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Monday, February 28, 2005
  Captain's Quarters - Capt'n Ed puts succinctly into words what I have tried for some time to verbalize
Captain's Quarters: "More horizons beckon, notably Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Pakistan, but these will follow in time. One question that arises still is, why now? Was this really the work of the Anglosphere? The answer lies in the 150,000 troops currently stationed in Iraq and the will to act that put them there. Does anyone think that Syria would have stood still for a spontaneous demonstration against their puppet government if Saddam Hussein was still defying the UN in Baghdad? Would Hosni Mubarak have suddenly transformed into a democrat without watching the Anglosphere demonstrate a will to act rather than just continue talking tough?

Would the people of the region had the undeniable personal courage to stand up to their oppressors as they have in Cairo and Beirut if they had not seen the Iraqis and their purple fingers, freely voting for their own government, with their own eyes?"
  Your surreal internet moment: abe vigoda status
abe vigoda status: "Abe Vigoda is alive"
  Look for the cure to be worse than the disease
Technology News Article | Reuters.com: "WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. lawmakers on Thursday sought more control over data brokers like ChoicePoint Inc. (CPS.N: Quote, Profile, Research) after criminals gained access to tens of thousands of names and personal details in the company's database.

Several Democratic lawmakers said they would introduce legislation to limit the activities of data profilers, who sell Social Security numbers and other consumer information to business and government clients."
  Look to the Label's to kill the gold-plated chicken
FT.com / Industries / Media & internet - Top music labels try to raise prices for downloads: "Some leading music labels are in talks with online retailers to raise wholesale prices for digital music downloads in an attempt to capitalise on burgeoning demand for legal online music.

The moves, which suggest the labels want a bigger slice of the fledgling market's spoils, has angered Steve Jobs, the Apple Computer chief executive behind the iTunes online music store.

But music executives expressed caution about their ability to push through unilateral price increases. Among the biggest groups, Universal Music and Sony BMG are known to be particularly reluctant to disrupt the market for downloads.

One top label said it would not raise wholesale prices now because the market was not yet mature enough for an increase. The three other music labels - which also include EMI and Warner - refused to comment.

Analysts, meanwhile, are warning that price rises could exacerbate internet piracy, which is thought to cost the industry about $2.4bn (�1.2bn) a year."
  Publius Pundit - Blogging the democratic revolution
Publius Pundit - Blogging the democratic revolution
The appears to be a good central round-up of the Lebanon situation.
  Toothless Fool is Concerned
Top News Article | Reuters.com: "VIENNA (Reuters) - North Korea's declaration that it has nuclear weapons is 'a matter of the utmost concern' and a diplomatic solution should be found urgently, the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, Mohamed ElBaradei, said Monday.

North Korea said publicly for the first time on Feb. 10 it had atomic weapons and was suspending indefinitely participation in the six-way nuclear disarmament talks with South Korea, China, Russia, the United States and Japan.

It had since told China it would return to the talks if conditions were right and the United States showed sincerity, the official North Korean news agency reported last week."
  The Dirty Secret of Aid
Top News Article | Reuters.co.uk: "LONDON (Reuters) - Red tape, inefficiency and nepotism mean that only one fifth of international aid actually gets to the people who need it, aid agencies say.

Not only that, but 40 percent of international aid is spent buying overpriced goods and services from the donors' own countries, Action Aid and Oxfam said on Monday in a joint report calling for urgent reform of a politically compromised system.

'First and foremost, they need to spend aid where it is needed -- on poverty reduction -- rather than channel it to their own consultancy and infrastructure industries and geopolitical allies,' the report said.

It accused the United States and Italy of being the worst culprits in so-called aid 'round tripping,' spending some 70 percent of their aid on their own companies.

'This is the ultimate form of round tripping -- taking with one hand what is given with the other while advertising your 'generosity,'' it said, noting that the inefficiency involved inflated procurement costs by some $7 billion (3.64 billion pounds) a year.

The report 'Millstone or Milestone' also accused the international institutions of imposing impossible conditions on recipient nations and of tying the whole process up in a bureaucratic quagmire.

The report noted that in 2003 Senegal had to play host to 50 delegations from the World Bank.

It said the existing international aid system had grown out of the Cold War when donor countries frequently used aid to obtain political leverage and fly the national flag.

'Byzantine donor procedures and conditions have distorted incentives and systems in aid-dependent countries and undermined local capacity, hindering with one hand what they have helped with the other,' the report said.

Aid was still often misdirected at high profile projects or aimed at 'donor darling' countries like Nicaragua which received aid equivalent"
  The UN: to quote Obi Wan: A Wretched Hive of Scum and Villianry
OpinionJournal - The Real World: "If you believe in the U.N. charter's promise to promote 'justice and respect for obligations arising from treaties,' along with 'the dignity and worth of the human person,' then the real scandal--less racy, but colossally more devastating in human cost--has been the UNHCR's failure in recent years to stand up for refugees fleeing North Korea. The problem here is not, as far as I am aware, one of embezzlement or fraud. Nor is it on a par with any amount of sexual harassment in the comfortable Geneva headquarters of the UNHCR--however upsetting that might be. The true horror is the way in which the well-mannered nuances of U.N. bureaucracy, structure and management have combined to dismiss demurely the desperate needs of hundreds of thousands of human beings fleeing famine and repression in the world's worst totalitarian state.

The situation, by U.N. lights, is of course complex. For more than a decade, North Koreans have been fleeing their country by the only avenue even partly open to them--past the northern border patrols, into China. An estimated 300,000 North Koreans are in hiding in China today. They have a well-founded fear of persecution, should they be sent back. Testimony has stacked up high and wide--much of it over the past four years, on Mr. Lubbers's watch-- that if returned these refugees would likely end up starved or worked to death in the labor camps of Kim Jong Il. Some are murdered outright. One recent dispatch from a South Korean private aid group, the Headquarters for the Protection of North Korean Defectors, reports that according to sources inside North Korea the regime there just last month executed some 60 North Korean would-be defectors sent back by China, killing at least eight in public, in the northern city of Chongjin--to deter others from making a run for it.

Such would-be refugees have been dying faceless, nameless and scarcely even remarked upon by the world community. But these were human beings. They had faces and names. From what we know of conditions in North Korean detention centers, it's a good bet they were freezing, famished and quite possibly tortured in the hours before they were then murdered in public due to the combined and systematic state policies of China and North Korea.

Where is the U.N. in all this? Under the U.N. Refugee Convention--which Beijing has signed and the UNHCR, with its $1.1 billion budget, is supposed to administer--these North Koreans refugees had rights. The convention promised them not a return to their deaths, but at least safe transit through China to a place of asylum.

The UNHCR keeps an office in Beijing, with a budget this year totaling $4.4 million, to which asylum seekers have no access. Four years ago, a family of North Korean refugees actually stormed the premises and gained asylum after threatening to eat rat poison from their pockets if forced back out onto the street. Since then, the UNHCR has allowed China's security agents to better defend the compound against further visits by the people the UNHCR is supposedly in China to protect.

For years now, the U.N. policy in dealing with North Korean refugees in China has been one of what its spokesmen call "quiet diplomacy." The hushed implication is that behind the scenes, the UNHCR is in deep and earnest discussion with the Chinese authorities. No doubt. And there has been some help for a small number, mainly by way of easing them quietly out of the country once they have risked their lives by storming foreign compounds other than the UNHCR's. But the broad picture, for the hundreds of thousands, is a quiet but dire absence of any help whatsoever.

  The Purple Revolution Continues
Yahoo! News - Lebanon's PM Says His Government Resigns: "BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon's Syrian-backed Prime Minister Omar Karami, under popular pressure after the assassination of an ex-prime minister, said Monday his government was resigning.

'Out of concern that the government does not become an obstacle to the good of the country, I announce the resignation of the government I had the honor to lead,' Karami told parliament in Beirut."
  Doh!: Kid killed by own snowball
ThisisLondon: "A 10-year-old boy died after being crushed by a giant snowball, it was reported today.

Police refused to name the youngster or release any further details of the incident, but the boy was named locally as Peter Strang, according to the Daily Record newspaper.

The accident happened at about 5.45pm on Saturday in Torphins, Aberdeenshire, Grampian Police said.

The death was 'the result of a tragic accident', a police spokesman said.

The primary school pupil apparently died playing with a friend after a 'giant snowball' rolled down a hill and engulfed him.

Local minister Norman Nicoll told the paper: 'It seems there was a giant snowball the boys had made themselves."
  The White Flight of the Dutch
The New York Times > International > Europe > More Dutch Plan to Emigrate as Muslim Influx Tips Scales: "AMSTERDAM - Paul Hiltemann had already noticed a darkening mood in the Netherlands. He runs an agency for people wanting to emigrate and his client list had surged.

But he was still taken aback in November when a Dutch filmmaker was shot and his throat was slit, execution style, on an Amsterdam street.

In the weeks that followed, Mr. Hiltemann was inundated by e-mail messages and telephone calls. 'There was a big panic,' he said, 'a flood of people saying they wanted to leave the country.'

Leave this stable and prosperous corner of Europe? Leave this land with its generous social benefits and ample salaries, a place of fine schools, museums, sports grounds and bicycle paths, all set in a lively democracy?

The answer, increasingly, is yes. This small nation is a magnet for immigrants, but statistics suggest there is a quickening flight of the white middle class. Dutch people pulling up roots said they felt a general pessimism about their small and crowded country and about the social tensions that had grown along with the waves of newcomers, most of them Muslims.'The Dutch are living in a kind of pressure cooker atmosphere,' Mr. Hiltemann said.

