PS... A Column

on Things

By Paul E. Schindler Jr.
Vol. 4 No. 36

Some things are impossible to know, but it is impossible to know these things.

September 24, 2001

More On The Tragedy

I have a day job, so I need to make it clear to anyone who comes here that the opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not represent those of my employer, my family, or your great-aunt Mathilda. Offer not valid in Wisconsin. You must enter to win.

Some Material in this column comes from anonymous incoming e-mail; such material is usually reproduced in the Arial (Sans Serif) type font to distinguish it from the original material

Table of Contents:

General News:

    • The Speech Bush Should Have Given
    • My Mailing List
    • More Tragedy and Disaster
    • Angels and Afghanis
    • Dalton's Personal Report

Computer Industry News:

    • Switching To Linux
    • What Ever Happened To Drake Lundell

Web Site of the Week:

    • Legoland Movies


    • The Top 14 Signs New York City Has "Rudy Mania"


  • Haiku Tunnel


  • The Best Wedding Ever

General News

The Speech Bush Should Have Given

My anonymous Washington correspondent has not stinted on effort this week. Based on a casual suggestion from me, said correspondent has written the speech George W. Bush should have given last week. I proudly present it on a separate page, but here's a few excerpts to whet your appetite. I have never been more in agreement with my correspondent.

Second, many suggestions have been made as to how your government should respond. The principles which will guide us are to maintain (and if possible expand) the level of civil liberties which existed in the United States on September 10, to make potential terrorist targets as secure or hard as possible, and to disrupt terrorists and their networks operating in the United States and elsewhere.
A decrease in civil liberties is precisely what the terrorists sought. They will not get it. There is no need for it.

An hour ago I accepted the immediate resignations of the Director of Central Intelligence and the Director of the Federal Aviation Administration. At the same time, the immediate resignations of the Directors of the Counterterrorism Center of the CIA and the Assistant Director of the FBI in charge of counter-terrorism efforts were accepted.

Some have proposed that we spend $15 billion or more to enable the airlines to continue to fly almost empty planes. I will not sign any such legislation. I have acted and will continue to act to restore confidence In the security of commercial airlines.

Beginning at 6:00 a.m. tomorrow morning, no commercial airliner from any nation will be allowed to enter or use the airspace of the United States unless it has on board at least one armed air marshal approved by the United States. For the immediate future, many of these marshals will be specially trained military and local law enforcement agents.
Starting thirty days from today, every airliner operating in our airspace will be required to have an armored intrusion resistant door. The Boeing Company has agreed to manufacture and install these doors at cost.
Beginning at 6:00 a.m. tomorrow morning, all personnel operating security checkpoints through which passengers must pass before boarding airliners entering our airspace will work for the Federal government.

There's more. A thoughtful alternative approach from the loyal opposition--what might have been.

My Mailing List

Look, normally I don't push my notification mailing list, but in the last few weeks, I have gotten email from several of you asking why I had stopped sending you my weekly notification. I didn't want to bring this up in public, but I think some people are misinterpreting what happened.

I deleted my mailing list.

It was an accident, but by the time I noticed it, I had backed up the address file with the address list missing. Reconstruction was a bear, frankly, and let me tell you Outlook Express really doesn't make it easy to recreate a long mailing list. I had to re-enter each name by hand. Apparently, I missed some people. I apologize. Nothing deliberate, no slight intended.

As long as we're on the subject, if you would like a brief weekly email from me about the contents of the column (and a very occasional mid-week top-up or apology for the lack of a column) just drop me a note.

More Tragedy And Disaster

"Now I know what my mother felt like, when she woke up on her birthday on Dec. 7th in 1941 and turned on the radio. Her and all the other mothers. It's very hard to take. I never expected to feel like this," says my mother, who finds herself crying at unexpected moments and unexpected things. She has no direct loss, but we all have loss.

