Saturday, July 31, 2004

Planted Berger Story?

Atrios reports that Sandy Berger is clearedof all wrongdoing. While Instapundit atributes the same link as Atrios, but he also notes a link which contradicts the claim:
A senior spokeswoman for the National Archives denied a report Friday morning that Archives officials have cleared former Kerry-Edwards campaign adviser Sandy Berger on charges that he withheld documents from the 9/11 Commission.

"In spite of what the Wall Street Journal said, the National Archives really isn't commenting on this case because it's under investigation," Susan Cooper, chief spokeswoman for the Archives, told NewsMax.com.

The Journal reported in Friday editions:
"Officials looking into the removal of classified documents from the National Archives by former Clinton National Security Advisor Samuel Berger say no original materials are missing and nothing Mr. Berger reviewed was withheld from the commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. ... The conclusion by Archives officials and others would seem to lay to rest the issue of whether any information was permanently destroyed or withheld from the commission."

The Journal report was picked up by ABC Radio network news, which further misreported the story by saying that the Justice Department had cleared Sandy Berger of all charges.

But Ms. Cooper disputed the claim that she or any other Archives official had said any such thing.

"We really have had nothing to say and will continue to have nothing to say about the particulars of the [Berger] case," Cooper told NewsMax. "I gather that there's somebody else in the food chain that has been talking about the case but it's not at the Archives."

In keeping with her no-comment policy, the Archives chief spokeswoman declined to confirm an earlier Washington Post report that Berger had destroyed four of the six copies of the Millennium Plot After Action Review stored in Archives files.

Cooper also declined to say whether draft copies of the document with original notes in the margins were among the papers Berger's lawyer Lanny Breuer said his client had "discarded."


The original link pronouncing Burger being cleared is now devoid of any Berger story. This link seems to work though.

President Clinton's national security adviser, Sandy Berger -- who'd been accused of stealing classified material from the National Archives -- has been cleared of all wrongdoing.
The National Archives and the Justice Department have concluded nothing is missing and nothing in the Clinton administration's record was withheld from the 9-11 Commission.


The Wall Street Journal reports archives staff have accounted for all classified documents Berger looked at.

Late last year they asked investigators to see if the former national security adviser removed materials during his visits.

Berger's lawyers said his client had inadvertently removed several photocopies of reports, but later returned them.


I would bet, that this story is bogus, a plant by the DNC spinmiesters, and the liberal bloggers won't as enthusiastic about their retractions as they are about their accusations of a vast conservative cover-up. The news services seem strangely silent about all of this.

The Precinct Chair is pretty upset about the upcomming release of Donald Riley who was convicted of murdering Marine Lance Cpl. Tarron Dixon while he was home on leave. I must admit that initially upon hearing this I didn't share Gregs outrage about Riley's impending parole. I just figured the courts and the parole board knew what they were doing. However Dixon's family was never given an opportunity to address the parole board. Politically charged hate crime laws always seemed silly to me, because racially motivated crimes should be a part of the normal sentencing and parole concideratons. The courts acted responcebly giving Riley an approriate life sentence. Texas rules allow for parole after one forth of the sentence is served. with time of ffor good behavior. A life sentance is calculated to be 60 years. Given the nature of Riley's crime it is entirely unreasonable to release him in the minimal possible time of 13 years. The guideliness are made to fit the the most optimistic conditions. Dixon's family not only deserved an oportunity to give input, and they were denied.
The parents of a U.S. Marine who returned to Houston from dangerous tours of duty in Panama and the Persian Gulf, only to be killed by teenage white supremacists, plan to protest the parole of one of their son's killers. But they'll have to do it after the fact.


Dorothy Dixon said Thursday she and her husband, Andrew, were to be notified when their son's killers came up for parole review. Instead, Dixon was shocked to learn Thursday that Donald Riley's parole was approved last month, without any input from the Dixon family.

Marine Lance Cpl. Tarron Dixon had been home from his five years in the Marine Corps only two days when he was shot to death within view of his parents' southeast Houston home June 6, 1991.

Riley, 19 at the time of the shooting, had three drug-related convictions and was on parole when he and other Brazoria County teens came to Houston to, as Riley told police in 1991, "(expletive) with some niggers."

The Precinct Chair pleas:
It shocks me that this has happened. It's time to contact Governor Rick Perry and flood him with calls over this miscarriage of justice. His online contact form is here. His telephone number is (512) 463-2000. He may be contacte by fax at (512) 463-1849. And his address is Governor Rick Perry, Office of the Governor, P.O. Box 12428, Austin, Texas 78711-2428.

Interesting Comparisons

I received the following as a talking point memo. I don't know who originated it. We edited the formating a little.
-----------------------
There were 39 combat related killings in Iraq during the month of January. In the fair city of Detroit there were 35 murders in the month of January.

That's just one American city, about as deadly as the entire war torn country of Iraq.

When some claim President Bush shouldn't have started this war, state the following ...
FDR...
led us into World War II.
Germany never attacked us: Japan did.
From 1941-1945, 450,000 lives were lost,
an average of 112,500 per yr ..

Truman...
finished that war and started one in Korea,
North Korea never attacked us.
From 1950-1953, 55,000 lives were lost,
an average of 18,334 per year.

John F. Kennedy...
started the Vietnam conflict in 1962.
Vietnam never attacked us.

Johnson...
turned Vietnam into a quagmire.
From 1965-1975, 58,000 lives were lost,
an average of 5,800 per year.

Clinton...
went to war in Bosnia without UN or French consent,
Bosnia never attacked us.
He was offered Osama bin Laden's head on a platter
three times by Sudan and did nothing.
Osama has attacked us on multiple occasions.

In the two years since terrorists attacked us
President Bush has ...
liberated two countries,
crushed the Taliban,
crippled al-Qaida,
put nuclear inspectors in Libya,
Iran and North Korea
without firing a shot,
and captured a terrorist who slaughtered
300,000 of his own people.
The Democrats are complaining
about how long the war is taking, but...
It took less time to take Iraq
than it took Janet Reno to take the
Branch Davidian compound.
That was a 51 day operation.

We've been looking for evidence of
chemical weapons in Iraq for less
time than it took Hillary Clinton to
find the Rose Law Firm billing records.

It took less time for the 3rd Infantry Division
and the Marines to destroy the Medina
Republican Guard than it took Ted Kennedy to
call the police after his Oldsmobile
sank at Chappaquiddick.

It took less time to take Iraq than it took
to count the votes in Florida!!!!

Our Commander-In-Chief is doing a GREAT JOB!
The Military moral is high!
The biased media hopes we are too ignorant to realize the facts.

Friday, July 30, 2004

Making up Science to further the Agenda

John Kerry asked "What does it mean when twenty five percent of the children in Harlem have asthma because of air pollution?" He is trying to tie in air pollution with the epidemic of asthma in Harlem. By doing this he implys the evil Repubublicans are making our black children sick. What John Kerry fails to mention is that as the Asthma rates have gone up while the pollution has decreased.
Michelle Malkin believes Teresa is behind this.
From John Kerry's convention speech: "What does it mean when twenty five percent of the children in Harlem have asthma because of air pollution?"

