Friday, July 29, 2005
Frist Splits With President on Stem-cell Expansion - Perhaps a White House Candidate?
In an almost unheard of public way, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has changed his stance and decided to support stem-cell research. Frist has been lockstep with Bush since the president's election, and this looks as though he is trying to be more moderate for a run at the White House. It could also be a ploy by republicans to divert attention from Karl Rove and the war. We shall see how it plays out. If Frist has truly decided to stand his ground, then it can only lead to a stronger constitutional government since he was too close to the White House. The senate should be separate and distinct from the executive branch. About damn time!
Sauropod Embryo Oldest Found, Give Clues to Dinosaur Life and Parenting
Cool science! A dinosaur egg was cut open allowing scientists to see a complete skelton of the oldest known embryo. The early sauropod shows evidence that this type of dino may have had sophisticated parenting skill due to the growth patterns in the embryo. Scientists speculate that the young dino would have walked on four legs, then at some stage, would have developed the two legged walk and would have looked something like the Flintstone's pet dinosaur. The embryo was just 4.9 inches and would have become a 16 foot long adult. I used the Houston Chronicle for a link as they have a photo of the embryo. Check it out - it is cool!
Thursday, July 28, 2005
DIgital Standard For Movies Gets The Nod From Studios
The movie industry is finally making moves toward the digital age by endorsing a universal set of digital standards that will make it easier for moviemakers to get their products into the hands of consumers. The new standard called DCI is a 176 page white paper, and fully half of it deals with ways to prevent pirating of the movies.
While a big step has been taken in the digital format, the reliance on this standard to prevent pirating and other miscreant behaviour, I would lay odds that as soon as the theaters revamp to digital, the technos will find a way to get great copies of digital film out to the internet within. And I would not be surprised to hear that the digital theaters are hijacked by techgangs to broadcast their own short movies to theater goers. Imagine, if you will, sitting in a theater to see the latest blockbuster movie and suddenly you see a five-minute short indy film that is just as good and high-tech as the film you came to see! The possibilities are endless! Better color, more definition, more chances to upset the status quo. Who could ask for more!
President Puts Off Visit to Scout Jamboree Again, 300 Succumb To Heat Waiting Wednesday
Since when has the pres let bad weather change his plans. 40,000 scouts and leaders waiting in the heat Wednesday was enough incentive for him to visit? No, something smells fishy about this whole thing. Now, we have 300 plus scouts and visitors drop from the heat while awaiting a glimpse of the president? What's the deal? Anybody who reads this column regularly knows I'm not the president's most ardent supporter, but I understand the cache he brings to an event. The Jamboree is a once in a lifetime event for most scouts, and to be able to see the president at this big scouting event makes it more likely to go down in their precious memories vault. The president said he would visit and he chose not to show up. There have been times when the president was blocked by bad weather and they just rerouted to another airport and went by ground transport. This was important to these scouts and the president blew it. Waiting until Sunday to speak might solvethe issue, but I doubt it. A breeze might come up. I think the president was worried about being linked to bad press.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Anti-porn Bill Offered as Ploy to Attract Religious Right Vote by Dems - Selling Out Freedom of Speech
At the risk of being accused of defending porn, I say that this attempt by the democrats to lure family values-oriented voters to their agenda is ill-fated and just plain wrong. The think-tank set up to study children and porn are pulling rabbits out of their butts (I wonder if that would be porn?)when they state their figures of access to online porn by children age 12 -17, and the dubiousness of their contention that porn sellers are deliberately targeting children by inserting words in their web pages that appeal to kids. They say that a search of disney or barney the dinosaur or Britney leads to sex sites. Let's give it a try, shall we?
The first search I did was at google with safe search off. The results? I typed in "disney" and came up with nothing but legitimate sites for disney corporation and disney-related sites. I checked at least the first fifty pages and got no porn or adult sites at all. Next came barney the dinosaur: I typed in "barney dinosaur" and checked out the first fifty sites. guess what? No porn sites came up; no blind links, however, many of the sites were of the "Die, Barney, Die" variety. Go figure.