There is more than the concern about the rising complications of absorbing newcomers, now one-tenth of the population, many of them from largely Muslim countries. Many Dutch also seem bewildered that their country, run for decades on a cozy, political consensus, now seems so tense and prickly and bent on confrontation. Those leaving have been mostly lured by large English-speaking nations like Australia, New Zealand and Canada, where they say they hope to feel less constricted."
  PoliPundit.com � Immigration Fixed (via Michelle Malkin)
PoliPundit.com � Immigration
Step 1: A fake Social Security number is necessary to get a job. Implement a computerized system for employers to check if a Social Security number is valid and matches the name provided by the employee.

Step 2: Crack down on employers who employ illegals. Once you throw a few high-profile executives in jail, employers will become sticklers for checking Social Security numbers using the new computerized system. That’ll force illegal immigrants to “deport” themselves because they’ll be utterly unable to find work.

The first part of the plan is already being implemented by the Social Security Administration. Their web site talks about a pilot program for an Internet-based Social Security number verification service:
  The Future is Now: BCI
Wired 13.03: Mind Control: "The remarkable thing about Nagle is not that he plays skillfully; it's that he can play at all. Nagle is a C4 quadriplegic, paralyzed from the neck down in a stabbing three years ago. He pilots a motorized wheelchair by blowing into a sip-and-puff tube, his pale hands strapped to the armrests. He's playing Pong with his thoughts alone.

A bundle of wires as thick as a coaxial cable runs from a connector in Nagle's scalp to a refrigerator-sized cart of electronic gear. Inside his brain, a tiny array of microelectrodes picks up the cacophony of his neural activity; processors recognize the patterns associated with arm motions and translate them into signals that control the Pong paddle, draw with a cursor, operate a TV, and open email.

Nagle, 25, is the first patient in a controversial clinical trial that seeks to prove brain-computer interfaces can return function to people paralyzed by injury or disease. His BCI is the most sophisticated ever tested on a human being, the culmination of two decades of research in neural recording and decoding. A Foxborough, Massachusetts-based company called Cyberkinetics built the system, named BrainGate."
  Doh!: Some IT weenie is gonna be in hot water
Wired News: Known Hole Aided T-Mobile Breach: "The Justice Department and the U.S. Secret Service have handled the Jacobsen prosecution with unusual secrecy, and T-Mobile has been tight-lipped on how the hacker penetrated their systems. But two sources close to the case and a hacker friend of Jacobsen's who hosted some of his purloined files all point to the same security hole: a vulnerability discovered in early 2003 in the WebLogic application server produced by San Jose, California, company BEA Systems.

Found by researchers at security vendor SPI Dynamics, the WebLogic hole took the form of an undocumented function that allows an attacker to remotely read or replace any file on a system by feeding it a specially-crafted web request. BEA produced a patch for the bug in March 2003 and issued a public advisory rating it a high-severity vulnerability.

In July of that year, the hole was spotlighted in a presentation at the Black Hat Briefings convention in Las Vegas. Approximately 1,700 computer security professionals and corporate executives attended that conference, where an SPI Dynamics researcher detailed precisely how to exploit the vulnerability.

The attack method is 'kiddy simple,' says Caleb Sima, founder and CTO of SPI Dynamics. 'All you have to do is add a special header with the request, with special commands at the end of it, and that's it.'

Jacobsen learned of the WebLogic hole from the advisory, crafted his own 20-line exploit in Visual Basic, then began digging around the internet for potential targets who had failed to install the patch, the sources say. By October 2003, he'd hit pay dirt at T-Mobile, where he used the exploit to gain a foothold in the company's systems. He then wrote his own front-end to the customer database to which he could return at his convenience."
Saturday, February 26, 2005
  Merrily continuing on his path of destruction
Newsday.com - AP World News: "JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has increasingly turned to hard-line military commanders to cow his factious country and now is relying on them to ensure a ruling party triumph in March 31 parliamentary elections.

He appointed a former colonel to run the new Election Commission last month and passed laws that placed the army in charge of polling stations and allows military officers to serve as election officials.

Analysts said it follows a trend in recent years of militarizing Zimbabwean society. Mugabe clings to power, they said, by placing men who unflinchingly follow orders in charge of strategic industries and ministries, the secret police, justice system, youth militias and food and fuel distribution.

'The strategy is to get people in key positions that share the hard-line attitudes of the government,'"
  Campaign Finance Reform, good thing they got the money out of politics, phaw!
Campaign-Like Attacks Turn Up Volume on Social Security Debate: "'They've learned how to do it, how to raise the money and get the media,' McCrery said. 'Our supporters have to do the same thing to counter the liberal groups. So you've got the political discourse in this country being controlled to a large extent by these independent entities rather than by the political parties.'

Independent analysts said the attack ads on Social Security were the tip of a broader incursion by well-financed, highly skilled and sometimes interconnected political organizations into the policy-making process. On the left, they include such groups as Campaign for America's Future and MoveOn; on the right, the roster includes Progress for America, Club for Growth and FreedomWorks.

According to several experts, spending on advertising and other forms of outreach on Social Security is expected to exceed $100 million, a record for political advocacy not tied to an election.

'It's the professionalization of campaigning moving into governance,' said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center. 'It's taking structures that were set up to elect and defeat candidates and saying: 'Whenever you have a policy debate, we're going to come in and we're going to create the same dividing lines.' '"
  Best taken with a dose of tinfoil, but always interesting
DEBKAfile - Allawi Hopes to Snare Zarqawi - and Premiership in Baghdad
4. According to our intelligence and counter-terror sources, Allawi has also sent a message to Syrian president Bashar Assad with a long list of top Syrian officials, politicians and army officers who are on the take in a big way from Baathist fugitives activating the insurgency in Iraq from their safe base in the country. The name of every Syrian bribe-taker is tagged with the amount he received and the payer’s identity.

The message stated that the Iraqi ambassador, Hassan Allawi (no relation), would not return to Damascus until Baathist fugitives were extradited. He also made good on his threat to have television run tapes of confessions by captured Syrian agents who were sent by their government to fight the Americans in Iraq.
Friday, February 25, 2005
  If you ease the blade...err pen in slowly it doesn't hurt as much.
A lot of blowing for not very much - The Washington Times: Pruden on Politics - February 25, 2005: "You can always count on the French to be the French. This was Lesson No. 1 on George W. Bush's most excellent tour of Europe.
He received moral tutelage from the Germans, whom we had not expected to hear from on the subject of morality for at least the next thousand years.
Jacques Chirac greeted him with the German proposal to scuttle NATO in favor of the European Union, and for good measure made a point of speaking only French, which he speaks well, instead of English, which he speaks passably, at the president's dinner for him. "


As he heads for home, George W. should be neither surprised nor discouraged. NATO, he reminded anyone who needs a reminder, remains a "cornerstone" of American policy in Europe, and Tony Blair, the leader of the only ally the United States can ever count on, agreed that NATO is of "fundamental importance." The Germans, who have gone to war twice in living memory to take over Europe, are eager for the European Union, which they expect to dominate, to assume responsibility for European "defense."
It's good even for presidents to get a bracing reminder occasionally of just who among our "friends" are actually friends and who are merely freeloaders and aspiring easy riders.
  What next Pootie Poot Anthrax to Zarqawi or Nukes to Osama?
Jerusalem Post | Breaking News from Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World: "Moscow is considering resuming sales of military equipment to the Palestinian Authority, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday.

'There have been requests about extra sales of hardware, including armored personnel carriers, to the Palestinians,' Lavrov was quoted as saying by the ITAR-Tass news agency. 'These requests are being considered. I believe this issue will be resolved.'

'The Palestinian leadership has proven its ability to keep the situation under control,' Lavrov said. 'It has also proven its ability to coordinate the activities of all Palestinian organizations, including those who hold tough positions toward the Israelis.'

He did not indicate what sort of weaponry or equipment Russia was considering.

Officials in Israel could not be reached for comment Friday evening."
  The latest sign of the impending apocalypse
Times Online - World
A NIGHTMARISH vision set out in 1985 by the American folk singer Tom Paxton has come true: the United States now has more than one million licensed lawyers.

The disclosure came after California enrolled its 200,000th lawyer this week, swelling the national ranks of the legal profession to 1,084,504, according to the American Bar Association. That is a 65 per cent increase since 1985.

Growth in the number of lawyers is unlikely to stop, with the celebrity trials of Michael Jackson and Robert Blake, along with lawyer-based television chat shows such as Larry King Live, creating huge interest in America’s criminal system.

Meanwhile, evidence of lawyers’ influence is everywhere, including liability-reducing stickers on toddlers’ pushchairs that warn parents to “remove child before folding”, or the case in which a man sued the police for not arresting him for public intoxication, thus allowing him to crash a car while driving drunk.

Lawyers in the Supreme Court even decided America’s election results after the disputed presidential race in 2000 between George W. Bush and Al Gore. “I think attorneys serve an important purpose,” Danika Vittitoe, who is California’s 200,000th lawyer, told the San Francisco Chronicle. Tom Paxton, who recently won a BBC folk award before starting a 13-show tour of Britain does not agree. “Oh, a suffering world cries for mercy, ” he lamented in 1985. “As far as the eye can see/Lawyers around every bend in the road/Lawyers in every tree.” The chorus repeats the line: “In ten years we’re gonna have one million lawyers.” He was eventually proved right, although it took longer than ten years.

