.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

 The image “http://photos1.blogger.com/img/18/3404/640/NewsORamaLogo-rev1.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Sunday, October 31, 2004
  Aged MoonBat Alert


Yes, I know that this is a Drudge Flash, however video of this MoonBat should be available shortly.
DRUDGE REPORT FLASH 2004�: "CRONKITE: KARL ROVE BEHIND BIN LADEN TAPE?
Sat Oct 30 2004 16:31:19 ET

Former CBSNEWS anchorman Walter Cronkite believes Bush adviser Karl Rove is possibly behind the new Bin Laden tape.

Cronkite made the startling comments late Friday during an interview on CNN.

Somewhat smiling, Cronkite said he is 'inclined to think that Karl Rove, the political manager at the White House, who is a very clever man, he probably set up bin Laden to this thing.'

Interviewer Larry King did not ask Cronkite to elaborate on the provocative election eve observation."
 
 


This gives one the faintest hope for the future. One of my large complaints about the layout of the current WoT is the near total lack of active cooperation from the Muslim countries. Yes we are getting basing rights, however there is not a single Arab country that does not dissemble to their populace about their cooperation with the US.
If we could actually get the Muslims to recognize that there really is a problem with a very measurable amount of the Muslim world community. Then we could step away from this ridiculous artifice of fighting 'Terrorists'. Terrorism is what they do; you can't hope to defeat an enemy until you can identify him.

Stop Terror Sheikhs, Muslim Academics Demand


JEDDAH/NEW YORK, 30 October 2004 — Over2 , 500Muslim intellectuals from 23 countries have signed a petition to the United Nations calling for an international treaty to ban the use of religion for incitement to violence.

It also calls on the Security Council to set up a tribunal to try “the theologians of terror.” The petition is addressed to Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and to all members of the Security Council and its current chairman.

“There are individuals in the Muslim world who pose as clerics and issue death sentences against those they disagree with,” says Shakir Al-Nablusi, a Jordanian academic and one of the signatories. “These individuals give Islam a bad name and foster hatred among civilizations.”

 
Friday, October 29, 2004
  Living the High Life , in Las Alamos (!?!??)
ABQjournal: Hermit Found Living in Cave on LANL Property: "Looking for a place to grow marijuana and live, rent-free, in a cave with all the creature comforts of home? Why not a canyon, tucked away within the 40 square miles of the nation's top-secret nuclear weapons research facility in Los Alamos?
That's where Roy Michael Moore, 56, was recently discovered living in a cave equipped with a glass front door, a wood stove, a bed, electricity-generating solar panels with batteries to store the power, and lights"
 
  Bagdad Jim gets his
The Seattle Times: Local News: McDermott gets $600,000 tab in leak of illegal phone tape: "A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has ordered Congressman Jim McDermott to pay $60,000 plus attorney fees that could total more than $545,000 to a Republican congressman who sued McDermott for leaking his cellphone conversations to news reporters.

In a harshly worded decision received by attorneys this week, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Hogan said McDermott's 'willful and knowing misconduct rises to the level of malice in this case"
 
  Orrin's Still Whore'n
Wired News: P2P Company Not Going Anywhere: "Hatch's latest foray into file sharing, the Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act (SB2560), backed by the RIAA, would hold liable anyone who 'intentionally aids, abets or induces'' others to violate copyright laws. The penalties for copyright infringement can be up to $30,000 per infringement, and up to $150,000 per instance of willful infringement."
 
  Crooks Target Modem Users
Wired News: Ireland Blocks Calls to Stop Scam: "The racket often works like this: The internet con artist bombards computers with an annoying pop-up message asking a question unrelated to modem use. The computer user clicks 'yes' to get rid of it -- and thereby lets a Trojan virus into the computer. The virus then reroutes the computer's dial-up connection to the distant island.

A connection that costs just cents in Ireland is transformed to $4 to $7.50 a minute, with the fraudster taking a cut of the charge. The fraudsters use remote islands, regulators say, because they typically attract the most expensive international call rates."
 
  When they send the cats packing, you know there is some trouble in River City
ABC News: Mexican Town Surrenders to Rats

MEXICO CITY Oct 28, 2004 — Rats that infested a village in northern Mexico have outlasted the cats sent to scare them away and discouraged the men who were set to hunt them down. Now at least one official says that since nothing else has worked, residents will have to learn to live with the rodents.

The desperate residents of Atascaderos, an isolated farm village in the rugged Tarahumara mountains, appealed to Chihuahua state authorities for help more than a month ago, saying the rodents had infested at least 800 homes. Officials estimate the rat population in the area at 250,000.
(break)
"The truth is they now have a rat infestation that would be hard to eradicate," Lafon said. "It's like having a fly or cockroach infestation in your home. … How much that infestation grows depends on the owner of the house."
 
Thursday, October 28, 2004
  The RIAA takes one on the chin
Wired News: File Sharers Win More Protection: "Alleged file sharers must be given a notice explaining their legal rights before their internet service provider hands over any personal information to the music labels, a Pennsylvania judge ruled, making it still harder for the music industry to use the courts to intimidate people suspected of piracy.

