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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

the Dixie Chicks are dissing me

I was not particularly hot and bothered about the infamous Dixie Chicks remark (something like "we're embarrassed the President is from Texas") -- although I didn't think much of their (well, her -- the lead singer's, I guess) judgment in making this crack to an audience outside the U.S. I don't know whether it was more self-expression or pandering to an anti-Bush audience. Certainly, some of the reported reaction was way out of line. (Boycott, sure, if you feel like that. Death threats, go lock yourself up.) But I think I am by now fed up with the angry smugness and offhand condescension that has been showing up in their interviews. They seem to be making a point of telling country music listeners that the Chicks are too smart and cool and progressive to want their patronage.

So why is their new album -- consistently reviewed as not really country in sound -- going to debut as #1 on some country music chart(s)?? Do that many listeners miss their music that much??

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Publicity is not always the obvious answer

So. We have personal data on millions of veterans in a laptop computer. It's stolen in a routine burglary. The chance that either the thief or the fence knows they have a gold mine of data: pretty small. Eventually, some user may stumble on this data. Chance that this user, this purchaser of a hot laptop, will have the know-how and mindset for massive identity theft, or for marketing the personal data: hard to determine.

If I had to decide whether to alert millions of veterans, giving them a chance to protect themselves but greatly increasing the chance that some bad guy would know what s/he was sitting on -- it wouldn't be an easy call, and I probably wouldn't make it overnight.

So maybe we should cut the VA some slack on this one.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Open Bed, Insert Child

My daughter liked that description of how quickly I would put her to bed if I allowed her to stay up and watch a late-evening television show on a school night. (Her usual bedtime ritual is a good deal more prolonged.)

Saturday, May 06, 2006

About that wolf

I consider it simplistic and inaccurate to label Bush's actions re Iraqi WMD as "crying wolf". However, even accepting that formulation for the sake of argument, and considering the threat posed by Iran in that light, there is a fairly important aspect of the original fable that people should keep in mind:

The last time, when the villagers didn't come running, a real wolf showed up.

And the flock Bush is guarding is us.