Thursday, September 30, 2004

SpaceshipOne Does its First Leg.

SpaceShipOne, piloted by 62-year-old Michael Melvill, reached the 62 mile mark on a wild ride. The team now has to fly one more time to collect the 10 million dollar prize. The next fllight is schedualed for Oct. 10th. Its been a pretty good week for the team. A newly announced licensing deal with the British-based Virgin Group, aimed at creating a new fleet of suborbital spaceships based on SpaceShipOne technology, would also help balance the books.

The flight wasn't perfect. SpaceShipOne spiraled upward in a dramatic roll. Melvill maintained power to ensure that craft passed the required 102KM until Melvill cut the engines off 11 seconds early. X Prize rival Eric Meier of Space Transport Corp. watched the live video of the roll along with hundreds of other VIPs at Mojave Airport. "Didn't look like a tourist flight," he deadpanned. Yet, inadvertantly, the flight demonstrated the safety features built into the craft. Melvill was in control of killing power. A feature not available in most solid engine rockets. SpaceShipOne designer and commercial space flight pioneer Burt Rutan said that while the rolls were spectacular, they did not damage the craft that -- unlike the Space Shuttle -- was designed to take the strain and was 100 times safer than other manned spacecraft.


"That would have been an accident if that had happened on the Space Shuttle on in an X-15 (plane)," he said. "We'd be looking for small pieces."

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

RatherBiased.com

RatherBiased.com points out that Dan Rather hasn't given up. Despite Ratings that are seeking zero, and their credibility that has found the toilet. Dan has gone on the air to promote the widely debunked "Draft Conspiracy."
Daniel Irvin Rather must be a masochist. You'd think that in the midst of the terrible publicity he is currently getting for working closely with a partisan Democrat bent on bringing down President Bush that Dan Rather would have the good sense to lay off the liberal bias for a while. But common sense seems to be in short supply at CBS News these days.

Three weeks after he denounced the internet as being "filled with rumors," the embattled CBS anchor ran a story on his Tuesday "Evening News" program hoping to stir up fear of an impending military draft.

In a story that was a textbook example of slipshod reporting, CBS reporter Richard Schlesinger used debunked internet hoax emails and an unlabeled interest group member to scare elderly "Evening" viewers into believing that the U.S. government is poised to resume the draft.

Monday, September 27, 2004

CBS Cover-Up

The InstaPundit brings to our attention an article by John Leo. The Instapundit's focus was on, "Why was CBS in such a hurry to get the story out". The questions I have are: "Why did they take did they take so long to discredit the story?" and "Why were they so reluctant about doing this?" John Leo has some thoughts on this:
What CBS produced was the worst press scandal of our era, revealing a depth of ineptitude and arrogance that even the network's worst critics hardly suspected. Internet bloggers shredded the 60 Minutes story within three hours of the broadcast's end. Some bloggers were challenging the authenticity of the documents while the program was still being shown on the West Coast. Within a day, the mainstream press picked up the story and further devastated 60 Minutes. After five days, with the CBS story totally discredited, Rather called his critics "partisan" and said they "can't deny the core truth of this story." He also said that if there was something wrong with the documents, he would like to be the one to break the story--a story that had been broken days before but amazingly not noticed by him.

Pajama game. When the mistakes-were-made semiapology finally came, Rather emitted the phrase "if I knew then what I know now." But all he had to do to know it then was to turn on his computer or pick up a copy of the Washington Post. The network hostility to Internet commentary was obvious. One CBS news executive referred to bloggers as people writing in their pajamas (i.e., not members of our esteemed guild). Rather associated them with rumor and propaganda. This seems to mean that many in the mainstream press still don't understand bloggers and tend to associate them with the Drudge Report on its worst day. Bloggers make their case with hyperlinks to primary sources and other data. Arguments without authority count for nothing, and soft-headed analyses and hoaxes are quickly exposed. As RealClear Politics said, it's a fast-moving, "very transparent, self-correcting environment ultimately based on facts."


I think I'm beginning to understand. Could it be that Dan Rather and CBS do not read blogs? That they don't understand blogging and the Blogesphere? They might have a point, blogs are full rumor, propaganda and bias, but its real easy to identify blogs which try to be fair, and what is fact, and what is opinion. Our sources are readily checked, by just about anyone. Rather and the CBS bunch need to check out a few blogs from time to time. I think they just might find a pretty high quality product.

Biker Weekend

It looks like it was a good time had by all, Other than a quick visit by the remmnants of Ivan on Saturday morning the weather was great, throwds were large, and there was a lot see. The Vender booths were busy. I talked a bit with John of Power and Chrome Outlet and he was keeping busy, and having a successful booth with his Custom made bikes. The crowds were large polite and well behaved. The Island now settles in quietly from the noisey weekend, proud of our success as gracious hosts, and greatful for the peacefulness which has settled in.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Why I'll be voting for a Fruitcake for President

Its One time I'll be voting the party, and not the man. Libertarians, like Republicans and Democrats, cover a large range of views and extremism. The Libertarian party generally has a good perspective, and may in reality more in line with the way most Americans really think. The problem is that a lot of nut cases seem to find their way in to the party. The reason may be that those who think inside the box tend to join one of the 2 major party's. Those that might think outside the box will gravitate to alternate party.

Michael Badnarik is one of those that doesn't fit into the political mainstream. He doesn't file income taxes, refuses to get a drivers license, and even refuses to use zip codes. His two biggest issues, are anti-Iraq War, and pro-gun rights views. Anti-Iraq War views aren't likely to win him any votes, these votes are going to go to the Nader or even Kerry, and a pro-gun platform just isn't a big deal, Bush is Pro gun, and Kerry isn't going to get aggressive about them. These just aren't issues which are going to get positive attention. The traditional and more universal of Libertarian views such as reduction of federal programs and lower taxes are sure to attract more attention, and help the Libertarians be taken seriously. Its a real shame that Badnarik doesn't sound more like this PDF Flyer that the Libertarian party is distributing, and less like a kook.

