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Tuesday, July 31

Speaking of a Police State

Are Americans are so afraid that they are willing to give up their privacy and freedom for the illusion of safety? According to ABC News today, 71% of us approve of the increased use of surveillance cameras. They didn't ask me.

Seniors are most apt to support the increased use of these cameras, with under-30s, least so; Republicans more than Democrats; women more than men; higher educated people more than the less educated; and whites more than African-Americans.

Through a political lens, support for increased use of surveillance systems is lowest, 62 percent, among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents who support Barack Obama for president — and highest of all, 86 percent, among Republicans who support Rudy Giuliani, who made his name as New York City's crime-fighting mayor.
It's happened in the UK.
--------------
From 1984, Book I, Chapter 5 by George Orwell
"It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself—anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face… was itself a punishable offense. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime…"


"The only difference between Soviet propaganda and US propaganda is that the Soviet people knew it was propaganda."
-Me

"I have, like, no earthly idea what you're talking about"

Bush on Music Royalties:

Q Mr. President, music is one of our largest exports the country has. Currently, every country in the world -- except China, Iran, North Korea, Rwanda and the United States -- pay a statutory royalty to the performing artists for radio and television air play. Would your administration consider changing our laws to align it with the rest of the world?

THE PRESIDENT: Help. (Laughter.) Maybe you've never had a President say this -- I have, like, no earthly idea what you're talking about. (Laughter and applause.) Sounds like we're keeping interesting company, you know? (Laughter.) Look, I'll give you the old classic: contact my office, will you? (Laughter.) I really don't -- I'm totally out of my lane. I like listening to country music, if that helps. (Laughter.)**

**see comment #11 in above link (laughter laughter!!)


What's even MORE AMAZING is the White House Transcript of this ACTUAL, marvelous, fabulous gathering that took place in Nashville last week.

w visited the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center to discuss the budget and reach out to the "good, solid Tennessee citizens who are entrepreneurs, risk takers, dreamers. (Applause.)"

This actually took place. At first I thought it was a spoof or something. I felt like I was reading a SNL transcript. I must be losing it - it appears to be a true blue 'meeting of the minds'. A real ho-down - lots of laughter and applause!

He spoke of our soldiers:

".....there's no more amazing experience than to meet those who have served in harm's way and to realize the strength of spirit of American citizens who volunteer during a time of danger. And one of the young men I have met during my presidency -- I did so in my home state of Texas -- who is with us today, a man who is recovering from terrible injury, but has never lost the spirit of life: Kevin Downs. (Applause.) He's a good man. We're going to get him some new legs, and if he hurries up, he can outrun me on the South Lawn of the White House. Proud that Kevin's mom and dad are here with us, too."

The Economy:

"I want to spend a little time on the economy -- more particularly, the budget. You've got to worry about your budgets; we've got to worry about your budget, too, since you're paying for it. (Laughter.)"

Difficult times:

"We were confronted -- this administration has confronted some difficult economic times, particularly earlier in this administration. There was a recession. There were the terrorist attacks that affected the economy in a very direct way. There were corporate scandals which created some thousand -- uncertainty about our system that needed to be corrected. And we responded to those problems by cutting taxes."

and something about the Nashville Bun Co. and English Muffins:

"The Nashville Bun Company folks are organized so that they pay tax at the individual income tax level...
English muffin manufacturing company -- English muffin machine manufacturing company is more likely to have work. In other words, there's an effect, the tax code can affect commerce. And that's exactly what we did, and we cut the taxes and it's worked. This economy is strong. Unemployment has dropped........
--------


So.... there you go!

There you have it.

Where's Toby? - I need to borrow your fucking boot.....

I have, like, no earthly idea what to say.


Crossposted at BigBrassBlog

Monday, July 30

"FBI searches home of Alaska Sen. Stevens"

"The FBI and IRS have searched the home of Republican Sen. Ted Stevens in a ski resort in Alaska as part of an investigation into his links with an oil-services company, officials said on Monday."

Full article at Reuters.

How to transport a dime


Wear flip flops to avoid suspicion.

The 1884 S Barber dime is very rare because only a few were minted and were made as gifts by the minter. It's not a pretty dime. In fact Liberty looks pretty awful. One just sold for $1.9 million dollars. It traveled across the country to meet its new owner.

It was a flight filled with tension for the coin dealer charged with delivery.
He was too nervous to sleep, he said. He did not watch the in-flight movie, which was "Firehouse Dog.'' He turned down a Reuben sandwich and sensibly declined all offers of alcoholic beverages.

Shortly after boarding the plane, he transferred the dime from his pants pocket to his briefcase.

"I was worried that the dime might fall out of my pocket while I was sitting down,'' Feigenbaum said.

All across the country, Feigenbaum kept checking to make sure the dime was safe by reaching into his briefcase to feel for it. Feigenbaum did not actually take the dime out of his briefcase, as it is suspicious to stare at dimes.

He does recall fishing around -- somewhere over the Rockies, over the Midwest, and over the Alleghenies -- for the dime. For the rest of the flight, he kept his flip-flopped foot planted on the briefcase and his eyes wide open.
Read the story at SF Chronicle for a good chuckle: 'I didn't eat and I didn't sleep'

The WH Must Be Very Intimidated- sinks lower

This blog has been covering the plight of 9/11 rescue workers (and even the dogs) since the get go. It's been a bleak story and every positive baby step has been taken away by the powers that be.

In the movie, Sicko, Michael Moore takes sick 9/11 rescue workers to "Club Gitmo" in Cuba to get them 'free health care' like al Qaida gets. Through his loud speaker he told the guards there that he wanted, “The same kind Al Qaeda is getting!” Speaking truth to power is the hallmark of great journalism. It is what saved America from fascist takeovers in the past even when the Hearst Corporation was part of the problem.

It's no surprise that the bushistas have issued a subpoena to Michael Moore for traveling to Cuba. Power denying truth has been a hallmark with the bush administration. First he was issued a summons by the treasury department to furnish them with reasons that he went there. Obviously his travel there was for journalism, but no, the administration would rather harass him.

Think Progress notes that the WH has mocked Michael Moore. This sort of bullying is completely beneath the highest office in the country. Had any other administration acted in this way, heads would fly.

Noting that many celebrities visit Cuba with no repercussions, Moore noted, “I didn’t go there like Cameron Diaz to get a tan. … I was there to help them.” In a briefing yesterday, White House spokesman Dana Perino responded to Moore’s tan comment by mocking his appearance: “That’s probably a visual we don’t need.”
Excuse me, but this flippant attitude by the WH spokesperson is uncalled for and unprofessional. It's perfectly understandable that the WH fears journalists like Michael Moore, especially since all their denials of F911 have been proven to be futile as the truth won out. But this is not a playground and Dana Perino is as amateur as they come. Shame shame.

