January 2005 Archives

Trash Picking Itself Up

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Supreme Court Sides with Klan in Adopted Highway Program:

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court let stand on Monday a ruling that the Ku Klux Klan white supremacist group can take part in Missouri's "Adopt-A-Highway" program in which volunteers pick up trash along the road and the state puts up a sign thanking the group.

Without comment, the high court rejected Missouri's appeal of a U.S. appeals court ruling that declared the state had violated the Klan's constitutional free-speech rights by rejecting its request to adopt a portion of a highway."

Words fail me. Too surreal.

The Price of Freedom

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washingtonpost.com: Supreme Court Says Federal Sentencing Guidelines Not Mandatory:

"The Supreme Court today declared unconstitutional a portion of the nation's federal sentencing law and said that federal judges are no longer obligated to follow the controversial system of sentencing guidelines established by Congress in 1984.

The long-awaited decision, one of the most significant rulings in a criminal case in years, effectively converted the guidelines from mandatory status to advisory status, meaning that judges must consider them rather than necessarily follow them.

The greatest uncertainty today was the extent to which the ruling will permit appeals by individuals already sentenced under the guidelines.

The central problem with the guidelines, the court said in its 5-4 decision, is that they allow convicted criminals to have their sentences increased on the basis of facts that are unproven before a jury in court."

Some will complain about judges who make law as being out of control, "activist" judges who pervert laws. However, few seem to grumble when legislatures restrict the ability of judges to do their job, that is, to judge. It seems they might prefer to weaken that our government's system of checks and balances to attain ends they find suitable. However, these folks might want to re-examine their thinking.

Without "activist" judges, there'd be no Brown vs. Board of Education, for example. They stand between the tyranny of the majority and the freedom of the minority. (I mean that both ways!) And if that means a felon gets his/her sentence reduced, well that's we must be willing to pay that price. Freedom is seldom free.

Search for Banned Arms In Iraq Ended Last Month (washingtonpost.com):

"Four months after Charles A. Duelfer, who led the weapons hunt in 2004, submitted an interim report to Congress that contradicted nearly every prewar assertion about Iraq made by top Bush administration officials, a senior intelligence official said the findings will stand as the ISG's final conclusions and will be published this spring.

President Bush, Vice President Cheney and other top administration officials asserted before the U.S. invasion in March 2003 that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear weapons program, had chemical and biological weapons, and maintained links to al Qaeda affiliates to whom it might give such weapons to use against the United States."

Though my Republican-esque friends made the assertion that the media is liberal, it's hard to stretch that to the CIA's report. This is as conclusive as it is ever going to get, folks. And it contradicts every assertion this administration has made as a justification for war. How Bush sent this country to war was either irresponsible, at best, or some reprehensible Clinton-esque truth telling, at worst. (Remember that "Well, that depends on what your definition of the word 'is' is," comment? OUCH!) We'll never know the truth for sure, unless some defector from Bush's Administration decides to strike it rich with a tell-all. Now, THAT would be some comedy. ;-)

Ultimate Switcher Mac?

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I read an article on eWeek about the Mac mini being the ultimate "switcher" mac because all you need is a KVM switch and you are done. No muss. No fuss. At first, I thought that was a bullshiznit argument, but on second thought, it makes a helluva lot of sense.

First, the thing will take up no space. Second, Macs shine when used over time. My father-in-law has a whole Windows 2000 network built by yours truly, but he is switching whole hog to the Mac on the basis of using his iMac G4 for less than a year. Laptop for him and his wife with the desktop as the new server.

Clearly this is something Apple should push. Given the growth in the computer user market, even a 1% market share up tick would be hugely lucrative for Apple.

Apple's mini Shuffle

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Apple - Mac mini and iPod Shuffle are new editions of the hardware lineup that even cheapskates can love. Simple. Elegant. Mac.

Have Negro Will Travel

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It would seem that TheStateOf.com put Armstrong on blast for that Leave No Child Left Behind stunt even with the apology. It's shills like this that supply black conservatives with the credibility they currently enjoy.