Wednesday, April 30, 2008

1930 Film Dance

My obsession with 1930 continues.

Her dancing is very gymnastic and athletic.

Check out the guy's dancing at 1:40. Its all from the waist down like 'Riverdance' except totally over the top with moonwalking, really.

Won


Without rehashing too much, The American Enterprise Institute is a neoconservative think tank, highly popular with the present administration. Some might call it a Bush echo chamber.

Frederick Kagan has a recent piece posted at the AEI titled How We'll Know When We've Won

If you want to know where President Bush gets his talking points on Iraq, look no further. Those with the time and inclination would do well to analyze the arguments and provide the refutation.

Kagan describes the future markers which would then indicate that the Iraq war/occupation had been won.

Here is an excerpt from Kagan's article:
An ally in the struggle against militant Islamism. Whatever Saddam Hussein's ties were to al Qaeda before the invasion, the reality today is that an important al Qaeda franchise has established itself in Iraq. It initially had the support of a significant portion of Iraq's Sunni Arab community, but that community--with critical American support--has rejected al Qaeda and united with Iraq's Shia and Kurds to fight it.

As a result, there is no state in the world that is more committed than Iraq to defeating al Qaeda. None has mobilized more troops to fight al Qaeda or suffered more civilian casualties at the hands of al Qaeda--or, for that matter, taken more police and military casualties. Iraq is already America's best ally in the struggle against al Qaeda. Moreover, the recent decision of Iraq's government to go after illegal, Iranian-backed Shia militias and terror groups shows that even a Shia government in Baghdad can be a good partner in the struggle against Shia extremism as well.
One might deduce that Kagan is pleased with Iraq's war on Al Qaeda.

Recall that the neocons pushed the war based on Saddam's weapons of mass destruction.

Recall that Al Qaeda was not in Iraq prior to the invasion.

In this context, Kagan is pleased with a conflict that is partly his collaborators own creation. I am always surprised by the neoconservative neglect of this extremely sore point. Had their understanding faced any true criticism and evaluation, then the initial mess would not have been started.

Now they assume the role of cheerleading the way out through a planned set of markers. At this point, why should America place any weight on or give any authority to the neoconservative notions.

Iraq Violence on 4-29

WaPo: 4 U.S. Troops In Baghdad Are Killed by Rocket Fire
Four U.S. soldiers were killed in two rocket attacks in Baghdad on Monday as clashes between U.S.-backed Iraqi forces and Shiite militiamen intensified, the military said.

Obama's Achilles Heel

Listening to National Public Radio today, I was taken by the number of stories regarding Reverend Wright.

I am seeing lots of stories on the web devoted to Wright and presumably they are all over TV.

For example from Reuters: Obama strongly denounces former pastor
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama denounced his former pastor in his strongest language to date on Tuesday, saying he was outraged by Rev. Jeremiah Wright's assertions about the U.S. government and race.

"His comments were not only divisive ... but I believe that they end up giving comfort to those who prey on hate," Obama told reporters.

"Whatever relationship I had with Reverend Wright has changed as a consequence of this," Obama said.
The media, Republicans-neocons, and Clinton have found Obama's weak point, and they will hammer him on Wright.

Can you recall a time when a political candidate or politician seemed like they were in control, when they are playing defense.

This is the problem. Obama is now on the defense. He is forced to distance himself from Wright, but the problem with politicians is that the media won't let you become unstuck. Just the opposite. The attention and shrillness increases the glare of the camera and the worst instincts of the population.

The deer gets caught in the headlights, and America starts salivating. Nothing would please Obama's detractors more than to see his fall from grace.

Temper Temper

President Bush gets hot when a reporter asks him about Iraq.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Dust Off the Bike


BBC: Opec warns oil could reach $200
Opec, the oil producing cartel, has warned that the price of crude could keep rising to reach $200 a barrel.

Opec president Chakib Khelil blamed the falling value of the US dollar, which makes other assets, including oil, more attractive for foreign investors.

The dollar's decline has also made dollar-denominated assets such as oil and other commodities relatively cheap for some investors.
Isn't there an old quote about once the crap is out of the bull you can't get it back in.

Of course oil will cost $200 per barrel, the question is when.

Oil hit $90 per barrel on October 25, 2007 - source

Oil hit $100 per barrel on January 2, 2008 - source

So it took 69 days for oil to go from $90 to $100 per.

Oil almost hit $120 today 4-28. That means it took 117 days for oil to go from $100 to $120 per. That's a slightly faster pace than $90 to $100.

If oil keeps rising in cost at the present rate, it will cost $200 per in about 15 to 16 months. That would be July of 2009.

I know its a rather crude assessment. Clearly the oil barons have it charted out well into the future.

Exxon on the NYSE

Animusic

Camp Bucca in Iraq

Bucca is a holding prison for insurgents.

They are implementing a program at Bucca where the inmates are being taught a moderate form of Islam. Have re-education programs ever worked anywhere? If yes, then where are the non-violent re-education programs for America's gangs?

This program has been up and running for a while. This article is from September of '07. The clip is recent - U.S. Working to Reshape Iraqi Detainees
Marine Maj. Gen. Douglas M. Stone, (is) the commander of U.S. detention facilities in Iraq

Stone said such efforts, aimed mainly at Iraqis who have been held for more than a year, are intended to "bend them back to our will" and are part of waging war in what he called "the battlefield of the mind." Most of the younger detainees are held in a facility that the military calls the "House of Wisdom."

If a detainee is an imperative security risk . . . then I'm going to reduce that risk and I'm going to replace that destructive ideology..."

Oman


With the possibility of war with Iran looming, the Sultan of Oman is issuing a peace statement with the intent to reduce the friction.

Gulf News: We do not want spectre of war in region, says Oman ruler
We want to keep our region away from the disasters of wars."

"We would like our region to enjoy its monetary surplus, prosperity, stability and progress."

"If you mean would we work as an intermediary, yes, we have done a lot of intermediary work and solved many conflicts, and used diplomacy to solve many things silently. We knew that those whom we sought to assist succeeded and appreciated this very well. Let history keep this to our credit when speaking about us."

Believe it or Not


I am posting this article simply because it suggests a possibility that I completely support.

That would be anyone other than a Republican/neocon as the new president.

Having said that, I would suggest taking the information with a handful of salt. Most polling information has been particularly suspect this political season. Its almost to the point where it is valueless. Nevertheless, its always fun to see the suggestion of the Republican getting beat, even if its put together by people with a serious laughing gas problem.

AP: AP Poll: Clinton leads McCain, doing better than Obama
Hillary Rodham Clinton now leads John McCain by 9 points in a head-to- head presidential matchup...

