Saturday, May 31, 2008


If you don't know about Delbert McClinton you're missing some fantastic music.

Jesus H Christ with a harmonica, but this guy is so fucking good.

May I suggest you start with One of the Fortunate Few. The first fucking song will blow you away.


Am I too enthusiastic? Too bad.

Note: Headline links to source.


Quote of the day

"Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river."

-- Nikita Khrushchev
-- Former first secretary of USSR.


Count your blessings

Ya think you have it bad?

In addition to intermittent ISP access. I have a toilet that won't flush, a tap that won't turn off, dogs that won't stop barking unless they're licking me, a missing stand for my skeleton (30"), super glue on my fingers, a wife who is missing (could be worse), no money and bathroom tissue with no perforations.

That last one really pisses me off.

Just match all that.

Note: Headline links to source.


The basement

Teh scary.

Note: Headline links to source.


Army suicides - an update

If the moron doesn't cause their deaths directly, he causes them indirectly.

So sad.
Yesterday's AP story on Army suicides has been updated with more precise figures. Here's what we're told today:

At least 115 soldiers killed themselves last year, up from 102 the previous year, the Army said Thursday.

Nearly a third of them died at the battlefront — 32 in Iraq and four in Afghanistan.

But, as I reported yesterday, official DoD lists of the dead in Iraq and Afghanistan, from which the conventionally cited media totals are taken, list exactly two deaths by suicide in Iraq last year, and none (of Americans) in Afghanistan - 34 short of the real total. Not that there is the slightest difference whether 4594 U.S. soldiers have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, or 4628, but it is nice to get the facts correct (and, obviously, that 4594 I just quoted isn't correct either, since it doesn't include the missing suicides in previous years, nor hosts of other categories of American deaths directly attributable to the wars, both "in country" and without. And we all know that American deaths don't account for but the tiniest fraction of the real total.)

Note: Headline links to source.


Taliban dating

Personally, I find Frogh HOT!

Note: Headline links to source.


The latest outrage in Gaza

Make no mistake about this. Israel is treating the Palestinians like fucking animals. And the US is complicit.

At least in a proper prison the inmates would get three meals a day. Something the Palestinians can only dream of.
The American State Department has withdrawn all Fulbright grants to Palestinian students in Gaza hoping to pursue advanced degrees at American institutions this fall because Israel has not granted them permission to leave.

Demonstrating once again that, far from "withdrawing" from Gaza, Israel instead continues to maintain Gaza as the world's largest prison.

Note: Headline links to source.

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150 things you didn’t know about the human world

Native American Indians used to name their children after the first thing they saw as they left their tepees subsequent to the birth. Hence such strange [to some] names as Sitting Bull and Running Water.

Not to mention two dogs fucking.

Hey, I'm part native American and am allowed to poke fun.

Note: Headline links to source.


Friday, May 30, 2008


Sorry for the derth of posts, but I've been busy loading the latest version of Ubuntu (Hardy Heron).

Ya gotta love the names Ubuntu puts on its releases.

I'm thinking, if this is an example, the next IT tidal wave will come from Africa.

Note: Headline links to source.

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Must read IMHO

Truth is, I've only been to the fringes of the prairies.
It is hard to love a land you don’t understand, and for most of my life I had no idea why anyone would ever live in the Great Plains – let alone love the place.

Flat, featureless, boring. Those were the words I heard growing up whenever someone would mention the plains. My view was informed by Dorothy’s Kansas, which looked scary and Gothic even before the twister took her house and Toto, too.

But then I spent some time here, mostly listening to people in the twilight of their lives tell about the land when it turned on them, during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. At the end of a long day of hearing stories, I would go for a run in the wind, and sometimes get a glimpse of the magic of the place — a pronghorn antelope in a sprint, a sky blushing pink, the quiet when the air finally settles.

Note: Headline links to source.


Video cam

Bad picture because it's
smaller than it looks.
Just look at the hand.

Hey, if you're in the market for a small, simple video/still cam may I suggest: The Mustek DV3000 or later incarnations.

This fucking thing is great. Automatic color balance, focus. Only 3.1 mega pixels, but seems like much more than that. The resolution is fantastic. No light, but it doesn't need one. It adjusts to lighting conditions.

It plugs into your TV, JPEG or AVI recording formats, 2X zoom, SD or MMC memory cards.

If literally fits into a shirt or pant pocket and seems to run forever on a couple AA batteries. It takes video or snapshots, has a tripod socket, a very small (1.5" 38mm), but adequate screen, records sound. In other words it has all the features of a large video cam and is only 3.3 X 2.5 X 1.5 inches (83 X 63 X 38 mm)! I told you its small.

It's available at Amazon for as little as $45.

No, I have no connection to Mustek, but they should hire me because I'm a fucking champion for their camera.

Through the years I've bought many cameras, both digital and 35mm, and many electronic gadgets. Which is most likely why I have no money now. But nothing has impressed me as much as this fucking little cam.

If you want a Sony, Canon, Panasonic or other larger cam, fine. Take your goddamn ugly videos and cause your friends stomach pains. Take video with this cam which is the equivalent of a point and shoot snapshot cam and no one expects CC DeMille quality. But they will be impressed.

While I have you here, let me tout one more thing. Its If you have anything electronic, including the Mustek DV3000 and have lost the instruction/owner's manual, visit retrevo. They have thousands of user manuals available for download.

Should you buy a Mustek DV3000, please email me and tell me what you think.

Note: Headline links to a critique.


Cat blogging

Do I have to keep reminding y'all I have no cat? I did have, but I ate them. They tasted like chicken.

Note: Headline links to source.


Rachael Ray

Let me make something completely clear here.

If I ever can afford it (highly unlikely), I'll hire Rachael Ray as my personal cook. She can wear anything she wants to. I don't care.

I also don't eat donuts.

Note: Headline links to source.


