Thursday, November 30, 2006

TOPIC: Fibromyalgia Pain: It's for Real
Researchers Say Chronic Pain Patients Don't Process Body's Natural Pain Relievers

There is now "overwhelming" scientific evidence showing that fibromyalgia and related chronic pain conditions are real, but their clinical management leaves much to be desired. That is the conclusion of two researchers from the University of Michigan who have studied fibromyalgia for several years.
Because there has been no obvious physiological cause for the pain disorder, doctors still routinely dismiss fibromyalgia as being "
in a patient's head." But after reviewing the research, Richard E. Harris, PhD, and Daniel J. Clauw, MD, write that it is increasingly clear that fibromyalgia is a central nervous system disorder and that patients experience hypersensitivity to pain. There also appears to be a fairly strong genetic component to fibromyalgia and related conditions. "It is time for us to move past the rhetoric about whether these conditions are real, and take these patients seriously as we endeavor to learn more about the causes and most effective treatments for these disorders," Harris and Clauw write in the December issue of the journal Current Pain and Headache Reports.

Brain Imaging Studies
As many as 10 million Americans may have fibromyalgia, according to The National Fibromyalgia Association. The disorder is characterized by chronic pain throughout the body, but symptoms may also include
fatigue, headaches, and problems with memory and concentration.
Brain imaging studies conducted at the University of Michigan and other research centers in recent years show clear differences in responses to pain stimulation among people with and without fibromyalgia. Compared to people without the disorder, fibromyalgia patients showed increased brain activity in response to pain."These studies indicate that fibromyalgia patients have abnormalities within their central brain structures," Clauw says.
Research by Harris, Clauw, and colleagues also suggests that fibromyalgia patients don't process the body's natural pain relievers as efficiently as people without the disorder. "We think that these may have both a heightened sensitivity to pain and this dysfunction in their analgesic [painkilling] mechanism," Harris tells WebMD. "It is not yet clear how this all fits together."
National Fibromyalgia Association president and founder Lynne Matallana says "This is a new paradigm for medical professionals to understand. It isn't a virus, or bacteria or inflammation. It isn't a tumor or something else that you can see. It is a problem within the pain-processing center of the central nervous system."
tells WebMD that the doctors who treat fibromyalgia patients face a unique challenge.

Treatment Options Still Few
While the recent research has done much to improve the understanding of fibromyalgia and related chronic pain conditions, few advances have been made in the treatment of these disorders, Harris says. The use of medications such as antidepressants can help some patients with fibromyalgia. And regular exercise seems to help many patients. Acupuncture has been shown to reduce pain in some studies, but not others, he adds.
Matallana says several drug companies are in the later stages of testing several new drugs designed specifically for the treatment of fibromyalgia, which target the central nervous system.
"We are really excited about this research," she says.

As someone who suffers from FMS on a daily basis, it is gratifying to know that our pain is being taken seriously by the medical community. For too long, FMS sufferers have been told there is nothing wrong with us. Hopefully, the families, friends and coworkers of those hurting from fibromyaglia will take the syndrome seriously, too. In my view, the three things we need most are: 1) Relief, 2) Understanding and 3) Support. We need relief from the constant pain. We need understanding from those around us. We don't look sick, but we hurt just the same. We also need support, both emotional & medical assistance in dealing with our pain and the associated depression that often accompanies it.

Monday, November 27, 2006

OnThisDay: November 27th
1870 - The NY Times dubbed baseball "The National Game"
1890 - First signal box for San Francisco Police Department went into operation
1895 - Alfred Nobel established the Nobel Prize
1910 - New York's Penn Station opened as world's largest railway terminal
1926 - Restoration of Williamsburg, Virginia, began
1934 - Baby Face Nelson shot by FBI agents

Thursday, November 23, 2006

TOPIC: Staying Trim on Turkey Day
Expert offers hosts, guests help on avoiding holiday weight-gain.
With Thanksgiving tables expected to be laden with an abundance of food, overeating and weight gain are tough to avoid during the holiday. But Kathy McManus, director of nutrition at Brigham and Women's Hospital, offers some advice for a healthier holiday feast.

For cooks:
  • Ask guests ahead of time if they have any food allergies or dietary restrictions. Include a few dishes that suit multiple diets, such as steamed vegetables flavored with herbs.
  • Experiment with recipe substitutions.
  • Eat a satisfying meal before you start preparing the Thanksgiving meal in order to control your munching while you cook.
  • Don't serve high-fat, high-calorie appetizers, such as dips or cheeses. Instead, serve fresh vegetables and sliced fruit.
  • Skin the fat off refrigerated gravy or broth before you use it.
  • Limit desserts to one or two choices and provide guests with a lower-fat, lower-calorie option.
  • Plan a post-Thanksgiving stroll with your family and guests.

For guests:

  • Exercise and eat healthy before Thanksgiving.
  • If you have a special dietary need, offer to bring a health dish to share with the hosts and other guests.
  • Eat a fiber-rich snack before the Thanksgiving meal to help prevent you from eating too much or too fast. Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated.
  • Make wise choices when you're loading your plate. Take only small amounts of foods with saturated fat and high calorie content. Divide your plate into sections: half vegetables, a quarter lean protein and a quarter starch.
  • Beware of "hidden" calories in alcoholic beverages and sugary mixed drinks.
  • Limit yourself to a small serving of dessert.
  • Eat slowly and stop before you're full. It takes about 20 minutes before your body registers that it's full.

More information
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about doing holidays the healthy way ( ).