Helped by independents, young people and seniors, Clinton gained ground this month in a hypothetical match with Sen. McCain, the GOP nominee-in-waiting. She now leads McCain, 50 percent to 41 percent, while Obama remains virtually tied with McCain, 46 percent to 44 percent.
It would be a crime to not see Obama on the voting ballot this November.

The 100 Year War

The new DNC TV ad goes after John McCain -

Monday, April 28, 2008

Lock and Key


We've seen this before. The Bush administration's answer to AIDS and STD, teen pregnancy, and all things sexual outside of the realm of the administration's ideas on marriage, is to just say no.

For some reason at this moment I am thinking, how are you gonna keep them down on the farm...

The BBC is providing one of the more recent articles on the issue. The title is misleading. It might very well read - 'How in the world could US abstinence only policy possibly succeed?'

Has US abstinence policy failed?
"Teens are curious and they want to experiment and if they know what's out there and they have the correct information, they're going to know how to protect themselves and prevent an unwanted pregnancy and an STD..."

...with some 750,000 teenage pregnancies a year, America has one of the highest teen birth rates in the developed world.

"This national programme which has wasted $1.5bn (£750m) of tax money is a failure and our teens are paying the price..."

Obama on Fox

I abhor Fox News. First off, it is not news. It is a neo-con partisan propaganda outfit.

Obama correctly avoided the show. On Sunday Obama capitulated and he was interviewed by Chris Wallace. Obama may very well become the next president. In that context, I forgive him.



Upcoming Fed Announcement

AP: Wall Street looks for cues from Federal Reserve meeting
Most investors believe the Fed will lower rates by another quarter percentage point but will also suggest they are gearing up for a pause.
There will be a Federal Reserve assessment on the economy issued this coming week maybe Tuesday or Wednesday.

In the past few months, these announcements have led to short term lifts in the stock market mostly because Wall Street likes seeing prime interest rates go down, at least right now.

I would suspect that day traders are gearing up for this announcement. If they cut the prime interest rates by another .25% then there will definitely be a market rise on that day.

The big 'but' though comes with any more mention of a pause - slow down in the economy. Personally I don't think the recession is close to being over. Watching the stock market carefully over the last 4 months I've noticed that it is now somewhat stable, but that stable point is low. I haven't seen the kind of drops that occurred back in January.

Olympic Torch Update


As the Olympic torch has progressed around the world, people have come forward to protest the most recent harsh crackdown on Tibetans by the Chinese.

Tibet has been occupied by the Chinese since the 1950s. The occupation has led to the decimation of the Tibetan culture, which is heavily based in Buddhist spirituality, and the relegation of the Tibetan people to second class citizens in their own country.

The torch is now passing through South Korea where people are protesting Chinese policy.

In South Korea, the protests are directed at China over a different and uniquely Korean issue -

Breitbart: N.Korean tries to set himself on fire during Seoul torch run
But in South Korea, China's treatment of North Korean defectors has taken center stage.

Thousands of North Koreans, fleeing lives of hardship in a country that restricts all civil liberties, have escaped across the loosely controlled Chinese border, rather than attempt the heavily fortified frontier with the South. Many live in hiding in China, where if caught, they are deported back home to face imprisonment in life- threatening conditions.

Stiglitz Blames Bush and Greenspan


Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz is interviewed in the upcoming issue of 'profil magazine.' 'Profil' is an Austrian publication.

In the interview Stiglitz points the finger of blame for the US and world recession on George Bush and retired Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan.

Expect to see parts of the interview quoted throughout the progressive media this coming week.

Reuters: Greenspan, Bush to blame for U.S. crisis: Stiglitz
"This man (Greenspan) has unfortunately made a lot of mistakes ..."

"His first one was to support all the tax cuts which were introduced under Bush -- they didn't stimulate the economy very much ..."

"I reproach them (the Bush administration), that the economy was not as resilient as it could have been due to the ongoing tax cuts and the huge costs incurred by the war in Iraq ..."

Triumph des Willens

I must admit, this is the first time I've watched this famous Nazi propaganda film.

Its like passing a car accident, you can't help but look.

Youtube had it posted in its entirety.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

More Torture Disclosure

Reuters: Letters show latitude on U.S. interrogations: report
Recent letters from the U.S. Justice Department to Congress state that intelligence agents working on counter-terrorism can legally use interrogation techniques that might otherwise be banned by international law...

A March 5 letter from the Justice Department to Congress makes clear the Bush administration has not set boundaries for which interrogation methods might violate the ban in the Geneva Conventions on "outrages upon personal dignity..."

"How I Found Out About Girls "

Demand to Save Money


Breitbart: Demand for small cars, crossovers soar along with gas prices
"Fuel is money..."

Sales of large SUVs plummeted 28 percent in the first quarter this year, while subcompact sales rose 32 percent, according to Autodata Corp. Thriftier four-cylinder engines, once despised by Americans for their perceived lack of power, are selling in record numbers.

Used car dealers don't want the big vehicles on their lots anymore because hardly anyone is buying them.
It won't be global warming that changes the way we live. It will be the price tag.

Booby Traps

1944 - This is one of 26 Private SNAFU ('Situation Normal, All Fouled Up) cartoons made by the US Army Signal Corps to educate and boost the morale the troops. Originally created by Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss) and Phil Eastman, most of the cartoons were produced by Warner Brothers Animation Studios - employing their animators, voice actors (primarily Mel Blanc) and Carl Stalling's music.

Summer of '08 Update


Recall that last week there were 21 shootings in Chicago which took place over a 24 hour period. Over the entire weekend period, there were 36 shootings and 9 people died. The Chicago police will be out in force this weekend to try to prevent a repeat of the violence much of it gang related.

Listening to National Public Radio on Friday, there was a report on how the City of Springfield Mass. was trying to quell gang violence. I believe this will be a poignant topic in the upcoming months. We will hear about this type of report from many cities.

We know what many of the relevant issues to this problem are and we've gone over them. I personally find it discouraging to read that the violence is a result of a 'heat wave'. Sorry, that's not the central point.

Breitbart: Chicago working to prevent repeat of deadly weekend
Police planned to increase patrols and put SWAT officers and specialized units on the streets over the weekend, a show of force aimed at deterring violence...

A fired-up Daley blasted the gun industry and called on parents and adults to do their part by intervening to help troubled youth and by working to keep others on the right path.
After I was assaulted back in November, I spoke with the mayor of my city.

