Monday, September 25, 2006

Jolie is Dagny Taggart

From Variety:

Angelina Jolie is set to star in the film adaptation of Ayn Rand's iconic tome "Atlas Shrugged" for Lionsgate.

Sunday, July 09, 2006 ceasing syndication will stop syndicating other blogs.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

SCOTUS: Cops no longer need to knock, announce themselves before bursting into your home

Actually, maybe they DO have to do so, but if they don't, there is no penalty and any evidence seized by them in such a case can still be used. From SCOTUSBLOG:

The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, ruled on Thursday that a violation by the police of the "knock-and-announce" rule when they enter a home with a warrant does not bar the use of evidence gathered in the search. "What the knock-and-announce rule has never one's interest in preventing the government from seeing or taking evidence described in a warrant. Since the interests that were violated in this case have nothing to do with the seizure of the evidence, the exclusionary rule is inapplicable," Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in the majority opinion in Hudson v. Michigan (04-1360) -- a case that had been argued twice during this Term. A part of Scalia's opinion, saying that the result was dictated by the Court's prior precedents, had the support of only three other Justices.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

What it means to be "governed"

Saw this on LiveJournal and thought it deserved to be reposted here...

"To be GOVERNED is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded,by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be GOVERNED is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented,forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be placed under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harrassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed, and toc rown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality."

- P. J. Proudhon, "General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century"

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Woman cited for hunting without a license, for shooting alligator that snuck in her house and attacked her dog

From the Washington Post:

an alligator walked through the doggy door of a woman's house in Bradenton and went for her golden retriever. The woman grabbed a shotgun and blazed away. The alligator escaped with a flesh wound. The neighbors heard shots and called police, who promptly cited the woman for hunting without a license.

The hell? Maybe the cop was one ticket away from reaching his quota? What the hell is wrong with this country?

Monday, May 15, 2006

Sometimes I get all the Bush Administration spying programs confused.

Comment in response to this story: NSA Whistleblower: More Illegal Surveillance Programs:

That’s a whole completely different program entirely and has nothing to do with the NSA.
Oh, okay. Sometimes I get all the Bush Administration spying programs confused.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Florida to ban questioning DUI results?

Too many people criticizing your methods? Simply ban them from doing so! From the Orlando Sentinel:

By a unanimous vote, the House outlawed the release of computer-software secrets at the core of the breath-alcohol machine used by every law-enforcement agency in the state.


For 11/2 years, defense attorneys have argued in counties across Florida that state law required prosecutors to release the software information. Without it, there's no way to know whether the breath-alcohol test unit works properly, they said.

A few judges, especially in Seminole County, agreed, banning juries from learning about breath-alcohol test results if the state didn't surrender the Intoxilyzer 5000's software source code.

Prosecutors said they couldn't release the source code because they didn't have it. The machine's manufacturer, CMI Inc. of Owensboro, Ky., says the code is a trade secret.

The legislation passed Thursday requires prosecutors to release details about breath-alcohol test results, but not about how the machine works. It also bans judges from ordering prosecutors to produce any information not in their possession.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

NASA blocks Cryptome file as "Terrorist"

Check this out. NASA deems it to be "Militant/Extremist/Terrorist".

I tried to visit it earlier today at work, and Websense blocked it as "Illegal or Questionable"...

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Yelling "POLICE"

I've been reading about this "Cory Maye" case, where a guy shot some cop who bust into his house. There is controversy about whether or not the police announced themselves before busting in.

My question: What's to keep an armed robber, rapist, or murderer, from shouting "police" to gain entry to someone's house? I mean, if they said "Open up, it's the police!" people might be more willing to open the door, whereupon the bad guy can simply shoot them in the face and leave.

So what's the big deal about yelling "Police"? It seems meaningless, if you have no proof the people at your door really ARE police.

Friday, April 28, 2006

I am now #1 in Google for search terms "Ghetto Puppet"

Woohoo! I'm so proud.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Hey, do you wanna come over and play with my Wii?

This just in: Nintendo has changed the name of their upcoming console from the "Revolution" (which is kinda cool) to the "Wii" (to be pronounced "Wheee"!)

Breaking News: AR Governor Huckabee is a Dick

Okay, I feel bad. That's not exactly breaking news - it's been public knowledge for a long time.

But it's been recently brought to the fore yet again. This story, from DailyKos, proves the point.

The Arkansas Times is an alt weekly newspaper which, in the past, has been critical of the Governor. Now he's being punitive and retaliating, by cutting off their access to (taxpayer funded) press information!

From the DailyKos:
It's official. Gov. Mike Huckabee is refusing to provide routine media services to the Arkansas Times. The newspaper has been stricken from the e-mail lists for routine news releases, public scheduling and other items widely disseminated to members of the public and the media.

The Times then quotes Huckabee's spokeswoman, Alice Stewart, on the matter:
We don't consider the Arkansas Times a news organization. By your own definition, you are a journal of politics and culture. As you said, there are hundreds of news outlets in the state and we don't attempt to notify every one of them. The major news organizations are on our e-mail list and that's the way it will continue.

Well, la di da, Ms. Stewart. Petty putdown, well done.

The larger issue, of course, is not missed by the Arkansas Times, which notes: "The governor has decided to punish us for our opinions by withholding a publicly financed service." Yes, taxpayer money goes to fund a press office, which holds a responsibility to keep Arkansas residents informed of the governor's schedule, policy proposals and stands on legislative action. The burden is not on an outlet to "prove" its legitimacy; it's on the governor's office to make sure as many citizens as possible are aware of what their state government is up to.

