Archive for November, 2007

Goldman’s Sue Over Pirate Site Offering If I Did It — A Recommendation To The Pirate Bay

November 30, 2007

When I read the bottom CBC story it brought back some memories.

Two months ago I was posting articles discussing ….. how with the proper search engine tools … anyone can find any book on the web. I used the book “If I Did It” as my test case.

Within a short period of time I was contacted by the legal representatives of the Goldman family. Within that second of reflection I realized that on a simple matter of morality ….. they were right and I was wrong. I deleted the link to rapidshare immediately. We were legally in the right, there is nothing that the Goldman’s can do ….. but this is a family that has suffered enough …. and I knew that it would be best to accept their terms. My lawyers felt that I was abdicating a golden opportunity to promote Bookyards and to resolve certain legal questions.

I disagreed, and I have not had any regrets since. What has changed is that with the passage of time I have now put certain boundaries and conditions on what could be put on the site, and on how to resolve any disputes that may arise.

Therefore …. my recommendation to The Pirate Bay is the following. On a legal issue it is true that it will be very difficult for Goldman’s lawyers to prove their case …. especially on a case like this. U.S. lawyers are confident that U.S. law can be applied to other countries ….. but I know as well as you do that this is not the case.

But legal issues aside, I can assure you that it would be best for you to drop this case ….. it is just not right. You will also feel good by accepting this decision. I know.

More Comment: Bookyards policy towards books that it has on its site and/or are linked to …. is very simple. Like Google, YouTube, Internet Archive, etc., if there is a complaint we will delete the link and/or book immediately.

More Comment: I will be writing a post this week that examines a contrarian point of view….. the moral case to provide copyright books for free. This is definitely not to be taken as a Bookyards policy direction …. it is not …. it is just a desire to open up a discussion which I know will be lively.

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Will Libraries And Bookstores Survive The Internet Age?

November 30, 2007


The following is an excellent article from Pajamas Media.

Will libraries and bookstores survive the Internet age? Richard Fernandez examines what the efforts by Google and Microsoft to digitize the world�s collection of books mean for readers and whether it is something to be celebrated or feared.

Read more ….

My Comment: the following is a reproduction of what was my comment to the article.

An excellent article that accurately summarizes certain developments that are occurring with online libraries. I should know because I am the founder of Bookyards ( http://www.bookyards.com ), a library that has been online for the past eight years and is one of the first to explore the commercial possibilities for libraries on the internet.

The only thing that I can add to the article are the following �. a historical perspective, and pointing out certain trends that are not explained in your article.

When we first started there were only a handful of libraries, with a limited readership. Today, there are over 800 legal libraries (the list is at Bookyards Library List), and approximately 150 online �pirate� libraries (online libraries that are providing books without respecting copyright law). Today�s overall readership for online books runs in the millions.

The content that was available 8 years ago was approximately 30,000 online books. Today, I would estimate that there are over a million English books online.

But the problem with today’s online libraries are the following:
(1) the content that is being accumulated, while overwhelming, is primarily material published before 1927 and is out of date. It is not only out of date, but �� and I am being polite �.. quite useless and not worth anyone�s time to look at.
(2) The format�s that are being used are not user friendly. PDF is preferred, but other formats such as DjVu now have been given priority.
(3) For most of these sites (Google and Universal Library) you cannot download the books.
(4) Copyright issues and legal problems have not been resolved, and it will be years before they are. This limits everything.

If this was the case, bookstores and libraries will be safe. But the threat that will be coming to libraries and bookstores will not be the projects that have been outlined by your article, but it will come from offshore online libraries that do not respect copyright laws, have modern books and content (some of them have present day bestsellers), are user friendly (use pdf), and can be downloaded (via through rapidshare and other file transferring services). Gigapedia ( http://gigapedia.org/ ) is a perfect example of this trend�.. a Russian online library with thousands of English books that are copyrighted in the West but are available for free on their site.

Like Napster was for music, YouTube and p2p networks were for videos and movies, it is these �pirate� websites that will have a greater impact on books, libraries, and the publishers who produce them than online libraries such as Google, Universal Library, or Project Gutenberg.

Update: I mentioned that Gigapedia is a Russian site. As someone commented they are not. (Gigapedia is actually registered in the U.S.) I was thinking of another site called englishtips.org which is a Russian site. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Fun Stuff on The Web — Things To Do This Weekend Part 2

November 30, 2007

My post from last week on what are some of my favorite websites on the web was a popular hit. So here is Part II.

