“A dozen US Marines out of 130,000 stick underwear on the heads of terrorist prisoners and strip them naked and let dogs bark at them, and al Qaeda barbarians slice of the heads and rip up the bodies of 2 US Marines and there you have it! Moral Equivalence.
By the way, Mr. Progressive, how many terrorists have been killed and mutilated while in US custody? How many US soldiers have been killed and mutilated after being kidnapped by the terrorists?
It is not the policy of the U.S. military to torture enemy combatants, certainly not to the point that DNA tests become necessary to determine which disfigured corpse is which. It is not the policy of the U.S. military to behead captured enemies. Water-boarding and sleep deprivation strike us as bad and likely unproductive policies. Disfiguring torture and beheading strike us as the acts of barbarians and monsters. There is equivalence in this?
Whatever one’s judgment about the legal rights of enemy combatants held at Guantanamo, drawing parallels between isolated American excesses in a cruel war and such joyously celebrated “policies” of terrorists is just beyond the pale.
And I keep hearing about the Geneva Convention. What about it, exactly?
Google just launched their PayPal-like service, Checkout. Great, right? Well, no, ’cause they, like PayPal, also have a list of things they do not allow you to pay for with their service. Including:
“Weapons: Firearms, ammunition, knives, brass knuckles, gun parts, and other armaments.”
So no selling our handmade knives using google’s checkout. No buying of gun related stuff, which to be honest is about all I buy online other than books and knife stuff. Great!
Why did they do this?
Why not a simple statement like:
“You can not use our service to purchase or sell items that are illegal to purchase or sell in the United States.”
Simple, easy, covers most of the bases. Although Google is worldwide, perhaps
“You can not use our service to purchase or sell items that are illegal to purchase or sell in your location.”
would be best.
Wheras something like
“Adult goods and services: Pornography and other sexually suggestive materials (including literature, imagery and other media); escort or prostitution services”
“Tobacco and cigarettes: Cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, and related products”
mean no selling or buying, using Checkout, of Zippo lighters? Or Lighter fluid, or flints, or engraved cigarette cases? What about a book or movie that has characters smoking? Is that allowed?
Mindlessly needless, extended-family drama.
Think I finished the video editing for Dean’s underwater dvd. The divemaster on his trip to the Texas Flower Gardens shot about an hours worth of video over their seven dives and he let me copy it and Dean and I edited it down to about 17 minutes and added some Sting songs. I think it turned out pretty nce.
So nice that now Dean has the underwater videoing bug (well, I do too now) and I think we’re going to try and build our own housing for Adam’s camera. Does not look too hard, some schedule 80 6 inch PVC pipe and some connectors and some latches and an o ring and weights and some 1/2 inch acryllic. No problem
September 24, 2001
“Organizing the hijacking of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon took significant sums of money. The cost of these plots suggests that putting Osama bin Laden and other international terrorists out of business will require more than diplomatic coalitions and military action. Washington and its allies must also disable the financial networks used by terrorists.
The Bush administration is preparing new laws to help track terrorists through their money-laundering activity and is readying an executive order freezing the assets of known terrorists. Much more is needed, including stricter regulations, the recruitment of specialized investigators and greater cooperation with foreign banking authorities. There must also must be closer coordination among America’s law enforcement, national security and financial regulatory agencies.
Osama bin Laden originally rose to prominence because his inherited fortune allowed him to bankroll Arab volunteers fighting Soviet forces in Afghanistan. Since then, he has acquired funds from a panoply of Islamic charities and illegal and legal businesses, including export-import and commodity trading firms, and is estimated to have as much as $300 million at his disposal.
Some of these businesses move funds through major commercial banks that lack the procedures to monitor such transactions properly. Locally, terrorists can utilize tiny unregulated storefront financial centers, including what are known as hawala banks, which people in South Asian immigrant communities in the United States and other Western countries use to transfer money abroad. Though some smaller financial transactions are likely to slip through undetected even after new rules are in place, much of the financing needed for major attacks could dry up.
Washington should revive international efforts begun during the Clinton administration to pressure countries with dangerously loose banking regulations to adopt and enforce stricter rules. These need to be accompanied by strong sanctions against doing business with financial institutions based in these nations. The Bush administration initially opposed such measures. But after the events of Sept. 11, it appears ready to embrace them.
