Saturday, June 03, 2006
Friday, June 02, 2006
Speaking of hot days, the right wing denial of global warming is somewhat amusing.
I have to disagree. There's nothing remotelely amusing about global warming. It may well cause the end of the human race if it can't be reversed and it may be too late.
Thursday, June 01, 2006
Corruption In Congress
Eight Random Facts About Me
1. Think the greatest thing in nature is sunrises. Almost never am awake at sunrise unless I just hadn't gone to bed yet.
2. Used to drive an SUV. Drive something bigger now. I know. Me bad.
3. No surprise, but I can't look at or listen to Bush. I get ill reading his words.
4. Feel others' opinions of me are none of my business, but can't stand being disliked.
5. Have no ability to learn a foreign language. Can pronounce words correctly, with an accent even, but can't read, understand or converse in any language except, to a limited extent, English.
6. Do not fear death. If there is a heaven, I'm sure I qualify for entry. If there's nothing, what's to worry?
7. Though educated in Economics and Business, don't believe free enterprise is the only answer. A combination of limited socialism and lightly regulated competion most likely is the answer.
8. When I have time to read (rarely), I only read non-fiction, Humor (think Douglas Adams or Dave Barry) or mystery novels. OK, I've read Kurt Vonegutt and JD Salinger. Well, there are others. I guess this whole random fact is basically a lie.
I have to admit, Jill, this wasn't quite the excruciating chore I expected.
Tag time. Eight facts if you can, but fewer are acceptable.
Bad Attitudes (at least one of you)
Big Shot Bob (and he is) in Texas.
Any other blogger who visits my site. I really have no idea if any others do. I suspect Atrios does because he's dumbfounded by my posts, but I may be wrong on that one.
If you fall into that last category, please post a comment so I'm sure not to miss your facts list. In fact I'd just like a comment so I know you visit sometimes.
Must... Read... Molly... Ivins
Just Bragging Here
Notice the term Exclusive on the above cover. Then notice the date of the magazine.
Then go here.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Bush Playing Into Bin Laden's Hands?
In recent weeks, media reports from both Iraq and Afghanistan have suggested the appearance of a slow evolution of the Islamist insurgents' tactics in the direction of the battlefield deployment of larger mujahideen units that attack "harder" facilities.
These attacks are not replacing small-unit attacks, ambushes, kidnappings, assassinations and suicide bombings in either country, but rather seem to be initial and tentative forays toward another stage of fighting.
Al-Qaeda believes that it and its allies can only defeat the United States in a "long war", one that allows the Islamists to capitalize on their extraordinary patience, as well as on their enemies' lack thereof. Before his death in a firefight with Saudi security forces, the leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Abu Hajar Abd al-Aziz al-Muqrin, wrote extensively about how al-Qaeda believed the military fight against the US and its allies would unfold. He envisioned a point at which the mujahideen would have to develop semi-conventional forces. He identified this period as the "Decisive Stage". [emphasis mine]
Another War That's Not Going Well
The world continues to lose an ugly battle to HIV/AIDS that shows no sign of letting up after 25 million people have died a quarter-century into the epidemic, the head of the U.N.'s HIV/AIDS joint program said.
"I think we will see a further globalization of the epidemic spreading to every single corner of the planet," UNAIDS head Peter Piot told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from Geneva.
This info doesn't really surprise me because there are constant reports about increases in HIV/AIDS deaths and affected percentage of population numbers rising.
Feeling Secure? Well Don't #7
This is something less than comforting out of Canada. It sheds new light on just how vulnerable the US-Canada border is.
While the Canadian government is trying everything to convince the American administration to put off new security measures requiring a passport to enter the U.S., our nation’s No. 2 spymaster has provided a rather compelling reason for the Yanks to man the barricades, preferably yesterday.
Jack Hooper, deputy director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) that is responsible for checking out newcomers to this country, says the agency lacks the money and manpower to vet more than a small fraction of immigrants.
Hooper spooked a Senate committee yesterday when he admitted that even in the case of immigrants from known terrorist breeding grounds such as Afghanistan and Pakistan, “we are in a position to vet one-tenth of those.”
