Monday, March 31, 2008

A pattern developing?

This post by Krugman is particularly interesting, not so much for the purported subject, but for what it demonstrates about the two very different 'styles' of the two remaining Democratic candidates for President.

One reminds me of Bush and the other seems like someone I would like to work for OR have work for me.

Can you guess which is which?

Bird Pictures ...

Mostly grackles, except for the little sparrow, wren or finch or whatever it is ... Click on image for larger (and more complete) version:

Yesterday's Graphic ...

Spider Webs (click here for graphic)

Yesterday's QUOTES ...

Very troubling indeed. Sen. Clinton has this ugly and detestable habit of impressing people who get to know her well - especially independents and Republicans! The result? A powerful Republican and media magnate who hated the Clintons came dangerously close to endorsing her! We certainly can't have that! After all, according to The Clinton Rules and The Obama Rules it is only acceptable if Republicans endorse Sen. Obama - he who has courted them aggressively - in support of his campaign of hope, unity and change. ... how unfair can it get.

A new world order emerged when Mr. Gorbachev brought down the Berlin Wall. The next world order began when U.S. psyop forces staged the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s statue. From that point, it became apparent that America’s military might meant little without a peer force to compete against.

While the Bush Administration has demonized al-Sadr and the Mahdi Army since the invasion, it has never acknowledged one simple fact: between the two main Shiite factions in the country, Bush backs the one directly tied to Iran. Al-Sadr on the other hand is a nationalist, who will accept support from Iran but will never be an Iranian puppet.

... Yet after all this, our governing class and the foreign policy establishment have learned absolutely nothing -- except to commit their future crimes more "efficiently" and "competently." ...

[...] Be sure to appreciate the magnitude of the destruction involved: not only has the United States destroyed a nation and over a million human beings. As was true from the beginning, the U.S. is determined to destroy logic, morality, and your capacity to understand or make sense of anything at all: "The charges...were dismissed 'in order to continue to pursue the truth seeking process into the Haditha incident.'" ...

Black Super Delegates being threatened by Obama Supporters ...

“African-American superdelegates are being targeted, harassed and threatened,” said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Mo.), a superdelegate who has supported Clinton since August. Cleaver said black superdelegates are receiving “nasty letters, phone calls, threats they’ll get an opponent, being called an Uncle Tom. (via The Left Coaster)
Obama needs to come out against this behavior NOW. Or we will have to assume that he is behind it and will do ANYthing to win; even act like a creepy, incompetent, bullying Republican attempting to destroy the Democratic Party.

This is like proposing that Obama should win the nomination BECAUSE he's black. Even I, who strongly believe in quotas to ensure the inclusion of individuals from groups that have been discriminated against into industry, schools and universities, find this repulsive and destructive. Obama needs to address this and stop his followers from using these tactics. This is BushCo/Rove tactics.

Read eriposte's full post. It's very disturbing.

I don't think Hillary Clinton has a RIGHT to the nomination. And if I didn't think she was qualified I wouldn't want her to get the nomination and even though she was not my first choice I DO think she is extremely qualified and would like to see her get elected President.

Neither does Obama have a RIGHT to the nomination. Being black is not a qualification. I don't know if he's qualified. His noise machine is always drowning out any substance before I ever get a chance to make up my mind about him.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

One would suppose that self protection ...

... would be reason enough to work towards a just society with a fair and wide ranging distribution of resources:
Schizophrenia afflicts about 1% of the overall population, but a much higher proportion of homeless people and prison inmates.
By adding the stress of poor or no jobs as well as the lack of health care and other service for those in need we ensure that illness, both mental and physical, will afflict these groups at increasing levels and that those same people will be further punished for our failure, and in turn they will pay society back for their increasing hardships in crime and other forms of destruction.

This type of societal structure is as illogical and self-destructive as invading a sovereign country and then calling the citizens of that country insurgents when they fight back! (Or are we under some impression that we would not fight back if some foreign military power occupied the United States? I don't think so. Many of us can't even fathom nor accept that non-military individuals seeking survival attempt to enter unnoticed.)

So McCain wants ...

