Monday, October 31, 2005


Defense Secretary Rumsfeld sees growth in Gilead stake - Oct. 31, 2005

The prospect of a bird flu outbreak may be panicking people around the globe, but it's proving to be very good news for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other politically connected investors in Gilead Sciences, the California biotech company that owns the rights to Tamiflu, the influenza remedy that's now the most-sought after drug in the world.


Google hiring like it's 1999 | CNET

The search giant is on a hiring tear. In its most recent quarter, which ended Sept. 30, Google added 800 employees, bringing its global work force to 4,989. That's more than triple the total from just two years ago.


ZNet | GAO Report Finds Flaws in Electronic Voting

The GAO report found flaws in security, access, and hardware controls, as well as weak security management practices by voting machine vendors. The report identified multiple examples of actual operational failures in real elections and found that while national initiatives to improve the security and reliability of electronic voting systems are underway, 'it is unclear when these initiatives will be available to assist state and local election authorities.'

Flaws in Voting left us with an even bigger Flaw that we know as the Bush Administration!
Garbage In - Garbage Out! (to put it in computer terms)
- Frank


Gang Uses Deportation to Its Advantage to Flourish in U.S. - Yahoo! News

A gang that once numbered a few thousand and was involved in street violence and turf battles has morphed into an international network with as many as 50,000 members, the most hard-core engaging in extortion, immigrant smuggling and racketeering. In the last year, the federal government has brought racketeering cases against MS-13 members in Long Island, N.Y., and southern Maryland


Real Estate Prices Soaring in Las Vegas - Yahoo! News

The hype is fueling increases throughout the city. The cost of a vacant acre in the Las Vegas area has hit $601,600 — an 88 percent increase over last year.

Sunday, October 30, 2005


VOA News - American Public Support for President Bush Dips All Time Low

A new public opinion poll indicates American public support for President Bush
declining further, to reach an all time low...

...And, by a three to one ratio, 46 percent to 15 percent, the respondents said they believe the level of honesty and ethics in the government has declined under President Bush.


Bottom Line/Health Secrets - Hidden Dangers in Common Drugs

Every year, two million Americans suffer serious drug side effects. An estimated 15% of those cases are caused by harmful drug-drug interactions (DDIs) -- side effects from taking two or more drugs at the same time.


Peter Lewis - IBM ThinkPad Portables: The New, Improved Notebook - FORTUNE

Lenovo refines a classic with its first crop of IBM ThinkPad portables, successfully combining superior performance, useful new features, and darn good looks.


USATODAY - Wal-Mart, Walton family support Schwarzenegger

Wal-Mart (WMT) and its founding Walton family have emerged as big backers of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, giving about $1 million in the past year to his favored causes as he vetoed legislation aimed at the company.


Medicare drug plan shuts out millions - Health & Medicine

'Most often, these are people who managed to save a little something to help them in retirement, and now they find themselves' penalized for it, said Thomas Rice, a UCLA professor who conducted a study for the Kaiser Family Foundation on the impact of the asset requirements. 'These aren't fat cats.'


Culture of Collusion

Deceit and misinformation is poison to an open society. We need a much tougher investigation of how the American people were misled on the purpose of this war. We need much tougher, more skeptical media. And we need the Democrats to act like an opposition party. Because without a genuine opposition, the disease of corruption and criminality threatens democracy itself. | 10/30/2005 | A teen's fatal dash, a city's challenge

SAN JOSE, CA - Finally Sgt. Lorrie Rogers taps on the car's window. Wences looks up, into the sad eyes of the veteran cop. Bending to eye level, Rogers takes a deep breath and whispers, ``He passed away.''

Sigh -- So sad!
- Frank


Some Latinos convert to Islam

Though the numbers are a small fraction of the estimated 6 million Muslims in the country, it is fast becoming evident that the conversion rate among this minority group is taking root and that its influence is being asserted through the formation of Hispanic Muslim organizations — 'dawah,' or outreach efforts targeted at Hispanics — and the distribution of literature and the Quran in Spanish. / Middle East & Africa / Iraq - US ‘had no policy’ in place to rebuild Iraq

The largest expected increase in costs to complete planned projects had occurred in the Project and Contracting Office (PCO), which manages projects in the oil, electrical, security and water sectors and has been allocated $4.6bn in reconstruction funds. - Helen Thomas - Rich Senators Defeat Minimum-Wage Hike

U.S. senators -- who draw salaries of $162,100 a year and enjoy a raft of perks -- have rejected a minimum wage hike from $5.15 an hour to $6.25 for blue-collar workers.


Water in the hills declared safe

EL DORADO HILLS, CA - About 9,000 homes received contaminated water in El Dorado Hills for about a day last week. The problem started when a truckload of the wrong chemical was delivered to an El Dorado Irrigation District treatment plant and then introduced into the system. A plant operator was later fired for the mishap.


The Observer | Magazine | Wake up and sell the coffee

LONDON - The reason I had drunk nine cups - some of them double-shot varieties, which nudged the total to as much as 1,500mg of caffeine, three times my daily intake and about one-seventh of the fatal dose - was in the interests of health journalism. - Holy car! 1975 Escort fetches�$690,000 - Oct 30, 2005

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (AP) - A light blue 1975 Ford Escort GL once owned by Pope John Paul II sold for $690,000 Saturday to a Houston multimillionaire who said he plans to put it in a museum he wants to build in his hometown.

Huh? Don't ask me, I have no idea.
- Frank


Wal-Mart critics hope new movie is a smash / 6,800 sites to host DVD premiere by 'Outfoxed' director

Their grievances are the ones labor and liberal groups have been pushing for several years -- that nearly half Wal-Mart's employees have no private health insurance or are on Medicaid, that most of its stock is produced by cheap overseas labor, and that by building stores on the fringes of towns, it contributes to sprawl and destruction of the environment.

Wal-Mart - One of the few organizations that comes close to the Bush Administration in the race to destroy America.
- Frank

Saturday, October 29, 2005


Why Bush is Unimpeachable: by Ted Rall - 10/25/05

Cracks Appear in the Constitution

"NEW YORK - Any one of Bush's crimes towers over the combined wickedness of Nixon and Clinton. And there are so many to choose from! How many times has Bush 'made false or misleading public statements for the purpose of deceiving the people of the United States' (a key count in the Nixon impeachment)?"


Osama vs. Dubya

Friday, October 28, 2005 | Salton Sea shore developers must first pick through bomb test site

EL CENTRO, CA - The people trying to sell an economic future on the desolate shores of the Salton Sea will first have to confront the troubled lake's Cold War past.

Backers of a plan to use development revenue to fund a revival at the sea bet they can build thousands of homes on a defunct testing site used by the group that developed the atomic bomb.


Exxon-Mobil Workers Got Fake Flu Shots

HOUSTON, TX - As many as 1,000 Exxon Mobil employees and 14 residents of a senior citizens home were injected with fake flu vaccine, authorities said Friday, and the owner of a home health care company was arrested.


spiked-politics | Article | How low can Bush go?

Despite his earlier protests, the president therefore agreed to let Miers pull out with a semblance of grace. Pulling Miers at this point, before she even begins her formal confirmation hearings, has avoided an embarrassing episode. But in withdrawing his choice of nominee the president has created much greater problems for the future. Bush has not only sealed his own fate as a lame duck president, he also risks exposing fault lines within his own party.


