Sunday, August 31, 2008

B.I.I.D.

We just watched 'Quid Pro Quo' with Nick Stahl (best young American male actor, in my opinion).

If you watch the movie and then check out the special features, you come across a documntary. Cutting to the chase here, its about a condition at present called - B.I.I.D.
Body Integrity Identity Disorder, or BIID, is a psychological condition in which the individual requests an elective amputation. Individuals with this condition experience the persistent desire to have their body physically match the idealized image they have of themselves.
Yes, its about people who want to be paralyzed or have a limb amputated in order to feel whole.

Yes, its new to me as well and before we jump to conclusions, there are many people out there who have this condition. Its only very recently been named.
Body Integrity Identity Disorder, or BIID, is a psychological condition in which the individual requests an elective amputation. Individuals with this condition experience the persistent desire to have their body physically match the idealized image they have of themselves. This desire forces individuals to deal with the paradox of losing one or more major limbs (i.e. arm[s] or leg[s]) to become whole. In their minds, "Less is more".

These individuals are not psychotic. In fact, a diagnosis of psychosis excludes a diagnosis of BIID.

New Orleans Ghost Town

McCain Wanted Lieberman

The religious fundamentalist right pushed McCain into Palin. McCain wanted Leiberman. What was he afraid of, was he thinking the religious right would vote for Obama.

It looks like McCain needed someone to campaign through the bible belts. Will Palin ever see the bright lights of NYC?

NYT: Advisers Say Conservative Ire Pushed McCain Away From Picking Lieberman
For weeks, advisers close to the campaign said, Mr. McCain had wanted to name as his running mate his good friend Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, the Democrat turned independent. But by the end of last weekend, the outrage from Christian conservatives over the possibility that Mr. McCain would fill out the Republican ticket with Mr. Lieberman, a supporter of abortion rights, had become too intense to be ignored.

China's Coal Pollution Impacts the USA

It has been stated that we can buy all the Prius's and hybrids we want, the benefit of that lowering of emissions is more than offset by China's burning of coal. We will still come out below our desired goals.

China will in the future burn more and more coal. More coal based energy plants go on line in China weekly.

Now here we are seeing the result as coal based pollution from China rains down on the US. The health and quality of life factors will soon follow.

Yahoo: Scientists fear impact of Asian pollutants on U.S.
From 500 miles in space, satellites track brown clouds of dust, soot and other toxic pollutants from China and elsewhere in Asia as they stream across the Pacific and take dead aim at the western U.S.

By some estimates more than 10 billion pounds of airborne pollutants from Asia — ranging from soot to mercury to carbon dioxide to ozone — reach the U.S. annually. The problem is only expected to worsen: Some Chinese officials have warned that pollution in their country could quadruple in the next 15 years

Song of the Birds

Cartoon circa 1935 - the drawing is amazing.

Palin and the Confidence Factor Poll


There are two aspects of this poll that are immediately noteworthy.

The first is that Palin, coming from virtually out of nowhere and with 20 months of leading the 48th largest state with a population of approximately 670,000 as her qualifying government experience, already gets a 39% vote of confidence. We can assume that the 28% to 30% of the country that supports Bush makes up the bulk of the approval.

The second aspect is that Palin's low confidence vote, the lowest of modern times, must have been known to Republican operatives and McCain's managers.

As we have suggested, the Republicans continue to blatantly show their complete contempt of the American public with another low quality, highest echelon candidate.

Gallup: Poll: Voters uncertain on Palin
There is also wide uncertainty about whether she's qualified to be president. In the poll, taken Friday, 39% say she is ready to serve as president if needed, 33% say she isn't, and 29% have no opinion.

That's the lowest vote of confidence in a running mate since the elder George Bush chose then-Indiana senator Dan Quayle to join his ticket in 1988. In comparison, Delaware Sen. Joe Biden was seen as qualified by 57%-18% after Democrat Barack Obama chose him as a running mate last week.

Gustv Shuts Oil Production in Gulf

They are predicting Gustv hits central Louisiana Monday night to Tuesday morning.

They also are saying it will have the force of Katrina.

Our thoughts and intentions are directed towards wanting the complete safety of all living in the areas in the storm's path.

Also as we can see, US oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico will take a big hit. Consequently there will be a corresponding rise in oil prices which in turn will adversely affect the stock market. One might suspect that the market will dip on Tuesday or when the impact of this disruption in oil production is felt in the industry and marketplace or both.

Market volatility is a hard thing to predict, though we can make an educated guess based on previous examples.

The irony from the point of view of the material aspect is strong. If global warming is increasing the intensity of hurricanes, and global warming is the product of carbon emissions, then we have Gustav dynamically affecting the oil production in the Gulf. The end result destroys the source. Its a patricide scenario enacted on a global scale.

If there is any silver lining here, it would be a recognition on the part of oil producers and managers in union with government to strongly want to tackle global warming.

Reuters: Most U.S. Gulf oil output shut as Gustav threatens
Energy companies shut down three-quarters of U.S. Gulf of Mexico oil production on Saturday to prepare for the worst hurricane to hit the U.S. oil patch since 2005 and coastal refineries began shutting down before possible flooding.

Forecasters predicted Gustav would cross the Gulf of Mexico and hit central Louisiana on late Monday or early Tuesday with a force similar to that of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

"This storm will be more dangerous than Katrina," said Planalytics analyst Jim Roullier. "I think this storm will prove to be a worse-case scenario for the production region."

Gustav Evacuation

I'm A Lonely Man

Sonny Boy Williamson II

Presidential Scholars on Palin

Politico: Scholars question Palin credentials
So unconventional was McCain’s choice that it left students of the presidency literally “stunned,” in the words of Joel Goldstein, a St. Louis University law professor and scholar of the vice presidency. “Being governor of a small state for less than two years is not consistent with the normal criteria for determining who’s of presidential caliber,” said Goldstein.

“I think she is the most inexperienced person on a major-party ticket in modern history,” said presidential historian Matthew Dallek.

“It would be one thing if she had only been governor for a year and a half, but prior to that she had not had major experience in public life,” Dallek said of Palin. “The fact that he would have to go to somebody who is clearly unqualified to be president makes Obama look like an elder statesman.”

And Alaska is a much smaller state than Illinois, the political base of Barack Obama, whom Republicans have repeatedly criticized for being inexperienced, having served nearly four years in the U.S. Senate after eight in the Illinois state Senate.

Palin has no experience in national office. Before becoming governor in December 2006, she served as a council member and mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, which had a population of slightly more than 5,000 during her time in office.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

New Orleans Evacuation Ordered


This is bad. We have been watching this one for a few days now. We do not want a repeat of Katrina and we hope all affected people are getting to safer territory inland.

Breitbart.com: Nagin orders mandatory evacuation of New Orleans
Mayor Ray Nagin is ordering the mandatory evacuation of New Orleans, turning informal advice to flee from the approaching Hurricane Gustav into an official order to get out.

