Vitriol
© 2000 by Andersen Silva (03-27-00)

If London's burning, I had nothing to do with it. Yes, I'm back in the U.S.A. after my two-week vacation in the U.K. Barbara and I had a great time! Don't know when I'll go back, but I'm sure I will. Oh, and it did actually snow in England while we were there...

It's comforting to see that Western civilization isn't declining quite as quickly on the other side of the Atlantic. (Well, there's France, but...) The streets were clean, the people were polite, the trains run on time... And WOW, there are a lot of blondes running around London! Heh-heh... Two of my opposing interests, history and technology, live side by side in this city. New York may be more cutting-edge, but there is no place in the United States with such a long unbroken history.

On to my pet topic: Chechnya. If anyone were actually making a point of reading Vitriol every month, he or she would probably be quite sick and tired of hearing me rant on the subject; fortunately, that doesn't seem to be a problem. ;) But I am disgusted with the Russian government's mentality regarding Chechnya, not to mention the denial in which it's living. This ragged band of Islamic rebels is once again making a mockery of the 'mighty' Russian military. How many times can you claim to be on the verge of crushing the resistance and then suffer heavy casualties in surprise attacks by mujahideen who have been all but wiped out according to your propaganda? Putin still doesn't get it. He's not going to win this war, any more than the Russians won the last Chechen war. Even if he were to send the entire Russian military machine into Chechnya, even if he drafted every available man, he wouldn't necessarily be assured of victory. The Russian people are no longer convinced that they should be in Chechnya; the Chechen fighters, on the other hand, are unswerving in their belief that they are justified in pushing out Ivan. And I tend to agree.

I'm surprised the Muslim governments of the world don't seem to be terribly supportive of the jihad in Chechnya. I don't know if that's out of fear of Russia, or sectarian differences, or... The Taliban has voiced support for the Chechens, but most others have kept quiet on the subject. Why? I'm certainly not advocating a full-scale jihad by the entire Muslim world on the entire non-Muslim world. As an atheist, I'd be screwed no matter which religion decided to start a crusade. ;) But the Russians themselves instigated this latest war. The Moscow bombings have never been conclusively pinned on the Chechens, nor was the action in Dagestan a justification for the Russian invasion. I'd have expected more of the faithful to stand by their brothers and sisters...

Northern Ireland seems to be trying to pick up the pieces and maybe put them back together again, in a way that could work this time: good. Syria and Israel seem to be sticking stubbornly to their positions: not good. China and Taiwan are, I think, simmering down in the wake of Chen's win. And that was a real surprise. Did Beijing really think that warning the Taiwanese not to vote for the man was going to help the Communists' image? Mozambique is still in trouble. The war crimes trials in the former Yugoslav republics show that not everyone has learned the same lesson from World War II. Appalling... And no one has thought to send Zhirinovsky and Buchanan to Austria, perhaps to begin plans to run for office in the next national elections. One more Russian reference: guys, stop holding up the International Space Station, huh?

Surprisingly, Extreme Close-Up is not on Cyber Patrol's list of restricted Web sites. Probably just an oversight on someone's part. But when I saw some of the sites that are being restricted, I became a bit angry. I agree that parents who are unable to sit with their children as they surf the Web should have the option of restricting access to certain types of sites, but if someone's going to sell software that provides this service, it should be more accurate than this! This battle is about free speech, not about copyrights and intellectual property as Mattel is claiming.

I'm now going to ask you for help. Not for me, but for two friends of mine. Boge Boceski, whos wife Liljana I work with, went to visit his parents in Macedonia on January 17 of this year, a trip he's made in the past without incident. However, as he was returning to the United States in mid-February, he was detained in Austria due to documentation problems, and thanks to red tape, he has not been able to come home since. Lil has contacted Congressmen, INS, the embassy in Skopje, all to no avail. The INS office in Vermont told her that an Application for Permanent Residence can take anywhere from 400 - 460 days to process! Boge has been a U.S. resident and taxpayer for thirteen years and was never advised that there might be a problem with his residential status. It has never come up in his previous travels.

Their two young children can't comprehend what has happened to their father; they only know that they miss him and want him to come home. Meanwhile, Lil has to provide for her family on her salary alone, and she won't be able to do so forever. Elements of the U.S. government seem determined to keep a young Cuban boy in this country against the wishes of his father, yet everyone is ignoring the plight of a man who wants to come back home to America and whose entire family wants him here, too.

It won't take you more than a few minutes to write an E- or snail-mail letter and ask that this matter be cleared up for the sake of this family. Please do this. I've provided some relevant addresses below:

