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, April 29, 2006

Strangers With Candy - coming in June!

The Real Inconvenient Truth: Greenhouse, global warming and some facts

 I'm sorry, and correct me if I'm wrong, but I have to take exception to the post over at junkscience.com concerning global warming. I only read as far as the part shown below to find fault. I really don't like the obtuseness they display in their argument about how a greenhouse works. According to the authors a greenhouse is merely a barrier to convection, but I say that it is more and that if they are correct then you could build a grenhouse out of brick or stainless steel. I say that uni-directional transparency to solar radiation is a MAJOR component of the greenhouse's attributes. So, no, the gases don't act as physical barriers to convection like glass does in a greenhouse but the gasses to act as uni-directional barriers to radiation. Sheesh! And I only have a H.S. diploma. --pseudolus
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- Basic misconceptions that must be addressed include:
 
Does the Earth's atmosphere primarily behave like an actual greenhouse?
 
No. The term "greenhouse effect" is unfortunate since it often results in a totally false impression of the activity of so-called "greenhouse gases." An actual greenhouse works as a physical barrier to convection (the transfer of heat by currents in a fluid) while the atmosphere facilitates convection. So-called "greenhouse gases" in the Earth's atmosphere do not act as a barrier to convection so the impression of actual greenhouse-like activity in the Earth's atmosphere is wrong.
 
Supplemental, April 25: A couple of people have written challenging whether physical greenhouses function as convection barriers since they do radiate and so does the atmosphere - apparently we need to expand on this point. To begin with, a physical greenhouse is simply a contained subset of the atmosphere - it is not bounded by the near-vacuum of space as is the planet's atmosphere and so has rather different properties. The proof that convection containment is critical to the function of physical greenhouses is that it is possible to create structures with similar radiative properties, one which allows convective activity between the structure and unconstrained atmosphere and one which does not. Only the structure constraining internal-external convection will function as an effective greenhouse. Greenhouse gases categorically do not inhibit convective activity and so are not like a physical greenhouse.
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Johnny Hiland


www.johhnyhiland.com Posted by Picasa
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Man this fellow can play a guitar! His solo debut album"Johnny Hiland" is just terrific (go there to hear some samples.) He is a big fan of many guitarists and can emulate a slew of them with ease and grace. The tunes on this album range in style from the "redneck jazz" of Danny Gatton (Gatton To It & G Wiz), to the country blues of Roy Buchannan (Truth Hurts), to the roadhouse jump of Jimmy Thackery (Swinging the Strings) to the spacey fusion rock of Joe Satriani (Going Home & Run With It). If you like your guitar picking tasty, stylish and sweet you have to get you some Johnny Hiland. This good ol' boy is a Maine native now living in Tennesee. He's much in demand as a session player for the likes of Ricky Skaggs and many others in Nashville. --pseudolus
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from his new label Steve Vai's "Favored Nations":

"If you tried, you couldn�t make up a story this good: legally blind kid grows up in a trailer home in rural Maine. A guitar prodigy, he tours with the family band starting at age 8, wins local and regional competitions, moves to Nashville, ends up dropping jaws all over town, doing sessions with Ricky Skaggs, Toby Keith, Randy Travis, Janie Fricke and many more, and gets signed by Steve Vai when his manager leaves a demo snippet on Steve�s voicemail box.

�Johnny Hiland� is a blend of taste and flash, in which emotional, solid composition and hair-raising performance complement rather than compete with each other. Featuring Billy Sheehan, Bill Holloman, and Pat Torpey.

"I think Johnny Hiland is the most versatile guitar player I've ever heard. From Bill Monroe to Eddie Van Halen, he can play it all."- Ricky Skaggs

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Interview in Modern Guitars Magazine:
CLICK HERE

Update: 4-30-2006
Video of Johnny showing off his new guitar...



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click on picture to 'em-biggen' view........

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Brand-name pharmaceutical companies have resumed paying generic drug manufacturers to stay off the market under the terms of some legal settlements, attracting renewed scrutiny from federal regulators, trade officials said Monday.

For the first time since 1999, brand-name and generic drug makers are entering patent challenge agreements under which the latter companies receive compensation in exchange for agreeing to restrictions on their ability to market generic versions of branded drugs.

Consumers usually save money if they can buy generic brands of drugs, which spark price competition. Keeping generic competitors off the market allows brand-name manufacturers to charge premium prices.

Three such settlements were reached in the 12 months ending Sept. 30, 2005, according to a Federal Trade Commission report issued Monday. Roughly six similar deals have been struck in the months since then, FTC Commissioner Jon Leibowitz said.

Pharmaceutical companies ceased striking such agreements in the late 1990s following several legal challenges mounted by the FTC, Leibowitz said.