Answer: It means Kerry is peddling junk science at the behest of his meddling wife. As science journalist Mike Fumento has noted,

Since 1970, the total national emissions of the six principal pollutants the Environmental Protection Agency tracks have been cut 48 percent, even as energy consumption increased 42 percent and the population increased 38 percent.
[Particulate matter] emissions have only been tracked since 1993, but by 2002 had fallen 17 percent. In terms of air quality, they have only been measured since 1998 but by 2003 had dropped eight percent...even as dirty air levels plummeted, asthma incidence from 1980 to 1999 increased by 83 percent according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.




The scare-mongering about asthma in Harlem comes straight from Teresa's playbook. She recently gave environmental activist Peggy Shepard, who has made a name for herself hyping the asthma epidemic, the $250,000 Heinz Award for her "brave voice" and "courageous advocacy" against "environmental racism."


Storm Troopers

Yesterday I wrote about Police abuse, Smoke on the Water writes about another type of abuse.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Sex Toys Banned in Alabama

Alabama isn't known to be a place of freedom from oppression and thought. A Federal Court up held a 1996 Alabama law out lawing such sex toys. thi API|Yahoo! article reports.
A federal appeals court Wednesday upheld a 1998 Alabama law banning the sale of sex toys in the state, ruling the Constitution doesn't include a right to sexual privacy.

In a 2-1 decision overturning a lower court, a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (news - web sites) said the state has a right to police the sale of devices that can be sexually stimulating.

The American Civil Liberties Union (news - web sites), which represented merchants and users who sued to overturn the law, asked the appeals court to rule that the Constitution included a right to sexual privacy that the ban on sex toy sales would violate. The court declined, indicating such a decision could lead down other paths.

"If the people of Alabama in time decide that a prohibition on sex toys is misguided, or ineffective, or just plain silly, they can repeal the law and be finished with the matter," the court said.

"On the other hand, if we today craft a new fundamental right by which to invalidate the law, we would be bound to give that right full force and effect in all future cases including, for example, those involving adult incest, prostitution, obscenity, and the like."

Attorney General Troy King said the court "has done its duty" in upholding the law.

Sherri Williams, an adult novelty retailer who filed the lawsuit with seven other women and two men, called the decision "depressing."

"I'm just very disappointed that courts feel Alabamians don't have the right to purchase adult toys. It's just ludicrous," said Williams, who lives in Florida and owns Pleasures stores in Huntsville and Decatur. "I intend to pursue this."

U.S. District Judge Lynwood Smith Jr. of Huntsville has twice ruled against the state law, deciding in 2002 that the sex toy ban violated the constitutional right to privacy. The state appealed both times and won.

The state law bans only the sale of sex toys, not their possession, the court said, and it doesn't regulate other items including condoms or virility drugs. "The Alabama statute proscribes a relatively narrow bandwidth of activity," U.S. Circuit Judge Stanley F. Birch Jr. wrote.

Circuit Judge Rosemary Barkett disagreed, saying the decision was based on the "erroneous foundation" that adults don't have a right to consensual sexual intimacy and that private acts can be made a crime in the name of promoting "public morality."

Woman Arrested, Cuffed for Eating Candy

A woman was arrested, and cuffed for eating candy at a subway station. Just in case you thought the Los Angles police had a monopoly on heavy handedness.
A government scientist finishing a candy bar on her way into a subway station where eating is prohibited was arrested, handcuffed and detained for three hours by transit police.



Stephanie Willett said she was eating a PayDay bar on an escalator descending into a station July 16 when an officer warned her to finish it before entering the station. Both Willett and police agree that she nodded and put the last bit into her mouth before throwing the wrapper into a trash can.


Willett, a 45-year-old Environmental Protection Agency (news - web sites) scientist, told radio station WTOP that the officer then followed her into the station, one of several in downtown Washington.


"Don't you have some other crimes you have to take care of?" Willett said she told the officer.


Washington has been under heightened security because of the continuing threat of terrorism. And last week, police declared a citywide crime emergency over rising juvenile crime.


Is it me or is heavy handed abusive cop story's not being met with outrage anymore. Boston with their concentration camps. LA cops beating the guy with the flashlight. A few years ago after the Rodney King affair The citizens rebelled. Today they roll over and beg the nice policeman not to hurt them. Who is running these towns? The police or the citizens? And what is with this no eating ban?

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

The Post Turtle

Some one gave me this clip from some publication with the byline "nukenpavedave" its not real original because I heard the same story 20-30 years ago about Ted Kennedy. However I think its even more relevent as told by Mr. nukenpavedave.

While suturing a laceration on the hand of a 70 year old Massachusetts bussiness Tycoon(whoose hand had been caught in a fence while working at his country home), a doctor and the old man were talkin about Senator John Kerry possibly being in the White House one day. The old Tycoon said,"Well ya know, Kerry is a 'post turtle'." Not knowing what the old man meant, the doctor asked him wat a post turtle was. The old man said, "When you're driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balenced on top, thats a post turtle."
The old man saw a puzzled look on the doctor's face, so he continued to explain, "You know he didn't get there by himsel. He doesn't belong there. He can't get anything done while he's up there., and you just want to help the poor stupid bastard get down."

It's pretty typical of New England yarn spinning. A tall tale with some bitter truth in it.

London Bound

It looks like I'm off to London sometime next week. It looks like its an expensive place to stay. Equality will probably be filling in, and I'll be blogging where time computers and net access allow. I'll be there for around 2 weeks.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

USA Spikes Ann Coulters Column

Ann Coulter's Column was spiked by USA Today. I'm a little confused, it was a gentle Coulter. Michael Moore will be writing for both the Republican and the Democratic Conventions.

USA Today editorials are typically flat and middle of the road. The Coulter - Moore features could have been fun. Here collumn can be found here Its a little long to quote here and trimming it wouldn't do it justice.

Monday, July 26, 2004

"I Had An Abortion" T-shirts

"These T-shirts are for sale I hope they aren't a big seller.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Mercury mission set for launch

Without much fanfair and publicity NASA scientist are preparing Messenger spacecraft, to be launched next week This $427 million Messenger mission will cost less than half what a shuttle mission would cost, if we were capable of doing one. Cost benefit per knowledge and new science learned seems to be a bargain in comparison. Although its not getting the publicity that the Mars and its rovers, or Saturn and its newly arrived sentry, Cassini recieve, it promises every bit the breakthrough and excitement.
The Messenger spacecraft, to be launched next week, will be blasted by up to 700-degree heat as it orbits the tiny planet closest to the sun -- so close that it would be as though 11 suns were beating down on Earth.

Remarkably, the only thing between the probe's room-temperature science instruments and the blistering sun and pizza-oven heat will be a handmade ceramic-cloth quilt just one-quarter of an inch thick.

"If it doesn't stay toward the sun, it will fry everything," said Neal Bachtell, mechanical technician and master quilter.

...
The Messenger spacecraft, to be launched next week, will be blasted by up to 700-degree heat as it orbits the tiny planet closest to the sun -- so close that it would be as though 11 suns were beating down on Earth.

Remarkably, the only thing between the probe's room-temperature science instruments and the blistering sun and pizza-oven heat will be a handmade ceramic-cloth quilt just one-quarter of an inch thick.

"If it doesn't stay toward the sun, it will fry everything," said Neal Bachtell, mechanical technician and master quilter.



Estimated arrival time: March 2011.