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

TOPIC: Evolution vs. Creation
The problem with the religion of evolution is that it takes TOO MUCH faith to believe it. The laws of evolution are NOT even kept BY evolution. It takes more will power and faith in "nothing" to believe evolutionary theory than it does to SEE the creation and design in the ordered -- and created -- world. Evolutionary poster boy Huxley admitted that evolution was latched on to by it protagonists mainly to prop up sexual mores. He was so right -- people delude themselves with the religion of evolution for the purpose of not being responsible for their moral choices (including, but not limited to, sexual behavior).
Lastly, science is continually evolving and making claims that were once thought incorrect. How can anyone believe that science has proven evolution when science is continually changing its mind on the answers to basic questions?
A discussion on the topic of Evolution vs. Creation (or rather religion) is currently happening on ScienceBlogs. The original post states, in part, "... let's assume that by "anti-evolution movement", Brayton is thinking of some conglomeration of organizations like the Discovery Institute, Answers in Genesis, and the Institute for Creation Research (forgetting for a moment that not all of these organizations share the same goals, and that some of them, like the DI and AiG, have actually criticized each other)..."
One reader replied,
"Of course, the main thing they have in common is that they dislike evolutionary theory and spend most of their time, money and effort trying to undermine it. Which is why Ed used the term "anti-evolution movement".
My reply, though somewhat curt, emphasizes my point of view:
"OF COURSE the organizations mentioned spend "most of their time, money and effort" showing the false doctrine of evolution. That IS one of their purposes! They don't simply dislike evolutionary dogma, they offer proof of its fallacies- in the face of a scientific community too deeply invested in the lie to change directions and tell the truth now. AiG, ICR, DI, Behe, Strobel, Morris and Ham are breaths of fresh air in the smoggy world of nonsense put forth by the 'anti-creation movement'.
IF you are a true thinker, you _must_ see the insurmountable problems with faith in evolution. To simply believe, without irreducible proof, is to be a fool. Evolution cannot offer such proof. Creation already has."
There is MUCH MORE on this topic -- currently being discussed on the Internet. I strongly encourage you to join the conversation -- no matter which side you're on.
Beyond Belief 2006
NY Times "Free for All"
The New Atheism
Albert Mohler's podcast -- the one that inspired me to write on this topic (again)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

QOTD: The New Atheists will not let us off the hook simply because we are not doctrinaire believers. They condemn not just belief in God but respect for belief in God. Religion is not only wrong; it's evil. -- Gary Wolf, WIRED magazine

Mr. Wolf hits the nail on the head with that quote. The so-called tolerance crowd is vehemently intolerant when it comes to religion -- especially Christianity. This new atheism is less a lack of belief in God than it is a hateful religion of disdain for anything to do with a Holy God.
TOPIC: If O.J. Did, This is How...
by Roger Friedman
Fox Entertainment canceled all its O.J. projects including his book, called "If I Did It," and his TV interview with Judith Regan. That’s fine. Everyone’s mad at Regan, which is also fine. But let’s get back to the real story here: O.J. did indeed “do it.” He killed two people in cold blood on June 12, 1994. One of them was the mother of two of his children.
Yes, he was acquitted by a jury in the criminal matter. But he was also found responsible for the murders by a more sensible civil jury in 1996. I covered the O.J. Simpson trial for New York magazine and broke a lot of the stories surrounding that circus. For six months, from the day of the murder until the pretrial hearings kicked into gear, I followed every possible lead that would prove Simpson innocent. These included Nicole’s horrible little friend Faye Resnick, as well as many other similar murders in L.A. around that time. And this is what came up: No one but O.J. Simpson could have killed Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman. His friends may have helped cover it up, but in the end, it was all O.J.
There were a lot of theories about how he did it and lived with himself afterwards. Apparently in the unpublished book he himself says he had a "black out" period — if he did it. One theory that I came to subscribe to was supplied by a freelance writer and his brother, who was a Harvard forensic psychiatrist. To this day it makes the most sense: Simpson was having steroid rage. This wasn’t from being on steroids, but from getting off of them. He’d been addicted to them for years when he took a pounding in football and stuck with them later for rheumatoid arthritis. A lot of different details added up to this conclusion.
For weeks, Resnick’s boyfriend, Christian Reichardt, had been weaning Simpson off the steroids with a fruit drink that Simpson promoted in a TV infomercial. Reichardt told me this had begun in late March, early April 1994. By June 12, Simpson was probably not feeling too well. Erratic outbursts, extreme emotions — these were indications that his withdrawal was not a success. In the infomercial, made March 31, 1994, which was entered into evidence but never pursued, Simpson recalls "They had me on — you name it — Naprosyn, Indocin, Motrin, I, I had so much Motrin you couldn't believe it, you know.” Then he talks about the miraculous turn around in his life from drinking Juice Plus: “And then before I knew it, I just start skippin' the Naprosyn and skippin the Indocin and skippin the pain pills, uh, the Advil. I mean I was one of these guys who was on six or seven Advils a day, you know, until today when I don't have to take anything.
For some reason, no one bothered to ask the doctor what the effect would be of no longer taking all those drugs. And no one asked Dr. Robert Huizengaa doctor whose specialty was steroids and athletes — one word on that subject as well. Simpson, I learned from the FBI lab in Washington, had been tested for eight different kinds of drugs but not for steroids when he was arrested. My sources’ claims, they say, were further emphasized by the Bronco “chase.”
Al Cowlings, who’d been in the car with Simpson, described to a writer he’d hired for a book proposal that Simpson had been sweating like crazy in the car. His face had turned “golden,” Cowlings recalled. Sweat poured from him. Simpson was so incoherent that he let Cowlings do the talking for him. The chase was on June 15.
Three days earlier, Simpson had returned to L.A. from a visit to Chicago. Howard Weitzman had been his lawyer. Dr. Bertram Maltz, now deceased, had been his long term physician. When Weitzman handed over the reigns to Robert Shapiro, the first thing Shapiro did was get rid of Maltz and bring in Dr. Huizenga. Huizenga had just published a book on the subject, as physician for the L.A. Rams. In his testimony at the criminal trial, Huizenga said that Simpson had given him “a one-month history of drenching night sweats so severe that he would have to get out of bed, towel himself off and go back and sleep in the dry portion of the bed.” But nothing more was asked in this area by either side, and the words “steroid” or “rage” or “withdrawal” never again came up either in direct or cross examination.
I interviewed Huizenga on the 10th anniversary of the murders in this column. [You can read that column here.] As I wrote then: “What was most alarming, Huizenga told me, was how prosecutors treated him. His direct questioning by the state was from Deputy District Attorney Brian Kelberg, who worked for Marcia Clark. "I told them that Simpson appeared to be limping when he came into my office. Instead of asking me about that, they said, 'He wasn't limping, you're lying, we have tape of him from two months before.' It's odd that the prosecutors didn't even bother to ask about the sequelae," he said, tossing some much-needed Latin into our conversation. In other words: Clark's team never asked why Simpson had been limping, or what would have brought him to that point.
Indeed, Clark and Chris Darden, who went on to have fame and make little fortunes off their horrendous loss in court, didn’t do a lot of things right. It’s easy to blame Judith Regan for what’s gone wrong now, but Clark and Darden are the real culprits here, and the reason why O.J. Simpson is still walking around and causing trouble.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

