Sunday, April 30, 2006


REALITIES OF WAR - Far from becoming more peaceful, the world grows more violent -- since WWII each of 10 conflicts has killed more than one million p

When he first came into office, George W. Bush showed a clear preference for acting to stop genocide. After he was briefed in some detail on how the debacle in Rwanda happened in 1994, and why the United States did nothing to stop it, his response was, 'Not on my watch.' Well, the sad news is that the Congo War became a catastrophic conflict and genocide began to unfold in Darfur on this president's watch -- while he was adding two wars of his own (in Afghanistan and Iraq) to the list of those already under way around the world.


Colbert Lampoons Bush at White House Correspondents Dinner-- President Not Amused?

Colbert, who spoke in the guise of his talk show character, who ostensibly supports the president strongly, urged Bush to ignore his low approval ratings, saying they were based on reality, “and reality has a well-known liberal bias.”

Saturday, April 29, 2006


When bugs fly - Auto geek hits highway for surreptitious runs in jet-powered VW

It's a perfectly street-legal VW, too, with current California registration and smog-approved gas-burning front engine made by Volkswagen. It's just this humongous big thing projecting 23 inches rearward from the hatchback that makes it different from any other bug. The 'thing' is what Patrick describes as 'essentially a baby Lear jet engine, a couple steps down from the engine on an F4 Phantom.'


US admits Iraq is terror 'cause' - Times Online

THREE years after its invasion of Iraq the US Administration acknowledged yesterday that the war has become “a cause” for Islamic extremists worldwide and there is a risk of the country becoming a safe haven for terrorists hoping to launch fresh attacks on America.


Reuters AlertNet - "Half million" Iraqi refugees fled violence - VP

An Iraqi vice president said on Friday 100,000 families -- perhaps some half a million people -- are living as refugees because of sectarian violence wracking the country.


U.S. moves to quash privacy suit against AT&T

'It appears the NSA is capable of conducting what amounts to vacuum-cleaner surveillance of all the data crossing the Internet, whether that be people's e-mail, Web surfing or other data,'' Mark Klein, a former AT&T technician, said in a statement released by his lawyers. - Rolling Stone Keith Richards out of his tree, in a hospital

Media reports in Australian and New Zealand said Richards hurt his head when he fell out of a palm tree at an exclusive Fiji resort.

Friday, April 28, 2006 - Conspiracy film rewrites Sept. 11

...a film that says, among other things, that the Pentagon was hit by a cruise missile fired by the military as an excuse to go to war.

Thursday, April 27, 2006 - 1 in 5 pay more in Medicare Rx plan

Medicare's new prescription-drug program has increased out-of-pocket costs for about one in five participants, causing some to risk their health by reducing or eliminating medications.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006 | Seagate to roll out 750-gigabyte hard drives

The drive Seagate will introduce Wednesday, the Barracuda 7200.10, is the first computer desktop disk drive to hit the 750-gigabyte mark and represents a 50 percent increase from the previous industry maximum of 500 gigabytes.


Yahoo's free software turns PC into DVR | CNET

Yahoo has released a beta version of software that turns a PC into a digital video recorder.

The software, Yahoo Go for TV, is free to download. After the software is installed, people plug their computer into their television's video and audio input connections. The computer can then record and play back shows on the TV just like with a standalone DVR. Consumers can also play DVDs, music, photos or other downloaded content.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Bush Eases Environmental Rules on Gasoline - Yahoo! News

President Bush on Tuesday ordered a temporary suspension of environmental rules for gasoline, making it easier for refiners to meet demand and possibly dampen prices at the pump. He also halted for the summer the purchase of crude oil for the government's emergency reserve.

Sheesh! Yet another gift for the oil companies!
On a more positive note:
Today we pass the "1000 Days Left in Office" mark for the worst President in U.S. history.
- Frank

Monday, April 24, 2006


The Sun Online - News: Mick beats George to suite

PRESIDENT George Bush can’t get no satisfaction — after Mick Jagger grabbed his hotel room.


