August 29, 2004

Republicans show new face of america

"This doesn't look like America anymore," said Adrian Salvoni, a taxi driver. "It's safe, but it's really unpleasant to look at."

Welcome to New York.

Republican convention security: Manhattan under the gun: ``The security force is extensive. Bell police helicopters patrol the sky, and snipers watch the streets from the rooftops of skyscrapers. Heavily armed Coast Guard vessels look for suspicious watercraft in the East and Hudson rivers. Concrete barricades, fortified metal fences and barbed wire seal off stretches of streets that surround the convention center. Police officers in full riot gear cut through crowds of shoppers on Eighth Avenue, cradling M-16 machine guns in their arms, in a show of force some New Yorkers find disturbing.``

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Social Insecurity

Gen X: Forget about Social Security: because the Baby Boomers aren't even going to have enough according to Alan Greenspan: ``Even under the most optimistic economic assumptions on growth and productivity, government resources will be inadequate to provide baby boomers with the level of benefits their parents got, he said. ``

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August 27, 2004

We're all on Prozac now

BBC NEWS: Prozac 'found in drinking water': ``An Environment Agency report suggests so many people are taking the drug nowadays it is building up in rivers and groundwater.``

Never really thought that the build up of pollutants in our ecosystem could lead towards making us content and calm.

Posted by rusty at 11:06 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 23, 2004

Use a wifi go to jail

Police hassle man for using Library's free wireless network in front of library?!: ``A few minutes ago, a police officer passed the bench where I was sitting outside the [edit: Nantucket] Athenaeum, enjoying the mild temperature and the wifi signal, and he said, “Sir, you can’t use the Internet outside the library.”``

``The officer in question (whose conduct was entirely professional, firm, and calm behind those mirrored shades) solemnly assured me that in order to use the library’s open wireless signal, I had to be seated within the library. The officer then wandered on back to the nearby police station.``

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August 20, 2004

dollars are the best way to soften an activist's heart

Broadway discounts for anti-Bush protester: ``Protesters pledging to toe the line - however passionate about the Iraq war or how they feel about President George Bush who will be in town for the four-day gathering - will be issued with a natty lapel badge carrying the message, "Peaceful Political Activists".``

``When badge-wearers are not manning barricades, they can pop in to watch the Broadway play Tony and Tina's Wedding , tour the cathedrals, plump up their hotel pillows, plunder (not literally) the Pokemon shop at Rockefeller Centre and eat steak at Applebees at prices most tourists never see.

and the kicker:

``But not everybody will be impressed. The scheme hardly compares with the goodies and price-breaks that the Republican delegates themselves can reliably expect.``

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August 19, 2004

getting rid of the black vote

I thought this shit didn't happen anymore. But Florida officials - headed up by a Bush family member - are using the law to hassle, scare and hopefully deter black voters from going to the polls or filling out absentee ballots.

Just like the Bush administration. Do the unthinkable because then no one would think you did it.

Many black voters in South Florida wary of election system" ``I'm not a conspiracy theorist person," Murray said, "but the more I hear, I think there might be something funny going on. You don't know who to trust. I think there's a better chance of my vote being counted if I vote early and absentee."

``A recent poll, in which 600 Floridians were interviewed between July 15 and 19, found about one-third of whites said they lacked confidence in the voting system, but two-thirds of African-Americans had little or no confidence. The poll was conducted for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and the Florida Times-Union``

So what happens? The state starts hassling black voters doing absentee ballots! According to the International Herald Tribune ``State police officers have been going into the homes of elderly black voters in Orlando and interrogating them``

Florida officials claim it wasn't harassment. ``"That's just the people we selected out of a random sample to interview." ``

Tallahassee Democrat reports ``The FDLE went door to door in black neighborhoods collecting evidence to turn over to the State Attorney's Office there. Democrats charge the technique, which is not the FDLE's normal mode of questioning witnesses, is harassment.``

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August 15, 2004

Ugly security on NY ferries

Security confiscating books in bags? ``This morning, they're doing bag searches again to get on the ferry. And the guy doing the searches pulls me aside and says, "Sir, I feel that I need to confiscate this book."``

Luckily, this guy doesn't just give in but stands his ground.

