Cost of the War in Iraq
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Bush's Foriegn Policy Report Card

Let's review whats going on around the world where Bush and Condi are exercizing their foreign policy.

Iraq is having some success. They've held some elections. The Sunnis seem to be becoming part of the government, although the Kurds don't seem to be making much headway. With the difficulty factor, I'll give them a C here. They may have gotten an B, however they have allowed Ahmad Chalabi, who we know passed secrets to Iran while advising GW Bush on WMDs in Iraq, to be a bigshot in Iraq's government.

Afghanistan They have had elections, but can't even control the warlords there and the government really only governs Kabul, rather than the whole country. Bush made commitments here that he hasn't kept. 80% of the war on terror money meant to be used to chase Osama and the terrorists down has been diverted to Iraq. Bush and Condi get a D- here.

Palestine Well, a known terrorist group now runs that country. F

Haiti Democracy here is completely falling apart. the capital, Port-au-Prince, is virtually paralyzed by kidnappings, spreading panic among rich and poor alike. Corrupt police officers in uniform have assassinated people on the streets in the light of day. The chaos is so extreme and the interim government so dysfunctional that voting to elect a new one has already been delayed four times. The latest date is Feb. 7.

The Bush administration has said that while Mr. Aristide was deeply flawed, its policy was always to work with him as Haiti's democratically elected leader.

But the administration's actions in Haiti did not always match its words. Interviews and a review of government documents show that a democracy-building group close to the White House, and financed by American taxpayers, undercut the official United States policy and the ambassador assigned to carry it out. Another F.

South America Not a country but a continent that is vital to national security of the US. While Communist China has gained major ground in South America, our influence has diminished under this administration. Give Bush and Condi a generous D.

Russia Bush started out strong with inviting Putin out to the ranch for a barbeque and things deteriorated from there. No support for the war on terror, no real effort to get them to quit selling arms to Iran, no mention of human rights violations there, and other issues. Give Bush a C.

France Bush gets an F here but who cares? I'll use a grading curve here and give him an A just because I'm glad he pissed them off after they didn't let us use their air space when we went after Quadafi.

Germany Not being able to get their cooperation wasn't that big of a deal, so I'll let Bush slide with a C.

North Korea Bush and Condi claimed that Iraq had WMDs and that they were a huge threat to the US, while North Korea was proven to have nukes and Bush did nothing about that threat, even though they not only have nukes they have the means to send them over to us. An F.

Iran Iran feels the Bush threats are weak. They see we can't even get a hold on Iraq after we invaded it. They see we don't have enough troops to go after them at the same time. They are challenging bush by continuing their nuke program. Give Bush an F.

Syria See explanation for Iran minus the nukes. F.

Before you bush lovers complain that this is unfair, remember who we're talking about here. I doubt this is worse than the report card he got in school unless the teachers were afraid of his daddy or his nanny did his homework for him.

by Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off

Pattern of Bush Administration to Supress Freedom of Speech

I've posted many times that I believe this administration wants to control what the public knows in ways that suppress freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

The payoffs that went to reporters to write favorable stories about Bush's no child left behind program, the suppression of documents pertaining to any saudi involvement in 9-11 when the 911 commission asked for documents from the white house, the refusal to help with any investigation into hurricane katrin's slow response, and other instances establish a pattern of behavior that I find troubling.

Now this article describes yet another instance where pressure is being applied to silence scientists who speak about global warming. Regardless of whether you believe global warming is or is not a problem, suppression of free speech is a problem.

Click here for the NY Times Article. You may need to register, but it's free.

by Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off


Big Charity Ripoffs

So many large charities start out as humanitarian, then become corporate bureaucracies. They say that you have to run a charity like a business, so many of them as soon as they get enough funding run out and hire a CEO that is used to running for profit companies.

They justify huge salaries in the same manner they would at the for profit companies and use the reasoning that if you want to compete for the best people to run your charity, you have to pay what the for profit companies pay.

Not true at all. Most CEOs are not that special. There are only a few CEOs that have made huge differences in for profit corporations. Most do an average job that others could do given the same opportunity.

Then there are those that do a really poor job of running companies. The funny thing is that as soon as it gets discovered they are no good at their job, they get fired, get their golden parachute and are immediately hired at some other corporation.

Good example: GOP activist Mike Brown was fired from his a private-sector job overseeing horse shows and got appointed head of FEMA by GW Bush.

Then I suppose we need to mention there are the CEOs who loot their companies thinking it is their priveledge to do so. They are the people you see in court these days totally shocked that anyone thinks it was wrong for them to rip everyone off.

The best people to run charities as CEOs are people who actually care about the charity they run. They can hire business advisors, accountants, lawyers, etc. But the final decisions made for a charity should be the person that cares most about that charity, like the Founder where possible.

The United Way, the Red Cross, and the Salvation Army have all been exposed for some of their business practices that in no way seem like those that should be used by a charity.

People write about commercial fundraisers as bad people. These are the telemarketing companies that solicit funds for charities. Everyone likes to point to the fact these commercial fundraisers take a large percentage of the money away from poor charities they dupe into signing contracts.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. The fact is, yes the contractor does get the lion's share of the money. However no one ever mentions that these commercial fundraisers pay for all the costs associated with the fundraising project.

They pay for the phones, the payroll and payroll taxes, advertising, taxes on their portion of the income, and they pay for the concert, game, or other event or publications they raised the money for.

If a performer came to town and said they were holding a concert and were going to donate 10% to charity, they would be a hero. When a commercial fundraiser only gives 20% of his project to the charity, he's a crook. Go figure.

The reason I brought commercial fundraisers (CF) up is this; CF signs contract with charity. CF pays all costs associated with project. CF gives percentage of gross to charity. Charity risked nothing.

United Way doesn't perform any actual social services. United Way signs agreements with charities. United Way raises funds. United Way gives a percentage of the funds raised to a charity.

What is the difference between the two? The IRS has given the United Way 501c3 status. That is the only difference between them and a commercial fundraiser.

All the big charities love to talk about percentages. They say no one is legitimate if a large percentage goes to administration. The United Way, Red Cross, and Salvation Army all claim that only 7% goes to administrative costs.

Many charities spend 50% on administrative costs. Does that mean they are worse to give to? Those big charities have convinced the general public to rely on percentages.

If charity A raises 50 million dollars per year and uses 7% for admin costs, that is 1.4 million dollars. If Charity B raises just $500,000 dollars, then their admin costs are $250,000. If you gave charity B more money, their percentage would be less, unless of course they ran right out and gave themselves a raise.

People who give money should not stop giving, but they should take more time to examine who they are giving it to.

1. Just having themselves listed in all the right places does not mean they are a better charity. It means they have paid someone who knows how to get them listed in all the right places.

2. Percentages mean nothing. What is the total amount being paid to the executives of the charity?

3. What is the background of the person who actually runs the charity? Are they the founder? Were they involved in charity work at a lower than executive level before? Are they "hands-on"? They should be if they really care about the cause rather than the job. Were they a for-profit CEO before being hired by the charity?

4. Is it an advertising agency putting out what you hear about the charity or documents that came directly from them?

5. Just because you have heard about a charity a lot doesn't mean they are a good charity to give your money to. It means they are spending a lot of money advertising so you will see their name a lot.

6. The reverse of #5. Just because you haven't heard of the charity doesn't mean they are not a good charity to donate to. It means they either don't have the money to hire ad agencies or they just don't spend their money on that because it's needed to perform the mission.

Here is a related article about some of the big charities who raise money to feed people in poor countries. These countries are beginning to ask where all that money is going. You need to register with the NY Times to view the article and it's free to do so.

by Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off


Republicans Have The Market Cornered On JESUS?

Everyone knows the religious right heavily voted for Bush and other republicans the last two elections. The Republicans rely heavily on this voting block and use references to GOD and CHRIST whenever they give speeches to make sure they keep that voting block. They have labeled all democrats as secular and against religion, GOD, CHRIST, and everything christian.

Now, there are some democrats that are supporting bible study in schools. Immediately republicans like State Senator Eric Johnson of Georgia say they are doing so just to get votes from the christian right.

