Monday, August 31, 2009

Journalist Who Threw Shoes at Bush Sentenced Reduced

Al-Zeidi, the journalist who threw his shoe at then President Bush (G.W.) (Berman Post: President Bush Dodges Two Shoes), will be released from prison early. He was originally sentenced to three years (Berman Post: Journalist Who Threw Shoes at Bush Sentenced to Three Years), but will be released from prison after just one. Good behavior and a lack of any criminal history are the cited reasons for the reduction.

"An Iraqi journalist imprisoned for hurling his shoes at former President George W. Bush will be released next month after his sentence was reduced for good behavior, his lawyer said Saturday.
Al-Zeidi was initially sentenced to three years in prison after pleading not guilty to assaulting a foreign leader. The court reduced it to one year because the journalist had no prior criminal history.

Hat tip to

Past related posts:
Berman Post: President Bush Dodges Two Shoes
Berman Post: Samir Sumaidaie on The "Shoe Thrower"
Berman Post: Dana Perino on The Shoe Throwing Incident
Berman Post: Journalist Who Threw Shoes at Bush Sentenced to Three Years

Someone Tell Cadillac What Smolder Means

I can not find a clip of the Cadillac CTS commercial featuring Kate Walsh(?) to embed/link to, but from memory (meaning possibly paraphrasing some) it goes;

"The relationship you have with your car isn’t so different from your other relationships

Some burn hot and fast but don’t last very long

Some burn for a while but don’t throw much heat

And some, smolder beautifully for a long, long time.

Update (9/1/2009): Video embedded below thanks to Mike from the comments.

End of Update:

That has been playing constantly, and one thing really sticks out to me. The meaning of 'smolder', at least in regard to heat. Something that is smoldering puts out low level heat for a while. Think smoldering embers from a fire.

In the commercial Walsh first opines how burning 'hot and fast but not lasting long' is bad. She then says that 'burning for a long time without generating a lot of heat' is bad. Walsh then contradicts herself by saying that 'smoldering' is good. Smoldering is the same thing as burning for a long time without generating much heat.

I understand the point they were trying to get across. Think of it as the Goldilocks pitch; some cars are one extreme (bad), other cars are the other extreme (also bad), our care is just right (good). The problem is that the words they use indicate that their car is at one of those extremes they just condemned.

Back to Goldilocks; Walsh basically said some cars are to hot (bad), some are to cold (also bad), but our car cold (good). That is what I hear every time that commercial pops up and it is quickly going from comically sad to annoying.

So as I titled the post, Someone Tell Cadillac What Smolder Means.

"Cpllector" And "The Times Traverler's With"

Just a reminder that when you are in charge of large tickers you have to be extra careful with your spelling and to be sure you know what you should be writing.

Pictures embedded below.

Colombia President Has The Swine Flu

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe is thought to be the second(?) known world leader to have contracted the swine flu (H1N1). The first world leader, Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, has already recovered. There appears to be no concern that President Uribe will not similarly recover.

"Colombian President Alvaro Uribe has contracted the H1N1 swine flu virus and is being treated by doctors while continuing to work from his residence, government spokesman Cesar Velasquez said on Sunday.
Costa Rican President Oscar Arias was the first known head of government to have caught swine flu. He recovered earlier this month from a mild case of the virus and returned to his normal routine after working from home for about a week while being treated.

Past Related Posts:
Berman Post: Obama May Have Come in Contact With The 'Swine Flu'
Berman Post: United States Declares a Public Health Emergency For The Swine Flu
Berman Post: Swine Flu Patient Zero Found as WHO Raises Alert Level to Phase 5
Berman Post: Biden - 'Avoid Public Transportation'
Berman Post: First US Resident Dies of Swine Flu
Berman Post: First Swine Flu Death in NYC
Berman Post: Iranian TV - 'America And The Jews Responsible For Swine Flu'
Berman Post: WHO Declares The Swine Flu a Pandemic
Berman Post: New Strain of Swine Flu (H1N1) Discovered
Berman Post: WHO - "Swine Flu 'Unstoppable'

Sunday, August 30, 2009

September 11th Designated as a National Day of Service by Obama Administration

Matthew Vadum sees this as a plan to desecrate the memory of 9/11. I think he is half right in his analysis. Not the part about desecrating the day, but turning the day from one that generally favors Republicans to one that favors Democrats. I do not think that it will work. Trying to erase the image of commercial airliners flying into buildings, people falling a hundred stories to their death, and the World Trade Towers collapsing is not really possible and dangerous to boot. Any sort of 'services' will not change the fact that the greatest foreign attack on American soil happened that day and will not negate the need to for effective defense and security.

"The Obama White House is behind a cynical, coldly calculated political effort to erase the meaning of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks from the American psyche and convert Sept. 11 into a day of leftist celebration and statist idolatry.

This effort to reshape the American psyche has nothing to do with healing the nation and everything to do with easing the nation along in the ongoing radical transformation of America that President Obama promised during last year's election campaign. The president signed into law a measure in April that designated Sept. 11 as a National Day of Service, but it's not likely many lawmakers thought this meant that day was going to be turned into a celebration of ethanol, carbon emission controls, and radical community organizing.
On the Aug. 11 call, Yearwood and other leaders kept saying repeatedly that they wanted 9/11 to be used for something "positive," "forward-leaning," and "productive," said a source with knowledge of the teleconference.

The plan is to turn a "day of fear" that helps Republicans into a day of activism called the National Day of Service that helps the left. In other words, nihilistic liberals are planning to drain 9/11 of all meaning.

"They think it needs to be taken back from the right," said the source. "They're taking that day and they're breaking it because it gives Republicans an advantage. To them, that day is a fearful day."

"This Site Closed For Your Protection"

Picture embedded below. (from


This picture links to the article at which expresses concern over the ambiguity of a revised bill. If passed it would give the president 'emergency control of the internet', sort of.

"The new version would allow the president to "declare a cybersecurity emergency" relating to "non-governmental" computer networks and do what's necessary to respond to the threat. Other sections of the proposal include a federal certification program for "cybersecurity professionals," and a requirement that certain computer systems and networks in the private sector be managed by people who have been awarded that license.

"I think the redraft, while improved, remains troubling due to its vagueness," said Larry Clinton, president of the Internet Security Alliance, which counts representatives of Verizon, Verisign, Nortel, and Carnegie Mellon University on its board. "It is unclear what authority Sen. Rockefeller thinks is necessary over the private sector. Unless this is clarified, we cannot properly analyze, let alone support the bill."

A situation may develop that requires the government to step in taking temporary 'control of the internet' for the collective defense and protection of the country. The problem here is that nothing is defined, nothing is spelled out. What constitutes and emergency situation? What are the limits of this power? Is there a time frame or thresh hold where the government must relinquish control? Without some specificity the executive branch is effectively given free range to do as it wishes for any reason. I use executive branch because this is not just about Obama. This is about growing government in unforeseeable ways giving unreasonable discretion and power to whomever holds the office. Even if Obama chooses not to abuse this assuming it passes, that does not mean the next president will not; or the president after them and so on. More specificity should be added to the bill before it is even brought up for consideration.

Allahpundit opines similarly; "We’ve written about this before but the new and “improved” version of the bill’s just been leaked by Jay Rockefeller’s office. Remember the Bush years, when the Democrats ferociously opposed executive power? Good times.
Here’s the relevant section of the statute. The problem’s not that it explicitly grants Obama all sorts of detailed powers; it’s that it’s not detailed at all, leaving the limits of executive authority in an emergency perhaps only to The One’s imagination.
" (

Single Molecule Imaged For The First Time

Scientists from IBM took the first ever image of all the atoms in a molecule. For some perspective, it is roughly one million times smaller than sand grain or .14 nanometers across. To get the 'shot', they used an atomic force microscope using the 'tuning fork' effect. They used a pentacene molecule.