He told me that most of the illegal guns that are used in street crime come from the South. Also he said that Southern politicians are not interested in placing any limitations or restrictions on the sale of guns. Recall how 'gun rights' is a big deal with their constituencies. From their perspective, if you take guns away, you might be violating the most salient Constitutional right. Don't expect to see much of a change in that area. Do expect to see more related tragic articles like the one out of Chicago.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

International Energy Agency Likes Biofuels

Financial Times: IEA warns against retreat on biofuels
Biofuel production is critical to meeting current and future fuel demand in spite of its possible role in driving up food prices...

(biofuel makes up) 50 per cent of the extra fuel coming to the market from sources outside Opec...

The FAO (UN Food and Agriculture Organization) estimates biofuels account for 10 per cent of the food price spike.
FYI rice is now being rationed in the USA. Still like biofuel...
Sam's Club, the membership warehouse division of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., is limiting how much rice customers can buy because of what it calls "recent supply and demand trends," the company said Wednesday. source

Basin Street Boys

From a deep operative - 'Evening Swing'

Olberman Goes After Bush's Failure to Support the Troops

An epidemic of suicide among Iraq vets continues.

The average vet claim takes 183 days for a response, that includes mental health claims. This is a disgrace.

When Neocons Go Beyond Bad


Douglas Feith headed the infamous Office of Special Plans which "stovepiped" information on Iraq to the President. The Office did an end run around the legitimate intelligence community and brought forth "intelligence" that made the case for war. The case which most people now understand to be a leaky and rusted cracked pot of nonsense.

This was the plan of the neocons. If the information and intelligence does not fit the ideology, then by all means make it up, use PR firms to sell it, and lie.

Feith is a neocon and he continues to lie. He is a Project for a New American Century signatory. This fact alone would stand the hair of the average American on end if they took the time to research that connection.

In my book, the neocons need to be herded up, and cast off on a deserted isle, far from civilization.

Feith is promoting a new tell all book, pointing fingers wherever he can, to point the blame of the Iraq war/occupation failure away from himself and onto his neocon cohorts. Imagine a pit of venomous rattlesnakes, each trying to kill the other. This would be the Feith rattlesnake's version of the catastrophic mess.


WaPo: Iraq War Is Everyone Else's Fault, Feith Explains
Gen. Tommy Franks called him "the dumbest [bad word] guy on the planet." George Tenet of the CIA called his work on Iraq "total crap." And Jay Garner, once the American administrator in Iraq, deduced that Feith is "incredibly dangerous" and, "He's a smart guy whose electrons aren't connected."

Olympic Pressure

In a welcome change of course, China is now agreeing to meet with an envoy of the Dalia Lama. 50 plus years of extreme dismantling of Tibet and the Tibetan culture didn't cause this change. It was the pressure from the world over the Chinese Olympics as they related to the human rights protests in Tibet timed to coincide with the event.

For the Chinese, its about the money, prestige, and attempting to present a good image to the world.

AP: China says it's ready to meet with aide to Dalai Lama
China's government agreed Friday to a meeting with an envoy of exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama, a step that follows weeks of calls from world leaders for dialogue in the wake of anti-government protests in Tibet.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Loyalty Day


As you may recall, the President has designated October 9 as Leif Erikson Day.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim October 9, 2007, as Leif Erikson Day. I call upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs to honor our rich Nordic-American heritage.
President Bush continues to fill up the calendar with many new and appealing holidays.

On April 23rd, President Bush declared that May 1st will now be Loyalty Day.
Americans believe that every man, woman, and child has unalienable rights, dignity, and matchless value. Advancing these ideals was the honorable vision of our Founders and the mission that helped shape this great country. On Loyalty Day, we celebrate the legacy of freedom and the shared ideals that bind us together.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 1, 2008, as Loyalty Day. I call upon all people of the United States to join in support of this national observance and to display the flag of the United States on Loyalty Day as a symbol of pride in our Nation.
I'm not sure what the proper attire is for Loyalty Day, perhaps its simply a flag pin worn on a prominent place on the upper body garment.

I know of a great place where you can buy Viking metal domed horn helmets for Leif Erikson Day though...

Bush Promotes Petraeus

LA Times: Petraeus promotion ensures future for Bush war policy
By naming Petraeus to a job that lasts into the next administration, Bush ensures that the new president will confront the military's strongest voice for maintaining a big force in Iraq.

And Petraeus has emerged as a leading critic of Iran's interference in Iraq, making his appointment a signal of heightened U.S. attention to Tehran.
We have this sense that Bush's unpopularity, his 20 something percent approval rating, and the rupture within the Republican Party which includes a long list of retiring Congressional people, indicates some type of grand swinging of the political pendulum back to at the very least a more central place.

This is not so. Bush makes political appointments and his appointees will be around for a long time to come. This is how the Bush 'legacy' really works.

In the case of Petraeus the neo-conservative agenda, which is the core of the Bush administration policy, in part is helped to remain intact.

The Daily Show on Clinton

Corporate Demand

Reuters: Olympic partner VW urges China to open society
Volkswagen...a sponsor of the 2008 Beijing games, urged China's government on Thursday to embrace the spirit of the Olympic Games.

"The Olympics offer China and its people a unique opportunity not only to continue their economic development, but above all to further open up their society..."
The Chinese occupation of Tibet and the ongoing brutal disassembly of the Tibetan culture are at the center of this demand. Worldwide protests are shining a powerful light on this tragedy as the Olympic torch makes its way around the world.

I cannot recall a corporation putting forth this type of demand and statement. Its unusual. On the surface it appears to be responsible. Below the surface, that's another question...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Iran Nukes and Obliteration

Gulf News: Iran ready to discuss nuclear dispute, says Ahmadinejad
Tehran: Iran is ready for talks about its nuclear programme but will not give in to pressure to stop its atomic work, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said.

Ahmadinejad’s comments on Wednesday came a day after US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said that if she were president, the United States could “obliterate” Iran.

"Iran's enemies should know our nation is in favour of logical talks ... but talks should be based on respecting our rights," Ahmadinejad said.
Continuing a little further with Clinton's 'obliterate' comment which I found to be completely reprehensible, one wonders what she is thinking.

The notion of obliterating a nation like Iran with nuclear bombs is shocking. Are the political leaders of this country so out of touch with the population of Iran that they are disconnected.

Look on youtube and you will find clips of Iranian young men doing all of the hip hop trick dancing, spinning on their heads and such just like you would see kids doing in NYC.

One of the most popular TV series in Iran is a drama about the holocaust. The story is told from a sense of moral sensitivity.

Young Iranian women are doing their utmost to look hip and fashionable and beautiful, and they are succeeding. Does all of this sound like a threat to humanity.

The point is you have governments and you have people. The people would be obliterated. We need political solutions, non violent political solutions thank you.

Medicaid Cuts

NYT: House Passes Bill Challenging Bush on Medicaid Cuts
The House voted Wednesday to block the Bush administration from cutting federal spending on Medicaid health care for the poor by $13 billion over the next five years.

