Since March, the company has released at least 10 commercial titles--more than 1 million discs in total--featuring technology from U.K. antipiracy specialist First4Internet that allows consumers to make limited copies of protected discs, but blocks users from making copies of the copies.
The concept is known as 'sterile burning.' And in the eyes of Sony BMG executives, the initiative is central to the industry's efforts to curb casual CD burning.
'The casual piracy, the schoolyard piracy, is a huge issue for us,' says Thomas Hesse, president of global digital business for Sony BMG. 'Two-thirds of all piracy comes from ripping and burning CDs, which is why making the CD a secure format is of the utmost importance.'"
But don't worry, it will be the city police department watching the close-circuit screens, not Hollywood piracy enforcers. I presume that the resolution on the new cameras will be good enough to detect the subtle differences between actual counterfeits and used DVDs, which are legal to sell under the first sale doctrine.
But why stop there? Since Hollywood is putting up the $186,000 to set up the pole-mounted cameras, studios should own the copyright to the resulting videos. Just think of the opportunities for new reality TV shows, live from the gritty streets of LA. Or pay-per-bust Webcams, perfect for the nation riveted by COPS reruns and OJ's slow-speed Bronco chase. Who said Hollywood was technologically behind the times?"
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And yet the EUnuchs sit and wring their hands. They are in primary range of these weapons and should think ahead just a bit.BBC NEWS | Middle East | Iran 'tests new missile engine': "Iran's defence minister says it has successfully tested a new missile motor using solid-fuel technology with a range of 2,000km (1,250 miles).
Such an engine would enhance the capability of medium-range Shahab-3, which already has the ability to hit Israeli and US bases in the region.
The new engine would give the missile a greater range and increase its shelf life, Ali Shamkhani said.
Iran has taken huge steps in ballistic missile technology, experts say.
Reality finally catches up to fantasy
For those in need of a quick pop history refresher click here
No privacy? Try an electronic silencer | CNET News.com: "Two people in an office here were having a tete-a-tete, but it was impossible for a listener standing nearby to understand what they were saying. The conversation sounded like a waterfall of voices, both tantalizingly familiar and incomprehensible.
The cone of silence, called Babble, is actually a device composed of a sound processor and several speakers that multiply and scramble voices that come within its range. About the size of a clock radio, the first model is designed for a person using a phone, but other models will work in open office space.
The voice scrambling technology used in Babble was developed by Applied Minds, a research and consulting firm founded by Danny Hillis, a distinguished computer architect, and Bran Ferren, an industrial designer and Hollywood special-effects wizard.
Babble, which is intended to function as a substitute for walls and acoustic tiling, is an example of a new class of product that uses computing technology to shape sound. Already on the market are headphones that can cancel extraneous noises and stereo systems that can direct sound to a particular location."
When Monk's AttackOddly Enough News Article | Reuters.com: "BANGKOK (Reuters) - Five Thai Buddhist monks have been defrocked and fined after a brawl with monks from a nearby temple, police and newspapers said Tuesday.
The street fight was the culmination of years of antagonism between monks from the two temples who had often exchanged curses, insults and rude gestures as they collected alms on different sides of a road, the Manager newspaper said.
'When an ordinary person is given a middle-finger sign, he will be mad. So am I,' it quoted one of the defrocked monks, Boonlert Boonpan, as saying after the brawl in the northeastern state of Nong Khai Monday.
Boonlert said he usually carried a knuckle-duster in his shoulder bag during the morning collection of alms on which Bhuddist monks depend, it said.
Boonlert and the four other monks, all aged between 15 and 28, were each fined 1,000 baht ($25) by police for public brawling and were defrocked by senior monks, Wut Pomraksa, head of Nong Khai police station, told Reuters.
This will be my computer after next I am sure, dual core, + dual processors. I wonder what kind of damage I could do with that setup?My Way News: "SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) is launching its first PC microprocessors with two computing engines on a single chip Tuesday, further expanding its product line with a technology that's expected to be a major driver of PC performance for years to come.
The four chips to be announced Tuesday at the Computex trade show in Taiwan are targeted at high-end personal computers used for advanced tasks such as creating or editing digital media. In April, AMD introduced dual-core chips for servers and workstations.
AMD's announcement of the Athlon 64 X2 comes less than a week after Intel Corp. (INTC) launched its first mainstream dual-core chips, dubbed the Pentium D.
Both companies have been in a tight race to deliver the processors since engineers realized that simply ratcheting up the clock speed of single-core chips was creating too much heat and not producing the same improvements seen in previous models.
It became apparent that performance could be boosted by creating two computing cores and running them at a slower speed on a single chip.
But the technology does have drawbacks. For one, it only benefits users who run several programs at once or have software specially designed to take advantage of the two engines."
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The Democrat Dictionary over at PoliPundit.comPoliPundit.com: "DISENFRANCHISE: What Republicans are attempting to do to traditional Democrat voting blocs such as dead people, illegal aliens, felons and housepets by requiring legal identification to register and/or vote. (NOTE: All Liberals must insist at all costs that these measures are meant only to suppress minority turnout or risk losing their long cherished election fraud advantage!)
IS: A word whose meaning is relative to the nuances of its own definition.
LIAR: Any Conservative or Republican to whom you are losing an argument.
LOSER: Someone who just finished beating you like a redheaded stepchild in the last election cycle.
VIET NAM: ANY war or armed conflict America has been involved in, even remotely, since the 1960’s (except for those signed off on by Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton).
“WE SUPPORT THE TROOPS': F**k the troops, it is far more important to oppose the President, but we need to act like we care!
WEALTHY: 1.) A word to describe any person making at least $1 more per year than you do, who therefore must be taxed back to the Stone Age to save the country from bankruptcy and ruin. 2.) A term NEVER to be applied to Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Jay Rockefeller, et. al., who, despite their vast wealth, can identify with working class America with ease - unlike all those evil, rich Republicans.
“WORST ECONOMY IN __ YEARS': A slight economic downturn (or even a full-blown economic boom hidden by our allies in the mainstream media) occurring during a Republican Presidency."
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At Winds of Change.NET, the NYT serves AQ all the info they will need to hit a prisoner transfer planeWinds of Change.NET: High New York Times: Prisoner Transports Revealed: "If you answered 'c', you are correct. Today's New York Times provides intimate detail on the charter flights used by the CIA to ferry prisoners across the globe. The names of the charter companies are disclosed. The types of aircraft flown are revealed. The points of departure and destinations of these flights are stated. There is even a picture of one of the charter craft, with the identification number of the aircraft in full display.
All of this is extremely valuable to al Qaeda members who may have an interest in rescuing, or if deemed appropriate, conducting a suicide attack against suspected extraction flights. A successful attack resulting from this story can endanger the lives of CIA, security and civilian personnel involved in these missions, as well as deprive the intelligence and military communities of valuable information that can be gained from interrogations.
At the very least, the CIA must now change the companies being used as charters, all at a great effort and cost to US taxpayers. But since al Qaeda now knows where to look and what to look for, they may not even discriminate against different charter companies if they are reasonably sure a high value target has been captured and will be deported."
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Ex-FBI official says he's 'Deep Throat' - Politics - MSNBC.comEx-FBI official says he's 'Deep Throat' - Politics - MSNBC.com: "W. Mark Felt, who retired from the FBI after rising to its second most senior position, has identified himself as the 'Deep Throat' source quoted by The Washington Post to break the Watergate scandal that led to President Nixon's resignation, Vanity Fair magazine said Tuesday.
'I'm the guy they used to call Deep Throat,' he told John D. O'Connor, the author of Vanity Fair's exclusive that appears in its July issue."
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Those that cannot 'see'. Amnesty International is unable to actually recognize tyrants when it sees them.Bush Calls Human Rights Report 'Absurd': "President Bush on Tuesday dismissed a human rights report as 'absurd' for its harsh criticism of U.S. treatment of terrorist suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, saying the allegations were made by prisoners 'who hate America.'
'It's an absurd allegation. The United States is a country that promotes freedom around the world,' Bush said of the Amnesty International report that compared Guantanamo to a Soviet-era gulag."
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The U.S. Border Patrol has nabbed 15,195 non-Mexican migrants crossing over the Rio Bravo around Eagle Pass in the past eight months, a rise of almost 240 percent on the same period last year, officials said Monday.
