Thursday, June 30, 2005

US space shuttle Discovery set to launch July 13: NASA

US space shuttle Discovery set to launch July 13: NASA

Update: Despite an independent panels review saying 3 of 15 criteria have not been met, the Space shuttle will be launched. I like that, NASA Administrator, Michael Griffin is willing to accept the advice of his Engineers regardless of what outsiders may say.

BBC-NASA unveils shuttle launch date

Body of Evidence

A little anecdote before I launch into the subject of this post. A couple of days ago, when the Presidents speech started, my wife turned off the T.V. asking the question, "What can he say that we don't already know?" Her question demonstrated what we all may be feeling. When war is always on our minds we may want to escape, we've heard these words before. Why can't it be finished? It was a, valid, sincere question. I answered that he would probably repeat many themes during his speech but that, much of what was said, would bear repeating-for some. Having read the speech, I have realized, my simple answer doesn't suffice. Nothing he said jumped off the page like the Crispin' day speech from Henry V. Nothing that he said was news to me but, he demonstrated, in saying it, that the Commander-and-Chief stands with our troops. The Armed forces have some core principles- finish the mission, never leave a soldier behind- that guides every action. Our President, despite all that he lacks, keeps these principles. He needs to say it again. We should listen.

Some, in the media, would have us believe that no relationship ever existed between al-Qaida and Iraq. This is untrue. The lie has been repeated often and most notably by CNN. Stephen F. Hayes of the Weekly Standard dissects the components of this lie in his article.
"Conveniently, such analyses ignore statements like this one from Thomas Kean, chairman of the 9/11 Commission. "There was no question in our minds that there was a relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda." Hard to believe reporters just missed it--he made

the comments at the press conference held to release the commission's final report. And that report detailed several "friendly contacts" between Iraq and al Qaeda, and concluded only that there was no proof of Iraqi involvement in al Qaeda terrorist attacks against American interests. Details, details."
Body of Evidence

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Open CRS Network - CRS Reports for the People: Postal Reform

"When you control the mail, you control information."
--Newman (Seinfeld)

Can USPS be saved? A recent Congressional research report stated unequivically, "USPS would be bankrupt but for the fact that it is a government entity, with Treasury borrowing rights." Should the Postal Service compete with private industry? From the report.

"There are several components to the argument. One relates to fairness. USPS has many
advantages stemming from its governmental status. It pays no federal, state, or local taxes
on its income, sales, purchases, or property. Unlike private sector companies, it is immune
from most forms of regulation, such as zoning, land use restrictions, motor vehicle
registration, parking tickets, and antitrust. It is also able to borrow money at the lowest
possible rate because it does so through the U.S. Treasury. Companies facing competition
from USPS argue that these factors put them at a great disadvantage (though they tend to
ignore the statutory constraints and regulation by the PRC that USPS faces)."

Open CRS Network - CRS Reports for the People

Utah Wilderness Via Washington - Hurricane Valley Journal

It seems a couple of Senators, (i.e. Durbin, Boxer, Feinstein, Kennedy, Kerry, Leahy and Clinton), have taken it on themselves to save Utah's wilderness from Utah's residents. They want to have 358,000 acres of land declared as wilderness. No Utah Senators are signatories of the Bill. Bennett’s office said it best. “We will not support wilderness designation in other states, so senators from other states should not support legislation for ours.”

Utah Wilderness Via Washington - Hurricane Valley Journal

ObjectGraph Dictionary

Here is a nice dictionary I found that suggests the word you may be trying to spell as you type. It works like Google Suggest.

ObjectGraph Dictionary

US Census Press Releases

US Census Press Releases

Is it time to change the criteria we use in deciding who enters the U.S.? Below are the standards currently used.

"Exclusion and Removal
All aliens must satisfy State Department consular officers abroad and DHS Bureau
of Customs and Border Protection inspectors upon entry to the U.S. that they are not ineligible for visas or admission under the so-called grounds for inadmissibility of the
INA. These criteria categories are:
  • health-related grounds;
  • criminal history;
  • national security and terrorist concerns;
  • public charge (e.g., indigence);
  • seeking to work without proper labor certification;
  • illegal entrants and immigration law violations;
  • lacking proper documents;
  • ineligible for citizenship; and,
  • aliens previously removed."
If we oppose just the above standard, how would we modify it? It appears to me that the Bush plan would temporarily loosen the 'illegal entrants and immigration law violation' standard as long as the worker could prove they had legal work in the country now. Or is it permanent removal of the standard and/or others?