Sunday, July 29

Walter Mondale Speaks Out

"Answering to No One"

By Walter F. Mondale
Sunday, July 29, 2007; B07

"The (Washington) Post's recent series on Dick Cheney's vice presidency certainly got my attention. Having held that office myself over a quarter-century ago, I have more than a passing interest in its evolution from the backwater of American politics to the second most powerful position in our government. Almost all of that evolution, under presidents and vice presidents of both parties, has been positive -- until now. Under George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, it has gone seriously off track."

Rest of article at WashingtonPost.com.

Some Good News

One of the less-known stories out of Iraq these days has been the Iraqi national football side (soccer team). Drawn from smaller clubs and leagues throuhgout the country, they represent a cross-section of all the various ethnic and religious groups in Iraq.

They took the name "Lions of the Two Rivers" and proved it today with their first-ever Asian Football Cup victory over four-time winner Saudi Arabia. They beat the Saudi side 1-0, leading to wild celebrations in the streets of Baghdad and throughout Iraq.

Congratulations to the Lions of the Two Rivers! You fought hard, and it paid off, and you provide an example of unity to your fellow citizens.

The continuing story of "Whose Side Are We On Anyway?"

In this week's episode, the bushistas will supply billions of dollars of fabulously advanced weapons to their old pals, the Saudis, not to mention other nations including Israel. I think this means that Israel and the Saudis are on the same side now. Oh wait, then that would mean that Iraq and Iran are on the same side as each other but on the other side... but Iraq is supposed to be on our side. Oh dear. Oh wait. Bush will increase military aid to Israel so that they won't feel bad about all the big guns that are also going to the Saudis.

The bigger question is: Who would Jesus bomb?

--------------
While we're speaking about whose side we're on, the story that won't go away is still on the fire: How come the US evacuated al Qaida fighters and hard-core Taliban fighters to Pakistan in November 2001 when we were supposed to be "smoking them out" and killing them for the crimes of 9/11? And now the US talks about invading yet another sovereign nation- Pakistan, for harboring terrorists when Rumsfeld actually ordered them there?
----------------

I d0n't know about you, but connecting all the dots since 2000 is painting a godawful scary picture.The guys who drive the subways in NY undergo more rigorous mental scrutiny than our very own imperialist Chimperor.

Saturday, July 28

Another chapter in the dystopian novel that is America

In an effort to pretend that they really give a shit about the security of the American people...
The Washington Post reports

The United States and the European Union have agreed to expand a security program that shares personal data about millions of U.S.-bound airline passengers a year, potentially including information about a person's race, ethnicity, religion and health.

Under the agreement, airlines flying from Europe to the United States are required to provide data related to these matters to U.S. authorities if it exists in their reservation systems. The deal allows Washington to retain and use it only "where the life of a data subject or of others could be imperiled or seriously impaired," such as in a counterterrorism investigation.

According to the deal, the information that can be used in such exceptional circumstances includes "racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership" and data about an individual's health, traveling partners and sexual orientation.


And of course this information will not be used against any innocent people who have nothing to worry about because they are 'good people'.

Hat tip Americablog

Was "The Right Stuff" Rye or Bourbon?

Because I don't like the taste of bourbon. Cooking with it's fine, but not drinking it (tastes awful).

Anyway.

As the investigation into the diaper-wearing astronaut incident widened, it became apparent that NASA had a problem about which it was in deep denial. Deep? You could have floated Cleopatra's barge on it.

Allegedly (everything's alleged until the New York Times best-seller comes out) the astronauts have been having difficulties since the earliest days of the space program. Not with the equipment, but with alcohol. To be blunt, astronauts have been getting lit before launch.

Wait until the sun's up over the yardarm, guys and gals.

Now, I have much respect for anyone who deliberately straps themselves into an experimental craft built by the lowest bidder and perched precariously upon several thousand tons of high explosives. It may be a bit too much to expect that they be sober as judges when they do it, but that's not the point (although it may be - the Russians have probably allowed their cosmonauts a nip or two of vodka before flight).

Just a little alcohol is enough, in some people, to impair their reflexes and judgement, and when you're dealing with an environment that is actively trying to kill you you can't make any mistakes.

NASA is trying to set things right by increasing the frequency with which it does psychological evaluations, establishing an explicit code of conduct, and other measures. But this latest news is another black eye that the manned space program didn't need.

Friday, July 27

What is your favorite make-out song?

It's been a sad week. The constitution is in threads and I don't know about y'all, but any hope I had that the Dems might turn this ship around is slowly sinking into the crapper.
I somehow managed to finish putting up all our hay and my plan was to rest up. No sooner was I all prepared to commence mouth breathing on the back porch and occasionally ambling out to fish a minute or two --- up and comes this important query. "What's your favorite make-out music?"

Well, at first I was going to answer "America the Beautiful," but the medley " Moonglow " and "Love Theme", from the one of my most beloved movies ever, Picnic, won out.. It is a masterpiece. Although depending on my mood and hormone level, anything by Sting or Luther Vandross can have the same effect.

So if you don't mind me asking, what is your favorite make-out music?

New details on Tillman's death

It's not nice to kill a famous soldier. Heads are flying. Army doctors have long suspected that Tillman's wounds were too close together and from a close range- perhaps an "M-16 fired from a mere 10 yards or so away."

From the AP

The medical examiners' suspicions were outlined in 2,300 pages of testimony released to the AP this week by the Defense Department in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

Among other information contained in the documents:

• In his last words moments before he was killed, Tillman snapped at a panicky comrade under fire to shut up and stop "sniveling."

• Army attorneys sent each other congratulatory e-mails for keeping criminal investigators at bay as the Army conducted an internal friendly-fire investigation that resulted in administrative, or non-criminal, punishments.

• The three-star general who kept the truth about Tillman's death from his family and the public told investigators some 70 times that he had a bad memory and couldn't recall details of his actions.

• No evidence at all of enemy fire was found at the scene — no one was hit by enemy fire, nor was any government equipment struck.
It's obvious from all this conflicting information that something is being covered up.

Obligatory Friday Sex Post

The police described it as "passionate fornication" and did nothing to stop nature's call (unlike in the USA where it would be deemed immoral and liberal.)
Horny Hedgehogs Spark Police Callout

Two hedgehogs triggered a nocturnal police operation in Germany this week after the spiky little mammals awoke neighbors with their loud, shameless mating. They went on fornicating even as a crowd gathered to watch them. In fact the attention made them even more vigorous.

This week's sex post was sent to us by reader "Who Else" a/k/a Dirruk the irrepressible limerick writer in our comments.

Unreal

Senior citizen Sara Weiss from Long Island is the reason for the TSA bulletin warning of terrorist suspects who travel with ice packs that are sealed with duct tape. She has a bad back and carries ice packs with her when she travels. They were really old she says and she taped the cracks with clear tape, not duct tape and there was no clay in them.

