Tuesday, December 30, 2003

2003 the year in revue
So let's see if y'all remember these things from the past year:
-So how about those Raelians, who announced to the world that her tinfoil hat-wearing pals would, any day now, have a human clone to show the world. Ya, right.

-Then there was the Dell Dude getting busted for marijuana. Which prompted the joke: I don't know what to think about the Dell Dude getting busted for pot, I always thought marijuana was a Gateway drug...
-I'm sure we all remember "freedom Fries" jeez that was stupid. Aggrivatingly stupid was "can you hear me now?"
-Martha Stewart , that bitch, got hers.
-Yes Fox News/Bill O'rielly sued Al Franken but did you know Spike Lee sued TNN over their use of "his" name for the SpikeTV channel.
-To the Media: Please, please, please do not continue to show the Michael Jackson mug shot, it gives Myself nightmares, Hell it even scares my dog.
-Then there was the guy who put himself in a crate and had it mailed home.
-Some idiot intevnted the term metrosexual
From the "Ya know I always meant to take care of that" department
Patrice Moore, 43, said he called for help when the mountain of mail, books and other paper items collapsed on him Saturday. However no one heard him.
He was found at 1:45 p.m. Monday by his landlord.
Emergency workers, neighbors and about 20 firefighters dug through the debris to reach Moore, filling 50 garbage bags with paper. He was freed at about 2:15 p.m.
Moore was hospitalized with leg injuries.
The incident recalled the legendary case of the Collyer brothers, who in 1947 were discovered dead in their house in Harlem after one of the brothers was found trapped under a pile of papers and the other died of starvation.
Maybe the landlord was comin to evict him for being a messy slob who still hasn't paid the rent this month, but if one lets their home get so cluttered that his can happen, you deserve to get buried by it. Myself is guessing he kept occupied reading back issues of Maxim.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Happy holidays to all!

finally cont'd
So before going home today Myself stops in to COMPUSA to get a different data transfer software, and Lo and Behold Myself notices the software I have is supposed to sell for $30 not the $70 that was paid, the $70 dollar version that Myself paid for but did not get, DOES allow me to pick and choose the files I want. Screw that. I get a different brand altogether. Now I know that I don't even need and software and its possible to transfer the files by setting up a direct link using shared files, and the built in network capabilities, but this seems easier. So Myself shells out another 70 bucks, and get out of there before I buy something else. (the Sim people and the Civilization III games were very tempting) I get home and fix the virus, (it was the Welchia, technically a worm). Not too nasty, but it chews up resources trying to find another PC to infect. No beer tonight, gotta get this thing done, (and done properly). Set up the two PC's with the trasnfer app, and off it goes 10 gigs of data will take six to seven hours. Wonderful. this will be done around two or three something in the morning. nothing to do but wait, guess I will have a beer or four.

Monday, December 22, 2003

Well Myself finally went and bought a new PC, finally replacing the old P1 Aptiva, (remember those?), with a P4 HP. Myself considered buying a Dell, but being out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the shipping would have added more a cost than going down to CompUSA and justbuying one, ergo thats what I endeavorad to do. So I traipse down there and find a good deal, $850 with a $250 rebate. After rebuking the salesboy's attempt to pay $200 for their service plan, which was a bit annoying, I get some PC relocation software to move data off the old girl, and Myself is out the door, not too painful. So I get home and hook up the new PC, works fine. ok so far so good. Install the firewall, the anti-virus. doing good no major problems. Now Myself needs to install the software to move off the old data. Except there is only one monitor, ok, do a little cable switching and install it. Switch monitors again and intsall on the new PC. Ready to go except the software wants to copy everything to the new PC, Myself want to copy only certain stuff, and this does not let me do that. Problemo. Damn software cost 72 bucks and its been opened. Gotta get a different mover. Now the new PC is telling me I got a virus. shit. 1:30 in the morning, gotta work tomorrow. Maybe Myself shouldn't have drank so much beer. Screw it leave it, go to bed, hope the boyfriend doesn't do any real damage and I will try to remove it after work. One interesting thing. I found a CD in the burner, not sure what its for. more to come on the new PC adventure...

Friday, December 19, 2003

Music Wars Scene 26:
in which a US appellate court allows ISP's to tell the RIAA: "Don't come 'round here no more"
In what has to be seen as a blow to the Empire RIAA, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, has ruled that Internet Service Providers, (ISP), do not have to give the identy of subscribers suspected of file sharing.
WASHINGTON - A federal appeals court ruled Friday the recording industry can't force Internet providers to identify subscribers swapping music online, dramatically setting back the industry's anti-piracy campaign.
But it will make identifying defendants for future lawsuits much more difficult and expensive. The ruling forces the recording industry to file civil lawsuits against "John Doe" defendants, based on their Internet addresses, then work through the courts to learn their names.
What this means is that it is now much more costly for the Empire to go after the rebels, although Myself believes they still will, the RIAA will have to concentrate on only the most aggressive, prolific downloaders, and not sue grandmas, and teenage girls. I can almost picture RIAA prez Cary Sherman's head exploding when he heard of this one...

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Music Wars Scene 25:
in which the worlds largest retailer considers entering the fray
So now WalMart, that 800 lb. gorilla of the retail industry, with low, low, prices, is testing its foot in waters of the music download biz
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT - news) said on Thursday it would begin testing digital music downloads on its Web site, joining a list of companies hoping to profit from the growing demand for such services.
Wal-Mart, the world's biggest company, said customers could download songs for 88 cents per track. Wal-Mart said it would gather customer feedback over the next few months and make any modifications before officially launching the service in 2004.
Any surprise that they are offering a price that is less than anyone else out there?

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

in other news...
article link:
Researchers at McMaster University showed male students pictures of women, some of whom were said to be attractive and some not-so-attractive, as determined by the Hot or Not? Web site.
After seeing a very attractive woman, the men were more likely to make dumb choices.
The Canadian researchers asked the male students to roll dice. If they rolled double digits, they were given a choice of taking $15 to $35 the next day or up to $75 after waiting a while.
The men who saw the attractive women were more likely to take the lesser amount.
NewScientist.com said biologists call choosing immediate rewards to greater ones in the future as "discounting the future."
The researchers said they tried the same test with female students. But there was no lessening of intelligence among the women after looking at hunks. Men also didn't show a change in reaction after seeing pictures of expensive cars.
The researchers said men stop thinking about long-term consequences once they get slightly aroused and see a sexual opportunity.
Just another well, duh, study to tell us that men eally do think with their dicks. And yes Myself has to admit at times being guilty as charged.

Friday, December 12, 2003

Ahhh the Power of Cheese...
A Cedar City [Utah] man is accused of assaulting another man with a block of cheese.

Police said the victim was struck in the face with the cheese Thursday.

They say the assailant was intoxicated at the time. He was charged with misdemeanor intoxication and misdemeanor assault and was booked into the Iron County Jail on $1,100 bail.

or maybe its the power of Utah:
OREM, Utah -- An 18-year-old accused of flashing someone made it easy for police to catch him.

Police say he exposed himself to a woman while he was sitting in his car outside a Wal-Mart store in Orem Monday.

The woman kept calm, got a description of him, took down his license plate number and called police.

Shortly after, the suspect stopped at a gas station and accidentally locked his keys in his car. He called police for help. When they got there, police noticed the car and man matched the description the woman gave them.

Police say when they questioned him, he admitted flashing the woman. He was cited for a misdemeanor.
The George Carlin Bill
Don't these congresscritters have anything better to do than this:
HR 3687:
HR 3687 IH


1st Session

H. R. 3687

To amend section 1464 of title 18, United States Code, to provide for the punishment of certain profane broadcasts, and for other purposes.


December 8, 2003

Mr. OSE (for himself and Mr. SMITH of Texas) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


To amend section 1464 of title 18, United States Code, to provide for the punishment of certain profane broadcasts, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That section 1464 of title 18, United States Code, is amended--

(1) by inserting `(a)' before `Whoever'; and

(2) by adding at the end the following:

`(b) As used in this section, the term `profane', used with respect to language, includes the words `shit', `piss', `fuck', `cunt', `asshole', and the phrases `cock sucker', `mother fucker', and `ass hole', compound use (including hyphenated compounds) of such words and phrases with each other or with other words or phrases, and other grammatical forms of such words and phrases (including verb, adjective, gerund, participle, and infinitive forms).'.
Myself is still waiting for someone to say asshat and dicklicker.

Monday, December 08, 2003

Good Food, Good Fun
HOUSTON, Dec. 4 — A Texas woman was sentenced to 10 years in jail Thursday for running over the manager of a McDonald’s with her car because she wanted mayonnaise on her cheeseburger. The woman, Waynetta Nolan, 37, showed no emotion as the sentence was read in court after a trial in which the McDonald’s manager, Sherry Jenkins, said that even though she gave Nolan the mayonnaise she requested, the woman flew into a rage anyway.
“I gave her everything she asked for — mayonnaise, no mustard, onions — everything I could possibly do for this lady. Mayo, mayo, mayo, and it’s still not good enough,” Jenkins told reporters outside the courtroom.
Nolan, who was convicted of aggravated assault for the April 23 incident, became so angry when a McDonald’s employee told her that she could not get mayonnaise that she threw her cheeseburger into the drive-through window, witnesses said.
Jenkins tried to placate her by offering a cheeseburger with mayonnaise, but Nolan continued to make demands until Jenkins finally called police.
When she went outside to write down Nolan’s license plate number, Nolan ran her over, breaking her pelvis.
Nolan testified that she was putting ketchup on her cheeseburger when she accidentally struck Jenkins.
Maybe she should have asked for them to put the ketchup on for her, yah, right.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act
Ever heard of it? Myself has not, that is until today when I discovered that the US government is suing the Maui Planning Commission. It seems that a rural Maui congregation wanted to build a church but was denied a permit by the land board, and subsequently was able to get the DOJ to file a suit under the act.
The United States sued Maui County in support of Hale O Kaula after the church filed a religious discrimination case against the county.