Scientists from IBM used an atomic force microscope (AFM) to reveal the chemical bonds within a molecule.

'This is the first time that all the atoms in a molecule have been imaged,' lead researcher Leo Gross said.


The delicate inner structure of a pentacene molecule has been imaged with an atomic force microscope

The researchers focused on a single molecule of pentacene, which is commonly used in solar cells. The rectangular-shaped organic molecule is made up of 22 carbon atoms and 14 hydrogen atoms.

In the image above the hexagonal shapes of the five carbon rings are clear and even the positions of the hydrogen atoms around
the carbon rings can be seen.

give some perspective, the space between the carbon rings is only 0.14
nanometers across, which is roughly one million times smaller than the
diameter of a grain of sand.

Textbook model: A computer-generated image of how we're used to seeing a molecule represented with balls and sticks

Textbook model: A computer-generated image of how we're used to seeing a molecule represented with balls and sticks


A 3D view showing how a single carbon monoxide molecule was used to create the image using a 'tuning fork' effect


Hat tip to

Enhanced Interrogation Methods Worked

Another report gives a clear indication that enhanced interrogation methods worked (Berman Post: Waterboarding Worked). Specifically references in this article are Waterboarding (referred to as simulated drowning) and sleep deprivation. They point out that he did give some false information, but also gave enough good information to be considered the ""preeminent source" on al-Qaeda".

The fact that it works will not matter to those who appose these techniques on moral grounds. The argument against them on the grounds that 'it does not really work' are not, and have not been for a while, genuine. (bold mine)

"After enduring the CIA's harshest interrogation methods and spending more than a year in the agency's secret prisons, Khalid Sheik Mohammed stood before U.S. intelligence officers in a makeshift lecture hall, leading what they called "terrorist tutorials."
Speaking in English, Mohammed "seemed to relish the opportunity, sometimes for hours on end, to discuss the inner workings of al-Qaeda and the group's plans, ideology and operatives," said one of two sources who described the sessions, speaking on the condition of anonymity because much information about detainee confinement remains classified. "He'd even use a chalkboard at times."

These scenes provide previously unpublicized details about the transformation of the man known to U.S. officials as KSM from an avowed and truculent enemy of the United States into what the CIA called its "preeminent source" on al-Qaeda. This reversal occurred after Mohammed was subjected to simulated drowning and prolonged sleep deprivation, among other harsh interrogation techniques.
"What do you think changed KSM's mind?" one former senior intelligence official said this week after being asked about the effect of waterboarding. "Of course it began with that."

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Michelle Obama Bumps Her Head

Keep the cameras rolling on anyone long enough and you are bound to catch a 'human'(?) moment (Berman Post: Obama Hits His Head Boarding Marine One and Berman Post: Watch Your Step Mr. President (Obama Stumbles)). Just like the others, the primary reason for posting this is to once again point to the difference in coverage it would get if Obama's predecessor or wife were the ones captured on film.

Video embedded below. (from

Crowder Goes Undercover as a Liberal

Guess who he found was organizing and participating in what the left refer to as 'AstroTurf' activity (see also Berman Post: Grassroots vs Astroturf - How to Tell The Movements Apart)

Video embedded below.

Dual-Screen Laptops

Laptops and netbooks main selling point is the ease of portability. For the mobility, you have to make a few sacrifices. Generally speaking the cost goes up, the performance specs goes down (at least per unit cost), and it is small. Of course, the small size and low weight are what make it portable. You would be hard pressed to stuff a desktop with all the pieces into a briefcase or backpack. The small size used to mean a small screen. That was until now.

"gScreen, an Alaska-based notebook designer and manufacturer, aims to solve that problem, no matter where you are, with what can only be described as the PC version of a two-headed hydra: the dual-screen laptop.
This laptop is clearly meant for professional designers, programmers, filmmakers, and others that regularly need two monitors to get work done. Two-screen set-ups just allow you to get more done (thus why I use a two-screen set-up). There are disadvantages though, like the power drain two screens will cause and the sheer weight, estimated at 12+ pounds. And, of course, the price may be a deal-breaker: around $3000.

Specs from the official website; (

"The gScreen Spacebook series.

Spacebook planned Specs:
- 2 LED backlit display screens
- Windows VISTA/ WIN XP PRO (optional)
- Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 2.26-GHz
- 4 GB of RAM (2GB DDR2 SO-DIMM x 2)
- 320GB 7200-rpm HD
- NVIDIA® GeForce® 9800M GT with 512MB dedicated memory (or)
- NVIDIA® Quadro FX 1700M Graphics with 512MB dedicated memory
- 9-cell battery
- IEEE 1394 1 Graphics Card Output (15-pin, D-Sub) X 1, HDMI X 1 Mic-in X 1, Line-in x 1, Headphone X 1 PCI Express Card X 1 AC Power Adaptor Output: 19V DC, 90W Input: 100~240V AC, 50/60Hz universal Battery Pack Li-ion 9 cells

100% North American Sales and Tech support for all gScreen laptop computers.
The gScreen Spacebook is the first dual screen laptop with two 15.4-inch identical screens and a full-size keyboard, built into one laptop unit.

* Options, specs, appearance and availability can change without notice.
The gScreen Spacebook series is based on the gScreen G400 design.

'Teabagging' KKK'er Hanging Obama Flyer Planted During Town Hall Meeting

This person obviously does not have a high opinion of Tea Party protesters. I doubt (hope) the person actually thinks the protesters are KKK members or people trying to kill the president. This is likely meant as more of a counter recruitment and ridicule tool. What ever the reason, it is still completely over the top.

"Now, opponents of socialized medicine and the Obama agenda are being depicted as Ku Klux Klan members who want to lynch Barack Obama. That's the message of this flyer which was found on cars outside the parking lot at South Lakes High School in Reston on Tuesday night, after the town hall meeting with Jim "I Like To Hit People" Moran and "Screamin'" Howard Dean.

Image and text from Restonian blog.

A number of people left last night's polite and information-packed "town hall" meeting in Reston to find these stuffed under their car windshields. We've cropped out the URL at the bottom to avoid giving these folks any more attention than they deserve.

The flyer was mentioned in the comments section of the Washington Examiner story on the town hall.

Friday, August 28, 2009

"Say no to Obama!" 'Crop Circle'

One farmer wanted to make sure anyone flying overhead knew exactly what he thinks of Obama's policies. He plowed a field to read "Say no to Obama!" visible only from the sky.

Video embedded below. (from

Only Four Percent of Israeli Jews Think Obama is Pro-Israel

If any more proof was needed that Obama has/is fracturing the American-Israeli relationship (Berman Post: Obama Fracturing Israel-USA Relations) though his recent action (Berman Post: The American Consulate in Jerusalem is Now The Quasi Embassy to The Palestinian Authority?), all the way back to first taking office (Berman Post: $900 Million 'Aid' Money to Gaza Going Through Hamas, Berman Post: Obama Snubs Netanyahu And Israel?, and Berman Post: President Obama's First Call Was to Abbas [and others]), a recent poll shows just how abysmal the number are.