Read the story and about how she was questioned for hours.

The next time someone tells you that they don't do anything wrong so they don't care if the bushistas trample on civil rights.......

So that's how they did it

Disappointed Americans wondered how on earth King George ever won the 2004 election.
It will be on NOW tonight on PBS: "Voter Caging"

From Truthout:
"Previously undisclosed documents detail how Republican operatives, with the knowledge of several White House officials, engaged in an illegal, racially-motivated effort to suppress tens of thousands of votes during the 2004 presidential campaign in a state where George W. Bush was trailing his Democratic challenger, Senator John Kerry.

The documents also contain details describing how Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign officials, and at least one individual who worked for White House political adviser Karl Rove, planned to stop minorities residing in Cuyahoga County from voting on election day.

The efforts to purge voters from registration rolls was spearheaded by Tim Griffin, a former Republican National Committee opposition researcher. Griffin recently resigned from his post as interim US attorney for Little Rock Arkansas. His predecessor, Bud Cummins, was forced out to make way for Griffin.

Another set of documents, 43 pages of emails, provided to Truthout by the PBS news program "NOW," contains blueprints for a massive effort undertaken by RNC operatives in 2004, to challenge the eligibility of voters expected to support Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry in states such as Nevada, New Mexico, Florida and Pennsylvania.

One email, dated September 30, 2004, and sent to a dozen or so staffers on the Bush-Cheney campaign and the RNC, under the subject line "voter fraud strategy conference call," describes how campaign staffers planned to challenge the veracity of votes in a handful of battleground states in the event of a Democratic victory.

Furthermore, the emails show the Bush-Cheney campaign and RNC staffers compiled voter-challenge lists that targeted probable Democratic voters in at least five states: New Mexico, Ohio, Florida, Nevada and Pennsylvania. Voting rights lawyers have made allegations of so called "vote caging," against Republicans previously. These emails provide more evidence. One Republican operative involved in the planning wrote "we can do this in NV, FL, PA and NM because we have a list to run against the Absentee Ballot requests, and should."

Vote caging is an illegal tactic to suppress minorities from voting by having their names purged from voter rolls when they fail to respond to registered mail sent to their homes. The Republican National Committee signed a consent decree in 1986 stating they would not engage in the practice after they were caught suppressing votes in 1981 and 1986."

Lots more at Truthout with the emails that have been found which provide proof that the 2004 election in battleground states was undermined. Unbelievable. (well not really.)

Thursday, July 26

Nuclear Terrorism - More Info

I received this email today. I thought someone might be interested in the information contained therein. It is much faster than reading the entire Allison book although I still recommend this.

Dear Candy,

I saw your recent post, “Nuclear terrorism.” While we agree with everything in the first half of Allison’s book, we don’t think the measures he outline to prevent this from happening go far enough—they are necessary but not sufficient to prevent nuclear terrorism. We just wrote a paper you might find interesting.

“Intelligence, Border Security, and Forensics Will Fail: Secure DC, NYC, and Other Cities from Nuclear Attacks with Highly Enriched Uranium”

http://www.devabhaktuni.us/research/onecity.pdf (Full report)

http://www.devabhaktuni.us/research/onecityop-ed.pdf (4-page essay)

Here’s a blog posting on the paper that gets to the punch-line http://armchairgeneralist.typepad.com/my_weblog/2007/07/protecting-citi.html

Thanks,

-Sri

p.s. A previous paper we wrote on nuclear detection was published as Devabhaktuni Srikrishna, A. Narasimha Chari and Thomas Tisch, “DETERRENCE OF NUCLEAR TERRORISM WITH MOBILE RADIATION DETECTORS” (Nonproliferation Review, Vol. 12, No 3, November 2005, pages 573-614) http://cns.miis.edu/pubs/npr/vol12/123toc.htm

I have read the four page essay and the post by the armchair generalist. You may find them illuminating as well. The longer report will have to wait until I have more time.

And thank you very much Sri.

Only In America

An inmate serving 10 years for armed robbery got another 60 days in jail for masturbating in his jail cell.

"The sole witness in the case, BSO Deputy Coryus Veal, testified that Alexander did not try to hide what he was doing as most prisoners do. Veal saw him perform the act while she was working in a glass-enclosed master control room, 100 feetfrom Alexander's cell. There was no video tape or other witnesses"

The Great Fascist Takeover that almost was

BBC Radio: A document was uncovered that details of White House coup in the USA in 1933 by right-wing American businessmen.
The coup was aimed at toppling President Franklin D Roosevelt with the help of half-a-million war veterans. The plotters, who were alleged to involve some of the most famous families in America, (owners of Heinz, Birds Eye, Goodtea, Maxwell Hse & George Bush’s Grandfather, Prescott) believed that their country should adopt the policies of Hitler and Mussolini to beat the great depression.

Prescott Bush was no enemy of fascism.
How Bush's grandfather helped Hitler's rise to power


UPDATE:
Video at Amazon.com In Search Of History - The Plot To Overthrow FDR
The Book at Amazon.com The Plot to Seize the White House: The Shocking True Story of the Conspiracy to Overthrow FDR
Related: Maverick Marine: General Smedley D. Butler and the Contradictions of American Military History

UPDATE UPDATE:
YouTube Video John Buchanan on the Bush Dynasty

Wednesday, July 25

Proud To Be Partisan

Here is an excellent post by Jane Hamsher on why it is incumbent on us to be partisan at this time in our history. It is not long. This is why I cannot support any Republican for anything and may never do so again. (h/t Digby)

If it was up to me, his title would be "Flunker's Helpy".

A lotta folks been saying for better than six years now that boygeorge is not the "real" president of the United States, that it's Darth that's really been calling all the shots. So what does that make boygeorge? Well, you better check out the Dark Wraith's latest, either at his Forums Site or at The Big Brass Blog.

Any of youse out there live in cities that have both a city manager and a mayor? That's one of the examples to which he equates our current administration. Or...well, the title of his blog is "Prime Minister of the United States of America". Prime? Not where I come from. Back in my steel mill days we had several classifications for finished steel: Prime, Excess, Reject, Secondary, and Waste-Waste. And that memory might give me an idea for a future blog which would begin, "The Waste-Waste Minister of the United States is a wasted waste".

You s'pose they'll get better treatment than the folks who took refuge in the Superdome after Katrina?

"EMERGENCY services evacuated hundreds of homes in the university city of Oxford yesterday as the River Thames broke its banks and Britain grappled with its worst floods in 60 years.
"Water levels rose steadily during the night and police said they had evacuated 250 homes and had given people shelter in Oxford's soccer stadium."


Story in the Sydney Morning Herald.

The Yes Men interview with Bill Moyers

Bill Moyers gets in on the joke with two impersonators who use satire to make serious points about media consolidation, journalism, business ethics, and separating fact from fiction in a world of spin.

