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Saturday, December 24, 2005

Barron's: Impeachment Deserves Discussion

- TalkLeft: The Politics of Crime

by TChris

TalkLeft now joins the chorus of bloggers (many of them mentioned here) calling attention to this editorial in the conservative Barron?s. Think of it as a Christmas present:

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not the Official Website of the New England Patriots

OMG! This is the shortest Injury Report all season. Usually it's been 12 to 18 names long.
Lo! They have stirred a sleeping giant...
Patriots, Jets release injury report New England Patriots 
The New England Patriots (9-5) and the New York Jets(3-11) announce the following player injuries.

Matt Light T Out Ankle Placed on Injured Reserve 
Tom Brady QB Questionable Right Shoulder/Shin  
Oliver Celestin S Questionable Ankle  
Shaun Ellis DE Questionable Hamstring Missed Portion 
Dewayne Robertson DT Questionable Thigh Missed Portion 
David Barrett CB Probable Illness Missed Portion 
Derrick Blaylock RB Probable Ankle  
Mark Brown LB Probable Neck  
Scott Gragg T Probable Lower Back  
Harry Williams Jr. WR Probable Knee

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Here is the most extensive collection of images and information on Victorian-era robots to be found in the whole World Wide Web.
Read illustrated accounts of the world's first robot, the Steam Man, created in 1865! Subsequent automatons such as the Electric Man and the Automatic Man are also profiled. The most comprehensive section, with more than 20 pages, concerns the mechanical man known as Boilerplate--described as "charming" by U.S. News and World Report and declared "cool" by NASA!

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Friday, December 23, 2005

Friday "Nudie" Blogging at Bouphonia

Thursday, December 22, 2005

d r i f t g l a s s: Do you know "Oh Come All Ye Faithful"?

Best. Stocking. Stuffer. Ever.  -- driftglass

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gizmag Article: Osmos reinvents the wheel!!

December 10, 2004 Contrary to folklore wisdom, French company Osmos has reinvented the wheel. Gone are the hubcaps of the past, jettisoned to make way for a revolutionary "orbital" design with a circular runner as a tyre/ road interface that offers increased safety, performance and reliability.

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gizmag Article: BMW unveils the turbosteamer concept

BMW unveils the turbosteamer concept
December 14, 2005 A large percentage of the energy released when petroleum is burned disappears out the exhaust system as heat. This has always been the case but the amount of energy released looks set to be cut by more than 80% thanks to a new system devised by BMW. BMW?s announcement of the new technology is somewhat of a technological bombshell as it adds yet another form of hybrid automobile ? a turbosteamer.

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They Thought They Were Free

by Milton Mayer 
as mentioned on Thom Hartmann radio show...
How and why "decent men" became Nazis. Written by an  American journalist of German\Jewish descent.  Mr. Mayer provides a fascinating window into the lives, thoughts and emotions of a people caught up in the rush of the Nazi movement.  It is a book that should make people pause and think  -- not only about the Germans, but also about themselves.

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Sid's Fishbowl

The U.S. Congress is liberal!
The bogus UCLA study that purports to prove the existence of liberal media bias is the new darling of the wingnutosphere. Unfortunately, anyone who knows a little bit about statistics can take the same data and jump to some ironic conclusions.
I plugged the author's raw data into a state-of-the-art spreadsheet and crunched a few of the numbers myself. Surprise! According to the tautology methodology in this paper, the United States Congress has a pronounced liberal tilt! (This explains why Tom DeLay and Bill Frist are always so pissed off. Mere numeric majorities aren't enough, apparently.)
Here's how I determined that startling fact.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Spying and Lying

Published on Monday, December 19, 2005 by The Nation
by Katrina vanden Heuvel

"This shocking revelation ought to send a chill down the spine of every American."
-- Senator Russell Feingold, December 17, 2005
As reported by the New York Times on Friday, "Months after the September 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency (NSA) to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying."
A senior intelligence officer says Bush personally and repeatedly gave the NSA permission for these taps--more than three dozen times since October 2001. Each time, the White House counsel and the Attorney General--whose job it is to guard and defend our civil liberties and freedoms--certified the lawfulness of the program. (It is useful here to note "The Yoo Factor": The domestic spying program was justified by a "classified legal opinion" written by former Justice Department official John Yoo, the same official who wrote a memo arguing that interrogation techniques only constitute torture if they are "equivalent in intensity to...organ failure, impairment of bodily function or even death.")

