Getting in the Game
My adventures in the world and the inlfuence of Sports Night.


Chock this one up to: And why is war a good thing?

The NY Times is reporting that Federal agencies are warning of dangers from lone terrorists.

First, duh. More attacks in the US and abroad are done by lone terrorists.

Second, I am trying to figure out how this war will protect Americans.

I think it comes down the assumption that if some countries have weapons of mass destruction they will use them and can use them. This one sounds like the "all the communists countries are always friends and work together" assumtion from the cold war. The kind of assumptions that bring the world to the brink of destruction a few times over the past few decades.


posted by Kevin | 2/22/2003 03:32:00 PM

One quick morning post ... about one really bad injustice

Talk Left has posted some disturbing news about an Illinois court decsion stating that children as young as twelve can be forced to register for sex offender status under Megan's Laws.

My question to the idiotsd to passed downt hsi decsion is: What is the point of being a minor if you don't have any time to learn from you mistakes. Twelve year old barely understand what sex is, and now we want them to pay for any sex crimes they may have committed for life?

I must confess am a firm opponent of Megan's Laws to begin with, but this is something that cannot stand. If we will not, for good reason, give children the right to vote, we have to in turn protect them. This is the bargin we make about the age of minority. I honestly believe that most people don't understand the concept. However what bothers me more is that judges who know better say this.

I am litterly enraged right now. I stood for the issues of minor's rights for years as one, and I will continue to do so until there is a fair and responsible system in dealing with both minors who break the law and those that don't. Because as a chold in this country you have no time to learn, you have to get straight A's at fourteen or pay for it the rest fo your life and if you are so disturbed at 12 that you would sexually assault someone you also pay for that for the rest of your life. I am not asking for consequences to be lifted, I am simply asking them to be instructive not shackles.

Please, give our children time to be children.

posted by Kevin | 2/22/2003 03:19:00 PM


getting behind

Due to some minor crisis today. I am behind. I will slowly catch up this weekend.

On the agenda:
- New Links
- Contact info
- No Child Left Behind
- Mercury pollution
- Project 5104
- The furture plans for this site

Things that won't make the cut
- My turkey article

That's all for today folks.

posted by Kevin | 2/21/2003 06:16:00 PM

Adding up the Numbers

Just posting to say that the question about the Florida recount was literal, not rhetorical and the answer is no, Bush was in the lead by 224 to 1,200 votes according to the Washington Post. The point still stands (it just doesn't have the same emotional punch...sigh).

posted by Jenny | 2/21/2003 06:05:00 PM

My Sister is even smarter than me

As this project gets out of hand I have little time to revisit topics. Instead my sister did it for me. Here is an e-mail she just sent in regards to a post about the No Child Left Behind Act and the post below this one:

Speaking of statistics....whenever you get around to complaining about the implementation of "No Child Left Behind" here's a thought about bad logic and not analyzing the numbers you are given.

From the NY Times article you mentioned:

The law says that every racial and demographic group in each school must score higher on standardized tests every year; if any group fails to advance for two consecutive years, a school is labeled "needing improvement." A school that does not shed the label by improving students' scores may have its principal and teachers replaced and face other sanctions, including closing.

Ummm...maybe there's fine print they don't mention, but, even putting aside
the impracticality of expecting each successive class to visibly improve
over the last and never reaching a plateau, there's got to a margin of error
in these scores (more kids were sick this year when they took the test,
whatever). So, how can you punish schools for scores that have decreased by
less than this margin of error, not to mention the ones whose scores stayed
the same? And even if you do, how can you not do the equivalent of a
recount in these situations and allow schools the option of retesting their
students? Am I confused, or didn't Gore win in the first Florida count?
(Or was that just the polls?)

And, don't get me started on how illogical it is to use standardized tests
to show how a school has changed but not show how schools match up against
each other, especially since the best colleges use SAT scores to rank high
schools as much (or more) than individual students.

More importantly, it is utterly useless to know how much students' scores
have gained or fallen without picking a benchmark to compare it to or a goal
that we want every school to reach. How is making sure that everyone's test
scores are improving at a steady rate "leaving no child behind" if districts
that already send a large percentage of students to good colleges are
improving at the same rate as schools with astronomical drop-out rates? If
we really want to "leave no child behind" shouldn't improving the latter be
more of a priority? Let me put it this way...if your dike is falling apart,
which do you concentrate on first, the hole your finger can barely fit into,
or the one the size of a bowling ball? And even if you work on both at
once, would use the same amount of spackle (or whatever...I'm sure dikes
need something stronger) for both?

Ok, that was longer than I meant it to be ... hey...I could guest blog. (although it prob needs much more research)

----- Sounds like enough thought to me. Research is a little thina round here anyhow.Yes Jenny you could guest blog and she will. Look forward to her occaisonal rants.

posted by Kevin | 2/21/2003 05:26:00 PM

Great point, Oliver.

