Issues Updates

Scroll down to learn about people, places, things, new music releases, live events, current TV reviews, new movies and movie reviews, interesting things on radio.... All sorts of interesting things that have come our way at Issues since our publication date!

We have talked to more interesting people, visited more interesting places, and have even more interesting articles, stories, and news for you, our readers ....!


Microsoft Anti-trust Case Settled

At least with the U.S. and several states. There is still a group of states and foreign countries who are not involved in the settlement or who don't feel it goes far enough.

Under the terms of the settlement Microsoft will still license Windows to dealer, with discounts. Dealers and vendors will be able to pick and choose what options and items are included with their custom installations.

Microsoft will basically be able to continue business as usually, except they can't make restrictions on vendors and their licensing structure will change a bit in favor of vendors.

It is unclear just how much of a benefit consumers will get from this arrangement, as ultimately the cost reductions and options rest with the vendors (suppliers) who may or may not pass benefits of any substantial value on to the consumer.


Jonathan Harris Dies

The actor, who died near Los Angeles, is best known for the role of Dr. Smith in the 1960 campy television classic hit series "Lost In Space." Smith was added to the show after the pilot was shot, his part written in and solo sequences intercut with the pilot footage. The original show was to be a serious show but the network wanted more and as a result Harris was added to the series as a stock antagonist. Harris quickly teamed up with the Robot to become part of a comic team equal to or better than Laurel & Hardy or Abbott and Costello! Harris and the Robot (the voice of Dick Tufeld ), plus child actor Billy Mummy (who played an adult alien in "Babylon 5" another classic television sci-fi series) are the most famous characters from "Lost In Space" (which was recently turned into a feature film with Gary Oldman playing the role of Dr. Smith with touches of Harris and lots of Oldmanisms).

Harris was also in another big hit television series of the 1960's -- a broad comedy in the days before the term 'Politically Correct' was known. The show was the "Bill Dana Show." Harris played the hotel manager who always gave Dana's comic character, Jose Jimenez, a hard time.

Harris also played opposite Marlon Brando and Paul Muni in feature films, appeared in classic, serious television such as "Studio One" from the golden age of television, the "Twilight Zone" and most recently did voiceovers for feature film cartoons such as "A Bug's Life".


U.S. Elects a "Conservative" Government

The Republican Party (the "Grand Old Party" -- or GOP -- a decidedly conservative minded party) took control of the Senate ("Upper" house of the government, equivalent to the House of Lords in the UK) and expanded the majority they already held in the House of Representatives ("Lower" house of the government, equivalent to the House of Commons in the UK), plus the executive officer (or President) is a Republican and a majority of the Supreme Court has been appointed by Republican Presidents.

For the next two years (until the general election when President Bush will face reelection as will many people in both houses -- elections for representatives of Congress in stagger in both house so there are always "incumbent" or long-time seat holders plus a fresh crop of new faces in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

This gives President Bush a mandate to proceed with his current agenda on Iraq and terrorism as a whole. Bush now has a far better chance of going to full out war with Iraq if he really wants to (however Republicans in control of both houses does not assure him that war powers will be granted, it only improves his odds of at least getting a wide birth in any action).

It should be noted that in American politics there are no hard and fast labels such as Republican, Democrat, Conservative or Liberal. Many Southern conservatives left the Republican party after the Civil War and came back in as Democrats in protest over the Republican instituted war against slavery. So, many democrats vote the Republican line. Many Republicans are also moderate or slightly liberal. And some Democrats or moderate or slightly conservative.

Still, this new government allows President Bush to pack the Supreme Court with moderates and conservatives who are prone to extending less rights to prisoners, tend to favor the death penalty, tend to be against abortion, tend to favor prayer in school and religious affirmation in government (such as the phrase "one nation under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance).

The new government does not take effect immediately -- not until after the start of the New Year in most instances.

Winnona Ryder Found Guilty of Shoplifting

A California jury (that included film producer Peter Guber) founder her guilty on several varied counts. The Academy award winning actor can face up to three years in prison (she will probably get probation and community service, but the Judge could make her serve jail or prison time).


British Climate Changes

Over the next 80 years the UK is expecting to see a general warming trend that some experts thing could make the place tropical enough for the growing of bananas!


Congress Will Investigate 9-11

After much debate and haggling President Bush, the Republicans and Democrats have agreed to convene a Congressional committee to study why 9-11 happened and what Government didn't do, could have done or should have done to prevent it...

Rap Record Label Searched

Los Angeles and Las Vegas area search warrants were served for people and places associated with Tha Row Records and three men were booked on charges of conspiracy to commit murder with others arrested on drug possession charges.