Agents say what they call 'OTMs' - 'other than Mexican migrants' - now account for 90 percent of all migrant detentions in the sweltering trade and ranching hub of 40,000 people. That is up from the 5 percent to 10 percent nationwide normally recorded by the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Officials in Eagle Pass attribute the dramatic spike to news filtering out in countries in Central and South America that U.S. authorities are unable to hold the influx of immigrants in swamped local detention facilities.
'Word is out that we are unable to detain the other than Mexican crossers, and they are exploiting a bottleneck in the system,' Dennis Smith, the Border Patrol's spokesman for the local Del Rio Sector, told Reuters.
Whereas Mexican citizens are processed and swiftly deported, non-Mexicans are either detained or let out on bail pending an appearance before an immigration court."
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HOOD RIVER, Ore. -- Hood River police seem unfazed by a young man who has vowed to spend a week suspended high in a tree in the center of town.
Anthony Villagomez, 24, started his tree sit at 11 p.m. Sunday night and said he was going strong. He has five gallons of water and enough granola and to last him through the end of the week.
Hood River Police Lieutenant Jerry Brown said that as long as Villagomez presents no threat to the public or to himself, he is free to stay up there.
Villagomez said that earlier on Monday afternoon, the police officer approached the tree wearing sandals and carrying a cup of coffee. They're exchange was cordial, he said.
Villagomez, who is trained as an arborist, says he is staging the tree sit to protest the Bush administration's forest policies. He says he believes his is the first truly urban tree sit."
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And, oh yeah, were are really really sorry. AssholesNewsday.com: Canada Red Cross Guilty in Blood Scandal: "HAMILTON, Ontario -- The Canadian Red Cross pleaded guilty Monday to distributing blood tainted with HIV and hepatitis C in the 1980s, and was fined $4,000 in the public health disaster that infected thousands.
More than 1,000 Canadians contracted blood-borne HIV and up to 20,000 others were infected with hepatitis C after receiving the tainted blood products. About 3,000 people had died by 1997 and the death toll has grown, but recent estimates were not available.
'(The) Canadian Red Cross Society is deeply sorry for the injury and death ... for the suffering caused to families and loved ones of those who were harmed,' said Dr. Pierre Duplessis, the secretary general of the Red Cross.
In a public apology demanded by survivors of the victims and played via videotape in the courtroom, Duplessis said the charity accepted responsibility for 'having distributed harmful products for those that rely on us for their health.'
In exchange for the guilty plea and public apology, prosecutors dropped criminal charges against the charity, including criminal negligence and common nuisance.
John Plater, who contracted HIV and hemophilia from the tainted blood, said the plea offered a measure of vindication.
'We (had) thought a terrible mistake had caused the worst public health disaster in this country's history and what we've heard today is: No, in fact, people broke the law,' said Plater, who is also Ontario president of the Canadian Hemophilia Society. "
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Chavez showed up for the meeting Monday afternoon, saying he had canceled his weekly radio and TV show Sunday and had gone to visit his 7-year-old daughter Rosines at her academy in the city of Barquisimeto in western Venezuela.
``Nothing has happened to me,'' Chavez said, laughing. ``Rosines had kidnapped me.''
Turning his comments to hundreds of concerned supporters that had gathered outside the palace, Chavez said it was all just ``rumors'' that something had happened to him.
News Analysis: Stealth jets deployed to press North KoreaNews Analysis: Stealth jets deployed to press North Korea: "WASHINGTON The deployment last week of 15 stealth fighters to South Korea, along with the severing of the U.S. military's only official interaction with North Korea, appears to be part of a push by the Bush administration to further isolate North Korea despite China's hesitation to join the effort.
North Korea, for its part, on Sunday called the stealth fighter deployment 'a risky prelude to war,' a term it has often used about U.S. military exercises.
Although senior Pentagon officials say the F-117 stealth fighters were part of the preparation for a long-planned training exercise, the show of force comes at a delicate moment both militarily and politically.
The deployment, confirmed by the Pentagon on Friday after several news reports, came just after the Defense Department said Wednesday that it was suspending the search for soldiers missing in action since the Korean War."
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However, Singh said that cross-border incursions by militants into India had declined and believed efforts to end decades of enmity between India and Pakistan were on track, though he declined to offer a timeframe.
'I do believe we have moved forward,' the Indian prime minister told journalists from foreign news organisations at his residence. 'We have today an atmosphere in which we can start discussing basic problems,' Singh added. 'We are willing to discuss all problems with Pakistan including the Kashmir issue.'
Referring to his last month meeting with President Musharraf, Singh said: 'I have said to President Musharraf that India will never accept anything which smacks of a further division of our country on religious lines — and I have no mandate to negotiate to redraw the boundaries of our two countries,' he added. Within those constraints, 'the sky is the limit'."
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AU monitors have collected photographic evidence of Sudanese helicopter gunships in action attacking villages, and their reports conclude that the Sudanese government has systematically breached the peace deals that it signed to placate the United Nations Security Council.
Reports from Darfur indicate that air attacks on villages have continued amid defiance of UN resolutions calling on the Khartoum regime to disarm the Janjaweed, with the latest helicopter attack in south Darfur reported to have taken place on 13 May as the UN secretary-general, Kofi Annan, was preparing to visit the province.
Pictures taken by AU monitors document attacks by a Sudanese helicopter gunship on the village of Labado in December, a month after the Sudanese government gave an assurance that there would be no more such attacks. The Sudanese government markings are clearly visible on the tailfin of the helicopter.
The village was visited by Mr Annan last week as he toured the region to see for himself whether anything had changed a year after he first visited Darfur."
¶ 11:32 AM0 commentslinks to this post
Yep, all ready for StatehoodHamas Won’t Renounce Resistance: "GAZA CITY, 31 May 2005 — Hamas yesterday rejected calls from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for the movement to give up resisance and hold dialogue with the ruling Fatah party.
“We think that the past experience of our people with the Israeli occupation confirms that resistance is the main language that this occupation understands,” Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, said in Gaza City.
“Peace agreements will only bring further losses and push back our cause,” he added, pointing out that Abbas’ Fatah party also maintains its own armed wing, the loosely affiliated Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades."
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Lawfare, and our Left can't get enough of it, just fodder for their streams of urine all over the countryCaptives told to claim torture - The Washington Times: Nation/Politics - May 31, 2005: " In a raid on an al Qaeda cell in Manchester, British authorities seized al Qaeda's most extensive manual for how to wage war.
A directive lists one mission as 'spreading rumors and writing statements that instigate people against the enemy.'
If captured, the manual states, 'At the beginning of the trial ... the brothers must insist on proving that torture was inflicted on them by state security before the judge. Complain of mistreatment while in prison.'
The handbook instructs commanders to make sure operatives, or 'brothers,' understand what to say if captured.
'Prior to executing an operation, the commander should instruct his soldiers on what to say if they are captured,' the document says. 'He should explain that more than once in order to ensure that they have assimilated it. They should, in turn, explain it back to the commander.'
An example might have occurred in a Northern Virginia courtroom in February.
Ahmed Omar Abul Ali, accused of planning to assassinate President Bush, made an appearance in U.S. District Court and promptly told the judge that he had been tortured in Saudi Arabia, including a claim that his back had been whipped. He is accused of meeting there with a senior al Qaeda leader.
Days later, a U.S. attorney filed a court document saying physicians had examined Ali and 'found no evidence of any physical mistreatment on the defendant's back or any other part of his body.' "
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Dean the conductor, leading the crazy-train right over the edgeHoward Dean's Democratic Party - The Washington Times: Editorials/OP-ED - May 31, 2005: " Then of course there are the Deanisms — the red meat he throws to the base, but probably does little to expand it. 'I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for'; 'this is a struggle between good and evil, and we're the good'; Republicans are 'brain dead'; and 'You think the Republican National Committee could get this many people of color in a single room? Only if they had the hotel staff in here.' For comparison, try to remember anything RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman has said in the last four months.
