Friday, November 30, 2007

A Picture Worth 1000 Words

R on R Action

Republican Senator Hagel discusses the Bush Presidency:

Hagel criticizes 'arrogant' Bush White House
"I would rate this one the lowest in capacity, in capability, in policy, in consensus — almost every area, I would give it the lowest grade," Hagel said...

Go Chuck, nice start. Many of us have a significantly longer list and our descriptions are not nearly as kind hearted.

The Fourth Amendment

The Bill of Rights is the first ten amendments to the US Constitution. Here is the fourth amendment.
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

A Very Old Story


Relatively old news (in fact as old as humanity) but the story about Giuliani's security-expense-affair gate 'scandal' is interesting investigative reporting.

Giuliani billed obscure agencies for trips

Giuliani was having an affair with his future 3rd wife to be, back in the late 90s through the early 00's. At the time she lived in the Hamptons and Giuliani was legally married to wife 2. The sticky part revolves around the money billed for security. Giuliani needed police department security details on his visits to the Hamptons.

Money to pay this security ended up allegedly getting billed to little known offices in the city government like "the Loft Board, a tiny branch of city government that regulates certain apartments." It does not smell good and there is the suggestion that someone on the inside 'helped' to hide the security expenses involved with his trysts to the Hamptons

I am curious to know how the reporter Ben Smith got his info. Did someone tip him off? Who was 'deepthroat?'

The part about Giuliani's affair is unimportant. The fudging and bilking of the books part.....hmm - if true, Giuliani must remove himself from contention.

It will be interesting to see how the right wing will twist and spin this one. Blame it on Clinton anyone?

Don't Think So

I believe the riot part but two monks robbing...please.

Chinese media reports Tibet riot
The two monks were accused of robbing a Chinese-run motorcycle maintenance shop on 19 November in the town of Paingar, about 300km (190 miles) north-east of the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, Xinhua reported.

The Chinese treatment of the Tibetans is unconscionable.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Fair and Balanced Smearing

Watch the following clip. Fox goes after Ron Paul by talking about how the owner of the 'bunny ranch' is a supporter of his presidential campaign. This allows Fox to do two things:
1. show T and A which they do with relish.
2. drag Paul into the mud because his alleged supporter is a whore house owner. Guilt by unknown association apparently.

No one seems to link the two and realize that the channel itself is peddling salacious pulp.

As I do not own a TV, I don't watch it. Its not a hard thing to do.

EPA without the E or P


The track record of the Bush administration on the environment is a disgrace.

Fortunately there are a few individuals that are still willing to engage in the good fight.

12 states sue EPA for data on toxins
The EPA's new regulations rob New Yorkers — and people across the country — of their right to know about toxic dangers in their own backyards," said Cuomo (NY Attorney General). "Along with eleven other states throughout the nation, we will restore the public's right to information about chemical hazards, despite the Bush administration's best attempts to hide it."

How does the President stack up with the global community on the environment? It is a non sequitur.

Critics angry at Bush climate plan
US President George W Bush infuriated his critics by professing world leadership on climate change at his meeting of the top 16 world economies - while offering no new substantive policy and implicitly rejecting binding emissions controls.

House or Home


The Buddhists consistently hit the nail squarely on the head.

They talk about the misery and stupidity that we all experience with great detail and insight.

One such list of four miseries gets into the view of how we actually get things, both material and other. It is misery caused by:

- Not getting what you want
- Getting what you don't want
- Getting what you want and then losing it
- Getting what you want and then struggling to hold onto it


Ring a bell? Sounds familiar to me, uncomfortably familiar.

Browsing through the BBC, we find: US house prices continue to slide
Prices fell 4.5% in the quarter from the same period a year earlier and 1.7% from the previous quarter - the biggest quarterly drop in 21 years.

21 years - ouch. Seems to cover all four points.

Map is a relic from ancient Rome.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Pomegranates and Opium


Information on what the economy of Afghanistan is doing.

Its still primarily opium (and cannabis) but there is the recent revival of a few legal farm products including pomegranates. Pomegranates from Afghanistan are highly valued in that part of the world.

Afghans Expanding Pomegranate Exports
The advances in the pomegranate trade are a sliver of good news from a region of Afghanistan known more for Taliban attacks and a thriving opium trade.

The country produced 8,200 tons of opium in 2007, up 34 percent from last year's record harvest. Farmers this year can make $2,000 on an acre of opium poppies, while wheat yields about $220.

The total value of the opium trade for Afghan farmers this year stands at $1 billion. The value of all of Afghanistan's legal exports in 2006, meanwhile, was $193 million, with animal hides and wool skins topping the list at $21 million.

The program has helped ship 690 tons of pomegranates to India, 600 tons to Pakistan and 36 tons to Dubai, mostly on military flights.

...Kandahar province in 2007 saw a 32 percent increase in the amount of land devoted to poppies.

The Minister, His Wife, and the Other Woman


The minister left the task of greeting the parishioners to the church ushers.

His wife eventually persuaded him to take on this task himself.

She said he would end up not knowing his congregation unless he made direct friendly contact with them.

The next Sunday he went to the front door of the church and enthusiastically shook hands with the first woman to leave the service.

He welcomed her to the parish saying, "I hope we will see you often at our service. We are always glad to see new faces."

Somewhat taken aback, the woman replied, "Thank you, sir."

Seeing an opening and warming to his task the minister continued, "If you give me your address, my wife and I will come and pay you a visit one evening."

The woman replied, "You would not have to go far, sir. I'm your cook."

Excerpt from 'Mind at Ease' by Traleg Kyabgon

The End of '08


New Mid-East peace drive launched
Israeli and Palestinian leaders have agreed to start talks aimed at reaching a full peace deal by the end of 2008.

The question remains - why the end of 2008? It must be something, something.....

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Beached


Jellyfish are multiplying rapidly.

Last week there was the surprising report on the Irish salmon farm that was wiped out by a massive school of jellyfish: Billions of jellyfish wipe out N. Irish salmon farm

This is a new report on fishing in Japan: Giant jellyfish infest Japanese waters

A search on jellyfish as a threat or compounded by global warming yields:

Global warming lends power to jellyfish - In Narragansett Bay and Long Island Sound, nonnative species are taking over

Also

Jellyfish victims double
Twice as many swimmers were stung by jellyfish last year as in 2005 and the stingers may become even more common because of global warming, an expert warns.

The warming ocean waters are inviting jellyfish to roam outside of their regular habitats.

The photo is of a giant jellyfish.

