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If You Look Closely, You Can See The Exact Moment His Heart Breaks
Monday, September 29, 2003
I found this on the ground, in the parking lot out by the mall.
This is just the saddest goddamn thing I've ever seen in my life.
Thursday, September 18, 2003
Some of you were wondering how Little Charlotte, the former laboratory dog, is doing in her new environment.
Wednesday, September 17, 2003
I know very little about Wesley Clark, and already I'm not happy. But first, an important disclaimer:
Clark, once a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, graduated first in his class from West Point in 1966. He commanded a mechanized infantry company in Vietnam, was wounded four times and won the Silver Star and two Bronze Stars. Now, a Silver Star is a very serious combat badge. No matter what else I might say about General Clark, he's shown real courage and brains and I respect him for that.
So what's not to like? Hillary, is what.
Without Hillary - now co-chair of his campaign - Clark would be a virtual nobody, unfunded and ignored, trailing somewhere behind Moseley-Braun and just ahead of Joe Lieberman. Sure, he'd be an interesting vice-president, but as the lead guy? I can name fifty sitting state governors who are more qualified than he is.
Yes, Clark is a retired General, but that is simply not a primary qualification for being President. And yes, Ike was a General and he did all right, but for fucks's sake, Ike was the Supreme Allied Commander during WWII. Ike is on the first page of everyone's list of the greatest generals of modern times. Clark? Gimme a fucking break.
If there has been another man who credibly tried to ride four stars into the oval office in the last hundred and
Let's face it: Clark is on the radar only because Hillary put him there. To this day, the Clintons are probably the most powerful single force in Democratic party politics. Hillary's presence will draw serious money into his campaign, and will attract the support of some of the heavy hitters who make the real decisions behind the scenes.
The redoubtable Ms. Clinton can be called a lot of things, but she is certainly not politically naive and she is the last person who is going put her own political ambitions aside. She came on board and single-handedly made this guy competitive because she expects him to win, and because she expects his win to benefit her.
Clark - who didn't even decide he was a Democrat until a few months ago - has no political experience, no public voting record, and no discernable prior position on any public issues. He's a blank slate, perfect for molding into the exact form that the situation requires.
My suspicions are that Clark, in his raw form, might not be exactly what the Democrats are looking for. Not all military people think alike, of course, but it's no surprise that they tend to be socially conservative. These are people who generally think very little of affirmative action, who are not great environmentalists, who are not huge fans of gay rights and who have a firm, law-and-order contempt for criminals and welfare cheats. Clark converted to Roman Catholicism as an adult and it is fair to assume that abortion might not sit too well with him, either.
Nonetheless, my expectation is that Clark will magically transcend all this, and turn out to be just right on all the important issues: he will be pro-choice and pro-gay, he will support affirmative action, he will rail against Bush's environmental record, and he will exude nothing but compassion for America's downtrodden masses.
In short, I expect he will be Hillary's Golem. He's untrammeled clay for her to shape into the form that best serves her, so that she might breathe life into him and send him forth to do her bidding.
Everybody knows that the War on Terror has divided the Democrats. A substantial fraction of the party faithful are anti-war, a stance that poisons their relationship with much of the rest of the electorate. Clark seems purpose-built for the task - an "anti-war" General, he can appeal to both sides and seem somehow responsible and authoritative while he does it. His stance on the issues can be custom-tailored to fit the exact needs of the times, and without a voting record or a history of accepting campaign contributions, he can turn on a dime and change these positions as the situation demands.
He is would be the exact antithesis of what a good representative would be. He would be all of my prior criticisms of Hillary encapsulated into a new and cleaner form.
Maybe he'll surprise me. Maybe he'll come out and say he's pro-life, or that the military has taught him the value of merit over affirmative action. Maybe he'll talk about his opposition to gay right or discuss, in detail, how to lead the offensive in the War on Terror with or without the support of the UN.
But I'll bet money we won't see it happen. After all, Hillary is involved, and he needs her in order to win.
