Wednesday, March 30, 2005

PRIVACY ALERT!! WHOIS searches and Domain names

Reprinted from

Your Privacy at Stake: Decision Made to Disallow
Private Registrations for .US Domain Names

The National Telecommunications and Information
Administration ("NTIA") (,
the telecommunications and Internet arm of the Department
of Commerce, has disallowed private registrations for .US domain names.

This unfortunate decision was made by the NTIA, without a
hearing or an opportunity for a response by those affected
-- in fact; there was no due process of any kind. It's ironic that
the NTIA has taken away our first amendment rights to privacy
for the one domain name (.US) that is specifically intended for
Americans. These bureaucrats stripped away the privacy that
you're entitled to as an American; on the only domain name
that says that you are an American.

Even while the NTIA has ruthlessly criticized ICANN in the
past for lack of transparency, the NTIA itself has been evasive
and untruthful about the entire process, and has yet to provide
a satisfactory explanation for the move.

After giving only two weeks' notice, the NTIA has stated that
they would not consider any arguments and that its decision
is final, leaving thousands of .US domain owners confused and exposed.

This is NOT how our government is supposed to operate.
Immediate repercussions for .US domain owners include:

LOSS OF protection from stalkers and harassers.

LOSS OF protection against solicitation and unwelcome
visitors for home-based Web businesses.

LOSS OF protection for loved ones associated with a
family Web site or domain name.

LOSS OF protection against SPAM and phishing
(an email falsely claiming to be a legitimate enterprise
in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private
information that will be used for identity theft).

LOSS OF protection against attempts to steal identities
and/or money.

LOSS OF protection against general solicitations
via phone and/or fax.

LOSS OF the right to operate a Web site anonymously.

LOSS OF the ability to speak anonymously
(a First Amendment right confirmed by the Supreme Court).

If this decision is allowed to stand, it could lead to an attempt to take away
privacy on other domain names and other areas that are important to you.
If you care at all about your right to privacy, this is where you need to take
a stand -- even if you don't own a private domain registration.

What you can do about it

Simply sign the petition at
and send an email to your elected representatives in
Washington, D.C. to express your outrage and
request their help in reversing the NTIA's inappropriate decision.
Your rights are at stake. Take action.

Petition to reverse the decision of the National
Telecommunications and Information Administration ("NTIA")
which revokes private registrations for .US domain names.

TO: United States Department of Commerce
National Telecommunications and Information Administration

We, the undersigned, urge the NTIA to reconsider its
decision to eliminate private registration services in the .US domain. We are concerned about the right of .US domain name registrants to protect their identities from access in the public Whois database. We strongly urge the NTIA to reverse its position and continue to allow private registrations to protect the rights of legitimate domain name registrants.


Sunday, March 27, 2005

Posting from US Dem site..."Bet your Life"

Message: 3 Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2005 07:58:04 -0800 (PST)
From: thomas love
Subject: Bet Your Life

Bet Your Life
Friends, I have got to tell you about the most amazing insurance plan ever from Old Republican NeoCom Life: Introducing Never Say Die Insurance.* Available now in Florida on a test basis this remarkable product will keep you from decomposing for years after your brain is dead. Simply consult one of our special peddlers today or call toll free 1-666-play-GOD. Until now you may have wondered about your future, but fear no more; we have eliminated death here at ORNCL.* Just imagine no more death except for undesirables. Imagine the freedom of being kept alive for almost forever by feeding tubes, wires, and respirators. Imagine eliminating death for all good people and the Good News is once we hook you up, you are virtually isolated form all the world problems. Think of the freedom from negative thoughts, or uncomfortable news!
Friends, think of the possibilities of warehouses after warehouses being constructed right here in you hometown; and rows after rows of totally brain dead people all hooked up with out anyone ever dying. Plan your next vacation with a respirator in mind and save money on costly repair bills for cars, homes, hotels, and boats. Never worry about the dreaded overweight problem again. So call today again for The Never Say Die Insurance Plan from Old Republican NeoCom Life at 1-666-play-GOD. Or spend a special E-Mail to Bill Frist, Tom Delay, or Jeb Bush of your brain dead loved one and we will be Right out to hook every thing up.