Jonathan Schwartz Named CEO of Sun Microsystems: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance

PRNewswire-FirstCall - Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: SUNW) announced today that its board of directors has appointed Jonathan Schwartz as the Company's chief executive officer. The appointment is the result of Sun's on-going succession planning process and is effective immediately. Schwartz, 40, succeeds Scott McNealy, 51, who will continue serving as chairman of the board and a full time employee, devoted to expanding market opportunities for Sun around the globe. Schwartz also retains the title of president.

Sunday, April 23, 2006


Top 10 Windows XP Tips Of All Time - Yahoo! News

Despite all the hoopla about the introduction of Windows Vista, the truth of the matter is that the new OS isn't due for at least another seven to nine months — and it will probably be even longer before most of us start adopting it. Meanwhile, we've still got to deal with Win XP.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


Neil Young's protest album to get Web premiere | CNET

Neil Young's newly recorded protest album 'Living With War,' including a song calling for the impeachment of President Bush, will be posted for free Internet streaming next week, his label said on Friday.

Starting April 28, fans can log onto Young's Web site, and listen to the 10-track collection in its entirety, free of charge, said Bill Bentley, a spokesman for Warner Music Group's Reprise Records.


Worldwide Terror Attacks Exceed 10,000

...the numbers are a striking reminder that violence around the globe has dramatically increased in the more than four years of the war on terror.

Friday, April 21, 2006


Class-Action Status Sought in Teflon Suit - Yahoo! News

Owners of Teflon-coated pots and pans in 15 states are seeking to have their cases combined in a $5 billion class-action lawsuit claiming DuPont Co. failed to disclose possible health risks from using the nonstick cookware.


Phony doctor gives free breast exams - Yahoo! News

A 76-year-old man claiming to be a doctor went door-to-door in a Florida neighborhood offering free breast exams, and was charged with sexually assaulting two women who accepted the offer, police said on Thursday.


Indignities mean loss of face for China's leader

The protocol-obsessed Chinese leader suffered a day full of indignities -- some intentional, others just careless. The visit began with a slight when the announcer said the band would play the 'national anthem of the Republic of China' -- the official name of Taiwan. It continued when Vice President Dick Cheney donned sunglasses for the ceremony, and again when Hu, attempting to leave the stage via the wrong staircase, was yanked back by his jacket. Hu looked down at his sleeve to see the president of the United States tugging at it as if redirecting an errant child.

Fortunately, Cheney didn't have a shotgun with him!
- Frank

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Flap over pet projects roils GOP |

Remember Alaska's 'bridge to nowhere'? It's about to be topped by what critics call Mississippi's 'railroad to nowhere,' which is quickly becoming the poster child for excessive spending by the Republican-controlled Congress.


Panasonic Unveils 103-Inch TV Screen - Yahoo! News

Home TV screens just keep getting bigger. And there's no end in sight. Panasonic pitched a tent outside the
New York Stock Exchange yesterday to show off the biggest high-definition plasma screen yet.


Trump Sets Up Trump State Park - CBS News

(AP) Donald Trump is donating 436 bucolic acres in New York City's northern suburbs for a new state park that will be named for _ you guessed it _ Donald Trump.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Don't challenge this guy to a game of pool!


Neil Young urges Bush impeachment on protest album - Yahoo! News

Veteran rocker Neil Young has recorded a protest album featuring an anti-Iraq war track with 'a holy vow to never kill again' and a song titled 'Let's Impeach the President,' the singer said on Monday.

Monday, April 17, 2006


Networks fighting back over indecency fines - Technology - International Herald Tribune

After years of coming under assault in Washington on accusations of indecent programming, U.S. television networks have decided to fight back.


Dvorak Uncensored - Minnesota Marine on terror watch list for no good reason

A Minnesota reservist who spent the past eight months in Iraq was told he couldn’t board a plane to Minneapolis because his name appeared on a watch list as a possible terrorist.

Saturday, April 15, 2006


China president at Gates house, not White House | CNET

SEATTLE -The first lavish dinner of China President Hu Jintao's historic visit to the United States next week will be in a big, secure house in Washington where the host is one of the world's most powerful men.