Nagin said Saturday that the evacuation becomes mandatory at 8 a.m. Sunday on the city's vulnerable west bank. It becomes mandatory on the east bank at noon.

Cafferty Goes After Palin

One Out of Six

The Palin selection is sinking in. The articles are coming out that sum up the selection's implications.

Reading that Palin is pro-life, pro intelligent design, and does not believe there is global warming sums up three points that cannot be conceded in this or any election.

People that do not want to have an abortion can choose to not have an abortion. No one is being forced to have abortions.

Although evolution is a scientific theory, people who do not believe in evolution are welcome to have their religious beliefs aired. Do not expect the rest of the world to believe that religious symbolism equals science. Let's keep science and religion separate.

You are welcome to not believe that there is global warming but do not try to stand in the way of the green revolution. Buy your SUV and buy $10 gas, that's fine, no one will prevent you from doing this.

When GM went down to $9 per share, even I bought some.

Yahoo: 6 things the Palin pick says about McCain
1. He’s desperate. Let’s stop pretending this race is as close as national polling suggests. The truth is McCain is essentially tied or trailing in every swing state that matters — and too close for comfort in several states like Indiana and Montana the GOP usually wins pretty easily in presidential races. On top of that, voters seem very inclined to elect Democrats in general this election — and very sick of the Bush years

The Republican brand is a mess.

Germany's Slowdown


Earlier today I posted on the very hard downturn in England with 2 million more expected to be unemployed by December and with gas in the $10 per gallon area.

Germany is the world's largest exporter and is also in the midst of a downturn.

Breitbart.com: Germany hit by 'pronounced slowdown': economist
Germany's economy is undergoing a "pronounced slowdown" that could drag on to 2010, the chief economist at Deutsche Bank, Norbert Walter, said...

Germany's economy contracted 0.5 percent in the second quarter of 2008, the first time in four years that activity decreased, and a possible third quarter contraction would put it into recession.

Nope

Palin as Governor

We are very curious to learn exactly when Sarah Palin was sworn in as governor of Alaska.

This has to do with her "experience." This is the type of experience that is one heartbeat away from the presidency of the world's greatest superpower.

According to the Anchorage Daily News (Anchorage, AK) Palin was sworn in on December 5th 2006. That means that Palin has an overwhelming 1 year and roughly 220 days of experience as Governor of the 48th most populous state in the country with a whopping 627,000 people.
Dec. 5, 2006 - FAIRBANKS - The applause built for a full minute after Sarah Palin took the oath making her Alaska's new governor Monday. Then, from somewhere high in the seats of the Carlson Center sports arena, the chanting started: "Sarah! Sarah! Sarah!" "OK, the governor said cease and desist," said the event's emcee, Libby Riddles, quieting the crowd of thousands. Riddles was the first woman to win the 1,100-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, and it's no coincidence she was asked to host the swearing-in ceremony of the state's first female governor. "She was an underdog. She was a risk-taker, kind of an outsider," Palin said in describing Riddles, but also defining her own rise from a small-town mayor and Republican Party maverick to the state's top political job.
Some facts about Alaska:

- Largest City is Anchorage with 260,000

- Second Largest City is Juneau with 31,000.

Palin is not qualified. Its flat out simple as that. McCain's choice is an outrage to the American people. We need not hide our contempt here. She doesn't measure up to the low Dan Quayle bar. She is not in Dan Quayle's league.

The utter outrage of this is that this person could actually end up as our President.

More information for comparison.

- Alaska has 627,000 people.

- There are 18 American cities with populations over 627,000.

- Columbus, Ohio has a population of 731,000.

- Austin, Texas has a population of 690,000.

- Jacksonville, Florida has a population of 783,000.

Were the mayors of any of these cities on the VP shortlist? Would we feel that the mayor of Columbus is qualified to be the Vice President and could then become President?

Mindless and Irresponsible

CNNs Paul Begala writes some scorching commentary on Palin and McCain. Begala nails it. I mean let's face it, this was an absurd choice.

CNN: Is McCain out of his mind?
In choosing Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be his running mate, he is not thinking "outside the box," as some have said. More like out of his mind.

Palin a first-term governor of a state with more reindeer than people, will have to put on a few pounds just to be a lightweight. Her personal story is impressive: former fisherman, mother of five. But that hardly qualifies her to be a heartbeat away from the presidency.

For a man who is 72 years old and has had four bouts with cancer to have chosen someone so completely unqualified to become president is shockingly irresponsible.

"Worse Than Quayle"

"The future will be better tomorrow." - Dan Quayle
Watch House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer blast McCain and Palin out of the water.

Here's the link to the clip: Hoyer - Palin 'Worse than Quayle'

Palin Accepts

This is so strange, McCain backers are shown freaking out over Palin, yet we all know that 98% of that crowd never heard of her prior to McCain's announcement.

Now I ask you, look at these two as they fumble around together and try to present an air of excitement, its not comforting. McCain looks like he wants to run away as she speaks. He's picking his fingernails, the body language is very shaky. You know this pick was made for him.

New Orleans Levee Condition

Shri Lanka Violence 8-30-08

Gulf News: Dozens injured as bomb explodes in busy Colombo area
Colombo: At least 45 people were injured after a bomb exploded in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo's commercial area on Saturday, officials said.

Children and women were among those injured and rushed to hospital.

British Economic Downturn Worst in 60 Years

Alistair Darling is the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The Chancellor is the British Cabinet minister responsible for all economic and financial matters. The Chancellor is appointed to his position.

Darling's economic assessment is about England but he does specifically speak of and include the rest of the world.

We cannot recall a more drastic evaluation of the world economy. In this particular article he does not get into any details about the USA at all, it is primarily an article about politics in England. Regardless this is a real shocker and admission from someone in an elite power position.

Guardian UK: Economy at 60-year low, says Darling. And it will get worse
In a candid interview in today's Guardian Weekend magazine, Darling warns that the economic times faced by Britain and the rest of the world "are arguably the worst they've been in 60 years". To deepen the sense of gloom, he adds: "And I think it's going to be more profound and long-lasting than people thought."

In the government's gravest assessment of the economy, which follows a warning from a Bank of England policymaker that 2 million people could be out of work by Christmas, Darling admits he had no idea how serious the credit crunch would become.
This is a real wake up call disclosure. The price of gas in England is in the $10 per gallon range. Trying to track this down there is a BBC article from June that states:
A Devon petrol station has been charging £1.99 a litre - more than £9 a gallon - as nearly 400 forecourts in the county suffered dwindling supplies.
Now that would equal $16 and change for a gallon but this was during a truckers' strike where quantities were dwindling

These Boots Are Made For Walking

Nancy

Friday, August 29, 2008

Liars on Rove

The people over at Crooks and Liars have put together a wonderful piece that rips apart Rove's negativity on Obama via the VP choices.