Jokes about lawyers, meanwhile, are well circulated by Americans on the internet. “You’re trapped in a room with a tiger, a rattlesnake, a lawyer and a gun with two bullets, what do you do?” goes one of them. The punchline, of course, is: “Shoot the lawyer twice.
  Not quite as bad as audio 'vert's, but close
The New York Times > Technology > Circuits > Floater Ads, the Cousins to Pop-Ups, Evade the Blockers: "Floaters are one example of a variety of online ads known in the industry as rich media. Some variants include banner ads that expand to show graphics and streaming video when the cursor is waved over them; a tamer version packs the video and graphics into a static, or polite, banner. All have a common characteristic: they cannot be categorically blocked by existing technology.

To many, they are just as irritating as pop-up ads, if not more so. On the New Zealand cricket chat board, one user declared, 'This form of advertising is without a doubt the most ridiculous and offensive form I have ever come across.'

But as with pop-ups (before pop-up blockers), their appeal to advertisers is simple: they get people to click, usually transporting them to the advertiser's site. While static Web ads typically have 'click through' rates of 0.5 percent of viewers, according to numerous industry studies, the rate for pop-ups and floaters is 3 percent to 5 percent, though some studies suggest that many of those clicks are attempts to get rid of the ad."
  Look for the Left to start worshipping him now, a wannabe Fidel
CNN.com - Defying U.S., Venezuela's Chavez embraces socialism - Feb 25, 2005: "CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Friday embraced socialism as his ideology of choice in a political statement that sharpened his antagonism against the United States.

Chavez, a firebrand nationalist who has governed the world's No. 5 oil exporter for six years, has persistently declined to define the precise ideology of his self-styled 'revolution.'

But, addressing an international meeting on poverty in Caracas, he said Western-style capitalism was incapable of solving global economic and social problems.

'So, if not capitalism, then what? I have no doubt, it's socialism,' said Chavez, who also rebuffed U.S. criticism of his left-wing rule in Venezuela and denounced U.S. President George W. Bush as the 'great destabilizer of the world.'"
  Interesting article from one of the more savvy observers around
NATIONAL JOURNAL: American Politics In The Networking Era (02/25/2005): "But if both parties succeeded in raising turnout, one party was more successful than the other. Kerry won 16 percent more votes than Gore did. Bush won 23 percent more votes in 2004 than he did in 2000. The number of voters for the Democratic nominee increased from 51 million to 59 million. The number of Bush voters increased from 50 million to 62 million.

The parties went about raising their turnout in different ways. The Democrats depended on labor unions, as they had in the past, and on the turnout efforts of billionaire-funded '527' organizations. (These are named after a section of the Internal Revenue Code, and a number of these groups were funded by rich men like George Soros, who spent $27 million trying to defeat George W. Bush. Thank goodness the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law got the Big Money out of politics.) These groups relied on paid workers supervised by command-and-control organizations. They concentrated on black neighborhoods in central cities and on university towns -- areas where new voters would likely vote 90 percent Democratic. This was traditional, industrial-era politics, well executed. The Democratic groups met their turnout goals and more; if they had performed this well in 2000, Gore would have won by a large margin.

The Bush campaign was different. Its architect was Rove, who remained in the White House and advised President Bush on policy as well as politics; its structural engineer was Mehlman, who created an organization unlike any seen before, a networking organization that far surpassed what the Democrats were doing.

In mid-2003, when former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean surged ahead of other Democrats in fundraising and in the polls, much attention was given to campaign manager Joe Trippi's use of the Internet. He used it to bring volunteers and money into the campaign, and to allow Dean supporters to add their own words, literally,"
  Yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus; and yes Joschka there are concequences for those that cannot 'see'
Political Scandal: Joschka Fischer with His Back Against the Wall - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE: "It is also Fischer's bumbling attempts to stay above the fray that is making him something of an easy quarry. He has long been much more attracted to playing statesman than to immersing himself in the details of running Germany's embassies. Indeed, he is accused of having ignored repeated warnings that hundreds of thousands of criminally minded 'tourists' were flooding into Germany through the visa loophole. But as the newspapers began sinking their teeth into the story in January and early February, publishing numerous exposes on Germany's liberal visa policies, Fischer remained silent. Even when fellow Green Party member Ludger Volmer came under attack for being the author of the directive liberalizing visa disbursement in former Soviet states (and who was forced to resign from his position in the Foreign Ministry earlier this month, partially as a result of the scandal), Fischer said nothing. "
  Mon Deu!
French Jobless Rate Hits 10 Percent
France said Friday that its jobless rate reached 10 percent in January for the first time in five years, dealing a setback to the government's economic program and a fresh blow to embattled Finance Minister Herve Gaymard.

Insee, France's national statistics institute, said unemployment edged up to 10 percent in January after five months at 9.9 percent as the number of people out of work rose to 2.72 million from 2.69 million in December.

The surprise increase — economists had predicted a sixth month at 9.9 percent — is embarrassing for the government, which has pledged to reduce joblessness to 9 percent this year.
  Did not know this

According to the UN's latest World Population Prospects, released on Thursday in New York, there will be 1,395m people in India in 2025 and 1,593m in 2050. In China the population will grow to 1,441m by 2025, before dropping to 1,392m in 2050. Cheryl Sawyer, a UN demographer, said: “We've been saying for a while that India would cross over China before 2050. But the crossover has been getting earlier and earlier and we now say it will happen before 2030 (not including Hong Kong). This is five years earlier than we said two years ago.

“Based on analysis of the newest censuses, we're estimating lower fertility for China, while India's is slightly higher than we estimated in the past.”
  The cure is as bad as the disease
New Scientist Breaking News - Hydroelectric power's dirty secret revealed: "The green image of hydro power as a benign alternative to fossil fuels is false, says �ric Duchemin, a consultant for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). 'Everyone thinks hydro is very clean, but this is not the case,' he says.

Hydroelectric dams produce significant amounts of carbon dioxide and methane, and in some cases produce more of these greenhouse gases than power plants running on fossil fuels. Carbon emissions vary from dam to dam, says Philip Fearnside from Brazil's National Institute for Research in the Amazon in Manaus. 'But we do know that there are enough emissions to worry about.'

In a study to be published in Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Fearnside estimates that in 1990 the greenhouse effect of emissions from the Curu�-Una dam in Par�, Brazil, was more than three-and-a-half times what would have been produced by generating the same amount of electricity from oil."
  Holy Flying Turds Batman
Tour boat owners sue Dave Matthews Band: "Owners of the Chicago's Little Lady tour boat are the latest to file a civil lawsuit against the Dave Matthews Band, claiming human waste from the rock band's tour bus was emptied from a downtown bridge into the Chicago River --right in the path of the watercraft.

Children, senior citizens, persons with disabilities and a pregnant woman were drenched by the 'foul-smelling, brownish-yellow liquid' in the Aug. 8 incident, according to a suit filed by the vessel's owner Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court. Mercury Skyline Yacht Charters Inc. is seeking compensatory damages in excess of $50,000 and punitive damages in the amount of $5 million in four separate counts, allegations the illegal act of dumping the waste interfered with the vessel's business that day and beyond."
  Victor Davis Hanson on War on National Review Online
Victor Davis Hanson on War on National Review Online
Finally, the intellectual class that we often read and hear from is increasingly divorced from much of what makes America work, especially the sort of folk who join the military. They have little appreciation that the U.S. Marine Corps is far more deadly than Baathist diehards or Taliban remnants — or that a fleet of American bombers with GPS bombs can do more damage in a few seconds than most of the suicide bombers of the Middle East could do in a year.

It is wise to cite and publicize our errors — and there have been many in this war. Humility and circumspection are military assets as well. And we should not deprecate the danger of our enemies, who are cruel and ingenious. Moreover, we should never confuse the sharp dissent of the well-meaning critic with disloyalty to the cause.

But nor should we fall into pessimism, when in less than four years we have destroyed the two worst regimes in the Middle East, scattered al Qaeda, avoided another promised 9/11 at home, and sent shock waves of democracy throughout the Arab world — so far at an aggregate cost of less than what was incurred on the first day of this unprovoked war. Car bombs are bad news, but in the shadows is the real story: The terrorists are losing, and radical reform, the likes of which millions have never seen, is right on the horizon. So this American gloominess is not new. Yet, if the past is any guide, our present lack of optimism in this struggle presages its ultimate success.
  Excellent: Of course one has to wonder why the 'hits' don't get the same level of press as the 'misses'
AP Wire | 02/24/2005 | Experimental interceptor downs missile: "WASHINGTON - An experimental naval interceptor shot down a short-range ballistic missile target during a test over the Pacific Ocean on Thursday, missile defense officials said.

It is the fifth kill in six tries for the interceptor, called a Standard Missile-3, said Rick Lehner, a spokesman for the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency."
  Thwap: Canada gets the pimp-hand from Cellucci (again)
Fort St. John - canada.com network: "Canada's announcement that it won't join the U.S. missile shield provoked an immediate warning that it has relinquished sovereignty over its airspace.

From now on, the U.S. government will control any decision to fire at incoming missiles over Canadian territory, declared the top U.S. envoy to Canada.

'We will deploy. We will defend North America,' said Paul Cellucci, the U.S. ambassador to Canada.

'We simply cannot understand why Canada would in effect give up its sovereignty -- its seat at the table -- to decide what to do about a missile that might be coming towards Canada.'"
Thursday, February 24, 2005
Bloomberg.com: Germany: "Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Europe's No. 2 airline, may seek redress for cancellations and delays from German authorities who temporarily brought the Frankfurt area to a standstill yesterday for a visit by U.S. President George W. Bush, damaging business for local companies.

Lufthansa had to cancel 92 flights, affecting 5,730 passengers, as a consequence of air traffic restrictions, said spokesman Thomas Jachnow in a telephone interview. Delays to another 330 flights totaled around 300 hours. Jachnow said losses went ``well into the millions,'' though he declined to elaborate.

