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Wednesday, February 28

"In U.S. Overtures to Foes, New Respect for Pragmatism"

That's the New York Times headline. MY headline would be:

"Buttwipebreath Gets the Message From the People Who Are REALLY Running Things"

The article begins: "In the span of just two weeks, the United States has agreed to hold high-level contacts with Iran and Syria, and to start down the path toward formal diplomatic recognition of North Korea.
"Has the Bush administration gone soft on its foes?"


I'd answer that question, "Well, sorta, but maybe it's a question of necessity".
Here's what happened in about a three-day news period: There was the CNN/BBC fiasco where it's revealed that newspeople announced the collapse of Building 7 before it actually happened, there was an attempted "hit" on the V-P, stock markets tanked all over the world (A LOT of them are still headed into the shitter), and 4 generals and 1 admiral threatened to resign their commissions. So, here's a thought about what's really going on: Maybe the Powers That Be are sending messages that say, "Hey, Dildobutt; back it down a little; we'll letcha know when we want the world blown up. And it'll be on OUR timetable, not yours".

Behold, The Lost Americans

I'm in the mood for Morford today.

Who are the 13 percent of us who've never heard of global warming? And how can they be stopped?
By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist

Behold, this bizarre demographic. Behold this odd and simmering and rather shockingly large hunk of the American population because chances are very good that at least some of them live right next door to you and breathe the same air and steal your parking spaces and often don't shower for six days at a stretch.

And maybe, just maybe you should be painfully, dreadfully aware of them because they are -- in their quiet, seemingly innocuous way -- far more deadly than any gay evangelical preacher or meth-lab gang-bangers and far more frightening than chicken-flavored soap bubbles for dogs and far more disconcerting than Britney Spears' barren skull.

They are, in short, the deeply uninformed. The inexplicably ignorant. The wondrously numb, the disconnected, the way, way out of touch. And they are, apparently, legion.

Let me be clear. I am not speaking merely about the ideologically lopsided and the intellectually misshapen. I am not speaking of, say, those armies of happy blank-eyed red-state 'Merkins who only read NASCAR-themed Harlequin romance novels and only drink Hooters-branded energy drinks (real products, both) and who like to bury their gay sex fantasies under mountains of happy homophobic sing-along God-fearin' megachurch denial.
Oh my god. Who are these people then? Read the rest here

Today's News With Dizzifying Spin

We'll talk to them before we bomb the shit out of them afterall
The president had become less weenie-ish by avoiding talks with his uber-enemies according to the NY Times, "... the United States would take part in two sets of meetings among Iraq and its neighbors, including Syria and Iran, is a shift in President Bush’s avoidance of high-level contacts with the governments in Damascus and, especially, Tehran." Dr. Rice will be in attendance.

Surviving a Market Crash
Good advice: watching your money too much makes for lower returns on your investments

Don't panic. This is a good time to reassess your investments and diversify if you hadn't done so since 9/11/01
Read: Survive a market drop - and make it work for you

Deadly Pakistani Kite Festival
Eleven dead after Pakistani kite festival: two throats cut by wire kite strings; five dead from celebratory gunshots; two electrocuted; two fell from roofs. story in NYTimes

Honeybe crisis: they vanished
“Every third bite we consume in our diet is dependent on a honeybee to pollinate that food,” said Zac Browning, vice president of the American Beekeeping Federation.

Attacking the messenger
Those groups that call themselves "Think Tanks" but they are really "Smear Tanks", and who are desperately fighting against the idea of global warming because it will foil their plans to take over the world, attacked Al Gore and published supposed "facts" about the vast amount of electricity he uses in his private residence claiming that they got the data from Nashville Electric Service. When asked, a spokesperson from Nashville Electric said that no one asked them for this information. Figures. A Gore spokesperson said, "Gore purchases enough energy from renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and methane gas to balance 100 percent of his electricity costs." Story here.

Weenies. The Democrats Are Complete Weenies.
They are backing off of their anti-war cry

Instead of cutting off funding for more war, the Dems think that they are going to embarrass Bush into abandoning his war strategy. What a hoot. You have to have a conscience or a soul to suffer embarrassment. (link)
Wisconsin's Russ Feingold says the Iraq bill his fellow Senate Democrats are working on is so weak that it "basically reads like a new authorization" of the war. (link)
Bush "hasn't to date done anything we've asked him to do, so why we would think he would do anything in the future is beyond me," said Rep. Lynn Woolsey D-Calif. (link)

Walter Reed Backlash
“Soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center’s Medical Hold Unit say they have been told they will wake up at 6 a.m. every morning and have their rooms ready for inspection at 7 a.m., and that they must not speak to the media,” the Army Times reports. Soldiers said an official told them “they must follow their chain of command when asking for help with their medical evaluation paperwork, or when they spot mold, mice or other problems in their quarters.” (Think Progress)

STORIES SENT IN BY READERS

WTC&: I thought that this was old news, but apparently it is not.
If you were watching CNN or BBC on 9/11 in the late afternoon, it was reported that the WTC7 had collapsed before it actually collapsed. I noticed it at the time. Someone pulled the videos from Google when the story resurfaced yesterday. Hmm. Now I have to look through my tapes from 9/11 to find it. More here.

A Looming Police State?
Gosh, I hope that this is all wrong. (Sometimes I like when stuff is wrong, don't you?)

Another coverup of a soldier's death (a la Tillman)
How can someone die of self-inflicted, non-combative wounds and yet not call it a suicide? Her corpse showed signs of a struggle. Hmm.

Jimmy Carter's Book Hoohah
I think I am going to have to find the time to read this book. Jimmy Carter says majority in U.S. support views in book. I wouldn't know because I haven't read it. Quite honestly, I believe that this man is without guile. We'll see.

What else is interesting in the news?

Tuesday, February 27

Watergate Redux

Tue Feb 27, 6:31 PM ET

CONCORD, N.H. - Burglars have broken into Democratic Party headquarters.


Burglars have broken into Democratic Party headquarters. No, you're not having a flashback to 1972 and the infamous event that ultimately led to the greatest scandal in U.S. political history and the downfall of Richard Nixon's presidency.

Instead of Washington's Watergate complex, this burglary took place at the New Hampshire Democratic Party's headquarters over the weekend. Neither police nor party officials will comment on what was stolen and whether the break-in was politically motivated.

Office workers reported the break-in to police on Monday. Concord Police Sgt. Mike McGuire said some items were taken, but he declined to be more specific. The assessment was the same from Kathy Sullivan, the chairwoman of the state Democratic Party.

"Some things were taken, but I don't really want to get into that right now," Sullivan said on Tuesday.

There was no indication that any personal financial information was taken, said party spokeswoman Kathleen Strand.

"We want to assure our donors that their personal financial information, as far as we can tell, has been protected, and we hope to find out who did this soon," she said.

So anyone want to take guesses as to what was taken and who it centered around?

I can't find my chart!

That "headline" is a partial message from a friend who asked me to post the following war news. Hell's Bells, Woman! YOU can't find your chart? I can't find my scorecard.

"The Arab League said three Arab Gulf countries have denied Israel use of their air space to strike Iran."

That story is HERE.

"Israel seeks all clear for Iran air strike"
"Israel is negotiating with the United States for permission to fly over Iraq as part of a plan to attack Iran's nuclear facilities, The Daily Telegraph can reveal"

That story is HERE.

"3 Gulf states agree to IAF overflights en route to Iran"
"Three Arab states in the Persian Gulf would be willing to allow the Israel Air force to enter their airspace in order to reach Iran in case of an attack on its nuclear facilities, the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Siyasa reported on Sunday."

That story is HERE.

Shit's gittin' thick, folks. Might post some more later. Right now I gotta go shopping for some hip waders. Got rid of the ones I had when I gave up sheep farming.

Academy Awards for the Real World by Susan C. Walker

Best Picture - Little Miss "Stock Market" Sunshine. Clearly, 2006 was the year for the stock markets that just couldn't stop smiling.

Best Foreign Film - China Stock Market. The Shanghai Composite Index filmed a beautiful screenplay in 2006, rising exponentially from around 1100 to nearly 3000. But there's something to be wary of in this movie,

Best Actor - Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve chairman. Bernanke has done the superb acting job expected of Fed chairmen by making everyone feel good about the economy and inflation.

Best Live Action Short Film - "Bonus Baby" by Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs. Why a short film? Because Blankfein has been CEO of Goldman Sachs for only six months, stepping into the top job after Henry Paulson left to become Secretary of the Treasury.

Lifetime Achievement - Warren Buffett. He's beloved and he's not dead yet (à la Monty Python), but he sure knows how to give his money away, having pledged $30 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Best Costume Design - John McCain. McCain wins for his quick costume change over the past year. He started by wearing the Western cowboy costume of an independent maverick, but now the Arizona senator has donned the mainstream Republican cloth overcoat for his latest role as frontrunner in the presidential campaign drama.

