Thursday, February 24, 2011
Obama should just go ahead and take him out, I'm thinking.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Nike to quit Chamber post in climate protest - Lisa Lerer - POLITICO.com#ixzz0SbUJW8Oe#ixzz0SbUJW8Oe#ixzz0SbUJW8Oe#ixzz0SbUJW8Oe
Nike to quit Chamber post in climate protest - Lisa Lerer -
will relinquish its spot on the board of directors at the Chamber of Commerce to
protest the business lobby’s opposition to climate-change legislation.
'We believe that on the issue of climate change the Chamber has not represented the
diversity of perspective held by the board of directors,' the company says in a
statement obtained by POLITICO. 'Therefore, we have decided to resign our board
of directors position.'"
Props to the Swoosh on this one. Good to see someone taking this serious issue seriously.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Why is this imporant? Because more are predicting the American Apocalypse will come from stuff like this.
TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday his country expects its uranium enrichment program to be ready by February to meet Iran's nuclear fuel needs, the national news service IRNA reported.[full story]
"We will commission some 3,000 centrifuges by this year end. We are determined to master fuel cycle, and commission some 60,000 centrifuges to meet our demands," the president said at a news conference closed to foreign reporters.
"Today the Iranian nation possesses the full nuclear fuel cycle and time is completely running in our favor in terms of diplomacy."
Ahmadinejad said Iran hopes to celebrate its nuclear success during the "Ten-Day Dawn" festivities at the beginning of February, which mark the country's victory in the Islamic Revolution, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported.
Personally I feel that the burden of proof is now on us to prove the lie, as our recent allegations regarding banned weapons proved wildly off the mark. The IAEA is working on it, but so far hasn't been able to draw conclusive evidence.
Luckily, the U.S. is quickly headed down the wrong road all by our lonesome.
Washington - A couple's ill-concealed sexual play aboard a Southwest Airlines flight from Los Angeles got them charged with violating the Patriot Act, intended for terrorist acts, and could land them in jail for 20 years.[full story]
According to their indictment, Carl Persing and Dawn Sewell were allegedly snuggling and kissing inappropriately, "making other passengers uncomfortable," when a flight attendant asked them to stop.
"Persing was observed nuzzling or kissing Sewell on the neck, and ... with his face pressed against Sewell's vaginal area. During these actions, Sewell was observed smiling," reads the indictment filed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
I mention these two stories in particular, because I think the greatest antitode, and stalling tactic, against Apocalypse is to have a good society. The fear/terror generated by 9/11 and the ensuing rights grab by our government has done nothing, IMHO, but push us closer to the brink.
I also mentioned "American Apocalypse" previously becuase it is my general opinion that American culture is one of, if not the only, major world culture to have to experience such a thing. Like all the others before us, we arrogantly assume that our apocalyptic premonitions apply to the whole world, but like everyone else before us...we're wrong in that assumption. It will come only to us.
Another reason it is getting closer? We refuse to speak truth to power.
WASHINGTON: The US President, George Bush, has warned against holding talks with Syria and Iran and beginning a withdrawal of troops from Iraq, two key proposals for a new Iraq strategy that are gaining support at home and abroad.[full story]
After a meeting with members the Iraq Study Group, a panel led by a former secretary of state, James Baker, looking at options in Iraq, Mr Bush said he was open to "new ideas" to reinvigorate his Administration's approach to Iraq. But he cautioned against proposals for gradual or phased troop reductions saying that no military option would work unless it recognised "conditions on the ground".
Arrogance and idiocy are a dangerous combination. We are slowly figuring out this ancient truth once again.
For something completely different, watch one of your fine childhood memories fade in a bout of cynicism and reality.
Outside of reality, but well within the realm of cynicism, we have this article regarding the real problem between Islam and the West (according to a U.N. report) [hint: it's all about the Benajmins].
"This report is important because it debunks certain myths about an increasing polarisation between the West and Islam," explained Ali Alatas, former foreign minister of Indonesia and one of the authors of the 40-page Alliance of Civilisations report.It's as easy to understand as this....
"One of our major conclusions is that the divide is not religious or cultural but political."
The authors of the report, who were drawn from a wide variety of religions and cultures, argue that divide can be closed. They reject the theory of an inevitable clash of civilisations outright.
"That is a total misnomer. There are tensions, there are even hostilities but they are not caused by religion, by culture or by civilisations," Archbishop Desmond Tutu insisted.
"They are political causes: when people are poor, when people are hungry or humiliated. But religion is morally neutral."
Israel: GDP, per capita: $25,000
Gaza Strip: GDP, per capita: $600
West Bank: GDP, per capita: $1,100
That's it. In a nutshell. Everything else is rationalization.
Monday, November 13, 2006
Primatologists like Frans de Waal have long argued that the roots of human morality are evident in social animals like apes and monkeys. The animals’ feelings of empathy and expectations of reciprocity are essential behaviors for mammalian group living and can be regarded as a counterpart of human morality.[full story]
Marc D. Hauser, a Harvard biologist, has built on this idea to propose that people are born with a moral grammar wired into their neural circuits by evolution. In a new book, “Moral Minds” (HarperCollins 2006), he argues that the grammar generates instant moral judgments which, in part because of the quick decisions that must be made in life-or-death situations, are inaccessible to the conscious mind.
Ohh, I don't think they are inaccessible to the conscious mind...but I would say they are inaccessible to most conscious minds. Some of us can't stop thinking about 'em.
And those of us like that end up talking about it a lot. Then, if we turn out to be correct...others believe us, write it down, and we get new religions. That's the simplified version, but that, most certainly, is the outline for the process.
The 13 Enemies of the Interwebs The following countries are doing their darndest to avoid the coming Information Age (it already is here..it's coming to them...whether they like it or not)
Belarus, Burma, China, Cuba, Egpyt, Iran, North Korea, Suadi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and VietnamQuit making your people stupider, dumbasses.