I have opined before (Berman Post: Obama Approved a Large Turkish Arms Sale to Lebanon), but will again, Israel is the wrong country to alienate. Even people who hate Israel will admit when pressed that it is a significant technological powerhouse. In exchange for the aid we give them, we get advanced weapon systems and defense countermeasures. The political cover and resources we can guaranty is a serious plus. Israel not passing/selling these advanced weapon systems to potential geopolitical rivals (read China, India, Russia...) as a serious plus. If we push Israel to far or get them to nervous about the state of our relationship, they will go ally shopping. Trust me on this, no matter what the rhetoric from those countries the prospect of advanced missiles, tank armor, guns, other assorted technology which is among the most advanced in the world, and WORKING LASERS (Berman Post: The Next Generation of Weapons) in exchange for cash would be eagerly accepted. All those countries would gladly throw five billion dollars or more (which is more then we give to them) at Israel with the quid-pro-quo of getting those and future technologies. Just imagine Chinese or Indian manpower with Israeli technology. On top of everything else, it is for no reason. Israel has done nothing that comes anywhere near warranting alienation from the US. It has done just the opposite.

The poll numbers show that only 4% of Israeli Jews see Obama as pro-Israel. That number is within the margin of error for the poll which is 4.5%. A majority, 51%, see him as pro-Palestinian; "The number of Israelis who see US President Barack Obama's policies as pro-Israel has fallen to four percent, according to a Smith Research poll taken this week on behalf of The Jerusalem Post.

Fifty-one percent of Jewish Israelis consider Obama's administration more pro-Palestinian than pro-Israel, according to the survey, while 35% consider it neutral and 10% declined to express an opinion. The poll of 500 people representing a statistical model of the Jewish Israeli population had a margin of error of 4.5%.

Obama's direct predecessor was viewed in a completely opposite way. Former president G. W. Bush was seen as pro-Israel by 88% of the people while only 2% saw him as pro-Palestinian; "The May poll found that Israelis' views of Obama's predecessor in the White House, George W. Bush, were nearly the opposite. Some 88% of Israelis considered Bush's administration pro-Israel, 7% said he was neutral and just 2% labeled him pro-Palestinian."

More at

Minotaur Interrogators

I support Minotaur interrogators. I also can not wait to get my hands on that audio book.

Video embedded below.

ABC And NBC Refuse to Air Ad Critical of Obama's Health Care Overhaul

You can see the ad in question. It does not really seem that bad to me, not even taking into account other ads on this plan. NBC has said they may run it following some 'revisions'.

Video embedded below.

"The refusal by ABC and NBC to run a national ad critical of President Obama's health care reform plan is raising questions from the group behind the spot -- particularly in light of ABC's health care special aired in prime time last June and hosted at the White House.

The 33-second ad by the League of American Voters, which features a neurosurgeon who warns that a government-run health care system will lead to the rationing of procedures and medicine, began airing two weeks ago on local affiliates of ABC, NBC, FOX and CBS. On a national level, however, ABC and NBC have refused to run the spot in its present form.
Adams said the advertisement is running on local network affiliates in states like Louisiana, Arkansas, Maine and Pennsylvania. But although CBS has approved the ad for national distribution and talks are ongoing with FOX, NBC has questioned some of the ad's facts while ABC has labeled it "partisan."

Obama Administration Moves Toward Cut Off Aid to Honduras

The Obama administration is preparing to make forceful moves against Honduras over their non-coup (Berman Post: Honduras Coup or No Coup, No Coup). As I opined in the first post about this, I admire the move but it is pointed at the wrong target. If we were as forceful in support of the Iranian revolution (Iranian Revolution (GR88)), the outcome may have been much better. Instead, the administration appears to be doubling down in support of a bad move we should never have made in the first place. The democratic system in Honduras worked as it was supposed to and prevented the likely creation of a 'banana republic' with a permanently elected 'president'. We appear to be about moving toward punishing them for protecting their democracy.

"U.S. State Department staff have recommended that the ouster of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya be declared a "military coup," a U.S. official said on Thursday, a step that could cut off as much as $150 million in U.S. funding to the impoverished Central American nation.
Washington has already suspended about $18 million aid to Honduras following the June 28 coup and this would be formally cut if the determination is made because of a U.S. law barring aid "to the government of any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup or decree."

The official said that $215 million in grant funding from the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation to Honduras would also have to end should [Hillary] Clinton make the determination that a military coup took place.
Diplomats said that the United States had held off making the formal determination to give diplomacy a chance to yield a negotiated compromise that might allow for Zelaya's return to power.

Such efforts, however, appear to have failed for now and so the United States is taking steps -- including its decision on Tuesday to cease issuing some visas at its embassy in Tegucigalpa -- to raise pressure on the de facto government.

"The recommendation of the building is for her to sign it," said the first U.S. official said of the 'military coup" determination, saying this was a response to the de facto government's refusal to accept a compromise that would allow Zelaya to return to power ahead of November elections.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Obama is "The One"

Matrix Obama.

Picture embedded below.

Chris Matthews - "What do You Make of This Whole Thing About The Good Economic News Out There The President Gets no Credit For?"

Another gem from Chris Matthews (MSNBC) asking "What do you make of this whole thing about the good economic news out there the president gets no credit for?". I think he should read the White House's own economic projections (Berman Post: Obama Administration Released Updated Economic Projections).

Video embedded below.

Jonathan Martin from Politico tried to offer some common sense to Matthews to no avail.

"Jonathan Martin of Politico had to explain to Matthews the flaws of his logic - at least as it pertains to politics and that hanging one's hat too high on averting what could have been isn't a winner.

"Chris, to Anne's point, nobody in the history of politics, you know, as ever won a campaign based on a slogan of it could haven a lot worse," Martin said. "That's a tough argument to make. The fact is, look, I think the president reappointing Bernanke today to me says that he sees light at the end of this tunnel. If he was still concerned - if President Obama was still concerned about the state of this economy, he would not have ratified one of the sort of chief faces of the current administration, of the current sort of economic status quo."

Matthews blamed the Democratic Party for not capitalizing on what he perceives as a grand achievement and reiterated his contention Obama just isn't getting enough credit.

"The failure of the Democratic Party to unite in voice is so powerful," Matthews continued. "They argue over whether he's doing enough or not enough on this or that. There's no sort of chorus out there for this guy, in terms of the horrible challenge he faced coming in January 20, what he's done with it. He gets no credit for the stimulus package, passing it. Despite the fact that the evidence is it's working to offset, again, a Great Depression."

Obama Administration Released Updated Economic Projections

The Obama administration has officially released their updated economic projections (pre-release Berman Post: Obama Administration Increase Ten Year Deficit Projection by Nearly Two Trillion Dollars). It is pretty grim, but what was expected based on the leaked info.

"The White House midsession budget forecast and the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office both forecast that government revenues will be crimped by a slow recovery from the worst recession since the 1930s Great Depression, while spending on retirement and medical benefits soars.

The White House projected a cumulative $9 trillion deficit between 2010 and 2019, while the CBO pegged the total at $7.1 trillion because it assumed higher revenues as tax cuts expire.

Also related; the unemployment picture is fairly grim as well.

"Atlanta Federal Reserve Chief: Real Unemployment Rate is 16%
Update: CBO Now Projects an 2.3 Million Additional Unemployed Next Year, On Top of Already-Expected Millions
But don't expect to hear this repeated by anyone in the media again.

he real US unemployment rate is 16 percent if persons who have dropped out of the labor pool and those working less than they would like are counted, a Federal Reserve official said Wednesday.