Watch the interview here

via dailykos and crooksandliars

The Yes Men have a passion for media literacy and to bring to our attention who's telling the truth. They accomplish this through satire and parody. They are the masters of both.

You are so right Mr. Moyers -- "You can't get too absurd".

The Yes Men brilliantly show us how "we still do have pretty good free speech laws in this country --

YOU CAN SPEAK AT THE VOLUME OF HOW MUCH MONEY YOU HAVE"


I rarely get the wind knocked out of me, but after viewing this, I'm down for the count here folks - SOMEbody please wake me up......


Crossposted at BigBrassBlog

Hey. Whose side are we on anyway?

I would bet you that if Osama bin Laden had a colonoscopy, that's where they would find Bush's head (since the only head found up bush's ass was Gonzales'.)

The president seems almost pleased that al Qaida is in Iraq and used that to criticize his war critics yesterday. He assured Americans in a speech that the al Qaida in Iraq is allegiant to bin Laden who attacked us on 9/11... so our troops have to stay in Iraq and fight them over there so we don't have to fight them over here*.

Bush left out the part that his war on Iraq lured al Qaida into Iraq. Maybe that was part of his plan which he neglected to mention in public? He also left out the part that al Qaida in Iraq are not the principal killers of our troops in Iraq as John Kerry was quick to point out. In fact only 3-5% of insurgents in Iraq are al Qaida. He left out the part that bin Laden and the brains of al Qaida are in fucking Pakistan (if he ever bothered to read US intelligence reports.)


* It seems that we may have to "fight them over here" if all the latest scare tactics are true. And if they are not true and the bushistas made this up, then they are actually admitting that they absolutely suck as warriors because I get it.

It's just been made public that the TSA is on the lookout for terrorist dry runs this summer.
"Security officers were urged to keep an eye out for "ordinary items that look like improvised explosive device components."
Airport bigwigs say not to be scared because these memos go out all the time. It still begs the question- if we are attacked over here, then our fighting over there isn't doing much good is it?

To add insult to injury, from the AP:
"A top U.S. military commander said Tuesday he believes there are al-Qaida cells in the United States — or people working to create them — and the military needs to triple its response teams to counter a growing threat of attack."

So what's the deal here? Al Qaida is stronger than ever? How scared should I be? They weren't in Iraq when we started the invasion and occupation of Iraq. We had a great big coalition looking for al Qaida in Afghanistan. What happened to that? Since the US focused attention on Iraq, did they move over to Iraq because they weren't getting enough attention from the US elsewhere? Did al Qaida not enjoy fighting the UN peacekeeping forces in Afghanistan?

Did Bush recently radio bin Laden from up his ass to send terrorists to Iraq in order to give Bush a reason to keep troops in Iraq since US oil companies haven't seized and privatized Iraqi oil just yet?

As far as I am concerned the US "won" the war in Iraq long ago and our troops should get some R&R.
• Saddam was captured and he is dead.
• There are no WMD's in Iraq, nor will they be making any in the near future.
• The US destroyed their infrastructure, military and any social programs that were beneficial to the Iraqi people.
• The US reduced Baghdad to near rubble and the country's most promising citizens are either dead or have fled the country.
• A puppet government has been installed and "democratic" elections have been held.
• There is a civil war going on and left to their own devices will cripple the country even more.
• The US is despised around the world.
If that isn't victory, then what is? We sure showed them

Tuesday, July 24

Nuclear Terrorism

This is in response to Walt's post below re nuclear weapons. He is right - you cannot put the genie back in the bottle. Nuclear power seems to be here to stay. It is not inevitable that nuclear weapons will lead to Armageddon, however, although it is likely.

I read Nuclear Terrorism by Graham Allison a couple of years ago and do not remember all the details. I suggest it be read by anyone concerned about this issue. Allison spends the first part of the book outlining who could be planning a nuclear terrorist attack, where they could get the material, and how they could deliver it. The second half explains exactly how to prevent this from happening. Along the way he is scathing about the Bush administration's handling of foreign policy and our reputation in the world, both vital components in preventing a catastrophe. I quote from the book, "As one disillusioned State Department official wrote in a letter of resignation in February 2003, the administration seemed to have adopted the Roman emperor Caligula's dictum Oderint dum metuant: 'Let them hate as long as they fear.' "

This is a quote from The Boston Globe on the back cover: "In this urgent call to action, Graham Allison, one of America's leading experts on nuclear weapons and national security, presents the evidence for two provocative, compelling conclusions. First, if policy makers in Washington keep doing what they are currently doing about the threat, a nuclear terrorist attack on America is inevitable. Second, the surprising and largely unrecognized good news is that nuclear terrorism is, in fact, preventable. Allison offers an ambitious but feasible blueprint for eliminating the possibility of nuclear terrorist attacks, if we are willing to face the issue squarely." Of course, that last sentence is a big 'if'.

Here is one of the more amusing observations by Allison, of which there are many, on Bush and company: "The most memorable foreign policy line from the the 2000 campaign came from candidate George W. Bush, who called for the United States to conduct a 'humble foreign policy.' He said, 'If we are an arrogant nation, they will resent us, but if we are a humble nation, but strong, they will welcome us.' Unfortunately, either the president forgot his advice or he did not mean it. Vice President Cheney and other members of the administration evidently never heard it, or never agreed."

This is what I consider a required book nowadays. It is available in paperback.

Dow tanks 226 -- Halliburton's profit doubles -- Drug Companies fare well also

Credit Worries Wallop Stocks:

Stocks slid hard Tuesday as new worries about the credit arena and a profit shortfall at DuPont

.....Weighing further on the market were renewed concerns about debt, which have popped up several times in recent months. After the previous close, American Express topped analysts' profit estimates, but the financial services giant said it had to increase its loan-loss reserve because of a higher rate of delinquencies.

.....lender Countrywide missed by a wide margin, citing increased credit-related costs, and lowered its 2007 guidance, saying the second half will be challenging.

"There's fear entering certain parts of the market, and we're seeing a risk adjustment taking place," said Paul Mendelsohn, chief investment strategist with Windham Financial. "This shift could be foreshadowing something bigger, as everyone could run for the door at the same time. Once markets start picking up momentum, they tend to keep moving because everyone's on the same side."

Virtually every sector finished with losses. Among the worst decliners, the Amex Oil Index dropped 3.5%, the Philadelphia Utility Index slumped 3.5%, the Nasdaq Financial Index fell 3%, and the KBW Bank Index lost 3%.

Apple, which will post earnings late Wednesday, contributed to the tech sector's slide amid speculation the iPhone maker will miss sales targets for the new gadget. Shares tumbled 6.1% to $134.89.

Trading curbs were put into effect on the New York Stock Exchange for the first time since March 13, when subprime fears surrounding New Century and Accredited Home Lenders first became a force and sank the major averages"

(Lots more stock info on the link)




Halliburton's profit doubles


End of story......

