Monday, November 27, 2006

Find the Best Song of 1960-Current

Yes, you have to scroll down near the end after hitting the link and it's worth it. Like a mini time capsule. Find your favorite and then head to You Tube.

Yeah, most of my alt indie records are scratched from the list, but I remember that 8th grade dance more vividly now. Hit it.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Following Up On UCLA Taser Incident: Cop's Background

Thanks to Crooks and Liars for pointing to the LA Times follow up on the tasered UCLA student. Seems as though the officer that administered the repeated taser blasts has an interesting work history and was recommended for dismissal at one point but granted a 90-day suspension instead.

Most interesting segment other than the work history:
The officer said that when the probe is complete, he'd like to sit down with students, particularly Muslim student groups, to explain his actions at the library. (emphasis added)
Because the kid he assaulted was of Middle Eastern descent he must be Muslim? How at the time of assualt did the cop know the kid's religion? The point is that he didn't know. Got that? If you were any student at all this cop would have tasered you just the same. Feel better now?

After the internal investigation I'm sure there will be a civil suit, unles they settle out of court, if not a criminal suit first. Everyone deserves their day in court and to have all the evidence heard. At this point, it's looking even worse than it did when the tasering first hit You Tube's site.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Fantasy Congress?

I can get into fantasy football pretty easily. I like football. I like watching it, cheering for my team, having a few beers with my friends, and watching the players on my fantasy team do well as well as my favorite NFL teams.

But Fantasy Congress? Football is a game. EVERYONE knows that. Politics shouldn't be a game. Politics is how we resolve our nations problems. And never mind the fact that I don't think I could call up some buddies, head to the bar, and have a few cold ones anxiously waiting to see if Carl Levin pushes a bill through (Boo-ya!), if Barbara Boxer is going to vote that day (DE-FENSE!), or if Ted Stevens manages to get that Presidential signature (Who's your daddy!?!). Wow! Minutes of fun! Sounds just about as lame as Fantasy Fashion. People need to stop treating politics like a game, especially the people we elect.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Global Orgasm for Peace

Count me in:
The Global Orgasm for Peace was conceived by Donna Sheehan, 76, and Paul Reffell, 55, whose immodest goal is for everyone in the world to have an orgasm Dec. 22 while focusing on world peace.


The couple said interest appears strong, with 26,000 hits a day to their Web site,

''The dream is to have everyone in the world (take part),'' Reffell said. ''And if that means laying down your gun for a few minutes, then hey, all the better.''
Sounds like a good idea to me. There's more than one clever pun with "laying down your gun" but I'll leave that alone.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Get Out and See the Leonid Meteor Shower

The Leonid meteor shower will be in effect tonight so get and see it if you can. It's predicted to be a good show:
This year, the Earth is passing through a denser-than-usual trail of Tempel-Tuttle debris that should result in high meteor activity, said Brian Marsden, a senior astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge.

The rush of meteors was expected between 11:45 p.m. yesterday [11/17/06] and 1:30 a.m. today [11/18/06]], and during the same times late today [11/18/06] and early tomorrow [11/19/06]. Meteor forecasters were predicting 100 to 200 meteors an hour during the peak, said Alan MacRobert, senior editor of Sky & Telescope magazine, based in Cambridge and a Globe columnist.
I generally have bad luck when it comes to viewing meteor showers cursed by cloudy weather. Hopefully tonight I'll be able to sneak a peek. There could be some good stuff tonight:
In North America, for the Maritime Provinces of Canada, New England, eastern New York and Bermuda, the Sickle of Leo (from where the Leonids appear to emanate) will be above the east-northeast horizon just as the shower is due to reach its peak.

But because Leo will be at a much lower altitude compared to Europe, meteor rates correspondingly may be much lower as well.

However, this very special circumstance could lead to the appearance of a few long-trailed Earth-grazing meteors, due to meteoroids that skim along a path nearly parallel to Earth's surface.
Here's hoping.

