First, if you didn't see, the beast of an update is there. Even zipped at maximum compression it was still a 130 meg upload — the biggest I've done yet over the satellite. I'm amazed there were no problems — I'm amazed how trouble free big FTP sessions are. I can't wait until they release their new high-speed upstream dish in Q1 2003.

I had a long talk yesterday with one of my oldest online friends who felt a number of statements I'd made were insulting to Americans — let me make something real clear — I go to the effort of writing about US issues because I believe in the documents that America was founded on — it should be clear from my general behavior that I deeply value those principles and philosophies. Like it or not, there's a real good chance that America is going to define the 21st century's world government.

I'd like America to do that with American values and American know-how, not with some kind of religious extremist and corporate bastardization that serves neither the world community nor the American citizen. Maybe I live in some pre-Lincoln libertarian American Transcendentalist pipe-dream, but I think America can do it.

I think it would be a shame if America went from being a land of cowboy engineers, rock'n'roll, motorcycles on the open highway, and personal freedoms to a playground where wealthy forces vie for power and control, while Brazil* and other young nations take America's place as rulers of the free world.

So I hope you understand why I link to stories about how the US hopes the inspectors find weapons, but that even if they don't, they're attacking anyway. Or maybe I could link about secret courts or scary black ops… But please don't just write this off as America bashing. I wouldn't write any of this if I didn't care about America.

The Reichstag Fire Syndrome occurs whenever a democracy is destroyed by creating a law-and-order crisis and offering as a "solution" the abdication of civil liberties and state's rights to a powerful but unaccountable central dictator. The men of wealth who put the tyrant into power are then able to reap obscene war profits.

But there is one article particularly worth reading (quote above) that I got in my email this morning: The Nazification Of America. When I first got the link, I figured it was going to be some militia kook making far out claims, but it doesn't grasp at straws at all. It just lines of a clear comparison between the Nazi climb to power and fascist control over the US. Worth reading.

* Note that I also say that with sincere admiration… I think South America in general is one of the most exciting places in the world right now and I think we're going to see amazing things continuing to come from it.

It's pretty blah out today… I think I'm going quickly burn through some must-answer messages, and then go for a walk and take advantage of the loss of snow to go clean up the BBQ space which still has some old garbage. Then it's back to work… Even though I've cleared the update backlog I still am incredibly behind.

Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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