Much as I may dislike Rumsfeld (along with the rest of the Bush administration), I always figured he at least had some amount of intelligence. But this latest “I didn’t say that” spiel is nothing short of ludicrous…

…on Feb. 20, a month before the invasion, Rumsfeld fielded a question about whether Americans would be greeted as liberators if they invaded Iraq.

“Do you expect the invasion, if it comes, to be welcomed by the majority of the civilian population of Iraq?” Jim Lehrer asked the defense secretary on PBS’ “The News Hour.”

“There is no question but that they would be welcomed,” Rumsfeld replied, referring to American forces. “Go back to Afghanistan, the people were in the streets playing music, cheering, flying kites, and doing all the things that the Taliban and the al-Qaeda would not let them do.”

[…]

But on Sept. 25, – a particularly bloody day in which one U.S. soldier was killed in an ambush, eight Iraqi civilians died in a mortar strike and a member of the U.S-appointed governing council died after an assassination attempt five days earlier – Rumsfeld was asked about the surging resistance.

“Before the war in Iraq, you stated the case very eloquently and you said . . . they would welcome us with open arms,” Sinclair Broadcasting anchor Morris Jones said to Rumsfeld as the prelude to a question.

The defense chief quickly cut him off. “Never said that,” he said. “Never did. You may remember it well, but you’re thinking of somebody else. You can’t find, anywhere, me saying anything like either of those two things you just said I said.”

Does Rummy really think he’ll be able to get away with claiming that he didn’t say these things? In today’s ‘net connected world, anything said on the public record is there for good once it propagates into news stories posted across the ‘net.

If Rummy’s memory is really that bad, perhaps Google could help him refresh it with results like this PBS transcript of the interview with Jim Lehrer that the quote comes from. Or this Department of Defense transcript of the same interview.

Let’s try that “You can’t find, anywhere, me saying anything like either of those two things you just said I said,” statement again, shall we?

(via Will)

Some days I think I’m doing okay in my life. I may not have a set career or a ton of money or anything along those lines, but I’m not doing too badly.

Then, I find things like this: Things Other People Accomplished When They Were Your Age

At age 30:

Mark Twain published his first short story, “Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog.”

Danish novelist Hans Christian Andersen published his book of fairy tales.

Nat Turner led a slave rebellion.

U.S. mariner Moses Rogers made the first ocean steamboat voyage.

Donald Trump persuaded bankers to lend him \$80 million so he could buy the Commodore Hotel.

Samuel Morse’s assistant, Alfred Lewis Vail, devised Morse code.

Physicist Armand H. L. Fizeau measured the speed of light.

Dr. Narinder Kapany invented fiber optics and designed a glass gastroscope which can be snaked down the throat for a detailed view of the stomach.

Hank Williams overdosed on drugs and alcohol.

Bill Gates was the first person ever to become a billionaire by age 30.

Earl Vickers started the Dollar Project, in which dollar bills were rubber-stamped as being lost, with a reward offered for their safe return.

(via MeFi)

Doorknob goo

I’d just finished getting dressed to head out to the club, when I walked out the door and reached behind me to swing the door shut. When I grabbed the handle, though, something seemed wrong — it felt slick. Odd. I turned to see if there was actually something there or if I was just fooling myself, and found…well, I don’t know what.

The entire doorplate on my door has been covered in some sort of slick goo that I can’t identify, enough so that the goo has dripped down the front of my door. There’s a slightly sweet smell that I can’t identify to the goo, and it appears to be eating through the paint on the door.

Needless to say, the first thing I did was get back into my apartment and wash my hands. I didn’t want whatever it was to be on my skin any longer than absolutely necessary. After that, I went back out and checked the rest of the doors on my floor to see if any of them had this same thing happening.

Nope. Just my door.

It eats away at the paint

Needless to say, this has got me somewhat freaked out. And, of course, there’s nobody I can call or ask about it, as it’s 11pm on a Friday night. Hardly office hours.