Its a must read

Crooks and Liars: Karl Rove Swings and Misses Big Time

Patrick Ewing Jr


So I like basketball, so what. Is that so wrong.

I also unfortunately like or would it be meaningfully tolerate the New York Knicks, a team that functionality has brutally ignored for year after year, after painful miserable year. Somehow the gods of the sport have seen fit to make the Knick's own Madison Square Garden, the Mecca of Basketball, fair and kind to all teams except the home.

Anyhow, the Knicks just acquired Patrick Ewing Jr. from Houston for the rights to the most laughable pick in Knicks and all of professional basketball's merciful history, The Frenchman with the Escargot Touch, Frederic Weiss. Lord have mercy on our souls.

If Junior can play 1/10 of Senior, we have a shot at next to last place.

The Most Popular Show On TV


Oh boy, if the Republicans don't at least match Obama by bringing in over 40 million viewers when John McCain painfully reads and squints his way through his big deal speech, they are in big trouble - not with whether or not he wins the election but with the people over at Nielson Media Research. And you don't want to mess with those folks.

Breitbart.com: Obama's speech seen by 38 million-plus viewers
Barack Obama's audience for his acceptance speech likely topped 40 million people, and the Democratic gathering that nominated him was a more popular television event than any other political convention in history.

More people watched Obama speak from a packed stadium in Denver on Thursday than watched the Olympics opening ceremony in Beijing, the final "American Idol" or the Academy Awards this year...


Bounce

If America actually has a soul and at least 3/4 of a brain, this is what November looks like -

Gallup: Obama 49% - McCain 41%

Al Gore on Obama

Palin


McCain has picked Alaska's Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate.

One way or another, we will have someone who does not fill the conventional physical appearance that we have to come to expect of our President and Vice President.

The next project will be to discover which neo-conservative think tanks support her or that she belongs to.

How does McCain prod Obama on experience now. How is the female vote affected. Keep in mind that Palin is ultra anti-choice. Will Hillary backers drift to that.

Personal Incomes Drop

This is the issue that needs to be at the center of the campaign. This is the issue that anyone of any stripe and color can relate to.

Yahoo: July incomes drop by largest amount in 3 years
The Commerce Department reported Friday that personal incomes fell by 0.7 percent in July, the biggest drop in nearly three years and a far larger decline than the 0.1 percent decrease analysts expected

Brass in Pocket

The Pretenders

Rasmussen Polling Today

A Masterpiece

David Gergen is a Republican. We know about that.

He is describing Obama's speech as a 'masterpiece.' It was. We watched last night and this man has the right stuff and then some.

CNN: Gergen: A Political masterpiece
But for this moment and for this purpose, I saw Obama's speech tonight as a political masterpiece. As I had a chance to say on CNN a few moments ago, it was in many ways less a speech than a symphony. I also sensed that we saw tonight an Obama who is growing into a new, more mature leader — stronger, tougher, harder-hitting than he had appeared only a few weeks ago.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

McCain and Bush circa 2000

Gallup Poll at 10:30PM

Obama is getting a decent bounce. We will see if he can get over 50% on Friday as a result of his speech. His speech is exceptional, I'm listening to it now.

Gallup: Obama 48% - McCain 42%

Live

The Dems live on CNN: Obama - Signed, Sealed, and Delivered

OK, Tim Kaine or Joe Biden, hmm, ok. I gotta go with Kaine

New Obama Ad

Attack? This seems rather tame.

Mexico and Abortion

With McCain the present 5-4 upholding of Roe Vs Wade would change. McCain favors the four anti-abortion Supreme Court justices and in a McCain administration, he would install a fifth and maybe a sixth as well.

Breitbart.com: Mexican Supreme Court upholds legal abortion
Mexico's Supreme Court voted 8-3 Thursday to uphold legal abortion in the capital, opening the possibility that similar measures could be adopted elsewhere in Mexico—and perhaps beyond.

But conservative President Felipe Calderon, whose administration appealed the Mexico City law to the Supreme Court, is unlikely to stop fighting efforts to expand the availability of abortions.
In the same article is one of the most clear expressions of the anti-abortion sentiment that I have seen. It sums up a good deal of the mental and cultural force in the anti-abortion movement -
Brenda Velez, 38, said she visits the clinic four times a week to recite the rosary.

"They are just encouraging women to be dirty and loose," she said. "The justices' decision is only going to spread more irresponsible behavior."
Are you getting what I'm getting. Its as if at the base of it all is the fear of a woman's sexuality. Where have we seen that a million times.

In some respects, this argument denigrates human sexuality from another direction. In so doing this, it actually promotes what it wants to curb - the issue being the loss of the sanctity of life.

Abortion is no light matter. People are as confused as ever.

Respite

We saw this news yesterday. The dollar has been low, so American exports were looking good. Keyword is 'were.' In truth we need more detail because many economies are hurting right now, worldwide. So will this continue, this growth in American exports.

Regardless, many are seeing their portfolios mildly waking up. There is still quite a ways to go. For the moment, the sleeping death ray is on mild.

Breitbart.com: US economy sees surprise 3.3 percent spurt
The US economy outpaced expectations as surging exports fueled a second-quarter growth spurt at a 3.3 percent pace, according to data Thursday that analysts say makes recession less likely.

The latest figures, helped somewhat by a massive economic stimulus package, suggest the world's biggest economy had more momentum than previously thought by analysts, many of whom anticipated recession.

Iraq Violence 8-28-08

Obama's Night


Tonight is the night. We suspect the speech will be nothing short of electrifying. Its his opportunity to be stellar.

The convention will shift to Denver's Invesco Field at Mile High. Invesco is home to the Denver Broncos and much Colorado college football.

They say this is a chancy move by Obama and that remaining within the confines of the convention center would be a safer bet. Obama faces the criticism that he will appear monolithic in a grand stadium background, something akin to rallies given by many of the world's less than savory leaders.

We shall see.

Somali Pirates


Gulf News: Somali pirates release Omani ship held for six months
Somali pirates often capture ships off the coast of the African nation. Last week, four ships were taken within 48 hours.
From May 2008 -

Afghanistan Violence 8-28-08

Pakistan Violence 8-28-08


Those keeping track know that there is an escalation in violence, particularly bombings, in Pakistan. Many people have been killed. The Pakistani government at present is in a less stable state. This is not good i.e. the bombings and the instability.

Consider that many regard Pakistan as the world's most dangerous country and that it is armed with nuclear weapons.

NYT: 9 Killed in Bomb Blast in Pakistan
Suspected militants bombed a bus carrying prisoners in northwest Pakistan on Thursday, killing at least nine people as fighting between security forces and extremists flared across the country's tribal belt.

