Saturday, March 25, 2006

Repubicans = Good, Democrats = Bad

Bush is a pariah and GOP candidates know it. They now focus on convincing voters they must vote Repug or they are in peril.
Republicans, beset by an array of political troubles, are cranking up the attacks on Democrats and trying to change the subject from President George W. Bush ahead of November's congressional elections.

With Bush slumping in the polls and Republicans on the defensive over the Iraq war and a series of ethics scandals, the party wants to shift the spotlight away from the White House by convincing voters that Democratic rule would be a dangerous choice.

Republicans hope the strategy will limit the national momentum that Democrats might ride into November and fire up the party's conservative base to ensure they turn up at the polls.

What does it all mean? It means the Dems have to establish a coherent plan to rectify Bush's abysmal decisions.

Pretty easy, huh? Let me know if you need my assistance.

Just joking.

Is Vermont Really There?

Ok. Time to take off the gloves. Does anyone know anyone in Vermont? I've had visits from all states except Vermont. I'm beginning to think everyone in Vermont has moved away.

If you have a friend or relative in Vermont and you know they have a computer, please send them my URL so they can access my site. I will be eternally grateful or grateful for up to 17 minutes at least.

They don't have to visit for a long time. Even in and out will do. This isn't sex or anything.

Gawd I'm such a hit whore.

Attorney-Client privilege? Hahaha.

You think your communications with your attorney or doctor are privileged and nobody else's business? Well, you are so wrong.
The National Security Agency could have legally monitored ordinarily confidential communications between doctors and patients or attorneys and their clients, the Justice Department said Friday of its controversial warrantless surveillance program.

Responding to questions from Congress, the department also said that it sees no prohibition to using information collected under the NSA's program in court.

Folks, wake up. You are being violated and stopping terrorists isn't adequate justification. You are more likely to be killed driving to work than by a terrorist bomb.

You deserve what you accept.

Sniff, Sniff...Something Doesn't Smell Right

First off, I don't have my tinfoil hat on yet. I'm trying to be reasonable and responsible, but this whole thing is highly suspicious.
Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service on Saturday denied that Moscow provided information on U.S. troop movements and plans to Baghdad during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

The statement came a day after the release of an unclassified Pentagon report that cited two captured Iraqi documents that say the Russians collected information from sources "inside the American Central Command" and that battlefield intelligence was provided to then-Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein through the Russian ambassador in Baghdad.

Unclassified? Now? With denials?

This smacks of Karl Rove. Nearing an election, suddenly info comes out the US invasion of Iraq was sabotaged. Little time to prove the story is false and it explains why Bush's "plans" didn't work out quite right.

Just asking.

Is This The Trigger?

Bush has been waiting for justification to invade Iran. Is this latest info the trigger he needs?
With diplomatic moves to halt its nuclear program at an impasse, Iran is moving faster than expected and is now just days from taking the first steps toward enriching uranium, according to diplomats who have been briefed on the program.

If engineers encounter no major technical problems, Iran could manufacture enough highly enriched uranium to build a bomb within three years, much more quickly than the common estimate of five to 10 years, the diplomats said.

The identities are buried in the article, but the diplomats are from the UN and were talking to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) officials. The IAEA has monitors inside Iran.

This is the real deal. These are real WMD. Of course they aren't there now, but they weren't in Iraq either.

Does Congress need a second illegal attack on a foreign country before impeaching Bush's ass?

Don't forget Iran has signed onto the Nonproliferation treaty as has the US.

The Russians and the Chinese fear that taking too hard of a line would lead to an escalation of tensions that could result in military action against Iran. They believe sanctions and other measures designed to isolate Iran might push it to abandon the nonproliferation treaty, which keeps international inspectors in the country.

Ain't it fun playing with Armageddon?

(read more)

Naked, Middle-Aged Stone Uses Sex as Power

I took this headline from ABC News. I was thinking Mick Jagger, but it turned out to be Sharon Stone.

Come to think of it, Mick isn't middle aged anymore.

