Sunday, December 23, 2007

New Hampshire newspaper tells readers not to vote for Mitt Romney

Genteel snake Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate whose beliefs blow with the wind hasn't fooled the Concord Monitor.

>>The newspaper's editorial board calls Romney a "disquieting figure," saying he looks and acts like a presidential contender but must be stopped because he lacks the core philosophical beliefs to be a trustworthy president.<<

New Hampshire newspaper tells readers not to vote for Mitt Romney

Friday, December 07, 2007

Can The Boston Celtics Win It All?

The Boston Celtics will probably be 16-2 later tonight. Given that this will be the best start to a season they’ve ever had I think it’s time to ask just how good they are? Before the season I thought they would be a much better team, with very good but not championship level playoff prospects. Now they’re on a pace to win over 70 games which would be as good or better than any other NBA team ever. It seems unlikely in the long run, the tougher teams are out west and they haven’t played any of them yet, the season can grind players down, injuries happen, but right now they’re the best thing going in the league. And they look to be strong contenders to win it all.
Question:
How good a coach is Doc Rivers? Up to now it hasn’t really mattered that much but if the championship is at stake I’m a lot more interested in the answer.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Health Net punished for lying about contract cancellation bonuses

Health Net punished for lying about contract cancellation bonuses:

"State health regulators fined Health Net Inc. $1 million Thursday for lying to investigators about paying employees bonuses based on the number of contracts they canceled after those policyholders got sick. The penalty was the first levied on a health insurer for withholding information about incentives given to its employees. Health Net, along with other major health insurers, is being investigated for combing through applications of members after they have filed claims to find mistakes or omissions that would justify revoking policies. Insurers say they resort to rescinding policies only when members lie about their health histories, but consumers say the questionnaires often are vague and misleading. As part of the investigation, state regulators asked Health Net officials on two separate occasions whether the company gave financial bonuses to its employees for rescinding policies. State law prohibits tying compensation to claims decisions. Both times, plan officials denied doing so."

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Monday, October 22, 2007

Red Sox World Series Ticket Raffle

Here's a chance to put some of your money to good use and get a chance to see the Red Sox play the Rockies on Thursday night. This is the text of an e-mail I received.

>>Are you a Red Sox fan? Can’t get your hands on a pair of World Series tickets?

Well now’s your chance to win two tickets to see the Red Sox play the Rockies at Fenway Park on Thursday, October 25, 2007. We are offering Jane Doe Inc. supporters the chance to have the experience of a lifetime – watching the Red Sox play in Game 2 of the World Series.

Enter our raffle and by purchasing a chance, you can help support Jane Doe Inc.’s critical work to end domestic violence and sexual assault while cheering on our beloved Red Sox at Fenway.

This time around we're doubling the chance for you to win. We're raffling off 2 pair of tickets.

To be sure your chances of winning are greater, we will sell no more than 1000 raffle tickets.

Raffle tickets can be purchased for $50 payable on our website at www.janedoe.org between 5:00 pm on Monday October 22 and 5:00 pm on Wednesday, October 24, 2007.

The drawing will take place Wednesday night and winners will be notified immediately by both email and phone. Enter now for the chance of a lifetime!

Remember, raffle tickets will be available starting Monday at 5 pm.

Feel free to forward this email to friends and family! Thank you for supporting Jane Doe Inc. and Go Red Sox!!!!!<<

Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

July 9, 2007 - Cartoon Caption Contest # 105

“I told you this house was too close to the moon.”
Laura Hipp
Jackson, Miss.

Drawing by Tom Cheney

Friday, October 05, 2007

Conservatives Are Such Jokers - New York Times

Conservatives Are Such Jokers - New York Times:

"In anticipation of the veto, William Kristol, the editor of The Weekly Standard, had this to say: “First of all, whenever I hear anything described as a heartless assault on our children, I tend to think it’s a good idea. I’m happy that the president’s willing to do something bad for the kids.” Heh-heh-heh."

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Fung Shui On The Rise In China

From The Standard: "Party worries as fung shui gains ground" looks at the return/spread of olden beliefs.

The Standard - Hong Kong's First FREE English Newspaper:

"In the years leading up to the handover it looked like communism might triumph. This year, however, a different reality has been emerging. Not only has scientific Marxism failed to banish humbug from its Hong Kong hideout, but superstition from the SAR has crossed the border, conquered China, and now looks like its on the way to taking over the party itself."

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Distance Learning On Second Life

The Gate: Blackwater CEO Confident -- And For Good Reason (10/02/07)

The Gate: Blackwater CEO Confident -- And For Good Reason (10/02/07):

"In the meantime, it is unclear what will become of the Blackwater employees involved in that shooting if they are found to have acted negligently or maliciously. In one of his final acts as head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, Ambassador Paul Bremer issued an order exempting U.S. contractors from Iraqi law. The employees' actions could maybe, possibly be prosecutable under American civilian or military law, but with a lot of legal leapfrogging. It's not clear how much of a stomach a U.S. prosecutor or the U.S. military would have for the fight, and considering it hasn't happened yet after more than four years of reported abuses, Balkinization's David Luban writes, it's unlikely. If Prince seemed incredibly confident during his grilling today, that may be why."

Saturday, September 29, 2007

J. Noah Funderburg For President

Altered iPhones Freeze Up - New York Times:

"J. Noah Funderburg, an assistant dean at the University of Alabama School of Law in Tuscaloosa and a longtime Mac user, had little sympathy for iPhone hot-rodders. “Anyone who hacks must know that they are taking certain risks,” Mr. Funderburg said. ”If they aren’t willing to assume the risks upfront — like a brick iPhone — then maybe they should not hack the device. “We have a free marketplace,” he said. “Buy a product, including using it on the terms accompanying the purchase, or don’t buy it. And learn to live with not always getting everything you want.”"

J. Noah Funderburg has a way with words.

Friday, September 28, 2007

GOP no-shows take pounding at black forum / To peers' chagrin, party's top 4 candidates for president skip African American event

GOP no-shows take pounding at black forum / To peers' chagrin, party's top 4 candidates for president skip African American event:

The invitations to this event came out months ago but these guys still couldn't make it.

>>"Former Sen. Fred Thompson was at a fundraiser in Franklin, Tenn. Former Gov. Mitt Romney was gathering checks in Rancho Santa Fe (San Diego County). Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani was in Napa raking in some last-minute cash. Sen. John McCain spent the day in New York City, giving a speech and raising money. Such were the scheduling conflicts that left the lecterns for the leading candidates for the Republican presidential nomination empty "<<

Monday, September 24, 2007

Paragraph of the Month - George Clooney

From Hecklerspray, a single paragraph worth noting.
George Clooney Knackers His Rib Falling Off Motorbike - Hecklerspray: Music, Movies, TV, Celebs, Games and Gossip: "Or maybe when George Clooney fell off his motorbike he was screaming like a girl, as we suspect we would too. We just don't know. But we do know that George Clooney fell off his motorbike on Friday after being clipped by a car in New Jersey. Fortunately, though, George Clooney escaped serious harm and only managed to pick up a fractured rib while his girlfriend broke her foot. But, ever the easy-going optimist, George Clooney has turned the motorbike accident to his advantage; not only has he been approached to endorse nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in the lucrative Pacific Rim markets, but it's spurred George Clooney on to organise an all-star charity concert to raise awareness of how famous actors should get their own lanes on public highways."

