Friday, December 14, 2007
If you click on that rectangle the image will appear. Its magic. What can I say.
WARNING: Don't click on the rectangle above. It brings up the rectangle only and just hangs there.
I can't believe how many new things I learn about these fucking programs as time goes on.
Required keyboard key
And now for something completely different
This is and isn't America too.
This is the charm of America.
If you're from Western Washington State (USA), some of the images may look familiar.
I chose them because I've spent almost my whole life there and it's by far the most scenic and beautiful part of the world.
You do have to put up with the nearly constant rain, but its well worth it and the sunny days are awsome.
And now for something completely different
Secondly, I am not ready to post but this fucking computer is acting hinky (apparently a new word creation) and I have to post to avoid losing all of this.
This is a pictorial presentation of the real America. The opposite will follow in further posts.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Global incident map
This is disturbing. It shows within the last 310 seconds what is happening where.
You can click on any icon on the map and get the story behind each incident.
I'm no alarmist, but this shit can really freak you out. Technically I consider myself an alertist (newly coined word). This is happening and I just bring it to your attention.
I think my next few posts will be uplifting and fluffy. The world isn't all gloom and doom.
Via a friend you don't know. Nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah. Muhahaha.
Labels: gloom and doom
Don't know why I like this name, but it attracted me.
Can you imagine giving your address and snickering as the clerk, shop keeper or whoever tries to spell it? And I'm not even considering a foreign country where it would probably really confuse them.
Murfreesboro, Tennessee, USA
Isn't that photo a great PR job? Search Murfreesboro and you'll see many more. It is idyllic.
If ever there were a must read, this is fucking it!
Makes you proud of what is happening in Iraq. So very goddamn proud.
Hadil bled to death in her mother’s arms. Three men were detained, two were later released. The U.S. military said the man detained is an Al Qaida in Iraq member. There were no reports of Hadil's death, they said.
Please don't get me wrong. As in the picture above, the US military isn't proud of the civilian deaths any more than would you be, but they happen. They happen far too often.
No wonder US troops come home with PTSS (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome) and commit suicide. Many have children of their own and have seen the dead babies they've unintentionally been responsible for in Iraq.
Bring the troops home...NOW!
Coming soon – spider socks
This is really starting to piss me off. More people producing spiderweb products?
It is a miracle substance - lighter than feathers, stronger than steel, one of the toughest fibres found in nature. Now scientists in Japan have found a way of harnessing the remarkable power of spiders’ webs to make anything from tights and fishing nets to bulletproof vests.
Researchers at Shinshu University have succeeded in injecting spider genes into silkworms to create a thread that is stronger, softer and more durable than conventional silk. A Japanese manufacturer is already experimenting with the thread, and spider socks, stockings and even fishing lines are expected to appear on the market within a few years.
The team, based in the city of Nagano and led by Masao Nakagaki, a professor of insect genetics, has beaten rival scientists from around the world in devising a way of mass-producing spider silk.
Where're my royalty offers? I'm not greedy. Just a few shekels per product will do.
I've been the champion of spiders for many years and these people ignore me.
They're opening themselves up to a serious lawsuit.
That last sentence is a joke, folks. I'm not litigious.
Once I sued State Farm Insurance when they refused to pay for repairs to my nearly-totaled '66 Mustang after one of their insureds passed out and drove three cars into mine, which was parked, and then she rammed into my car.
Truth be told, I can't wait for
Only a U.S. Withdrawal Will Stop Al Qaeda in Iraq
I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir, but this stuff is true. Perhaps if we keep sending it out over the internets tubes enough times some people will "get it".
Who am I kidding?
One of the last justifications for continuing the U.S. occupation of Iraq despite overwhelming opposition from Iraqis, Americans and the rest of humanity has come down to this: U.S. forces must remain in order to battle "al Qaeda in Iraq."
Like so many of the arguments presented in the United States, the idea is not only intellectually bankrupt, it's also the 180-degree opposite of reality. The truth of the matter is that only the presence of U.S. forces allows the group called "al Qaeda in Iraq" (AQI) to survive and function, and setting a timetable for the occupation to end is the best way to beat them. You won't hear that perspective in Washington, but according to Iraqis with whom we spoke, it is the conventional wisdom in much of the country.
