Monday, November 06, 2006


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Ray and Michael


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List


Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said she fears judges areunder growing political attack nationwide.

"I'm increasingly concerned about the current climate of challenge tojudicial independence," O'Connor told a gathering of state judges fromaround the country Friday. "Unhappiness with judges today is at a veryintense level."

The judiciary is the weakest of the three branches of government, she said,and therefore the one with "the greatest need to be defended."

The executive and legislative branches have become the attackers, so "theprincipal defenders are going to have to be the people of this country,"with lawyers taking the lead, she said.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Mon, Nov. 06, 2006

Change may be afoot in the South

Many political contests in the South, such as the U.S Senate racebetween black Democrat Harold Ford Jr. and Bob Corker, illustrate theregion's changing political face, which could mean a reversal of itsRepublican tide.


NASHVILLE - Standing on the edge of a dusty flatbed, Harold Ford Jr.delivers a speech of promise in a horse stable just outside the city. Here,in a rural patch 38 miles from downtown, Ford, a five-term Congressman, isdistinguished by his European-cut navy suit and cowboy boots, his polishedway, his celebrity appeal.

But the U.S. Senate candidate, a black Democrat who hopes to rewritehistory in a state that twice carried President Bush to the White House, hascharmed the crowd with his centrist talk. He's connected with thispolitically diverse audience who showed up for bowls of chili, country tunesand possibly change.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,3952157.story

Parties Work to Turn Out Voters

November 6, 2006, 4:24 AM EST

WASHINGTON -- A day before midterm elections, both parties are focused onturning out voters in the battle for control of Congress.

Republicans and Democrats have sent thousands of volunteers to states withthe most contested races to work phone banks and canvass neighborhoods. Bothparties also have assembled legal teams for possible challengers in case ofvoting problems.

Up for grabs are 435 House seats, 33 Senate seats, governorships in 36states, and thousands of state legislative and local races. In 37 states,voters also will determine the fate of ballot initiatives, including whetherto ban gay marriage, raise the minimum wage, endorse expanded embryonic stemcell research and -- in South Dakota -- impose the country's most stringentabortion restrictions.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., hoping to become the first female Housespeaker, stumped for Democratic challengers in the Northeast on Sunday.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,5680003.column?coll=sfla-business-front

Make sure your wireless network isn't open to everyone
Robyn A. Friedman
Real estate and technology

November 6, 2006

Vasco Bilbao never thought about securing his home wireless network.

He accessed the Internet via a cable from his laptop to a wireless router,and he thought his connection was secure since he wasn't using the network'swireless capability. Then his connection speed slowed to a crawl, and hislaptop settings started changing -- on their own.

"I'd go onto my laptop, and it would be like a different laptop," saidBilbao, who lives in Miami. "Even my icons were changed."

Bilbao got nervous because he did his banking online. So he called in theGeek Squad, a 24-hour computer support service launched in 1994 that becamea subsidiary of Minneapolis-based Best Buy Co. Inc. in 2000.

Bilbao learned that his wireless router created an open network -- a networkthat, without proper security, was being accessed by others. Ray Lopez, theWest Kendall-based Geek Squad agent who responded to Bilbao's call, did somesimple tweaks to the system. In about 30 minutes, he added encryption andchanged the SSID, the "name" of the wireless network that is broadcast toall wireless devices within range.


In Missouri, a Forecast for Voter Misery

By Amy Goldstein and Peter Slevin
Monday, November 6, 2006; A06

Move over, Florida. You, too, Ohio. The state most ripe for voting disputesin tomorrow's voting, according to election law experts across theideological spectrum, may well be Missouri.

"I feel a little like somebody in New Orleans the weekend before Katrinahit," said St. Louis attorney Mark "Thor" Hearne, who was the chief electionlawyer for the 2004 Bush-Cheney campaign and now is counsel to aconservative group working to prevent voting fraud.

"I really, really, really hope Missouri does not find itself in the crosshairs," he said. But teams of lawyers care ready.


The Washington Post

Trailing Badly, Republicans Take Long-Term Approach

Monday, November 6, 2006; A08

LANCASTER -- Each worshiper attending Sunday services at Fairfield ChristianChurch here received a flier from the Ohio Christian Alliance.

In a handy layout, it offered the positions of top Republican and Democraticcandidates on issues important to the vast congregation: the federalmarriage amendment, abortion, embryonic stem cell research, the words "underGod" in the Pledge of Allegiance and the public display of the TenCommandments.

Pastor Russell Johnson held up the flier and urged his flock southeast ofColumbus to stand firm. He acknowledged that the polls showed the state'stop Republican candidates -- including Sen. Mike DeWine and gubernatorialcontender J. Kenneth Blackwell, both social conservatives -- trailing badly48 hours before polls open.


The New York Times

November 6, 2006
New Telemarketing Ploy Steers Voters on Republican Path

An automated voice at the other end of the telephone line asks whether youbelieve that judges who "push homosexual marriage and create new rights likeabortion and sodomy" should be controlled. If your reply is "yes," the voicelets you know that the Democratic candidate in the Senate race in Montana,Jon Tester, is not your man.

In Maryland, a similar question-and-answer sequence suggests that only theRepublican Senate candidate would keep the words "under God" in the Pledgeof Allegiance. In Tennessee, another paints the Democrat as wanting to giveforeign terrorists "the same legal rights and privileges" as Americans.

Using a telemarketing tactic that is best known for steering consumers tobuy products, the organizers of the political telephone calls say they havereached hundreds of thousands of homes in five states over the last severalweeks in a push to win votes for Republicans. Democrats say the callspresent a distorted picture.


