[May 26, 2000]

Go to My Cluttered Desk. Everything I should have blogged in the last two days, Lance did, including this piece about my alma mater's football team beating out Wisconsin to recruit a star quaterback who just might be the last piece of the puzzle the 'Cats need to jump into the top nine teams in their conference next season. W

Remember someone complaining about the Census Bureau's propaganda war? It has come home to roost:

For example, at a housing development in central New Orleans, a woman, misunderstanding a census television commercial and thought she would get money if she filled out the form, said Awanda Dejoie, a census bureau media specialist.

She's probably still waiting for her payoff. W

[May 25, 2000]

Recycled LinkSee? I told you so.

This didn't take very long. Lazio had the kind of opening week that new candidates only dream about -- a lot of publicity, a successful swing through the state and polling validation.

Link from The American Mind.  W

Are you coming to the Pizza Blow-out this Saturday? If so, please tell me soW

Braggin': My wife is not just as beautiful as a sunny day, not just as sweet as apple pie, but she's also as brilliant as the the chrome on your Grandaddy's StudebakerW

I'm no irrational fan of Microsoft or its products. I do happen to use several of them (Win98, Office, and Internet Explorer) because, despite their flaws, they are mostly decent products which suit me better than the alternatives. Nor do I cheer for them like some folks do for Apple. My personal likes and dislikes have no impact whatsoever on the queasy feeling I get reading about the impending breakup of Microsoft into at least two pieces. This, I am confident, if a sure-fire recipe for disaster. The administration of any break-up plan will be a nightmare, and a virtual guarantee that the former pieces this company will be run by Judge Jackson until he retires from the bench. He practially admited it when he told lawyers, "This is anything but simple to implement."

Just how does he expect this plan to work? Unlike the former Ma Bell, there's no way to separate Microsoft into geographically separate competitors. The current plan, breaking the company up by product group, is completely infeasible for a handful of reasons.

First, it will require the court to neatly divide - and keep separate - the current program groups. Does Word's ability to view web pages make it a browser? What about Front Page? And does Judge Jackson have a sufficient background in technology to even make an educated guess? Somehow, I doubt it. And what happens when, as it inevitably must, the Babysofts poach each other for employees? All those programmers have been Microsoft trained and their coding will show it. Like John Fogerty did in 1985, they will certainly land in hot water for sounding too much like themselves.

Second, Just dividing the company in three won't do any good unless Gates, Ballmer, Allen, et. al. are forced to divest themselves of all their stock in two of the three competitors. Who gets to keep what? Will current employees be forced to allocate their stock options in one of the new Babysofts? And just how much will the stock price plummet, further depressing the market as a whole, when the largest shareholders of the world's second most valuable corporation are forced to unload their shares? (And would the SEC consider that illegal manipulation of the stock price?)

Third, who gets the copyrights to all those programs that the company has written? They must surely use large blocks of modular code in all their products, each block protected by copyright. But what happens if the OS and applications use the same code HTML parsing engine as the browser? Clearly, Judge Jackson cannot prescribe a method for the Babysofts to re-write those code blocks – he simply lacks the expertise. But sharing copyrights would position the Babysofts more as collaborators than competitors, defeating the purpose of breaking them up.

Fourth, Judge Jackson seems to reject breaking the company up into two parts because "a bisection would in effect create two separate monopolies which would have no incentive to interfere with each other's profitability." Why, then, would three be any better? Why would than Babysofts be able to compete with each other better than Sun, Oracle, Corel, or Linux? The answer is, they won’t. Each would continue to hold its current market share in whatever field (OS, browser, or application) it would inherit. The current contractual distribution arrangements would simply fall to the Babysofts. If Judge Jackson proposes striking those down, he’ll have to explain why to the companies who are also parties to those contracts.

Judge Jackson seems to fancy himself Alexander the Great, striking out to split the Gordian knot. Unfortunately, he’s more like King Solomon without the wisdom, and the baby’s blood will be on his hands. W

[May 24, 2000]

Funnier than Ben Brown: The Top 17 Things Overheard at the NRA's New Theme Store/Restaurant. if you've heard of Top Five before, it's probably because you've heard about Al Gore stealing their jokesW

Lura has decided that she's a "Cafeteria Conservative" and ""Meritocratic Liberal Elitst."

I'll pay high taxes to keep the proles and miserable masses from mounting a revolution, but I also believe that everyone should have opportunities to move between classes.

She thinks she might just need to start whole new blog merely to explain her views - I think that might trigger the revolting masses she fears! W

The Libertarian Party has declared a Ballot Access Emergency in Oklahoma. The party is way behind on the petition signatures it needs to get on the ballot and desperately needs cash to pay professional petitioners immediately - to the tune of about $48,000. You can make a donation online or fill out the attached form and fax or mail it with your check or credit card information. (and my last name is spelled W-A-S.. oh, wait, wrong fundraising drive.) W

[May 23, 2000]

Heed the wise words:

Now my advice for those who die
Declare the pennies on your eyes
'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman
And you're working for no one but me.

The Beatles, "TaxmanW

I'm sure you've already seen this on MetaFilter, but Justin Hankins hits parody paydirt with Cease & Desist BarbieW

It looks like Lura, a historian by training, may be a closet conservative:

Governments shouldn't legislate against the sale, ownership or transport of flags or memorabilia - - even though it is regrettable that some people hold those beliefs.

... in response to the French ban on Nazi memorabilia. W

[May 22, 2000]

I'm actually slightly surprised that they would decide to do the right thing, but an Arkansas disciplinary panel recommended disbarment of Bill Clinton Monday.

This is the first time in American history that a sitting president faced disciplinary proceedings.

Imagine the humiliation - he's too corrupt for Arkansas! Even they won't put up with his shenannigans anymore. On the downside, this means he'll probably never go home. CNN has the text of the recommendation letter as well. W

Suddenly today, unlike ever before, I'm getting a TON of hits to the domain instead of the blog like I normally do. I can't find anything in the referrer logs to give me a clue, so does anyone want to tell me what's going on?  W

Recycled LinkFrom My Cluttered Desk: Dan Quayle may have been confused by Latin America, but the White House can't even figure out Kentucky! Maybe it was was that Arakansas education: President Clinton's School Reform Tour Don't expect this anywhere in the media. W

[May 21, 2000]

It's official: Rick Lazio is the only candidate seeking the GOP nomination in the New York Senate race:

This morning on NBC's "Today," Rep. Peter King, another Long Island Republican who had expressed interest in a Senate bid, said he would not seek the nomination.

Guess the Dems are crushed that there won't be a bruising primary after all. W

I don't think "publically" is a word. Oh, wait, that was negative... W

With Rudy out of the race, Hillary will have to work twice as hard to win.

"He gets the anti-Hillary vote - an immediate 30 to 35 percent," says New York pollster Lee Miringoff. And she loses the anti-Giuliani vote, which was expected to be strong, particularly in minority communities.

Sometimes being an unknown quantity is a good thing, and sometimes familiarity breeds contempt. This just may be one of those times.

The story of Professor Bah B Nai reminds me of my days in college when we'd go to IU basketball games and chant "Hey, Bobby! Throw me a chair!" [warning - strong language and weak trustees - requires Flash] W

These just in... pictures from the Ratbastard Housewarming Party:

Enjoy. W

Congrats to Matt and Kay. Dineen and I quite enjoy being married, and I'm sure you will too. W