Friday, September 28, 2007

C & L has a clip of Chris Matthews interviewing Jim Moran (D-VA) and Trent Franks (R-AZ) ...

Watch the clip: Hardball: To withdraw immediately or not to withdraw immediately, that is the question

I don't remember ever seeing Trent Franks before (one of the very few drawbacks of not watching TV). Does he always appear to be such an uninformed dullard? Why did anyone in Arizona vote for him? Never mind ...

Yesterday's QUOTES ...

Instead of being RUBBERSTAMP Democrats ... Force them [the Republicans] to sit there with that filibuster for days. No need for Democrats to speak. Leave the GOP obstructionism front and center. For days.

Let's see if they really have it in them to obstruct change in Iraq if the spotlight is truly on them.

Krushchev and Ahmadinejad; that was then, this is now ... In the post Cold War-era, it’s easy to forget the context, but the USSR was the most dangerous rival the United States had ever seen. And we welcomed Khrushchev with open arms, anxious to show him and the world our greatness. ... during the Cold War we had bomb shelters and practiced hiding under our desks in school, but the US did not wet its pants daily on TV.
Timing is everything ... Where in the hell was George Casey last week when his soldiers needed him to stand up for them? Was he having a lunch with Colin Powell where they discussed the merits of being in a position of leadership without really having the stomach—or, fortitude—to exhibit real, actual leadership? Because, like Powell—who failed to protect his soldiers in 2003 by standing up to the Bush administration—Casey failed the men and women under his command last week. Instead of rocking the boat by challenging the Bush administration and its Republican lackeys in the Senate, Casey chose to remain silent. ... ... and the military 'leaders' masochistically march for the Republicans, and not the country ... until they retire, that is.

Now here's something to be really afraid of ...

Blackwater guards killed 16 as U.S. touted progress by Leila Fadel
Since Americans are, or at least the Senate and House still are, so into fear that they will agree to anything as long as that embarrassment in the White House says he will 'protect' them, just imagine Blackwater patrolling your streets during some national disaster or because Bush has decided he doesn't like your city, or to discourage you from voting in the 2008 election, or for any reason whatever. Or Blackwater in Washington DC's streets as a warning to Democrats to be good little rubberstampers like the Republicans.

Think this is far fetched?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Wolf Blitzer only thinks about Bush's desires ...

The Washington Post reports that two provisions of the UNpatriot Act have been judged unconstitutional: Patriot Act Provisions Voided --Judge Rules Law Gives Executive Branch Too Much Power by Dan Eggen

What caught my attention, though, was a C&L clip showing how Wolf Blitzer views these events. As setbacks for Bush. Not as hope for our country.
  • A rubberstamp Democratic 'controlled' Congress is a win for the most unpopular president in the history of the U.S. But Blitzer would never think of this as a disaster for the rest of us, oh no.
  • And a court ruling enforcing the Constitution is a setback for Bush's desire to tear the document up, not hope for a turn-around in the destruction of our country.
Here's the clip: BREAKING: Two more provisions of Patriot Act struck down (UPDATED with video)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I take it back ...

... maybe Hilary is being 'counseled' by the moron [ADDED 092707: that's the moron in the White House, just in case anyone is confused].
Hillary said months ago that she would support legislation to rescind the 2002 AUMF, and yet she voted for this today, giving this administration what they wanted. Can someone explain to me how Hillary can come out just last week against further funding for the Iraq war, and then today vote in favor of military action if necessary against Iran? What was new in Ahmadinejad’s appearances and comments over the last two days to convince Hillary that Iran was suddenly a threat that required such a vote, especially after al-Maliki said yesterday that Iran’s threat to Iraq was overstated?

Katie Couric, news zombie?

Please read this post:
Snapshot: The Death of American News by Kagro X
Please read all the way to the end. What to say ...

There must be an unlimited supply of fools in our society or one couldn't have reached the White House, Fox News couldn't be staffed with them and they wouldn't be the faces of choice on the major networks.

Yesterday's QUOTES ...

Now this is a real surprise, is it not? ... Worries about jobs and the overall economy flared in September, driving a key barometer of consumer sentiment to its lowest level in nearly two years ... Fantasy euphoria wearing thin? Years late, but what the hey!

The irony ... "In Cuba, the long rule of a cruel dictator is nearing its end," Bush said. "The Cuban people are ready for their freedom. And as that nation enters a period of transition, the United Nations must insist on free speech, free assembly and, ultimately, free and competitive elections." ... how to choose between hypocrisy and a complete lack of understanding of the meaning of his words?