Pass It On...Good Idea

This is from one of my readers (Joyful Alternative). It sounds like a tremendous idea which could make a difference.
I've proposed a local news blog for my town of 25,000. The police department is willing to provide the police blotter daily; the school board is willing to provide meeting transcripts. I figure every other public body would also be accessible, and no doubt volunteer fire companies, churches, etc., would be delighted to provide schedules, activities, and the like. That's the kind of unfiltered information I'd like to have available to me. I realize the local newspaper can't print and deliver all this detail, but it ought to be available to the general public--and to reporters--to supplement the broader regional picture.

Now, all I need to do is win the lottery, and I can get it rolling.

Actually, somebody more ambitious than I am could sell advertising and make a living on this news blog idea. Pass it on.

Cat Blogging

I still don't have a cat.

Must Read

Not here. I'm just the messenger. This is it.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Abstinence May Not Work?

Can we hope people are finally waking up? I really hope so. Just get these programs out of our schools. And kudos to Rhode Island, I'm sure they're throwing away a lot of money on principle.
Last Wednesday, the state Department of Education (RIDE) Commissioner Peter McWalters sent a letter to all school districts stating the program, run by Heritage Rhode Island, had been deemed inconsistent with the Rhode Island’s education standards. "This program should therefore not be offered as part of the public school health curriculum," he said.

We owe our children much more than such narrow minded, simplistic and unworkable programs. We must educate our kids so they understand consequences of unprotected sex and how to protect themselves. Telling a hormonally charged teenager to just "say no" is unreasonable and the kids know it.

(read more)

Three Years Later, 'Progress' Replaces 'Victory'

Stolen headline and I offer just a teaser for the whole article.
I think of this as not only a three-year anniversary, but also a 15-year anniversary in a father-and-son war. And I wonder what both President Bushes might have done differently had they been given the gift of advance hindsight.

Missing White Girl

Not really, but I got your attention, huh?

The MSN is going crazy reporting on VP Cheney's requirements on the road. Not to be outdone, I have to clock in on this.

Who gives a fuck?

Mission accomplished!

Same-sex Marriage Battles Escalate

This is interesting. It speaks exactly to my earlier post about who is "qualified" to offer opinions on politics. The headline is from USA today.
Gay rights advocates are pushing to legalize same-sex marriage with an unprecedented wave of lawsuits in state courts, while those seeking to ban such unions are gaining ground in state legislatures.

The contrasting strategies reflect how judges have begun to show a willingness to expand the rights of same-sex couples at a time when many state lawmakers - and most Americans - are cool to the idea.

Technically the writer is correct saying "most Americans", but just barely. In an earlier post I sited a poll that found 51% of Americans oppose same sex marriage, hardly an overwhelming majority. Of course 51% did provide Bush a mandate.

I have to stop saying things like that. I end up laughing so hard my side aches.

Beware Of The Bloggers

This from ABC News Political Unit.

Netroots: Now that the blogosphere is a fully politically engaged battlefield, Republicans and Democrats will need to court this constituency of party faithful with a keen ability to both influence mainstream media and organize on the ground in states with early nominating contests. (emphasis mine)

So all you political bloggers out there, pat yourselves on the back. You are starting to make a difference.

I strongly recommend you click over. This is a small piece of their work. They rank candidates by buzz, ability to speak publicly, TV presence and many other things.

I'm no beltway insider, but in the "Fire In The Belly" category, I would be very surprised if Warner really has it more than Clinton. Perhaps he's just less able to hide it.

Should be interesting to see how things work out with the netroots influence because Feingold never makes it into the top five on the other charts they have. Usually he's dead last.

Hey, does all this mean I have to start capitalizing "netroots"?

Oh yes, I did notice the omission of Gore.

One Big Step For Feminists

South Korea has a new Prime Minister. You can call her Ms.
A feminist and former political dissident was picked to become South Korea's first woman prime minister.

Han Myung-Sook, a lawmaker from the ruling Uri Party, was nominated for the vacant post by President
Roh Moo-Hyun, a move hailed as a step forward for women in male-dominated South Korea.

The prime minister heads the cabinet and is second only to the president in power under South Korea's constitution.