Its not going to be a close race here in Texas, Bush is going to win handily. Although I crimnge at the Idea of KErry running our country, he is a man who has been in Politics for 20 years and doesn't have one accomplishment not a single one. While Bush is trampling our civil rights and burning our constitution. I will sleep better at night if he is president than our other choices. Still I'm going to vote for the party. I want the Libertarians to have a voice, I want them to be heard. Both the Democrats and Republicans are to comfortable with their power and need to start sharing it. A Goverment that is run by more than 2 partys and doesn't have a majority, just might find its more co-operative and less contentious. Issues aren't just left or right. Sometimes issues are about freedom, something that the left nor the right give much of a damn about.

Democrats scaring Young Voters with Their own Bill.

NorthStar posted a cartoon which which drew some critisism from his conservative readers. The contriversy cenrers around the implications of a draft being imminent. The problem is that a draft isn't likely, and that the current bill, HR 163, is over a year old, sponcered by 15 Democrats, and no Republicans. Its not going anywhere, and the talk of a draft is a Democratic position intended only to put Republicans on the spot with Presidential politics.

The only problem with this is that its working. Young people are scared. One of the nieces , a college student, told me a few weeks ago that 'W' wants to get her and her boyfriend killed. Sheesh!!

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Microwave beam weapon reportedly to be deployed in Iraq

A Microwave beam weapon is ready to be used and deployed in Iraq. I wonder about such a weapon. It's only supposed to penetrate the skin at 1/64th of an inch. Wouldn't such a weapon be capable of permanatly damaged eyes and testicles. Napalm not only is efective, it visually makes a very effective deterent. The sight and smell of a wall of Nalpalm, and your comrades in flames makes a dramatic impression. An invisible beam of flame wouldn't be as instructional to the observers.
A beam weapon that uses the heating effect of microwaves to cause pain is to be issued to U.S. troops in Iraq, according to a report on the Telegraph Web site.

The supposedly nonlethal weapon, also called "active-denial technology," has been under development throughout the 1990s at the U. S. Air Force Research Laboratory (Kirtland, N.M.), in tandem with the Marine Corps' Joint Nonlethal Weapons Directorate, the report said.

The weapon uses 95-GHz energy to penetrate the skin to 1/64 of an inch, and hits water molecules in the skin to produce an intense burning sensation that stops when the transmitter is switched off or when the individual moves out of the beam.

The weapon has been cited as being particularly useful for crowd control and urban conflicts, although there thought to be counter-measures (see see June 6, 2001, story). "The skin gets extremely hot, and people can't stand the pain, so they have to move — and move in the way we want them to," the more recent report quoted Col. Wade Hall of the Office of Force Transformation as saying. The weapon is set to be fitted to armored vehicles already in Iraq. This would allow the microwave beam weapon to be deployed in 2005, the report said.

U.S. Army and Marine Corps units should receive four to six vehicles equipped with the microwave weapon, dubbed "Sheriffs," by September 2005.

The system includes a millimeter-wave energy source with waveguides to direct the energy to a dish antenna measuring about 3 x 3 meters, which forms a beam that can be swept across a battlefield or hostile crowd. Beam size, whether it is a convergent, focused beam or a divergent beam, and its range, were classified, although the beam has been reported to have a range of about 1 kilometer.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

US to deport Cat Stevens to Britain

US to deport Cat Stevens to Britain I am not privy to all the information that the Home Security people are, but it's that same people that put Ted Kennedy on the no-fly list. Islam does have a reputation of speaking for peace, and against terrorism.
Former pop singer Cat Stevens, a Muslim, will be deported to Britain because his activities could be "linked to terrorism," a US official said.

Britain complained about the decision and Arab-Americans and Muslims voiced outrage over the treatment of Stevens, known as Yusuf Islam since he shelved his singing and songwriting career and became a Muslim in the 1970s.

Born Steven Demetre Georgiou in July 1947 to a Swedish mother and a Greek Cypriot father, the singer changed his name to Cat Stevens when he entered the music world. He had a string of hits in the early 1970s including Morning has Broken, Wild World, Moonshadow and Peace Train, before converting to Islam in 1977.

US Homeland Security spokesman Brian Doyle said Islam was being put on the first available flight back to Britain. His Washington DC-bound plane was diverted yesterday to Bangor, Maine, after his name turned up on US lists of suspected terrorists.

"Why is he on the watch lists? Because of his activities that could be potentially linked to terrorism. The intelligence community has come into possession of additional information that further raises our concern," Doyle said.

...
"Yusuf Islam is perhaps one of the most widely known and respected personalities in the Muslim world. He has a long history of promoting peace and reconciliation and condemning terrorism," said Nihad Awad, the group's executive director.

Islam was denied entry to Israel in 2000 after the authorities there accused him of supporting Hamas. The former pop star denied the charges and said his charitable donations were for humanitarian causes.

Among the charities he has supported are children affected by the war in Bosnia and in Iraq as well as victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks against America, which he condemned.

Islam was travelling with his daughter, who was allowed to stay in the United States.




Kurt Nimmo has more to say about this

Monday, September 20, 2004

Galveston Hosts Biker Weekend.

This weekend our normally quiet Island will roar. The bikers mostly are respectful of those living here. and it brings a little bit of excitement in a normally quiet time of year. Its nice when our little Island gets some attention in the The New York Times. even if it is in the Travel Section.