"If one considers the people who would like a job but have stopped looking -- so-called discouraged workers -- and those who are working fewer hours than they want, the unemployment rate would move from the official 9.4 percent to 16 percent, said Atlanta Fed chief Dennis Lockhart.

He underscored that he was expressing his own views, which did "do not necessarily reflect those of my colleagues on the Federal Open Market Committee," the policy-setting body of the central bank.


Lockhart, who heads the Atlanta, Georgia, division of the Fed, is the first central bank official to acknowledge the depth of unemployment amid the worst US recession since the Great Depression.

Thanks to AHFF Geoff.


Russia Deploys a Missile Defence Shield to North Korea Border?

Reuters is reporting that Russia had deployed a missile defense shield. I am a bit skeptical to the effectiveness. The United States does not have a fool-proof missile shield. Israel does not even have a fool-proof missile shield. Russia in its current state beating both the United States and Israel to the punch seems unlikely. Well, Obama has shown no interest in the system so they might be us to the punch. This could prove slightly problematic to Obama not pursuing the missile shield. One of his main reasons was that it might 'anger' Russia and spark another arms race. If Russia is developing one of their own for the same reason we are, that is no longer a legitimate reason.

"Russia has deployed a missile defence system near its border with North Korea and is studying other measures to protect its population from stray missiles, Russia's top general said on Wednesday.

Russia shares a small border with North Korea in the Far East and its main Pacific port of Vladivostok, with a population of 600,000, lies only 150 km (95 miles) from North Korea.
"We are definitely concerned by the conditions under which tests are being carried out in North Korea, including nuclear devices," the chief of Russia's general staff Nikolai Makarov told journalists in the Mongolian capital Ulan Bator.

"We already have an S-400 division there," he said, referring to a modernised version of a Soviet-designed surface-to-air missile unit.

"Kennedy's Death is a Lot Like 9-11"

Matt Cooper, who used to write for Time Magazine, decided to make a strange comparison to Kennedy's death (Berman Post: Senator Ted Kennedy (D) Died).

"Reporter Matt Cooper, formerly of Time magazine and currently of lefty site Talking Points Memo, finds the perfect comparison for the death of Ted Kennedy:
It feels a bit like 9/11 on Martha's Vineyard. End-of-summer weather is achingly beautiful but the mood is melancholy because of Teddy.
Yes, the death of an ethically-desolate 77-year-old is just like a terrorist attack that killed thousands and plunged the U.S. into years of war.

If you heard a loud thump, that was my jaw dropping. About 110 stories.

UPDATE: A screen grab in case the Twitter quote magically disappears:

UPDATE #2: And the walkback begins...
Didn't mean to equate Teddy's death with the murders of 9/11. Only meant small similarity: beautiful weather, tragic feel.
Yeah, okay, not identical to 9/11, it was just the obvious comparison that first leapt to mind.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

"Premium Solutions, Extra Think" Bubbles

They were probably going for "thick", not "think". How many people had to sign off on this and saw it before it made it to store shelves? Not one of them saw the rather glaring error...

Picture embedded below.


Branded URL Shorteners is a URL shortener that that is meant for NSFW (Not Safe For Work) links. It is an interesting concept, a branded URL shortener. It could be the beginning of a trend. Of course, the site does not monitor the links to make sure the links are NSFW. Then again, with the idea being that the URL is for inappropriate links, what would there be to censor save viruses. While it is an interesting concept to have branded URL shorteners, they would still suffer from the same trouble of all other such services. They would also have to figure out a quick and cheap way to monitor the links or it could quickly become general purpose like the rest.

"At first glance, this sounds like a joke, doesn't it? Sex writer Violet Blue has launched a new URL shortening service, Vbly (found at, called "the Internet's first and only sex-positive URL shortener."

This means that Vbly has a different policy than other shorteners. Blue, and Vbly creator Ben Metcalfe, encourage the use of this service for creating links to adult sites and other "NSFW" links. They do not run their links through filters, as the market-leading Bitly (found at does. Although, as Blue says. "I think we'd remove links if we were asked to by a court or if we were made aware of anything involving illegal activity."

" (Berman Post on Facebook)

A little while back I posted regarding the Berman Post had an official Facebook page (Berman Post: Berman Post on Facebook). I have now set a custom URL for the page. If you would like to go to the page, just type

Senator Ted Kennedy (D) Died

Massachusetts senator Ted Kennedy lost his battle with a brain tumor yesterday, dieing at the age of 77. He served for the better part of five decades, eclipsing all but two other senators in time served. He was dubbed the 'lion of the senate' for the work he did on liberal and democratic causes.

"Massachusetts Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, the liberal lion of the Senate, has died after battling a brain tumor. He was 77.

Kennedy's family announced his death in a brief statement released early Wednesday.

For nearly a half-century in the Senate, Kennedy was a dominant voice on health care, civil rights, war and peace, and more. To the American public, though, he was best known as the last surviving brother of a storied political family.

Kennedy was elected to the Senate in 1962, when his brother John was president, and served longer than all but two senators in history.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Zombie Obama Wants Brains

I think this was meant to be funny. It was being sold at a table in Union Square (NYC) with a bunch of other pro-Obama products.

Picture embedded below.

Michael Jackson's Death Classified as a Homicide

Michael Jackson's death will reportedly be classified as a homicide.

"Murray, reportedly the subject of a criminal probe stemming from Jackson's death, told investigators that he "felt that Jackson may have been forming an addiction to" propofol, and tried to "wean Jackson off the drug." The affidavit notes that Jackson "was very familiar with the drug and referred to it as his 'milk.'" The affidavit also quotes an L.A. coroner's official saying that preliminary toxicology results showed that "Jackson's cause of death was due to lethal levels of propofol." The coroner has classified Jackson's death a homicide, according to a law enforcement source cited today by the Associated Press, which reported that the ruling makes it "more likely" that criminal charges will be filed against the 56-year-old Murray."

European Tax Funded Organizations Purge Common Phrases to 'Not Cause Offense'

It is not as bad as calling some one racist for using the term 'black hole' (Berman Post: Black Hole = Racist ... What?), but is still pretty ridiculous. As long as we are changing around the english language, I submit that the months in our year should correspond to their correct numerals. OCTober and DECember are just two examples to explain what I mean. Oct means eight so October should be moved to the eighth month of the year instead of being the tenth. December should be the tenth because Dec means ten.

"It could be construed as a black day for the English language — but not if you work in the public sector. Dozens of quangos and taxpayer-funded organisations have ordered a purge of common words and phrases so as not to cause offence.

Among the everyday sayings that have been quietly dropped in a bid to stamp out racism and sexism are "whiter than white", "gentleman's agreement", "black mark" and "right-hand man".


It points out that certain words carry with them a "hierarchical valuation of skin colour". The commission even urges employees to be mindful of the term "ethnic minority" because it can imply "something smaller and less important".


Anthony Horowitz, author of the Alex Rider children's spy books, said: "A great deal of our modern language is based on traditions which have now gone but it would be silly — and extremely inconvenient — to replace them all. A 'white collar worker', for example, probably doesn't wear one. An 'able seaman', under new regulations, could well be neither. 'Spanish practices' can happen all over Europe. We know what these phrases mean and we can find out from where they were derived. Banning them is just unnecessary."

Marie Clair, spokeswoman for the Plain English Campaign, said: "Political correctness has good intentions but things can be taken to an extreme. What is really needed is a bit of common sense." "

Holder to Appoint a Special Prosecutor to Investigate CIA Interrogators And Contractors

For all Obama's rhetoric about 'looking forward' and 'not looking back', his Attorney General Eric Holder's decision has just accomplished the opposite. A cynical person might think this is some sort of effort to divert attention from his failing health care over haul pitch, but this could present another problematic discussion regarding if people should take what Obama says seriously as he breaks another pledge.

"Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has decided to appoint a prosecutor to examine nearly a dozen cases in which CIA interrogators and contractors may have violated anti-torture laws and other statutes when they allegedly threatened terrorism suspects, according to two sources familiar with the move. Holder is poised to name John Durham, a career Justice Department prosecutor from Connecticut, to lead the inquiry, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the process is not complete."

Monday, August 24, 2009

Group Denounces PETA For Inhumane Treatment of Women

Video embedded below.

Advocacy Group Decries PETA's Inhumane Treatment Of Women

Rodent Eating Plant Found in The Philippines

There are a fair amount of carnivorous plants, but up until they were all though to target insects. If a plant captured a small rodent it was more of an anomalous treat then a successful strategy. A newly discovered pitcher plant named 'Nepenthes attenboroughii' appears to purposely and successfully target rats and other small rodents. It is the largest of the know varieties of the plant.

Picture at the source.

"The plant is among the largest of all pitchers and is believed to be the largest meat-eating shrub, dissolving rats with acid-like enzymes.

The team of botanists, led by British experts Stewart McPherson and Alastair Robinson, found the plant on Mount Victoria in the Philippines.


The team, which found the plant in 2007 following a two-month expedition, published details of their discovery in the Botanical Journal of Linnean Society earlier this year following a three-year study of all 120 species of pitcher plant. They decided to name the plant Nepenthes attenboroughii, after the wildlife broadcaster Sir David.

"My team and I named it in honour of Sir David whose work has inspired generations toward a better understanding of the beauty and diversity of the natural world," added Mr McPherson."

Unassisted Game Ending Triple Play

Playing against the New York Mets, Eric Bruntlett of the Philadelphia Phillies had an unassisted triple play to end the game. Unassisted triple plays are rare with only 14 others (15 now) on the books. Game ending triple plays are even more uncommon happening only once before.

Angel Pagan (Mets) hit both an inside the park and outside the park home run; another oddity.

"Bruntlett became the second player in major league history to get the final three outs on his own, accomplishing the feat Sunday to preserve the Philadelphia Phillies' 9-7 victory over the New York Mets.


Indeed, it was a stunning end to a crazy game that included an inside-the-park homer after the ball got stuck under the outfield wall.

Bruntlett turned the 15th unassisted triple play in big league history -- the second that ended a game. Detroit Tigers first baseman Johnny Neun also turned the trick on May 31, 1927, completing a 1-0 victory over Cleveland, according to STATS LLC.


With runners on first and second in the ninth inning and a run already in, Jeff Francoeur hit a line drive up the middle that appeared headed toward center field for a single. But both runners were stealing on the 2-2 pitch, so Bruntlett was in perfect position as he moved over to cover second base.

He caught the liner easily, stepped on second to double up Luis Castillo and then turned to tag Daniel Murphy for the third out. Murphy tried to backpedal away from Bruntlett, but had nowhere to go."

Question Still Remains, Where Did The Obama Administration Get Email Addresses From For Health Care Overhaul Spam Messages

Yesterday I had a post on the Obama administration admitting to
Using taxpayer money to send out Spam in support of their health care overhaul plan (Berman Post: Obama Administration Uses Taxpayer Money to Spam Americans Health Care Overhaul Message). The private company the White House used, GovDelivery, wants to make it very clear that they are in no way responsible for emailing the people who did not sign up. GovDelivery did email them, but they only email people from the lists they are given. The company does not share lists, nor provide contact information to clients. That means that the email addresses of people who never signed up to receive messages were given to GovDelivery, not the other way around. That in turn means that the question of exactly how the White House ended up with them is still unanswered.

As Ed Morrissey points out, the appearance of a cover up may be more of a big deal then what it is they are covering up. Spamming the American people is not nearly as bad as lieing about spamming the American people.

The three possible scenarios I can come up with are all bad to varying degrees for the Obama administration:

1) They really have no idea how they got the email addresses and the apparent bumbling is genuine.

2) They do know and are trying to cover up the truth out of embarrassment. In this scenario, what they did or the way they got the emails really is not 'that bad', but they are trying to cover it up anyways thinking the outcome would have been more favorable then admitting the truth. Here the cover up is worse then the truth.

3) The last scenario is that the truth is actually worse then the cover up. They know the truth and know what covering up is more favorable for them. Beyond legal technicalities there is one thing that pops into my mind that would fit in this category. That is if the Obama administration was harvesting emails from the 'snitch hotline' (

I can not tell you which is correct, but what I can tell you is the longer this drags out the worse it will be for the Obama administration.

"The White House blamed the dissemination of unsolicited e-mails on the firm they hired to manage its e-mail communications on political issues, but GovDelivery apparently doesn't want to play along with the Oval Office. Verum Serum notes that the company is denying that it supplies e-mail addresses to any of its clients, and insists that it just manages address books
basically GovDelivery says that it helps manage data-collection services for its clients (specializing in government agencies) that harvest e-mail addresses, but it doesn't supply them to the customer, and it doesn't take e-mail lists from other customers to use for other programs. The White House contention that the problem was created by its vendor gets quietly but firmly quashed by GovDelivery.
Frankly, the White House is making this a lot worse by trying to pass the buck. As far as I know, spam e-mails wouldn't break the law, although it would make the administration look cheesy enough, and that effect has already occurred. They're turning an embarrassment into an indictment of their integrity and honesty. The cover-up is always worse than the crime, and covering up a non-crime makes this administration look immature, petty, and bumbling."

Black Panther Who Intimidated Voters in Philadelphia Was/Is a Credentialed Poll Watcher For The Democrats

Jerry Jackson, one of the Black Panther who intimidated voters during the last presidential election in Philadelphia (Berman Post: Black Panthers Intimidating Voters in Pennsylvania?), was a credentialed poll watcher for the Democrats. He was also a member of Philadelphia's 14th Ward Democratic Committee.

John Fund from the Wall Street Journal gives us a brief recap of the 'slam dunk' case that was dropped against these individuals including Jerry Jackson (Berman Post: Voter Intimidation Complaint Against Night Stick Wielding Black Panther Members Dismissed); "When none of the defendants filed any response to the complaint or appeared in federal district court in Philadelphia to answer the suit, it appeared almost certain Justice would have prevailed by default. Instead, the department in May suddenly allowed the party and two of the three defendants to walk away. Against the third defendant, Minister King Samir Shabazz, it sought only an injunction barring him from displaying a weapon within 100 feet of a Philadelphia polling place for the next three years—action that's already illegal under existing law. There was outrage over the decision among Congressional Republicans, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and in the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division—especially after it was learned one of the defendants who walked was Jerry Jackson, a member of Philadelphia's 14th Ward Democratic Committee and a credentialed poll watcher for the Democratic Party last Election Day." (

Within a week of the charges being dropped, Jerry Jackson was reinstated; "Mr. Jackson's MySpace page still lists one of his main 'general interests' as 'Killing Crakkkas.' Four days after the Justice Department dropped the complaint against Mr. Jackson, he again was named an official election poll watcher for the Democratic primary in Philadelphia's municipal election." (

Hat tip to who opined "No wonder Eric Holder dropped the case".

Sunday, August 23, 2009


In Avalanche you play a white rectangle scrambling to reach higher ground as a red liquid rises from below. If the liquid reaches you then you lose. To get higher you have to jump on two different size square blocks that are constantly falling from the sky. Do not let them land on you because they will crush you.

