Monday Night Open Thread

President Obama is heading west for three days of fundraising. There will be 8 events in all. Musical headliner for the LA fundraiser: The Foo Fighters.

Is the Megaupload extradition on shaky ground? The issue was raised by the Judge at Kim DotCom's bail hearing. The prosecutor acknowledged the extradition treaty doesn't refer to copyright offenses, but said the U.S. could bootstrap through the 2000 United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime and New Zealand's Extradition Act. [More...]

[Under] section 101b of the Extradition Act any offence which was punishable by a prison sentence of more than four years was deemed to be extraditable, and under the New Zealand Copyright Act the distribution of an infringing work could be punished by up to five years in prison.

[Crown Prosecutor] Sinclair cited the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (TOC), which was passed by a UN general assembly resolution in 2000, as the basis of invoking the organised crime provisions of the Extradition Act.

More auditions on The Voice tonight, followed by the second episode of Smash.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    TSA @ DFW... (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 11:00:47 AM EST
    give some poor lady a triple shot of radiation for cheap jollies.  We all saw that one comin' didn't we?

    The cherry on top, a classic "Schumer" solution, have a TSA passenger advocate at every airport.  It would be f*ckin' hilarious if he wasn't serious.  How 'bout this Chuckie...scrap the whole failed TSA experiment and we won't need no stinkin' passenger advocate who works for the same stupid TSA.

    Or..... (none / 0) (#25)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 11:18:17 AM EST
    Just have women run the scanners so the men won't act like tools.

    Next Schumer is going to say we will castrate a bunch of dudes and let eunuchs run the operation.  What is really sad is that probably has a better chance of happening then the TSA being dismantled.


    That might be a half-measure... (none / 0) (#26)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 11:30:43 AM EST
    the 21st Century woman can run as toolish and perverted and immature as the fellas.

    F*ckin' Schumer...and when the passenger advocate goes behind the curtain for a peep-show, he'll suggest appointing a passenger advocate supervisory review board...and when the passenger advocate supervisory review board gets caught with a powerpoint of "Bodyscans Gone Wild" on their taxpayer purchased laptops, he'll suggest a new federal agency....to infinity and beyond!


    or . . . (none / 0) (#28)
    by The Addams Family on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 12:11:00 PM EST
    kill those f^cking scanners

    i refuse to go through them & always leave extra time to be groped whenever i travel

    & even though it's my right to "opt out," i am usually punished by being forced to wait just outside eye-range of my carry-on, even though it would be easier for everyone if i could wait where i can monitor the belongings i've already been forced to send down the x-ray conveyor belt

    i will say, though, that the female screeners have been uniformly polite & professional & sometimes (nonverbally) apologetic

    but this sh!t needs to stop


    I Personally Haven't Had One Issue With TSA (none / 0) (#42)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 01:48:56 PM EST
    And where I normally fly out there is one line that is scanner free and the line has been no longer and at times, shorter.

    And although kdog might be right, it certainly isn't reflected in the jack@ss headlines about TSA, which are dominated by men.  

    Certainly women aren't going to make a cute woman go through the scanner over and over again for nothing more then boyish type shenanigans of seeing a woman quasi-naked.


    if you follow kdog's link (none / 0) (#43)
    by The Addams Family on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 01:58:15 PM EST
    you will find another link to a story about women acting like tools & passing around printouts of a male film star's scanner image

    & the fact that one of the two lines at your airport is scanner-free tends to belie the notion that the porno scanners are a screaming necessity, or any kind of necessity at all, in the War On Terrah


    Agreed (none / 0) (#46)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 02:32:42 PM EST
    But the story doesn't actually say women were behind the scans of the Indian star.  Not saying it wasn't, but not one of all those stories specifically mentions a woman TSA employee, well except for the one that went through the machine and while her coworker took a scan.  She was a victim.

    I certainly wasn't arguing for the scanners, there is a reason I don't use them, and it's not because I am worried about my junk on a screen.  They lied about the detail, surely they would have no issue about lying in regards to negative effects on the human body, or they don't know.  Like the old xray shoe sizers, only years later do we find out they were really bad.