Best Film Editing -All the CEOs who backdated their stock option grants. Film editors know how to look at a long piece of film and cut it to make the action come out perfectly.

Best Makeup - National Association of Realtors. After a few great years of constantly expanding housing starts and higher home prices, the folks at the NAR have had to dig deep into the makeup kit to learn how to paint a happy face on each month's increasingly negative housing statistics.

Best Original Song -"Patience" from Dreamgirls. If you are trying to sell your house in one of the nation's markets that's gone sour, you have got to have patience in abundance. "There's a river to cross, And a mountain to climb, Patience, patience, It's gonna take some time."

Best Director - Gerald Grinstein, Delta Air Lines. When most of the business world figured Delta was down and out in bankruptcy court, U.S. Airways figured it could steal a march on other airlines by acquiring Delta.

Best Supporting Actor - Ted Wells, Scooter Libby's attorney. He injected drama into the end of the four-week trial of Scooter Libby, former top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney. Wells oozed sincerity and caring.

Best Supporting Actress - Secretary of State Condi Rice. She's the rising star in the Bush Administration, despite having to jostle with the seasoned veteran, Dick Cheney, for her own close-ups on camera. The question is, will she take a chance on a bigger role as a candidate for president in 2008?


Read the rest here at The Daily Reckoning

---------------------------

Congratulations to AL GORE, member of the REAL real world for winning Best Documentary -- AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH!!!

Maybe we shouldn't ask if the water's shallow or deep;

maybe we should just start bailing:
China stocks sink 8.8 pct on crackdown fears.

It's kinda gruesome all over.

OMG! Wait a minute! Hank Paulson will save us! Neo-cons always come through for us...don't they? Yeeeaahh. Silly me. Hit that link and find out all about the PPT (otherwise known as the "Plunge Protection Team"). I feel shitscar...uh, er, safer already.

Today's News With Incredible Spin- I'm getting dizzy

Imagine my surprise (not) last night when the LOCAL news came on after playing all those snippets of news during your program that make you not want to change the channel when it's over. "Will Tehran attack New York City?" Oh you should have heard me cursing out the television before I changed the channel. They showed the police commissioner giving speeches and all that crap. Naturally today I am sick to my stomach after thinking about all the homeland security funds that went to East Armpit. Still and all, this is bogus piece of shit "journalism" is meant to scare people, although NYers are rarely frightened these days of Muslim terrorists- NY is a target for American fear mongering mostly. But we'll take all the anti-terrorism funding, thank you very much.
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Did you hear about this? This ought to take the heat off the homosexshuls for a while:
Documentary shows possible Jesus tomb Let me tell you something. The resurrection of Jesus IS central to Christian faith. Without it, there would be no christianity. The story of Jesus' resurrection is what kept Jesus alive for lo these past 2000 years. Easter is the most important christian holy day. Not Christmas, which was invented by people to offset the winter solstice extravaganza. I'm sure that Big Religion will do all it can to dispute this story whether or not it can be proven because there would be complete chaos worldwide as billions of christians attempt to convert to Judaism.
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Neil Bush is making nicey nicey with the Saudi's. Water de-salinating technology or something like that. Obviously he's using his brother's and father's connections to do business with the Saudi's who are Sunni's (remember al Qaeda?) Neil admits that he, like his father, do not discuss politics with George W. Will Georgie throw a tantrum?

The Saudi's, by the way, supply more ammunition, weapons and aid to the insurgents who kill and maim 92% of our troops, while the Iranians may be responsible for about 8%. Because Israel has a bone to pick with Iran, the US is shoring up excuses to start a war with Iran. I find this totally unacceptable and I am having a hard time keeping my mouth shut when it comes to my feelings about Israel at the moment. Just the fact that it is so taboo to express any doubts as to the motives of the Israeli government and not taboo to express my doubts about any other government on earth, including my own, makes the whole damn thing even more suspect.
------------

God bless her, may she rest in peace, but my mom ate raw garlic every day to ward off high cholesterol. She downed all sorts of pills from Vitamin World too. But I gotta tell you, that riding in the car with her, between her weird cigarettes and garlic breath, made me want to puke violently out the window. And when I did open the window to put my head out, my poor dad, may he also rest in peace and may god bless him, would complain about the "gale" wind.

Imagine my surprise (not) when I read this: Garlic Won't Lower Cholesterol
So if you're eating raw garlic to lower your cholesterol, give your friends and family a break.
----------------



This poor chubby child in Britain may be taken away from his mom for being fat.

"LONDON - Authorities are considering taking an 8-year-old boy who weighs 218 pounds into protective custody unless his mother improves his diet, officials said Monday. Social service officials will meet with family members Tuesday to discuss the health of Connor McCreaddie, who weighs more than three times the average for his age."

I dunno. I am thinking "police state." What a dilemma. Read the story. I know parents of fat children and they are at their wit's end.
------------------

The First Lobotomy lied to Larry King last night. There are over 100 insurgent attacks every day in Iraq. Laura Bush: Much Of Iraq Is ‘Stable,’ There’s Just ‘One Bombing A Day That Discourages Everybody’
-------------

GI's have petitioned congress to get them the hell out of the war because it's not working and they are getting killed. For nothing. Meanwhile General Pace has declared the the US military capability is eroding and cannot possibly take on another war.

He IS the devil

Biggus Dickus OK after Afghan Blast; 14 killed

Sunday, February 25

Whose side are the Bushistas on anyway?

U.S. Funds Being Secretly Funneled To Violent Al Qaeda-Linked Groups

It's a long, but important read:
THE REDIRECTION Is the Administration’s new policy benefitting our enemies in the war on terrorism?
by SEYMOUR M. HERSH

See also the Guardian's take on the story.

I thought that al Qaeda were the bad guys. Our country couldn't possibly support Sunni terrorists. Could they? Makes you wonder who was really behind 9/11, doesn't it? I reported recently that the Sunni's are responsible for 92% of the casualities in Iraq. We are going to attack the wrong country. Again.


We're so fucked that even John Negroponte is too moral to follow Cheney's commands.

CNN's WOLF BLITZER: Near the end of your article, you have this explosive point in there about John Negroponte, who is now going to be the deputy secretary of state, as opposed to the head of U.S. intelligence.

You write this: "I was subsequently told by the two government consultants and the former senior intelligence officials that the echoes of Iran-Contra were a factor in Negroponte's decision to resign from the National Intelligence directorship and accept the position of deputy secretary of state."

Explain what you were hearing, because that is obviously a very explosive charge.

HERSH: Yes. It is probably the single most explosive, if you will, or depressing — or distressing sort of thing I discovered in the last few months, which is simply this. This administration has made a policy change, a decision that they are going to put all of the pressure they can on the Shiites, that is the Shiite regime in Iran, the Shiite — and they are also doing everything they can to stop Hezbollah — which is Shiite, the Hezbollah organization from getting any control or any more of a political foothold in Lebanon.

So they essentially, I quote the — I saw Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah, and he described it this way, as "fitna (ph)," the Arab word for "civil war." As far as he is concerned, we are interested in recreating what is happening in Iraq in Lebanon, that is Sunni versus Shia.

And in looking into that story, and I saw him in December, I found this. That we have been pumping money, a great deal of money, without congressional authority, without any congressional oversight, Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia is putting up some of this money, for covert operations in many areas of the Middle East where we think that the — we want to stop the Shiite spread or the Shiite influence.

They call it the " Shiite Crescent." And a lot of this money, and I can't tell you with absolute certainty how — exactly when and how, but this money has gotten into the hands — among other places, in Lebanon, into the hands of three — at least three jihadist groups.

There are three Sunni jihadist groups whose main claim to fame inside Lebanon right now is that they are very tough. These are people connected to al Qaeda who want to take on Hezbollah. So this government, at the minimum, we may not directly be funneling money to them, but we certainly know that these groups exist.

My government, which arrests al Qaeda every place it can find them and send — some of them are in Guantanamo and other places, is sitting back while the Lebanese government we support, the government of Prime Minister Siniora, is providing arms and sustenance to three jihadist groups whose sole function, seems to me and to the people that talk to me in our government, to be there in case there is a real shoot-'em-up with Hezbollah and we really get into some sort of serious major conflict between the Sunni government and Hezbollah, which is largely Shia, who are basically — or as you know, there is a coalition headed by Hezbollah that is challenging the government right now, demonstrations, sit-ins.

There has been some violence. So America, my country, without telling Congress, using funds not appropriated, I don't know where, by my sources believe much of the money obviously came from Iraq where there is all kinds of piles of loose money, pools of cash that could be used for covert operations.

All of this should be investigated by Congress, by the way, and I trust it will be. In my talking to membership — members there, they are very upset that they know nothing about this. And they have great many suspicions.

