Ex-aide: Gonzales briefed on firings

first_img“I’m going to have to let the attorney general speak for himself,” White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said as Sampson entered his third hour before the senators. Noting that Gonzales is not scheduled to appear publicly on Capitol Hill until an April 17 hearing in front of the same Senate panel, she added: “I agree three weeks is a long time.” Even so, President George W. Bush “is confident that the attorney general can overcome these challenges, and the president continues to have his support,” said White House spokesman Tony Fratto. The Justice Department said Gonzales has no plans to resign. Justice spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said Gonzales has described his involvement as “never focused on specific concerns about United States attorneys as to whether or not they should be asked to resign.” That differed from last week’s Justice Department explanation that Gonzales was not involved with selecting which prosecutors would be asked to resign. Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., indicated that Gonzales’ credibility had suffered from repeated attempts to explain the contradictions. “You can only do `What I really meant to say’ three or four or five or six times,” Leahy said, half-kidding. “Then people tend not to believe it.” Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said Gonzales “has many questions to answer.” Sampson’s conflicting account with Gonzales’ poses “a real question as to whether he’s acting in a competent way as attorney general.” A growing number of Democrats and Republicans have called for Gonzales to step down. The stony-faced Sampson, a longtime and loyal aide to Gonzales, said other senior Justice Department officials helped to plan the firings, which the White House first suggested shortly after Bush won a second term in 2004. Sampson said he was never aware of any case in which prosecutors were told to step down because they refused to help Republicans in local election or corruption investigations. He also said he saw little difference between dismissing prosecutors for political reasons versus performance-related ones. “A U.S. attorney who is unsuccessful from a political perspective, either because he or she has alienated the leadership of the department in Washington or cannot work constructively with law enforcement or other governmental constituencies in the district, is unsuccessful,” Sampson said. But Sampson admitted he should have been more careful to prevent Paul McNulty, the deputy attorney general, and William Moschella, the principal associate deputy attorney general, from giving incomplete or misleading information to Congress in describing the dismissals. Sampson himself was unable to answer many of the senators’ specific questions, claiming a fuzzy memory. Furor over the purge has outraged lawmakers and current U.S. attorneys. With televisions throughout the Justice Department tuned to Sampson’s testimony, Gonzales spent two hours trying to soothe a group of seven prosecutors he met with in Washington. He has held similar meetings across the country and planned to attend one today in Boston.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “I remember discussing with him this process of asking certain U.S. attorneys to resign,” Sampson said. Sampson’s testimony for the first time put Gonzales at the heart of the firings amid ever-changing Justice Department accounts of how they were planned. Gonzales has said repeatedly that he was not closely involved in the firings and largely depended on Sampson to orchestrate them. Sampson resigned March 12. A day later, Gonzales said he “never saw documents. We never had a discussion about where things stood” on the firings. The White House stepped back from defending Gonzales even before Sampson finished testifying. WASHINGTON – Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was briefed regularly over two years on the firings of federal prosecutors, his former top aide said Thursday, disputing Gonzales’ claims he was not closely involved with the dismissals. The testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee by Kyle Sampson, the attorney general’s former chief of staff, newly undercut Gonzales’ already shaky credibility. Gonzales and former White House counsel Harriet Miers made the final decision on whether to fire the U.S. attorneys last year, said Sampson. “I don’t think the attorney general’s statement that he was not involved in any discussions of U.S. attorney removals was accurate,” Sampson told the committee as it inquired into whether the dismissals were politically motivated. last_img

Haeckel Vindicated?  Parathyroid Glands from Gills?

