More Junkmail from Bob!

Tuesday, July 30, 2002
Important Stuff.

Good news! I didn't have time to write much this time. I'm flew the Aircam to Alaska and am wandering around wondering. Check out the Pictures of Today -- they're the best part of today's Junkmail.

Dr. Koop

During the dot-com boom, was worth more than a billion dollars. Last week bought for about $186,000.

I had assumed that the company was headed by Dr. Koop who used to be the Surgeon General, but I just looked at their web site and found this: " The URL and web site is not associated with C. Everett Koop, M.D., former Surgeon General of the United States."

So I went to the SEC web site and checked the S1 filing for the company. That's essentially the prospectus for a public offering. Dr. C. Everett Koop, M.D. is listed as chairman of the board. That was in April, 1999. Maybe someday I'll look up and see what happened to him. Here's where you can read about it.

War? What War?

Haven't these people heard that the was is over? We won!

President Dubbya said we are at war. However, Congress didn't declare war. There's no country we are fighting. I wonder when will the war be over? Is Johnson's war on poverty over? How about the war on drugs?

More and more, it seems like to me the war on terrorism is a well-choreographed public relations campaign. Note that I was very polite and did not use the term "witch-hunt." I get the impression that announcements are being made to scare people into supporting new security rules. Maybe a few of the new security rules should be there, but I don't like the vigilante mob mentality employed to get the rules put in place.

Old news is frequently reported as a new threat, even when it's irrelevant. Someone was arrested in Spain with tactical videos of U.S. landmarks. This was announced last week. He was arrested in April, when the videos were discovered, and he was released. He was arrested again recently and it was announced to seem like the videos were made in the past few days and there is an impending attack. Why?

The term "terrorism" is also being used for completely unrelated crimes. Bad things people do are not always terrorism.

Basketball player Allen supposedly threw his wive out of the house and then went looking for her with a gun. He was charged with making terroristic threats and some other things.

New York Stock Exchange chairman Richard said this weekend, "We've got to wage a war against terrorism in the boardroom, against misleading investors." The stock market is down, and lots of people have lost some money. Some companies have been cheating on their financial statements. That may be criminal, but it's not terrorism.

Several politicians say they consider hacking the equivalent of terrorism. Last week the House of Representatives passed a law that allows life sentences for malicious hackers. It will probably be passed by the Senate and signed by President Dubbya.

This means I would be better off getting caught breaking into a building and stealing or smashing a computer, as opposed to hacking into the computer. In fact, I would face less punishment if I burned down the entire building containing the computer I didn't like. Somehow I get the impressing that the politicians are not thinking things through lately.

I agree that when foreign terrorists attack the U.S., the U.S. should do everything possible to destroy the terrorists. The same goes for the U.K., France, and Tannu Tuva. But there are a lot of things being done in the U.S. in the name of security that cannot conceivably make the country a safer place, let alone destroy the threat of terrorism. Maybe someone in charge should step back once in a while and take a look at what's happening.

Incidentally, a lot of people I know disagree with me on this stuff. If you're one of them, thats OK. I think people should be free to rant and rave even when they don't agree with the government, the press, or each other. Who knows -- you might even come around to my way of thinking as soon as the Y2K catastrophe is over.

IDs and Airlines

John is a veteran computerist and libertarian. John the Computerist is sueing John the Attorney General because, according to the lawsuit, John the Computerist doesn't like unwritten, arbitrarily enforced rules about showing ID to get on an airplane. I think it's a publicity stunt more than anything, but there seem to be more people protesting new security rules lately. I have nothing against showing ID before boarding an airplane, but I think laws should be written and accounted for. I wonder... does John the Attorney General consider John the Computerist anti-American?

Pictures of Today!

Alaska by Aircam. Last Monday I left home for Alaska in the Aircam. Today I made it to Anchorage. Here are some pictures...  details on the trip later.

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I'm  Bob Webster, and I can occasionally be found this week at Have a nice day!