Cheney Adviser Resigns After Indictment - Yahoo! News

Karl Rove, Bush's closest adviser, escaped indictment Friday but remained under investigation, his legal status casting a dark cloud over a White House already in trouble. The U.S. military death toll in Iraq exceeded 2,000 this week, and the president's approval ratings are at the lowest point since he took office in 2001.

Should we assume that like others, accused but not yet convicted by the Bush regime, Libby will be
immediately incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay's Camp X-Ray? Seems fair to me.
- Frank


A Strange Tale With A Twist - Sometimes a risky transaction is not what it seems

It all began when the couple accepted a backup offer that made them uneasy, though it was well over the asking price of $530,000. The buyer planned on getting a zero-percent-down loan and was paying several points for the privilege.


An Anatomy of Megachurches - The new look for places of worship. By Witold Rybczynski

'Megachurch'—like 'McMansion' or 'big-box store'—is a disdainful put-down. And like many put-downs it is not particularly accurate; very large churches have been around for a long time.


Selling green buildings with people power | CNET

In studies, so-called green or high-performance buildings have shown to have positive effects on people, compared to traditional buildings, all while saving money on energy, according to experts who spoke on a panel at the Clean Tech Venture Forum conference on Wednesday.


'Nightmare' phone increase coming - Business

TALLAHASSEE, FL - Surrounded by such props as a phone-clutching grim reaper, tombstones, a bat and a rat, consumer advocates decried Thursday the state's largest telephone rate increase that will go into effect Tuesday, a day after Halloween.

Thursday, October 27, 2005


Man Finds 56-Pound Mushroom in Missouri

The mushroom Ty Whitmore found on a relative's farm near the northwest Missouri community of Maysville this week tipped the scales at 56 pounds — and that was only part of it.


Dvorak Uncensored - Hurricane Wilma Under-Reported Mess

I don’t think the network news is doing this storm justice. Broward County is a mess. If they don’t get power back to some basic necessities soon there will be big problems. Just heard a local story of a nursing home that is running out of fuel for their generator and FPL can’t let them know when they will get power. Apparently since they are not a hospital they are not a priority.


SBC to Stick With 120-Year-Old AT&T Brand - Yahoo! News

The announcement Thursday came amid reports that federal regulators are set to approve SBC's $16 billion purchase of AT&T Corp., its former corporate parent, in a deal first announced back in January.

Revestiture SUCKS! Guess it helps to do this with a government that ignores the existence and reasons for anti-trust laws.
- Frank


The Lost Teen Idol - Yahoo! News

'Barry is not the only one,' says Vicky Sedgwick, a friend of the Cowsills, and Webmaster of the band's official site turned search tool, 'There are thousands of people still missing.'

At the National Center for Missing Adults, the scroll of persons missing from Katrina runs 165 pages long. Barry Cowsill is on page 33.

Remind me again. What was the supposed need for secrecy when recovering New Orleans bodies, according to Washington?
- Frank


Saddam took $1.8 bln from UN oil-for-food pact - Yahoo! News

The U.N.-established Independent Inquiry Committee led by former U.S.
Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker reported that Saddam diverted some $1.8 billion in kickbacks and surcharges.

Unethical financial deals, inhumane torture of "prisoners", etc.
Hmmm? Not really any difference between the Bush and Hussein regimes, is there?
- Frank



Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Gmail: Just a Bit Too Quirky - Business Week

Google's mail service offers plenty of storage and swift, sure searches. Trouble is, some of its eccentricities are just plain annoying


Cool Tool: Icebox - Igloo making tool

The Icebox tool lets you build an igloo out of any type snow.

One solution for the housing problem in "cold" climates. :-)
- Frank


Farmer Finds 11-Foot Python Curled in Corn

This year's harvest will be memorable for Fred Schuknecht, not so much for his crop of corn, but what he found in it — an 11-foot python.


FEMA Extends Brown's Contract by 30 Days

'I've got tens of thousands of people living in two-man igloo tents tonight, and less than a quarter of the people who have asked for FEMA travel trailers have gotten them,' Taylor said. 'And at the same time they can find $140,000 a year to pay this incompetent son of a gun; that's ridiculous.'

Brownie, you're an inspiration to all of your ilk, but an embarrassment to the rest of us.
- Frank


Was It Something I Ate? - What to do if you think a restaurant meal has made you sick

Confirming the cause of a food-borne illness is devilishly difficult, public health officials say, especially without a cluster of cases. Consequently, many sickened patrons don't even bother to report incidents, and many chefs struggle with how to respond when they do.

An interesting article. Read it while eating lunch. :-)
- Frank


USATODAY - Why your dog is smarter than a wolf

After a decade studying dogs in their human habitat, Mr. Miklosi and his colleagues have accumulated a body of evidence suggesting that dogs have far greater mental capabilities than scientists had thought. Dogs' smarts, it turns out, come out in their relationships with people.


Philadelphia Inquirer | 10/26/2005 | David Lee Roth taking Stern's spot on WYSP

Rock-and-roller David Lee Roth, a radio neophyte, was announced as the replacement for the outgoing morning giant on seven Infinity Broadcasting stations, including Philadelphia's WYSP-FM (94.1). He'll start Jan. 3.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


USATODAY - Google tests flea market feature

Internet search giant Google is encroaching on online auctioneer eBay's territory. Google confirmed Tuesday that it is testing an online marketplace where people could sell products. Photos of Google's planned program, Google Base, began appearing on blogs in the morning.


USATODAY - Mood is sour on Bush, Congress

Americans are increasingly critical of President Bush and dissatisfied with the Republicans who have controlled Congress for a decade

What could possibly have taken these Americans so long?
- Frank


AP Wire | 10/25/2005 | Bush to visit Wilma-damaged areas of Fla.

President Bush will travel to Florida on Thursday to survey areas damaged by Hurricane Wilma, the White House announced.

A daring visit, considering the recent passage of the Stand Your Ground Law.
- Frank


Richard D. Vogel, "Florida's 'Stand Your Ground' Law: Killing in Defense of Private Property, at Home or in the Streets"

SYG allows armed citizens to use deadly force in public places if they 'reasonably believe' it is necessary to prevent the 'imminent' use of deadly force against them or others. - Sergeant's death brings U.S. military casualties to 2,000

Earlier Tuesday, the chief spokesman for the American-led multinational force called on reporters covering the conflict not to look at the 2,000 death since March 2003 as a milestone.

A millstone around the neck of America would be a better description.
- Frank


The Brotherhood! Hussein and DeLay


USATODAY - Report: Cheney named in CIA leak probe

Notes in the hands of a federal prosecutor suggest that Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, first heard of the CIA officer from Cheney himself.

Assuming this situation gets the normal Bush Administration version of justice, Mr. Cheney should be immediately incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay's Camp X-Ray.
If nothing else, that would be a major step in proving that there is a God.

- Frank


Clinton calls for energy revolution | CNET

The New York Democrat called on government and business leaders to 'put research in alternative and smart energy sources into high gear.' She also called for a 'massive public information campaign' to encourage consumers, businesses and municipalities to implement energy-saving practices, as simple as using efficient light bulbs.


Dvorak Uncensored - The Screwing of America, part. 10

There are more people in India with bachelors degrees that speak English then there are people in the U.S. That is why Republicans show no real desire to support public education because at any level you can import labor already educated and trained for a cheaper cost.


Protecting the Presidential Seal. No Joke. - New York Times

You might have thought that the White House had enough on its plate late last month, what with its search for a new Supreme Court nominee, the continuing war in Iraq and the C.I.A. leak investigation. But it found time to add another item to its agenda - stopping The Onion, the satirical newspaper, from using the presidential seal.