Pharmaceutical companies have been emboldened by two recent court decisions that sanctioned those types of settlements, Leibowitz said in remarks prepared for a speech Monday in Philadelphia. The remarks were posted on the FTCs Web site.

"We are seeing far more settlements today that potentially raise competition concerns than before these decisions," Leibowitz said.

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'As Many as a Half a Dozen' Members of Congress May Be Involved in Prostitution Scandal - Ethics?



Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the FBI is ?investigating whether two contractors implicated in the bribery of former Rep. Randall ?Duke? Cunningham supplied him with prostitutes and free use of a limousine and hotel suites.? The Journal also said the investigators are exploring ?whether any other members of Congress? are involved.
 
Last night on MSNBC?s Scarborough Country, Dean Calbreath of the San Diego Union Tribune ? which recently won a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the Cunningham case ? said that ?as many as a half a dozen? members of Congress could ultimately be implicated in the prostitution scandal. Watch it:
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Declaration of Energy Independence - by Jack Coleman

PLYMOUTH, Massachusetts -- When in the course of modern events it becomes necessary for one people to assume greater control of their energy needs through indigenous sources provided by the Creator, a decent respect for humanity impels them to explain the rationale for their decision.
 
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all sources of energy are not created equal, that some are endowed with indisputable flaws, most especially fossil fuels.
 
Among these are a fearsome toll in lives, restraints on liberty where oil is the only source of wealth, and thwarting of happiness through ever-rising energy costs.
 
That to secure freedom from dependence on foreign energy, governments are instituted by men and women, deriving their powers from the consent of the governed, and not from lobbyists in the fossil-fuels industry.
 
That whenever any form of government proves resistant to these truths, it is the right of the people to articulate that government's failure and to advocate new policies, based on the principle of self-reliance upon which our nation was founded.
 
Prudence will dictate that governments long established should not change for transient causes, such as a sudden surge in oil prices. And all experience has shown that people are more disposed to tolerate fossil fuels while their financial costs are modest than to right themselves by abolishing the dependence to which they are accustomed.
 
Such has been the patient sufferance of these United States, extending back more than three decades, to the Arab oil embargo of 1973-74, and such is now the necessity that constrains them through a worsening dependence on foreign energy. The history of our Nation's over-reliance on fossil fuels from abroad is strewn with missed opportunities and repeated folly -- all having as result the establishment of something akin to addiction for our citizens.
 
To prove this, let these facts be submitted to a candid world increasingly resentful of the American presence:
 
We account for only 5 percent of the Earth's population, yet consume 25 percent of the Earth's energy.
 
We refuse to increase fuel-efficiency for sport-utility vehicles, thanks to a legal loophole that maintains the fiction that most SUVs are purchased for agricultural endeavors.
 
We provide lobbyists from the fossil-fuels industry with undue sway in crafting energy policy, often in secretive enclaves.
 
We quarter more than 100,000 of our soldiers in the Mideast for our second war in as many decades to ensure the flow of oil to our country -- where much of it will be squandered. The cost of these conflicts has been a horrific toll in lives and injuries, widespread devastation, environmental havoc and economic upheaval.
 
We have long ignored the example of the Danes, the Germans, the English, the Spanish and the Irish -- among other peoples -- who are embracing wind power and other renewables, rather than the failed energy policies of the past.
 
At every stage we have petitioned for remedies; our petitions have been ignored or derided. Nor have we been wanting in our respect for our system of governance. Accordingly, we have warned our legislators that their failure to act in their constituents' best interests will probably end with their usurpation from office. They have been deaf to the voices of reason and environmental justice.
 
Therefore, we, the representatives of a voting bloc known as Energy Independents -- united in spirit across this Nation and transcending partisan division -- solemnly declare that these United States ought to be Free and Independent States; that they should sever allegiance to those nations from which we purchase fossil fuels that maintain despotic regimes over their citizenry; and that, as Free and Independent States, we have full power to provide for our energy needs, stop endless conflicts, contract alliances with nations worthy of our Founders' respect, establish commerce in renewable energy as a critical element in this endeavor, and do all other things that Independent States not beholden to sources of energy beyond their borders may do.
 
And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of a Higher Power, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Good Faith, and our Sacred Future.
 
Jack Coleman is a freelance writer, blogger (www.windfarmersalmanac.com), and media adviser to the Cape Wind advocacy group Clean Power Now, based on Cape Cod.
 
� 2006 The Providence Journal
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Greed Thrives In Our Health Care System

Here's another one to remember when someone tells you that our "private" health care system works:
 
The Wall Street Journal ran a front-page story last week with the headline that said it all: "As Patients, Doctors Feel Pinch, Insurer's CEO Makes a Billion."
 