Be On The Lookout
Friday, September 5, 2003
Have a good look at this asshole:
He's a little guy, maybe 5-foot-5 and 130 pounds, and he's asthmatic, too. He is considered handsome, despite a rather pronounced nose. He speaks English and has lived for a while in Miami, Florida, and he has a Florida driver's license.
He's also known as Jaffar the Pilot, and the FBI believes that he has assumed a role similar to that of Mohammed Atta, the leader of the 19 hijackers responsible for 9/11. He has had flight training in Florida, and has had some unspecifed experience with gasoline tankers. Alert readers will recall that both gasoline and hazmat tankers have featured prominantly in plans for previous Al Queda attacks against the United States.
He is one of four men wanted, right now, by the FBI. I recognise one of the remaining three, a man named Abderraouf Jdey. He was among those who's left behind tapes of themselves pledging martydom, the sorts of tapes that suicide bombers make before they are sent out on their missions.
Know their faces. If these men are active now in the states there are probably a thousand Americans who have recently looked them right in the eyes.
Digital Rights Management and The End Of The Universe
Wednesday, September 9, 2003
Imagine I were to give you a computer and turn you loose on the internet. You could read text, see pictures, watch movies and animations, play music and enjoy interactive games. You can save these things to view them later, and share them with your friends. You can print them, burn them on CDs, edit them and modify them and create new things from pieces of old things. Most of it is free, too.
You can publish things, and remain anonymous if you wish. You can indulge your curiosity in embarrassing ways and visit porn sites, pictures-of-dead-bodies sites, radical revolutionary sites, and learn all sorts of stuff about everything, even if it is the sorts of things that decent people don't usually discuss. You enjoy a remarkable freedom because the whole place is incredibly open and unregulated; nobody owns it, organized it, controls it, edits it, censors it, manages it, rations it, or even really keeps track of what ordinary people do with it.
This is all going to change in a big way.
DRM will, of course, make it impossible for you to copy things without the author's permission. That's what it's for. DRM will also make it easy and common for most commercial websites to charge a fee to each person who visits. Sadly, DRM cannot do any of this unless DRM is required of everyone who goes on line. Use of DRM, like use of a credit card, also means that you have to surrender your anonymity and leave behind a record of everything you do. DRM also requires that your computer be limited to perform only those functions which government and industry allows it to perform; DRM will be built into your browser, your graphic programs, your scanner and CD burner, even your hard drives. Seriously.
DRM simply can't be made to work at all unless it is this pervasive. I'm not speculating about how it might someday be misused; DRM is designed to do exactly what I just described.
In short, DRM provides a mechanism to organize, control, edit, censor, manage, ration, and track every machine you wish to connect to the internet.
DRM is made possible by two things: technology and law. Up until now, internet techies like myself have felt pretty comfortable about our remarkable freedom because we assumed that neither technology or law would have sufficient force to ever regulate the internet. We didn't think that anything could ever put the Genie back in the bottle. We were wrong.
It's perfectly possible to force people into using only regulated computers, and to compel them to only perform permitted actions with them. All it takes is the eager cooperation of computer hardware manufacturers, and tough federal laws that impose penalties on ISPs who do not comply.
Tomorrow's computer will not be a general purpose computer like the one you have now. Currently, you can buy any sort of device that anyone cares to build - say, a device for copying CDs, or a device for scanning copyrighted works - and you can go ahead and connect it to your own computer without anybody's permission. Tomorrow's computer won't work like that. Tomorrow's computer won't mount a device unless the device driver is digitally signed, and that signature is only available to devices that meet the standards of the signer.
Your Linux box won't be using signed drivers anytime soon, but your Windows XP box is set up to require them right now, and your Mac will probably be forced to use them in a the near future. If the law requires it, Apple will surely comply.
So, maybe open-source Linux is the way to go?