Monkey Thinks Robot into Action

You've heard of monkey see - monkey do I'm sure, but this is monkey think - robotic arm do.

The implications of this research are staggering.
A monkey at the University of Pittsburgh is able to use a robotic arm to feed himself using only the power of brain signals.

Ya gotta love science. Got that, you fucking moron (Bush)? Science is a good thing.

Note: Headline links to source.


Tutu blasts international 'complicity' over Gaza (AFP)

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

You see? There are reasonable people in the world. Sadly they are rarely heeded.

You can file this under: OMG! Did he really suggest that?

Israel might as well just bomb the shit out of Gaza. Level the whole fucking place. It would lessen the pain and interminable suffering.

They're starving the people, denying them medicine, feed for livestock and fuel.

I know something about this. Without my daily medicine for hypertension, I would most likely die.

They're engaged in slow motion genocide and the world doesn't seem to care. Israel's actions amount to terrorism.
South African Nobel Peace laureate Desmond Tutu on Thursday denounced what he called the international community's silence and complicity over the situation in the besieged Gaza Strip.

"My message to the international community is that our silence and complicity, especially on the situation in Gaza, shames us all," Tutu said at the end of a three-day UN fact-finding mission to the impoverished Palestinian territory.

"Gaza needs the engagement of the outside world, especially its peacemakers," the Anglican archbishop said at a news conference.

The overcrowded sliver of land is strangled by a tight blockade and faced with almost daily military raids which Israel says are aimed at forcing militants to halt rocket and mortar attacks.

"I think what we've seen shows plenty of evidence of at least the possibility of war crimes that needs much further independent investigation," said British professor Christine Chinkin, who travelled to Gaza with Tutu.

"I would certainly say the concept of collective punishment in a situation of occupation constitutes the notion of war crimes and possibly of a crime against humanity," she said in reference to the Israeli-imposed embargo.

Note: Headline links to source.

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Former TV reporter claims network told her to soft pedal Bush bad news

Jessica Yellin

And you thought Scott McClellan's book caused a tsunami of approbation (that's snark, folks) from the White House and the rabid right bloggers.
CNN's Jessica Yellin talked to Anderson Cooper about Scott McClellan's tell-all memoir and agreed with the former press secretary that White House reporters "dropped the ball" during the run-up to war. But Yellin went much further, revealing that news executives--presumably at ABC News, where she'd worked from July 2003 to August 2007--actively pushed her not do hard-hitting pieces on the Bush administration. "The press corps was under enormous pressure from corporate executives, frankly, to make sure that this was a war presented in way that was consistent with the patriotic fever in the nation and the president's high approval ratings," Yellin said.. . .

A shocked Cooper jumped in, asking, "You had pressure from news executives to put on positive stories about the president?"

"Not in that exact. . . They wouldn't say it in that way, but they would edit my pieces," Yellin said. "They would push me in different directions. They would turn down stories that were more critical, and try to put on pieces that were more positive. Yes, that was my experience."

Unfortunately this is also a serious indictment of on-air personalities. She did what she was told. She accepted their edits and just threw up her hands. I'm not condemning her. A job is a job and we all compromise to some extent to hold on to what we have.

Don't ask. I have no clue what she has on her feet in the picture.

Note: Headline links to source.

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Mahbubani Responds: Western Intellectual and Moral Cowardice on Israel/Palestine is "Stunning"

Kishore Mahbubani

I've been following this debate and been mesmerized.

Unfortunately, I failed to alert you to it. It's an oversight on my part and I apologize. Somehow my bad doesn't seem adequate.

The exchange of ideas cover important issues. They're issues the next President must consider. Its imperative to formulate policies to adapt to these realities.

So, while I go to my corner and self flagellate, you can click on the headline and play catch up.
John Ikenberry is spot on when he stated at the outset "Kishore and I clearly have major points of agreement". Indeed, I may agree with John more than he thinks. In addition to agreement on the seminal importance of the rise of Asia, I also agree with the three big points he makes in his Foreign Affairs article, namely that we should reaffirm and strengthen the Western-led post-war global order; that China will be tomorrow's (if not today's) greatest supporter of this order and that America should prepare well for a post-American world order.

BTW, should you find yourself with a little extra time on your hands, I emphatically urge you to take classes in the Mandarin language.

Caveat: If you live in the US you should split your spare time between learning Mandarin and Spanish. Heh!

Note: Headline links to source.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Quote of the day

"I hate it when they say, 'He gave his life for his country.' Nobody gives their life for anything. We steal the lives of these kids. We take it away from them. They don't die for the honor and glory of their country. We kill them."

-- Admiral Gene LaRocque

Note: Headline links to source.


Children in Katrina trailers may face lifelong ailments

This is just one of the horrid elements of the idiot's legacy.

Appointing incompetents always has predictable, unfortunate consequences.
The anguish of Hurricane Katrina should have ended for Gina Bouffanie and her daughter when they left their FEMA trailer. But with each hospital visit and each labored breath her child takes, the young mother fears it has just begun.

"It's just the sickness. I can't get rid of it. It just keeps coming back," said Bouffanie, 27, who was pregnant with her now 15-month-old daughter, Lexi, while living in the trailer. "I'm just like, 'Oh God, I wish like this would stop.' If I had known it would get her sick, I wouldn't have stayed in the trailer for so long."

The girl, diagnosed with severe asthma, must inhale medicine from a breathing device.

Doctors cannot conclusively link her asthma to the trailer. But they fear she is among tens of thousands of youngsters who may face lifelong health problems because the temporary housing supplied by the Federal Emergency Management Agency contained formaldehyde fumes up to five times the safe level.

Note: Headline links to source.

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Report: U.S. urges UN to find secret nuclear facilities in Syria

An F-15 Strike Eagle drops GBU-12 laser-guided smart bombs.
Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Defense

Apparently the moron is convinced the case for bombing Iran is pretty much made. Only a few tweaks here and there required and he'll be cheered on by the American people when he announces the bombing is soon to start.