Richardson on Iraq

Richardson: Iraq war not worth one more life

“This war is not worth one human life, an American human life, the thousands of Iraqis...'Is political progress being made?’ No.”

Richardson is another long shot presidential candidate for the Democratic Party. He is not afraid to speak truth to power and in this light he is admirable.

Richardson for President

Peace at Last


The conference in Annapolis, put together by Bush and company (Condi Rice), is unique.

Can we recall another time when the word peace was uttered by this administration?

So with 14 interminable months left, the utterance occurs.

The prediction: George Bush will bring peace to Palestine and Israel with the same elan that allowed him to bring democracy to Iraq.

Arabs doubt prospects for peace parley
...Saudi Arabia and Syria agreed to sit down here with Israel to show their commitment to an Arab peace initiative ... because they felt they could not say no.

Too Much

Please don't get too upset: Lott to Resign by Year's End
Senate Minority Whip Trent Lott (R-Miss.) will announce at noon today (Monday) that he will resign his seat by the end of the year...

There, there, everything will be ok. America will move on, broken hearted, but we will move forward.

In Passing


The Snow Man - Wallace Stevens

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener; who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

While speaking with a wiser friend, she told me about how America has become so used to the negative (she used the word evil), that we now vote into the presidency, evil.

I pass this along because there are many people who see the present conditions and directions of the country to be very wrong and very destructive. In private they use terms and language that I don't even consider.

We all sense that it is out of fear that more people are not so vehemently outspoken.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Clarity

The Iraq coalition of the willing is dead.

Governments that supported Bush and his call to elective war have been replaced by more progressive leaders whose first order of business has been to remove that country's troops from Iraq.

Now with Australia and Poland very soon to join the stream of the outgoing, Bush is being left high and dry, even more isolated, exposed, and with the world aware of his status. The rest of the world is awake.

The coalition of the willing is Bush and Cheney.

Expect to see an even more aggressive assertion by the neo-conservatives peppered throughout the main stream media in the next few weeks. Those who want withdrawal will be called defeatists and traitors. There will be assertions of an imminent victory. There will be calls for a militarily strong America. There will be lots of talk, lecturing, but not much else. There will be edicts from Coulter, Cheney, Hannity, McCain, Bush and the usual suspects. The edicts will be repetitions of the past 4 years with a sentence or two mildly rearranged. Their anger and self righteous posturing will be hoisted up anew. As usual, nobody but the tone deaf Fox news crowd will be listening.

The tragedy here is that the complicit main stream media will leave Americans with the sense that this fringe and extremist element is the dominant and controlling voice. They never tire of this charade.

Bush's disappearing alliance

Finally, with no real 'victory' actually attainable and with no political solution to Iraq ever possible, its becomes important for Bush to move the goal post, adjust the language, rebuild the talking points, and feverishly work to save face, again. At its core, the American public aided by a conservative media like watching George Bush ice skate away from or towards his creations.

U.S. Scales Back Political Goals for Iraqi Unity
...the Bush administration has lowered its expectation of quickly achieving major steps toward unifying the country, including passage of a long-stymied plan to share oil revenues and holding regional elections.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Faint

Got your goat?

Australia Here We Come


Searching for the country to move to when the democracy that we love called America finally skids completely off the runway into the neo-con/Bush/fundamentalist version of totalitarianism is tricky.

Do we move to Europe, South America, where do we go?

Turns out Australia has had quite enough of Bush and his 'staunch allies.' John Howard, the complimentary and equivalent screwball leader of Australia, has been handed his cookies.

Labor Party wins big in Australia
Conservative Prime Minister John Howard suffered a humiliating defeat Saturday at the hands of the left-leaning opposition, whose leader has promised to immediately sign the Kyoto Protocol on global warming and withdraw Australia's combat troops from Iraq.

Labor Party head Kevin Rudd's pledges on global warming and Iraq move Australia sharply away from policies that had made Howard one of President Bush's staunchest allies.

Rudd has named global warming as his top priority, and his signing of the Kyoto Protocol will leave the U.S. as the only industrialized country not to have joined it.

The Labor Party of Australia will hold a clear majority in Parliament. Something about "humiliating' defeats makes me happy.

This is further reaction to George Bush. Bush has scant popularity worldwide. Everyone is aware of this with the exception of the inner circle itself. Poland, Spain, England, Italy, and now Australia come full circle and it is all in reaction to the neo-con/Bush policies. What's the deal with France?

More from the NYT: Australia’s Prime Minister Defeated After Four Terms
Prime Minister John Howard of Australia suffered a comprehensive defeat today...

But opinion polls have consistently shown that although Australians remain strong supporters of the Anzus alliance...they do not approve of Mr. Bush.

Coming n' Rambling

America - Horses, gonna kill that old red rooster, we'll have chicken n' dumplings, we'll have a square dance - lots of fowl, killing off the antiquated, and partying. Its a pattern of meat and depravity. After all she'll be coming round the mountain. And don't we all want that!

What does it mean, what does it mean....... She (the female) will be (future tense, certainty) coming (dare I say it, perhaps bliss, integration, joining, the return of the feminine principle?) round (circular or maybe even the spiral) the mountain (solid and sturdy, monumental, a massive obstacle) when (we can wait, be patient) she (reiterating the female in case you weren't listening) comes. (anyone for thirds?)

Even if we are to look at this from a literal point of view, and certainly there is that strain in America, there are problems. We don't need to kill the old red rooster. There is no need for animal sacrifice. If we change the language for the sake of emphasis, "we'll murder the great white bull, when she comes," this becomes obvious.


Edith Piaf

'La Vie En Rose' 1954

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Wonderful


This story is making the rounds. Just in case you have not seen it:

Eighth wonder of the world? The stunning temples secretly carved out below ground by 'paranormal' eccentric
For weaving their way underneath the hillside are nine ornate temples, on five levels, whose scale and opulence take the breath away.

Soggy Bottomed

'Oh Brother Where Art Thou' theme song 'Man of Constant Sorrow'

The clip unfortunately cuts off probably about 30 seconds too soon. I looked for the full version but found nada.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Good Riddance


There is a statement in a recent McClatchy Washington Bureau commentary that holds an essential truth behind the Bush administration.

The article is in response to McClellan's disclosure that he lied about the outing of Plame. He lied on behalf of Bush, Cheney, Card, Rove, and Libby.

Good riddance to them all
McClellan, in a forthcoming book that will tell some, if not all, reveals that his 2003 statements absolving top White House aides Karl Rove and I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby of any involvement in leaking the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame were untrue — and that the orders to make those statements came from President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, White House chief of staff Andrew Card, Rove and Libby.