The first step - which we are seeing right now - is that older computers will be unable to view content made with newer machines. By this time next year, every new copy of Microsoft Office will be producing DRM-protected documents that can only be read if you are running a DRM-capable machine. Sure, you can still produce non-DRM content, of course, but commercial content providers will quickly take advantage of this.
If you think you will be able to read cnn.com on your Linux box after DRM machines comprise the vast majority of the market, you are probably mistaken. Commercial providers have a huge interest is protecting their material - it is, after all, how they make their living. They will not sweat it if a tiny, stubborn minority of non-paying customers are excluded.
The next step will be filters at the ISPs which only allow DRM machines to connect. Currently, ISPs who allow open SMTP ports to be abused by spammers are already facing legal action, and ISP who host Kaazaa users have already forced to turn over their records. Once DSM becomes a commonly-accepted industry standard, you can bet the ISPs are going to be required to go along with it.
The biggest kick in the ISPs teeth happens when DRM is used to support financial transactions. People who circumvent DRM will then be no different from counterfeiters. The legal penalties for subverting the system, or for assisting others to subvert it, will be severe.
These steps will be primarily justified as security measures, not copyright protections. Want to stop spam? You need DRM to authenticate your email. Want to stop viruses? You'll need DRM to authorize your computer program or it won't run. Want to publish your own website? Better use DRM to control access, lest the children find their way to adult content.
Oh, it's coming, all right, and I don't think anything is going to stop it, either.
1) Oh, Mike, you are forgetting the great worldwide strength of the internet. I'll just post my content on a server located in Burma.
Sure. And how, exactly, will I see it if my DRM machine won't let me see it, and I can't get my Linux box to connect anymore?
2) Um... well, a bunch of us will get together and form our own, outlaw internet then.
Good luck. The government (via the FCC) maintains very rigid control of communications media, and without media, there's no net to inter on. How will your outlaw internet work? Radio waves? Pirate ISPs who magically reroute the phone lines to evade the police? Tin cans and string?
3) OK, well, people will never accept this. The laws won't pass.
Sure they will. The industry types love it because it solves their copyright problems. Government loves it because it gives them control, businesses love it because it protects them from hackers and viruses, housewives love it because their children are saved from the horrors of adult content, and ordinary people won't even see it coming, or care much, so long as it's introduced one small step at a time. You think Linux users are real big voting block? Think again.
4) So, we'll unleash the hacker army and break it.
You might get away with that for a while, but not long. The core technology involved here is nothing more elaborate than public key encryption. The implementation will surely have some holes, but as you do the hard work of uncovering them, these holes will eventually be filled. When you find a hacker who can break the PGP authentication I use and who can send me a letter signed with my own private key, give me a call. I won't be holding my breath.
5) Dude, you are such a downer.
Yeah, I know.
Seriously, now - if anybody thinks I overlooked something important here, let me know. I'd love to be wrong about this.
If my comments aren't working yet, Jay Solo has graciously offered to host comments at his place.
My comments section seems to be working now.
Tuesday, September 2, 2003
My wife emailed this one to me this morning:
The CIA had an opening for an assassin. After all of the background checks, interviews, and testing were done there were three finalists... two men and a woman.
For the final test, the CIA agents took one of the men to a large metal door and handed him a gun.
"We must know that you will follow your instructions, no matter what the circumstances. Inside this room, you will find your wife sitting in a chair. Kill her!"
The man said, "You can't be serious. I could never shoot my wife."
The agent said, "Then you're not the right man for this job."
The second man was given the same instructions. He took the gun and went into the room. All was quiet for about five minutes. Then the man came out with tears in his eyes. "I tried, but I can't kill my wife."
The agent said, "You don't have what it takes. Take your wife and go home."
Finally, it was the woman's turn. She was given the same instructions, to kill her husband. She took the gun and went into the room. Shots were heard, one shot after another. They heard screaming, crashing, banging on the walls. After a few minutes, all was quiet. The door opened slowly and there stood the woman. She wiped the sweat from her brow, and said, "This gun is loaded with blanks. I had to beat him to death with the chair."
