:: eyedot ::: images information ideation ::

:: EYE (anatomy), light-sensitive organ of vision in animals.
:: EYE (verb), to look at to look at something or somebody inquisitively.
:: EYE (noun), an ability to recognize and appreciate something; a point of view or way of thinking.

[::..archive..::]
April 2003
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[::..political..::]
:: media matters ::
:: watchblog ::
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[::..comix..::]
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:: this modern world ::

[::..music..::]
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:: lynn fox ::
:: nooflat ::
:: jeff bridges blog ::
:: novica ::
:: ugly dolls ::
:: gama-go ::
:: presstube ::


:: 12.30.2003 ::  



Ashcroft Drops Out of CIA Leak Probe
By LARRY MARGASAK, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - Attorney General John Ashcroft (news - web sites) on Tuesday recused himself from the politically sensitive investigation of who leaked the name of a CIA operative. The Justice Department quickly named a special prosecutor.
...
[Chicago U.S. attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald] can keep the career prosecutors and FBI agents who have handled the work so far, Comey said. Unlike an outside counsel, Fitzgerald can make prosecution decisions without having to first inform Comey, who is acting as the attorney general for this investigation.
From YahooNews.

:: Deb 1:25 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 12.29.2003 ::  



Get Fuzzy Rocks



And hey I'd link to it instead, but comics.com gets rid of comics after 30 days.

:: Deb 4:21 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



"The [Sacramento] Bee reported Saturday it obtained internal memos showing [Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's] administration is considering abolishing parole for nonviolent inmates. The move would save $231 million a year by 2005-06." So far they are just considering it. But how ironic, that a Republican governor may ease up on CA's tough-on-crime policy. This would really be a boon to those with minor drug offenses, too.

Farked again!

:: Deb 2:45 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



News Flash: "A federal appeals court in Washington told the record industry Friday it could no longer issue subpoenas to track down and sue alleged file swappers." No word yet on how the ruling will affect pending cases. Story in the Washington Times. Fark!

:: Deb 2:34 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Denver's New Mayor Shakes Up City Hall
To accomplish his goals, the mayor who reveres the "best practices' of other cities has ignored a fundamental best practice in power politics: Hire people you know; pay back the people you owe.
...
He has been recruiting experts, giving them the power to make independent decisions and holding them accountable for their choices.
...
Hickenlooper, who collected $272,500 for Denver Public Schools by turning his inauguration into a fundraiser, clearly values education.
...
So far, the key moves are reform actions: rewriting the rules for paying city workers, strengthening the training and discipline of police officers, altering the city's contract with the Metro Denver Convention & Visitors Bureau to allow public inspection of its spending of taxpayer money.
...
Of the 42 appointees so far, 38 percent are men and 62 percent are women. Thirty-eight percent are white, 33 percent are Latino, 26 percent are African-American and 2 percent are Asian.

The average age of the Hickenlooper appointees is 40.5. There are eight appointees older than 50, 13 appointees in their 40s, 16 in their 30s and five in their 20s.

"He thinks the more diverse the assembly of people in the room, the better the decision that will be made,' Bennet said. "It is less likely that he will make a decision from a narrow perspective.'
Full Story in the Denver Post. Link thanks to Fark.

Bonus - He's a Wesleyan alum! Go Wes!

Hey, anyone read these books: "Reinventing Government," "Banishing Bureaucracy' and "The Rise of the Creative Class"? Apparently Mr. Hickenlooper learned a lot from them.

:: Deb 1:00 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 12.19.2003 ::  



News Flash:
Libya will allow international inspectors to enter the country and search for weapons of mass destruction, President Bush announced Friday.


On Fox.

:: Deb 5:25 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Spin, Glorious Spin
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Thursday night that Israel would end negotiations with the Palestinians "in a few months" and unilaterally declare new borders if the Palestinian government did not immediately act to halt terrorism.

Sharon proposed what he described as a "disengagement plan" in which Israel would evacuate some Jewish settlements in the Palestinian territories and draw a new "security line," largely along the route of the massive fence and wall currently being built by Israel around much of the West Bank.

In a nationally televised speech before a security conference in the coastal town of Herzliya, Sharon also threatened to unilaterally annex Palestinian land in several locations, saying, "Israel will strengthen its control" over areas that it wants to include as "an inseparable part of the state of Israel in any future agreement."
The White House response?
"We are pleased to hear Prime Minister Sharon's strong reiteration of his support for the 'road map' as the way forward," White House press secretary Scott McClellan said in Washington, referring to the U.S.-backed peace process that has been sidelined because of continuing violence.

