Sunday, February 28, 2010

Iran Moves Their Nuclear Fuel Topside

Iran has moved a large chunk of their nuclear fuel to the surface, now the question on everyone's mind is why. The simplest is that they have run out of space underground. They may also have come to the realization that being underground is not as much of a defense as they originally believed. Bring the fuel topside is the political equivalent of an 'I dare you to' to anyone thinking of a military strike; meaning mostly to Israel. Of course, it could always be just to 'screw' with the rest of the world. It is hard to tell what is going through the mind of the Iranian leadership.

"When Iran was caught last September building a secret, underground nuclear enrichment plant at a military base near the city of Qum, the country’s leaders insisted they had no other choice. With its nuclear facilities under constant threat of attack, they said, only a fool would leave them out in the open.

So imagine the surprise of international inspectors almost two weeks ago when they watched as Iran moved nearly its entire stockpile of low-enriched nuclear fuel to an above-ground plant. It was as if, one official noted, a bull’s-eye had been painted on it.

Canada Takes Gold in Ice Hockey

Consider this the follow up to Do You Believe in Miracle Improbabilities; Yes!. In the rematch, the Canadian men won in over time to take gold. This followed the same match up with the same result for the women, minus the overtime (and with a different end score). Both US teams won the sliver metal.

Radio Show Caller Asks For Help Continuing to Steal Neighbors Wi-Fi

If you are stealing a neighbors wi-fi you should stop, and not just because of the illegality. You are opening yourself up to a host of problems dealing with unsecured networks. Along the same lines, if your network is unsecured you should secure it; it is not a complicated process.

I am waiting for the case where one neighbor sues another to reopen their wi-fi network that they have been using. The argument will likely be a property one. Simply put, if you use a piece of land for a certain amount of time (varies by state) and the owner does not tell you to stop then you gain control of the land. Do not really think it will work, but still think it could be tried.

Video embedded below.

Gmail Labs Graduation And Retirement

When talking about features in labs, 'graduation' is success, and 'retirement' is a flop. It is not necessarily failure, just a failure to garner significant interest. The features graduated are not standard; meaning you no longer have to turn them on. The features retired means that even if you are suing them now you will not be able to shortly.

"A couple have already graduated from Labs and we've already retired one: Tasks was the first to become a regular part of Gmail, Right-side Labels was retired when we updated the way labels work, and Offline Gmail graduated a couple months back. Today, true to the original intent of Gmail Labs, we're graduating six more features and retiring five.

  1. Search Autocomplete
  2. Go To Label
  3. Forgotten Attachment Detector
  4. YouTube Previews
  5. Custom Label Colors
  6. Vacation Dates
  1. Muzzle
  2. Fixed Width Font
  3. Email Addict
  4. Location in Signature
  5. Random Signature

These decisions were made based based mainly on usage, taking feature polish and your feedback into account. We've also tweaked some of the graduating features to improve them before making them default Gmail features. For example, we've combined Go To Label with Search Autocomplete, making it easier than ever for you to find what you're looking for.

Measuring Tweets

This graph shows the staggering growth that Twitter has had, especially considering the spam messages have been removed from the count shown.

Picture embedded below.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

ACORN 'Dissolved as a National Structure'

James O'Keefe, Hannah Giles, and Andrew Breitbart may now be able to claim victory over ACORN after their string of victories (Baltimore, Washington DC, New York, San Bernardino California, San Diego California, Philadelphia, Los Angeles take one, Los Angeles take two), calling out Holder to investigate 'or else', Document Dump - San Diego (California)), ACORN as a national organization is no more. This could turn into a Pyrrhic victory if they take there eye off the ball and the 'mini ACORNS' spawn a host of new problems.

"The embattled liberal group ACORN is in the process of dissolving its national structure, with state and local-chapters splitting off from the underfunded, controversial national group, an official close to the group confirmed.

"ACORN has dissolved as a national structure of state organizations," said a senior official close to the group, who declined to be identified by name because of the fierce conservative attacks on the group that began when a conservative filmmaker caught some staffers of its tax advisory arms on tape appearing to offer advice on incorporating a prostitution business.

Chile Rocked by Magnitude 8.8 Earthquakes, One of The Strongest Ever Recorded

"One of the largest earthquakes ever recorded tore apart houses, bridges and highways in central Chile on Saturday and sent a tsunami racing halfway around the world. Chileans near the epicenter were tossed about as if shaken by a giant, and authorities said at least 214 people were dead.

The -8.8 quake was felt as far away as Sao Paulo in Brazil — 1,800 miles (2,900 kilometers) to the east. The full extent of damage remained unclear as scores of aftershocks — one nearly as powerful as Haiti's devastating Jan. 12 earthquake — shuddered across the disaster-prone Andean nation.

British MEP Nigel Farage Eviscerates EU President Herman Van Rompuy

British MEP Nigel Farage may be angling to be the next Daniel Hannan; but against the EU instead of against big government?

Video embedded below.

Past posts on Daniel Hannan:

Berman Post: Daniel Hannan (MEP [South East England]) Eviscerates Prime Minister Brown

Berman Post: Daniel Hannan Interviews

Berman Post: Daniel Hannan on Morning Joe

Berman Post: Daniel Hannan on Nationalized Health Care

Berman Post: Daniel Hannan's Victory Speech
Berman Post: Daniel Hannan on Nationalized Health Care

Geico Rep Refuses to Save me 15 Percent or More on my Car Insurance

Then again, I did not give them the full 15 minutes.

Picture embedded below.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Obama Administration Slams Israel For Designating Heritage Sites

My friend Ian Dubrowsky refers to the move as the "Isreali government chooses expansion over peace and security - again ". I do not see it that way. It is unclear exactly what the move is meant to do. If the site was not important to the Palestinians, there is a good chance it would have been destroyed already (see and). If anything it may actually give a free bargaining chip to future negotiations (should a deal be possible). It would be to simply grant unrestricted access to the Israelis to the site in recognition of its importance.,7340,L-3854323,00.html

"The Obama administration criticized Israel for designating two shrines on Palestinian territory as Israeli national heritage sites.

The criticism came as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Wednesday she hopes long-stalled peace talks between Israelis and the Palestinians will resume. Clinton told a congressional committee that groundwork is being laid to restart the talks with the help of US envoy George Mitchell.

Two Feet of Snow (With 'Actual' Feet)

There is no body because the last three blizzards were not enough of a protection to the effects of global warming.

Picture embedded below.

Two feet of snow

United States Plans a Billion Dollar Embassy in London

What was our modern day security break through to keep this billion dollar embassy, the most expensive to date, secure; a moat. That is right, a 100 foot moat to keep the terrorist bombers at bay. At least if they planned on attacking via the main road. Would be much cooler if it was completely surrounded by the moat and it had a draw bridge. Just saying...

