Monday, April 30, 2007
One again, loudly, for the cheap seats:
Iw - The immorality of supporting a bogus war which has killed multitudes
Ip - The immorality of artful cussing and the politics of personal humiliation
Iw >> Ip as Iw approaches infinity
Friday, April 27, 2007
WASHINGTON, April 27 — President Bush adopted a more conciliatory tone toward Congress today, saying he was confident that he and the lawmakers could find “a way forward” on the Iraq war financing bill.
While vowing again to veto any bill that includes a troop-withdrawal timetable — and use his veto repeatedly, if necessary — Mr. Bush said today, “I think we can come to our senses and make sure that we get the money to the troops in a timely fashion.”
Mr. Bush spoke to reporters at Camp David, Md., where he was entertaining the visiting Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, and conferring with him on several issues, including Iraq, North Korea and world trade. The two leaders met in the kind of informal, personal setting that Mr. Bush prefers and that he considers important to promoting understanding between nations.
Mr. Bush’s stick-and-olive-branch stance on the war financing bill, which includes language requiring that that American troops begin withdrawing from Iraq by Oct. 1, came a day after the Senate passed the bill despite his repeated threat to veto it. In both the Senate and the House, the bill passed by margins far too small to override Mr. Bush’s veto.
“I’m sorry it’s come to this,” Mr. Bush said. “But nevertheless, it is what it is, and it’ll be vetoed, and my veto will be sustained.” He went on to say, “I invite the leaders of the House and Senate, both parties, to come down, you know, soon after my veto, so we can discuss a way forward.”
A Municipal Court judge will review a complaint that a citizen filed against Gov. Jon S. Corzine for not wearing a seat belt when he was injured in an April 12 crash on the Garden State Parkway, the court administrator said Thursday.
Larry Angel, of Mullica Township, long known for attending public meetings and being a gadfly to local officials, filed the complaint against the governor earlier this week in Municipal Court. The crash occurred on a section of the parkway in Galloway Township.
Judge Christopher Brown will review the complaint before a court session Tuesday morning, court Administrator Roseann Lugg said. If he can't find probable cause to issue the ticket to the governor based on Angel's complaint, a public hearing will be scheduled.
State law requires drivers and front-seat passengers to wear a seat belt while riding in vehicles, with a $46 fine for violators. State Police have said the governor was not strapped in when the accident occurred and an investigation revealed the SUV driven by a state trooper was traveling at 91 mph a few seconds before the accident.
Corzine, 60, was seriously injured in the crash and is still recovering at Cooper University Hospital in Camden.
Actually, I think it's his driver that would normally receive the ticket, but we should make sure that Corzine knows he was a dumb fuck and placed the state at risk and inconvenience because of his boneheaded maneuver.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Dean of Admissions at M.I.T. Resigns
Marilee Jones, the dean of admissions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, became famous for urging stressed-out students competing for elite colleges to calm down and stop trying to be perfect. But today she admitted that she had fabricated her own academic educational credentials, and resigned after nearly three decades at the university.
"I misrepresented my academic degrees when I first applied to M.I.T. 28 years ago and did not have the courage to correct my résumé when I applied for my current job or at any time since,” Ms. Jones said in a statement posted on the university’s Web site today. "I am deeply sorry for this and for disappointing so many in the M.I.T. community and beyond who supported me, believed in me and who have given me extraordinary opportunities.
A revolt by lawmakers has blocked Gov. Rick Perry’s effort to make Texas the first state to require sixth-grade girls to be vaccinated against a sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer.
In a 135-to-2 vote that appeared veto-proof, the Texas House gave final passage on Wednesday to a Senate bill that bars the state from ordering the shots until at least 2011. Even many supporters of the governor resented Mr. Perry’s proposal as an abuse of executive authority.
“There was no public testimony — why we were jumping so fast into a vaccine that was not for a true communicable disease,” said Senator Glenn Hegar Jr., a Republican representing a district just west of Houston who sponsored the Senate bill to overturn the governor’s order. It passed 30 to 1 on Monday.