Bush's eight-hour trip to Mainz, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of Frankfurt, for talks with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, led the authorities to halt river traffic on the Rhine, Europe's busiest waterway, suspend takeoffs and landings at Frankfurt airport, Europe's second biggest, and close four motorways for periods of up to four hours. Much of Mainz city center was cordoned off, damaging business in local stores.

``Sales were awful,'' said Hans Keller, owner of a pharmacy about 100 yards away from the restricted area. ``Bush's visit has caused economic damage to all businesses here in Mainz and nobody is going to compensate us.''"
  The Future is Now: Underwater Hotel
Yahoo! News - Five-star luxury on the ocean floor: undersea hotel planned in the Bahamas: "The hotel, located off the Bahamian island of Eleuthera at a depth of 15 meters (50 feet), will be connected to the mainland through two tunnels and an escalator, and pressure will be the same as at the surface.

The hotel will have its own restaurant, a bar and 20 large suites with transparent acrylic walls facing coral gardens that can be lit up at night.

Guests can expect to see a large variety of tropical fish, tuna and turtles, and with a bit of luck, sharks, from the comfort of their rooms, or even from their private jacuzzis, says Jones. 'They will enjoy five-star luxury accommodation, all with stunning views of the underwater world.'

The Florida-based entrepreneur says he is currently signing on the last of the investors, most of them institutional, who will put up the 40 million dollars the Bahamas project should cost.

Jones, who has spent 17 years designing, refitting and selling submarines, is confident the planned resort will become reality, probably sometime in 2006, even though a number of similar projects have foundered in the past."
TheWGALChannel.com - Family - Doctor Claims Former Lover Stole His Sperm: "A Chicago doctor has won the right to sue his former lover because he claims she caused him distress by making him a father against his will.

Dr. Richard Phillips claims Sharon Irons stole his sperm and used it to impregnate herself six years ago.

Phillips' lawsuit contends that he and Irons never had intercourse but did have oral sex three times. He said Irons, without his knowledge, kept some of his semen and used it to impregnate herself."
  The 5th Column
FOXNews.com - U.S. & World - Al Qaeda Link in Alleged Bush Plot Dead: "The private school's teachings have come under scrutiny since the Sept. 11 attacks. Federal court documents in a case against another academy graduate suspected of terrorism indicate that student discussions following Sept. 11 took an anti-American bent and that some students considered the attacks legitimate 'payback' for American mistreatment of the Muslim world.

Last year, the school also faced criticism for using textbooks that taught first-graders that Judaism and Christianity are false religions.

Schumer spoke to reporters Thursday, voicing the concern expressed in his letter to Bandar and the Justice Department about the school.

'The Saudis have through the years set up madrassas, usually in poor countries like Indonesia ... that teach Wahabi fundamentalism,' Schumer said. 'In part [those teachings include] that Muslims who are not fundamentalists ought to be scorned ... and they often teach that it's [the students'] purpose to die for Allah.'

'It looks like this school appears to be Saudi funded,' Schumer continued. 'I want to find out if this school was one of those maddrassas ... [because I believe] if there were no madrassas, there would have been no 9/11.'"
  So, I guess that means the sky is not falling?
Global warming cleared on ice shelf collapse rap | The Register: "The high-profile collapse of some Antarctica's ice shelves is likely the result of natural current fluctuations, not global warming, says a leading British expert on polar climates.

This surprising finding is supported by analysis of data from the European Space Agency's ERS-1 satellite, according to Duncan Wingham, Professor of Climate Physics at University College London. The data, measuring changes in ice thickness across the Antarctic ice sheet using the polar orbiting satellite, show areas of growth from snowfall are as common as areas of decline."
Luzhkov Wants Weathermen to Pay: "Mayor Yury Luzhkov promised to punish the Moscow weather service for what he said were unreliable forecasts that frustrated the work of various municipal services and disrupted people's plans.

Speaking at the weekly meeting of the city government on Tuesday, the mayor said the Moscow Weather Bureau would receive no more funding until it signed an agreement with the city that introduced 'financial responsibility,' allowing the city to impose penalties for inaccurate forecasts.

'Let us switch to contractual relations,' said Luzhkov, who over the years has shown an obsession with the weather, addressing city officials and Alexei Lyakhov, head of the Moscow Weather Bureau.

'We are paying and would like to receive a quality product,' Luzhkov was quoted by Ekho Moskvy radio as saying. 'Instead of that you are giving us tufta,' he said, asking to be forgiven for using the harsh expression. Tufta is loosely translated as bullshit.

Luzhkov's words were milder as reported by state news agency Itar-Tass: 'In a case when instead of a quality product you give us lies, the Moscow Weather Bureau must pay us a fine.'"
  Look for Pootie Poot to double-deal on this as well.
Politics News Article | Reuters.com: "BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (Reuters) - Russia and the United States signed a deal Thursday to control the spread of portable anti-aircraft missiles -- a hot stock for militants around the world and a growing threat to civilian aircraft.

Washington has expressed worry over reports of planned sales of such Russian missiles to Syria.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov, who signed the protocol with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, said the deal did not limit or ban the trade of shoulder-launched weapons that had already caused problems in bilateral relations.

'The sides only undertake to keep partners informed of the sales, because only Russia and the United States produce these weapons,' Russia's Interfax news agency quoted Ivanov as saying."
  Our highly integrated world
Wired News: Selling DVDs Next to Pirates: "Munchies: Demonstrating a deep understanding of what its computer-gaming audience wants, Sony has built the ability to order pizza into its latest online multiplayer game.

Type the command '/pizza' while playing Everquest II, a fantasy game with 330,000 active players, and get the Pizza Hut website, where you can place orders for delivery.

Sony (SNE) plans to integrate the pizza function more tightly into the game, so players can charge pizza to their monthly game subscription bill.

Though the new pizza feature might satisfy appetites, caution is required as the game doesn't pause while you're ordering."
  The tears flow like water for this poor oppressed 'undocumented migrant'
SignOnSanDiego.com > News > Mexico -- Aid stations offer comfort to repatriated migrants: "The young man fought back tears as he recounted how he had been driving with his girlfriend, a U.S. citizen, when they were stopped and he was apprehended for being in the country illegally. His immediate plan was to go back and visit his family in the state of Hidalgo, and he hoped he could return to the San Diego area.

'I want to go back,' he said. 'I like it there. I feel that my life will be there. My girlfriend's parents like me. They accept me.'

But for now, he said, he would be grateful for a safe bed in a shelter."
  Probably millitant Buddists, sigh
HoustonChronicle.com - Rash of anti-Semitic vandalism and threats seen across Houston area: "A spike in anti-Semitic hate crimes and vandalism across Houston in recent months has alarmed police and set the Jewish community on edge, investigators and activists said today.

Since September, 14 such crimes have been reported in the Houston and Harris County area. Eight occurred in a three-week period in December, said Martin Cominsky, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League. The last known incident occurred Dec. 30.

Police say they have never seen this many anti-Semitic crimes reported in such a short period of time. What's more, they have no idea who's doing it -- or if these 'personal' attacks, as investigators describe them, are even related."
  Who poisoned Viktor Yushchenko?
BBC NEWS | Programmes | Newsnight | Who poisoned Viktor Yushchenko?: "Was President Viktor Yushchenko of Ukraine poisoned on the orders of a Russian 'political technologist' working for the Kremlin?

That is one of the sensational claims being examined by Ukraine's chief prosecutor as he gets to grips with the new inquiry into how Mr Yushchenko - the main opposition candidate in last year's elections - apparently ingested a large dose of dioxin. It severely disfigured his face, and according to some accounts, almost killed him.

The allegation is contained in a leaked tape that has been impounded by the prosecutor. A copy has also been obtained by Newsnight, which has conducted its own investigation into the poisoning."
  All your shows are belong to us
USATODAY.com - U.S. appeals court debates anti-piracy TV technology: "The technology, know as the broadcast flag, will be required after July 1 for televisions equipped to receive new digital signals, many personal computers and VCR-type recording devices. It would permit entertainment companies to designate, or flag, programs to prevent viewers from copying shows or distributing them over the Internet.

Edwards, the former chief judge of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, questioned the FCC's authority to impose regulations affecting television broadcasts after such programs are beamed into households."
  Dogg bites Man: French hate the Jooooo's
CBS News | Israeli PM: French Are 'Pro-Arab' | February 24, 2005�09:30:05: "(CBS/AP) While Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon appeared to be riling the French once again, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was trying to soothe tempers among Palestinian politicians.

Sharon told a TV comedian in an interview broadcast Wednesday that France favors the Arabs. "
  The Next Domino to Fall
Yahoo! News - Syria Says It's Ready to Work with UN on Lebanon Pullout: "DAMASCUS (Reuters) - Syria said Thursday it was ready to work with the United Nations (news - web sites) to implement a Security Council resolution requiring Syrian troops to leave Lebanon.

'Syria expresses its keen interest in cooperating with the envoy of the secretary-general of the United Nations to accomplish his mission in the best formula possible,' Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Waleed al-Mualem told reporters.

'The important withdrawals that have been carried out so far and will be carried out later will be done in agreement with Lebanon against the backdrop of the Taif Accord and the mechanisms it entails,' he said.

International pressure on Syria to pull out its 14,000 troops and relinquish its political grip on its tiny neighbor has increased since last week's assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri in a huge bomb blast in Beirut.

Mualem's remarks were the clearest official response Syria has made so far to the outcry about its role in Lebanon."
  Judges on the wrong side
The New York Times > New York Region > Albany Tries to Restore Limits on Licenses for Immigrants: "New York State officials announced yesterday that they were appealing a judge's order that had halted a Department of Motor Vehicles crackdown on giving driver's licenses to noncitizens.