As a U.S. citizen, I find it much more offensive that George W. Bush is permitted to use the presidential seal. Admittedly, I am biased toward humor and against corruption and incompetence.
- Frank


George Clooney considered killing himself -

“There was this scene where I was taped to a chair and getting beaten up and we did quite a few takes. The chair was kicked over and I hit my head,” Clooney said in an interview on National Public Radio. “I tore my dura, which is the wrap around my spine which holds in spinal fluid.” Clooney says part of the problem was that he’d put on weight for the role.

I've been exploring the Dura in my FrankPain blog as I search for pain relief.
- Frank - U.S. material wealth leads to clutter

Psychologists estimate that 3 million Americans never throw anything out — even old newspapers and yogurt cups — in a twisted logic of perfectionism and fear. These hoarders have a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Too often, they wind up entrapped and injured by their own junk.

I know, I know - My cluttered blog is a good example. :-)
- Frank

Monday, October 24, 2005


New York Daily News - Exclusive: Bushies feeling the boss' wrath

Bush usually reserves his celebrated temper for senior aides because he knows they can take it. Lately, however, some junior staffers have also faced the boss' wrath.

More evidence that indicates a need for minimal requirements of competence and literacy for the position of President of the United States.
- Frank


Dawn of the bioelectronic ‘cellborg’ - Engadget -

Remember this day folks ‘cause as far as we can tell, scientists at the University of Nebraska are the first to successfully build a bioelectronic device from a living microorganism.


Howard Stern's Ratings Fall in Many Major Markets

For whatever reason, since Stern announced a year ago he was leaving traditional radio for an irresistable $500 million, five-year contract with Sirius, his ratings on the whole have slid in nearly every one of his major markets


Companies urged to switch PCs off | CNET

With energy prices having soared in recent months, plus growing concerns over climate change, the amount of power used by PCs is a hot topic. The European Union recently agreed legislation to cut down on energy wasted by idle computers, including those left in standby.


Experts puzzled by Bush's mention of foiled plots - Yahoo! News

Intelligence officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the White House overstated the gravity of the plots by saying that they had been foiled, when most were far from ready to be executed, the report said.

If his lips are moving, it is probably a lie.
- Frank

Sunday, October 23, 2005


THE CALIFORNIA WATER WARS / WATER FLOWING TO FARMS, NOT FISH / Environmentalists lose leverage as agribusiness locks in cheap, plentiful supplies

Farmers who get federal water are generally charged a fraction of the free-market rate.

Westlands, for example, pays as little as $31 an acre foot for its federal water, while the Marin Municipal Water District pays about $500 an acre foot for water from the Russian River, and Southern California cities pay $200 an acre foot and up for state project water.

Saturday, October 22, 2005


Fearful lawyers threaten boycott of Saddam trial - Sunday Times - Times Online

“If you want to execute Saddam then do, but as far as we lawyers are concerned, no trial can be conducted without us,” the statement said. “We are men of law who are at liberty to defend any one of them. An accused is innocent until proven guilty.”


Rose Garden Resident - Fate of the former UC agricultural station rests in hands of Santa Clara City Council

SANTA CLARA, CA - The 17 acres of empty land along Winchester Boulevard across from Westfield Valley Fair and two blocks from Santana Row are in the middle of a tug-of-war.


Making a killing - Sunday Times - Times Online

LONDON - The American government is hiring private security firms to stabilise Iraq — and paying them a fortune to do it. But many of them are unregulated and operate outside the law. Jon Swain joins the hired guns on the streets of Baghdad — and assesses the real cost of privatising war.

Same hired guns that were used in New Orleans after Katrina.
- Frank


Stars & Stripes - DOD ends re-enlistment bonus for Army Guard

ARLINGTON, VA - The Defense Department has ended a re-enlistment bonus of up to $15,000 for Army National Guard troops, but the Guard has vowed to honor bonus contracts already signed, officials said.


New Scientist SPACE - Out-of-this-world sex could jeopardise missions

Sex and romantic entanglements among astronauts could derail missions to Mars and should therefore be studied by NASA, warns a top-level panel of US researchers.


Official Google Blog: Guess what just turned 34?

It's difficult to pin down the exact origin of email, but in October 1971, an engineer named Ray Tomlinson chose the '@' symbol for email addresses and wrote software to send the first network email.


LA Daily News - News

One hundred Brentwood kindergartners, many dressed in costumes, were all set to go see 'The Wizard of Oz' on Friday when their first-ever field trip was blocked by the nation's 43rd president.


Latest 'Left Behind' film to screen in 3,000 churches - Oct. 21, 2005

The third installment of the Bible-inspired Left Behind movie series is premiering this weekend, using an unconventional marketing strategy of screening the film in over 3,000 churches nationwide just a few days before the movie's DVD release.

Money, money, money!

- Frank


The Union - News - Proposition 73: Wording of abortion measure worries abortion rights advocates

CALIFORNIA - The language, deviating from the more neutral language used in similar statutes elsewhere, raises questions about the measure’s ultimate goal. Is Proposition 73 intended as an appropriate assertion of parental rights, as its sponsors insist? Or, as abortion rights activists claim, does the language hint at a broader agenda to restrict reproductive freedom for all women by declaring that life begins at conception?


Accidental Invention Points to End of Light Bulbs

An accidental discovery announced this week has taken LED lighting to a new level, suggesting it could soon offer a cheaper, longer-lasting alternative to the traditional light bulb. The miniature breakthrough adds to a growing trend that is likely to eventually make Thomas Edison's bright invention obsolete.


CNS STORY: Contrary to reports, Harriet Miers was not raised as a Catholic

Catholic Church records and the White House both refute what has become a boilerplate part of discussions about Miers, the White House general counsel and nominee for the Supreme Court.

The White House is so used to lying, it just seems to happen automatically!
- Frank


Guardian Unlimited Film | Interviews | Old stone face cracks

Bill Murray is famous for his deadpan acting and impenetrable cool. But, as Garth Pearce finds out, behind the mask is a man of emotion


Legal Problems Dog Bush's Inner Circle - Yahoo! News

But one White House official, noting that Bush's senior staff is tired of the long hours and increasing pressure, has told colleagues it might be best if everyone closest to the president resign and clear the way for new blood and fresh perspectives.

Unfortunately, there are several replacements who are equally corrupt, incompetent, or both, ready to step in.
- Frank


'Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal' hijacked US foreign policy: former Powell aide - Yahoo! News

'You and I and every other citizen like us is paying the consequences, whether it is a response to (Hurricane) Katrina that was less than adequate certainly, or whether it is the situation in Iraq, which still goes unexplained.'

He added: 'So you've got this collegiality there between the secretary of defense and the vice president, and you've got a president who is not versed in international relations and not too much interested in them either.


HoustonChronicle - 'Intelligent design' debate pits science, religion

Including the theory of 'intelligent design' in high school biology courses would confuse, mislead and alienate students from fields where the number of U.S. researchers is dwindling, scientists warned at a debate on the issue Friday.


U.S. death toll in Iraq nears 2,000 / Some expect momentum to grow for withdrawal of U.S. troops

With public opinion polls showing that a majority of Americans favor a partial or total withdrawal from Iraq 32 months after President Bush launched an invasion to oust Saddam Hussein, experts and advocates disagree on whether the looming benchmark will further erode public or congressional support for the war that the president promises to continue until a successful conclusion.