Oooooh, scary vaccines! Gee, let's use bogus anti-vaccination fear-mongering to advance our ideology. Revolting, indeed!
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Security practices at the White House are dangerously inadequate say current and former employees of the security office there, according to a letter sent today from the House Oversight Committee to former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, asking that he cooperate with the committee's investigation into the alleged security lapses.
"These security officials described a systemic breakdown in security procedures at the White House," wrote the chairman of the committee, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif.
Among the lapses cited by the security officers, who spoke to the committee anonymously, are multiple instances of breaches being reported to the security office that were ignored and never investigated. Several of those instances allegedly involved the mishandling of SCI (Sensitive Compartmentalized Information), which is the highest level of classified information.
Thanx to Crooks and Liars
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
In his attempt to dismiss us, Mr. Rove turned to head toward his table, but as soon as he did so, Sheryl reached out to touch his arm. Karl swung around and spat, "Don't touch me." How hardened and removed from reality must a person be to refuse to be touched by Sheryl Crow? Unfazed, Sheryl abruptly responded, "You can't speak to us like that, you work for us." Karl then quipped, "I don't work for you, I work for the American people." To which Sheryl promptly reminded him, "We are the American people."
At that point Mr. Rove apparently decided he had had enough. Like a groundhog fearful of his own shadow, he scurried to his table in an attempt to hibernate for another year from his responsibility to address global warming. Drama aside, you would expect as an American citizen to be able to engage in a civil discussion with a public official. Instead, Mr. Rove was dismissive, condescending, and quite frankly a bully.
Most of the time, an obscure federal investigative unit known as the Office of Special Counsel confines itself to monitoring the activities of relatively low-level government employees, stepping in with reprimands and other routine administrative actions for such offenses as discriminating against military personnel or engaging in prohibited political activities.
But the Office of Special Counsel is preparing to jump into one of the most sensitive and potentially explosive issues in Washington, launching a broad investigation into key elements of the White House political operations that for more than six years have been headed by chief strategist Karl Rove.
The new investigation, which will examine the firing of at least one U.S. attorney, missing White House e-mails, and White House efforts to keep presidential appointees attuned to Republican political priorities, could create a substantial new problem for the Bush White House.
h/t to AmericaBlog
You're not helping the Progressive movement at all. Just shut up a live your lives quietly. Ride in your limos, go to parties. You are just celebrities. You are morons. Let people who can speak and write well, and can comport themselves in a respectable manner, advocate for liberal values and progressive change.
When you can act like human beings, then we'll consider you.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
May 3rd is National Day of Reason. Celebrate & Think!
National Day of Reason
Why a "National Day of Reason?"
Many who value the separation of religion and government have sought an appropriate response to the federally-supported National Day of Prayer, an annual abuse of the constitution. Nontheistic Americans (including freethinkers, humanists, atheists, agnostics, and deists), along with many traditionally religious allies, view such government-sanctioned sectarianism as unduly exclusionary.
A consortium of leaders from within the community of reason endorsed the idea of a National Day of Reason. This observance is held in parallel with the National Day of Prayer, on the first Thursday in May (3 May 2007). The goal of this effort is to celebrate reason - a concept all Americans can support - and to raise public awareness about the persistent threat to religious liberty posed by government intrusion into the private sphere of worship.
The Day of Reason also exists to inspire the secular community to be visible and active on this day to set the right example for how to effect positive change. Local organizations might use "Day of Reason" to label their events, or they might choose labels such as Day of Action, Day of Service, or Rational Day of Care. The important message is to provide an positive, useful, constitutional alternative to the exclusionary National Day of Prayer.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
My first picture was a quick snap down Fifth Ave.:
Then I extracted the following five "more focused" images from the original:
Now that's economy!
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Wow! The British WiFi thief was actually convicted. He only faces a 500 pound fine and a year probation, which is appropriate.Wireless hijacking under scrutiny
It is believed to be the first case of its kind in the UK, but with an estimated one million wi-fi users around the country, it is unlikely to be the last.
