Saturday, 22 September 2001Violinist Isaac Stern died today at 81.
Mr. Stern was arguably among the half-dozen greatest violinists of the 20th century.
"Music is the essential ingredient of a civilized life. It has nothing to do with the glitter of the occasional gala," he said. "You need it as you need bread."
Friday, 21 September 2001Text of Bush's speech to Congress Thursday
Text of Daschle and Lott's responding speeches
Transcripts of most other public pronouncements in the last week & a half, courtesy of the Washington Post
Thursday, 20 September 2001There's going to be a new Daily Show tonight, the first since the bombing. Laurel says there won't be a guest. In case you miss it, it'll be on again in the morning and tomorrow in the early evening on Comedy Central. I imagine it'll be worth watching.
Last night Letterman had John Miller of ABC News, who has done a very good job whenever I've seen him ... and damned if Miller didn't provide twenty times as much actual information about why bin Laden & co. have sworn to attack us compared to how Dan Rather waved his hands and 'explained' things the other night.
In case you're unaware (like I was until this weekend), Miller is the last Western journalist to have met with Osama bin Laden; here's the article he wrote about that for Esquire in 1999. It's a must-read.
Tonight on Letterman: Walter Cronkite! Plus Will Ferrell and Jewel.
Leno's been disappointingly simplistic about everything, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised by that. Letterman asks people like Rather and Miller probing questions, trying (on his audience's behalf) to understand more. Leno simply declares our unassailable goodness and superiority and waves the flag.
And that's my gross oversimplification for the day.
Handy site for checking on the truth of various rumors you may hear about the attack: http://www.snopes2.com/info/rumors.htm. They should provide a key on the page, since it's not blindingly obvious what the different bullets mean if you don't visit there much: a red circle next to something means it's false. Now go see if you're caught up on the hoaxes surrounding this.
I am particularly thankful for all the different sites addressing the whole "Nostradamus predicted this" garbage. No, he didn't. Oddly, nobody's actually forwarded me one of the offending mails claiming he did, but the idea clearly tickled someone's funny bone and it clearly has spread, even if not to me.
That particular quatrain was offered by the page's author, Neil Marshall, as a fabricated example to illustrate how easily an important-sounding prophecy can be crafted through the use of abstract imagery. He pointed out how the terms he used were so deliberately vague they could be interpreted to fit any number of cataclysmic events.I have noticed, ever since 9/11, the search terms "nostradamus world trade" frequently leading people from Google to an old page on my site, where the words appeared in separate entries. Nothing relevant to see there, sorry; my googularity with respect to that search phrase was undeserved.
Wednesday, 19 September 2001More attacks Saturday? More Terrorism Feared [Miami Herald]
"Yes, we have heard something about Sept. 22, but nothing specific," one source close to the investigation said. "We have information that leads us to believe that there could be more attacks very soon. The same murky sources that indicated something might be coming in the weeks before the attacks have indicated something may be happening this weekend. It is our hope that we can stop it."
Whither encryption technology?: Terrorists' Online Methods Elusive [WPost]
In the wake of the attacks, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) has proposed making it mandatory that software developers give government security agents the "keys" to encryption programs when they are created, a position strongly opposed by many in the technology community who worry it could be used to invade the privacy of law-abiding computer users.
Some hijackers lived not too far away from here: Dulles Hijackers Made Maryland Their Base [WPost]
...now suburban Maryland has become a major focus of the investigation. Teams of agents are visiting and revisiting hotels, gyms, stores and apartment complexes along the Route 1 corridor.
Apparently a potential next target is our nuclear reactors. Who needs a bomb? This stuff is seriously scary.
This guy suggests this is what will finally get us to seriously look into other energy sources. I suspect this is wishful thinking:
Nuclear Safety by Matt Bivens [The Nation]
A terrorist strike at any such plant could not bring about a nuclear explosion -- but there are a number of scenarios that would spread deadly radiation clouds across, in the NRC's famous phrase, an area the size of Pennsylvania.
Too many nuclear plants are not prepared to prevent attacks [U.S. News & World Report, written just before the attack]
In the past decade, nearly half the nation's 103 power plants have failed mock terrorist attacks against them.
The Nuclear Control Institute has many articles about our management of waste and power plant security ... that's funny, the site was up ten minutes ago... OK, it's back now.
