Weblog on the Internet and public policy, journalism, virtual community, and more from David Brake, a Canadian academic, consultant and journalist

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31 March 2003

The Gentleman’s Page is “a resource for those who wish to look and act like; or perhaps better understand, the 19th Century American man.” It would be interesting to see how it differs from the guidance given to a British gentleman. Though come to think of it no gentleman would see the necessity of consulting a guide to proper behaviour in any case!

30 March 2003
Filed under:Current Affairs (World) at4:14 pm

Instead of trying to find out what is going on now in the war (a pointless exercise) take a look at What About After which brings together commentary from its own contributors and links to various think tanks, military sources and Arab thinkers. It looks deep and reasonably non-partisan.horse movies sexadult moviemovies incestmovies oldmovies breastmovies free nudemovie lesbian scenesgay post movie Mapl credit card on acceptvisa accept credit card serviceloan check $20,000 credit nocredit loan 2nd bad mortgagecard purchase 0 apr creditcards credit amazonaccreditation institutesschool accredited Map

29 March 2003

Verilocation in the UK is providing a service that lets you pay to pinpoint the location of predefined mobile phone users on a map of the UK (as long as their phone is on). It’s probably very useful for business (and could be handy if you have a friend who calls you telling you they are lost) but I am concerned their privacy protection seems a little inadequate. If you can get ahold of someone’s mobile phone bill and sign and send back a form on their behalf granting permission you can then track your target anywhere. I think their “personal” service is much better from a privacy perspective – that one requires the target phone to reply to an SMS giving their permission to be tracked each time.

Thanks to Smart Mobs for the link.

28 March 2003
Filed under:Academia,Personal at7:58 pm

I went along to a lecture that Habermas gave in London about religious tolerance and cultural rights in democracies. I wasn’t planning to approach him, but he walked off-stage practically into me so I took advantage of the opportunity to ask him about his attitude towards new media. He confirmed that he hadn’t written anything specifically about the new media and that he felt its impacts were ambiguous. He expressed concern about the possible fragmentation of the public sphere that comes when the Internet brings interest groups together – concerns voiced by Cass Sunstein in his book Republic.com and other places. I could have argued with him on that point but I thought I had taken enough of his time – I just urged him to give the matter some more thought and let us know his views when he had formed them.

Thanks to the folks at iSociety for letting me know about the lecture!galerias interracialgranny holland sexnaked women masterbating pictures ofhairy – atk janellesonic porn furrystripers shemalemilfs interracialtoon school strip girl free Map

27 March 2003
Filed under:Spam at3:03 pm

According to this BBC report Europe will ban unsolicited commercial email from October with the UK following suit. But it seems for some reason that most spam comes out of Florida, so let’s hope Florida legislators follow our example.

Also today read a profile in Salon of a heroic spam fighter in Asia.

26 March 2003
Filed under:Current Affairs (World) at8:49 pm

Rod Liddle in the Guardian lists just a few of the rumours promulgated by the military that have quickly turned out to be false. Oddly enough in the same paper on the same day on the front page there was a report suggesting that an uprising was taking place in Basra and Iraqi artillery was being used to put it down – something that seems to have been entirely without foundation. Still, if the papers and TV only printed what they could actually see the news reports would be a lot shorter…

24 March 2003

Some time ago Guy Kewney @ Newswireless.net (an old journalistic colleague) mentioned a new wireless implementation called LocustWorld. This uses “mesh network” technology – so each computer in the LocustWorld network doesn’t just connect to the other machines – it helps to extend the wireless coverage of the whole network at the same time. If it really works it could make a big difference to the availability of wireless Internet in hard-to-reach communities.

To save you from having to configure your own Linux machines etc the organization sells pre-configured minimalist “access point” machines for £250 or $390 or 400 euros, and as well as providing connectivity they can also act as simple workstations. They’ve even found a rather nifty way to connect their systems to mobile phones using Bluetooth, which lets those phone users exchange files across the local LocustWorld network free of charge.

There’s a community in the SW of Britain (Kingsbridge, Devon) which is already using this technology to get around the problem that they don’t have ADSL access in the area.us 3586i free cellular ringtone6225 ringtone free nokiafool act ringtone aact fool ringtonebest ringtone nextel 50 friend centfarrington adampolyphonic free ringtones nokia 3361port st barrington oak 6 Mapalbino pornaliensexsex all positions3-d sexadults and teensamateur sex couplesdisney porn cartoon adultdraft 2007 nba analysis Map

23 March 2003
Filed under:Current Affairs (World),Personal at8:56 pm

Readers who have been following the news may be aware that there is a war going on that has attracted some interest. They may also have noticed that there has been little if any comment on said war in my weblog. Well, it isn’t because I lack views – simply because like many people I suspect I have been having difficulty in weaving them together into a coherent position. Still, rather than stay silent I think I may as well put some of my own views down at this point, even though I am still conflicted… Apologies if I don’t put in links to support many of my assertions/beliefs – they are not that uncommon and I’m sure you can find appropriate links and information to back many of them up.

Why has America gone to war?

Because of a threat to its own security?

To my astonishment, a recent CNN poll shows more than half of Americans believe Saddam was responsible for the September 11th attacks. This is just the Big Lie in operation. Put Saddam and September 11th together in conversation frequently enough and people will come to believe there is an association.

Saddam probably does have some tenuous links to Al-Quaeda on the basis of “the enemy of my enemy…” but while he is a ruthless dictator he strikes me as pragmatic, not ideological. The WMDs he owns (or owned) were either for use against internal opponents or as a deterrent to attack. He wouldn’t use WMDs or foster terrorism unless it helped him to prop up his own power. His voiced support for Islamic terror seems to me likely to be simply an attempt to get allies in the Arab world.