"There are a lot of implications and this could open the floodgates to many more such cases," said Phil Cracknell, chief technology officer of security firm NetSurity
Details in this particular case are sketchy, although it is known that Gregory Straszkiewicz had "piggybacked" on a wireless broadband network of a local Ealing resident, using a laptop while sitting in his car.
They were pushing this stuff so hard as a miracle cure that you just knew it had to be hype. I think this study marks the end of the "Get Rich Quick Off Chondritin" bandwagon.
Treatments: Study Sees Little Benefit in Chondroitin for Arthritis - New York Times
People looking for relief from arthritis pain often turn to the dietary supplement chondroitin, so much so that by some estimates, the market for the supplement is $1 billion a year in the United States.
Despite its popularity, a study released yesterday suggests that chondroitin may not offer any real benefit.
Writing in The Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers said a review of 20 earlier studies had found that the benefit of the supplement was “minimal or nonexistent.”
“For patients with advanced osteoarthritis, a clinically relevant benefit is unlikely and the use of chondroitin should be discouraged,” the study said. The lead author is Dr. Stephen Reichenbach of the University of Bern in Switzerland.
"The Children of Húrin" will thrill some readers and dismay others, but will surprise almost everyone. If you're looking for the accessibility, lyrical sweep and above all the optimism of "Lord of the Rings," well, you'd better go back and read it again. There are no hobbits here, no Tom Bombadil, no cozy roadside inns and precious little fireside cheer of any variety found here. This is a tale whose hero is guilty of repeated treachery and murder, a story of rape and pillage and incest and greed and famous battles that ought never to have been fought. If "Lord of the Rings" is a story where good conquers evil, this one moves inexorably in the other direction.
(Warning: Salon requires membership or daypass. Seek medical advice if symptoms persist.)
Friday, April 13, 2007
Thursday, April 12, 2007
WASHINGTON, April 11 — Political advisers to President Bush may have improperly used their Republican National Committee e-mail accounts to conduct official government business, and some communications that are required to be preserved under federal law may be lost as a result, White House officials said Wednesday.
Of the 1,000 White House officials with political duties, 22 — including Karl Rove, the chief political strategist — have Republican National Committee accounts that are supposed to be used only for campaign-related work. But recent revelations that some officials have used those accounts for Bush administration business, including discussions of a plan to dismiss United States attorneys, has prompted a Congressional investigation.
On Wednesday, Scott Stanzel, deputy White House press secretary, said the administration had recently begun its own inquiry, and had concluded that its policy governing political e-mail accounts was unclear, that the White House was not aggressive enough in monitoring political e-mail and that some people who had the accounts did not follow the policy closely enough.
As a result, Mr. Stanzel said, “some official e-mails have potentially been lost.” He said Mr. Bush had told the White House counsel’s office “to do everything practical to retrieve potentially lost messages.”
Don't these people realize how lame the 'deleted email' excuse is. I can't wait for the tech-debunking of this obvious bullshit. Those emails can be found if they want to find them.
Gay by Design, or a Lifestyle Choice? - New York Times
RON GEREN, an actor in Los Angeles, commutes to auditions and jobs throughout Southern California in a sleek black Mazda MX-5 Miata convertible. But for a recent date with a woman, he rented a Cadillac Escalade because he was so used to friends saying his Miata is “gay.”
“Guys say, ‘Hey, that’s cute,’ ” Mr. Geren, 40, said, adding that the comments come from gay as well as straight men. “You have to fend off that perception.”
Gee, lighten up a little, Ron.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
The Mac Observer: Microsoft Considers Zune Subsidies
What do you do if you make the next "iPod killer" and no one buys it? If you are Microsoft, you consider cell phone-style subsidies to help boost sales. PC World reports that Microsoft's Zune marketing director, Jason Reindorp, said the company is considering subsidizing Zune sales much like cell phone carriers do.
Mr. Reindorp stated that Microsoft is looking at using it music subscription service to help boost Zune sales. "We've been looking at the subscription model where you pay a certain amount and you essentially get the cell phone for free."
