October 2009 Archives
Richard Falk, a special UN rapporteur, talked about the possibility of Israeli officials being tried in countries which abide to rules of international justice.
The top UN official, however, predicted that the United States will try its best to influence the International Criminal Court not to bring Israeli officials to the dock.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has meanwhile demanded that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights drop support for Goldstone Gaza report and spare no efforts to convince his European counterparts to oppose its adoption. His attempts have however proved futile.
Tel Aviv is worried that charges could be lodged against politicians and army officers for war crimes committed during Israel's 22-day offensive against long-blockaded Gaza Strip. Top officials who would be in the judicial cross-hairs could include former prime minister Ehud Olmert, former foreign minister Tzipi Livni as well as current Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
The UN-ordered Goldstone report on Israel's offensive in Gaza details what investigators call Israeli actions "amounting to war crimes, possibly crimes against humanity." The 575-page account asserts seven incidents in which Palestinian civilians were shot while leaving their homes, trying to run for safety or waving white flags.
The report says Israel targeted a mosque at prayer time, killing 15 people, and shelled a Gaza City house where soldiers had forced Palestinian civilians to assemble. These attacks constituted war crimes, the report pointed out.
The probe also found Israel violated international humanitarian law in several ways. Dozens of Palestinian policemen were killed at the start of Gaza onslaught when Israel bombed their stations. The security agents were not involved in hostilities and should have been treated as civilians. Palestinians in addition were forced to walk ahead of Israeli soldiers searching civilian neighborhoods.
More than 1,500 Palestinians, a large number of then women and children, were killed during three weeks of Israel's land, sea and air assault, Operation Cast Lead , in the Palestinian impoverished coastal sliver. The offensive also inflicted $ 1.6 billion damage to Gaza economy.
In the music video, MTV asked Stipe, who directed it himself, to censor the three topless women with whom he was dancing in the video. Instead, Stipe superimposed black bars on the chests of all four dancers, himself included, and stated, "a nipple is a nipple."
MTV (censored) version:
Christine Pelosi discusses open source voting systems
with Open Voting Consortium founder Alan Dechert
during a fundraiser last week in San Francisco.
Photos by Luke Thomas
By Luke Thomas
October 7, 2009
The famous quote, "It's not the people who vote that count. It's the people who count the votes," has been attributed to the infamous soviet-era dictator, Joseph Stalin, a premise Christine Pelosi, daughter of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, agrees with.
"Everywhere I go, no matter what else people have to say, they ultimately ask one question: 'Why should we work our hearts out if the fix is already in?'" Pelosi said during a keynote speech at a fundraiser last week held to benefit Open Voting Consortium (OVC). "When we look at the elections and look at how close everything is, you know that there's something happening in that machine that we need to know about."
Pelosi was, of course, referring to paperless proprietary electronic voting systems whose inaccessible software renders them unreliable and vulnerable to electoral manipulation. By contrast, an election conducted solely by paper ballot, though desirable, is resource intensive, subject to human error and is time consuming.
OVC founder and CEO Alan Dechert believes OVC's solution, a non-tabulating open source system that generates an encoded paper ballot using inexpensive off-the-shelf computer components, provides the advantages of automated electronic voting systems without the costs and trust concerns associated with proprietary voting systems.
A former computer programmer for Sacramento County, Dechert said the idea to develop an open source voting system occurred to him when the State of California in 2001 began discussing using proprietary paperless touch screen electronic voting systems. "That was the idea that was floating around in the State legislature at the time, and I, like a lot of computer geeks I talked to, thought that was a crazy idea."
"We want a paper ballot that's unambiguous," Dechert said during a demonstration of OVC's system. The free open source software, which runs from a read-only CD, cycled through a pre-programmed language-selected menu of ballot choices. Upon ballot selection completion, a paper ballot containing Dechert's selections in plain text as well as matrix code, was printed, code that can be scanned and tabulated by a code reader.
Dechert has been advocating for open source systems since the questionable 2000 and 2004 presidential elections. He said momentum is now building to replace proprietary systems with open source systems. Los Angeles County is OVC's most promising prospect and is considering using OVC's system by 2012, he said.
Adding to the momentum for more reliable and secure voting systems, Secretary of State Debra Bowen in 2007 conducted a top-to-bottom review of several voting systems certified for use in California which resulted in the decertification and conditional re-approval of some Diebold and Sequoia proprietary voting systems.
"Is LA ready, willing, and able to lead the way for the State?" Dechert asked. "As goes LA, so goes the State of California and, probably, the whole country."
SEPTEMBER 25TH, 2009
Larry, buddy, let me give you a quick piece of advice. Don't advertise your autobody business on a crusty old 1988 red, white, and blue Dodge Caravan with missing hub caps. That would be like Gold's Gym passing out 6XL t-shirts.
