Saturday, October 22, 2005

A must read

"Custody battles are always nasty. And from the looks of things, a recent proposal to shift control of the Internet to the U.N. will be no better. Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota has brought a resolution before the U.S. Senate that would back the Bush administration's stance against the international body taking over control of the Web's infrastructure — a move that is set to be discussed in Tunisia next month. A shift in that control would hand over decision power on top-level domains, spam abatement, consumer protection and root server maintenance. Specific ideas being kicked around include rolling ICANN into the International Telecommunication Union and levying taxes on e-mail and domain names."

SOURCE

See also:

Interesting happenings with spyware

Spyware is nothing new. Spyware from a well known and 'respected' software company is another thing.

"Rejoice gaming fans, for the latest new 'feature' of Blizzard Entertainment’s smash hit multi-player online videogame World of Warcraft is here! No, it’s not a new Sword of Destruction or Staff of Power—it’s spyware! Yes, unbeknownst to many gamers, World of Warcraft now has an unwanted special feature—a hidden program called 'Warden' that snoops gamers’ computers looking for any 'unauthorized third-party program' that 'enables or facilitates cheating of any type.' According to Greg Hoglund, co-author of 'Exploiting Software, How to Break Code,' this hidden program opens every process on a gamer’s computer, from email programs to privacy managers, and sniffs email addresses, website URLs open at the time of the scan, and the names of all running programs—whether or not those programs, emails, or websites could conceivably have anything to do with hacking. Blizzard calls this an 'anti-cheating system.' We call it a massive invasion of privacy."


SOURCE

Breaking news on Supreme Court nominee

"Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers collected more than 10 times the market value for a small slice of family-owned land in a large Superfund pollution cleanup site in Dallas where the state wanted to build a highway off-ramp. The windfall came after a judge who received thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Miers' law firm appointed a close professional associate of Miers and an outspoken property-rights activist to the three-person panel that determined how much the state should pay. The resulting six-figure payout to the Miers family in 2000 was despite the state’s objections to the 'excessive” amount and to the process used to set the price. The panel recommended paying nearly $5 a square foot for land that was valued at less than 30 cents a square foot."

SOURCE

Affairs of a Sordid World: July 2005

In case you missed this from a few days ago ...

This isn't a sponsored link or some gimmick. It's a pretty awesome tool to see where the son-of-a-bitch sex offenders live around you.

Map Sex Offenders - Free US Sex Offender Registry Mapping System

See also:
Affairs of a Sordid World: One down, how many more to go?

New Orleans DA may have to shut down

The Orleans Parish DA may have to shut down if he doesn't get some money by January to help pay for saleries and other expenses. Perhaps he should ask for part of the $45 million state legislators want to spend on livestock facilities.

SOURCE

How did this happen?

Time magazine's 10/24/2005 issue features an article titled Professor of Death: "An Iraqi insurgent leader reveals how he trains and equips suicide bombers and sends them on their lethal missions."

Here we have an article of a terrorist skilled at training suicide bombers. First of all, it's not until the fifth paragraph of the story that we learn the terrorist is using a fake name to protect himself. Second, the photo of this coward shows him hiding his face with a table cloth. Third, and most important, if a Time reporter can track this terrorist down then why the hell can't the U.S. government do the same?

SOURCE

Friday, October 21, 2005

O'Reilly inaccurate! No, really?

Bill O'Reilly, in my humble opinion, seems to be a loose cannon (see also: Rush Limbaugh). This isn't the first time he's provided erroneous facts.

"On the October 19 editions of both Fox News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor and the nationally syndicated The Radio Factor, host Bill O'Reilly claimed that '3 million,' then '4 or 5 million,' illegal immigrants crossed the border last year into the United States. But these claims contradict three recent academic studies that have all put the number of new illegal immigrants arriving in the country each year at around 500,000. O'Reilly said on The O'Reilly Factor that the Border Patrol estimates it apprehends one out of every 'three or four' illegal immigrants; on The Radio Factor, he claimed that the Border Patrol apprehends one out of every 'four or five.' Using the Border Patrol's estimate of 1 million illegal immigrants detained and the one-to-three estimated ratio, he calculated on The O'Reilly Factor that 3 million crossed the border each year."

SOURCE

See also:
  • Another reason to take O'Reilly with a grain of salt: "On the October 13 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly falsely claimed that '47 states will not allow local and state police' to arrest undocumented immigrants, adding that 'only Florida, Arkansas, and Alabama have empowered authorities to detain illegals.'"