The Bush administration has made much of what it calls "progress" in the Sunni-dominated provinces of central Iraq. But when we spoke to leaders there, the message we got was very different from what supporters of a long-term occupation claim: Many Sunnis are, indeed, lined up against groups like AQI, but that doesn't mean they are "joining" with coalition forces or throwing their support behind the Iraqi government.
Several sources we reached in the Sunni community agreed that AQI, a predominantly Sunni insurgent group that did not exist prior to the U.S. invasion -- it started in 2005 -- will not exist for long after coalition forces depart. AQI is universally detested by large majorities of Iraqis of all ethnic and sectarian backgrounds because of its fundamentalist interpretation of religious law and efforts to set up a separate Sunni state, and its only support -- and it obviously does enjoy some support -- is based solely on its opposition to the deeply unpopular U.S.-led occupation of Iraq. [emphasis mine]
AQI didn't exist until two years ago.
So the US effectively created AQI, or provided the atmosphere for its creation, and now needs them as the bogeyman. Always have to have bogeymen.
To be fair, this isn't strictly a GOP or US political affliction. All countries' leaders need bogeymen to keep the people focused, motivated, supportive, willing to sacrifice and such.
The only difference I've noticed between leaders is how evil, imminent, dangerous, vile the perceived threats posited to the people. Some are mild and iterate a few simple trade problems which need correcting. The really "great" leaders like, (Jesus H Christ with a Honda dealership, but I can't believe this name is coming) Bush warn of imminent destruction or defilement of all the people from the bogeymen.
China is poisoning our food and children. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won't be happy until he nukes the US. NoKo also wants to nuke US. Al-Qaeda wants to eat our young. That is the ones we lefties haven't eaten. Cuba would destroy our way of life. Especially by sending doctors to help in NOLA. Chavez? He has horns doesn't he? Its a matter of time until he will be building nukes too. Syria, Lebanon, Palestinian Authority, Canada, Iraq, the Taliban, Osama bin Laden, Hezbollah, Muslims, brown people, gays. All threats.
I apologize for being a lazy ass blogger, but you have to find your own links to all of the accusations in the previous paragraph.
Well, not so much Canada. They just send US a little meat with mad cow disease and tainted food isn't really a problem for the king who has tasters.
California somehow gets a pass, what with the E coli thing. Perhaps they forget most lettuce from California is picked by brown people. And Europe gets a pass with the frog in lettuce thing. Which is true. Such maroons.
Bush and his fellow hyenas have done a remarkable job of finding bogeymen of which we need be afraid.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
A Guideline for Islamic Governance
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, is not the first name that comes to mind when thinking of net surfers and instant messages. Yet, it turns out, the man is a blogger.
Equally surprising for a leader known for a kind of thundering public presence, his blog is not especially tough. He condemns Washington's policies, but writes infrequently and more ponderously than in his famously confrontational speeches.
The reader comments posted alongside his own seem far less censored and harsher than one might expect.
"I think you are an evil leader," one comment posted by an American reader said. "Freedom and tolerance are necessities in this day and age, and the fact that your country kills intellectuals, journalists, minorities is horrible and deeply disturbing."
Another reader said Ahmadinejad's claim at Columbia University in September that there were no gays in Iran was absurd and called his domestic policies "brutish." Still another wrote, "Shut up please, would you? I get headaches reading your nonsense stuff."
The above is via IHT.
Obviously the following is from Aahmadinejad.
In the Name of Almighty God, the All-Knowing, the Most Lovingly Compassionate
One's perspective regarding government and governance determines the way one should cooperate with the people. If one recognizes government as a privilege and prey of the governors, then the period of governance can be counted as an opportunity to fulfill the expectations of certain individuals and groups or the ostentation and hedonism of the governors.
But if in our view, "government" would be a responsibility before God for establishing justice and a duty to ensure the rights of common people, serving the servants of God and helping the oppressed- then the most important issue will be the people's concerns. If this is the case, governors would not view themselves as better than other people and they wouldn't put themselves in any other position except serving the people. [spacing edited slightly, but not content - ed]
His blog may be found at http://www.ahmadinejad.ir/en/. I chose English because my computer doesn't render foreign languages I couldn't read anyway. And, unlike the original article I found, I provide a convenient link.
