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Saturday, April 30, 2005

How Bail Works

Information supplied by Josh Herman Bail Bonds.

Posting of a bail bond. This process involves a contractual undertaking guaranteed by a bail agent and the individual posting bail. The bail agent guarantees to the court that the defendant will appear in court each and every time the judge requires them to.

For this service, the defendant is charged a percentage of the bail amount. Before being released the defendant or a relative or friend of the defendant, typically contacts a bail agent to arrange for the posting of bail. Prior to the posting of a bail bond, the defendant or a co-signer must guarantee that they will pay the full amount of bail if the defendant does not appear in court.

Typically, a family member or a close friend of the defendant will post bail and cosign. Collateral is not always required for a person to be bailed from jail. Often a person can be bailed from jail on the signature of a friend or family member. Cosigners typically need to be working and either own or rent a home in the same area for some time.

After an agreement is reached, the bail agent posts a bond for the amount of the bail, to guarantee the defendant’s return to court.

If the defendant "skips", the cosigner is immediately responsible for the full amount of the bail. If the defendant is located and arrested by the bail agent the cosigner is responsible for all expenses the bail agent incurs while looking for the defendant.

The five basic release options available to an arrestee are, surety bond, release on his or her own recognizance(O.R.), release on citation ("Cite Out"),property bond and cash bail....

Need Help? Call 1-800-980-2245
Member, PBUS and LA Bail Association

open 24 hours a day 7 days a week call us anytime for bail help.
We come to you with extra fast confidential and friendly service.
Handling all of your bail bonds and bonding needs in one call.
You will speak to a licensed Bail Agent who will be able to help....

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Splunchy's Got Blogs
A lot of them. They may not be here tomorrow.


I can't figure out of splunchy is a small-time blogger for hire. The posts go all over the place. A random sample:

Power Rangers Internet Game
...ngers Internet Game Power Rangers Internet Game links and resources. Games Metasearch - Find Online Gaming Web Sites Power Rangers -... Ign64.ign.com: Power Rangers: Lightspeed Rescue - Offers a review of the game, and screenshots. Power Rangers: Dino Thunder PS2 game at Games Universe Great prices on Power Rangers: Dino Thunder PS2 games at Games Universe, excellent service and fast shipping at everyday discount prices. ... for international orders before declaring an ... Affordable Alaska hunting,alaska moose hunting,alaska caribou hunting, Alaska Fishing Alaska Hunting L...
In Da Club Clean
...bsp; In Da Club Clean links and resources. Guide Fer Yankeys Liven in Da South For those who enjoy good clean humor, both 'Yankeys' and southerners. BetaCounter - 50 Cent In Da Club (Clean) lyrics 50 Cent In Da Club (Clean) lyrics Lyrics Directory - http://www.lyricsdir.com/ 50 Cent In Da Club (clean) Lyrics 50 Cent In Da Club (clean) lyrics... 50 CENT - IN DA CLUB (CLEAN) LYRICS ...50 Cent - In Da Club (clean) lyrics....IN DA CLUB (CLEAN.....50 Cent Biography - 50 Cent Lyrics - In Da Club (clean) Lyrics.. Welcome to IN DA CLUB.....Ha Ha.. If you find some error in ... <&...
Consumer Report On Central Vacuums
...urces for Consumer Report On Central Vacuums

Consumer Report On Central Vacuums links and resources.

Sebo vacuums ...hepa vacuums ... sharp vacuums ... fantom vacuums ... wet and dry vacuums ... consumer report vacuums ... kenmore vacuums ... shop... Vacuum cleaners, bags and filters, and commercial cleaning machines Sprayers Wet & Dry Vacuums Wide Area Vacuums ... prices in the country on the most popular merchandise as well as Consumer Report's top rated... www.zamek-zahradky.cz This domain is for sale. ... singapore hotels singapore dora explorer game jr...

Splunchy is my hero.

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Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy

Another album that I've never gotten around to adding to my CD collection, but one that has some outstanding songs in it. The CD version has 13 tracks, but dang it, the original only had ten. So there.

To understand this mid-70s album, you have to understand that Bernie Taupin, the lyricist, is reflecting on the old days, way back...oh, about 6 years before this album was released. Not a lot, but just think of the mental distance that John and Taupin had traveled since they first met. And Elton was on the edge.

But back to the album:

Sitting atop the charts in 1975, Elton John and Bernie Taupin recalled their rise to power in Captain Fantastic & the Brown Dirt Cowboy....What's best about the record is that it works best of a piece -- although it entered the charts at number one, this only had one huge hit in "Someone Saved My Life Tonight," which sounds even better here, since it tidily fits into the musical and lyrical themes. And although the musical skill on display here is dazzling, as it bounces between country and hard rock within the same song, this is certainly a grower....

  • 1. Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy

  • 2. Tower Of Babel

  • 3. Bitter Fingers

  • 4. Tell Me When The Whistle Blows

  • 5. Someone Saved My Life Tonight

  • 6. (Gotta Get A) Meal Ticket

  • 7. Better Off Dead

  • 8. Writing

  • 9. We All Fall In Love Sometimes

  • 10. Curtains

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If you are a member of Group A, and you are looking outward at other groups, you tend to think that members of Group B all have similar, identical outlooks.

So, when talking about diversity, mention the word "white." Does one image come to mind? Bronwen doesn't think this is right:

‘White’ diversity is often overlooked in the recent flurry of academic interest in whiteness which usually focuses on a singular white ‘identity’. Yet an unsettling of the rigidity of the black/white binary, which has such a prominent place in many Western industrialised societies, demands that the central issue of white homogeneity is challenged. Moreover the notion that ‘white’ groups can also be treated as ‘racially’ inferior needs recognition. There are many parallels between the experiences of African Caribbean and Irish minority ethnic groups in Britain, for example, as evidenced by their locations in the labour market, unequal treatment by the police, problems in accessing social security entitlements and neighbour harassment (Hickman and Walter 1997).

White diversity was officially acknowledged for the first time in the 2001 Census, when the previously monolithic ‘White’ category was subdivided into British/Irish/White Other. However this raised new problems, especially the failure to provide for hybrid Irish identities, including English-Irish and Caribbean-Irish, and the strong tendency for users to revert to a single amalgamated White category. Nevertheless it signalled the possibility of greater diversity in understandings of whiteness. Reframing large-scale migration from Ireland as diaspora opens up possibilities of recognising hybrid identities and challenging linear models of assimilation. They overlap, coalesce and conflict with both majority and minority ethnic groups in Britain in ways which highlight multiple rather than binary categories of difference.

Of course, it doesn't apply to the other groups either. There was a time when people thought that you could understand the thoughts of the black community by speaking to a preacher, a politician, an educator, and perhaps (after 1947) a sports figure. And some people think that this holds true today - those who present a different view are "race traitors":

Dr. Condoleezza Rice, President Bush's national security adviser and now his secretary of state nominee, has been the subject of nasty, demeaning and disrespectful cartoons and commentary. Some of the worst has come from people like Julian Bond, chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, who said on TV's "America's Black Forum" that he agreed with "The Boondocks" cartoonist Aaron McGruder's characterization of Dr. Rice as "a murderer." A lead article in Black Commentator said, "Condoleezza Rice is the purest expression of the race traitor. No polite description is possible."...

Robert C. Weaver's 1966 appointment to the Department of Housing and Urban Development made him the first black Cabinet officer. Since that time, there have been other blacks appointed to high office. None has encountered the vicious attacks visited on Dr. Rice and Gen. Colin Powell, and what's worse, the most vicious attacks have come from their fellow blacks....

Black people have become Democrats first and whatever else afterward. The Democratic leadership, along with its leftist allies in Hollywood, on college campuses, in labor unions, in the education establishment and in the media, detests President Bush. Too many black people are dependent on the Democrats for handouts and racial preferences. Black politicians depend on the Bush haters for financial resources enabling them to gain office. Black civil rights organizations are beholden to liberal foundations. The bottom line of all of this is that he who pays the piper calls the tune and black people dance along.

The attacks on Dr. Rice and Gen. Powell are the results of one-think where all blacks are to think alike. Any who stray are race traitors. A monopoly on ideas serves no one well and explains why solutions to problems for a large segment of the black community will remain elusive.

See my previous post on the differing attitudes of Harry Belafonte and Al Sharpton on (as Belafonte put it) "house slave" Colin Powell.

