Saturday, October 20, 2007

Ana Calixto: When Nativism Trumps Domestic Violence

Injustices infuriate me. This is one of them.
Ana Calixto is a legal immigrant, who was divorcing her abusive husband. Her case has descended into a special hell, where she now has to appeal the dismissal of an Order of Protection, due to the nativism of a particular Blount County Judge. First, let me get you up to speed on the case, as it has been reported.

Last month, a woman appeared before Blount County (TN) Circuit Court Judge W. Dale Young for an Order of Protection against her abusive husband. but the case took a very nasty turn that day, when Judge Young asked the immigration status of this woman, told her to get out of the country and leave her children here.

The link below has other links to flesh out this story.

Via The Crone.


U.S. magistrate rejects White House e-mails plea

Its gonna take a long time to undo what Bush has done to America, but this is one of the first steps.
The Federal Records Act and the President Records Act require that all e-mails be saved, yet a U.S. magistrate on Friday rejected arguments by the Bush administration and urged a federal judge to order the White House to preserve copies of all its e-mails.

U.S. Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola said it is necessary to hold out the threat of a contempt-of-court citation to ensure that White House personnel safeguard backup tapes of electronic messages that may have been deleted.


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Pelosi condemns Stark's remark

Pete Stark was honest and said exactly what needed to be said. If nothing else he was too gentle with the idiot in chief.

To bush it is amusement. He has no stake in the lives of the troops. Its a game to him.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rebuked a fellow San Francisco Bay-area liberal Friday for what she said were "inappropriate" comments about Iraq during a congressional debate.

During a debate on children's health care Thursday, Rep. Pete Stark accused Republicans of sending troops to Iraq to "get their heads blown off for the president's amusement."

But its OK for Cheney to tell a Congress critter - "Fuck you"?

Almost daily I find new reasons for being repulsed by Pelosi.

At this point its come down to: Fuck you and the horse you rode in on.

Sometimes keeping your fucking mouth shut is the best course of action, Nancy. If you don't, you can expect such brickbats as this from the likes of me.

Via The Seattle Times.

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70 Punished in Accidental B-52 Flight

I have no evidence. This is pure "pull facts out of my ass" speculation, but I'd like to think we bloggers had a hand in this.

Bloggers picked up this story and shook it like it was a dead rabbit. They wouldn't let it go.
The Air Force said Friday it has punished 70 airmen involved in the accidental, cross-country flight of a nuclear-armed B-52 bomber following an investigation that found widespread disregard for the rules on handling such munitions.

Sort of reminds me of Pogo.
"We have met the enemy and he is us."

-- Pogo
Cartoon sage

Via AP.


Scientists cross trees with rabbits to absorb environmental poisons

Yes, you read that headline correctly. You worry about the Brave New World? How about the Weird New World?
Super trees that suck up and destroy toxic chemicals from the air and water faster than regular trees are the latest creation by scientists at the University of Washington. When the scientists stick a rabbit gene into poplar trees, the trees become dramatically better at eliminating a dozen kinds of pollutants commonly found on poisoned properties.

Sometimes the world amazes me.

Via The Signs.


Cat blogging

No, you haven't stumbled onto Cute Overload.

Via neatorama.


Come on. You were warned, right?

Via Jonco.


Procrastination is a gift

Via Jonco.


I'll get to the serious stuff later

The new supermarket near our house has an automatic water mister to keep the produce fresh. Just before it goes on, you hear the sound of distant thunder and the smell of fresh rain.

When you approach the milk cases, you hear cows mooing and you take in the scent of fresh hay.

When you approach the egg case, you hear hens cluck and cackle, and the air is filled with the pleasing aroma of bacon and eggs frying.

The veggie department features the smell of fresh buttered corn.

I do not buy toilet paper there.

Via Jonco.


Must read IMHO

Disclaimer: This is not my endorsement of HRC.
Andrew Sullivan and Radley Balko warn that a Hillary Clinton administration is likely to be as bad as the Bush/Cheney administration when it comes to aggrandizing executive power. Sullivan writes:
You want a change from the Bush era? Only pure partisans think a third term for a Clinton co-presidency would do it. Yes, it would give every partisan Democrat a thrill. But if you care about the damage done by this president to the constitutional order, don't believe for a minute that the Clintons would reverse it. They love their power.

This is nonsense.

And here's the real, right-in-your-face kicker.
Moreover, nothing could possibly do more to reawaken Republican concern for civil liberties and checks and balances than a Clinton presidency.

Via Anonymous Liberal.


Friday, October 19, 2007

Mukasey mum on torture techniques

It may just be me, but does an AG have to be congenial or honest?
Attorney General-nominee Michael Mukasey refused to say Thursday whether he considers waterboarding a form of torture, frustrating Democrats and potentially slowing his confirmation to head the Justice Department.

In an increasingly testy second day of hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Mukasey also said he is reluctant to support legislation protecting reporters from being forced by courts to reveal their sources. The Democratic-led panel has approved those protections, which President Bush has threatened to veto.

Mukasey, a retired federal judge who has ruled in some of the nation's highest-profile terror trials, repeatedly avoided discussing the legality of specific interrogation techniques — including forced nudity, mock executions and simulated drowning known as waterboarding.