Moral: Women are evil. Don't mess with them.
Did I mention my wife emailed this to me?
FedEx Ground SUCKS
Friday, August 29, 2003
Picture your local FedEx driver. If your driver is like mine, you'll probably imagine a nice, helpful person who delivers your package quickly and with a minimum of fuss. If you have a problem, you can always contact the local office and you can expect to get your problem fixed. The FedEx folks are the good guys.
Now take you local FedEx driver and put him into a malfunctioning Star Trek transporter. Two drivers will come out. See that one there, with the goatee? That's FedEx Ground, the dark, evil twin who will deliver nothing for you but chaos and regret.
FedEx Ground is not regular FexEx - it's an entirely different organization, apparently made of up contractors, retarded monkeys, and homeless people lured in off the street. They are a stunningly inept and downright callous organization, the sort of thing that simply should not exist in a functioning free market economy.
Think I'm kidding? Read on.
I recently had a computer shipped from somewhere in Middle America to my home in upstate New York. Whoever took charge of my package made mistake number one and routed it to the wrong city, nearly sixty miles away. Nonetheless, their driver kindly attempted to deliver it to my home, but declined to navigate my long driveway and took the package back.
Fair enough. One small mistake, and one good-faith effort to make it right. That's good service, and I'm happy so far. They call and ask me what to do, and I ask them to please send my package to my local FedEx office where I can pick it up. Wonderful, no problem. Thanks a lot.
That was Monday.
Late Tuesday afternoon I stop by the local office, and there's no package. The lady at the desk tells her supervisor she's got "another FedEx Ground problem" and starts making calls. She informs me that "the girl was out today" and that my package will surely be here tomorrow afternoon.
The girl was out? They didn't have a spare? OK, whatever.
On Wednesday my package is sent to Town Number Two, still sixty miles from my home and about a hundred miles from where it was the day before. The nice lady at the desk tells me that she'll have my package for me the following day, probably around one o'clock.
On Thursday afternoon I try again. My package is still in Town Number Two, and the tracking system has it flagged as 'delivered'. The local FedEx office has tried to contact them, but the manager (who personally signed for my package) does not answer the phone and does not return his calls. In frustration, the lady at the desk finally gives me his direct number in the hope that maybe I can get through to him. I leave three messages over the course of the day, each one polite and clear, each one including the tracking number, my phone number, and the exquisitely simple instructions necessary for proper delivery. "Please send MY package to MY town? Thank you."
No reply. That night I find the section of the Fed-Ex web site that allows you to file a complaint. I write yet another a polite, complete message, headlines with the title MY PACKAGE HAS NOT ARRIVED YET and concluding with a request for a refund. About a minute after I sent it, I got an automated confirmation message telling me that the'll be happy to get right back to me. OK.
Friday afternoon I stop by the local office again, and by some astonishing bit of luck the lady behind the counter just happens to be on the phone with the unreachable Dark Lord of Town Number Two, trying to sort out yet another "FedEx Ground problem" for yet another pissed-off customer. When she's done, she hands the phone to me.
I explain my situation and ask why my calls weren't returned. The manager flatly misunderstands my situation and ignores the part about not returning my calls. I repeat myself. He again ignores the part about the unreturned calls and eventually finds what he thinks is my package. He reads my phone number off the package, which is clearly labeled Hold In Town Number Two For Customer Pick Up. "We were wondering what to do with this one" he tells me.
Hang on, now... my phone number is on the package? WHY DIDN'T YOU CALL ME??! "It didn't say to call" he explains. Why didn't you return the three messages I left you? "I didn't get them" he says.
You lying cocksucker. I suggested that he deliver my fucking package right away before I personally came down there and stomped the rancid fat out of his head, but not in quite so many words. My package arrived on Monday, exactly one week after my adventure began. This whole problem could have been quickly wrapped up if this asshole manager had the common courtesy to return even a single message.