Blatant disregard for the people

The Louisiana political system is at it again, this time not in a necessarily corrupt manner. Facing state employee layoffs, a distraught education system, a ranking of second in the nation for deaths related to physical abuse and other negative aspects, state officials figure $45 million should be spent "on construction projects ranging from health labs and water wells to a sports complex and livestock facilities."

This while the state pleads for federal hurricane relief dollars.

SOURCE

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Because I don't like Tom Cruise ...

The Church of Scientology has threatened legal action in order to take over ownership of the domain name of a web site which links to the odd behaviour of one of the world's most famous scientologists, Tom Cruise ... EXPOSING TOM CRUISE'S MORONIC BEHAVIOUR IN HIS RELENTLESS CRUSADE TO PROMOTE THE CULT CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY.

A disclaimer on the site reads: YOU MUST UNDERSTAND AND AGREE TO THE FOLLOWING BEFORE CONTINUING: Obviously this website has ABSOLUTELY NO connection whatsoever with the Church of Scientology, its affiliated organizations or, needless-to-say, Tom Cruise. It is designed for commentary and criticism within the limits of Free Speech. All content should be treated as opinion and all trademarks/copyrighted material herein are owned by their respective trademark owners.

The power of approval ratings

It's amazing how, with his approval rating dropping faster than a prom dress, members of the GOP are hesitant to touch Pres. Bush with a 10 foot stack of hanging chads. The most recent example is the GOP's hesitance regarding Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers and her lack of qualifications and predilection towards ambiguity. Some Senators describe "the Supreme Court nominee's answers so far as 'incomplete to insulting.'"

SOURCE

9/11 memorials to still have terrorist appeal

"Despite the outrage of the American public over the planned memorial to those who lost their lives fighting terrorists who hijacked their plane on 9/11/2001, the Flight 93 Memorial does not appear to have changed. The 'Crescent of Embrace' design still remains on winning architect Paul Murdoch’s site, as well as the official Flight 93 Memorial site. On neither of these sites is any change mentioned or shown to the original design. Murdoch’s site does not indicate that any changes or 'refinements' will be forthcoming. To refresh memories, the problem with the design was and is the Islamic crescent symbol. The memorial to the American citizens who appear to have thwarted Islamic terrorists from completing their plan to crash the commercial airliner into the White House deteriorated into a memorial to the terrorists—not to those who tried to stop them. Far beyond a slap in the face to the United States, American citizens who died protecting their country are being marginalized. Instead, it is the terrorists who are being commemorated. The totality of this abomination is staggering."

SOURCE

See also:

FEMA blames FEMA

Initial blame for the grand ineptness displayed in Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina starts with the city's mayor, Ray Nagin, and Gov. Kathleen Blanco (see: Blame Game). Of course, fingers need to also be pointed at FEMA, Pres. Bush and others.

FEMA's Regional Director (for the Gulf Coast) Marty Bahamonde, speaking before a Senate panel investigating governmental response to the disaster, states that "he gave regular updates to people in contact with then-FEMA Director Michael Brown as early as August 28, one day before Katrina made landfall. In most cases, he said, he was met with silence or a polite thank-you from Brown, who said he would check with the White House. 'I think there was a systematic failure at all levels of government to understand the magnitude of the situation,'"

SOURCE

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Just because I don't like France, here's another story ...

The French government have, in their eternal wisdom and eclipsed only by that of the U.S., made foie gras (duck liver, my wife tells me) "part of the cultural and gastronomic patrimony, protected in France."

Next thing you know they'll be eating snails and frog legs.

SOURCE

Blogs gaining some respect

According to Aljazeera (yes, that Aljazeera), blogs are gaining momentum as respected news forums.

"Yahoo this month said it would include blogs on all its news searches, saying it would give readers more access to 'grassroots journalism.' Previously, search leader Google said it launched an engine tuned to scouring blog entries for fresh news and views. While blogs have long been frowned upon by traditional media as amateurish, analysts say the public is increasingly looking to blogs for a different perspective."

SOURCE

France to fight back?

They'll roll over in war (see: World War I, World War II, Vietnam), but mess with their wine and France will kick your ass.

"FOR YEARS, France seemed content to sit back and let the quality of wines speak for itself; and for years, slowly but surely, the rest of the world stood up, noisily made its pitch and edged French wine into a smaller share of the market. Now, the French Government has had enough — and it is going to fight back."

SOURCE

Minutemen: patriots or racists?

A group of vigilant civilians organized as a Minutemen group are patrolling the U.S.-Canadian border in Washington state. The group, armed only with binoculars and radios, originally made headlines when they set up patrols along the U.S.-Mexico border. Since then they've been labeled by some as racists on an illegal mission and by others as law abiding patriotic citizens vigilant in protecting America.