Misgivings about Mr. Dean's wayward tongue were well placed late last year when party leaders looked in vain for an alternative candidate. After he won, some expressed the naive hope that they would be able to muzzle their new chairman and keep him on a short leash. According to Mr. Novak, Mr. Reid and Mrs. Pelosi privately urged the chairman to restrain his rhetoric and focus on his goals, like reviving state operations. That's difficult when Democratic governors and lawmakers conveniently disappear whenever Mr. Dean drops in for a visit. "
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Let no smoke go un-taxedState wants its cut of online smokes: "FORT WAYNE, Ind. — The Indiana Department of Revenue is telling Hoosiers who buy their smokes online to cough up unpaid cigarette taxes.
The recent move by the state agency makes Indiana one of several states trying to recoup tax dollars lost to online cigarette sales.
“I think because a few states started showing there are tax dollars being lost we decided it warranted us looking into it,” agency spokeswoman Cathy Henninger told The Journal Gazette for a story published Sunday.
Department of Revenue auditors do not know how much money the state may be losing due to online transactions with dealers in other states that do not collect Indiana cigarette taxes. The state took in more than $338 million in cigarette taxes in 2004. That was down slightly from the previous year.
The department obtained the customer and mailing lists of three major online cigarette vendors and in April began sending tax bills based on those purchases, which go back to July 2003.
And these are just the ones caught and prosecuted, how many more are out there?Wired News: Israelis Nab Computer Spies: "According to police, a computer programmer developed software known as a Trojan horse on behalf of three of the country's largest private investigation firms. The private investigators then sneaked the program into the computers of their clients' major competitors through seemingly benign e-mail attachments.
The program gave the private investigators complete access -- over the internet -- to their victims' computers, police said.
Police accused a car company that imports Volvos of spying on another company that imports Volkswagens. Two cell phone companies, Cellcom and Pele-phone, were accused of spying on a third company, police said. Another victim was the main TV cable company, called HOT.
Those arrested included a top executive from the YES satellite television company, security officials who worked for Pele-Phone and Cellcom, and several private investigators. Many of the 18 people arrested in recent days in the case denied breaking the law. The case was under a gag order until Sunday."
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Iranian Blog Spring Crushed by Mad MullahsWired 13.06: POSTS: "The Unicode breakthrough helped ignite massive growth in Internet readership in Iran. 'There were all these journalists who didn't have a venue, and all these readers who missed the reformist papers.' By last year, 5 million Iranians were using the Internet in the nation of 69 million, and an estimated 100,000 blogs.
The standard fare for Iranian blogs is similar to what you find in the US - dating, fashion, movies, and music, plus some politics and information age theorizing. But like Levi's in Khrushchev's Russia, such quotidian matters contain the seeds of revolution, Derakhshan says.
Maybe that's why the blog spring was crushed. At first, 'the clerics didn't really understand what they were,' he says, so they didn't bother shutting them down. But last June the Iranian judiciary put in place a more sophisticated filtering system that blocks Iranian access to political Web sites and blogs. (Derakhshan's traffic immediately dropped by half.) Then in September, officials got serious, arresting, interrogating, and even jailing some of the country's bloggers, according to human rights groups. Two of those writers, Mojtaba Saminejad and Mohammad Reza Nasab Abdolahi, remain in prison."
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HughHewitt.com Links to an interesting article regarding Mitt Romney and the 2008 Pres. run. Specificlly Mormons and voting.HughHewitt.com: "The Weekly Standard's publisher, Terry Eastland, has a very important piece on the presidential prospects of Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, 'In 2008, Will It Be Mormon in America?' It is important because while providing a detailed overview of Romney's career to date, it also raises the 'LDS question' directly. That question: Whether the base of the GOP which is comprised of voters who are both conservative in their political ideals and traditional in their religious practices --whether Protestant, Catholic or Jewish-- would vote for a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints?"
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More on ChavezRoger Simon appears to be doing the most active linking on this.
Babalu Blog: Is Hugo Chavez dead?: "People are gathering in big numbers at Miraflores Palace in Caracas amid rumors Hugo Chavez had a heart attack or something like it. The goons have just shut down Avenida Urdaneta in front of the palace to stop inquiring questions from the adoring masses. Venezuelan government spokesman Andres Izarra says that Chavez cancelled his street rally appearance yesterday and his Alo Presidente weekly Sunday TV show 'to spend more time with his family.' And all's 'normal,' he says. Kim Il Sung's spokesman could not have said it better.
I wonder if spending more time with his family means one of his ex-wives did him in, they're the kind of people who throw frying pans. Some say he's reviewing military officer promotion lists, which from his point of view, is important, given that he trusts none of them. The castro press claims there was a new death plot - maybe it means they are preparing to say the guy was assassinated when in fact it might have been something like a cocaine binge. I don't know.
One friend on the ground in Caracas thinks it might be a publicity stunt, but thinks what's going on is getting weird. There still isn't any leaking information, which is odd.
Something's going on, and for some reason, Hugo Chavez won't come to the balcony to reassure the descamisados. If he doesn't come out soon, it means something. Already the rumors are flying. This may be nothing. But right now it seems to be building to something."
¶ 8:35 PM0 commentslinks to this post
This is a big deal (if true). The Bad Hair Blog: "People are gathering in big numbers at Miraflores Palace in Caracas amid rumors Hugo Chavez had a heart attack or something like it. The goons have just shut down Avenida Urdaneta in front of the palace to stop inquiring questions from the adoring masses. Venezuelan government spokesman Andres Izarra says that Chavez cancelled his street rally appearance yesterday and his Alo Presidente weekly Sunday TV show 'to spend more time with his family.' And all's 'normal,' he says. Kim Il Sung's spokesman could not have said it better."
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Do'h, Pelosi got some 'splaining to do (at Captain's Quarters)Captain's Quarters: "So O'Neill claims to have pursued religious education as a government duty, in Cuba, where we oppose the oppressive regime of Fidel Castro. She says the Universal Life Church paid her way, despite their granting of free ordinations to anyone who signs up on their website. None of the services or training on their website requires acolytes to travel to Cuba for certification.
So perhaps the House Minority Leader can explain why Caitlin O'Neill went to Cuba in the middle of last December for five days as a guest of a fake church that issues mail-order ordinations. The explanation had better improve on the 'religious education' that O'Neill claims. Otherwise, Pelosi and her caucus would be well advised to back off on criticisms of faith-based initiatives coming from the Bush administration."
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The upside of the whole Delay fiasco; watching the rest of them scurry around like cockroaches in the light.
I don't have any problems with prosecuting corruption amongst our elected officials. I just have a problem with selective enforcement.
Things, like Barbra Boxer going after Packwood with booth barrels. But turning a blind eye to the Bent One and much more serious allegations.
AP: Lawmakers Belatedly Disclose Trips - Yahoo! News: "WASHINGTON - Scrutiny of Majority Leader Tom DeLay's travel has led to the belated disclosure of at least 198 previously unreported special interest trips by House members and their aides, including eight years of travel by the second-ranking Democrat, an Associated Press review has found.
At least 43 House members and dozens of aides had failed to meet the one-month deadline in ethics rules for disclosing trips financed by organizations outside the U.S. government.
The AP review of thousands of pages of records covered pre-2005 travel that was disclosed since early March. That's when news stories began scrutinizing DeLay's travel, prompting lawmakers to comb through their files to make sure they had disclosed their travel.
While most of the previously undisclosed trips occurred in 2004, some date back to the late 1990s. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer recently disclosed 12 trips, the oldest dating back to 1997.
Stacey Bernards, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Democrat, said the office searched the files after the travel issue was raised initially by 'Republicans doing opposition research to deflect from their own ethical issues.'
Hoyer's undisclosed trips were nearly doubled by Rep. Ellen Tauscher (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif., with 21. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (news, bio, voting record), D-Ill., reported 20 past trips and Rep. Elijah Cummings (news, bio, voting record), D-Md. reported 13.
Republican and Democratic House members were nearly equal rules violators in failing to disclose their personal trips within 30 days after the trip's completion. There were 23 GOP members, 19 Democrats and 1 independent, all of them months or years late in their reporting to the House public records office.
Staff members for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., disclosed 11 prior trips, while staff members for DeLay, R-Texas, had 4. Rep. Joh"
Update on the possible Japanese Hold-Out'sMDN: News on Japan as it happens: "GENERAL SANTOS, The Philippines -- At least one of the two old men said to be former Japanese Imperial Army soldiers who have remained on Mindanao since the end of World War II 'is not Japanese,' Embassy officials in Manila said Monday.