So, let's recap, shall we? The first mistake was made when they routed my package to the wrong place. The second and third mistakes were made by the receiving office, and the fourth and fifth mistakes were made by the following office a hundred miles away. Based on the comments overheard during my frequent visits to my local office, I was not the only customer having a hard time with these people.
This was not just a one-time thing, and it was not just the fault of low-level people. This entire outfit is really fucked.
And here's the best part: it's been over a week since I requested my refund and I have still not received a reply. Apparently, a message beginning with the phrase MY PACKAGE HAS NOT ARRIVED YET is not a high priority for these folks.
Maybe I'm Just An Ignorant Suburban Farm Boy...
... but if we are going to consider this whole CIA-leak thing to be such a big goddamn deal, why not subpoena the six fucking reporters who talked to this guy? They all know who he is.
Y'know, Clancy, this could be just the evidence we need to bust this case wide open!
It's not like reporters enjoy special constitutional powers that exempt them from this sort of thing. I mean, seriously, why are we even discussing this? Why aren't these people talking to the Justice Department right now?
Excellent Post Of The Day
USSC offers some remarkably good insight into the changes happening in Iraq.
Things like this have the power to change the whole world. Hey, it's happened before...
Fun Site Of The Day
Try the Reaction Time Trainer.
Because everyone knows, it's better to be quick, than dead.
Quote Of The Day
More DRM/Secure Computing Stuff
Wow. This ruined my whole day. (500k download)
If you don't care about the technical details, just skim past that; the good stuff comes near the end.
I don't often get to say this, but it seems even worse than I thought.
Why Lawyers Are Not Like The Rest Of Us
Ohio, like all the other states, has its own constitution. It begins with a Bill of Rights, which quite similar to the Bill Of Rights in the US Constitution.
Here's Article 4, in its entirety:
The people have the right to bear arms for their defense and security; but standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, and shall not be kept up; and the military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power.
Reading this, one might foolishly get the impression that the individual citizens of Ohio have, you know, an actual right to bear arms for their defense and security. That's probably because you're a regular human being, and not a lawyer.
I've long believed that democracies live and die by the education of their people. I suppose we should add that constitutions live and die by the personal whims of our judges.
California Debate Scorecard
I watched the first half-hour, about all that I could stand. My call?
Arnold and Huffington are idiots. Bustamonte is a slimeball. The Green party guy is a sincere, well-meaning communist.
McClintock, who I had earlier dismissed as a moonbat, actually impressed me. He seemed like the only responsable adult in the room.
Quote Of The Day
Peter Gutmann, on the design of computer security software:
Whenever someone thinks that they can replace SSL/SSH with something much better that they designed this morning over coffee, their computer speakers should generate some sort of penis-shaped sound wave and plunge it repeatedly into their skulls until they achieve enlightenment.
How Rumors Get Started: The Birth Of The Osama/Saddam/WMD Myth
Guess who filed this Federal Indictment:
[...] Both indictments offer new information about Mr. bin Laden's operations, including one deal he is said to have struck with Iraq to cooperate in the development of weapons in return for Mr. bin Laden's agreeing not to work against that country.
That was 1998. The indictments were filed by the Clinton administration.
Link Of The Week
A very impressive timeline of events leading to the invasion of Iraq. Really, she did a hell of a good job on this.
1995 is the key year, in my opinion. Pay close attention to that one...
Clark In A Nutshell
Wesley Clark responds to Arron Brown on the wisdom of invading Iraq:
There is terrorism in Iraq that wasn't there before. We have charged up the al Qaeda recruiting machine. I guess we could have done even a better job of reinforcing Osama bin Laden had we invaded Saudi Arabia. But next to Saudi Arabia, going into Iraq was a pretty good thing for al Qaeda. It put a U.S. and British force on the ground in an Arab country and gave them all the ammunition they needed to raise the intensity of hatred against the West.