* Licensed only in the State of the Imagination and subject to certain penalties for non compliance. No minorities need apply and valid only with massive campaign contributions. Good only if invoked by special legislation during investigations by Grand Juries. Valid only if you are a Bush Family friend or have the Right Life Style, thoughts, opinions, and are available for video taping. If murderous criminal or undesirable may be subject to execution first; then life support available on proof you are brain dead. If questionable circumstances arise, send a video to Bill Frist for picture analysis. Be sure to bring cash for the premium, preferably in large mail sacks of small bills and ideally be pre-measured for orifice incision.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Counting the Iraqi article

Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting
Media analysis, critiques and activism

Counting the Iraqi Dead

March 21, 2005

On the weekend of the two-year anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of
Iraq, media outlets took stock of the war's death toll. But the national
newscasts undercounted the most dramatic loss of life: the deaths of Iraqi
civilians. (read more)

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Now for the BBC side of the Wolfowitz vs. Neocon Story

BBC Newsnight
Thursday, March 17, 2005

By Greg Palast

Reporting for BBC Newsnight (London)

Why was Paul Wolfowitz pushed out of the Pentagon onto the World Bank? The answer lies in a 323-page document, secret until now, indicating that the allies of Big Oil in the Bush Administration have defeated neo-conservatives and their chief Wolfowitz. BBC Television Newsnight tells the true story of the fall of the neo-cons. An investigation conducted by BBC with Harper's magazine will also reveal that the US State Department made detailed plans for war in Iraq -- and for Iraq's oil -- within weeks of Bush's first inauguration in 2001.

go to the link:

Friday, March 18, 2005

Hearsay, but credible source.

I have it from an activist working with returning soldiers from Fallujah that US soldiers were ordered to block the exit of males 13 years old and up .."so they would have someone to fight" during the siege of Falujah. If you have direct evidence, let's get this out. So much for the Americans letting the non-combatants out of the city. Our own soldiers are having a hard time living with this, and who can blame them?

Furthermore, the same sources say that testing of recently returned solders from Iraq verify high levels of Uranium --as well as some birth defects among the children being born to this first group. It is common knowledge now that we have bombarded Iraq (especially Baghdad and the the cities) with so much in the way of depleted uranium armament that we expect a serious "toxic" clean up problem for decades in that country. Of course, if our solders are there, they have been exposed also. Demand public, INDEPENDENT testing for all returning solders and support staff---so we don't have to wait 20-30 years for them to be helped (as in the Agent Orange scandal during Vietnam). If your son/daughter or husband/wife returns home, get private testing immediately to document so you can make a case to the government later.

AND let's get out of IRAQ before we ruin that country any more, and before we ruin the lives of our young men and women. Let's pay reparations and let them rebuild.

Higher Ed under Pressure from Right--These Nation articles tell the story well.

The suppression of "anti-American" dissent, a disconcerting feature of political life since the Bush Administration took power, has been most sharply felt on college campuses.

As The Nation's lead editorial explains, the main battleground, as Scott Sherman reports in a related magazine feature, is Columbia University, where, in a campaign of vilification, a Boston-based outfit known as the David Project has accused three professors of Middle Eastern origin of intimidating Jewish students.

"Not since the McCarthy era," the editorial adds, "have American campuses felt such a cold breeze--make that an idiot wind. And the new campus McCarthyism is made of much the same ingredients: thuggish intimidation, the circulation of specious rumors and, as Russell Jacoby observes in the same issue of the magazine, that least venerable of American traditions, anti-intellectualism."

The Captive Mind by Nation Editors

The New PC by Russell Jacoby

The Mideast Comes to Columbia by Scott Sherman

Monday, March 07, 2005

Women DO Science. Summers Does NOT!