State officials said they would immediately reinstate what the judge barred last Thursday: a requirement that noncitizens provide satisfactory immigration documents before they could renew driver's licenses, and the suspension of up to 300,000 licenses without further notice.

Joe Picchi, a spokesman for the department, said that the state filed a notice of appeal late Tuesday, and that the action would automatically cancel the temporary restraining order issued last week by Karen S. Smith, an acting justice of State Supreme Court in Manhattan.

But that legal interpretation was disputed by lawyers who won the temporary restraining order as part of a class-action lawsuit on behalf of immigrants, both legal and illegal, who were denied the renewal of their licenses for lack of a Social Security card or a visa satisfactory to clerks at motor vehicles offices. The lawyers contended that the judge's restraining order remained in effect, and said that the issue would soon be argued at the Appellate Division in Manhattan."
  Citizen's punished for stepping up and doing the Fed's job
Las Vegas SUN: Jury Acquits Border-Watch Group Member: "TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - A member of a self-styled border-watch group was acquitted by a federal jury of charges that he threatened three Border Patrol agents during a confrontation that he said never happened.

Defense attorney Jason Hannan said the agents' accusations against Casey James Nethercott were 'politics, pure and simple. They were just trying to get rid of him.'

Nethercott, a member of the group Ranch Rescue, which seeks to stop illegal immigrants from entering the United State, spent five months in federal custody after he was accused of trying to intimidate the federal agents, who had been trying to pull him over in a smuggling investigation Aug. 31."
BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Glue removed from Thai monk's eye: "Phra Kru Prapatworakhun, 81, had been unable to see for nearly a week after applying the superglue, which he found in his temple's medicine cabinet.

Doctors used acetone solvent to remove the glue from one eye and said it was unharmed, the Nation newspaper reports.

An operation on the second eye, which is still tightly sealed, is scheduled for Thursday.

Phra Kru Prapatworakhun, the abbot of a temple in Muang Angthong district, north of Bangkok, said he had a severe itch in his eyes on 17 February.

'I squeezed several drops on the floor and saw a clear liquid, so I put four drops into each eye. In about a minute, my eyes felt cold and then sealed closed,' the monk told the Nation."
  The Perfect End
(via Michelle Malkin)
iWon News: "DENVER (AP) - Hunter S. Thompson, the 'gonzo journalist' with a penchant for drugs, guns and flame-thrower prose, might have one more salvo in store for everyone: Friends and relatives want to blast his ashes out of a cannon, just as he wished.

'If that's what he wanted, we'll see if we can pull it off,' said historian Douglas Brinkley, a friend of Thompson's and now the family's spokesman."
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
  Interesting Read
No, the regime you had here was more brutal, that's true but the regime in Egypt is worse
I was a little confused here and he saw the questioning look on my face and went on explaining

In Iraq, the moment you oppose the regime, you're dead or if you were lucky you would get locked in a one square meter cell for the rest of your life while in my country they would let you talk as long as you're just talking and when you switch to the active ways of opposition, they would arrest you and put you in prison for a couple of years. After you're out they would keep watching you and if they found that you didn't learn the lesson then you'd get another sentence in prison, only this time you would spend more years than in the 1st time. And the game can last forever until you lose all hope inside and you're completely depleted and you decide to give up or take the risk of facing worse consequences."
  The perfect summation to my arguement
The Kerry Spot on National Review Online
It’s probably a bit unfair to tar all Democrats for the foolish, naïve, or anti-American statements of a few. On the other hand, you don’t exactly see too many hawkish Democrats outside the New Republic challenging their dovish counterparts.

When America gets suckerpunched like it did on 9/11, and a significant chunk of the left decides they don’t want to hit back, does that stand constitute a betrayal of America?

To many on the right, it’s close enough.
Michelle Malkin: MORE U.N. RAPE ALLEGATIONS: "PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) - The United Nations is investigating a woman's allegations that she was raped by three U.N. peacekeepers from Pakistan, a U.N. official said Tuesday. The men claim they paid to have sex.

The 23-year-old woman made the report to the police over the weekend, said Damian Onses-Cardona, a spokesman for the 7,400-member U.N. force.

The men, whose names were not released, said the woman was a prostitute and they paid to have sex with her, he said."
  I hope the potential votes makes the willfull schtoopidity regarding the border worth it.
Yahoo! News - Despite new technology, Border Patrol overwhelmed: "More than three years after the terrorist attacks in 2001, the 11,000 men and women who serve as the border's front-line defense are overwhelmed. Despite an influx of new technology, such as underground sensors and cameras that pan the desert, agents catch only about one-third of the estimated 3 million people who cross the border illegally every year.

Most of the illegals are poor Mexican laborers looking for work. But officials are alarmed that a growing number hail from Central and South America, Asia, even Mideast countries such as Syria and Iran. In 2003, the Border Patrol arrested 39,215 so-called 'OTMs,' or other-than-Mexicans, along the Southwest border. In 2004, the number jumped to 65,814.

Those figures worry intelligence and Homeland Security officials, who say al-Qaeda leaders want to smuggle operatives and weapons of mass destruction across the nation's porous land borders. James Loy, deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, told Congress last week, 'Several al-Qaeda leaders believe operatives can pay their way into the country through Mexico and also believe illegal entry is more advantageous than legal entry for operational security reasons.'"
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
  Yahoo! News - Stocks Drop as Oil Surges, Dollar Slides
Yahoo! News - Stocks Drop as Oil Surges, Dollar Slides: "NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks sank on Tuesday as oil prices jumped above $51 a barrel and the dollar slid on concerns that other central banks would follow South Korea (news - web sites)'s lead in diversifying reserves out of U.S. assets."
Monday, February 21, 2005
  And it begins, carried on a wave of purple stained fingers.
Jerusalem Post | Breaking News from Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World: "
About 500 protestors gathered Monday in front of Cairo University in the latest demonstration against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and the prospect that he will seek a fifth term in office.

The protestors, surrounded by about 3,000 riot police, chanted 'No to Mubarak,' 'Fifth term is scary for someone who can't add,' and 'Leave, have mercy on us. Enough.'

This was the fourth protest by the Egyptian Movement for Change, which has been waging a campaign against a fifth six-year term for Mubarak or the chance that he could hand over power to his son, Gamal. The group also calls for multi-candidate presidential elections.

'There is a widespread feeling that there is no use of betting on the regime's promises of reform, in light of the monopoly of authority and wealth, and ignoring the chronic problems which are gripping the country,' said the group in a statement.

The group seeks to amend the constitution to allow other candidates to run in presidential elections. The elections now ask voters to choose 'yes' or 'no' for a single candidate approved by parliament, which has been dominated by the ruling party since political parties were revived in the 1970s."
  Mexican Perfidity - Bush's Stupidity
Yucat�n helping migrants go north: "MERIDA, Mexico - Officials in a Mexican state have published their own 87-page handbook for potential migrants to the United States, adding fuel to an international debate over whether such guides encourage illegal border-crossers.

The Guide for the Yucatecan Migrant, published by the southeastern state of Yucat�n, comes with an accompanying DVD in Spanish and Mayan. It tells migrants how to apply for U.S. work visas but also gives detailed safety advice for crossing illegally, including where to find water in the desert and how to avoid the most dangerous areas. The guide includes a section specifically about Arizona.

Yucat�n says it is the first Mexican state to publish such a guide, and U.S. immigration-control advocates worry it will be copied by other states. They already are angry over a similar 32-page book published by the Mexican Foreign Ministry in December. "
  BBC NEWS | Health | Children 'harmed' by vegan diets
BBC NEWS | Health | Children 'harmed' by vegan diets: "Putting children on strict vegan diets is 'unethical' and could harm their development, a US scientist has argued.

Lindsay Allen, of the US Agricultural Research Service, attacked parents who insisted their children lived by the maxim 'meat is murder'.

Animal source foods have some nutrients not found anywhere else, she told a Washington science conference.

The Vegan Society dismissed the claims, saying its research showed vegans were often healthier than meat eaters."
  Where Blogging can Kill You
BBC NEWS | Technology | The price paid for blogging Iran: "Web logs have become a popular forum for dissent. And the Iranian government has responded by arresting dozens of bloggers.

Some of those detained are reportedly being held in solitary confinement and tortured.

Bloggers Arash Sigarchi and Mojtaba Saminejad are both currently in prison in Iran.

Mr Sigarchi has been in detention since 17 January while Mr Saminejad was first detained in November.

Saminejad was kept in solitary confinement for 88 days, and he was subjected to severe beatings and torture
Hadi Ghaemi, Human Rights Watch

'Freedom of expression is really at stake at the moment,' says Julien Pain, who runs the Internet Freedom Desk at the Paris based group Reporters without Borders.

'The Iranian authorities have been clamping down on regular media for a long time, but it's only in the last six months that they're harshly attacking cyber-dissidents and webloggers. It's really a serious situation.'"
  For a 'Dumb Cowboy' he certainly has the world by the ears
World News Article | Reuters.co.uk: "BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The leaders of the United States and France have called for a Lebanon 'free from foreign domination,' ratcheting up pressure on Syria to pull its 14,000 troops out of its western neighbour.

U.S. President George W. Bush and French President Jacques Chirac made the call in a joint statement issued on Monday as they were dining in Brussels in what was billed as a reconciliation after two years of bitter differences over Iraq."
  Revenge of the Chickens
My Way News: "WASHINGTON (AP) - The Earth may be on the brink of a worldwide epidemic from a bird flu virus that may mutate to become as deadly and infectious as viruses that killed millions during three influenza pandemics of the 20th century, a federal health official said Monday.