The Treasury Department also needs new domestic legal weapons to crack down on money laundering by terrorists. The new laws should mandate the identification of all account owners, prohibit transactions with “shell banks” that have no physical premises and require closer monitoring of accounts coming from countries with lax banking laws. Prosecutors, meanwhile, should be able to freeze more easily the assets of suspected terrorists. The Senate Banking Committee plans to hold hearings this week on a bill providing for such measures. It should be approved and signed into law by President Bush.
New regulations requiring money service businesses like the hawala banks to register and imposing criminal penalties on those that do not are scheduled to come into force late next year. The effective date should be moved up to this fall, and rules should be strictly enforced the moment they take effect. If America is going to wage a new kind of war against terrorism, it must act on all fronts, including the financial one.”
Of course, that was then.
“Mr. Bill Keller, Managing Editor
The New York Times
229 West 43rd Street
New York, NY 10036
Dear Mr. Keller:
The New York Times’ decision to disclose the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program, a robust and classified effort to map terrorist networks through the use of financial data, was irresponsible and harmful to the security of Americans and freedom-loving people worldwide. In choosing to expose this program, despite repeated pleas from high-level officials on both sides of the aisle, including myself, the Times undermined a highly successful counter-terrorism program and alerted terrorists to the methods and sources used to track their money trails.
Your charge that our efforts to convince The New York Times not to publish were “half-hearted” is incorrect and offensive. Nothing could be further from the truth. Over the past two months, Treasury has engaged in a vigorous dialogue with the Times - from the reporters writing the story to the D.C. Bureau Chief and all the way up to you. It should also be noted that the co-chairmen of the bipartisan 9-11 Commission, Governor Tom Kean and Congressman Lee Hamilton, met in person or placed calls to the very highest levels of the Times urging the paper not to publish the story. Members of Congress, senior U.S. Government officials and well-respected legal authorities from both sides of the aisle also asked the paper not to publish or supported the legality and validity of the program.
Indeed, I invited you to my office for the explicit purpose of talking you out of publishing this story. And there was nothing “half-hearted” about that effort. I told you about the true value of the program in defeating terrorism and sought to impress upon you the harm that would occur from its disclosure. I stressed that the program is grounded on solid legal footing, had many built-in safeguards, and has been extremely valuable in the war against terror. Additionally, Treasury Under Secretary Stuart Levey met with the reporters and your senior editors to answer countless questions, laying out the legal framework and diligently outlining the multiple safeguards and protections that are in place.
You have defended your decision to compromise this program by asserting that “terror financiers know” our methods for tracking their funds and have already moved to other methods to send money. The fact that your editors believe themselves to be qualified to assess how terrorists are moving money betrays a breathtaking arrogance and a deep misunderstanding of this program and how it works. While terrorists are relying more heavily than before on cumbersome methods to move money, such as cash couriers, we have continued to see them using the formal financial system, which has made this particular program incredibly valuable.
Lastly, justifying this disclosure by citing the “public interest” in knowing information about this program means the paper has given itself free license to expose any covert activity that it happens to learn of - even those that are legally grounded, responsibly administered, independently overseen, and highly effective. Indeed, you have done so here.
What you’ve seemed to overlook is that it is also a matter of public interest that we use all means available - lawfully and responsibly - to help protect the American people from the deadly threats of terrorists. I am deeply disappointed in the New York Times.
John W. Snow, Secretary
U.S. Department of the Treasury“
Anti-War Activist places US Soldiers under (Citizens) Arrest in Co Clare.
Friday June 23, 2006 16:14
by Conor Cregan
“Shannon peace activist put six young US service men under (citizens) arrest.
While Driving through Ennis town yesterday afternoon a local anti-war activist put six young US service men under (citizens) arrest. On Thursday morning an US troop carrier landed at Shannon with technical problems. This is a common occurrence with the chartered troop carriers that come through Shannon Airport. With an average of 1100 hundred troops going through Irelands second international airport on a nightly basis these aircraft are flat out ferrying young men and women to Iraq. Many of these stranded soldiers were billeted at the West County Hotel in Ennis near where peace activist Conor Cregan encountered six young US servicemen on the main Ennis to Limerick road.