Blogging In Boston

Surprise surprise! The Democrats are lying to us. In order order to show their best side they are pulling out all stops, setting up concentration camps for dissenters and lying their asses off to cover them.  The DNC is making sure that the bloggers selected to report on them are lackeys that will show them in only the best possible light. Now I wouldn't have a problem with this if they were honest about the fact. Blogs by nature are opinionated, and the DNC would be nuts to invite unfriendly bloggers who might inform the world what really is going on in Boston. However they had about 50 bloggers originally schedualed and approved to go, and for whatever reason they elliminated about 20 of the most troublesome. Exact figures aren't known because the DNC isn't being upfront about that either. This LA Times Editorial piece explains it:
In late June, "official convention blogger" Eric Schnure posted an ebullient paean to weblogs and the role they will play at the Democratic National Convention. "The truth is," he wrote on the convention's website, "more and more people prefer their news and information, fresh and unfiltered, smart and savvy, even with an angle and an attitude…. That's why we're so excited bloggers will be coming to Boston and bringing their unique perspective with them." But, as it turned out, the Democrats weren't that excited. In mid-July, after notifying a number of weblog writers that they had been granted media credentials to cover the convention (just how many, the convention staff won't specify), John Kerry's team revoked the credentials of 20 invitees.

The action was immediately denounced by some of the spurned bloggers, who insisted that it was an attempt by the Democrats to filter out those not on board with the party's program. Schnure offered a hand-wringing apology in a letter to New York University's Jay Rosen, one of the credentialed bloggers: "Unfortunately, despite hours and hours working to get this right, we goofed. We offered credentials to more bloggers than we can accommodate. Thus, we acted as quickly as possible to notify people of our error." He went on to insist that bloggers' politics had nothing to do with whether or not they received credentials. "I cannot stress enough that our error was one of logistics not leanings."


The article goes on and lists a quiz to guess which Blogs got credentials and who got their credential revoked. The Bloggers who were uninvited were not as Kerry friendly as those who received their credentials. Boyfromtroi reports on Wonkette that the bloggers are finding lots of booze and food, but I haven't noticed anything from the DNC Blogers about the Concentration Camps, and the Boston Dissident Crackdown. Although Northstar and Atrios have there take on it all.

Thanks Kuff for spotting the L.A times Editorial.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Democrats Set Up Protest Area


Democrats Protest Arena
Liberty
The Democrats set up what strangely looks like a concentration camp for those that might consider protesting during the conventions. It is nice to see they have so much respect for the right of peaceful assembly in Boston.

An area designated for organized protests appears enclosed by mesh and chain link fencing near the site of the upcoming Democratic National Convention, in Boston, Wednesday, July 21, 2004. A new federal lawsuit has been filed against the city over the fenced-in protest area that has been called a 'demonstration zone,' and a 'free speech zone.' (AP Photo/Steven Senne)


But Democrat control Boston isn't stopping at limiting outoftown protestors they are working hard to oppress local businesses. Drudge reports

The 24-foot-long sign at Halftime Pizza across the street from Boston's FleetCenter isn't exactly welcoming to the Democratic National Convention: "Say!!!!! D.N.C. Thanks for Nothing!!! Go Bush."

Security measures and the availability of free food for delegates led Mark Pasquale, owner of Halftime, to shut his restaurant down for the week of the convention and erect the sign.

MORE

On Friday, WRKO-AM's Peter Blute and Scott Allen Miller reported how Pasquale has been confronted by city inspectors who have threatened to fine him unless he takes the anti-Dem sign down!

Pasquale told Blute and Scotto that while he doesn't want any trouble, he will continue to exercise his First Amendment rights by keeping the sign up in spite of any fines.

Boston has chased away businesses by closing down that part of town to normal commuters and public transportation, and even encouraged businesses to shut down for the week.  Usually conventions are encouraged by most cities as an economic boost. Apparently Boston and the Democrats see business as the enemy and are doing every thing they can do to jack boot the protestors, and make the local businesses miserable. This convention has cost the city of Boston a lot of money, to support the Democrats. It does nothing for the taxpayer except make theit lives a little more miserable during a hot summer week in the city.  I'm sure glad I'm not a Boston taxpayer.



Friday, July 23, 2004

Berger Coverup

Berger may have been trying to cover up contradictions by Richard Clarke according to a Washington Times report. Remember Richard Clarke? He was the Clinton era holdover that wrote the scathing report of the Bush Administration's handling of the 911 attacks.


U.S. officials tell us that the FBI is focusing on a single document in its investigation of former White House National Security Adviser Samuel R. Berger. Investigators are trying to determine why Mr. Berger improperly removed a highly classified after-action report by Richard A. Clarke, an aide to Mr. Berger, that was harshly critical of the Clinton administration's response to the so-called millennium terrorist plot to bomb Los Angeles International Airport and other targets in late 1999.

So it seems that Clarke was critical of the way the Clinton Administration handled the the millennium terrorist Plot but Burger wanted to make sure this story got spiked. Strange that Clarke's book wasn't all that critical of the Clinton's mishandling.

Mr. Clarke was the National Security Council staff aide who ended up as a Democratic holdover in the Bush administration. He went public before the September 11 commission with harsh criticism of President Bush and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice for failing to take his advice in doing more against al Qaeda before the 2001 terrorist attacks.

Eventually this will all come out, but will it be soon enough to damage the Kerry campain?

Officials said the investigation into the removal of the Clarke memorandum is expected to lead to the declassification and publication of the document. This could expose the duplicity of Mr. Clarke, who had little criticism of the Clinton administration in public. U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies have used the millennium plot as an example of a counterterrorism success. But the Clarke memorandum is likely to portray a different picture.


Thursday, July 22, 2004

Whoopi Complaint Department

Slim Fast.com is a good place to go if you have comments regarding the Whoopi Goldburg firing. I find the firing of Whoopi pretty curious. I haven't found any real organized effort to boycott Slimfast on a web search. Yeah, the Free Republic boast it had something to do with it, but I haven't noticed any call to boycott with the major conservative voices.

This whole thing has a tremendous potential for backlash. Conservatives own the talk show radio waves, and they are paid buy their sponsers. Conservatives have a lot more to lose in a war of the boycott.

There was nothing to be offended at by Whoopi's badmouthing of and word play of Dick and Bush. Her "standup" was to a like minded audience, and was fun in word play. There wasn't even a tape that got out. Her critics believe that this isn't a first ammendment issue, and they are probably right. It is an issue of a few people damaged sensibilities, and an over reaction by the corporate heads at Slimfast. I protested to Slimfast and assured them that Equality and I wouldn't be buying any of their product, and that they were entirely to thin skinned. This isn't a left or right issue, it is about fairness, and unfairness. Its unreasonable to retaliate for a comedians standup act in a private forum.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Who Controls the Timing?

Instapundit makes a good point
THE TIMING OF THE LEAKS: Reader John Lucas has an observation:


Berger could have released it himself last year, but chose not to do so, even though he proclaims his innocence. He can't now be heard to complain about the timing, since that was always in his control.


Good point.

Clinton Finds the Berger story Funny

Drudge reports that Bill Clinton finds the Berger scandal funny. I Suppose we shouldn't be surprised that he finds felonious behavior as humorous. The fact that the documents were embarrassing to the Clinton administration might explain Clintons willingness to defend berger. The penalties for mishandling classified documents are pretty severe and do not take into concideration such excuses as abcent mindness or forgetfulness. Why Berger isn't in jail and charged might be the real issue. Ashcroft apparently is more interested in throwing Martha in jail than a white male beaurocrat spy.
Former president Bill Clinton defends his embattled national security advisor as a man who "always got things right," even if his desk was a mess.