You Gotta Go

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bill and Joe

OK - I gotta listen to Bill and Joe. See you tomorrow. Have a good one.

Tokyo Index

We could use about 5 days in a row of solid gains in the stock market like today's gains. Its called wishful thinking...

Breitbart.com: Tokyo stocks open higher on Wall Street gain
Tokyo stocks gained ground as investors were cheered by the rise in U.S. shares Wednesday due to the release of stronger-than-expected U.S. durable goods orders for July, brokers said.

Obama Leads McCain in Critical Swing States

Besides New Mexico and Nevada, Obama leads in Pennsylvania.

Looking at the election in a state by state match-up, Obama is leading.

CNN: Obama's Swing Leads
Obama's widest margin is in New Mexico, where 53% of registered voters said they prefer the Democrat to 40% who favor McCain. Obama also holds a five-point advantage in Nevada (49% to 44%). Both states went narrowly to George W. Bush in the 2004 election

Gallop Today

Bankruptcy Up

Its another sign of the times.

CNN Money: Bankruptcy filings surge to 1 million - up 29%
The data also showed that filings for Chapter 7 rose 36% to 615,748 in the 12 months that ended June 30.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is designed to give individual debtors a "fresh start" by discharging many of their debts. Under Chapter 7 a filer's assets minus those exempted by his home state are liquidated and given to creditors first in line for repayment, while the rest of his debts are cancelled.
The following article comes from January 30, 2008 and it is relevant -

Knox News: Tennessee households lead nation in bankruptcy filings
Tennessee had the highest number of bankruptcy filings per household of any state last year.

A new report from the National Bankruptcy Research Center shows that one in every 59 households filed for bankruptcy in 2007.
Recall that Tennessee is a proud red state.

My apologies to Red State Reader for excerpting so 'liberally' from their site.

This is just too good. Myths about Tennessee:
Myth: Moonshine corn liquor is big business in Tennessee.
Fact: Cannabis long ago replaced moonshine as Tennessee’s largest cash crop, although meth labs have gained ground in recent years. Most analysts trace the decline of the moonshine industry to the prevalent use of car radiators (which contain significant amounts of lead) as improvised distillers.

Myth: You can marry your sister at the age of 13.
Fact: This is a common misconception that couldn’t be further from the truth. You can only marry your cousin, and you must both be 16. Unless you have a court order.

Myth: On the average, women in Tennessee earn less than their male counterparts.
Fact: Anyone who knows anything about labor laws knows that this is simply not true. As prescribed by Federal law, waitresses, receptionists, and secretaries all make exactly the same minimum wage in Tennessee as they do in any other state regardless of gender.

Myth: Women’s rights activists are battling a bunch of senile old white guys in the Tennessee Legislature who want to restrict women’s reproductive rights.
Fact: The proposed anti-abortion amendment would allow a different group of senile old white guys, namely judges, to also make decisions about a woman’s reproductive rights.

Myth: It is legal in the state of Tennessee to shoot a proud bitch at large.
Fact: Actually, it turns out this one is true. Tennessee Code Title 44, chapter 8.411 specifically states that “Any person crippling, killing, or in any way destroying a proud bitch that is running at large shall not be held liable for the damages due to such killing or destruction.”

Myth: The Confederate Flag is still a revered symbol of the Old South and proudly displayed by homeowners and pickup truck drivers all over the state of Tennessee.
Fact: The flag in question is the Confederate Battle Flag, or more accurately the Confederate Navy Jack, not the flag of the Confederate States of America. It represents the struggle for liberty and freedom from federal interference in states’ rights. It has nothing to do with the 19th century Southern agricultural economy that exploited human slavery for profit. All these self-righteous critics of the South need to get their facts straight. At least that’s what all the guys with paintings of Jefferson Davis on their living room walls tell me.

Myth: Racial prejudice and bigotry are still prevalent in Tennessee.
Fact: Tennessee celebrates racial and ethnic diversity. Lawn jockeys are available in either whiteface or blackface at the merchandise outlets in Pigeon Forge, an East Tennessee tourist Mecca that caters to a sophisticated and culturally diverse demographic from Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina.

Myth: Southern Baptist is the predominant religion in Tennessee.
Fact: Tennessee embraces religious freedom. There are plenty of regular Baptists and even a few Methodists, too. One way you can tell the difference between Baptists and Methodists is that Methodists will acknowledge one another at the liquor store.

Myth: Many school systems across the state forbid teaching evolution in favor of teaching the King James Bible version of creation.
Fact: This is propaganda spread by Episcopalians. Public schools in Tennessee offer a well-rounded biology curriculum based on the New Living Translation and the New American Standard versions of the Bible in addition to the King James version.

Myth: Tennessee has a regressive tax system that favors the wealthy at the expense of the poor.
Fact: The liberal tax-and-spend people would like you to believe this. But the fact is that Tennessee’s tax system is fair. Everyone, rich or poor, pays exactly the same 9.75% sales tax on groceries and clothing for their kids. A lottery ticket costs the same $1 for the richest guy in Bell Meade or the poorest working single mom living in public housing. The wheel tax imposed by many counties across the state is the same for the Bell Meade guy’s new Mercedes Benz as it is for that single mom’s fifteen-year old beater Toyota. And nobody has to pay income tax. What could be fairer than that?

Breather

Its nice to see things mostly in the green instead of mostly in the red.

The word is that most everyone has seen a 12% to 15% dip or so in holdings. Some have seen much worse, someone with huge investments in Bear Sterns, GM, or Fannie and Freddie to name a few.

FT.com: US stocks higher on economic data
US stocks rose on Wednesday as investors took heart from better-than-expected data on durable goods orders, in spite of a rise in oil prices as a result of concerns that tropical storm Gustav could disrupt supplies.

US stocks took their lead from data suggesting that demand for expensive manufactured goods unexpectedly rose in July while an indicator of capital spending by businesses leapt higher.

New Orleans Facing Another Potential Disaster

In Buddhism its called the suffering of suffering. Something goes wrong, you get sick, and then you get a phone call and learn that a relative is in trouble. Its misery upon misery. Who does not know about this.

Best case is that Gustav goes long a different path.

Reuters: New Orleans considers evacuation as Gustav looms
Three years after Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Louisiana coast, New Orleans residents on Wednesday again confronted the prospect of an evacuation as Tropical Storm Gustav loomed.

Not since Katrina struck on August 29, 2005, have residents faced a forced departure from their homes and businesses...

Clinton Unites

Its still about the economy. The Democrats did a very good job of describing the potential for a green economy Tuesday night.

One would suspect that Americans are craving such forward thinking. Rasmussen now has it tied at 44% each. We have to ask what is John McCain offering and upon examination, its not much.

Gulf News: Clinton urges Democrats to get behind Obama
Clinton's enthusiastic call for party unity was designed to end a rift that has clouded the convention to nominate the first-term Illinois senator to face John McCain in the November 4 election.