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If we don't answer the phones and run the sprinklers, the enemy has already won

That was then. This is now:

Position: Security Guard - Security Operations


The Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) is a not-for-profit corporation that operates three Federally Funded Research and Development Centers serving the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Unified Commands and Defense Agencies in addressing important national security issues, particularly those requiring scientific and technical expertise.

This position staffs assigned posts and conducts security checks required by the Industrial Security Manual for Safeguarding Classified Information. Implements prearranged procedures to cope with emergency situations, such as fire. Provides escort for a variety to unscheduled and uncleared service personnel who must conduct business in the facility. Due to the nature of the work and the requirement at times for extended coverage, this position is often required to work overtime hours or hours outside of a regularly scheduled shift.


Must be familiar with all normal and emergency Guard procedures, each duty post, and the physical layout of the facility. This includes building utilities, sprinkler system, machinery, and any special features.

Dependent on the particular post and shift, a Guard may perform any or all of the following: (a) check security area access badges, (b) escort uncleared personnel or visitors, (c) check for and report security violations, (d) collect classified waste, (e) make entries into shift log, or make special report, (f) patrol all areas of building including garage, (g) issue, maintain record of, and retrieve badges, (h) make 'security sweep' of space prior to use for classified purposes, (i) act as classified material courier, (j) operate sprinklers and fire equipment; render first aid in emergencies, and (k) may perform duties of Shift Supervisor in his absence, which requires being stationed at the console guard post.

Performs Receptionist duties for all facilities.

Performs other duties as assigned.

IDA offers a competitive salary, an enviable benefits package, and a superior professional environment in a park-like setting. Applicants selected will be subject to a security investigation and must meet eligibility requirements for access to classified information. U.S. citizenship is required.

The Institute for Defense Analyses is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer!

Our preferred method of receiving your resume is via email. If you are unable to email your resume, you may fax it to us. Resumes and inquiries should be sent to:

Resumes and inquiries should be sent to:

Institute for Defense Analyses
Attn: Employment Office
4850 Mark Center Drive
Alexandria, VA 22311
Fax Number: (240) 282-8314
Email: resumes@ida.org


High school diploma or equivalent and special training in law enforcement/security.
2 or more years of work experience.

Ability to communicate orally and in writing.

Ability to obtain the necessary security clearances.

Must be willing to work overtime hours or hours outside of a regular schedule.

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Matt Busby?

Now I'm on a danged "Bureau of Public Roads" kick.

First, I used My BlogMap! to surf to 2020hindsight from Susan A. Kitchens. After reading this entry on the Institute for Defense Analysis, I wrote:

And all of the guards were probably trained to say that they worked for the Bureau of Public Roads.

Completely out of context, my comment is mystifying.

I then surfed the link to dangerousmeta and, when replying to that entry on the Institute for Defense Analysis, was a little more specific regarding what was floating through my so-called brain:

Got here via 2020hindsight. This was back in the era when Northern Virginia maps didn’t even show the CIA headquarters; all of the land was supposedly a Bureau of Public Roads facility.

It's true. If you had the early 1970s version of the Alexandria Drafting Company's Northern Virginia street map, there was an entire facility on the Potomac River labeled "Bureau of Public Roads." By the late 1970s, the map admitted that yes, the CIA was there too.

It was all part of a grand design:

As far as the eye can see, the lovely rolling hills of Virginia's Fairfax County surround the CIA building on all four sides. The Pentagon is bigger; but that colossus is easily visible from almost anywhere in the capital.

Appropriately, the CIA's concrete headquarters is invisible, an architectural diadem set in bucolic splendor in the middle of nowhere and modestly veiled by a thick screen of trees. In the State Department, which does not always love its brothers in the intelligence world, the CIA is often referred to as "those people out in the woods." And it is literally true.

Part of the reason for this is that it makes guarding the building much easier. The advantages of a rustic retreat were extolled by Allen Dulles when he went before a House Appropriations Subcommittee in June, 1956, to seek funds for the CIA headquarters. He submitted a report which said:

"Located on a 125-acre tract forming an inconspicuous part of a larger 750-acre government reservation, the Langley site was chosen as the one location, among many sites inspected in detail, most adequate for safeguarding the security of CIA's operations ... This site, with its isolation, topography and heavy forestation, permits both economical construction and an added measure of security safeguards ..."

Three years later guests, in response to engraved invitations from Dulles, attended the cornerstone-laying ceremony. Colonel Stanley Grogan, the CIA's public information man at that time, handed out a press release.

"The entire perimeter of the main part of the site is bounded by trees," it noted, "and very little of the building will be visible from the public highways."

One CIA official summed it up. "It's well hidden," he said with a note of pride.

The fact that the CIA could send out public invitations to lay the cornerstone of its hidden headquarters reflects a basic split personality that plagues the agency and occasionally makes it the butt of unkind jokes. This dichotomy pervades much of what the CIA does. On the one hand it is supersecret; on the other hand it isn't.

When Allen Dulles became the CIA director in February, 1953, the agency was housed in a ragged complex of buildings at 2430 E Street in the Foggy Bottom section of the capital. A sign out front proclaimed: "U.S. Government Printing Office."

Once President Eisenhower and his brother Milton set out to visit Dulles. They were unable to find the place. Dulles investigated the secrecy policy. When he discovered that even guides on sightseeing buses were pointing out the buildings as "the CIA," he had the printing-office sign taken down and one that said "Central Intelligence Agency" put up.

When the CIA moved across the Potomac to its Langley home in 1961, the matter of secrecy still proved bothersome. Large green and white signs pointed the way to the CIA from the George Washington Memorial Parkway, which had been extended to the new headquarters at a cost of $8,500,000. Originally, the signs were erected to guide workmen to the site during construction. After the CIA moved into the building, some of its officials felt there was no need to leave them up. As one put it: "We knew where it was."

But the signs stayed up -- for a while. As he drove to and from work each day, Robert Kennedy, who lived in nearby McLean, Virginia, would pass the signs that trumpeted the way to the CIA. One day they abruptly disappeared. In their place, there was only a small green and white marker reading "Parkway," with an arrow pointing along the highway, and "B.P.R.," with an arrow pointing to the CIA turn-off. *

The lack of signs causes scant inconvenience. No outsiders venture into the CIA anyhow unless they are on official business. No social visiting is allowed. A CIA employee cannot tell his wife or mother-in-law to drop in on him....

* The "B.P.R." stands for Bureau of Public Roads, which really does have two buildings at Langley. One is a research laboratory for testing road materials; the lab also has a wind tunnel to measure the effect of breezes on suspension bridges.

Here's another entry, in the context of a 9/11 article:

The airspace above the CIA and White House is...restricted airspace. So, don't rent a Cessna and try flying over those areas to take pictures. I did fly over CIA HQ once in a small aircraft. In those days, the CIA called its HQ buildings at Langley "The Bureau of Public Roads." As I recall, the charts did not show the airspace as restricted. Why would it be restricted airspace over a place that housed trucks and tractors and road workers? Of course, newspaper reporter would call the Russian Embassy and ask how many people worked for the CIA. The Russians would answer, "You mean at Langley, or all over the District, or in the entire world?" And they would give estimates. I swear to you. This was a long time ago.

P.S. And by the way, he was a football player. Yowza:

Did any of the Beatles ever express an interest in football, in particular whether they favoured Liverpool or Everton," asks Steven Draper, "or did they steer clear of the subject for fear of alienating potential fans?"

The answer, James, is ambiguous at best. The Beatles were never regulars at either Anfield or Goodison Park - so it really depends on which titbit of folklore you choose to swallow.

Donald Philips is among many who think that the Sergeant Pepper cover is the killer giveaway. Standing just on Marlene Dietrich's shoulder grinning madly is Albert Stubbins, the red-haired Liverpool centre forward - and the only player to make the many-faced cover.

While there are those who claim, rather mean-spiritedly, that Stubbins only made the cover because John Lennon liked his name, many more are determined to prove that the Beatles worshiped at the Kop when not hopping across the continents for a visit to the Maharishi.

Karl Coppack comes up with Paul McCartney trying to get the 1977 Liverpool v Man United FA Cup final on the radio while on his boat in the Caribbean, while the words clutching at straws come to mind for both Stephen Pepper - who recalls the Beatles wearing a huge red-and-white scarf in a skiing scene of Help! - and Ian Gresham, who remembers snaps from 1968's Mad Day Out photo session of McCartney wearing a red-and-white rosette.

A number of you with a worrying knowledge of Beatles lyrics also point out that Matt Busby - an ex-Liverpool player - gets a namecheck on Dig It.

