quasi in rem

Friday, January 30, 2004

Canada Court Allows Gay Married Parents to Hit Their Kids Repeatedly with Premeditation

Canada approves corporal punishment! In certain indeterminable circumstances.

"Parents and teachers may use force to correct a child's behaviour but it must be minimal and not administered out of rage or frustration, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday."

Obviously, this is quite ridiculous. How could the state possibly interfere into the intimate details of child rearing much less determine the thought process behind parental decisions.
Parents often spank their children out of frustration. In fact I was spanked most often out of frustrataton.

And isn't fruatation with childhood behaviour a much better reason for corporal punishment thatn, say, cold premeditation.

Say a parent deiceds to hit his child at noon tomorrow for ten minutes to teach him a lesson about the random disappointments we must face in lifa. And then the parent reapeats that lesson each and every day at random. None of those beatings would run afoul of the Canadian intrusive ruling but surely all would constitute abuse.

But this is Canada and they are nuts, so that is that. Maybe the state shouldstart making decisions to stay out of people's parenting decisions.

By the way, heterosexual parents can also hit their kids. I was just sexing up the headline.

John Kerry: Benedict Arnold?

John Kerry has made a point in every stump speech and every debate to lay part of the blame of America's economic woes on companies that outsource part or all of their operations to foreign countries. Just last night in the South Carolina debate John Kerry stated that we must seek a " prosperity where we create jobs here at home -- and where we shut down every tax loophole, every benefit, and every reward for any Benedict Arnold CEO or company that sends jobs and profits overseas.'"

John Kerry has shown that he talks the talk, but does he also walk the walk? Not so much.
An analysis of John Kerry's tax return on Open Secrets reveals that while Senator John Kerry is railing against these corporations on the campaign trail, he is simultaneously pocketing the profits those companies produce.

CNN has done a significant amount of research on the Exporting of America and has compiled a list of those companies
at their website. A simple comparison of the list and John Kerry's tax return reveals a generous crossover of companies.

Medtronic, SBC Communications, Verizon, ExxonMobil, Intel, Microsoft, 3M, General Electric, Wyeth, Citigroup, Proctor and Gamble, American Express, Monsanto, Emerson Electric, AT&T, AT&T Wireless, Comcast, Pfizer, Equifax, IBM Johnson and Johnson, Oracle and others all hold a proud place on the senators tax return.

So does this mean that Kerry, as stockholder, and therefore part owner, of all of these companies is himself a "Benedict Arnold"? I would not say so, but according to Kerry's own language it appears that he might be.

I'm Craaaaazy Botox Guy! Now give me some candy!

I once had a face lift this big.

Howard Dean? Like this. A pinky finger. Is that what you want in the oval office?

Feel free to add your own in the comments.

1 Moped, Slightly Stained, Free to first taker

In case you were wondering what it looks like, when whales explode in a downtown city street in southern Taiwan, well here is the picture.

It is not pretty, so do not click if you have recently eaten. A poor moped seems to have recieved the brunt of the goop. So far, officials believe that the whale exploded due to the innocent build up gas. I however suspect Al Quaeda.

Governor Dean Takes over Writing Duties, And goes after John Kerry.

Just got the newest Dean email and he is targeting John Kerry directly.


Eleven months ago, when few people knew our campaign existed, I asked the Democratic Party leadership some fundamental questions.

Why were so many Democrats in Washington supporting George Bush's unilateral war in Iraq? Why were they supporting No Child Left Behind? Why were they voting for the president's reckless tax cuts?

I am still waiting for the answers.
The American people deserve the answers.

Well he is mad at the Democratic leader ship which equals Terry MCauliffe, Hillary Clinton, tom Daschle and John Kerry. Although, I am not sure they voted for the tax cuts.

Today, all my opponents are talking the talk. Even those who voted for the war now speak like they opposed it.

Those who voted for No Child Left Behind now criticize it.

And those who shrank from confrontation in the face of polls and pundits now compete to outdo each other in their condemnation of George W. Bush.

But in 2004, Democrats must decide: Who will stand up for you? And who will stand up against George W. Bush?

This is some first class whining.

I believe only someone who has consistently and firmly stood for change -- even when it wasn't politically popular -- can truly lead this great struggle.

So John Kerry easily changes his mind with the winds of popular sentiment? Sounds very Clintonesque.

And I need your help today to raise the funds we need to take back the Democratic Party and defeat George Bush:

Imagine 2005. Radical Republicans of the Bush-DeLay school will push their divisive agenda.

When that happens, who will stand up for you?

A Washington insider who shifts with every poll? Who cuts deals that sell out the interests of ordinary Americans, and who has spent decades collaborating with the special interests that fuel his campaigns?

Ohh that smarts. Is this a republican campaign ad? Did Howard Dean hire Karl Rove to be his new campaign chairman?

Or someone from outside Washington, truly independent, and ready to do what's right?

As President, I will stand up for you -- I won't just say it.

You know I will do it -- because I have done it.

And we can stand up for all Americans if we stand together.

The Washington insiders are spending millions in paid advertisements to try to persuade voters that they'll stand up to the system they've been part of for years. Many of these ads will attack us.

It's extremely important that we go into the coming primaries with the resources we need. Can I count on your help today?

Thank you for everything you do.

Governor Howard Dean, M.D.

P.S. Please forward this email on to everyone you know."

Ok Howard. I will. You keep banging on John Kerry and you may get my support. If you name him by name in your next email, and add a few more title to your name, I will contribute to your campaign.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Farewell Joe Trippi, We hardly knew ye!

Here is a copy of Joe Trippi's final Daily email, sent on the Day of the New Hampshire Primary. All of the emphasis is mine.

Tonight the comeback begins.

The pundits have underestimated us before -- and they were wrong. All week they've been trying to write us off -- and we're going to prove them wrong again.

Sorry Joe, I guess not so much.

Today the people of New Hampshire vote. Momentum is on our side. But the race for the nomination is a 6-week marathon where 33 states vote - and you have built the only campaign on the planet that can run the distance and come out strong enough to defeat George Bush in the general election.

One thing is certain: we will go on, and we will prove the doubters wrong. But all of us must fight like we've never fought before. The way we win is to keep sprinting forward:

What Joe is saying here, is that eventhough he is using the word "we", he means "you" or at least "not me." The tell is the last line using the word "sprinting." Joe has never sprinted in life. And, based on his recent campaign diet, he is not ready to start now.

Thousands of Americans are joining our campaign every day.

While,at the same time, several are being asked to leave.

On the campaign trail, voters are responding to Governor Dean's record of standing up for what it is right --even when it's not popular.

The way to win the nomination is to get a majority of the more than 4,300 delegates to the Democratic convention. Iowa and New Hampshire combined decide only 77 of those delegates.

Joe Trippi's Super Bowl Predicition:"the team that will win will score more points than the other team."

Which means that the race is wide open. And the way to win it is to keep going forward and to keep building the resources Howard Dean needs to win the nomination and defeat George Bush:

For more than a year we have known that the biggest threat to our campaign was getting people to get over their own disbelief that they have it in their power to take back our government.

The current threat to the campaign seems to be Joe Trippi.

You have shown that you believe it's possible. But now is the time to spread the word about our cause. Please forward this email on to at least 5 other people.

Now more than ever, you gotta believe.

Joe Trippi
Campaign Manager
Dean for America

What he did not add was:
P.S. I have attached my resume for your perusal. If you have a need for any overweight internet savvy campaign adviser please feel free to contact me.

And I thought only Californians were from a different planet!

Australian IT reports that we are all martians. Scientist have been examining a meteroite that was found in the polar ice cap and believed to be from Mars. "The carbonate (residue from bacteria) and obviously all of the materials of the fossils inside it were all formed on Mars and definitely could not have been produced here on Earth,' Dr Taylor said. 'The fossils pre-date any fossil evidence of life on this planet. 'So it demonstrates quite clearly that there was life on Mars before there was life on Earth. 'And with this fossil record that we've got now, it indicates that life probably came from Mars.' "

Well that explains this:

Knight Rider/Life Gaurd/Freedom Fighter...and Big Whiner

David Hasselhoff claims he had hand in Berlin Wall falling: This is not a joke. "David Hasselhoff has complained to museum curators after finding his photo absent in a collection of memorabilia about the fall of the Berlin Wall."

"Speaking to German magazine TV Spielfilm, Hasselhoff said in 1989, the year the wall fell, he had helped reunite the country by singing his song 'Looking for Freedom' among millions of German fans at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin."

His theory is during his appearance thousands of East Germans stormed the wall trying to end the pain and suffering caused by Hasselhoff's music. The surge was so strong that the wall came tumbling down and millions of East Germans joined in.

Freedom was born, adn it is all thanks to Hasselhoff's horrible horrible music.

But do they serve wine to children in coke cans?

