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Wednesday News

Good Morning Conflucians!!

Let’s dive in with a hodgepodge of unrelated news items. First up, Adam Savage from Mythbusters had a funny experience with TSA where they saw his junk but missed the razor blades:

Savage was put through the full-body scanner, and while he joked that it made his penis feel small, no one seemed to notice the items he was carrying on his person.


If the TSA thinks you can hijack a plane with saline solution and nail clippers, Savage’s 12″ razor blades are the equivalent of a nuclear bomb. Since the blades weren’t anywhere near Savage’s privates, they likely would have been missed by the pat-down as well.

Follow the link for a video of Adam discussing it. So the gate rape is not only demeaning and horrifying and a direct assault to our constitution, but it’s a complete waste of time. Oh, by the way, gate rape is now in the Urban Dictionary.

Not much of a surprise, but we’re headed to S. Korea for war games:

A US aircraft carrier is heading for the Korean peninsula a day after North and South Korea exchanged artillery fire on a border island that left two South Korean soldiers dead.

The USS George Washington, which carries 75 warplanes and has a crew of over 6,000, left a naval base south of Tokyo on Wednesday morning and would join exercises with South Korea from Sunday, US officials in Seoul said.

“This exercise is defensive in nature,” US Forces Korea said in a statement. “While planned well before yesterday’s unprovoked artillery attack, it demonstrates the strength of the ROK (South Korea)-US alliance and our commitment to regional stability through deterrence.”

The US has 28,000 troops based in South Korea.

Let’s hope nothing stupid happens. Well, N. Korea has already done that. Let’s hope nothing else stupid happens.

In case you haven’t heard, the world as we know it almost came to an end last night. But saints be praised, Bristol didn’t win:

Sarah Palin’s eldest daughter Bristol has been defeated in the final of the Dancing with the Stars competition, after claims that fans of her mother had helped her advance at the expense of more talented dancers.


Palin’s improbable run for the finals had been championed by some conservative bloggers, who led get-out-the-vote campaigns on behalf of the 20-year-old single mother. Palin’s fan support was evident when she was voted in last week over singer Brandy — who had received a perfect score for her one dance — on last week’s show, prompting some viewers to question the veracity of the “Dancing” voting system.

I picked the Telegraph just to be different. But it’s about the same story as everywhere. Notice the title of that article: “Bristol Palin loses out in Dancing with the Stars final”. A few months down the road, will anyone remember who won? But the biggest point of course is, it’s a really stupid reality TV show, why is it being covered?

In some local news, my two senators, Jim Webb and Mark Warner, are fighting to get the Navy to spend money on current shipyards (two of the four are in Virginia) before moving an aircraft carrier to a new location:

Sens. Jim Webb and Mark Warner renewed the fight over the Navy’s East Coast aircraft carrier fleet after a yearlong Government Accountability Office (GAO) study found the Navy has a $3 billion backlog in restoration and modernization projects at its four shipyards.


Webb and Warner are using the GAO study to fuel their argument that the Navy should not spend limited defense funds to prepare Mayport, Fla., to house a nuclear aircraft carrier, but should address the multibillion-dollar backlog at the shipyards instead.

“This study documents why the Navy should invest more resources in our four naval shipyards before building redundant nuclear-support infrastructure to homeport a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in Mayport, Fla.,” Webb said in a statement on Friday.  “The yards play a key national security role through their performance of critical ship repair, maintenance and modernization work.”

I think the Senators and the GAO are right in this case. The deterioration can turn into a critical issue. Of course I’m a bit biased perhaps.

Obama is out campaigning that he saved the US auto industry:

President Barack Obama trekked to economically ravaged Kokomo, Ind., Tuesday to defend the government’s rescue of Chrysler Group LLC and General Motors Co. The two automakers plan to invest another $1 billion in four Midwestern plants.


In Indiana, Obama and Biden underscored the importance of the $814 billion economic stimulus plan, choosing a city that has been devastated by the loss of automotive jobs in recent years. Both GM and Chrysler filed for bankruptcy last year and relied on government aid to restructure. Their financial fortunes have improved, as both work to repay their government loans.

“We’re coming back. We’re on the move. All three American companies are profitable, and they are growing,” Obama told Kokomo factory workers.

“Today, each of the Big Three automakers has increased their market share,” he said, adding that “for the first time in over a decade, Americans are buying a larger share of Chryslers, Fords and GM cars, and a smaller share of their foreign counterparts.”