A handful of crazy people have brought us to a state of lawlessness. I don't just mean the Department of Justice, I mean the whole world. The United States was a significant part of an international agreement to lawfulness, and the Bush-Cheney administration has announced a reversal of that charter.

The rule of law only works if people generally agree to it. When that breaks down, all bets are off.

The rest of the world has noticed. They are quietly taking steps to try to minimize the damage to themselves. I don't know if they can; it's probably too late for them, too. They waited for 2004 to see if we would handle our problem, and we didn't. They have stopped waiting. That's probably going to hurt us a great deal in the future. I'm glad I don't have children.

... I've wondered for sometime about those who are raising families and how they see the future. I thought working through the Democrats would help. It didn't! I have no solutions, at least none that I can effect. The politicians are not leaders and I do not know if leaders can get through the noise. But Americans have become followers and they followed Bush. All, apparently, that's needed is a tall, slim, faux cowboy to destroy the world.

Bush is counseling that Clinton modulate her rhetoric? Do I laugh or cry? President Bush is quietly providing back-channel advice to Hillary Rodham Clinton, urging her to modulate her rhetoric so she can effectively prosecute the war in Iraq if elected president. ... does anyone really think Bush could counsel his way out of a paper bag much less a women a million times more intelligent and knowledgeable than he is? He could attempt to threaten her but certainly cannot counsel her.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Weeds ...

I'm watching Weeds (via netflix). What an enticing modern day fairy tale. I'm just starting the second season. Who knows it may just turn into a soap opera after this, which happens to so many long running shows, but so far it has more human peccadilloes and crimes and tragedies (somewhat like the convoluted writings of Shakespeare) than I would ever believe possible rolled into each episode and it's still [or because of this] hilariously funny.

Though I have enjoyed such shows as Firefly, the new Dr. Who and the original Stargate (TV show, not the movie), I have not seen anything this good from TV in a long time. I think the quality compares with the British Cold War spy drama Sandbaggers (don't expect anything funny from this one). Though photography is not one of Sandbaggers strong points, compelling drama is. And that includes a real life drama where the show's creator disappeared in a small plane toward the end of the show's run, or rather the show ended because the main creator rather mysteriously disappeared.

Violent crime rises for 2nd year in row ...

Of course, the rise in violent crime can have nothing to do with the economy which is great for millionaires (or is that billionaires) and the pits for most every one else. It can have nothing to do with mentally impaired and untreated and increasingly homeless returning soldiers. It can have nothing to do with an unjust justice system. It can have nothing to do with jobs that do not provide a living wage. It can have nothing to do with increasing bankruptcies and financial organizations that operate similar to your neighborhood scam artist. It can have nothing to do with the lack of health care for an increasing number of Americans. It can have nothing to do with no hope and a bucketful of desperation.

Just wait a few years while increased lead in the water, and toys, and other products (if BushCo has its way) takes hold.

Article: FBI: Violent crime rises for 2nd year in row --Murder, robbery lead increases across the nation

Arizona 'cell phone industry' makes threats ...

... Last week, when the Phoenix City Council passed an ordinance banning texting while driving, the Arizona cell phone industry promptly countered by announcing its intent to write a proposed state law that would ban all activities that could be considered "distracted driving."

So because there is obviously no safe way to write text messages while driving and Phoenix had the temerity to pass an ordinance about such activity, my cell phone company threatens me with a law that would make sipping my drink or tuning my radio against the law.

Corporate hypocrisy and interference in our lives only gets worse and worse thanks to BushCo's rule.

Oh, really ...

For an article with no substance but many detail-empty quotes read: McClatchy's Bush's pick for attorney general garners widespread support by Marisa Taylor

It couldn't be that Marisa Taylor was primarily looking for those supporting Mukasey? Or does she define tepid opinions such as 'nothing can be as bad as Gonzo' as support for Mukasey?

Notice those few oblique references to Mukasey's rulings and opinion that don't quite give any worthwhile information.

Which actions were those that demonstrated Mukasey's "independence and a willingness to stand up to this administration."

Why do we have this ridiculous spectacle. Bush doesn't want and will not get someone who is 'independent.' And should the inconceivable happen and Mukasey actually does have some integrity and independence then BushCo will destroy him. But what kind of integrity (or independence) does a ruling that an American citizen can be imprisoned forever without trial suggest?

