••can ye pass the acid test?••

ye who enter here be afraid, but do what ye must -- to defeat your fear ye must defy it.

& defeat it ye must, for only then can we begin to realize liberty & justice for all.

time bomb tick tock? nervous tic talk? war on war?

or just a blog crying in the wilderness, trying to make sense of it all, terror-fried by hate radio and FOX, the number of whose name is 666??? (coincidence?)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Top 10 worst oil spills
Oil spills can pollute the air and water and alter the ecosystem for years

The oil gushing from the well where the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and sank is now spreading through the Gulf of Mexico. Oil spills can kill wildlife, pollute the air and water, and alter the ecosystem for years to come. Many of us think of the Exxon Valdez oil spill as a particularly bad one, but with about 42,800 tons of oil spilled, it doesn't rank as one of the 10 worst ever.

Here are some of the worst oil spills in history:

The Odyssey: 132,000 tons
In November 1988, the American-owned oil tanker Odyssey split in two 700 miles off the coast of Nova Scotia. The tanker spewed about 132,000 tons of crude oil into the sea and caught fire as it sank, setting the spill aflame. Because of hazardous weather conditions, the Canadian Coast Guard could not immediately reach the spill, and much of the oil burned.

The Haven: 145,000 tons
A violent explosion aboard the Cyprus-based tanker the Haven killed six members of the crew and spilled 145,000 tons of oil off the coast of Italy in April 1991. About 70 percent of the oil burned in the ensuing fire. In most oil spills, oil remains near the surface of the water, but in this spill some of it sank. Oil from the Haven was later found in ocean beds at depths of up to 1,640 feet (500 meters).

The Amoco Cadiz: 223,000 tons
Stormy weather drove the Amoco Cadiz Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) aground on the Portsall Rocks, a 90-foot deep outcrop off the coast of Brittany, France, in 1978. The ship split in two and quickly sank before its 1,604,500 barrels of oil load could be pumped from the wreck.

Castillo de Bellver: 252,000 tons
In August 1983, a fire aboard the Castillo de Bellver led to an explosion that caused the tanker to break in two. Oil spilled into the sea 24 miles off the coast of Cape Town, marking the largest spill to date in South Africa. Luckily, the oil caused minimal environmental damage as the direction of the wind moved the oil slick offshore, where it dissipated naturally.

ABT Summer: 260,000 tons
ABT Summer tanker, traveling from Iran to Rotterdam, leaked oil and caught on fire about 700 miles off the Angolan coast in 1991. The disaster killed five of the 32 crew members on board.

Nowruz oil field: 260,000 tons
During the first Gulf War, a tanker collided with a platform on Feb. 10, 1983, spilling approximately 1,500 barrels each day, until the platform was attacked by Iraqi planes in March and the slick caught fire. The Nowruz oil field was not immediately capped, because the field was located in the middle of the Iran/Iraq war zone. The well was finally capped by Iran in September of that year – an effort that resulted in the deaths of 11 people.

Fergana Valley: 285,000 tons
The Fergana Valley, one of Central Asia's most densely populated agricultural and industrial areas, was the site of the largest inland oil spills in history in 1992.

Atlantic Empress/Aegean Captain: 287,000 tons
In July 1979, a Greek oil tanker called the Atlantic Empress collided with another ship, the Aegean Captain, during a tropical storm off of the island of Tobago in the Caribbean Sea. The Atlantic Empress disaster killed 26 crew members and is the largest ship-based oil spill.

Ixtoc I oil well: 454,000 tons
The Ixtoc I oil well exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in June 1979. The oil drilling platform then caught fire and collapsed, rupturing valves and making it difficult for rescue personnel to control the damage. The spill continued until March 1980.

