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Everything posted by rick

  1. It's amazing how much faster my machine boots after I took half a day to get rid of all the Norton and Symantec crap on my machine. As someone (I think it was Colin) pointed out, I wound up going into safe mode to get rid of the last of their garbage. The uninstall tool for NAV leaves 6 directories on your machine, no matter how many times you run it..... Thanks for all the suggestions on a registry repair tool....the older a machine gets, the more unconnected junk gets left in the registry over time, and the machine has to process all that garbage to start, which will slow it to a crawl if left untreated. Still, as has been noted a number of times, its critical that you have a restore point available just in case. Thanks! Rick
  2. For those of you following 'The Chronicles of Kadin', you'll find that chapter five is now available for your reading pleasure at Codeys World. Blue managed to get it edited and posted for your enjoyment despite the holiday and the fact I forget to send him chapter five until after Thanksgiving. Chapter twelve was completed last weekend and is out for comment from my loyal beta readers, whose efforts are greatly appreciated. I hope to get chapter thirteen completed this weekend, assuming I don't get interrupted too often. Funny how snowfall is conducive to writing..... Warm Regards; Rick
  3. Hey Guys; Does anyone out there have a recommendation on a program to repair/clean the Windows registry file? I've been using 'Free Registry Fix' and have been less than impressed. Suggestions? Thanks; Rick
  4. Okay, I have a few thoughts on the subject as well. First, I say BRAVO to someone with the courage to stand forth and be heard, against the overwhelming tide of fear, hatred, and bigotry spewing forth from supposedly 'Christian' America. Still, there are a few churches that seem to be progressive enough to provide an up-to-date and humanistic approach to religion in the modern world. Churches like (most of) the Episcopalian branch of the Anglican community, and the Unitarian Universalist Union, are a breath of fresh air and provide Christianity with a message that is, and continues to be, relevant in our weary and tired world. The point made by the author, and some of our fellow board members, however, is that far too many of the Christian sects continue to cling to outdated and illogical dogma that flies in the face of modern scientific knowledge, logic, common sense, humanity, and perhaps most importantly, the message of Christ himself: a message that is overwhelmingly one of love and acceptance. I know I can't be the only person to have noticed the completely different tone and message between the books of the old testament, and those of the new. At some point in the not too distant future, the leaders of the faiths who are stubbornly digging in their heels over the non-issue of homosexuality, will find themselves without followers, and subject to the same ridicule as Pope Paul V, who foolishly stuck to dogma over scientific and provable fact, in this case, that the earth was the center of the universe. I just hope I live long enough to see it. I now yield the soapbox; Rick
  5. Come on over to Codey's World and check out the latest key character to be introduced in "The Chronicles of Kadin," Chapter Four, which is now live. I hope you enjoy reading it, as much as I did writing it! Thanks once again to Blue for his efforts in making 'Chronicles' a better story for everyone. Rick
  6. In all the excitement surrounding the upcoming change in the American government, let us not forget that there are still young American and European men and women in harms way, doing their level best in a situation that has become untenable at best. While those of us who frequent AD are not generally welcome in the armed forces of the United States, there are many of us who have served, and others who continue to serve, with honor and distinction. Please don't make the old mistake of confusing the instrument of national policy, those who are tasked with carrying out their orders through unpleasant things like combat, with those who set the policy in the first place. With that thought in mind, I ask that you take a moment tomorrow, on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, Veteran's Day 2006, to remember that thin blue line of military people, of all nations, whose service keeps the wolf from all our doors. For those of you with military backgrounds, like myself, I'd like to pass along a request from the Secretary of Veterans Affairs that all veterans wear their medals tomorrow, in honor of those who have served, as well as those who are serving today. Rick
