Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Robert Goulet Dies
Robert Goulet died Tuesday night, he was 73 years old. He died while awaiting a lung transplant.
Robert Goulet, the singer and actor who became inextricably linked with the Broadway show in which he made his debut, "Camelot," died Tuesday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 73.
Goulet had been hospitalized since Oct. 13 breathing through a ventilator while awaiting a lung transplant.
He had taken ill while flying home to Las Vegas after performing a Sept. 20 concert in Syracuse, N.Y. Ten days after doctors diagnosed his ailment as minor, he was rushed to the hospital.
Born Nov. 26, 1933 to French-Canadian parents in Lawrence, Mass., he was raised in Edmonton, Alberta and in his late teen years appeared on Canadian television. He moved to New York to look for acting work and in 1960 made his Broadway debut portraying Sir Lancelot in "Camelot" opposite Richard Burton and Julie Andrews. A favorite on the "Ed Sullivan Show" during that show's run, Goulet made his recording debut for Columbia Records in 1961, which earned him the Grammy for best new artist, topping Peter, Paul and Mary and the Four Seasons.
Goulet had only two minor hit singles, "My Love, Forgive Me (Amore, Scusami)" and "What Kind of Fool Am I?," and in 1970 gave up on his recording career to focus on television and concerts.
He is survived by his wife, Vera, two sons Christopher and Michael, his daughter Nicolette, and his two grandchildren.
Two interesting videos below. The first is one of a series of commercials he did for ESPN and I think it's pretty funny. The second is a medley of his hits.
Congress Takes A Holiday
What? You don't agree with me?
Congress, again - under the "new Dems" - after ten, long, arduous, hardworking months will return to a four day work week; something the Dems chastised the Republicans for - that is, until the Dems decided to slack off. The NYT:
Shortly after winning a majority last year, Democrats triumphantly declared that they would put Congress back to work, promising an “end to the two-day workweek.” And indeed, the House has clocked more time in Washington this year than in any other session since 1995, when Republicans, newly in control, sought to make a similar point.
But 10 months into the session, with their legislative agenda often in gridlock with the Bush administration and a big election year looming, the Democrats are now planning a lighter schedule when the 110th Congress begins its second year in mid-January.
The House majority leader, Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, told fellow Democrats this week that the House would not be in session next year on Fridays, except in June for work on appropriations bills.
Explaining that decision to reporters, Mr. Hoyer said, “I do intend to have more time for members to work in their districts and to be close to their families.”
His comments drew snickers from Republicans, who are quite happy to share their view that the American people did not get much value for all the extra time lawmakers spent in Washington.
Still, Democrats conceded that the hectic pace had taken a toll, especially on lawmakers who must travel long distances home and who have small children. And members of Congress have not gotten a raise or cost-of-living increase this year. [Awwwwwww - they have widdle children. Were they not aware of the demands of the job when they ran for office? Were their children not "little" then? And no raise or COL increase? How draconian! Why, Congress must look like the hull of a slave ship! - Drake]
[Representative Thaddeus G. McCotter, Republican of Michigan said ] changing the schedule was an example of Democrats’ breaking promises. “They said ‘five-day weeks,’ ” he said. And he scoffed at the notion that Mr. Hoyer was also responding to Republicans who wanted more time in their home districts.
Wasserman Schultz, Democrat of Florida, said the Democrats had to put in the hours to make up for Republican failings last year. “There was so much left undone by the 12 years of Republican control of the Congress, it was absolutely essential that we put our nose to the grindstone,” [Bwa - ha - ha - ha! - Drake] she said.
Wasserman Schultz has three children, 8-year-old twins and a 4-year-old. “It’s tough,” she said in a telephone interview.
Hmmmm - apparently she's not the right woman for the job.
Snippy in-fighting within Congress too, from The Politico:
House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer appealed for the support of about 30 wavering Republican lawmakers.
The GOP lawmakers, all of whom had expressed interest in a bipartisan deal on the SCHIP legislation, were furious that the Democratic leader from Maryland had not reached out to them in a more serious way early on. They also criticized him and Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel of Illinois for failing to stop his allies outside Congress from running attack ads in their districts, while they were discussing a bipartisan deal. [That's because this modus operandi is all DemocRATS know how to do. - Drake]
“They spent $1.5 million through their various shill outreach groups attacking me and a handful of my colleagues,” Rep. Ric Keller (R-Fla.) said before the Hoyer meeting, “but they did not spend five minutes to approach me to ask for my vote.”
Rank-and-file Democrats have turned on their leaders this fall in a series of minor upheavals, forcing them to suspend consideration of bills to update warrantless wiretapping laws, reclassify the killing of ethnic Armenians almost a century ago, expand workplace protections for gays and lesbians and require all electronic voting machines to produce paper records.
Republicans, meanwhile, have done everything in their power to slow the legislative apparatus with the few procedural tools available to them.
Democrats are reviewing poll after poll showing sagging popularity not only of Congress but also of their congressional leaders.
The 110th Congress has addressed nothing and accomplished even less. Why, I thought the Dems were going to do the bidding of the Insane Liberal Clown Posse by cutting the funding for the war. Isn't that what they campaigned on? No wonder the Dem constituency is livid with their "leaders" - their "leaders" lied to them. Hilarious, simply hilarious.
Popular folklore tells us that Caligula appointed his horse, Incitatus, to the Roman Senate. I think we should replace all the Dems in Congress - except for Joe Lieberman - with horses. How much worse could it be?