"We would oppose any unilateral steps that block the road toward negotiations under the road map that lead to the two-state vision," McClellan added, calling on the Israeli and Palestinian prime ministers to meet face to face "very soon and without any preconditions."

Later, a senior Bush administration official briefing reporters in Washington hailed Sharon's speech as a "very positive" development that could help break the stalemate in the peace process and reaffirmed the road map.
...
He also disputed suggestions that Sharon had threatened the Palestinians or planned to impose a final settlement on his own terms.... He dismissed some of Sharon's comments as "hypotheticals" that were in the speech primarily for "Israeli domestic political reasons."
Let's look at Sharon's speech again.
Sharon said, "If, in a few months, the Palestinians still continue to disregard their part in implementing the road map," then Israel will initiate the unilateral security step of disengagement from the Palestinians." He said such action "will be fully coordinated with the United States."
How exactly does threatening to unilaterally end negotiations and draw your own borders further the "Road Map to Peace"? I guess we'll find out in "a few months." Article in Yahoo.com, link from Fark.

:: Deb 5:17 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



A Misleader to Remember
Specifically, on April 23, 2003, the president sent his top international aid official on national television to reassure the public that the cost of war and reconstruction in Iraq would be modest. USAID Director Andrew Natsios, echoing other Administration officials, told Nightline that, "In terms of the American taxpayers contribution, [$1.7 billion] is it for the US. The American part of this will be $1.7 billion. We have no plans for any further-on funding for this."

The president has requested more than $166 billion in funding for the war and reconstruction efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan this year. But instead of admitting that he misled the nation about the cost of war, the president has allowed the State Department "to purge the comments by Natsios from the State Department's Web site. The transcript, and links to it, have vanished." (The link where the transcript existed until it caused embarrassment was http://www.usaid.gov/iraq/nightline_042403_t.html).

When confronted with the dishonest whitewash, the administration decided to lie. A Bush spokesman said the administration was forced to remove the statements because, "there was going to be a cost" charged by ABC for keeping the transcript on the government's site. But as the Post notes, "other government Web sites, including the State and Defense departments, routinely post interview transcripts, even from 'Nightline,'" and according to ABC News, "there is no cost."
From yesterday's Daily Mislead. More on this mysterious disappearance at Calpundit; you can read more on the subject of the administration's misrepresentation of the cost of war (which includes postwar reconstruction) in Iraq in Sen. Kennedy's floor statement during the "debate" over spending an additional $87 billion in Iraq, at the Center for American Progress, and here.

:: Deb 10:28 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 12.18.2003 ::  



Here's a nice image of the view from our livingroom window - one look and we were sold on that house!


:: Deb 7:49 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Surprise!
"After soliciting public comment to determine if further regulatory clarification was needed, the EPA and the Corps have decided to preserve the federal government's authority to protect our wetlands. The agencies will continue to monitor implementation of this important program to ensure its effectiveness."
Got that from a National Wildlife Federation alert today. Woo hoo!

:: Deb 9:37 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Medical pot wins a legal victory
U.S. appeals court ruling is likely to face a challenge
Medical marijuana advocates scored a potential legal breakthrough Tuesday when a federal appeals court ruled that two Northern California women could use locally grown pot without risking federal prosecution.

The federal ban on marijuana is probably unconstitutional as applied to individuals who obtain the drug without buying it, get it within their state's borders and use it for medical purposes on their doctors' advice and in compliance with state law, said the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco -- the first court ever to issue such a ruling.

The 2-1 decision could be short-lived, however. The appeals court has regularly seen its precedent-setting decisions, particularly those by liberal panels, overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. In 2001, the high court overruled a Ninth Circuit decision that would have allowed marijuana cooperatives to supply the drug to patients who could not be treated by legal substances.
Heard this on NPR yesterday but didn't get around to researching it til today... the quote's from SFGate.

:: Deb 9:32 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 12.15.2003 ::  



The Perfect Gift

"Political Pet Toys - You can’t get even, but your pet can!"

Choose from Osama bin Laden, Hillary Clinton, George W Bush and Saddam Hussein. Only $14.95 each!

That's a pretty interesting selection - guess they want to cover all the bases.

:: Deb 8:16 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Nothing to add to the hoopla. I was as stunned on Sunday morning as you were. It's fantastic that Saddam is finally in custody, and I hope he does stand trial in Iraq, Kuwait and Iran for his various crimes against the people in those countries. I also hope his supporters lose steam now and stop killing people, but I am a little concerned that they'll go into "nothing-to-lose" mode.

