Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Yesterday's GRAPHICS ...

Yesterday's graphic: Wall

And the previous graphic as well: Looking Up

Friday, April 25, 2008

Yesterday's QUOTES ...

Is there a definition for journalistic integrity? Media organizations simply ignore — collectively blackout — any stories that expose major corruption in their news reporting ...

It has become harder, Geoghegan says, to use a term like “us” to describe us as a country. “In no other developed country, at no other time in history,” Geoghegan writes, “has there ever been such a steady increase in inequality as there has been in the United States.”

Bush partisans scoffed at critics who worried these new spy powers might be used for nefarious political purposes. After all, that hasn’t happened since the ’70s — during the last ill-fated war (Vietnam) waged by a criminally inclined Republican president (Nixon) — and the ’80s — during the last illegal war (Central America) waged by a morally challenged Republican president (Reagan).

At this rather late stage in life, I'm realizing that the solid America I thought I knew may never have existed. Running very close, under the surface, was a frightened, somewhat hysterical culture that could lose its civilized moorings all at once. I had naively thought that there were some things that Americans would find unthinkable --- torture was one of them.

... the US Ambassador to Canada told her the legal changes wrought in New Orleans will not be put before the three national Congresses for a vote. “We don’t want to open up another NAFTA.” So, they’ll skip the voting stuff. Democracy is so, like, 20th Century.

Torture is always immoral. End of discussion.

When people are in this mode [Us-versus-Them], ideology and fear carry every decision. Those who want to discuss other worldviews or see a wider range of possibilities are considered traitors; and this forecloses almost all creative responses to problems. Furthermore, every resource the culture has must be diverted to winning the battle at hand, without regard for the future costs. Over time, relying on the Us-versus-Them archetype drives societies to eat their seed corn, leaving them bankrupt on every possible front. Still, this is the worldview that defines conservatism.

I went away last weekend and returned to a world of pus dripping stupidity. On Monday morning, wanting to catch up, I tried to sort out who was bitter, elitist, who betrayed their elitism by decrying elitist allegations of bitterness… and then I went to find a bottle of soda, Pop Rocks, and a trampoline.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Rep. Senator Lincoln Chafee meets the monster ...

at-Largely has an excerpt from Chafee's book describing a meeting between some Republican Senators and that monster who's called Cheney.
Former Republican Senator's "Chilling Account" of first meeting with Cheney...

Paintball guns on the border? ...

Border Reporter writes:
Claiming that attacks against agents have increased to terrifying levels, the U.S. Border Patrol plans to arm its agents with paintball guns and shoot the got-aways who perpetrate the attacks.
Wikipedia reference to paintball guns (markers) used by law enforcement:

Paintball markers have been used by law enforcement as antiriot weapons, in two modes:

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Yesterday's Graphic ...


And the one before: Face

Friday, April 18, 2008

And it's not just monthly ...

Testosterone and cortisol can take men on a behavioral roller coaster ride. In institutions like the stock exchanges this hormone induced behavior can be a daily occurrence:
A former Wall Street trader himself, Coates says the idea came to him during the dot-com boom, when traders "seemed to be on a drug, exhibiting manic behavior." When the bubble burst, he says, "they were really like people with a hangover."

Monday, April 14, 2008

Is the US becoming more and more repressive? ...

When Will We Ban Cigarettes? Reading The Tea Leaves

And corporate run slave-prisons will be the solution to the increasing number of US citizens deemed 'criminals' for the crime of getting caught breathing. Sounds like a best selling science fiction, or is that fantasy [so difficult to distinguish these days] novel.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The outcry was silence ...

The United States of America, the country I have been so proud of for most of my life, is now officially a lawless state that tortures people. The citizens of the United States of America have accepted a government guilty of the same war crimes for which it helped prosecute, imprison and execute Nazis and their collaborators and enablers. That the United States of America was a torture state has been increasingly apparent for some time. But now there is no more pretense. The president has openly admitted the involvement of his administration in implementing torture as policy. And the outcry ... was silence ...

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Yesterday's QUOTES ...

... Why is the ACLU seemingly alone in calling for a Special Counsel to investigate clear war crimes by this government?

In cov’rage quite sloppy at best,
The press attacked Hill’ry with zest,
Disputing her facts.
But ’twas they who were lax.
Cuz if Clinton says east they say west.