(I'm outta gas)

Crossposted atBigBrassBlog

The "Perfect Asshole" warns of al-Qaida threat

Here's the AP story via ABC

President Bush on Tuesday lashed out at critics who say that al-Qaida's operation in Iraq is distinct from terrorists who attacked the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.

"The merger between al-Qaida and its Iraqi affiliate is an alliance of killers and that is why the finest military in the world is on their trail," Bush said.

Citing security details he declassified for his speech, Bush described al-Qaida's burgeoning operation in Iraq as a direct threat to the United States. Bush accused critics in Congress of misleading the American public by suggesting otherwise.

"That's like watching a man walk into a bank with a mask and a gun and saying, 'He's probably just there to cash a check,'" Bush told troops at Charleston Air Force Base.



And here are the comments from the ABC story:

Loved this one:

"Hell, it's gotten to the point where parents in America have begun telling their children " Don't bush me!" when they catch them in a lie!"



Question -- do you say al-qaida or do you say al-qaeda?

I googled al-qaida and got
did you mean al-qaeda

I'm confused.........

The Genie

August 6th is the 62nd anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, so while I was arranging for black party favors I saw this editorial from the Japan Times:U.S. owes A-bomb apology

Read the article; it is an interesting insight into the Japanese Government's reasoning behind its own nuclear non-proliferation stance (even though it conveniently turns a blind eye to allowing nuclear-armed US warships to use its ports). Here's the money quote:

"To end the vicious cycle of nuclear proliferation, the U.S., the first to use nuclear bombs as a weapon of war, should apologize to Japan for the bombings and pledge to abandon all nuclear arms."

Got that? The editorial writer's opinion is that the United States of America apologize to the Japanese for dropping the first uranium and plutonium devices on their cities, as a way to start the ball rolling on a worldwide disarmament strategy.

First, a bit of historical context: Wars that start with a undeclared, or 'sneak' attack will usually not end well, and usually require both combatants to sink into real depths of competitive barbarism. We were attacked by the Japanese, and spent a boatload of money in developing these bombs. Some thought that it would have been wasted money and effort if we hadn't used them, while others pointed to the projected casualty figures for Operations Coronet and Olympic.

Second, as to apologies:
Has Japan apologized for invading Korea and China?
Has Japan apologized for the Rape of Nanjing?
Has Japan apologized for its experiments in chemical and biological warfare on Chinese civilians?
Has Japan apologized for its use of Chinese and Korean "comfort women?"

We did not attack Japan at Pearl Harbor. We didn't start the war - but we finished it. It is up to the vanquished to apologize first. It's just good manners.

Third, let me say this about the "cycle of nuclear proliferation:"

You can't stop it.

There, I said it. And I'd say it again if I had to.

Whenever a new piece of technology comes along, people just fester to get their hands on it. For any number of purposes. Take gunpowder, for example. Gunpowder started the development of modern arms (or we'd still be carving road tunnels with chisels and shooting each other with crossbows). There was no way to stop it - as soon as some half-bright serf with a handcannon and his ammunition fell into enemy hands, the search was on to reverse-engineer the stuff and find out how to make more.

Okay, analogy over.

Various scientists in several countries (even Japan) were working on the idea of nuclear fission as a viable weapon way back in the 30s, showing just how hard it is to stop the spread of ideas. However, only one nation had the resources to actually bring the device to fruition - the United States.

So, let's wind the clock back and see what the Genie did after we let it out of the bottle, shall we? For starters, the secrets of the Bomb were leaked to the Soviet Union. Great Britain and France developed theirs mostly on their own (Britain had aided the US in the Manhattan Project, and France had the son of the great Madame Curie to do the heavy lifting - and France has natural supplies of uranium). And US President Eisenhower, in his "Atoms for Peace" project, freely gave out nuclear reactor technology to developing nations so they could modernize.

One of the bad things about nuclear reactors is its waste product, which includes plutonium. So it was only a matter of time before smaller nations started using reactors as seedbeds to produce oralloy (highly enriched uranium) and plutonium.

The first nation (that we know of) to start this process was Israel, who is doing it for defense reasons (we hope, as the United States has consistently blocked UN attempts to see what's going at the Israeli reactor site at Dimona - a site that the Israelis are so paranoid about that they shot down one of their own planes after it accidentally overflew the area).

Pakistan and India followed suit, as did North Korea (although I laughed when I found out the estimated yield - a measly 500 tons, or half a kiloton).

::waves at the NSA guys::

A couple years ago the United States put up on the Internet a whole bunch of documents relating to Saddam Hussein's WMD programs. After a while, someone noticed that the recipe for nerve gases were on those documents, handily in Arabic. When this was brought to the US's attention, the papers were removed from the site. Last year, a minor foofaraw resulted when another survey of the posted documents showed the actual blueprints for an implosion device, including the all-important equations that cover the amount of fissile material and the tampers. This material, too, was taken down rapidly. But who could have read it and printed it out BEFORE it was deleted? No one knows.

You can not put the Genie back into the bottle.

On the lighter side........

WOMAN'S PERFECT BREAKFAST
She's sitting at the table with her gourmet coffee.
Her son is on the cover of the Wheaties box.
Her daughter is on the cover of Vogue.
Her boyfriend is on the cover of Business Week.
And her husband is on the back of the milk carton.

WOMEN'S REVENGE
"Cash, check or charge?" I asked, after folding items the woman wished to purchase.
As she fumbled for her wallet, I noticed a remote control for a television set in her purse.
"So, do you always carry your TV remote?" I asked.
"No," she replied, "but my husband refused to come shopping with me,
and I figured this was the most evil thing I could do to him legally."

UNDERSTANDING WOMEN (A MAN'S PERSPECTIVE)
I know I'm not going to understand women.
I'll never understand how you can take boiling hot wax,
pour it onto your upper thigh, rip the hair out by the root,
and still be afraid of a spider.

MARRIAGE SEMINAR
While attending a Marriage Seminar dealing with communication,
Tom and his wife Grace listened to the instructor:
"It is essential that husbands and wives know each other's likes and dislikes."
He addressed the man,
"Can you name your wife's favorite flower?"
Tom leaned over, touched his wife's arm gently and whispered, "It's Pillsbury, isn't it?

CIGARETTES AND TAMPONS
A man walks into a pharmacy and wanders up & down the aisles.
The sales girl notices him and asks him if she can help him.
He answers that he is looking for a box of tampons for his wife.
She directs him down the correct aisle.
A few minutes later, he deposits a huge bag of cotton balls and a ball of string on the counter.
She says, confused, "Sir, I thought you were looking for some tampons for your wife?
He answers, "You see, it's like this. Yesterday, I sent my wife to the store
to get me a carton of cigarettes, and she came back with a tin of tobacco
and some rolling papers, cause it's sooo-ooo--oo-ooo much cheaper.
So, I figure if I have to roll my own......... so does she.
(I figure this guy is the one on the milk carton!)