Peace, out.

:: Deb 8:09 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 12.11.2003 ::  



Update:

You can listen to Al Sharpton on KQED tomorrow night at 8pm. You can also listen to streaming audio on their website.

:: Deb 4:03 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine who works for the company moveon.org contracted to create the Daily Mislead website and mailings to day at lunch; she mentioned that out of the 500,000 people that initially signed up, almost half of them have dropped off the mailing list since its inception. We agreed that part of it must be overload - people get tired of getting negative emails every day. We agreed that a weekly Mislead would have been a better idea, both in terms of not turning off the intended audience, and also just in terms of a realistic goal for the campaign. Bush&Co. may do a lot of shit we don't like, but that doesn't mean they lie to us 5 times a week.

I'm going to take a brief break from discussing the Spinsanity article today.

A) Please please please make sure you are registered to vote in time for the Presidential primary. If you're not, or you need to change your party affiliation or your address, please pick up a form at your local post office or print one up from Working Assets' website.

B) I went to see Al Sharpton speak at the Commonwealth Club in downtown San Francisco today (thanks Peter!) I was quite impressed with him, actually. More on that later; I want to get some quotes and organize my thought a bit. I'll include a link to the audio once it's online.

C) On a lighter note, my friend Leslie forwarded this link to me; it's a little movie someone made showing the line of people stretching 1km from the entrance to the Tokyo Apple store on its opening day. Things that struck me (aside from the "wow" factor of the sheer number of people in line): the people waiting are calm and polite - no one's cutting in, people are talking+laughing as they wait; and there's no smoking! Maybe my friend Zak, who lives in Japan, can give us some insight on that one.

:: Deb 3:57 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 12.09.2003 ::  



Several people have forwarded this Spinsanity article to me that characterizes The Daily Mislead as partisan spin. And, well, I'm afraid I have to take exception to several of the article's arguments.

The first thing I checked can be found under the heading "Bad facts and bad logic":
The November 25 Mislead analyzed the situation in Iraq and accused Bush of dishonesty because "President Bush yesterday said that we 'put the Taliban out of business forever' - taking credit for supposedly ridding the world of the terrorist regime." It also spoke of "The President's declarations that the challenges in Afghanistan are over." But in the November 24 speech quoted in the Mislead, Bush made clear that the Taliban is still a threat and that challenges remain in Afghanistan, saying, "We are fighting the terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan and in other parts of the world so we do not have to fight them on the streets of our own cities." Bush is clearly acknowledging the continued turmoil in Afghanistan, which consists in part of fighting remnants of the Taliban regime.
Actually, he does not talk about the Taliban continuing to be a threat, since that would directly contradict his claim that the Taliban was now "out of business". He does talk about continuing to fight terrorists in Afghanistan, so that part of Ben's argument does hold water, and I also agree with the rest of that section.

Moving up the page, I found this:
...the October 24 Mislead implied that a Bush pledge to crack down on corporate leaders who violate the public trust was broken by an internal memo at military contractor Haliburton, which is obviously not proof of deception by the administration.
I have to completely disagree with this statement. The memo shows Halliburton is trying to combat negative publicity by encouraging employees to write letters to the editor; the Daily Mislead argues that the memo's suggested talking points do not seem to be borne out by the facts. Further, the major point of the story is that the Halliburton subsidiary that was awarded the no-bid contract has a history of overbilling - which does seem a contradiction of the President's "aggressive corporate reform agenda" - and SURPRISE is now being accused of overbilling.
[edited for clarity]

More as I update...

:: Deb 6:34 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Good news - World Population to Level Off at About 9 Billion, Says U.N.
That's notably smaller than U.N. forecasts from just two years ago, when demographers predicted a population of 9.4 billion by 2050. The slowdown in growth will likely be driven by women bearing fewer children; fertility rates have dropped from about 6 children per woman in 1900 to about 2.7 children today, and they're expected to fall further. On a darker note, the AIDS epidemic is also a factor in the slower population growth.
Linked by the Daily Grist; stories in the Washington Post and USA Today.

:: Deb 3:22 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



PLEASE VOTE TODAY if you live in San Francisco.