BBC NEWS reports that a new form of matter may have been created in lab The report describes a " fermionic condensate is a cloud of cold potassium atoms forced into a state where they behave strangely. "

Those scientist by the way wwere Americans at the University of Colorado. They predict that this technology could be used to create a superconductor.

"If you had a superconductor you could transmit electricity with no losses," Jin said. "Right now something like 10% of all electricity we produce in the United States is lost. It heats up wires. It doesn't do anybody any good."

Actually what you could have is extremely fast and efficient computers with much smaller circuits that don't heat up like your computer is doing right now.

And what was that "strange" behavior? "To make the condensate the researchers cooled potassium gas to a billionth of a degree above absolute zero - the temperature at which matter stops moving.

They confined the gas in a vacuum chamber and used magnetic fields and laser light to manipulate the potassium atoms into pairing up and forming the fermionic condensate. "

That doesn't sound so strange to me. I guess you had to be there.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

More on the Oil for Souls Program and the Coalition of the Drilling

Indian Congress got oil bribes from Saddam, the ExpressIndia Reports: "Iraq plans to investigate allegations that dozens of officials and businessmen worldwide illegally received oil in exchange for supporting former leader Saddam Hussein, officials said on Tuesday. "

Nanotech split: California goes conventional

usnews.com reports on the Nanotech battles in terms of funding options. The Forsesight Institute is adamant that more funding should go toward molecular manufacturing as opposed to a more staid approach.

Senator Chuck Schumer Anti-Environment Child Asthma Wanting Mercury in Your Drinking Water Acid Rain Liking Satan

or at least that's what he would be calling President George Bush if hehad urged the EPA to grant gasoline waivers Forbes reports that "Sen. Charles Schumer of New York asked the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday to allow gasoline sold in his state to be blended without federally mandated additives, which he said could drive up the price of the fuel."

The OIG Releases its fourth Civil Rights Report Pursuant to the Patriot Act: No Patriot Act Related Complaints Made

Special Report: "This report - the fourth since enactment of the legislation - summarizes the OIG's Section 1001-related activities from June 16, 2003, through December 15, 2003. "

Here is the operative language you were looking for:

"None of the 162 matters involved complaints alleging misconduct by DOJ employees related to their use of a substantive provision in the Patriot Act. "

Pickering will be an issue in South Carolina

Expect the rhetoric to ramp up in the next week as TIME reports: "after seeing George W. Bush lay a wreath at the tomb of Martin Luther King Jr. and then turn around and go back to Washington and appoint a [Mississippi judge] Charles Pickering [Sr.] to the federal bench. I think the African-American voter will be energized.' "

Following the Kerry Money

Kerry Finances Are Said to Improve Rapidly: "Ms. Kerry has also maintained that she can make so-called independent expenditures for such things as advertising supporting his candidacy, though she would be prevented from coordinating with Mr. Kerry or his campaign. Some campaign finance experts have said such an arrangement would present thorny legal problems, to say nothing of public perception."

Although, in Ms. Heinz's defense, it does not look as if she listens to anyone before decided on what she is going to do or say. Personally, I would love to independently produced Heinz commercial.

Also of note is the rapidity with which the Times has fully switched to the use of Ms. Kerry as opposed to Ms. Heinz. As recently as Novemeber of 2002 she insisted on being called Ms. Heinz.

Christina Aguilera honest girl, likely good date, but don't bring her home to mom, for several reasons.

Today's Zoning News

Columbus Online Community: "Much of that can be attributed to the many challenges the pork industry has to face. Prices are down, interest by young people is low and many hog farmers are dealing with zoning regulations."

The Gilroy Dispatch has a nice opinion piece on the local zoning board's cave in to developers on the issue of tract mansions.

Zoning and land use dispute over highway exit divides town: "Like the tug-of-war between sheepherders and cattle ranchers in the Old West, residents and developers are feuding over what is the best use of the open land along Interstate 93 in South Tewksbury."

The Center for Consumer Freedom discusses the possibility of zoning for fat people. Seriously.

Gambling Magazine reports on Governor's Slot Plan Catches Some Counties By Surprise(warning if you visit this site you may start to get annoying gambling site pop-ups if you have not disabled cookies) "Robert Ehrlich's plan to place 4,000 slot machines at two locations on the Interstate 95 corridor created confusion Tuesday among local lawmakers about where the slots would go and what type of venues might be used for gambling. "

Problem is the bill is not specific as to the locations of the slots. "Several lawmakers said they were hesitant about considering a bill that didn't include specifics such as what types of areas slots would go into. Ehrlich and his aides didn't specify whether the bill would limit slots to nonresidential areas or commercial areas.
"My concern is we'd be passing a bill without knowing where in Cecil or where in Harford counties it would be placed," James said. "It's almost like you're overriding local zoning."

The Weymouth News reports that zoning eyed to protect town's water: "Proposed amendments to the town's zoning ordinances will provide greater protection to Weymouth's watershed and drinking water supplies, James Clarke, director of planning and community development, said at last Tuesday's joint public hearing of the town council and zoning board."

Color me shocked! Chagrined even! Bribed? The French? C'est ne pas possible!

Interest!ALERT: Quality Content: "Documents from Saddam Hussein's oil ministry reveal he used oil to bribe top French officials into opposing the imminent U.S.-led invasion of Iraq."

""Oil runs thicker than blood," is how one former ambassador put his suspicions about the French motives for opposing action against Saddam."

And in case you were wondering what other countries were in the Coalition of the Drilling?

Well Al-Mada's list cites a total of "46 individuals, companies and organizations inside and outside Iraq as receiving Saddam's oil bribes, including officials in Egypt, Jordan, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Sudan, China, Austria and France, as well as the Russian Orthodox Church, the Russian Communist Party, India's Congress Party and the Palestine Liberation Organization."

Maybe that's why there is no oil left to pay off the war debt and reconstruction.

Bill visits his Wife at Democratic Strategy Session. No news on who he brought as a date.

New York Post Online Edition reports that: "President Bill Clinton is coming to Capitol Hill tomorrow for an unusual closed-door strategy session aimed at mapping out a plan for the Democrats to retake the White House and Congress, officials said yesterday. "

Al Gore was not invited, nor was John Kerry. Are the Democrats trying to unite their party, or running a third party candidate in the fall?

Senator Frist has an Opening: Computer Experience a big minus

Frist aide Manueal Miranda has been put on leave in memo probe - The Washington Times reports: "'There was no stealing,' Miranda said. 'No systematic surveillance. I never forwarded these memos period.' "

Well now he has plenty of time to reconsider that story.

Kerry Summarily Contradicts "Cosmetic Enhancement Rumor", Forgets about chin and stick surgeries.

According to theDRUDGE REPORT John Kerry has summarily denied any use of Botox or cosmetic enhancement.

He has had chin surgery though. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reported in 2002 that: "Kerry is classically drawn as How a Senator Should Look: He is 6 feet 4 and slim with a helmet of brownish-silver hair, high and knobby cheekbones and a surgically enhanced chin -- not cosmetic surgery, contrary to speculation. (The operation, says Kerry press secretary David Wade, was to correct 'a malocclusion,' a bad bite that caused a clicking in his jaw.)"

No mention is made of the large stick that, for the longest time, resided inside his colon but which now appears to have been surgically removed.

In New Hampshire: Everyone is a Winner!

Everyone won in New Hampshire according to every candidate tonight. Good for them. Even Al Sharpton who got over 330 votes. How did that happen? Was it keg night at Kappa Sigma Phi at UNH? Well now everyone has Joe-Mentum.

Speaking of Joe-Mentum, Joe is now calling for the resignation of George Tenet. Not very Presidential, if you ask me, which is appropriate considering that it is Joe Lieberman talking. If was going to win he could just fire him, himself.

Was it me or did the networks pipe in "Na na na na. Na na na na. heyy heyy hey, Gooood bye." in the background of Howard Deans speech?

Howard Dean called this Supreme Court the most conservative Supreme Court since the Dred Scott decision in his concession speech. Oh really? I have no idea what he means by "conservative" though. Does conservative = racist? Or does conservative mean respect for precedent? Probably his definition for "conservative" is "bad". Doesn't Lawrence simply blow this theory out the water no matter what he means?

Turns out Heinz does have a rather large bottled and manufacturing facility in Indonesia. I wonder if Kerry is going to go after those evil outsourcing anti-American bastards at Heinz.

Ok final results versus predicitons time! I can safely report that I am a healthy 0-3 in my election candidate predicitons:

John Kerry...........45%.....39%
Howard Dean........23%.....26%
John Edwards.......17% ....12%
Wesley Clark.........7%......12%
Joe Lieberman.......6% ......9%
Other.................2% .......2%

I underestimated Dean's and Clark's core support, and overestimated the Kerry surge. But I am 2 -1 in my prediction of "Other." It has been said before, I am in tune with the others.

Next week I get to pick 7 decisions incorrectly.

Power Mojo from the New Hampshire Primary

Watched Kerry's winning speech again tonight. Better than Iowa.

