Vera and Vera send their regards.
Here's to a great 2006. Cheers!
(Photo credit: I found this gem here.)
Here's to a great 2006. Cheers!
(Photo credit: I found this gem here.)
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Internet users share many common interests, but men are heavier consumers of news, stocks, sports and pornography while more women look for health and religious guidance, a broad survey of U.S. Web usage has found.
The study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project to be released on Thursday finds men are slightly more intense users of the Web. Men log on more frequently and spend more time online. More men also have access to quick broadband connections than do women.
"Once you get past the commonalities, men tend to be attracted to online activities that are far more action-oriented, while women tend to value things involving relationships or human connections," said Deborah Fallows, a research fellow at Pew and author of the report.
A larger number of men surf the Internet for pleasure, with 70 percent acknowledging they go online to pass time, compared with 63 percent of women. Men are more likely than women to listen to music, view Webcams and pay for digital content.
The only time you really live fully is from thirty to sixty. The young are slaves to dreams; the old servants of regrets. Only the middle-aged have all their five senses in the keeping of their wits.Aside from the fact that this quote puts me in the "middle-aged" category, I think it is, for the most part, very true. And it's a good thing to know that my time of "living fully" is just at the beginning ...
[Alito] advocated a step by step approach to strengthening the hand of officials in a 1984 memo to the solicitor general. The strategy is similar to the one that Alito espoused for rolling back abortion rights at the margins. […]As I mentioned in my comments to TCR, it will be interesting to see if this hits the fan during Alito's confirmation hearings. Ooh, the suspense!
Despite Alito's warning that the government would lose, the Reagan administration took the fight to the Supreme Court in the case of whether Nixon's attorney general, John Mitchell, could be sued for authorizing a warrantless domestic wiretap to gather information about a suspected terrorist plot. The FBI had received information about a conspiracy to destroy utility tunnels in Washington and kidnap Henry Kissinger, then national security adviser.
That case ultimately led to a 1985 ruling by the Supreme Court that the attorney general and other high level executive officials could be sued for violating people's rights, in the name of national security, with such actions as domestic wiretaps.
Dear All Bee's Supporters;
I'm not sure where to begin as is the case every time I begin a letter like this.
We had all hoped that Bee would be home for the holidays, but we have come much closer in the past five years, because of all of you. You have taken the time to care for someone most of you have never met.
It's funny how life is -- it was over twenty years ago my heart began to see its sorrows. I stopped trusting and believing in people and now because of all the support you have shown my son, a flicker of faith has been renewed.
As the holiday season is here, I rejoice and want to thank each and everyone of you for caring and giving of yourselves. I will always be grateful and I wish you all a wonderful holiday.
I would like to leave you with a quote I believe captures the winning spirit of all of you...
"There are but two ways which lead to great aims and achievements -- energy and perseverance. Energy is a rare gift, it provokes opposition, hatred and reaction. But perseverance lies within the affordings of everyone; its power increases with its progress, and it but rarely misses its aim." -Goethe
Most Senate Democrats and some moderate Republicans said the frigid wilderness and its assortment of wildlife, ranging from polar bears to peregrine falcons, should be protected. Other Republicans said ANWR must be unlocked for drilling to stop a steady slide in U.S. crude oil production.What kills me is that the motive for drilling all boils down to money. Americans like to say that they care about the environment and the animals and preserving our beautiful land for future generations, but until the price per gallon of gas reaches the $4 mark, they don't worry about it. These politicians who favor drilling in the ANWR seem to not care about the kind of world they'll leave to their children and their grandchildren either - they'll for sure bend over backwards to make sure that oil industry lobbyists keep them in gifts and campaign contributions.
Mr Bush also said he expected a "full investigation" into who leaked information about the wiretap programme.I am sick and tired of Dubya playing on Americans' fear of another terrorist attack as a means to rationalize and pursue tactics that, in effect, erode our civil liberties. Now, if the government even suspects for a moment that you may have terrorist ties, kiss your privacy goodbye. More and more the rationaliziation for his administration doing things the way they do is like some fucked-up, dysfunctional, paternal relationship in which it perverts existing rules in the spirit of "we know what's best for you, so shut up."
"My personal opinion is it was a shameful act for someone to disclose this very important programme in a time of war," he said.
"The fact that we're discussing this programme is helping the enemy," he added.
If al-Qaida is paying as much attention as Bush suggests, it already knew that much, and it has "adjusted" -- Bush's term -- to that knowledge accordingly. What Bush's program for spying did was remove the warrant requirement FISA imposes. How does that change anything for al-Qaida? How would terrorists communicate differently if they knew that the National Security Agency might be monitoring them without a warrant instead of with one? There's no good answer to that question, and Bush didn't give one.I used to joke around - because of certain family circumstances - that the government was going to do to my household what, in fact, has been proven to be a practice authorized by the President (by secret presidential order) back in 2001. Remind me to tell you the story some time.