Oliver Willis has a great post about the tax plan and Bush's deceptive rhetoric.

All I have to say is we really need to teach civics AND statistics to every High School kid. One year of each at least. No offense to the pure math lovers, but Calculous is becoming less important to every American's ability to function as a citizen.

posted by Kevin | 2/21/2003 11:57:00 AM


- The posts about Project 5104 and Turkey will be re-written and go up ... again.

- My handy dandy father has alerted me the Adminstration has been sitting on an enviromental report since October. Interesting time to bury a report in an election year.

- Someone please remind me to watch ED next week. I keep missing the love of my life.

- PBS has aired an amazing program on our path to war on one of America's greatest television programs: Frontline. Even better about PBS is that they have so much more on the website

- You should read Altercation and Slacker Friday later today.

- The Washington Post is reporting that the will take complete control of Iraq. So let me get this straight, President Bush and crazy man Wolfowitz, we have no imperial designs? This is only pre-emption?

- 1,700 US Troops are going to the Philipines to combat Muslim extremists and suspected terrorists, says the NY Times. I say, this is what the "War on Terror" is about, not pre-emptive attacks planned in 1992.

- My home state is a mess, Davis is so unpopular there is a re-call movement. Here is a great easy to read rundown on the re-call petition against Davis. My two cents, he deserves it, but the party can't handle it. The state has a knack for killing it's good political talent before they can get that high, so there aren't much better options. The thing that unsettles me most, the people behind it are the people who crippled our state before I was born with Prop 13: The Peoples' Advocate.

- And finally God bless the States: Seven states are suing the EPA for not enforcing the Clean Air Act

posted by Kevin | 2/21/2003 11:09:00 AM

Problems with blogger

I am having some problems with Blogger. It unpublished two enteries and lost another two all together. So sit tight.

posted by Kevin | 2/21/2003 10:29:00 AM


Chomsky ... just another set of assumptions

I am only 20 pages into reading a compilation of Chomsky interviews and I can't help but realize one huge thing: He simply supplants one set of assumptions with another. In terms of individual articles and importance to the discussion of issues in America Chomsky is invaluable. However in terms of a person to draw a political or personal philosphy, he falls short.

Like the ‘consenting media’ Chomsky opperates with a large hypothesis and never finds that evidence points to the contrary. While the consenting media's assumption is that the country works, Chomsky's assumption is that it doesn't. Simple as that. Which is why at times his words read similar to the fanatics on the right he deplores.

Instead he is a window into a perfectly vaild view of the world. However like all other views it cannot be the only view. To follow someone blindly especially someone who is so determined to prove his hypothesis right, would be a disservice to you.

Chomsky’s view of the world where people are limited by agenda setting is true. However, it is also true that the left, right, and upside parts of the political spectrum exert the same post-modern construction of consent within their systems. One force is far more powerful than the other, that is the issue, so supplanting the left with the current system would make me and Chomsky happy, but most likely make the world just as bad.

I know I did not cite examples today. I will, however, do when issues I address coincide with some of Chomsky most egregious assumptions about the country.

posted by Kevin | 2/20/2003 06:20:00 PM

Still to come tonight

First of two articles about Turkey ... (We are such a bad influence on them)

My impression of Chomsky ... (Let's put it this way, he is not my favorite writer)

and The DNC's Project 5104 ... (Only 51% ... 51% ... why not 60% you loons)

posted by Kevin | 2/20/2003 05:50:00 PM

Military and Student Lists

My sister sent me an article from Mother Jones about Military recruiters gaining access to lists of students. So I am going to comment on this issue, mostly cause I like surprises...

Truthfully, I fully support this law (not as a portion of the No Child Left Behind Act, but that is another story).

The Mother Jones article explains it violates student's privacy and there is not reason the military needs this information because they have beat recruiting levels many year in a row. However, they forget every 18-year-old male in this country is already registered for the draft and on their lists. This means the only major changes of recruiting under this law affects women students. Personally I think it is fair and equal to add their names to recruiter’s lists.

As far as privacy is concerned, the right is already waived to the school; there is no loss of privacy here. In fact local governments are likely to have less strict laws protecting privacy of students than the Military has built in by the federal government. Second, school have the option to give less information, and so therefore, if the community wants to prevent military recruiters access they can just pass a law or a rule, or even better leave it up to each student. Next, military recruiters are not exempt from Do Not Call legislation, and can be taken care of that way.

The topic of the military's performance is moot and shows that people cannot see a time when they will not be meeting goals (like when the law was written). This argument is shortsighted represents the worst of political thinking. While understand opposition to the law, I do not see how people think laws should only be passed when there is an immediate need.

Finally, the reason these concepts all connect is that the military is an organization that is part of our government and should be supported, our oung people should be encouraged to join, and finally our federal and local governments should share information of all kinds. There are no files being passed to the military here, just directories.

