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When Sarah Palin booked a flight to Europe, the French immediately surrendered.

calendar   Friday - September 30, 2005

Blog Upgrade Complete (v.1.3.1 to 1.3.2)

I have had the blog down for the last thirty minutes to upload, update and configure an upgrade to the Expression Engine software. All systems are back to normal operation now. If you encounter any problems, follow the usual procedure to report or complain. Try to use English words and refrain from profanity or I’ll have ye keelhauled. Complete list of changes, bug fixes and new features (bugs) are in the Forum Bulletin.

I have also added a Help Page that explains the “My Account” page where members can add or change avatars, photos, signatures, e-mail settings, etc. For reference, once you login you may access your personal member profile page by clicking on “Your Account” in the top right sidebar in the “Member Information” section right below Batty. The documentation to assist the computer illiterates among you is here.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 09/30/2005 at 04:24 PM   
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Why Ask Why?

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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 09/30/2005 at 02:43 PM   
Filed Under: • Philosophy •  
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Sad Story

To me, the really sad thing about this is the poor critter isn’t smart enough to know just how f**ked up he (or she) really is. Then again, maybe it’s better not to know. In a related story, Michael Moore was last seen ....

imageA woman holds a baby tortoise with two heads in Havana September 27, 2005. The tortoise was found some days ago on a river bank at the city forest. According to scientists of the local aquarium who inspected the animal, it seems to be perfectly healthy. REUTERS/Claudia Daut


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 09/30/2005 at 01:03 PM   
Filed Under: • Odd-Strange •  
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Meet George Jetson

My best guess is Arnold Schwarzenegger has already ordered one of these babies. Better keep an eye on the skies above California. The Governator will be dive-bombing the Democrat-controlled California legislature any day now ....

imageimageGas Prices High? Try an Eco-friendly, $3.5 million Skycar
CHICAGO (Reuters)

If that Hummer is draining your cash at the gas pump, Neiman Marcus Group Inc. has the perfect holiday gift: A fuel-efficient, $3.5 million (2 million pound) “Skycar” that flies 350 miles per hour and burns environmentally friendly alcohol. The luxury retailer’s annual Christmas Book of gifts for the rich and richer shows no signs of scaling back in times of economic strain—although there are a few stocking stuffers such as a $15 paperweight for those on a tighter budget.

The M400 Skycar prototype is a vertical takeoff and landing aircraft that gets 21 miles per gallon and is designed to be “as safe, affordable and easy to use as an automobile. “A limited number of M400s is expected to be available within the next three years, but you can purchase the actual prototype for yourself or your favourite commuter now,” Neiman Marcus said in the catalogue. Delivery is not included. Buyers must clear regulatory requirements, including International Traffic in Arms Regulations and Federal Aviation Administration authorization.

For those who can’t get clearance, there is always the private Elton John concert. For $1.5 million, you and 500 close friends can enjoy an intimate piano concert while helping a good cause—the money goes to John’s AIDS foundation. Sports fans can opt for the $65,000 IndyCar race simulator. For an extra $10,000, they will throw in a “race hospitality package” for the famed Indianapolis 500, including pit access, four nights’ hotel and autographed merchandise. Act fast—only five hospitality packages are available.

There is also a jewellery collection for $1.2 million, and a “levitating sculpture” that uses an invisible magnetic wave to suspend an oval-shaped aluminium sculpture with no visible means of support. The sculpture comes in a 6-foot limited edition for $90,000, or a 16-inch version for just $18,000. For the environmentalist who can’t afford a Skycar, Neiman Marcus offers a special-edition 2007 Lexus GS 450h luxury hybrid sedan for $65,000. Only 75 will be made, with exclusive Crystalline Ice exterior paint.