Privacy advocates called the Oct. 12 order by U.S. District Judge Cynthia Rufe a positive step in protecting the privacy and due process rights of accused copyright infringers."
 
  TiVo Jumps the Shark
Wired 12.11: VIEW: "Buy a TiVo lately? Sometime in the next few months, your machine will quietly download a patch that makes it respond to a new copy protection scheme from software maker Macrovision. The app puts restrictions on how long your DVR can save certain kinds of shows - so far, just pay-per-view and video-on-demand programs. It's the first time your TiVo won't let you watch whatever you want, whenever you want."
 
  RoP in Saudi Arabia
The Religion of Peace is at it again. This mans 'crime' earned him 10 years.

Saudi convicts Indian preacher- The Times of India: "Brian O'Connor of Karnataka was arrested in Saudi Arabia in March on charges of spreading Christianity. He was sentenced to 10 months in prison and 300 lashes, the All India Catholic Union (AICU) said."
 
  Judge Defends Courtroom Party for Prisoner
Gotta love a bit of creative justice.
Yahoo! News - Judge Defends Courtroom Party for Prisoner: "DALLAS - A judge who welcomed a former fugitive back to her courtroom with balloons, streamers and a cake defended her actions Wednesday, saying that getting a killer and abuser of women off the streets is reason to celebrate.


Judge Faith Johnson threw the party Monday upon sentencing 53-year-old Billy Wayne Williams to life in prison."
 
  Polly Want Some Justice
Yahoo! News - Thieves Nabbed Trying to Silence Parrot


MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Afraid a talkative parrot might prove to be a stool pigeon, three thieves returned to the scene of the crime to silence the bird — only to be caught by police, authorities say.



After making off with DVD players, computers, radios, TVs and other electronic gear, one of the burglars Monday realized that a parrot in the home had heard him use the nickname "J.J." for one of his accomplices and was repeating it.

"They were afraid the bird would stool on them," police Maj. Billy Garrett said.

They went back for the bird and were loading it into the getaway car when police arrived, authorities said. The chase ended a few blocks away when the men crashed their car.

The light-green parrot, a 6-year-old bird named Marshmallow, flew away when its cage broke open in the crash. Felicia Cobb and her children have not seen their pet since then.

Three men, ages 18 to 25, were arrested.
 
  The Future is Now
While there will undoubtably be some 'growing pains' this jet looks to be quite the air dominance machine.
First operational Raptor jet is completed - (United Press International): "Washington, DC, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- The Lockheed Martin Corp. rolled out the first operational F/A-22 Raptor for the U.S Air Force Wednesday."
 
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
  Poland Signs Defense Agreement with Iraq
Good for the Poles, one would suppose that this relationship will bear nice returns when Iraq is stable and consistantly producing oil for export.
DefenseNews.com - Poland Signs Defense Agreement with Iraq - 10/27/04 11:45: "Poland said Oct. 27 it had signed a cooperation agreement with Baghdad to help train and equip the Iraqi security forces.

Deputy Defense Minister Janusz Zemke said the agreement signed by the defense ministers of the two countries would provide for training for leaders in various branches of the Iraqi armed forces. He recalled that Iraq already had ordered $60 million (46.9 million euros) in military equipment and ammunition from Poland.

A close ally of Washington in the Iraq conflict, Poland commands a 6,000-man multinational force in a sector south of Baghdad, of whom 2,500 are Polish soldiers."
 
  Spain, crawfishing to the right
After months of urinating on the US and it's allies it looks like there is at least a single Spanish Diplomat looking to their future
Times Online - World:
"SPAIN is launching a diplomatic offensive to rebuild its relationship with Britain and the United States after its fierce criticism of the Iraq war, Miguel �ngel Moratinos, the Spanish Foreign Minister, told The Times yesterday."
 
  Spitting into the Wind
The part that makes this so delicious, is that P2P was a minor issue until the RIAA started hounding Napster. Now P2P is 10 times as widespread and with a 100 times the Users.

Wired News: Song-Swap Networks Still Humming:
"Peer-to-peer traffic has not declined despite the music industry's aggressive pursuit of illegal file sharers, according to a new study.

Researchers from the University of California at Riverside and the Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis evaluated packet data on the internet and found that P2P continues to thrive. Their results are published in a study, titled 'Is P2P dying or just hiding?'"

"In general we observe that P2P activity has not diminished," says the study, which will be presented at IEEE Globecom 2004 next month. "On the contrary, P2P traffic represents a significant amount of internet traffic and is likely to continue to grow in the future, RIAA behavior notwithstanding."
 
  The Future is Now
Wired News: Advent of the Robotic Monkeys: "
If a monkey is hungry but has his arms pinned, there's not much he can do about it. Unless that monkey can control a nearby robotic arm with his brain."

And that's exactly what the monkey in Andrew Schwartz's neurobiology lab at the University of Pittsburgh can do, feeding himself using a prosthetic arm controlled solely by his thoughts.
 
  Lexmark Gets the Pimphand

Wired News: Lexmark Injunction Overturned: "LOUISVILLE, Kentucky -- In a blow to printer company Lexmark International, a federal appeals court overturned an order Tuesday that barred a North Carolina company from making computer chips for ink cartridge replacements."
 