The story, datelined Minnetonka, Minn., was about William McGuire, a doctor who stopped practicing in 1986 to take a management job with UnitedHealth Group Inc., one of the largest HMOs in the country.
 
He's now the chief executive officer of the corporation, makes $8 million a year in salary plus bonus, has personal use of the company's private jet and has amassed what the Journal describes as "one of the largest stock options fortunes of all time."
 
According to the newspaper, those options total $1.6 billion.
 
"Even celebrated CEOs such as General Electric Co.'s Jack Welch or International Business Machines Corp.'s Louis Gerstner never were granted so much during their time at the top," the WSJ story said
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Mad Cow Madness: USDA Stands in the Way of Broader Testing


CHICAGO -- If a hospital wanted to advertise that it upholds sanitary standards higher than any required by the government, no one would object. A used-car dealer who decided to offer only vehicles with the best crash-test scores would be free to do so. But after a meatpacker announced plans to establish the strictest program around to protect consumers from mad cow disease, the U.S. Department of Agriculture replied: fat chance.
Eating meat from animals afflicted with the illness can cause irreversible, fatal damage to the brain. Last month, a cow in Alabama was found to be infected, the third confirmed case in this country. Canada, which has similar regulations to prevent the disease, has had five.
You would think those cases would indicate the need for more testing of cattle to keep contaminated beef off our tables. In fact, the USDA, which now tests only 1 percent of all slaughtered cows, is planning to cut back on that effort. Crazier yet, it also intends to keep anyone else from conducting more tests.
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read_more...Mad Cow Madness:

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The Long War Posture - by Gregory D. Foster

The American public is being lulled into a false sense of insecurity. And insecurity, constructed or real, is what gives those in power - our purported protectors - their self-righteous aura of indispensability.
 
President Bush; Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld; the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Peter Pace; the head of the U.S. Central Command, Gen. John P. Abizaid; and the recently released Quadrennial Defense Review, among other authoritative purveyors of received wisdom, all warn us that we're embroiled in - and destined to be further subjected to - what is to be known as a Long War.
 
It would be one thing if such semantic legerdemain reflected revelatory strategic insight or a more sophisticated appreciation of the intrinsic nature of postmodern conflicts and enemies. But that is not the case. In fact, it's hard to avoid the cynical view that America's senior military leaders are willfully playing public relations handmaiden to their political overlords at the expense of a naive, trusting citizenry.
 
Even as Long War rhetoric artfully circumvents such politically discomfiting terminology as "insurgency," its underlying message should be clear: We dutiful subjects should be quietly patient and not expect too much (if anything) too soon (if at all) from our rulers as they prosecute their unilaterally proclaimed war without end against ubiquitous evil.
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Marvel Studios outlines slew of superhero titles



click on picture to 'em-biggen' view........Marvel Studios has hired Jon Favreau to develop and direct the big-screen adaptation of "Iron Man" and has attracted an impressive roster of writers to help bring some of its high-profile characters such as Captain America and Thor to the big screen.
 
Favreau will direct a feature version of Marvel's armored hero and develop the script with the writing team of Arthur Marcum and Matt Holloway ("Convoy"). The project originally was set up at New Line with Nick Cassavetes directing.
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TAPPED - BROTHER, CAN YOU SPARE $4 BILLION?

This article on revised Congressional Research Service estimates of spending on the Iraq War is pretty dull until the end, but then it starts to get interesting. The report apparently contains such phrases as "These factors, however, are not enough to explain a 50-percent increase of over $20 billion in operating costs" and "These reasons are not sufficient, however, to explain the level of increases." Relatedly, the Post reports that "Of the total war spending, the CRS analysis found $4 billion that could not be tracked. It did identify $2.5 billion diverted from other spending authorizations in 2001 and 2002 to prepare for the invasion." I'm fairly sure you're not allowed to "divert" money from other spending authorizations, and you're certainly not supposed to lose $4 billion in untrackable spending. Nor does it sound entirely appropriate for the Pentagon to be running its operation in such a way that the CRS can't discern the causes of 50 percent spending increases. All the sort of thing a real congress would hold some hearings on, and, once again, I won't be holding my breath.

 
--Matthew Yglesias
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Friday, April 28, 2006

Zeno's Got a Brand New Paradox!


click on picture to 'em-biggen' view........
Thanks to UGGABUGGA
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Pat Roberts' perfect timing

Posted By Carpetbagger On 25th April 2006 @ 10:39 In General

Less than 48 hours ago, Tyler Drumheller, the former highest ranking CIA officer in Europe, explained that intelligence officials told the White House that Iraq had no WMD and had the kind of blockbuster, inside-source imaginable to confirm this. The Bush gang blew him off and went to war.

At the same time, lawmakers like Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) spoke to Drumheller, learned exactly what had happened, and kept quiet.

