Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Population of the 100 Largest Cities and Other Urban Places In The United States: 1790 to 1990 (

Population of the 100 Largest Cities and Other Urban Places In The United States: 1790 to 1990 (

Very intersting info, via kottke.

Instant Expert: Human Evolution

Instant Expert: Human Evolution - 24 August 2006 - New Scientist

This is what the new Bible should look like.

Mongers vs. Mathematics vs. Morality

MaxSpeak, You Listen!: DEPRAVITY

Warmongers fail classes in both morality and mathematics.

Spy agencies ripped on Iran intel (When policy drives intelligence, expect a crash)

Spy agencies ripped on Iran intel

This should scare you. Essentially, the intelligence agencies are being yelled at for not finding what they have been told to find.
"WASHINGTON - A key House committee issued a stinging critique of U.S. intelligence on Iran Wednesday, charging that the CIA and other agencies lack 'the ability to acquire essential information necessary to make judgments' on Tehran's nuclear program, its intentions or even its ties to terrorism.

The 29-page report, principally written by a Republican staff member on the House intelligence committee who holds a hard-line view on Iran, fully backs the White House position that the Islamic republic is moving forward with a nuclear weapons program and that it poses a significant danger to the United States. But it chides the intelligence community for not providing enough direct evidence to support that assertion."
Does anyone else besides me think that, perhaps, not talking to a country for 27 years is going to hamper the ability to plant spies in said society?

Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. That way, when you fight...guess who's surrounded...

Informed Comment : Comments by Iranian President

Informed Comment

I wonder if this will get as much airplay as the (mistranslated) "wipe Israel off the map" comment.
"Ahmadinejad: We are Not a Threat to Any Country, Including Israel

Believe it, don't believe it, that's up to you. But at least we should know what exactly he said, which is not something our US newspapers will tell us about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech on Saturday:

Kayhan reports that [Pers.] Ahmadinejad said, 'Iran is not a threat to any country, and is not in any way a people of intimidation and aggression.' He described Iranians as people of peace and civilization. He said that Iran does not even pose a threat to Israel, and wants to deal with the problem there peacefully, through elections:

'Weapons research is in no way part of Iran's program. Even with regard to the Zionist regime, our path to a solution is elections.'"
If you use one quote, you need to use the other. BTW, the "method" for the "wiping" is a one-state, actual-people-who-live-there-and-vote democracy in Israel. This is completely untenable to those who think God declared that a Jewish state must exist on the eastern edge of the Med...which is why we keep seeing wars there, and why the bulk of the native Arab population is held in camps behind walls, on the "other" side of the border.

Questioning the Wisdom of Not Questioning AIPAC

The New York Observer's MondoWeiss: Chris Matthews Should Talk About the Israel Lobby Because It's All He Thinks About

This is finally getting some air. Note: unsubstantsiated accusation of anti-semitism will be the standard response.
"I have a fantasy about Chris Matthews. It's the 1980s and the height of the violent 'Troubles' in Northern Ireland, and Hardball is on. Matthews goes to political turf he knows well, Irish Boston, and gathers a group of American Catholic activists on air. Then he screws these guys to the wall. He asks them what being Irish-Catholic means to them, he grills them about whether they are sending money to the Sinn Fein or the Provisional IRA. He shows us from the inside out why an American interest group feels as passionately as it does, and how it is heating up a hot zone overseas.

But here's the rest of my fantasy: Matthews does the same thing now, for Jews and Israel. Only this time he isn't gathering Catholic corner boys like himself, he is gathering neocons at think tanks and publications and White House offices.

Chris Matthews should do this because as he now demonstrates nearly every night, he believes (as I do) that devotion to Israel on the part of socially- and politically-empowered hawkish Jews helped to distort our leaders' definitions of American interests. He should stop hinting, and put his money down on the counter. Matthews is probably the smartest guy about politics-if not ideas-on air, and if he is holding himself back, it just demonstrates the influence of the Israel lobby. People are afraid to take it on. "

Monday, August 28, 2006

Israel Probed for Terror Tactics

BBC NEWS | Middle East | US probes Israel cluster bomb use
"The US State Department has launched an inquiry into whether Israel misused US-made cluster bombs in Lebanon during the recent conflict.