  More Democrat Voter Fraud
The sheer amount of the stories has been mind blowing. Here we have another Dem outreach program using Convicted Felons to work with their customer base. I don't know much, but having someone turn over my demographic and contact information to a bunch of felons,,,,yeah, I would have a problem with that. (This is not the first voter outreach program to get outted as using convicted felons to process and handle voter registration forms)
That is leaving out the fact that he was actively engaging in voter fraud as well. Wow


Former ACORN worker hands over suspicious voter registration forms: South Florida Sun-Sentinel: "A box containing almost 180 voter registrations filled out in the Miami area in July and August surfaced on Tuesday, leading to more questions for a group that allegedly sponsored the registrations.

The forms were turned in to a Fort Lauderdale attorney by Mac William Stuart, a convicted felon and former employee of the voter-registration group Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now."


 
  Hobbit remains found in Australia



Yahoo! News - Hobbit remains found in Australia: "LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists in Australia have found a new species of hobbit-sized humans who lived about 18,000 years ago on an Indonesian island in a discovery that adds another piece to the complex puzzle of human evolution.

The partial skeleton of Homo floresiensis, found in a cave on the island of Flores, is of an adult female that was a metre (3 feet) tall, had a chimpanzee-sized brain and was substantially different from modern humans.

It shared the isolated island to the east of Java with miniature elephants and Komodo dragons. The creature walked upright, probably evolved into its dwarf size because of environmental conditions and coexisted with modern humans in the region for thousands of years."

 
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
  You Might Be a Hypocritical Left-Wing Douchebag If......
Call me simplistic but this does hit close to the mark in my 'mind'.

A few months ago, the Cooper for President team blessed the world with an ultra-fab quiz called "You might be a left-wing dipshit if...". Since then, the leftist shitheels in this country have become even more unhinged, self-contradictory, and might I say, intolerable. Not only do they go against everything this country stands for, they actually contradict themselves at every turn. Are you one of these people? Take the test.
You might be a hypocritical, left-wing douchebag if....
1) You pumped your dainty little fist in the air and cheered with delight when Patty Murray praised Osama bin Laden for building roads, schools, and "day care facilities" in Afghanistan (then followed it up with "We haven't done that") as "proof" that America deserved to be attacked on 9/11. However, when America does exactly that (like we're doing in Iraq), you whine, snivel, and moan that Bush is "spending billions of dollars building hospitals in Iraq instead of using it for free healthcare in America."
2) Even though you're only now finding out that Saddam Hussein had 600,000 TONS of explosives stockpiled in Iraq, you still write it off as "Well, he didn't have any WMD, and he wasn't a threat." However, when the "mainstream" media reported that over 300 tons of the stuff (less than 1% of the total) was likely stolen by terrorists in April of 2003 (before America even got there), you use it to claim that Bush allowed it to happen (and suddenly the weapons ARE a threat).
3) You claim that Republicans are "racist," yet you are the ones who promulgate racist, negative African-American stereotypes (like MTV does with their "Vote or Die" campaign with Pee Duttie or the NAACP's use of crack to solicit black voters).
4) You denounce Emenem as "racist" and yank his latest music video from BET because he dares to make fun of Michael Jackson (likening it to the "blackface" days of Al Jolson), yet you laughed your ass off at the movie "White Chicks."
5) You condemn country music when it features such references as "rag," or "boot up your ass" (saying it promotes racism and could lead to violence), yet when Prince comes out with a music video depicting an Arab American girl blowing herself up in a crowded airport terminal, you praise the work as "thought-provoking."
6) When America was attacked on 9/11, you and your friends immediately asked "What did we do to cause this?" Yet when a homeless crackwhore with three bastard kids dies in the gutter, you wouldn't even consider the possibility that her own lifestyle choices may have contributed to her death.
7) You blast America for "not doing more" around the world to help people living in poverty (and under the boot of tyranny, which keeps them in poverty). But when America DOES do something to help, you say we're "interfering with a soverign nation."
8) Despite the fact that John Kerry got four deferments (and was turned down for a fifth) before going to 'Nam, and despite the fact that Kerry was praised by the Communist North Vietnamese for stabbing America in the back, you still consider him a genuine "war hero" (and laugh when he makes fun of Dick Cheney's five deferments).
9) You consider yourself better educated and better informed than everybody else, yet you still think that America put Saddam Hussein into office and that President Bush "allowed" 9/11 to happen, and you earn a living serving coffee at Starbucks (even though you're 30).
10) You are vehemently against any form of English as an "official" language, yet you moan like a two-dollar whore when hoardes of illegal aliens (who can't speak English) end up living in poverty (because they can't speak English).
"
 
  Decision Iraq (washingtonpost.com)

COWARD

Decision Iraq (washingtonpost.com): "In August, I was talking with Kerry's scheduler about possible dates. On Sept. 1, Kerry began his intense criticism of Bush's decisions in the Iraq war, saying 'I would've done almost everything differently.' A few days later, I provided the Kerry campaign with a list of 22 possible questions based entirely on Bush's actions leading up to the war and how Kerry might have responded in the same situations. The senator and his campaign have since decided not to do the interview, though his advisers say Kerry would have strong and compelling answers."
 
  cBS Again into the Breech
At some point you would think that, at the very least the Shareholders of Viacom/cBS would step in a pull the reins from what can only be viewed as a cabal of ideologues intent on swaying an election.
DRUDGE REPORT 2004�: "
60 MINS PLANNED BUSH MISSING EXPLOSIVES STORY FOR ELECTION EVE

News of missing explosives in Iraq -- first reported in April 2003 -- was being resurrected for a 60 MINUTES election eve broadcast designed to knock the Bush administration into a crises mode.