CRS Web (PDF)

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

O'Reilly Network: Top Ten Questions People Ask About Switching to Internet Telephones

I've been thinking about trying VOIP but it won't happen until I get broadband internet. Here is an FYI for those, like me, that are holding out on making the switch.

O'Reilly Network: Top Ten Questions People Ask About Switching to Internet Telephones

Google Earth - Home

I figured this would happen eventually. Keyhole, the subscription service has changed it's name to Google Earth, and is now free. The free download is available here.

Google Earth - Home

CDT: OpenCRS

"American taxpayers spend nearly $100 million a year to fund the Congressional Research Service, a "think tank" that provides reports to members of Congress on a variety of topics relevant to current political events. Yet, these reports are not made available to the public in a way that they can be easily obtained. A project of the Center for Democracy & Technology through the cooperation of several organizations and collectors of CRS Reports, Open CRS provides citizens access to CRS Reports already in the public domain and encourages Congress to provide public access to all CRS Reports."

Open CRS

I'm also providing a link to all available documents on the USA PATRIOT Act.


Monday, June 27, 2005

Hatch: Second letter on PATRIOT

Below is a second letter I received in response to mine that opposed "administrative subpoenas". (Note: I have since changed my mind-I consider the 'subpoena' section to be unnecessary, but harmless.)

Hatch cites in his letter, "...the most important civil liberty: the freedom from future terrorist attacks." Do you agree that our security is our most important value?

"Dear Mr. Farrer

Thank you for your letter expressing your opposition to the expansion of the USA PATRIOT Act. I am always interested in the thoughts and opinions of Utahns and I welcome the opportunity to respond.

As you may know, several sections of the USA PATRIOT Act are set to expire at the end of this year and the Senate is currently debating the reauthorization of these provisions. Please let me reiterate that I share the beliefs underlying your expression of concern. It is critical that Congress respect the limits of government and not attempt to authorize powers that exceed those delegated by our cherished Constitution. Likewise, it is critical that Congress not take action to jeopardize individual civil liberties or other constitutional protections that are the hallmark of our country and its form of government.

I would like to address some misinformation about the USA PATRIOT Act which has led some to call for its repeal. I have studied the implementation of this law at great length. While serving as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee during the 108th Congress, I held numerous hearings on this Act, including a field hearing in Salt Lake City. So far, no one has advanced any credible evidence that the USA PATRIOT Act has eroded the civil liberties that we hold dear as Americans. To the contrary, the USA PATRIOT ACT has enabled the Justice Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Central Intelligence Agency to save American lives and protect what is perhaps the most important civil liberty: the freedom from future terrorist attacks.

It is extremely important to note that all the information gathering activities conducted under the authority of the USA PATRIOT Act are conducted under the careful scrutiny and supervision of the judicial branch, which has the power both to terminate unlawful intrusions and to punish those who violate their court orders. The USA PATRIOT Act does not change the role played by the judiciary in the oversight of Federal law enforcement activities. For example, Federal agents must still have probable cause and then obtain judicial approval before they can search a residence or install a wiretap or pen register to gather information.

Beyond that, courts still have the power to suppress evidence obtained illegally and in violation of the Constitution. Every one of these authorized actions must be done pursuant to specific legal protections and valid court orders which require the government to meet exacting legal standards. Further, in many cases, there is a requirement that any gathering of information be minimized, which requires agents to obtain only information that relates to terrorist or criminal activity. There is no provision for monitoring innocent communications.

I have always been sensitive to the need for protections of our nation's civil liberties against unwarranted government invasions. In drafting the USA PATRIOT Act, I worked to balance carefully legitimate privacy concerns against the rights of our citizens to be free from terrorist attacks. This was a difficult-but mandatory-balance.

The only substantial addition or expansion to the USA PATRIOT Act currently being considered is the inclusion of what has been called an "administrative subpoena" power. You should know that this power is currently used in many various criminal (non-terrorist) investigations and prosecutions and has been found in court to be constitutional in those contexts. Adding these powers to those included in the USA PATRIOT Act would give those fighting terrorism the same tools that have been proven to be effective and appropriate in other cases. However, I believe that before any such provision is adopted, it should be carefully examined to ensure that it adheres to limits set in the Constitution. I remain committed to a thorough and thoughtful debate on this issue.