So now its time to start building a case against Syria. Time is running out in his tenure and he has to get as many confrontations (read wars) started as he can in his few remaining months in office.

And Syria has always been on the idiot's list of countries he must attack.
The United States is pressing United Nations inspectors to broaden the scope of a search in Syria to include possible secret nuclear facilities, The Washington Post reported in Thursday editions, citing U.S. government officials and Western diplomats.

At least three sites have been identified by U.S. officials and passed along to UN nuclear watchdog the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the newspaper reported.

U.S. government officials declined to describe the specific sites that have drawn interest or to discuss how they were identified, it said.

Citing unnamed sources, the Post said U.S. officials want to know if the suspected sites may have been support facilities for the alleged Al Kibar reactor destroyed in an Israel Air Force strike last September.

Syria maintains the facility targeted by the IAF was a disused military building in its eastern desert that had no nuclear link. It has yet to accept a request from the IAEA to visit the site.

Israel is believed to have the Middle East's only nuclear arsenal.

Isn't that last paragraph fucking reassuring?

BTW I feel like a fool because I didn't notice the point when the moron's bogeyman morphed from al Qaeda and terrorists to nuclear states. Although, in the case of Iran at least the terrorist angle is still in play.

I wonder if the administration has someone on staff whose sole responsibility is to predict the next thing capable of striking fear in the hearts of Americans.

Note: Headline links to source.

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A giant backward step on Iran

Lets face it. Metaphorically the moron poisons everyone he comes in contact with and the sooner he's out of office the better.
"We haven't seen indications or any concrete evidence that Iran is building nuclear weapons and I've been saying that consistently for the last five years," Mohammad ElBaradei, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stated last week at the World Economic Forum in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. [emphasis mine]

Unfortunately, the only thing consistent about ElBaradei is his inconsistency, reflected in his subsequent report, just delivered to the United Nations Security Council, which has been widely interpreted as "a grim reminder that Tehran is pressing ahead with its nuclear program", to paraphrase a New York Times editorial; the editorial goes on to say that ElBaradei's report "expresses serious concern about evidence [outlined in 18 documents accompanying the report] that Iran is working on programs with clear military applications".

The report said Iran continued to stonewall investigators looking into documents alleging its government researched atomic weapons.

But, didn't the same respected chief of the UN's atomic agency admit in his earlier report, in February, that his agency "has no credible information" regarding the so-called "alleged weaponization" studies? What magic was pulled on the IAEA to bestow sudden legitimacy on the admittedly "unreliable" and "dubious" information (other than the heat of US pressure)? Is this now the end of the IAEA's hitherto heroic standing up to the external pressures that threatened to compromise its integrity?

Sadly, ElBaradei's latest report gives a strong impression that this may indeed be what is in store for the IAEA, which does not bode well either for the agency's own international prestige or for the future of its relationship with Iran - which has reacted angrily by calling the report a work of "deception" and deeply "flawed".

New Majlis (parliament) speaker Ali Larijani - a former negotiator for Iran on its nuclear case - said in his first address to the legislature, "If they [the IAEA] want to continue along this path, the Majlis will surely take up the nuclear case and will set a new line for cooperation with the agency."

Indeed, this report represents a giant leap backward with respect to the IAEA's performance on the Iran nuclear question, casting serious doubt on the agency's ability to conduct its business professionally and impartially. It was a mere two months ago that the agency gave a rather glowing report that declared all the "outstanding questions" minus the "alleged studies", which were never a part of the Iran-IAEA work plan in the first place, had been successfully resolved. Now the IAEA has now responded to the tremendous US backlash in the form of retracting some of its statements and adopting the US's allegations basically as facts warranting "serious concerns" about the peacefulness of Iran's nuclear program.

There's no doubt in my mind Mohammad ElBaradei knuckled under to pressure from the White House. Why is a mystery, but I'm sure that's exactly what's happened.

When are people gonna quit giving this petulant child everything he wants except for more Saudi oil?

Note: Headline links to source.

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Secure Water Jug

I was gonna make this comment about how sad it is for them to feel the need to protect their water jug because it might be stolen. That really is pathetic.

Ah, but then I noticed the fucking thing has no padlock. Its not secured at all.


Note: Headline links to source.


Iraqis claim Marines are pushing Christianity in Fallujah

U.S. Marines are handing out this coin,
imprinted with a Gospel verse, to
Fallujah residents. Jamal Naji / MCT

Now this's the way to win over hearts and minds.
At the western entrance to the Iraqi city of Fallujah Tuesday, Muamar Anad handed his residence badge to the U.S. Marines guarding the city. They checked to be sure that he was a city resident, and when they were done, Anad said, a Marine slipped a coin out of his pocket and put it in his hand.

Out of fear, he accepted it, Anad said. When he was inside the city, the college student said, he looked at one side of the coin. "Where will you spend eternity?" it asked.

He flipped it over, and on the other side it read, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16."

"They are trying to convert us to Christianity," said Anad, a Sunni Muslim like most residents of this city in Anbar province. At home, he told his story, and his relatives echoed their disapproval: They'd been given the coins, too, he said.

Fallujah, the scene of a bloody U.S. offensive against Sunni insurgents in 2004, has calmed and grown less hostile to American troops since residents turned against al Qaida in Iraq, which had tried to force its brand of Islamist extremism on the population.

Now residents of the city are abuzz that some Americans whom they consider occupiers are also acting as Christian missionaries. Residents said some Marines at the western entrance to their city have been passing out the coins for two days in what they call a "humiliating" attempt to convert them to Christianity.


"Local commanders are investigating since the military prohibits proselytizing any religion, faith or practices."

This would piss me off too and I'm not Muslim.

BTW did you notice how they always refer to the Marines as occupiers? Just asking.

Note: Headline links to source.