Picture embedded below.

Design for the new US Embassy in London

"The United States has unveiled plans for its new $1 billion high-security embassy in London — the most expensive it has ever built.

The proposals were met with relief from both the present embassy’s Mayfair neighbours and the residents and developers of the Battersea wasteland where the vast crystalline cube, surrounded by a moat, will be built.

The decision to abandon the former site in Grosvenor Square by 2016 came after a prolonged battle with residents angered by the security measures demanded after the September 11 attacks. More than a hundred residents took out a full-page advertisement in The Times to oppose tighter measures that they said would leave the area more vulnerable to attack.

Andrew Klavan - "Liberalism Exposed: Beyond the Elitist, Preening America-Hating Stereotypes"

Video embedded below.

Florist For Men - "Don't Know What You Did? Say Sorry Anyway."

Picture embedded below.

Alfonzo - "Pillars"

Video embedded below.

Steven Crowder - "World Trade Center DISASTER!"

It really is a disgrace that we have not rebuilt yet.

Video embedded below.

British Furious With Obama's Indifference on The Falklands Island Dispute

In the latest diplomatic dispute over the Falkland Islands the United States have refused to recognize British sovereignty. American critics see this as Obama voting present on this issue, but the Brits are mighty pissed off, and understandably so. They are not asking us for troop, just the equivalent of moral support.

"The Falklands War was a perfect example. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan offered Margaret Thatcher his backing in her determination to retake the islands after the Argentine invasion.

Now an Argentine President is once again claiming sovereignty over 'Las Malvinas'.

The U.S. response? That it takes 'no position on the sovereignty claims of either party'. Last night, it was even suggested that this was punishment for a British court releasing details of U.S. torture of a terrorist suspect.

So when British soldiers are dying in Helmand in support of his foreign policy, President Obama 'takes no position' over Britain's right to territory which not only is ours without question, but had to be retaken at a cost of 254 British lives.

This deeply regrettable response leaves us with the question; what is the purpose of a special relationship that seems to involve British sacrifice on one side and American indifference on the other?

Obama Picks His Nose

Call this the second Booger Bomb in as many days. If real political discourse ever gets this low, I think it is safe to say that we will lose as a country.

Video embedded below.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Israel Unveils 'New' Drone Fleet That Can Reach Iran

Israel's 'new; drone fleet is not actually new, nor is it that ground breaking. It is essentially a bigger version of another model, which has already seen service in Operation Cast Lead. What is important is that it puts to bed the silly notion that Israel can not reach Iran. You can debate if they should, but there is little doubt that the could. The unveiling ceremony itself may have been more for consumption by potential buyers then anything else. It is a nice looking plane that will serve a useful function, but it is neither new nor revolutionary.

"Israel's air force on Sunday introduced a fleet of huge pilotless planes that can remain in the air for a full day and could fly as far as the Persian Gulf, putting rival Iran within its range.

The Heron TP drones have a wingspan of 86 feet (26 meters), making them the size of Boeing 737 passenger jets and the largest unmanned aircraft in Israel's military. The planes can fly at least 20 consecutive hours and are primarily used for surveillance and carrying diverse payloads.

At the fleet's inauguration ceremony at a sprawling air base in central Israel, the drone dwarfed an F-15 fighter jet parked beside it. The unmanned plane resembles its predecessor, the Heron, but can fly higher, reaching an altitude of more than 40,000 feet (12,000 meters), and remain in the air longer.

More at

US Refuses to Recognize British Sovereignty in Falklands Oil Dispute

The United States is refusing to recognize British sovereignty over the Falkland islands in the latest flare up of diplomatic tension. I said it before, Falkland War part two could be around the corner?

"Washington refused to endorse British claims to sovereignty over the Falkland Islands yesterday as the diplomatic row over oil drilling in the South Atlantic intensified in London, Buenos Aires and at the UN.
Senior US officials insisted that Washington’s position on the Falklands was one of longstanding neutrality. This is in stark contrast to the public backing and vital intelligence offered by President Reagan to Margaret Thatcher once she had made the decision to recover the islands by force in 1982.

“We are aware not only of the current situation but also of the history, but our position remains one of neutrality,” a State Department spokesman told The Times. “The US recognises de facto UK administration of the islands but takes no position on the sovereignty claims of either party.”

Military Charity

About four months back when I first put up ads I said that I plan to donate some of the money that I make to worthy causes/organizations. About a week ago, without realizing it, I passed the magic $100 threshold. That means there is a check heading my way in the not to distant future. I have decided that the first cause or charity I will donate to will be a military one. This post is meant to solicit suggestions about military charities you consider notable. You can suggest one that you have worked for/with, have donated to yourself, or know is a good/effective/efficient charity. The only restriction on suggestions is that it has to be related to the military. Feel free to comment with your suggestion or email me if you feel more comfortable. At some point early next week I will set up a poll to let you decide where the money should go.

Jobless Claims Rise ... Unexpectedly (Sort of)

Amusingly if it were not so sad, jobless claims rose unexpectedly. It is the 'unexpectedly' that is the amusing part, not the people who no longer have jobs. It has been come expected that the rise will be described as unexpected. Indeed this time around it was so unexpected that it was actually expected. Yeah, does not really make sense to me either, but that is what it says. Somehow it was unexpected that the backlog of claims that had to be added due to the snow would actually be added. Do not try and understand, just accept that when reading the same economic report it will be bracketed in more or less favorable terms depending on what party is in power, and you need to make personal adjustments in your mind accordingly to compensate.

"New claims for unemployment benefits jumped unexpectedly last week, mostly because state agencies processed a backlog of claims caused by snowstorms the previous week.
In its report on jobless claims, the Labor Department said first-time claims for unemployment insurance rose by 22,000 to a seasonally adjusted 496,000.

Afghan Soldiers And Taliban Taunt Each Other Over The Radio

As any kid who grew up with a walkie-talkie knows, it is all about the frequency. If you are not on the same frequency as your buddy you will not be able to talk to them, and if you share the frequency with other kids you will hear each other. That is what is happening with Afghan soldiers and the Taliban because of their use of antiquated equipment, and they are both using the opportunity to try and convince the other to join their side.

"It's a remarkable combination of psychological warfare, political roundtable and trash-talking. Afghan soldiers and Taliban fighters taunt each other, debate each other and try to persuade each other almost daily over their radios, at times while even shooting at each other.
asked Maj. Said Rahim Hakmal what they talk about. Politics, he said. "The Taliban will say things like why do you side with the Americans? Why do you sell out your country? You love Obama more than Afghanistan."