To comment would be irresponsible "when there are people who are using coercive techniques and who are being authorized to use coercive techniques," Mukasey said.

"And for me to say something that is going to put their careers or freedom at risk simply because I want to be congenial — I don't think it would be responsible of me to do that," Mukasey said.

About the picture, does that look like how you want to spend the next few hours? Just asking.

Via Yahoo! News.


Something stinks here

You really don't need to read any of these stories, but may if you wish.

The question at hand is why the fuck so much attention is being drawn to the FCC. Is this a diversion from something we should be looking at?
Senators Urge Slower Timetable for FCC Review of Media Ownership Rules

FCC Chairman Circulates Plan to Bend the Citizenry over a Mahogany Desk

FCC Proposes Fine for Airing Paid Pundit

An Assault on Media Diversity and Democracy

US to Vote on Easing Media Ownership Rules

FCC to Announce Final Media Ownership Hearing in Seattle

FCC Finally Fines Stations for Armstrong Williams Payola

FCC to Soon Extend Franchise Relief to Cable Companies Coalition Shocked by FCC's Secret Timetable

Tribune Deal Is Mired in FCC Rift over Cross-Ownership Rules

Dorgan Working Up Media-Ownership Bill

FCC Pushes Ahead with 'No Child Left Behind' Fines

Comcast Blocks Some Internet Traffic

The FCC Must Not Rush to Judgement

Industry Ears Statement on the FCC Proposed Media Ownership Rules

When something is so dominate in the media, it usually means there's something behind the curtain someone doesn't want us to look at.

Yeah, I end sentences with prepositions. Often. So?


Great graphic

Some people are so clever and creative. I'm not one of those people.



Private Guards Fire on Taxi; Three Iraqis Hurt, Police Say

I'll just ask this: Isn't it pretty clear mercenaries aren't a good idea?
Two men and a woman were wounded Thursday in a quiet Kurdish village in northern Iraq when guards from a British security company raked a crowded taxi with automatic weapons fire, local police said. It was the third shooting of Iraqi civilians by a private security firm in the past month.

A U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad said the guards were employed by Erinys International. The British firm provides security for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under a contract that has paid the company about $175 million since 2004, $125 million more than originally budgeted. The contract is set to expire next month after Erinys failed to win renewal.

Via WaPo.


Rubik's Cube has new generation of fans

And here I am being concerned Bush might cause WWIII by attacking Iran.

How stupid could I be. The Rubik's Cube will save the day.
Matt Cline wasn't even born when the Rubik's Cube hit the market in 1980 and became a worldwide fad. But the multicolor toy is the 20-year-old's constant companion, giving him a way to pass the time or compete with his friends.

At least the current generation is amused.

Via Boston Globe.

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Al-Qaida Links Cited in Bhutto Bomb

I'm sorry, but I just can't accept all attacks anywhere in the world have a link to al Qaeda.

There are two reasons for my thinking this way. The first is Russia, the US, China have enormous militaries and they can be defeated everywhere by a rag tag group? Give me a break.

The second reason is simpler. No one can duplicate the al Qaeda style? Jesus H Christ with spinach in his teeth, this is just nonsense. How much training and expertise does it take for someone to strap on some explosives and blow shit up? Duh.
A top provincial security official said Friday that the suicide attack on Benazir Bhutto bore the hallmarks of an al-Qaida-linked, pro-Taliban warlord based near the Afghan border.

President Gen. Pervez Musharraf labeled the attack part of a "conspiracy against democracy," reaching out to the former prime minister with whom he is trying to forge a pro-U.S., anti-militant alliance.

The "signature at the blast site and the modus operandi" suggested the involvement of militants linked to warlord Baitullah Mehsud and al-Qaida, said Ghulam Muhammad Mohtarem, the head security official in the province where Mehsud is based.

Via AP.


Someone please stop him before its too late

Via Jonco (who else)?



This is just what every little girl needs.

Little girl? Hell, I want one. It would make commuting so much easier and fun.

Truth be told I have no idea if this is a real firearm or just a joke.

But I still want one.

I'm very attracted to Hello Kitty, a pop culture icon which will apparently outlive me.

Via neatorama.


For those who aren't picky

Via Jonco.


Pop culture isn't the same

In the past there were "Dead Heads" and "Parrot Heads". Are there now no "Jewel Heads", "Creed Heads", "Enya Heads"?

OK, I understand the lack of Enya Heads.

Was it the drugs which aren't exactly in short supply today? Was it the times? Were fans more devoted? Was it the introduction of Post-it® notes?

As if the world weren't changing fast enough, now there are no "Heads".

Inspired by a post by Balloon Juice.


For the Democratic Congress

Hey you dems, I have something for you and they're currently on sale!!!1!!

Its called a backbone.


May I get a little help over here?

If this story doesn't make you laugh out loud, there's no hope for you.
The insulting idea that, as Shaw puts it, "they thought just because we're old enough to get Social Security that we lack both brains and backbone."

So, after stewing over it all weekend, on the following Monday, she went downstairs, got Don's claw hammer and said: "C'mon, honey, we're going to Comcast."

