Thursday, June 28, 2007

Coke prices, around the world

The Economist has a handy graph showing worldwide prices of cocaine.



story

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Subpoenas? No Wai!

THIS just in from the "we refuse to be held accountable" department.

June 28, 2007

Dear Chairman Leahy and Chairman Conyers:

On June 13, 2007, the White House received two subpoenas from your Committees requesting documents relating to the replacement of United States Attorneys, calling for the documents to be produced by June 28, 2007. I write at the direction of the President to advise and inform you that the President has decided to assert Executive Privilege and therefore the White House will not be making any production in response to these subpoenas for documents. In addition, Chairman Leahy subpoenaed documents from former Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Political Affairs Sara M. Taylor, with the same return date of June 28, 2007. Chairman Conyers has subpoenaed documents from former Counsel to the President Harriet E. Miers, with a return date of July 12, 2007. Counsel for Ms. Taylor and Ms. Miers have been informed of the President's decision to assert Executive Privilege and have been asked to relay to Ms. Taylor and Ms. Miers a direction from the President not to produce any documents.


Nixon, Part Deux.

forbes

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

IF this is true

there is a major shitstorm coming.

jones report - linky

Hate of flying




The more I read, the more I want to never set foot on a plane again. The industry is populated by assholes.

nytimes - linky

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Well done



high school students. Probably the first time this guy has ever read anything that didn't agree with him.

linky

edit: snopes, you can suck my dick.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Joseph Briseno Jr


He lies flat, unseeing eyes fixed on the ceiling, tubes and machines feeding him, breathing for him, keeping him alive. He cannot walk or talk, but he can grimace and cry. And he is fully aware of what has happened to him.

Four years ago almost to this day, Joseph Briseno Jr. was shot in the back of the head at point-blank range in a Baghdad marketplace. His spinal cord was shattered, and cardiac arrests stole his vision and damaged his brain.

...

From Germany, he went to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, then to McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia. In December 2003, he went home, to Manassas Park, Virginia, where his parents, Joseph Sr. and Eva, quit their jobs to care for him.

"All our savings, all our money, was just emptied ... the 401(k)s, everything," said Joseph Briseno, who took a new job a year and a half ago to make ends meet.


Go ahead, keep putting those stupid yellow stickers on your SUV. Everything will be OK so long as somebody else pays the price in blood.

story

Saturday, June 23, 2007

From my cold dead fingers

CHICAGO, June 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA):

The ISRA is expressing great concern over reports that Illinois State Police (ISP) detectives have been visiting the homes of people who phoned or faxed Sen. Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge) to express opposition to gun control legislation sponsored by the senator. The ISRA has recently conducted a thorough investigation into one complaint, and is gathering additional information on as many as several dozen other reported incidents of police questioning citizens who have spoken out against gun control legislation.

In the case investigated thus far, the respondent reports that ISP detectives arrived at his home, unannounced, and informed him that their visit was in response to faxes he sent to Sen. Kotowski. The detectives then went on to ask the citizen questions about his mental health and other personal matters. Although the citizen was not arrested, he reports that he feels that the detectives were there to deliver the message that it's not a good idea to criticize Dan Kotowski or the gun control measures Kotowski supports.

"The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right of citizens to petition the government for the redress of grievances," said ISRA Executive Director, Richard Pearson. "Of course, the manner in which citizens exercise that right must not include any threats of harm against elected officials."

"When we first heard about the ISP visits to homes of people who had sent faxes to Sen. Kotowski, we were concerned that some folks may have acted inappropriately," continued Pearson. "However, upon inspection of the faxes in question, we see absolutely no reason for the ISP to visit citizens' homes -- other than to possibly put a damper on the citizen's desire to participate in the legislative process."

"At this time, we are asking Sen. Kotowski to produce any evidence he may have which illustrates threatening behavior on the part of citizens who have received ISP visits," said Pearson. "If Sen. Kotowski cannot produce any such evidence, then we will be asking Attorney General Madigan to conduct an investigation into the apparent use of the ISP to suppress the First Amendment rights of persons who express opposition to gun control legislation."

The ISRA is the state's leading advocate of safe, lawful and responsible firearms ownership. Since 1903, the ISRA has represented the interests of over 1.5 million law-abiding Illinois firearm owners.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Ride a bike, get tazered



Encounter with the thugs, Incident #2316.

some dude's blog

Sunday, June 17, 2007

What am I reading






Just finished Bod Woodward's "Plan of Attack". Good read, but probably could have been shortened quite a bit. He spends too much time explaining stuff that doesn't need to be explained. No one picks up a 600 page modern history book without knowing who the players are and what they do.