Blogger asks, 'Wanna trade a paper clip for a house?' | CNET

Kyle MacDonald is on the verge of successfully completing a project that on its surface sounds nothing less than absurd: Trading--with the help of a blog--a single red paper clip for a house.

Friday, April 14, 2006


AT&T, Group Challenge U.S. Spy Program - Yahoo! News

AT&T violated U.S. law and the privacy of its customers as part of the 'massive and illegal program to wiretap and data-mine Americans' communications' without warrants, the EFF alleged.

Klein said the NSA built a secret room at the company's San Francisco central office in 2003, adjacent to a 'switch room where the public's phone calls are routed.' One of the documents under seal, Klein said, shows that a device was installed with the 'ability to sift through large amounts of data looking for preprogrammed targets.'

Other so-called secret rooms were constructed at AT&T sites in Seattle, San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego, the statement said.


Ex-General: Rumsfeld Deserves Criticism

But, he added, 'we went to war with a flawed plan that didn't account for the hard work to build the peace after we took down the regime. We also served under a secretary of defense who didn't understand leadership, who was abusive, who was arrogant, and who didn't build a strong team.'

Thursday, April 13, 2006


AOL charged with blocking opponents' e-mail | CNET

America Online on Thursday apparently began blocking subscribers from sending or receiving e-mail containing the Web address of a petition against the company's upcoming certified-mail program.


Google unveils Web-based calendar app | CNET

Google on Thursday unveiled a free Web-based calendar application that is expected to heat up competition with Yahoo and Microsoft.

The beta version of Google Calendar, which can be accessed without a Gmail account, enables users to search for and add events from within the program or through Web sites that use open standards for calendars. Such sites are invited to add Google Calendar buttons next to events they list.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Smart homes go mass market - The Practical Futurist -

Technologists have long promised the smart home, with automated lighting and intelligent climate control, whole-house audio-video and similar digital luxuries.


Investor's Business Daily: Internet, Media Outfits Could Bid For Spectrum

Analysts are speculating that Internet and media companies could team up to bid for radio spectrum in order to launch wireless broadband services, as a way around the phone companies.

Rumors that nontelecom companies could bid for wireless spectrum have floated around for a few years. The new speculation focuses on large Internet content firms such as Google,, and eBay.

Fueling the talk is a regulatory battle — the network neutrality issue — pitting Internet firms against phone companies AT&T, Verizon Communications, and BellSouth. | Tangled up in spying controversy

This week, the EFF filed documents contending Narus' software, which allows operators to re-create any sort of Internet-based communication, was plugged into AT&T's network as part of a massive surveillance program conducted by the NSA.

AT&T has declined to respond to allegations it collaborated with the NSA program.


Romney signs health bill; vetoes key provision -

BOSTON --Gov. Mitt Romney on Wednesday signed into law a landmark bill designed to guarantee virtually all Massachusetts residents have health insurance.


US knew that alleged Iraqi WMD trailers were harmless: report - Yahoo! News

The claim was repeated by top administration officials for months, even though US intelligence officials had received the findings of a Pentagon report determining that the allegation was not true, the Post reported.


Dvorak Uncensored - AT&T Getting Freaked-Out Over Stooging for The Bush Administration

Ever wonder why AT&T was allowed to re-form the way it has? The company plays ball. The customer can screw himself. And, of course, it’s all about the terrorists, right? But it’s still YOU they are monitoring.



Superstars, renegades, innovators, heroes, villains, and moms - over almost a decade, the Dixie Chicks have grown from a band into a phenomenon. Now more than ever, the eyes of the world are on them, and with TAKING THE LONG WAY, they come out swinging, surpassing the pressures and expectations history has placed upon them. The nine time Grammy-Award winning Sony Recording artists will release this highly-anticipated fourth album (Open Wide/Columbia/Sony BMG) on May 23, 2006.

