No Terrorism in Israel according to the New York Times?

The New York Times has a section in their on-line newspaper reporting on International Terrorist incidents and responses to them. But what you won't find there is anything about Israel. Apparently a Palestinian terrorist blowing himself or herself up and killing innocent civilians isn't terrorism, when the targets are Israelis. You can check out Honest Reporting's article on the subject for more details but really, just click on the New York Times link yourself, it only takes a second. If you agree that this is a blatant example of Anti-Semitism then write to the New York Times.

Here is the letter I sent in:

I am confused and a bit scared by the New York Times section entitled "Threats and Responses – Targeting Terror" [1]. This is clearly supposed to be a list of terrorist attacks and official responses yet no attacks on Israelis or responses by the Israeli government seem to be listed. For example, the section on 8/18/2003 covers an 8/13/2003 New York Times article on a terrorist raid in Saudi Arabia [2] but doesn't carry an 8/13/2003 New York Times article on Terrorist Bombings in Israel [3]. Honest Reporting provides evidence from May of this year [4] showing that exempting terrorist attacks in Israel is not a new policy by the New York Times.

Are suicide bombers terrorists in Indonesia [5] but not Israel? How would the New York Times have readers interpret the omission of terrorist attacks in Israel?

Sincerely,

Yaron Y. Goland

[1] http://www.nytimes.com/pages/world/worldspecial2/
[2] http://www.nytimes.com/2003/08/13/international/middleeast/13SAUD.html
[3] http://www.nytimes.com/2003/08/13/international/middleeast/13MIDE.html
[4] http://www.honestreporting.com/articles/critiques/NY_Times_Ignores_Palestinian_Terror.asp
[5] The following link was taken from the 8/18/2003 edition of "Threats and Responses – Targeting Terror" – http://www.nytimes.com/2003/08/18/international/asia/18INDO.html

Creative Commons Copyright

The abuses of copyright are a favorite topic of mine so I figured I should make the copyright on my own pages clear. I have chosen to use a Creative Commons Copyright. Specifically the Attribution/Noncommercial/Share Alike license. I thought about allowing commercial use but decided if someone wants to make money off my content they need to talk to me first. Scroll to the bottom of this (or any of my) web page(s) and you will see the copyright declaration.

Near as I can tell the HTML cognoscenti could never get over the ugliness of allowing HTML includes (if not done exactly right it can do serious damage to the HTML object model) so I was forced to use a src attribute on a SCRIPT tag which points at a JavaScript file that includes the much dreaded document.write that puts in the actual copyright declaration. That way if I want to change the copyright or add other footer information I can do so without having to edit every one of my pages. Ugly but effective.

Someday I'll figure out how to do this with CSS.

The Mechanics of Perverting Justice

The United States Government has decided to ignore the ruling of an American Judge that the government provide access to a key witness in the prosecution of Zacarias Moussaoui. The government has made secret submissions which it claims justify preventing Moussaoui from accessing the witness. The judge, who has reviewed those secret submissions has rejected the government's allegations and ordered them to produce the witness. By refusing to produce the witness the judge is likely to have to throw the case out or at least severely curtail its scope as doing otherwise would deny Moussaoui a fair trial.

Having the case thrown our would serve the government's interests in two ways. First, it would allow the government to re-arrest Moussaoui and try him in a military tribunal where his rights will be those the government decides to grant him. But even more importantly by forcing the trial to be thrown out the government will have, at least in its own mind, demonstrated that the U.S. Court System cannot successfully deal with war crimes trials and so strengthen the government's contention that military tribunals are the right way to go for dealing with war crimes. This likely means that Jose Padilla, a U.S. Citizen arrested on U.S. soil who has been in a military prison for over a year without charge and without right to see an attorney or appeal his detainment (if this isn't a clear violation of the U.S. constitution what is?) will probably end up in a military tribunal.

I suppose the military tribunal isn't that big a deal, after all, with Padilla the government has already proved that they can arrest a U.S. Citizen on U.S. soil and hold them for an indefinite period of time without right to consultant an attorney. With that capability available to them how relevant is it that the government can also then put the person through a Kangaroo court? The ACLU (the link is to their section on unlawfully detained people) folks, time to pay some more for your freedom insurance.