Speaking of non-democratic actions...
The head of the Virginia Board of Elections, Jean Jensen, tells MSNBC that “the FBI is now investigating allegations of voter intimidation and voter suppression.” State officials have documented “dozens of phone calls that were made to heavily Democratic precincts in which the people who were receiving the calls were either given incorrect information about polling sites [or] misdirected about election laws.”[full story]
This is, undoubtedly, part of why Allen conceded in Virginia.
Call me what you will, but this is a mark of a good leader.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said Friday he would step down as Palestinian prime minister if that would persuade the West to lift debilitating economic sanctions.[full story]
His offer appeared to be another indication that the Islamic militant group and the rival Fatah Party of President Mahmoud Abbas were inching closer to a national unity government made up of independent experts — a coalition that presumably would present a more moderate face to the world.
The West and Israel have withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in aid and tax revenues since Hamas took power in March in an effort to pressure the ruling group to moderate its violently anti-Israel ideology.
The sanctions have prevented Hamas from paying a large portion of the salaries owed to 165,000 government employees, causing widespread hardship in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The (closer to) full Pat Tillman story. I'm still happy he got his birthday wish.
Later, Donnie, you unbelievable bastard.
Oh...how nice...only 150,000 dead innocent people. It's only like 50 9/11s.
A stunning new death count emerged Thursday, as Iraq's health minister estimated at least 150,000 civilians have been killed in the war - about three times previously accepted estimates.[full story]
This guy does make the same mistake as Bush though (no...not invading a country that wasn't a threat), he doesn't realize the Lancet study was about all Iraqis, not just non-combatants [more on that point].
Poor Donnie. Maybe okaying torture wasn't such a good call after all.
Just days after his resignation, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is about to face more repercussions for his involvement in the troubled wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. New legal documents, to be filed next week with Germany's top prosecutor, will seek a criminal investigation and prosecution of Rumsfeld, along with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, former CIA director George Tenet and other senior U.S. civilian and military officers, for their alleged roles in abuses committed at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison and at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.Couldn't be happening to a nicer warmonger. You would think, after using torture as a reason to invade, we could have avoided doing it ourselves.
Understand history, understand the present...
Because covert operations are usually kept secret, it is unlikely that any public hearing will ever be held to determine how many CIA associates were killed in Iraq. But this much is clear: the agency's reputation has been demolished. "It may be that the CIA actually made tremendous efforts to protect its people," says Baram. "But the perception among Iraqis is that having anything to do with Americans is dangerous to your health." The rout will make the CIA's future tasks in the Middle East--and perhaps the rest of the world--harder still to achieve.[full story]
That's a bit of prophecy from Time Magazine the neocons somehow totally missed.
And here's another reason Bush and His Buddies are failures.
Maybe Bush can run this place after the investigations and his resignation. Keep an eye on that 'out jury' and all.
Finally, a pretty fitting closing paragraph.
A final note. I just read somewhere that some of the families of dead American soldiers are visiting the Iraqi north to see ‘what their sons and daughters died for’. If that’s the goal of the visit, then, “Ladies and gentlemen- to your right is the Iraqi Ministry of Oil, to your left is the Dawry refinery… Each of you get this, a gift bag containing a 3 by 3 color poster of Al Sayid Muqtada Al Sadr (Long May He Live And Prosper), an Ayatollah Sistani t-shirt and a map of Iran, to scale, redrawn with the Islamic Republic of South Iraq. Also… Hey you! You- the female in the back- is that a lock of hair I see? Cover it up or stay home.”[full post]
And that is what they died for.
Friday, November 10, 2006
Also, just to help you understand how fragile life can be and how quickly a "climate" can change, check out this story.
Scientists using NASA's Swift satellite have spotted a stellar flare on a nearby star so powerful that, had it been from our sun, it would have triggered a mass extinction on Earth. The flare was perhaps the most energetic magnetic stellar explosion ever detected.It looks like they got a nice picture of it too.
The flare was seen in December 2005 on a star slightly less massive than the sun, in a two-star system called II Pegasi in the constellation Pegasus. It was about a hundred million times more energetic than the sun's typical solar flare, releasing energy equivalent to about 50 million trillion atomic bombs.
Fortunately, our sun is now a stable star that doesn't produce such powerful flares. And II Pegasi is at a safe distance of about 135 light-years from Earth.
NEW YORK, Nov 7 (Reuters) - The U.S. government and AT&T Inc (T.N: Quote, Profile, Research), fighting against a lawsuit accusing the telephone operator of illegally allowing the government to monitor telephones and e-mails, won the right to argue for dismissal of the case before a U.S. Appeals Court on Tuesday.FSM bless the EFF.
In January, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a privacy advocacy group, sued AT&T, saying it collaborated with a National Security Agency spying program it said involved eavesdropping on phone calls, reading e-mails and gathering call records of millions of Americans, without warrants.
In July U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker rejected a request from AT&T, the head of U.S. intelligence and other officials to dismiss the EFF suit.
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday agreed to hear an appeal by AT&T and the government of Judge Walker's decision.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
....but it's about time they felt some of the pain they have brought to so many.
Monday, November 06, 2006
First up, the typical U.S. position.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Wednesday said it saw signs that Syria, Iran and Hezbollah militants were trying to topple the Lebanese government and warned them to keep their "hands off."Essentially, we treat countries in the M.E. (all but one) as little children. No explanation, no argument, simple commands and a "we know better than you" attitude. That first story continues with more, shall we say "overwhelming", hypocrisy.
White House spokesman Tony Snow said in a statement that the United States believed one of Syria's aims was to prevent the Lebanese government from setting up a tribunal to try those accused of involvement in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
"Support for a sovereign, democratic, and prosperous Lebanon is a key element of U.S. policy in the Middle East," Snow said.