Use the arrow keys to move around. Pressing in the direction of a block while you are touching the side of it will result in a slow sliding decent instead of a quick fall. You can jump from the slide. You can not double jump in the air. In some situations you may have to climb up a side by slide jumping a few times before landing at the top. There is no side to the board, jumping through either side will result in you instantly coming out the other at the same height.

Play Avalanche at

Guantanamo Detainees' Defense Attorneys 'Out' CIA Personal?

If these allegations are proven to be true, and this is going to be the standard modus operandi in trying these cases, then the worst fears of those who opposed civilian trials of terrorist suspects has been realized.

I believe in the presumption of inossints as much, if not more, then the next guy. That does not in any way mean the CIA agents should be 'outed' to potential terrorists.

"The Justice Department recently questioned military defense attorneys at Guantanamo Bay about whether photographs of CIA personnel, including covert officers, were unlawfully provided to detainees charged with organizing the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, according to sources familiar with the investigation.


Investigators are looking into allegations that laws protecting classified information were breached when three lawyers showed their clients the photographs, the sources said. The lawyers were apparently attempting to identify CIA officers and contractors involved in the agency's interrogation of al-Qaeda suspects in facilities outside the United States, where the agency employed harsh techniques. If detainees at the U.S. military prison in Cuba are tried, either in federal court or by a military commission, defense lawyers are expected to attempt to call CIA personnel to testify."

Obama Administration Uses Taxpayer Money to Spam Americans Health Care Overhaul Message

The Obama administration has admitted to using taxpayer money to spam the American people their Health Care overhaul message.

This story started when Fox News was told that people who in no way had ever signed up to receive White House emails got them. Gibbs tried to treat the issue as a non story, and the guess was made that Liberal groups were signing other people up. Others feared that this was from the White House's efforts to collect data/information.

While not commenting on data collection efforts (they have denied allegations in the past, though there are indications that is not true), they admitted to hiring a private company at taxpayer expense to send unsolicited (read Spam) emails.

"The White House revealed to FOX News that it hired a private communications firm to distribute mass e-mails, including unsolicited spam to help sell President Obama's health care plan.


The company, Govdelivery, describes itself as the world's leading provider of government-to-citizen communication solutions and says its e-mail service provides a fully-automated on-demand public communication system.

It is still unknown how much taxpayer money the White House provides to Govdelivery for its services."

The American Consulate in Jerusalem is Now The Quasi Embassy to The Palestinian Authority?

It appears that the American Consulate in East Jerusalem is / has become the Quasi Embassy to the Palestinian Authority. There is no indication of how long this has been going on for, but it appears to be that way now.

This has significant symbolic importance, and is sure to further agitate Israel, who themselves have been trying to get an American embassy in Jerusalem.

"The U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem is America's embassy to the Palestinian Authority, according to the U.S. Consul-General's response to a letter penned by an irate Jewish American.

Dr. Adam Splaver, a Florida cardiologist, wrote to the American Consul-General in Jerusalem on August 14 expressing outrage that the Consulate's website "did not mention Israel, projects in Israel, the people of Israel or the modern state of Israel. What it does mention is the numerous projects you have with the Palestinians and in their cities and towns.

"The consulate building is located in the eastern section of Jerusalem, in an area restored to Israel's capital during the1967 Six Day War. The Palestinian Authority has repeatedly demanded that Jerusalem be recognized as the capital of any future Arab state established alongside Israel. For now, the PA has refused to come to the negotiating table unless Israel first agrees to freeze all construction, including building to accommodate natural growth, in all post-1967 areas of Jerusalem, as well as in all of Judea and Samaria.

Splaver, a former president of the Young Israel synagogue in Hollywood, Florida, wrote that he was "appalled," adding that he believed the omission was not the result of an error, but rather a deliberate statement.

"As an American and as a Jew, I must voice my objections to your political message and clearly, proudly, and defiantly state that a united Jerusalem was, is and will be the capital of the Jewish homeland called Israel," he added.

The reply, received Monday, August 17, speaks for itself:

"Thank you for your feedback on the U.S. Consulate General Jerusalem's Website. Just to clarify, the Consulate General in Jerusalem is the principal representation to the Palestinian Authority. We also provide services to American citizens in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza.

"The U.S. embassy to Israel is in Tel Aviv and is focused on the bilateral relationship with Israel. Their website is The American Center in Jerusalem also provides information about the United States to the Israeli public. Their website is .

"Jerusalem is a final status issue. Israel and the Palestinians have agreed to resolve its status during negotiations. We will support their efforts to reach agreements on all final status issues."

While the current seat of the PA government is in Ramallah, the United States government appears to already recognize the Palestinian Authority's claim to Jerusalem. At the same time, successive American governments have failed to officially recognize Israel's declaration of the city as its capital since 1948.

"I am surprised that more aren't aware of the de facto embassy [to the PA in Jerusalem] that the U.S. government has set up," Plaver said in an exclusive telephone interview Tuesday afternoon with Israel National News. "I am in shock!""

Saturday, August 22, 2009

99 Bricks

99 Bricks is a game made by Weird Beard ( At first glance, it seems tetris in nature, but the game play is much different. As the name suggests, you get 99 tetris style pieces Each time you play. The brick fall slowly one by one. You have a solid 8 piece wide base to build on with a bottomless pit extending infinitely on either side. The goal of the game is to build a tower as high as you can using your 99 pieces.

The left key moves the current piece a half space to the left if you consider a space the length of an individual square. The right key moves the current piece a half space to the right. Up changes the orientation of the piece, just like standard tetris. Down moves you down slightly faster, but their is no instant drop in the game. Holding the "z" key zooms out so you can see your entire tower, and pressing "c" destroys the current piece. You do not get a replacement. Pressing "c" is the equivalent of moving way off the the side so it never touches your tower nor hits the base.

Sounds easy, but reaching skyward is not as simple as it sounds. Once your piece touches anything you lose control of it and you get a knew one. Gravity is in effect, so if you do not have a stable base your tower can wobble and topple. Holes or gaps in your tower to not deduct from your score as the only thing that matters is the maximum height you were able to achieve. To many of the wrong types of holes make for a weak tower that will collapse before reaching that far up. So you have to get the right balance. To solid a base and you will not have enough pieces to reach up high. To weak a base and your tower will collapse before reaching that high.

My high score thus far is 745.

To play head over to

"Countdown With Keith Olbermann" = "Jackass"

Some would call it a glaring error. Others might say it fits given Olbermann's level of journalism. I will just say that it is rather comical.

"Thank goodness The Times is the forthright, ethical institution that it is. And when a mistake happens, the newspaper rushes to set the journalistic record straight with an honest repair.

Here is an actual correction from Page A4 of today's print edition:

FOR THE RECORD TV listings: The Prime-Time TV grid in Thursday's Calendar section mistakenly listed MTV's "Jackass" show on the MSNBC cable schedule at 7 and 10 p.m. where instead MSNBC's "Countdown With Keith Olbermann" should have been listed.

It's not the Worst Mistake in the World.

But without this kind of correction, online too, a few thousand people might have tuned into MSNBC, the Obama administration's favorite cable channel, expecting to see a "Jackass" show, and instead they'd have found Olbermann.

Worse, what if nobody noticed the difference?

(UPDATE 11:24 p.m.: It was only the bronze worse person of the day, but nearly half of Keith Olbermann's Friday night audience rushed to notify us on Twitter that in honor of this tiny little Ticket item the recovering sports announcer had declared us one of the day's three worst people in the world.