Ralph Nader: Run, Ralph, Run!
Nader says... VOA:
In 1996 and 2000, Nader ran as a presidential candidate for the Green Party, shunning the policies of both the Democratic and Republican Parties. He announced his bid for the White House again in 2004 as an independent.
"Presidential politics has been broken for a long time. The two parties have been broken. They need a wake-up call. They need somebody to hold their feet to the fire," he says.
President George W. Bush won re-election in 2004. Many Democrats dubbed Nader a spoiler for his refusal, once again, to get out of the race. "How can you spoil a spoiled political system, to begin with, and second: if we all have an equal right to run for political office, then none of us are spoilers or all of us are spoilers of one another."
Nader says today that presidential hopefuls must raise hundreds of millions of dollars to be competitive. "And where do you think they are going to get that money? They are not going to get that money from the people who harvest our food or the people that clean up after us or the people who do the everyday work in the country. They are going to get it from the millionaires, the mega-millionaires, the billionaires and the corporations.
Nader -- now 73 -- says he has not made up his mind whether to make another run for the White House. But one thing seems certain -- as a self-proclaimed public citizen, he will continue to let the American people know where he stands.
Look - idiots, I mean, Democrats - your precious boy, Albert Gore, Junior - the huge carbon footprinter - could have easily won in 2000 if only he had ridden Bubba's coattails. But no, Mister Internet Inventor was only too anxious to prove that he was his "own man." And he lost.
Despite recount after recount, despite Gore's best attempts at trying exclude counting absentee Military votes (how's that again, you Dems support the Military, just not the mission. And you don't want to count their votes?), the hanging, pregnant and puckered chads - he lost. Lost, Lost, Lost!
You Dems know Gore could have ridden to four, if not eight, years in the White House if only Al had hopped onto Clinton's coattails. But he didn't - and you're still a bunch of WATB over that.
Newsflash for the Dems: Gore's not going to enter the 2008 race, but keep telling yourselves that he will. Doing so keeps consistent your lifelong mantra of lying to yourselves and others.
Run, Ralph, Run!
Labels: Ralph Nader
Some Parents Still Letting Their Kids
Dress Up As Sluts For Halloween
From The WaPo:
Gabby Cirenza wanted to be a referee for Halloween. The outfit she liked had a micro-mini black skirt and a form-fitting black and white-striped spandex top held together with black laces running up the flesh-exposing sides. She looked admiringly at the thigh-high black go-go boots that could be bought as an accessory. And she thought the little bunny on the chest was cute.
"Absolutely not," said her mother, Cheryl. "That is so not happening."
Gabby is 11.
And the Playboy Racy Referee costume was only the latest that her mother had vetoed one pre-Halloween-crazed afternoon at Party City in Baileys Crossroads as too skimpy, too revealing, too suggestive .
Bawdy Halloween costumes, however, have become the season's hottest sellers in recent years. Not just for women, but for girls, too. And parents such as Cirenza don't like it.
Cheryl Cirenza shook her head in exasperated disbelief. "This is all so inappropriate. It's really disturbing," she said, eyeing a wall of such girl and preteen costumes as Major Flirt in army green, the bellybutton-baring Devilicious and a sassy, miniskirted French Maid, pink feather duster included. She'd just turned down her 13-year-old daughter's request for a Sexy Cop outfit. "When I was their age, I was a bunch of grapes."
But that was back in the days when Halloween was still a homemade kind of holiday, when an old sheet with eyeholes was a perfectly acceptable ghost and clumsily carved pumpkins on the front porch were about as elaborate as the decorations got. Now, Halloween is big business. Americans are expected to spend upwards of $5 billion this year on candy, ghoulish decorations and costumes. And the hottest trend in costumes, retailers say, is sexy. And young.
Fishnet tights, once associated with smoky cabarets or strip joints, now come in girls' sizes and cost $3.99.
Even little girl costumes show more leg and tummy than they used to. "They're just good sellers," [said
Joe Thaler, head of TransWorld Exhibits Inc., runs the annual Halloween Expo for big-box retailers.]
The Halloween costume trend is not only leading to tense mother-daughter standoffs, but it is also part of a far larger worry that young girls are becoming sexualized. Task forces of psychologists study the trend. Books and academic articles are being produced with such titles as the upcoming "So Sexy So Soon" and "From Barbie to Britney: The Sexualization of Childhood." And yet the costumes sell.
"Youth isn't being lived through anymore. It's being rushed through," Stephanie Terrazas, 20, said as she watched her 11-year-old sister pick out a "deluxe" sequined Dorothy dress that, unlike the chaste, high-necked one in the little girl size, was lower cut and had two strategically placed poofs of fabric.
Megan Smith, 16, perused the costumes at Party City with her father, Dan. She first tried on the Prisoner, a slinky spandex number with a little button at the throat and open chest like a '70s disco halter dress.
On another aisle, a frazzled Kathy Rafferty was doing her best to fend off her 6-year-old daughter Grace's choices. Grace liked the Mega Star costume, with a tiny bandeau top, bare midriff and low-slung sparkle pants. And she thought the Runway Diva in leopard skin, big sunglasses and knee-high boots was cool.
"Some of these are just incredibly sleazy. Nothing in here except Tinkerbell is innocent," Rafferty said. "Last year, Grace was a snow princess. Now, this is what she likes. I don't know what's happened."