Friday, October 21, 2005


Early Retirement May Mean Earlier Death - CME Teaching Brief - MedPage Today

In a prospective cohort study of thousands of employees who worked at Shell Oil, the investigators found that embarking on the Golden Years at age 55 doubled the risk for death before reaching age 65, compared with those who toiled beyond age 60


USATODAY - Rat race? Rodent 'Razza' eludes scientists

Like a furry Robinson Crusoe, the brown Norwegian rat was cast away and left to fend for himself in an experiment New Zealand researchers say has given insight into why it's so hard to eradicate vermin from fragile island ecosystems.


Times: Miller Misled Paper About Role

In a dramatic e-mail, Executive Editor Bill Keller wrote Times' employees he wished he'd more carefully interviewed Miller and had 'missed what should have been significant alarm bells' that she had been the recipient of leaked information about the CIA officer at the heart of the case.


USATODAY - Roadside treats on I-95

It's safe to say that no one knows the off-ramps of Interstate 95 as intimately as Stan Posner and his wife, Sandra Phillips-Posner.


Blackberry Users Learning Painful Lesson: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance

Repetitive motion injuries, which have long afflicted desktop and laptop computer users, are invading the mobile handheld world.

There's even an informal name for the malady -- 'BlackBerry Thumb' -- a catch-all phrase that describes a repetitive stress injury of the thumb as a result of overusing small gadget keypads.


Ted Danson Gives Attorney General Award - Yahoo! News

Actor Ted Danson and model Amber Valletta gave state Attorney General Bill Lockyer an environmental award for his efforts to enforce a California law requiring businesses to label potentially harmful foods.


Stars & Stripes - Congress, DOD at odds over added electronics for Humvees

House Armed Services Committee members blasted the Army’s plan to outfit 824 brand-new up-armored Humvees with extra electronics before shipping them to Iraq, saying the 45- to 50-day cycle is slowing down a fielding process that has already been achingly slow.


Catholic School Teacher Fired for Planned Parenthood Work

She was fired from the all girls school by Bishop William Wiegand after a parent sent in a picture of her escorting clients into a Planned Parenthood medical clinic.


The center of the Axis of Evil located in Washington - PRAVDA.Ru

The United States of America of George W. Bush makes a mockery of his country's culture, history and Constitution. Far from being the land of the free, the land where dreams come true, George Bush's Washington is the Great American Nightmare. With its foreign policy dictated by a clique of conservative corporate elitists, the procedure followed by Washington today is one of bullying, belligerence, deception, deceit, lies, mass murder, criminal negligence, criminal and wanton destruction of civilian structures with military hardware, war crimes and increasingly, torture.

As an American, I sure wish I could find an error or an exaggeration in this article.
- Frank | Gov. Schwarzenegger Backs New Million Solar Roofs Effort

On Thursday, the Governor announced his intention to 'aggressively pursue' his initiative with the CPUC, overcoming the obstacles presented by the Legislature and its special interest issues at the end of this year's session.


Big win for gun industry in House / Bush says he'll sign bill to shield dealers

The gun industry scored a major victory Thursday when Congress approved legislation protecting firearms dealers and manufacturers from a broad swath of civil liability lawsuits.

The bill, which the House passed 283-144, now goes to President Bush, who has pledged to sign it into law.

The lunatics are definitely running the asylum. Irresponsibile twits on a rampage.
- Frank

Thursday, October 20, 2005


Ring tones--the new protest songs | CNET

In a quiet cafe in Washington, D.C., a cell phone rings. But instead of the commonplace digital bleeping or buzzing, it plays a recording of President Bush's voice.

'Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job,' he says, and Arlo Guthrie's 'City of New Orleans' starts playing under the looped quote.


The Guardian | Embarrassing setback for Bush's nominee

President Bush's controversial supreme court nominee, Harriet Miers, stumbled at her first formal hurdle yesterday, when the Senate asked her to rewrite answers to a questionnaire on her background and opinions.


God Does Not Want 16 Kids - Arkansas mom gives birth to a whole freakin' baseball team. How deeply should you cringe?

It's wrong to be this judgmental. Wrong to suggest that it is exactly this kind of weird pathological protofamily breeding-happy gluttony that's making the world groan and cry and recoil, contributing to vicious overpopulation rates and unrepentant economic strain and a bitter moral warpage resulting from a massive viral outbreak of homophobic neo-Christians across our troubled and Bush-ravaged land. Or is it?


USATODAY - Bush and Bono lunch at the White House

Over an hour and 40 minute meeting, Bono and Bush discussed debt relief, AIDS, malaria and world trade, said presidential spokesman Scott McClellan.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


HoustonChronicle - Communication gaps evident in Chertoff e-mail

The day New Orleans flooded, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff spent numerous frustrating hours in a failed attempt to reach FEMA director Michael Brown, a communications breakdown that typified the 'dysfunctional' federal response to Hurricane Katrina, lawmakers said Wednesday.


Dick Cheney's Covert Action

It is now quite clear that the outing of Valerie Plame was part of a broader White House effort to mislead and manipulate U.S. public opinion as part of an orchestrated effort to take us to war. The unraveling of the Valerie Plame affair has exposed their scam—and it extends well beyond compromising the identity of a CIA officer. In short, the Bush administration organized and executed a classic “covert action” program against the citizens of the United States.


Stars & Stripes - NATO effort to aid to Pakistan quake victims battles obstacles

As the death toll climbed to 79,000, planners and rescuers faced pressure to deliver the goods before the harsh Himalayan winter descended on the 3 million left homeless - Freedoms medal is Clinton's

Clinton, who served two terms in the White House, will receive the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute Four Freedoms Medal at a midday ceremony outside the FDR presidential library.

'We think his whole approach to government as a servant to the community is in the spirit of FDR and the New Deal,' said Christopher Breiseth, Roosevelt institute president.


KTVU - News - High-Tech Rescue Of Trapped SBC Lineman

Using high-tech satellite tracking equipment, rescue workers located an overdue SBC lineman and his wrecked truck early Wednesday deep in a remote ravine in the Bay Area's rural Mission Peak Regional Park.


Wal-Mart heiress returns degree to USC

Wal-Mart heiress Elizabeth Paige Laurie, accused of paying a fellow college student $20,000 to do her homework, has returned her University of Southern California degree, officials said.


A Day's Work at the Playboy Mansion - Chris Palmeri - Business Week

"On a trip to Hef's place, I met birds, rabbits, monkeys -- and Bunnies. All in the pursuit of a story about a new charitable foundation"


Colbert brings real wit to mock punditry - The Boston Globe

With his blowhard vocal pattern and patriotic pretenses, he's a living, breathing caricature of Bill O'Reilly.

Indeed, while 'The Daily Show' goofs on the news itself, 'The Colbert Report' is a goof on journalism and its big egos.


USATODAY - Saddam pleads not guilty, court adjourned until Nov.

The court is operating under rules laid out when the court was created in 2003 while Iraq was still run by American administrators and a 1971 Saddam-era criminal law that some have criticized as not up to international standards.


Body found in Sierra Nevada glacier believed to be WWII airman

Park rangers were working with military officials Wednesday in a remote Sierra Nevada glacier to excavate a body believed to be that of an airman who crashed in 1942.


Dvorak Uncensored - FCC Screws Over Small Student Radio Station

Maynard High School’s radio frequency, 91.7 FM, is being seized by a network of Christian broadcasting stations that the Federal Communications Commission has ruled is a better use of the public airwaves.