"We were all laughing about it," Clinton said about the investigation into Sandy Berger for taking classified terrorism documents from the National Archives. "People who don't know him might find it hard to believe. But ... all of us who've been in his office have always found him buried beneath papers."

...

DRUDGE has learned: In an interview set for publication Wednesday in the DENVER POST, Clinton questions the timing of the Berger flap less than a week before the Democratic National Convention and two days before a presidential commission is slated to release its final report on the Bush administration's handling of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Clinton tells the POST he has known about the federal probe of Berger's actions for several months, calling the news a "non-story."

"I wish I knew who leaked it. It's interesting timing," he added.

"I feel terrible for Sandy. But I just believe his explanation because I know how much he cared about this ... terrorism business," Clinton said, describing his former security advisor as a "workaholic" who has "always been up to his ears in papers."



Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Bloggers at the Conventions

The other Galveston based blog reports and comments on the bloggers that will be reporting on Conventions.  The traditional media has been cautiously condensening about the blogger contingent in the press pool. The Los Angeles times editorializes with the headline 'Bloggers Are the sizzle Not the Steak' Smoke On the Water retorts with 'Close but No Cigar'
I've been a delegate to a Texas Republican State convention. And though Alex is correct that what we see on teevee isn't filled with tension, let me tell you, the behind-the-scenes meetings in various caucus rooms, etc., certainly is.
But make no mistake, this moment of blogging legitimization — and temporary press credentials — doesn't turn bloggers into journalists.

Well, duh! First, I don't think most bloggers would want to be journalists. I mean, when respectable careers like being a piano player in a whorehouse are still available, well......guess it's time for me to look into some piano lessons.







Ahh so well stated. Whether traditional journalist like it or not the political bloggers are here to stay, they are every bit as legitimate as any other media. In the meantime time I think I'm gonna get that ole piano tuned.



CENTIGRADE 9/11

CENTIGRADE 9/11 is a pretty neat place to go, if you're into Moore bashing. Very Drudge like.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Mad Photographer on the Loose

Texas City authororities and and the Feds are looking for some one in a white van who has had the audacity to take pictures of a couple of the refinerys in Texas City.  I myself have taken pictures from outside the fence of several oil and chemical plants and understand that the Patriot Act still doesn't make this activity illegal.  However if this guy decides to give himself up, there is a good he could end up locked up and hidden away for a long time.  The Texas City Sun reports
 Police and local homeland security officials spent most the afternoon Saturday searching for a white van that had been seen around local refineries.

Security personnel and eye-witnesses near the industrial complex reported to police a white man with dark hair and wearing a white T-shirt driving the van, stopping to take photographs of local petrochemical facilities.

While the actions of the driver are not in themselves illegal, security officials are interested in talking with the driver and an unspecified passenger about their activities. Reports to Texas City police spotted the van, which was also marked with some sort of company name on the side, near the Marathon and Valero refineries.

Security personnel at both plants declined comment on the incident. Attempts to reach public affairs personnel for the facilities on a weekend were unsuccessful.

As is procedure in such cases, the Joint Terrorism Task Force for this region was alerted to the incident and “the ball is already rolling on this one (to find out what the driver was up to),” said Texas City’s Homeland Security Director Bruce Clawson.

Such incidents are actually not that all uncommon in the region. Most cases turn out to be benign, but security officials are intense nonetheless.

“You can never be too careful in these cases,” Clawson said in a previous interview about the Terrorism Task Force. “When we have a report of suspicious activity everyone in the task force (local police, FBI, Department of Homeland Security and various other law enforcement agencies) work it until we have an answer as to what was going on.

“No one rests until we have an answer.”

As of late Saturday afternoon, police had been unable to find the van or its passengers for questioning.

Still, the activity searching for the van had some who work near the city’s industrial complex wondering.

“I had a buddy call me who works at one of the plants and tell me about it. I don’t know what to think about what’s going on,” said Lance Blawcock of Bacliff, who was at a store on Texas Avenue while a couple of patrol cars were visibly searching for the van.

In addition to contacting local officials, residents have other avenues to report suspicious activity. Last year, the Join Terrorism Task Force established a toll-free hotline for people to report suspicious activity such as what some saw Saturday.

That number is (877) 283-1809.








Whoopi's new job

"After making obcene comments at a fundraiser (for John Kerry) Whoopi Goldbergwas fired as Slim-Fast spokesperson and hired to write for Dick Cheney"
-- Craig Killborn

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Out of Gmail Invites.

No more Gmail invites left. I gave away the last one this morning. I was using invites from mine and two of Equality's accounts.  And we gave away over 20 invites without having  to turn down anyone, at least until this morning.  I will post here as soon as I get some more new invites.  If anyone has any invites to give away, please let me know, and I will find a good home.
 


The Clintonator


ewwwww
Found this family portrait at Wonkette . Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. I suspect that this was taken when Hillary found out she had only a wlk in role at the Democratic convention. For those in her way I can only offer this advice. "Be afraid, be very afraid"



Another reason to Fear our Government

No Treason logs about a man who gets his drivers licence revoked because he admits to drinking a sixpack or more a day at home!
A man who told doctors at a hospital that he drinks more than a six-pack of beer per day is now fighting to get his driver's license back because the physicians apparently reported him to the state.

Keith Emerich, 44, said yesterday he disclosed his drinking habit in February to doctors who were treating him for an irregular heartbeat.

"I told them it was over a six-pack a day. It wasn't good for me -- I'm not gonna lie," Emerich said in a telephone interview from his home in Lebanon, about 30 miles east of Harrisburg.

Emerich received a notice from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation in April that his license was being recalled effective May 6 for medical reasons related to substance abuse.

The people in Pennsylvania must be sleeping pretty good knowing their goverment is looking out for them.




Thursday, July 15, 2004

Will compases point South?

The New York Times asks "Will Compasses Point South?"
The collapse of the Earth's magnetic field, which both guards the planet and guides many of its creatures, appears to have started in earnest about 150 years ago. The field's strength has waned 10 to 15 percent, and the deterioration has accelerated of late, increasing debate over whether it portends a reversal of the lines of magnetic force that normally envelop the Earth.

During a reversal, the main field weakens, almost vanishes, then reappears with opposite polarity. Afterward, compass needles that normally point north would point south, and during the thousands of years of transition, much in the heavens and Earth would go askew.

A reversal could knock out power grids, hurt astronauts and satellites, widen atmospheric ozone holes, send polar auroras flashing to the equator and confuse birds, fish and migratory animals that rely on the steadiness of the magnetic field as a navigation aid. But experts said the repercussions would fall short of catastrophic, despite a few proclamations of doom and sketchy evidence of past links between field reversals and species extinctions.

It looks likes its eventually going to happen.

Police Kill Wrong Man

The Denver Police killed the wrong man because not only did they misidentify the victim the mistook a soda can for a weapon. This family has learned the hard way that we have more to fear from our own goverment than we do the terrorist.
A Denver police officer likely mistook a soda can for a weapon before shooting and killing a 63-year-old man in his bed, Police Chief Gerry Whitman said Monday.

Frank Lobato was shot once in the chest Sunday night during a police search for a domestic-violence suspect. Lobato, a career criminal and formerly homeless man whom neighbors said was disabled, was not involved in the domestic dispute.