If these republicans were really christians and were not using the christian right as a tool to get elected themselves, they would be finding a way to support efforts to bring the bible studies into schools instead of attacking those that are doing it.

If you are a christian, the only thing that matters is that these bible studies are supported. It doesn't matter if it's democrats or republicans that support it. Anyone attacking someone for promoting bible study at schools only cares about politics and is using christians just to get elected.

Betty Peters, a Republican on the Alabama school board who opposed the initiative in that state, also dismissed the initiative as "pandering." Democrats, she argued, had adopted a new strategy: "Let's just wrap ourselves in Jesus."

Republicans are trying to hold Jesus hostage

The christian right has made their voice heard at election time. If this has changed the way some democrats vote or has influenced democrats to help with some of the issues that matter to christians, then it's working.

Republican does not equal christian. True christians do not care what party you are with. They care that you support christian values.

by Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off

Americans Giving Up Their Freedom For Security

In a recent poll, Fifty-three percent of the respondents said they supported eavesdropping without warrants "in order to reduce the threat of terrorism."

The 4th Ammendment and the laws that deal with terrorist threats require that these wiretaps can only be done with probable cause and with a warrant, making them illegal, and placing Bush in violation of his oath of office. He swore to uphold the Constitution of the US, as every President does before taking office.


This is how it all starts. First a leader claims you are in peril. Then he claims you must give up some of your freedom and rights in order for him to protect you. Soon, he extends that a little further, then a little more. Then you find you have given up more than you ever intended and handed over too much power to the government.

According to the poll, 64 percent said they were very or somewhat concerned about losing civil liberties as a result of antiterrorism measures put in place by Mr. Bush since the attacks of Sept. 11. And respondents were more likely to be concerned that the government would enact strong antiterrorism laws that excessively restrict civil liberties than they were that the government would fail to enact antiterrorism laws.

I'm more concerned that 36% of Americans are NOT concerned about losing their civil liberties. These are American Citizens who do not know the meaning of being an American Citizen.

One example cited by the NY Times, Donnis Wells, 69, a Republican from Florence, Miss., said: "I don't think civil liberties are the more important thing we need to handle right now. I think we need to protect our people."

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." --Franklin D. Roosevelt

"Liberty is always dangerous, but it is the safest thing we have." --Harry Emerson Fosdick

"I prefer liberty with danger to peace with slavery." --Author Unknown

"I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." --James Madison, speech, Virginia Convention, 1788

"Order without liberty and liberty without order are equally destructive." --Theodore Roosevelt

"The problem in defense is how far you can go without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without." --Dwight D. Eisenhower

"If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking... is freedom." --Dwight D. Eisenhower

By Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off


CIA Uses Wrong Wanted Poster for Al-Queda Fugitive

From NBC6
For a year and a half, the U.S. government has been asking for the public's help in finding a dangerous al-Qaida operative. But intelligence officials have admitted to NBC News that they have been using a photo of the wrong man.

He's allegedly Osama bin Laden's expert on poisons. Abu Khabab al-Masri was shown on a U.S. government Web site with a $5 million bounty on his head.

You can click here for the rest of the story.

We've all heard stories about the police serving a search warrant at the wrong address and I just don't see why everyone is so surprised about this. This is the same CIA that provided proof of WMDs in the wrong country.

Here is another example to show how easy it may have been to make a mistake.
osama bin laden oj simpson

by Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off


Today's Out of Context Quote from

I've decided to start a series on the bunch of bosom buddies over at the blog. They ban people who don't agree with them because they are too cowardly to actually try to make their arguments make sense. But instead of just getting mad at these facists, I've decided to have a little fun with them.

Every now and then, when I have time, I'm going to look through the posts there and take some actual quotes from them and make them into just one post. They just say the same things over and over again. Bush is great, bush is wonderful, all democrats are traitors, anyone that disagrees with bush is unpatriotic, blah, blah, blah, so several of their posts made into just one is appropriate. These will be exact phrases taken out of posts there without adding to them in any way.

Here is today's "out of context" post from;

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver [D-Missouri] will be host of a town hall meeting Thursday about the government’s practice of wiretapping phone calls in the United States. Cleaver will be joined by constitutional scholars, Informed experts, from local universities, and the audience will be invited to ask questions and share thoughts.

Genius. Pure genius. in that kind of setting Hamas could serve well to preserve what by all accounts is a valuable government service. We are at war with a mutant enemy, The Bush Administration.

Rhode Island's Democratic Senator Jack Reed announced he will addressing concerns of citizens that have been mischaracterized and maligned as Super Secret Spy Agents of foreign jihadis.

Sistani and his followers have proven The Bush administration attach themselves to some kind of Buchananite fantasy involving the wholesale slaughter of religious and ethnic minorities. They tend to attack and sting in great numbers — just like Hamas.

Since May 1, 2003 the war in Iraq has been remarkably successful in dodging the bullet, often seeming to be much more concerned about Iraq, with public support, descending into a "peace process."

Bush has called upon Frist to have the Palestinian Authority promise to reveal much about how much control the respective Republican Senators hold over the terrorists.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack on Tuesday refused to rule out the Senate as a terrorist organization. Will they dare not negotiate with Democrats until they disarm?

Yasser Arafat will get a significant share of the vote of the Israel elections today. billionaire terrorist Frist will open up the floor for debate on negotiations with the Palestinian government that includes the Fatah party founded by Bush.

After 86 days of debate, delay, and smear, and a party-line vote yesterday in committee, the full Senate is set to vote against Judge Alito's confirmation to the SCOTUS. Moqtada al-Sadr and Zarqawi say "I would rather lick fire ants off a stick than see Alito's confirmation to the SCOTUS."

Consider this an open/liveblogging thread.

All of the words above have been thoughtfully provided by and their words make about as much sense here as they did on their own blog.

by Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off

WIPO Plans to continue helping companies steal Domain Names

Coming up on a possible new round of TLDs being offered, WIPO and the corporations they represent are making their first preemptive strike against individual users of the Internet.

From - - Cybersquatting – registering a website address using other people’s names or trademarks – is on the rise and will get worse with the introduction of new global address tags such as .travel, .jobs and .asia, the World Intellectual Property Organisation warned on Wednesday.
Here they are beginning to set up how they can help companies steal domain names as soon as new tlds are introduced.

Notice how they mention cybersquatting, but ignore Reverse Domain Name Hijacking, where companies go after owners of domain names that are not similar enough to their trademark for court action, and threaten lawsuits they know the owner of the domain name cannot afford. They do this with teams of IP lawyers, knowing that some of these users will turn over their legal domain names rather than risk being sued.

The introduction in December 1999 of a cheap and easy system of arbitration – for which Wipo charges $1,500 – has cut the rewards to cybersquatters who could previously demand huge sums for returning web addresses to their rightful owners
Let's ignore the fact that complainants win in more than 80% of all cases. Let's ignore the fact WIPO arbitration has led to some of the worst decisions in the history of all types of arbitration.

Let's ignore the fact that they consider the fact you have not built your website yet as evidence that you have "no interest" in the domain name. Funny, nowhere in the terms of service when you register a domain name, does it say you must have your website up and running in any specific period of time.

That is the same as saying you haven't received or made any telephone calls on your phone this month and there is a company that wants your phone number, so we are going to give it to them. Ridiculous concept? WIPO does it all the time.

Mr Gurry said strong preventive measures were needed to prevent abusive registrations of web addresses in the new international domains, especially unrestricted domains such as .asia. Mechanisms could include giving trademark owners first claim on their names before registration is opened to all comers.
Sunrise periods are a travesty. First of all, more than one comapny uses the same string of letters in their trademarks, although they file their trademark in different countries, states, etc. Some register the same string of letters and sell different products or use them in commerce of a different nature.

Example: Apple Computers and Apple Records. Furthermore the word Apple is available for anyone to register as a mark as long as they are not directly competing with companies who are using the word Apple in commerce in the same category as you intend to register in.

So, who do they suppose should get apple.whatever in all future rounds? Which company is entitled to the word apple first? What about comapnies that don't even exist yet that may want to use the word apple.something for their domain name and don't plan to compete with any existing marks?