Cluster bombs spray large numbers of bomblets over a wide area - which can remain unexploded and endanger civilians long after they are fired.

US-made weapons have been found at many of 300 sites in south Lebanon hit by cluster bombs, according to the UN. "
No need to fret, zionists, because terrorist acts by allies will continue to be unaccounted for.
"A lot of them are in civilian areas, on farmland and in people's homes, said spokeswoman Dalya Farran.

"We're finding a lot at the entrances to houses, on balconies and roofs," she said.

"Sometimes windows are broken and they get inside the houses."

"Most of them are from America," Ms Farran said.

According to the UN, eight Lebanese have been killed and at least 30 wounded by exploding ordnance left behind after the 14 August ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah came into force.
A congressional investigation after Israel's invasion of Lebanon in 1982 found Israel guilty of intentionally dropping cluster bombs in civilian areas.

A six year ban was imposed on further sales of the weapons to Israel.

But a senior White House official told the BBC that the current investigation is unlikely to lead to any serious repercussions.

Throughout the recent conflict, Israel argued that it tried to minimise civilian casualties.

But it said that Hezbollah fighters had hidden rocket launchers in houses, blurring the distinction between civilian and military targets.
If they knew where all these rockets were hidden, why didn't they know where their 2 soldiers were being held?


Thursday, August 24, 2006

Pluto a Planet No More

IAU-PlanetVote- Planetary News | The Planetary Society

Gotta love the science.
"Pluto got the boot today when 2,500 astronomers from 75 countries at the International Astronomical Union (IAU) annual meeting in Prague voted on a resolution that aims to define exactly what a planet is.

What this means is that Pluto has been ejected from the planetary brotherhood. It is no longer considered a planet, but a dwarf planet. As a result, the solar system shrunk today by 1 planet, meaning that the solar system now consists of 8 recognized 'planets' Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

In short, a 'planet' is now defined as a celestial body that (a) is in orbit around the Sun, (b) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, and (c) has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit"
And now we see once again how refining definitions to fit the data causes massive changes to the trivia of daily life.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Comedification of American News

Crooks and Liars - Scarborough: "Fake News Versus FOX News"This includes some funny clips (hey, free content for Scarborough) but Joe's points are pretty weak, IMHO. The only reason people are talking about this is because The Daily Show and the Colbert Report are getting great ratings.
"Scarborough seems to think that Stewart gets a free pass because he is left of center. Anyone who watches TDS knows that Stewart will take the opportunity to point out mistakes made by any politician, right or left. It just so happens that we have a government totally controlled by the right and they happen to make very easy targets right now."
Remember how I said we are at the "laughing at the propaganda" point? This is more evidence we have reached such a place. The sad part is that more and more news are adapting the satirical tone...although I'm not sure if it's hesitance has to do with the fact that I get my real news online, and watch TDS to get a laugh out of it. If people begin to depend on the satire and the parody, we might end up in an even worse place (like people thinking "truthiness" is a good thing. It's not).

There is, I would think a lot of people out there who could go for a nice, BBC-style, just-the-news show...but I'm not sure the economics could work out on any of the major stations. We are in a pretty bad place, having gone from actual news dominating, to pundits dominating, to fake pundits dominating.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Simple Version of Why He Must Be Removed

Bush acknowledges war's strain on US - The Boston GlobeSo long, Mr. President, has been too long.
"WASHINGTON -- President Bush, acknowledging that the war in Iraq is ``straining' the national psyche, nonetheless vowed that US forces would remain there ``so long as I am president' and warned that pulling out early would have disastrous consequences for other critical US foreign policy goals.

``We're not leaving so long as I am president,' Bush said at an hourlong White House press conference yesterday."

Judge drops Padilla terror charge - Judge drops Padilla terror charge - Aug 21, 2006

So far, this guy has gone from someone about to use a dirty bomb (right in time for the 2002 election) to some dude who talked to guys who might someday do something.
"MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- A federal judge in Miami on Monday dismissed a terror count against Jose Padilla, the U.S. citizen once identified as a 'dirty bomb' suspect and detained as an 'enemy combatant.'