Freebyte — a comprehensive list of free games. Their home page is also worth browsing through for more free stuff.

Top 100 Tools For Learning 2007 By Popularity — Some are obvious sites, but a number are not and worth the browsing effort.

1000’s Of Free T.V. Shows And Movies Online — an older post but still worth going through.

Some more of my favorite movie download sites:
Javaartist: a site with over 600 popular movies
Passiondownload
Rapidshare King

MusicMoz — a comprehensive directory of all things music

For reading, there is :
Bookyards The Library and also Bookyards list of free Online Libraries
50 Great Free Online Libraries from Research And Education
University of Texas, Austin: a great directory of online libraries.

For reading on portable devices:
Wattpad — read and share stories on your mobile phone
Memoware — Ebook and PDA documents for your handheld
Manybooks — PDA, iPod, or ebook reader

Some more pirate book sites:
Cool Dog Ebooks: a bit messy but worth the look
Free Comic Books
Nowhere Land for popular fiction

Previous Post: Fun Stuff on the Web — Things To Do this Weekend

Digital Library Exceeds 1 Million Books

November 29, 2007

PITTSBURGH – Nearly a decade ago, computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University embarked on a project with an astonishingly lofty goal: Digitize the published works of humankind and make them freely available online.

The architects of the project said Tuesday they have surpassed their latest target, having scanned more than 1.5 million books � many of them in Chinese � and are continuing to scan thousands more daily.

Read more ….

The Universal Library can be found here.

My Comment: I admire and give credit for this group in trying to provide books that are free and interesting to everyone. But while their goals are worthy, and their intentions are noble, I find the end product to be disappointing.

The reasons are the following:
1) A large number of their more interesting books are under copyright (1923 is their cutoff date). The result is that we are then limited to what we can read. A few pages (10% – 15%), and that’s it. And what is 100% available … these are old and uninteresting books.

2) Their format of reading their books is difficult to follow. I am not a fan of DjVu. PDF is cleaner and faster.

3) Unless you are 100% sure of what you are looking for, browsing this site will be difficult. There are too few categories with too many books in each category.

4) I cannot download any books into my computer.

5) Their server was slow yesterday. Today it is OK. This is probably the presence of bugs that will need to be ironed out.

Will they correct all of this. I think they will. They have a lot of fans, and they are providing a resource that is both free and extensive. Their advance search button to find any works is excellent and works like a charm (at least the examples are used).

Will E-Books Ever Be A Best Seller?

November 29, 2007

A good article from CNET on the question ….. Will E-Books Ever Be A Best Seller?

The answer is a big NO …… at least in the short-medium term.

The popular authors that produce the books that the public reads are beholden to the media companies and their publishing houses. This is where the money is to pay these writers (a very small and elite group), but to also guarantee that funds will be available for the final production, marketing, and distribution of an author’s book.

Once internet publishing companies can guarantee to match the same funds and resources that the brick and mortar companies can provide, the dynamics will then change.

But to reach the same $25 billion dollar revenues that the conventional book industry achieves each year …. this is a tough and impossible nut to crack under present business models.

The readership is definitely present on the world wide web. When I accumulate the traffic that online libraries receive on a daily basis, the total that I receive is usually a minimum of 5,000,000 from the top 25. A huge audience for books that are no longer copyrighted (i.e. books that are 50 years old or older).

Pirate book sites from overseas sites are now picking up traffic by word of mouth. When the first pirate website had the last Harry Potter book, its traffic peaked to 4 million on its first day before their server crashed. A testament that the internet public is ready to accept a popular author’s book on the web.

The problem is how will an author and publisher be paid. Under current business models, the money that we are talking about is too small to even seriously discuss.

crawling out from under the rock

November 29, 2007

NY Times just released it’s yearly 100 Notable Books of 2007.

I had read one book on the list. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

I am going to start reading non-school stuff again. SOON. Classes are officially over 12/17, but I am trying to have my finals turned in by the 14th because I plan on partying like it is 1999 that weekend. If you are in the Detroit area. Please join.

