Stumbling upon history

Today I came across a quote by Earl Warren in an InfoWeek email bulletin: “Everything I did in my life that was worthwhile I caught hell for.”

Not really knowing who Earl Warren was I found out quickly he was Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court from 1953 to 1969. One of the most influential men of his day he is largely responsible for the Miranda Warning, secured a unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education, headed the Warren Commission that studied JFK’s assassination, affirmed inter-racial marriage, and interpreted the Sixth Amendment to require all criminal defendants to receive publicly funded counsel. Wow! Warren turned out to be a much more liberal justice than Eisenhower intended at the time of his appointment.

Other Earl Warren quotes of interest to me:

  • To get what you want, STOP doing what isn’t working.
  • The police must obey the law while enforcing the law.
  • I feel that the greatest reward for doing is the opportunity to do more.

So, other than picking up a few quotes that affirm my personal preferences this little excursion into history makes me ask the following question: if the courts wield so much power why don’t we pay more attention to them? Why don’t we learn about Supreme Court Justices like we learn about past Presidents?

Climate of Fear – Hiding the truth about Global Warming

OpinionJournal – Extra
Climate of Fear
Global-warming alarmists intimidate dissenting scientists into silence.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006 12:01 a.m. EDT

There have been repeated claims that this past year’s hurricane activity was another sign of human-induced climate change. Everything from the heat wave in Paris to heavy snows in Buffalo has been blamed on people burning gasoline to fuel their cars, and coal and natural gas to heat, cool and electrify their homes. Yet how can a barely discernible, one-degree increase in the recorded global mean temperature since the late 19th century possibly gain public acceptance as the source of recent weather catastrophes? And how can it translate into unlikely claims about future catastrophes?

The answer has much to do with misunderstanding the science of climate, plus a willingness to debase climate science into a triangle of alarmism. Ambiguous scientific statements about climate are hyped by those with a vested interest in alarm, thus raising the political stakes for policy makers who provide funds for more science research to feed more alarm to increase the political stakes. After all, who puts money into science–whether for AIDS, or space, or climate–where there is nothing really alarming? Indeed, the success of climate alarmism can be counted in the increased federal spending on climate research from a few hundred million dollars pre-1990 to $1.7 billion today. It can also be seen in heightened spending on solar, wind, hydrogen, ethanol and clean coal technologies, as well as on other energy-investment decisions.

But there is a more sinister side to this feeding frenzy. Scientists who dissent from the alarmism have seen their grant funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves libeled as industry stooges, scientific hacks or worse. Consequently, lies about climate change gain credence even when they fly in the face of the science that supposedly is their basis.

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For Freedom’s Sake: Legal Guide for Bloggers

Legal Guide for Bloggers If you’re a blogger, it could be very easy for you run afoul of the law, in the eyes of some anyway. Here’s a legal guide from the Electronic Frontier Foundation that gives you some common guidelines to follow and let’s you know what your rights are as well.

If you’re interested to know what some of those rights are, here is a quick synopsis:

  • You Have the Right to Blog Anonymously
  • You Have the Right to Keep Sources Confidential.
  • You Have the Right to Make Fair Use of Intellectual Property
  • You have the Right to Allow Readers’ Comments Without Fear.
  • You Have the Right to Protect Your Server from Government Seizure.
  • You Have the Right to Freely Blog about Elections.
  • You Have the Right to Blog about Your Workplace.
  • You Have the Right to Access as Media.

I agree with a schmuck: TerriPAC

Michael Schiavo has formed a new political action committee, TerriPAC, to stick it to all the politicians that got in his personal business. I agree that the government overplayed it’s role, in fact they never should have been inviolved in the first place… but Michael Schiavo is a still a schmuck.

Government has little or no place in the medical decisions of my family.

That said, I don’t think he really gave a rat’s ass about his wife or her extended family.
He should have allowed Terri’s relatives to be involved in her final hours.

Take a look at the the site and you’ll find that the logo prominantly features his name and the site features his picture ont he front page. For a PAC named after his wife, maybe he should have something about her on the site? Nah!

Maybe a better name would be MichaelSchiavo’sEgoGotBruisedandNowI’m BitchyThat NoOneIsPayingAttentionToMe!PAC

Guess TerriPAC won’t see any money from the NewmanPAC any time soon.