Did you try to stop her, Mr. Shaw?

"Oh no, no," he says.

Hammer time: Shaw storms in the company's office. BAM! She whacks the keyboard of the customer service rep. BAM! Down goes the monitor. BAM! She totals the telephone. People scatter, scream, cops show up and what does she do? POW! A parting shot to the phone!

"They cuffed me right then," she says.

Her take on Comcast: "What a bunch of sub-moronic imbeciles."

Being a responsible newspaper, we must note that this is a misdemeanor, a crime, a completely inappropriate way of handling a business dispute.

Oh yeah, "sub-moronic imbeciles" is just a great term.

Also, kudos to the reporter who wrote the piece perfectly.

A few more incidents like this and corporate customer service should improve immensely.

Via WaPo.

H/T Ted Compton (buncha numbers).

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Anyone for conflict?

One of the first things you are taught about literature is you need a protagonist and an antagonist. The antagonist may be external or internal. Unfortunately, that seems to be one of the few things most people leave school remembering.

The US needs Russia. Russia needs the US. Whites need blacks. Blacks need whites. Nicaragua needs the US. The US needs Nicaragua. Democrats need Republicans. Republicans need Democrats. Muslims need Christians. Christians need…well, everyone.

You get the idea.

The truth is, its all a myth. At least to the extent the antagonist must be colossal. I struggle with money. My antagonists are my expenses. Daily, that struggle supersedes my need for world domination. For Bush it is simpler. He doesn’t struggle to make ends meet and can concentrate on imperialism and power.

There are other antagonists in our midst. What can be done to give everyone health care? How can we repair our failing infrastructure? How can we feed everyone?

For now I would be quite content if our government concentrated on finding solutions to these problems and quit fucking around with other countries.

That’s not to say we should become isolationists, but two years on New Orleans’ people still haven’t a decent city to live in. In many respects they are worse than third-world.

I’m saying nothing new here, but there are three choices vis-à-vis nuclear arms. First, all countries need to do whatever is necessary to eliminate them from the face of the earth. Second, allow everyone to have them. It may result in total destruction of us all, but that may be what we deserve. Third is to allow a handful of countries to have nukes so they can police the earth.

The third choice is simply ridiculous, but often thought intelligent. I go for choice one. Get rid of these fucking nuclear armaments world wide.

Yeah, I'm a tree hugging innocent.

Did any of that make sense? I have real problems with the tie-in to nukes.


KENYA: Credit key to breaking cycle of poverty

This is all fine if consumer credit, which is killing Americans, isn't included.
Besides education, health and good infrastructure, access to credit ranks high among the priorities of millions of Kenyans living in informal settlements in urban and rural areas.

Even small amounts can be enough to break out of the poverty trap.

"I started this business of selling chips [French fries] two years ago using money we raised as a group of 30 women," Mary Mwihaki, 27, a resident of Mathare, one of Kenya's large slum areas in the capital Nairobi, told IRIN.

Every day, each of the women in Mwihaki's group contributes Sh20 (30 US cents) and the resulting Sh600 ($9) is given to a different member of the group on a rotating basis. Mwihaki had to wait three months to raise the $27 she needed.

Please read the snippet again and look at the amounts of money these people are working with.

Then its fine to cry.

Via Reuters.

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Francis Ford Coppola mocks Godfather stars

I've mentioned before I love movies, but am not big on celebrities.

This story may be picked up and exploited, but Coppola is right. These people are so far from the top of their games they rank as extras.

Jesus H Christ with sand in his shorts, but that was a horrid mixed metaphor.
Coppola, who now co-owns a vineyard, accused his two former colleagues of "living off the fat of the land" and losing their professional drive.

He also turned his fire on Jack Nicholson, star of The Shining, who he claimed now spent his time hanging out with Hollywood's "big guys and the big bosses".

Both Pacino and De Niro have shown themselves willing to take the blockbuster dollar in recent years, a fact appears to have riled Coppola, 58, who prides himself on his independent leanings.

And what the fuck is that "who now co-owns a vineyard" shit? What does that have anything to do with the story?

Via Telegraph.


Parents Use Religion to Avoid Iatrogenocide

Feel free to follow the link.

However, that isn't the point of this post. The point is to introduce you to the word latrogenocide. I had to look it up, and found doesn't list it. Try Iatrogenesis.

Via The Signs.


Too kewl

I've had a referral from a Russian (I'm pretty sure) website.

Hey, I'm not that educated enough to tell all alphabets apart.


Putin reaffirms plans to step down


There's always a but. See emphasized words below.

If Hillary Clinton becomes President, do you really think Bill will not have a certain amount of influence?

Putin as prime minister will still have enormous leverage. The guy isn't stupid.
Mr Putin, who is widely popular in Russia, said he would not stay on as president, despite a chorus of calls from lawmakers and others. Last month, however, he indicated he would consider becoming prime minister. [emphasis mine]

Or, as another Bill said:

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,

And most of them are engaged in farce.

Via BreakingNews.


FCC Chairman Offers Ownership Plan

Inasmuch as this is laudatory, it isn't my chief concern. That would be how many media properties a company should be allowed to own.