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Bush's "Need for Speed" Argument Runs Into the Truth

Published on Monday, December 19, 2005 by the Huffington Post 
by David Sirota
In his news conference today, President Bush invoked the need for speed in the War on Terror as the reason he is illegally ordering the National Security Agency to conduct domestic surveillance without search warrants. Sounds like a compelling argument, right? In the fast-moving world of information age technology, we can't really afford to make our law enforcers take the time to go get a warrant, right?
It's true ? Bush might have had a point, except for one tiny little detail he refused to discuss at his press conference: namely, the fact that current law is so lax that he is already permitted to get a search warrant 72 hours after surveillance is conducted. Put another way, the law currently allows Bush to order surveillance as fast as he possibly can, and allows surveillance operations to take place immediately. The only thing that is required is a court-issued warrant that can be ussed retroactively within 72 hours of when the operation started. And, as I've noted earlier, the special court that grants these warrants has only rejected 4 government requests in a quarter century, meaning getting a warrant is about as easy as it gets...that is, as long as you aren't trying to do something wholly outrageous and unrelated to the War on Terror.

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It Should Have Been Unforgettable: The Anthrax Attacks and the Costs of 9/11

Published on Monday, December 19, 2005 by
by Tom Engelhardt 
Imagine, for a moment, that someone had a finger on a pause button just after the attacks of September 11, 2001. That's not such a crazy thought. After all, most Americans watched the attacks and their aftermath on television; and, as coups de th��tre, they were clearly meant to be viewed on screen. Of course, the technology for pausing reality didn't quite exist then. But if someone in that pre-TiVo age had somehow hit pause soon after the Twin Towers came down, while the Pentagon was still smoking, when Air Force One was carrying a panicky George Bush in the wrong direction rather than towards Washington and New York to become the resolute war president of his dreams, if someone had paused everything and given us all a chance to catch our breath, what might we have noticed about the actual damage to our world?

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Arnold is Just a 'Girlie-Man'

Published on Monday, December 19, 2005 by 
by Bill Press
Nobody really expected Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to commute the sentence of Stanley "Tookie" Williams. Yes, he went through the motions of meeting with Tookie's supporters. But that was pure political theater, designed to give the appearance of fairness - when, in fact, he'd already decided to appease California's blood-thirsty pack of wolves.
Arnold's political advisors told him he had to look tough by upholding the death penalty. But they were dead wrong. Refusing to commute Tookie's sentence from execution to life in prison without parole didn't make Arnold look tough. It made him look like a great big "girlie-man."
Arnold made a cowardly decision. In capital punishment cases, it's easy to follow the lynch mob. What takes courage is doing the right thing, even if politically unpopular. Instead of dancing to the drumbeat of death-penalty supporters, Arnold should have followed the lead of another Republican, former Illinois Gov. George Ryan, who commuted the sentences of everybody on death row - because he knew the death penalty itself was fatally flawed.

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Can We Kill the Beast?

Published on Monday, December 19, 2005 by
by Stephen Fleischman

During World War II, around the time of the Battle of Stalingrad (considered the bloodiest battle in human history) the Russians had a toast.
They?d drink To the Breaking of the Back of the Fascist Beast.
The ritual caught on, even in the west, and many of us raised our glasses to it.
The Russians eventually succeeded in their drive, and the free world rejoiced, when on February 2, 1943 a good chunk of Hitler?s Nazi army became toast. In the Battle of Stalingrad, the Wehrmacht lost their 6th Army and 4th Panzer Army totaling about 850,000 men. Russian casualties were around 1.2 million, civilian and military. The joke going around then was, ?at that rate, pretty soon, no more Germans?.