Almost on cue, Roberts announced that he wants to keep his committee's report on manipulation of pre-war intelligence under wraps indefinitely.

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), who chairs the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said he wants to divide his panel's inquiry into the Bush administration's handling of Iraq-related intelligence into two parts, a move that would push off its most politically controversial elements to a later time.

The inquiry has dragged on for more than two years, a slow pace that prompted Democrats to force the Senate into an extraordinary closed-door session in November. Republicans then promised to speed up the probe.

And now they're slowing it down again.
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  • read more ...CLICK HERE

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  • Is There A Double Standard On Leak Probes?

    By Murray Waas, National Journal
    When the CIA announced on Friday that it had fired an employee who the agency claims "knowingly and willfully shared classified intelligence" with a newspaper reporter, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, immediately praised the agency's action, saying that "unauthorized disclosures of classified information can significantly harm our ability to protect the American people."

    On the eve of the invasion of Iraq, Sen. Pat Roberts was involved in disclosing sensitive intelligence information that, according to four former senior intelligence officers, impaired efforts to capture Saddam Hussein. 
     
    Roberts, one of the staunchest defenders of the Bush administration's effort to stop the flow of sensitive information to the press, said in a statement that "[t]hose who leak classified information not only risk the disclosure of intelligence sources and methods, but also expose the brave men and women of the intelligence community to greater danger. Clearly, those guilty of improperly disclosing classified information should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
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    Fake TV News: Widespread and Undisclosed

    Diane Farsetta and Daniel Price, Center for Media and Democracy
    April 6, 2006
     
    This report includes:
    Video footage [1] of the 36 video news releases documented in this report, plus footage showing how actual TV newscasts incorporated them and/or a related satellite media tours.
    A map [2] showing the locations of the 77 television stations throughout the United States that aired this fake news.
    An itemized list [3] of the 77 television stations that aired this fake news, by state.
    In Brief
     
    Over a ten-month period, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) documented television newsrooms' use of 36 video news releases [4] (VNRs)?a small sample of the thousands produced each year. CMD identified 77 television stations, from those in the largest to the smallest markets, that aired these VNRs or related satellite media tours [5] (SMTs) in 98 separate instances, without disclosure to viewers. Collectively, these 77 stations reach more than half of the U.S. population. The VNRs and SMTs whose broadcast CMD documented were produced by three broadcast PR firms for 49 different clients, including General Motors, Intel, Pfizer and Capital One. In each case, these 77 television stations actively disguised the sponsored content to make it appear to be their own reporting. In almost all cases, stations failed to balance the clients' messages with independently-gathered footage or basic journalistic research. More than one-third of the time, stations aired the pre-packaged VNR in its entirety.
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    "Deadwood" creator: media dumbing down news

     ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - "Deadwood" creator David Milch accused news media outlets Tuesday of "infantilizing" viewers with their entertainment-style coverage of such events as the September 11 attacks and the war in Iraq.
     
    "I think the influx of information, when it's not organized by any sort of emotional or spiritual principle provided by the media, is a demoralizing and corrosive process," he said during an industry forum luncheon at the Museum of Television & Radio in Beverly Hills.
     
    "Disaster works; disaster sells. ... But the media is putting us in a position where we're not permitted to have 'normal' reactions."
     
    He likened the media coverage during the beginning of the war in Iraq with that of a "three-week miniseries with a beginning, middle and end," where the ending was the act of the Iraqis tearing down the statue of Saddam Hussein.
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    Mazda RX-9 features Mighty Morphin' tire technology and energy absorbent skin


    The Mazda RX-9 is an advanced concept that came out on top in this year?s Michelin Design Challenge. It?s a hybrid featuring a 2.5L V6 and wafer-thin electric motor, but features a couple of technologies not seen before in the race for higher fuel mileage.

    James Owen Design is the one-man firm responsible for penning the vehicle?s shape. The slick skin features electrostatic collectors that can collect electrical charges that build up on the exterior panels while driving through dry air. The electricity is store in capacitors that can then feed the hybrid drivetrain along with the onboard regenerative braking.
  • CLICK HERE

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  • MICHELIN LETS THE AIR OUT OF FUTURE TIRE INNOVATION


    Michelin announces two fitments for its revolutionary non-pneumatic Tweel?

    DETROIT, M.I. (January 9, 2005) ?
    Today at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) Michelin showcased a potential future for mobility, an integrated tire and wheel combination missing one ingredient that is vital for traditional tire performance...air. The company unveiled the first real-world fitments for its revolutionary "Tweel" ? which operates entirely without air. View the photo gallery.

    "Major revolutions in mobility may come along only once in a hundred years," said Terry Gettys, president of Michelin Americas Research and Development Center in Greenville, S.C. "But a new century has dawned and Tweel has proven its potential to transform mobility. Tweel enables us to reach levels of performance that quite simply aren't possible with today's conventional pneumatic technology."
    read more at Michelin...

