Dan Goodman's journal - January 15th, 2007

January 15th, 2007

January 15th, 2007
01:38 pm


Escape to the Tropics
Sunday January 14, 2007. Presidents' Eve.

I went with Pat Craft to the Como Conservatory, which has a new tropical room -- one way to escape winter weather. It's a recreation of part of a South American jungle. Besides plants, there are animals and insects behind glass. Since the insects included scorpions and some of the snakes were large and carnivorous, I wasn't bothered by this lack of realism.

We also went through other parts of the Conservatory. We did not go outside to the Como Zoo.

As usual when I'm around that many plants, I got an urge to garden. Also as usual, it wore off fairly quickly

***Spam in German, Spanish, and Japanese.

***The novel_in_90 LiveJournal community has 172 members; the rate of increase has definitely slowed.
Writing: A Choice of Ruins -- 152 words, 6,569 total on this draft, Day Nine. novel_in_90 goal: 750 words average per day, 67,500 by April 5th. I'm now slightly behind. Other goal: Finish this year.

Self-help information:

Current Location: Minneapolis, Alta Iowa

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08:57 pm


From the Volokh Conspiracy:

[David Kopel, January 14, 2007 at 8:31pm] 0 Trackbacks / Possibly More Trackbacks
Knife Rights:

That's the name of America's new citizen organization [http://www.kniferights.org/] dedicated to protecting the responsible ownership of knives and edged tools. When you consider how extreme the anti-knife laws have gotten in the United Kingdom, and in some other nations (and in some U.S. jurisdictions), the need for this group is clear. Although knife manufacturers and businesses already have their own trade groups, Knife Rights is the first consumer group. The group began formation last summer, spurred by the publication of a Wall Street Journal news article bemoaning the allegedly lax state of knife control.
From bna.com's newsletter:

The head of the UN telecommunications agency said Friday that the UN would not try to take the lead in determining the future of the Internet and would be just one of many organizations involved in shaping the Internet's development. Control over key rules that govern how computers communicate has been a major point of contention between governments, with some developing countries demanding complete independence of ICANN from the U.S. government, perhaps with the UN-affiliated body taking control.

FBI officials are warning users of a new phishing scam that plays off a recent round of bogus extortion threats. The initial e-mails phishing for personal information were sent around last month, purportedly from a would-be hit man demanding users pay an extortion fee of thousands of dollars, or face death. The phishing scam making the rounds now involves an e-mail designed to dupe recipients into believing it was sent from the FBI in London. The e-mail again asks for personal information, noting a person was recently arrested for related murders of several U.S. and UK residents.
From the Christian Science Monitor:

How US is deferring war costs
As war spending on Iraq and Afghanistan nears the levels for Vietnam and Korea, concern is rising over the 'borrow now, pay later' approach. By Ron Scherer

Israel buzzes over notion of attacking Iran
The country promises intensified diplomatic actions if Iran fails to comply with a UN resolution on its nuclear activities. By Ilene Prusher

Congress moves to cut college loan costs
Democrats vote Wednesday on whether to halve interest rates, but with little benefit to students, experts say. By Amanda Paulson

France's arbiters of high art anoint Walt Disney's 'genius'
Europeans have flocked to an exhibit celebrating the animator, who drew heavily from European artists and settings. By Robert Marquand

In Spain, bitter rift over fighting terror
For the first time since the 1970s, a major political party decided not to join in an anti-ETA march. By Geoff Pingree and Lisa Abend

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11:33 pm


Warning: political cooties
Quote of the Day
"Any troop increase over here will just produce more sitting ducks, more targets."

-- Sergeant Ronn Cantu, quoted by the Wall Street Journal, on a petition signed by 50 military officers and more than 1,000 troops serving in Iraq calling for an end to the American occupation.

January 15, 2007, 1:30 pm
Grumbling in the Ranks

Vocal opposition to President’s Bush’s strategy of sending more than 20,000 additional troops to help secure Iraq has grown to include some of the troops themselves.

A group of more than 50 active-duty military officers will deliver a petition to Congress on Tuesday signed by about 1,000 troops calling for an end to the U.S. occupation of Iraq. “Any troop increase over here will just produce more sitting ducks, more targets,” said Sergeant Ronn Cantu, who is serving in Iraq.

Under the 1988 Military Whistleblower Protection Act, active duty military, National Guard, and Reservists may communicate with any member of Congress without fear of reprisal, even if copies of the communication are sent to others.

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