Embassy officials are poised to call off the search for the two men because of the unreliability of the information received that they are alive and the difficulties involved in confirming their existence.
'We have instructed government officials to return to Manila and think about how we are going to approach the situation, including what to do with the mediator,' Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda told reporters in Tokyo on Monday.
The 58-year-old Japanese man claiming to be acting as an intermediary for the two men said to be former Imperial Army soldiers told the Mainichi on Saturday that he had not met the men, nor did he have any proof that they were still alive on Mindanao.
Consular officials later said that the intermediary had told them that he had met one of the two men and he was not Japanese.
Sources close to the case said the intermediary met one of the men on Sunday.
'He learned that the man he met is not Japanese,' the source said. 'It will be very difficult to confirm anything now.'
Meanwhile, the Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted a spokesman from the Moro Islam Liberation Front as saying that it had information on former Japanese soldiers."
¶ 5:27 PM0 commentslinks to this post
Mugabe's latest grand scheme
It's amazing what this nutter comes up with. If there were any justice in the world, he, Chavez, Dear Leader, and the Mad Mullah's would all be goose-stepping in hell.
Cockroach CyborgsGarnet Hertz: Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine: "How does the cockroach move the robot?
The cockroach is placed on top of a modified trackball - a computer-mouse-type device - that is hooked up to some electronics. The cockroach is held gently in place above the ball so that when the cockroach moves it makes the ball spin: a little bit like a two-dimensional treadmill. The electronics (optical encoders) within the trackball send out small electrical pulses to some electronics that make the motors move in a similar direction to where the cockroach is moving on the ball.
What do the lights do?
The lights encircle the front of the insect, and are designed to help the cockroach navigate the object away from obstacles. In theory, cockroaches don't like light: as you may know, cockroaches scuttle quickly underneath the refrigerator if the light is turned on when you catch them in your kitchen at night. The lights around the front of the cockroach control center are each hooked up to a distance sensor. As the robot approaches a wall, for example, the distance sensor will detect that something is close, and will send electricity to the light. The light will turn on, and will alert the cockroach before it crashes into the wall. The idea is that the cockroach will want to scuttle into a 'dark' under-the-fridge-type region, and therefore steer the robot into a clear space."
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Deep Space 1, which launched in 1998, was the first spacecraft to use an ion thruster as its primary propulsion system. But that thruster, developed at the Glenn Research Center, drew its electricity from solar panels.
'Solar power is efficient and lasting, but it cannot stop a spacecraft at targets in the outer solar system that are past Mars,' Oleson said. 'The best way to study a planet is to land on it or travel in its orbit, and the only way we can do that in the outer solar system is with nuclear propulsion.'"
¶ 2:17 PM0 commentslinks to this post
Grass powered Electricity Plant.
I don't know how efficient a gass powered plant can be. Grass just does not have much in it to burn for an extended time. However if it works, then here is a concept: Enhance the technology to accpet any type of commonly found grass (like standard lawn). Then you have the population recycle their lawn clippings, you save at both ends; Landfill and Fuel.
The Â£6.5m power station in Staffordshire will be burn locally cultivated elephant grass and will be able to supply 2,000 homes with electricity.
Amanda Gray, director of Eccleshall Biomass, the company behind the power station, said the project was of major importance to rural industry in Staffordshire and offered another way to meet the UK's obligation to reduce carbon emissions, because burning the elephant grass will only release the carbon dioxide that the plants soaked up anyway while they were growing.
The plant could be a key element in the quest to tackle climate change. With only 1% of the world's population, the UK produces
3% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.
Power stations are a major factor, pumping out around a third of the total carbon dioxide produced by the UK. The government wants to reduce the country's carbon emissions by 60% by 2050 and wants renewable energy, such as wind, waves and biomass, to play a key part.
Around 170 farmers are now diversifying into growing the energy crop to feed the two megawatt steam-turbine generator at the Raleigh Hall industrial estate, in Eccleshall, near Stafford."
Cox & Forkum Editorial Cartoons - Memorial DayCox & Forkum Editorial Cartoons: "This underscored for me, unforgettably, how much we owe to our soldiers, sailors, and airmen. We cannot do our work unless we know they are doing theirs. We do not have the freedom to live our lives, unless they are there risking their lives to protect that freedom.
In the sloppy terminology so typical of today, it is common to attribute the courage of our soldiers to 'self-sacrifice.' But this misses the enormous difference between our soldiers and the malevolent fanatics on the other side, who declare that they want to die because they 'love death.' American soldiers do not go into battle because they love death. They go into battle because they love freedom. They love the liberties we enjoy and the prosperous and benevolent society that these liberties make possible. And they realize that someone has to fight to defend all of this.
Our soldiers do not want to die, and they do not expect to die; they know they are far better trained and better armed than their adversaries. But they know that some of them will die, and they believe that freedom is worth that risk. Here is how the family of Petty Officer 1st Class Neil Roberts, the first American soldier to die in Operation Anaconda, expressed it: 'He made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure that everyone who calls himself or herself an American truly has all the privileges of living in the greatest country in the world.'"
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Larry Joy, a 53-year-old electrician, said the bear shattered a window on his 1981 Volkswagen Rabbit, tipped the plastic fuel tank on its side, and gnawed on car hoses about two weeks ago. He said the evidence included muddy paw prints around the broken window and a pool of cooking oil on the rear floorboards.
''I knew what it was after,' Joy told The Sunday Republican of Waterbury. ''I think it's cool that bears do whatever they want.'
Joy uses a combination of diesel and vegetable oil left over from restaurant fry vats to power his car. He says it gets 44 miles per gallon.
The car needs to be started using regular diesel, because vegetable oil is too thick for the engine to handle. When a gauge indicates the engine coolant is at 90 degrees, it is warm enough to thin the biodiesel, and Joy can flip a switch to change fuel tanks.
When the coolant hits about 150 degrees, Joy said, there is a sweet smell.
''My neighbor said it smells like cheeseburgers,' he said.
The state Department of Environmental Protection told Joy he should discourage the bear from returning by using bad-tasting bait. The agency recommended the placement of a balloon filled with water and ammonia and covered in cooking oil on his car."
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A very interestng take on the French rejection of the new EU charter over at Captain's QuartersCaptain's Quarters: "While Americans might take some well-earned schadenfreude at Chirac's plight, given his efforts to turn France into our diplomatic enemy, in fact this shows that France as a whole still deeply believes in its socialist model. That attitude does not spring from its ruling class but from its electorate, which has gladly accepted a stagnant economy and double-digit unemployment because its nanny state still buffers the effects of those conditions from the individual workers.
In fact, the 'Non' may be irrelevant in the end. The society that the French defended in their vote today will disappear soon enough, as the rest of Europe will not long support the French in their self-indulgence. While Germany and France controlled the union, they could get away with breaking the debt ceilings and budgetary expectations set by the existing EU compact. Now that they have thumbed their noses at the new constitution, that control and influence will rapidly dissipate -- and they will find themselves forced to reform or face expulsion and devastating trade disputes with an otherwise united Europe.
The far left and far right in France are celebrating tonight on the streets of Paris, delighted in their rejection of the sensible market-based reforms that the rest of Europe wants. They may have won the battle, but that victory will only be temporary, and will consign them to second-tier status in Europe from this point forward."
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The elections are the first since 1990 to be free of Syrian interference. About 100 observers from the United Nations and European Union are in Lebanon, the first time that a Lebanese Government has permitted international monitoring."
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Once Dear Leader tests his Bomb, it will be interesting to see what happens next.Taking baton from Bolton, Cheney slams North Korean leader - Yahoo! News: "'I am concerned about it,' Cheney said of the stalled negotiations, 'Partly because ... Kim Jong Il, who's the leader of North Korea, is -- I would describe as one of the world's more irresponsible leaders.'
The vice president accused Kim of running 'a police state' and one of the most heavily militarized societies in the world while the bulk of the North Korean population lived 'in abject poverty and stages of malnutrition.'
'He doesn't take care of his people at all,' Cheney continued. 'And he obviously wants to throw his weight around and become a nuclear power.'"
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All Four Stanzas: "Introductory Note. Unless you're already well acquainted with our 'national anthem,' this interesting piece by the late Isaac Asimov will be an eye-opener. It was for me. It's especially appropriate at a time when there is much talk of tossing out this difficult-to-sing and difficult-to-comprehend old song in favor of something that better suits Ray Charles' voice. You'll understand the song much better after you read Mr. Asimov's explanation.--Hardly Waite, Gazette Senior Editor."