Shark attacks have Mexico resort area in panic

Sorry, but you're in for some more of my sick humor.
No one could even remember a shark attack along this resort-studded stretch of Mexican coast popular with surfers and Hollywood's elite. Many of the large predators had been pulled from the ocean by fishermen.

So when sharks attacked three surfers in less than a month, two fatally, it was unthinkable.

That's fucking inflation for you. It only took one shark in Jaws to scare off tourists and close the goddamn beach.

Can the administration be blamed in some way? Work on it for me.

Yes the image is doctored. Anything from Worth 1000 is phony. That's their raison d'être.

Note: Headline links to source.


Which discount should I take?

Goddamn it. Always fucking decisions.

Yesterday I had to decide whether to fill my fuel tank or keep my right arm. At least there I had a distinct preference.

Note: Headline links to source.


New video game?

Don't know about you, but I've barely become proficient at it, never won and the GOP always loses on the first level.

Note: Headline links to source.


Sunnis Suspend talks with the Government

You can read the whole article if you wish. There's probably some really important information in there that went right over my head.
The Iraqi Accordance Front, known as Tawafuq, was supposed to return to the government about three weeks ago. They pulled their Sunni ministers from the Shiite-led government in August in protest.

Ah, but I have to comment on Tawafuq. Sounds kinda dirty, hey? (snicker, snicker).

Note: Headline links to source.


Preventing a Mortgage Crisis When You Buy a Home

Some sound financial advice you might want to consider, but...
The good news is that current homebuyers have the ability to strengthen our long-term economy and protect themselves by following sound financial principles. Foremost among these is living within one's means. This pertains to items small and big, from the food a person purchases to the home a couple buys. [emphasis mine]

Living within one's means? What the fuck is that? Is the author anti-American? Perhaps a socialist? American's ALWAYS live beyond their means. Its the American way.

Note: Headline links to source.


The tiniest survivor: How the 'miracle' baby born two weeks before the legal abortion limit clung to life against all odds

Against all odds: Amillia Taylor's
tiny feet in the doctor's hand

Miracle may be the perfect word for Amillia.
It's the iconic image of the abortion debate - the tiny feet of a baby girl born TWO WEEKS before the legal limit for terminations. But what happened next? For the first time, we tell her inspiring story...

At 18 months old, Amillia Taylor is already entering the terrible twos.

When life doesn't go her way, she stamps her little foot, pushes out her lower lip and makes her demands with a sweet baby lisp.

She is, her parents say with a smile, a 'proper little madam'. But it's a fighting spirit which has served Amillia well.

Because this bright, beguiling toddler was born at just 21 weeks and six days into her gestation - a whole two weeks before the existing abortion cut-off.

She is the world's youngest premature baby ever to survive and the image of her tiny feet poking out between the fingers of a doctor's hand were used to support calls for the lowering of the 24-week legal limit on abortion.

When she arrived, Amillia weighed less than 10oz and was just nine-and-a-half inches long, with skin which tore like rice paper.

But as the debate over lowering the abortion limit raged this week - culminating in Tuesday's Commons vote which vetoed any change in the law - she was playing happily with her dolls, like any other toddler.

The extraordinary story of her battle for life, and the mother who desperately lied to persuade doctors to try to save her, began with an IVF [In vitro fertilisation] cycle in June 2006.

Now that her story is out, she'll be the central focus in the abortion debate. She already is in England.

Note: Headline links to source.


Treaty seeks to ban cluster bombs within 8 years

File under: Are these assholes really trying? Do they actually care? Or are they just going through the fucking motions?
Diplomats from more than 100 nations agreed on a treaty Wednesday to ban current types of cluster bombs and require the destruction of stockpiles within eight years.

However, the talks did not involve the biggest makers and users of cluster bombs: the United States, Russia, China, Israel, India and Pakistan. And the pact leaves the door open for new types that could pick targets more precisely and contain self-destruct technology. [emphasis mine]

Cluster munitions, fired by artillery or dropped from aircraft, scatter dozens or hundreds of "bomblets" across an area as big as two football fields to attack concentrations of troops and vehicles. Critics of the weapon complain that bomblets often fail to detonate on impact and instead explode when civilians later stumble on them.

A couple things come to mind.

Why eight years? Six months is adequate to stop using cluster bombs and destroy stockpiles. Fuck, one month would work.

Why does the US always fall on the wrong side of each of these agreements? Or does it matter? Non proliferation agreement &ndash India?

Oh fucking great. We've got Australia, Liechtenstein, Chad, Switzerland (all assumed) signing on but not the U S, Russia, China, Israel, India and Pakistan.

What's the fucking point? Just asking.

Why doesn't the agreement include current and future types of such munitions? Ya know countries will come up with the next new thing.

Why allow cluster bombs with fewer than 10 such bomblets? Is that an attempt to kill only a limited number of civilians later?

Sometimes these agreements make me goddamn sick.

Click on the headline and read the other outrageous provisions.

Note: Headline links to source.



A picture's worth a thousand words and this ingeniously says it all. If you like the idiot, you'll love McCain.

Some people must devote most of their waking hours to Photoshop®. I couldn't reproduce this image if threatened with a non-anesthetized penile implant.

ZOMG! I can't stand even thinking about that.

Aren't you glad I posted only that image and not the penile implant thingie?

Note: Headline links to source.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

George Soros: 'We face the most serious recession of our lifetime'

There are some people I love to have around, besides bloggers.

People like George Soros who's a billionaire and doesn't have to worry about what the administration or anyone else thinks about what he says. He can be honest and tell us what we need to know.
George Soros, 'the man who broke the Bank of England', tells Edmund Conway of his fears for the economy

'This is a period of wealth destruction. The people who make money will be few and far between. There will be a lot more money lost than made." When George Soros - the phenomenally successful hedge fund manager - says this, you know something is wrong, very wrong. And indeed it is. The 77-year-old billionaire sinks back into the sofa in his Chelsea townhouse and exhales.

