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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Modo is Back

Maureen Dowd returned to the pages of the NY Times with a very touching story about her mother who died last week. Here is the link below. This story shows Modo can still write with passion.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Russian Spammer Found Murdered

Come on admit it- there have been times when each of us have wanted to exact some vengeance on those pain in the ass spammers and spyware companies. Well, it looks like someone may have acted on those impulses since a Russian spammer was just found dead. It seems he may have repeatedly struck himself in the head with a blunt instrument (just kidding- someone else did that to him). Here is the story below:

Russia’s Biggest Spammer Brutally Murdered in Apartment
Vardan Kushnir, notorious for sending spam to each and every citizen of Russia who appeared to have an e-mail, was found dead in his Moscow apartment on Sunday, Interfax reported Monday. He died after suffering repeated blows to the head.

Kushnir, 35, headed the English learning centers the Center for American English, the New York English Centre and the Centre for Spoken English, all known to have aggressive Internet advertising policies in which millions of e-mails were sent every day.

In the past angry Internet users have targeted the American English centre by publishing the Center’s telephone numbers anywhere on the Web to provoke telephone calls. The Center’s telephone was advertised as a contact number for cheap sex services, or bargain real estate sales. Another attack involved hundreds of people making phone calls to the American English Center and sending it numerous e-mails back.

But Vardan Kushnir remained sure of his right to spam, saying it was what e-mails were for. Under Russian law, spamming is not considered illegal, although lawmakers are working on legal projects that could protect Russian Internet users like they do in Europe and the U.S.

Disgusting Behavior from current lieutenant governor

Recommend you read the post noted above on a good website called Irish Pennants authored by Jack Kelly.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Suburban Gorilla

I am amazed at the vile and hatred-filled stuff I see written on some websites. For instance, there is a Philly-area blog named The Suburban Guerilla ( who spews forth on a daily basis.

Today, the blog's author, Susie Madrak, wonders if Ed Gillespie (former RNC Chariman) and Charles Krauthammer are so angry (in her opinion) because they can't find a good plastic surgeon to improve their looks. Now, Krauthammer is a long established and nationally syndicated columnist. And it is widely known that he was once a talented physician but has been a paraplegic for many years after being severely injured in a car accident. Almost everyone knows that about Krauthammer. Madrak must be one mean-spirited and hate-filled bastard to make such a nasty comment about Krauthammer.

Next, she wonders if the Bush Administration planned the London bombings to boost Bush is the quote below regarding one suspect who at one time was under investigation in the United States:

[Quote taken from website on 7/24/05] - "Now, that is a great question, isn’t it? Excuse me while my imagination runs wild. Yet, as wild as my imagination gets, it just can’t quite keep up with the machinations and sheer amorality of BushCo. You don’t suppose this creature (the suspect -my clarification) was one of ours, do you? I mean, Fearless Leader would never, ever set a bombing in motion because his ratings are in the toilet. Would he?"

So basically, she is suggesting Bush and America may have been involved in the London bombing. In summary, I don't think it's sufficient to simply dismiss Madrak and her comments as the sour grapes from a bitter whackjob loser. I think she deserves a dose of her own medicine if she does not apologize for her comments.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Philly Police Commissioners: Dumb as Foxes or Just Plain Dumb

Philadelphia's police commissioner was asked about doing random bag searches in Philly ala New York and D.C. Here is what he said..."I don't think so (said a chuckling City Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson). It raises serious questions about people's constitutional remember, the mayor didn't even want his bag searched at the movies".

Meanwhile Philly's mass transit system, SEPTA, has a it own police commissioner, Richard Evans, who also said people's bags would not be checked on buses or subway because it's an awful lot of work. Here is Evan's quote..."that wouldn't be the wisest use of our people. The volume of passengers is too large. We have 52 million riders per year. How many can you check? We can use our resources more effectively. I'm not criticizing New York. They have a different problem."

So let me ask you. Are the Philly commissioners just being coy by not openly stating what steps they will take to tighten security on our mass transit lines? Or are they just dumb and don't plan to do anything extra? I have to say I am amazed at the film footage of New York where cops are stopping people and looking at bags? New York has evidently found a way to get extra cops and resources to try to meet this challenge!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

SCOTUS Judges tend to stay a while

Did some really simple number-crunching after I heard John Roberts would be the 109th Supreme Court judge. Wow, I thought- there have been only 109 Supreme Court judges while there have been 45 presidents to date. Since there are nine SC judges, that indicates the judges tend to serve far longer than the average president. I realize that's a pretty well known fact but I crunched the numbers anyway.