Don’t procrastinate. The retailer said the limited-edition cars—as well as many other items featured in its Christmas catalogue—have sold out every year since 1995. Cars tend to sell quickly, often in the first 24 hours. The Christmas Book, first published in 1926, will be mailed to some 2 million households worldwide this week.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 09/30/2005 at 12:44 PM   
Filed Under: • Odd-Strange •  
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Most Ridiculous Item Of The Day (so far)

Here is is, in a nutshell: three nuts decided they wanted to shutdown a guinea pig farm so they went to a graveyard, dug up the body of the farm owner’s relative and told the owners they could have the body back when they closed down the farm. Hmmmm ... and you thought that we could only breed lunatics this mad on our side of the pond? Think again ....

imageimageThree Remanded in Body Theft Case
LONDON (BBC)

Three men accused of conspiring to blackmail the owners of a guinea pig breeding farm have been remanded in custody. Kerry Whitburn, John Ablewhite and John Smith appeared before Burton-on-Trent magistrates charged with conspiracy to blackmail the Hall family. Josephine Mayo is charged with the same offence and was given conditional bail.

The Halls are related to Gladys Hammond whose remains were taken from a church in Staffordshire last year. All four defendants will appear at Stafford Crown Court next Friday. Mr Whitburn, 36, of Summer Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, Mr Smith, 38, of Leicester Street, Wolverhampton, Mr Ablewhite, 35, of Hawley Street, Levenshulme, Manchester, and Ms Mayo, 37, of Cottage Close, Chasetown, Staffordshire, will appear at Stafford Crown Court next Friday.

The defendants are all charged with conspiracy to blackmail David Hall and Partners and others connected to Darley Oaks Farm, Newchurch, Staffordshire, between 1 September, 1999 and 27 September this year. They allegedly conspired together “with a view to cause loss to another” by making unwarranted demands for the closure of Darley Oaks Farm.

Police had detained the three men, aged 35, 36 and 38, in separate raids in Manchester, the Edgbaston area of Birmingham and Wolverhampton on Tuesday morning. The woman was arrested in Burntwood, Staffordshire, on the same day. She is due in court on 11 October. Another woman, 23, also from Wolverhampton, was arrested on suspicion of assaulting and obstructing police and bailed on Tuesday.

Mrs Hammond’s body was taken from her grave in St Peter’s churchyard in Yoxall on 6 or 7 October 2004, seven years after she was buried there. Her remains have still not been recovered. The Hall family, which owns Darley Oaks Farm in Newchurch, decided to start winding down their guinea pig breeding operation in August.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 09/30/2005 at 12:23 PM   
Filed Under: • CrimeOutrageous •  
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More Abu Ghraib Nonsense

Key quote below: “While no one wants to see what’s on the photos or videos, they will play an essential role in holding our government leaders accountable for the torture that’s happened on their watch”. As usual, the ACLU is more intent on destroying American government than they are on keeping terrorists from killing us all. All they need to do is keep on filing these lawsuits and finding sympathetic judges to go along with their agenda. Sure, release the pictures. Give the ragheads another reason to stay fired up and angry at us. Who cares as long as the ACLU can make the administration look bad for what a few mindless soldiers may or may not have done? That is the ACLU agenda. Go visit Jay at StopTheACLU.com for more information on this dangerous organization’s latest activities ....

Judge Orders Release of Abu Ghraib Photos
NEW YORK (AP)

Photographs showing U.S. soldiers tormenting Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison tarnished America’s reputation when they were released last year, with some critics of the U.S.-led occupation citing the scandal as vindication. On Thursday, a federal judge ordered the release of dozens more pictures of abuse from the infamous Baghdad prison—potentially opening the military up to more embarrassment from a scandal that already has stirred outrage around the world. U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein rejected government arguments that the images would provoke terrorists and incite violence against U.S. troops in Iraq.