Independence is it? 'Conservative Organization' get first crack at finding out:
A senior administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity as a matter of policy, said Mukasey met individually with six representatives from conservative organizations on Sunday in an effort to answer their questions.
What's a little issue of perpetual imprisonment at the hands of the president ...
"He's perceived as a lawyer's lawyer — someone who is smart and fair," said Sale, who worked alongside Mukasey as an assistant U.S. attorney in New York. "People will have to really strain to find anything negative about him."
Right, negatives are only for Democrats anyway.

Imagine, this McClatchy reporter, Marisa Taylor, managed to find someone who isn't 'falling all over' themselves to praise Michael Mukasey:
"I see somebody who falls over himself to justify some of the worst practices that the administration has carried out," Kadidal said.

Yesterday's QUOTES ...

Farcical ... The White House Calls Obama Intellectually Lazy
Even Markos can't think of anything positive to say about the performance of the supposed majority party in Congress ...
We should know by now that we go to DC with the Democrats we have, not the ones we wish we had.

And we should definitely know that cleaning up DC and getting a stronger and fearless Democratic Party is (and always has been) a long-term project -- decades long.

But damn, it would be nice if our current bunch were a little less useless.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Prerequisite ...

The good news:
The group that licenses DVD security software cleared the way Thursday for movies bought over the Internet to be burned onto a DVD that can play on any machine -- a move that could dramatically change the way movies are sold.
The bad news:

Consumers must still buy special DVDs equipped with the new software's digital lock, known as the ''content scrambling system,'' or CSS.

Presumably, those discs will be more expensive because of license fees that need to be paid to companies that developed the technology.

Community patent review ...

Peer to Patent: A web site that has been set up for you to help "the USPTO find the information relevant to assessing the claims of pending patent applications."

Here's the article from which I found Peer to Patent: Opening Up the Patent Process --The United States Patent and Trademark Office is testing a new website designed to harness the collaborative power of the Internet to vet patents. by Andrew Schrock

Sucking up to the White House? ...

Bolten quietly orchestrates change in White House by William Douglas, McClatchy Newspapers
Seems Joshua B. Bolten as White House Chief of Staff is just working wonders ... Haven't you noticed? He's been chief of staff since March of 2006, over a year and a half.
  • He plays the 'bass-guitar,' gee, how human.
  • "Several Democratic lawmakers praised Bolten this week for helping to find pragmatic outsider Michael Mukasey to replace Bush's longtime inner-circle friend Alberto Gonzales as attorney general ..."
  • He's "exercising pragmatic conservatism ..." Is that anything like 'compassionate' conservatism?
  • "There is a sense that compromise is no longer a four-letter word as long as the president can adhere to his fundamental principles." Believe that? After 7 years? And just what are those fundamental principles? War? Shock and awe? Torture. Corruption? Lying? But it sounds good and no one is as gullible as a Democratic Congresscritter ...
  • " ... administration friends and foes alike say they see positive change in the White House, thanks largely to its low-profile chief of staff." Ha, ha ...
  • Oh, my, and he got rid of Rove, too?: "He has gotten rid of some of the problems," Panetta said. "Moving Karl out, Gonzales leaving — I suspect the chief of staff had some impact on that, cleaning out the lightning rods." Believe it or not ...
The article goes on and on ... One gem is that Tony Snow is one of Bolten's admirers and "said Bolten is a master recruiter who's able to persuade talented people to quit their jobs and join an unpopular administration." Intellectual giant Snow was a victim of Bolton's reverse psychology!

The more I read this article, which I used for this post on Mukasey, the more I wonder ... is the writer serious, is it tongue in cheek, am I really in an alternate universe? Alice, where are you?

NOTE ADDED: Has 'pragmatic' been chosen to replace 'compassionate' as the term of choice for Republican obfuscations?

So 60 minutes interviewed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ...

I didn't see the show and the clip isn't available yet in QT, but from reading this C&L post I have to ask: Why didn't 60 minutes send an intelligent and real journalist to interview an intelligent and real president of Iran?

I know that in the US only idiots, malingerers and their imitators deal with our White House resident, Mister Bush, but is 60 Minutes so dumbed down now that they don't remember a time of real interviews, real questions and real dialogue?

I don't know what Ahmadinejad's objectives are, but he is not a moron like Bush and he has had the spectacle of BushCo's treatment of Iraq and of Sadaam to warn him of how honorably this administration treats the world.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Not Giuliani, but the reduction of lead ...

