Thoughts Gallery June 2003
June 1
Image of the Day
 Man Sues Over Car With Hidden Pot Stash
PASADENA, Calif. - A car purchased at a U.S. marshal's auction four years ago had a hidden surprise for its new owner: 119 pounds of marijuana hidden in the bumpers. The buyer, Jose Aguado Cervantes, didn't know about the hidden stash until he was stopped at the U.S.-Mexican border three months later. Cervantes, 67, spent three months in jail as a result.
      Cervantes is seeking damages for the government's error, alleging negligence, false imprisonment and false arrest. While an appeals court in Pasadena said Monday that he cannot recover damages for false arrest and imprisonment, his negligence claim against the federal government "is an entirely different matter." The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said the government's argument against Cervantes' negligence claim is "patently without merit" and "so off-the-mark as to be embarrassing."
      "Cervantes remained similarly unaware of the contraband until its discovery by U.S. customs agents as he tried to cross the U.S. border on Oct. 22, 1999," the appeals court said. "Although Cervantes denied knowledge of the marijuana and informed agents that he had purchased the vehicle at a U.S. marshal's auction, he was arrested and incarcerated." Government officials eventually dropped the charges, but not before Cervantes spent time in jail awaiting trial.
June 2
Image of the Day
Twisted tongue : Undated photo shows Lin Ya-ting, a 23-year-old woman resident in Taiwan's central Taichung county, displaying a rare ability of twisting her tongue into a flower shape. Lin reasoned that she might have developed the rare physical technique while grimacing at her dog. 
June 3
Image of the Day
Hoover Dam bypass $234 million project under way
HOOVER DAM stands as a monument to human engineering and good ol' American sweat equity. At 726 feet tall, the Hoover Dam is the most vibrant object in this unforgiving swath of rugged mountains and searing desert heat. Now, almost 70 years after its completion, the tourists and bighorn sheep are again watching the Hoover Dam area with piqued curiosity. Work has begun on a $234 million bypass for the dam that will offer motorists a spectacular straight shot over the river and mountains between Arizona and Nevada, although at least $100 million will be needed to finish the job. The project, discussed since 1965 and expected to be completed in 2007, has been spurred by:
The growth of Phoenix and Las Vegas over the past 20 years.
The need to improve the north-south trade route between Canada and Mexico. 
Security concerns after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Increasing hordes of tourists who cross into Las Vegas every year. 
The dam draws more than 1 million people worldwide every year. About 15,000 vehicles cross it using U.S. 93 daily. In 20 years, officials expect that to increase to 25,000 vehicles per day. When Bernd Witzler came from Hanover, Germany, with his brother to tour the American West via Harley-Davidson motorcycle, Hoover Dam, one of America's seven modern feats of engineering, was part of the show. "It's a dream," Witzler, 48, said. "A Harley ride through the West." 
        The bypass project will require cooperation between the states, a slew of contractor partnerships and the federal government. State and trucking industry officials are hoping for $100 million in federal funds for the connecting bridge. Last week, Gov. Janet Napolitano called the bridge a top priority for Arizona and said she has asked Nevada officials to join Arizona in lobbying Congress and President Bush. "We all have an understanding and a common goal," said Dave Zanatell, Federal Highway Administration spokesman and project manager, "and that is to deliver the Hoover Dam bypass." Officials are betting the proposed steel-and-concrete arch, made entirely with U.S. products and labor, will be the answer to traffic congestion and safety concerns because the dam itself was not meant to withstand 5,000 daily visitors, the constant flow of Las Vegas traffic or the scrutiny of being a potential terrorist target. 
       "The Hoover Dam was never intended or built to be a major through highway between two of the fastest growing cities in the country," Zanatell said. Originally called the Boulder Dam, the stopper for the Colorado River near the Nevada-Arizona state line had four goals: controlling floods, storing water, controlling silt and generating electricity. It took a dusty canyon floor and gave birth to Lake Mead, the world's largest man-made lake. It wiped out the towns of St. Thomas and Kaolin, Nev., in the process. About 5,200 men built Hoover Dam, and at least seven of them died by the time it was completed in 1935. 