Click here to listen to Not Ready to Make Nice or watch the video

Click here to pre-order the Taking The Long Way CD from - Medicare drug plans go easy as transition ends

Beginning this month, insurers no longer must fill prescriptions for drugs they don't normally cover.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006 | Archives OK'd Removing Records, Kept Quiet

The National Archives agreed to seal previously public CIA and Pentagon records and to keep silent about U.S. intelligence's role in the reclassification, according to an agreement released under the Freedom of Information Act.


Air Force One data removed from Web / Site revealed details of security measures on president's jets

The Chronicle also took extensive steps to alert the government to the order's availability on the Internet. Immediately after discovering the document, The Chronicle notified military and federal authorities about its existence. Nonetheless, a week after they were initially notified, neither the Secret Service nor Air Force officials at Andrews Air Force Base, the home of Air Force One, had caused the document to be removed.

Sunday, April 09, 2006


Fast cars and fast living at heart of Malibu mystery

Just to set the scene, here are some of the story's curlicues: Eriksson, 44, was or was not behind the wheel of the Ferrari the morning it crashed, does or does not actually own the wrecked Enzo, is or is not connected to a loaded gun clip found the morning of the crash, and may or may not be an anti-terrorism leader with a shadowy police force.

Sounds like the plot of a bad TV show!
- Frank

Friday, April 07, 2006


Slashdot | AT&T Forwarding All Internet Traffic to NSA?

'SpamDailyNews is reporting that the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has filed a brief that claims AT&T has been forwarding internet traffic directly into the hands of the NSA. The brief was filed under seal (a procedure that allows only the judge and the litigants to view the document) in order to give the court time to review the information. From the article: 'More than just threatening individuals' privacy, AT&T's apparent choice to give the government secret, direct access to millions of ordinary Americans' Internet communications is a threat to the Constitution itself. We are asking the Court to put a stop to it now.''


Thank you Harry Taylor

Leave your own thank you.


Dvorak Uncensored - The telcos win: Republicans vote to close the internet

What this means is that your ISP will be able to block any competing website and hold up any website for ransom. For example, your DSL provider will legally be able to slow down Vonage to make it unworkable, leaving their own VoIP service as the only option. And all ISPs will be able to force Google or Amazon to pay for access to you. Heck, isn’t that what we’re paying our monthly fee for?! To access the internet? Not any more! We’ll be paying for bandwidth but won’t be able to use it.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


Twinkie - Invented 6th of April, 1930

The Twinkie was invented on April 6, 1930 by bakery manager James Dewar, making thrifty use of shortcake pans that were usually only used during the strawberry season. Twinkies originally contained a banana filling, but this was replaced with a vanilla filling during a banana shortage caused by the outbreak of World War II. - Bush faces criticism at forum, says he won't apologize for spy program

'I feel like despite your rhetoric, that compassion and common sense have been left far behind during your administraiton,' Taylor said, standing in a balcony seat and looking down at Bush on stage. 'And I would hope from time to time that you have the humility and grace to be ashamed of yourself.'

Thank You,
Harry Taylor!
America may yet beat this scourge on Democracy.
- Frank


PM: Jay Leno's Garage - For The Record

Just out for a drive--in a Porsche Carrera GT on the high banks of Talladega Superspeedway.


The Modesto Bee - Turlock wins one against Wal-Mart

TURLOCK, CA — A state appellate court ruled Wednesday that the city's ordinance designed to keep discount 'big box' businesses from operating grocery stores is legal. | Transmission 'trees' sprout up on hillsides

A new crop of trees is sprouting throughout the urban forest: the fake pine, the fooled-you palm and the sorta-elm.


The Big Fat High-Def Interview

How to screw everything up and still succeed | DeLay can get pension as soon as he resigns

He is eligible for $67,000 a year, which would be unaffected by state convictions.
His pension would be unaffected by any conviction on the campaign finance charges he faces in Travis County or any charges rising from the congressional lobbying scandal in which two of his former aides, and former ally and lobbyist Jack Abramoff, have pleaded guilty.


