“Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself. ”
Congress, as any CSPAN viewer can attest, has never been a bastion of intelligence. As far back as a century ago, Samuel Johnson was demeaning the nation’s legislators as a “circus of rogues and fools.” But when it comes to sheer stupidity, the men and women of the 109th have distinguished themselves as a breed apart.
Radar ranks the 10 biggest fools on the Hill – and how dumb are they? Well, Ted “Series of tubes” Stevens didn’t even make the list, nor did Bill Frist or Rick Santorum.
Here is an unabridged version of the list.
Bill is afraid of my home country, imagine that!
Bill, little secret: we’re celebrating christmas every year over here…
And if you’ve got time, see what Soros has to say:
Lets start with the basis for copyright in the U.S.A.: Article 1, Clause 8 of the U.S. Constitution. That clause provides only that Congress may pass statutes that function “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”
That’s it. It doesn’t say anything about granting permanent, sprawling monopolies on vast segments of human endeavors. It just says that Congress can pass laws intended to allow authors to control and cash in on their works, exclusively, for a limited time. We are a society that cherishes, above all, our freedoms. Permanently removing ideas and creations from the public’s grasp hardly serves the public interest in a society willing to sacrifice tens of thousands of soldiers every generation to secure our right to live in freedom.
And this is where it gets dicey. Amazingly, the recording industry and the film industry gone to incredible lengths (suing children, for example) to engrain in us the idea that copyright means an ever-expanding scope of protection in which the first amendment, education, even archiving of valuable works for future generations are a crime. Really, an F.B.I. warning at the start of every DVD I purchase?
Well, it is working. Yesterday I went to the Big Fresno Fair. At the fair, I was astounded to find copyright law being used to prevent me from taking pictures of my daughter with a bird! Specifically, at a booth where your child can pose with some colorful birds, there was a sign that said “PLEASE NO CAMERAS. THANK YOU. THIS IS A COPYRIGHT-PROTECTED AREA.” I also noted the sign right above it selling a single 8×10 photo for $15 plus tax. Obviously, this is more of a “don’t take your own pictures, instead order a second print for another $15 protected area”.
Here is a close up of the sign (the full photo follows at the end of the article):
Wow. There is SO MUCH wrong with that I don’t know where to start. First, every first year law student knows that copyright doesn’t protect areas. The law of trespass is what protects areas. So what is the copyright claim? That the living birds themselves are copyrighted? If so, God created them and holds the copyright, not some overpriced picture booth at a county fair. That somehow the concept of taking pictures of birds on a girl is copyrighted? Sorry, that would be at best a design patent, and no patent office on earth would issue that one. The true answer, of course, is that we are turning into a society where everybody is so brainwashed by Hollywood that they believe everything is subject to copyright protection. Living beings, “areas”, even 50 year old cartoons (well, amazingly, that last one is actually true).
De mogelijke verdwijning van het woordspelletje Lingo leidt tot veel ophef bij kijkers en de Tweede Kamer. Netcoördinator Van Dijk van Nederland 1 wil dat het programma verdwijnt omdat er teveel ouderen naar het programma kijken.
De Tweede Kamer zet vraagtekens bij het plan van de netcoördinator, die wil dat de zender meer jongeren gaat trekken.
De grootste regeringspartij CDA noemt het besluit van Van Dijk “een schande”. “Er kijken dagelijks zo’n 800.000 mensen naar. Die worden nu bij het oud vuil gezet. Dat past niet en dat kan niet”, aldus het CDA-Kamerlid Atsma.
En waarom is het CDA zo overstuur?
Wel, de fractievoorzitter van het CDA in de Eerste Kamer, Jos Werner is de oom van presentatrice Lucille Werner.
Norway has become embroiled in a dispute over toilets and the nature of masculinity.
The matter blew up because a primary school headmistress tried to ban boys from urinating while standing up.
Anne Lise Gjul, the head of a mixed primary school in the southern Norwegian city of Kristiansand, wanted to introduce the ban after complaints from cleaners that many boys could not aim properly.
The measure has upset right-wing Norwegian politicians, however, who say it blurs a God-given distinction between the sexes.
“If boys are not allowed to pee in the natural way that they have done for generations, then it amounts to an assault on God’s creations,” thundered Vidar Kleppe, the head of Norway’s Justice and Order party.
The controversy erupted after Mrs Gjul wrote a letter to parents asking them to think about her suggestion.
“Help. We have to wipe up a lot around the lavatory bowls, and it’s beginning to get on our nerves,” she wrote. “Discuss at home whether boys should instead sit down when they go for a pee. Many thanks.”