Jeff Fager, executive producer of the Sunday edition of 60 MINUTES, said in a statement that 'our plan was to run the story on October 31.'

Elizabeth Jensen at the LOS ANGELES TIMES details on Tuesday how CBS NEWS and 60 MINUTES lost the story [which repackaged previously reported information on a large cache of explosives missing in Iraq, first published and broadcast in 2003].

The story instead debuted in the NYT. The paper slugged the story about missing explosives from April 2003 as 'exclusive.'

An NBCNEWS crew embedded with troops moved in to secure the Al-Qaqaa weapons facility on April 10, 2003, one day after the liberation of Iraq.

According to NBCNEWS, the explosives were already missing when the American troops arrived.

It is not clear who exactly shopped an election eve repackaging of the missing explosives story.

The LA TIMES claims: The source on the story first went to 60 MINUTES but also expressed interest in working with the NY TIMES... 'The tip was received last Wednesday.'

CBSNEWS' plan to unleash the story just 24 hours before election day had one senior Bush official outraged.

'Darn, I wanted to see the forged documents to show how this was somehow covered up,' the Bush source, who asked not to be named, mocked, recalling last months CBS airing of fraudulent Bush national guard letters.

Developing..."
 
  Marx in our Classes
This guy has been flogging Teaching versus Ideological Indoctrination for some time now and has been worth the occasional read
Johnny, this semester is going to go so much faster if you avoid answering the silly questions that your Marxist feminist sociology professor poses in class. Instead, your only chance of learning depends on your willingness to ask your professor questions about her emotional disorder. Here are some suggestions:

1. Which leader killed more Jews in the 20th century: a) Joseph Stalin or, b) Adolph Hitler?
2. Which of the following is more perplexing: a) A Jewish professor who calls herself a Marxist or, b) A black professor who calls himself a Klansman?
3. Whose idea was it to turn over Eastern Europe to Stalin after winning it from Hitler: a) Franklin Delano Roosevelt or, b) His advisor (and Soviet spy) Alger Hiss?
4. Which worldview is true: a) The Biblical perspective that human nature is flawed (to the point where utopia is impossible) or, b) The sociological perspective that we are inherently good until corrupted by society?
5. Which problem is harder for sociologists to explain: a) The logical assertion that inherently good people combine to form a “bad” society that, in turn, corrupts previously good people or, b) The empirical fact that sociologists consistently explain around ten percent of the variance in delinquency while refusing to use the term “free will” to explain the other 90% of the variance.
6. And (regarding question #5, part “b”) how can the team scoring one run be called the “winner” against a team scoring nine runs?

And, of course, you will want to ask your professor to explain the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall within the Marxist dialectic some time before Christmas vacation.
 
  Honour killing bill fails in parliament
And why should anyone who pays attention to these things be in the least bit suprised?
Honour killing bill fails in parliament

[World News]: Islamabad, Oct 26 : The Pakistani government has failed to get a bill seeking to enhance punishment for honour killing passed for want of a quorum in parliament.

A clause-by-clause reading of the bill was completed Monday and only a vote remained to be taken, Dawn reported Tuesday.

A ruling party MP, speaking on condition of anonymity, told reporters the majority of treasury members stayed away from the house because they opposed the bill.

The government introduced the bill to counter a more comprehensive one tabled by the opposition's Sherry Rahman.

Rahman described the government bill as an eyewash that "misses the essential ingredients which could have confronted the main issues and punished those committing murder in the name of honour".

Dawn said: "The house presented a hilarious scene, with the opposition time and again pointing towards lack of quorum and the speaker ruling the house in order even as the former cried foul."
 
  Yahoo! News - Spain Sees Further Threat from Islamist Radicals
Let's all sit back and marvel at the new found security the Spanish have obtained via crawfishing on their bellies for the Islamists
Yahoo! News - Spain Sees Further Threat from Islamist Radicals: "MADRID (Reuters) - Despite dozens of arrests, Spanish police have yet to establish who ultimately ordered the Madrid rail bombings and seven months later are still uncovering new militant threats."
 