Instead, officers were searching the home at 1234 W. 10th Ave. for Lobato's nephew Vincent Martinez, who was wanted on suspicion of domestic violence, assault and false imprisonment. Martinez, 42, was captured Monday evening.

Some neighbors and community members called the shooting questionable - and worse.

"I think it is disgraceful," neighbor Rose Salaz said. "I don't see how they can just go into people's houses shooting people. ... They are supposed to protect us."

The shooting comes weeks after the city and police announced reforms to the department's use-of-force policy in the wake of controversy surrounding police shootings.

Whitman and District Attorney Bill Ritter took the unusual step of calling a news conference to lay out some of the facts about the incident, the third fatal police shooting this year. But they answered few questions.

"It has now been determined that the party who was shot was not armed at the time of the shooting," a subdued Whitman said, reading from a prepared statement. "The officer stated that after he fired the shot, he heard an object fall to the floor on the other side of the bed. A beverage can was recovered from the floor in the area of the bedroom."

Ritter, standing next to Whitman, promised a full investigation to determine whether Officer Ranjan Ford Jr. broke any laws when he fired the fatal shot. No criminal charges have been filed against a Denver police officer for an on-the-job shooting during Ritter's 11-year tenure.

Ford, 33, came to the department in 2001. He has no prior shootings and no discipline problems, police said.

Before his hiring in Denver, Ford had been an officer in Jasper, Texas. Jasper Police Chief Stanley Christopher said Ford was a model officer there.

"I wish I had a dozen like him," Christopher said. "I'm telling you, he was a great officer. We really hated to see him go."

Ford was born in Boulder and attended Fairview High School, according to the application he submitted to become an officer in Denver. He speaks Singhalese, the native language of Sri Lanka. According to his application, he worked as a police officer and corrections officer in Texas beginning in 1993. Ford works in District 6 downtown.

"Knowing him as well as I do, if something happened, he was in fear for his life," Christopher said. "He's not a hot-dog. He's not a John Wayne-type."

Police were called to the home in the South Lincoln housing project by Martinez's wife, Cathy Sandoval, who said Martinez beat her and held her against her will for 17 hours on Sunday.

Now Sandoval said she is saddened and worried by the outcome. A relative is dead, and her angry husband is in jail.

"I'm worried he will think this is my fault," she said before her husband's capture Monday night.

The situation began when Sandoval and her husband of two months returned from an evening of drinking around 2 a.m.

Martinez was jealous because Sandoval had talked to people at the bar, Sandoval said. Once home, he became violent and he hit, choked and threw plates at Sandoval until about 10 a.m., she said.

For the rest of Sunday, Martinez refused to let Sandoval leave. She did not get out until about 6:45 p.m., when her mother arrived to return Sandoval's two children.

Once out of the house, Sandoval called police and agreed to meet them at a nearby McDonald's. She said she gave police permission to enter her home, and told them that her husband and his uncle Lobato were in the apartment.

Salaz said she watched police officers use a ladder to enter the apartment. They were in the apartment about a minute before she heard a shot, she said.

"People were out running around, grabbing their kids" when the shot went off, Salaz said. "Then, you could hear the officers inside yelling 'Put your hands up!"'

Salaz and other neighbors knew that Martinez had already jumped out a window and run away before three officers, including Ford, entered through the same window. Police had surrounded the building, but an officer walked around to the front, allowing Martinez an opportunity to flee, neighbors said. It was at least 25 minutes after Martinez ran away before the officers went in, Salaz said.

Sandoval said Lobato was in the room during the day as Martinez held her captive.

Lobato had a lengthy criminal record dating back to 1959, including arrests for drugs, assault and burglary. He had been in prison several times. His most recent arrest came in May on shoplifting charges.

On Monday night, Lobato's niece and grandniece said Lobato needed daily medication to keep his mind clear enough "to where he could cope."

Lobato was probably confused by the officers if he was aware of them at all, his niece Denise Cogil said, adding that the family has contacted an attorney in preparation for a lawsuit.

The shooting stirred echoes of the infamous 1999 shooting of Mexican immigrant Ismael Mena, who was killed during a no- knock drug raid at the wrong address. The city of Denver paid a $400,000 settlement to the family of Mena, who shot at police officers before he was killed and was discovered to have killed a man in Mexico.

Mayor John Hickenlooper, who has championed police reform, issued a statement Monday commending Whitman for being forthcoming about the shooting and promising continued investment in resources and training for police officers.

"This situation involves two tragedies: a brutal case of domestic violence and a loss of life," Hickenlooper said.

City Councilman Rick Garcia, chairman of the public safety committee, said his committee is planning to review further police reforms next month.

"For this action to happen does not bode well for the Police Department or the city," Garcia said. "I'm terribly distraught about it."



Same-sex marriage Senate battle over, war is not

The Senate failed to Pass the Anti-Same-sex Ammendment.The demise of President Bush's pet project may well mark the beggining of Bush's own demise. The irrational dead end movement highlites the developing split with Republicans. Not only didn't they get the 67 votes needed to forward the Ammendment, nor did they get the 60 Votes to Keep it alive, They couldn't even get 50 percent. The vote wos 48 to 50 The missing votes were Kerry's and Edwards who continue to collect their paychecks for their no-show jobs.
The amendment, as proposed by Allard, would add these two sentences to the Constitution:

"Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman."

Some Republicans objected to the second sentence, saying it was so ambiguous that it also could prevent states from allowing gays and lesbians to join in civil unions.

Other senators expressed concern that the measure would usurp the states' traditional dominion over family law, and some questioned whether it was necessary.

Republican Sen. John Sununu of New Hampshire, who voted against moving the measure forward, said it was too early to make the assumption that judges might strike down laws such as the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act and 38 similar state statutes that define marriage as a union only between a man and a woman.

"Naturally, there exist concerns about what activist courts might do to undermine these rights and the Defense of Marriage Act," Sununu said in a statement. "But it is premature to amend the Constitution based upon a hypothetical scenario."

McCain went even further, calling the amendment "antithetical in every way to the core philosophy of Republicans."

Sen. John Cornyn in a speech last week "It does not affect your daily life very much if your neighbor marries a box turtle. But that does not mean it is right. . . . Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife."
All this talk about defending marriage makes one ponder just how same sex marriage poses any such threat. If it opposes ones religeous beliefs, the church doesn't have to participate. If the President wants to really give some support and protect to Marriage he should change the punitive tax, Social Security, and Medicaid Policy's. These policy's have forced married couples to get get divorced just to make ends meet. If Bush and company really cared about married Americans they would spend more energy on these money issues, but instead they focus on gaybashing.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Bush's Radio Attack on Gay Marriage.

President Bush's Radio Address The Family Marriage Amendment doesn't stand a chance in hell, but gives Bush detractors lots of ammunition. The only explaination for his pushing so dogmatically is hate. I'm not so sure that any man so driven with this hate belongs in power. We need the folks in power to reasoning and compassionate there is no room for hate.
...
For ages, in every culture, human beings have understood that traditional marriage is critical to the well-being of families. And because families pass along values and shape character, traditional marriage is also critical to the health of society. Our policies should aim to strengthen families, not undermine them. And changing the definition of traditional marriage will undermine the family structure.

On an issue of this great significance, opinions are strong and emotions run deep. All of us have a duty to conduct this discussion with civility and decency toward one another. All people deserve to have their voices heard. And that is exactly the purpose behind the constitutional amendment process. American democracy, not court orders, should decide the future of marriage in America.
...

