Saturday, December 29, 2007

Must read IMHO

Reliable Replacement Warhead


If you haven't been keeping up with this, you probably should have.

Headline: RRW Goes Down
Good news: Congress has recently decided to shelve the Bush administration's latest proposal to build a new generation of nuclear weapons. Proponents of the Reliable Replacement Warhead program have painted the plan as an effort to "modernize" our "outdated" arsenal. Most outside observers, however, think that such an assessment is just plain hogwash; our current arsenal, they point out, is more than adequate and RRWs would merely act to supplement (read: expand) our nuclear weapons supply. Furthermore, an RRW program would have some profoundly negative implications on non-proliferation efforts.

But how "reliable" need a nuclear arsenal be? They blow up or they don't. Just use more of them.

I'm being facetious there, folks. Which is a word I know, but can never spell.

Jeb has more.

BTW, would you like me to make you some tea while I wait for what I just typed to appear? I have plenty of time.

Via Foreign Policy Watch.

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Thank you, visitors

Small potatoes for many (most?) bloggers, but I've finally reached 30,017 visits.

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Japanese Government to Censor Internet

Waterproof cellular phones

Another sad state of affairs. This actually quite surprised me. Cell phones are ubiquitous and all forms of communication are very important to the Japanese. I doubt the public is going to look on this favorably.
With little fanfare from local or foreign media, the Japanese government made major moves this month toward legislating extensive regulation over online communication and information exchange within its national borders. In a series of little-publicized meetings attracting minimal mainstream coverage, two distinct government ministries, that of Internal Affairs and Communications (Somusho) and that of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (Monbukagakusho), pushed ahead with regulation in three major areas of online communication: web content, mobile phone access, and file sharing.

On December 6th, in a final report compiled by a study group under the Somusho following up on an interim report drafted earlier this year, the government set down plans to regulate online content through unification of existing laws such as the Broadcast Law and the Telecommunications Business Law [1,2]. The planned regulation targets all web content, including online variants of traditional media such as newspaper articles and television broadcasting, while additionally going as far as to cover user-generated content such as blogs and webpages under the vaguely-defined category of gopen communicationh [3,4,5,6].

I'm not liking this precedent.

NOTE: You must go to Gayaku for the footnotes which are,unfortunately, mostly in Japanese.

Via Black Listed News.


Slain Bhutto laid to rest in family tomb

I won't be posting about Bhutto's death other than to add my condolences.
Slain former Pakistani premier Benazir Bhutto was laid to rest in her family's ancestral tomb Friday amid the wails and tears of hundreds of thousands of mourners.

A day after she was assassinated in a suicide attack at an election rally, the government said she died not from gunshot wounds or bomb shrapnel but when she smashed her head on her car's sunroof as she tried to duck.

Many are reporting on the assassination so there's really nothing more to cover. I admired her courage, but fully expected this outcome.

Via AFP.


Mother Nature,

Sometimes she really has a sense of humor.

Via Jonco.

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Cat blogging

Coral snake


Most of the holiday season is over

Let's try getting this train back on track.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Will be back

Right now I've cranked up my Boston Acoustic computer speakers and am rocking out to iMesh.

Music is never background noise. I post or I listen. No in between.


Celebrities exposing themselves

That was the search which brought someone from the UK to SPIIDERWEB™ and happily I was able to oblige.

Yes. We here at SPIIDERWEB™ cover (or uncover) it all.


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Billie Ray Cirus

Some Gay All.

Monday, December 24, 2007

SPIIDERWEB™ has arrived

click for larger image

I really can't make this shit up, nor can I link to this entry. I'm not a total nerd. Perhaps I'm nerdish.


War on Christmas™

Click for larger image

In my most psychotic states, I could never make this shit up.
A gang of about 50 apparently drunken Santas invaded a New Zealand cinema complex at the weekend -- frightening customers, damaging property and swearing, the cinema's manager said Monday.

Thought by police to be university students dressed in Santa suits, the group did a lightning 20-second raid on Hoyts Cinema complex in the South Island city of Christchurch on Saturday, manager Derek Rive said.