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Buffalo Bisons: 8/13/2007

Buffalo Bisons: Scoreboard: Scoreboard:

"Brett Gardner drew a leadoff walk in the decisive frame and advanced to second on a sacrifice. Two batters later, Chavez's base hit plated Gardner. Chavez ripped a solo homer, his ninth, in the sixth and Bronson Sardinha collected three hits for the Yankees (69-53), who maintained a two-game lead over Rochester in the International League's North Division. Reliever Edwar Ramirez (1-0) picked up his first Triple-A win, despite giving up a run on one hit and two walks while fanning five in two innings. Brian Bruney allowed one hit in a scoreless 11th for his first save. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre starter Ian Kennedy yielded three runs on seven hits and four walks while striking out two over six frames."

Monday, September 17, 2007

Blackwater license being revoked in Iraq - Yahoo! News

Blackwater license being revoked in Iraq - Yahoo! News:

"The U.S. Embassy said a State Department motorcade came under small-arms fire that disabled one of the vehicles, which had to be towed from the scene near Nisoor Square in the Mansour district. 'There was a convoy of State Department personnel and a car bomb went off in proximity to them and there was an exchange of fire as the personnel were returning to the International Zone,' embassy spokesman Johann Schmonsees said, referring to the heavily fortified U.S.-protected area in central Baghdad also known as the Green Zone."

Friday, September 14, 2007

FOXNews.com - Weather Forecasters Have an Obligation to Report The Truth - FOX Fan

FOXNews.com - Weather Forecasters Have an Obligation to Report The Truth - FOX Fan

"I recall early on in Gaby’s formation one of the local channels here in New York (that shall remain un-named even though I’d love to call them out!) went crazy on the potential for Gaby to “BECOME A HURRICANE AND HIT THE JERSEY SHORE!” This was being said even before the storm was categorized as even a depression out in the Atlantic! Early computer models were all over the place in trying to figure out where the storm was going. There was only one model early on that brought the storm up close to the New York City vicinity and most of the other weather models were aping for more of a “Carolinas” storm.

I found it very interesting that this station was moving quickly on the possibility that this storm could come up and slam the New York City area. Is this for ratings? Scare tactics? Getting your name in lights as being the only station predicting the storm “COULD MOST DEFINITELY (!) hit the tri-state area?” Now, I can understand if the National Hurricane Center had come out with a forecast that made their track a little more northeast centered, I might be a little forgiving … but that was not the case. I found myself getting really angry with this local station blatantly going to air and trying to scare people that, “The big one could be coming!"

Maybe because I do national weather, I’m a little more immune to these local games, but come on! What happened to being responsible weather forecasters? What happened to saying “the eastern seaboard needs to monitor this storm system?” I found myself flipping through all the local channels to see who was being fair and who was being out of line and irresponsible. I will give a shout out to our local FOX station, FOX 5 and their forecasting team, led by Nick Gregory, who were very conscious of their viewing audience. There was zero fear forecasting from Mr. Gregory whom I think is the best in the business here in town. (OK, I’m a little biased … but I think most New Yorkers would agree with me here!)"

Thursday, September 06, 2007

cbs4denver.com - Popcorn Lung Victim: 'Friggin' Unbelievable'

cbs4denver.com - Popcorn Lung Victim: 'Friggin' Unbelievable': "'I wasn't snorting the stuff you know,' Watson, the sole reported case of 'popcorn lung' disease in a non-factory worker, said during an interview late Wednesday. 'You know when you open it up, you get the 'whoof.'' The suburban Denver furniture salesman acknowledged he enjoyed at least two bags of popcorn every day for 10 years, buying it by the case, until he was diagnosed by lung specialists at National Jewish Medical and Research Center this year. Watson, 53, said his breathing has improved since his doctor told him to quit eating his extra-buttery microwave popcorn and lose weight. He said he's dieting and lost some 35 pounds, regained lung capacity, and his prognosis is good."

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Hidden Truth About Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs - Share The Wealth

Statins!!!!!!!!!!!
The Hidden Truth About Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs - Share The Wealth

Attack of the Killer Popcorn

You'll cough, you'll wheeze, you'll gasp for air!

"ConAgra, the world's largest supplier of the 3 billion bags of microwave popcorn sold each year, said Tuesday that it will eliminate the use of a controversial chemical butter flavoring linked to severe lung disease in workers from its Act II and Orville Redenbacher products."

Popcorn supplier to drop toxic chemical

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

No Longer One of 'Jerry's Kids' - washingtonpost.com

No Longer One of 'Jerry's Kids' - washingtonpost.com:

"Of course, MDA may respect the disabled more than its fund-raising tactics imply. If it wants to stand out as an advocate for disability rights, however, it should set a better example -- and demand that its corporate contributors do as well. When most people see those of us with severe, progressive neurological conditions, they want to help, and I am not ungrateful. The desire to cure is probably human nature. And MDA's main mission is to be a medical charity; it claims to spend 77 cents of every dollar it raises on services, an admirable percentage, and finances hundreds of clinics and medical researchers. Still, for the past 30 years, the message of the disability-rights movement has been as consistent as it is simple: We're fine as we are. We don't need fixing. We need access. We need respect. We need work. In other words, we need the same things everybody else does. So today, I won't be watching the telethon. My wife and I and our two kids have better things to do."

2007/09/28 Update: I knew some people as far back as 1980 that had similar feelings about the telethon and being described as "Jerry's Kids". One of them, now that I think about it, was the late Professor Irving Zola of Brandeis University. The general feeling was that much of it was patronizing and somewhat demeaning. There were similar complaints from kids who appeared on March Of Dimes and Easter Seals posters. There were comments that they had been used for, among other thing, their cuteness.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Clemens Needs To Retire

From "Felix inches Mariners closer to Yanks" on MLB.com: Roger gets racked again and his losses mount.
The Official Site of Major League Baseball: News: Major League Baseball News:

"The last time the Mariners were in New York, Clemens announced on the big-screen matrix board that he was returning to the Yankees. That was a Kodak moment, for sure. He shared the big stage with someone half his age on Monday and came away with his sixth loss."

When moderates feel lost in the GOP - Los Angeles Times

When moderates feel lost in the GOP - Los Angeles Times:

"But Koster reserved his harshest criticism for GOP efforts to overturn a voter-approved constitutional amendment that protects embryonic stem-cell research in Missouri. 'The Republican desire is to criminalize early-stage stem-cell research in our state,' Koster said in a speech he repeated three times as he hopscotched across the state. 'Go to Boston for your Nobel Prize; come to Missouri for your leg irons. And the Missouri Republican Party not only tolerates this lunacy, but embraces it,' Koster said."

Friday, August 31, 2007

Not All HDTVs Can Keep Up With the Action - New York Times

Not All HDTVs Can Keep Up With the Action - New York Times

"Sit for the first time in front of a high-definition TV tuned to a nature program broadcast in HD, and the reaction is almost always the same: a dropping of the jaw. But if you’re a sports fan or serious video gamer, the same set showing the Super Bowl or a car-racing game might elicit a different response: the screen cannot keep up with the action.

Fast movement results in a blur, what the TV industry calls ghosting, because the screen’s ability to refresh the image cannot keep up with the action. So viewers for whom action matters need to pay as much attention to how fast images are processed as to the size of the screen."