Some, like Rosalinda Guillen of the Coalition for Professional Law and Border Enforcement, have a strong antagonistic attitude towards the Minutemen. Though they're patrolling the Canadian border, Rosalinda accuses the group of being anti-Mexican. I'm guessing she's referring to their activities along the southern border and isn't stupid enough to think Mexicans are coming across the Canadian border. She adds that the group is racist.

However, Tom Williams of the Northern Minuteman Project puts it simply: "We just want everyone to come through the ports of entry like you and I do, and sign in and let Homeland Security figure out if they're supposed to be here or not. We don't want people walking across the border and blowing something up."

What Rosey and other detractors of these vigilante groups don't (or refuse to) realize is that the Minutemen groups and the majority of America don't care if people immigrate to this country. What we don't want though is people illegally sneaking into the country for any purpose — to earn a living or for terrorist purposes. If it's okay for these immigrants or vagabonds to cross the border, then why do they sneak in at night, hidden in a vehicle or by any other duplicitous manner?

SOURCE

Arrest warrant issued for DeLay

"A state court issued an arrest warrant on Wednesday for Rep. Tom DeLay, requiring him to appear in Texas for booking on state conspiracy and money laundering charges."

SOURCE

What the hell is this?

What the hell are these people doing and what do they care if Australia 'tortures' sheep?

Don't they realize 1) how stupid they look, 2) people don't care what they think and 3) no one but them cares about the sheep (except maybe some lonely guy from Arkansas)?

Yes, those are fake, bloody butts on the asses.

PETA Freaks

Blogger wins first amendment case

An anonymous blogger has succesfully been defended in a defamation case. The blogger, identified as John Doe, was being sued for comments made on the "Smyrna/Clayton Issues Blog." The Delaware Supreme Court dismissed the case claiming that "the plaintiffs failed to meet the strict standards required by the First Amendment to unmask an anonymous critic ... This is the first state supreme court to rule on a 'John Doe' subpoena or to address bloggers' rights."

SOURCE

SPJ Undercuts First Amendment With Miller Award

From Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting:

10/19/05

The Society of Professional Journalists' decision to give its prestigious "First Amendment Award" to embattled New York Times reporter Judith Miller is a blow to freedom of expression. By rewarding a reporter who was apparently collaborating with and protecting a powerful official in an effort to punish the free speech of a government critic, the SPJ is undermining, not advancing, the principles of the First Amendment.

The award, coming two days after details of Miller's involvement in the CIA leak story and her grand jury testimony were revealed by the New York Times (10/16/05), was defended by SPJ board member Mac McKerral, who told Editor & Publisher (10/17/05), "It's not a lifetime achievement award.... I could understand people being upset if we were recognizing her work over a period of time, but this is an award for being willing to not reveal a source, willing to spend so many days in jail, and that is how we distinguish it…. Issues raised in the past couple of days really had no bearing on the award."

But why wouldn't new information about the case be relevant to a journalism group? For months, Miller claimed a journalistic privilege to protect Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, Lewis Libby. Miller would eventually tell the grand jury that Libby had identified Valerie Plame Wilson--the wife of White House critic and former Ambassador Joseph Wilson--as a CIA employee (New York Times, 10/16/05). Miller seemed to have little doubt about what motivated this disclosure: Asked why she agreed to Libby's request to identify him only as a "former Hill staffer," Miller told the grand jury, "I assumed Mr. Libby did not want the White House to be seen as attacking Mr. Wilson."

In other words, Miller understood that Libby was not a whistleblower but was someone out to punish a government critic. Not only was it unethical for her to agree to identify Libby in a misleading way, but promising him any kind of anonymity in this case violated the Times' rules against allowing unnamed sources to make partisan attacks.

SPJ's case rests on the belief that Miller was not wavering on the principle of not revealing a confidential source. But Miller's refusal to testify doesn't in the end seem as principled as either she or her paper originally claimed--which is the whole reason SPJ deemed her worthy of an award. Instead, the Times' October 16 report suggests that Miller was seeking a suitable waiver from Libby all along, and eventually based her decision not to testify in part on the feeling that she would harm Libby if she testified:

Once Ms. Miller was issued a subpoena in August 2004 to testify about her conversations with Mr. Libby, she and The Times vowed to fight it. Behind the scenes, however, her lawyer made inquiries to see if Mr. Libby would release her from their confidentiality agreement. Ms. Miller said she decided not to testify in part because she thought that Mr. Libby's lawyer might be signaling to keep her quiet unless she would exonerate his client.