Gulf War oil spill: 1,360,000 -1,500,000 tons
The worst oil spill in history, the Gulf War oil spill spewed an estimated 8 million barrels of oil into the Persian Gulf after Iraqi forces opened valves of oil wells and pipelines as they retreated from Kuwait in 1991. The oil slick reached a maximum size of 101 miles by 42 miles and was five inches thick.
attn: prez obama and sens kerry, lieberman, & graham & any other idiot who still wants to drill offshore

[from ap via msnbc]

June 30, 1964
A blowout and explosion on the C.P. Baker, a catamaran-type drilling barge operated by Pan American Petroleum Corp. in the Gulf of Mexico, leaves 21 crew members dead or missing and presumed dead.

Nov. 25, 1979
The Bohai No. 2 oil drilling platform, operated by the Ocean Oil Company, capsizes and sinks while being towed during a typhoon in the Gulf of Bohai between China and Korea. Of the 74 people on board, 72 die and two survive.

March 27, 1980
The Alexander Kielland rig, operated by Phillips Petroleum as a floating hotel next to the Edda rig in the North Sea oil fields, overturns in icy waters, killing 123 workers.

Feb. 15, 1982
ODECO's Ocean Ranger drilling vessel, leased to Mobil Oil of Canada and operating in the North Atlantic Ocean about 166 miles east of Newfoundland, Canada, sinks during a storm. All 84 workers on board drown despite efforts of several nearby rescue ships.

Oct. 25, 1983
During tropical storm Lex, Atlantic Richfield Co.'s oil exploration ship, Glomar Java Sea, capsizes in the South China Sea, east of Vietnam, with all 81 crew members presumed dead.

Aug. 16, 1984
The Enchova Central platform, operated by Petrobras in the Campos Basin near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, suffers an explosion caused by a gas leak followed by fires. Forty-two workers die during the evacuation, 36 when a lifeboat mechanism fails and they plunge into sea, the others when they jumped from the platform.

July 6, 1988
Multiple explosions and fire on Occidental Petroleum's Piper Alpha platform, about 120 miles northeast of Aberdeen, Scotland, kill 167. Sixty-two others survive by jumping into the sea.

Nov. 3, 1989
The Seacrest drill ship, owned by Unocal and operating in the South China Sea, capsizes in heavy seas during Typhoon Gay. No distress signals are heard, and 91 crew members are reportedly dead, with six surviving.

July 27, 2005
A support vessel strikes the Mumbai High North Platform, operated by Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) and located in the Indian Ocean 100 miles off Mumbai, causing a gas explosion and a massive fire that destroys the platform within two hours. Of the 384 on board the ship and platform, 362 are rescued and 22 die.

Oct. 23, 2007
In the Bay of Campeche, Gulf of Mexico, a storm causes the Perforadora Central Usumacinta oil derrick to collide with the Kab-101 offshore platform. Twenty-two people die when the 81 crew members and five rescue personnel are evacuated, with high seas swamping their lifeboats.

April 20, 2010
An explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig, owned by Transocean and about 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana, forces evacuations. While most of the 126 are accounted for, leaving 11 missing and presumed dead.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

read these last night at elkins park library:


welcm hom mrcn
welcm bak t' th
landa th feard
homa th crazd

o say mrcn
cn y'see
wht so proudly
we watchd?
th rockts?
th boms?
our flag?
landa th feard?
homa th crazd?

dimly seen mrcn
haughty host
glory rflectd
landa th feard
homa th crazd

vauntngly swor mrcn
no refuge
landa th feard
homa th crazd

war's desolation mrcn
landa th feard
homa th crazd

wrap yrslf in a
star-spangld bannr mrcn
brn sm yellow
rbbn mrcn
welcm hom mrcn
welcm bak t' th
landa th feard
homa th crazd



i'm sik o ur fkng INsights
opn ur EYES
u talk o my rationlzations n dnial
u tel me 2 stop being chroncly angry
2 actulize n lrn 2 njoy life
opn ur EYES
wrld tears tself apart aroun u
while u talk o qualty time n undrlying processes
opn ur EYES
tru ntmacy?bondng?selfesteem?meaningfl change?sht
opn ur EYES
rth's blak blud gushes up spews out fiery crakly flame
while u poztvly ngage one tng @ a time
appropriatly xpressng reality n a modrat way
opn ur EYES
dfensv egos?ovrreactng?lightn up?WHAT?
opn ur EYES
ur nsecure felo creatures try 2 b men lose humanty rape kil mutilate each othr suk out wrld's lifeblud torture anmls fil air wt smoke gases fumes poizn watr salt n fresh alike make groun unlivbl 4 sake o gain profit powr
opn ur EYES
very air eats ur lungs
sunlight eats ur skin
bcz o greed
greed ignrance aggression
pain fear loss
brth life deth
etrnl bowel movmnt o da univrs