Hakmal said the standard response goes something like, "The Americans are here to help our country function again. They don't want to stay. They want to help, then leave. You should help, too."

Then the shooting starts.

Breitbart Drops a 'Booger-Bomb' Video

This video is not nearly as dramatic as it sounds, nor is it supposed to be. This seems more of a warning shot by Breitbart then anything else against 'smear merchants'. A sort or, 'if you force me to, I can play this game better then you'. As I said, it is not a serious attack, but with Breitbart you never know what he has waiting in the queue.

Video embedded below.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

CountBrown with Keith Olbermann

This is the latest in the back and forth between Olbermann calling the Tea Party Protesters racist asking where are the black faces (ignoring that MSNBC edits them out), and the criticism that MSNBC should look in the mirror. Olbermann responded that there are black people on MSNBC. The criticism in this video is that while there may be black people on MSNBC they are apparently not on Olbermann's show. One black guest has appeared on his show in the last ten episodes. He did appear twice.

Video embedded below.

Olbermann Responds to The Dallas Tea Party Invitation ... No Thanks

Olbermann responded to the Dallas Tea Parties' invitation with a simple 'no thanks'; while continuing to 'race-bate' the Tea Party Protesters, and brushing off criticism that MSNBC should look in the mirror.

Video embedded below.

Obama And The Democrats on the Nuclear Option Circa 2005

Obama and the Democrats may have a little bit of wiggle room. They were talking about the 'nuclear option' which would have permanently done away with the filibuster while the Democrats right now are pushing what can be construed as a one time exception. The language they use though would make such a justification the equivalent of splitting atoms (more than splitting hairs); which of course could be looked at as a nuclear option itself.

Video embedded below. (via)

Jobs Bill Passes Senate With 13 Republican Yes Votes

The Jobs Bill is a shell of its former self, paired down to 'just' $15 billion dollars. That was apparently enough to get some bipartisan support with 13 Republicans, including the newly elected Scott Brown, to vote for it. One Democrat was among the no votes. It is expected to easily pass in the House if they vote on it. Some are considering a much larger bill instead increasing the amount more then ten fold to $154 billion.

"The Senate easily passed a $15 billion jobs bill on Wednesday morning amid hope that the measure could provide a blueprint for other items on President Obama's agenda.

The measure passed 70 to 28, with 13 Republicans joining 57 Democrats in support of the package. One Democrat, Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, voted against it.

Man Hit by The Same Train Twice in Two Weeks

A Costa Mesa man may want to reconsider his commute after being run over by the same train twice in as many weeks. None of the injuries are suspected to be life threatening. Suicide is not suspected.

"A 57-year-old Costa Mesa man who had his hand severed by a Metrolink train two weeks ago was apparently hit by the same train again Tuesday morning, police said. His injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.
Paramedics treated injuries to the man's left arm and right hand. His left hand was severed two weeks ago in another incident.

The man, who has not been identified publicly, said that he had fallen from the passenger platform and been run over by the train. He told authorities the same thing two weeks ago.

Son of Hamas Founder Was a Top Israeli Agent

When I talk about the Mossad being a 'ridiculously awesome' (that is the proper technical term) intelligence agency, this is part of what I am talking about.

"The son of one of Hamas' founders served as a top informant for Israel for more than a decade, providing top-secret intelligence that helped prevent dozens of suicide bombings and other attacks against Israelis, a newspaper reported Wednesday.

Mosab Hassan Yousef, dubbed as "the Green Prince" by his handlers, was one of the Shin Bet security service's most valuable sources, Israel's Haaretz daily said. His reports led to the arrests of several high-ranking Palestinian figures during the violent Palestinian uprising that began in 2000, according to the newspaper.

Yousef's father — Sheik Hassan Yousef — was a founding member of the Islamic militant group Hamas in the 1980s. He is currently serving a six-year sentence in an Israeli prison for his political activities.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dallas Tea Party Invites The White People of MSNBC

It is in the same vain as this video, but with an invitation I doubt Olbermann will accept.

Video embedded below.

Obama Surpasses Bush For Longest Stretch Between Press Conferences

After the debacle of his 'I do not have all the facts, but the police acted stupidly' it may not be to much of a surprise that he took a bit of a hiatus. It may be surprising that the hiatus has now stretch beyond the longest window his predecessor had.

"President George W. Bush's longest stretch between prime-time, nationally televised press conferences was 214 days, from April 4 to Nov. 4, 2004. Mr. Obama tops that record on Monday, going 215 days - stretching back to July 22, according to records kept by CBS Radio's veteran reporter Mark Knoller.

The president has seemingly shunned formal, prime-time sessions since his last disastrous presser, when he said police in Cambridge, Mass., "acted stupidly" by arresting a Harvard professor who broke into a home that turned out to be his own.

Valerie Jarrett - 'We Should Talk Down to Those Stupid Conservatives so They Can Understand we Are Right'

It may be a tad bit on the harsh side, but it seems the gist of her point.

Video embedded below.

Canadian Premier Defends Choosing to Leave Canada For Medical Treatment in The United States

Canadian Premier Danny Williams left Canada to pay for medical treatment in the United States he could otherwise have gotten for free. At the time I asked rhetorically if a better case against socialized medicine could be made then the leaders of those countries leaving to pay for medical treatment elsewhere. The answer turns out to be yes; the justification the leader gives as to why they chose to do it. For the rest of the post I am going to do a sort of quote-translation interplay.

Quote - "Danny Williams says he was aware his trip to the United States for heart surgery earlier this month would spark outcry, but he concluded his personal health trumped any public fallout over the controversial decision."
Translation - he knew it would look bad, and may cost him politically, but he knew his best chance was in the United States.

Quote - ""This was my heart, my choice and my health," Williams said late Monday from his condominium in Sarasota, Fla.
"I did not sign away my right to get the best possible health care for myself when I entered politics."
Translation - Canadian healthcare is inferior to American health care.

Quote - "His doctors in Canada presented him with two options - a full or partial sternotomy, both of which would've required breaking bones, he said.
He said he spoke with and provided his medical information to a leading cardiac surgeon in New Jersey who is also from Newfoundland and Labrador. He advised him to seek treatment at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami.
Williams said Lamelas made an incision under his arm that didn't require any bone breakage.
Translation - American healthcare has a wider set of options, and the skill/technology to be less invasive.

Quote - ""I would've been criticized if I had stayed in Canada and had been perceived as jumping a line or a wait list. ... I accept that. That's public life," he said."
Translation - Canadian heathcare has long lines or wait lists for important procedures. Canadian politicians may be able to 'jump over' the 'little people'.

Quote - ""(But) this is not a unique phenomenon to me. This is something that happens with lots of families throughout this country, so I make no apologies for that.""
Translation - Canadians are not stupid, we know our system is worse then our neighbors to the south. Those that can, escape the system when their lives are on the line.