Its interesting to see, compared to many bloggers, especially the wingers, who don't allow comments, block people who challenge them or delete the comments they don't like, Ahmadinejad appears to be willing to take the heat. Of course I have no idea who he's blocked or if he's deleted comments, but it doesn't seem like he's doing either.
Fears of Social Security's collapse unfounded, experts say
May we please put this meme to rest?
On her blog, Cassandra Devine balks at the prospect of paying for the baby boomers' Social Security benefits.
Her "modest proposal" for sparing the younger generation that expense: Pay retirees to commit suicide.
Play the game: The American Academy of Actuaries has created an interactive Social Security Game that lets you see the effects of your decisions to cut Social Security benefits and/or raise taxes.
"Our parents, the boomers, dodged the draft, snorted cocaine and made self-indulgence a virtue. I call them the Ungreatest Generation. Here's their chance, finally, to give something back," she writes to her fellow twentysomethings.
Yes. The long-predicted generational conflict over Social Security's solvency hasn't escalated that far. The incendiary Ms. Devine lives only in the pages of satirist Christopher Buckley's latest novel, Boomsday .
Still, Mr. Buckley's work of fiction feeds off some people's fears that the government's retirement program will soon fall apart.
But most experts agree that any suggestion the system will collapse and leave younger workers unprotected is as nonsensical as Mr. Buckley's bitter blogger.
"To say, as some politicians have, that Social Security is going broke is not just wrong but also counterproductive," said Thomas Saving, a Social Security trustee and director of the Private Enterprise Research Center at Texas A&M University. "It needlessly scares people."
As the oldest boomers apply for benefits over the next couple of months, a number of policy analysts are using the milestone to offer solutions and ease fears about Social Security.
Social Security is something government can "fix". A few corrections here and there and its a sound system. In fact its unbelievable how healthy it is after so many years.
So stop letting people holler WOLF! Its OK to holler DOG! That's much more like what's coming.
Via Dallas Morning News.
Labels: Social Security
My guess is they just make this shit up. Not sure. Most of my hits come from some form of Google search, so maybe Google hits are generating the value.
It is an interesting toy, however.
Wonder if I could find a buyer at that price. I'd round it down to $18,500! Sure could use the money.
Labels: blog worth
War on Christmas™
OK, lets go all out this year in the War on Christmas™. If the ChristoFascists in religion are serious, go Puritan and ban the whole fucking holiday.
Just think how much money everyone would save. Although I lean toward allowing gambling and that huge gut busting meal. As for the "playing games" bit, does politics count?
In 1659, just a few decades after they had arrived in the New World, the Puritans banned the celebration of Christmas (as well as gambling and congregation for non-religious purposes). The holiday reminded them of Old World customs from England (the nation from which they’d fled to escape religious persecution). In fact, they refused to consider December 25th a holy day at all - the Catholic Church had selected the date as the day to celebrate Christ’s birthday because it coincided with an ancient, popular pagan festival. Anybody in Boston caught singing, drinking, playing games, or having a feast on Christmas was fined five shillings. The bans were later revoked, but it wouldn’t be the last time a moral outcry deprived Bostonians of diversions that seem relatively harmless today.
Labels: War on Christmas™
Climate change - saving the planet
I just read this on another blogsite. I've made this point before, but one of my favorite hobbies is beating dead horses.
How is it possible that humans have developed an economic and social system that ends up destroying our entire planet?
One more time and not the last I'm sure.
We won't destroy our entire planet via CO2 emissions, and other effects of burning fossil fuels. Earth doesn't have to be "saved".
Earth has survived for millenniums, through at least one ice age, volcanoes (most notably Krakatoa), earthquakes, floods, typhoons, hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, dinosaurs, fire, humans.
Nope, its the people who won't survive along with most other species on the planet. Hell, after we're all gone the earth might well become a world with a much smaller land mass (likely) with complete desertification (also likely). But the planet will still be here. It just won't have carbon based life forms, that is, no living things.
And it will bounce back. It may take hundreds of years or millions, but the big blue marble, although no longer blue, will still circle the sun.