Meanwhile, Shawn Bailey was trying not to lose it as her 11-year-old daughter Da'Nesha Holmes picked out a costume. Her son had found his Darth Vader costume, and her baby had her Baby Bratz pink kitty outfit. But Da'Nesha was too tall for most of the girl costumes, and her mother was having none of the rest. Bar Wench. Cocktail Hunny. The half-angel, half-devil Naughty Nice..
Da'Nesha pointed to Costume 529, Hot Flash, a nurse with thigh-high garters.
"No. You need something for you," Bailey said, sighing. "You're a little girl."
The rest of you, you parents who let your little girls dress up as Bar Wench, Cocktail Hunny or "Sally Slut" - just WTF are you thinking? Can't you let your kids be kids? Why the rush to push them into the Jon Benet routine? Are you afraid your child will "not like you" for letting them dress up like a slut? Well - you're the parent, you're supposed to be THE BOSS. So your kid is angry with you for making them dress up as a bunch of grapes instead of Dancing 'Ho - they'll get over it.
If you really want to achieve maximum shock-value, dress your kid up as a Cigarette! Oh, the nasty looks and comments you will get!
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
John Edwards: King Of The Spenders
Hold onto your wallets if John Edwards wins the White House, folks. Little chance he will, but still...what he proposes is scary - way more scary than Halloween.
The Concord Monitor reports the following:
John Edwards says if he's elected president, he'll institute a New Deal-like suite of programs to fight poverty and stem growing wealth disparity. To do it, he said, he'll ask many Americans to make sacrifices, like paying higher taxes.
Edwards, a former Democratic senator from North Carolina, says the federal government should underwrite universal pre-kindergarten, create matching savings accounts for low-income people, mandate a minimum wage of $9.50 and provide a million new Section 8 housing vouchers for the poor. He also pledged to start a government-funded public higher education program called "College for Everyone."
"It is central to what I want to do as president to do something about economic inequality. I do not believe it is okay for the United States of America to have 37 million people living in poverty," he said in a meeting with Monitor reporters and editors this week. "And I think we need, desperately need, a president who will say that to America and call on Americans to show their character."
At every stop, Edwards said, he tells voters he'll ask them to sacrifice.
"I think if we want to fund the things that I think are important to share in prosperity, then people who have done well in this country, including me, have more of a responsibility to give back," he said. Later, he added: "There are no free meals."
"Senator Clinton has over the years has taken millions of dollars from lobbyists and defends the status quo system," he said. "She just basically says the system works and her argument is, 'I'm experienced, I can operate within the system.' "
Clinton spokeswoman Kathleen Strand questioned the line Edwards has drawn. He takes money from state lobbyists and from a variety of industry groups; according to a Washington Post roundup, he's taken more than $8 million this year from lawyers and law firms, including some that also employ lobbyists.
For Edwards to claim he's not in the pocket of Big Law lobbyists is just another lie from the Sissy who spent his life suing companies so that he could live with a silver spoon in his mouth.
Edwards has the law lobbyists funding him. He's raised roughly $9.3 million from attorneys, who made up about 55 percent of individuals who listed their occupation on finance reports.
This is the man who want you to forsake your SUV, but he gets to keep his.
This is the man who, when asked who is his moral leader could barely think on his feet to come up with an answer. He did...after stammering for 12 seconds.
This is the man who said he is uncomfortable around "gay people."
This is the man with a $1,250 haircut.
This is the man who sends his cancer stricken wife out to fight his battles for him.
This is the man who worked for a sub-prime lender to "learn about poverty."
This is the man who said he didn't know if Cuba's heath care system is a "government-run system."
This is the man who sent his cancer-stricken wife out to fight the MoveOn morons.
This is the man who was old enough to serve in Vietnam...but didn't, who wants to implement mandatory military service.
This is the man with a 28,000 square foot home and a multi-million dollar beach home.
This is the man who asks, "What would Jesus say," about our own self-indulgence while Edwards is one of the most self-indulgent people around.
You know, John, if you'd like to sacrifice a few hundred-thousand, or a few million dollars of your "guilt" money to me, I'd be only too happy to accept it.
What's next for King John? Oh, I suppose he will follow in the footsteps of Hugo Chavez and nationalize all the various industries, corporations and broadcasting companies in America.
Yes John, there are two Americas, your rich, silver spoon world and the rest of us trying to make a living. And you want to take it away from those of us who haven't attained your level of wealth.
Stalin would be proud of the Sissy, wouldn't he?
Monday, October 29, 2007
Bill Clinton Sex Addict
Gerald Ford was disturbed by Bill Clinton's skirt-chasing ways - and thought he should check into a sex addiction clinic.
A new book on the late 38th President reveals he had strong views about the Clintons: He thought Hillary wore the pants and that Bill couldn't keep his zipped.
"He's sick - he's got an addiction. He needs treatment," Ford told Daily News Washington Bureau Chief Thomas M. DeFrank, author of "Write It When I'm Gone: Remarkable Off-the-Record Conversations with Gerald R. Ford."
Ford's wife, Betty, who founded a pioneering treatment center after her battle with alcoholism and drugs, agreed.
"You know, there's treatment for that kind of addiction," she told DeFrank during the same conversation in 1999. "A lot of men have gone through the treatment with a lot of success. But he won't do it, because he's in denial."
"I'll tell you one thing: He didn't miss one good-looking skirt at any of the social occasions," Ford said later.
"He's got a wandering eye, I'll tell you that. Betty had the same impression; he isn't very subtle about his interest."