Best Line by far was:

In the past month I have depended on the same band of brothers, that I depended on some 30 years ago. We are a little older, a little grayer, but we still know how to fight for America.

That is golden stuff. He should use that at the convention. He also talks about the "the economy of privilege" which is a nice phrase. He emphasizes "the idea of opportunity not just for some but for all Americans." Then he starts to tank as he talks about the wealthy.

His lines against tax loopholes and millionaires ring hollow as he stands next to Ms. Heinz. Does HJ Heinz use any foreign labor? I wonder? He called them Benedict Arnold's. That would worth looking into.

Howard Dean is live on Hardball. He should be giving the St. Crispian's Day Speech to his supporters right now. He is hammering home on the outsider ideal. Chris Matthews brings up the antiwar aspect. Howard Dean swings and misses and goes back to jobs and health care. He should be hammering home on the war issue. Chris says MSNBC will be the new home for Howard Dean.

CNN goes to Edwards speech. I geuss they have given up on Clark and now become the channel of Edwards. Edwards says we have a moral responsibility to lift the poor our of their circumstances. It is his stump speech. Networks have heard it before and all switch away.

CNN now switches to Clark. Not concilliatory at all. Interesting. Chants of "Go Wes Go" echo across the hall. He is going on to South Carolina and Oklahoma.

Dean is now on Fox News. Different message here than MSNBC. Very smart. Discussing the budget deficit almost exclusively. Dismissing Washington insiders including Terry McCauliffe."I'd put my finger on Terry McCaulliffe." he says.

At 10:00 pm every network switches to Lieberman who is crazy. "We are in a three way split decision for 3rd place." At the same time the crawl is showing him solidly fifth. He lauds New Hampshirites, who just rejected him. He claims that New Hampshire has not reached a decision. He wants to take his cause, which is apparently finishing third, to the rest of the nation.

I wonder if he will campaign on the Sabbath? Fox News has become as bored as me with Mr. Lieberman and has gone back to the pundits.

Clearly Howard Dean needs to win an upcoming primary to stay alive. Of course his money is still pouring in but Kerry is the presumptive nominee now.
More later.

Update I
Turn out is very high in New Hampshire, high enough that New Hampshire may go Democrat in the fall. Especially if the libertarians give up on this high spending adminsitration.

Update II
Kerry is 2 for 2 now. He should get some cash. The decision now is how to spend that money and where. February 3rd has 335 delegates at stake. 247 More on February 7th. Those are the next battles. Will he be able to win Michigan and Missouri?

Howard Dean's speech is now on all the networks. They are hoping for another meltdown. The crowd is nuts. But he is somber.

Howard Dean is claiming the momentum, which is eerily similar to Joe-mentum in that it is non-existant. He says:

We are all together in this. Stand with us to the very end. We stand together. We stand up to George Bush all the time.

Ahh, but Howard talks too long. He is boring now.

The Democratic party machinery has spoken. Kerry has been annointed.
Tonight the people of New Hamphire have gone soft, and gone for the known commodity. The real key to this whole thing will be how did Kerry get 38% in Iowa. Where did that come from?

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Sushi Anyone?

eTaiwanNews.com reports that sperm whale has exploded in Tainan City: "A dead sperm whale being transported through Tainan City on its way to a research station suddenly exploded yesterday, splattering cars and shops with blood and guts. "

"What a stinking mess! This blood and other stuff that blew out on the road is disgusting, and the smell is really awful," said one resident.

The news also showed one section of the street along with several parked automobiles and pedestrian walkways covered in red with copious amounts of splattered whale blood. "

It's like one of those all you can eat happy hour buffets.

The New Hampshire Primary; A referendum on Cable News?

The pundits are making their final predictions today and the voters in New Hampshire are dutifully trudging through the snow to the polls to pick the next Democratic nominee. but are they in a sense picking something else. Perhaps they are also picking which cable news channel has the most influence of the everyday voter.

For example, Wesley Clark is clearly the CNN candidate. He was on CNN every day from the start of the war on March 19 through April 12. Since then he appeared several times and seems to be their quite darling. In fact he has appeared so often that anchor Aaron Brown called him "the cable news equivalent of a foxhole buddy." Now the fact the he spent hours and hours commenting on the war as a private citizen and then could not arrive at a coherent policy on the war is some what concerning, but still, he remains CNN's guy.

On the other hand, Joe Lieberman is clearly the candidate of MSNBC. He appears on Imus in the Morning at least once a week, if not more often. The network itself almost perfectly reflected his views: pro-war, pro-troops, but not so clear on their domestic agenda. they toyed with Micheal Savage before canning him. They toyed with Phil Donague and Jesse Ventura. All over the place domestically, much like Joe. if Joe Lieberamn wins, then MSNBC will carry the crown.

So who then becomes the candidate of Fox News? Obviously it is a Bush channel, but who then on the Democratic side? Joe Lieberman seems to be the most conservative. But his morality in media movement is the antithesis of Fox. I can't help but be drawn to the National Review's urgent plea to the Democratic electorate to please nominate Howard Dean. A Dean nomination would surely lead to a catastophic loss by the Democrats and four more years of Fox supremacy.

Edwards of course made his campaign announcement on Comedy Central's the Daily show so he is their candidate, Dennis Kucinich represents PBS and Al Sharpton? B.E.T.

But where does that leave John Kerry. He is horribly boring. Craggy. Old looking. Desperatley Liberal. He has a heroic past and concilliatory present. For more democrats he is comfortable like an old shoe. Sounds like a perfect candidate for the news crew at 60 Minutes. That makes Kerry the CBS candidate.

So there you have it. If Clark wins, CNN has mojo. If Dean wins, FOX News is the cable king, and if MSNBC wins then Lieberman, Edwards-Comedy Central, Kerry-CBS, Kucinich-PBS and Sharpton-B.E.T.

Al Franken aattcks Free Speakers in a blow for Free Speech

New York Post Online Edition reports that "Wise-cracking funnyman Al Franken yesterday body-slammed a demonstrator to the ground after the man tried to shout down Gov. Howard Dean. "

A pre-emtive violent strike? How disgusting. Liberals define free speech as the ability for people who agree with you to say whatever they want whenever they want on any station they want without the presence of impediment.

Don't expect big gifts from the Schwarzenegger's this year.

The San Jose Mercury News reports that Arnold has broken state campaign finance laws by loaning himself 4 million dollars on the eve on the election. "Schwarzenegger will probably face no fines as a result of the ruling, but he will be blocked from paying himself back with the more than $3.4 million he has raised since his election and will have to convert the loans into a personal contribution to his campaign."

A Jury of Her Peers?

The Martha Stewart Jury has been seated and quasi in rem has uncovered court documents that reveal the makeup and background of the eight women and four men who comprise the twelve unbiased and purportedly randomly chosen individuals who qualify as peers to Martha Stewart for their ability to expand their trades in multifaceted infotainment conglomerations, and knowing the difference between a $6,000 and $12,000 Hermes Birken.:

Juror #1- White Female: Age - 60; Occupation-Government Employee; Marital Status-Occassionally on weekends, never on weekdays; Residence-Chappaqua and Washington D.C.; Net Worth- Over $8 million less legal debts of dead weight husband; Prior investment experience - Turned $1000 into $100,000 in the cattle futures market.

Juror #2 - Asian Male Age - 53; Occupation-Former Baseball Player now Chef/Restauranteur/Bobby Flay ass-Kicker; Marital Status-1 wife, 3 geisha; Residence-New York/Tokyo/Philadelphia/Kitchen Stadium Net worth-Over 10 million; Prior investment experience- Fleeced Iron Chef Italian out of millions of yen in buckwheat noodle relabelling scam.

Juror #3 - African American Female: Age - 50; Occupation-Television host/Magazine Mogul/Secret Leader of women's movement set to take over planet in 2006; Marital Status-Single but Stedmanized; Residence-Chicago, the Vineyard, the Hamptons, Aspen; Net worth- Over 1 Billion; Prior investment experience- Caused world wide slump in beef market by directing her minions/viewers to lay off the meat.

Juror #4 - White Portugese Female: Age - 65; Occupation-Philanthropist/Party Switcher/First Lady Wannabe; Marital Status-Married/Widowed/Remarried; Residence-Washington D.C, the Cape, the Hamptons, Pittsburgh; Net worth-500 million; Prior investment experience- Converted translation degree from small Geneva preparatory college into 500 million dollar ketchup fortune.

Juror # 5- White Jewish Female:Age - 44; Occupation-Socialite/Heiress/Future Prison Love Slave; Marital Status-Married to Juror #6, also testified against Juror #6; Residence-Houston, Leavenworth; Net worth-Once approximately $24 million, now not so much.; Prior investment experience- Turned 24 million in illegal Enron profits garnered by Juror #6 into Charitable foundation supporting her children. (Juror will not be available from July 2004 through December 2004)

Juror #6 - White Male: Age - 45; Occupation-Energy Company Executive, Prison Bitch-to Be; Marital Status-Married but prepared for extramarital experimentation in the next 10 years; Residencehouston, Leavenworth; Net worth-Used to be 24 million, now, has his own toothbrush, bar of soap, and tube of lube; Prior investment experience- Turned fake energy contracts worth nothing into multibillion dollar company and then all the way back to nothing again.