But there are equally tenuous claims for a link between McCartney and Everton. Paul has been known to mention that his uncles used to support the Toffees - and that every now and then he would tarry along with them.

And then there was the rumour that warmed Everton hearts a couple of years back that McCartney was about to invest a lot of money with the club. They're still waiting for that investment.

The real answer seems to be that the Beatles did not have any great love of football - unusual in four lads from a footballing city, as Karl Naden points out, but not impossible. Indeed, the only positive sighting of a Beatle at a sporting event comes from Iain Saunders, who sat behind McCartney at a New York Yankees baseball game.

Finally George Harrision's reply to those impertinent enough to ask which club he supported was the obtuse: "There are three teams in Liverpool and I prefer the other one." Which leaves us very much where we started.

[OE 4/30: Added Institute for Defense Analysis information to add context to the following post.]

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Friday, April 29, 2005

And oh yeah...

I finally corrected the links to Erin-Go-Blog and Garfield Ridge. Sorry for the delay.

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My Geographical Mind Is In A Tizzy

If you scroll down the blog, you'll notice something new in the lower left corner.

MyBlogMap, powered by feedmap.net, positions this blog in relation to other blogs that have provided geographical locations. (Still have to add KOER to beautiful downtown Guasti.)

In addition, I've finally provided the link to The Map Room: a weblog about maps. I think some stuff from here may have already made it into my own blog entries.

The Map Room is devoting some time to discussion about "green maps," or maps that show things of interest to ecologically-minded folk. For example, here's a portion of a green map for Santa Monica:

And no, I was unable to find a green map for Lynchburg, Virginia.

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World Vision 30 Hour Famine

If you see teenagers tonight or tomorrow that seem to be running on adrenaline alone, you may be right. World Vision is sponsoring a 30 Hour Famine today and tomorrow. Here's the...scoop:

What is the 30 Hour Famine?

The 30 Hour Famine puts hands and feet to your desire to help students live a life of Christian compassion.

It will unite youth group members like never before. And the impact will last long after the Famine event is over. It can be the spark that fires up a person for a lifetime of reaching out to neighbors in need, whether they're across the street - or around the globe.

How does the Famine work?

It's really quite simple. First of all, the materials are provided, free of charge, by World Vision. Before your "Famine Date"...youth group members raise money through donors and sponsors to help the millions of starving and hurting children in some of the world's poorest countries, offering them a hope they could not otherwise have. The groups then go 30 hours without food, so that they can have a real taste of what hunger is like. During this time they engage in different activities, from community service projects to volunteer work to study, depending on how each group plans their own event. Afterwards the money raised is sent in to World Vision, and we put it to work in areas like Kenya, Sudan, and here in the United States.

What does it take to help a hungry child?

Only $30 a month, just $1 a day, will feed and care for a child. Your group members can start by asking twelve people they know to donate $30 - that's one person for each month of the year. When they've done that, they will have raised $360, enough money to feed and provide necessary care to a child for a whole year.

This year, thousands of groups in more than 21 countries - more than 1 million teens - will unite with one goal in mind: to help children living in some of the most deplorable conditions on earth.

Countless lives will be impacted and saved. So get on board now. This can be the single most effective event you're a part of all year to make a difference in peoples' lives. And this means both in your community, and around the globe. Shake things up, and join the winnable war to save kids lives.

From the Lompoc Record:

Members of three Lompoc churches will fast this weekend to raise money for global victims of starvation.

The fast is part of a international project dubbed 30 Hour Famine, spearheaded by World Vision, a Christian relief and development organization. Church and community members sponsor participants who forego food (consuming only juice) for 30 hours starting today through Saturday evening.

In addition, federal government grants will provide matching funds up to seven times each dollar raised. All the proceeds are donated to World Vision, which supports more than 2,900 projects in almost 100 countries, including the United States.

Eighty-seven percent of every dollar raised is used for ministry services, including international relief and development programs, according to World Vision's Web site.

Trinity Church of the Nazarene, North Avenue Baptist Church and First Presbyterian Church of Lompoc are raising money for the project. The majority of participants are from each church's youth group.

"Our kids are very service oriented so this wasn't a hard task for us to do," said Joey Robinson, youth pastor at Northern Avenue Baptist. "They've never fasted before so that's new for them. It's new for a lot of people because not a lot of people fast."

Each day, over 29,000 children die from preventable diseases such as malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea and acute respiratory infections, according to World Vision. In developing countries, one child in 10 dies before their fifth birthday, compared to one in 165 within the United States, World Vision says.

As participants fast, they will be participating in volunteer community service projects and various educational activities with global hunger as a topic. North Avenue Baptist expects about 30 participants who will be doing cleanup around their neighborhood and going door-to-door on a food drive. They will donate the food to the Mark's House, a local emergency shelter.

Trinity Church anticipates about 30 participants and First Presbyterian anticipates about 10 volunteers, who will be doing some handyman projects to the church's recreation room.

Many volunteers will attend a benefit concert tonight at Trinity Church with all proceeds going to World Vision and earmarked for tsunami victims. The concert will feature four rock bands, ranging from emo to hardcore, who are playing for free. The lineup includes Sparrow's Gate, Threes and Nines, Farewell and Blesk.

The concert costs $4 and is at 7 p.m. at Trinity Church auditorium, 500 East North Ave.

World Vision began the 30 Hour Famine program in 1992. Last year 500,000 participants in the U.S. raised $11.5 million.

Currently, World Vision is responding to a major drought in Kenya that has caused a food shortage for 3.3 million people. They are also the main implementing partner of the World Food program in Darfur and are working in southeast Asia in response the tsunami-wracked infrastructure.

From Norma (NJ) Mennonite Church:

30 Hour Famine - April 29-30

The youth are participating in World Vision's 30 hour famine. They are collecting aluminum cans and pennies to go towards world hunger. April 29-30 they will fast for 30 hours to experience the amount of time that the average person in the world goes without food. Please pray for this eye-opening experience and contribute your cans and pennies.

Cans and pennies can be dropped off in the bin in front of the church.

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Here's Your Sign
This morning, co-worker 1 asked, "When is Cinco de Mayo?"

Actually, the co-worker meant to ask "What day of the week is Cinco de Mayo?" But the question's still funny anyway.

Co-worker 2 mentioned a separate case, in which he and some co-workers were on the beach in Hawaii, and a third co-worker asked, "What is the altitude here?"

P.S. Thursday. Only 30 days in April, you know.

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Thursday, April 28, 2005

PowerPoint Presentations Don't Kill People - People Do

By Don Norman (referenced by Ken Dyck):

It has become commonplace to rail against the evils of PowerPoint talks....Edward Tufte, the imperious critic of graphic displays has weighed in with a document entitled "The cognitive style of PowerPoint," in which, among other things, he credits poor PowerPoint slides with contributing to the Challenger shuttle disaster....

[L]et me review Tutee's complaint about the presentation of data during the NASA Challenger incident. Here, Tufte points to a complex slide with 19 lines of text, with six different levels of hierarchy, displaying eleven sentences. The complaint, of course, is that the analyses failed to predict the actual damage that had occurred to the wing tiles when they had been struck by foam. Tufte goes on at excessive length to indicate why the slide is so poor and why it obscures information that might have led to a different conclusion. PowerPoint is bad, he concludes.

I differ most strongly with this assessment. Yes, the slide is very bad. Yes, it is almost incomprehensible. But in my opinion, the slide should have had less information on it—Tufte wants more information. He demonstrates this by showing how many words are on a page of a textbook. "So what?" I say. We read textbooks very differently than we listen to talks.

Look, it was a bad slide, but that isn't where the error lay. The error was in the conclusion reached by the experts....The fault is with the findings, not with the slides.

As Tufte points out, there was a statement, in small type, at the bottom of one of the slides, that could conceivably have alerted the reviewes to the fatal flaw in their reasoning. But think about it: why was that point buried in the small print? It was presented like that becase the experts had already considered the point and considered it not to be significant....

That critical slde was overfilled with information, not to hide the points, but because the experts did not believe them to have been significant. Now that the Challenger has crashed, we know the experts were wrong. But at the time, the experts were the best source of information available....I believe the committee members did as good a job as they could, given the time pressures upon them, given the limited information available, and given the limited options they believed they had. The slide did not lead to their conclusion: the slide reflected their conclusion....

Is PowerPoint responsible for the Challenger disaster? Don't be silly. The PowerPoint slides reflected the judgment of the committee. The critical point was in small type because the committee thought it unimportant. The surprise is that they included it at all — which implies to me that they were trying to be as complete and honest as they could. They were not trying to deceive....

