Thursday, June 30, 2005

Iraq War Casualties

Iraq War Casualties

This site Iraq War Casualties Map shows the Casualties across the country from January 2001 to the present in 30 day steps. They also give information on each (name, age, rank, hometown, and date and location of death.). It's important to always remember what we are asking as a result of staying in Iraq.

Highly Disturbing Direction of the Courts

I know that these decisions came down a few days ago but this blog entry from Evil Genius Chronicles really sums it up and I feel is worth repeating here.
Maybe it is just me, but I think the juxtaposition of two recent Supreme Court decisions is highly disturbing. The intellectual property rights of corporations are so important that any technology that could conceivably impinge on them should be suppressed - literally or by forcing inventors to lawyer up before they even know what to do. Your right to keep your own house if a corporation wants to develop the land, however, isn’t so important. The theoretical taking of imaginary property is to be avoided; the literal taking of your physical property is to be encouraged. This strikes me as completely fucked.
This combined with the story that reporters can go to jail for not revealing a source to a story they didn't write, shows the disturbing direction our nation is going.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Custom Button Maker

I came across this on Bong Bong and thought it was a cool blog entry.

Gallery of DRM-Related Antipixel Buttons and Badges


Creative Commons Creative Commons Electronic Fronter Foundation NO Broadcast Flags

If you interested you can create your own at .

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Warships as Prisons?

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

UN officials say the US is suspected of keeping secret prisoners on warships. This combined with the reluctance of this administration to give access to the UN to Gitmo, spells real trouble in the future. And further erodes the moral high ground we had before this administration lost their minds and thought we didn't have to abide by international treaties we signed. The problems at Abu Ghraib and those in Afghanistan combined with the resent events in the Italian courts, wanting 13 CIA officials for kidnapping in connection with questionable Rendition Flights out of Italy.

Quote of the Day

Rumsfeld said: We're not going to win against the insurgency; the Iraqi people are going to win against the insurgency.
Daily Kos' is right, that if say Dean had said this all hell would of cut loose on him. The Republicans and in particular this Administration is have been getting off way to easly in the press.

Monday, June 27, 2005

A Ray of hope with P2P

Fortune has an article discussing the possibility that not all is lost in regard to P2P networks. They point out that the ruling was based in large part on the Court's conclusion that the defendants Grokster and StreamCast were actively promoting their software for copyright infringement purposes. But the decision did not directly address the legitimacy of P2P networks on the whole. Still RIAA and MPAA have one more item to add to there bag of tricks to try and kill P2P networks.

Related Articles:
Fortune: The File Sharing Fight's Not Over

Two horrible decisions from the Supreme Court

Gavel of Justice
Photo Credit: je1196
The Supreme Court handed down two horrible decisions today, the first effecting Grokster and other file-sharing companies now can be sued if their products are designed for copyright infringement and don't have safeguards to protect copyrighted material. And the second saying that cable companies own their lines effectively killing small ISP's and VoIP because the can change priority of any transmition into their network, killing competition.

A very bad day for innovation, the Internet and the Public.

Updated Related Articles:
Not a Good Day for Innovation, Customer Rights and Free Speech
EFF: Supreme Court Ruling Will Chill Technology Innovation

All Volunteer Army?

Catchin'Some Shade
Photo Credit: dragon_mg
As this war grinds on and the divide between those who serve and those at home widens. I only hope that are country will get true statesmen back in the halls of power who will do what is in the greater good. Because the current batch of politicians are not getting the job done. They throw around high ideas and rhetoric, blinding the masses to the fact that they are not doing anything of real importance. Meanwhile those who serve are dying for men who do nothing to support other than give hyperbole to them on the home front.

And now that the limits of this all volunteer army are being seen on the horizon, these people who sent them in to harms way refuse to see the dangers that they have placed on all of us.

These volunteers have done all we have asked of them, with great courage and professionalism. But it is time to be honest with the American people, our security is in question in the near future (say 6-12 months) due to recruitment shortfalls now. We as a nation need to start this discussion on what will happen, if as Rumsfeld says we will be in Iraq for some time yet.

Related article:
NYTimes: The Army's Hard Sell
Daily Kos: The Demise of the All Volunteer Army?

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Follow on to College Republicans doing their part from Daily Kos' blog Chickenhawks in action.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Republican Version of Patriotism

Photo Credit: agentoseis
Daily Kos has a great piece on College republicans giving so much for the country. It just warms the cockles thinking about it.
Thank god the College Republicans are in the forefront of the fight for freedom...Just like our soldiers are dying in Iraq, campus conservatives are stapling flyers for an Ann Coulter speech to a kiosk. Basically the same thing...Our nation desperately needs young men and women to fight the war they support. Yet they refuse to step forward. They pretend to honor those making the sacrifices, but don't you dare ask them to move past empty rhetoric and put words into action. That would be too "negative"..Read from Daily Kos More.

Just like good old George W did during Vietnam, they may talk tough, but when push comes to shove they will run for cover. And find creative ways to say that they have other things that they have to do, other than serve and go to Iraq or Afghanistan.

