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Saturday, April 19, 2003

DeanFilter Howard Dean writes about the Bush doctrine (and more) for Common Dreams.

"I am what is commonly referred to as a social liberal and a fiscal conservative."

In other words, he's not only about the war, it's the economy stupid.
[via MetaFilter]

CDC's New AIDS Strategy: A Healthy Approach? Plastic::Politics::Aids: Left resists right's bid to push Uncle Sam out of the bedroom? Or Right resists Left's bid to push potentially crippling plague out of the citizenry?

Gov't Contract for Personal Data on Foreign Citizens Via FOIA requests, EPIC has obtained documentation on the federal government's contracts and pricing for access to database records of...
[via beSpacific]

Bush-Ashcroft vs. Homeland Security Where's the mainstream press when it comes to coverage of legislation that threatens our civil liberties?

Laci Peterson: Remains Her's, Husband Arrested A press conference is underway in Modesto, CA where law enforcement announces that DNA tests confirm the unidentified female who...

Don't Mess with Wal-Mart The bar code-hacking Web site shuts down, though not without firing some last-second salvos at evil chain store hegemonic domination.
[via AlterNet]

WSJNYT.  I have heard estimates that within six months N. Korea will be able to produce 50-60 bombs a year.  I suspect they would like to turn this nuclear franchise into a thriving export business.   A nation with a single cash crop potentially as lucrative as oil is to Iraq.

North Korea said Friday it was successfully reprocessing more than 8,000 spent fuel rods in a process that U.S. experts say will give the communist state enough plutonium for several nuclear bombs.   The move dramatically ups the stakes in the upcoming talks with the U.S. on the North's nuclear-weapons program, slated for as early as next week in Beijing.

Planning for the Next Cyberwar Planning for the Next Cyberwar
Wired - Buoyed by its decisive win in Iraq, the Pentagon is betting billions that the information technology system that helped defeat Saddam Hussein will evolve into a more potent weapon than cluster bombs and howitzers.
Department of Defense futurists call it network-centric warfare. Other military strategists simply refer to it as the digital war. The first Gulf War was analog, they say. This one was digital.

Net identity Offering an alternative to Microsoft's online passport - Fri Apr 18, 12:17 pm GMT
Judges Question Bid to Stop Cheney Suit - Fri Apr 18, 03:25 pm GMT
Poland Signs Deal for Fighter Jets - Fri Apr 18, 03:35 pm GMT
Lawyer charged with kidnapping associate - Fri Apr 18, 03:50 pm GMT

Thousands of Californians vanish, few get media attention - Fri Apr 18, 03:53 pm GMT

Not a headline, so don't panic.  More, a study on the phenomena of missing persons in CA.

Friday, April 18, 2003

Playtime Let us consider this [weblogger]. His [writing] is quick and forward, a little too precise, a little too rapid....
[via Waggish]

Europe betting on mobile gambling AP story: AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - Forget about grand casinos and shady bookmakers. Europeans can now satisfy their gambling urges on the spot - with their cell phones. "M-gambling" is gaining speed after a sputtering start in the late 1990s when...

Well-curves: the middle drops out Interesting Wired story on the increasing prevalence of the "well" curve -- an inverted bell-curve that's showing up in more and more contexts: students are either doing very poorly or very well on their standardized tests; companies are either very small or very large; Americans are either very poor or very wealthy.
Consumer culture is going bimodal, too. Electronics manufacturers are racing to equip us with screens small enough for cell phones or large enough for home theaters - relegating standard screens to the scrap heap. High-end luxury hotels and low-end budget chains are doing well - but at the expense of midprice accommodations. In retail, Wal-Mart is soaring, boutiques are thriving, but middlebrow Sears is struggling. As The Wall Street Journal noted last year, "consumers are flocking to the most expensive products and the cheapest products, fleeing the middle ground in between."

Then there's the drooping middle class. The Federal Reserve Board's latest analysis of family finances showed that from 1998 to 2001, American incomes were up across the board. But when economists divided the population into five equal segments, a well curve emerged. "Incomes grew at different rates in different parts of the income distribution," the Fed reported, "with faster growth at the top and bottom ranges than in the middle."

Link Discuss

April 18 - Morning legal news Here's my academic pick of important and interesting stories making this morning's legal news: Judge Awards $67 Million Judgment to Family of American Executed in Cuba | AP Crime Bill Would Curb Judges' Powers | New York Times State's High Court Relaxes Rules for Cameras in Mississippi Courts | AP U.