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California and the IE

From Vandal Lane:

Why do I love California so much?...There's something about going to California that is so special. For the most part it's just the beauty and tranquility of reaching the coast. When you drive to California and finally make it to the coast, it's like you've come to the end of the world, because during the exploration days, everyone came from the east in Europe. Once you hit the Pacific Coast, there's the wide open Pacific Ocean and a new day begins (international date line) The sun setting into the ocean perfectly caps this off. The RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS explains it well: "It's the edge of the world / And all of western civilization / The sun may rise in the East / At least it settles in the final location" I don't know if what I've set made sense, but it's hard to explain in words...


-known for it's moviemaking and Hollywood's great dream factories
-Motion Picture Capital of the world(Universal Studios, Warner Brothers, Paramount, Walt Disney, etc)
-"snowboarding in the morning, surfing and swimming in the afernoon"
-The most Ethnically diverse city in the world
-One of the most remarkable skylines in the world
-"City of Angels" - beyond the freeways and tall skyscrapers are rolling green hills, mountains and beautiful beaches
-Hollywood is considered "the only place that matters" because it is the center of the entertainment world
-over 50 First-class/World-class attractions (too many to name)
-sets the latest trends in fashion and pop-culture
-home to the 1936 and 1984 Summer Olympics
-home to the LA Lakers, LA Clippers, LA Dodgers, LA Kings
-Exotic Plants and Palm Trees
-Warm Winters, Hot Summers

-the ultimate vacation destination
-sunny beaches, luxurious resorts, theme parks, First class shopping and dining
-rugged coastline with cliffs and white sand beaches
-deep sea fishing
-home to the "happiest place on earth" - Walt Disneyland
-"Surf City USA"
-home to the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, Anaheim Angels
-"Yachtman's Paradise"-over 10,000 Yacts in Newport Harbour alone
-Exotic Plants and Palm Trees
-Warm Winters, Hot Summers...

- all residential-valley cities with rich culture and history and an abundance of recreational activties
-ski resorts in the mountains, apline lakes, lush vineyards
-Palm trees
-Warm Winters, Extremely Hot Summers...

I was married on April 1 (no foolin') and honeymooned in Big Bear. After a few days, we returned to Ontario - right in the middle of a 110 degree heat wave. We almost turned around and went back to the mountains.

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What Does "Anti-Christian" Mean? And Does Bob Wear A Dress?
Some time ago, I wrote something as a rebuttal to the idea that before Walt died, Disney always issued doctrinally sound entertainment.

Now, let's present this list of films to conversative Christian families and see how many of them would attend these movies:

This 1937 film is an occult thriller that includes a reverse "Three's Company" domestic set-up (one woman, many men), as well as a poisoning.

This 1940 film includes an extended sequence entitled "Pleasure Island."

This film, also from 1940, promotes non-Christian religions such as sorcery and the worship of the Greek gods....

You get the picture.

Well, bockman.ca (in a post primarily devoted to the forthcoming Narnia film) links to an article about the possible end of the boycott against Disney. The article includes the following:

Some evangelical critics are not willing to abandon the boycott.

It won't be over "until the Southern Baptists, American Family Association, Concerned Women for America and others actually decide to call it off,'' says Bob Knight of Concerned Women for America.

However, "the departure of the prickly, anti-Christian Michael Eisner, and the advent of the Narnia project might open lines that could lead to a new understanding,'' he says. "Political realities are catching up to Disney, as well, as wiggle room disappears in the culture war.''

First, why is Concerned Women for America represented by someone named "Bob"? Or is this person's name really "Bobbi"? (In a similar vein, some of the people on the National Board of Directors for "Mothers Against Drunk Driving" have names like Michael, Raul, James, Paul, Leonard, and Stephen.)

Second, what does it mean to call Michael Eisner "anti-Christian"? Is that a code word for something else?

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Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Perhaps it was written by a Pentium computer.

Oops. Emphasis mine.

Comparison of The American Revolution and the French Revolution

During the late 1800's, two great revolutions occurred, the American Revolution and the French Revolution. These two historical events happened at the same time, but had a great number differences and very little similarity. When French Revolution occurred, it turned into a very violent and bloody event, while the American Revolution was almost nonviolent, aside from the war....

Contrast the paper above with this completely different paper:

French And American Revolution

During the late 1700's, two great revolutions occurred, the American Revolution and the French Revolution. These two historical events happened at the same time, but had a great number of differences and very little similarity. When French Revolution occurred, it turned into a very violent and bloody event, while the American Revolution was almost nonviolent, aside from the war....

But before I laugh at the essay below, I have to remember that I was once young also:

Causes of American Revolution

In the following essay I will show and prove, based on my knowledge of history and historical data that the statement “the American Revolution was a war against taxes”, is not one-hundred percent accurate....

And I'm still trying to figure out the title of this one:

THe American Revolution Not Through The Eye's Of Mel Gibson

The American Revolution was a time of great discontent in the colonies. The civilians of the colonies were not pleased with the heavy taxation imposed of them from Great Britain. With the people working more for the benefit of the motherland, than America they were starting to feel the strain put on their right to freedom. With the situation of economics worsening, it was time for action or better yet a Revolution. With a heavy and dedicated battle ahead the outcome of the Revolution was questionable. America was a Nation under British rule. This meant that all America was doing was working for the benefit of a country which was not their own. In American the, “colonial commerce was to be regulated to prevent any competition with British manufacturers and to encourage colonial dependence on Britain”( Bennet W. Paul, Canada A North American Nation. Pg.159), which meant it would be very difficult for the United States to ever gain their independence....

To tell the truth, some of these papers seem to be quite interesting:

Was the American Revolution Revolutionary?

Was The American Revolution Revolutionary? A revolution is a total or radical change. Did the American Revolution bring about change? Many historians would say that it did, however, there is much evidence supporting the opposing view. The question is, should the American Revolution be thought of as a true revolution or merely a civil war where there was a change in power, but the elements of daily life remained the same. Contrary to popular belief, the American Revolution did not bring about change, because the rights, class structure and government remained the status quo in the colonies. For the most part, the rights of the colonists did undergo a transformation because of the Revolutionary War. It is a widely held belief that the war was declared in defense of the “natural rights:” life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Unfortunately, the war did little in protecting these rights. After the war, there was still no liberty for Blacks, in fact, the colonists disliked the idea of granting freedom to Blacks that they refused their offer to fight on the side of the patriots....

But ExampleEssays doesn't just feature essays on history. I'm sure that this essay required extensive research:

A beer is not just a beer

A Beer Is Not Just A Beer When buying beer every drinker is faced with a choice. The brew is both bottled and canned. Is there a difference between the two? Which should be bought? Beer is just beer, right? Or is it? There are some important differences between the bottle and the can to consider that just might help you make a decision better suited to your own tastes and preferences (and enjoyment) the next time you are standing in front of the beer case. Is it important knowledge? Yes it is. Consider that 30 billion gallons of beer are drunk throughout the world every year. If you are going for a smoother, fresher taste I would choose bottled beer. Bottles keep colder longer than cans do. Have you ever noticed how much thicker they are than cans? They function a lot like an ice sculpture with ale inside. Another side affect of this ice like bottle is that you don’t get that fast moving froth that spills over the top as easily as cans do. Bottles just don’t get shaken up as easily. The glass bottles seem to keep the carbonation down. This allows you to enjoy the full taste of whichever beer you choose to drink. This also allows you to chug beer at a higher rate....

So what is Example Essays? Well, if you look at their Acceptable Use Policy, it's clear that they're NOT a source for quickie term papers. No sirree.

You acknowledge and agree that the license granted under these Terms does not permit you to utilize any Essay for any commercial or for-profit purpose. The papers contained within our web site are for research purposes only! You may not turn in our papers as your own work! You must cite our website as your source! Turning in a paper from our web site as your own is plagiarism and is illegal!


You acknowledge that any Essays you view from the Site are being delivered to you AS IS, with no warranties. The Company makes no representation or warranty to you regarding the accuracy of any information contained in any Essay, the completeness of any essays, or the copyrights in any Essay.

So maybe the American and French Revolutions didn't occur in the late 1800s. Gawrsh, now I gotta do REAL research. I'll ask Mel Gibson.

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Go, Daddy?

Eek. They aired racy commercials and allowed controversial websites to remain. So what's the fallout. According to longren.org:

Godaddy has surpassed Network Solutions as the top domain registrat. This is the first time any company besides Network Solutions has held the top spot. It’s no suprise that Godaddy is #1. They have some of the cheapest prices if not the cheapest.

