Tuesday Afternoon Open Thread

I'm busy at work this afternoon so here's an open thread. A few requests:

We've fallen to a distant third place in the ABA Journal's Top 100 Law Blogs contest where we are in the Politics for Sport category. Please go on over and vote, no identification required, it takes two seconds, literally. It's okay not to win, but it would be nice to make a respectable showing. Voting closes Jan. 2.

Please Digg the TalkLeft posts you find worthwhile. It takes only a minute to get a free Digg account. In addition to submitting a favorite on your own, which takes 30 seconds, if a story has already been "dugg" it takes less than two seconds of your time to add your "digg" to it.

Blogs are free for readers. Bloggers put time and money into their sites. Very few of the thousands of readers a day make financial donations to blogs. That's fine, but please, if you're a frequent reader of a blog, give the gift of traffic by digging and sharing the posts you like.

Now, your turn, all subjects welcome.

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    Apparently the studios' and networks' (none / 0) (#1)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Dec 11, 2007 at 02:12:02 PM EST
    negotiating organization, the AMPTP, had no interest in registering other suffixes than it's own .org.

    So now there are now several spoof sites written by striking writers at AMPTP.com and AMPTP.net.

    They are excellent:

    We are heartbroken to report that despite our best efforts, including sending them a muffin basket, making them a mix CD, and standing outside their window with a boombox blasting Peter Gabriel songs, our talks with the WGA have broken down. Quite frankly, we're puzzled as to why this happened. We talked about it all the way home - after we walked into their hotel room, slapped our list of demands on the table and abruptly left the negotiating session - and none of us could figure out what went wrong.

    WGA.net looks like it's also still available...

    So JEM... (none / 0) (#2)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Dec 11, 2007 at 02:38:14 PM EST
    Has Jane offered you a spot over at the FDL world blogging headquarters?  Or did that spot go to Sir TBogg and the Bassets or Empty Wheel?  

    I could see you being a good fit over there, but I hope you don't go that route. The new web lay-out is just awful and hard to navigate.   And the ads, well, don't get me started on that.

    All about the $'s, I suppose.

    I'm not moving (none / 0) (#12)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Dec 12, 2007 at 12:35:54 AM EST
    No, Jane didn't ask but TalkLeft will remain independent. It's been that way for 5 1/2 years. If the cart ain't broke....

    CCF Settlement (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jgarza on Tue Dec 11, 2007 at 03:00:39 PM EST
    Does anybody know about Currency Conversion Fee settlement from the credit card companies. I'm debating between option 2 and 3. was wondering if anyone on knew the algorithm they use for potion 2.

    BTW if you went oversees between 1196 and 2006 they probably owe you money check the web site here

    sorry (none / 0) (#5)
    by Jgarza on Tue Dec 11, 2007 at 03:14:31 PM EST
    I meant to say if you went over see between 1996-2006
    I don't think credit cards existed in 1126.

    the folks who prepare my credit card bills (none / 0) (#6)
    by scribe on Tue Dec 11, 2007 at 03:26:24 PM EST
    seem to think they existed that far back - they keep coming up with more, and more interesting, ways of calculating interest all the way back until then. </snark> [rimshot!]

    re ABA Blawg voting (none / 0) (#7)
    by scribe on Tue Dec 11, 2007 at 03:53:23 PM EST
    I seem to recall someone posted a workaround to facilitate voting more than once per IP.  That was supposed to be the rule - every reader can vote for as many of the Blawg100 as they like, but can only vote once per blog.

    I know I voted once for my faves (actually, before TL even put up the link), among them TL.  But, I wouldn't be surprised if there was multiple voting over at Instaputz - there's no way they have that many readers anymore....

    call me an idiot (none / 0) (#8)
    by Jgarza on Tue Dec 11, 2007 at 04:03:34 PM EST
    i accidentally voted for them, there was no way to take it back. voted for this too.

    China + Africa = Progress (none / 0) (#9)
    by Aaron on Tue Dec 11, 2007 at 06:40:56 PM EST
    China and Africa: Friendship and Revival in the New Century

    China's emergence as a key player in Africa, the impact of its presence and its challenges to traditional Western pre-eminence in African economies are one of the hallmarks of the 21st century. Two-way trade, which stood at less than $1 billion in 2000, has surged to nearly $40 billion in 2006, while in the same period China's share of Africa's trade has jumped from 2.6 percent to over 6 percent, making it the continent's third largest trading partner after the United States and France. Africa has featured high on the Chinese diplomatic circuit, benefiting from no less than three major tours in the last year by Chinese leaders as well as a heads of state summit in Beijing this November.
    And, while a decade ago China only had a limited presence in Africa, today there are hundreds of major Chinese businesses, bolstered by tens of thousands of Chinese laborers, retailers and tourists. African businesses are also linking up with Chinese partners and, together, are exploring investment opportunities both in Africa and China itself.  