Vicki, my wife and a psychotherapist, says she feels like she has tertiary post-traumatic stress syndrome from helping her clients cope with the situation. A colleague of mine at work says he finds his temper is unusually short. A four-day cross-country bus ride may have contributed to that, but he thinks it is the bombing. People are odd and edgy. We're all trying to get back to normal, but it turns out to be a longer road than most of us, I think, expected.

My anonymous Washington correspondent notes confirmation of this analysis from last week in FBI Seeks Accomplices, Detains Potential Witnesses.

Charlie Hall, among others, sent me numerous versions of what the rebuilt World Trade Center should look like.

Jeanette Hafke was the first person to send me the Satan In The Dust Cloud link.

Dan Grobstein found panoramic shots of ground zero as well as two good articles:

Afghanistan: A Nightmare Battlefield
By Molly Moore and Kamran Khan
In a war against Afghanistan, the world's only superpower would be aligning the most sophisticated, high-tech military weaponry ever developed against mud barracks, mountain caves, a few hundred artillery pieces and a savvy foe able to melt into the khaki folds of an already devastated landscape.

And as a journalist, I am pleased to see someone take note of the widespread failure of the media to separate fact from fiction:

Getting It Right Before Getting It First
By Joel Achenbach
The paramount rule of journalism is: Get it right. That's more important than getting it first. It's more important than being clever or compelling or entertaining. Publish the truth and only then worry about the other stuff.

It's probably too late; by the time you read this, our pockets will have been picked. If you want to know how deeply and how unfairly, read this:

Brancatelli File: No Taxation Without Reregulation
This is what we should be talking about this week. But we can't because the nation's airline executives have decided that now is the time to try to pick our pockets and demand a mind-boggling $24 billion taxpayer-funded bailout of their shabbily run private businesses. Almost from the moment this horrific tragedy began on September 11, the major airline executives have been wrapping themselves in the flag and claiming that we owe them taxpayer dollars to prop up a system that was fiscally and morally unsupportable just 10 days ago. These shameless millionaires, who had driven commercial aviation to the brink of collapse long before September 11, have threatened us all with aviation Armageddon if we do not divert tax money to their private coffers.
This is my response: No taxation without reregulation.

Was it Bin Laden? Craig Reynolds found this article which fingers Iraq.

I also got an email from Daniel Dern containing an analysis. I have not yet received confirmation that Arthur Waldron of the University of Pennsylvania wrote this stinging indictment of our intelligence services, which also pins the blame for the attack on Iraq.

However, the Knight-Ridder newspapers, among others, ran stories this weekend knocking down speculation about Iraqi participation. Note: this story will only be available for pay after Sept. 29.

I got a lot of petitions last week; Ruth Rainero sent me the best one.

Thanks to all the others who sent links I didn't use. I think this section has gone on long enough.

Angels and Afghanis

Kimberly Drake, my niece, forwarded my a passionate pair of essays by Afghani writers. The core of this essay also appears at

Maija Meijers, a college friend of mine channels messages from angels. She wrote me last week:

Dear Paul,
In zooming around on the Internet to make sure that I had touched base with all my clients, and friends, I read your column. I was so struck by the difference in tone between your list of gratitudes and the articles that you reprinted. My one comment to you is that having a weak president means that it is a golden opportunity for each of us to speak up and take our individual actions seriously. This is a time when what each individual does and says and prays for will have an enormous effect. It will also remind us all that a government of the people does not mean just sitting on the side and saying the officials are fools, it means doing the work in one's own heart and on one's own doorstep.