He has managed to make money almost consistently for over half a century - from his early days as one of the world's first major hedge fund traders to his involvement in Black Wednesday as the man who "broke the Bank of England", and in the latter years generating multi-billion-dollar annual profits throughout the 1990s. The conditions today are almost uniquely dismal, however.

"I think this is probably more serious than anything in our lifetime," he says. In short, his feeling is that the United States and Britain are facing a recession of a scale greater than the early-1990s, greater even than the 1970s.

"I think the dislocations will be greater because you also have the implications of the house price decline, which you didn't have in the 1970s - so you had stagflation and transfer of purchasing power to the oil producing countries, but here you also have the housing crisis in addition to that."
# The financial crisis in full

Such apocalypticisms would be less worrying were it not that Soros was among the few prominent experts who warned of the dire consequences facing the American economy years ago, when the housing bubble was still inflating.

But even cottoning on to the big economic story early on hasn't meant guaranteed success. He returned from retirement last summer, and no sooner had he started trading than he pulled hundreds of millions of dollars of investment out of the US and the UK. It was enough to help him to a 32pc return last year. But amid the turbulence of 2008, he admits he is barely breaking even.

Note: Headline links to source.

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Bush wants $600 million for Iraq police; but cuts aid to U.S. cops

This is a quick quiz. Whatever you say, you'll be right because I don't know the answer.

The moron in the White House is primarily responsible for the welfare and safety of people in what country?

Your answer __________________

NO! NO! NO! Don't try to write your answer on the monitor. Silly rabbit.
At the same time the Bush administration has been pushing for deep cuts in a popular crime-fighting program for states and cities, the White House has been fighting for approval of $603 million for the Iraqi police.

In truth I can't believe how, if there are two choices in a situation, I always disagree with the one the idiot chooses. ALWAYS!

Note: Headline links to source.

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Top Source Says Bush To Strike Iran By August

I ran into this several hours ago in the Asia Times, but no other outlet has reported it. Apparently its an exclusive.
Asia Times says Senator Diane Feinstein, Democrat of California, and Senator Richard Lugar, Republican of Indiana, were informed of the attack plan.

The Bush administration is planning to carry out air strikes against Iran by August and two U.S. Senators have already been briefed on the attack according to a report in the highly respected Asia Times, which cites a former assistant secretary of state and U.S. career diplomat as its source. [emphasis mine and I agree]

Muhammad Cohen's article claims that Senator Diane Feinstein, Democrat of California, and Senator Richard Lugar, Republican of Indiana, were informed of the attack plan and planned to voice their opposition to it in a New York Times editorial in an attempt to offset the air strike. The editorial is yet to materialize.

According to Cohen' source, the Neo-Cons believe that they can perpetrate a "limited" air strike aimed more at sending a message than destroying Iran's supposed nuclear program, but the consequences of such a move are likely to provoke a massive Iranian retaliation, as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has consistently warned.

For the time being, lets say its true. Don't ya just love how the neocons are willing to take a gamble on not starting WWIII? Just asking.

The fact is, no neocons or their families will be involved. If a total conflagration breaks out, and it will, it'll be your children, brothers, sisters, neighbors who go to the Mid-East to die. And, based on my almost non-existent expertise on warfare, I would think boots on the ground (as they say) will be necessary eventually.

Note: Headline links to source.

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The Malaysia Sky Bridge

Wow! Whoever came up with this idea is a genius.

Now if I can just come up with the money and control my debilitating fear of heights I'll have to go see this.
It’s not a bridge to the sky, but it’s not far from the idea! The Langkawi sky-bridge in Malaysia is suspended at 700 metres above sea level and spans 125 across the mountains, offering magnificent views of the Andaman Sea and Thailand’s Tarutao Island. It’s set apart from other bridges by its curves that provide different perspectives of the landscapes. Here’s one of the most spectacular bridges in the world that delivers quite a pump of adrenaline.

Click on headline for more images.

Note: Headline links to source.


Arresting John Bolton

George Monbiot

I'm posting this so you'll have time to get your popcorn, a beverage and a front row seat.
On Wednesday 28th May 2008, I [George Monbiot] will attempt a citizen’s arrest of John Robert Bolton, former Under-Secretary of State, US State Department, for the crime of aggression, as established by customary international law and described by Nuremberg Principles VI and VII.

These state the following:

“Principle VI
The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:

(a) Crimes against peace:
(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;
(ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).

“Principle VII

Complicity in the commission of a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity as set forth in Principle VI is a crime under international law.”

John "the walrus" Bolton

Note: Headline links to source.

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Housing bailout bill creates national fingerprint registry

I want to make three things very clear:

1. I'm not in favor of any more "Big Brother" legislation.

2. I have nothing to do with the mortgage business including not even having a mortgage.

3. My fingerprints have been on file with the federal government for many years because I worked for a defense contractor, obtained a concealed gun permit and a firearms sales license.
The Senate housing bill approved by a committee this week was already drawing fire from fiscal conservatives and financially responsible homeowners opposed to bailing out housing speculators.

Now it may be time to add privacy advocates to the chorus of voices urging President Bush to veto the bill, which could put taxpayers on the hook for billions of bailout dollars in new taxes or deficit spending.

Buried in the text of the revised legislation, approved by the Senate Banking Committee by a 19-2 vote this week, is a plan to create a new national fingerprint registry. It covers just about everyone involved in the mortgage business, including lenders, "loan originators," and some real estate agents.

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Baby put up for sale on Craigslist: Canada police

Loonie (The bird is a loon) obverse.

I'm in complete agreement with the Canadians on this one. This should be treated as trafficking unlike the obvious joke about the baby on eBay up for sale for one euro.
A couple has been arrested in what Canadian police said on Tuesday was an apparent offer to sell a seven-day-old baby girl on Craigslist for C$10,000 ($10,100).