The New York Times

November 6, 2006
Guest Columnist

The Long, Cost-Free War

IN the operations center at United States Central Command in Tampa, Fla.,there is a wall of television screens, one end of the wall quartered so thatfour live feeds can be seen simultaneously. The signals originate somewhereover Iraq or Afghanistan. The cameras are aboard pilotless drones.

"Predators," some are called, and predators they are. They can be equippedwith Hellfire missiles that are remotely fired by operators in Nevada whoreceive their orders from Centcom in Florida. The enemy, meanwhile, doesmuch of its killing with improvised explosive devices, the mostsophisticated of which are designed in Iran.

Such is at least one face of modern warfare, in which combatants exchangemortal blows by remote control, once or even twice removed from thebattlefield. The victims are just as dead or mutilated as those in previouswars, but the notion of violence activated from hundreds or even thousandsof miles away is telling.


The New York Times

November 6, 2006
Op-Ed Columnist

Shouting Over the Din

We know that Al Gore got more votes than George W. Bush in the 2000presidential election, and that of the people who went to the polls inFlorida, more had intended to vote for Mr. Gore than for Mr. Bush. But Mr.Bush became president.

In 2004, Mr. Bush outpolled John Kerry by more than three million votesnationally. But widespread problems encountered by voters in Ohio,especially those who had intended to vote for Mr. Kerry, raised doubts aboutwho had really won the crucially important Buckeye State. If Mr. Kerry hadtaken Ohio, he would have won the White House with a minority of the popularvote, as Mr. Bush had done four years earlier.

These are not scenes from a flourishing democracy. If you're looking to puta positive spin on the current state of politics and government in the U.S.,you've got your work cut out for you.


The New York Times

November 6, 2006
Op-Ed Columnist

Limiting the Damage

President Bush isn't on the ballot tomorrow. But this election is,nonetheless, all about him. The question is whether voters will pry hisfingers loose from at least some of the levers of power, thereby limitingthe damage he can inflict in his two remaining years in office.

There are still some people urging Mr. Bush to change course. For example, ascathing editorial published today by The Military Times, which calls on Mr.Bush to fire Donald Rumsfeld, declares that "this is not about the midtermelections." But the editorial's authors surely know better than that. Mr.Bush won't fire Mr. Rumsfeld; he won't change strategy in Iraq; he won'tchange course at all, unless Congress forces him to.

At this point, nobody should have any illusions about Mr. Bush's character.To put it bluntly, he's an insecure bully who believes that owning up to amistake, any mistake, would undermine his manhood - and who therefore livesin a dream world in which all of his policies are succeeding and all of hisofficials are doing a heckuva job. Just last week he declared himself"pleased with the progress we're making" in Iraq.


The New York Times

November 6, 2006

College Sports Get a Warning

The National Collegiate Athletic Association's enthusiasm for fightingcorruption in college sports is partly driven by the fear of federalintervention. That fear came a step closer to being realized last month,when the House Ways and Means Committee fired off a tough-minded letterdemanding that the N.C.A.A. explain how profit-seeking, win-at-all-costathletic departments operate on campus.

The letter showed that Congress has noticed the recruiting violations andthe athletes who sometimes remain eligible to play without progressing or byattending bogus classes. It also implied that the N.C.A.A. might eventuallylose its tax exemptions unless it forces athletic departments to conformmore closely to an educational mission.


The New York Times

November 5, 2006

U.S. Democrats Appear on Smooth Campaign Ride
Filed at 10:33 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democrats, who have been known to bungle goldenpolitical opportunities, are holding their breath. With just days to gobefore voters could hand them control of the U.S. Congress, their ride hasbeen relatively smooth.

Instead of shooting themselves in the foot, they have sat back and watchedPresident George W. Bush's Republicans do the self destructing, dragged downby influence-peddling and sex scandals, the Iraq war and a slow responselast year to Hurricane Katrina.

Democrats, by comparison, have sustained few self-inflicted wounds andsuffered only a minor scrape last week with Sen. John Kerry's ``botchedjoke'' about Iraq.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News,1,4313867.story

Gathering will mark 10 years of legalized medical pot use
Despite setbacks, veterans of California's pioneering movement willcelebrate.
By Eric Bailey
Times Staff Writer

November 4, 2006

SACRAMENTO - With pomp and a bit of pot-inspired pageantry, thebattle-tested veterans of California's medical marijuana movement will cometogether this weekend to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Proposition 215,the milestone ballot measure that redefined cannabis as medicine.

Those planning to gather today at the Gay Community Center in San Franciscoinclude former cannabis club impresario and Proposition 215 author DennisPeron, celebrated medical marijuana physician Dr. Tod Mikuriya and formerSan Francisco Dist. Atty. Terence Hallinan.

On Nov. 5, 1996, 56% of the California electorate voted to approve theballot measure, igniting a national controversy and putting the statesquarely at odds with the federal government's blanket prohibition on pot.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Focus on the Family Stands By Group That Justifies Slavery

11/2/2006 9:36:00 AM

To: City Desk

Contact: Wayne Besen of Truth Wins Out, 917-691-5118,

ATLANTA, Nov. 2 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Truth Wins Out called on Focus on theFamily today to sever ties with Joseph Nicolosi, the keynote speaker of thisSaturday's Atlanta "ex-gay" Love Won Out conference, after it was discoveredthat the speaker's group, the National Association for Research and Therapyof Homosexuality (NARTH), had racist literature on its website thatjustified slavery.

"It is clear that NARTH's opinions on race are every bit as bizarre anddangerous as their discredited views on homosexuality," said TWO's executivedirector Wayne Besen. "It is disturbing that a politically influential grouplike Focus on the Family is standing by NARTH and is apparently at easepromoting this group and their extreme views. We call on Focus on the Familyto immediately sever ties with NARTH and apologize for giving this hategroup a platform."

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