As reported previously, the Pope has said condom’s might be fine in some cases. Initially he dwelled on male prostitutes. Since then theologians have been trying to divine what he meant:

Speaking at a Vatican news conference Tuesday, the Rev. Federico Lombardi told reporters that he had asked the pope whether he intended in the book to refer only to male prostitutes – a question that came up because of different translations of the book and apparently confused pronouns. Benedict replied that gender really doesn’t matter and that the important thing was that the person in question takes into consideration the life of the other, Lombardi said.

“I personally asked the pope if there was a serious, important problem in the choice of the masculine over the feminine,” Lombardi said. “He told me ‘no.’ . . . It’s the first step of taking responsibility, of taking into consideration the risk of the life of another with whom you have a relationship.

“This is if you’re a man, a woman or a transsexual. We’re at the same point. The point is it’s a first step of taking responsibility, of avoiding passing a grave risk onto another,” Lombardi said.

Progress. And we’ll take it where ever we can get it. I hope this helps loosen the grip on condom usage. Oh yea, I did that on purpose.

In a sort of related story, a new AIDS drug has been showing promise of lowering the risk of HIV:

When gay men at high risk of becoming infected with HIV through sex take a daily dose of antiretroviral drugs, their chance of catching the virus drops by at least 40 percent, according to a new study.

The protective benefit could be as high as 95 percent if a person is extremely attentive about not missing a dose, the research on nearly 2,500 men on four continents found.

The study provides further proof that the drugs that have transformed AIDS treatment over the past 15 years might be powerful tools in preventing infection, as well. Earlier evidence of that appeared last summer, when a study testing a vaginal gel containing an AIDS drug lowered African women’s risk of acquiring HIV by 40 percent.


This latest approach adds to a growing menu of strategies for preventing infection in ways other than by urging people to change their behavior. While globally the AIDS epidemic is starting to ebb, gay men remain a risk group in which rates of infection are growing in both rich countries and the developing world. This study offers a new tool to address that problem.

“This is an extremely important advance in our efforts to address HIV in both the United States and globally,” said Chris Collins, policy director of the New York-based organization amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research.

Even more progress. One more step towards conquering this horrible disease.

And now for something completely different, Kuwait is banning DSLR cameras:

According to Kuwait Times The Ministry of Information, Ministry of Social Affairs and Ministry of Finance have put the ban in place. Start burying your DSLRs in the backyard once the Ministry of Interior join the club.

If you’re not familiar with the term, DSLR cameras are Digital single-lens reflex cameras. For the layman like myself that translates to big -mostly black- cameras with cool looking lens’. You know like the one’s paparazzi use in the US & UK.


To tell you the truth, I wasn’t that surprised when I heard the news a couple of days back. But being the Arab optimist I am, I thought to myself maybe the public outcry will make the three ministries that implemented the ban retract.

The problem is, there is no outcry.

To those of you who don’t know this, the Kuwaiti society is generally a conservative one, at least while their in Kuwait for that matter. What I sadly discovered is that most of the Kuwaiti public actually welcome the ban.

The Kuwaitis welcoming the ban remind me of the sheeple Americans that are fine with the gate rape activities. Wake up people.

And in even more different news, if you add work, MS enterprise related, email abilities to your smartphone (iPhone, Android, Palm, Blackberry, etc.), your entire phone can be wiped out from your work’s IT department:

A few weeks ago, Amanda Stanton’s iPhone suddenly went black.

She had been talking on it and navigating with a GPS app during a work trip to Los Angeles. Then, without any warning or error message, the phone quit.

Everything was gone — all her contacts, photos and even the phone’s ability to make calls.

It was only after she got home to Silicon Valley that she found out that her phone had been killed by her employer, a publishing company.

Someone in the IT department had sent out what’s called a “remote wipe,” a kind of auto-destruct command that’s delivered by e-mail. The wipe was done by mistake, and Stanton wouldn’t have been surprised to see this kind of remote control on a company phone.

But this iPhone was hers.

“It was my account, in my name [and] I’d paid all the bills,” Stanton says. “It didn’t make any sense to me that somehow work could get through AT&T, who I thought controlled my phone, and could completely disable the phone and the account.”

It’s no surprise to people who know IT. Since 2003, a growing list of smart phones have come loaded with software from Microsoft that makes remote wipes — and many other remote-control commands — possible.

The phone doesn’t need to download any new software. All that’s necessary is for the phone’s user to configure it to receive e-mail from a Microsoft Exchange Server — the kind most big companies use.