Oh, and I thought this was an interesting article about Book Bannings. Why stop there, I am all for book burning too. (said with heavy sarcasm)

3878

November 29, 2007

3878 DEAD US SOLDIERS (that’s just the ones who died “in theatre” OH GODDAMNIT TO HELLFIRE ON A STICK, don’t you just FUCKING HATE HATE HATE that term!? Like it’s a fucking Shakespear or some shit?!?!?! NO COCKSUCKER, THIS IS ***REAL***!!!!) FOR THE BU$Hitler CRIME FAMILY’S *ILLEGAL* WAR/OCCUPATION OF IRAQ FOR OIL.
(And does ANYONE report ANYTHING from Afghanistan anymore?!?!!?)
Notice something!? The number KEEPS GOING UP! And it will CONTINUE TO GO UP…until this fucking BULLSHIT finally comes to a long overdue end. Beyond belief that it was even allowed to happen in the FIRST FUCKING PLACE.
Just for the record, I am going to keep posting posts like this UNTIL THIS BULLSHIT ILLEGAL OCCUPATION COMES TO ITS MUCH OVERDUE END.
Just what in the FUCK is it going to take America?!?!?!?!?!?!? 4,000?! 10,000?! 40,000?!
Oh I’m sorry to bother you, American Fucking Idol is on and you just got a call on your goddamn iFoney!!!
Republitards and their culture of life?????????????????????

Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007

November 29, 2007
More fucking goddamn total bullshit from our illegitimate Nazi government!
SIG HEIL Y’ALL!

“BUTT IMPEACHMENT IS OFF THE TABLE…” yeah bite me!

Read this then run as fast as you can…!
NOTE:
That it says the Internet is an instrument of terrorism…!
I think that this bill, if passed, is grounds for us forming a revolutionary committee! Over the INTERNET! 😉
S. 1959: Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007

Bill Status

Introduced: Aug 2, 2007
Sponsor: Sen. Susan Collins [R-ME]
Status: Introduced
Go to Bill Status Page
You are viewing the following version of this bill:
Introduced in Senate: This is the original text of the bill as it was written by its sponsor and submitted to the House for consideration.

Text of Legislation

S 1959 IS

110th CONGRESS 1st Session S. 1959

To establish the National Commission on the Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

August 2, 2007

Ms. COLLINS (for herself and Mr. COLEMAN) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs

A BILL

To establish the National Commission on the Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism, and for other purposes.
    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
    This Act may be cited as the `Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007′.
SEC. 2. PREVENTION OF VIOLENT RADICALIZATION AND HOMEGROWN TERRORISM.
    (a) In General- Title VIII of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 361 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