Scholars Argue if Shakespeare Penned Plays - Yahoo! News

LONDON - Some scholars just won't let Shakespeare be Shakespeare. A small academic industry has developed to prove that William Shakespeare, a provincial lad from Stratford-upon-Avon, could not have written the much-loved plays that bear his name.


The Duck Tape Club

If you’re serious about learning the facts about the wonder on a roll we call Duck Tape, head to Brand Information. It’s your one-stop research library for all things Duck Tape, including the real history of Duck Tape, the origin of the name, the corporate culture of the Henkel Duck Tape Team, research links and more


Saddam Pleads Innocent, Gets Into Scuffle - Yahoo! News

The proceedings were aired with about a 20-minute delay on state-run Iraqi television and on satellite stations across Iraq and the Arab world. But technical quality was poor, with the sound cutting out frequently and the picture going blank several times.


Bush's tax panel would limit break for homeowners / Dems complain plan would hit California, other blue states hard

Jerry Howard, chief executive of the National Association of Home Builders, said the plan, if enacted by Congress, would 'put an immediate chill on the housing markets and reverse almost a century of housing policy.'


USATODAY - National park policies to balance preservation, public use, draft shows

'It's fair to say this draft lowers the standard for protection of national parks in a subtle way,' said Denis Galvin, who served as deputy director of the park service under Presidents Reagan, Clinton and Bush before retiring in 2002.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


St. Petersburg Times - Soothing medicine

The program enhances traditional medicine with spiritual healing, including relaxation therapy, guided imagery, visualization, music therapy, therapeutic touch, massage, Reiki, biofeedback, nutritional support and spiritual counseling.

Inside the Peace Room, lights are dim. Lush landscapes cover the walls beneath a sky-blue ceiling.


Scientific American: Climate Model Predicts Extreme Changes for U.S.

The latest and most detailed climate model of the continental U.S. predicts temperatures so extreme by the end of the century they could substantially disrupt the country's economy and infrastructure.


California tops among one-person firms - 2005-10-18

California had 2.38 million people in business only with themselves in 2003, according to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau.


RenewableEnergyAccess - University of Colorado Wins 2005 Solar Decathlon

The 2005 Solar Decathlon pitted 18 collegiate teams from the U.S. including Puerto Rico, Canada and Spain, in a competition to design, build and operate the most attractive and energy-efficient solar-powered home. Students competed in 10 areas, ranging from architecture, livability and comfort to how well the homes provide energy for space heating and cooling, hot water, lighting, and appliances. Each house also had to produce enough 'extra' power for an electric car.


PC Magazine: Media Bias and Technology Reporting - John C. Dvorak

As big and as important as Microsoft is, the coverage of the company is quite mediocre. This is particularly true in the mainstream press. The reason for this is that today's newspaper andmagazine tech writers know little about computers and are all Mac users. It's a fact.


USATODAY - Tax proposal for less paper, but fewer deductions

Members of President Bush's tax commission planned to propose Tuesday to radically shrink and simplify federal tax forms, in part by doing away with popular deductions such as the one for state and local taxes.


When Women Lead - Women and Leadership - Newsweek

This should be a season of celebration. America has its first female in the Oval Office. Everywhere you look, there are women surgeons, police officials, hard-charging executives and even amazingly resourceful undercover operatives. So why aren't women across the country cheering?


MercuryNews - Obscure mortgage refinance rule adds risk

CALIFORNIA - As long as homeowners retain their original mortgage, a little-known state law prevents lenders from going after more than just the home. Refinancing frees lenders to go after cars, savings and brokerage accounts, unrelated real estate holdings and other assets to make up the difference -- even if it takes a decade or more to square the debt.


UPDATE:Town's Sunday construction ban could affect do-it-yourself work - Monday, 10/17/05

SPRING HILL, Tenn. (AP) - Spring Hill aldermen are facing a decision over whether to go after do-it-yourself enthusiasts who violate an ordinance banning construction work on Sundays.

According to city code in this Nashville suburb, no construction work of any kind can be done on Sundays. Spring Hill aldermen are now debating just how strict that ordinance is.


After 'NY Times' Probe: Keller Should Fire Miller--and Apologize to Readers

Let’s put aside for the moment Miller's exhibiting the same selective memory favored by her former friends and sources in the White House, in claiming that for the life of her she cannot recall how the name of “Valerie Flame” got into the reporter’s notebook she took to her interview with Libby; or how she learned about the CIA operative from other sources (whom she can’t name or even recall when it happened).


CNN - The top magazine covers of last 40 years - Oct 17, 2005

The American Society of Magazine Editors announced the winners of the competition on Monday during the American Magazine Conference in Puerto Rico. The competition was held as a way to mark the 40th anniversary of the group's awards.

Monday, October 17, 2005


Windows patch backfires on the security-minded | CNET

The flawed update delivered 'two strikes against good security,' Ullrich said. 'First, you get penalized for running an enhanced security template. Next, you get penalized for patching quickly.'


Yes, your printer is spying on you — EFF cracks Xerox printer fingerprinting code -

You probably already know that your printer may be secretly outputting hidden data to allow investigators to track you by magnifying and decrypting the info. Now, you can find out what info is being shared.


JibJab takes aim at outsourcing | CNET

The new animated short, 'Big Box Mart,' features an 'unsuspecting consumer' who loses his highly skilled factory job because the work is being transferred to a lower-wage economy overseas. The worker ends up as a janitor at a mega-retailer.


Biggest Wi-Fi Cloud Is in Rural Oregon - Yahoo! News

While cities around the country are battling over plans to offer free or cheap Internet access, this lonely terrain is served by what is billed as the world's largest hotspot, a wireless cloud that stretches over 700 square miles of landscape so dry and desolate it could have been lifted from a cowboy tune.


USATODAY - Court won't let Bush push tobacco penalty

The $280 billion is the most ever sought in a civil racketeering trial. The government has described that as an estimate of money that companies including Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds earned illegally through fraudulent activities.

Let's see... ...Bush OR the Supreme Court doing anything against big business.
I won't hold my breath waiting.
- Frank

Sunday, October 16, 2005


Canada tells China could ship 450,000 bpd in 6 yrs - Yahoo! News

Prime Minister Paul Martin bluntly rejected a call by U.S. President George W. Bush on Friday to negotiate an end to a long-running softwood lumber dispute, since Canada had already won a key trade ruling earlier this year.

For some reason Shrub expects Canada to negotiate despite our violation of NAFTA rules and loss when the case went to court.
- Frank

Saturday, October 15, 2005


TheOmahaChannel - Nebraska Weather Photos Passed Off As Hurricane Katrina

Storm chaser Mike Hollingshead hasn't been paid or given credit for the photos that have appeared in the Netherlands, Canada, Australia and Brazil, among other places. Furthermore, the photos of tornadoes in Nebraska, Kansas and Iowa are being passed off as Hurricane Katrina pictures.


The Fallen Legion: Casualties of the Bush Administration

Since almost the day he assumed power, George W. Bush has left a trail of broken careers in his wake. Below is a listing of but a handful of the most familiar names on the rolls of the fallen:

Friday, October 14, 2005 | Top Stories | Canada | Clear sailing in the North?

Canada's fabled Northwest Passage could soon become the reality its early explorers hungered for. Study after study has shown that the polar ice cap is melting, and the Arctic Ocean might be enjoying ice-free summers a few decades down the line. While the Big Thaw is bad news for the environment, a viable alternative to the Panama Canal might just be just the ticket for the international shipping industry. A northern route to link the Atlantic and Pacific oceans -- to give China, for example, better access to European markets -- would cut days off current shipping routes, and mean major savings for companies wanting to move cargo around the world in an age of soaring fuel costs.