The form that "signaling" took, according to Miller, was Libby's explaining that he had testified about their conversations in ways that in Miller's view were false. In other words, she refused to testify because she didn't want to expose her friend as a perjurer. Is this really a journalist that SPJ wants to hold up as an example to others?

There is much that is inexplicable and contradictory in Miller's account of her behavior. But even taking her story at face value, she is a reporter who violated the standards of professional journalism to work with a top White House official to get revenge on a government critic--and then declined to testify to protect him from the criminal consequences of his lies. This context has an obvious bearing on Miller’s qualifications for an award celebrating freedom of expression.

The Limbaugh look-alike

"Karl Rove has a plan, as always. Even before testifying last week for the fourth time before a grand jury probing the leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity, Bush senior adviser Rove and others at the White House had concluded that if indicted he would immediately resign or possibly go on unpaid leave, several legal and Administration sources familiar with the thinking told TIME. Resignation is the much more likely scenario, they say."

SOURCE

Difference between 9th Ward and Pakistan

A political debacle ensued when Hurricane Katrina leveled destruction and flooding in and around New Orleans. Search and rescue efforts were slow in coming and were further inhibited by the ineptness of Louisiana's political leaders.

Then, nearly seven weeks later, an earthquake wreaked further ruin across an already-devastated Pakistan. Similarly, aid was slow in coming.

This is where the tide turns a bit with the story of Imdad ul-Haq Mian. His tale begins when the earthquake leveled his village, much as had been done in Gunela and Khesarash. These villages, it is reported, the temperature is cold, food is scarce and children have died. Unlike the citizens of New Orleans who waited for a helping hand(out), "Mr. Mian and his kinfolk had trekked six hours through the hills, across loose, slip-sliding rocks, to bring the wounded from Dabriyan to a makeshift clinic ..." He's not the only one with a similar story.

SOURCE

Second prize? A set of steak knives.

"WASHINGTON - An angry President Bush rebuked chief political guru Karl Rove two years ago for his role in the Valerie Plame affair, sources told the Daily News. 'He made his displeasure known to Karl,' a presidential counselor told The News. 'He made his life miserable about this.' Bush has nevertheless remained doggedly loyal to Rove, who friends and even political adversaries acknowledge is the architect of the President's rise from baseball owner to leader of the free world."

SOURCE

Google in the news

Things aren't going well for Google these days.

Google Image Search is the subject of a lawsuit by Perfect 10. The adult entertainment's suit claims that "Google violates its copyrights by making and delivering thumbnail images of its photos as Internet search results."

SOURCE

A yet-to-be-launched Google service is the target of a lawsuit by the Association of American Publishers. The AAP is trying to prevent Google's development of a digital library on the grounds that it will violate copyright laws.

SOURCE

Somebody is watching you.

"A research team led by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) recently broke the code behind tiny tracking dots that some color laser printers secretly hide in every document. The U.S. Secret Service admitted that the tracking information is part of a deal struck with selected color laser printer manufacturers, ostensibly to identify counterfeiters. However, the nature of the private information encoded in each document was not previously known."

SOURCE

Send them on to San Antonio ...

For some stupid reason Louisiana officials are trying to keep the New Orleans Saints by rushing to repair the Superdome.

It's been widely reported by the sports media that San Antonio is more than willing to be the team's permanent home. Let'm go, I say. Send them to San Antonio because within a few years it'll be the same story there.

New Orleans fans are some the most loyal around. They've put up with poor ownership, managment and leadership. From Tom Benson down, the team is horrible.

SOURCE

Gulf Coast small businesses at a loss

Seven weeks after Hurricane Katrina pounded the Gulf Coast, the U.S. Small Business Administration "has denied 90 percent of its loans to hurricane victims. So far, the SBA has approved only 89 loans to businesses in the entire Gulf South seven weeks after Katrina came ashore."

If you're a small business, it's already tough to survive. The SBA is the one organization that should stepping up-to-plate for these companies.

SOURCE

The electric bill

I just got my September electricity bill. From August to September, I actually used less electricty but my bill was twice as much. Why? Well, the fuel conversion surcharge (the fee they steal from the consumer to turn oil, coal or whatever into electricity) mysteriously doubled in a month's time and I've got to pay it.

Now I see that Entergy Corp., the major electric utility for Louisiana and the Gulf Coast, estimates no less than $700 million in damages due to Hurricane Katrina. Compound that with the some 123,000 customers that still don't have electricty and you've got one hell of a profit loss.

Just like the major oil refiners though, Entergy is making money hand over fist compared to the third quarter of 2004. Yep, still raping the consumer.

