June 2009 Archives

So Yeah, I bought it ...

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Gee, for a buck ninety-nine, who wouldn't?

The Fast & The Furious iPhone edition.

I saw the 'other guys' version, and I was curious.  And then, I wanted the 'other cars'.

Now I can play out all those fantasies from being a bus, taxi, and truck driver (maybe even including the part where I drove a truck with 'dangerous chemicals').

On my *phone*.

Will wonders never cease?

Let's hope not.  I'm still expecting a Dynabook.

I want my Dynabook, and I want it *NOW* (or I'll scream!).

Yes, the man that they made fun of for *years* (because he was a top-notch scientist, which always makes the others jealous--and he had a terribly funny sense of humor).

He pointed out before I got to college that he'd 'proven' that memory was stored in the brain as a molecule.  He just hadn't gotten down to the molecular level (he theorized it was stored as RNA because when he ground up the brains of worms and fed them to other worms they 'learned' from their dinner).

I've noted recently that (if one has large enough sets of memories to work with, such as layouts for various networks) one can actually sense this load/unload function (and it makes one terribly sleepy to have to re-do this level of swap-out too many times in a day).

So that's two 'discredited' theories revisited with success this year (the other being the re-crediting of Pons and Fleischmann with the discovery of 'cold fusion', since it's real).

One can only hope for Fred Hoyle to be vindicated.  This 'bang' crap is an illusion.  The universe is a continuous-creation system.

And of course, there's always Michelson-Morley:

Three in a row

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It's what 'they' always said ('comes in threes').

Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson.

Any better way to close out the seventies?

Suddenly, a rich tourist comes to town.

He  enters the only hotel, lays a 100 Euro note on the reception  counter, and goes to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick  one.

The hotel proprietor takes the 100 Euro note and runs to  pay his debt to the butcher.

The Butcher takes the 100 Euro  note, and runs to pay his debt to the pig grower.

The pig  grower takes the 100 Euro note, and runs to pay his debt to  the supplier of his feed and fuel.

The supplier of feed and  fuel takes the 100 Euro note and runs to pay his debt to the town's  prostitute that in these hard times, gave her "services" on  credit.

The hooker runs to the hotel, and pays off her debt with the 100 Euro note to the hotel proprietor to pay for the rooms  that she rented when she brought her clients there.

The hotel proprietor then lays the 100 Euro note back on the counter so that the rich tourist will not suspect anything.

At that moment, the rich tourist comes down after inspecting the rooms, and takes his 100 Euro note, after saying that he did not like any of  the rooms, and leaves town.

No one earned anything. However, the whole town is now without debt, and looks to the future with a  lot of optimism..

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the United States Government is doing business today.


From Troll

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firealarm.jpgNow that's funny, I don't care who you are!!!!! 

Iran Had a Democracy Before We Took It Away

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Posted on Jun 22, 2009
AP photo / Ali Zare

Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi speaks to supporters at a demonstration in Tehran.

By Chris Hedges

Iranians do not need or want us to teach them about liberty and representative government. They have long embodied this struggle. It is we who need to be taught. It was Washington that orchestrated the 1953 coup to topple Iran's democratically elected government, the first in the Middle East, and install the compliant shah in power. It was Washington that forced Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh, a man who cared as much for his country as he did for the rule of law and democracy, to spend the rest of his life under house arrest. We gave to the Iranian people the corrupt regime of the shah and his savage secret police and the primitive clerics that rose out of the swamp of the dictator's Iran. Iranians know they once had a democracy until we took it away. 

The fundamental problem in the Middle East is not a degenerate and corrupt Islam. The fundamental problem is a degenerate and corrupt Christendom. We have not brought freedom and democracy and enlightenment to the Muslim world. We have brought the opposite. We have used the iron fist of the American military to implant our oil companies in Iraq, occupy Afghanistan and ensure that the region is submissive and cowed. We have supported a government in Israel that has carried out egregious war crimes in Lebanon and Gaza and is daily stealing ever greater portions of Palestinian land. We have established a network of military bases, some the size of small cities, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Kuwait, and we have secured basing rights in the Gulf states of Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. We have expanded our military operations to Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Egypt, Algeria and Yemen. And no one naively believes, except perhaps us, that we have any intention of leaving.