Who didn't suspect this all along. I'm sure even Bush supporters also suspected the same thing. Apparently certain special forms of treason are fine.

This is the line that catches my attention:
What we've witnessed and endured during seven long years of the Bush presidency is the inevitable consequence of bringing vicious and unprincipled but successful political campaigners — attack dogs — into top White House jobs.

Yes, unprincipled attack dogs who are successful political campaigners. If you ever listen to someone like Kristol, you will hear policy ideas that are beyond draconian, beyond reprehensible. Yet you will hear an astute observer of electoral politics, actually to the point of being intrigued.

Americans seem to have lost sight that dirty tricks can create a dubious winner but that does not translate into long range harmony and sustainability. It translates into a culture of decay.

This is the meat and potatoes of the neo conservatives and Bush-Cheney-Rove. There is no public policy. There is no social responsibility. There is no need for truth telling and an open transparent government.

Instead it is about war mongering, war profiteering, corporate growth over social and environmental responsibility, unbridled greed, corruption, secrecy, torture, the business of war, and the destruction of democracy. All these things are the real legacy. This is what unprincipled attack dogs steeped in winning at all costs bring.

Exposing the Lies

This is another significant NYT story that lays waste to the blame Iraq on Iran theories that are the steady gristle of neo-cons and their right wing supporters in the media.

Foreign Fighters in Iraq Are Tied to Allies of U.S.
Saudi Arabia and Libya, both considered allies by the United States in its fight against terrorism, were the source of about 60 percent of the foreign fighters who came to Iraq in the past year to serve as suicide bombers or to facilitate other attacks, according to senior American military officials.

This news goes directly to the heart of how the Bush administration manipulates the news. Here we have the major threat posed by foreign fighters in Iraq coming from the so called allies of Saudi Arabia and Libya. Can you recall Bush or Cheney addressing this with any significant statements that equals the call for war in Iran. The answer is no.

But you see disparaging Saudi Arabia and Libya does not fit into the game plan. This is similar to the complete neglect of and threat posed by the world's most dangerous country from the point of view of a real and not imagined or projected nuclear catastrophe, Pakistan. The neo-con game plan calls for war with Iran. Everything else is not in the visual periphery.

From the Top


We see these types of stories repeatedly in the news. The total weight and momentum of this type of steady news has pushed Bush into the dumpster of popularity and approval. Yet we are not seeing the type of action that they require.

They do not take on the necessary weight that they merit. The reason is the main stream media which is still weak and subservient to corporate America which in turn is pro-administration.

A story like this should grab everyone's attention and consequently lead to significant change.

Ex-Iraq commander says bring troops home
Retired Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the top commander in Iraq shortly after the fall of Baghdad, said this week he supports Democratic legislation that calls for most troops to come home within a year.

One would have to assume that the following quote is directed at all those who are trying to maintain that the so called surge is bringing 'victory.'
"The improvements in security produced by the courage and blood of our troops have not been matched by a willingness on the part of Iraqi leaders to make the hard choices necessary to bring peace to their country," Sanchez said in remarks to be aired Saturday for the weekly Democratic radio address.

"There is no evidence that the Iraqis will choose to do so in the near future or that we have an ability to force that result," he said.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Naomi Klein on America's non Future

Naomi has been researching fascism and tyranny. Her new book discusses an uncomfortable trend towards fascism in America. Many of us including level headed conservatives are aware of this trend and are particularly aware of the Bush administration's hand in it. The link below is to an interview she gave to AlterNet.

This is very scary stuff.

The End of America?
"... according to the blueprint, that the state starts to torture people that most of us don't identity with, because they're brown, Muslim, people on an island. They're called an enemy.

That there will be a progressive blurring of the line, and six months, two years later, you're going to see it spread to others. ... According to the blueprint, we're right on schedule that this kid recently got tasered in Florida, I gather, for asking questions."

Recall how Fox Newscasters are openly calling for demonstrators to be tasered. They have crossed the line and are now 'wanting' to use this weapon that inflicts incredible pain and disorientation. That level of pain infliction is something that they see as being desirable. As bad as Fox is, they were not doing this a few years ago, excepting the ever horrid Coulter. Very very creepy.

She also gets into the manipulation of fear in order to pass draconian laws.
Yes, but you can't undercredit the incredible sophistication of the way the Bush administration manipulates fear. For example, the sleeper cells narrative, which is Stalin's narrative, was totally made up.

Yes where are the sleeper cells, and why was that scenario trotted out instantly after 9-11?

Kandinsky


Thanksgiving and Kandinsky, why not. Something about his work reminds me of possibility and the effort needed to look beyond the ordinary.

Salmon Disaster

Billions of jellyfish wipe out N. Irish salmon farm
Until the past decade, the mauve stinger has rarely been spotted so far north in British or Irish waters, and scientists cite this as evidence of global warming.

When people talk about the implications of global warming, I suspect no one imagined this sort of thing.

World News


As reported on the BBC, the leading news distributor worldwide. The story appears to have legs:

Bush 'involved' in CIA leak case
In an excerpt from his book, Scott McClellan says George W Bush helped mislead the public over the role in the affair of two White House aides.

The wording is kind, instead of outright stating that he lied, it states that he misled. This is a curious trend.

Instead of having an affair with his brother's wife, he mis-moralled.

We like the BBC but find their use of doublespeak to be mis-directed. However we do agree that mis-leading is certainly a dis-appointing aspect of the present administration.

The proper term is Orwellian doublespeak.
Of course, there are plenty of modern examples of doublespeak today, such as the referring to unintentional damage in war expeditions to civilians and non-target structures "collateral damage." The action might have unintentionally killed neutral civilians, but that would simply be "collateral damage." And thus by using vague terms the crime becomes abstracted and meaningless to the public. source

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Liars in Love


Former aide blames Bush for leak deceit
Former White House press secretary Scott McClellan blames President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for efforts to mislead the public about the role of White House aides in leaking the identity of a CIA operative.

In an excerpt from his forthcoming book, McClellan recounts the 2003 news conference in which he told reporters that aides Karl Rove and I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby were "not involved" in the leak involving operative Valerie Plame.

"There was one problem. It was not true," McClellan writes, according to a brief excerpt released Tuesday. "I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest-ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice president, the president's chief of staff and the president himself."

We commend McClellan for coming forward. We regret that he lacked the integrity to do so at the time when an outspoken voice would have had more relevance.

We are aware of the continued and ongoing lies generated by the White House. At this point no one expects anything else from this administration.

The Judge Speaks

A few days ago Crooks and Liars ran a link to this PBS story.

