April 30, 2003

Strange things in Cambridge

Professor Volokh posted an interesting report attributed to Mark Stancil, on the argument before the Supreme Court in Virginia v. Hicks. Justice Stephen G. Breyer supposedly quipped that there were things called "private ways" in Cambridge but that "no one really understands what that means," Justice Antonin Scalia quickly retorted: "[T]here are a lot of things up in Cambridge that no one understands what they mean." I cannot confirm such occurrence, but have no reason to distrust Professor Volokh's source.

Posted by Tiger at 07:07 PM | Comments (0)

Politics as usual in Alabama?

There is a ban on sex toys in Alabama. There has been a ban on sex toys in Alabama, and a Federal District Court ruled the law to be unconstitutional, but the 11th Circuit oveturned that ruling. Again, the District court ruled the law was unconstitutional, and all await the 11th Circuit's ruling on the pending appeal of that decision. One Alabama legislator, Rep. John Rogers, D-Birmingham, proposed a bill to remove the ban on sex toys from the Alabama obsenity statute. He argued that the obscenity law is unenforceable as long as it contains the ban on sex toys. The Legislature did not agree and voted 37-28 to continue the ban. Said Rep. Rogers, loudly, following the vote, "What you just did is make our obscenity law illegal. You voted for obscenity."

I might have to check a bit further into this matter. These variables do not necessary establish Rep. Rogers conclusions.

Posted by Tiger at 05:35 PM | Comments (2)

Mental meanderings on political correctness

It is funny how you get these ideas that there is something you want to share, but really do not know if it is right to do so. I was reading a post from Professor Volokh (wow, I did spell that right, but had to look back just to make sure) where he was discussing a story from the The Telegraph. It concerned a controversy in which trainee teachers are told not to use the word "brainstorming," as such is offensive to epileptics. Of course, according to the story, epileptics were not offended by the word, but were offended by being asked if they were offended by the word. But I digress.

My point concerns Professor Volokh's discussion of whether the correct term was "Native American" or "American Indian," being that neither was literally correct. I do not remember when, but I remember once being told that such people found the term "Indian" to be offensive because they were not Indians: they did not come from India. "Native" was disliked because it connotates lack of civilization. My own preference has always to refer to such people as "Indigenous Americans" or "Indigenous Peoples." I prefer the latter term, as they are also members of many differing tribes, each having differing beliefs and customs. The term "Peoples" connotates more than one civilization. I might use the former term to differentiate between the indigenous peoples of the Americas and those from Australia, New Zealand or Africa.

However, at this late hour, I am very unsure if I have ever discussed this topic with any descendant of the original citizens of our continent. I might be totally off-base . . . Maybe someone can let me know. It might be possible that my just thinking about how not to offend people whose customs and beliefs I admire greatly offends them. My luck goes that way sometimes. Maybe it is time for me to go to bed.

Posted by Tiger at 12:37 AM | Comments (0)

April 29, 2003

The Snail who Loved Me

Carly Simon sings as scene opens. Oh, well, not as blockbuster a situation as that, but I am wondering if a snail has become very inamored with me.

Last week I noticed a large snail crawling up the metal framework of the door to my office. A say a large snail, for it is about as large a snail as I have ever seen, though I am quite sure it is not escargot sized. I have never seen escargot, have no plans on seeing any, as I am unlikely to ever want to eat them, and, as far as I know, they live in France. I have never been to France, or if I was in France, I was not aware I was in France. I did take a bus once from Germany to England. I know the ferry landing on the continental side was in Belgium, or so I was told, but I cannot be sure that somewhere between where we left in Germany and when we arrived in Belgium, that we did not cross over into France. We didn't stop, or if we did, I do not remember it. Enough with France. Back to the snail.

I gently removed the large snail from the metal framework and laid it in the grass that lines each side of the sidewalk to my door. I actually laid it in the grass to the left of the door, for those of you who worry about such details, because the snail was on the framework on the left-hand side of the door. This was a week ago yesterday.

Last Friday I noticed the snail was crawling up the red bricks that make up the face of my office building, but as it was not likely to get crushed in between the door and the frame, as I had feared when I had last seen it, I allowed it to continue whatever pursuits it was intent upon accomplishing.

Well, today, as I was getting ready to leave, I noticed the snail was attached to the outside of the office window. If it has not moved by the time I go in tomorrow, I will assume it was just trying to find a location to peek inside to discover what activities took place inside. Either that, or it is in love with me and stalking me.

Posted by Tiger at 06:12 PM | Comments (0)

Man would rather smoke his than give it to the police

Stephani, 32, of Brookhaven, told the arresting officers he didn't pull over Saturday night because "he wanted to finish smoking the crack cocaine that he had in his truck," Suffolk County park police Lt. David Brewer said.
After all, that stuff is hard to come by. [read more] or not.
Posted by Tiger at 04:57 PM | Comments (0)

FBI scientist is guilty of lying in court

Or at least she is going to plead that way. The FBI did not seem to have all that much problem with the perjury, and had not sought to have Federal charges brought. Neither did Circuit Judge Thomas Clark who felt such false testimony would not have altered the course of the case in which it was given. However, the State of Kentucky decided no one should get away with lying in court and brought misdemeanor "false swearing" charges, for which the lying scientist can be sentenced to 90 days in jail and up to a $250.00 fine. I suspect, given the revelations in the last story, that if she says she lied twice and pays them $500.00, she might get off without any jail time.

Posted by Tiger at 04:48 PM | Comments (0)

No Money - No Court

No, this does not mean that if you are short of funds, you can skip your court date.* It means that the courts are facing such a budgetary crisis that many of them cannot afford to stay open. This story by Associated Press Writer, William McCall, discusses how the slow national economic situation is beginning to be felt in the justice system, from the courts to the law enforcement agencies. I loved this line: "In Texas, where lawmakers face a $1.8 billion shortfall, the chief justice has proposed a constitutional amendment to cut two of the nine justices on the state Supreme Court to save money." I am just wondering if when the Amendment comes around on the ballot, if we are allowed to decide to which two of the nine we get to give the axe.

*However, being they are hurting for money, some prosecutors might be amenable to making some pretty sweet deals in exchange for a bit of immediate cash influx for the government coffers.

Posted by Tiger at 04:31 PM | Comments (0)

Redistricting and Race: A Continual Balancing Game

Whenever new census figures are released, states and local governments must draw new districting lines so as to correctly distribute votes among districts. The 1965 Voting Rights Act requires areas with a history of discrimination in elections to protect minorities' rights when drawing new voting districts. Democrats attempt to draw the lines so as to benefit Democratic candidates, Republicans attempt to draw the lines so as to benefit Republican candidates, and Libertarians attempt to find candidates anyone would vote for. Every ten years, courts are compelled to decide these things, and again, the issue came up before the Supreme Court today in Georgia v. Ashcroft, 02-182. The lower court rejected the boundaries as being in violation of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. It is Georgia, after all. Congress must decide in 2007 whether to renew the part of that law which is central to this case. The Supreme Court is asked to define the boundaries of the voting rights law. Says Justice Antonin Scalia: "Maybe if we make it bad enough, they'll think about repealing it."

Posted by Tiger at 04:09 PM | Comments (0)

Possession of downloaded child porn is stiff sentence in Johnson County, Texas

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Virginia tipped the Internet Bureau of Greg Abbott's Texas Attorney General's office that a third party had reported a person suspected to be in possession of child pornography. That person is former Tarrant County Community College police officer, Ernest Dwaine Brown, 46. Based on the tip they had received, the Internet Bureau obtained a search warrant and discovered child porn on Mr. Brown's computer. More items were found on a CD, which constitutes promotion under the Texas statute. Johnson County District Attorney Dale Hannah, assisted by Assistant Attorney General Maya Guerra-Gamble prosecuted Mr. Brown on 10 counts of possession and three counts of promotion of child pornography. In a deal worked out between the prosecution and the defendant, Mr. Brown agreed to plead guilty in exchange for a sentence of 14 years. He had no prior criminal record. Pronouncing that sex crimes are not tolerated in Johnson County, DA Hanna said, "This shows how seriously we take these offenses in this county."

When I was first told about this case, it was reported as if the Internet Bureau and other agencies were monitoing Internet activity in an effort to locate and curb traffic in child pornography. After having read ths story, it appears that it was just another case of someone informing on someone else. Despite my feelings about governmental intrusion into the private sector of people's lives, I have also indicated that I supportive of all governmental action to protect the health and welfare of children. While the mere possession of and trading of child porn does not directly affect the lives of children, it is one of those cause and effect situations, similar to what I discussed with regard to the War on Drugs being mostly targeted toward stopping the flow of drugs by jailing the users and drying up the demand for drugs. If people demand something, and are willing to pay enough for it, someone else will provide it. In this scenario, the only way to provide the product is to injure the health and welfare of children, somewhere somehow. As I see it, the person's right to posess the material does not override any child's right to have a happy, secure childhood. 14 years does seem a little steep, but I am pretty sure, having personal knowledge of what kind of verdicts Johnson County juries handed down in the past, that Mr. Brown was wise to take that deal.

Posted by Tiger at 01:58 PM | Comments (0)

Stuff that gets emailed to me

For what it is worth, I found this waiting in my inbox today:

Dear Abby,

I am a crack dealer in New Jersey who has recently been diagnosed as a carrier of the HIV virus. My parents live in a suburb of Philadelphia and one of my sisters, who lives in Newark, is married to a transvestite.

My father and mother have recently been arrested for growing and selling marijuana and are currently dependent on my other two sisters, who are prostitutes in Jersey City. I have two brothers. One is currently serving a non-parole life sentence in Attica for murder of a teenage boy in 1994. The other brother is currently being held in the Wellington Remand Center on charges of sexual misconduct with his three children.

I have recently become engaged to marry a former Thai prostitute who lives in the Bronx and is still a part time "working girl" in a brothel. Her time there is limited as we hope to open our own brothel with her as the working manager. I am hoping my two sisters would be interested in joining our team. Although I would prefer them not to prostitute themselves, it would get them off the street, and hopefully, the heroin habits.

All thing considered, my main problem is this. I love my fiance and look forward to bringing her into the family and I certainly want to be totally honest with her.

Should I tell her about my distant cousin who is French?

Posted by Tiger at 10:48 AM | Comments (0)

Iraqis enjoy free access to world news

The Christian Science Monitor provides this story about the Iraqi joy of being able to access programming that is not controlled by Saddam Hussein. It is nice, with al the stories flooding out of Iraq about the riots and mobs and Anti-American sentiment, that some Iraqis appreciate what they were given: FREEDOM. I want to thank The World Wide Rant for locating the lead to this story on Instapundit.

Posted by Tiger at 08:53 AM | Comments (0)

April 28, 2003

Hero is arrested following TV interview TV

A man who rescued four children from a burning apartment building over the weekend ended up in jail today. Kris Leija, 22, of Abilene, Texas, was arrested for failing to meet with his probation officer last month. Hopefully, the judge will go easy on him.

Posted by Tiger at 09:35 PM | Comments (0)

Former Texas Attorney General Dan Morales gets appointed a public defender

U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks appointed Abe Hernandez to Morales' case last week. But he also issued an order expressing "grave concerns" that Morales was entitled to an attorney at the government's expense. Morales says he doesn't need him. I question the judge's logic for doing so, also. As well as charges that he and friend Marc Murr tried to obtain hundreds of millions of dollars for Murr in legal fees resulting from the state's $17.3 billion settlement with the tobacco industry in 1998, the 12-count indictment alleges Morales filed a false tax return, that in 1998 he contracted to buy a $775,000 house in Travis County, that he used $400,000 in campaign funds for the purchase and home improvements, and that he made false statements to get a $600,000 mortgage.

Posted by Tiger at 09:27 PM | Comments (0)

Police don't buy "cat story" either

Remember my post on Sunday, April 20, 2003 where I said I didn't buy the kid's story about being shot by his cat jumping on the pellet gun? Neither do the Stark County sheriff’s deputies.

Posted by Tiger at 07:57 PM | Comments (0)

War on Drugs: The nature of the beast

If you have read some of my thoughts regarding the "War on Drugs," you will have gotten an inclination that I am opposed to this war. However, I am mindful of the problems to towns, communities and families that can be associated with drugs, as this story so capably points out. However, despite the nightmare that the story vividly paints about the destruction one small community faces as it becomes surrounded by meth labs, the problem stems, to a great degree, from the black market that feeds off of the illegality of substances. As long as the demand exists, someone will supply the demand. It is pure "market place" economics. Almost any person, offered enough money, will provide any product, provided he or she has a source for the product. This is why alcohol, tobacco and coffee are still readily available. There are a myriad of substances that are not good for you or those around you, but some are sold over the counter and some are sold under the counter. It seems we do a much better job of controlling those sold over the counter than we do under the counter. Why is that? Because honest businessmen are willing to abide by regulations. Banning a substance for which there is a huge demand does not make it go away, it only causes it to be sold without sufficient regulations to control the worst of the problems associated with the substance.

Meth is a big problem. As a substance, it is one of most physically destructive of those currently marketed in the drug underground. However, it is also one of the easiest to produce from items that are readily available in the marketplace. I live in a rural area, and meth labs are frequently found here also. I have lost a cousin to this drug, so I am aware of the severe consequences which can occur from its use. I have frequently overheard meth referred to as the "poor man's cocaine." This leads me to infer that most who use meth do so because they either cannot afford or find real cocaine. "Crack" cocaine evolved because it was a cheaper form of cocaine than was otherwise available. If some drugs were available, then maybe it would be easier to convince people to stay away from the more harmful drugs. It could not hurt to try, could it?

The current plan of attack in the "War on Drugs" appears to be to imprison all the users so as to dry up the demand. The penitentiaries are full, and still there seems to be a plethora of users of various illegal substances in every city and town. How many more penitentiaries can we afford to build? How many more of our possibly productive citizens do we need to warehouse? How many more of our tax dollars do we need to invest in supporting a confined population? I suspect that if we invested a large part of the money that was spent on the "War on Drugs" into providing meaningful jobs for this same segment of society, a lot of the drug problem would disappear.

Drugs are a reality altering substance. I suspect that a large percentage of people use drugs because the reality of their lives is unbearable. There are not very many meaningful factory jobs in our society. People cannot survive working for Walmart and McDonald's. Sitting around day after day wondering how to feed a family on minimum wage is a bleak reality that too many people face. No wonder someone wants something to suppress that sense of meaningless and worthlessness about their lives, if only for a brief spell. Make people's reality a bit better, and maybe they will not work so hard to find new ways to alter it.

Posted by Tiger at 07:16 PM | Comments (0)

Lawyer caught with hand deep in the cookie jar but says it was innocent mistake

Attorney Barry Van Rensler, who charges $140 an hour in representing Upper Darby School District, said he billed the district for 75 hours of work instead of 0.75 of an hour, for a 45-minute conference on a property-tax appeal. His bill was $10,500 instead of $105, according to the The Philadelphia Inquirer's review. In one year, he had submitted one statement for an 81-hour day and three statements for 25-hour days. School officials said they do not believe the errors were intentional. [full story]

Posted by Tiger at 06:21 PM | Comments (0)

Health watch: wash your hands after petting a dog

A new study shows that Toxocara canis worms are present on a dog's coat and such worms can threaten eyesight, and cause toxocariasis, an illness similar in symptoms to glandular fever if they get into the human body. The veternarian who did the study noted that it was not a big problem, as very few people are found to be infected. He just advises that people worm their dogs "regularly and wash their hand before meals, and after petting the animal."

Posted by Tiger at 03:20 PM | Comments (0)

11 percent of inmates executed since 1977 have requested early executions

"Since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976, nearly 100 inmates – from Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh to Florida serial killer Aileen Wuornos – have picked the chamber over prolonged legal maneuvering, according to the Death Penalty Information Center." Paul Dennis Reid claims the government has used advanced scientific technology to make his ears ring and his body parts flicker – tormenting him to the point of wanting to die. He is scheduled to be appear before the judge, to determine if he is "gravely ill ... and not acting rationally," as his sister has alleged in a motion she filed. U.S. District Judge Todd Campbell wants to make sure Reid understands the consequences of dropping his appeals. Paul Dennis Read, a Christian who still maintains his innocence, has said "I believe that when I die, my soul – my spirit – will ascend up to heaven, that I'll face judgment day, that I'll enter the pearly gates of heaven ... and walk the streets of gold."

Posted by Tiger at 02:23 PM | Comments (0)

Health watch update: SARS epidemic may be controllable

Viet Nam has seemingly controlled the spread of SARS. Hong Kong, Singapore and Toronto seem to have checked the spread of the disease. People are not at risk walking down the street. WHO appears optimistic . . . except in China.

Posted by Tiger at 02:14 PM | Comments (0)

News Flash: Saddam was working with Osama

and the evidence has been found.

Posted by Tiger at 01:10 PM | Comments (0)

Your life, or ear, may not be worth it

A robber cut off a woman's ear because she refused to give up her earrings.

How often is a person killed or seriously injured because they refuse to give their material possessions to someone who demands them at the point of a weapon? You can bet my tombstone will never say "Here Lies Tiger - who gave his life so that he did not have to hand over his wallet to an armed gunman." I once had a friend who provided me with the best philosophy to deal with my material wealth:

If they still make it and you can still buy it, you can never lose it.
Of course, those earrings probably had some sentimental value to that lady. Attaching too much sentiment to material objects can be hazardous to your health.

Posted by Tiger at 01:05 PM | Comments (0)

Some lawmakers want children to not eat junk food

"One in seven primary school children is obese," says this story out of New Zealand. Last week, health officials wanted to add provisions regulating food sold at schools, banning food advertisements at certain times of the day and controlling the quality of food sold within 1km of schools, to a new health law to meet concerns about child obesity. Some area parents and children believe such laws are unnecessary, but that parents should take more responsibility over what their children eat. It is now up to the government to determine what provisions will be written into the Public Health Bill.

I am definitely against governmental interference in controlling what a person chooses to place into his or her own body, whether physically destructive or not. However, I always draw that line at legal maturity. Laws for the protection of children are often necessary to force adults in making the right decisions to safeguard the health of their children. Having previous published the WHO concerns about sugar and obesity, as well as the recent study that showed obesity was linked to cancer occurrences, obesity in childhood to the extent of 14% certainly flags the issue as one of importance. But as this story suggests, there is also a correlation with the fact that children do "not exercise enough and spent too much time watching television and playing on computers or video games." I am more comfortable with regulations that would limit children's access to sedentary pastimes and required more physical actives than I am to any legislation that dictates what one can feed one's child.

Posted by Tiger at 01:05 PM | Comments (0)

Health watch: Rodeo might be hazardous to your health

For sheer variety of injuries, not many sports can match rodeo. So believes Fresno Bee writer, Ken Robison. He spoke with several people close to the sport and paints a good picture of what it is like to ride the professional rodeo circuit. You do really have to admire these guys and gals.

Posted by Tiger at 12:59 PM | Comments (0)

What goes around comes around

at least for the officer in charge of busting drunk drivers in Eshowe, Zululand. He was trapped in one of the roadblocks he helped to set up to nab drunken offenders. [full story]

I have often said that anyone who drinks and drives likely commits an offense on occasion, even if they are conscientious about all factors concerning their drinking behavior. It is invariably left up to the individual to determine when he has passed that magical line between competent to drive and incompetent to drive. As the comsumption of alcohol impairs one's abilities to make reasoned determinations, it only stands to reason that even the best err on occasion. The above case is a good reference in point.

Posted by Tiger at 12:39 PM | Comments (0)

Circus lions destroyed

Due to drunken carelessness by the trainer, lions in a Russian zoo were killed by police, who found them devouring their trainer. The trainer had forgotten to securely latch their cage and the he paid the price for his carelessness. Too bad the lions paid with their lives for his stupidity.

Posted by Tiger at 12:24 PM | Comments (2)

Amazing inventiveness from 11-year-old Texas girl

A Salado, Texas girl, Tessanie Marek, has garnered national attention for inventing "Easy Crutches." Watching a church member who had undergone two hip surgeries struggle with uncomfortable crutches inspired an idea that she used to fufill a fourth-grade science assignment to invent an item, build it, then write a report.

"It's a crutch with a lever and pedal on it, so that, whenever you're standing anywhere, you can put your leg on it," the fifth-grader explains.
This weekend Tessanie will become the youngest inductee in the National Gallery for America's Young Inventors. Her family has applied for a patent, and hopes the invention will be a big success. Tessanie Marek hopes to become an attorney.
Posted by Tiger at 03:08 AM | Comments (0)

Man claimed hamburger was contaminated with fecal matter

A man sued Fairlea, West Virginia Burger King, saying he had been given a contaminated Whopper.

I took a bite out of it. It tasted funny. I started to get sick, and I ran to the bathroom and threw up."
He returned, took the top off of his hamburger and
saw something brown mixed in with the fixings of the burger. It smelled real bad. It looked like something ... how can I phrase this? ... like you're going to use the bathroom.

Greenbrier County Health Department laboratory analyst Ron Ramirez who had been examined the Whopper testified the burger had a high fecal coliform content.

The jury, however, did not hold Burger King liable.

Posted by Tiger at 03:03 AM | Comments (0)

Health watch: Lettuce may be toxic

A laboratory test of 22 types of lettuce purchased at Northern California supermarkets found that four were contaminated with perchlorate, a toxic rocket-fuel ingredient that has polluted the Colorado River southwest of the Grand Canyon, the source of the water used to grow most of the nation's winter vegetables. link to story
The Environmental Working Group paid Texas Tech University to test the lettuce, but conceded that the sample was far too small to draw any definite conclusions about how much perchlorate is in the lettuce Americans eat.They warn, however, that the results were alarming enough to warrant a broad examination by the Food and Drug Administration. They further declined to disclose the brands of lettuce that were contaminated, or where they had been purchased, saying it was wary of triggering a food scare, but purchased the lettuce in California supermarkets in January.
Posted by Tiger at 02:57 AM | Comments (3)

There is too much SPAM

and Yahoo, AOL and Microsoft are uniting to stop it.

We believe it will take broad industry efforts to really have an impact because spam is an industrywide problem," said Geoff Ralston, Yahoo's senior vice president for network services.

We are talking about working on ways to change the dynamics of the e-mail system to make it easier to determine what is fraudulent," said Brian Arbogast, vice president for Microsoft's MSN and personal services unit.

I wish them the greatest of success.

Posted by Tiger at 02:51 AM | Comments (0)

US needs to take SARS seriously

"We haven't had the kind of long chains of transmission that we've seen in some other countries, but there is no reason why that couldn't happen here," Julie Gerberding, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said regarding the SARS epidemic on "Fox News Sunday." This Washington Post story says that it is only due to luck that SARS is not rampant in the United States. "No matter how talented the health workers are and what resources are available, an event like this quickly taxes it to the extreme," said Jeffrey P. Koplan, a physician at Emory University in Atlanta and former head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who just returned from spending a week in Hong Kong. "There is nothing that has happened in Toronto that couldn't happen anywhere in the United States."

I noticed an online poll during my news surfing yesterday where the posted result showed that people were equally divided about whether they were concerned about SARS. 51% said they were concerned and 49% had no concern. There needs to be more concern. "Experts say they believe SARS is transmitted most easily through close human contact, often from sneezing or coughing. But some laboratory analysis and several cases suggest it may survive on surfaces for several hours, making it possible to spread the germ simply by touching objects," the Washinton Post story says. "[I]t would be a dangerous mistake to assume the contagious virus causing SARS will not still strike in larger numbers here."

Posted by Tiger at 02:44 AM | Comments (0)

Mentally ill people slip through the cracks - too often

"Much of Kristal Florene Locke's life has been a blueprint of paranoia and delusions, of a passion for a nonexistent relationship that, at its zenith, led to her arrest on suspicion of murder," begins this disturbing Star Telegram story entitled 'A long, dark walk on the edge of the law.' It chronicles the events over the past 23 years that culminated with the 78-year-old Ms. Locke shooting Linda Rae Porter, 55, to death in a parking lot on April 11.

The signs should have been apparent to many, but no one ever put all the pieces together.

"On April 10, Locke walked into Affordable Firearms in Hurst, passed a background check and purchased a .38-caliber handgun for $162.38."

It's common to see a person with mental illness fall through the cracks," said Holly Miller, a criminal justice professor and forensic psychologist at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville. "If you don't have . . . the proper aftercare, there's that chance that no one is going to monitor that person.

Let us hope that there are not too many more Kristal Florene Lockes out there.

Many unfit gun buyers are slipping though the cracks too.

Wasn't it due to a mentally ill man, named John Hinkley, who shot at Ronald Reagan and hit John Brady, that caused the "Brady Bill" to become law and which is designed to stop just this type of incident to happen?

Posted by Tiger at 02:33 AM | Comments (0)

Labs cut corners - evidence tainted

An audit of the testing and procedures in a Ft. Worth lab has shown inaccuracies in scientific results. One scientist is fired from Fort Worth police crime lab.

That lab is so screwed up that they have to have somebody to pin it on, that they can fire and say, 'Look, OK, we got rid of her, and now we're going to rebuild," Karla Carmichael said. "I stand by my work. How we got there, we now know, is messed up, and looking back, we were just flying by the seat of our pants. But the results and the data that came out of the lab are good."

Combining this with recent news about inaccuracies in testing results in the FBI lab unit that analyzes DNA and in the Houston Police Department lab, one has to wonder if we are to trust DNA evidence. Has this supposed great new evidentiary device that was hoped to be the savior of the innocent by confirming identities of actors from minute items of evidence (hair, semen, blood, skin cells, etc.) found at scenes of crimes been so sloppily handled that innocent people are being convicted on the basis of faulty testing? How can we be assured that it will be handled properly in the future?

Posted by Tiger at 02:23 AM | Comments (0)

A small ray of sunshine in an otherwise bleak world

A woman got her $7,000 diamond anniversary ring wrapped in a letter from a little boy. She lost the ring on the beach and was heartbroken. A few days later it was returned with a letter from "Tommy Smith" who said he found the ring. Tommy admitted he had once lost a ball and thought that the woman who lost the ring "must be really sad."

Posted by Tiger at 01:29 AM | Comments (0)

April 27, 2003

Drowning in the sea of technological advancement

Do you often encounter those things dealing with today's technology that just drive you wild because you cannot or do not possess the ability to know why something is not doing what it has done a hundred or more times before. Sometimes this happens on a major scale, like when the car quits running despite being full of gas, oil, water and having a sufficiently charged battery. In the old days, I could check a few things, but now all those things I used to check are circuit boards. Even the best mechanic seems to have problems pinpointing which one of the various boards is the actual cause of the problem. They always seem to have to replace more than one of them before they charge you your next month's grocery and gas money for getting your car running.

Repairing almost anything less expensive than a car is almost ridiculous, unless you happen to have the abilities to do it yourself. I have thought of television sets and VCRs as disposable items for almost a decade. I average getting a new TV about every 10 years and a VCR about every five. I have done the same with computers, although I was very sad to have only gotten about a year out of the last one. I have had this one only half that time and feel ready to chunk it out with the trash.

I actually still have the old one, because it was actually a good system . . . until one morning I booted it up and faced a BSOD (most of us know that BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH we face when something really goes wrong in windows) . . . upon boot up! I was given the option of booting in several different Windows modes, and did actually attempt to boot in each one of those modes -- on several occasions -- unsuccessfully. I checked the CMOS. OK, nothing there, so the next thing is to restore the system using a set of disks that were supplied with the computer. You have no option of not reformatting the hard drive when you do this, so you lose everything you have not previoulsy backed up. I start the system restoration, sit 10 minutes, put in the second disk, wait 10 more minutes . . . while CABs inflate and load. Reboot --- BSOD! OK, I go through the original rig-a-ma-role again, just on the off chance that it will actually boot in one of the other modes, allowing me to see if there is some hardware conflict. NO DICE! I run the "restore" reinstall a couple of additional times with the same result. FINE! I cuss. I finally call the tech people for the computer company. It turns out my warranty had expired a week or so prior, but I knew that before I called. I will give that tech his due: he did not hang up on me and did advise me of a simple thing that might correct the problem.

No computer: I can take it to the shop, but I already know that will take a week, if I am lucky. I have grown so totally dependent on the barrage of information I receive on the Internet that I can no more go a week without Internet access than I can go without food. Actually, as I seem to spend so much time on the Internet that I often forget to eat, I might actually be more likely to go a week without food than I would the Internet. Well, luckily for me, Walmart sells computers. They even sell computers with brand names with which I am familiar. Luckily for me, I happened to have just enough money in savings to buy the cheapest computer Walmart had for sale. I was back online without a few hours.

As I said previously, I still have that other computer. Once I was back online, I did a bit a bit of research on the error codes I had been given and got some idea what the error message was saying. What I did not discover, through reading pages upon pages of stuff written by Microsoft, was to what part of the computer that error was pointing. I did further research in some computer repair manuals I borrowed from a friend of mine who had some purchased in the last year. I was so sure they much better than the ones I have from five years ago. I still found nothing that told me exactly what the problem was, but I did find something in one of those manuals that supported what the tech had suggested I do, which was to unplug and replug the memory chip. I was almost sure it was a memory problem. I received a second opinion from a relative of an online friend of mine, to whom I emailed the error code. I have subsequently mentioned this episode to another tech friend of mine I only see occasionally and they disclosed that they had experienced the very same problem with a computer previously. All points toward me having to buy a new memory chip for that system. Memory is pretty cheap. I could even upgrade and get expanded memory. Walmart does not sell memory, though. The place where I do generally buy things like that is quite a distance from the town where I live and I have not had time to make a trip that far from home lately. So that system waits. You can bet that before I chunk this one out, that one will be operational. However, that plan could suddenly change, should something unforeseen occur, like this system crashes . . . totally.

Today - I have made two prior posts to this blog, which I duly published. Blogger appeared to operate correctly; the display showed publishing to have occurred; and it says publishing has occurred at the stated date and time. However, the new posts have yet to appear on my publicly published page. I checked the FTP capabilities to my site server and they appear to be operating normally. So? What is the problem? I don't know, and don't know how to find out. You have to love technology.

I am actually quite new to blogging, having started this, my first blog, a month ago. I have been reading other people's blogs to get a feel for what to do with my blog. Some blogs are full of really good writing, divulging great insight and unique perspectives. I read some blogs because they read mine. Some of these are really great blogs and some I find to be a bit short in content pleasing to my tastes. College students and young people have far more entertaining lives than I do, but I am not all that interested
in reading about their daily exploits. However, some of these younger people have some of the most extraordinary designs. I spend more time admiring the uniqueness of their design than I spend reading their content. The Internet has created one of the greatest forums for display of artistic talent. If no other purpose than that, it has been a boon to mankind.

I have not done any real web designing for a couple of years. Last time I did a site, CSS was still not fully functional in all browsers, and Java applets were all the rage. FLASH was just beginning to look like it was chosen design tool of future web development. I can do FLASH. I actually spent a couple of years learning how to use the amazing capabilities of FLASH design. But lately I am finding all these new terms: what is all this XML, PHP and stuff? I guess when I go buy that memory, I had better
look for "XML for Dummies" or something. I still resort to my "HTML for Dummies" when I forget the correct code for this or that, though the code in that book is pre-HTML4.

I started on the Internet, not at the beginning, but still several years ago. IRC was the hot thing then, browsers were just being updated from version 2 to version 3 and at that point, Netscape and Internet Explorer were neck to neck in popularity. My first Internet provider supplied me with Netscape3.0. I did not know any better, and it seemed to work well for me. Since then, I have progressed, keeping my browsers updated, and always having both on my system. I seem to prefer IE now, but it did take
me awhile to make that switch. I have this thing about Microsoft. I am convinced they write trash, and think that if they would only open source it, some real programmers could streamline it and make it more stable. From my own experience, every new version of operating system that MS has produced since DOS6.1 has been less stable than its predecessor. Sure, the capability supposedly expands, but the system is so unstable that you are continually rebooting. I sometimes feel ready to get a MAC, but I can buy three clones for the price of one MAC. What with the continued expansion of speed and memory, obsolescence is built into my computer price formula. Sorry MAC, but you are priced way out of my market.

n my years on the Internet, I have chatted, I have emailed, I have subscribed, taken part in, and read news groups, I have played games, I have IM'd and still have a sub2M ICQ#. I spend more time on the computer than I do at any other activity. I , thankfully have one for work, also. How did I fall so far behind?

I am very thankful for technology. Too bad it sometimes sucks, really bad.

PS. And still I could not get this published through the normal channels and had to do a work-around to get this published.

Posted by Tiger at 09:04 PM | Comments (0)

NRA proposes post 9/11 neighborhood watch program

"Homeland security begins with our collective vigilance," NRA executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre says. "That has been the consistent message from President Bush and, indeed, our nation is based on the principle that liberty requires eternal vigilance -- not just as a government, but as a people." [full story]
Posted by Tiger at 05:25 PM | Comments (0)

Go home and "DO NOT DRINK"

A South African judge sentenced a habitual drunk driver to three years house arrest, with a condition that he could not drink alcohol, even at home.

Cape Town lawyer William Booth said policing Judge De Beer's order would be "virtually impossible. Unless a correctional services officer finds the accused drinking in a bar or goes to his home in the middle of the night to find him drinking, it would be very difficult to enforce the magistrate's instruction." Judge De Beer told the man, "If you break this condition you will come back here and I will sentence you to a very long imprisonment."
My bet is the guy gets sentenced to a very long imprisonment not too soon into the future.

Posted by Tiger at 04:32 PM | Comments (0)

Evil twin points to brother for the crime

Evil twin points to brotherIn a Florida case that was solved using DNA, a man convicted yesterday of a murder in 1990 had attempted to put the blame on his twin, who has identical DNA. Thankfully, the twin had a good alibi for the time of the incident. [full story]

It had always been a thought of mine that identical twins might be almost impervious to prosecution for crimes, at least as long as they always backed up each other. As they are genetically identical and share the same DNA, and I assume fingerprints, any evidence that was good against one of them would identically be good against the other. Even eyewitness testimony or being captured on video would not be sufficient to identify one over the other. Presumptively, if only one of them was involved in the activity, then the other must be innocent of any involvement. Without evidence as appeared in this case where one of them was actually known to be in another location at the time of the offense, how could anyone ever be sure, beyond a reasonable doubt, which one was actually the one who committed the crime? How could any conscientious juror not worry about maybe convicting the innocent twin of that offense committed by the guilty twin?

Posted by Tiger at 03:06 PM | Comments (0)

Ooooo . . . that had to hurt!

"How can they do me like this, man?" said the defendant as the the jury walked out of the room after having convicted him of robbery, aggravated robbery and two counts of felonious assault. He faces up to 21 years, and will be sentenced on May 27 for an episode occuring on Jan. 5 in Cincinnati, Ohio. According to the story, the victim got out of a car the night of the shooting and approached the defendant and saw that the defendant had a gun, He asked the defendant what the gun was for. "It is for this," the defendant said and shot the victim in the groin. Supposedly the victim was robbed of $70.00.

Posted by Tiger at 02:41 PM | Comments (0)

Privacy: Are the DCMA subpoena provisions violative of Due Process?

Wired New reporter, Katie Dean, in her article entitled Online Anonymity Comes Under Fire, quetions whether the ruling issued this week by Judge John Bates of U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. regarding the subpoena granted on behalf of the Recording Industry Association of America which required Verizon to turn over the names of two of its subscribers opens the door for almost anyone who makes a claim that their copyright has been infringed, whether substantiated or not, to obtain information that most of us thought was private.

"To us, the biggest privacy problem for Internet users is the people whose identity is unmasked never get any notice that they've been the target of one of these subpoenas," said Alan Davidson, associate director for the Center for Democracy & Technology, a privacy advocate group. "Notice is one of the bedrock principles of privacy and Fourth Amendment law because it gives you the opportunity to challenge an improper request and to know that your privacy has been invaded."

Posted by Tiger at 02:00 AM | Comments (0)

April 26, 2003

Maybe not Cruel but definitely Unusual Punishment

Judge says two men who threw beer bottles and were rude to a woman can spend 60 days in jail or walk through their home town wearing women's clothing.

"We're not doing the bikini top and thong. It's got to be a dress and it has to be respectful. They are going to don a wig and a little make-up," said the judge.

Posted by Tiger at 11:56 PM | Comments (0)

Hatfields and McCoys in the news again

It seems that although an annual reunion of the Hatfields and McCoys fills the Pikeville, Kentucky hotels with visitors each June, the City Council of Pikeville will not say "yes" to placing a statue of Randolph McCoy, patriarch of the Kentucky hillbilly McCoy clan, in a city park.

Pikeville resident James Smith said many people feel placing the statue in the park would be romanticizing criminal behaviour. "I don't believe we should be putting up the statue," Smith said. "Killing is killing. It doesn't matter how you do it." Instead, according to one of the McCoy descendants, the life-sized, bronze statue will be placed in a cemetery on the outskirts of town.
On an interesting note: at the annual reunion, the two families still battle one another: in a softball game and a tug-of-war contest ... but still keeping those rifles in the gun cabinet.

Posted by Tiger at 11:20 PM | Comments (0)

The presumption of innocence

The right to be presumed innocent does not begin at the moment a jury is impaneled. Rather, it begins well in advance of the filing of an accusatory instrument; indeed, it should guide the way the facts are gathered and disseminated throughout an investigation. In addition, it is not just jurors who must hold fast to this presumption. All citizens should - and law enforcement, in particular, should as well.

This was part of the scathing commentary of Jonna M. Spilbor, frequent guest commentator on Court-TV, former criminal defense attorney, and former prosecutor with the San Diego City Attorney's Office, Criminal Division, and the Office of the United States Attorney in the Drug Task Force and Appellate units, in which she outlines the way that the prosecutors, police, press and public have already presumed the guilt of Scott Peterson for the heinous crime with which he has been charged, and have thwarted the premise that a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty. If you will just look back to yesterday, I pointed out that one of the biggest problems I saw with the criminal justice system was "jurors not taking the presumption of innocence seriously, and voting guilty unless the defendant proves he is actually innocent." This has become the way of the nation, in our modern world as every news forum desperately seeks something newsworthy to report. Tainting the vast majority of prospective jurors by trying a person in the court of public opinion is too often a force that can never be overcome by even the best defense attorney.

Posted by Tiger at 06:24 PM | Comments (0)

Another celebrity gets jury sympathy

In a mock trial held on Take your Children to Work Day, Stanford Law School tried Goldilocks on a charge of burglary. Convinced that no little curly-headed girl would break into a house to eat porridge that Baby Bear would spit out, the jury acquitted Goldilocks.

Posted by Tiger at 04:57 PM | Comments (0)

I am officially an insignificant life-form

Or at least this blog is. ***: Raggin' & Rantin' is listed as an "Insignificant Microbe" in the blogosphere, but at least I am in the top 2000. Actually, when I posted this, I was number 1949 out of 1950 on the list. But I am on the list and maybe I will evolve some day to a higher plane of existence.

Posted by Tiger at 04:25 PM | Comments (0)


Well, I am officially a year older now. Of course, I do not feel any different than I did a couple of hours ago, and although I am not all that worried about being a year older, it is also nothing of much importance. I have been old enough to drink and old enough to vote for more than two decades, and yet I am still not old enough to retire (or actually just not rich enough to retire) nor do I qualify for any discounts because I have attained the status of senior citizenship. I am not unhappy with growing older, as I long ago realized it was eventual, but with every passing year, my dream of bringing a child or two into this world dims a bit. I do not have any special plans for today, and doubt anyone will acknowledge my birthday, now that my mother has passed. Speaking of my mother, it does bring back to me my epiphany I had when I turned 25 that my birthday might actually be far more important to my mother than it was to me, as it was my birth that had made her a mother.

What is it about birthdays? I have never found it a big deal to have another year pass. I guess the last real deal that was made about me on a birthday was when I skipped work so I would not have to attend all that black morbidity party they give you when you turn 40. My wife had died the year before, so my life was black enough without going through that ordeal. My last one was probably the worst birthday, because I lost my dad the year before, so I turned 47 being widowed and orphaned. That was not a highlight, I can tell you. Turning another year older in the same condition is not quite as bad, but is still not great.

I could get drunk today, but I long ago decided I really did not like being drunk. Semi-unconsciousness always seems to come with a lack of control, and without control, strange events can occur than can really dampen your spirits. The hangovers are not all that great either, or the puking. I could get myself a cake, but I am not really into sweets, except for Wintergreen Altoids, and I would rather they didn't have any sugar in them, just the "curiously strong" mint. I am always worrying about whether my breath smells, and somehow sucking four of them at a time alleviates my worry.

Birthdays and holidays are not really all that fun when you are alone. No one gives you gifts, though, really I kind of got over gifts when I reached the economic ability to buy most of the things that I wanted. I gave myself a new computer Christmas before last, but could not think of anything I really wanted this past Christmas. I suppose I could buy myself an electronic pest control device for my birthday. I have been wanting one of those to chase away that damn mouse that seems to live inside the wall beside my bed. It is due to that mouse that I am up at this hour composing this drivel instead of lying peacefully in my bed unable to go to sleep. Insomnia is a side effect of the sinus tablets I take on occasion when the cedar spores are heavy in the air. Those cedar spores didn't seem to bother me so much when I was still too young to drink. Your body seems to go through physical changes as you grow older whether you want them to do so or not. I still am not sure when I still had a full head of hair and when none of it was gray.

48? Is there anything special about being 48? Well, it is divisible equally by 2, 4, 6 or 8. I suppose something could be said for that. I remember when I was 34, I lived near a car wash that gave you a free one on your birthday. I went there for mine, and met a girl getting her free car wash also, who happened to be one-half my age on that day. She had turned 17. She is turning 31 today. I wonder how she feels about today? I am almost sure she must be much more excited than I am. Last year might have been the one to which she was not looking forward. (What is the deal about hanging participles that still bothers me so far into my life?)

Do I seem a bit melancholy? Maybe, but if I remember the words to the song right, "It is my party, so I can cry if I want to." No, I am going to celebrate today, for I am alive, and I am healthy. I understand there is a festival going on in one of our neighboring towns, and I think I will check it out. Who knows, maybe I will get really lucky and not be lonely next year. Yeah, on that thought, I think I will go to bed. Maybe that damn mouse has gone to sleep by now.

Posted by Tiger at 01:51 AM | Comments (0)

April 25, 2003

Lawman charged in "Fake Drug" case

Well, the Feds indicted the Dallas Police Narcotics Officer who was at the center of the fake drug scheme. He has five misdemeanor counts (violating innocent people's civil rights) and one felony count (lying to an FBI agent) and could spend 10 years in prison if convicted. Three police informants who made thousands of dollars from the police department have already pleaded guilty for their crimes in this matter, and assisted in the investigation against the officer. What is still left to discover in the investigation is whether any of other officers in the matter had knowledge of what was going on or whether any of the officers profited from the money the informants made from the scheme. The investigation is still ongoing, and I suspect there will be several more caught in the net before it is over.

Have you ever considered the cost of being arrested for something of which you were not guilty? Bonds cost money, attorneys cost money, time away from work costs money . . . and yet, seldom does an innocent person recoup their losses after the truth is known. Supposedly we have the best justice system in the world, or that is what we keep being told, but still there are problems with it. Here are my opinions about the biggest problems with the criminal justice system:

  • The cost of being charged with a crime you did not commit

  • Jurors not taking the presumption of innocence seriously, and voting guilty unless the defendant proves he is actually innocent

  • Inadequate payment for juror time so that people want to avoid jury service

  • Failure to uniformly design systems which provide juror panels that actually represent the broad range of people in the community

  • Legislation of people's morality in situations where no harm is cause to anyone but one's own self

  • Increasing corruption of law enforcement officers who are charged with enforcing laws where large amounts of money are involved

  • Elected judiciary who have to walk a line between political necessity and concerns of justice

  • The economics of the legal education community which is more concerned with the number of attorneys produced than the quality of attorneys produced

Posted by Tiger at 10:50 PM | Comments (0)

Are telephone companies a bunch of lying, thieving crooks?

This Forbes.com article seems to say so, and says the regulators know it and do not really care to do anything about it.

Posted by Tiger at 07:50 PM | Comments (0)

FAA says no rule against flying naked

Laid back Southwest Airlines however, fired a pilot and co-pilot who were found in the cockpit mostly or completely undressed. Before you think there was some hanky panky going on between the two of them, the were both male, and were discovered when they summoned a flight attendant to the cockpit to bring paper towels and soda water. Their claim: that one of them removed his uniform after coffee was spilled. However, that does not explain why both of them shucked their clothing.

Southwest is treating the episode as a prank that went too far.
[full story]

Posted by Tiger at 07:21 PM | Comments (0)

Admiring other's humor

One of the reason I like to peruse the news links on FARK [link on left] is because some of the blurbs they use to describe the stories are hilarious. The story for this one was stupid, but this blurb made me laugh:

Idiots tattoo station's call letters across foreheads for $150,000. Then fail to show up to court for the lawsuit. Dixie Chicks show up naked in protest.

And I discovered a young New York attorney's blog: Attorneys Suck, in which he displays some very unique humor about his every day trial and tribulations.

Posted by Tiger at 06:15 PM | Comments (0)

Are there dangerous products being sold to unsuspecting consumers?

This story amused me somewhat. It appears that there may be substances in Teflon, ScotchGuard and other ingenious products developed over the last few years that may be toxic to humans. The author went on to list a few products from the past that seemed like modern miracles that later turned out to be destructive to humanity and the environment: DDT, chlorofluorocarbons {CFCs), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). I thought it humorous that in her first paragraph, Elizabeth Weise of USA TODAY stated: "Fifty years ago, Americans wrapped their sandwiches in waxed paper, poured their milk from glass bottles, wore rubberized coats when it rained, drove cars made from steel and reheated dinner in an old pie tin in the oven." Uh, Elizabeth, and their houses were full of asbestos, lead pipes and lead paint. I mean from the dawn of time, many innovations have had some effect on humanity or the environment. This is nothing new.

Then she went on to talk about the differences between the Europeans, who believe:

When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause-and-effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.
and the American concept of making us all
part of an unregulated experiment that allows toxic chemicals to bioaccumulate in their bodies.
Do your homework, lady, there is regulation of unsafe products in the United States. You can bet if a product makes enough people sick and no one did enough checking beforehand to understand that such would occur and put adequate warnings to the public regarding such hazards, there will be a lot of attorneys ready to make that company pay. Hitting big business in the pocketbook has created a greater concern for making safe products in American than any legislation could ever do. In fact, I expect now that you have published your story, there will be ads in all media:
Do you feel ill? Have you been cooking in Teflon? If so, you may be entitled to damages. Call the law firm of ....

