WOW. Nobel Literature prizewinner Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote a phenomenal account of the Elian saga in mid-March, and even if you’ve overdosed on this issue, you should read it. In addition to many other points, he elucidates a thought that’s crossed my mind a few times, but I’ve never verbalized:

Nevertheless, the legal and historical loss could be far more costly for the United States than an electoral one, as more than 10,000 U.S. children are currently dispersed throughout various parts of the world, taken from their country by one of their parents without the authorization of the other. The gravity of the situation for them is that if the parents remaining in the United States wish to recover them, the precedent of Elian could be utilized to prevent it.

Eric Alterman is one of my new heros:

Think about it. This is a story that directly involves maybe a half-dozen people. There was no murder, no death, no physical harm done to anyone. The law, moreover, is not terribly complicated. Legally speaking, parents even parents living in countries of which we do not approve speak for their six-year-old children, period. If the media had not gotten hold of Elian in the first few days of his Florida arrival, he would have been shipped back to Cuba according to the law and that would have been that.

Likewise, Michael Kinsley chronicles the consistent push by the Republicans for parental control and rights… that is, until Elian came along. Quoting from their 1992 election platform: “For more than three decades, the liberal philosophy has assaulted the family on every side. Today, its more vocal advocates… deny parental authority and responsibility, fracturing the family into isolated individuals, each of them dependent upon — and helpless before — government. This is the ultimate agenda of contemporary socialism under all its masks.”

I’m truly worried about this country if the 11th Circuit Court eventually rules that an asylum application by a six-year-old while in the custody of American relatives (and while a benefit of free vacations to Disneyland) is valid, but a retraction of that asylum application by a six-year-old when with his biologic and legal father is invalid, and then “properly appoint[s] a legal guardian to help Elian articulate a claim for asylum.” This honestly would mean that if I could coax any statement out of my foreign relatives’ children that they wanted to stay here, I could then just whisk the kids away, and petition a court to keep ‘em. (Dammit, sometimes I hate MSNBC. The article pointed to by the above URL used to contain that quote; they have since changed it.)

Neato — an entire webserver written in PostScript. Apparently the product of a desire to learn PostScript combined with a challenge of sorts to see if a webserver could be implemented in the language.

It still amazes me that there are intelligent people out there who believe that there is some backdoor password in Microsoft’s IIS webserver. People, keep up here — there is no backdoor password. That entire news story was generated by a single NT box on which the administrators (ostensible security experts, I might add) had lessened the default security settings. What there is is a buffer-overflow condition; the Microsoft bulletins are here and here.

This all came up because a true password vulnerability was discovered in RedHat Linux 6.2 this week — there’s a default password that is installed on the Piranha web administration tools, and with this password, you can do anything that you want on the machine. If you run a RedHat Linux 6.2 machine, you will want to go and get the patched RPM at the above link.

O.J. Simpson is still actively trying to “find the real killer” (*ahem* trying to regain any respect in the world), but a judge has thrown out his lawsuit, which “borders on being frivolous.”