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Clarity Sought on Electronics Searches

Posted on February 7th, 2008 at 22:19 by John Sinteur in category: News


The seizure of electronics at U.S. borders has prompted protests from travelers who say they now weigh the risk of traveling with sensitive or personal information on their laptops, cameras or cellphones. In some cases, companies have altered their policies to require employees to safeguard corporate secrets by clearing laptop hard drives before international travel.

I’ve got a better idea: I won’t be visiting.

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Posted on February 7th, 2008 at 18:49 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon




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Democracy needs an informed electorate

Posted on February 7th, 2008 at 16:43 by John Sinteur in category: Indecision 2008, What were they thinking?


In Florida, election officials across the state fielded hundreds of phone calls from confused voters asking where they could vote Tuesday, apparently unaware that Florida’s presidential primary was last week.

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Obama Campaign Projects Deadlocked Race After Primaries Finish

Posted on February 7th, 2008 at 15:29 by John Sinteur in category: Indecision 2008


Barack Obama’s campaign is forecasting that the Democratic presidential race will remain deadlocked after the primaries end, and the outcome may depend on a fight over whether delegations from Florida and Michigan are counted.

By the time the last primary is held June 7, Obama’s advisers project he will have 1,806 delegates to 1,789 for New York Senator Hillary Clinton, according to a document outlining the scenario that was inadvertently attached to a release on delegate counts from yesterday’s Super Tuesday primaries.

The forecast doesn’t include Florida and Michigan, which were stripped of delegates by the Democratic National Committee for holding primaries ahead of the schedule set out by the party. Clinton, who won uncontested primaries in both states, is vowing a fight to have those delegates — slated to be 366 in total — seated at the nominating convention.

It is a good American Tradition to have elections decided by lawsuits and judges in Florida, and this one appears to be headed for a similar conclusion. It looks like Hillary took a lesson from the Bush dynasty on this one…

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  1. Well, you can’t deny it is weird, when in a democracy, a party says: ok, your votes don’t count.
    I think Florida and Michigan vs. the Democratic Party could happen.

  2. Florida and Michigan were more like;

    State: “We’re going to do X”.
    Party: “If you do that, your votes won’t be counted”.
    State; “We’re doing it anyway.”
    Party: “Okay, your votes won’t be counted.”

  3. Yes, but who do they hurt? the Democratic Party Electorates, or the people who actually went to vote, and those who could not, as your other post says?

    Sorry, it was confusing, I meant John from the Street when I said Florida and Michigan. The actual voters.

  4. As long as there’s a two party system, the votes are screwed anyway..

  5. Tell me… here the right wing stated that one party could work good enough. They too think the votes are screwed with the 2 party and 2 subteam systems…

  6. If there is a lawsuit over the primaries from either side I will be voting Republican. I have always believed in the stated values of the Democrats, but I have become increasingly sick of the players. It doesn’t matter what someone says if you see that all that matters is winning. I want to reiterate that point because people don’t seem to understand it and it is important: If someone has no integrity, then the fact that they appear to agree with you in word does not mean anything. Can we all agree on that? For instance — GW ran on a small government ticket, and delivered record deficits throughout his term. So even a conservative voter should not have voted for him, regardless of his stated values.

    I would like to see some integrity return to this process, or I can’t imagine that any of it matters at all anymore.


Posted on February 7th, 2008 at 15:17 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon


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Is that a democracy?

Posted on February 7th, 2008 at 15:16 by John Sinteur in category: Indecision 2008

Here’s an odd way to look at things… make a list of all the states that each candidate “won” by more than 60% of the vote:

Arkansas 69%

Idaho 80%
Kansas 74%
Alaska 74%
Colorado 67%
Minnesota 67%
Georgia 66%
Illinois 64%
North Dakota 61%

Utah 90%


And yet McCain is just about the only “sure winner” and *this* close to getting the candidacy. What an odd thing the US democracy is…

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  1. Data can be sliced and diced any old way you like to get whatever result you like. I’m not sure what that exercise reveals if you’re ignoring the size of the states’ populations. AST goes on to note (on the page where you sourced this) that Obama’s top five victories came in caucus states and thus weren’t obtained in a regular public ballot vote. That seems to me a more interesting factoid to look at if you want to comment on the way democracy is working here. But remember, the primary process is to some extent a process private to the political parties. In most other countries, including the Netherlands, the public doesn’t get to select the parties’ candidates at all!

  2. True. But at least there’s more than two lizards to choose from.

  3. Oh, and besides, it’s just as much a comment on how much McCain is disliked by the hardcore R voter..

  4. In a field of four candidates, you expect the leading candidate to get a number of 60% victories? Around here we call it a “landslide” if you get 60% in a TWO person race!

    I won’t claim that McCain is popular with “hardcore” Republicans, but I don’t think you can conclude it based on the observation you made. At least two of the other candidates ran to the right of McCain. Somehow, he’s still the leading Republican vote getter.

  5. In a field of four candidates, you expect the leading candidate to get a number of 60% victories?

    No, but in a field of four candidates where one candidate is universally assumed to be the winner by a large margin, I’d expect that winner to have gotten to the 60% point in at least one of the primaries.