On April 17th, Godaddy had 6,830,420 domains under their management while NetSol had only 6,822,496. I despise Network Solutions as they were the only option for domain registration a number of years ago. I remember when domains were $70 for one year of registration.

Purfoods, the company I work for, has a number of domains with Godaddy. I don’t really like Godaddy very well....And they try to push extra services on you like crazy. I’m still glad to see Godaddy overtake NetSol as the number 1 registrar though.

Needless to say, Bob Parsons is his usual, shy, retiring self about this accomplishment:

We just passed Network Solutions in total domain names under management. We are now #1 in every category. I’ll tell you how we managed to go from a brand new registrar with no registrations to number one in the world in just 4 years and 4 months. We did it without acquiring another registrar!

Here's a post I found from February:

Hey, Network Solutions....It's bad enough that you still think you can charge $35 for a .COM domain name. Do you think you are the only game in town? Sure, you used to be back in the 90's but those days are over! Get with it! I see that you are now trying to bundle free domain names with other, more lucrative services like web hosting but I don't think that strategy is going to work, baby. Your competitors like GoDaddy are starting to really push with SuperBowl ads and such. Wanna' stay alive? Offer some serious value and you'll do all right.

Of course, Godaddy is not universally adored, as this anonymous message indicates:

If your domain name expires by even 1 hour, shithole godaddy.com charges you
80 dollars to get it back.

Sounds like a scam to me! No where do they mention you have to pay 80 dollars
to get your domain back.

All other registrars give you a grace period to get your domain back at regular cost.

Not godaddy. They got you by the balls and you must pay ANY price they ask.
You have no option but to let your domain expire and get taken by someone else or pay their outrageous price.

Why stop at 80 dollars godaddy? Why not charge 1000 dollars to get your domain back 1 hour after expiration?

Do not buy domains from godaddy or you will be sorry!

Godaddy sucks XXX! Do not do business with godaddy!


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Now the Big Guns Are Out - Oops, Bad Choice of Words

Rabbithaven.org really really wants savetoby.com to go away. Unfortunately, they're trying to do it by causing all sorts of publicity.

Latest salvo - PETA has spoken:

"Thank you for contacting PETA with your concerns regarding SaveToby.com, which have been shared with the appropriate staffers here.

Sadly, some people regard the Internet as a medium for sick jokes. Often, those who develop or contribute to hostile or otherwise abusive Web sites do so simply to draw attention with offensive content. Of course, such sites are in very poor taste but, unfortunately, are usually legal. Since these heartless people are encouraged by attention, the most effective way to discourage them is to avoid visiting their sites and to urge others to do the same.

PETA cannot endorse giving money to SaveToby.com, since doing so will only encourage other cruel individuals to threaten animals in order to extort money from compassionate people.

You may wish to complain to the site's internet service provider (ISP) and request that the site be removed. An investigation may determine that the site's content violates the ISP's user agreement. To find the ISP of this site, please visit http://www.H4HA.org/stopcruelty/query.html. You can also submit offensive sites to the Animal Cruelty Action List at http://www.H4HA.org/stopcruelty.

It is important to remember that rabbits, as well as millions of cows, chickens, pigs and other animals also suffer and die daily on factory farms and in slaughterhouses and butcher shops. To learn more about ways to stop this cruelty, please visit http://www.GoVeg.com.

We hope that you find this information helpful. Thank you for your compassion for animals.


The PETA Staff

Perhaps they might not care for my repeated references to baby seal clubbers. As Bob Barker would say, "Oopsie."

In times like this, we need to turn to the wise words of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog:

"Recently I agreed to do an ad for PETA. Why? I'm not into animal rights. The only animal right I want is the right to hump Ashanti's leg. Look at your average animal lovers, like Moby and Bill Maher. Sure, Bill Maher love animals... that's because humans hate him! Moby? Nice guy, but not the best looking man. I hear Moby had sex with a poodle once, and the poodle was arrested for bestiality. Vegetarianism? Count me out. I ain't giving up cow, or bird, or pig. So why the hell should you? Hell, we'd eat you if someone dropped a slice on the floor. Oh, yes. We'll have the deep fried Moby with a side of glazed Mary Tyler Moore, please. Dessert? I'm torn between the Pam Anderson flambe and the flourless Alec Baldwin cake. Bottom line: animals are a**holes. Delicious a**holes. Which brings me back to this PETA ad. Why would I endorse neutering? After all, I rip into another animal-hugging nut job, Bob Barker, on the CD. The guy can't stop telling people to cut their pets' nuts off. So Jack Black and I have at him: 'Bob Barker got a bone to pick/gonna make a chew toy outta your di**/these teeth are sharp and the price is right/gonna neuter your ass with one nut crackin' bite.' There can be only one reason I would then turn around and advocate ball chopping: free publicity. Timed right with the release of the CD. Did I mention animals are a**holes?"

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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

I Bet Gary Ovitt Won't Use This Real Estate Agent

Follow-up on a previous audioblog. From Century 21:

CENTURY 21 King Realtors
2598 South Archibald Avenue
Suite E
Ontario, CA 91761
909-947-9957 fax

Meet Our Staff

Deborah Acker, Sales Associate....

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Big Brother and the Retinal Scan

My editorial comment: the various government agencies and departments could never get organized enough to monitor our every move. With that having been said, here's an entry from unbossed.com:

Recently, a friend of mine lost his Naturalization Certificate, the document that proves that a person has legally become a citizen of the United States....As my friend contacted the Department of Homeland Security, which now houses the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) (previously the INS), his request for a new Naturalization Certificate was denied pending a "biometric analysis." By this, they meant fingerprinting along with a retinal scan. The notification from USCIS included local sites that perform such biometric analysis for a fee.

As an American-born citizen of Mexican descent, I would like to think that if I were to lose my passport (which like the Naturalization Certificate serves to prove that I am a citizen), I would not be submited to a retinal scan. But then again, I am not Muslim, and my friend is.

As we speak, hundreds, if not thousands of people from countries that are predominantly Muslim (whether in the Middle East or the former Soviet Union) are being rounded up for biometric analysis. This obvious infringement on the Fourth Ammendment of the Constitution is happening without much reporting from the mainstream media. Our neighbors are being treated like criminals until proven innocent, as long periods of dentention continue for those unfortunate enough to be caught up in a system run by people who fear terrorism, but seldom know how to fight it (global terrorism has increased dramatically since most of our country's "anti-terrorism" efforts have come full-swing).

On the constitutional front biometrics is questionable at best. While fingerprinting has come to play a fairly accepted role in routine background checks for certain types of employment, various states have ruled that the mass collection of personal information is a violation of personal privacy.

In Perkey v. Department of Motor Vehicles (1986) the Supreme Court of California ruled that "the collection of fingerprints for... unspecified and widespread usage infringes on individual privacy rights." Today, biometric information is uploaded for various purposes to be utilized by numerous governmental agencies for verification and distribution, all under the premise of increasing security. In other words, the personal features of individuals who have not been charged or convicted with any crimes are being used by the federal government to create a database of individuals who are associated with Islam, secular as they may be.

The government's stance is that the war on terror has prompted the need for increased security measures. But when the citizenry allows blatant violations of basic civil liberties in the name of security, our nation moves nearer to the end of democracy....

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Monday, April 25, 2005

Virtual Schools at the Elementary and Middle School Levels

We've had this for adults, and now we have it for kids. From the Daily Bulletin and www.caliva.org:

Fearing middle school culture would expose their daughter to violence and bad influences, Jonathan and Patricia Haney looked for alternatives to public school.
After Monique finished fifth grade at Georgia F. Morris Elementary School in Colton, her parents enrolled her in California Virtual Academies....

The academy provides a computer, printer, Internet access and course materials. Students are assigned a teacher in their area, who meets face-to-face with them four times a year....

As long as they complete all subject areas, students can proceed through different topic areas at their own pace. Monique is almost done with seventh grade math and might get a jump start on next year's math -- after she catches up with science, her mother said....

But the program isn't for everyone. Daily adult supervision is required, so virtual schooling isn't viable without a stay-at-home parent.

And while students are scrolling, clicking and typing through their work, they are missing the social opportunities of the campus.

"We're human beings, not human doings," said John Bartelt, an education professor at the University of La Verne." If you do everything at home, you're missing out on group interaction and being able to ask questions face-to-face."...

