Saturday, December 08, 2007

Do you trust me? Well do ya?

Two words when it comes to computer speakers.

Boston Acoustics. Don't even think about anything else. These kick ass.

Specifically: Boston Acoustics Digital BA735 2.1.

You'll thank me and probably offer me your first born. But I need no more children.

Yes they look puny, but you won't believe the sound.

Mine include surround sound for movies. Not a stock option.



Total theft

Hey, if I had any pride I wouldn't be blogging. Muahahaha.

Karate Party.



What would you say if you are an idiot?

Yeah, you would say what Bush says.

Jesus H Christ in Doc Martens, but I find it hard to believe this idiot is in charge let along allowed to talk in public.

Stolen, almost in its entirety, from Big Shot Bob in Texas.

10. "And there is distrust in Washington. I am surprised, frankly, at the amount of distrust that exists in this town. And I'm sorry it's the case, and I'll work hard to try to elevate it." --interview on National Public Radio, Jan. 29, 2007

9. "I fully understand those who say you can't win this thing militarily. That's exactly what the United States military says, that you can't win this military." --on the need for political progress in Iraq, Washington, D.C., Oct. 17, 2007

8. "One of my concerns is that the health care not be as good as it can possibly be." --on military benefits, Tipp City, Ohio, April 19, 2007

7. "Mr. Prime Minister, thank you for your introduction. Thank you for being such a fine host for the OPEC summit." --addressing Australian Prime Minister John Howard at the APEC Summit.

Later, in the same speech: "As John Howard accurately noted when he went to thank the Austrian troops there last year..." --referring to Australian troops as "Austrian troops," Sept. 7, 2007

6. "My relationship with this good man is where I've been focused, and that's where my concentration is. And I don't regret any other aspect of it. And so I -- we filled a lot of space together." --on British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Washington, D.C., May 17, 2007

5. "You helped our nation celebrate its bicentennial in 17 -- 1976." --to Queen Elizabeth, Washington, D.C., May 7, 2007 (Watch video clip)

4. "The question is, who ought to make that decision? The Congress or the commanders? And as you know, my position is clear -- I'm a Commander Guy." --deciding he is no longer just "The Decider," Washington, D.C., May 2, 2007 (Watch video clip)

3. "Information is moving -- you know, nightly news is one way, of course, but it's also moving through the blogosphere and through the Internets." --Washington, D.C., May 2, 2007

2. "There are some similarities, of course (between Iraq and Vietnam). Death is terrible." --Tipp City, Ohio, April 19, 2007

1. "As yesterday's positive report card shows, childrens do learn when standards are high and results are measured." --on the No Child Left Behind Act, Washington, D.C., Sept. 26, 2007



Smith Leaves NRO

Have I mentioned here at SPIIDERWEB™ we try to simplify your life? Oh yeah, in a couple of fucking posts ago about tapes.

Read the link as: We are sorry we lied to you. We promise not to do it in future. Really. You can trust us on this.

Hey, do I get credit for cat blogging? Just asking.


Via Back to Iraq.


My visitors

This is a challenge.

If you are not Polish, pronounce this: Poland Szczecin, Zachodniopomorskie.

Me can't do. Me have limited abilities.



Interogation tapes destroyed by CIA

Here at SPIIDERWEB™ we try to simplify your life.

Read the following as: We destroyed incriminating evidence. Got it?
The videotapes showed agency operatives in 2002 subjecting terror suspects — including Abu Zubaydah, the first detainee in C.I.A. custody — to severe interrogation techniques. They were destroyed in part because officers were concerned that tapes documenting controversial interrogation methods could expose agency officials to greater risk of legal jeopardy, several officials said.

Of course you would have your ass thrown into prison for such, but that's just little ol' you. Not someone important. Deal with it.


Via NYT.


Friday, December 07, 2007


Why do I feel so fucking alone?


Via Jonco.


This delusional man is the one who will decide if we attack Iran

And now for some pure fiction or deranged musings. Not sure which.
Vice President Cheney today predicted Iraq will be a self-governing democracy by the time he leaves office, calling the current U.S. surge strategy “a remarkable success story” that will be studied for years to come.

I don't know how my mind works or even if it does, but this joke comes to mind.
Two maroons decide to put their horses in the same pasture.

First maroon: How will we tell them apart?

Second maroon: We could measure their heights.

So they did and sure enough, the black one was one inch taller than the white one.

I guess this joke resonates on two levels. 1) Cheney can't see the obvious. His world is black and white, but the facts elude him. 2) Only maroons are part of the Bush administration.


