Thursday, March 30, 2006
Judges Back Bill Examining Domestic Spying (AP)
Supreme Court Questions Military Trials (AP)
High Court to Mull Suspects' Treaty Rights (AP)
Homeland Security Dept. Job Losses Could Affect Nation's Safety
Boston Globe: Pentagon Weapons Oversight Seen Dwindling
Army Bans Use of Privately Bought Armor (AP)
Investigators Say They Smuggled Radioactive Materials Into US
Gov't. Reports 27% of Public Schools Failing to Meet Standards
Bush Joining Spring Breakers in Cancun (AP)
pray he'll stay!
Democrats Offer National Security Platform (AP)
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
...for those of you who didn't follow my link to npr's story on trapped in the closet, here's a press release they got from south park's creators:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but the million-year war for Earth has just begun! Temporarily anozinizing our episode will NOT stop us from keeping Thetans forever trapped in your pitiful man-bodies. Curses and drat! You have obstructed us for now, but your feeble bid to save humanity will fail! Hail Xenu!!!
-- Trey Parker and Matt Stone, servants of the dark lord Xenu
Jon on Dick Cheney's "tour rider":
Here's the detail I found most interesting: 'All Televisions must be turned to FOX News.' Wow! Because God forbid he walks into a hotel room and the TV's on another channel and he finds out what a shitty job he's been doing....
Monday, March 27, 2006
"No one should play on people's fears or try to pit neighbors against each other," Bush said. "No one should pretend that immigrants are threats to America's identity because immigrants have shaped America's identity.
"No one should claim that immigrants are a burden on our economy because the work and enterprise of immigrants helps sustain our economy," the president said. "We should not give in to pessimism. If we work together I am confident we can meet our duty to fix our immigration system and deliver a bill that protects our people, upholds our laws and makes our people proud."
do as he says, not as he used to say.
the latest revealed memos confirm the downing street minutes revealed earlier: b&b plotted to change iraq's regime—a treaty violation—by invading the place—another treaty violation—whether or not UN inspectors found illegal arms.
it should be stressed that even finding such weapons would not have cleared a lawful way for the US and UK to attack: going to war was and would have been illegal under any circumstances in which the security council did not authorize it, unless iraq first launched an attack outside its borders. the assertion that the unanimous resolution 1441 authorized war is an entirely bogus claim.
b&b's defiance of the UN charter undermined the prestige not only of that organization, but of both our countries, and subverted the moral force that fosters peaceful behavior among and within nations, bringing about much of the chaos we've seen in the world over the last 3 years.
i'm not familiar with british law, but the US constitution makes treaties part of the "supreme law of the land," so violating one is a high crime against the constitution itself and thus clearly violates the oath of office of every complicit official.
the US and UK both have veto power in the security council, so the UN is powerless to act against them, and the gop majority will never impeach bush, but that doesn't matter.
even if it's not till after they finish out their terms, the whole gang will be tried and punished some day—but only if we the people demand it, so we must insist!
Sunday, March 26, 2006
Supreme Court justice said to slam detainee rights (Reuters)
Feingold's Standing Boosted Among Voters (AP)
Dems Lambast Prescription Drug Benefit (AP)
Bush Calls for Fair Immigration Bill (AP)
Immigration bill sparks protests, Bush plea (Reuters)
Size of LA March Surprises Authorities AP
NJ Dems Dump Arab-American Candidate (AP)
Florida County Supervisor Draws Criticism (AP)
Rice Accepts DJ's Apology for Racial Slur (AP)
US to Probe Russia on Iraq Intel Report (AP)
Seattle Sees Worst Mass Killing Since '83 AP
Medical Marijuana Issue Returns to Court AP
'Mafia Cops' Trial Has Lots of Theatrics AP
'Class of Katrina' Shares One Last Dance AP
Saturday, March 25, 2006
What was this week's most important story in Washington?
