Thursday, September 30, 2004

NewsClip: Can you hear me now? Good -- nice rack!

"A Japanese guru claims to have invented a mobile phone ring tone that can help women's breasts to grow bigger. Hideto Tomabechi's Rockmelon tone registered more than 10,000 downloads in the first week alone. ... Tomabechi says he's now planning other ring tones to help people quit smoking, combat baldness and attract a mate."

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NewsClip: When does alternative medicine become homicide?

"'God, please, no more,' 19-year-old Sean Flanagan gasped, the last words he spoke before he died after a treatment from naturopath Brian O'Connell that went terribly wrong. Dave and Laura Flanagan had turned to O'Connell in desperation after doctors told them their son would be dead in a year from cancer that ravaged his bones and lungs. O'Connell promised to save Sean. But during a Dec. 18 treatment that involved taking blood from Sean's body, his blood oxygen plummeted to 17. ... Sean Flanagan died the next day. ... O'Connell recommended 'photoluminescence' treatments in which small amounts of Sean's blood was removed, exposed to ultraviolet light and then returned to his body. A small amount of hydrogen peroxide solution also was injected into the bloodstream."

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Story originally noticed at The Curbstone Critic

Release: Libertarians to file for injunction to stop third Bush/Kerry "debate"

September 29, 2004
For Immediate Release
Contact: Stephen P. Gordon
Office: (512) 637-6867
Cell: (256) 227-8360

Press conference Friday in Phoenix

Phoenix - The state shouldn't be making donations to political candidates, say Arizona Libertarians -- and they're going to court to stop Arizona State University from donating up to $2 million to presidential candidates George W. Bush and John F. Kerry.

At issue: The presidential debate scheduled to take place in Tempe on October 13th.

"It's a clear case of misusing state funds," says David Euchner, attorney for the Arizona LP. "Arizona recognizes three political parties. A debate which included all three of those parties would be a legitimate expenditure on education and public information. A debate including only two of the three candidates is a partisan campaign commercial -- and an illegal donation to partisan political associations."

Barry Hess is the Vice Chair of the AZLP, and is currently in Pennsylvania with Libertarian presidential candidate Michael Badnarik assisting with preparations for Badnarik's upcoming debates. Hess provided additional explanation by telephone, "It is so outrageous because the Republicans and the Democrats clearly violate their own Finance Reform Act, which in this case operates against all parties except the Republicans and the Democrats. Additionally, this use of these particular funds is in clear violation of the Arizona Constitution."

The suit, in which AZLP and its treasurer, Warren Severin, are listed as plaintiffs, will seek an injunction or restraining order against the use of state funds for the debate.

Hess, along with other representatives of the Arizona Libertarian Party and a spokesperson for Michael Badnarik's campaign will meet with members of the press. The conference will begin at 2 p.m., Friday, October 1 on the steps of the Maricopa County Superior Courthouse at 201 W Jefferson Street in Phoenix.

PLEASE NOTE THIS IS A CORRECTED EDITION: Press conference location has changed to the steps of the Maricopa County Superior Courthouse at 201 W Jefferson Street, Phoenix, AZ. This press briefing will not occur at the Arizona State Capitol.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Email Rant: Asmodeus, you ignorant slut

"This probably should have been pointed out before on other issues, but better late than never: Given almost any subject to address, you repeatedly prove that you don't know what the f--k you're talking about."

Read full rant on the "libertarianrepublicans" list ...

NewsClip: Houston, we have competition

"In a frightening mission that could nonetheless herald a new era of space tourism, a privately built, three-person rocket ship flew to space and back today. The craft, SpaceShipOne, made an unscripted series of rolls near the top of its flight. The engine was shut down early. The flight terrified some who watched from the ground and on a live webcast. The pilot seemed unfazed, however. 'That was a really good ride. I feel like I nailed it,' said Mike Melvill after he landed. 'But right up at the top I got a surprise when it really spun up and did a little victory roll.' The event was the first of two flights scheduled to capture the $10 million Ansari X Prize."

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NewsClip/Analysis: Oil is not well ...

"Oil lingered above the $50 per barrel threshold in Asian trade Wednesday, breaching the mark for the second straight day ahead of key U.S crude stockpile data."

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Doubleplusungood. As Alan Reynolds of the Cato Institute notes, "every time oil topped $35 in the past -- in1980-82, 1990 and late 2000 -- industrial production soon began to fall in the largest industrial economies, including the United States." Crude has been at $35+ since April.