Quote - "Williams said his decision to go to the U.S. did not reflect any lack of faith in his own province's health care system."
Translation - Please no one call me out on my past support of this system now that you have concrete proof I would not trust it with my life, even though I force you to trust it with yours.

Quote - ""We do whatever we can to provide the best possible health care that we can in Newfoundland and Labrador. The Canadian health care system has a great reputation, but this is a very specialized piece of surgery that had to be done and I went to somebody who's doing this three or four times a day, five, six days a week.""
Translation - Our system is set up in a way that forces generalization to the determent of the patients unfortunate enough to be trapped in it.

Quote - ""I'm probably going to be around for a long time, hopefully, if God willing," he said."
Translation - Please do not screw up your medical system America, I might need to make use of it in the future.

Source for above quotes (via)

First Thing Soldier Does When They Spot an Enemy is ... Call Their Lawyer

Binding the hands of our soldier unnecessarily is just asking for problems. It is not at all clear that legal advice will cut down on accidental civilian casualties any more than a mandatory delay between acquisition of the target and executing the strike. Essentially that is what requiring legal advice is with the added possibility of a 'no go' order. The delay gives our adversary time to set the IED and scurry away to do it all over again, the next time possibly without us seeing it. It is hard to not see this as the current administration (unless this started under Bush, but this is the first I am hearing of it) turning a war into a legal/police action; just as they are/have turned the 'war on terror' into a 'police action on terror'.

"When Capt. Zinni spotted the four men planting the booby trap on the afternoon of Feb. 17, the first thing he did was call his lawyer.

"Judge!" he yelled.

Capt. Matthew Andrew, judge advocate for 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, advises the battalion about when it is legal to order the airstrikes. He examined the figures on the video feed closely. "I think you got it," Capt. Andrew said, giving the OK for the strike.

He ended up not taking the shot because of children in the danger zone (possibly intentionally as a human shield).

Chimps Found to be Intelligent Enough to Appreciate Liquid Volume Differences

Chimps have been found to be able to distinguish between different quantities of liquids under a number of different methods. This includes a simple choice, to figuring out quantities based on pour length (even at varying heights), and judging if a pour represents more then what they can see in a separate container.

"Chimpanzees are intelligent enough to appreciate how big a pint of liquid is, or the volume of any other measure.

That shows they have an ability to gauge the difference between continuous quantities, such as a pint or half pint of non-alcoholic fruit juice.

Previously, apes have only been known to differentiate discrete quantities, such as eight sweets over five.

That means chimps are more intelligent than we thought, and shows they have a basic grasp of the physics of liquids.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Do You Believe in Miracle Improbabilities; Yes!

It has now been 30 years since the 'miracle at Lake Placid', and half a century since the Americans beat the Canadian Olympic team. That has now ended. Not as big as an upset as the USSR victory, but still surprising.

Video embedded below.

Reid - "Men, When They're Out of Work, Tend to Become Abusive"

What a bizarre thing to say. If it was uttered by a republican it would be called sexist. Since it was a Dem, I almost expect this to be commented on as a brilliant campaign tactic; 'The Republicans are pro abusing women because they want to make us unemployed and unemployed men tend to become abusive.'

I kid of course; not about the quote, but about the campaign.

"Reid said that the effects of joblessness on domestic violence were especially pronounced among men, because, Reid said, women tend to be less abusive.

"Women don't have jobs either, but women aren’t abusive, most of the time," he said.

"Men, when they're out of work, tend to become abusive," the majority leader added. "Our domestic crisis shelters in Nevada are jammed.”

Sign - "Waterless Hand Rinse (No Water Required)"

I am roaming the hospital trying (in vain) to entertain myself and came across this sign.

Just in case you were not sure why there are no steps that involve water in the "Waterless Hand Rinse" system, the sign assures you by saying "(No Water Required)".

How many people had to wash their hands after using this product or ask for confirmation before they added the second assurance?

Picture (hopefully) embedded below.

Credit CARD Act Takes Effect

Congress' attempt to reform the credit card market takes effect today. While they may have had the best of intentions, it is not at all clear it will have a positive impact. I tend to think less restrictions generally do more good then an increase to allow for more and greater competition.

"Lo some nine months ago, Congress took a politically courageous stand against mom, apple pie, and credit card issuers by supposedly reining in the excesses of the latter (excesses which largely consisted of giving lots of people the ability to purchase goods and services on the automated installment plans otherwise known as credit cards). The goal of the new legislation was to clear the books, start anew, blah blah blah, and hem in the contagion known as excessive credit, which was widely believed to be behind the financial crisis that may or may not be over. And, at the same time, of course, Congress was going to make sure that all Americans had access to the credit that is our god-given birthright. The streets of America are paved with gold MasterCards and all that.

So now the new rules are in effect. And credit card issuers (banks, mostly) are now coming up with new ways to squeeze money out of customer"

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Toyota - 'Obama And The Democrats Are Not Industry Friendly'

They may be speaking 'truth to power' or may just be upset about there share (or lack of) the stimulus, but insulting the people who are in a position to rake you over the coals in a few days is generally not the best idea. Call it a case of really poor timing.

"Internal Toyota documents derided the Obama administration and Democratic Congress as “activist” and “not industry friendly," a revelation that comes days before the giant automaker's top executives testify on Capitol Hill amid a giant recall.

According to a presentation obtained under subpoena by the House Oversight and Government Relations committee, Toyota referred to the “changing political environment” as one of its main challenges and anticipated a "more challenging regulatory" environment under the Obama administration's purview.

Liberals Protest With Torches And Pitchforks

If these were conservative protesters we would hear about how violent and threatening they were. Olbermann would ask where the black faces are and then call them all racists. But they are not, so they do not have to worry.

Video embedded below.

Half Kilometer Explosive Line Used to Clear IEDs

Overkill; seems like it. That is if it is used to clear an IED. I have seen something similar, all be it much shorter, used to clear a path in a mine field. It is was an Israeli weapon that could be carried by a soldier. This seems just a massively beefed up version of it.

Video embedded below.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Skeet Shooting With a Tank

Where can I sign up?

Video embedded below.

Update: Original video taken down; this is the same video from a different source.

High School Accused of Spying on Kids Using School Issued Laptop Webcams

A high school is accused of using a school issued laptop to spy on their kids at home. A student was reportedly confronted with a print out of the image when called in to the office accused of inappropriate behavior.

Parents are understandably upset. The school may have been spying on kids at home in their bedroom. They may have run afoul of various child pornography laws if they activated the camera at the wrong time.