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Nikon's Coolpix frenzy continues with L14, L15, S700, and S510 - Engadget

Nikon's Coolpix frenzy continues with L14, L15, S700, and S510 - Engadget

Moving into higher-end territory, the Coolpix S700 packs an impressive 12.1 megapixels, a 3x optical zoom and a 2.7-inch LCD in a slim aluminum body, while the also-aluminum S510 boasts 8.0 megapixels, a 3x optical zoom, and a pink color option in addition to the standard black and silver. Look for the whole lot of them to be available sometime next month, with the L14 and L15 running $150 and $180, respectively, and the S700 and S510 setting you back $380 and $300 apiece.

Read - Nikon Coolpix L14
Read - Nikon Coolpix L15
Read - Nikon Coolpix S700
Read - Nikon Coolpix S510

Apple sued for alleged violation of accessibility laws at retail store - Engadget

Apple sued for alleged violation of accessibility laws at retail store - Engadget

Monday, August 20, 2007

Vultures Pretend To Emulate Grameen & Yunus

From Forbes.com:
"Some small-loan schemes for the very poor are no better than usury because they charge high interest under the guise of microcredit, Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus said Tuesday."
Nobel Laureate Slams Loans - Forbes.com

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

China Olympics 2008 - Built On The Backs Of The Poor

globeandmail.com: Olympics all work and no pay for migrant workers

>> He works for 10 hours a day, seven days a week, earning a meagre salary of $120 a month.

The 53-year-old migrant worker from Henan province is housed in a crowded dormitory, 15 workers in each room, without air conditioning or even a fan.

By mid-day, the suffocating heat can climb to 40 degrees [over 100 degrees Farenheit]. If he gets thirsty while he works, he has to pay for his own bottles of water.<<

Saturday, July 28, 2007

San Jose Mercury News - The teachings of Homer Simpson

San Jose Mercury News - The teachings of Homer Simpson:

"Hell probably smells just like barbecue. Whether it's more mustard-based or ketchup-based, I do not know. ('Simpsons Bible Stories,' 1999)"

Monday, July 09, 2007

SiCKO Builds a Movement | TPMCafe

SiCKO Builds a Movement | TPMCafe:

>>"After seeing Moore's film, most people want to pose a big question to all politicians: Will you work to guarantee health care for all? Not incrementally – one disease at a time, or one group (like kids) and then another group (like their parents) in another program – but through a universal system of health care for all?

Here's a second crucial question we should politicians: Will you pledge to cut the big insurance and drug companies out of a central role in the design of your universal health care plan? This week the Campaign for America's Future joined with MoveOn in a campaign to urge our members to take friends to see SiCKO and then to communicate with all the candidates for president, asking them to reject contributions from big insurance and drug companies. We will publicize the answers."<<

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Miners denied pay for months then beaten - World - theage.com.au

Labor Relations In China

Miners denied pay for months then beaten - World - theage.com.au: "Instead, workers were told they must pay for their food, equipment and other costs that exceeded the salaries due to them.

When workers protested, they were threatened by knife-wielding hired thugs, it said.

Several workers who left separately were later tracked down and beaten up."

Sicko: Commenting on commentaries | Twin Cities Daily Planet | Minneapolis - St. Paul

Sicko: Commenting on commentaries | Twin Cities Daily Planet | Minneapolis - St. Paul:

>> "The “Sicko” reviews and commentary are running pretty much true to form, but, interestingly enough, after all the snideness is done, every writer I've come across has had to admit that it is a good film, and that, sonofagun, the United States health care “system” truly is a bloody awful mess, pretty much as Moore says."<<

Saturday, July 07, 2007

How the World Works: Globalization, Globalization Blogs - Salon.com

How the World Works: Globalization, Globalization Blogs - Salon.com: "The long arms of Enron reach beyond the grave

'Excessive Speculation in the Natural Gas Market,' a139-page report released June 25 by the United States Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, is a masterpiece of its genre. An account of the energy market shenanigans engaged in by the now-defunct hedge fund Amaranth, the report is well-written, extensively documented, and makes a dramatically persuasive argument: A broken regulatory system allowed Amaranth the leeway to distort natural gas prices, and the system needs to be fixed."

Lake Expo Online - Lake News

THE WAY IT IS: Typewriters hurled over Scooter Libby fiasco

Lake Expo Online - Lake News

>>Libby should have gone to jail, period. He was found guilty, sentenced by a judge and his bid to put off his jail time during appeals was rejected by a panel of judges. I think the man who prosecuted the Libby case, Patrick Fitzgerald, put it well in his statement after the commutation:

“We fully recognize that the Constitution provides that commutation decisions are a matter of presidential prerogative and we do not comment on the exercise of that prerogative.

“We comment only on the statement in which the President termed the sentence imposed by the judge as ‘excessive.’ The sentence in this case was imposed pursuant to the laws governing sentencings which occur every day throughout this country. In this case, an experienced federal judge considered extensive argument from the parties and then imposed a sentence consistent with the applicable laws. It is fundamental to the rule of law that all citizens stand before the bar of justice as equals. That principle guided the judge during both the trial and the sentencing.

“Although the President’s decision eliminates Mr. Libby’s sentence of imprisonment, Mr. Libby remains convicted by a jury of serious felonies, and we will continue to seek to preserve those convictions through the appeals process.”

At least one sentence of that statement is worth repeating: “It is fundamental to the rule of law that all citizens stand before the bar of justice as equals.”<<

Thursday, July 05, 2007

White House Doesn't Bother To Defend Libby Commutation

Clinton's criticism is met with an attack on his own record. No actual defense of the commutation was offered. Maybe they couldn't of think one.
WCAV - News: "The White House responded saying that they couldn't believe the previous administration would have the gall to criticize Libby's commutation considering their last minute pardons."

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Soccer Gold Cup Draws Larger TV Audience Than Stanley Cup Hockey Finals

By Far!!!
From Soccer365: "The recent Gold Cup attracted 41 percent more television households in the United States than the Stanley Cup finals clincher -- and that was just for the soccer game's Spanish-language telecast."
Soccer365

Monday, July 02, 2007

Happy Birthday, FOIA! You Suck.

Threat Level - Wired Blogs

"One of the most important oversight tools available to the American citizen, FOIA is mired in staggering bureaucracy. An enormous backlog of FOIA requests exists at most agencies, which often ignore the mandatory 20-day response the law requires. Sometimes they ignore it for 15 years or more, as a new report (.pdf) by George Washington University's National Security Archive and the Knight Foundation reveals."

"Ten other agencies misreported their oldest pending requests and five agencies (State, Air Force, CIA, and the criminal division and FBI at the Justice Department) have requests that date back 15 years or more. Last week, the CIA released its "family jewels" documents because of a National Security Archive request 15 years ago. The released files detail CIA attempts to assassinate heads of state, secret LSD tests gone wrong, illegal spying on Americans and a range of other nastiness. At the time, the CIA said this was the oldest pending FOIA request at the agency. Not so, according to the FOIA report, which has uncovered a request from July 1989 asking for information on Manucher Ghorbanifar and Iran-Contra."

