KISS: Keep It Secret, Stupid

The Bush administration has made secrecy a routine practice — beginning well before the Sept. 11th attacks.

The Sunday Washington Post has an excellent article about how the Bush administration has made the practice of secrecy and non-disclosure a routine practice.

What’s more appalling is that this isn’t in response to September 11th, but in fact began well before the events on that day. And the practice is not just bugging the liberals, there are plenty of conservative public interest groups who are seriously concerned about the new philosophy, enough so to go to court.

Larry Klayman, the Executive Director of Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, said the Bush administration’s attitude is one of “arrogance throughout — that the government is not to be questioned.”

Politicians need watchdogging, and the Bush administration needs it more than most. And they know it. Why else would they be keeping all those secrets?

Update: John Dean (remember him? White House counsel to Nixon?) wrote an op-ed piece on the problems with Bush’s attempts to keep the work of the president hidden behind executive orders and other tactics.

I wonder what he’s hiding.

The Last Be Press Release?

Hopefully this will not be the last Be press release. A victory press release in their lawsuit against Microsoft (followed immediately by a victory lap around the Valley) would be nice.

I was playing with the Google Toolbar earlier today, and discovered another weblog that was linking to mine.

Dan Sandler is another former Be employee, though he and I never met or worked at Be at the same time. He noted the passing of Be from a press release, and also wrote a nice essay about what it was like to work there, and then leave.

Hopefully the press release won’t be Be’s last. A victory over Microsoft in their lawsuit would almost certainly generate enough money to send out one last note to the world. We can all hope.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

A spectacular movie, robbed at the Oscars.

Rochelle and I watched this last night, recorded off Stars onto our TiVo. (I had seen it before, in a theater, but it was Rochelle’s first viewing.)

Even on the small screen, this is an astonishing movie. Most of the many, many Chinese historical / fantasy action movies are long on action, and short on plot — if there’s any discernible plot at all. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon proved that adding great writing to the usual elements could produce a movie that is not only likely the best in its genre, but also a Great Film.

It blows me away that this movie was beaten by Gladiator in the Best Picture category of the Academy Awards. While Gladiator is a decent, enjoyable movie, in anything but the short run it’s completely forgettable. (It would have been forgivable to have given the honor to Traffic, itself a great movie.)

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is anything but forgettable. Make sure you see this movie.

What a Difference a Day Makes

Fox’s new TV show, 24, is the best new show on commercial television. It’s intense, riveting, and frighteningly timely. If you haven’t started watching it yet, start this Friday with the encore presentation of hour #2.

Fox’s new TV show, 24, is the best new show on commercial television. It’s intense, riveting, and frighteningly timely.

The basic plot is that there’s an assassination threat to the Democratic presidential candidate, on the day of the California primary. Jack Bauer (Keifer Sutherland) is the CIA counter-terrorist team leader who is called in to stop it. Each of the season’s 24 episodes is one hour long, both in the real world and on the show, and covers the 24-hour period on that one day.

If you haven’t been watching it yet, you should get caught up while you can (encore episode is Friday!). Once you miss the first couple episodes, I think you’ll be too far behind to get into it.