TOPIC: And a Child Shall Lead Them-Maybe
Woodrow Kroll and his friend Tony Beckett, offer excellent devotions that are quoted here on The Sope-Bocks quite often. Here's one that fit me spiritually and intellectually, as well as career-wise. Kroll writes,

I started using computers before my daughter was born, and therein lies the difference. While I have learned, she has always lived with computers. There has never been a time in her life when a computer wasn't in the house. Using electronic gadgets seems to come easier for her than learning to ride a bike! When she has my cell phone, I wince, wondering how it might be reprogrammed before she returns it. I keep my PDA out of her sight, just in case.
Then comes the time when, looking over my shoulder, she says, 'Dad, you need to . . . ' You know, it can be hard to take instruction from a preteen, especially about something that you have been doing before she came on the scene and especially when she is right. There is something challenging about saying, 'You're right, child of mine.' You can't do it without either being humiliated or without being humble enough to listen.
The same is true about the Word of God. We sometimes fail to learn from what it says because we are not humble enough to listen. That is why James says, 'receive with meekness the implanted word,' which means that a person must have the right kind of attitude to accept the Word. The proud person does not receive any instruction well.
Pride can keep a father from listening to his daughter. It also can keep you and me from listening to the Word. The result from the first refusal might be having to learn the lesson the hard way-- and that may well be the result of refusing to listen to God's Word too.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

TOPIC: 21-Year-Old Anorexic Model Dies in Brazil
SAO PAULO, Brazil — A 21-year-old anorexic model who weighed only 88 pounds has died of generalized infection, a hospital said. Ana Carolina Reston, who had worked in China, Turkey, Mexico and Japan for several modeling agencies, died Tuesday, according to Sao Paulo's Servidor Publico Hospital. The hospital said the infection that killed the 5-foot-8-inch model was caused by anorexia nervosa, a disorder characterized by an abnormal fear of becoming obese, an aversion to food and severe weight loss.
"Take care for your children because their loss is irreparable," Reston's mother, Miriam, told the O Globo newspaper. "Nothing can make the pain go away. No money in the world is worth the life of your child."
Reston began her modeling career at the age of 13 after winning a local beauty contest in her hometown of Jundiai, on the outskirts of Sao Paulo. "I noticed something was wrong when she returned from Japan," Miriam told the Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper. "She was too thin when she returned and when I told her to eat something, she would say: 'Mom please don't fight with me; there is nothing wrong with me, I'm fine.'" The model's cousin, Dani Grimaldi, told the Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper that Reston also battled bulimia, an eating disorder marked by binge eating that is followed by vomiting or the use of laxatives.
The world of high fashion and modeling has long been targeted by critics who say it encourages women and girls to emulate rail-thin models. In September, a Spanish fashion show responded to such criticism by banning models with a body mass index of less than 18. Body mass index is a calculation doctors normally apply to study obesity, and anyone with an index below 18.5 is considered underweight. Reston would have had a body mass index of 13.4 at the time of her death, according to a calculator on the Web site of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Friday, November 17, 2006

TOPIC: Tornado hits Riegelwood, North Carolina
At least eight people were confirmed dead... 20+ injured (including children)

At least eight people were confirmed dead after a tornado tore through a tiny North Carolina town early Thursday as severe thunderstorms battered the southeast for a second day, leaving thousands without power and at least 12 storm-related deaths. Reports say 30-40 homes were destroyed -- displacing approximately 100 people. I have seen pictures of overturned cars, trucks and even a tractor-trailer. Mobile homes and brick homes were both "blown apart" by the F3-F4 tornado.
Twelve people are still hospitalized this morning; four of whom are children. Tragically, a 29 yr old Acme-Delco firefighter is among the dead. His mother and father were also killed, leaving his preschool age daughter alone. has a pretty detailed article on the aftermath of the storms. By the way, Riegelwood is 30 minutes east of me (in the same county). Needless to say, yesterday was a wild ride in our area.