First of all the institute of marriage, isn't all that great of a privelege given to us by our goverment. It Doies allow the goverment to tax us a little heavier and to screw us over when it is time to collect our social security. Our goverment gives us nothing that I can think of for the privelege of being married. Please let the gays get married so they can get screwed by our goverment just like us married hetrosexuals.

How is banning gay marriages protecting heterosexual marriages. I must confess I feel a little threatened when my wife, Equality, watches the gay Home and Gardening decoraters and get some decorating ideas, but this has nothing to do whether these gays folks are married. I can't understand Bush's concern. This makes him look hatefgul, and I'm really afraid that this is the one issue that could cost him the election. It won't cost him the election because of the loss of the gay vote, nor because his potential voter base really cares, but because his insistence on this issue makes him look hateful.

Kerry and Edwards, a match made in heaven...

The Bull and the Snake don't really want to talk about it, but the cozinesss between Kerry and Edwards can make most men a little uncomfortable. Apparently Rush thinks that they might be a little metrosexual. I think it might be something more. See for yourself

Son of Colin Joins the Blogosphere

Michael Powell Joins the Blogosphere His intent was to open communication between the corporate tech firms and himself. The Comment sections are loaded with complaints about his heavy handed handeling of Howard Stern, and his support of the DMCA. The message to him is that he is supposed to be a servent of the electorate and not big bussness intrest. He isn't likely to respond to charges of unfairness in his treatment of Operah and Howard Stern. He makes it pretty clear that he is intrested in opening up communication with the High Tech Industry's yet shows no interest in opening dialog with the unwashed masses. They comment prodigously. Samples of comments:
Hi Mr. Powell,

I am a business owner in the computer industry. I understand the need to regulate certain frequencies to allocate resources for police and military. However, I am troubled by the censorship of the FCC. I understand that children should be shielded from offensive material, however adults should be able to see whatever they want. Specifically, why does our culture find violence much more acceptable than sexual material? In addition, I am very worried about the consolidation of media into the hands of a few huge corporations. This has horrible consequences, such as lower quality and higher prices and all of the other bad stuff associated with monopolistic behavior. Viacom violated the FCC rules, and instead of being punished they just changed the FCC rules. Who's interest are you looking after, the general public or the elite?

schneidafunk | POSTED: 07.11.04 @02:51
-------------------------------------------------------
Chairman Powell,
I am shocked and horrified at your decision
to start the forum. In truth, this is not a blog.
It is just another attempt by a political
appointee to appear in touch with average
people. As you read through the comments,
you will see the same remarks you get from
the federal register rule making procedure,
often from the same individuals (lawyers,
lobbyers, and hams). This is not a blog.
It's a commercial for the FCC.
I recommend you not bother putting on
pretenses of running a blog. Or, if you are
inclined to keep up this chirade, that you fully
prepare to engage the interent-fad-of-the-week.
I suggest you also put up FCC files using
bittorrent P2P distribution technology, since
that might appeal to other constituencies.
You might want to record your views as MP3
files as well, since this might fool even more
readers into thinking you actually care about
the needs of the public you pretend to serve.
You, sir, are a fraud. Don't waste any more
tax dollars on this effort. Instead, spend your
time truly wasting money by keeping the
airwaves "decent" and free from the
obscenities that everyone hears on a daily
basis in everyday life.

jlo178 | POSTED: 07.11.04 @03:19
-----------------------------------------
Michael Powell,

I too am concerned about the increased involvement of the FCC in the public airways. I don't think it's the job of the FCC to add more bloated government regulations to mass media and have a bureacrat decide what and what not can be seen by citizens of this free country.

It seems contrary to the beliefs of our forefathers and writers of the constitution that censorship be a federally funded practice. The freedom of speech and the freedom of expression is the corner of any free democracy, even if some find this speech or expression offensive. Yet this important value does not seem valued (or at least as viewed as something critical to our democracy) with the current leadership of the FCC. Why?

Bill Waler | POSTED: 07.10.04 @17:04
-------------------------------------------
Chairman Powell:

I'm growing very concerned from what I've seen in Washington lately. How is that you and the FCC continue to use double standards with respect to indecency? Why is Stern being fined and Oprah not? What do you consider indecent? If you and the FCC had your way, I'll bet anything negative posted about you or the Bush administration would be considered indecent. Why don't you clarify some of this for us AO users so we can understand the FCCs view on Oprah vs. Stern. Is it because Oprah is beloved by the people and you think Stern is not? I know millions of listeners would probably beg to differ w/ you on that one. Also, how many kids are actually listening to Stern at 6AM on their way to school? Probably not too many unless their parents are letting them do so. Don't you think it should be my right to decide what I want to listen to?

Please help us to understand the FCC and its polically driven decisions!

Respectfully,
Dallasjhawk

dallasjhawk | POSTED: 07.10.04 @13:20

and it goes on and on. I think its unlikely son of Colin will pay any attention. After all these are just citizens, not well healed corporations.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Plumerias are in bloom


First Plumeria Blossum
Weve been raising a pair of plumerias for about 4 years now. First on our tiny patio at the appartment we living, then here at our new homestead for the past 2 summers. We never got any flowers though. We asked the plumeria Society at the Home and Garden Show at the Relient Center what was wrong. They told us to fertilize and then fertilize some more. We did and find the results worth our patience. Pretty aren't they?

California education chief calls preschooler 'stupid dirty girl'

Richard Riordan calls preschooler 'stupid dirty girl'

The conversation, videotaped by KEYT-TV, took place July 1. The girl, 6-year-old Isis D'Luciano, asked Riordan if he knew her name meant "Egyptian goddess."

Riordan replied, "It means stupid dirty girl."

After nervous laughter in the room, the girl again told Riordan the meaning of her name.

"Hey, that's nifty," he said.
...

State Education Secretary Richard Riordan jokingly told a child her name, Isis, meant "stupid dirty girl," prompting the head of the California NAACP on Thursday to call for his resignation.

Ok, he was kidding with the little girl who seemed to understand the little teasing, and it sounds like she wasn't terribally upset about the whole thing. Riordan showed poor taste, but this incident is best described as tactless.
But Alice Huffman, president of the California chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said Thursday that Riordan "is not suitable to lead education in our state" and should be removed.
...
Democratic state Assemblyman Mervyn Dymally, who had scheduled a protest by civil rights organizations, canceled the demonstration after an apparent mix-up over the girl's racial background.

Dymally was quoted in the San Jose Mercury News Thursday saying the child was "a little African-American girl. Would he (Riordan) have done that to a white girl?"

The girl is white, with blonde hair.

Dymally did not return telephone calls. His office issued a statement Wednesday calling Riordan's remarks to the girl "outrageous and irresponsible," then issued another statement Thursday saying, "To err is human; to forgive is divine."

"Race is not a factor in this issue," Dymally said in Thursday's statement, adding that Riordan had apologized a second time. "It is time for us to move on."


OK, lets see if I have this right, because the girl is white its not such a big deal now. Any attempt to minimalize this event would have been sure to have attracted outcries of racism, That is that it was a little teasing that was in poor taste and no harm was done. This would be just as true if little Isis were black.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Gore accuses Bush, Cheney of `institutionalized dishonesty'

KR Washington Bureau | 06/24/2004 | Gore accuses Bush, Cheney of `institutionalized dishonesty'
I just wanna know where I can buy one of these digital brown shirts everyone is talking about?