  7. Back when I was in the military, I spent 8 years in Japan, and "Love motels" are a very real fact of life (we had a more entertaining name for them, but I don't want the Dudester smacking me upside the head for using colorful language). The "upscale" places won't allow a couple to check in without proof they are a married couple, so the "Love motel" came along to fill a market niche. Rooms are available by the hour, and run the gamut from sleaze bag joints, to expensive and lavishly decorated, some are "theme" based, and have a built in, ummm, "adult toy" order and delivery system (imagine the vacuum tube thing the bank uses...only bigger). You check in via an automated credit card system, or the vacuum tube system for those preferring to use cash, so that the person managing the place and the customer never come face to face: everything was very impersonal to maintain an aura of privacy for the people using the motel. The funny thing though, was the scandal that broke after I'd lived there about 5 years....some enterprising motel owner had wired all his rooms for video and sound and had been distributing the resulting video's as "Amateur Porn".... Caveat Emptor, indeed.... Rick
  8. Don't whisper that one too loud, Trab, he doesn't need any ideas along those lines. Seriously, all that's really happened is that we've replaced the experienced crooks with a new bunch that the Washington lobbbists will begin to corrupt within days. With a bit of luck though, this bunch might act as a check on the over-reaching of that fool in the white house. All we can reasonably hope is that they'll keep their corruption within reasonable bounds until after they are sworn into office! It would be fair to say I don't have high expectations. And that's pretty sad, really. Rick
  9. Evidently there is, indeed, a limit to people's patience. The Democrats have a solid majority in the House, and are currently leading in the last two Senate races, in Virginia and Montana, with nearly all the precincts reporting. We may not have 'official' wins in either state for days or weeks, as you can bet the GOP will demand recounts in both states (in fact Virginia law requires it when the margin is this close). Think about it, in Virginia, with around 2.4 million votes cast, Jim Webb is winning by only 7,000 votes. In Montana, with some 400,000 votes cast, Jon Tester is holding onto a razor thin margin of 1,500 votes. I point this out just to underscore that your vote CAN make a difference! I just want to say "Thank You" To everyone who went out and made their voice heard. Democracy does, indeed, work after all. Now if they will just live up to their pledge to turn this country in a new direction, and exercise some control and restraint over an out of control presidency. Well Done America!!!
  10. Okay Web Wiz Guys; I've heard some horror stories about getting rid of Norton plug-ins and modules. Does anyone here know the real situation? How tough is it to clear it out? Also, I see the link to AVG, and that its free, but does the free version include updates as well. Is AVG an open source program (I finally made the move to Firefox 2). Inquiring minds want to know. Rick
  11. Dude; Thanks for posting this...I may not always agree with Michael Moore, but in this case he's 100% on target. C'mon folks, get out there and vote! Rick
  12. Link to MSNBC.com Okay, here's the last of the three articles I'd like you to consider before you vote. I like the way Olbermann thinks and believe I'll be paying a bit more attention to this guy in the future. - Rick On the 22nd of May, 1856, as the deteriorating American political system veered toward the edge of the cliff, U.S. Rep. Preston Brooks of South Carolina shuffled into the Senate of this nation, his leg stiff from an old dueling injury, supported by a cane. And he looked for the familiar figure of the prominent senator from Massachusetts, Charles Sumner. Brooks found Sumner at his desk, mailing out copies of a speech he had delivered three days earlier ? a speech against slavery. The congressman matter-of-factly raised his walking stick in midair and smashed its metal point across the senator?s head. Congressman Brooks hit his victim repeatedly. Sen. Sumner somehow got to his feet and tried to flee. Brooks chased him and delivered untold blows to Sumner?s head. Even though Sumner lay unconscious and bleeding on the Senate floor, Brooks finally stopped beating him only because his cane finally broke. Others will cite John Brown?s attack on the arsenal at Harper?s Ferry as the exact point after which the Civil War became inevitable. In point of fact, it might have been the moment, not when Brooks broke his cane over the prostrate body of Sen. Sumner ? but when voters in Brooks? district started sending him new canes. Tonight, we almost wonder to whom President Bush will send the next new cane. There is tonight no political division in this country that he and his party will not exploit, nor have not exploited; no anxiety that he and his party will not inflame. There is no line this president has not crossed ? nor will not cross ? to keep one political party in power. He has spread any and every fear among us in a desperate effort to avoid that which he most fears ? some check, some balance against what has become not an imperial, but a unilateral presidency. And now it is evident that it no longer matters to him whether that effort to avoid the judgment of the people is subtle and nuanced or laughably transparent. Sen. John Kerry called him