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    Rush Limbaugh Mixes Science with Comedy

    Rush Limbaugh, the conservative talks show host, proves that science can be twisted to support any viewpoint. He found LiveScience?s Top 10 Ways to Destroy Earth and, after reading much of the presentation (hurl our planet into a black hole, blow it up with antimatter, and other pretty difficult schemes), rightly concludes that it?s virtually impossible for us to annihilate this world. He goes on to say that this is reason enough to go ahead driving your SUV and running your air conditioner, because you can?t destroy the planet by your actions.
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    Oil industry prepares $30 million fight back - By Jim Snyder

    The oil industry is preparing a new, multimillion-dollar lobbying and educational campaign in response to growing political pressures brought on by rising gas prices, oil lobbyists said.
     
    The American Petroleum Institute (API), the industry?s main trade group, plans a yearlong grassroots lobbying push that could cost in excess of $30 million to explain how the industry works and what has caused pump prices to jump.
     
    The campaign would follow a national advertising effort that has cost around $25 million so far. The API launched it in October as companies began to report record revenues and members of both parties urged punitive measures, such as new taxes on what they saw as ?windfall? profits.
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    Scorning Science in the "Culture of Life" - by Pierre Tristam

    Witch trials weren't exactly backwoods excesses of zealotry. They were elaborate performances grounded in law and the expertise of what was then, in early modern Europe, considered the best-available evidence. That witch-hunting's most feverish age coincided with the rational insurgency of Galileo, Descartes, and Newton didn't diminish witch trials' credibility. To the contrary, the trials reset morality's clock to God time. Scientists were the heretics.
     
    Trivia? Not in light of the Bush administration once again scorning science in the name of rabid theologies. Whether it's the war on drugs, stem-cell research, global warming science, sex, abortion, or evolution, demagogues -- channeled through Bush policies -- are enslaving evidence to ideology and reducing facts to three-fifths the weight of faith. Witch judges had the authority of the Church behind them for evidence. Today's demagogues have co-opted the manners of empirical science -- the academic lingo, the Ph.D. next to their names, the peer-reviewed studies. And they're making faith the loyalty oath of 21st century America. But every time a public figure cashes in on faith, the American experiment loses altitude.
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    The Ten Worst Corporations of 2005

    2005 was a good year for bad corporations.
     
    There were no U.S. elections to worry about, with their troubling possibility of politicians running on the popular platform of curbing corporate power.
     
    There were corporate scandals and corporate crime and violence galore, but none that rated the ongoing banner headlines of Enron and WorldCom.
     
    Indeed, the ongoing prosecutions of individuals associated with corporate financial scandals enabled Big Business and its apologists to claim there had actually been a crackdown on corporate crime.
     
    All leaving corporations free to buy legislation, profiteer, pollute, poison, and mistreat workers without restraint.
     
    Benefiting from the spike in oil prices associated with the tragedy of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, ExxonMobil recorded the most profitable year any company has ever achieved.
     
    Thirty years ago, when the oil giants profiteered in the wake of the first oil embargo, almost half the U.S. Senate voted to break up the integrated oil companies. In 2005, just 40 of 435 members of the House of Representatives were willing to co-sponsor the leading legislation calling for a much more modest approach, imposing a windfall profits tax on the oil companies. Eight members of the Senate co-sponsored the leading windfall profits bill there.
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    Good News! The Rich Get Richer - Extra! March/April 2006

    Lack of applause for falling wages is media mystery
    By Janine Jackson

    The Bush administration made a concerted effort to trumpet a ?booming? U.S. economy in early December, widely understood as an attempt to reverse what polls indicate to be the public?s largely negative views on the matter.
     
    There are, of course, obvious reasons the majority of Americans dissent from the White House?s rosy presentation of the economy: Most American households are not, in fact, seeing their economic fortunes improve. GDP is up, but virtually all the growth has gone into corporate profits and the incomes of the highest economic brackets. Wages and incomes for average workers, adjusted for inflation, are down in recent years; the median income for non-elderly households is down 4.8 percent since 2000 (Economic Policy Institute, 8/31/05). The poverty rate is rising, as is the number of people in debt.
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    Houston Hospital Votes To End Woman's Life With Bush Law

     
    HOUSTON---The countdown has begun on the life of Andrea Clark, a patient at St. Luke's Hospital.
     
    Six days left. [Originally Published - April 24, 2006]
     
    No, she's not terminal, her family says and she's not brain dead. Her sisters say that she wants to live. The Houston hospital is going to unilaterally remove a woman from life support, apparently based on the decision of a lone physician even though her family wants her to continue to receive care.
     
