Vitriol
© 2000 by Andersen Silva (07-01-00)

When you hear rumbling noises on the Fourth, it won't be fireworks, but the Founding Fathers all spinning in their graves as one.

Well, some good news in America lately, anyway. Bill Gates and Microsoft lost the first round. And Elián and Juan Miguel won the last one. Of course, that case is over, for good; the Microsoft mess has at least a few months to go. Still, it's nice to see Judge Penfield has taken the issue seriously. And, as I remarked to Jon last week, regardless of how you feel about Microsoft, regardless of whether or not you believe the company is a monopoly or engages in unfair business practices, the fact is that Bill is too smug and too cocky and too used to getting his way.

What the hell is going on in the Middle East? The Palestinians are pushing Israel too hard, particularly in light of the fact that Barak is struggling to keep his government together. Does Arafat think he'll fare better with a different prime minister? I doubt that he would. Israel itself is sending mixed messages and needs to make it perfectly clear to its partners in the peace process that a just and lasting peace is what it wants. We all know Israel can fight. Now let's see if Israel can compromise. Speaking of which, the new Assad (hopefully not the same as the old Assad) should have the rhetoric toned down just a bit. He has the opportunity to forge the peace with Israel that his father never attained. Lastly, Lebanon needs to assert itself master of its own domain finally and politely ask the Syrians to depart as swiftly and neatly as the Israelis did.

I haven't quite made up my mind about the missile defense shield yet. Russia, the European Union, and others have a valid concern: having a defense against the world's nuclear stockpiles gives a nation an advantage, and could embolden that nation to strike anywhere without fear of serious retaliation. If the decision is made to develop such a shield, then nuclear-capable nations could also feel it necessary to attack before the defense is ready, while they still can. On the other hand, the U.S. has a point, too: the Cold War has ended, and the threat of nuclear war involving global superpowers is greatly reduced, but there are these so-called 'rogue states' which have already shown a willingness to antagonize the United States and other powerful nations by means of covert terrorist attacks. The possibility of a nuclear attack from such a rogue state does exist, and needs to be addressed.

Robert Heinlein wrote a short story which concerned the latter half of World War II and its aftermath, and I have to wonder if his solution might not have been the best thing after all. In the story, it was a radioactive dust that was used against Germany, instead of atomic bombs against Japan. Immediately upon Germany's surrender, a new organization was formed, to which the dust was entrusted, and all nations of the world were warned to turn over any aircraft capable of transoceanic flight or suffer the same fate as Berlin. The gist of the story: if you have a powerful weapon which can eventually be duplicated by others, use it, or the threat of it, at once to establish a stranglehold and enforce peace from without. Sounds ugly, I admit. But is a benevolent autocracy, or technocracy, which ensures peace with the threat of swift and terrible action that much worse than the decades of Cold War, during which so many people feared that the Hot War would flare up at any time to sear the world? I don't know. Ask me again tomorrow. I mean, even now the possibility of nuclear Armageddon, greatly diminished, still remains with us.

You didn't really think I'd get through a whole rant without mentioning Chechnya, did you? ;) I realize the Russians have a bear face to save, but, really, quit while you're ahead (in a way). The reality is that Russia could defeat the Chechens, if she were willing to spend the money and the lives to do it. But the conviction necessary is not there, save for in the mind of Putin, and probably some of the upper brass of the military. Chechnya is Russia's Vietnam, and the sooner they realize that and bow out, the better for Moscow. The Chechen rebels seem quite willing to keep fighting indefinitely, and if it's true that Afghanistan or anyone else is supplying them with fighters and/or equipment, then they could well outlast the Russkies even though they'll never outgun them.

Went to the PC Expo in New York this week. It was fun, but I've been to better. iomega never disappoints, though; my mp3.com bag now sports a new blue "It's my music, I promise" button along with the older yellow "i surf naked." Heh-heh... I was also quite surprised to see that there is a professional Mac emulator for the Windows platforms! I'm going to have to follow up on that, but this could change everything for me. I'm seriously thinking about getting a high-end laptop, and I've been thinking Mac, because I'd want a machine that can run both operating systems, and until now that's never been an option with a Wintel computer. I love the Macintosh to begin with, but the prohibitive factor with Apple has always been the cost. If I now have the option of running the MacOS on a lower-cost PC laptop... Ugh, I don't know, though. There's still the loyalty factor. Do I really want to give my money to Dell or Compaq instead of Apple? Well, still got some research to do on the product. What do you think? - 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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