You’ve been warned. If you are required to have work email on your smartphone, get a work phone for it. If you can’t and you have to have the email, backup often. Still, there’s actual personal risk if your phone is wiped at the wrong time. Of course what’s really bad is that Microsoft Exchange Server installs those hooks into your smartphone and doesn’t let you opt out, even if it’s your phone. I’d say companies are liable and should insist MS fix that issue.

There you have it, a small collection of some things going on. Chime in with what you’re finding.

79 Responses

  1. Jennifer Grey saves the universe!

  2. Poll: Obama’s looking weak for re-election in 2012

    President Barack Obama emerges from a bruising midterm election with uncertain prospects for the next one in 2012, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll.

    Nearly half of his own base — 45 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents — want someone to challenge him for the Democratic nomination, according to the poll.

    And, assuming he wins re-nomination, barely more than 1 in 3 voters, or 36 percent, said they’ll definitely vote for him, while nearly half, 48 percent, said they’ll definitely vote against him.

    W_ T_LD Y_ _ S_!

  3. everyday BO is looking more and more like a 1 term POTUS

  4. This sounds like Showgirls, only good.

  5. The Note:

    Sarah Palin responded to her daughter Bristol’s third place finish on “Dancing With The Stars” tonight as she exited the first stop on her book tour.

    “I haven’t talked to her yet. We just watched it though. We watched the tail end of it and I can’t wait to talk to her,” Palin said on camera as she left the Barnes and Noble in Phoenix after her book signing. “I know what she’s going to say, she’s going to say ‘mom, it was a great experience, like you say people are going to criticize anyway, you might as well dance.’ She’s got some great life lessons from this,” Palin concluded.

    Asked by ABC’s John Berman if she was disappointed with the results Palin responded “no, not at all.”

    “She’s had the journey of, you know the challenge and the improvement and the work ethic. This has been all about work ethic and perseverance and, no, I couldn’t be prouder. She’s happy. She’s very happy,” the former Alaska governor said.

    • It was a net positive for Bristol, I think. Who was it who said on the other thread that she;s already a winner by showing grit, determination,a nd grace under pressure? I agree.
      She’s gained a lot of admirers/fans through this.
      Also props to Sarah as a mom for taking the risk and trusting in her kid to do her best. I know as a mom it is very tempting to always shelter and protect one’s kids and it is scary to let them out into a hostile world.

      • I agree. Great courage, she showed, in the face of literal death threats (can the haters BE more childish?).

        I Do hope those death threats are being followed up by the FBI and Homeland Security.

        Bristol is MUCH less a prima donna that Jennifer Grey is. In the face of those death threats, Jennifer would’ve crumbled.

        Content of their character, and all that.

        • I do rather feel sorry for Grey today in that the headlines are all “Bristol lost!” and not “Jennifer won!”
          Ah well.

  6. Palin tweeted her congratulations to he winner as soon as it was decided, last night.
    Adding my depressing tabloid headlines

  7. The Palins Ensure They Stay in the News

    “It’s Sarah Palin’s world, and we’re all just watching it,” the ABC correspondent John Berman said on “Good Morning America” on Monday, attesting to the amount of attention she has been receiving.

    Yes, those evil grifters FORCE the media to obsessively cover every single move they make and word they utter.

    It’s diabolical

  8. President Obama to Barbara Walters: ‘I Don’t Think About Sarah Palin’

    Suuuuuure you don’t.

    Has TLC called back about ‘Barack Obama’s Hawaii’ yet?”

  9. What strikes me about all the Palin venting is that it gives people permission to feel superior–across the board. It’s become a national pastime. I was in a coffee shop this week, and this very young barista was making cracks about Palin, as if she is so much smarter. Has she run city and and a state? Has she successfully outmaneuvered the monolithic media and formed a coalition of millions? Agree with her or not, she is a force, and all of this self-righteousness is just ego-driven posturing by others. Media elites, GOP dinosaurs, whiny liberals. As we repeat endlessly, we do not support her policies, but I can recognize strength, courage, shrewd instinct, perseverance, and charisma when I see it. The more she pisses people off, the more I like her.

    • She is the designated hate receptacle.

    • One of the better ways to judge a politician is by their enemies. In that regard, Sarah is hard to beat.

    • Yes. And these “superior” people have NO idea that half the country is not as tribal as they are, and that those people are offended by the superior people’s sneering.

      Thus, offending the very voters The One will need in 2012.