No burnouts or wheelies are allowed in Galveston's historic downtown district, the Strand, but somehow that rule might be violated when motorcycle enthusiasts from around the country descend on the island Sept. 23 to 26 for the Lone Star Motorcycle Rally. Many of the top builders of custom motorcycles attend, and 120,000 cycles and 150,000 spectators are expected. Highlights include a downtown pub crawl and a burnout contest at Lazy Oaks Ranch Outwest Saloon, 12410 Stewart Road; (409) 737-5260. Event information is available at (281) 597-8800 or visit www.lonestarrally.com.


The article is rather long and describes Galveston in glowing terms,

CBS Misses the Boat.

The missed the boat. They appologized for running the story, and falling for the forgerys. They don't apologize for they dismissed the critisism, and their silence for so long once it became so obvious. It was proven beyond any reasonable doubt. That the papers were forgerys yet CBS's responded with defiance and arrogance. They offer no apology to Bush whom they originally trashed , no apology to Kerry who probably will look back and see that this event cost him precious time and the election, and no apology to those whom CBS spoke so condecending of, when the exposed CBS's fraud.
STATEMENT FROM DAN RATHER:

Last week, amid increasing questions about the authenticity of documents used in support of a 60 MINUTES WEDNESDAY story about President Bush's time in the Texas Air National Guard, CBS News vowed to re-examine the documents in question—and their source—vigorously. And we promised that we would let the American public know what this examination turned up, whatever theoutcome.

At the time they said all this it was abundantly clear the documents were fake. Why did it take a week later, to admit it. Why were hiding?


Now, after extensive additional interviews, I no longer have the confidence in these documents that would allow us to continue vouching for them journalistically. I find we have been misled on the key question of how our source for the documents came into possession of these papers. That, combined with some of the questions that have been raised in public and in the press, leads me to a point where—if I knew then what I know now—I would not have gone ahead with the story as it was aired, and I certainly would not have used the documents in question.

But we did use the documents. We made a mistake in judgment, and for that I am sorry. It was an error that was made, however, in good faith and in the spirit of trying to carry on a CBS News tradition of investigative reporting without fear or favoritism.

Please know that nothing is more important to us than people's trust in our ability and our commitment to report fairly and truthfully.


Notice that Rather hasn't clarified or expounded on anything. He hasn't told us anything that we haven't known for days.

CBS 'Fesses Up

Its been proven and pretty much universally accepted that CBS and Dan Rather had been duped. The Bush Air National Guard. What's weird is that despite the overwhelming proof Dan Rather and CBS haven't apologized to its viewers or even admitted that they were wrong. The stubbornness of the network has brought its ratings into the toilet. Their executives are even dumping the stock

We, the digital brownshirts and pajama bloggers, had kept the story going. It had become obvious the 4 papers were forged and they were most likely forged and/or supplied by Bill Burkett. Its been more than a week later, and CBS is about ready to admit they were fooled. Its to late! We already knew that. We knew that a week ago. Where were they then?

There has been a lot of talk comparing the old news media and the new media. Talk of the old media being replaced by the new. Its all gulldroppings, It a symbionic relationship. The old media, has the resources and the consistency of being mainstream. We the New Media have the million sets of eyeballs to analyze and draw perspective. We will keep them honest, but more important we can go places that the old media can't go. We are opinionated, and even outrageous, but we are diverse. We, the new media, feed on the old, we need them.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Space Race 2004

The Xprize competition is a real race. Perhaps a dangerous one. The Space Transport had a spectacular explosion last month during an engine test. They are forgining ahead undaunted, as if they are reinvigerated. The Da Vinci Project is recieved a cash infusion with the sponsership of Goldenpalace.com an online gambling casino. A few days ago they had a successful test of the ballooon, that provides the first stage of the their launch system. They have scheduled their first attempt at the US Ansari X Prize for Oct. 2.

This is only a couple days later than Burt Rutan's attempt on Sept. 29th, SpaceShipOne is the only craft that has actually passed the 100km barrier. This is an exciting race that will be unfolding in just a few days.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Airtravel Stupidity

Via Michelle Malkin Should we be more afraid of the terrorist, or the security we have implemented in response to 9/11. A Maryland school teacher was arrested in Tampa because she had in her possession an 8 1/2 inch bookmark with small weighted ends.

Federal officials said they may soon clear a school teacher charged with carrying a concealed weapon -- her weighted bookmark -- into Tampa International Airport.

Kathryn Harrington, 52, of Laurel, Md., was flying home from vacation last month when airport screeners found her bookmark.

They thought the 8½-inch leather strap, with small lead weights at each end, resembled a weapon that could be used to knock people unconscious.

Airport police charged the teacher with carrying a concealed weapon. She was handcuffed and put into a police car.

Earlier this month, state attorneys declined to prosecute the case, but the teacher still faces a federal civil fine of up to $10,000. But a spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration said Thursday that the agency isn't likely to seek the fine.

Harrington said she'll never again carry her bookmark into an airport.

Any hope that security measures in our airports would be tempered with common sense and restraint was silly. I can understand not allowing her to carry it on a plane but arrest is pure silliness and classic abuse of authority. Flying is such fun. Is it any wonder why airlines are in such poor fiscal shape. We the public aren't flying because we are scared, but because it has become such a hassle. As long as such silliness exist the airlines are going to be struggling and even disappear 1 by 1.

Update:
Northstar has something to say about airport sercurity.

Jessica Cutler Bares All

Jessica Cutler AKA Washingtonien is the young intern who was whoring around in Washington and bloging about it. Conservatives hate her yet she is enterprising, and calls herself a Republican. The Photos with Wonkette might have upset them. Where she was partying, and suggestive of lesbian play. These are the low res Playboy pics. They are nudes, and not workplace safe. Some of the comments about these photo's are unkind. I think she is pretty cute.

update: 6/02/07
Apparently the link has moved to here

Friday, September 17, 2004

Crack-smoking mayor returns

Marion Barry the Crack-smoking mayor returns The people in Washington are more forgiving of crack smoking, whore mongering and incompetence, then the rest of the country is of decades old potential shirking and false bravado. I have to admit I don't understand the mentality that would concider re-electing a loser like this.
As political comebacks go, Marion Barry's is hard to beat.

