Friday, November 18, 2005

Friday 18 November 2005

Cheney Speech Causes DC Police, Homeland Security Grief

Switchboard, 911 System Flooded With Sighting Calls; Troops and Aircraft Deployed

Vice President Dick Cheney's speech Wednesday evening did more than just slam the Democrats and critics of the Bush Administration.

It caused complete havoc in the Washington, D.C. area.

Cheney made an extremely rare public appearance, speaking at the conservative policy group Frontiers of Freedom Institute's 2005 Ronald Reagan gala at the Mayflower Hotel.

While the Vice President was inside the hotel, defending the Administration's use of their version of pre-war intelligence, and calling the Democrats criticism of it "one of the most dishonest and reprehensible charges ever aired in this city," Washington D.C. police and Federal troops and personnel were scrambling around the city, dealing with thousands of calls and reports on the sighting of Mr. Cheney.

As calls began to pour into the main switchboard, police officials initially feared some level of attack on the Vice President, or a possible terrorist plot unfolding. Additional police officers were called in and senior command officers took the precaution of notifying the Department of Homeland Security.

An DHS spokesperson stated that Director Michael Chertoff was notified and that "normal procedures were followed".

This included deploying aircraft that maintained a "No-Fly" security zone around the city, and deploying Federal troops and other DHS staff to augment the Washington D.C. Police.

There were minor reports of some looting and a few scuffles took place. No arrests were reported.

Both the White House and the Vice President's office had no comment.

The Vice President has maintained an extremely low profile, particularly since the indictment of his Chief of Staff, I .Lewis 'Scooter" Libby. The sighting, claimed by hundreds of D.C. residents, was the first in recent memory of Cheney being out of his Secret Bunker.

One resident, Lamar Ellston, claims he was detained by Secret Service agents and drugged, after claiming he saw the location of the Secret Bunker."

"It was like right out of Batman," said Ellston. "All of a sudden, this building opened up and a whole train of limos and SUV's came streaming out of it. Then the building closed back up."

Ellston claims that a van in the Vice President's motorcade broke from the line, made a u-turn and four agents pulled Ellston into the van.

He was taken to an unknown location, questioned for three-hours and "given something to drink", which Ellston claims was laced with a drug that put him to sleep. He said he woke up "miles away' from where he was, and inside a Metro subway station.

The Secret Service declined confirming Ellston's claim, stating they don't comment on operational protocols.

Special White House Council Karl Rove has been racing around Washington D.C. the past two days, excitedly telling people that he "didn't tell Bob Woodward". Reportedly, he has been hounding Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, asking him to "make a note I didn't tell Bob Woodward".

Amazon Wins More Patents; Now Controls Biz Speak For Entire Web

Everything from "Dear Sir" To "Thank You For Your Order" Now Subject To Royalty Payments

After winning patents last week, for their Customer Reviews, Amazon.Com scored a blockbuster today, winning new patents for nearly every possible business phrase used across the World Wide Web.

Everything, from "Dear Sir" or "Dear Madam" to "Thank You For Your Order" is now owned by Amazon. Anyone that uses these words or phrases, or thousands of others, are liable to pay Amazon a royalty.

In a brief statement, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said that Amazon plans to "strictly enforce" its' new patents.

(As a matter of disclosure, The Garlic was required to secure a special wavier to write this article and post it on the web)

The new patents extend over three languages in addition to English - French, Spanish and Chinese.

Just last week, the online retailer of books, appliances and nearly everything else was awarded three new patents, covering its purchase circles, search and consumer reviews.

Amazon has been in fierce competition, and litigation over these patents. In 2001, Amazon sued rival Barnes and Noble for infringing on its' "one-click buying" patent. The companies eventually reached a settlement in 2002.

The breath and scope of the business phrase patent even has industry observers surprised and gaping at the potential windfall and competitive edge Amazon now holds.

"It's absolutely incredible," says Daria Pannesi, editor of 'In The Loot', the newsletter for high tech dollar traders. "Their stock has already jumped 17-points and, if they truly enforce the patents, with the revenue that will flood in, they'll make Google look like a penny stock."

Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez Secretary of Commerce believes it will ultimately cause a "boon of new business", and "a real spike for the economy"

"Businesses, across the board, are going to have to change their websites. That's likely to beef up the employment numbers as more copywriters and web talent will have to placed to accommodate the new language requirements."

Business Schools are now being swept up as a result of this new Amazon patent.

Already, Wharton, Harvard and Stanford have stated that they are in the process of developing new curriculums in the area of creative business writing as a means to get around Amazon's patents. The courses are slated to be available, starting with the 2006 Fall semester.

Among the thousands of business words and phrases that Amazon has secured the patent for include;

"You order will ship in (1-Infinite) days"

"Please hold on for the next available operator"

"Do you want to review your shopping cart"

"Thank You for your order"

"Please come again"

In a bit or irony, customer reviews on the Amazon website are, technically, subject to the patent requirements. Amazon has stated they will take those into consideration on "a case-by-case basis".

Barnes and Noble refused comment, indicating they were "pouring over" the patent. A spokesperson did say that legal action "hasn't been ruled out" and that "for now, it will be business-as-usual".

Upon hearing the comment, Amazon quickly fired off a letter to Barnes and Noble, demanding payment or a retraction.

Citing an infringement of the new patent, Barnes and Noble was informed that "business as usual" is now owned by Amazon.

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