Ford had written two Op-Ed pieces in which he called for Clinton to admit he had lied to federal investigators in exchange for censure over impeachment.
He told Clinton that he would help him, if he agreed to such a deal.
"Bill I think you have to admit that you lied. If you do that, I think that will help - and I'll help you. If you'll admit to perjury, I'll do more," he said.
"I won't do that," Clinton told him. "I can't do that."
Ford was stunned by Clinton's lack of contrition. "It's a character flaw," he concluded.
Still, he seemed to feel for Clinton on a personal level.
"I'm convinced that Clinton has a sexual addiction. He needs to get help - for his sake. He's already damaged his presidency beyond repair," he told DeFrank.
In Ford's eyes, Clinton's weaknesses were in sharp contrast to his wife's iron will.
"She's stronger and tougher than he is," he said. "When she takes a point you're gonna have to be damn sure you're well informed because she won't compromise as quickly or as easily as he.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Sid Hartman Hang Your Head In Shame!
And, once again, The Shill was wrong. The outcome of the came was Eagles 23 - ViQueens 16.
This magnificent prediction of folly brings The Shill's to-date prediction ratio to a dismal, abject 1 - 6 ... 1 - 6. The Shill has corrected predicted a ViQueens win once (I think that was a bye week - Bwa ha ha - okay not really) and he's been wrong six times.
This is pathetic from someone who allegedly is supposed to know something about sports.
Hang your head in shame, Shill, hang it in shame. Your precious 4-time Super Bowl-losing ViQueens suck.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
One Hit News
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7th Grader's death believed caused by the MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) superbug staph infection. CNN
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Court upholds right to march for Neo-Nazi Group on the anniversary of Kristallnacht, the night in 1938 when Nazis destroyed Jewish businesses. The Prague Post
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Country singer and Grand Ole Opry Legend Porter Wagoner moved from hospital to hospice care, suffering from lung cancer. AP
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Progress being made in California Fires. Australian Broadcasting Corp.
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Pakistani military base attacked. BBC
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Norwegian photographer Arne Naevra, who snapped the famous image of the polar bear on an ice cube, thereby feeding a false frenzy about global warming, takes Second Prize in the Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2007 competition. Aftenposten
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Luxury toilet, built with EU money, has a make-up room, air conditioning and a baby feeding room. Cost: 12,500 euros or $17,990 USD. Turkish News Daily
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Apple Mac OS Leopard goes on sale. BBC
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Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi cleared of corruption charges. BBC
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Internet tax ban moving forward. CMP
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Naked sleepwalking on the rise. Ahem...on the rise. Yeah, blame it on sleepwalking - that's it. Sky News
Fat Baby Debut
Well, the infant had its official debut.
Labels: Fat Baby
Friday, October 26, 2007
FEMA Fakes News Briefing
The White House scolded the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Friday for staging a phony news conference about assistance to victims of wildfires in southern California.
The agency — much maligned for its sluggish response to Hurricane Katrina over two years ago — arranged to have FEMA employees play the part of independent reporters Tuesday and ask questions of Vice Adm. Harvey E. Johnson, the agency's deputy director.
Water Shortage In Southern U.S.:
Thirsty? Thank A Mussel or A Sturgeon
Georgia and Alabama - Florida too, to a lesser degree - are in a tight and dry predicament with water supplies, with water disappearing as rapidly as eclairs disappear from the dessert cart when it's wheeled past the dining tables of Michael Moore or Rosie O'Moo. But a drought is a good thing, because people don't matter.
What really matters is that the environment comes first. And it is, and this is why people in Atlanta are thirsty and stinky. Come to think of it, doesn't the Rapidly Decaying Corpse of Mike Malloy live near Atlanta? Are you thirsty Mikey? Gee, that's so unfortunate.
It's the right think to do, diverting water for the benefit of the environment over people. This is what the Lefties have been telling us for decades; that the environment is more important than human lives. So a bunch of people die from thirst...so what? I nominate Malloy as the first one to give his life in order for the poor, endangered chipola slabshell mussels can live!
From The Daily Report:
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in consultation with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, sends the water downstream to protect the habitat of four endangered species—fat threeridge, purple bankclimber and chipola slabshell mussels and Gulf sturgeon—living in the Apalachicola River and Apalachicola Bay of Florida.
Announcing plans to seek a federal injunction against the water releases, Gov. Sonny Perdue said last week, “If … the Corps is determined to make this ill-advised choice in favor of mussel and sturgeon species over Georgia citizens, then I must do all within my power to protect our citizens.”
But getting around the Endangered Species Act will be tough, said Florida State University law professor J.B. Ruhl, calling the law “the pit bull of environmental law.”
Late Friday the state filed a motion for a temporary injunction in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, asking that the Army Corps, which operates the dams along the Chattahoochee River, to stop releasing so much water from Lake Lanier at Buford Dam.
Brown said the state’s legal strategy won’t attack the Endangered Species Act.
“The relief that Georgia will be seeking, whether immediate relief or long-term, will not be antagonistic to either the Endangered Species Act or to endangered species,” Brown said. “We want a more intelligent allocation of the resources that will ensure that there is enough water to meet the needs of all the species, both endangered and human.”