I particularly liked this little item in the story. Now this is how its supposed to work. A transit strike seems a little less of a disaster than a hurricane, don't ya think?
The post of prime minister was vacated last week by Lee Hae-Chan, who stepped down in disgrace after apologizing for playing golf on the first day of a crippling national railway strike.

Both Ms Myung-Sook and her husband, a university professor, have been jailed in the past for their pro-democracy work.

(read more)

I Have My Doubts Here

Not much here. This is Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, pictured above with Turkish Chief of Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok, speaking in Turkey.
He also said the U.S. military is not taking any steps to invade Iran, saying, "there is a lot more to be done before we consider military action."

I just want to document what he said because I don't think it will be long before we do use military action and they are taking steps to plan for it. If they aren't we're gonna be in deep shit when we invade.

(read more)

Outsourcing Your Safety

Feeling safe? Well don't. Here is another of the idiot-in-chief's ideas. Jesus H Christ he is amazing.
One of Americans' favorite beach destinations, the Bahamas, is getting a new U.S. arrival — sophisticated equipment to detect radioactive materials in shipping cargo. But U.S. customs agents won't be on site to supervise the machine's use as a nuclear safeguard for the American shoreline that is just 65 miles away from Freeport. Under an unusual arrangement, a Hong Kong company will help operate the detector.

The Bush administration says it is finalizing a no-bid contract with Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. It acknowledged the deal is the first time a foreign company will be involved in running a radiation detector at an overseas port without American customs agents present. (emphasis mine)

He's working on another no-bid contract with a Philippine company to do the same work there.

Just what again is Bush's job description? I thought it included upholding the Constitution and Bill of Rights. It seems I must have been wrong about that one. But it does seem to me protecting us from the importation of radioactive materials should be a component of his responsibilities.

I have nothing against Hong Kong and know little about the company involved, but you just can't put the safety of the American people in the hands of any foreign company with no oversight by US Customs.

(read more)

Been There

Check out this little cartoon.

This guy is rarely ROFL/LMAO funny, but his daily cartoons, done on Post-It Notes(TM), are always amusing.

Bush's Hero

Turkmenistan's president-for-life Saparmurat Niyazov

And he's as loony as Bush.

(via Neatorama)

They Ain't Gods - Only Mortals

I've said many times how much I love Molly Ivin's work. Her latest article is a good example.

However, she does suffer from one small quirk common to most all news people and it is a quirk, not a flaw. They think they are "the" sources of all that is accurate and truthful.
Television, radio and newspapers are all cutting staff, while the bloggers of the Internet either do not have the size or the interest to go out and gather news. Bloggers are not news-gatherers, but opinion-mongers. I have long argued that no one should be allowed to write opinion without spending years as a reporter -- nothing like interviewing all four eyewitnesses to an automobile accident and then trying to write an accurate account of what happened. Or, as author-journalist Curtis Wilkie puts it, "Unless you can cover a five-car pile-up on Route 128, you shouldn't be allowed to cover a presidential campaign."


Now don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to defend myself. My spot in this swirl of blogs is to try to post info I think people might miss and try my best to post earlier than others. Most US bloggers are asleep when I'm blogging. I often catch breaking news within seconds.

I also often usually offer my opinions. Those opinions are as well informed as I can make them or just based on experience. Those opinions are mine and can be accepted or rejected by my readers based on thier opinions, experience, trust or beliefs.

Other bloggers are more informed and knowledgable than I in many areas and have sources and experiences I haven't. I would never challenge Juan Cole, Redd Hedd, Jane Hamsher nor many others. They provide info as good as, if not better, than MSM reporters.

Damn! Shouldn't have started listing bloggers. There are far too many and omissions signify nothing.

Finally, I'm no celebrity and thus am not in anyone's spotlight. I've been interviewed by radio stations, television stations and newspapers on a few occasions. So each reporter was "covering the five-car pile-up on Route 128" as it were. In every single interview I gave, without exception, the reporter made factual mistakes and erroneously quoted me on something. Usually the errors were significant. So "being there" doesn't guarantee reliable information or accuracy. I'm just saying.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

US Living On Borrowed Time - And Money

I stole that title from Asia Times Online. It really says it all and this article explains it all.