Is it just a prank of some sort? Or something more serious? Am I being targeted directly for some reason? It’s possible — with my resumé online, my address is now public knowledge, and I’ve discussed my DVD collection, my computers, my CDs, and who knows what all else online in the past. It’s at least theoretically possible that someone could have tried — or be planning to try — to get into my apartment while I’m away.

I have no idea what to do now. I’ve taken these photos, but I’m not sure if this is enough to make a call to the police. I don’t really want to leave, just in case it is someone planning on entering my apartment while I’m gone.

This sucks. And I’m freaked.

Grrrr.

Well, word just broke on the ‘net this past week that Microsoft is moving to the IBM PowerPC processor (the same family of processors used in Apple‘s Power Mac G5) for their next generation of XBox game systems.

Interesting.

So. Randomly putting things together in my head.

First thought: if the XBox is moving to an IBM PowerPC processor — assumedly at least similar to the G5, if not the same processor — wouldn’t they need development/testing machines? Could it be that I’ve finally figured out whose toes I stepped on? I doubt I’ll ever know…but it’s worth thinking about.

Second thought: Not terribly long ago, Microsoft acquired Connectix. This was most notable at the time because Connectix’ flagship product was Virtual PC, which allows Macs to run Windows software through emulation of a x86-compatible PC. Less noted, though, was another older Connectix product that has been discontinued, the Virtual Game Station, which used similar emulation technology to allow the Mac to play original Sony PlayStation games.

Wouldn’t it be cool if Microsoft retooled the VGS codebase to produce a “Virtual XBox” for G5 Power Macs? It’ll never happen, if for no other reason than pure marketing dollars (I’m sure they’d rather have people buy a \$200 Xbox than a \$50 piece of software — playing Devil’s Advocate, though, there might be more profit margin on that \$50 piece of software, plus it would drive game sales…). In any case, it’s also fun to think about.

(via codepoetry)

Inspired by Pops’ recent posts about sheep, I wandered over to revisit the political compass.

I’d taken this test before, back in June of 2002, at which point I had a score of -6.12/-5.90, decently far into both the Left and Libertarian sides of the graph.

Interestingly, this time, I scored -6.62/-6.41, slightly further into the Left and Libertarian sides. Apparently I’m moving even further left in my old age. ;)

Along with a resurgence of interest in this test, Tim Lambert is collecting and graphing results of various blogger’s test results. By his table, I’ll end up in the same general area as Alfredo Perez, Ryan, Big Picnic, Dominion (James McLaughlin), Henry Farrell, Keith Kisser, CrowGirl, Nick Barlowe, PZ Myers, and Paul Setzer.

Belkin just lost any chance of getting business from me in the future.

It seems that with the latest firmware update to their routers, they have implemented a “feature” enabling unexpected, intrusive, unwanted advertising. Every eight hours, one http request (the information your browser sends when requesting a particular web page) is hijacked and redirected to an advertising page for a new parental control feature.

After the upgrade, on all our systems (wired or wireless), valid http requests are, for certain values of occasionally, redirected to a Belkin ad page!!!!

>

[…]

>

It seems the router now supports a parental control and the market droids at Belkin got the bright idea of equipping the router with intrusive nagware. Of course, I have this strange notion that routers should pass data unmolested by marketeers! There is a “No Thanks” link on the page. Now I have to opt-out from commercials from my router??!!

This behavior was later confirmed by Eric Deming, from Belkin.

Update: Eric Deming’s post has mysteriously disappeared from Google Groups. Damn, I knew I should have quoted from it as well.

Update 2: There is another post from Eric apologizing and claiming that there will be a patch soon. I’m still curious about the earlier post that suddenly went missing.

Update 3: Bingo. One of the posts in the /. thread about this contains the full text of Eric’s first message.

