Saturday, November 04, 2006

Secret torture is secret

Even if the victims told the details of their super-sekrit torture, would it get reported? If it did, would the Guantanamo deniers believe it?

But even money says it's not the methods break new ground or are particularly innovative. The sheer outrageousness of what's being done in the secret prisons is what needs to be kept secret.

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration has told a federal judge that terrorism suspects held in secret CIA prisons should not be allowed to reveal details of the "alternative interrogation methods" that their captors used to get them to talk.

The government says in new court filings that those interrogation methods are now among the nation's most sensitive national security secrets and that their release, even to the detainees' own attorneys, "could reasonably be expected to cause extremely grave damage." Terrorists could use the information to train in counter-interrogation techniques, according to documents submitted to U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton on Oct. 26.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Newspeak 1.0

We are at war with Eurasia. We have always been at war with Eurasia.

The US defence department has set up a new unit to better promote its message across 24-hour rolling news outlets, and particularly on the internet.

The Pentagon said the move would boost its ability to counter "inaccurate" news stories and exploit new media.
The Bush administration does not believe the true picture of events in Iraq has been made public, the BBC's Justin Webb in Washington says.

The administration is particularly concerned that insurgents in areas such as Iraq have been able to use the web to disseminate their message and give the impression they are more powerful than the US, our correspondent says.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Best quote in a while:

Saw this in a forum I visit:

"It's a good thing the founding fathers created the electoral college to regulate the passions of the masses. Otherwise we might really wind up with some dipshits running the government."

And yeah, that's sarcasm. Wave your flag somewhere else.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

So much for alt-fuels

Now, where's the article about the surge in SUV sales? We actually need to keep gas at $3.00/gal. to beat it into peoples' heads that we need more fuel-efficient vehicles on the road.

WASHINGTON - Americans are celebrating plunging gasoline prices by hitting the roads.

After barely rising during the summer months, gasoline demand rose swiftly in September, the American Petroleum Institute said Wednesday.
The U.S. average for a gallon of regular Wednesday was $2.219, down 27 percent from this year's peak of $3.04 a gallon on Aug. 10 and off 52 cents from a year ago. The lowest average price Wednesday was in Missouri, where it was $2.02 a gallon; the highest was in Hawaii, where the average was $2.98.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Geographic meltdown

Having lived in New Mexico, this comes as no surprise. There's a reason that the license plates there say "New Mexico USA."

JUNEAU, Alaska - Alaska's governor wanted to find out what the rest of the nation thinks about their neighbor to the north, so he commissioned a sort of pop quiz.

The results of the poll show that Americans love Alaska, but they don't know a whole lot about it.

More than half the nation thinks that most of Alaska is covered in ice and snow year-round. For the record: Just 5 percent of Alaska is covered by glaciers, ice and snow all year.

Another result found that one of every eight Americans believes the Last Frontier is a separate country or else doesn't know that it's a state.

Black helicopter alert

Yep, you better just get used to it!

U.S. Department of Homeland Security opened its third air surveillance base focused on the Canadian border on Monday, eroding claims the shared border is the longest undefended one in the world.
Juan Munoz Torres of Homeland Security said the higher security is a new reality both countries must get used to.

Cry Baby M/C

Words fail me. But did the ruling actually change anyone's opinion, or did he just start noticing it?

The president of the Vancouver chapter of the Hells Angels says people have been rude to him and his feelings have been hurt since the group was ruled a criminal organization by an Ontario judge last year.

In an affidavit filed in B.C. Supreme Court, Rick Ciarnello lists a number of public snubs including a couple in a restaurant who asked to be moved because they didn't want to sit next to him after he walked in wearing Hells Angels colours.

Fluidity of law

Nothing like changing the law when the courts disagree with you. It's good that we now have "standards" that "protect" the imprisoned. Of course, by "standards" I mean firing squads, and by "protect" I mean execute.

President George W Bush has signed into law a bill that sets standards for the interrogation and prosecution of foreign terror suspects held by the US.

The law aims to enshrine defendants' human rights, but still restricts their right to challenge their detention.

It follows a Supreme Court ruling in June that military tribunals set up to prosecute detainees at Guantanamo Bay violated US and international law.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Who watches the watchers?