Research Links Lead Exposure, Criminal Activity --Data May Undermine Giuliani's Claims by Shankar Vedantam

Carrara 6 Pro, I recommend it ...

I've been working with Carrara 6 Pro for several weeks now and I highly recommend it.

If you are interested in reasonably priced software for 3D modeling, landscape creation, photo emulation, graphic design, etc this software works with reasonable speed
(Mac Power PC G5, 3GB memory and two internal disk drives). Also animation, but I have not used that and cannot give an opinion. I have had only one software problem but then I tend to just 'try' things to see what happens and I don't quite know what I did. But other than that one time this new software has been very stable.
By the way, I have no connection with Daz3D, other than as customer, and will receive nothing from Daz3D for any referrals of their products.

Yesterday's quotes ...

Too late for many. Too late for us all? ...
The number of dead is conscionable, apparently. No federal policy, no number of impactful story, no commentary, no GAO investigation, and no public shaming of an ineffectual border security infrastructure changes a damned thing.
... The frustration expressed in the above quote mirrors my frustration with our inability to reverse the appalling lack of responsibility, and often outright villainy, that the US government (with the assistance of the Democrats) has unleashed across our country and beyond.
""Somebody, sometime has got to take a stand and say democracy cannot survive, much less thrive with the level of big corporate and big government interference and intimidation in news."
--Dan Rather
So what defense contract in Iraq didn't involve a kickback?
The answer? "... it's a rare bid that wasn't crooked."

Bizarro World Quotes ...

... there are many obvious clues as to why modern Republicans are pod people, bleating endless lies for years about taxes, democracy and freedom as Bush runs amok in record-setting failure everywhere.
On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
-- H. L. Mencken
... in Republican Bizarro World, privatizing the armed forces "saves money" and "makes sense," even though Economics 101 (which Bush claimed to have gotten a B in, but really got a C-) tells you that a private army makes more money when demand for its services increases, and selling arms to the "enemy" makes sense both as a straight-up commercial transaction and as a way to increase demand.

They never learn ...

The US Congressional Democrats do NOT learn. (Or they are secretly in sympathy with BushCo's destruction of our democracy and are playing an underhanded game.)
Several Democratic lawmakers praised Bolten this week for helping to find pragmatic outsider Michael Mukasey to replace Bush's longtime inner-circle friend Alberto Gonzales as attorney general — and thus avoiding the fierce Senate confirmation fight that was expected if Bush had chosen another loyalist or ideologue.
Here they are being set up again. But they are happy. Somehow Michael Mukasey has been defined as NOT a loyalist or ideologue. VoilĂ , he's the perfect man to run the US Attorney General's Office.

'Non loyalist and non ideologue' Michael Mukasey ruled that an American citizen can be detained indefinitely without charges.

And there's that minuscule issue that no one, and I repeat no one, with any integrity will work for George W. Bush. If they have a shred of integrity the Bush mafia will ruin them.

But Dems are happy for now and that's all that matters. Doing their jobs would be stressful and it must be more pleasant to be approved of by Faux Noise than by the voters.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Why does creativity spring from disaster? ...

Summer of Law

No law for the wealthy
A lie for the poor
Open windows for some, and
For others, the door

... for the rest of the poem and all the links go to Pacific Views: Summer of Law

Friday, September 21, 2007

Man in the middle ...

This article suggests that Bank of America's online security is not that secure: False security: Is Bank of America lying to its customers? by Chris Soghoian
Customers expect some companies to lie to them. Very few people expect cosmetics and skin creams to actually make them look 20 years younger. Likewise, few would be surprised if the salads at fast-food restaurants are actually full of calories and fat. However, when a bank tells its customers that its online banking system is safe and secure, most people would be shocked to find out otherwise. Thus, a major question remains: Is Bank of America lying to its customers when it tells them that they can be "certain (they're) at the valid Online Banking Web site" when they see the SiteKey image? Do banks have a responsibility to acknowledge the risks, and to inform consumers of them?
ADDED 09/22/07: Who's carrying this risk? The bank or the customer? That is will the bank be responsible and make good any loss to the customer?

A filibuster free majority ...

... voted in the Senate to condemn a political organization,

The Senate is headed by a Democrat. The Democrats are in the majority, theoretically. However, given the Senate's performance in passing whatever Bush wants and oh so quietly making sure anything he doesn't want passes into oblivion lends to the suspicion that there are Bush-sleeper cells roaming through the bodies of many so-called Democratic Senators.