USATODAY - Since Sept. 11, investigators have faced fake terror threats

Authorities say that since the Sept. 11 attacks, an untold number of hoaxers have preyed on fears of terrorism on U.S. soil by telling phony stories in hopes of winning favors from the government, settling scores or simply causing mischief.

The statement: "hoaxers have preyed on fears of terrorism" fits the current administration's methodology perfectly in my humble opinion.
- Frank


CNN - North Dakota Internet sellers may need license - Oct 10, 2005

Regulators in other states are also eyeing similar restrictions or preconditions, moves prompted by the growing popularity of online auctions. | Solar Reaction Mixed to Union Stance

The necessary background to this situation is that the IBEW -- or more specifically, the local representatives of the IBEW in California -- are widely considered to be the main reason for the legislative failure of SB1, the Million Solar Roofs Initiative in California. The legislation, which originally enjoyed strong bipartisan and gubernatorial support, would have established a 10 year program of declining rebates meant to help lower the cost of solar in the state while ensuring the installation of as much as 3000 MW of solar energy.


The Microsoft Protection Racket - PC Magazine - John C. Dvorak

Does Microsoft think it is going to get away with charging real money for any sort of add-on, service, or new product that protects clients against flaws in its own operating system? Does the existence of this not constitute an incredible conflict of interest? Why improve the base code when you can sell 'protection'? Is Frank Nitti the new CEO?


Boca officers question surveillance

BOCA RATON, FL — When someone repeatedly entered his open garage to pilfer beer, prominent resident Bill Gralnick called the cops.

Their response: installing a surveillance camera in the garage.

It was a highly unusual response, police sources say.


Bush To Appoint Someone To Be In Charge Of Country | The Onion


In response to increasing criticism of his handling of the war in Iraq and the disaster in the Gulf Coast, as well as other issues, such as Social Security reform, the national deficit, and rising gas prices, President Bush is expected to appoint someone to run the U.S. as soon as Friday.


Torture on the Hill

The Senate's passage of the amendment stands as a singular legislative attempt to corral Bush into compliance with international law and human rights standards. McCain's legislation, which would prohibit the use of 'cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment' by the military, bears the unmistakable moral authority of Vietnam POW McCain and Vietnam vet Senator Chuck Hagel and the strategic endorsement of more than two dozen retired senior military officers, including former Secretary of State Colin Powell and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Shalikashvili. No longer can the White House pretend that for the sake of national security Congress has acquiesced in torture. The most shocking aspect of the McCain amendment is not the bill's content but the White House's threat of a veto in the face of near-unanimous Senate support.


The Globe and Mail: PM, Bush talk softwood

Canada will continue to publicize the point that Canada is more than prepared to take the United States to court in its own country but will do so only if necessary, the PMO official said.

As well, Mr. Martin pointed out that the dispute is hurting U.S. consumers because it is artificially driving up the cost of lumber, the official said.


Using Gmail to...

Using Gmail as To-Do List
Around the same time as Gmail was launched, the tech world spawned a fashion for being really, really, organized. To-do lists are stylish accessory for any self-respecting geek, and, of course, Gmail can be fashioned into a fine tool for such things.

One of many clever uses for a free Gmail account.
- Frank


Guardian Unlimited - daily comment -The bishops have no right to restrict our right to die

Lord Gilmore mocked the Archbishop of Canterbury's saccharine view that everyone was wanted and that every life was valued to the very end; he (Lord Gilmore, that is) would hit anyone who said that while leaving him suffering in agony on his deathbed. As for the sanctity of life: 'It is evidently not known or followed by Messrs Bush and Blair, who are killing thousands of innocent civilians in Iraq' - which, he added acidly, God told Bush to do. - Intel enters billion-transistor processor era


Intel Corp. has started sampling an Itanium-2, 64-bit microprocessor that was made by linking together 1.72 billion transistors. The processor, codenamed Montecito, was discussed as far back as August 2002, but it is now sampling to some Intel customers, a company spokesman said.


Print Reporters: Odd Men Out on White House Plane

Restrictions on the number of journalists allowed to tag along on advance trips to foreign countries to be visited by President Bush have raised objections from White House reporters, leading to a formal complaint.


Economic Report: U.S. inflation surges 1.2%, a 25-year high - Bond Market - Economy

The report should keep the Federal Reserve on track for more interest rates hikes at coming meetings. While the core CPI was contained, that was largely due to several special factors unlikely to be repeated in coming months, such as declines in hotel rates, rents and airfares.

'These downside surprises are looking increasingly fishy,' said Stephen Stanley, chief economist for RBS Greenwich Capital.

'Anecdotal evidence and common sense suggests that core inflation has not been anywhere near this tame,' said Mark Vitner, an economist for Wachovia.

Now it seems that financial numbers are just as suspect as all other info issued by Washington.
- Frank


MercuryNews || IBM hopes its custom R&D unit is an emerging giant

In this 'flat world' age of specialized outsourcing, the IBM people argued, companies shouldn't do too much by themselves. Even research and development work at the heart of what distinguishes businesses from rivals can be opened up and spread around.


The Ultimate Bed


A novel idea for those looking to reduce the number of pieces of furniture in your bedroom or home.
- Frank


BBC NEWS | Health | 'Cannabis' acts as antidepressant

A team from Canada's University of Saskatchewan suggest the compound causes nerve cells to regenerate.

At least the lab rats are benefitting from this research.
- Frank


Police blotter: Patriot Act wins a round | CNET

Ginsburg rejected the library group's request to lift its gag order, saying that the Second Circuit was moving quickly--oral arguments are set for Nov. 2--and that it was premature to intervene. (The Bush administration has urged Congress to keep Section 505 of the Patriot Act and further expand police powers.)

The terrorists win another one! Watching the destruction of my country is both frightening and sad.
- Frank


U.S. Attorney's Office Contacted About Williams Contract

'It's bad enough the administration bribed a journalist to promote their policies, but now it looks like taxpayer dollars were handed over for work that was never done'

Thursday, October 13, 2005


New Laws May Let Power Plants Pollute More - Yahoo! News

The Bush administration proposed new regulations Thursday that could allow the nation's dirtiest power plants to release more air pollutants each year — and possibly undercut lawsuits aimed at forcing companies to comply with the Clean Air Act.


Mortgage deduction on block? - San Francisco Chronicle

President Bush's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform is likely to propose next week a change in the deduction for home-mortgage interest that, if adopted by Congress, would have a drastic impact on the Bay Area and other regions with high housing prices.


Medicare misses deadline - Web site for helping seniors choose drug plan not yet online

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' online prescription drug information service, featuring a computerized system for comparing different plans, was supposed to be introduced today. Instead, the agency hopes to launch the service Monday, although that date is not certain.


AP Wire | 10/13/2005 | U.S. accused of making up al-Qaida letter

CAIRO, Egypt - A posting on an Islamic Web site Thursday accused the United States of fabricating a letter in which al-Qaida's No. 2 leader asked for money and laid out the terrorist group's plans for expanding the insurgency in the Middle East.

Too bad there isn't some trace of credibility within the U.S. Government.
That letter seemed a bit too convenient and contrived when originally realeased by the normally media shy government press people.
- Frank


Bush Teleconference With Soldiers Staged

It was billed as a conversation with U.S. troops, but the questions President Bush asked on a teleconference call Thursday were choreographed to match his goals for the war in Iraq and Saturday's vote on a new Iraqi constitution.