This is the behavior of a sick child, not one of the most powerful and privileged men in the world, but Glenn and Joan must watch with daily fury as the truth is blatantly ignored, the US propaganda corps has its marching orders and by God they will be enforced, no matter what happens, no matter how many die, no matter how stupid, unlawful, childish or grossly offensive the episode the result is always the same: ignore it, hide it, confuse it, the Republicans are in power, don’t take the country down.

Hiding the truth is in fact the surest way to take the country down, a basic fact of life most five-year-olds learn very well, but one our Republican and “journalism” brethren refuse to learn, no matter the sickening, outrageous scope of their behavior. ...

Pollan claims that in the Western diet, good old food has been replaced by nutrients, mom's good advice by nutritional experts, common sense by confusion, and for most, a relatively good diet by a bad and dangerous one. ...

We have tended to segment health care into periods of life, but are now beginning to wake up to the fact that disease and disability are cumulative, and build over a lifetime.

If this were simply a story of an airline trying to cut corners, and in the process putting passengers at risk, it would be startling enough. But in this case, we’re talking about federal inspectors who were pressured by their superiors to allow an airline to put passengers at risk.

... To me, the 2008 Democratic primary campaign is a watershed event in the history of the progressive blogosphere. It has revealed that some of the alleged "progressive" bloggers are fundamentally no different than the media and the deranged right-wing bloggers they have long claimed to detest. The Trina Bechtel incident is the "crowning" event on a sickening trend in this election campaign - where Gore was replaced by Clinton and the "media" was supplemented by an influential portion of the allegedly "progressive" blogosphere. I can easily see an entire book being written on the work of these jokers who have turned the credibility of the blogosphere to dust because of their Clinton-hatred. There used to be a time when bloggers like Glenn Greenwald and Atrios used to write again and again about how the right-wing blogosphere was almost always wrong, especially in their attacks on Democrats. Today, it is clear that such blog posts could equally well be written about a prominent section of the formerly "progressive" blogosphere.

Monday, April 7, 2008

The US Business Model of Life and other absurdities ...

Yesterday I posted a quote from a conference where some are suggesting it was time to shift from product development to discovery research in the fight against AIDS.

Imagine a world where the main emphasis is on the next health related product that can be developed, preferably with the public's money but without the public's ownership, and where that health product will be legally protected so that the end business owners can sell it at inflated costs for years and years, often back to the same public's government organizations that initially invested in the development of the product. That's the world we live in ...

Today I read this post: Shareholder Wealth Maximization in Action
Thus, Walgreen CEO Jeffrey Rein, speaking to shareholders, said “If attendees of the meeting needed to cough, he joked, they should leave the room and ‘go to a movie theater or on a bus’ to spread their germs. ‘We’re really hoping for a very strong flu season’.” While P&G CEO A.G. Lafley said on a quarterly analyst call: “Unfortunately, people have not been getting sick at a rate that we would all like yet.” Finally, LifePoint Hospitals CFO David Dill mused that "You have a strong flu season, and the ancillary business is very profitable . . . On the pediatric side, young kids coming into the hospital, that’s a nice margin for us, as well.”
Truths presented as humor. When people get the flu Walgreens and other corporations make more money selling flu related products. Walgreens' job is definitely not to serve the public. Walgreens' job is making money. The purpose of Walgreens' management is to make the maximum profit which in turn increases the investment value for it's shareholder (joke) so the job of Walgreens' management is to ensure there are an increasing number of people with the flu. Or Walgreens could just change to manufacturing weapons, start another war and kill people directly. That would work just as well and, well, it appears to be the American way. Abortion, no. Genocide, yes. The word is VALUES. Keep repeating a few key words and the whole world, well, at least the US will fall into line ...

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Is Arizona's Sheriff Joe Arpaio surrounded yet? ...

A mayor of a small town in Arizona tells Sheriff Joe to get out of town:
Last night was a night of high drama as Sheriff Joe brought his illegal immigrant dragnet to the small town of Guadalupe, and the citizens and the mayor of that city demanded Joe leave. Last night around 10:30, Guadalupe Mayor Rebecca Jimenez personally presented Joe a statement to this effect in the parking lot of the Family Dollar where the MCSO was stationed. According to Jimenez, Joe accused her of inciting a riot and informed her she had 90 days to cancel Guadalupe's contract with the MCSO to provide law enforcement to the town. Jimenez and other town council members present said they would be reviewing the MCSO's contract.
This is a brave thing for a small town mayor to do given the increasingly gestapo tactics in use in the US (by police, sheriffs, Federal Agents and specially Federal Prosecutors) in the Age of Bush.

Bravo Mayor Jimenez!

I wish I had the words ...