"A Lower Merion family has set off a furor among students, parents, and civil liberties groups by alleging that Harriton High School officials used a webcam on a school-issued laptop to spy on their 15-year-old son at home.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court, the family said the school's assistant principal had confronted their son, told him he had "engaged in improper behavior in [his] home, and cited as evidence a photograph from the webcam embedded in [his] personal laptop issued by the school district."

The suit contends the Lower Merion School District, one of the most prosperous and highest-achieving in the state, had the ability to turn on students' webcams and illegally invade their privacy.
The district's Apple MacBook laptops have a built-in webcam with a "security feature" that can snap a picture of the operator and the screen if the computer is reported lost or stolen, Young said.

Enzymes to Lower Biofuel Prices

New enzymes promise to lower biofuel prices to competitive levels with petroleum fuels. Cheap reliable energy is good for the economy, as is a renewable source that we could grow domestically and cut imports. My concern with this is the same for all bio fuels; what will it do to the price and availability of food?

"Producing a biofuel cheap enough to compete at the pump with oil has remained as elusive as a ghost on the walls of Elsinore castle. But this week, two Danish companies announced they had developed enzymes capable of breaking down cellulose into ethanol cheaply enough to produce $2-a-gallon gas.

The two companies, Genencor and Novozyme, both announced different cost-cutting enzymes at the 15th Annual National Ethanol Conference in Orlando, Florida. Obviously, the exact recipe of either enzyme remains a proprietary secret, but the fact that both multiple companies came out with cost-cutting enzymes at the same time represents a larger shift towards affordability in the ethanol market.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Justice Department Changing Policy on Medical Marijuana Again?

A few months back the Justice Department seemed to give the all clear for states to set their own medical marijuana policy. That may be changing with federal officers arresting a medical marijuana growing operation. While their seems to be a few carve outs here; namely that the feds just do not like people bragging about it or this grower was not just selling for medical uses, the statement appears to preclude that. We will have to wait a bit to see if there are more arrests and raids, or this was a 'one off' from someone who did not get the first memo.

"Federal drug-enforcement agents Friday raided the home of a Highlands Ranch man who a day earlier bragged in a 9News report about the large and profitable medical-marijuana-growing operation in his basement.

Along with the raid, Jeffrey Sweetin, the Drug Enforcement Administration's special agent in charge of the Denver office, sent a message to anyone involved in Colorado's increasingly profitable medical-marijuana industry.

"It's still a violation of federal law," Sweetin said. "It's not medicine. We're still going to continue to investigate and arrest people."

Olbermann - 'Where Are The Black Faces' at Tea Party Protests

Someone should ask Olbermann where the black faces are at MSNBC (clip below does a nice job of showing that). Perhaps the reason he does not see to many black people at the rallies is because MSNBC edits them out. Of course, it really is a stupid thing to say to begin with, but is especially given MSNBC's own composition and history. Does this clip by Olbermann's twisted logic mean that MSNBC is racist?

Video embedded below.

Mardi Gras Parade Float Mocked Obama

Picture embedded below.

Augmented Reality Tattoo's

The tattoo might not look like much to the unassisted eye, but seen through an augmented reality device it will literally come alive.

Video embedded below.

Tiny Armored Car

The words 'armored car' and 'cute' generally do not fit well in the same sentence, but it works here. People inside the vehicle have full protection from small arms and grenade blasts; better then they would be protect by the shields you see riot police carry.

Picture embedded below.

"The battery-powered Anti-Terrorist Assault Cart (ATAC) can carry two fully-armed soldiers or security officers along as is traverses narrow indoor corridors and rides service elevators in the hunt for evil-doers, Agence France-Presse reports.

The $45,000 vehicle also boasts bullet-proof windows that can survive grenade blasts, according to manufacturer Metaltech Motor Bodies Pvt Ltd. ...

Four firing ports would allow the armed driver and rider to fire at enemies from the safety of their vehicle, and could possibly offer more protection than a bunker shield carried by SWAT or elite police units.

Head of The UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change Yvo de Boer to Resign

Yvo de Boer to resignation is set to be effective on July 1, 2010. Let me leave you with a somewhat, but not directly, related clip.

Video embedded below.

"Polar bears may be doing fine, but the climate commissars of the United Nations are feeling the heat, as their claims of scientific “consensus” melt under them. Now we have the first big UN climocrat to desert the cooling/warming/sinking ship. Yvo de Boer, head of the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, has announced he will be resigning as of July 1, 2010."

"Operation Iraqi Freedom" Becoming "Operation New Dawn"

The change is name is less of a rebranding and more of an attempt to signal a clear mission shift; at least that is what the official word is. Skeptics see this as another avenue to try to take credit for success.

"ABC News has learned that the Obama administration has decided to give the war in Iraq -- currently known as Operation Iraqi Freedom -- a new name.

The new name: "Operation New Dawn."

In a February 17, 2010, memo to the Commander of Central Command, Gen. David Petraeus, Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the "requested operation name change is approved to take effect 1 September 2010, coinciding with the change of mission for U.S. forces in Iraq."

Five Muslim Soldiers Arrested on Suspicion of Trying to Poison The Food at Fort Jackson

This is a pretty incredible story, except for the part when they say they do not know if the men are still in custody. If they really did try to poison food at the army base I would think they would not let them go. Not really sure what to think of this just yet.

"CBN News has learned exclusively that five Muslim soldiers at Fort Jackson in South Carolina were arrested just before Christmas. It is unclear whether the men are still in custody. The five were part of the Arabic Translation program at the base.
The men are suspected of trying to poison the food supply at Fort Jackson.

A source with intimate knowledge of the investigation, which is ongoing, told CBN News investigators suspect the "Fort Jackson Five" may have been in contact with the group of five Washington, DC area Muslims that traveled to Pakistan to wage jihad against U.S. troops in December. That group was arrested by Pakistani authorities, also just before Christmas.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Andrew Stack Torched His House With Two People Still Inside Before Embarking on His Suicide Plane Attack

Andrew Stack, the man suspected of intentionally flying single engine plane in to an Austin IRS building (his manifesto), lit his house on fire before going on his suicide mission with two people still inside (step daughter and wife/girlfriend?). They both made it out alive.

"The fire, which happened around 9:15 a.m. in the Scofield Farms neighborhood, destroyed the $236k home that belonged to Joseph Stack, a local pilot. Stack has not been located. Local officials have not confirmed to KXAN that there's a connection. Joseph A. Stack is a registered pilot of a Piper PA 28-236.

A 12-year-old girl and a woman were rescued from the burning house. The girl is presumed to be to Stack's stepdaughter. There has been no conformation that Stack is the pilot of the plane that crashed into the building, or that he was connected to the fire - other than reports by CNN from a federal official.

