Do They Get Federal Benefits, Too?

Others have commented on this, but I can’t let it pass. The INS has belatedly issued student visas to Mohamed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi to take flying lessons.

They are both, of course, six months deceased, having notoriously flown airplanes into the World Trade Center, sans such visas.

In a related story, President Bush is angry about it.

“The president is very displeased. He wants to know how and why this happened and he wants it fixed,” White House spokesman Scott McClellan said. “This is unacceptable.”

Former INS District Director Tom Fischer told CNN that “the letters should never have been sent.”

No kidding?

Their delivery, he said, was “a case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand was doing.”

Can someone remind me, again, just why it was so important and urgent to federalize airport security?

Fun With CCDs

I found this little story over at Natalie Solent’s site, about a man who wrecked his digital camera by dunking it in a lake, and now claims to like the results.

Web designer (and high-tech camera designer) Bill Simon comments:

This is classic. In sales it is called turning a bug into a feature.

Okay. Now he has a “magic” camera.

Big deal. All he can take are “magic” pictures. But with a program like Paint Shop Pro, I can make any of my normal pictures as magical as I wish and I still get normal pictures.

This guy doesn’t want to face the fact that he wrecked an $800 camera. But with this hype the camera will become worth whatever the new age world can afford…Say, $250,000. So I guess he gets the last laugh.

LA Bloggers Rock

Layne has a good and accurate review of Eugene Volokh’s blogger bash last night. No fact checking required.

I want to thank Professor Volokh as well. I had a great time, and it was nice to see that none of my fellow bloggers in attendance actually were dogs, despite the old saying about the Internet…

Sauce For The Goose…

Eugene Volokh writes at Instantman’s site:

Seems to me that if someone who owns a newspaper can editorialize all he wants using his money, then others should be able to rent space in that newspaper (by buying an ad) using their money. And, of course, in the cyberspace age, aren’t we all part of “the press”? How can the law sensibly distinguish the L.A. Times, a local business corporation (which has a Web page and a newsletter, and wants to rent time on television), and me?

Yes, I pointed this out a few weeks ago in this post. They want to eat their cake and have it, too. If you can purchase free speech rights by buying and owning a newspaper, why can’t you do it by renting one? Why are existing media owners so uniquely privileged?

Even though many reform advocates don’t get it, this is exactly why “money = speech,” and it is the contradiction on which this horrible law will founder.

Good Money After Bad, Part Deux

Instantman (welcome to California, Glenn!) barely got off the plane at LAX before he dissed my dissing of Salon.

Well, what I was really dissing was not so much Salon’s content (though I thought much of it execrable, particularly the Clinton apologia that often reached Gene Lyons and Joe Conason levels during the late nineties). I was criticizing their business model, and their dotcom-like habit of burning money like there was no tomorrow.

So the question is, is there a tomorrow and will Adobe Systems further investment help it arrive, or did they need the writeoff? Maybe they’ve finally gotten it figured out, but it’s not where I’d be putting my money.

The Meme Is Spreading

Apparently the Nigerians are starting to franchise their little scam to eastern Europe. This is the first time I’ve seen it from this part of the world.

I need your help.

I am the wife of VLAJKO STOJILJKOVIC, one of the people indicted at the Hague War Crimes Tribunal in Hague. The indictment is politically motivated. It was for the package the western worlkd has provided Yogoslavia.

Oh, well glad you cleared that up. We might have thought that he massacred thousands of Croations, or something…

Slobodan and my husband had kept some funds, to enable them take care of rebel problems.

Good thinking and wise planning. You never know when those pesky rebel problems will crop up.

However, now the country they protected has turned against them. I need
to transfer the money out to safety.

Yeah, it’s such a pain when those ingrate rebels won’t stay bought. I hate when that happens.

The funds are in excess of 100 million (in Swiss Francs and US dollars). They will have to be paid into off shore accounts. They are not in Yugoslav.

Well, if they’re not in “Yugoslav,” then where are they?

Can you help? Are you capable of handling funds?

Hmmm…let’s see… [jingling change in pants pocket], yup, seem to be.

Are you trustworthy?


You’ll take my word for it, won’t you?

I can offer you 30%. Will that be ok?

Only thirty percent? No way.

i will be also needing you expert advice on business oppurtunity,emigration and purchasing of housing for family living.

I am grateful.

But not as grateful as you’ll be after I give you my bank account number, I’ll bet.


And Glorja to you, too, with a cheerful Hallelujia.

These folks are really rank amateurs compared to those funny Ibos in Lagos. No mention of how they got my name from a trusted source at the State Department, no entreaties to keep this just between you and me…

I’ll be interested to see if the quality improves in future.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!

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