Juror #7- White Female: Age -46; Occupation-Former Television talk show host/Former magazine Icon/Former Broadway Producer/ Former Heterosexual; Marital Status-(refused to answer on the basis of the inherit bigotry of the question); Residence-Long Island, Manhattan, Aspen, Miami; Net Worth- Over $30 million, but fading fast; Prior investment experience - Turned successful London play into box office failure by investing $10 million of her own money.

Juror #8- Latina Female Age -30; Occupation-Dancer/Perfumist/Actress/ Magazine Publisher. /Singer/ Single Life Afficionado; Marital Status-Single/Married/Divorced/ Married/Divorced/ Engaged/ Arrested/ Engaged Again/ Giglied/Single; Residence-The Block,New York, Hamptons, Malibu, Ben Affleck's famous tear filled race car sheets.; Net Worth- Over $160 million less posssiblealimony payments to Ben Affleck.
Prior investment experience - Insured rear end for 10 million.

Juror #9- White Male : Age -75; Occupation-real estate Mogul/Baseball Mogul/Shipping Titan/ Fat Guy/ Manager-Firer/red Sox embarasser; Marital Status-Less maried than Joe Torre/more married than Derek Jeter; Residence-House the Ruth Built; Net Worth- Over $980 million; Prior investment experience - Lose millions and millions in revenue every year eventhough owning the most popular sports team in the country, with a long history of sell-outs and packed houses.

Juror #10- African American Male Age -33; Occupation-Marathon Runner/Music Prometer/Television Show Producer/Self Promoter/ Hip Hop Artist/ Self Congratulator/ Movie Star/ Party Planner/ Self Lauder; Marital Status-Broken hearted, but waiting for juror #8; Residence-The Hamptons, Manhattan, Miami, MalibuNet Worth- Over $18o million less legal fees of anticipated gun play; Prior investment experience - Took $60 million from Sony eventhough completely bereft of talent of an original thought. Living of legacy of overweight friend who died more than a decade ago.

Juror #11- White Female: Age -69; Occupation-Currently unemployed/Former Real Estate Mogul/New York Slum Lord and Queen of Mean; Marital Status-Not since she got out of the joint.; Residence-Title VIII housing in East Paramis; possible return to Riker's Island "Summer Home" if things don't pick up soon. Net Worth-Current checking account balance: $73.00, plus six cartons of emergency cigarettes Prior investment experience - Controlled large apartment properties at virtually no maintenance cost for several years.

Juror #12 - White Female Age - 57; Occupation-Former Television host/Former Singer/Former happily Married Idol to Millions of housewives/Current Stalker of Kelly Ripa Marital Status-Married but still pissed; Residence-Chapaqua, the Vineyard, the Hamptons, Professional Football Hall of Fame Net worth-Close to 20 million, less millions leveraged for future psychiatric care of Cody and Cassidy; Prior investment experience-Used poor Honduran children to pump out thousands of pieces of subpar suburbanite K-mart casuals.

"I am confident, that with this jury we can get a fair trial" Stewart's lawyer stated. "These egotistical, no talent, leeching. illegal investing spas are really Ms. Stewart's people."

James Shchlesinger Takes Global Warming theorists Out to the Shed!

In the Hartford Courant: James Schlesinger has an Op/Ed entitled: "Cold, Hard Facts Take Heat Out Of Global Warming"

Registration is required but it is worth it.

Here are two very nice sections:
"The Bush administration, as an alternative to such energy-suppressing measures, has focused on filling gaps in our state of knowledge, promoting the development of new technology, encouraging voluntary programs and working with other nations on controlling the growth of greenhouse-gas emissions. Collectively, these actions involve spending more than $4 billion annually, and the United States is doing more than any other nation to address the climate-change issue."


"It is important that we not be unduly influenced by political rhetoric and scare tactics. Wise policy involves a continued emphasis on science, technology, engagement of the business community on voluntary programs and balancing actions with knowledge and economic priorities. "

Mmmmm cheap shrimp....

US begins probe against India, others for shrimp dumping : HindustanTimes.com: "The US Commerce Department has begun a probe into charges of dumping of shrimp against countries like India, China and Vietnam, amidst protests from American businesses and international shrimp importers."

I would kindly suggest to the Commerce Department that before they impose heavy tariffs on imported shrimp, they take a good look at America. Do we truly look like a nation that has had all that it can eat?

I thought not.

Senate Chairman Merry-Go-Round

Over at Southern Appeal, Adam has a post noting that rumors are circulating that Senator Frist may suspend the chairman term limits rule for Senate Committees. According to several sources, Frist is looking into a rule change. The current rule states: "A senator shall serve no more than six years as chair and six years as ranking member of any standing committee." But I am not so sure that Frist's interest in the rule change has anything to do with comparing the stewardship of Senator Hatch versus Senator Specter over the Senate Judiciary Committee. That is only one of several issues because the Senate has several Senators that will be term limited this year.

For example, Senator Stevens (pictured below, and with that picture how can not want to root for the guy,)

will be term limited out at Appropriations and replaced as Chairman of the Appropriations Committee by Senator Thad Cochran(R-MS).

Senator Cochran will then no longer be the Chairman of the Agriculture Committee and he will be replaced by either Senator Lugar, who is currently Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, unless he has already been term limited out, which seems possible. If not Lugar, then the Chairmanship would fall to Senator Mitch McConnell. However, if Senator Lugar is not term limited and returns to Chair the Agriculture Committee then he will be replaced as the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee by Senator Chuck Hagel, a man who has a knack for finding himself in front of rolling television cameras and is not shy about criticizing the President on his Iraq policy.

However it is not entirely clear that Senator Cochran wants to give up his post in the Agriculture Committee (although his website already touts him as the next Chairman of the Appropriations Committee). This is because Senator Cochran is also the ranking member on the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee and is expected to retain the position as the No. 1 Republican on that subcommittee after the fall elections. Because he holds both the top party position on the agriculture committee and the top position on the agricultural appropriations subcommittee, Senator Cochran the single most powerful figure in agriculture in Washington. The Farm Bill will come up for revision in 2007, and if the Senate is still Republican hands at that time, it will be his bill.

If for those reasons, Senator Cochran chooses not to become the next Appropriations chair, then that responsibility would fall to Senator Arlen Specter, who would likely choose Judiciary over Appropriations for the airtime, considering the upcoming Supreme Court Nominations. (If any openings are left after this fall that is). If Senator Specter does not take that chair then it would fall to Senator Domenici. Senator Domenici would then have to give up the Energy Committe Chairmanship which would fall to Senator Craig.

Meanwhile, Senator Stevens would replace Senator John McCain as Chairman of the Commerce Committee. If Senator Stevens replaces Senator McCain on Commerce then Senator McCain will replace Senator Ben "Nighthorse" Cambell on the Indian Affairs Committee. If there was any committee that meant for Senator Campbell then it is the Indian Affairs Committee.

But, I digress. If Senator Hatch is term limited out of the Judiciary Committee, then he will take over from Senator Chuck Grassley at the Senate Finance Committee. Senator Grassley would then take over the Senate Budget Committee. This should happen anyway because Senator Nickles is retiring. Unless, of course, Senator Domenici would rather become the chairman of the Budget Committee, as he has seniority. That would, once again make Senator Craig the new Chairman of Energy and Grassley the Chairman of nothing.

Now all of this nonsense hinges on a number of factors. First and foremost, Senators Campbell, Specter, Grassley and McCain are all up for re-election and will not be Chairing any committees if they lose. Next there are 36 seats up for re-election this year with at least seven open seats, so anything could happen, including a Democratic return to power. Those roads in West Virginia may get one more useless repaving yet!

What this is meant to demonstrate is there are a number factors up for consideration in determinig whether or not to extend the six year term limit system. Personally, I think that the term limits are a good idea, in general. They keep the money really moving around in Washington, and prevent comittees from getting too comfortable with continuing resolutions. Plus on Appropriations the Chairman has significant power to direct pork back to his home state and if this position is awarded on a rotating basis, then at least the pork will get a nice even distribution. (Remembering that as long as John McCain represents Arizona, I wouldn't expect too much flowing to that particular state.) Conservatives who fear Senator Specter as the next chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee should not move to have the term limits replaced, but instead should be out campaigning for Pat Toomey. If Rick Santorum can win, then so can Pat Toomey.

Todays Zoning News:

The Rocky Mountain Telegram reports that a zoning violation was at heart of the deadly building collapse in Cairo.