Restore habeas corpus? Enforce Benchmarks? End the War? Bring our People Home? Stop the Killing? Put some fairness in the tax structure? Health coverage? Home lending scams? None of these are important enough to fight for.

But just look over there ... is expressing the opinion of thousands and thousands of American citizens. Gotta stop that.

Vicious Republican attacks on Kerry, Murtha and even their own John McCain good.

Democratic ad highlighting the fact that David Petraeus is shilling for Bush, bad:
"General Petraeus or General Betray Us? Cooking the books for the White House."

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I am not a Democrat ...

I am not a Democrat ... and I'm not going to bother signing some form so officialdom can identify me as an independent .

The Democrats who are in the majority (slight though it may be) have given the Senate to the Republicans. How are these people any different than collaborators in war zones? What do they think they are doing and why? Are they being threatened? Are they trying to save their families from Bush.

Goodness, they don't even need threats to cave! Or has Bush threatened to blow up major cities, American cities that is, and the Republican mafia is backing him? .... mmmm, after years of BushWorld this is actually horribly possible.

Read about the Democratic Senators' perfidy here: The Filibuster: now painless and more convenient than ever! by Kagro X

ADDED: Sen. Reid: Do Your Job And Make Them Stand And Filibuster by Christy Hardin Smith

Monday, September 17, 2007

At one time I respected John McCain ...

... which makes his well documented decline very sad to watch ...

All warm and fuzzy ...

So those brave and true Dems we put in Congress are getting all warm and fuzzy about Michael Mukasey and view him as someone they won't by required (hallelujah) to fight.
... the most telling decision for liberals and conservatives alike is his ruling in the Jose Padilla case, where he found that the U.S. could detain Padilla indefinitely without charges (eventually reversed on appeal) ...
Appears Congressional Dems are so relieved to get an unAmerican Constitutional ignoramus who believes in indefinite imprisonment without trial.

How long can you avoid working for your bread, Congress Creeps?

I repeat, no one with any integrity will work for George W. Bush, therefore ...

Bank of America imitates KFC ...

This photo of a BofA ATM station does remind one of a Kentucky Fried Chicken stand.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

No comment ...

European Stocks Drop; Northern Rock, Deutsche Bank Lead Decline by Marco Bertacche

Sept. 14 (Bloomberg) -- European stocks fell the most in a week after Northern Rock Plc said the Bank of England agreed to provide emergency funds to ease a ``severe liquidity squeeze.''


From last month (via The Left Coaster)

Fed bends rules to help two big banks by Peter Eavi, August 24 2007

If the Federal Reserve is waiving a fundamental principle in banking regulation, the credit crunch must still be sapping the strength of America's biggest banks. Fortune's Peter Eavis documents an unusual Fed move.

NEW YORK (Fortune) -- In a clear sign that the credit crunch is still affecting the nation's largest financial institutions, the Federal Reserve agreed this week to bend key banking regulations to help out Citigroup (Charts, Fortune 500) and Bank of America (Charts, Fortune 500), according to documents posted Friday on the Fed's web site.


Compelling? ...

Tony Pugh at McClatchy Newspapers thinks it's "a compelling argument" against expanding the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
Statisticians boost effort to block children's health-insurance expansion by Tony Pugh

In its effort to stop Congress from expanding a public health-insurance program for low-income children, the Bush administration has hit on a compelling argument: the obscure but inevitable phenomenon known as "crowd out."

"Crowd out" happens when parents drop their children's private health insurance to enroll them in cheaper, taxpayer-funded coverage through the State Children's Health Insurance Program. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that for every 100 kids who enroll in the popular program now, 25 to 50 were previously covered in the private market.

Since a number of newly eligible children might already have what we have come to know as crappy health insurance and their parents may give up said policies (reluctantly, I'm sure) for better and cheaper coverage, well you know the rest ... those poor downtrodden powerless corporations may loose another victim to refuse care to.

But Tony Pugh of McClatchy finds the argument compelling ...
Jonathan Gruber, an economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has studied crowd out extensively and likens it to snaring dolphins by mistake in a tuna net.
So the uninsured children are tuna? And those caught up in corporate insurance 'health scams' are dolphins?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Digby hits the nail on the head, again ...

"It's become clear in the last few years that right wingers are psychologically unfit to lead the nation. Vast numbers of them are "conservative" not due to philosophy but to cover up for serious personal issues with sexuality, masculinity, oedipal complexes and worse. In fact, it's so pervasive that one must now assume that conservative political leaders are driven by a complicated desire to compensate for psychological problems rather than the usual political mix of ambition, ego and drive to power. There are just too many examples of disturbed, neurotic, secretive GOP hypocrites out there. It's a feature not a bug."

Friday, September 14, 2007

If greed wasn't the prime directive in the ol' US of A, just imagine ...

"What jumped out at me was the fact that this one system has been responsible for half of the gains in health care quality in the United States coming from the use of information technology! This truly is an astonishing statistic. Making the information technology systems work for the people who actually use them to do what they need to do for the patient (or their client), rather than using it to squeeze the most productivity without regard to the people in the equation, works better for everyone involved. Imagine that!"

Now here's a real surprise ...

We can hardly expect that George Bush's government which didn't pay attention to warnings about terrorist plans, which cannot stay focused on the actual terrorist who blew up the towers on 9/11/2001, which can't work with anyone anywhere if they disagree in the slightest with GeorgieBoy; that government can hardly be expected to pay attention to a little irritant like e. coli in our food. Three more dead and 200 sick. Not to worry he's keeping you safe by killing even more Americans and Iraqis in Iraq.

Don't worry. Be happy. Eat your spinach ...
Gov’t Didn’t Act After E. Coli Outbreak

As usual, they skip over the real issue ...

Rebecca Carr at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes [in Ex-Georgian may get nod to run Justice]
But does Thompson, 61, want to give up his well-paying job as general counsel at PepsiCo to run a department torn asunder by partisan politics?
Even after all this time 99% of those who appear to consider themselves as journalists and/or reporters do not address the underlying issue. By now no one with a shred of integrity would even consider working for this administration. If such a person has any integrity going in, they will have none going out.

Anyone proposed by this administration is suspect. Why do the press and the Democrats keep acting as if our world has not been radically changed, not by bin Laden, but by George Bush and his Republican Congress.

We cannot get back to business as usual just by pretending there's no problem here!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The real fight is here ...

Read this post (the entire thing) at Crooks and Liars: Armed Madhouse: Don’t become a victim of voter fraud in 2008

Our real fight is here in the US.

Who should you be afraid of ...

If you are not 'more afraid' of what BushCo has done to the government than the biggest threat the terrorists can devise then you are not paying attention ... If you are not aware that BushCo's idea of port security is the harassment of travellers while ignoring imports and from other countries then you are not paying attention ...

If you don't think the world has always been dangerous then you haven't learned anything about our country's history nor the world's history. An authoritarian country is mostly concerned with controlling everything about you but your actually safety means very little to them. They will break your legs, they will waterboard you, they will disappear you because ... well they'll have their reasons and they will be important ones, to them, just be a good little slave and they may leave you and yours alone; unless, of course they don't like you, you look wrong to them, you are in the wrong place, they need a patsy ... well, that's the price you pay for their type of safety, you should be grateful.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

For whom did the surge toll ;) ...

Just keep repeating: The surge is working. The surge is working. The surge is working.

Iraqis are fleeing their homes in greater numbers since the surge (What Crocker and Petraeus didn't say).

Petraeus, unintentionally I suspect, told some truth when he acknowledged that he does not know that the occupation of Iraq nor the surge makes America 'safer.' (Petraeus: 'I Don't Know' if Iraq Victory Will Make U.S. Safer)

Just keep repeating: The surge is working. The surge is working. The surge is working.

Finally, Soto gets mad ...

Soto gets mad, but rationally mad of course, which I suppose should be referred to as very angry, displeased, annoyed.
Your Mother's Calling, Chuck by Steve Soto
Haven't we been just so rationally mad while our country is destroyed outright by Republicans and sold out by Democrats.

Soto writes that if he were younger he would do so and so ... which makes me ask: where are the young? What are they doing? Do they wait for us or we for them?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

If Republicans like him weren't a major part and cause of the country's problems I would feel very, very sorry for Senator Craig ...

The first aerial attack on US - 72 years before 9/11/2001

The Border Reporter investigates and reports:
Strange picture, isn’t it? I found it in the files of the Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum Library. This bombed-out car marks the first aerial bombing on U.S. soil by a foreign power – 72 years before the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

Read the entire post.
72 years later: We remember and we mourn by wiscmass

Monday, September 10, 2007

Yuck ...

