Saturday, December 31, 2005

Shameless Joke Thievery 

I'm stealing this one from Mimuspauly over at A Mockingbird's Medley, who stole it from trailertrash over at It's Morning Somewhere:
An honest man was being tailgated by a stressed out woman on a busy boulevard. Suddenly, the light turned yellow, just in front of him. He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection. The tailgating woman hit the roof, and the horn, screaming in frustration as she missed her chance to get through the intersection. As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer. The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up! He took her to the police station where she was searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a holding cell. After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the door. She was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects. He said, "I'm very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy in front of you, and cussing a blue streak at him. I noticed the 'Choose Life' license plate holder, the 'What Would Jesus Do' bumper sticker, the 'Follow Me to Sunday School' bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk. Naturally, I assumed you had stolen the car."

Cross posted at Rook's Rant

Babies Don't Break 

Cutting to the Chase. Onesie!

Hehehe. Welcome to parenthood Chase.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Steve Martin Blogs 

Steve Martin has joined The Huffington Post. His first post is to smack down Bill O'Reilly.
I remember liberals at a party saying, ‘let’s add a second to the year’
and I was the only one who spoke up against it. Why would they want to
add a second to the year? Because it gives them a second longer to hate

“Look, look, look, look. A leap second is a denial of everything
American, of everything good, of everything moral. They’re saying we
need this seconds because the earth rotates on its axis and revolves
around the earth, well this is the no spin zone. So we don’t need a
leap second. Though I would rather have a leap second than some of
these hate-mongers who go around hating even their own ideas! They need
to hate their own ideas so much that you have many liberals proposing
the leap second, which is an idea that they hate, yet, they propose.

Smacking O'Reilly around is about as tough as--say--shooting oil cans. Well, if they made oil cans today.

Cross posted at Rook's Rant

White House Used Banned Cookies 

FOXNews.com - Technology - White House Web Site Uses Forbidden Cookies Too
NEW YORK — Unbeknownst to the Bush administration, an outside contractor has been using Internet tracking technologies that may be prohibited to analyze usage and traffic patterns at the White House's Web site, an official said Thursday.

David Almacy, the White House's Internet director, promised an investigation into whether the practice is consistent with a 2003 policy from the White House's Office of Management and Budget banning the use of most such technologies at government sites.

You're a Pepper, I'm a Pepper, they're a Pepper too.

For those not up on Pop Culture; birds of a feather flock together.

It is just second nature for Acme, Inc. to not uphold the constitution. You know, that pesky little thing called The Rule Of Law. If I am not mistaken it is somewhere in the COTUS. Anyway, ReddHedd over at firedoglake has a good analysis of this whole baking affair.

Hat tip to SP at The Agonist.

Cross posted at Rook's Rant.

Congress Asked to Raise Debt Limit 

Congress Is Asked to Raise Debt Limit Treasury Secretary John W. Snow said yesterday that the United States could be unable to pay its bills in early 2006 unless Congress raises the government's borrowing authority, which is now capped at $8.18 trillion.

Snow, in a letter to lawmakers, estimated that the government is expected to bump into the statutory debt limit around the middle of February.

And I had to file bankruptcy over a measly $40,000?

When Clinton was in office, my debt was managable and shrinking. With Bush in office, my dept has been unmanagable and increasing. A coincident? I think not. Clinton's economy supported the average middle and lower class working American. With Bush, we had better be rich-or look out poverty here we come.

Cross posted at Rook's Rant.

Covert CIA Program Continues To Grow 

Covert CIA Program Withstands New Furor
GST includes programs allowing the CIA to capture al Qaeda suspects with help from foreign intelligence services, to maintain secret prisons abroad, to use interrogation techniques that some lawyers say violate international treaties, and to maintain a fleet of aircraft to move detainees around the globe. Other compartments within GST give the CIA enhanced ability to mine international financial records and eavesdrop on suspects anywhere in the world.

Over the past two years, as aspects of this umbrella effort have burst into public view, the revelations have prompted protests and official investigations in countries that work with the United States, as well as condemnation by international human rights activists and criticism by members of Congress.

And it is any wonder our reputation abroad has deteriorated? Well, at least they are also trampling on the liberties of foreigners. Acme, Inc. an Equal Opportunity Tyranny Administration.

Cross posted at Rook's Rant.

Federal Rules Ban Cookies 

CNN.com - NSA inadvertently uses banned 'cookies' - Dec 29, 2005
NEW YORK (AP) -- The National Security Agency's Internet site has been placing files on visitors' computers that can track their Web surfing activity despite strict federal rules banning most of them. These files, known as "cookies," disappeared after a privacy activist complained and The Associated Press made inquiries this week, and agency officials acknowledged Wednesday they had made a mistake. Nonetheless, the issue raises questions about privacy at a spy agency already on the defensive amid reports of a secretive eavesdropping program in the United States. (Watch how cookies can track where you surf -- 1:47)

I posted on this story yesterday, but that was in regards to cookies being set to last until 2035. I did not realize they were also in violation of federal rules. But then, with torture, lies about WMD, and domestic spying, what is a little cookie amongst countrymen?