`Subtitle J–Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism

`SEC. 899A. DEFINITIONS.
    `In this subtitle:
    `(1) COMMISSION- The term `Commission’ means the National Commission on the Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism established under section 899C.
    `(2) VIOLENT RADICALIZATION- The term `violent radicalization’ means the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change.
    `(3) HOMEGROWN TERRORISM- The term `homegrown terrorism’ means the use, planned use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual born, raised, or based and operating primarily within the United States or any possession of the United States to intimidate or coerce the United States government, the civilian population of the United States, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.
    `(4) IDEOLOGICALLY BASED VIOLENCE- The term `ideologically based violence’ means the use, planned use, or threatened use of force or violence by a group or individual to promote the group or individual’s political, religious, or social beliefs.
`SEC. 899B. FINDINGS.
    `The Congress finds the following:
    `(1) The development and implementation of methods and processes that can be used to prevent violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence in the United States is critical to combating domestic terrorism.
    `(2) The promotion of violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence exists in the United States and poses a threat to homeland security.
    `(3) The Internet has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens.
    `(4) While the United States must continue its vigilant efforts to combat international terrorism, it must also strengthen efforts to combat the threat posed by homegrown terrorists based and operating within the United States.
    `(5) Understanding the motivational factors that lead to violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence is a vital step toward eradicating these threats in the United States.
    `(6) The potential rise of self radicalized, unaffiliated terrorists domestically cannot be easily prevented through traditional Federal intelligence or law enforcement efforts, and requires the incorporation of State and local solutions.
    `(7) Individuals prone to violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence span all races, ethnicities, and religious beliefs, and individuals should not be targeted based solely on race, ethnicity, or religion.
    `(8) Any measure taken to prevent violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence and homegrown terrorism in the United States should not violate the constitutional rights, civil rights, or civil liberties of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents.
    `(9) Certain governments, including the Government of the United Kingdom, the Government of Canada, and the Government of Australia have significant experience with homegrown terrorism and the United States can benefit from lessons learned by those nations.
`SEC. 899C. NATIONAL COMMISSION ON THE PREVENTION OF VIOLENT RADICALIZATION AND IDEOLOGICALLY BASED VIOLENCE.
    `(a) Establishment- There is established within the legislative branch of the Government the National Commission on the Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism.
    `(b) Purpose- The purposes of the Commission are the following:
    `(1) Examine and report upon the facts and causes of violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence in the United States, including United States connections to non-United States persons and networks, violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence in prison, individual or `lone wolf’ violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence, and other faces of the phenomena of violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence that the Commission considers important.
    `(2) The Commission shall, in cooperation with the Department, the Department of State, and other Federal departments and agencies, as appropriate, conduct a survey of methodologies implemented by foreign nations to prevent violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism in their respective nations.
    `(3) Build upon and bring together the work of other entities and avoid unnecessary duplication, by reviewing the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of–
    `(A) the Center of Excellence established or designated under section 899D, and other academic work, as appropriate;
    `(B) Federal, State, local, or tribal government studies of, reviews of, and experiences with violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence; and
    `(C) foreign government studies of, reviews of, and experiences with violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence.
`(c) Composition of Commission- The Commission shall be composed of 12 members appointed for the life of the Commission, of whom–
    `(1) 2 members shall be appointed by the President from among officers or employees of the executive branch and private citizens of the United States;
    `(2) 2 members shall be appointed by the majority leader of the Senate;
    `(3) 1 member shall be appointed by the minority leader of the Senate;
    `(4) 2 members shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives;
    `(5) 1 member shall be appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives;
    `(6) 1 member shall be appointed by the Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives;
    `(7) 1 member shall be appointed by the ranking minority member of the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives;
    `(8) 1 member shall be appointed by the Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate; and
    `(9) 1 member shall be appointed by the ranking minority member of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate.
`(d) Chair and Vice Chair- The Commission shall elect a Chair and a Vice Chair from among its members.
`(e) Qualifications-
    `(1) IN GENERAL- Individuals shall be selected for appointment to the Commission solely on the basis of their professional qualifications, achievements, public stature, experience, and expertise in relevant fields, including behavioral science, constitutional law, corrections, counterterrorism, cultural anthropology, education, information technology, intelligence, juvenile justice, local law enforcement, organized crime, Islam and other world religions, sociology, or terrorism.
    `(2) LIMITATION- Not more than 6 members of the Commission shall be from the same political party.
`(f) Deadline for Appointment- All members of the Commission shall be appointed not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this subtitle.