The former mayor of Washington DC, infamous for being captured on an FBI videotape smoking crack cocaine, has made it back to city hall.

Mr Barry, 68, yesterday won the Democratic Party nomination to represent Washington's poorest district in the city council.

The nomination for the Ward 8 district all but guarantees his election on November 2 as Washington overwhelmingly votes Democrat.

...

Mr Barry was once dubbed "mayor for life". But when the FBI filmed him smoking crack with his girlfriend in 1990, his third term in office came to a premature end.

He admitted an addiction to cocaine, sex and alcohol and spent six months in prison.

But he made a stunning comeback, returning to council via Ward 8 and using that as a springboard to win a fourth term as mayor in 1994.

He did not run again in 1998 after Congress stripped the mayor's office of most of its authority, a move many saw as being aimed directly at him.

In 2002 he abandoned plans for another tilt at office after police found traces of marijuana and crack cocaine in his car. During his absence he has undergone surgery for prostate cancer.

His latest campaign focused on attacking mayor Anthony Williams, raising speculation he will make yet another bid for the highest office in the US capital.

"For Marion Barry, it was another improbable victory in a political career that has defied expectations and dominated the district's civic life for more than a generation," the Washington Post said in an editorial yesterday.

"Few politicians anywhere have shown more resilience."

Gmail inspires hacks

New Scientist Reports that folks are comming up with all kinds of hacks on Google's gmail service. The one I can't figure out is the Hack that allows one to set up a Blog service. Bizarre .. Why would anyone do something like this. Google already supplies Blogger free, and they will even supply the webspace if one would like. At any rate Gmail isn't opened to the public yet, but we do have access to some invites and have been giving them away for some time now.
Gmail was created by the web search company Google in April 2004 amid much excitement as every user is promised an unprecedented gigabyte of storage space for messages. Google encourages users to keep all their old messages and automatically searches these to determine what kind of web advertisements might interest users.

But Gmail's copious storage space has inspired a number of programmers to come up with completely novel ways of using the service.

These include a "weblog" or online message board that uses Gmail to store postings and a desktop file system that plugs straight into the Gmail system.

These projects were largely started for fun, but might perhaps provide a glimpse of new features that Google could eventually add to the service for itself, according to some observers.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Memo Intercepted from CBS

Sent: Tuesday, September 07, 2004 7:55 PM
Subject: Senior Citizen



Letter to the Editor:


I am a senior citizen.

During the Clinton Administration I had an extremely good and well paying job.

I took numerous vacations and had several vacation homes.

Since President Bush took office, I have watched my entire life
change for the worse.

I lost my job.

I lost my two sons in that terrible Iraqi War.

I lost my homes.

I lost my health insurance.

As a matter of fact I lost virtually everything and became homeless.

Adding insult to injury, when the authorities found me living like an animal, instead of helping me, they arrested me.

I will do anything that Senator Kerry wants to insure that a Democrat is back in the White House come next year.

Bush has to go.

Sincerely,

Saddam Hussein


Payback to CBS and Rather

Payback is a bitch, but I think that CBS is looking at this wrong. They blame the Bush supporters. They don't understand the public reaction isn't about political leanings, its all about trust. Folks just don't trust CBS to give them truthful news.
DRUDGE REPORT
CBS CONCERN OVER VIEWERSHIP PLUNGE; RATHER RATINGS FADE IN MAJOR MARKETS

CBS executives on both coasts have become concerned in recent days that Dan Rather's EVENING NEWS broadcast has plunged in the ratings since the anchor presented questionable documents about Bush's National Guard service.

NIELSEN numbers released this week show Rather fading and trailing his rivals in every Top 10 city, other than San Francisco, with audience margins in some cities running more than 6 to 1 against CBS!

Executives fear many voters inclined to vote for Bush are now switching off Rather.

"The audience appears to [be] polarized," a top CBS source said from LOS ANGELES on Thursday. "Rightly or wrongly, we're being perceived as 'anti-Bush,' which I do not think is fair to Dan, who is a fine journalist... of course we do not like to see the ratings coming back the way they are this week."

In Philadelphia, the nation's #4 market, Rather pulled a 2.6 rating/5 share on Tuesday night against ABC's 13.3 rating/23 share and NBC's 4.0/7.

In Chicago, Rather hit a 2.3/5 to ABC's 9.2/20.

CBS trailed ABC by more than 2 to 1 in Los Angeles.

And in the nation's top market, New York, Rather finished not only behind NBC NIGHTLY NEWS and ABC WORLD NEWS TONIGHT -- but also pulled less audience than reruns of the SIMPSONS, WILL & GRACE and KING OF QUEENS.

Rather finished dead last in New York during the 6:30 pm timeslot among all broadcast channels tracked by NIELSEN on Tuesday.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Boarding up in N'Orleans

This was on The Chronical

Ivan Makes Everyone Nervous.

Its a long shot that New Orleans is going to receive the full fury of Ivan, yet the New Orleans Emerergency folks have 10,000 body bags "just in case".
Walter Maestri, an emergency manager in New Orleans, America's most vulnerable metropolitan area, has 10,000 body bags ready in case a major hurricane hits. As Hurricane Ivan's expected path shifted uncomfortably close to the low-lying urban soup bowl, Maestri said Tuesday he might need a lot more.

If a strong Category 4 storm such as Ivan made a direct hit, he warned, 50,000 people could drown, and the city could cease to exist.


Galveston is evan a further longshot, Northstar describes a nasty scenerio of A Major hurricane comming up Galveston Bay. I think he understates it. OUr thoughts and prayers are with the people in front of this monster.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Congressional Hearings, Anyone?