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Hatchet Annie - Coulter Strikes Again

Ann Coulter: "Giving strong women everywhere a bad name" | BlogHer

This links to a range of opinions on Annie's latest stink. Most of them are thoughtful and well reasoned but I have to disagree with the 'insult comic' theory. Unlike Don Rickles or Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog, Coulter is not trying to be funny. She's a zealot for her cause and she's on the attack from the word go, aggressive and hostile and not looking to be at all conciliatory. You're either with her or against her and if you're against her you're not going to hear jokes or comic ridicule you're going to hear scorn and derisive comments about your personal beliefs and dismissal of your basic value as a human being. Insult comics have no problem making a person look ridiculous in order to make their audience laugh but they stop short, if they want to keep working, of vicious attacks and character assassination because nobody thinks that stuff is funny.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Skype 3.5 adds Call Transfer

Skype 3.5 adds Call Transfer

"So in other words using On-State, a business can setup a call center WITH ACD functionality and WITH Call Transfer functionality and with all the other typical Skype features (voicemail, IM, etc.). What else do you need to run your enterprise voice network? If any company is running a company with >10 employees and is exclusively using Skype, let me know and I'll profile your organization here on my blog."

Skype Journal: Skype Sightings at eBay Live

Skype Journal: Skype Sightings at eBay Live

Wii Bowling at eBay Live Boston

Wii Bowling at eBay Live Boston

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

KCBS - Contaminated Toothpaste Sold in Bay Area

KCBS - Contaminated Toothpaste Sold in Bay Area: "Marie Coveney didn't notice her toothpaste was made in South Africa when she first bought it. But she stopped using it because, 'My husband tasted it (and he said), 'This tastes kind of funny; where'd you get it?' I said, 'the flea market.' I tasted it, too, (it) does not taste like Colgate.'"

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Lothrop Withington III, 65; handled legal system with the ease of a sailor - The Boston Globe

Lothrop Withington III, 65; handled legal system with the ease of a sailor - The Boston Globe: "When he was out of the office, Mr. Withington loved nothing more than slipping on rain gear and sailing the Atlantic in his 23-foot sailboat, the Aleator. He regularly chartered boats in the Virgin Islands and competed in the Marion to Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race.

Mr. Withington was the son of Lothrop Withington Jr. of Plymouth, who was said to have started the goldfish-swallowing craze at Harvard College in 1939, and Lois Brewster Roberts of Harwich, who descended from a Mayflower passenger."

Thursday, June 14, 2007

No gay marriage vote for Massachusetts | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle

No gay marriage vote for Massachusetts | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle: "Raymond Flynn, the former Boston mayor and former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican who was the lead sponsor of the proposed amendment, said the 170,000 Massachusetts residents who signed the petition for the ban 'had their vote stolen from them.'"

Ray Flynn cries foul but conveniently ignores history. The fact is that the judges who interpreted the constitution and came down with the pro gay marriage ruling were all appointed by duly elected Governors of the Commonwealth and the legislators who stood for equlity and fairness today were all duly elected representatives of the people.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

RED ALERT! EU moves past “grave concern” mode - New Europe News: #1 The European News Source

RED ALERT! EU moves past “grave concern” mode - New Europe News: #1 The European News Source: "More worries for dictators, despots, totalitarians and just-plain bad people who run countries like Sudan, where hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and two million more forced into refugee status: the European Union is upgrading its level of concern over genocide, mass murder, and repression of human rights.
Until now, the EU thought it was enough to fire off a flurry of press releases, killing more trees then people have died in Darfur, to express its worry.
But being ignored for four years has so irritated the EU that its previous strategy of sending off a letter, then another letter and another letter, expressing “concern,” and then “deep concern” and then “grave concern,” will be replaced with a new system expressing faux grief. "

They make a number of very good points in this piece and the sarcasm is right on target. On the negative side they failed to give credit to the Three Stooges for the Dewey Cheatum and Howe* reference and in re: levels of concern it seems like minty fresh concern should have been mentioned. Maybe that's just me.

*Formerly Wee Fleeceum and Howe

Friday, June 08, 2007

Pace goes to keep war process details out of the light

General 'sacrificed' to clear decks on Iraq | Iraq | Guardian Unlimited: "It was also seen as an extraordinary retreat for an administration which had earlier prided itself on its resolve in pursuing policy matters, as well as loyalty to personnel. Mr Gates told the press conference that conversations in recent weeks with both Republican and Democratic senators had convinced him that a confirmation process would have shone the spotlight on the prosecution of the war."

Yeah, God forbid we should do that.

Scientist says executive of Avandia firm tried to bully - The Boston Globe

Scientist says executive of Avandia firm tried to bully - The Boston Globe

>>An executive of the company that makes the diabetes drug Avandia said a researcher who was among the first to link it to heart problems would be held liable for the $4 billion GlaxoSmithKline PLC lost in stock value as a result of his findings, Dr. John B. Buse testified before congressional investigators yesterday.<<

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Second Life gets a Bay State boost - The Boston Globe

Second Life gets a Bay State boost - The Boston Globe
Look for improvement in the quality of the graphics within a few weeks.

Propaganda slogans on walls of buildings

Asia Times Online :: China News - The writing is on the wall:
"" "Mao had revolutionary slogans painted on walls, and billboards were used to promote the party's line and policy, just like outdoor advertising for commodities. Under Mao, both in the civil war leading up to the taking of power and afterward, outdoor slogans were a highly effective propaganda instrument.

In the Mao era, the use of outdoor slogans reached its climax"........

Nevertheless, one of Mao's legacies is that outdoor slogans are still widely used as propaganda tools, though most prime outdoor space in large cities has been sold for revenue-generating advertising. For the political messages, the difference nowadays is that the slogans are much more diversified and largely address local affairs. "

This might be a good idea for Second Life.

Bilking the Elderly, With a Corporate Assist - New York Times

Bilking the Elderly, With a Corporate Assist - New York Times: "As Mr. Guthrie sat home alone — surrounded by his Purple Heart medal, photos of eight children and mementos of a wife who was buried nine years earlier — the telephone rang day and night. After criminals tricked him into revealing his banking information, they went to Wachovia, the nation’s fourth-largest bank, and raided his account, according to banking records.

“I loved getting those calls,” Mr. Guthrie said in an interview. “Since my wife passed away, I don’t have many people to talk with. I didn’t even know they were stealing from me until everything was gone.”"

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Determine your stop position before you enter a trade

An excerpt from the following:
Tune In ConocoPhillips' Predictable Channel
By Dan Fitzpatrick
RealMoney.com Contributor

5/15/2007 11:00 AM EDT

URL: http://www.thestreet.com/p/rmoney/technicalanalysis/10356847.html
Rather than determining your stop after you decide to buy, I think you should decide to buy only after you have determined where your stop is. As a function of discipline, most traders define risk before entering a position rather than saying, "If it's flyin', I'm buyin'!" and blindly jumping in. They'll base the position's stop on a known parameter such as congestion or a key moving average. The method of setting a stop differs for each trade but however you do it, you're determining the price where you believe sufficient buying interest exists to halt any decline. But by starting with the stop, you can decide before you even enter the trade whether the stock is in a good position to buy. Is there a trade? If the market price is too far away from the best stop level, the trade isn't likely to work -- so don't take it. Instead, remain patient and wait for a better entry or move on to the next trading opportunity. Only take the trade if the price is sufficiently close to your predetermined stop level to present an acceptable risk profile. .....................................
The next time you consider buying a stock, take some time to make an unbiased determination of what price level the stock must trade to in order to put the uptrend in serious doubt. Then compare that level with the current price of the stock. If the difference between the two is small enough to warrant a trade, take it. If not, then respect your trading capital and take a pass.