Georgia has proposed that the Army Corps release no more water from Lake Lanier and other Chattahoochee River reservoirs than those lakes receive through rainfall and groundwater. The amount of water the Army Corps is releasing from Lake Lanier is far more than what is necessary to protect the mussels, Brown said. The rate of water being released is based on a faulty biological opinions issued by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
“The force of the Endangered Species Act depends in large part on the strength of the scientific claims underlying the protection of the sturgeon and mussels,” Brown said. “In this case, the science is very thin.”
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service said last week that while the amount of water the Army Corps is sending down the Chattahoochee River is far lower than what is normal, and that low level is threatening the mussels and sturgeon, it’s willing to be flexible.
“We’re willing to work with the Corps to allow them to drop [the water flow], if that’s what they want to do,” said U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service spokesman Tom MacKenzie.
In a move separate from the state’s litigation, Georgia’s congressional delegation on Tuesday filed bills to allow states suffering from droughts to be temporarily exempt from the Endangered Species Act. Both Horder of Kilpatrick Stockton and Ruhl said those bills, filed in the U.S. House and Senate, stood little chance of success.
“For a Democratic-controlled Congress to do that for the Endangered Species Act would be a huge political about-face,” Ruhl said. “Democrats hammered the Republicans any time tinkering with the Endangered Species Act was even suggested.”
(In the snail darter matter, it took a separate act of Congress to complete the dam.)
Since late September, politicians in Georgia, Florida, and Alabama have been fighting with each other and with two key federal agencies—the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service—over how to share a critical water source, used by all three states, that is now rapidly shrinking in the face of a continued, historic drought. Georgia officials have predicted that Atlanta's supply of drinking water could be imperiled, if not exhausted, by the end of the year.
The suspension of environmental laws, Georgia officials say, is necessary to put the brakes on what they see as the main cause of the current water debacle. The Army Corps of Engineers, which operates the reservoir at Lake Lanier, is required to comply with the Endangered Species Act of 1973, which mandates federal protection for the habitats of endangered species. To uphold the law as well as to keep power plants in Alabama up and running the Corps of Engineers for the past several months has been releasing water from Lake Lanier at a rate vastly in excess of its rate of replenishment.
Let the businesses and corporations that use water in their manufacturing close their doors and go out of business. The Liberals are right, corporations are evil, every damn one of them. So what if people lose their jobs and their homes, we must - we simply must - do everything we can to protect the mussel and the purple bankclimber.
I'm siding with the Liberals and Enviro-Lunatics on this issue. Nothing, nothing is more important than the environment, the mussel, sturgeons and some purple something-or-other.
In honor of these poor, endangered species, let us all bow our heads and join together singing the song "Under The Sea" from the animated television series, "The Simpsons":
Homer's Under the Sea Song - 27th November 1994
"Under the sea
Under the sea
There'll be no accusations
Just friendly crustaceans
Under the sea!"
Blue Oregon Upset Over Biometrics
Oregonians voted for Albert Gore, Jr. in 2000 and for John Kerry (who served in Vietnam) in 2004.
It wouldn't be off-base to say Blue Oregon has a history of trending to the Left of the political center, you know, the mentality that government knows best and the Nanny State can never overstep its boundaries; unlimited intervention in personal lives is always the best way to go - that kind of mentality.
So it comes as a surprise to me to find out that some parents in Oregon who have children in school are unhappy that some Oregon school districts are using biometric identification for the school children in order to speed up the lunchtime lines.
From The Statesman Journal:
...the use of biometric technology in schools, such as a system being used by Stayton Middle School's cafeteria, has some parents and privacy advocates condemning the move as outright Orwellian.
Feeling the lunchtime crunch, Stayton Middle School administrators last month installed a finger-scanning system to help expedite the cafeteria meal line.
To implement the new lunch account system, students' prints were scanned into a scanner to help identify them.
Jack Adams, the superintendent of the North Santiam School District, said the system does not take a student's actual fingerprint.
"It's a string, not a fingerprint," Adams said. "It's three mathematical pieces of information taken from a student's finger. It's stored on the school computer and can't be used in any other way."
But some parents are opposed to the finger-scanning of minors in schools. They say they're concerned that the prints their children register with the school could be stolen, misplaced or used for a form of fraud that hasn't even been invented.
"Some of the parents are worried the government will be able to access their kids' prints," Butler said. "But what they don't realize is that the actual image of the fingerprint is discarded and all that's used is a number."
The middle school's new scanner plots points on a fingerprint and then converts those points to an encrypted number, he explained.
That number is used to verify a student's account, he added.
Rather than using an ID card, entering a pin number or paying cash, students simply press their finger or thumb on an infrared scanner to be matched to their lunch account.
School officials say the new system saves time for the cashiers because they don't have to write everything down and can just push a button if a child forgets his or her lunch money for the day.
They also say the system allows parents to pre-pay for student lunches and gives privacy to students who receive free or reduced meals.
But critics say that while the scanners may help improve the efficiency of a school cafeteria, it still is an ink-less way of collecting fingerprints.
Steve Moon, the marketing director of MealTime, a Portland firm that sold the finger-scanning system to the school, rejects that argument.
"All those fears and concerns are based on misinformation," Moon said. "The data can't be used to re-create a fingerprint or by police to identify a student."
It's not known how many schools in Oregon use the finger-scanning system because the federal government does not require school districts to report their use, an official with the Oregon School Board Association said.
But Moon estimates that MealTime has sold the system to at least 60 to 70 schools in Oregon.
Lillie Coney, meanwhile, says she's concerned that biometric vendors are using semantics to convince schools that a person's fingerprint image is stored as mathematical points only.
