 11/30/2003
12/01/2003 - 12/31/2003
01/01/2004 - 01/31/2004
02/01/2004 - 02/29/2004
03/01/2004 - 03/31/2004
04/01/2004 - 04/30/2004

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Monday, April 28, 2003

There's a web page for everything....
So it was only a matter of time before someone decided to implement an archive of bad bridesmaids' dresses.




William Gibson forsakes the blogosphere....
Gibson had a blog? That's news to me; I never even heard that he had learned how to use a PC. But, alas, apparently Gibson is foresaking his blog.

But fear not, Esther Dyson is taking his place...

Damn, such *yawn* excitement....*bigger yawn*.




Here's the mighty U.S. military....
giving the newly "liberated" Iraqis a taste of the enlightened and progressive law-enforcement methods we use here in the States:

U.S. Forces Make Iraqis Strip And Walk Naked In Public (includes pictures).

Sometimes, I'm really ashamed to be an American.




The Pigopolists get smacked down!!!
An LA federal judge, finding significant non-infringing uses for peer to peer (P2P) file sharing technology, and noting that the services can't know whether what their subscribers are doing is legal and non-infringing, or illegal and infringing, has thrown out a lawsuit against P2P providers StreamCast and Grokster.

Thank God the RIAA and MPAA haven't bought the Federal judiciary like they've bought Congress....




Microsoft innovates in mathematics....
redefining the meaning of "100%": at the Windows 2003 Server rollout, the Microserf conducting the demo of Windows 2003 Server's Automated Deployment Services promised 100% dependability. Whereupon, during the demo, 2 of 29 demo servers crashed and failed to complete the deployment properly.

Hmmmmm... according to the math I was taught, (27/29) x 100 is about 93% (approximately), not 100%. But I guess they're teaching "new math" in Redmond....




The spam arms race continues....
The latest weapon: Spambots hijack your computer and your email address.




Must be disaffected Bolsheviks at heart...
NPR reported this morning that a Philadelphia newspaper (I think; I'm going by memory here) did an investigation of the billing records for a attorney representing a local school district. Apparently, the paper found, the lawyer had billed the district for at least 25 hours work in one day on two separate occasions, and once billed the district for 80 hours work performed in one day!

The nerve of them! Don't they realize that this is exactly the kind of picky, Marxist reasoning that is depressing productivity in the American workplace? And then they'll wonder why other nations are beating the crap out of us economically....

Do I really need to flag the sarcasm? ;-)



Thursday, April 24, 2003

Bill Gates lying?
From the Sydney Morning Herald, news of a study comparing the GNU General Public License (GPL) with Microsoft's End User License Agreement (EULA). Surprise, surprise, the study concludes that Bill Gates is being a bit mendacious when he talks about the "viral" nature of the GPL possibly "infecting" proprietary software.




Significant dates department
Today is the 203rd anniversary of the founding of the Library of Congress. Thank you Mr. Jefferson!!!

And given my profession, I should note that today is also the 22nd anniversary of the introduction of the IBM PC. Don't know if thanks are in order for that one, much less to whom. :-)




Hmmmmm...
Over a week blogfree? I must be running out of things to say....



Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Scenes from the liberation of Iraq....
The Iraqis taking advantage of their new freedom?




This makes me feel secure....
The Register notes today that the DMCA is being used by Blackboard, Inc., to keep a couple security researchers from publicly discussing the failings of their smartcard security system. No wonder why Microsoft, the primary proponent of "security by obscurity" lately, is a prime supporter of the DMCA.



Tuesday, April 15, 2003

This hearkens back to my days as a public defender....
Read past the part excerpting the email from the woman endorsing "Purring Kitty" (see the 4/14 entry, below or in the archives); it appears that a woman cell phone thief was busted when the owner of the phone called her number from a phone in the store where she'd lost it, only to hear it ringing in its new hiding place, the theif's vagina.

No, I am not kidding; I couldn't even begin to make this stuff up.




Ain't technology wonderful?
Of course, you've probably heard about how anti-spam activists have taken pre-emptive action by releasing the snail mail addresses of particularly egregious spammers, just allowing folks who feel so inclined to sign them onto every junk-mail list that they can think of? Well now some security researchers have released a paper showing how one (with only a modicum of programming skill) can actually automate that process via the web.

Isn't revenge sweet?



Monday, April 14, 2003



Somehow, I don't feel so bad about not paying my last month's bill
The Reg this morning has an article on how WorldCom is set to rebrand as MCI. This one links to another article pointing out how, prior to its acquisition by WorldCom, MCI didn't have an exactly spotless ethical reputation. Nice to finally have confirmation that I wasn't the only person they screwed....



Thursday, April 10, 2003

Random link text on msn.com:
"How did the US military get this good?"

Duh, by picking on third or fourth rate opponents who can't fight back?




You can decide whether to laugh or cry:
Privacy International's Stupid Security Awards

I wonder if this is going to be an annual thing, or just a one shot?



Wednesday, April 09, 2003

From the "Duh!" Department:
e-Pharmacies not exactly the safest place to buy your medicine....




Poor Microsoft....
It appears that the Product Activation key for Windows 2003 Server has gone public... or at least one of them, for a corporate user. Same thing as happens when XP was released: the product's "security" is compromised even before product release. Makes you wonder if they really want the product pirated....