Its about the case in 2004 when Dover, Pennsylvania became the center of the storm between the theory of evolution and Christian creationism now know as intelligent design.
In 2004 the quiet town of Dover, Pennsylvania, was catapulted into the spotlight of national attention and scrutiny. That year, Dover Area School District board member Bill Buckingham requested that a textbook teaching intelligent design—the idea that life is too complex to have evolved naturally and therefore must have been designed by an intelligent agent—be added to the science program.

..On December 14, 11 parents of Dover high school students filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court alleging the school board was violating their constitutional rights by introducing religion into a public school....

The site is very good. It breaks down the arguments and in particular it has a transcription of the judge's ruling. This argument caught my attention. It is a clear articulation of the points that I regard as essential in this issue:
Intelligent design, as noted, is grounded in theology, not science. Accepting for the sake of argument its proponents' as well as Defendants' argument that to introduce intelligent design to students will encourage critical thinking, it still has utterly no place in a science curriculum. Moreover, intelligent design's backers have sought to avoid the scientific scrutiny which we have now determined that it cannot withstand by advocating that the controversy, but not intelligent design itself, should be taught in science class. This tactic is at best disingenuous, and at worst a canard. The goal of the intelligent-design movement is not to encourage critical thought but to foment a revolution which would supplant evolutionary theory with intelligent design.

There are many religious expressions on how the world and the universe came into being. Anyone who has read the work of Mircea Eliade or Joseph Campbell knows this. None other than the fundamentalist Christians seem as opposed to evolution theory.

I personally like the Buddhist idea of 'co-arising interdependence.' As much as I like the idea I have no interest in seeing it presented as scientific fact.

I regret to see that many Republican Party presidential candidates do not believe in evolution and would prefer to see intelligent design taught in its place. This is a disturbing trend.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

True Story

This is the sad truth oh reader of sande.blogspot. I was assaulted on election day night, of all nights.

This is the prepared statement that I delivered to the my City Council. I will be fine.
On Election Day Novemeber 6 just less than 2 weeks ago, I was walking less than three blocks to a cafe on xxxx Ave for a cup of coffee. This was at 8 PM at night.

Walking by the address of 267 xxxx Ave, I was assaulted by a gang of teenagers. Specifically 10 teenagers age 16 to 18, all black males and 1 female.

I was blind side punched in the head, several times and knocked to the ground were I was repeatedly kicked to the chest and repeatedly punched in the head by a gang of teens who surrounded me on all sides. The attackers were interested in beating my brains out and kicking my chest in.

It was only through fortunate circumstances that I was able to get out after 2 women saw the attack and started screaming to call the police. At that point the attackers ran off.

The intensity of the hatred and violence was unbelievable. They were punching and kicking me with intense hatred and I don't even know these people. To me this was a hate crime.

These violent attackers did not want my money, they only wanted to beat me up.

The police arrived and took a report. Afterwards I ended up in the emergency room, for a brain cat scan, chest x-rays, and various other tests. All my tests came back clear. This is a reminder of how this type of violence stresses the health care system as well.

I experienced bruised ribs, head pain, naseau, and dizziness. Some of this still continues.

According to a worker in the cafe, another man was assaulted by a gang that same night.

The basic question that I have is simply this:

Why are gangs of dangerous people roaming the xxxx Ave neighborhood? For me the answer is very simple - there shouldn't be gangs of violent thugs roaming xxxx Ave. Shouldn't even be there. I don't want to see gangs of thugs in the streets. Clean it up.

In a time of speedy communication why was this gang allowed to even roam around. Is anyone watching the streets at all?

The primary matter that you need to be concerned with is the safety of the people in that neighborhood. That primary safety issue should override any hesitation that any of you feel should happen because you think that information of this nature, might harm the businesses on the street.

It does not take much imagination to see that if violent crime continues on xxxx Ave, that businesses will be hurt. So the priority is simple, stop the violent crime.

If you are not in agreement with me on this than I do not believe that you are working for the interest of the people. Working for the safety of the people should be the fundamental rule.

Let me tell you that the people that attacked me are very violent people. No one in that gang wanted anybody to stop beating me. Nobody said a word about stopping. If these people are 16 or 18 what sort of future will they have. What will they become in this community. I am old enough to be these kids grandfather. These are people who have no problem assaulting older people and more vulnerable people.

People that I talk with are worried. There's all kinds of speculation. Was this a gang initiation ritual - pick a stranger and beat them up, what was it. People need to get some answers to this. Also people need to know how to take measures to protect themselves so they don't get beat up and attacked.

I don't see a good future for the attackers. They are lacking a moral compass. Its hard to see any of these people achieving anything more than becoming a more violent criminal. That road leads to nowhere.

What you need to do is take my story and do something good, something that will improve the safety of the people on xxxx ave. Ask yourself this simple question - why are gangs like this even allowed to roam the streets and how can we stop that. People need to know how to protect themselves. You can't sweep this under the rug. We have a big problem here.

Monday, November 19, 2007

War Without End

From the NYT: Democrats Find Their Voice
House Democrats distinguished themselves this week when they stood up to the White House’s latest military funding steamroller: approving only $50 billion of the additional $196 billion the president requested for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

...predictably, the White House — which always prefers fear-mongering to serious debate — accused Democrats of undermining the troops.

...Mr. Bush’s main argument for his escalation — that it would create political space for Iraqis to work together and achieve national reconciliation — has proved wrong.

Even Mr. Bush’s generals know that ... gains are unlikely to last.

Troops Home Now

Iraq suicide attack kills three US soldiers
At least 861 US soldiers have been killed since the beginning of 2007, already the deadliest year for the military since the 2003 invasion.

Colorless


Have you seen this upcoming planned action? 'The Center for Constitutional Rights' wants you to send copies of the US Constitution (the document not the ship) to the White House, virtually flood the White House in Constitutions.

Send Bush an early holiday gift, courtesy of CCR.
The President needs to be reminded that he swore an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States-his administration has been systematically destroying the Constitution since he took office.

With your help, CCR will flood the Oval Office with copies of the Constitution this holiday season.

I think this is a fine idea.

However I would like to propose what I personally consider to be a far more symbolic and timely planned action. That would be to send a coloring book to the White House. I think its more important in this instance to match like with like

Not Here


This article comes from an Australian newspaper. Keep that point in mind.

Veterans' suicide toll dwarfs deaths
At least 6256 US veterans took their own lives in 2005, at an average of 17 a day, according to figures broadcast last night. Former servicemen are more than twice as likely than the rest of the population to commit suicide.