The woman in charge of the $1 billion fund that’s fighting claims by sickened World Trade Center rescue and recovery workers is collecting $350,000 a year plus benefits from the federal fund – a pay package that has stunned and angered advocates for the 9/11 responders.
Christine LaSala, president and CEO of the city-controlled WTC Captive Insurance Co., which is managing the 9/11 fund created by Congress, gets the entity’s top salary – which has never before been publicly revealed – plus $20,000 in health benefits for herself and her family, documents obtained by The Post show.
Meanwhile, teams of lawyers hired by the fund to dispute and deny more than 5,000 claims for illnesses blamed on toxic exposure at Ground Zero earn up to $550 an hour for “senior partners,” the records show. Other top lawyers working for the entity earn higher rates, sources said.
The Post has reported that Captive, a self-insurance fund set up by the city in 2004 to cover claims from the WTC cleanup, had spent more than $40 million as of four months ago on overhead and lawyers. The company has refused to pay a single ill Ground Zero responder.
Trying to prevent deadly explosions, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has sent contractors to over 100-thousand government-issue trailers on the Gulf Coast to paint stove knobs a distinctive red.
FE-MA spokesman Aaron Walker says the change will help trailer residents tell the difference between the knobs that control the igniters and those that operate the burners on propane stoves.
In a jail cell at an immigration detention center in Arizona sits a man who is not charged with a crime, not suspected of a crime, not considered a danger to society.
But he has been in custody for five years.
His name is Ali Partovi. And according to the Department of Homeland Security, he is the last to be held of about 1,200 Arab and Muslim men swept up by authorities in the United States after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
There has been no full accounting of all of these individuals. Nor has a promised federal policy to protect against unrestricted sweeps been produced.
Human rights groups tried to track the detainees; members of Congress denounced the arrests. They all believed that all of those who had been arrested had been deported, released or processed through the criminal justice system.
Just this summer, it was reported that an Algerian man, Benemar “Ben” Benatta, was the last detainee, and that his transfer to Canada had closed the book on the post-9/11 sweeps.
But now The Associated Press has learned that at least one person — Partovi — is still being held. The Department of Homeland Security insists he really is the last one in custody.
A massive flaw in a new generation of speed cameras means motorists can avoid fines and points on their licence simply by changing lanes.
The Home Office admitted last night that drivers can avoid being caught the by hi-tech ‘SPECS’ cameras which calculate a car’s average speed over a long distance.
The astonishing loophole means that millions of speeding drivers around Britain could escape a £60 fine and three points on their licence. The hidden blind-spot – revealed today by the Daily Mail – raises questions about the supposedly foolproof hi-tech camera system which is increasingly used on Britain’s roads.
Although designed to improve road safety, the loophole means that drivers may actually increase the risk of accidents by continually switching lanes.
Police chiefs were last night forced to urge drivers not to exploit the shortcoming by trying to evade the cameras.
Yeah! Think of the revenue they’d lose!
It is bad for your blood pressure, knocks years off your life and is a strain on your heart. Now scientists have discovered that gaining weight lowers your intelligence.
The findings follow last week’s government figures that show Britain as the “fat man” of Europe, with nearly a quarter of adults and more than 14 per cent of children under 16 classified as obese.
The new five-year study of more than 2,200 adults claims to have found a link between obesity and the decline in a person’s cognitive function. The research, conducted by French scientists, which is published in this month’s Neurology journal, involved men and women aged between 32 and 62 taking four mental ability tests that were then repeated five years later.
The researchers found that people with a Body Mass Index – a measure of body fat – of 20 or less could recall 56 per cent of words in a vocabulary test, while those who were obese, with a BMI of 30 or higher, could remember only 44 per cent.
The fatter subjects also showed a higher rate of cognitive decline when they were retested five years later: their recall dropped to 37.5 per cent, whereas those with a healthy weight retained their level of recall.
Lecturers and university staff across Britain are to be asked to spy on “Asian-looking” and Muslim students they suspect of involvement in Islamic extremism and supporting terrorist violence, the Guardian has learned.
They will be told to inform on students to special branch because the government believes campuses have become “fertile recruiting grounds” for extremists.
Gemma Tumelty, president of the National Union of Students, said: “They are going to treat everyone Muslim with suspicion on the basis of their faith. It’s bearing on the side of McCarthyism.”
Microsoft has announced its new iPod competitor, Zune. It says that this device is all about building communities. Are you worried?
In a word, no. I’ve seen the demonstrations on the Internet about how you can find another person using a Zune and give them a song they can play three times. It takes forever. By the time you’ve gone through all that, the girl’s got up and left! You’re much better off to take one of your earbuds out and put it in her ear. Then you’re connected with about two feet of headphone cable.