This isn't so much that a fox got into the farmer's henhouse, but the fox doing a hostile takeover of the henhouse. Nice way to steal 40% of your employee's tips, Steve!

The dealers over at Wynn Las Vegas who are none too happy about supervisors taking a share of their tips also are ticked that they can't count their own tip money.

At most casinos, dealers appointed by a toke committee count the tips each day. That money is reported to the payroll department, which splits the money among dealers. When Wynn started giving floor supervisors, reclassified as "team leaders," a 40 percent share of the daily tips, he removed the counting duties from dealers and gave it to casino employees who typically count the house's money. Casino security, rather than the dealers themselves, collect the tips and take them to a count room.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Public service worker arrested

I really do think he was doing public service, these people needed scamming. It's a shame that he played for such small stakes. Some of the "victims" look like they could've been taken for thousands. Oh, and by "victims" I mean retarded dipshits with more money than brains.

For a few hundred dollars apiece, Robert Bouconi made people feel like they were in the presence of a rock star.

Police say Bouconi targeted victims in bars, posing as a guitarist for REO Speedwagon, a brother to Lynyrd Skynyrd's band members or the son of a prominent Mafioso, wowing them with his aura of celebrity.
From Scottsdale to Pinal County, police say Bouconi conned several people by claiming to buy them luxury cars and mansions in exchange for $250 to $300 to get the transactions started, before ditching the paperwork he never signs. He is wanted in similar cons in California and New Mexico.

The wall helps who?

It's a good thing that our new wall will protect our lettuce from those dirty illegals. Congress better hurry up and pubish a five-year plan, so we can be assured that our crops will be rotting the fields.

BAKERSFIELD -- Farmers across the country are facing a growing shortage of people in their fields.

Agriculture is a $31 billion dollar a year industry in California with Kern County making up 11% of that amount.

Historically there have always been enough farm laborers to bring in the crops, but for the first time ever California farmer's and labor contractors are facing a growing labor shortage.

Loose lips sink ships

Or careers. If you know it's wrong, and do it anyway, for fuck's sake, don't brag about it. The walls have ears.

But, then we know how reliable a government "inquiry" can be.

The US Pentagon has ordered an inquiry into alleged abuses at Guantanamo Bay after reports that camp guards boasted of beating and mistreating detainees.

A marine sergeant who visited the camp has said she understood "striking detainees was a common practice".

The sergeant's sworn statement said she had overheard a guard describe slamming a detainee's head into a cell door.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

La-la-la! I can't hear you!

Ah, the sweet sound of the water lapping up on the banks of denial. I wonder when the U.S. will pass a law that makes it treason to call this "genocide?" After all, we can't be like France.

NEW YORK - President Bush says he doesn't believe it. Some experts have a problem with it. But several others say it seems sound.

Such was the varied reception for a new study that estimated the Iraq war has led to the deaths of nearly 655,000 Iraqis as of July.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and the Al Mustansiriya University in Baghdad derived that estimate from a door-to-door survey, conducted by doctors, of 1,849 households in Iraq. Taking the number of deaths reported by household residents, they extrapolated to a nationwide figure. Researchers acknowledged a margin of error that ranged from 426,369 to 793,663 deaths.


Talk about putting one in the ten-ring!

A woman fears she could lose sight in one of her eyes after being struck by an egg thrown from a passing car in Aberdeen.

Pamela Blair, 61, was leaving His Majesty's Theatre (HMT) when the egg was thrown by youths in a car.

Please, think of the DNA

Fluffy MkII won't be home for Christmas, it seems.

Genetic Savings & Clone, a biotechnology company that sells cloned pets, has sent letters to its customers saying it will close at the end of the year. The company had recently reduced the price from $50,000 to $32,000.

The letters said the Sausalito, Calif., company was not accepting new orders because it was "unable to develop the technology to the point that cloning pets is commercially viable."

The company was launched by University of Phoenix founder John Sperling, who had hoped to have his hunting dog, Missy, cloned - a feat that was never accomplished.

Since the company opened in 2000, it was behind the creation of five cloned cats, but sold only two to paying customers.