Gore lately seems to be on the verge of a "Dean Down" is it me or is he cracking up? He is calling Abu Ghraib the "Bush Gulag" and any one that defends President Bush a "Digital Brown Shirt" which sounds a lot like he is calling some of us bloggers Nazis. Rob Booth invokes Godwin. I think the Gestapo are out to get tobacco users, and Northstar cheers them on to go get`em.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

SpaceShipOne Back, and Ready to go.

Although SpaceShipOne flight was a success there was a control problem that threatened the safety of the mission. Burt Rutan assures us that SpaceShipOne is back on Course
"That's a complete, entire yes," Rutan said when asked whether his Scaled Composites team had gotten to the bottom of a trim-control problem experienced during SpaceShipOne's voyage to an altitude of 100 kilometers on June 21.

Rutan also clarified the issue of whether there will be passengers on the next flight. The X-Prize can be won by not actually flying passangers, but with an equivilent ballast.
Rutan said passengers won't fly on SpaceShipOne, at least at first.

"The only time we could do that is the second X Prize flight, because the earlier flight is an envelope-expansion flight" during which SpaceShipOne will fly with a heavier payload and employ a longer rocket burn than on earlier missions.

"Whether we fly passengers on the second flight we'll decide later, but there's no way we'll do that on the first flight," he said.

So, there is hope that there will be passengers on the second qualifying flight. One possibility is that passangers might be able to perform some sort of simple and short microgravity experiment.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Bloglines Reloaded

Bloglines is reborn with a new look and some added fuctionality. I'm not crazy about their usage of frames, but the new features are pretty kewl. It has a limmited Blog capability where one can log notes and make entry's. Its primative, but it works and is probably the easiest way to start a blog. I made a blog entry if any one wants to see what it looks like.

War On Foreign Journalists

Apparently in the name of homeland security we are engaged in a war on foreign journalistsIt looks as though a lot of foreign journalists will have to go to through some new, tougher hoops to report on the United States.

Citing homeland security issues, the State Department will no longer allow foreign journalists visiting the U.S. or stationed here semi-permanently to easily renew their Visa’s in-country.

That means 20,000 journalists who have been able to renew their visas without too much hassle will now be faced with a lot of additional time—from 4-6 weeks to up to six months—and some extra expense to renew them.


The buzzmachine thinks its a poor way to demonstrate the power of the first amendment. I happen to agree.
One heckuva way to demonstrate the power of the First Amendment, eh?

Two problems with this: First, foreign governments will retaliate against American journalists. Second, in this day and age, everyone is a reporter. Does this mean that a blogger over here posting about America is violating a visa?

I'm tougher on homeland security than most, but this is just stupid. We're supposed to believe that freedom of information is a good thing, remember?

Galveston's Home Depot to ReOpen

Galveston County Daily News reports that the Home depot that collapsed will be reopened, but there is no promise of when we can expect this to hapen.
Although The Home Depot has begun rebuilding its island store, the retailer said it still doesn’t know what caused the roof and several 30-ton wall panels to tumble during a severe thunderstorm late last month.

But if the home improvement giant uncovers the cause of the bizarre collapse at its store in the 6500 block of Interstate 45, will it tell the community?

“It’s too early to say,” said spokesman Jonathan Guerin.

Whether a private company such as The Home Depot is required to divulge its findings to the city also is unclear. Some city officials said they would have to review codes before answering.

Nearly two weeks after the roof failed, The Home Depot said it has learned little about the cause.

Its disturbing though that apparently no one knows why the store collapsed. If no one knows whey, we can't be assured its not going to happen again, maybe while there are customers throughout the store.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Terroririst Terrorizing the Terrorist

Iraqi Group Threatens to Kill Zarqawi
A group of armed, masked Iraqi men threatened Tuesday to kill Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi if he did not immediately leave the country, accusing him of murdering innocent Iraqis and defiling the Muslim religion.

Fighting fire with fire I suppose.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Kerry makes his decision

Kerry may announce his running mate Tommorrow
But a Democratic official who has talked with Kerry told CNN the candidate has indeed made a decision and would announce it shortly. (CNN.com Special Report: America Votes 2004 Veep Contenders)

"It's clear Kerry has made a decision and is committed to announcing it on his terms with discipline more typically associated with Republican campaigns of yesteryear," the Democratic official said. "That obviously means a rapid turn-around."
Kuff discusses the insider rumor that Gephart is the man, but he speaks of nonacceptance of the bloggers. I assume he means Democrat Bloggers.

Another Bonehead Defense Bill

A House version of a new Defense bill would cause result in having to liscence for export anything faster than a 650 MHZ P3.
The dramatic tightening of export regulations is included in the National Defense Authorization Act, an annual military funding bill that has already passed the U.S. House of Representatives. Though the proposed rules are only a tiny portion of the 630-page bill, they could have a devastating impact on the computer industry.

"It would bring exports to a grinding halt," said Dan Hoydish, director of trade, public policy and government affairs for Unisys and chairman of the Computer Coalition for Responsible Exports, a trade group that counts many major technology companies as members. "We wouldn't be asking for 20 export licenses in a year, we would be asking for 20,000 in a day."
Moreover, the proposed rules would apply to exports destined for any country, including U.S. allies.


What is stupid about this is that many of the motherboards and even the computers themselves are not even made in America. Of course the chips and computers could be sold to almost any country as long as they were properly liscenced. Smuggling would be pretty much a mater of course to prevent the certain country's agency's from getting them.
Fotrunately:

The controversial section is not included in a U.S. Senate version of the bill that passed last week. That means the fate of the proposed rules, known as Section 1404, will be determined by negotiations between the House and the Senate, currently slated for later this month.

Whick means that there is a possibility that a surge of common sense is possible before this bill is passed. Unfortunately there are still boneheads who will try to defend this idiotic bill:
A representative of the House Armed Services Committee, which drafted the amendment to the original House bill, said the legislation would reverse a trend that has weakened U.S. national security and made the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction much more likely. Supercomputers can be used in nuclear-weapons research, as well as in cryptography, antisubmarine warfare and intelligence activities.

"There shouldn't be much daylight between the Department of Defense and Commerce about what requires a license," said Harald Stavenas, spokesman for Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., who chairs the House Armed Services Committee. "The problem is that there is. Commerce (isn't controlling) things that have critical military applications."

We are tralking about desk/and laptop computers here not cannons!
The current policy limits the export of computers having a processing power above a certain level to certain countries, including Russia, India, Israel, Pakistan and China.

What makes this even sillier is that powerful computers are bbuilt by talkin not so exotic computers networking them, and using the multiple computers in co-operatiuon with each other.
Further clouding the issue is the recent trend of building highly capable systems by linking scores of relatively off-the-shelf parts, a process known as clustering. Several of those countries whose imports are limited, such as China and Russia, have sidestepped the regulations by creating their own supercomputers using clusters of hundreds or thousands of less-powerful systems. The Top500 list of supercomputers, released last week, included five homegrown Chinese computers, including one ranked No. 10. A Russian supercomputer ranked 391.

"The number of clustered systems on that list has really multiplied," said David Rose, director of import/export information security policy for chipmaker Intel, a member of the Computer Coalition for Responsible Exports. "Supercomputers are no longer difficult to create."