"All biometrics are mathematical points," said Coney, an associate director with the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a research group in Washington, D.C., that focuses public attention on emerging civil liberties and privacy issues.
"Now we're seeing schools use the language of marketers who sell this type of technology to convince parents there's nothing to worry about," she said. "Schools should be skeptical of an industry that creates this technology and which then says the data can't be used in other ways."
Stayton Middle School's data is kept on a self-contained database at the district office, Butler said.
However, Coney worries that with technological advances, someone could use the information in five or 10 years to recreate a child's fingerprints.
"In the final analysis, the print information collected from these students is only as secure as the database in which that information is stored," Coney said. "And no database is immune from attackers."
So this procedure by Oregon schools is "Orwellian," is it? Gee, I thought "Orwellian" applied only to things done by big, bad, evil Republicans and Conservatives. I'm shocked and surprised that the term "Orwellian" is being applied to an issue in such a decidedly Blue State! (insert Laugh Track!)
I lean to siding with the parents who object to this fingerprint procedure, but you get the government and school board procedures that you vote for, and, Oregon is a Blue State.
Oh how the Howling Insane Liberal Clown Posse would be screaming if this program was being used in a Red State, and maybe it is, I'm not aware of it via any news reports. "Fascists", the Left would be screaming at the school district. "You're all Hitlers," is what members of the school board would be hearing.
This is another example of Liberalism coming full circle, biting Liberals in the butt and they don't like it. Gee, that's just too bad, really, it's a shame because...it's for the children, and as I've so often said, if it's for the children, how can it possibly be bad?
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Democrats Flying High...Again (Still!)
But - but - but Dave, you ask, the Democrats told us prior to the November 2006 election that they were going to stop this kind of activity. They told us that it was the Republicans who were in the pockets of the lobbyists. Did the Dems lie to us?
Oh, little neophyte, do bears go poopy in the forest? Of course the Dems lied. You can always tell that a Dem is lying because their lips are moving. Now there were a few Republicans who took these trips, paid for by lobbyists too, but the trips were overwhelmingly taken by Democrats.
The Honolulu Advertiser reports the following story:
WASHINGTON — Despite new House travel restrictions, lawmakers accepted free trips worth nearly $1.9 million during the first eight months of this year — more than in all of 2006, records show.
The amount of travel lawmakers take at the expense of private groups typically declines in an election year, but last year it dramatically fell. Stung by scandals, lawmakers worried about re-election cut in half the amount of privately funded travel they took to $1.7 million, according to CQ MoneyLine, a nonpartisan group that tracks congressional travel.
The chill thawed this August, when lawmakers took 85 trips worth $828,808 — the highest since August 2003.
This year's trips cost more than twice as much, as trips fell from 588 in the first eight months of 2006 to 337 over that period this year. House members accounted for $1.8 million of the travel.
Congress took steps to eliminate luxury trips with lobbyists, restricting — not banning — travel paid by outside groups. The House enacted travel rules in March; similar restrictions are scheduled to take effect in the Senate next month.
Under new House rules, companies or groups with lobbyists can't provide more than a one-night stay for a lawmaker — or two nights for long-distance trips. Lawmakers took 30 trips under the exemption.
In all, 22 House Democrats and three Republicans accepted nearly $40,000 in travel under that exemption, according to reports filed with the House ethics committee.
The new rules require the House ethics committee to pre-approve the travel and make more details about the trips publicly available, said Drew Hammill, a spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Other trips under the one-day exemption included:
* Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick's [She's a DEM. - Drake] visit to address a leadership meeting at a Florida resort. Kilpatrick and an aide accepted $2,500 worth of travel, lodging and meals from DaVita Inc., the nation's largest chain of for-profit kidney dialysis centers. "My comments focused on addressing the disparities faced by African-Americans and other people of color as they relate to conditions such as hypertension and diabetes, which often lead to chronic kidney failure," Kilpatrick, a diabetic, said.
* A visit to the Silverado Resort in California's Napa Valley by Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawai'i, and Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, to attend a conference in August sponsored by the American Sugar Alliance, a trade group lobbying to preserve government price supports for homegrown sugar cane and beets. The cost: $3,924. Abercrombie spokesman Dave Helfert says the trip was to discuss an important crop for Hawai'i, not for a vacation. "He didn't choose the location," Helfert said. [Oh no, I'm sure the fact it was in Hawaii hardly played a factor for Dem Abercrombie. - Drake]
* A stay at the Mandalay Bay resort in Las Vegas for Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., who chairs the House Judiciary subcommittee on commercial and administrative law. She spoke at a conference of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles. Her chief of staff, Michael Torra, said Sanchez spoke about the controversial firings of federal prosecutors by the Bush administration.
This story reminds me of the Ozzy classic that deserves accolades:
1981's "Flyin' High Again", guitar by the late, great Randy Rhodes:
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Harry Reid Says "Global Warming Caused California Fires"
As you know, one reason that we have the fires burning in Southern California is global warming. One reason the Colorado Basin is going dry is because of global warming.
Question: Senator, on the California fires, you said that the reason the fires are burning in California is global warming?
Reid: No. Here's what I - I didn't say the reason the fires were burning in Southern California was global warming...
The actual audio of Harry saying what he said and then denying it can be found right HERE.
In another statement made by Reid later in the day, I have the below exclusive audio of Reid making even wilder assertions. Click on the button on the below bar to hear the audio:
Don't forget, Harry can help you overcome any legal quirks if you're interested in purchasing land in Nevada.