Although the school arranges monthly activities, social interaction still depends on the parents....

"I get to work at my own pace, I can have breaks and have lunch whenever I want," Monique said. "And I don't have to listen to foul language."

Kindergarten through the eighth grade are taught, but plans call for rolling out ninth through 12th grades during the next several years. The school has about 2,300 students, with 523 in Los Angeles County and 173 in San Bernardino County.

Interactive demonstrations of the course work are available at the academies' Web site, www.caliva.org.
The California Virtual Academies are a network of virtual public charter schools, founded in the summer of 2002, that blend innovative new instructional technology with a traditional curriculum for students all across California. The charters are sponsored by the Spencer Valley School District in San Diego County; Armona Union Elementary School District in Kings County; Maricopa Unified School District in Kern County; Jamestown School District in Tuolumne County; Liberty Elementary School District in Sonoma County; and Burlingame Elementary School District in San Mateo County.

There are many benefits to our unique learning model, including a rigorous and comprehensive curriculum based on the Core Knowledge sequence, the flexibility of learning anytime and anywhere, the support of qualified professional educators, the credibility of being affiliated with a public charter school in the state of California, and an individualized and self-paced learning program that adapts to your child's unique needs.

The California Virtual Academies are committed to putting a top-quality education within reach of thousands of students in California. We hope you are as excited as we are about this innovative adventure in learning.

In my usual non-trendy way, I'm catching on late to something that's been around for a while. Here's a 2002 article that talks about the virtuous supporters and opponents:

K12 Inc., the brainchild of former U.S. Education Secretary William Bennett, is not the first organization to offer Internet-based education, but with Bennett's backing, is the most prominent....

Opposition to K12 is being mounted, predictably by the National Education Association, but also by an unlikely source, home school advocates....

Taxpayers pay for the computers, printers, Internet access, books and other tools used by the students at the K12 virtual academies.

The National Education Association (NEA), which opposes home schooling in general and supports charter schools "with certain provisions," calls Bennett's K12 taxpayer "facilitated home schooling."

"We are raising the bar in terms of accountability in public education every day and now to simply suggest that we're going to spend public funds for a child to be taught at the kitchen table by someone that is not a qualified educator is ... sort of counter to everything else we're saying about what we want in public education," said Barbara Stein, senior policy analyst for the NEA....

Although the curriculum is home-based, K12's founder and CEO Ron Packard told CNSNews.com that its mandated rigorous curriculum, enforced accountability through state tests, and access to state-certified teachers makes it "dramatically different" than the home school approach....

Tom Washburne is an attorney at the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), as well as director of the National Center for Home Education, the HSLDA's federal policy and lobbying arm. Washburne said the HSLDA is reluctant to mix home schooling with public education.

"We've made great grounds in the last couple of decades on home school freedom and we don't want to see us taking a step back," Washburne told CNSNews.com.

The virtual charter schools' offer of a free education could tempt home schoolers to trade in the private freedom they currently enjoy, Washburne said, placing them "back under the public school umbrella."

Washburne said this would undermine the "political presence that you need to fight back the regulations on home education." Even though virtual charter schools might feel like home schooling, their affiliation with the states in which they operate is an invitation for government intrusion, he said....

Packard said he was "shocked" by the opposition being mounted by home school advocates. "It's really amazing to me that a group that has fought so hard for [its] right to home school would oppose someone else's parents who are fighting for their right to be doing at home a great public school education," Packard told CNSNews.com.

"The same level of intolerance that you saw in the education establishment toward home schooling, I think home schooling [groups] are showing toward us," he added.

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I Was Wrong, And My Name's Not Jim Bakker

People were talking about Passover happening now, and I was certain that couldn't be right, since we celebrated Easter over a month ago.

Turns out that the Western churches use an artificial calendar to calculate Easter. Here's the scoop (as Dr. Katze would say):

April 24 (sundown 4/23) to April 30/May 1, 2005 (5765):

Passover, or Pesach in Hebrew, the holiday commemorating the Hebrews' exodus from slavery in Egypt, lasts seven days in Israel and among Reform Jews, and eight days elsewhere around the world. It begins on the 15th day of Nisan, which is the seventh month in the Jewish calendar. It ends on the 21st of Nisan in Israel (and for Reform Jews) and on the 22nd of Nisan elsewhere.

Since Hebrew days begin and end at sundown, Passover begins at sundown on the preceding day....

March 27, 2005:
Easter (Western Churches)

Easter is calculated as the first Sunday after the paschal full moon that occurs on or after the vernal equinox. If the full moon falls on a Sunday, then Easter is the following Sunday. The holiday can occur anywhere between March 22 and April 25.

The Western church does not use the actual, or astronomically correct date for the vernal equinox, but a fixed date (March 21). And by full moon it does not mean the astronomical full moon but the "ecclesiastical moon," which is based on tables created by the church. These constructs allow the date of Easter to be calculated in advance rather than determined by actual astronomical observances, which are naturally less predictable....

May 1, 2005
Easter (Orthodox Church)

The Orthodox church uses the same formula to calculate Easter, but bases the date on a slightly different calendar—the Julian calendar instead of the more contemporary Gregorian one, the calendar that is most widely used today. Consequently, both churches only occasionally celebrate Easter on the same day.

Unlike the Western Church, the Eastern Church sets the date of Easter according to the actual, astronomical full moon and the actual equinox as observed along the meridian of Jerusalem, site of the Crucifixion and Resurrection....

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Extra Texture (View All About It)

Back in October 1997, after Ellie Nesler was released from prison for shooting her son's molester, but before she went back into prison on a meth charge, EXTRA filed a heartwarming story about Ellie:

Ellie Nesler is the mom who went to jail for killing the alleged molester of her son on a California courtroom. Now, she's free and talking about the tough years she spent behind bars, without her family.

"It's like being comatose for four years and then coming back." With a smile, 45-year-old Ellie Nesler talked about her newfound freedom...but beneath the surface lie her tears. From her hometown of Angels' Camp, California, with her daughter by her side, Ellie told EXTRA the story of a family ripped apart...and how she wants to be remembered: "As a mother trying to protect her children...I was just a mother and I got lost in the pain of the system."

It was her little boy Willie, sexually abused at the age of 6, that Ellie was trying to protect. In 1993. She killed her son's alleged molester, Daniel Driver, with five shots from a .25 caliber pistol....For her actions, Ellie was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced to 10 years in prison. She served 4 years of that sentence before getting out last week on a plea bargain....

Ellie told EXTRA what happened on the fateful day when the tragic events happened: "I've got a .25 in my pocket...my little boy is sitting there and he was vomiting, and I kneeled down and I told William....I said, 'No matter what happens, you remember Mama loves you.'...because I didn't know what would happen, but I knew what I was going to do. I walked up and looked at him, and he put his arm up and looked at me, and I shot him...once in the neck, four times in the head, and once in the wall. He just fell over, he was like a little baby...when he fell over, I felt he was dead."

Nesler says it was Driver's arrogance as her arrived at the courthouse that day that made her snap: "Daniel Driver got out...and looked my boy up and down and smirked...and I thought 'I want to kill him too, and I've got the guts to do it.'"

Courage or craziness, Nesler now says it was probably both. But, she no longer maintains, as she did with a smile in the aftermath of the shooting, that Driver deserved it: "I am so sorry to his mother and his family...I have a boy and a daughter and I love them very much and I took someone else's child and I am so sorry for that pain for them." Nesler is also sorry for the pain she put her own children through...her children who are now young adults, Willie at age 16 and Becky at age 12....

Now that she's out, Nesler says it is now *her* time....time for her family, and time for forgiveness. And that she has forgiven Driver: "I have forgiven him, I don't hate him...the way I feel, I took a man's life...If I want God to forgive me and I don't forgive him, then how can I expect him to forgive me?"

As you can imagine, Ellie's medical bills are overwhelming. If you would like to help her out, you may send a check to:
Frank Koelho - Ellie Nesler & Children
C/O ABC Assoc. Services
PO Box 1031
Angel's Camp, CA 95221

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The Latest on Christopher Nance

From Nance's website:

...Many of you have sent me mail informing me that you are praying for my continued good health. Thank you and God bless you for that. My health is improving daily. Please keep those prayers coming.

As you may know, I am suing NBC and Paula Madison for wrongful termination and discrimination. I have been given a court trial date of January 26th. 2006. My lawyers are the best but please keep me in your prayers for a positive outcome to this up coming trial.