    It's obvious men are incapable of this responsibility, let's see if women can act a little more professional.  Not sure where we go if they act the same.  Certainly we aren't going to toss those extremely expensive devises in the garbage, where they belong.


    actually i didn't say (none / 0) (#47)
    by The Addams Family on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 02:56:11 PM EST
    that women took the scans, only that they behaved like tools, & of course this was at Heathrow, so it wasn't the TSA, but i think the "women can be tools" point still stands

    i refuse to submit to porno scanning on grounds of political resistance & also because a friend of mine, a radiologist, is horrified by the TSA's failure to properly calibrate these devices (after leaving their calibration in the hands of poorly trained personnel to begin with)

    i'm glad you've had no problems with the TSA but i'm not sure why you are arguing for installing a more "professional" class of operators when these intrusive & dangerous scanners should be shut down & handled like toxic waste & to f^cking hell with Michael Chertoff's stock portfolio


    I'm Argueing That Point... (none / 0) (#49)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 04:21:37 PM EST
     ...which I mentioned because the machines aren't going anywhere.  The government doesn't drop untold fortunes on cool gadgets to let them set un-used in the back room because people don't like them...

    Trust me, I would hope on 'Pre-9.11 Screening' Airlines in a second if it was an option and take the grandiose risk, that I am told, that would impose.

    And women can be tools, but so far the women in the TSA have kept a good record.  I don't know if it's because they aren't put in the positions, if there are few women working for the TSA, or straight up luck.  But the guys are clearly failing at being adults.


    So, meanwhile, with the so-called (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 11:11:52 AM EST
    news divisions of the major media having the fun of endless speculation about Whitney Houston's death to distract the American people, more information is beginning to ooze out about the highly-touted foreclosure fraud settlement, for which there is still no written term sheet.  

    Although there is now an executive summary, which makes for some interesting reading, for example, take a look at these two passages:

    II. Refinancing of Underwater Homes

    To assist homeowners who are not delinquent on their payments but cannot refinance to lower rates because of negative equity, the banks must offer refinance programs totaling at least $3billion. The banks will be required to notify eligible homeowners of the availability of these programs. To be eligible, a borrower must be current on mortgage payments, have a loan to value ratio in excess of 100%, and must have a current interest rate in excess of 5.25%. The refinanced rate must reduce monthly payments by at least $100

    VII. Release of Claims

    The proposed Release contains a broad release of the banks' conduct related to mortgage loan servicing, foreclosure preparation, and mortgage loan origination services. Claims based on these areas of past conduct by the banks cannot be brought by state attorneys general or banking regulators.

    The Release applies only to the named bank parties. It does not extend to third parties who may have provided default or foreclosure services for the banks. Notably, claims against MERSCORP, Inc. or Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) are not released.

    Securitization claims, including claims of state and local pension funds, and including investor claims related to the formation, marketing or offering of securities, are fully preserved. Other claims that are not released include violations of state fair lending laws, criminal law enforcement, claims of state agencies having independent regulatory jurisdiction, claims of county recorders for fees, and actions to quiet title to foreclosed properties. Of course, the Release does not affect the rights of any individuals or entities to pursue their own claims for relief

    So, on the one hand, we have very narrow qualification standards for mortgage modifications, and on the other hand, we seem to have very broad - it even says "broad"  - releases of liability in connection with the banks' conduct: the people directly harmed by the banks' conduct - who are still lucky enough to have homes - have to meet what looks like a higher standard than the banks responsible.  

    Am I the only one who sees something wrong with this picture?

    And, to make matters worse, three states - Wisconsin, Missouri and Maine - have already announced that they will take a portion of the settlement money and use it to fill holes in their state budgets.  Which the agreement gives them the right to do, but seems contrary to the intent advertised:

    Payments to the States

    The remaining settlement funds, approximately $2.5 billion, will be paid to the participating states. The funds may be distributed by the attorneys general to foreclosure relief and housing programs, including housing counseling, legal assistance, foreclosure prevention hotlines, foreclosure mediation, and community blight remediation. A portion of the funds may also be designated as civil penalties for the banks robo-signing misconduct.