Pres. Bush holds White House press conference............................11%
Testimony in sentencing trial of Zacarias Moussaoui........................5%
U.N. Security Council members continue talks about Iran................4%
Sen. Reid threatens filibuster of immigration bill............................10%
Pres. Bush says troops may be in Iraq after end of his term...........61%
Total Votes: 1512 as of 2:35pm ET
Friday, March 24, 2006
Thursday, March 23, 2006
last night's new south park episode was entitled the return of chef.
chef, with a somewhat robotic isaac hayes voice apparently dubbed by sampling earlier shows, comes back as a pedophile.
the boys find out he's been brainwashed by the super adventure club, an obvious takeoff on the "church" of scientology.
they manage to deprogram him, but as they start to leave the club's mansion, chef changes his mind and turns back.
then he's lightning-struck, falls into a deep chasm, gets horribly mauled by wild animals, and is impaled thru the chest. chef takes kenny's customary place as sacrificial victim.
but there's an epilogue: the pedophilic club members resurrect chef wearing vader-like (or is it cheney-like?) armor and mask, with a baker's-hat helmet, of course.
then chef speaks. he sounds suspiciously like james earl jones doing darth vader.
is it a star war? alliance against empire? south park and jimmy jones versus viacom, scientology, tom cruise, and isaac hayes? david v goliath?
whatever's going on, i'll take jones over hayes and cruise any time.
and, btw, south park rules!
i know. i know. the countries are nothing alike. the wars are very different. i know.
that's not what "bush's vietnam" is about.
stop being so literal.
learn to think outside the box.
you know what "outside the box" means?
it's not about a box. there is no box. but it means something. just not something literal.
"bush's vietnam" isn't about vietnam. it's not even about iraq.
it's about bush.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
yesterday da prez again claimed he removed saddam for blocking inspections:
THE PRESIDENT: -- and therefore, we worked with the world, we worked to make sure that Saddam Hussein heard the message of the world. And when he chose to deny inspectors, when he chose not to disclose, then I had the difficult decision to make to remove him. And we did, and the world is safer for it.
for the first time ever, folk in fairbanks needed air conditioning last summer.
average world temperature is neither constant nor always rising. various factors cause natural fluctuation. snow and ice, for example, reflect into space 90% of the sunlight that strikes them, so they tend to cool the planet. in contrast, melted sea ice becomes dark water, which absorbs 90% of light energy, so it gets warmer, accelerating the effect by melting more ice.
the greenhouse effect is another natural process. various atmospheric gases, including carbon dioxide, methane, CFCs, nitrous oxide, and ozone, are transparent to visible light but reflect infrared. sunlight gets absorbed by most of the planet's surface during the day, then released as heat, much of it when temperatures drop at night. the radiant component of heat is infrared, which may escape into space or bounce back when it hits molecules of greenhouse gas.
the amount of methane in the atmosphere was constant till 300-400 years ago, when it began to rise at about the same time as the till-then nearly-constant human population began to grow. that's most likely due largely to a rising need for fuel and building materials: when trees get cut down, the termite population in the ground multiplies many times, and termites produce an enormous amount of methane. cattle and sheep are also methane sources. more humans led to bigger herds as demand grew for meat, milk, leather, wool, &c.
the industrial revolution accelerated carbon dioxide emission, already growing from rising wood-burning, as coal and then petroleum got used more by factories and vehicles.
some of the greenhouse effect can get offset by airborne particulates, which screen out sunlight. in the 1950s and '60s, for example, the world became relatively cool till particulate pollution got cut in response to serious health concerns.
the current average world temperature is only 5° higher than it was in the depths of the last ice age, but it's grown 1° in the last century. 2005 was either the hottest or 2nd-hottest in at least 2k years.
nearly all glaciers are now receding, including polar icecaps.
falling arctic ocean salinity may stop the gulf stream.
storms appear to be growing in intensity.
malaria-carrying mosquitos are flying to higher altitudes and higher latitudes.
i could go on.
95% of detainees in guantánamo bay were not captured by american forces but were turned over to us by others, tho they are all alleged to have made war on the US.
the only crime of 55% of gitmo detainees is that they fled their homes and crossed the border into pakistan.
you think anybody takes that into account before torturing them?
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
all i can ask is, when did al qaeda get a foothold there?
i bet it wasn't more than 3 years ago.
bush also revealed his true exit strategy: he'll leave it for his successor.
that seems consistent with past gop methods of sabotaging dem presidents. think bay of pigs and waco, the first actually set up under the ike admin, the second run by the reagan-bush fbi head.
he wouldn't admit to believing we're heading for armageddon, tho.
he'll also be on c-span2 book tv this weekend, interviewed by grover norquist!