Please pray for the families and lost loved ones in rural North Carolina. If you can assist with donations -- most families lost everything -- contact the American Red Cross. Remember, you NEVER know what day will be your last on this Earth. Give your life to Jesus and live eternally.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

TOPIC: If it doesn't fit, you must acquit...
That is, unless he confesses. Yep, that's right. O.J. Simpson and his Burno Mali's are back in the news -- in what the publisher of a new book calls a "confession". According to,
Simpson was acquitted in 1995 of murder in the 1994 slayings of his ex-wife Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman after a trial that became a cultural flashpoint and a source of racial tension. He was later found liable for the deaths in a wrongful-death suit filed by the Goldman family but has failed to pay the $33.5 million judgment.
The book entitled, If I Did It, was written by O.J. Simpson himself. It is being published by Judith Regan, of ReganBooks. Ms. Regan is quoted as saying, "This is an historic case, and I consider this his confession." I have to give her props for the color and emphasis on the book cover. "IF" is in white followed by large red letters spelling out "I DID IT" -- across a picture of O.J. Simpson.
Regan refused to say what Simpson is being paid for the book, which can be pre-ordered for $24.95 (on ReganBooks website). She said he came to her with the idea. Simpson's own attorney Yale Galanter said he did not know about the book or the interview until this week.
Other notable quotes: "
He destroyed my son and took from my family Ron's future and life. And for that I'll hate him always and find him despicable," Fred Goldman said in an interview broadcast Thursday on ABC's 'Good Morning America'. ... Denise Brown, sister of Nicole Brown Simpson, accused publisher Judith Regan of 'promoting the wrongdoing of criminals' and commercializing abuse. She added: 'It's unfortunate that Simpson has decided to awaken a nightmare that we have painfully endured and worked so hard to move beyond.' "
It seems that lowlife Simpson is trying to gain fame and monetary rewards from the book deal. Remember, he likely cannot directly receive money from the book, but some fancy lawyering could redirect the funds to some means by which Simpson can use the money.
In my opinion, OJ Simpson should have been executed years ago (via the penal system) for the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. Johnny Cochran and his band of marauding lawyers got O.J. an acquittal -- when it was more than clear that Simpson was and is guilty. Before anyone says that was the job of his defense counsel, THINK it over intelligently. The defense attorney's job is NOT to win acquittal, but to make sure the accused gets a fair trial. Simpson is guilty. Let's just hope the book "If I Did It" is his swan song of a confession -- and opens up new doors for the prosecution he deserves. Rosie Greer, Mark Fuhrman, Marcia Clark and the rest of participants should be warming up their cell phones and vocal cords. They will likely have plenty of opportunity to speak to the talking heads once the book is released November 30th.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

TOPIC: Any Other Way?
Devotion: Hebrews 10:1-18 -- In many situations we understand that only certain things are acceptable. Show up for a football game with a ticket to a baseball game. Think you will get in? Go to a concert with an admission pass for an amusement park. Won't work. Try to get backstage without a pass hanging around your neck. You'll be turned away. It’s easy to come up with example after example where there is only one way in; no others work.
So why do people understand this principle at the auditorium, stadium or amusement park but think it will be different with heaven? Salvation is through Jesus, nothing else, not even through sacrifice.
God had given His people rituals that symbolized the covering of their sins. These pointed to Christ's atoning death for sinners, looking forward to the ultimate sacrifice, Jesus Christ, who died for the sins of all people. His sacrifice eliminated all need for other sacrifices and eliminated those sacrifices totally. We read that "it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins" (Hebrews 10:4). Nothing else can accomplish what Christ alone did on Calvary's cross.
We need to know this so that we do not wrongly think that there is some other way into heaven. There is only one way, and it is Jesus. No sacrifice we offer, no deeds we do, no gifts we bring, will work. Just Jesus.

Friend, be sure you are saved.
If you are hoping in some other way,
you will be disappointed. Salvation is found in Jesus alone.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

TOPIC: Veterans Day
Today we celebrate the veterans who have served these great United States of America for more than two centuries. Men and women from every ancestry have joined the armed forces and given their time, energy, intelligence and even their lives in the name of Old Glory, the Union, Democracy and FREEDOM.
Their service and sacrifices must be recognized and honored -- with respect and not just a passing thought. Whether we agree with a particular conflict, battle or armed movement, we MUST support our troops. For without them, we could not enjoy the freedoms we continually take for granted.
From Doolittle Raiders, to the Green Berets, to the 82nd Airborne, to the Rangers, to the Navy Seals -- the American military is, at times, all that stands between the forces of tyranny and the rich freedom of the United States of America. My God bless the American soldier!

Friday, November 10, 2006

TOPIC: It's a Step in the Right Direction -- Christmas is In!
This holiday season, Wal-Mart isn't trumpeting big bargains only. It's also bringing "Christmas" back into its marketing, after several years of playing down the term. Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s Christmas cheer seems to be a hot trend this season as several other retailers including Kohl's Corp. and Macy's, a division of Federated Department Stores Inc., are also stepping up their Christmas marketing.
The moves respond to mounting criticism from religious groups that staged boycotts against Wal-Mart and other merchants after they eliminated or de-emphasized "Christmas" in their advertising. "We learned a lesson from that. Merry Christmas is now part of the vocabulary here at Wal-Mart," said Linda Blakley, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman. Wal-Mart said Thursday that it will launch its first Christmas-specific TV ad in several years, feature Christmas shops, previously called Holiday Shops, and increase the number of seasonal merchandise labeled "Christmas" instead of "holiday" by 60 percent.
Macy's is adding Christmas signage in all of its department stores and Kohl's is playing up Christmas this year in its TV, print and radio advertising, according to Vicki Shamion, a Kohl's spokeswoman. Still, not everyone is following suit. "We are going to continue to use the term holiday because there are several holidays throughout that time period, and we certainly need to be respectful of all of them," said Dawn Bryant, a spokeswoman at Best Buy Co. Inc., whose advertising omits any reference to Christmas. [I know where we will NOT shop this Christmas season -- Best Buy.]
Wal-Mart shoppers got another early Christmas present on Friday when the world's largest retailer cut prices on appliances a week after slashing them on electronics and before that, toys. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. — worried that holiday sales could be sluggish — has been aggressively slashing prices in a strategy that many of its rivals seem likely to follow, turning a boon for consumers into what may be a bane for retail profits. On Friday, Wal-Mart announced discounts ranging from around 7 percent to 17 percent on roughly 50 small home appliances, including GE microwaves and programmable coffee makers. The prices are effective immediately through Christmas, a company spokeswoman said. It is the third round so far of holiday discounts at Wal-Mart, which it calls rollbacks.
Last Friday, Wal-Mart cut prices on almost 100 electronics items, and in October it introduced discounts on more than 100 toys. "Wal-Mart will continue to roll back the prices of toys, electronics, apparel and more this holiday season to ensure that shoppers can find the season's best merchandise at one destination at the great prices," the Bentonville, Ark.-based company said in a statement. The discounting moves have come after Wal-Mart reported disappointing October sales and the weakest November outlook in a decade. Chief Executive Lee Scott told analysts last month the chain would refocus on selling basic items and price rollbacks after a year in which Wal-Mart went too far in stocking many trendy items, including its new fashion line, Metro 7.
Wal-Mart blamed the lackluster sales on a variety of factors, including a failed apparel strategy that went too trendy and a store remodeling program that it says disrupted business. The company also said that its sales growth paled in comparison because the year-earlier results were bloated by a rush of pre- and post-hurricane shopping. USA, LLC

