SeaViews: Insights from the Gray Havens 
August 2002

Motto: The surest way to get a reputation for being a trouble maker these days is to go about repeating the very phrases that the Founders used in the struggle for independence.

-- C.A. Beard

Disclaimer: The editor speaks only for himself, and sometimes even he is wrong.


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On last month's Fix;

the answer to last month's Fix,
"Given the positive response of the market to last month's action by Congress and Bush to enact more govt oversight of corporate management and accounting, should the US adopt even more stringent govt controls over business."

Oh pleeeez. I - Sergio - cannot believe this country has sunk to such a low. If govt. control of business is such a great idea, then why does all Europe have to unite under one currency to approach the economic power of America? This is madness. Call a crook a crook and be done with it. Putting a bigger crook with lots of guns in charge will not help. If it did - Moscow would be a Capitalist paradise now.

I - Sergio;
This month, I (Sergio) have a beef to pick with the residents of MN. My friend Steve tells me there is an ad for a Dem. Senator Paul "Welfare" Welstone that tells blatant untruths. Welstone initially got elected by promising to limit himself  to two terms. He then used taxpayer $$ to fund a bus trip of elderly to Canada so they could get cheaper drugs then in the US.

On the eve of his running for a third term, he now complains that corporations cheat the US Govt. of $3 Billion/year by declaring the Cayman Island their Corporate HQ. The TV ad states, "Then Sen. Welstone passed an Ammendment to make it illegal for the Armed Forces to do business with such companies."

Is this man God? Was there a Constitutional Convention and no-one was told? How can a lone Senator pass an Amendment to the Consitution?  You MN people better go back to school. To let such ads run on TV. Shame.

On another matter; how many of you now realize that you can get LIFE IN PRISON for writing a computer virus? Yes - it is true. I was reading the Reuters Internet Feed on 12 Aug. 2002, an article titled "New Computer Security Dilemma: Lack of Viruses" by Bernard Warner. It says that anti-virus software makers are in trouble becuase there are no new nasty "Code Reds" or "I Luv Yous."  The article tried to guess why such a decline. Perhaps it said some new laws.

 The US Patriot Act, passed after 9/11/2001, and a new bill called the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act call for 10 years to life for first time virus writers and repeat hackers (their word for crackers). In contrast, in Finland the laws gives 3 months - 3 years for these offenses. Guess where the attacks will come from?

Life for hackers and 3-5 for murderers. 

America, I weep for your lost perspective.

Guest Editorial:

Worse Than Saddam Hussein
By Reed Irvine and Cliff Kincaid

Washington and the media have been preoccupied with the possibility of war with Iraq. Does Saddam Hussein have nuclear weapons? That’s been a big question. The U.S. believes he has chemical and biological weapons. Yet the North Korean regime, another member of the Axis of Evil, has chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. But there’s no drum beat for another war with North Korea. Why?

The answer was provided by William Taylor and Elliot Walker in a commentary published in the Washington Times. They said we would win another war with North Korea but it would come at a cost: "In the first few hours of a short-warning war, North Korea would inflict almost unbelievable damage to our South Korean and Japanese allies and the Americans in both countries. Why is this? North Korea has the fifth-largest military in the world with enormous numbers of long-range artillery pieces and multiple rocket launchers, mostly protected in underground facilities, and armed with chemical and biological warheads, within striking distance of metropolitan Seoul, South Korea's densely populated capital. Without moving, these weapons systems are capable of delivering up to 500,000 rounds per hour for several hours."

"Worse yet," they continued, "the North has more than 500 surface-to-surface missiles of various types, many armed with chemical and biological warheads. We should recall here that the CIA has long estimated that North Korea has enough fissionable nuclear material to develop one or two nuclear weapons. Some of these missiles can cover all South Korea and Japan where there is no effective missile defense. There are more than 80,000 American civilian and military personnel in South Korea and another 100,000 in various parts of Japan. Hundreds of thousands of our allies and Americans would die."

Ironically, Taylor and Walker provided this information in the context of attacking the Bush Administration’s tougher approach with North Korea. They said the Bush approach was "dangerous" and "lacks international support." They said that more than a dozen nations of the European Union have taken major steps to normalize relations with North Korea, and that the most effective and the safest way to induce change in North Korean behavior is through "constructive engagement."

Yet when such a policy is advocated toward Saddam Hussein of Iraq, it is dismissed as naïve and foolish. Iraq’s invitation for another U.N. weapons inspector to visit the country was rejected as "nothing new" by the administration and those urging another war with Iraq. Their belief seems to be that a war with Iraq would be worth the cost, even though Saddam has chemical and biological and possibly nuclear weapons. Some experts have spoken of up to 30,000 American dead in another war.

The policy of appeasing North Korea and confronting Iraq doesn’t make sense, except in terms of being absolutely fearful of what North Korea can do to America and our allies. It is telling that the Washington Times, which wants a strike on Iraq, has published a column urging us to back down before a much greater threat in North Korea.