Via Brilliant at Breakfast.

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"I just want one real friend"

This is real life. This is the world of a 13 year old boy in Baghdad.

I often try to put a human face on the ugly world we find ourselves in and its always gut wrenching.
A month ago gunmen came to his school and shot three guards during his last period. The U.S. Military came and the students ran out the door to catch their rides. That day he made it home safe. Tomorrow, he doesn't know.

The burden he carries is not fit for a 13-year-old. But this is not an R-rated movie; you can't keep the children out.


Via Baghdad.


Thursday, December 06, 2007

Water shortages are likely to be trigger for wars, says UN chief Ban Ki Moon

Would have never guessed Ban Ki Moon reads SPIIDERWEB™, but I guess he does.

I've hounded y'all about the dangers of water shortages. The Asia-Pacific Water Summit is addressing this and now the UN.
A struggle by nations to secure sources of clean water will be "potent fuel" for war, the first Asia-Pacific Water Summit heard yesterday. The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon, told delegates from across the region that the planet faced a water crisis that was especially troubling for Asia. High population growth, rising consumption, pollution and poor water management posed significant threats, he said, adding that climate change was also making "a bad situation worse".

Don't ya just hate it when shit comes out of the blue to fuck ya? I know I do.


Via The Signs.


Quote of the day

"If you put tomfoolery into a computer, nothing comes out of it but tomfoolery. But this tomfoolery, having passed through a very expensive machine, is somehow ennobled and no-one dares criticize it."

-- W. H. Auden
US (English-born) critic & poet (1907 - 1973)

To most this is true. They trust computers and never question the equations that make up the results. Computers don't lie.

Actually this isn't completely true. I used to work with a guy who was scary smart. Whenever given a spreadsheet or other computer generated output, he'd whip out his small pocket calculator and "run the numbers". Often he'd find the final numbers didn't make sense. Somewhere there was a formula mistake which resulted in inaccurate totals. I miss working with him.

BTW, I have no idea why the finger numbers are as they are. They aren't intuitive at all. One is three fingers?!!! Source of finger numbers is here. And may I add one hell of a lot more number shit.

Via Quotes of the Day.



Evel Knievel injury diagram

This is a follow up to my earlier post about Evel Knievel's death. I mentioned he'd had many injuries. I had no idea how extensive.


Via Oomsa.


War on Christmas™

What can I say?

Dog Blamed in Fish Frying Grease Blaze

Normally I try to hide the fact I'm fucking anal, but these are professionals who should have proofreaders.
Firefighters said a grease fire that left $50,000 in damage to a Topeka home erupted after a dog shut a woman out of the house while fish was frying on the stove. [emphasis mine]

OK, it should be "a fish was frying" or "fish were frying". Hey, tighten up your reports.


Via AP.


Gates says stable Iraq within reach as bombs kill 22

What are the chances Gates suffers from cognitive dissonance? Just asking.
US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said on Wednesday the goal of a stable and democratic Iraq is within reach, during an unannounced visit to Iraq marked by a spate of car bombs that killed 22 people.

Jesus H Christ in Doc Martens. They're all tools.


Via AFP.

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Court Orders Tweety, Donald Duck, Other Toons to Witness Stand

OK, I admit this goes beyond fair use, but the truth needs be told.
Tweety may get a chance to take the witness stand and sing like a canary.

A girl looks at a Tweety Bird statue outside a Warner Brothers store in Shanghai, China.

An Italian court ordered the animated bird, along with Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and his girlfriend Daisy, to testify in a counterfeiting case.

In what lawyers believe was a clerical error worthy of a Looney Tunes cartoon, a court in Naples sent a summons to the characters ordering them to appear Friday in a trial in the southern Italian city, officials said.

The court summons cites Titti, Paperino, Paperina, Topolino -- the Italian names for the characters -- as damaged parties in the criminal trial of a Chinese man accused of counterfeiting products of Disney and Warner Bros.

Instead of naming only the companies and their legal representatives, clerks also wrote in the witness list the names of the cartoons that decorated the toys and gadgets the man had reproduced, said Fiorenza Sorotto, vice president of Disney Company Italia.

"Unfortunately they cannot show up, as they are residents of Disneyland," Sorotto joked in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "It certainly pleased us that the characters were considered real, because that's what we try to do."

The Naples court will have to rewrite the summons, although this will probably delay the trial, said Disney lawyer Cristina Ravelli.

"Let's hope the characters will not be prosecuted for failing to appear," Ravelli quipped.

Calls seeking comment from Warner Bros. in Milan were not immediately returned. Phones at the Naples court were not answered Tuesday.