Monday, March 20, 2006
Sunday, March 19, 2006
what we the people want doesn't matter.
what the constitution says doesn't matter.
what our laws and treaties say doesn't matter.
what's right doesn't matter.
what's true doesn't matter.
what's good for the country and the world doesn't matter.
even what's strategically effective, ineffective, or counterproductive doesn't matter.
all that matters is what george bush wants.
he's been getting what he wants all his life, and the folk who adore him will make sure he keeps getting what he wants even tho all he touches turns to shit.
Saturday, March 18, 2006
CIA Witness List (AP)
Libby Trial May Be Embarrassment for Bush (AP)
Bush: US must resist temptation to leave Iraq (Reuters)
yes, it's so hard to say goodbye, but baby, it's cold outside.
McCain Taps Former Bush Political Director (AP)
all i know is he voted for the war, & he still loves it.
Bush Using Straw-Man Arguments in Speeches (AP)
Bush: Violence Creating Urgency in Iraq (AP)
well, that's why we're so well armed, isn't it?
Friday, March 17, 2006
this was a comment by MinneapolisMike on 2/27 on huffingtonpost.com:
The elusive Irony the Hollywood Leftist Elite crave so dearly will be finally working against them instead of for them when they realize that they are the ones who will be on the wrong side of history and not the President and all his brilliant staff and policies.i can't tell if he means it or not.
George Clooney is typical of the exact wrong type of thinking to actually win the War on Terror. Right-thinking Americans realize that they must believe in the President above all else. When they are told that the situation in Iraq could not be going any better, they dutifully do not question this information and nod in accordance. When they are told of the number of American soldiers that have died in Iraq, they happily and gleefully attack the messenger rather than dealing with the grief this is calling. The best policy always when hearing obviously false reports that Iraq is on the brink of a civil war is to label actors such as George Clooney with the most vile and hate-filled rhetoric possible.
Ultimately, right-thinking Americans need to believe that any hardships encountered as we roll to a complete and total victory in Iraq and the overall War on Terror is due directly to horrible people such as George Clooney. Obviously his whole motive is to give aid and comfort to our enemies. He must be thought of in terms even worse that the most evil terrorist imaginable. The American public must be made to believe that George Clooney hates our country so much that he smiles all the while as he plots to destroy it from within with all his evil liberal kin. The American public must continue to believe we have won the War in Iraq, we have won the War on Terror, and that the President and America is right in whatever policies they state because to not do so is to be on the side of dissenters such as George Clooney. Most Americans would rather die than be associated with filth such as this.
Facts mean nothing. The truth as stated by the main stream media means nothing. Integrity, honesty, and sincerity are antiquated concepts in a post 9/11 world. The only thing that matters is the brilliant ideology of our President and that the nation continues to put all blind faith in this vision, regardless of consequences. History will be written by the winners and since George W Bush has never lost, he alone will get to choose whether he simply wants to be regarded as the greatest President of all time or the greatest spreader of Freedom the world has ever known.
do you know what a bitch it is to find something in the congressional record?
it's a cgi file, which must be like pdf, 'cause you need adobe acrobat to view it, with all its usual difficulties.
i found out something interesting on the way: the congressional record doesn't have the official proceedings of the house. the house journal is the real thing.
trouble is the online version is hopelessly behind schedule. i mean it's not even up to this century yet. literally. we're talkin' 1999, folks.
so i went to the congressional record for 3/15/06. fortunately i knew the congressman's name: conaway (r-tx).
i had to look at 70 pages, one at a time, before i found it. talk about archaic. haven't they heard of plain text? what a guvmint.
here's a little bit of the speech:
...it is hypocritical of us to, on the one hand, ask the taxpayers of this country to underwrite the high energy bills, and then, on the other hand, restrict supply that, in fact, drives up those costs. So my amendment would say that none of the LIHEAP money would be available as long as we maintain restrictions on drilling in ANWR as well as the outer continental shelf.talk about hypocrisy, eh? drill more or punish the poor.
if you want to read the rest, go to page H1047.
we can thank tom delay for this jerk, btw. he's a freshman from the new 11th district created by the gerrymander "the hammer" engineered.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
a congessman was standing on the house floor.
i thought i heard him say it was hypocrisy to add funds to LIHEAP when we're not trying other means to lower energy prices, such as drilling in ANWR.