4get wht i sd
keep ur eyes clozd

[read the post below this one, then come back]

no, that wasn't the first "fictional take on the debate," and i doubt this is, too

"Why," I said, "do our postrationalist theologians, Dr. Pielmeister among them, expect us to prostrate ourselves before a deity who, by the Darwinian insight he claims to endorse, stands exposed as a kind of cosmic dilettante—"

"That is not the language of philosophy," interrupted Pielmeister, wagging his finger.

"—a kind of cosmic dilettante, idly tinkering plants and animals into existence only to have them go extinct from the very environmental conditions he provided for them?"

Delicate but palpable vibrations filled the stuffy air of Schneider Auditorium. The attendees shifted in their seats, delighted that the gladiator had mysteriously elected to insert his head into the lion's mouth. My committee was likewise astir, wondering what demon had possessed this outwardly rational candidate.

"Why," I continued, "was Dr. Pielmeister's presumably competent God unable to produce the contemporary biosphere through any process other than the systematic creation and equally systematic obliteration of countless species?"

Nervous laughter emerged here and there throughout the audience.

"Why," I persisted, "would this same divine serial killer have begun his career spending thirteen billion years fashioning quadrillions of needless galaxies before finally starting on his pet project: singling out a minor planet in an obscure precinct of the Milky Way and seeding it with vain bipedal vertebrates condemned to wait indefinitely for the deity in question to disclose himself?"
—from James Morrow's The Philosopher's Apprentice, p 12f
radio shows i missed
[thank god 4 podcasts!]

Novel Enters Debate On Whether God Is There
There’s been a running battle on the non-fiction best seller list over whether God exists. Now, there’s a fictional take on the debate. The new novel, “36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction,” follows the story of Cass Seltzer, a best selling author considered an “atheist with a soul.” While he doesn’t believe in God, he takes faith seriously. We discuss the novel and its implications with author and MacArthur Genius award winner, Rebecca Goldstein.

Islamic Group Warns Creators Of South Park
After the 200th episode of Comedy Central’s “South Park” last week depicted the prophet Mohammad wearing a giant bear costume, an Islamic group warned that the show’s producers, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, “will probably wind up like Theo Van Gogh.” That’s a reference to the brutal 2004 murder of the Dutch filmmaker after he made a film about the abuse of Muslim women in some Islamic societies. We speak to David Itzkoff, contributor to the New York Times Culture At Large blog.
Watch: Controversial 200th episode of “South Park”

Hubble Telescope Turns 20
On April 24, 1990, NASA launched the first of its kind telescope into outer space. We’ll talk about the impact the Hubble has had on astronomy, from providing pictures of the earliest galaxies, to giant black holes, to proving Einstein’s theory of the Big Bang. Kelly Beatty of Sky and Telescope Magazine is our guest.

Cannabis Eases Post Traumatic Stress

Oregon Toxicologist Says Treatment for PTSD Should Include Cannabis

Medical Cannabis Treats PTSD, but Veterans Can’t Have It

ASA Forum » Mental Health » Is Cannabis helpful in treatment of PTSD?

[more on cannabis & ptsd]

[cognitive behavioral therapy & ptsd]

[emdr & ptsd]

Monday, April 19, 2010

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – They call him the angry guy now. Even his friends. And at this moment, on a snowy evening when he should be home, putting his son to bed, Andrew Pogany is, in fact, ticked off.

He sits with a soldier in a law office. The man has brought with him a pile of medical files, and another desperate story: Sent off to war to fight for his country. Diagnosed, now, with post-traumatic stress disorder. Yet the Army, the soldier tells Pogany, is drawing up papers to discharge him in a way that could mean no medical benefits.