I'm not concerned if The Tribune, for example, can own newspaper and broadcast properties in one are. What's fucking disturbing is Rupert Murdoch who can control what people see, hear, read in many locations and nationally.

What Americans have is not quite state run media, but Murdoch is the next best thing.
The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission is proposing a plan that would wrap up by the end of the year the long-running debate over how many media properties a company should be allowed to own in a single market.

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin’s proposal would allow for public comment on the proposed rules in mid-November and a commission vote on Dec. 18.

Among the rules that are potentially on the chopping block is a ban on one company owning a newspaper and broadcast station in the same market.

Perhaps its baby steps?

Via freepress.

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Bush Has the Nerve To Say He Found Inner Peace on Iraq

I can't excerpt. Some stories just aren't written in such a way they can be snipped.

So all I can say is I wish a bull on the idiot's "ranch" would fuck him up the butt.

As I've said before, I don't do subtle.

Via Reuters.

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After Comments, U.S. Terror Chief Resigns

Well, I guess we can take comfort in the fact the Bush administration hasn't yet resorted to "disappearing" people who aren't sheep.

This is just so fucking funny at this point. If anyone questions anything the administration has done they suddenly are demoted or "retire". This is probably the most obvious part of the administration which is patently transparent.
Three days after Americans saw the Bush administration's counterterrorism chief say the Iraq war has likely not made the United States safer from terrorism, the official announced his resignation, citing health reasons.

In an e-mail sent to his staff Wednesday afternoon, Adm. Scott Redd, head of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), said he was stepping down to "take care of some long-delayed surgery that I can no longer neglect." [emphasis mine]

Yeah, long delayed, but now imperative. Hahaha.

Via The Blotter.


Oil prices slip as US inventory rise offsets geopolitical jitters

That was the headline from AFP at 12.54pm on 17 October 2007.

But this was the headline from AFP at 10.11 am on 17 October 2007.
Oil hits record 89 dollars on sizzling MidEast tensions

Yes, prices fluctuate throughout the day, but why bother reporting until the end of the trading day? Its a fucking waste of ink and bandwidth.

Update: This just in from AFP as of 1.43am 18 October 2007:
Oil prices firm after striking record 89 dollars

Now that's the only report that should have been filed.


U.S. investigates food prices for troops in Iraq

Might I suggest this is a given?

I'm sure US companies' war profiteering goes clear back to the American Revolution when companies overcharged for black powder and sold the military rancid meat and fertile eggs.

The only question is: How much was the military overcharged.
Federal agents are investigating whether several large food companies charged the government excessively high prices for supplies to U.S. troops in Iraq and Kuwait, administration officials said Wednesday.

Halliburton anyone?

Via MercuryNews.


Bush presses Turkey not to invade Iraq

For some reason this reminds me of the bumper sticker.
President Bush said Wednesday that the White House is "making it very clear" to Turkey not to launch a cross-border military strike against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq.

"We don't think it's in their interest to send more troops in," the president said at a morning news conference.

Via McClatchy.

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Compare and contrast

Girl: Is it spring that makes the cherry blossoms bloom, or the cherry blossoms that make spring bloom?

--Hunter College cafeteria

Via Overheard in New York.
Three-year-old girl to no one in particular: The white man is everywhere. [Mother looks at her, puzzled. Girl gazes up at crosswalk sign] The white man tells us when to go.

--86th & 2nd

Via Overheard in New York.

Japan and China lead flight from the dollar

Thank you once again, Dim Son, you fucking asshole.
Japan and China led a record withdrawl of foreign funds from the United States in August, heightening fears of a fresh slide in the dollar and a spike in US bond yields.

Data from the US Treasury showed outflows of $163bn (£80bn) from all forms of US investments. "These numbers are absolutely stunning," said Marc Ostwald, an economist at Insinger de Beaufort.

Asian investors dumped $52bn worth of US Treasury bonds alone, led by Japan ($23bn), China ($14.2bn) and Taiwan ($5bn). It is the first time since 1998 that foreigners have, on balance, sold Treasuries. [emphasis in original]

Pictured is a sand dollar available for free on many beaches. It is also likely to soon be more valuable than a US dollar.

Via The Signs.

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Irony on a plate

After some 60 years, it boils down to a "moment" and Condi just happens to be there.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Wednesday that Israelis and Palestinians have a new "moment of opportunity" to forge peace despite the eruption of fresh tensions between the two sides over preparations for a U.S.-hosted Mideast conference.

And, realizing this will brand me an anti-Semite, why the fuck is such a small nation always and I mean ALWAYS in the news? Even Paris Hilton isn't such an attention hog.

Israel is almost the epitome of a flea on an elephant's ass.

Yeah, I could have said an elephant's trunk, but that ain't me.

On a larger map, you can't even find Israel unless someone Photoshops® a big red arrow.

Via Yahoo!® News.

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Music lyrics

Oh, this is a good one I'd overlooked.

From the great Janis Joplin: Piece of my heart.

"You know you got it...if it makes you feel good."

Via Blue Gal.


Movies aren't real

I'm all over the place right now so please bear with me.

Actually that looks fucking real to me despite all the people watching, filming and such, but that isn't the point of this post.