And she forwarded this:

A copy of a letter that my angel "Bosses" sent to one of my seekers in response to her questions about the events of this week. Here it is:
"O' Beloved, The gift that those souls can give to you as an individual is to be 'angels' for you and help you take away your anger, but we were speaking (they refer here to a previous letter they sent her--ed) of the gift that they have given all of humanity: to sacrifice themselves for this lesson to all souls of what terrible things anger can lead to.
Of all the possibilities that the One Soul (of which you all are a part) could have used to give humanity another chance to choose kindness and awareness and love, this was a relatively gentle one. These loving souls that sacrificed themselves in this way, so that it did not have to be a larger war or atomic bomb, are so hoping that their sacrifice will mean that humanity moves forward in its spiritual awareness.
They are so hoping that the realization that there was a people so poor and hungry and desperate that they would listen to violent schemes and anger, will awaken the world to its Oneness.
Where there is pain and a feeling of struggle to survive, anger can be born. Anger leads to destruction--whether of one's own life and body, or the lives of others, anger only destroys. Is this a clear enough demonstration of this to the world, or will it need to see that truth again and again? What can you say, O' Beloved, that anger has ever given you? Has your anger ever led to more harmonious relationships in your family? Has it ever led to more friendships and more love in your life? Has it ever led to greater health of your body?
Anger is a destroying thing, Love is a growing and healing thing. That is the simple truth that each soul, and the world, must grow to, in the course of human spiritual evolution, and a reuniting of each soul with the Divine. Each life contains small lessons of it, and the world contains large lessons of it. Learn it in small ways, or learn it in large ways, it is your choice. We know that there is great Grace within you, and when you are angry at yourself or at others, we still see that Grace shining, and hope you will let all others see it too, by pulling up the blind of that anger. Loving you unconditionally, ANGELS"

They're right about anger.

Dalton's Personal Report

It was an interesting week from my long-time friend and colleague Richard Dalton:

I was in NY (at NYU), the Wednesday before the attack. As I was headed home, I stopped in the Penn Station restroom. As I was standing at a urinal, a kid grabbed my laptop case and said, "Don't turn around, asshole." Needless to say, I was in no condition to pursue. I then went through a tortuous process of quickly obtaining a computer and trying to transfer files from a backup disk. Sounds simple, huh? Not when the drive is SCSI and my new system has nothing but Firewire and USB.
After slapping together as much as I could (NOT including three critical work-in-progress folders), Linda and I jumped on a plane for San Francisco.
We were in San Francisco last Thursday and just cruising through the old neighborhood. As we turned the corner in front of our old church, there was a banner in front saying, Memorial Prayer Service - Thursday at 12:00." As it was 11:55, we whipped into a parking space (rare enough in that neighborhood) and entered St. John's exactly at 12:00.
We attended the service we sorely needed given by a pastor who we love as a friend, in the place where we preferred over any other. I have never felt so divinely directed in my life.
We were ticketed to fly back to Logan (via American) on Wednesday. We actually arrived at 2:00am Sunday. The crew was flying for the first time since the attack and they were very professional.
In another context, I'd call that a lousy week. Compared to others affected by the NY tragedy, I feel very lucky. I'm enclosing some thoughts penned at SFO while waiting for our plane.
I sat at the airport window,
mesmerized by
the giant jet facing me.

Reason and righteousness
failed me.

I could not feel the hate or desperation
that drove a human to
throw this spear at a million hearts.

Fear and anguish swapped places
as I fought to erase
the images in my battered mind

Unspeakable, perhaps
but not unthinkable.

Richard Dalton
September, 2001

Computer Industry News

Switching to Linux

Another in a long line of great columns from my friend and former colleague David Strom.

Why you should wait until next year to switch to Linux

What Ever Happened To Drake Lundell

For those who follow events in computer trade publishing, the question is sometimes asked, "What's Drake Lundell up to." I'd heard he was devoting himself to sailing, and now I have proof, courtesy of Dan Rosenbaum. Of course, I wonder how Dan ran across it.

IT Offers Help

I am proud to share news of this effort my some colleagues.