"As they ran through the complex they wrecked everything they could, the Christmas tree -- they bowled everything over ... (they were) just absolute fools," he told The Associated Press.

He said the "hooligans" abused patrons, chanted obscenities, ripped down posters and knocked over cardboard figures advertising films.

Jesus H Christ buying popcorn, they used goddamn fucking obscenities and shit? How dare they?

Via CNN.


Anglicans: England is not a Catholic nation


The Church of England has rejected claims that the Roman Catholic Church has overtaken it as the country's dominant Christian denomination.

You might find it necessary to file this under: Who gives a shit?

Via Telegraph.


Photo of tattooed genitals costs surgeon his job

Can you say STUPID!? Yeah, I thought you could.
A Mayo Clinic surgeon in Phoenix, Arizona, who used his mobile phone camera instead of a scalpel has lost his job.

Dr. Adam Hansen was fired because he took photos of a patient's tattooed genitals and showed them to colleagues.

In a statement posted Friday on the Mayo Clinic Hospital website, CEO Denis Cortese states Hansen "is no longer practicing medicine at Mayo Clinic."

The hospital held a disciplinary hearing for Hansen earlier this week and said he could be fired. Officials declined to specify if he was fired or stepped down.

Hansen, chief resident of general surgery, admitted taking a photo with his cell phone Dec. 11 of a tattoo on strip club owner Sean Dubowik's penis which reads "Hot Rod."

Dubowik, who had undergone a gallbladder operation, learned of the photo Monday.

Hospital officials are also trying to identify the person who initially reported the incident and Dubowik's name to the media.

If you expected a photo you're just sick. Go to your room.

Courtesy link. I stole the whole article. Xinhua.


Occam's Razor

click for larger image

Via oomsa.


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Must read IMHO

Digby is on a fucking roll.

Just go there. You won't learn anything more important elsewhere.

Oops. These are the posts of which I speak.

Torture Me Elmo

Dogwhistling Into Hell


Must read IMHO

Sorry, can't excerpt this one, but basically it is calling for Bill Moyers as VP.

If we can't get him to run for the POTUS, I'll settle for VP.

Do I sound like a fan? I am.

At least he's not a:

Via olvlzl @ Echidne.


Britain's queen launches YouTube site

Life is amazing.

I listened to my maternal grandmother as she described travel by covered wagon across the US. Before her death, she saw commercial jet aircraft.

I watched Queen Elizabeth's coronation on a TV not unlike the above image. It really dominated the room. It was pre-PC, but it was real time, with a slight delay I would guess, and I witnessed history unfolding. Awesome. Of course now the internets tubes are instantaneous.

Now the queen is launching a YouTube sight. What a great dame.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II launched a channel on the popular video-sharing website YouTube Sunday, British press reports said, citing Buckingham Palace.

Sit back and enjoy what's unfolding around you.

Via Japan Herald.


New Israeli settlement plans unveiled on eve of peace talks

click for larger image

What is the fucking point of these peace talks? Israel has already indicated their intentions. They will expand their footprint in the occupied territories regardless.

I think this is what could be described as negotiating in bad faith.
Israel plans to enlarge two settlements in occupied Palestinian territory next year, officials said on Sunday, casting yet another shadow over revived Middle East peace talks.

On the eve of a new round of negotiations, Israel and Hamas ruled out any truce talks to stop what Prime Minister Ehud Olmert described as a "real war" between militants and the army in the Islamist-ruled Gaza Strip.

Israel has set aside 25 million dollars in the 2008 budget to expand the Maale Adumim settlement in the occupied West Bank and in the Har Homa settlement in annexed east Jerusalem, anti-settlement group Peace Now's head Yariv Oppenheimer told AFP.

Israel's Pensioner Affairs Minister Rafi Eitan confirmed the report.

About 250 new housing units are to be constructed in Maale Adumim and 500 in Har Homa, known to Palestinians as Jebel Abu Ghneim, Peace Now said.

Via Yahoo! News.