    "Civil penalties" is the label that gets these monies into general funds, and it will be interesting to see how much states actually earmark for "housing counseling, legal assistance, foreclosure prevention hotlines, foreclosure mediation, and community blight remediation," and how much gets used to band-aid state budgets.

    The ongoing lack of a specific term sheet for the deal just doesn't pass the smell test - for me, anyway - and from what I can gather from those used to negotiations and settlements, it's concerning - almost no one expects the eventual settlement to get better.

    But I'm guessing that will be met with a whole lot less fanfare than the announcement of the deal.

    This is (5.00 / 3) (#36)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 01:21:48 PM EST
    actually WORSE than I thought it might be Ann. There are so many hoops for the homeowner to jump through that there's really no relief in sight for them in this package. What a farce.

    It's another (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by Edger on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 02:29:57 PM EST
    bailout for the banks.

    It's what this administration specializes in.


    There Was Someone.. (none / 0) (#27)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 11:48:13 AM EST
    ...on the Today Show who said they would be contacting you if you qualify.  Which seems really weird.  He mentioned it only covered 5 banks, not Freddie or Fannie, which I believe he said was 60% of the mortgages would not fall under the agreement.

    They also said if you lost you mortgage due to fraud, expect a max of $2000, but more realistically closer to $1000.  

    The only real benefit was the ability to refinance on an upside down home.

    In other words it's a joke in scope and in teeth.

    And no offense Anne, but you seem almost shocked that this is a joke when dissected, were you expecting something consumer heavy and weak on the banks ?  Or hoping.

    I really don't want to read it, it's only going to prove that no one in government is serious about holding anyone accountable but the almighty kim.com


    Scott, I am not at all shocked about (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 03:23:20 PM EST
    how bad this settlement is turning out to be - how could it possibly be good when the settlement preceded the investigation?  I mean, if you're really interested in holding the bad actors accountable, shouldn't you know the depth and extent of the wrongdoing before making deals with the perpetrators?  I guess you don't need to bother if your real goal is letting the banks off the hook and throwing a few crumbs to the people in hopes the whole think will just go away.

    So, most people who have been following this since the days of Tom Miller's "we're going to put people in jail" pronouncement, that fooled a lot of people into thinking this was going to be a real investigation, have known for a long time that this was all a sham.  And sham has been written all over the various housing programs the administration has put together - HAMP?  That put more people into trouble than it rescued, and many of them had their credit ruined in the process.  

    And maybe, given the generally poor performance of the media, I shouldn't be surprised that there has been little to no effort on their part to do anything other than read off the scripts handed to them by people associated with the settlement.  Why should news anchors pulling in 7-figure incomes give a darn about people being fraudulently foreclosed on?  Isn't the party line that these were deadbeats who were going to lose their homes anyway, and this was all just a kerfuffle over paperwork?

    As in Diana Olick at CNBC, who said this:

    Let's take a step back for a second to remember the fall of 2010, when "robo-signing" came to light. The idea that one low-paid guy sitting in a room was signing his, or perhaps somebody else's, name to thousands of foreclosure documents was appalling. It is appalling, no question. But let us not forget that the vast, vast majority of those foreclosures being processed were in fact legitimate foreclosures; it was the documentation process that was fraudulent. Banks didn't foreclose on borrowers for no reason, they foreclosed because borrowers weren't paying their mortgages.

    Imagine - as David Dayen did - if she had been talking about someone convicted of a crime:

    The idea that one rogue cop sitting at the police station was fabricating evidence was appalling. It is appalling, no question. But let us not forget that the vast, vast majority of criminal suspects are in fact legitimately guilty of some crime; it was the evidence gathering that was fraudulent. Cops didn't pick up suspects for no reason, they picked them up because they did something wrong.

    So the message is, as it has been for some time, if you are some poor schlub who's gotten hosed by the bank, here's what we think of the damage done to you:  we might be able to give you a little money (and we do mean a "little"), but you;ve waited this long, so what's a few more years?; if you are a big, powerful bank, led by rich powerful people, and you are the one doing the defrauding, hold out your wrist, and we'll pretend to slap it.  See, it's all good - let's move along, look forward, nothing to see here anymore!