Such statistics compare to the total 3863 US military deaths in Iraq since the invasion in 2003 -- an average of 2.4 a day, according to the website icasualties.org.

A separate study published last week shows that US military veterans make up a quarter of homeless people in the US, even though they represent just 11 per cent of the adult population.

Younger soldiers are trickling into shelters and soup kitchens after completing tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This should make any reasonable person reject the notion of a war undertaken in a pre-emptive or elective way. In fact it should make any reasonable person reject the notion of war. The key word is reasonable.

It would also appear that Bush's conservative compassion is once again missing in action. Why are these young men and women homeless and out on the streets? Why are they not getting the assistance that they need? We presume that particular assistance would cut too deeply into the very deep pockets of our compassionate war profiteers.

More undeniable proof that sanity, the rule of law, and democracy are prevailing in Iraq (please excuse the fed up sarcasm).

Bodies found in Iraq mass killing
The badly decomposed remains of about 30 people have been discovered by Iraqi police on the outskirts of a mainly Sunni district in southern Baghdad.

Finally, a website for those of us that want to examine the deeper political problems. Catch up on the information that whistleblowers from around the world want you to know.

Wikileaks

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Entire Earth


To my amazement CNN is reporting on the urgency to change course in order to avoid the extreme danger caused by global warming. I wasn't aware that the American main stream media had that particular news gene. We suppose its better late than never.

U.N. report: Urgent action needed on 'severe' climate change
Climate change is "severe and so sweeping that only urgent, global action" can head it off, a United Nations scientific panel said in a report on global warming issued Saturday.

The report produced by the Nobel prize-winning panel warns of the devastating impact for developing countries and the threat of species extinction posed by the climate crisis.

We can immediately see the salient problem and why such news is unheard in the White House. Might as well throw water drops onto a raging inferno.

Recall that the Bush administration holds the U.N. in such high esteem that it placed John Bolton there as the US ambassador. Bolton would be more than happy to light the bomb that destroys the building. The U.N. has no place in the neo-conservative agenda. Why would a report issued from such a place hold any meaning or importance even if the panel are Nobel prize winning scientists. Since when does science mean anything to Bush.
(Predictably) During five days of negotiations, the United States repeatedly challenged passages emphasizing the level of threat posed by climate change, objecting that the wording was imprecise.

The "scientific definition" of the dangers of climate change "is lacking, and so we are operating within the construct of, again, strong agreement among world leaders that urgent action is warranted," said Jim Connaughton, chairman of White House's Council on Environmental Quality.
source

Also seen on the BBC: UN challenges states on warming
Among the top-line conclusions are that climate change is "unequivocal", that humankind's emissions of greenhouse gases are more than 90% likely to be the main cause, and that impacts can be reduced at reasonable cost.

One declaration that reportedly caused heated discussion during the week-long talks here states that climate change may bring "abrupt and irreversible" impacts.

The BBC gets lots of praise for continually reporting on global warming.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Welcome


Reading the WSJ is an education in American civility. Exactly, American civility is a contrived notion about as thin as tissue.

Who cares because beyond that civility they are now writing that big ticket spenders are going Democratic. Personally I think they are switching party affiliation out of a fear of being associated with GW. Who wants to be seen as supporting Bush these days other than Kristol, who refers to Bush as the new Truman.

Affluent Voters Switch Brands
...Now the Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll shows Americans earning more than $100,000 want Democrats to win the White House next year by 48% to 41%, and want Democrats to win control of Congress by 45% to 42%.

...An increasing number of high-income Americans "are yearning for something different. And something different is the Democrats."

Speaking of Kristol, I heard him lecture on NPR's "Word for Word."

He spoke before a right wing think tank crowd. I mean if he didn't speak in front of that type of crowd where else would he get applause.

He's still proud about his neo-con agenda. Still pumping up the Iraq shock and awe as a good decision. Still bully on Iran. Still hateful of baby boomers. Still trashing Clinton. Still ramping up Islamofascism. All this from the man made famous as Dan Quail's Scooter Libby.

Gogol Bordello

Start Wearing Purple

Friday, November 16, 2007

Back in the U.A.E.

Bad and Faulty

We keep hearing this mantra spoken over and over:

"We went into Iraq on bad and faulty intelligence."

Recently even Madeline Albright was chiming in with this same line as she spoke about the failing situation in Pakistan.

One would have to agree. However, the mantra does not apply to the intelligence gathering outfits but to the presidential administration and its lack of good and faultless intelligence.

Its really a crap shoot trying to predict if this present fault will be remembered by the American public as they vote for the next president in 2008. The war party is resilient and its loyalists are predictably seated.

So while the administration led by the remaining neocons, like Kristol, are readying and calling for war in Iran, apparently to remedy the disaster in Iraq, the most dangerous country in the world is crumbling.

U.S. Is Looking Past Musharraf in Case He Falls
Administration officials say they still hope that Mr. Negroponte can salvage the fractured arranged marriage between General Musharraf and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. But in Pakistan, foreign diplomats and aides to both leaders said the chances of a deal between the leaders were evaporating 11 days after General Musharraf declared de facto martial law.

Several senior administration officials said that with each day that passed, more administration officials were coming around to the belief that General Musharraf’s days in power were numbered and that the United States should begin considering contingency plans, including reaching out to Pakistan’s generals.

Where are America's real diplomats and intelligent officials?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Average


Its a weird news day which means its only an average day otherwise.

Here's a sampling of stories that particularly caught my attention:

Colorado Supreme Court Gives Green Light to Restore Personhood to the Unborn
After weeks of review, the Colorado Supreme Court has just released a decision granting Colorado for Equal Rights permission to move forward with a ballot initiative to restore personhood to human beings from the moment of conception.

I have previously posted on how the Bush administration has moved on the term 'unborn child,' by rewriting all sorts of governmental proclamations.

For example: Unborn Gitmo Baby Wins Right to Habeus Corpus! Bush Blasts Court Decision!

Checking into carbon emissions at the world level we have: Power plants' CO2 levels revealed

(Note that the chart only deals with power plant emissions)
National power sector emissions (in tonnes of CO2):
US - 2,530 million
China - 2,430 million
Russia - 600 million
India - 529 million
Japan - 363 million
Germany - 323 million
Australia - 205 million
South Africa - 201 million
UK - 192 million
South Korea - 168 million

Here's the good news: Warhol's Liz Taylor sold for $23m

Its a little out of my price range, but I still like it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Huh?


Something that almost everyone I know, self included, could benefit from -

How to Listen Better
It (listening) is the second most difficult skill. Reading is the
most difficult.

Listening Skills
The first skill that you can practice to be a good listener is to act like a good listener.