Man Who Sent Fake Anthrax Out on Bail

I really don't understand how this guy is out on bail and how he's not being tried as a terrorist. And how does an unemployed, 39 year old who's still living with his parents manage to cough up $350K for bail?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Student Tasered at UCLA Library

Being an alumnus of Michigan State University, I can relate to abuse of power by campus police. What happened at UCLA was absolutely horrible. Although not clear from the graphic video below, if it is true that the police tasered the handcuffed suspect, those police should fired and barred from ever "protecting" the public again along with steep jail sentences. Video snippets of police actions don't tell the entire story, so an investigation is most definitely important. The video is pretty revealing though. At no point is it ever clear if the suspect is ever under arrest. But with 4 to 5 officers standing around, they couldn't just carry the guy out?

This whole scenario is just so indicative of the mood, temperment, and politics of today's society. You're either with us or you're against us. What disturbs me the most after the initial melee is the officer at the end of the video when approached by a female who asks for his name and badge number, the officer responds with, "Stand back or you'll get tasered too." The public has a right to ask officer's their information. I don't know if officers have the right to threaten violent force in return.

I find it equally disturbing that the student newspaper's editorial staff printed this letter with this gem out of the letters received (I have no clue how many they actually received. I'm assuming they received at least more than just this letter):
What if this suspect had a gun or biochemical agents such as anthrax?
Yes, because there's been a trend, CIA intelligence, or ever an attempt by slow moving terrorists to target university libraries carrying doses of anthrax around. Wow. Us or them buddy. Just hand over all your civil liberties. I realize now that a person can justify any actions by stating, "He could have had anthrax." It's the new "sprinkle some crack on him". Hell if it works for an entire White House administration, why can't the public use it too? Sick.

UPDATE: UCLA's student paper editors speak out agsinst the police use of force. I'm assuming their decision to print the particular Letter To the Editor I quoted above was their attempt to apear "fair and balanced".

However, I disagree with their decision to print this guy's editorial on the subject when all he's done is watch the video and review the police record. I don't know, it that whole investigative reporting thing or maybe taking into account eye witness reports that make an editorial worth something. Otherwise, you're just blowing smoke, like me.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Man arrested for anthrax scare to celebs/politicians

It's terrorism, plain and simple. It's not a hoax, a joke, or simply a threatening letter. This is the definition of terrorism.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A California man suspected of mailing threatening letters containing a suspicious white powder to celebrities and U.S. politicians has been arrested and could face federal charges on Monday, the FBI said.

Investigators identified Chad Castagana, 39, of Woodland Hills, California, as the person suspected of sending more than a dozen threatening letters to media outlets and the homes of public figures in various cities, the FBI said in a statement on Sunday evening.

According to a federal search warrant, among those who received threatening letters were Jon Stewart of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show;" talk show host David Letterman; Keith Olbermann of MSNBC; Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, who is set to become Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, both Democrats.
This guy needs to be tried as a terrorist and sent to Gitmo. Sadly, No! has even more background on this nutjob. Since this different nutjob repeatedly did the online equivalent of shouting "bomb" in an airport is being "charged with making a terrorist threat over the Internet, which carries a maximum five-year prison sentence and US$250,000 fine," I would think Castagana's alleged direct and targeted actions would garner harsher penalties.

This story might make you wonder about the investigation into the real anthrax attacks on U.S. citizens in 2001. The LA Times reports it's still being worked on by the FBI. The results of which have not been as encouraging as one would hope after 5 years into the investigation.
As the probe enters its sixth year, the FBI is urging patience, and notes that complex investigations often take years to resolve. It has compared the case to the Unabomber investigation, which took 17 years to solve, until the assailant renewed his campaign of terror and a relative turned him in. (emphasis added)
As true as that might be, it's always disheartening to read that investigative police work can't solve the problem but rather the public has to wait for another citizen to crack the case.