We are the biggest problem in the Middle East. We have through our cruelty and violence created and legitimized the Mahmoud Ahmadinejads and the Osama bin Ladens. The longer we lurch around the region dropping iron fragmentation bombs and seizing Muslim land the more these monsters, reflections of our own distorted image, will proliferate. The theologian Reinhold Niebuhr wrote, "Perhaps the most significant moral characteristic of a nation is its hypocrisy." But our hypocrisy no longer fools anyone but ourselves. It will ensure our imperial and economic collapse.

The history of modern Iran is the history of a people battling tyranny. These tyrants were almost always propped up and funded by foreign powers. This suppression and distortion of legitimate democratic movements over the decades resulted in the 1979 revolution that brought the Iranian clerics to power, unleashing another tragic cycle of Iranian resistance.

"The central story of Iran over the last 200 years has been national humiliation at the hands of foreign powers who have subjugated and looted the country," Stephen Kinzer, the author of "All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror," told me. "For a long time the perpetrators were the British and Russians. Beginning in 1953, the United States began taking over that role. In that year, the American and British secret services overthrew an elected government, wiped away Iranian democracy, and set the country on the path to dictatorship."

"Then, in the 1980s, the U.S. sided with Saddam Hussein in the Iran-Iraq war, providing him with military equipment and intelligence that helped make it possible for his army to kill hundreds of thousands of Iranians," Kinzer said. "Given this history, the moral credibility of the U.S. to pose as a promoter of democracy in Iran is close to nil.

Especially ludicrous is the sight of people in Washington calling for intervention on behalf of democracy in Iran when just last year they were calling for the bombing of Iran. If they had had their way then, many of the brave protesters on the streets of Tehran today--the ones they hold up as heroes of democracy--would be dead now."

Washington has never recovered from the loss of Iran--something our intelligence services never saw coming. The overthrow of the shah, the humiliation of the embassy hostages, the laborious piecing together of tiny shreds of paper from classified embassy documents to expose America's venal role in thwarting democratic movements in Iran and the region, allowed the outside world to see the dark heart of the American empire. Washington has demonized Iran ever since, painting it as an irrational and barbaric country filled with primitive, religious zealots. But Iranians, as these street protests illustrate, have proved in recent years far more courageous in the defense of democracy than most Americans. 

Where were we when our election was stolen from us in 2000 by Republican operatives and a Supreme Court that overturned all legal precedent to anoint George W. Bush president? Did tens of thousands of us fill the squares of our major cities and denounce the fraud? Did we mobilize day after day to restore transparency and accountability to our election process? Did we fight back with the same courage and tenacity as the citizens of Iran? Did Al Gore defy the power elite and, as opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi has done, demand a recount at the risk of being killed?

President Obama retreated in his Cairo speech into our spectacular moral nihilism, suggesting that our crimes matched the crimes of Iran, that there is, in his words, "a tumultuous history between us." He went on: "In the middle of the Cold War, the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically elected Iranian government. Since the Islamic Revolution, Iran has played a role in acts of hostage-taking and violence against U.S. troops and civilians." It all, he seemed to say, balances out. 

I am no friend of the Iranian regime, which helped create and arm Hezbollah, is certainly meddling in Iraq, has persecuted human rights activists, gays, women and religious and ethnic minorities, embraces racism and intolerance and uses its power to deny popular will. But I do not remember Iran orchestrating a coup in the United States to replace an elected government with a brutal dictator who for decades persecuted, assassinated and imprisoned democracy activists. I do not remember Iran arming and funding a neighboring state to wage war against our country. Iran never shot down one of our passenger jets as did the USS Vincennes--caustically nicknamed Robocruiser by the crews of other American vessels--when in June 1988 it fired missiles at an Airbus filled with Iranian civilians, killing everyone on board. Iran is not sponsoring terrorism within the United States, as our intelligence services currently do in Iran. The attacks on Iranian soil include suicide bombings, kidnappings, beheadings, sabotage and "targeted assassinations" of government officials, scientists and other Iranian leaders. What would we do if the situation was reversed? How would we react if Iran carried out these policies against us?