December 7, 2005

FLORIDA – Michael Schiavo, whose 15 year struggle to grant his wife’s end-of-life wishes triggered unprecedented government intrusion and political grandstanding by political leaders from the Florida Legislature to President George W. Bush, today announced he has formed TerriPAC – a national political committee.

“The easiest thing would be to move on and let the headlines fade,” Schiavo said. “But my experience with our political leaders has opened my eyes to just how easily the private wishes of normal Americans like me and Terri can be cast aside in the destructive game of political pandering. The best way to hold them accountable is to make sure voters know where the candidates stand when they come looking for votes next November.”

In spite of overwhelming public feelings against their actions, politicians from Tallahassee and Washington, D.C., manipulated Michael and Terri Schiavo’s deeply personal family tragedy into a national media spectacle and exploited that attention for their own political gain.
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Dean Gray Tuesday – Get Your Protest On

Dean Gray Tuesday

About Dean Gray Tuesday

Only 10 days after its release, the mash-up album American Edit, which pays tribute to the acclaimed Green Day album American Idiot through some of the best mash-up productions of 2005, was shut down reportedly after received a cease & desist order from Green Day’s label, Warner records, despite the fact that it was released as an internet only release with no commercial gain for the team of mash-up artists involved. In fact, the only possible profit to be made from the release was a plea from the creators of the album (known only by the shared alias Dean Gray) for fans who enjoyed the creation to donate to one of three possible charities that Green Day have been known to support. Furthermore, the mash-up versions were such fantastic productions that they were truly a departure from the standard Green Day performances and would not compete for consumptive dollars.

We hope to mobilize the online Mash-Up community by organizing a simple one-day organized event. Participants would be asked to post the American Edit album online for 24 hours only starting on Tuesday, December 13, at 12:00AM. Doing so is not intended to be a mass organization of music piracy but, rather, one single display of the consumptive power of the mash-up and home remix community in the hopes of encouraging the labels, publishers and artists who are curious about the mash-up community to consider giving the high quality productions of “illegitimate” music a legitimate consideration as a promotional avenue for all music.

We also hope to encourage club DJs and radio DJs to air portions of the American Edit release on “Gray” Tuesday and refer to this site by reporting their planned airplay in advance.

If you can commit to hosting American Edit for approximately 24 hours on your Web site on December 13 or can commit to giving American Edit airplay on “Gray” Tuesday, please complete the form below. If you are looking for a source to download American Edit for your personal listening, please return to this site on Tuesday, December 13th — “Dean Gray Tuesday”.

Now THAT’s what I’ve been saying all along

There is nothing more gratifying than seeing an article by a national columnist that validates my personal feelings. I’m not totally nuts, there is at least one other person out there that is asking the same question that I have been asking since I registered to vote at age 18. Why do I need a political party to tell me what to do, for that matter why does anyone?

A Pox on BOTH Parties!

Now, with Bush weakened by the war and other problems, Republicans on Capitol Hill are beginning to scramble for safety by voting their districts, not heeding partisan commands.

It is not an edifying spectacle. And the result may well be what it was for the Democrats in 1994, when the cry, “Every member for himself!” turned into a rout.

Leaving behind one big question: When both parties have lost public confidence, where do voters turn?

Additionally, let’s hope that this article is really the start of some sense in US government. In general, I worry about anyone that is at either end of any belief spectrum. Those are the nut cases, weirdoes, and freaks and should not have any considerable control over the majority, the majority that is suppossed to rule the roost in our country.

Political center makes a comeback

In Congress and in constituencies across the country, last week demonstrated a powerful and welcome trend: After a long eclipse, the people in the political center, the moderates, have regained their voice and are reasserting themselves.

The other PA Legislature Pay raise

Tony Phyrillas

The other pay raise kicks in for Pennsylvania legislators

An early Christmas present for our larcenous legislators?

Christmas comes early — and often — for the members of the Pennsylvania legislature. You didn’t think that an angry mob of voters was going to keep the larcenous legislators from lining their own pockets, did you?

Sure they repealed the July 7 pay raise as the noose tightened around their political necks, but they do not intend to part with the 3.6 percent pay raise they refer to as a cost-of-living increase. And where else but in the Pennsylvania legislature can you be on a two-week Thanksgiving break when your pay raise kicks in? They don’t even have to show up for work and they still get paid more for it.