This could prove a boon to the Chinese who are attempting to develop their own chips. Creating a market that won't require the red tape.

New Jersey and D.C. are telling drivers to hang up

New Jersey and D.C. join New York in the short list of states that ban hand held cell phones while driving. Talking on a cell phone can be distracting, but so is a Slurpie or a coffee. Although these laws verge on nannyism an earpiece or hands free device is typically fairly cheap and convienient. I had heard that in Texas they can ticket a driver for talking on a handset for more than 3 minutes. This seems like a reasonable idea. Still:
Mantill Williams, spokesman for AAA, says the automotive group opposes bans on handheld cell phones while driving.

"The danger isn't the device itself - it's actually the conversation," he says. Headsets, ear buds or other hands-free equipment frees people to talk longer, so these bans might do more harm than good, he says.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Gmail Tips and Tricks

Blogfather has a few Gmail Tips and Tricks that are worth a looksee for Gmail account owners.

More about the Hong Kong Demonstrations

The Vodka Pundit states They Want What You Have. Help Them Get It.

State of the Blog

This has been a impressive month for this site. We received 2567 hits, from 1756 Visits. This is a result of a couple of things. The Jon Matthews story reached its conclusion. Lots of hits from coolios, and the Flop House links. Our Google PR number increased from 4 to 5 this improved our position on Google search engine results.

What does all this mean?
Its great to know that there people reading my postings, I post for my own satisfaction, and would most likely do it if there were no readers, but it is nice knowing that people find me and read my digital scrawlings.

Thanks, readers and fellow bloggers. Y'all have made this a lot of fun.

U.S. warns against Microsoft Internet Explorer

It isn't some paranoid privacy group this time. It is the US goverment in the form of The Department of Homeland Security is asking us us not to use Microsoft Internet Explorer.

The Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team touched off a storm this week when it recommended for security reasons using browsers other than Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer.

The Microsoft browser, the government warned, cannot protect against vulnerabilities in its Internet Information Services (IIS) 5 server programs, which a team of hackers allegedly based in Russia has exploited with a Java script that is appended to Web sites.

The real security issue here is in Microsoft Server. If I read this correctly using Microsoft Server is not only dangerous, but unpatriotic.

The particular virus initiated this week inserts Java script into certain Web sites. When users visit those sites, it initiates pop-up ads on home and office computers, and allows keystroke analysis of user information. The target is believed to be credit card numbers. CERT estimated that as many as tens of thousands of Web sites may be affected.

CERT said vulnerabilities in IIS and IE could include MIME-type determination, the DHTML object model, the IE domain/zone security model and ActiveX scripts. Alternative browsers such as Mozilla or Netscape may not protect users, the agency warned, if those browsers invoke ActiveX control or HTML rendering engines.

The only defense may be completely disabling scripting and ActiveX controls.

Microsoft said earlier in the week it is working with law enforcement officials to identify the source of the latest Internet virus.

Note that Microsoft has not said anything about working on tightening up their software to prevent this sort of thing from happening.

Friday, July 02, 2004

My Way News

Huge protest in Hong Kong by those demanding more democracy. Reported Crowds of more than a half million peacefully converged in the streets of Hong Kong. The Chinese goverment is resolute in their insistance to take away self rule, our the American Goverment show very little support for any emerging Democracy. Maybe the Bush administration is afraid of upseting Walmart. Its amazing how we can go to war to thrust Democracy onn folks who don't want it, yet we can't even give a modicom of support to those who risk so much.
The United States said it respected the people's right to seek political reforms.

"It is up to the Hong Kong people and the government of Hong Kong to determine the pace and scope of democratization," Susan N. Stevenson, a spokeswoman for the U.S. consulate, said by telephone.


How about a trade boycott! or something meaningful! Why is China different than Cuba? Hypocytes!

No News

Chrenkoff explains that no news is pretty darn good news. His post on the happenings in Afghanistan is excellent reading.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Dan Patrick whenes about sour Grapes

Dan Patrick is sounding like a baby who isn't getting his own way. He is calling for a boycott of KILT FM radio, a sister Infinity Station, because Howard Stern is coming to Houston. Dan Patrick The formeremployer of Jon Matthews Claims "Howard Stern is not welcome in Houston.....it's time for us to watch the President's back" Since when does President Bush's back need this type of watching. Dan Patrick has been in the bussiness a long time and he should be the first a free exchange of idea on the radio. His blog Chronically Biased is based on the the idea of a librally biased pressed. Talk radio is is heavilly leaned toward toward the conservative side. KILT is nuetral it is a music station. Its entirely unfair that he put pressure in this way and is abusing his power has a Radio Station owner.


I did something on my show today that I have never done before, ask my listeners to take action and protest a show on another radio station, the Howard Stern Show. In our business, one doesn’t usually mention another station. Broadcasters fear they will have their listeners tune to that other station. This is particularly the case when the station with the larger audience mentions a station with a smaller audience. Another words, don’t give the little guy any free publicity. There is also a concern that some might think the station that is protesting another is actually concerned that the “other” station may steal some of its audience.

Of course Dan's motive are honorable, sure they are! KSEV is a low wattage station that barely can be heard outside the beltway at night.

I can assure you that first, KSEV has a much, much larger audience than the “other” station. Secondly, I am not afraid of their competition. Our listeners have been loyal to us for over 15 years and would never consider listening to trash talk on another station.

Where are his viewers in the 11-2 time block. Speaking of Rush, even he supports Howard Sterns claim that the FCC is being to punitive, and abusive.

My protest is based on two key points. First, we do not need the foul mouthed, low class Howard Stern espousing his filth on our public airways. He debases women, humiliates people and trashed the community standards.
OK, This is axactly why I won't listen to Howard Stern.

Secondly, he has vowed to defeat President George Bush. He is angry that the F.C.C. has clamped down on him and blames the President. He is against the President’s decision opposing stem cell research, is pro abortion and against the war in Iraq. He has made it a personal mission to get his audience to vote in bloc for Kerry.
and this the reason why Howard Stern belongs on the Radio. We need dessent it is an impoertant part of the politacal proccess. Dan Patricks call for a boycott is not only a mistake it is deplorable. It is especially deplorable for someone who owns a talk radio station.

I am angry at Infinity Broadcasting bring Stern to Houston. It is a personal affront, to the city where the President’s parents live, to the state that the President calls home and to a community that largely supports the President, to air a host who has vowed to get the President. The local station that will carry Stern beginning in July, also owns KILT FM and KILT AM.
Houston is city that tat tends to vote Democratic. A small radio station whose signal barely reaches out of the city limits and espouses Republican beliefs is more of misreprentation than a liberal voice.

I am asking all citizens to contact KILT FM, the biggest money maker for the company in Houston, and make your protest heard. Tell then you will not support KILT FM or KILT AM or their sponsors if they put Stern on the air. I ask the top officials at the Rodeo to tell KILT they will no longer be welcomed at the rodeo, if they allow Stern on the air in Houston. I am asking all the area Pastors to protest.

Maybe we should be boycotting.
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This isn't about conservative or liberal talk radio its about the right to dessenting opinion. I don't even like Howard Stern, and probably won't listen to him. I'm likely to vote for George Bush. It just seems to me that a boycott is playing dirty, and that even has a right to be heard by those who want to listen to him. Dan Patrick not only wants to espouse his point of few but to silence anyone who happens to see things differently.