The church had requested use of farm land in Pukalani for a worship center, but the planning commission denied the permit, agreeing with neighbors who claimed it would lead to increased traffic and noise, added burden to county services and a deterioration of the rural atmosphere.

The church refused to argue a complete case in a contested-case appeal. Instead, it accused the hearing officer of bias, then filed its suit based on the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, a relatively new law enacted by Congress to give churches an advantage in zoning battles.
This not very well known act was signed into law in September 2000, by President Clinton, in the waning days if his term, designed to give religious groups protection from discrimination against their freedom of religious exercise, the act reads:
No government shall impose or implement a land use regulation in a manner that imposes a substantial burden on the religious exercise of a person, including a religious assembly or institution, unless the government demonstrates that imposition of the burden on that person, assembly, or institution--
(A) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and
(B) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.
The argument against this act is that it creates special rights for religious groups that non-religious groups don't get. When any organization, religious or not, is permitted to bypass basic regulations on things like traffic, noise, and safety, that strikes Myself as wrong. By the looks of all the various advocacy groups involved here, this one is going to go on and up the legal system for awhile.
Music Wars: Scene 24
In which the Empire says: Here you come again
Yes people it's time for a third round of lawsuits:
The Recording Industry Association of America said Wednesday it had sued another 41 people in its ongoing legal campaign against file swappers who are trading copyrighted music online.

This is the RIAA's third batch of suits against computer users since early September, bringing the total number of people sued to 382. The group also said it had sent out an additional 90 new letters to alleged file traders, notifying them that they would be next to be sued if they didn't reach a settlement agreement first.

"This is an ongoing strategy, and the way to let people know that there is a risk of consequences is to continue the program," RIAA President Cary Sherman said. "You don't set up a speed trap for one day and stop enforcement thereafter. It has to be consistent."
Wonderful, now Darth Cary is equating their draconian tactics with a speed trap, to make it more friendly -like. There are more things wrong with that analogy that one does not know where to en begin. At least Myself is not on the recieving end of this one. Hope none of you out there are not either.
Music is the greatest creation of mankind.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Just in time for Thanksgiving...
...comes Turkey and Gravy Soda from the Jones Soda Company
A new Turkey and Gravy Soda tastes, well, pretty much like you would imagine. But that's not stopping people from buying it.
Founder and CEO Peter van Stolk dreamed up the seasonal flavor on a lark, but admits he can't stomach an entire bottle.
The liquid's ominous, murky brown color accurately warns consumers about the taste. The first sips bring a mix of sweet caramel and savory lard - and it's downhill from there.
A limited number of Turkey & Gravy Sodas will be available in stores around Seattle and Olympia for the suggested retail price of 99 cents. A few entrepreneurs are selling theirs on eBay.com; by Tuesday, the bidding was up to $63 for a two-bottle set.
he article goes on to describe the taste as if you took turkey, gravy and mashed potatoes and mixed it up on a blender, that is pretty much what this tastes like. Myself would not pay 63 bucks for two bottles of this stuff, but hey what does Myself know? Now if they would only make sweaty male crotch flavor...

Friday, November 21, 2003

Price of Paradise pt 2
Living in Hawaii is expensive. The price of a gallon of gasoline is well above $2, we currently have the most expensive bus fare also $2, a box of Apple Jacks cereal is $5. Don't even get me started on the cost of real estate. So it's no suprise that Hawai'i's housing is the most 'crowded' in the nation
Hawai'i leads the country in apartment living and in "crowded households," according to a 2000 Census report released yesterday.

Nearly a third of Hawai'i's housing that existed in the census year was made up of apartments, the highest proportion in the country. Hawai'i even edged New York in the proportion of housing in buildings with five or more apartments — 32.5 percent vs. 32.4 percent.
The urban Honolulu area is a hodge-podge of single homes, low-rise apartments and high-rise condominiums, with expensive high-rise condos right next door to an eight unit low-rise section-8 apartment. So all of this is nothing too shocking to Myself. But the money quote is at the end of the article:
The mobile home is America's fastest-growing type of housing, but not in Hawai'i. The state leads the country with the smallest proportion of mobile homes at 0.2 percent.
Umm, we live on island, what the f**k are you going to do with a mobile home? Where the hell are you going to go? The cost of shipping one of those thing out here and trying to sell it would probaly end up costing more than buying a condo, duh.
Myself Rule of life #15
Cluelessness: There are no stupid questions, but there are a LOT of inquisitive idiots.

Corollary: Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

if it looks like a duck
Seems that both Eugene Volkh and Katherine Lopez have the same "friend" in London who email's the same letter, about W's visit. Great now we have rightie pundits laying down astroturf.

update:It seems both Eugene Volokh and K Lo have replied to what I found, after this got picked-up by Jessie and then Atrios saying hey, no biggie here, we simply have a mutual friend, and it was purely coincidence. No conspiracy. Well Myself is willing to give them the benefit of the doubt theat they actually know said friend. But I still stand by my original call of astroturf, only instead of the editorial page this particular astroturf is of the blogosphere variety. Not as bad as the first type but astroturf nonetheless. Said friend is making the attempt to show that the protests are, in actuality, not as it is being portrayed by the "liberal media". Kind of hard to tell since the SCLM is more concerned with covering the Santa Clara airport.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

So this guy goes to his doctor...
"Doc, you've gotta help me! My wife just isn't interested in sex anymore. Haven't you got a pill or something I can give her?"
"Look, I can't prescribe..."
"Doc, we've been friends for years. Have you ever seen me this upset? I am desperate! I can't think; I can't concentrate; my life is going utterly to hell! You've got to help me."
The doctor opens his desk drawer and removes a small bottle of pills. "Ordinarily, I wouldn't do this. These are experimental; the tests so far indicate that they're VERY powerful. Don't give her more than ONE, understand? Just ONE."
"I don't know, doc, she's awfully cold..."
"One. No more. In her coffee. Okay?"
"Um, okay."
The guy expresses gratitude and leaves for home, where his wife has dinner waiting. When dinner is finished, she goes to the kitchen to bring dessert. The man hastily pulls the pills from his pocket and drops one into his wife's coffee. He reflects for a moment, hesitates, then drops in a second pill.
And then he begins to worry. The doctor did say they were powerful.
Then inspiration strikes, he drops one pill into his own coffee.
His wife returns with the shortcake and they enjoy their dessert and coffee. Sure enough, a few minutes after they finish, his wife shudders a little, sighs deeply and heavily, and a strange look comes over her. In a near-whisper and a tone of voice he has never heard her use before, she says, "I...need...a man"
His eyes glitter and his hands tremble as he replies, "Me...too..."

Monday, November 17, 2003

In Local news
One of the two challenges to the Kamehameha Schools native Hawaiians only admissions policy has been upheld
A federal judge today tossed out a challenge to Kamehameha Schools’ admissions policy which gives preference to Hawaiians, saying the policy does not violate a federal anti-discrimination law so long as it has a narrowly defined, legitimate justification.

U.S. District Judge Alan Kay said the school’s admissions policy seeks to address cultural and socio-economic disadvantages that have beset Hawaiians since the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy.

He found that a special trust relationship exists between the federal government and Hawaiians, and that as recently as 2002 Congress endorsed the school’s efforts via the Native Hawaiian Education Act. The law calls upon Kamehameha to redouble its efforts to educate children of Hawaiian ancestry.

Lawyers John Goemans of the Big Island and Eric Grant of Sacramento, Calif., authors of two federal court challenges to Kamehameha’s admissions policy, claimed it is discriminatory because it gives preferential treatment to Hawaiians.

But school attorneys said the admissions policy amounts to an affirmative-action plan, one designed to help offset what they say are historical inequities that have plagued Hawaiians for more than a century.
Myself does not have a problem with the policy, because 1) it is a private institution and if they want to accept only native hawaiians then that's their choice. If a Catholic school can select based on religion, the Kamehameha Schools (KS) can select based on race. and 2) myself also agrees with the last quote. Native Hawaiians have had the short end of the stick for years, and like Affirmative Actiion, a little compensaton is in order. There is another case pending that challenges the state's Office of Hawaiian Affairs as also being discriminatory in that it is a constitutionally established agency (meaning tax dollars being spent for native Hawaiians and not for Whiny White People).More on this one as it develops. Hawaiian sovereignity is a hot button issue here, with advocates calling from everything from establishing rights similar to Native Americans (there is a bill struggling in congress trying to do just that) to seceeding from the US to form a Kingdom of Hawaii (yeah, right).
Watch your aim
That's right it's World Toilet day
...Report flushes that do not work and help tourists find the bathroom at shopping malls as well, the Singapore-based World Toilet Organization said in a campaign on latrine etiquette ahead of World Toilet Day on Wednesday.
This follows the See-if-you-can-remove-the-cigarette-ash-stains-with-your-pee-competition.