And, on that note, I will stop my ranting and raving for the month. TTFN - A


April 2004 - The real final Vitriol, Howard Stern, Dubya, etc.
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March 2004 - Dining out with my baby, Virtual PC, and the end of Vitriol... or is it?
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February 2004 - Two weeks between jobs, three new songs, grabbing Panther by the tail
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January 2004 - Ice skating with Gina, sushi at my sister's wedding, war-riding, the pink slip
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December 2003 - Moving pains, goin' places with Gina, Christmas bells
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November 2003 - The looong month of October, finding an apartment, Ozzy's gone
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October 2003 - I'm in love with her and I feel fine, Boston, the Dalai Lama, apartment for rent?
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September 2003 - Andy, happy? it could happen!, taking time off from work, Ringo Starr, "Discworld," the blackout
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August 2003 - (W)here (M)ight (D)ose WMDs be?, gay marriages and the people who fear them, '80s metal bands, Computer Man to the rescue, Philadelphia freedom
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July 2003 - Boondocks.net is back!, rudeness on public transportation and elsewhere, "Hole in the Wall"
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June 2003 - Science fiction movies, where is Boondocks.net?, still no weapons of misconstruction...
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May 2003 - How 'bout them weapons of mass distraction, huh?, Def Leppard, Michael Palin, another Silva, wireless networking, and a damned good raspberry margarita
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April 2003 - They're still French fries, dammit!, a new guitar for Andy, music-music-music
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March 2003 - The buildup for, and the protesting against, war
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February 2003 - The destruction of the Columbia, the National Day of Poetry Against the War, hard and soft atheism, Pete Townshend, and the gift shop
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January 2003 - Christmas loot, "Swingin'," more war talk
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December 2002 - The year in review, moving again?!?, moving world leaders around, too
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November 2002 - "Scarlet's Walk" and Tori's penguin, jackasses, and killing in the name of...
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October 2002 - Boston, Aimee Mann, and Palpatine/Bush
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September 2002 - George Darius Bush and George Xerxes Bush
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August 2002 - Movin' out of Paisan-town, and far away from the Regal Beagle
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July 2002 - Church and state: you gotta keep 'em separated, Dubya still doesn't want to play nice with the rest of the world, John Entwistle's gone
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June 2002 - Movin' on from town to town, Dave Barry and the Rock Bottom Remainders
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May 2002 - Science fiction movies everywhere!, jail time for virus creators, Dubya finally learns to pronounce 'occupation,' Andy gets a promotion?!?
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April 2002 - Terrorism on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, people who don't interact with me or the Web site, "For Dana" to be released on a compilation CD
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March 2002 - Chip implants, the children of God and the followers of Christ commit murder in His name, ultranationalism American style
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February 2002 - Dubya says, "These pretzels are making me- ack!" Sharon continues playing Napoleon, and... the return of Foogar?
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January 2002 - Rob Zombie, Ozzy Osbourne, and other Christmas-related items, stealin' cars, karaoke!
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December 2001 - George meets his sweet lord, terrorists EVERYwhere!, Tomb Raider II finished finally, and the Segway, finally!
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November 2001 - Anthrax (the band), WSOU rocks - but for how much longer? and a minute of silence?
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October 2001 - Osama bin Laden and anthrax and the women who love them
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September 2001 - Governments and armies and the assholes who love them, more misspellings, and a large lack of feedback
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August 2001 - Dubya's isolationism, the Macedonians and Albanians search for peace the Israeli/Palestinian way, 2004 Olympics in Beijing
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July 2001 - Not the Sexiest Geek Alive, war (what is it good for?), murdering citizens American-style
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June 2001 - A dead hitchhiker, the Taliban, and an independent Senator Jeffords
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May 2001 - Joey Ramone's dead, and "Joey Ramone's Dead"
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April 2001 - Brazil (not the Terry Gilliam film), Dubya and carbon dioxide, Yugoslavia begins coming to its senses, Israel and the Palestinians still haven't come to theirs...
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March 2001 - New look for the Web site, upcoming vacation in Brazil!, the pig-headed Taliban, "Hannibal"
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February 2001 - Tomb Raider II, Dubya plays with his new toys, nature plays with El Salvador and India, and the inevitable Chechnya and Israel/Palestinians references
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January 2001 - Snow, a new year/decade/century/millennium, screen resolutions
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December 2000 - The iBook, "The X-Files," the Grinch, the pathetic turn of events in the U.S. elections...
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November 2000 - Got the iBook! the Village Parade, trouble still brewin' in the Mideast, the upcoming U.S. elections...
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October 2000 - Andy turns 30, the Middle East, the anniversary of the invasion of Chechnya...
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September 2000 - A random act of kindness, Great Adventure, new music, new iBooks?
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August 2000 - Palestine and the Israelis, Milosevic, Speight, and breaking the speed of light!
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July 2000 - Israel & the Palestinians, the missile defense shield, and (who'da thunk it?) Chechnya
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June 2000 - Um, Chechnya again, gun-totin' Charlton Heston, misspellings, and xenophobes
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May 2000 - Communism on the last May Day of the twentieth century, and Andy's life ("Don't talk to me about life...")
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April 2000 - Hold on, it's more Chechnya rantin', and an appeal on behalf of a friend caught behind red tape
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March 2000 - Hey, hey, Pinochet, Russia and China won't go away, "The X-Files," the American presidential race, and a prelude to vacation
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February 2000 - Again with the Chechens, and Elián, Pinochet, mp3.com vs. the recording industry, and snow
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January 2000 - Made it through January 1st, Syria and Israel, public transportation, and, er, Chechnya
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December 1999 - Indonesia comes apart, Chechnya (no shit), Seattle's burning, 'n Happy Xmas
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November 1999 - Halloween, my bad knee, Russians? in Chechnya?!? Buchanan and the Reform Party, NIN
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October 1999 - Hurricane on the East Coast, earthquakes in Taiwan, Turkey, and Greece, and Apple Computers
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September 1999 - I'm not getting you down, am I? I'd hate to think I was getting you down...

- - - the Dark Ages (reprise) - - -

April 1999 - the return of Vitriol, Kosovo, a foreshadowing of the Russian invasion of Chechnya (!), and Libya

- - - the Dark Ages - - -

September-November 1995 - the Underground Press Conference, a co-worker bites the dust, Rabin really bites the dust, Remington Bond, Win95, and the Sex Pistols
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August 1995 - the death penalty, the V-chip and violence in pop culture, and "TV Nation"
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June 1995 - Oklahoma City, 'zines, "The X-Files" and "V.R.5"
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March 1995 - I'm sick!, the space program (ha), alt.zines, "Star Trek" and "Voyager"
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February 1995 - the very first Vitriol! Newt Gingrich, political correctness, media overkill, Howard Stern, the Apple goon squad?
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