Obama Fracturing Israel-USA Relations

Actions Obama has taken have made the Israeli government 'nervous' and strained relations on the government level, but now there is word that he is alienating a strong majority of the Israeli people. In doing so, he may actually be hurting the peace process.

"The Washington Post confirms what's been obvious for months -- Obama's insistence on a total settlement freeze has undermined his popularity among Israelis, caused the nation to rally around Prime Minister Netanyahu, and removed the U.S. (at least for now) as a serious force in the so-called peace process.

The magnitude of these "accomplishments" is difficult to overstate. As the Post observes, Israeli leaders have always been reluctant to break publicly with a U.S. president for the very good reason that Israelis pretty much demand that their leaders keep relations with the U.S. on a strong footing. Netanyahu himself was "punished" by Israeli voters when he failed to maintain good relations with President Clinton, the Post recalls.

But the unreasonableness of Obama's demand for a freeze on even "natural growth" construction in core settlements, coupled with his opposition to the building of fewer a relatively small number of apartment units in East Jerusalem, has changed the dynamic drastically. As we have noted, a July poll showed that 60 percent of Israelis don't trust Obama. Meanwhile, according to the Post, Netanyahu's decision to oppose Obama on settlements commands "overwhelming" support.
But the most damning bit of information, in Obama's own terms, is the fact that until late last year, the Palestinians were negotiating with Israel despite ongoing construction in the West Bank. Dan Meridor, Israel's intelligence minister, argues that the White House, by publicly demanding a total settlement freeze, caused the Palestinians to walk away from peace talks. It may be that the causation runs the other way, i.e., that the Palestinians were the prime movers, convincing Obama to place demands on Israel that President Bush had not, and then walking away in order to see whether Israel would knuckle under.

In either scenario, Obama has played this very badly. If most Israelis don't trust him, he has very little chance of advancing the "peace process.""

Obama Administration Increase Ten Year Deficit Projection by Nearly Two Trillion Dollars

The Obama administration has revised their ten year deficit projections by increasing it nearly $2 trillion. This number is closer to what the CBO had projected. The problem here goes beyond the huge deficit. Going from $7.1 trillion to $9 trillion is a huge change. Especially since the CBO was almost spot on as the Obama administration now believes. Some may perceive intentional deceit. This will impact the current health care debate as well. With the administration projecting an even higher deficit then before, it is even more important to cut costs and stop spending money. While the Obama administration has said the plan would be deficit neutral the CBO, the people who were right before, project a trillion dollar deficit. Others have claimed the CBO may even be under estimating the cost by trillion dollars. This will make it even harder to sell, what appears to be an already failing pitch, an overhaul of our health care system.

"The White House next week will revise the 10-year budget deficit from $7.1 trillion to $9 trillion. Officials at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) confirmed the enormous debt revision late Friday afternoon, hours after President Obama left for a 10-day vacation.


The new projections bring the White House numbers in line with estimates by the independent and non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). In June, CBO projected a 9.1 trillion deficit.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Kennedy (D) Wants to Change Law of Succession, Again

In what is an obvious political maneuver, Ted Kennedy (D) wants to change the laws of Succession for the second time in less then five years. The first change took the power to appoint the potential replacement for Kerry, had he been elected president in 2004, from Republican Governor Romney. Now with a Governor that is a Democrat and Obama supporter, Kennedy wants the Governor to have the power to appoint an interim replacement. I am not sure how well these political games will play with Massachusetts voters.

"Kennedy asked Massachusetts lawmakers to change state law to give Gov. Deval Patrick, a fellow Democrat and supporter of President Barack Obama, the ability to appoint an interim replacement to Kennedy's seat should Kennedy be unable to continue serving.

Under state law, an election is required within 145-160 days after a Senate seat becomes vacant. That would temporarily leave Massachusetts without a voice in the Senate — and Senate Democrats potentially one vote short on any health care overhaul legislation.
The state last changed its succession law in 2004 to require the special election. Before that the governor was allowed to name a successor. At the time, Democrats were worried that then-Republican Gov. Mitt Romney would be able to fill any vacancy created if Democratic Sen. John Kerry was elected president.

Republican House Leader Brad Jones said he proposed virtually the same idea in 2004 as Kennedy is proposing now — which would have allowed Romney to name someone to fill the seat on an interim basis — but it was overwhelmingly rejected by Democrats.

"If this is going to move forward, people are going to have to explain what's changed between then and now," said Jones, of North Reading.

Obama Administration Pushing Injured Veterans to Assisted Suicide?

What is worse then forcing Veterans to pay for their war related injuries with their own private insurance (Berman Post: Obama Backing Off Plan to Make Veterans Pay For Treatment of Service Related Injuries With Private Insurance), paying to convince Veterans to end their lives. That is what Jim Towey of the Wall Street Journal is saying they are doing.

"Last year, bureaucrats at the VA's National Center for Ethics in Health Care advocated a 52-page end-of-life planning document, "Your Life, Your Choices." It was first published in 1997 and later promoted as the VA's preferred living will throughout its vast network of hospitals and nursing homes. After the Bush White House took a look at how this document was treating complex health and moral issues, the VA suspended its use. Unfortunately, under President Obama, the VA has now resuscitated "Your Life, Your Choices."

Who is the primary author of this workbook? Dr. Robert Pearlman, chief of ethics evaluation for the center, a man who in 1996 advocated for physician-assisted suicide in Vacco v. Quill before the U.S. Supreme Court and is known for his support of health-care rationing.

"Your Life, Your Choices" presents end-of-life choices in a way aimed at steering users toward predetermined conclusions, much like a political "push poll." For example, a worksheet on page 21 lists various scenarios and asks users to then decide whether their own life would be "not worth living."
I was not surprised to learn that the VA panel of experts that sought to update "Your Life, Your Choices" between 2007-2008 did not include any representatives of faith groups or disability rights advocates. And as you might guess, only one organization was listed in the new version as a resource on advance directives: the Hemlock Society (now euphemistically known as "Compassion and Choices").

This hurry-up-and-die message is clear and unconscionable. Worse, a July 2009 VA directive instructs its primary care physicians to raise advance care planning with all VA patients and to refer them to "Your Life, Your Choices." Not just those of advanced age and debilitated condition—all patients. America's 24 million veterans deserve better.

Facebook Launches an Official Twitter App

If you want to use the official app, just head to and follow the instructions. There were already a few 'work-arounds', but this is the first offical one.

The why is harder to answer then the how. Some see this as a victory of sorts for Twitter. I see it as a continuation of Facebook's attacks on the site (past recent attacks listed below). You start with the logic that some Facebook users have amassed a large enough following on witter that they do not want to abandon the site. That meant splitting your time between the two sites. With this official app, you can spend more of your time on Facebook confident that your Twitter followers will stay updated. As your followers see a growing percentage of your Tweets coming from Facebook, they jump to the source and become a fan of your page leaving Twitter. Even if Twitter users never 'jump ship', there really is no downside for Facebook.