The soldier confides he thinks about killing himself. All the time, he says.

Pogany makes sure he has his cell number. Then he copies the medical records, and recommends a book by a Vietnam veteran turned Zen monk. The man once helped Pogany through his own tough times. Maybe the monk's words will help this guy hang on.

Two hours behind closed doors, then a handshake and the soldier leaves. Pogany seethes.

"Disgusting," he fumes. "This is so disgusting."

Yes, Andrew Pogany is angry again. But he shrugs off such labels. Better to be called angry than to be branded a coward by the very military he signed up to serve, as the Army did to him back in 2003.

When the military tried to prosecute him, anger motivated Pogany to fight. When he began thinking about taking his own life, anger helped quiet the despair and kept him from getting a gun. When service members like this one started coming to him for help, anger drove him to fight on, for them.

He likes to say that the "anger monkey" saved him. He'll need that anger to have a shot at saving this soldier, too.


Nov. 6, 2003. Pogany sat in his old house in Colorado Springs, watching CNN. Suddenly his own face appeared on the screen alongside that of Jessica Lynch, as Paula Zahn asked the country a question:

"So what makes a hero a hero, and a coward a coward?"

Lynch, the former Army supply clerk rescued after being captured by Iraqi forces, was, of course, the hero.

Pogany was the man with the brand: the coward.

We were just eight months into the war in Iraq. The now-common stories of combat stress, soldiers committing suicide, guys coming home and getting into trouble with the law, the military grappling with how to deal with it all, weren't yet all over the news.

Pogany, the coward, was.

He deployed to Iraq in September 2003, a 32-year-old staff sergeant trained in intelligence and interrogation. Based at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, he volunteered to go to war with a team of Green Berets when another soldier couldn't.

Then, only a few days in-country, Pogany saw the shredded body of a gunned-down Iraqi. He had what he thought was a panic attack — vomiting, hallucinations. A psychologist concluded he'd had a normal combat stress reaction and recommended rest, then back to duty.

Instead, Pogany's commanders shipped him back to Fort Carson, and he was charged with "cowardly conduct as a result of fear," a crime punishable by death under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The last such conviction in the Army occurred during the Vietnam War.

Pogany wasn't convicted. He and his attorney produced findings that showed the breakdown was likely a reaction to the anti-malaria drug Lariam, which has side effects that may include paranoia and hallucinations. The Army eventually dropped all charges, finding Pogany had "a medical problem that requires care and treatment."

In April 2005, Pogany was medically retired from the Army, with full benefits.

He tells the story now, in 2010, in an almost bored voice. He's tired of telling it. That's obvious. Don't people know it by now?

Didn't his fiancee's relatives call him "the famous guy" when they met at a Christmas party? Wasn't his application for a police job once rejected because his "background" wasn't suitable for employment? He took "background" to mean: "where they falsely accused me of being a coward."

Borrowing from a Buddhist tenet, Pogany says he longer attaches to, or detaches from, his story. He's even somewhat thankful for it, because it — and all the stuff that came with that terrible brand — made him who he is today.

He remembers the Army coming to his house and confiscating his gun and then assigning him to sweep parking lots, pick up cigarette butts, and clean toilets. He endured by working with his lawyer to research military regulations and learn the medical retirement process inside and out. He studied the bible of psychiatry, the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders," which still sits within arm's reach of his desk at his home near downtown Denver.

He had to fight to clear his name even while trying to figure out what was wrong with him. There were medical tests, treatment for Lariam toxicity and, eventually, sessions with a therapist, yoga classes, studies in Buddhism.

"Life in itself became combat for me," he says. "I did exactly what they train us to do: Assess the enemy situation ... and figure out how I can outmaneuver" these guys.

He also learned what it meant to feel true despair, to sit alone in his bedroom, getting comfortable with the idea of shooting himself just to make it all end. And he discovered how vital it was to have someone to turn to in those times.

His lawyer, Richard Travis, remembers the phone calls, and the tears.

