WICKSOL: When was the last time you pumped your own gas and how much did it cost?
MCCAIN: Oh, I don’t remember. Now there’s Secret Service protection. But I’ve done it for many, many years. I don’t recall and frankly, I don’t see how it matters.
I’ve had hundreds and hundreds of town hall meetings, many as short a time ago as yesterday. I communicate with the people and they communicate with me very effectively.
McCain’s cluelessness about gas prices is compounded by the fact that he is clueless about what to do about it.
he Public Prosecutor’s Office (OM) appears to have launched an initiative against comments on Internet sites that are critical of the multicultural society. The OM is among other things focusing on the popular website GeenStijl.nl.
GeenStijl received a written request this week to report to a police station in Amsterdam, without further information on what it was about. GeenStijl’s editors reported they were told that 14 comments on its website were punishable offences. These were contributions from visitors to the site in 2006.
GeenStijl is astonished at the move. It says it is actually very active in removing unacceptable comments. GeenStijl has three staff members for this. The site says its archives contain 11 million comments. If 14 reactions are inadmissible, this is a margin of error of 0.00001 percent, according to the site.
GeenStijl is challenging the OM to prosecute it. The site writes: “You bunch of amateurs, go and be deeply ashamed and then go and catch real crooks, instead of creating a climate in which webloggers and cartoonists are declared outlaws. As far as we are concerned, bring this case before the judge, be sure that you will lose it.”
Those of you that watch The Colbert Report are aware of the John McCain Green Screen Challenge. McCain gave a speech that even Fox commentators felt boring, so Stephen Colbert kindly offered his help. Senator McCain was good enough to have his speech in front of a green backdrop, making it perfect to spice up using chroma key. The show has made available the raw materials for download, so if you’re handy with video editing, you can replace the green screen behind McCain with something more exciting (links below). Here are some of the better ones.
Fifty artists who recorded Prince covers in honor of His Purpleness’ 50th birthday June 7 have been slapped with a lawsuit by the short-tempered star. His lawyers now demand that all copies of the tribute be destroyed. Shockadelica had reached No. 8 on Norway’s album charts and received several popular reviews by the Norwegian press.
It’s perfectly legal to record and sell cover songs of someone else’s material, so long as you pay the compulsory licensing fee of about 10 cents per song. To sell their five-disc set of 81 Prince cover songs, they would have to remit around $8 per unit sold to Prince, under a compulsory mechanical license.
Norway’s C C Records distributed 5,000 of the box sets starting earlier this month, plus digital versions, and claim that no one made any money from the project. As a result, they didn’t think they owed Prince anything except maybe a free copy.
C C Records owner and Prince fan Christer Falck contacted the Purple One’s people to try to send one to Prince, and that’s when the trouble began, according to the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet (re-reported in Daily Swarm), one of many publications to post positive reviews of the collection.
For now, all 81 songs can be previewed free on C C Records’ website, and some are also available on MySpace in streamable medley form.
When this giveaway first began, there were 5,000 copies of the compilation in circulation. Thanks to Prince’s lawsuit and the publicity it will generate, we expect that number to balloon significantly in the coming weeks.
The United States and the European Union are nearing completion of an agreement allowing law enforcement and security agencies to obtain private information — like credit card transactions, travel histories and Internet browsing habits — about people on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.
The potential agreement, as outlined in an internal report obtained by The New York Times, would represent a diplomatic breakthrough for American counterterrorism officials, who have clashed with the European Union over demands for personal data. Europe generally has more stringent laws restricting how governments and businesses can collect and transfer such information.
Negotiators, who have been meeting since February 2007, have largely agreed on draft language for 12 major issues central to a “binding international agreement,” the report said. The pact would make clear that it is lawful for European governments and companies to transfer personal information to the United States, and vice versa.
But the two sides are still at odds on several other matters, including whether European citizens should be able to sue the United States government over its handling of their personal data, the report said.
So now the US can engage in industrial espionage without having to worry about being sued for it, and my own government gives away data to be sold to the highest bidder and doesn’t get anything in return for it.
When can we start executing politicians for this immense disservice to the people who voted for them?
For example, the two sides have agreed that information that reveals race, religion, political opinion, health or “sexual life” may not be used by a government “unless domestic law provides appropriate safeguards.” But the accord does not spell out what would be considered an appropriate safeguard, suggesting that each government may decide for itself whether it is complying with the rule.
In other words, they can do whatever the fuck they want with the data. And they know it, or they wouldn’t keep it a secret like this:
The Bush administration and the European Commission have not publicized their talks, but they referred to their progress in a little-noticed paragraph deep in a joint statement after a summit meeting between President Bush and European leaders in Slovenia this month.