CHI-TOWN Rain Benches Yanks & White Sox

Game may start at 9:00

Friday, May 11, 2007

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Fresh violence in France after Sarkozy election - Forbes.com

Fresh violence in France after Sarkozy election - Forbes.com: "PARIS (Thomson Financial) - Youths fought police and burned cars in cities across France for a second night after Nicolas Sarkozy's presidential victory, prompting the leader of the defeated Socialists to appeal for calm.

Some 500 youths shouting 'Sarko, fascist!' went on a rampage in the Bastille district of eastern Paris on Monday night, burning 10 cars, looting two stores including a supermarket and smashing windows, police said."

Monday, May 07, 2007

Hugh Coveney

An excerpt of material found in a post Politics.ie Forum
Sunday April 8th 2007

""HUGH Coveney concluded his business chat with publican Denis Quinn - the last man to see him alive - and went for his usual walk with his dogs at Robert's Cove in Cork.

It was shortly after 11am on Saturday March 14, 1998, six months after the Moriarty tribunal was set up, and just five months after Flood was established. It's unlikely these matters were on the mind of the 62-year-old former Fine Gael minister as he negotiated the familiar sheer cliff edge he had walked so many times before.

Eight hours later, when her husband had failed to return for a scheduled dinner party with friends, his wife Pauline raised the alarm. Some time later his body was found. His loyal Scottish terrier, Sasha, had remained below the cliff site, where Mr Coveney is believed to have fallen. By torchlight, they had found the dog barking near the base of Robert's Head.

"She was in a very distressed condition," it was later reported.

The previous day the gentleman politician had changed his last will and testament - a curiously timed act which, when it was revealed, led to speculation that the politician of a merchant prince family had taken his own life.

If the tribunals were not on his mind, then maybe, it was speculated, his imminent unmasking as the holder of a notorious Ansbacher account might have been. Or was he perhaps still ruminating on his fall from grace just three years earlier?""

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The queen of England goes to the Kentucky Derby - BFD

Marc Fisher - Shameful Bowing Before the Crown - washingtonpost.com:

Marc Fisher and Thomas Paine explain why Americans shouldn't care.

"In our country, all men are created equal. 'Exalting one man so greatly above the rest cannot be justified on the equal rights of nature,' Thomas Paine wrote in 'Common Sense,' the 46-page tract that called on colonial Americans to revolt.

Our revolution was not against King George III so much as the concept of the monarch, the notion that power and status are inherited from one generation to the next. Paine called this idea 'unwise, unjust, unnatural -- an insult and an imposition on posterity.'

Every word of Paine's booklet applies as much today as it did in 1776, when he warned that people who believe they are born to be in charge of others 'are early poisoned by importance. . . . The world they act in differs so materially from the world at large that they have but little opportunity of knowing its true interests.'"

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Hampton Union Currents: Readers send in their favorite cookie recipes

Hampton Union Currents: Readers send in their favorite cookie recipes

Gus Saunders - Boston Kitchen

North East RadioWatch: October 8, 1999

North East RadioWatch: October 8, 1999: "It's not easy to rack up a 56-year career in radio, but that's just what Gus Saunders managed to do. At WMEX, the Yankee Network, and for the last 22 years at Carter Broadcasting's WROL, Saunders became one of New England's longest-running radio personalities -- but Friday, October 1, marked his last 'Yankee Kitchen' show on WROL and a New England network. Congratulations to one of the few radio guys who managed to go out his way, in style..."

WRKO Newspaper Clippings

WRKO Newspaper Clippings

February 7, 1967 — WNAC Staff Terminated


Nearing the time for the changeover from WNAC to WRKO, this article appeared in

The Boston Traveler, written by Television Editor Eleanor Roberts.


WRKO's granddaddy of a radio headache caused by fans screaming over the loss of Gus Saunders, Roy Leonard and Jim Dixon, Mary Sparks, Fred Gale and Palmer Payne, may be compounded by the possibility of an engineer's strike affecting both WNAC radio and TV.

--------------------------


As for the station's "magnanimous gesture" in offering "booth" jobs to the boys, some of them don't think it's all that altruistic. "Fire us and there's severance pay to consider," one man, who for obvious reasons, prefers to remain anonymous, said. "Put us in a 'booth' and if we get another job elsewhere — they save money."

"It's the cleanest sweep in 23 years even to the request to change the call letters to WRKO," Gus Saunders, who has been with the station since 1944, remarked. "It's ironic, because my Boston Kitchen show was one of their biggest moneymakers."

"We were No. 1 with the women in the ratings, had a waiting list of sponsors and when our cookbook was published, sold 15,000 copies at $1 each in three weeks. But that's show-biz, as they say."

Gus, like the others, will make the switch to TV but it's a far cry from having your own show to being relegated to "booth" work. Loyal fans are rallying to the aid of their favorites, even contacting sponsors, threatening to boycott their products if they continue to advertise on the station. But such gestures seldom accomplish anything.

(end of article)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Doctors refuse to take bitter no-gift medicine | Chicago Tribune

Doctors refuse to take bitter no-gift medicine | Chicago Tribune

From The Chicago Tribune: I added the bold type.

"Despite self-policing initiatives launched by organized medical groups and the drug and device makers to curb the cozy relationship between physicians and industry, 94 percent "or virtually all" physicians have at least one type of relationship with the drug industry, according to a study scheduled to be published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
"

Monday, April 23, 2007

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Flickr: Discussing Photo Tip For Narcissists in Second Life

Flickr: Discussing Photo Tip For Narcissists in Second Life
Cool tip from Gaynor Gritzi of Flickr and Second Life.

view profile

Gaynor Gritzi says:

Yes, and we're all narcissists in Second Life aren't we?

Simply because of the practicalities that if you want an av in a picture, it's quicker and easier to do it yourself than try to explain to someone else what you want them to do, where you want them to stand etc.

First of all you need to bring up the client menu - if you can't see the words Client and Server at the top of your screen then press CTRL+ALT+D. See them now?

Then go to Client > Character > Slow Motion Animations.

Now whenever you play an animation, it'll be in SloMo - about half speed. It helps if you're trying to catch an action shot - particularly good for taking dancing shots - at least that's what I usually use it for.

The reason why this is a tip for narcissists is that you'll be the only one that can see the SloMo - everybody else will just see you acting normally.
Posted at 6:10pm, 10 April 2007 EDT ( permalink )

Friday, April 13, 2007

Tracking The Trackers - Forbes.com

Tracking The Trackers - Forbes.com

Comscore, provider of valuable info to some and unprincipled snoop to others, is going public. Forbes.com looks at statements in ComScore's initial S-1 prospectus filing.

"In response to spyware and adware concerns, numerous programs are available, many of which are available for free, that claim to identify and remove spyware and adware from users’ computers," "Some of these anti-spyware programs have in the past identified, and may in the future identify, our software as spyware or as a potential spyware application."

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Scientists Say Dieting Does Not Work

Scientists Say Dieting Does Not Work

>> UCLA associate professor of psychology and lead author of the study, Traci Mann said:

"You can initially lose 5 to 10 percent of your weight on any number of diets, but then the weight comes back."

"We found that the majority of people regained all the weight, plus more," she added.