A second skill is to use the other bodily receptors besides your ears. You can be a better listener when you look at the other person. Your eyes pick up the non-verbal signals that all people send out when they are speaking.

It is extremely difficult to receive information when your mouth is moving information out at the same time. A good listener will stop talking and use receptive language instead. Use the I see . . . un hunh . . . oh really words and phrases that follow and encourage your speaker's train of thought.

A final skill is to move your mind to concentrate on what the speaker is saying. You cannot fully hear their point of view or process information when you argue mentally or judge what they are saying before they have completed. An open mind is a mind that is receiving and listening to information.

It seems to me that this last skill is the most important. It requires a little bit of empathy which allows one to connect with whoever is speaking.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Bear



There are too many stories like this:


World's Smallest Bear Faces Extinction

The world's smallest bear species faces extinction because of deforestation and poaching in its Southeast Asian home, a conservation group said Monday.

The sun bear, whose habitat stretches from India to Indonesia, has been classified as vulnerable by the World Conservation Union.

Found at Breitbart.com

Hyperactive Marketing


Would you call it drug company fear mongering?

A few years ago I knew of many children of friends that had been prescribed Ritalin. I knew adults that were taking the drug.

New research is suggesting it is not the great cure all that it was at one time touted to be.

This is a consistent pattern in American popular culture. A magic pill or a new invention that does it all, real fast, no muss. A few years later we learn it causes cancer, suicide, or makes the original condition worse

Drugs for ADHD 'not the answer'
A study obtained by the BBC's Panorama programme says drugs such as Ritalin and Concerta work no better than therapy after three years of treatment.

The findings by an influential US study also suggested long-term use of the drugs could stunt children's growth.

It said that the benefits of drugs had previously been exaggerated.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Stuffed Suit


Our political leaders, especially the presidential administration of the past seven years, are able to pass through legislation, wars, limitations on democratic rights and many other unconscionable assaults on the American public through fear mongering.

Its a well known tactic, simply take the possibility of a threat that may or may not exist, and hammer away at - mention it in public speeches many times, at news conferences, or at think tank discussions. Have the think tanks find 'experts' that will amplify the possible threat and produce papers, books, news articles, commentaries, editorials in the New York Times.

Many things that would otherwise abhor most people suddenly become legitimized. Social spending money has to be diverted to the military and military profiteers. Even the military becomes incapable in the face of threat, and new mercenary armies are established and funneled huge sums of money.

In this light it becomes mandatory that stories of this nature are spread far and wide, to dispel the fear mongers' diatribes.

Suitcase Nuclear Weapons, Favorite Threat of Hollywood Scriptwriters, Are Probably a Myth

Members of Congress have warned about the dangers of suitcase nuclear weapons. Hollywood has made television shows and movies about them. Even the Federal Emergency Management Agency has alerted Americans to a threat - information the White House includes on its Web site.

"The suitcase nuke is an exciting topic that really lends itself to movies," said Vahid Majidi, the assistant director of the FBI's Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate.
"No one has been able to truly identify the existence of these devices."

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Human (De) Evolution


A few stories that seem to illustrate the point.

Anti-abortion postings ordered removed
A federal judge ordered an anti-abortion activist to remove Web site postings that authorities said exhorted readers to kill an abortion provider by shooting her in the head.

The story speaks for itself. I'm not going to go into my treatise on abortion, but briefly, do we really want the government to plant a no parking sign on the female uterus? If the answer is yes, then fairness and equality would demand that the same no parking sign be placed on the male testicles.


'Mr. Toilet' Builds Commode-Shaped House

Sim Jae-duck has made his political career as South Korea's Mr. Toilet by beautifying public restrooms. Now he's got a home befitting his title: a toilet-shaped domicile complete with the latest in lavatory luxury.

Florida state (Republican) Rep. Bob Allen guilty in bathroom-sex case
State Rep. Bob Allen's troubles may only get worse.

Seconds after he was convicted Friday of soliciting a sex act in a park bathroom, legislative leaders were discussing how to remove him from office.

The family values party continues to deliver.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Revolutionary Chopin

I like this clip. The style and quality of the filming appeal. The music is impeccably performed.

This is Chopin's Revolutionary Etude performed by legendary pianist Sviatoslav Richter.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Attempt to Ditch Mukasey

Speaks for itself: Intel Vets Make 'Waterboading' Appeal
With hundreds of years of service in sensitive national security activities behind us, we are deeply concerned that your committee may move his nomination to the full Senate without insisting that Mukasey declare himself on whether he believes the practice of waterboarding is legal.

We therefore believe we have a particular moral obligation to speak out. We can say it no better than four retired judge advocates general (two admirals and two generals) who wrote you over the weekend, saying: “Waterboarding is inhumane, it is torture, and it is illegal.”

Signs of Life

Bush just got his first veto over ride from Congress. Hopefully this is the first of many for an undeserving abysmal president, a president who is as far out of touch with the American people as is humanly possible.

Congress Hands Bush First Veto Override
President Bush suffered the first veto override of his seven-year-old presidency Thursday as the Senate enacted a $23 billion water resources bill despite his protest that it was filled with unnecessary projects.

The vote was 79-14 to pass the bill. Enactment was a foregone conclusion, but it still marked a milestone for a president who spent his first six years with a much friendlier Congress controlled by his Republican Party. Now he confronts a more hostile, Democratic-controlled legislature, and Thursday's vote showed that even many Republicans will defy him on spending matters dear to their political careers.

Congress can do much more than this.

The next project for Congress is to stop the American occupation of Iraq.

SurveyUSA

The polls produced by SurveyUSA seem to be dead on. Check it out.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

More Progressive Than We Think

The corporate owned main stream media tends to under report this sort of news. Call it the result of its extreme right wing bias:

Most ready for 'green sacrifices'
Most people say they are ready to make personal sacrifices to address climate change, according to a BBC poll of 22,000 people in 21 countries.

Four out of five people say they are prepared to change their lifestyle, even in the US and China, the world's two biggest emitters of carbon dioxide.

This is a good indicator of how people really feel about global warming. Turns out its very important to them and they want to see green changes.

Compare that to this similarly under reported story:

GALLUP: Bush Finally Tops Nixon -- In Unpopularity -- As Call for Iraq Pullout Hits New Peak
For almost two years, President Bush has been threatening to unseat Richard M. Nixon as the most unpopular president in the history of the Gallup poll, and it finally happened this week.

The latest USA TODAY/Gallup survey finds Bush with a 31% approval rating -- and for the first time ever in the polling history, 50% say they "strongly disapprove" of a president.