No ethics, no conscience, and no brains. What a poor excuse for a human and an embarrassment for America.
- Frank


Playbill News: Guettel and Goldman to Team on Princess Bride Musical

Composer Adam Guettel and screenwriter William Goldman will collaborate on a musical version or the hit fairy tale film 'The Princess Bride,' the New York Post reported.


Poughkeepsie Journal - Officer takes skull piece for 'ashtray'

The family of a deceased Hopewell Junction man has indicated it intends to sue after a police officer took part of the man's skull from the scene of an automobile accident and bragged he would use it as an ashtray.


Cookies ‘n Change - Newsweek Society -


Still smarting from criticism of his nomination of Harriet Miers to the United States Supreme Court, President George W. Bush today nominated a man he described as 'a guy I met at the mall' to succeed Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan.


New York Daily News - Stanley Crouch: Faith is gone, and sex fiends must go, too

This can happen in government or the church, but while most of us expect some of those in government to be lowlifes, hustlers and sellouts, it is very painful to believers when those who represent their faith are overcome by their perverse appetite to exploit children.


New York Daily News - Daily News Exclusive: Terror tip for rich

The city's rich and well-connected were tipped off to last week's subway terror threat days before average New Yorkers, the Daily News has learned.


Government Urged to Back Science Education - Yahoo! News

...70,000 engineers were graduated in the United States last year, compared to 350,000 in India and 600,000 in China, the committee said in a new report. And in 2001, U.S. industry spent more on liability lawsuits than on research and development.


Dvorak Uncensored - Stolen jet flew from Florida to Georgia — and no one noticed!

Lou Dobbs, reporting on his TV show, this afternoon, states the FAA and Homeland Security “never noticed the flight”! This is a jet with a 6-ton capacity. The flight was 350-400 miles.


Mobile Homes, Campers Wait at FEMA Sites - Yahoo! News

More than 9,000 mobile homes and campers meant for the victims of Hurricane Katrina are sitting unused at government staging areas while displaced families continue to live out of tents and shelters.


Bush approval rating dips to 39 percent - poll - Yahoo! News

Bush's approval rating dipped in the poll below a mid-September ranking of 40 percent. The survey also found only 28 percent of respondents believed the country was headed in the right direction, NBC reported.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


Gore: I Don't Plan to Run for President

When asked how the United States would have been different if he had become president, though, he had harsh criticism for Bush's policies.

'We would not have invaded a country that didn't attack us,' he said, referring to Iraq. 'We would not have taken money from the working families and given it to the most wealthy families.'

'We would not be trying to control and intimidate the news media. We would not be routinely torturing people,' Gore said. 'We would be a different country.'


Judge Bars Probe of National Banks

A federal judge Wednesday blocked New York state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer from investigating national banks' lending practices, saying the probe is prohibited by federal law...

...Spitzer had said his probe to see if minorities are being charged higher interest rates on home mortgage loans had already shown a "significant racial disparity that could violate state civil rights laws."


EERE: Department of Energy Solar Decathlon Home Page

The Solar Decathlon brings together 18 teams of college and university students from around the globe to participate in this unparalleled solar competition to design, build, and operate the most attractive and energy-efficient solar-powered home.


The Orphalese, World's Largest Ocean-Based Residence, to Offer the Ultimate in Luxury Living, Cultural Experiences and Adventure Travel

Working with the world's top interior designers to create 200 stunning two- to four-bedroom residences, The Orphalese will feature fully equipped and furnished residences ranging from $1.8 million to $10 million, with a small monthly assessment that gives owners access to all tourist cruise facilities, including food, all utilities and urgent medical care. In addition, 265 guest suites will accommodate those who do not own a permanent residence. Residents and guests also will be able to enjoy an 80,000-square-foot mall deck, spa, casino and other amenities.

The Orphalese website


USATODAY - L.A. archdiocese files expose reaction to allegations

After nearly three years of legal wrangling, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles has released information from the personnel files of 126 clergy accused of sexual abuse.

The confidential records show that for more than 75 years the nation's largest archdiocese shipped accused priests between therapy and new assignments, often ignoring parishioners' complaints.

Is it just me or do the Catholic Church and the White House both seem to be using the same warped ethical guidebook?
- Frank


What art is hiding on your microchip? | CNET

The silicon chip images show a particular kind of technical aesthetic. For example, one of the images Davidson finds most impressive is of Thor, the Norse god of thunder--a comparatively large, square image measuring about 1 millimeter on edge of an HP chip.


Lautenberg: Congratulations Halliburton and Vice President Cheney!

The Vice President also continues to receive 'deferred salary' from Halliburton. While in office, he has received the following salary payments from Halliburton:

Deferred salary paid by Halliburton to Vice President Cheney in 2001: $205,298 Deferred salary paid by Halliburton to Vice President Cheney in 2002: $162,392 Deferred salary paid by Halliburton to Vice President Cheney in 2003: $178,437 Deferred salary paid by Halliburton to Vice President Cheney in 2004: $194,852


What God Really Told Bush / Apparently, it wasn't just "invade Iraq and Afghanistan in my name." A special report

'Psst! George! God here, taking a break from supervising the well-being of eight billion troubled souls along with infinite galaxies of unimaginable vastness to speak with you directly one more time because, well, you're special, aren't you, George? Yes you are! Yes you are! OK, stop giggling. I have more commands.'

Aha! Now it all makes perfect sense.
- Frank


Frist Accumulated Stock Outside Trusts - Yahoo! News

Over a period of four years, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist accumulated stock in a family founded hospital chain that produced tens of thousands of dollars in income — all outside the blind trusts he created to avoid a conflict of interest, documents show.


HRH Mike, the man who should be king, prefers Aussie bush to Buck Palace - Yahoo! News

A documentary team from Britain's Channel Four conducted extensive research and concluded Hastings' ancestors were cheated out of the crown in the 15th century, meaning he should rightfully be the British head of state.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005 - CIA review faults prewar plans

A newly released report published by the CIA rebukes the Bush administration for not paying enough attention to prewar intelligence that predicted the factional rivalries now threatening to split Iraq. - AT&T solves VoIP's 911 issue

AT&T says it's solved a problem that has dogged Internet-based phone service: how to provide emergency 911 to people who use VoIP — short for Voice over Internet Protocol — on the road.

Monday, October 10, 2005


Death Toll Rises for Military Reservists

The National Guard and Reserves are suffering a strikingly higher share of U.S. casualties in Iraq, their portion of total American military deaths nearly doubling since last year.

Sunday, October 09, 2005


Tax Reformers Eye Breaks for Housing - Los Angeles Times

Just as the nation's housing boom appears to be slowing, debate is starting among policymakers about reining in one of the most sacred cows of American public policy: the mortgage-interest deduction and other generous tax benefits granted to homeowners.


CNN - FBI may relax hiring policy on drug use - Oct 9, 2005

'It doesn't stop Supreme Court justices from getting on the bench and doesn't stop presidents from getting elected, so why should it stop someone from getting hired by the FBI?'


Google Goes Inside the Beltway

'Our mission in Washington boils down to this: Defend the Internet as a free and open platform for information, communication, and innovation,' Andrew McLaughlin, Google's senior policy counsel, wrote in an Oct. 6 company blog.


ABC News: Clinton Inducted Into Women's Hall of Fame

Honored with her were Maya Lin, who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.; Dr. Rita Rossi Colwell, who became the first female director of the National Science Foundation in 1998; and Betty Bumpers, a crusader for childhood immunizations who was Clinton's predecessor as Arkansas' first lady.