    And my “the R dislikes McCain” point admittedly isn’t just based on this article – I’ve been reading this rss feed, and it’s been, ehm, illuminating (or at least very funny)…

DoD Shortchanges Troops on Kevlar in Helmets; Gets Called Out

Posted on February 7th, 2008 at 14:58 by John Sinteur in category: Mess O'Potamia


I’ll sum this up: A company called Sioux Manufacturing provided the U.S. military with defective Kevlar helmets.  The Defense Department knew about this and still chose to give the company a new $74 million contract for more armor.

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Is Obama a Mac and Clinton a PC?

Posted on February 7th, 2008 at 12:45 by John Sinteur in category: Indecision 2008, What were they thinking?


On one thing, the experts seem to agree. The differences between hillaryclinton.com and barackobama.com can be summed up this way: Barack Obama is a Mac, and Hillary Clinton is a PC.

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  1. you mean, he is a closed system where user cannot know what happens, but it’s glittery?
    He did not convince me. Same politico type as the rest. Too much smiling, too much general speech, and he always avoid answering precise questions.

  2. I’d say, bring all the candidates over for a European tour, where each country gets to do both a panel debate like on US TV but with European style questions, and one-on-one interviews with the top journalists in the country. Broadcast it all live on each major US channel.

    Any candidate surviving that may actually do some good in the White House.

Police: Principal Cropped Student’s Face Onto Pornographic Images

Posted on February 7th, 2008 at 12:19 by John Sinteur in category: If you're in marketing, kill yourself


A Central Florida elementary school principal was arrested Friday on suspicion of possessing and creating child pornography, including pictures of a girl who attended the school last year, officials said.


According to a Polk County sheriff’s report, Stelmack took routine photographs of children in a school setting, including a 10-year-old who attended Scott Lake Elementary last year, and digitally superimposed their faces onto nude images. The identified girl’s facial image was on four of the pictures, and another unidentified female child’s face was placed on the body of another nude image, the report stated.

Of course, when an advertiser does this nobody complains.

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Papers Show Wachovia Knew of Thefts

Posted on February 7th, 2008 at 11:39 by John Sinteur in category: If you're in marketing, kill yourself


Last spring, Wachovia bank was accused in a lawsuit of allowing fraudulent telemarketers to use the bank’s accounts to steal millions of dollars from unsuspecting victims. When asked about the suit, bank executives said they had been unaware of the thefts.

But newly released documents from that lawsuit now show that Wachovia had long known about allegations of fraud and that the bank, in fact, solicited business from companies it knew had been accused of telemarketing crimes.


“YIKES!!!!” wrote one Wachovia executive in 2005, warning colleagues that an account used by telemarketers had drawn 4,500 complaints in just two months. “DOUBLE YIKES!!!!” she added. “There is more, but nothing more that I want to put into a note.”

However, Wachovia continued processing fraudulent transactions for that account and others, partly because the bank charged fraud artists a large fee every time a victim spotted a bogus transaction and demanded their money back. One company alone paid Wachovia about $1.5 million over 11 months, according to investigators.

“We are making a ton of money from them,” wrote Linda Pera, a Wachovia executive, in 2005 about a company that was later accused by federal prosecutors of helping steal up to $142 million.

Ms. Pera left Wachovia in 2006, and could not be located.

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Uncounted Rio Arriba County ballots raise eyebrows

Posted on February 7th, 2008 at 11:25 by John Sinteur in category: Indecision 2008


The New Mexico Democratic Party caucus may be tainted by three ballot boxes that spent the night in the home of the Rio Arriba County party chair or the homes of other local election officials instead of being reported to the state party.

Those ballots still haven’t been counted, but they have been retrieved by the state party.

Several sources told me the ballot boxes spent the night at the home of Rio Arriba County Democratic Party Chair Theresa Martinez, whose state-lawmaker husband, Sen. Richard Martinez, endorsed Hillary Clinton. But Richard Martinez told Santa Fe New Mexican reporter Kate Nash that the boxes actually spent the night in the homes of three polling-place managers. He gave Nash no explanation for why the results from those ballots weren’t reported to the state party last night and why they were instead kept overnight in officials’ homes.

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AP Confirms Secret Camp Inside Gitmo

Posted on February 7th, 2008 at 10:01 by John Sinteur in category: News


Somewhere amid the cactus-studded hills on this sprawling Navy base, separate from the cells where hundreds of men suspected of links to al-Qaida and the Taliban have been locked up for years, is a place even more closely guarded — a jailhouse so protected that its very location is top secret.

For the first time, the top commander of detention operations at Guantanamo has confirmed the existence of the mysterious Camp 7. In an interview with The Associated Press, Rear Adm. Mark Buzby also provided a few details about the maximum-security lockup.

Guantanamo commanders said Camp 7 is for key alleged al-Qaida members, who must be kept apart from other prisoners to prevent them from retaliating against long-term detainees who have talked to interrogators. They also want the location kept secret for fear of terrorist attack.