U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke said in a written opinion that the charge -- conspiracy to 'murder, kidnap and maim persons in a foreign country' -- duplicated other counts in a federal grand jury indictment handed down last year."
This is part of why he needs to go. This is the rest.
Padilla was arrested in May 2002 returning from overseas at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. He initially was detained as a material witness in the investigation of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.

President Bush designated him an enemy combatant the next month and turned him over to the military.
He is, BTW, an American Citizen that was held without charge for a number of years. When the SCOTUS was like, "Hey, uh, Bush, you can't do that. See: Constitution", then Bush had him transferred rather than deal with the ruling. Now he's (officially) even less of a threat.

Where is that Osama guy, BTW?

UPDATE: Why this is important.
This is really HUGE important stuff people. Whatever he may or may not have done or planned to do, these facts are inescapable:

An american Citizen was Arrested on American Soil and held for five years without being charged with a crime, and sent to a Military prison. He was held there without getting to talk to anyone; without access to a lawyer, and without EVER being seen by any shape or form of judicial officer.

All of these thing should be impossible under our Constitution. That they happened should scare the piss out of you no matter what your poltical allegiance.
[via Magorn

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Celebrity Nursing Home Yearbook

ohnotheydidnt: The Celebrity Nursing Home Yearbook

This is gold.
"The Celebrity Nursing Home Yearbook
I came across a website that is holding a contest for the best photoshop skills in making celebrities look like sagging senior citizens. "
Somebody needs to hold onto these for 40 years and see how the predictions turn out.

Coca-Cola GTA commercial

bits & bytes & pixels & sprites - Coca-Cola GTA commercial

Nice play on a great game.
"A suprisingly inventiveand funny commercial that�s inspired heavily by Grand Theft Auto. It certainly appeals to a specific demographic, since most non-gamers would completely miss the point. With all the negativity surrounding GTA these days, I give them credit for coming any where near the subject matter"

Friday, August 18, 2006


"President Bush has not fired any of the architects of the Iraq war. In fact, a review of the key planners of the conflict reveals that they have been rewarded - not blamed - for their incompetence."

Slashdot | War Declared on Caps Lock Key

Slashdot | War Declared on Caps Lock Key

War, it's the only way to be sure.
"'I've launched a campaign to rid the world of the caps lock key. Sure, there are more serious problems to solve but please, think of the children! How am I going to explain to my kids why some of the most valuable keyboard real estate is squatted by a large, useless key that above all you must not press! Our campaign mission is simple: to send a message to the computer industry to force it (by any means necessary) to retire the CAPS key. It's going to be a hard, long, and possibly very embarassing war on uppercase, but some things just need to be done. '"

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Is it art or the one-finger salute?

Salt Lake Tribune - Is it art or the one-finger salute?

Great story. Gotta love neighbors.
"RIVERTON - Maybe it's a hand flipping the bird - or it could be a cactus.

For three families, it's just another dispute in a yearlong battle over a house being built along Reeves Lane in this southwest Salt Lake Valley community.

Owner Darren Wood described the vent covering placed Monday as decorative 'abstract art' and a 'cactus.' But his neighbors uphill say it's a hand flipping them off. "
Can't it be both?

Is it art or the one-finger salute?

Salt Lake Tribune - Is it art or the one-finger salute?

Great story. Gotta love neighbors.
"RIVERTON - Maybe it's a hand flipping the bird - or it could be a cactus.

For three families, it's just another dispute in a yearlong battle over a house being built along Reeves Lane in this southwest Salt Lake Valley community.

Owner Darren Wood described the vent covering placed Monday as decorative 'abstract art' and a 'cactus.' But his neighbors uphill say it's a hand flipping them off. "
Can't it be both?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

FBI: No terror tie to Dallas-area phone salesmen

FBI: No terror tie to Dallas-area phone salesmen

Everybody panic!!!!
"DALLAS - The three Dallas-area men arrested in Michigan on state terrorism charges are well-known to cell phone wholesale and retail shops here, where managers said Monday they are part of a brisk trade in buying phones from Wal-Mart and other discount stores and reselling them to smaller shops.