WIFE VS. HUSBAND
A couple drove down a country road for several miles, not saying a word.
An earlier discussion had led to an argument and
neither of them wanted to concede their position.
As they passed a barnyard of mules, goats, and pigs,
the husband asked sarcastically, "Relatives of yours?"
"Yep," the wife replied, "in-laws."

WORDS
A husband read an article to his wife about how many words women use a day...
30,000 to a man's 15,000.
The wife replied, "The reason has to be because we have to repeat everything to men...
The husband then turned to his wife and asked, "What?"

CREATION
A man said to his wife one day, "I don't know how you can be
so stupid and so beautiful all at the same time.
"The wife responded, "Allow me to explain.
God made me beautiful so you would be attracted to me;
God made me stupid so I would be attracted to you!

WHO DOES WHAT
A man and his wife were having an argument about who
should brew the coffee each morning.
The wife said, "You should do it because you get up first,
and then we don't have to wait as long to get our coffee.
The husband said, "You are in charge of cooking around here and
you should do it, because that is your job, and I can just wait for my coffee."
Wife replies, "No, you should do it, and besides, it is in the Bible that the man should do the coffee."
Husband replies, "I can't believe that, show me."
So she fetched the Bible, and opened the New Testament and showed him at the top of several pages, that it indeed says ......... "HEBREWS"

THE SILENT TREATMENT
A man and his wife were having some problems at home
and were giving each other the silent treatment.
Suddenly, the man realized that the next day, he would need his wife to wake him
at 5:00 AM for an early morning business flight.
Not wanting to be the first to break the silence (and LOSE), he wrote on a piece of paper,
"Please wake me at 5:00 AM." He left it where he knew she would find it.
The next morning, the man woke up, only to discover it was 9:00 AM and he had missed his flight. Furious, he was about to go and see why his wife hadn't wakened him,
when he noticed a piece of paper by the bed.
The paper said, "It is 5:00 AM. Wake up."
Men are not equipped for these kinds of contests.


God may have created man before woman, but there is always a rough draft before the masterpiece!!!

Um. All we have is ourselves.

An LA Times reporter, William Lobdel, who covered the religion beat in earnest for years has lost his faith and has written about it. It's a remarkable story and one that I know will touch the hearts of many readers of this blog based on the comments and emails I receive.Read Religion beat became a test of faith

Notice the similarity in church politics and national politics:
While reporting the [Father] Harris story, I learned — from court records and interviews — the lengths to which the church went to protect the priest. When Harris took an abrupt leave of absence as principal at Santa Margarita in January 1994, he issued a statement saying it was because of "stress." He resigned a month later.

His superiors didn't tell parents or students the real reason for his absence: Harris had been accused of molesting a student while he was principal at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana from 1977 to 1979; church officials possessed a note from Harris that appeared to be a confession; and they were sending him to a treatment center.

In September 1994, a second former student stepped forward, this time publicly, and filed a lawsuit. In response, parents and students held a rally for Harris at the school, singing, "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow." An airplane towed a banner overhead that read "We Love Father Harris."

By this time, church leaders possessed a psychological report in which Catholic psychiatrists diagnosed Harris as having an attraction to adolescents and concluded that he likely had molested multiple boys. (Harris, who has denied the allegations, now stands accused of molesting 12 boys, according to church records.) But they didn't step forward to set the record straight. Instead, a diocesan spokesman called Harris an "icon of the priesthood."

Harris' top defense attorney, John Barnett, lashed out at the priest's accusers in the media, calling them "sick individuals." Again, church leaders remained silent as the alleged victims were savaged. Some of the diocese's top priests — including the cleric in charge of investigating the accusations — threw a going-away party for Harris.
Does this remind you of US politics or what? And the sheeple!

---------

Personally I lost my faith in god and my country around the same time in my life. It started in the early Reagan years and really got going during Newt's "contract with America" which shattered my trust in human beings and the possibility that there is an almighty god. During the Clinton witch hunts I was reminded of old Salem in Massachusetts and Nathanial Hawthorne. By the time bush took office and the news channels referred to him (of all people) as a devout christian, I had abandoned any belief that anyone who sought to lead people in government or religion was a selfless person or even a semi-decent human being save for a few who to this day are despised and ridiculed by the powers that be.

People in real life often chide me for my insistence on discussing religion and politics. What can I say? Anyone's who's not paying attention needs a good metaphorical slap in the face. I don't care if people agree with my opinions exactly, I just want people to wake up and think.

Oh the poor professors that had to endure my term papers, class discussion and my answers and arguments on test papers as I studied for my masters degree in theology from a Catholic Seminary. (It was a very left of center seminary, where we eagerly awaited the death of Pope John Paul who set the church back 500 years, so I stayed till the end and graduated even while arguing that banning abortion was unfeasible in a secular society and expressed my very politically incorrect opinions when the subject of homosexuality came up in a place where the clergy was so openly gay and not terribly celibate that one of the older and very sincere priests told me he felt like he was living on the set of Designing Women. Indeed. Let's not even get into the gym and the pick-up bar in the basement of the seminary.

My mom was the first to notice that I had become an atheist and told the bishop so at my graduation. I hadn't even consciously accepted that I was an atheist at the time for I regarded the Catholic Church as a place where both very liberal and very conservative theologians and scholars were welcomed. I imagine they still are, but the oppressors are still in power promoting that mean old sky god who hates wimmin and homos. Just like in America. What ever happened to Jesus?

The more I try to understand this 'god and country' rhetoric, the more it reinforces my belief that We're on our own, cousin. All alone cousin...


Monday, July 23

Blasting Iran into a pile of rubble and destroying the country may be put on the back burner

Maybe Pakistan is next. A warm-up exercise?
Boston Globe: "US won't rule out force in Pakistan"
"President Bush's homeland security adviser said yesterday that the United States was prepared to take additional measures, including military force, to curb Al Qaeda's operations in remote regions of Pakistan."
More

Overheard on the street:

I presented the news item Bush undergoes colonoscopy to some of the folks around town over the weekend and asked if they had any thoughts and opinions.
Far and away the best response I received was from Ben Dover, who overwhelmed the folks at the local coffeeshop with the statement,
"As difficult as it may be to believe, I guess this means he's a bigger asshole than ever".

Beware of "Jesus coming in glory on a cloud."



Joe Lieberman's allegiance is to Israel, not the US or the people of Connecticut (unless they watch Fox News and buy all the crappola that Iran is an imminent threat to the world. Lieberman has gotten himself caught up with Christian radicals whom he thinks are on his side. He couldn't be more mistaken- they'd like to see him in hell. The sooner the better.