Florida: Biblical parks may get tax deal

TALLAHASSEE - A biblical theme park in Orlando where guests pay $30 admission to munch on 'Goliath' burgers and explore reproductions of 2000-year-old tombs and temples could get a property tax exemption written into state law.

A Senate committee easily passed a bill that would grant theme parks 'used to exhibit, illustrate, and interpret biblical manuscripts ... ' an exemption from local property taxes, like churches, even though the parks charge money.


Apple Takes Its Bankroll to Reno

According to public documents, Apple has incorporated Braeburn Capital, an asset management company based in Reno, (Nev.) Braeburn -- named for a variety of apple that's uniquely sweet and tart -- will be a vehicle for managing Apple's investment portfolio. By incorporating in Nevada, Apple will be shielded from certain taxes imposed by the state of California, according to a person briefed on the matter.


Study: Katrina Aid From Abroad Was Lost - Yahoo! News

Federal auditors laid out a scenario of omissions, missteps and bureaucratic nightmares that caused the loss of money and other donations sent from abroad to help victims of Hurricane Katrina.


HeraldNet: Oinkers abound in pork report

Last year saw a record for government waste, a watchdog group says.
Citizens Against Government Waste, in its annual 'Pig Book' released Wednesday, details $29 billion of pork barrel spending - money for home state and home district projects specially set aside in congressional spending measures.


Papers: Cheney Aide Says Bush OK'd Leak - Yahoo! News

...the disclosure in documents filed Wednesday means that the president and the vice president put Libby in play as a secret provider of information to reporters about prewar intelligence on Iraq.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Cities can keep out big stores / Court upholds law in Turlock designed to block Wal-Mart

Cities can outlaw big-box superstores in order to prevent the collapse of local businesses and resulting urban blight, a state appeals court ruled Wednesday in a case that sets a statewide precedent for ordinances aimed at retail giant Wal-Mart.


Apple: Windows on a Mac is here | CNET

Apple Computer said on Wednesday that it has released a public beta version of Boot Camp, software that enables Microsoft Windows XP to run natively on Intel-based Macs.

Microsoft Software, Intel Processors, and Apple Prices?
Think Different? Ha-ha-ha! - Second homes 40% of market

Americans snapping up second homes — as investments or vacation properties — accounted for four out of every 10 sales of existing homes last year, a record that helped drive the real estate market to new highs, according to a report being released today by the National Association of Realtors. - House ethics panel not investigating DeLay, other lawmakers

WASHINGTON — The House ethics committee, inactive for more than a year because of partisan disputes, has declined to launch investigations of Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, and other lawmakers accused of ethical lapses.


Sex tourism thriving in Bible Belt - Yahoo! News

'Men fly in, are met by pimps, have sex with a 14-year-old for lunch, and get home in time for dinner with the family,' said Sanford Jones, the chief juvenile judge of Fulton County, Georgia.


US AIDS plan hampers prevention in nations: report - Yahoo! News

The U.S. government's emphasis on abstinence in a program to fight AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean is hampering prevention efforts in the countries it aims to help, congressional investigators said on Tuesday.

Monday, April 03, 2006


Payment processor fears credit card crooks | CNET

Several Web hosting companies that use the Authorize.Net service to accept credit cards online saw a sudden spike in transactions over the weekend. The transactions, most for $500 and $700, were billed to Visa, MasterCard and American Express cards that belong to people across the U.S., representatives for three Web hosts told CNET - Growth in federal spending unchecked

Federal spending is outstripping economic growth at a rate unseen in more than half a century, provoking some conservatives to complain that government under Republican control has gotten too big.

Budget changes

Average annual budget change as a percentage of U.S. gross domestic product during these administrations:
  • Roosevelt 14.8%
  • Truman -8.6%
  • Eisenhower -1.3%
  • Kennedy 0.2%
  • Johnson 1%
  • Nixon 1.6%
  • Ford -1.4%
  • Carter 1.8%
  • Reagan -0.6%
  • G. Bush 0.2%
  • Clinton -1.8%
  • G.W. Bush 2.4%

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