... to continue sending our money down the drain in Iraq for the next 100 years give or take a few years and trillions of dollars? Is that so he, and those of similar moronic mindsets, can continue to ignore needs here at home? The National Academies' National Research Council (NRC) has a report on what is going to happen in parts of the US in the next 50 to 100 years. Perhaps we should be addressing some of these issues or will it be more fun to let our politicians, media and corporations play with weapon, war and genocide?
From Science Magazine: Roads, Ports, Rails Aren't Ready for Changing Climate, Says Report ... "Based on these levels, an untenable portion of the region's road, rail, and port network is at risk of permanent flooding," the federal report says. Hurricanes and the rising ocean are already destroying barrier islands, which blunt the coastal impact of incoming storms. ...

Potential Impacts of Climate Change on U.S. Transportation: Special Report 290

Scientist, look at yourself ...

Doctors have evolved from 'witch' doctor to worthy and well paid professionals to money grubbing entrepreneurs (with insurance companies mixed in).

Scientists have evolved from well off dabblers and the intellectually curious to sometimes well paid professionals to grubbing entrepreneurs and corporations.
MicroRNAs Make Big Impression in Disease After Disease
"Many microRNAs overlap among a number of cancers, which makes commercializing them less daunting. Recently, Asuragen closed on a second round of funding, garnering $18.5 million."

Silly post ...

Given that we can't bring our collective selves (and governments) to address the environmental disaster staring us in the face, a 5000-year supply of copper should be a reason to set up copper digging competitions.
At current consumption rates, they estimate that there is about a 5000-year supply of copper remaining in the Earth.
Then again, maybe copper producers will just use this estimate as a marketing gimmick to raise the price of copper.
-- Only 5,000 years left. Get your copper now. ---

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Yesterday's QUOTES ...

... We did not go after the Saudis, who sponsored the attacks on this nation, because it would be bad for the oil industry. That is treason, is it not? We did not go after Pakistan, because it would be bad for the weapons industry (and likely the war on drugs industry). That is treason, is it not? When corporate profits are more important than national security, then we can safely declare that fascism is on the march. Onwards lied-to soldiers, the corporate war of terror beckons.

... That should be out primary concern above all else in November. Electing McCain will definitely make this country less safe as the rest of the world comes to realize that they are going to have to band together to contain us. ...
I'm surprised the world hasn't already started to band together against us. More of Bush's evil 'luck' I suppose.

Will Free Ride McCain get a free ride into the White House?

The media and McCain ... Foreign policy cred lets him get away with wild howlers on foreign policy. Fiscal integrity cred lets him get away with outlandishly irresponsible economic plans. Anti-lobbyist cred lets him get away with pandering to lobbyists. Campaign finance reform cred lets him get away with gaming the campaign finance system. Straight talking cred lets him get away with brutally slandering Mitt Romney in the closing days of the Republican primary. Maverick uprightness cred allows him to get away with begging for endorsements from extremist religious leaders like John Hagee. "Man of conviction" cred allows him to get away with transparent flip-flopping so egregious it would make any other politician a laughingstock. Anti-torture cred allows him to get away with supporting torture as long as only the CIA does it.
... the corporate media continues on its crusade of destruction.

A moron and his suck ups ...

Disgusting and creepy.

Yesterday's graphic ...


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

One special QUOTE ...

I couldn't hide this gem in my usual 'quotes' postings:
We cannot forgive former governor Eliot Spitzer for wrecking his personal life; but we can forgive a president for wrecking his nation. Is there something wrong with this picture?

Why I hate politics ...

Mary at Pacific Views writes about Why I hate this primary campaign.

My disquiet --I don't really hate politics, after all life is politics-- is more all encompassing. A call from the Clinton campaign allowed me to vent my frustration about both campaigns --not that I expect my words to make any difference-- and I gave them some money. When a call came in from the Obama campaign I wanted to talk about the same thing. The Obama person on the phone didn't listen and, in fact, tried to talk over me with her prepared talking points. I hung up. And when the DNC calls I just tell them that I no longer give money to any organizations other than individual candidates campaigns.

Until the DNC even tries to fix this screwed up and undemocratic primary mishmash I will not give them any money. I resent the fact that all the candidates campaigning in the primary do not get voted on by all Democrats (and only Democrats). Keep all non-Democrats away from Democratic primaries.

There, I feel better.

Added: On second thought, I do hate that sleazy organized politics is part of life.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Yesterday's QUOTES ...

I’m getting seriously impatient with the execrable excuses for this appallingly weenie political behavior. One could guess—one has to, you know, since neither candidate can lead on it—that Clinton doesn’t want to offend New York money and that Obama won’t take on the fight, calling out these crooks and defining elements that must be combated for societal success just doesn’t fit in with an optimistic campaign.