Why don't directors insist on reality? I watched a movie last night, can't remember the title, but a couple were in bed. He's all hot and bothered and she declined his advances. Happens all the time. No biggie.

Then, in boxer shorts, which kind of puts a crimp in the thing; I mean naked makes much more sense, he gets out of bed. And guess what?


Yeah, right.

Please note: In spite of my majoring in English, I can't punctuate worth a damn. Please be kind. I'm trying my best.

Via Jonco.


God damn son of a bitch

I truly hate it when this happens.

After stating in my own comments that I see a huge difference between progressives and wingers in that progressives can disagree, but wingers have to stay loyal to The Message™, I run into this shit.
Bucking Republican Orthodoxy

Uh oh. It looks likes someone is in danger of losing his status as a conservative in good standing. It began yesterday when Ramesh Ponnuru of the National Review took issue with a claim made by the New York Sun editorial staff. The editors of the Sun, in an editorial entitled "What is a Republican?" claimed that all Republicans should be able to unify around the following idea:
Reductions in top marginal tax rates provide incentives for growth and lead to greater government revenues in the long run. That is not always the case. There is a point on the Laffer Curve at which tax cuts on the top margin stop generating increased income, but we are nowhere near that point now.

Ponnuru, who is the most intellectually honest of the Corner gang by a country mile, took issue with this, noting the obvious:
Presumably what they [the editors of the Sun] mean is that the top income tax rate is higher than the revenue-maximizing rate, but I'm not sure why they think that it is. Bush's tax cuts appear to have caused revenue to be lower than it would otherwise have been, which suggests that we're already below the revenue-maximizing tax rate.

Of course, as stated by A L in the first couple sentences, Ramesh Ponnuru is probably dead meat to the Republicans. The stupid ass strayed from The Message™. The Republicans will teach him about the folly of thinking.

He's authored a book called The Party of Death. Duh. You can see that in the picture.

Haven't read that book, but my research shows it refers to Democrats* when it should be about Republicans.

* Here it gets tricky. From my research**, Ponnuru denies its about the Dems and then says it is. He's writing about abortion and euthanasia. I guess bombing the shit out of Iraqi civilians doesn't count as "death".

** Remember, dear reader, I'm lazy ass so my research is always suspect.

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For your amusement

This is probably something you'll need after reading SPIIDERWEB™.

Damn, but I wish I could Photoshop® like this.

Via Jonco.


For your amusement

I intend to post many of these all at once and bring down servers world-wide. I've collected a shit load of these things.

Cliff is probably a klutzy pedophile who seems to be bouncing his ass off a huge lactating breast.

Via Jonco.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Fury at DNA pioneer's theory: Africans are less intelligent than Westerners

My guess is this will be picked up by the wingers and exploited for all its worth.

Of course this is just so much bullshit. Intelligence is distributed throughout the population.

This is difficult to write without sounding racist. I'll try.

I've worked with many black people and often marveled at their intelligence. Not because it was surprising, but because they exhibited superior intelligence to many of us. I was in awe of their ideas and analysis.

Don't get me started on stupid white people.
Celebrated scientist attacked for race comments: "All our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours - whereas all the testing says not really".

One of the world's most eminent scientists was embroiled in an extraordinary row last night after he claimed that black people were less intelligent than white people and the idea that "equal powers of reason" were shared across racial groups was a delusion.

James Watson, a Nobel Prize winner for his part in the unravelling of DNA who now runs one of America's leading scientific research institutions, drew widespread condemnation for comments he made ahead of his arrival in Britain today for a speaking tour at venues including the Science Museum in London.

Via The Signs.

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We are progressives

"Why are we progressives? Because we keep on reading news stories about an America rolled back to the 1920s."

-- Rick Perlstein
Intelligent blogger

Via Rick Perlstein, duh.


Learn from your elders

This woman has a very good point. Some sayings make no sense at all.
80-ish woman: When has the proof ever been in the pudding?!

I once thought I saw proof in the pudding, but it turned out to be a raisin. Easy mistake. Proof and raisins are so similar.

Via Overheard in New York.

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IMF says dollar 'overvalued'

Thank you once again, Dim Son, you fucking asshole.
Currency traders were given a green light to continue selling the US dollar on Wednesday, as the International Monetary Fund said the greenback “remains overvalued” and rejected claims the euro had risen too far.

Contradicting Rodrigo Rato, the outgoing IMF managing director, who last week said “right now the dollar is undervalued”, the fund’s staff conclude the dollar is still too high. The multilateral lender also forecast slower growth in 2008 at 4.75 per cent, compared with 5.2 per cent expected this year.

In case it isn't clear, this means you'll pay more for fuel, food, anything imported. Bush just might be capable of turning the US into a third world country before leaving office. You don't think so? He's remarkably adept at turning gold into shit very quickly.


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Bush in 2008?

Stolen in its entirety from Taegan Goddard.

This really, really bothers me. Perhaps bothers isn't the right word. Perhaps nauseates is closer.
On CNN, Democratic strategist James Carville suggested that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) would be the Republican presidential nominee in 2008. "Carville bolstered his prediction, highlighting Jeb Bush's career: He was a successful governor [?] of a large state, he enjoys the support of social conservatives, and he speaks Spanish."