i wasn't recording. i'll have to look it up in the congressional record. i must've heard it wrong.
surely he knows ANWR can't lower the price of crude oil. it'd be a drop in the bucket on the world market.
and how does not drilling there make it hypocrisy to help poor folk pay their bills so they won't have to choose between electricity, food, medications, and rent? are the poor responsible for the high price of crude?
i must've heard it wrong.
from zombietime.com by way of wikipedia.org:
The Jyllands-Posten Cartoons
The Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten created the furor over depictions of Mohammed by publishing a series of 12 drawings after a local author said he was unable to find any artist willing to depict Mohammed for his upcoming illustrated book. The publication of the images in Jyllands-Posten has been condemned around the Islamic world, and has led to the burning of embassies and a boycott of Denmark by Muslim nations.
The Fake Cartoons
Yet when a delegation of Danish imams went to the Middle East to "discuss" the issue of the cartoons with senior officials and prominent Islamic scholars, the imams openly distributed a booklet that showed many more images -- not only the original 12 cartoons (and, oddly, some other unrelated satirical images clipped from newspapers), but three fraudulent anti-Mohammed depictions that were much more offensive than the ones published in Denmark. It is now thought that these three bonus images are what ignited the outrage in the Muslim world. The newspaper Ekstra Bladet obtained a copy of the booklet and presented the three offensive images on its Web site (though not in an easy-to-find place). (This Web site also has all 43 pages of the booklet available for download. Wikipedia currently has a page that not only shows each page, but has a translation of the Danish and Arabic text in the booklet as well.) The fake images all look like low-quality photocopies.
i feel let down—3 times now.
when previously fearless satirists censor themselves, is any hope left? will iconoclasm survive?
in its last "season," south park had an episode called trapped in the closet, which thoroughly raked scientology and a few showbiz-star members over hot coals.
at the end, the scientologists threaten to sue—as they often do in real life. the response is a challenge: go ahead! sue me! yeah! sue all of us!
then the end titles roll: director john smith; animation john smith, john smith, jane smith, john smith; &c. you get the idea.
i wanted to see it again, so when comedy central had a marathon of the last set of south park shows, i tuned in a few minutes before the scheduled start time of trapped.
i heard the final dialogue and saw the final credits. they'd run it a half hour early. i missed it.
a few weeks ago, they scheduled it again. i tuned in. a different episode ran.
the following week, south park's email newsletter mentioned trapped in the closet having been on the previous week. i—and probably a lot of other idiots—replied, saying it hadn't been on and asking when it would.
a week went by. i got no answer.
then, yesterday, i read a new south park email that said trapped would be on that night at 10.
at 9pm an npr show said isaac hayes, who from the beginning has done the voice of "chef"—perhaps the most outrageous hyper-sexed black stereotype ever—has, because of the danish cartoon affair and in view of his 40 years of civil rights activism, decided to leave the show because it makes fun of religion.
of course, he didn't leave when it made fun of jesus or moses or buddha or joseph smith or the pope or jews or mormons or catholics or evangelicals.
btw, he's a scientologist.
10pm: trapped in the closet was replaced by another episode again.
reputation nearly rehabilitated, he thought he saw light, so he began to relax.
suddenly he got blindsided—accused of ignoring the new national disaster plan and circumventing mike chertoff.
almost doesn't count.
you can't let your guard down against that gang.
ask joe wilson.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
recall when in 2002 congress made a big show of support for keeping "under god" in the pledge of allegiance?
well, i just found out the deck was stacked. here's their oath of office:
"I, A__ B__, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God." (5 U.S.C. 3331.)those last four words ain't in the constitution, but no atheist would say them, and the rules force them to take that oath to be in congress.
so religionists in congress have excluded atheists from their midst, even tho the constitution says:
no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States. (article vi)now, that same article also says
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.but the members of congress have put their religious beliefs above the law.
that may seem to be an extreme statement, but it's supportable. the evidence is the oath. you've seen the one they actually take. here's what the constitution (article vi again) says
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.clearly they've put their personal beliefs above the constitution. so when they swear or affirm to "bear true faith and allegiance" to the constitution, what in hell do they mean?
can anybody give me a reason—any reason (even a lousy one)—to think this country isn't run by a bunch of liars and hypocrites?