How are they doing it, you ask? According to Entergy, "the increased earnings would be due to a hotter-than-normal summer, lower operation and maintenance expenses and the recent impact of a share buyback program." They've reduced operation and maintenance expenses, but I'm paying double the fuel costs.

SOURCE

Dear ASCAP ...

Carrie McLaren's letter to ASCAP about copyright clearance ...

Dear ASCAP,

The copyright status of 'Happy Birthday To You' and the law related to public performances of copyrighted works have recently been brought to my attention. I would therefore like to request permission in advance to sing 'Happy Birthday' to my father at Frenchy's Original Cafe in Clearwater, Florida, on October 8, at approximately 1 pm.


SOURCE

Unhappy Birthday: "Did you know Happy Birthday is copyrighted and the copyright is currently owned and actively enforced by Time Warner?"

Ice man cometh ...

A pair of hikers were climbing Mount Mendel Glacier in California's Sequoia National Park when they made a gruesome discovery believed to be linked to a World War II plane crash.

"It was a plane crash back in 1942 that wasn't discovered until 1947. Now, hikers made a frozen discovery in connection with a World War II plane crash. Hikers found the frozen body of an airman while scaling Mount Mendel Glacier in the Sequoia National Park. Now, the military is working to find out who this airman is and whether he was ever reported missing. It's believed the airman has been frozen in the glacier for decades until a pair of climbers got much more than ever imagined on a hike. Two glacier climbers, 13,000 feet above the national park floor on Mount Mendel, made the incredible discovery."

SOURCE

bin Laden dead?

"The U.S. military is on the scene of this month’s devastating earthquake in northern Pakistan and Kashmir, helping out with relief. It's a region where American soldiers are usually not welcome. The quake site is one of the places Al Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden reportedly might have used as a hideout. All of this is feeding local speculation that bin Laden was killed in the quake and U.S. troops have been searching for his body."

SOURCE

The affects of drugs on family, friends

South London is ridding the streets of drug dealers and addicts, forcing many to hide their stashes in the ground. As a result, area squirrels are finding the stashes and "have been observed behaving bizarrely ..."

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Green eggs and spam

Google, among others, has been hit recently with an upsurge of splogs — spam sites disguised as blogs.

"The problem has been around for a while, but a sudden rush of spamblogs popped up over the weekend, many of which were created using Google's Blogger site. The current theory is that spammers had written a script that would create thousands of new blogs and posts at a time."

SOURCE

"In the past few days, I've been inundated with an enormous amount of subscribed search spam for designated keywords. To the tune of hundreds, if not THOUSANDS, of bunk entries. Who knew 'lockergnome' and 'pirillo' would be THAT popular?! Still, I can't help but think that others are having the same headaches - and 99% of the crap coming in is directly from a single domain: blogspot.com. Google, it may have been a smart acquisition in the beginning, but y'all need to clean house in a big way. You're the tallest nail, and you're really getting pounded - and now others, who aren't even using your service, are getting pounded. Blogspot has become nothing but a crapfarm, and your brand is going to go down with it. If your motto truly is to do no evil, then you need to start putting some resources behind an effort to curb this train wreck."

SOURCE

Congressional approval not too hot

According to a recent Gallup Poll (10/13-10/16, 2005), only 29% of respondants approve of the way Congress is doing its job.

Approval for Republican leaders in Congress? 32%.

Approval for Democratic leaders in Congress? 32%

SOURCE

A win for tobacco

"The US Supreme Court handed cigarette makers a victory as it rejected a Department of Justice appeal aimed at allowing a potential $280 billion (£158 billion) penalty against tobacco companies in the Government’s racketeering case against the industry."

SOURCE

Just in time for Halloween

Michael Mastromarino is — well, was — a dentist in Brooklyn. I'm guessing he's no longer licensed ever since he became the focus of a "probe into the illegal trafficking of body parts ..." This isn't the first time he's been in trouble with the law. In 1991, while still a dental school student, Mastromarino "allegedly" choked a woman in a fit of road rage.

SOURCE

Ronnie 'Pit Bull' Earle

"A free enterprise advocacy group is going after the man who's going after Rep. Tom DeLay. The Free Enterprise Fund said it is now running ads in both Washington and Texas, telling Americans that Travis County, Tex., District Attorney Ronnie Earle is a 'rogue' prosecutor with a political agenda. The ad uses footage of a snarling dog to make a point about the liberal Democrat's investigation of a Texas Republican."