Thursday, November 09, 2006

TOPIC: Have You Seen The Newest Version of Firefox?
It's MS-Firefox Professional 2007 -- yes, that means Microsoft Firefox. Actually, it's a parody perpetrated by a website at and Here's the story from InformationWeek -- along with my research on who is behind the parody.
Tongue-in-cheek Web sites are claiming that Microsoft Corp. purchased MozillaFirefox 2007 Professional Edition." However, when you try to download the new Web browser you actually get a copy of the Redmond, Wash. developer's for-real Internet Explorer 7. Two sites -- and -- both direct to similar parodies that tout the newly purchased browser as "It's better now like seriously" and sport IE 7-esque features, including one dubbed "Cut Away Effect," which disables rendering of nine-tenths of a page to "save system resources."
It also claims: "This is not a bug." Other faux features include Firefox 2007's "TakeOver" technology that, according to the site, "protects the Windows Kernel by automatically recognizing all McAfee and Symantec programs as viruses." In the last two months, Symantec and McAfee have both publicly criticized Microsoft for the PatchGuard technology in the 64-bit of Windows Vista, claiming that it blocks their access to the kernel and makes it impossible for them to create advanced security features.
The "Microsoft Firefox 2007" system requirements also tip toward the absurd. On the site, the list includes "A Credit Card" and "Microsoft Office 2007 (Provides the ability to scroll webpages)." Another feature claims that "Visiting the following sites using MS Firefox 2007 will cause your computer to shut down unexpectedly," then lists examples such as Google, iTunes, Apple, and Yahoo. The final item on the banned list: "Any sites with the phrase: microsoft/windows/explorer/vista/bill sucks."
Any attempt to actually download the bogus Microsoft Firefox 2007 Professional Edition from actually retrieves Internet Explorer 7, Microsoft's real browser. A download from, however, pulls down a copy of Mozilla's Firefox 2.0 for Windows. As of early Thursday morning, the site was available; later in the morning, however, it was offline. The site remained up. Neither site's owner could be tracked down. The .com site's domain owner's information was cloaked by a privacy feature of the registrar, while the information for the .net owner was clearly fake.
Here is what I found...
The domain name for leads to IP That domain is registered to Defender Technologies Group, LLC. DTG is registered to a Thomas J. Kiblin. Defender Technologies Group, LLC is likely the host for the domain and NOT the domain owner. I'm checking further and will update this post if I find anything else.

Thomas J. Kiblin
22375 Broderick Dr., #214
Sterling, VA. 20166
Record Type: IP Address
AGIS ALERON-204-157 (NET-204-157-0-0-1) -
Defender Technologies Group, LLC
DEFENDER-204-157-14-0-23 (NET-204-157-14-0-1) -
TOPIC: Michael Crook / Scott Vogel - ForsakeTheTroops and man-baiting weirdo
While perusing around digital photography websites this afternoon, I ran across the following post on the Thomas Hawk's Digital Connection blog.
It seems that someone named Michael Crook (aka Scott Vogel) was/is the webmaster of /.net/.com. Crook acts like a mean-spirited, pansy puke who says our troops deserve to die in war because they are stupid for joining the military.
Of late, Michael Crook has been sexually baiting men online -- pretending to be a woman. He then gets personal information from them and calls their employers, friends, spouses as a means of trying to ruin their lives. He seems to be in a battle with several websites over the use of his name and/or photograph. Not being one to shy away from a bully, I'm posting the Hawk's article and a photograph for you to see.
Michael Crook is an Evil Bully Who Should Be Stopped