Drug Czar Battles Hordes of Crazed Potheads! The feds want young people to believe smoking marijuana leads to violent behavior, teen pregnancy and terrorism, but the message isn't working.
[via AlterNet]

Security forces aided Ulster murders - Thu Apr 17, 01:04 pm GMT
Journalist offers renewable energy as solution to wars fought over oil - Thu Apr 17, 02:36 pm GMT
Middle Eastern Ethnic Cleansing - Thu Apr 17, 03:14 pm GMT

Thursday, April 17, 2003

University Tenderizer Reflecting on higher education

Madonna Not Digging the P2P Madonna's disembodied voice enquires of file sharers, "What the fuck do you think you're doing?" as they try to download...
I try to be tasteful with this site, but this is too too good to resist.
Is Fox News The Future? Plastic::Media::TV:News: "Ronald Bailey at Reason asks if 3.3 billion viewers can be wrong."
Good God, let's hope not!
Paul Wolfowitz Says Happy Ramadan Plastic::Politics::Conspiracy: First, Iraq; tomorrow, the world?

Transhumanism bioethics conference This June, Yale University is hosting a conference on Tranhumanism Bioethics:
What will the body be like in 50 years? How will changes to our bodies change our lived experience? How will we adapt the body to our needs and to the environments in which we live? Will we have conquered sickness, aging and death for all or only for the lucky few? Will people migrate to silicon, build superbodies, or both, or neither? This conference, the first Transvision conference to be sponsored by the World Transhumanist Association in North America, will explore the future of the body from the transhumanist perspective. TV03USA is co-sponsored by the Yale Interdisciplinary Bioethics Program's Working Group on Artificial Intelligence, Nanotechnology and Transhumanism.

Transhumanism advocates the individual's right to use technology to enhance the body. This conference will begin the discussion between the transhumanist movement and the communities with which transhumanists have rarely been in dialogue: professional bioethicists, anti-technology activists, disability and transgender activists, and critical social theorists of science and technology.

Link Discuss

Homeland Security Dept. Hires Privacy Chief The Department of Homeland Security has hired a Chief Privacy Officer, attorney Nuala O'Connor Kelly. According to this government bio,...
[via beSpacific]

Republican Attempts to Smuggle Away Liberty "WHILE THE NATION remains transfixed on the war in Iraq and distracted by the burden of a woefully downturned economy, a group of Beltway Republicans are crafting a scheme to forever wipe out the hallmarks of democracy." San Francisco Chronicle

Wonder-Working Power George W. Bush, armed with the sharp sword of Christian fundamentalism, wades into battle.
[via AlterNet]

This is a bad joke.  Washington Post:  The former privacy officer of Internet advertising giant DoubleClick will be the Department of Homeland Security's first privacy czar, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge announced today.

Chicago police no longer enforcing public swearing law - Wed Apr 16, 03:55 pm GMT
Lawyers Give to Edwards for '04 Election - Wed Apr 16, 10:59 am GMT
World media ask: why Syria? - Wed Apr 16, 03:35 pm GMT

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Today's roundup of posts focuses mainly on internal misbehavior here in the Homeland. It is somewhat difficult to find internal misbehavior articles in my gang of RSS subscriptions since Iraq is still the star of the show. If you're still interested in the star of the show: know that most sites are speculating on potential leaders of the forthcoming American superproduct -- a free democratic Iraq. Since all of it smells vaguely of propaganda, I choose not to post it.
In other, nonrelated events, we hashed out some more Affirmative Action debates yesterday in Con Law. One of the ideas bandied about was how the college admissions process is inextricable (if that's not a word, it should be) from segregation. We shouldn't give race a point advantage in the admissions process, no. But, there's no other way to compensate for the generally poorer quality of education in what remains a generally segregated school system. So the otder of operations went like this: to adequatey and justifiably end affirmative action, you need to desegregate the public education system. To desegregate the public education system, you need to to integrate neighborhoods and take away (somehow, as yet undetermined) the advantage the wealth get in being able to send their kids to private schools.
It gets into a cyclical trap because in order to even out the segregation problem, you need diverse people to play on the same economic level. To get minorities to play on the same economic level (in order for them to get good jobs), they need to have a good education and good connections. My crappy ideas will be speculated upon as they come to me...