"We've got all the conveniences now," said Barbara Quintana, a federal project engineer for Arizona's side of the bypass. "I can't imagine all those guys living out in tents, climbing up canyon walls . 
       Now, the workers come from joint partnerships between contractors, who labor in steaming, but scenic, summer conditions atop Sugarloaf Mountain in Arizona's Lake Mead National Park. "You can't beat the location," Quintana said. Last week, workers were blasting away on part of Sugarloaf Mountain for Arizona's 1.3-mile, four-lane bypass stretch. Nevada is scheduled to start by year's end. Crews were scraping and blasting away parts of the mountain for the elevated approach to the arch. The Arizona side will be 120 feet higher than the existing U.S. 93 is at the dam, with a 360-degree view of the mountaintops. The construction dust is beaten down with water drawn directly from drought-stricken Lake Mead, which has hit a 40-year low at 61 percent of capacity. It's a necessary evil to keep costs down and meet environmental requirements, Zanatell said.
       The cactus and other desert plants threatened by the project were uprooted and are being stored in a national park nursery near the lake. They will be replanted when the bypass is finished. For the moment, development along the bypass, including casinos and hotels, is prohibited. However, the federal Bureau of Reclamation, which runs the everyday operations of the dam, is studying long-term uses for increased masses of people, Zanatell said. Because of security concerns, each contractor is required to do thorough background checks on all of their employees at the project, Zanatell said. All deliveries are subject to an authorized escort.
June 4
Image of the Day
It's interesting how the seperation of church and state rule is being used to remove the church from the state not just create a seperation. Yet at the other end of the scale they are trying to regulate the strip clubs and bars into extinction.
A monument with the Ten Commandments on them is removed from outside West Union High School, in West Union, Ohio. A federal judge has ordered the monument, and others in front of several schools in Adams County, be removed.
 A stripper struts her stuff at a new Hustler nightclub. LA plans to ban lap dancing and ensure that strippers don't get too close to their customers by enforcing a six foot gap between the two and a rail around the strippers
June 5
My Dream Castle
Very Richest's Share of Income Grew Even Bigger, Data Show
The 400 wealthiest taxpayers accounted for more than 1 percent of all the income in the United States in the year 2000, more than double their share just eight years earlier, according to new data from the Internal Revenue Service. But their tax burden plummeted over the period.  The data, in a report that the I.R.S. released last night, shows that the average income of the 400 wealthiest taxpayers was almost $174 million in 2000. That was nearly quadruple the $46.8 million average in 1992. The minimum income to qualify for the list was $86.8 million in 2000, more than triple the minimum income of $24.4 million of the 400 wealthiest taxpayers in 1992.  While the sharp growth in incomes over that period coincided with the stock market bubble, other factors appear to account for much of the increase. A cut in capital gains tax rates in 1997 to 20 percent from 28 percent encouraged long-term holders of assets, like privately owned businesses, to sell them, and big increases in executive compensation thrust corporate chiefs into the ranks of the nation's aristocracy.  This year's tax cut reduced the capital gains rate further, to 15 percent.
      The data from 2000 is the latest available from the I.R.S., but various government reports indicate that salaries, dividends and other forms of income have continued to rise since then, even as the stock market has fallen.  The top 400 reported 1.1 percent of all income earned in 2000, up from 0.5 percent in 1992. Their taxes grew at a much slower rate, from 1 percent of all taxes in 1992 to 1.6 percent in 2000, when their tax bills averaged $38.6 million each.  Those numbers can be read to show that the wealthiest, as a group, carried a disproportionate share of the overall tax burden 1.6 percent of all taxes, versus just 1.1 percent of all income evidence that all sides in the tax debate will be able to find ammunition in the data.  In 2000, the top 400 on average paid 22.3 percent of their income in federal income tax, down from 26.4 percent in 1992 and a peak of 29.9 percent in 1995. Two factors explain most of this decline, according to the I.R.S.: reduced tax rates on long-term capital gains and bigger gifts to charity.  Had President Bush's latest tax cuts been in effect in 2000, the average tax bill for the top 400 would have been about $30.4 million a savings of $8.3 million, or more than a fifth, according to an analysis of the I.R.S. data by The New York Times. That would have resulted in an average tax rate of 17.5 percent.  The rate actually paid by the top 400 in 2000 was about the same as that paid by a single person making $123,000 or a married couple with two children earning $226,000, according to Citizens for Tax Justice, a labor-backed group whose calculations are respected by a broad spectrum of tax experts.
