Saturday, February 09, 2008
Paul Simon - Kodachrome lyricsI have loved and honored the work of Paul Simon since the very earliest days ... but this particular lyric stanza has always haunted me... when I encountered these websites I began to understand just how 'my lack of education' has really hurt me some...
When I think back
On all the crap I learned in high school
It's a wonder
I can think at all
And though my lack of education
Hasn't hurt me none
I can read the writing on the wall
O Escriba [pt] has created a link to his online library, with free books available for download. Some of them are quite rare, others have been forbidden, such as Roberto Carlos' biography. He has only an environmentally-friendly wish: “Please avoid printing them out, reading on the screen is not that much difficult”.
" Watch some of his photos. " Go "watch" this site and be amazed. The photos are great - the rest of the site is magnificent - unfortunately my lack of education prevents me from really appreciating it.
writes[Fa] about the death of Nikol Faridani, a famous Iranian photographer who has published several photo books about Iranian cities and nature.Watch some of his photos.
Posted by William Meloney at 9:40 AM
In the true spirit of change there is a revolution going on in China. Likened to the "Second Superpower" (Link) the newly formed Netizen Party will have a significant impact on China's political landscape.
I will only link here - please consider reading the rather lengthy post.
Posted by William Meloney at 9:04 AM
There is an emerging second superpower, but it is not a nation. Instead, it is a new form of international player, constituted by the “will of the people” in a global social movement. The beautiful but deeply agitated face of this second superpower is the worldwide peace campaign, but the body of the movement is made up of millions of people concerned with a broad agenda that includes social development, environmentalism, health, and human rights. This movement has a surprisingly agile and muscular body of citizen activists who identify their interests with world society as a whole—and who recognize that at a fundamental level we are all one. These are people who are attempting to take into account the needs and dreams of all 6.3 billion people in the world—and not just the members of one or another nation. Consider the members of Amnesty International who write letters on behalf of prisoners of conscience, and the millions of Americans who are participating in email actions against the war in Iraq. Or the physicians who contribute their time to Doctors Without Borders/ Medecins Sans Frontieres.I am not the first - do not let me be the last to raise my voice in support of the SECOND SUPERPOWER. This is an idea who's time has come...
Posted by William Meloney at 8:52 AM
In previous posts I have extolled the value of Global Voices. In an earlier age I imagine it to be like reading a really good international newspaper. Global Voices brings to my dark cave here in the wilds of Kentucky the light of a world vibrant and alive. So here is something that this backwards boy never gave a whole lot of thought to...
I get depressed around the Christmas holiday here in the US. I have/had read enough pop-psychology to know that this is mostly a reaction to the bi-polar stress of capitalistic materialism verses the Christian Birthday Celebration (oh and I won't forget all my other friends that are caught in the Winter Solstice stresses as well.)
by Hyejin Kim
New Year! It’s a big holiday in Korea. People return to their hometowns and worship their ancestors. People gather with relatives whom they haven’t seen for a while. For entertainment and respect for ancestors, preparing meals is a big job. Now New Year has produced a new symptom, ‘New Year Symptom of Housewives’ because of the hard job. Housewives have headaches and some of them get depressed before New Year starts. ‘New Year Symptom’ became a new term in this modern society.
But men are asking, ‘Do men have no ‘New Year Symptom’?’
New Year Symptom… it is not just for housewives… Let’s talk about New Year Symptom of men. The first and last symptom is that they don’t want to go back to their hometown or their wives’ hometowns. […] Looking at how much time you spend on the path of going back to the hometown, my time is spent to 40 percent on the road, 20 percent in my hometown, and 40 percent in my wife’s house. […] In order to see relatives, I can’t go with empty hands. I have to bring bottles of alcohol and meat that fill up my car. Before I go to see my ancestors’ gravestones, I’m already worried. Mother and father… Why did you guys pass away so fast? This undutiful son will go to see you, but can’t trim your graves this time. Please forgive me.