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King George's Counterfactual History

Published on Monday, December 19, 2005 by
by Fran Shor
Just imagine the following scenario in 1775:
King George announced that the elections in the American colonies, held with his full blessing and support, had once more demonstrated the wisdom of Great Britain's occupation of North America. "The elections offer proof that the colonists will not be swayed by the terrorists in their midst whose continued attacks on our brave soldiers are signs of desperation. We will remain in the colonies until we achieve victory."
The King brushed aside voices from Parliament demanding a timetable for withdrawal of British troops. "Our critics, while sincere, are terribly misguided. To give in before our mission is accomplished and victory secured would only give aid and comfort to the terrorists and undermine British credibility in the world."

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Obsidian Wings: S.O.S.

Look.  We have a President here who is making a claim of unlimited power, for the duration of a war that may never end.  Oh, he says it's limited by the country's laws, but they've got a crack legal team that reliably interprets the laws to say that the President gets to do whatever he wants. It amounts to the same thing.
I am not exaggerating.  I am really and truly not.
September 11 started the war. When will it end? Maybe never. Where is the battlefield? The entire world, including the United States. Who is an enemy combatant?  Anyone the President says is an enemy combatant, including a U.S. citizen--no need for a charge, no need for a trial, no need for access to a lawyer. What if they're found not to be an enemy combatant? We can keep them in prison anyway, and we don't have to tell their families they're alive or their lawyers that they were cleared.  What can you do to an enemy combatant?  Anything you want. Detain him forever, for the rest of his life, because this is a war like any other and we have always been able to detain POWs for the duration of the war. But you don't need to follow the Geneva Conventions, because this is a war like no other in our history. And oh yes--if the President decides that we need to torture a prisoner for the war effort, it's unconstitutional for Congress to stop him. They took that position in an official memo, and they have not backed down from it. They have said it was "unnecessary" but they have never backed down from it. 
They are not only entitled to do these things to people; they are entitled to do them in secret.  When Congress asks for information about them, they can just ignore it. And they are entitled to actively deceive the public about all this.
That's the power they claim. At what point are we going to take that claim seriously?
to read the whole thing:

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My Way News - Judge Rules Against Pa. Biology Curriculum

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - "Intelligent design" cannot be mentioned in biology classes in a Pennsylvania public school district, a federal judge said Tuesday, ruling in one of the biggest courtroom clashes on evolution since the 1925 Scopes trial.
Dover Area School Board members violated the Constitution when they ordered that its biology curriculum include the notion that life on Earth was produced by an unidentified intelligent cause, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III said. Several members repeatedly lied to cover their motives, he said.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair: Time-Delayed Journalism

Lowe's magnificent editorial was written in response to the claim of a government minister that if the press hoped to share the influence of statesmen it "must also share in the responsibilities of statesmen". It's a long, sad decline from what Lowe wrote in 1851 to the disclosure by the New York Times on Friday that it sat for over a year on a story revealing that the Bush administration had sanctioned a program of secret, illegal spying on US citizens here in the Homeland, by the National Security Agency.

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hippyshopper: Biodegradable phones - part II, feat NEC

First, the good news: phones with biodegradable cases have made the jump from prototype to real world product. The bad? This one, the NEC N70i, is currently only available in Japan. Made from potatoes, corn and kenaf, the cute clamshell will simply rot and decompose when you chuck it in the compost. As an added bonus, NEC reckons the manufacturing process uses far less CO2 than your average petrochem-based plastic mobile. There's a good chance of this corn phone - or a similar model - coming to the UK next year, since O2 and Three are both top chums with NEC.

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Believe it or leave it: strange stories of 2005 - Yahoo! News

PARIS (AFP) - Alongside tragedies, wars and natural disasters the year just ending brought its share of unusual, outrageous and tragi-comic and just downright silly news items.