We are simply in a situation where this president is really taking his notion of executive privilege to the absolute limit here, running covert operations, using money that was not authorized by Congress, supporting groups indirectly that are involved with the same people that did 9/11, and we should be arresting these people rather than looking the other way…

BLITZER: And your bottom line, Sy…

HERSH: … and could lead to a real mess…

BLITZER: Your bottom line is that Negroponte was aware of this, obviously, and he wanted to distance himself from it? That is why he decided to give up that position and take the number two job at the State Department?

HERSH: He — that is one of the reasons, I was told. Negroponte also was not in tune with Cheney. There was a lot of complaints about him because he was seen as much of a stickler, too ethical for some of the operations the Pentagon wants to run.

As you know, this Pentagon has been running covert operations. I think Mr. Gates' job and one of the things he wants to do is get some control over it. But under Rumsfeld we were running operations all over the world with who knows what money and who knows what authority, because most of those operations were not briefed to the intelligence committees.

And the Pentagon has basically been open about it in saying, hey, this is military stuff that has nothing to do with CIA operations. We have nothing to do with them. We are running military operations. And the president has the authority to do this.

But Negroponte was unhappy about — in general about some of the things. He also, I don't think, liked — he may not have been terrific at his job, that is another factor. But certainly John Negroponte went through this issue, Iran-Contra in the '80s, when we had the first big debate over the use of unlawfully obtained money to buy arms.

We know, the whole arms-for-hostages business was to generate cash to fight the war — the Contra war against the Sandinistas, that mess that we had. Negroponte was ambassador to Honduras there, very sensitive to the issue that took place 20 years ago. He did not want a repeat of it.

And I frankly — it is something that I think to be asking him in congressional session or whatever. But I have that — you know, I understand this is very serious stuff. And my magazine understands this is very serious stuff.

And we have really taken a lot of time with this story and couched it as carefully as we could and with all of the caveats, this is serious business.

BLITZER: The article is entitled "The Redirection: Is the Administration's New Policy Benefiting Our Enemies in the War on Terrorism?"

That is the subtitle, the author, Seymour Hersh.

Sy, thanks very much for joining us from Cairo.

HERSH: Thank you.


I think I am going to be sick. Not that any of this is surprising. Not that I hadn't figured this out already. It's just that I really would have liked to have been wrong.

From A Texas Republican Congressman I Would Expect Nothing Less

"Republican calls for email and IM monitoring
ISPs would have to keep records of emails, IM and website visits"


A bill introduced to the US House of Representatives would require ISPs to record all users' surfing activity, IM conversations and email traffic indefinitely.

The bill, dubbed the Safety Act by sponsor Lamar Smith, a republican congressman from Texas, would impose fines and a prison term of one year on ISPs which failed to keep full records.

"A crime is still a crime, whether it occurs on the street or on the internet," said Congressman Smith.

"In this age of increasing digital and technological sophistication, cyber-crimes and cyber-terrorism pose a serious threat to the US. Law enforcement and the private sector must be prepared to deal with these crimes."

The bill includes a separate clause that would force the owners of sexually explicit websites to include warning labels on their web pages, or face jail.

Also included is a 20-year "jail tariff" for anyone ordering child pornography that crosses state borders, with a $150,000 fine for the ISP that allowed the transaction to take place.


(LINK)

Blow Jobs for Peace (and quiet)

Another significant survey has been completed. 5000 men were asked to complete a survey on what they like best about oral sex. Here are the results:

a. 3% like the warmth.

b. 4% enjoyed the sensation.

c. 93% appreciated the silence.

You can't ague with science!

Sunday's Homily -- "THE SNEETCHES" by Dr. Seuss

Now, the Star-Bell Sneetches had bellies with stars.
The Plain-Belly Sneetches had none upon thars.
Those stars weren’t so big. They were really so small.
You might think such a thing wouldn’t matter at all.

But, because they had stars, all the Star-Belly Sneetches
Would brag, “We’re the best kind of Sneetch on the beaches.”
With their snoots in the air, they would sniff and they’d snort
“We’ll have nothing to do with the Plain-Belly sort!”
And, whenever they met some, when they were out walking,
They’d hike right on past them without even talking.

When the Star-Belly children went out to play ball,
Could a Plain Belly get in the game? Not at all.
You only could play if your bellies had stars
And the Plain-Belly children had none upon thars.

When the Star Belly Sneetches had frankfurter roasts
Or picnics or parties or marshmallow toasts,
They never invited the Plain-Belly Sneetches
They left them out cold, in the dark of the beaches.
They kept them away. Never let them come near.
And that’s how they treated them year after year.

Then ONE day, it seems while the Plain-Belly Sneetches
Were moping and doping alone on the beaches,
Just sitting there wishing their bellies had stars,
A stranger zipped up in the strangest of cars!

“My friends”, he announced in a voice clear and clean,
“My name is Sylvester McMonkey McBean.
And I’ve heard of Your troubles. I’ve heard you’re unhappy.
But I can fix that, I’m the Fix-It-Up Chappie.


I’ve come here to help you.
I have what you need.
And my prices are low. And I work with great speed.
And my work is one hundred per cent guaranteed!”

Then, quickly, Sylvester McMonkey McBean
Put together a very peculiar machine.
And he said, “You want stars like a Star-Belly Sneetch?
My friends, you can have them for three dollars each!”

“Just pay me your money and hop right aboard!”
So they clambered inside. Then the big machine roared.
And it klonked. And it bonked. And it jerked. And it berked.
And it bopped them about. But the thing really worked!
When the Plain-Belly Sneetches popped out, they had stars!
They actually did. They had stars upon thars!

Then they yelled at the ones who had stars at the start,
“We’re still the best Sneetches and they are the worst.
But now, how in the world will we know”, they all frowned,
“If which kind is what, or the other way round?”

Then up came McBean with a very sly wink.
And he said, “Things are not quite as bad as you think.


So you don’t know who’s who. That is perfectly true.
But come with me, friends. Do you know what I’ll do?
I’ll make you, again, the best Sneetches on the beaches.
And all it will cost you is ten dollars eaches.”

“Belly stars are no longer in style”, said McBean.
“What you need is a trip through my Star-Off Machine.
This wondrous contraption will take OFF your stars
so you won’t look like Sneetches that have them on thars.”
And that handy machine working very precisely
Removed all the stars from their tummies quite nicely.

Then, with snoots in the air, they paraded about.
And they opened their beaks and they let out a shout,
“We know who is who! Now there Isn’t a doubt.
The best kind of Sneetches are Sneetches without!”

Then, of course, those with stars got all frightfully mad.
To be wearing a star was frightfully bad.
Then, of course, old Sylvester McMonkey McBean
invited THEM into his Star-Off Machine.

Then, of course from THEN on, as you probably guess,
Things really got into a horrible mess.

All the rest of that day, on those wild screaming beaches,
The Fix-It-Up Chappie kept fixing up Sneetches.
Off again! On again! In again! Out again!
Through the machines they raced round and about again,

Changing their stars every minute or two. They kept paying money.
They kept running through until the Plain nor the Star-Bellies knew
Whether this one was that one or that one was this one. Or which one
Was what one or what one was who.

Then, when every last cent of their money was spent,
The Fix-It-Up Chappie packed up. And he went.
And he laughed as he drove In his car up the beach,
“They never will learn. No. You can’t Teach a Sneetch!”

But McBean was quite wrong. I’m quite happy to say.
That the Sneetches got really quite smart on that day.
The day they decided that Sneetches are Sneetches.
And no kind of Sneetch is the best on the beaches.
That day, all the Sneetches forgot about stars and whether
They had one, or not, upon thars.

Now, the Star-Bell Sneetches had bellies with stars.
The Plain-Belly Sneetches had none upon thars.
Those stars weren’t so big. They were really so small.
You might think such a thing wouldn’t matter at all.

But, because they had stars, all the Star-Belly Sneetches
Would brag, “We’re the best kind of Sneetch on the beaches.”
With their snoots in the air, they would sniff and they’d snort
“We’ll have nothing to do with the Plain-Belly sort!”
And, whenever they met some, when they were out walking,
They’d hike right on past them without even talking.

When the Star-Belly children went out to play ball,
Could a Plain Belly get in the game? Not at all.
You only could play if your bellies had stars
And the Plain-Belly children had none upon thars.

When the Star Belly Sneetches had frankfurter roasts
Or picnics or parties or marshmallow toasts,
They never invited the Plain-Belly Sneetches
They left them out cold, in the dark of the beaches.
They kept them away. Never let them come near.
And that’s how they treated them year after year.

Then ONE day, it seems while the Plain-Belly Sneetches
Were moping and doping alone on the beaches,
Just sitting there wishing their bellies had stars,
A stranger zipped up in the strangest of cars!

