Reliable Answers - News and Commentary

Politics in the News

Whether you are a libertarian, conservative, NRA member or simply a citizen concerned with today's political climate, you will find news items of interest and relevance on Reliable Answers "Politics in the News."

What message are our legislators sending to voters, when they publicly admit they haven't done their job? How many bills are passed each year that policymakers haven't even bothered to read? This is disgraceful. This is called dereliction of duties and we must demand a stop to this practice.

 Title   Date   Author   Host 

The Heartland Institute

by Kate McGreevy

January 1, 2006

With the percentage of U.S. children who are overweight, some health advocates question the appropriateness of a physical education program predicated on the use of computers.

According to the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE), 16 percent of the nation's youth between the ages of 6 and 19 are overweight--setting them up a greater risk of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. The group had not established a formal position regarding online physical education at press time. "The board of directors has placed online physical education programs on their agenda for the December board meeting," said Paula Kun, director of communications at NASPE. "The board recognizes that online physical education requires their attention and expertise."

The Heartland Institute

by Patrick Michaels

January 1, 2006

One of the great fears generated by global warming is that the oceans are about to rise and swallow our coasts. These concerns have been heightened by the substantial uptick in Atlantic hurricane activity that began in 1995.

The frequency of really strong storms striking the United States now resembles what it was in the 1940s and '50s, however, which few people (aging climatologists excepted) remember. "If all these [non-polar] glaciers--including the Himalayan ice cap-- melted completely, sea level could rise no more than five to seven inches, because there's just not that much mass of ice."

Science Daily (TX)

December 31, 2005

CRAWFORD -- President George W. Bush signed a series of bills into law Friday, including one reauthorizing the USA Patriot Act for five weeks.

Bush and the U.S. House of Representatives had sought to make the Patriot Act permanent, but the threat of a Senate filibuster led to a compromise in that chamber of an extension until next summer. The House, technically already in recess, cut that to a one-month extension to force Congress to deal with the act next month.


by Ingrid Marson

December 29, 2005

Sony BMG has struck a deal with the plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit over copy-restriction software it used in music CDs, according to a settlement document filed at a New York court Wednesday.

The record label has agreed to compensate buyers of CDs that contained the XCP and MediaMax DRM programs and to provide software utilities to allow consumers to uninstall both types of software from their computer. The furor over Sony's DRM software began at the end of October when a U.S. programmer discovered that XCP software on a Sony music CD had installed copy-restriction software on his computer that was hidden using a rootkit. Antivirus companies later discovered Trojan horses that exploited this software to avoid detection and found that another type of Sony DRM, MediaMax, also posed a security risk.

The Register

December 29, 2005

Net expert Nigel Roberts has won a landmark legal victory by chasing down a UK spammer and winning £300 in costs.

Roberts, who runs his own Internet business as well as the Jersey and Guernsey country code domains, used his legal know-how to apply EU legislation to a UK company, Media Logistics. It is believed to be the first time the legislation has been used in the UK, and could open the doors for thousands of other cases.

The Madison Eagle

by Max Pizarro and Garry Herzog

December 29, 2005

As the House, the Senate and White House wrangled last week over a reauthorization of the Patriot Act with the clock ticking toward an end-of-year deadline, librarians were not being shushed on their concerns over the privacy of their patrons.

The flashpoint is Section 215, the so-called "library provision" in the Patriot Act, that allows federal investigators to seize "any tangible things" such as books, records and papers from libraries if they are deemed relevant to a terrorism investigation by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which routinely approves such orders without evidence that a search is likely to produce evidence of a crime.

Hammer of Truth

December 28, 2005

We've caught this kind of mislabeling previously when someone thought for whatever reason that Bill O'Reilly was a libertarian (and it was promptly corrected), but this one rankles me just as well.

Arguably the most interesting - and influential - Republicans in the Senate right now are the libertarians. They're suspicious of the Patriot Act and, I am guessing, pivotal in any discussion of the NSA and others' spy efforts. Most are Westerners and the other is Sen. John Sununu. He is from New Hampshire, which, as anyone who has spent time there understands, is the Wild West of the East Coast. All you have to do is look at its license plate slogan: "Live Free or Die."


December 22, 2005

India's Wipro Limited said Thursday that it will acquire payments specialist mPower Inc., a New Jersey-headquartered company with business ties to MasterCard.

The $28 million cash transaction will bring mPower's Chennai, India, operations into the Wipro fold. Wipro said mPower has total annualized revenues of about $18 million. Wipro noted that the deal will also enable it to have a strategic relationship with MasterCard International through the acquisition of mPower's MPACT, which is a venture with MasterCard. "This acquisition is a significant milestone in our strategy towards deepening our domain expertise and building a strong footprint in the payment industry," said Sudip Nandy, Wipro's chief strategy officer, in a statement.

Teleclick (Canada)

by Jeremy Maddock

December 18, 2005

There is little doubt that this slow and quiet weekend before Christmas has aroused great deal of passion and concern around the relationship between government and communication privacy.

After years of denial, it has finally come out that America's Republican government is spying on the telephone and email communications of, well, whomever they feel like. And what makes it worse still is that they have absolutely no warrant - no legal justification to be doing this. This renews the frequently asked, yet never properly answered question of just how far governments can go in the ongoing quest to fight terrorism.

Times Online (UK)

by Will Iredale

December 18, 2005

SCIENTISTS have for the first time found evidence that polar bears are drowning because climate change is melting the Arctic ice shelf. The researchers were startled to find bears having to swim up to 60 miles across open sea to find food.

They are being forced into the long voyages because the ice floes from which they feed are melting, becoming smaller and drifting farther apart. Although polar bears are strong swimmers, they are adapted for swimming close to the shore. Their sea journeys leave them vulnerable to exhaustion, hypothermia or being swamped by waves. According to the new research, four bear carcases were found floating in one month in a single patch of sea off the north coast of Alaska, where average summer temperatures have increased by 2-3C degrees since 1950s.

Carschooling by Diane Flynn Keith
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