The Press of Atlantic City reports that sneaky developers have been using underwater property to calculate total lot sizes to get around zoning laws. "The new ordinance would ensure that no single-family home stands on a dry site smaller than 4,000 square feet, regardless of whether the larger property on which it sits includes submerged or otherwise undevelopable land, such as wetlands."

The city of Salisbury has passed a home fix-it-or-get-fined rule - according to delmarvanow.com: "The Salisbury City Council on Monday passed an ordinance that authorizes the city to fix properties at the owners expense if repairs are not voluntarily made in a timely fashion. As it stands, when a property is discovered in a deficient state, city housing inspectors can issue a citation for each infraction. If repairs are not made within 10 days, fines for each infraction can be imposed. Bill Holland, director of the Salisbury Building, Housing and Zoning Department, said fines typically range from $25 to $50 per violation per day. "

The Ledger-Enquirer reports on an an attempt by a medical waste facility operator to" convince the Talbot County Planning Commission that treating red-bag medical waste" which is not allowed in an indutrial zoned sight as "a laundry process failed Monday night." hard to believe that gauze, sheets, bed pads and syringes wouldn't be classified as laundry.

The Daily Mississippian reports that Oxford residents voice concern about city zoning: "The plan is a guideline for Oxford in terms of how it grows and develops over the next 20 years. It is Oxford's first comprehensive plan since 1971." Anyone who has been to Oxford can attest that it is a lovely town, and hopefully it will continue to grow that way. In classic zoning-speak, one resident wants their RA to be reclassified as an RE because a PUD is not allowed in an RE. Obviously.

RLUIPA Issues Heat Up in Rockaway, New Jersey

The Daily Record News reports that a Beckett Fund letter has stirred up anger at church hearing.: "The Rockaway Township Planning Board Monday night reacted sharply to a letter it saw as a threat, but which officials of the Washington, D.C.-based Becket Fund, that defends churches in court fights, said was meant as informational only."

The paper reports that "Christ Church of Montclair has a $14 million purchase agreement for the 107-acre, former Agilent Technologies site on Green Pond Road in Rockaway Township. The property is in an office-research zone and a church would be a conditional use."

The Beckett Fund sent the Township an informational letter informing them of the basics of the RLUIPA law and the availability of suit should the Township not grant the provisional zoning.

If the Township can not find a reason to grant the permit that would pass strict scrutiny then expect the Beckett Fund, and maybe the Justice Department to get involved. Of course, being that this is Rockaway New Jersey and not Miami or Hawaii, then the Justice Department may choose to ignore this particular dispute.

When Nanotechnology Meets Patent Law

SiGen Announces the End of Litigation Case With Soitec "Silicon Genesis Corporation (SiGen) announced today that the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has denied the most recent effort of Soitec and the CEA to overturn the jury verdict that invalidated the major claims of Soitec's primary 'Smart-Cut(TM)' patent, U.S. Patent Number 5,374,564 ('564 Patent). "

In case you were wondering, Silicon Genesis Corporation (SiGen) is a leading provider of Silicon-On-Insulator (SOI) process technology targeted for use in the production of engineered wafers that enable NanoTechnology applications with next generation products.

Microsoft Loses another Round in Europe

FT.com Home US: "The European Commission has reached a preliminary decision that Microsoft broke European competition law and abused its dominant position in the personal computer market."

The real issue in Europe is with the Windows Media Player, which comes bundled with the Windows software. The Commission has consistently called for Microsoft to pay a fine, unbundle its Media Player program from the rest of Windows and share more information with competitors.

Personally, I have downloaded Realplayer, and for whatever reason, all of my media files immediately became associated with Real player. Similarly all of my new files also become associated with Realplayer eventhough I prefer Windows Media Player.

European Anti-competition laws are similar to U.S. competition laws and the U.S. and European cases are expected to continue on a similar track. More new will be available by May 1.

Dixville Notch, The People's Choice Awards of Primary Contests

The people of the unfortunately named Dixville Notch have spoken! Dixville Notch is in far north New Hampshire, a short smuggled pack of cigarrettes throw from the Canadian border, so as you read on, please do so with a slight French Candian accent. The united voices of Dixville Notch have cried out to the heavens as first primary in the nation and may have shouted the name of the next Democratic Nominee for President! Their choice?

Wesley Clark?!

By a vote of 8 for Clark, to 3 for Kerry, 2 for Edwards, and 1 each for Kucinich and Dean. George Bush recieved all 11 votes. Shortly after the vote was cast, who do you should suppose should walk out of the vote counting room? Why Wesley Clark himself. How embarassing would that have been had he recieved no votes.
how did he know to be there? Could he have been clued in on the vote tally prior to the voting? Or more likely, I believe the residents of Dixville Notch have succumbed to the quiet politeness of their brethren to the north. When informed that Wesly Clark was in the building, I am guessing that most of the votes were cast out of sympathy for the good General. It would have been gauche, out of place, so very American, to have let him fall on his face in view of the dozens of media outlets covering the event.

I wonder however, if there were other candidates in that backroom who did not come? Dennis Kucinich couldn't have anything better do. He was probably there.
Huddled in the back room, hoping above hope that his name would be called. Heck maybe there all back there. Playing Jenga maybe. I bet when they started annoncing the names John Kerry started walking to the door. Not so fast Mr. Senator.

It wouldn't be John Kerry's only loss of the night. Harts Location, in central New Hampshire, with a couple of dozen voters also reported thier results early. George Bush got 13 Votes, And the Democratic winner? Wesley Clark?! Again. And he wasn't even there! This time the vote was much closer with 6 for Wesley Clark and 5 for John Kerry. Maybe this is a trend. I can say that my prediction that Clark would get less than 10% of the vote can only bode well for his campaign.

By the way what do you suppose is the mascot of the Dixville Notch High School Team? The Resevoir Tips? The Circumcisers? The Moyles? The Shafts?

Monday, January 26, 2004

Some great humor from the Clark blog:

On the eve of the New Hamshire Primary, I thought it might be interesting to peruse some of the posts at the Clark blog. For example, on December 16th, 2003 a poster named DW wrote:
If and when Kerry drops out, sure would be nice if Kerry threw his support (and Theresa's $$) behind Clark!

Another poster named enthusiast writes:

If your analysis is correct, and I hope it is, then this means that Edwards, Kerry, Lieberman, and Gephardt will all be finished between now and February 4th.

It looks like Wes Clark is going to need them all to drop out in order to be able to beat Dean. The longer they stay in, the harder it will be for Clark. The sooner they drop out, the better.

They should all realize this by now. Even being narcissistic and self-absorbed which all politicians must be by nature, still they should be able to tell which way the wind is blowing.

It's clear that Clark is ahead of the other four with regard to fundraising, internet support, and average poll numbers. What's beginning to become clearer is that Kerry, Edwards, Lieberman, and Gephardt are running out of cash. So it just seems like a matter of time now, since none has been able to catch fire by now. Why should one of them get hot after a useless year of campaigning that has gotten them all nowhere?

Step aside, gentlemen, and help Clark wrest the nomination out of Dean's hands.

Ahhh, youth. It is to laugh.

Patriot Act Faces first real Hurdle

The WAPO reports on the first federal court to rule against a portion of the Patriot Act

More deatails available at How Appealing.

The Passion Shocker! New Ending Reveals Jesus had a Clone!

Film critics around the world were astonished on Monday after viewing the most recent edit of Mel Gibson's new movie "The Passion" to discover that the director had changed the ending of the movie to incorporate the new character of Jesus' Clone!

When reached for comment on the decision for the new ending, Mel Gibson admitted to the switch. "Basically our old ending was not testing well outside of the Vatican, Utah, South Bend, Indiana, and several counties in Georgia." The original version of the Passion will still be shown in movie theatres in those locales, but every other theatre, and every Motion Picture Academy voter, will recieve a print with the new clone based ending.

"In today's world of lower church attendance, the popularity of the blasphemous DaVinci Code, the search for life on Mars, Howard Dean attracting thousands of supporters, embryonic stem cell research and the possible first human clone, audiences just weren't buying our old ending confirming that Jesus was the Son of God." Gibson continued. In order to placate the growing secular masses, Gibson's production reshot a second ending where Stephen Hawking travels back in time and creates a clone of Jesus in the moments prior to his crucifixion.

"Audiences were much more comfortable with the clone idea." Gibson quipped, "Plus this really opens the possibility for a sequel." Although, Gibson was coy about possible story lines for the sequel, he did say that he was currently in talks with Jim Cameron and Leo Di Caprio. "For too long people have said that there was no way there could be a sequel to Titanic, well we got Jesus' clone now, so pretty much anything is possible!"

Undaunted Quasi Predictions Continue!

Eventhough I am solidly 0-2 in Presidential Primary Predictions I will continue undaunted!

John Kerry..........45%
Howard Dean........23%
John Edwards.......17%
Wesley Clark.........7%
Joe Lieberman.......6%

So why the big Kerry win despite recent polls showing a tight race? A recent poll showed that 56% of New Hampshire voters felt that John Kerry had the best chance of beating Bush in November. For primary voters, I think that this is the single most important issue. Dean will still get his core support and the maverick Edwards will curry favor among the New Hampsirites sense of obligation in rewarding the up and comer.