It is the local governments job to set the boundaries on this relationship, it is the schools job to protect their students, and it is the individual's job to dissent, not simply opt out of the system. All to often people miss that last part, they forget that dissent is constructive but painful, and opting out of a process is simply painless and silent.

posted by Kevin | 2/20/2003 05:17:00 PM

I miss the arts ...

Before I started talking to people for a living, I wanted to make films. I miss the arts already and it has only been 6 months.

This is why I miss it: The Lysistrata Project

Simon at "To the Point" alerted everyone. He explains:

Aristophanes, the Greek playwright, wrote the comedy the Lysistrata, wherein the women (single and married) of Athens refuse to have sex with men unless the men stop their useless war against Sparta ... thousands of years in the future, The Lysistrata Project will organize 581 readings of Lysistrata on March 3rd, in protest of the Bush administration's push for war on Iraq.

Thanks Simon, news like that is why I love the Blogosphere. That and snowball fights.

posted by Kevin | 2/20/2003 04:54:00 PM

Zel Miller is really a Republican

Yes we've known, the Senator from Georgia "never met a tax cut he didn't like" , but it's worse than that if you look at the entire situation.

First he decides not to run and is making the DNC prepare for the fight of their lives against Robert Reid & Co.

Then he supports President Bush's tax plan.

Finally, after the 2002 election, most of the major statewide offices are in Republican hands, and Zel Miller is the most prominant Democrat.

The Georgia Democratic Party is going to get creamed with this man as their current spokesman. The Georgia Democrats have a tough fight ahead, here's to hoping they got their act together.

Oh and next tax bill ... We cut everyone's taxes but Zel Miller's ... Why not? They have individualized tax breaks.

posted by Kevin | 2/20/2003 03:57:00 PM

Graham is running

Looks like the Note's views on Edwards are just in time.

Graham is throwing his hat in the ring.

Graham is a Senator from Florida, and he has a distinct advantage in being from THE swing state: Florida.

He is strong on National Security and seems to be level headed.

So he jumps to the first tier when he files this week right?

Not so fast. He is not very charismatic, rich, doesn't have name recognition, and isn't left wing.

If Hart or Clark gets into the race he isn't even the strongest on National Security.

Many people will point out Graham's geographic advantage, just as many will point out he could have had a VP nod in 2000 if it weren't for his diaries. However, as a great fundraiser, he will be contender. A contender without a compelling hook though (electoral politics is compelling only to the money men not the voters).

My guess, he will run a good race, get some name recognition, and baring unforeseen events (which always happen in politics) become the ideal running mate to John Kerry, even with the diaries.

My dream ticket: Hart/Edwards still, nothing has changed that yet.

posted by Kevin | 2/20/2003 03:38:00 PM


I am trying a new format, posting these "FYI" posts with my normal ones. Let's see how it goes.

- It is my first day at work at St. Peter's College. So far so good.

- There is good article about Turkey in the New York Times today. My frist of two areticles on Northern Iraq will be up tonight.

- Jeralyn at TalkLeft is awesome, understanding, and linking to my more inflamatory remarks.

- I now have: 6 different websites under development, most which will be live by next week. I need to learn from Bush's mistakes and make sure half of them have an exit strategy.

- Day 3 of the Kevin needs to update his links saga, but listen folks the site is moving soon, it is hard to get up the motivation. However recent kindness in regard to my blog has made me determined to make it ahppen today.

- ABC's The Note (my favorite column of all time) writes in detail about John Edwards having an amazing moment in NH. Looks like this guy is for real.

- My fav candidates as of now: Hart, Edwards, Dean, Graham, Clark, Kerry. Yes I know three of those guys aren't running.

- Who I think will win as of now (in order): Kerry, Edwards, Dean. According to me Lieberman and Gephardt don't exist.

- There is much buzz over the DNC's Demzilla or Project 5014. It is a huge database of 158 million voters. Awesome, now one more thing though, there are 270 million people in this country. What about the other 70 million eligible voters? More on this later.

- Reading some Chomsky. Conclusion: He likes to hear himself talk more than I do. Making more valid points AND more stupid ones in the process.

- Looks like I have found a great way to read the news while at work. Well at least it looks promising, and cross platform. Can't wait to try it out.

posted by Kevin | 2/20/2003 12:54:00 PM


Foreign Policy of the People

Upon reading Michael Tomasky's comments as he filled in for Eric Alterman at Altercation, I was unsettled. Not simply because he points out that the Bush Administration is off it's rocker and dangerous, but because he offer's Dean's February 13th speech as an example of quality Democratic foreign policy speeches. Dean speech was great for now, but it is not what the Democratic Party needs. It needs a direction and a coherent foreign policy.

