Best Viewed with IE or Opera. Sorry, Firefox works, but loses some sidebar layout,
'my profile' and other stuff... Anybody with a fix, please leave a comment. Many thanks in advance.

That said, if you must use Firefox (and I don't blame you, it's become my browser of choice, too)
...get the "IE Tab" extension. This allows you to view problem pages with the IE rendering engine. Very cool!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Keyboard Kommando Komics #10

The Wizard of Oil

Friday, January 06, 2006

Gadgets � The top 10 weirdest USB drives ever

Calling:ID - toolbar for Internet Exploder

Anyone who insists on using Internet Exploder for their primary web-browser (or at all) should go here and install this FREE toolbar. It will analyze websites to let you know if they are trustworthy or not. It's not 100% protection, but it is lightyears ahead of IE usual level of protection. (Firefox version available soon)--pseudolus

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See who owns the site you visit
CallingID's toolbar verifies that a site is safe before you send personal data
52 verification tests inform you of the potential risks - you decide what to do

click here

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Thursday, January 05, 2006

MyDD :: The Sago Mines: Negligence by the Republicans

The Sago Mines: Negligence by the Republicans
by Matt Stoller
 
I want to follow up on Scott's post on the mining deaths.  Leon H at Redstate went apoplectic at Scott's reasoned discussion of the mining accident.  I consider Redstate the smartest right-wing site on the internet; it's run by professional right-wing consultants who see politics as a blood sport. In this case, they are scared of the Sago mining accident because of what it reveals. 
 
Leon H's post against Scott just gets the facts wrong.  He posits that government regulation of the mines were working, since the mine had been fined 208 times in 2005.  Apparently, this was simply an act of God, with no responsiblity for anyone involved.  Leon H says this about the fines:
 
"A reasonable man who knows next to nothing about coal mining, or the coal mining industry, but I'll grant the fact that a mine which has been fined 208 times (I believe this is within a 2 year period) ought to have at the very least been fined into oblivion."
 
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...great comment by 'coalminer' follows the article. here's a quote:
 
"I was a Coal Miner Near this Mine:Bush Failed Them (3.00 / 1)
 
"I would also add even more so the company failed them. Furthermore this was a nonunion mine and that too elimanated any voice these miners had in the safety issues involved. I worked ten years as an underground coal miner, several of them in a union mine about thirty miles away. Basically these miners died because the company and the labor department (and by extension the Bush administration) failed to enforce the minimal standards here."
 
 
 

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Patriots blog -- Reiss Pieces - Boston.com

Mike Reiss is a sports reporter for Globe West who has covered the Patriots for the last three seasons. In 2004, he started the Reiss's Pieces blog, which provides regular updates -- and a behind-the-scenes look -- on the daily happenings of the two-time defending Super Bowl champions. Check back often to keep up with your Pats.
 
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The Raw Story | The new Gilded Age

Nancy Goldstein - Raw Story Columnist
 
In the summer of 1863, Lincoln's enactment of the draft--the first federal conscription in America--set off widespread rioting in the streets of New York City. The mandate's most reviled feature was a "commutation" rule that allowed sons of privilege to buy their way out of enlistment for the 21st century equivalent of $6,000. For the northern European immigrants who comprised over half of the city's population, starving cheek-to-jowl in the corroding tenements of the Lower East Side, the rule proved that Lincoln's "rich man's war" against the South had become a fight for poor, and thereby expendable, men to resolve.
 
Nearly a century and a half later, the wealthy don't even have to pay for the privilege of sending less well connected sons and daughters off to war to die in their stead. The draft has been rendered unnecessary by the tens of thousands of young men and women--disproportionately low income or working-class, over a third of them people of color--who "choose" to enlist while the children of better-off folk, who have other viable options for educational and professional advancement, are able to choose lines of work where they're less likely to be killed.
 
Welcome to the new Gilded Age. Once more, a small number of individuals have exploited the latest technology and their powerful personal connections to amass incredible wealth at the expense of an exploited majority.
 