The staff of Network Computing wishes to express our sincerest condolences to all those who were, and will be, affected by the horrible events that occurred on September 11th.
Network Computing is offering a way for you to help the businesses that suffered disruptions in lower Manhattan on September 11. If you can provide services, supplies or expertise that would help these firms in their recovery efforts, please post your name/business on our Business Assistance List.
Alternatively, if you are or know of a company that needs assistance getting back up and running, view our list of currently available services and resources.
And don't forget to check out our list of government agencies and relief organizations.

Web Site of the Week

Legoland Movies

If you like Monty Python and the Holy Grail, you'll enjoy this all-Lego homage, submitted by Tom LaSusa


The Top 14 Signs New York City Has "Rudy Mania"

September 25, 2001


Due to his handling of the recent tragedy, New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's stock has risen drastically, with many New Yorkers calling for a change of law to allow him to run for another term when his current one ends.

14> The mobsters he sent to jail are now wearing "I [heart] Rudy" buttons on their orange jumpsuits.

13> "I Luv New York" motto replaced with "I'm Rude for Rudy!"

12> Classic New York obscene gesture now referred to as giving somebody "the Rudy."

11> Democrats now willing to touch him with a ten foot pole.

10> Unfaithful husbands now claiming that their infidelity is merely part of an effort to "be more like Rudy."

9> Street vendors offer the mayor amazing deals on Rolex watches.

8> Times Square hookers rename their most popular offering "The Rudy" and mark it down 50%.

7> They add "...and may God bless Mayor Giuliani for his calm stewardship during this, our city's most desperate hour" after demanding your wallet and jewelry.

6> He's been pegged to replace Nathan Lane in "The Producers."

5> On MTV's "TRL," Carson Daly tells the screaming fans, "Sorry girls, he's married... AND has a girlfriend."

4> For Rudy's appearance, David Letterman warms up his studio to a balmy fifty-*nine* degrees.

3> Brooklyn Art Museum is doing an "Elephant Dung Rudy" exhibit.

2> P. Diddy got his hair straightened to comb over a newly shaved bald spot.

and's Number 1 Sign New York City Has "Rudy Mania"...

1> Al Sharpton won't stop humping his leg.


[ The Top 5 List ] [ Copyright 2001 by Chris White ]
Selected from 100 submissions from 39 contributors.
Today's Top 5 List authors are:
Jeff Scherer, Brooklyn, NY -- 1, 6 (25th #1)
Steve Hurd, Oakland, CA -- 8 (Hall of Famer)
Paul Schindler, Orinda, CA -- 8


Haiku Tunel

You want the facts? Go to the Internet Movie Database

Josh Kornbluth is a genius. He has turned his amusing monologue on the subject of working as a temp in a law office into an hysterically funny movie. In Hollywood, it is an article of faith that films that have narration are weak--"real movies don't need a narrator." This intensely personal tale would have been impossible to tell without narration. It is smart, clever, funny and thought provoking. It is rated R for language and some sexuality--there is tossing and turning and panting, but nothing is seen you couldn't see on a beach. Kornbluth plays himself and is supported brilliantly by Warren Keith as Bob the attorney and Helen Shumaker as Marlina--a woman we should be seeing a lot more of, as she is a terrific actress. Let's hope this small gem of a film makes back its costs and allows Kornbluth to make at least one more. He clearly has a lot to say, much of it funny.


The Best Wedding Ever

Those of you with long memories will remember I had some kind words to say about the wedding of Clark Smith and Susie Mayer-Smith in Sonoma on Sept. 8. I was privileged to walk the bride up the aisle and afterwards witness the finest wedding ceremony it has ever been my honor to attend, save my own. I asked Kevin Sullivan, who officiated, to write it up. You can read the whole service here. I confidently predict that parts of this ceremony will become as frequently used in the new century as Kahlil Gibran quotations were in the old. It's that good.

To obtain a weekly reminder when new columns are posted or to offer feedback, advice, praise, or criticism write to me:

Family photos 1, 2, 3

Paul Schindler Home Page | PS...ACOT archives | Journalism Movies

You are visitor number

since October 16, 1998