I'm all for going after real cybersquatters. But the IP interests with WIPO as their muscle have been able to do online what the law has never allowed them to do offline. That is to actually OWN the string of letters, rather than just have permission to use that string of letters in commerce in a specific category in a specific geographical location.

They plan to let companies insure that no similar names will ever be available in any tld in the future. People need to stop them. If you want to get involved, send an email to with subscribe ga in the body of the message.

by Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off

Bush's Katrina Koverup

GW Bush seems to think that anything his administration does is beyond question and classified, but at the same time believes the lives of American Citizens are his to look into anytime he wants.

Now this, the Bush administration, citing the confidentiality of executive branch communications, said Tuesday that it did not plan to turn over certain documents about Hurricane Katrina or make senior White House officials available for sworn testimony before two Congressional committees investigating the storm response.

In Bush's first term, Cheney meets with big business oil and energy poeple to help form the Bush energy policy. No environmental groups were allowed to have input. WE as American citizens are not allowed to know what went down in the meeting. Executive priveledge.

When the 9-11 commission asked for white house documents, a few were reluctantly turned over to them with everything that had to do with the Saudis crossed out in black marker. Executive priveledge.

Bush wants to and has been ordering wiretaps on US citizens, without warrants, according to the 4th ammendment, an illegal activity. Executive priveledge.

Now, early on, I was not one of those who thought GW Bush was personally responsible for the slow response to hurricane katrina, even though he had appointed a guy to be the head of FEMA that couldn't even successfully run a horse association. However, now I wonder what they are hiding about hurricane katrina and the response to it. We might never know though. Executive priveledge.

Is there anything that GW Bush thinks he cannot do as president? Does he think he's King George? We got rid of one of those, already.

by Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off


Supreme Court Justices Unethical Behavior?

We have all read about Jack Abramoff and how lobbying is done in Washington. Trips, dinners, campaign funding, and other perks paid for by lobbyists in return for favors the politicians can do for their clients.

But our Supreme Court Justices should be beyond reproach. They are not elected, but appointed. They are in that position for life or until they decide to retire. They also should go out of their way to be unbiased and out of the reach of special interest groups, people whose cases might come before the Supreme Court, and lobbyists.

While other Justices may walk the line of impropriety, Justice Scalia proudly struts over the ethical line and is smug about it. Remember Leona Helmsly when arrested for income tax evasion? She said "taxes are for the little people", or something to that effect. Justice Scalia has a similar attitude when questioned about his activities.

Not too long ago, the Supreme Court was hearing a case that affected the ability for the Bush administration to hold prisoners indefinitely. Just before the case was to be heard, Justice Scalia went on a hunting trip with Dick Cheney that didn't cost Scalia a dime. When asked if that might present a conflict of interest and that he should possibly recuse himself from the case, he called the idea ridiculous and stayed on the case. His vote favored the Bush Administration.

Yes, it might have been in favor of them anyway. No, the trip may not have influenced him in any way. However the appearance of impropriety, unethical behavior, or conflict of interest is enough to make going on that trip the wrong theng to do. And after doing so, thumbing his nose at people who raised the question was also the wrong thing to do.

Now, all the justices were at the swearing in of Justice Roberts, well all of them but Antonin Scalia. He was playing tennis and going fly fishing at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Bachelor Gulch, Colo, all on the dole. All paid for by the Federalists Society.

"I was out of town with a commitment that I could not break, and that's what the public information office told you," he said.

According to ABC News, One night at the resort, Scalia attended a cocktail reception, sponsored in part by the same lobbying and law firm where convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff once worked.

On a side note, Supreme Court Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has repeatedly said that he has no memory of belonging to the Federalist Society, but his name appears in the influential, conservative legal organization's 1997-1998 leadership directory.

Members of the Federalists Society stated they think the trip was ethical because they have no cases pending with the Supreme Court and are unlikely to have. Yes, as a group, but how many of it's members might have cases pending now or in the future?

From the "Why Join" page of the federalists society, "Interaction with prominent public officials, judges, and scholars". So someone with an agenda might be encouraged to join.

On the about us page it lists their goals as those that bring conservatism back into the judicial system and "In working to achieve these goals, the Society has created a conservative and libertarian intellectual network that extends to all levels of the legal community." Yes it does, evidently, all the way to the Supreme Court and Antonin Scalia.

More from their website;

"Founded in 1982, the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is a group of conservatives and libertarians dedicated to reforming the current legal order." Overall, the Society's efforts are improving our present and future leaders' understanding of the principles underlying American law.

It seems the Federalists Society is a conservative organization, although they endorse no polictical party, and it actually has no cases before the Supreme Court and is unlikely to have as an organization. However, it's membership includes over 35,000 lawyers and that makes it likely that some of their members have or will have cases pending before the Supreme Court.

So as a lawyer, who presents cases to the Supreme Court, all I have to do is join this group and have access to Supreme Court Justices in intimate surroundings, where of course, I would never discuss a case that was pending.

All I am saying here is that we as Americans have the right to expect a higher ethical standard from Supreme Court Justices. We sure can't get it from the legislative or executive branch of government, but we deserve it in the Judicial branch.

Accepting trips from groups with political and judicial agenda and gifts from private parties who may at some point have business before the court should not be allowed.

by Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off

Audio Blogging

Okay, everyone, I'm new to this, but I'm going to try to add some audio to my blog here for those that don't like to read all the posts and would rather listen.

Click here to listen to the introduction. This is my first test, so if you encounter any problems with loading this mp3 file, please comment and let me know.

More things that just piss me off


NCMEC Endangering Abducted Children

This really pisses me off. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, (NCMEC) for years has been claiming credit for a huge number of missing and abducted child recoveries they actaully had nothing to do with.

I have been posting about it for years now, and saying that by using these false figures and claiming such wonderful results, they would do more harm than good. Now it is coming true.

First of all, they maintain a database that is connected to the National Crime Information Center, (NCIC). Whenever a child is reported missing or abducted, the police report it to the NCIC. The NCMEC then puts that child's picture into their database on their website.

98% of the time the police find the child soon after the report was filed, but as soon as the child is found, the NCMEC counts that child as another child the NCMEC helped to recover.

They actually had no search team in place to aid police in the recovery, they didn't make a phone call to the police to help them in some way, all they did was post the child's picture on their website which had nothing whatsoever to do with the actual recovery.

But to maintain the 30 million dollars per year they get from the federal government, they claim they found another missing child.

In the past, they used to post on their website, "over 85,000 children found." The numbers might have been accurate overall, but those numbers did not mean the NCMEC actually had anything to do with those recoveries. They were intentionally leading the public to believe they had something to do with finding those missing children.

Also, using figures like that lead the public to believe there is no real problem, or that the problem is already being solved because the NCMEC is on the job.

By using figures like "Every 40 seconds a child is reported missing" or "75,000 children are reported missing every year", they confuse the general public to into believing that many children have been abducted and are in danger of being killed. The fact is most cases that are reported are solved right away by police, without the help of the NCMEC.

They count family abductions where the noncustodial mother or father either don't return the child to the custodial parent in time, or don't intend to return the child to the custodial parent as missing endangered. Very few cases involving parental abduction are ones where the child is actually in danger of physical harm. As a matter of fact those cases are very rare.

They count all runaway teens, including those they actully KNOW are really runaways as missing endangered.

By doing so, they make those cases equal to those that are really possible child abductions. This leads people to ignore cases where the children that are really in danger.

They have done the same thing with the Amber Alert, originally a good idea designed to help police capture dangerous child abductors before they kill the child.

Most child abductors kill the child they abduct within 3 hours of the kidnapping. By getting an Amber Alert out right away on known child abductions, the police in surrounding areas as well as the public is on the lookout for the abductor, the child, and/or the vehicle in question. It worked when it was used properly.

The NCMEC took over Amber Alert and now it is used on noncustodial parental abductions. 98% of Amber Alerts are parental abductions and that was not what this system was designed for. But it looks good to have a lot of alerts so the NCMEC to keep up their funding requests to keep up with their articicially created demand.

The truth is that there are a lot of actual child abductions every year and about 100 children are kidnapped and murdered in the US each year. Comparing that to the figures the NCMEC puts out and it sounds almost as if there is no problem at all.

However think about it . . . Every three days a child is abducted and murdered in the US! That is a problem that requires a response. it means we have to treat all abductions as serious.