Holw far has your product fallen when a ring tone is bigger than your biggest band. My Way News: "LONDON (AP) - A cell-phone ring tone appeared set to top the British singles chart Sunday, outselling the new single by the band Coldplay by nearly four to one, a music retailer said.
'Crazy Frog Axel F,' a ring tone based on the sound of a revving Swedish mo-ped, is the first tune being used on mobile phones to cross into mainstream music charts, said Gennaro Castaldo, a spokesman for HMV, the British music retailing chain.
Coldplay had hoped to go straight to No. 1 on this Sunday's British singles chart with its new song, 'Speed of Sound.' But by Saturday, it appeared that the ring tone - which is available for digital download and as a compact disc single - would prevail, said Castaldo."
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lgf: Zarqawi in Iran?lgf: Zarqawi in Iran?: "IRAQ’S most wanted terrorist has fled the country for emergency surgery after an American airstrike left him with shrapnel lodged in his chest, according to a senior insurgent commander in close contact with his group.
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who has a $25m bounty on his head after being blamed for suicide bombings, assassinations and the beheadings of western hostages — including Ken Bigley, the Liverpool engineer — is now believed to be in Iran.
He has suffered from bouts of high fever since being wounded by a missile that struck his convoy three weeks ago as he fled an American offensive near the town of al-Qaim in northwestern Iraq, the commander said.
His condition late last week was described as stable, but supporters were said to be preparing to move him to another “non-Arab” country for an operation to remove the shrapnel. “Shrapnel went in between the right shoulder and his chest, ripped it open and is still stuck in there,” said the commander.
Officials in Washington believe that US forces may have lost their chance of capturing or killing him for now. “If he’s got to Iran, there’s not much we can do,” said one."
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The ICC has it's go at UK troopsTelegraph | News | Ten UK soldiers face international war crimes trial: "Up to 10 British soldiers face prosecution under international war crimes legislation - for the first time - in the single largest investigation into prisoner abuse during the Iraq War.
A British soldier stops Iraqi civilians at a check-point near Camp Dogwood
A British soldier stops Iraqi civilians at a checkpoint
They are being investigated over the alleged torture and death of an Iraqi civilian, who died in British military custody. The soldiers, including a decorated colonel, two Intelligence Corps interrogators - believed to be a major and a captain - and seven members of the Queen's Lancashire Regiment, have been told that they could face prosecution under the International Criminal Court Act.
An Army doctor with the rank of major is also under investigation for 'neglect' and 'failure to carry out a duty' in relation to the death.
If prosecuted, it will be the first time that British soldiers have been tried under war crimes legislation enacted in 2001, which resulted from Britain backing the establishment of the International Criminal Court. The US refused to sign up to the treaty which set up the court, precisely because it did not want its soldiers to be liable to prosecution.
All of the soldiers have been 'charged' under military law and have been told that they may seek legal aid to prepare their defence, if the authorities decide to prosecute."
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Pick a Number - upwards of 20 million illlegals in the US.Pick a Number: "Estimates of the illegal immigrant population in the United States vary widely. Following are four frequently cited numbers and how they were obtained. "
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It would be really nice if we could count on 'multilateral' type actions. Frankly this guy acts like he won't be happy until he get quashed.ÂNew CastroÂ threatens to take his feud with America nuclear - Sunday Times - Times Online: "PRESIDENT George W Bush is a ÂjerkÂ. His administration is a Âmafia of assassinsÂ. And, according to Hugo Chavez, the belligerent populist president of Venezuela, Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, lies in bed at night dreaming of him.
Chavez, 50, is rapidly becoming a US nightmare in Latin America. He aroused further American anger last week by threatening to form a nuclear alliance with Iran. The prospect of two hostile, oil-rich governments working together against US interests has shocked Washington and plunged relations with Venezuela to a dangerous new low.
US officials have begun to suspect that Chavez is plotting to become the Ânew CastroÂ Â the leading voice in the region of leftist anti-Americanism.
Behind the disintegrating relationship between Washington and one of its most important oil suppliers lies ChavezÂs apparent conviction that US agents were behind an attempted coup that briefly ousted him in 2002.
Storming back to power after a referendum last August, Chavez has clashed with US officials over a series of issues that prompted Rice to label him Âa negative force in the regionÂ.
In his latest challenge Chavez declared that Venezuela needed nuclear energy to prepare for when its oil ran out. He said that other Latin American countries should collaborate. ÂWe want to initiate nuclear research and ask for help from countries like Iran,Â he said.
While US officials have dismissed some of ChavezÂs threats as bluster, intelligence sources are concerned about claims that he has given alleged terrorists Venezuelan passports."
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I just can't quite find it in me to 'feel their pain'Finance24 : French wine exports drowning: "Paris - French wine exports sank again in the first quarter of 2005 confirming a downward spiral which has plunged the sector into crisis and brought thousands of wine-growers out onto the streets in protest.
'Global over-production in 2004, which is put at between 10 to 20 million hectolitres, is pulling prices down and adding to the problems of French wines which are being asked to become simpler in taste to meet growing world consumption,' said Louis-Regis Affre, an official from the French Federation of Exporters of Wines and Spirits (FEVS).
Apart from champagnes and sparkling wines, exports of French wine dropped some 13.0% in value and 13.2% in volume in the first quarter of this year compared with the same period last year, FEVS said.
This adds to the misery seen in 2004, when French wine exports lost some 9.2% in value, of which some €752m ($943m) were lost in just the first quarter.
The French government recently unlocked €7m in aid in a bid to throw a lifebuoy to the country's wine producers, but for many it is merely a drop in the ocean.
'It's very little in relation to what is actually needed, and the framework to implement it isn't even in place yet,' said Affre.
On Wednesday, thousands of producers took to the streets of the southern city of Nimes in the Languedoc-Roussillon region demanding further emergency measures to save wine-growers from disaster."
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Heh, and Double HehFrench Reject Europe's First Constitution: "PARIS -- French voters rejected the European Union's first constitution Sunday, President Jacques Chirac said _ a stinging repudiation of his leadership and the ambitious, decades-long effort to further unite the continent.
Chirac, who urged voters to approve the charter, announced the result in a brief, televised address. He said the process of ratifying the treaty would continue in other EU countries.
'France has expressed itself democratically,' Chirac said. 'It is your sovereign decision, and I take note.'
Earlier, the Interior Ministry said that with about 83 percent of the votes counted, the referendum was rejected by 57.26 percent of voters. It was supported by 42.74 percent.
All 25 EU members must ratify the text for it to take effect as planned by Nov. 1, 2006 _ and nine already have done so. The Dutch vote Wednesday, with polls showing opposition to the constitution there running at about 60 percent.
France's rejection could set the continent's plans back by years. The nation was a primary architect of European unity.
'There is no more constitution,' leading opponent Philippe de Villiers said. 'It is necessary to reconstruct Europe on other foundations that don't currently exist.'
De Villiers called on Chirac to resign _ something the French leader had said he would not do _ and called for parliament to be dissolved.
'Tonight we face a major political crisis,' he said.
Extreme-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen, who campaigned vigorously for the constitution's defeat, also called for Chirac's resignation.
For those that confuse Bush with actual evil[FREE IRAN Project] In The Spirit Of Cyrus The Great :: View topic - Tehran’s Killing Fields: "Given Iran’s incessant foreign policy saber-rattling—including its continued development of nuclear weapons, support for Islamist terrorist groups, and facilitation of the terrorism in Iraq—it’s easy to lose sight of the horrifying domestic situation within the Islamic Republic. The mullahs have not only destroyed the lives of countless foreigners through their worldwide export of Islamic terror and extremism; they’ve also plunged the Iranian people into a violent, hellish abyss of torture, repression, hopelessness, drug addiction and despair.
Conservative estimates by Iranian opposition movements and various human rights organizations, such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, put the number of women stoned to death in Iran since the establishment of the Islamic Republic in the neighborhood of fifty. One can only imagine the cases that have gone undetected -- as many Islamic 'punishments' are carried out in small and remote villages.