“My friends”, he announced in a voice clear and clean,
“My name is Sylvester McMonkey McBean.
And I’ve heard of Your troubles. I’ve heard you’re unhappy.
But I can fix that, I’m the Fix-It-Up Chappie.


I’ve come here to help you.
I have what you need.
And my prices are low. And I work with great speed.
And my work is one hundred per cent guaranteed!”

Then, quickly, Sylvester McMonkey McBean
Put together a very peculiar machine.
And he said, “You want stars like a Star-Belly Sneetch?
My friends, you can have them for three dollars each!”

“Just pay me your money and hop right aboard!”
So they clambered inside. Then the big machine roared.
And it klonked. And it bonked. And it jerked. And it berked.
And it bopped them about. But the thing really worked!
When the Plain-Belly Sneetches popped out, they had stars!
They actually did. They had stars upon thars!

Then they yelled at the ones who had stars at the start,
“We’re still the best Sneetches and they are the worst.
But now, how in the world will we know”, they all frowned,
“If which kind is what, or the other way round?”

Then up came McBean with a very sly wink.
And he said, “Things are not quite as bad as you think.


So you don’t know who’s who. That is perfectly true.
But come with me, friends. Do you know what I’ll do?
I’ll make you, again, the best Sneetches on the beaches.
And all it will cost you is ten dollars eaches.”

“Belly stars are no longer in style”, said McBean.
“What you need is a trip through my Star-Off Machine.
This wondrous contraption will take OFF your stars
so you won’t look like Sneetches that have them on thars.”
And that handy machine working very precisely
Removed all the stars from their tummies quite nicely.

Then, with snoots in the air, they paraded about.
And they opened their beaks and they let out a shout,
“We know who is who! Now there Isn’t a doubt.
The best kind of Sneetches are Sneetches without!”

Then, of course, those with stars got all frightfully mad.
To be wearing a star was frightfully bad.
Then, of course, old Sylvester McMonkey McBean
invited THEM into his Star-Off Machine.

Then, of course from THEN on, as you probably guess,
Things really got into a horrible mess.

All the rest of that day, on those wild screaming beaches,
The Fix-It-Up Chappie kept fixing up Sneetches.
Off again! On again! In again! Out again!
Through the machines they raced round and about again,

Changing their stars every minute or two. They kept paying money.
They kept running through until the Plain nor the Star-Bellies knew
Whether this one was that one or that one was this one. Or which one
Was what one or what one was who.

Then, when every last cent of their money was spent,
The Fix-It-Up Chappie packed up. And he went.
And he laughed as he drove In his car up the beach,
“They never will learn. No. You can’t Teach a Sneetch!”

But McBean was quite wrong. I’m quite happy to say.
That the Sneetches got really quite smart on that day.
The day they decided that Sneetches are Sneetches.
And no kind of Sneetch is the best on the beaches.
That day, all the Sneetches forgot about stars and whether
They had one, or not, upon thars.

Saturday, February 24

What's Your Favorite Show?

It was long day yesterday, driving to "Live Free Or Die" (I love New Hampshire) to take a night class, which was fabulous, by the way and I can't wait for more fun today and tomorrow. Back in my hotel room I plopped in front of the television waiting for Bill Maher to come on HBO (but I fell asleep before the end of the monologue.)

I've only recently begun to watch television somewhat regularly besides Comedy Central at 11 or MSNBC at 8. What's your favorite show or favorite shows on television?

I am attracted to political satire and offbeat series. Currently, my very favorite is Boston Legal. The cast is outstanding and sharp. Shatner slays me. I also find myself strangely attracted to James Spader's character.

It's cold, icy and windy up here in the land of the free, home of the brave and tax free shopping. I'm off to the workshop now. I'll see you later.

HPV Follow-up Post

A few weeks ago,I posted Govna Perry's questionable "order" to mandate the HPV vaccine for all schoolgirls. As always, we worked through our thoughts and ideas
in the comment section.

(Here are a few more feature articles on the HPV vaccine controversy and cervical cancer)


As you are probably aware, other states are now jumping on the bandwagon. I think I had better stop denying the fact that I am living in CT now and not NJ. Seems I missed an opportunity to attend a public hearing this past Wednesday at the CT Legislative Office Building regarding the bill which will make the HPV vaccine mandatory for girls entering sixth grade here in CT.

I think I'll put myself in touch with
this CT blogger who seems to share the same concerns I have regarding the HPV vaccine. She has several posts on the subject.

(Time to face the hard cold reality that I am living in the same state as (I) Lie Joe now.)

Since my last post, I have come across another interesting "website" (?), or maybe I should say "advertisement."

"The big news in the war on cervical cancer is the new vaccine recently approved to prevent the disease. But another major change that will affect millions of women is also under way, though more slowly and quietly:."

I came across this advertisement for the HPV Test (not vaccine) while over at Mydd.com -- check it out -- very intersting



According to this article from the NYTimes:

"The test was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1999, and its use has grown steadily, partly spurred by advertising by the test’s manufacturer, Digene. The company, based in Gaithersburg, Md., says about seven million Americans are getting the test each year, which is one-fifth of those it believes would be eligible. With Merck now calling attention to the role of HPV in its advertisements for its new vaccine, Digene executives expect interest in their test to grow."

There are two sections - over 30 and under 30 and many other FAQS and news items at this site. Example:

"The reason is that HPV infection is very common in young women, but usually goes away on its own or is suppressed by the body before it causes any problems."

"Both the American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology (ACOG) and the American Cancer Society (ACS) agree that routine testing for HPV at this age is not necessary or useful. The reason is that HPV infection is very common in young women, but usually goes away on its own or is suppressed by the body before it causes any problems."

Here is the link to Digene -- the company that developed the HPV Test. I'm still trying to figure out their role in all of this. On one hand it appears that they just wish to replace the PAP test, yet on the other it appears that they will benefit greatly with Merck, since their HPV vaccine does not protect against all of the HPV virus strains, women will still need to be tested.


Even though I have decided not to vaccinate my kids, I did speak to my Gyno yesterday regarding their viewpoint. She read me the stats that argue for giving the vaccine. She said from a practitioner's standpoint, her office is recommending it. She said as a mother, she wouldn't be rushing her 10 year old into the pediatrician to get this vaccine. Interesting.....

The American College of Pediatricians opposes this legislation but I know of several pediatricians who are urging their patients to get the vaccine. One in particular is a young, pro-active doctor who feels that prevention is the best medicine. In addition to the usual pediatric check-up, this group discusses issues such as driving safety, sex, drug, and alcohol with their teen age patients --in private. I commend them for their efforts because there are a lot of parents out there who still don't stress the importance of educating their children in these matters.

I am sorry if I seem to be all over the place here, but there seems to be a lot of info and still too many questions. I still have a lot of reading to do.

Here are some other interesting items to add to my suspicions about the HPV Vaccine and vaccines in general:

Seaweed extract blocks HPV cervical cancer virus, scientists discover



Indigobusiness put up an interesting post: Dangers from vaccines Here is the full story:
Why You Should Avoid Taking Vaccines

Time Magazine's story about Vaccines


And this one just put me over the edge:

"Polio has not been eradicated by vaccination, it is lurking behind a redefinition and new diagnostic names like viral or aseptic meningitis.......According to one of the 1997 issues of the MMWR, there are some 30,000 to 50,000 cases of viral meningitis per year in the United States alone. That's where all those 30,000 - 50,000 cases of polio disappeared after the introduction of mass vaccination"--- Viera Scheibner
Here are Viera's thoughts

Dear Senator McCain,

I have been following you in the Senate for quite a few years because it is well known that you have presidential aspirations. As a former Republican, I believe that anyone is better than our current president but I also have my doubts about your candidacy because you appear to have an ever shifting stance on so many issues that are of grave importance to the American people, most of whom do not have corporate ties or interests and do not wish to watch you play politics.

I read with interest your statements in Seattle on Friday, February 23rd, 2007. When asked by an audience member if you are "sucking up to the religious right," you replied with "What's wrong with sucking up to everybody?" While that is a cutesy answer, it's not what those of us who are waiting with baited breath to what will happen to our country if another far right wing Republican were to take office. After all the years of blunders by the bush administration, all in the name of "politics," your answer left me very nauseous.

Do you or don't you support the agenda of the religious right? Do you understand the ramifications of that? These so-called "christians" who have such a hold on the Republican Party pose a great threat to freedom "of" or "from" religion by the majority of the American people who get along just fine without the input of extremists wishing to impose their ill-educated notions via legislation on the rest of the country who are mostly responsible enough to let their own consciences be their guide. All you have to do is open a history book or look at the middle east currently to see what happens when a religious group attempts to influence government.