Hugh Hewitt calls for Congressional Hearings on this whole RatherGate affair. It might seem at first silly, when the damage is compaired with nipplegate, Rathergate is much more earthshattering the media apparently is attempting to over through Presidency through coverup lying and forgery.
Congress has held hearings on Howard Stern and "wardrobe malfunctions" at the Superbowl. It has held hearings on the networks' disastrous performance on election night 2000. Now a network is party to a fraud committed with the obvious intent of influencing an election. Where are the hearings? This is very serious stuff, and the rise of technology capable of influencing elections is a worry on many minds. (See John Fund's new book Stealing Elections.) It doesn't do much good for Congress to arrive to conduct an autopsy. It should act before the fraud spreads.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Rest in Peace: CBS' Credibility

Transterrestrial Musings wonders just how far CBS will go to backup up what has become obviously forged documents.
It started on Friday as a story about whether or not the memos were forged. That part didn't last very long, as it quickly became clear to all but the koolaid drinkers that they were. Ignoring the next question of whodunnit, it has now evolved into something much more fascinating--just how far in the tank will some people (particularly some people who are long-time anchors for a major network news organization) go to continue, absurdly, to defend the authenticity of the documents?

Its gotta bug them that the uppty pajama wearing bloggers have more believability than they do. After all, there is no money money being paid and bloggers aren't accoiuntable to employers, or sponsers. Powerlines has this discourse:
Media experts said the role of the bloggers illustrated a significant development in the relationship between mainstream news and the still-nascent phenomenon of blogging.

This was the first time, some said, that the Web logs were engaging in their own form of investigative journalism — and readers, they warned, should be cautious.

"The mainstream press is having to follow them," said Jeffrey Seglin, a professor at Emerson College in Boston. [Ed. note: C'mon, Peter, Seglin is a columnist for the New York Times Syndiicate, whose owner is the same company that owns the Boston Globe -- which has avidly promoted the 60 Minutes story. (Thanks to Hobbs Online.)] "The fear I have is: How do you know who's doing the Web logs?

Put to one side the fact that we have been doing our own brand of investigative journalism since we started this site over Memorial Day weekend in 2002 (and for the previous ten years in newspapers and magazines). In our case, Professor Seglin might "know who's doing the Web logs" by clicking on the "About Us" logos over on our left margin, or giving us a call, as Peter Wallsten did. The same applies to Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs.

Seglin appears not to be familiar with the Internet or the development of the evidence throughout the blogosphere relating to the 60 Minutes documents. We acted as a clearinghouse for information, freely quoting correspondents and linking to sources. We named names and identified sources. We included evidence that might tell against the points we raised; when a correspondent wrote to point out that the White House had itself released copies of the 60 Minutes documents, we posted that. It turned out that the documents released by the White House had been provided to it by 60 Minutes.

We awaited some word from CBS that would allow us to verify the authenticity of the documents. When Dan Rather offered his pathetic apologia Friday night, we noted his report and discussed its almost unbelievable weakness in the face of the issues raised.

Contrast the behavior of the blogosphere with that of CBS. While we have disclosed sources and responded to all inquiries from reporters like Wallsten, CBS has taken its plays from the old Watergate playbook. Stonewalling and misdirection are the order of the day. To the extent that CBS has cited sources, they have not supported the authenticity of the documents. All in all, CBS has behaved like a criminal caught redhanded in a fraud of monumental proportions.

Wallsten concludes the story by quoting a Free Republic commenter who facetiously asks, in the spirit of the Democratic operatives, "How do we know Buckhead is not really Karl Rove?" But the story Wallsten tells raises a serious question that belies Wallsten's conclusion and that Wallsten declines to entertain.

It is time to draw the obvious inferences from CBS's behavior and from the circumstances of the case. The 60 Minutes documents purportedly derive from the "personal file" of a long-deceased superior officer of President Bush. The family of the deceased officer denies that they are the source of the documents or that the officer would have written them.


The Mainstream Media has no intrest in this story, they want it to go away. Its not going away. The bloggers, The Drudges, and the talk shows are going to look deep, and we are going to yell, and yell real loud when we smell something stinky.

Kemah Pissing Contest.

The Kemah Volunteer Fire Department is having a Pissing Contest with the Galveston County Water Control and Improvement District No. 12.
According to KVFD Fire Chief John O’Neil, the steps taken by WCID this week were for the sole purpose of repossessing fire equipment to the detriment to the community it serves.

“The board voted to strangle KVFD financially with the sure and certain result that the fire equipment now owned by KVFD will be repossessed,” O’Neil said in a formal statement released Friday. “This has compromised the ability to allocate additional funding to continued training and sustain operational effectiveness to this community.”

At the heart of the issue between the two entities is ownership of fire equipment purchased with tax dollars. When KVFD, a non-profit corporation, entered into a contract with the water district in February 2000 for fire services in Kemah, Lazy Bend and Clear Lake Shores, ownership of equipment purchased for the fire department was not given to the water district.

The Water district started to support the fire department under a contract, and the new arrangement seemed to be working pretty good. They have built a fancy new building. Its pretty nice after struggling to get a real budget. Now that its become confrontational. The Water Commission is ready to play hardball. They want to replace the department elected chief with a fulltime salaried chief. The new chief would be accountable to the folks who pay his salary, and not to the Department which he serves. This is sure to discourage a membership who volunteers its own time for no compensation. Every goverment agency will always work towards one goal. to grow and increase their power.
After the water board met in closed session Thursday to discuss a letter sent by a Houston law firm retained by KVFD, the district approved charging the volunteer fire department $20,000 a month in rent for the use of the new fire station and reduced the mandatory fire department assessment fee included on the water bills of residents served by WCID No. 12 to 10 cents a month. The water board also approved the publication of an advertisement for a full-time fire chief who would also serve as a fire code enforcement officer.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Gmail Trash and Spam

The Gmail service is now automatically deleteting trash and spam after 30 days. This is a shift in policy. A message used to pop up when deleting trash, informing the user that with 1 gig available it wasn't really nessesary to actually delete. Autodeleting is good idea, afterall who really wants their online phamacy spam sticking around forever. Manual housekeeping is a 2 step process for each page, but one should be aware of unexpected actions.