       The group favors higher taxes on the wealthy, and its director, Robert S. McIntyre, said yesterday that the I.R.S. data bolsters that viewpoint. "Regardless of which party these 400 are in, these are the guys Bush wants to help, even though they have so much money they don't know what to do with it," he said. "How Bush feels about the half of the population that doesn't have much money is he got them a tax cut worth an average of $19 each."  William W. Beach, a tax expert at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative organization that favors lowering taxes for all Americans, said that the top 400 taxpayers made "the significant contribution" to government revenue about one in every $64 of individual income tax paid. Cutting taxes, he said, will prompt the wealthy to invest more in the economy's growth.  Detailed information about high-income Americans has become increasingly important in setting tax policy, because the government relies on the top 1.3 million households for 37.4 percent of individual federal income tax revenue. The half of Americans who earned less than $27,682 in 2000, paid less than 4 percent of income taxes.  All of the I.R.S. data is based on adjusted gross income, the figure reported on the last line on the front page of individual income tax returns. Interest earned on municipal bonds, which are exempt from tax, is not included.  Over the nine years of tax returns that were examined for the new report, only a handful of taxpayers showed up in the top 400 every year, according to I.R.S. officials. In all, about 2,200 taxpayers made the cut even once. There were a few incomes of more than $1 billion a year in the group, but none as high as $10 billion.  The names of the wealthiest taxpayers are not disclosed in the report, which was prepared at the urging of Joel Slemrod, a University of Michigan business school professor who serves on an I.R.S. advisory panel and is a leading authority on taxation of high-income Americans.  The figures do not include the incomes of the many wealthy Americans who use shelters to reduce their reported incomes below the level of the top 400.
       In 1999 and 2000, for example, William T. Esrey then the chief executive of Sprint, the telecommunications company earned more than $150 million in stock option profits, lofting him onto many lists of the best-paid corporate managers.  That income might have put Mr. Esrey in the I.R.S.'s top 400 taxpayers. But, as later came to light, Mr. Esrey bought a tax shelter from Ernst & Young, the accounting firm, designed to let him delay reporting the profits for tax purposes until the year 2030. Sprint's board forced Mr. Esrey to resign in March after he acknowledged that the shelter was the subject of an I.R.S. audit.  Over the nine years reviewed in the new report, the incomes of the top 400 taxpayers increased at 15 times the rate of the bottom 90 percent of Americans; their average income rose 17 percent, to $27,000, from 1992 to 2000.  Long-term capital gains accounted for 64 percent of the income of the top 400 in 2000, nearly double the level in 1992. Wages contributed 16.7 percent to the incomes of the top 400 in 2000, down from 26.2 percent in 1992, and dividends made up 2.8 percent.  A second report that the I.R.S. will make public today shows that the number of Americans with high incomes who pay no taxes anywhere in the world has reached a record. In 2000, there were 2,022 Americans with incomes of more than $200,000 who paid no income tax anywhere in the world, up from just 37 in 1977, when the report was first issued.
June 6
Image of the Day
A gathering of over 7,000 people pose nude in front of the Museum of Arts of Catalunya at daybreak in Barcelona, Spain. American photographer Spencer Tunick gathered together a sea of nudes covering a central Barcelona avenue, his largest work yet.