WHAT WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION? Tapped is still waiting for Bush administration officials to present evidence that they weren't lying...
[via TAPPED]

CNN's silence on torture In today's Boston Phoenix, Dan Kennedy hears from CNN honcho Eason Jordan, who got in trouble over the op-ed piece he wrote for the New York Times last Friday in which he revealed that CNN had operated for years in...

How GM destroyed America's public transit General Motors is an old hand at villainizing and undermining public transit. Long before it was running Canadian newspaper ads villifying transit riders, GM was involved in a conspiracy that destroyed the effective, cheap and effective public transit systems across America.
The destruction of transit in the East Bay and across the Bay Bridge was, unfortunately, typical for California's other large metropolitan areas. The only large city in California where GM did not destroy the transit system was San Francisco. This was because it was not able to do a takeover: San Francisco's transit system was owned by the City. Of course, GM was savvy enough to not directly buy these transit systems. They used "front" companies, funneling the money through them, and when they achieved control, it was the end for the transit system. All without the public's knowledge.

California transit systems destroyed by GM included those in the East Bay, San Jose, Fresno, Stockton, Sacramento, San Diego and the biggest, Los Angeles. There were probably more, but I can prove these from records.

Link Discuss (Thanks, Jimwich!)

Conspiracy freak's delight: Missing 1998 Time article by Bush, Sr. on why a full-on Iraq war would be a bad idea The March 2, 1998 issue of Time ran a piece by George Bush and Brent Scowcroft titled, "Why We Didn't Remove Saddam." Here's an excerpt from the article:
We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. The coalition would instantly have collapsed, the Arabs deserting it in anger and other allies pulling out as well. Under those circumstances, furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-cold war world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the U.N.'s mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the U.S. could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different -- and perhaps barren -- outcome.
Recently, the piece became unavailable on Time's archive page. No explanation why. But Bruce Koball scanned the microfilm from his library's archives and posted a jpg of the article on his site. Why did Time take it off? (I'm calling to find out.) Link (ascii version) Discuss

No Bail for Katrina Leung in China-FBI Intelligence Case A federal judge today denied bail for Katrina Leung, accused of passing FBI secrets to the Chinese Government. The Judge...

State Supreme Court to Review Canker Eradication Law - Tue Apr 15, 03:49 pm GMT
Former President Joins Battle Over Judges - Tue Apr 15, 03:16 pm GMT
Judge delays ruling on whether media can use 10-year-old defendant's name - Tue Apr 15, 03:14 pm GMT

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

How to draw 3,000 angry e-mails Michael Wolff in New York magazine: While the war was raging elsewhere, I was stuck at CENTCOM, where I was supposed to be lobbing softball questions at generals. Naturally, I did the opposite. (Cue hate mail from Rush Limbaugh fans.)...

Terrorism databases and the fallacy of the false positive Schneier runs down the statistical problems of keeping terrorist-suspect databases:
To see this, let's walk through an example. Assume a simple database -- name and a single code indicating "innocent" or "guilty." When a policeman encounters someone, he looks that person up in the database, and then arrests him if the database says "guilty."

Example 1: Assume the database is 100% accurate. If that is the case, there won't be any false arrests because of bad data. It works perfectly.

Example 2: Assume a 0.0001% error rate: one error in a million. (An error is defined as a person having an "innocent" code when he is guilty, or a "guilty" code when he is innocent.) Furthermore, assume that one in 10,000 people are guilty. In this case, for every 100 guilty people the database correctly identifies it will mistakenly identify one innocent person as guilty (because of an error). And the number of guilty people erroneously listed as innocent is tiny: one in a million.

Example 3: Assume a 1% error rate -- one in a hundred -- and the same one in 10,000 ratio of guilty people. The results are very different. For every 100 guilty people the database correctly identifies, it will mistakenly identify 10,000 innocent people as guilty. The number of guilty people erroneously listed as innocent is larger, but still very small: one in 100.

Link Discuss
I'll be watching 'Minority Report' again, right after I get done reading this article...
Libraries Act to Protect Patron Records Public libraries across the country continue to pro-actively protect patron privacy using various straight-forward methods. In and around Chicago, libraries...
[via beSpacific]

Mississippi Injustice: County Sues State Anyone ever hear of Marks, Mississippi? Marks is a town in Quitman County, in the Mississippi Delta, about 60 miles...