In Michigan, meanwhile, the FBI said it has no information to indicate that the three Palestinian-Americans arrested with about 1,000 cell phones in their van on Friday had any connections to terrorism.

And, in an unrelated case, an Ohio prosecutor said he didn't have enough evidence to present felony terrorism charges against two Michigan men also arrested with a number of cell phones in their car."
Now every young, enterprising Muslim is an official "terror suspect". BTW, how many times do you have to be picked up and treated like a terrorist before you just give in and become one?

Videotaping the Opponent Pays Off for Democrat

Videotaping the Opponent Pays Off for Democrat -- 08/15/2006

This one is funny, if only because it's like a guy being bit with a snake he keeps around the house for fun.
"The Webb campaign is now offering an online video clip of Sen. Allen making 'repugnant' comments about S.R. Sidarth, the volunteer cameraman.

'This fellow here over here with the yellow shirt, Macaca, or whatever his name is. He's with my opponent,' Allen said at a campaign stop in southwest Virginia on Friday.

'He's following us around everywhere. And it's just great. We're going to places all over Virginia, and he's having it on film, and it's great to have you here, and you show it to your opponent [Webb] because he's never been there and probably will never come...Let's give a welcome to Macaca, here. Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia.'

The Webb campaign, indignant, said it would like Sen. Allen 'to tell us exactly what he means by his comments.'

Webb Campaign Manager Jessica Vanden Berg, in a message to supporters, noted that 'Sidarth was born in Fairfax. What does he [Allen] mean, 'Welcome to America?' And by Macaca, is George Allen calling Sidarth a species of monkey in the Eastern Hemisphere?

'Sidarth has a name,' the Webb campaign said. 'George Allen's efforts to demean him, to minimize him as a person should not be tolerated.'"
And you wonder why Republicans are a joke on international relations.

Nutjob Right Goes Nuts over Israel/Palesinian Peace

Unclaimed Territory - by Glenn Greenwald: Defeatism and attacks on the Commander-in-Chief during a time of war

Greenwald does a good job of collecting all the quotes from the defeat-i-cans after the Israel?Lenanon peace accord. These people are actually pissed because now it doesn't look like we get to invade Iran, which is what they all want to happen.
"In the wake of the Bush administration's engineering of the Israel-Lebanon U.N. resolution, it looks like the Commander-in-Chief has a lot of new enemies and the The Terrorists have a lot of new allies:"
Me personally, I'm pretty happy about it. Not because anyone won or lost, but because I hate seeing all the dead bodies. What other reason do you need?

BTW, here's a view from the "other" (i.e. non Fox) side of the argument. [thanks to 'sap for the forward].

Friday, August 11, 2006

Slashdot | Stephen Colbert vs The Hungarian Government

Slashdot | Stephen Colbert vs The Hungarian Government Read down the thread a bit. I made a funny. Yes, that's the same "wah".
"I believe Colbert's straight-talking sensibilities have earned him far more than just a bridge in whatever continent Hungaria is in. Instead I think we should consider renaming one of our lesser used states as an honor more appropriate to his grippy contributions to America. We're not doing anything with Colorado these days anyway, but imagine the appeal of a new and improved state with a virile name like Colberado. Book your tickets today! "

We Must Remind Them Why They Need US | 08/11/2006 | How investigators pieced together the plot to kill

I was a bit suspicious about the timing of the arrests in this case. Now those suspicions have been confirmed.
"Investigators eventually pieced together enough information from a blizzard of stakeouts, tips and wiretaps to make clear that something big was in the works and that the plotters' preparations were nearing an end.

''It's not like three weeks ago all of a sudden MI5 knew about this plot and went to work,'' a U.S. official said, speaking of the British security service. ``They'd had a concern about these guys for some time, for months.''
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff described the plot as ''about as sophisticated as anything we've seen in recent years as far as terrorism is concerned.'' He said the plot had all the earmarks of al Qaeda. ``It was sophisticated, it had a lot of members and it was international in scope. It was, in some respects, suggestive of an al Qaeda plot.''

