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2007 March 20 — Why Now?
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Trust Us

CBS has the Shrubbery’s response to the call for White House officials to testify.

Mr. Bush, in a late-afternoon statement at the White House, said, “We will not go along with a partisan fishing expedition aimed at honorable public servants. … I have proposed a reasonable way to avoid an impasse.”

He added that federal prosecutors work for him, and it is natural to consider replacing them. “There is no indication that anybody did anything improper,” the president said.


Bush said his White House counsel, Fred Fielding, told lawmakers they could interview presidential counselor Karl Rove, former White House Counsel Harriet Miers and their deputies – but only on the president’s terms: in private, “without the need for an oath” and without a transcript.

The president cast the offer as virtually unprecedented and a reasonable way for Congress to get all the information it needs about the matter.


“He said he wanted this to be a conversation rather than a hearing,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who is leading the Senate probe into the firings. “A conversation is fine, but let’s have the conversation under oath, with a transcript.”

The only “honorable public servants” involved in this mess are the US Attorneys who were labeled incompetent and fired for political reasons. Congress doesn’t want to talk to “honorable public servants,” they want to talk to Rove and Meirs. Someone should remind the Shrubbery that he was going to investigate the Plame leak, and a lot of other things, but it never happened. He and his officials lie. It is time to document the lies and prosecute the liars.

UPDATE: House panel authorizes subpoenas for Rove, Miers, and their deputies.

As a public service for the US Marshals Service: it’s 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest – big white house, you can’t miss it. Don’t forget to take pictures.

March 20, 2007   9 Comments

RIP John Backus 1924-2007

John Warner Backus while working for IBM lead development of FORTRAN, the first of the high level languages, and then the Backus-Naur form, the standard method for describing computer languages.

Wikipedia has a nice article and CNN has a reasonable obituary.

His work was familiar to all of the people who came afterwards as he was truly a pioneer of programming which enabled the wider adoption of computers.

These days, people don’t appreciate what John Backus and Grace Hopper did with their work on FORTRAN and COBOL. While I understand the joke, “Computer Science without FORTRAN and COBOL is like birthday cake without ketchup and mustard“, the reality is that if we had not moved forward to the upper level languages, it is unlikely that computers, other than mainframes would have ever been built.

March 20, 2007   11 Comments

Summer Job For Students

WordPress has sent word about the Google Summer of Code™.

It is a paid job working on open source software but you have to apply by to Google at the link by March 24th. I have no idea why the window for applications is so short, but the WordPress notice mentioned $4,500 for the summer job.

March 20, 2007   Comments Off on Summer Job For Students


From the BBC: three guys highjacked a truck in Straffordshire containing £70,000 of Cadbury Easter eggs.

There is no information as to whether there were Creme Eggs in the truck.

Oh, I can prove I was in Florida at the time.

March 20, 2007   4 Comments

Pet Food Update

CBS reports: Pet Food Co. Knew Of Problem Last Month

Menu Foods told the FDA it received the first complaints of kidney failure and deaths among cats and dogs from pet owners on Feb. 20. It began new tests on Feb. 27.

During those tests, the company fed its product to 40 to 50 dogs and cats and seven animals — the mix of species was not immediately known — died, Sundlof said. The contamination appeared more deadly to cats than to dogs, he said.

I have a certain knowledge about kidney problems in people, and that tells me that the problem is more likely chemical than biological. The kidneys are filters, as is the liver, and tend to be affected by specific minerals. Most people have never heard of a calcium overdose, but it can land you in a hospital bed for a week. If they look only for toxins they might be missing the obvious – a massive overdose of a mineral that is actually required. Sodium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, etc. are all necessary, but an excess of any of them throws off your blood chemistry and overworks the “filters” in your body.

They only way to find out what’s going on, and how to prevent it from happening again is by testing. The company mentioned the change in the source of the gluten, because that was the variation they were aware of when they became aware that there was a problem.

March 20, 2007   Comments Off on Pet Food Update

Vernal Equinox

It’s that time of year. Spring arrives at 7:07PM CDT tonight. You can watch it come at Archæoastronomy.

The air is already filled with pollen and the live oaks are starting to drop last year’s leaves.

March 20, 2007   4 Comments