PS... A Column
By Paul E. Schindler Jr.
Some things are impossible to know, but it is impossible to know these things.
March 11, 2002
Payment Plan Introduced
I no longer have a day job, so every word of this is my opinion, and if you don't like it, lump it. This offer is NOT void in Wisconsin.
Except, of course, that some material in this column comes from incoming e-mail; such material is usually reproduced in the Sans Serif type font to distinguish it from the (somewhat) original material
Family photos1, 2, 3
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Table of Contents:
Ari Fleischer: What Kind Of Idiot?
I was reminded of an old Firesign Theater exchange this week:
"What kind of idiot do you take me for?
The person doing the reminding was Ari Fleischer. Long-time readers of this column will recall that I started it to keep from being thought crazy as I yelled back at the Republicans on TV during the Clinton impeachment. PSACOT gives me a public forum with which to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted. I haven't wanted to woodshed a government official this badly in months.
The source of all this fulmination was Fleischer's unswerving contention that the leaders of Congress had been briefed on the President's secret government.
It's real simple, Ari. If Tom Daschle says he wasn't briefed, he wasn't briefed. And not inviting Dick Gephardt to the belated briefing that was finally held last Tuesday would be petty beyond words if it were not so typical of the rabid, right-wing partisanship that has typified this president, when he isn't wrapping himself head to toe in the flag.
There. I feel better now.
If You Enjoy This Programming…
Effective today, P.S. A Column On Things is adopting the business plan that I think of as the "public broadcasting guilt" plan. That is, I'm going to remind you periodically that this column is free, but that you could choose to pay for it, if you wished. I have arranged with Paypal to accept payment, as well as the Amazon Honor System. And, because you asked for it, I'll even take a check.
I've decided to be just like public broadcasting--well, almost. They hit you up four times a year. Besides this introductory note, I'll hit you up twice a year. I'm asking for $12 a year. I'll take more. And of course, I'll take nothing, if that's your preference.
When I say "hit you up," I mean there will be two columns a year that contain variations of this note, and little reminders scattered through the rest of the column.
No premium content, no special password-protected edition, no long emails (I may write to say thank you). Just a chance for you to support content you enjoy, and a chance for me to reap some minor tax benefits. And of course, for you to keep original content and well-filtered links alive on the web.
Larry King on Photographers Redux
Last week, I ran Dave Tenenbaum's reminder of the value of photojournalism and a 15-year-old screed by my friend, financial journalist Larry King, about art directors and photographers. Larry saw the juxtaposition and wrote:
You run off at the mouth long enough, it's going to catch up with you. I'm not sure under what circumstances I wrote that ill-humored paragraph about art directors, photo editors, and photographers, and I'm not sure I want to re-think my position on art directors or photo editors. But I would like to retract anything grumpy I had to say about photographers.
Not only is David Tenenbaum right -- photographers are journalists, too -- but in my view photographers are generally more useful in getting across to people who weren't there what it was like for people who were there, which is a fairly good working definition of what journalism ought to do.
To any writing hack inclined to argue, I'd say, how many people remember anything written from the Pacific front during World War II? Now, how many people remember Joe Rosenthal's photo of the six marines raising the flag on Iwo Jima?
Or, to take an example closer to hand, who remembers a word written about the 1980 hockey match between the U.S. and the Soviet Union? How many remember Tenenbaum's photo?
Okay, I'm overstating the case. The written word can do a lot a photograph can't -- let's just not get into television, all right? -- and a misleading photograph can arguably be more inaccurate than a sloppily reported, badly written, ineptly edited (that last one may be redundant) story. But all things considered, I think the best photos are in several respects slightly superior to the comparable written journalism.
You can also find his recent comments on the stateof British broadcasting.
Healing From The Inside Out
Regular readers will recognize the name Drew Kossoff; he runs a newsletter and a website devoted to personal growth. Mark my words; you'll be hearing more from this young man. He included a very inspirational story in a recent newsletter, and since he hasn't posted it yet, I've posted it (with permission) here on my site.