However, both Chertoff and FBI Director Robert Mueller declined to say with
certainty whether the terrorist organization was involved.

President Bush said the foiled plot serves as a stark reminder that the United States ``is at war with Islamic fascists who will use any means to destroy those of us who love freedom.''

A law-enforcement bulletin issued Thursday by the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI described the conspiracy as ''international in scope'' but said there was no evidence that the plotters or any accomplices had set foot in the United States."
BTW, you should be VERY scared when Bush starts throwing around the "Islamo-fascism" buzzword. First, becuase it is technically retarded. Fascists are ardent nationists. Islam is a religion that cares not for nationality or nation state. From the -pedia.
Fascism is a radical totalitarian political philosophy that combines elements of corporatism, authoritarianism, extreme nationalism, militarism, anti-anarchism, anti-communism and anti-liberalism.
All bolded items are adjectives that apply to Neoconservative Phlosophy, BTW.

Second, because it is the terminology of places like Little Green Footballs (my tussle with them is here), who are currently being investigated by the FBI for online threats against, well, against anybody and everybody they disagree with.
Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil rights organization often vilified on Johnson's blog, calls Little Green Footballs "a vicious, anti-Muslim hate site . . . that has unfortunately become popular."

The irony, Hooper says, is that if the same kind of "hatred" that appears on LGF appeared on Muslim sites, it soon would be used by LGF's fans to justify their worldview...

The FBI, according to Hooper, recently investigated several threats of physical harm against Muslims posted by Little Green Footballs readers.

Johnson acknowledges the investigation but says Hooper's organization initiated the complaints to try to stifle free speech on his blog.
BTW, his "stifle free speech" thing is hilariously hypocritical, after I got banned for pointing out that LGF was a more violent place (per person) than the Muslim world.

I'm glad they stopped the terrists.

And I'm not scared a bit. If you are scared, the terrorists are winning. That's why they are called terrorists.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Sick, Sad and Disgusting : Lieberman Seizes on Terror Arrests to Attack Rival

Lieberman Seizes on Terror Arrests to Attack Rival - New York Times

Militarism doesn't get more debased than this.
"If we just pick up like Ned Lamont wants us to do, get out by a date certain, it will be taken as a tremendous victory by the same people who wanted to blow up these planes in this plot hatched in England," Mr. Lieberman said at a campaign event at lunchtime in Waterbury, Conn. "It will strengthen them and they will strike again."
You know what really strenghtens them? Invading their countries, killing their leaders, and trying to convert their children. Escalating violence mean violent leaders get elected. This was/is Bin Laden's plan for formented war. It's why Hamas was elected in Palestine. It's why Bush was elected here.

More inanity from Papa Bear, oops, left out an 's'.

Dependable Renegade: I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation

Dependable Renegade: I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation
"I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation
for the GOP choosing to make Howard Dean look like Hitler on its official website."
Umm, projection?

Nice Lamont-Lieberman Snark

MyDD :: Direct Democracy for People-Powered Politics

This is good snark.
"Even though Ned Lamont didn't win last night, and watching Lieberman's victory speech was incredibly painful and upsetting, the progressive movement took a big step forward. We challenged a sitting incumbent, the VP nominee of the party in 2000 and the popular vote winner, and a credible Presidential challenger in 2004 who was leading in the polls until early 2003. I know it hurts, but that is a big fucking deal."
Our culture has become so pardoy inspired, it's hard to tell who's being sarcastic any more.

I blame the Simpsons.

The Militarist View of "National Security" (and an object lesson)

This post starts with the amazing victory in the Senate Democratic primary in Connecticut (the Nutmeg State) by Ned Lamont over Joe Lieberman. This has truly been an amazing event, not only because it was driven by people leveraging teh intarweb, but because it has been the first popular revolt against the rampant militarism the Neocons have now woven into the fabric of our culture.