Thank you, once again, for your letter. Though we may disagree on some of these issues, I hope my comments have been helpful.

Sincerely,

Orrin G. Hatch
United States Senator"

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Barbara Lerner on Iraq and Syria on National Review Online

I get the feeling that since Bush made foreign policy the focus in his first term that he is trying to reinvent himself, second term, as being equally strong on domestic issues. Well, he targeted domestic policy from the start but, 9/11 made a shift inevitable. He has made a strong showing on Social Security, but he needs to refocus the nation back on national security. National Review has similar criticism for Bush for losing courage on the war-front abroad. Lerner says that in framing the war in Iraq as a war on Iraq Bush has let other enemies, like Syria, fortify themselves.

Barbara Lerner on Iraq and Syria on National Review Online

GPS-less geocaching

I got this new GPS unit for my birthday and have had some fun with it. In addition to using it when hiking and climbing I thought I would try geocaching. Apparently anyone, even those without GPS, can go geocaching with the help of a couple of online tools.
  • First, if you have Firefox, get the following greasemonkey script.
  • Go to GoogleMaps and type in your starting address.
  • Click on the geocache icon in the upper-right corner of screen to find nearby geocaches.
  • Now that you have the Lat/Long coordinates you can go to this GPS coordinate converter to view a GoogleMap of the Geocache location.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Monday, June 20, 2005

Newt Gingrich on John Bolton on National Review Online

This is as good a reference as any for John Bolton. It's time for Congress to stop stalling and confirm Bolton.

Newt Gingrich on John Bolton on National Review Online

YubNub

Have you ever wanted to use the commandline on the internet? Give YubNub a try. Let me suggest a list of the first commands you can try.
ls
ge
sb

YubNub

Robert Novak: The Bolton charade

Robert Novak thinks that Bolton won't get enough votes to be confirmed tonight which will force Bush to either put him in or "accepting defeat". The Democrats are blustering that this not about a "...fishing expedition".

Robert Novak: The Bolton charade

Friday, June 17, 2005

SLJPP: Testimony on Tax Reform.

The Sutherland Institute president, Paul T. Mero, has testified before the Tax commission and proposed that any tax reform we have should have the family as it's core value. He proposed that there are five things that can be seen as the center point on which any public policy is built.
"Every public policy has a center point, or core, toward which a policy’s application is
directed by certain underlying assumptions. Historically, competition for this center or core
has been among five institutions: the individual, the family, the corporation, the church,
and the state…These [five] center points are at the heart of all public policies."
Mero says Governor Walkers 'balanced system' is centered in the State. Without saying so explicitly he alluded that Governor Huntsman has chosen to place the corporation at the center. Libertarians will place the individual at the center.

He goes on to say that, by placing the family at the center, all of these other values are benefited. Public policy has a tendency to focus on dysfunction in families, rather than what works. It can suffer from a myopic view that misses the broad scope and the long picture. A public policy centered on families should place it's focus on rewarding the ideal family, not the imperfect family. He suggests that taxes should be taken from income, and moved to tax consumption. Exceptions for food could be made so that a family is not made to go hungry.

He also suggests that we move education funding to sales tax.
"By linking the state income tax to public schools, as we have for nearly sixty years, we have created ugly
and unfortunate policy trade-offs. I believe this well-intended, but short-sighted, legacy has done more
than any other single policy to antiquate our tax code. Moreover, we are forced to choose between
education funding and any incentives that require an income tax credit, deduction, or exemption. It is
unnecessary and avoidable."

SJLPP
Tax reform(PDF)

deseretnews.com | Lawmakers swap barbs over competing tax plans

A bunch of different ideas are surfacing about how to simplify taxes in Utah. Yet all of these plans have one thing in common. Lawmakers want to wipe the slate clean-almost. Nobel laureate Milton Friedman argued that tax reforms may be inacted to insure the happiness of the lawmaker. In other words a fresh start provides for future opportunities to appeal to special interest groups. The tax foundation wrote on this back in May. I've been sitting on the article until I felt it was most relevant. An entire ebook is also available for those eager beavers. (pdf)

deseretnews.com | Lawmakers swap barbs over competing tax plans

Ex-Government Execs Pitch Patriot Act Deal

Several former government officials have suggested an amendment to PATRIOT that would allow for obtaining business records, and would restrict access to disallow libraries and bookstores from being subpoenaed. Among those signatories are Andrew McCarthy, who is responsible for changing my mind on 'administrative subpoenas'; Bradford Berenson, former counsel to Bush and; James Dempsey, "...a former House Judiciary Committee counsel who is now with the Center for Democracy and Technology."