    It should anger and disgust people, and instead it is being hailed as some kind of legal - and political - victory.

    In other words: same sh!t, different day.


    Homeowners can still sue the banks, (none / 0) (#31)
    by Farmboy on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 12:51:02 PM EST
    and fraud charges can still be filed.

    The agreement does not release banks from a variety of other suspected misdeeds. Regulators and prosecutors could still pursue allegations of fraud in the process by which those loans were made, known as origination, and the packaging of those mortgages into securities sold to investors by the big banks.

    Regardless, I'm still not a fan. 26 billion doesn't seem like much when the banks made hundreds of billions go up in vapor.


    Home Owner Suing a Bank... (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 02:08:11 PM EST
     ...over fraud in foreclosure ?

    Talk about a David and Goliath, can't imagine one person having the means to make this possible, much less actually winning.

    And if fraud charges haven't been filed by now, seems like the possibility is slim to none.

    Totally unrelated, but I read where people were taking the car companies to small claims court over hybrid gas mileage claims and winning.  Specifically Honda was worried this was going to trend, and they can't use their enormous resources to defend it in small claims court.

    $5k is $5k, not sure if this is something your average person understands well enough to convince a judge that they have been the victim of fraud.  Certainly gas mileage is something we all get, but the mortgage computerized title system, well not sure I even get that, or how it's been abused beyond people signing off on things they shouldn't be signing off on.

    Maybe it's as easy as suing and the banks for not having a title on a home they foreclosed on.


    i'm probably wrong, but i am getting that (none / 0) (#1)
    by cpinva on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 09:51:25 PM EST
    "spidey sense" feeling, that after all is said and done, this whole case is going to dribble out into not much.

    And yet, the company has been (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by caseyOR on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 10:09:22 PM EST

    If this case does fall part, or if there are acquitals all around, do the MegaUpload defendants have any way to get their assets back?


    Is it true that dismantling the company (none / 0) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 10:13:15 PM EST
    has produced almost NO change in the file sharing of items that violate our copyright laws?

    Not Sure About Traffic (none / 0) (#16)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 10:24:12 AM EST
    But they act like these kids are dumb, they are three steps ahead of Uncle Sam, certainly that first weekend was dead.  But now, and I am speaking of regular, legitimate file sharing, is back to normal, just the host site is no longer predominately megaupload.com

    I would think their competitors are creaming themselves at the windfall.  And I too wonder how much this is going to cost us if there is an acquittal or the extradition fails.  The fact that are trying to treat this like a mob case leads me to believe they don't have the solid case they claim to have.

    It's also pretty clear that Kim.com has enemies in high places.  I mean seriously, the only person I can think of that the US government has went after so fast and furious is OBL.


    Well, then again (none / 0) (#50)
    by sj on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 07:11:38 PM EST
    it was nearly 10 years before they got bin laden.

    Westminster Dog Show (none / 0) (#3)
    by Towanda on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 10:11:11 PM EST
    tonight, such fun.  Yay! for the sheltie that looks like our grandpuppy, but was a much better-behaved boy.

    But that silver collie ought to have taken it over the German shepherd.  The latter was a good one, but that silver collie was over-the-top gorgeous.

    The guy that owns that German Shepherd (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 10:15:55 PM EST
    He owes me $700.  Great dog, one hell of a loser of an owner though :)  Pay up loser!  I will track you down in Mexico if I must!

    Well, here for you (none / 0) (#7)
    by Towanda on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 10:38:57 PM EST
    is the one, then, that ought to have been the winner, the rough collie "Vinnie" from the lovely Wyndlair line.  One of the photos captures his expression, but none can capture his beauty in motion.