Dioxin

Can someone explain to me on what planet is it fine to tell Women not to eat dietary fat because of the threat of Dioxin but it isn't o.k. to restrict the sources of Dioxin in the first place? We are literally poisoning our children and our best solution is to say 'don't eat that'? I wonder how many babies will have to be deformed, retarded or killed before we decide things have gotten bad enough. Why must people be hurt and die before we as a society are willing to do anything about it?

Agreeing on problems, not solutions

I recently read a cogent article on the absurdities of American health care. It is well worth reading if you want to understand just how badly you are being ripped off. The American health care system is just nuts. In what version of reality does it make sense to have insurance paying for normal doctor's visits? Does my car insurance pay for my tune ups? In what version of reality does it make sense to have your employer give you your health insurance? A situation in which what health insurance you get, how much service it provides and how much it costs you is decided by your employer is clearly barking mad.

Beating Down American Workers

With the current attempt to get rid of overtime pay for many workers along with the quickly vanishing American vacation (both links thanks to Slashdot) I wonder how long until there is some sort of grass roots revolt. Then again, as recent events from the vote in the 2000 presidential election to the WMD that aren't there in Iraq to the Tax Cut for the Rich tell us that the American people are willing to take a lot of abuse. That is unfortunate because it means that when the inevitable backlash occurs it will be enormous which usually means violent. A well run democracy is one in where there is a constant feedback loop between the people and the government. But in a country where barely half the voting population bothered to vote in the last presidential election how much of a feedback loop can one hope for? Many have abdicated their freedom and then wonder at its absence.

Updating the Website

Ironically enough for someone in the standards business I haven't been very good about using standards. When I first set up this site I did it on editthispage.com which used its own proprietary storage format. When I moved my website I had to manually copy and paste data from the browser to my new website. Not a fun trip and as a result I decided my new website would stick to straight HTML. But I wanted the website to look nice and to have cool features like navigation bars so I ended up using FrontPage to manage things. I thought this would be o.k. because FrontPage does use HTML as its native file format. When I moved from Windows to Linux I discovered just how awful the FrontPage HTML is. At that point I could do little more than tinker with the website. Any major changes would break the navigation structure which I couldn't maintain by hand. So I finally decided I would turn the website into the simplest possible, completely standards compliant format. That way when I end up having to change my server or client in the future I shouldn't experience any problems, at least until HTML is completely replaced in ten years or so. Funny, there may be something to this whole standards thing after all.

Stuff I have published

I got quoted a while back in Network World on choreography. I also published an article in the 12/2002 issue of Web Services Journal that you can get a copy of off the BEA dev2dev site. BEA also published three specs, WS-MessageData, WS-CallBack and WS-Acknowledgment that I was the lead author on. An article on BEA and Open Source I co-authored with BEA's CTO, Scott Dietzen, was just published in March's Weblogic Developer's Journal, available in full on BEA's website.

On-Line Blackmail

A good article on a very simple form of on-line blackmail. Users visit an apparently innocent looking website which in the background downloads porn files to their machine. They then get an email a few days later telling them where the files are on their machine and demanding money to not tell anyone. Just deleting the files won't necessarily work as many companies keep records of all HTTP traffic so they may have a copy of the files in the company's caches. Of course this attack depends on the company's management. If they are educated and aware then this attack will fail.

Racism is Bad

I realize the title of this blog entry seems trite but apparently it's required. A few decades ago MIT introduced summer classes in math and science to prepare freshman who were going to enter MIT but may not have a strong enough background in those subjects. Entry to the classes required the right racial characteristics – Black, Hispanic or Native-American. MIT was recently challenged on the legality of their behavior and as a consequence decided to open the programs to everyone. What makes this case interesting is the reason why MIT changed the rules, to understand that I provide this quote from Robert Redwine the dean of undergraduate studies at MIT:

"It really was important for us to come to the realization that they [Ed Note: the summer programs] almost certainly could not be defended legally in their form," Mr. Redwine said. "I wish that were not the case, but it is."

Does anyone think it bizarre that the dean of undergraduate studies at MIT would openly advocate racism and bemoan the fact that the laws of the United States of America prevent him from enforcing a blatantly racist policy?

Were the program to vet entry based on impartial data such as low test scores that indicate that the student is likely to have trouble upon entering MIT and were MIT to even charge money for the class but set the fee on a sliding scale that went to zero based on the student's ability to pay then then I would be all for the program. But last I checked, being Black, Hispanic or Native-American doesn't automatically mean you are unprepared for MIT level courses or poor.