You must have been reading about the Christian Zionists (Christians United for Israel) who back Lieberman and his ilk, men who are itching to nuke Iran. This is not a marriage made in heaven. They are hell bent on getting Armageddon under way, no matter how much they insist that they are not. This final battle will not bode well for Jews if the Christian Zionists have their way. They are just as driven as Islamic extremists but they use their political clout to get their way and oh baby, do they have ever have political clout.

"they smile in your face, but all the time they want to take your place, the back stabbers"

Being that I have studied theology and a great deal of religion including quite a bit on the coming of Christ in the clouds end time scenarios (eschatology) on the graduate school level, I like to warn my hawkish Jewish pals not to trust the so called "Christian" agenda for it will spell death and doom to Israel, not to mention most of the planet. I figured this out in grad school. While the so called "Christians United for Israel" cheer for the hawkish policies of the radical far right, "pro-Israel" crowd, Jesus' coming in the clouds is just a metaphor for a final nuclear bomb aimed at their beloved Israel. The christian radical right which "supports" Israel are Koolaid-drinking, toe-tagged, death wishers- suicide bombers by proxy. These radicals should be feared by all good people of the world no matter what religious or non religious persuasion.

Therefore, I beg you to please read this well put together article on the subject by Sarah Posner, Theocrats Deny ‘End Times’ Theology Is Cause of Their Push for War with Iran
It's not too long and it gets to some of the core of their true agenda. This is stuff we should all be aware of. It ends with this scary quote by Joe "I'm rewriting history as we speak" Lieberman to the Christians United for Israel Summit:
"America is a faith-based initiative. We are not endowed by the great thinkers of the Enlightenment but endowed by our Creator ... Anyone who tries to separate American government from faith, is doing something profoundly unnatural."

-------
another view on Israel-Palestine: Israel’s Primal Myth: A Barrier to Peace
-------
Oddjob sends a link to a "Worthwhile "paleocon" analysis of Iraq debacle and what might be done about it now": How to Win in Iraq. Makes some pretty good points.

Sunday, July 22

Harry Potter As Metaphor

I know you are all gonna groan seeing that title. This is not about the plot and no spoilers. It is about the books in general. You may or may not know that when Tolkien was writing his famous books Hitler was rising and World War II was raging. Most literary critics see that as having influenced the darkness of those novels. We all know what has been rearing its head during the Harry Potter cycle. The early books were very much lighter than the latter ones. I have just reread books five and six as well as the seventh. It struck me much more this time around how it can be seen as a metaphor for our times.

Rowling is absolutely scathing toward the press in her Potter books. There is no reliable journalist to be seen. The intelligent characters know better than to get their news from the usual suspects. Sound familiar? In the end the press is virtually an arm of the government.

She is equally cynical about the government. In the latter books the government goes from just comically ignorant to actively malignant. Sound familiar?

Whether representative of her own feelings on the subject, and I can hardly suppose otherwise, it is a masterful metaphor. Unfortunately in the real world we seem to have no dragonslayers. Maybe that is why the books are so beloved. Reality sucks and diversion is comforting.

I also don't know whether Rowling is an atheist or not but Hermione Granger certainly is. Here is a short conversation regarding a stone that supposedly can raise the dead:

"'. . . . . . The thing you call the Resurrection Stone?'

'What of it?'

'Well, how can that be real?'

'Prove that it is not,' said Xenophilius.

Hermione looked outraged.

'But that's - I'm sorry, but that's completely ridiculous! How can I possibly prove it doesn't exist? Do you expect me to get hold of - of all the pebbles in the world and test them? I mean, you could claim that anything's real if the only basis for believing in it is that nobody's proved it doesn't exist!'"

You are so right Hermione.

Impeach George Bush to stop war lies, deaths

Newsday July 22, 2007
JIMMY BRESLIN
July 22, 2007

I am walking in Rosedale on this day early in the week while I wait for the funeral of Army soldier Le Ron Wilson, who died at age 18 in Iraq. He was 17 1/2 when he had his mother sign his enlistment papers at the Jamaica recruiting office. If she didn't, he told her, he would just wait for the months to his 18th birthday and go in anyway. He graduated from Thomas Edison High School at noon one day in May. He left right away for basic training. He came home in a box last weekend. He had a fast war.

The war was there to take his life because George Bush started it with bold-faced lies.


He got this lovely kid killed by lying.

If Bush did this in Queens, he would be in court on Queens Boulevard on a murder charge.

He did it in the White House, and it is appropriate, and mandatory for the good of the nation, that impeachment proceedings be started. You can't live with lies. You can't permit them to be passed on as if it is the thing to do.

Yesterday, Bush didn't run the country for a couple of hours while he had a colonoscopy at the presidential retreat, Camp David. He came out of it all right. He should now take his good health and go home, quit a job he doesn't have a clue as to how to do.

The other day, Bush said he couldn't understand why in the world would some people say that millions of Americans have no health insurance. "Why, all they have to do is go to the emergency room," he said.

Said this with the smirk, the insolent smug, contemptuous way he speaks to citizens.

People, particularly these politicians, these frightened beggars in suits, seem petrified about impeachment. It could wreck the country. Ridiculous. I've been around this business twice and we're all still here and no politician was even injured. Richard Nixon lied during a war and helped get some 58,500 Americans killed and many escaped by hanging onto helicopter skids. Nixon left peacefully. Mike Mansfield of Montana, the Democratic Senate majority leader, said on television that the Senate impeachment trial of Nixon would be televised and there would be no immunity. That meant Nixon would have to face the country under oath and if he lied he would go to prison. He knew he was finished as he heard this. Mansfield said no more. He got up and left. Barbara Walters, on the "Today" show, said, "He doesn't say very much, does he?"

The second time the subject was Bill Clinton for illegal holding in the hallway.

This time, we have dead bodies involved. Consider what is accomplished by the simple power of the word impeachment. If you read these broken-down news writers or terrified politicians claiming that an impeachment would leave the nation in pieces, don't give a moment to them.

It opens with the appointing of an investigator to report to the House on evidence that calls for impeachment. He could bring witnesses forward. That would be all you'd need. Here in the impeachment proceedings against Richard Nixon came John Dean. His history shows how far down the honesty and honor of this country has gone. Dean was the White House counsel. Richard Nixon, at his worst, never told him not to appear or to remain silent in front of the Congress. Dean went on and did his best to fill prisons. After that came Alexander Butterfield, a nobody. All he had to say was that the White House had a taping system that caught all the conversations in the White House. Any of them not on tape were erased by a participant.

The same is desperately needed now. Curious, following the words, an investigator - the mind here sees George Mitchell and Warren Rudman, and you name me better - can slap a hand on the slitherers and sneaks who have kept us in war for five years and who use failing generals to beg for more time and more lives of our young. A final word in September? Two years more, the generals and Bush people say.

Say impeachment and you'll get your troops home.