We are, and have long been, the primary engine for radicalism in the Middle East. The greatest favor we can do for democracy activists in Iran, as well as in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Gulf and the dictatorships that dot North Africa, is withdraw our troops from the region and begin to speak to Iranians and the rest of the Muslim world in the civilized language of diplomacy, respect and mutual interests. The longer we cling to the doomed doctrine of permanent war the more we give credibility to the extremists who need, indeed yearn for, an enemy that speaks in their crude slogans of nationalist cant and violence. The louder the Israelis and their idiot allies in Washington call for the bombing of Iran to thwart its nuclear ambitions, the happier are the bankrupt clerics who are ordering the beating and murder of demonstrators. We may laugh when crowds supporting Ahmadinejad call us "the Great Satan," but there is a very palpable reality that has informed the terrible algebra of their hatred.

Our intoxication with our military prowess blinds us to all possibilities of hope and mutual cooperation. It was Mohammed Khatami, the president of Iran from 1997 to 2005--perhaps the only honorable Middle East leader of our time--whose refusal to countenance violence by his own supporters led to the demise of his lofty "civil society" at the hands of more ruthless, less scrupulous opponents. It was Khatami who proclaimed that "the death of even one Jew is a crime." And we sputtered back to this great and civilized man the primitive slogans of all deformed militarists. We were captive, as all bigots are, to our demons, and could not hear any sound but our own shouting. It is time to banish these demons. It is time to stand not with the helmeted goons who beat protesters, not with those in the Pentagon who make endless wars, but with the unarmed demonstrators in Iran who daily show us what we must become.

  The fight of the Iranian people is our fight. And, perhaps for the first time, we can match our actions to our ideals. We have no right under post-Nuremberg laws to occupy Iraq or Afghanistan. These occupations are defined by these statutes as criminal "wars of aggression." They are war crimes. We have no right to use force, including the state-sponsored terrorism we unleash on Iran, to turn the Middle East into a private gas station for our large oil companies. We have no right to empower Israel's continuing occupation of Palestine, a flagrant violation of international law. The resistance you see in Iran will not end until Iranians, and all those burdened with repression in the Middle East, free themselves from the tyranny that comes from within and without. Let us, for once, be on the side of those who share our democratic ideals.

Chris Hedges is a former Mideast bureau chief of The New York Times. His Truthdig column can be found here every Monday.

Third Time's The Charm?

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A Hard Look at the Numbers

What Actually Happened in the Iranian Presidential Election?



Since the June 12 Iranian presidential elections, Iran "experts" have mushroomed like bacteria in a Petri dish. So here is a quiz for all those instant experts. Which major country has elected more presidents than any in the world since 1980? Further, which nation is the only one that held ten presidential elections within thirty years of its revolution?

The answer to both questions, of course, is Iran. Since 1980, it has elected six presidents, while the U.S. is a close second with five, and France at three. In addition, the U.S. held four presidential elections within three decades of its revolution to Iran's ten.

The Iranian elections have unified the left and the right in the West and unleashed harsh criticisms and attacks from the "outraged" politicians to the "indignant" mainstream media. Even the blogosphere has joined this battle with near uniformity, on the side of Iran's opposition, which is quite rare in cyberspace.

Much of the allegations of election fraud have been just that: unsubstantiated accusations. No one has yet been able to provide a solid shred of evidence of wide scale fraud that would have garnered eleven million votes for one candidate over his opponent.

So let's analyze much of the evidence that is available to date.