He also does a little too much of this kind of crap "Powell looked at Rice and wondered to himself, what did she eat for breakfast that day". There is no way that he could have known, and it did nothing to improve the book.

Other than that, its a a great book, and is worth reading just to learn how fucked up and clueless these war-mongers really are, and how we got into this mess in the first place.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Judge to Libby: Stay in Jail



THE judge told I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby that he has to stay in jail during the appeal process.

Bummer dude. Maybe you should have thought of that before you lied under oath.

monstersandcritics - linky

Dallas: No Saggy Pants

Having solved all other problems, the Dallas City Council is considering a ban, with Police enforcement, on the wearing of "saggy pants".

"This just isn't the appropriate way to dress in public," Mr. Hill said. "It's an issue that needs to be addressed, discussed."

...

"It's ... very fast approaching lewdness, and there are laws against it," Mr. Blaydes said. "To ignore it any further, I think, is going to be a problem throughout this city."


Delcambre, LA, has gone even further. They are past the stage of consideration, and they have actually made it law, with penalties of up to six months in jail (WTF?!!!) and fines of $2500 (WTF?!!)

Hmm. Now that I think about it, I seem to recall having heard of other countries that have laws governing what people wear, based on standards of "decency". Can't remember off the top of my head though.

Oh yeah, now I remember.



Dallas Morning News - linky
Canadian Press - linky

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Begging The Question

I like to debate. Ask any of my friends and I'll launch into an argument about just about anything, although my favourites are politics and religion. The downside of course, of liking to debate, and having it be known that you like to debate, is that you get a bunch of fucking idiots that want to validate their opinions by running them by you.

One of the things that drives me crazy about talking to idiots is the misuse of words and definitions, which brings us to todays Lesson in Logic.

"Begging The Question". This is when you answer a question by repeating the question.

Q. Why is the sky blue
A. Because the colour your eyes see when you look at the sky is blue

Top 10 Signs You Might Not Get a Fair Trial at Gitmo




From NPR:


  • (10.) Your lawyer's boss is the prosecutor.
  • (9.) Your Arabic translator -- who was hired by the prosecution -- doesn't speak your dialect.
  • (8.) Four of the five judges in your case have never seen the inside a law school.
  • (7.) Two of your judges have just returned from heated battles in Afghanistan fighting a resurgent Taliban.
  • (6.) The president of the United States has publicly condemned you as a terrorist and enemy combatant, but the judges who report to this commander-in-chief advise you of your presumption of innocence.
  • (5.) Your tribunal was last used more than 50 years ago when it resulted in summary executions without meaningful appeals.
  • (4.) The people you must appeal your conviction to are the same people who prosecuted you.
  • (3.) When your lawyer asks the judge if he's ever read the Geneva Convention, the judge says no.
  • (2.) When your lawyer asks one of your judges what's the jurisdiction of the court to hold your tribunal, and the judge looks dumbstruck.
  • (1.) The general who decides your motion to disqualify all five of your judges as incompetent and conflicted is the same man who picked them in the first place.


linky

Amp'd Mobile gets unplugged

THIS just in from the "I should have seen this coming from a mile away department".


The specialty, youth-targeting cell phone service provider has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, citing the fact that almost half of its customers were delinquent with paying their bills.


Too bad. I really liked the ads too.

linky

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Why do they hate us?



Its because of our freedoms, right?

NEW YORK - The American Civil Liberties Union today made public an analysis of new and previously released autopsy and death reports of detainees held in U.S. facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan, many of whom died while being interrogated. The documents show that detainees were hooded, gagged, strangled, beaten with blunt objects, subjected to sleep deprivation and to hot and cold environmental conditions.


yup, its because of our freedoms.

According to the documents, 21 of the 44 deaths were homicides. Eight of the homicides appear to have resulted from abusive techniques used on detainees, in some instances, by the CIA, Navy Seals and Military Intelligence personnel. The autopsy reports list deaths by "strangulation," "asphyxiation" and "blunt force injuries." An overwhelming majority of the so-called "natural deaths" were attributed to "Arteriosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease."


It wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that we are monsters, that torture our prisoners to death. Here is a hint: You can't claim the moral high ground if you're in the gutter.

Fred said it best: Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you. - Friedrich Nietzsche

Full story at the ACLU - linky