June 26, 2008

Are you ready for the new Joss Whedon flick?

Trailer below the jump for my fellow nerds.

(h/t)
more...

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DC Mayor Reacts to Heller

Mayor Adrian Fenty's full statement is here. Key, predictable, quote:

“I’m disappointed in the Court’s ruling and believe introducing more handguns into the District will mean more handgun violence,” said Mayor Fenty. “But I want to emphasize that at this moment, our gun laws remain in effect. It may be several weeks before there are changes to announce.

“In the meantime, I have directed the Metropolitan Police Department to implement an orderly process for allowing qualified citizens to register handguns for lawful possession in their homes.
I checked the web site of DC's only Republican City Council member, but there wasn't a statement.  Get your act together, Carol.

Posted by: It's Vintage, Duh at 11:38 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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Continuing the Tradition of Moron Generosity

Frequent commenter (and cum dumpster expert) Alice H. points me to a worthwhile opportunity for charity. The author of the blog is a terrorist attack survivor and is taking an off road bike ride to benefit a hospital that specializes in caring for the child victims of terrorist attacks, regardless of ethnicity.

If you've got a shekel to toss, you know what to do. Of course, you can also give directly to Alyn Hospital if you're feeling hands on but I find the idea of Gila riding offroad much more entertaining.

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The Move America Forward donation drive

This is a donation drive put together by some of the big conservative talk radio hosts and pundits to put together care packages for the military.  Most of you will see this being advertised somewhere, but I thought I'd put up links, you'll be able to watch a live stream of the event being held, and watch the meter here, details on where to donate are at either place if you're interested.

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Chrysler to fulfill the dreams of bloggers everywhere

Nope, can't see how this could possibly be a bad idea:

The nation's third-largest automaker is set to announce Thursday that it's making wireless Internet an option on all its 2009 models. The mobile hotspot, called UConnect Web, would be the first such technology from any automaker.

Struggling Chrysler is hoping that providing motorists access to the information superhighway will set it apart from competitors and help reverse a dismal year; through May, sales are down 19.3% compared with 2007, the worst drop-off in the industry.
I know some people would welcome this but, speaking for myself, I know that if I had this it would make Billy Joel's driving seem competent by comparison. 

***Thanks for the link, HotAir!  Make sure to check out the rest of doubleplusundead to see what bmac, Moron Pundit, Sean M., plebian, Cuffy, doubleplusundead, and I have been up to!

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June 18, 2008

The mask slips

Our socialism...let us show you it:

House Democrats responded to President's Bush's call for Congress to lift the moratorium on offshore drilling. This was at an on-camera press conference fed back live.

Among other things, the Democrats called for the government to own refineries so it could better control the flow of the oil supply.

Oh, yeah. That's a fantastic idea. Witness the economic genius, in particular, of Maurice Hinchey (D-Hugo Chavez):
We (the government) should own the refineries. Then we can control how much gets out into the market.
With these people in charge, we are well and truly fucked. Way to go, "permanent GOP majority."

(Via Drudge.)

Posted by: Sean M. at 07:51 PM | Comments (9) | Add Comment
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Pictures of Saturn and Saturn's moons from the Cassini spacecraft

Neat pictures, check 'em out.

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June 17, 2008

Interesting theory on the purpose of the human appendix

The theory suggests the appendix may possibly serve as a safe haven for beneficial intestinal bacteria during times of sickness.  They also suggest the reason that there is no perceivable negative effect when an appendix is removed is because in industrialized nations, we rarely, if ever have major widespread intestinal disease outbreaks, and modern medicine on top of that.  Interesting article.

Posted by: doubleplusundead at 07:45 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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Haditha Marine Lt. Col. Chessani's charges dropped!

http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x73/doubleplusundeadmeenu/siren.gif

John Murtha still a rotten bastard, developing...

That leaves Wuterich, but the rest have all had the charges against them dropped now, developing...

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June 16, 2008

This could become a big story

A former adviser to the United Arab Emirates says he has video of a member of the royal family torturing people.  The AP was shown 11 still photos from the tape, here is a description,

The tapes have not been made public but The Associated Press viewed 11 still frames from one of the videos. They showed a man who appeared to be Sheik Issa beating another man with lumber, firing an automatic weapon into the sand around him and forcing an apparent cattle prod into his anus. The victim also appeared to have been partly run over by a SUV and had salt poured on his wounds.


Supposedly, there are three torture videos in this adviser's possession.  He's had a lawsuit against the UAE royals languishing in the courts for two years, so one has to consider that a factor too when looking at this story. 

Even if this guy's lawsuit falls through, he could just as easily cause major embarrassment to the UAE's royal family by making it public or selling the videos to the media. 

What will be interesting to see is what the UAE does in reaction to this, they're invested heavily in the US and have major holdings here, and are considered a more 'friendly' Arab nation than most.  Beyond that, the UAE has a lot of oil, which it uses to fund their business ventures. 

I have to imagine if these videos are the real deal the UAE is going to want it to disappear, but the adviser and the tapes are here in the US.  I also have to think we're going to have a situation where the UAE wants this thing suppressed and is gonna be making some noise and threats behind the scenes, the US will want this all to go away, but is ultimately powerless to stop the tapes from getting leaked, shown or sold to the media.  What'll be interesting will be the reaction from the public in the US, and if the UAE starts leaving or investing elsewhere or uses their oil supply as a threat.

Posted by: doubleplusundead at 09:32 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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June 15, 2008

Saudis getting nervous about US tapping own oil supply, will increase production

How else is one to read this?  The Saudis aren't complete retards, they know if they push their luck that the combination of people finally getting being able to see through the bullshit and Congress starting to feel public pressure could cause them serious financial hurt. 

The GOP in Congress would be wise to ignore the Saudi production increase and the price drop that follows, and continue to push to open up ANWR, the coasts and the rest of the US to drilling and create refineries.  The Congressional GOP should consider doing everything they can to free up the market to reduce fuel prices their first priority. 

Posted by: doubleplusundead at 09:56 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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June 14, 2008

Flag Day and the anniversary of the establishment of the US Army

In 1916, Woodrow Wilson declared June 14th the first Flag Day, it became National Flag Day in 1949 after Congressional approval,

http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x73/doubleplusundeadmeenu/american-flag.jpg

On June 14, 1775, The Continental Army was established, and fought for our nation's independence.  On June 14, 1784, the Continental Army was dissolved, and the US Army established.

http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x73/doubleplusundeadmeenu/armylogo.png


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June 13, 2008

Whoa: Report says that Tim Russert has died of a heart attack

I'm stunned, I would have never guessed.  My thoughts and prayers go out to Russert's family.  Russert was only 58.  The New York Post is reporting that he collapsed in the NBC offices and later died.

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The rEVOLution ends

I'm sure you had all heard already, but it just feels so damn good to report.  The Only Man Who Can Save America will now be looking to use his funds to support candidates to carry on the rEVOLution.

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June 12, 2008

Belgian brewing conglomerate InBev SA makes $46 billion bid on Anheuser-Busch

They're offering shareholders $65 for their $58 stock as part of an unsolicited buyout bid.  Big brewers in general are consolidating in part because of higher cost of ingredients and materials. Another reason for the bid is that sales for Anheuser-Busch in the US have been kinda flat, as consumers in the US are becoming more interested in wine, cocktails, and beer that doesn't taste like cheap crap.

Employees in St. Louis are worried about losing their jobs in the consolidation, should Anheuser-Busch sell.  Some people are strongly opposed to Anheuser-Busch being owned by a foreign company, and are opposed to making the deal on those grounds.

Governor Matt Blunt is also opposed to the deal, and has told the Missouri Department of Economic Development to find a way to stop it from happening.  So much for that free market, eh?  Sorry, but that Matt Blunt is trying to interfere with this deal is inappropriate, particularly for a Republican.  This isn't a defense contractor or a business that could be used to compromise security, this is a big brewery.

Of note, one of the sites opposing the Anheuser-Busch deal on "patriotic grounds" is SaveAB.com, started by Matt Blunt's former Chief of Staff.

Perhaps the Chelada wasn't such a good idea?

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June 09, 2008

yemeni journalist abdul al-khaiwani sentenced to six years of prison and hard labor

NiceDeb has the not-so-nice details, Khaiwani was sentenced along with 13 others.  One is sentenced to death.  Jane Novak, who led the charge to bring Khaiwani some PR and try and create some international pressure, is following things closely, and has lots of information, so keep checking in at her site.  Khaiwani and the others convicted have an appeal, and will likely take it. 

Why has the State Department said nothing?  Why hasn't anyone else in the Administration said anything? Or Congress?  Our State Department, Administration and Congress should have done so before Khaiwani was convicted, but that he has been granted a chance to appeal buys them some time to do the right thing.  The time to act is now.