Why is the above article so important? How else would this naive WASP living in the heartland of these United States ever have a clue about what is impacting potentially 1/3 to 1/2 of the world's population?
Posted by William Meloney at 8:14 AM
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Because I say so, that's why... (Quoted from Talking Points Memo)
Mukasey also refused Conyers' request to see the OLC opinions that authorized waterboarding, because they discussed techniques of what remains a "classified program." Conyers protested that every member of the committee was cleared to see top secret material, but Mukasey was unmoved, though offered to continue "ongoing discussions" with the committee -- discussions of which Conyers seemed to be unaware.
Update: A transcript of the exchange is below.
CONYERS: Well, are you ready to start a criminal investigation into whether this confirmed use of waterboarding by United States agents was illegal?
MUKASEY: That's a direct question, and I will give a direct answer.
No, I am not, for this reason: Whatever was done as part of a CIA program at the time that it was done was the subject of a Department of Justice opinion through the Office of Legal Counsel and was found to be permissible under the law as it existed then.
For me to use the occasion of the disclosure that that technique was once part of the CIA program -- an authorized part of the CIA program, would be for me to tell anybody who relied, justifiably, on a Justice Department opinion that not only may they no longer rely on that Justice Department opinion, but that they
will now be subject to criminal investigation for having done so.
That would put in question not only that opinion, but also any other opinion from the Justice Department.
Essentially, it would tell people: "You rely on a Justice Department opinion as part of a program, then you will be subject to criminal investigation when, as and if the tenure of the person who wrote the position changes or, indeed, the political winds change." And that's not something that I think would be appropriate and it's not something I will do.
CONYERS: Are you prepared to let us get a copy of the Office of Legal Counsel opinion?
MUKASEY: The Office of Legal Counsel opinion discusses particular techniques that were part of what remains a classified program.
We have, I believe, provided an unclassified discussion of general legal principles -- did it back in 2004. And we have provided some classified briefings with regard to the legal reasoning underlying opinions, and are prepared to continue to do so.
But the opinions themselves can't simply be turned over because they discuss not simply legal reasoning, but the program itself, which remains classified.
CONYERS: Well, every member of this committee is cleared for top secret information.
MUKASEY: The opinions themselves dealt with a program that -- to the extent the opinions themselves deal with a current -- opinions relating to a past program cannot simply be disclosed in that fashion. They can be the subject of briefings, and have been. We can't simply turn them over.
CONYERS: Well, can we meet and find out what it is you're basing the response to my question?
MUKASEY: I think the question was whether I was going to open a criminal investigation because it's now been disclosed that waterboarding was part of the program.
And what I've said is that waterboarding, because it was authorized to be part of the program, pursuant to approach -- that it was authorized to be part of the CIA program, cannot possibly be the subject of a criminal -- a Justice Department investigation, because that would mean that the same department that authorized the program would now consider prosecuting somebody who followed that advice.
MUKASEY: That won't change whether letters are disclosed or not disclosed.
CONYERS: Well, what we're trying to do is make ourselves conversant with the basis of the response that you gave to my question. So there must be some way, between the Department of Justice and the House Judiciary Committee, that we can be made more aware -- we've requested this document before -- of the document on which you base your response.
MUKASEY: The response about a criminal investigation doesn't really depend on the particular content of the document. It depends on their having been an opinion that defined and authorized the limits of a particular program that is now disclosed included waterboarding at that time. It's no longer part of the program; that's also been disclosed, but that doesn't change the contents of the letter.
That said, I'm sure that we can talk about possible additional discussion of what is in the letters between the department and members of this committee. My understanding is there had been ongoing discussion with members of various committees, including particularly the Intelligence Committees, but I was not aware -- there may well very well have been discussions with members of the committee. I'm not certain as I sit here.
CONYERS: Well, we'll pretend that we've never asked for this before and we'll start right now. Thank you very much.
Posted by William Meloney at 3:40 PM
This is Habeas Corpus.