Saturday, October 08, 2005 - Judge rejects DHS attempt at revising personnel rules (10/7/05)

A federal judge ruled Friday that the Homeland Security Department's labor relations reforms cannot go forward, despite an attempt by the department to remove portions of the proposal previously ruled illegal.


Arnold Vetoes Bill to Grant Licenses to Illegal Immigrants

SACRAMENTO - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Friday vetoed legislation that would have granted driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, saying that approving the measure into law could have undermined national security efforts.


village voice - Time for Miller to come clean

The press's role in the leak of a CIA operative's identity has made clear that if ever there was a time for transparency by the journalism community, this is it. The case is clouded in secrecy and murk, including the part about the press's involvement. At least two of the reporters involved, protecting sources, have failed to give anything resembling a complete account of their information-gathering.


Florida Man Stole Police Department's Identity: Top News Stories at

MASCOTTE, FL - Police said a man bought thousands of dollars worth of equipment that could be used to impersonate police officers and, they said, he got it all by stealing the identity of the police department.


Pat Tillman, Our Hero

When the Pro Bowler joined the Army Rangers, the Pentagon brass needed a loofah to wipe their drool: He was white, handsome and played in the NFL. For a chicken-hawk Administration led by a President who loves the affectations of machismo but runs from protesting military moms, this testosterone cocktail was impossible to resist. The problem was that Tillman wouldn't play their game. To the Pentagon's chagrin, he turned down numerous offers to be its recruitment poster child.


Water resources are drying up in Brevard

BREVARD COUNTY, FL - Utility officials say they can keep taps flowing in Brevard County for the additional 175,000 people expected by 2025. But a new report from the government agency responsible for regulating water consumption shows the days of groundwater fueling Florida's explosive growth are trickling to an end.


A cell phone that points to Mecca - Wireless World -

THE HAGUE, Netherlands - For Muslims, it's a high-tech call to prayer. A new cellular telephone generates five automated reminders a day at prayer time and points Muslims in the direction of Mecca.


Three robotic vehicles finish $2 million Mojave Desert race

Three driverless robotic vehicles led by Stanford University on Saturday crossed the finish line of a $2 million Pentagon-sponsored robot race across the rugged Mojave Desert.

Friday, October 07, 2005


Bush White House declares torture vital to US security policy

In an extraordinary declaration of the brutality of American foreign policy, the Bush administration denounced a Senate vote to bar the use of torture against prisoners held by the US military. Responding to the passage of an amendment to a Pentagon spending bill—approved by an overwhelming 90-9 vote Wednesday, the White House said the proposal would “restrict the president’s authority to protect Americans effectively from terrorist attack and bring terrorists to justice.”


Antler alert! Pet-killing buck at large in Orinda

ORINDA, CA - An antlered buck has gored two dogs -- one fatally -- in a rural neighborhood, and the state Department of Fish and Game has issued a permit allowing the animal to be killed if it can be trapped.


Poll: Bush's Job Approval Remains Low

President Bush's job approval is mired at the lowest level of his presidency, and public feelings about the nation's direction have sunk to new depths in an Associated Press-Ipsos poll.

Dvorak Uncensored - Wal-Mart Turns in Student’s Anti-Bush Photo, Secret Service Investigates the Student:
There’s a civics class that learned what freedom of speech really means — in 21st Century America.

And yet another reason NOT to shop at Walmart!
- Frank

USA : White House denies Bush God claims:
'History is littered with examples of people doing the most bizarre and sometimes wicked things on this basis,' said Andrew Blackstock, director of the British-based Christian Socialist Movement. 'If Bush really wants to obey God during his time as president he should start with what is blindingly obvious from the Bible rather than perceived supernatural messages. - Mineta defends department's performance during Katrina (10/6/05):
Mineta said his department had rounded up hundreds of privately operated buses at FEMA's request and brought them to a designated highway stop near New Orleans. There they sat, because FEMA did not give them orders to move, Mineta told a House Appropriations subcommittee.

Scared civilians, few insurgents / U.S. soldier calls platoon's task 'organized chaos':
'Probably about 50 percent of the time, our targets are actually there when we're there,' Freidt says. 'It's a lot more fun when they're there.'

The Winner Is... Fake Dog Testicle Creator:
The Ig Nobels, given at Harvard University by Annals of Improbable Research magazine, celebrate the humorous, creative and odd side of science.

USATODAY - White House: U.S., allies have foiled terror plots:
Bush said Iraq is the 'central front' in the war on terrorism but freedom and democracy in the entire world are at stake. He accused radical Islamists of seeking 'to enslave whole nations and intimidate the world' by acts of violence and killing innocent civilians, including children.

Sigh!! 1200 Days Left in Office as of today.
- Frank

USATODAY - AT&T to live on after merger:
SBC plans to dump its corporate moniker and adopt the fabled AT&T name once federal regulators bless the two companies' merger, people with direct knowledge of the matter say.

Another step towards 'Revestiture'
- Frank

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Shark Nicole Clocks More Than 12,000 Miles:
A great white shark named Nicole logged more than 12,000 miles swimming from Africa to Australia and back, the first proof of a link between the two continents' shark populations, researchers say.

USATODAY - Woman bounced from Southwest flight for T-shirt:
RENO, NV - Lorrie Heasley, of Woodland, Wash., was halfway home on a flight Tuesday that began in Los Angeles, wearing a T-shirt with the pictures of President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and a phrase similar to the popular film, Meet the Fockers.

Fire Guts 'Batman' Mansion:
PASADENA, CA - Stately Wayne Manor is no longer. A Wednesday night fire gutted a Tudor style mansion that served as the home of Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, in the 1960's 'Batman' television series, said Lisa Derderian, a spokeswoman for the Pasadena Fire Department. It was being remodeled by the owners, she said.

Court Rules in Favor of Anonymous Blogger - Yahoo! News:
DOVER, DE - In a decision hailed by free-speech advocates, the Delaware Supreme Court on Wednesday reversed a lower court decision requiring an Internet service provider to disclose the identity of an anonymous blogger who targeted a local elected official.

Hopefully, no White House staff members will expose this blogger's identity.
- Frank - News - Bush Tries To Sell Skeptical Public On War In Iraq:
Providing a somewhat inconvenient backdrop for Bush's speech today: 46 GOP senators joining Democrats in veto-proof majority support for John McCain's proposal to restrict US treatment of detainees, after Bush threatened to veto it.

Clueless? Unethical? Corrupt? Incompetent? Which word best describes Bush?
Maybe - All of the above?
- Frank

Hot Wheels: World's Most Expensive Cars - Yahoo! Finance:
Just how rarefied are the world's ten most expensive cars?
Put it this way: No Ferrari, Bentley or Lamborghini costs enough to make the list. In fact, those cars look almost commonplace in comparison.

E-voting hobbled by security concerns | CNET
It's been nearly five years since Americans received a painful education on the perils of traditional voting machines in Florida, and almost one year since the 2004 election revealed perplexing irregularities in Ohio's vote-tabulation methods.

Senate supports setting interrogation limits - The Boston Globe:
Forty-six Republicans joined 43 Democrats and one Independent in voting to define and limit interrogation techniques that US troops may use against terrorism suspects, the latest sign that alarm over treatment of prisoners in the Middle East and at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is widespread in both parties. The White House had fought to prevent the restrictions, with Vice President Dick Cheney visiting key Republicans in July and a spokesman yesterday repeating President Bush's threat to veto the larger bill that the language is now attached to -- a $440 billion military spending measure.

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