Not because Dean or Tomasky is wrong, in fact I agree with almost everything that Howard Dean and Michael Tomasky say. What I am worried about is what is missing. As I said above, what Dean does not do is explain a foreign policy, until the final paragraphs of his speech. The hardest thing to swallow about this, is that Dean's speech one of the stronger foriegn policy speeches almost by the Presidential hopefuls so far.

The Democrats will not be seen as strong on foreign policy when we play "not me" politics. It was "not me" who invaded Iraq, It was not me who left the country open to terrorist attacks, so forth and so on. All current candidates are the same way. I don't think the Democrats can win in 2004 or stop this war by simply saying, "I am not Bush" on foreign policy.

What can the Democrats do?

Joe Klein impressively points out that "Security Moms" were the swing vote in 2002, and will be in 2004. After all we lost women by 6% according to the NCEC . In a non-electoral fashion the Democrats can also fill the vacuum that will exist if Bush loses, with a new strategy already outlined.

The only person that seems to be advocating a full fledge National Security policy and brushing aside "not me" foreign policy is Gary Hart. He outlines a specific and bold strategy in his speech he gave in San Francisco. This passage absolutely captured my attention:

Our foreign policy, our relations with the peoples of the world, is no longer the province of so-called experts. The forces of globalization, the spread of American commercial and cultural influence, the internationalization of the Internet, the immediacy of travel, the rise of a global environmental common, all now require the engagement of the American people.

While many debated the final lines of this paragraph, they never looked at the first. No matter what you think of Hart as a possible President or a person, he is handing the Democrats a sword to replace their battered soapbox. All democrats should put forth their own foreign policy, not simply a set of stands on the issues.

I am happy the left is pointing out the ridiculous foreign policy of the current administration, to try and prevent more mistakes, I just hope that have something to offer the American people besides "not me"

posted by Kevin | 2/19/2003 07:16:00 PM

Gotta love what we teach our children ... no wonder they don't vote

Oliver Has found a good one again. He posts that a student in Michigan was sent home for wearing a T-shirt that had a picture of Bush that said "International Terrorist under it. Here is the kicker according to :

The student, Bretton Barber, chose to go home. He said he wore the shirt Monday to express his anti-war position and for a class assignment in which he wrote a compare-contrast essay on Bush and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

It was even for an assignment! That principal should be demoted, this is ridiculous, and unhealthy for the educational environment when a student is told to go home because he was into his assignment enough to make a statement about it?

I can only imagine if I had worn a T-shirt about my science project in 6th grade that read: "Our school water is not treated effectively. You're wasting your money" or even better in 8th grade that said "Send a man to Mars not to war"

Standardized tests, under-funding, and censorship. I fear for the new generation.

UPDATE: Even better:

Schools spokesman Dave Mustonen said students have the right to freedom of expression, but educators are sensitive to tensions caused by the conflict with Iraq.

So teacher sensitivty vs. students right to free speech in classroom work product? According to Dearborn officials I guess that damaged sensitivies are enough to teach their children that free speech is limit at the worries of the powers that be.

posted by Kevin | 2/19/2003 04:58:00 PM


- The new links will be up soon, the monitor absence of Feb 2003, is causing the delay.

- I am getting like 50 hits a day now (thanks to the snowball fight)

- The move to the new site is also delayed, for many reasons.

- There is a really cute girl sitting next to me at the computer lab. (if you got any suggestion IM me: SFTD7). Damn she is leavin(one minute later). Oh well, don't need another one in my life.

- I start work at St. Peter's College tomorrow

posted by Kevin | 2/19/2003 01:05:00 PM

Snowball Fight/Urban Sports Feedback

Okay so I have been rattling this idea around in my head and tried it yesterday. The response has been great, and I really wanna get somehting off the ground a bit. So along with my other new website, I am going to make website for urban games and sports.

Basically it would do two things: Allow people to find pick-up games all over the city and more importantly play some citywide or large games of tag, snowball fights, water gun fights etc.

So please e-mail if you interested in the idea either by helping or you'd like to partipate sometime:
kmthurman at mac dot com.

posted by Kevin | 2/19/2003 12:17:00 PM

The post 2004 Solution

(This post is inspired by a post by Kos so check it out)

I have heard a lot about two things since 2002:

Democrats having an impossible time competing with the Republicans on fundraising because there is no soft money and a million strategies on how to win the swing voters back into the party to win the Presidency.

I have a paradigm shift for you. Follow the natural progression of the Campaign finance laws, instead of fight it. The Candidates should concentrate on the swing voters, the party should concentrate on membership and participation. By registering tons of voters and gaining the loyalties of younger Americans (not even

Fundraising should be cooperative, but segmented so individuals effectively put their money where it is needed. The organization should be completely local, The classic pool your money the distribute it system cannot work in this election cycle.

Campaign finance laws are largely silent on one major issue. Registration and GOTV activities 120 days prior to the election. Essentially from now until August 7th of 2004. Except for primaries in the states there is a set of rather large open windows for coordinated expenditures between the DNC, a PAC, and the state committees to register voters left and right.