The second day of the convention focused on economic themes and began to discuss Obama's plans to aid lower- and middle-class voters suffering in a faltering US economy, which polls show is the top issue in the final months of President George W. Bush's term.

Pakistan Violence 8-27-08

Tears of a Clown

English Beat 1979

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tokyo Index

Democrats would do well to keep hammering away at the miserable state of the economy. They need to turn this fact into a refined and honed narrative that can capture America's vote. The narrative creation is a work in progress, with McCain leading in the latest Gallup Poll, the right message is still not getting through.

Breitbart.com: Tokyo stocks open flat amid lack of trading cues
Tokyo stocks started on a weak note in directionless trading as investors had little reason to buy equities amid worries about the health of the U.S. financial sector and the future course of the global economy, brokers said.

Kucinich Electrifies at DNC

Not Adding Up

Reuters: Armed men were no threat to Obama: U.S. attorney
We're absolutely confident there is no credible threat to the candidate, the Democratic National Convention (in Denver), or the people of Colorado," U.S. Attorney Troy Eid said in a statement.
Keep this in mind. The US attorney says the men are not a threat, they are essentially harmless. Now read the description of what was found in their truck -
Local media had reported that police in the city of Aurora east of Denver found two rifles, ammunition, a bulletproof vest, walkie-talkies and methamphetamine in a rented pickup truck driven by one of the men during a traffic stop early Sunday morning.

ABC News also said the vehicle contained wigs and ski masks.
They find all these weapons including wigs and masks. Exactly what non-threatening thing does the US attorney think they were up to.

Gallup: McCain Ahead

Gallup Daily Poll: Gallup Daily: No Bounce for Obama in Post-Biden Tracking
...46% of national registered voters backing John McCain and 44% supporting Obama, not appreciably different from the previous week's standing for both candidates. This is the first time since Obama clinched the nomination in early June, though, that McCain has held any kind of advantage over Obama in Gallup Poll Daily tracking.

GOP - Abortion, No - Climate Change, Sort Of

No surprise here, the GOP has hardened its position calling for a constitutional ban on abortion.

McCain is smitten with Ailto, Thomas, Scalia, and Roberts. He will add Supreme Court Judges that are in that Federalist/Neocon/Ultra-conservative mold, he has said as much. With 2 or 3 Supreme Court positions opening up in the next presidential watch, McCain would tilt the scale in this supreme justice arena in favor of anti-abortion judges. He has said as much.

The GOP position on global warming is starting to tingle. There appears to be an acknowledgment of the world threatening disaster causing issue. We applaud the change, and encourage further awakenings.

Breitbart.com: GOP takes a hard line on abortion for its platform
In its platform debate, the party stuck to its call for a constitutional abortion ban despite McCain's opposition to that, and toughened already uncompromising language on the issue.

Conservatives succeeded in removing a line from a platform draft urging a reduction in abortions—underscoring their point that abortion should be eliminated. At the same time, the party weighed an energy policy acknowledging the human imprint on climate change.

John McCain Gangsta

Yesterday McCain posed with and introduced his new campaign supporter, Latin gangsta Daddy Yankee. Read the hit McCain takes from ultra conservative columnist Malkin.

Michelle Malkin: Daddy Yankee endorsement: Another pathetic McCain pander
Can someone, anyone, in the McCain camp stop him from self-immolation?

...Today, it’s McCain goofily, stupidly, standing with Puerto Rican singer Daddy Yankee for the all-important reggaeton vote while teenagers squealed. Celeb-u-pocrisy, anyone?

Iraq Violence 8-26-08

Breitbart.com: Suicide blast at Iraq police recruiting centre kills 25
A suicide bomber on Tuesday rushed into a crowd of police recruits in central Iraq and detonated his explosives-laden vest, killing at least 25 people and wounding 40, the local police chief said.

Assassination Plot

We have actually come to expect this and it is very sad.

When ideologically driven people have this type of idea drummed into their vulnerable minds all day long, what else could be the result.

Rocky Mountain News: Police investigate possible plot to kill Obama at Invesco
At least four people have been arrested in connection with a possible plot to kill Obama at his Thursday night acceptance speech at Invesco Field at Mile High, according to CBS4 News. The suspects are being held on either drug or weapons charges.

Law-enforcement sources told CBS4 that one of the suspects "was directly asked if they had come to Denver to kill Obama. He responded in the affirmative."

One of the suspects has been identified as 28-year-old Tharin Gartrell.

Tokyo Index


Tokyo is much more affected by Wall Street's previous day, it is not an indicator of what will come - but not always.

If there is anything that the Democrats can hammer away at, it is the economy, and for goodness sake this is as clear as a bell.

Regardless, the subprime loan crisis will be in the text of virtually every single economic report and article for a long time to come. Its not going away.

Breitbart.com: Tokyo stocks fall sharply on renewed credit worries, led by financials
Tokyo stocks fell sharply Tuesday morning, with financials under heavy selling pressure, as investors were reminded about the shaky state of the U.S. financial sector stemming from the subprime loan crisis.

Sun Ra Arkestra

Monday, August 25, 2008

Live

Yes, I am hooked.

I'm watching the convention from the CNN stream here: Live CNN

Just watched Pelosi, a Jimmy Carter documentary, and some personal stories.

Hey, its showtime.

Biden via CNN

Its good to keep in touch with how the main stream media covers the presidential race.

Part of the entire process revolves around a very simple idea. The idea is that each party attempts to paint a word bite quality defining or wrecking logo or narrative about the opposition. McCain is hammering Obama on no experience, Obama hammers away at McCain on being Bush III. The intensity and resonance of these narratives are the substance that sways millions who are not invested in thoroughly learning the political landscape.

Each side is very aware of this process.

A well placed three word narrative can win an election. That is unfortunate, but that is America.

Democrats on Display

Let the games begin. The week is all about Democrats, this is the main news for a few days.

We are in store for some surprises.

Breitbart.com: Democrats open 2008 national convention
Democrats opened their national convention on Monday...

An appearance by the ailing, aging Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts and a primetime speech by Obama's wife, Michelle, headlined the convention's first night.

"Obama's major challenge at this convention is to focus on the middle class, to show empathy because he had to climb his way up," to demonstrate he has plans to remedy their concerns and the ability to get things done in Washington, Schumer said.

Help for Paraplegics


I like this. Here is where technology is clearly benefiting people. This is what is should be about. The designer has his own physical disabilities and has used his understanding to design the suit.

Reuters: Human exoskeleton suit helps paralyzed people walk
Something of a mix between the exoskeleton of a crustacean and the suit worn by comic hero Iron Man, ReWalk helps paraplegics -- people paralyzed below the waist -- to stand, walk and climb stairs.