More than thirty pre-election polls were conducted in Iran since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his main opponent, former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi, announced their candidacies in early March 2009.  The polls varied widely between the two opponents, but if one were to average their results, Ahmadinejad would still come out on top. However, some of the organizations sponsoring these polls, such as Iranian Labor News Agency and Tabnak, admit openly that they have been allies of Mousavi, the opposition, or the so-called reform movement. Their numbers were clearly tilted towards Mousavi and gave him an unrealistic advantage of over 30 per cent in some polls. If such biased polls were excluded, Ahmadinejad's average over Mousavi would widen to about 21 points.

On the other hand, there was only one poll carried out by a western news organization. It was jointly commissioned by the BBC and ABC News, and conducted by an independent entity called the Center for Public Opinion (CPO) of the New America Foundation. The CPO has a reputation of conducting accurate opinion polls, not only in Iran, but across the Muslim world since 2005. The poll, conducted a few weeks before the elections, predicted an 89 percent turnout rate. Further, it showed that Ahmadinejad had a nationwide advantage of two to one over Mousavi.

How did this survey compare to the actual results? And what are the possibilities of wide scale election fraud?

According to official results, there were 46.2 million registered voters in Iran. The turnout was massive, as predicted by the CPO. Almost 39.2 million Iranians participated in the elections for a turn out rate of 85 percent, in which about 38.8 million ballots were deemed valid (about 400,000 ballots were left blank). Officially, President Ahmadinejad received 24.5 million votes to Mousavi's 13.2 million votes, or 62.6 per cent to 33.8 per cent of the total votes, respectively. In fact, this result mirrored the 2005 elections when Ahmadinejad received 61.7 per cent to former President Hashemi Rafsanjani's 35.9 per cent in the runoff elections. Two other minor candidates, Mehdi Karroubi and Mohsen Rezaee, received the rest of the votes in this election.

Shortly after the official results were announced Mousavi's supporters and Western political pundits cried foul and accused the government of election fraud. The accusations centered around four themes. First, although voting had been extended several hours due to the heavy turnout, it was alleged that the elections were called too quickly from the time the polls were closed, with more than 39 million ballots to count.

Second, these critics insinuated that election monitors were biased or that, in some instances, the opposition did not have its own monitors present during the count. Third, they pointed out that it was absurd to think that Mousavi, who descended from the Azerbaijan region in northwest Iran, was defeated handily in his own hometown. Fourth, the Mousavi camp charged that in some polling stations, ballots ran out and people were turned away without voting.

The next day, Mosuavi and the two other defeated candidates lodged 646 complaints to the Guardian Council, the entity charged with overseeing the integrity of the elections. The Council promised to conduct full investigations of all the complaints. By the following morning, a copy of a letter by a low-level employee in the Interior Ministry sent to Supreme Guide Ali Khamanei, was widely circulating around the world. (Western politicians and media outlets like to call him "Supreme Leader" but no such title exists in Iran.)

The letter stated that Mousavi had won the elections, and that Ahmadinejad had actually come in third. It also promised that the elections were being fixed in favor of Ahmadinejad per Khamanei's orders. It is safe to assume that the letter was a forgery since an unidentified low-level employee would not be the one addressing Ayatollah Khamanaei. Robert Fisk of The Independent reached the same conclusion by casting grave doubts that Ahmadinejad would score third - garnering less than 6 million votes in such an important election- as alleged in the forged letter.

There were a total of 45,713 ballot boxes that were set up in cities, towns and villages across Iran. With 39.2 million ballots cast, there were less than 860 ballots per box. Unlike other countries where voters can cast their ballots on several candidates and issues in a single election, Iranian voters had only one choice to consider: their presidential candidate. Why would it take more than an hour or two to count 860 ballots per poll?  After the count, the results were then reported electronically to the Ministry of the Interior in Tehran.