  MSNBC - Votergasm.org dangles sex, not chads
I would say that this certainly beats the NAACP's effort to 'get out the vote' via Crack Cocaine
MSNBC - Votergasm.org dangles sex, not chads


The right to vote won’t be the only thing getting exercised on Nov. 2 if the creators of Votergasm.org have their way. Rather than pesky chads, the Web-based voter-enticement project is dangling the promise of sex in an effort to induce 100,000 young citizens to cast ballots for the first time

The Votergasm project was dreamed up in May by Collins and a group of friends and recent graduates from Harvard and Columbia Universities and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, nearly all of whom are either working in comedy — one is a current writer for the satirical Web site The Onion — or aspire to do so.

As that would suggest, the Web site includes plenty of satire and parody along with its get-out-and-vote message.

The site offers three levels of commitment: “Citizen,” requiring a pledge to withhold sex from non-voters for a week following the election; “Patriot,” calling on the participant to have sex with a voter on Election Night and withhold sex from non-voters for a week; and “American Hero,” who must have sex with a voter on election night and withhold sex from non-voters for the next four years.

It also states that the sex must be “consensual and safe,” then lists sexual positions that will qualify in terms of pledge fulfillment: “Missionary, doggy-style, cowgirl, reverse cowgirl, leapfrog, butterfly, humpback whale, cling wrap, squashing of the deck chair, accordion, reverse piggy-back, advanced ("twin") leapfrog.”
 
  Telegraph | News | France eyes 'new alliance' with White House
Puh'lease, and why exactly would the US want to have an 'ally' of that caliber? One who is a the forefront of thwarting US goals and objectives.

Telegraph | News | France eyes 'new alliance' with White House: "The French government said yesterday that it would seek a 'new alliance' with whomever won the US presidential election next week.

A diplomatic chill has characterised exchanges between Paris and Washington over the past two years as a result of French opposition to the war in Iraq. But the French foreign minister, Michel Barnier, said that the two countries needed to forge a new alliance. This alliance 'must be based on mutual respect, which is not allegiance', he said."
 
  Kerry's phantom meeting - The Washington Times: Editorials/OP-ED - October 26, 200
I still don't get how anyone could think that GW is so bad that putting Kerry into office is a viable solution

Kerry's phantom meeting - The Washington Times: Editorials/OP-ED - October 26, 2004


John Kerry has called truthfulness "the fundamental test of leadership." He told National Guard veterans last month, "As president, I will always be straight with you — on the good days and the bad days." He has repeatedly said President Bush fails the test, especially when it comes to foreign policy. All the richer, then, is yesterday's revelation that, for political purposes, Mr. Kerry fabricated a meeting with the "entire" U.N. Security Council in October 2002 just before the United Nations voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq.

 
Monday, October 25, 2004
  Yahoo! News - Iraq Govt. Says Has Not Suspended Falluja Talks
When does the US quit didling and start acting with some sort of resolve? I know that we are supposed to be letting the Iraqi's take the lead in their affairs, but come on. This is what the 4th set of 'Peace Talks'. How do you talk peace with those that are sworn to destroy you? That is the language of the perpetual victim.

Yahoo! News - Iraq Govt. Says Has Not Suspended Falluja Talks: "BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The Iraqi government denied on Monday it had suspended talks to avert a military assault on the rebel-held city of Falluja."
 
  Yahoo! News - San Diego now 'Enron by the Sea'
You have to wonder if this is the beginning of a cascade series of failures in our cities and most likely some states?
Yahoo! News - San Diego now 'Enron by the Sea': "Nearly a decade of fiscal shenanigans came to light when Diann Shipione, a pension board trustee, blew the whistle. But it took some doing. She wrote letters to the mayor, city officials and fellow trustees. She spoke up at City Council meetings. She wrote opinion columns in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

But the City Council and the trustees ignored her. At one point the pension board bought an ad in the Union-Tribune that scoffed, 'Chicken Little Would Be Proud.'

Only in September 2003, when Shipione alerted a lawyer handling a municipal sewer bond sale to facts the city hadn't disclosed, did Wall Street pull the plug. The bond issue was canceled. Soon the Securities and Exchange Commission (news - web sites), the FBI (news - web sites) and the U.S. attorney were asking questions. In January, the city admitted errors and omissions in its financial statements.

'The city's conservative image is completely false,' Shipione says. 'It's reckless, it spends wildly and lavishly, it saves nothing and it hides the truth.'"
 
Friday, October 22, 2004
  BBC NEWS | UK | Education | Outcry over English lessons
It'a nice to see that the French are preparing for pre-emptive surrender rather than waiting for the actual axe to fall

BBC NEWS | UK | Education | Outcry over English lessons: "He told Le Monde: 'English is the most-spoken language today, but that won't last.'

He said Spanish, Chinese and Arabic were all growing in importance.

'If we must make a language compulsory, it should be Arabic,' he said."
 
  Yahoo! News - Keychain Remote Control Turns Off Most TVs
Yahoo! News - Keychain Remote Control Turns Off Most TVs: "'I thought there would just be a trickle, but we are swamped,' the inventor, Mitch Altman of San Francisco, said Monday in an interview. 'I didn't know there were so many people who were into turning TV off.'

Hundreds of orders for Altman's $14.99 TV-B-Gone gadget poured in Monday after the tiny remote control was announced in Wired magazine and other online media outlets. At times, the unexpected attention overloaded and crashed the Web site of his company, Cornfield Electronics.