The book Spaz The Reading Puppy is being made into an animated movie and this is keeping me very busy. I will have more on this as the product nears final production.

On October 2nd. 2005, my team and I will be selling our books at the Orange County Children’s Book Festival. I like this event and I hope to see you there....

See my September 2004 posts [1] [2] and a brief reference earlier this month.

And as for Michael Burton? (I don't know why I'm constantly pairing Christopher Nance and Michael "the Maintenance Man" Burton. Nance can't rap.) Well, this search was reported by Blogpatrol, but it sounds like a different person:

25/04/2005 13:25:24 "michael burton" in gay porn (Google)

I might as well make it a threesome. (Heh.) Kyung Lah. Kyung Lah. Kyung Lah. This could get scary:

NANCE: Buy my book!

BURTON: Buy my t-shirt!

LAH: Meet you at eight, and don't be late.

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Watch the Yarn...Watch the Yarn...
The strange case of Dr. Zoe D. Katze.

From the American Bar Association:

Case of the Cat's Credentials

Zoe D. Katze has an impressive-looking set of credentials—Ph.D., C. Ht., DAPA. She has been board certified by three major hypnotherapy associations and holds diplomate status in the American Psychotherapy Association.

Not bad for a 6-year-old house cat. And not even a pedigreed one at that.

But Zoe's not just any cat. She's a Philadelphia psychologist's cat. He had a point that he had been wanting to make about the proliferation of bogus credentialing organizations over the past 10 or 20 years.

So he decided to credential his cat.

To do so, he first had to get Zoe some credit, which turned out to be the hardest part of the process. The credit card company's agent initially asked for her Social Security number, her owner says, but cheerfully relented when the owner told him it wasn't readily available. Zoe was then added to the owner's account as an authorized user.

To get Zoe her first credential, the owner simply filled out an application for certification on a lay hypnosis association's Web site and charged the fee to his credit card under Zoe's name. Since most lay hypnosis associations have reciprocity agreements, he says, it was a snap getting Zoe board-certified by two other credentialing organizations.

The owner then decided to go for the gold: diplomate status in the American Psychotherapy Association (APA), which, according to its own promotional literature, "is limited to a select group of professionals who, by virtue of their extensive training and expertise, have demonstrated their outstanding abilities in regard to their specialty."

The APA is affiliated with the American College of Forensic Examiners. To its credit, the APA requested a copy of Zoe's résumé before it would issue her any credentials, the owner says. So he made one up. And it's a real doozy.

The name itself is the first clue as to Zoe's true identity. In German, Zoe Die Katze translates to "Zoe the Cat." And the owner didn't stop there. He listed a previous job with the St. Felix (as in Felix the Cat) Home for Children. And he gave her a consulting position with the Tacayllaermi Friends School, the first name of which is "I'm really a cat" spelled backward....

Source: Mark Hansen, "See the Cat? See the Credentials? Psychologist's Scam Gets His Pet 'Board-Certified,'" in ABA Journal Ereport (October 25, 2002).

Here's how Steve Eichel himself told the story:

The cat is out of the bag.

After many months, I've finally been pushed to finish this article on questionable credentialing in hypnosis and "psychotherapy." A reporter from a major magazine wrote to "Dr. Zoe D. Katze" for input on an article she was writing on hypnosis for childbirthing. She had stumbled across Dr. Zoe's name on the American Association of Professional Hypnotherapists' website. I had to tell her the truth.

Dr. Zoe D. Katze, Ph.D., C.Ht., DAPA, is a cat. In fact, she is my cat....

I was motivated to credential my cat by two circumstances. First, I have become increasingly heedful of all the questionable credentials out there, and I've grown tired of sounding defensive to therapist-shopping clients who confront me with something along the order of: "I found somebody with all these certifications and diplomas and he/she charges half of what you psychologists charge."

The last straw (and my moment of inspiration) came during an internet search for a colleague. I accidentally came upon the website of another "psychotherapist" who listed a doctoral degree from an infamous diploma mill. Along with his degrees, he listed a veritable alphabet soup of impressive-looking letters after his name, corresponding to various "board certifications" and his status as a "Diplomat [sic] and Fellow" of the "largest professional hypnosis association in the world."

I decided to credential my cat....

Zoe is (or was, since I doubt I will pay certification maintenance fees) certified by the National Guild of Hypnotists, the American Board of Hypnotherapy, and the International Medical & Dental Hypnotherapy Association. She is a Professional Member of the American Association of Professional Hypnotherapists....

I resigned from the Advisory Board of the American Psychotherapy Association after I sensed that they were talking the talk about integrity in credentialing, but not walking the walk. As far as I'm concerned Zoe D. Katze put the icing on this misbaked cake. I initially applied for Zoe's Diploma online. To their credit, the APA wrote back requesting a resume or curriculum vitae before they would certify her. (The lay hypnosis associations did not even ask for that much.) I quickly whipped one up, and it's a doozy complete with some subtle and not-so-subtle clues as to Zoe's "real" identity. (My personal favorite: her Consultant position at the bogus "Tacayllaermi Friends School" in New Castle, DE. Play with the backward spelling of "Tacayllaermi" and you'll see what I mean.)...

Of course, if APA wanted to, they could have requested copies of the certifications listed in her c.v., and I could have provided them....Needless to say, no examination (not even by a vet) was required....

[S]omething happened in the 1980s and '90s that led directly to the proliferation of credentialing (and pseudocredentialing) in mental health. First, the advent of managed care, coinciding with the proliferation of graduate school programs in mental health (especially at the masters degree level), led to uncontrolled growth in the supply of practitioners while demand became increasingly restricted. As a result, many mental health practitioners began to scramble for a means (any means) to distinguish themselves, to be perceived as above the common horde, to be singled out.

Second, the last 20 years have seen a proliferation of specialties and "techniques," some valid, others a bit dubious, and still others the peculiar invention of their creators. In some cases, like trauma treatment, neuropsychology and forensic psychology, specialties were essentially invented where none existed before, due primarily to advances in the science as well as the practice of psychology. However, other more arguably dubious credentials also came into existence, leading to the development of "certified specialists" from "energy therapist" to "alien abduction therapist" to "past life regression therapist."...

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Saturday, April 23, 2005

Enterprise Weblogs

First, a personal note on enterprise weblogs. This last week, I was experimenting with Bloglines to see if it could be used to find business-related articles and place them in a blog. However, in some cases, after a link to the article was placed in the blog, the link wouldn't work afterwards. Still investigating.

Now, let's turn to Traction Software:

Traction is the leader in Enterprise Weblog software, delivering an easy to use platform for departments, groups and individuals to communicate, share, organize and link business information in context....

Traction's TeamPage software is a powerful, affordable solution to pervasive working communication and information handling pains found in business and government organizations of all sizes. Where there is a need to communicate or manage information, there is a need for Traction.

Traction TeamPage is robust and flexible enough to match your security, authentication, file management, and other enterprise requirements. Deployable to groups ranging from two to several thousand, the Traction platform is easily applied to solutions ranging from a group blog or intranet site to specific business requirements such as competitive intelligence and program management.

Traction Software provides top notch technical support and professional services. Though not required, our training and professional services programs can kick start and support a successful Enterprise Weblog deployment.

Traction Software then links to a Gilbane Report that discusses enterprise use of both blogs and wikis. Here are a few excerpts from Lauren Woods' article:

It would be difficult to find anyone who spends time on the Internet, or indeed who reads newspapers, who has not heard of blogs. Wikis are less well known, though Wikipedia, the free online collaborative encyclopedia is helping to change that....Most of the discussion about blogs is centered around their affect on mainstream journalism, their power as a new communication channel and voice of the people, and how this will impact society. All this is interesting, but what does it have to do with implementing content or knowledge management, or enterprise collaboration applications? IT, business managers, and even analysts can be forgiven for thinking “not much”....

But, being dismissive of blogs and wikis because of how they are most often used, and talked about, today is a mistake (PCs and web browsers weren’t considered as serious enterprise tools at first either). What is important is how they could be used. They are simply tools, and many of you will be surprised to find how much they are already being utilized in business environments....

Executive Summary

Blogs and wikis are flexible practices and technologies that are increasingly being used within companies and organizations to ease the creation and dissemination of information, as well as making it easier for companies to communicate effectively with customers, partners, and the public. This article discusses some of the salient features of blogs and wikis, and give examples of companies who already have implemented one or more of these systems.

On speaking with several vendors and users, it is obvious that many companies are implementing blogs and/or wikis or hybrid systems successfully and I expect this to continue as the technologies and practices mature....