Posted by Tiger at 06:09 PM | Comments (0)

Interesting legal argument

I always admire ingenious legal thinking, and I think that a claim that it is a violation of Miranda to use heroin one vomits up as evidence if done so prior to the reading of the Miranda rights is definitely one of the most ingenious arguments that I have heard in awhile. Hmmmm, I foresee the warnings being changed somewhat:

You have the right to keep your mouth shut, if you open your mouth, anything that comes out of your mouth can be used against you at your trial .....
[full story]

Posted by Tiger at 05:52 PM | Comments (0)

Trials and tribulations of Internet surfing

I am suspecting there was a problem somewhere along the Internet backbone for several hours earlier tonight, as I was having problems connecting with several websites for about 3 hours.

Posted by Tiger at 12:39 AM | Comments (0)

April 24, 2003

Robin Williams Peace Plan

Now I am going to attribute this to Robin Williams, as it was attributed to Robin Williams when I found it in a group I belong to. I actually did a search using one of the phrases from the following to see if I could confirm it was actually from Robin Williams, and what I did find was that it was posted in several places, but no one attributed it to Robin Williams. Finally, thanks to my friend from the group who originally posted it, I was pointed to this link which will take you to the google cached page for WECR 102.3. That radio station does not seem to have much interest in archiving previously posted things on their site, I discovered by trying to locate their original version of that cached page. OK, now that I have cleared up the attribution, let me give you the plan:

[UPDATE: Please read THIS POST regarding the true attribution of the following.]

Robin Williams' plan...(Hard to argue with this logic!)

I see a lot of people yelling for peace but I have not heard of a plan for peace. So, here's one plan:

1) The US will apologize to the world for our "interference" in their affairs, past & present. We will promise never to "interfere" again.

2) We will withdraw our troops from all over the world, starting with Germany, South Korea and the Philippines. They don't want us there. We would station troops at our borders. No more sneaking through holes in the fence.

3) All illegal aliens have 90 days to get their affairs together and leave. We'll give them a free trip home. After 90 days the remainder will be gathered up and deported immediately, regardless of who or where they are. France would welcome them.

4) All future visitors will be thoroughly checked and limited to 90 day visits unless given a special permit. No one from a terrorist nation would be allowed in. If you don't like it there, change it yourself, don't hide here. Asylum would not ever be available to anyone. We don't need any more cab drivers.

5) No "students" over age 21. The older ones are the bombers. If they don't attend classes, they get a "D" and it's back home, baby.

6) The US will make a strong effort to become self sufficient energy wise. This will include developing non polluting sources of energy but will require a temporary drilling of oil in the Alaskan wilderness. The caribou will have to cope for a while.

7) Offer Saudi Arabia and other oil producing countries $10 a barrel for their oil. If they don't like it, we go someplace else.

8) If there is a famine or other natural catastrophe in the world, we will not "interfere". They can pray to Allah or whomever, for seeds, rain, cement or whatever they need. Besides, most of what we give them gets "lost" or is taken by their army. The people who need it most get very little, anyway.

9) Ship the UN Headquarters to an island some place. We don't need the spies and fair weather friends here. Besides, it would make a good homeless shelter or lockup for illegal aliens.

9b) Use the buildings as replacement for the twin towers.

10) All Americans must go to charm and beauty school. That way, no one can call us "Ugly Americans" any longer.

Now, ain't that a winner of a plan.

"The Statue of Liberty is no longer saying 'Give me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses.' She's got a baseball bat and she's yelling, 'You want a piece of me?'" - Robin Williams

Posted by Tiger at 11:55 PM | Comments (5)

Legal Highlights for Today

There were several pretty interesting legal items in my email today.

The first involves the City and County of Santa Cruz filing action in Federal Court to enjoin the DEA from blocking the reopening of a marijuana farm and disallowing sales of marijuana for medical use.

"It is pretty clear that the people in the state of California support the use of medical marijuana," said Mardi Wormhoudt, a Santa Cruz County Supervisor. "It is disturbing when the people in the state have overwhelmingly expressed their support at the ballot the federal government feels no right to uphold that."
The Supreme Court has previous ruled on the right to use marijuana for medical use, but maybe a county and city can surmount a powerful enough attack to get them to reconsider their decision. Who knows?

In a surprising decision to many, the Supreme Court decided against limiting the appeal options of people convicted of federal crimes. The Bush administration had been pushing for the opposite decision, but the court was concerned about too many cases of bad lawyering and thought that limits on appeals might allow such to get overlooked. I suppose they figure if you get enough lawyers looking over the shoulders of other lawyers, sooner or later, someone will do a good job representing the defendant.

I was personally very sad when I read about this case. It concerns people who held themselves out as a Tiger Rescue Sanctuary, and yet, today as many as 30 ***s and other big cats were found dead along with 58 cubs in a freezer in a home attached to the sanctuary. I just do not understand people taking on a responsibility and then ignoring it. Especially when it concerns ***s, the most endangered of all the big cats.

An Appellate Court in Florida struck down what was being called a "Scarlet Letter" law that required women who wanted to put up kids for adoption to disclose everyone who might have possibly fathered the child in a newspaper publication in all cities where the children might have been conceived. The State of Florida did not really put up much of a fight, it seems. The court found "the offending provisions substantially interfere with both a woman's independence in choosing adoption ... and with the right not to disclose the intimate personal information that is required when the father is unknown. We deem the invasion of both of these interests so patent in this instance as to not require our analysis." Last I recall, the Texas Legislature had devised a law that said that if you had sex with a woman and were interested in what happened to any child that might result from that sexual act, you were to register your interest, giving the details of the event, with the State. If that child was to be put up for adoption, all one had to do was produce a certificate from the registry showing no one had registered as a person who was interested in such child, and that was that. It was designed to speed up the adoption process and to save money for parties. Have you ever wondered how much they charge for those legal notices in the newspaper? And, does anyone read any of them anyway?

The California Supreme Court agreed that life support can be cut off for a 1½ year old child who has been in a coma for a year, and the child can be allowed to die.

"I'm very happy," said the child's mother. "I want him to go to heaven. That's all I ever wanted."
The child's father's attorney stated:
"His position has always been, where there is life, there is hope. No matter what the circumstances are, the state should not be terminating a child's life."
Of course, pulling the plug on the child could lead to a murder charge for the father who authorities say beat, shook and threw his son against the crib on Dec. 17, 2001. What kind of a person does that to a baby?

The last interesting case is the patent suit against Ebay. This case is interesting because Federal district Judge Jerome B. Friedman has already warned the attorneys that "it's going to be your responsibility to make sure this is something the average person can understand." I have always thought I was a fairly technologically knowledgeable person, but I am wondering just what it was that was proprietary about the creation of an Internet auction site. The plaintiffs are claiming Ebay stole its programs and procedures, but Ebay is saying that its procedures don't infringe the plaintiff's patents, and that those patents are unenforceable anyway because other people had proposed similar systems and methods before Woolston, the plaintiff, filed his applications. I am just glad I am not on that jury. You can bet that the testimony is going to be pretty dull and dry.

Posted by Tiger at 11:52 PM | Comments (0)

What was he thinking?

In Carlsbad, NM, while appearing on a traffic violation, taking off his hat as the judge entered, a teen dropped marijuana in the courtroom. The judge held him in contempt and ordered him to serve two days in jail. In my opinion, the judge must have taken pity on the young man, because two days in jail seems to be a pretty light sentence for displaying a controlled substance in the court. It reminds me of an incident I witnessed in a Dallas court, where a man who was ordered to go to jail emptied his pockets for the bailiff and pulled out 5 rocks of crack cocaine. I am almost sure that man got considerably more than two days in jail for his transgression. If only absolute ignorance was a defense to criminal activity?

Posted by Tiger at 07:31 AM | Comments (0)

April 23, 2003

Looted Iraqi Antiquities Surfacing

"Some of the ancient artifacts stolen from Iraqi museums are already appearing on the international art market and at least one suspected piece was seized at an American airport,' FBI officials say.

Several, including soldiers and reporters, are trying to smuggle Iraqi treasures. Maybe we should change the name of this event from "Operation Iraqi Freedom" to "Operation Iraqi Thievedom."

Posted by Tiger at 11:32 PM | Comments (0)

Easter is over, but the bunnies remain

Chicago says there are too many rabbits around eating all the vegetation in parks and it is costing too much to replace them, so they are on a trap rampage. If you are looking for a rabbit, try going to Chicago. I am sure they will be glad to give you as many as you want.

Posted by Tiger at 11:10 PM | Comments (0)

Health Watch: WHO's concerned about SUGAR

In a report today, the World Health Organization (WHO) is concerned about sugar, saying that such causes too many health problems, such as obesity, diabetes, cancer, tooth decay, and heart disease. According to one story I read today (that I lost due to a computer crash and cannot relocate), experts said that about one half of all Europeans and 61 percent of all Americans are overweight, and with the spread of Western customs spreading around the world, the problem is becoming global. The sugar industry is fighting the report, saying that there is not enough evidence to back up what WHO is saying.

Another report released today, researchers linked obesity to cancer problems.

Researchers spent 16 years evaluating 900,000 people who were cancer-free when the study began in 1982. They concluded that excess weight may account for 14 percent of all cancer deaths in men and 20 percent of those in women.

Posted by Tiger at 11:02 PM | Comments (0)

Report on School Problems

According to the report, 73 percent of employers and 81 percent of professors said public school graduates have fair or poor writing skills.
Biggest problem seems to be lack of involvement with children by parents and children's attitudes, say the report. Read more here.

In the Texas Legislature, there is plenty of action going on about schools. In one move, a bill to allow universities and colleges to start charter schools, where all the students do so on a computer at home over the Internet passed the Senate. The House had already voted earlier to table the bill. Since the Senate passed the bill with a vote of 27-3, it might be possible that the House will reconsider the bill soon, but according to the Dallas Morning News story, some representatives opposed the bill, saying cash-strapped Texas could not afford it. Whatever happens, it looks like there may be a lot of changes in Texas schools.

In an unrelated story, a teacher in West Texas is in trouble for taping the mouths of some students that would not stop talking during class. Parents are upset about the ordeal and are asking to have the teacher fired.

One mother said, "My child can't breathe through his nose. Whenever he has his asthma attacks, he definitely can't."
This episode backs up what the above survey was saying about the root of the problems in our school. While I cannot condone what the teacher did, if the kids had done what they were supposed to have done: shut their mouths and pay attention to what the teacher was trying to teach them; she would not had to take such action. I am still of the opinion that discipline in school was better before they stopped corporeal punishment for misbehavior.

Posted by Tiger at 10:25 PM | Comments (0)

Stephen King's "The Large Chocolate Bunny"

Created by the pastry chef at the Ritz-Carlton, a chocolate bunny with a nice smile impressed Stephen King so much that he parted with $1000 for it. Look for it to be a central character in a future Stephen King story.

Posted by Tiger at 05:38 PM | Comments (0)

"We don't do the stuttering thing."

This is what Bobby Tart was told when he called in to dedicate a song to his ex-wife. A complaint has been filed with Human Rights Commission and the National Stuttering Association is on board.

I don't get how people can be so inconsiderate. There is so much teasing and bullying of kids who stutter, and when adults do it, it's even worse. It's a speech impediment. All it takes is compassion.
[full story]

Posted by Tiger at 12:58 PM | Comments (0)

SARS watch

Latest reports say that the SARS virus is mutating and is likely to quickly spread unchecked through China.

If China is not able to deal with SARS, then it will be very problematic to deal with globally. That is the problem in dealing with diseases like SARS -- they don't respect borders.

Posted by Tiger at 08:16 AM | Comments (0)

April 22, 2003

Still feuding: the Hatfields and the McCoys . . .

but this time the court settles the dispute. It seems that several McCoys who died in the famous feud in the late 1800s are buried in a cemetary surrounded by land owned by one of the decendants of the Hatfiields. The Hatfield descendant had blocked the McCoy descendants' access to the cemetary, so the McCoys took the matter before the judge. The judge said you can go see the cemetary, provided you show proof to the court that you are a decendant of the McCoys. According to the story, both sides agreed the judge's decision was better than having to get their rifles out and start shooting at each other this time.

Posted by Tiger at 11:24 PM | Comments (0)

Lots of loose cash tempts GIs

While "Three Kings" made for a good movie, four servicemen found out that taking that which does not belong to you is not kosher in this man's Army. To the victor do not belong the spoils, such are the property of the now freed Iraqi people, or so says the Army. Of course, history tells us that most likely some of those newly freed Iraqi people, once they gain control of those millions of dollars found, will find it hard to share it with their countrymen and may also find themselves with sticky fingers.

Posted by Tiger at 11:04 PM | Comments (0)

Lucky the Bull entertains Easter egg hunters

It seems that while a crowd was busy hunting eggs in the school yard, Lucky the Bull, prowling around the neighboring field got a bit too close to the burning trash barrel, and his head caught on fire.

"What are you supposed to do when a cow catches fire?" asks Susan Gann.
As having never encountered such experience before, she dialed 911. The Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue crews soon arrived, but after having burned all the hair on Lucky's head, the fire had extinguished on its own. Lucky was soon seen munching some grain, seemingly none the worse for his experience. [full story]

Posted by Tiger at 07:41 PM | Comments (0)

A decade after the Waco debacle

The Waco Tribune-Herald has finally completed its 9 part series on looking back after 10 years at the Mount Carmel tragedy.

Few events in Central Texas have prompted as much grief, anguish and unrelenting controversy as the Branch Davidian story.

However painful the episode remains in Central Texas, the events leading up to the Branch Davidian siege and its outcome are a confounding, highly charged piece of McLennan County history, complete with earthshaking ramifications extending far beyond county lines.

Read all nine parts of this story, as well as a good video tour of the site and other additions by clicking here.

Posted by Tiger at 07:29 PM | Comments (0)

April 21, 2003

A dog's life . . .

is not always to be envied. Dosha, a dog in Clearlake, California, had a horrible day. It all started off with Dosha getting hit by a car. A friendly police officer saw her, and thinking she was in pain, played cowboy and, so as to end her suffering, shot her. Her carcass was then taken to the local animal shelter, and placed in a freezer. A couple of hours later, the director of the facility came in and was advised about the incident. He found poor Dosha shivering in the freezer, suffering from hypothermia and a gun shot wound. Ironically, she had suffered no broken bones from the auto accident. She is recovering, but the vet bills are mounting, and as Dosha is destitute and surviving solely on meals of dog food, local citizens are taking up a collection to pay for her continued care.

In an unrelated story, in Syracuse, New York, Renny, the police dog was bitten by a suspect. "I don't think I bit the dog. I just got into a fight with him," Paul Russell of Syracuse [no relation to your friendly Tiger blogger] told The Post-Standard of Syracuse in Monday's newspaper.

I don't really remember (what happened). I was pretty drunk.
Renny suffered swelling and soreness in his neck where he was bitten, but thankfully, Mr. Russell was checked for rabies and was not found to be a carrier. He was, however, found to have a broken nose and two black eyes resulting from his partner's efforts to extricate Renny from the attack, and Mr. Russell also is charged with injuring a police animal, resisting arrest and obstruction of governmental administration. Renny is not expected to testify at his trial.