Let's not link porn and child predators in the same sentence; they are two distinct animals. Again, it's a matter of parental control - you should know what your kids are doing and you should not leave it up to the government to fix the prob. I like some sexy photos - I admit it, and I like seeing things that I am old enough to see. I shouldn't have to check in, give my identity through verification checks to see online sleaze. and hope the government doesn't use the info against me.
And, lastly, if you type in by mistake "whitehouse.com" instead of whitehouse.gov, it no longer takes you to a porn site - it is now a pointer site to government web sites and has an American flag to boot! The old whitehouse.com porn site is so yesterday's news - get a reality check on yourselves, folks!
Scout Leaders Made Deadly Mistake - Did Not Follow Procedures For Safe Camping.
The first point learned as a scout when camping is: Survey the area for the best potential tent placement in an area free of hanging debris, power lines, etc. If the reports are indeed based in fact, then these scout leaders failed to follow these tenets of tent pitching. Please don't take me wrong, as I mean no disrespect to the dead men, but as a scout, I am slightly put out by the talk that these brave, good men gave their lives for scouting. They did not. A scout is prepared, and part of that preparedness is to not do stupid things like pitching a tent in a gully that is prone to flooding or camping near power lines.
It is a shame these men died at the national jamboree, but I bet the scouts will make sure that does not happen again. I am just thankful that none of the boys were killed.
It's time we stop making symbols out of people who die in tragic situations - they died for no good reason - remember them, then move on, learning by their mistakes..
Monday, July 25, 2005
Massachusetts Governor Vetoes Morning After Pill Bill Despite Earlier Promises
The bill was passed by the Mass. legislature and is virtually veto-proof, yet Gov. Romney vetoed the bill while the legislature was on vacation. he had run on a platform that he would not try to change the abortion laws in Massachusetts if elected ogvernor, but he is seen as having broke his word. Romney started changing his stance in preparation for his presumed bid for the presidency in 2008.
He has stated that he has not changed his stance nor violated his campaign promises. Women in his state have stated they feel betrayed and 'sold down the river" in favor of a national focus agenda in his personal bid for the White House.
Remember, the first thing a popular state elected politician does is appeal to his/her strongest base nationally, by either becoming more hardcore (in the case of Romney), or by moving to a more centrist/moderate stance (as in the case of Hillary). I say elect None of the above! or elect me - I'm at least consistent. My platform would be: less government, more privacy, less government, more privacy, etc. Pass fewer laws and take more laws off the books "Less is more" wold be my slogan. Government should be for projects that are just too big tackle on the indiviual or state level - like interstate roads, dealing with other countries, and defense of the homeland - period. All other laws and such should be left to individuals and the states, as long as they treat citizens equally.
End of soapbox.
Saturday, July 23, 2005
Shoot to Kill Orders In London - Deadly Mistake, Wrong Man
These are the kind of mistakes I have been warning of when civl rights are suspended or preempted even for the sake of a "war" on terror. More mistakes have happened and many more tragedys will occur as long as this kind of mindset is in place. Who was it that said "Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both?" Oh yeah, Benjamin Franklin - A man who represented this country at its founding. Keep this in mind in the coming days as the president and congress forget this jewel of wisdom and erode even more rights away, and as you are searched before getting on public transportation.
Cartoon Sex Target of Do-gooders; Real Porn Just a Search Engine away - Time for A Reality Check
Let's reality check this story, you know - the story about GTA: San Andreas and the downloadable mod that unlocks some cartoon sex. Folks are worried about their kids seeing cartoon sex when all these same kids need to do is go to Google and search for SEX or any of the bad words they have heard around here and there (the playground, school, older brothers and sisters, dad when he hits his thumb with a hammer, and mom when she burns herself on the stove and vice-versa). I goggled SEX and here arethe results with safe search off: "Results 1 - 10 of about 72,100,000 for sex [definition]. (0.58 seconds) ". That is 72 MILLION pages that contain the word "sex" The first two pages are: SEX, ETC. -- A Web site by Teens for Teens; and HBO: Sex and the City. The first site is from Rutgers University; the second is from a show most kids watched with mom.