Two-thirds of House Republicans joined every voting Democrat in the 349-to-62 vote to impose a one-year moratorium, through next March, on seven rules changes that the administration said were needed to curb waste and abuse in Medicaid...
Bush is of course self and party mandated to kill all entitlements, social spending. Its called draining the beast.

Some sobering news: Number of Uninsured Hits New High, Census Shows
47 million Americans had no health insurance in 2006, an increase of more than 2 million from the previous year.

So what's happening is that health insurance is becoming more expensive, less affordable. Employers are dropping coverage. And as a consequence, what we see out the other end is 2.2 million more Americans uninsured in the most recent year, a total of almost 9 million more Americans now uninsured since 2000.

Number One


International Herald Tribune: U.S. prison population dwarfs that of other nations
The United States has...2.3 million criminals behind bars...

The United States... has 751 people in prison or jail for every 100,000 in population.

The only other major industrialized nation that even comes close is Russia, with 627 prisoners for every 100,000 people.

The median among all nations is about 125...

Criminologists and legal experts here and abroad point to a tangle of factors to explain America's extraordinary incarceration rate: higher levels of violent crime, harsher sentencing laws, a legacy of racial turmoil, a special fervor in combating illegal drugs...
As someone who was violently assaulted by 10 gang hoodlums, the trouble is that there are many more people out there who are extremely detrimental and violent.

The US may be number one, but there are many many thugs on the loose that should be removed from society. I hate to sound like a redneck but I know this firsthand.

There is a thriving thug culture in the USA. The people involved in it are proud of their violence. In fact they pass the definition of evil that I recently heard described by Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron - they commit violent acts and they find it funny. I know this firsthand.

So we have a culture of violent sociopaths running around with plenty of people quite willing to join in. All this article identifies is the depth of societal and cultural sickness that is pervasive in the USA.

Let me add to this that the movement from the teen years into adulthood are particularly tricky. In America there are no true cultural rituals that help people along in this progression. No rituals that are healthy and beneficial. Instead we now have the rituals of violence. People take pride in knowing they have caused violence.

Daily Show on Pentagon "Message Force Multipliers" aka War Propaganda

Three Steps Backwards

With rising oil and gas csts, coal is returning as the fuel of choice.

The only problem is that coal energy is the biggest contributor to carbon emissions which causes global warming.

NYT: Europe Turns Back to Coal, Raising Climate Fears
...Italy’s major electricity producer, Enel, is converting its massive power plant here from oil to coal, generally the dirtiest fuel on earth.

...European countries are expected to put into operation about 50 coal-fired plants over the next five years...

...critics say that “clean coal” is a pipe dream, an oxymoron in terms of the carbon emissions that count most toward climate change.

Iraq and Slavery

Reuters: Bangladesh evacuates stranded workers from Iraq
Bangladesh has begun evacuating thousands of stranded workers who were trafficked into war-ravaged Iraq by illegal manpower traders, officials said on Wednesday.

Those evacuated on Wednesday estimated that about 10,000 more Bangladeshis were still in Iraq, facing a hard time without jobs and proper documents.
One very obvious question comes to mind, why are immigrants being herded into Iraq to work, when the unemployment rate as a result of shock and awe is unbelievably high and the Iraqi people are impoverished even further as a result of unemployment?

Somebody should trace the money on this latest scandal, odds are it lands at some US or British related corporation or enterprise of some nature.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Oh Crap

9:30 PM Tuesday night.

Clinton wins Pennsylvania. Apparently she scored big with the Democratic faction that wants to obliterate Iran with a nuclear bomb crap storm.

The Democratic Convention runs from August 25 to 28. Its going to be held in Denver, the mile high city.

Between now and then we will be having a teeth gnashing bruxism fest. Be sure to gird your loins. Also don't bother to read anything that claims to be a "poll" about which candidate is now 20 points ahead of the other. Its a well known fact, pollsters are into laughing gas.

Clearly Clinton does not mercifully quit the race. On the positive side, we get to test out which person we prefer to have lying to us for the next 4 years for a little while longer.

In the long haul its Obama.

Pentagon, Retired Generals, MSM Propaganda

There was a stunning segment on Democracy Now today.

Pentagon’s Pundits: A Look at the Defense Department’s Propaganda Program
It turns out the pro-war slant of military analysts was in fact part of a carefully orchestrated propaganda effort from the Pentagon. The New York Times has revealed the Pentagon recruited more than seventy-five retired military officers to appear on TV outlets as so-called military analysts ahead of the Iraq war. Newly disclosed Pentagon documents repeatedly refer to the military analysts as “message force multipliers” or “surrogates” who could be counted on to deliver administration themes and messages to millions of Americans in the form of their own opinions.
The segment looked at this issue in detail. Basically we are talking about a subversion of democracy. You use the main stream media to amplify the call to war with a carefully orchestrated group of high up professionals who are heavily invested in the whole process.

Meanwhile you prevent any dissenting voices particularly those from the left or the peace movement, from being heard. All that the country does hear is information on the conduct of the war, and nothing about the fundamental and most salient point which is should the war even be waged, a careful analysis of the points that have led to war.

Pay attention, because this process will be repeated again and again especially with Iran on the horizon.

Finally, I will say that I found Hillary Clinton's mention of obliterating Iran to be about as loathsome as it gets. She is pandering to the worst and lowest political instincts with this message.

Electric Car in the USA

TH!NK GLOBAL
TH!NK GLOBAL is the new owner of the electric car producer TH!NK. Formerly part of the Ford Motor Company, TH!NK was taken over by a group of Norwegian investors in March 2006. Our goal is to make TH!NK the leading electric car producer in the world .

The electric car is back, capturing public attention and imagination. The confluence of climate change, high fuel prices, the success of hybrids, improved technology, and other factors have brought new attention to electric vehicles.
They intend to put the first model on the market by the end of 2009.

The car, named Think City, is a two-seater with a top speed of about 65 mph, the company said. It runs on sodium batteries and is 95 percent recyclable.

Trapped in an Elevator

This is a painful clip to watch, so be warned.

Pennsylvania

Tuesday morning 4-22 -

Its sort of a cross between pencil and transylvania, and its the source of all Democratic aspirations. Maybe?

Will Obama clearly make a run for it to the finish line?

Will Clinton put forward her last shot scenario with robust vigor and win, or will she lose and still continue in spite of everybody else in the world?

The country has been functioning with 5 presidents, Bush, Cheney, McCain, Obama, and Clinton. I like it. Its a multi-headed beast, we might consider keeping it. It seems a lot safer and people seem a fraction happier with it as well.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Animal Collective

Music clip sent by a deep operative.