Cross Posted at Rook's Rant.

Friday Blogaround 

Welcome to the last Liberal Coalition Friday Blogaround of 2005, so let's get right to it.
  • archy continues the hunt for the wooly mammoth.
  • Bark Bark Woof Woof has a history lesson.
  • blogAmY gets ready for 2006.
  • bloggg has something to say about school choice (and yes, BBWW was the right URL for your blog, Moi.)
  • Chris has his top ten in music for 2005.
  • Collective Sigh cleans up after Christmas.
  • CorrenteWire has a modest proposal for immigration reform.
  • Dodecahedron updates the French face-saving operation.
  • NTodd reviews the reviews of Brokeback Mountain.
  • Echidne looks at a study of how men and women use the web differently -- and alike.
  • firedoglake on the antamony of the conservative mind.
  • First Draft teaches Michael Medved some history.
  • The Fulcrum on personal responsibility and foresight.
  • Happy Furry Puppy on indie cinema and TV boxed sets.
  • iddybud remembers her real-life hero.
  • It's Craptastic remembers the 4th Amendment.
  • Left Is Right has some fun snips.
  • Liberty Street summons bloggers to publish torture docuemnts.
  • Make Me a Commentator comments on comments on blogging.
  • Michael muses on the meaning of Christmas.
  • Pen-Elayne is getting back in the right rhythm.
  • Rick celebrates a union.
  • Rook reports a strange sighting in Minnesota.
  • rubber hose on the latest Vatican decree: no more Jamaican dancing?
  • Coturnix at Science and Politics has a good compendium of essential science fiction reading.
  • Scrutiny Hooligans on the treaties we have broken.
  • Speedkill on why Bush bypassed FISA.
  • Steve Gilliard on the relationship between the Turks and ethnic groups like the Kurds.
  • Help T. Rex move so he can get back to blogging.
  • The Countess on a British idea for tracking deadbeat dads.
  • Wanda defines "terrorist."
  • WTF Is It Now shares some Christmas presents.
  • Steve confronts new cell phones and The Cold.
  • ...You Are a Tree shows us his tree.
  • It's been a great year for blogarounding -- so much to choose from! We'll pick right up where we left off next year.

    Cross-posted from Bark Bark Woof Woof.

    Thursday, December 29, 2005

    Exploit Released For Unpatched Windows Flaw 

    Well, expect another security patch for Windows XP.

    Security Fix - Brian Krebs on Computer and Internet Security - (washingtonpost.com)
    Security researchers have released instructions for exploiting a previously unknown security hole in Windows XP and Windows 2003 Web Server with all of the latest patches applied. Anti-virus company Symantec warned of the new exploit, which it said uses a vulnerability in the way Windows computers process certain image files (Windows Meta Files, or those ending in .wmf).

    Homeland Security Van Sighted In Minnesota 

    I shit you not! I was driving my way home from having aquired live food for Komoto (The Fuskers Bearded Dragon) when a white Ford van passed me by obviously exceeding the speed limit in a construction zone. I know this because I was exceeding the speed limit by 5 mph. Maybe it belongs to FEMA and they finally heard about Katrina.

    Now, what a Homeland Security van is doing in Minnesota is beyond my grasp. But when it passed by, the hair on the back of my neck stood up and a chill ran down my spin. The damn thing looked oppressive. And that was a white van. Just imagine my response to a black van. Of course, keep in mind with Acme, Inc. white is the new black.

    Ya, I know. Some of you are thinking that Rook has gone around the bend. Well, I have not gone around the bend. Honest, I saw a Homeland Security van. Scouts honor.

    <type="comedic timing" length="pregnant" /> Ok, I hear that snickering out there!

    Oh, who am I kidding. I have never been a Boy Scout a day in my life. There was that one time Parental Unit Father took me to a Cub Scout recruiting meeting. But then, we all have crosses to bear from our past.

    Cross posted at Rook's Rant

    No Preservatives?!?! 

    Wired News: NSA's Lamest Spy Tool: Cookies
    Until Tuesday, the NSA site created two cookie files that do not expire until 2035 -- likely beyond the life of any computer in use today.
    My mom would love a recipe that would make cookies good for 30 years.

    Cross posted at Rook's Rant

    I Have To Have My Coffee! 

    Oh Shit!

    Running Out Of Coffee?

    LONDON -- A world coffee shortage is looming two years from now as yields from Brazilian trees dwindle and a global surplus in 2006-07 will fail to replenish stockpiles in producer countries, predicts commodity analysts F.O. Licht.

    Hat Tip: after school snack

    Cross Posted at Rook's Rant

    Testing Performancing For FireFox 

    Well, and I am also going to note that the new leader was able to win the election by badmouthing the United States.
    During his campaign, Morales, the 46-year-old head of the Movement Toward Socialism party, promised he'd be "a nightmare for the U.S." He also vowed to end America's coca-eradication efforts and replace his country's market-driven U.S. economic model with a state-run system. As his criticism of the United States escalated, Morales' poll numbers shot up, giving him a broad-based victory. Despite the rhetoric, experts believe he rode the anti-American ticket to protest U.S. policies and fight Indian discrimination rather than wage war with the White House.