The evidence is pretty clear. The Bush corporate preemptive privatized adventure is meeting with intense disdain in the USA and globally. People are aware that all is not good.

If the media were doing its job, this news would be trumpeted far and wide. That would lead to change and change is tough for the ruling elite.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Disgrace

In a non move which is signaling complicit interest, Bush is going to idly sit by and allow Musharraf to strangle the political opposition and further the imposition of a dictatorship on Pakistan.

If there needs to be a clear and obvious sign that the present adminstration would have no qualms about doing the same in the USA, this is the sign.

Dissent is the backbone of a democracy. Anyone who thinks otherwise can take it someplace else, but not here.

Bush Urges Musharraf to Reverse Course but Signals No Penalty if He Doesn’t
President Bush on Monday urged Gen. Pervez Musharraf, the Pakistani president, to hold elections and give up his army post “as soon as possible,” but gave no indication that the general’s imposition of emergency rule would bring about any significant change in American policy.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Filibuster

You can sign a petition to urge a filibuster of Mukasey at:

Filibuster petition

We do not want an Attorney General who does not know that waterboarding is torture.

Vote


Dont forget to vote on Tuesday.

Its probably going to be for local politicians. This is very important.

So do it. Vote.

Vote before some crazed president declares martial law here, suspends elections, and rounds up the press and the left.

Vote because we like you.

Inching


I was reading through "How to Stay Alive in the Woods by Bradford Angier."

This is an excerpt from a sub chapter titled 'Walking Out."
"Opinions naturally differ at least as often as do the viewpoints from which they are formed, but few will disagree that if we may have to cover a considerable distance, the pace to take is one we will be able to follow all day and still have a reserve of energy left over. We will be apt to end up wasting time if we attempt to press."

"Most of us find, too, that we can maintain better and therefore safer balance by keeping the feet pointed as nearly straight ahead as is comfortable, and that we are often able to pick up an additional inch or two per step this way, while coming up on the toes will so use these members as to afford both extra distance and impetus."

This is a book about how to survive in the wilderness with very little in the way of camp gear and food. Its a survivalists guide.

But I have to admit there is something about this very simple advice that is interesting to me.

By keeping your feet straight ahead, you gain an inch or two per step. Don't press but keep a steady and even pace.

Sounds like excellent life advice. Apply as needed.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Pakistan

From the NY Times: Straying Partner Leaves White House in a Lurch
For more than five months the United States has been trying to orchestrate a political transition in Pakistan that would manage to somehow keep Gen. Pervez Musharraf in power without making a mockery of President Bush’s promotion of democracy in the Muslim world.

On Saturday, those carefully laid plans fell apart spectacularly. Now the White House is stuck in wait-and-see mode, with limited options and a lack of clarity about the way forward.

Somalia, Humanitarian Crisis, Terrorism


This AFP article details a very recent calamity, the nature of which caught my attention:

Yemen says 40 Somali migrants drown in Gulf of Aden
Yemen said on Saturday it had recovered the bodies of 40 Somalis who drowned after being forced overboard by traffickers in the Gulf of Aden.

The UNHCR (UN High Commissioner for Refugees) estimates that more than 20,000 people have made the perilous crossing of the Gulf of Aden to Yemen this year, with at least 439 deaths and another 489 people missing.

Many of the migrants who attempt the journey are desperate to flee conflict and persecution in their home regions in Africa.

The CIA World Factbook Guide to Country Profiles has this to say about conflict in Somalia:
Ethiopian forces invaded southern Somalia and routed Islamist Courts from Mogadishu in January 2007; "Somaliland" secessionists provide port facilities in Berbera to landlocked Ethiopia and have established commercial ties with other regional states; "Puntland" and "Somaliland" "governments" seek international support in their secessionist aspirations and overlapping border claims...

Similar to where Iraq is heading politically by reforming into separate ethno-religious areas with autonomous control, Somalia is a country of traditional clans that hold political power over regions. Somaliland and Puntland are within Somalia but have politically separated from the larger political body. Think Kurds.

From the NY Times on June 3, 2007 - U.S. Strikes Inside Somalia, Bombing Suspected Militant Hide-Out
American forces struck inside Somalia on Friday, bombarding a mountainous area where suspected militants were hiding out, Somali officials said Saturday. It was the third known American strike on Somali soil this year.

...eight Islamist militants had been killed, including one who was an American citizen, according to documents found on his body.

“This is a global war on terror and the U.S. remains committed to reducing terrorist capabilities when and where we find them.”

This strike was intended to kill Al Qaeda suspects.

The Ethiopian forces within Somalia are ostensibly there to fight terrorists.
Last week, the EU called for an investigation into the excesses of force used by Ethiopian troops, with vague talk of possible war crimes charges.

However, there has been little movement toward an international investigation, because of the complexity of the conflict and the fact that some view the Ethiopian engagement in Somali as a necessary part of Washington's expanded war on terror.
source

Ethiopia is militarily supported by the Bush administration:

U.S. support key to Ethiopia's invasion
The United States has quietly poured weapons and military advisers into Ethiopia, whose recent invasion of Somalia opened a new front in the Bush administration's war on terrorism.

Finally a little about the underlying issue of resource wars:

The "Demonization" of Muslims and the Battle for Oil
US sponsored "civil wars" have also been conducted in several other strategic oil and gas regions including Nigeria, the Sudan, Colombia, Somalia, Yemen, Angola, not to mention Chechnya and several republics of the former Soviet Union. Ongoing US sponsored "civil wars", which often include the channelling of covert support to paramilitary groups, have been triggered in the Darfur region of Sudan as well as in Somalia, Darfur possesses extensive oil reserves. In Somalia, lucrative concessions have already been granted to four Anglo-American oil giants.

"According to documents obtained by The Times, nearly two-thirds of Somalia was allocated to the American oil giants Conoco, Amoco [now part of BP], Chevron and Phillips in the final years before Somalia's pro-U.S. President Mohamed Siad Barre was overthrown and the nation plunged into chaos in January, 1991. Industry sources said the companies holding the rights to the most promising concessions are hoping that the Bush Administration's decision to send U.S. troops to safeguard aid shipments to Somalia will also help protect their multimillion-dollar investments there."