Something of a mix between the exoskeleton of a crustacean and the suit worn by comic hero Iron Man, ReWalk helps paraplegics -- people paralyzed below the waist -- to stand, walk and climb stairs.

Abkhazia and South Ossetia

Something tells us that Russia's interest into the succession movements occurring in Georgia is not going to fly with the NATO family.

The lines continue to be drawn in the sand.

Breitbart.com: Russian lawmakers back independence for rebels
Russian lawmakers voted unanimously Monday to ask the president to recognize the independence of Georgia's two rebel provinces, a move likely to anger the United States, the European Union and other Georgian allies.

The twin votes by the upper and lower houses of the Russian parliament came after intense fighting between Russia and Georgia over the two separatist provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Its Inflation

The reporter for CNN is attempting to get economists to pinpoint the most egregious aspect of the poor economy. Is it the mortgage fiasco brought about by improper banking regulatory oversight of the Bush administration, the "credit crunch" brought on by the former, inflation brought about by the Bush administration's unique hands off the oil company policy, the Bush tax cuts, the Bush wars, or the Bush energy policy.

Do we see a common denominator?

CNN Money: Economists: Inflation threat growing
A survey of top economists shows that many are growing more concerned about inflation and slightly less worried about mortgage and credit market problems.

Nonetheless, the financial crisis remains the biggest worry -- 46% of the economists surveyed cited subprime loan defaults, excessive household and corporate debt or the credit crunch as the biggest problem.

Car Sales in August

According to a deep operative, election years are generally economically stable years. The employed political party wants to be re-elected.

McCain has been clear in explaining his support of the Bush administration's handling of the economy. Yet despite the obvious ongoing and deeply entrenched economic downturn, McCain is rising in the polls.

There are several explanations for McCain's rise which range from one or a combination of several notions - Obama is allegedly unprepared for the job, unspoken racism handicaps America, and a fear that Obama will be less militaristic and consequently appease the enemy.

Reuters: Auto sales to decline in August: report
U.S. auto makers are expected to report big declines in August domestic sales despite stepped-up incentives...

U.S. auto sales had plunged to a 16-year-low in July, led by a 27 percent drop at General Motors, as high gas prices and tight credit sent the industry into a tailspin.
CNN: Gloom hangs over Wall Street
Worries about the deepening credit crisis and higher oil prices weighed on U.S. stock futures early Monday.

About three hours before the start of trading, Nasdaq and S&P futures were lower and suggesting a negative open for Wall Street.

500 Miles

The Hooters

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Tokyo Index

We shall see if Wall Street follows -

Breitbart.com: Tokyo stocks open sharply higher on Wall Street surge, strong dollar

Yes, but...

This is not exactly a show of confidence. It is pragmatic and one can have a fallback position but it sure reeks of Senator Lloyd Bentsen of Texas who did the same thing.

Breitbart.com: Biden wages 2 campaigns at once
Sen. Joe Biden will pursue two campaigns at once this fall: his race for the White House as Barack Obama's running mate and his quest for re-election to the Senate.

Biden spokesman David Wade said Sunday that Biden will continue his Senate re-election campaign. Biden is expected to defeat Republican challenger Christine O'Donnell in November.

Chinese Wonderful Bra

Forbidden Images

Silent film censorship

Iraq Violence 8-24-08

Pond Algae as Fuel

Spite Convention


The convention is literally right around the corner. There is a structural flaw in that the Clinton supporters don't seem to be willing to go along with the Obama program.

This is so Democratic Party. Some Clinton supporters claim they will vote for McCain. Nice. Cut off your nose to spite your face, works for me, especially when I was 4 years old.

FT.com: Poll fears ahead of Democratic convention
A successful presidential convention can give the nominee a five- to 10- percentage point bounce in opinion polls. But as Barack Obama and running mate Joe Biden chart their course across the swing states of the mid-west towards Denver on Wednesday, a large chunk of media attention will be eaten up by Hillary and Bill Clinton.

Many of Mrs Clinton’s supporters, roughly a quarter of whom say they plan to vote for Mr McCain, will be out in force in Denver continuing to argue that the former first lady would have been the better nominee. Among the most vocal is Party Unity My Ass, a pro-Hillary groups whose website trails the catchphrase “We are the ones no one was expecting” – a mocking reference to Mr Obama’s line: “We are the ones we have been waiting for”.

Trouble in Carson City

The best part about being a Democrat is that the party can't help but shoot itself in the head, heart, crotch, or body part x. After the shooting we enjoy moving on to take the silver. Silver in America is actually crap steel coated in glitter and its worthless.

So much for calls of unity and the let's go hoist the neocons out on their petards.

Maybe Clinton could start her own mini-country in Westchester.

CNN: Some in Clinton circle 'outraged'
Evan as Hillary Clinton praised the newly-minted Democratic presidential ticket Saturday, some in her circle are furious Barack Obama did not appear to give the New York Democrat serious consideration for the No. 2 spot, or even ask for her consultation on the matter.

Skype


On the advice of a close relative, I downloaded Skype software. Within a few minutes we were having a live video conversation on the computer, and it was very cool.

Many already have this in place but as a novice, a first timer, I was very charged up about it.

You do need to have a camera on the computer or have one connected to it, but if you don't, you can still use the software. You could see the person you are talking with on your computer provided they have a camera.

Its a good deal too, its free.

Also, and this is very cool, you can have video conference calls with several people at once.

My computer has a built in microphone, so it was not even necessary to have a headset like the one shown in the picture above.

We do have a high speed connection to the internet, and I suspect, but I'm not positive, that this is also important to have.

I know I sound like an advertisement, but this really was cool. I am going to make all my family members get it.

Skype

Global Economic Downturn

Some experts say the dollar will continue to get stronger, others say it will once again begin to weaken. In the past few weeks the dollar has gotten stronger and that translates into higher prices for American products in overseas markets. Its not clear that this trend will continue.

The problem is the world economy is also slowing and so the demand for American goods with a stronger dollar declines especially when coupled with each country's inflation and recession like growth.

This is not universally experienced by all countries and all companies, some are doing just great.

The article suggests that the global economic downturn will help to bring down the cost of food and oil worldwide. Many key financial managers are hoping that this adjustment occurs and are actively planning for it. This is the main reason why the interest rate in the US is unchanged at present.

A calamity or two, or a war or two especially one where an oil producing country is involved could blow the present shaky house of cards all over the landscape.

NYT: U.S. and Global Economies Slipping in Unison
Now, high energy prices, financial systems crippled by fear, and the decline of trading partners have combined to choke growth in many major economies.

As the United States and many other large economies slip in unison, the reality of integrated markets is being underscored

Japan...saw its economy contract at a 2.4 percent annual rate from April through June after accounting for inflation. Germany, another export power, slid at a 2 percent clip...
NYT: Inflation Delivers a Blow to Vietnam’s Spirits
With inflation rising to 27 percent last month — the highest in Asia — and food prices 74 percent above those a year ago, Vietnam is suffering its first serious downturn since it moved from a command economy to an open market nearly two decades ago.