You also said, "I believe that if we fail in Iraq, you will see chaos and genocide." You also said that Iraq was in danger of being overtaken by "Iranian-backed Shiite" forces due to the British retreat. First of all, chaos and genocide are already taking place in Iraq thanks to the political blunders of the this administration- it is no secret to those of us who read and pay attention. Secondly, believe it or not, we are also aware that Arab backed Sunni's are the people who attacked our country and my city on September 11, 2001. Arab backed Sunni's have killed 92% of our troops in Iraq. Your stance on the Iraq situation will have an effect on your political career, just as you suggested that it did with Tony Blair- however your political suicide will be for different reasons. Your position on Iran will also greatly influence voters and polls. I urge you to pay attention to the facts and react to them honestly.

Forget playing politics for the rest of your campaign and let the majority of the American people really know where you stand because the majority oppose this war in Iraq and oppose the evangelical "christian" right. Your double speak and pandering to every group has become tiring. Say what you mean and mean what you say, for the good of the country you claim to love so dearly.

That's all for now.

Sincerely
Mrs. Liz Smith
-----------------

See also the next recipient of my constrained (at the moment) wrath: Joe Lieberman -he who has also kissed the devil and a master of flip-flops. He dares to imply that he actually knows what he is talking about when in fact, he too is playing politics at a time when most Americans are not in the mood for games.

Friday, February 23

Have you ever heard the old aphorism: "Like father, like son"?

Well, that old saying just wouldn't work here. So I've decided to title it,
"LIKE DUMSHIT, LIKE DUMSHIT".




Read the gruesome details at Signs-of-the-Times.

So Sexy it Hurts

What I'm wearing to watch the Oscars. Whaddya think? Smart, sassy, exotic, and oh so sexy, eh?

Anybody wanna guess who the stud muffin is or where we are?

Thats all.

"Am I with it or what? Not bad for an old broad."

That title above is taken from the comments to my post below entitled "Blogger Gets 4 Years for Insulting Islam". And to which I respond by offering the following letter written by one of the more literate member of our species:

"Benjamin Franklin, Advice to a Young Man on the Choice of a Mistress (1745). June 25, 1745" (Link)

My dear Friend,

I know of no Medicine fit to diminish the violent natural Inclinations you mention; and if I did, I think I should not communicate it to you. Marriage is the proper Remedy. It is the most natural State of Man, and therefore the State in which you are most likely to find solid Happiness. Your Reasons against entering into it at present, appear to me not well-founded. The circumstantial Advantages you have in View by postponing it, are not only uncertain, but they are small in comparison with that of the Thing itself, the being married and settled. It is the Man and Woman united that make the compleat human Being. Separate, she wants his Force of Body and Strength of Reason; he, her Softness, Sensibility and acute Discernment. Together they are more likely to succeed in the World. A single Man has not nearly the Value he would have in that State of Union. He is an incomplete Animal. He resembles the odd Half of a Pair of Scissars. If you get a prudent healthy Wife, your Industry in your Profession, with her good Economy, will be a Fortune sufficient.

But if you will not take this Counsel, and persist in thinking a Commerce with the Sex inevitable, then I repeat my former Advice, that in all your Amours you should prefer old Women to young ones. You call this a Paradox, and demand my Reasons. They are these:

i. Because as they have more Knowledge of the World and their Minds are better stor'd with Observations, their Conversation is more improving and more lastingly agreable.

2. Because when Women cease to be handsome, they study to be good. To maintain their Influence over Men, they supply the Diminution of Beauty by an Augmentation of Utility. They learn to do a 1000 Services small and great, and are the most tender and useful of all Friends when you are sick. Thus they continue amiable. And hence there is hardly such a thing to be found as an old Woman who is not a good Woman.

3. Because there is no hazard of Children, which irregularly produc'd may be attended with much Inconvenience.

4. Because thro' more Experience, they are more prudent and discreet in conducting an Intrigue to prevent Suspicion. The Commerce with them is therefore safer with regard to your Reputation. And with regard to theirs, if the Affair should happen to be known, considerate People might be rather inclin'd to excuse an old Woman who would kindly take care of a young Man, form his Manners by her good Counsels, and prevent his ruining his Health and Fortune among mercenary Prostitutes.

5. Because in every Animal that walks upright, the Deficiency of the Fluids that fill the Muscles appears first in the highest Part: The Face first grows lank and wrinkled; then the Neck; then the Breast and Arms; the lower Parts continuing to the last as plump as ever: So that covering all above with a Basket, and regarding only what is below the Girdle, it is impossible of two Women to know an old from a young one. And as in the dark all Cats are grey, the Pleasure of corporal Enjoyment with an old Woman is at least equal, and frequently superior, every Knack being by Practice capable of Improvement.

6. Because the Sin is less. The debauching a Virgin may be her Ruin, and make her for Life unhappy.

7. Because the Compunction is less. The having made a young Girl miserable may give you frequent bitter Reflections; none of which can attend the making an old Woman happy.

8thly and Lastly They are so grateful!!

Thus much for my Paradox. But still I advise you to marry directly; being sincerely Your affectionate Friend.

Activism

Congress has some lame bill coming up demanding a paper trail, but that is not the same thing as paper ballots being the official record of our votes. Demand that Congress legislates paper ballots and if your critter is against it, ask him or her WHY. Take action here.

The most outrageous thing has come to light. The Democrats agreed to allow Fox News to cover their debates in Nevada. This is sure proof that the Democratic Party needs to be reclaimed from the hands of tyrants. It's our only hope. You can speak at here at MoveOn.Org
or you can look up the Nevada Democrats here and give them a ringy dingy to ask them what they've been smoking on the job.

I heard Scott Ritter on Thom Hartmann yesterday. He would like us to call our congress critters or just the Capital Hill switchboard and demand that they do not allow the president to use money allocated for Iraq or Afghanistan in order to invade Iran. This will force the president to go to congress before he decides to invade Iran, which is the correct way to start a war. Please do this. Please blog it. Please pass it around.

Planned Parenthood will buy out your existing cell phone contract and sign up with a new company which will donate 10% of your bill to Planned Parenthood Federation. Check it out here.
------------

I'm heading to NH in a few minutes with a stop at Jersey Cynic's for lunch because today's her b-day and we have to plot more blonde activism. Happy Birthday, Jersey baby, even though you live in Connecticut now.
I'll be taking a weekend polymer clay workshop with the fabulous Christie Friesen who's coming all the way from sunny Californ-I-AY. My hotel has wi fi so maybe I'll check in here at night.

Thursday, February 22

Thursday Night Smut

Sometimes you have to put on your hipboots and go wading through the muck of misinformation because occasionally you find a real stinker.
In this case a headline stating South Korean gets five years in oil-for-food-case. The South Korean is Tongsun Park, now 71, of Koreagate fame. He got $2 million from Iraq to influence UN and US officials and as the judge put it "blatently disregarded the law".

The thoroughly disgusting part of this story comes on page two when this same judge dismisses charges on Bayoil Supply and Trading Limited "a Bahamian company owned by David Chalmers" because the law it violated only applies to "American firms and people".

Hmmm...According to this story in the Washington Post from April 2005 Bayoil is a Houston-based company and Chalmers is a Texas oilman. And while Tongsun Park faced charges that could and did result in the maximum 5 years incarceration, Chalmers was looking at "62 years in prison, $1 million in fines and seizure of at least $100 million in personal and corporate assets". Sounds like he might have done something bad. No,no,no, you forget HE'S A TEXAS OILMAN.

Here's some juicy background courtesy of Wayne Madsen.

I didn't check to see if good ol' David Chalmers is a Bush Pioneer but I'd say the odds favor it. Good thing he didn't throw a cup of ice at a car, that's a crime you can actually go to jail for.

Do you want to know the real reason they threw the book at Tongsun Park.
Thirty years ago he gave some money to some democrats.

UH-OH!

"Blogger Gets 4 Years for Insulting Islam"
By NADIA ABOU EL-MAGD
The Associated Press
Thursday, February 22, 2007; 12:28 PM

ALEXANDRIA, Egypt -- "An Egyptian blogger was convicted Thursday and sentenced to four years in prison for insulting Islam, the Prophet Muhammad and Egypt's president, sending a chill through fellow Internet writers who fear a government crackdown."

Whaddayathink, Liz? You s'pose His Geekship will figure if it's a good idea for the Egyptians, it's a good idea for the Americans?

Should we tone it down a little? No more references to Jimmy/Jeff Gannon/Guckert? If so, what'm I gonna do with this marvelous essay I just wrote entitled, "GargantuanGutwrenchGobblerGeorge Graciously Invites Gigi to stay the night"?

Jesus H. Christ. Let's just get our troops out of there.

This story just makes you wonder. Just the first paragraph got me.