"He was just treated so poorly. It's kind of like when you've got the nice loyal dog and you start kicking him around and the dog looks at you like, `What are you doing? What did I do to deserve this?'"

Eventually, that dog might bite.

Was there ever some deliberate pledge to not let it happen to anyone else? Not exactly; Pogany just needed a job.

Steve Robinson, the former executive director of the National Gulf War Resource Center, stepped in and asked Pogany to

work as an advocate on behalf of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Robinson's instructions: Find people who need help. And help them.

"There's something very empowering about helping yourself and then turning around and using that energy to help other people. That," says Robinson, "is the story of Andrew."


The soldier isn't five minutes out of the law office when Pogany begins formulating a battle plan.

First step: an e-mail to the top commander at Fort Carson. "`Request emergency meeting with you because your commanders ... are actively engaged in causing suicides.' Or something like that. See how he responds," Pogany says.

He's in mission mode again. It began the moment he spoke with the soldier by phone a few days earlier. A counselor in Colorado Springs apparently gave the man Pogany's name.

"The coward" has become the one to call if a service member may be getting the shaft.

By now, Pogany can't even count how many cases he's worked or soldiers he's met. Hundreds, he estimates. A few guys he advised while going through his own medical retirement started referring people to him. And the calls and e-mails kept coming.

There were mothers begging for help for sons back from war. Wives wondering what was wrong with their husbands, and not sure how to get military commanders to listen.

People like Teresa Mischke, who says her husband, Darren, came back from his second deployment to Iraq in 2006 a changed man. In March 2007, Darren was arrested in Colorado Springs on a domestic violence charge after jumping on top of Teresa's car. He pleaded guilty, and suddenly faced an Army discharge.

Teresa says she went to Darren's commanders for help, to no avail. Then she got Pogany's number.

"He would go to the general," she recalls. " He would downright say, `Hey, you cannot do this. If you do this, we'll do a, b, c.'"

Doctors eventually diagnosed Darren with PTSD and a brain injury. Pogany's old lawyer took on the domestic abuse charge, and the case was dismissed. He remains in the Army, assigned now to Fort Carson's Warrior Transition Battalion, which aims to rehabilitate wounded soldiers. Instead of a discharge without benefits, Darren is going through the medical retirement process as he continues both cognitive behavioral therapy and counseling.

Teresa's heard others criticize Pogany for "throwing rocks at Fort Carson." She says: "If somebody didn't throw rocks, where would these guys be? What if there weren't people like Andrew?"

Justin Taylor, who served three tours in Iraq and was medically retired from the Army after Pogany intervened, explains it this way: "As soldiers, you have the chain of command. You have to watch what you say. Andrew, he can play the mean cop all he wants. He was the spokesman for soldiers who were scared to say anything."

It's true that Pogany's style hasn't won him many fans at his old Army base, where he has done most of his advocacy work — first with Robinson's organization, then as an investigator with Veterans for America and the National Veterans Legal Services Program.

Col. George Brandt, the senior behavioral health officer at the base hospital at Fort Carson, questioned whether Pogany goes too far — to the point of exaggerating the facts of a case — to get action.

"I respect Andy. He has brought things to my attention where we've made a difference," Brandt said. "My issue with Mr. Pogany is a systematic misrepresentation of facts. He needs to not sacrifice his integrity to make points."

Brandt said he couldn't cite specifics or comment on individual cases, because of base policies.

Pogany is, undoubtedly, persistent. He'll e-mail not only top commanders at Carson, but Peter Chiarelli, vice chief of staff of the Army. He'll shop soldiers' stories to the media.

Robert Alvarez, a Colorado Springs therapist who has worked dozens of cases with Pogany, defends Pogany's work ethic. Alvarez says they've both walked away from cases after finding soldiers were bending the truth.

If Pogany is politically incorrect or irate, even, it's because of the stakes, Alvarez says.

"We're dealing with life or death matters. ... Let me tell you: That guy cares about soldiers. Bottom line."