    I've been shocked by the appearance (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 10:24:24 AM EST
    of the German Shepherd Review lately too.  The economy is hitting everyone very hard.  Over time I've learned that just because a dog has a big photo spread in the Review, it doesn't make that a great dog.  It just means someone has +$500 to spend on an advertising campaign.  There was only one color ad in the Review this month too for a dog that comes from a line that throws collapsing pasterns.  There was also a three page black and white ad for white German Shepherds, which makes almost all German Shepherd people who show sort of insane.  White is an automatic disqualification.  The AKC is considering allowing the dogs to show in their own class though.  I don't think they will allow them to show in herding because being a contrasting color from snow is a requirement.

    economy is hitting everyone very hard? (none / 0) (#18)
    by Edger on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 10:27:53 AM EST
    Thank you Edger (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 12:27:03 PM EST
    She is an old internet friend.  I wouldn't know her if I met her in public, but she has been a blogger for a long long while.  Last time I remember reading about her living situation, she was having a much different life.

    She has been (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by Edger on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 01:22:01 PM EST
    a good friend to me for years also, MT. It's not easy for a lot of people these days...

    Ugh, about white German Shepherds (none / 0) (#20)
    by Towanda on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 10:53:24 AM EST
    . . . I had to live with some next door, years ago, and learned then the tragedy of their overbreeding.  Every single one had to be put down, eventually, because of the hip disintegration -- and the owners lagged in taking action, so we had to see how painful life was for too long for those poor dogs.

    Lack of alleles (none / 0) (#33)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 01:05:09 PM EST
    It is a very recessive trait.  So in order to reproduce it, you must have some pretty heavy inbreeding which will double and triple many other traits.  I know a handful of breeders dedicated to the whites.  They have dogs now getting OFAs of Good.  I'm not sure I've seen an Excellent yet.  But getting a score of Good on your GSD hips is like GOLD.  The dog won't live to see problems.

    I have also heard many complaints about temperament.  Of course if you have a dog with poor temperament and you double or triple his influence on a single puppy, oddly enough you will get puppies with poor temperaments.


    Breeder-controlled modifcations of the (none / 0) (#29)
    by the capstan on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 12:14:34 PM EST
    GSD have ended my love affair with that breed.  Had a lovely big, healthy dog from AKC show lines that was born in 1967.  My last (smaller) GSD born in 1996 had roach/banana hind quarters tho it was from strictly German Sch. lines.  (No continent seems to be free of this--and the often concurrent D.M. paralysis).

    Many former breeders of GSDs or Corgis (crooked legs) have migrated to my new herding favorite from Scandanavia.  We do not need the slo-mo studies from Crufts showing its wobbly gait to keep us from rooting for the GSD now.  (Audiences still connect the breed with its noble history, while erstwhile GSD fans wonder how many of the dogs will end their lives unable to stand or walk.)


    A bit overstated (none / 0) (#32)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 12:59:26 PM EST
    When I became interested in showing, that was right when the documentary about the King Charles Spaniel SM and the GSD gait breeding problems were being highlighted.

    Specialty shows are what was leading to so much insane gait in American GSDs.  I don't know what was behind the German push for "Ironbacks".  The best fights you will ever see are on the pedigree database when the Germans and the Americans show up to fight and cut each other down.  It is pretty priceless, but as soon as those brawls started...suddenly butt dragging GSDs on this side of the ocean began to disappear and hideous roachbacks on the other side started disappearing.

    I have in my dogs though a very slight tendency for a soft back right above the pelvis to exist.  It shows up from time to time, like one puppy in every litter.  Exercise does firm it up, but you don't want to run a GSD until they are mature because like all baby mammals their bones are soft.

    All my dogs are from American showlines though....we don't have ironbacks or roachbacks.  A roachback won't make it in the AKC ring at all.  It won't even get looked at, you must have a straight topline.  Both continents ended up with dogs not able to herd all day though for awhile, having lost their gait to strange breeder desires in appearance.

    When I came on, the breeders most responsible for the crazy problems were getting all sorts of hell.  The internet made it possible for everyone to give them hell all hours and days on end.  Take a look at Cappy or Kridlers Nutmeg, or any GSD that has won Westminster for years, they are rock solid in gait.  It's All Breed, insanity not welcome :)  And the crazy butt dragging has disappeared in the American specialty rings too.  Though I did see a strange GSD at CRUFTS last year dragging ass badly, the last of them I suppose....what the heck was he doing at CRUFTS after all the grief they've taken?

