It's a (slightly updated) working reproduction of an Enigma machine! Wikipedia says it "makes use of 40-point rotors, allowing letters, numbers and some punctuation". It also appears to have Centronics printer connectors (what, no USB?)

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I got your checks and balances right here

Administration tells Congress (again) - We won't abide by your "laws"

There are numerous noteworthy items, but the most significant, by far, is that the DoJ made clear to Congress that even if Congress passes some sort of newly amended FISA of the type which Sen. DeWine introduced, and even if the President "agrees" to it and signs it into law, the President still has the power to violate that law if he wants to. Put another way, the Administration is telling the Congress -- again -- that they can go and pass all the laws they want which purport to liberalize or restrict the President's powers, and it does not matter, because the President has and intends to preserve the power to do whatever he wants regardless of what those laws provide. [...]

Put another way, the Administration has seized the power of Congress to make the laws, they have seized the power of the judiciary to interpret the laws, and they execute them as well. They have consolidated within themselves all of the powers of the government, particularly with regard to national security. This situation is, of course, exactly what Madison warned about in Federalist 47; it really is the very opposite of everything our Government is intended to be: [...]

As usual, the most amazing aspect of all of this is not that the Administration is claiming these powers. It is that even as it claims them as expressly and clearly as can be, the Congress continues to ignore it and pretend that it still retains power to restrict the Administration by the laws it passes. And the media continues to fail in its duty to inform the country about the powers the Administration has seized, likely because they are so extreme that people still do not really believe that the Administration means what they are saying. What else do they need to do in order to demonstrate their sincerity?


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Bird Flu Investment Opportunities!

Bear Stearns warns against airline stocks due to 'imminent' bird flu

Investment bank Bear Stearns has advised investors to start dumping airline and retail stocks in favour of blue-chip utilities as a hedge against bird flu, warning that a full human pandemic of the H5N1 virus could set off the worst global stock market crash since the 1930s.

In the first detailed study of its kind, the US bank suggests buying Scottish Power, biotech companies such as Amgen and Medimmune, and the US health group St Jude Medical Inc, citing them as the sort of companies that would hold up well or even rise in the first phase of a pandemic.

Any stock slide would most likely be followed quickly by a V-shaped recovery, creating a rare chance to snap up shares at super-cheap prices.

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The Collapse of the Perito Moreno

The Perito Moreno is a giant mess of ice that flows out of the mountains in the southern Argentine province of Santa Cruz, near El Calafate, looking for trouble. In a world of sissy nature that requires protection, handholding, wilderness reserves, careful study and constant medical attention, the Perito Moreno glacier is a refreshing throwback. This glacier wants you dead. It wants to come out and crush you under billions of tons of ice, carve its name into your face, and maraud out into the plains of Patagonia until it reaches the sea. You don't have to go into the mountains looking for the Perito Moreno - it's coming out of the mountains to look for you. It wants to come over there and mess you up good.

DNA Lounge: Wherein there are both dancers and Texans.

Photos are up of the Burlesque Be'elzapalooza. A swell time was had by all. Pretty good turn-out, too! Along with the Usual Suspects, there was a new "ick" factor this time: a kissing booth where you could get yourself tongued by a clown with a mouth full of whipped cream. That is our role here: to bring you the very stuff of which nightmares are made.

And in national news:

Texas arresting people in bars for being drunk

    SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) - Texas has begun sending undercover agents into bars to arrest drinkers for being drunk, a spokeswoman for the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission said on Wednesday.

    The first sting operation was conducted recently in a Dallas suburb where agents infiltrated 36 bars and arrested 30 people for public intoxication, said the commission's Carolyn Beck.

    Being in a bar does not exempt one from the state laws against public drunkenness, Beck said.


Resort Hotels of the Stratospheric Future!

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