As far as Wesley Clark is concerned, recent interviews and debates have demonstrated he may be quite nuts. And unfortunately for Joe Lieberman, I think "Joe-mentum" is Joe-bogus and the only Joe-vote he is Joe-going to Joe-get is that of Joe-mama.

Mars Dataset #2 is available for your Maestro Software

Nasa is providing Mars Dataset #2 Downloads. This is very time consuming so i would not suggest playing with this package at work.

Also it is RAM hog and so you can pretty much do nothing else.

But on the plus side you can see the 3-D images.

NASA is currently giving an update on the Spirit and Observer Rovers. For some reason the Spirit Rover was brodcasting for short period of from the year 2053. It is back in the present now. But still not working perfectly. They have narrowed down the problem to a flash memory system. The Spirit Rover has accumulated many more files than previously thought.

Martian porn perhaps?

Deny! Deny! Deny! ......Boom!

The Associated Press reports that"The Syrian government has repeatedly denied that Iraqi weapons of mass destruction were sent to Syria to prevent their discovery by U.N. inspectors or U.S. troops."

Their most recent denial came in the wake of the David Kay reprt detailing shipments of something from Iraq to Syria in the build up to the war. My question is however, don't these guys ever learn. Denial only leads to overthrow. The Syrians should just admit to whatever the U.S. says, let in anybody they want, show them everything from a tank of sarin to cup of Dijon Mustard and host the World Cup in 2012. This is known as the Libyan gambit and I highly recommend it.

Todays Zoning News

In the New York Daily News Mike Lupica writes on some of zoning and displacement problems of the new Nets stadium.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports on Manhattan zoning plans to double the size of the city, to 2600 people!

The Press of Atlantic City
reports that ocean City had a 92% approval rating for all zoning variance requests. Which is nice, unless you wanted to live in a residential zone.

The Auburn Journal
reports on a zoning and planning issue surrounding the opening of a gun park and hunting range. "What's going on with our Planning Department officials?" a local resident asked. "Is the department blinded by the magical phrase "open space"? Is the department selling out our zoning laws in order to get "wildlife habitation" programs?"

The Tennesseean reports on a planning commissioner in La Vergne who is considering a land-friendly zoning category. : "Jerry Kelly, the city's new planning director, wants to change that way of developing and proposes a new zoning district that would require developers to work with the land's characteristics."

The Charlotte observer describes the fading of a group called the Nuwabians who tried create the `Egypt of the West' At first the group was sued for violating a varity of zoning laws, but now their leader faces serious criminal charges. The article states "Frank Ford who litigated for the county against the group in zoning cases, said, 'It's not often you get a bunch of black folks in the middle of Georgia running around in cowboy suits.'"

And in a rare heart touching zoning story, the Berkshire Eagle Online discusses a tale of local businesses in West Stockbridge, MA who donated the use of their parking lots to a local eatery to help meet zoning requirements. "The Zoning Board of Appeals granted Tom Tenuta and William Boudreau two special permits at a public hearing Thursday night, allowing them to turn two-thirds of the Waterside Gallery building at 30 Main St. into a restaurant and exempting them from a parking requirement called for in the bylaw."

Does this mean Micheal Stipe can sue quasi in REM

DMNews.com reports that: "Playboy Enterprises and AOL settled their trademark-infringement case over keyword advertising last week, just days after a court ruled the 5-year-old case could proceed. "

Playboy sued Netscape and the now defunct Excite over search engine results that would trigger banner ads for non-Playboy sites when playboy and playmate were search terms.

Because the suit has settled, the precedential value of the case is close to nil eventhough a three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said recently the case could continue after a lower court had issued a summary judgment for Netscape, now owned by AOL.

Hopefully the members of R.E.M. are shiny happy people and will not sue the owner of this lonely blog eventhough if you visit this site, coverspoject.com, looking for news on R.E.M. you recieve a constant stream of updates from quasi in rem.

Sorry R.E.M.fans, but sometimes even the best planned technology is not Automatic for the People. Then again maybe a website that is intended on giving R.E.M. fans band updates , but instead delivers conservative news is a sign that it might be the End of the World as We Know It.

I feel fine about that.

Good Discussion of Pickering Appointment at Claremont Institute

The Claremont Institute's blog, The Remedy has a nice discussion going on as to a possible bold strategy for a new wave of recess appointments should the fillibuster hold.

Now most of these appointments would be constitutionally impermissable, unles they are nominated prior to a recess, however one name that he does not name is Attorney General Pryor.

The post to which Attorney General Pryor was nominated occurred durin and intersession recess, unlike Pickerings post, which occurred during an intrasession recess, and his nomination will likely still be pending during the next Congressional recess.

Similarly, Attorney General Pryor could no doubt put together a staff at a rapid clip and begin hearing cases. However he would have to give up his post, and he may not get a vote. However, if his nomination is still pending next Christmas, and the Republicans gain seats in the Senate, then the President should appoint him win or lose the election.

Suspected Terrorists Can No longer Make their Money the Old Fashion Way

The Christian Science Monitor has an interesting letter to the editor detailing some of the changes the Patriot Act has caused in the institutional investment sector. The article states that "USA Patriot Act regulations that took effect this fall require various financial service providers - mutual funds included - to beef up their knowledge of people with whom they're doing business"

This line is interesting however: "Mr. Paris says his company uses information from your application to verify against government records that you are not a suspected terrorist. Once that is established, he says, no one goes on to build any sort of dossier"

How is that possible? Do investment houses have a list of suspected terrorists and their addresses? If we know who the suspected terrorists are and their addresses, then why are they still there? Unless the application says:

Padilla, Jose
Cell 23
Guantanamo, Cuba 80263

how exactly can a company determine if an investor is a suspected terrorist?

And if they are a suspected terroroist, but the government does not feel the need to arrest them, then by what authority can the government prevent them from investing in Vanguard's Small Cap Value Index.

This is all highly confusing, but if anyone has any ideas I would be very curious.

Justice Department Buys Big Screen T.V., Rents Karate Kid Trilogy, Bills Taxpayer

Dow Jones News reports that the Justice Department " is looking into a coalition of companies known as the Blu-ray group, people familiar with the matter say. Founded by Sony, Matsushita, Philips and seven other major electronics companies, the group is promoting the Blu-ray disc, a format that can store about six times as much data as a conventional DVD, enough for more than four hours of high-definition video. "

there are currently two leading formats of DVD technology competing to be the next big thing. As with the Beta-max/VHS debate, one system seems to be the favorite of users/afficionados and another seems to be the favorite of industry types. The Justice Department is investigating possible anti-trust violations with the apparent collusion of the Blu-ray group.

Oish, Justice Department, you too much T.V..

Sunday, January 25, 2004

The Golden Globes and Iowa Caucuses: Full of Sound and Fury and of Questionable Significance

The Golden Globes were on last night, and, unless you were expecting something other than a massive Hollywood vanity festival, rife with fake compliments and false senses of accomplishment, it did not disappoint.

The Golden Globes has long been the Iowa caucuses of the award show season. This first-of-the-season self-congratulatory back-slapper, features groups of unknown voters, in this case the Hollywood Foreign Press, who have little or nothing in common with the average American, yet who are given the opportunity join together in backrooms and alleys and decide, without actual consideration of anything objectively meritorious, who should be labeled a "winner." Often the Globes pick a winner who, while the darling of the Foreign Press, has no real national appeal and no real shot at being on the winning ticket at the more democratic Academy Awards. Finally, the Globes are a combination of television and screen actors and therefore, much like the voters in the caucuses, the Hollywood Foreign Press are often faced with a large cast of nonworthy nominees who seem to be participating in the process simply because they have nothing better to do.

For example, for several years now, Sharon Stone and Melanie Griffith have been showing up at the awards for no particular reason. Truly, they are the Dennis Kucinich and Lyndon Larouche of the award season. Are they nominated? No. Can they win anything? No. But has anyone in their lives had the courage to step up and tap them on the shoulder and tell them that the tribe has spoken? Unfortunately no. Hollywood would operate so much more efficiently if only Jeff Probst would visit these award shows and politely tell these aging actors and actresses, whoonly have USA movies of the week and guest spots on UPN sitcoms to look forward to, that they have been voted off the island. Good bye. Don't forget to stop by and let Joan Rivers critique your unfashionable dress on the way out.