George Carlin Says Victims Of California Fires "Get what's coming to them."
Well, along comes comedian George Carlin, a guest on "The View" on Wednesday, saying the following. People.Com:
"People are selfish," he said. "These people with the fires and the floods and everything, they overbuild and they put nature to the test, and they get what's coming to them, that's what I say."
"...you don't overbuild, you don't do all this moron stuff."
We'll find out if the usual Liberal Haters treat Carlin for his words as harshly as they treated Beck. My guess is, "not so much." But then, Liberals have never let hypocrisy stand in the way of their hypocrisy, have they?.
I wonder if Jowly Jim Ward will express the same outrage over Carlin's words that he did over Beck's statement. I suspect...not so much.
Thom Hartmann Lies To His Listeners
Thom Hartmann, Idiot Emeritus of Liberal Talk Radio
Liberal Talk Radio's Thom Hartmann reached new depths on Wednesday talking about the fires in Southern California.
He blamed the fires on, among other things, all the usual targets; Bush and Cheney for deploying members of the California National Guard to Iraq, he blamed Big Oil and Big Coal companies who - in Hartmann's mind - are responsible for everything from the Lindbergh baby kidnapping to the the disappearance of Emilia Earhart; and he blamed "the government" for not allocating enough resources to fight the fires. Well, we all know that for Liberals like Hartmannnnnnnnnnnnn there can never be "enough" of anything provided by the Nanny State.
The only people he didn't blame were the Religious Right, but I'm sure he'll add them to his list in tomorrow's program.
Hartmann likes to pretend he's so smart, but he's really not. He failed to articulate the actual causes of the fire.
One, the fires happen annually, in virtually the same geographic areas that they happened the previous year. And the year prior to that and the year prior to that and the year prior to that. This is called a fire zone, no different than areas designated as flood zones.
Two, he didn't mention (big surprise! - not) that some fires were caused by downed power lines.
Three, he didn't mention the acres of dry tinder wood that acts as kindling for a raging inferno. Enviro-lunatics have lobbied against all efforts to cull this wood and won their battles in court against controlled burns for several years.
Four, he didn't mention The Santa Ana winds carrying burning embers for miles.
No, Thommmmmmmmmmmm Hartmannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn simply ignored facts and reality - just as all good little Liberal Eichmanns do - and instead chose to politicize the fires, just like he politicized hurricane Katrina.
Hartmannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn does a huge disservice to those that listen him - no matter how tiny his audience may be - by fueling them up with falsehoods and lies. But then, this is all uber-Lefties like Hartmannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn know how to do, it's their job to spread disinformation and lies to their audience.
Hartman is approaching the highest rung on the Liar Ladder that is currently occupied by Ratty Rhodes. Keep climbing that ladder Thom, soon you may unseat Ratty as the Lyingest Liar on Liberal Talk Radio.
Labels: Thom Hartmann
Bill Clinton Heckled About 9-11 Conspiracy
During his speech at the State Theater, he was interrupted and heckled by a bunch of "Truthers" who shouted that the 9-11 attacks were a fraud, an "inside" job. WCCO:
Clinton's 50-minute speech, which started about an hour behind schedule, was derailed briefly by several hecklers in the audience who shouted that the 2001 terrorist attacks were a fraud. Rather than ignoring them, Clinton seemed to relish a direct confrontation.
"A fraud? No, it wasn't a fraud," Clinton said, as the crowd cheered him on. "I'll be glad to talk to you if you shut up and let me talk."
When another heckler shouted that the attacks were an "inside job," Clinton took even greater umbrage.
"An inside job? How dare you. How dare you. It was not an inside job," Clinton said.
The question is, will Jowly Jim Ward label Bubba as a "right wing tool" as he does almost everyone who disagrees with his conspiracy that 9-11 was an inside job?
Al Fraken Explains Dyslexia
In this installment, Al explains Dyslexia.
Just click on the on the lower left corner of the screen below to play the video.
This Short Film also playing and appearing HERE.
All the episodes in the "Al Franken Explains" series can be found by clicking on the LABELS link below: "Al Franken Explains"
Labels: Al Franken Explains
Bill Clinton: Giving
Click HERE for details
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Glenn Beck Says California Fires Burning The Homes Of America Haters
"I think there is a handful of people who hate America. Unfortunately for them, a lot of them are losing their homes in a forest fire today."
It's the usual Selective Outrage from the Lefties who usually applaud Liberals like California Democrat Congressman Pete Stark who last week said, U.S. troops are being sent to Iraq "to get their heads blown off for the president's amusement." Stark apologized for his statement, although it took him almost a week to do so. Stark is an ass.
Speaking of asses - today on the Skanky Miller show, 48 minutes into the third hour of her program, Jowly Jim Ward made another of his "predictions". He said sometime next year, before the November election, that:
"The government will create a 9-11-like event to make Cheney president for life."
[Does Beck stop to think that] "If you can afford a big house in a ritzy neighborhood you might well be a republican?"
I don't wish anything bad upon the people of Malibu, but they're extremely wealthy - very, very, wealthy. If they escape the fires without any loss of their life, they should be thankful. But if they're expecting me to feel sorry that their multi-million dollar-thousands of thousands square feet homes burn down - sorry, not gonna get it from me.