Friday, November 14, 2003

Price of Paradise Pt.1
Living life in Hawaii is a unique experience, there's the good the bad and the ugly, being a bit isolated from the contiguous 48 states, and having a population that is quite different from the rest of the US, (42% Asian, 24% white 9% Native Hawaiian) you have things that don't normally see. Take food for example, go into a 7-11 here and you can get dim sum, sushi and something called a spam musubi, a slice of fried spam on a block of rice wrapped in nori (seaweed), Now Myself can imagine people going "yuck, spam" but we consume more spam per capita than any other state, the origin of this is said to be that during WWII, spam was the most readily available meat, what with the war and rationing and all, and so a few generations later, you get McDonalds serving scrambled eggs rice and spam for breakfast. Which is actually comfort food for a lot of people Myself included. Not the same as if it was made at home, but close enough. There is no such thing as a "fine dining" chinese restaurant. PF Chang's? feh. Why? because no one would go to one when there are chinese, japanese, korean BBQ, and vietnamese restaurants on just about every block. Supermarkets like Safeway have a entire aisle with asian foods, there is a Japanese supermarket called Daiei, which has has at least seven aisles. Minute Rice? Uncle Bens? sacrilege!
Societal Evolution
The Fabulous David E has an article in the LA Weekly concerning gay marriage.
...If gays and lesbians are legal, then a place must be assigned for them in the mainstream. And since marriage is the culture’s method for legitimizing sexual acts, then gays and lesbians must get married.

Ah, but there’s the rub. For if “they” are allowed access to something that “we” own the rights to, then “we” forfeit the exquisite pleasure of looking down on noses on “them.” And it’s for this reason that the hysteria over gays in the military, the Boy Scouts, the Catholic Church pedophile scandals and the recent uproar over the Episcopalians appointing an openly gay bishop is just so much background noise. The real story is that over the last decade an ever-increasing number of corporations is offering benefits for the same-sex partners of their employees. It’s a clear indicator of the fact that simply by being out, gays and lesbians have won the major battle for social legitimacy. Vermont has domestic partnership. Canada has full-bore same-sex marriage. No matter how much Karl Rove and his allies complain, we’re next.emphasis mine
He goes on to point out it's inevitability by showing historically how marriage, and social propiety have evolved and changed to reflect how the people who lived during those times attitudes have changed. Pretty standard argument for the most part, but at the end come to the money quote:
... the common fear that gays will develop relationships that are intense and satisfying even though they do not conform to the ideas of relationships held by others. It is the prospect that gays will create as yet unforeseen kinds of relationships that many people cannot tolerate.”

“Gay marriage”? Darling, we’re just getting started!
It's the challenge to the paradigm of what defines a relationship as marriage that has many literally in fear of destroying the very foundation of ther belief system. Think about it, never mind what two people do in the privacy of their home, (well, actually they do mind, but to appear even handed they say they don't) but that two people of the same sex can be recognized as "married" by the government, with all the legal rights and privliges, enforcible by law, which means they have to,(gasp), recognize it also, thereby taking away their 1st amendment right to discriminate against them in the name of religion. And since their beliefs are supposed take precedent over any actual laws, well you can see the paradox.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

mouse fun
This is amusing, and facinating, well to Myself anyway, there are others as well

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

So Bubba calls his lawyer...
... and asked, "Is it true they're suing
the cigarette companies for causing people to get cancer?"

"Yes, Bubba, that's true." answered the lawyer.

"And people are suing the fast food restaurants for making them fat
and clogging their arteries with all them burgers and fries - is that
true, mister lawyer?"

"Sure is, Bubba, but why do you ask?"

"'Cause I was thinkin' - maybe I can sue Budweiser for all them ugly
women I've been waken' up with."
Political Compass Test
Take it here. On a 2 dimensional scale from -10 to 10, x axis economic left/right, -6.50
y axis libertarian/authorative -3.85
Myself is definately liberal but only moderately libertarian

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Myself's rule of life #2(updated)
If you are not retired, and your annual salary, in thousands of dollars, is less than your age you are a bit of a broke-ass.

Monday, November 03, 2003

you gotta see this
But since I'm to cheap to actually pay for a blog that can hold images, this link will take you to a picture of a 13-year old girls surfboard, who was attacked by a shark and lost most of her left arm. Luckily, She did survive.

ever wonder
what kind if idiot responds to the Nigerian spam scam? and what happens
instead of gaining millions, Eric, who is in his late 40s, ended up losing almost $330,000 as he was dragged from one tale to another over three weeks. He became one of five Singaporeans this year conned by the slew of Internet scams, which start off with a personal e-mail.


He received Duruoha's reply soon after, asking for his phone number. Eric was asked to transfer $17,000 to a lawyer handling the transaction and another $18,000 for the attorney's travelling expenses.
Duruoha told Eric to meet him in London with another $24,000 for a 'foreign allocation payment', a fee to transfer the funds out of Nigeria, and about $5,000 on a video camera and four watches to bribe Nigerian officials.
Hmmm... makes Myself think that the email promising me a ten inch dick might possibly not be true too.

Friday, October 31, 2003

For Myself, being male, childless w/ boyfriend means the night shall involve dressing up ( we are going as matching tigers, not my idea), and running the streets of Waikiki and, of course, major intoxication. I did buy a some candy, because we usually get a few little tricks-or-treaters before the big kids go out , besides it was $1.50 a bag. I'm sure Ill eat the rest, Snickers and Skittles (yum). Just to get in the spirit I read October Country and most of From the Dust Returned by Ray Bradbury, who writes prose like I wish I could.

Happy Halloween all

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Some people have no sense of humor

An early Halloween prank in Waikiki last night got a 21-year-old Haleiwa man arrested for unauthorized entry into a vehicle.

Police said the man, who was wearing a “monster” mask, went up to a car that was stopped at a traffic light at the corner of Kalakaua and Ohua avenues about 10 p.m., stuck his head through an open window and screamed. The driver of the vehicle notified police who located the suspect and arrested him.
Music Wars Scene 23:
In Which the Empire RIAA says Please Mr. Postman
It seems the RIAA is going to be nice enough to send you a letter, and politely, and in a most plesant manner, tell you that they are suing your ass:
The public backlash to the suits was immediate, prompting the Recording Industry Association of America (news - web sites) to agree that, in the future, it would issue warnings before formally filing lawsuits. On Friday, the industry made good on that promise, announcing that it had sent letters to 204 people informing them that they face imminent legal action.

According to The Associated Press, the "letters give the recipients 10 days to contact the RIAA to discuss a settlement and avoid a formal lawsuit. The RIAA declined to identify the individuals, but said they were sharing an average of more than 1,000 songs on their computers. The advanced notice also could help the RIAA avoid embarrassment. Last month's targets included a 12-year-old girl and a grandmother who claimed she was falsely accused of sharing rap songs. Many of the accused learned of the lawsuits when they were called by reporters." "In light of the comments we have heard, we want to go the extra mile and offer illegal file sharers an additional chance to work this out short of legal action," RIAA President Cary Sherman said in an oft-quoted statement.
How very white civil of them. Don't even think that they are doing this out of the kindness of their heart. This new tactic only serves to cover their ass so the next 12 year old they sue won't be informed by the press of the pending lawsuit. Although the fact that they had to change their approach shows that they know that they are abusing the DMCA that is the legal basis for all this.
In a related commentary, Todd Rundgren had this to say:
The plain reality is that, except for a few notable aberrations, musicians will always be more appreciated, certainly in a financial sense, by live audiences than by labels and the listeners they purport to represent. The seemingly quaint idea that recordings were promotion for great performers is no less true today. Ask Phish.

Ask also whether, as a musician, you ever believed the RIAA was actively protecting your interests until they got into a fight with their own customers and started using your name, your so-called well-being, as justification. And when the customers became skeptical they became the enemy. And to follow the RIAA's logic, customers are therefore the enemies of musicians. Let us ignore the fact that if you ever got compensated for your contribution, it would have been because your manager and lawyer (and many before) forced the labels to recognize your labor in financial terms.

The reason why the RIAA comes off as a gang of ignorant thugs is because, well, how do I put this -- they are. I came into this business in an age of entrepreneurial integrity. The legends of the golden age of recorded music were still at the helm of most labels -- the Erteguns, the Ostins, the Alperts and Mosses by the dozens. Now we have four monolithic (in every sense of the word) entities and a front organization that crows about the fact that they have solved their problems by leaning on a 12-year-old. Thank God that mystical fascination with the world of music has been stubbed out -- hopefully everyone will get the message and get over the idea that the musician actually meant for you to hear this.
You tell em Todd.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

It's not like this is a surprise or anything
Looks like Hasbro is suing David Chang, maker of Ghettopoly:
NEW YORK (AFP) - Hasbro, the manufacturer of Monopoly, said Wednesday it had filed suit against the creator of "Ghettopoly" -- a spoof version of the celebrated board game that stereotypes gangsta rap culture. "Hasbro will not tolerate unlawful use of its intellectual property to sell the reprehensible 'Ghettopoly' game," Frank Bifulco, president of Hasbro's US Games said in a statement.