Since 1980, Iran has suffered an eight-year deadly war with Iraq, a punishing boycott and embargo, and a campaign of assassination of dozens of its lawmakers, an elected president and a prime minister from the group Mujahideen Khalq Organization. (MKO is a deadly domestic violent organization, with headquarters in France, which seeks to topple the government by force.) Despite all these challenges, the Islamic Republic of Iran has never missed an election during its three decades. It has conducted over thirty elections nationwide. Indeed, a tradition of election orderliness has been established, much like election precincts in the U.S. or boroughs in the U.K. The elections in Iran are organized, monitored and counted by teachers and professionals including civil servants and retirees (again much like the U.S.)

There has not been a tradition of election fraud in Iran. Say what you will about the system of the Islamic Republic, but its elected legislators have impeached ministers and "borked" nominees of several Presidents, including Ahmadinejad. Rubberstamps, they are not. In fact, former President Mohammad Khatami, considered one of the leading reformists in Iran, was elected president by the people, when the interior ministry was run by archconservatives. He won with over 70 percent of the vote, not once, but twice.

When it comes to elections, the real problem in Iran is not fraud but candidates' access to the ballots (a problem not unique to the country, just ask Ralph Nader or any other third party candidate in the U.S.) It is highly unlikely that there was a huge conspiracy involving tens of thousands of teachers, professionals and civil servants that somehow remained totally hidden and unexposed.

Moreover, while Ahmadinejad belongs to an active political party that has already won several elections since 2003, Mousavi is an independent candidate who emerged on the political scene just three months ago, after a 20-year hiatus. It was clear during the campaign that Ahmadinejad had a nationwide campaign operation. He made over sixty campaign trips throughout Iran in less than twelve weeks, while his opponent campaigned only in the major cities, and lacked a sophisticated campaign apparatus.

It is true that Mousavi has an Azeri background. But the CPO poll mentioned above, and published before the elections, noted that "its survey indicated that only 16 per cent of Azeri Iranians will vote for Mr. Mousavi. By contrast, 31 per cent of the Azeris claim they will vote for Mr. Ahmadinejad." In the end, according to official results, the election in that region was much closer than the overall result. In fact, Mousavi won narrowly in the West Azerbaijan province but lost the region to Ahmadinejad by a 45 to 52 per cent margin (or 1.5 to 1.8 million votes).

However, the double standard applied by Western news agencies is striking. Richard Nixon trounced George McGovern in his native state of South Dakota in the 1972 elections. Had Al Gore won his home state of Tennessee in 2000, no one would have cared about a Florida recount, nor would there have been a Supreme Court case called Bush v. Gore. If Vice-Presidential candidate John Edwards had won the states he was born and raised in (South and North Carolina), President John Kerry would now be serving his second term. But somehow, in Western newsrooms Middle Eastern people choose their candidates not on merit, but on the basis of their "tribe."

The fact that minor candidates such as Karroubi would garner fewer votes than expected, even in their home regions as critics charge, is not out of the ordinary. Many voters reach the conclusion that they do not want to waste their votes when the contest is perceived to be between two major candidates. Karroubi indeed received far fewer votes this time around than he did in 2005, including in his hometown. Likewise, Ross Perot lost his home state of Texas to Bob Dole of Kansas in 1996, while in 2004, Ralph Nader received one eighth of the votes he had four years earlier.

Some observers note that when the official results were being announced, the margin between the candidates held steady throughout the count. In fact, this is no mystery. Experts say that generally when 3-5 per cent of the votes from a given region are actually counted, there is a 95 per cent confidence level that such result will hold firm. As for the charge that ballots ran out and some people were turned away, it is worth mentioning that voting hours were extended four times in order to allow as many people as possible the opportunity to vote. But even if all the people who did not vote, had actually voted for Mousavi (a virtual impossibility), that would be 6.93 million additional votes, much less than the 11 million vote difference between the top two candidates.

Ahmadinejad is certainly not a sympathetic figure. He is an ideologue, provocative, and sometimes behaving imprudently. But to characterize the struggle in Iran as a battle between democratic forces and a "dictator," is to exhibit total ignorance of Iran's internal dynamics, or to deliberately distort them. There is no doubt that there is a significant segment of Iranian society, concentrated around major metropolitan areas, and comprising many young people, that passionately yearns for social freedoms. They are understandably angry because their candidate came up short. But it would be a huge mistake to read this domestic disagreement as an "uprising" against the Islamic Republic, or as a call to embark on a foreign policy that would accommodate the West at the expense of Iran's nuclear program or its vital interests.