Ex-Government Execs Pitch Patriot Act Deal

Sensenbrenner Floor Statement Regarding Question of Personal Privilege : ArriveNet Press Releases : Politics

Allow me to provide some background on this subject. Last Friday, in a Judiciary Comittee hearing called by the Democrats, witnesses gave testimony unrelated to the subject of the hearing. Questions posed by the Democrats were also unrelated. After all had spoken, Sensenbrenner adjurned the meeting citing the irrelevance of the testimony. I have blogged on this on two, separate, occasions. Yesterday, Representative Nadler introduced a resolution asking for Sensenbrenner to be reprimanded for his conduct. The resolution was quickly tabled but, not until, both sides spoke. Sensenbrenner's statement was bold and to the point. He yielded back his remaining time to the floor which demonstrated, to me, his confidence in his position.

Sensenbrenner Floor Statement Regarding Question of Personal Privilege : ArriveNet Press Releases : Politics

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | New model 'permits time travel'

Let me get this straight. I can travel back in time to kill my father but only if my father was dead when I left to kill him. Yeah...that makes sense.

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | New model 'permits time travel'

KUTV: Utah Legislators Move Toward Flat Tax

Is anyone else besides the L.D.S. Church opposed to a true flat tax? Apparently, Utah legislatures are opposed to it. The Church came out with a statement in May supporting exemptions for charitable contributions. The legislature is moving toward exemptions for low-income families, and none for anything else. It's odd to see the Churches view ignored considering that 80 percent of our lawmakers are L.D.S.

KUTV: Utah Legislators Move Toward Flat Tax

pashdown - Slashdot User

Pete Ashdown is also a reader of Slashdot and comments on the same. For a view on this novice politicians, off the cuff, opinions click below.

pashdown - Slashdot User

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Pete Ashdown: My email and his response

Subject: Recent email attack recommending boycott of Xmission

As a registered Republican, myself, I was disappointed to see that
Xmission has become the subject of a boycott due to your bid for
Senate in 2006. I thought you might like to know that I've blogged
about the issue in your favor. The link to the post is below. Please
feel free to reference my post, meager as it is, in any way you would
like. Best of luck in your campaign!

http://farrercommons.blogspot.com/2005/06/ksl-blog-politics-boycott-email-sent.html

Subject: Re:Recent email attack recommending boycott of Xmission

Thank you for your support Tyler and thanks for the mention. I do not in any
sense label the entire Republican party with the actions of one extremist. In
fact, since the email was sent, I've received far more support from
Republicans who are as disappointed as you are, than from anyone supporting
the boycott.

Also, I do not think Mr. Kuchinsky is a co-owner of the City Weekly. He
attempted to start another paper, the "Utah Weekly" if I recall correctly as a
competitor to the City Weekly. I think the "Utah Weekly" folded after about
20 weeks.

Sideblog is back

Sideblog is back for the time being. I think I can forgive the short absense.

TheFeature :: Mind Control Made Simple

Imagine a device that would alert you when driving if you started to fall asleep. The sensor to do this could be attached to your standard hands-free headset and it would read your brainwaves just as EEG's have since 1929.

TheFeature :: Mind Control Made Simple

KSL Blog: Politics!: Boycott email sent

Pete Ashdown has suffered his first political attack of the 2006 Campaign, and the race hasn't yet begun. I'm starting to like Ashdown even more based on the quality of the attacks against him. Rich Kuchinsky has urged in an email that Republicans boycott Xmission.

If this is the same Kuchinsky that is co-owner of 'City Weekly'(Should have been Utah Weekly), then his words should be taken with a grain of salt. "Anyone who is a real conservative should distance themselves from him because his behavior has been less than honorable. … Rich Kuchinsky is the least honorable man I’ve ever had the displeasure of knowing," says a former editor of the publication, Preston McConkie. Are there any Republicans that would be willing to boycott 'City Weekly' with me? I'm providing a link, so you may see the source of the above quote, but I recommend this as the last time you view the website. Please visit 'City Weekly' as often as you wish. Media Beat - March 13, 2003