For goodness sakes, don't hurt them, Mr. President. They might get mad.
What an ass.
After eight years away from newspapers, Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Berkeley Breathed is creating a new comic strip called "Opus," starring his beloved penguin of the same name. [...] The new strip will appear on Sundays in The Washington Post starting Nov. 23.
Go Ahead, Try To Explain This One
Toynbee tiles. Twenty cities. Fifteen years.
I'm not kidding when I say this - never underestimate crazy people. Crazy and Smart are independant variables.
Calling It Like You See It
GruntDoc does the blogosphere proud with this post. This is what blogs are for.
Another Look At Early Mankind
Thought For The Day
The President's speech tonight was pretty good. I thought David Horowitz said it better:
There is only one reason for this relative security that Americans enjoy. It is not that the terrorists have given up their violent agendas or their hatred for us. They have not. It is not because U.S. borders are secure or because U.S. internal security systems have been successfully overhauled.
That reason is the aggressive war that President Bush and the U.S. military have waged against international terrorism and its "Axis of Evil." The war on terrorism has been fought in the streets of Kabul, Afghanistan, and Baghdad instead of Washington and New York. By taking the battle to the enemy camp, by making the terrorists the hunted instead of the hunters, Mr. Bush and the U.S. military have kept Americans safe.
He has it exactly right. The bad guys have not been held at bay by all those brave men and women taking tweezers off airline passengers, and they have surely not discovered any sudden impulse towards tolerance and mercy. They have not yet hit us again is because we went on the offensive, and we have been kicking their asses ever since.
Find me a fucking Democrat who understands this and I might even vote for him.
Halliburton Made A Killing
It's true - the President gave incredibly lucrative rebuilding contracts to Halliburton in the aftermath of the war. Payments ballooned to billions of dollars, sending Halliburton's stock price soaring.
Of course, I'm talking about President Clinton and the war in Yugoslavia.
Here's a ten-year graph of Halliburton's stock price:
They are doing pretty good now, but nothing like the glory years of 1994 to 1997 when their stock more than quadrupled. Nothing helps profits like having a warmongering president redirect his entire foreign policy to help throw a little money your way.
This is an absolute scandal. I wonder why it has not received more attention?
My wife has gone to visit a friend this weekend, leaving me alone in the house with our animals. It's been barely 24 hours and already I have reverted to savagery.
I have learned much during this time.
1) A little tobacco is good. A lot of tobacco is pretty fucking good, too.
2) If you make a small pizza and burn it, it is only fair to share it with the dogs after it has cooled.
3) When you lay that second and third slice before your Irish Setter, he will raise his head from his task and look pointedly at you for a moment. This gesture will clearly communicate his message: "You, Sir, are the greatest man alive".
4) If you have a beagle, get it really excited and then, with great enthusiasm, tell it that it's "a little wiggly-dog!" over and over. The dog will actually begin to wiggle quite alarmingly.
Amazing Cutting-Edge Gun Stuff
The Smallest Minority found these links to some incredible advances in small-arms technology:
Would you like a rifle that can shoot a five-shot, five-inch group at 1,531 yards? Or how about blended-metal ammunition that inspires comments like "Armored steel or cockpit windows can't stop these rounds. Only tissue or drywall will"?
The first is an inspiring example of precision and cleverness. The second is fucking magic - I have no idea how it works.
If anyone can offer a good guess, I'd appreciate it.
Thought Of The Day
From The Buzz Machine:
I'll be thinking about this one for a while. At first glance, I think I agree.
Incredibly Ancient Artwork
The way many people see it, the history of civilization goes back maybe five or six thousand years, to the time of the Fertile Cresent, cuniform writing, and the emergence of codified law.
Modern man has probably exisited for 100,000 years or so, leaving a 95,000 year gap that presumably involved lots of sitting on rocks, sharpening sticks by the fire and making grunting noises.