Said Carville: "There is nobody in this field who can rally the Republican Party; he's the only person in America that can do it."

What really really bothers me is any chance in hell another Bush could end up being President of the US. I do believe I'd have to slit my wrists.

Then this shit comes along.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that former GOP strategist Karl Rove and former Sen. Max Cleland (D-GA) will debate the topic "Should America Bring Democracy to the World?" at Pat Robertson's Regent University on October 26. Rove will be joined by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) and on Cleland will team up with retired Army Gen. Barry McCaffery. Charlie Rose will moderate. [emphasis mine]

A little Google™ searching shows Jeb Bush is a carbon copy of Dim Son. He had scandals, ignored laws he'd signed, defrauded voters, passed out no-bid contracts, installed incompetent cronies, attempted to privatize anything he could. The list goes on and on.

In other words, if you love the idiot, you'll love Jeb. He'll do the same fucking things his brother did.

So let's just kill this meme before it gains any traction. Laugh about it and question the sanity of people like Carville who consider his candidacy possible.

Oh yeah, ya want real scary? Bush/Cheney in '08. This is something my mind can't absorb.

Change the Constitution to allow a petulant four year old who loves to blow things up, torture people, attack countries who pose no immediate threat to the US, ignore Congress, completely ruin the SCOTUS, put the most incompetent people possible in charge of government departments, destroy the US's reputation in the world, trash the US's influence with other countries, piss on the Constitution, ruin the US economy?

Oh, I'm so on board with that.


In defense of Ann Coulter

That isn't my headline. It belongs to Simon who I quote below.
God, I never thought I’d ever write a subject header like that, but I’ve grown tired of journalists who get outraged when people dare to criticize a religion–acting as if they’re akin to being racist or bigoted.

If you’re not privy to what has happened– Ann Coulter appeared on a CNBC show, and in an interview with Donny Deutsch, said that Jews should become “perfected” by converting to Christianity. Her argument was that Christianity was the correct religion, and that Jews should accept the New Testament, thereby “perfecting” their religion.

Now, I don’t agree with her conclusion, but I disagree with Deutsch’s reaction:
DEUTSCH: But that’s what you said — don’t you see how hateful, how anti-Semitic …How do you not see? You’re an educated woman. How do you not see that?

Well, Deutsch, how do you like this: Judaism is bullshit. And I’m not hateful or bigoted for saying so, because Judaism, like all religions, is a belief system. Of course Coulter thinks her religion is the better one, that’s why she subscribes to it; if she thought another religion were better, she would follow it.

I can't disagree with anything Simon says, per se.

On the intellectual level Simon is right, but there are different levels.

I've criticized Israel on how they treated Lebanon and, if I haven't, should have criticized Israel on its treatment of Palestine. In addition, I've been critical of the Israel Lobby which really is the tail wagging the dog when it comes to US foreign policy.

To me these were objective criticisms of Israel, not Judaism, no more than finding fault with US actions in Iraq is attacking the religions of Americans.

However, I believe Ann Coulter is anti-Semitic. She's also talking in winger speak. She knows the wingers will understand what she's really saying and will jump for joy.

Via Bloggasm.

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Unintentional irony of the day

"You're going to have to renounce violence."

-- Condoleezza Rice
Speaking (indirectly) to Hamas

Via Left I on the News.


Too funny

Via Jonco, of course.


Pirate attacks up 14 percent worldwide, maritime watchdog says

I personally blame bloggers with their damn "Talk Like a Pirate Day". Which is precisely why I refuse to do it.

Or maybe I should blame the movies. Hmmm. I've a quandary here.

People who talk the talk may just end up walking the walk. Capiche?

My advice: Don't fuck with pirates. This advice is worth exactly what you're paying for it.

Via Chicago Sun-Times.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Slime the Messenger

Interestingly enough, this was written by a very well respected reporter in his own right.
White House Press Secretary Dana Perino yesterday cast aspersions on investigative reporter Seymour M. Hersh and his anonymous sources -- but refused to respond to any of the specific claims Hersh made in this week's New Yorker about White House support for a new path to war with Iran.

All Perino would say was that President Bush is seeking a diplomatic solution -- precisely what the White House claimed as it set the Iraq war in motion in late 2002 and early 2003.

Hersh, who has a history of well-sourced, groundbreaking reporting (he won a Pulitzer Prize in 1970 for his uncovering of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam), writes that Bush is seriously considering limited strikes against Iran, ostensibly in defense of American troops in Iraq. The real attraction of such an approach, Hersh writes, is that Bush and Cheney believe it could be readily sold to the American people.

The point of this post is reporters, especially after years at the occupation, know who they can trust, even though they'll also corroborate.

Dan Froomkin, who wrote the story, and Seymour Hersh are particularly adept at getting to the truth. Bob Woodward was in that league, but since Watergate has decided to protect his access to the White House. Froomkin and Hersh don't give a shit about such access.

The people who know what is what and will tell about it are often downstream.

I asked my immediate supervisor how our company could have an ethics code stating we would never bribe officials and other companies' people, but we were selling in countries where bribes are a necessary component of doing business.