A woman who saw the offer on the popular website alerted police who tracked down the 23-year-old mother and 26-year-old father using a cell phone number that was listed in the advertisement.

Vancouver police said the couple told investigators the offer was a hoax, but were arrested for public mischief with other criminal charges possible as the investigation continues.

Note: Headline links to source.


Aftershocks crumble Chinese homes

Jesus H Christ in a hard hat. Is Mother Nature ever gonna stop fucking these poor people? Just asking.
Additional aftershocks have caused more than 420,000 houses to collapse in China's earthquake-hit Sichuan province.

The aftershocks on Tuesday afternoon reached a 5.4 magnitude, state media said.

At least 63 people were injured, six critically, in the shocks in Qingchuan in the southwestern province.

A shock of 5.7 magnitude also hit neighbouring Ningqiang county in Shaanxi province, with no fatalities reported.

Aftershocks have heightened the anxiety of citizens in the regions which have suffered more than 67,000 deaths due to a May 12 earthquake - with 20,000 people still missing.

The initial 7.9 magnitude quake also injured at least 362,000 people.

At least six people were killed by an aftershock in Sichuan on Sunday.

An earthquake of the magnitude of these aftershocks would scare the bejesus out of most people around the world and these people are experiencing them after an enormous quake. They may never want to live in a building again.

Note: Headline links to source.

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US 'close' to Iraq military deal

Ya gotta love this stuff. They lie and lie and no one calls them on it or even seems to notice.
The US government is close to reaching an agreement with the Iraqi government over its long term military role in the country but will not seek permanent bases in the nation.

Bush administration officials told Al Jazeera that they expect to finalise a deal by the end of July over the so-called Status of Forces agreement, or Sofa.

The agreement would replace the current United Nations mandate authorising US troops to remain in the nation, which expires in December 2008.

However, Muqtada al-Sadr, Iraq's influential Shia cleric, has called for mass protests on Friday unless the Iraqi government abandons the proposed deal.

And last week Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq's most revered Shia cleric, also reportedly expressed his anger, saying he would not permit the Iraqi government to sign a deal with "US occupiers" as long as he lived. [emphasis mine]

No need' for bases

David Satterfield, a senior adviser on Iraq at the US state department, told Al Jazeera that the agreement would make explicit that the US was not seeking permanent military bases in the country.

"The Sofa agreement and the strategic frameworks agreement will make explicit that there is no desire for, indeed there is a rejection of permanent bases. We could not be clearer on this point," he said.

"We do not believe that there is a need for such bases."

Of course they have no need for such bases except for the virtual cities/bases they are already building. And in fact should have finished by now unless KRB was doing the construction.

Nope. The troops will live in quonset huts and tents and they'll land their planes on the fucking sand. No need for high, thick barriers because it isn't like there're people with rifles, RPGs and mortars around who want the US out of Iraq.

Note: Headline links to source.


Bush has gone completely bonkers

Bush: I would like you to meet my friend, Harvey.

Bush: Well, I've wrestled with reality for many years, Doctor, and I'm happy to state I finally won out over it.

Note: Headline links to source.


Brzezinski and Odom on Iran

Zbigniew Brzezinski

William Odom, LtGeneral (Ret)

I'm really at a loss why I don't excerpt from, link to posts at Left I on the News more often. Its always good and full of useful information. Take today's example.
Considering the religious character of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and considering that it is a widely-held belief amongst American politicians and pundits that the most powerful person in Iran is not Ahmadinejad but Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, it is surely relevant that on August 10, 2005, Khamenei issued a fatwa declaring "that the production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons are forbidden under Islam and that the Islamic Republic of Iran shall never acquire these weapons." Curiously, Brzezinski and Odom, along with every other American politician and pundit, fail to mention that rather salient fact.

Iran, like every other signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, has a perfect right to develop nuclear power including the enrichment of uranium. As Brzezinski and Odom note, it is the United States, with its failure to significantly reduce its nuclear arsenal, which is in violation of the NPT, not Iran.

This is not news to me. I've brought up these points many times, but perhaps its new to you.

Note there are many more points available at the link. The author doesn't think Brzezinski and Odom are always correct. And the author is absolutely right.

Note: Headline links to source.

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Breaking news…

Should you need a quick, humorous diversion, just click on the headline.


Note: Headline links to source.


A Religion Hijacked

Must read IMHO. Just a taste although it is much more than this.
She returned home at the same time as she did every day a little over three months ago. As she walked to the door she felt cold metal pressed to her head.

"If you don't wear anything on your head then we will kill you and anyone with you," a man whispered in her ear. She felt fear and then rage.

Note: Headline links to source.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Why Memorial Day is a Double-Whammy for Me

Memorial Day is a double-whammy for me. You see, my son Casey was born on Memorial Day 29 years ago. When he was growing up, we would gather dozens of our friends and relatives to celebrate his birthday. Now a few of us gather at his grave in Vacaville, California, to mourn his death and cry for his life that was stolen from him by George W. Bush. Casey is not buried in a military cemetery, but there are many veterans of other wars buried in his cemetery.

Note: Headline links to source.


Majesty, We Have Gone Mad

The following excerpt is just a teaser. Its an open letter to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. I encourage you to read the rest of this fine article by George Monbiot.
In common with the leaders of most western nations, our prime minister is urging you to increase your production of oil. I am writing to ask you to ignore him. Like the other leaders he is delusional, and is no longer competent to make his own decisions.

Note: Headline links to source.

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Brit Intel 'Leaks' Propaganda: Iran Paying Iraqis to Kill Occupation Troops

I've stolen this entire post from for two reasons.

