Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The UN: hoist by its own computers

You gotta love it: a computer error reveals another shabby UN action, this time a coverup of the explosive allegations of a connection between Syrian President Assad's family and associates, and Hariri's assassination in Lebanon:

The United Nations withheld some of the most damaging allegations against Syria in its report on the murder of Rafik Hariri, the former Lebanese Prime Minister, it emerged yesterday. The names of the brother of Bashar al-Assad, President of Syria, and other members of his inner circle, were dropped from the report that was sent to the Security Council.

The confidential changes were revealed by an extraordinary computer gaffe because an electronic version distributed by UN officials on Thursday night allowed recipients to track editing changes.

Isn't the modern age wonderful?

I know those editing programs. I've done some free-lance editing, and have been required at times to track my changes. It's a nifty little thing where your edits show up in blue or red or whatever color you happen to choose. When you send the document, there's a version that looks normal, and then with one magical click the removed material suddenly appears--usually with a strikeout line though it--and the additions leap into color. Very helpful for the top editor to see what you've done and how you've done it, without having to perform a laborious line-by-line comparison.

But computers are such funny things--one little click of the mouse and you can make the Mother of All Errors. You can send an e-mail to the wrong person--to spouse instead of lover, to boss instead of friend. Or, in this case, the wrong version of an e-mail to the wrong person. Big trouble in either case, private or public.

Or sometimes your computer just takes over, and ups and does it all for you. Mine once went on a rampage and sent copies of what was, thankfully, a fairly innocuous and even boring e-mail of mine out to four or five randomly selected people from my address box, including someone with whom I'd had only business dealings. I apologized for my computer's wild ways, but unfortunately it kept happening over and over every few days, to the point where the business person asked me to stop harassing her, and I had call in some sort of computer doctor to advise me on how to fix the glitch.

So I can feel the UN's pain--not! It couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of scoundrels, in my opinion. The UN's long long record of kissing up to tyrants, of anti-Semitism cloaked as anti-Zionism, and of rampant corruption, has made me deeply distrust nearly everything they do. So this coverup of the possible Assad connection is not a surprise, and the computer faux pas gives me no end of satisfaction.


At 12:44 PM, October 25, 2005, Blogger Sigmund, Carl and Alfred said...

Excellent post.

I suspect your post may be prophetic- I have no doubt the release of the document, sans editing, will be blamed on 'the Jews.'

The UN has longed proved itself to be a monument to mediocrity, stupidity and pettiness. It is beyond me that we are footing most of the bill.

At 12:55 PM, October 25, 2005, Anonymous GT said...

Watch that story fall on the face of the earth...unless, of course, the US were involved. In that case, it would be international news for the next 6 months. I'm fairly certain, however, that global warming, or perhaps Dick Cheney had something to do with it. Does Spike Lee ever read this blog? He'll have all the answers soon.

At 1:11 PM, October 25, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's time the UN went the way of the League of Nations. That pricey real estate on the East Side would make a great site for a Wal-Mart! ;-)

Seriously, we could yank the few UN agencies that are actually of some value to the international community out of the UN, and fund them separately. Then create a new international organization comprised solely of democracies that share our values.

At 6:34 PM, October 25, 2005, Blogger Assistant Village Idiot said...

The United Nations is actually the United Governments. And only about half of the world's governments are anything we'd want to associate ourselves with.

At 7:31 PM, October 25, 2005, Blogger terrye said...

Does the ICC prosecute thieves?

At 10:19 PM, October 25, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

I understand now why the UN headquarters was blown up in Iraq shortly after the invasion - the Iraqis are much smarter than we give them credit for

At 2:35 AM, October 26, 2005, Blogger camojack said...

Evict the Untied [yes, I meant to spell it thataway] Nations now!

At 5:36 AM, October 26, 2005, Anonymous Paul said...

The UN,to me, is an organization that exists despite it's lack of getting very little done. Do we really need it and need to spend all the money that we do to be a part of a basically impotent organization?

At 6:18 AM, October 26, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

The UN building would make a wonderful shelter for the homeless - something good could come of it yet. Talk about a pack of 3rd world beggars out to hustle money from the West and rich Arabs! The analogy to the League of Nations is an apt one. And to think the Left kept harping that the UN should be in charge in Iraq. It's enough to make a grown man vomit.