This was in a team meeting and he dismissed everyone. Afterward he took me aside and said he was sure the company bribed on a regular basis.

Is that proof bribes were being handed out? Hardly, but a good investigative reporter would dig deeper and verify it was or wasn't happening.

And that's why anyone with an ounce of integrity or self-respect wouldn't call the reporters liars. What Dana Perino did is fair game spinning to my mind. Plant a seed of doubt, but don't get specific or lie. "We seek a diplomatic solution" is boilerplate used by all politicians. That's just old time politics.

Via WaPo.


Mexico: Cannibal suspect 'ate his girlfriend'

There are so many directions one could go with this story but I'll choose only one.

You've heard the expression: You're just so cute I could eat you.

Watch out if you hear it in future.
Forensics experts in Mexico say flesh found on a plate, fork and frying pan in the apartment of an aspiring horror novelist was human and DNA tests were planned to confirm whether it came from the body of his girlfriend.

Before I state the obvious in the next paragraph, I definitely recommend you not follow the link. Its a very ugly story. And I shouldn't make light of it.

Yeah, I'm a sick puppy.


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Southeast drought worst in 100 years

Dry reservoir

Wow. Just think how bad this could be if we really were experiencing climate change.
For the first time in more than 100 years, much of the Southeastern United States has reached the most severe category of drought, climatologists said yesterday, citing an emergency so serious that some cities are just months away from running out of water.

Via Boston Globe.

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What is goinng on with dinosaurs?

Via Jonco

This is just getting spooky. Why so many in such a relatively short time?

Sure the last one shown is from 2004, but that's a mere drop in the ocean of time.
New dinosaur species unveiled in Rio de Janeiro

New Dinosaur Species Found in India

New Dinosaur Species Discovered in Argentina


Two new dinosaur species found in Antarctica - Feb. 26, 2004

I'm no paleontologist, but do discoveries of new species come in groups? Are paleontologists getting better at distinguishing species? Are there more paleontologists running around?

I was saving that picture for cat blogging. Follow the link. Its much kewler over there. Not working here for me.


Bush set for talks with Dalai Lama as China warns damage to ties

I will try to make this easy for y'all.

Bush doesn't fucking care what anyone thinks. So this little visit pisses of China? So China decides to put off meetings with Iran; which Bush really does need? He just doesn't give a shit.
US President George W. Bush was set for talks Tuesday with the Dalai Lama, as China rebuffed the Tibetan spiritual leader's high profile visit by putting off a meeting among world powers on Iran's nuclear crisis and warning of damage to Sino-US ties.

Let me go on record as saying all world leaders should speak with the Dalai Lama whenever they want, but there's such a thing as poor timing. Bush gravitates toward poor timing.

BTW, I wish to hell I could meet the Dalai Lama.

Via Agence France-Presse.

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Poll Shows Overwhelming Support for Renewable Fuel Options

Sometimes its fun t read polls and find out just how stupid people can be.
A new poll conducted by Harris Interactive(R) shows overwhelming American support for expanding renewable fuel options with nine in 10 U.S. adults (88 percent) agreeing the U.S. should pursue renewable energy sources. The poll, commissioned by the Clean Fuels Development Coalition, concludes that 72 percent of adults believe that higher oil prices have had a substantial impact on the rising cost of food in recent months, compared to only 35 percent who believe ethanol production has had a significant impact on rising food prices.

Via News Unfiltered.

Ah, but here's the rub. The US government, that is the people who know what the fuck they're talking about, says we can't do it.
A commercial industry based on converting cellulosic biomass to ethanol does not yet exist in the United States, however, the technology is ready to be deployed in pilot or demonstration facilities. Iogen Corporation, a biotechnology company in Canada, operates the largest demonstration facility, which annually produces about one million gallons of cellulosic ethanol from wheat straw.

And I've blogged before here, here, here about how this just isn't a feasible idea anywhere.

That last link is about how Mexicans are running short of edible corn because of bio-fuels. There are many other posts. Go to SPIIDERWEB™ and use the Google™ search box.

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Wisdom amid a world tired of the US megaphone

A fine read from David Ignatius.

I've covered this topic before, although not as eloquently. If I could do that I'd be writing a book or something.

My choice of wording would be the "US bullhorns" (plural) and not the "US megaphone, but that's just splitting hairs.

The US blasts its negative rhetoric at this or that country for human rights abuses or not invoking a strong democracy while ignoring the same problems in other countries...including the good old US of A.
"We talk about democracy and human rights. Iraqis talk about justice and honor." That comment from Lieutenant Colonel David Kilcullen, made at a seminar last month on counterinsurgency, is the beginning of wisdom for an America that is trying to repair the damage of recent years. It applies not simply to Iraq but the range of problems in a world tired of listening to an American megaphone.

Dignity is the issue that vexes billions of people around the world, not democracy. Indeed, when people hear President George W. Bush preaching about democratic values, it often comes across as a veiled assertion of America power. The implicit message is that other countries should be more like us - replacing their institutions, values and traditions with ours. We mean well, but people feel disrespected. The bromides and exhortations are a further assault on their dignity.