The AMber Alert was intended to save lives. If it is used all the time, like it is now, the public pays very little attention to them because they are desensitized by the sheer number of alerts the NCMEC puts out.

If they had been used only in dangerous cases, then the public would be out in force to help. The NCMEC has ruined that chance due to caring more about appearances and funding than actually saving lives.

Now articles like this one are making it seem as if there is no big problem and that missing children orgs are all just making it seem as if there is.

Thank you NCMEC for making all missing children organizations look bad and for risking the lives of children who are really in danger by misusing systems designed to save their lives. Also I would like to thank the NCMEC for refusing to share any of the 40 million dollars in funding you receive with programs that actually do work and do save lives like The Kidsearch Network

by Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off


Support The Troops But only Those Who Have a High Rank

This really pisses me off. The Bush Administration claims that anyone who is or was against the Iraq War just doen't support our troops. That is a wrong assumption. One does not mean the other. I was against the Iraq War from the beginning. I am not for pulling out until the right time and now is not it. I have always supported the troops and am a veteran myself.

Now when it comes to the abuse of prisoners and the use of torture, the same bush administration that claims it supports our men and women in uniform are letting the lower ranked soldiers take all the rap for the mistreatment of prisoners. In several or most of the cases of abuse, the soldiers were acting in accordance with orders from superior officers and even from private contractors hired by the CIA for millions of taxpayer dollars.

Why has this administration allowed GI Joe and Jane take the fall while shielding the private contractors and higher ranking officers who gave the orders? Is this an example of how we should support our men and women in uniform?

From the Guardian: A US army officer was guilty of negligent homicide in the death of an Iraqi general during an interrogation, a military court ruled on Saturday.

Chief warrant officer Lewis Welshofer is the highest-ranking army officer tried on murder charges arising from the Bush administration's campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq. He was found not guilty of murder and faces up to three years in prison when sentencing takes place today.

The court heard that Welshofer caused the death of Major General Abed Hamed Mowhoush by putting him head-first into a sleeping bag, tying electrical cord around him, straddling him and covering his mouth. Welshofer was also found guilty of negligent dereliction of duty, which carries a sentence of up to three months. He was acquitted on charges of assault by a jury made up of army officers.
Yes, Chief Warrant Officers are the highest ranking officers to participate in or give orders to mistreat or abuse or torture prisoners. We are supposed to believe that?

Welshofer was interpreting an email from superiors sent in August 2003, three months before Mowhoush died. The email, from Captain William Ponce, said: "The gloves are coming off, gentlemen ... we want these individuals broken. Casualties are mounting."

A subsequent memo from Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, the commanding officer in Iraq, authorised new interrogation techniques including, Welshofer claimed, the sleeping bag method.
Now, notice that neither of these officers are responsible, only the one carrying out the orders. If I tell you to beat someone up and you go do it, I guess I'm not guilty of a crime.

Mowhoush's death came two days after he was beaten with rubber hoses by Iraqi contractors working for the CIA. Welshofer was present at that interrogation. The next day, he held Mowhoush while water was poured on his face. A day later, Mowhoush died after being put in a sleeping bag by Welshofer.
I guess the private contractors actions were legal, while this soldier's copying those same type of actions was illegal.

This is called supporting our troops? Shielding higher ranking officers from responsibility and hanging soldiers out to dry? Shielding private companies who are getting millions of taxpayer dollars from any liability while prosecuting the soldiers that help them?

This post is not even addressing the question as to what techniques we should be using in interrogations there. This post is simply asking if these techniques are being carried out by private contractors and security companies, why are they being shielded from prosecution while our soldiers are going on trial? And if these interrogationtechniques/abuse/torture is being ordered by high ranking officers, why are they not standing up for the soldiers who serve under them?

Either the abuse and torture is legal or is not. If it is legal, then stop prosecuting soldiers who do it. If it is illegal, prosecute those who are really responsible and let the soldiers go.

More things that just piss me off

Common Traits of Facism

This article is by Dr Laurence Britt. He studied the facist regimes of Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Suharto and Pinochet and came up with 14 things they had in common.

The article is "Fascism Anyone?," Lawrence Britt, Free Inquiry, Spring 2003, page 20.

The 14 characteristics are:

1.Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symb ols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

4. Supremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda i s neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

5. Rampant Sexism - The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Opposition to abortion is high, as is homophobia and anti-gay legislation and national policy.

6. Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a mtivational tool by the government over the masses.

8. Religion and Government are Intertwined - Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.

9. Corporate Power is Protected - The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

10. Labor Power is Suppressed - Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed .

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts.

12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment - Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption - Fascist regimes almost alway are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

14. Fraudulent Elections - Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidat es, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

If any of you ever see these things happening in America, you should be concerned.

More things that just piss me off


Reopen investigation into 9-11?

Critics of the NIST report about 9-11 are presenting their evidence and suggesting that the investigation should be reopened.

They accuse GW Bush of working with Osama Bin Laden and that is why he isn't captured or killed yet.

One note of interest from the "I don't believe in coincidences department", just as bush is having to defend his wiretaps without warrants to the public, suddenly bin laden releases a tape, after 13 months of silence, threatening more attacks. Wow. How lucky can bush get? His sworn enemy coming to his rescue like that.

Besides those accusations, make your own opinion of the evidence presented in this video as to whether or not there is more to the story than we have been told.
The Tape Urging Reopening The Investigation Into What Happened on 9-11

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Are You Really Gay Or Just Needing Attention?

I've had enough. Listen up Gay People. Yes, you have equal rights. I don't and won't discriminate against you if you apply for a job. That is about where it ends.

It seems these days, if a tv show that has gay people in it gets canceled, it's because they are discriminating against gays.

If a state doesn't allow gay marriage, it's because the christian right is unfairly targeting gays.

If a gay movie gets bad reviews, it's because the critics are anti-gay.

Get a clue here. While it's illegal to discriminate against you because you are gay, that does not equate to giving you any "special" rights over and above other US citizens.

The gay crowd loves to "shock" other people. You're gay, you're proud, and you're becoming just plain ridiculous.

Ohhhh, let's make a movie about gay lovers, and make them cowboys! That'll really shock everyone.

And we can make a tv show where we move a gay couple into the most conservative neighborhood we can find. That will shock everyone!

Let's have a parade downtown and all dress up! You can wear that blue chiffon dress Brucey! That will shock everyone!

Let's get gay marriage legalized! That will have them all paying attention to us!

Look, if you want to be gay, be gay. Do you really need all this attention to validate your choice? Does being gay mean you have to have everyone in the country pay attention to you for it to be worthwhile? Without all this public attention could you still be gay? Are you gay just because you need to get more attention?

If those questions bother you, then ask yourself why it seems that the "gay movement" needs to gather all this public attention constantly. If being gay is such a normal everyday thing, why do you feel the need for everyone who is not gay to pay attention to you? Why do you think they even care? Why is it so important for you that not only do they know you are gay, but that they pay particular attention to you because you are gay?

Thats about all the blog space I'm willing to give you. Now I can go back to ignoring you. One last question though. If a gay guy in the forest screams "I am Gay!" and no heterosexual is there to hear him, is the gay guy still gay?

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Judge: No prison time for Gay Rapist Teacher!

This is becoming rampant and there is no reason to stand for this BS! The first case I'd like you to read contains the quote below;

Prosecutors asked Brockton Superior Court Judge Suzanne V. Delvecchio to give Pathiakis four to eight years in state prison, followed by five years probation. But she issued a suspended, 2 1/2-year jail term, followed by five years probation.

Delvecchio, the first woman to be appointed chief justice of the Massachusetts Superior Court, was honored in 2000 as the keynote speaker at the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Bar Association's annual dinner.
Well, now it all makes sense. You can read the whole article here.

The second story is about another judge who gave a child rapist 60 days in jail because the judge says he no longer believes punishment solves anything. You can read about that one at Most Wanted

More things that just piss me off


It amazes me how the politicians, both democrook and republicrook alike, believe they can continue to do as they please and that they believe everyone is stupid, except them. We'll get to the free sex part below, but first read on so you know the whole story or you'll miss out on it.