On Pogany's night stand at home sits a carving given to him by the mother of a soldier he once helped. It's the Hindu deity Ganesha, "Lord of success and destroyer of evils and obstacles."

The Mischkes and Justin Taylor — they are success stories. And there've been others, notably a court ruling this year that allows thousands of Iraq and Afghanistan war vets to join a class-action lawsuit alleging the military denied appropriate benefits to those suffering from PTSD. Pogany helped push for the case, brought by the National Veterans Legal Services Program.

But there have also been too many tragedies, including the suicide of a soldier with whom Pogany served.

The stories become too much after a while. His blood boils because of them, because seven years after his own fight with the military brought so many issues to light, other problems remain — and others soldiers still struggle.

It's never been about payback, he says, but rather the very thing the military preaches: Duty.

"Those of us who have come home and have survived this war ... we have an obligation to help those who come home and struggle. We must help them, because if we don't ... not only are we breaking a sacred promise we've made to them, we're also dishonoring the memory of those who have not come home," Pogany says.

Last November, Pogany was hired as director of military outreach and education for the organization Give an Hour, which enlists volunteers to provide counseling to soldiers returning from war.

The advocacy work is all on the side now.

With his latest case, Pogany got that meeting with the base commander. Fort Carson doctors reviewed the soldier's case, and he's in the process of being transferred into the Warrior Transition Battalion for help and, most likely, a medical retirement.

Maybe he'll be a success story, too.

Pogany would like to step back, and focus on life and his fiancee and his baby, a smiling blue-eyed boy named Charlie. He is training another ex-military man to take on his advocacy work. And yet every time he tries to say he's "done," another sad story draws him back in.

And then he finds himself back in Colorado Springs, reviewing medical files, missing Charlie's bedtime and hoping another soldier can hang on, the way he somehow managed to hang on. By fighting.
but i wonder what was the "book by a Vietnam veteran turned Zen monk"?

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court seemed to split sharply Monday on whether a law school can deny recognition to a Christian student group that won't let gays join, a case that could determine whether nondiscrimination policies trump the rights of private organizations to determine who can — and cannot — belong.


A federal judge threw out the Christian group's lawsuit claiming its First Amendment rights of association, free speech and free exercise had been violated, a decision that was upheld by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a two-sentence opinion in 2004.


The Christian Legal Society has chapters at universities nationwide and has sued other universities on the same grounds. It won at Southern Illinois University, when the university settled with the group in 2007 and recognized its membership and leadership policies.

A federal judge in Montana said in May 2009 that the University of Montana law school did not discriminate against the Christian Legal Society when it refused to give the group Student Bar Association money because of its policies.

yeah? so how come it was granted cert? (SCOTUS normally reviews cases only when lower court judges disagree with each other.) and after 6 years, yet?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

uh-oh! [& needs proofreading too.]

PROSPECT HARBOR, Maine -- The last sardine cannery in the U.S. packs its last can tomorrow in Prospect Harbor, Maine.

Stinson Seafood has succumbed to the same pressures as other canneries: declining demand triggered by changing tastes, a differing business climate, and stiff competition from overseas.

Lela Anderson has worked in sardine canneries since the 1940s. She can't believe she and her almost 130 co workers at Stinson are about to lose their jobs. She says she'll miss her friends, but won't miss the sardines, which she doesn't eat.

Bumble Bee Foods, which has owned Stinson Seafood since 2004, announced in February it was clsoing the plant because of steep cuts in the amount of herring fishermen are allowed to catch in the Northeast.
The contract detailed the former Alaska governor's requirements for her visit, including first-class flights from Anchorage to California — if she flies commercial. If not, "the private aircraft MUST BE a Lear 60 or larger ...," the contract specifies.

Palin also must be provided with a suite and two single rooms in a deluxe hotel near the campus in Turlock in the Central Valley. During her speech, her lectern must be stocked with two water bottles and bendable straws.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

is murdoch cognate with marduk?

i don't know, but the number of "fox" is still 666, and i don't need to remind you that a fox is a beast.
When Scott Brown scored his upset victory in January's special election to fill Edward Kennedy's Senate seat, panicked Democratic Party insiders assumed the sky was falling.