As someone coming back to professional politics from the business world I look at unregistered voters differently than I ever did. earlier they were voters you were never going to get and a waste of energy. Now they are the untapped markets, something, which rarely exists and is hard fought over by the businesses. The good news is most of the people that don't vote are our natural constituency, poor and live all over the country, but mostly in the impenetrable south.

The Plan

The DNC should do what business have been doing for years, move hard and fast to capture the two most important markets: the untapped markets and the emerging markets. The DNC should undergo a transformation in terms of membership, making it a major priority.

It should set up two PACs: One for younger voter recruitment and the other for dis-enfranchised voter recruitment. Then those PACs set up clubs under the local party organization all over the country with seed money. Those clubs can get unlimited donations (or as much as prescribed by state law) and can register voters quickly and according local issues. As long as the election cycle window is clear coordinated fundraising is allowed.

Certain areas will get more resources yes, but more importantly, this will happen on a large scale, so it will be hard to fight against. It will also allowed more unregulated money to flow to local organizations, decentralizing the party a bit, but the money still flows from the top, so it should decentralize too much. This is very important when trying to recruit younger voters, who are the future of the party.

This process will also require active recruitment of younger leaders to organize these groups and register voters. These people are what marketers call opinion leaders, and are vital to this operation. It will also provide a great amount of candidate recruitment for city councils, school boards, and other local offices.

Finally it will create an organization that is local but unified and easily allow the Presidential Candidate to let his message be heard.

If the DNC wants to listen to me great, but I doubt that, so let me know what you think of my ideas: kmthurman at mac dot com.

posted by Kevin | 2/19/2003 12:00:00 PM

Bunker Busters: Nuclear Style

The BBC is reporting that the US is developing new nuclear weapons. Yeah this doesn't make us even more aggressive as country.

And honestly stupid ... do military planners want to destroy WMDs with WMDs?

posted by Kevin | 2/19/2003 09:04:00 AM

The North is a Mess

No I am not talking them Yankees, but Northern Iraq is some kind of mess. Daily Kos is talking about an extremely disturbing article about Iranian-backed forces in Iraq.

I don't even know what to say. I think I am going to write a piece on Northern Iraq later today. But here are my initial thoughts:

Wow, a war within a war.

Will Turkish forces and Iranian forces fight?

Will this mean more terrorist attacks in Iraq against US forces?

Will this mean an immediate war with Iran?

These are all possibilities, do course os are none of them. No doubt this complicates an already complicated Northern Iraq situation.

posted by Kevin | 2/19/2003 09:00:00 AM

A hat-trick against democracy and "The New Rally Cry"

Then Oliver Willis has pointed me to an OpEd by Ahmad Chalabi of the Iraqi National Congress in which he states:

This is why the proposed U.S. occupation and military administration of Iraq is unworkable and unwise. Unworkable, because it is predicated on keeping Saddam's existing structures of government, administration and security in place--albeit under American officers. It would ultimately leave important decisions about the future of Iraq in the hands of either foreign occupiers or Saddam's officials. Unwise, because it will result in long-term damage to the U.S.-Iraq relationship and America's position in the region and beyond.

Then if you read the Guardian's article on Rumsfeld's war strategy that states:

He would be replaced - for the time being - with a figurehead from the existing regime who would keep the existing army and Ba'ath party in place. This would help keep order and prevent a civil war with the Kurds in the north and the marsh Arabs in the south. Democracy and human rights are not high up the list of priorities.

Finally in the anti-democracy hat-trick reports the Kurds are also upset about the lack of Democracy in the process in that article the deputy prime minister of the KDP Mr. Abdul-Rahman accuses the US of planning cosmetic changes in Iraq:

This is to give the government on a platter to the second line of Ba'athists [the ruling party]

These three articles have made me determined of one thing. I will no longer simply beat the no war drums, but we need to stick it to the administration to explain their plan for Iraq before we go to war. . It is imperative we do not sacrifice our values on the goal to simply "beat Bush" I think we need to start pushing this administration for their post war plans even harder with the center wing of the party.

The right's new talking points about the protesters are that no one wants to help the people of Iraq. The Administration needs to step up and show they do too, with action, not words. We cannot let up on them about the blanket of democracy and human rights they have wrapped this war in. We are great at fact checking, well check this guys. The liberal online blog community should start taking about this more and nullify those ridiculous talking points. Let the Administration eat their own words.

Democracy should be the center of the left's foreign policy, so stop letting Bush pretend like he is bringing it to Iraq.

posted by Kevin | 2/19/2003 08:45:00 AM

Now they pissing off Seoul

North Korea's staunchest defenders in this mess, the unlikely former enemy South Korea is not going to like North Korea's latest threat to pull out of the armistice agreement.