Women sentenced to death by stoning are buried in the ground up to their necks. Iranian law regulates the size of the stones used by the executioner crowd; stones cannot be big enough to kill the sentenced woman too quickly, as the purpose of this barbaric ritual is to inflict as much pain as possible before death. On the other hand, stones cannot be too small, as each blow must be dramatically painful. "
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Idiots, who have zer perspective on reality.Amnesty gets Bushwhacked - Tony Parkinson - Opinion - theage.com.au: "It was expected that this year's annual report by Amnesty International would include a blistering critique of the Bush Administration's conduct of the war on terror. That much is pro forma for the human rights movement, it's the fashion of the day. What was not expected was the tawdry, if eye-catching, sound bite in the foreword to the report, in which Amnesty's secretary-general, Irene Khan, sought to characterise the American military's Guantanamo Bay prison camp as 'the gulag of our times'.
This lurid hyperbole does Khan no credit. It is inexcusable for an organisation founded on the principle of protecting the innocent against the predations of grisly mass murderers such as Stalin to demean the historical record for the sake of a cheap shot.
Is she seriously suggesting the treatment of 540 detainees at Guantanamo is to be mentioned in the same breath as the 30 million-plus deaths in Soviet forced labour camps? If that's the level of intellectual dishonesty, why not go the extra distance and throw in Auschwitz as well?
It is another example of the sad loss of perspective among some global opinion leaders opposed to US policy in Afghanistan and Iraq. This has become a debate in which intellectual rigour takes a back seat to ideological prejudice, where souped-up assertions portraying the US and its allies in the worst possible light override calm contemplation of the facts."
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He aided the enemy, he should be breaking rocks or worse for a long long timeNewsday.com: Iraq 'Human Shield' Challenges Fines: "
MILWAUKEE -- A peace activist who went to Iraq to serve as a 'human shield' against the U.S. invasion is challenging $8,000 in federal fines. Ryan Clancy, 28, filed a lawsuit against the Treasury Department in federal court Thursday.
The department alleges Clancy went to Iraq in violation of sanctions and offered his services to the Iraqi government to shield its facilities from possible military action.
Clancy was in Iraq from Jan. 28, 2003, to March 7, 2003, according the lawsuit. The United States attacked Iraq on March 19, 2003.
The American Civil Liberties Union said Clancy was not 'trading with the enemy' or providing services to the Iraqi government.
'People go as part of making a statement that there are human beings here and before the bombs drop you should think about what you are doing,' said Larry Dupuis, ACLU Wisconsin's legal director."
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Controversy: In October 1990, Ford was charged with shooting at a trucker on Interstate 40 near Lexington. He was indicted and pleaded not guilty.
Outcome: In a jury trial the next year, he was acquitted.
Controversy: Memphis utility workers in 1997 accused the senator of threatening them with a loaded shotgun. Apparently, Ford became angry when the crew from Memphis Light, Gas and Water parked their vehicles in his driveway, making it difficult for his wife to exit in her car.
Despite the authors histrionics, it would appear that the coat closet-gulag was effective.· IN-FORUM ·: "A Fargo elementary school student and his parents claim in a federal lawsuit that the boy's teacher kept him imprisoned in a classroom closet for six months.
The boy, referred to as 'John Doe,' was a third-grader at Fargo's Roosevelt Elementary School when veteran teacher Steven Gravalin ordered him to sit at a desk in a 'closet' during the later half of the 2002-03 school year, the lawsuit says.
The boy's mother learned of her son's treatment late in May 2003. Despite her repeated complaints, Gravalin and the school's principal, Kim Colwell, said the closet was the best place for the 'disruptive' boy, the lawsuit says.
School officials and an attorney representing the school district offered a much different version of events surrounding the boy's treatment.
The third-grader sat at a desk in the classroom's coat room only when students were required to complete assignments, said Gary Thune, a Bismarck attorney representing the school district.
This room in a second-floor classroom at Roosevelt Elementary School in north Fargo is the focus of a federal civil lawsuit filed Wednesday in Fargo’s U.S. District Court. The parents of a third-grade student in the 2002-2003 school year allege he was forced to sit in the room for six months. Bruce Crummy / The Forum
Room at Roosevelt School
In-Forum Video Icon WDAY: Family sues Fargo schools
In-Forum Talk About It Icon Talk: What do you think of the school imprisonment story?
'He wasn't getting his work done,' Thune said. 'He was placed in the coat room to minimize distractions.
Smited by the hand of Charles Krauthammer: Charles Krauthammer: The flinch heard 'round the world: "WASHINGTON -- On Monday, Republicans were within hours of passing a procedural rule that would have eliminated the Democrats' unprecedented use of the judicial filibuster. It would not only have freed from filibuster limbo seven Bush nominees to the circuit courts, but it would have assured future nominees, particularly to the Supreme Court, an up-or-down vote.
Then the Republicans flinched. They settled for something less. Far less. How much less is still a matter of dispute, but the fact that they settled when they had within their reach the means to restore Senate practice to the status quo ante 2001 is indisputable. That in itself is a victory for the Democrats and a defeat for the Republicans.
The Missouri Compromise of 2005, like its predecessor, has left a few things uncertain (including the fate of two long-languishing nominees, Henry Saad and William Myers), but two things are quite certain.
First, the compromise legitimized the principle of the judicial filibuster. Until 2001, not once in more than 200 years had a judicial nominee been denied appointment to the court by Senate filibuster.
The Democrats broke all precedent by systematically using it to block Bush nominees in his first term in the hope that they would recapture the presidency in 2004. They did not, and have continued the filibuster into his second term. This violation of Senate tradition has now been codified in writing as legitimate so long as circumstances (``extraordinary,'' in the eyes of the beholder) warrant"
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The perfidity of Reid ( via Captain's Quarters)Captain's Quarters: "The signatures of 14 Senate centrists, seven from each party, spilled across the last page of a hard-won compromise on President Bush's judicial nominees. But whatever elation the negotiators felt, the Senate's Democratic leader did not share it.
In the privacy of his Capitol office last Monday night, Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., asked for commitments from six Democrats fresh from the talks. Would they pledge to support filibusters against Brett Kavanaugh and William Haynes, two nominees not specifically covered by the pact with Republicans?
Some of the Democrats agreed. At least one, Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, declined.
Details of Reid's attempt to kill the two nominations within minutes of the agreement, as well as other events during this tumultuous time, were obtained by The Associated Press in interviews with senators and aides in both parties. They spoke on condition of anonymity, citing confidentiality pledges."
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Friends and acquaintances gathered Thursday to discuss the Aug. 20 invitation-only service, which will be six months after Thompson shot himself in his Woody Creek home.
Jon Equis, the event producer working with Thompson's family, said the tower will be 12 feet wide at the base and 8 feet wide at the top, where a cannon will be placed.
Depp, who portrayed the author in the movie version of Thompson's book 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' will pay for the tower, designed to resemble Thompson's 'gonzo fist' emblem.
As Thompson requested, his ashes will be shot out of the cannon onto his property.
Equis said the tower will be constructed far from Woody Creek Road and covered with a black drape before the service to discourage tourists. A public event is expected to be planned later to commemorate the writer's life.
In March last year 77,000 people lived in the municipality. But the latest census reveals the city's population has dropped by 12,000 to only 65,000.
Pongsak Yingchoncharoen, mayor of the Yala municipality, said people have lost confidence in the safety of their lives and property after the arms robbery at a military camp in Narathiwat's Cho Airong district on Jan 4 last year."
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Nice little timeline style history of the browser warsSTLtoday - Business - Columnists: "Netscape’s turn from wonderful to woeful last week set a new Internet speed record for embarrassment.
Hours after the once-proud Web browser’s Version 8 upgrade hit the streets, it limped back into the garage for an overhaul. Turns out the new browser had old parts from a rival browser, Firefox, and those parts were faulty. The flaws allowed dishonest types to sneak into computers through online connections and snatch user passwords and other personal information.
We’ve all heard reports of browser security trouble before; they’re as frequent as rain clouds over St. Louis in summer. But somewhere close to the problem’s description usually are the words “Microsoft” and “Internet Explorer.”
That’s what made the Netscape-Firefox mess-up so significant: This time, Microsoft’s once and future rivals for the online market were the ones encountering trouble, not its own quirky Web tool. After all, Netscape and Firefox had pinned their reputations on being more secure than Internet Explorer, the dominant browser since 1998."