Copy of Andrew Stack's Final Post on His Website

This is a 'source selection' copy of Andrew Stack's (Man Suspected of Intentionally Flying Single Engine Plane in to an Austin IRS Building) final post on his website since I figure it will soon be flooded with traffic and knocked off line. Make sure to read the bottom bit even if you can not stomach to read the whole thing through. Looks to me like he is a communist and not a Tea Party Protester.

"If you’re reading this, you’re no doubt asking yourself, “Why
did this have to happen?”  The simple
truth is that it is complicated and has been coming for a long time.  The writing process, started many months
ago, was intended to be therapy in the face of the looming realization that
there isn’t enough therapy in the world that can fix what is really
broken.  Needless to say, this rant
could fill volumes with example after example if I would let it.  I find the process of writing it
frustrating, tedious, and probably pointless… especially given my gross
inability to gracefully articulate my thoughts in light of the storm raging in
my head.  Exactly what is therapeutic
about that I’m not sure, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

We are all taught as children that without laws there would
be no society, only anarchy.  Sadly,
starting at early ages we in this country have been brainwashed to believe
that, in return for our dedication and service, our government stands for
justice for all.  We are further
brainwashed to believe that there is freedom in this place, and that we should
be ready to lay our lives down for the noble principals represented by its
founding fathers.  Remember? One of
these was “no taxation without representation”.  I have spent the total years of my adulthood unlearning that crap
from only a few years of my childhood. 
These days anyone who really stands up for that principal is promptly
labeled a “crackpot”, traitor and worse.

While very few working people would say they haven’t had
their fair share of taxes (as can I), in my lifetime I can say with a great
degree of certainty that there has never been a politician cast a vote on any
matter with the likes of me or my interests in mind.  Nor, for that matter, are they the least bit interested in me or
anything I have to say.

Why is it that a handful of thugs and plunderers can commit
unthinkable atrocities (and in the case of the GM executives, for scores of
years) and when it’s time for their gravy train to crash under the weight of
their gluttony and overwhelming stupidity, the force of the full federal
government has no difficulty coming to their aid within days if not hours?  Yet at the same time, the joke we call the
American medical system, including the drug and insurance companies, are
murdering tens of thousands of people a year and stealing from the corpses and
victims they cripple, and this country’s leaders don’t see this as important as
bailing out a few of their vile, rich cronies. 
Yet, the political “representatives” (thieves, liars, and self-serving
scumbags is far more accurate) have endless time to sit around for year after
year and debate the state of the “terrible health care problem”.  It’s clear they see no crisis as long as the
dead people don’t get in the way of their corporate profits rolling in.

And justice? You’ve got to be kidding!

How can any rational individual explain that white elephant
conundrum in the middle of our tax system and, indeed, our entire legal system?  Here we have a system that is, by far, too
complicated for the brightest of the master scholars to understand.  Yet, it mercilessly “holds accountable” its
victims, claiming that they’re responsible for fully complying with laws not
even the experts understand.  The law
“requires” a signature on the bottom of a tax filing; yet no one can say
truthfully that they understand what they are signing; if that’s not “duress”
than what is.  If this is not the
measure of a totalitarian regime, nothing is.

How did I get here? 

My introduction to the real American nightmare starts back in
the early ‘80s.  Unfortunately after
more than 16 years of school, somewhere along the line I picked up the absurd,
pompous notion that I could read and understand plain English.  Some friends introduced me to a group of
people who were having ‘tax code’ readings and discussions.  In particular, zeroed in on a section
relating to the wonderful “exemptions” that make institutions like the vulgar,
corrupt Catholic Church so incredibly wealthy. 
We carefully studied the law (with the help of some of the “best”,
high-paid, experienced tax lawyers in the business), and then began to do
exactly what the “big boys” were doing (except that we weren’t steeling from
our congregation or lying to the government about our massive profits in the
name of God).  We took a great deal of
care to make it all visible, following all of the rules, exactly the way the
law said it was to be done.

The intent of this
exercise and our efforts was to bring about a much-needed re-evaluation of the
laws that allow the monsters of organized religion to make such a mockery of
people who earn an honest living. 
However, this is where I learned that there are two “interpretations”
for every law; one for the very rich, and one for the rest of us… Oh, and the
monsters are the very ones making and enforcing the laws; the inquisition is
still alive and well today in this country.

That little lesson in patriotism cost me $40,000+, 10 years
of my life, and set my retirement plans back to 0.  It made me realize for the first time that I live in a country
with an ideology that is based on a total and complete lie.  It also made me realize, not only how naive
I had been, but also the incredible stupidity of the American public; that they
buy, hook, line, and sinker, the crap about their “freedom”… and that they
continue to do so with eyes closed in the face of overwhelming evidence and all
that keeps happening in front of them.

Before even having to make a shaky recovery from the sting of
the first lesson on what justice really means in this country (around 1984
after making my way through engineering school and still another five years of
“paying my dues”), I felt I finally had to take a chance of launching my dream
of becoming an independent engineer.

On the subjects of engineers and dreams of independence, I
should digress somewhat to say that I’m sure that I inherited the fascination
for creative problem solving from my father. 

I realized this at a very young age.

The significance of independence, however, came much later
during my early years of college; at the age of 18 or 19 when I was living on
my own as student in an apartment in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  My neighbor was an elderly retired woman
(80+ seemed ancient to me at that age) who was the widowed wife of a retired
steel worker.  Her husband had worked
all his life in the steel mills of central Pennsylvania with promises from big
business and the union that, for his 30 years of service, he would have a
pension and medical care to look forward to in his retirement.  Instead he was one of the thousands who got
nothing because the incompetent mill management and corrupt union (not to
mention the government) raided their pension funds and stole their
retirement.  All she had was social
security to live on.

In retrospect, the situation was laughable because here I was
living on peanut butter and bread (or Ritz crackers when I could afford to
splurge) for months at a time.  When I
got to know this poor figure and heard her story I felt worse for her plight
than for my own (I, after all, I thought I had everything to in front of
me).  I was genuinely appalled at one
point, as we exchanged stories and commiserated with each other over our
situations, when she in her grandmotherly fashion tried to convince me that I
would be “healthier” eating cat food (like her) rather than trying to get all
my substance from peanut butter and bread. 

I couldn’t quite go there, but the impression was made.  I decided that I didn’t trust big business
to take care of me, and that I would take responsibility for my own future and

Return to the early ‘80s, and here I was off to a terrifying
start as a ‘wet-behind-the-ears’ contract software engineer... and two years
later, thanks to the fine backroom, midnight effort by the sleazy executives of
Arthur Andersen (the very same folks who later brought us Enron and other such
calamities) and an equally sleazy New York Senator (Patrick Moynihan), we saw
the passage of 1986 tax reform act with its section 1706.