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The Presidential Candidates' Views on Executive Power

Must read IMHO. A bit of it.
A few months ago, it occurred to me that it would be useful to try to get all of the 2008 presidential candidates to state on the record whether they agree with the various controversial executive power claims advanced by the Bush administration. For instance, as president would they consider themselves to be bound by FISA? Would they consider themselves to be bound by treaties like the Geneva Conventions? Can the president indefinitely detain U.S. citizens as enemy combatants? What is the proper role of the signing statement? When can the president unilaterally authorize military action?

I actually went as far as starting up an email dialogue with a few prominent left-leaning bloggers regarding the feasibility of getting the candidates to respond to such a questionnaire. As is often the case, however, my day job intervened and I never got around to following through with it.

Fortunately, Charlie Savage of the Boston Globe not only had the same idea, he had the connections, influence, and persistence to see it through. The Globe submitted exactly the sort of questionnaire I had envisioned to all of the presidential candidates. Nine of them completed the questionnaire (6 Democrats, 3 Republicans), and the Globe has published their answers here.

Via Anonymous Liberal.


Tanks roam Vancouver streets

1955 VW Beetle 500
There was no 1 VW Beetle model

Jesus H Christ in a VW Beetle, is the world flying headlong into anarchy?

For those unfamiliar, Vancouver used to be a serene city. One was safe walking most streets at any hour.

Apparently times have radically changed.
Armoured vehicles in the control of criminal gangs are roaming the streets of Vancouver in Canada.

The city, gripped by gang warfare, has gangsters driving armoured vehicles equipped with strobe lights and sirens on the streets.

The vehicles are so powerful they cannot be penetrated by emergency personnel.

'You can imagine one of these things. It's a rolling tank. If it was to collide with a regular vehicle on the road it would be no-contest,' Vancouver Police Inspector Dean Robinson told The Globe and Mail.

Perhaps worrying about terrorists from outside is no more important than gaining control internally.

Via Japan Herald.


Question requiring an answer

Sharon Tay - missing newscaster

I posted about Sharon over a year ago and still keep getting searches for her. Why?

Seriously, it seems highly unlikely she will ever be found at this point. Apparently there is such a thing as a perfect crime.

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War on Christmas™

St. Anastasia Basilica, in Rome (AP photo)

The church where the tradition of celebrating Christmas on Dec. 25 may have begun was built near a pagan shrine as part of an effort to spread Christianity, a leading Italian scholar says.


Photo by Larry Katzman

For your edification or confusion: The Celtic* cross may well date back to the druids, pre-Christianity, and the circle represents the sun god. I say may well because scholars are reluctant to pin their reputations on an opinion. There are also many other interpretations of its origins.

The guys in the pub I visited in Cork, Ireland buy into the sun god thingie. And they were kewl guys, so I buy into it too.

Ah yes, the world has always been smoke and mirrors.

Aren't you just fascinated by the rojak (Japanese for eclectic) things you learn at SPIIDERWEB™?

* BTW, more info for ya. Its not "sell tick", its "Keltic".


NY man guilty in death of white teen (AP)

Not the victim

Media 101: How to read headlines.

An unusual headline? A "white teen"?

I'll give you one fucking guess at the color of the convicted man.
A jury Saturday convicted a black man of killing a white teen during a racially charged confrontation outside the man's home despite his claims that he feared a lynch mob had come to attack his family.

All right! You get a passing mark.

Via Yahoo! News.


Cat blogging

A bonus cat blogging post.

Man and mother nature are threatening at least six distinct species of African giraffe, which are highly endangered and could face extinction if not protected, a study warned Saturday.

Will all wildlife die before humans? What's the line in Las Vegas on that one?

Side note: Lions and other beasts often look scruffy, but giraffes always look perfect, docile, beautiful. Well, except for the fucking purple tongues. Ewww.

Via Yahoo! News.


UN budget approved but US votes against

Jesus H Christ clasping his wallet. Is there anything at all this administration can agree on with other nations?

Why is it still called the "United" Nations? They seem only united in eating canapés and sucking down champagne.