The protests prompted Urban Outfitters to pull the game from its shelves. Chang acknowledges the stereotyping charge but insists that the accusations of racism miss the point.

"Ghettopoly is controversial because it's both fun and real life," Chang says on his website www.ghettopoly.com.

"It draws on stereotypes not as a means to degrade, but as a medium to bring people together in laughter," he argues. "If we can't laugh at ourselves and how we each utilise the various stereotypes, then we'll continue to live in blame and bitterness."
Shorter explanation: "can't we all just get along?"

Friday, October 10, 2003

Music Wars Scene 23:
In which the founder of the rebellion returns from the dead
Look out iTunes, Napster is back. The creation of a college student, Shawn Fanning, who wrote the true killer app of the new millenium, started the Music Wars in 1999, by allowing any user on the internet to download MP3 music files, and let others download from their collection.
Napster (news - web sites), the file-swapping service that set music fans on their ears and sent the music industry into apoplectic fits, is resurrecting itself as a pay service two years after its free service collapsed under the weight of lawsuits.

Under its parent Roxio Inc. (NasdaqNM:ROXI - news), which bought the Napster assets out of bankruptcy in late 2002, Napster on Thursday introduced a test version of its new software that will sell individual songs for 99 cents each, albums for $9.95. or monthly "all-you-can-eat" subscriptions for $9.95.

Ironically, Napster sounded the opening salvo of the online music revolution in 1999 when it launched a free service that allowed users to download digital music from other users and in turn make their songs available to others.

The music industry has blamed such file-sharing services for its sharp decline in music sales over the last few years. Napster's relaunch is the latest example in a crowded field of online services aiming to convert an online community used to getting their music for free into paying customers.
The only problem with the pay services is that they don't have a big enough catalog, forget the obscure stuff, when you don't even have any Beatles tunes, your catalog sucks. Napster promises to deliver in this regard, we shall see. Of course the other big problem is that the free P2P Networks still exist and although usage has declined in the wake of the recent lawsuits, any pay for play service will be impacted by the free rebels. Myself sees the Music Wars as the beginning of the end for music on CD's. Much like the decline of vinyl, and casette tapes, the days of CD's are numbered. If Myself can get a device the size of a pack of cigarettes, or even smaller that can hold 30 plus songs of my choosing, never skips, can never get scratched, why would I want a much more bulky CD player that only holds 12 songs, some of which I may not even want, can't go jogging with, any can very easily get permanently ruined?

Thursday, October 09, 2003

I know this is wrong but...
It is also funny, there is a boardgame out there called "Ghettopoly", yes thats right Ghettopoly. picture here and article here there are, of course, some who are not amused:
...Black leaders are outraged over a new board game called "Ghettopoly" that has "playas" acting like pimps and game cards reading, "You got yo whole neighborhood addicted to crack. Collect $50."
Black clergymen say the game, the brainchild of a Pennsylvania man, should be banned, and have called for a boycott of Urban Outfitters unless the company stops selling Ghettopoly in its chain of clothing stores.
"If we are silent on this issue there is more of this type to come," the Rev. Robert P. Shine Sr., president of the Black Clergy of Philadelphia & Vicinity, said at a sidewalk rally Wednesday in front Urban Outfitters' corporate headquarters in Philadelphia.
Shine displayed the game board, with properties including Westside Liquor, Harlem, The Bronx, and Long Beach City, and squares labeled Smitty's XXX Peep Show, Weinstein's Gold and Platinum, and Tyron's Gun Shop.
Players draw "Hustle" and "Ghetto Stash" cards with directions like, "You're a little short on loot, so you decided to stick up a bank. Collect $75," and "Steal $$$ if you pass Let$ Roll."
Also coming soon are Hoodopoly, Hiphopopoly, Thugopoly, and Redneckopoly. The game even has its own website: www.ghettopoly.com. Myself is pretty sure the people at Hasbro®, are none too pleased with this. But the article gives no mention of copyright violation. At any rate I can see why this could be deemed offensive, certainly non-PC, and Myself can respect that some people will be up in arms about something like this, perpetuating horrible sterotypes, racial oppression, and all that, but Myself does not think it falls under the category of "something that would make it a big deal". Besides you gotta love a game with pieces like Pimp, Hoe, 40 oz, Machine Gun, Marijuana Leaf, Basket Ball and Crack. I can hear parents around the country now: No Jimmy, its Sally's turn to be the pile of crack this time, you can be the 40 oz.
via Atrios

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

God's wrath?
Hurricane Isabel roared through Virginia Beach, Va., in September, inflicting serious property damage, despite public calls for prayer to keep it away by prominent resident Rev. Pat Robertson, whose Christian Broadcasting Network is headquartered there. (In 1998, Robertson condemned the city of Orlando, Fla., for sponsoring a Gay Days festival, and warned that the city could be torn up during the subsequent hurricane season, as God punishes those who promote homosexuality. Instead, the first hurricane of that season (Bonnie) made a direct hit on Virginia Beach.) [The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk), 9-16-03]
Heh Heh Heh.

Stupid criminals
William Penny was arrested in Greenwood, Ind., in August, putting a halt to his alleged identity-theft business. He was caught because, three times in a three-day period, he had aroused suspicion of several people in a neighborhood by approaching a certain ATM on foot, carrying a motorcycle helmet, donning the helmet as he neared the ATM's camera, making a withdrawal (with someone else's ID, allegedly), walking away, and then removing the helmet.[WISH-TV (Indianapolis), 8-5-03]

Friday, October 03, 2003

Local stuff. Paula, Randy, and Simon are in Honolulu this weekend for American Idol auditions, (this is what passes for NEWS on the local CBS affiliate KGMB, hooray). Kobe Bryant joins the rest of the Lakers for their pre-season game, and a former trustee of one of the largest endowment estates, Kamehameha Estates Bishop Estates,(KSBE), Lokelani Lindsey, was immedieately hauled off to prison to serve her 6 month sentence. She was caught taking a trip to Las Vegas, yet she had the date at which to begin her sentence delayed three times, because her husband is ill. Oh yeah, she was found guilty of using KSBE employees to do work on her personal home. Landscaping, carpentry and such, all 5 or is it 7, were replaced. It is an ugly chapter of in the history of this Aina called Hawaii, and not over yet, nope not by a long shot, much more to come so stay tuned folks. Hopefully, Myself can find links to back up this shit Myself is writing, (I promise I will look). Plausible denial will suffice.

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Myself is trying to decide wether its more fun to watch the Republicans squirm over the Wilson/Plume thing or was it more fun watching the Democrats squirm over the Monica thing.
The Price of Paradise
The Honolulu bus strike of '04 has ended, buses began running on Monday, and just so there's no hard feelings towards bus riders all buses are free until Friday, that's right, free, after a month long strike. However in order to pay for the new contract bus fares will increase to $2.00 a ride, the highest in the nation. That's right, not only do we have the highest gas prices (still above $2.00 a gallon), the highest car insurance rates, high cost of living, second only to Alaska, and the second highest cost for housing (San Francisco Bay areas are first). *sighs heavily* This is why I think I want to move to Las Vegas

Monday, September 29, 2003

So a guy gets pulled over by a cop. The cop goes up to the car, notices the driver is alone and obviously drunk, eyes all red, head swaying from side to side.
Cop: " So you've been drinking tonight?"
Drunk: "No way, Officer, I'm the designated driver!"
Cop: "What do you think I am stupid, you're the only one in the car!"
Drunk: "....NOT!...check the trunk!"

joke courtesy Augie Tulba

Friday, September 26, 2003

Myself happened to be channel flipping last night and lo and behold on the David Letterman show was none other than Secretary of State Colin Powell. Now this just seemed a bit unusual to Myself, in that a Cabinet level administrator appearing on a late night talk show to pimp the White House policy. It just seems wrong and out of place, sort of like if Ashton Kutcher were to go on Meet the Press.
Music Wars SCene 22:
In which the rebels' enabler turns the tables on the RIAA saying: Isn't it Ironic?
The maker of the popular Kazaa peer-to-peer software has turned the tables on the Recording Industry Association of America (news - web sites) and a number of entertainment companies by suing them for copyright infringement.

The RIAA has used the same kind of "ironic" tactics, given that, earlier this month, the trade association sued 261 alleged music uploaders for copyright infringement, Morris says. "It's ironic that somebody who's suing 12-year-old girls for copyright infringement themselves blatantly disregard copyright laws," he says. "Who's being more ironic?"

Morris accuses Media Defender of using Kazaa Lite "in front of our lawyers" to demonstrate the dangers of peer-to-peer software during a congressional hearing. "He is using a hacked version of our code," Morris says. "That's a straightforward Digital Millennium Copyright Act (news - web sites) violation."

The DMCA prohibits people from reverse-engineering computer code for the purposes of cracking copyright protection technology.
Now this is getting a bit silly. Although Sharman does have a point but, the RIAA can simply use another tool to track IP's of the rebels. On the Irony scale Sharman wins, hands down, the RIAA should not be using Kazaa software or any other Kazaa clone to track users. Even though their app is used to illegally share music, there is a legitimate use for file sharing, and violating copyrights and/or violating license agreements is what the RIAA is so upset about.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Music Wars: Scene 21
In which the Empire RIAA says: oops, my bad
Among the 261 lawsuits filed by the RIAA against the rebel downloaders, are a 12-year old girl, and a 66-year old Mac user:
BOSTON - In a possible case of mistaken identity, the recording industry has withdrawn a lawsuit against a 66-year-old sculptor who claims never to have even downloaded song-sharing software, let alone used it.