Can US wait for a new, intelligent president? If you've ever over-extended your credit cards and tried to catch up, you know how painful it can be. This is exactly where the US economy is sitting now and pay-back can be a bitch. This is just a train wreck waiting to happen.
In 1987, Yale historian Paul Kennedy published The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, in which he argued that "military overstretch" - where conquering nations engaged in more foreign military adventures than their economic resources could support - led to the eventual decline and fall of empires.

So far, the US attempt at dominion that commenced in 2001 has not been threatened in this manner because, in essence, the nation has been able to borrow the costs simultaneously to maintain both its new empire and its avaricious middle-class consumerist lifestyle.

But the times, they are a-changing. Buried deep in the arcanum of some recently released economic statistics are indications that the world is tiring of its role as America's charge card.

(read more)

"Need To Know Only" I Guess

Ya gotta check this out. This is a blog by a soldier serving in Iraq and I pray he makes it home ok. He's talking to his parents on the phone. I do love the title of his blog.
”Me: “Come again?”

Parents: “Oh, I was saying with gas prices over two bucks a gallon, are you sure you want to get a truck?”

Me: “No, the civil war part.”

That was the first I’d heard about the mosque getting blown up and this was two or three days after it happened. I’m IN Iraq and have no idea what’s going on. A few months back I came to the conclusion that I’m fed nothing but propaganda and now it seems like my theory is dead on.


Back to the newspaper. The only reason I even pick up a copy of Stars and Stripes is for two things: the crossword puzzle and su-do-ku; I think the Army makes me more stupid everyday so I try to keep my mind somewhat active and maintain a somewhat geared up vocabulary (I need to count how many times I say “fuck” in any given day and publish the results). I usually skim through the paper over dinner, directing everyone else to the humor I find in the blatant propaganda articles. I’ve explained to ya’ll before that if new schools and water plants and all that stuff is going up, I have no idea. I’m a trigger puller. I watch for blow-me-up devices and people running around with guns (oh, if only you could have seen the boy no older than ten walking around the streets toting an AK) and worry about my legs being blown off.

Americans More Accepting Of Gay Marriage

One of the most divisive issues in the mid-term elections apparently will be a bit less important than it was going into the 2004 elections.
The public backlash over gay marriage has receded since a controversial decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Court in 2003 to legalize those marriages stirred strong opposition, says a poll released Wednesday.

Gay marriage remains a divisive issue, with 51 percent opposing it, the poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found. But almost two-thirds, 63 percent, opposed gay marriage in February 2004.


The telephone poll of 1,405 adults was conducted March 8-12 and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

(read more)


Originally uploaded by spiiderweb.
Just in...

Three hostages, two Canadians (James Loney, 41 and Harmeet Singh Sooden, 32) and one Briton (Norman Kember, 74)were found alive west of Baghdad. A fourth hostage, American Tom Fox, 54 (upper left man with white hair) was found dead earlier this month. The three hostages have issued their condolences to the family of Tom Fox.

No word yet on the condition of each man nor is there any info on why they were freed.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I Have To Rest My Head Now

Sometimes futurist's ideas are just too fantastic. Not that I would suggest they stop, but they come up with such imaginative ideas they fry my brain.

Truth is, I usually wish these people are right.

Recent Gallup Poll

There are many things to be gleaned from Gallup Polls latest annual environemental poll, but a couple things stand out to me. I concentrated on one poll in particular, the Issues Worries poll.

The first thing I see is the aging of America. The top three worries are those of older Americans. Actually the top worries of older people anywhere. Not to mention the next to last item. If you're retired, unemployment loses its worry factor. This is especially true if your children/grand children are employed.

The second thing that jumped out at me was the fact Americans see five things more worrisome than TERRORISM! Could it be the terror card is losing its clout for Bush?

Now This Is Obscene

If this legal analysis is correct, the SCOTUS has decided to let the most puritanical, anal, intolerant US citizens define what is obscene and thus can't be sold over the internets.