Ya know, I should be able to come up with some smart ass comment here, but I'm at a loss. Yep. Just drawing a blank. Feel free in comments.


Via CNN.


This is a test

No more. I promise.



This is a test




War on Christmas™

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The NIE report on Iran

OK, I give up. Have to post about this fucking report.

NIE report on Iran

This is all speculation from a very diseased mind, but its the best I can do.

Many are speculating about why this report was released. How about this?

Its the ultimate "whistle blower" situation. Imagine, if you will, you see Dim Son hell bent on attacking Iran which could trigger WWIII. He also would like to impel Armageddon. And most likely Armageddon is a possible result. But you aren't on board with that shit and you have a creditable report in hand that can kick his ass.

Wouldn't you release said report? Just asking.


Paging Radley Balko- More New Professionalism

Not a new topic here.
Of all the tasing stories, this one takes the cake:

Follow the link for this story.

Is that a gun under your towel or are you just happy to see me?

Via Balloon Juice.


War on Christmas™

Another re-tread.


Israel believes Iran restarted nuclear arms work

Wow! I mean, wow! I sure didn't expect Israel to react this way to the NIE report.

Update below where Israel (Omert) admits to having nuclear weapons.

Of course, this is exactly how they could be expected to react. I was being facetious in the last paragraph. The NIE report doesn't say what Israel wants to hear. They need Iran as a bogeyman and aren't about to give it up. Cheney won't either. You just watch.

But China, Russia? They might think differently. They know the capabilities of US intelligence and will probably trust it. That's what got US into Iraq in the first fucking place. Bush presented a highly politicized NIE report to the world. People believed what they were told because the NIE has a record for accuracy. That is, if left alone to give honest independent assessments.

In fact, except for the date on the report, it is probably a carbon copy of the one which would have been produced without the meddling of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld. People were told what the report should say regardless of their analysis and they should throw in words like "probably", "likely" and such instead of stating they had a high degree of confidence.

My tendency is to trust this one because the 16 intelligence agencies which came to the same conclusion are no longer fearful of Dim Son. If the heads of all 16 agencies were replaced tomorrow, its only for 12 months because the next president can reinstate them.

All emphasis (read weasel words) are mine.
Israel said on Tuesday Iran had probably restarted its nuclear weapons programme and that a U.S. intelligence report saying the work was frozen in 2003 and remained on hold was incomplete.

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said the U.S. report on Monday, which came in sharp contrast to an earlier assertion that Tehran was intent on developing a bomb, did not provide a full picture of Iran's weapons programme.

"It seems Iran in 2003 halted for a certain period of time its military nuclear programme but as far as we know it has probably since renewed it," Barak told Army Radio.


Israel is widely believed to have the only atomic arsenal in the Middle East, although it has never confirmed or denied that.

Someone came damn close.
A retired Israeli general said Thursday Israel is no longer trying to convince anyone that it has no nuclear arsenal.

You want close? How about an explicit comment from Olmert?
In a German TV interview aired Monday, Olmert said: "Iran, openly, explicitly and publicly threatens to wipe Israel off the map. Can you say that this is the same level, when they are aspiring to have nuclear weapons, as America, France, Israel, Russia?

Goddamn it, I didn't intend to post about the NIE because everyone has and then Israel forced my hand.

Via Reuters.

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Teh War on Christmas™

More to follow. I'm not gonna cut and run. I'm in it for the long haul. Muahahaha.


Guaranteed to offend

Yes this is a re-tread.

I stole this whole post from Watertiger, including the title. Please forgive me, but its how the internets tubes work. I particulary relate to #5.
It wouldn't be the first time I've offended someone today.

From an email I just received. My favorite is #9.


1. Schizophrenia: Do You Hear What I Hear?

2. Multiple Personality Disorder: We Three Kings Disoriented Are

3. Dementia: I Think I' ll be Home for Christmas

4. Narcissistic: Hark the Herald Angels Sing About Me

5. Manic: Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Buses and Trucks and Trees and.....

6. Paranoid: Santa Claus is Coming to Town to Get Me

7. Borderline Personality Disorder: Thoughts of Roasting on an Open Fire

8. Personality Disorder: You Better Watch Out, I'm Gonna Cry, I'm Gonna Pout, Maybe I'll Tell You Why

9. Attention Deficit Disorder: Silent night, Holy oooh look at the Froggy - Can I Have a Chocolate, Why is France so Far Away?

10. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells

Fortunately, I suffer from only 8 of the 10 disorders.