`(g) Quorum and Meetings- The Commission shall meet and begin the operations of the Commission not later than 30 days after the date on which all members have been appointed or, if such meeting cannot be mutually agreed upon, on a date designated by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Each subsequent meeting shall occur upon the call of the Chair or a majority of its members. A majority of the members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum, but a lesser number may hold meetings.
`(h) Powers of Commission-
    `(1) IN GENERAL-
    `(A) HEARINGS AND EVIDENCE- The Commission or, on the authority of the Commission, any subcommittee or member thereof, may, for the purpose of carrying out this section, hold hearings and sit and act at such times and places, take such testimony, receive such evidence, and administer such oaths as the Commission considers advisable to carry out its duties.
    `(B) CONTRACTING- The Commission may, to such extent and in such amounts as are provided in appropriation Acts, enter into contracts to enable the Commission to discharge its duties under this section.
`(2) INFORMATION FROM FEDERAL AGENCIES-
    `(A) IN GENERAL- The Commission may secure directly from any executive department, bureau, agency, board, commission, office, independent establishment, or instrumentality of the Government, information (including classified information), suggestions, estimates, and statistics for the purposes of this section. The head of each such department, bureau, agency, board, commission, office, independent establishment, or instrumentality shall, to the extent authorized by law, furnish such information, suggestions, estimates, and statistics directly to the Commission, upon request made by the Chair of the Commission, by the chair of any subcommittee created by a majority of the Commission, or by any member designated by a majority of the Commission.
    `(B) RECEIPT, HANDLING, STORAGE, AND DISSEMINATION- Information shall only be received, handled, stored, and disseminated by members of the Commission and its staff consistent with all applicable statutes, regulations, and Executive orders.
`(i) Assistance From Federal Agencies-
    `(1) GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION- The Administrator of General Services shall provide to the Commission on a reimbursable basis administrative support and other services for the performance of the Commission’s functions.
    `(2) OTHER DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES- In addition to the assistance required under paragraph (1), a Federal department or agency may provide to the Commission such services, funds, facilities, and staff as they may determine advisable and as may be authorized by law.
`(j) Postal Services- The Commission may use the United States mails in the same manner and under the same conditions as departments and agencies of the United States.
`(k) Nonapplicability of Federal Advisory Committee Act- The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to the Commission.
`(l) Public Meetings-
    `(1) IN GENERAL- The Commission shall hold public hearings and meetings to the extent appropriate.
    `(2) PROTECTION OF INFORMATION- Any public hearings of the Commission shall be conducted in a manner consistent with the protection of information provided to or developed for or by the Commission as required by any applicable statute, regulation, or Executive order.
`(m) Staff of Commission-
    `(1) APPOINTMENT AND COMPENSATION- The Chair of the Commission, in consultation with the Vice Chair and in accordance with rules adopted by the Commission, may appoint and fix the compensation of a staff director and such other personnel as may be necessary to enable the Commission to carry out its functions, without regard to the provisions of title 5, United States Code, governing appointments in the competitive service, and without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of such title relating to classification and General Schedule pay rates, except that no rate of pay fixed under this subsection may exceed the maximum rate of pay for GS-15 under the General Schedule.
    `(2) STAFF EXPERTISE- Individuals shall be selected for appointment as staff of the Commission on the basis of their expertise in one or more of the fields described in subsection (e)(1).
    `(3) PERSONNEL AS FEDERAL EMPLOYEES-
    `(A) IN GENERAL- The executive director and any employee of the Commission shall be employees under section 2105 of title 5, United States Code, for purposes of chapters 63, 81, 83, 84, 85, 87, 89, and 90 of that title.
    `(B) MEMBERS OF COMMISSION- Subparagraph (A) shall not be construed to apply to members of the Commission.
`(4) DETAILEES- Any Federal employee may be detailed to the Commission without reimbursement from the Commission, and during such detail shall retain the rights, status, and privileges of the regular employment of such employee without interruption.
`(5) CONSULTANT SERVICES- The Commission may procure the services of experts and consultants in accordance with section 3109 of title 5, United States Code, at rates not to exceed the daily rate paid a person occupying a position at level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of title 5, United States Code.
`(6) EMPHASIS ON SECURITY CLEARANCES- The Commission shall make it a priority to hire as employees and retain as contractors and detailees individuals otherwise authorized by this section who have active security clearances.
`(n) Commission Personnel Matters-
    `(1) COMPENSATION OF MEMBERS- Each member of the Commission who is not an employee of the Government shall be compensated at a rate not to exceed the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay in effect for a position at level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of title 5, United States Code, for each day during which that member is engaged in the actual performance of the duties of the Commission.
    `(2) TRAVEL EXPENSES- While away from their homes or regular places of business in the performance of services for the Commission, members of the Commission shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at rates authorized for employees of agencies under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code, while away from their homes or regular places of business in the performance of services for the Commission.
    `(3) TREATMENT OF SERVICE FOR PURPOSES OF RETIREMENT BENEFITS- A member of the Commission who is an annuitant otherwise covered by section 8344 or 8468 of title 5, United States Code, by reason of membership on the Commission shall not be subject to the provisions of such section with respect to membership on the Commission.
    `(4) VACANCIES- A vacancy on the Commission shall not affect its powers and shall be filled in the manner in which the original appointment was made. The appointment of the replacement member shall be made not later than 60 days after the date on which the vacancy occurs.