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TPMCafe || The Cost of The War

By Pascal Riche
 
Nobel Laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz and Harvard budget expert Linda Bilmes plan to present this week a paper  estimating the cost of the Iraq War at between $1-2 trillion. This is far higher than earlier estimates of $100-200 billion.
 
Here is their statement:
 
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Crooks and Liars - Walmart: Continuing to bring Cheap...

 
FireDogLake alerted me to this, "So Wrong": can anyone explain how listing biographies of Martin Luther King, Jack Johnson and Dorothy Dandridge under the "similar products" category with Planet of the Apes looks anything but awful?...read on
 
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Linda Milazzo: The Ownership Society Meets the Entrepreneurial Style

The House That George and Jack Built
By LINDA MILAZZO
 
Throughout his presidency George W. Bush has defined the two most important goals for Americans as entrepreneurship and ownership. For George W. Bush, entrepreneurship and ownership are the cornerstones of our democracy. For Bush and his cohorts, a real American is a rich American. A rich American understands what America is for. A rich American uses America correctly, understands the path to wealth and power, and knows how to play the game.
 
It's the art of the game. What do I want and how do I get it? Getting is the art. Having is the prize. And the mantra is "more".
 
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Wired 14.01: Don't Even Think About Lying

Don't Even Think About Lying
How brain scans are reinventing the science of lie detection.
By Steve Silberman

Feature: 
Don't Even Think About Lying 
Plus: 
The Cortex Cop 
I'm flat on my back in a very loud machine, trying to keep my mind quiet. It's not easy. The inside of an fMRI scanner is narrow and dark, with only a sliver of the world visible in a tilted mirror above my eyes. Despite a set of earplugs, I'm bathed in a dull roar punctuated by a racket like a dryer full of sneakers.
 
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PriUPS-getting electricity FROM your hybrid vehicle

ok geeks, go have a look at this little idea. Hooking your Prius into your home's electrical power for emergencies.
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Here's the Question...
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Don't Trust Soldiers Under 30

Published on Wednesday, January 4, 2006 by TedRall.com 
18-Year-Olds Too Immature to Serve in the Military
 
by Ted Rall
  
 
 It was 1982. I was 18 and snotty and wanted to see the world. And so, a few days after a brief chat with an army recruiter operating out of a strip mall on Stroop Road across from my local soon-to-be-closed municipal swimming pool, I rode the bus to downtown Dayton to take the Armed Forces Qualifying Test.
 
The AFQT was ridiculously easy. The math, I remember, was at about a fifth-grade level. My biggest challenge was remembering material that I'd digested years earlier. But the guys around me--they were all guys--were visibly struggling, sighing and staring vacantly at the acoustical tiles suspended from the ceiling. My mom's phone rang a few days later. It was my recruiter.
 
"I've got to tell you, we haven't seen scores like this in years," he said. "We can offer you an amazing career." If my fellow test-takers reflected the typical military applicant pool, I wasn't surprised these recruiters were impressed. Compared to some of the idiots I'd sat next to downtown, I must have seemed like a perfect cross between Einstein and Eisenhower.
 
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The Unrestrained President

Published on Wednesday, January 4, 2006 by TomDispatch.com
by Tom Engelhardt

  
As 2006 begins, we seem to be at a not-completely-unfamiliar crossroads in the long history of the American imperial presidency. It grew up, shedding presidential constraints, in the post-World War II years as part of the rise of the national security state and the military-industrial complex. It reached its constraint-less apogee with Richard Nixon's presidency and what became known as the Watergate scandal -- an event marked by Nixon's attempt to create his own private national security apparatus which he directed to secretly commit various high crimes and misdemeanors for him. It was as close as we came -- until now -- to a presidential coup d'etat that might functionally have abrogated the Constitution. In those years, the potential dangers of an unfettered presidency (so apparent to the nation's founding fathers) became obvious to a great many Americans. As now, a failed war helped drag the President's plans down and, in the case of Nixon, ended in personal disgrace and resignation, as well as in a brief resurgence of congressional oversight activity. All this mitigated, and modestly deflected, the growth trajectory of the imperial presidency -- for a time.
 
