Winning the War?

It appears that Mr. Bush has taken back the only reasonable thing he’s said in recent memory, that he didn’t think you could win a war on terror.

“Terrorism” is a process, an attitude, a verb &#151 it’s not a sovereign entity or a specific person.

Yes, you can and should make it more difficult for things like 9/11 to happen, and we need to capture Osama, but all it takes is a handful of crazy individuals to slip through the cracks.

Didn’t we learn anything from the Vietnam guerrillas? How can you stop individuals like snipers from taking pot-shots opportunistically using massive organized force?

To mix metaphors, there will always be bad apples with sour grapes. How can going over unilaterally and blowing up stuff in their countries of origin at incredible cost in dollars, lives, and international opinion possibly help? It’s all about people, ideas, and money &#151 let’s use them wisely.

Great Performances – Tchaikovsky No. 4

Go to Keeping Score: MTT on Music at PBS.orgI stayed up late to watch a very cool show on PBS – it was conductor Michael Tilson Thomas going through the details of how the San Francisco Symphony prepares to play a piece like Tchaikovsky’s 4th Symphony. When he talks about his feelings on how certain passages should be interpretted, the passion he feels for the music is awesome and obvious.

I’ve always liked that piece, and I’ve had a soft spot for MTT ever since I saw him conduct when I was a student 22 years ago at Iowa State – I think he was with the Los Angeles Symphony back then.

They’re playing the show again this afternoon at 4:00, so we’re taping it. You can find out all about it here: Great Performances . Keeping Score: MTT on Music – there’s a well done Flash presentation there as well that’s worth playing with that includes an interactive score of one of the movements.

Heh, Heh, Heh. She said…

So I’m talking with The Lady Janet this morning about my campaign for the local school board, and I said, “You know, maybe we should both just vote for these other two people and forget it,” and she said, “Let’s wait and see. I’m still planning to vote for you unless you’re splitting off this other person’s vote and you’re a Nader.” (Heh, heh, heh. She said “urinator.”)

The Wisdom of Crowds – But is it Art?

At my office, I subscribe to a moderated listserv forum hosted by the Audio Publishers Association. There was a thread going about abridgement, and one of the participants, Barry Marks, wrote a broad response about art and the realities of the marketplace that I found surprisingly insightful, so I’ve asked Barry’s permission to use his essay as a guest column. Please take a moment to read But Is It Art?.

This Isn’t Supposed to Be a Trick Question!

This just in from today’s Poll:

Results of a poll conducted by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland released on Friday indicate that 54% of Americans believe that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Evidence of such weapons has not been found. (AP)

Do you think that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, or a program to develop WMD, before the United States invaded last year?

Yes 62% => 8296 votes
No 33% => 4423 votes
I’m not sure 3% => 475 votes
I don’t care 0% => 93 votes
Current number of voters: 13287
© *The Excite Poll is provided by Rosner Interactive Services. It is a voluntary poll for our users, and is not scientifically projectable to any other population. We present these polls to give Excite users an opportunity to share their opinions on particular topics. Individual answers are not collected.

I wasn’t aware that this was a trick question – did 62% of the people who took this poll overlook that last line that says “Evidence of such weapons has not been found.”? If the Bush Administration could find even a shred of evidence, they’d be all over it. Is this mass hysteria, mass hypnosis, or am I missing something?

The Mailbox Police Finally Caught Up to Us!

Click for bigger...This is the amazing mailbox that The Lady Janet constructed for us to hold all the big stacks of mail and catalogs we get almost every day. It’s been our mailbox for over 8 years now, and it’s perfect – it almost always holds it all, it matches our house perfectly, it’s very sturdy, it’s well-made, and it’s cuter than a bug’s ear, even if the bug’s crawling on a kitten who looks perplexed.

But now our new mailman has decided that despite years of flawlessly enjoyable mail delivery and receipt, it comes up short on several counts of USPS standards for what constitutes a mailbox, and we’ve received a form asking us to correct the problems. Brother.

If we don’t ignore it, or they pursue it, we need to provide a door and a flag and make it waterproof. Stay tuned…