Perhaps I would change #5 to Manic/Depressive - Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Buses and Trucks and Trees and.....Oh the hell with it. Tear it all down.


COTE D'IVOIRE: Tend to cattle then go to class

This is too funny. Côte d'Ivoire is making the news. I'd like to think its because of SPIIDERWEB™. Just check out this and my profile.
Shortly before noon 7-year-old Kolotioloma Soro, her 9-year-old sister Anne-Marie and a crowd of other children tie up their cattle to bushes and sit under a giant tree for a brief rest before their school lessons.
After a meal of millet cakes and milk, the children retrieve slates and chalk they keep tucked away in nearby underbrush then situate themselves in straight rows on the ground under the tree. "The teacher will be here shortly," Kolotioloma says. "We'll review a bit before he arrives."

The children – in Fapaha village in Côte d'Ivoire's north-central Korhogo region – are part of a programme, sponsored by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and run by the local NGO 'Animation Rurale de Korhogo' (ARK), to provide schooling to children who spend their days tending to family crops or livestock.

For those who missed my question in that earlier post (link above under "this") about where Côte d'Ivoire is, I've provided a map this time. Yes! Its in Africa on the Gold Coast.

American children and children in much of the West take school for granted. Its something available and, though they may hate it, its relatively easy to attend. not so for millions of children who are too poor or are expected to work in lieu of school.

Via Reuters.


US banks urged to 'clean up' credit card practices

Jesus H Christ in Doc Martens, this pisses me off about as much as anything can these days.
US lawmakers urged some [some? non-contributors?] of America's largest financial companies to "clean up" their credit card practices Tuesday, amid an ongoing congressional probe of charges and fees imposed on consumers.

Unless these fuckers have had their aides shit-can mailings from banks, they had to know about these predatory banks. This isn't some recent phenomenon. Hell, I get several mailings weekly offering credit cards. Sometimes the debt limit is more than half my income.

So, either they ignored such information, didn't give a shit about their constituents or condoned such practices.

They should have dived into this mess long before people were destroyed.

Via AFP.


Bush says Iran a 'danger' despite intelligence report

Are you completely relaxed after my last post?

OK! Let's see how I can fuck that up.
President George W. Bush said Tuesday that Iran remains a danger and refused to rule out a military attack, despite a US intelligence report saying Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003.

The report goes on to say 2015 is the minimum time frame within which Iran can have a nuclear weapon.

Its funny how this coincides with Israel's contention Iran restarted its nuclear weapon program, but no one seems to know it.

No. I take that back. That isn't funny at all. Just another case of a pissant country dictating US foreign policy.

When will people realize facts play no part in Bush's assessment of the world. Things are as he imagines they are and the asshole has a vivid imagination to be sure.

Via AFP.

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must read

This is about as lazy ass blogging as you can find. Please follow the link.
Via Left I on the News.


In praise of AAA

Just being my supercilious self here. Bear with me on this. You'll be glad you did.

If you have an automobile in the US, don't even think about not joining AAA. It's available in other countries, but I'm not aware of the services offered world wide. My bad.

Your car breaks down? Call AAA.

Locked your keys in the car? Call AAA.

Dead battery? Call AAA.

Flat tire? call AAA.

Out of gas? Call AAA.

They'll plan your trips and give you travel tips.

You also get discounts at many auto related establishments because you are an AAA member.

And all of this is covered by your annual premium. No extra cost. Nada, zilch, naught, zip, nil, zero, nothing.

Don't ya just love thesauruses?

If you need an international driver's license to drive in, say Ireland, they'll provide one for USD 10 (last time I applied) and they even take your picture for the license so there's no extra cost.

Trust me on the last one. I was stopped in a foreign country and would have been in deep shit if not for my international driver's license. My US license carried no weight. BTW, it was a routine stop in that they were stopping everyone and there was no problem once an officer who knew what he was doing checked my credentials.

The first officer was discombobulated and had no idea what he was looking at.

For about USD 50 per year, its the best thing you can purchase to provide peace of mind. The services are fucking amazing.

Good luck and good driving.

Damn it, I forgot to add this. AAA will hound you to buy their auto insurance. From my experience, its a passive hounding in that you will be sent brochures and admonitions to join them, but no phone calls or any other aggressive tactics.

Disclaimer: I have no connection with AAA. I received nothing for this endorsement. I'm just a fucking fan.


For your amusement

Sorry, but you are about to be exposed to my sense of humor. Perhaps you've seen some of these, but revisiting them is always goodness.
There are two rules for success: 1.) Don't tell all you know.