    Now the truth, never before have breeders had so much access to genetic testing.  For breeders breeding for health, the odds have NEVER BEEN THIS GOOD.  And according to Dr. Carmen Battaglia purebred dogs speaking in general terms have NEVER BEEN THIS OVERALL HEALTHY.  We have many many many GSDs now from the Champion list making the 13 club (a German Shepherd that reaches 13 years old)

    You will have problems though and problem breeders.  I know someone breeding a King Charles that has SM and a championship title right now.  People are aware though now.  The puppies are no longer going for thousands of dollars, the incentive is going away (thanks to the internet in large part) to breed dogs destined to be genetically flawed, unhealthy, and miserable.

    The Corgi club of America is a B*tch to get into too.  They are tough tough tough.  They make grown men cry.  Your home and facilities if you have them must be inspected as well as your reputation in general.  They are brutal about which breeders they allow to claim membership.  I love Corgis too.  I was looking at a show Corgi and its breeder warned me what I would go through if I became dedicated to the breed.


    DNA testing for DM: (none / 0) (#35)
    by the capstan on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 01:20:52 PM EST
    ..1,674 dogs tested, only half were "clear": > > > > CLEAR 851 51% > > CARRIER 530 32% > > AT RISK 293 18% > > TOTAL TESTED 1674...

    and there are many, many more untested GSDs.  (And some carriers have been affected, we now know.)  Until a person has dealt with a DM dog, it is hard to imagine the heartbreak.


    I understand...and yet I don't because (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 01:29:36 PM EST
    I have been spared the very real horror of a young dog struggling with it.  Our GSD that we had when Josh was born was beginning to display symptoms.  He was a rescue so we can't be certain of his breeding.  He was large though and gorgeous,  I just couldn't walk away from him.  He was seven when he became ours, and because of his age nobody was interested.  They worried that he would end up being put to sleep.  He was German in appearance but straight backed, I figured and so did our vet that he was out of what they call the German High Lines.  Their old "appearance" showlines before the roachback phenom.  He began to display symptoms when he was 11.  When he was 13 I had to put him down because of it, but for a GSD to live to be 13...that is the pinnacle of GSD successful living.

    And the moral of the story is don't (none / 0) (#39)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 01:30:56 PM EST
    get your puppy from someone who doesn't test.  When the demand for your dogs goes away, that fixes most everything.

    I also want to say (none / 0) (#41)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 01:36:49 PM EST
    I don't worry about a dog just because it is a "carrier".  DM is a recessive trait.  The only thing I worry about is carriers being bred to carriers.  Through careful breeding we can sideline the problems, without lopping off our alleles.  With purebred dogs you always have to deal with the problem of losing alleles.  As you shed alleles you set the breed up for future health problems that will eventually lead to its disappearance.  

    Sounds like he should have beaten Cappy (none / 0) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 10:15:52 AM EST
    He has not had the luxury of expensive campaigns.  He's earned everything he has through the hard pinching pennies slog, then to win so many specialty shows.  In the specialty shows your dog can deviate more from the tight All Breed traditional expectations though.

    You will probably never see a black German Shepherd take his/her breed at Westminster, it will always be the American traditional black saddle GSD.  But a really good black GSD could take a specialty show.  I will bet that if Vinnie had been a sable and white he would have taken everything, probably best in show too.

    Westminster is the dog show in the United States steeped in tradition, and they like their winners to be the most traditional Americana specimens of their breeds.


    Oh yeah, and Cappy has a litter (none / 0) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 10:19:13 PM EST
    sister that Carlos says is better than Cappy but he doesn't show her because he said she would beat Cappy, and she's a girl.  We can't have that.  We can't have some girl beating the most terrific male in the litter.

    who took non spoting group? (none / 0) (#8)
    by nycstray on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 11:13:37 PM EST
    Hmmm, there were four groups (none / 0) (#9)
    by Towanda on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 12:01:47 AM EST
    so three must be non-sporting groups!  I guess I'll go google to see if your query becomes clear.