Nations display respect to other nations only when they respect their sovereignty. If any nation, for instance, were to dictate the United States' economic, foreign or social policies, Americans would be indignant. When France, under President Chirac opposed the American adventure in Iraq in 2003, some U.S. Congressmen renamed a favorite fast food from French Fries to "Freedom Fries." They made it known that the French were unwelcome in the U.S.

The U.S. has a legacy of interference in Iran's internal affairs, notably when it toppled the democratically elected government of Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953. This act, of which most Americans are unaware, is ingrained in every Iranian from childhood. It is the main cause of much of their perpetual anger at the U.S. It took 56 years for an American president to acknowledge this illegal act, when Obama did so earlier this month in Cairo.

Therefore, it would be a colossal mistake to interfere in Iran's internal affairs yet again. President Obama is wise to leave this matter to be resolved by the Iranians themselves. Political expediency by the Republicans or pro-Israel Democrats will be extremely dangerous and will yield serious repercussions. Such reckless conduct by many in the political class and the media appears to be a blatant attempt to demonize Iran and its current leadership, in order to justify any future military attack by Israel if Iran does not give up its nuclear ambition.

President Obama's declarations in Cairo are now being aptly recalled. Regarding Iran, he said, "I recognize it will be hard to overcome decades of mistrust, but we will proceed with courage, rectitude, and resolve.  There will be many issues to discuss between our two countries, and we are willing to move forward without preconditions on the basis of mutual respect."

But the first sign of respect is to let the Iranians sort out their differences without any overt -or covert -interference.

Esam Al-Amin can be reached at alamin1919@gmail.com

Ok, this is *weird*

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I got it from Frank S. and Troll, so it *must* be true, but if you think about it, there's a 'baby and bathwater' issue here.

You see, in the story below, they *misquote* the rule (leaving half of it out) so that the failure of the system seems far worse than the actual state of affairs.

The part they are leaving out is the, " ... unless as an 'A' as in 'neighbor' or 'weigh'."

That covers 'veil' and 'their' w/o question, but I have to admit, it's not sufficient.  

Apparently, the idea that "most people remember the rule" is the failed assumption here.


Britain is tossing out 'i before e' rule
Teachers are advised not to pass on the mantra -- too many exceptions
The Associated Press
updated 8:54 p.m. PT, Sat., June 20, 2009

LONDON - It's a spelling mantra that generations of schoolchildren have learned -- "i before e, except after c."

But new British government guidance tells teachers not to pass on the rule to students, because there are too many exceptions.

The "Support For Spelling" document, which is being sent to thousands of primary schools, says the rule "is not worth teaching" because it doesn't account for words like 'sufficient,' 'veil' and 'their.'

Jack Bovill of the Spelling Society, which advocates simplified spelling, said Saturday he agreed with the decision.

But supporters say the ditty has value because it is one of the few language rules that most people remember.

Belly Dancing

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I went last night for a nice dinner at the only restaurant in town whose food I'd *recommend*  (got some places I recommend for beer, but really, the food out here is pretty pasty, bland, salt and fat free, and barely cooked at best).  The Himalayan Cafe was a genuine find.  The cook there loves hot food (grows his own chilies).

So, last night, there was a belly-dancer (which is how I determined that I would bother for the sit-down dinner deal).

Now, in Albuquerque, I'd run across quite a few different flavors of this, but mostly they tended to run in two veins, the classical Turkish style, and the 'Tribal' style.  In both cases, the jinglers were still little metallic items (like coins), but the Tribal style tended towards more sarong like clothing styles (I suppose it was more influenced by Indian styles).