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August 12, 2004

USATODAY.com - Saudis try to calm prices, deny politics involved

``"We have the capacity and are ready to tap into it immediately," Al-Jubeir said. He called current prices "absolutely not justified."``

``"There is no shortage," he said.``

All I can say is "yeh, right..."

And the Saudis say there is no politics involved.

Posted by rusty at 10:57 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Same Sex Marriages voided in California

This is ridiculous! Same-sex marriages voided: ``The California Supreme Court voided all same-sex marriages sanctioned by San Francisco this year, ruling today that the mayor overstepped his authority by issuing the couples licenses. The court said the city violated the law when it issued the certificates, since both legislation and a voter-approved measure defined marriage as a union between a man and woman.``

However,

``Chief Justice Ronald George noted that Thursday's ruling doesn't address "the substantive legal rights of same sex couples. In actuality, the legal issue before us implicates the interest of all individuals in ensuring that public officials execute their official duties in a manner that respects the limits of the authorities granted to them as officeholders``

So they really didn't rule on same sex marriage, they ruled on he procedure that Newsom used to approve them in San Francisco.

Posted by rusty at 10:53 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 09, 2004

Oil Demand to soon outsrtip supply

Australia Radio National reporting that oil demand will soon outstrip supply ``Dr Ali Samsam Bakhtiari is a senior planning expert with the National Iranian Oil Company and he's in Australia to warn that the world's demand for oil is now close to outstripping supply.``

``The problem, he says, is not in the Middle East countries like Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, which still have plenty, but in other producers such as Australia and Indonesia, which were both net exporters of oil but are becoming net importers.``

And when will this happen? ``two to three years from now`` he says.

I'm reading more and more reports of demand outstripping supply, and if you really want to get scared, read about the coming oil crash.

Remember, people warned about the internet crash several years before it happened.

We've known since the 70s that we don't have enough oil to last. We just ignored it and started buying gas guzzler cars instead.

Posted by rusty at 12:29 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 05, 2004

New ways to harm our country

New 'Bushism' born at bill signing: ``President Bush offered up a new entry for his catalog of "Bushisms" on Thursday, declaring that his administration will "never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people."``

I prefer to call it a Freudian slip.

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August 04, 2004

Your car will be watching you

Safety officials recommend requiring `black boxes' for passenger vehicles

``"We believe very strongly that vehicles should have a black box," NTSB chairman Ellen Engleman Conners said``

Black Boxes won't make cars safer. They'll just make investigations easier. And your insurance company will love them!

Your car might already have one!

``The NTSB recommended black boxes two months after the top federal auto safety agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said it saw no need to require them because automakers are adding them voluntarily to more models.``

The recorder, a four-inch square metal box, is currently installed in most recent GM vehicles and select 2000 and later Ford vehicles. You can get a automobile black box reader which gives you such information as ``vehicle speed, brake switch status, percent throttle, and engine speed for 5 seconds prior to impact, as well as the post-impact delta-V or change in speed. The driver’s seatbelt circuit status, airbag warning lamp status, ignition cycles at deployment and since the accident, and some other data may also be recorded, again depending on the SDM used in each particular vehicle.``


``The highway safety agency says between 65 percent and 90 percent of 2004 vehicles have some sort of recording ability. About 15 percent of vehicles have data recorders.``

Posted by rusty at 08:29 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 03, 2004

Blog Spammers

Getting very sick of the blog spammers. Organized groups of hackers who "own" machines (home PCs infected by viruses which allow them to be remotely controlled by bad hackers).

When you get 100 comments posted to your blog from 50 IP addresses with only 5 different "comments" and the same URL for all of them, you realize that there are hundreds of machines out there on the net which are infected and remotely controlled by people who are happy to exploit and ruin the internet.

They do this to get higher Google search rankings. Since google ranks based on the number and quality of links to your site, the blog spammers are bound to really get some results from these kinds of links.

Here's an example of blog spamming from my logs.

Posted by rusty at 12:24 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack