The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Tornado reported in New Hampshire

A fast-moving storm system blew through Southern New Hampshire yesterday, dropping pea-sized hail and buckets of rain. I watched it from the Peddler's Daughter in Nashua. I noticed what I thought was a wall cloud, but seeing no rotation I disregarded it. It turned out I may have been right, because several people reported a tornado and water spouts touching down northeast of me:

As the storm arrived, observers a few miles north on Ocean Boulevard in Hampton saw a strange, wedge-shaped cloud. It was not a classic "twister," but a conical, black mass pointing forward and down from the lead edge of the main storm. A few minutes later, those observers saw two waterspouts moving over the ocean. One was east of Great Boars Head; the other perhaps a mile further south.

I'm glad no one was seriously hurt.

Update, May 23, 8:26 ET (12:26 UTC): The Manchester Union-Leader confirms it was a tornado, with photos.

Revised prediction

I may have opined on this subject earlier, but here follows my prediction, with which people may ridicule me in three years:

In approximately 974 days and 15 hours, we will see the inagurations of President Gore and Vice President Warner.

I believe I am making this prediction with considerably more evidence than Shrub made his prediction that democracy would flourish in Iraq within the same time-frame.

Oh, the pain she has visited upun me

My accountant, whom I always considered to be a nice person and free of malice, sent this to me this morning:

A Good Pun Is Its Own Re-Word

Energizer Bunny arrested - charged with battery.

A pessimist's blood type is always b-negative.

Practice safe eating - always use condiments.

A Freudian slip is when you say one thing but mean your mother.

Shotgun wedding: A case of wife or death.

I used to work in a blanket factory, but it folded.

Marriage is the mourning after the knot before.

A hangover is the wrath of grapes.

Corduroy pillows are making headlines.

Is a book on voyeurism a peeping tome?

Sea captains don't like crew cuts.

Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?

A successful diet is the triumph of mind over platter.

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

A gossip is someone with a great sense of rumor.

Without geometry, life is pointless.

When you dream in color, it's a pigment of your imagination.

Reading while sunbathing makes you well-red.

A man's home is his castle, in a manor of speaking.

Dijon vu - the same mustard as before.

When two egotists meet, it's an I for an I.

A bicycle can't stand on its own because it is two-tired.

What's the definition of a will? (Come on, it's a dead giveaway!)

A backwards poet writes inverse.

In democracy your vote counts. In feudalism, your count votes.

A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.

If you don't pay your exorcist, you get repossessed.

With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.

Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft, and I'll show you a flat minor.

When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.

The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.

A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.

You feel stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.

Local Area Network in Australia: The LAN down under.

He often broke into song because he couldn't find the key.

Every calendar's days are numbered.

A lot of money is tainted. It t'aint yours and it t'aint mine.

A boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat.

He had a photographic memory that was never developed.

The short fortuneteller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.

Once you've seen one shopping center, you've seen a mall.

Those who jump off a Paris bridge are in Seine.

When an actress saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd dye.

Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead-to-know basis.

Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.

Acupuncture is a jab well done.

Why privacy is important

Excellent column by Bruce Schneier:

A future in which privacy would face constant assault was so alien to the framers of the Constitution that it never occurred to them to call out privacy as an explicit right. Privacy was inherent to the nobility of their being and their cause. Of course being watched in your own home was unreasonable. Watching at all was an act so unseemly as to be inconceivable among gentlemen in their day. You watched convicted criminals, not free citizens. You ruled your own home. It's intrinsic to the concept of liberty.
Too many wrongly characterize the debate as "security versus privacy." The real choice is liberty versus control. Tyranny, whether it arises under threat of foreign physical attack or under constant domestic authoritative scrutiny, is still tyranny. Liberty requires security without intrusion, security plus privacy. Widespread police surveillance is the very definition of a police state. And that's why we should champion privacy even when we have nothing to hide.

No! No! Oh, the humanity!

The Chicago Tribune reports that Anheuser-Busch is buying a stake in Goose Island Brewing Co.:

Anheuser-Busch Inc., which brews Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob and other beers, is close to purchasing up to 35 percent of the local brewery and taking over distribution of the Chicago beer that is growing in popularity.
Neither Goose Island president and founder John Hall nor his son Greg, Goose's brewmaster, could be reached for comment on the negotiations that have stretched on more than six months.
A deal will relieve Goose Island of the marketing and sales problems that have hung over the brewery since it terminated its sales and marketing agreement with United States Beverage LLC in 2004.
The company had been using the firm to help market to retailers and bars and assist in contracting deals to use excess brewing capacity at its West Side brewery.

For those readers outside Chicago, Goose Island makes the best beer in Chicago. I hope, if Busch buys a third of them, that they continue. But it's sad.

Judge allows AT&T documents in EFF case

In the ongoing, and now expanded, case the Electronic Frontier Foundation has brought against AT&T for its role in aiding the National Security Agency's efforts to spy on us, U.S. District Court Judge Vaughan Walker will allow confidential AT&T documents into the case:

The evidence at issue was filed as support for EFF's motion for a preliminary injunction against AT&T, seeking to stop the company's ongoing violations of the law and the privacy of its customers.
AT&T had requested that the evidence be returned to AT&T, and not used in the case. Wednesday, Judge Walker denied that request. Although the allegedly proprietary documents will remain under seal, Judge Walker instructed AT&T to work with EFF to narrowly redact any confidential material from EFF's brief and supporting declarations so that they can be made public as soon as possible.

Salon (reg.req.) reports that the documents came from retired AT&T technician Mark Klein, who "was motivated to blow the whistle in 2004 'when it became clear to me that AT&T, at the behest of the National Security Agency, had illegally installed secret computer gear designed to spy on Internet traffic.'"

Poll: Democrats more trusted than Republicans now

It's about time.

After years of being robbed and lied to, a new ABC/Washington Post Poll shows Americans finally connect the Republican control of government with the theft and lies:

Dissatisfaction with the administration's policies in Iraq has overwhelmed other issues as the source of problems for President Bush and the Republicans. The survey suggests that pessimism about the direction of the country—69 percent said the nation is now off track—and disaffection with Republicans have dramatically improved Democrats' chances to make gains in November.
Democrats are now favored to handle all 10 issues measured in the Post-ABC News poll. The survey shows a majority of the public, 56 percent, saying they would prefer to see Democrats in control of Congress after the elections.

We'll find out if this holds up about 174 days from now.

Senior drug benefit designed for W friends, not seniors

Incompetence and cronyism, the handmaidens of the Bush administration (980 days left), explain its failure to create a working prescription drug program. Simply put, they (a) don't want government to work and (b) want to enrich their friends, as Paul Krugman underscores (sub.req.):

[W]hile a straightforward addition of drug coverage to Medicare would have been good policy, it would have been bad politics from the point of view of conservatives, who want to privatize traditional social insurance programs, not make them better.
Moreover, administration officials and their allies in Congress had both political and personal incentives not to do anything that might reduce the profits of insurance and drug companies. Both the insurance industry and, especially, the pharmaceutical industry are major campaign contributors. And soon after the drug bill was passed, the congressman and the administration official most responsible for drafting the legislation both left public service to become lobbyists.

Remember, this is the administration that wants to shrink the government so small they can "drown it in the bathtub." What made anyone think the prescription drug plan would work?