We still have invites left to give away. Please email me with a first and last name if you would like an account. Don't ask via a comment, its just more work for me, and I can respond quicker to an email than I can to a comment.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Another Conspiracy Theory

Transterrestrial Musings proposes (although tongue in Cheek):
Of course, if one wants to get into weird conspiracy theories, there are other people besides Karl Rove who would like to see Kerry's campaign destroyed if it can be done without their fingerprints on it. Their legal residence is Chappaqua, New York.

60 Minute Forgery

The American Spectator expounds on a few theories on how the forgery hoax played out.
More than six weeks ago, an opposition research staffer for the Democratic National Committee received documents purportedly written by President George W. Bush's Texas Air National Guard squadron commander, the late Col. Jerry Killian.

The oppo researcher claimed the source was "a retired military officer." According to a DNC staffer, the documents were seen by both senior staff members at the DNC, as well as the Kerry campaign.

"More than a couple people heard about the papers," says the DNC staffer. "I've heard that they ended up with the Kerry campaign, for them to decide to how to proceed, and presumably they were handed over to 60 Minutes, which used them the other night. But I know this much. When there was discussion here, there were doubts raised about their authenticity."

The concerns arose from the sourcing. "It wasn't clear that our source for the documents would have had access to them. Our person couldn't confirm from what file, from what original source they came from."
Its become pretty clear that CBS was set up. Everyone knows that the Rather and CBS were chomping at the bit to find someththing about Bush's National Guard service. They knew that CBS wouldn't question how the DNC got hold of this stuff. Maybe the DNC hoped that CBS would do their homework, but they weren't dumb enough to go public with this crap.
The CBS producer said that some alarms bells went off last week when the signatures and initials of Killian on the documents in hand did not match up with other documents available on the public record, but producers chose to move ahead with the story. "This was too hot not to push. If there were doubts, those people didn't show it," says the producer, who works on a rival CBS News program.

Now, the producer says, there is growing concern inside the building on 57th Street that they may have been suckered by the Kerry campaign. "There is a school of thought here that the Kerry people dumped this in our laps, figuring we'd do the heavy lifting on the story. That maybe they had doubts about these documents but hoped we'd get more information," says the producer. "If that's the case, then we're bigger fools than we already appear to be judging by all the chatter about how these documents could be forgeries."

Then again could it possibliy be that this is a stroke of the the evil mastermind Karl Rove?
According to one ABC News employee, some reporters believe that the Kerry campaign as well as the DNC were parties in duping CBS, but a smaller segment believe that both the DNC and the Kerry campaign were duped by Karl Rove, who would have engineered the flap to embarrass the opposition.

We can count on CBS being in denial until its rediculous, and then the spin and blame games will begin. This is gonna be fun.

Petition seeks to punish China

Petition seeks to punish China This unfairness they are alledging isn't even concidering the slave labor issues:
With jobs and trade both hot-button election issues, a coalition of business and union groups Thursday pushed the Bush administration to punish China for alleged unfair trade practices.
The China Currency Coalition has petitioned the administration to rule that Beijing's policy of pegging its currency to the U.S. dollar gives Chinese products an unfair advantage in world markets.

For a decade, the yuan has been tied to the dollar at a rate roughly 8.3 to 1.

The coalition of steelmakers, textile companies and organized labor — the AFL-CIO and unions representing steelworkers and autoworkers — argues that the currency peg amounts to manipulation by Beijing. By keeping the value of its currency artificially low, China enables its goods to undercut prices of rival products by as much as 40%, U.S. manufacturers say.


Thursday, September 09, 2004

Dangerous Nipples

I got into a discussion today with a co-worker. He claimed that Janet Jackson's exposure was damaging to to America. I countered that seeing a nipple never hurt anyone, and many cases seeing a breast is a pleasant experiance. General Cornhole claimed he has seen bare breasts since he was six years old and it never hurt him. The General isn't quite normal, but I don't think it's breast exposure that has damaged him.

My question is has anyone ever been damaged or hurt by breast exposure? Please let us know of any incident where seeing a naked breast caused trauma or damaged anyones life. I did notice that in England that their Telly shows naked breast once in a while and the peopeople over there don't seemed to be any more screwwed up than us Americans. Although admitedly 12 days doesn't make for a very scientific study.

I think that it's all about Collin Powell's son Michael trying to prove that he can make a big stink about a little breast. Maybe when Michael grows up, he can find a job without Daddy's help.