Cregan immediately called for the six to stop. “I am placing you all under citizen’s arrest. Do not move” he shouted as the stunned men came to a halt. After assuring the men that they were not in jeopardy the peace activist made an emergency call to Ennis Garda Station. Cregan called for the Member in charge to send a van to pick up these awol soldiers but Garda O’Sullivan’s response was less than helpful. The deskbound officer was more interested to know if they were armed or their commander in chief George W Bush was among them. Mind you he wasn’t so funny when reminded that that all emergency calls were recorded.
Convinced that he wouldn’t get any joy from the Ennis Garda station Cregan went into the hotel to look for the Commanding Officer of the US troops. He approached a NCO but she could not see the man in charge but then Cregan spotted a familiar face coming towards him. DGda Jarlaith Fathy, a man who once tried to frame him for a crime he did not commit, was leaning over the reception desk.
Cregan called for the detective to take charge of the soldiers. Fathy followed him out to the front of the building where the six were sheepishly edging their way towards the entrance to the hotel. One polite young trooper leaned over and extended his hand towards the peace activist and apologized. Cregan again assured the young man that he was not in trouble and informed the lost patrol that in fact this was a diplomatic matter and that the Irish government was the wrongdoer in this situation. He thanked the men for their cooperation and left them in the hands of DGda Fathy who ushered them back into the hotel.
Later Conor Cregan registered a complaint with Superintendent John Kerin of Ennis Garda Station. Supt Kerin seemed surprised that anyone would complain about a foreign army walking the roads of Ireland and tried to convince that this was not a major issue. The top cop was more annoyed that Mr. Cregan had rang the Ennis Gardai Station on the 999 emergency line and informed him that he would be investigating the matter with a view to prosecute.
Later Conor Cregan returned to the West County Hotel to follow up this story. Standing outside the front entrance were three NCO’s, of the American Army, smoking cigarettes and a chat with a member of An Gardai Siochana. These young soldiers were enjoying their down time but complained about lack of heat. One soldier informed the reporter that “the weather would be a lot hotter in Texas” where she was from. She also said it was hot in Iraq and after their two week vacation she would be returning to duty in the middle-east war zone. Standing beside her was a friend from her home state and a sergeant from “Hollywood California” who would have liked to visit the town of Ennis but had no clothes to wear.
When asked why they were not allowed to leave the hotel she replied that “the people her might not like to see us”.
Another soldier dressed in “Army” shorts and T-shirt explained that they were invited to Ireland by the Irish Government.
When Conor Cregan started to clarify the nature of a neutral state like Ireland and the responsibilities that came with this status a member of An Gardai Siochana came over and just as he explained that under international law that all belligerent combatants should be interned under close arrest the young Ennis Guard asked him to identify himself.
“Conor Cregan and you are”
“I am a Guard that’s all you need to know”
“And Guard you don’t have any numbers on”
She replied to this sternly and ushered the US troops back into the hotel. After a while two another uniformed Garda and two plain clothes Garda arrive on the scene. The situation seemed to be in hand so this report left.”
loved the comment that started off:
“I know these soldiers are potential murderers and war criminals ,but I think the anti war movement in Ireland should take the risk of addressing US soldiers as human beings.”
I stopped reading there.
“Your New Random Identity
Switch gender: male / female
Willie A. Silva
402 7th Street
Katy, TX 77494
Email Address: Willie.A.Silva@pookmail.com
(More information at PookMail.com)
Mother’s maiden name: Stockdale
Birthday: February 10, 1962
MasterCard: 5569 8355 2011 0439
Generated information is for entertainment purposes only and is not to be used for any illegal activities.
Generated credit card numbers are not real credit card numbers, and are designed for testing of credit card validation systems”
Well, The Good Ol’ Boys: Company Ink did not make the cut for the FX/It’s Always Sunny in Philidelphia contest.
Of the ones that did make it, I’ve seen about half of them so far, and I think that the Nacho Chronicles is just frikin’ hillarious.
Behind the scenes tours at Disney World sound pretty neat, especially the scuba and the zoo ones.
“When you’re in the water,” our guide, Amanda, instructs us as we line up on the metal grate at water’s edge, “you will be part of the exhibit. People will take pictures of you. They will go nuts. You can wave, make hand gestures.” She pauses.