The True Story of Ranee Folk
by Drew Kossoff
My friend Ranee Folk is a living example of quantum healing. After spending 9 years in and out of the hospital, today she's completely transformed her health and her life, and it all started in her mind. This is her story.
Mark Your Calendars: Paul In Concert
Mark your calendars and don't miss these event. If you don't live around here, fly in for it. The music will be great and the narrator and second tenor saxophone will be... well, modesty forbids.
Contra Costa Wind Symphony
Tickets are now available. Call the Regional Center Box Office at
Craig's Briefs: Copy Protection
It would have been hard to imagine a technology-control law worse than the DMCA, but Fritz Hollings managed: the "Security Systems Standards and Certification Act". Steven Levy writes about it in on MSNBC:
Fox News is carryingan opinion piece by Glenn Harlan Reynolds about SSSCA and its support by Democrats funded by the entertainment industry (such as Fritz Hollings, Barbara Boxer and John Kerry). Personally I would tend to see this as an issue of clean-versus-dirty politicians rather than Democrat-versus-Republican. The entertainment industry contributed $24 million to Democrats, and $13 million to Republicans. I think that leaves Republicans markedly less pure than driven snow, although there has been significantly less boot-licking from the Republicans than Democrats on issues like SSSCA and DMCA.
Windows CE In A Car
Microsoftsaid on Monday that BMW's new 7-Series sedan would use Windows CE software to run its in-dash control computer. And Microsoft executives said several other automakers would soon unveil Windows CE-powered systems for future vehicles.
Supply your own joke. I assume I don't need to.
John Hanzel found this New York Times article on Software Rage by David Pogue, in his Circuits column, E-mail:
It doesn't seem possible, but I may just have found an issue on which every man, woman and child can agree, regardless of politics, age or income: Lousy tech support.
My e-mail column last week railed against software companies that sell complex software without a manual -- and then direct you to online help for answers. The column generated several hundred e-mail responses that shrieked, sighed and sobbed in livid unanimity. Call it Software Rage.
Richard Dalton rides to the rescue again this week, with a service that, ironically, quite resembles something he was selling in 1979, for a lot more money with a lot less resolution. A classic case of "too early for the technology," like the fax-based LA edition of the New York Times in the 1960s.
Wow! Best 20 bucks I've spent since my recreational drugs era. You getweather, cloud formations, latitude/longitude, hundreds of Webcams, earthquakes and volcanoes (with detailed links to the Commerce Dept.). What did you buy a big monitor for?
Richard also found this one: a Klein bottle.
Here's just what an MIT alum needs for his home office. Get one before EVERYONE has a copy.
The Top 20 Current Events Limericks
March 8, 2002
[ Copyright 2002 by Chris White ]
Selected from 74 submissions from 32 contributors.
Today's Top 5 List authors are:
Wade Kwon, Birmingham, AL -- 1, 18 (17th #1/Hall of Famer)
Pat Sajak, Los Angeles, CA -- 5
Paul Schindler, Orinda, CA -- 6
None This Week
You want the facts? Go to the Internet Movie Database.
Cold Fusion, Election Predictions
You may be hearing a lot about a new Cold Fusion tempest, first spotted by John Ruley. Cold Fusion may be Hot Stuff again, and this time it may work!
Former congressional aide Rich Pournelle noted, before the primary:
Rich Pournelle noted:
Davis really does have a shot at winning this fall. I've been saying it all along and no one believed me. ThisLA Times story explains.
Kevin Greene, a worthy opponent who lost to Barbara Lee in the Democratic primary, had this to say:
Davis will absolutely win if Simon is his opponent. The moderate GOP women are simply fed up with the religious wackos, and have repeatedly shown their willingness to vote Democratic until the GOP gets the message.
Witness the political success of my friend Ellen Tauscher - three wins against GOP opponents in a district with more GOP voters than Dem's.
Simon's campaign doesn't even have any women in key staff positions (one minor exception).
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