A selection of the stranger items:
- The authorities running a cemetery near Tel Aviv were bemused to find tourists beating a path to the grave of a 19-year-old British soldier who died in fighting 66 years earlier. His name, engraved on the headstone, was
Harry Potter.
- A German inventor had the idea of placing a specially adapted mobile phone in the coffins of the dead. That way relatives could call up and speak to their dear departed without having to leave home.
- In Japan, police were so upset to hear that a student who was caught up in a traffic accident had to get to an important exam that they gave him a full escort with sirens, arriving with 10 minutes to spare.
to see more click below>

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To Mary: Dark Matter & Dark Energy

We believe that most of the matter in the universe is dark, i.e. cannot be detected from the light which it emits (or fails to emit). This is "stuff" which cannot be seen directly -- so what makes us think that it exists at all? Its presence is inferred indirectly from the motions of astronomical objects, specifically stellar, galactic, and galaxy cluster/supercluster observations. It is also required in order to enable gravity to amplify the small fluctuations in the Cosmic Microwave Background enough to form the large-scale structures that we see in the universe today.
Dark energy
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Physical cosmology 
In cosmology, dark energy is a hypothetical form of energy which permeates all of space and has strong negative pressure. According to the theory of relativity, the effect of such a negative pressure is qualitatively similar to a force acting in opposition to gravity at large scales. Invoking such an effect is currently the most popular method for explaining the observations of an accelerating universe as well as accounting for a significant portion of the missing mass in the universe.

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The Raw Story

House Judiciary Democrats issue report alleging gross misconduct by Bush over Iraq
In order to expedite getting the story out, RAW STORY has reproduced the executive summary of the report here. Following the executive summary there is a link to the full report.

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Brendan Nyhan: Bush 2004-2005: "[A] wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed."

December 20, 2005
Bush 2004-2005: "[A] wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed."
Inspired by this Atrios post, here's a chronology of technically true but misleading statements by President Bush and his administration that imply court orders are required for all government wiretaps:

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Think Progress � The Echelon Myth

The Echelon Myth
Prominent right-wing bloggers ? including Michelle Malkin, the Corner, Wizbang and Free Republic ? are pushing the argument that President Bush?s warrantless domestic spying program isn?t news because the Clinton administration did the same thing.
The right-wing outlet NewsMax sums up the basic argument:
During the 1990?s under President Clinton, the National Security Agency monitored millions of private phone calls placed by U.S. citizens and citizens of other countries under a super secret program code-named Echelon?all of it done without a court order, let alone a catalyst like the 9/11 attacks.
That?s flatly false. The Clinton administration program, code-named Echelon, complied with FISA. Before any conversations of U.S. persons were targeted, a FISA warrant was obtained. CIA director George Tenet testified to this before Congress on 4/12/00:
I?m here today to discuss specific issues about and allegations regarding Signals Intelligence activities and the so-called Echelon Program of the National Security Agency?
There is a rigorous regime of checks and balances which we, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and the FBI scrupulously adhere to whenever conversations of U.S. persons are involved, whether directly or indirectly. We do not collect against U.S. persons unless they are agents of a foreign power as that term is defined in the law. We do not target their conversations for collection in the United States unless a FISA warrant has been obtained from the FISA court by the Justice Department.
Meanwhile, the position of the Bush administration is that they can bypass the FISA court and every other court, even when they are monitoring the communications of U.S. persons. It is the difference between following the law and breaking it.
Filed under: Intelligence
Posted by Judd at 12:13 pm
Permalink | Comment (134)

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Dean On Bush?s Conflicting Statements on Secret Wiretap Program
Washington, DC ? Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean issued the following statement on the President?s conflicting statements about his possibly illegal plan to spy on the American people:   click_here

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Eschaton - don't...