Sarah Seabury Ward, of Newbury, Mass., and her husband use their computer to e-mail with children and grandchildren, said Electronic Frontier Foundation attorney Cindy Cohn, who has worked with the family. They use a Macintosh (news - web sites), which cannot even run the Kazaa file-sharing service they are accused of using illegally.

Nonetheless, Ward was one of 261 defendants sued by the recording industry this month for illegal Internet file-sharing. Ward was accused of illegally sharing more than 2,000 songs, including rapper Trick Daddy's "I'm a Thug."
Yeah those 66 year old WASP/thug chicks, are taking the big bucks out of the poor starving musicians pockets.

In a related story, new copy protection on music CD's is being considered that will thwart attempts to file-share the music. Even though it's been shown time and time again that for every copy-protection model used so far, be it for CD's DVD's or games, the protection can be cracked by savvy programmers, who are more that willing to share their results with everyone.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

That's the way love goes part II
As reported earlier an incredibly stupid 20-year old was sentenced under the Patriot Act for making false threats aboard a cruise ship
A 20-year-old California woman who left two notes threatening to kill all Americans on board a cruise ship bound for Hilo was ordered to spend two years in federal prison.

U.S. District Judge Helen Gillmor denied a request yesterday by Kelley Marie Ferguson, of Laguna Hills, for a more lenient sentence and instead ordered her to the maximum term possible under federal sentencing guidelines, and three years on supervised release. Ferguson had been facing 18 to 24 months in prison.
Ferguson, who admitted to writing the notes in hopes the trip would end and she could return home to her boyfriend, later pleaded guilty to a charge of conveying false information about an attempt to cause death to passengers and employees of a mass transportation provider.
Ferguson was vacationing with her family on board the Legend of the Seas en route from Ensenada, Mexico, when the notes were discovered in a restroom on April 22 and 23.emphasis mine.
Also of note: At the time of the incident, she was pregnant, Myself, can't find anything about the baby.
Send a chicken hawk to Iraq
left-leaning Brian Flemming has issued a challenge to right-leaning Chis Arabia for him to put up or shut up when he said: If you pay my way and my hydration, incidentally, I'll happily go to Iraq and lend what help I can. Myself doubts he will go.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

it occurs to Myself that many people use Yahoo!&trade for their home page. Myself does. But is Yahoo!&trade an anomoly? is it that one portal to the web that we all turn to, as the Saurday Evening Post was to its day? Yahoo!&trade has not the obligatory MSNBC power, not the AOLTime Warner vast empire, nor the zealotry masquerading as patriotism of FOX. Is Yahoo!&trade a new paradigm? time will tell. New hostile takeover paradigm anyone?

Friday, September 19, 2003

Yo Ho
a bit late,(Hawaiian time, ya know), but today is Talk like a Pirate Day So avast ye mateys. Arrr even Dave Barry says it be so.
via August

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Music Wars Scene 20:
In which we see that its really the record labels screwing the musicians
Although a biased, anti-record label screed, this page gives a typical? example of how a new band can recieve a $250,000 advance, sell 250,000 copies of their new CD and end up with a net profit of about $4,000 for each band member:
The Balance Sheet: This is how much each player got paid at the end of the game.

Record company: $710,000
Producer: $90,000
Manager: $51,000
Studio: $52,500
Previous label: $50,000
Agent: $7,500
Lawyer: $12,000
Band member net income each: $4,031.25
via ampersand

This is one of the main reasons the consumer has very little sympathy for the record labels, most people know that its the record companies making the bulk of the money here, not the musicians, the major labels hold all the cards, even hold the musicians hostage, if you will, forcing musicians to deal on their terms, and many time it bites a big fat one. In many cases the record companies hold the legal copyright to the songs, and royalties are never paid out, until other costs are recouped. P2P threatens the existing paradigm, and maybe its about time for a shift.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Local Stuff
So now, here in Honolulu, the bus strike is into it's fourth week now, one month without any city buses. It's kind of odd seeing all the bus stops empty. Myself not being a bus rider I can't say what it's like to try around get around without it, but if one can do without it for a month wel maybe there's not such a demand after all. The hardest hit have been the senior citizens, and students. But other government unions are also watching this closely, because if the bus drivers do get the raise they are holding out for, other unions, whose contracts will come up for negotiation in 2004 will think they can get one too, even though the city says they have no money to give. Being a state employee, Myself would love to have a raise but I think its a bit unreasonable to expect one when the ecomony is not the best right now here. Even more so, the big shopping malls are also hurting because they are central hub points for the bus system and no busses means a lot less customers.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Special Delivery?
I swear Myself is not making this up: Man packs himself in a crate gets shipped as cargo from NY to Dallas
DALLAS (AP) -- Charles D. McKinley had himself shipped from New York to Dallas in an airline cargo crate, startling his parents - and a deliveryman - when he broke out of the box outside their home.


In a rambling jailhouse interview, McKinley told KXAS-TV in Dallas that he made the trip because he was homesick and a friend thought he could save money by flying as cargo. McKinley said he took no food or water on the 15-hour journey, just a cell phone, which did not work.

"I'm sitting there thinking, `Oh God, I don't know why I'm doing this,'" he said. "I'm sitting there thinking like any minute somebody will notice that there's somebody sitting inside this crate. ... No one did."Authorities said they did not know whether McKinley had any toilet facilities. But the stowaway told the TV station that got out of the crate during flights once or twice and walked around.

His box was carried in the pressurized, heated cabins, but could just as easily have been placed in the lower, unpressurized holds, said Richard G. Phillips, chief executive of Pilot Air Freight.
Now the fact that he was able to do this at all should raise a huge red flag, Myself is talking about a glaring, 20X30 foot, waving, bright red one. This is going to cause the FAA to have conniption fits as well as cargo carriers. And it should. Air cargo is a known weak spot, security needs to be tightened and now we have in living color an example of how, if one were an evil-doer, said evil-doer could have taken over the cargo plane and used to, well, evil-do. Thank you John Ashcroft. The irony of all this is that he could have booked a first-class flight for what it cost to ship himself. What a maroon!

Monday, September 08, 2003

Music Wars: Scene 19
in which the RIAA fires its Death Star

The RIAA filed 261 subpeonas today in an effort to scare the music rebels into oblivion:
NEW YORK -- Sharing pirated music over the Internet just got a lot more hazardous.

The music industry unleashed a long-planned legal blitz intended to stanch the rampant piracy that has caused music sales to crater during the past four years.

The five major record companies, grouped under the banner of the Recording Industry Association of America (news - web sites), filed 261 lawsuits against individuals it says have illegally used file-sharing software to distribute vast troves of copyrighted music online, where it can be accessed and downloaded for free by music consumers.

The association characterized its actions as a "first wave" of what could ultimately be thousands of copyright-infringement lawsuits against individuals who have distributed on average more than 1,000 music files each to other users. It also said it wouldn't sue those individuals who agree to voluntarily identify themselves and pledge to stop illegally sharing music over the Internet.

"We hope that today's actions will convince doubters that we are serious about protecting our rights," said RIAA President Cary Sherman.
Now there have been various criticism of the RIAA and the music industry in general, ranging from over-commercialism/over-promotion, most of it sucks anyway, the RIAA is obsolete, or at least their paradigm is, and others. It is more ecomincal to have one artist sell 1 million copies from 1 CD that an artist sell 2 million from 5 CDs, but Myself sees this strategy of suing the indivivual as better than creating new laws to give the music industry special rights when it comes to intellectual property,i.e., the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or forcing ISP's to police its users, or even be the stool pigeon. The Empire is hoping that this will scare away most users. They are wrong. They will succeed in scaring of some, no doubt, but there will always be music swapping going on. The P2P programs will evolve, and pay for play sites will grow, already there are at least a dozen in the works. P2P is used not only to swap the latest hits (which is what all the fuss is about, really) but those more obscure hits of days gone by (not so much a concern of the RIAA) yet is also a valuable commodity to the user. So watch out RIAA the rebels will be making a sneak attack on your death star and drop a bomb down your exhaust vent.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Music Wars: Scene 18
in whch one Nation of the Empire record company says Take Me Down

It seems like one record company, Universal Music Group, has decided to lower prices in order to entice people away from downloading
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Universal Music Group, the world's largest record company, on Wednesday said it will cut list prices on compact discs by as much as 30 percent in an effort to boost sales that have been stymied by free online music-sharing services such as Kazaa.


"We expect this will invigorate the music market in North America," said Doug Morris, the label's chief executive. "This will allow retailers (to sell) for $10 or less if they so choose."

The price cut comes as the company has endured the enormous popularity of free music sharing services, which the labels blame for music piracy.

