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Member since: Sun Jul 31, 2011, 05:36 PM
Number of posts: 5,016

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At least it lasted this long....

KO d by Hubbard's sci-fi religion....Theta-meta--fe-fi-fo---meta....

Three strikes law being looked at as too punitive.....

States across the country are reconsidering three-strikes laws, particularly for low-level drug crimes.

Larry Williams was walking down an alley in Anaheim, Calif., in January 1996, when he was stopped by the police. Williams, who was on parole at the time, struck up a conversation with the officers, and showed them his new cellphone, which he said he bought to keep in touch with his son, according to court records. The next day, the police learned that the phone was stolen.

If it had been his first offense, Williams would probably have served a year in prison for possession of stolen property. But because of several prior convictions for residential burglary and prior parole violations, he was sentenced to 25-years to life under California’s three-strikes law.

A federal judge, in a 2005 opinion on the constitutionality of Williams’ sentence, found that Williams illustrated the “extremely rare case” where his prison sentence was grossly disproportionate to his crimes.

“At a minimum, it is questionable whether the combination of Williams’s possession of a stolen cellular telephone and his criminal history justifies a substantially longer sentence than for murder, manslaughter, or rape,” Magistrate Judge Suzanne Segal wrote.


Bain attack ads working....

Propelled by a torrent of blistering television advertisements, President Obama is successfully invoking Mitt Romney’s career at Bain Capital to raise questions about his commitment to the middle class, strategists in both parties say, as the candidates engage in a critical summer duel to set the terms for this fall.

Despite doubts among some Democrats about the wisdom of attacking Mr. Romney’s business career, Obama commercials painting him as a ruthless executive who pursued profits at the expense of jobs are starting to make an impact on some undecided voters, according to strategists from both sides, who differ on whether they are causing any substantial damage.

While the sense of worry and alarm that has hung over the White House for weeks is dissipating, and with his supporters relieved by the Supreme Court decision on Thursday to uphold most of his health care law, Mr. Obama faces new challenges before the conventions at the end of the summer.


On dare from government, researchers successfully hack flying drone

A team of researchers at the University of Texas commandeered an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) by tricking and overriding the craft’s GPS, proving for the first time how easy a high-tech hijacking can be, and raising questions about the safety of a program the U.S. military has become increasing reliant on to patrol the Middle East.

What’s more, the team hacked the drone using equipment that, all told, cost only about $1,000.

In June, officials from the Department of Homeland Security invited Todd Humphreys, an assistant professor from Texas’ Cockrell School of Engineering, and a team of researchers out to the New Mexico desert for the challenge. Using a small, sophisticated civilian drone from the university, the team managed to repeatedly override the UAV’s navigational signals, allowing them to dramatically alter the craft’s preset flight path.

To hack the UAV, Humphrey’s and his team used a technique known as, “spoofing,” in which new signals are broadcast that reroute the vehicle while simultaneously tricking it into thinking it hasn’t strayed off course. The resulting effect is similar to an action-movie robber looping surveillance camera footage to mask his movements.



Anyone for multiple firewalls and security systems only the operator knows..

Rise in sea level can't be stopped: scientists

Source: Reuters

Reuters) - Rising sea levels cannot be stopped over the next several hundred years, even if deep emissions cuts lower global average temperatures, but they can be slowed down, climate scientists said in a study on Sunday.

A lot of climate research shows that rising greenhouse gas emissions are responsible for increasing global average surface temperatures by about 0.17 degrees Celsius a decade from 1980-2010 and for a sea level rise of about 2.3mm a year from 2005-2010 as ice caps and glaciers melt.

Rising sea levels threaten about a tenth of the world's population who live in low-lying areas and islands which are at risk of flooding, including the Caribbean, Maldives and Asia-Pacific island groups.

More than 180 countries are negotiating a new global climate pact which will come into force by 2020 and force all nations to cut emissions to limit warming to below 2 degrees Celsius this century - a level scientists say is the minimum required to avert catastrophic effects.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/01/us-climate-sealevel-idUSBRE8600EG20120701

Soyuz spacecraft lands safely in Kazakhstan – video

The Russian Soyuz capsule undocks from the International space station on Sunday with Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, NASA's Don Pettit and Dutch ESA astronaut André Kuipers onboard. Three and a half hours later the trio lands safely in the steppes of southern Kazakhstan ending their six-and-a-half-month mission in space.


Be afraid...

A government with the power to force us to buy health insurance can also force restaurants to serve black people.” – Bruce Bartlett on his Facebook page.

They got ya by the balls....

$806 Billion: The Real Cost of the GOP Failed Medicare Privatization Experiment

Medicare Part D (the Medicare prescription Drug Program), is the second Republican attempt at privatizing Medicare. Medicare Advantage was the first and this Program cost the American taxpayer 14% more than original Medicare.

Over the next 10 years, Medicare Part D will cost the American taxpayer a whopping $806 billion. (in contrast, Medicare Part A cost the American taxpayer nothing).

It was passed in 2003, by a Republican Congress. Representative Paul Ryan (the author of the current GOP privatization plan for Medicare) was one of its champions.

Before we look at how well or how poorly the program is working, let’s first look at why Republicans want to privatize Medicare. Extreme right wing Republicans do not believe there is any place for government in the role of its citizens, other than defense. They also believe that a “free market” place will keep costs down both for seniors and for the government. That is their ideological basis for “privatization.”



End of article is a good graph....

Europeans, Canadians baffled by U.S. furor on healthcare

As the news spread that the U.S. Supreme Court had upheld the law and its requirement that most people buy health insurance, some people across Europe took to Twitter to ask: What’s the big deal?

“Dear Americans. Health insurance is very important for your health and life. Don’t forget. We have it in Germany,” one Twitter user from Germany wrote, adding a smiley face to the end.

Rafael Dohms, a computer engineer living in the Netherlands, wrote, “I’m forced to pay health insurance here in the [Netherlands] … not as bad as I would have imagined.”

And Parisian filmmaker Vincent Galiano joked, “At least USA becomes a modern nation! Soon even the education could be good!”

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