"We are therefore increasingly concerned by mounting evidence that the Syrian and Iranian governments, Hezbollah, and their Lebanese allies are preparing plans to topple Lebanon's democratically elected government led by Prime Minister (Fouad) Siniora," he added.
In a briefing with reporters, Snow declined to cited evidence of the U.S. accusations, saying the information was classified.
"And if you have the example of a stable democracy that's able to fend off terror -- in the case of Lebanon, from Hezbollah -- then you have an opportunity to create an entirely different set of circumstances in the Middle East," Snow said.The strange thing is that Hezbollah recently won kudos (locally) from fending off Israeli terror that was trying to topple their entire country.
Now we move on to the other story.
Four Palestinians, including two civilians, have been killed as Israeli forces launched a second day of strikes in Gaza, continuing one of the largest raids in the strip in recent months.[full story]
Helicopter gunships, backed by tanks and ground troops, tightened their grip on Beit Hanoun, said by the Israeli army to be a base for militants launching rocket attacks into Israel, with 300 fired from the northern town in recent months.
In response, the Palestinian President urged the US to intervene to stop the raid, which has so far killed 12 Palestinians in total, including seven militants, as well as an Israeli soldier.
Today helicopter gunships sent missiles hurtling into the town, while about 50 tanks patrolled and other tanks fired several rounds from the other side of the Israeli-Gaza border.
The death toll for the latest incursion has recently jumped dramatically since I ran into that story. The updated version.
BEIT LAHIYA,Gaza Strip - A 17-year-old student was killed in a Gaza air strike on Monday, as Israel pressed an assault against militants that has left 50 Palestinians and one soldier dead in six days.[full story]
The offensive, the latest in four months of Israeli operations in the territory where more than 300 Palestinians have been killed since a soldier was captured in late June, has been condemned by the international community.
Student Mahmud Ashrafi was killed and nine other Palestinians, two of them five-year-olds, wounded when an Israeli aircraft fired a missile on the town of Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza, a medical source said.
Witnesses said the militants who were the presumed target of the air strike escaped unscathed but that the missile exploded near a bus carrying children to school.
So..on the one hand the U.S. is warning Iran and Syria against intervening in the affairs of another country. One the other hand, the U.S. unilaterally invaded a sovereign country and plunged it into choas. One the third hand, the U.S. stands by as Isreali bombs the crap out of Lebanon, and does the same in Gaza.
Now, is it any wonder the U.S. has become so very reviled in the region? And is it any wonder that our word is now shit there?
It shouldn't be. If we truly want peace, we must do more to stop those who would continue to escalate it.
UPDATE: Understanding terror.
A young Palestinian woman has blown herself up in a suicide bomb attack on Israeli troops in northern Gaza, injuring one soldier but also wounding a number of civilians.[full story]
The suicide bombing came in the northern town of Beit Hanoun, and Israelis will see it as further evidence of a terrorist menace there.
But many Palestinians will regard the attack as an act of desperate resistance.
In the past six days more than 50 Palestinians have been killed in northern Gaza. Most of them have been militants, but civilians are continually being caught in the violence.
And nowhere has the hardship been greater than in the town of Beit Hanoun.
It has been under the very tight control of a large force of tanks and troops who have ordered the tens of thousands of local people to stay off the streets for all but very brief periods.
A senior United Nations official, John Ging, has described the atmosphere in Beit Hanoun as one of "death, destruction and despair".
People are living in constant fear.
And all Palestinians would argue that Israel grossly over-reacts to the missile attacks from Gaza.
The crudely made rockets often cause panic and minor injury, but they very rarely kill.
In response, though, Israel has launched a major military operation that has gone on for more than four months and led to the death of around 350 Palestinians - many of them civilians.
During that time, three Israelis have died. All of them were soldiers, and one of them was shot accidentally by his own side.
And the cirlce of violence goes on...much like the circle of life...just down instead of up.
UPDATE: You want terror, you got terror.
At least 19 Palestinian civilians were killed and dozens were wounded following an Israeli artillery attack on the town of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, the Israeli daily Haaretz reports.[full story]
The Israeli army confirmed that an artillery battery fired 12 shells, aiming at a Qassam rockets launching pad. The shells diverted one kilometer from their destination. Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz ordered the army to investigate the incident and present him with the conclusions.
The town of Beit Hanoun is located on the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, only a few miles from Israeli communities. Its citizens are caught between Palestinian terrorists who are using its location to fire at Israel, and Israeli troops who operate against them.
Hamas is now calling to resume terror attacks in Israel. Palestinian Prime Minister Isma'il Haniyya, called on the United Nations Security Council to hold an emergency session to discuss the "massacre in Beit Hanoun."
UDPATE: Full Circle Finish.
THE United States vetoed a UN Security Council draft resolution yesterday that condemns an Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip and demands Israeli troops pull out of the territory.A few things on this...1) I can't wait until that Neocon idiot is gone. 2) Umm, yeah...it's biased against a country that sluaghtered 19 people last week. 3) If you want a political solution, you need to be politically motivated.
Ambassador John Bolton said the US was "disturbed" that the Arab-backed draft resolution is "biased against Israel and politically motivated".
The jackass continued...
He told the council: "This resolution does not display an even-handed characterisation of the recent events in Gaza, nor does it advance the cause of Israeli-Palestinian peace."Ummm, so it didn't point out that no one has been killed by Palestinian rocket fire since mid-2005 and over 300 Palestinians have been killed during the same period? Guess what...the situation is NOT "even-handed". It would have advanced the peace, what it doesn't advance is the idea that Israel can do no wrong and is justified in their killing of innocent people because they are trying to kill terrorists. That kind of "end justifies the means" logic is the reason the U.S. lost in Iraq, and is creating more terror in the world.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Dallas Morning News columnist Frank Shaeffer is leaving the Republicans because he is sick of their lying b.s. That b.s. is currently being used to try and retain the power they obviously don't have the responsiblity to wield.