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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Microsoft Shared Computer Toolkit for Windows XP

I just had to pass this along. Microsoft has a FREE tool that allows you to setup "indestructible" user setups of Windows XP Pro SP2. I haven't played with this yet, but I downloaded it and a few other tools and intend to play with it. Basically the idea is that you can setup the computer for any user to play with as they like, then when you reboot everything is restored to the original setup. Might be handy, depending upon if it lets you at least create and save some docs and stuff, probably to a floppy or thumbdrive. Could be the answer to setting up Ma & Pa's pc or perhaps for the kids.
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Blurb from the front page:
 
Introducing powerful new software tools for shared computers in schools, libraries, Internet cafes, and other public places. The Shared Computer Toolkit helps make it easy to set up, safeguard, and manage reliable shared computers running Windows XP.
 
See the webcast: defend public computers
Watch a previously-recorded one-hour presentation on how to defend public computers using the Shared Computer Toolkit for Windows XP.
Note:  This webcast is based on the Beta release of the toolkit. Some improvements and changes have been made to the toolkit since the Beta release.
 
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 Make_it_so.

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The Center Isn't Holding

Published on Monday, January 2, 2006 by The Journal Star (Lincoln, Nebraska)
by Leon Satterfield
 
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.
? William Butler Yeats, ?The Second Coming,? 1920.
 
If President Bush ever read those apocalyptic lines, surely he?s reminded of them now. He must be aware that his plans are not working out the way he was told they would, and he must fear that his administration is falling apart, the center not holding.
 
Of course, had the president been an English major, he would have also read those lines in Robert Burns? ?To a Mouse? reminding us that
 
?The best-laid schemes o? mice an? men
Gang aft a-gley,
An? lea?e us nought but grief an? pain.?
 
And had the president read more prose, he might have sensed the dissatisfaction of many others still occupying this world.
 
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Optimism for Progressives in 2006

Published on Monday, January 2, 2006 by CommonDreams.org 
by Mike Ignatowski

  
Something important happened in December that should generate some optimism about a progressive society. TIME Magazine picked Bono, Bill and Melinda Gates as their persons of the year. Now many of us may have strong emotional feelings about Microsoft, or about rock stars with big egos, but I 'm asking you to put those aside for a moment. These three people could have easily retired to a life of private luxury as many people in their position do. But they chose to spend some of their time and money traveling the world working on poverty and disease in the poorest areas of the planet. TIME magazine did not choose to honor government officials or military leaders this year. They chose three private citizens who had exercised their ability to do some significant good in the world. In effect, TIME Magazine recognized these people as the most important role models for the coming year. This is a positive thing.
 
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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Think Progress � Abramoff: The House That Jack Built

George Bush's Annus Horribilis

Published on Friday, December 30, 2005 by Los Angeles CityBeat 
The president is badly wounded but that might not be good for anyone in 2006
by Andrew Gumbel 
  
 
2005 was the year the Bush administration curled up and laid down to die. The president told us a little over a year ago that he regarded his re-election as political capital he was now free to spend, but in retrospect it seems he was handed no more than loose change, or ? to extend the metaphor in a slightly different direction ? a pile of fool?s gold.
 
His ambition to dismantle Social Security as we know it ? going nowhere. His continuing itch to extend tax cuts for the wealthy ? denied by the realities of out-of-control deficit spending. His Iraq policy ? ever more floundering and tragic, and now, thanks to Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania and the investigations of Patrick Fitzgerald, condemned to incoherence in the public relations arena, too.
 
His war on terror ? exposed as both incompetent and morally bankrupt in the wake of the scandals concerning torture and the unauthorized wiretapping of American citizens. His general credibility in the domestic arena ? shot to pieces by the scandalously lackadaisical response to Hurricane Katrina, and by the numerous corruption scandals now lapping at the heels of the entire Republican establishment.
 