Universal, which is owned by Vivendi Universal, sees the price cuts as part of a larger strategy to discourage people from downloading music from the free services.
Hmmm... new release CD's for $9.99? that actually sounds like a pretty good deal. Hopefully the other major labes (Sony, EMI, Time/Warner/AOL) will follow suit. Seems like at least one record label has realized that they were indeed overcharging the consumer for their product, and have been for years, until people realized they could get it for free, albiet not legitimate (but that's one hell of a price adjustment). Myself would buy a new release CD for $9.99, if it were from an artist that I like. Good move by UMG [gives golf applause]. Waiting on the RIAA to play out its war to resolve this problem is a lose-lose proposition for record companies and the consumer, THe labels continue to lose money, and consumers become alienated by having the DeathStar spectre of a lawsuit/subpeona/fines orbiting their head.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

See what happens...
So there's a hurricane passing about 340 miles south of the Big Island of Hawaii, a small craft and high surf advisory posted by the Weather Service, what better conditions to the annual Waikiki Roughwater Swim?
Hundreds of swimmers were rescued yesterday when powerful currents got the best of most of the Waikiki Roughwater Swim participants.

Of the 1,055 swimmers who started the annual 2.4-mile race about 9 a.m., only 356, including two men in the over-70 age group, finished the race. The rest either turned back, were helped back to shore by fellow swimmers or were rescued. Coast Guard, city lifeguards or fire personnel reported saving at least 267.
This is what happens when an event promoter puts his pocketbook above people's safety. Dumb, stupid asshat. Myself likes this quote from the race director: "the current was very strong and unexpected and had a negative impact on most of the swimmers." Fortunately the swimmers who even attempt this are all strong swimmers to begin with, but this guy is lucky no one drowned.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Music Wars: Scene 17
Ways in which the RIAA say: I'm Gonna Getcha
There are several tools being used or will be used by the Empire RIAA to foil the Rebels such as:
Antinode Creates fake "supernodes," signposts used by some file-sharing technologies (Kazaa, for example) to guide users' computers to files. The pseudo-supernodes distribute misleading file information.

Fester Puts the word out on file-sharing networks that RIAA servers have music files for download. The servers redirect users to black hole sites, tying them up indefinitely. Newer P2P clients drop useless connections more quickly, so this approach may already be obsolete.

Freeze Uses an existing bug in P2P clients to remotely "hang" computers hunting for MP3s. The result could be more than mere frustration - unsaved data can be lost during a long hang. It's in development now.

Shame If implemented, would distribute a benign P2P virus in an illegal media file that adds the words "I steal music on the Internet" to a user's email signature. Expect to see that appear as a slogan on T-shirts a few minutes later.

Silence Scans computers on P2P networks for illegal material, hacks into the pirate machine, and deletes the data. One problem: Early versions delete legal MP3s, too.

Suck Scours the Net for large libraries of MP3s, and then starts asking for files. And asking. And asking. Eventually, the requests clog library owners' connections like hair in a pipe - and if the RIAA is using that bandwidth, then nobody else is. As a bonus, this approach generates huge volumes of data traffic, driving up pirates' usage and incurring the wrath of ISPs.

Tattle Recruits other industries. If you have lots of liberated music, chances are you also have a few pieces of software that fell off the back of a truck. Recording industry bots already track online piracy - insiders have suggested the RIAA share that information with the software and movie industries.
And of course subpeona-ing your ass and threatening you with massive fines.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Music Wars: Scene 16
In which the "big fish" pirates are still Runnin with the Devil but the small fry users are Little Runaways
The scare tactics of the RIAA subpeonas have indeed worked, but not as expected:
Evidence is popping up that the record industry has millions of Internet music pirates on the run -- but not the heavy-duty song swappers the industry has vowed to prosecute.The NPD Group market-research firm released data last week showing that the number of American households acquiring music files on the Internet dropped 28 percent over three months, from 14.5 million in April to 10.4 million in June. The total number of music files acquired online each month declined less, by 23 percent, from 852 million files in April to 655 million files in June.

That's because the average number of files each household downloaded actually increased by 6.7 percent during the same period, from 59 files in April to 63 in June, NPD found.

Russ Crupnick, NPD vice president, said in a statement that the Recording Industry Association of America (news - web sites)'s legal campaign against file swappers is only scaring "light downloaders" rather than the big fish the RIAA says it wants to catch.
Seems using the Death Star to kill gnats works but the huge mutant cockroach is unimpressed.
Bus Strike
Yup, The City and County of Honolulu has no bus service as of today, as bus drivers go on strike. Myself drives to work but the boyfriend does not, so I dropped him off one hour before he starts. Traffic was bad. I guess if the University of Hawaii Professors can go on strike.....
Music Wars: Scene 14
In which a lone rebel counter-sues the Empire RIAA, despite claims by the RIAA not to target the "small fry", while claiming its winning the war by shock and awe
First the RIAA says: they will not be throwing grannies into jail,sue them, and fine them into poverty:
Small-time users of music-sharing services like Kazaa can breathe a sigh of relief. Although the RIAA (news - web sites) has sent numerous subpoenas to ISPs demanding disclosure of file-swapper identities, it is unlikely the little guys will find themselves in court, subject to Draconian financial penalties. While the RIAA was vague about what it deemed "a substantial user" (most probably out of the desire to avoid giving downloaders a roadmap to its strategy), it is fair to say that the grandparents of a middle schooler who visits on the weekend will not lose their house because the kid downloaded music from one of the exchanges.

Indeed, the RIAA's vagueness has inflamed its opponents. Issuing subpoenas "are part of the RIAA's overall scare tactics," Jason Schultz, staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation told NewsFactor. "They use phrases like 'substantial amount of works' or 'significant number of songs.' But when they've been pressed to define what they mean exactly, they have refused."
Why? because they're lying like a $5 rug.

A lone Kazaa user is fighting the RIAA to not have Verizon release her name:
A file swapper who was subpoenaed by the recording industry has filed a legal motion to block that subpoena, claiming it violates her rights to due process, privacy and anonymous association, as well as her contract with ISP Verizon. The legal action by the anonymous user, called "Jane Doe" in court records, is the first of its kind in response to more than 1,000 subpoenas issued by the Recording Industry Association of America (news - web sites) to Internet service providers. The RIAA is demanding the names and address of users who distribute copyrighted music online, with the intent to sue them for infringement.
If it looks like a small fry, acts like a small fry, and talks like a small fry....

Their tactics appear to have some effect on things though, P2P usage has declined recently:
Music piracy over the Web has declined since the record industry started threatening to sue individual users of popular but unauthorized file-sharing networks, several research groups said on Thursday.
According to Port Washington, New York-based NPD Group, the number of households acquiring music files began to fall in May 2003, right after the Recording Industry Association of America (news - web sites) (RIAA) began threatening file-sharers with legal action.

Based on data collected from 40,000 online panelists, NPD projected that music files acquired, including songs swapped illegally, obtained through paid downloading sites or ripped from CDs, dropped to 655 million files in June from a high of 852 million files in April.

NPD said it estimated the number of households acquiring music files reached a high of 14.5 million in April 2003, then fell to 12.7 million in May and to 10.4 million in June.

Apparantly just the threat of using the Death Star suing individuals into oblivion is enough to scare off the faint of heart. The saga continues....

Monday, August 25, 2003

link shill
Big Alohas to Brian Flemming for this link about the CA Gov's race, where I mostly made fun of it, but now that the Lt. Gov is in the race, and in the lead, Brian bows out. Davis should just campaign for a no vote and if that fails at least his Lt. will win. Could be worse. Much worse. Brian has the right idea in that the Lt gov should be the one to replace the Gov. It should be automatic if Davis is removed, not stick in some other shlump in the office. Myself sees it as akin to the Miss America scenario. If for any reason the Gov cannot fullfill his duties, i.e. he gets recalled, nude pics of Gray Davis surface in Playgirl, the runner up takes his place, right?

Friday, August 22, 2003

White people entitlements
There is a rather unique situation here in Hawaii with the Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate(KSBE), recently being ordered by a Ferderal Judge to admit a 12 year old non Native Hawaiian to its school, sparking protests, even threats.
On Wednesday, U.S. Judge David Ezra ordered the school to admit Mohica-Cummings to attend the seventh-grade classes, which began yesterday.

Ezra made no ruling on whether the estate's Hawaiian preference admission system was illegal or constitutional.

Mohica-Cummings, who sued the estate to overturn its admission policy, initially was accepted, but school officials rescinded the offer on Aug. 13 after they were unable to confirm his Hawaiian ancestry.
His mother was adopted by a native Hawaiian
The controversy is the latest to hit the $6 billion Kamehameha Schools, whose admission policy gives preference to children of native Hawaiian ancestry. The schools were sued earlier this year by an unnamed non-Hawaiian boy who was denied entry due to his race.

And last year, the estate was forced to admit a non-Hawaiian student to its Maui campus after officials failed to fill all openings with Hawaiian students. The decision caused an uproar in the Hawaiian community and led the estate's trustees to reaffirm its Hawaiians-only preference.