I had amnesia once - maybe twice.

The statement following is true. The statement prior is false.

Red meat is not bad for you. Fuzzy green meat is bad for you.

If you think there is good in everybody then you obviously haven't met everybody.

My mind is like a steel trap - rusty and illegal in 37 states.

The only substitute for good manners is fast reflexes.

We are born naked, wet and hungry. Then things get worse.

The last thing I want to do is insult you. But it IS on the list.

Some people have a way with words, others not have way.

If you spread out all the sand in North Africa, it would cover the Sahara Desert.

As I said before, I never repeat myself.

As long as I can remember, I've had amnesia.

Circular Definition: see Definition, Circular.

Did you hear? They took the word gullible out of the dictionary!

Hypochondria is the only disease I haven't got.

I like kids, but I don't think I could eat a whole one.

I've got a mind like a.. a.. what's that thing called?

Originality is the art of concealing your sources.



Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Tasers®: the next generation

Follow up to an earlier post about how lethal Tasers® are.
Until now, the electric-shock gun consisted of two barbed darts attached to wires that shoot out and strike the victim, immobilizing the person with 50,000 volts of electricity, causing severe pain and intense muscle contraction.

But the wires could only extend a few metres. With the new "extended range electronic projectile," or XREP, the Taser has been turned into a kind of self-contained shotgun shell and can be fired, wire-free, from a standard shotgun, which police typically have in their arsenal already.

The first electrode hooks on to the target, the second electrode falls and makes contact elsewhere on the body, completing the circuit and activating the shock. It can blast someone as far as 30 metres away, and, unlike the current stun guns, whose shock lasts five seconds, the XREP lasts 20 seconds, enough time to "take the offender into custody without risking injury to officers."

Tasers® are already killing people and now they're extending the range. This is one sick company.

Via Mathaba.


What Is Progress?

This is a very depressing article about climate change by a man who does the research and other heavy lifting for the rest of us. Don't believe its depressing?

Take a look at the numbers. They are clear and precise as is possible with the somewhat dated information available with which to work.
A paper in Geophysical Research Letters finds that even with a 90% global cut by 2050, the 2° threshold “is eventually broken”(13). To stabilise temperatures at 1.5° above the pre-industrial level requires a global cut of 100%. The diplomats who started talks in Bali yesterday should be discussing the complete decarbonisation of the global economy.

Yes, he said the the complete decarbonisation of the global economy.

The article does end with a couple uncommon paragraphs, for George, sort of a Rah! Rah! shake those pompoms, go team go, we can do this, sort of thing. But until you reach those paragraphs its not encouraging at all.

Via Monbiot.


Europe offers steeper greenhouse gas cuts

First the snippet.
The EU on Tuesday again dangled the prospect of even steeper cuts in greenhouse gas emissions across Europe to fight global warming -- but only if the rest of the world follows suit.

A couple thoughts.

(1) If the steeper cuts make sense, make them. Don't be concerned about other's joining you. Yes, you probably will take economic hits and become less competitive, but do what's right. Someone has to lead the way.

(2) This is exactly what a world leading nation, such as, oh, let's say the US, should be suggesting. At this rate the US will become a world leader in things negative.

You know what I mean. World leader against the Kyoto Protocol, killing the most innocent people daily (contestable), selling arms to almost any nation intent on killing its neighbors, greenhouse gas emissions*, medical costs, infant mortality rate among developed nations**, consuming petrochemicals. You know. The usual.

I'm probably missing something, but it seems to me there is nothing the US is a world leader in which is positive. Certainly nothing that's positive for the rest of the world.

* Actually the US has dropped into second place on this one, behind China. But number two is still a world leader, right?

** Only second highest rate on this one. Certainly not something worth bragging about.

Via AFP.

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Senate Aide In Kiddie Sex Bust

Yep it was an aide for a Democrat this time. I try not to play favorites.

As Billie Jean (1985) would say, fair is fair.
A U.S. Senate aide was arrested Friday after allegedly arranging a lunchtime sexual encounter with a teenage boy, according to federal court records. James McHaney, 28, was nabbed by FBI agents after he arranged the afternoon liaison via a "cooperating witness" working with investigators. According to the below felony complaint and an accompanying statement of facts filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., the CW and McHaney were conversing online Friday afternoon when the CW asked whether McHaney was interested in engaging in anal sex with a 13-year-old boy. "I'll be there," McHaney allegedly replied. He later asked for a photo of the child with whom he and the CW would have sex and whether the boy had "any pubes." When told no, McHaney allegedly replied, "That's hot." McHaney was nabbed in the lobby of an unnamed "predetermined location," where he had arranged to meet CW. Until his arrest Friday, McHaney had worked as the D.C. scheduler for Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell.

