Dysmey Post Archive > Pages for 2001 > The Mid-November 2001 Edition

The Mid-November 2001 Edition

This has been an interesting week.

It is a splendid example of what we Yanks call Indian summer and the Europeans call the summer of St. Martin: beautifully warm weather in the middle of November. The weekend was filled with thick fog, so that the Leonid meteor shower—which was supposed to be spectacular this year—was hidden from our eyes here. I did not even bother to wake up for it.

Last Thursday I took the CompTIA i-Net+ exam. Apart from the network equipment and DNS details, I think I did well. Since this was a beta test, however, I will not know my score until the test becomes official.

Then I got my eyes examined because I am finding myself removing my glasses when I want to see something close up. That, and the left iris twitches before the day is over. This is a sure sign that I will need bifocals, which my eye doctor confirmed. I will be getting new lens that are shaped so that there is no obvious line between near and far, yet I can wear them for distance and close up viewing. I will be getting them the Monday after Thanksgiving.

I was thrown when I was told I had to pay at least half up front. I thought my vision insurance would let me get by with a co-payment. I was not happy! I learned later that with vision insurance, unlike other forms of insurance, the insurer repays you later.

At work our network administrator got a well-deserved vacation last week. The week has been quiet except for a flaky router at one branch, and the crashing of an important server, both on Friday.

My brother came for Sunday dinner this weekend. He normally brings his big friendly dog Shaq with him, but Shaq died that Thursday. Poor Shaq! Instead he brought his stepson Shane with him. He's gotten rather bigger since I last time I saw him.


It has been written that when the basis for our freedoms has eroded away—it's largely gone now—our freedoms will crumble under a social weight they can no longer bear. All we need is a crisis to set the crumbling in motion.

September 11 appears to be that crisis.

Otherwise why do we need a homeland security office when we already have the FBI? Why do we need so many guards and federalized baggage inspectors, when they can't help you once you are in flight? To make us feel safer?

I don't think I want to carry this sick line of thought to its logical conclusion. I will let the Los Angeles Times do that for me:

"We have to get away from the ethos that knowledge is good, knowledge should be publicly available, that information will liberate us," said University of Pennsylvania bioethicist Arthur Caplan. "Information will kill us in the techno-terrorist age, and I think it's nuts to put that stuff on Web sites."

This came from an article in said newspaper reporting that the United States Government is pulling Web sites with information, that the U.S. Government deems too risky for the general public, and has also ordered all libraries that are 'federal depositories' to destroy such information. This is the modern equivalent of book burning, and the libraries (who get hot and bothered about community reactions to 'banned books' in the name of freedom) will meekly go along with this in the name of September 11.

If you love your freedom, it's time to fight for it. If, however, you are nervous, quaking bourgeois ape fearing for your lifestyle, than you don't need freedom, so just kiss it farewell.

Copyright © 2003 by Andy West. All rights reserved. Last updated 30 November 2003.