He said terrorists “do not need pretexts for their barbarism” and that suppressing the pictures would amount to submitting to blackmail. “Our nation does not surrender to blackmail, and fear of blackmail is not a legally sufficient argument to prevent us from performing a statutory command. Indeed, the freedoms that we champion are as important to our success in Iraq and Afghanistan as the guns and missiles with which our troops are armed,” he said. The 74 photographs covered by ruling were taken by a soldier; three videotapes also were ordered released. A military policeman who saw the photos turned them over to the Army. Some may be duplicates of photos already seen by the public.

An appeal of Hellerstein’s ruling was expected, which could delay release of the pictures for months. Gen. John Abizaid, commander of U.S. Central Command, said releasing the photos would hinder his work against terrorism. “When we continue to pick at the wound and show the pictures over and over again it just creates the image—a false image—like this is the sort of stuff that is happening anew, and it’s not,” Abizaid said. The American Civil Liberties Union sought release of the photographs and videotapes as part of an October 2003 lawsuit demanding information on the treatment of detainees in U.S. custody and the transfer of prisoners to countries known to use torture. The ACLU contends that prisoner abuse is systemic.

“It’s a historic ruling, said ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero. “While no one wants to see what’s on the photos or videos, they will play an essential role in holding our government leaders accountable for the torture that’s happened on their watch.” Bridget F. Kelly, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan, said her office was reviewing the ruling and considering its options. Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had argued in court papers that releasing the photographs would aid al-Qaida recruitment, weaken the Afghan and Iraqi governments and incite riots against American troops.

But the judge said his task is not to “defer to our worst fears, but to interpret and apply the law, in this case, the Freedom of Information Act, which advances values important to our society, transparency and accountability in government.” The ACLU had sought the release of 87 photographs and four videotapes altogether. The judge viewed the pictures and videotapes and ordered some of them edited. Romero said those images apparently contained so many redactions that they would have been unintelligible. The judge said the pictures were important because they were the best evidence of what happened at the prison.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 09/30/2005 at 12:03 PM   
Filed Under: • Judges-Courts-LawyersMilitary •  
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Sand Castles

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John Trever, New Mexico, The Albuquerque Journal


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 09/30/2005 at 11:19 AM   
Filed Under: • Humor •  
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Light Reading

Definition 2.1 : A relation r is a table where each column is labeled and represents an attribute and each row represents a record. No two columns can have the same label, and no two rows can be identical (cf .[121]) . There are two relational operations of interest to us : projection and join.

Definition 2.2 : Let U be a set of attributes and let r be a relation over U.

(a) For any X c U, r(X), the projection of r on X, is a relation obtained by taking from each row of r those entries corresponding to the attributes of X an d identifying identical rows.

(b) For any family (X1,X2, . . .,Xk) of subsets of U such that X 1 uX2 u . . .uXk = U , the natural join of the projection of r onto the X 1 ‘s is r(X1)*r(X2)* . . .*r(Xk ) {uJ for each 1
Definition 2.3 : Let U be a finite set of attributes . A functional dependency (FD) f over U is an ordered pair (X,Y) of non-empty subsets of U . Following common notation, we shall write f : X Y and call X the left side of f, denoted L(f) , and Y the right side of f, denoted R(f).

Definition 2.4 : Let U be a set of attributes and let F be a set of FD's over U . The pair [U,F] is called a dependenc y system . A relation r is called a Valid relation over [U,F] if for every FD f : X + Y in F, no two rows of r with identical entries in the X-columns have differing entries in the Y-columns.

Definition 2.5 : Let F be a set of FD' s over U . For any X c U, we define CL F(X ) (or simply CL(X)), the closure of X unde r F, as follows [1,8]:

(1) X c CL(X)

(2) If Y c CL(X) and Y + Z is a FD in F then Z c CL(X).

(3) CL(X) is the least set (with respect to set inclusion) satisfying (1) and (2). A database scheme is a collection of sets of attributes used to define the relations in the database . A relation scheme is a set of attributes used to define a single relation. A decompositio n of a relation scheme R = A l A2 . . . An is its replacement by a database scheme T = {R1,R2, . . .,Rk} such that R1 uR2 u . . .uRk = R (cf .E16]).