Leonid Meteors This Weekend

Between Sunday night and early Tuesday Morning the Leonid meteor shower will be seen. Very high yields are expected to occur in the United State and Europe areas. It is expected this will be the last year such major bursts occur for many years to come.

Normally this shower have 40 meteors per hour in dark areas, but several hundred per hour may be seen on selected days and times. Early Monday may bring some streams and Tuesday morning should bring a lot between 2 am and sunrise is expected to be very good for most areas and viewers.

The shower is best seen far, far away from city lights.

Space Shuttle Flight 113 Still Grounded

A lot of similarities to the ill-fated Apollo 13 flight. Plus in recent times the explosive blots that release the ship at launch failed last time, but back-up systems allowed the ship to lift off. With all these problems NASA is being very careful!


Iraq to Allow UN Inspections But Fear of War Still Looms

Under the new UN resolution Iraq must fully declare all weapons and make other truthful assurances by December 8th. After that date force can be a potential to enforce issue if it can be proved that Iraq has made false statements or has weapons not declared to the UN by December 8th.

Many factions are worried that this might lead to a US sanctioned war.

US Bases Attacked in Afghanistan

Bases at Gardez and Lwara in Southeast Afghanistan were attacked by missiles and ground forces, which were repelled by US forces who launched a counter attack bombing enemy positions.


Study Shows LA Due For A Large Quake

Having lived there for 40 years I know, Chicken Little has talked like this for years but, Tom Fumal, a research geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey who is co-author of the most detailed study of one area ever undertaken (they went back as far as the year 534), reported in a series published in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America some new facts that shed some credibility on this talk.

The size quake he is talking about it bigger than Los Angeles has seen in recorded people history. One the size of the recent Alaska quake. One that would do considerable damage to the area.

The study shows a quake of at least 7.5 magnitude (LA has not received more than 7.1 in a ages) occurs every 62 to 192 years, a lose pattern that is similar to the water patterns weather forecasters use for the El Nino heavy rain and drought cycle of California that is somewhat reliable but prone to spikes that come out of no where running the cycle for a given year.

The predictability rate for a lot of science is vague and not great as an overall aspect, however large Earthquakes do happen as ground pressure needs to be relieved and Los Angeles does have periodic good size quakes, such as the one in the 1970s and 1990s that made buildings sink or lose their fronts. This quake the Geologists now see is much larger on the scale of things and would leave LA reeling for days trying to get power back on and years trying to remove the rubble and reconstruct the buildings, based on the 1990 era quake. Many lives would be lost and people would be injured, especially those in older brick building and newer apartment or office building, which seem to be the one that fall apart the quickest, as opposed to the skyscrapers that move on tracks and sway. Those may see minimal damage as their designers were being clever and innovative, sparing no expense to test out their design theories.


Winter Hits North East U.S.

While those with clear skies across the country were watching the Leonid meteor showers, people in upstate New York, Canada near Toronto and Maine were getting treated to rain, ice and snow showers. In parts of Maine, which got the worst of the winter storm, there were severe thunderstorms all night long with trees being zapped and knocked down every few minutes. Two deaths are blamed on the storm in the Maine area, parts of which may be without power until mid-week.

While in upstate New York in the Rochester - Syracuse area they only got less than an inch of white stuff, which is still coming down and making things starting to look a lot like Christmas (and much less like summer)!

This year the upstate New York area didn't see a peep of the so-called "Indian Summer", which is that last burst of hot weather that comes in October just before Halloween. In fact this is the second snow to hit the Rochester and Finger Lakes area. The first came in late October and left by mid-day. This new blanket of snow is also not expected to last long, with moderate temperatures in the 50's predicted for next weekend.

To see some white stuff using Windows Media or Real Player click the links below!

Snow in upstate NY Real Player

Snow in upstate NY Windows Media

Issues Video and Stills by Earl R. Dingman 2002. All Rights Reserved.

Greetings Card Virus Alert!

There is an e-mail being sent out to people inviting them to come get a greeting card (often at one of the sites listed below). What you get is a virus! All of these sites are to be avoided! If you get a greeting card notice from people, you should write them immediately and verify that they did send you an on-line greeting before downloading anything!

New At The Movies

Read what our movie reviewer, Lance Vermont, thinks about the new Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. What a good movie with lots of fun!

While you are there in the entertainment section, be sure to read our other fun things to do and see. We have lots of entertainment in the Entertainment Department for our wonderful readers so have fun.


FBI Raids Boston Computer Business

The FBI in association with the White House raided a Quincy, MA computer firm that does contracing work with the U.S. Navy and other government agencies.