And don't get me started on the Israeli tail wagging the fucking dog.
The General Assembly early Saturday approved a two-year UN budget of 4.17 billion dollars (2.9 billion euros) but the United States cast a lone dissenting vote [emphasis mine].

After marathon overnight talks, 141 members endorsed the recommendation of the assembly's budgetary committee to support UN chief Ban Ki-moon's request for the 2008-2009 budget, up 0.5 percent from the previous one.

The United States voted against because it objected to a 6.7 million-dollar outlay in the budget to fund a follow-up to a 2001 world conference on racism and racial discrimination which it viewed as anti-Israel.

The US delegation withdrew from the 2001 conference on racism in Durban, South Africa, because it felt that the parley singled out Israel "for censure and abuse" and suggested that apartheid existed in the Jewish state.

In recent days, US diplomats here also complained that the 25 percent increase in the administrative part of the budget was too high.

The United States is the world body's largest contributor, covering around 22 percent of the regular budget.

Ban welcomed the adoption of the budget by the assembly but expressed regret that "the resolution was not adopted by consensus, marking a break with tradition after 20 years."

To be fair, that budget is nearly 10% of the cost of killing Iraqis and Afghans next year. Ya gotta watch your money.

And probably the most important thing is how America looks to other nations. Fucking idiotic, inhumane is my guess.

Via Channel NewsAsia.


Report: Hoover Had Plan for Mass Arrests

No comment, but (always a but), 1) this should surprise no one except for how long it took to discover and 2) suspension of habeas corpus doesn't appear to have been a problem inasmuch its happened.
Former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover had a plan to suspend the rules against illegal detention and arrest up to 12,000 Americans he suspected of being disloyal, according to a newly declassified document.

Hoover sent his plan to the White House on July 7, 1950, less than two weeks after the Korean War began. But there is no evidence to suggest that President Truman or any subsequent president approved any part of Hoover's proposal to house suspect Americans in military and federal prisons.

Hoover had wanted Truman to declare the mass arrests necessary to "protect the country against treason, espionage and sabotage," The New York Times reported Saturday in a story posted on its Web site.

The plan called for the FBI to apprehend all potentially dangerous individuals whose names were on a list Hoover had been compiling for years.

"The index now contains approximately twelve thousand individuals, of which approximately ninety-seven percent are citizens of the United States," Hoover wrote in the now-declassified document. "In order to make effective these apprehensions, the proclamation suspends the writ of habeas corpus."

Habeas corpus is the right to seek relief from illegal detention, and is a bedrock legal principle.

A little known fact of history is half of those Hoover intended to incarcerate had seen him cross dressing or performing homosexual acts.

Via AP.


War on Christmas™

Art Conrad has an issue with the commercialism of Christmas, and his protest has gone way beyond just shunning the malls or turning off his television. The Bremerton [WA] resident nailed Santa Claus to a 15-foot crucifix in front of his house.

"Santa has been perverted from who he started out to be," Conrad said. "Now he's the person being used by corporations to get us to buy more stuff."

A photo of the crucified Santa adorns his Christmas cards, with the message "Santa died for your MasterCard."

The display is also Conrad's way of poking fun at political correctness. He believes people don't express their feelings because they're afraid of what other people might think.

Via The Signs.


Lawyers: Bush "Off the Page" of Constitutional Rights

Can anyone out there tell me what the fuck this guy is saying? I have no clue.

Bush is willing to push to restore your rights? Huh? The same rights he's taken from you? Hell, what a guy.
"The majority of lawyers in this country understand that the Bush administration has really gone off the page of constitutional rights and off the page of fundamental rights, and is willing to push the Congress to restore those rights." - Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, speaking with reporters on Thursday.

And am I so out of it I don't understand "off the page"? Is that street talk like, "Man he be so off da page wit dat shit. Damn!"

Via Political Bunker.


"The Great Awakening" of the American People

The Awakening of Elizabeth Shaw

Ya know, the candidates from both parties really do take you for maroons. They pander, posture, preen and think you can't really think about issues or can't understand them.