Time After Time

Cindy Lauper

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Speeches From O and B

Let's face it, the day is about electoral politics.

Obama - Biden '08

There you have it. Obama introduced Biden as his running mate before a crowd in Springfield, Illinois.

Biden immediately starting taking jabs at McCain, god bless him.

So now we let the new model settle in. We adjust to the new possibility. Churn it over.

Also we can now direct our attention to more important issues. Some people will say Biden will be positive, some will say its negative, some will say it really doesn't matter from the point of view of winning.

We've already seen some of the negative stuff. How it shows that Obama is not ready, blah blah blah. Don't forget all this comes from the people who voted for the "massively" well prepared G W Bush. The person whose credentials amounted to having the job equivalent to being the head of the frat at the country's biggest party school. Let's not forget that Bush abdicated his entire responsibility regarding his major appointments to none other Cheney. Oh for crying out loud the right wing is nuts, and suffering from memory loss.

This all begs the simple question, who is infinitely more qualified, Obama or Bush. Answer, it is Obama.

Breitbart.com: Obama introduces running mate Sen. Biden
Barack Obama introduced Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware Saturday as a man "ready to step in and be president," and the newly minted running mate quickly turned his campaign debut into a slashing attack on eight years of Republicans seeking four more years in the White House.

John McCain would have to "figure out which of the kitchen tables to sit at" when considering his own economic future, said Biden, jabbing at the man he called his personal friend.

It was a reference to McCain's recent inartful admission that he was not sure how many homes he owns.
The writers, editors, clerks, hairstylists, and 8 deep operatives of jcsande.blogspot.com fully endorse Obama - Biden '08.

Rasmussen Polling on Saturday 8-23

Rasmussen: Daily Presidential Tracking Poll
Presidential Tracking Poll for Saturday shows Obama attracting 45% of the vote John McCain earns 42%. When "leaners" are included, it’s Obama 48% and McCain 46%
According to CNN Obama is ahead in electoral votes.

CNN: CNN's Electoral Map: Who's ahead

At present Obama leads McCain 221 to 189 with 270 needed to win.

9th Failed Bank

Reuters: Small Kansas bank is 9th failure this year
Bank regulators closed Columbian Bank and Trust Company on Friday, the ninth U.S. bank to fail this year as the weakening economy and falling home prices take their toll on financial institutions.
A short story explanation of the "credit crunch" follows -
The roots of today's banking crisis grew out of the boom and bust in the real estate market. Lenders originated more and more mortgages, while other banks, particularly smaller and medium-sized institutions, ploughed money into construction and development loans.

While loan growth soared in 2004 and 2005, most regulators failed to scrutinize many banks or restrain this heady expansion of credit. Now that the loans have been made and delinquencies are climbing, some banks may already be doomed. source
The question that arises is simply this, why was there a failure by regulators to scrutinize bank mortgage lending policy. Why does this occur on Bush's watch. There's a history of banking failures during Bush administrations of old and present, how come...

Biden At The Primaries

Very Funny...

Biden Rips The GOP

Obama - Biden '08

Its Biden

Boy were we off on this one, who saw it coming. Its only during the past few days that the attention has turned to Biden.

Bloomberg.com Obama Picks Biden as Running Mate, Boosts Foreign Policy Image
Barack Obama chose Senator Joseph Biden, a Delaware Democrat, to be his vice presidential running mate, selecting one of the party's leading foreign-policy figures and harshest critics of Republican John McCain's national security views.

Yoga - Menopause

Yoga is great. It helps me get friendlier messages from my lower back.

You just simply feel better after you practice it even after one session. Also it can really take care of all kinds of issues including strength training. People who are adept at Yoga can get into handstands with little difficulty. It takes strength to do that.

Yahoo: Yoga eases physical and mental menopause symptoms
Yoga can reduce hot flashes and night sweats among women going through menopause, and also appears to sharpen their mental function, researchers from India report.

Happy Music

Irish concertina

Friday, August 22, 2008

Trouble The Water

New Documentary on Katrina and New Orleans - coming out in the fall.

Economy, Etc

We are all waiting around to hear the official word that Obama is going to pick Biden, Bayh, Kaine, Clinton, or person x for VP.

The blogs are all aflutter with Biden. If he picks Biden at least there will be another voice out there strongly fending off the profoundly contemptuous right wing smear campaign.

In basketball the power forward is often the team's "enforcer." He will do the dirty work, get the cheap fouls, and play very physical banging basketball. He does not mince words and usually berates the opponent. It appears that politics has used this as its model for the VP slot. It could be worse, they could have used pro wrestling as its modeling source.

The stock market on the other hand seems to be crawling along on its hands and knees through an endless mud valley, replete with dark storm clouds, and vultures. The good news is that it didn't fall into the quicksand and for a few brief moments this week, the sky cleared.

Breitbart.com: Stocks jump on falling oil, inflation forecast
Wall Street capped a volatile week with sharp gains Friday as oil retreated from this week's rally and after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said inflation pressures are likely to moderate.

The run-up Friday left stocks with mostly modest losses for the week. The Dow is down 0.27 percent, the S&P 500 is off 0.46 percent and the technology-heavy Nasdaq is down 1.54 percent.

McCain's Mansions

Southern Leader

Charleston.net: McCain leads big in South
Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain enjoys a 16-point lead — 51 percent to 35 percent — among Southern voters over rival Democratic U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, a new poll by Winthrop University and ETV shows.

Today Brute?

I can't wait for this whole VP thing to be over. Its actually a tremendous distraction, and the VP rarely has any effect on the overall election. So what's the big deal.

Also, why is he announcing this info on Friday. Friday is the news black hole period when fewer are even paying attention to the news, not that many pay attention anyhow.

Breitbart.com: Obama may announce running mate later today

Jump


Isn't it amazing that a single non political individual can affect something so extensive and integral as the entire stock market simply by giving an interview on TV.

If this is what we are basing our future hops on, the ice is a little thin.

Reuters: US STOCKS-Futures jump on Buffett's dollar, stocks view
U.S. stock index futures jumped on Friday after investor Warren Buffett said he has no bets against the dollar and stocks are more attractive now than a year ago.

Volley



Finally, a sport we can all get behind...

Breitbart.com: Americans sweep beach volleyball gold medals

The Long Haul

We've seen predictions about how long it will take before the economy starts humming. There is consensus among financial journalists and big shots that it will take several months but, this is the first time we are seeing someone express confidence that the economy will be humming in 5 years.

5 years? That's not a depression, that's a tsunami.

Breitbart.com: Buffett says economy's troubles will continue
Buffett said he's confident the nation will be doing better five years from now, but the economy could be worse five months from now.