      The superior people are just too stupid/arrogant to see it.

      Cracks me up, really. Not a damn clue do they have.

    • I just wish she’d get a grammar coach.

  10. Please rescue my Palin comment–Spammy is upset because I swore.

  11. I’ve been thinking a lot about winning and losing lately and what it all means. Probably because followers of “The Won” won’t let it go. But bear with me and set aside politics and ideology for a moment. Bristol Palin “lost,” but she walked away with a piece of America’s heart, while Jennifer Grey “won” a disco ball. Sarah Palin “lost” a VP election, but she walked out with speaking engagements, a best selling book, and millions of dollars in income, not to mention popularity. Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize, but those nominees who “lost” have done so much good in the world. Obama has a knick knack to dust, those other nominees have created a legacy. Hillary Clinton also “lost,” but here she is, a world leader, adored by thousands, doing a job she loves, with approval ratings we haven’t seen since her husband was in office.

    For all these years I’ve been taught that you should always strive to be a winner, but I’m no longer embracing that. If these three women are an example of what it means to lose, than I want to be a loser, too.

    • That’s a great insight.

    • SP makes more money than Obama. While she’s making millions giving speeches, writing books and starring in a television show, he is limited to his $400,000 POTUS salary.

      He didn’t even get to keep the million dollars that comes with the NPP because as POTUS he can’t accept it.

    • As my grandmother used to say:

      Sometimes when you “win,” you really lose, and sometimes when you “lose,” you really win.

      Bristol lost, but won.

      Jeralynn won, but lost.

      What a great human being my grandmother was!

    • Another example for you, back in the days of VHS vs. Beta. The big loser, hopeless, probably going out of business, was of course Sony. Yea, poor Sony. I wish I could lose like Sony.

  12. Here is an interesting story from Dr. Grumpy:

    The Baychimo was a small, sturdy, freighter owned by the Hudson Bay Company. Her job was to travel the coast of Victoria Island in the Canadian arctic, trading supplies with the local Inuit people for valuable fur pelts. She worked during the area’s brief open water season (July to September) spending the rest of the year in Vancouver.

    The winter of 1931 came early, and Baychimo was frozen in ice several times while returning home. By mid-October she was stuck fast near Point Barrow, Alaska. Most of her crew were evacuated by aircraft (the first time a long-range air rescue was accomplished).

    A group of hardy souls decided to stay with her until the spring thaw, as they’d collected a particularly valuable fur cargo that year. They built a shelter ashore, and settled in for several months of night.

    On November 24 an exceptionally violent blizzard struck, surprising even the arctic veterans with its ferocity. In the morning, mountains of ice 70 feet high were piled where the ship had been. The Baychimo was gone, crushed under tons of ice and snow and sent to the bottom.

    Or so they thought…

    The men radioed for rescue, but it would take a few days. As they waited a passing Inupiat told them the ship was adrift several miles down the coast. They set out on foot, and found her again trapped in ice. They took as many pelts as they could, and went back to their shelter. Another violent storm was coming, and they assumed it would sink her.

    The Baychimo had other ideas.

    The second storm pushed her out of the ice and into the open sea, free to wander the icy north alone.

    Over the next several years she was infrequently seen, and rarely boarded. Some of the valuable furs were even removed. But no one was able to bring her in. Attempts to restart her engines failed, and storms (which some claimed the ship had summoned) always drove would-be salvagers away. In one harrowing case a group of Inupiat boarded her, only to have a sudden storm trap them on the derelict for 10 days.

    She was seen every few years, and each time the assumption was made that it would be the last. Only to have her show up again. Scientists, hunters, and fishermen. Inupiat tribe members. Russian, American, & Canadian ships and planes. All reported her at one time or another as she wandered the Arctic waters.

    She was last seen in the Beaufort Sea in 1969, having survived 38 years afloat and alone in one of the world’s harshest environments.

    Today it’s assumed she’s at the bottom, and I suspect they’re right. But who knows? Alaska has begun trying to catalog the estimated 4000 wrecks along the state’s shores, and maybe she’ll be found.

    Or maybe not.

  13. BBC:

    A woman was overcharged while buying fruit and vegetables from a Jersey supermarket – because the shop assistant’s breasts were resting on the scales.


  14. Condoms will be accepted when altar boys start getting pregnant.

    Simple answer to the aircraft carrier question.
    The contractors that will get the job in Mayport Fl contributed more campaign cash that the contractors that would do the shipyard repairs up in Virginia.