Via The Smoking Gun®.


And now for something completely different

Kinda kewl. Here's a very fast, online, free dictionary. Its limited in its vocabulary, but probably adequate for most of us.

Welcome to Definr. I guess its the Flickr for the literate set. Get it? The spellings? Oh never mind.

Don't know about you, but I use a dictionary for two reasons. One, I can't spell worth shit. Thank you foniks. And two, sometimes I need to understand the nuances of words to make sure I'm saying exactly what I want to say.

Just another reason I like the word "fuck". Not too nuanced.

Via Neatorama.

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International trade tribunals seen trumping state laws

Its just a matter of time until CAFTA and/or NAFTA and the WTO will bite you in the ass. You had better wake up.

Read the article and then forward a link to it to your Congress critter. Its a piece of cake in Yahoo! mail or Gmail. You just highlight some words, click on the "link" button and paste a URL.
A Canadian company wants to open a new plant in Claremont, N.H., to bottle fresh water from a source in Stockbridge, Vt.

But if Vermont wants to limit how much water the company takes, it may run afoul of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

States around the country are growing increasingly worried about the threats posed to their laws and regulations by the secret tribunals that resolve disputes in international trade. Experts say everything from environmental rules to the licensing of nurses and other professionals could be affected.

"Free trade agreements are to state sovereignty and economic development what global climate change is to the environment and natural resources," said state Sen. Virginia Lyons, D-Chittenden. "I think it's a really significant issue for our state, and for every state in the country."

Vermont is one of seven states to establish committees to study the possible impacts of international trade on their laws.

Assistant Vermont Attorney General Elliot Burg said NAFTA and other trade agreements have opened up a path for international companies that want to circumvent state laws they don't like.

"The issue is not really fair treatment or equal treatment" of domestic versus foreign companies, Burg said. "It's really, `We don't like the laws you're passing.'"

I would suggest you be more civil than I am on this blog. My missives to Congress critters almost never contain any profanity beyond "hell" or "damn". They are rather prudish over there and chuck emails which contain overt outrage.

Via Boston Globe.

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Scary image of obesity in the U.S.

Quote of the day

"Looks like this is just the tip of the iceberg. (Which gets me to thinking: when all the icebergs have melted, what will we use for a metaphor?)"

-- Balloon Juice

I have a suggestion and in many cases it would be most appropriate although somewhat(?) vulgar: Looks like this is just the tip of the dick.

BTW: Didn't use the picture you were all expecting.


The US is no world leader


If the US were a world leader, it wouldn't let a little pissant country like Israel determine its foreign policy.


You fucking anti Semite!

Just look at the facts. Israel is a pissant country. Period.
World population as of 03/12/2007: 6,635,141,529

Israel population as of 24/04/2007: 7,150,000

That's .001% of the people out there. One fucking thousandth.

Then take a look at a world map.
Area of Israel in sq km: 20,770.

Area of Côte d'Ivoire in sq km: 322,460

And while we're here, population of Cote d'Ivoice: 16,804,784.

BTW, can you find Cote d'Ivoire on a world map? Keep looking. Personally, I'd Google image search it. Yeah, its tiny and treated as insignificant.

Country areas found here, as well as the the population of Cote d'Ivoire.

Israel is a flea on an elephant's ass. And that flea is controlling the actions of the elephant.

True, Palestinians also objected to the UN resolution the US withdrew, but were somewhat flexible whereas the Israelis weren't. Had the only objections come from the Palestinians, I'm sure the resolution would not have been withdrawn.

Sorry about the picture. That's Flea of the Red Hot Chile Peppers. I'm too lazy to fix it.

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Have you put up your Festivus pole yet?

Yeah, I'm early, but I tend to forget...whatever.



House cleaning

Ya ever get this feeling at the airport?

Ah, give him a buck

Now this is architecture (Kansas City library)

Just wanted you to notice this notice sign

This could save your life


Monday, December 03, 2007

Asia-Pacific Water Summit opens in Japan

FINALLY! Someone is taking this problem seriously. I've posted many times about this such as here, here, here.

So basically this is SPIIDERWEB™ patting himself on the back until his arm breaks. I'm so Pompous. (blush)

I'm gonna climb up on my high horse. Wow, I'm so high up here the people look like ants.

"Those are ants."


The first Asia-Pacific Water Summit opened Monday in the southern Japanese city of Beppu, with Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda expressing hopes that it will give new impetus to environmental discussions at the next Group of Eight (G8) summit in July 2008.