    Now, the question that begs to be asked-is this because of the United States in general, or because of the foolishness of Acme, Inc. getting it's nose into Argentina's business a few years ago?

    Now, about Performancing For FireFox. It is a blogging tool that allows you to create a post, then post it to various blogs all from a split screen in FireFox. So far, I have been able to add Rook's Rant, The Practical Press and The Liberal Coalition as blogs I can publish to from this interface. This post is going to be a test to see if it is as easy as Performancing claims.

    Update: Yup, it worked just fine. Now, of course, this is a test to see if I can update from this interface.
    Update 2: Yup, it worked for updating as well! This is a nice tool.

    Carnival of the Liberals - call for submissions 

    The next edition of the Carnival of the Liberals will be held at Science And Politics on Jan. 4th, 2006.

    Read the submission guidelines carefully as this carnival, unlike most other carnivals, is actually edited (I think only Blawg Review, out of more than 160 carnivals in existence, is also edited/peer-reviewed). Thus, out of 30-40 entries, only ten are chosen by the host.

    Each week there is a new host with a new taste and a new criterion, so if your entry does not get accepted one time, just keep trying, and you'll get in sooner or later. Also, be assured that Big Dogs certainly have no advantage over less well known blogs here.

    While individual hosts will differ on details, participants are generally encouraged to send in original thoughts, new creative angles, or expert analysis, as such will be likely to be valued higher than simple reiterations of what others said, links-and-quotes, or angry rants. Although, a really, really funny rant may be an exception, and if I get something that makes me spit my Coke with laughter, you have a shot at a spot (but send me a bottle of monitor-cleaning solution first).

    Send your best post by January 3rd, 2006 by 5pm EST to make sure it’s considered for CotL #3. You can submit your entries by using the automated submission form, or by e-mailing me directly at Coturnix1 AT aol DOT com.

    If you are interested in hosting a future edition of CotL, check here (and here) to see what it entails, then you can volunteer here.

    Monday, December 26, 2005

    Congress: Legislate, Impeach, or Go Home 

    By now, only a TownHall wingnut would still argue that Bush's NSA surveillance was legal. In his press conference shortly after the NSA program was revealed, Alberto Gonzales admitted that Bush's actions violate the FISA statute, and held on to the post-9/11 resolution authorizing force as his slender reed of justification for Bush's actions:
    . . . the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act provides -- requires a court order before engaging in this kind of surveillance that I've just discussed and the President announced on Saturday, unless there is somehow -- there is -- unless otherwise authorized by statute or by Congress. That's what the law requires. Our position is, is that the authorization to use force, which was passed by the Congress in the days following September 11th, constitutes that other authorization, that other statute by Congress, to engage in this kind of signals intelligence.
    Of course, Tom Daschle points out that the White House asked for the authority to conduct the War on Terror within the U.S., and that request was explicitly rejected. Even Gonzales admits that the White House had tried to get Congress to give the president this authority, and was told that it would be "difficult, if not impossible":
    We have had discussions with Congress in the past -- certain members of Congress -- as to whether or not FISA could be amended to allow us to adequately deal with this kind of threat, and we were advised that that would be difficult, if not impossible.
    None of this is news to folks who regularly visit this site or member sites. I just wanted to clear up the point for any Republicans who might have wandered in.

    Bush broke the law. He's admitted breaking the law more than 30 times in the last three years, and he's made it clear he plans to continue.

    Will a Republican-led Congress sit idly by and debate tax cuts while a Republican president willfully and repeatedly breaks the law? If the Democratic party has any kind of spine whatsoever, it can't let the Republicans do that. Here is a very simple, winning message for the Democrats, to beat on from now through November: The President is openly breaking the law, in defiance of Congress. As a co-equal branch of government, Congress cannot sit idly by. Congress must see to it that either the law changes, or the President changes.

    Every day, Democrats must challenge the Republican leaders in Congress to either legalize Bush's surveillance of U.S. citizens on U.S. soil, or impeach Bush. Ignoring presidential lawbreaking is not an option.

    By the way, this happens to be a happy combination of doing well by doing right. It is the right thing to do; no Congress can wink at any President who willfully breaks the law. But it's politically good for the Democrats, too. If a Republican-led Congress ignores lawbreaking by a Republican president, Democrats can yell 'Corruption' all day (which they should do anyway, this just makes it easier for them). In the unlikely event Republicans do introduce legislation making Bush's actions legal, so much the better. Let the "small government" Republicans advocate and defend U.S. government spying on U.S. citizens.

    I would urge anyone who believes in this idea to write to their reps and senators, and to Pelosi, Emmanuel, Reid and Schumer to persuade the Dem leadership to run with this. It's a guaranteed winner.

    (P.S. I want to thank the Liberal Coalition for giving me continued access to their site. Hi, everybody!!)