Rescue workers dug through piles of rubble Sunday searching for anyone who might have been trapped by a tornado that obliterated this south-central Kansas town, while officials began talking about rebuilding.
At least 10 people were known dead from weekend storms. Eight of them were in the Greensburg area and two others died elsewhere in Kansas — one during the Friday night storms that hammered Greensburg and one in a second round of storms late Saturday, state officials said.
During a tour of the town early Sunday evening, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius — who in December asked the Pentagon to replenish Kansas equipment left by the National Guard in Iraq — said the devastation in Greensburg shows why the state needs its equipment back.
“We’re missing about half of our trucks from the National Guard units,” Sebelius said. “Clearly trucks to haul this debris away would be enormously helpful. We are missing flatbeds. We are missing Humvees, which are used to get people to safety and security and to haul equipment around. We are missing a number of our well-trained National Guard personnel. The equipment that we continue to harp on that has been sent overseas when our troops are deployed and not restored at the same level could be enormously helpful.”
So how’s that Homeland Security thingy working out?
She had raised her daughter for six years following the divorce, handled the shuttling to soccer practice and cheerleading, made sure schoolwork was done. Hardly a day went by when the two weren’t together. Then Lt. Eva Crouch was mobilized with the Kentucky National Guard, and Sara went to stay with Dad.
A year and a half later, her assignment up, Crouch pulled into her driveway with one thing in mind — bringing home the little girl who shared her smile and blue eyes. She dialed her ex and said she’d be there the next day to pick Sara up, but his response sent her reeling.
“Not without a court order you won’t.”
Within a month, a judge would decide that Sara should stay with her dad. It was, he said, in “the best interests of the child.”
What happened? Crouch was the legal residential caretaker; this was only supposed to be temporary. What had changed? She wasn’t a drug addict, or an alcoholic, or an abusive mother.
Her only misstep, it seems, was answering the call to serve her country.
The Japanese launched some 9000 balloon bombs against the US during the war. The bombs were meant to start forest fires and cause explosions, hopefully causing chaos and confusion in the US west. They were a reprisal for the Doolittle raid on Tokyo, sort of an “if you bomb our country we’ll bomb yours” type of thing.
Out of some 9000 launched only about 1,000 actually made it to the US and Canada, and of those there was one case of six people being killed by the bomb carried by the balloon. For a weapon, that’s a pathetic rate of success. The forest fires they hoped to start never appeared, largely because the bombs were being designed or in hiatus during the dry season in the US. If lots of fires had started then lots of people would have been needed to fight them, perhaps reducing the war effort, or at least that’s what the Japanese hoped.
The propaganda value was nil since the US media pretty much covered up the story of the bombs till very late in the war, which served as a major discouragement to the Japanese who were launching them.
Let us pray.
Let us pray that, on next year’s National Day of Prayer, there is better attendance at the “Bible Reading Marathon” on the West Front of the Capitol.
Organizers put out 600 folding chairs on the lawn — the spot where presidents are inaugurated — and set up a huge stage with powerful amplifiers. But at 9:30 a.m. yesterday, not one of the 600 seats was occupied. By 11 a.m., as a woman read a passage from Revelations, attendance had grown — to four people. Finally, at 1 p.m., 37 of the 600 seats were occupied, though many of those people were tourists eating lunch.
Where was everybody?
“This isn’t that kind of event,” explained Jeff Gannon, spokesman for the host, the International Bible Reading Association. Gannon, actually a pseudonym for James Guckert, had earned fame in 2005 representing a conservative Web site at White House briefings until it was revealed that he posted nude pictures of himself on the Web to offer his services as a $200-an-hour gay escort.
Let us pray for the power to understand how Gannon made his way from HotMilitaryStud.com to the International Bible Reading Association.
Anonymity is a fine thing. Many an evening I have rafted down the Internets Tubes, safe and secure in my anonymity: unafraid to speak up and unafraid of consequences. Toes have been stomped. Feathers ruffled (my tactfulness is not legendary). Well, mea culpa.
Today I risk nakedness, my fig leaf Googleable.
In testimony Thursday, James Comey, former #2 at the Department of Justice under Ashcroft, testified to the House Judiciary Committee (actually brought up first by Rep. Mel Watt (D-NC), while Watt was questioning him) that John McKay, one of the fired USA’s, got in hot water in 2005 for agitating with the bigwigs in DC for more resources in hunting the assassin of Tom Wales, an assistant DA in Seattle killed on October 11, 2001.