Ari Fleischer's has deemed all of these statements as bargaining tactics. However, my personal opinion is that it is more than that. If Korea was simply trying to bargain their way into a good position, they already have it. Essentially the US either has to go to War or give Korea a large sum of money. So why would they continue to pound their chest?

One theory would say they are trying to make sure only the US can bargain with them, hence, making South Korea fear war and ask the US to come in an bargain. That theory doesn't work, because South Korea was already trying to get the US involved.

Instead, what South Korea is doing is forcing the US into a terrible negotiation situation. They are making sure we have two choices, hand them tons of money or go to war. We have sign-posted that we will be at war in a couple months with another country, therefore North Korea is doing everything it can to slowly provoke us in the middle of our war with Iraq, so the US has only the option to give North Korea aid, AND China will most likely dictate the terms because we have requested it.

This situation is being extremely misread by the White House in my opinion, and I rarely have the hubris to question the career foreign service people in our White House, but this one seems all to obvious to me.

posted by Kevin | 2/19/2003 08:19:00 AM

Where's iChat 2 ?

Don't get me wrong I love my little iChat, but it has it's issues and really needs an update. Now Microsoft goes out and releases their own chat client called three degrees. Everything I wished for AOL IM two years ago is in Threedregrees, and it makes iChat looks like the most boring business application.

As someone who uses only one program more than iChat (Safari) I really hope Apple is not too far behind because I HATE wanting a Microsoft product that can't run on my Mac.

Steve, Please free me from my desire for the Evil Empire's software.

posted by Kevin | 2/19/2003 07:54:00 AM

Snowball Fight Update II

Okay, so I ran into a few snags, and the day ended up more like a normal snowball fight (thanks Caroline). Remember I sent the e-mail out at 8AM as a test so to speak. I think that is for one simple reason (besides obvious: work, short notice, etc.) --- I had no sign. I am sure as I waited some of the other people waiting were waiting for the fight, but oh well.

The bunch of us that came had fun, but that isn't the news of the day.

The news is the NYC blogging and online community is amazing and embraced the idea with open arms. Given a couple days lead time and some more thought, there is no doubt it would have been a huge success.

Therefore, I have decided to continue with my plan.

First, create a website dedicated to random large scale games in New York City (there are theories this site could help with pick-up games too, but we'll see, one thing at a time)

Second, begin floating the idea for a city-wide game of tag. Get responses and see what can be done.

Third, find five days in May that would be great for the game and go for it.

Fourth, let it grow by itself.

In the end the goal is to create a conduit for seemingly random games to pop up all over the city's parks and streets, allowing us to have tons of fun with our urban neighbors.

Granted there are issues involved in this and the system is basically designed to circumvent the NYC permit system, but the whole point is the group can work it out.

Please e-mail me with you comments:

posted by Kevin | 2/19/2003 12:56:00 AM


Colored Tape

I am putting the request to anyone who works down by Canal street up here:

Can you stop by one those little shops near broadway, they have great stashes of colored neon tape for cheap.

If you could pick up a couple red and blue rolls that would be amazing.

Just a thought.

posted by Kevin | 2/18/2003 02:13:00 PM

Snowball Fight Update

Thanks to local NYC bloggers like Noisebetweenstations, Forum posts here and my random e-mailings it looks like this i gonna be quite a good size. So once again here are the details:

Where: Meet at Columbus Circle Central Park Entrance, we'll move to a good spot from there.

When: 5:00 PM (if you come late just hunt us down)

What to bring: Your self, a good attitude, and if you can wear something red or blue on your sleeve (if someone works down near canal street can buy some cheap colored tape to help out that would be awesome) so we can do teams and such if people choose to.

What to do now: TELL YOUR FRIENDS. Call, blog, e-mail, text and drag your friends. Let's get a hundred people or more.

See ya there!

posted by Kevin | 2/18/2003 01:48:00 PM

So far so good

A few responses and TONS of good reception.

25 people would be great.

100 .... well that would awesome!

Keep forwarding that e-mail and calling your friends.

If you have any suggestions just e-mail I have a decent list of e-mail addresses that have been sent to:

posted by Kevin | 2/18/2003 11:09:00 AM

sorry for the repeat post ...

Safari is having issues. Man ... IE 5.5 is ugly ...

posted by Kevin | 2/18/2003 11:09:00 AM

Snoball Action Network Pt. II

So I decided to put it out there. The idea that I talked about yesterday. So I have sent e-mails to friends, former co-workers, and even perused NYC blogging sites to try and get people to have a huge snowball fight.

I think this is the kinda of thing we need, tons of random clean fun in Central Park.

I hope it works out.

I hope someone lets me know if it won't.

Alas, if these kinda urban games can get off the ground, it will be such fun .... next project: a website .... then ... a citywide game of tag

posted by Kevin | 2/18/2003 10:31:00 AM

"Pro-War" for democracy? Sadly it won't work ... yet

Glenn Reynolds is posting about student activism on the rise. He also links to a very interesting organization that I agree with completely at Oxford: called OxDem.