Update: The latest is that Michael Crook [you gotta see his website] has made a bogus homemade DMCA notice to try and get Boing Boing to take down his photo. Fark has now also announced a photoshop contest. Fortunately for Boing Boing, their ISP is in Canada where the DMCA sun don't shine. It is also interesting to note that the photo of Crook that he so much would like removed from websites was from when he was on Fox News [.mpg or .wmv]
REPOSITION: Michael Crook used the website Craigslist to bait men using sexually explicit ads. He then impersonated a woman under the pretenses of meeting these man getting them in the process to reveal personal informationcontact these men's employers, spouses, etc. to embarass them for sport. This is evil and the worst of what the internet represents.
When his misdeeds were chronicled on the 10 Zen Monkeys website, including a photo lifted from a public appearance by Crook on Fox News, Crook tried to use the DMCA to force 10 Zen Monkey's internet provider to take the photo down. While I can understand why someone as evil who screwed over so many men might want their photo taken off the internet, I think it's abusive to use the DMCA, a law that was meant to be used for copyright owners to have their copyrighted material take off the internet, abused and used as a tool of censorship.
So above you will find the photo of Michael Crook that he doesn't want people to see. I have no problem publishing a photo of him after he ruined so many people's lives. I may end up getting a DMCA take down notice as well, but if enough of us publish his photo, it won't matter anymore and it will be in the public domain.
The EFF yesterday filed a lawsuit against Crock for abusing the DMCA to try and silence his critics. I hope that they are successful. Bullies should not be able to operate with impunity.
Although Boing Boing says that Michael Crook is an assumed name by him (I'm not sure what kind of person would assume the last name Crook) the website Truth Luster suggests that his full name is Michael Scott Crook. With Delaney as a surname for his mother's maiden name according to a post he made in a geneology forum and Vogel another name through his mothers line.
bragging about his websites which puportedly try to dismiss the Holocaust among other things. about themselves. He then used that personal information to
Here are a few quotes from this miscreant minded meddler:
  • "Our underlying problem is this: the military is a lifestyle these morons chose. What idiot risks their life for a country? It's what they chose. Hopefully, they knew in their hearts this is abusing taxpayers' money, and they enlisted anyway. So...Forsake our Troops! Let 'em die in combat-- we don't need their ilk in this country!"
  • "U.S. Soldier= Poster child for retroactive abortion"
  • "Don't military pukes learn anything? Nine more Marines bite the big one in combat. Stupid is as stupid does!"
  • "Number of US soldiers killed in the Iraq War, of their own doing, because they CHOSE to be leeches: 1,586. These scumbags asked for it, and got it. Simper Cry."
BTW Mikey or Scott Vogel or whatever your flippin' name is, if you read this, I'm in North Carolina. Head down this way and I'll make sure you get the full Southern-boy reception you so richly deserve. [wink, nudge] We don't mind taking good care of your kind in this part of the country. While you're at it, you might want to visit Michelle Malkin as well. She has less kind things to say about you. She's such a lovely blogger. :-)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

TOPIC: Donald Rumsfeld Resigns
President George W. Bush just formally announced that Donald Rumsfeld has resigned as Secretary of Defense. He will be replaced by former CIA director Robert Gates.
The only career officer in the CIA's history to rise from entry-level employee to director, and the only intelligence analyst to become director, Robert Gates headed the agency from November 6, 1991 to January 20, 1993, overseeing all foreign intelligence agencies of the United States.
Dr. Gates joined the CIA in 1966 and spent nearly twenty seven years as an intelligence professional, serving six presidents. During that period, he spent nearly nine years at the National Security Council, serving for different presidents at The White House.
The author of an acclaimed memoir, From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insider's Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War, Dr. Gates has been awarded the National Security Medal, the Presidential Citizens Medal, is a two-time recipient of the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal and received the CIA's highest award, the Distinguished Intelligence Medal, three times.
TOPIC: Read My Lips... We Are Going to Get What We Deserve From The Midterm Elections!
The votes are in -- and the Democrats are claiming that the results are a referendum on a failed Iraq policy and an evil administration full of nitwits and sluggards. Mark my words -- We, as a nation, are going to reap what we have sown in this election.
The mere fact that Nancy Pelosi will become the Speaker of the House is extremely dangerous for anyone who doesn't consider "conservative" a vulgar word. Pelosi's intent is to radically force the darkest aspects of the gay agenda on America, along with the continued and uninterrupted murder of millions of unborn children (through abortion, partial-birth abortion, the morning after pill and embryonic stem cell research) and open borders where all aliens, criminals and derelicts can easily enter the US. Groups like NARAL, NOW, NAMBLA, HRC, the NEA, Planned Parenthood and Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) must be peeing their pants with excitement over the Democrats win last night.
Pelosi will also likely push for trumped-up impeachment charges against George Bush, as well as criminal prosecution of Donald Rumsfeld. She is secretly, but definitely, trying to work her left-wing liberalism into the White House, where she can openly promote her nazi-esk feminism to Americans.
Barring some scandal that runs her out of office, Nancy Pelosi alone will set into motion events that will hurt this country for generations to come. Add to the mix, the likes of Howard Dean, Charlie Rangel, Hilary Clinton, John Murtha and other far-left extremists. It hurts my heart to know that the mass media accomplished its goal. Conservatives should be ashamed for not showing up at the polls and voting their beliefs and values. We will indeed reap what we have sown.
TOPIC: Trial Opens on Christian Schoolgirl Beheadings
Here's a story you won't hear on the evening news, nor will you read in the liberal press. It's about muslims murdering Christian children -- in a savage and brutal fashion.
Maria Mackay of Christian Today writes:
Three men went on trial in Indonesia Wednesday charged with the beheading of three Christian schoolgirls in October 2005. The trial of the first of three suspects charged with the beheading of three Indonesian Christian schoolgirls in Indonesia has opened Wednesday in Jakarta.
A Muslim man by the name of Hasanuddin is accused along with Lilik Purnomo and Irwanto Irano of killing the three girls as they walked to their private Christian school near their home in the town of Poso in central Sulawesi in October 2005. The killings were met with shock across Indonesia and the international Christian community.
Sulawesi has struggled to halt violence between the island’s Muslims and Christians and the murders are believed to be religiously motivated, particularly as the head of one of the victims was left outside a church. Tensions have threatened to boil over in recent weeks after three Christian militants were executed in September for fatal attacks against Muslims in 2000 – despite an appeal for clemency from the Pope and widespread international criticism of both the trial and sentences.
The suspects of the beheadings faces charges of premeditated murder and carrying out acts of terrorism, according to the BBC, and all three men could face the death sentence if they are found guilty.
The lawyer to the three men told the Associated Press before the trials that all three had confessed their involvement in the killings, which they said were to avenge Muslim deaths. More than 1,000 people were killed between 1998 and 2001 during fierce sectarian fighting in Poso and nearby regions. Sporadic violence continues despite a government-sponsored peace accord signed by Muslim and Christian leaders in the hope of securing lasting peace.
I ask again -- When are we going to wake up and see the danger of Islam to our beliefs, our way of life and our very lives?!?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

