Monday, September 29, 2003

A Robert Novak article from July 14th, Mission to Niger smoldered for over two months before bursting into conspiratorial flames. Why did it take so long for anyone to notice the disclosure of a CIA operatives name? The Washington Post lays out the chronology leading up to the justice department inquiry.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Office Product Updates may be a good idea...
The New Scientist reports on the most recent Microsoft bug notifications. The last series of worms were generated from publicly disclosed vulnerabilities just like these. As far as I know, the Office XP Suite doesn't have the same auto-update features as Windows XP. So as the article above mentions, patch uptake by office users could potentially be much slower.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

I should have read the speech before blogging the article about it. Looks to me like Kerry is on the mark: Text: Kerry Announces Presidential Bid (washingtonpost.com): "But the threats today don't just come from gun barrels, they come also from oil barrels. The dollars we spend at the pump can too easily fund the terrorists who seek to destroy us. America will only be stronger if we never have to send our sons and daughters into battle for oil half a world away. We have to disarm that danger by making America independent of Mideast oil within the next 10 years. I know that the auto industry has political muscle, but we're in a time of war and everyone should contribute to the cause. In World War II, Detroit was the arsenal of democracy. Today, they need to raise their gas mileage and build the vehicles of the future that use clean, renewable energy like ethanol; they need to help move America to energy independence. "
As the Congressional Review of Blackout Begins (washingtonpost.com), I am still waiting for the democrats to take advantage of this open political door. Energy is the issue.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Reuters has a review of Kerry's campaign launching speech. The democratic candidates have been casting around for a key issue. For the last year, I've been hoping they would hit upon energy. Why energy? Because it ties together the three things you want in a presidential platform plank:
  1. Fear. Americans are (and probably should be) afraid of our dependence on Middle Eastern oil. I think voters are on the cusp of getting very angry about the economic dependency on Mid East Oil production.
  2. The shadow of impropriety cast over your opponent. Bush is Oil money. Cheney is Oil money. Haliburton gets a new contract in Iraq nearly every week.
  3. Vision. Kennedy took us to the moon. We were racing against the Russians and we won. Now we want to innovate our way out of dependence on the world's most unstable region.

Maybe the Kerry camp is way ahead of me. In the article referenced, Kerry touches on the issue: "Kerry said he would make the United States independent of Middle East oil within the next decade". I think a candidate could make a strong case that the US needs to escape our dependence on Mid East oil, and that the only sure way to do it is through invention. Once the message is established, point two is: your incumbent president cannot lead us out of dependence on Mid East oil. He is too industry friendly. Bush doesn't have the vision to push our country to its creative limits. Make Kerry's complexity, his adventurous attitude a necessary skill. Tell people that the biggest problem facing the nation is one that requires a man of both intellect and courage.

Who knows if it would work. I'd like to see any candidate try, mainly because I do believe energy independence is the top issue for domestic security, foreign policy, and to a lesser degree, economics.