    Non-sporting group (none / 0) (#12)
    by ytterby on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 07:39:38 AM EST
    winner was the dalmatian

    Ah, that group! Got it (none / 0) (#21)
    by Towanda on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 10:54:23 AM EST
    -- and we were quite happy here with that pick, as that was a wonderful pup, full of life and lovely.

    :) "full of life" (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by nycstray on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 01:36:47 PM EST
    is an understatement with this breed!

    Which reminds me (none / 0) (#51)
    by sj on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 07:16:18 PM EST
    how are "manners" training sessions going with your new baby?

    Thanks! (none / 0) (#34)
    by nycstray on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 01:17:45 PM EST
    No More IPads? (none / 0) (#10)
    by Dan the Man on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 12:38:51 AM EST
    A Chinese company is suing Apple for violating its intellectual property rights.  It's asking the Chinese government to ban all exports and imports of IPads to/from China.  Since all IPads are made in China, this would mean no more IPads.

    The Chinese company has already won in court a suit saying that Apple's IPad is violating its intellectual property rights.  This has led to government seizures of IPads in several Chinese cities.


    "Proview International Holdings Ltd., which claims ownership of the iPad trademark in China, is asking the nations customs bureau to block imports and exports of Apple Inc.s tablet computer."

    "A halt to exports from China would be 'catastrophic' for Apple because it would mean a global halt to iPad sales, said Stan Abrams, an intellectual property lawyer and a law professor at the Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing."

    "Separately, Proview filed trademark infringement complaints seeking enforcement from at least 20 local government agencies, some of which have started seizing iPads in local markets, Xie said."

    US Supported Rules Which Could Cause IPad Ban (none / 0) (#11)
    by Dan the Man on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 12:56:35 AM EST
    Hysterical.  It looks like we (i.e. the U S of A) were the ones who pushed for rules in China which could lead to an IPad ban.


    "Chinese rules allow trademark owners to request seizure of goods that violate their rights, according to Stan Abrams, an American lawyer who teaches intellectual property law at Beijings Central University of Finance and Economics.

    The rules were enacted partly in response to foreign pressure for Beijing to stamp out rampant unlicensed copying of foreign movies, music and designer clothes. Abrams said exports can be seized under rules meant to prevent manufacturers in China from sending unlicensed copies to other markets.

    'All of these things that Proview can do, whether its going to court or Customs, these are the things that we want to see, Abrams said. So its definitely ironic.'"


    Funny (none / 0) (#13)
    by ruffian on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 08:29:26 AM EST
    So how does a Chinese holding company end up owning the iPad trademark in China?

    Sounds like time to get a new trademark. I wonder if this is what is behind the rumors I read yesterday that the next iPad will not be called 'iPad3'.


    I guess if I would read the link (none / 0) (#14)
    by ruffian on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 08:31:44 AM EST
    I would not have to ask the question:

    Shenzhen Proview Technology registered the iPad trademark in China in 2001. Apple bought rights to the name from a Taiwan company affiliated with Proview but the mainland company says it still owns the name in China. A Chinese court rejected Apple's claim to the name in China last year. Apple has appealed.

    I never liked the name iPad anyway.....


    The Problem od Course is... (none / 0) (#23)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 11:01:35 AM EST
    ...the company wants $10B for infringement of copyright, which most companies would blow off, but not ones making the goods in the country.

    I love this case because America is finally getting a taste of it's own non-sense.  A child could figure out this company trademarked a name to associate itself with Apple or shaking Apple down.  But rules are rules, just too bad Apple, who I don't really like, in the company caught in the middle.

    And Ditto for Sony Music doubling the W. Houston music collection prices after her death which of course made Apple raise it's prices.  They have since went back to before death prices because of the outrage.  And again, from no fault of their own, Apple was in the middle of bad publicity.


    2011, Another record year... (none / 0) (#19)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 10:51:31 AM EST
    for Bloomberg & Kelly p*ssin' on the Bill of Rights.

    The Village Voice ran this recent piece with some Stop & Frisk horror stories...well worth a read.