first_img“Human gland evolved from gills” trumpeted a BBC News science article without apology.*  It gives uncontested press to a team from King’s College that is claiming the human parathyroid glands evolved from gills.  This is claimed on the basis that they have similar functions (calcium regulation) and are located in the neck region.  Fish have no parathyroids; their gills help them extract calcium from seawater.  The parathyroids in mammals are attached to the thyroids in the neck and are vital for regulating the amount of calcium in the blood.    Calcium is the most tightly regulated of all elements in the body; it performs essential functions in cell signaling, nerves, muscle and bone.  The parathyroids (unrelated to the thyroid glands) regulate calcium by manufacturing and secreting a specialized hormone, 84 amino acids in length, into the blood.  When calcium levels fall below normal, parathyroid hormone stimulates at least three processes to conserve it: resorb it from bone, absorb more from food, and prevent loss in urine.  (For anatomy and physiology of the parathyroids, see these sites: Colorado State, Dr. Howard Glickman, and Parathyroid.com).    Professor Anthony Graham, part of the team making the connection between fish and humans, told the BBC Ernst Haeckel has been vindicated:The researchers also found a gene for parathyroid hormone in fish, and they discovered that this gene is expressed in the gills.    Professor Graham said: “The parathyroid gland and the gills of fish are related structures and likely share a common evolutionary history.    “Our work will have great resonance to all those people who have seen Haeckel’s pictures, which show that we all go through a fish stage in our development.    “This new research suggests that in fact, our gills are still sitting in our throats – disguised as our parathyroid glands.”The researchers also based their claim on the fact that the gills in fish and the parathyroids in mammals stem from the same location in the developing embryo (but then, so do many other organs and structures, including the tongue, epiglottis, pharynx, Eustachian tube, and more; see Temple University site for details).Does anyone really need help to see how dumb this is?  Three strikes and they are out:Ernst Haeckel, Dr. Sickman Fraud, the toady disciple of Charlie Frown (see 04/22/2004 headline) deserves nothing but scorn (see 07/10/2001 headline), but look at what these absent-minded professors do: they point to his classic fraudulent drawings for support of their theory!  That makes them accessories to a crime.  Strike one.Do they have any idea how complicated the parathyroid system is?  It may be located in the neck, but its influence is felt throughout the body, in every cell.  It is so essential, it is 4-times redundant, and the manufacture of its special hormone, its packaging in the Golgi apparatus in a dormant state, and its delivery to the blood stream, and then what it accomplishes in terms of regulation – all these interconnected systems are staggeringly complex (for a good overview, see the explanation by Dr. Howard Glickman).  Darwinists have no explanation for how any hormone, any cell, any complex regulatory system, just “emerged” by an unregulated process of natural selection (see 07/16/2003 headline); that is the issue, not just homology, whatever that is (see 04/22/2004 headline).  Strike two.It’s not just location that matters; it is function.  The parathyroids are located right where they need to be to work.  An evolutionist cannot tell simply by location of an organ that animals are related by common ancestry.  Evolutionary theory is so flexible, in terms of location and rate, that any observation, even contradictory observations, can be made to fit it (see 10/29/2004, 10/13/2004, 09/17/2004 and 09/13/2004 headlines out of many examples).  If the parathyroids were located somewhere else, the evolutionists would have an alternative explanation to keep Charlie’s idol from collapsing.  Strike three.The laziness of evolutionists is parasitic on society.  Did this tall tale by Darwin Party mythmakers bless your heart?  Did it do anybody any good?  Did it advance civilization or help those in need?  Mutations could not have built the parathyroid nor any of the systems with which it interacts; on the contrary, mutations have broken the system, causing diseases of the parathyroid and calcium irregularities.  Challenge your professor when he wastes your time with unproveable assertions and glittering generalities that assume evolution before the evidence even has had a chance to speak.  Tell the prof you’d rather the time be spent understanding the function of the parathyroids so that science could help those with parathyroid disease and osteoporosis.*Update 12/08/2004: One of our readers wrote to the BBC and said he didn’t appreciate the way they had titled the piece about gill evolution as fact.  To their credit, the BBC wrote back and made a change:Many thanks for your message.  I would stress that the piece reports the King’s College research as a theory, and not a fact.  The piece says that the researchers believe that the gland evolved from gills, not that they have proved it.  I have modified the headline to read, “Gill theory of human glands”.Never underestimate the power of a letter to the editor.  Most editors like to hear from readers, and unless readers respond to bad information, editors can get away with unwarranted claims, whether intentionally or not.  Now, at least readers of this article will not get a wrong impression that the evolutionary link was proven.  At Creation-Evolution Headlines, we also make corrections when typos or errors of fact are pointed out to us; feel free to write to us here.  (Editors also appreciate knowing if the articles were helpful.)(Visited 16 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Choosing a Private Cloud Provider and Doing it All Wrong

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market There’s a right way to choose a cloud provider and there’s a wrong way. The right way is to do the research about your needs and requirements. The wrong way is to choose a provider by evaluating and comparing vendor offerings.John Treadway writes on CloudBzz that IT leaders he speaks with are taking the latter approach. They’re evaluating the vendors and not doing their own analysis.Instead, IT leaders should be going through a long list of questions before starting to evaluate vendors. His initial list gives a taste about how IT leaders should approach the task:What are the strategic objectives for my cloud program?How will my cloud be used?Who are my users and what are their expectations and requirements?How should/will a cloud model change my data center workflows, policies, processes and skills requirements?How will cloud users be given visibility into their usage, costs and possible chargebacks?How will cloud users be given visibility into operational issues such as server/zone/regional availability and performance?What is my approach to the service catalog? Is it prix fixe, a la carte, or more like value meals? Can users make their own catalogs?How will I handle policy around identity, access control, user permissions, etc?What are the operational tools that I will use for event management & correlation, performance management, service desk, configuration and change management, monitoring, logging, auditability, and more?What will my vCenter administrators do when they are no longer creating VMs for every request?What will the approvers in my process flows today do when the handling of 95% of all future requests are policy driven and automated?What levels of dynamism are required regarding elasticity, workload placement, data placement and QoS management across all stack layers?Beyond a VM, what other services will I expose to my users?How will I address each of the key components such as compute, networking, structured & object storage, virtualization, security, automation, self-service, lifecycle management, databases and more?What are the workloads I expect to see in my cloud, and what are the requirements for these workloads to run?Treadway says IT leaders are letting the tail wag the dog. We can see how that can be the case. It seems logical to do the research first. But this may not be about the right choice as much as it is about the economical one for the business. That’s a problem. Vendors will offer all sorts of incentives to get your business. That can lead to trade offs that can really hurt down the road. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting alex williamscenter_img Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#cloud#news last_img read more