"Many people have asked us to make Facebook and Twitter work better together for those times when they want to share their content as widely as possible. We agree. Over the next few days, we will be releasing a feature that allows administrators of Facebook Pages to publish their Facebook updates to their Twitter accounts automatically. This will only link Facebook Pages to Twitter, not your individual profile.
If you manage a Facebook Page, you now will be able to decide whether to share updates with their Twitter followers, and you also will be able to control what type of updates to share: status updates, links, photos, notes, events or all of them. If you have multiple Pages, you will have the option to link each of those Pages to different Twitter accounts. This new feature will soon be available at

Past recent attacks on Twitter by Facebook:
Berman Post: Facebook Buys FriendFeed
Berman Post: Facebook Getting a 'Twitter Like' Search
Berman Post: Facebook Lite

MSNBC Responds to Edited False Racial Narrative Video

MSNBC has issued a statement to respond to the criticism of the edited video they aired to 'prove' a false racial narrative (Berman Post: MSNBC Edits Video to 'Prove' False Racial Narrative).

"An MSNBC spokesperson responded to POLITICO: "Contessa was speaking generally and not about that specific person with the automatic weapon.""

Of course she was speaking generally. That is not the point. The point is that a video appears to be edited to obscure the fact the the man holding the rifle was Black. The video they showed actually cut against the argument they were making so they just altered the video. A news network should not change or omit important facts and details to fit it into their story line. They should change the story line as facts warrant.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Usain Bolt Sets New 200M World Record (19.19 Seconds)

After breaking the World Record he set for the 100M dash (Berman Post: Usain Bolt Sets New 100M World Record (9.58 Seconds)), Usain Bolt broke the World Record he set for the 200M race.

"Jamaica's Usain Bolt shattered his own 200 meters world record on Thursday to win gold at the world championships in a breathtaking 19.19 seconds and secure his place as the greatest sprinter ever seen.

One year exactly after he posted 19.30 seconds at the Beijing Olympics to beat Michael Johnson's "untouchable" 19.32 from the Atlanta Games, he sliced another 11 hundredths of a second off just as he did in Sunday's 100 when he ran 9.58.

Bolt, who turns 23 on Saturday, is now the world record holder and world and Olympic champion in both sprints -- something no other athlete has achieved.

Video embedded below. (from

Democrats Admit Data Collected From

I am not sure this really counts as a true omission given the source, but is certainly qualifies as an attempted justification should a Democratic official say something similar in the future.


Greg Sargent breathlessly reports that

Now the DNC is striking back by pointing out that similar email collection is done on the Web sites of Senators and members of Congress, including … John Cornyn.

Over on Cornyn’s Senate Web site, for instance, you find that people who want to contact the Senator are asked to submit personal info, such as their names, addresses and emails, which are all required.

In other words, “John Cornyn does it too.”

But, as Cornyn points out, and the DNC admits, with Cornyn’s website it is an individual offering their own information to contact the Senator. With Barack Obama, it is people offering other people’s information.

The distinction is huge.

But the DNC argues this is a meaningless distinction. Following Cornyn’s logic about the White House, the DNC says, shouldn’t those who write in to Cornyn’s Web site to criticize the Senator ask what his office will do with their personal info?

Of course that is desperation on the Democrats’ part. Trying to deflect attention from the White House invading people’s privacy, the Democratic National Committee is making real news by admitting was used to collect data on people being turned in by third parties."

Past related posts:
Berman Post: The White House is Asking You to Report on The Opposition
Berman Post: Why The White House is Asking Supporters to 'Snitch' on The Opposition
Berman Post: Shut Down?
Berman Post: Shut Down - Confirmed

MSNBC Edits Video to 'Prove' False Racial Narrative

The commentary from MSNBC is of a racial narrative; "Here you have a man of color in the presidency and white people showing up with guns to their waist." There isa problem with the narrative. The man with the rifle, the person who the clip use appeared to be very carefully edited to not show with head or hands, was Black ( Makes you wonder if they ask themselves; Why let facts get in the way of a good story...

Video embedded below. (from

Obama Administration Voices Support For Local Gun Laws

In what may be an unaccepted move from the perspective of people who think the Obama administration will become 'gun grabbers', Gibbs voiced support for people legally carrying weapons near Obama events. I do not think this is a signal of policy or opinion shift. A general stance in favor of obeying the law could be an attempt to dissuade some fears without alienating his base. It does not mean that they will not try to change the laws in the future. (bold mine)

"Armed men seen mixing with protesters outside recent events held by President Obama acted within the law, the White House said Tuesday, attempting to allay fears of a security threat.

Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, said people are entitled to carry weapons outside such events if local laws allow it. "There are laws that govern firearms that are done state or locally," he said. "Those laws don't change when the president comes to your state or locality."

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

New Berman Post Logo

If you look at the top of the page, you will see that the plain text "Berman Post" headline has now been removed and replaced with the new logo.

Scientists Fabricate DNA Evidence

Scientists were able to fabricate DNA evidence which could be used in the future to question the reliability and value of said evidence. DNA evidence was not as conclusive as many people thought before this either. Lack of an exact time stamp, and the possibility that it was planted are legitimate attacks. This adds another avenue of attack. (via

"The scientists fabricated blood and saliva samples containing DNA from a person other than the donor of the blood and saliva. They also showed that if they had access to a DNA profile in a database, they could construct a sample of DNA to match that profile without obtaining any tissue from that person.

“You can just engineer a crime scene,” said Dan Frumkin ... “Any biology undergraduate could perform this.”

"WARNING Speed Limit Enforced by Angry Neighbors With Paintball Guns"

If you were driving and saw a sign that said "WARNING Speed Limit Enforced by Angry Neighbors With Paintball Guns", would you slow down? That is what Durham (North Carolina) residents are hoping. No reports of any cars getting nailed, or even being shot at, yet.

"The group, Angry Neighbors With Paintball Guns, posted signs at strategic locations throughout the city, warning motorists to slow down or risk being shot at with a paintball gun.

The group does not say if the signs are meant to serve only as an attention-grabber or if it plans to shoot paintballs at vehicles.

Picture embedded below. (from

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Moderate Drinking Good for Bone Health of Women?

New research has shown a correlation between moderate drinking and bone health/density for women. Correlation does not necessarily mean cause. Scientist say that it could be the hormones in the beer and not the alcohol which is responsible for the positive effect. Excessive drinking is known to have the opposite effect.

"Women who drink moderate amounts of beer may be strengthening their bones, according to Spanish researchers.
the team added that plant hormones in the beer rather than the alcohol may be responsible for the effects.

Experts urged caution, warning that drinking more than two units of alcohol a day was known to harm bone health.

Osteoporosis is a common problem for post-menopausal women, increasing the risk of disabling bone fractures later in life.

Eric Massa (D) - "I Will Vote Against [My Constituents'] Opinion if I Actually Believe it Will Help Them"

Congressman Eric Massa (D) opined that he would "vote adamantly against the interests of my district if I actually think what I am doing is going to be helpful". He then clarified that he meant he would "vote against their opinion if I actually believe it will help them". The difference is important, and I think the second line was really a clarification of the first; not some sort of cover. I admit I am a bit torn on this issue. Politicians should not be slaves to the polls, but Congressman especially are 'representatives' and should actually 'represent' the views of their constituents. He does acknowledge and appear to accept the consequence to him voting opposite what the the vast majority of his constituents want, that he will be voted out of office.

Video embedded below.

Transcript from

"MASSA: Listen, I tell every audience I’m in favor of single payer.

PARTICIPANT: If there was eighty twenty in the room?

MASSA: If there was a single payer bill?

PARTICIPANT: And there was a single payer….

MASSA: I will vote for the single payer bill.

PARTICIPANT: Even if it meant you were being voted out of office?

MASSA: I will vote adamantly against the interests of my district if I actually think what I am doing is going to be helpful.

(inaudible participants' comments regarding the "interests" of the district statement from Mr. Massa)

Massa: I will vote against their opinion if I actually believe it will help them.
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