The keychain fob works like a universal remote control but one that only turns TVs on or off. With a zap of a button, the gizmo goes through a string of about 200 infrared codes that controls the power of about 1,000 television models. Altman said the majority of TVs should react within 17 seconds, though it takes a little more than a minute for the gizmo to emit all the trigger codes."
 
  Yahoo! News - Man Wears 'Cocaine' T-Shirt in Court
Yahoo! News - Man Wears 'Cocaine' T-Shirt in Court: "HONG KONG - It was not the best legal defense strategy: A Hong Kong man appeared in court on drug charges wearing a T-shirt that said 'cocaine' and drew a stern rebuke from the magistrate, a newspaper reported Thursday.



Ho Heng-chau pleaded guilty to possession of three ecstasy pills, but while his lawyer was arguing for a lenient sentence on Wednesday the magistrate noticed the T-shirt, according to the Apple Daily newspaper.

'Do you know you're appearing in court?' Magistrate Ernest Lin was quoted as saying. 'What are you doing wearing a 'cocaine' T-shirt? You might as well carry a sign that says 'I'm a drug head.''

Ho, 20, did not respond, Apple Daily said.

The magistrate fined Ho $510, then chided the young man again over the shirt.

'Next time a police officer sees you wearing a shirt like this he'll confront you,' Lin was quoted as saying. 'Would you wear a shirt that says 'marijuana?''

Judiciary spokeswoman Jaime Or told The Associated Press she had no information on Ho's case."
 
  Yahoo! News - Judge Voids Will That Promised Curse
Yahoo! News - Judge Voids Will That Promised Curse
OSLO, Norway - A Norwegian's threat to haunt anyone who tampered with his will didn't hold up in — or send a chill through — a court. The man, who wasn't identified, died in mid-2003 and left a will dividing his possessions among a long list of friends because he had no direct heirs, state radio network NRK reported Thursday.



And, to be sure that no one challenged the document, he threated to haunt any who tampered with the document.

"I take a solemn and holy vow that, if at all possible, I will pursue you in the darkest hours of the night," he said in the will. "I warn you, in the strongest possible terms not to try any nonsense."

His half-sister, who wasn't one of the beneficiaries, took her chances and challenged the will in the Haalogaland Appeals Court in the Arctic city of Tromsoe.

Apparently, the judge didn't believe in ghosts, because he declared the will void this week since the two witnesses who signed it testified they didn't know what the document was.

There have been no reports of mysterious late night occurrences by either the half-sister or the judge.

NRK did not report the name of the man or his half-sister. When contacted by telephone, the Haalogoland Court office said it would be all but impossible to find a copy of the ruling without the names.

Tromsoe, the main city in Norway's Arctic, is about 745 miles north of the capital, Oslo.
 
  Yahoo! News - Court: Whales Have No Standing to Sue
Yahoo! News - Court: Whales Have No Standing to Sue

SAN FRANCISCO - A federal appeals court decided Wednesday that marine mammals have no standing to sue to stop the U.S. Navy (news - web sites) from using sonar.



In upholding a lower court decision, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (news - web sites) said the world's cetaceans — whales, porpoises and dolphins — have no standing under the Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act or the National Environmental Policy Act.
 
  Yahoo! News - Rise of the Robots: Segway Platform Gives Mechanoids Motion
Yahoo! News - Rise of the Robots: Segway Platform Gives Mechanoids Motion

Wheels sans robot

Segway's self-balancing robot platform takes up about 2 square feet and comes equipped with software and interface electronics necessary to receive, process and execute commands from an onboard robot payload.

"It was a minor modification to what we had," Morrell said. "The challenges for us were largely in declining to get too fancy, and keeping it really simple."

Capable of carrying 100 pounds (45 kilograms) and moving about 8 miles (12 kilometers) an hour, the platform has two different modes. Researchers can choose between its standalone function as a robot's wheels or a tractor-like mode for towing trailers or other loads.

"The goal is not to have researchers worry about transportation," Morrell said. "That way, if [a robot's computer algorithms] work on an RMP, then you could put it on a Hummer or anything else."
 
Thursday, October 21, 2004
  Wired News: American Passports to Get Chipped
Wired News: American Passports to Get Chipped

New U.S. passports will soon be read remotely at borders around the world, thanks to embedded chips that will broadcast on command an individual's name, address and digital photo to a computerized reader.

The State Department hopes the addition of the chips, which employ radio frequency identification, or RFID, technology, will make passports more secure and harder to forge, according to spokeswoman Kelly Shannon.
 
  komo 4 news | School District Bans Halloween
When did the right not to ever be offended become so solidly embedded in our culture.

komo 4 news | School District Bans Halloween

PUYALLUP - "Let them have their 30-minutes of dressing goofy and having candy," said Silas Macon on the grounds of Puyallup's Maplewood Elementary School Wednesday afternoon.

He'd just learned the grade school tradition of a party and parade in costume during the last half-hour of class before Halloween night won't happen this year in the Puyallup School District for his two daughters.

The superintendent has cancelled all Halloween activities.