"Paul E. Cortez, 24, wept Wednesday as he became the second U.S. soldier to plead guilty to charges in a case considered among the worst atrocities by U.S. military personnel in Iraq."
Worst atrocity? Yes, it's pretty awful but the worst? It's just not the fact that our troops heinously raped a girl and murdered her family, because you know and I know that a lot of families were murdered in cold blood in Iraq by our troops who were brainwashed to follow orders... I don't know for sure if rape was on the list of orders, but it seems to be a popular past-time throughout the history of war... but what about white phosphorus, DU and all the other atrocities like abu ghraib? Who's responsible for those orders as well? And how come you don't hear about charges against our troops who rape their female counterparts? But you never read about any commanders being charged. So is this how we liberate a country and make them free?

""I lifted up her skirt and took off her stockings while Barker held her hands with his knees," he said before admitting that he raped the teenager as she screamed. "After I was done, myself and Barker switched spots."

"Cortez offered no explanation for his involvement in the rape and murders, only saying that his intent was to rape the girl. The killing of the family was originally reported to be the work of insurgents.

"Another soldier, former Pfc. Steven D. Green, shot the girl's father, mother and younger sister in the bedroom, Cortez said. Green raped the girl in front of Cortez and then shot her multiple times in the head, he said.

"Cortez also testified that the soldiers attempted to burn the girl's body, burned their clothes and threw the murder weapon, an AK-47, into a canal in an attempt to get rid of evidence."

And people thought I was some weenie liberal. feh

Sometimes I imagine that the real terrorists are too busy laughing to bother to attack us again because it seems that their goal has been met. It appears that this nation has an ongoing collective case of PTSD since that fateful day in 2001 which I will never forget, thank you very much. I hate to be an "I told you so," so I won't because my predictions are written all over this blog for the past 3 years and a couple of yahoo groups anyway, but I will state once again my prediction that the term "terrorist" will be overused to a point whereby anything abnormal will be perpetrated by "terrorists" or called "terrorism." The whole trauma of being terrorized has become diluted now and most people think that they are still being terrorized by the likes of bin Laden and yet they haven't a clue as to what it means to be truly terrorized. That insults me because New Yorkers, New Jerseyians, DC area denizens and Connecticutions were indeed terrorized on 9/11 and the rest of the country hopefully will never have to endure anything like it- the helplessness, the fear of the unknown, and the nausea that wouldn't go away for months and months- not to mention the EPA further terrorized the city itself.

You've heard the bush crime family spouting about all these terrorists they've apprehended coming into our country and the trolls on blogs going around talking about how our government is keeping us safe against 'terrorists'. It turns out that the Justice Department included cases like these in their numbers of thwarted terrorist attacks and there weren't any real terrorists included:
WASHINGTON - Federal prosecutors counted immigration violations, marriage fraud and drug trafficking among anti-terror cases in the four years after 9/11 even though no evidence linked them to terror activity, a Justice Department audit said Tuesday.

Overall, nearly all of the terrorism-related statistics on investigations, referrals and cases examined by department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine were either diminished or inflated. Only two of 26 sets of department data reported between 2001 and 2005 were accurate, the audit found.
It figures that they were pumping up the numbers. They have a war in Iraq to support. Meanwhile the real war on real terrorists wages on in Afghanistan and it's escalating. The corporate media does a fine job of keeping American people afraid though- of Mexican immigrants and the fear that Britney might not ever be truly rehabilitated. The real terrorists must be laughing their asses off.

How dare anyone insinuate that Democrats and northeastern liberals support the terrorists. How dare anyone insinuate that liberals want to roll over for the terrorists? I want to kick my liberal elitist NY boot up their ass until it comes out of their throat.
I want to spit when I hear the likes of Dick Cheney accusing Democrats of aiding the terrorists, when in fact it's his ilk is keeping them in business. Fuck oil. If Americans want to fight terrorism, they ought to turn off light bulbs, turn off street lights, lower their thermostats in the winter and raise them in the summer, use mass transit, drive fuel efficient vehicles and only when necessary. We can hit their countries where it hurts. Let the fucking middle east eat sand and drink their damn oil. I don't want it. They can rot for all I care. I am NOT for aiding the terrorists. I hate them. I will never forgive them for terrorizing us and I will never forgive the powers that be in this country for allowing it to happen.


UPDATE: Did you know that Dick Cheney accused Nancy Pelosi and 192 million Americans of supporting al Qaeda just hours after Nancy Pelosi's brother died?

I Didn't Know That

I try to keep myself informed about what is going on with our government. So many things that King George and his cockroaches do is shrouded in secrecy, so there is a need for constant vigilance. As they wrap themselves in the flag and proclaim their patriotism, ever they work to destroy our democratic foundation: reading our mail, listening to our calls, searching our houses, holding citizens without charge or trial, all under color of law. All designed to concentrate power in the hands of the unitary executive, a nice eupehmism for dictator.

And here is yet another example, slipped into last year's defense budget, never debated in public:

"The provision, signed into law in October, weakens two obscure but important bulwarks of liberty. One is the doctrine that bars military forces, including a federalized National Guard, from engaging in law enforcement. Called posse comitatus, it was enshrined in law after the Civil War to preserve the line between civil government and the military. The other is the Insurrection Act of 1807, which provides the major exemptions to posse comitatus. It essentially limits a president’s use of the military in law enforcement to putting down lawlessness, insurrection and rebellion, where a state is violating federal law or depriving people of constitutional rights.

The newly enacted provisions upset this careful balance. They shift the focus from making sure that federal laws are enforced to restoring public order. Beyond cases of actual insurrection, the president may now use military troops as a domestic police force in response to a natural disaster, a disease outbreak, terrorist attack or to any 'other condition.'”

I wonder what the Amercian public would think about this, if they knew? Undoubtedly, a significant minority wouldn't understand why this is such a big deal. I also wonder what the army would do if called out to put down a "domestic insurrection". Would they fire on Amercian citizens? Perhaps when we gather next month to once again protest the misbegotten and illegal war, the King will decide we are a threat and send in the National Guard. He seems to be channeling the spirit of Richard Nixon, so it wouldn't surprise me a bit.

We are well on our way to dictatorship. I am sure King George fancies himself some latter day Caesar.

In the words of the immortal Obi-Wan Kenobi: We must be cautious.

Wednesday, February 21

Ron Paul -- A must see video of him addressing the House Financial Services Committee.

Here is the video of his address on C-SPAN 2/17/2007

Amazing man.

Here is an excerpt of a similar speech he gave in 2003:

Paper Money and Tyranny


A fiat monetary system allows power and influence to fall into the hands of those who control the creation of new money, and to those who get to use the money or credit early in its circulation. The insidious and eventual cost falls on unidentified victims who are usually oblivious to the cause of their plight. This system of legalized plunder (though not constitutional) allows one group to benefit at the expense of another. An actual transfer of wealth goes from the poor and the middle class to those in privileged financial positions.

In many societies the middle class has actually been wiped out by monetary inflation, which always accompanies fiat money. The high cost of living and loss of jobs hits one segment of society, while in the early stages of inflation, the business class actually benefits from the easy credit. An astute stock investor or home builder can make millions in the boom phase of the business cycle, while the poor and those dependent on fixed incomes can’t keep up with the rising cost of living.

h/t to sa rose at bibliosquirrel
(I agree sa rose -- this section scares the crap outta me too)


Hey - how about a Paul/Nader ticket?

Catch Nader on TDS with Jon Stewart (3 parts)

These two men, IMO, are EXACTLY what this country needs -- ASAP


crossposted at BigBrassBlog

WH Newspeak: This means the war is a success

Blair to announce Iraq withdrawal plan

Actually the Brits accomplished what they were supposed to do in Basra- train the Iraq's to take over.

Something did strike me in the article though. Bush's attempt at starting WWIII was so pathetic. Not only were our troops ill equipped from the get go, I wouldn't call this much of an "all for one and one for all" coalition. Check out these current coalition forces: S. Korea (2,300 troops), Poland (900), Georgia (800), Romania (600) and Denmark (460). Britain currently has 7,100 and Australia has 550. The Italians and Slovaks have left, and the Danes and the South Koreans want to start withdrawing.

This just in from ABC News.
Dick had something to say about Britain's withdrawal while in Tokyo.
"Well, I look at it and see it is actually an affirmation that there are parts of Iraq where things are going pretty well," Cheney told ABC News' Jonathan Karl.
and this
"I want you to know that the American people will not support a policy of retreat," Cheney told the soldiers.
and this utter crap:
"I think if we were to do what Speaker Pelosi and Congressman Murtha are suggesting, all we will do is validate the al Qaeda strategy," Cheney told ABC News.

"The al Qaeda strategy is to break the will of the American people, knowing they can't win in a stand-up fight, try to convince us to throw in the towel and come home and then they win because we quit," he said.

"I think that is exactly the wrong course to go on," Cheney said. "I think that is the course of action that Speaker Pelosi and Jack Murtha support. I think it would be a mistake for the country."
When will he commit accidental suicide on a hunting trip?