The rest can lead to actual adult sexual content - all this just a mouse click away. Why try so hard to curb a silly video game? Most of the kids who are any kind of tech savy will have already ripped a copy from their friend's CD (that's make a copy by burning a new CD - can you say pirating? I knew you could!) and downloading the mod that makes hot coffee mode possible. Let's face it, folks - your kids are most likely more tech savy than you unless you are a computer geek like me! You haven't a chance in hell of stopping it unless you place the children's computers in the main room facing you and watch them whenever they are on it. Get the picture? It cannot be done - that ship already sailed.
So, you say, "shouldn't we even try?" Sure you should try, but how about picking smart battles like condoms and aids and pregnancy instead of trying to keep cartoon sex from happening - they know it isn't real - it's a game to them and the more you try to prevent access, the more they will see it as a challenge. Dr. Spock knew this way back in the Fifties.
Pandora done let the bad things out of the locked box. Do you really think you can legislate it back in? The Greeks knew what they were talking about 2,000 years ago and longer. The problems are still with us today. Pick your battles and you might have a chance to let them grow up a little slower.There are too many other important problems that must be solved and they have solutions.
Friday, July 22, 2005
Delay Funds Contributions slow to a Trickle, Keeps Low Profile, fewer Private Funded Trips
All the other news pushed his story into the background, but it will bounce back I am sure.
Plame Memo Marked "Secret" Distributed To President's Cabinet, Others
It looks as if a coordinated plan was hatched to discredit Ambassador Joeseph Wilson just days after he stated the WMD material supposedly sought by Iraq in Africa did not exist. A memo marked "secret" supplied the undercover status and the name of the ambassador's wife, Valerie Plame. The memo was circulated widely in the State Department, including cabinet members and the president. Bush was handed the document by then Secretary of State Colin Powell, and the president traveled with the document for a week.
It looks as though a crime might have been committed if the document was seen by Karl Rove because it is hard to picture the Architect as not having access to the memo as part of his job as spin doctor. We shall see how the White House handles this. Right now they are busy trying to keep the focus off Rove. And doing a damned good job of it, too, drat it!
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
President Diverts Attention From Rove/CIA Leak By Announcing High Court Nominee In Primetime
The president is trying hard to control the message and the media. This time, he pulled out all stops to announce his SCOTUS nominee in primetime, and he did it all without answering questions from the press. Read the best roundup of the situation at the link above. It is a great read - full of pointers and info.
I think it is time to show the prez that the media has clout, also, by refusing to run these press conferences and announcements live. That would show the prez that he is a clown - but the media is collectively sheep. They would no more quit listening to leaks from the white house or fail to run live presidential sideshows. Get some guts and take back control of the free press, idiots!
High Court Nominee Roberts Upheld French-Fry Arrest of 12 year old Girl in D.C. - Stance on Abortion Murky
John Roberts, SCOTUS nominee, wrote the decision upholding a lower court ruling that said it was okay to arrest and jail a 12 year old girl for eating frys in the D.C. Public Transit System last year. He decried the manner in which the girl was arrested and handled, but chose to uphold the arrest and the law behind the arrest as not violating the Fourth or Fifth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.
If this is a sample of the type of ammo the Dems can muster against this nominee, then all I can say is - Shoo-in! Yes, it is a bad law when little girls get arrrested for eating frys in the subway, and should have been overturned, but what can you expect from a law & order strict constructionist. A lot more is needed to fight this one, I I stand by my first thought that he is a shoo-in. The prez should appoint a woman moderate, not a male conservative. But, there is always hope that the man will transcend politics and make decisions based on sound legal judgment. Who knows? It could happen.
Justice Dept. Claims New Media Shield Law Would Jeopardize War on Terror
In a typical move for the anti-press Bush Administration, the Justice Department has lashed out at the proposed Media Shield Law offered in the wake of LeakGate. Karl Rove, the deputy White House chief of staff, has used the media as a way to leak stories and info in order to discredit enemies of the administration resulting in one reporter jailed for failure to reveal her sources.
Of course the White House and the cabinet agencies are against anything that takes control away from them. This president is so anti-press that I am surprised he has not offered a constitutional amendment repealing the First Amendment. IT would also get rid of that pesky freedom of religion clause that causes right wingers so much grief.
