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More Tourism Assistance From DHS

They really do seem hellbent on annoying as many people as possible around the world with their stupid rules and massive data collection operations. The BBC reports on the latest effort to make the US the last place anyone would choose to visit – US to tighten visa restrictions

The US is to tighten visa restrictions to allow it to screen all short-term visitors from Japan and Western Europe.

US Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said visitors to the US who do not need visas will be required to register with the government online.

The security regulation, set to begin next year, will require visitors to register three days before they visit.

The online registration will remain valid for a two-year period, Mr Chertoff said.

I have no idea what they think this will accomplish, except to provide terrorists with lists of real people with real passport numbers when DHS leaves a laptop somewhere, or has its site hacked.

June 3, 2008   7 Comments

How Nice

After a while you begin to feel that the US has the worst military procurement program devised since the Byzantine defense official told the Czech cannon maker to find another client for his fortress destroying cannon in 1453. [He did and Constantinople was history.]

It is therefore encouraging when you find that others have problems, as reported by the BBC – MoD accused of Chinook ‘cock-up’

The Ministry of Defence has been accused of a “gold standard cock-up” over eight helicopters which have cost £422m but have yet to fly for the RAF.

[Commons public accounts committee chairman Sir Edward Leigh] said: “The Ministry of Defence’s programme to make airworthy the eight Chinook Mk3 helicopters, which it acquired in 2001 for special operations work, has been a gold standard cock-up.

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June 3, 2008   2 Comments

No Hope For Sanity

Jonathan S. Landay of McClatchy Newspapers notes that Both McCain, Obama exaggerating Iran’s nuclear program

WASHINGTON — The presumptive Republican nominee for president and the leading contender for the Democratic nomination are exaggerating what’s known about Iran’s nuclear program as they duel over how best to deal with Tehran.

Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Barack Obama, D-Ill., say that Iran is developing nuclear weapons.

The U.S. intelligence community, however, thinks that Iran halted an effort to build a nuclear warhead in mid-2003, and the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency, which is investigating the program, has found no evidence to date of an active Iranian nuclear-weapons project.

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June 3, 2008   3 Comments

In Other News

Just to prove that all of the jerks are not running for office, Elsa Wenzel at CNet’s green blog tells us about ‘Carbon Belch Day’ promotes un-green actions

Smoke cigars, do a partial load of laundry, drink bottled water, and feel no shame. That’s what a campaign against a carbon trading bill is urging.

The latest parody of the proliferation of “green” social-networking sites and eco-friendly events comes via “Carbon Belch Day,” a campaign from the conservative Grassfire.org alliance that encourages people to pollute as much as possible on June 12.

So far, more than 140,000 people have signed a petition against “climate alarmism,” according to Ron De Jong, spokesman for Grassfire.org. If the effort attracts half a million people, it would lead to the release of 105 million pounds of carbon a week from this Thursday.

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June 3, 2008   2 Comments

Save Them For Throwing

If you didn’t pick them off of your plants, wash them really well.

The Associated Press reports that Tomatoes eyed in salmonella cases in 9 states

ATLANTA – An outbreak of salmonella food poisoning first linked to uncooked tomatoes has now been reported in nine states, U.S health officials said Tuesday.

Lab tests have confirmed 40 illnesses in Texas and New Mexico as the same type of salmonella, right down to the genetic fingerprint. An investigation by Texas and New Mexico health authorities and the Indian Health Service tied those cases to uncooked, raw, large tomatoes.

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June 3, 2008   8 Comments