SOURCE

Map Sex Offenders - Free US Sex Offender Registry Mapping System

MapSexOffenders.com utilizes Google Maps to "inform the general community of sex offenders in their area in a straightforward way. Sex offender registries have been on the internet for many years, but they are hard to find and even more difficult to use. MapSexOffenders.com is simply a map so that the data can be easily viewed. Each sex offender is highlighted on the map and you can zoom in to view the offender, address, and other information. The map also links to the state registry for additional information such as the vehicles offenders drive and their convictions. Parents concerned about their neighborhood or those who are moving can use this free service to make sure they are in a safe neighborhood. MapSexOffenders.com maps all sex offenders in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, DC, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming. It is our goal to map all 50 states in an interactive, easy to use design."

SOURCE

The latest from Louisiana

It's about time and the outcome is yet to be determined, but a federal investigation has been launched and Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin have been asked "for a detailed accounting of their response to Hurricane Katrina."

Another scandal has erupted from post-Katrina New Orleans. It came out shortly after the hurricane struck and New Orleans was flooded that Rep. William Jefferson "took a couple of National Guard troops and a helicopter out to his place during the height of the crisis to pick up a few things from home he just couldn’t bear to lose."

This, of course, was in the wake of an on-going FBI criminal investigation. The saga continues for Jefferson as more subpoenas have been issued "in the ongoing investigation of the veteran lawmaker ..." The most recent subpoenae was for his chief of staff, Nicole Venable, in an investigation as to "whether the Louisiana Democrat illegally pocketed hundreds of thousands of dollars from a startup technology firm during an FBI-authorized sting operation. Jefferson’s homes in Washington, D.C., and Louisiana have been searched, as well as his car, and FBI agents reportedly turned up a large amount of cash that Jefferson had in his freezer."

He's no Marion Barry, though. The former Washington, D.C., mayor — who spent six months in prison in 1991 in an FBI drug sting that videotaped him smoking crack cocaine — is being investigated for "failing to file federal income tax returns and pay taxes ...."

The latest on Earle, DeLay

"In another twist in the Earle v. DeLay case, Travis County district attorney Ronnie Earle’s office staff admitted that they do not have the 'actual list' of Republican candidates said to have received illegal funds from DeLay and his associates. The Houston Chronicle reports that Earle and his office advised they had a 'similar list' that, ostensibly Earle and his office worked up. Without the actual list of candidates who reportedly received illegal funds, the cases against DeLay, Ellis and Colyandro fall apart. With no true evidence, there is no case."

SOURCE

More on Farrakhan

"Louis Farrakhan is at it again. With the 'Millions More Movement' he has catapulted himself back into the media spotlight in a manner that must make Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton green with envy. One thing that doesn’t get a lot of mention, although most Americans are certainly aware of it, is the fact that Farrakhan isn’t just another 'Liberal Black Leader Wannabe.' Farrakhan is the leader of the American Islamic movement, The Nation of Islam. This is a man who travels the world preaching hatred and racism while concealing it beneath a thin veneer of love and charity. His baseless accusations against Jews and Whites are legendary."

"It is not accidental that the Black male is in the condition he is in..." This is because of a "...conspiracy of our government against the Black male" along with "...our [Blacks'] failure to accept responsibility for our actions..."
Meet The Press interview, 10/12/97

"...White people are potential humans…they haven’t evolved yet."
Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/18/00


SOURCE

1950s colonialism put to the test

South Korea isn't happy with the U.S., for the most part, due to recent "disagreements over North Korea's nuclear program." There are now threats to tear down a statue of Gen. Douglas MacArthur commemorating his landing at Inchon.

"With U.S.-South Korean relations already on the skids from disagreements over North Korea's nuclear program to the future of U.S. troop basing, it's a propitious time to bring our Old Soldier home and place him where he belongs - among other American heroes on the Mall in the nation's capital."

SOURCE

Now you know what a wiki is.

The wiki, Hawaiian for 'quick', is fast becoming the new blog.

"No one understands the wiki, the poor cousin of the blog. But the wiki may end up having a deeper impact on how we do our work. A wiki is a group blog that can be edited by its readers (as opposed to a regular blog, which one person writes and everyone else reads). Wikis are more like conversations. The few well-known wikis include Wikipedia (the online encyclopedia where anyone can submit an article or edit an existing one), Wiki Travel (an amazingly comprehensive travel guide written by travelers), and Wikibooks (textbooks written collaboratively). But most wikis are limited to private groups and are used to manage corporate projects or to collaborate in a quick and dirty way with colleagues."

SOURCE

RIAA in the red?