Monday, July 18, 2005
new Federal Real I.D. Act Proves Costly For States - More Big Brotherism Equals Bigger Government
Talk about intrusive! The new federal Real I.D. Act, which requires states to implement illegal alien status checks on all Driver's Licenses issued, is proving very expensive to implement, according to the National Governors Conference. The new law is supposed to be in place within three years. Look for your Driver's License renewal to cost you more and more.
For the party that claims to be for smaller government and less government intrusion, and less taxes, the republicans sure have spent a lot of money, built bigger governments in both the state and the federal levels, and given us less expectations of privacy and intrusion. Between the war, this new ID law and the Patriot Act, we can kiss goodbye any chance of less government and less intrusion. Sheesh - morons!
No Ethical dilemma for White House in LeakGate, No Ethics!
Bush Backs Off on Stance, Vows to Fire "Leaker" Only a Crime Was Committed
So, Bush has added a loophole to his previous stance on what to do with the White House leaker - now it takes a crime to have been committed for him to act. Whatever happened to ethics and responsibility. It just goes to show that power is power is power. Karl Rove will stay until the White House quietly pushes him out at a later date. Bush cannot afford to piss Rove off - he know where the bodies are buried -hell, he likely buried most of them, metaphorically speaking.
IT looks like Nixon more and more, but the public just doesn't know who the hell Karl Rove is - and more's the shame. Stupid people get these kind of leaders - I tried to enlighten folks, but I am just one freedom-loving dude with a voice.
We will see how this plays out, but it should be fun to see how the spin is spun, at least it is creative - for republicans. It should go like this - blame the victim, blame the media, lash out at what the victim was working on, say she wasn't really under cover - that it is a case of CIA not lifting cover, and, most of all, say a crime was not committed even if Rove was the leak, so "nah-nee-nah-nee- boo-boo!" Same ole shit - just different topic.
FBI Uses Terrorist Laws To Spy on ACLU, Other Groups - Big Brother is Watching
You belong to a lawful organization that promotes civil rights, and suddenly, the group is being spyed on by the government in the name of Homeland Security?
Told you so! Giving nearly unfettered freedom to intelligence gathering in the U.S. is like handing over the keys to the asylum to the inmates.
Read the article - it is enlightening, and a little scary. And don't forget to tell your representative or senator to not renew the Patriot act. Freedom from government intrusion is more important than psuedo-security from terrorists.
Saturday, July 16, 2005
White House Unnamed Leaks Blame Reporters, Not Rove, For CIA Outing - From The Ridiculus to the Absurd
Okay, now the White House is pushed the limits of any sense of ethical class. Bush's team has never admitted to any mistakes, and it looks as though they won't admit to this one even in the face of overwhelming andmounting evidence. Instead, they blame reporters for blowing a CIA operative's cover. How's that?
Look, folks - there were NO WMDs; the Iraq war was launched just because; prisoners have been abused in both Iraq and Gitmo; and Rove is the premier dirty tricks go-to guy for the White House. He got caught. The prez said he would fire the leaker - Bush does not keep promises except to friends. He would rather die than be wrong. This man is a boob - an idiot - a fool who has discredited the U.S. in the eyes of the world, and has squandered our fiscal resources on a poorly thought out agenda of "Git them bad, evil guys- for I am God's Enforcer". I sad chapter in U.S. history. It reminds me more of Nixon and his power trip. But, alas, there not a chance in hell for Bush to be impeached with a repubilcan congress. Elect some others in place of the partisan hacks now serving and, maybe, just maybe, we could get rid of the man before he consolidates power absolutely. I don't know why folks don't see this - blind followers, I guess - heavy sigh.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Sen. Clinton Makes Sounds like Republican, Calls For GTA Game Investigation
Sen. Hillary Clinton, sounding more and more like a Republican, has called for an investigation in to the video game known as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas - GTA. This link takes you to a great story explaining why she is wrong. That's wrong, wrong, wrong!