`(o) Security Clearances- The heads of appropriate departments and agencies of the executive branch shall cooperate with the Commission to expeditiously provide Commission members and staff with appropriate security clearances, to the extent possible under applicable procedures and requirements.
`(p) Reports-
    `(1) FINAL REPORT-
    `(A) IN GENERAL- Not later than 18 months after the date on which the Commission first meets, the Commission shall submit to the President and Congress a final report including–
    `(i) its findings and conclusions;
    `(ii) legislative recommendations for–
    `(I) immediate and long-term countermeasures to violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence; and
    `(II) measures that can be taken to prevent violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence from developing and spreading within the United States; and
`(iii) any final recommendations for any additional grant programs to support these purposes.
`(B) ANNEX- The report submitted under subparagraph (A) may include a classified annex.
`(2) INTERIM REPORTS- The Commission shall submit to the President and Congress–
    `(A) by not later than 6 months after the date on which the Commission first meets, a first interim report on–
    `(i) its findings and conclusions and legislative recommendations for the purposes described in paragraph (1)(A); and
    `(ii) its recommendations on the feasibility of a grant program established and administered by the Secretary for the purpose of preventing, disrupting, and mitigating the effects of violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence and, if such a program is feasible, recommendations on how grant funds should be used and administered; and
`(B) by not later than 6 months after the date on which the Commission submits the interim report under subparagraph (A), a second interim report on the matters described in that subparagraph.
`(3) INDIVIDUAL OR DISSENTING VIEWS- Each member of the Commission may include in each report under this subsection the individual additional or dissenting views of the member.
`(4) PUBLIC AVAILABILITY- The Commission shall release a public version of each report required under this subsection.
`(q) Availability of Funding- Amounts made available to the Commission to carry out this section shall remain available until the earlier of the expenditure of the amounts or the termination of the Commission.
`(r) Termination of Commission- The Commission shall terminate 30 days after the date on which the Commission submits its final report under subsection (p).
`SEC. 899D. CENTER OF EXCELLENCE FOR THE STUDY OF VIOLENT RADICALIZATION AND HOMEGROWN TERRORISM IN THE UNITED STATES.
    `(a) Establishment-
    `(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall establish or designate a university-based Center of Excellence for the Study of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism in the United States (in this section referred to as the `Center’) using merit-review processes and procedures and other limitations established for designating university-based centers for homeland security under section 308(b)(2)(B). The Center shall assist homeland security officials of Federal, State, local, and tribal governments through training, education, and research in preventing violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism in the United States.
    `(2) USE OF EXISTING CENTERS- In carrying out this section, the Secretary may create a new Center designed exclusively for the purpose described in subsection (b) or identify and expand a university-based center for homeland security of the Department in existence on the date of enactment of this subtitle by designating a working group within that center to achieve the purpose described in subsection (b).
`(b) Purpose- It shall be the purpose of the Center to study the social, criminal, political, psychological, and economic roots of violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism in the United States and methods that can be used by homeland security officials of Federal, State, local, and tribal governments to mitigate violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism.
`(c) Activities- In carrying out this section, the Center shall–
    `(1) contribute to the establishment of training, written materials, information, analytical assistance and professional resources to aid in combating violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism;
    `(2) use theories, methods and data from the social and behavioral sciences to better understand the origins, dynamics, and social and psychological aspects of violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism;
    `(3) conduct research on the motivational factors that lead to violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism; and
    `(4) coordinate with other academic institutions studying the effects of violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism, where appropriate.
`SEC. 899E. PROTECTING CIVIL RIGHTS AND CIVIL LIBERTIES WHILE PREVENTING IDEOLOGICALLY BASED VIOLENCE AND HOMEGROWN TERRORISM.
    `(a) In General- In carrying out this subtitle, the Secretary shall ensure that the efforts of the Department to prevent ideologically based violence and homegrown terrorism as described in this subtitle do not violate the constitutional rights, civil rights, and civil liberties of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents.
    `(b) Commitment to Racial Neutrality- The Secretary shall ensure that the activities and operations of the entities created by this subtitle are in compliance with the commitment of the Department to racial neutrality.
    `(c) Auditing Mechanism- The Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Officer of the Department shall develop and implement an auditing mechanism to ensure that compliance with this subtitle does not result in a disproportionate impact, without a rational basis, on any particular race, ethnicity, or religion and include the results of its audit in its annual report to Congress required under section 705.’.
    (b) Clerical Amendment- The table of contents in section 1(b) of such Act is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 899 the following:
`Subtitle J–Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism
      `Sec. 899A. Definitions.
      `Sec. 899B. Findings.
      `Sec. 899C. National Commission on the Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Ideologically Based Violence.
      `Sec. 899D. Center of Excellence for the Study of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism in the United States.
      `Sec. 899E. Protecting civil rights and civil liberties while preventing ideologically based violence and homegrown terrorism.’.