For you who are unfamiliar, here is the core text of the IRS Section
1706, defining the treatment of workers (such as contract engineers) for tax
purposes. Visit this link for a conference
committee report

( regarding
the intended interpretation of Section 1706 and the relevant parts of Section
530, as amended. For information on how these laws affect technical services
workers and their clients, read our discussion here


(a) IN GENERAL - Section 530 of
the Revenue Act of 1978 is amended by adding at the end thereof the following
new subsection:

(d) EXCEPTION. - This
section shall not apply in the case of an individual who pursuant to an
arrangement between the taxpayer and another person, provides services for such
other person as an engineer, designer, drafter, computer programmer, systems
analyst, or other similarly skilled worker engaged in a similar line of work.

amendment made by this section shall apply to remuneration paid and services
rendered after December 31, 1986.



"another person" is the client in the
traditional job-shop relationship.

"taxpayer" is the recruiter, broker, agency,
or job shop.

"individual", "employee", or
"worker" is you.


Admittedly, you need to read the treatment to understand what
it is saying but it’s not very complicated. 

The bottom line is that they may as well have put my name right in the
text of section (d).  Moreover, they
could only have been more blunt if they would have came out and directly
declared me a criminal and non-citizen slave. 
Twenty years later, I still can’t believe my eyes.

During 1987, I spent close to $5000 of my ‘pocket change’,
and at least 1000 hours of my time writing, printing, and mailing to any
senator, congressman, governor, or slug that might listen; none did, and they
universally treated me as if I was wasting their time.  I spent countless hours on the L.A. freeways
driving to meetings and any and all of the disorganized professional groups who
were attempting to mount a campaign against this atrocity.  This, only to discover that our efforts were
being easily derailed by a few moles from the brokers who were just beginning
to enjoy the windfall from the new declaration of their “freedom”.  Oh, and don’t forget, for all of the time I
was spending on this, I was loosing income that I couldn’t bill clients.

After months of struggling it had clearly gotten to be a
futile exercise.  The best we could get
for all of our trouble is a pronouncement from an IRS mouthpiece that they
weren’t going to enforce that provision (read harass engineers and scientists).  This immediately proved to be a lie, and the
mere existence of the regulation began to have its impact on my bottom line;
this, of course, was the intended effect.

Again, rewind my retirement plans back to 0 and shift them
into idle.  If I had any sense, I
clearly should have left abandoned engineering and never looked back.

Instead I got busy working 100-hour workweeks.  Then came the L.A. depression of the early
1990s.  Our leaders decided that they
didn’t need the all of those extra Air Force bases they had in Southern
California, so they were closed; just like that.  The result was economic devastation in the region that rivaled
the widely publicized Texas S&L fiasco. 
However, because the government caused it, no one gave a shit about all
of the young families who lost their homes or street after street of boarded up
houses abandoned to the wealthy loan companies who received government funds to
“shore up” their windfall.  Again, I
lost my retirement.

Years later, after
weathering a divorce and the constant struggle trying to build some momentum with
my business, I find myself once again beginning to finally pick up some
speed.  Then came the .COM bust and the
911 nightmare.  Our leaders decided that
all aircraft were grounded for what seemed like an eternity; and long after
that, ‘special’ facilities like San Francisco were on security alert for
months.  This made access to my
customers prohibitively expensive. 
Ironically, after what they had done the Government came to the aid of
the airlines with billions of our tax dollars … as usual they left me to rot
and die while they bailed out their rich, incompetent cronies WITH MY
MONEY!  After these events, there went
my business but not quite yet all of my retirement and savings.

By this time, I’m thinking that it might be good for a
change.  Bye to California, I’ll try
Austin for a while.  So I moved, only to
find out that this is a place with a highly inflated sense of self-importance
and where damn little real engineering work is done.  I’ve never experienced such a hard time finding work.  The rates are 1/3 of what I was earning
before the crash, because pay rates here are fixed by the three or four large
companies in the area who are in collusion to drive down prices and wages… and
this happens because the justice department is all on the take and doesn’t give
a fuck about serving anyone or anything but themselves and their rich buddies.

To survive, I was forced to cannibalize my savings and
retirement, the last of which was a small IRA. 
This came in a year with mammoth expenses and not a single dollar of
income.  I filed no return that year
thinking that because I didn’t have any income there was no need.  The sleazy government decided that they
disagreed.  But they didn’t notify me in
time for me to launch a legal objection so when I attempted to get a protest
filed with the court I was told I was no longer entitled to due process because
the time to file ran out.  Bend over for
another $10,000 helping of justice.

So now we come to the present.  After my experience with the CPA world, following the business
crash I swore that I’d never enter another accountant’s office again.  But here I am with a new marriage and a
boatload of undocumented income, not to mention an expensive new business
asset, a piano, which I had no idea how to handle.  After considerable thought I decided that it would be
irresponsible NOT to get professional help; a very big mistake.

When we received the forms back I was very optimistic that
they were in order.  I had taken all of
the years information to Bill Ross, and he came back with results very similar
to what I was expecting.  Except that he
had neglected to include the contents of Sheryl’s unreported income; $12,700
worth of it. To make matters worse, Ross knew all along this was missing and I
didn’t have a clue until he pointed it out in the middle of the audit.  By that time it had become brutally evident
that he was representing himself and not me.

This left me stuck in the middle of this disaster trying to
defend transactions that have no relationship to anything tax-related (at least
the tax-related transactions were poorly documented).  Things I never knew anything about and things my wife had no clue
would ever matter to anyone.  The end result
is… well, just look around.

I remember reading about the stock market crash before the
“great” depression and how there were wealthy bankers and businessmen jumping
out of windows when they realized they screwed up and lost everything.  Isn’t it ironic how far we’ve come in 60
years in this country that they now know how to fix that little economic
problem; they just steal from the middle class (who doesn’t have any say in it,
elections are a joke) to cover their asses and it’s “business-as-usual”.  Now when the wealthy fuck up, the poor get
to die for the mistakes… isn’t that a clever, tidy solution.

As government agencies go, the FAA is often justifiably
referred to as a tombstone agency, though they are hardly alone.  The recent presidential puppet GW Bush and
his cronies in their eight years certainly reinforced for all of us that this
criticism rings equally true for all of the government.  Nothing changes unless there is a body count
(unless it is in the interest of the wealthy sows at the government trough).  In a government full of hypocrites from top
to bottom, life is as cheap as their lies and their self-serving laws.

I know I’m hardly the first one to decide I have had all I
can stand.  It has always been a myth
that people have stopped dying for their freedom in this country, and it isn’t
limited to the blacks, and poor immigrants. 