We don't consider the Arkansas Times a news organization.

Guess what, dumbass, that's not your call to make. If you can decide that the AT isn't a real news organization, then guess what? I just decided Huckabee isn't a real governor.

Rumor Mill: Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt to star in "Atlas Shrugged" movie?

At least, that's the rumor from Total Film...

Atlas Shrugged, an apocalyptic vision of the future by US novelist Ayn Rand, has long been seen as an almost impossible tome to film. And Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are rumoured to be interested in playing the leads.

We've heard rumors for years of an "Atlas Shrugged" movie, but of course they've remained rumors - probably because adapting AS would be such a monumental task.

But now that "Lord of the Rings" has been done, it may have opened a few eyes as to what can be done, even with VERY LONG books.

I was interested to learn about Jolie & Pitt's interest in Ayn Rand/Atlas Shrugged. I searched around and couldn't confirm Pitt's interest, but Jolie has mentioned several times that she enjoys the book. With Pitt & Jolie behind it, who knows what could be done?

Monday, April 24, 2006

Tennessee Supreme Court Overturns ID Roadblocks

Story here.

On Thursday, the Tennessee Supreme Court unanimously found the use of roadblocks to check identification papers, driving licenses and automobile registrations to be unconstitutional.

Great news. Here's more info:

The high court overturned Hayes' conviction because it did not believe, contrary to police claims, that the primary purpose of the checkpoint was safety. The evidence showed the roadblocks were successful instead at issuing expensive tickets.


The court saw no evidence that the checkpoint increased the safety of residents, nor that the crime was solely being conducted by "outsiders."

SECRET POLICE: L.A. to Keep Secret Names of Police Involved in Shootings

From the LA TIMES:

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Police Commission sent mixed signals today about its new policy of withholding the names of officers involved in shootings, as it affirmed the policy adopted in secret last year with a formal, public vote.

So: Now a secret informant, who you can't face yourself, can lie to the police that you're a drug dealer or something. That informant is probably just saying what the prosecutors want to hear, because he's got a sweet deal to rat out people to avoid jail. Police dressed up in para-military gear can come to your house in the dead of night and bust in without knocking. One of them can shoot and kill you, secure in the knowledge that his name will never be made public.

Secrecy, lies, and obfuscation throughout - this is out "criminal justice" system today.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Bush anoints self "The Decider"

more here...

I hear the voices and I read the front page and I know the speculation but I'm the decider and I decide what is best and what's best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain as the Secretary of defense.

First off, there goes Bush again saying he hears voices. He's previously said he speaks to God and God tells him to attack Iraq. Based upon his rantings alone I'd say we have a good 25th Amendment cause to remove him from office.

Second, "Decider"???

Third, when have any of his decisions actually turned out well? Why should we trust him to make proper decisions? He hasn't done it yet, I see no indication he is gonna start anytime soon.


Thursday, April 13, 2006

Google Calendar

Google Calendar is now live, and let me tell you, it rules.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Bush's Iran Plans

From the New Yorker:

The Bush Administration, while publicly advocating diplomacy in order to stop Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon, has increased clandestine activities inside Iran and intensified planning for a possible major air attack.


One of the military’s initial option plans, as presented to the White House by the Pentagon this winter, calls for the use of a bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapon, such as the B61-11, against underground nuclear sites.

The next Iraq? We'll have to wait and see, but I wouldn't put anything past this guy.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Teen girls could be charged for real-life Super Mario Brothers

Growing up, one of my favorite things to do was play "Super Mario Brothers" with my friends. Now, some teen girls trying to bring SMB to the real world, as an April Fools Day prank, could be in big trouble. Story here.

Five teenage girls from Portage County face potential criminal charges after attempting to play a real-life version of Super Mario Bros.

The Portage County Hazardous Materials Unit and Bomb Detection Unit were called in to downtown Ravenna on Friday morning after seventeen suspicious packages -- boxes wrapped in gold wrapping paper with question marks spray painted on them -- had alarmed residents.

And that's a crime?

The Ravenna Police Department will be working with the Portage County Prosecutor's Office regarding possible criminal charges as a result of the game.

I want to hear what these charges are. Having unapproved fun in a police state? Actually, I'm betting they'll charge the girls with "littering" to save face, so this doesn't look like the huge waste of time it really is.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Government Lies

From an interesting thread started at Metafilter, discussing a speech from John J. Mearsheimer:

" lying takes four forms.

  • Inter-state lyingis where states lie to each other to gain strategic advantage.
  • Fear-mongering is where foreign policy elites lie to their own public because they believe that the people do not recognize the seriousness of an external threat and they need to be motivated to deal with it.
  • Nationalist myth-making is where elites tell lies about their state’s history to help foster a powerful sense of national identity among all segments of society.
  • Anti-realist lying is where elites attempt to disguise brutal behavior carried out in pursuit of realist (or other) goals, because it conflicts with widely-accepted liberal norms.

Study: Prayer Power Doesn't Work, May Actually Be Harmful

I knew those "prayer warriors" were full of it.

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A study of more than 1,800 patients who underwent heart bypass surgery has failed to show that prayers specially organized for their recovery had any impact, researchers said on Thursday.

In fact, the study found some of the patients who knew they were being prayed for did worse than others who were only told they might be prayed for -- though those who did the study said they could not explain why.