In other words, of the roughly 20,000 immigrants who have come here since 9/11 from the region around Osama bin Laden’s last known address, about 18,000 have entered Canada with little or no security clearance.
And Bushco is concerned about stopping the brown folks who pick lettuce, serve food and mow lawns.
Will America Survive Bush?
This is a must read IMHO. Its an excerpt of the above book.
Bushco is constantly feeding Americans fear, but what they should really fear is Bushco.
An inability to protect its citizens. The belief that it is above the law. A lack of democracy. Three defining characteristics of the 'failed state'. And that, says Noam Chomsky, is exactly what the US is becoming. In an exclusive extract from his devastating new book, America's leading thinker explains how his country lost its way[.]
The selection of issues that should rank high on the agenda of concern for human welfare and rights is, naturally, a subjective matter. But there are a few choices that seem unavoidable, because they bear so directly on the prospects for decent survival. Among them are at least these three: nuclear war, environmental disaster, and the fact that the government of the world's leading power is acting in ways that increase the likelihood of these catastrophes. It is important to stress the government, because the population, not surprisingly, does not agree.
That brings up a fourth issue that should deeply concern Americans, and the world: the sharp divide between public opinion and public policy, one of the reasons for the fear, which cannot casually be put aside, that, as Gar Alperowitz puts it in America Beyond Capitalism, "the American 'system' as a whole is in real trouble - that it is heading in a direction that spells the end of its historic values [of] equality, liberty, and meaningful democracy".
You can order the book from Amazon.com.
Not Exactly Pulling Out
The top American commander in Iraq has decided to move reserve troops now deployed in Kuwait into the volatile Anbar Province in western Iraq to help quell a rise in insurgent attacks there, two American officials said Monday.
Although some soldiers from the 3,500-member brigade in Kuwait have moved into Iraq in recent months, Gen. George W. Casey Jr. has decided to send in the remainder of the unit after consultations with Iraqi officials in recent days, the officials said.
But, hey, things are definitely improving. Are there any reservists left to handle the impact of the impending hurricanes? Just asking.
Here He Goes Again
Jesus H Christ on Oprah, Bushco never fails to come up with particularly stupid decisions that ultimately hurt US.
More and more ethanol manufacturers are looking to power their plants with cheap coal instead of its cleaner and increasingly expensive competitor, natural gas, thereby potentially limiting ethanol's environmental benefits. And the Bush administration is doing its part to accelerate this trend. Under pressure from a group of senators and representatives from corn- and coal-producing states, the U.S. EPA is considering a rule change under the Clean Air Act that would relax pollution regulations on ethanol plants, clearing the way for them to burn coal with fewer restraints.
While only four of roughly 100 ethanol plants currently operating in the U.S. are powered by coal (practically all of the rest are fueled by natural gas), some 190 more are under construction or soon to be built. One energy analyst, Robert McIlvaine, president of the Illinois-based research group McIlvaine Company, predicts that "100 percent" of new ethanol plants built in the U.S. over the next few years will be coal-fired, "largely because of the exorbitant cost of natural gas right now, and the comparatively predictable future supply of homegrown coal." A recent article in the Christian Science Monitor also points out that many ethanol manufacturers are increasingly being drawn toward coal. [emphasis mine]
And I'm sure when these companies save money in the production of ethanol they'll pass those savings on to the consumer as lower priced fuel. Yeah, that's a given.
Cheaper Gas? Fuel Economy Unecessary
This is absolutely obscene and should be viewed as a call to boycott GM vehicles.
Here's a way to boost fuel economy: Buy one of General Motors Corp.'s gas guzzlers and fuel will cost only $1.99 a gallon for the next year.
On Wednesday the automaker unveiled the promotion for California residents in hopes of moving some of the vehicles off dealers' lots. Four of the 11 eligible models are passenger cars; the rest are big trucks.
With California's gasoline prices the highest of any state except Hawaii, GM is betting the promotion will catch on.
Bill Moyer's Speech At Hamilton College
Despite a slight Ione Skye in Say Anything moment (the quote at the end of the first paragraph), he offered his apologies for all of us.