KSL Blog: Politics!:Boycott email sent

Sustainable Energy Source Could Solve Bermuda Triangle Riddle

An ancient bacteria, able to create large amounts of methane gas, may be the cause of so many mysterious disappearances of craft in the Bermuda Triangle. I'm typing fast 'lest this post disappear!
Sustainable Energy Source Could Solve Bermuda Triangle Riddle

Agenda Utah Daily Newsletter: Group wants to split Utah

I thought this had to be a joke, except the source seems reliable. A grassroots group wants to split up Utah into two states. (Hat-tip Charley Foster)

Agenda Utah Daily Newsletter

Pete Ashdown: Senate 2006

This is not an endorsement, rather, an FYI. Pete Ashdown is running for Senate against Orrin Hatch, and has smartly setup a website to that effect already. He started the ISP Xmission in 1993 which, incidentally, was my first ISP.

House votes to repeal part of Patriot Act | csmonitor.com

I thought I was done talking about PATRIOT--but not so. The House has voted to repeal one controversial measure of the Act, section 215. It is commonly known as the 'library provision', although libraries are not mentioned once. It would have impossed a 'gag order' on institutions to prevent them contacting a lawyer once records had been obtained by investigators. Previously, such records, would have been limited to travel documents. Under the provision, the scope of documents would have been unlimited. It is unclear to me why the scope of documents available for perusal should be limited?

House votes to repeal part of Patriot Act | csmonitor.com

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Guantanamo guards tell of prisoner attack - Nation/Politics - www.washingtontimes.com, America's Newspaper

This story ought to be called, 'Prisoners caught infringing on the human rights of Quantanamo guards.' Any naysayers can request a copy of the videotape of this incident.

Guantanamo guards tell of prisoner attack - Nation/Politics - www.washingtontimes.com, America's Newspaper

KSL NewsRadio 1160:Carp Eradication Project Underway at Utah Lake

The article says that 'Federal Biologists', (whatever that is), are netting as many carp as they can in order to get an idea of what to do to eliminate them from Utah lake.

Carpe Carp (seize the Carp--I've always wanted a good reason to say that)

KSL NewsRadio 1160

Photo in the News: Ultra-Lifelike Robot Debuts in Japan

Leave it to the Japanese to break ground on the first androids. They've built a uber-realistic humanoid machine. What does it do? Look human of course! It's tomorrows trash-today.

Photo in the News: Ultra-Lifelike Robot Debuts in Japan

WinZip goes a Googling | WinZip goes a Googling | News.blog | CNET News.com

It appears that by bundling Google Toolbar with it's compression software that WinZip may have inadvertantly turned google into a spyware company. Utah is one state that has passed anti-spyware legislation. Is Google, or WinZip culpable under this law?

WinZip goes a Googling | WinZip goes a Googling | News.blog | CNET News.com

Google Search: Diane Feinstein "I have no reported"

Farrer Commons turned up yesterday as the sixth result on google for the following search. How interesting?

Google Search: Diane Feinstein "I have no reported"

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Daniel Griswold's Senate Testimony May 26, 2005

I haven't touched the topic of immigration in this blog. Since I seem to have run out of steam on PATRIOT, I think I'll broach the subject now. Daniel Griswold of the CATO Institute has testified before a subcommitee of Congress regarding the problem of illegal immigration as well as some of the cost involved in securing the borders. He also offers reasoning as to why the Bush plan could work of offering legal status to working immigrants. Check back for my own opinions on this topic but, for now, see the complete transcript of his testimony.

Daniel Griswold's Senate Testimony May 26, 2005

Salt Lake Tribune - Utah::Can anyone knock out heavyweight Hatch?

Assuming you primarily vote Republican and wanted Senator Hatch out of office. Would you vote for someone of another party? In a survey of 400 adults in Utah, 42 percent would support Hatch for a sixth term. The odds are stacked in his favor. It seems that nobody is going to challenge Hatch in his own party and since the Democrats have the most to gain from outing him, they would be the best bet to boot him out. Utah seems to be the state where declared liberals can have a similar voting record as avowed conservatives. Is it a cardinal sin to vote for the other side, once, or not?
Salt Lake Tribune - Utah

Monday, June 13, 2005

Hearing on Patriot Act Ends in an Angry Uproar - New York Times

I'm glad that I posted on this event before reading the innaccuracies represented in this article by the New York Times. Allow me to mention a few corrections of this article before you read it.