But barely three months into his tenure, Brown has fallen out of favor with his onetime Tea Party backers, and is starting to looking like something of a silver lining for Democrats. In a no-less symbolic moment, Brown declined an invitation to appear at a Tea Party rally in Boston this week headlined by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Monday, April 12, 2010

ALBANY, N.Y. – Opponents of the fiscally conservative tea party movement say they plan to infiltrate and dismantle the political group by trying to make its members appear to be racist, homophobic and moronic.

Jason Levin, creator of http://www.crashtheteaparty.org, said Monday the group has 65 leaders in major cities across the country who are trying to recruit members to infiltrate tea party events for April 15 — tax filing day, when tea party groups across the country are planning to gather and protest high taxes.

"Every time we have someone on camera saying that Barack Obama isn't an American citizen, we want someone sitting next to him saying, 'That's right, he's an alien from outer space!'" Levin said.

Tea party members said the backlash comes from ignorance.

"They can't actually debate our message and that's their problem," said Bob MacGuffie, a Connecticut organizer for Right Principles, a tea party group that also has members in New York and New Jersey.

The tea party movement generally unites on the fiscally conservative principles of small government, lower taxes and less spending. Beyond that the ideology of the people involved tends to vary dramatically.

Levin says they want to exaggerate the group's least appealing qualities, further distance the tea party from mainstream America and damage the public's opinion of them.

"Do I think every member of the tea party is a homophobe, racist or a moron? No, absolutely not," Levin said. "Do I think most of them are homophobes, racists or morons? Absolutely."

The site manifesto says they want to dismantle the Tea Party by nonviolent means. "We have already sat quietly in their meetings, and observed their rallies," the site said.

Another tea party organizer said the attempt to destroy the movement was evidence its message is resonating.

"We've been ignored, we've been ridiculed. Well, now they're coming after us," said Judy Pepenella, a co-coordinator for the New York State Tea Party. "Ghandi's quote is one we understand: 'First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.'"

Friday, April 09, 2010

during one of the heavy snowfalls in february at least a couple of c-span's callers had good guffaws over global warming. well, winter's over.

Glacier National Park has lost two more of its glaciers and many of the rest may be gone by the end of the decade, a U.S. government researcher said.

Warmer temperatures have reduced the number of named glaciers in the Montana park to 25, Dan Fagre, an ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, said. Its largest remaining glacier is Harrison Glacier, which is about 465 acres, or 190 hectares, in size.

Some glaciers, such as in the Himalayas, could hold out for centuries. But more than 90 percent of glaciers worldwide are in retreat, with major losses in Alaska, the Alps and the Andes, researchers said. Ski resorts set atop glaciers in the Alps have taken measures to stave off the decline.

The area of the Rocky Mountains within Glacier National Park once boasted about 150 glaciers. Tourism is a $1 billion a year industry in the area.
VIENNA — Experts say that a majority of Austria's glaciers in the Alps are melting due to warm weather.

The Austrian Alpine Association says 85 of the 93 glaciers it monitored between the fall of 2008 and the fall of 2009 had receded, while seven stayed the same and one grew.

The Innsbruck-based group says in its annual report released Friday that the Niederjochferner glacier in the Oetztal Alps melted the most and shrank by 46 meters (151 feet).

It says the average loss among all glaciers was 14.4 meters (47 feet), and 10 glaciers melted more than 30 meters (98 feet).

The association's 2007-2008 report says 83 glaciers had receded during that year out of 94 monitored, seven stayed largely unchanged and four showed slight growth.
BONN — Hopes of hoisting the UN process for climate change out of the mire after December's flawed Copenhagen summit suffered a setback at talks here on Friday.

In their first parley since the stormy December meeting, countries in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) divided over how to plot the way forward and the mood was soured by fresh finger-pointing.

"The one thing we learn from history is that we never learn from history," said Tosi Mpanu Mpanu of the Democratic Republic of Congo, representing African nations.

Copenhagen damaged "the trust that is necessary for any partnership," he said.