June 7
Image of the Day
It took 10 people almost 13 hours and 4 trips involving 4 vehicles to move all out stuff into this new location.  In our move from a 3-story 4 bedroom 3 bath duplex to a 2-story 4 bedroom 2.5 bath house, we now have one less staircase to climb each day, all the bedrooms on the same floor, and an additional 10 minutes commute to work.  Now the question of the day seems to be how long it's going to take me to mow my 1/4 acre of grass, my guess is 1.5 hours, everyone else seems to say 2-3 hours.  Although my retired neighbor behind me says it takes him 6 hours to do his lawn. Looking forward to figuring out the sprinkler system, lighting system, cable system, and alarm systems.
June 8
Image of the Day
Here's a rear view of heatherood, and the yard I get to start mowing soon.  We spent most of the day painting the 4 upstairs bedrooms.  The master bedroom is now a light green instead chicken yellow. Erin's office room / studio is peach, the other room is white, and my office room we kept blue, but I painted off the flower trim along the top border to the same light green of the master bedroom. 
EC Unveils Methanol-Fueled Laptop
Japanese computer giant NEC Corp. revealed a prototype of a laptop computer that runs on a methanol fuel cell instead of a rechargeable battery, and said it will start selling it next year. A number of other companies are developing similar fuel cells, which promise to power electronics ten times longer than the lithium-ion batteries currently in use.  Also, users will be able to keep operating their computers by replacing the fuel cartridge or refilling with methanol fuel, instead of recharging the battery. NEC initially plans to introduce a computer with a fuel-cell system able to run for five consecutive hours on a single cartridge of methanol fuel, but also plans to make a PC within two years that can run continuously for as long as 40 hours. Fuel cells produce electricity without generating pollutants, through an electrochemical reaction that uses oxygen and hydrogen. Japanese companies are shaping up to be pioneers in fuel-cell technology. NEC rival Toshiba Corp. said in March it developed the world's first prototype of a methanol-type fuel cell system to run notebook PCs. It also plans to commercialize its product in 2004. Among other leading Japanese micro fuel cell developers are Sony, Casio Computer Co. and Hitachi. 
June 9
Image of the Day
Today was another chaotic day.  Had to finish moving the last few things from the duplex, get the carpets professionally cleaned, then waited for almost 2.5 hours while the cable was installed with new jacks, another run to home depot for last minute fixes on the duplex, and finally to the post office to get the mail forwarded.
  Ian, a 25-year-old tattoo artist, who had his tongue split as a form of body art in New York, shows how it has healed. The latest trend among teens and twentysomethings who indulge in so-called extreme body modification, forking one's tongue like a serpent's 'is an art form,' said T.J. McGillis, who offers the service for a $250 charge.
June 10
Image of the Day
Attempting to close on the Heatherwood house today, seems that Gracy Title isn't that organized, have had 4 different closers now in the last week, they all keep taking time off for vacation and passing the property along, so hopefully i'll close tomorrow.
The robot rover, which is the size of a riding lawn mower, will be joined by a twin which is scheduled for launch on June 25. The first has been nicknamed 'Spirit' while the other is named 'Opportunity.' They are expected to arrive at Mars in January, where they will look for signs of water that could mean life exists, or once did, on Earth's neighbor.
June 11
Image of the Day

The phone company finally came out to activate my phone, after already sending me notice that it was activated, adn be hounding them for over a week.
U.S. artist Jeff Koons sits by his sculpture, called Ballon Dog, during the preparation of his exhibition in Naples. The Koons' exhibition will open at National Musuem in Naples, in southern Italy.
June 12
Image of the Day
 Visitors pose for pictures in the wheel wells on Bigfoot 5, billed as the worlds biggest pickup truck, at Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn, Mich., during Ford's 100 birthday celebration.
June 13
Image of the Day
A 'fart tax' is to be imposed on New Zealand's livestock, such as these cattle near Queenstown, to help combat global warming
June 14
Image of the Day
Spent the day unpacking more boxes, putting art work up on the walls, and organizing the chaos of things spread out around the house.