Now that the Abramoff case and the Delay case and others are getting the spotlight, they are all holding up reform banners. They claim outrage to corruption and illegal lobbying payoffs. They all now claim they are going to clean it up! They're going to enact legislation that stops that money from flowing.

However, the very first piece of legislation simply moves that money given by lobbyists from "lobbying expences" into the "campaign finance" category. Therefore you can still give them money for favors, just quit calling it lobbying because people are beginning to catch onto that one.

There will be absolutely no reform until lobbyists are not allowed to spend "ANY" money on politicians and until lobbyists and PACs cannot directly or even facilitate campaign contributions. Take the money portion out of lobbying altogether and you could begin to reform how things are done in Washington.

Then you'll still have "pork" bills where the politicians add stuff into bills that have absolutely nothing to do with the bill. Their favorite tactic is to title a bill with some words that will gain public support, a public that won't actually examine what is in the bill. They will call it "The Minumum Wage Bill", or "The Jobs Bill", or "The Tax Reform Bill", but in the bill will be things like new laws that allow politicians to take trips on the taxpayers dime, or a highway project, dam project, construction project, or other things that have nothing to do with the title of the bill.

Exactly like this article. Now doesn't that just piss you off?

by Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off


RedState Example of Freedom of Speech

As further proof that republicans do not believe in the bill of rights and proof that the staff at have no balls at all, I offer the following.

An article appeared there, (that you can read by clicking the title of this post), about Al Gore.

One redstate member wrote his opinion, "It's great the he doesn't appear to be running, that way he is free to speak the truth on the inept and immoral criminals currently running the country."

A redstate staffer or author wrote, "What's amazing Is that you signed up just to get banned. Bye." By: Thomas

They don't even have the conviction or enough guts to debate an issue. They know they stand on weak ground backing bush and the other republicans that have been or are about to be indicted. Therefore they ban anyone who might disagree.

I am a moderate conservative who believes in the bill of rights, believes it was written to imply we also have a right to privacy, was against the Iraq war or any war where we are the aggressors, am against abortion. I'm not a democrat or a republican. I take each issue on a case by case basis and believe following either party no matter what they do makes one a sheep. I defended the right to free speech at redstate and got banned as well. I'm proud of that.

For the staff at redstate to consider themselves patriotic or that they represent what this country stands for is ridiculous. If they really believed in what they say, they wouldn't be afraid of debate or differences of opinion. Yet they prove over and over that they really deserve the name redstate, but not as a term to represent republicans, but as one to represent the communism they are duplicating there.

You can disagree with me here. I'll be happy to debate you if we disagree. And we'll still be friends that disagree. Too bad redstate is so cowardly. It could be a great website.

by Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off

Everyone Thinks They Are Domain Name Experts

Found an article on the web titled 10 Tips For Choosing Domain Names. I believe it should have been titled My Top 10 Opinions Due To Lack of Experience in Choosing Domain Names. I'll post my opinions along with the author of the article's opinions and let you decide. The author's opinions will be in blockquotes.

1) If you are buying a domain name (e.g., make sure you also buy the other main TLD's (Top Level Domains) for the same prefix (e.g., This will ensure that no-one else can come in at a later stage and capitalise on your brand name using another major domain name type. Although there are dozens of TLD types available, we've always purchased the, .com, .net and .org variants to protect our brands. There's no harm buying more variants, but do make sure you take care of the important ones.
Due to ICANN limiting namespace to just a few TLDs, this is a common myth that businesses have. If I find a really good domain name that has generic keywords that specifically match a well search for keyphrase I want to target, I might register it in more than one TLD, but I don't register all my domain names in every TLD there is.

To protect a brand is called getting a trademark. To register everything in multiple TLDs just further limits namespace and is an unnecessary cost.

2) If you do a domain name search and find only the is available for your chosen prefix (e.g. newbusiness), it may be worth your while choosing another domain name prefix where most or all of the TLD's are available. We spent quite some time researching suitable domain names before deciding on Bytestart - dozens in fact.
So they are saying that if you find a good .com or domain name you should not register it unless all the less used tlds are also available? That makes no sense whatsoever. If a good domain name is available on the most preferred tld, grab it.

3) It is possible that your small business may grow into different areas of interest, or even change tack altogether. For this reason, it may be an idea not to make your domain name too specific to one area of your expertise.
Totally wrong. If you want to target specific keywords and phrases then you should choose a domain name that is exactly and specifically targeted toward that keyword or phrase. If you expand into other areas of interest, get another domain name.

While domain names are not the only thing that helps you with search results, it is one of the factors. The titles of your webpages, the keywords in your metatags and in your alt tags, the names of your images, as well as the keywords in your text all work together to optimize a webpage. The domain name is just the first step because you usually choose it before you build the website.

Nonspecific domain names like the author suggests are like saying "I'm going to spend $5000 to have my website developed by a professional to optimize it for the search engines, but I won't spend $10 to register a domain name to aid in the process."

4) Keep your domain name as short as possible and simple - it needs to be memorable, and preferably not contain hyphens.
This statement is so 1995. The author may have slept the last 10 years, but the search engines have not.

Some experts even maintain that hyphens could HELP you because it seperates the words out. However, I don't agree with that, since search engines are now capable of seperating the phrases into seperate words on their own.

I also disagree with the author. I would much rather have the specific keyphrase I am targeting with hyphens between the words than a domain name that does not have the key phrase I want without the hyphens.

As far as short domain names go, only if you plan to advertise your domain name offline on the radio or tv, etc. is this that important. People click links on the web. They bookmark your site if they wish to return. They do not need to remember your domain name no more than you have need to memorize all the phone numbers of the people you call. You either use the list in your phone or speed dial.

It is nice to have a short domain name and if ICANN ever allows the creation of hundreds more TLDs, then everyone can have a good short one-word domain name. But as it stands, there aren't any left in the major TLDs.

5) A few web promotion firms suggest inserting your major keywords into your domain name wherever possible to help with your search engine rankings. We do not subscribe to this view. Sure, there may be some small benefits in having some keywords in your domain name (e.g. ""), but your web promotion effort should come later. Your domain name should be chosen to best represent your company's interests rather than to please the fickle search engines!
Yeah, let's not try to please those fickle search engines dammit! Besides they are only the way 80% of the users find what they are looking for. I only need that other 20% to be able to find me anyway.

Thats like me trying to give you a dollar and you saying, "No thanks, I already have one." Plan to optimize your website from the very beginning, starting with your domain name choice. Don't wait until later. Optimize your website as you build it. Don't build it then worry about optimizing it. The author is trying to make a 10 step process here out of something that is really all one step. Maybe they get paid to do each "phase".

6) Allowed characters - Domain names can only contain letters, numbers, and dashes. Spaces and symbols are not allowed. Domain names are not case sensitive.
Finally! I can say I agree with something the author wrote, even though this can barely be called a "tip" since you would find this out as you register your domain name anyway. I could have just said "Well, Duh!"

7) Choose a reputable domain name supplier. A company which has been around a while and is well known is a good bet. We'd also recommend choosing a company which provides a user interface so that you can manually edit your domain name details (email forwarding, transferring your domain name elsewhere).
Okay, here is where I'll say it. Well, Duh!

8) If you intend to buy a sizeable number of domains, try to 'park' them with one single domain name company. Domains are far easier to administrate and keep up-to-date if they are in a single place you trust.
I really really want to say it again, but I won't.

9) You should ensure that your domain name is not a commonly known brand name or trademark. Something like "" would not be a good choice!
I have to, I really do. Well, Duh!

10) Make sure you keep your contact information up-to-date. Although your domain name supplier is bound to contact you when a domain name comes up for renewal, it is your responsibility in the end. Going back to point 8) again, for this reason, having a single domain name supplier will help.
I see now. The author didn't really have 10 tips, so these last few were sort of filler. Yes keep your info up-to-date. Good tip. *Yawn*. Thank you.

I'm sure this author wants to be helpful and they probably have that all-necessary college degree that we all know is final proof that you are a good webmaster and know all about domain names, however, some real-life practical web experience might be a little more useful if you are going to post as an expert on domain names.

by Chris McElroy aka NameCritic
More things that just piss me off

Another Republican to be Indicted? - Bob Ney?