At 7:44 AM, October 26, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At one of my previous workplaces I witnessed the mother of all e-mail screw-ups. The place had hundreds of employees. Before going away on vacation, one of them set up an automatic out-of-office reply along the lines of "I'll be away until next monday, etc...". Instead of replying to "Sender", she set the response to reply to "Everyone", i.e. all of the people in the organization. And of couse her own address was in the group "Everyone".

The first e-mail recieved caused a response to be sent to "Everyone", including the Sender. Another was sent in response to the repsonse, causing hundreds more e-mails to be sent out, again including the sender. This happened again and again, causing the inboxes of everyone in the organization to fill up with thousands of e-mails in minutes. Unfortunately this happened on a Friday evening and nobody noticed until Monday morning, by which time the whole computer system had crashed.

Lesson: be careful out there.

At 8:28 AM, October 26, 2005, Anonymous phil said...

The Decline and Fall of the Worlds Oldest Cheerleader

Everybody knew somehow that Dick Clark’s gig as the Worlds Oldest Teenager would eventually come to an end. After all, there is no provision in popular culture for an 80 year old teenager; after a while even the most vacant among us realize that he’s just an empty husk, a painted-up old man masquerading as a child. In the end all one can do is turn away from the tawdry, sorry spectacle.

Well, George Bush’s reign as the Worlds Oldest Cheerleader seems to be reaching the same sorry conclusion. All but the most vacant among us knew that, similar to Clark, Bush was masquerading as a competent leader. Like Clark, Bush too is now revealed to be what he was all along; an empty husk, a tired old man grasping to the last for what the sentient among us knew all along he never was. As his presidency reaches its well-deserved conclusion, imploding into a worthless pile of shit, here too I expect that eventually we’ll need to turn away from the tired, tawdry spectacle of the 59 year old cheerleader listlessly waving his red white and blue pompoms while covered in his own excrement.

Bush suddenly looks lost and forlorn; the foul bastard seems to have aged 10 yeas in the last month. The colossal pyramid of lies, deceptions and half-truths has finally come crashing down on the band of sissy-hawks at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. The slimy Rove and the chameleon Libby twist slowly in the stinking breeze, unable to help their bosses stem the steady shitrain. The Republican Congress can’t help either, what with the spectacle of that cockroach Delay offering to help the plastizoid stick figure Frist launder the remains of his ill-gotten millions. Former goose-stepping GOPatriots like Santorum and Brownback drag themselves away from their mirrors only long enough to issue the occasional guttural unpleasantry, well aware that the current crisis could drive them even further under their rocks. The Sunday talk shows are left to the sacrificial sheep Kay Bailey Hutchinson and George Allen who can only impotently deliver the thoroughly discredited Administration line through clenched jaws and hope for revenge against the party hacks and snakes that put them up to it. You know that things have gotten bad for Republicans when that bloodthirsty whore Pat Robertson seems like their lone voice of reason. Seated at the right hand of the devil, Richard Nixon looks on with a knowing, bemused gaze; he’s saving a good seat for his friend Cheney.

The sorry pack of charlatan scumbags that make up the GOP Congressional Majority surely must know that their days are numbered. But instead of circling the wagons in a defensive position they remain grimly on the offensive against the same folks who elected them. They know they their legacy is secure; along with Bush they have managed to increase non-defense discretionary spending at a rate exceeding that under LBJ. Unlike LBJ though, ordinary Americans won’t taste any of the spoils. While LBJ diverted your tax dollars to those who needed them, Bush and the GOP have overseen a massive re-distribution of wealth to those who don’t need it. The recent highway bill is but the most recent example, the pork is legendary but the GOP sticks to Tom Delay’s script that they have pared it to the bone. Through their talk radio outlets the GOP sends out another grim message to the compliant masses that they should take their screwing like men. Listeners are puzzled about why they should pay for that bridge to nowhere in Alaska and they can’t figure out why as part of the energy bill the GOP has given Exxon Mobil, who already has $27 billion in cash, another $2.5 billion of their tax dollars. But they are conditioned by 5 years of talk radio, Fox News and by willing self-deception to accept their screwing with stoic compliance. Their reward, they’re told, will come in the afterlife; their earthly rewards are being diverted to the drug companies and Halliburton.