This organization does support the war in Iraq because their goal is the promotion of Democracy all over the world. I agree with everything they have said except: "we disagree with those who believe that America lacks the moral integrity necessary to bring democracy to Iraq."

While agree that the United States has the moral integrity as a nation, I do not believe that this administration does.


- They have not made Afghanistan a priority, by not even funding the money they promised them, and have yet to stabilize the nation while starting another war.

- They do not have a plan, that has been published and debated. We don't know the plan, no one has EVEN made guarantees about the democratization of Iraq.

- There is little attention paid to the Kurds and their democratic aspirations. In fact the US is going to let Turkey do their best to control the Kurdish population under their own control, and that is the very least the US is giving them.

- They do not have the intent of bringing democracy to Iraq. The intent is most important, anyone at Oxford should know enough philosophy and policy to understand how much intent modifies subsequent action.

I agree the United States and its allies can be an amazingly powerful force in bringing democracy and human rights in Iraq, what I do not believe is that this can be done without new movements made by the US. For instance, agreeing to abide by the Declaration of Human Rights that OxDem cites in that article. Or laying out a plan for a democratic Iraq. Curtailing the requests of Turkey.

I would join OxDem. I think they are on the right track. I disagree with their impression of this administration though, who seems bent on circumventing the worldwide democratic institutions that already exist. They are arrogant enough to ask to go to war and not present a plan to what would happen after regime change ... how can you expect other countries to agree to that?

posted by Kevin | 2/18/2003 09:30:00 AM

On School and nerdom

I can't add much to this simply amazing article by Paul Graham so I will just link to it. It is long but his analysis is amazing and should be read by everyone, including eighth graders and their teachers.

Just amazing article.

posted by Kevin | 2/18/2003 09:07:00 AM


Before I update my site ... Korea beat me to it

Sheesh, these guys feel like they need a new threat every day. Either way they are really starting to scare me. This is a crisis.

Is Iraq a crisis??? I don't think so. I have never heard that word attached to this war.

posted by Kevin | 2/17/2003 09:36:00 PM

Updates coming

Since my new site is on hold for MySQL installation ... expect some new links and ways to contact me later tonight.

How fun.

For those of you that can't wait: E-mail me

posted by Kevin | 2/17/2003 06:15:00 PM

"Not me"

I think I have figured out what is going on with North Korea. The I read North Korea is planning on building four reactors and are "nuculearizing the peninsula" from Christian Science Monitor (a.k.a. the newspaper that won me many speech awards in HS).

What strikes me about the article is how it details that no country wants to take responsibility for keeping North Korea from becoming even more of a nuclear power, but everyone wants it to stop.

The only thing that comes to mind at this point is when I was a kid and something was broken or stained in the living room and my parents got home and when asked who did it and who is going to clean it/fix it we all said "Not Me"

More Sandbox Foreign Policy from the Bush Administration.

posted by Kevin | 2/17/2003 06:08:00 PM

Not a porn site

While surfing the web today i found my new favorite Apple related site ...

PerversionTracker and no this is not what you think it is. It is actually a hilarious site that finds bad OS X software and let you know about it. Think of it as the Daily Show or The Onion for Mac Software.

It's just hilarious, for us Mac faithful (Eric that means you).

The biggest reason I love it: Because this means we have so much software for the Mac out there they have content everyday.

posted by Kevin | 2/17/2003 05:29:00 PM

Not where we should play games

According to the Gaurdian Unlimited reports that Rumsfeld is pulling US troops out of Germany due to their "trechery."

While I am all about playing games in the parks and streets of NYC, Rumsfeld's childish games when dealing with Germany are just that childish. Rumsfeld is the reason a lot of Powell's diplomatic efforts are being quashed.

There are long term considerations that are important here. We need allies to fight the war on terror in the long term. Remember how many arrests Germany has had in the war on terror? Remember where many of the high-jackers went to school, besides the US? Germany is needed to defeat al Queda and we are pushing them away.

Finally in the real long term, one of the DoD's favorite think tank theorists, Thomas Barnett, argues that the US must and will "Shrink the non-integration gap" however it seems that the only thing we are doing right now is possibly making it larger in the long term.

How can this be good National Security strategy?

posted by Kevin | 2/17/2003 05:23:00 PM

Snowball Action Network

I was walking home from the obligatory Blockbuster run during this blizzard and the snowfall started to die down.

Right then ... I wanted wanted to have a snowball fight.

I don't mean me and three friends ... I mean a large massive snowball fight in the vein of the great Nike Tagcommercial a while back.

Then I started combining that urge with my recent readings from Smart Mobs and realize that snowball fights (and in the future games of tag and more) are great venues for the application of such brilliant technology and organizational techniques.

My head is spinning and you will hear more from me about this cause I am serious.