1. I didn't know where to stop excerpting it.

2. This is important shit you're gonna hear one hell of a lot about in the coming weeks or months. The neocons will cram this down your throats.
Since the neocon lie about Iran passing IEDs off to the “insurgents” (the resistance) in Iraq didn’t get much traction, we now have the Brits playing second fiddle with a passel of hogwash, just to keep the bomb, bomb, bomb Iran — as McCain likes to sing — agenda front and center.

“Iran has secretly paid Iraqi insurgents hundreds of thousands of American dollars to kill British soldiers, according to a leaked government document,” reports the Telegraph. “The allegations are contained in a confidential ‘field report’ written by a British officer who served in Basra during one of the most dangerous periods of the conflict. The report, which has never been made public, shows the full level of Iran’s involvement in the insurgency for the first time.”

In other words, British intelligence, conniving with American intelligence, has crafted a “field report” and “leaked” this to the ever complaisant corporate media. Leaked… you know, sort of like signed, sealed, and delivered. In fact, chances are this “report” was specifically created for the corporate media and its headline readers and sound bite spectators who need to get the idea that the bad guys are now in Iran and they are killing our boys so, of course, we have to bomb them to smithereens.

“The document states that the Jaish al-Mahdi (JAM) – also known as the Mahdi Army – one of the most violent insurgent groups operating in Basra, used money from Iran to recruit and pay young unemployed men up to $300 (£150) a month to carry out attacks against the British. The findings have been passed to the highest levels in the military.” And passed on to the corporate media for the above mentioned headline readers and Fox News viewers.

Iran does not need to pay the Iraqi resistance — they would fight the occupation of their country the same as Americans and Brits would fight if their country was occupied, if their relatives were killed, if their country was destroyed. But never mind, this makes too much sense.

“The leak comes at a time of rising tension between Iran and the international community, as Tehran continues to stonewall UN inquiries into allegations that it has carried out research to develop a nuclear weapon.”

In other words, the “leak” to the corporate media comes at a time when the neocons and their British helpers are ramping up their propaganda war against Iran, working toward an attack on that country under the pretense evil mullahs are feverishly working on a nuclear weapon they will naturally use against Israel. In fact, Iran does not have a nuke and they are permitted under the NPT to develop nuclear energy, a fact rarely mentioned by the likes of the Telegraph or the New York Times and the Washington Post.

“In an attempt to discover who was behind the attacks, the officer [Major Christopher Job, of the 2nd Lancashire Regiment] says he established a network of informers, who supplied him with detailed intelligence on the actions of the insurgents and who was behind their funding.”

A “network of informers,” no doubt consisting of people like Curveball, aka Rafid Ahmed Alwan, the con artist “informer” the neocons used as a pretense to invade and occupy Iraq. Alwan claimed Iraq had mobile biological weapon labs, but as it turned out these were instead trucks used to fill hydrogen balloons, a fact discovered by an official British investigation after the U.S. invaded Iraq in March, 2003.

Patrick Mercer, a Tory MP and a former infantry commander, told the Telegraph this “leaked” report “makes it quite clear that Iran is directly involved in funding the insurgency” and Iran must be confronted, that is to say bombed, and “anything else is appeasement.” Both Bush and McCain are on this “appeasement” bandwagon, conjuring up scary images of Nazi tanks rolling into Poland and the Munich appeasers of 1938. So happy was the neocon John Bolton, so rabid he was never officially appointed to be the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, he said this supposed appeasement “may well have created a defining moment in the 2008 campaign.” In fact, all the candidates are four square behind attacking Iran, most notably Hillary who called for “obliterating” Iran and John McCain, who envisions a new Hundred Years War against Islam. As noted above, McCain likes to sing songs about mass murder, something that would, in non-Bushzarro times, get him slapped in a mental ward for observation. Instead, he may be the next president.

As Bush nears the end of his term, the neocons, with a little help from their friends in Britain, are building their case for an Iran attack, never mind how fallacious. But then the whole neocon argument for war — or rather, shooting Arabs and Persians like fish in a barrel — is deceptive and misleading. As should be expected, the corporate media, with a few very minor exceptions, are behind this effort. It should come as no surprise they are ignoring the fact the neocons lied us into the invasion and occupation of Iraq. After Iran is reduced to Stone Age condition, same as Iraq was, a few editorials may appear stating we were once again lied to, but these will be relegated to section C, page 12, safely tucked away so the headline readers will not arrive at the conclusion they are not only chumps, but complicit in mass murder and war crimes.

I'd be fucking surprised if the author has any quotation marks left in his word processor. The story wreaks of incredulity. Perhaps a legacy of the Downing Street Memo? Just asking.

Note: Headline links to source.


ANGOLA: Should intentional infection be a crime?

Millions of HIV positive women in developing
countries face the desperate dilemma- breastfeed
their babies and risk HIV transmission or give
infant formula and risk illness and possible death
from diarrhea and other diseases (Click image
for larger version)

It is somewhat amazing to me people can debate this issue.
Proposed reforms to Angola's Penal Code have divided opinion in the country about whether HIV-positive people who intentionally infect others with the virus should be punished.

I'm no attorney. I have used several through the years, but not criminal attorneys.

It would seem to me nearly fucking impossible to prove intent unless the prosecution had witnesses who claimed the accused told them he knew he was HIV-positive, intended to or intentionally had unprotected sex with others and realized he could transmit the disease in that manner.

Assuming all of those factors are present, intent could be established and of course he should be tried and punished if found guilty. What for I'm not sure. Attempted murder? Nah. HIV isn't always fatal. Reckless endangerment? Yeah. That might work.

Stupidity, callousness, cruelty and several other terms come to mind, but none of them are criminal in most cases even though gross stupidity should be.

Debate on the issue of punishment is unnecessary to my way of thinking.

Note: Headline links to source.


The War Camp in Death Throes is Intent on Striking Iran

Nuke them before they can nuke us.

Please pay close attention to the last paragraph which causes goddamn shivers when juxtaposed with the second article.
The most aggressive posturing and accusations against Iran, yet issued by Washington, signal the rapid closure of the window of opportunity for peace which opened up following the release of the US' National Intelligence Estimate in December 07 concluding that there was no evidence of a nuclear weaponisation programme in Iran. This revelation which was concordant with the IAEA's own repeated assessment over 5 years of intrusive inspections, and which had been held from publication by the Vice President Cheney for over a year with the aim of altering its key findings, put a spanner in the frightfully accelerating wheel to another war and a potential inferno in the Middle East and beyond.

However, it seems that the war camp led by Cheney have regained the lost ground and are furtively peddling for war before Bush leaves office next January. Bush's speech to the Israeli Knesset, 15th May, evoking, once again, the spectre of the world war, likening Iran to 1938 pre-war Nazi Germany, and rebuking Obama's willingness for dialogue with Iran on par with "appeasement of Hitler", followed by the reporting of the Israeli army radio of behind the doors expressions of intent by the US to attack [link in original] Iran before the end of his term, has sounded the alarm bells across a wide spectrum of political observers and analysts.

Darth Cheney and the idiot both know once a conflagration in the Mid-East is begun it will be nearly impossible for the next US President to stop it.

Iran has a gigantic target on it.
AS ISRAEL [caps in original] pursues peace talks with Syria, speculation is growing that the Jewish state will seriously consider unilateral military action against Iran within the next year. Israeli intelligence is now estimating that Iran will master centrifuge technology and be able to begin enriching uranium by the end of this year, 12 months ahead of schedule. As a result, Israeli military officials believe the Islamic republic could have a nuclear weapon by the middle of 2009.

If the moron doesn't attack, he sure as hell intends to agitate Israel into doing it. Why else would he specifically, in a prepared speech in Israel among the Jewish people, bring up the fucking specter of 1938 pre-war Nazi Germany? Just asking.

Note: Headline links to source.

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IOF troops destroy agriculture sector in Gaza; kill Palestinian farmers

Bulldozer &ndash Gaza.

From the American Heritage Dictionary.

terrorism n. The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.

The dictionary forgot to add: Does not apply to US allies, in particular the state of Israel.

This certainly qualifies under that definition in my mind's eye.
The agriculture ministry in the PA legitimate government in Gaza Strip asserted on Wednesday that the IOF [Israeli Occupational Forces] troops had bulldozed vast agricultural areas in the eastern sector of the Gaza Strip which is considered the food basket of the 1.5 million Palestinians living there.

According to a report issued by the ministry and a copy of which was obtained by the PIC [Palestinian Information Center], the Israeli occupation army uprooted fruitful trees and destroyed greenhouses and artisan wells in Shokeh and Sofa villages, east of Khan Younis city over the past week in addition to ruining poultry farms estimated at 1.5 million dollars.

The report, furthermore, added that Palestinian farmers in Qarara and Al-Buraij areas, east of Deir Al-Balah city, weren't able to reach and cultivate their farms for fear that the IOF troops stationed opposite to their farms could shoot and kill them "in cold blood" any time.

Palestinian farmer Ali Al-Dahdouh, 32, was killed with IOF bullets while cultivating his farm in Juhr Al-Deik area, east of the tiny Strip, a couple of days ago.

Note: Headline links to source.


Vets for Peace Booted from National Memorial Day Parade

Another group of veterans who
didn't participate in parades.

I have no idea how this seems to have flown under everyone's radar. So much for freedom of expression even if you did risk your fucking ass.

The organizers, of course, had reasons rationalizations for the denials.
There is one group of veterans that isn’t allowed to march in the national memorial parade in Washington on Monday.

That’s the Veterans for Peace, Delwin Anderson Memorial chapter, based in D.C. It’s named after a World War II vet who fought in Italy and then worked for the VA for many years designing programs for injured veterans.

The group had applied to join the National Memorial Day parade.

And initially, anyway, it was accepted.

But then, late last month, the group was told that it didn’t meet the criteria to participate.

The American Veterans Center, which runs the parade, told them “we cannot have elements in the parade that have any type of political message or wish to promote a point of view.”

But other groups, like the American Legion, will be participating in the parade.

Its creed is to defend “God and country” and to “foster and perpetuate a 100 percent Americanism” [they are joking here, right?].

And check out the list of major sponsors for the parade. They include: Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, the nation of Kuwait, the U.S. Army, and even the NRA.

“We’re striving to keep political statements out of the parade,” says Jordan Cross, communications director of the American Veterans Center. “Last year, we had two groups who supported the war, and we turned them down.”

No veterans should have been turned down whether for or against the war. This used to be a goddamn free country.

And it wasn't the only parade which barred this veteran's group
Controversy over the Wilton Memorial Day Parade Committee’s decision to deny the application of the group Veterans For Peace to march in Monday’s parade prompted action from town hall, but the gesture was too late.

First Selectman William Brennan, reached late Wednesday afternoon, said he planned to get the committee and the group together in the coming days to try to find common ground. On Thursday morning, Mr. Brennan and a representative of the group said the meeting was unable to take place in time to plan for Monday's parade. Mr. Brennan promised planning ahead for next year to include the group.

Mr. Brennan, who was on vacation last week, said he learned of the decision on Wednesday morning and spoke with Jeff Turner, parade committee chairman later that day.

“Right from the get-go, according to Jeff, he said... not only their veterans, but all veterans, we hope they will march,” said Mr. Brennan.

Mr. Brennan said when the application first came in for the group, the committee members were hesitant to approve the request because the group had filed under a different name than had previously been presented in an earlier phone call with Mr. Turner.

“What I really want to know... is this a group of veterans, or is it one veteran and 100 people,” he said. “I think we’ve got to clarify what the organization is.”

He said his hope was that through the meeting the organization and the committee could “work out an amicable and satisfactory solution.”

“If I’m going to err on anything, I’m going to err on the side of inclusion,” said Mr. Brennan.

Note: Headline links to source.