The researchers found a very small minority of study participants managed to sustain weight loss, while the majority put all the weight back on, and more in the longer term.

"Diets do not lead to sustained weight loss or health benefits for the majority of people," said Dr Mann.<<

Friday, March 23, 2007

The Yelp in Review � Suzanne Minassian

The Yelp in Review � Suzanne Minassian

"...we don't have the technical capacity to create something like this."

>>Monday, Obama told Larry King in an interview that the ad was "not something that we had anything to do with or were aware of, and that frankly, given what it looks like, we don't have the technical capacity to create something like this."<<

This is the quote I referred to. I have to take him at his word, for now at least, on the first part but as for the second he sounds naive and ignorant if he really thinks a company like Blue State Digital or one of it's employees couldn't make a few simple alterations to an already existing commercial.
Or maybe he thinks
DeVellis made the spot from scratch. Produced it, came up with a budget, hired director and crew, actors, got studio space, post production facilities, etc. I'd hate to think he was that clueless but it would explain what he said.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

"The game has changed"

Democratic operative claims credit for anti-Clinton ad - Los Angeles Times
So says the author of the Hilary Clinton 1984 video. And he's dead on point. There are plenty of people with the tools and the knowhow to do something like this and we're bound to see more.
On Obama: He made a statement yesterday to the point that he and his campaign didn't have the abiltiy to produce the piece. Is he really that naive? If he and his campaign are using production services and the like to make television commercials, record speeches and events, etc. then there's no doubt that ability exists. What does he think these people do?

From Philip DeVellis
"There are thousands of other people who could have made this ad, and I guarantee that more ads like it — by people of all political persuasions — will follow," De Vellis wrote. "This shows that the future of American politics rests in the hands of ordinary citizens."

He added that he made the ad "on a Sunday afternoon in my apartment using my personal equipment (a Mac and some software), uploaded it to YouTube and sent links around to blogs." He said the "underlying point was that the old political machine no longer holds all the power."

"The game has changed," De Vellis wrote.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Massachusetts Republicans Continue Last Ditch Effort

I've blogged about this before but Healey for Governor ads are still appearing on my page nearly five months after the disastrous end to her campaign.

Massachusetts Towns Disaster Response Plans

What are they and where are they?
On the South Shore answers vary with 'who wants to know?', 'not anytime soon', 'they're around here somewhere I'm pretty sure' and 'prepare to kiss your disabled ass goodbye' being the gist of the responses from various town officials . This Patriot Ledger piece recaps their survey of twenty three South Shore Communities. And, to be fair the majority of those towns did have plans in place. Do the plans have a chance of being effective? That's a question for another day.

Towns give the runaround: Several on South Shore evasive when asked about disaster response plans

By Patriot Ledger staff

After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina and pretty much every disaster, emergency management officials tell citizens about the need to have survival plans.

Communities are supposed to have plans, too, and federal regulations stipulate that the public can see them. But if you want to find yours, be prepared to dig.

In a survey of 23 South Shore communities, 14 made their full emergency plans available, six refused and three provided partial reports.

Reporters who made the requests usually identified themselves as members of the public to see what a citizen might encounter when requesting the information. Several said they were questioned about why they wanted the information.

In other cases, reporters were sent to the wrong person or department, and subsequent phone calls from The Patriot Ledger found that the information was housed elsewhere.

In some cases, the plans that were available had not been updated since 1998.

In Carver, Emergency Management Director Tom Walsh told a reporter who requested a copy of the town’s emergency plan: ‘‘I know what game you’re playing.’’

After the reporter filed her request in writing, as told to do by Walsh, he then told her that she had to specify what information she wanted. Ultimately, Walsh refused to provide a copy of any part of the report.

The portion of Carver east of Route 58 is part of the Pilgrim nuclear power plant emergency planning zone.

Other communities had difficulty locating reports or had reports that were many years out of date. According to federal regulations, the plans are supposed to be updated annually, or more often if changes in the community warrant it.

Some barriers to information that reporters encountered included:

-In Marshfield , a police sergeant used an emergency management network to alert local, state and federal officials to spread information about terror threats and other emergencies to let them know reporters would be asking questions about the report.

Ultimately, he told a reporter he would prepare a document available to the public that excludes sensitive materials such as private phone numbers and tactical response plans.

-In Hanson, a reporter was told that the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency recommended the town not release the report. An agency spokesman said it does not tell communities whether to release reports.

‘‘These are local communities’ plans, and therefore it’s sort of their call,’’ said agency spokesman Peter Judge. ‘‘We wouldn’t tell them, ‘No, you can’t share them,’ or, ‘Yes, you have to share them with everyone.’’’

In many cases, whether a report was made available depended on who was asked.

- In Hingham , an administrative assistant at town hall said the report was unavailable there and a reporter was sent to the fire department. There, he was told that the document was temporarily unavailable and was likely at Fire Chief Mark Duff’s house during the fire department’s move to temporary quarters while the headquarters is being renovated.

But Friday, Duff’s assistant, Kate Knorr, said copies of the plan should be available in seven locations in the town, including the selectmen’s office, the board of health, the dispatch center, and the police department.

In several cases, town staff looked in several different offices before they located the report. Many said no one outside of town government had asked for it before.

State regulations that seem to conflict with federal regulations give municipal officials the ability to turn down requests to view the plans, almost for any reason.

Brian McNiff, spokesman for Secretary of State William Galvin, the main interpreter of the state’s records law, said people who are denied access to municipal emergency plans can appeal to Galvin. Galvin was unavailable Friday to explain why or whether state regulations supercede federal regulations.

Judge, the spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, said the state is working with cities and towns to try to put the plans on computer systems to make updating them easier.

However, it is unclear whether computerizing them will make them more available to the public. Currently, computerized plans are only available through a password, and cities and towns can charge for copies if individuals request them.

23 S. Shore towns surveyed

Full disclosure: - 14 towns made their full emergency plans available

No disclosure: - 6 towns refused to provide any information

Some info provided: - 3 towns provided partial reports

Copyright 2007 The Patriot Ledger

Transmitted Monday, March 12, 2007

Friday, March 16, 2007

Help Gang Tackle Cancer with Your Sony PS3

Or your everyday desktop for that matter. Distributed computing has come to the Sony PS3 and now users around the world can put their processing power into the fight against cancer and other illnesses. Thay have a program that's free to download, runs on it's own when the PS3 is idle and won't interfere if you're playing a game. Follow the links above to learn more about how you can help. And you can also set your desktop up to do the same thing.

"Already in operation for years on desktop PCs, Stanford University’s ‘Folding@home’ program is a “distributed computing project aimed at understanding protein folding, misfolding and related diseases”, with all the information collected sent back to a central computer for tabulating and recording into the final results."

Also, read Sony's FAQ.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Pentagon Faults Leadership for Walter Reed - washingtonpost.com

Pentagon Faults Leadership for Walter Reed - washingtonpost.com

A look at life under the new small government model. Third world ghetto conditions for the wounded vets and an instant independent review group from the negligent upper management. Translation: We're going to find someone further down the ladder to blame. And we're shocked, absolutely shocked to discover gambling going on here.

You're doing a heckuva job Brownie.

10% to 25% Off Your Utility Bills

If you qualify:

Utilities Discounts

Can I get a discount on my utilities?