Here we go again. The voters put this set of republicans in power and these guys went wild with it. I haven't seen this much corruption since the Abscam sting. Only this time the republicans stung themselves.

Delay, Frist, Libby, and who knows how many others will be indicted due to connections with Abramoff, like Bob Ney of Ohio, known for renaming french fries, "freedom fries" in the white house kitchen after 9-11. Then there is the investigation into bush's "possibly" illegal wiretapping scheme.

But of course, ask any republican or rush limbaugh or bill o'reilly, and you'll hear that this is all a democrat and media frameup. None of these guys did anything wrong and to indict them is just a travesty of justice. After all, they are republicans and they are in power, so how could anything they do be called illegal. It's all just a conspiracy.

Folks, where I come from, they have a saying, "Where there's smoke there's usually fire." And they have another one, "If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it's probably a duck."

I love Bob Ney's defense about taking money for favors from Jack Abramoff. Mr. Ney is working intensely to convince Justice Department prosecutors that he was tricked by Mr. Abramoff into doing favors for the lobbyist's clients.

Poor, innocent politician from Ohio. That big bad Abramoff tricked me into taking money and tricked me again to do favors for his clients after giving me the money. He just went and slipped that money in my wallet when I wasn't looking. And as far as the favors, I thought I was signing something else. I never read what I sign anyway.

Folks, these guys who were indicted are ducks.

by Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off

DirectL Misleads Customers About Domain Names for $1.49

Okay, read this article by directl. Click here to read it.

Now after reading that, do you feel that they will let you register a .info domain name for just $1.49?

Well you can't. It costs over $12 to register a .info domain name. Only resellers can buy them for $1.49.

Of course in the very first paragraph it contains a link to their website and says
DirectI ( ), a leading Web Services Company and one of the fastest growing ICANN Accredited Domain Registrars, recently announced the sale of .INFO domain names, at an unbelievable price of $1.49 for a year. The new promotional price, effective from December 31st 2005, will be available upto June 30, 2006.
They know many people will stop right there and go to their website.

I emailed them about the article and told them I thought it was very misleading. They said they would correct it. Doesn't seem they have done so. Do a blogsearch for them and you'll see it's still being posted.

In my opinion any company that intentionally misleads the public, even after concerns have been raised, isn't worthy of anyone's trust and that their credibilty just took a nose dive.

Keep in mind that if you are a web professional or web savvy when it comes to domain names, you may not have been mislead. However if you are of the general public who doesn't know as much about domain names and the web, this article would mislead them.

But of course that's just my opinion. What's yours?

More things that just piss me off


Admissions of a Republican

I just love the republican blog at They hate to hear anyone that says anything against gw bush or the republicrooks. But when they say it, its ok I guess. This is from a poster at

The era when Republicans promised to make government smaller and smarter by abolishing hundreds of obsolete federal agencies seems a distant memory now in this era of Bridges to Nowhere. In the last five years, Republicans have enacted the largest increase in entitlement spending in three decades, doubled the education budget, nearly tripled the number of earmarked spending projects, and turned a blind eye toward the corrosive culture of corruption on Capitol Hill.

I think should frame that quote and place it on their front page.

More things that just piss me off

Inviting ICANN to Respond to this Bakers Dozen of Issues.

This post has 13 issues I wish ICANN would respond to. They do not respond on mailing lists or other forums and are trying to maintain staus quo without regard to public sentiment. They are supposed to be open and transparent, are supposed to use a bottom up consensus method of decision-making, and are supposed to foster competition on the Internet.

I charge they are doing none of the above and invite those insiders and board members at ICANN to respond to the charges I make here.

1. Domain names were never meant to be representative of trademarks. However I agree trademarks do need to be protected.

2. Trademarks are category specific, not ownership of a string of letters. By creating tlds that match trademark categories, companies could protect their mark in the category it was filed in, leaving generic tlds open to first come first serve as intended.

3. Having a 3-4 word domain name does have restrictions and handicaps Vs having a one-word domain name. There are no short domain names to be had in com, net, biz, info, or even org that are worth having. This creates unfair competition because of the shortage which has been artificially created by ICANN.

4. By creating new tlds, you increase the chance that not only existing businesses and individuals will get a good, short domain name in some tld, but also think forward to future generations of users being able to do so. It's like cities who you know planned badly because they did not foresee the expansion of there city, therefore built too few highways and freeways, causing traffic congestion. Why make that same mistake on the Internet? They are about to introduce IPV6 so there will be more IP addresses available to meet the demand, yet still refuse to create more TLDs to make more short domain names available? Does that make any sense whatsoever?

5. If ICANN is going to continue deciding what tlds to allocate, then make them category specific causing less confusion and less arbitration over trademark rights.

6. ICANN has no right to see my business plan. I may have the greatest business plan ever thought of and that may revolutionize the domain name industry altogether. Why would I give ICANN $50,000 to review it, keep my fee, give my tld to someone else and let them use my own business plan to introduce it?

7. ICANN is a technical body, not a consumer protection agency. Bonds and insurance can cover the failure of a registry with technical assurances from a body like the IETF.

8. Running a tld and selling domain names is a business. How can I start that business if ICANN is trying to decide everything for me. They are not business experts who can decide whether one business plan is better than any other. Hewlett Packard was a computer company and failed to see any value in the pc market. So if they couldn't see the future what makes those at ICANN think they can do it? The business plan should not be part of any application since it's none of ICANN's business and they are not equipped to decide the value of the plan in the first place.

9. Technical ability to run a tld coupled with a time limit for introduction of that tld is all that matters. The time limit is so that people don't register tlds and squat on them. If they fail to open the tld registry within a certain period of time, then it goes back into the pool. This also keeps those that do not have the financing from registering a tld because they wouldn't be able to launch anyway. It also keeps the speculators out of the tld market and insures genuine interest in launching a new tld.

10. Let the market decide which tlds are viable and which or not. That is the essence of the free enterprise system.

11. ICANN does not have actual authority to tell me I cannot start a registry for a tld without their permission. They only have the authority to make sure I can meet the technical requirements of doing so. The restriction of namespace is restraint of free trade and free enterprise and as such, illegal. The fact that it has not been challenged properly yet does not mean it will not be.

12. They are still not an elected body. They still do not have any bottom up consensus. They still do not have transparency. They have eliminated the GA and DNSO so have no real individual participation. The current GNSO does not represent individual users. You have to have an organization in order to even apply as a member. These are weaknesses that a lawsuit could exploit. In ICANN's mou with the DoC it requires they do all of the above plus foster competition. The fact they have not done so will not help their legal status in any court of law.

13. The fact they are supposed to foster competition has been completely ignored by the ICANN BoD. Restricting namespace does not foster competition. The agreement with Verisign does not foster competition. The heavily weighed advantage given to IP interests does not foster competition. 2 seats on the board for IP interests and 2 seats for the business constituency is totally redundant. When is the last time these seats opposed each other on any issue? This does not foster competition either.

Will ICANN respond either here or on the GNSO mailing list or will they continue to ignore what the public wants until they are forced to do so in a court of law?

By Chris McElroy aka NameCritic
More Things That Just Piss Me Off


Maryland Passes Law to Require Big Companies to Provide Health Care to Employees

It's about time this issue was addressed. For years, large corporations have flouted and dodged any law that requires them to treat employees better. They routinely outsource jobs to foriegn countries to avoid having to treat their employees better. They move their operations to other countries and lobby for lax immigration laws so they can hire illegals who won't fight for their right to be treated fairly.

With health insurance, it's even more obvious. Laws were passed that required companies to provide health coverage for their full-time employees. So, what do they do? They make everyone part-time employees. They give them a schedule just short of one that would qualify their employees as full-time, thereby avoiding having to provide them their benefits.

The largest corporations are the most guilty for this practice. JC Penneys, Wal-Mart, McDonalds, Burger King, and others.

The new Maryland law requires that companies with more than 10,000 employees spend 8% of their payroll towards health coverage for their employees. In Maryland, the law only affects Wal-Mart, but laws being considered in other states lower the bar to companies with 1000 or 2000 employees, which will affect McDonalds, CVS, and others.