Ezra's decision was protested by 50 members of the Kamehameha Schools ohana at the campus yesterday morning.
Myself can understand why some people are upset, he is talking the place of a native Hawaiian that would have otherwise gotten the prized slot. The school gets more that twice the applications as there are slots. Their policy on Hawaiians-only admissions is an entirely different can of worms. The school was founded in the 1887, well before Hawaii became a State, from the estate of Bernice Pauahi Bishop, decendant of King Kamehameha, is among the wealthiest endowments in the US today, and exists primarily for the benefit of native Hawaiians. Myself sees it as Affirmative Action to the nth power, If a Catholic school can give preference to Catholics, then KSBE can do the same with native Hawaiians. Now to actively exclude non-Hawaiians, well maybe that's going a bit far, but admitting a few non-Hawaiian students should be no big deal, but apparently it is.
Tasberry gave a permalink. Hers is a personal diary type blog, detailing her daily life and stuff. The sex talk is particularly interesting.

also Jesus' General seems to be back, still fighting the good fight, in his heterosexually own way. Also particularly interesting
Music Wars: Scene 13
In which the RIAA tries a Second Time Around
Late Monday, the Recording Industry Association of America (news - web sites), the Motion Picture Association of America, and the National Music Publishers' Association filed an appeal to a Los Angeles district court judge's decision. The court had ruled on April 25 that the operators of the Grokster and Morpheus peer-to-peer services couldn't know when users were trading copyrighted works.

As expected, the three groups have asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to overturn the decision by U.S. District Court Judge Stephen Wilson. They ask that the Grokster service and Morpheus operator StreamCast Networks be held responsible for copyright violations that occur on those P-to-P networks.
Myself wants to know if the RIAA has learned anything since the invention of the tape recorder. This is exactly the same thing. Video recorders as well. Even with examples of piracy in today's world the movie industry has not collapsed. I am hoping that music artists will, in the end get fed up with the RIAA alienating their fanbase, by telling them that they must get their music from only whom the RIAA says you can, threating thei fans with subpeonas, fines and will decide to cut the RIAA out entirely by recording their music and publishing it themselves. Because in reality everbody knows its the RIAA's pocketbook not the artist's that's being really hurt, and ultimately their very existance is in danger of becoming oblolete. And Methinks that is truly the reason for their agressive approach. The RIAA need to show that they are very much needed to defend all musicians, fighting for their rights, blah blah blah, when its becoming increasingly apparent that they must either adapt or go the way of the buggy whip.

Monday, August 18, 2003

Music Wars: Scene 12
In which the Rebels establish a new outpost Somewhere, Out there

From MSNBC via ZDNet:
Deep in the tense Jenin refugee camp in the Palestinian West Bank, a new file-swapping service is daring record labels and movie studios to turn their piracy-hunting into an international incident. Dubbed Earthstation 5, the new file-swapping network is openly flouting international copyright norms at a time when many older peer-to-peer companies are trying to establish themselves as legitimate technology companies. One of the brashest of a new generation of file-trading networks, it is serving as a new test case for the ability of high-tech security measures and international borders to preserve privacy on the Net.

On its face, Earthstation 5 appears to be at the leading edge of the movie and music industry’s next nightmare — copyright-flouting networks based in a territory without strong intellectual property laws, with security built in that protects users from scrutiny.
Hot damn but these guys are good. By using UDP Packets,as opposed to TCP,SSL and Proxy Servers, (if you don't understand these terms, don't worry the RIAA does), a new level of anonimity is gained, although not complete and total. Again one step ahead of the Empire RIAA, although the article goes on to say this may damage the more legit services like Kazaa, who are trying (it seems) to work some kind of compromise with the RIAA, The music industry would be foolish to use Earthstation as an excuse not to negotiate. Earthstation is a response to the RIAA's tactics, a real spit in you face response, with more to come, it's a losing battle. Meanwhile, construction of the Death Star continues.....
No Good Deed Goes Unpunished II
took a four day weekend off, Vacation day thursday, holiday friday, it was Admissions day (yes that's right we have a state holiday to commemorate the day Hawaii became the 50th State, call your state legislator right now), Myself highly recommends four day weekends. I got my new Macy's Visa card on Friday (see Rant below). So Myself is on my way to brunch Sunday and has to get a b-day card. While in the drugstore, Myself grabs a few other things, and heads for the checkout. Whoops, Myself is short of cash, because he needs to put $20 in the card, and Myself does not have enough. So Myself whips out my brand spanking new Macy's Visa card and swipes it through.... no go. The cashier tries it with her station. Again no go. Now the Manager comes over and calls the authorization center. After giving the info and a few yes and no answers he informs me that he was instructed to confiscate my card and turn it in. Thank you Macy's soooo very much.

Saturday, August 16, 2003

What? My cell phone doesn't work?
New York City, The greatest place to live. Heh

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Fair and Balanced
As per Atrios et al, Myself is now Fair and Balanced as well. Tom Tomorrow coins the term Foxholes, I liked that one so much I used it. Myself is guessing that Bill O'Rielly threw a hissy fit so big that Fox had no other choice but to file an obvious loser of a lawsuit against Al Franken for his new book Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right for using the term "fair and balanced", in order to keep him happy (or at least less grumpy). I guess I'd be pissed too, if I were publicly humiliated (audio here) by Franken.

Monday, August 11, 2003

So I called the Macy's Credit card customer service line to let them know that Myself did not recieve his card yet in the mail. Myself did recieve the PIN number, though to a card I hove not gotten. So after wading through the initial voice response, Myself has to listen to three minutes of a commercial expounding the all the features and benefits of owning a Macy's credit card, when Myself is finally allowed the option of speaking to a live person, since none of the automated options are to do what I want. So now I hold, since "All our representatives are busy, and my call will be taken in the order in which it was made" , listening to the annoying muzak playing on hold. another four minutes apss and I get a live person, hooray, I tell them I got my PIN notice but have not yet gotten my card in the mail. So she asks me, and I swear this is true, "What is your account number?" I was able to contain myself, I repeated, that I haven't gotten my card, and in the end she was able to help me out but geez this is one of the most piss-poor customer service lines that I have ever encountered. The fact that I had to sit and listen to minutes long commercials before even given other options. My actual business took about two minutes, but I spent about ten minutes either listening to a commercial or on hold listening to bad muzak.

Friday, August 08, 2003

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished...?
So Myself is buying tea online from Stash Tea, all set, ready to punch in the credit card number when Myself notices an unfamiliar address in the work address space in the yahoo saved name, wallet or wherever it is the work address is:
PO Box 104
Hon HI 96782
which is a state govt phone number of Dawny Dawson, Manager of the Hawaii Film Office but zip code is Pearl City and 586 prefix for phone is downtown honolulu, mine is 586. So in the mail today Myself gets his Macy's&trade credit card PIN in the mail but Myself has not yet got the card. Myself applied for it because my Boyfriend, who works at Macy's&trade, asked me apply for an express credit, to help him out, and Myself did, but now this. a bogus address on my Yahoo work address and a phone number that does not match the are of the address?....

Update: No cause for alarm, much, Myself will be issued a new card, and no charges have been made to my account. Bogus address was just that bogus.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Jerry, we hardly knew ye
It looks as if Jerry Springer will not run for US Senate for Ohio:
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Jerry Springer has announced he will not run for the U.S. Senate.
Sringer, the controversial talk show host and former Cincinnati mayor, made the announcement at a press conference at a downtown Columbus hotel Wednesday afternoon.


And Cincinnati Mayor Charlie Luken, who, like Springer, went from politics to news and back to politics, said party affiliations aside, he was somewhat disappointed by his good friend's announcement.

"We're all going to be less entertained during the campaign season because of his decision," Luken said.
Too bad though, Myself was looking forward to his campaign. Now I know that Springer was formerly Mayor of Cincinnati, but his show is not what Myself would call news. Unless, of course you define the National Enquirer as news.

In an actually related story the California Recall Race has oficially become a carnival with Arnold (I will pump Sacramento up) Schwarzenegger , announcing he will run. Included in this ballot are Larry (The Smut Peddler Who Cares) Flint, Arianna (I hate SUV's) Huffington, maybe even her husband Michael (I tried to buy an election and failed) Huffington, Gary (what you talkin' about Willis) Coleman, Comedians Leo Gallagher (I don't know who he is either) and D.L. Hugley,and even this guy who says, if elected will immediately resign and let the Lt. Gov take his place. Estimates that there will be hundreds of candidates. Grab your popcorn and watch the parade pass.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Music Wars: Scene 11
In which the new breed of Rebels are talking 'bout a Revolution
If you were to listen to Generation Download?, (yes that is what the article says) these teens have little regard for the Empire RIAA:
...Over the coming weeks, Weiss said, the RIAA will file hundreds of lawsuits against file-sharers who offer large numbers of MP3s. They're seeking the maximum possible damages, $150,000 per song.


So far, though, kids seem utterly unimpressed with the recording industry's "shock and awe" campaign.

"That's stupid," declared Andrew Pira, 16, of Concord.

"They can't sue 4 million people," added his friend, 16-year-old Sado Alhkim of Walnut Creek.


"The record industry does have a point," Tamaki admits. "I know that all these artists and groups have to make their money ... But I'm just such a fan of sharing MP3s that I can't fully agree with what they say. It's just such a brilliant idea."


And many young people said they simply can't imagine paying to download songs.

Even a dollar a track, apparently, seems ridiculously high to a generation weaned on free music.

"I still wouldn't pay," said Pira. "Ninety-nine cents a song -- you could buy a soda for that."

To catch their attention, online music prices would have to feel like pocket change, young people said. Many offered the paltry figure of 25 cents a song. Even such dirt-cheap rates, some reasoned, would add up if every downloader chipped in.

Others, like 15-year-old Farhan Khalid of Pittsburg, see no point in even discussing prices.