out Monday. He did it two years too late. He had been too cordial ? just as Vice President Gore had been too cordial in 2000, just as millions of us have been too cordial ever since. Sen. Kerry, as you well know, spoke at a college in Southern California. With bitter humor he told the students that he had been in Texas the day before, that President Bush used to live in that state, but that now he lives in the state of denial. He said the trip had reminded him about the value of education ? that ?if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don?t, you get stuck in Iraq.? The senator, in essence, called Mr. Bush stupid. The context was unmistakable: Texas; the state of denial; stuck in Iraq. No interpretation required. And Mr. Bush and his minions responded by appearing to be too stupid to realize that they had been called stupid. They demanded Kerry apologize to the troops in Iraq. And so he now has. That phrase ? ?appearing to be too stupid? ? is used deliberately, Mr. Bush. Because there are only three possibilities here. One, sir, is that you are far more stupid than the worst of your critics have suggested; that you could not follow the construction of a simple sentence; that you could not recognize your own life story when it was deftly summarized; that you could not perceive it was the sad ledger of your presidency that was being recounted. This, of course, compliments you, Mr. Bush, because even those who do not ?make the most of it,? who do not ?study hard,? who do not ?do their homework,? and who do not ?make an effort to be smart? might still just be stupid, but honest. No, the first option, sir, is, at best, improbable. You are not honest. The second option is that you and those who work for you deliberately twisted what Sen. Kerry said to fit your political template; that you decided to take advantage of it, to once again pretend that the attacks, solely about your own incompetence, were in fact attacks on the troops or even on the nation itself. The third possibility is, obviously, the nightmare scenario: that the first two options are in some way conflated. That it is both politically convenient for you and personally satisfying to you, to confuse yourself with the country for which, sir, you work. A brief reminder, Mr. Bush: You are not the United States of America. You are merely a politician whose entire legacy will have been a willingness to make anything political; to have, in this case, refused to acknowledge that the insult wasn?t about the troops, and that the insult was not even truly about you either, that the insult, in fact, is you. So now John Kerry has apologized to the troops; apologized for the Republicans? deliberate distortions. Thus, the president will now begin the apologies he owes our troops, right? This president must apologize to the troops for having suggested, six weeks ago, that the chaos in Iraq, the death and the carnage, the slaughtered Iraqi civilians and the dead American service personnel, will, to history, ?look like just a comma.? This president must apologize to the troops because the intelligence he claims led us into Iraq proved to be undeniably and irredeemably wrong. This president must apologize to the troops for having laughed about the failure of that intelligence at a banquet while our troops were in harm?s way. This president must apologize to the troops because the streets of Iraq were not strewn with flowers and its residents did not greet them as liberators. This president must apologize to the troops because his administration ran out of ?plan? after barely two months. This president must apologize to the troops for getting 2,815 of them killed. This president must apologize to the troops for getting this country into a war without a clue. And Mr. Bush owes us an apology for this destructive and omnivorous presidency. We will not receive them, of course. This president never apologizes. Not to the troops. Not to the people. Nor will those henchmen who have echoed him. In calling him a ?stuffed suit,? Sen. Kerry was wrong about the press secretary. Mr. Snow?s words and conduct, falsely earnest and earnestly false, suggest he is not ?stuffed,? he is inflated. And in leaving him out of the equation, Sen. Kerry gave an unwarranted pass to his old friend Sen. John McCain, who should be ashamed of himself tonight. He rolled over and pretended Kerry had said what he obviously had not. Only, the symbolic stick he broke over Kerry?s head came in a context even more disturbing. Mr. McCain demanded the apology while electioneering for a Republican congressional candidate in Illinois. He was speaking of how often he had been to Walter Reed Hospital to see the wounded Iraq veterans, of how ?many of them have lost limbs.? He said all this while demanding that the voters of Illinois reject a candidate who is not only a wounded Iraq veteran, but who lost two limbs there, Tammy Duckworth. Support some of the wounded veterans. But bad-mouth the Democratic one. And exploit all the veterans and all the still-serving personnel in a cheap and tawdry political trick to try to bury the truth: that John Kerry