On October 17, 2006, he went missing without a trace. Last seen in Washington, D.C., his current whereabouts are unknown. Where is he? We don't know.
But we do know Habeas Corpus needs our help. What can you do?
Get involved and help us restore Habeas Corpus to his rightful place in our Constitution!
Posted by William Meloney at 12:14 PM
RIAA: Anti-Virus Software Should Filter Pirated ContentThis is such a bad idea!
In addition to your modem, media player and ISP-level filters...
11:55AM Thursday Feb 07 2008 by Karl
Public Knowledge posts a video from the recent State of the Net Conference, at which the RIAA's Cary Sherman discusses ISP piracy filters. Of course, many piracy filtering systems like the one being tested by AT&T could easily be bested by encryption. Sherman has a solution for that: spyware/software on your PC, buried in your anti-virus software or within your modem that would restrict you from viewing certain content:Filters can be put in the applications for example. You know, one could have a filter on the end user’s computer that would actually eliminate any benefit from…encryption because if you want to hear it, you’d have to decrypt it, and at that point the filter could work. Why would somebody put that on their machine? They likely wouldn't want to do that, they'd do that when it benefits them such as for viruses...
What is the very first thing Joe Average Jr is going to do if this were enacted?
Let's all say it together, "Disable the anti-virus software!"
...then Joe Jr. will go back to doing whatever he might have been doing AND proliferating virii!
And somebody gets paid to think up this FOOLISHNESS???
Notice: Any resemblance to any Pirate(s) living or dead is purely coincidental. No animals were harmed in the posting of this blog. Do not operate heavy equipment. Be sure you have at least eight hours to devote to sleep before becoming active. Keep out of the reach of children ... and Pirates.
Posted by William Meloney at 11:27 AM
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
By Micah L. Sifry, 02/06/2008 - 11:14amThe dawning of an age of populist politics... and about D*MNED time!
...If it were not for the internet, and all the campaign- and voter-generated activism that it has enabled, Hillary Clinton would already be the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee, and Barack Obama or another reform-minded candidate would be trailing badly.
Posted by William Meloney at 2:10 PM
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
From All things Pakistan ...
Owais MughalThe final answers have not been posted as of this writing... but what a wonderful post!
Following is a collection of Clock Tower (ghanta ghar) images from Pakistan. Can you tell us where are they located? Once part of every major public building, Clock towers have now gone out of fashion from modern architecture. For Quiz purposes let us number following images from (1) through (9) starting from top left, then going across and then down the rows.
Posted by William Meloney at 2:07 PM
Here is the very best reason for Open Source ... posted by Bruce Schneier
A Good Security Investment by DHSAll the software scrutinized was found to have significant numbers of security flaws, Coverity said on Wednesday. Since 2006 the project has helped fix 7,826 open source flaws in 250 projects, out of 50 million lines of code scanned, the company said.
They find, on average, one security flaw per 1,000 lines of code. And when the flaw is fixed, everyone's security improves.
Posted by William Meloney at 7:35 AM
Monday, February 04, 2008
A call for shared responsibility...
Thanks to Christine ...
I was happy to work with Get Satisfaction this month to draft a provisional “Company-Customer Pact.” Our intention was to create a simple, usable framework for company-customer interaction. Ideally, one that could be recommended and adopted by consumers and companies alike.
Posted by William Meloney at 12:29 PM
Through all those years, I chose not to engage in party politics. Though I was asked many times to endorse candidates at every level, I was never comfortable doing so. At this time, however, changing that posture feels like the responsible thing to do. If anyone can navigate the contaminated waters of Washington, lift up the poor, and appeal to the rich to share their wealth, it is Sen. Barack Obama. If anyone can bring light to the darkened corners of this nation and restore our positive influence in world affairs, it is Barack Obama. If anyone can begin the process of healing and bring unity to a country that has been divided for too long, it is Barack Obama. It is time to begin a new journey.
Joan Baez, San Francisco Chronicle
Posted by William Meloney at 5:46 AM