Facts - there are nine SCOTUS judges and I think that has been the case since 1776. There is only one president (not counting the co-prez Hillary) at a time. So I divided the 109 total judges by 9 to get me the quasi "full-time equivalent" to a single president. [ 109 / 9 = 12.1]

Next I divided the 45 presidents by the 12.1 FTE judges. That gives the term or length of service equivalency for the average SCOTUS judge vs. the average president. [ 45 / 12.1 = 3.71] . In other words, the average SCOTUS judge serves 3.71 times as long as the average president. Since 1776, we have had 45 presidents who served an average of 5.1 years.

Bottom line is the average SCOTUS judge serves 18.9 years vs. the average president who serves 5.1 years [calculation was 5.1 years for president X 3.71 = 18.9 average years for a judge]. To me, this is an eye-opening stat and certainly speaks to the potentially significant impact of a SCOTUS appointment. Especially in these supposedly litigous times! On the other hand, it somewhat defuses the DEMS complaint that Roberts will likely serve a very long time. If the average has been 18.9 years, Roberts will not reach that until he is almost 70 years old and once you reach that age, anything can happen.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Another Great Quote re "Fanatic"

"A fanatic is someone whose mind can't be changed and who won't change the subject". Isn't that a good one? I know I have been a good example of a fanatic on occasion but isn't everyone at times? I will find out who first said this- may have been Mark Twain.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Great Quote

"Man's mind stretched to a new idea never goes back to its original dimension"- what a great quote to try to live by. I have seen this attributed to two people and I don't know which is the true originator. The two are Oliver Wendell Holmes and Alfred North Whitehead.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Three Years in Prison for stalking

Some poor wackjob got a three year prison sentence for stalking Catherine Zeta Jones. That seems excessive to me. Has anyone ever heard of a case where judge handed out such a long sentence when the stalking involved a non-celebrity? This sounds like another case where an expensive team of attorneys can get you off (i.e OJ/ Robert Blake/ etc) or help you (Michael Douglas and Zeta Jones) send someone to prison for a long time. Don't know or care about specific details of the case as I am just thinking out loud but I will admit it explains why I only stalk non-celebrities who don't have much money.

Tipping Point in European Opinion

I started to think about this on Wednesday when I heard England beat out France for the 2012 Olympics. France had again taken a devastating loss to its self-esteem and I predicted this latest bodyblow could finally wake them up to start rehabilitating their image among many Western nations. To wit, I expect they will begin to try to cast off the bad vibes and stubborn ways so that France could start again to feel welcome and comfrotable with the West (especially America and England).

Keep in mind this was before the bombings in London. Well now I am more sure of this vision but now I see it expanding to Germany, perhaps Spain and other of the European nations that failed to offer significant support to the Iraq war effort. The Olympic vote and the London bombing will cause a resurgance in European opinion and spine against the terrorists. In fact, the terrorists have made a major blunder of accidentally timing the sabotage just after the Olympic vote and during the G8 summit. American, European and perhaps World resolve will combine to rout the hearts and minds of these bastards! And France will recast its image as a country that saw the errors of its ways and wants to leave that history behind forever.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Live 8

Made it to the Live 8 concert in Philly on Saturday for a couple hours. Took the train to 69th Street elevated terminal, got off at 30th Street then walked to the suthwest side of the Art Museum where I had a good view of the stage, screens and good audio too. I was surprised at the video and audio quality since I had not been to such an outside event in 3-4 years. Last time was the July 4th concert in probably 2000 or 2001. And back then the audio sucked.

Philly had a big and well-behaved crowd. Due to lack of beer I would assume- it was a very sober crowd. I was most impressed that the bike path has been finished south of the Art Museum and condos are being built right on the Schuykill. In fact there were a bunch of boaters sitting in the river just listening to the Live 8 concert. I took a picture on my camera-phone and will upload to this blog when I figure out how! Took a couple shots of the concert crowd and equipment trucks in front of the museum.

The vendors were selling shirts that said something like (feed Africa and finally get justice). That makes no sense to me. It's not a justice issue; it's a common sense issue. Corruption sidetracks (kindly put) the delivery of food and charity to those in need. And disease (AIDS) exacerbates the level of hardship on the continent. Isn't it time for someone like Jesse Jackson to exhort Africans to use condoms and cut down on promiscuos behaviors.