In essence, users agree to a monthly music subscription contract, and in return Microsoft gives them a Zune player.
Despite the fact that the company is considering somewhat drastic measures to help boost sales of its portable media player, Mr. Reindorp said Microsoft is pleased with its sales so far. "We are very definitely on target," he said.
On target, my ass. And they wonder why no one believes corporate flacks.
Here's another revealing quote from this dink:
Insisted Reindorp: "Sexy is a subjective term. But in our research, the colors and color treatment scores high. Also, we're looking at an urban, inner city demographic, and some say that demographic leads fashion trends and we score well with that demographic."
What's sexy? Let's do some research! Commission some focus groups! Collect data! They're not people; they're demographics. "...some say that demographic leads fashion trends..." Jesus, please kill me if a sentence like that ever escapes my lips. No wonder these guys can't find their ass with both hands.
Original PC World article here.
More on Microsoft Bob here.
This 3150 m long tunnel in Russia is the longest in-city tunnel of Europe. There is a river running over it and water leaks at some points. When the temperature reaches -38 degrees like it did this winter, the road freezes and the result is the attached video taken during a single day with the tunnel camera.
Real inconvenient truths | Salon.com
Just wondering what your thoughts are on the global warming issue. Have you seen the Al Gore movie? Any thoughts on the current debate on climate science?
Oh, great, here comes the hornet's nest!
As a native of upstate New York, whose dramatic landscape was carved by the receding North American glacier 10,000 years ago, I have been contemplating the principle of climate change since I was a child. Niagara Falls, as well as the even bigger dry escarpment of Clark Reservation near Syracuse, is a memento left by the glacier. So is nearby Green Lakes State Park, with its mysteriously deep glacial pools. When I was 10, I lived with my family at the foot of a drumlin -- a long, undulating hill of murrain formed by eddies of the ancient glacier melt.
[It's so nice that she takes the long view. Sure, global warming is just a blip if you care about rocks and mountains rather than human civilization, which is slightly more delicate. And she knows what a drumlin is, too. Well, she must be an expert!]
Geology and meteorology are fields that have always interested me and that I might well have entered, had I not been more attracted to art and culture. (My geology professor in college, in fact, asked me to consider geology as a career.) To conflate vast time frames with volatile daily change is a sublime exercise, bordering on the metaphysical. [Yes, why couldn't she have become a geologist. This is the "Shadow Resume" technique: "I almost majored in that!"]
However, I am a skeptic about what is currently called global warming. I have been highly suspicious for years about the political agenda that has slowly accrued around this issue. As a lapsed Catholic, I detest dogma in any area. Too many of my fellow Democrats seem peculiarly credulous at the moment, as if, having ground down organized religion into nonjudgmental, feel-good therapy, they are hungry for visions of apocalypse. From my perspective, virtually all of the major claims about global warming and its causes still remain to be proved.
[Science doesn't prove things. You will be waiting for proof forever. Typical science-ignorant bullshit. Since she thinks climate science is dominated by dogma, with no actual evidence mentioned, it can't be true. Since 'some Democrats she knows' annoy her with their credulousness (or her perception thereof), it can't be true. It's science by anti-consensus!]
Climate change, keyed to solar cycles, is built into Earth's system. Cooling and warming will go on forever. Slowly rising sea levels will at some point doubtless flood lower Manhattan and seaside houses everywhere from Cape Cod to Florida -- as happened to Native American encampments on those very shores. Human habitation is always fragile and provisional. People will migrate for the hills, as they have always done.
[Some climate change is dependent on solar cycles. Some is not. The cycles that affect climate are varied and can operate on vastly different time scales. Cooling and warming will go on forever, but we are concerned about the next couple of hundred years. That's the time-frame that concerns our sorry asses, not millennia or eons. I don't recall Native Americans having huge populations heavily invested in coastal lands. People will migrate. Fuck 'em they can't deal with it, right? Those starving millions in Bangladesh can just move to Delhi, I guess. Paglia, rich white asshole, can just retreat to her well-stocked mountain fortress. No biggie.]