I should add, too, that there's a faction of the 3SH contingent that are 'tribal dancers' but are not 'performers' in the sense that they have no 'act' (dancing, but not really belly dancing).  It's difficult to separate them from the fire-dancers in that group.

In any case, I'd not run across a 'Global Music' school (I think that's what she called it), nor did I expect anyone to dance in what looked nearly like Native American decorations (beads and feathers--with the beads as the clackers).

It was a different experience with no jingling.  She actually had a homage to the coin set in a top that had some coin looking things on it, but they didn't jingle.  She clacked and whirred (the feathers and beads, when she was spinning, spun out from her like a little cloud).  Her waist-length black hair was braided up in numbers of pigtails with beads and feathers on them, too.

And she did *three* different sword dances in her set.  I've never seen anybody do more than one before, and they've always had these incredible grimaces of concentration on their faces while they were doing them.

This girl not only did three flawless performances of the sword dance, but actually looked like she was having the time of her life (except for one little bit where she snagged her foot and the sword started getting ahead of her, but she caught it almost immediately--I doubt anyone else noticed).

I was impressed by the performance, but the part that touched me the most was when she found a Brown Recluse in the money pot and transferred her to the wall so she wouldn't be hurt by anyone putting money in for her.

Most girls don't particularly like spiders (kill them on sight).  Some will tolerate them, but few will actively assist one.

She also had some of the most interesting music I've heard for a belly dancer.  I started getting intrigued in the first set when what sounded like bagpipes in the background, and some of it was electronic (nearly Enigma sounding).

Her name was 'Papillion' (when she did one dance using a red/gold tie-dyed cloth she looked almost like a Monarch Butterfly--the black lines being her hair).

Small Towns

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I hadn't really thought about it this way, but I've never wanted to be there from the start.  Maybe it was starting there.

As a kid, I remember going into the city on the train as one of the more exiting things I did.  One of my early favorite singers was Petula Clark, who sang 'Downtown'.

When I moved to Texas, the town I went to school in (and ended up graduating from) was only seventeen thousand when I moved there (over 100K now).  I used to ride my bike all the way to the next city (nearly every week) because there was a movie theatre there.  They didn't build a movie theatre in my town until I was in high school.

But at least it was a movie theater (with a movie screen), and not one of these big-screen TVs on steroids that end up in six-packs (or more) now.

Some of them (notably, the Northpark Cinema, where I saw 'Star Wars') were a few thousand seats, with a screen the size of a basketball court.  They even had smoking (on the left), and you could really sit far enough on the right to not smell it (Texas offered some of the most 'state-of-the-art' A/C units ever seen at that time, especially at places like Northpark).

When you're alone and life is making you lonely

You can always go - downtown.

When you've got worries all the noise and the hurry

Seems to help I know - downtown.

Just listen to the music of the traffic in the city

Linger on the sidewalk where the neon signs are pretty

How can you lose?

The lights are much brighter there

you can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares

so go - downtown

Things will be great when you're - downtown

No finer place for sure - downtown

Everything's waiting for you.

Don't hang around and let your problems surround you

There are movie shows - downtown.

Maybe you know some little places to go to 

where they never close - downtown.

Just listen to the rhythm of a gentle bossa nova

You'll be dancing with 'em too before the night is over 

happy again.

The lights are much brighter there

you can forget all your troubles´, forget all your cares

so go - downtown

Where all the lights are bright - downtown

waiting for you tonight - downtown

you're gonna be alright now




And you may find somebody kind to help and understand you

Someone who is just like you and needs a gentle hand to 

guide them along.

So maybe I'll see you there

we can forget all our troubles, forget all our cares

so go - downtown

Things will be great when you're - downtown

don't wait a minute more - downtown

Everything is waiting for you -





Using iPhone as a Modem

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What this means, in layman's terms, is that (if your PC has Bluetooth) you can walk around with your phone in your pocket and be on the internet on your PC (reh).

You can use iPhone 3G or later as a modem to connect, or tether, your computer to the Internet. You can connect iPhone to your computer using the Dock Connector to USB cable, or via Bluetooth.