The following is a quote from this article -- AIDS RESEARCH: Review of Vaccine Failure Prompts a Return to Basics by Jocelyn Kaiser
"Fauci said he agrees that NIAID needs to "torque" the $476 million AIDS vaccine extramural portfolio, to shift away from product development and toward "discovery research.""
Another failure for the 'business model' of life?

Worry Wort explains why he thinks Obama has a better chance against McCain ...

Finally, an Obama 'argument' I can understand.

Of Events, Issues, and Principles

Why does a writer write ...

Is this article
How Aztecs Did the Math by Constance Holden, Science NOW Daily News, 3 April 2008
about "how the Aztecs did math" or about telling the reader that "a geographer and a mathematician have zeroed in on just what methods Aztec surveyors used" or to let us know that the Aztecs numbering system was "a vigesimal system (using 20 as its base) as opposed to our decimal system" or about how there's "a view that ancient peoples were obsessed with religion and that science and knowledge were all directed at religious ends."

Whatever. I wasn't aware there was such a view about 'obsessions of ancient peoples.' Could the writer of what I initially understood to be a science article have been practicing her modern day journalism skills? You know those highly tuned skills where the writer/reporter uses spurious quotes to inject unsubstantiated 'facts' into their latest propaganda pieces?

Yesterday's QUOTES ...

To simply accept that these people skirted FISA only for the righteous purposes of chasing down terrorist operations is absurd. We already know the kinds of thing the Bush justice department did. Why in the world would we not assume they used all the powers at their disposal to spy on political opponents?

Of course they did. We'd have to be complete idiots to think otherwise.

... The seriousness with which U.S. intelligence agencies planned the murder of Martin Luther King Jr. speaks eloquently of the threat Kingian nonviolence represented to the powers that be in the spring of 1968.

After his slaying on April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King died a second death. His work and message were sanitized, scrubbed clean of all threat -- and all promise. ...

... All the helots must be kept down on the same low level, so that in every region of the world -- the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East -- there is only one hegemon, one dominant power, one master: the United States. Yes, this is madness; but it also happens to be ruling philosophy of our "bipartisan foreign policy community."

... any nation that legalizes torture has lost its honor and the only way to get it back it to hold those responsible for doing it accountable.

Unfortunately for Cavalier McCain, the prodigal son, --- he's one of them.

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

Last month the Republicans had a great victory in their effort to undo the New Deal, by eliminating completely any distinction between commercial banks and investment banks, while at the same time giving investment banks unfettered access to the public treasury with none of the responsibilities or burdens placed on commercial banks. ...

... Obama’s biggest flaw is his hubristic sense of entitlement. ...

... It's so clear that lack of regulation gave the investment banks a license to steal, and that Phil Gramm and his puppet Presidential candidate [Free-Ride, Bomb-Bomb-Bomb-Iran McCain], who doesn't know or care about the economy, want the theft to continue.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

McCain Revealed ...

Click on image to read what John McCain (or Bush McSame) is really like. Maverick my foot.

Yesterday's Graphic and more Bird Pictures ...

Click on image for larger, complete image:

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

They tell me ...

Bush was likable too
... but I never really saw it. Beer-buddyship has never been a big selling point for me. Some people do seem to be instantly and superficially likable but don't necessarily stay that way on further acquaintance.

The 'liking' that I trust is the one that develops as knowledge of the person increases. I like Al Gore. I like John Edwards (almost as much as I like his wife). And I'm liking Hillary Clinton more and more as the campaign progresses.

I do not yet 'like' Barack Obama. Just as I didn't (and still don't) like George Bush. My very definite dislike of Bush is based on a mountain load of data. My lack of 'liking' of Barack Obama is due my inability to discern any substance behind the hype. This lack of concreteness appears to be the policy of his campaign emanating from his own style, I assume. It's rubbed of on his supporters or possibly he's attracted quite a crew that prefers to glom on to a Pied Piper rather that discuss issues, causes, policies, structure and philosophy. Additionally what I have been able to gather from Obama's speeches and interviews is that he's not very progressive. It amazes me that his supporters think that in Obama they would get a more liberal person than in Clinton, or do they really think so, or do they even care? Obama certainly isn't responsible for his campaign followers but he does seem to have a lot of bullies in his campaign, he appears to attract them and keep them happy. Another Bush characteristic?

It's possible, if Obama is nominated and then if Obama is elected and then if President Obama should govern rather than continue his Pied Pipership that I will begin to like his also. Hope so, anyway ...