Bushism of the Day

"You see, not only did the attacks help accelerate a recession, the attacks reminded us that we are at war."—Washington, D.C., June 8, 2005

Click here to see video of Bushism (Needs Real Player). Quote at 3:19 into his speech.

Slate: The Complete Bushisms

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Broadcast Flags

It looks as if, thanks to readers from Slashdot, BoingBoing and Instalanch, their will not be a hidden bill to place Broadcast flags in TV signals. Apparently when word got out that there was only 48 hours to stop this, these readers deluged the members of the Senate Appropriations Committee with more than 11,000 emails and faxes. That's nearly 500 faxes an hour, not to mention an untold number of phone calls telling them their feelings on the subject.

Way to go!

EFF: Deep links
EFF: Join the Liberation Digital Television Front!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Point of Amusement

I got a chuckle from this; Tom Cruise Kills Oprah. Take a look for yourself.

Film Clip

Sunday, June 19, 2005


WarBlogging has a great piece on disinformation that is well worth the time to look at.
Disinformation: Bases

What is disinformation ? The disinformation is a manipulation of the public opinion, for political purposes, with an information processed by diverted means.

What are its goals ? - at the enemy : to demoralize, weaken, disintegrate, destroy it. - at home : to neutralize and drive the masses in order to make them go in the desired direction at the desired moment without resistence. Success in this area is mandatory in any democracy, which is in fact nothing else than an apparent dictature of the majority.

How to do it ? - Discredit the authorities of the opposing country, imply them into illegal operations, shake their reputation. - Discredit and hold up to ridicule everything which is good in the opposing country. Its traditions, its religion, its faith, its army, its history. The aim is to destroy the identity of a people. - Weaken the adversary. Encourage and make him a slave of his passions (sex, money, wealth, power) in order to make him paralyzed and without resistence.

- Destroy the adversary by dividing him. Excite some against others, young against old, women against men, political wing against political wing. - Accordingly, do exactly the contrary in your country. Make the nation united in the same spirit and having the same will, reinforce the trust in your power, your institutions, your leaders. Read more....

Thursday, June 16, 2005

New to me -- Delicious tags

I've heard about the social bookmarks for a long time. But had never tried the site before. It is an interesting idea and if you having to move around to different computers this is a great way to have your bookmarks available to you all the time.

The beginnings of my Bookmarks. The really interesting thing is that also offers RSS feeds for an individual's tag or for a given poster's bookmarks.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Fortress of Babble

NPR's Day to Day has a piece on a new device that will isolate you in a cone of babbling so you can hold a conversation in private with others stand a few feet away and not being able to understand the conversation. At times I've wished for a portable version of this.

The desktop-sized elements called Babble

To hear the piece visit their site and listen to Talk Freely Behind the Fortress of Babble.

Legal Guide for Bloggers

The folks at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) have put together an FAQ on legal issues of blogging. They have tried to answers questions of liability and what rights you have as an average blogger.

Freedom Sake

Blogger Legal Liability Issues

The Overview of Legal Liability Issues FAQ briefly addresses some common legal issues that affect you as a publisher, especially situations where you may face legal claims or threats based on the information you published on your blog.

The Bloggers' FAQ on Intellectual Property addresses issues that arise when you publish material created by others on your blog.

The Bloggers' FAQ on Online Defamation Law provides an overview of defamation (libel) law, including a discussion of the constitutional and statutory privileges that may protect you.

The Bloggers' FAQ on Section 230 Protections discusses a powerful federal law that gives you, as a web host, protection against legal claims arising from hosting information written by third parties.

The Bloggers' FAQ on Privacy addresses the legal issues surrounding the privacy rights of people you blog about.

Bloggers As Journalists

The Bloggers' FAQ on the Reporter's Privilege is useful to bloggers who report news gathered from confidential sources.

The Bloggers' FAQ on Media Access can help bloggers who need to get access to public records and government meetings, as well as secure press passes to help with newsgathering.

Other Legal Issues for Bloggers
The Bloggers' FAQ on Election Law addresses the legal issues you may face blogging about political campaigns.

The Bloggers' FAQ on Labor Law addresses legal issues with workplace blogging, including union organizing, protections for political blogging away from the workplace, and whistle blowing.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Disturbing Video Clip

I came across this clip on Tim Riley's City Desk and have to agree this is an Evil video clip. It depicts pictures of Micheal Jackson morphing from a child to the man he is today.