The former first lady wants to be president, so she is sounding more centrist in her rhetoric - it is surely a sign of the end of days - nah! Just the end of ethics. Sheesh! It's a video game that is already rated 17 and older, and requires a third party mod downloaded from the internet before you can see the sex scenes. Parents need to control their children - the legislature has more important things to do than legislate morality. How about getting our troops home and catching Osama! That would be kinda important, don't you think?
Monday, July 11, 2005
White House Silent on The Rove/CIA Leak after two Years of Denial
After two years of denial, the White House shut the lid on commenting on the Karl Rove CIA Leak connection. This turnaround came after Newsweek exposed an Email from one of the reporters involved in the unamed source incident. Two years of a special investigation and all the special prosecutor has to show for it is the jailing of Judith Miller, a reporter who did not even write a story about the CIA operative , and a lot of hemming and hawing about whether a crime was even committed by the White House leaker. White House spokesman, Scott Mclellan call the idea that Rove was the leak "Ridiculus" in 2003. The president said a little later that he would not tolerate a leaker remaining in the White House.
It remains to see if this administration will go after one of its own, will it side with doing what is right? Yeah, right! Don't hold your breath!
Friday, July 08, 2005
The Schiavo Case Closed: The State's Attorney Report Can Be Read Here
In a very Caustic and sarcastic tone, the Florida State Attorney sent a response to Gov. Jeb Bush's request to reopen the Schiavo case. The short answer was "NO." Read it at the above link to the St. Petersburg Times. Now, Gov. Bush can try to get on with the business of whatever he is supposedto do - err- what is it he is supposed to do as governor besides being the strict moralistic prig for the entire U.S.? I forget it's been so long since he did anything else - hey Florida - WAKE UP! Elect a sane person over there! Give the rest of us a break. Sheesh! Clowns.
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
No Press Shield Law In Texas - 30 states and D.C. Have 'em, Why Not Texas?
Here is a good article about the reason we don't have a press shield law in Texas. and, in light of the failure of SCOTUS to act in the TIMES journalists dilemma last week, it was ahead of its time - just like I said earlier on - GRIN.
Sunday, July 03, 2005
Karl Rove Spoke To Reporter Days Before CIA Agent's Name Leaked - Denies Leaking Name
What's this? Karl Rove, advisor to the president held back information in the investigation of who leaked the CIA operative's name to the press. He has stated through his lawyer that he cannot discuss exactly what was discussed in that interview, but he says he did not disclose any secret information.
More chinks in the armor? Let's see how this plays out now that the reporters have to talk, it may not be a pretty sight!
Friday, July 01, 2005
Fluff Report: Two-headed Fish? No, One headed Fish, Two Bodies!
Bush Overlooks Major Trouble with Russia/China Pact, Concentrates on Iraq/Taliban.
While Mr. Bush is busy worrying over two very small counntries in Central Asia, Russia and China have been cementing relations, and promising to counter the so-called hardline social agenda of this president and his war on terror. The two giants may cut Japan out of the Russian/Siberian oil pipeline, are against the U.S.'s attempts to democratize the Middle east, and have a huge weapons sale program that has China as Russia's major buyer of War Goods.The president is so worried about his MidEast policy, that he has failed to turn is eyes further East and North to where the real problems are in the making.
But this is not unusual for this presidency. He has consistently tried to impose his vision of world order, his religious/social agenda, and has dealt with smaller problems, instead of tackling the problems of the future. He has taken on Social security - a system that can be fixed in the future - and failed mightily. He has sided with the big Pill-pushing companies so much that drug costs have risen dramatically, but promised to lower healthcare costs. How did he tackle this issue? He capped Lawsuits so the big companies can do what they please because it will only cost them $250,000 or so, when they introduce bad drugs that kill. making Billions of Dollars per successful try. He worries over our souls, yet he doesn't worry over these former superpowers getting together. He promised a smaller government, yet, yesterday, he approved the formation of a new National Security Service. He has used up all the surpluses of the prior administration and built record debts and deficits. He has never once admitted to making mistakes. Instead, his motto is "Stay the course" no matter the cost in lives and money.
I am thouroughly disgusted - I think The president does not get my attention any more - unless he does a boneheaded action that is truly monumental - like invading Canada or something!