It's about time that such ideas were laid to rest. Here's a photo of some very ancient artwork thought to have been produced about 30,000 years ago.
Called "The Lion Man", it is, quite clearly, an image of a lion-man. They found it in a cave in Germany.
These people were not sitting on rocks, sharpening sticks and grunting. They were seafaring, engineering, trading, exploring, reading and writing. Just like us.
The overwhelming majority of human history is forever lost. There were tens of thousands of years - tens of thousands of years! - of great kings, epic journeys, and incredible discoveries that will never be known again. Over those many, many years the world had many leaders, many great societies, many heros and villans, scientists, engineers, poets, captains and doctors, princes and soldiers and scholars... it just about makes your head explode when you try to think about it. And it's all lost now. Lost so long ago we don't even know we lost it.
There is only a lion man in Germany smiling back at us, daring us to even imagine his world.
Update: James Rummel teaches me something:
"For example, pre-historic hippo bones have been found in England. Think of that for a moment: there used to be hippos in the Thames."
"Another piece of evidence is that lions were once relatively common all throughout Italy Greece and Spain. Even most of present day France."
You see, that's the problem with the modern world. We need more lions in the streets of Paris.
I Hate Discovering Things Like This
Here's a recent FBI warning, via The Command Post:
The FBI has warned law enforcement agencies that terrorists may use nicotine and solanine as "mass poisoning agents." [...] The most likely technique for nicotine or solanine poisoning would be food, beverage or water contamination..."
Five minutes of googling later I stumble upon this little gem from the CDC detailing a mass nicotine poisoning in Michigan, in January of this year. A supermarket employee mixed concentrated nicotine (sold as an insecticide) into a large batch of ground beef. Nearly 100 people were affected, but only one required emergency treatment and none died.
One person was arrested and eventually pled guilty:
Probably not a radical Islamist, by the looks of him. Nonetheless, this comes as a painful reminder of the obvious - almost anybody can get a job at a supermarket and pull a stunt like this. Anybody at all.
It's going to be a long couple of years...
Quote Of The Day
Whenever I Hear The Word Novice, I Reach For My Revolver
Why would anyone in this day and age seriously consider a revolver as a defensive weapon?
Most people who carry handguns carry pistols, not revolvers. Pistols are generally flatter, easier to shoot, faster to reload, and more resistant to environmental abuse. No modern military in the world still issues revolvers to front-line troops and even the police have almost univerally abandoned them.
Nonetheless, I still view pistols with suspicion.
Too often they are tempermental and jam at odd times. Pistols with light triggers must be holstered carefully, and you must not forget about that safety lever when the weapon is drawn. If you intend to teach a novice to manage a pistol, you had best take your time and do a very careful job of it, lest that important distinction between "chamber" and "magazine" be forgotten.
An eager student can master it all very quickly, but not every student is eager. Regretably, even people who don't like handguns very much may still have a need to manage one. Revolvers can be a perfect solution:
As a house-gun the revolver may be placed under the control of persons who are not recreational shooters, nor particularly interested in firearms, without elaborate education or notable motivation... The otherwise preoccupied housewife may be shown how to use a wheel-gun in a couple of easy lessons, which need not be renewed with annoying frequency.
Revolvers are refreshingly simple beasts, with a simple manual of arms: Pull the trigger to go bang. Don't pull the trigger, to not go bang. That's pretty much it. The're basically Windex bottles that shoot bullets instead of glass cleaner.
If you have the skill and maturity to safely operate a car, you have everything you need to safely operate a revolver, too. So long as the law allows it, they are accessible to you. They don't call them equalizers for nothing.
Fucked Up Story Of The Week
Pizza Guy robs bank with bomb strapped on his chest; claims bad guys planted it on him to force him to do the robbery. Asks police for help, claims bomb will go off any second.
A few seconds later the bomb really goes off, killing him. The whole thing is caught on tape.
My call? He was telling the truth. The news report says he left three cats behind, so you gotta figure he was a decent guy.