  • Chip Pitts did not call Gitmo, "the gulag of our time" during the hearing.
  • The Democrats abused parlimentary calls every time they were invoked. Two specific calls were made. First, "Point of Order", which should be followed with a query as to the rules of that body. Second, "Point of Personal Priviledge", which is a way one might ask permission to go to the bathroom. Each of these calls were, in fact, followed with a speech on PATRIOT which took time from the individual currently questioning, or speaking.
  • It should not be surprising that Sensenbrenner would not recognize Nadler's point of order after the gavel had struck, and the hearing was closed.
Sensenbrenner's reasons for closing the hearing were valid. The subject for which the hearing had been called had not been addressed by the witnesses. They needed to testify in front of a different body so that their concerns could be heard.

Hearing on Patriot Act Ends in an Angry Uproar - New York Times

Andrew C. McCarthy on Patriot Act on National Review Online

Thank you Andrew McCarthy for setting me straight on PATRIOT. He contends in his article that 'Administrative subpoenas' aren't the Constitutional wrench, in the works of our liberties, I was led to believe.

I guess I have been trying so hard to see the perspective of those who fear government prosecution, that I have been duped myself.

On the subject of fear, I watched a 'pseudo-hearing', on Friday, held by the Judicial committee of the House in which luminaries like Amnesty international were called to testify on PATRIOT abuses. As it turned out, the testimonies centered on allegations regarding Gitmo detainees and immigration prosecutions, primarily, unrelated to PATRIOT at all. The hearing was summarily closed by the Chair when questions and answers ventured so far outside of the subject matter, for which, the hearing was convened. Oddly enough the Democrats stayed and continued questioning the 'witnesses' after the hearing was gavelled to a close--a kind of protest. The Left were brazen in their abuse of house rules as they, repeatedly, called 'point of order' and 'point of personal priviledge', interrupting their counterparts time, only to make a speech, themselves, rather than requesting a bathroom break, or asking for clarification on the rules as would be allowed under the rules.

So, returning to reason and reality, I refer you to McCarthy on PATRIOT.

Andrew C. McCarthy on Patriot Act on National Review Online

Best of Sideblog

I've kept a record of all of the posts appearing along my sidebar. I thought, since sideblog.com allowed it's domain to expire--and it led such a short life, that I would post all of the links that weren't good enough to justify their own post.

Inflation Calculator
NASA finds spy space suits
A VC: Bagging the Post
Secrets of the A-List Bloggers: Lots of short entries
IT Conversations
Call The Internet
Nelly Pimp Juice - $1.99!
Anonymity complete GUIDE
Where's George? ® 2.0
Science Articles || Science Blog Community
Wired News: Computers No Cure for Dumb Docs
Farrer Commons: URLex: Comment on the Web-literally
AudiOracle - Rare and Valuable CDs
ThinkGeek :: Marshmallow Shooter
USA PATRIOT REGISTRATION - WHITEHOUSE.ORG
Math Says Homeland Security Committee Most Partisan
KSL News: Federal Board Rejects State Appeal on Goshute Nuclear Dump
Asymmetrical Information
Google Content Blocker
Times and Seasons
Dead Pixels Test
Sam's Archive - How to destroy the Earth
Slashdot | Engineers Have More Sons, Nurses More Daughters
doiop.com
Star Wars - Mr Potato Head Darth Tater review
blogpoly
Humans programmed to kill, scientist says
I-Hacked.com Taking Advantage Of Technology - Transmit Audio with a Laser Pen
Things Other People Accomplished When They Were Your Age
Front Page Newspapers
Thought Thieves
MOOX
One of the coolest ads I've ever seen.
Will you find Celebrity addresses for me at ZabaSearch?
This can reduce the price of gas.
I don't see how this lowers the price of gas?
Google Webaccelerator
Ivan Flint has been elected chairman of the Utah Board of Water Resources.
CSPAN 2 Listening to Bob Barr on PATRIOT Sec. 213 He keeps correcting himself, meaning to say "Noticeless", when he says "Warrantless" searches. Counted it 6 times.
Type in your zip and get local news.
You ought to know by now I'm always trying new things. I've put up sideblog for random thoughts, and half-baked ideas.

Science Articles || Science Blog Community

Boy! I really didn't comprehend this at all on Friday when I originally posted this. This event won't actually occur until July 4th.