:: Deb 11:37 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 12.05.2003 ::  



Holy Shit
On a student behavior contract form that Marcus had to fill out and give to his mother about the incident, Marcus wrote that the thing he did wrong was that he "sed bad wurds." A handwritten note at the top of the form from Marcus's teacher further explains: "He explained to another child that you are gay and what being gay means." On a behavior report form signed by the assistant principal, the teacher wrote, "Marcus decided to explain to another child in his group that his mom is gay. He told the other child that gay is when a girl likes a girl. This kind of discussion is not acceptable in my room. I feel that parents should explain things of this nature to their own children in their own way."
The forms can be viewed online here and here. The ACLU has of course stepped in. Found on Eschaton (AKA Atrios).

:: Deb 7:43 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Digging back a bit, here's an image from my honeymoon:



This is a shot of the river that comes out onto the beach in Waipi'o Valley, on the northeast corner of the Big Island of Hawai'i. Beautiful.

:: Deb 6:53 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



So Cool - "Disappearing ink to boost paper recycling"
Recycling paper could be made simpler by a new disappearing ink that can be erased from paper by heating.

Toshiba's erasable ink can be used in ordinary laser jet printers and pens. A printed sheet is wiped clean by passing it through an erasing machine. The "decolourable" ink, which has been tinted blue to help distinguish it from ordinary, non-erasable, ink, has been named "e-blue".
In the New Scientist, as found in the Daily Grist.

:: Deb 6:39 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Federal Spending at Record Levels in Pending Bill
According to the Boston Globe, the $820 billion bill caps a season of spending on Capitol Hill, from the $87 billion in funding for missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, to the $401 billion defense bill, to the landmark bill containing a Medicare prescription drug benefit — which will cost $400 billion over 10 years.

Watchdog groups on the left and right have concluded that spending is at a record level, the newspaper says. The conservative Heritage Foundation says federal outlays have reached $20,000 per household, adjusted for inflation, for the first time since WWII. "It's always easy to be generous with other people's money," said Brian M. Riedl, a Heritage Foundation economist.

The liberal Center for Budget and Policy Priorities found that spending has grown twice as fast under the Bush administration than under President Clinton, reports The Globe, at a rate of 8.7 percent annually.

Part of that spending is due to different goals and different circumstances, the president's defenders say, like Mr. Bush's costly No Child Left Behind education reform program and the war on terrorism.
This from the party that rails against "tax-and-spend Democrats" - guess they don't mind the spending part all that much. And I'd like to take issue with the president's defenders - the No Child Left Behind Act is an unfunded mandate - which is why states have been complaining about it for the past two years.

Not only that, but the "First Tee" program, which as I noted on Tue Nov 25 was being allocated $1 million out of the spending bill, gets $3 million in this latest version! Disgusting.

You can read the full story on CBSNews. Link thanks to Fark.

:: Deb 12:41 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 12.04.2003 ::  



God, this makes me sick
In the most famous picture from his trip to Baghdad, President Bush had himself artfully photographed to look like he was serving turkey to the troops. The image was emblazoned on front pages throughout the country - and now appears to be an entirely false depiction.

According to the Washington Post, Bush was actually holding "a decoration, not a serving plate." In other words, he was holding a prop, not real food, and thus only pretending for the cameras to be serving up the holiday meal.
...
Of course, Bush's penchant for taking misleading and dishonest photos has not been confined to Iraq. In July of 2002, the President visited a low-income housing development in Atlanta to tout his commitment to funding it. He then proposed a budget that eliminated its funding. Similarly, the President visited a Boys and Girls Club in January of 2003 to tout the organization's efforts. He said the club "has got a grand history of helping children." Just four days after his photo-op, he proposed to cut 15% out of funding for the Boys and Girls Club.
From the Daily Mislead.

:: Deb 12:59 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Here's a fullscreen 360 degree panaroma from the top of Mt. Everest. Enjoy! Link thanks to Fark.

:: Deb 12:40 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 12.03.2003 ::  



I'm not even sure of the point of this latest lie.

Apparently White House Communications Director Dan Bartlet put out a story that a British pilot spotted Air Force One off the western coast of England as it was headed towards Iraq on Thanksgiving Day. The pilot allegedly radioed "Did I just see Air Force One?" and the pilot of Air Force One allegedly replied, "Gulfstream Five," which is a much smaller aircraft. After British Airways spoke up to say that none of their pilots had done any such thing, the White House "clarified" the story, saying the pilot had actually spoken to the control tower in London about the sighting. Again, British Airways stated that "none of its pilots has come forward to acknowledge either making or overhearing the purported conversation."

A Farker linked to this story on Newsday, and of course the Daily Mislead was all over it.

:: Deb 5:11 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Sorry no updates for a week, I was in MA for Turkey Day! But I'm back now...

:: Deb 4:53 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

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