A letter sent home to parents Wednesday states there will be no observance of Halloween in the entire school district.

"We really want to make sure we're using all of our time in the best interest of our students," explained Puyallup School District spokesperson Karen Hansen.

Hansen says the superintendent made the decision for three primary reasons. First, Halloween parties and parades waste valuable classroom time. In addition some families can't afford costumes.

It's the third reason some Puyallup parents are struggling with.

The district says Halloween celebrations and children dressed in Halloween costumes might be offensive to real witches.

"Witches with pointy noses and things like that are not respective symbols of the Wiccan religion and so we want to be respectful of that," said Hansen.

The Wiccan, or Pagan, religion is growing in the U.S. and there are Wiccan groups in Puyallup.

Number eight on the district's guidelines related to holidays and celebrations reads as follows: "Use of derogatory stereotypes is prohibited, such as the traditional image of a witch, which is offensive to members of the Wiccan religion."

"I do lots of things that are not revolving around wearing a black outfit and stirring a cauldron," said Wiccan Priestess Cheryl Sulyma-Masson in an interview with ABC News where she explained that Wiccans (or Pagan Clergy) celebrate nature, not Satan.

A Puyallup School District internal email dating from October 2000 warns that "the Wiccan religion is a bona fide religion under the law, and its followers are entitled to all the protections afforded more mainstream religions. Building administrators should not tolerate such inappropriate stereotyping (images such as Witches on flying brooms, stirring cauldrons, casting spells, or with long noses and pointed hats) and instead address them as you would hurtful stereotypes of any other minority."

2004, however, is the first year that the superintendent decided to cite that concern, along with loss of classroom study time and protection for students who can't afford costumes, as motivation for canceling in-school Halloween activities.

"They're so worried about being politically correct anymore that we're not allowed to do much of anything," said parent Tonya Reynolds whose daughter attends Maplewood Elementary.

"If you don't want costumes call it a harvest party. We don't have to take out complete Halloween. We could still do something for our children," said parent Loni Andrews who promises to challenge the ruling at the next school board meeting.

"Yeah it does bother me because I would really like to go around and dress up," said Maplewood 6th grader Grace Macon.

"I think it's terrible," added Silas Macon. "I think it just kind of takes away from the little stuff they get to do that's fun at school."

"It's a little bit of both," said Hansen of the study time and religious reasons for canceling Halloween activities. "I don't think you can balance respect with instructional time and we would always be looking to do both. We want to make sure our students are respectful of all religions and all cultures.

Hansen also said that the PTA and teachers have been notified that they can hold parties or other Halloween events after the school day is over. Classroom time, however, will not be used for Halloween celebrations. Hansen says concerns about other holidays and parties held in school will be decided on a case by case basis.
 
  Company You Keep
(via lgf)
What more needs to be said on this front.
Company You Keep
Politics: When John Kerry claimed "foreign leaders" preferred him to President Bush, we could only scratch our heads. But now we're getting the picture.

At a Hollywood, Fla., fund-raiser last March, Kerry told supporters foreign leaders were virtually lining up to back him. "I've met foreign leaders who can't go out and say this publicly, but boy, they look at you and say, 'You have got to win this; you have got to beat this guy; we need a new policy.' Things like that."

ADVERTISEMENT
When pressed, Kerry said he had "no obligation" to reveal their names. Well, maybe it's the closeness of the polls, but finally many of those "foreign leaders" are stepping forward. It's quite a group.

Just Thursday, Palestinian Authority leader and sometime terrorist Yasser Arafat endorsed Kerry. Why? Kerry did once call him a "statesman." And, as his foreign minister noted, under Kerry "several staff members during Clinton's administration would return."

Kerry has also won praise from Kim Jong Il, North Korea's totalitarian dictator, who has murdered millions of his own people. Kim calls Bush "human scum." But he likes Kerry's support of two-way talks between North Korea and the U.S. -- which would give the "beloved leader" a big negotiating advantage.

Then there's Fidel Castro -- another communist tyrant smitten with the Massachusetts senator. While Kerry delivered his acceptance speech at the Democratic convention, Castro celebrated by running a bootlegged copy of "Fahrenheit 9/11" over Cuban TV.

Don't forget former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. Last year, Mahathir, who is often called "moderate," said Jews "rule this world by proxy." This year, he urged U.S. Muslims to vote for Kerry "in the name of Islam."

We all know, of course, whom President Jacques Chirac of France and Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder of Germany prefer. Polls show Bush is overwhelmingly unpopular in those countries. And neither man has made a secret of his contempt for the cowboy from Texas.

How about Bush? He gets foreign support, too. But big difference.

Russia's Vladimir Putin, for one, thinks Bush will be a bulwark in the global war on terror. Japan's ruling party, the LDP, also backs the president; Kerry's stance on North Korea terrifies the LDP.

Among Israelis, Bush is wildly popular. Kuwaitis see him as president of the world, not just the U.S. And don't forget the 30 nations in the Coalition of the Willing in Iraq.

Yes, we'll admit to skepticism when Kerry first touted his foreign support. But no more. Many "leaders" indeed support him. It's just that most of them seem to be nondemocrats and anti-U.S. cranks.