And, of course, here is how the Bush administration treats people with dignity and respect:

Via Information Clearing House.

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Writing at my level

Stop it Digby. This is something I'd do. Actually more likely something I have done.

Cheney shot an old man in the face:
The result: a one-day story that you, in fact, probably never heard before reading this. [emphasis mine]

If I hadn't heard about it, how could I remember?

He had heavyweight help, though, remember?

Oh yeah, Kevin Drum has it covered.

Via Digby.

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Thought police

Not really, but I liked the headline anyway.
In his book, The Biology of Belief, cell biologist Bruce H. Lipton states that thoughts “directly influence how the physical brain controls the body’s physiology … The fact is that harnessing the power of your mind can be more effective than the drugs you have been programmed to believe you need.”

Perhaps the most common proof of Lipton’s hypothesis is the placebo effect. “The critical factor,” says Irving Kirsch, a psychologist at the University of Connecticut, “is our beliefs about what’s going to happen to us. You don’t have to rely on drugs to see profound transformation.” Current research seems to support the claim that a person’s beliefs, sensory experience, and thoughts can affect neurochemistry — and thus impact outcomes.

The question is, what's the threshold? For example, with Alzheimer's, schizophrenia, PTSD?

There has to be a point where the drugs are definitely required. Just thinking the world is sane, things will get better, or it isn't about white rabbits and mushrooms, won't help.

If one is relatively sane, whatever that means, its possible to wake up in the morning and say, "Today's gonna be great". And it probably will be better than it might have been.

In Iraq, I'm sure no one wakes up to that thought and they have to get through the day without drugs. Afghanistan has all the opium.

Addendum: Dammit! That was a fucking flippant post. I hate it when I do that.

The more important point I should have made is, if and when the US leaves Iraq and Afghanistan, there are going to be thousands of mentally disturbed people. Many of those will be children.

More than half of Iraq's health-care providers have fled. This includes pharmacists.

People can't see a doctor and couldn't get medication if they did. Who knows how many are dying from hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, dysentery, infection and other medical problems?

Afghanistan is no better off.

Via Daily Scare.

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Ah, sweet juxtaposition

Do you want fries with that?

Via Jonco.

Do you want to super-size those fries?

Via Jonco.

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Monday, October 15, 2007

Opium in Afghanistan: Eradicate or subsidize?

This is working in Turkey. The report I saw (and lost) stated almost no one grows opium and sells illegally to drug dealers. They lose their licenses to grow opium for, I believe three years, and the farmers can't afford that. The government also closely watches over the farmers.

Its good income for the farmers and for the government which buys the crops and produces morphine.

Eradication causes loss of income, resentment and pushes the people to embrace the Taleban.
As opium harvests in Afghanistan have steadily increased, some politicians and think tanks have raised a trenchant question: Rather than trying to eradicate Afghanistan's poppies, why not buy them and make morphine?

Now there has to be some graft and corruption. I mean huge sacks of morphine have to be tempting.

Via IHT.

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Possibly true

I've only seen one source which references another source (no link), but it sounds plausible.
Internet giant Google has banned advertisements critical of, the far-left advocacy group that caused a national uproar last month when it received preferential treatment from The New York Times for its "General Betray Us" message.

The ads banned by Google were placed by a firm working for Republican Sen. Susan Collins' re-election campaign. Collins is seeking her third term.

Earlier this week, Google told Lance Dutson, president of Maine Coast Designs, that the ads he placed for Collins had been removed and would not be allowed to resume because they violated Google's trademark policy.

Google's Web site states, "Google takes allegations of trademark infringement very seriously and, as a courtesy, we're happy to investigate matters raised by trademark owners." That suggests Google acted in response to a complaint by

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Russia Divulges Putin Assassination Plot

In spite of the missile defense system Russia doesn't want the US to deploy, are they working together? Or is that last paragraph [emphasis mine] true. Then read the next report which has very suspicious timing.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has been told about a plot to assassinate him during a visit to Iran this week, a Kremlin spokeswoman said Sunday.

The spokeswoman, who spoke on customary condition of anonymity, refused further comment.

Interfax news agency, citing a source in Russia's special services, said suicide terrorists had been trained to carry out the assassination.

A spokesman for Iran's foreign ministry, Mohammad Ali Hosseini, denied any such plot had been uncovered, characterizing the news as disinformation spread by Iran's adversaries.

And who might Iran's adversaries be? I'll get back to you.

Via AP.

Headline: VIDEO: Neocon Kristol Is Pushing For 'The Next World War'

Which is hardly news. He gets an erection every time he thinks of another World War.
On Fox News Sunday, right-wing pundit Bill Kristol continued to beat the war drums for a strike against Iran. 'I hope the administration is willing to do what it takes to back Iran off,' he said, adding that 'we may need to do stuff across the border.'

You'll have to follow the link to see the video. This machine's far to slow.

Via Black Listed News.

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Must read IMHO

Linkage heaven. If you don't get back in the next couple days, we'll send out a search party.



I'm not gonna defend rice/Rice, the food or the politician. And I certainly won't defend the media.

Left I carefully reads the news so you don't have to.

Check this out.