If you receive electric or gas from a utility company that is regulated and you qualify financially, you are eligible for a discount on your utility bill. Local telephone companies also offer discounts (called “Lifeline” and “Linkup”) to customers who qualify financially.

What is a "regulated” gas and electric company?

In Massachusetts, investor-owned electric and gas companies are regulated by the state. By law they must offer low-income people discounts. Regulated companies include:


§ Bay State Gas

§ Berkshire Gas

§ Blackstone Gas

§ KeySpan (Boston Gas, Colonial Gas, Essex
Gas)


§ Fitchburg Gas & Electric (Unitil)

§ National Grid (Massachusetts Electric)

§ New England Gas

§ Western Mass. Electric


§ NSTAR Electric and NSTAR Gas (was Boston Edison Company, Cambridge Electric, COMElectric, COMGas),


If you get your electricity or gas from a municipal gas or electric department,
a company that has the name of your city or town in its name (like Holyoke Gas and Electric,) these utilities do not have to offer low-income discount rates. (Belmont Municipal Light Department, however, voluntarily offers low-income discounts.)

How much is the discount for gas and electricity?

The amount of the electric and gas discounts varies widely, but ranges from 10% to 25% of the bill.

How much is the discount for telephone service?

Most people still use Verizon for their local wireline service. Its Lifeline program provides a discount of up to $18.39 per month off the regular bill ($220.68 per year). This discount applies to local telephone service. It may not apply if you have more than one line or if you have other services. Also, it does not apply to long distance, cellular phones, or cable service.


Am I eligible for a discount for gas or electricity service?

To be eligible for electric and gas discounts, you need to receive fuel assistance (LIHEAP) or other assistance under a government program that serves low-income households. You are eligible if your income is below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines given the size of your household. Here is a chart with guidelines for 2007.

Household Size: 200% of Poverty for 2007

1: $20,420

2: $27,380

3: $34,340

4: $41,300

5: $48,260

6: $55,220

7: $62,180

8: $69,140

Each additional person: $6,960

Am I eligible for a discount for telephone service?

In terms of telephone service, you are eligible for Verizon’s Lifeline discount, if you receive one of the following:

  • TAFDC (Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children),
  • EAEDC (Emergency Assistance to Elderly, Disabled and Children),
  • SSI (Supplemental Security Income),
  • Food Stamps,
  • Fuel Assistance (also called LIHEAP), or
  • Medicaid/MassHealth.

For more information, go to www.lifelinesupport.org. You can also call your local business office for your service area to determine eligibility.

How do I apply?

It’s fairly easy to apply. If you receive fuel assistance, the community action program or agency that handles your fuel assistance application will usually contact the utility for you, or will help you apply.

Whether or not you get fuel assistance, call your gas, electric or phone company to see if you’re on the discount rate. If not, ask for an application. You’ll need to fill out a separate application for each company, for example: one for Verizon, one for Boston Gas, and one for NSTAR Electric.

Can people get enrolled automatically?

Yes. If you get fuel assistance, the fuel assistance agency often tells the utility or telephone company that you are receiving fuel assistance and are eligible for the discount rate. But this does not always happen. So, you should call the company to find out whether you are receiving the discount.

§ For telephone service, ask whether you are on the Lifeline rate.

§ For electric and gas, most companies called their discount rates
the "R 2" rate or the "R 4" rate. Ask if you’re on the discount rate.

Also, the state of Massachusetts now enrolls more people automatically, especially people who receive TAFDC, EAEDC, food stamps and some other programs the state administers.

If you are on one of the government programs that cooperates with automatic enrollment, you will not need to do anything to get automatically enrolled, other than signing your name on the government assistance application (for example, the application for TAFDC or food stamps) and giving the state permission to tell your utility company you are income eligible for the discount rates.

Where can I get application forms?

If you are not automatically enrolled for a discount, you contact the company or can go on-line to www.MassLegalHelp.org/income-benefits/utilities to directly download application forms for certain companies.

What if I still have more questions?

You can contact your local utility. The utility company lists a customer service number on every bill.

You can also contact the Department of Telecommunications and Energy (DTE), the state agency that regulates electric, gas and telephone companies.
Contact the DTE’s Consumer Division at 617-305-3531 or 800-392-6066.


This handout is available at www.MassLegalHelp.org

Produced by National Consumer Law Center and Mass. Law Reform Institute
Last updated January 2007

Monday, February 12, 2007

Zee News - Siberian tigers return to northeast China

Zee News - Siberian tigers return to northeast China

"Tigers are returning because of a ban on the hunting of their prey -- such as deer and wild boar -- and because the predator`s natural habitat is being better protected, according to Dermot O`Gorman, the WWF China representative.

"If we continue to build on this work, we will continue to see tigers return and we might see a success story in northeast China," O`Gorman told Kyodo News, adding that a tiger was caught on camera in the region just a few weeks ago."

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Assistive Technology Exchange Goes Online

News from Mass. Rehab and this time it's good. GetAtStuff.org
is now up and running online. Great idea and I love the name.

"I am pleased to report that one of the MassMATCH AT Act
projects, the AT Exchange in New England, went live
yesterday. The Assistive Technology Exchange in New England
is a website and database that permits descriptive listings
of assistive technology items to be entered, edited, searched
and removed. The collaboration between the 6 New England
states made this project possible and very cost efficient.

The Assistive Technology Exchange in Massachusetts is
designed to facilitate simple, easy transactions between
Massachusetts
residents who can benefit from assistive
technology devices and those who have assistive technology
devices that are no longer needed. It is not for vendors
or distributors to buy equipment, although vendor
participation through donations of equipment or posting
equipment for loans is welcomed.

To post and item or to look at items available go to
www.getATstuff.org <http://www.getatstuff.org/> .
You can also look at items available from the other
neighboring states. One item was posted on the
Massachusetts page yesterday.

Please take a look and pass on to others you feel will be
interested."

Karen A. Langley

Director, Independent Living &
Assistive Technology Services

Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission

27 Wormwood Street

Ethical Corporation: Politics - Proceeds of corruption – Targeting the Turkmenbashi’s bankers

Ethical Corporation: Politics - Proceeds of corruption – Targeting the Turkmenbashi’s bankers

Teacher fired for poor looks-Rest of World-World-NEWS-The Times of India

Teacher fired for poor looks-Rest of World-World-NEWS-The Times of India

"BEIJING: A 23-year-old Chinese woman has accused a Shanghai language school of firing her because of her “unfavourable looks” in what may be China's first looks-related work discrimination case. "

" Qiu, from central China's Henan Province, has an abnormally big head because she suffered from hydrocephalus or water in the brain when she was born."

“It's obviously discrimination to fire me because I don't look good," Qiu said. “I know my experience is not exceptional and some one should stand up, so I did.”

“My company and I have never discriminated against Qiu Zhi on the grounds of looks,” a company official said.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Daily Kos: �Aqua Teens Terrorize Boston

Daily Kos: �Aqua Teens Terrorize Boston

"Chalk another win up for Chertoff. And chalk up a win for real terror. Because when a few plastic promo pieces with drawings of cartoon characters can scare Boston into a shell, you know that we're a fragile people."

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Brings Boston to a Halt

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Brings Boston to a Halt:
From krokruton on slashdot:

"Does anyone else think that there will be a minor backlash of ATHF graffiti and copycat light ads now that this happened?"