    I wonder if that means a lot of Chinese (none / 0) (#10)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Dec 11, 2007 at 06:52:34 PM EST
    are now getting hopeful emails from various Nigerian Generals looking to pay large fees for assistance with some minor banking needs...

    Surprised TL missed this one (none / 0) (#11)
    by Patrick on Tue Dec 11, 2007 at 08:34:31 PM EST
    A megan's law murder...In the same county where the Renato Hughes case is making national news.  Nice Sonoma County liberal commenters if you check out the comments section of the link.  

    Nice catch P (none / 0) (#13)
    by Jlvngstn on Wed Dec 12, 2007 at 09:01:29 AM EST
    Hope all is well.  I have a q for you, if your younger brother is a convict and steals your identity, what is the best course of action after a police report?  I have been told that the only way is to change my name and I don't want to do that.  he knows my social, dl# and mothers maiden name. I got stopped a few years ago and they tore apart my car and gave me a hard time because he has been pulled over dozens of times at 2-3 in the morning in drug zones, he gives them my dl# and info.  I have not been pulled over in several years, and have not had a ticket in many, many years so I don't know if the stops by him have been purged but ten years ago it was a major pain in the dupa.

    Who told you.. (none / 0) (#14)
    by Patrick on Wed Dec 12, 2007 at 10:37:42 AM EST
    to change your name?  That's BS! If you're still having problems with the police, carry a copy of the police report you filed in your glove box and hand it to the police if you get stopped. If he's still trying to use your name for credit cards, get fraud watch put on your SSN, that way every credit card application needs to be cleared through you.  Having a family member steal your ID is the most sinister because they know all the personal information but, brothers giving each others names to avoid criminal charges, tickets etc, is not uncommmon. With a copy of the police report, cops will at least take a few extra steps to verify the information you are giving.  

    lawyer told me (none / 0) (#15)
    by Jlvngstn on Wed Dec 12, 2007 at 11:20:31 AM EST
    that changing my name would be the best but I did contact the credit agencies to get protected that way.  I will put a copy of the report in the glove box tonite.  Thanks man.

    Jl, sorry to hear of you troubles. (none / 0) (#16)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Dec 12, 2007 at 12:06:36 PM EST
    As if getting your identity stolen isn't bad enough, it was your own bro. Best of luck.

    it was a pain at first (none / 0) (#17)
    by Jlvngstn on Wed Dec 12, 2007 at 02:29:17 PM EST
    But really i feel awful for him, heroin has had a hold of him since a very young age and once he became a felon he lost all hope.  I just hope he does not hurt anyone, thus far he has been non violent and i hope that continues.  

    Thanks Sarc, I hope all is well with you and yours....

    Sorry about your trouble, JL (none / 0) (#18)
    by jondee on Wed Dec 12, 2007 at 02:36:34 PM EST
    How old is he, if I may ask?

    36 (none / 0) (#19)
    by Jlvngstn on Wed Dec 12, 2007 at 03:00:39 PM EST
    though he looks 50

    He can straighten out (none / 0) (#20)
    by jondee on Wed Dec 12, 2007 at 03:26:56 PM EST
    alot of other people have. It's arduous, but no moreso than what he's alreay put himself and other people through. Though alot of people will go to incredible, disasterous lengths to avoid confronting themselves. All those cliches, as cliche as they sound, about needing to want to change and taking moral inventories etc are true or true enough. One of the biggest problems with people like your brother is that they begin to psychologically identify with the lifestyle and history on a deep enough level that they lose sight of who they are over and above the wreck that they've made of their lives.

    We certainly hold out hope (none / 0) (#21)
    by Jlvngstn on Wed Dec 12, 2007 at 03:36:26 PM EST
    But with an 8th grade education and more than 70% of his adult life spent behind bars, I can understand why he has lost hope.  He was straight for nearly 7 months at one stretch 12 years ago and we all held out hope to no avail. I am resigned to his fate of a lifetime of in and out of prison as are my parents and the rest of the family. Every family member save for 2 has had him reside with them for periods and he has robbed everyone of us so his options upon release are always zero with regard to family which causes him more angst and anger.  Vicious cycle for him that he is in control of to a certain degree.  I only hope he never crosses into violent crime that would be absolutely horrible.

    I can guarantee (none / 0) (#22)
    by jondee on Wed Dec 12, 2007 at 03:46:48 PM EST
    that he's associated fairly often with people who have, which, in itself, is a recipe for disaster at some point.

    Again, sorry for your trouble.


    Ho, Ho... Ho' ??? (none / 0) (#23)
    by Aaron on Wed Dec 12, 2007 at 11:53:54 PM EST
    Holiday culture wars, Australian style

    Santa fury at 'ho, ho, ho' ban

    Santas across Sydney are rebelling against attempts to ban their traditional greeting of "ho, ho, ho" in favour of "ha, ha, ha".

    Recruitment firm Westaff - which supplies hundreds of Santas across the country - has told its trainees that the "ho ho ho" phrase could frighten children and could even be derogatory to women.