Bush also failed to explain, at least in any way that made sense, why he needed to evade FISA's requirements. Bush said repeatedly that the war on terror is a new kind of war that requires fast action by United States. "This is a different era, a different war, it's a war where people are changing phone numbers and phone calls, and they're moving quick," he said. "We've got to be able to prevent and detect. It requires quick action."
But the FISA process was designed for quick action. And indeed, FISA allows the executive branch to begin monitoring communications immediately and then seek a warrant after the fact. How isn't that "fast" or "quick" or "agile" enough? Bush couldn't say. Instead, he suggest again and again that the FISA process is for "long-term monitoring" and that, after the attacks of 9/11, he saw the need to "detect." He never explained what he meant by that or how the FISA process couldn't be used both to "monitor" and to "detect." It wasn't at all clear that he knew. And if he knew, he certainly wasn't saying.
The vote sends a clear signal to the Bush administration that both chambers of Congress support the anti-torture legislation and want the government to adopt guidelines that aim to prevent damage to the U.S. image abroad. The White House has been aggressively pushing to create exceptions for CIA operatives and to water down McCain's language to keep it from limiting interrogators' options. But it appears that the administration and House Republican leaders lost some leverage yesterday.
Some military officials said the new guidelines could give the impression that the Army was pushing the limits on legal interrogation at the very moment when Mr. McCain, Republican of Arizona, is involved in intense three-way negotiations with the House and the Bush administration to prohibit the cruel treatment of prisoners.
In a high-level meeting at the Pentagon on Tuesday, some Army and other Pentagon officials raised concerns that Mr. McCain would be furious at what could appear to be a back-door effort to circumvent his intentions.
"This is a stick in McCain's eye," one official said. "It goes right up to the edge. He's not going to be comfortable with this."
"It may be smart election-year politics to thump your chest and constantly criticize your friend and your No. 1 trading partner," David Wilkins said at the Canada Club in Ottawa. "But it is a slippery slope, and all of us should hope that it doesn't have a long-term impact on our relationship."Oh really!
Wilkins may not know much about Canada -- before he got the ambassadorship, he'd visited the country only once, on a trip to Niagra Falls. But he certainly knows a thing or two about the value of long-term relationships. An old Bush family friend, Wilkins raised more than $200,000 for the president's 2004 reelection campaign. Which means, apprently [sic], that he's pretty much free to say whatever he wants.Looks like Those Who Support Bush become so emboldened that they feel they can dictate to other countries the content of their political debate. Man, this arrogance: It’s gotta stop. What’s next? Hired goons flown out to all points on the globe at the drop of a hat to enforce the "No Bush Bashing" rule? Ridiculous.
A Kansas high school student is suing his school because he was suspended for speaking Spanish in the hallway.
The attorney for 16-year-old Zach Rubio filed the lawsuit over the weekend. The suit details how the phrase "no problema" got Rubio suspended.
The Turner School District takes great pride in the cultural diversity of its students, staff and community and does not prohibit students from speaking in any language other than English and has taken steps to ensure that incidents of this nature do not occur in the future.
NYU's Center for Human Rights and Global Justice notes in its essential June 28 report, "Beyond Guantánamo: Transfers to Torture One Year After [the Supreme Court decision in] Rasul v. Bush," (on March 6 The New York Times reported):
"[E]xtraordinary renditions [by the CIA] have been carried out pursuant to a classified directive signed by President Bush a few days after September 11, 2001, that purports to grant the C.I.A. an 'unusually expansive authority' [to send terrorism suspects to countries known for torturing their prisoners]."
"Of course torture should not be widespread and of course there should be extraordinarily stringent top-down requirements in this respect. But never? ... I wouldn't say never," he told the Council on Foreign Relations think tank.This is a guy who served as one of Dubya's top advisers on Iraq policy before he left to join a consultancy firm in November 2004. I doubt that his outlook on torture has differered in the past year, when he worked under Bush. And after Condoleeza Rice has been working that spin about whether the U.S. has created a loophole that allows for torture overseas or operates secret prisons in Europe, Blackwill's concession can't bode well for the U.S. As Arthur Silber so eloquently puts it:
Barbarism and sadism are now the official policy of our government. And the defenders of that policy still tell the world that we, and only we, can ensure that the values of civilization are transmitted to the future. They seek to destroy the unique value of human life, and they have rendered themselves incapable of understanding the nature of the destruction upon which they have embarked ... And if you support these policies of the administration to any extent at all, you are one of them.
"He killed my father, and that will never change," [Owens] said. "I think he is a horrible and awful man.I don't disagree with the devastation Owens feels surrounding her father's death. But my logic tells me that it's a fine line between "justice" and "vengeance." The former is rational; the other, an emotional response. And the law should be based on reason and logic and not on emotions or subjectivity. Right?
"I don't think it's fair that he gets to breathe and walk around and have interactions, and my father, whose only crime was showing up for work, can't do those things," Owens said. "The impact that my father's death had on me is long-reaching and affects me today."