"Why pay," he asked, "if you can get it for free?"
What is interesting is the total disregard for the "old" system of purchasing music at a record store, and a complete acceptance of downloading music even in the face of it being illegal. Myself thinks what we have here is a mob mentality going on, with everybody doing it, no one person feels that they will get caught. The RIAA's tactics will be to start with those who are most prolific and work their way down, eventually scaring off everyone when they start going after smaller and smaller pirates. This would take more that a few years, as serving, processing and prosecuting tens of thousands of cases every couple of months will tax not only the RIAA's resources but the judicial system as well. Myself predicts thht this time next year P2P software will have some sort of privacy, or at least effectively anonymous. Wether it be IP spoofing, encryption, multiple proxy server bouncing, or something else altogether Myself can only guess, but it will occur. Young people are now used to the idea of free music, maybe even some think they're entitled to get it for free. Unless a viable alternative presents itself, the RIAA is going to lose if they keep going the way they are, and the rebels will be victorious. Unless the Empire can finish rebuilding the death star....

Friday, August 01, 2003

Music Wars: scene 10
In which the Rebel Music Pirates recieve a Distant Early Warning
Does the RIAA have your IP? Are you going to be one of those you feel the wrath of the RIAA? The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), can let you now
A new Web-based tool provided by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) gives file swappers the ability to check their home IP address or file sharing service user name against a list of addresses and names disclosed in hundreds of subpoena filed by the RIAA to ISPs (Internet service providers). (See http://www.eff.org/IP/P2P/riaasubpoenas/)

The tool consists of a Web page with a field into which visitors can type a user name from file sharing services such as Kazaa and Grokster, or the IP address of a system used to swap files.
Myself is not on the list. Yet.
Music Wars: Scene 9
In which a US Senator attempts to reign in the Empire RIAA, and the Rebels attempt to evade detection
Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., is concerned that the RIAA may be suing Grandma:
Coleman, chairman of the Senate's Permanent Investigations Subcommittee, asked the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for details of 900 subpoenas it has obtained in federal courts. In a letter, he expressed concern that innocent people's rights may be violated in the industry's attempt to rein in what it contends is rampant on-line piracy costing recording companies billions of dollars.


The RIAA subpoenas have snared unsuspecting grandparents whose grandchildren have used their personal computers [and] individuals whose roommates have shared their computers . . ., " Coleman wrote. "This barrage of RIAA subpoenas is creating such a backlog at the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia that the court has been forced to reassign clerks to process the paperwork.

"Surely it was not Congress' intent when it passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to short-circuit due process protections, relegate a U.S. District Court to providing 'rubber-stamp' subpoenas, enable the music industry to collect information about consumers with little or no restrictions, and place numerous average consumers at risk of bankruptcy," he said.
Although this will not end the war, at least someone of influence can see that the RIAA's crusade has the potential to target innocents.Myself suspects he has children in the 13-25 age bracket.
In a related story the Rebel Music Pirates are attempting to mask their identity or at the very least make it difficult for the Empire to find them:
Some of the upgrades reroute Internet connections through so-called proxy servers that scrub away cybertracks. Others incorporate firewalls or encryption to thwart the sleuth firms that the recording industry employs.

"Everyone is concerned about their privacy," said Michael Weiss, chief executive of StreamCast Networks. The upgrade to his Morpheus file-sharing software has been downloaded more than 300,000 times since its release late last month.

Music industry officials insist file-swappers can't hide.

"Nothing that has been invented has prevented us from being able to identify substantial infringers and collect evidence," said Matt Oppenheim, senior vice president of business and legal affairs for the Recording Industry Association of America.

Yet experts say some of the countermeasures could make it more difficult to trace individuals on peer-to-peer networks. Though none can guarantee total anonymity, they ultimately may not have to.

"With enough technology it may not be worth the effort for the RIAA to come after somebody," said Mark Rasch, a former U.S. Justice Department computer crimes prosecutor. "At some point, it can become so difficult to find out who did something that it becomes practically anonymous."
The RIAA says they can still find you, the rebels say they can't, Myself is more likely to beleive the rebels although that may be more of a projection of my point of view than actual logical reasoning.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

What the Hell?
From MSNBC This article trumpets a new breed of male: the metrosexual
So what makes a metrosexual man? He's been defined as a straight, sensitive, well-educated, urban dweller who is in touch with his feminine side. He may have a standing appointment for a weekly manicure, and he probably has his hair cared for by a stylist rather than a barber. He loves to shop, he may wear jewelry, and his bathroom counter is most likely filled with male-targeted grooming products, including moisturizers (and perhaps even a little makeup). He may work on his physique at a fitness club (not a gym) and his appearance probably gets him lots of attention -- and he's delighted by every stare.
Cmon now the only moisturizer a straight man uses is KY jelly, ya know what I mean? So a metrosexual is essentially a gay-acting straight man? This is such ablolute bullshit as to have an actual smell coming from my monitor. Only a gay man does more than any two of these things. Myself owns up to six of these,(not telling which), my boyfriend all but two or three, so you can see where Myself is going with this. Any man who can catagorize himself as metrosexual (although Myself doubts that any man would actually admit to being this), has gay tendencies, no other way around it. Myself thinks this is all about what Myself has heard of as the pussy-fication of the American man. A (I can barely bring Myself to keep using the term) metrosexual is exactly the kind of man that an Oprah/Sex in the City-watching woman seem to want, which in Myself's view of the world rule #6 most men are not. I will give this crap creedence when Myself sees Howard Stern cry on the air because Robin makes fun of him.

Friday, July 25, 2003

Music Wars scene 7
In which the Rebels are offered a compromise and Napster rises from the dead
As Myself has always advocated, a pay for play structure, (agreeable by the RIAA), is about to come into reality, as more that a few companies prepare, based on the success of Apple's iTune, to offer music downloads for a charge:
A crowded field is gearing up to offer single songs for sale, including retailers Amazon.com and Buy.com, and leading Internet service providers like AOL Time Warner's America Online.
Others likely to compete are a re-launched Napster, the song-swap pioneer that was idled by copyright infringement litigation in 2001, and Apple itself, which even competitors credit with demonstrating the power of an easy-to-use system and competitive pricing.
Wow, the resurrection of Napster, the revered one that started it all, rising from the grave to return to P2P land, after being killed off by Darth Vader Hillary Rosen and the RIAA. Tre` Obi-wan. The real question is wether or not the public will embrace this paradigm. Myself will venture to say that yes this succeed, but only if A) the DLs available encompass what the public wants. It's not just the current hits that people want, past hits, Jazz, classical, and even foreign language tunes are heavily DL'ed also and these must also be included. B) Current P2P apps are not able to achieve true anonymous P2P, which would put the Empire back at square one. C) Quality. One good thing about this is that now one must pay for each song, the quality will improve. We all know that the sound quality can often times be very poor, songs can be cut off, volume levels vary, but it was free so you lived with it. But if Myself is going to pay for DLs, the quality had better be good. Myself would argue that the reason most people DL music knowing full well that it's illegal is that no one thinks they will be the one to get caught. It's "the RIAA can't sue 50 million people" meme and in one sense they are correct, it's akin to having unprotected sex with a one night stand, yes you might catch something or get pregnant, or get caught cheating (for those married/commited), but its a chance you take. If the dice comes up craps, well as Super Chicken once said: "You knew the job was dangerous when you took it" SQUAAWK!

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Music Wars scene 6:
In which the rebels petition against the Empire is denied
In a futile attempt to stem the growing shadow of the RIAA lawsuits, Sharmon Networks filed an anti-trust suit, which was denied:
Sharman Networks, the company behind the popular Kazaa file-swapping software, cannot pursue a suit accusing record labels and movie studios of antitrust violations, a federal judge has ruled.

In the ruling, dated 2 July, US district judge Stephen Wilson dismissed Sharman's argument that major entertainment companies have colluded to drive potential online rivals out of business, saying the company lacks any standing to make such a claim.
This was a feeble attempt to counter-sue the RIAA and had a slim to none chance of succeeding, but Myself supposes that it had to be tried, if the rebels can pre-empt the coming storm of lawsuits, it would have seriously hamstrung the RIAA but alas it was not to be.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

obligatory war post (the real war)
Uday and Qsay presumed dead We got them. Yup, shot them dead as Michael Jackson's carrer. There's going to be one VERY RICH Iraqi who collects the reward. Apparently offering a reward of $15 million worked in spite of Myself's cynicism. Now there have been questions, some very stupid such as, we need more proof, to some a bit more measured, such as, why not try to take them alive? Because unless we are going to torture them I don't think they will sell out their father. Some general who sees the writing on the wall, sure, but as Raed points out:
just to tell you that i would be really dissapointed if Uday and Qusay were really killed in Mosul. this is just the easy way out for them. they should have been humiliated in public, images of them handcuffed and being pushed around.
And then be killed in some excruciatingly painful, horrible way. Capturing them to answer for what they did would have been better. Myself would argue that letting the Iraqi people dispense justice rather than having the World's Police U.S. do a Judge Dredd impersonation would have been a better way to show the Iraqi people we are not their new Mullahs. He's not very happy about this and about things in general, he also doesn't seem very grateful, and I don't blame him. However, I also feel that capturing would have been best, dead is is still good.