Buffett says the economy is in a recession because most Americans aren't doing as well today as they used to be. The technical definition of a recession most economists use is two consecutive quarters of negative growth in the nation's gross domestic product.

16 Tons

Tennessee Ernie Ford

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Intel Electricity Breakthrough

Its wireless electricity. Someone would cringe at this definition, but that's what it sounds like to me.

What the heck, we are being bombarded with all kinds of waves at all sorts of frequencies, what's a few more between friends.

Yahoo: Intel cuts electric cords with wireless power system
Intel on Thursday showed off a wireless electric power system that analysts say could revolutionize modern life by freeing devices from transformers and wall outlets.

Electricity was sent wirelessly to a lamp on stage, lighting a 60 watt bulb that uses more power than a typical laptop computer.

Most importantly, the electricity was transmitted without zapping anything or anyone that got between the sending and receiving units.

VP Watch

Full Spectrum Dominance

From a deep operative -

Afghanistan Violence 8-21-08

Gulf News: Officials: US airstrikes kill civilians in Afghanistan
Kabul: US airstrikes killed more than a dozen civilians in eastern Afghanistan, two provincial officials said on Thursday.

The airstrikes took place on Wednesday in the eastern province of Laghman.

The US military said the operation which also involved Afghan forces and air support had killed more than 30 insurgents.

CGI Alter Ego

Imagine how stiff this animation will appear in a few short years as the technology evolves.

Pakistan Violence 8-21-08

Can anyone recall a suicide bombing that took place in a weapons factory?

This bombing seems like a new tactic i.e. inside a weapons factory.

In addition, Pakistan appears to be in trouble with its temporary coalition government about to collapse. This is not good. We don't want nuclear armed Pakistan degenerating into a chaotic state.

Recall that Pakistan is often referred to as the world's most potentially dangerous country. It is exactly because it is nuclear armed and holds a faction that is very extremist in ideology.

Breitbart.com: Suicide bombing at Pakistan arms factory kills 50
Twin suicide bombings at a massive weapons factory near Pakistan's capital killed at least 50 people Thursday, dashing hopes for an end to turmoil following Pervez Musharraf's ouster as president.

The ruling coalition government, made up of traditional rivals who were united primarily in their determination to force Musharraf from office, meanwhile appeared veering toward collapse.

The two main parties have been unable to bridge key differences, like whether judges fired by the one-time military ruler should be quickly reinstated and who should succeed him as president.

Vote Caging

Listening to a recent Greg Palast discussion on the upcoming election, I was again re-awakened to how elections are tilted. In this case tilted to favor the Republicans.

I came across this description of the caging practice utilized by the Republicans during the 2004 election.

This is voting in America.

Sourcewatch: Vote caging
"In 2004, BBC reporter Greg Palast obtained two e-mails -- prepared for the executive director of the Bush campaign in Florida and the campaign's national research director -- that listed '1,886 names and addresses of voters in predominantly black and traditionally Democrat areas' of the Jacksonville, FL Naval Air Station. Palast explains:

"Here's how the scheme worked: The RNC mailed these voters letters in envelopes marked, 'Do not forward', to be returned to the sender. These letters were mailed to servicemen and women, some stationed overseas, to their US home addresses. The letters then returned to the Bush-Cheney campaign as 'undeliverable.'

"The lists of soldiers of 'undeliverable' letters were transmitted from state headquarters, in this case Florida, to the RNC in Washington. The [Republican] party could then challenge the voters' registration and thereby prevent their absentee ballots being counted."
Nice little scheme, is it not.

Living Colour

'Cult of Personality' live from 1989 on Arsenio Hall

How times and styles have changed...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

British Comedian Insults Americans

Reuters/Zogby Poll

Its important to note that Rasmussen and Gallup have Obama up by 3 today, however the new Reuters poll is getting all the attention. Reuters/Zogby has McCain up by 5.

Reuters: Poll shows McCain in 5-point lead over Obama
In a sharp turnaround, Republican John McCain has opened a 5-point lead on Democrat Barack Obama in the U.S. presidential race and is seen as a stronger manager of the economy, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Wednesday.

McCain leads Obama among likely U.S. voters by 46 percent to 41 percent, wiping out Obama's solid 7-point advantage in July and taking his first lead in the monthly Reuters/Zogby poll.

Food Prices

We all know this simply by looking at our food bills. The people on the financial margins will feel it the most.

It doesn't look like its a matter of shifting diets away from meat and such in order to economize, everything is more expensive to some degree.

Reuters: Food prices to post biggest rise since 1990: USDA
Prices for fruits and vegetables, which account for more than 8 percent of food spending, will also rise 5.5 percent...

USDA also forecast increases this year of 9.5 percent for cereals and bakery products, a 14 percent surge for eggs and a 13.5 percent hike for fats and oils.

Rasmussen Polling Today

Gallup had about the exact same numbers for today.

Rasmussen Reports: Daily Presidential Tracking Poll
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday shows Barack Obama attracting 45% of the vote while John McCain earns 42%. When "leaners" are included, it’s Obama 47% and McCain 46%...

Olympian


Impressive.

NPR: Amputee Swimmer Dives Into Olympic Marathon
Natalie du Toit of South Africa swam in the first-ever Olympic open water marathon Wednesday. What made the swim unique is that du Toit's left leg was amputated at the knee.

Possible Diabetes Link

One might conclude that tap water which causes one to hold one's nose while drinking because it smells so bad, might not be good for you.

This particular study that examines a possible link between arsenic in drinking water and type 2 diabetes is a new one on me.

At this point we own special 3 gallon containers designed to not leak (or is it leach) plastic, and we fill them with highly purified water at the health food store. The thought of drinking tap water at this point, is nauseating.

CNN: Study: Possible diabetes link to arsenic in wate
A new analysis of government data is the first to link low-level arsenic exposure, possibly from drinking water, with type 2 diabetes, researchers say.

Still, the analysis of 788 adults' medical tests found a nearly fourfold increase in the risk of diabetes in people with low arsenic concentrations in their urine compared with people with even lower levels.

Fresh Voting Air

From a deep operative -
"The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything." Joseph Stalin (1879 - 1953)
There is a public reaction against touch-screen voting machines, machines that we know are corruptible and we know are quite capable of producing results different from those intended by the voters.

The movement against the products of a company like Diebold is a good thing.

Check this out -

centredaily.com: County commissioners approve leasing new voting machines
BELLEFONTE — Centre County voters will cast their ballots using pens and papers — not the current touch-screen machines — in the November election.

A vote by the board of commissioners is still needed to finalize the change, but the Elections Board, which is made up of the three commissioners, voted 2-1 today to recommend the board lease new voting equipment from 2008 to 2012.

The lease of optical scan equipment will cost an estimated $1.8 million spread out over the upcoming four and a half years.