Don't Fuck With Your Own People

Seems like a reasonable rule of thumb:
[ via atrios
at eschaton ]

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Monday, December 19, 2005

'Intelligent Design' Deja Vu

School boards across the country are facing pressure to teach "intelligent design" in science classes, but what would such courses look like? Thankfully, we need not tax our imaginations. All we have to do is look inside some 19th-century textbooks.
The one science course routinely taught in elementary schools back then was geography. Textbooks such as James Monteith's "Physical and Intermediate Geography" (1866), Arnold Guyot's "Physical Geography" (1873) and John Brocklesby's "Elements of Physical Geography" (1868) were compendiums of knowledge intended to teach children a little of everything about Earth and its inhabitants.
more here:

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THE BRAD BLOG: "Florida Gov. Bush Expresses Concern About State Election Systems in Light of Leon County Hack Test"

Huh!? A simple bit of misdirection or a real concern by a corrupt poltician?

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Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall December 17, 2005 05:30 PM

There was no reason that Bush needed to subvert the law. It would have been very easy to get all the surveillance he needed by following the law. This is just an example of his administration's "Imperial Presidency".
Here are some more details on the record of the FISA Court (the Court established in 1978 by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act).

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You Damn Kid


Sorry, I'm late with this, but I just found out myself. I have been following this pretty funny strip on the web for about 2 years now and I see they have been offered to make a show for FOX. This could be good, right up there with The Simpson's (IMHO).
View the strip here:
click here

Cartoonist Owen Dunne and Keenspot Entertainment have signed with 20th Century Fox Television and former Fox TV group chairman Sandy Grushow's Phase Two to take their popular web-based comic strip "You Damn Kid!" from the computer monitor to the television screen.

Dunne's "You Damn Kid!" revolves around two naive children, a boy nicknamed "The Kid" and his little sister Dot, who attempt to figure out how the world works by observing the odd group of grownups who surround them. In the world of "You Damn Kid!," an A.A. meeting becomes a playground and an inflatable doll is your friend's new stepmother.

"I am thrilled and excited to have this opportunity," said Dunne. "I've always felt that my comic strip family would do well as an animated television show, and this is a huge first step in seeing that dream become reality. It is tremendously gratifying to be working with Fox, Phase Two and most importantly, someone as respected and accomplished as Sandy Grushow."

While "Kid!" may tackle provocative subjects, the themes are universal. "Everyone's been a kid, and most people believe their family is strange," said Keenspot Co-CEO Chris Crosby. "Owen's created a family comedy in the proud tradition of 'The Simpsons,' 'Family Guy,' and 'Arrested Development.' It'll feel right at home at Fox, no doubt about it."

Said Dunne, "I'd really like to thank Chris Crosby and the folks at Keenspot for publishing my book, hosting my comics and working hard to put my work in the hands of the people who could make this deal happen."

�You Damn Kid!� ( has been published on the web since 1999 and exclusively with Keenspot since 2000. In 2004, Keenspot published the first �Kid!� book, �Fun at A.A. Meetings� (ISBN #0972235051). The second collection, �Naked Lady Balloons� (ISBN #1932775056), is scheduled for publication this winter. �Kid!� is also published in print as part of the Keenspot Comics Page, a newspaper supplement that runs regularly in various papers including The Turlock Journal of Turlock, California. As well, other newspapers carry the strip separately.

Keenspot Entertainment (, which is represented by manager Marc Manus of Manus Entertainment and attorney Frank M. Lunn of Rosen Feig Golland & Lunn LLP, is the largest publisher of web-based comics with more than 50 comic properties, over 30,000 pages of content, and thousands of characters in its roster. Keenspot webcomics attract more than 2 million unique visitors which view close to 1 billion Keenspot pages annually.
Your Pal,
Chris Crosby
Keenspot Entertainment ( )
( )
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Sunday, December 18, 2005

TBogg - Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Tbogg riffs on the Declaration of Independance and 'George the Lesser'.
<URL: click_here >

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The Horror!

Jean Schmidt is definitely delusional. Check out this horror story.
_schmidt-hottie/ Posted by Picasa

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