"The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) fights the good fight against those hundreds of millions of villainous men, women and children who get out of bed, every morning, bent on robbing the hard-pressed labels of what’s rightfully theirs – their profits. Acting for its owners, Organized Music (EMI Group, Vivendi Universal, Warner Music and Sony BMG), the RIAA is championed by Mitch ‘The Don’ Bainwol and Cary ‘Scary’ Sherman, the ceo and president of the RIAA, respectively. But undoing the evil wrought by the likes of 14-year-old Britanny Chan doesn’t come cheap and according to US Internal Revenue Service filings, the RIAA had an income of $46.4 million, but expenses of $51 million, leaving it in the hole to the tune of $4.6 million. And that’s despite the many millions of dollars in blackmail payments the RIAA has so far brought in from victims under ‘settlement’ deals during its sue ‘em all marketing campaign. According to the IRS, the RIAA spent $14.5 million in outside legal fees and $11.7 million in “employee compensation”. Interestingly, Sherman got $1.13 million, but his boss, Bainwol, received a trifling $908,848."

SOURCE

An interesting piece of trivia ...

Monday, October 17, 2005

A fence between U.S. and Mexico?

Do you favor or oppose a proposal to build a 2,000-mile-long security fence along the U.S.-Mexico border to stop illegal immigration?

Favor: 51%

Oppose: 37%

Unsure: 12%

SOURCE

New Orleans Saints tell ticket holders tough luck

The New Orleans Saints, ousted from their home thanks to Hurricane Katrina, have been forced to suffle this season's schedule and to make San Antonio home for the time being. If you're a season ticket holder and have already made your payments, then you're out of luck. It seems the Saints aren't going to refund ticket holders.

Another reason to hate Tom Benson.

SOURCE

Sunday, October 16, 2005

The devil went down to ... Virginia

A Virginia high school marching band pulled "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" from its half-time show because someone wrote a letter to the editor ... "On Oct. 2, The Potomac News & Manassas Journal Messenger published a letter to the editor arguing that while no one objected to that song about the devil, there would be objections if the band were to play a song about God or other spiritual beings."

SOURCE

Elitism

"On the October 14 broadcast of his daily radio show, right-wing radio host Neal Boortz stated that if the country is faced with an impending national disaster, it should make it a higher priority to save rich Americans rather than poor Americans. An October 13 New York Daily News article spurred Boortz's comments. The front-page story, headlined 'Rich Got Terror Tip,' reported that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has launched an investigation into whether its officials alerted certain New Yorkers of a terror threat to the city's subway days before the rest of the city learned of the possible plot. According to the article, the probe was launched after the discovery of two emails describing the bombing plot that 'had been sent early last week to a select crowd of business and arts executives by New Yorkers who claimed to have close connections to Homeland Security.' After summarizing the story, Boortz responded, 'This is as it should be.' He went on to imagine a scenario in which the country is forced to 'set some priorities' regarding who will be notified of an impending disaster. 'We should save the rich people first,' Boortz declared. 'You know, they're the ones that are responsible for this prosperity.' Boortz described the poorest Americans as 'a drag on society' and stated that they 'don't achieve squat. They sit around all the time waiting for somebody else to take care of them. They have children they can't afford. They're uneducated. They can barely read.'"

SOURCE

"The Homeland Security Department launched internal probes into whether its officials tipped off friends and relatives to a possible subway terror plot days before average New Yorkers were alerted, authorities said yesterday. The two investigations came after the Daily News revealed that two E-mails describing the purported bombing plot had been sent early last week to a select crowd of business and arts executives by New Yorkers who claimed to have close connections to Homeland Security."

SOURCE

Affairs of a Sordid World: Don't blame white people ...: "'They're standing on the corner and they can't speak English. I can't even talk the way these people talk: Why you ain't, Where you is, What he drive, Where he stay, Where he work, Who you be... And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk. And then I heard the father talk. Everybody knows it's important to speak English except these knuckleheads."

Affairs of a Sordid World: It's not segregation, it's 'separateness': "A political faction of African-Canadians [?] is calling for 'separateness' in the form of separate 'rules and institutions for blacks — from a government department to a diversion program for minor crimes.'"

Another reason to take O'Reilly with a grain of salt

"On the October 13 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly falsely claimed that '47 states will not allow local and state police' to arrest undocumented immigrants, adding that 'only Florida, Arkansas, and Alabama have empowered authorities to detain illegals.' O'Reilly then complained of the 'hard time' he predicted Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) would have passing new legislation aimed at increasing local enforcement of immigration laws. Yet O'Reilly's statements misrepresented the level of authority already delegated to states for the enforcement of federal immigration policy. In fact, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, states are already empowered by the Immigration and Nationality Act to enforce criminal violations of immigration law (such as illegally crossing the border) and a limited range of civil violations. Specifically, the Department of Justice expanded local powers to address illegal immigration in 2002 when it introduced the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System."