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June 07, 2008

norway unveils doomsday seed vault

I've heard of this project, and I'm kind of surprised the US doesn't have one.  Norway decided to create a secure bunker in a very obscure location that could withstand any major disaster, natural or manmade.  This bunker will hold seed samples of as many of the world's plant species as they can get their hands on. 

Norway owns the bunker, so this isn't an international project, but other nations are welcome to donate seed samples to the vault, and are allowed to take some seeds as needed.  I think where this will be important is in preservation of samples of a pure species in the event of a severe blight, like what has decimated the American Chestnut.

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June 06, 2008

d-day

Sixty-four years ago today.  There have been a lot of good posts about D-Day today, and I thought I'd give you some links to them.  Dave in Texas at Ace's, This Ain't Hell, The Sniper, Jawas, Baldi, and a good tribute from Ed at Hotair.  Truly a great group of men, from all of the Allied nations who played a role in storming those beaches.

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afghans stealing equipment from our military bases

Is there some reason why this is happening?  I mean, this isn't even a new problem apparently, and that it isn't as big an issue as it once was.  One of the biggest problems is the local Afghans have been getting their hands on thumb drives with sensitive information.   You can go to the shops outside of bases in Afghanistan and easily pick up uniforms and other US military gear. 

Usually, the culprits are Afghans who are permitted to work at US bases in Afghanistan, they're also stealing shipping containers, which sometimes carry weapons and sensitive materials.  The coalition is trying to support local businesses and entrepreneurs in Afghanistan, but it clearly is coming at a high cost.  Among the things they've stolen, thumb drives with information on servicemen and deployment, including social security numbers and other personal information, schematics and informations about weapons systems there, and information on experimental vehicles have all been recovered in Afghan shops. 

The military has got to get this under control, either get the Afghan contractors under control, bring in trustworthy contractors, or do everything yourselves. 

Geoff brings up a good point, looks like we're gonna see heads roll at the upper levels of the Air Force for their security failures, are there gonna be more for this?

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June 04, 2008

student planned school massacre with adult, plan found out, reported by school and stopped

Thank God this was stopped, and thank God the school made the right decisionThis student wanted to kill more than any other school shooter, from a notebook found in the student's locker,

"I wanna break the current shooting record. I wanna get instant recognition. The only thing that stops me is the fact of being put in jail forever, or having to kill myself, or getting killed by an officer. I could kill anyone without feeling sorry because society sucks!!!" read an entry dated April 18, the day before he was arrested.


The plot was discovered when a guidance councilor was investigating an incident where the student had made a threat.  The councilor decided to do some investigating online, and found where the student had made postings praising the Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the Columbine killers.  After this discovery, the school found the notebook with that entry and others, and contacted police.

Police later discovered that the student had been talking to an adult who told the student he was also planning a simultaneous massacre at an unspecified location.  Police obtained a search warrant to search the man's computer and disks, and found a bunch of child porn, and the creepy perv was promptly paid a visit by Dateline NBC's Chris Hansen,

http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x73/doubleplusundeadmeenu/chrishansen.gif

Not really, but the Chris Hansen pic is almost obligatory now for stories with pervs like this guy.  The guy is in jail now and is now facing criminal charges.

Let me just say, the councilor did an excellent job, and should know that they have my utmost respect for doing what was necessary to prevent this.  Many times, councilors and faculty miss the warning signs that students like this give off, or for any number of reasons see the signs but don't investigate to see if there is something more serious going on for any number of reasons.

I want to focus on prevention in this post, because that is the most important and effective way to stop these tragedies from happening, and is often the first place that students, faculty and administrators go wrong.

If you're part of a school faculty, watch for troubled students like this. If you're a student or are a parent of a student, it is imperative that they watch for students that are showing signs of trouble and instability, especially if the troubled student talks about actually engaging in a school shooting.

I know from experience, we had a minor shooting at my high school(no one was killed, but the potential very much existed).  For the record, I was in the upper grades and the shooter was in the lower grades, I didn't know who the student was until after it happened. 

The student that did it told one or two of their friends they were going to do it soon before the attack was carried out.  It didn't go reported.  We were damn lucky that no one was killed, and only one was injured, but the next group of students may not be that lucky. 

If you are a student, you must, must report these things, and if you are a parent of a student, you must get your student to understand that so that these tragedies can be prevented from happening in the first place.

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