Bicycle Lawnmowing



Talk about cutting edge technology!

More photos at: treehugger.com

12 Foot Wall Erected Around White House


No, the 12 foot wall is being erected through Sadr City in Baghdad. This would not be one of the Iraq success stories.

International Herald Tribune: Anti-U.S. cleric threatens new uprising if crackdown continues
The Americans are attempting to seal off much of Sadr City, home to an estimated 2.5 million people, and have used helicopter gunships and Predator drones to fire missiles at militiamen seeking refuge in the sprawling slum of northeast Baghdad.
Fox News: 12 Killed in Baghdad's Sadr City, Government Troops Sweep Through Basra
Security forces in the area also have come under repeated attack by militants trying to prevent the construction of a concrete wall through the district.

The wall — a concrete barrier of varying height up to about 12 feet — is being built along a main street dividing the southern portion of Sadr City from the northern, where Mahdi Army fighters are concentrated.

Hans Richter - Rhythm 23


Source: Richter's witty, reductionist squares, trapezoids, and lines alter size and shade, becoming meditations on pure form, movement, and music. "Rhythm 23" (1923) explores various modes of movement, including criss-cross patterns, negative reversals, and changes in size and shape. His later studies juxtapose abstract forms (circles suspended in space) with their recognizable correlates (a human face, artificial eyeballs).

Rhythm was key to Richter's works. It created a kind of hidden structure, or grid, that helped unify disparate images into a whole. His abstract motion studies melted into a Surrealistic approach, and were explicitly intended to confound the rational mind with irrational happenings. In the obscurist fantasy "Ghosts before Breakfast" (1927), Richter's Dadaist influences take center stage. Everyday objects and people undergo bizarre metamorphoses: hats fly through the air; beards appear, grow, and just as magically disappear on hapless men; tea cups fill of their own accord. Creating a "fantasy trance" of curiosity, Richter's inspired choreography of objects held audiences spellbound at a time when film and special effects were new.

Carter Negotiates

AP: Carter: Hamas is willing to accept Israel as its neighbor
"There's no doubt that both the Arab world and Hamas will accept Israel's right to exist in peace within 1967 borders," he said, referring to Israel's frontiers before it captured large swaths of Arab lands in the 1967 Mideast war.

Israel has been negotiating directly with Abbas, who heads a moderate government based in the West Bank. Abbas lost control of the Gaza Strip last June, when Hamas violently seized control of that territory.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Summer of '08


There is a video clip at Breitbart.com that instantly caught my attention.

There have been 21 shootings in Chicago in the last 24 hour period. The shootings were mostly gang related. Four people were killed, others are in hospitals in critical condition.

The recession coupled with stagnant wages, inflation particularly higher food and gas prices, less available credit for student loans and other personal credit needs particularly loans for trade and community colleges, mortgage criteria rising to a higher standards, and higher unemployment are all factors that will kindle inner city violence.

Topper with Cary Grant 1937

Part 10 of 10

Fun loving couple George and Marion Kerby, bank stockholders, are killed in a car accident. As ghosts, they need to do a good deed to get into heaven. Their target stuffy, hen-pecked bank president, Cosmo Topper. Their good deed, they decide, should be to help Topper add a little fun to his life. And the hilarity ensues...

Libyan Suicide Bombers in Iraq

Newsweek: Destination Martyrdom
Of the 606 militants cataloged in the Sinjar records, almost 19 percent had come to Iraq from Libya. Previous intelligence estimates had always held that the bulk of Iraq's foreign fighters come from Saudi Arabia. Indeed, the largest number of militants in the Sinjar records—244 of them—were Saudi nationals. But in per capita terms, Libyans represented a much higher percentage. Perhaps the most startling detail: of 112 Libyan fighters named in the papers, an astoundingly large number—52—had come from a single town of 50,000 people along the Mediterranean coast, called Darnah.
Back in 2003, Libya agreed to open up its nuclear weapons technology to the U.N.

Here is a quote from President George Bush on Libya source:
"Another message should be equally clear: Leaders who abandon the pursuit of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them will find an open path to better relations with the United States and other free nations."

He said Libya's decision would help lift it out of its isolation.

"With today's announcement by its leader, Libya has begun the process of rejoining the community of nations," Bush said. "Colonel Gadhafi knows the way forward: Libya should carry out the commitments announced today. Libya should also fully engage in the war against terror."
Clearly terrorism extends far beyond the use of a weapon of mass destruction by a 'rogue' nation. Clearly the method for preventing terrorists extends far beyond the scope of normalizing relations with 'rogue' countries.

Results of War

AP: Lawsuit accuses Department of Veterans Affairs of failing to prevent an 'epidemic of suicide'
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs isn't doing enough to prevent suicide and provide adequate medical care for Americans who have served in the armed forces, a class-action lawsuit that goes to trial this week charges.

An average of 18 military veterans kill themselves each day, and five of them are under VA care when they commit suicide, according to a December e-mail between top VA officials that was filed as part of the federal lawsuit.
The Bush administration is perfectly willing to send troops into Iraq for multiple tours of duty, and like many he wears the patriotic flag and talks about honoring the troops efforts in Iraq by staying his course. The end result of this policy will cast a long lengthy shadow on American society for years to come.

Bank of America and Citigroup Cut Student Loans

The news reporter mentions that there are new trends resulting from the loans drying up, noting that the most affected are students at trade schools and community colleges at this point. She says that people are learning to save money and that big label clothing is being replaced by second hand clothes - being poor is cool. Who knew?

Bush Eats Organic


NYT: Hail to the Chef
After the Clintons left the White House, I stayed on (as White House chef) for the first four years of the Bush administration and was surprised to see how similar were Mrs. Clinton’s and Laura Bush’s tastes: though very different women, they both liked Southwestern cuisine and spicy foods and ate relatively healthfully. Just about the only thing that’s changed in the menu is Mrs. Bush’s insistence on organic products — much to her husband’s surprise.
There is virtually no policy decision that Bush has made that I believe benefits anyone other than the richest 1% of the nation's people. The end of his presidency cannot come fast enough.

That said, there are now two aspects of Bush that I support. He rides a bike, and he eats organic at least part of the time.

Afghanistan Violence on 4-20

AP: Iranian, Afghan forces clash at border
Afghan police clashed with Iranian forces at the southwestern border between the two countries, leaving one civilian dead and two Iranian officers wounded, officials said Sunday.

The long and porous border between the two countries is used by smugglers to traffic drugs into Iran. Many Afghans also cross illegally into Iran from the area. Border clashes are common.
This is another aspect of the violence in the region that is not widely known.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Iraq Violence on 4-19

The Independent: America's allies in Iraq under pressure as civil war breaks out among Sunni
God is Great," screamed a man seconds before he blew himself up, killing 10 people in a restaurant in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province in western Iraq.