TOPIC: Top Hollywood Filmmakers Share Desire for Faith-Based Movies
Top producers, writers and filmmakers in Hollywood have spoken of their desire to see more faith-based movies that promote spiritually uplifting content as an alternative to the frequent violence for violence sake movies.
by Courtney Lee
Some of the biggest behind-the-scenes names in Hollywood film production have shared their dream to make more faith-based movies that eschew violence for violence sake and instead embrace great spiritually uplifting stories with positive content. Movieguide, an established family guide to movies and entertainments in the US, brought top producers and filmmakers in Hollywood together to share their thoughts on faith-based moviemaking at two special Movieguide Panels, reports Assist News.
"I want to do something that I can be proud of, that my children can be proud of," said panel member Leo Severino, formerly with the Producers Guild of America and the Fox Networks Group and first-time producer of Bella, a family-friendly Christian movie that became the surprise winner of the Audience Award at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival in September. "Good stories with good content. Beauty, art and morality go together,” he said during the panels, held at the recent Screenwriting Expo 5 in Los Angeles and sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation. Severino pointed out that filmmakers spend huge amounts of time working on perfecting the colour and lighting of each shot but challenged, “How much time is spent on the moral content of a movie?"
The founder of Movieguide and author of So you want to be in pictures, Dr. Ted Baehr, led the panels. "People want to see good news at the movies. People don't want violence for violence sake,” he said, adding that China and Muslim countries, which represent at least 50 per cent of the world’s population, do not allow sex or violence in their movies or on TV.
Joel T. Smith is a writer, producer and distributor who has worked on the TV movie Merlin and the TV series Tarzan. "There's a universality to Christian ethics that can be appreciated by many people," he said. "Christian products have universal themes that people in Spain, Germany and Scandinavia can relate to." Dr. Baehr also pointed out that films with morally and spiritually uplifting content and with positive Christian values and elements enjoy the greatest success at the box office. "People want good to triumph over evil. The average person wants to see people with hope."
Smith said, however, that it was pointless to criticise the Hollywood studio executives for their overriding interest in money. "You don't criticise a tiger for having stripes," he pointed out. "Ninety per cent of independent movies don't make money [but] the Internet will open channels that aren't there just yet."
Dr. Baehr ended with a core message for writers, producers and filmmakers who dream of making more faith-based films. "Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever,” he said, citing Daniel 12:3 and Ephesians 5:1-3 of the Bible. He continued: "Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people." Dr Baehr said: "Don't stoop to conquer.

Members of the panel included:
  • John Dahl, director of Red Rock West and The Great Raid
  • Will Davies, screenwriter of Twins starring Arnold Schwarzeneggar and a writer on Richie Rich, Beverly Hills Cop III and the upcoming Flushed Away from DreamWorks Pictures
  • Penney Finkelman-Cox, producer of The Prince of Egypt and Antz and Vice President of Sony Pictures Animation, which made the recent animated family hit Open Season
  • Denise Guerin, Senior Vice President of Film for alternative, specialised and digital film programming for Regal Theatres, the largest theatre chain in the world
  • Rob Hudnut, Mattel's executive producer for entertainment production, including the popular Barbie in the Nutcracker, the first Barbie movie, and executive producer of the 1996 US TV series Captain Simian and the Space Monkeys
  • David Sams, marketing and producing guru for such TV hits in the US as Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy and the Oprah Winfrey Show, the popular CD compilation Keep the Faith, and president of a new company that will produce and distribute faith-based, Christian movies and digital entertainment
  • Leo Severino, formerly with the Producers Guild of America and the Fox Networks Group and first-time producer of Bella, a family-friendly Christian movie that became the surprise winner of the Audience Award at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival in September
  • Joel T. Smith, a writer, producer and distributor behind such works as the TV movie Merlin, the TV series Tarzan, the upcoming Paradise Bound and The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, and producer and script supervisor for eight TV movies for ABC Family Channel, the Lifetime Network and the Sci-Fi Channel
  • Casey Wolfe, a top creative executive at the Walt Disney Company

Saturday, November 04, 2006

OnThisDay: November 4th
1845 - First nationally observed uniform election day in US
1879 - James & John Ritty patented the first cash register (to combat stealing by bartenders in their Dayton, Ohio saloon)
1922 - Howard Carter discovered the tomb of Tutankhamen in Egypt
1939 - First air-conditioned automobile (Packard) exhibited, Chicago, Illinois
1966 - John Lennon's controversial remark stating that the Beatles were "more popular than Jesus." (The quote touched off a storm of controversy and international protest, resulting in a worldwide boycott of Beatles music.)
1979 - 500 Iranian "students" seized the US embassy, taking 90 hostages (for 444 days)
1980 - Ronald Reagan (REP) beat President Jimmy Carter (DEM) by a landslide
1986 - Democrats gained control over the US Senate (held until 1995)