    resume whore

    November 28, 2007


    Didn’t get the job out East, but at least had a great interview and made another connection. The Director I interviewed with is really cool and has been helpful offering tips and sending along a job posting for another position she said that I would excel at, so that is encouraging.

    Not feeling super confident about my resume, I had my boss at the library check it out and I am glad to say that the complete make over has left me feeling super confident. Who would have thought, right?!

    In my never ending search for resume, interview, and cover letter tips I stumbled across this. Kudos to Monster.com for making me laugh. I think #1 is my favorite.

    These 5 tips and more found here:

    1. Using a Cutesy Email Address for Correspondence
    Example: cutiepie@domain.com, or — far worse — something like sexkitten@domain.com.
    You Might Think: It’s a clever, memorable email address everyone will get a kick out of.
    The Employer Will Probably Think: I can’t believe someone would actually list this email address on her resume, let alone use it to correspond with me. Will she do the same thing on the job if I hire her? Yikes!

    2. Putting a Silly Message on Your Answering Machine
    Example: A is for academics, B is for beer — and one of those reasons is why we’re not here. So leave a message, OK?
    You Might Think: Mine is the funniest answering machine message this side of the Mississippi. My friends will love it.
    The Employer Will Probably Think: Good lord, this person probably lives in Animal House. And I just can’t risk interviewing, let alone hiring, someone like Bluto or Flounder. Sorry, Charlie. Click.

    3. Sending Your Resume and Cover Letter Without Proofreading
    You Might Think: Everybody makes mistakes, even employers. So if there’s a mistake or two on my resume, no big deal. The employer probably won’t even notice, much less care.
    The Employer Will Probably Think: Everybody makes mistakes, even employers. But making more than one minor mistake on a resume or in a cover letter is unacceptable, and often, even one is too many. How do I know this person will proofread the letters he writes to shareholders? What if he someday leaves a zero or two off one of our financial statements? I better put this resume aside and look for someone who’s more accurate and thorough.

    4. Winging Your Interviews Instead of Preparing Thoroughly
    You Might Think: I’m good at thinking on my feet, and if I get stuck, I’ll just BS my way through, like I’ve done on many an essay exam. Besides, they can’t expect me to know everything about the company.
    The Employer Will Probably Think: This person clearly knows nothing about the company, nor has she made any effort to learn more about us and what we do. She must not really care whether or not she gets the job. I want someone who cares. Oh well, maybe the next person will be better.

    5. Failing to Send Thank-You Notes After Interviews
    You Might Think: A thank-you note? You’re kidding, right? Do people even do that sort of thing anymore?
    The Employer Will Probably Think: This person has no follow-up skills, not to mention common courtesy. He could have at least dropped me a quick email note, like this other person did. I think I’ll invite this candidate for the second round of interviews instead. The other guy must not really want the position.

    After reading this I realized I should probably change my email to something else. Who would have thought honkeytonkbadonkadonk@domain.com might keep me from getting the job…?

    November 28, 2007

    Andy Martin on the Annapolis Peace Conference: Part Two

    ANDY MARTIN
    Executive Editor
    ContrarianCommentary.com

    �Factually Correct, Not
    Politically Correct�

    THE ANNAPOLIS CONFERENCE ON THE MIDDLE EAST: PART TWO

    �PALESTINIAN SUPERMAN� SEIZES THE DAY IN ANNAPOLIS;

    ANDY MARTIN PREDICTS: �SOMETHING IMPORTANT WILL HAPPEN BEFORE JANUARY, 2009�

    BUSH MAY HAVE CHANGED, FINALLY, AND REALIZED THAT �PEACE� IS AMERICA�S TRUE CALLING

    (CHICAGO)(November 27, 2007) My earlier column expressed skepticism about the Annapolis Peace Conference. And indeed it was a delightful photo op. But something happened at Annapolis that will have enduring consequences for all of the parties.

    First, a little background. George Bush and I have had a very rocky relationship because of my ability to read him as no one else can. I predicted Bush would go to war against Iraq. In 1999. And in 2003, I was there in Baghdad, sounding the alarms when everyone was telling Bush things were going well. And so I can say �I know George Bush� in a way that few can document because of my record of understanding him and predicting his actions.

    Bush, however, was only a supporting actor in Annapolis.

    The true superstar was Mahmoud Abbas.

    Israel, of course, is a powerful nation, with a well-armed military force and a cohesive government. Israeli power must be respected.

    Mahmoud Abbas commands nothing. He has no military power. No government to speak of. Behind his back, Israelis used to ridicule him. Americans don�t know quite what to make of him.

    I think I also understand Mr. Abbas.

    While Abbas was still only an understudy to Yasser Arafat I visited his residence in the West Bank. Unlike other warlords, Abbas had a minimal security presence. His home was not an armed camp. He did not fear his people. He has no fear today. Abbas may be the most underrated leader in the world.

    The one indispensable man at Annapolis was Abbas. The Israeli government would continue to function if P. M. Ehud Olmert disappeared. Likewise, for sure the U. S. Government will change hands in January, 2009, and we will still be a presence in the Middle East. But without Abbas, there could have been no Annapolis conference. America may have assembled the participants, but they came to a �conference� because Abbas was there to represent the Palestinians.

    He has revived the Palestinian national movement and given it legitimacy. The picture of Abbas and Olmert embracing Bush will be an enduring image. These men were visibly at parity.