Thank you for inviting Judith and me to share this occasion with you. Fifty years ago both of us turned the same corner you are turning today and left college for the great beyond. Looking back across half a century I wish our speaker at the time had said something really useful -- something that would have better prepared us for what lay ahead. I wish he had said: "Don't go."
So I have been thinking seriously about what I might say to you in this Baccalaureate service. Frankly, I'm not sure anyone from my generation should be saying anything to your generation except, "We're sorry. We're really sorry for the mess you're inheriting. We are sorry for the war in Iraq. For the huge debts you will have to pay for without getting a new social infrastructure in return. We're sorry for the polarized country. The corporate scandals. The corrupt politics. Our imperiled democracy. We're sorry for the sprawl and our addiction to oil and for all those toxins in the environment. Sorry about all this, class of 2006. Good luck cleaning it up.
A Pimping We Will Go, A Pimping We Will Go...
No War On Terror
Words Instead Of Munitions?
The first choice in all situations for US in foreign policy is to talk. If I were clever I would say dialogue instead of talk, but I'm not. Talking is the issue.
Possible with Bushco? Highly unlikely. Bomb first, talk later seems their MO.
Perhaps our foreign policy should rely more on Merriam-Webster and less on bombs? Just asking.
An Insider's View Of Iraq Reporting
Monday, May 29, 2006
Giant U.S. Embassy Project Dismays Iraqis
That's the headline of an article in the Chicago Tribune.
No shit! It dismays a large number of US too.
With the numerous, huge permanent military bases Bushco is building along with this monster of an embassy, Iraq's people must feel like their country has been annexed by US.
Sorry for the image quality, but we takes what we can get.
Thank God For UN Incompetence
This is the entire post from the Hill Blog, posted bye Fla. GOP Rep. Cliff Stearns.
No U.S. Dollars Before Serious Commitment to Human Rights By U.N.
May 28th, 2006
In 1946, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights was created to monitor and prevent the abuse of human rights. It failed miserably. The Commission lost its credibility as an instrument for the promotion and protection of human rights. The Commission instead allowed repressive regimes, like Cuba, Sudan, Libya, Belarus, China, and Zimbabwe, to shield themselves from criticism for their own human rights violations.
On March 15, 2006, the Commission was replaced with a United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). But while making superficial structural changes, there has been no reform. Indeed, the new elected membership includes nine countries that the democracy watchdog Freedom House designates as not free include China, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Pakistan, Tunisia, Algeria, Cameroon, and Azerbaijan.
The U.S. should not support the UNHRC until it upholds the ideals of the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and its membership is made up of free and democratic nations. [emphasis mine]
If the UN were competent, the US would be among the countries listed as not free and would be denounced for its refusal to adhere to the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. I don't believe kidnapping, torture and killing are allowed under those rights.
Bin Laden Controls US TV Programming
Let me see if I have Bush's logic right. He said this.
The enemy cannot defeat us on the battlefield, but what they can do is put horrible images on our TV screens.
What appears on TV is chosen by those in charge of the TV channels. The enemy (I'm assuming bin Laden, but may be wrong) determines what is shown. Ergo, bin Laden controls US TV.
I never would have guessed that. No wonder I can't get that damn American Idol off the air. I've been writing to the wrong people.
Do You Recognise This Man?
You should because he's your de facto president. His name is David Addington. That puts Bush at third in command, if not further down the totem pole
The office of Vice President Dick Cheney routinely reviews pieces of legislation before they reach the president's desk, searching for provisions that Cheney believes would infringe on presidential power, according to former White House and Justice Department officials.
The officials said Cheney's legal adviser and chief of staff, David Addington , is the Bush a dministration's leading architect of the ``signing statements" the president has appended to more than 750 laws. The statements assert the president's right to ignore the laws because they conflict with his interpretation of the Constitution.
To put it bluntly, impeaching Bush will effect no change in policy. Further, you have an unelected government official making decisions for you. Comforting?
Sunday, May 28, 2006
Canaries In The Coal Mines?
Polar bears. The new canaries.