A vicious civil war is now being fought within Iraq's Sunni Arab community between al-Qa'ida in Iraq and al-Sahwa while other groups continue to attack American forces.

The official daily death toll of civilians reached a low of 20 killed a day in that month (January) and has since more than doubled to 41 a day in March. The US and the Iraqi government are now facing a war on two fronts.

The Iraqi army has appeared as dependent on American support as it ever was in the past.

Betty Boop's Crazy Inventions 1933








Weather Update


Saturday at 2:18 PM: Here in Upstate New York it is stunning outside. Its like we skipped April and May and are in the thick of early Summer. Have an excellent day.

Neo-Thanol

The American Enterprise Institute or A.E.I. is a neoconservative think tank.

The rank and file of the Institute include many former contributors to the allegedly defunct 'Project for a New American Century', another neoconservative think tank whose members occupied many of the highest governmental positions in the early Bush years. These neoconservatives were the architects of the Iraq war among other things. Lead 'Project for a New American Century' spokesperson William Kristol can be heard cheering the Iraq war/occupation every week on Fox News and anyplace where neoconservative and Bush loyalists are willing to secretly gather.

A recent A.E.I. article by none other than Newt Gingrich, another neoconservative, is titled - Ethanol, Pro and Con - New Energy Source Means Brighter Future.

Here are a few excerpts:
It is in America's best interest to reduce the world's dependency on oil from unstable regions of the world. Starting with a collaborative effort among individuals, businesses and government leaders, we can fundamentally transform the American energy system to one that is more dependable and more affordable. Yet there is no panacea for the energy challenge we face. It will take a wide-ranging approach that adopts more aggressive development of biofuels and solar, wind, hydrogen and nuclear power.

Though ethanol holds a lot of potential as a partial replacement for gasoline, the ethanol we use today will be replaced by an improved ethanol in the future as ethanol producers continue to advance the fuel's positive energy return on investment (the ratio of how much energy the fuel produces to how much energy is needed to produce the fuel).
Gingrich's article is misnamed, he does not go into the deep and destructive cons of ethanol and biofuel.

I would suspect the fact that ethanol and biofuel is a highly subsidized industry in the USA, meaning we the taxpayer are paying for its corporate evolution, is one of Gingrich's favorite aspects. Corporate welfare would always trump social service welfare for Gingrich, the man who helped demonise the single black mother in the 1994 Republican revolution in Congress.

Even though I have covered this many times on this blog, here is an excellent excerpt on a few of the negatives:
The push for ethanol and other biofuels has spawned an industry that depends on billions of dollars of taxpayer subsidies, and not only in the United States. In 2005, global ethanol production was 9.66 billion gallons, of which Brazil produced 45.2 percent (from sugar cane) and the United States 44.5 percent (from corn). Global production of biodiesel (most of it in Europe), made from oilseeds, was almost one billion gallons.

The industry's growth has meant that a larger and larger share of corn production is being used to feed the huge mills that produce ethanol. According to some estimates, ethanol plants will burn up to half of U.S. domestic corn supplies within a few years. Ethanol demand will bring 2007 inventories of corn to their lowest levels since 1995 (a drought year), even though 2006 yielded the third-largest corn crop on record. Iowa may soon become a net corn importer.

The enormous volume of corn required by the ethanol industry is sending shock waves through the food system. (The United States accounts for some 40 percent of the world's total corn production and over half of all corn exports.) In March 2007, corn futures rose to over $4.38 a bushel, the highest level in ten years. Wheat and rice prices have also surged to decade highs, because even as those grains are increasingly being used as substitutes for corn, farmers are planting more acres with corn and fewer acres with other crops.

This might sound like nirvana to corn producers, but it is hardly that for consumers, especially in poor developing countries, who will be hit with a double shock if both food prices and oil prices stay high...source
This article is a year old and today we are witnessing the worldwide increase in food prices. Curiosly Gingrich makes virtually no connection between ethanol and biodiesel production and the rising price of food, which is leading to massive hunger in poorer countries.

Here are some excerpts from a Time magazine article - The World's Growing Food-Price Crisis
Rocketing food prices — some of which have more than doubled in two years — have sparked riots in numerous countries recently. Millions are reeling from sticker shock and governments are scrambling to staunch a fast-moving crisis before it spins out of control. From Mexico to Pakistan, protests have turned violent. Rioters tore through three cities in the West African nation of Burkina Faso last month, burning government buildings and looting stores. Days later in Cameroon, a taxi drivers' strike over fuel prices mutated into a massive protest about food prices, leaving around 20 people dead. Similar protests exploded in Senegal and Mauritania late last year. And Indian protesters burned hundreds of food-ration stores in West Bengal last October...

The push to produce biofuels as an alternative to hydrocarbons is further straining food supplies, especially in the U.S., where generous subsidies for ethanol have lured thousands of farmers away from growing crops for food. "The area used for biofuels is increasing each year...

Saturday, April 19, 2008

20 Plus

A Newsweek poll has Obama over Clinton by 20. We knew Obama was leading but now he appears to be running away with it.

Newsweek: Hillary Drops Back
The survey of 1,209 registered voters found that Obama now leads Clinton by nearly 20 points, or 54 percent to 35 percent, among registered Democrats and those who lean Democratic nationwide.
Personally I always take the results of the polls with some suspicion.

Priorities


The cost of the Iraq war/occupation is beyond enormous.

Not only do we know about the 4,000+ troops killed, the 300,000+ suffering from PTSD, the 25,000+ suffering from injuries including loss of limbs, $3trillion price tag, the several million displaced refugee Iraqis, and the 100,000+ Iraqis killed, there are the programs that lose funding in favor of war. This is an internal, within the nation, type of blowback.

The San Diego Union Tribune: Too few funds to fight cancer in U.S.
- 1,500 Americans a day die from cancer...

- The National Institutes of Health has lost 2 percent of its budget to inflation in real dollars every year for the last seven years, a 14 percent decline...

- When...asked...why there is the drop in federal funds... “We have a deficit and a war.” If funding potential disease cures is part of the price of Iraq, it is no wonder that 70 percent of Americans oppose the war and want its cost to end in the scheme of priorities.
Our priorities are in disarray.

Johnny Appleseed

Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros

Old

The news is usually bleak and stark except for the rare feel good story.

AP: The oldest Americans are also the happiest, research finds
While younger blacks and poor people tended to be less happy than whites and wealthier people, those differences faded as people aged.