said the president had been stupid. And to continue this slander as late as this morning ? as biased or gullible or lazy newscasters nodded in sleep-walking assent. Sen. McCain became a front man in a collective lie to break sticks over the heads of Democrats ? one of them his friend, another his fellow veteran, legless, for whom he should weep and applaud or at minimum about whom he should stay quiet. That was beneath the senator from Arizona. And it was all because of an imaginary insult to the troops that his party cynically manufactured out of a desperation and a futility as deep as that of Congressman Brooks, when he went hunting for Sen. Sumner. This is our beloved country now as you have redefined it, Mr. Bush. Get a tortured Vietnam veteran to attack a decorated Vietnam veteran in defense of military personnel whom that decorated veteran did not insult. Or, get your henchmen to take advantage of the evil lingering dregs of the fear of miscegenation in Tennessee, in your party?s advertisements against Harold Ford. Or, get the satellites who orbit around you, like Rush Limbaugh, to exploit the illness ? and the bipartisanship ? of Michael J. Fox. Yes, get someone to make fun of the cripple. Oh, and sir, don?t forget to drag your own wife into it. ?It?s always easy,? she said of Mr. Fox?s commercials ? and she used this phrase twice ? ?to manipulate people?s feelings.? Where on earth might the first lady have gotten that idea, Mr. President? From your endless manipulation of people?s feelings about terrorism? ?However they put it,? you said Monday of the Democrats, on the subject of Iraq, ?their approach comes down to this: The terrorists win, and America loses.? No manipulation of feelings there. No manipulation of the charlatans of your administration into the only truth-tellers. No shocked outrage at the Kerry insult that wasn?t; no subtle smile as the first lady silently sticks the knife in Michael J. Fox?s back; no attempt on the campaign trail to bury the reality that you have already assured that the terrorists are winning. Winning in Iraq, sir. Winning in America, sir. There we have chaos ? joint U.S.-Iraqi checkpoints at Sadr City, the base of the radical Shiite militias, and the Americans have been ordered out by the prime minister of Iraq ? and our secretary of defense doesn?t even know about it! And here we have deliberate, systematic, institutionalized lying and smearing and terrorizing ? a code of deceit that somehow permits a president to say, ?If you listen carefully for a Democrat plan for success, they don?t have one.? Permits him to say this while his plan in Iraq has amounted to a twisted version of the advice once offered to Lyndon Johnson about his Iraq, called Vietnam. Instead of ?declare victory and get out? we now have ?declare victory and stay indefinitely.? And also here ? we have institutionalized the terrorizing of the opposition. True domestic terror: Critics of your administration in the media receive letters filled with fake anthrax. Braying newspapers applaud or laugh or reveal details the FBI wished kept quiet, and thus impede or ruin the investigation. A series of reactionary columnists encourages treason charges against a newspaper that published ?national security information? that was openly available on the Internet. One radio critic receives a letter threatening the revelation of as much personal information about her as can be obtained and expressing the hope that someone will then shoot her with an AK-47 machine gun. And finally, a critic of an incumbent Republican senator, a critic armed with nothing but words, is attacked by the senator?s supporters and thrown to the floor in full view of television cameras as if someone really did want to re-enact the intent ? and the rage ? of the day Preston Brooks found Sen. Charles Sumner. Of course, Mr. President, you did none of these things. You instructed no one to mail the fake anthrax, nor undermine the FBI?s case, nor call for the execution of the editors of the New York Times, nor threaten to assassinate Stephanie Miller, nor beat up a man yelling at Sen. George Allen, nor have the first lady knife Michael J. Fox, nor tell John McCain to lie about John Kerry. No, you did not. And the genius of the thing is the same as in King Henry?s rhetorical question about Archbishop Thomas Becket: ?Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?? All you have to do, sir, is hand out enough new canes. ? 2006 MSNBC Interactive