Well said, and here's a welcome from the third (at least) of the country that finds both our parties useless..and the Republicans in power now damn near evil.
I'm a Christian, a writer, a military parent and a registered Republican.
On all those counts, I was disgusted by an e-mail I just received that's being circulated by campaign supporters of Republican George Allen, who's trying to retain his Senate seat in Virginia.
The message goes like this: "First, it was the Catholic priests, then it was Mark Foley, and now Jim Webb, whose sleazy novels discuss sex between very young teenagers. ... Hmmm, sounds like a perverted pedophile to me! Pass the word that we do not need any more pedophiles in office."Democrat James Webb is a war hero and former Marine, wounded in Vietnam and winner of the Navy Cross. He was writing about class and military issues long before me and has articulated the issue of how the elites have dropped the ball on military service in his classic novel Fields of Fire. By the way, that's a book Tom Wolfe calls "the greatest of the Vietnam novels."
Mr. Webb's son is a Marine in Iraq. That's an uncommon fact in this era in which most political leaders' children act as if it is only right and proper that it's someone else's war to fight.
But enough is enough. I've had it with Republican smears.
The Webb e-mail is the embodiment of the cynical Republican strategists, some of whom must know the difference between fiction and nonfiction. Was Agatha Christie a murderer because she wrote about murder?
According to the Allen camp's logic, God would be a pedophile, too. After all, we Christians believe God inspired the Bible. And God-the-author chose to include the "sleazy" story about Lot offering to send out his young virgin daughters to be raped by the men of Sodom.
The Bible has masturbation scenes, rape, pedophilia and God's favorite man – King David – warming himself with a young virgin in his old age. He's the same man God tells us committed murder after he indulged his peeping Tom fantasies.
Lucky for God-the-author that He's not running against George Allen.
I'm not a Democrat (I don't think anyone even pretending to be a journalist should be registered with a party), but I am advocating voting a straight (D) ticket next week.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
As something of an aperitif, I offer this Bjork video, which kottke loved so much.It's quite the story within a story about a story about a book....and stays accessible through it all.
Before we get to the bashing, I just want to address the complaints of some about "bashing Bush" in general. They seem to think that actually laying out complaints is somehow unpatriotic. They seem to think that Bush is undeserving of bashing. They seem to think the U.S. has improved greatly during the 21st century. If any of them read this...realize something...I only bash Bush because of the things he has don and said. There's no other thing to go after him. It's not about who he is, or where he's from...it's about what he has done in office, and to stay in office, that really needs to be addressed.
I think it's important to start off with something like that, because next we move on slightly more serious matters. In this case, a warning from a previous President.Ike is a bit behind the times however. While he speaks of the "Military Industrial Complex" in this speech, the name has been updated to go along with the times. Nowadays, folks like me call 'em the "Neocon Imperial Militarists" (NIM for short).
This is some pretty serious stuff, and there's a lot more where that came from. Like this excerpt from a speech by General Smedley Butler in 1933. Yes, people have known this for a while. I'm sure I could wander through the annals of military history and find many more examples of soldiers pointing out the often inane aspects of organizaed warfare. Regardess..here's General Butler's take.
War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.[full speech]
I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we'll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.
I wouldn't go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.
And since I'm very much into quoting combat veterans in this post, let's take a look at the thoughts of another one. While you haven't heard much from Kevin Tillman before, his brother Pat gained national fame when his death was used as a prop by Bush during the 2004 campaign . Kevin goes on at lengh regarding the situation.
Somehow we were sent to invade a nation because it was a direct threat to the American people, or to the world, or harbored terrorists, or was involved in the September 11 attacks, or received weapons-grade uranium from Niger, or had mobile weapons labs, or WMD, or had a need to be liberated, or we needed to establish a democracy, or stop an insurgency, or stop a civil war we created that can't be called a civil war even though it is. Something like that.[read the whole thing, at least one troop would appreciate you taking the time to do so]
Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is.
Somehow back at home, support for the soldiers meant having a five-year-old kindergartener scribble a picture with crayons and send it overseas, or slapping stickers on cars, or lobbying Congress for an extra pad in a helmet. It's interesting that a soldier on his third or fourth tour should care about a drawing from a five-year-old; or a faded sticker on a car as his friends die around him; or an extra pad in a helmet, as if it will protect him when an IED throws his vehicle 50 feet into the air as his body comes apart and his skin melts to the seat.
Somehow the more soldiers that die, the more legitimate the illegal invasion becomes.
Somehow those afraid to fight an illegal invasion decades ago are allowed to send soldiers to die for an illegal invasion they started.
Somehow faking character, virtue and strength is tolerated.
Somehow profiting from tragedy and horror is tolerated.
Somehow the death of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people is tolerated.
Somehow subversion of the Bill of Rights and The Constitution is tolerated.
Somehow suspension of Habeas Corpus is supposed to keep this country safe.
Somehow torture is tolerated.
Somehow lying is tolerated.
Somehow reason is being discarded for faith, dogma, and nonsense. Somehow American leadership managed to create a more dangerous world.
Somehow a narrative is more important than reality.
We are now, pseudo-officially on a timeline in Iraq.
The top US military commander in Iraq and the powerful American ambassador to the country gave a rare joint briefing in Baghdad today to stress that control of the country was transferring to Iraqis and that the future lay largely in local hands.Actually, I guess it's more that the Iraqi puppet government is on a timeline. Those who have studied a bit of history regarding the U.S.'s stupid wars know what is happening now is a set up for the next stage of the great game, i.e. passing of the buck on responsibility. It simply couldn't be the people who dreamed up and started this war that were wrong...noo....it was the liberals that didn't support it and the weak-kneed transition goverment that doomed the project to failure.
The briefing, coming two weeks before the congressional mid-term elections in America, in which the Iraq war has emerged as the defining issue, sought to clarify the US mission in the country and put forward a timeline of political developments that Washington expects Iraqi leaders to achieve within the next 12 months.