Amazon Changes Querie Rules

Sometimes companies do listen. This from Wired News. said Monday it had modified the way its search engine handles queries for the term "abortion" after receiving an e-mail complaint that the results appeared biased.

Until the recent change, a user who visited the Seattle internet retailer and typed in the word "abortion" received a prompt asking, "Did you mean adoption?" followed by search results for "abortion."

Spokeswoman Patty Smith said the automated prompt was purely based on technology, and that no human had made the decision to show the question.

"Adoption and abortion are the same except for two keystrokes," Smith said. "They also, in this case, happen to be somewhat related terms."

A side note. A computer can't do anything without programming, duh! And a programmer is human and not omniscient. This means, as computers become more ubiquitous than they are, they will bite us in the ass in ways we can't possibly imagine.

Bush Press Conference

I'm not sure just what this means except that the Democrats had better push the withdrawl button as hard as they can because, if the people think this war will continue into the next administration, they are more likely to vote for a Republican. Especially if that Republican is John McCain who is currently favoured. From this article in WaPo.
President Bush acknowledged yesterday that the war in Iraq is dominating nearly every aspect of his presidency, and he served notice for the first time that he expects the decision on when all U.S. troops come home to fall on his successors.

Then Bush went on to say one of the most stunningly insipid things he has ever uttered.
"Nobody likes war," Bush said. "It creates a sense of uncertainty in the country."

No shit.

He followed with this write-off of Republican critics.
Bush dismissed the rising chorus of Republican criticism as election-year jitters. "There's a certain unease as you head into an election year," he said.

No sir, they are criticizing you because you're an idiot and making stupid decisions. You are destroying everything America stands for, slaughtering thousands of Iraqis in an illegal war, most of whom are innocents, and bringing US closer and closer to a major war if not World War III.

The WaPo article goes on to say.
The offensive [in this news conference] comes as a string of polls have shown that less than 40 percent of Americans approve of the Bush presidency and that a growing number no longer trust him.

Technically you are being generous. The range of polls pretty much average out to the mid-thirty percent range.

Oops. Here comes another stunningly insipid statement.
"I understand people being disheartened when they turn on their TV screen," Bush said, adding that "nobody likes beheadings" and other grim images.

So we just won't show them to you. We're always there to protect you.

By the way, most American's probably don't like beheadings, but al Qaeda seems to love them.
Bush said he disagrees with former Iraqi prime minister Ayad Allawi, a man who had been handpicked by his administration, and others who say that the country is already engaged in a civil war in which dozens of people are killed each day. "The way I look at the situation," Bush said, "the Iraqis took a look and decided not to go to civil war." If a civil war erupts, he said, Iraqi forces will be in charge of ending it, with assistance from U.S. troops.

Obviously Iraq is in a civil war. Nobody stood back and said, “Hey, we don't want no civil war so we just ain't gonna have none.” And it is also obvious the Iraqi forces couldn't contain an outbreak of violence at a football game.
But Bush rejected the notion that his Iraq policy is based on wishful thinking. "I say that I am talking realistically to people," he said.

Bush wouldn't know reality if it was sucking his dick. What is it with this constant "Are you gonna believe your eyes?" shit? Don't fart in my face and tell me the Calla Lillies (picture above) are in bloom.
Moments later, he said the reason U.S. forces went to Iraq was to "make sure we didn't allow people to provide safe haven to an enemy." Since the invasion, Bush has emphasized different rationales for the Iraq invasion, such as the need to topple a dangerous dictator and to eliminate weapons of mass destruction, which have yet to be found.

Thanks for doing your job by not letting that little change of rational go commented.

Surprisingly Bush finally, sort of, admitted he had made a possible mistake. When asked by Helen Thomas about his shifting rationales for the war Bush said.
"I really didn't regret it," he said. "I kind of semi-regretted it."