Dr. Julie L. Gerberding, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said scientists expect that a flu virus that has swept through chickens and other poultry in Asia will genetically change into a flu that can be transmitted from person to person.

The genes of the avian flu change rapidly, she said, and experts believe it is highly likely that the virus will evolve into a pathogen deadly for humans.

She made the remarks in a plenary lecture at the national meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

In Asia, there have already been a number of deaths among people who caught the flu from chickens or ducks. The mortality rate is very high - about 72 percent of identified patients, said Gerberding. There also have been documented cases of this strain of flu being transferred from person-to-person, but the outbreak was not sustained, she said.

'We are expecting more human cases over the next few weeks because this is high season for avian influenza in that part of the world,' said Gerberding. Although cases of human-to-human transmission have been rare, 'our assessment is that this is a very high threat.'"
  The effects of ROPMA's ban of the polio vaccine
Wired News: West Africa Goes After Polio: "SEME, Nigeria -- Three West African countries at the center of a polio epidemic launched an immunization drive Sunday to help stop the spread of the crippling disease by the end of this year.

A boycott of the vaccine by Muslim leaders in northern Nigeria led to a doubling in the number of Nigerian children paralyzed by polio to 788 in 2004, and helped spread the virus to 12 African countries previously declared polio-free.

Muslim clerics backed by politicians rejected the polio vaccine in late 2003, saying they suspected it was contaminated with AIDS and infertility agents by Western powers seeking to depopulate the Muslim world.

Immunizations resumed eight months later after northern political leaders, under intense international and domestic pressure, agreed to re-examine the scientific evidence. The vaccine works by infecting people with a benign polio virus, thus providing immunity to the harmful strain.

'If the global war against polio is to be wo"
  Citizens to step up and do the Fed's job
Yahoo! News - 'Minutemen' to Patrol Arizona Border: "WASHINGTON - Intent on securing the vulnerable Arizona border from illegal immigrant crossings, U.S. officials are bracing for what they call a potential new threat this spring: the Minutemen. Nearly 500 volunteers have already joined the Minuteman Project, anointing themselves civilian border patrol agents determined to stop the immigration flow that routinely, and easily, seeps past federal authorities.

They plan to patrol a 40-mile stretch of the southeast Arizona border throughout April when the tide of immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border peaks.

'I felt the only way to get something done was to do it yourself,' said Jim Gilchrist, a retired accountant and decorated Vietnam War veteran who is helping recruit Minutemen across the country.

'We've been repeatedly accused of being people who are taking the law into our own hands,' said Gilchrist, 56, of Aliso Viejo, Calif. 'That is an outright bogus statement. We are going down there to assist law enforcement.'

Officials concede the 370-mile Arizona border is the most porous stretch on the U.S.-Mexico line. Moreover, recent intelligence show that al-Qaida terrorists are likely to enter the country through the Mexico border, James Loy, the deputy secretary of the Homeland Security Department, said last week."
  Words of sense
Michael Barone: 2000 changed everything: " Sometimes a decision made in the heat of partisan battle has reverberations for years to come.

One such decision was the one of Al Gore's campaign to selectively challenge the results of the 2000 election in Florida by demanding hand counts of votes cast in three counties -- Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach. The latter two produce huge majorities for Democratic candidates, and the election officials in charge of the hand counts were Democrats. In other words, Gore sought new counts only in areas where he was likely to gain votes and would not take the risk of a statewide hand count, where those gains might be offset by others for George W. Bush.

We know now that, thanks to the news media consortium that recounted ballots in every Florida county, recounting under any method and any criterion they tested would not have overturned Bush's exceedingly thin plurality.

But the Gore campaign, Terry McAuliffe during his four years as Democratic National Chairman and John Kerry in his 2004 presidential campaign encouraged rank-and-file Democrats to believe that the election was stolen. They decided to delegitimize an American election for partisan gain. And in the process, they did much damage to George W. Bush and the Republicans, to the reputation of the American political process and, inadvertently but to a far greater extent, to their own Democratic Party."
  Newt gets it, Why can't the Bushies?
Gingrich urges action against illegals - The Washington Times: Nation/Politics - February 21, 2005: "Newt Gingrich is demanding that the Bush administration get serious about stopping illegal immigration.
The former House speaker wants the United States to completely seal off its border along Mexico and Canada, deport illegal aliens within 72 hours of their arrest and exclude U.S. courts from reviewing such deportations.
'Let's be serious about sealing off our borders or [else] have open borders,' Mr. Gingrich told more than 1,000 cheering conservatives on Saturday.
'It's a complete misreading of the 14th Amendment' to the Constitution to think that illegal aliens are entitled to the same rights as U.S. citizens, he said on the closing day of the 32nd annual"
  Michael J. Totten: Ideological strangulation (take the time to read the whole thing)
Michael J. Totten: Ideological strangulation
"Not long ago in my little mosque around the corner from a McDonald’s, a student from the university here delivered a sermon. To love the Prophet Muhammad, he said, "is to hate those who hate him." He railed against man-made doctrines that replace Islamic law, and excoriated the "enemies of Islam" who deny strict adherence to Sunnah, or the ways of Muhammad. While he wasn’t espousing violence, his words echoed the extremist vocabulary of Wahhabism, used by some followers to breed militant attitudes."
  lgf: Congressman Says Rove Planted CBS Memos
This is what blogs are born to do; Hold people to account using their own words as evidence. In this case, actual audio of a member of congress (who took an oath to uphold and defend the constitution) make wild and unsubstantiated claims regarding the administration. Another member of the moderate party no doubt.
lgf: Congressman Says Rove Planted CBS Memos
Yesterday Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) hosted a community forum in Ithaca, New York, on The Future Of Social Security.

An LGF operative was present in the audience and happened to be recording as Rep. Hinchey launched into a barking moonbat conspiracy rant worthy of Democratic Underground, telling the audience he believed the fake CBS memos were planted by Karl Rove to discredit Dan Rather, and divert attention from President Bush’s “draft dodging.”

When our operative asked Hinchey if he had evidence for these charges, he first said, “Yes, I do,” but when asked a second time he admitted he did not.

Our operative pressed the issue, “Don’t you think it’s irresponsible to make charges like that?” Hinchey replied, “No, I don’t, I think it’s very important to make charges like that ... I think it’s very important to combat this kind of activity in every way that you can, and I’m willing, as most people are not, to step forward in situations like this and take risks.”

And the crowd burst into applause and cheering.
  Carpe Bonum: Who is Maurice Hinchey?
(via mudville gazette)
Carpe Bonum: Who is Maurice Hinchey?: "Here is some background on Rep. Maurice 'It originated with Karl Rove' Hinchey.

He represents New York's 22nd district. Note the gerrymander required to include Ithaca."
  Go see their Dhimni Carter Editorial Cartoon
Cox & Forkum Editorial Cartoons
  Shocked, but not suprised
DenverPost.com - LOCAL NEWS: "Aspen - Hunter Stockton Thompson, who coined the term 'gonzo journalism' to describe the unique and furiously personal approach to reportage exemplified in his 1972 book 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,' died Sunday night of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his Woody Creek home. He was 67, family members said."
Sunday, February 20, 2005
  Everytime I see one of these type idiots on campus the urge to 'counsel' them is almost overwhelming
Germany Debates 'Terrorist Chic' (washingtonpost.com): "BERLIN -- On a side street in Berlin lined with galleries, alternative bookstores and Turkish fast-food joints, hip young people stroll past the Molotov-Cocktail bar wearing T-shirts with red stars and drab military parkas.

Most are too young to remember the 1970s, when a group known as the Baader-Meinhof gang terrorized West Germany. Their outfits, however, pay homage to what fashion critics here call 'terrorist chic,' with some designers even printing 'Prada Meinhof' on trendy clothes."
  Dementia at the scale
Weight gain linked to dementia. 21/02/2005. ABC News Online: "People who gain just a few extra kilograms when they reach middle age increase their risk of developing dementia later in life, a new Swedish study has found.

The results from the study have been published in the Dagens Nyheter paper.

Based on data collected over a 28 year period from more than 7,000 men in the south-west town of Gothenburg, the study reveals a clear link between middle age weight gain and later deterioration of intellectual faculties."
  UK to stop coddling IRA?
Guardian Unlimited | World Latest | Ireland: Three Sinn Fein Members in IRA: "DUBLIN, Ireland (AP) - In an unprecedented confrontation, the Irish government on Sunday publicly identified three of Sinn Fein's top figures - including party leader Gerry Adams - as members of the Irish Republican Army command.

The government's blunt declaration indicated it no longer would tolerate Adams' protestations that his party should not be held accountable for IRA actions. The shift is intended to force the illegal IRA to disarm fully and disband, or risk the marginalization of the legal Sinn Fein.

Political passions are reaching a boiling point in Ireland over the IRA's alleged $50 million robbery of a Belfast bank - the biggest heist in history - and an unfolding investigation into wider IRA money laundering. The Irish government says Sinn Fein leaders are involved in both.

Over the past decade of Northern Ireland peacemaking, leaders of successive Irish and British governments have privately considered Adams and Martin McGuinness, Sinn Fein's deputy leader, to be members of the seven-member IRA command, called the ``army council.'' To maintain good relations with Sinn Fein, neither government has confronted them about this in public."
  Syria to remain defiant (until the end)
Times Online - Sunday Times
SYRIA has defied American demands to withdraw its forces from Lebanon and to disarm Hezbollah militants, insisting that Israel must first pull out of the Golan Heights.