Russia warns West on Chechen issue

Russia warns West on Chechen issue They are pissed at the U.S. and the UK. for Aylum given some of the Chechnyens. If it turns out that we are protecting some of the real terrorist President Bush has som 'splainin to do. This is a tough situation. The Chechnians have some legitimate complaints. The terrorist have no excuse. Can we differentiate between the two? The Russians have a history of trumped up charges, and using that big hammer to come down on dissenters.
Russia warned the West on Thursday not to interfere in its policies toward Chechnya and said the granting of political asylum to rebel figures by Western governments only worsened problems for most Chechens.
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Western countries "bear direct responsibility for the tragedy of the Chechen people when they give political asylum to terrorists," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters here.
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"When Western countries urge Russia to rethink its tactics in Chechnya, I would advise them not to interfere with how Russia conducts its internal affairs," he said.
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His comments were directed particularly at the United States and Britain, which have both granted refuge status to high-profile figures in the Chechen separatist movement.
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Lavrov met with Rudolph Giuliani, the mayor of New York on Sept. 11, 2001, who expressed condolences after a wave of attacks, including a mass hostage siege at a school, that has left 500 people dead in Russia in recent weeks. "I do believe this will bring our people closer because we have been through something similar," Giuliani said.
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Lavrov said that the United States had so far succeeded in preventing further terror attacks on its territory since Sept. 11, but he said Russia would find it harder to do so in part because of its geographical situation.
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"There is access from many directions," he said.
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He said all countries needed to work together to counter the terror threat. "Events of recent years underscore the necessity of a strong partnership with the United States and all countries in the fight against terrorism," Lavrov said.
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President Vladimir Putin has promised to investigate the hostage raid properly. On Thursday, Alexander Dzasokhov, president of North Ossetia, where the hostage drama took place, fired his cabinet, Russian news agencies reported.
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Although the European Union and the United States have been quick to condemn the latest string of violence, they have infuriated Moscow by pressing it to deal with the root causes and address the grievances of the Chechen people.

Russia has created this problem, but maybe has a point here

Putin, speaking after the hostage drama, said the demands for the Kremlin to negotiate with separatist rebels were akin to inviting Osama bin Laden to the White House for dialogue. Russia has instead sought to end Chechen demands for independence by force of arms, fighting two wars there since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 saw long-suppressed ethnic and national tensions boil over into violence.
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Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Durst Sparks Alarm

This New York Post article tells of concern of us folks in Galveston.
When cross-dressing multimillionaire Robert Durst gets out of a Galveston, Texas, jail soon, some people will be locking their doors.
"I might have a concern for my own safety," said Eleanor Schwank, a close friend of Durst's first wife, Kathie.

Schwank continues to publicly proclaim her belief that Durst is responsible for Kathie's mysterious 1982 disappearance from Westchester County.

"I kind of feel justice was being served while he was in jail," Schwank said from her Texas home.

Explaining why she's alarmed by his pending released, she added, "He's only a hop, skip and a jump away from me.

"I think as long as Bob is not under the influence, he'll maintain some modicum of responsible behavior, but I think as soon as he's smoking pot again and drinking, his thought processes will be affected."


I don't know if we should be afraid or not, but it seems he is dangerous to those who are closest to him.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Chechnya, Why?

The takeover of and hostage taking in Russia is deplorable. Gessen gives some background.

The Chechens' desire was perfectly understandable. As an ethnic group, Chechens had been mistreated by the Soviet regime, and the Russian empire before it, perhaps worse than anyone else. In 1944, the Chechens, along with several other ethnic groups, were accused of having collaborated with the Nazis and deported to Siberia. Their collective guilt established by the order of Stalin, on Feb. 23, 1944, more than half a million Chechens were forcibly herded onto cattle cars and sent to Western Siberia. As many as half died en route, and uncounted others perished in the harsh Siberian winter; the exiles were literally dumped in the open snowy fields and left to fend for themselves.

The Chechens were not allowed to return home until 1976. So by the time of perestroika, virtually all Chechen adults were people born in Siberian exile. No wonder they didn't want to live side by side with the Russians, who had mangled their lives. The last straw came in August 1991, when, during the failed hard-line communist coup, rumors spread that another deportation was in the works. Chechens overthrew their local, Soviet-appointed leader, and elected a new president on a nationalist platform.


This started a chain of events marked by huge blunders by the Russians. This situation coupled with idealogue such as this explains how people can act so cruelly.
An extremist Islamic cleric based in Britain said yesterday that he would support hostage-taking at British schools if carried out by terrorists with a just cause.

Omar Bakri Mohammed, the spiritual leader of the extremist sect al-Muhajiroun, said that holding women and children hostage would be a reasonable course of action for a Muslim who has suffered under British rule.

In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Mr Mohammed said: "If an Iraqi Muslim carried out an attack like that in Britain, it would be justified because Britain has carried out acts of terrorism in Iraq.

Sony Exec. enslaved worker

Whats great about this this article is the first line. This guy is going after children downloading their favorite songs while he enslaves a poor immigrant. Sony is one of the major Corporations behind the RIAA crackdown of downloaders. This story says a lot about the morality of Sony, and what they think of the little guy. One might think about the RIAA, and their slave ownership practices when concidering a new purchase.
ONE OF THE brains behind the entertainment industry's moves to drag old ladies, children and other file-sharers through the courts has just lost a slavery case. A court found that the maid of James Jackson, a vice president of legal affairs at Sony Pictures Entertainment, was entitled to more than $850,000 to settle charges of enslavement and assault and battery.
The jury found that Nena Ruiz was kept against her will and Jacksom paid her only $300 for a year of work at his Los Angeles home.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

CBS gets record fine over Jackson's breast

CBS gets record fine over Jackson's breast I don't know what CBS did that was wrong. They didn't have control of the half time show, it was a NFL event, CBS wasn't privy to advanced knowledge of the unveiling. This was an intresting topic of discussion while I was England. A newspaper called it 1.4 seconds of hypocrysy. And the folks there couldn't understand why we got all uptight about a little breast. Apparently they don't feel that breast are horrifying things to be hidden away. The Nepotistic FCC run by Colin Powells boy, is on a crusade.
The Federal Communications Commission is set to impose a record $550,000 (310,000 pounds) indecency fine against CBS-owned stations for their broadcast of singer Janet Jackson's breast-bearing incident during January's Super Bowl, the Washington Post reports.
The newspaper report, which cited unnamed FCC sources, said on Saturday the agency was expected to vote unanimously for the fine, which would be the largest levied against a television broadcaster.

The amount represents a $27,500 fine for each of the 20 television stations owned by CBS, which in turn is owned by Viacom Inc, the paper said.

The decision could be released as early as next week, the paper said. Excluded from the fines are CBS's more than 200 affiliate stations, which also aired the half-time show during the National Football League championship game.