Every year my wife and I watch the show and place award-by-award wagers on the winners of the dubious categories. Of course, on several occasions the selection becomes exceedingly difficult. For example, this year which transgendered cross-dressing saga on HBO should win for best television mini-series? I suppose I should not have been shocked when there was more than one to choose from, but color me mid-American, I was. So how does one pick? This year I went with the "straight" anti-war, anti-administration ticket. Anyone at the Sarandon/Robbins table was selected without question. Anyone in the widely panned Reagan miniseries was moved immediately to the top of the list unless, of course, the even more anti-Reagan administration mini-series "Angels in America" was in competition. Europeans, especially French or German actors, were given the benefit of the doubt. Sean Penn wins even if the category is best actress in a musical comedy. However this process made the selection for Best Actor in a Miniseries or Movie Made for Television next to impossible. The nominees in that category were Antonio Banderas, in And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself, who is European, but in the Coalition of the Willing. Also nominated was James Brolin, from The Reagans, who could be the obvious selection due to his daft and witless portrayal of the President. But also in the category, were two transgendered stars, including both Troy Garity, in the HBO story Soldier's Girl and Tom Wilkinson, in the equally sexually confused Normal. And finally Al Pacino, was nominated for Angels in America. I decided to stick with my guns and went with Pacino. Needless to say, I won our wagers easily.

Much like the Iowa Caucuses, the Globes often promote those candidates without much national recognition, but who could play a major role in future contests. For example, the Globes feature, as award holders, the daughters of Hollywood royalty, who themselves are not yet stars, but who one day could be. This year the royalty in waiting was Kevin Costner's daughter who was quite lovely. She also happened to look several years older than Costner's current companion or wife or girlfriend or partner or opposite gendered associate of choice or whatever the Hollywood establishment is calling such women today. My suggestion would be for future contests to switch these two roles and make the award presenters be the new girlfriends of recently divorced and aging Hollywood actors. These women are the real movers and shakers in the industry. The Catherine Zeta Jones's, Lara Flynn Boyle's and Calista Flockhart's of this world demand to be recognized, and deserve our adulation. If, for nothing else, the willingness to see old dudes in the buff.

In the end the Globes, much like the Iowa caucuses, settled on the old and established instead of the new and trendy in picking the Lord of the Rings. Perhaps the Foreign Press, much like the Iowa Caucus goer wanted to be associated with a winner, and electability, rather than the maverick. Or, perhaps, like much of America, they weren't running to the theatre to see Cold Mountain or Mystic River. Will the Lord of the Rings survive through the rest of the award season? Who knows, but it has survived the petty insanity that is the Golden Globes and next up is the Shire in New Hamp, where, I am told, several cast members in the movie are home town products.

Original Memos

By the way, if you are still at all curious as to the actual content of the misappropriated Senate Judiciary memos, then visit this link to where the Coalition for a Fair judiary still has them archived.

India responds to Omnibus Outsourcing Ban

The Financial Times reports that India has responded to the ban on subcontractors using outsourcing in the omnibus package. The article contains a fascinatin note though: " US federal contracts account for only 2 per cent of India's IT earnings, the bill sends a worrying message to the Indian outsourcing industry, which has been lobbying hard to stave off protectionism."

2%! 2% of all of India's IT earnings are directly funded by U.S. taxpayers. Apparently that works out to almost 300 million dollars. That is 300 million dollars that really should be put back into our own econmy here at home. That makes up for just about all of the other pork in the bill if you ask me.

More Outsourcing...to America?

This Contra Costa Times article highlights foreign auto makers efforts to set up shop in America. It poses an interesting contrast to the campaign slogans that have ricoched across the campaign trail.

Hyudai is currently building yet another auto plant in Alabama. So the message seems to be if you want to buy products that support American workers, buy foriegn products. But if you want to buy products that support American stock holders, buy at Walmart.

I am Howard Dean! I refuse to stop saying stupid things.

Ap reports on the latest Howard Dean gaff "Democratic presidential hopeful Howard Dean (news - web sites) said Sunday that the standard of living for Iraqis is a 'whole lot worse' since Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s removal from power in last year's American-led invasion. "

This is not a joke. Howard Dean actually said this. Which means he knows exactly what the standard of living was before the fall of Saddam as well as what the standard of living is now. More importantly it means that he totally disregards system of government in the equation for standard of living.

Isn't freedom of speech a factor? How about freedom from persecution? Don;t these things matter? Will they matter under a Dean administration? If they will not then it makes his attacks on John Ashcroft and the Patriot Act virtually meaningless.

Another Democrat declines re-election bid

The WAPO reports that: "U.S. Rep. Jerry Kleczka, a Democrat, will not seek re-election this fall after 10 terms, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on Sunday."

This looks like a safe seat for Democrats, but it is once again another contest that will sap funds from the general Democratic funds.

First Pictures from Mars Opportunity

It's working!

This rover is looking for samples of hematite, which is typically created in the presence of water.

Zoning Laws Sought to prevent gambling activity

Washington state legislature seeks to enact curbs on the spread of gambling.

Gambling Magazine reports that "Local officials yesterday called on the Legislature to clarify their powers to control so-called mini-casinos and other gambling activities through zoning." However, even in the land of Renton v. Playtime Theatres, Inc., 475 U.S. 41 (1986), the limits of zoning power are still unclear. Renton of course, upheld zoning restrictions on adult motion picture theatres based on reports showing the secondary effects of such businesses in other cities. No adult motion picture theater could be located within 1000 feet of any residential zone, single- or multi-family dwelling, church or park, or within one mile of any school.

Generally speaking, the First Amendment does not require a city to conduct new studies or produce evidence independent of studies prior to enacting a zoning ordinance. However it is unclear what exactly the secondary effects of these cardrooms are.

Schools in Florida want to bid on property in secret.

The Online Ledger reports that some schools want exemption from Sunshine Law for land deals Florida's open government Sunshine Law would generally not allow districts to negotiate property deals in secret. however, school districts are seeking the exemption claiming that land owners hike prices when they hear school districts are property hunting.

That may be true however something about the phrase "secret property negotiations" strikes me as inviting the appearance of corruption.

French Join the Coalition of the Willing! In the war on music swappers....

Forbes.com reports that France has allied with the US and UK to sue song swappers. Forbes reports thatwe should. "Add the French to the war on Internet song swappers." This leads to the obvious question: Who is stealing French music?

Well they aren't they are stealing, American music distributed by SNEP which represents roughly 50 independent and major music labels including Universal Music, Warner Music, Sony Music and Bertelsmann's. The French music industry trade body SNEP will report that recorded music sales fell 14.6 percent in revenues in 2003 to just under 2.1 billion euros, said Herve Rony, SNEP general manager

However, because copyright laws are much weaker in France, parliamentary action is needed prior to the pursuit of enforcement mechanisms similar to the ones that the RIAA has used in this country.

Further Evidence that New Hampshirites have Nothing to do...

Polling changes yet again, Reuters reports. "Kerry's lead is now nine points over three days, however he led only by 26 percent-22 percent over Dean in Friday polling alone, while Edwards and Lieberman each hit 10 percent," pollster John Zogby said.

But my question is this, why are these people still answering their phones. There are ten different polling outfits up there. Six different candidates still making calls. Multiple special interests groups. Yikes! If I were them I would just lean back, take the phone off the hook, relax and have a homebrew.

Either that or I would answer Sharpton to every pollster every time.

More Evidence on Nukes for Money in Pakistan

Pakistan traces foreign bank accounts of N-experts : HindustanTimes.com: "Foreign bank accounts of two senior Pakistani nuclear scientists, who allegedly received money for passing nuclear technology to Iran, have been traced by investigators even as the government ordered all ministries and departments not to invite Dr AQ Khan, the father of the country's atomic bomb, to any official function."

Most official functions in Pakistan involve executing someone, so I am pretty sure Khan is o.k. with that. By the way, just in case you wondering:


Finally an actual hit piece on John Kerry!

So far in this last weeke verything that I have read about John Kerry's many faults has been pathetic. However Mickey Kaus changes all that (link via Instapundit) with an anti-frontrunner linkfest.: "Kerryphobia Korner: Many emailers have told me I should lay out more rigorously my reasons for opposing John Kerry. I'll try to do that during the coming post-New Hampshire 'Turkey Shoot.' "

You should go check it out. Links aplenty!

The Tyranny of Copyright Continued

"The House Judiciary Committee has approved controversial legislation that extends protection for facts within databases which are not currently eligible for copyright protection. "

The article on internetnews.com continues:"The Database and Collections of Information Misappropriation Act (H.R. 3261) allows database owners to sue in civil court for damages arising from the theft of the information in the database. The committee approved the bill on a 16-7 vote. "

The money behind this legislation has not yet begun to flow into the Senate, and hopefully it will not. "This legislation is absolutely not necessary," Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) told internetnews.com. " There is a lack of need for this and huge opposition. It is mischievous in that it will lock away facts from public access."

Take that Old Europe!

NASA reports that we are 'Two for Two' as Opportunity lands on Mars: "NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe led off a post-landing press conference with praise for the Mars Exploration Rover team, which he called 'the best in the world.'"

That's another big "in your face" to the Europeans. Meanwhile in other news, Dr. Ed Weiler, NASA's Associate Administrator for Space Science, seems to have gotten a little too attached to his twin rovers. He noted that the last few days have been an emotional rollercoaster for the Mars team. But, he said, "we resurrected one rover and saw the birth of another." Someone should remind Doctor Weiler that these things are remote controlled cars.