Posted by Tiger at 11:11 PM | Comments (0)

Doing the right thing and the wrong thing . . . at the same time

A fuel truck driver in a Seattle suburb saw a truck on fire, so parked his truck, told the passengers to evacuate the vehicle, and using the fire extinguisher from his fuel truck, extinguished the engine fire. The local fire department arrived and gave praise to the driver for his prompt and efficient deed. His employer, however, was not so delighted with his efforts, for he was later reprimanded by his superiors for having wasted 15 minutes of company time and the cost of recharging the fire extinguisher. [full story]

Posted by Tiger at 10:57 PM | Comments (0)

South African Biotoxins, believed destroyed, end up in private hands

Joby Warrick, Washington Post Staff Writer, posted a two day series about the top-secret biological and chemical weapons program known as Project Coast in South Africa.

In 1993, South Africa declared all the weapons, pathogen strains and documents destroyed. Since then, South Africa has been held up as a model -- an example for Iraq and other nations of 'what real disarmament looks like,' as Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said in a speech in January.

Bacterial strains that supposedly were destroyed continue to turn up in private hands.

[full story: part 1 - part 2]

Posted by Tiger at 07:33 PM | Comments (0)

Tomorrow is Earth Day

Almost all communities have something you can volunteer to do to help our own home planet, whether it is cleaning up some trash here and there, assisting in recycling items so we can save some resources, or just being a bit more Earth-friendly in your daily activities. Let us spend tomorrow remembering the Earth is a valuable resource that none of us can live without and remembering it takes very little effort on each of our parts to assist in keeping it clean. Don't Mess with Texas or any other area of Earth! [no links in this post]

Posted by Tiger at 06:37 PM | Comments (0)

US Supreme Court to hear appeal on Texas Death Row case from 1980

"The paramount importance of adequate defense counsel in capital cases cannot be overstated," the Sessions' [Former FBI Director William Sessions, also a former federal judge in Texas, joined other former judges and a prosecutor to file a 'friend of the court' brief] filing said. "When a criminal defendant is forced to pay with his life for his lawyer's errors, the effectiveness of the criminal justice system as a whole is undermined."
[full story]
Posted by Tiger at 06:20 PM | Comments (0)

Identity Theft Update

Author of "Catch Me If You Can," Frank W. Abagnale, reformed thief and now a respected authority on identity theft and other forms of fraud, offers tips on protecting your identity against theft in this commentary.

In an unrelated story, the second annual survey into office scruples, conducted by the people organizing this month's InfoSecurity Europe 2003 conference, disclosed that a high percentage of office workers willingly gave away their passwords and other security information without much effort.

"In addition to using their password to gain access to their company information, two thirds of workers use the same password for everything, including their personal banking, Web site access, etc. This makes them more vulnerable to financial fraud, personal data loss or even identity theft, the InfoSecurity team point out." [emphasis supplied]

Posted by Tiger at 06:06 PM | Comments (0)

April 20, 2003

Seriously Mom, the cat shot me

According to this story, a cat jumped onto a picnic table where a pellet gun was left by a 15 year old boy. The gun discharged and the boy was hit in the left side. Thankfully, the injuries are not life threatening, and the cat is not being held for questioning by the police. My opinion: good story, kid, but I am not buying it.

Posted by Tiger at 07:54 PM | Comments (0)

1st private spaceship?

Famed aircraft designer Burt Rutan unveiled his secret project in the Mohave Desert: a high-atmosphere released vessel that is hoped to be the first private ship to make it to space, and the vessel to carry it into the high atmosphere. It has not made it into the space yet, so all of you spaceship designers better get to work to beat them, if you want the 10 million dollar prize for the first privately funded manned ship to go into space.

Posted by Tiger at 07:48 PM | Comments (0)

True Crime: Bonnie & Clyde

The Dallas Morning News has an excellent expose on the real story about Bonnie & Clyde. Four years after meeting, Bonnie & Clyde died together in an ambush set up by Texas law enforcement officers in rural Louisiana.

Posted by Tiger at 07:16 PM | Comments (0)

Separation of Church & State

Several Congressional lawmakers live under a roof subsidized by Christian "Foundation." --- UPDATE: See this!

Other than Mr. Doyle and Mr. DeMint, current and former lawmakers who have lived in the C Street house declined to comment. "We feel like it's nobody's business but our own," Mr. Largent said.

That desire for privacy is unsettling to Barry Lynn, a United Church of Christ minister who heads watchdog group Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.

"What concerns people is when you mix religion, political power and secrecy," Mr. Lynn said. "Members of official Washington should always be open and direct about the groups they choose to join, just to dispel any concerns that there's an inappropriate or unconscious agenda in these groups."

Lawmakers living under religion's roof is not necessarily problematic, Mr. Lynn said, "as long as there are no sweetheart deals that are being made that could trade low rent for access."

Posted by Tiger at 10:49 AM | Comments (0)

"War on Drugs" update

Missouri legislature contemplating new steps to curb the sale of over-the-counter products used in methamphetamine manufacture.

"This proposal just goes a little too far," said Mike Sargent, a lobbyist for the association [Consumer Healthcare Products Association, which represents manufacturers and distributors of over-the-counter medicines]. "It really unfairly targets the chronic allergy sufferer, because that's the consumer who uses this product most often."

Will Texas soon pass legislation to restrict the sale of pseudoephedrine and natural ephedrine products? There is a bill currently under consideration to add ephedrine to the list of controlled substances.

Posted by Tiger at 10:40 AM | Comments (0)

Housing discrimination on the rise

Agencies report there were seven percent more complaints about housing discrimination in 2002 than in 2001.

The Fair Housing Act, which was signed into law 35 years ago, prohibits discrimination in the financing, rental or sale of any housing based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. A 1988 amendment extended coverage to outlaw discrimination based on disability or family status.
Need help? The National Fair Housing Alliance is a coalition of private, nonprofit local groups that gets government funding to handle cases and raise awareness of the issue.

Posted by Tiger at 10:03 AM | Comments (1)

Innocent family photos determined to be child pornography

A recently immigrated Peruvian couple took photos to document some of the early stages of their children's lives. They dropped their film off at the local drug store to be developed, and the photos of nude children alarmed the drug store clerk, who reported the photos to the police. Next thing you know, the couple is arrested and the children are in the custody of the local child welfare bureau. The photos: children bathing, breast feeding shot; and a young boy who scratched his genital area when the shot was taken. The Dallas Observer did a very thorough in-depth investigation into this case.

Posted by Tiger at 09:37 AM | Comments (5)

April 19, 2003

PETA promotion panics pastors

PETA billboard claiming Jesus (the "Prince of Peas") was a vegetarian has caused uproar among religious leaders.

Rabbi David Ostrich of Temple Beth-el, said historical evidence indicates that Jesus, like other Jews of the time, was a meat eater.
Rabbi Ostrich did not appear ready to stick his head in the sand and ignore such blasphemy, even though he is, by his own choice, a vegetarian.

Posted by Tiger at 10:10 AM | Comments (0)

I want to get drunk, I want to get crazy

Is it the cold or the loneliness that causes Alaskans to drink alcohol excessively? Whatever the cause, severe drinking has resulted in problems in two small villages. Village elders, who recently voted to allow alcohol sales in their villages, have changed their minds about allowing local alcohol consumption.

Posted by Tiger at 09:23 AM | Comments (1)

For What It's Worth:

Radio DJ on local station announced they found irrefutable evidence that Saddam was a butcher . . . all the Iraqi State Vehicles are Ford Explorers equipped with Firestone tires.

Posted by Tiger at 09:12 AM | Comments (0)

April 18, 2003

Health Watch:

It's increasingly hard to ignore the evidence that tea is good for you.
Researchers have not yet been able to put a finger on exactly why, but they seem to have some ideas. [full story]
Posted by Tiger at 11:06 PM | Comments (0)

The sign of a good President

Presidential historian Michael Beschloss, suggests that when you are analyzing a person's qualities to be good President, you search for "one thing in particular - a willingness by a potential president to do things that are politically very difficult."

Posted by Tiger at 05:27 PM | Comments (0)

"war on drugs squanders your tax dollars"

With escalating budget deficits as far as the eye can see, Americans should seriously consider whether we can afford a war on drugs in addition to a war with Iraq and a war on terrorism. Given the dangers we face, it's inexcusable to blithely continue the futile crusade against politically incorrect plants, powders and pills.
Jacob Sullum, March 28, 2003, Tokers and terrorists: how many wars can we afford . . . courtesy of townhall.com, the first truly interactive community on the Internet to bring Internet users, conservative public policy organizations, congressional staff, and political activists together under the broad umbrella of "conservative" thoughts, ideas and actions.
Posted by Tiger at 04:19 PM | Comments (0)

Right to privacy restored in Denver

Denver police will no longer photograph, record license plate numbers or intercept e-mail of peaceful demonstrators, under terms of a settlement reached on Thursday between the city and the ACLU.

Denver City Attorney J. Wallace Wortham after the hearing said the agreement could be a model for other police departments.

[full story]

Posted by Tiger at 11:42 AM | Comments (0)

It sounds like a good plan

Another of those things that get forwarded to me. I sure wish people would attribute the authors when they forward things like this around the world. IF IT IS GOOD ENOUGH TO SHARE, THEN SHARE WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR CREATING IT. If anyone knows who wrote the following, please let me know.

Inspection Teams....

Have you noticed anything fishy about the inspection teams arriving in Iraq? They're all men!

How in the name of the United Nations does anyone expect men to find Saddam's stash? We all know that men have a blind spot when it comes to finding things. For crying' out loud! Men can't find the dirty clothes hamper. Men can't find the jar of jelly until it falls out of the cupboard and splatters on the floor.... and these are the people we have sent into Iraq to search for hidden weapons of mass destruction?

I keep wondering why groups of mothers weren't sent in. Mothers can sniff out secrets quicker than a drug dog can find a gram of dope. Mothers can find gin bottles that dads have stashed in the attic beneath the rafters. They can sniff out a diary two rooms and one floor away. They can tell when the lid of a cookie jar has been disturbed and notice when a quarter inch slice has been shaved off a chocolate cake. A mother can smell alcohol on your breath before you get your key in the front door and can smell cigarette smoke from a block away. By examining laundry, a mother knows more about their kids than Sherlock Holmes. And if a mother wants an answer to question, she can read an offender's eyes quicker than a homicide detective.

So... considering the value a mother could bring to an inspection team, why are we sending a bunch of old men who will rely on electronic equipment to scout out hidden threats?

My mother would walk in with a wooden soup spoon in one hand, grab Saddam by the ear, give it a good twist and snap, "Young man, do you have any weapons of mass destruction?" So help him if he tried to lie to her. She'd march him down the street to some secret bunker and shove his nose into a nuclear bomb and say, "Uh, huh, and what do you call this, mister?"

Whap! Thump! Whap! Whap! Whap! And she would lay some stripes across his bare bottom with that soup spoon, then march him home in front of the whole of Baghdad. He would not only come clean and
apologize for lying about it, he would cut every lawn in Baghdad for free for the whole summer.

Inspectors my foot... You want the job done? Call my mother.

Posted by Tiger at 10:43 AM | Comments (0)

Do I hear the call of duty?

Members of the 310th Military Police Battalion, in Ft. Dix, New Jersey, wonder why they are still sitting in New Jersey when there is some policing to do in Iraq. They have been training since January, and according to Sgt. George Avalos of that unit,

. . . I feel that they should either send me to Iraq or send me home. I see no point in simply staying here.

Posted by Tiger at 10:19 AM | Comments (0)

Jerry Springer show material

If you are squeamish, you might not want to know there are people capable of this. However,

Nicholas Harmatiuk and his wife, Colette, of Cicero; Rodney Walker and his wife, Emma, of Oklahoma City; Wayne Bowers of Rome; Jeffrey Hayes and his wife, Carolyn, of Whitesboro; Christopher Lester of Remsen; William Coopy Jr. of Remsen; Ronald Sarsic and his wife, Helen, of Ballston Spa; and Matthew Farr of Cicero
are suing because they were publicly humiliated, or so they publicly proclaim in their suit. Of course, it does make one wonder if there are some things that escape inclusion in the "those things that don't kill you only make you stronger" philosophy.

Posted by Tiger at 09:58 AM | Comments (0)

Michael Kelly's final report

Michael Kelly, reporter embedded among the troops in "Operation Iraqi Freedom" died in an accident during the conflict. His final report, What Now? showed great observation and vision into the conflict. I am thankful to Curveball for this link.

Posted by Tiger at 09:09 AM | Comments (0)

Protecting your credit following divorce

One of the nastiest shocks faced by many divorced people is how quickly an ex-spouse can ruin their credit
Liz Pulliam Weston: Don't let your ex trash your credit. This article gives good advice on how to protect yourself and handle loans and shared assets.
Posted by Tiger at 08:45 AM | Comments (0)

April 17, 2003

Health watch

"We are very worried about binge drinking," says Anne Jenkins, a spokeswoman for the UK's Alcohol Concern. "There's an assumption that the harmful effects are only immediate, but some studies are beginning to suggest that regular binge drinking can have long term health effects."
University of Texas studies the effects of binge drinking on memory functions. They say don't do it.
Posted by Tiger at 11:25 PM | Comments (0)

Looters may have assisted Saddam's escape

Well, maybe some of Saddam's children . . . or maybe the tales that Saddam may have had steady relationships with goats are just viscious rumors.

Posted by Tiger at 10:05 PM | Comments (0)

WWWW (World Wide Wolverine Wickedness)

Seems that there has been some routing problems with the backbone today. I have been able to connect to sites, then not able to connect to sites. I get some sites, but without the graphics tied to other sites. I have not even been able to connect with blogger on a couple of occasions. I suspect a wolverine has likely chewed through the fiber-optic cables some place in Michigan or Wisconsin.

Posted by Tiger at 04:51 PM | Comments (0)

"War on Drugs" Update

In a UN conference in Vienna of anti-drug agencies, several announced that the UN's "War on Drugs" is unwinnable. An Italian dignitary stated:

In the five years since the U.N. launched its war on drugs, the numbers show the use of all the major drugs has increased ... as well as drug-related deaths from overdose and HIV/AIDS.

Sir Keith Morris, former British Ambassador to Colombia stated:

The war on drugs cannot be won because it is a war on human nature. History shows that no society ever existed which was "drug-free."

Posted by Tiger at 04:31 PM | Comments (0)

A study reveals the obvious

The University of Warwick conducted a study which concluded that being verbally abused or excluded from activities by your peers can be stressful and traumatic for children.

Posted by Tiger at 02:42 PM | Comments (0)

Iraq didn't have their back

"Saddam Betrayed Us" say volunteers from other Arab countries that flocked to assist in the defense of Iraq.

Al-Balagh weekly quotes a Yemeni volunteer who fought against U.S. and British forces in Iraq as saying Arab volunteers were betrayed by the Iraqis, and many were killed by Iraqi fire.

Posted by Tiger at 02:19 PM | Comments (0)

A bit of selected wit

In a sports humor column called Fans' Insider in the Ft. Worth Star Telegram, David Thomas responded to a fan wanting to know exactly where the Martha Burk protest was being held during this last weekend's Masters, and he responded:

I think they spent their weekend in a secluded area called Martha's Whineyard.

Posted by Tiger at 01:30 PM | Comments (0)

I shot J.R.

I did not write the following, or know who did. If anyone knows, please let me know as I would like to properly credit the author. It is another one of those things that regularly finds its way into my inbox after being forwarded around by several of my relatives. However, I am in complete agreement with the sentiments.

When you're from Texas, people that you meet ask you questions like, Do you have any cows? Do you have horses? Bet you got a bunch of guns, eh? They all want to know if you've been to Southfork. They watched Dallas.

Have you ever looked at a map of the world? Look at Texas with me just for a second. That picture, with the Panhandle and the Gulf Coast, and the Red River and the Rio Grande, is as much a part of you as anything ever will be. As soon as anyone anywhere in the world looks at it they know what it is. It's Texas.