Legislating history

I guess someone didn't talk to the diplomats first. Maybe they should've talked to the Pope first. Sometimes dead empires aren't so dead after all.

PARIS (AFP) - France has sought to calm an uproar in Turkey and in the European Union after the French parliament approved a bill that would make it a crime to deny that the 1915-17 massacres of Armenians by the Ottoman Turks constituted genocide.

The French foreign ministry insisted that Paris was still "very keen" on dialogue with Turkey and wanted its "strong ties" with that country to continue.

But a furious Ankara -- which strongly contests the use of the term genocide -- was in no mood to listen, saying that France had dealt "a heavy blow" to longstanding bilateral relations.

Lasers belong on sharks

Did they think to ask first?

But then, why should they bother? Yahoo is a large American company, and they should get their way no matter what, right? I'm sure some marketroid's head exploded when he found out that the Mexicans said "no."

Yahoo Inc. has abandoned its plan to beam a digital time capsule into space by laser from an ancient pyramid after Mexican authorities refused to allow it.

Mexican officials feared the project could damage the nearly 2,000-year-old Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacán, about 40 kilometres northeast of Mexico City.

Child abuse by webcam

Well, maybe the jail will show the father on a webcam. It's too bad online voodoo dolls don't work.

JACKSONVILLE, Florida (AP) -- A man has been charged with torturing his 9-year-old son by keeping him locked in a bedroom for much of the past three years, with a surveillance camera tracking his every move, authorities said Thursday.

The home of Randall Warren Piercy, 41, was like a prison that had cameras in almost every room, with the father monitoring the boy on television and computer screens, Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Lt. Annie Smith said.

During the past three years, the boy has not attended school, received medical attention or had contact with people outside his family, Smith said. The police report said he was home schooled but could not read children's books.

Illiteracy melts a server

Instead of whining, how about buying some bandwidth?

This sounds like a complete misunderstanding of webtech. Why not use the morons that think "youtube" is "utube" to makes some extra money? If you're getting 68 million mis-hits, it's time to redirect them to a page with some adverts on it. I'd be up for some free money from the illiterate. It'd be a lot like running your own state lotto.

NEW YORK ( -- One place where YouTube's success isn't being celebrated is in the offices of Universal Tube and Rollerform Equipment Corp. near Toledo, Ohio.

The company, which sells used machinery for making tubes to clients worldwide, has seen its site knocked off line by millions of online searchers looking for video site.

"It's killing us," said Ralph Girkins, president and owner of the 22 year old business. "All my worldwide reps use our Web site. Customers all over the world use it to bring up photos of the machinery, descriptions and specifications there."

Girkins says his site which has been online since 1994, got 68 million hits in August.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

How not to win an election

  1. Aim at foot.
  2. Pull trigger.
A week after Rep. Russell Pearce drew fire for immigration remarks many called racially insensitive, the Mesa Republican sent an e-mail to supporters in which he copied an article from a white separatist group and a link to that group's Web site.

Fixing the symptom...

I'm sure some defense contractor would be happy to overcharge for armored sleeves and legs. It seems that we're not facing the type of enemies that we had planned on, and new equipment might be in order. But then, we've never really fought an urban war before.

The biggest flaw in most military strategy is "fighting the last war." Especially now that Henry Kissinger is attempting to re-fight Vietnam in Iraq. I hope they remember to turn off the lights in Baghdad when the last chopper leaves.

So let's get some arm and leg armor for the troops, and while we're at I want a god damned Gundam suit!

...the amputation rate in the Iraq conflict is just 20 percent compared with 76 percent during the Vietnam War, translating into thousands of saved limbs.

Faster treatment and evacuation as well as new plastic surgery techniques "have allowed us to care for injuries that in previous wars would have resulted in the death of the patient or an amputation in the field," said [the surgeon], who has just retired from the Navy.

According to the Pentagon, 20,687 in the U.S. military have been wounded in Iraq as of Oct. 6, with 9,352 injured too seriously to quickly return to duty.

P.S. The bad news is that you've only got a 45.2% chance of going home if you get shot up. Look for the C-Leg battalion to be reporting for duty soon. Seems like I've seen this movie before before.

