Blacknell.net

Politics, technology, and society. And the seasonal incursion of pro cycling.

Month: May 2008 (Page 1 of 7)

Sunday in Arlington: 2008 CSC Invitational

Rahsaan Bahati wins the 2007 CSC Invitational

Sunday will bring us the National Racing Calendar event that has become the unofficial kick-off to Philly Week - the 11th edition of the CSC Invitational. Starting off as the Clarendon Cup in 1998, this race has developed into one of the premiere pro crits in the US. Over the years, this race has attracted impressive squads from T-Mobile, CSC, and Postal/Discovery. It has also served as a showcase for strong domestic talents from the likes of Navigators, Jelly Belly, and Rock Racing. If you're in the area, you'll not regret coming to check it out. Why? Well, take a look at the map (and more!) on the other side of the jump:

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Still Awed

Against all sensibility, the CSPAN coverage of today's DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee has been on in this household.  Most every speech and statement-in-the-form-of-a-question I've heard has helped steel my already hardened cynicism about humanity in general.  But while CSPAN was waiting for the kabuki theater actors to get back from lunch, it ran the launch of the space shuttle Discovery live.  And still, after all these years, it transfixes.  It genuinely excites.  For all of our failures, our weaknesses, our inabilities - we're in space.  And I am in awe.

Weekend Music: Slayer Edition

Cibo Matto - Sugar Water:

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The Sundays - Wild Horses:

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Where Do We Go - cast:

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Wait. Bob *Dole*?

So folks are atwitter about Bob Dole's calling Scott McClellan a "miserable creature." Well, sure he is. But that's not surprising. Bob Dole's a mean old bastard. What's shocking, to me, is that 84 year old Bob Dole is using email. If he's been online all this time, that makes me really reconsider some of the trolls I've dealt with over the years.

Deadline Tonight: Credit Card Foreign Fee Settlement Claims

The deadline for electronic filing of your claim in the credit card foreign transaction fee settlement is tonight (May 30th).  More info about the settlement and your options here.  The official site is here.  I'm just posting this as a reminder to those of you that, like me, put this to the side with the intent to sort it out later.  Well, later is just about too late.  Have fun paging through your passports. (No, I don't know if you're eligible, whether there are any extensions available, etc.  Please don't ask, because I don't know.  Really.)

Friday Notes: Feeling Like I’m Missing Something Edition

If you live in the US, the initials GM probably bring a car company to mind, and then likely nothing after that.  If you live in the EU, you're probably sick to death of hearing about Genetically Modified food.  I've always been a bit disappointed by the lack of a public conversation about it in the US.  Not because I think that GM necessarily equals danger to human health - that's a question of science.  Rather, I have strong societal concerns about it - something as basic as food ought not be subject to intellectual property laws, and thus controlled by a few owners.  There's a great quick summary over at Phronesisaical, which in turn points us to this Vanity Fair article on Monsanto, describing it as:
a look at Monsanto's approach to "protecting" its intellectual property -- its phalanx of investigators and lawyers threatening farmers (and some non-farmers) who they suspect of planting their GMO seeds without paying for them.
Worth reading. ~ The Republican Party of Virginia is having its nominating convention this weekend (apparently picking their nominee is too important to be left to a statewide vote).  Waldo gives us his wishlist of results.  My favorite observation:
[G]iven a choice, Virginia Republicans will always choose wrong. Not wrong in hindsight, but wrong like should I pick up some dinner on the way home, or drive off a bridge?
Me, I'm not standing under any bridges this weekend. ~ Something I think might be informative to the recent conversation here about the death penalty is Jared Diamond's examination of vengeance and the impact that the state has on expressing (and suppressing) one of our most powerful emotions.

Sexy Beijing

Some time ago, I added a link to Sexy Beijing over there on the right hand side. Completely forgot to recommend it, though. What is it? A very well produced show tackling life in modern Beijing ("love, lust, youth culture and street life in China's capital"), hosted by (the smokin' hot) Su Fei. Start with this episode (you'll recognize the opening credits in about two seconds).

Interview with Candidate Mark Ellmore (8th CD) – Part III

This is the third part of multi-part interview with Mark Ellmore, candidate in the GOP primary, where he’s facing Amit Singh (also interviewed at Blacknell.net). The winner of the June 10th primary will face long time incumbent Rep. Jim Moran (D) this fall. Part I is here and Part II is here. (If some regular readers have had enough of the immigration discussion, I encourage them to scan down to "The REAL ID Act and the Security State" section.) On Immigration MB (Mark Blacknell): So let’s jump onto some other issues. Immigration. This is an area that’s benefited greatly from immigration. This is an area that’s taken a very different approach than, say, Prince William County where, you know, they want to find every brown person and lock them up. ME (Mark Ellmore): Well, it’s not just brown. That’s just not fair. MB: No, I’m pretty sure of it. ME: If somebody was pulled over, and they didn’t have proper ID, somebody from the Ukraine, or the Czech Republic, or China or Japan, they’d get the same treatment.

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Under/Over

Kevin Green Is Dead

Per the Virginian Pilot:
Kevin Green, 31, was pronounced dead at 10:05 at Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt. He died by injection for the August 1998 slaying of Patricia Vaughan, who operated the store with her husband. Green shot the couple and fled with about $9,000. Green's execution was scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. but was delayed for about an hour when his attorneys attempted to get a federal judge to step in at the last minute. Once the judge declined, the execution proceeded.
May that rest upon all of our consciences.

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