Then he did two interesting things. He mentioned Sen Russ Feingold's (D-leader) call for censure. This shows, obviously to me, the Republicans are scared of it. Why even mention it if it a trifle? Then he admitted someone has to stop his NSA spying program because he intends to continue it.
He dismissed as "needless partisanship" calls by Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) to censure the president for authorizing the secret National Security Agency spying program, which involves eavesdropping on U.S. citizens. Telegraphing the GOP's election plan to portray Democrats as weak on terrorism, Bush dared his opponents to campaign in the 2006 elections on a platform that includes eliminating the spying program.

"They ought to take their message to the people and say, 'Vote for me, I promise we're not going to have a terrorist surveillance program,' " he said. Bush also taunted those Democrats who opposed the reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act, the law that provides the government with broad surveillance powers: "If that's what the party believes, they ought to go around the country saying we shouldn't give the people on the front line of protecting us the tools necessary to do so." No Democrat has made such a statement.

Thanks again for doing your job
With the stock market up and unemployment down, Bush repeatedly said the economy is strong, despite concerns about rising inflation. He blamed the federal debt, which has ballooned from $5.7 trillion when he took office to more than $8.2 trillion under his watch, on mandatory government spending for entitlement programs such as Medicare. He did not mention that his prescription drug plan for Medicare is projected to add hundreds of billions of dollars to the debt, or that federal spending has grown by more than 25 percent since he took office.

Ok, WaPo, you finally blew it. You didn't even mention the illegal war that has added billions directly to the debt and indirectly will add billions more.

(all emphasis mine)

No More Electoral College

This post by Molly Ivins is good, as always. Please read it.

The Killing Of A Culture

This via Manbiot. He's talking about the removal of indigenous people from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve because De Beers wants the diamonds on their land.

Ten days ago a United Nations committee noted “persistent allegations that residents were forcibly removed, through, in particular, such measures as the termination of basic and essential services inside the Reserve, the dismantling of existing infrastructures, the confiscation of livestock, harassment and ill-treatment of some residents by police and wildlife officers, as well as the prohibition of hunting and restrictions on freedom of movement inside the Reserve.” People who have tried to remain in their lands have been tortured, beaten and starved.


When, in the 1960s, the Innu of Canada were evicted from their lands by similar means and for similar purposes, they immediately fell prey to alcoholism, petrol sniffing and suicide. Fifty per cent of the population now has diabetes. Thirty-five percent of the Innu children in schools in Labrador have foetal alcohol syndrome. Suicide rates are around twelve times higher than the national average. This will be a familiar story to anyone who has witnessed the forcible relocation of indigenous people.

Are there any such peoples in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge where the oil is. And do you doubt the oil companies will drive them off as well? Just asking.

Blogger Hero

This via Boing Boing.

[D]ocumentary filmmaker Hao Wu (...) was arrested in Beijing on 22 February after attending a meeting of members of a protestant church not recognised by the government as part of the preparation of his next documentary.

His blog can be found at this location.

Some people have real courage.

No Temporary-Worker Program?

It certainly appears Bush is again ignoring Americans' wishes by proposing temporary-worker status.

NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll conducted by the polling organizations of Peter Hart (D) and Bill McInturff (R). March 10-13, 2006. N=approx. 500 adults nationwide.

"In addition to improving security at our borders, Congress is considering a proposal that would impose a monetary fine on foreigners who are currently in the United States illegally and then grant them legal, temporary-worker status. Which of the following statements do you agree with more?

"Statement A:
We SHOULD grant temporary-worker status to foreigners who are here illegally. Most of them will stay in the United States anyway, and this plan would allow the government to keep track of them and their activities and require them to pay taxes while they are here.

"Statement B: We should NOT grant temporary-worker status to foreigners who are here illegally, as this would make them and their families eligible for government services while they are here. We should not reward people who have broken the law, and this will encourage even more people to enter the United States illegally."

Public Opinion Polling

This's an interesting article from the Gallup Poll on how the wording of a question can dramatically affect results. This info might prove helpful in evaluating the quality of polls you read.

Sorry Folks

Have been having computer problems, Blogger/Blogspot problems and then lost my phone line. Arghhh!!!

The trouble is none of these things give any warning. Everything is working fine and then, blam one component fails and I'm dead in the water.