Who is impious enough to believe that Earth's contours are permanent? Our eyes are simply too slow to see the shift of tectonic plates that has raised the Himalayas and is dangling Los Angeles over an unstable fault. I began "Sexual Personae" (parodying the New Testament): "In the beginning was nature." And nature will survive us all. Man is too weak to permanently affect nature, which includes infinitely more than this tiny globe.
[The long view again. I wish I had her Zen-like ability to not care about our current reality. Let the cockroaches take over! Humanity is overrated, anyway. But as to whether humanity is too weak to affect nature, she is glaringly and obviously wrong. 'Permanently' has nothing the fuck to do with it. It doesn't matter much to us if nature recovers from humanity after we're gone, because we'll be gone.]
I voted for Ralph Nader for president in the 2000 election because I feel that the United States needs a strong Green Party [no, it's because you're an asshole]. However, when I tried to watch Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" on cable TV recently, I wasn't able to get past the first 10 minutes. I was snorting with disgust at its manipulations and distortions and laughing at Gore's lugubrious sentimentality, which was painfully revelatory of his indecisive, self-thwarting character. When Gore told a congressional hearing last month that there is a universal consensus among scientists about global warming -- which is blatantly untrue -- he forfeited his own credibility.
[Shorter Paglia: Al Gore is fat, so global warming is bogus. Most climate scientists thought 'An Inconvenient Truth' was mostly accurate, but it made her blow chunks. Laugh and snort away, Camille.]
Environmentalism is a noble cause. It is damaged by propaganda and half-truths. Every industrialized society needs heightened consciousness about its past, present and future effects on the biosphere. Though I am a libertarian, I am a strong supporter of vigilant scrutiny and regulation of industry by local, state and federal agencies. But there must be a balance with the equally vital need for economic development, especially in the Third World.
[Our lives are endangered propaganda, half-truths and greed. Your 'balance' would tip the scales heavily in favor of that economic
exploitationdevelopment to the detriment of all else. We don't just need oversight from our government, we need foresight.]
Here's a terrible episode from my region that made the news just last year. A bankrupt thermometer factory in Franklin Township, N.J., vacated its building in 1994 but ignored a directive to clean the premises of residual mercury toxins. There was a total failure of oversight and follow-through at the state and local levels. The result: In 2004, a daycare center opened in the renovated building and for two years subjected children and pregnant women to a dangerously high level of mercury vapors from the contaminated site. [WTF does this have to do with climate change?]
The degree of permanent health effects on those children is still unknown. This kind of outrageous negligence should not be tolerated in a civilized nation. [Outrage is what we'll see when Camille can't gas up her Hummer. Because she is so self-centered, she can't help but see science in personal terms. It's all about the people, personality and prejudice for her, facts and common sense be damned.]
A federal panel responsible for conducting election research played down the findings of experts who concluded last year that there was little voter fraud around the nation, according to a review of the original report obtained by The New York Times.
Instead, the panel, the Election Assistance Commission, issued a report that said the pervasiveness of fraud was open to debate.
The revised version echoes complaints made by Republican politicians, who have long suggested that voter fraud is widespread and justifies the voter identification laws that have been passed in at least two dozen states.
Democrats say the threat is overstated and have opposed voter identification laws, which they say disenfranchise the poor, members of minority groups and the elderly, who are less likely to have photo IDs and are more likely to be Democrats.
Though the original report said that among experts “there is widespread but not unanimous agreement that there is little polling place fraud,” the final version of the report released to the public concluded in its executive summary that “there is a great deal of debate on the pervasiveness of fraud.”
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
The Rude Pundit doesn't give a shit about Don Imus. Everyone all of a sudden realizing that he's a racist, sexist asshole now is a little like waking up after an acid and whiskey-fueled fuck night, looking across the bed, and realizing that the incredible three-way you thought you had was just one really fat guy.
The rest is here.