Yet the counterattack is already mounted by these big companies. They will spend more to defeat the bill than they would to pay health coverage for their employees. They ignore the facts that better health coverage brings better employees to work for them, better health coverage means more productive workers, and that better health coverage means less sick days taken.

The first claim of the counterattack is that it will affect restaurants whose workers already earn less than minimum wage and that this will be a burden on restaurants who are already struggling to make ends meet.

Three trade groups - the National Retail Federation, the National Restaurant Association and the International Franchise Association - have created a coalition to oppose legislation and are already preparing an aggressive campaign to prevent lawmakers from passing the legislation outside Maryland.

When is the last time you went to a restaurant that had 1000 employees? It would only affect chains like McDonalds and Burger King which are multinational corporations that can afford health care, but choose not to. It will not affect your local restaurants or even smaller chains. So the first attack you will hear is based on a lie.

According to the NY Times
Wal-Mart insures fewer than half of its 1.3 million employees in the United States. According to an internal memo, 5 percent, or roughly 65,000, of its workers rely on state Medicaid plans, compared with 4 percent for other national companies.
These corporations get incentives from the federal, state, and local governments all the time. They get huge tax breaks. They lobby to keep the minimum wage lower than the poverty level. AND THEY WANT OUR TAX DOLLARS TO SUBSIDIZE THE HEALTH CARE THEY SHOULD BE PROVIDING THEIR EMPLOYEES?


ICANN in Violation of Free Enterprise Laws

By Chris McElroy

Message to ICANN: Let those who want to create a tld, simply register it with ICANN.

If the tld is not already taken, if they have the technical capability to mange the tld, and they have the desire to market domain names on that tld, then let them do so.

It should be similar to the registering of a domain name, except on a higher level, with the added technical requirements. ICANN should be sort of an uber-registry for tlds.

It would be ludicrous for a domain name registrar like go daddy or enom to ask you for a business plan, or a non-refundable application fee, before allowing you to register a domain name. It would be ridiculous for a registrar to have "rounds" of domain name releases of names "they chose" in advance.

Okay, this month, go daddy will be allocating,, and We will be taking applications and public comment during the month of february. We will then spend another month reviewing the applicants business plans to decide who we will allocate the domain name to. If you are not approved to manage the domain name you apply for, your application fee will be held by go daddy until further notice.

Some people will say that is not a good analogy, but it is a perfect analogy. Here is why. If was still available and I registered it. I could then start selling subdomains like,, or any other subdomain someone wished to purchase from me. The subdomain is one dot removed from the domain name the same as the domain name is one dot removed from the tld.

There is no longer any reason to believe ICANN is doing anything other than restricting free enterprise and free trade by not opening up the market for tlds. It is no longer acceptable that ICANN should be the one to decide which tlds will or will not be created nor is it acceptable that ICANN gets to choose who can or cannot run a tld.

Do you present a businesss plan to the city you live in before they allow you a business license? No.

Does the city ask you to prove you are financially stable before issuing you a business license? No, as long as you pay the registration fee.

If you apply for a business license to open a clothing store, does the city ask how you will run your clothing store or if you have the necessary expertise to run a clothing store? No.

Does the city think you will hurt them economically if your clothing store goes out of business? No, it's none of their business.

Is the city concerned that there may not enough demand for yet another clothing store? No, again none of their business.

ICANN not allowing me, or anyone else in the world, to create a tld of our choice in any language we choose, is a blatant violation of our rights. In many countries, America among them, the right to free enterprise still exists. ICANN is denying me that right as an American citizen and doing so when even their own organization exists under American law.

There are no needs for auctions or rounds or anything else. If you want to run a tld, then you register it and start selling domain names. If you fail, you fail, just as in any other business venture you take on.

Artificially restricting namespace to make a few business IP interests happy has to stop.

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ICANN Creating a Monopoly in Domain Names

By Chris McElroy

When the Internet was very young, all you had to do to get a domain name was call a man named Jon Postel, and ask for it. Things have changed greatly with the popularity of the Internet. Now the competition for a good, short, generic domain name is fierce. If you want a domain name in the popular .com namespace, you have to settle for a long, sometimes confusing, domain name.

ICANN has been using a process of “rounds” to introduce new tlds. When they do create these new tlds, they are generic in nature, like .info or .biz. This creates trademark conflicts. Many companies hold the same word as a trademark, such as Apple Records and Apple Computers. Both are legal trademarks. Both have the legal right to use the word apple to sell their respective products and services.

So which one has the legal rights to or What if I start a company tomorrow called Apple Printing Services and get a trademark on the word apple to sell printing services? Do I not then have equal rights to use or as my domain name?

If ICANN would open the TLD market, so that any company with the technical expertise and the financial capability, could start a new TLD, we would have more option like,, apple.printer. TLDs like .lyr, .atty, .cpa, would crop up. This would help eliminate trademark conflicts.

First come, first serve, in the demand for domain names was the method used and seemed fair when namespace was less congested. Now, if we are going to insure that future generations of people, who are not even on the Internet yet, or who have not even started their business yet, will have the opportunity to get domain names they want, we must create more tlds. ICANN claims there is no demand for new TLDS.

I disagree. Demand is far from being met. It is not fair business practice to have few TLDs where a few companies/people get short one word domain names while the rest must settle for two and in most cases three word domain names. By limiting space with few TLDs, ICANN makes the decision that businesses that were in existence at a certain point in time shall have an advantage over any business created at a later time.

As a city grows, more streets get paved and more buildings get built allowing for more businesses to get good locations, more corner lots if you will. As name space expands ICANN wants businesses to continue to build upward and not outward. They leave new businesses the equivalent of existing on the third and fourth levels Vs having a ground-floor storefront.

Cities grow outward to allow for more development. TLD space needs to grow outward to meet the same demand. Cities that stifle development and that are not business-friendly find their economy in ruin before too long. Cities that do their best to offer more development opportunities to businesses i.e. corner lots, breaks in certain costs, etc., prosper.

It would be uncommon for a city to tell a new business, “nope can build on that lot, you have to build onto existing buildings above your competitors, so that they have the ground floor and your customers must walk past your competitors to get to where you are.” That is the analogy. If you own already, I must get something like (a 2nd floor location), the next business must get something like, (3rd floor), the next few businesses can share the 4th floor with,, etc. Others will get the 5th floor with even longer names as new businesses come to the web.

You might say well they only need their business name for their website and that should be easy to get. I would answer that many businesses have the same name and in addition to that, generic keywords in domain names are an advantage to only having your business name as a domain name. People are not searching the web for you, but they do search for what service or product you sell.

ICANN is currently forcing an unfair disadvantage to new business owners and to people new to the web by not allowing them to get good, short domain names for their personal or business use. Not allowing new tlds to be created is an unfair business practice and a restraint to free trade. It is also anti-free enterprise because they are telling me I cannot go into the domain name selling business and that only a few businesses they have selected can do so. They may also be in violation of laws written to avoid monopolies.

Chris McElroy has been an advocate for domain name owners and individual users of the Internet since 1995. He participates in working groups, mailing lists, and forums, that deal with issues regarding domain names, IP Number allocation, and the DNS. His current project at (a 3rd floor location, when what I want is the opportunity to have a location on the ground floor, in a new neighborhood), deals with website promotion and domain names.

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ICANN to consider new TLDs

ICANN has been restricting namespace on the Internet for far too long. By allowing only a few TLDs that are generic in nature such as com and biz, they artificially create a shortage of good short domain names, both for existing businesses and for businesses that haven't even started yet.

To get a good com domain name is next to impossible. Three-word domain names are about the best you can hope for if you want names that actually mean something. That gives those with one-word domain names an unfair business advantage.

ICANN has fostered this unfair business practice for much too long now. They are supposed to be a technical body, not an allocation bottleneck.

As a member of a working group that includes some very distinguished experts on matters pertaining to the Internet, we have proposed this document to ICANN. It's a lot of reading to read all the actual posts, but if you truly want to understand how the Internet works and how it is governed Vs just how to build websites, etc., then you should read it and start joining groups that can affect change within the ICANN structure or outside of ICANN altogether.