 Thousands of new bulbs made the enduring symbol of the City of Light twinkle again in Paris, almost two years after wear-and-tear darkened the Eiffel Tower's lighting system. The 20,000 new lights on the tower recreate a glittering display originally meant to show off one of the world's most visited tourist sites on the night of the Millennium. The tower will be engulfed in twinkling lights for 10 minutes at the start of every hour from dusk until 1 or 2 each morning for the next decade.
June 15
Image of the Day
The unpacking and organizing process continues, as I await the delivery of additional shelves to organize everthing on, as the front room is going to be turned into a library room.
June 16
Image of the Day
Labrador retriever Momo shows off a mobile satellite-based global positioning system dog-tracking device attached to her harness at a demonstration in Tokyo. Japan's largest home and office security provider Secom Co Ltd announced that it has developed the world's smallest and lightest GPS sensor terminal at 1.7 ounces, which can be attached around a dog's neck or on its back.
June 17
Image of the Day
This photo shows a native Irish Seahorse and some juveniles which Seahorse Ireland have produced. Seahorses are their own worst enemy because of a reluctance to stray from the marital path. Fished to the point of extinction for the traditional Chinese medicine market, their unwillingness to seek new partners after being separated has done little to improve their chances of survival. Seahorse Ireland, which hails itself as only the second commercial seahorse breeding farm in the world, says its goal is to help save the endangered species by cultivating seahorses born in captivity for the growing aquaria market.
June 18
Image of the Day
 Hindu Seer Bappi Giri practices yoga at the Kamakhya Temple in the northeastern Indian city of Guwahati. Seers and pilgrims are arriving at the temple, which is famous for the teaching of black magic known traditionally as 'Tantra', for the annual four day 'Ambubachi Mela', which starts on June 22 when pilgrims and Seers believe their prayers will be answered by God during the festival. 
Enjoyed some excellent chicken trio pasta food dishes at Carrabba's, although in the end the chocolate mixed in the dessert was my downfall, and for the remainer of the evening I was out of commission.  My list of gifts include, a massage, a haircut, a wood chest, some computer drawing software, a stereo equalizer, and a cell phone camera.
June 20
Image of the Day
Saw the new movie the Hulk this evening.  The animation quality was excellent, they probably couldn't have produced this movie even 2 years ago, to get the quality and interaction with the video footage.  I would give it a 6.5 out of 10, as they replayed the same 10 minutes plotline several times throughout the movie.
 Workers take a short pause after forcing a stag into a wooden pen to prepare it to be de-horned with an ordinary saw in the remote village of Chendek in Russia's Gorny Altai. Some tourists travel thousands of miles and spend hundreds of dollars to watch the extravaganza in one of Russia's most inaccessible regions which borders Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan. Some deer die from shock during the de-horning but in this case the stag's stumps were treated with salt and the animal was released back into the lush mountains to grow new antlers -- which one day will be culled again. 
June 21
Image of the Day
Finally got around to getting replacement washer/dryers today, seems as prices keep going up on these things every few years.  Also replaced the broken entertainment center with a real wood armoire, although we had to cut out a hole in the back section to be able to close the doors on the 32" sony flat screen tv. Another 20 boxes unpacked, and the room still looks the same.  Started mowing the front lawn from 7-8pm, after having the neighbor introduce himself to the tune of inquiring if I owned a lawnmower earlier in the week, I figured I'd sedate their worries of an unkept yard.
June 22 
Image of the Day
Finished mowing the backyard today, only after getting numerous bee stings on my right leg.  It turns out the water value box provided a nice dry space for them to setup a hive in the middle of the grass.  So now that their turn has been flooded with water, all I have left to remove are the various wasp nests around the eaves.
June 23
Image of the Day
It's interesting to see people act like know the code and knowing how to use the code are the same thing.