The three-day gathering in the former West German capital takes place nearly four months after a summit that, far from rallying mankind behind a post-2012 climate-stabilising pact, came within an inch of disaster.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Bob McDonnell, governor of Virginia, said he proclaimed April as Confederate History Month to promote tourism. I must say this news makes me think I should stay as far away from Virginia as possible. When I see a Confederate flag, it brings up all sorts of feelings. None of them feelings of welcome. The feelings I feel are fear, anger, confusion and sadness. To me and many other black people, the Confederacy means slavery and racism. We think about white boys in pickup trucks, driving on dirt roads, burning crosses and painting swastikas. We think about KKK, police dogs, water hoses, and angry mobs. We think about "Go back to Africa nigger!" I think about the time I was driving in North Carolina and came around a bend only to find some kind of store with Confederate flags everywhere. I turned my little minivan around as quickly as possible and went the other way. Those flags said to me, "You don't belong here." But I'm sure McDonnell and the Sons of the Confederacy were not trying to encourage me to visit Virginia. I know many people who wear t-shirts with Confederate flags on them or drive those big monster trucks with the symbol on their front tags don't mean any harm. I know they aren't all racist. They don't all sing "I Wish I Was in Dixie" with nostalgia for slavery. I worry about what this proclamation means for the many who do. For those members of the Tea Party and right wing militias who do feel like "my people" have ruined "their country". For those people who want things back the way they were. Those people who feel secession is an option. I'm concerned about the feelings of hate that seem to be brewing in the last couple of years. I'm concerned about what it would mean for me if the South should rise again.
A newly discovered asteroid will zip close by Earth Thursday, but poses no threat of crashing into our planet even though it is passing within the orbit of the moon.

The asteroid, called 2010 GA6, is a relatively small space rock about 71 feet (22 meters) wide and was discovered by astronomers with the Catalina Sky Survey in Tucson, Az. The space rock will fly within the orbit of the moon when it passes Earth Thursday at 7:06 p.m. EDT (2306 GMT), but NASA astronomers said not to worry...the planet is safe.

"Fly bys of near-Earth objects within the moon's orbit occur every few weeks," said Don Yeomans of NASA's Near-Earth Object Office....

"...every few weeks"?! then why is this news?
now, this is worth printing:

Watching a curvaceous woman can feel like a reward in the brain of men, much as drinking alcohol or taking drugs might, research now reveals.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

never thought i'd find myself agreeing with this clown, but i guess you never know...

Tom Coburn wants his constituents to get a more fair and balanced view of politics — even if that means hating a bit on FOX and loving a little on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“What we have to have is make sure we have a debate in this country so that you can see what’s going on and make a determination yourself,” the Oklahoma senator said in remarks to a home-state town hall meeting March 31 that were first reported by Capitol News Connection. “So don’t catch yourself being biased by FOX News that somebody is no good. The people in Washington are good. They just don’t know what they don’t know.”

In particular, Coburn took FOX to task for perpetuating the notion that Americans will be imprisoned for failing to purchase health insurance under the new law.

Coburn spokesman John Hart said the Oklahoman wants constituents to gather information from multiple sources rather than relying on just one news outlet.

“He makes those comments privately frequently about media networks. I think his point was to encourage citizens to be skeptical consumers. He was not trying to pick on Fox,” Hart said.

And, noting the widely held perception that FOX leans right, Hart said “It’s more credible to critique your own side.”

Coburn’s defense of Pelosi — he called her “a nice lady” — elicted a little bit of disapproval from his constituents, according to Capitol News Connection.

While the two lawmakers share little ground on policy, Hart says his boss’s philosophy holds that “you separate the ideas from the individuals.”

But Coburn took exception to Pelosi’s view that Congress shouldn’t set a precedent by requiring budget offsets to pay for a temporary extension of unemployment insurance.

“I want to set that precedent,” said Coburn, who has been holding up a bill that would extend jobless benefits.

FOX News did not reply to a request for comment.
btw, i don't mean i agree with him on unemployment insurance.