A album recorded by 'amateurs' is near the top of the UK iTunes Store 'Top Albums' list. I predict music produced in 'somebody's basement' will proliferate and, eventually, reduce the current Music Industry to a sideshow.
Iraqi Cleric Challenges U.S. With Big Rally - New York Times
Tens of thousands of protesters loyal to the militant Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr took to the streets of the holy city of Najaf on Monday in an extraordinarily disciplined rally to demand an end to the American military presence in Iraq, burning American flags and chanting “Death to America.”Is the endgame in sight?
Saturday, April 07, 2007
Friday, April 06, 2007
The top aide to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales abruptly quit on today, almost two weeks after telling Congress she would not testify about her role in the firings of federal prosecutors.
"I am hereby submitting my resignation to the office of attorney general," Monica M. Goodling said in a three-sentence letter. There was no immediate reason given, but her refusal to face Congress had intensified a controversy that threatens Gonzales' job.
Asserting her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, Goodling had rejected demands for a private interview with a House committee investigating the firings.
Goodling was senior counsel to Gonzales and was the department's White House liaison before she took a leave amid the uproar over the prosecutors' ousters.
Captured Iraqi documents and intelligence interrogations of Saddam Hussein and two former aides "all confirmed" that Hussein's regime was not directly cooperating with al-Qaeda before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, according to a declassified Defense Department report released yesterday.
The declassified version of the report, by acting Inspector General Thomas F. Gimble, also contains new details about the intelligence community's prewar consensus that the Iraqi government and al-Qaeda figures had only limited contacts, and about its judgments that reports of deeper links were based on dubious or unconfirmed information. The report had been released in summary form in February.
The report's release came on the same day that Vice President Cheney, appearing on Rush Limbaugh's radio program, repeated his allegation that al-Qaeda was operating inside Iraq "before we ever launched" the war, under the direction of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the terrorist killed last June.
h/t to TPM Muckraker
Call it Life Force. It's the power that creates you and sustains you, and it travels along a vast network of nerves to communicate with every cell in your body. Spinal subluxations (misaligned spinal bones) interfere with your nervous system's ability to normally communicate with the tissues of the body - resulting in pain, abnormal function and sickness. Chiropractors eliminate or reduce spinal interference to maximize your natural ability to be healthy and happy. Call us today for an appointment to help optimize your power.
That is complete drivel. Not one sentence in that paragraph represents medical reality. Why should I consider for a moment that this guy is not a crook?
The front of the card presents this Obi-Wan Kenobi bullshit:
Let the Power flow. The power that made the body, heals the body.
Let it flow - let yourself go
Slow and low - that is the tempo
- The Beastie Boys
Thursday, April 05, 2007
A jazz bassist and martial arts expert charged two years ago in an elaborate undercover terrorism investigation pleaded guilty yesterday to plotting to teach would-be Qaeda operatives how to wage jihad with hand-to-hand combat.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
French Train Breaks Rail Speed Record - New York Times
A French high-speed train broke the world speed record on rail on Tuesday, reaching 357 miles an hour (574.8 kilometers) in a much publicized test in eastern France, exceeding expectations that it would hit 150 meters a second, or 540 kilometers an hour.
Monday, April 02, 2007
Finally, something sensible. I will pay more for CD-quality audio files with no DRM; I'm sure many others will, too. When the quality and DRM restrictions are not a factor, the convenience of online downloading outweighs the extra cost. The article doesn't say if the tracks are full CD quality, but let's hope so (Apple Lossless would be perfect).
I could buy a CD, rip the content and, if I was inclined to do so, upload it to a file-sharing service. Selling the tracks with no DRM saves the potential pirate one lousy step. Either they re-encode the decoded audio and lose a bit of quality (which is fine for the pirated music crowd) , or they strip the DRM with hackery and post the original-quality track. Either way, DRM is a major inconvenience for the legitimate consumer, and a minor inconvenience for the pirate.
EMI and Apple appear to have taken a rational step toward dumping DRM. Keep up the pressure!