The latest pay raise was put into place 10 years ago — the last time the legislators raided the public treasury — giving themselves immediate pay raises of 18 percent and enacting an automatic cost-of-living increase every year unless the legislators vote not to accept the higher pay. For the 10th year in a row, the legislators forgot to vote against the automatic pay raise. What’s in your wallet?

The legislators promised in 1995 that they would never seek or approve another pay raise for themselves as long as they could get an annual cost-of-living increase based on the inflation rate in Philadelphia. That “promise” apparently came with an expiration date. The July 7, 2005, pay raise vote by many of the same politicians who pledged 10 years ago never to give themselves a pay raise shows you can’t trust anything the Harrisburg Hogs say.

Our lawmakers have morphed into a permanent class of professional politicians, a legislative aristocracy if you will. Sadly, more than 90 percent of these freeloaders are reelected year after year. Two-thirds of them didn’t even have an opponent the last time they ran. That must change in 2006 or Pennsylvania is doomed.

The New Stool Pigeon: Cell phones

As that classic 80’s hit by Rockwell says:

I always feel that somebody’s watchin’ me
And I have no privacy
I always feel that somebody’s watchin’ me
Is it just a dream?

Newhouse A1

Police are foiling criminals’ efforts to cover their tracks with evidence the culprits often overlook — their cell phone use.

Law enforcement officials say mobile telephone records have become a vital tool in solving crimes, not only revealing numbers suspects have called, but pinpointing their whereabouts in ways that can substitute for eyewitnesses. Investigators also make use of software that can extract the phones’ stored photos, text messages, contact lists and other evidence.

“People might be a little more circumspect about how they use cell phones if they were aware how much information they have about your activities,” said Bill Moylan, a former Nassau County, N.Y., detective and founding director of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice’s cyber crime center in New York. “We always say, `Thank God they (criminals) are stupid.”‘


Investigators in Pennsylvania used cell phone records to establish a timeline in the Nov. 13 slayings of Michael and Cathryn Borden at their home in Warwick Township. David Ludwig, 18, is accused of shooting the couple after spending the night with their daughter, Kara Beth.

Pennsylvania’s mechanical problems

Consider the following articles, both from the same issue newspaper….

Lancaster Your Lancaster County News Source

Test slot machines arrive Richard Williamson, director of Gaming Laboratory Operations of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, samples the play of a slot machine that his office will test and use to train staff for a variety of investigation and auditing duties. Seven machines donated by manufacturers that have applied for a license arrived in Harrisburg Tuesday.

Still no decision by county as voting machine deadline nears

Although a Dec. 31 federal mandate is fast approaching, Lancaster County officials have yet to decide on which new voting machines they will purchase.

Under the terms of the Help America Vote Act of 2002, all voting machines in the county must be accessible to the handicapped and must provide for the manual audit of returns in time for the spring 2006 primary.

The reason the county hasn’t yet picked a voting-machine model, Stehman said, is only two machines have been certified by the Pennsylvania Department of State. Only certified machines can be bought by the 67 counties in Pennsylvania.

Now, here’s my question:

How is it that in three years the Commonwealth can only certify 2 voting machines but when it comes to slots we can come up with 7 models in a matter of 6 months?

Obviously the priorities of our government are skewed away from the basic tenets of democracy (one person one vote) in favor of bait and switch ‘gambling for taxes’ swaps.

PA legislators, if you haven’t already gotten the message after the PayJacking scandal; now hear this… PACK YOUR BAGS THE FREE RIDE IS OVER.

Where do I sign up? How to get rich as a PA politician. – Money – Lawmaker Perk $129-A-Day Just For Showing Up

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The state lawmaker pay raise is history but in an 8 On Your Side investigation News 8 found some Susquehanna Valley lawmakers taking home much more than their salary — thousands of dollars more.

Its money that some people say the lawmakers shouldn’t be taking. Some lawmakers from the Susquehanna Valley take home 24129 a day2C on top of their salary2C just for showing up to work

The money is called a per diem. Its a set rate lawmakers are paid to cover expenses — no receipts needed, no questions asked. In the House, the amount is $129. In the Senate, its $128. The money covers meals, but mostly its intended for overnight lodging to help lawmakers who live far from Harrisburg.

So this comes out after the pay-jacking and unvouchered expense fiasco?

Many people have said politics is really big business (and if no one has said that, I am now) and the $129 / day stipend for living expenses is proof positive that the citizens fo PA need to file a grievance with the better business bureau