Patrick Ruffini

April 13, 2003

MY SITE'S BACK UP: My new Movable Type-powered blog is now up and running.

April 11, 2003

THERE'S NOTHING FINER than a weekend of liberation and Augusta... And installing Movable Type, of course.

BOYCOTT CNN: Despite the reasonably fair coverage at home, they’ve been playing a double-game abroad, providing Al Jazeera-like coverage on their international network. Now, it comes out that they covered up the Iraqi regime’s atrocities, in part to protect their Iraqi employees, but also to protect their access. They’re not winners in my book.

April 09, 2003

Isn't it a shame our President is alienating these people with his unilateral foreign policy?

YES, I'VE BEEN READING FALLACI: This MoDo column, while perhaps not rising to Immutable Laws levels of idiocy, does elicit a certain je ne sais quoi...

Mr. Cheney's war guru, Victor Davis Hanson, writes in his book "An Autumn of War" that war can be good, and that sometimes nations are better off using devastation than suasion. Mr. Hanson cites Sherman's march through Georgia, the 19th century's great instance of shock and awe, as a positive role model. Polls and interviews show that in their goal of making Americans less rattled by battle, Mr. Rumsfeld and Mr. Cheney have succeeded: most Americans are showing a stoic attitude about the dead and the wounded so far. (Perhaps the American tolerance for pain is owed to the fact that much of the pain is not shown on television, embeddedness notwithstanding.)

Stop. What was not shown on television was precisely the thing that justified this war. The hundreds of thousands Saddam has killed were not shown on television. The Halabja massacre was not shown on television. Bemoaning a few dozen war casualties the TV cameras might have passed over seems is legitimate, but strikingly misplaced if you yourself refuse to grasp the magnitude of Saddam's atrocities precisely because you didn't witness them on television.

It would take a hundred Al Jazeeras, broadcasting at all hours of the day and night, to give us a sense of what these tragedies mean in proportion to its extensive coverage of the bloodshed in civilian areas. For every day you spend protesting the 1,200 civilian casualties the Iraqi government claimed, you'd have to spend a minimum of 200 days protesting Saddam's reign of terror, and since Ms. Dowd seems to be worried about Syria, 30 days protesting Hafez Assad's Hama massacre, alone. This doesn't include the countless days they'd have to spend celebrating, at a rate of 1,200 a day, the tens of thousands of Iraqis who will now live because Saddam no longer soils the ground in Baghdad.

During the runup to this war, many people asked a lot of questions, and doubtless, some in the anti-war movement convinced themselves enough to ask, "What if we're wrong? What if Saddam is telling the truth and there are no torture chambers? What if Saddam is telling the truth and he doesn't condone terrorism? What if the Iraqis are willing to live with Saddam and don't want us there?" The war itself has exposed these worries as the ridiculous falsehoods that they are, and stripped away all the illusions we may have had about Saddam's innocence. Why Ms. Dowd continues to don a veil of ignorance, even at this hour, about the atrocities we're fighting against is mystifying.

PATRICKRUFFINI.COM IS BACK UP as of five minutes ago. But this site will remain active until I can get Movable Type installed, which will probably be in a couple of days. All of your permalinks/bookmarks should lead directly here until that happens.

IT'S 1776 and 1989 in Baghdad this morning. What do want to bet Al Jazeera is playing the Omar Sharif E! True Hollywood Story as we speak?

April 08, 2003

HEART OF TEXAS: Congratulations to Ben for his surprise move to Sen. John Cornyn's office. I think he's made the right career move.

PATRICKRUFFINI.COM HELD HOSTAGE: DAY 4

BUSH WITH BLAIR TODAY: Relaxed, confident, victorious.

April 07, 2003

WEEKEND FROM HELL: If case you're tried to access my site any time since Friday night and are wondering what's going on, here's your answer: yes, it's that bad. Well, not bad in the sense of my 840 or so entries getting zapped, but my web site has been inaccessible for almost 72 hours now, and out of desperation (and in anticipation of Iraq Liberation Day), I'm setting up shop here at Blogspot temporarily.

At around 2:48 a.m. on Saturday, someone with the IP address 202.156.2.130 accessed my site and attempted to run all sorts of weird PHP commands off a query string in the URL, apparently attempting to upload (or, wget, in the vernacular) a hacker application hosted at egold-asian.com, a "legitimate business" in Hong Kong. If I were Chemical Ali nasty, I'd hope they got SARS.

Apparently, this triggered some alarm bells over at my ISP (although nothing bad happened), and I've been locked out of my site since 4:46 a.m. on Saturday. I am aware of a reported vulnerability in my antediluvian Greymatter setup wherein someone can post PHP code to the comments, and someone has in fact tried to do this without success. (Examples here, and it's explained further here.) But this is not what happened this time, and I've never heard of a hole in Greymatter that could allow someone to actually upload stuff by manipulating an URL — at least that's what my server logs say happened. Anyway, it's not clear that my server was ever actually in any danger, and I'm working to get the real thing back up as soon as possible. And yes, I'm getting Movable Type. Soon.

In the meantime, you can still e-mail me your comments at me {at} patrick ruffini {dot} com. I have to hack in to read my mail, but I'm not totally cut off.