US Guest Worker program in action? ... ... Nearly 100 Indian workers say they were enticed to come to work at the company’s shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss., where they say they were held in modern-day slavery.

A most unpleasant reading of current events ... However, even if Bush does hold off for some reason, the processes that Polk describes will almost certainly lead the next president into war with Iran, especially as the three remaining major candidates have forcefully pledged to keep "all options, and I mean, all options on the table"

... The vast majority of remote-sensing algorithms are based on vision, he says, so if the sonar algorithm can be perfected, one of its advantages will be the ability to function in low light or darkness. ... Bat-like!

Shifting sands ... Unfortunately for our candidates their macro strategy was hatched 18-24 months ago, while present political and environment reality has drastically altered underneath their feet in two critical facets since then: current economic problems are demanding far more change than their current careful approaches, and the nomination process didn’t produce a winner.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Yesterday's QUOTES ...

... The fiscal problem the US faces is medicare, and medical care more broadly, not social security.

... The Chinese company included crude heparin squeezed from the intestines of slaughtered pigs processed in filthy kitchen factories that would make a backwoods meth lab look like an Intel clean room.

And John McCain could very well get away with it. He and the GOP plan to scare independent voters, Reagan Democrats, and the GOP sheeple one more time with fears of Al Qaeda streaming from Iraq to Kansas ...

Here’s the dirt on Arizona power plants, March 17th, 2008 by Ed Taylor

Arizona power plants are getting dirtier rather than cleaner, at least when it comes to pollution tied to global warming, according to the nonprofit Environmental Integrity Project.

Arizona had one of the biggest one-year increases in greenhouse gas emissions from 2006 to 2007, the organization said Monday.The top 10 states in increases of carbon dioxide were Arizona, Georgia, Texas, California, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, Virginia and North Carolina.

That’s a lot of things for such a smart man [Obama] not to know. If I didn’t know any better, I might think he’d say anything to win.

Obama and his supporters are deliberately spreading misinformation regarding the timing sanctions against both Florida and Michigan. Much of the media is parroting their press releases without referring to the actual DNC Delegate Selection Rules for 2008. [...] Of the recent solutions being proposed the most disturbing and offensive is that the delegates of these States be split 50/50. Although political operatives get their VIP passes to the convention, the will of the voters is totally ignored. A 50/50 split would be assigning votes to Florida and Michigan Democrats. Do not refer to it as anything less.
... Obama partisan Kos of dailyKos praised an arbitrary assignment of votes to Florida voters. Of course, by now it's clear, fairness only applies to what Kos wants. The rest of us voters don't count. Sounds very Republican to me ...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

We need to be able to talk about race ...

Steve Soto writes:
... I flatly resent the need for Obama to give a speech on race and politics today.
I agree with him that this is another act of discrimination (against Dems in particular, not just blacks) by the press.

On the other hand I think we, as a nation, need to be able to talk about race. It's impossible to have a conversation about race in this country (just like it's impossible to have a conversation about Israel).

Obama's speech on race was exceptional, needed and hopefully, will not be the last such 'conversation.'

Yesterday's QUOTES ...

Kos makes it clear that he's a supporter of an Obama Civil War within the Democratic Party:
... she [Clinton] doesn't deserve "fairness" on this site [dailyKos] ... ... a lot like with Republicans; we're not supposed to believe our lying eyes as they accuse the Clinton camp of doing what the Obama camp (and the dailyKos crowd) are doing themselves.

Hope you weren't expecting optimism:
Things fall apart, and the center doesn’t exist.

... ah, nothing plus nothing produces books about nothing:

The Western US may be the only place in the world where the connection between trees – or more precisely upland forests – and water supply is not recognized. ...

Solzhenitsyn did speak frankly, and now from our vantage years later we can fully appreciate his powers of observation. He said, for one thing: A decline “in political courage may be the most striking feature that an outside observer notices in the West today. The Western world has lost its civic courage, both as a whole and separately, in each country, in each government, in each political party . . .”

Curriculum to actually support physicians as moral and ethical leaders in society are largely absent ...

... in the concentration camp in Guanatanamo Bay: the slow, deliberate murder of an innocent man, who is being killed with the collusion of oath-breaking physicians. ...

Anyway, better late than never.... perhaps.