The sad part is that a whole bunch of people will buy it. How else can this asshat stay stocked wiht oxycontin?
WASHINGTON — Rush Limbaugh has accused actor Michael J. Fox of exaggerating the physical effects of his Parkinson's disease in political ads urging viewers to vote for Democrats in next month's election.[full story]
The conservative radio host told listeners Monday that Fox's lurching, palsied movements in a TV ad for Missouri Senate challenger Claire McCaskill were "an act." Limbaugh noted that Fox, a longtime advocate for research on embryonic stem cells, has said he sometimes does not take his medication in order to illustrate Parkinson's severe physical effects. Uncontrolled shaking and stiffness are among the symptoms of the nerve disease.
John Rogers, Fox's spokesman, called Limbaugh's remarks "shameful."
It's an appalling, sad statement," Rogers said. "Anybody who understands Parkinson's disease knows it's because of the medicine that one experiences" body movements like those seen in the ad.
Fox, who has had Parkinson's for 15 years, is supporting candidates who would vote to expand research using stem cells from human embryos.
It is sad to see someone who (mind boggles) gets respect from a large portion of our population saying such ridiculous things. Also, I hope the Dems keep hammering away at the anti-science, anti-evolution, anti-intelleigence culture that the Republicans brought to Washington. If Alex P. Keaton wants to join in on the bashing, I'm all for it.
UPDATE: Some days I actually have hope.
I said before is, it's like saying a person with cancer is faking it because they lost their hair," Kirby said. "There's no logic to it."[full story]
For the last six years, Kirby has watched her husband, Kevin, suffer from Parkinson's. His tremors and twitches are not as severe as Fox's.
Kirby emailed everyone she knows to boycott advertisers of the Limbaugh show, and she took it a step further.
"We've been Republicans, dyed in the wool, forever, and we didn't vote Republican at all this time," Kirby said.
Limbaugh has since apologized for his remarks. But the Kirbys say the damage is done.
That's enough about what level of idiot it takes to continue supporting Bush. If there are still a few who don't get it, this next link stands as even more evidence that we are in bad shape...and will get worse if we don't come up with a sane Iraq policy.
Troops With Stress Disorders Being Redeployed[full story] Cutting corners like this will only lead to another Haditha.
(CBS News) Army Staff Sgt. Bryce Syverson spent 15 months in Iraq before he was diagnosed by military doctors with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and sent to the psychiatric unit at Walter Reed Medical Center, CBS News correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi reports.
"It ended up they just took his weapon away from him and said he was non-deployable and couldn't have a weapon," says his father, Larry Syverson. "He was on suicide watch in a lockdown."
That was last August. This August, he was deployed to Ramadi, in the heart of the Sunni triangle -- and he had a weapon.
He's still there. Under pressure to maintain troop levels, military doctors tell CBS News it's become a "common practice" to recycle soldiers with mental disorders back into combat.
Things are so bad for Bush now, even fate is conspiring to bash him.
Everything seemed to be going wrong for Bush last week, even the metaphors. On the way to the Allen fund raiser, we stopped for a photo op at a picturesque farm stand outside Richmond. There was a pile of pumpkins sitting on a flatbed truck, and both Allen and Bush tried to hoist an aesthetically pleasing pumpkin by the stem. Both stems snapped. "If you break it, you pay for it, Mr. President," said Richard Keil of Bloomberg News, echoing Colin Powell's famous rule at the outset of the Iraq war. Bush didn't seem to get the joke. "I suppose you're right," he said, and tried to buy the broken pumpkin.[full story]
What's really sad is that the nightmare continues, and Bush is just now realizing how bad it is. Read this and let me know if you can find the Orwellian doublespeak.
Despite conceding painful losses, Bush said victory was essential in Iraq as part of the broader war on terror.[full story]
"We're winning and we will win, unless we leave before the job is done," he said.
Bush said that as those fighting American and Iraqi forces change their strategies, the United States is also adjusting its military tactics.
"Americans have no intention of taking sides in a sectarian struggle or standing in the crossfire between rival factions," he said.
For those from the 20th Century visiting the 21st, we have an update for you. "Civil War" is now called "Sectarian Struggle". Yes, the alliteration is nice, but it still means countryman killing countryman....and countrywoman and countrychildren. Geez, maybe Bush can use "the google" to figure out WTF is going on in the world...it's worked wonders for me.
Pre-pre-final link: It looks like others have noticed, as I did, that the RNC is now airing Al Qeada Terror™ Brand commericals.
I'm not at all sure terrorists would consider this footage useful for propaganda purposes, but a reasonable case can be made — indeed, has been made — that the latest commercial from the Republican National Committee is far closer to an "enemy propaganda film" than anything we've seen on CNN.[full post]
Pre-final link: Keith Olbermann also picked up on this obvious meme...and done run with it. Arianna did the same.
Finally...please...suck it up and vote for the Dems.
Bonus: Forward looking link.
Bush faces political nightmare if Democrats win[full story] This is the hope. There have been so many shady deals and strange b.s. in D.C. that hasn't been investigated while Bush has been in control, it will be nice to see some accountability. Also, I think the last few years have illustrated how one-party control of the country (any country) is not a good thing.
WASHINGTON, Oct 22 (Reuters) - If Democrats win control of the U.S. Congress in the Nov. 7 election, it would turn the Capitol upside down and create a political nightmare for the already embattled President George W. Bush.
If his Republicans lose the majority, Bush would hear newly empowered calls to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq and would suddenly face promised Democratic-led congressional investigations with subpoena power into the unpopular war.
Bush, whose public approval ratings are below 40 percent, would also face Democratic demands he offer "mainstream" rather than "right-wing" judicial nominees if he wants them confirmed.
Arrogance and stupidity indeed .
 via fdl via E&P
Mary, the mother, complained to the Post that the government used her son for weeks after his death. She said she was particularly offended when President Bush offered a taped memorial message to Tillman at a Cardinals football game shortly before the presidential election last fall.