Be a good little robot, ya hear!

What do you expect when you force one employee to do the work of three, due to "downsizing?" Remember, you job doesn't want you to be the "creative, motivated, self-starter" that they advertised for. They want an obedient robot that can be micro-managed.

You can't have a career without having a job. But, it's the job part that sucks. Now, think about your job saying that you have to use the company diet plan to qualify for health insurance.

Bad employee! No cookie!

Arizona employees are overweight and overstressed, according to a statewide survey of 3,500 workers released Monday by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona.

Workers' relatively poor health is leading to lost productivity and higher health care costs, said Richard Hannon, senior vice president with the insurer, which is one of the largest in the state.

Blue Cross will use the survey results to encourage employers to offer workplace initiatives, which can include programs to encourage healthier lifestyles. Those programs can include discounts at fitness centers or weight-loss classes.

Industry analysts say that increasingly employers, frustrated by continued higher health care costs, will use a mixture of financial incentives or penalties to guide their workers into healthier practice.

Is there a point?

Seriously. I looks like the trial has turned into a parade of "Saddam looked at me wrong, now I get to whine" witnesses. In Iraq now, it looks like you're either a witness against Saddam or an insurgent fighter.

This is what happens when you put on a show trial without input from Hollywood. The production values on this show really suck.

The chief judge at Saddam Hussein's genocide trial has expelled the former Iraqi leader from court after he shouted out a verse from the Koran.

It is the fourth time in recent weeks the former dictator has been ejected from his Baghdad trial for alleged war crimes and genocide against the Kurds.

Judge Mohammed Oreibi al-Khalifa cut off Saddam Hussein's microphone and ordered bailiffs to escort him out.

A second defendant was also ejected and the trial continued in closed session.

Girl tech

So they finally figured out that the middle section of the adoption curve is where the money's at. It's scary when marketers become self-aware. I fear now that once something lives through the early adopter phase, it will automatically become pink. If women like something, we'll like it even it isn't pink.

Apparently if it's a gadget, women gotta have it, according to a survey done by Oxygen Media, an American cable network owned and operated by women. The Women's Watch: Girls Gone Wired survey released in August indicates that 77 per cent of women fancy a new plasma TV over a diamond solitaire necklace, 78 per cent would rather have a sleek new cell phone than shoes, and 86 per cent would prefer a new digital video camera over designer footwear.

...simply tailoring gadgets to a female audience is not enough. Until the content women are interested in is available, women tend not to use technology for technology's sake. Although the VCR, the internet or iPods may have started off with very male-oriented content, once female-oriented content was available, women flocked to those devices and have become the power users.

Monday, October 09, 2006

The clue bat swings...

It seems they finally started thinking about their own children, instead of the imaginary ones that always need protecting.

How's Bush going to get of this one? OMG ban gay marrage!

NEW ALBANY, Indiana (AP) -- After winning over moms in back-to-back elections, Republicans have lost their advantage among married women with children this year.

The Republican Party has seen the support of people like Jeannette Hopkins evaporate.

A 30-year-old married mother of two and a Republican, Hopkins voted for President Bush in 2004. But she says she probably will support the Democrat in her congressional district this fall "because of the way that everything's been handled" with the GOP in charge of Congress and Bush in the White House.

"We're in a really scary place right now," Hopkins said recently. She vented about what she called the gone-on-too-long Iraq war, a sluggish economy, the bungled Hurricane Katrina response and a continuing terrorism threat.

Time for gun baby control?

When you really, really, really, need to hit your boyfriend, whatever's closest at hand will do. Somehow, I really doubt the boyfriend was an "innocent victin" here.

ERIE, Pennsylvania (AP) -- A woman used her 4-week-old baby as a weapon in a domestic dispute, swinging the infant through the air and striking her boyfriend with the child, authorities said.

The baby was critically injured in the attack early Sunday, said District Attorney Bradley Foulk.

"Never, never, never. I can never remember anything like this," Foulk told the Erie Times-News.

Chytoria Graham, 27, of Erie, was charged with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and simple assault. She was held Monday in the Erie County Jail in lieu of $75,000 bail.

P.S. With a name like "Chytoria," it'd be a safe bet to say it was her destiny to be in the news for something like this.

North Korea is safe for now

One sure way to make the U.S. take you seriously is to pop a nuke. If Saddam really had nukes, there was no way we'd have invaded.

Another example is Pakistan. They'd be in the same situation as Afganistan or Iraq if they hadn't have tested a nuke. Now they're "a valuable partner" in the "war on terror."

Now, North Korea can rest easy, and Bush won't have to talk about his pedo Republicans for a while.

South Korean media said the test took place in Gilju in Hamgyong province at 1036 (0136 GMT).

The size of the bomb is uncertain, with estimates varying from 550 tons of destructive power to as much as 15 kilotons. The 1945 Hiroshima bomb was 12.5-15 kilotons.

But correspondents say the claimed test does not necessarily mean North Korea has a fully-fledged nuclear bomb or warhead that it can deliver to a target.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


BSG season three premire - better than hot sex on a cold morning.

It's too bad that Firefly didn't launch on the SciFi channel, it might have had a chance.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Retroactive birth control

My only regret is that they won't grow up to hemmorage chips at a poker table. Unfortunately, the driver will probably kill a motorcyclist next time an insect gets in the car with her.

FLAGSTAFF - A crash that killed two 15-year-old high school students happened after the driver and passengers were distracted by a spider, authorities said.

The 17-year-old driver of the Nissan sedan told Department of Public Safety investigators that she and three others in the car were considering whether to catch or kill the spider when the car drifted off Interstate 17 early Wednesday, Sgt. Rod Wigman said. The driver over-corrected and the sedan rolled at least twice.

The dream dies here

The normals win another round. Good scifi is just too good for popular culture. By "popular" I mean mouth-breathing, and by "culture" I mean bastards.

Joss Whedon himself, creator of both the TV show and the movie, broke the news to the website. He says, "There's no sequel, no secret project regarding Serenity or some such and I'm not even sure how anyone thought there was talk there." ... And so it ends for Firefly. The Browncoats have fought, and Serenity flown, for the last time.

Now you belive it, now you don't!

Pope Palpatine XVI decides to rewrite the Catholic faith the easy way. Now, how about all the other stuff they've made up?

From the article, it sounds like limbo was made up so that the priests wouldn't have to tell parents of dead unbaptized babies their child was in hell. I wonder if they'll start doing that again, or just do dead baby baptisms. Are papal indulgences far behind (again)?

My money says that these babies will "now" go to heaven, because the alternative would have modern American Catholics leaving the church if they were told the opposite. Of course, this would turn the idea of Original Sin upside down, and make baptism redundant.

Remember, it's not your faith in a god that matters, it what some old men want you to belive, so thay can pick your pocket.

Pope Benedict XVI's anticipated pronouncement on limbo will have been informed by the International Theological Commission - a group of leading Roman Catholic theologians who have been meeting to consider the issue.

The Pope, himself, has been quoted in the past as saying that he would let the idea of limbo "drop, since it has always been only a theological hypothesis".

He was quoted as saying that limbo has never been a "definitive truth of the faith".

Arizona minimum wages

Arizona, home of such wonderful ideas like right-to-work, and no minimum wage law, might actually get a chance to implement a minimum wage law, if the public can see through the FUD.

But if anything scares the cheap labor crowd more than a union, it's having to actually pay waitresses and bartenders more than what the Fed says they have to. But if this does pass, businesses will probably just cut hours, to keeps the payroll at the same level.

The debate over raising Arizona's minimum wage to $6.75 per hour from $5.15 is heating up over a section of the proposed law that grants access to a company's records.

At issue is what happens after workers discover that they are not earning the new legal wage and decide to take action.
The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business, which do not support the increase, are crying foul.

They maintain that Proposition 202 will serve as a slick route to allow organized labor to "infiltrate" the state's companies and get access to payroll records, benefits, names of employees and Social Security numbers.
Groups that support the minimum-wage increase said those claims are false.

Instead, it is a scare tactic that feeds on Arizona's longtime anti-union sentiment. The proposal provides safeguards that maintain employee and company confidentiality, said Michael McGrath, executive director of the Arizona AFL-CIO, which is a member of the Arizona Minimum Wage Coalition.