The government in Damascus has been under growing pressure from Washington since last week’s assassination of Rafik Hariri, the former Lebanese prime minister and forthright critic of Syria’s military presence in his country. President George W Bush recalled the US ambassador to Syria and demanded an international investigation of the killing.

Ayman Abdel Nour, a leading Syrian analyst, said yesterday that Damascus had now told senior American officials that a unilateral withdrawal of its 15,000 troops was out of the question until Israel ended its occupation of the Golan Heights, which it seized from Syria in 1967 and annexed 14 years later.
  The Power of Doh! - Their Records Management Officer may have something further to say.
E-mail gaffe reveals HIV, AIDS names
WEST PALM BEACH — A highly confidential list of the names and addresses of 4,500 Palm Beach County residents with AIDS and 2,000 others who are HIV positive was e-mailed Thursday to more than 800 county health department employees.

Health department statistician John W. "Jack" Nolan, who compiles data on HIV/AIDS cases for the county, sent the e-mail containing his monthly cumulative statistics report and inadvertently attached a file with the identities and addresses of AIDS patients and others who have tested HIV positive. Health department spokesman Tim O'Connor confirmed the incident.
  A look into the 1918 Flu Epidemic
INFLUENZA: "Camp Devens is near Boston, and has about 50,000 men, or did have before this epidemic broke loose. It also has the Base Hospital for the Div. of the N. East. This epidemic started about four weeks ago, and has developed so rapidly that the camp is demoralized and all ordinary work is held up till it has passed. All assembleges of soldiers taboo.
These men start with what appears to be an ordinary attack of LaGrippe or Influenza, and when brought to the Hosp. they very rapidly develop the most viscous type of Pneumonia that has ever been seen. Two hours after admission they have the Mahogany spots over the cheek bones, and a few hours later you can begin to see the Cyanosis extending from their ears and spreading all over the face, until it is hard to distinguish the coloured men from the white. It is only a matter of a few hours then until death comes, and it is simply a struggle for air until they suffocate. It is horrible. One can stand it to see one, two or twenty men die, but to see these poor devils dropping like flies sort of gets on your nerves. We have been averaging about 100 deaths per day, and still keeping it up. There is no doubt in my mind that there is a new mixed infection here, but what I dont know. My total time is taken up hunting Rales, rales dry or moist, sibilant or crepitant or any other of the hundred things that one may find in the chest, they all mean but one thing here -Pneumonia-and that means in about all cases death."
  Quite a difference in tone/content to the last story?
FOXNews.com - U.S. & World - Russian Forces Kill Suspected Militants: "He said the suspects were believed to be lightly armed, and discussions aimed at their surrender had been conducted Saturday. Russia's NTV television reported, however, that the suspects were refusing to negotiate.

Yarmuk is a radical Islamic group affiliated with Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev. It was blamed in a December attack on an office belonging to the Federal Drug Control in Nalchik, when raiders killed four of the agency's employees, looted its arsenal and set the office ablaze."
  After Beslan, they should be hunted like dogs in the streets!
Russians gas holed-up rebels: "Moscow - Russian special forces launched an assault on a building in the Caucasus on Sunday, killing suspected Islamic rebels with poison gas, Russian news agencies reported.

The situation was confused on Sunday several hours after special forces opened up with automatic fire on the first storey of the house in Nalchik, capital of the Kabardino-Balkaria republic, which borders war-torn Chechnya.

According to Ria Novosti, the forces used a 'special gas' and continued to fire at the building to distract the men holed up inside.

They were waiting for the gas to disperse before inspecting the whole building, Interfax said, adding that human remains had been found in the first floor apartment.

It was not clear how many rebels had been in the building. News agencies put the number at between three and five."
  The Joker in the Deck. how long till human to human transmission occurs?
Sky News : Fears Millions Could Die Of Bird Flu: "Millions of people could be wiped out by bird flu making it the world's worst ever epidemic, a leading expert has warned.

The H5N1 influenza strain has already claimed 42 lives and has a fatality rate of 76%.

In comparison, the flu virus which caused the 1918 pandemic only killed 1% of those infected, said Dr Nancy Cox from the US government's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If the bird virus gained the ability to pass from person to person - which could happen at any time - the consequences could be devastating, she warned."
  Very Scary, Very Interesting Read
SecurityFocus Printable NEWS 10271: "A sophisticated computer hacker had access to servers at wireless giant T-Mobile for at least a year, which he used to monitor U.S. Secret Service e-mail, obtain customers' passwords and Social Security numbers, and download candid photos taken by Sidekick users, including Hollywood celebrities, SecurityFocus has learned.

Twenty-one year-old Nicolas Jacobsen was quietly charged with the intrusions last October, after a Secret Service informant helped investigators link him to sensitive agency documents that were circulating in underground IRC chat rooms. The informant also produced evidence that Jacobsen was behind an offer to provide T-Mobile customers' personal information to identity thieves through an Internet bulletin board, according to court records. "
  Sacre Bleu!
Technology News Article | Reuters.com: "PARIS (Reuters) - France's national library has raised a 'warcry' over plans by Google to put books from some of the world's great libraries on the Internet and wants to ensure the project does not lead a domination of American ideas.

Jean-Noel Jeanneney, who heads France's national library and is a noted historian, says Google's choice of works is likely to favour Anglo-Saxon ideas and the English language.

He wants the European Union to balance this with its own programme and its own Internet search engines.

'It is not a question of despising Anglo-Saxon views ... It is just that in the simple act of making a choice, you impose a certain view of things,' Jeanneney told Reuters in a telephone interview on Friday."
Saturday, February 19, 2005
Iran readies for feared attack by U.S. - The Washington Times: World - February 19, 2005: "Iran has begun preparing for a possible U.S. attack, announcing efforts to bolster and mobilize recruits in citizens' militias and making plans to engage in the type of 'asymmetrical' warfare used against American troops in neighboring Iraq.

'Iran would respond within 15 minutes to any attack by the United States or any other country,' an Iranian official close to the hard-line camp, which runs the country's security and military apparatus, said on the condition of anonymity. "
Friday, February 18, 2005
  More corruption from Broward County
Broward Union Chief Sentenced for Labor Racketeering - from TBO.com: "The former head of Broward County's most powerful government union was sentenced Friday to nearly six years in federal prison for taking money from employers to stay away from their businesses and charging his federation for pricey dinner bills.

Walter J. Browne, 53, of Coral Springs, and his sister Patricia Devaney, 56, of Deerfield Beach, were convicted last June of taking $600,000 by misusing their positions at the 7,000-member Federation of Public and Private Employees. Browne got six years and 10 months and Devaney 2 1/4 years. Appeals are planned."
  cBS 'News' Evil Genius to rule world, sigh, don't they ever get tired?
CBS News | Rove- Gannon Connection? | February 18, 2005�17:17:04: "But Rove's dominance of White House and Republican politics, Gannon's aggressively partisan work and the ease with which he got day passes for the White House press room the past two years make it hard to believe that he wasn't at least implicitly sanctioned by the 'boy genius.' Rove, who rarely gave on-the-record interviews to the MSM (mainstream media), had time to talk to GOPUSA, which owns Talon.

GOPUSA and Talon are both owned by Bobby Eberle, a Texas Republican and business associate of conservative direct-mail guru Bruce Eberle who says that Bobby is from the 'Texas branch of the Eberle clan.' Bobby Eberle told The New York Times that he created Talon to build a news service with a conservative slant and 'if someone were to see 'GOPUSA,' there's an instant built-in bias there.' No kidding. "
  The Future is Now: Monkey's Brain Runs Robotic Arm
Monkey's Brain Runs Robotic Arm
Robotic arms used by amputees are typically controlled by moving some other part of the body, like the opposite arm. Researchers would like to make such prostheses respond to the whim of the brain.

Now it turns out researchers have found a method so easy (well, relatively so) that a monkey can do it.

In a new study, a monkey fed itself using a robotic arm electronically linked to its brain. The work was presented here Thursday at the annual meeting of the American Association of the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

The robotic arm is about the size of a child’s, with a fully functional shoulder and elbow, as well as a simple gripper that can hold a piece of fruit or vegetable.

"It moves much like your own arm would move," said Andrew Schwartz from the University of Pittsburgh.

The monkey’s real arms are restrained in plastic tubes. To control the robotic arm, 96 electrodes – each thinner than a human hair – are attached to the monkey’s motor cortex, a region of the brain responsible for voluntary movement. Although there is an area of the cortex generally associated with arm motion, the exact placement of the electrodes is not crucial, Schwartz explained.
  The mystical beast taming magic nipples
SAN MATEO COUNTY / Gorilla Foundation rocked by breast display lawsuit / Former employees say they were told to expose chests: "'On at least two incidents in mid-to-late June 2004, Patterson intensely pressured Keller to expose herself to Koko while they were working outside where other employees could potentially view Keller's naked body. ... On one such occasion, Patterson said, 'Koko, you see my nipples all the time. You are probably bored with my nipples. You need to see new nipples. I will turn my back so Kendra can show you her nipples.' '"
  The Biased Broadcasting Company gets popped again...
Telegraph | News | BBC apologies for Thought for the Day's soldier story: "The BBC apologised yesterday for an item on a religious programme that angered the Jewish community by 'demonising' Israel.

Dozens of complaints have been received about a story on Radio 4's Thought for the Day during the Today programme that suggested a Muslim corporal in the Israeli army had been jailed for refusing to shoot Palestinian children.

The contributor, the Rev Dr John Bell, also apologised and admitted his story could have been interpreted as 'furtive racism' at a time when 'Jewish sensitivity in Britain is running high because of anti-Semitism'.