“Just remember, there are some hand gestures we don’t do at Disney.“
Referring to the barbaric practice in India of Suttee, General Sir Charles Napier said:
“You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: When men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours.”
How to cheat good
by Alex Halavais
“ I just submitted my last set of grades for the semester. This is always a big weight off my shoulders, but since it will be the last set of grades I ever submit at the University at Buffalo, it is an even greater relief. And so I think it’s time for me to “give back” as the kids say.
I had a 24 hour take home (distance course, so “keep home”?) final exam. Students had to submit it in text—and most submitted it in Word. In the exam, I noted that “I expect everyone to behave honorably,” and noted that receiving assistance from others or plagiarizing work was a bad idea.
I would prefer that students don’t cheat. Yes, they really are mostly cheating themselves, so fine. But it also reflects poorly on the community. Rationally or not, what particularly irks me is that it is disrespectful: of me, of their fellow students, of the university, of the institution of learning, and of themselves. And—did I mention—of me? It is particularly irksome when their cheating implies (reminds?) that I am a fool.
So, to help students across the country cheat better, saving themselves both from easy detection and from incurring the wrath of insulted faculty, and leading to a much more harmonious school environment, I offer the following tips, based on recent experience:
1. Don’t cheat off family.
If you are in a class of several hundred people, and you share an unusual family name with another student in the class, it is best if your reply to an open ended short-answer question is not identical, word-for-word. This is particularly true when the answer is wrong, and when it is wrong in an idiosyncratic way. Many profs, as I do, grade “blind,” without reference to the names of the students, but still, it’s easy enough when you find something like this to track back to the names. My suggestion, in this case, is to continue to cut and paste the answer, but to legally change your name. A convenience marriage may do the trick.
2. Don’t talk British.
The only people allowed to use the word “colour” are those with Indian surnames. “Weight,” you may argue, “I was bourne and razed in the english countryside.” I have no doubt, but your Commonwealth heritage is not easily detectable by your surname, so I’m afraid you will need to switch to Amerkin spelling for work in my classes. (If you are Indian, but your surname has suffered from various Colonial incursions, I’m afraid you’ll have to lose the U’s as well.) Otherwise, fair or not, it somehow appears that you have copied your work from another author.
3. You Google, I Google
How do you think I check suspicious work? It’s not like our state university is shelling out for TurnItIn. I am pretty good with that Google thingy. And changing two words won’t send me off the trail. So copy from something a bit more obscure. Or—and this is really tricky—try making up your own stuff.
4. Dont rite to good
When you “write” a sentence like “The veil of ignorance, to mention one prominent feature of that position, has no specific metaphysical implications concerning the nature of the self; it does not imply that the self is ontologically prior to the facts about persons that the parties are excluded from knowing,” you have two ways of being caught up. First, while I make no claim of having anything approaching an eidetic memory (more like an idyllic memory), it may ring some dusty bells and heck, I might be able to pull the book you stole it from down off my shelf, even if you followed the advice of #3. If my memory fails to serve, as is frequently the case these days, Google Print might help out.
The second way you can trip up is by following this with your original words, which tend to be less sophisticated, or equally sophisticated material from an entirely different source that simply does not seem to make sense in this particular context.
As a corollary here, try not to plagiarize the teacher. You will be less likely to suffer her ire, since it will amuse her and her colleagues to no end, but you are more likely to be caught. Steal her ideas and rephrase them in your own prose, because there is nothing teachers like more than knowing that students can write well but have no original ideas.
5. Malaprop big words
Make sure you pick a word that sounds impervious and use it incorrigibly, or inventorate words. We’ll be udderly convinced of your genuinity (not to mention your precedential potential). Snuff said.
6. Use the word “rediculous.”
This almost magical word will cause any instructor to instantaneously turn off all internal plagiarism detection.
7. Borrow from someone who writes as badly as you do.
Don’t do what one of my graduate students did, and steal a text on Korean feminism from someone who wrote slightly better English than he did. I’ll notice the slightly better writing, even before I notice that you have expressed no interest in or knowledge of feminist perspectives in the past. (Once kicked out of our program, he applied to the English department. No kidding.)