1. Doug Wilken writes:

> "Given the  markets positive response to the Ethics in Business Act,
> should the Bush Admin call for more invasive  Federal control of
> corporate finances?"

I could have sworn the markets were experienced a degree of panic (oh my
god!  the bleeping feds will go too far and make my investments worthless!)
then recovered somewhat when it turned out that Congress was not quite doing another "smoot-hawley" tariff act.

Just my 2 cents ..... and I think I've answered the question by implication. :)
Doug Wilken
Ed: Perhaps you are right, I saw what happened to the market the next day, but in the short term I think it was a crash.

2. David Gay opines:


> "Given the  markets positive response to the Ethics in Business Act,
> should the Bush Admin call for more invasive Federal control of
> corporate finances?"
That sounds like exactly what the socialists on our government want.
They call for punishing a company anytime it makes a profit (illegal
profiteering) and yell fraud when the corporation loses money. Why isn't
the government held to the same standards they want to hold
corporations? When will we see "The Torch" do the perp-walk?


Quote(s) of the month

" The State Department is off on some Oprah-like mission to find out why the United States of America is hated to the extent that people would blow up the World Trade Center. There are guilt-ridden liberals out there who actually think we deserved this."

-- Rush Limbaugh, 26 Aug,  on the upcoming 9/11 anniversary

Fix of the month:

"Should the US rush into battle with Iraq?"



 1. Seattle, Aug 20: An attorney for suspected 3 time murderer Richard Burns was dismissed for acting in his defense when she was discovered servicing her client in a non-legal way in the King County jail house.
Ed: I've heard of a hung jury, but ... 


 1. Rochester, 15 August: This just in from a field reporter. The M Clinic receives numerous complaints from patients and employees that elevators are too slow. Swinging into gear - management wastes no time installing large flat panel TVs in all the elevator lobbies - promoting the health benefits of using the stairs. 

New York;

 1. NY CIty, Aug 14: The NY Times reports that polar caps on Pluto are melting and contributing to the greater opacity in the Plution atmosphere. Not known - whether Pluto's global warming is due to Republicans or SUVs.

2. NY City, Aug 13:  Back to its old tricks, Microsoft's new software licensing policy requires PC makers to ship every PC with an OS in order for a company to be able to license and sell Microsoft products. The rule started Aug 1. On Sept. 1, Dell will start shipping its N-series PCs with Free-DOS on a disk, located inside the box. You see, the Microsoft lawyers neglected to say the OS had to be Windows - or be installed.

Sadly though, Dell will not charge less for the naked systems.

Washington D.C.

 1. Aug. 20: Greenpeace's web site shows a glacier in Finland with before and after pictures. The "after" picture is supposedly current and shows that the ice is 2/3 melted - hence global warming apocalypse. However, a Finnish Prof. in the London Daily Telegraph points out that the "after" image on the Green Peace web page bears a striking resemblence to a picture in his museum - taken in the 1920s. 

 2. Aug 20: The Washington Post reports that Abu Nadal, leader of the Palistinian Fatah movement and killer of hundreds, was found dead in Bahgdad today. Iraqi leader Saddam Hussien sent his spokesperson Teriq Azziz to explain: "He shot himself when confronted with evidence that he was conspring with enemies of Iraq." Asked how Nadal could have shot himself multiple times with a machine gun and whether or not as a good Muslim he would have, Azziz replied, "He was very determined - and a bad Muslim."

3. Aug 23:  The secretive federal court that approves spying on terror suspects in the United States has refused to give the Justice Department broad new powers, saying the government had misused the law and misled the court dozens of times, according to an extraordinary legal ruling released yesterday. 

A May 17 opinion by the court that oversees the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) alleges that Justice Department and FBI officials supplied erroneous information to the court in more than 75 applications for search warrants and wiretaps, including one signed by then-FBI Director Louis J. Freeh.

The department discovered the misrepresentations and reported them to the FISA court beginning in 2000.

Enacted in the wake of the domestic spying scandals of the Nixon era, the FISA statute created a secret process and secret court to review requests to wiretap phones and conduct searches aimed at spies, terrorists and other U.S. enemies.

4. Aug. 25: The New York Times reports that the National Education Assoc. is calling on America's teachers this Fall to NOT mention what group is responsible  for last 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Instead, the NEA wants teachers to point to examples of AMerican military injustices and intolerence. 
Ed: For those of you who had the ability to doubt the former editor's positions on the NEA - read it and feel the shame.

5. Aug 30: At the Eco summit in Johannisburg, it has been revealed that the President of Zambia has refused food shipments from the US becuase we use genetically modified corn seeds. So the 10,000 or so that die each month can feel better knowing they are eating "natural" seeds from European farmers, even though they don't have enough from the ECM to stave off starvation.