Mars Observer Lands and shows signs of life!

Tests are still being run on Al Gore, who was at JPL headquarters for the landing. By the way, Al Gore, who two weeks ago endorsed the Mars Rover as his pick for best Mars spacecraft, commented that he is considering switching his choice.

Saturday, January 24, 2004

John Edwards Blames Bush for War Vote

Reuters |reports that: "Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards called on Saturday for an independent commission to investigate if the Bush administration misled the U.S. Congress in making its case for war with Iraq and demanded an end to 'war profiteering.' "

In other news, Edwards blames John Ashcroft for making him for the Patriot Act and stupid children every where for making him vote for "No Child Left Behind."

If the commission goes through the Edwards campaign is planning on changing its official campaign slogan to "John Edwards for President:Its always some one elses fault."

U.S. Congressman Arrives in Libya, stalled at customs for failing to declare and/or have illegal guns and nuclear devices

BBC NEWS reports on the US delegation's arrival in Gaddafi's Libya "US congressman Tom Lantos has arrived in Libya to see how its pledge to dismantle its nuclear weapons programme is progressing. "

No US congressman has visited Libya since Muammar Gaddafi took power nearly 35 years ago. The rumor is that Gaddafi is aiming for the World Cup, or , is afraid for his life. I feel for the citizens of Libya, but insofar as Mr. Gaddafi is concerned, I hope he dies a thousand deaths.

Non-homicidal non-drunken non-driver picked to fill seat of drunken homicidal driver

South Dakota Republicans pick nominee for convicted congressman's seat: "State Sen. Larry Diedrich received a majority of votes on the fourth ballot cast by members of the Republican State Central Committee. "

Diedrich is a soy/corn and hog farmer, who has not, as yet, killed anyone with his car. No news yet on the democratic nominee, but sources report that the Democrats first choice, Ted Kennedy, is unavailable.

Fat Men should not threaten death

Wisconsin Republican, and known cheese and bratwurst eater, James Sensenbrenner, who heads the House Judiciary Committee, vowed that extending the Patriot Act before reviewing its results by 2005 would happen 'over my dead body.'

Representative Sensenbrenner, who clocks 3 bills at least should not be speaking so quickly. Granted the Act deserves review, but this man is one Octerberfest away from a quadruple bypass. I would put the odds on this threat at about 50/50. but if Representative Sensennbrenner does not immediately denounce dairy in all its forms, I would give the advantage to the Patriot Act.

It still does not make it Ironic

Man dies after win on lottery TV show: "Carl D. Atwood, 73, won $57,000 on Thursday during a taping of the television game show in Indianapolis, Hoosier Lottery Director Jack Ross said.

After the two-hour taping, which will air tonight, Atwood returned to his hometown of Elwood with the check, Ross said.
About 7 p.m., Atwood was crossing Main Street a block from his home -- on his way to the grocery store where he had bought the ticket that got him on the show -- when a black pickup rounded a corner and struck him, said Elwood Police Chief Toby R. Barker."

No matter what Alannis Morrisette says, this still is not irony. It is crappy, and an extremely unfortunate set of circumstances, but irony would be if the man was hit by the lottery wagon bringing his money to him.

Just in case you forgot, Micheal Jackson is pretty weird:

News Of the World - Online Edition: "MEGASTAR Michael Jackson's claim he is the natural father of the two children born to ex-wife Debbie Rowe is a LIE.
Debbie was artificially inseminated with anonymously donated sperm to give birth to son Prince Michael Jnr and daughter Paris. "

Totally Cosmic Dude!

Wired News reports the story Cosmic Rays, Who's Yer Daddy?: "Rocky Kolb, a founding head of the NASA Astrophysics Group at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, developed a more unconventional hypothesis. Kolb attributes high-energy cosmic rays to the decay of supermassive dark matter, which was left by the Big Bang.
'I would love it if that theory is correct,' Kolb said. 'But even if the most conservative theories turn out to be right, it would be a revolution in physics.' "

The only good Canadian is a ... well you fill in the blank:

The CBC news reports that: "- Pakistani authorities have confirmed that Egyptian-born Canadian citizen Ahmed Said Khadr was killed during a raid last year against suspected terrorists in the country's tense border region, officials said Saturday.

Well its good news that Canada is becoming involved in the global war on terror, now if only they could pick the right side.

Next Congressman up for bids: Rep. Billy Tauzin

In a sure ploy to increase his price, Congressman Tauzin has rejected the initial offer to head the MPAA"Rep. Billy Tauzin (R., La.), who wields influence over the government's relationship with drug and media companies, rejected an offer to become Hollywood's top lobbyist but hasn't decided whether to head the pharmaceutical industry's leading trade organization"

this is just a big bidding war, Jack Valenti, who is reportedly 82, but closer to 108, has headed the organization since Edison was alive. He literally promoted the use of color picture technology as opposed to black and white.

Tauzin will likely end up being the head of the MPAA, but they will have to increase their offer.

Mission to Mars II: Electric Boogaloo

Tonight all the cool kids will be watching t.v. " Landing of the second Mars Lander, Opportunity, is scheduled for 12:06 a.m. EST Sunday, and Theisinger said mission control would not slow down Opportunity's mission because of the problems with Spirit.

"Opportunity is headed toward Meridiani Planum, a smooth plain near Mars' equator, which is believed to be full of iron-bearing hematite, a mineral that on Earth usually forms in the presence of liquid water. "

I once had a bug bite on my Merdiani Planum. Hurt like a mother. Couldn't reach it and I think it got infected.

Sorry Guys, She is off the market.

and check this loser who snagged her:

of, course he does have a job and a house and a beagle.

Killing two Ducks with one shot

The L.A. Times has an interesting article by veteran supreme court watcher David Savage entitled "Senators Inquire of Justices' Recusal Rules" The details are "A letter from Sens. Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut was prepared in response to a report in The Times on Saturday that Justice Antonin Scalia and Vice President Dick Cheney had gone duck hunting together in southern Louisiana three weeks after the high court agreed to hear Cheney's appeal of a judge's order that he produce documents about meetings of his task force on U.S. energy policy."

I doubt that this raises the specter of impartiality since, even though the case is entitled Inre Cheney the Vice President is not personally liable in the energy task force case and would not face financial damages if he loses.

Here is the story from last December detailing the Court's accepance of cert. in the case.

Here is Dean's statements on his web blog from today:

Blog for America : Dean's Statement on David Kay's Comments | January 24, 2004:

"'Today's comments by David Kay further undermine this President's repeated claims that Iraq posed an imminent threat to America with weapons of mass destruction. It is an embarrassment that for the second year in a row, George Bush misled the American people in his State of the Union address about Iraqi weapons.'"

Why did he post this? He must know by now that it is not true. Additionally, I have no idea what weapons-of-mass-destruction-program-related-activities exactly entails, but I am pretty sure that Mr. Kay's admissions must fall somewhere in that wide swath of language.

Kerry Getting Stronger By the Second

This American Research Group 2004 NH Democratic Tracking Poll is just amazing -Day Results

Jan 16-18, 17-19, 18-20, 19-21, 20-22, 21-23

Clark 20% 19% 18% 19% 20% 19%
Dean 28% 28% 26% 22% 18% 15%
Edwards 8% 8% 9% 9% 11% 13%
Kerry 19% 20% 24% 27% 31% 34%
Kucinich 1% 2% 1% 1% 1% 1%
Lieberman 6% 7% 7% 7% 7% 6%

13 Points down in 6 days for Dean, 15 points up for Kerry. Everyone loves a winner, boy!

Man Bites Dog, Dog shares snuff film of the act on the internet, Cat Dowloads Film.

AP Wire reports that a federal Judge has allowed KAZAA, a file-sharing software maker, to bid to sue entertainment companies. " A federal judge has ruled that the makers of the most popular file-sharing software can pursue copyright infringement claims against several movie and music companies."

As it turns out, in their bid to prosecute those who illegally share their copyrighted material, severla music and movie companies downloaded Kazza Lite and then, in violation of Kazaa's licensing agreement, used the service to threaten its users. Now, I can understand Sony music wanting to use Kazaa to warn file swappers, but for goodness sakes, BUY THE SOFTWARE!

Outsourcing and the Omnibus

Although it has not been widely reported here in the United States, on of the key provisions of the omnibus bill was a limitation on outsourcing of public contracts. As reported by ExpressIndia, however, theU.S. has passed its first law against outsourcing. "The provision is the first federal law that limits companies from performing contracted work outside the US ever since outsourcing became a potent political issue in the US a year ago. "

Now, when the federal government gives contracts to an American firm, that firm cannot give subcontracts out of that to a source outside the United States. I wonder why those Senators on the campaign trail who bemoan the loss of jobs outside the U.S. voted against the bill?