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firedoglake: GOP Exclusive!!

The airwaves are full of the obedient and the credulous this morning trying to tar the Democrats with Jack Abramoff's filthy lucre, so let's set the record straight for those too busy sucking down hairspray fumes to pay full attention. As Media Matters noted when the NYT's Anne Kornblut pimped this crap on Hardball:
 
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Find Music You'll Love - Pandora

I found this link recently and thought I'd pass it on. It's a free music streaming service called Pandora. I know several of the music software titles do a similar thing, but for free it might make a nice link for someone on the lookout for new bands. It is a Macromedia Flash Player that will play tunes similar to a band or song title you give them. You rate subsequent songs to refine the choices offered to you. Of course there are links buy the songs (iTunes) or albums (Amazon) if you so desire. I palyed with it a bit and found it very easy to use. There is an extensive FAQ page that will explain much.
 
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Monday, January 02, 2006

Evolutionblog: Bloom in The Atlantic "Is God an Accident."

The December issue of The Atlantic has a lengthy article called ?Is God an Accident.? Its author is Paul Bloom, a professor of psychology and linguistics at Yale. The article is only available online to subscribers, so I will have to make do with transcribing some representative quotations.
 
Bloom begins by describing the inadequacies of some older attempts to explain religion. In particular he considers Marx's idea that religion is an opiate that makes it easier to deal with the unpleasantness of daily life, and the idea that religion promotes social cohesiveness which in turn is favored by natural selection. He then describes his main premise:
 
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 read_the_rest at EvolutionBlog

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d r i f t g l a s s: Bye bye, 2005

I know that nobody but a damned fool would go and tamper with ?American Pie?. Even a little bit.
 
And I know this isn?t literally what happened in 2005. Not the order in which things happened, or their relative importance.
 
This is just my own set of Emotional Flashcards to be tucked away for future use should I ever need a vivid reminder of how it felt -- in the belly -- to be alive right here and now. A sense of how it felt to look immediately back in on that receding, centerpunching year just past and mourn it for what it might have been.
 
And hey, who ever said I wasn't a damned fool anyway?
 
So with great respect for Don McLean's original, epic poem (and fair warning that the graphic load on this means it might run slow) here's a very lightly edited version, along with my wish for a Happy and Peaceful New Year to one and all...
 
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Sunday, January 01, 2006

The Dynamic of a Bush Scandal: How the Spying Story Will Unfold (and Fade)

by Peter Daou
Salon.com ...the daou report
...
The third button on the Daou Report's navigation bar links to the U.S. Constitution, a Constitution many Americans believe is on life support - if not already dead. The cause of its demise is the corrosive interplay between the Bush administration, a bevy of blind apologists, a politically apathetic public, a well-oiled rightwing message machine, lapdog reporters, and a disorganized opposition. The domestic spying case perfectly illuminates the workings of that system. And the unfolding of this story augurs poorly for those who expect it to yield different results from other administration scandals.
 
Here's why: the dynamic of a typical Bush scandal follows familiar contours...
 
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Unclaimed Territory - by Glenn Greenwald: Threatening Administration critics with criminal prosecution

Yesterday?s report that the Department of Justice has opened an investigation into the disclosure of the Administration?s illegal surveillance program should come as no surprise. Wielding threats of criminal prosecution against those who speak out against the Administration is not a new tactic.
 
After the first Bush Treasury Secretary, Paul O?Neill, was fired, he became the primary source for Ron Suskind?s book, The Price of Loyalty, which was sharply critical of the Administration, revealing, among other things, that Bush had been pining for a war to oust Saddam since well before 9/11 ("from the very beginning"), and depicting Bush as a highly disengaged Chief Executive.
 
Within twenty-four hours, literally, the media was full of leaked stories claiming that O?Neill had violated laws and regulations governing the use of classified information, darkly suggesting that he had broken the law by giving certain documents to Suskind which were classified and that he was under investigation for possible crimes:
 
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Saturday, December 31, 2005 

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