My girlfriend just pointed this out to me -- Here is a snippet of what the front of NYTimes.com looks like right now:
Note the Powell Op-Ed on the top right and the story on the bottom left. Here's an excerpt from Powell
We resolve, of course, to expand freedom, and we are focused in particular on Afghanistan and Iraq. The Afghan people now have a constitution, a rapidly advancing market economy, and new hope as they look toward national elections. (emphasis mine)
And here's an excerpt from the Afghan story
The constitutional grand council adjourned in disarray Thursday, leaving the entire process of drawing up a new constitution badly damaged.
The crisis has revealed a bitter struggle between the leaders of the country, with President Hamid Karzai and his Pashtun kinsmen on one side, and on the other the Islamist jihadi leaders and ethnic minorities of the north, who are seeking to preserve some of their wartime power.
Officials in the American-backed government tried to break the deadlock by putting five amendments to the vote.
But the tactic backfired when a great number of the 502 delegates, mostly from the ethnic minorities of northern Afghanistan, refused to vote. In the end only 264 people cast votes, enough for a quorum, and the five amendments passed by a simple majority.
The president and his supporters got their way, but at great political cost. Some 48 percent of the delegates did not vote and the amendments in question were not even the most important ones.
Anyway, Powell doesn't give us the full story, but this time we don't have to look very far to figure that out. At least he's not asking us to trust any more etch-a-sketch pictures of WMD labs.
Congrats to Tim Berners-Lee
Tim Berners-Lee is a knight
, becoming the envy of all computer programmer/SCA
LONDON, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- British physicist Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the World Wide Web -- or at least better access to it -- has been awarded a knighthood in London.
Without his creation, there would be no computer addresses, no e-mail and the Internet might still be the exclusive domain of a handful of computer experts, the Independent reported.
For the record, Berners-Lee is responsible for HTTP and HTML and the first browser and web server, not DNS, POP, SMTP or the Internet (TCP/IP) as this article implies.
Merry New Year!
Here's to '04! Have a good one.
USDA Jokes Write Themselves
In a classic "Closing the barn door after the mad cow is out" maneuver, the USDA shifted its policies today
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a series of sweeping changes in its mad cow surveillance and prevention programs Tuesday, some of which will take affect immediately.
The changes include banning downer cattle from the human food supply, testing all suspicious animals and holding them until test results are known. Beef from the cow that tested positive for mad cow disease on Dec. 23 in Mabton, Wash., was distributed for human consumption before the results had been returned.
The USDA also will ban from human consumption certain parts of all cows, including the head, spinal column and small intestines because these tissues are considered high risk for carrying prions, the protein particles that are thought to cause mad cow disease and can infect humans with the always deadly illness called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
And even Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman gets in the act
"Today I am announcing steps we are taking to further protect our system," Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman said during a news briefing. "In most instances, these actions are a result of work that was underway long before the discovery" of mad cows in Washington state Dec. 23 and in Canada last May, Veneman said.
Good one. The changes have been in the works for a long time and can be put into place immediately following a crisis. She's here all week folks.
What the Hell Am I?
Ok, I've been in Massachusetts for a year and a half, and I have no idea what someone who lives here is called. My spell checker rejects both Massachusettsian and Massachusettsan, and google only lists a combined 123 pages with them on it. Lists of state resident adjectives on the net list "Bay Stater", but nothing with a Massachusetts prefix (here's an example
). When I lived in NY, we called people from here "Massholes" -- but I'm disinclined to use that now.
Statement of Support
While everyone is piling on Howard Dean because he says he can't guarantee that his supporters will vote for another nominee, I'd like to say that he's right in that he can't speak for my vote. I will speak for my own vote, thank you very much.
I will vote for the Democratic nominee in the General Election. I hope that that person is Dean. I think it's ridiculous to imagine that Dean will run as an independent (unless you're William Safire, and then it's just par for the course). In that impossible event, I will still vote for the Democratic nominee. I know a lot of Dean supporters, and I can't think of one that isn't ABB.
Government Asserts Beef is Safe
Ann Veneman, the U.S. head of agriculture, says
(from Chris Mooney
The risk to human health from this situation is extremely low, and people should continue to feel very confident in our meat supply
That's a relief. Oh yeah, remember this
The Environmental Protection Agency's internal watchdog says White House officials pressured the agency to prematurely assure the public that the air was safe to breathe a week after the World Trade Center collapse.
But this time, there's no good reason to lie, right?