As the GOP Ship of State lurches further to starboard the desperate rats on board continue to flail away at their countrymen. They’ll pay for a capital gains tax cut (which benefits only the top 1% of Americans) by cutting your grandmother’s health insurance. They’ll build Don Young’s bridge, divert billions to Archer Daniels Midland, Halliburton and the large drug companies, passing the costs on to your children and grandchildren. Oh yeah, and don’t forget their claim to be the party of morality!

So the Bush house of cards is collapsing. With it will hopefully come some blessed fiscal relief from the incessant rape that the GOP has bestowed upon their loyal subjects for the last 5 years. Bush and the GOP Congress know that if the people in the heartland grow weary of the talk radio pimps and liars encouraging them to continue to deceive themselves about the motivation of their “leaders” it’s all over. After years of willing self-immolation they’ll be burning for revenge against the pious scumbags who offered them soothing reassurance on social issues while at the same time stealing their wallets. After all, they’ll reason, who gives a shit about stem cells when they can’t pay the mortgage? Will they or their kids and grandkids really care about who is legally allowed to get married when they’re drowning under a colossal sea of debt incurred by Bush and their leaders to reward the wealthy? Who’ll want to argue about intelligent design when we’re all in constant danger from terrorists as a result of Bush’s disastrous Iraq war?

So as the Bushtanic lists even more dangerously, the right wing talkmeisters and sycophantic bloggers rush furiously around rearranging the deck chairs, well aware of the grim reality that their discredited days of encouraging compliant Americans to kick their own asses are numbered. They’re aware that pulling the inflation cords on their personal flotation devices will surely break the permanent bond between their lips and Bush’s ass, but they know that they must either flee the sinking presidency or go down along with it. The most merciful conclusion for the sake of the country would be for the foul craft to sink swiftly to the bottom, leaving a nasty, slimy residue that it will take the rest of us years to clean up. Whether by gravity or by God, would that it were so.

At 9:27 AM, October 26, 2005, Anonymous notherbob2 said...

Well done, Phil. Excellent entry in your quest to achieve fame as the World’s Most Clueless Liberal. The idiocy level of each charge in your comment was just right and by covering every single liberal agenda point in your compendium you have made the total idiocy of your comment even greater than its parts. Any reasonable reader would have no choice but to grant you their vote. Masterful!
One suggestion: your sinking ship metaphor is a bit confusing when it refers to pulling the inflation cords. Would Bush followers be that bright? Just a thought. Good luck on your quest.

At 10:28 AM, October 26, 2005, Anonymous Jp said...

Phil, all I can say is 'wow.' Long, bitter, laced with hatred, that's quite an entry. I'm glad I'm not you because it must be tough for you to just get through the day. Maybe this will help: the economy does what it does so stop thinking the world's coming to an end because a republican is in the white house. Stop also thinking that the dempcrat that does get elected is going ot fix everything - it's never happened before, so why believe it? Have a beer, you need it.

At 9:11 PM, October 26, 2005, Blogger Assistant Village Idiot said...

I note a lack of actual submitted evidence in Phil's rant. I score it a 5.7, but I'm afraid the degree of difficulty isn't very high, so he won't be scoring well this round.

I think the Iranian judge gave him a 6.0, though.

At 9:30 AM, October 27, 2005, Blogger Harry Mallory said...

Wow! Just read Phil's entire rant! The sheer weight of tolerance and enlightenment contained in those words is breath-taking.

At 2:09 PM, October 30, 2005, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Phil actually wrote pretty well. Logical, consistent, and very descriptive, full of alliterations and all manners of goodies.

Quite a well written piece of satire.

Not exactly what I'd look for in propaganda however. Too obvious, way too obvious.

Who other than an English and Rhetoritician can come up with this line?

"The slimy Rove and the chameleon Libby twist slowly in the stinking breeze, unable to help their bosses stem the steady shitrain."

Slowly Stinking ... Stem the Steady Shitrain

Okay, so it is crude, but the S alliterations, if not understated, are at least consistent. Even if some of the words are mangled, but that just lends a greater air of malevolence and utter degradation to the meaning of the words themselves. Quite a nice touch, if I may say so myself.

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