I think everything is semi-stable now (had trouble uploading picture) and my posts should be more consistent.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Things In US Are Going Well? Not So Much

A recent (March 13-16) Gallup Poll shows Americans are not satisfied with the way things in the country are going. The poll shows the worst numbers in more than a decade.

If broken down by party affiliation it becomes clear most Dems and Indies are very dissatisfied and 38% of Repugs are also none too happy.

Danger! Global Warming Warning

James Hansen will most likely be unemployed very soon. Why, you might ask? Because he is saying things about global warming that Bush doesn't want you to hear and he is defying Bush to say them. He is probably committing career suicide in a career with limited opportunities.

As a government scientist, James Hansen is taking a risk. He says there are things the White House doesn't want you to hear but he's going to say them anyway.

Hansen is arguably the world's leading researcher on global warming. He's the head of NASA's top institute studying the climate. But this imminent scientist tells correspondent Scott Pelley that the Bush administration is restricting who he can talk to and editing what he can say. Politicians, he says, are rewriting the science.

What James Hansen believes is that global warming is accelerating. He points to the melting arctic and to Antarctica, where new data show massive losses of ice to the sea.

Is it fair to say at this point that humans control the climate? Is that possible?

"There's no doubt about that, says Hansen. "The natural changes, the speed of the natural changes is now dwarfed by the changes that humans are making to the atmosphere and to the surface."

I'm pretty sure Hansen was muzzled because of this that I posted earlier. I lost the link, but do believe Hansen is the one quoted. I also blogged this, which is from another NASA source, Eric Rignot, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

(read more at Brilliant at Breakfast)

Be Afraid...Be Very Afraid

Did you ever come across some article you wish you hadn't? I mean you know it is something you should have read, but sort of wish you could stay ignorant about it. There is a very distrubing article in Mother Jones. It is talking about the Reconstructionists and what they want for this country. Why should you care? Because these are the fundies we're battling.

...Christian Reconstruction—an obscure but increasingly potent theology whose top exponents hold that Christian crusaders must conquer and convert the world, by the sword if necessary, before Jesus will return.


...including Gary DeMar, the organizer of the Restore America rally and the head of American Vision, one of the most prolific publishers of the movement.


Reconstruction is the spark plug behind much of the battle over religion in politics today.

Yet for all its influence, Reconstruction is almost invisible to the media and secular society. Atlanta is ground zero for most Reconstruction activity—home office to DeMar’s publishing house and home district to movement prophet Larry McDonald, who served four terms in Congress in the 1970s and 1980s—but the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has done only one major article on the movement. The entire Lexis-Nexis database includes only 43 articles from all of the U.S. media that make reference to Reconstruction, and only a handful of those explore the movement.


The Old Testament—with its 600 or so Mosaic laws—is the inflexible guide for the society DeMar and other Reconstructionists envision. Government posts would be reserved for the righteous, as long as they are male. There would be thousands of executions a year, with stoning a preferred method because it would turn the deaths into “community projects,” as movement theologian North has noted. Sinners in line for the death penalty would include women who commit adultery or lie about their virginity, blasphemers, witches, children who strike their parents, and gay men (lesbians, however, would be spared because no specific reference to them can be found in the Books of Moses). DeMar told me that among Reconstructionists he is considered something of a liberal, because he’d execute gays only if they were caught indulging in sodomy. “I’m happy to just drive them back into the closet,” he said.

In introducing Moore at the Trinity Chapel rally, DeMar told the crowd that he supports a “jurisdictional separation of church and state.” But he was not mounting a defense of the First Amendment so much as outlining an organizational distinction. In his book Liberty at Risk, DeMar writes that “the State cannot be neutral towards the Christian faith. Any obstacle that would jeopardize the preaching of the Word of God…must be opposed by civil government.”

Besides facilitating evangelism, Reconstructionists believe, government should largely be limited to building and maintaining roads, enforcing land-use contracts, and ensuring just weights and measures. Unions would not exist, and neither would unemployment benefits, Social Security, and environmental protection laws. Public schools would disappear; one of the movement’s great successes has been promoting homeschooling programs and publishing texts used by tens of thousands of homeschooling families. And, perhaps most importantly, the state is “God’s minister,” as DeMar puts it in Liberty at Risk, “taking vengeance out on those who do evil.” A major task for the government key Reconstructionists envision is fielding armies for conquest in the name of Jesus.