This is my brain on insomnia

I started writing a rant this morning to take apart something that happened on Hannity and Colme's on Fox News. I had to scrap it because I couldn't make my point without sounding like I agreed with it. Indeed, our public school system is very fucked up but I wouldn't compare it with al Qaeda or teachers with terrorists (except for a few that I came across here and there)... and the man who Hannity was agreeing with wrote Brainwashing 101, so there is really no reason to even argue with such a nut. But I thought you'd get a kick out of it anyway.

Tuesday, February 20

Mardi Gras Stories and Pics

Here we celebrate Fauschnaught Day (Doughnut Day) but everyone knows the real party (at least North of the Equator) in in New Orleans, LA. This year the Proteus parade (on Lundi Gras) had the theme of "Legends and Lore of the Deep" and while very, very small this years (and apparently with a huge shortage of bathroom facilities) Madri Gras continued on.

Roxanne over at Pandagon also has some Mardi Gras footage, along with some footage of 12 year old blogger Kalypso's family and their lives since Katrina. She especially noted the lack of beads this year and the fact that donkeys (instead of tractors) were pulling some of the floats. Her father has a pretty interesting blog of his own too.

Heh, heh, a family that blogs together.......

You Gotta Love This Country


Although I find the MTA Subway design on the wrapper a bit un-sexy, NYC Condoms are free. That's right. Free! There will be 18 million of them distributed- 18million less chances of contracting HIV or paying child support for the next 21 years.

Dire Situation Avoided
The men at NY Mag suggested that the condoms are 2mm smaller than the ones you buy in the store, after unrolling them and laying them out side by side next to name brand condoms, and were assured by the NYC Health Department "that the NYC condoms are the same, standard LifeStyles lubricated sold everywhere." It's ok guys, they didn't short change you. Your wee-wee's aren't smaller than average. Whew.

Balls
And while I'm on the subject, what is the big deal about the word, "scrotum" in children's literature? Since when is it a taboo word that librarians don't want to be forced to explain to children? An Newberry Award winning book has been banned in school libraries (as in censorship) over the word, "scrotum." Wouldn't you think that by the time a child can read that he would know what those dangly things between his legs are called? ( I haven't read the book and I cannot comment on how the word is used in context, but it's a children's book, for gawd's sake.)

A Moment of Silence
While we're on the subject of men's issues, I'm sad to tell you that the man who invented the remote control has died.

Losing and...losing

From Baghdad Burning: "The Rape of Sabrine..."

"Let me clear it up for any moron with lingering doubts: It’s worse. It’s over. You lost. You lost the day your tanks rolled into Baghdad to the cheers of your imported, American-trained monkeys. You lost every single family whose home your soldiers violated. You lost every sane, red-blooded Iraqi when the Abu Ghraib pictures came out and verified your atrocities behind prison walls as well as the ones we see in our streets. You lost when you brought murderers, looters, gangsters and militia heads to power and hailed them as Iraq’s first democratic government. You lost when a gruesome execution was dubbed your biggest accomplishment. You lost the respect and reputation you once had. You lost more than 3000 troops. That is what you lost America. I hope the oil, at least, made it worthwhile."

The Entire Article is NOT recommended for the squeamish. It IS recommended for trolls.

Hap tip to Richard at The All Spin Zone.

They're Baaaack

But seriously folks, there is an awful lot of talk on the news and in the papers that al Qaeda has regrouped in Pakistan and will come back stronger than ever against the coalition forces in Afghanistan. Not only that, they are supposedly planning worldwide attacks. Good thing bush decided to invade Iraq and piss all our money away. not. Meanwhile, the plans to attack Iran keep leaking out. Another ship reached the gulf. So are we fighting a war on terror or a war against nations we don't like that have oil (and may or may not have nukes)? Meanwhile, Pakistan and India are waving their nukes at each other. What if something were to happen to Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf? Who'd be in charge of their nukes and where would they be pointed at?

Monday, February 19

Obligatory Friday Sex Post (a bit late)

Sex in fast lane halts traffic on road
Sun Feb 18, 12:24 PM ET
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli police investigating why a car was blocking traffic in the fast lane of a major highway Sunday found a couple inside having sex.

A police spokesman said the female driver and her male passenger gave in to their passions without pulling over to the side of the road, causing congestion and leaving other motorists having to swerve to dodge their stationary vehicle.

A patrolman gave the woman a ticket for holding up traffic.

American Justice?

In a nutshell: Aggravated woman from North Carolina, who was cut off by the same car twice, throws a McDonald's cup full of ice into another car on I-95 in Virginia. The law in Virginia states that anything thrown into an occupied vehicle is considered a missile. The woman was found guilty of maliciously throwing a missile, a felony, and lands in prison. She was also found guilty of reckless driving and assault against the occupants of the other vehicle. The people in the other car were not hurt. The minimum sentence as per the jury is 2 years. She has spent a month in prison so far. She now deems Virginia a "fly-over" state.

Details: It was hot and the traffic was moving slowly back in July. Jessica Hall, the driver had her 3 children in the back seat on their long drive to NY to see family, and her pregnant sister was sitting next to her having early contractions. Every time she had to brake abruptly for the car that cut them off twice, she worried that her sister would hit the dashboard. Still- it's no excuse to pull off on the shoulder, speed up and throw a "missile" at another car. The woman agrees that she lost it and shouldn't have done it.

She is poor and was supposed to start nursing school the day after she landed in jail: "According to court documents, Hall is unemployed and, with her husband's salary, the couple takes in $30,384 a year. She receives $388 a month in food stamps."

Her husband is serving in Iraq for the 3rd time.
She misses her 3 children.
Did I mention that she was black?

Sunday, February 18

So This Is How We Boost Troop Morale, eh?

Updates below for Monday and Tuesday

This morning I was completely disgusted by the news coming out of Washington. It hurt my head to read how some Senators view any dissent of the president's "plans" as a morale killer. That's the oldest propaganda line in the books, for god's sake. If the legislative branch of the government gave a shit about our troops, they would take care of those returning (not to mention the ones that are over there fighting with not enough armor or ammunition).

Please read how the president's budget will shortchange the veterans. Greatly.

It's so heartbreaking. As much as I am opposed to war and the war profiteers, I don't fault men and women for signing up to "defend their country" because that is ingrained into our heads the second we're born. It's supposed to be the greatest thing one can do. Being a person who rarely takes anything at face value, I never bought into the idea of marching around in a uniform and learning how to shoot a gun, but to each his own... whatever floats your boat... and part of the price of living in America is that my tax dollars pay for the military. I expect that my tax dollars will take good care of those who serve.

Our president and congresscritters insist that the troop's morale be considered at all times during a time of war. Hogwash. I care about the troop's morale and well being more than anyone in DC does. Those who fight for this country ought to be treated, at the very least, as well as defense contractors- especially those who come home mentally or physically injured -even for the rest of their lives if needed. Veteran's services should be figured into a war budget just as much, if not more, than the profiteers.

Which brings me to this article at WaPo this morning. Soldiers Face Neglect, Frustration At Army's Top Medical Facility Good heavens. Walter Reed Hospital Army Medical Center is in a shambles:
On the worst days, soldiers say they feel like they are living a chapter of "Catch-22." The wounded manage other wounded. Soldiers dealing with psychological disorders of their own have been put in charge of others at risk of suicide.

Disengaged clerks, unqualified platoon sergeants and overworked case managers fumble with simple needs: feeding soldiers' families who are close to poverty, replacing a uniform ripped off by medics in the desert sand or helping a brain-damaged soldier remember his next appointment.

"We've done our duty. We fought the war. We came home wounded. Fine. But whoever the people are back here who are supposed to give us the easy transition should be doing it," said Marine Sgt. Ryan Groves, 26, an amputee who lived at Walter Reed for 16 months. "We don't know what to do. The people who are supposed to know don't have the answers. It's a nonstop process of stalling."

UPDATE Monday: In today's WaPo, The Hotel Aftermath-- more heartwrenching stories of returning troops staying at Mologne House on Walter Reed's grounds... stories of how their family members fight the Army day in and day out, pleeing for help with what is left of their loved one. In some cases, the Army doctors insist that there are pre-existing medical conditions and that the fact that the troop was blown up in Iraq had nothing to do with his current disabled condition. Some amputees received celebrity status are showered with gifts from corporations and movie stars, while at the same time, others don't have decent clothes to wear.

UPDATE Tuesday: Amazingly, MSNBC covered quite a bit of the stories last night. In other news, NY Senator Chuck Schumer announced that that "he will introduce a bill after the Senate returns to session next week to bring benefits for troops in the reserves and National Guard in line with those of active-duty soldiers." I had no idea that the reservists and guardspeople were getting shortchanged. Read more.

Hijacking with a happy ending

"The hijacker ordered the pilot to fly to France, but the crew told him there was not enough fuel. Morocco denied a request for the plane to land in the city of Djala in the Moroccan-controlled Western Sahara, so the pilot headed for Las Palmas in Gran Canaria, the original destination.

"Speaking to the gunman during the hijacking, the pilot realized the man did not understand French. So he used the plane's public address system to warn the passengers in French of the ploy he was going to try: slam on the brakes upon landing, then accelerate abruptly. The idea was to catch the hijacker off balance, and have crew members and men sitting in the front rows of the plane jump on him, the Spanish official said.

"The pilot warned women and children to move to the back rows of the plane in preparation for the subterfuge, the official said.

"It worked. As the plane landed on Gran Canaria, the man was standing in the middle aisle when the pilot carried out his maneuver, and he fell to the floor, dropping one of his two 7mm pistols. Flight attendants then threw boiling water in his face and at his chest, and some 10 people jumped on the man and beat him, the Spanish official said." - The Independent
I have often wondered how 4 planes could have been hijacked by men wielding box cutters.

Sunday's Homily

A true or false quiz/opinion poll:

1. The US is supporting an illegal millitary occupation.

2. Israel claims it is defending itself from terrorism caused by jealosy, race, or religion. What they do not mention is the illegal military occupation.

3. Israel builds racially segregated settlements into Palestine. These "settlements" are for Jews only.

4. This is an army fighting civilians.

5. The Israel government is not fighting terrorism. They are creating it by engaging in it themselves.

6. Suicide bombers are a backlash from ethnic cleansing not Islam. The illegal occupation is the source of the conflict not a reaction to it.

7. We should be supporting humanity not flags.

8. Labeling and name calling is Israel's only defense aside from fear and deception.

9. Fighting Zionism is no more anti-semitic than fighting the Nazis would be anti-white

10. It's not anti-semitic. It's patriotic to support life and liberty.

Stop profiterrorism.

Divest now.

-------------------------------------

I took these talking points off of a video over at anti-neocons. It was most difficult to watch. I'm sure you will see what I mean. The video above it was VERY interesting. It's an old video of, in their words "Wolf Blitzer former AIPAC employee promoting Zionism."

DISCLAIMER: This message represents the official view of the voices in my head.

The Originator of this post is not liable for the transmission of the information contained in this communication, unless they are the originator in which case they probably are liable and rightly so considering the content of the aforementioned communication.

Crossposted at BigBrassBlog

Saturday, February 17

"There is no place for chicanery at a time of war," said Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell - Senate Gridlocks on Iraq War Resolution

The Senate gridlocked on the Iraq war in a sharply worded showdown Saturday as Republicans foiled a Democratic bid to repudiate President Bush's deployment of 21,500 additional combat troops.



"There is no place for chicanery at a time of war," said Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. "Even some of the president's most strident opponents know that. They know that the only vote that truly matters in a vote on whether to fund the troops."

CHICANERY - the use of tricks to deceive someone (usually to extract money from them) [syn: trickery] -- trickery or deception by quibbling or sophistry

Alrighty, I got that word down. Now, would someone help this blonde with a stupid question... Is McConnell using the right word here? He is supporting the troop surge right? Thursday he said “We are disappointed the Democratic leadership will yet again block a vote in the Senate to fund our troops in Iraq.

“Though it’s disappointing the Democrat leadership blocked votes and debate on troop funding, and have criticized the new security plan without a positive alternative, we will soon have a chance to back up rhetorical support for the troops with real funding. We will have the opportunity for the Congress to vote not just on a non-binding resolution, but on real legislation that will fund our troops in the field.(from McConnell's statement on Wednesday)


Aren't the ones who support w on this 'surge' using CHICANERY?

What am I missing here? Who does he think is using Chicanery here -- dems or repubs? or those for the troop surge or those opposed to it? I'm confused. Father Tyme, I think your right -

We're on the Eve of Destruction (well done youtube video)

From 1965, Barry Maguire. A little prophetic.


"The eastern world, it is exploding
Violence flarin’, bullets loadin’
You’re old enough to kill, but not for votin’
You don’t believe in war, but what’s that gun you’re totin’
And even the Jordan River has bodies floatin’

But you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you don’t believe
We’re on the eve
of destruction.

Don’t you understand what I’m tryin’ to say
Can’t you feel the fears I’m feelin’ today?
If the button is pushed, there’s no runnin’ away
There’ll be no one to save, with the world in a grave
[Take a look around ya boy, it's bound to scare ya boy]

And you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you don’t believe
We’re on the eve
of destruction.

Yeah, my blood’s so mad feels like coagulatin’
I’m sitting here just contemplatin’
I can’t twist the truth, it knows no regulation.
Handful of senators don’t pass legislation
And marches alone can’t bring integration
When human respect is disintegratin’
This whole crazy world is just too frustratin’

And you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you don’t believe
We’re on the eve
of destruction.

Think of all the hate there is in Red China
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama
You may leave here for 4 days in space
But when you return, it’s the same old place
The poundin’ of the drums, the pride and disgrace
You can bury your dead, but don’t leave a trace
Hate your next-door neighbor, but don’t forget to say grace
And… tell me over and over and over and over again, my friend
You don’t believe
We’re on the eve
Of destruction
Mm, no no, you don’t believe
We’re on the eve
of destruction."

The White House Press Whores Roaring in Laughter

The president refuses to answer questions at a press conference yesterday and the hilarity ensues.

So what if three of the top administration officials outed a CIA officer? (Laughter)
So what if the president refuses to say whether or not he authorized it? (Laughter)
So what if he once said that he would fire whomever was involved in the outing? (Laughter)

Aw, he's such a down to earth regular guy, how can you bug him with tough questions?

Contrast and compare a press conference during Watergate vs now at The Horses Mouth. See the Press Whores roll over and laugh for more.

Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore.



I once thought that FixedEarth.com was a satire site. They don't believe in evolution or revolution (of the earth.) Hence the title of the site, "The Earth Is Not Moving"
“Indisputable evidence — long hidden but now available to everyone — demonstrates conclusively that so-called secular evolution science is the Big Bang 15-billion-year alternate ‘creation scenario’ of the Pharisee Religion.”
It claims that evolution is a Jewish conspiracy, of which Copernicus was associated, to undermine the Bible (Genesis' creation myth, which I thought was written by Jews?)

FixedEarth.com claims to "confirm that the Copernican Model of a rotating, orbiting Earth is a factless, observation- denying deception that is the keystone which is holding up all of modern man’s false "science" and "knowledge"." They want to make it illegal to teach evolution in schools. They claim that Christian Zionists are poised to dictate middle eastern policy based on the Bible.

Georgia Legislator, Rep. Ben Bridges believes it and sent a memo to a Warren Chisum, the second most powerful man in the Texas legislature and head of the appropriations committee, who then forwarded the memo to the rest of the Texas legislature. Here is the cover letter from Chisum and here's the memo from Bridges. oy vay.

The Texas Legislature condemned the memo and the ADL found out about it and the shit hit the fan. Warren Chisum pretended to apologized for insulting Jews and claimed that he didn't know about that part nor did he actually read the website, “I read it, but he didn’t ask me to edit his memo,” he said. “It does not reflect my opinion.” oh really? That seems totally irresponsible. He should be fired.

There needs to be a TDL (Texas Defamation League).
Texas legislators are steamrolling the citizens of Texas. Texas Jaye in a post here on Blondesense February 12, details the horrifying statistics proving that Texas legislators give less than a shit about children, the middle class, the education and the environment of Texas. It's a disgrace. And more disgraceful is the bill Chisum has coming to vote on Monday, according to Burnt Orange Report:
"Children with no health insurance, Texas families who can't afford state colleges, crumbling schools -- to Chisum they are about as important as Pluto, a heavenly body no longer even called a planet. I am not advised whether Chisum believes in other planets.

"House Calendars has set the vote on Chisum's HB2 for Monday afternoon. The bill would strip about $6 billion from general revenue to fund a big hunk of a massive 2008-2009 property tax cut for the wealthy. (The rest of the $14 billion windfall for the wealthy comes from the puny business tax passed last year that has fallen way short of funding the property tax cut as promised.)

It's clear Chisum's god, Craddick, doesn't want to fiddle around with open and public debate about whether the Legislature ought to stop strangling of the middle class before it tightens its grip on our throats and transfers more middle class money to the rich.
The last thing Texas needs is to cut property taxes of the wealthy. It's clear that "christianistas" in government in many southern states know all about conspiracies. They ARE the conspiracy to undermine the people, tax the hell out of them, oppress them, dumb them down in the name of the Bible or religion all for the benefit of the wealthy few. The flagrant oppression of the middle class and the predominance of the undereducated working poor in states like Texas is unconscionable.

Here's more on the subject (with fascinating comments), and more here from TPM, where we find out that Rep Bridges, a retired HS teacher (gawd help us), according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, says he agrees with the Kaballa anti-evolution conspiracy more than Darwin or the Big Bang.