NOTE: Additional fees may apply. Contact your carrier for more information.

Tethering works over the cellular data network; you can't share a Wi-Fi connection to the Internet. If you have a 3G connection, you can make and receive phone calls while tethering.

NOTE: To use iPhone as a modem with a Mac computer, it must be running Mac OS X version 10.5.7 or later

Set up a tethering connection:

  1. In Settings, choose General > Network > Internet Tethering.

  2. Slide the Internet Tethering switch to On.

  3. Connect iPhone to your computer:

    • USB:  Connect your computer to iPhone using the Dock Connector to USB cable. In your computer's Network services settings, choose iPhone.

      On a Mac, a pop-up window appears the first time you connect, saying "A new network interface has been detected." Click Network Preferences, configure the network settings for iPhone, then click Apply. On a PC, use the Network Control Panel to select and configure the iPhone connection.

    • Bluetooth:  On iPhone, choose Settings > General > Bluetooth and turn on Bluetooth. Then refer to the documentation that came with your computer system software to pair and connect iPhone with your computer.

When you are connected, a blue band appears at the top of the screen. Tethering remains on when you connect with USB, even when you aren't actively using the Internet connection.

Monitor your cellular data network usage: 

In Settings, choose General > Usage.

Season One, Episode One

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Daniel James Murray, 'Cape Man' who threatened to kill Obama at Utah bank, arrested at Nevada casino

Updated Saturday, June 6th 2009, 1:40 PM

Luck ran out for a gun-loving loon who threatened to killPresident Obama.

Daniel James Murray, 36, was arrested at a casino inLaughlin, Nev., on Friday, ending a nationwide manhunt.

Murray found himself in the cross hairs of federal authorities after he told aUtahbank manager last month he was "on a mission to kill" Obama.

Theupstate New Yorknative, who owns at least eight guns, waltzed intoZions First National BankinSt. Georgeon May 27 to withdraw $12,698 from his savings account, according to a criminal complaint.

He didn't have proper ID, and issued a frightening ultimatum when a bank employee asked him to produce it.

"Not to be disrespectful, but if I don't get this money, someone is going to die," Murray said, according to the complaint.

After receiving his money, Murray added: "We are on a mission to kill the President of the United States," the complaint says.

The formerSaratoga Countyman was believed to have been heading east in a 2001Buick LeSabrewithNew Yorkplates. Residents in Rexford used to call Murray the "Cape Man" - a moniker he earned by walking through his former neighborhood wearing a black cape and muttering to himself.

Read more:http://www.nydailynews.com/news/us_world/2009/06/06/2009-06-06_man_who_threatened_to_.html#ixzz0HkoJ59Lr&C


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So, David Carradine goes overboard in March, saying a lot of non-left things about what he thought about Woodie Guthrie and unions, a lot of critical things about the cinematographer who got an Academy Award for the Woodie Guthrie film, "Bound for Glory", and bringing up the "Hollywood's a bunch of coke-freaks" issue.

By June, he's in a foreign country doing a shoot and just happens to die.


I wonder if the shoot was for 'Six Days in Paradise'?

So, when do they do it?

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If this is 'Camelot' all over again, when does Dallas happen?

Perhaps (being that it's Camel-lot) it will be Cairo?


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I put it together backwards, it's not azucabre, it's chupazúcar.


A little bit wordy, but it's an interesting legal opinion.  I tend to dislike people who go off point and waste time.  I suppose I'd dislike our new Supe if I got to watch her.

I was particularly impressed with the 'pro-se' penalty.  If I were in Congress, I'd propose a bill to ensure that people who don't trust lawyers don't get penalized for it.



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Mentionables ...

It's been days since Israel broke the truce and started murdering Palestinians again.

Pres. Barack Obama
(202) 456-1111

Sen. Dianne Feinstein
(415) 393-0707

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(415) 403-0100

Mike Thompson

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(916) 651-4002

Assm. Wesley Chesbro


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