I've obsessed about this problem because I believe its gonna be huge. It also ties in with climate change which I've also fixated on.

To tie it all up in a nice bow, this is why expending billions (trillions?) of dollars to kill people in the Mid-East is obscene. And that doesn't even address the loss of American lives which is far more important than the monetary cost.

Spend the fucking money to save the world, not destroy it and its people. Idiot-in-chief, it matters not if Iraq has democracy if the climate and lack of water will kill everyone anyway. Nor does it matter how much oil the US has if your children or grandchildren are dead.

Via Japan Herald.

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Australian PM ratifies Kyoto Protocol

OMFG! A politician almost immediately after being sworn in has done exactly what he told the voters he would do. Be still my heart.

Now if we can only get all the other major developed nations to fall into line...wait, "nations" should be singular. There is only one major developed nation which hasn't ratified the Kyoto Protocol. That, of course, would be the US.
Labor Party leader Kevin Rudd became Australia's 26th prime minister Monday and immediately began dismantling the former government's policies by ratifying the Kyoto Protocol on climate change.

Rudd had pledged to commit Australia to the landmark United Nation's treaty on greenhouse gas emissions as his first priority. And the former diplomat kept his word after his official swearing in at Government House in Canberra.

"Today I have signed the instrument of ratification of the Kyoto Protocol," he said in a statement.

"This is the first official act of the new Australian government, demonstrating my government's commitment to tackling climate change."


The move leaves the United States as the only major developed nation that has refused to ratify the pact.

How can one be a "world leader" by sitting on the fucking bench while the others play? Just asking.

Via Yahoo! News.

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Hugo Chávez narrowly loses referendum vote

I'm not sure what the Venezuelans were saying in the referendum vote. Were they voting against socialism? Were they voting against Hugo Chávez? Was it both? Or was it some of the other 67 amendments contained in the referendum? My gut feeling is it was a all of the above.

It is a democracy and denying Hugo Chávez the opportunity to hold office as long as he's re-elected doesn't make him president for life. Each seven years the people would have the opportunity to kick his ass out.
Venezuelan voters narrowly rejected a constitutional referendum that would have bolstered President Hugo Chavez's embrace of socialism and granted an indefinite extension of his eligibility to serve as president, the National Electoral Council reported early Monday.

About 51 percent of voters opposed the amendments, while approximately 49 percent were in favor of them.

"Don't feel sad. Don't feel burdened," Chavez told supporters immediately after the results were announced.

More than nine million of Venezuelan's 16 million eligible voters went to the polls Sunday.

President of the National Electoral Council, Tibisay Lucena, said the process "shows the entire world that we are a democratic country."

Chavez, in what he called a talk "from my heart" acknowledging the results, thanked those who opposed his proposal, saying the election had proven that Venezuelan democracy is maturing.


The most controversial amendment would do away with term limits, thereby allowing the 53-year-old former paratrooper, who has already served almost eight years in power, to hold it indefinitely as long as he is re-elected.

Well, at least Putin got his.
Vladimir Putin’s party won a crushing victory in Russia’s parliamentary elections, paving the way for the authoritarian leader to remain in control even after he steps down as president.

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US says it has right to kidnap British citizens

Jesus H Christ in a blindfold, somewhere I missed that tipping point where the Bush administration went from a political organization to a Mafia mob.

This is gonna negate 100's of old movie plots where the bad guy makes it into Mexico or Canada and the US can't follow him.
AMERICA has told Britain that it can “kidnap” British citizens if they are wanted for crimes in the United States.

A senior lawyer for the American government has told the Court of Appeal in London that kidnapping foreign citizens is permissible under American law because the US Supreme Court has sanctioned it.

The admission will alarm the British business community after the case of the so-called NatWest Three, bankers who were extradited to America on fraud charges. More than a dozen other British executives, including senior managers at British Airways and BAE Systems, are under investigation by the US authorities and could face criminal charges in America.

Until now it was commonly assumed that US law permitted kidnapping only in the “extraordinary rendition” of terrorist suspects.
The American government has for the first time made it clear in a British court that the law applies to anyone, British or otherwise, suspected of a crime by Washington.

Legal experts confirmed this weekend that America viewed extradition as just one way of getting foreign suspects back to face trial. Rendition, or kidnapping, dates back to 19th-century bounty hunting and Washington believes it is still legitimate.

Via BlackListedNews.