    In 2000, I produced the Andy Martin Peace Plan (�AMPP�) based on my decades of experience in the Middle East. Slowly, but inexorably, the U. S. Government is moving in the direction I have proposed since 2000. In 2000 I stated that a peacekeeping contingent was essential, and suggested the U. S. lead such a force. The Bush administration has now accepted my proposal and has begun to study the issue.

    Likewise, I stated that parity between Israelis and Palestinians was an essential ingredient and precondition to peace. The two parties are not yet at parity, but Abbas is leading Palestinians to a level of parity that will make peace possible. Olmert may have spoken again Tuesday of �painful� concessions. I think in his heart he knows that those painful concessions are closer to reality. Abbas has seized control of the peace process and is driving the parties to the point of no return, where peace will be unavoidable and inevitable.

    Finally, and this is the crucial factor, Abbas has convinced Bush to invest Bush�s ego in the process. In 1999, I predicted Bush would go to war, and sadly I was right. In 2007, I predict that Bush will arrive at some sort of peace before he leaves office. Most likely he will increasingly adopt the AMPP as his blueprint. One can expect that both sides will leave the peace process snarling, but at some point peace becomes unavoidable and inevitable.

    The 2001 Taba peace proposal, abandoned and ridiculed by Israelis, is now the starting point for the final countdown. Ultimately, even Hamas will not be an obstacle to peace.

    In 1973, President Richard Nixon saved the State of Israel, for which he never received any appreciation. There is no �Nixon Square� in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, no visible memento of appreciation for Nixon. Nixon was a Republican. Israelis may have been looking ahead to 2009, when they expected a Democrat to occupy the White House. I think President Bush is going to preempt them. Another Republican.

    Israeli bombs and missiles have proven helpless and harmless to wound Abbas. Each time the opposing leaders refer to each other as friends, another step is taken, another barrier is crossed. Bush will probably have to �Clintonize� the final status dealings, and beat both sides with a baseball bat, but Bush is capable of doing so where Clinton was not. And I believe Bush has now become invested in the peace process.

    Some of my readers have accused me of being an optimist because I expect peace between Israel and Palestine. But I have not been a sap. Despite the withering criticism I receive from pro-Israel supporters, I have adhere to my view that Israel cannot endure as a nation in the Middle East under the current state of siege. Likewise, at some point Israelis will come to accept that Palestinians will never surrender their birthrights. Attention must be paid.

    In the United States, new leaders in both political parties will realize that it is time to start seizing opportunities instead of squandering them, and get Israelis and Palestinians to agree.

    At the end, Bill Clinton realized he had mishandled his opportunity. Demonizing Arabs led him nowhere. He tried to recover, but it was simply too late, and his time ran out. Bush has finally faced reality, long before Clinton did. Which is why Bush is going to succeed where Clinton failed.

    As a student at the University of Illinois I entered the advanced program leading to a commission as a military officer. We had to enlist in the U. S. Air Force Reserves and were given the opportunity to visit air bases and use some of their facilities. I was always impressed by the fact that many bases, and especially SAC bases, had a sign at the entrance that said �Peace Is Our Profession.�

    The U. S. had overwhelming military power, but that power was directed at maintaining peace, not making war. President Eisenhower was a master at controlling the balance and tension between latent power and peace.

    Sadly, we gradually lost Eisenhower�s steady direction and control. Perhaps inebriated by our own rhetoric about being the �sole superpower,� we forgot that the ultimate role of power is to preserve peace, not to embrace war.

    Americans are now, once again, rediscovering and coming to the realization that America is truly greatest when �peace is our profession.� Annapolis may have been a nothingburger meeting in so far as getting anything substantive done. But my feeling is that Mr. Bush is now a changed man. And that change is for the better. Bush has belatedly realized that to be a great leader, or any leader at all, peace must be his profession. Making war has led him nowhere.

    Something important is going to happen before January, 2009. And that �something� might just be peace.

    ——————————————
    Chicago-based Internet journalist, broadcaster and media critic Andy Martin is the Executive Editor and publisher of ContrarianCommentary.com. � Copyright by Andy Martin 2007. Martin covers regional, national and world events with forty years of experience. He has almost forty years of experience in the Middle East, and is America�s most respected independent foreign policy and intelligence analyst. Andy is currently a candidate for U. S. Senator from Illinois. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law. Columns also posted at ContrarianCommentary.blogspot.com; contrariancommentary.wordpress.com. Comments? E-mail: AndyMart20@aol.com. Media contact: (866) 706-2639. Web sites: ContrarianCommentary.com.