Because of a threat to neighboring countries?

More plausible but still unconvincing. It’s true that Saddam invaded Kuwait but since then he has been effectively penned in. The indefinite presence of weapons inspectors would be enough to keep him from making more WMDs and he has learned from bitter experience that conventional military adventurism will be met by force. My guess is that if he had been left alone he would have been happy to stay on peaceful terms with his neighbors, only using his army to threaten his own people.

Because of concern for human rights in Iraq?

No doubt the US would rather Saddam behaved in a civilised fashion towards his own people, but since it was quite happy to turn a blind eye to his many misdoings as long as he was “our guy” and remains happy to ignore the misdoings of other client states around the world it seems pretty absurd to suggest the US really cares about Iraq… all of which leaves the inescapable conclusion:

Yes, this war is basically about oil.

And more broadly a desire to have a strong Western ally in the Middle East from which power can be projected into the rest of the region. This American Life laid out some of the arguments about that in this radio show and it has also been discussed in this New Yorker article.

So you oppose the war?

Well… no. Bush’s motives are dubious to say the least, but I am less interested in motives than I am in the results.

I would say there is a reasonably good chance that the dictator they eventually prop up in Baghdad will be better behaved than Saddam to his own people. And with a “friendly” regime in power the sanctions against Iraq can end and along with them the needless civilian suffering that has plagued the country for twelve years. Commentators have suggested that sanctions have cost the lives of 500,000 Iraqi children so far. It may be that Saddam is to blame for mal-distributing the resources that remain but since there is no other way to remove him than war this is irrelevant to the larger question. War may be bloody but continued sanctions appear to be much worse in terms of the number killed. And post September 11th there was little sign that the sanctions would be substantially lowered any time soon.

But the war is unjust!

Well, it’s abundantly clear to me that there is no “legal” justification for the US’ actions, and that they are transparently self-interested. But perhaps this is just as well. By making it abundantly clear that the US – at least this administration – doesn’t really give a damn about international law perhaps this latest fracas will give Europe the spur it needs to develop some significant independent military and foreign policy capability of its own so that the UN isn’t always subject to the whims of the US for enforcement of its goals.

What about the UN?

I suspect it will go on much as before. Nobody would really expect that it can act effectively restrain the US when it wants to do something. It may even be strengthened if anger at America translates into increased backing of the UN by other nations.

Will the war go well?

Yes, I think so – as well as you can expect from any war. I don’t expect much Iraqi resistance – certainly there is no reason to expect a “Stalingrad in Baghdad” situation. If it looks as if Saddam is doomed and if most of his henchmen are given to understand they will be left alone if they surrender (a reasonable assumption) I believe resistance will collapse.

What about after the war?

Well, this is where things will get really interesting. I (and another recent leftist commentator) fear that this has the potential to be a real problem for the left if (as I expect) the war is “won” – at least in the first few months. They have to try to ensure that the American public with its short attention span continues to pay attention to the fate of Iraq months after most of the American troops have gone home.

My guess is that things will turn out well as long as

1) The Kurds don’t press their (legitimate) desire for independence too hard prompting a brutal backlash from a US-backed regime and/or Turkey and
2) The US doesn’t throw its weight around too brazenly from its new base.

Will the war cause a wave of democratisation to spread across the Middle East?

I doubt it. That assumes that the new Iraqi regime will be democratic, which I doubt (because the US has little interest in making it so – a truly democratic regime with so many different interests would be chaotic and the US wants stability above all). Moreover, I don’t think the US would like to see an Islamic democracy in place in, say, Saudi Arabia – it would rather the same old stable despotic regimes stayed in place.

More thoughts later – meanwhile if you would like to dispute with me or get more detail on my views, comment with your thoughts – but please back them up with evidence…websites movie ratingsquirt movieant movies farm alienmovies dater easymovies lee pam and of tommyawards 2005 mtv moviehome naked moviesnasty movies bukkakenazi sex moviesnot another movie teen trailerskill credits acschedules academy casino busmillion 90 ringtonesaca international creditcasino adress inter90210 beverly hills ringtonefund benson credit acacia stevetechnologies advanced casino Map

22 March 2003
Filed under:Interesting facts at11:51 pm

From Paris in May 1968 (during the short-lived uprising there). Some of the slogans are quite catchy “Barricades close the streets but open the way” (though I would not dream of agreeing with much of it – particularly “when the last sociologist has been hung with the guts of the last bureaucrat, will we still have ‘problems’?”).movies pussy free downloadmovie hentai free downloadsmika tan movieswingers moviesmovies upskirtbukkake moviefree female masturbation moviesporn free movie MapWenig junge ModelleYong Behaarte pussySweetpee pissing FetischBehaarte pusy BilderTifa kostenlos Galerie hentaichi und hentai bulma chi DbzJap. pissen trinken MädchenMollig lezbos Map

21 March 2003
Filed under:London,Useful web resources at3:31 pm

Thanks to Haddock, I just found a great database of historical London maps including one from 1786 – “15 Miles Round London“.

If you liked that you will probably also like Booth’s famous 1889 map of poverty in London and a map of London in 1856 which includes lots of data about John Snow, the pioneering epidemiologist who stemmed a cholera epidemic.french sex movieshentai movies length fullarchive movie hentaihentai galleries moviemovie holemovies sex homefucking hot moviesmovies free incest Map

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