Friday, August 09, 2002

Question for the brain trust

I've got a number of speaking engagements coming up in September and October (I'll post more details as dates are confirmed and so on), and I'm thinking about making the switch from a slide presentation to Powerpoint, where facilities allow it. So my questions are: will my iBook (one of the newer models, about a year old) work with any digital projector, or are there any Mac/PC system compatibility issues I should be aware of in advance? And would I be wise to purchase my own connector cables rather than trust the host organizations to have them, and if so, is there some sort of universal connector for digital projectors?

I've never gone this route before, but I've been meaning to switch over--slide presentations can get outdated pretty quickly, especially these days--so I don't really know anything about the specifics of the process here, or even if I'm asking the right questions. So, any advice will be appreciated.

UPDATE: Questions answered--many thanks for all your help.

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Thursday, August 08, 2002

Vox populi

From an apparently laudatory World Net Daily article:

As New Yorkers prepare to commemorate the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history, radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh is addressing the notion of an American assault on Iraq timed for Sept. 11 of this year.

"I think it would be fabulous," Limbaugh said during his national broadcast yesterday. "I think a 9-11 act on Saddam ... you talk about getting this country up!"

* * *

"Wouldn't it be a great thing if people of New York are going through their candlelight vigils and reading the names and so forth and all that stuff and we are 'pow!' piling into Saddam?" Limbaugh asked rhetorically. "And on the way over we accidentally drop a couple bombs by mistake in the sand deserts of Saudi Arabia?"

Though the U.S. has not singled out the Iraqi leader as the prime sponsor of last year's attack, President Bush has made it clear he's looking to change the regime in Baghdad to reduce the risk of any future Iraqi offensive which may include the use of weapons of mass destruction.

"All this talk about Iraq is gonna culminate in [military] action," Limbaugh stated. "I think you should know it is gonna happen, it's just a question of when; 9-11 would be a good date."

Article here. Link via August.

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Wednesday, August 07, 2002

Wednesday linkfest

Too many links, too little time. Just pretend that each of these are accompanied by some appropriately witty and/or pointed commentary.

There's this. And this. And this and this and this. Not to mention this, this, and this.

Oh, and whatever you do, definitely do not miss this.

(Thanks to everyone who sent these in, and as always, keep them coming.)

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Tuesday, August 06, 2002

But there's better light over here under the streetlamp

As we gear up for a war with a country with, to date, no provable link to al Qaeda, the Washington Post reports that the administration--or at least its brain trust--is beginning to acknowledge the 900 pound gorilla in the middle of the room--Saudi Arabia's ties to terrorism.

"The Saudis are active at every level of the terror chain, from planners to financiers, from cadre to foot-soldier, from ideologist to cheerleader," stated the explosive briefing. It was presented on July 10 to the Defense Policy Board, a group of prominent intellectuals and former senior officials that advises the Pentagon on defense policy.

However, our upcoming adventure in the Gulf is still justified, by torturing logic until it screams for mercy:

The report concludes by linking regime change in Iraq to altering Saudi behavior. This view, popular among some neoconservative thinkers, is that once a U.S. invasion has removed Hussein from power, a friendly successor regime would become a major exporter of oil to the West. That oil would diminish U.S. dependence on Saudi energy exports, and so -- in this view -- permit the U.S. government finally to confront the House of Saud for supporting terrorism.

"The road to the entire Middle East goes through Baghdad," said the administration official, who is hawkish on Iraq. "Once you have a democratic regime in Iraq, like the ones we helped establish in Germany and Japan after World War II, there are a lot of possibilities."

Seems like kind of a roundabout way to get at the problem to me, with more than a few questionable underlying assumptions...but I'm just a cartoonist. What do I know?

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Monday, August 05, 2002

Somebody get this guy a blog

"Removing (Saddam) from power would be more dangerous to the American public and I think it's pointless," added John Bayley, a mechanic from Madison. "There are all kinds of terrible leaders in the world that we pay no attention to because they don't have oil. That's the whole issue: oil. Follow the money. It's about Bush's war of terrorism against oil-rich states that don't cooperate with us."

More here.

Technical difficulties, please stand by

I don't know why this morning's cartoon on Salon is coming up as a broken link. (At least, that's what it's doing for me.) Hopefully they'll have it fixed soon.

Recommened reading

Excerpts from an article in Time magazine that's definitely worth your time:

Berger attended only one of the briefings-the session that dealt with the threat posed to the U.S. by international terrorism, and especially by al-Qaeda. "I'm coming to this briefing," he says he told Rice, "to underscore how important I think this subject is." Later, alone in his office with Rice, Berger says he told her, "I believe that the Bush Administration will spend more time on terrorism generally, and on al-Qaeda specifically, than any other subject." The terrorism briefing was delivered by Richard Clarke, a career bureaucrat who had served in the first Bush Administration and risen during the Clinton years to become the White House's point man on terrorism.

* * *

The proposals Clarke developed in the winter of 2000-01 were not given another hearing by top decision makers until late April, and then spent another four months making their laborious way through the bureaucracy before they were readied for approval by President Bush. It is quite true that nobody predicted Sept. 11-that nobody guessed in advance how and when the attacks would come. But other things are true too. By last summer, many of those in the know-the spooks, the buttoned-down bureaucrats, the law-enforcement professionals in a dozen countries-were almost frantic with worry that a major terrorist attack against American interests was imminent. It wasn't averted because 2001 saw a systematic collapse in the ability of Washington's national-security apparatus to handle the terrorist threat.

* * *

As the new Administration took office, Rice kept Clarke in his job as counterterrorism czar. In early February, he repeated to Vice President Dick Cheney the briefing he had given to Rice and Hadley. There are differing opinions on how seriously the Bush team took Clarke's wwarnings. Some members of the outgoing Administration got the sense that the Bush team thought the Clintonites had become obsessed with terrorism. "It was clear," says one, "that this was not the same priority to them that it was to us."

For other observers, however, the real point was not that the new Administration dismissed the terrorist theat. On the contrary, Rice, Hadley and Cheney, says an official, "all got that it was important." The question is, How high a priority did terrorism get? Clarke says that dealing with al-Qaeda "was in the top tier of issues reviewed by the Bush Administration." But other topics got far more attention. The whole Bush national-security team was obsessed with setting up a national system of missile defense.

* * *

Some counterterrorism officials think there is another reason for the Bush Administration's dilatory response. Clarke's paper, says an official, "was a Clinton proposal." Keeping Clarke around was one thing; buying into the analysis of an Administration that the Bush team considered feckless and naive was quite another.

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