The reason for the raid was to see for certain if one owner of the firm is or is not a suspected person with links to terrorist activities.


Iraq Declares It Has No Major Weapons

Sunday is the deadline for Iraq to file formal declaration with the United Nations detailing any weapons programs of mass destruction. These would include even superficial studies and programs for biological, chemical or nuclear weapons.

If, at some later date, Iraq is ever found using any such wepons against for testing or warfare, Iraq would be considered in default of the agreement reached in 1991 after the "Gulf War" and that could clear the way for United National action, including military action, against Iraq.

The U.S. and the U.K. have thus far both been skeptical, which means that their may be some classified information from an inside source that seems to contridict the Iraq claims, much like the U-2 photos of missiles in Cuba back in the 1960's. If this is the case the cards may have to be put on the table before any action could be taken in the court of world opinion...


United Airlines Files Bankruptcy

With 22.5 Billion in assets (it may eventually go over $26 billion), 21.2 in debt, an outstanding bank loan of 1.5 billion they must pay off and 800 million in liquid cash, United filed one of the biggest bankruptcy claims in history.

This is a reorganization (Chapter 11) filing, which means that United will be protected from their creditors, be allowed to continue operating and will be in a position to get their re-payments, leases or union contracts re-negociated under Federal Court supervision.

See our article last January on bankruptcy for more background on U.S. laws.


Alaska Airlines Flight 261 Crash Results

Invesigators have turned in a draft report to the National Transportation Safety Board with their findings on why Alaska Airlines Flight 261 crashes in the ocean near Los Angeles 3 years ago. Lack of lubrication and design of the nut are the primary findings.

The original design of the plane and initial manufacture was made by McDonnell Douglas, which Boeing Co. bought in 1997. Boeing was in charge of repairs, inspection and upgrades at the time of the crash. Boeing has now instituted new policies for repairs, inspection and upgrades.

Gang Related Homicides

Gang related murders are up in Los Angeles, Oakland and Little Rock Arkansas. There are declining in some cities, such as Philadelphia, New York and Miami. Chicago, which still leads the nation, is also dropping down from well over 600 last year to just under 600 this year.

Suspected North Koren Ship Intercepted

A ship that allegedly left North Korea, but bearing a different, unspecified flag, was stopped on the high seas by Spanish authorities. The cargo was inspected and Scud missiles were found. It is suspected these were being taken to Yemen.


Kissinger Resigns From 9-11 Probe

Dr. Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State under President Nixon who was only just appointed head of the Probe on 9-11 has resigned due to conflicts of interest that would have clouded the work of the task force.

The U.S. Rejects Wepons Declaration Made By Iran

Without showing any proof which leads to this conculsion the U.S. has basically dismissed the declaration provided by Iraq for weapons programs as being not fully truthful. The U.S. may provide intellgence information to back this point of view at some future date to the U.N.

Russia was consulted prior to the U.S. making a public statement of these views.

Saturn In Opposition to the Earth and Very Bright

Saturn is now the closest it will get to Earth for many, many years and the rings are also fully tilted to face us, making it ultra bright in the evening sky rising in the East at sunset and setting in the West at sunrise.

It will stay in the evening sky most of the next year.


American Idol Controversy

Kelly Clarkson's win as "American Idol" has become controversial as the Star and New York Post have release stories that she was signed to a production deal with Gerry Goffin and his associates and recorded several songs with them. Goffin, who has been a professional since a teenager working with Carole King (they co-wrote "Chains", "Locomotion" and "Pleasant Valley Sunday" among other major hits) and Don Kirschner (who supervised the music for Screen Gems, the Monkees and later founded Kirschner Records who major act was the fusion group Kansas), states that these were only demos and that he was to be shopping them for her to get a record deal but she walked out on the project.

Fox and Freemantle, producer-distributors of "American Idol" stand behind her and state the American public picked her as Idol that year and she didn't violate the rules.

2,800 Year Old Microbes Found

In a block of ice over an Antarctic salt lake bed microbes dated as old as 2,800 years have been found and have returned to life.

This means that any microbes once living in places like Mars could also return to life once thawed out.

More work will be done in future years to investigate this salt lake area future and make more studies on ancient life that may still be around and kicking! 12-19-2002

U.S. Expected To Find Iraq In Violation Of UN Resolution

The U.S. is expected to officially announce that it feels that Iraq is in violation of the weapons of mass destruction resolution. That Iraq has not truthfully disclosed all of its weapons and programs to develop weapons such as nuclear, biological or chemical.

The U.S. will probably also make mass troop movements to the area as a prelude to any action that may come in the near future over this matter.

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