    The central issue in the Andrea Clark case is the same as that in the Terri Schindler Schiavo case, whether the state should be able to sanction the removal of a human being from life support.
     
    What's even more significant in the Clark case is that the Texas bill that allows health care providers to end a human life despite the wishes of the patient and the patient's family was signed into law in 1999 by President George W. Bush as Texas Governor. However, in 2005, he rushed back to the White House from Easter vacation to sign a bill rushed through Congress which was designed to save the life of Terri Schiavo because of his "presumption in favor of life".
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    Think Progress � VIDEO: O'Reilly Attacks Newspaper Editor Who Died Four Years Ago

    OK. This one had me until the end. "Stephen A. Rogers" and not "Stephen Rogers"? OY! So, it's not the fact that BO is attacking someone because he has perceived them as enemy figures out of proportion to their real threat, or that he uses his HUGE bully pulpit to stir up citizens to harrass them. No. This is upsetting because some writer/researcher got a father and son with the same name confused? That's never happened before. Oh, the tragedy.
     
    Sounds like an easy mistake and some staff need to be spanked. It's embarrassing, but not malicious like so much of BO's other crap. Sorry, Judd, this one is much ado about nothing.  --pseudolus
     
     
    April 15th, the Syracuse Post-Standard published a satirical editorial which made a passing reference to the sexual harassment suit Bill O?Reilly settled in 2004. O?Reilly was not amused.
     
    Soon after the editorial appeared, he added the Post-Standard to his list of ?Media Operations That Traffic in Defamation.? O?Reilly escalated the fight (which he alone is waging) one step further on Monday?s edition of The Factor. During his Talking Points Memo, he put the pictures of Stephen Rogers and Mark Libbon up on the screen, called them ?villians,? and guided viewers to their office contact information ?should you want to speak with them.? Watch the clip HERE:
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    Thursday, April 27, 2006


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    The Season of Bad Laws, Part 3: Banning MP3 Streaming

     Washington Post reports that Senators Feinstein (D-Cal.) and Graham (R-S.C.) have introduced S. 2644, dubbed the PERFORM Act, that is aimed at punishing satellite radio for offering its subscribers devices capable of recording off the air.
     
    Buried in the bill, however, is a provision that would effectively require music webcasters to use DRM-laden streaming formats, rather than the MP3 streaming format used by Live365, Shoutcast, and many smaller webcasters (like Santa Monica's KCRW and Seattle's KEXP). The streaming radio stations included in iTunes also rely on MP3 streams (since Apple isn't about to license the Real or Microsoft streaming codecs).
     
    Today, webcasters that want to transmit major label music are entitled to do so under a statutory license (administered by SoundExchange) set out in section 114(d) of the Copyright Act. So long as they follow the rules and pay a royalty, webcasters can play whatever music they like, using whatever streaming format they like.
     
    Under the current law, webcasters are forbidden from helping their listeners record the webcasts, and are required to use DRM only if the format includes DRM. The statutory license applies so long as:
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    ENEMY WEAPON: Russian VA-111 Shkval - SUPER TORPEDO??

    "Submariners say that all they need to do when faced with an incoming Shkval is make a slight change in depth."
     
    By Joe Buff
     
    In my recent ?Conventional Global Strike? I promised to address soon other ways in which U.S. Navy submarine armament systems are dramatically broadening in reach and lethality. But observing the errors of fact and occasional tone nearing hysteria in some media lately, I feel compelled to first address an ?enemy? weapon and put it in its proper place. This weapon has been called in print ?hellacious.? It's been described as a ?quantum leap? in the nature of naval warfare from this day forth -- a disruptive technology for which America is woefully unprepared. It's even been said that there's no physically possible friendly defense against it, and the target won't even realize the weapon is coming until it impacts and the target's crew are dead. Paints a scary picture, doesn't it? Yet none of these statements are true.
     
    The weapon is the famous (or infamous) Russian VA-111 Shkval rocket torpedo and its variants, capable of speeds of more than 200 knots underwater. This speed is achieved by the rocket pushing the sharply tapering, flat-tipped torpedo so fast that a vacuum bubble forms around the body of the weapon, greatly reducing water resistance -- the process, for the uninitiated, is called supercavitation.
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    Wednesday, April 26, 2006


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    Tuesday, April 25, 2006

    25 THINGS THAT MADE THE MUSIC DIRE

    Ok, my ox was gored 4-5 times in here, now it's your turn...
    --pseudolus
    ------------------------------------
    24 April 2006
    25 THINGS THAT MADE THE MUSIC DIRE
    FROM CRASHING LIGHT AIRCRAFT TO MADONNA'S 'BRITISH' ACCENT..
    By Ryan Parry Us Correspondent
     
    THERE's little doubt that the music industry has been responsible for many of the "highs" in our lives.
     