  13. Link to MSNBC.com A bit more political commentary for your consideration, that hits the nail on the head. - Rick We have lived as if in a trance. We have lived as people in fear. And now?our rights and our freedoms in peril?we slowly awaken to learn that we have been afraid of the wrong thing. Therefore, tonight have we truly become the inheritors of our American legacy. For, on this first full day that the Military Commissions Act is in force, we now face what our ancestors faced, at other times of exaggerated crisis and melodramatic fear-mongering: A government more dangerous to our liberty, than is the enemy it claims to protect us from. We have been here before?and we have been here before, led here by men better and wiser and nobler than George W. Bush. We have been here when President John Adams insisted that the Alien and Sedition Acts were necessary to save American lives, only to watch him use those acts to jail newspaper editors. American newspaper editors, in American jails, for things they wrote about America. We have been here when President Woodrow Wilson insisted that the Espionage Act was necessary to save American lives, only to watch him use that Act to prosecute 2,000 Americans, especially those he disparaged as ?Hyphenated Americans,? most of whom were guilty only of advocating peace in a time of war. American public speakers, in American jails, for things they said about America. And we have been here when President Franklin D. Roosevelt insisted that Executive Order 9066 was necessary to save American lives, only to watch him use that order to imprison and pauperize 110,000 Americans while his man in charge, General DeWitt, told Congress: ?It makes no difference whether he is an American citizen?he is still a Japanese.? American citizens, in American camps, for something they neither wrote nor said nor did, but for the choices they or their ancestors had made about coming to America. Each of these actions was undertaken for the most vital, the most urgent, the most inescapable of reasons. And each was a betrayal of that for which the president who advocated them claimed to be fighting. Adams and his party were swept from office, and the Alien and Sedition Acts erased. Many of the very people Wilson silenced survived him, and one of them even ran to succeed him, and got 900,000 votes, though his presidential campaign was conducted entirely from his jail cell. And Roosevelt?s internment of the Japanese was not merely the worst blight on his record, but it would necessitate a formal apology from the government of the United States to the citizens of the United States whose lives it ruined. The most vital, the most urgent, the most inescapable of reasons. In times of fright, we have been only human. We have let Roosevelt?s ?fear of fear itself? overtake us. We have listened to the little voice inside that has said, ?the wolf is at the door; this will be temporary; this will be precise; this too shall pass.? We have accepted that the only way to stop the terrorists is to let the government become just a little bit like the terrorists. Just the way we once accepted that the only way to stop the Soviets was to let the government become just a little bit like the Soviets. Or substitute the Japanese. Or the Germans. Or the Socialists. Or the Anarchists. Or the Immigrants. Or the British. Or the Aliens. The most vital, the most urgent, the most inescapable of reasons. And, always, always wrong. ?With the distance of history, the questions will be narrowed and few: Did this generation of Americans take the threat seriously, and did we do what it takes to defeat that threat?? Wise words. And ironic ones, Mr. Bush. Your own, of course, yesterday, in signing the Military Commissions Act. You spoke so much more than you know, Sir. Sadly?of course?the distance of history will recognize that the threat this generation of Americans needed to take seriously was you. We have a long and painful history of ignoring the prophecy attributed to Benjamin Franklin that ?those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.? But even within this history we have not before codified the poisoning of habeas corpus, that wellspring of protection from which all essential liberties flow. You, sir, have now befouled that spring. You, sir, have now given us chaos and called it order. You, sir, have now imposed subjugation and called it freedom. For the most vital, the most urgent, the most inescapable of reasons. And ? again, Mr. Bush ? all of them, wrong. We have handed a blank check drawn against our freedom to a man who has said it is unacceptable to compare anything this country has ever done to anything the terrorists have ever done. We have handed a blank check drawn against our freedom to a man who has insisted again that ?the United States does not torture. It?s against our laws and it?s against our values? and who has said it with a straight face while the pictures from Abu Ghraib Prison and the stories of Waterboarding figuratively fade in and out, around him. We have handed a blank check drawn against our freedom to a man who may now, if he so decides, declare not merely any non-American citizens ?unlawful enemy combatants? and ship them somewhere?anywhere -- but may now, if he so decides, declare you an ?unlawful enemy combatant? and ship you somewhere - anywhere. And if you think this hyperbole or hysteria, ask the newspaper editors when John Adams was president or the pacifists when Woodrow Wilson was president or the Japanese at Manzanar when Franklin Roosevelt was president. And if you somehow think habeas corpus has not been suspended for American citizens but only for everybody else, ask yourself this: If you are pulled off the street tomorrow, and they call you an alien or an