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The newspaper Deutsche Welle reports that the instant drinks are easily available and cheap, selling at gas stations and convenience stores as well as bars and liquor stores for as little as $2 or $3. When mixed with water, the powder produces a cocktail equivalent of about a drink and a half with an alcohol content of close to 5 percent.
Subyou, the North Rhine-Westphalia company that manufactures the powders, marketed them over the Internet at first. But Deutsche Welle reports they are now showing up all over the place, and teenagers seem to be able to buy them easily in spite of warning labels against selling them to younger people."
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The disguised sensors can be dropped from an aircraft and used to help detect the sound of approaching enemy combatants, the London Financial Times has reported.
The devices, which would be no larger than a golf ball, could be ready for use in about 18 months, the paper said. They use tiny silicon chips and radio frequency identification, or RFID, technology that is so sensitive that it can detect the sound of a human footfall at 20 feet to 30 feet. RFID technology uses radio signals that are sent from a silicon chip to a remote sensing device."
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Sacre Blue, The Vintners are on a rampageTVX34: French Winemakers Go On A Rampage: "PARIS (AP) Protesting winemakers in southwestern France set fire to train cars, pelted them with rocks and blocked rail traffic on their way home from demonstrations Thursday, authorities said.
France’s state rail authority, SNCF, planned to file a complaint and estimated the damage at about $2.5 million, half that sum for material damages and the other half for delays, said Bernard Strehle, a train official in the city of Montpellier. No one was injured, he said.
Protesters were returning home from a demonstration in Nimes on Wednesday that gathered up to 10,000 vintners urging government aid. More than 1,000 riot police watched over the demonstration, and shopkeepers pulled their metal blinds down to prevent damage.
As violence broke out late Wednesday and early Thursday, much of the damage was concentrated on the train line between the southwestern cities of Nimes and Narbonne, the SNCF said. Protesters also damaged command posts and equipment.
France’s vintners have for years suffered a steady erosion of their livelihoods by falling demand at home and the growing popularity of Australian and American wines abroad. A government crackdown on drunken driving has also battered domestic sales."
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How do I miss California, let me count the ways.Another Brawl at Jefferson High: "For the third time in six weeks, police broke up a Jefferson High School brawl Thursday that students say was fueled by racial tension.
Officers from the Los Angeles School Police Department used pepper spray and batons to quell the fight, which involved about 25 students on the South Los Angeles campus. The police arrested three students and detained more than 20 others, authorities said.
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The incident reportedly began when two students argued about a cellphone. Students said that altercation sparked larger fights between black and Latino students across the campus.
'It started in the cafeteria, and then it spread out to the PE field, to the auditorium, to the hallways, everywhere. I saw some people run out of the classrooms just to get into the fight,' said Salvador Ingles, a 17-year-old senior. 'Like with the last two fights, it happened that brown people, they go to one side, then black people go to the other side, and then they both collide.'"
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Scott Lewis Heyder, 36, was charged Thursday with felony exploitation of the elderly and held on $10,000 bail at the Pasco County Jail. Pasco County Sheriff's detectives said Heyder sold the woman expensive organs even after her family pleaded with him to stop.
The woman spent about $25,000 on organs and ended up with one worth only about half that, said sheriff's spokesman Kevin Doll. She has not received any money back from the music store, he said.
'I think it's unconscionable, especially after the family confronted this sales person and said our mother has mental failings due to Alzheimer's, she doesn't know what she's doing,' Doll said.
The Spring Hill woman began buying and trading organs at the Fletcher Music Center at Gulfview Square Mall in 2003 after taking lessons there. Detectives requested that she not be publicly identified, fearing she might become the victim of another financial scam.
Heyder encouraged her to buy an organ for about $1,650, detectives said, and within days he urged her to trade up for an organ costing nearly double. Weeks later, the woman had traded up organs twice more to one costing nearly $5,000 and her family confronted Heyder.
But less than a year later, Heyder sold the woman more organs, the sheriff's office said, including four on a single day in August.
When she was questioned, the woman told detectives she only remembered buying three or four organs over the years instead of the 11 transactions investigators documented."
¶ 11:27 AM0 commentslinks to this post
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¶ 11:25 AM0 commentslinks to this post
PoliPundit.com » Proof of SignaturePoliPundit.com » Proof of Signature: "John Kerry now claims to have signed form SF-180, and his minions are apparently scurrying about Washington to find a postage stamp to mail the form.
But no proof has been produced that the senator has signed the form, or that he intends to make all his military records public.
By contrast, the day after Kerry made his promise on national TV, Swiftee John O’Neill signed form SF-180, and made a copy available to the media. On the form, he has authorized the release of all his records to anyone who asks for them.
Dhimni in Hollywood. Hollywood knuckles under - The Washington Times: Editorials/OP-ED - May 27, 2005: "Hollywood and the media may be 'brave' and 'bold' in fearlessly depicting sexuality, violence and the perversions therein, but they're cultural cowards when it comes to depicting — even mentioning — matters of war, Islam and jihad. Call it dhimmitude, Hollywood-style.
While the term dhimmitude, coined by historian Bat Ye'or, refers to the inferior status of Jews and Christians living under Islamic rule, she also points to disturbing signs of dhimmitude throughout the free West. These range from the politically correct fear of giving offense, which curtails freedom of speech (think Fox punting Islam), to the fear of jihadist violence, which curtails freedom of movement, and even the free practice of religion (think armed guards at synagogues).
An unlikely moviemaker who refuses to accept dhimmi conditions is Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Ms. Ali is the amazingly courageous 35-year-old [tk] Somali-born ex-Muslim and Dutch parliamentarian whose first foray into moviemaking is a provocative 11-minute film called 'Submission.' Directed by Theo van Gogh — who was ritualistically murdered on an Amsterdam street last fall, his head nearly severed from his body, a jihadist rant pinned to his chest with a knife' — Submission' depicts the brutalized plight of all too many women at the hands of men under Islam, a political issue championed by Ms. Ali. For exercising her freedom of speech, Ms. Ali now lives under an Islamically imposed death sentence (fatwa). She also lives under lock and key, guarded 24 hours a day, and transported everywhere in an armored vehicle.
Such is the going price of freedom in Holland, just another ultra-liberal, Western country besieged by jihadists. 'This fatwa isn't just directed against me,' she explains, 'but against Holland, against the entire Western world. We are all targets. In the eyes of radical Muslims, any country in which Muslims can be criticized openly is an enemy"
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Michelle Malkin: The Media is the EnemyMichelle Malkin: WHAT IS IT WITH THE WASHINGTON POST?: "In this morning's coverage of Koran abuse allegations at Gitmo, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Boston Globe, Reuters, and Associated Press all mention in their lead paragraph that the Pentagon found no credible evidence that a guard flushed the Koran down a toilet. The Washington Post, on the other hand, does not bother to mention the Koran-flushing incident until its fourth paragraph and does not note until the thirteenth paragraph that the detainee who made that allegation has retracted it."
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Cecilia Barnes, 48, in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Multnomah County, claims an ex-boyfriend began posting unauthorized personal profiles of her containing the photos in December. The profiles included her e-mail address and work phone number.
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The former boyfriend also engaged in online discussions in Yahoo chat rooms while posing as Barnes and directing men to the profiles, the lawsuit claims.
'Due to these profiles and online chats, unknown men would arrive without warning at plaintiff's work expecting to engage in sexual relations with her,' the lawsuit claim"
¶ 10:50 AM0 commentslinks to this post
I am shocked that the MPAA did not take the same tack as the RIAA and blame downloading for the decline in their increasingly shitty product.With Popcorn, DVD's and TiVo, Moviegoers Are Staying Home - New York Times: "LOS ANGELES, May 26 - Matthew Khalil goes to the movies about once a month, down from five or six times just a few years ago. Mr. Khalil, a senior at the University of California, Los Angeles, prefers instead to watch old movies and canceled television shows on DVD.
He also spends about 10 hours a week with friends playing the video game Halo 2. And he has to study, which means hours on the Internet and reading at least a book a week.
'If I want to watch a movie I can just rent it on DVD,' he said. 'I want to do things that conform to my time frame, not someone else's.'