Definition 2.6 : Let F be a set of FD' s over U and let T = {X1,X2, . . .,Xk} be a collection of subsets of U.

(a) T is said to be a lossless-join decomposition of U under F if for every valid relation r over [U,F]: r = r(X1)*r(X2)'* . . .*r(Xk) that is, r is the natural join of its projections onto X i's.

(b) For each 1si<_k, let F i be a set of FD's over Xi such that CLF (Z) = CLF (Z)nXi for every Z c Xi. T is said to be a dependency-preserving decomposition of U if for every Y c U, we have CLF (Y) = CLG (Y), where G = F 1 uF 2 u . . .uFk.

We note the following result of Aho, Beer and Ullman ([1], Corollary 1).

Remark 2.7 : {X,Y} is a lossless-join decomposition of XuY if and only if either Y c CL(XnY) or X c CL(XnY).

The next definition will formalize the concepts of key and Boyce-Codd Normal Form (BCNF) .

Definition 2.8 : Let F be a set of FD' s over U and let W c U.

(a) A subset X of W is said to be a key of W under F if W c CL(X) . Otherwise, it is a nonkey of W under F.

(b) W is said to be in BCNF if whenever A E CL (X) -X for A E W, X c W, then X is a key of W under F. (In other words, the only nontrivial dependencies in W are those in which a key functionally determines one or more attributes [16] .)

From: DECOMPOSITION OF A RELATION SCHEME INTO BOYCE-CODD NORMAL FORM by Don-Min Tsou, Patrick C . Fischer


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 09/30/2005 at 03:19 AM   
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Yo’ Momma’s Combat Boots

In a time-honored tradition, dating back thousands of years, the Greek army did what armies always do when they’re not fighting. My favorite quote from the story below: “the woman went happily through the ranks from lowly privates to the officers in charge”. Now that’s a real trooper! OOH-RAH!

Cypriot Soldiers Disciplined for Sex Party on Green Line
NICOSIA (AFP)

Greek Cypriot soldiers involved in a wild sex party at a guard post on the divided Mediterranean islands Green Line were banished to remote corners of the country as punishment. Politics daily said up to 10 army recruits were involved in an all-night romp in the Nicosia sector of the no-man’s land with a mother-of-three who had them queuing up for more.

“The soldiers formed an orderly line outside the room waiting to have sex one-by-one. At one point two soldiers came along to serve food, even they didnt leave unsatisfied,” it said.

Although the woman happily went through the ranks, from lowly privates to the officer in charge, military top brass frowned on her escapades.

The troops were undone when one of the participants decided to capture the moment with his mobile phone and forwarded the video images to fellow recruits. Army chiefs got wind of what was going on and an internal inquiry was launched.

Those involved were disciplined and had time added on to their length of service, which is 24 months for conscripts, Politis said. The Greek Cypriot national guard declined to comment on the report.

Cyprus has been divided into Greek- and Turkish-Cypriot sectors since 1974, when Turkish troops seized its northern third in response to an Athens-engineered Greek Cypriot coup aimed at uniting the island with Greece.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 09/30/2005 at 01:51 AM   
Filed Under: • HumorWar-Stories •  
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Bat Plague?

Commie Chinese bats? Plague virus? What’s next .... Moonbats carrying deadly brain-rot disease? Sorry, too late. We have already verified that story to be true. Dan Rather, Howard Dean and Michael Moore confirmed carriers. Film at 11:00 ....

imageimageMore Evidence Links SARS to Bats
WASHINGTON (Reuters)

Many species of bats found across China are infected with viruses similar to the SARS virus, an international team of researchers reported on Thursday. Zhengli Shi of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing and colleagues sampled more than 400 bats of various species across China and found up to 70 percent of some species showed evidence of infection with SARS-like viruses.

This would support the idea that bats are the reservoir—the natural host—of the virus. Animals that act as reservoirs carry and spread a virus without themselves becoming ill. Severe acute respiratory syndrome or SARS first emerged in China in 2002 and in 2003 spread around the world via jet, killing more than 700 people and infecting about 8,000. Strict quarantines and other measures stopped its spread.

It is caused by a new virus called SARS coronavirus. Coronaviruses are common in people and animals and usually cause nothing more serious than a cold. Animals such as palm civets were found to be infected but study showed they were not the true reservoir of the SARS virus. Earlier this month a team of Hong Kong researchers reported that bats found in Hong Kong carried a virus very similar to the SARS virus.

They said the horseshoe bats, used both as food and in Chinese medicine, should be handled with great care. Shi, Wendong Li and colleagues studied other bats found in four different parts of China. They found that anywhere between 28 percent and 71 percent of the bats, depending on the species and location, had evidence of infection with a SARS-like coronavirus. Theirs was different from the virus found by the Hong Kong researchers, they said.

“A plausible mechanism for emergence from a natural bat reservoir can be readily envisaged,” they wrote in their report, published in the journal Science. They said an infected bat could have been kept in a cage next to a civet in a market with the civet becoming infected and passing the virus to humans. Bats are hosts of several other new viruses, including Hendra and Nipah viruses, and rarely become ill.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 09/30/2005 at 01:25 AM   
Filed Under: • Health-Medicine •  
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calendar   Thursday - September 29, 2005

Ménage à Trois

imageimageFirst Trio “Married” in The Netherlands
(brusselsjournal)

The Netherlands and Belgium were the first countries to give full marriage rights to homosexuals. In the United States some politicians propose “civil unions” that give homosexual couples the full benefits and responsibilities of marriage. These civil unions differ from marriage only in name.

Meanwhile in the Netherlands polygamy has been legalised in all but name. Last Friday the first civil union of three partners was registered. Victor de Bruijn (46) from Roosendaal “married” both Bianca (31) and Mirjam (35) in a ceremony before a notary who duly registered their civil union.

“I love both Bianca and Mirjam, so I am marrying them both,” Victor said. He had previously been married to Bianca. Two and a half years ago they met Mirjam Geven through an internet chatbox. Eight weeks later Mirjam deserted her husband and came to live with Victor and Bianca. After Mirjam’s divorce the threesome decided to marry.

Victor: “A marriage between three persons is not possible in the Netherlands, but a civil union is. We went to the notary in our marriage costume and exchanged rings. We consider this to be just an ordinary marriage.”

Asked by journalists to tell the secret of their peculiar relationship, Victor explained that there is no jealousy between them. “But this is because Mirjam and Bianca are bisexual. I think that with two heterosexual women it would be more difficult.” Victor stressed, however, that he is “a one hundred per cent heterosexual” and that a fourth person will not be allowed into the “marriage.” They want to take their marriage obligations seriously: “to be honest and open with each other and not philander.”

Victor looks pretty satisfied with himself.  Wait until they both want to do something.....different....and he has to choose.  LOL


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/29/2005 at 07:26 PM   
Filed Under: • Love-Marriage •  
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A Psycho, An Ambulance and a Deer

Police Find Missing Fla. Man Driving Dead Deer In Ambulance
Local6

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—A man reported missing from a Florida hospital was found in North Carolina dressed like a doctor and driving a stolen ambulance with a dead deer wedged in the back, authorities said.

Leon Holliman Jr., 37, was reported missing from a River Region Human Services facility in Jacksonville last month.

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol found him driving the ambulance with the deer on Sunday.

“I don’t know how the man got it up in there,” said Sgt. Robert Pearson. “It was a six point buck.”

It wasn’t known where Holliman got the deer, which had been dead for some time, Pearson said.

Authorities tracked the stolen ambulance through three rural North Carolina counties and one county in southern Virginia before its tires were punctured and it wound up in a ditch, Pearson said.

Holliman was admitted to a North Carolina hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. Police said they would decide whether to charge Holliman after that evaluation is complete.

I’m not sure what I could add to this story, except . crazy 


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/29/2005 at 06:55 PM   
Filed Under: • Odd-Strange •  
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Oink & OCM

Memo To OldCatman: I like your idea. Go ahead and light the fuse ....


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Oink’s Revenge


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 09/29/2005 at 04:39 PM   
Filed Under: • Humor •  
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Confirmed

Now the real war begins in the Senate. You can expect Dummycraps to pitch a hissy-fit no matter who Bush nominates to replace Sandra Day O’Connor. I predict the next nominee will be grilled mercilessly and the hearings will drag out for months. The final result: Dummycraps will filibuster and Republicans will be forced to use the “nuclear option” to over-ride them. I also predict that Howard Dean will make an ass out of himself, George Soros and MoveOn.org will spend billions and John Kerry will babble his usual useless bullshit to gain camera time for the news. Oh .... almost forgot .... I also predict the MSM and Hollywood will be making so much racket over the next few months that we’ll all be deaf by New Years.

imageimageSenate Confirms Roberts As Chief Justice
WASHINGTON (AP)

John Glover Roberts Jr. won confirmation as the 17th chief justice of the United States Thursday, overwhelmingly approved by the Senate as the jurist to lead the Supreme Court through turbulent social issues for generations to come. The Senate voted 78-22 to confirm Roberts - a 50-year-old U.S. Appeals judge from the Washington suburb of Chevy Chase, Md. - as the successor to the late William H. Rehnquist, who died earlier this month.

All of the Senate’s majority Republicans, and about half of the Democrats, voted for Roberts. Underscoring the rarity of a chief justice’s confirmation, senators answered the roll by standing one by one at their desks as their names were called, instead of voting and leaving the chamber. Roberts is the first new Supreme Court justice since 1994. Before becoming a federal judge, Roberts was one of the nation’s best appellate lawyers, arguing 39 cases - many in front of the same eight justices he will now lead as chief justice.

He won 25 of those cases. Roberts watched the Senate vote on television from the White House’s Roosevelt Room. He and his wife Jane, were to have lunch with President Bush and first lady Laura Bush, followed by a swearing-in ceremony with the president at the White House, so Roberts could take his seat in time for the new court session Monday. Justice John Paul Stevens was administering the oath. Under Roberts, justices will tackle issues like assisted suicide, campaign finance law and abortion this year, with questions about religion, same-sex marriage, the government’s war on terrorism and human cloning looming in the future.

“With the confirmation of John Roberts, the Supreme Court will embark upon a new era in its history, the Roberts era,” said Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., whose 55 GOP members unanimously voted for the multimillionaire judge. “And for many years to come, long after many of us have left public service, the Roberts court will be deliberating on some of the most difficult and fundamental questions of U.S. law.”

Twenty-two Democrats opposed Roberts, saying he could turn out to be as conservative as justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, the Supreme Court anchors on the right. “At the end of the day, I have too many unanswered questions about the nominee to justify confirming him to this lifetime seat,” said Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada. Anti-abortion and abortion rights activists both have their hopes pinned on Roberts, a former government lawyer in the Reagan and first Bush administrations. While Roberts is solidly conservative and his wife, Jane, volunteers for Feminists for Life, both sides were eager to see how he will vote on abortion cases.

Roberts told senators during his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings that past Supreme Court rulings carry weight, including the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in 1973. He also said he agreed with the 1965 Supreme Court ruling in Griswold v. Connecticut that established the right of privacy in the sale and use of contraceptives. But he tempered that by saying Supreme Court justices can overturn rulings. During four days of sometimes testy questioning by Democrats, Roberts refused to hint how he would rule on cases.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 09/29/2005 at 03:30 PM   
Filed Under: • Judges-Courts-Lawyers •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.

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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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