    The Mayport guys had to pony up an ignore any possible hurricane damage bonus.

  15. Via Uppity:

  16. Of course they HAVE to talk about Bristol & DWTS because otherwise they might have to cover the fact that Obama has decided that the POTUS has the right to kill US citizens anytime, anywhere without any kind of hearing/trial/etc OR that unemployment is still over 10% OR that gitmo is still open OR that 2 wars in the middle east are still being fought . . .

    • Yep.

      That ole GM “success story?” Not only did they get $50 billion bailout, but they also were granted a $45 billion TAX CREDIT.

      I thought Obots considered that corporate welfare.

      • Not to mention tax dollars subisidizing the purchase of those cars when they’re ready for sale.

        When all is said and done, Obama will have given GM close to a TRILLION in tax dollars—-all borrowed from China.

        I don’t hear Keith or Rachel griping about that, do you?

  17. Wonder if we have Quantitatively Eased enough now? China, Russia quit dollar

    St. Petersburg, Russia – China and Russia have decided to renounce the US dollar and resort to using their own currencies for bilateral trade, Premier Wen Jiabao and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin announced late on Tuesday.

    Chinese experts said the move reflected closer relations between Beijing and Moscow and is not aimed at challenging the dollar, but to protect their domestic economies.

    “About trade settlement, we have decided to use our own currencies,” Putin said at a joint news conference with Wen in St. Petersburg.

    Though they say this isn’t a challenge to the Dollar, I doubt the truth of that.

    • It’s a challenge to the dollar.

      AND a message to Obama/Geithner.

      So it begins.

    • That is big.

      I always had a funny feeling that was the real reason behind going to war with Iraq, because Saddam Hussain had recently said he was going to abandon the US dollar in favor of the Euro, and them bam.

      Of course now the Euro is having some trouble and some members may “temporarily” switch back to their own currencies.

      What a mess.

    • Prediction, you heard it here first, massive fall for the US dollar coupled with hyper inflation. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

      • Maybe the most important thing that stands between any currency and hyper inflation is faith. I hope we are not in that situation yet.

  18. Should we start a pool on how many people will get trampled and crushed to death while shopping on Friday Morning?

  19. Palin dismisses ‘blue-blood’ Bush criticism

    Sarah Palin dismissed Barbara Bush’s recent criticism as a matter of class privilege in an interview with Laura Ingraham today:

    “I don’t want to concede that we have to get used to this kind of thing, because i don’t think the majority of Americans want to put up with the blue-bloods — and i want to say it will all due respect because I love the Bushes — the blue-bloods who want to pick and chose their winners instead of allowing competition,”

    I’m surprised she didn’t say “I love them to death” cuz that’s another way of saying “Bless their hearts” in redneckese.

  20. Stink Regress:

    Palin: ‘Obviously, We’ve Got To Stand With Our North Korean Allies’

    In recent days, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has hinted in her clearest language yet that she is seriously considering a run for the presidency in 2012. Many observers have argued that Palin could never win because of her embarrassing lack of expertise, knowledge, or interest in foreign policy. Her appearance on Fox News host Glenn Beck’s radio show today, captured by Oliver Willis, suggests they may be right:

    CO-HOST: How would you handle a situation like the one that just developed in North Korea? […]

    PALIN: But obviously, we’ve got to stand with our North Korean allies. We’re bound to by treaty –

    CO-HOST: South Korean.

    PALIN: Eh, Yeah. And we’re also bound by prudence to stand with our South Korean allies, yes.

    The comments are unhinged. They make the Blogstalkers seem almost rational by comparison.


  21. No cell phones for anyone with unwed scary lady parts!

    A northern Indian village has banned unmarried women from using cell phones for fear they will arrange forbidden marriages that are often punished by death, a local official said Wednesday.

    The Lank village council decided unmarried boys could use mobile phones, but only under parental supervision, council member Satish Tyagi said. Local women’s rights group criticized the measure as backward and unfair.

    “Three girls were beheaded by the male members of their family after they eloped” with boys from their same clan, said police assistant director general Brij Lal in the state capital of Lucknow.


    No word on whether the eloping boys were beheaded also.

  22. I hope this is an open thread, else I am going to be completely OT. I hope that this column is a joke( though I did not see a “humor” tag anywhere)


    Its in poor taste and proves to me:
    Wimmin will always be judged by their looks.Never mind if they are Presidents or Princesses.

    I am *so * depressed 😦

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