Privatization in Disguise The American blueprint for Iraq goes far beyond rebuilding infrastructure, envisioning a fully privatized and foreign-owned country.
[via AlterNet]

Baghdad Shocker Bares Russian-Saddam Spy Tie Baghdad Shocker Bares Russian-Saddam Spy Tie
FOX News - Top-secret Iraqi intelligence documents found in Baghdad show that Russia funneled spy secrets to Saddam Hussein and that Moscow was still training Iraqi spies last fall, in violation of UN sanctions, reports say.

Excuse me while I go unearth my original Nintendo system and the propagandistic game cartridge called "Rush'n'Attack."

Use of HIV law spurs debate over fairness, public health - Tue Apr 15, 02:38 am GMT
Supreme Court Justice Breyer urges attorneys to question government's anti-terror strategy - Tue Apr 15, 02:59 am GMT

Monday, April 14, 2003

Sorry for the lateness of post again today. Damn exams have me Googling for outlines and practice tests. God bless the "Google Hacks."
'The Sordid, Rather Pathetic Reality' Of Hate Plastic::Politics::Hate: Is Nick Ryan ignoring mainstream xenophobia in favor of the more sensationalist extremes of hatred?

Justice For The Mutiny On The Bounty? Plastic::Politics::Crime: The decendants of those mutineers had been living on the tiny two-square mile island fairly blissfully until the 214th anniversary of the mutiny, when they faced another threat: a sex scandal.


Non-prurient, Flash-based online art piece about nakedness. (worksafe-alert: piece contains nudity, but is not porn.) Link, Discuss (Thanks, Susannah)

Google Powers Growing Advertising Empire and Responds to Privacy Concerns Internet advertising has become a growing source of revenue for search engine giant Google, and this April 13 New York...
[via beSpacific]

Department of Justice Awards Contract to Seattle Legal Services Firm to act as U.S. Central Authority Federal Government awards contract to outsource duties of the United States Central Authority. [PRWEB Apr 14, 2003]
[via PR Web]

Columbia Law School - new website Just in to JURIST: Columbia Law School has revamped its website. Same URL, but a brand-new look.

Feds Purchasing Commercial Data to Track Foreign Citizens Questions are being raised about the U.S. purchase of data collected on hundreds of millions of Latin American citizens: During...

Nice Kitty

Joseph Menn's All the Rave: The Rise and Fall of Shawn Fanning's Napster will be out this month from Crown Business. The L.A. Times Magazine has a lengthy excerpt.

Internet Kills the Television Blahs While a study shows watching TV makes us feel powerless, "intelligent agents" surfing the web are gaining real clout serving as de facto news editors for their friends and colleagues
[via AlterNet]

Harvard grad student pleads innocent in stabbing death; lawyer claims self-defense - Mon Apr 14, 05:17 pm GMT
Indiana Prepares for Legal Action Against Philip Morris - Mon Apr 14, 05:35 pm GMT
Bush's Battle May Be on Agenda at Home - Mon Apr 14, 03:47 am GMT
President Bush irritated by media reports on chaos and looting in Iraq - Mon Apr 14, 05:34 pm GMT
President Bush has hinted at another possible Middle East showdown - Mon Apr 14, 02:03 pm GMT
For Middle Eastern teens, war brings harassment from fellow students - Mon Apr 14, 04:54 pm GMT

Sunday, April 13, 2003

Go. Go immediately to the post directly beneath this one which begins with the word "Unprecedented." If you are like me, you are going to memorize every angle of the argument, and possibly consider buying the video linked at the bottom of the article. Perhaps my summer project will be bullshit-proofing myself from the actions of the governemnt and media. Perhaps the project will be sperading a bullshit-proofing meme. ... Or maybe just finding somebody smart enough to spread the bullshit-proofing meme to the masses. ... Or maybe just getting the masses to read the article below.
Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election The story that will not die, and why that is good.

Lawyer Wants To Look At Diocese's Confidential Files - Sun Apr 13, 05:36 pm GMT

Spot in law class listed on eBay - Sun Apr 13, 07:01 pm GMT

I guess word spread fast about my school.  Cool, though.

New York Expecting Deep Budget Cuts - Sun Apr 13, 01:48 am GMT