Granted, there's an inflation factor -- oil is cheaper right now than it was at the 1981 high point -- but it's still 70% more expensive than it was a year ago. It's been a problem for awhile, and it's getting worse. To the extent that there's an economic recovery occurring, oil prices are retarding that recovery.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Personal: The Horror ... The Horror

Few things are as personally saddening to me as giving up my long-cultivated chin beard. It was just getting long enough to braid. However, a job opportunity came along which required me to shave.

As a matter of fact, the job opportunity is shaving.

It's a long story and you probably had to be there, but the bottom line is that a consumer opinion outfit is paying me to shave, every morning, five days a week, possibly for the next two years, at a rate that, by my calculation, works out to about $80 an hour.

Sure is awful, working for The Man. I've dragged out my "respectable" photo so that people will actually recognize me.

NewsClip: They Can't Spell His Name, But He's a Player

"LAS VEGAS - For those who adore the oddities of politics, this place may be ground zero. In this quirky polity wrestling with the consequences of explosive population growth, it is the Libertarian Party candidate, Mike Bednarik [sic], who is causing the trouble, much more than Ralph Nader."

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NewsClip: Get the keys, dumbass

"A drunken driver hit a telephone pole support wire that decapitated his passenger, then drove 12 miles home and slept in his bloody clothes, leaving the headless body in his truck, police said. ... Officers found Hutcherson asleep inside his home. He was visibly drunk and his clothes were bloody, authorities said. They later found Brohm's severed head at the crash site."

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Release: Badnarik, Cobb to debate in Miami

"Michael Badnarik and David Cobb, the presidential candidates from the Libertarian and Green parties, will take questions from media, students and the public in an open forum the night of -- and just feet from -- the first televised 'debate' between the two-party candidates."

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Monday, September 27, 2004

Book Announcement: The Black Arrow -- A Novel By Vin Suprynowicz

"The Mountain Media trade paperback edition of 'The Black Arrow' will be released in Spring, 2005. But a full two months before that date, a select group of 1,000 readers will be mailed their individual numbered copies of the deluxe hardcover first edition of 'The Black Arrow.' Autographed, leather-bound, numbered 1 to 1,000, no more of this special collector's edition will ever be printed. Support the publication of Vin's work -- uncensored and unexpurgated -- and acquire an elegant collectible first edition designed to last a lifetime and highly likely to appreciate in value.

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Release: A Salaam Aleikum, Voters

"Hurricane Jeanne lashed Florida on Saturday, but the fourth major storm of the season didn't keep the American Muslim Alliance from holding its ninth national convention -- or Libertarian presidential candidate Michael Badnarik from addressing that convention. Badnarik accepted the AMA's Al-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz Malcolm X Award 'on behalf of the Libertarian, Green and Independent parties.'"

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NewsClip: With Friends Like This ...

"The Libertarian candidate for lieutenant governor says he plans to vote for Republican Matt Blunt for governor rather than his party's nominee."

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He's wearing what?

No sense in doing a blog if nobody's going to read it ... so, I did a little research.

According to the "free trial" engine at Wordtracker, the term "naked news" has an ungodly high "Keyword Effectiveness Index" -- 2674, where 10 is a reasonably high rating. Allegedly, the higher a KEI rating, the more people are searching on a term versus the sites using it.

So, for the cause, I'm going commando to justify including the term in my META tag "description" keywords.

Naked news, naked news, naked news. Bob Dole, Bob Dole, Bob Dole.

I'll change keywords when it gets too drafty to blog in the buff.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Review: "Taking Lives"

"[T]he real visuals in the movie are the same old 'flashlight in a dark, cluttered apartment with water dripping and some moldy food for shock value,' and 'autopsies of severely decomposed victims' stuff. I don't know if Jonathan Demme pioneered that film style or not, but his 'Silence of the Lambs' started the real trend and it reached its height with David Fincher's direction of 'Seven.' Thankfully, the movie rises above the cliched film style, primarily due to good casting."

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Friday, September 24, 2004

Review: GMail

"KNAPP'S LAW: Web-based email is a pain in the keister. It incorporates a bunch of Javascript and other baubles that complicate things. It's overloaded with ads that make it too slow for dialup users. It has low storage quotas -- one bad run of spam or a discussion list conversation that gets heated, and you bust your quota and start bouncing important messages. There's no standardized archiving format that will let you integrate a search of mail saved to your hard drive with mail still on the server, if there's even a worthwhile search function in the first place. Web-based email sucks.


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