If people don't understand a candidate's position on an issue its because the candidate is too fucking stupid to make their position clear.
When John Edwards tells me that he will begin talking about civil liberties after the caucuses, he is basically saying either that it isn’t a priority, or that the American people are just too stupid to understand more than three things at once. He is fighting against the corporacracy (and I believe I was one of the first people to coin that word over five years ago), he is fighting for health-care for Americans, and that’s just about it. I have not heard him say that he will abolish the Military Commissions Act of 2006, nor have I heard him say that he will try to abolish the revamped Insurrection Act. I have not heard him state that he will follow the Constitution and restore equal power to the three branches of our government, or completely leave Iraq and stop construction of the giant bases they are building there now.

This is a screed about Edwards because that's who the author was engaging, but fits all the candidates equally.

Via Daily Scare.


Judge stacks the deck for Liberty City retrial

I only steal from the best and this is total theft.
If at first you don't succeed...stack the deck for the second try. A mistrial was declared in the trial of the Liberty City 7 "gang" of "terrorists" (the ones whose "well-thought out plans" involved a "one-two punch" of poisoning salt shakers and bombing a building they had never seen in a city where they didn't live and couldn't even afford bus fare to). So for the retrial, the judge has decided to give the government a little help, and make sure the jury knows these are real terrorists, not just clowns and would-be con artists. She's having the jury members identified only by number (aren't they always?), ordered criminal background checks on all prospective jurors, and having those chosen escorted to and from the courthouse, all to increase the atmosphere of fear and "terror" on the part of the jurors, and help assure a conviction on the second go-round.

The judge claims that "there is a strong reason to believe the jury needs protection,", because "here we have defendants accused of being members of a terrorist cell." Of course the latter was true the first time as well, and there wasn't a single threat or any action during that trial which would prompt her to conclude that protection was necessary. Only one thing has changed - she, and the Justice Department, have realized just how laughable this case is, so they've decided to put their thumb on the scales of justice to see if they can't change the result the second time around.

Judge Joan Lenard, by the way, is the very same judge who denied a change of venue to the Cuban Five, forcing their trial to be held in a city where the public expression of any kind of support for Cuba has been the source of bomb threats, actual bombings, and murders over the years, and at a time when that anti-Cuban atmosphere was even further exacerbated by the ongoing Elian Gonzalez saga.

Hey, I did provide attribution and even retained all the links. Back off. I have a Taser® and know how to use it, I think. All I know is if you don't back off, one of us is going down convulsing on the floor. Probably you.

Courtesy Link Left I on the News.


We all need this

Zhen Zhen (pronounced jun-jun)

Can you say too cute for words? Yeah, I thought you could.

And Digby has a link to the panda cam. Kewl.

Via Hullabaloo


My sick sense of humor

And Jonco's, apparently.

Via Jonco.


Wife has no luck finding husband in Iran (AP)

A pox on those goddamn dating sites.

Oops. Me bad. that isn't the problem at all.
The wife of a missing former FBI agent said Saturday she has been unable to find out what happened to her husband despite visiting the Iranian island where he was last seen.

Sorry to be so flippant. The headline made me do it.

In truth, I hope she does find her hubby and he's fine. I'm sure she's tortured by the intractable position she's in and fears for him.

So I admit I'm an ass.

Via Yahoo! News.


Severe food shortages, price spikes threaten world population (disturbing image)

Do you ever contemplate what we're doing to ourselves? Or what we allow to be? We're causing hunger, starvation, water shortages and we're destroying the environment. Why?

I thought humans were intelligent. I might have been wrong.
Worldwide food prices have risen sharply and supplies have dropped this year, according to the latest food outlook of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. The agency warned December 17 that the changes represent an "unforeseen and unprecedented" shift in the global food system, threatening billions with hunger and decreased access to food.

Via The Signs.


War on Christmas™

Twelve days of Xmas cost reductions.

Gotta watch the bottom line dontcha know.

Click image for readable version

Via Jonco.


War on Christmas™