Tom was shot a half-dozen times in the neck and head with hollow-point bullets (aka “cop killers””) as he sat at his home computer, answering an email. Sitting as we do, now. He prosecuted white-collar crime in Washington State, and was also a visible and dedicated gun-control advocate. I watched him debate Wayne LaPierre once, on Good Morning America, and thought Tom ate Wayne’s lunch. He headed Washington Cease Fire until murdered with a handgun.
His slaying has never been solved.
The FBI has a team, permanently investigating…they’re on record as saying they know the killer. They released a letter to the press, purportedly from the suspect, and asked the public’s help in identifying him. The FBI has, they say, ruined the suspect’s life, and hassled many a gun owner.
Now I learn through these Internets Tubes that John McKay may have been fired for paying too much attention to the assassination of his fellow federal prosecutor, instead of filing bogus voter-fraud suits.
It appears the DOJ (who sent no reps to Tom’s memorial service, btw, even though he was the first active Federal DA to be murdered, and this just one month after 9/11) was directed to minimize the hunt for Tom’s killer because it would harm the Republican Party’s NRA base, and inflame gun-control advocates.
I don’t speak for the Wales family. Several of them still lose sleep when the case re-makes the news, fearful for the safety of Tom’s children, now grown. And I see their point, though the children are as brave as he.
But if the DOJ is now in the business of ignoring the murders of dedicated prosecutors who spent a career contributing to the community and standing up for the powerless to better win the next election, then it’s time to clean house. If I had been murdered, instead, and my case swept under the rug, Tom would have charged in like an angry wolf.
I married his sister, you see.
And so I ask you, gentle reader, to call or write your Congresspersons, especially if they sit on the Judiciary Committees; demand they ask each DOJ employee, parading through in this shameful affair, what they know or knew of reasons for McKay’s firing.
If this White House is willing to murder Justice for power, we should replace them. Now.
So now might be a good time to review a few of the basic legal issues raised by the posting of the keys. (This is an overview of the legal landscape, not legal advice, and I am not expressing any view about how a case might come out if AACS-LA sued anyone.)
What is the AACS-LA’s argument? In its takedown letters, the AACS-LA claims that hosting the key violates the DMCA’s ban on trafficking in circumvention devices. The DMCA provides that:
No person shall … offer to the public, provide, or otherwise traffic in any technology, product, service, device, component, or part thereof that
(A) is primarily designed or produced for the purpose of circumventing a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title;
(B) has only limited commercially significant purpose or use other than to circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title; or
(C) is marketed by that person or another acting in concert with that person with that person’s knowledge for use in circumventing a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title.
The AACS-LA presumably would argue that the key is a “component” or “part” of a “technology” that circumvents AACS. Moreover, AACS-LA would likely argue that the key was “primarily … produced” to circumvent AACS, that is has no other commercially significant purpose, and that it is being “marketed” for use in a circumvention technology. The takedown letters seem to take the position that both the poster and the hosting provider are engaged in “trafficking.”
In other words, no need to provide a copy of any movie or other content, no need to provide software that copies movies or other content, no need to describe an algorithm that could be used in software that copies movies or any other content. No need to break any other law, be it an intellectual property law or whatever.
Just the number. No more, no less. A number that you can’t even use to view, let alone copy, any content without creating a whole shitload of other things first.
Beforehe was extradited to the United States, Hew Griffiths, from Berkeley Vale in NSW, had never even set foot in America. But he had pirated software produced by American companies.
Now, having been given up to the US by former justice minister Chris Ellison, Griffiths, 44, is in a Virginia cell, facing up to 10 years in an American prison after a guilty plea late last month.
Griffiths’ case — involving one of the first extraditions for intellectual property crime — has been a triumph for US authorities, demonstrating their ability to enforce US laws protecting US companies against Australians in Australia, with the co-operation of the Australian Government.
“Our agents and prosecutors are working tirelessly to nab intellectual property thieves, even where their crimes transcend international borders,” US Attorney Chuck Rosenberg said.
In some corners of the Australian legal community, however, there is concern about Griffiths’ case. In a recent article for the Australian Law Journal, NSW Chief Judge in Equity, Peter Young, wrote: “International copyright violations are a great problem. However, there is also the consideration that a country must protect its nationals from being removed from their homeland to a foreign country merely because the commercial interests of that foreign country are claimed to have been affected by the person’s behaviour in Australia and the foreign country can exercise influence over Australia.”
If you’ve ever watched a pornographic image, be prepared to be extradited to a country with Sharia law and caned. If you’ve ever dropped a tissue on the floor in a MacDonalds restaurant in your home town, be prepared to be sued for littering in Illinois.
What the fuck happened to Australian IP laws? What the fuck happened to jurisdiction?
Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.
Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784)