I know there have been countless before me and there are sure to be as
many after.  But I also know that by not
adding my body to the count, I insure nothing will change.  I choose to not keep looking over my
shoulder at “big brother” while he strips my carcass, I choose not to ignore
what is going on all around me, I choose not to pretend that business as usual
won’t continue; I have just had enough.

I can only hope that the numbers quickly get too big to be
white washed and ignored that the American zombies wake up and revolt; it will
take nothing less.  I would only hope
that by striking a nerve that stimulates the inevitable double standard,
knee-jerk government reaction that results in more stupid draconian
restrictions people wake up and begin to see the pompous political thugs and
their mindless minions for what they are. 
Sadly, though I spent my entire life trying to believe it wasn’t so, but
violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer.  The cruel joke is that the really big chunks
of shit at the top have known this all along and have been laughing, at and
using this awareness against, fools like me all along.

I saw it written once that the definition of insanity is
repeating the same process over and over and expecting the outcome to suddenly
be different.  I am finally ready to
stop this insanity.  Well, Mr. Big
Brother IRS man, let’s try something different; take my pound of flesh and
sleep well.


The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to
each according to his need.

The capitalist creed: From each according to his
gullibility, to each according to his greed.


Joe Stack (1956-2010)


I did not see any copyright notices on the site. If I missed it and get a legitimate take down notice I will comply with it.

Man Suspected of Intentionally Flying Single Engine Plane in to an Austin IRS Building

Andrew Stack, after posting an online rant against the IRS, has apparently committed a successful suicide attack against the IRS flying a single engine plane into the building. No word on casualties yet.

Update: His final manifesto. Scroll to the bottom; looks to me like he is a Communist and not a Tea Party Protester. End of Update:

Update 2: Andrew Stack lit his house on fire before going on his suicide mission with two people still inside. End of Update: (via)

"A single engine plane smashed into the side of an Austin office buildling today and authorities are investigating reports that the pilot may have burned down his house down and then steered the plane into the building in a suicidal attack on the IRS, sources told ABC News.

The pilot was identified as Andrew Stack. The IRS has offices in the building complex that was struck.

Eyewitnesses who saw the plane slam into the building said the pilot appeared to be in control of the plane in the moments before the crash.
Jones said that in the brief glimpse she got of the pilot he looked to be awake and not struggling. As her car passed under the plane's path she heard a "large explosion" and immediately pulled over to see the building in flames.

She said the plane flew "just straight, right in" to the complex. "You think, did he go in there on purpose?" Jones asked.

"The man suspected of intentionally crashing an airplane into a Texas office building appears to have posted a lengthy online diatribe attacking the Internal Revenue Service and declaring that, "I know I'm hardly the first one to decide I have had all I can stand." The manifesto, which you'll find below, is dated "2/18/10" and is signed "Joe Stack (1956-2010)."
The online posting is titled "Well Mr. Big Brother IRS man... take my pound of flesh and sleep well."

Falkland War Part Two Around The Corner?

I do not expect hostilities to break out just yet, but Argentina and England appear to be on course for a Falklands War part two. If Argentina does not back down I would expect to see some English Navel and air forces move into the area to bolster the few forces they have already. I would also expect a few nations to try to intervene diplomatically. At that point it will either spiral out of control or the Argentina's will back down as England is unlikely to give in on any substantive points. It is not something to be overly concerned about just yet, but definitely something worth keeping an eye on.

"Argentina has declared that it is taking control over all shipping between its coast and the Falklands, in effect awarding itself the power to blockade the disputed islands.

According to a decree issued by President Kirchner last night, all ships sailing through the waters claimed by Argentina must hold a permit. The measure seems likely to deepen a row over conflicting claims to oil beds lying inside the Falkland Islands’ territorial waters.

Argentina still claims sovereignty over the islands it calls “Las Malvinas” nearly three decades after the end of the Falklands conflict in which more than 1,000 people died. Tensions over the islands remained buried until the discovery of potentially rich energy reserves in the Falklands’ seabed. Argentina protested to Britain this month over plans to begin offshore drilling near the islands.

Yesterday’s decree amounts to an Argentine move to control all traffic from South America towards the islands, including an oil rig due to arrive today and start drilling next year.

12 Year Old Girl Arrested/Handcuffed For Doodling

This 12 year old girl who was arrested, and dragged out of school in handcuffs in front of her friends did not drop and 'f-bombs' or 'n-bombs'. She did not threaten to kill anyone, or even express any sort of negative emotion. She wrote "I love my friends Abby and Faith. Lex was here 2/1/10 :)". While I do not condone vandalism, it is hard to believe that not one person in the chain stopped and thought; 'are we really handcuffing and dragging a 12 year old school girl down to the police station and out of class for this?'.

"There was no profanity, no hate. Just the words, "I love my friends Abby and Faith. Lex was here 2/1/10 :)" scrawled on the classroom desk with a green marker.

Alexa Gonzalez, an outgoing 12-year-old who likes to dance and draw, expected a lecture or maybe detention for her doodles earlier this month. Instead, the principal of the Junior High School in Forest Hills, New York, called police, and the seventh-grader was taken across the street to the police precinct.

Alexa's hands were cuffed behind her back, and tears gushed as she was escorted from school in front of teachers and -- the worst audience of all for a preadolescent girl -- her classmates.

"They put the handcuffs on me, and I couldn't believe it," Alexa recalled. "I didn't want them to see me being handcuffed, thinking I'm a bad person."

Decrease in Newly Unemployed - Reality vs Stimulus Promise

The top graph is the number of newly unemployed people each month. The bottom graph adds what the numbers should be based on stimulus promises. It is hard to fathom how people could still think that the stimulus work not even talking into account the failed unemployment rate promises.

Pictures embedded below.

Head to the source for the base numbers.

Buzz Tips From Google

After Launched of Buzz Google scrambled to implement updates (twice) to deal with serious privacy bugs. Now that the dust has settled they are out with a short list of tips to improve your use and experience.

"1. Format your posts. When posting in Buzz, you can format text just as you can in Gmail chat: *bold*, _italics_, or -strikethrough- all work.
2. View a summary of your own Buzz activity at
3. Use an @reply to send a post directly to someone's inbox. If you want to make sure one of your friends sees a certain Buzz post, you can direct it to their inbox with an @reply. Type the "@" symbol followed by the first few letters of their name, and select their email address from the list.
4. Try keyboard shortcuts to fly through buzz. Turn on keyboard shortcuts from Settings
5. Mute posts so they don't get sent to your inbox. Comments on your posts and comments after your comments send buzz directly to your inbox. If you don't want a lively conversation to keep appearing in your inbox as people reply to it, you can mute it. Click the arrow in the corner of a buzz post and select "Mute this post."
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