As for Iraq, after the president’s rationale(s) for the war in Iraq fell apart, the White House crafted a post-hoc rationalization for the invasion — the United States was committed, above all else, to spreading democracies and toppling dictators across the globe. He didn’t mention any of this before the war, but only because he was really busy. Or something.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Yesterday's freak snow storm caused collisions and 20-mile road shut down ...

Interstate 40 re-opened around 5 a.m. Monday after at least two people were killed Sunday afternoon in a series of collisions that involved as many as 140 vehicles and shut down a 20-mile stretch of the freeway west of Flagstaff.
The above was in Northern Arizona, where they would be more used to driving in snow than those of us down here in low desert areas.

We must SAVE the Free Market with taxpayer money ...

NOW they tell us why it's called a Free Market. They are not responsible for THEIR mistakes, but not only are we, the citizens, responsible for our mistakes, we are also totally responsible for whatever disasters or just plain bad luck we run into.
Let me just ask. I'm sure somebody out there has the answer. After all, they had reasons why Katrina victims deserved to drown and die, be forced from their homes and screwed by their insurance companies and disregarded by their country. They had reasons why uninsured children didn't deserve health care, why those who died from a lack of medical attention only got what they had coming. They had reasons why the people who came to emergency rooms were just looking for drugs, they had reasons why thieves got rich and saints got shot, they had all kinds of explanations for everything that looked to everybody else like a fucking problem we needed somebody to solve. (via The Sideshow)
And Steve Soto writes so sanely about the same topic: Chasing Wealth, Not Jobs. Why not Steve Soto for President. But like Gore, Clinton and many others, he's too smart and rational for the press (and probably even the crowd at dailyKOS) to be objective, truthful or actually informative; you know doing that journalist thing journalists are supposedly supposed to do?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Snow in Tucson, now ...

Snow or very small slushy hail.

[Click on image for larger version of photo.]

Yesterday's QUOTES ...

... the Stepfordization of Josh Marshall is nearing completion ...

Now I'm not an economist, I don't even play one on the internet, but it seems to me that Bear Stearns has just been helped to a hefty chunk of corporate welfare on the taxpayer's dollar (that's you) as reward for a whole slew of bad investments. Bad investments that were, according to Nobel winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, encouraged by the Bush administration in a vain attempt to keep the U.S. economy afloat on deficit spending while three trillion bucks was poured into the Iraqi sandpit. Where's the "credit card act" for these people?

... ... flexible lungs ... allow the gator to navigate by tipping its weight like a seesaw.

... But this campaign season has seen the end of the blogosphere as a credible alternative. It has seen some of the most popular supposedly liberal blogs and some of the most prominent supposedly liberal bloggers descend into the worst type of mendacious smear campaigns- against a fellow Democrat.

How can we expect reporters to cover it? They won't even GET AN EMAIL!

Outside of the Obama camp's continued obsession with Bill Clinton's sex life (which has always been a defining characteristic of depraved conservatives, GOPers and media talkingheads) there is the usual ultra-sexist crap in Thorne's email - i.e., casting Sen. Clinton in poor light for her husband's cheating (an altogether common behavior amongst fake progressives). Thorne's email also says - "Where was the judgement ....on whitewater?"

Saturday, March 15, 2008

dailyKOS as partisan hacks ...

Really, I was used to dailyKOS presenting facts (and then explaining how they proved 'their' opinions). But since the site went 'obama' they now mainly spout opinion of how the other side is just sooo unfair while their side is pure as the driven snow.

Evidently it's so simply that a 6 year old knows the answer. It's unfair for Clinton to suggest that the Michigan primary was fair. But it appears to be the unanimous opinion of the dailyKOS that its more than fair to take both Michigan and Florida voters out of the primary process. That's fair because Iowa wanted and the DNC agreed that we all must bow down to Iowa being the decider of who we get to vote for. That's what passes for fair to the dailyKOS bunch because it works out best for Obama, not because it's fair. Even a 6 year old could figure that out if you gave her all the facts.

I'm not suggesting that if the reverse were not the case that Clinton wouldn't be just as unfair as Obama.

I am really sorry that dailyKOS went obama instead of just staying partisan Dems. It's a loss.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Sorry, but this is sounding a lot more like Bush & Gore ...

What the DNC and the Obama campaign are trying to do is disenfranchise Florida and Michigan primary voters.

I do not assume that Clinton wouldn't try the same. However it is NOT Clinton but Obama and the DNC, this time, who are pushing a corrupt deal.