It is important to bear in mind that using a blogging system doesn’t mean the pages produced need to look like a blog. The traditional blog has dated entries arranged in a reverse chronological order, uses categories sparingly, and is written by one person to reflect a personal view. These are conventions that are supported but not mandated by blogging systems in general, although of course less flexible blogging systems may not support other uses in a graceful way....

The most obvious use of blogs in the corporate world is where an employee of a company writes their thoughts on issues, just like with the traditional personal blog, but with the added twist that they also write about their work and the company they work for. The Economist wrote about Robert Scoble of Microsoft in their February 10, 2005 issue, heralding the death of traditional PR and calling him a celebrity blogger. There are other companies where the CEO or President writes blogs to explain their thinking to the world, and I expect the trend to continue. Companies have realized that they need to explain what they do to the world, and they also need a forum to find out what their customers, partners, and investors think....

Blogging systems are so easy to use that many companies use them as a web publishing system. It’s easy to take a blogging template, rework it to remove the “blog” features such as date and author listings, and set up a reasonable stylesheet. The result looks like a regular web site, but it’s much easier to use than traditional HTML editors. An example is the Seattle Children’s Hospital Events Calendar at http://www.seattlechildrens.org/home/calendar.asp. The blogging system allows the easy addition of new items and automatically creates the RSS feed, and the result doesn’t look like a traditional blog....

Currently much information flows via email. This leads to a number of problems, including the difficulty of “occupational spam” where people are copied on email messages they don’t need to read, and the missing email where people are left off the list that do need to read it. New people don’t have the necessary background, and people who’ve been around for a while have hundreds of unnecessary emails languishing unread in folders. Over-eager spam filters (including a human who is overwhelmed and clicks the delete button too quickly) are a big problem, as is the problem of simply missing a message in the hundreds that people receive each day. Having centralized information sources with RSS feeds solves this problem. The reader subscribes to what they want to subscribe to (or, as befits the enterprise context, what they are allowed or required to subscribe to) and is automatically notified of new content. RSS readers can download all the updates to the local machine for offline reading, just as for email. And spam is taken care of at the content provider end, not the reader end. A further advantage is saving time. It is much easier and quicker to read an RSS feed from 50 projects than to go to the websites of even 20 projects to see if anything new has happened. Since RSS readers flag the new items, the reader doesn’t even need to wonder whether they’ve read this item before or not, the technology takes care of that for them....

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Friday, April 22, 2005

From Italy, Without Vegetables

From Alto das Estrelas. Note that this is not O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao do Vegetal (Union of the Vegetable), but a separate group.

A small town with a mystical ambience and encrusted in the mountains, Assisi is home to a number of spiritual and therapeutic centers, as well as being the international hub of the Franciscan movement. The small Santo Daime community lives in the surroundings of the church and neighborhood. The church is under the leadership of Tizziana Vigani, a former hippie and globetrotter. She met Padrinho Sebastião in the 1970s in Brazil, after which she lived in India for several years, finally embracing her destiny as a daimista....

On August 10, 2004, the police in the airport of Peruggia found 27 liters of Daime on Walter Mezzoni, who was returning from Brazil.

[Walter is 30 years old, and works as a consultant for Italian Cooperation for the Development of Mozambique of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He came upon the Santo Daime in 1998, while studying for his master’s in Administration in the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. In 2000-2001, he spent six months in Céu do Mapiá and Céu do Juruá, and since then has always been returning to Brazil. He has been living in Assisi for several years, collaborating with the administration of Casa Regina della Pace.]

On September 9, 2004, the police arrived at the community in several cars. They entered the church and the house of some members and performed a search. Two liters of Daime (ayahuasca) were found.

On March 15, 2005, Walter was arrested in his hometown of Reggio Emiglia, near Bologna, just as he was about to travel to Mozambique. Though he was traveling on account of his employment for the Italian Ministry, the press declared that he was fleeing....

On March 17, 2005, six members of the community in Assisi were arrested, under the accusations of international drug trafficking, use of drugs, illegal association and other charges. Sentences could lead from eight to twenty years.

Some eighteen other people were arrested in Milan, Trieste and Genova, even some who are not official members of the religion. In total, some twenty-four people have been arrested in Italy. According to reports, all have been confined to house-arrest and await trial....

Daimistas can send messages of support containing the following information: name, age, profession, I.D. document, e-mail address, church affiliation, time since affiliation, and a brief testimony on the effect of Santo Daime on your life. Sympathizers associated to other contexts of ayahuasca use may also send similar messages of support. Other people, not related to the ayahuasca context (whether religious or not) may also participate and express their solidarity and affirm the legitimacy of the Santo Daime religious movement. Scientific researchers with unpublished theses and other publications are invited to submit messages of support in favor of the liberty of the religious and ritual use of ayahuasca, including bibliographic references of their academic production....

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What do they do when there's a New Moon on Monday?

OK, so maybe O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao do Vegetal DIDN'T name themselves after a Duran Duran song. But I still haven't figured out the origin of the name.

More bits and pieces on the group. (See here for the Bronfman connection.)

From All in the Mind:

Benny Shanon is a respected Professor of Psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. But 12 years ago he embarked on what was to become a personal, professional and intellectual odyssey. And he’s just put it all down in an extraordinary book called Antipodes of the Mind – Charting the Phenomenology of the Ayahuasca Experience, published by Oxford University Press.

It’s described as a pioneering cognitive psychological study of Ayahuasca which is a psychoactive brew that the indigenous people of South America’s Upper Amazon have prepared and used for millennia. Shanon’s study documents and analyses the experiences of several hundred users as well as his own....

Ayahuasca was kept a secret until pretty much the middle of last century but a burgeoning rubber trade in Brazil changed all that. And William Burrough and Allen Ginsberg wrote about it in their famous Yage Letters and today tourists from the west are jumping on the bandwagon too.

A number of ‘syncretic’ churches both in and outside of Brazil use the brew as a sacrament, like the very large UDV, which by the way stands for ‘Union of the Vegetable’. In New Mexico they’ve just had a major court win against the government trying to ban the brew....

Benny Shanon: ...I’m a university professor but also I like to travel and I’ve been travelling all over the world, and 12 years ago I was invited to give a series of academic lectures in Brazil a country I’ve never been to before. And after that I travelled for two months in this vast land and by, really, a series of coincidences I heard about a rural community close to the Brazilian border with Bolivia in the Amazon.

I heard of something strange and many times in my life before in other countries, I heard things about things I don’t know about, and I would like Alice in Wonderland I’d try to open this strange gate and see what’s there. And I flew from South Palo where I was to the other side of the continent. I knew practically nothing about Ayahuasca....

And I got to this community - I should say before I go on that it was a ceremony. I think it’s very important to appreciate that this is not a game, it’s not a hedonistic thing that people do on their own. Ayahuasca’s been a centre of indigenous Upper Amazon tribes for millennia, it has never been taken lightly, always on fixed dates and hours, always with a person designated beforehand that will lead the ritual. So it’s not just people take a drug and go on a trip....

Ayahuasca is a Quechua word, Quechua being the language of the Inca Empire which is still spoken by many people throughout Peru. The name is a compound of two words meaning The Vine of Death or The Vine of the Spirits.

It’s made out of two plants, one plant whose name is indeed Ayahuasca is the vine. The other plant is a bush, it’s closest botanical relative actually is a coffee plant. The amazing thing is that if you take each of these plants alone nothing will happen to one. It’s only when you combine them, you pound them, you add water and like a pot of soup - but in large quantities because it boils for 48 hours or so. Only when it’s prepared like this would it have psychoactive effects on human beings....

The next day I drank it again, two cups, and I was sitting there in front of the forest and I saw with open eyes and the forest became enchanted with lots of animals. Some zoological animals, some mythological animals, and it was just heavenly. With the second cup that I drank that afternoon, again with open eyes, it was all a golden palace and I should say these images would not rapidly change but you could be seeing a scene, observing it and things would happen there....

And here's some news from Brazil:

Conad legalizes the religious use of ayahuasca

[ 08 Novembro 19h06min 2004]

The religious use of ayahuasca was recognized in this monday as one practical legal one for the National Advice Antidrogas (Conad), after decades of controversies between users and Brazilian authorities on if the tea he would be or not alucinógeno. The resolution juridicamente admits the legitimacy of the consumption of the prepared psychoactive drink with Amazonian plants. The drink is used for more than the 12 a thousand followers of the Union of the Vegetable, Daime Saint and other entities.

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