Adult Swim Ad in South Boston


Adult Swim Ad in South Boston
Originally uploaded by Vanderlin.
Hiding in plain sight for two weeks.

Flickr

This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Disabled and Facing Discrimination??

The American Association of People with Disabilities,
(AAPD), would like to hear from you. It doesn't
matter if you've taken the case to court or not.

AAPD needs your compelling, real-life stories of
employment discrimination on the basis of disability
to help make our case to Congress that the Supreme
Courts narrow interpretations of the Americans with
Disabilities Act have harmed people with disabilities
in employment and that its time to restore the
original scope and intent of the ADA! AAPD, in
conjunction with the Consortium for Citizens with
Disabilities (CCD), will use these personal stories
in coming weeks to build bipartisan support
while educating members of Congress in a way which
they can readily understand and relate to about
the need for a legislative fix to the ADA.

Background:
* In recent years, a number of Supreme Court
decisions have significantly reduced the protections
available to people with disabilities within
employment settings.

* Courts are quick to side with businesses
and employers, deciding against people with
disabilities who challenge employment
discrimination 97% of the time, often before
the person has even had a chance to show that
the employer treated them unfairly.

* Courts have created an absurd Catch-22 by
allowing employers to say a person is too
disabled to do the job but not disabled
enough to be protected by the ADA.

* People with conditions like epilepsy, diabetes,
HIV, cancer, hearing loss, and mental illness
who manage their disabilities with medication,
prosthetics, hearing aids, etc. or mitigating
measures are viewed as too functional to have
a disability and are denied the ADAs protection
from employment discrimination.

* People denied a job or fired because an employer
mistakenly believes they cannot perform the job
or because the employer does not want people like
that in the workplace are also denied the ADAs
protection from employment discrimination.

This Is Not What Congress Intended When
They Passed The ADA in 1990!

Who can help: ANYONE who has experienced employment
discrimination on the basis of his or her disability.

* Both those who have AND havent brought their
claims to court

* Those who dont bother to go to court because they've
been told or believe they cannot prove they have a
disability

* Veterans with disabilities

What you can do: Send an email summary of your story
what happened, when it happened, and how it was
resolved (if at all).

* Denials of reasonable accommodations
* Hiring discrimination
* Discriminatory firing and layoffs
* Harassment

When you should do it: We have an immediate need
for these stories, so please send these stories ASAP!

Where to send your stories: Please send your
stories to Anne Sommers, Policy Counsel at
AAPD by email at aapdanne@earthlink.net.

(**We will not use your name or details of your
story without first receiving your express
permission.**)

For more information, contact:

Anne C. Sommers. J.D.
Policy Counsel
American Association of People with Disabilities
(AAPD)
(202) 457-0046 (V/TTY)
800-840-8844 (V/TTY) toll-free
aapdanne@earthlink.net


Monday, January 29, 2007

TheStar.com - Business - Vista's legal fine print raises red flags

TheStar.com - Business - Vista's legal fine print raises red flags

"Guttman focused primarily on the restrictions associated with the ability to play back high-definition content from the next-generation DVDs such as Blu-Ray and HD-DVD (referred to as "premium content").

He noted that Vista intentionally degrades the picture quality of premium content when played on most computer monitors.

Guttman's research suggests that consumers will pay more for less with poorer picture quality yet higher costs since Microsoft needed to obtain licences from third parties in order to access the technology that protects premium content (those licence fees were presumably incorporated into Vista's price)."

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Commentary: The Problems With Micro-Lending

From the Berkeley Daily Planet:
Former UN advisor Sally Wiliams comments on Micro-Lending.

"As Krishna Bhattacharjee pointed out in his commentary, micro-lending is now being implemented in 50 countries; but he did not explain that the conflict between do-gooders and profit minded do-gooders that defines the current debate in this new profitable market. Micro-financing has become a global market with micro-finance futures that tend to serve the “less poor” rather than serving as a channel out of desperate poverty. Banks such as Citigroup and Duetsche Bank have gotten into the game of helping the “un-banked” become new clients. Their goal is financial inclusion, not reducing poverty. Carlos Labrathe, CEO of Compartamos, the McDonald’s of village banking in Mexico, predicts that in five years 80 to 90 percent of all micro-finance institutions will be for-profit institutions."

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Jalil, Mannan react sharply to remarks by Prof Yunus

Comments by Grameen Bank founder Yunus bring a strong response from Bangladeshi pols.

Yunus: "It's about power, power to make money. There is no ideological thing, simply who gets the bigger booty," Yunus said of the recent tussle between the main political alliances in the country in a bid to influence the electoral process towards their own favour.
The 'banker of the poor', Yunus, also said, "Nothing gets done unless you pay the bribe. It's a part of life."

Pols:

At a news conference AL General Secretary Abdul Jalil said the comment of Muhammad Yunus on the politicians of his own country made his position controversial and questionable.

Meanwhile, in a statement issued last night BNP Secretary General Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan said the remark made by the only Nobel laureate of the country is not only unacceptable but also regrettable.



Friday, January 12, 2007

SchaeffersResearch.com - Trading Floor Blog

SchaeffersResearch.com - Trading Floor Blog

"For the last few months I have tracking the action in Novellus Systems (NVLS) with an eye toward whether the stock was forming a long-term bottom. So far that continues to appear true."

Friday, January 05, 2007

Thieves exploit phone system for the deaf - Lisa Myers & the NBC Investigative Unit - MSNBC.com

Thieves exploit phone system for the deaf - Lisa Myers & the NBC Investigative Unit - MSNBC.com

More significant, former AT&T and MCI operators Cathy Audia and Sheila Satterwhite say the system is being exploited by thieves.

"Eighty-five to 90 percent" of the calls Audia says she handled were scams. "The majority of them, very rarely did we get an actually hearing-impaired call," she says.

They say overseas thieves use stolen credit cards and the voices of relay operators to run up large orders from unsuspecting U.S. merchants who may let their guard down because they think they're helping a deaf person.

How much money do they think they helped steal from American businesses?

"Multi-millions," says Audia, "multi-millions."

"I felt like a criminal every day I left work," adds Satterwhite.

By law, every call has to be put through, no matter what the content is.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

NewsGator Daily: Seeing’s Believing: Videoblogs on the Rise

NewsGator Daily: Seeing’s Believing: Videoblogs on the Rise

Vlogs are all over the blogging map. For kids, there is “The JETSET Show," with reports from youthful correspondents around the country on subjects as varied as popularity, tennis-shoe art and music. “Goodnight Burbank” spoofs news in the post-“Daily Show” world. (And the site is trolling for fake-news correspondents.) “The Show with ZeFrank” (pronounced ZayFrank) features the aforementioned ZeFrank with his own unique perspectives on everything from putting fruit on your fingers to what you can do with newspapers after you read them. Not for the squeamish.

“WineLibraryTV” is just that, offering suggestions on which Beaujolais Nouveau is to die for or what wines to serve for the Thanksgiving Day feast. Amanda Congdon, the original host of “Rocketboom,” an early entry in the Vlog sweepstakes, and who just signed with ABCnews.com, is blogging her way around the country via “AmandaAcrossAmerica.” The episode we caught was an interview with technology guru Doc Searls. And political junkies can get their fix from “Bloggingheadstv,” where commentators and bloggers of various stripes argue their positions.