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Current Topic: Current Events

Curious George collaborator found dead
Topic: Current Events 5:36 pm EST, Feb 14, 2006

The bloodied body of a collaborator on the children's book series Curious George was found Tuesday morning covered in black garbage bags in the driveway of his impeccably landscaped mobile home.

This is absolutely terrible but sometimes you want to blog things like this because the press won't pay much attention to them.

Curious George collaborator found dead

Free speech in New Jersey
Topic: Current Events 3:06 pm EST, Feb 11, 2006

John Feder is a police Sergeant in West Orange New Jersey, with a 22-year record of sterling service. Unfortunately, that record of service to the community is in danger of being flushed down the toilet.

Sgt Feder, you see, performs—free—as a stand-up comedian. And his politically incorrect act may now cost him his job.

I heard about this yesterday on Opie and Anthony. Kenny is a friend of the show and until yesterday I had no idea that he was a cop. After this story hit the paper and Kenny's pension was put in jeopardy they let all of their listeners in on the rest of the information about what was going on. In any case this is going to be a very interesting case to see just where the line of free speech can be drawn when you are an officer of the law and are expected to be held to a higher standard. They are saying that since he wasn't getting paid for the stand up comedy that it cannot be considered moonlighting and the real problem comes from the higher standard he agreed to when he became a cop.

Free speech in New Jersey

Daily Kos: Muslim Cartoon Controversy: What the Media Isn't Telling You
Topic: Current Events 9:10 pm EST, Feb  9, 2006

The most recent Hajj occurred during the first half of January 2006.

There were a number of stampedes, called "tragedies" in the press, during the Hajj which killed several hundred pilgrims.

These were not unavoidable accidents, they were the results of poor planning by the Saudi government.

And while the deaths of these pilgrims was a mere blip on the traditional western media's radar, it was a huge story in the Muslim world. Even the most objective news stories were suddenly casting Saudi Arabia in a very bad light and they decided to do something about it.

The 350 pilgrims were killed on January 12 and soon after, Saudi newspapers (which are all controlled by the state) began running up to 4 articles per day condemning the Danish cartoons.

There rarely is a clearer case of "Death to the West" being used to divert attention away from local problems.

Daily Kos: Muslim Cartoon Controversy: What the Media Isn't Telling You

Cringely NSA Spying addendum
Topic: Current Events 10:07 pm EST, Feb  6, 2006

"Traffic analysis, at the NSA? I'm tempted to be sarcastic, but I won't be. As you might know, I started a company a few years ago with a former NSA guy -- somebody who was a cryptographer and Russian linguist on those submarines that snuck into Soviet harbors to tap their phone lines -- and we applied traffic analysis to Internet discussion groups to identify opinion leaders, conversation trends and so forth. We used a lot of techniques that were developed or applied to law enforcement. And we didn't use anything that violated anybody's security clearances... really!

"(My company) was acquired by a business intelligence company funded by the CIA venture capital outfit. Apparently the stuff I invented is now in the hands of a couple of intelligence agencies, including Homeland Security.

"I'll tell you what I think the most troubling thing about all this is. It's easy to see whatever pattern you're looking for. It's like curve fitting in the stock market -- looks beautiful historically and maybe even in the short run, but it's a disaster in the making. So we have these guys running the country who saw a non-existent pattern in Iraq that justified a war ... and now we're going to give them software that will make it easy to create the illusion of patterns of conspiracy.

"Your friend from the NSA was right, but it's worse than he suggests. It's not just that social network analysis casts a wide net. It's that without oversight by people who really grasp the mathematics and have some distance from the whole thing, they're going to see patterns where there aren't any.

"They have a history of that."

Cringely NSA Spying addendum

Tensions continue to rise in Middle East over Cartoons
Topic: Current Events 3:30 pm EST, Feb  4, 2006

This page links the cartoon in case you are curious. Yeah, its inceditary, but give me a fucking break.

Hamas members, some armed with guns, stormed the EU office and demanded apologies from EU member states, or face serious consequences. "It will be a suitable reaction, and it won't be predictable," said Abu Hafss, a member of the Al Quds Brigade (an affiliate of the group Islamic Jihad).

A suitable reaction? What are they going to do, draw their own cartoon? "I'll draw this fucking cartoon, man! I'm serious! I'll draw it! You better back down right now or the pen is hitting the paper! I'm not fucking around here!"

The more these idiots prance around with machine guns and threaten to kill people over a cartoon, the more they reenforce the inceditary message the cartoon conveys. If they aren't a violent culture they should put down the AK-47s and act like they aren't a violent culture.

Tensions continue to rise in Middle East over Cartoons

Hamas, Fatah battle over election results - Yahoo! News
Topic: Current Events 12:55 am EST, Jan 29, 2006

The United States said it will review funding to the aid-dependent Palestinians if Hamas enters government and Israel suggested it might suspend customs revenue transfers, adding economic uncertainty to the political upheaval.

That's right, we're all for democracy! As long as people we like win anyway...

Hamas, Fatah battle over election results - Yahoo! News

Bush wants Google search data
Topic: Current Events 6:33 am EST, Jan 20, 2006

The Bush administration on Wednesday asked a federal judge to order Google to turn over a broad range of material from its closely guarded databases.

The move is part of a government effort to revive an Internet child protection law struck down two years ago by the U.S. Supreme Court. The law was meant to punish online pornography sites that make their content accessible to minors. The government contends it needs the Google data to determine how often pornography shows up in online searches.

In court papers filed in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Justice Department lawyers revealed that Google has refused to comply with a subpoena issued last year for the records, which include a request for 1 million random Web addresses and records of all Google searches from any one-week period.

Let the fireworks begin.

Bush wants Google search data

DoJ sues Google for failing to turn over records!
Topic: Current Events 6:32 am EST, Jan 20, 2006

an. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Google Inc., the most-used Internet search engine, was sued by the Justice Department after it refused to turn over information that may help the government monitor sexually explicit material on the Web.

The Justice Department said it asked for all Google queries for a week and for 1 million Internet addresses in the company's database. According to the lawsuit, other search engines have complied with similar requests, ``and have not reported that they encountered any difficulty or burden in doing so.''

They did what now! How many of you want anything you have ever typed into Google to be in the government's hands? How many of you are pissed that other search engines just said "Here!"

That pisses me off.

DoJ sues Google for failing to turn over records!

Underground drugs cave pictures
Topic: Current Events 5:45 pm EST, Jan  3, 2006

What police found inside this Trousdale County cave led to the biggest pot bust in Middle Tennessee history.

Underground drugs cave pictures

NPR : A Former President Warns of 'Endangered Values'
Topic: Current Events 7:44 pm EST, Nov  4, 2005

I've enjoyed the books by Carter that I've read. I admire this man a lot. Thanks for posting this.

NPR : A Former President Warns of 'Endangered Values'

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