Like Mr. Khalil, many Americans are changing how they watch movies - especially young people, the most avid moviegoers. For 13 weekends in a row, box-office receipts have been down compared with a year ago, despite the blockbuster opening of the final 'Star Wars' movie. And movie executives are unsure whether the trend will end over the important Memorial Day weekend that officially begins the summer season.
Meanwhile, sales of DVD's and other types of new media continue to surge.
With box-office attendance sliding, so far, for the third consecutive year, many in the industry are starting to ask whether the slump is just part of a cyclical swing driven mostly by a crop of weak movies or whether it reflects a much bigger change in the way Americans look to be entertained - a change that will pose serious new challenges to Hollywood."
¶ 10:50 AM0 commentslinks to this post
Captain's Quarters: Not One DimeCaptain's Quarters: "People like me worked our hearts out to give the Republicans a solid majority in the Senate so that they could lead, especially on judicial nominations. Instead, we have leadership that has proven itself unable or unwilling to rise to the task they themselves set in the election.
That's what the Not One Dime campaign targets. When we donate to the NRSC, that money gets distributed by established party leadership in the Senate to campaigns around the country, as the leadership sees fit. That power essentially ties incumbents to the current leadership, because in order to ensure that they get enough funds to have a shot at winning, they need to be seen as supportive of the people holding the purse strings. If the NRSC hasn't got any money of its own, the leadership loses that influence, and the candidates have to put their loyalty elsewhere.
For the second time in a week, the Democrats have exposed Bill Frist as a well-meaning, ethical, but hopelessly outclassed Majority Leader. Frist wasted the momentum from the election and the Democrats' obvious obstructionism in January by stalling for months on addressing the judicial nominations, only bringing it up after the base finally erupted in anger and impatience. Instead of trying to consolidate whatever gains the GOP got out of the testicular bypass John McCain and Company foisted on Frist by pushing through the rest of the judicial nominees after Priscilla Owen's confirmation, Frist trusted Harry Reid and scheduled Bolton's nomination instead -- and got shafted. I warned the GOP earlier this week that this decision was a mistake.
The GOP needs new leadership in the Senate. It doesn't need millions of dollars flowing into the NRSC that will only strengthen Frist's grip on that position over the next year. I will instead donate to Mark Kennedy's upcoming campaign here in Minnesota and start building up donations for Norm Coleman's re-election in 2008, and look around for a close race "
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Pretty Cheesey Mr. GovernatorGroup Slams Product Placement in Schwarzenegger Ad: "The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) called on Schwarzenegger to return the quarter-million dollars he received from companies featured in the ad, and for the corporations to pay the market value of the advertising to the state because it is improper for the governor to use public office to sell corporate products.
The TV ad, released in May, features Schwarzenegger talking to people in a lunchroom, and places Pepsi and Arrowhead Water in prominent spots next to the governor for one-third of the ad.
Donors connected to Pepsi Co. and Arrowhead Water's parent company, Nestle, gave the governor a total of $279,800 in campaign contributions. Also recognizable on-screen are Ruffles, Sun Chips, Cheetos and a SoBe Beverage, all brands owned by Pepsi.
View the ad at www.JoinArnold.com.
The practice, known as 'product placement,' is increasingly common in television series and Hollywood films but is unheard of in political advertising. In fact, political ads typically avoid using logos because companies may not want to be associated with a particular candidate or issue."
¶ 9:43 PM0 commentslinks to this post
The ever shrinking world. Soon the appropriate regulatory will be sampling your alimentary waste in order to assure that you don't offendNews: "The United States wants Britain's proposed identity cards to have the same microchip and technology as the ones used on American documents.
The aim of getting the same microchip is to ensure compatability in screening terrorist suspects. But it will also mean that information contained in the British cards can be accessed across the Atlantic.
Michael Chertoff, the newly appointed US Secretary for Homeland Security, has already had talks with the Home Secretary, Charles Clarke, and the Transport Secretary, Alistair Darling, to discuss the matter.
Mr Chertoff said yesterday that it was vital to seek compatibility, holding up the example of the 'video war' of 25 years ago, when VHS and Betamax were in fierce competition to win the status of industry standard for video recording systems"
¶ 9:29 PM0 commentslinks to this post
Donk's Filibuster, Frist wrings his hands and retires with a case of the vaporsMy Way News: "Frist said the Bolton matter soured the air of cooperation the two parties' centrists forged just days ago after months of wrangling over judges.
'John Bolton, the very first issue we turned to, we got what looks to me like a filibuster,' Frist said. 'It certainly sounds like a filibuster ... it quacks like a filibuster.'
Democrats contended the White House had stiff-armed the Senate over classified information on Bolton's tenure in his current job as the State Department's arms control chief, and demanded more information before the Senate can give Bolton an up-or-down vote."
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Michelle Malkin is all over the capture of ROP suspects in the Van Goh murder.Michelle Malkin: THE VAN GOGH MURDER: A CHECHEN CONNECTION: "Authorities have arrested two Chechen citizens in France and the Netherlands in connection with the November slaying of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, prosecutors said Thursday.
One of the suspects was arrested May 18 in Tours, France and was identified under Dutch privacy rules only as Bislan I., 25, prosecution spokesman Rob Meulenbroek said. The second suspect, identified as Marad J., 22, was arrested April 19 in Amsterdam.
Nope, no reason at all why we should be securing our borders. Enjoy that nap Mr. BushAjo school fraud now confirmed: "TUCSON - State schools chief Tom Horne on Wednesday confirmed that children living in Mexico are crossing the border to attend school in the United States, but officials cannot agree whether the state, county or school district should check residency claims.
More than a year after calling for an investigation, Horne said state school officials now have a videotape that shows children crossing from Sonoyta, Sonora, through the port of entry and boarding buses to attend school in the United States. The state also found that trailer-park spaces in the U.S. border town of Lukeville listed as proof of residency for many children are empty.
Overall, Horne said, the investigation found 'overwhelming evidence' of fraud.
According to Ajo School District records, 85 students board the bus each day in Lukeville. But the border town has little more than a strip mall, gas station, motel, RV park and general store and a population of 65"
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Another case where one should dispense some spontaneous civic justicelocal6.com - News - Phone, Mirrors On Stick Rigged To Watch Women Shower: "CHULUOTA, Fla. -- A 48-year-old man was arrested and charged with voyeurism for allegedly using a cell phone and a mirror attached to sticks to spy on women showering at a campground in Seminole County, according to Local 6 News.
A Central Florida couple discovers a cell phone on a stick in the ceiling of a shower facility at Lake Mills Park in Seminole County, Fla.
Police said a woman was bathing at a shower facility at Lake Mills Park Tuesday night when an insect landed on her causing her to scream for help.
IMAGES: More strange stories, images featured on Local6.com
Her husband ran to the shower area and noticed Kevin Lambrechts standing outside the building with a machete, Local 6 News reported.
Moments after Lambrechts left the area, the woman looked up and noticed mirrors rigged in the ceiling.
Phone, Mirrors On Stick Rigged To Watch Women Shower
The couple called 911 and officers later found the periscope-like device built into holes in the building's ceiling.
Investigators said Lambrechts used wire and electrical tape so that the women in the shower building could be seen by looking up through the roof overhang of the building.
'What we found was a mirror set up that included two mirrors set up somewhat like a child's periscope,' Seminole County Sheriff's Lt. Barry Smith said. 'One mirror was set up in the outside eve "
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Security officials declined to show WAVE 3 Investigator James Zambroski how they work, but agreed to set off one of the dye packs often hidden in bundles of cash. They are triggered when a suspect leaves the bank, spraying the money and anything nearby with an indelible stain and a heavy dose of tear gas.
'I think it actually razzled him somewhat to where I don't think he knew what to think,' Arnold said.
Police say Cross dumped the getaway car at the German American Club east of the bank and hid the money there. He then set out on foot east toward Newburg Road, where he was spotted by a police K-9 officer.
'He (the officer) notices that there's dye, red dye, all over his face and hands,' Arnold said. 'He gets him down, gets him handcuffed.'
'To help ensure that the Gaza disengagement is a success, the United States will provide the Palestinian Authority $50 million to be used for new housing and infrastructure projects in the Gaza,' Bush said.
'These funds will be used to improve the quality of life of the Palestinians living in Gaza, where poverty and unemployment are very high,' Bush said at a White House Rose Garden appearance with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas."
¶ 3:06 PM0 commentslinks to this post