Before I continue, I need to define that term: militarism. Let's go to the dictionary, err, wikipedia.
Militarism or militarist ideology is the doctrinal view of a society as being best served (or more efficient) when it is governed or guided by concepts embodied in the culture, doctrine, system, or people of the military. Militarists hold the view that security is the highest social priority, and claim that the development and maintenance of the military ensures that security. Militarism connotes the drive to expand military culture and ideals to areas outside of the military structure —most notably in areas of private business, government policy, education, and entertainment.
Now that we have a common understanding of the word, we can move on to relating the word to the latest political developments.

To tie this term to the election, we need only look to the comments about the Lamont victory by the RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman.
Republican leaders quickly portrayed the Lieberman loss as an example of the Democrats' "cut and run" approach to Iraq and a desire to purge those who believe in a "strong national defense."

The Lieberman defeat "reflects an unfortunate embrace of isolationism, defeatism, and a 'blame America first' attitude by national Democratic leaders at a time when retreating from the world is particularly dangerous," Republican national chair Ken Mehlman told the City Club of Cleveland Wednesday morning.
That's my emphasis. The reason Lieberman lost is simple, he has supported the Neocon invasion of Iraq. He thinks it is an example of "strong national defense." Please, can someone explain to me how invading a country that wasn't a threat, killing 40,000 of its civilians, losing nearly 3,000 soldiers, and spending half a FREAKIN' TRILLION DOLLARS ALL TO START A CIVIL WAR is somehow a "strong national defense".

And what is this "retreating from the world" crap you people keep hawking like it's the world's greatest snake oil. You (and I'm talking to the NIM here) have been IGNORING THE WORLD your whole freaking lives. The only thing you see outside our borders are targets of opportunity. You don't see people, you don't see culture, you see conquests and glory.

It makes absolutely no sense...unless..of is a militarist.

If one is a militarist, then blowing shit up is the ONE AND ONLY way to secure a country. Anything else is somehow "extreme left", "weak", "stupid", and "traitorous".

The people of Connecticut have rejected this claim. They have been smart enough to realize that it, like invading Iraq, was and is wrong.

If you, personally, still don't think so, read this post from Riverbend.
For me, June marked the first month I don’t dare leave the house without a hijab, or headscarf. I don’t wear a hijab usually, but it’s no longer possible to drive around Baghdad without one. It’s just not a good idea. (Take note that when I say ‘drive’ I actually mean ‘sit in the back seat of the car’- I haven’t driven for the longest time.) Going around bare-headed in a car or in the street also puts the family members with you in danger. You risk hearing something you don’t want to hear and then the father or the brother or cousin or uncle can’t just sit by and let it happen. I haven’t driven for the longest time. If you’re a female, you risk being attacked.

I look at my older clothes- the jeans and t-shirts and colorful skirts- and it’s like I’m studying a wardrobe from another country, another lifetime. There was a time, a couple of years ago, when you could more or less wear what you wanted if you weren’t going to a public place. If you were going to a friends or relatives house, you could wear trousers and a shirt, or jeans, something you wouldn’t ordinarily wear. We don’t do that anymore because there’s always that risk of getting stopped in the car and checked by one militia or another.

There are no laws that say we have to wear a hijab (yet), but there are the men in head-to-toe black and the turbans, the extremists and fanatics who were liberated by the occupation, and at some point, you tire of the defiance. You no longer want to be seen. I feel like the black or white scarf I fling haphazardly on my head as I walk out the door makes me invisible to a certain degree- it’s easier to blend in with the masses shrouded in black. If you’re a female, you don’t want the attention- you don’t want it from Iraqi police, you don’t want it from the black-clad militia man, you don’t want it from the American soldier. You don’t want to be noticed or seen.

I have nothing against the hijab, of course, as long as it is being worn by choice. Many of my relatives and friends wear a headscarf. Most of them began wearing it after the war. It started out as a way to avoid trouble and undue attention, and now they just keep it on because it makes no sense to take it off. What is happening to the country?

I realized how common it had become only in mid-July when M., a childhood friend, came to say goodbye before leaving the country. She walked into the house, complaining of the heat and the roads, her brother following closely behind. It took me to the end of the visit for the peculiarity of the situation to hit me. She was getting ready to leave before the sun set, and she picked up the beige headscarf folded neatly by her side. As she told me about one of her neighbors being shot, she opened up the scarf with a flourish, set it on her head like a pro, and pinned it snuggly under her chin with the precision of a seasoned hijab-wearer. All this without a mirror- like she had done it a hundred times over… Which would be fine, except that M. is Christian.