More bad news for Microsoft?
John Dvorak has an interesting column in PC Magazine where he speculates that Apple could, by embracing the Intel architecture, manage to knock Microsoft out if its monopoly. The key here appears to be that Microsoft has been getting cozy with AMD, which gives Intel motivation to get cozy with Apple. If Apple plays its cards right then, says Dvorak, they port OS X to the Intel architectures (can you say "Darwin"? It's already out there but not pushed heavily by Apple) followed up by Apple's actually producing Intel based hardware sometime thereafter. Read the article; it's food for thought.



Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Fun and games with software licenses....
Ed Foster's InfoWorld Gripe Line column of April 4 has an interesting rundown of how Microsoft gouges companies on their software license when a company tries to lighten up by divesting some of its software licenses to another company. Just what you expect from a monopolist....




Is freedom of expression really a 'net virtue?
The Register ran an interesting article on the travails of the Al Jazeera network to try to get an English language website up and running. Apparently, some 'netizens think that "freedom of expression" means "freedom of expression of opinions which please us". I'm very disappointed; I thought the 'net community was more broad minded than this.




Is the war the beginning of the end for Microsoft?
I wonder if someone's trying to find me a reason to approve of the war? In an interesting analysis, Joe Wilcox specualtes that if there is significant international backlash against the U.S. as a result of Gulf War II, that backlash could take the form (at least in part) of an international movement against Microsoft software, and that could spell trouble for Microsoft.



Monday, April 07, 2003

You could almost hear him squirm....
On NPR this morning, Susan Stamberg had an interview with the head of the National Endowment for the Arts, poet Dana Gioia (a Dumbya appointee). She mentioned a recent incident (one I'd not heard of), where apparently Dumbya cancelled a scheduled White House poetry reading, apparently fearing that the poets would use the reading as a forum to criticize the plans for the then upcoming Iraq war. She asked Gioia for his reaction, which he deftly deflected by saying, "Well, I don't have all the facts...." Seemed to me that you could tell what he was afraid to say (since he owes his job to Dumbya): Yes, Dumbya went and cancelled the reading because he's a vindictive, infantile twit who can't stand being criticized, especially in his own house.



Friday, April 04, 2003

Have the batteries of your bullshit detector needed replacing recently?
The Counterpunch website has a good analysis of the propaganda methods that the U.S. Government is using to help spin public opinion of their war.



Thursday, April 03, 2003

Unfortunately, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.
Good op-ed in the NYT today about how the Repugnicans are using the war as perfect camoflage for their plans of dismantling all entitlement programs for the poor and disadvantaged. What is it about the American people that they can't see through this? I'd understand if more people besides the stinking wealthy were benefiting from the tax cuts and other bonuses that the Repugnicans are throwing at the folks that don't need it. But how we can sit back and let these bastards bleed the rest of us for their own benefit is truly amazing.



Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Seeing clearly, or wishful thinking....
Sometimes I wonder why I vacated St. Louis for the Bible Belt (actually, I know damn well why, but let her email me if she reads this and that last statement pisses her off *g*). This afternoon on the way to class, a pickup truck in line ahead of me bore the bumper sticker: "Sometimes, one has to believe in order to see" (in case you didn't get the point, there was a cross on a hill pictured there too). That sorta ties into some discussion we're having on the Xianity mail list (list charter is the discussion of the truth of Christianity; email me if your'e interested in joining and I'll give you the details) where a couple Christian apologists are fixin' to explain why they believe in the Resurrection. The point being of course, if you have to believe something in order to see its truth, how can you tell if it's really true, or if your belief is merely skewing your perceptions?

There's actually a certain relevance of that musing to the current world situation. Just look at the sock monkey in the White House and his puppetmeisters to see how one's belief can skew one's perceptions, leading one to take disasterous actions (which, IMHO, constitute crimes against humanity; if there were any justice in the world Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al would suffer death (pursuant to the Nuremberg precedents) for waging aggressive war, a crime against humanity. But of course, there is no justice in the world.....).




You shoulda seen it coming....
According to a report in The Register today, some 419 scammers have vacated Lagos for Baghdad. Or maybe the meme has just jumped there.




What makes the world go round?
From David "Microsoft Shill" Coursey's Anchordesk column of 4/2/2003:

Tomorrow it will be 30 years since the first practical, portable cellular telephone was unveiled on a street in New York City. Martin Cooper, who patented the technology as an engineer at Motorola, made the first-ever cellular phone call. Who received it? A competitor at AT&T Bell Labs who was also working on cellular plans.

"He tried to pretend it was nothing significant. But if you think I was trying to needle him, you're right," said Cooper, proving that it's not love that makes the world go round, but one engineer trying to upstage the other.




It was mentioned on one of my mailing lists...
that according to a recent poll, support for the war is going to go into the toilet when the number of Iraqi civilians dead hits about 1000. I notice from the scoreboard we're already halfway there (maybe over two thirds of the way there). Pretty soon we'll see how that prediction pans out.




Yet another NPR (and Dr. Science mail list) tidbit:
Buddy Ebsen is 95 years old today.



Tuesday, April 01, 2003

Another item from NPR News
Today is William Manchester's birthday. I'm pleased to hear he's still alive.




How wonderfully appropriate
From NPR News today: "Congress is working on the first bill to pay for the Gulf War." The date: April 1, 2003.




I love technology....
And right now I've got my site upgraded, but of course the upgrade broke the comments (not like I've had so many comments here, anyway...). So I've decided to ditch the comments. If I've really pissed you off, email me.