Haleigh's birth mother, 29-year-old Allison Avrett, lost custody of the girl when she was four years old because of allegations of abuse, said the Department of Social Services, whose lawyers have consulted Avrett in the case. Avrett has said she would prefer the removal of Haleigh's life support system.Oh, and by the way, Strickland's wife (and Haleigh's maternal aunt and sole legal guardian) was found shot to death with Haleigh's grandmother "in an apparent murder suicide" at her home on Sept. 22. The previous day, police had accused this woman of beating Haleigh with a baseball bat.
...We can just look at the record and see that yes, top military commanders agree with Kerry - not with Ass Cyst Limbaugh. For instance, back in 2003, the UK Guardian reported that Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, head of the allied forces in Iraq, "said the US had decided to revise its strategy and limit the scope of raids after being warned they were alienating the public." He said, "It was a fact that I started to get multiple indicators that maybe our iron-fisted approach to the conduct of ops was beginning to alienate Iraqis. I started to get those sensings from multiple sources, all the way from the governing council down to average people."So according to Mr. Ass Cyst's logic, because Kerry said "there is no reason to terrorize," that means that the soldiers are? And - as Sirota points out - because Ass Cyst is using this as an opportunity to mock Kerry, is Limbaugh really saying that the troops should?
Earlier this year, the Washington Post reported that the U.S. military was rightly questioning its own raid strategy – as Kerry alluded to – because:
"The raids turn up little and leave hard feelings among civilians who resent foreign soldiers bursting into their homes, breaking doors and gates and pointing guns at their heads. They resent these men catching their wives and daughters in their bedclothes. They resent them barking orders, telling them to get on the ground, invading their homes, emptying drawers and turning over mattresses."So let's be clear: what Ass Cyst Limbaugh is doing is both lying about Kerry, and frontally endorsing a radical change in U.S. military policy whereby our soldiers actually do start terrorizing people. He is doing this, even as our own military says that would be a mistake.
In his resignation letter, he states, “I learned in Viet Nam that the true measure of a man is how he responds to adversity. I cannot undo what I have done. But I can atone … The first step in that journey is to admit fault and apologize. The next step is to face the consequences of my actions like a man.”The Bill Clinton dig aside, I will agree that Cunningham's coming clean and facing his inevitable punishment is the right thing to do. Finally. Someone being held accountable for his actions.
He did not blame others for leading him astray; he did not quibble about the meaning of the word “is.”
Other politicians who have betrayed their trust have escaped punishment. Some are on the lecture circuit, are in demand at the highest of society circles and are considered statesmen by their party.
[Rumsfeld] spoke just days after the U.S. military acknowledged that it had paid Iraqi newspapers to publish pro-American news stories written by an "information operations" task force. Rumsfeld complained that the issue "has been pounded in the media" but "we don't know what the facts are yet."Don’t forget, Rumsy, that journalism is supposed to be a check on government, not to serve as your personal propaganda machine. And quite frankly, it’s about damn time journalists reported on the negative. Enough people have been hoodwinked for way too long. And if you think this war is going to be won by words, you are a bigger moron than I thought.
"We've arrived at a strange time in this country where the worst about America and our military seems to so quickly be taken as truth by the press, and reported and spread around the world, often with little context and little scrutiny, let alone correction or accountability after the fact," Rumsfeld told an academic audience.
It gave the government five failing grades of F -- including for failing to provide emergency communications and appropriate security funding -- 12 barely passing grades of D and nine mid-level grades of C. It received two "incompletes," and only one top grade, an A- in counter-terrorist financing.Is this surprising to anyone? Bush and his cabal may think they have a successful plan in place, but it’s obvious there is some strategic flaw in their planning. And Dubya can invoke 9/11 all he wants, but even people in his own party are starting to see the light.
Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York called the report a "top-to-bottom indictment" of the government's approach to fighting terrorism. "The report shows that while the administration and Congress are focused on fighting an offensive war in Iraq, they are dangerously neglecting the defensive war on terror we should be fighting here at home," he said in a statement.I understand that we as a nation may not be able to return to the halcyon days of pre-9/11, but when we have incidents like the one we had on the Bay Bridge yesterday (which I had the wonderful privilege of sitting in, by the way), we show our citizens just how reactive - and ineffective - our nation’s policy on terrorism really is. I remember sitting in my car, on the bridge and feeling trapped. What if it *had* been a bomb and not a suitcase full of Christmas lights? 9/11 was four years ago, and really, has the U.S. made any progress in putting a stop to terrorism as Bush had promised? Hell no.
Coffee and tea may reduce the risk of serious liver damage in people who drink alcohol too much, are overweight, or have too much iron in the blood, researchers reported on Sunday.Now don't go rushing to guzzle down mass quantities of either coffee or tea too late in the day, or you'll end up like me: Wide awake, when I should be in bed, sleeping. I blame the two cups of coffee I had for brunch at La Note earlier today.
The study of nearly 10,000 people showed that those who drank more than two cups of coffee or tea per day developed chronic liver disease at half the rate of those who drank less than one cup each day.