We go back to an old saying: You'll be known by the friends you make and the company you keep. If so, Kerry's in big trouble. And if he wins, so are we.

 
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
  CNN.com - Flat-screen�TV emits international distress signal - Oct 18, 2004
Hattip: The Jeffery

CNN.com - Flat-screen�TV emits international distress signal - Oct 18, 2004

An Oregon man discovered earlier this month that his year-old Toshiba Corporation flat-screen TV was emitting an international distress signal picked up by a satellite, leading a search and rescue operation to his apartment in Corvallis, Oregon, 70 miles south of Portland.

The signal from Chris van Rossmann's TV was routed by satellite to the Air Force Rescue Center at Langley Air Base in Virginia.

On October 2, the 20 year-old college student was visited at his apartment in the small university town by a contingent of local police, civil air patrol and search and rescue personnel.

"They'd never seen signal come that strong from a home appliance," said van Rossmann. "They were quite surprised. I think we all were."

Authorities had expected to find a boat or small plane with a malfunctioning transponder, the usual culprit in such incidents, emitting the 121.5 MHz frequency of the distress signal used internationally.

Van Rossmann said he was told to keep his TV off to avoid paying a $10,000 fine for "willingly broadcasting a false distress signal."

Toshiba contacted Rossmann and offered to provide him with a replacement set for free, he said.
 
Monday, October 18, 2004
  WorldTribune.com
WorldTribune.com

Charles Duelfer told the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this month he could not rule out Saddam's transfer of Iraqi missiles and weapons of mass destruction to Syria.

Charles Duelfer, head of the Iraq Survey Group, pauses during an Senate Armed Services committee on Oct. 6, in Washington.
Duelfer, an adviser to the CIA, said at the Oct. 6 hearing that a large amount of material had been transferred by Iraq to Syria before the March 2003 war.

"A lot of materials left Iraq and went to Syria," Duelfer said. "There was certainly a lot of traffic across the border points. We've got a lot of data to support that, including people discussing it. But whether in fact in any of these trucks there was WMD-related materials, I cannot say."

The Iraq Survey Group, headed by Duelfer, said Russia, Syria, Jordan and other arms suppliers were paid from Iraqi oil revenues.

A CIA report, authored by the Iraq Survey Group, identified Russia and Syria atop a list of 12 arms suppliers to Iraq until the U.S.-led war against Baghdad started in March 2003.

The report listed Russia and Syria above North Korea — regarded as the leading missile proliferator to the Middle East — as leading suppliers to Baghdad.

Jordan was the third largest supplier of weapons to Iraq.

Duelfer (left), speaks with General Joseph J. McMenamin, military commander of the Iraq Survey Group, before start of the Senate Armed Services committee meeting.
After Jordan came Belarus, China, India, North Korea, South Korea, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Ukraine, France, Romania and Turkey. The report said these countries were involved in both "weapons of mass destruction and arms-related procurement."

The report said Saddam diverted money from the UN oil-for-food program to pay for both conventional and nonconventional weapons and components.

The report said state-owned companies in Russia and Syria defied UN sanctions and supplied weapons and platforms to Baghdad. The report said Syria also served as the leading route for illegal arms supplies from Europe and other countries.

Several of Iraq's neighbors were said to have joined in the secret military effort to aid Baghdad. The report — based on interviews with senior Iraqi officials and 40 million pages of documents and classified intelligence — cited Jordan and Turkey as leading suppliers to the Saddam regime.
 
  New Mexico hiring Mexico teachers
Why does this bother me so much? How can brining in foriegn nationals to 'teach' our students be a good thing?
New Mexico hiring Mexico teachers

New Mexico hiring Mexico teachers

Associated Press
Oct. 18, 2004 12:00 AM

SANTA FE - Mexican bilingual teachers will be allowed to teach in New Mexico's public schools for three years under an agreement reached by New Mexico and Mexico.

"Having teachers from Mexico is extremely important because so many students here come from Chihuahua and other Mexican states," said Polly Beckmon, an English-as-a-second-language teacher who advises the bilingual program at a Santa Fe school.

The memorandum of understanding was signed Friday by Gov. Bill Richardson, New Mexico Education Secretary Veronica Garcia and Mexican officials.
advertisement


The teachers would have to return to Mexico to teach for at least two years after they finish their work in New Mexico.

The state would not help pay for transportation costs.

Individual school districts will pay the salaries of Mexican teachers, Garcia said.

New Mexico education officials started working on the deal in November 2001 to address the shortage of bilingual teachers, Garcia said.

The state cleared up licensing problems with Mexico about a year ago, said Willie Brown, state Public Education Department attorney.

The Mexican teachers will teach mathematics, science, humanities, history, Spanish and special education, the memo says. They will teach all grade levels.

Richardson said the state has had Mexican teacher-exchange programs at the college level, but this will be the first time the state has had a program for kindergarten through high school.

The program also illustrates a commitment to expanding ties with Mexico, he said.

Mexican consulate Juan Manuel Solana said New Mexico is the second state to bring in bilingual teachers. He said about 80 such teachers work in California.