Friday, November 03, 2006

TOPIC: The TRUTH About the Waxman Report
Several websites, blogs and agencies have renewed articles (this week) about the Waxman Report (the recent one regarding Crisis Pregnancy Centers, not the 2003/2004 The Content of Federally Funded Abstinence-Only Education Programs report). Most responsible researchers and agency personnel knew there were outright lies in Representative Henry Waxman's report when it was first touted by Planned Parenthood and liberal newspapers. Now, the truth is out in the open -- again.
The TRUTH is that Henry Waxman is against pro-life and CPCs. He is very PRO-ABORTION (including partial birth abortion) -- and he pushed for a report that would prop up his own morals.
Jane Jimenez did some research into the underpinnings of the initial Waxman Report on abstinence programs. Her findings are as true now as they were of the original report. "Henry Waxman ordered the report. Why? Because he wanted to. Waxman’s own paid staff prepared the report…for their boss…who hires and fires them. ... Waxman receives a 100 percent rating from Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and NOW…earned for his steadfast support of abortion on demand and without restriction and of same-sex marriage."
As for the most recent Waxman Report, Concerned Women of America (the right's answer to the abortion-minded NOW) wrote on their website:
A report spearheaded by pro-abortion Rep. Henry Waxman (D-California) states that 20 of 23 crisis pregnancy centers gave "false or misleading information about the potential risks of an abortion" to staff investigators who posed as pregnant 17-year-olds, The Washington Post said. The congressional report claims that this information "denies the teenagers and women vital health information, prevents them from making an informed decision, and is not an accepted public health practice."
Thirteen of the crisis pregnancy centers said that abortion commonly causes severe psychological effects. Seven told investigators that abortion increases risks in future pregnancies, such as infertility and miscarriages. Eight told callers that abortion also increases the risk of developing breast cancer. However, despite the claims of abortion advocates who are behind Waxman's report, the pregnancy centers based their responses on sound research.
Dr. Janet Daling of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (who says she is pro-choice) brings dramatic evidence to the table: "I resent people messing with scientific data to further their own agenda, be they pro-choice or pro-life. I would have loved to have found no association between breast cancer and abortion, but our research is rock solid and our data is accurate." Dr. Daling's research found overall a 50 percent risk increase in women who had undergone an abortion. So why skew the data?
"The abortion industry views CPCs as competition and fears that they will take away their customers," says Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America. "They know that if women are properly educated on the physical and emotional dangers of abortion, many times they will opt out of the dangerous procedure. CPCs take the time to inform women about the consequences of their decision to either continue or end their pregnancy."
TOPIC: What Does the Midterm Election Cycle Mean for America?
Democrats need a fifteen-seat pickup to regain the House and a gain of six seats to claim the Senate. The White House traditionally loses seats in midterm congressional races. The most recent exception was 2002, when Bush's party picked up seats. Before you give up on Republicans, and buy into the liberal media's postulating, think about what happens if each party wins.

If the Republicans keep control over Congress:
- Possibility of 2-3 conservative Supreme Court judges who will uphold the Constitution -- as written
- Hope of curbing judicial tyranny in Circuit Courts of Appeal
- Tax cuts deserved by American citizenry would become permanent
- Much needed Social Security reform
- Possibility of stopping the bloody tide of the murder of millions of unborn children
- Illegal aliens will be treated as such
- The family-killing gay marriage will likely go back into the closet
- A strong defense system ready to fight anywhere in the world
- ACTION when it is needed

President Bush, in his own get-out-the-vote appeal, told Republicans:"The consequences of not succeeding this fall are dire for our agenda for America." Never has George W. Bush spoken truer words.

If Democrats keep control over Congress:
- Nancy Pelosi would become Speaker of the House (That is EXTREMELY scary!)
- Jim McDermott or Charlie Rangel would be in charge of House Ways & Means Committee
- Harry Reid would likely rise to Senate Majority Leader
- President Bush's tax cuts would be repealed
- Higher taxes for everyone -- especially the middle class
- Social Security funds would continue to be raided by Congress
- Probability of 2-3 more liberal, activist Supreme Court judges
- "Undocumented aliens" would be allowed to waltz in to the US and sign up for welfare, medicaid, etc.
- Gay marriage will be embraced -- without the truth of ALL the problems it will create
- Base closings and huge military cutbacks -- resulting in an ill-prepared military
- TALK, POLLS, RHETORIC -- when action is needed

Democratic victories essentially could block Bush's remaining agenda and usher in a period of intense partisan bickering over nearly every measure to come before Congress. Loss of either chamber also could subject his administration to endless congressional inquiries and investigations. Devvy Kidd adds, "What you do think will happen if the Democrats take control of Congress? They will do the same thing they did for 40 years prior to the Republicans taking control in 1995: they will spend you into poverty, push every destructive social behavior out there ("rights" for sodomites, same sex marriage and teaching this filth to school children). They will continue their quest to violate the true meaning of the Second Amendment..."

  • If you remember Mark Foley, don't forget Monica Lewinsky.
  • If you remember the war in Iraq, don't forget more than a dozen terrorist attacks on US citizens BEFORE the war in Iraq.
  • If you think there are problems in Iraq now, don't forget what happened when we cut & run under a Democratic administration -- thousands of Iraqis died at the hands of Saddam Hussein's death squads, terrorism from the Middle East grew exponentially and 9/11 happened on OUR soil.
  • If you remember ANY negative economic news, remember who signed away MILLIONS of American jobs -- HINT: Bill Clinton and NAFTA, GATT and/or CAFTA!
  • If you remember (and dislike) a hard stance on North Korea and Iran becoming part of the nuclear club, don't forget who fed them the technology: China. And who gave China a huge leap forward in technology (including military secrets): The Democratic Administration of Bill Clinton and Al Gore (the men John Kerry idolizes)
  • If you remember the deficit, don't forget what we've been through the past 6 years ( bust, 9/11 attacks -- and all of the economic hardship after it, the hurricanes, floods, fires)
  • If you remember what is called a "slow federal reaction" to Hurricane Katrina, don't forget who caused the slow reaction -- Democrat Mayor Ray Nagin and a Democrat Governor (neither of whom seemed to have enough sense to poor pee out of a boot).
Jackj writes on the Republicans & Conservatives blog, "I would like to chastise the Republicans, but not at the price of electing Dems. The Dems did not improve during their time in the wilderness. On the contrary, they seemed to have moved left and become even more squishy." I agree! I would like to chastise the Republicans, too. BUT, certainly not at the price of electing liberals -- especially from the Democratic party. My childrendeserve better as they enter adulthood and start families of their own. Don't yours?