    Be it a seminal guitar solo, sublime vocal or lyric that summed up that first teen crush.
     
    Then there are the acts themselves - from working-class heroes to art rockers and raucous rappers who have enriched countless lives.
     
    But, sadly, there's also little doubt that over the years, the industry has a lot to answer for - including such delights as rock operas, jazz fusion and... Hear' Say.
     
    American music magazine Blender has compiled a list of the "worst things to happen to music", with many Brits in the firing line.
     
    Here is the top 25 in reverse order...
     

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    25. Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band: It led to concept albums, progressive rock, musicians taking themselves more seriously than heart surgeons... And is there anyone who hasn't lost the will to live after listening to When I'm Sixty- Four...?
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    The secret of being in rude health is intercourse

    We know sex is good for us. Now scientists say it can also protect against disease, writes Lucy Atkins.
     
    IT DOES not take a degree in medicine to work out that sex is good for you. Anything that is free, feels fabulous and leaves you glowing is plainly a good idea.
     
    But scientists are now beginning to understand that the perceived feel-good effects of sexual intercourse are merely the tip of the iceberg. Sex, they are discovering, can offer protection from depression, colds, heart disease and even cancer.
     
    The latest addition to the body of evidence came last month when Professor Stuart Brody of the University of Paisley published a study showing sex can lower blood pressure.
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    The Flight of the American Dream - Jerry Landay

    You can't stuff the real world into a cramped ideology. It took the Radicalized Republicans 30 years to put their master plan into operation, underwritten by millions of dollars of patronage by far-right foundations and large injections of private wealth. It's only taken less than two years for the plan to catch fire and burn.
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    F.D.A.'s Report Illuminates Wide Divide on Marijuana - New York Times - By KATE ZERNIKE

    Food and Drug Administration statement on Thursday denying any medical benefits of marijuana reinforced the divide between federal officials and the states that have approved the drug's use to ease some medical conditions.
     
    "It's consistent with the long-held federal view on this medicine, and that is that marijuana is the equivalent of heroin and cocaine," said Nathan Barankin, a spokesman for California's attorney general, Bill Lockyer. "California voters disagree."
     
    State officials said the announcement would not affect their laws. But they and federal officials said it clarified the federal government's intention to continue enforcing its laws against marijuana, even in states that allow it for medical purposes.
     
    "It's a very good statement so that people can clearly see what the policy of the United States government is," said Rogene Waite, a spokeswoman for the Drug Enforcement Administration.
     
    While it has always been the drug enforcement agency's policy to enforce laws against marijuana, Ms. Waite said, "now it's clearly out there, so that people don't have to look everywhere to figure this out."
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    Bush's Thousand Days

    The Hundred Days is indelibly associated with Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the Thousand Days with John F. Kennedy. But as of this week, a thousand days remain of President Bush's last term -- days filled with ominous preparations for and dark rumors of a preventive war against Iran.
     
    The issue of preventive war as a presidential prerogative is hardly new. In February 1848 Rep. Abraham Lincoln explained his opposition to the Mexican War: "Allow the President to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such purpose -- and you allow him to make war at pleasure [emphasis added]. . . . If, today, he should choose to say he thinks it necessary to invade Canada to prevent the British from invading us, how could you stop him? You may say to him, 'I see no probability of the British invading us'; but he will say to you, 'Be silent; I see it, if you don't.' "
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    Monday, April 24, 2006

    Family Guy visits Farm

    Dressed in a slick leather jacket and armed with a back-pocket bottle of Jack Daniels, executive producer and creator of the hit cartoon ?Family Guy,? Seth MacFarlane brought the house down last night during his talk at Memorial Auditorium.
     
    Speaking in front of a packed crowd of students and community members ? one of whom pointed out that MacFarlane?s sister used to baby sit her years ago in Connecticut ? MacFarlane touched on his show?s recent rivalry with Comedy Central?s ?South Park,? as well as his ongoing battle with government and network censors.
     
    Much like the show itself, MacFarlane?s amusing anecdotes and non-sequiturs provided more humor than the central theme of the talk itself. In between the primary narrative focusing on the show?s history and his own background in cartooning, MacFarlane weaved stories of Farrah Fawcett doing cocaine in studio bathrooms and deliberations over whether Federal Communications Commission (FCC) censors would trade him ?two asses and a bitch for that bastard.?
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    Chips down, Bush prepares a Hail Mary bet

    It's just like playing blackjack in Vegas.
     
    Invariably, sitting right next to you is some guy, eyes shifty and body twitchy and making weird sounds with his mouth and smelling vaguely of sawdust and horse manure and dead dreams, with a huge pile of chips he is quickly turning into a very small pile of chips.
     