A terrorist attack against Gitmo? Really? Can somebody please find the definition of “clinically paranoid delusion” for them?

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Bottom Line for (Red)

Posted on February 7th, 2008 at 9:56 by John Sinteur in category: If you're in marketing, kill yourself


In its March 2007 issue, Advertising Age magazine reported that Red companies had collectively spent as much as $100 million in advertising and raised only $18 million. Officials of the campaign said then that the companies had spent $50 million on advertising and that the amount raised was $25 million. Advertising Age stood by its article.

If you read the article, you’ll note that the positive effects of those $18 million are very tangible. It makes you wonder what they could have done with $100 million.

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  1. I just find it amusing that they say “yes we wasted a lot of money, but not as much as you say!”

And people pay money for this crap?

Posted on February 7th, 2008 at 9:53 by John Sinteur in category: Microsoft


In Microsoft Visual C Express you can easily write a C program and compile it but you would be mistaken to think that you can simply send the program you just compiled to anyone with Windows installed. WRONG! One does not simply deploy software their way into Mordor. Not according to Microsoft.

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  1. Well, same kind of stuff happens when you write C++ or C or Delphi programs – or anything with external libraries – on any platform and you don’t think through your libraries and such. If you don’t know what you are developing for then you run into problems.

    That’s why 80% of the applications for Linux does not work most of the time without spending hours to find and download the missing dependencies.

Clinton loans $5 million to keep campaign afloat

Posted on February 7th, 2008 at 9:48 by John Sinteur in category: Indecision 2008


As the Democratic presidential candidates hunkered down for a lengthy—and costly—war of attrition for the nomination, aides to Hillary Clinton revealed Wednesday that she dipped into her personal fortune last month to lend the campaign $5 million, signaling potential financial vulnerability for her bid.

Clinton’s campaign also disclosed that several senior staff members, including her campaign manager, were voluntarily working without pay.

At the same time:


Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama raised almost $6 million after the Feb. 5 voting contests, all of which came from online donations.

And Bill Clinton, just a short time ago:


And he implied that he would not use his own funds to support his wife’s candidacy.

“For example, they say you couldn’t stop me from spending all the money I’ve saved over the last five years on Hillary’s campaign if I wanted to, even though it would clearly violate the spirit of campaign finance reform,” he said.

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Ted Haggard Quits New Life ‘Restoration Team’

Posted on February 7th, 2008 at 9:44 by John Sinteur in category: Pastafarian News


Ted Haggard’s leadership of New Life Church for many years was extraordinary and the depth of spiritual maturity that is found today in the church is in large part attributed to his leadership as the founding senior pastor.

In January 2007, Ted Haggard voluntarily agreed to enter a process of spiritual restoration. He has selected Phoenix First Assembly and Pastor Tommy Barnett as his local church fellowship and is maintaining an accountability relationship there. He has recently requested to end his official relationship with the New Life Church Restoration Team and this has been accepted by them.

New Life Church recognizes the process of restoring Ted Haggard is incomplete and maintains its original stance that he should not return to vocational ministry. However, we wish him and his family only success in the future.

Because spiritual restoration is a necessarily confidential process, the church does not anticipate that it, or its Overseers or Restorers, will make further comment about it.

In other words: he was gay, he is gay, and he will be gay.

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Posted on February 7th, 2008 at 9:21 by John Sinteur in category: Pastafarian News



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  1. Nice 🙂

Euros Accepted signs pop up in New York City

Posted on February 7th, 2008 at 9:21 by John Sinteur in category: News


In the latest example that the U.S. dollar just ain’t what it used to be, some shops in New York City have begun accepting euros and other foreign currency as payment for merchandise.

“We had decided that money is money and we’ll take it and just do the exchange whenever we can with our bank,” Robert Chu, owner of East Village Wines, told Reuters television.

The increasingly weak U.S. dollar, once considered the king among currencies, has brought waves of European tourists to New York with money to burn and looking to take advantage of hugely favorable exchange rates.

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Translation From PR-Speak to English of Selected Portions of Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang’s Company-Wide Memo Regarding the Microsoft Takeover Bid

Posted on February 7th, 2008 at 7:44 by John Sinteur in category: Microsoft


Company-wide memo from Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang earlier today, capitalization sic, as filed with the SEC:

Subject: Building on our strengths

Subject: Shitting our pants

first off, I want to thank you for the great job you’re doing staying focused on executing our priorities. there’s obviously been a lot of talk about yahoo! in recent days and we won’t let it distract us from pursuing our transformation strategy.

Thank you for not quitting last Friday.

roy and I have communicated about the thorough review process our board is going through right now. the board is focused on maximizing the value of yahoo!’s tremendous assets for our shareholders. and it is going to take the time it needs to do it right.

We very much want to say “no” but can’t figure out how without triggering a shareholder revolt.

as we’ve said, no decisions have been made about microsoft’s proposal. our board is thoughtfully evaluating a wide range of potential strategic alternatives in what is a complex and evolving landscape. and we’ve hired top advisors to assist through the process.

Does anyone have any wealthy relatives with 40 or 50 billion dollars to invest?

(there’s more, go read the rest)

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