Besides, the Malibu crowd is supposed to be so environmentally conscious - why are they building such elaborate homes in areas that really should remain free from man-made buildings? They wouldn't be hypocrites now, would they? Instead of rebuilding their mansions, they should do the environmentally-right thing and move into 800 - 1,000 square foot multi-housing units like condos. After all, these are the folks who preach global warming is caused by humans and pontificate that everyone else downsize their lifestyle. But rarely do we see these folks downsizing their lifestyle, do we? Hypocritical? You know it.
Jowly Jim Ward: Always ready with a hateful quip, a lie, a conspiracy theory and rotisserie chickens hidden in his chins.
Click on the LABELS link below to read a history of Jowly Jim's conspiracy theories and predictions that...oddly...have never come true.
Labels: Jowly Jim Ward
Gary Keillor Not Being Very PHC
From The Smoking Gun:
Garrison Keillor, host of the radio show "A Prairie Home Companion," has gotten a Minnesota judge to issue a restraining order against a Georgia woman who he alleges has been calling, emailing, showing up at his home, and sending him bizarre gifts over the past six months. According to the below affidavit filed in Ramsey County District Court, Keillor first came into contact with Andrea Campbell, 43, in April while greeting fans after a performance of his show and noticed her "odd and overly-exuberant" behavior. In subsequent months, Keillor began receiving perfumed packages at work containing among other things, "a petrified alligator's foot, dead beetles...rocks, marbles" and magnets with his and Campbell's initials on them. In an early August email, Campbell tells Keillor "I love you" and expresses her intention to be closer to him by moving to the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. She then follows that up less than two weeks later in another email in which she "graphically described making love" to the 65-year-old author.
Lady, give it up. You could blindly and aimlessly throw a sponge-ended, non-injurious dart along Skid Row and hit a better looking guy that Gary.
Go suck some more taxpayer money for your lame PBS program, Gary. Then pretend you relate and identify to the masses. What a gas-bag.
Labels: gary keillor
I'm Tired Of Paying For Your Children
While much of what I publish here is frequently intended as tongue-in-cheek and caustic sarcasm, I assure you, this particular post does not contain any of that. I mean this as seriously and as sincerely as possible; again, I'm tired of paying for your children.
Instead of getting tax breaks or tax benefits for reproducing, people with children should have to pay more in taxes than those of us who are single, divorced or don't have children. Having children causes those who have them to use more natural resources than those of us without children, therefore, parents and families should be paying more into the coffers. Parents with children consume more than do single people, divorced couples without children and married couples without children. People with children deplete more raw materials and natural resources than those of us who don't have children. People with children should be assessed a "child tax" and pay more - much more - into the city, county, state and federal government.
Parents with children use more water, consume more food, more fuel, more paper products; dispose of more garbage; take up more time with doctors, dentists, teachers, schools.
I'm tired of paying more for you child's education through rising property taxes. If you decided to procreate - and I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that mentality - then you should be willing to accept all associated costs and expense that accompany your decision. If the school your child attends can't afford books for every student, then the parents should be billed the appropriate costs and pay for it in full.
If you child wants to play sports and the cost of equipment is such that the school can't pay for it, then it's only fair that the parents pay the additional associated costs related to the activity. It's not - it shouldn't be - up to me to help fun your child's extra-curricular activities no matter if it is sports, dance, the speech or debate club.
The argument that, "everybody benefits from an educated society," is accurately answered with a "maybe".
I'm tired of paying for the health care of your child. If you can't afford to keep your own child healthy, perhaps you should turn your child over to an adoption agency and let someone adopt your child, someone who can afford to provide and pay for your child to receive regular medical and dental treatment. If you really care about and love your child, and you cannot afford to provide health care, you would do what's best for your child and turn them over to an adoption agency instead of insisting that I finance their medical well-being.
I'm not cold-hearted, I'm not a mean guy, I'm not anti-child. I already contribute - voluntarily and involuntarily - more than my fair share for your children. I'm tired of being treated as an endless source and supply of money to fund your children.
Did it ever occur to so very many of you who look to others to pay for your children, that if you paid less in taxes and kept more of what you earned, you could afford the things you want others to subsidize? The government is not your Nanny, our society is not meant to live our lives from cradle to grave dependent on the government. It's time we stop acting this way and stop voting for politicians who advocate this type of approach for all of life's problems.
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Dane Bramage covers Shoot Up And Drop Out In San Francisco
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Check out Miss O'Hara's great Neon sign and a post covering everything from Stalin's engineerings in Russia to Pakistani PM Benazir Bhutto and TSA screeners missed 75% of the fake bombs planted in a security test and Pete Stark's insane comments.
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Butch Dissects Tom Tomorrow's "This Modern World". Nice take-down, Butch.
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Freedom looks at Israel's land swap with the Palestinian Authority and how land for peace has never worked out.
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I found This addicting game that feeds people and increases your vocabulary at Clint Heine's blog. The game is so addicting and so is Clint's blog.
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GroovyVic Says, "No!". Way to go, Groovy!
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AGJ tells us why he supports Rudy.
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Bet you didn't know that Hillary has battle ribbons and is a decorated campaign hero, did 'ya? Nuke has the story.
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Hooah Wife celebrated a Three Year Blogoversary recently. Wish her well!
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Yes, I remember Pigs In Space. So does Robot Guy
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Cranky recently had to say good-bye to a cutie. This is always so hard, it's never easy - is it? The Rainbow Bridge is a good item to bookmark for anyone dealing with the loss of a pet.
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