    He is suffering. He is playing terribly, grumbling, sneering at the dealer, talking to the cards like they were his personal slutty harem, complaining to his very angry God who is apparently no longer coming through for him. He is getting desperate. He is sweating, glancing around, wondering where all his drunken fraternity friends scurried off to.
     
    Soon he is down to his last chips. He makes one final stab, but his final bet tanks. He is out, the pile is gone.
     
    He then does what every miserable, lunkheaded gambler does at this point: In a fit of alcoholic rage and demonic encouragement, he says, "Screw it" -- and digs into his pocket, pulls out his last remaining crumpled $1,000 bill and slaps it down on the table in one big final gesture meant to turn his fortunes around all at once, damn the wife at home and forget a decent meal and forget every ironclad rule of gambling because damn it the gods owe him and he's long overdue for a change in fortune. Yes. Right. Sure he is.
     
    Sure enough, the lug loses his big Hail Mary bet. He is broke. He cannot believe it. He curses the table, curses the whore cards, swears at the dealer for not treating him better, slams the rest of his drink and his face contorts and his hands shake and he stumbles off into the night, railing against his lousy luck, the gods, all of humanity. Same ol' situation, happening all over Vegas. And, of course, Washington, D.C.
     
    Now, here he is, sitting right next to all the other countries at the Big Table, representing America, it's little Dubya Bush, stewing in his own juices, his poll numbers hovering right near Nixon levels, mumbling to himself, smelling vaguely of sawdust and horse manure and dead Social Security overhaul plans.
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    If Past Is Prologue, George Bush Is Becoming An Increasingly Dangerous President - by John Dean

    President George W. Bush's presidency is a disaster - one that's still unfolding. In a mid-2004 column, I argued that, at that point, Bush had already demonstrated that he possessed the least attractive and most troubling traits among those that political scientist James Dave Barber has cataloged in his study of Presidents' personality types.
     
    Now, in early 2006, Bush has continued to sink lower in his public approval ratings, as the result of a series of events that have sapped the public of confidence in its President, and for which he is directly responsible. This Administration goes through scandals like a compulsive eater does candy bars; the wrapper is barely off one before we've moved on to another.
     
    Currently, President Bush is busy reshuffling his staff to reinvigorate his presidency. But if Dr. Barber's work holds true for this president -- as it has for others - the hiring and firing of subordinates will not touch the core problems that have plagued Bush's tenure.
     
    That is because the problems belong to the President - not his staff. And they are problems that go to character, not to strategy.
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    Tax Season in the White House - by Christopher Brauchli

    That?s the state to live and die in . . . . r-r-rich.
    --Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend
     
    Once again the tidings of the season and the news from the news reminded one and all that it is better to be rich than to be poor. The week ended with news of the Cheneys? tax refund and began with stories in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal reminding us that the rich get richer and the rest don?t.
     
    The Cheney news was that Dick and Lynne Cheney would be getting a $1.9 million tax refund because they had overpaid their estimated taxes. They were simply getting back their own money. Being slightly more money than many of my readers anticipate receiving in wages for the foreseeable future, to say nothing of tax refunds, it highlighted the difference between Dick and Lynne, and the rest of us. The refund has nothing to do with the pay Mr. Cheney got for being vice president, which is only $205,031, nor does it have anything to do with $211,465 of deferred compensation he received from Halliburton that a White House spokesman pointed out has nothing to do with Halliburton?s performance or earnings. It had to do with profits Mr. Cheney realized when he exercised stock options given him when he left Halliburton. The White House spokesman forgot to say those profits had something to do with Halliburton?s performance and earnings since they affect the stock price. (Halliburton and the Iraqis have been the principal beneficiaries of Mr. Bush?s invasion of Iraq. Thanks to Mr. Bush?s post-war planning, Halliburton stock has proved to be worth more than Iraqi lives).
     
    The Wall Street Journal depressed retired readers by pointing out in discouraging detail what many retirees had already discovered. A cutback in medical benefits promised upon retirement does not affect all retirees equally.
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    Is the U.S. Being Transformed into a Radical Republic? - by Lawrence Wilkerson

    We Americans came not from a revolution but from an evolution.
     
    That is in large part why our so-called revolution produced success while most throughout history did not. We came as much from the Magna Carta as from our own doings, as much from British common law and parliamentary development as from the Declaration of Independence and Continental Congress.
     
    Unlike the true revolution on the other side of the Atlantic that led to Napoleon's dictatorship and strife and conflict all across Europe, our evolution founded the greatest country the world has ever seen. That was true in every element of power and in the uniqueness that makes us great, our constant striving for "a more perfect union" and, as we do so, our open arms for the other peoples of the world "yearning to be free."
     
    As Alexis de Tocqueville once said: "America is great because she is good. If America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."----
     
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    Sunday, April 23, 2006


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