Recapping:
- There is a civilian crisis occurring in Somalia.
- The crisis is happening within Somalia and with Somalian refugees leaving the country.
- Somalia is a focal point on the Bush administration's war on terror.
- The Ethiopian military supported by Washington is ostensibly fighting to kill terrorists based in Somalia.
- The US military periodically bombs areas within Somalia seeking out "suspected Al Qaeda."
- Civilians are horribly suffering from the brunt of the fighting.
- Ethnic clans within Somalia are also fighting for autonomous control.
- Safely assume that a major underlying issue is control of energy resources.
- Chaos is the key word.
- Does this all sound familiar?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Ghost Car

A belated Happy Halloween to all

Realities of War

VA says 6 percent of combat vets have traumatic brain injuries
A VA mandatory screening program that took effect in April has looked at 61,285 veterans of the wars. Of those, 19.2 percent were identified on the screening questionnaire as potentially suffering from traumatic brain injuries and were referred for more tests.

While evaluation continues, VA spokeswoman Alison Aikele said officials believe, based on a smaller sample, that the final result about 5.8 percent will be diagnosed with TBI.

Missing in Action

I have been patient with the Democrats.

One wonders why they continue to fund the Iraq occupation when it is so evident that the country wants the troops out and home.

But I'm patiently waiting, listening, hearing all the excuses.

Now this.

My patience has reached its limit. The Democrats spear headed by Schumer and Feinstein are going to allow Mukasey in as the new Attorney General.

Apparently Mukasey knows what torture is, but he won't let anybody in on his little understanding.

Instead he goes off on word games about waterboarding, what waterboarding is, its this, its that, or maybe its none of the above. The right wing sycophants line right up there and start calling torture, a private CIA swimming lesson. Real cute, real smart. You just won ass of the year.

The idea here is to say maybe torture isn't good, but actually give a little wink and nod and imply that its fine with him. Just cover it up with the right words and make sure Bush doesn't feel the lightest of pressure for his own complicity with approving torture.

Chuck Schumer on the other hand gets the Oscar. He is the actor of the year. A few months ago he's worse than a raging granny. He's all over Gonzales. Gonzales is lying, he's incompetent, he's this and that.

Chuck was out there acting. He's real real tough on Bush and his Attorney General. He wanted you to make sure you saw his tough guy act.

Now he's rolling over and panting like a little Pomeranian. Chuck, you have lost all credibility.

But is it really just Chuck's fault. One has to think no. Its pretty simple. If the Democrats were going to reject Mukasey, they could come together and do so. But they are not. As a group they are rolling over. Disgraceful. Exactly what kind of information does somebody have on these guys to make them act like spineless fools.

I'm re-thinking my Democratic party registration. I'm not going down alone either. I'll take anybody within ear shot along with me.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Jeers for Schumer


Chuck Schumer is all set to vote in favor of Mukasey!

A huge chorus of boos is wafting across the nation and New York.

This will be a vote that will haunt Schumer into the future. It is a disgrace. Mukasey can't figure out what torture is? Disgraceful. Schumer loses all credibility.

Kucinich on Cheney


Kucinich Will Introduce Privileged Resolution To Force Up Or Down Vote On Cheney Impeachment
Washington, Nov 2 - Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) announced today that he will be offering a privileged resolution on the House floor next week that will bring articles of impeachment against the Vice President, Richard B. Cheney.

Code Red


Its very simple, waterboarding is torture.

It is not as some sycophantic Bushie recently described it as, "a private swimming lesson from the CIA." This is the level of discourse aroused by the Coulter ilk. For some reason, this utterly degrading statement is what the main stream media considers to be news.

Dump Mukasey as the Attorney General candidate.

White House Moves to Save Mukasey Nomination

The following words are from Bush from a speech given at the neo-conservative corporate funded ultra right Heritage Foundation. (and would Bush speak at any other type of place?)
If the Senate Judiciary Committee were to block Judge Mukasey on these grounds (note: the grounds are that he won't admit that waterboarding is torture), they would send a new standard for confirmation that could not be met by any responsible nominee for attorney general,” he said in a speech before the Heritage Foundation. “And that would guarantee that America would have no attorney general during this time of war.”

The salient word here is "responsible", a "responsible" nominee.

What Bush means by responsible is a nominee that will not admit that waterboarding is torture. The reason is simple. If the Attorney General admits that waterboarding is torture then George Bush all of a sudden becomes a war criminal. Also it would be incumbent upon the Attorney General to prosecute war criminals.

So in Bush world, "responsible" means completely subservient to Bush. Once again, its not about America, its about George Bush. The authoritarian personality has no boundary. They are above the rule of law.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Gay Incognito As Anti-Gay Conservative Watch Update


WA State Rep. Richard Curtis (R-La Center): XXX-Gay

There seems to be a scientific study underway right before our very eyes. The data is streaming in and supports the political/sociological/sexual theory that most anti-gay conservative family values male politicians are actually gay.

Button Pusher

The story reveals the intensity of Rumsfeld propaganda efforts to increase public interest in war with Iran, and to keep a fear level ratcheted up in the American public.

From the Desk of Donald Rumsfeld . . .
Under siege in April 2006, when a series of retired generals denounced him and called for his resignation in newspaper op-ed pieces, Rumsfeld produced a memo after a conference call with military analysts. "Talk about Somalia, the Philippines, etc. Make the American people realize they are surrounded in the world by violent extremists," he wrote.

In one of his longer ruminations, in May 2004, Rumsfeld considered whether to redefine the terrorism fight as a "worldwide insurgency." The goal of the enemy, he wrote, is to "end the state system, using terrorism, to drive the non-radicals from the world." He then advised aides "to test what the results could be" if the war on terrorism were renamed.

One wonders what is ticking in this man's grey matter. Would you call it lucid paranoia? Steady paranoia?

Jones -en

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings

Courtesy of deep operatives.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Inhumation Nation


Church ordered to pay $10.9 million for funeral protest
Albert Snyder of York, Pennsylvania, sued the Westboro Baptist Church for unspecified damages after members demonstrated at the March 2006 funeral of his son, Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, who was killed in Iraq.

You remember Westboro Baptist with their sight "godhatesfags.com" - quite the little movers and shakers.

They protest Iraq war soldier funerals because God is punishing America for homosexuals. Now do you understand? I thought so.

Thin-k


The staff, management, and writers at 'Sande' occasionally like to pass along health related information in order to benefit our swarms of readers.

?

Be thin to cut cancer, study says
"The World Cancer Research Fund carried out the largest ever inquiry into lifestyle and cancer, and issued several stark recommendations.

They include not gaining weight as an adult, avoiding sugary drinks and alcohol, and not eating bacon or ham."

I guess potato chips, ice cream, and hamburgers made the cut!

I went on a low glycemic diet years ago and have not looked back. It will definitely keep you thin.

You do want your BMI to be between 18.5 and 25 though.

Calculate your BMI Here