A row continues over Ken Livingstone's refusal to apologise for likening a Jewish newspaper reporter to a concentration camp guard.

Dr Bell said he did not intend to cause offence and acknowledged that aspects of his story were incorrect."
  Read the whole thing
TNR Online | Not Much Left (print): "he conflict between right and left in the United States is different. What animates American conservatism is the future of the regulatory state and the trajectory of federalism. The conservatives have not themselves agreed on how far they want to retract either regulation or the authority of the national government. These are not axiomatic questions for them, as can be seen by their determined and contravening success last week in empowering not the states against Washington but Washington against the states in the area of tort law. As Jeffrey Rosen has pointed out in these pages, many of these issues will be fought out in the courts. But not all. So a great national debate will not be avoided.

Liberals have reflexes on these matters, and these reflexes put them in a defensive posture. But they have not yet conducted an honest internal conversation that assumes from the start that the very nature of the country has changed since the great New Deal reckoning. Surely there are some matters on which the regulatory state can relax. Doubtless also there are others that can revert to the states. Still, liberals know that the right's ideologically framed--but class-motivated--retreat of the government from the economy must be resisted. There will simply be too many victims left on the side of the road. "
  Hopefully the Law of unIntended Concequences will not come to haunt us on this.
Yahoo! News - Bush Signs Bill to Curb Class-Action Suits: "WASHINGTON - As President Bush (news - web sites) signed legislation Friday aimed at discouraging multimillion-dollar class-action lawsuits, he made clear he had his sights set on much broader restraints.
Next up, Bush said, should be curbs on asbestos litigation and medical malpractice awards.

'We're making important progress toward a better legal system,' he said during an East Room signing ceremony for the class-action bill. 'There's more to do.'"
Yahoo! News - Strip Club Artfully Slips by Anti-Nudity Law: "BOISE, Idaho (Reuters) - A strip club in Boise, Idaho has found an artful way to prance past a city law that prohibits full nudity.

On what it calls Art Club Nights, the Erotic City strip club charges customers $15 for a sketch pad, pencil, and a chance to see completely naked women dancers.

In 2001 the Boise City Council passed an ordinance banning total nudity in public unless it had 'serious artistic merit' -- an exemption meant to apply to plays, dance performances and art classes."
  Down to 80
The Globe and Mail: Forces to upgrade two-thirds of fighter jets, ditch rest: "The Canadian military has given up on one-third of its CF-18 Hornet jets and will pour money into upgrading the rest of its fleet, hoping to keep the fighter planes operational at least another dozen years.

The move will leave Canada with 80 of the two-decade-old jets, which will receive a total of $2.1-billion worth of upgrades."
  Hopefully the Law of unIntended Concequences will not come to haunt us on this.
Yahoo! News - Bush Signs Bill to Curb Class-Action Suits: "WASHINGTON - As President Bush (news - web sites) signed legislation Friday aimed at discouraging multimillion-dollar class-action lawsuits, he made clear he had his sights set on much broader restraints.
Next up, Bush said, should be curbs on asbestos litigation and medical malpractice awards.

'We're making important progress toward a better legal system,' he said during an East Room signing ceremony for the class-action bill. 'There's more to do.'"
  The Face of Socialized Medicine
TheStar.com - Town's last six doctors quitting
Ontario's doctor shortage is taking a turn for the worse as the last six physicians in the town of Geraldton are quitting en masse, presenting another headache for Health Minister George Smitherman.

The move will leave the local hospital and thousands of patients with no physicians when the departures take effect in May — unless months of failed efforts to recruit replacement physicians suddenly pay off.

Losing its doctors will likely move Geraldton to the top of the list of about 140 cities and towns in the province officially designated by the government as being short of doctors. About 100 of those are in southern Ontario.

The Ontario Medical Association estimates one million Ontarians don't have family physicians and says that number is likely to grow with hundreds of doctors — many of them over 65 — within a few years of retiring.
  The Current Masters of the Dem Party: Putting a face on the myth of the moderate party
Worldandnation: Unshaven, unbowed and in our face: "WASHINGTON - Tom Matzzie describes himself as a pacifist techno geek. Maybe so, but MoveOn.org's man in Washington sounds like one cocky computer nerd.

Between bites of sushi, Matzzie noted how senior Democratic senators eagerly rearrange their schedules to meet with MoveOn. And how MoveOn would be comfortable helping defeat Democratic Rep. Allen Boyd if the Panhandle congressman continues embracing private accounts for Social Security.

What's more, 'We're going to have to have some discussions with Bill Nelson,' because Florida's senior senator appears reluctant to block President Bush's controversial judicial nominations. And the centrist Democratic Leadership Council that helped guide Bill Clinton into the White House? So 1990s.

'The candidates want nothing to do with the DLC, it's so out of vogue,' the 29-year-old scoffed. 'If the DLC disappeared from the Democratic Party tomorrow, no one would notice. If MoveOn weren't part of the party, people would notice and care.'"


"In the last year, grass-roots contributors like us gave more than $300-million to the Kerry campaign and the DNC, and proved that the Party doesn't need corporate cash to be competitive," MoveOn's 24-year-old executive director said in a recent e-mail urging members to back an outsider for chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

"Now it's our Party: we bought it, we own it, and we're going to take it back."

A lot of Democrats are terrified at the prospect.


That might sound like great news for Democrats, but many party insiders are groaning over MoveOn's rising profile. After an election when most of middle America backed Bush, the thinking goes, do Democrats really want to emphasize the livid, lefty, antiwar wing of the party?

Peter Beinart, editor of the Democratic-leaning New Republic magazine declared MoveOn and Moore the two greatest obstacles preventing Democrats from winning majorities. He said they make the party seem weak on national security.
  The Future is Now: First Hangover Preventer, now drunk extender
Telegraph | News | Russian scientists who invented hangover cure make pill that keeps you drunk: "The makers of RU-21, the 'miracle' hangover cure reputedly developed for Soviet spies, have developed a product to keep you drunk.

Spirit Sciences, which is based in California but has research facilities in Russia employing scientists who once worked on secret programmes for the Kremlin, have christened the new product RU-21 Red.

If you take a tablet you need less alcohol to stay drunk, they claim. Emil Chiabery, a co-founder of the company, told The Telegraph from his offices in Los Angeles: 'I never drink and there's no personal story. But RU-21 Red prolongs drunkenness and enhances intoxication.''"
  The Future is Now: Smart Glass
CNN.com - Smart glass reacts to the weather - Feb 17, 2005: "LONDON, England (CNN) -- Scientists in London have created a coating for glass, which reflects or absorbs heat, depending on the temperature outside.

Professor of inorganic and materials chemistry, Ivan Parkin, and Troy Manning, both of the chemistry department at University College London, developed the intelligent window coating as part of Mr Manning's PhD studies.

The thin film is made out of a material called vanadium dioxide, and it undergoes a change depending on the weather outside.

On cold days the 'thermochromic coating' allows all sunlight in, while on hot days, once the outside temperature reaches a certain level, the film begins acting as a filter, blocking infrared rays, which are responsible for generating heat."
  Shocka: Saudi Charity Funding Terrorsists
Saudi charity, 2 officers indicted: "PORTLAND -- The U.S. arm of a large Saudi charity suspected by the government of supporting terrorism was indicted on fraud and tax charges, federal prosecutors said yesterday.

The three-count indictment charges Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation and its two officers, Pirouz Sedaghaty -- also known as Pete Seda -- and Soliman Al-Buthe with illegally sending $150,000 to Muslim fighters in Chechnya.

The Bush administration last September designated the charity as a group suspected of supporting terrorism through its main location in Ashland, Ore., and a prayer house in Springfield, Mo."
  Is it no wonder that we cannot/will not control out borders
New York City: "
NEW YORK (AP) _ A Manhattan judge ordered the state Thursday to stop seizing the driver's licenses of immigrants without Social Security cards, arguing that the Department of Motor Vehicles cannot enforce immigration law or make new rules without notifying the public.

The DMV last year began a license crackdown that was expected to result in the loss of driver's licenses for up to 300,000 immigrants in the state. The effort has already led to the suspension of about 7,000 licenses.

The order by Justice Karen Black of State Supreme Court in Manhattan temporarily bars the state from denying license renewals due to immigration status."
  IMA0: Fun Facts that you may not have known about Bloggers
IMAO: Know Thy Enemy Archives: "FUN FACTS ABOUT BLOGS

* The blog was invented by Edgar K. Blog in the 80's in attempt to spread lies for the sole purposes of evil. At the time, only two other people were reading the internet, but most experts say he was responsible for Black Friday.

* Blogs can simply turn on you at anytime for any reason. They attack without thought or provocation. Thus, make sure to always stay away from them and to disparage them in the media.

* A blog will use a dark art called the 'hyperlink' to 'link' to what you say in an attempt to slander you. If you see any blog using a hyperlink against you, immediately contact law enforcement to get them to stop.

* If you see a geeky looking male or a slutty looking female in front of a laptop, he or she could be a blogger. Don't make eye contact or say anything in front of them or they will destroy you.

* On September 11th, bloggers spread rumors about some sort of terrorist attack leading to a war with Iraq so bloggers could get more oil - a raw material essential for blogging.

* Bloggers are particularly depraved individuals. One infamous blogger was caught putting puppies in blenders to make smoothies. He now has to do community service as punishment which he fulfills by murdering hobos.

* They say the shift in information by blogger lies was so great that it actually moved the earth leading to the recent tsunami."
Current events with a sprinkle of opionion.


A prematurely crusty South Park Republican, with a raging addiction to internet news and current events.

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