Inside Ford’s Silicon Valley Lab

first_imgThe vibe of Ford’s small outpost in the heart of Palo Alto is straight-up Silicon Valley start-up: empty cubes, diagrams scribbled on wall-sized whiteboards, and a lounge with multiple game stations. (I didn’t see a foosball table.) T.J. Giuli, the guy in charge, sports a ponytail and goatee – and holds a Ph.D. in computer science from nearby Stanford. His first hire, Dave Evans, also a Stanford-trained research engineer, is attired in T-shirt, shorts, flip-flops and shades flipped back on his head. They both espouse an unabashed open-source credo. None of this is surprising until you reflect that Giuli and Evans are not toiling on the next great social media site – but the next iteration of products made of glass and steel by an old-school manufacturing company founded 110 years ago.Giuli, research lab leader at Ford’s Silicon Valley Lab, wants Ford cars to become open-source crowd-enabled modular products. “We don’t judge our success on the ideas we come up with,” said Giuli. “But the ideas from people outside of Ford. If somebody comes up with an idea I never would have thought of, then it’s a success.”In fact, the core mission of Ford’s Palo Alto research lab is to enable innovators – even those with limited resources and technical chops – to see the automobile as a platform for creativity. Giuli points to a disembodied car dashboard and steering wheel, out of place in this office setting.“Let’s say you don’t like these steering wheel buttons. Maybe you could slap in a capacitive touch controller,” he said. “Using this platform, people would, by themselves, be able to design things.” The lab also maintains two vehicles in its parking lot for testing.In the next few months, Ford expects to release the beta version of its car app developer kit. There are already more than 1,000 developers waiting to be notified when it’s ready. At that point, this lab’s work will shift to supporting and growing a community of car hackers. “We’re interested in spurring the creation of an ecosystem,” Giuli said.Trading Grease For CodeFord’s OpenXC API runs on a combination of Arduino and Android platforms – technology chosen to make modding your car as easy as programming a smartphone. The system can potentially access the 1,000 or more data points, generated by sensors on Ford vehicles and served up via the 16-pin onboard diagnostics port (a standard feature of all cars since 1996). The Ford toolkit encourages development of software as well as add-on hardware.Evans, a mechanical engineer with expertise in rapid prototyping and digital manufacturing technology, comes naturally to the automotive industry. His father is Andy Evans, a profession race car driver, who drove for Ferrari in the 1990s in the World Sports Car series. “I have cars in my blood,” said Evans.“When you think back to the days of the 1960s Mustangs, you’d pop open the hood. If you knew what you’re doing, you could change all kinds of mechanical things,” said Evans. “But now, if you open up the hood of your car, what do you see? Plastic. It’s intimidating.” The answer: Ford wants to transform 20th century grease monkeys into 21st century DIY car geeks. Ford first announced its OpenXC platform a year ago at the TechCrunch Disrupt 2011 Hackathon. Since then, the Ford Silicon Valley Lab has vetted its process, sometimes working with partners, by evaluating a number of hacks:Using the rate and duration of windshield wiper activity, cars become roaming weather stations capable of reporting rain and other conditions on a microclimate level.Got an overbearing mother who insists on knowing when you arrive at a destination? With a hack, the car texts, “Oy vay, I’m here already.”Looking at steering wheel angle, accelerator pedal position, speeds, RPM, and GPS location, an app determines that you just completed a fun drive on a twisty road. It does a GPS trace and tweets the deets, including a link to a Google map.An obvious application is traffic detection, which is not such a big deal in U.S. where traffic reports are everyday radio fare, but could be huge in the developing world. If multiple drivers repeatedly slam their brakes on the same stretch of road, traffic planners could learn there’s a safety problem in the road design.From there, who knows what innovation could emerge from an online community of car hackers? Ford’s lab is not currently constrained by a need to commercialize any of the ideas but sees its work instead as research regarding the feasibility of a car-based open source strategy. Giuli will grow the lab’s staff from three employees currently, to about 10 to 15 people in the next three years.Ford might seem forward thinking in establishing such a lab, but Giuli doesn’t see it that way. He believes it’s more a matter of keeping up with where innovative geeks are already going. “Tons of people are already making car apps that work with OBD2 readers, or replacing the center stack with their own car computer. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… That’s happening today, and there’s nothing that anybody can do to stop it,” he said. “So, it’s a good idea for OEMs like Ford to make this really easy. Hopefully, we can benefit customers with a lot of awesome new features.” A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Internet of Things#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts bradley berman 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more