The Folly of Publishing the Slammer Code
The Slammer worm, also known as the SQL Slammer, was one of the most ferocious virus attacks the Internet has ever seen. And if you want to find the underlying code for this nasty little worm, you need only pick up the latest issue of Wired magazine. Yes, it's true. In its July issue, the magazine not only provides coverage of the attack, but also the code itself. Unusual, huh? Not many publications actually publish virus code -- for good reason. The article might be good for Wired, selling a few more issues, but that's the only entity it's good for. After all the magazine's philosophical justifications, the high-minded statements about how this will be good for security -- and yes, Wired is making that point -- actually printing the code is a bad idea. The last thing Windows users need is that more would-be hackers become inspired to spread havoc.
Moment of Darkness
       When it hit back in January, the Slammer was an Internet mini-meltdown. From a single packet, it spread exponentially faster than Nimda or Code Red. Exploiting a vulnerability in Microsoft's SQL Server software, Slammer disrupted business on a global scale. It shut down Internet and cell-phone use for 27 million people in South Korea. Continental Airlines canceled flights from its Newark hub. In Portugal, hundreds of thousand of cable modems couldn't connect. The estimated cost of all this mayhem was about $1 billion. The virus's author has never been identified.
       In publishing the code to Slammer, Wired said that it was providing a service. According to a Reuters report, managing editor Blaise Zerega said that "the people who are in a position to wreak havoc on the Internet don't need to read about it in Wired. But the people who are in a position to prevent it from happening do read Wired. Our thinking was to shine a light on the problems and issue a wake-up call." Zerega makes a good point when he says experienced hackers don't need to read Wired to find malicious code. He also gets points for what he didn't publish: the article doesn't provide guidance as to how to plant the worm, or how to cover your tracks if you do. But his point about needing to publish the code to "shine a light on the problem"? C'mon. Distributing the code does nothing of the kind.
       The real problem is two-fold. First, the underlying Microsoft SQL code was not just flawed, but flawed in such a way that allowed the problem to multiply itself on a global scale. But Microsoft had provided a patch months before the attack. Which brings us to the second, and real, problem -- which Wired's publishing of the virus code doesn't help: many administrators failed to install the patch. (And in fact, some of Microsoft's own servers were hit by Slammer -- oddly, they didn't install their own patch.)
Viruses for Dummies
As many tech-savvy individuals have pointed out, the Slammer code is available to anyone who really wants it. That is, if they have the technical sophistication to write a killer virus, they could find the Slammer code without Wired, no problem. But, let's face it -- virus writers are a mixed bunch, at best. Some are technically sophisticated and know where to look. Others are middling programmers, or serious amateurs who wouldn't have a clue which dark corner to look in to find the code. It's entirely possible that the Wired article could inspire one of these fiddlers -- who otherwise wouldn't -- to play with the code: perhaps modifying it or tinkering with a completely new approach. Perhaps, based on this widely distributed model, a new Slammer will be created. If even one business or home PC is inconvenienced (or worse) by an amateur hacker inspired by the Wired article, then the magazine's PR stunt will have seriously backfired.
June 24
Image of the Day
 An undated hand out image shows 'La maison de Vincent a Arles', an explanatory drawing by the late Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh. The drawing, which was considered lost until recently, has a letter on it's reverse addressed to Van Gogh's brother Theo and is expected to fetch between 700,000 and 1,000,000 pounds sterling ($1,164, 800 - $1,664, 000) when it comes up for auction at Christie's in London. The piece is considered to be the only known example of the artist ending a letter on the reverse of a drawing.
June 25
Image of the Day
 Filipino devotees with their bodies covered in mud, dried leaves and vines walk towards church in a religious tradition during the feast day of their patron saint, St. John the Baptist in the remote village of Bibiclat, Nueva Ecija province, northern Philippines.
June 26
Image of the Day
Found out that I will be having a boy in the near future today
German loses licence for driving mower drunk
BERLIN - A German gardener has been fined and stripped of his licence for driving his lawnmower while drunk. A court fined the 45-year-old man 400 euros and banned him from driving all vehicles on Tuesday., including his mower, for three months after police did a check on him as he was parking the vehicle, which has a maximum speed of 6 km/h (4 mph). Defence lawyer Stefan Deppe told Reuters his client would appeal. "The mower does not pose the remotest danger to the public and common sense should have been applied," he said. Police breath-tested the gardener after detecting the smell of alcohol as he finished mowing a lawn for a client. "He said he'd had a bottle of wine," Deppe said. 