There's much more to the article. All of it pretty scary, but necessary info.

Monday, March 20, 2006

How Would A Patriot Act?

Glenn Greenwald has just announced he is nearly finished witing a book on Bush's subverting America's values, specifically by engaging in the felonious act of using the NSA to illegally spy on Americans. As he says, " not and has never been about the scope of eavesdropping powers which the Government ought to have."
As readers of this blog know, I have been very excited about a project I have been working on but which I have not been able to talk about. I now can:

Roughly six weeks ago, I was approached by an editor with a proposal to publish a book based on the ideas and arguments which have been the subject of this blog for the last several months. The idea was to get the book to the market quickly in order for it to have as much of an impact as possible on the current, ongoing and now (thanks to Russ Feingold) intensifying debate over the NSA scandal specifically and, even more so, the radical theories of law-breaking power embraced by the Bush Administration generally.

And readers of this blog know, Glenn is preaching to the choir here. I've lamented about, ok, gone into profanity laced rages over what Bush has been doing to our heritage and the very nature of our country.

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Can't Find House Majority Leader John Boehner?

Try looking up. He's probably in a corporate jet. After all, he's spent about six months over the last six years on privately funded trips.
House Majority Leader John Boehner, who rose to power in the wake of a congressional lobbying scandal, spent the equivalent of nearly six months on privately funded trips over the past six years, according to a new study by a nonpartisan research group.

The Center for Public Integrity said the Ohio Republican accepted 42 privately sponsored trips from January 2000 to December 2005. That put him on the road to foreign countries and "golfing hotspots" — often with his wife, Debbie — for about half a year, "only nine days of which he listed as being 'at personal expense,' " the center said.

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And in a related story. It seems lobbyists aren't too worried about restrictions. They're confident they can find ways to buy pols. In fact, they already know how.
Some of Washington's top lobbyists say they expect to find ways around congressional efforts to impose new restrictions on lobbyists' dealings with lawmakers in the wake of the Jack Abramoff corruption scandal. Any limits will barely put a dent in the billions of dollars spent to influence legislation, they say.

While Congress may ultimately vote to eliminate a few of the more visible trappings of lobbying, such as gifts, free meals and luxurious trips, lobbyists say they already have found scores of new ways to buy the attention of lawmakers through fundraising, charitable activities and industry-sponsored seminars.

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When Dems Shoot Selves In Foot

It seems the Repugs have found a way to dis-enfranchise many NOLA residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina by not...wait a minute, the governor and mayor are Dems!
What was good enough for mostly well-to-do, pro-Western Iraqi expatriates living in the United States is apparently too good for the mostly black and poor New Orleanians displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

On Thursday, the US Justice Department authorized state and local plans for carrying out the New Orleans primaries on April 22. In votes postponed from February 4, the city will vote on mayoral, city council and other local primary races. Though the plans include setting up polling stations throughout Louisiana, remote balloting will not be available in other states with high concentrations of hurricane survivors.

In effect, displaced New Orleanians will not enjoy the same level of polling access that the federal government provided last year to Iraqi expatriates, who cast ballots for the Iraqi legislative elections in five cities across the United States.

By contrast, even Southern cities like Atlanta and Houston, which host high numbers of Katrina refugees, will not host polling stations for storm-affected New Orleanians outside of Louisiana.

This just doesn't make any sense at all.

Say It Ain't So, Cheney

Well, he is part of Bush's lying administration, so maybe this is a lie too. We can only hope.
Vice President Dick Cheney, a lightning rod for criticism about administration policies, on Sunday rejected the notion of resigning and said he would serve out his term.

World Wide Anti-War Demonstations

Below is a world map with each country holding a rally on the three year anniversary of the Iraq war coloured red. Many of the rallies continued on into a second day.

Your Tax Dollars

A diagram of tax expenditures via Bob Harris.