Saturday, March 31, 2007


Shaquanda Cotton, the Texas teen who was sentenced to excessive time in jail for a misdemeanor, has been freed.

She became the first juvenile inmate ordered freed by Jay Kimbrough, whom Gov. Rick Perry tapped Thursday to lead the troubled Texas Youth Commission out of an abuse and mismanagement scandal. Kimbrough told lawmakers Friday that the order had been given.

"He made a determination that she served her time and it was time to let that child out," said Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas.

Friday, March 30, 2007


Google? Corrupt?

Google Maps has replaced satellite photos of New Orleans with pre-Katrina maps. Yes, if you wish to look at New Orleans through Google Maps, you get to see a time warp instead of the real New Orleans.

Who gave the orders. And why?

[crosspost to the Medley]

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


A young girl in Texas is serving a seven year sentence for shoving a hall monitor? That is barely a misdemeanor!

Visit Shaquanda's web site and let the governor of Texas know that people are paying attention to injustice.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

MadTV - iRack

Someone sent me the link to this, and y'all should get to share.


Note -- the copy I had installed was pulled. Click link for another.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Grasping at Straws

Oh, Bush is such a fatuous lout. Today's headline has him claiming that the vote to fund the war, define a pullout, and give aid to New Orleans was "wasting taxpayer money".

Sorry, but the only waste of taxpayer money going on right now is the part that pays for an administration that is raping the Constitution and playing at politics with the lives of both active duty and wounded members of the armed forces.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

It's Their Own Fault

Good ol' McDonald's -- always bent out of shape because the truth pinches. Our arch corporation is going to try to get the definition of "McJob" changed so it does not have negative connotations.

The word first cropped up two decades ago in the Washington Post, according to the dictionary. But executives at Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald's say the definition is demeaning to its workers and say they'll ask dictionary editors to amend the definition.

Last time they tried to get it changed, Merriam-Webster gave them a thumbs-down:

In 2003, editors at the Merriam-Webster dictionary declined to remove or change their definition of "McJob" after McDonald's balked at its inclusion in the book's 11th edition. Instead, the Springfield, Mass. publisher said the word was accurate and appropriate.

I am pretty sure the Oxford English Dictionary will be able to resist whatever campaign McDonald's mounts.

A representative from the New York office of Oxford University Press, which publishes the Oxford dictionary, said nobody was immediately available to comment.

They were probably all in the back room rolling on the floor and laughing.

Monday, March 19, 2007


On the day that Gonzales declared that there was no guarantee of habeas corpus in the Constitution, he may as well have resigned.

He is ignorant. He is unfit to be Attorney General. He doesn't know the Constitution well enough to graduate from high school. He should be removed from office for that, if for nothing else.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Have You Noticed

that CNN is trying to ignore anti-war protests out of existence?

CNN is touting stranded airline passengers and recalled dog and cat food. Their coverage has become so blatantly twisted that I deleted them from my toolbar and replaced them with competitors. It is pretty obvious that they are no longer a news organization.

Guinea Pigs

ABC News has a story today whose teaser reads "Should we experiment on kids?"

Of course the story reports a storm of criticism. It is not just the suggestion of such experimentation that is "showboating", but the sensationalism of "experimenting" on children.

Let's face it -- either children try things under experimental conditions, or they are the victims of uncontrolled experiments once a drug or technique reaches the marketplace. Any drug that has a limited test population is a time bomb for other groups once it reaches the general population. Remember thalidomide? Pregnant women are usually kept far away from being part of an experimental population, and so there was no hint that Thalidomide would cause widespread, consistent fetal damage. Some painkillers work better on men than on women. Drugs behave in ways that a limited test population fails to reveal.

So either there will be experiments that include children, or there will be later disasters that include children. The ethics of this choice are a bit more complicated than the debaters suggest.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Yeah, Right

The Rude One has posted a typical Bush picture -- Bush is hugging a Guatemalan woman in that paternalistic kabuki he performs all over the world.

What cracked me up was that the women in the background look thoroughly disgusted.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Chain of Collapse

As house prices collapse, one of the things that will go down with the prices and the value is the amount of tax that can be assessed. Cities get a lot more taxes from a house valued at 250K than they do from one valued at 100K, and cities are going to be awfully reluctant to lower their assessments as the fair market price on properties shrinks.

I once sold a house for 41.5 K. The city had just assessed it for 45K, but very frankly it would not have sold with that high a price (listen to me laugh uproariously in retrospect -- it is likely over 100K by now!). I recommended that the people who bought it should go to the city and point out that they had paid a fair price, and that the assessment should go down.

I wonder if they did that. Moreover, I wonder if house buyers will have the guts to do that as prices start falling drastically.

Monday, March 12, 2007

A Fox Among the Fowl

... or is that Foul?

The woman who was running an escort and sex service has shared her client list with a news outlet.

"I have decided to hand over all phone records, logs and invoices (including those presently unknown to the government) to what I believe to be one of the most reputable and respected investigative news organizations in the country, to assist me with my needs," Deborah Jeane Palfrey, 50, wrote in an e-mail to WTOP Radio.

She did not identify the news organization or give details of the arrangement. Palfrey's civil attorney, Montgomery Blair Sibley, would not say whether his client was getting paid, or if she was simply getting investigative assistance with uncovering the names associated with the phone numbers.

Palfrey ran an upscale escort service in the Washington area from her Vallejo, California home for 13 years, until August 2006. Her assets were frozen in October after an Internal Revenue Service investigation, and she pleaded not guilty Friday to federal racketeering charges in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia.

That is a wonderful response to seeing her assets frozen. Just goes to show that not all her assets were in a nice bank somewhere. Personally, I don't care what parties her clients belong to as long as they are not hypocritically trying to make laws for the rest of us to follow while they do whatever they are forbidding to others. If her client list has notes on preferences, the fallout could be amazing.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Can We Stop Now?

Can we stop providing Halliburton with a perpetually filling trough of no-bid fodder when it moves to Dubai?

Can we cease to give those swine tax breaks? Tax dollars? Military contracts?

Friday, March 9, 2007

Pseudo Problem

Oh dear me! One might have to perform a *manual* operation! This story about your computer having a problem with time is the dumbest thing I have read in a long time.

Click on the time display and correct it. Ohmygod! How outrageous!

Even larger computers can have their times reset manually. It is not as if any machine keeps perfect time -- power outages, voltage surges, and drift make electronic clocks inaccurate over the long haul anyway. Talk about your fake problems.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

War With Iran a Bad Idea

Cast your mind back to the day when the Berlin Wall came down. For quite awhile after that it seemed we had jumped tracks to an alternate universe, one where the threat of war, both nuclear and conventional, had backed off drastically. It was an interesting feeling after the Cold War years. And then -- and then came the Bushes. The current Bush has us back to the brink of catastrophe with his lust to meddle in the Middle East. He creates enemies out of people who do not have the ability to actually invade the US. He really *has* done his best to take Iraq's oil. He is making the citizens of this country into Good Germans because it is difficult to shout loudly enough. Still, we need to try.

Via Avedon Carol at The Sideshow, I went to Arthur Silber's Building an Effective Resistance.

Arthur outlines a plan for trying to prevent the Bush buildup to an attack on Iran. It will be interesting to see if any members of Congress start to state out loud and up front that an attack would be unwarranted and criminal. I am not sure any of them are that courageous.

My own Senators sold their souls so long ago that calling them would be as useful as petitioning Satan for an act of mercy. If your Senators are better than mine, you can implement Arthur's plan of reminding them daily at no cost. The Senate switchboard number is 1-866-808-0065 -- just ask for your senator when they answer. Oh, and give an extra call each day to Clinton, Obama, Reid and Steney Hoyer. Extra responsibility falls on those who want national office or leadership positions -- these people should be right up front in trying to repeal both Authorization for the Use of Military Force resolutions, the one passed immediately after 9/11 and the one on Iraq.

They should be reminded every day that resisting war with Iran is the right way to start opposing the Bush administration's criminal acts.

Sunday, March 4, 2007


In response to a post by Cookie Jill at skippy's blog, I commented as follows:

A sane person would have reservations about eating plants modified to kill pests.

People who do plant modification research are such sloppy crappers about isolating their experimental stocks. Wonder if modified plants are killing the bees?

That question is not as idle as it looks at first. A large percentage of the corn crop in the US has been contaminated by strains modified to repel borer worms. Meddlesome Agra has let many experiments out, and the corn crop is not the first to become tainted by modified strains. Sure -- take a crop that is pollinated by the wind and put the modified plants outdoors. What happens? Instant transmission of pollen by the wind. Sometimes you have to wonder about the intelligence of the people who are working with plants. They sometimes act as if the plants are their colleagues and intellectual equals.

Pollen from modified corn has been implicated in damaging populations of Monarch butterflies. Monarchs feed on milkweed plants, but pollen blown from corn may be clinging to milkweed plants and killing the butterflies. And what do bees thrive on? Pollen. And do you suppose that other blossoms are not being contaminated by modified pollen?