NRC Urges Increased Security [in response to attacks] [NRC.gov]
From Lisa de Moraes' TV column today [WPost]:
You will not hear that familiar refrain "This is a test of the emergency broadcast system" coming from your television over the next few weeks.
To avoid confusing or frightening viewers following last week's terrorist attacks, the Federal Communications Commission announced yesterday that TV stations and cable systems could suspend those weekly and monthly tests of the Emergency Alert System.
The FCC promised not to take action against stations if they did not comply with the rules regarding these tests through Oct. 2.
The request for the waiver came to the FCC from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Tuesday, 18 September 2001Leno tonight: John McCain (!) and Crosby, Stills and Nash.
Letterman: Bryant Gumbel, Denis Leary, Tori Amos.
I'm not trying to become or usurp Laurel's TV Picks (and never could, anyway)... I just find it fascinating to watch the process of timely, commercial fluff shows having to deal with actual serious stuff. I guess I think of it as the nation's recovery process in miniature, through a glass darkly.
Letterman was raw and honest last night, and it was cathartic to watch. Dan Rather, on the other hand, did the entire viewing audience a disservice by repeatedly asserting that the people who did it were just crazy with hate because we're such winners and they're the "world's losers."
Many links from numerous different news sources (I'll dig up a few when I get some time) have established pretty well that if this was bin Laden & co., they did it because they declared war on the US years ago. Why did they do that? Well, they did say why: essentially, because we intervene in the Middle East in ways that they don't like. If we would stop it, they wouldn't do things like this or the USS Cole, etc. (Not that withdrawing is what we should do, but it's what they say would satisfy them.)
But no, Rather (who surely knows all this) just perpetuated the "we're up against craaaazy people who hate us for no apparent reason" meme when he had an opportunity to say much more specific and informative things. I was very disappointed.
I've been wondering why we haven't been hearing much about additional potential threats to watch out for. Here's one bit, finally:
FBI warns terrorists may steal fire trucks [CNN]
British Warplanes Hit Iraqi Site [AP/WPost] ... Unrelated?
"...President Bush should not rush." [Washington Post]
Dan of LakeEffect is spending this week learning about Islam.
Monday, 17 September 2001Letterman's back tonight, but it won't be a typical show. Leno's back tomorrow. [Washington Post]
"Both the mayor [of New York City] and the president have asked America to get back to business. Therefore, we will be back on the air on Monday night." -- Worldwide Pants
Late Show Info page [CBS]
Monday, September 17: Dan Rather and Regis Philbin
Among the architects interviewed, most lean toward rebuilding:
To Rebuild or Not: Architects Respond [NY Times Magazine]
"Something else has come out of this, and that is how much ownership people outside of New York feel about our city. Maybe it's not just our decision. Maybe we should let the American people vote on it." -- Ralph Appelbaum
I don't have a well-formed opinion about this yet.
Sunday, 16 September 2001How the entertainment industry is scrambling in the aftermath:
Hollywood, Finding a New Reality by Sharon Waxman [Washington Post]
As real-life tragedy continues to unfold in New York and Washington, Hollywood is struggling with how -- or whether -- to release certain movies that once aimed to titillate audiences but now strike too close to home in a shellshocked nation.Great title on this one:
No Escape From New York by David Edelstein [Slate]
I think about movies now only because that is my job, and because New York's mayor, displaying unprecedented stature, has counseled us all to go back to work...
Back From the Brink of Obscurity by Al Kamen
Tuesday's terrorist attacks had people in Washington dusting off their copies of a prescient -- if little read -- report in February by the U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century, co-chaired by former senator Warren B. Rudman (R-N.H.).
Yet it's a favorite thing of some people to do..."government is baaad, vote for me."
Governor George E. Pataki is urging all New Yorkers and concerned Americans who wish to support the World Trade Center emergency response and victim support effort to make a contribution to the New York State World Trade Center Relief Fund. This fund will be coordinated with the September 11th Fund, established by the United Way of New York City and the New York Community Trust, and the Twin Towers Fund established by the City of New York.
|Links, exploration and
photo by my wife
If you want to be e-mailed when there's new stuff here, say "add me."
Archives by week
2000 | 1999 | 1998
Search log since Aug. 2001:
Ye olde Amazon wish list
How's my HTML?
How's my CSS?