In the subprime housing scam on the poorest wannabe homeowners .... the poop keeps rising: The Poop on Foreclosures

Anyone who can even suggest this should not be a Senator ...

From TPM: "GOP Senator Larry Craig has now officially submitted papers in court to withdraw his guilty plea. His argument: The media made me plead guilty."

FMArouet analyses bin Laden's latest ...

Unlike our illustrious pseudo-security-conscious administration and their circle of pseudo-journalists, FMArouet reports on and analyses what bin Laden actually says in Decoding bin Laden's Latest: An Odd Congruence.

Does the intellectually blind little boy sleeping in the oh so cool White House (when he's not on another vacation dressing up as a cowboy) using bin Laden to do what he (the intellectually blind little boy) wants to do anyway, that is play with nukes; or does the intellectually blind little boy think he is really 'saving' America?

And did the intellectually blind American public wake up too late to what their 'betters' are doing to them and the country they love?

Next time ... will America turn its back on intellectual blindness and, if so, will it be too late?

Stay tuned ... global warming folly up next.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Amid the twittering of politicians, military reality?

McClatchy reports: Despite Iraq reports, troops' future is set by Nancy A. Youssef and Renee Schoof
No matter what Army Gen. David Petraeus tells Congress about the surge in Iraq on Monday, the course for U.S. troops there is already set: Next April, the 30,000 troops who were added this year will begin coming home.

U.S. military officials are assuming that the buildup of 30,000 additional American troops will continue until April, although a senior military official told McClatchy Newspapers that they may redeploy a brigade ...

By the end of March, however, Pentagon officials said, deployment schedules will force a reduction and the five brigades added for the surge will begin leaving, one month at a time.

Pentagon planners say they can't maintain the surge beyond that without extending deployments beyond the current 15 months, and the nation's top military leaders have said they can't do that with inflicting significant damage on the Army and the Marine Corps.

As if they care? No one in power has paid more than timid lip service to the realities of what the United States is doing to itself and others. Why start now? Geez ...

The article goes on to quote Reid as follows: ""We're not backing off anything," Reid said Thursday." Not backing off? They do nothing, but they are not backing off of doing nothing. How brave ...

Goodness, Pelosi started the new session of Congress with a plan ... now, after a well paid and lengthy vacation her amorphous organization returns to Washington with a well thought out "they might do this and they might do that" ...
In the House of Representatives, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is considering putting up a measure for a vote that would require military planning for a withdrawal. The House also might take up a measure similar to the Webb amendment on longer rest time.
... or they might do nothing just like the Senate, more likely.

And then there's this statement from a Republican Congressman from NC, Walter Jones: "You cannot just sit back and just watch." They have gall, those Republicans.
Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., said Congress had put off a real discussion of what was right for national security, waiting for the Petraeus and Crocker reports. Now, he said, debate must begin on a strategy that will be sustainable and that fits with other national security interests.
That's right, they waited months and months for 'a report' and 'a visit' from Petraeus and now they must strategize on what they will wait for next.

Good show.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Big Surprise, Bush's Justice Department against net neutrality ...

The Justice Department said imposing a Net neutrality regulation could hamper development of the Internet and prevent service providers from upgrading or expanding their networks. It could also shift the ''entire burden of implementing costly network expansions and improvements onto consumers,'' the agency said in its filing.
I think they have it backwards and I assume they know it. Lying as usual this administration is doing whatever it can to lock down the internet. If the Democrats in Congress don't come through then the 'free-wheeling' web will come under corporate control in no time.

And as the Democrats have repeatedly demonstrated they cannot be depended upon.

Can the Cylons of a Battlestar Galactica like future be far off?

Technology Review reports on an article in Science about running robots on real muscle power, just like the rest of us:
Researchers at Harvard University have made several small mechanical devices powered by heart muscle harvested from rats. The mechanical devices include pumps, a device that "walks," and one that swims. [...] In one example, Feinberg made a rectangular strip of plastic that curls up on itself, with the diameter of the resulting tube decreasing, then increasing again, as the muscle repeatedly contracts and relaxes. The researchers say that the device could serve as a pump. Another strip of plastic opens and closes like a pair of pinchers at a rate determined by electrical signals sent to the device. A curled triangular piece of plastic walks across the bottom of a petri dish as muscle tissue repeatedly contracts, and another triangular sheet, with a different arrangement of heart-muscle cells, mimics the movement of a fish's tail to swim through a solution.
For now "the beating muscles only survive for a few weeks."