Click here for the PDF file of recommendations to ICANN regarding the introduction of new TLDs

by Chris McElroy
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General Pleads the 5th about Prisoner Abuse

Quote from the Washington Post
Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller, a central figure in the U.S. detainee-abuse scandal, this week invoked his right not to incriminate himself in court-martial proceedings against two soldiers accused of using dogs to intimidate captives at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, according to lawyers involved in the case.

The move by Miller -- who once supervised the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and helped set up operations at Abu Ghraib -- is the first time the general has given an indication that he might have information that could implicate him in wrongdoing, according to military lawyers.
Everyone in the Bush administration has been trying to lead us to believe that only a few low ranking soldiers were responsible for all the abuse at the prisons and that critics who thought that the orders came from officials and high ranking military officers were wrong.

I believe the answers to questions will come out soon. We will know which high ranking officers, private contractors and administration officials knew about or ordered the abuse of prisoners. Blaming low ranking soldiers, then claiming you support those same soldiers who risk their lives in Iraq is just wrong.

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Confirm Judge Alito

Okay, you cannot have it both ways. If you were against Harriet Miers because she was not qulified to sit on the supreme court, then you have to like Alito, becuase he IS qualified. If you are against him as well, then you just don't want anyone confirmed.

Yes, he said, he once believed that there was no constitutional right to abortion, but at the time he was merely a "a line attorney in the Department of Justice in the Reagan administration," and he would keep an open mind should abortion come before him at the Supreme Court.

Not even a president is above the law, he said, though he added that he did not have enough information to say if he agreed that President Bush had broken the law by authorizing extensive domestic eavesdropping without warrants.
If you are not satisfied with those answers then you are just against all judges bush appoints. It doesn't get better than Alito. Get out of the way and lets move on to other topics. It makes the dems look really bad to fight Alito. He's smarter than the average bear, fellas. He will be confirmed and in the meantime, trying to take him on in confirmation hearings is just making the senators with the questions look stupid.

The nominee said he did believe there was a constitutional right to privacy, based on a 1965 Supreme Court case that overturned a Connecticut law prohibiting married couples from using contraceptives, though he did not take it the next step to argue that such a provision could be extended to abortion. He also said the president did not have a "blank check" to do what he wanted.
Again I'm satisfied with his response here. The right to privacy is intended for all citizens by the bill of rights. Those who deny that are reading literally and not taking in the spirit of the law.

This guy deserves to be confirmed. Let it go. Stalling tactics can be recognized by the voters and it won't bode well for dems in the next election if they continue to get shown up by Alito.

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What is the NSA?

The National Security Agency (NSA) is America's largest intelligence service, even larger than the CIA. More people work for the NSA than work for the CIA. The NSA has a bigger budget and gathers more information than the CIA.

The CIA is much better known, however that is how it's designed. You aren't supposed to know much about the NSA. For a long time, the public wasn't even told that it existed. They used to say that NSA stood for No Such Agency.

Harry Truman started the NSA in 1952. The CIA was created by Congress, The National Security Act of 1947. The CIA however did not do what the NSA was assigned to do, intercepting and reading an enemy's mail, overhearing its private conversations, and cracking its secret codes.

The NSA consolidated all the military intelligence under one General or Admiral, who then reported directly to the Secretary of Defense. It's still done that way.

Although the NSA is military intelligence, they employ thousands of civilians, mostly mathmatics PHDs. They employ more PHDs than anyone else in the public or private sector.

The NSA even has it's own troops called the Central Security Service.

Another difference between the CIA and the NSA is that the CIA is focused on HUMINT, (Human Intelligence) and the NSA is focused on SIGINT (Signals Intelligence)

The NSA maintains a worldwide web of state-of-the-art satellites, listening posts, and intercept stations that capture and record huge volumes of the world's communications, then runs it all through the world's most powerful computers, to look for keywords or patterns that require an analyst's attention.

An unofficial agency motto: "In God we trust. All others we monitor."

Officially, the NSA performs its SIGINT sweeps only "against foreign powers or agents of foreign powers." But that doesn't mean the communications of U.S. citizens aren't sometimes sucked into NSA computers. NSA officials point out that, in today's world, there is no clear and easy distinction between domestic and foreign communications.

"The networks have collapsed into one another," said one official, "and many of our targets are on the same network that we use. It is now just 'the network'--the global telecommunications infrastructure." So, when U.S. citizens do appear in NSA data, analysts withhold their names from intelligence reports. But the information remains in the files, and there are exceptions that allow for its release.

That doesn't excuse them from breaking the law. If their systems cannot avoid eavesdropping on American Citizens without a warrant, then they cannot use the system. If you know driving your car without up-to-date plates and registration is illegal, then you drive the car anyway, you are knowingly breaking the law. That applies to the NSA just as it does to you or me.

Even if you disagree with the analogy and believe the NSA when they say that spying on American Citizens was inadvertant and not intentional, then tell me why they are then not allowed to inform someone that they were mistakenly spied on?

The patriot act says they don't have to inform you about the search they have just done on your house, email, phones, etc. They can do it without a warrant and it's illegal for anyone to tell you it's been done.

The NSA was not created by the Patriot Act, yet, when they make one of their "mistakes" and "accidentally" spy on an American Citizen, they then use that law so they do not have to inform you that they accidentally spied on you.

If you think all that is okay and necessary then you just don't get it. Wasn't it Ben Franklin who said "He who is willing to give up freedom for a little security, deserves neither freedom or security."?

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Some information provided by Knowledge News


Lawmakers Accepting Money

A quote in the NY Times today just pisses me off! It's part of the "HURRY UP AND DONATE ALL THE MONEY WE TOOK FROM ABRAMOFF" story.

"Some tribes like the Saginaw Chippewa and the Mississippi band of Choctaw Indians are getting campaign contributions back. But the refunds are not entirely welcome; tribal officials complain of being branded as pariahs and worry that their clout in Washington will be diminished if lawmakers refuse to accept their money."

Worry that lawmakers will refuse to take their money. CLUE: LAWMAKERS ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE TAKING MONEY ANYWAY!

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Quote of the Day by Bill Frist

"I will be working with colleagues this session to examine and act on any necessary changes to improve transparency and accountability for our body when it comes to lobbying," Frist said in a statement yesterday. "Some members have already made recommendations to me, or introduced legislation. I look forward to working to secure the continued integrity of the Senate."

What planet does Frist, who is being investigated for insider trading, live on where there is "continued integrity" in the senate?

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If You Can't Donate The Money Don't Do The Crime

Well, here we go again with the money issue when it comes to crime in Washington DC, or anywhere else for that matter.

If a CEO cooks the books and bilks investors and their employees out of a bunch of money or deals in stocks by insider trading tactics, fine them some money and let them go. They stole 10 million dollars? Fine them $1 million and call it a day. Call it a tithe to the US Gov. As long as the government gets some of the illegally gained money, they're okay with it.

Now with the Jack Abramoff fiasco, we have politicians scrambling to donate some of the money they got to charity. They're doing it so fast, you'd think abramoff gave them "marked" bills. Bush is even giving back $6,000 of the $100,000 he got.

I guess the thinking is that if Abramoff turns state's evidence and gives up their names for taking bribes, they can all say, "but it all went to charity". They can't give it back to the government, they are the government, so charity it is.

And the sad thing is, they will probably get away with it. So let's analyze how all this works.

1. Do whatever crime you want to. Insider trading, stock scams, pension plan scams, take bribes and kickbacks, whatever.

2. If it looks like you may get caught, quickly give away some of the money, look and act innocent, and deny everything.

3. If they actually charge you with a crime, get the top lawyers in the country on your team, intimidate and threaten the prosecutor in the case, and make sure you get a judge who supports your party on the bench for your trial.

4. Blame the media for everything. After all, if they hadn't covered the story about the crime you committed, then no one would know about it and you could cover it up quietly. So it's really all their fault anyway.

We. as a society are learning these lessons from those who lead us. Thank you so much for leading with sincerity, wisdom, and courage.

They sincerely want to line their pockets, no matter if what they are doing is illegal.

They have the wisdom to know what to do if they are caught.

And the courage to stand up in front of all the voters who elected them and claim it's all a conspiracy concocted by the media and their opponents in the other party.

by Chris McElroy
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