If M. can wear one quietly- so can I.
That's how bad it has gotten in Iraq. That is why militarism is wrong. That is why the "War on Terror" is a sick joke. That is why Lieberman lost.

And it gets worse. Much like a cornered wolverine, our Vice-President, Darth Cheney, has lashed out as well.
“It’s an unfortunate development, I think, from the standpoint of the Democratic Party, to see a man like Lieberman pushed aside because of his willingness to support an aggressive posture in terms of our national security strategy,’’ Mr. Cheney said in a telephone interview with news agency reporters.
Sorry, what?! "Aggressive posture"?! It's called "aggression". There's no posturing, Mr. Cheney, your war has killed more people than you've every shook hands with in your life. More people than you've ever met, asked where they worked, had a beer with, or shot in the face.

Now people are losing elections because of it. And more will follow.


On a different, happier note, I have a simple request: please help me. I need some help. I need lots of help. But I've got a pretty good idea banging around in my head, and it has to do with applying power WITHOUT using all them guns and bombs. The idea is to give an object lesson to those that have never learned first hand about the power of the will of the people.

More on that later. I probably won't shut up about it, but I've just given you the first hint on my "big project". Spread the word. It'll work. Trust me. I've seen it happen before.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Lessons of 9/11 (2220924) Britain may have to "modify" its freedoms to deal with terrorists using and abusing them. Scary British dystopia trifetica in play

This is just too apropos not to post.
"2006-08-09 01:18:03 PMpakfish

Jeebus not more drunken prattle from frightened children.
Its time to put down the bottle and wake up people.

Figures are as of Jan 2004

* 9/11 death toll: 2,976
* UK Death toll from smoking since 9/11: 280,000 (approx.)
* UK Death toll from alcohol since 9/11: 70,000 (approx.)
* Global Death toll from cars since 9/11: 12,500,000 (approx.)
* Global death toll from conventional weapons since 9/11: 1,166,666(approx.)
* Global death toll from starvation since 9/11: 38,325,000 (approx.)
* Global death toll from HIV/AIDS since 9/11: 30,660,000 (approx.)"

Doctors' refusal might ring knell for death penalty

Doctors' refusal might ring knell for death penalty

The death penalty in the U.S. will die the death of a thousand small cuts. And good riddance, IMHO
"ST. LOUIS (AP) - The death penalty in the United States might be hitting a roadblock: the Hippocratic Oath.

Condemned inmates in three states have successfully challenged lethal injection as cruel and unusual. For the first time, judges have sided with inmates in ruling that lethal injection has the potential to be unconstitutionally cruel - that without doctors present, the procedure could be inhumane.

The problem is that few doctors are willing to do it. Ultimately, this could put a halt to the use of lethal injections."

Informed Comment (re: Neocon Imperial Militarists)

Informed Comment

Juan Cole has just discovered the "Neocon Imperial Militarist" (google hypothesis I expounded upon back before the '04 election.
"The wholesale destruction of all of Lebanon by Israel and the US Pentagon does not make any sense. Why bomb roads, bridges, ports, fuel depots in Sunni and Christian areas that have nothing to do with Shiite Hizbullah in the deep south? And, why was Hizbullah's rocket capability so crucial that it provoked Israel to this orgy of destruction? Most of the rockets were small katyushas with limited range and were highly inaccurate. They were an annoyance in the Occupied Golan Heights, especially the Lebanese-owned Shebaa Farms area. Hizbullah had killed 6 Israeli civilians since 2000. For this you would destroy a whole country?

It doesn't make any sense."
Then Cole goes into how it might make sense, if one had a particularly warped sense of the world.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Duncan Bremer's Blog (When Fundie Christians Attack)

Duncan Bremer's Blog

Guess what anyone who call for a "Peaceful Islam" [in quotes] is? Hint: it rhymes with spigot.