Pick any kid off the street in Japan and draw him a picture of Texas in the dirt and he'll know what it is. What happens if I show you a picture of any other state? You'll get it maybe after a second, but who else would? And even if you do, does it ever stir any feelings in you?

In every man, woman and child on this little rock the Good Lord put us on, there is a person who wishes just once he could be a real live Texan and get up on a horse or ride in a pickup. There is some bit of Texas in everyone. Did you ever hear anyone in a bar go, Wow . . . so you're from Iowa? Cool, tell me about it? Do you know why? Because there's no place like Texas.

Texas is the Alamo. Texas is 183 men standing in a church, facing thousands of Mexican nationals, fighting for freedom, who had the chance to walk out and save themselves, but stayed instead to fight and die for the cause of freedom.

We send our kids to schools named William B. Travis and James Bowie and Crockett and do you know why? Because those men saw a line in the sand and they decided to cross it and be heroes. John Wayne paid to do the movie himself. That is the Spirit of Texas.

Texas is Sam Houston capturing Santa Ana at San Jacinto. Texas is Juneteenth and Texas Independence Day. Texas is huge forests of Piney Woods like the Davy Crockett National Forest. Texas is breathtaking mountains in Big Bend. Texas is shiny skyscrapers in Houston and Dallas.

Texas is world record bass from places like Lake Fork. Texas is Mexican food like nowhere in the world, even Mexico. Texas is the Fort Worth Stockyards, Bass Hall, and the Astrodome. Texas is larger-than-life legends like Willie Nelson, Buddy Holly, Waylon Jennings, Janis Joplin, ZZ Top, Eric Dickerson, Earl Campbell, Nolan Ryan, Denton Cooley and Michael DeBakey, Sam Rayburn, George Bush, Lyndon B. Johnson, and George W. Bush. Texas is great companies like Dell Computer, Texas Instruments and Compaq. Texas is huge herds of cattle and miles of crops. Texas is skies blackened with doves, and fields full of deer. Texas is a place where cities shut down for the Cowboys on Monday Night Football, and NIOSA River Parade in San Antonio. Texas is ocean beaches, deserts, lakes and rivers, mountains and prairies, and modern cities. If it isn't in Texas, you don't need it.

No one does anything bigger or better than it's done in Texas.

By federal law, Texas is the only state in the US that can fly its flag at the same height as the US flag. Think about that for a second. You fly the Stars and Stripes at 20 feet in Maryland, or California, or Maine, and your state flag, whatever it is, goes at 17. You fly the Stars and Stripes in front of Pine Tree High in Longview at 20 feet, the Lone Star flies at the same height - 20 feet. Do you know why? Because we place being a Texan as high as being an American down here.

Our Capitol is the only one in the country that is taller than the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. and we can divide our state into five states if we want to! We included these things in as part of the deal when we came on. That's the best part right there.


Posted by Tiger at 01:02 PM | Comments (0)

Worthy cause

Jump on the band wagon and save our National Parks, some of the greatest places of Wonder in the United States!

Posted by Tiger at 12:13 AM | Comments (0)

April 16, 2003

Your trash is their concern

As I mentioned in a previous post, the way humanity deals with trash and sewage is close to the root of some of our disease and pestilence problems. Here is a watchdog (Water Environment Federation) agency's analysis of some resent dialogue between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Academy of Sciences' National Research Council regarding whether the current regulations dealing with waste disposal are sufficient to defeat any risk to human health. Pretty dry stuff, but it is nice to know there are those out there who do keep an eye on such things.

Posted by Tiger at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

I have said this a this a million times,

and now a doctor finally agrees with me . . . there is no ADHD, that is something everyone made up so that they could make little zombies out of kids who acted like children.

Posted by Tiger at 11:28 PM | Comments (0)

Most Honorable Mention

Well, I have added Curveball on my list of links, not because he has already thanked me on his site for two links he used, but because he puts a good twist on his comments about the news also. He is a good read! . . . If he really likes me, maybe he will add me over on his excellent list of blog links under the heading: Wild Pitch.

Posted by Tiger at 11:14 PM | Comments (0)

Free Speech Update

Chicago's Swearing Law No Longer Enforced

CHICAGO -- The Associated Press. Folks in Chicago can say what they want about a law against swearing.

And they can even swear about it -- because the law is no longer being enforced.

The city says officers won't be upholding a more than 100-year-old law aimed at banning swearing in public. The ordinance bans "indecent, lewd or filthy acts."

A city spokeswoman says most citations issued for "indecent acts" are for public urination -- but a new law outlawing that is already in place.

The law banning public swearing was the subject of a federal lawsuit last month, which claimed it violated the First Amendment.

Posted by Tiger at 09:49 PM | Comments (0)

All you ever wanted to know about . . .

In his article, Safeguarding GPS: Attempts to jam U.S. GPS-based weapons and navigation systems in Iraq were a reminder of just how vulnerable the technology is, Frank Vizard discusses, at length, the past, present, and future of GPS guided weaponry. He hints that advances in this technology may be continually met with advances in counter measures, and allows an inference of understanding how some US ordnance might have been misrouted due to Iraqi jamming efforts.

Posted by Tiger at 05:48 PM | Comments (0)

Do ya think?

>From Light exercise just will not do . . . comes this study result:

Men who shaved less than once a day were also less likely to be married, have fewer orgasms, to smoke and to work in manual occupations.

I shave less than once a day, am not currently married, pretty sure I get fewer than my share of orgasms, and smoke ... but I do not work in a manual occupation, though I could. I wonder if my life would change if I started shaving twice a day, whether I needed to do so or not? If I was sure it would increase my number of orgasms and might also assist me in dropping the cigarette habit, I might be able to force myself to scrape my face more often.

Posted by Tiger at 05:15 PM | Comments (0)

Things jurors rarely hear about

More wrongdoing is discovered in the FBI labs.

"We all have assumed the scientists are telling the truth because they do it with authority and tests. And as a result FBI scientists have gotten away with voodoo science," said Lawrence Goldman, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

"Defense lawyers are being ambushed and jurors are being misled," he [William Tobin] said. "There is no comprehensive or meaningful data whatsoever to support their analytical conclusions."

Posted by Tiger at 03:36 PM | Comments (0)

It all sounds "GEEK" to me

Someone says Microsoft is up to some shenanigans. Just what they are up to, I am embarrassed to say, I could not quite decipher.

Posted by Tiger at 12:11 AM | Comments (0)

April 15, 2003

6th grader arrested for childish prank

Court TV reports that a Fla. sixth-grader who stomped in a puddle got arrested. I am always wondering where the line is between mischief and criminal actions in young people. When I was a kid, the worst you got for this was three good whacks on the butt by the principal, and, then a good whipping when you got home from your dad. But then again, the principal would now be arrested and sued for giving a whack for anything, and the parent would be criminally charged for punishing the child in a corporeal manner. So now, I do guess it only makes sense that you should arrest a kid for stomping in a puddle. Does it ever seem that you can now be arrested for so many things anymore? Of course, does anyone now ever feel shame for having done something bad? I think the greatest thing about those severe whoopings I got when I was a kid was that the people who gave them to me never really seemed to get any enjoyment from their end of the episode, and it did always make me feel so shameful to have to put them through such an ordeal.

Posted by Tiger at 11:08 PM | Comments (0)

Arrest & Confessions

In Scope of 'Miranda' Rule Up for High Court Discussion, Tony Mauro, American Lawyer Media, discusses how the US Supreme Court is set to review the cases involving Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), and the Constitutional implications of suppressing evidence discovered in confessions not complying with the 'Miranda' Rule. Although Miranda is frequently cited by Texas citizens, Texas actually has a statutory provision dealing with the admissibility of confessions, Art. 38.22, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, which provides for safeguards that exceed those required by Miranda. See also, Art. 38.23, which deals with the suppression of evidence procured through unlawful means by any person, not just police officers. This too is greater protection than the US Supreme Court has established to be required by the provisions of the US Constitution. However, any pronouncement of supposed Constitutional magnitude is noteworthy.

Posted by Tiger at 12:07 PM | Comments (0)

Topic: Search & Seizure

Because so much of this information may be useful to police and other law enforcement agencies, it is no wonder why seizing a computer has almost become standard practice during an investigation."

Jeff Sassinski describes another pitfall awaiting unsuspecting targets of governmental suspicion in his article, Caught in the Net: Law Enforcement's Use of E-Prints

Posted by Tiger at 11:53 AM | Comments (0)

Identity Theft UPDATE:

Left behind: Copier slips reveal us makes some good points about something else you might be cautious about in trying to keep your identity safe from prying eyes.

Posted by Tiger at 10:40 AM | Comments (0)

The heading on my horoscope

The heading on my horoscope this morning said:

Time to pay your dues.
Duh! It is April the 15th and today is the day I have to let go of my hard earned money and pay tribute to the slave master. I doubt anyone had to look hard into the stars to come up with that prediction on April 15.

Posted by Tiger at 10:04 AM | Comments (0)

April 14, 2003


The government does sometimes do the smart thing! Patient's Bill of Rights take effect MONDAY!

Posted by Tiger at 10:15 PM | Comments (0)

In the "What Kind of Crazy World is This?" Department:

man gets charged for unzipping in the men's room

Posted by Tiger at 07:35 PM | Comments (0)

Identity theft: what you can do!

I was going to add this story about a man who just found he was married to a woman he never met to the "What Kind of Crazy World is This?" listing, but then saw it was likely just a simple case of identity theft. Identity theft is a rapidly growing social problem . . . by this story, I can assume world wide . . . and so I thought I would use this story as an example to remind people to take precautions to keep their identity information secure. Below is the text of an email that was forwarded to me a few months ago. I reviewed the text of the message and agreed that such were proper steps to take in the event some unsavory character should get his hands on your information. Of course, the resources provided are for people in the United States, but most of the advice is relevant for use in any country. [The text is exactly as it was when I received it, except that I deleted all those nasty carets people leave in messages that get forwarded so many times and did add the bullet list for the agencies, because I thought it organized the pertinent information in a manner where it could be more easily retrieved.]

This is some good information. You might want to save it, or print it, for future reference.

A corporate attorney sent the following out to the employees in his company.

The next time you order checks, have only your initials, and last name, put on them. If someone takes your check book they will not know if you sign your checks with just your initials, or your first name, but your bank will know, how you sign your checks.

Put your work phone # on your checks instead of your home phone. If you have a PO Box use that instead of your home address. If you do not have a PO Box use your work address. Never have your SS# printed on your checks -- (DUH!) -- you can add it if it is necessary. But if you have it printed, anyone can get it.

Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine, do both sides, of each license, credit card, etc.: You will know what you had in your wallet, and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call, and cancel.

Keep the photocopy in a safe place. I also carry a photocopy of my passport when I travel either here or abroad.

We've all heard horror stories about fraud, that's committed on us in stealing a name, address, Social Security number, credit cards, etc.

Unfortunately I, an attorney, have firsthand knowledge, because my wallet was stolen last month.

Within a week, the thieves ordered an expensive monthly cell phone package, applied for a VISA credit card, had a credit line approved to buy a Gateway Computer, received a PIN number from DMV (dept. motor vehicles) to change my driving record information online, and more.

But here's some Critical information, to limit the damage in case this happens to you, or someone you know:

We have been told we should cancel our credit cards immediately. But the Key is having the Toll Free Numbers and your card numbers handy so you know, whom to call. Keep those where you can find them easily.

File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where it was stolen, this proves to credit providers you were diligent, and is a first step toward an investigation (if there ever is one).

But here's what is Perhaps most important: (I never even thought to do this )

Call the Three National Credit Reporting Organizations immediately to place a Fraud Alert... On your Name and Social Security number. I had never heard of doing this until advised by a bank that called to tell me an application for credit was made over the Internet in my name. The Alert means any company that checks your Credit knows, your information was Stolen and they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit.

By the time I was advised to do this, almost two weeks after the theft, all the damage, had been done. There are records of all the credit checks initiated by the thieves' purchases. None of which I knew about before placing the Alert.

Since then, no additional damage has been done and the thieves threw my wallet away this weekend (someone turned it in). It seems to have stopped them in their tracks.

The numbers for the three National Credit Reporting companies, plus SS # stolen card line are:

  • Equifax: 1-800-525-6285

  • Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742

  • Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289

  • Social Security Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271

Call Right away. Let them know your wallet, or purse has been stolen. Put in a fraud Alert! IT is very important that you do this, immediately ... IT could STOP anyone from using your line of credit. before the thieves start buying in your name.

Posted by Tiger at 07:27 PM | Comments (0)

Scientific discovery continues

Dr. Spencer Wells, using genetic information, has done a very convincing study that shows that, over 50,000 years ago, all the people on the Earth were living in South Africa, and that our ancestors are related to the Bushmen still living there.

Meanwhile, scientists have finally finished mapping the entire human genome, ahead of schedule. When they get to tinkering with stuff, I hope I can talk them into giving me that shark gene which lets me grow new sets of teeth all my life . . . think of the dental bills that will save!

Posted by Tiger at 04:28 PM | Comments (0)

Texas to lower drug penalties?

One Texas State Representative believes that the penalites for minor drug possessin are too high and has proposed lowering most minor possession to the misdemeanor level. [See H.B. No. 2316] State Representative Harold Dutton, represents the 142nd Legislative District in Houston, is the Chair for the Juvenile Justice and Family Issues Committee, and I remember reading somewhere that he is a former Harris County prosecutor who filled his share of prison beds representing the State of Texas in that position.

Posted by Tiger at 03:23 PM | Comments (0)

Free Speech is not absolute on Florida Campus

DELAND, Fla. (AP) - Stetson University suspended publication of its student newspaper and fired the editorial staff because an April Fools' Day issue included profanity, racist jokes and a sex column advocating rape and domestic violence.

The Reporter, founded in 1887 and billed as the state's first college newspaper, was shut down Wednesday for the remainder of the school year.

Staff members said they were given 15 minutes to clear their belongings out of the office as the locks were being changed.

The Reporter traditionally pokes fun at the faculty, student groups and itself with an April Fools' edition renamed The Distorter. But school officials say the students went too far this year.

"There's not much in this year's Distorter that you can laugh about," said Michelle Espinosa, the dean of students. "We believe very strongly in students' need for autonomy. But the students do assume responsibility for their editorial decisions."

Inside the fake issue, the Howard Thurman lecture series - designed to promote racial dialogue - was satirized with an article about a racist Civil War enthusiast drinking beer at a podium. The weekly sex column was written in Ebonics. And phony advertisements included a spray that "Kills townies dead" and one featuring profanity in giant block letters, "Because we are allowed to print it," it said.

"We pushed some buttons that may not have needed to be pushed," said sex columnist August Brown.

Though no longer affiliated with the Florida Baptist Convention, Stetson is still considered a conservative school. Alcohol wasn't allowed on its DeLand and St. Petersburg campuses until 1995.

The newspaper had been under pressure from administrators to tone down the content of recent editions. After the April 1 edition, school officials said they were inundated with calls and e-mails from upset alumni, faculty and students.

Staffers said they were disappointed they were fired without warning and that even people who had no say in the paper's editorial content lost their jobs.

"We've learned a lot in the last week as students and journalists," said fired editor in chief Teresa Schwarz. "I think that's something they're overlooking."

Administrators and student leaders will work to start a new student newspaper in the fall, Espinosa said. Former staff members may reapply and will be considered for rehiring, she said.

[full story]

Posted by Tiger at 02:47 PM | Comments (0)

First Amendment Rights go both ways; Salt Lake City takes their ball and goes home.