8. Edit > Paste Special > Unformatted Text
This is my Number 1 piece of advice, even if it is numbered eight. When you copy things from the web into Word, ignoring #3 above, don’t just “Edit > Paste” it into your document. When I am reading a document in black, Times New Roman, 12pt, and it suddenly changes to blue, Helvetica, 10pt (yes, really), I’m going to guess that something odd may be going on. This seems to happen in about 1% of student work turned in, and periodically makes me feel like becoming a hermit.
If you follow these simple rules, you are almost guaranteed to pass off your plagiarism and cheating as your own work. This will allow the faculty to remain in blissful ignorance, believing that—despite the low pay—they are spreading knowledge in the world, while at the same time convincing your parents to continue to pay for several more years of school, drunken orgies, and Prada bags. Your classmates who do not follow the above rules will constitute the “low hanging fruit,” easily picked off and tormented by mean-spirited unfulfilled teachers for their own amusement. You, however, will rise above the fray, secure in your superious ability to act smart, even if you don’t understand the text you are passing off as your own.
And what if you follow all eight points and still get caught? Here’s your “get out of jail free” card. Simply say this to your teacher (no, no one has tried these exact words on me yet), and you are off scot free:
“Like a postmodern version of Searle’s Chinese Room, I am able to re-articulate existing knowledge through my command of its (re)presentation and manipulation. Any claim to originality ignores what I like to call our ability to stand on the shoulders of giants. By this, I mean that there is a well-known correlation between book sales and height, and we should use their height to our own advantage, to avoid mud and small dogs.
“Also, is it really all that original to give me an F? After all, I’ve already received an F from two other profs this semester alone. Be an original: give me a C.
“By the way, I don’t know who this ‘John Rawls’ guy is—is he even in our major?—but I think it’s possible he cheated off me.
“Finally, and I think this is most vital, my plagiarism in this case is a clear indictment of the educational system. After all, I’ve been failed by my high school and by three years of university, while continually passing. I don’t think it can be entirely my fault if I’ve gotten this far by plagiarism, and in this, my last class, you decide that it is somehow ‘wrong.’ Clearly, you should use this outcome as a way of evaluating your own teaching and expectations.”
You have my permission to use the above excuses, verbatim and without attribution, in any discussion with your respected faculty. I don’t guarantee their success, but would be happy to hear from any of you who employ them as to their efficacy.”
Disney just came out with Old Yeller Dog Food. wtf?
“That’s a character that most people wouldn’t even remember,” Andy Mooney, head of Walt Disney Co.’s consumer products division, said during a discussion with a handful of journalists on Wednesday.
“Wouldn’t even remember.” Of course not. Have you ever heard of “repressed memories”, Mr Mooney? Old Yeller is indeed forgotten, because we have spent every waking moment trying to forget what happened to that loving, faithful pet, and the memory is only partially filed away with such other unbearable memories as Grandma Bertha’s gumdrop cookies, the time we found maggots in our Snickers bar, the presidency of George W. Bush, Chuck Austen’s run on the Avengers, the nasty matter in the woodshed and that thing Uncle Buster tried to show us once.
As a nation’s children pour Old Yeller kibble into Fido’s bowl, rest assured, Mr. Mooney, they will be holding back tears of anxiety, praying that they won’t soon be carrying Fido’s broken, bloody yet still breathing carcass into the family room — or even better, being ordered by their parents to kill the only thing they love. With a shotgun. America is Old Yeller, Disney is dad with a rifle, and we’d all better look into therapy before they release Bambi’s Mother security blankets .“
A local engraving company, they engraved anything metal or plastic, guess they did wood, too, just switched over from old school tech to new CNC milling machines. So yesterday my dad went to their auction, since we have a panagraph and are always on the lookout for more tooling and accessories for it.
Apparently, no one much wanted the stuff, because it’s been replaced by CNC machines, so dad got some good stuff for a song.
But, he passed up nice, good (although old) milling machines for < $100 each, and he passed on a CNC engraver that was table-top sized for $250, because he didn’t have room to store them!
I said in the future, buy first, worry about storage later. We can store some stuff at Glenda and Dean’s, or at the farm, or at my office, sorta, or rent a storage place for a few months, we can get storage taken care of. And $100 milling machines don’t come around that often.