Labels: climate change
The race for the US presidency - a game
only picture I could find
I was gonna post about something involving Whack-a-Mole, but forgot. Now Ted Compton has reminded me with a Whack-a-Mole post.
OK, here it is. The media is playing a game of Whack-a-Mole. Whenever a candidate sticks his/her head out vis-a-vis a position climb in the polls; the media whacks them.
That's something bloggers have over the media. Bloggers whack all candidates (not exactly all, but all the viable ones) fairly frequently. They also support many less than "star" candidates if they like their positions on issues.
But not the media. Basically the media is whacking the following Democrats.
Hillary R. Clinton (D-NY), Barack H. Obama (D-IL), John R. Edwards (D-NC), Christopher J. "Chris" Dodd (D-CT).
Ah, but here comes Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) in recent polls and whack. Meanwhile Maurice "Mike" Gravel (D-AK), William B. "Bill" Richardson (D-NM), Joseph R. "Joe" Biden, Jr. (D-DE) are hardly worth the effort.
But have you heard of George H. Ballard, III (D-PA), Christina Gerasimos Billings-Elias (D-CA) Robert Edwin "Bob" Boyer (D-IL) Ryan Joseph Brady (D-MT)? Of course you haven't. They haven't shown their heads and are thus not whack worthy.
But let them do well in a poll with one of the first two groups and they'll get whacked within hours.
The media is whacking the following Republicans.
Rudolph W. Rudy Giuliani (R-NY), Mike Huckabee (R-AR), W. Mitt Romney (R-MA).
Duncan L. Hunter (R-CA), Alan L. Keyes (R-MD), John S. McCain, III (R-AZ) rarely get whacked anymore.
Ronald E. "Ron" Paul (R-TX), Thomas G. "Tom" Tancredo (R-CO) even less so than the Hunter group.
And Fred D. Thompson (R-TN) has fallen off the map.
Have you heard of Virginia Algar (R-FL), Michael Jesus Archangel (R-MI), Michael Andrew Arterburn (D-GA), George Brent Bailey, Jr. (R-NM), Daniel James "Barndog" Barnett (R-CO). Nope. Not worth whacking.
However I would have to consider voting Republican just to get a president named "Barndog". Perhaps I should dig up some shit and whack "Barndog" just for kicks and giggles.
Again, let any of these lowlifes move up in the polls and its whack for sure.
The lists are a lot longer than this and there's an Independents list I've not considered which includes Michael R. "Mike" Bloomberg (I-NY), Ralph Nader (I), Jesse Ventura (Ind-MN).
BTW, here's where to find Whack-a-Mole.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
U.S. Attorney Says Two CIA Interrogation Tapes Thought Destroyed in '05 Still Exist
I wasn't gonna post about this story. Everybody and his/her cat has, but this is a whole new spin on it.
The tapes likely were not destroyed as claimed by Hayden.
A letter by a Virginia-based U.S. attorney to a federal appeals court appears to contradict CIA Director Michael Hayden's public statements on the destruction of hundreds of hours of video footage of "extreme" interrogations of suspected al-Qaida operatives by strongly indicating that at least two of the videos still exist, The 'Skeeter Bites Report has learned.
Charles Rosenberg, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, wrote that his office viewed two videotapes of CIA interrogations of al-Qaida suspects as recently as September 19 and October 18 of this year -- contrary to Hayden's statement that the tapes were destroyed in 2005.
So now we have the CIA claiming, in 2003, no such tapes existed. Then they admitted the non-existent tapes were destroyed in 2005. And finally we learn that probably was a lie too. The tapes did exist as recently as October 2007.
Oh, what a tangled web we weave.
And we don't appreciate other's weaving their own webs.
Morgan Stanley issues full US recession alert
This can't be good for anyone. Not just in the US, but world-wide.
Morgan Stanley has issued a full recession alert for the US economy, warning of a sharp slowdown in business investment and a "perfect storm" for consumers as the housing slump spreads. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke
Fed chairman Ben Bernanke[duplication in original - ed] will be hoping he can keep the US economy from recession In a report "Recession Coming" released today, the bank's US team said the credit crunch had started to inflict serious damage on US companies. [emphasis mine]
What I find particularly interesting is Morgan Stanley's emphasis on consumers and Ben Bernanke's concern for companies.