Court: Atheist Can Pray at City Meeting

From The Associated Press, Apr 11, 8:26 PM EDT

By PATTY HENETZ, Associated Press Writer

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- An atheist who sought to pray in City Council meetings for deliverance "from weak and stupid politicians" got the blessing of the Utah Supreme Court on Friday.

The court ruled that if officials in Murray, Utah, want to pray during government-sponsored events, the opportunity to pray must be equally accessible to all who ask.

The Supreme Court's 4-1 ruling reversed the dismissal of a lawsuit that Tom Snyder, 71, filed in state court in 1999.

"Thanks to the Supreme Court for reaffirming that constitutional protection," Snyder said. "There should be no government preference for one religion over another or a preference for religion over non-religion."

He and his lawyer have been pursuing the lawsuit since 1994, when Snyder filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Salt Lake City suburb for allowing other pre-meeting prayers but refusing to let him offer a prayer addressed to "Our Mother, who art in heaven,"

[link snipped]

Among other things, the prayer asked for deliverance "from the evil of forced religious worship now sought to be imposed upon the people ... by the actions of misguided, weak and stupid politicians, who abuse power in their own self-righteousness."

Richard Van Wagoner, the attorney who represented the city before the high court, said he and his clients were disappointed. "Murray City has been placed in a constitutional dilemma," he said.

Friday's ruling was based on a 1993 decision that upheld Salt Lake City's right to hear prayers during official events as long as the opportunity to deliver the prayer was nondiscriminatory.

Salt Lake City chose to end public prayer rather than deal with the inevitable problems.

Posted by Tiger at 10:18 AM | Comments (0)

I wonder what these guys were smoking?

Drug dealers dump 3,000 pounds of pot in yard . . .

By MICHAEL SHAW Post-Dispatch
updated: 03/14/2003 08:36 PM

Apparently not ones for subtlety, drug dealers last week pulled up to an East St. Louis mobile home in a flatbed truck and dumped 3,000 pounds or more of marijuana into the yard, according to charges filed in federal court.

The bundles, each as high as a man's shoulder, were picked up later by others in a rental truck and secured in the basement of a nearby home.

On Friday, police, the FBI and the U.S. attorney's office revealed details of the delivery and the arrest of three East St. Louis residents.

Officials called it an "extremely significant" drug bust. The deal appears to be orchestrated by several Mexican nationals who have not been identified by authorities.

In court documents, FBI Agent John Jimenez said the alleged recipient of the marijuana, Desean Conners, 33, confessed, telling authorities that the Mexican suppliers wanted to increase his usual 50-pound supply; he expected a delivery of no more than 700 pounds.

St. Louis police caught on to the wholesale drug operation after officers stopped a car March 8 with 45 pounds of marijuana, according to a criminal complaint filed Thursday against Conners and two others.

The driver agreed to cooperate and told police about the delivery that had been made, the complaint says.

After observing the home and obtaining a search warrant, police seized about 2,000 pounds of marijuana Tuesday from the home's basement.

Facing charges of drug distribution are Conners, Montrell Wilson, 32, a resident of the home in the 3300 block of Market Street where police say marijuana was found, and Montrez Wilson, 28, who allegedly pulled a package of marijuana from the mobile home while police observed.

The investigation involved U.S. marshals and police officers from East St. Louis, Belleville and O'Fallon, Ill.

The charges carry a minimum 10-year prison term. The three are expected to appear for a detention hearing Wednesday in federal court in East St. Louis.

Reporter Michael Shaw:
E-mail: mshaw@post-dispatch.com
Phone: 618-235-3988

Posted by Tiger at 09:51 AM | Comments (0)

April 13, 2003

Saddam Hussein:

Posted by Tiger at 07:59 PM | Comments (0)

Learn a new language!

How about a lesson in street speak?

Posted by Tiger at 06:33 PM | Comments (0)

Sorry, good try . . . but no cigar!

In The U.S. Army: A Class-Action Lawsuit Waiting to Happen, author Jeff Nall attempts to correlate the slanted advertising of tobacco companies with that of the US military. What a waste of bandwidth! Albeit, he makes a good argument showing that each of them overemphasizes the glamor without any mention of the dangers involved. However eloquently one argues the similarities, it is still impossible to concisely compare apples and oranges. While it cannot be established that smoking harms each individual equally, there is sufficient evidence to show that every smoker, if he or she smokes long enough, will be harmed in some way by smoking. The same could never be said for military service. Not every serviceman goes into combat, even in wartime. My own father spent all of his time in WWII in Alaska.

While choosing a certain brand of cigarettes over another is your choice, despite such choice, the general overall dangers involved with smoking have not lessened to a great degree. Not so with choices in the military. Those who choose to go into the infantry, artillery or armor branches likely understand that they are volunteering for combat duty should it become necessary. Those wanting to avoid combat choose different fields: intelligence, engineering, supply. Now, sure, in wartime, any service man or woman can become involved in a dangerous situation, but so are all civilians in the war ravaged area. Military personnel also can face risks in peacetime. Injuries in any workplace are common, even in the military.

The most marked difference between smoking and military service is tied to their respective benefits. What is the actual benefit to be gained from smoking? Although nicotine has a calming effect, it is not the nicotine that causes the problems with smoking. It is the delivery system. Besides nicotine, the delivery system injects a myriad of other substances into the system, many of which pose a much greater danger than the tobacco companies would ever let be known. Military service is a necessity and, for many, a duty to one's country. Everyone understands the risks. In this TV age, it would be unlikely than anyone has not been inundated with war movies since birth. There have always been many in this country, who, despite the risks, are willing to chance sacrifice in the service of their country. Sure, I agree that the commercials do glamorize military service to a great degree, but outlining all additional benefits to be received in military service is necessary to sustain a "voluntary force." This is a governmental function, and the government could cease all advertising and reimplement the draft, or, as is the system in some countries, could require national service by all of it citizens for a period of two years. However, according to my understanding of the Constitution, the government does not have the power to require us all to smoke two packs of cigarettes a day.

Posted by Tiger at 01:11 PM | Comments (0)

Trials and tribulations of a garage band

So, you think you have what it takes to be in a "rock 'n roll" band? check out What's Wrong with Marina

Posted by Tiger at 11:10 AM | Comments (0)

DIRT! really cheap!

Cheap land is still available, just not that easy to get to. [see for yourself]

Posted by Tiger at 10:34 AM | Comments (0)

Flag on Pentagon on 9/11 covers Saddam's face

US says flag incident was a 'coincidence' By Kim Sengupta in Baghdad

11 April 2003

It was, by any measure, an astonishing coincidence. As the biggest statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad was pulled down "spontaneously" in front of the world's media, the Stars and Stripes which flew on the Pentagon on 11 September was at hand to be draped over its face.

The US army denied that the toppling of the 20ft edifice by a tank tower was stage-managed. It was a coincidence, they said, that Lt Tim McLaughlin, the keeper of that flag, happened to be present.

And, it has to be noted, the commander of the US marines who completed the capture of Baghdad did express concern at the time that the use of the Stars and Stripes smacked of triumphalism. It was later changed to an Iraqi flag. But not before acres of TV footage had been shot.

Yesterday, the US army banned any display of the flag on vehicles, buildings, statues and command posts, halting its display almost everywhere but the US embassy in Baghdad.

There was some suspicion that the crowd that jumped up and down on the metal carcass had been bused in from the Shia suburb of Saddam City. That was not the case, they were mostly local. But they were the same people who chanted "My blood, my spirit, I shall die for you O Saddam" ? until the last day of the regime.

Flushed with victory, the marines one spoke to had no doubts about the war's justice. But when asked whether they had seen any proof of a link between al-Qa'ida and the defeated Iraqi regime, there was general puzzlement.

When one of the few remaining "human shields" in Baghdad, Uzma Bashir, from Rickmansworth, baited the troops with shouts of "Yankee murderers", Cpl Ibrahim Rahim exploded: "I scooped up the brains of two young marines ... They died fighting to liberate Iraq. And you stand here insulting them with this shit." He added: "I am a Muslim ... and I know this region. That woman is seriously abusing her right of speech."

Captain Brian Lewis, a tank commander, said: "All we are trying to do is create the conditions for representative government." [emphasis supplied]

Posted by Tiger at 07:16 AM | Comments (0)

April 12, 2003

Picture will not be posted

Well, upon further reflection, I decided that I would not go to any efforts to introduce that picture I spoke of in yesterday's post on the Internet. I can understand why the young lady may have felt comfortable having her horrendously disfigured face shown on posters at secured places of business or on television but had not appeared online. Once a photo is posted on the Internet, whether one wants it so or not, it becomes available for all to do with as they wish. There seem to be too many who make jokes out of the unusual. I do not feel comfortable being an party to making a joke out of a courageous act the young angel did as a worthwhile public service.

Posted by Tiger at 06:21 PM | Comments (0)

high-end user on a low-band connection

Sometimes my thoughts go this way and that. I was plagued with my confusion over gender roles in American society. I had penned a few introductory sentences . . . then wham! I was up and off in the other room, thinking I had far better things to do one a sunny Saturday afternoon than sitting in front of a computer writing tomes of thought on why I have such confusion over gender roles in American society. But the computer drew me back.

E-mail, instant messages, blogs, news groups, communities, games, web cams and chat. The Internet has essentially become my link to the outside world. I am able to easily locate any information I want: the latest news right off the wires; the 'how-to-dos' on any subject in the news groups; discussions on all kinds of topics in communities; an impromptu game of spades at the gaming site; a distance face on a web cam; chat with people on the other side of the planet; the latest jokes, news from home, assorted correspondence . . . And SPAM, oh so much SPAM, in E-mail.

I am stuck in a little town with limited, very expensive, broad band service so I am connected by a third-world phone company to dialup service in a town 20 miles away. My connection speed is atrocious! I actually decided that maybe a different dialup service might make a difference, and contracted with another. He sent me a letter telling me that "it was attended service, and I had been connected for more than 11 hours." I responded simply that I was a "high end" user and hopefully there was not a problem with that. That service did not show any remarked difference, and in fact, was a bit worse . . . I will stay with my current service. The $20 gamble didn't pay off, so no need to keep the second service for an additional month.

I am a high end user, but in many ways, the lack of broad band makes it so. I find myself with five browser windows up at any one time, because the page loading time is so long, I have to have that many open to have one fully loaded by the time I get to it. If I find myself uploading a picture or a graphic . . . loading on everything halts. Often the connection dies, but will not disconnect. Reboot, and back to square one. It is an endless battle to get all my E-mail read, responses to messages in every medium, and to catch up on the news in three or so hours after work. The first eight hours are me attempting to sort through the various business related uses I have for my connection. So it is Saturday, a beautiful afternoon . . . and the best thing I can think to do with the free time is to sit here in front of this computer, catching up on the latest activities.

Posted by Tiger at 04:32 PM | Comments (0)

April 11, 2003

Just rantin' 'bout Blogger

I was finally able to get my archives uploaded today. I do not know if it made any difference that I was using Netscape at the time or not, but the pages uploaded perfectly without that script error message I have been getting of late. [Like anyone cares?]

Posted by Tiger at 10:50 PM | Comments (0)

Texas has angelic spokesperson about DWIs

I had wanted to post something about the plight of the wolves, and I do want to share that on some future occasion, but not today. It is Friday . . . and I had a different topic I thought was worthy of discussion. I had wanted to post the picture and the story behind a most angelic creature currently appearing in posters at our local Texas Department of Public Safety offices. She has additionally appeared on a public service commercial on television. She is a young lady who got burned very badly in a wreck caused by a drunk driver. The picture of how she now looks impacts you so badly, it makes you think about ever driving after drinking again, for the rest of your life. I very badly wanted to show you the picture, but I was unable to locate it on the Internet. I did email the Public Information Office of the Texas Department of Public Safety about such, however, and they referred me to some agency in Austin who had initiated the campaign. I will come back to this subject at some later time and hopefully I can show her picture at that time.

There have been tests to show when you are impaired after drinking and according to the testing, you are actually impaired before the scientific limit, currently set at .08 in most states. In fact, according to such tests, at .04 most people are already impaired enough to be a danger behind the wheel. Not that they are likely to pass out, which is what most people think of when they think of someone drunk behind the wheel, and not because their sight is impaired to such degree that they cannot see clearly, but only to the point that if something happens, it takes a second longer for them to react correctly. In today's world, the streets are full of cars driving at fast speeds, close together almost all the time. Do you want someone who might take an extra second to hit their brakes on your tail as you drive down the freeway? Do you want to be the person who runs over some little kid because it took you an extra second to recognize what was going on before you could hit your brakes? I, for one, think it takes every bit of your concentration to drive safely.

I said the young lady whose picture I talked about was an angelic creature, didn't I? The reason I said that, is because for all the outward ugliness that was caused to her by the accident, inside of her is more beauty that I have ever seen in almost any other person. This young lady may have a hard life ahead of her because of the horrible physical changes to her appearance, but from inside of her emanated a love of life so great that I am sure she is going to deal with her life better than most could imagine themselves doing in the same predicament. For her to have come forward and to have shown her face to all, and to speak to them and tell them her story, took courage, more courage than it takes for someone to take the keys from an acquaintance they know is too impaired to drive safely. If she can be courageous, you can be too, and do everything in your power to keep impaired drivers from being on the streets, endangering the lives of us all.

Posted by Tiger at 10:44 AM | Comments (0)

I like FARK

If you are not already doing so . . . when you are looking for the latest news online, go to http://www.fark.com/

Posted by Tiger at 10:23 AM | Comments (0)

April 10, 2003

And they didn't get a picture of that?

Battered Saddam statue withstands blast Thu Apr 10, 4:55 AM ET

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - U.S. Marines have used explosives to try and topple a statue of Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) in central Baghdad but the resilient likeness of the Iraqi strongman was still standing after the blast.

According to a CNN correspondent transmitting live pictures from the scene near a bridge on Thursday, they had tried in vain with a tank to uproot the giant monument, similar to one which was ripped down on Wednesday in front of a crowd of jubilant Iraqis.

The statue of Saddam, right arm raised aloft, was left with a gaping hole in its groin after the explosion.

Posted by Tiger at 08:50 PM | Comments (1)

Just say no to war . . . the war on drugs

I have been hearing rumors lately of big cutbacks in criminal justice spending here in Texas and it makes me ponder if it is not just another sign that we are not winning the "War on Drugs." The criminal justice system has been bankrolling itself on the drug dilemma for years, but prison populations continue to grow. At some point, the system has to start to be a drain on the governmental pocketbook. Even after instituting seizures, there is not enough money made from pursuing drugs to offset the increasing cost of policing a steadily growing problem.

Drug usage is not the worst problem a society has. It may not be one of the virtues of a society, but it should be a person's personal right to ingest anything into his body which only results in effects to his body. If someone harms someone else through their drug use, there must be consequences, but if they harm no one but themselves --- a person absolutely deserves the right to do to himself as he pleases: to hit himself in the head with a sledge hammer, stick pencils into his eyes, or marbles up his anus. (Feel free to substitute female pronouns, should it suit you better.) To want to do any harm to one's body, however, is likely a symptom of some mental or emotional condition that could be more easily dealt with through mental health avenues. Doctors and nurses dealing with problems of drug addiction instead of prison guards guarding gangs. The actual use of drugs could be marketed openly, controlled and taxed.

Would our forefathers, who initially settled this land to escape being oppressed by a government that believed differently than they, condone a government that continually oppressed a large segment of its society because they believed differently than the government wished them to believe? America was built on a tenet of FREEDOM; FREE CHOICES about what we say, whom we pray to, and what we read. Everybody has a place inside this society, no matter how small their numbers if their chosen belief or activity is not detrimental to other groups or individuals, and, for too many such bodies, that place is inside its prisons. Drugs are a problem, there is no doubt about that, but is continuing to warehouse huge numbers of people the answer? Or is this just one of the many things that needs to be brought into the open and really considered by all, not just the ones who hold the strings?