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Earth's tropics belt expands, may mean drier weather for U.S. Southwest, Mediterranean

Apparently models of the earth's weather are falling short on accuracy and to our detriment.
Earth's tropical belt seems to have expanded a couple hundred miles over the past quarter century, which could mean more arid weather for some already dry subtropical regions, new climate research shows.


Independent teams using four different meteorological measurements found that the tropical atmospheric belt has grown by anywhere between 2 and 4.8 degrees latitude since 1979. That translates to a total north and south expansion of 140 to 330 miles.


But climate scientists Andrew Weaver of the University of Victoria and Richard Somerville of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography said Seidel's work makes sense and that computer models have consistently been underestimating the ill effects of global warming.

"Every time you look at what the world is doing it's always far more dramatic than what climate models predict," Weaver said.

Both Weaver and Seidel said the big concern is that dry areas on the edge of the tropics — such as the U.S. Southwest, parts of the Mediterranean and southern Australia — could get drier because of this.

"You're not expanding the tropical jungles, what you're expanding is the area of desertification," Weaver said.

Desertification ain't good. And the supplies of water will become more critical than they already are.

Sometimes it seems climate change is happening exponentially and not linearly. Its accelerating at a rate which won't let us humans understand what's happening and what to do about it before its too late to stop it.

Via Seattle Times.


must read IMHO

Technically its a must see.

The guy is great.

Note: some images are graphic and disturbing.


Sunday, December 02, 2007

Analysis: Clinton calm in hostage crisis

Is it just me? I guess so, because I've not seen this anywhere else.

First, of course she was calm because she wasn't one of the fucking hostages. Duh!

Second, doesn't everyone assume someone running for POTUS would handle a serious situation calmly?

Third, perhaps I'm reading more into this than is there, but it seems its implied a woman remained calm (unexpected) whereas a man would automatically.
When the hostages had been released and their alleged captor arrested, a regal-looking Hillary Rodham Clinton strolled out of her Washington home, the picture of calm in the face of crisis.

The image, broadcast just as the network news began, conveyed the message a thousand town hall meetings and campaign commercials strive for -- namely, that the Democratic presidential contender can face disorder in a most orderly manner.

Via Boston Globe.


Police State, Inc.

What I fail to understand is why the idiot and his henchmen keep piling on with this spying.

Do they believe the GOP will win the presidency? Do they want a Democrat to have such ridiculous power?

Staying with what they had in place makes some (little) sense, but to keep adding to it at this point is just plain stupid.
For U.S. citizens, however, the combination of NGA imagery and NSA signals intelligence in a domestic situation could threaten important constitutional safeguards against unwarranted searches and seizures. Kate Martin, the director of the Center for National Security Studies, a nonprofit advocacy organization, has likened the NAO plan to “Big Brother in the Sky.” The Bush administration, she told the Washington Post, is “laying the bricks one at a time for a police state.”

Via No Quarter.


Dana Perino finds her true calling...

This whole exchange just makes one's head spin, but...
Helen Thomas: Why should we depend on him?

MS. PERINO: Because he is the commander on the ground, Helen. He's the one who is making sure that the situation is moving —

HT: You mean how many more people we kill?

MS. PERINO: Helen, I find it really unfortunate that you use your front row position, bestowed upon you by your colleagues, to make such statements. This is a — it is an honor and a privilege to be in the briefing room, and to suggest that we, at the United States, are killing innocent people is just absurd and very offensive.

Helen Thomas did not say innocent people. That was Dana's offering to the mix. Hmmm.

Via Blue Gal.

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A blogger's tragedy

I wanted to post this separate from my last entry so each has the dignity and perspective it deserves.

Dennis lost his sister-in-law to an apparently deranged man with a gun who killed her and then took his own life.

Dennis has been as jittery as a mouse in a room full of cats as he's tried to finish writing his latest book. Of course, that book is of no importance right now.

This is a distinctively sad situation, but one happening by the hour to others in Sudan, Iraq, Gaza, Israel, Afghanistan and far too many other places.

The killing of innocents is a plague on mankind and often, as in this case, there doesn't seem to be anything anyone can do to stop it.

With regrets and condolences

I hate to begin this session with this news.
Dennis Perrin writes here that his brother's wife was murdered yesterday in Indianapolis. A story in the Indianapolis Star is here.

Via A Tiny Revolution.

Energy usage discrepancy

Obviously this is a composite because the whole earth isn't dark at the same time.

Jesus H Christ in Zoom mode, I just found out you can click on the image for a full size version.

Sometimes I feel like such an ass.


For your amusement

For your amusement

Some people have too much time on there hands.

Stick people.