June 27
Image of the Day
Protesting may be our final distinction from '1984'
Since 9-11, the War on Terror has been fuzzily described as one of indeterminate duration against enemies of uncertain and shifting identity. Again and again U.S. citizens have been told to expect a costly, protracted struggle, and have been reminded that this "war" is our (not the international community's, but America's) highest priority. To support the "war effort" citizens have been asked to increase consumer spending, make do with fewer civil liberties, and swallow their doubts about the administration's ambitions.
       Further concessions to federal authority are now being sought. Attorney General John Ashcroft appeared before the House Judiciary Committee recently to ask that the Patriot Act - a comprehensive security statute that already has raised serious human rights concerns - be enhanced. According to Ashcroft, the original act's teeth weren't quite sharp enough. Government's right to detain and hold its citizens must be expanded further, and vaguely defined terrorist-related activities reclassified as capital crimes. Although thoughtful Americans have deplored the tendency of foreign dictators to "disappear" their troublesome opponents, Mr. Ashcroft's proposals seem less worthy of Thomas Jefferson than of a Middle Eastern potentate.
       At the same time, Americans are being gradually conditioned to accept the necessity of further pre-emptive strikes against putative threats to our security. The cost to domestic programs of future battles in the war on terror is not, however, spelled out. Clearly, between high-tech wars and tax relief for the wealthy, something (like Medicare) must give. The picture painted more than half a century ago by George Orwell is not yet complete, but its outlines have been traced and gradually the sordid details are being added. Neither network journalists nor the general public have seen fit to question these developments because, as Big Brother reminds us, "Ignorance is Strength."
       If the worst elements of Orwell's prophecy are not fully realized, it may be because courageous, high-minded citizens like the Truax Four have taken up the slack. Shortly after the invasion of Iraq, these Madisonians protested our government's casual disregard for international law and the U.N. Charter by nonviolently blocking an entrance to the Wisconsin Air National Guard installation at Truax Field. They will appear before Judge Shelley Gaylord to defend their civil disobedience as an appropriate response to U.S. actions that one protester described as "immoral, illegal and illogical."
       Another of the accused, Diane Farsetta, put it this way: "The Bush administration would have us believe that the war is over ... but the need for such action will continue until our government abandons its current policies." A few commentators of late have expressed concerns about the future of citizen rule, civil liberties and economic opportunity in this country. The signs, they say, are ominous. In George Orwell's dystopia, protest was out of the question. We, on the other hand, still have time to conquer our fear and to raise our voices. 
In Sam Walton's biography, Made in America : My Story, the founder of Walmart he outlines what he feels are the ten commandments of business:
1.Commit to your goals
2. Share your rewards
3. Energize your colleagues
4. Communicate all you know
5. Value your associates
6. Celebrate your success
7. Listen to everyone
8. Deliver more than you promise
9. Work smarter than others
10. Blaze your own path 
June 28
Image of the Day
 Spent the weekend caulking the exterior and interior of the house.  A slow process to try and concert the house to be less like siveThe un-identified owner of "Goldust", a 1979 Chevy El Camino, works the interior of his car during the "Lowrider Experience" show at the Los Angeles Sports 
June 29
Image of the Day
 A pair of Scarlet Macaws perch in the bough of a tree, in Laguna del Tigre National Park, northern Guatemala. The Macaw is facing extinction in the region by poachers, wildfires and farmers using 'slash and burn' techniques as they look for more territory. 
June 30
Image of the Day
Actress and model Angie Everhart and her Team Euphoria pose for photographers at a news conference announcing plans for 'Lingerie Bowl 2004' a live pay per view event to be televised during halftime during the 2004 Super Bowl February 1, 2004. The event will feature two teams of models in custom lingerie taking part in a 7 on 7 tackle football game. Everhart will be the quarterback of Team Euphoria at the event.