But basically it would work like this. A largely dormant e-mail, AIM, and Text message list and a website would be created. The ground rules would be determined and then we wait. For it to snow of course. Then the list comes into action, a meeting place is determined, people are alerted with what color to wear and off we go in the middle of central park with thousands playing.

Of course there would not be a winner, per se but that would prevent wide scale cheating and beating ;). Essentially it would provide groups of friends and individuals to get involved in a largely free form snowball fight.

More to come.

But please e-mail me if your interested in the concept:

posted by Kevin | 2/17/2003 03:19:00 PM

Not the lead story anymore

In the post 9/11 world it seems that this tragedy is not getting as much attention as it would have. No breaking news stories, and most of my news nationally and locally is about the weather. I can't decide if it is a bad thing or good thing.

But it is more important than about 75% of the blizzard coverage.

posted by Kevin | 2/17/2003 10:52:00 AM

Republicans outsource fundraising call centers

Oliver Willis is asking: Is this how the president's party contributes to the growth of our economy?. He asks this because Bush and the Republicans are using outsourced call centers in India to help raise funds

Oliver's question is a valid one. And I heed it entirely, it reminds me of the scene in The War Room where James Carville finds out that millions of printing business for the Republican Party went to printers in Brazil. Bush II has not learned anything in the past few years but how to keep such things even more quiet. This is the kind of story the Blogosphere must keep alive to highlight the administration's lack of understanding of the problems facing this nations future.

But it also highlights another major problem that this administration refuses to address as we rush headlong into globalization. We are in the middle of the second Bush recession and the jobs that created so much prosperity in between them 1990s are leaving the US.

CC News (a magazine for Call Center professionals) reports, nearly 3.3 million white collar jobs and $136 billion in wages will be lost over the next 15 years according to Forester Research. The reports author, Joe McCarthy "McCarthy said U.S. workers can benefit if they have the training and expertise to lead or manage offshore work from their stateside bases." What about kids who graduate from college where are they supposed to work after 2015? How will they become managers if their entry level jobs are outsourced?

In the end this issue is a major problem facing America and its base of "white collar" jobs that are supposed to save us from the flood of manufacturing jobs moving overseas. Now those jobs are moving overseas. This is not a conservative or liberal problem, this is a real problem about how money invested in US companies will even create jobs.

The Administration should be looking for solutions to this problem that is even larger than it seems at first, not contributing to it!

Join me in making sure the major media outlets pick this UP.

posted by Kevin | 2/17/2003 06:46:00 AM

What Liberal Radio?

We've been hearing from Rush Limbaugh for years and Fox News has been doing well in the ratings for the past few years. Which is why I am excited that some rich liberals are going to try and finally go head to head with conservative talk show hosts.

The NY Times article says the benefactors of this project are California Democrats Sheldon and Anita Drobny. And from this writings on we have a true liberal here, not just a DLC puppet hoping to fight Rush from the center.

I happy about this not just because I am more liberal then conservative, but because the media should have a balance in both "unbiased" and biased media.

posted by Kevin | 2/17/2003 06:08:00 AM


Ashcroft sticking his nose in local issues AGAIN

As if the overriding of his local prosecutors decisions was enough of indication that Ashcroft thinks that local control is an outdated concept, Kos is telling me even more disturbing news:

Ashcroft's Justice Department filed an amicus brief to uphold NYC's (wildly unsuccessful) ban on yesterday's protests.

I disagree, with Kos argument of "unsuccessful" while I went to the protests yesterday and they were successful, I wasn't able to join in because NYC confined it to a smaller area, instead of letting people march. I was stuck on 2nd Ave, and eventually came home to blog.

In the end, Ashcroft's brief on what was a local security issue, is just another incident of the Justice Department overstepping it's traditional area of operation to keep local issues from being local.

posted by Kevin | 2/16/2003 04:28:00 PM

Leaving Thousands of Schools Behind

So the New York Times is catching on to what my mom is dealing with. See not only has the Administration's education reform not been funded but it seems to be hurting schools that local communities hold up as a source of pride.

Why is this: The law says that every racial and demographic group in each school must score higher on standardized tests every year; if any group fails to advance for two consecutive years, a school is labeled "needing improvement."

It also doesn't distinguish between schools that miss those goals by a little and by large amount. Which does two things: hurts the schools that are doing well and have a mis-step and it hurts even more the schools that are hurting a lot and are grouped with schools that are when competing for resources.

What is most wrong with this is that the local residents have no power in this situation except to create a charter school if the a school underperforms for three years straight. There is no question This law takes the power away from local communities and gives it to state legislatures and the federal government.

There is no question that something needs to be done to fix this mess. For the sanity of our educators and for the involvement of our communities in the public school system it must be done now.

This should be the rallying cry of the Democrats. Issue 3.

posted by Kevin | 2/16/2003 04:14:00 PM