Of course, extremists on either side of the gender isms could, and have, taken up arms for or against Pres. Summers' remarks in rather traditional stereotypical and slanted arguments. In fact, Pres. Summers has withdrawn his comments and apologized for the impact that they may have had (though he does seem to be recently bolstered by others eager to jump back on the old ways of "guys" are good in math stories and anecdotes).

So, I am wondering why so many pundits and would-be scientists have thought this issue is still more critical that say DEAD and DYING in Sudan, Iraq, or Louisiana. Perhaps talking about a president of an IVY (who seems to know how to jump into hot water repeatedly) is a device to earn some notoriety of their own in non-Harvard university environments.

For the women at Harvard who have legitimate grievances that are being minimalized by the debate regarding Summers' words at a conference, I give my condolences and support (since their complaints involve far more than a few comments made by the representative of their educational insitution at a conference. Tenure, promotion, job recruitment, and salary issues are key to the questions of why women may not choose to come to any such "prestige" university or to stay long enough for tenure.)

Nevertheless, I will summarize the reasoned refutation of scientists (male and female) from major research universities to Dr. Summers' claim that the scarcity of women scientists at Harvard (or other pre-eminent research university) may be explained by innate abilities (yes, those little eugenic traits that may be assigned to any individual based on gender, race, religion, or amount of hair on one�s head). Also, I will rant a bit with my own version of why the "differences" that women possess do not necessarily cause their lack of success in academic science.

1. It is common knowledge that geneticists admit at least SOME role of environment in the development of the individual organism�be the organism the flat worm or a human being. Even if some developed features are innate, tendencies as complex as professional and career choice/success cannot logically or scientifically be limited to a single (or group of) biological genetic features. DUH! Ask a 5 th grader.

2. To base one�s data on the number of women, or blacks, or blondes in a Physics department of Ivy League Schools (or community colleges in Texas) is to make an unwarranted and unproven assumption that all people who are capable of becoming professors of Physics actually wish to become professors of Physics and at those specific locations under the very specific institutional rules of promotion, salary, and tenure.

My own daughter and many other women in science have found themselves recruited like football stars to high salaried R&D divisions of private industry, where they quickly rise through the ranks and are given equipment and the environment that most universities (even the "Carnegie" Research category schools like Harvard) cannot afford the space or the money to build and maintain (not to mention federal restrictions on research that are growing under the more religious right regime).

3. Women or Men who take care of children (traditionally many academic men have been the caregivers at home) have, and still do, perform their fair share of research, teaching, and committee work. Most of us who have been parents (some of us single parents) have been around academia more than a few decades and know this to be the norm, not the exception.

Most importantly, numerous scientific studies have shown that the number of hours one puts into a career do not necessarily (or even frequently) correlate to the promotion or honors academic receive (or to the salaries).

NOT ACCEPTABLE EXCUSES--especially from men:
I have heard one male professor on my campus say to his students that for women to succeed in science is like strapping a 50 lb backpack on a mountain climber (I guess the pack is children, or is it simply Hysteria?). He thought he was being nice to the women by saying WHY THEY CANNOT EVER MAKE IT. Ironically, he's a free market economist who relies on the protection of tenure and job security --instead of free market competition and actual productivity of trying to run a business or work in the actual world.

I don't agree with some balding middle age male who tries to offer some "it's ok girls" rationaliztion like this genetic back pack. (By the way, this is a malicious use of a false analogy.) If indeed we have 50 lb backpacks, the packs have been designed and filled with weights by the primarily male system entrenched in the "Old Buddy Tenure til you die system." AND even with these backpacks, we still climb mountains--not necessarily those mountians worn down by the old trails of the creators of the Western Culture "American" at the modern pseudo-corporate university. Look to the private sector -- Computer Science, Communication Technology R&D, Science Foundations, Private Medical Research (especially in pharmaceuticals and chemical engineering) for the more realistic portrait of women in the 21st century. We are just getting started, not stopping. We don't need excuses for why we can't. We need more people -- male and female -- saying, "Yes, you can."