In general, the odds of being happy increased 5 percent with every 10 years of age.
There is a line in a Buddhist prayer that goes - "May all sentient beings have happiness and the cause of happiness."

The Buddhists also teach that the line can be reduced to one word - love.

Obama on Colbert 4-18

Its all in good fun -

Google

FT.com: Wall St surges on Citi and Google results
Wall Street stocks cantered towards the weekend break, climbing for a fourth straight session on Friday...Google impressed investors with resilient earnings.
Google on the NYSE: Google

Incidentally the price of Google per share at closing on Thursday was $449.54, its a pricey stock.

The price as of 3:15 on Friday - $540.11

Friday, April 18, 2008

"As They Stand Up We Will Stand Down"

Yahoo: Company of Iraqi troops abandons position after attack
A company of government troops in Sadr City retreated when they came under attack from Shiite militiamen who used the cover of a sandstorm, police said Friday.
Not exactly standing up as we stand down is it?

Memo to the next manager of the Iraq war/occupation - Leave all your preconceived notions (AKA neo-con nonsense) behind and do a little experiential investigation or listen to an actual expert, not a phony, a real expert.

Is it possible that absolutely nothing that Bush said about the positive side of the Iraq war/occupation will turn out turn to be true.

Illinois Eartquake

AP: 5.4 earthquake rocks Illinois; felt 450 miles away
A 5.4-magnitude earthquake that appeared to rival the strongest recorded in the region rocked people up to 450 miles away early Friday, surprising residents unaccustomed to such a powerful Midwest temblor.

Graphene

Nice tech article at the BBC.

Its about graphene which comes from graphite. A transistor can be made of graphene that is only 1 atom thick - that's tiny. The thought is that it could replace silicone. Graphene = more transistors = faster more advanced computer chips.

BBC: Nano switch hints at future chips
Researchers have built the world's smallest transistor - one atom thick and 10 atoms wide - out of a material that could one day replace silicon.

"It is already superior to silicon by an order of magnitude and comparable to the best samples of other materials.

"We believe we can increase this mobility of electron flow 10-fold."

Gen. Wesley Clark - Bush is "Hiding behind Petraeus"

General Clark points out a significant defect in President Bush's obedience to General Petraeus - General Petreaus is there to do his job as best as he can as a military leader, that is his mission. It is the President who is supposed to decide whether or not the mission needs to continue, not the Generals. The President is supposed to set the policy, not the General.

The Future

Reuters: Study says 300,000 U.S. troops suffer mental problems
About 300,000 U.S. troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder or depression, but about half receive no care, an independent study said on Thursday.

The study by the RAND Corp. also estimated that another 320,000 troops have sustained a possible traumatic brain injury during deployment. But researchers could not say how many of those cases were serious or required treatment.
Next time our political leaders tell us that the cost of taking down Saddam Hussein was worth it, pity them for being so out of touch and inhumanely callous.

Iraq Violence on 4-17

Breitbart.com: 50 killed, 55 hurt in suicide bombing in northern Iraq+
At least 50 people were killed and 55 others injured Thursday in a suicide bombing at a funeral in northern Iraq, one of the deadliest for months, Reuters news agency reported.

A suicide bomber detonated his explosives under a vest during the funeral in a Sunni Arab village near the town of Adhaim in Diyala province, it said.
Can you imagine how people in the USA would respond if this happened in Washington DC or Los Angeles.

People have become anesthetized to the daily violence in Iraq.

Night of the Living Dead 1968

In its entirety from George A. Romero - 'Night of the Living Dead'

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Shaft Not Shift

CNN: Bush shifts on climate change
Revising his stance on global warming, President Bush proposed a new target Wednesday for stopping the growth of the nation's greenhouse gas emissions by 2025.

The new White House climate initiative comes as Bush appears, in the view of congressional Democrats and environmentalists, as increasingly irrelevant in the climate debate both on the domestic and international stage.
With 7 wasted years down the drain on this dramatically important issue, Bush punts it to 2025.

He did his job. He kept corporations as happy as pigs in s**t. In the last 8 years, gas mileage has improved by a whisper, gas prices have tripled, home heating fuel is prohibitively expensive, and the White House did nothing to promote alternative energy on any type of relevant, small, or grand scale. The key word is nothing.

This searching for a legacy Bush thing is actually Presidential later mid-life crisis. Somebody get this guy something so he can go cut brush. Environmentalists are kind in calling Bush not relevant, he is the problem.

Carter

Gulf News: Carter embraces senior Hamas figure
Ramallah, West Bank: Former US President Jimmy Carter on Tuesday warmly embraced a leading Hamas figure in the West Bank and laid a wreath at the grave of Yasser Arafat, further antagonising Israel as he pushed forward with his latest Mideast peace mission.

Carter, who stressed he was not acting as a negotiator or a mediator, said he hoped "just as a communicator" to relay to "leaders of the United States" what Hamas and Syria have to say.
I did not admire Arafat. He seemed to be serving his own self interests in the end.

No doubt Carter is setting off a huge controversy and no doubt the right wing hate radio usuals will link it all to Obama, etc, etc, etc.

What I would like to simply point out is that the Palestinian - Israeli conflict appears as bad as ever and we were all sick of it 30 years ago.

In that light, or lack or light, which is that the situation is no better and is in some ways worse, much worse, Carter deserves credit for moving outside of the worthless box.

Declined

breitbart.com: U.S. economy declined further since early March, Fed says+
The U.S. economy has weakened further since early March due to softer consumer spending, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday in a periodic business sentiment survey.
This is a curious way of stating the problem.

The economy weakened because people didn't spend their money? Sorry, people had less money to spend and if they had any money they were going to hold onto it out of fear.

This is called basic governmental obfuscation or it could also be called - passing the buck.

John Stewart on Bush's Torture

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Swing Dance 1932

At 5:50 a solo female dancer does her thing. She has to be double jointed.

Recession and Retail

The recession/sub prime mortgage decimation/Iraq war, is setting off economic problems all over the place. We've learned about the crunch on student loans, the crunch on mortgages and how there is an amazing rise in foreclosures, drug companies are upping the ante, food prices are rising with millions around the world now at risk, plus there is ongoing inflation. Next up, its retail stores -

NYT: Retailing Chains Caught in a Wave of Bankruptcies
Since last fall, eight mostly midsize chains — as diverse as the furniture store Levitz and the electronics seller Sharper Image — have filed for bankruptcy protection as they staggered under mounting debt and declining sales.

But the troubles are quickly spreading to bigger national companies, like Linens ‘n Things, the bedding and furniture retailer with 500 stores in 47 states. It may file for bankruptcy as early as this week, according to people briefed on the matter.