Tim Riley: blog entry 6-13-05
Tim Riley: Podcast
Video: Micheal

Sunday, June 12, 2005


Photo Credit: petrovicdr
I just happened to catch this show called Studio 360 while I was in the car this evening and found it of interest. The topic of discussion was art fakes. And in particular the experiences of Thomas Hoven fake buster and author False Impressions and others on the art world. Thing that I found interesting was his statement that the entire industry was crooked. He pointed out that if you stepped into any museum and looked at any of the masterpieces there you would not be seeing what it really is (he has advocated placing small photos of what the picture would look like with out the embellishments) . All of these paintings have been embellished and altered in some way. And it is precisely these embellishments that make it possible for fakes to circulate. That practice has created an environment of obfuscation. That and the fact that he called all of the so called experts in the art world intellectually lazy. Not doing the leg work to see if a work is real or not. He points out that just going to a library and looking it up in a catalog isn't enough. Those are easily forged and altered. All in all a very enlightening discussion.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Yes Men

I saw the craziest film on DVD yesterday called The Yes Men. This documentary follows two crazy men who impersonate WTO officials at conferences and on Television News shows. Once they have gotten invited to speak then they say and do outlandish things that no sane person would say or do in public -- usually with some outlandish stunt in it to see if the audiance finally gets that they are not the WTO. The amazing thing is that the only time anyone calles them on it during the film is at a presentation for college students. The way that their con works is that they set up a website that looks like the real one but has a slightly different address from the real one. Then they wait for people to contact them. In their correspondence with anyone that contacts them, they will give them anwers that the WTO would have given, hoping that at some point they will be given invites to speak at a Confrence or News Event publicly. Then they spring their stunt with props and powerpoint graphics.

Yes Men
Photo Credit: Yes Men Promo

The Yes Men
The Yes Men Movie
Rotten Tomatoes: Yes Men

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Alias Spoof

I really like the first season of Alias, but thought it had gone down hill after the second season. A good friend pointed me to this Spoof Alias: Lost Episode. That in away retold the first episode in this funny rehash.
The Lost Episode is our tribute to 'Alias' the ABC series that brought Sydney to life. The spoof was a gift to series creator JJ Abrams, who was so pleased that he mailed personal letters of praise to each member of our cast and crew.

Alias: Lost Episode
Photo Credit: NewBorn Pictures

Friday, June 03, 2005

Space Elevator

Space Elevator In Clouds
Photo Credit: Wikipedia
Today on NPR's Talk of the Nation: Science Friday had Brad Edwards, former director of research, Institute for Scientific Research on to talk about Space Elevators. He gave the impression that they were 15 years away from start construction of such a project, far sooner than previously believed. However they still have some significant hurdles to over come. Such as, how to deal with the electricity generated by the Ribbon as it passes through the atmosphere. Something this big will produce staggering amounts of potential energy, and could pose a danger similar to the Space Tether Experiment on the Shuttle in '96 . But given the possible advantages it is an exciting time. I looking forward to hearing more about it.

The Audio of this interview should be posted later today on the Talk of the Nation site.

Related Articles:
NPR: The Path to an Elevator into Space
Wikipedia: Space Elevator

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Brinkmanship in the Air Force

Last stop for gas
USAF Photo by T.Sgt. Erik Gudmundson
I am at a loss as to what they are thinking in the Pentagon. The Air Force has announced that they will be cutting 32,000 hours of flight time training. In order to save a minuscule $272 million of a $825 million operations and maintenance shortfall.
The cuts come as Air Force aircrews are heavily worked, flying missions in Iraq, Afghanistan and over some U.S. cities in an attempt to prevent another terrorist attack.

"Starting early this summer, units may have aviators unable to get required training to maintain full combat-ready status," Col. Jim Dunn, deputy director of flight operations for ACC, said in a written statement. "Overall effectiveness will become a growing challenge." Read more...

This is insane! These cuts do not effect either the Blue Angles or the band spankin' new F-22 Raptor, show pieces for the Air Force, only everyone else. So they are going to kill some of are best and brightest for what? I think that cutting something like the F-22 should be done long before you start cutting training time in a period which see these same people going to Afghanistan and Iraq where that training will save lives. As it is they must think that someone will run to their rescue and give them the money to do mission critical things as well as all of their pie in the sky programs that should be cut to meet these short falls. This sort of gamesmanship is dangerous and should never have been permitted by the leadership.

Related Articles:
Pilot Training Time Slashed
Training Cuts: Ex-Pilots React

Bushism of the Day

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

"See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda."—Greece, N.Y., May 24, 2005

Related links:
List of Bushisms
The Complete Bushisms: The president's accidental wit and wisdom.
Bushism Daily RSS

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Another couple of nails in the EU Coffin

EU Flag
Photo Credit: happe
The European Union was handed two more set backs today. The first being the defeat by the Dutch to the EU Constitution, this being the second such defeat in the last few days. The second set back that came out to day relates to this defeat in Netherlands, that being at a meeting of the European Monetary Union (EMU) the possible break-up of EMU was discussed. Which has further lowered the value of the Euro on the world market.

Personally I think that the Political elite of Europe have brought this on themselves by dictating to their countryman and not giving them any real say in the process other then rubber stamping their collective agreements. While I have felt that the idea if the European Union was a good one, their process has left much to be desired.

Dutch Voters Reject EU Constitution
Euro sinks further after ‘break up’ talk
History of the European Constitution
European Constitution