I'm estimating that in about 16 hours, the first 'hyper-speed' impact with a comet and a manmade craft will occur. 2 hours before impact the craft will enter into autopilot, and drive itself into the comet at 6.3 miles per second.
"The crater produced by the impact could range in size from a large house up to a football stadium from two to 14 stories deep. Ice and dust debris will be ejected from the crater, revealing the material beneath. The flyby spacecraft has approximately 13 minutes to take images and spectra of the collision and its result before it must endure a potential blizzard of particles from the nucleus of the comet."


Science Articles || Science Blog Community

Thursday, June 09, 2005

CNN.com - Bush to Congress: Renew Patriot Act - Jun 9, 2005

I don't usually take my cues from the President on the real substantive issues, since I know he is going to deliver the most watered-down information. Of course, he is given good information himself, but that goes through a filter before it reaches the public. That is not to say that I ignore everything he says, but I understand his role is push his own agenda. I may not always agree with his agenda.

Here is one of the problems I am having in discussing the PATRIOT Act. Due to the sunset provisions of PATRIOT there is a change from day to day in the risks, and protections the bill can offer. Whenever Congress has a hearing, those that testify are only obligated to speak to the provisions that are implemented into law--Not those that could be law. If PAREA, which recently made it through the Intelligence Commitee, is made into law, then PATRIOT becomes an entirely different beast than it is now.

CNN quotes President Bush as follows:

"Sen. Dianne Feinstein worked with civil rights groups to monitor the use of the Patriot Act; here's what she said: 'We've scrubbed the area, and I have no reported abuses,'"

"Remember that the next time you hear someone make an unfair criticism of this important, good law."

A criticism of PATRIOT is a different thing than an admonition on how to proceed in implementing PAREA.

CNN.com - Bush to Congress: Renew Patriot Act - Jun 9, 2005

Sideblog.com: Domain name expired.

I noticed a good portion of my blog's margin was missing this morning. A little research led me to discover that the domain name for the service that I use to post to my margins had expired. It's okay if it is gone permanently since I was considering writing some of my own code to syndicate RSS feeds in my margins. I would have dumped sideblog for that in a heartbeat.

Geek Trivia: Air (and space) mail

It's too bad that so many of our visions of the future never come to pass. It is fortunate , however, that some ideas die early. Take the 1950's idea of launching mail via unarmed cruise missles.

"On June 8, 1959, 46 years ago, the U.S. submarine Barbero conducted the first and last test of so-called "Missile Mail," a concept that involved using a warhead-less Regulus cruise missile to carry—I'm not making this up—postal containers."


Geek Trivia: Air (and space) mail

LiveScience.com - The Z Machine

The Z-Machine is in the category of technologies that just look so cool! If I could just get with the times, and post pictures on my blog you could see it here. But, you'll have to follow the link because I'm old fashioned. LiveScience is reporting an upgrade of the device, capable of simulating a nuclear bomb, will happen soon. So, what would an upgrade of the Z-machine entail, anyway?
"Housed at Sandia National Laboratories, the Z machine attracted a lot of attention eight years ago when its energy output more than quadrupled – raising hopes that the reactions in the Z could provide a new source of clean, abundant power. To help further progress towards this end, the machine is getting a $61.7 million upgrade, officials announced recently."
LiveScience.com - The Z Machine

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Hatch's response on PATRIOT

Below is the text of Senator Hatch's letter given in response to mine that was dated May 25th.

June 1, 2005

"Dear Mr. Farrar: (sic)

Thank you for your letter regarding the USA PATRIOT Act and related issues.

You may be interested to know that we are working hard every day on these issues. We continue to hold hearings on the USA PATRIOT Act re-authorization effort and I continue to listen to both sides in this debate. I appreciate and respect your sentiments and I thank you for taking the time to write. The 'administrative subpoena power' is a powerful tool currently used by law enforcement in the context of criminal (non-terrorist) cases. This has been challenged and found to be constitutional in current use contexts. However, I agree with you that this issue deserves very serious scrutiny and I intend to give law enforcement they (sic) tools they need AND maintain the civil liberties of all Americans (sic)

Again, I thank you for your input on this issue and I appreciate your support.

Sincerely,

Orrin G. Hatch
United States Senator"

Cato Daily Dispatch for June 8, 2005

It appears that the Senate Intelligence Committee went ahead and approved the expanded provisions in PATRIOT, known as PAREA (is it pronounced pariah?). I recieved a response from Senator Orrin Hatch yesterday leading me to assume the provision would pass the commitee. I'll post his response in full later. The CATO institute has released a dispatch with more information.