Just explain to me how all this is not just what those Supreme Court Jesters did when they selected Bush as President ignoring the votes of the citizens of the Unites States.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Yesterday's QUOTES ...

This particular Times article (which only gets worse) underscores the disingenuous depths to which our paper of record is willing to sink. President Bush vetoes a bill intended to stop the CIA from using torture techniques, including waterboarding - which dates back to the Spanish Inquisition, was a favorite practice of the Gestapo, and for which the US tried and hanged Japanese soldiers after WWII - and The Times boils down the entire veto to politics and a factually inaccurate, Bush-approved narrative of his legacy. ... does anyone really consider the NY Times 'our paper of record' anymore? Or is it the irony that keeps them bringing up the distant past?

... And the only way journalists could make the Clinton response to the Muslim question newsworthy was to pretend that when Kroft pressed her, she essentially refused to answer the question and then when she finally did, qualified it with "as far as I know." Journalists had to hide the most pertinent parts of the answer -- the context -- in order to make the exchange newsworthy. And lots of reporters and pundits did just that.

[...] What's disturbing is that either all these journalists failed to read the entire transcript or watch the relevant video from the 60 Minutes interview and therefore were not informed about Clinton's response. Or worse, they knew about her entire response and purposefully left out key phrases in order to portray the candidate in the worst possible light.
... I know by now that most journalists are deceitful, corrupt, incompetent and/or lazy, but I really didn't think Bob Herbert was one of them. Another disappointment.

It's quite obvious that elected Democrats are the targets of the wholesale illegal wire tapping undertaken by BushCo's mafia ... And I am certainly not comfortable with the hysteria over two consenting adults having sex, while no one cares that the Bush administration lied us into an illegal war in which nearly a million Iraqis have been killed and tens of thousands of Americans have either been destroyed or killed. I am also not happy that the illegal domestic spying this administration has engaged in appears to have nothing to do with terrorism. I am not surprised by this, of course. What I am surprised by is that no one else seems to care that the White House is more interested in sex between consenting adults than in catching a terrorist.

The difference between the girls working at the Emperor's Club and the Washington press corps is that the Emperor's Club girls know exactly what kind of transaction they're making. That, plus the fact that the result of a prostitute's transaction has no victim, and the result of the press corps' has thousands upon thousands.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Yesterday's QUOTES ...

Noting this, Matt Yglesias added, “Few people seem to appreciate it, but it’s quite literally true that al-Qaeda’s strategy is to cripple the U.S. economy by dragging us into quagmires abroad. Osama bin Laden himself has said this, and it’s the only strategy that makes sense. A smallish number of people with no base of resources can’t possibly defeat us unless we shoot ourselves in the foot repeatedly as Bush and McCain propose.”

Wait, let me see if I get this. The FBI broke the law on orders from the White House and with the help of private corporations who were big donors to the Bush-Cheney campaigns. The private companies charged us - the consumer - on contract, which they then broke to get more of our money from the federal government. The White House and DOJ lied to Congress when caught, claiming that this illegal spying was only against "terrorists," and claimed that everything they had done was legal. Yet it is the White House who is demanding immunity for companies that they claim broke no laws. In the meantime, even though the FBI lied and misled Congress a number of times now, they claim that new reforms will keep the public safe from illegal domestic spying.

Hillary Clinton's supporters have gotten incredibly annoying, with their chants of "Yes She Can," and charges of cultism and their desperate yelps of schadenfreude every time Clinton looks like she might actually be "recapturing the lead" that she never had.

And Obama's supporters, yes, you too are incredibly annoying, with your accusations of Clintonian Republicanism and your whiny little cries about how you're going to take your ball and run home if your candidate doesn't win the primary.

You found "them" in Pakistan. So why are you not "there?" You found "them" in Afghanistan, so why did you leave "there" to go to Iraq? And "they" are certainly in and funded by Saudi Arabia, but you did not go "there" either. So what makes Somalia so special as to rouse the attention of our military industrial complex?

Monday, March 10, 2008

An old high school photo and a couple not so old ...

I've been 'rummaging' though old images, photos, scans and other stuff stored on CD's ...

This was one of my favorite pictures in high school, taken in 1957 at the base of the Spruce Mountain Lookout Tower (Prescott, Arizona).

And here's two photos taken in Sedona Arizona (from 2003) that caught my eye.
[Click on image for larger version of photo.]