Although the vote was expected to be unanimous, some commissioners are expected to say the fines are not severe enough, the newspaper said.

It said the exclusion for affiliate stations was one source of disagreement among the five-member FCC, citing unnamed sources familiar with the agency's deliberations. A spokesman for the FCC would not comment on the pending ruling, the paper said.

"We would be extremely disappointed," CBS said in a statement issued to the newspaper. "While we regret that the incident occurred, and have apologised to our viewers, we continue to believe that nothing in the Super Bowl broadcast violated indecency laws."

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Arab media critical of school siege

Self-criticism in Arab media follows school siege At least some are starting to get it.
Muslims worldwide are the main perpetrators of terrorism, a humiliating and painful truth that must be acknowledged, a prominent Arab writer and television executive wrote Saturday, as Middle East media and officials expressed horror at the bloody rebel siege of a Russian school.

Unusually forthright self-criticism followed the end of the hostage crisis, along with warnings that such actions inflict more damage to the image of Islam than all its enemies could hope. Arab leaders and Muslim clerics denounced the school seizure as unjustifiable and expressed their sympathy.


Lets face it. If it weren't for the terroristic methods the Chesnians are using, our sympathy and support just may be with the seperatist. They are a people that wants to distance itself from Russia, with autonomy. They have no world support, nor will they get any. They are baby killers and terrorist and have earned disdain and loathing from the civililized world. Now the Arabs are turning their backs.

Friday, September 03, 2004

American Support.



The Instapundant featured this fascinating photo.



INTERESTING PICTURE from the scene of schoolhouse slaughter today. Note the t-shirt. More information here.


This is what we're dealing with, for those who have forgotten.

Researchers: Cats Can Spread Bird Flu

Cats Can Spread Bird Flu Will this affect catblogging?
Update: 11/01/2005
Newsweek changed the story attached to the url:

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Seti@home volunteers find mysterious Signal.

The Seti@volunteers have found something. Mysterious signals from 1000 light years away They aren't quite sure what it is, but whatever it is exciuting that all of us working, volunteering our computers spare proccessing time has finally turned up something.
In February 2003, astronomers involved in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) pointed the massive radio telescope in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, at around 200 sections of the sky.

The same telescope had previously detected unexplained radio signals at least twice from each of these regions, and the astronomers were trying to reconfirm the findings. The team has now finished analysing the data, and all the signals seem to have disappeared. Except one, which has got stronger.

This radio signal, now seen on three separate occasions, is an enigma. It could be generated by a previously unknown astronomical phenomenon. Or it could be something much more mundane, maybe an artefact of the telescope itself.

But it also happens to be the best candidate yet for a contact by intelligent aliens in the nearly six-year history of the SETI@home project, which uses programs running as screensavers on millions of personal computers worldwide to sift through signals picked up by the Arecibo telescope.

Check out the Seti@home Project.

Kerry's Dukakis Years

MassachusettsRepublican lieutenant governor links Kerry to Dukakis Its amazing that this hasn't got press before. The Dukakis Years were devasting for the folks in Massachussetts. and Kerry was a part of this enormous failure.
Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey says John Kerry doesn't spend a lot of time on the campaign trail discussing his brief stint as Michael Dukakis' lieutenant governor. So she has decided to do it for him.

''Democrats are never going to talk about Kerry's record especially during the time when he was lieutenant governor for Dukakis. You will never hear the word Dukakis mentioned. They're hiding him under a rock,'' said Healey, who has a brief speaking role at the convention.

Kerry's decision to keep Dukakis at arm's length may be an effort to avoid a repeat of Dukakis' defeat. In the 1988 presidential race, Bush's campaign successfully painted Dukakis as a Massachusetts liberal out of touch with most of America.


''It's extremely important that I, as lieutenant governor, say 'Look, this is what Sen. Kerry was doing 25 years ago when he was in lock step with Gov. Dukakis and they raised taxes in a recession and put the Massachusetts economy right into the dump,''' Healey said.

The Massachusetts economy was strong in the early 1980s, a turnaround known then as the ''Massachusetts miracle.'' By the end of the decade, well after Kerry had been elected to the Senate, the economy tumbled again. Dukakis responded by raising taxes and borrowing money.

Healey has been trying to tighten the link between Kerry and Dukakis, particularly the recession that plagued Dukakis' last term, which ended in 1990. Kerry was elected to the Senate in 1984.

''We in Massachusetts know that there was no Massachusetts miracle, it was a Massachusetts disaster that resulted in the very Democratic state never electing another Democratic governor since that time,'' she said.



He was part of the conspiracy that destroyed the Massachusetts economy. I was one of his victims and become a refuge of the economy he created destroyed. His actions as a Senator wasn't as harmful, only because he personally didn't do very much.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Convention Coverage

The Instapundit finds it troubling
For 40 million viewers in the Arab world, Al-Jazeera, a Qatar-based satellite television channel, provides a window into the intricate world of American politics. This week, its 16 reporters and staff will air 13 hours of broadcasts from the convention -- more time than the combined coverage of America's major television networks, ABC, CBS and NBC.

Al-Jazeera's coverage includes live broadcasts from the channel's skybox above the convention floor in Madison Square Garden, interviews with Republican delegates, dispatches from outside the midtown Manhattan convention center and two talk shows, one of them modeled loosely on CNN's "Crossfire" and featuring Arab American Democratic and Republican commentators.

Peculiar.

Arnold's Speech

Arnolds speech was good, he instilled pride in being an American. He reminded us of some of the great things we've done as Americans. I bristled when Arnold told of how we stood with the young man who stood in front of the tank at Tiannaman Square. We didn't stand with him. We turned our backs, and cowered. The young man went to jail, Nepal was invaded, and Walmart made billionss. And we critisize Taiwan for making too many waves.