Cato Daily Dispatch for June 8, 2005

Coming in out of the cold: Cold fusion, for real | csmonitor.com

Could this be real cold fusion? Read the article and you'll realize that it still takes more energy to create fusion, than can be generated by the fusion, so this isn't a pie-in-the-sky claim. It may never break even, and be used as a source of energy, but may be used for very tiny scanning machines. The researchers used a very powerful electric field to slam atoms together. This is a different approach from what has been attempted in the past where scientists have tried to replicate the conditions on the sun by generating intense heat and pressure.

Coming in out of the cold: Cold fusion, for real | csmonitor.com

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

'Secret' Senate meeting on Patriot Act | csmonitor.com

The Christian Science Monitor has a good summary of all of the debate that has transpired over PATRIOT reauthorization or, in other words, PAREA. As noted previously, I've never supported PAREA as long as "administrative subpoena's are included, but I still support the reauthorization of PATRIOT. In my mind, the crux of the matter is this; no judge-no dice. In an odd moment, I agree with Diane Feinstein when she says, "This is a very broad power, with no check on that power. It's carte blanche for a fishing expedition."

'Secret' Senate meeting on Patriot Act | csmonitor.com

Monday, June 06, 2005

IT Conversations: Paul Graham

Although, I'm not much of a hacker, I found this to be an interesting listen. Mr. Graham defines why a creative work environment is crippled by placing people in cubicles, and having strictly defined work schedules, and poorly defined projects.

Great Hackers

Google Search: define:et al

I wish I knew some latin. Type in 'define:et al' in google's search engine and you will see the consensus is that it is an abbreviation that means "and others". You will also see that it could be an abbreviation for a number of things, including:

Google Search: define:et al

Do any authorities on latin grammar want to weigh in on this? This is why legalese can be so confusing? Latin schmatin!

Mind Hacks: IBM to simulate the "entire brain"

IBM is embarking on a 'decade' long effort to simulate the human brain. This sounds far-fetched to me. But, methinks in shooting for the stars, there is a fair chance someone will hit the moon, which is a worthy target.

Mind Hacks: IBM to simulate the "entire brain"

CNN.com - The machine that can copy anything - Jun 2, 2005

Is this one step closer to the Von Neummann Universal Constructor? Or, in layterms, a self-replicating device?

CNN.com - The machine that can copy anything - Jun 2, 2005

Friday, June 03, 2005

CNN.com - John Dean: Deep Throat revelation creates another mystery - Jun 3, 2005

CNN.com - John Dean: Deep Throat revelation creates another mystery - Jun 3, 2005

Jerry Taylor & Peter Van Doren on Gasoline and Oil Prices on NRO Financial

The National Review has an article explaining why subsidizing oil refineries, or providing cheap land to build new ones, does little to drop the price of gas. See also, this story regarding Senator Hatch's sponsorship of a bill that would provide tax breaks to new oil refineries. Also, see this story about a recent discovery in Utah. If Congress can stay clear, as it has, of gasoline production, then the price of gas will likely go down.

Jerry Taylor & Peter Van Doren on Gasoline and Oil Prices on NRO Financial

How Mark Felt Became 'Deep Throat'

There are plenty of links to this story elsewhere, but it bears repeating. I can't help but think that the story was already written, and that Woodward just held onto it until it was 'allowed' to be published. How many revisions have taken place over the years?

How Mark Felt Became 'Deep Throat'

Thursday, June 02, 2005

OpinionJournal - Featured Article

The Wall Street Journal Editorial page has a great article on why activist judges are such a problem, as well as the tactics used, by judges, in legislating from the bench. The article is adapted from a book to be published this fall, and edited by, the controversial judge, Robert Bork. He is controversial in his opinion that judges should judge, and legislatures make laws. The proposal in this article of, "...restoring the 14th Amendment to its original meaning..." as a way to solve the problem of judicial activism is intriguing.

OpinionJournal - Featured Article

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

IsraCast: Technology in Israel

An Israeli inventor says he has invented an underwater breathing device that extracts dissolved oxygen out of water via a centrifuge. No oxygen tanks would be required. It takes advantage of a physical law called the "Henry Law", that speaks to the amount of gas that can be dissolved in a liquid. Patent pending in the U.S., so we may wait a while before we know if this works? My B.S. detector really wants to go off on this one, but I don't understand, fully, the science behind it. Anyone willing to weigh in on this one?

IsraCast: Technology in Israel