 This is perhaps the worst part of the situation, and why Bush has been so bad for America, and why...even if Bush recalled the concept of honor and resigned tomorrow...we would still face an uphill climb to get back where from we came.
UNITED NATIONS --Several governments around the world have tried to rebut criticism of how they handle detainees by claiming they are only following the U.S. example in the war on terror, the U.N. anti-torture chief said Monday.[full story]
Manfred Nowak, the U.N. special investigator on torture, said that when he criticizes governments for their questionable treatment of detainees, they respond by telling him that if the United States does something, it must be all right. He would not name any countries except for Jordan.
"The United States has been the pioneer, if you wish, of human rights and is a country that has a high reputation in the world," Nowak told a news conference. "Today, many other governments are kind of saying, 'But why are you criticizing us, we are not doing something different than what the United States is doing?'"
 This phenomenon was noted in a recent post, "Support our Oops". I've got the money quote from Bush here.
BAGHDAD -- A senior US diplomat said the United States had shown "arrogance" and "stupidity" in Iraq but was now ready to talk with any group except Al Qaeda in Iraq to facilitate national reconciliation.The sad part? He backed off his truth telling after a call from home mentioned how "truth" went of style around 2000 and "truthiness" is all the rage nowadays.
In an interview with Al-Jazeera television aired late yesterday, Alberto Fernandez, director of public diplomacy in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the State Department offered an unusually candid assessment of America's war in Iraq.
"We tried to do our best, but I think there is much room for criticism because, undoubtedly, there was arrogance and there was stupidity from the United States in Iraq," he said.
Ed note: Yea, I've been gone for a while. The problems still remain, but I'm trying to work through them with my hosting company.
UPDATE: What's so funny, Mr. President?
UPDATE: Ever seen a grown man fellate a Vice-President (who likes being compared to Darth Vader?)?
Here ya go.
Can I please have 5 minutes on tape with Cheney? He can be exposed as an evil man in 2 minutes or less, with a couple simple questions. The fact that he talks about "the terrorists" taking actions that could kill hundreds of thousands of people somehow overwhelms the fact that HE HAS TAKEN ACTIONS THAT HAVE KILLED HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE.
Neocons believe in the things most of all.
1) Might Makes Right.
2) The Ends Justify the Means.
Once you understand this, you'll know why they are evil. Or, coversely, you can just look at what they've done.
UPDATE: Here's Imus on Limbaugh. Good way to put it.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Or maybe a horrid way to assure the loss of hearts and minds?
OPEC has done all they can for Republican election efforts (i.e. lowering gas prices) and will now cut production.
One analyst said some OPEC policymakers wanted to make deeper cuts in output but felt hamstrung by mid-term elections in the United States, where fuel prices are a political issue.Some memorable sports brawls. Nolan Ryan is still one of my heroes (saw his 7th no-hitter from 5 rows behind home plate).
"If it weren't for the U.S. election and the high prices we've had there would be a better than 50 percent chance that OPEC would cut more than a million barrels," he said.
OPEC's official ceiling has been at 28 million bpd since July 2005. During that time output has shifted around 500,000 bpd either side of the official limit.
Duh, duh, and duh.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
This article is a first simplistic (but comprehensive) assessment of World Oil Exports, here defined has the total amount of liquid hydrocarbons that are surpluses in producing countries. This assessment is made by projecting in to the future fixed change rates that reflect current trends in liquids production and consumption in countries where presently the difference between the two is positive. The outcome of this assessment is worrisome.My suggestion...drive less. A lot less.
It should also be noted that I follow my own advice.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
While officials praised a Salinas company Monday for voluntarily recalling potentially contaminated lettuce over the weekend, consumer advocates said the case raises more questions about whether the produce industry should be policing itself.Read the rest of the article for more arguments from both sides. The effectiveness of self-policing is, uh, readily apparent.
A state Senate committee will hold a hearing in Sacramento on Wednesday to review whether the industry and government are doing enough to prevent and respond to outbreaks of food contamination. The lettuce recall and a recent spate of three deaths and numerous illnesses traced to a separate problem with Salinas Valley spinach also have drawn new calls for regulation in Congress.
``Clearly the company did the right thing,'' said Dr. David Acheson, a top food safety official with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, referring to the decision by the Nunes Co. to recall more than 8,500 cartons of its green leaf lettuce after finding E. coli bacteria in water from a reservoir that was used to irrigate the crop.
So far there is no evidence that the lettuce itself was contaminated, and no illnesses have been reported.
114 Sick From Spinach E.Coli; No Tampering Found[the story that started it all] One could also point to the gutted EPA and FDA under the Neocons as a source for worry, but the simple fact is that self-policing doesn't work (unless by "work" you mean make more money with more risk)
(AP) SAN JUAN BAUTISTA Tampering is not suspected in an outbreak of E. coli linked to fresh spinach, federal health officials said Monday as they continue to probe the source of the contamination and warned consumers to continue to avoid eating fresh spinach products.
The Food and Drug Administration has linked a California company's fresh spinach to the outbreak, which as of Monday afternoon had killed one person and sickened at least 114 others. Investigators are working to pinpoint the source of the bacteria. Possible sources include contaminated irrigation water.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
There is lots of data floating around: The CTBTO called it 4.0; The South Koreans report 3.58-3.7.
You're thinking, 3.6, 4.2, in that neighborhood. Seismic scales, like the Richter, are logarithmic, so that neighborhood can be pretty big.
But even at 4.2, the test was probablya dud.
Estimating the yield is tricky business, because it depends on the geology of the test site. The South Koreans called the yield half a kiloton (550 tons), which is more or less -- a factor of two -- consistent with the relationship for tests in that yield range at the Soviet Shagan test site:
Mb = 4.262 + .973LogW
Where Mb is the magnitude of the body wave, and W is the yield.