And how, pray tell, are religious extremists, such as yourself, Mr. Bremer, going to see the light and convert to the religion of the people they believe to be the epitomy of evil? Please, enlighten me. BTW, this quote below is supposed to be an apology for something else he said. It is quoted below the linked text.
"While I prefer that the Islamic Jihadists convert to my world view and receive the benefits of it, my point is that they must give up their world view and their particular version of Islam in order for us to have a peaceful world. From a geopolitical point of view, it does not matter whether they convert to 'peaceful Islam' if that be a religion, or Buddhism or whatever, as long as they give up their religious ideology.

I would like to point out that while I believe Jesus is the only way to a proper relationship with God, I do believe that the only way for people to have that relationship is as a result of a free choice. That is totally different from someone, like the Taliban, who believes that people should not have a free choice. I promote freedom. I believe that God invented freedom and gave it as the rightful inheritance of all men. Only freedom is compatible with my world view. Tyranny is not."
BTW, he's running in the primary (voting today) for Colorado's 5th Congressional district, which is a hotbed for, wait for it...fundamentalist Christians. [and yes, I just updated that Wikipedia page...I'm no Stephen Colbert, I care about the truth, not truthiness. Some people seem to forget Colbert is a parody, and as such should be emulated at risk to one's own credibility.]

A story on the background for the primary.
Colorado Springs - As the deadlines to get on the ballot near, all but one of eight Republicans vying to replace Joel Hefley in Colorado's 5th Congressional District are running hard to the extreme right - touting views against abortion, gay marriage and stem-cell research.
In the GOP primary race, where many of the candidates have similar positions on social issues, even the top brass at Focus on the Family is split on who should be the next congressman.

The ministry's president, Jim Daly, has endorsed Crank, while Tom Minnery, vice president of public policy, has endorsed Lamborn. Dr. James Dobson, founder of the ministry, has not endorsed a candidate.
It's a group whose stances on the "push-button" issues are not a surprise.

"It's well-known what kind of issues motivate a significant set of voters within the Republican electorate," Loevy said. "It makes it very easy to know what to say."

Lamborn, a state senator who has served in the legislature for 12 years, said most delegates are driven to the process by social issues.

"Many of them are concerned about social issues, certainly the majority," he said. "I've talked to a handful who believe that social issues are over-emphasized, but that's a small minority."

In campaign speeches, the GOP candidates have boasted of their Christian beliefs, catering to a stronghold of religious conservatives in a district that's home to Focus and the Rev. Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals.
And what he is "apologizing" for [via].
..."There's an aspect of it that people are not willing to talk about, and I am -- its religious basis... Our best hope is that we actually convert them away from their religious fanatical basis," Bremer said.

He said that would be best accomplished by missionaries of various faiths.

"I'd prefer that they get converted to evangelical Christianity, but my point is that there is a religious battleground and our government is disabled from fighting on that battleground," he said...
Can somebody please put the movie "Kingdom of Heaven" is this guy's DVD player and go Clockwork Orange on his ass, err, eyes.

Should have an update on whether or not he goes to Congress later today. No Democrat has won that district since 1876 and the (R) primary is today.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Cease-Fire Draft at U.N. Falters Amid Arab Criticism

Cease-Fire Draft at U.N. Falters Amid Arab Criticism - New York Times

After reading the proposed resolution, I think these two paragraphs cover it. It gives Israel everything they want, and not much of Lebanon. The bombings will continue until morale improves.
"She said she had spoken to Prime Minister Fouad Siniora of Lebanon several times on Saturday. "There are things the Israelis wanted and things the Lebanese wanted, and everybody wasn't going to get everything that they wanted," she said.

In Israel, the normally talkative cabinet was tight-lipped, but the Israeli news media, citing unidentified government officials, said the government was generally pleased with the plan. The justice minister, Haim Ramon, said that Israel would press ahead with its attacks and that its forces would remain in Lebanon until an international force arrived. Given the complexities of creating that force and putting it in place, that moment could be at least a month away."

Guess Who's Hands These Are? (scroll down for answer)

YouTube - HOWTO: Open A Beer Bottle With A Piece Of Paper: