BMEWS
 
Death once had a near-Sarah Palin experience.

calendar   Friday - December 01, 2006

I Spy

Quick, examine the picture below. Have you ever seen this screen? You probably haven’t but your boss or network administrator probably has - or they’ve seen screens similar to this. This is a screenshot from a program called eBlaster from SpectorSoft.

What is it? It is spying software that is used to keep track of what employees are doing with their computers while they’re at work. Up until now, companies have been installing tools like this to spy on you at the office. They have been doing it voluntarily to ”keep track of how our employees use our network bandwidth and our computer equipment”, as they tell it. If you think your company isn’t spying on you, you have to be incredibly stupid ... and will probably be out of work soon.

Now this spying is no longer voluntary. The Department Of Justice and the Supreme Court have decided that your employer must be able to produce records of e-mails and internet chat sessions ... or else they’re in deep legal trouble. Privacy? You never had any at work. Now the law says you can never have any privacy at work.

Does this make you happy? It bothers me greatly because I may need to have a private e-mail conversation with a family member in an emergency or I may need to check my bank balance. I don’t want that information available for viewing by the geeks in network administration.

I am always careful what I say in e-mails from the office and I never use chat sessions from work. That’s because I work in the IT departments and I see the recording going on as well as the backups of all server files that are saved until eternity. So do yourself a favor. Keep your freakin’ e-mail mouth shut. You never know where those words will turn up again ...

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Companies Must Store Employee Emails
(ABC NEWS) - Dec. 01, 2006

imageimageU.S. companies will need to know more about where they store e-mails, instant messages and other electronic documents generated by their employees in the event they are sued, thanks to changes in federal rules that took effect Friday, legal experts say.

The changes, approved by the Supreme Court’s administrative arm in April after a five-year review, require companies and other parties involved in federal litigation to produce “electronically stored information” as part of discovery, the process by which both sides share evidence before a trial.

Federal and state courts have increasingly been requiring the production of such evidence in individual cases. The new rules clarify that the data will be required in federal cases.

Under the new rules, an information technology employee who routinely copies over a backup computer tape could be committing “virtual shredding” once a lawsuit has been filed, said Alvin F. Lindsay, a partner at Hogan & Hartson LLP and expert on technology and litigation.

Companies still could routinely purge their archives if the data aren’t relevant to cases companies have pending or expect to face, though specific sectors such as financial services remain governed by other data-retention rules.

The new rules make it more important for companies to know what electronic information they have and where, especially because of a provision that requires lawyers to provide information much earlier than before on where their clients’ data are stored and how accessible they are.

Large companies are likely to face higher costs from organizing their data in order to meet those deadlines, said James Wright, director of electronic discovery at Halliburton Co. Besides e-mail, he said, companies also will need to know about things more difficult to track, like digital photos of work sites on employee cell phones and information on removable memory cards.

There are hundreds of “e-discovery vendors” and these businesses raked in approximately $1.6 billion in 2006, Wright said. That figure could double in 2007, he added.

Lawyers will have to spend time reviewing electronic documents before turning them over, Lindsay said. Although electronic searches can help narrow the amount of data, some high-paid lawyers will still have to sift through casual e-mails about subjects like “office birthday parties in the pantry” to find the relevant information, he added.

But Martha Dawson, a partner at the Seattle-based law firm of Preston Gates & Ellis LLP who specializes in electronic discovery, said companies will not have to alter how they retain their electronic documents. Rather, she said, they will have to do an “inventory of their IT system” in order to know better where the documents are.

The new rules also provide better guidance on how electronic evidence is to be handled in federal litigation, including guidelines on how companies can seek exemptions from providing data that isn’t “reasonably accessible,” she said. This could actually reduce the burden of electronic discovery, she said.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 12/01/2006 at 06:58 PM   
Filed Under: • Homeland-SecurityJudges-Courts-LawyersScience-Technology •  
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More Fun From Ann Coulter

Our gal Ann thinks we need to start profiling Arabs - especially Muslim Imams who act like complete idiots. Not me. I think we should just shoot them on sight and be done with it. This has gone on long enough.

I say we throw every Muslim preacher out of the country and close down all of the mosques - until their home countries give us quid pro quo and allow Christian churches in their countries. After all, if they’re going to preach to us then maybe they should have to listen to us preach to them.

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Mike Lester - The Rome News-Tribune

Airport Security Should Be Profiling Arabs
-- by Ann Coulter

image imageThe six imams removed from a US Airways flight last week have apparently adopted my suggestion that if they really want to protest the airline, instead of boycotting US Airways, they should start flying it frequently.

The spokesman for the imams—or as I believe it’s phrased in their culture, “designated liar”—Omar Shahin, staged a protest at Reagan Washington National Airport on Monday, after which, according to the Associated Press, “he and other religious leaders boarded a US Airways flight to demonstrate their determination to continue praying and flying.”

The original six imams removed from the flight last week first attracted attention when they said prayers to Allah on traditional Muslim prayer rugs in the boarding area. After boarding, they changed seats, spreading themselves throughout the plane. They were also overheard spouting anti-American rhetoric. Witnesses said the six men appeared to be either Islamic fanatics or U.S. Army chaplains on leave from Guantanamo.

Following the lead of FEMA in keeping Americans safe, the Homeland Security Department’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties is investigating the removal of the imams from the US Airways flight. (Talk about coincidences—I’m currently investigating the removal of the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties from the Department of Homeland Security!)

Imam spokesman Shahin is a great example of why airport security ought to be profiling Arabs. Shahin’s predecessor at the Islamic Center in Tucson was Osama bin Laden’s financier and head of logistics—until he was arrested in Saudi Arabia in 2002.

Instead of aggressively distinguishing himself from his terrorist predecessor, judging by news reports, Shahin spent the five years after 9/11 denying that Muslims were behind the attacks and complaining of phony anti-Islamic “hate crimes”—as opposed to the pro-Islamic hate crimes he presumably endorses.

In 2003, for example, Shahin alleged that a woman in Arizona had thrown shoes at children at the mosque. This is the most transparent hoax I’ve heard since, “If I did it, here’s how I would have done it.” This is like the joke about a speaker at an American communist rally opening with: “Workers and peasants of Brooklyn!” Shahin has so little insight into this country, he can’t even invent a believable hate crime.

It’s Arabs who have a thing about shoes being a sign of disrespect, not Americans. When Iraqis toppled the statue of Saddam Hussein, the crowd immediately pelted it with shoes. Saddam installed a mosaic of the first president Bush’s face on the ground floor of his palace so that visitors would be forced to disrespect Bush by walking on his visage in their shoes.

Shahin himself couldn’t get away from this pan-Arabic shoe fetish, adding: “The incidents of Muslims being attacked kind of shocked me in my shoes.” Note to imams trying to fabricate hate crimes against Muslims: Americans don’t share your shoe neurosis.

At Reagan National this week, Rabbis joined the Muslims at the prayer protest—though one imagines they did not share this prayer from the Hadith: “And the Jews will hide behind the rock and tree, and the rock and tree will say: ‘O Muslim, O servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him!’” In fairness, they usually save that one for the high holidays, like the “Festival of the Six Dead Jews” or “Honor Killing Week.”

Nor this one, also from the Hadith: “The Prophet said: ‘The Hour will not take place until the Muslims fight the Jews, and the Muslims kill them. The Muslims will kill the Jews. Rejoice! Rejoice in Allah’s victory!’” (Is it just me, or might some fanatic twist those words into an excuse to kill Jews?)

Also strange was that the NAACP has piped in to complain about racial profiling of Muslims. The only reason Americans feel guilty about “racial profiling” against blacks is because of the history of discrimination against blacks in this country. What did we do to the Arabs? I believe Americans are the victims in that relationship. After the attacks of 9/11, profiling Muslims is more like profiling the Klan.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 12/01/2006 at 06:09 PM   
Filed Under: • RoPMA •  
Comments (4) Trackbacks(1)  Permalink •  

Wild Blue Yonder

Well, they don’t have F-16’s yet (and maybe they should never get them) but Iraq now has an Air Force again. Don’t laugh. It’s progress - even if it’s only a baby step. Then again, if we were smart we’d sell them some F-16’s, a few million tons of JDAM’s and Hellfires and sic them on Iran. If you can’t get the wogs to stop fighting then the best thing to do is get them to fighting each other instead of us.

New Iraqi Air Force Returns To Sky
-- By Tech. Sgt. Gene Lappe, 506th Air Expeditionary Group - Friday, 01 December 2006

KIRKUK REGIONAL AIR BASE — The new Iraqi Air Force has returned to the sky, performing a variety of missions throughout the country, thanks to training and support from Coalition advisers. At Kirkuk Regional Air Base, advisers help Iraqi military members of Squadron 3 train for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

“Our mission is to train, advise and assist the Iraqi Air Force unit at Kirkuk in the development and execution of all aspects of air power,” said Lt. Col. Greg Zehner, senior advisor for the Coalition Air Force Military Transition Team. “This includes flight operations, aircraft maintenance, base operations support activities and basic levels of professional military education.

“We also work to develop and enhance a professional military ethic for all Iraqi air force personnel, from the youngest enlisted airman to the senior officers,” he said. The mission of Squadron 3, one of six squadrons in the Iraqi Air Force, is to perform ISR of the strategic infrastructure in northern Iraq—flying over the oil pipelines, electrical power lines and other important facilities to monitor their condition and watch for insurgent activities.

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This is accomplished with the SAMA (Zenair) CH-2000 aircraft, a single-engine, two-passenger plane. The squadron conducts a mix of training and operational missions—training new members, getting them certified in the aircraft, and performing the reconnaissance mission with those pilots who are fully mission-capable.

The responsibility of training and advising the Iraqi military members falls to a seven-person team. Their areas of expertise are spread across several specialties including operations, intelligence, maintenance, communications and supply.

“Our first big obstacle was getting the aircraft,” said Maj. Jean Havens, director of operations. “Since they have arrived, we are moving forward with getting the Iraqis checked out on the aircraft.” Flight training had been on hold due to the grounding of the CompAir 7SL, the unit’s previous aircraft.

Havens, an instructor pilot deployed from Columbus Air Force Base, Miss., is responsible for advising her Iraqi counterparts on all aspects of the flying operations. She said she was excited about her assignment and the opportunity to be a part of helping the Iraqi air force become a self-sufficient organization.

“The dream of any instructor is to see progress of a student,” she said. “Serving as their instructor will probably be the highlight of my career.” Master Sgt. James Redmond, maintenance advisor, has the responsibility of instructing and advising the Iraqi airmen on how to keep their new aircraft flying.

“We show them what has to be done and how to use technical data and proper safety procedures,” he said. “Then they develop plans and techniques that will work for them.” He said his mission is to show the Iraqis how to make their air force better and to help them grow from lessons learned in the past.

“The Iraqis are eager to learn, and they take pride in their work,” Redmond said. “Once the maintenance is done, they will usually hang around and watch the launch of the aircraft they worked on.”

Zehner said the most satisfying part of his mission is two-fold: “Doing our part to help the Iraqis transition to a functioning democratic government at peace within its borders and with its neighbors; and the personal relationships we have gained and expect to further develop in our daily interaction with our Iraqi counterparts.”


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 12/01/2006 at 05:27 PM   
Filed Under: • Iraq •  
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Suddenly Snow

Is it true what they’re telling you on the news about a winter storm in the Midwest? HELL YES! Here in St. Louis we have about a foot of snow on the ground this morning and even worse it’s on top of a layer of frozen rain that came before the snow. Snow on top of ice. And it ain’t going nowhere soon. Temp outside is 28 degrees (-1 degrees with wind chill). Do any of you have an recipes for mixing hot chocolate with vodka? I ain’t going anywhere for a while ....

The Skipper’s ride is under there somewhere ...

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Here’s the view out my front door ....

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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 12/01/2006 at 03:37 PM   
Filed Under: • Climate-Weather •  
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Why We Fight

How can anyone (especially those of a Liberal persuasion) be so dead-set against killing animals for their fur, driving SUV’s that guzzle gas and so determined to save the caribou in the ANWR and fight for women’s rights in the workplace ... turn a blind eye and allow atrocities like this to happen on a daily basis? That has puzzled me for some time.

Here in America, the pampered, self-righteous Leftists are angry about EVERYTHING and are damn determinied to preach and press for equal rights and non-discrimination - yet they seem perfectly happy ignoring crap like this around the world.

How can a society call itself “civilized” if it allows a group in its midst to practice disembowelment and murder of individuals whose only crime was “teaching girls to read”? Where are the “human shields” who could be trying to put a stop to this kind of barbaric behavior? Do they only have time to protect mass murderers like Saddam Hussein from US troops?

Disembowelled, Then Torn Apart: The Price Of Daring To Teach Girls
Ghazni, Afghanistan (INDEPENDENT - UK) - 29 November 2006

imageimageThe gunmen came at night to drag Mohammed Halim away from his home, in front of his crying children and his wife begging for mercy.

The 46-year-old schoolteacher tried to reassure his family that he would return safely. But his life was over, he was part-disembowelled and then torn apart with his arms and legs tied to motorbikes, the remains put on display as a warning to others against defying Taliban orders to stop educating girls.

Mr Halim was one of four teachers killed in rapid succession by the Islamists at Ghazni, a strategic point on the routes from Kabul to the south and east which has become the scene of fierce clashes between the Taliban and US and Afghan forces.

The day we arrived, an Afghan policemen and eight insurgents died during an ambush in an outlying village. Rockets were found, primed to be fired into Ghazni City during a visit by the American ambassador a few days previously.

But, as in the rest of Afghanistan, it is the civilians who are bearing the brunt of this conflict. At the village of Qara Bagh, the family of Mr Halim are distraught and terrified. His cousin, Ahmed Gul, shook his head: “They killed him like an animal. No, no. We do not kill animals like that, it would be haram. They took away a father and a husband, they had no pity. We are all very worried. Please go now, you see those men standing over there? They are watching. It is dangerous for you, and for us.”

Fatima Mushtaq, the director of education at Ghazni, has had repeated death threats, the notorious “night letters”. Her gender, as well as her refusal to send girls home from school, has made her a particular source of hatred for Islamist zealots.

“I think they killed him that way to frighten us, otherwise why make a man suffer so much? Mohammed Halim and his family were good friends of ours and we are very, very upset by what has happened. He came to me when the threats first began and asked what he should do. I told him to move somewhere safe. I think he was trying to arrange that when they came and took him,” she said.

The threats against Ms Mushtaq also extend to her husband, Sayyid Abdul, and their eight children. “When the first letters arrived, I tried to hide them from my husband,” she said. “But then he found the next few. He said we must stand together. We talked, and we decided that we must tell the children. So that they can be prepared, but it is not a good way for them to grow up.”

Ms Mushtaq is familiar with the ways of the Taliban. During their rule she and her sister ran secret schools for girls at their home. The Taliban beat them for teaching the girls algebra.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 12/01/2006 at 06:54 AM   
Filed Under: • Middle-East •  
Comments (6) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

Buried Alive

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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 12/01/2006 at 06:43 AM   
Filed Under: • Humor •  
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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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