3.58-3.7 gives you a couple hundred tons (not kilotons), which is pretty close in this business unless you're really math positive. The same equation, given the US estimate of 4.2, yields (pun intended) around a kiloton.
A WOMAN has suffered severe burning to her anus after being struck by lightning which hit her in the mouth and passed right through her body.
Natasha Timarovic, 27, was cleaning her teeth at home when lightning struck the building.
She said: "I had just put my mouth under the tap to rinse away the toothpaste when the lightning must have struck the building.
I don't remember much after that, but I was later told that the lightning had travelled down the water pipe and struck me on the mouth, passing through my body.
It was incredibly painful, I felt it pass through my torso and then I don't remember much at all." Doctors at the city hospital where she was treated for burns to the mouth and rear said: "The accident is bizarre but not impossible.
She was wearing rubber bathroom shoes at the time and so instead of earthing through her feet it appears the electricity shot out of her backside," a medic told local television news channel, 24 Sata.
CNN) -- Spectacular new images of Mars could reveal clues about tens of millions of years of the red planet's history.And here's why NASA should be getting proper respects from everyone, everywhere.
NASA has just released photos taken from above the planet by the spacecraft Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, showing the rover Opportunity perched next to the enormous Victoria Crater. Four or five football stadiums could fit inside the crater.
"We've taken approximately 160,000 photographs from Spirit and Opportunity," said Jim Bell, lead scientist for the rover's panoramic camera. "The images that have come down just this week have instantly vaulted to my top 10 list," he said.
The rovers Spirt and Opportunity landed on Mars three weeks apart in January 2004.
The images were taken from about 170 miles above the Martian surface, revealing information about the sedimentary layering of the planet.
Few scientists imagined the two robots would still be gathering information. The robots, about the size of motorized golf carts, have continued to function, 10 times longer than expected.Getting an order of magnitude more performance out of something that has never been done before is certainly worth a Nobel, IMHO. Or at least a few years of solid grant money.
"Today is day 960 of Opportunity's 90-day mission to Mars," said Steve Squyres from Cornell University.
Friday, October 06, 2006
Read the thread for the pwnage.
BTW, I've run into these jackholes before...details
on quantumphilosophy.net...which is still frickin' down...grrr...
Read the thread for the pwnage.
BTW, I've run into these jackholes before...details
on quantumphilosophy.net...which is still frickin' down...grrr...
Thursday, October 05, 2006
If they had even warned of ONE of these things when asking, I never would have hit the button. Now all my shit is busted.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Personally I'd say it makes for a pretty good outline of a sci-fi story. The only way it will/could come about in reality is if people get so pessimistic and cynical they stop trying to make a better world.
So, uh, what do you want to do tonight Brain?
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Click the play icon to start the video.
Please be patient while your media loads.
Great example of how Pink Floyd synchronized 'The Dark Side of the Moon' with 'The Wizard of Oz'.
Having watctched this before, and read a bit about Floyd, I'd say it is fairly likely the ablum was designed this way.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
"Explanation: What's that pale blue dot in this image taken from Saturn? Earth. The robotic Cassini spacecraft looked back toward its old home world earlier this month as it orbited Saturn. Using Saturn itself to block the bright Sun, Cassini imaged a faint dot on the right of the above photograph. That dot is expanded on the image inset, where a slight elongation in the direction of Earth's Moon is visible. Vast water oceans make Earth's reflection of sunlight somewhat blue. Earth is home to over six billion humans and over one octillion Prochlorococcus. "Won't somebody think of the prochlorococci?
Monday, September 25, 2006
"THINK DRM WAS bad already? Think I was joking when I said the plan was to start with barely tolerable incursions on your rights, then turn the thumbscrews? Welcome to Windows Media Player 11, and the rights get chipped away a lot more. Get used to the feeling, if you buy DRM infected media, you will only have this happen with increasing rapidity.
One of the problems with WiMP11 is licensing and backing it up. If you buy media with DRM infections, you can't move the files from PC to PC, or at least you can't and have them play on the new box. If you want the grand privilege of moving that content, you need to get the approval of the content mafia, sign your life away, and use the tools they give you. If you want to do it in other ways, you are either a lawbreaker or following the
advice of J Allard. Wait, same thing.
So, in WiMP10, you just backed up your licenses, and stored them in a safe place. Buying DRM infections gets you a bunch of bits and a promise not to sue, but really nothing more. The content mafia will do anything in its power, from buying government to rootkitting you in order to protect those bits, and backing them up leaves a minor loophole while affording the user a whole lot of protection.
Guess which one wins, minor loophole or major consumer rights? Yes, WiMP11 will no longer allow you the privilege of backing up your licenses,"
The facts, as they were.
"President Clinton's response was refreshingly aggressive because the premise of the question is so patently and outrageously false. Clinton responded: 'They were all trying to get me to withdraw from Somalia in 1993 the next day after we were involved in 'Black Hawk down,' and I refused to do it and stayed six months and had an orderly transfer to the United Nations.'President Clinton's response was refreshingly aggressive because the premise of the question is so patently and outrageously false. Clinton responded: 'They were all trying to get me to withdraw from Somalia in 1993 the next day after we were involved in 'Black Hawk down,' and I refused to do it and stayed six months and had an orderly transfer to the United Nations.'"The rest of the post is quotes from Senate Republicans, and others, indicating that pundit Chris Wallace's questions during the Bill Clinton invterview (watch it here), were false and misleading.
The funny part about this story is how quickly it is spreading. On the one hand (the right one) we see an attempt to portray Chris Wallace as even-handed. This fails utterly when you look at a question Wallace asked Rumsfeld.
MR. WALLACE: I think a lot of people in Washington are trying to figure out, to understand, Richard Clarke; to make sense of what he has said and of apparent contradictions in his story. Is he telling the truth or is he pushing an agenda? What do you make of his basic charge that pre-9/11 that this government, the Bush administration largely ignored the threat from al Qaeda?That, boys and girls, is what is called a "softball". There are any number of ways Rumsfeld could have spun it...and he did.