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
remember how we beat the USSR in the cold war by getting them to spend more than they could afford on weapons?
well, this is china's counterattack.
diabolical, isn't it?
Monday, March 13, 2006
i don't know if bush really said 'sell' war, but i heard him say he'd have to sell the agreement he made with india.
he sure used to be a good salesman. he just never delivers.
seriously, what did this guy major in at harvard biz school?
book tv just reran last fall's telecast on john friedman's the secret histories: hidden truths that challenged the past and changed the world, but the listing didn't say the show featured a panel with philip gourevitch, mark danner, and morley safer.
the q&a got into issues ranging from abu ghraib to our suspicious election results.
an audience member said what's going on lately isn't really new, and americans seem not to recall history.
gourevitch suddenly went into patriot mode and got a bit worked up—tho he said he doesn't defend everything. his point was that short memories, abuse of power, and bad press coverage aren't unique to america, and almost everywhere else is worse.
even so, it's no excuse. we don't live anywhere else. we're responsible for this country. it's our duty to make sure it does what's right, no matter how bad other places might be.
news media could help a lot by putting current events into historical perspective when present seems to echo past.
Sunday, March 12, 2006
stephanopolous tried to get him to use the i-word, but only the house can impeach. if it doesn't, the most the senate can do is censure.
US Senator to propose censuring Bush over eavesdropping (AFP)
'...consciously and intentionally violating the constitution and laws of this country with this illegal wiretapping....'
Cheney Roasted at Gridiron Club Dinner (AP)
for those unfamiliar with the idiom, 'roast' is figurative. sorry if it got your hopes up.
Frist Leads Informal GOP Poll for '08 (AP)
1. frist 36.9%—uh, the poll was done in memphis.
2. romney 14.4%
3. (tie) g allen & g w bush 10.3% each—so why is w in it? it was #5's idea, as a show of support. looks like bush gets less support here than nationally.
5. mccain 4.6%—see, john, supporting bush was a bad idea again. you might've come in ahead of romney.
9. rice 2.2%—brownback and santorum must be gods of the gaps.
11. giuliani 1.1%—the most popular gop in america, if you poll real folk instead of 'party heavyweights.'
Frist lays claim to US Republican leadership ahead of 2008 vote (AFP)
o, please, br'er fox. don' t'row me in dat briah patch.
AP: Study Warns of Port Operator Lapses (AP)
$75M for this study? hope it's worth it.
Reid 'Ashamed' Over Katrina Mobile Homes (AP)
thanx for the reminder of 11k unused fema trailers worth at least $350M sinking into the ground in arkansas.
Texas Candidate Caught Drinking in Car (AP)
not really caught. news photos don't prove the can was open, no cop saw it, he was only a passenger, and it was in a st paddy's day parade for god's sake!
Key Democrats back idea of primary calendar change (Reuters)
they think they can set the dates to improve the chance of getting the strongest possible nominee. good luck.
Saturday, March 11, 2006
Bush Confident Iraq Will Avoid Civil War (AP)
Some Republicans wary of Bush ties before election (Reuters)
Norton Legacy: Drilling, Land Sale Plans (AP)
Bush Warns Iran, Syria on Iraq Meddling (AP)
Bush says training of Iraqi forces paying off (Reuters)
Bush: Homemade Bombs Biggest Threat to GIs (AP)
Bush: Ports Deal Collapse May Hurt U.S. (AP)
Former top Bush aide accused of thefts: Wash Post (Reuters)
Ex-White House Adviser Charged With Theft (AP)
Bush's Approval Rating Falls to New Low (AP)
Friday, March 10, 2006
But in these cases
We still have judgement here, that we but teach
Bloody instructions which, being taught, return
To plague th’inventor. This even-handed justice
Commends th’ingredience of our poison'd chalice
To our own lips.
—Macbeth, Act I, Scene 7
she does nothing, so her departure will hardly be noticed.
well, maybe mostly nothing, but what about steve griles and jack abramoff? might that have anything to do with her sudden announcement?
but not nearly 'nuff:
She said the administration is looking at the issue and will discuss it with Congress. That implies more liberal use of presidential waivers for national security reasons, but Rice was not specific about her plans.
Rice did not suggest that the administration has had a change of heart about the Hague court itself.