Tomas Ayuso, a research fellow at the Council on Hemispheric affairs who spent the summer reporting on the crisis from Tegucigalpa, agrees. The members of Congress meeting with Micheletti "are in violation of the Logan Act," he said.
There have been three Republican trips to Honduras to meet with Micheletti: a July trip by House members Connie Mack (R-Florida) and Brian Bilbray (R-California); last week's trip by Senators Jim DeMint (R- South Carolina), Aaron Schock (R-Illinois), Peter Roskam (R-Illinois), and Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado); and Monday's visit by House members Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida), Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-Florida), and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Florida).
Gabriel came to the Lord and said, "I have to talk to you.. I have some Cajuns up here in Heaven who are causing some problems. They are swinging on The pearly gates, sliding down stairway to Heaven, and my horn is missing!
They play their accordions and dance all night! Crawfish shells and beer cans are all over the streets of gold and they're making sausage, boudin, and cracklins on every corner. There is rice all over the clouds! They have eaten almost every animal up here! Some folks are walking around with one wing missing. There is barbecue sauce all over their robes and some of them aren't even wearing their halos, saying they won't wear it because it doesn't have an LSU logo on it.
The Lord said, "I made them special, as I did you, my angel. Heaven is home to all my children. If you really want to know about problems, let's call the Devil and see how he is dealing with his Cajuns."
The Devil answered the phone, "Hello? Dang it, hold on!"
The Devil returned to the phone and said, "Hello God, what can I do for you?
God replied, "Tell me what kind of problems you are having down there with the Cajuns you have there."
The Devil said, "Wait a minute," and puts the Lord on hold...
After 5 minutes he returned to the phone, and said, "Okay, I'm back. What's the question?"
God asked again, "What kind of problems are you having with the Cajuns down there?"
The Devil said, "Man, I don't believe this... Hold on, God..."
This time, the Devil was gone for 15 minutes.
The Devil returned and said, "I'm sorry, God, I can't talk right now. These coonasses have done put out the fire, and are holding a benefit jambalaya dinner to install air conditioning!!"
Subject: Copper wire fact After having dug to a depth of 10 feet last year, New York Scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 100 years and came to the conclusion, that their ancestors already had a telephone network more than 100 years ago. Not to be outdone by the New Yorkers, in the weeks that followed, a California archaeologist dug to a depth of 20 feet, and shortly after, a story in the LA Times read: ' California archaeologists, finding traces of 200 year old copper wire, have concluded that their ancestors already had an advanced high-tech communications network a hundred years earlier than the New Yorkers.' One week later. A local newspaper in Louisiana reported the following: After digging as deep as 30 feet in his pasture near St. Martinville, Bubba Boudreaux, a self-taught archaeologist, reported that he found absolutely nothing. Bubba has therefore concluded that 300 years ago, Louisiana had already gone wireless.. Just makes you proud to live in Louisiana!
After having dug to a depth of 10 feet last year, New York Scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 100 years and came to the conclusion, that their ancestors already had a telephone network more than 100 years ago.
Not to be outdone by the New Yorkers, in the weeks that followed, a California archaeologist dug to a depth of 20 feet, and shortly after, a story in the LA Times read: ' California archaeologists, finding traces of 200 year old copper wire, have concluded that their ancestors already had an advanced high-tech communications network a hundred years earlier than the New Yorkers.'
One week later. A local newspaper in Louisiana reported the following: After digging as deep as 30 feet in his pasture near St. Martinville, Bubba Boudreaux, a self-taught archaeologist, reported that he found absolutely nothing. Bubba has therefore concluded that 300 years ago, Louisiana had already gone wireless..
Just makes you proud to live in Louisiana!
The demise of the dollar
In a graphic illustration of the new world order, Arab states have launched secret moves with China, Russia and France to stop using the US currency for oil trading
The format of "Secret Girlfriend'' is pretty cool. The protagonist of this new Comedy Central series is the invisible guy who's holding the camera. We never see him, or hear from him; but all the other characters - his two buddies, his ex-girlfriend, his new love interest - look at him and talk to him and call him "you.'' And as they do that, they're breaking the fourth wall and addressing us. They pull us into the show as if we're at its center.
This technique in "Secret Girlfriend,'' which premieres tonight at 10:30, reminds me of Jay McInerney's use of the second-person voice in his novel "Bright Lights, Big City.'' By positioning the audience itself as a young, male character, both the novel and the TV show have an interactive, post-modern tone. We aren't just watching objectively as a story unfolds; we're pulled into a highly subjective situation, drawn inside the conflicts of the protagonist's mind. Each segment of "Secret Girl- friend'' opens with a subtitle worded in the second person, such as "You and Your Ex Call It Quits.''