Now let's look at Wallace's history. Here's a "tough question" he asked Condi Rice a while back.
MR. WALLACE: The Democrats' number two man in the Senate, Dick Durbin, created quite a stir this week when he compared U.S. treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo to Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, and the killing fields of Cambodia. Does it make it harder for you to do your job as you travel through the Mideast and push U.S. policy on human rights and democracy when a top American official says we are part of the problem?Now, one might think that Abu Grahib, Guantanamo, and the massacre at Haditha would have made her job more difficult...but no...it's not our actions, it's Democrat reactions to those actions that are the real problem.
Next, on Iran.
TEHRAN - In a sign of both historical de ja vu and Chomskyian "manufacturing consensus", the US media is nowadays filled with news on Iran's nuclear threat, thus preparing the American public for yet another Middle East conflict without, however, maintaining a modicum of balance by reflecting the Iranian point of view.[full story]
This much is clear in a Fox News special, titled "Iran: The Nuclear Threat", that aired on Sunday, May 8. Hosted by Chris Wallace (with whom this author worked as an Iran expert at Wallace's previous home, ABC News), this program lacked the minutest evidence of objectivity, displaying instead piles of prejudice on top of prejudice reminding one of the Iraq weapons of mass destruction threat played up by the right-wing, sensationalist, network during 2002 and early 2003, duping millions of American viewers about the authenticity of the Bush administration's allegations against the regime of Saddam Hussain.
The Fox program on Iran is simply the latest example of how the US media has traded political favoritism to the White House, and its fierce demonization of Iran, for objective news.
More from Greenwald
Chris Wallace has forgotten the face of his father. [breaking a commandment, that's a paddling]
Chris Wallace lied during the interview.
UPDATE: The White House responds....as per...with obfuscations and outright falsehood.
"That's the difference in me and some, including all of the right-wingers who are attacking me now," Mr Clinton said.[full story] Umm...Ms. Rice? Clinton shot cruise missiles at those folks. If what you did was "at least as aggressive"...why the massive cover-up? I mean, you would have told us if you fired cruise missiles at someone, right? I really don't recall the pre-9/11 invasion of Afghanistan...WTF, eh?
"They ridiculed me for trying. They had eight months to try, they did not try."
Ms Rice responded: "What we did in the eight months was at least as aggressive as what the Clinton administration did in the preceding years.
"The notion somehow for eight months the Bush administration sat there and didn't do that is just flatly false - and I think the 9/11 commission understood that."
Then it gets worse.
She also disputed Mr Clinton's statement that he "left a comprehensive anti-terror strategy" for incoming officials when he left office, including "battle plans" to go into Afghanistan, overthrow the Taleban regime and launch a full-scale search for Bin Laden.You know...I have to think it's pretty funny that they didn't give a plan for Pakistan (sorry, a "comprehensive" plan...you, Ms. Rice, told the 9/11 commision they gave you ideas and "action items", i.e. the definition of "plan")...sorry, err, Pakistan....so it's funny you blame Clinton for not having a Pakistan plan, only days after it has surfaced that the plan ya'll came up with for Pakistan was "do what we say or we bomb you back to the stone age".
"We were not left a comprehensive strategy to fight al-Qaeda," she said.
"For instance, big pieces were missing, like an approach to Pakistan that might work, because without Pakistan you weren't going to get Afghanistan."
You know, maybe it all was Clinton's fault. And I mean the whole debacle that has been the Bush Years. If only he'd left a comprehensive plan on how to be President, maybe we could have avoided all this crap, and Bush could have gotten busted for blowing a reporter, rather than blowing up Iraq.
UPDATE: Rice bust lying about her statement.
JIDDA, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 2 — A review of White House records has determined that George J. Tenet, then the director of central intelligence, did brief Condoleezza Rice and other top officials on July 10, 2001, about the looming threat from Al Qaeda, a State Department spokesman said Monday.[full story]
The account by Sean McCormack came hours after Ms. Rice, the secretary of state, told reporters aboard her airplane that she did not recall the specific meeting on July 10, 2001, noting that she had met repeatedly with Mr. Tenet that summer about terrorist threats. Ms. Rice, the national security adviser at the time, said it was “incomprehensible” she ignored dire terrorist threats two months before the Sept. 11 attacks.
Officials now agree that on July 10, 2001, Mr. Tenet and his counterterrorism deputy, J. Cofer Black, were so alarmed about an impending Al Qaeda attack that they demanded an emergency meeting at the White House with Ms. Rice and her National Security Council staff.
According to two former intelligence officials, Mr. Tenet told those assembled at the White House about the growing body of intelligence the Central Intelligence Agency had collected pointing to an impending Al Qaeda attack.
There is a quote that always jumps to my mind* when Western culture accuses Islmamic culture of being too violent.
"Dear Editor: Bishop Robert Morlino's defense of the pope's recent comments on the Muslim religion (Sept. 16) insisted: 'Killing the innocent and violence are contrary to reason, and God, who never acts contrary to reason, would never authorize that.'The quote is as follows.
Has Bishop Morlino read the Bible? There is no other book in which life is so cheap! Killing in the 'Good Book' is of biblical proportions.
It takes eight pages in Ruth Hurmence Green's book, 'The Born Again Skeptic's Guide to the Bible,' just to list the mass killings ordered, committed or approved by the biblical deity. These range from drowning all but eight of the world's human inhabitants to merciless scorched-earth commandments to 'utterly destroy' other nations (Deut. 7:1-2). There are countless biblical edicts to kill the innocent."
Matthew 7:3-- Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but don't consider the beam that is in your own eye?
4-- Or how will you tell your brother,'Let me remove the speck from your eye;' and behold, the beam is in your own eye?
5-- You hypocrite! First remove the beam out of your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother's eye.