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   dynastic heirs in comparison
Wednesday, July 23 2003
At the break of day this morning (or what seemed to us like the break of day to us) we took the dogs Eleanor and Sally for a walk down the Stick Trail. The cats Edna and Noah were so curious about the canid-rich outing that both of them tagged along ("tagging along" being the only sort of participatory hiking a cat can do). Sally, being oldest keeyad, still feels that enforcing tranquility in the family is her responsibility, and she is fairly strict with Eleanor regarding the cats. Generally Eleanor is more frightened of the cats than they are of her, but occasionally she'll taunt them by running at them and diving into puppy play posture. But Eleanor's integration into the family is happening surprisingly rapidly. By evening she'd already arrived at an understanding with little Edna, who I saw rubbing against Eleanor affectionately.

Edna the cat checks out Eleanor.

Eleanor on the couch with her new favorite toy. (One of Sally's old toys.)

Eleanor running around in the yard.

In just the past few days I've become a big fan of the beta version of Google News ( I've known of its existence for some months now, but the fast-changing story of the Iraqi quagmire has forced me to branch out from my usual news and meta-news sources. I needed to find a site that knows how to break news quickly, and on this score, Google News is better than anyone else. Why? Because it's run by robots, lots of robots, who continuously scan headlines from thousands of sources. The Google brand has really grown on me; I've never seen practical artificial intelligence as well-applied as I have at Google.
I guess it says something about the veracity of their past statements, because the administration's announcement that it had killed the two sons of Saddam Hussein left me wondering how manipulated I should feel. Had the sons actually been killed? Had they been killed months ago and the news only trotted out once it was politically necessary? Why was there no actual evidence being presented? And, if the story is as we're being led to believe, what does it say about spoiled Iraqi dynastic heirs in comparison to those we must endure in our own country? Would George W. Bush's drunken daughters be brave enough to go down fighting an occupying power? Would George W. Bush?

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