Looking forward:
... future designs could mimic natural heart tissue in more detail to extend longevity. For example, the researchers may also try constructing a three-dimensional tissue, rather than the flat arrangement they have now. Previous experiments have suggested that three-dimensional structures may be key to the survival of the cells.
NOTE: I'm not really suggesting that the human race will have a future like that portrayed in Battlestar Galactica. I have my doubts that we are rational enough to survive our own intransigence and will annihilate ourselves long before we can travel among the stars. Sad thoughts, indeed ...

Thursday, September 6, 2007

West Nile virus makes a visit to 'NW' Tucson ...

Since this post (What to say ...) virus infected mosquitoes have made at least one unwelcome visit in 2007.

The bad news: Based on last year's pattern, if there is one case there will probably be others.

The good news: "Most people infected with West Nile will not get sick or will experience minor symptoms."

For a little more info: NW Side woman first in county infected with West Nile in '07 by Heidi Rowley

A sad business ...

Appears two female University of Arizona students fought (reason unknown?). Both were injured and one has died (Mia J. Henderson, 18) and the other is in jail (Galareka Harrison, 18). Other than that the news media seems to be massaging their story line.
They were UA roommates, but what led to murder?
Roommate held in UA slaying

Slain UA freshman: good student, 'nice' person by David Teibel, Sheryl Kornman

Police: Slain student, roommate had disputes by Blake Morlock

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Would the US get what it deserves if it attacks Iran? In the long run, probably ...

So writes Steve at the Last Chance Democracy Cafe:
So how big a disaster would such an attack turn out to be for this country? My guess, based on reading what a variety of experts have to say, is that the initial attack would likely be very successful, devastating Iran’s military assets. Our pilots would probably very quickly gain complete air dominance, free to bomb at will and greatly restricting Iran’s ability to strike back directly.

Who knows? Maybe we’d be honored with another “Mission Accomplished” moment (perhaps Bush could parachute in this time).

But soon enough, just like in Iraq — only worse — everything would go to hell. Contrary to the neoconservative’s dreams, the Islamic extremists in charge wouldn’t be overthrown — they’d be strengthened due to outrage against the United States. Attacks would increase against our troops in Iraq; Afghanistan would likely fall into complete anarchy. Terrorist attacks against US interests would increase across the globe. Meanwhile, oil prices would go through the ceiling, with the global economy taking a nosedive.

We've already seen that the Republicans enthusiastically and the Democrats with barely a foot dragging will follow the moron and the insane (Bush and Cheney) any where. Will the US Military also ride, fly and sail over the edge of sanity, humanity and rationality with the cartoon-like duo that is 'leading' the U.S. to its destruction?

Were the Democrats in Congress our last hope? If so, they have failed us. What are our options now?

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Alice, Dorothy, George Orwell and the United States ...

Added 09/03/2007:
No rational country would discuss the continued occupation of Iraq in terms of "supporting the troops."

BarbinMD at DailyKos wrote the following sentence: "The only question left is, will the Democratic leadership continue to support the administration or will they choose to finally support the troops?"

How did we get to this point where the issue seems to be 'who's supporting the troop' the most? It would be obvious to anyone who paid attention that Democrats in Congress usually support better equipment, better R&R, better training, better medical care, better pay and better benefits for the armed services than do the Republicans. That's all and good.

But as far as Iraq is concerned this harping on supporting the troops is a cop-out. Republicans 'accuse' Democrats of not supporting the troops because many, hopefully most, Democrats don't believe that the United States did the right thing in invading Iraq and that we should get out of there as soon as conceivably possible. To change the subject my dog looks fixedly in a new direction hoping I will follow suit. Just like my dog, Republicans like to change the subject and like any 'good' used car salesman they choose something that will put their opponent (and to Republicans everyone of us is an opponent, even an enemy) on the defensive. What better way to put a Democrat on the defensive than to take something they care about and accuse them of not caring, in fact of doing harm. As Republicans destroy Iraq and the US, they accuse everyone who doesn't kowtow absolutely to their will of not doing a nebulous, emotionally charged and ever changing 'right thing.'

BushCo, CrapWeed (or Turdblossom to Bush), most Republicans and a very significant portion of the media believe the US has a right to go where ever it wants and do what ever it wants. The issue of the troops is just a bugaboo.

Few talk about US criminality. Instead we have meaningless dialogue about 'support for the troop.'

Support for the troops is not THE ISSUE. The US invasion and occupation of Iraq is the issue.