Even retailers that can avoid bankruptcy are shutting down stores to preserve cash through what could be a long economic downturn. Over the next year, Foot Locker said it would close 140 stores, Ann Taylor will start to shutter 117, and the jeweler Zales will close 100.

The Human Condition

According to George Bush, Iran is the biggest threat to the USA. They are our enemy. According to Pat Buchanan, there is a 50/50 chance we bomb them before Bush mercifully leaves office. Its already being called the October surprise.

I found this article on the Gulf News website. If the article's allegation is valid, then our government has far more in common with the Iranian government than anyone has realized.

Gulf News: Tehran police chief in charge of fighting vice 'caught with 6 nude women'
Tehran: A spokesman for Iran's judiciary is confirming that Tehran's police chief has been detained and is presently "under investigation".

But Ali Reza Jamshidi on Tuesday is refusing to detail the circumstances of General Reza Zarei's arrest.

Local media report that Zarei was taken to jail after he was caught with six nude women by a police raid on an underground local brothel.
Its somewhat Clintonesque, and had it been 6 nude male interns - a Republican Congressman's cornucopia of delight.

Colbert on the Democrats

Colbert summarizes the Democratic presidential race up to the present, as only he can do.

Iraq Violence on 4-15-08

NYT: Dozens Killed in Bombings in Four Iraqi Cities
Insurgents armed primarily with car bombs struck in four cities in Iraq on Tuesday, killing at least 66 people and wounding dozens more. The most lethal attack was in the troubled provincial capital of Baquba, a city the Americans believed they had largely taken back from Sunni extremists last summer.
Bush got us into this mess and he apparently has no plan for the region other than staying his failed course. He sure as hell can't and won't get us out of this mess.

Tuesday

FT.com: US stocks edge up in volatile session
Wall Street stocks climbed weakly on Tuesday as advances by financial and energy companies offset declines in technology stocks in a temperamental afternoon session of trading.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Not You

Phew, John McCain is coming out against torturing American citizens.

Drugged Water Update

Breitbart: Philly Seeks Controls on Drugs in Water
City leaders pressed Monday for less government secrecy and stronger action to deal with the presence of trace pharmaceuticals in drinking water supplies, as communities across the nation continue to voice unease over these contaminants.

Scientific studies indicate that some drugs, including sex hormones and psychiatric drugs, can harm aquatic species. A smaller, emerging body of research suggests that tiny concentrations of some drugs can interfere with functions of human cells.

What'd Ya Eat


AP: Diet Reduces Heart Attacks, Strokes
A large study offers the strongest evidence yet that a diet the government recommends for lowering blood pressure can save people from heart attack and stroke.

The plan, called the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, favors fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat milk and plant-based protein over meat.
OK its up to you, it might be time to stop eating those deep fried in lard oreos - tasty, but not good for you.

Sande's version of a Scottish breakfast.

- 1/2 cup of steel cut oats
- tablespoon of dulse
- 1 cup of water
- splash of olive oil
- a salmon patty or fillet about 4 ounces worth.

Bring the water, oats, and dulse to a boil, cover and let simmer for 20 minutes.
Slowly saute' the patty or fillet over low heat in olive oil. If you do it slow enough it will be cooked when the oats are done.

Put the cooked oats in a bowl and top with the fillet or patty, garnish to taste.

Gagging

Every six months or so I tune into R. Limbaugh.

I listened on Monday the 14th, not much has changed since six months ago.

I listened to the futility of calling into his show. Someone called to defend Obama. Limbaugh was dragging Obama through the mud, no surprise here. One curious remark had Limbaugh attributing Obama with being inarticulate. Can you imagine, 7 years of drooling Bush and he goes after Obama.

Apparently hate radio has settled on McCain, no surprise here.

It would be a beneficial study in the art of profoundly poor and lopsided debate by analyzing Limbaugh's comments. The caller was silenced, quite literally, his voice was removed from the sequence. What better way to attack a critic than to remove the critic, no chance for a retort. Limbaugh went into a patriotic soliloquy, I wondered if he believed it himself.

You will not hear one word about the massive destructiveness that the Bush administration has wrought. Nothing about the economy, nothing about the war, nothing about massive deficits, the great failure of Bush, its all about the flawed 'ideology' of liberalism and how to expunge that scourge. Somewhere in Limbaugh's mind, Bush has apparently succeeded.

I must say the deceptions, obfuscations, hypocrisies, half truths, all were perfect. It occurred that here is perhaps the best salespeople of all time. This is exactly what he does, he sells the right and he sells commercials, and he's unsurpassed.

I took away nothing from the experience and remembered why I listen every six months. Its the same story and production every time. Rush believes its 1994 and the Republican conservative revolution is blooming and that liberals are scoundrels on the run. Its a broken record, ultimately there's nothing there. I doubt that he even knows what a liberal is. I can sum up his talking point with a right wing slogan of the past - "My country right or wrong." Limbaugh took that slogan and molded it into a long lucrative career.

Expensive Health

Its curious, people seem to be under the impression that there is a movement to improve health care in the USA. Certainly we hear about it often enough. These are words that do not translate into actions. Its quite the opposite. Health care costs and accessibility continues to decline. That would mean that health in general is declining.

Recall that drug companies are among the types of industries that fair well during a recession.

NYT: Co-Payments for Expensive Drugs Soar
Health insurance companies are rapidly adopting a new pricing system for very expensive drugs, asking patients to pay hundreds and even thousands of dollars for prescriptions for medications that may save their lives or slow the progress of serious diseases.

With the new pricing system, insurers abandoned the traditional arrangement that has patients pay a fixed amount, like $10, $20 or $30 for a prescription, no matter what the drug’s actual cost. Instead, they are charging patients a percentage of the cost of certain high-priced drugs, usually 20 to 33 percent, which can amount to thousands of dollars a month.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Cities in Dust

Siouxsie and the Banshees

There was a short period 20 years back when this tune was etched into my thought chatter, like a soundtrack for your thinking. The hook is still good, its the howling singing, reminiscent of a yodel.

Present Arms

This article is either an incredible wishful hoax or the real thing.

It's Obama, stupid: Carter and Gore to end Clinton bid
An appeal by both men for Democrats to unite behind Clinton's rival, Barack Obama, would have a powerful effect, and insiders say it is a question of when, rather than if, they act.
Why is this information revealed at NEWS.SCOTSMAN.COM - originating in Scotland.

Credit Fiasco Broadens

As the sub prime mortgage decimation and world recession (or as some have called it - depression) implode, there are many aspects of the economy and society in general that are affected.

The clip goes through how private student loans are drying up and how federal loans are completely inadequate.

As Americans get poorer, we will also be getting less educated. Now exactly how valuable will that be.

The Bush administration just keeps on giving.