undocumented immigrant or an ?unlawful enemy combatant??exactly how are you going to convince them to give you a court hearing to prove you are not? Do you think this attorney general is going to help you? This President now has his blank check. He lied to get it. He lied as he received it. Is there any reason to even hope he has not lied about how he intends to use it nor who he intends to use it against? ?These military commissions will provide a fair trial,? you told us yesterday, Mr. Bush, ?in which the accused are presumed innocent, have access to an attorney and can hear all the evidence against them.? "Presumed innocent," Mr. Bush? The very piece of paper you signed as you said that, allows for the detainees to be abused up to the point just before they sustain ?serious mental and physical trauma? in the hope of getting them to incriminate themselves, and may no longer even invoke The Geneva Conventions in their own defense. "Access to an attorney," Mr. Bush? Lieutenant Commander Charles Swift said on this program, Sir, and to the Supreme Court, that he was only granted access to his detainee defendant on the promise that the detainee would plead guilty. "Hearing all the evidence," Mr. Bush? The Military Commissions Act specifically permits the introduction of classified evidence not made available to the defense. Your words are lies, Sir. They are lies that imperil us all. ?One of the terrorists believed to have planned the 9/11 attacks,? you told us yesterday, ?said he hoped the attacks would be the beginning of the end of America.? That terrorist, sir, could only hope. Not his actions, nor the actions of a ceaseless line of terrorists (real or imagined), could measure up to what you have wrought. Habeas corpus? Gone. The Geneva Conventions? Optional. The moral force we shined outwards to the world as an eternal beacon, and inwards at ourselves as an eternal protection? Snuffed out. These things you have done, Mr. Bush, they would be ?the beginning of the end of America.? And did it even occur to you once, sir ? somewhere in amidst those eight separate, gruesome, intentional, terroristic invocations of the horrors of 9/11 -- that with only a little further shift in this world we now know?just a touch more repudiation of all of that for which our patriots died --- did it ever occur to you once that in just 27 months and two days from now when you leave office, some irresponsible future president and a ?competent tribunal? of lackeys would be entitled, by the actions of your own hand, to declare the status of ?unlawful enemy combatant? for -- and convene a Military Commission to try -- not John Walker Lindh, but George Walker Bush? For the most vital, the most urgent, the most inescapable of reasons. And doubtless, Sir, all of them?as always?wrong. ? 2006 MSNBC Interactive
  14. Link to MSNBC.com Okay, its once again election time in America. My state allows early voting, and my votes have been in the system since last Friday. Still, for those of you who haven't yet cast your vote, or are unsure if you should, I'm posting three articles from Keith Olbermann for your consideration. I'm not telling you to go vote for or against anyone: Democrat, Libertarian, or Republican. I am asking, however, that you get involved, find the people who best represent your value set, and get out and VOTE. A handful of votes can make a difference, as we've all seen in the last six years. If you don't go vote, don't complain about about the resultant mess. - Rick On Tuesday, "Countdown" host Keith Olbermann talked to Jonathan Turley, a constitutional law professor at George Washington University about a new bill signed by President Bush that redefines the right of habeas corpus. Read the transcript below. History does not play well at this White House. Expressionless faces would probably greet references to how John Adams ended his political career by insisting he needed the Alien and Sedition Acts to silence his critics in the newspapers, or how Franklin D. Roosevelt?s executive order to seize Japanese-Americans during World War II necessitated a formal presidential apology eight presidents later. But even so, somebody probably should have told President Bush that today was the exact 135th anniversary, to the day, that President Grant suspended habeas corpus in much of South Carolina for the noble and urgent purpose of dispersing the Ku Klux Klan and making sure the freed slaves had all their voting rights, neither of which has yet truly occurred. It is your principal defense against imprisonment without charge and trial without defense thrown away for no good reason, then and now. Our fifth story on "Countdown": President Bush, happy Habeas Corpus Day. First thing this morning, the president signed into law the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which does away with habeas corpus, the right of suspected terrorists or anybody else to know why they have been imprisoned, provided the president does not think it should apply to you and declares you an enemy combatant. Further, the bill allows the CIA to continue using interrogation techniques so long as they do not cause what is deemed, quote, ?serious physical or mental pain.? And it lets the president to ostensibly pick and choose which parts of the Geneva Convention to obey, though to hear him describe this, this repudiation of the freedoms for which all our soldiers have died is a good thing. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PRESIDENT BUSH: This bill spells out specific, recognizable offenses that would be considered crimes in the handling of detainees, so that our men and women who question captured terrorists can perform their duties to the fullest extent of the law. And this bill complies with both the spirit and the letter of our international obligations. (END VIDEO CLIP) OLBERMANN: Leading Democrats view it differently, Senator Ted Kennedy calling this ?seriously flawed,? Senator Patrick Leahey saying it?s, quote, ?a sad day when the rubber-stamp Congress undercuts our freedoms,? and Senator Russ Feingold adding that ?We will look back on this day as a stain on our nation?s history.? Outside the White House, a handful of individuals protested the law by dressing up as Abu Ghraib abuse victims and terror detainees. Several of them got themselves arrested, but they were apparently quickly released, despite being already dressed for Gitmo. To assess what this law will truly mean for us all, I?m joined by Jonathan Turley, professor of constitutional law at George Washington University. I want to start by asking you about a specific part of this act that lists one of the definitions of an unlawful enemy combatant as, quote, ?a person who, before, on, or after the date of the enactment of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, has been determined to be an unlawful enemy combatant by a combatant status review tribunal or another competent tribunal established under the authority of the president or the secretary of defense.? Does that not basically mean that if Mr. Bush or Mr. Rumsfeld say so, anybody in this country, citizen or not, innocent or not, can end up being an unlawful enemy combatant? JONATHAN TURLEY, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY CONSTITUTIONAL LAW PROFESSOR: It certainly does. In fact, later on, it says that if you even give material support to an organization that the president deems connected to one of these groups, you too can be an enemy combatant. And the fact that he appoints this tribunal is meaningless. You know, standing behind him at the signing ceremony was his attorney general, who signed a memo that said that you could torture people, that you could do harm to them to the point of organ failure or death. So if he appoints someone like that to be attorney general, you can imagine who he?s going be putting on this board. OLBERMANN: Does this mean that under this law, ultimately the only thing keeping you, I, or the viewer out of Gitmo is the sanity and honesty of the president of the United States? TURLEY: It does. And it?s a huge sea change for our democracy. The framers created a system where we did not have to rely on the good graces or good mood of the president. In fact, Madison said that he created a system essentially to be run by devils, where they could not do harm, because we didn?t rely on their good motivations. Now we must. And people have no idea how significant this is. What, really, a time of shame this is for the American system. What the Congress did and what the president signed today essentially revokes over 200 years of American principles and values. It couldn?t be more significant. And the strange thing is, we?ve become sort of constitutional couch potatoes. I mean, the Congress just gave the president despotic powers, and you could hear the yawn across the country as people turned to, you know, ?Dancing with the Stars.? I mean, it?s otherworldly. OLBERMANN: Is there one defense against this, the legal challenges against particularly the suspension or elimination of habeas corpus from the equation? And where do they stand, and how likely are they to overturn this action today? TURLEY: Well, you know what? I think people are fooling themselves if they believe that the courts will once again stop this president from taking over?taking almost absolute power. It basically comes down to a single vote on the Supreme Court, Justice Kennedy. And he indicated that if Congress gave the president these types of powers, that he might go along. And so we may have, in this country, some type of uber-president, some absolute ruler, and it?ll be up to him who gets put away as an enemy combatant, held without trial. It?s something that no one thought?certainly I didn?t think?was possible in the United States. And I am not too sure how we got to this point. But people clearly don?t realize what a fundamental change it is about who we are as a country. What happened today changed us. And I?m not too sure we?re going to change back anytime soon. OLBERMANN: And if Justice Kennedy tries to change us back, we can always call him an enemy combatant. The president reiterated today the United States does not torture. Does this law actually guarantee anything like that? TURLEY: That?s actually when I turned off my TV set, because I couldn?t believe it. You know, the United States has engaged in torture. And the whole world community has denounced the views of this administration, its early views that the president could order torture, could cause injury up to organ failure or death. The administration has already established that it has engaged in things like waterboarding, which is not just torture. We prosecuted people after World War II for waterboarding prisoners. We treated it as a war crime. And my God, what a change of fate, where we are now embracing the very thing that we once prosecuted people for. Who are we now? I know who we were then. But when the president said that we don?t torture, that was, frankly, when I had to turn off my TV set. OLBERMANN: That same individual fell back on the same argument that he?d used about the war in Iraq to sanction this law. Let me play what he said and then ask you a question about it. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PRESIDENT BUSH: Yet with the distance of history, the questions will be narrowed and few. Did this generation of Americans take the threat seriously? And did we do what it takes to defeat that threat? (END VIDEO CLIP) OLBERMANN: Does he understand the irony of those words when taken out of the context of this particular passage or of what he perceives as the war against terror, and that, in fact, the threat we may be facing is the threat of President George W. Bush? TURLEY: Well, this is going to go down in history as one of our greatest self-inflicted wounds. And I think you can feel the judgment of history. It won?t be kind to President Bush. But frankly, I don?t think that it will be kind to the rest of us. I think that history will ask, Where were you? What did you do when this thing was signed into law? There were people that protested the Japanese concentration camps, there were people that protested these other acts. But we are strangely silent in this national yawn as our rights evaporate. OLBERMANN: Well, not to pat ourselves on the back too much, but I think we?ve done a little bit of what we could have done. I?ll see you at Gitmo. As always, greatest thanks for your time, Jon. TURLEY: Thanks, Keith. Watch 'Countdown' each weeknight at 8 p.m. ET ? 2006 MSNBC Interactive
  15. I just finished reading Laika and just wanted you to know I loved it. What a nice way to blow off steam after a lousy week of playing the role of corporate slave! Before I knew it, I'd stopped fuming and was laughing out loud at Brandon, Mark, and the rest of the gang. Well done! Rick
  16. Thanks to the intrepid efforts of my fabulous editor, The Blue One, chapter three of Chronicles is now live for your reading enjoyment at over at Codey's World. Happy reading! Rick
  17. Okay, so no one mentioned my favorite way to eat fries....with hot sauce. Pace doesn't quite work in this application, but a good Louisiana style hot sauce, like Franks Original Red Hot, will work just fine. The Southern thing with gravy is okay, as long as there is some chicken, turkey, or roast to go along with it. Fries with chili and cheese are pretty good, if a bit on the fattening side. Chips (fries in Britain) with vinegar are fine, as long they are fresh from the Chippy, properly salty, and wrapped in newspaper (which I gather is illegal now). I have to admit that while I like barbeque sauce, it doesn't always like me. Funny, I can eat flaming hot chili without issue, but commercial barbeque sauces use a chemical based liquid smoke additive, and it gives me heartburn in the worst way. I spent some time in the Netherlands, and could never quite get used to the idea of putting mayo on fries....yuck. Of course, I'm not a big fan of mayo in the first place. In the northwest US, many restaurants offer what they call 'fry sauce' which is basically a blend of ketchup and mayo. It's OK, but needs some hot sauce. Fry's with spicy remoulade sauce are good too! The bottom line is that fries are a great sauce vehicle. Hot wings are a good thing. Especially the habanero hot wings over at Bahama Breeze! To follow up on Trab's comment on real buffalo/bison, he's right. If you're ever in Denver, try a place called the Buckhorn Exchange. Its been in business since the civil war, holds liquor licence #1 from the state of Colorado, and serves the best piece of bison prime rib you've ever seen or heard of! Ribs are good, but give me a pepper crusted elk steak over ribs any day!
  18. Colin; I'm not going to go into suggestions mode, because you've obviously had plenty of those. My only comment is: Please, Sir, may I have some more? Okay, so I stole that from Oliver. Imitation is the highest form of flattery! Cheers; Rick
  19. Well done, WBMS. Thought provoking, as usual. I thought it was appropriate that I read this between dishing out handfuls of candy to the neighbor kids. Rick
  20. Rick; I love the setup, and then the way you twist it into something familiar at the end. Well done! Rick
  21. Excellent as usual, Graeme. I loved the twist at the end. Rick
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