Posted by Tiger at 07:43 PM | Comments (0)

April 09, 2003

Where is the firepower when you need it most?

Well this morning began with every television station in my area with cameras affixed, for approximately two hours, upon a gathering crowd of Iraqi citizens attempting to topple a large statue of Saddam in some park in Baghdad. I watched patiently as three Iraqis climbed upon a pedestal and managed to wrap a rope around the neck of the statue. I watched as they tied a knot into the rope. I watched as they then used the rope to lower themselves to the ground. Of course, the rope was too short to do what was intended. Not even one person could reach it. They would have had to have the power of a score or so to apply sufficient effort to topple the statue. Seeing that they were unable to pull the statue down, they then began to beat on the pedestal with a sledge hammer. Such efforts did actually knock a big dent in the pedestal but such was still not bringing the statue down. Finally, someone in the crowd enlisted the assistance of the US military. The Marines brought in a tank with a large tow apparatus, hooked a large cable around the statue and pulled it down. Hurrah!

Of course, what a wasted opportunity for the US military to show the world at close hand what they have advertised since the start of the war. They had regularly advised the world that they had munitions capable of destroying any target, anywhere, without damaging neighboring structures or civilians. Did the US military not have a single GPS guided, large statue destroying missile somewhere in its arsenal? What a show it would have been to the world to have had the US Marines tell the crowd to step back, we can take care of this, then radio the coordinates into a radio, and watch as a missile came floating down the avenue, smacked into that statue totally eradicating it. Would that not have been a most satisfactory display of American military superiority to provide to the observing Iraqis and the world, aptly watching on every TV station? As it was, watching the statue bend at the knees and only partially tumble to the ground was very anti-climatic.

Posted by Tiger at 06:57 PM | Comments (0)

Update on the SARS epidemic:

It is suspected that it is spread by cockroaches. Now, that is too awfully scary. Here we were checking passengers that were coming in from epidemic stricken areas for signs of the disease, and what do you want to bet that no one was checking the cockroaches that came along for the ride? I have always suspected that when we go back to the moon, we find the moon to be infested with cockroaches, the descendants of some who hitchhiked on those previous missions. Cockroaches seem to be able to so quickly adapt for life in any environment, which I suspect they found a way to survive on moon dust. I bet they will be awaiting us when we return.

Posted by Tiger at 10:17 AM | Comments (0)

tap! tap! Is this thing on?

I observed yesterday one person's blurb for the blog, stating that it was the "ultimate in mass communication." I thought, you know, it could be . . . provided anyone really read anything you wrote in your blog. Of course, I am not aware if anyone actually every reads my blog. I do not have a counter and do not intend to get a counter. I always figure if anyone reads anything I write that causes a pure epiphany of any sort, they will contact me and let me know about it.

Posted by Tiger at 09:02 AM | Comments (0)

April 08, 2003

So what? I was sick, OK?

Wow, sometimes getting on a soapbox comes back and bites you right on the ass. Even though I really do not have a donkey, I guess it is OK to use that word, but if you are offended . . . well, let us drop that subject, because if you got offended, I doubt that you would understand anything I said anyway, so go away! Well, no, do not go away, and I am sorry for offending you.

As you can already see, I am in weird mood today, mainly because I woke up feeling ill. I am not sure, but it may be finally the time to get my tonsils out. And here I had been feeling so great about getting close to 50 and still not had to yet have any surgery in my life. In fact, I have only broken one bone, thus far, and, at the time it occurred, an Army Medic misdiagnosed the problem. He told me I had only bruised the bone and it would hurt for about six months while it was healing. Of course, six months later, the ache was still there. I went to the hospital and got an x-ray. I found out I had actually broken the bone, but the doctor said it had healed pretty well. Not bad news to me, especially since I had gone to mountain climbing school between the incident that broke my leg and having it x-rayed. Of course, I was, what, about 20 at that time?

I will be 48 in less than three weeks, and some days, like today, I feel every day of it, if not more. I sometimes wish I was 20 again, though not often. I have often thought of when I was 20 lately, especially with this current war going on. Mostly my thoughts revolved around the fact that wars are mostly fought by young men. I joined up to go to Viet Nam, even though the whole country seemed up in arms about the ordeal, in 1973, just because I was young and figured I could go kill me a bunch of gooks, and had no thought about being killed myself. I mean what 20-year-old male, or anyone close to that age, does not believe that he can kick ass (there, I used that word again!) better than the next man?

The physical aspects of being 20 are fantastic, but there does not seem to be much wisdom in being young. I spent too much of my time drinking, partying and chasing after girls to care much about wisdom. I now think that those who might have actually gotten something out of yesterday's post are likely the ones, who, even if they actually read the whole thing, probably dismissed it as a bunch of crap. I remember being a bit afraid of getting gonorrhea or syphilis when I was 20, but figured you didn't get that from American girls. My practice of safe sex was to not go to Mexico and visit the red light district. However, I always felt like I was not getting enough sex, and was always wanting more. And despite all I said yesterday, I still am wanting more than I get. It just does not bother me anymore . . . too much. At least, not enough that I don't care if I hurt other people's feelings or get too risky with my own health.

Hey, I have lived to be almost 50 already, so things are not all that bad. Sure, there are a lot of people who live into their 80s, and I have seen some of them, a few looked really good, but most looked like they had already lived too long. My dad lived into his 70s, just barely so, and I have not heard him complaining much about it. His dad only lived into his 60's because medical science had not yet evolved to the point to recognize his heart problems. Such had been accomplished by the time my dad had his first heart attack. My dad survived his first two open heart surgeries and a couple of other minor procedures, before perishing of complications following the third open heart surgery.

My mom died at 66 of Hepatitis C contracted through a surgical blood transfusion a decade previously. My cousin died of the same problem at 42, although contracted from a dirty needle he used to inject some "speed" into his arm. I do miss all of my relatives, but people die, and life still goes on. I have finally arrived at the conclusion that none of us are so important that the world stops going around after we die. In many cases, there will be someone close to you that will be strongly affected, but even their world continues.

My body is less healthy than it was when I was 20. I, regrettably, have 30 years of smoking to thank for that! I gave up drinking, mostly, when I found that all four of my minor arrests had occurred when I had been drinking . . . and not thinking. My aches and pains increase, year by year, one here, and another there. I still feel some pain from that misdiagnosed broken leg when I was 20. Most of my knee problems are likely due to the sliding on them like I did when I was 12 or so. Add in the car wrecks, drunken falls, and industrial accidents, and I can easily see the causes of most of my current aches and pains. Although, luckily, I was the only member of my family not to be afflicted with asthma, I have succumbed to allergy reactions as I have grown older. I get sinus headaches and I get headaches from staring at a computer screen for hours at a time. My stomach hurts; I get heartburn whether I eat or not. If I do eat, it makes no matter what I eat. Sometimes medications work; sometimes they do not. I could not run two miles if I had to.

And yet, I feel quite healthy. In many ways, I still feel like I can kick ass! Some of the more lovely ones, I would rather kiss!!! However, I do recognize the doom and gloom on my horizon; I just do not fear it. Death comes! Fearing it is fruitless. I am not craving death, but I already recognize what a minimal effect my death will have on the world and those few people who know me well enough to care. When death comes (there is no thought of "if" any longer) I just hope it is . . . sudden and painless. I want no suffering involved. But, then, if medical science can perfect fixing people while I am still capable of being fixed, I might prefer to go on for a long while longer.

A illness induced discourse on my feelings on "life and death." Take it for what it's worth!

Posted by Tiger at 11:05 AM | Comments (0)

April 07, 2003

Are they ghosts? You only wished!

In an interesting point, the US Supreme Court has held that freedoms are not absolute, in that burning a cross while wearing a white hood is not protected by the right of free speech/expression. [AP story] And I somehow suspect that setting a person in a white hood on fire while beating him with a cross would likewise not be constitutionally protected.

Posted by Tiger at 06:07 PM | Comments (0)

"I have had enough rampant reproduction" Mother Nature

Scientists are on the track of solving the SARS dilemma. But SARS is just one of the new diseases that have arisen over the last few years. HIV/AIDS burst onto the scene over a decade ago, and is still unchecked. The epidemic is still running rampant. [click here for .pdf report on December 2002 worldwide statistics] The disease that the largest number of people are infected with is Hepatitis C. Ebola, West Nile Virus, and, of course, a yearly new strain of flu are also infecting people now. In addition, there is a resurgence of malaria, tuberculosis (TB), cholera and small pox in many areas. The number of occurrences of cancer is on the rise. What is going on?

In my opinion, this a sign that Mother Nature is saying there are too many people for the planet to support and is trying to reduce the population. Well, actually, it is probably due to the fact that since there are a great number of highly overcrowded areas and sanitation in those areas is unmanageable. Trash heaps and pools of water, polluted by sewage, are ideal places for diseases to grow. And what with radiation, genetic experiments, and pollution, who can predict what kinds of mutations are occurring in the many germs that infest our planet. Of course, how quickly any disease will spread depends on how that disease is spread. HIV/AIDS is spread mostly by sexual contact, and since everyone seems so concerned about having sex as often as possible these days (and I admit that the urge is natural, but in earlier times, it did seem that people could control their urges more easily that seems to be possible for many this day in time, given the media pushing sex into our faces whenever we turn on the TV, open a magazine or go to the movies). Hepatitis C is spread in many of the same ways as HIV/AIDS. There are a greater number of recognized sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) than was known just 50 years ago. [For a thorough discussion of the problems in the United States due to transmission of disease by sexual contact, see Testimony of Dr. Joe S. McIlhaney, Jr., MD, President, The Medical Institute for Sexual Health, Before the Subcommittee on Health of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, U.S. House of Representatives, April 23, 2002]

I am left with an impression that the disease problem is greatly associated with there being too many people . . . and too many people who seem to spend more time having sex than thinking about the long term health effects of having sex. It may be that the latter is just Mother Nature's way of correcting the former. It may be that "survival of the fittest" actually means "survival of the smartest." Do I have any answers? If I did, no one would care to listen, they would be too busy trying to have sex with someone.

Posted by Tiger at 05:12 PM | Comments (0)

April 06, 2003

Who thinks up these ideas, anyway?

Well, thankfully, the combination of the massive thunderstorm last night and the ensuing power outage solved some of my clock dilemma. Most of my clocks are now proudly flashing 12:00. I awoke at my regular time, but when I went to the store to get my morning caffeine fix, it was already an hour later than I imagined. I wonder how many people were late to religious service today?

Speaking of religion, what is all this talk about Muslim extremists declaring a "jihad" against the United States over its invasion of Iraq? This is not a war fought over religion, is it? After all, the United States has many citizens of Islamic faith. Even in this small town where I live, we have three Muslim families: one family which runs one of the local motels, a pair of brothers that run one of the convenience stores, and another that runs another convenience store. I suspect we have more members of the Islamic faith in this small town than we do of Jewish faith. I say this because I happen to know of those three Islamic families and do not know of any Jewish families, but I seldom discuss religion with people. It is always a touchy subject. As far as I know, we have neither a synagogue nor a mosque in our local area.

I view religion much as I do race or ethnicity. You cannot change your race or ethnicity (although Michael Jackson seems to be making an attempt to prove the fallacy of that statement). Your race or ethnicity is wholly dependent upon your parentage, and whoever got to choose their parents? I do know many people who have often wished they could have done so, but it is a matter of genetics. I see religion as very similar. I admit that you do have the ability to change religions, and on rare occasions, this is accomplished by various people or groups. But in essence, your religion is the religion of your family, and in many parts of the world, your community. What young man living in Central Mexico, where the only place of worship is the local Catholic Church, has any real opportunity to choose his religion? The same could be said of villages and towns in many parts of the world. In most cases, faith is acquired through gentle indoctrination during childhood. I am not suggesting such is wrong, nor do I suggest that any members of any religion, at least those that subscribe to a strong moral code, are necessarily wrong in their beliefs.

What is offensive are religious leaders who use religion to promote political agenda. Jihad? Holy War? An attempt to replace the Islamic faith in Iraq with Judaism or Christianity is not the basis for "Operation Iraqi Freedom." If that was the purpose of this action, the majority of the citizens of the United States would not be supportive of the effort. What most of the people in support of this war believe is that the majority of the Iraqi people are oppressed and "not free." Above anything else, Americans support freedom, including freedom of religion.

Posted by Tiger at 12:32 PM | Comments (0)

April 05, 2003

I hate clocks

Well, daylight-saving time begins tonight, or more correctly, very early tomorrow morning. And so goes my sleep pattern. I already find it hard enough to get up in the morning, what with there being so much to do every day that I stay up so late each evening, or again, more correctly, early into the next morning, so what is the deal about finagling with the clocks? What does it change? The sun still rotates as before; the laws of physics remain unchanged. It just means that the sun is streaming through my windows a lot earlier than I would like.

What is the deal with clocks anyway? People are always asking me what time it is, like I really know? I usually look at my watch and tell them that it is whatever time appears thereon, "plus or minus five minutes." I have concluded that to be a quite accurate statement, because whenever I pass a clock or they announce the time on the radio or TV, I usually take a glance at my watch, and it is invariably set to within five minutes of whatever time was just announced.

Look at "jet lag." That entire predicament is due to clocks. When I travel, I never change my watch. When I begin to feel tired, I can look at my watch and tell it is the normal time for me to be going to bed. No matter that it may be five hours earlier where I am, it still does not change the fact that I am tired and it is the time that my body normally shuts down for its regeneration. I calculate this into my travel plans. It works for me, and I do not experience "jet lag."

Maybe I will revolt against daylight-saving time this year and not do anything with my clocks. I will just arrive an hour early for all of my appointments until they announce it is time to return the clocks back to ordinary time. It could work.

Posted by Tiger at 12:49 PM | Comments (0)

April 04, 2003

When did they change the rules?

We are in the midst of "Operation Iraqi Freedom." I am fully behind our troops as they forge forward on the National Mission as they understand it. I applaud their bravery and I mourn their losses. I am reserving judgment, however, on whether this is a just cause or not. I will await the future to disclose whether this current action was fortunate for the oppressed or the folly of the misguided. I am alarmed, however, with the statements about the Iraqi effort in response. Wasn't it said "Everything is fair in love and WAR?" Is it not idealistic to believe you can declare war on someone and then dictate how they are to fight that war? If we condemn the Iraqis for fighting a guerrilla war, then let us condemn ourselves for doing the same when we won our freedom from the British. What was it, two decades ago that one of the most popular movies in the United States was "Red Dawn," which was a fictionalized account of the activities of one town to repel a Soviet invasion? People stood up in the aisles and clapped when the young men sniped at the heavily armed Soviet soldiers who had come to take their freedom away, and yet, these are likely the same people who are complaining about the Iraqi ambushes and snipers and guerrilla tactics. Let the Iraqis fight this war on their terms. In the end, they still lose.

Posted by Tiger at 07:36 PM | Comments (0)

A new voice in the Blogosphere

To BLOG or not to BLOG, that was the question that befell me today. Over recent years, I have encountered the occasional BLOG here and there, surfing links to locate that essential bit of information that I was seeking at that very moment. But I did not know they were BLOGS or just how numerous and popular they had become . . . until today. BLOGS are powerful stuff, according to one article I ran across, powerful enough to have assisted in the downfall of TRENT LOTT. And now, I have begun one, and that may eventually lead to my very own downfall. From where I am standing, that does not seem to be all that far to fall . . . so my gamble is small.

Posted by Tiger at 05:37 PM | Comments (0)