URLs du Jour


  • With respect to the hypothetical I constructed near the bottom of yesterday's post:
    [S]uppose (just suppose) one key to preventing the latest plot was one of the (allegedly) Constitution-skirting procedures Healy deplores. Specifically, if not for one of those nasty NSA warrantless wiretaps, we'd currently be watching news reports of a half-dozen planes plummeting into various American cities.
    Here's Time magazine on the methods used to foil the British Muslim terrorists:
    MI5 and Scotland Yard agents tracked the plotters from the ground, while a knowledgeable American official says U.S. intelligence provided London authorities with intercepts of the group's communications.
    So no longer quite so hypothetical. Patterico has a good roundup of links to others who speculate on this topic. I'm a little more confident about saying that I'd prefer Gene Healy et. al. to not be making the call on acceptable intel-gathering methods. (Time link via the Corner.)

  • The point of today's E. J. Dionne column is apparently that it's fine for Democrats to campaign against the Iraq war, but it's a "smear" if Republicans campaign on what they think the likely outcome of the Democrats' policies would be. Tsk, E. J. didn't take his even-handed pills this morning, did he?

  • On the other hand, if you don't read James Lileks every day, then read him today. The whole thing is a wish-I'd-written, but, I liked this:
    And now I rest. Sorry — I had many things to discuss, but at the end of the day they all seem obvious. Terrorists = bad. People who think the arrests were a PR move = foolish. Likelihood substantial portions of the business fliers will subconsciously adopt the nuke 'em from orbit, it's the only way to be sure posture after learning they can't take their laptops on the flight = high. Seriously, when I learned that they were confiscating books today, I had a vision of a plane full of people all staring straight ahead, hands in their laps, waiting, waiting, waiting for it all to be over. No books. Because, you know, they might overwhelm the cockpit crew with a dramatic reading.
    Plus which, a couple old pictures to make you chuckle.

  • Let me put on my sysadmin hat to remind you: don't base your password on your name, even if your name is kind of foreign. Script kiddies will raise havoc. (Via Bruce Schneier.)

  • Donald Hall take note: there is a huge difference between "poet laureate" and "Nobel laureate." But maybe not in the way you expect.