SOURCE

Affairs of a Sordid World: What's really in the golden microphone?: "Prosecutors want to question Rush Limbaugh's physicians in their probe of the conservative commentator's possible 'doctor shopping' for prescription painkillers"

Affairs of a Sordid World: "under God": "Bill blundered badly in putting the Secular Coalition of America's atheist paid lobbyist, Lori Lippman Brown, on the air last night without being prepared to discuss the history of “The Pledge of Allegiance” or the particulars of the bill paid lobbyist Brown is campaigning against these days."

O'Reilly Hit With Sex Harass Suit - October 13, 2004

Sheehan and Mother Mary

A few months back she compared herself to Martin Luther King. Now Cindy Sheehan compares herself to Jesus' mother, Mary.

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Practice 1st Amendment, get your ass kicked

"As a campus police officer put Tariq Khan in a chokehold, a lunchtime crowd at George Mason University began egging the officer on. Chants of 'Kick his ass! Kick his ass!' were intermingled with cries of 'Punch him!' 'Kick him!' and 'Take him down!' Two students — one had earlier ripped a sign off Khan's chest, the other had repeatedly called him a 'pussy' — and a computer-lab staff member assisted the officer in 'apprehending' Khan, as university spokesperson Dan Walsch put it, by piling on top of him and twisting his body until he cried out in pain. Khan, 27, a four-year Air Force veteran and a junior at GMU, had been walking through the Johnson Center on September 29 when he saw a Marine recruiter. He made up a sign, 'Recruiters lie. Don't be deceived,' and silently stood next to the recruiter's table."

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Turd Blossom to appear before grand jury again

"Karl Rove nosed his Jaguar out of the garage at his home in Northwest Washington in the predawn gloom, starting another day in which he would be dealing with a troubled Supreme Court nomination, posthurricane reconstruction and all the other issues that come across the desk of President Bush's most influential aide. But Mr. Rove's first challenge on Wednesday morning came before he cleared his driveway: how to get past the five television crews and the three photographers waiting for him. He flashed his blinding high beams into the camera lenses and sped by. That is the way things are for the Bush White House these days. The routines are the same. But everything, in the glare of the final stages of a criminal investigation that has reached to the highest levels of power in Washington, is different. Mr. Rove is scheduled to testify before a federal grand jury on Friday, the fourth time he will have done so in the case, which centers on the disclosure of an undercover C.I.A. officer's identity."

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The Word on 'Turd Blossom'

Plurality Now Sees Bush Presidency as Unsuccessful

"President George W. Bush's poll numbers are going from bad to worse. His job approval rating has fallen to another new low, as has public satisfaction with national conditions, which now stands at just 29%. And for the first time since taking office in 2001, a plurality of Americans believe that George W. Bush will be viewed as an unsuccessful president. About four-in-ten (41%) say that, in the long run, Bush will be an unsuccessful president, up from 27% in January and the highest percentage expressing that view since he took office. About a quarter (26%) believe Bush will be successful ­ down 10 points since January while 30% say it is too early to tell."

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Don't blame white people ...

Following are remarks by Bill Cosby during a 2004 speech commemorating the 50th anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education:

"They're standing on the corner and they can't speak English. I can't even talk the way these people talk: Why you ain't, Where you is, What he drive, Where he stay, Where he work, Who you be... And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk. And then I heard the father talk. Everybody knows it's important to speak English except these knuckleheads. You can't be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth. In fact you will never get any kind of job making a decent living. People marched and were hit in the face with rocks to get an education, and now we've got these knuckleheads walking around. The lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal. These people are not parenting. They are buying things for kids. $500 sneakers for what? And they won't spend $200 for Hooked on Phonics."

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Bush declares war on soccer jihad

"Fatwas, the legal opinions proclaimed by Islamic scholars, have proliferated in the Muslim world since the 1980's, driven by rising literacy rates and the Internet. The growth in fatwas - some of them contradictory - has led to a debate over who can legitimately issue them and has alarmed governments in the Middle East, since the decrees sometimes challenge state-sanctioned interpretations of Islam ... Recently, Al Watan, a semiofficial Saudi daily newspaper, reported that a young athlete had joined the jihad in Iraq under the influence of a fatwa forbidding playing soccer by regular rules. The newspaper also republished the fatwa, said to have originally appeared on an Islamic Web site."

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