Sophont
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
 
The Bob Rivers Show
Podcasts: "The Bob Rivers Show, August 24, 2005
The doctor who called the lady obese,"
jaynote: it starts about 1/3 of the way in, well worth listening to

Monday, August 29, 2005
 
...DEVASTATING DAMAGE EXPECTED...
AT LEAST ONE HALF OF WELL CONSTRUCTED HOMES WILL HAVE ROOF AND WALL FAILURE. ALL GABLED ROOFS WILL FAIL...LEAVING THOSE HOMES SEVERELY DAMAGED OR DESTROYED.

THE MAJORITY OF INDUSTRIAL BUILDINGS WILL BECOME NON FUNCTIONAL.
PARTIAL TO COMPLETE WALL AND ROOF FAILURE IS EXPECTED. MANY WOOD FRAMED LOW RISING APARTMENT BUILDINGS WILL BE DESTROYED. CONCRETE BLOCK LOW RISE APARTMENTS WILL SUSTAIN MAJOR DAMAGE...INCLUDING SOME WALL AND ROOF FAILURE.

HIGH RISE OFFICE AND APARTMENT BUILDINGS WILL SWAY DANGEROUSLY...A FEW POSSIBLY TO THE POINT OF TOTAL COLLAPSE. MANY WINDOWS WILL BLOW OUT.

AIRBORNE DEBRIS WILL BE WIDESPREAD...AND MAY INCLUDE HEAVY ITEMS SUCH AS HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES AND EVEN LIGHT VEHICLES. SPORT UTILITY VEHICLES AND LIGHT TRUCKS WILL BE MOVED. THE BLOWN DEBRIS WILL CREATE
ADDITIONAL DESTRUCTION. PERSONS...PETS...AND LIVESTOCK EXPOSED TO THE WINDS WILL FACE CERTAIN DEATH IF STRUCK.

POWER OUTAGES MAY LAST FOR WEEKS...AS MANY POWER POLES WILL BE DOWN AND TRANSFORMERS DESTROYED. WATER SHORTAGES WILL MAKE HUMAN SUFFERING INCREDIBLE BY MODERN STANDARDS.

THE VAST MAJORITY OF NATIVE TREES WILL BE SNAPPED OR UPROOTED. ONLY THE HEARTIEST WILL REMAIN STANDING...BUT BE TOTALLY DEFOLIATED."

Saturday, August 27, 2005
 
A Very Special Concert
sfweekly.com: "She was retarded. Among the several hundred or so gathered for the concert, roughly 10 percent seemed to have some sort of developmental disability. Huey really is a phenomenon; it's not just with my clients.

A bunch of people from a group home had set up camp on the opposite side of the stage, laying out blankets and picnic food. Bobbi recognized some of her friends and waved. 'Huuuuueyyyy!' they all yelled back. It was just like people who yell 'Bruuuce!' at a Springsteen concert, only more retarded. In fact, Huey Lewis is a retarded version of Bruce Springsteen. Think about it. All of his songs are three-chord chug-a-lugs about working-class schlubs trying to make it through this crazy thing we call life. 'Workin' for a Livin',' 'Walking on a Thin Line,' and 'I Want a New Drug' are all slightly less soulful embodiments of the Springsteen ethos."

Thursday, August 25, 2005
 
'Kutztown 13' hackers offered deal
The case against the "Kutztown 13" - a group of high school students charged with felonies for tinkering with their school-issued laptop computers - seems to be ending mostly with a whimper.

In meetings with students over the last several days, the Berks County juvenile probation office has quietly offered the students a deal in which all charges would be dropped in exchange for 15 hours of community service, a letter of apology, a class on personal responsibility and a few months of probation.

The probation department realizes this is small potatoes, said William Bispels, an attorney representing nearly half of the accused students.

The 13 were initially charged with computer trespass and computer theft, both felonies, and could have faced a wide range of sanctions, including juvenile detention.">AP Wire | 08/25/2005 | 'Kutztown 13' hackers offered deal: "The case against the 'Kutztown 13' - a group of high school students charged with felonies for tinkering with their school-issued laptop computers - seems to be ending mostly with a whimper.

In meetings with students over the last several days, the Berks County juvenile probation office has quietly offered the students a deal in which all charges would be dropped in exchange for 15 hours of community service, a letter of apology, a class on personal responsibility and a few months of probation.

'The probation department realizes this is small potatoes,' said William Bispels, an attorney representing nearly half of the accused students.

The 13 were initially charged with computer trespass and computer theft, both felonies, and could have faced a wide range of sanctions, including juvenile detention.

In legal terms, the students have been offered an "informal adjustment" - the least severe form of punishment.


Bispels said a few students are thinking about refusing the deal because they don't feel they have broken any laws. "A lot of these parents would like to fight this on principle, but it's hard to put the kids at risk on principle," he said.

......Mike Boland, who represents one student, said his client will likely accept the offer. "It doesn't require my client to acknowledge he is guilty of anything," he said.

"It's about as mild as you can go," agreed James Shrawder, whose 15-year-old nephew was among those offered the deal. "It's more of a face-saving measure."

Wednesday, August 24, 2005
 
Trading with the 'schoolyard bully'
The Globe and Mail: He notes that the Americans insist they are not in violation, although all of those interviewed found the reasoning of Rob Portman, the U.S. trade representative, ludicrous and incomprehensible.

Language this strong usually comes from opponents of the FTA, NAFTA and the globalization movement. That the very architects of free trade between Canada and the United States should be speaking in such terms is, frankly, shocking.

Even more shocking is that, to a man and woman, they believe Canada should impose retaliatory tariffs, or other restrictive measures, unless the Americans are prepared to negotiate a new softwood lumber agreement that accommodates Canadian, and not just U.S., concerns, even though such a move could lead to a trade war between the two countries.

"I would sit them down and I would say to them, 'All right. Enough of this. You are out of line, and you know that you are out of line,' " says Mr. Reisman, who was chief negotiator of the original free trade pact.

"Set a deadline. And if they cannot meet that deadline, and if they persist in this, then there might be no choice but to act in retaliation."

"We should certainly load the gun on retaliation, in my view," Mr. Burney agrees. "We should take a look at California wine, we should take a look at Florida orange juice. We've got to get their attention down there."

There is a palpable sense of personal injury in their comments, which may come from the political irony that lies behind the American rebuke.

In 1987, the free-trade negotiations between Canada and the United States almost collapsed because the Americans refused to accept a binding dispute resolution mechanism, while Canada insisted on one. At almost literally the last possible moment, the Americans accepted the Canadian demand, on the condition that an Extraordinary Challenge Committee, as they called it, be able to review the decisions of all lower panels.

Although the Canadian negotiating team was very reluctant to accept yet another layer of appeal for trade disputes, they finally acquiesced.

It was to that Extraordinary Challenge Committee that the Americans appealed last year, when all other rulings on softwood imports went against them. It was that same committee that ruled last week in Canada's favour. That the Americans would repudiate the verdict of the very tribunal that they insisted must be part of the FTA infuriates those who negotiated the pact. It leaves Mr. Burney "mad as hell."

At this point, there are no good options. Canada has appealed to the World Trade Organization, which will almost certainly rule in Canada's favour, allowing this country to impose counter-measures to collect the $5-billion in tariffs that the Americans have illegally confiscated.


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