It sort of shows where their loyalties lie.
Via The Signs.
Row over 2020 emissions goal sours Bali climate talks
The European Union took a veiled swipe at the United States at climate talks in Bali on Tuesday over Washington's efforts to remove tough 2020 emissions guidelines for rich nations from a draft text.
Perhaps Al Gore stopped speaking too soon in Oslo. He should have continued until he was blue in the face.
Labels: climate change
Iraq rejects permanent U.S. bases
Oh my, please forget that last one. It was a one time mistake and I learned my fucking lesson.
Iraq will never allow the United States to keep permanent military bases on its soil, the government's national security adviser has said.
Now just how Iraq intends to "prevent" the US from occupying their country, I have no idea. They probably don't either. I mean we still do have some big guns and big bombs. The bases are nearing completion and the damn bantam rooster in Washington is not about to let some puppets tell him what he can or can't do.
Researchers: Human evolution speeding up
Well, I'm all for diversity so this comes as good news. And it does explain bloggers.
Science fiction writers have suggested a future Earth populated by a blend of all races into a common human form. In real life, the reverse seems to be happening. People are evolving more rapidly than in the distant past, with residents of various continents becoming increasingly different from one another, researchers say.
"I was raised with the belief that modern humans showed up 40,000 to 50,000 years ago and haven't changed," explained Henry C. Harpending, an anthropologist at the University of Utah. "The opposite seems to be true."
"Our species is not static," Harpending added in a telephone interview.
Something bothered me. We don't seem to be evolving, at least mentally. People seem to be getting less intelligent each year. Ah ha. Then I came to this.
That doesn't mean we should expect major changes in a few generations, though, evolution occurs over thousands of years.
So Bush will be long dead before evolution catches up with him. Explains a lot.
Via Yahoo! News.
Of course George is absolutely correct on this and will be considered completely bonkers by the representatives to climate change conferences such as Bali.
Too many people have a lot at stake in extracting fossil fuels from the earth and they aren't about to voluntarily stop.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have the answer! Incredible as it might seem, I have stumbled across the single technology which will save us from runaway climate change! From the goodness of my heart I offer it to you for free. No patents, no small print, no hidden clauses. Already this technology, a radical new kind of carbon capture and storage, is causing a stir among scientists. It is cheap, it is efficient and it can be deployed straight away. It is called … leaving fossil fuels in the ground.
On a filthy day last week, as governments gathered in Bali to prevaricate about climate change, a group of us tried to put this policy into effect. We swarmed into the opencast coal mine being dug at Ffos-y-fran in South Wales and occupied the excavators, shutting down the works for the day. We were motivated by a fact which the wise heads in Bali have somehow missed: if fossil fuels are extracted, they will be used.
Most of the governments of the rich world now exhort their citizens to use less carbon. They encourage us to change our lightbulbs, insulate our lofts, turn our TVs off at the wall. In other words, they have a demand-side policy for tackling climate change. But as far as I can determine not one of them has a supply-side policy. None seeks to reduce the supply of fossil fuel. So the demand-side policy will fail. Every barrel of oil and tonne of coal that comes to the surface will be burnt.
Conservation is good. Renewable sources of energy are good (except for biofuels). They are horrible. But those aren't the answer in and of themselves. The problem is far too drastic to just throw a fucking Band Aide on it at this point.
Congress wants answers on CIA tapes
you consider they were torturing you?
And, of course, after the dog and pony show is over they will just drop the issue.
Congress summoned CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden to Capitol Hill to explain his agency's destruction of interrogation videotapes, as multiple investigations began into who knew about and approved the decision.
Congress has enough fucking evidence, including a large number of pictures, of the torture going on. They don't need video if they're really serious about stopping such practices.
This is just another political football. Nothing will come of it. Congress is just wasting its time trying to look concerned.
Via Boston Globe.
War on Christmas™
An 'Oh crap!' moment
Lets try this again
So I hit the fuck it key and went downstairs and made myself a peanut butter (crunchy) and jelly sandwich and got a can of Diet Pepsi. Ah, the luxury of a gourmet meal. Well, it is to me.