"Letter from President Summers on women and science--Jan 10, 2005)

WISELI Response to Lawrence Summers' Remarks on Women in Science, as well as a long list of "linked" responses.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Not so funny Political Comedy Awards

Tom Engelhart has written an excellently grim piece awarding political comedy awards to a number of not so funny publications and events.

As he says, "Because our devolving world is too grim not to laugh at." Read it all at:


Best chuckle among torturers, or the You-First-on-the-Waterboarding-Alphonse; no-you-Gaston Award of 2005

Best humorous explanation of 2005 (in the Best Comic Use of Language category -- domestic) [I have to list the answer to this becasue it is so rare!]

In response to a question from a woman in an audience in Tampa, Florida on February 4, our President offered the following explanation of his social security plan:

"Q: How is the new plan going to fix [the] problem? "THE PRESIDENT: Because the -- all which is on the table begins to address the big cost drivers. For example, how benefits are calculate, for example, is on the table; whether or not benefits rise based upon wage increases or price increases. There's a series of parts of the formula that are being considered. And when you couple that, those different cost drivers, affecting those -- changing those with personal accounts, the idea is to get what has been promised more likely to be -- or closer delivered to what has been promised.

"Does that make any sense to you? It's kind of muddled .... There is a reform that would help solve the red if that were put into effect. In other words, how fast benefits grow, how fast the promised benefits grow, if those -- if that growth is affected, it will help on the red.

"Okay, better? I'll keep working on it.(Laughter.)"

Best humorous flashcards of 2005 (in the Best Comic Use of Language category -- foreign) [Nomination and text contributed by panelist and Tomdispatch regular Nick Turse] [Of course, the cards are patently biased and offer most spcific advice for lying flat on the ground or "hands up".]

"If you can remember back to America's last great occupation debacle -- no, not Afghanistan, Haiti, or Somalia, I mean Vietnam -- you might recall U.S. military commander William Westmoreland's "9 rules" pocket card. It was basically a flash card reminding soldiers not to mistreat noncombatants. This time around, the U.S. Marine Corps Intelligence Activity has gone one better, or more correctly 16 times better with a 16-panel folding card offering all sorts of helpful hints to the corpsman entering sunny Iraq about native clothes, customs, ethnic groups, and history. ...."

Funniest Election of 2005 (domestic)

Funniest Figures (Federal Budget) for 2005, or the Smoke-and-Mirrors Award

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Speak Up! Stand Up! At Least Look Around!

Today I found myself listening to a debate over the minimum wage--not how we should raise it to a living wage, but how it should be eliminated because it CAUSES poverty.

Afterall, the poor capitalists must take all the risks (buying technology, leasing warehouses, setting up bank accounts)..and the workers are not productive enough (RE: productivity of goods and services --rather than human worth) to warrant pay that they do not earn for their employers.

Sounds like the bushels of cotton per day argument to me, but I'm the granddaughter of a poor man who had to pick whatever the landowners told him to (until he was lucky enough to become an overseer..then even luckier enough to become a night watchman at a New Orleans bank--yep in the Big City of Dreams).

One of the defenders of the capitalist system in good ole America went so far as to say that no one in this country suffers from "abject" poverty--and everyone has a color TV and a room (generally 2 of his/her own)--of course "studies show this"--somewhere in some fantasy capitalist journal fed by tenure grubbing "productive" professors (who I guess call this papering of libraries "productivity" that earns them capitalist salaries).

If you have any doubt about poverty in America (as if you never see homeless or poor people because your SUV goes too fast past the street corners) read this report.

Communities in Crisis: A New Student Study

"A new study, conducted by students around the nation, shows that more and more people in the U.S. are hungry, homeless and getting turned away from shelters lacking the funds to help."

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