Gone to Pot

It seems that pot is better than commercial drugs for Alzheimer's treatment. That's really got to piss off Bigpharma. But the only way for sensible drug policy to evolve is for the medical evidence of benefits to be so overwhelming that it can't be ignored.

With the current state of "political morality" in the U.S. the medical evidence would probably be nothing short of raising the dead. But, then it'd be banned for theological reasons.

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) -- Good news for aging hippies: Smoking pot may stave off Alzheimer's disease.

New research shows that the active ingredient in marijuana may prevent the progression of the disease by preserving levels of an important neurotransmitter that allows the brain to function.

Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute in California found that marijuana's active ingredient, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, can prevent the neurotransmitter acetylcholine from breaking down more effectively than commercially marketed drugs.

THC is also more effective at blocking clumps of protein that can inhibit memory and cognition in Alzheimer's patients, the researchers reported in the journal Molecular Pharmaceutics.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Online Gaming Ban

If you haven't noticed the U.S. Congress pulled a sneaky and destroyed $6.4 billion in stock market value. Not bad for a day's work.

We'll have to wait and see just how this will shake out, since the banks will have a lot of say in writing the enforcement rules. (If you didn't know, this is pretty common. The lawmakers lack the brains to figure this part out, so they outsource it to the corporations that will be affected by the new laws.) That'll take care of the financial side, and might cause the banks to stop dealing with Neteller, et al.

But teh funneh part is that it criminalizes promoting online gaming, while not targeting individual players. They leaned the lesson of Prohibition, where arresting drinkers proved too much of a problem. It'll now be so damn inconvenient, that people will stop playing online.

Here are some ways this could work out, if a headline hungry federal prosecutor decides to push things:

  • Force ESPN to block out all online casino/poker room logos from their past WSOP coverage. Most likely ESPN (owned by Disney) would just stop the broadcasting, instead of spending the time to blur all the logos.
  • Arrest "affiliate site" owners for having links and promotions for online casinos/poker rooms.
  • Issue arrest warrants for U.S. citizens working for online casinos in foreign countries, effectively banning them from ever returning home.
But I have to say, this is about the best example of "revenge of the smokers" I've yet seen.

Smokers are an easy target, first having been forced outside to huddle outside in doorways, then banned from the doorways. All to "protect" them by making it so inconvenient to smoke, some might quit. Plus, the general public was "protected" from second hand smoke.

One of the advantages of online poker play was that the players didn't have to sit next to the "dirty smokers." I've heard quite a few people wish that smoking was banned from all poker rooms. They got their wish and the larger rooms in Vegas, and even smaller local Indian casinos declared the poker rooms smoke free. There was much cheering and rejoicing throughout the land.

Well it turns out that online poker players/sports betters/etc. are just as easy of targets. "Dirty smokers" and "dirty gamblers" aren't that far apart in the eyes of the righteous. So it's pretty easy for congress critters to abuse them like a red-headed page.

You're witnessing the feet of the U.S. start do slide down a very slippery slope, where all "deviant" non-approved activities are banned.

Don't look behind the curtain!

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona (AP) -- President Bush tried to drown out political anxieties about war and sex Wednesday by sounding alarm bells on national security and urging people to "vote Republican for the safety" of the country. Link
But are the children safe from the Republicans? Seriously, who came up with this idea? A Catholic priest?

I guess parents will do anything to try and give their children a boost. Including sending them to work the in cesspool of corruption that is Washington D.C. But, if have to choose who's going to molest your kid, why not have it be by someone in power.

If a pedo were to design his dream program, this has to be it. High school juniors away from home for the first time, delivered to your doorstep, in great selection to boot. The pedo congress critter even gets to request more info, if a particular specimen looks extra tasty. If the pedo was really good at grooming he could use the entire application process to find the most susceptible victims.

Which brings me to wonder, why go public with the Foley IM logs?

That's like the greatest leverage ever. If he stays in office, that kid could write his own ticket. It'd be like having your own personal congressional letter of recommendation writing machine.

Why be a cynic?

Because the world is going to hell, and I need to rant.