This is nasty. At best, it’s low-down, slimy, intrusive, annoying marketing. At worst, it could cause everything from difficulties with web-based systems (imagine having the redirect kick in in the middle of a transaction on your bank’s website) to possible security holes (such as hackers taking control of the redirect [through affecting the routers, Belkin’s server, or DNS servers in between] and including a trojan or virus in the new target page).

Bye-bye, Belkin.

(via The Register, via the usual suspects)

Controversy Threatens to Tear Disco Band Asunder

For the first time in their three decades of existence, the disco band The Village People have inducted an openly Episcopal man, igniting a controversy that threatens to tear the fabled group asunder.

Holding a press conference in New York City today, The Construction Worker, a prominent member of The Village People since its inception in the 1970s, urged “tolerance and understanding” for its latest member, The Episcopal Guy, who joined the group over the weekend.

“From the start, The Village People have been all about inclusiveness,” The Construction Worker said. “And introducing The Episcopal Guy as our latest member is part of that tradition.”

While The Indian Chief and The Fireman were reportedly in agreement with The Construction Worker about including The Episcopal Guy in the band, The Policeman, The Cowboy, and the Leather-clad Guy were reportedly opposed, creating speculation that The Village People might split up into two smaller, somewhat less influential disco bands.

(from Dad)

Private Jessica Lynch, in her first public statements since her heavily reported capture and rescue, has expressed her discomfort with the military using her for propaganda purposes (which generated some interesting discussion here at the time).

THE 20-YEAR-OLD private told ABC’s Diane Sawyer in a “Primetime” interview to air Tuesday that she was bothered by the military’s portrayal of her ordeal.

“They used me as a way to symbolize all this stuff,” she said in an excerpt from the interview, posted Friday on the network’s Web site. “It hurt in a way that people would make up stories that they had no truth about,” she said.

She also said there was no reason for her rescue from an Iraqi hospital to be filmed. “It’s wrong,” she said.

[…]

Footage of the rescue was aired repeatedly on television networks reporting how a special forces team bravely fought into and out of the hospital. “I don’t think it happened quite like that,” Lynch said.

&mdash MSNBC: Lynch: Military Manipulated Story

In the book and in the interviews, Ms. Lynch says others’ accounts of her heroism often left her feeling hurt and ashamed because of what she says was overstatement.

[…]

Asked how she felt about the reports of her heroism, Ms. Lynch told Ms. Sawyer, “It hurt in a way that people would make up stories that they had no truth about. Only I would have been able to know that, because the other four people on my vehicle aren’t here to tell the story. So I would have been the only one able to say, yeah, I went down shooting. But I didn’t.”

And asked about reports that the military exaggerated the danger of the rescue mission, Ms. Lynch said, “Yeah, I don’t think it happened quite like that,” although she added that in that context anybody would have approached the hospital well-armed. She continued: “I don’t know why they filmed it, or why they say the things they, you know, all I know was that I was in that hospital hurting. I needed help.”

[…]

Ms. Lynch also disputed statements by Mohammed Odeh al-Rehaief, the Iraqi lawyer, that he saw her captors slap her.

“From the time I woke up in that hospital, no one beat me, no one slapped me, no one, nothing,” Ms. Lynch told Diane Sawyer, adding, “I’m so thankful for those people, because that’s why I’m alive today.”

— The New York Times: Jessica Lynch Criticizes U.S. Accounts of Her Ordeal

Right now, I feel so sorry for Pvt. Lynch — both for what she went through in Iraq and what she’s gone through since returning home — and I’m also incredibly proud of her for speaking out and expressing her dissatisfaction with the way the story was handled. It was certainly not her fault that the military chose to use her story for grandstanding purposes, and she probably needs our thoughts and support as much now as she ever did before.

(via Atrios and Dad)

Also of interest, the MSNBC story on Pvt. Lynch links at the bottom to a TV-only story questioning the differing treatment by the military and media between Pvt. Lynch and Pvt. Soshana Johnson, something that dad and I touched on when first discussing the Pvt. Lynch story. Hopefully a webcast of this story will be made available once it’s been broadcast.