Saturday, March 11, 2006

Emails and Updates

Heads up from emailers, alerting me to tomorrow's New York Times Sunday Arts & Leisure feature on Alan Moore and his upset over the upcoming V for Vendetta movie, which actually looks like the best of the adaptations of all Alan's works to the big screen. From London, my UK friend Kim Newman noted it was indeed the most faithful (Kim having already seen it), but that's neither here nor there in the realm of what it is Alan's carping about.

This just in, compliments of HomeyM: the latest evidence of the abuse of power the President's been so bully bragging about (his wiretapping of US citizens):

[PS: Thompson has run a number of stories embarrassing to the regime, based on information from Bush administration sources]
DOUG THOMPSON, CAPITOL HILL BLUE - In recent weeks, the FBI has issued hundreds of "National Security Letters," directing employers, banks, credit card companies, libraries and other entities to turn over records on reporters. Under the USA Patriot Act, those who must turn over the records are also prohibited from revealing they have done so to the subject of the federal probes.
"The significance of this cannot be overstated," says prominent New York litigator Glenn Greenwald. "In essence, while the President sits in the White House undisturbed after proudly announcing that he has been breaking the law and will continue to do so, his slavish political appointees at the Justice Department are using the mammoth law enforcement powers of the federal government to find and criminally prosecute those who brought this illegal conduct to light.
"This flamboyant use of the forces of criminal prosecution to threaten whistle-blowers and intimidate journalists are nothing more than the naked tactics of street thugs and authoritarian juntas."
Just how widespread, and uncontrolled, this latest government assault has become hit close to home last week when one of the FBI's National Security Letters arrived at the company that hosts the servers for this web site, Capitol Hill Blue.
The letter demanded traffic data, payment records and other information about the web site along with information on me, the publisher.
Now that's a problem. I own the company that hosts Capitol Hill Blue.

So, in effect, the feds want me to turn over information on myself and not tell myself that I'm doing it. You'd think they'd know better.
I turned the letter over to my lawyer and told him to send the
following message to the feds:
"Fuck you. Strong letter to follow."

Well, this is something we'd seen coming, in't it? Is Bush
  • the New Nixon -- or Worse?
  • The abuse of power has been characteristic of this President and Administration since before he was sworn into office. Why should anything change -- except for the worse?

    And in case you're one of the millions of Americans fighting rational-enough depression over the ongoing state of affairs in our country, here's some more bad news:

    Business More Important Than Health at the FDA

    Despite a unanimous recommendation by FDA scientific staff not to approve an implanted device used to treat depression, Dr. Daniel G. Schultz, director of the Center for Devices and Radiological Health at the agency, kept its application moving up the ladder and eventually decided to approve it.... The device in question is a surgically implanted vagus nerve stimulator produced by Cyberonics Inc. In its one and only clinical trial, it had no apparent effect on depression. This caused FDA scientists to repeatedly recommend rejecting it.... Susan Bro, an FDA spokeswoman, claimed that the device had been approved because of the seriousness of persistent depression. Cyberonics argues that the device is the only "safe and effective" option for chronic, treatment-resistant depression. The vagus nerve stimulator is surgically implanted in the upper chest, and stimulates a nerve leading to the brain. Side effects can include:

         *     Voice alteration
         *     Shortness of breath
         *     Neck pain
         *     Difficulty swallowing
         *     Heart problems
         *     Vocal cord paralysis
         *     Death

    ...Internal correspondence within the FDA show that reviewers were bewildered by Dr. Schultz's continuing support for the device after the complete failure of its clinical trial.

    Not depressed enough yet? More info on this recent story awaits you over at
  • The Spartanburg Herald-Journal for February 17, 2006.

    Blogger RAB said...

    I wrote a blog post of my own here with an ad-free link to the Times article, as well as some babbling about Alan Moore of my own. I also linked here in the post, so that readers confused by my babbling might at least get some entertaining reading out of the deal...


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