As I am walking in Rosedale, on these streets sparkling with sun, I remember the places I have been in the cold rain for the deaths of our young in this war. Rosedale now, Washington Heights before, and the South Bronx, and Bay Shore and Hauppauge and too many other places around here.

And in Washington we had this Bush, and it is implausible to have anyone who is this dumb running anything, smirking at his country. He sure doesn't mind copying those people. On his PBS television show the other night, Bill Moyers said he was amazed at Sara Taylor of the White House staff saying that she didn't have to talk to a congressional committee because George Bush had ordered her not to. "I took an oath to uphold the president," she said.

That president had been in charge of a government that kidnapped, tortured, lied, intercepted mail and calls, all in the name of opposing people who are willing to kill themselves right in front of you. You have to get rid of a government like this. Ask anybody in Rosedale, where Le Ron Wilson wanted to live his young life. His grave speaks out that this is an impeachable offense.

When Smoke Gets In My I

"Peace of mind, is very hard to find..." sang the great ganja-man, Bob Marley, "It's got to come from within".

Fascinating read


One of our best friends keeps telling hubby and I to read:
The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, by Julian Jaynes. I found this site while looking for info on the book, which references it:

" an interesting explanation of how the development of consciousness took place. Although Jaynes fails to fully recognize the strong role that plant-drugs may have played in the development of consciousness he has come up with what I think is a most revolutionary concept. It is explained on the book's back cover as follows:

Based on recent laboratory studies of the brain and a close reading of the archeological evidence, psychologist Julian Jaynes shows us how ancient people from Mesopotamia to Peru could not `think' as we do today, and were therefore not conscious. Unable to introspect, they experienced auditory hallucinations - voices of gods, actually heard as in the Old Testament or the Iliad - which, coming from the brain's right hemisphere, told a person what to do in circumstances of novelty or stress. This ancient mentality is called bicameral mind... Only catastrophe and cataclysm forced mankind to `learn' consciousness, and that happened only 3000 years ago.

It was in Terrence McKenna's Food of the Gods, that I was first introduced to Jaynes' book, and McKenna's articulate description of Jaynes' theory is worth quoting.

He proposes that through Homeric times people did not have the kind of interior psychic organization we take for granted. Thus what we call ego was for the Homeric people "god". When danger threatened suddenly, the god's voice was heard in the individual's mind: an intrusive and alien function was expressed as a kind of metaprogram for survival called forth under moments of great stress. This psychic function was perceived by those experiencing it as the direct voice of a god, of the king, or of the king in the afterlife. Merchants and traders moving from one society to another brought the unwelcome news that the gods were saying different things in different places, and so cast early seeds of doubt. At some point people integrated this previously autonomous function, and each person became the god and reinterpreted the inner voice as the `self' or, as it was later called, the `ego'.

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

Another amusing read - Part 4 of "When Smoke Gets in my I" a series on the history of cannabis and human consciousness
Cannabis and the Christ



Crossposted at BigBrassBlog

Saturday, July 21

Dear Abby.


I've never written to you before, but I really need your advice. I have suspected for some time now that my husband has been cheating on me. The usual signs - phone rings but if I answer the caller hangs up. My husband has been going out with "the guys" a lot recently although when I ask their names he always says "Just some friends from work. You don't know them."
I always try to stay awake to look out for him coming home, but I usually fall asleep anyway. I have never approached the subject with my husband. I think deep down I just didn't want to know the truth, but last night he went out again and I decided to hide in the barn in the tack room behind my saddle racks so I could get a good view of the whole yard when he arrived home from his night out with "the guys".
When he got out of his car he was buttoning up his shirt, which was open. It was at that moment, crouching behind my tack, that I noticed that the sterling silver concho on my breast collar appeared to have a hairline crack right in the center.
Is this something I can fix myself or should I take it back to the tack store I bought it at? I am anxiously awaiting your reply.
Signed,
Perplexed

read

Amy Goodman asks: Why Is the White House Pretending That Saudi Insurgents in Iraq Are Iranian?

Dahr Jamail reports: After Reporting in Iraq, America Feels Like a Bizarre Disneyland.
Ya think?

Rick Perlstein on Deadly Conservatives- E. Coli Conservatives. "When Infrastructure Attacks!!"

Shocking. Another sex scandal

KANNAPOLIS -- Coy Privette, a retired Baptist pastor, conservative lawmaker and outspoken advocate for Christian groups, was charged Thursday with paying a prostitute for sex acts.

The 74-year-old Cabarrus County commissioner was arrested at his home in Kannapolis early Thursday...

Privette, a prominent Republican with a 30-year career, is one of the state's [NC] most vocal opponents against alcohol sales and legal gambling. He also serves on the State Baptist Convention of North Carolina and as president of the Christian Action League of North Carolina.
Well I never!

Stop The Fucking Presses


Senator Clinton sported a feminine pink jacket and necklace on Wednesday. Her daring, plunging neckline revealed that which must never be acknowledged in polite politics...
CLEAVAGE!

OMG. A stunned Washington Post writer reports.

What's next?

Friday, July 20

Signing Off

Not that you all care, but I will be offline now until sometime Sunday. I have been watching the progress of my Harry Potter book. They are using UPS this year. So y'all have a great weekend and try not to give in to despair.

Ah hell, I just HAD to post the whole thing, comments and all.


It's from the Big Brass Blog:

BREAKING NEWS: President Bush to Temporarily Transfer Power to Vice President Cheney
by: Dark Wraith
Updated 7/20/07 at 1:55 p.m. Sources indicate that President George W. Bush is scheduled for a Saturday colonoscopy and will, because of the heavy sedation typically used on patients during the procedure, temporarily transfer presidential power, for perhaps 2½ hours or so, to Vice President Richard V. Cheney.

8 comments:

There is a serious possibility that even the most experienced physician will not be able to determine conclusively which end is which.
by: LanceThruster (contact) - 20 Jul '07 - 12:50

"colonoscopy"
Is that the same type of operation that we here in the Midwest refer to as a "solidified semen search"?
by: Peter of Lone Tree (contact) - 20 Jul '07 - 12:52

Too many thoughts: not enough time!
by: Father Tyme (contact) - 20 Jul '07 - 13:05

i want to see waxman (d-california) go to work with the scope.
(sometimes the jokes just write themselves)
by: Minstrel Boy (contact) - 20 Jul '07 - 13:07

"Quick, nurse, the antiseptic. I think I've found his brain."
"Doctor, what are all these little Republican Conress critters doing up there?"
"Let's see...the card we found up there says 1-A. I wonder what that means?"
"Look! It's Brownie! You've done heck of a job!"
"Is that part of a frog's ass?"
"Doctor, the prophylactic you recovered from his colon has 'Property of the Vice President' on it."
"Wait, nurse...it looks...like a little...Damien!"
I'm killing myself!
by: Father Tyme (contact) - 20 Jul '07 - 13:14

"Is that Condi's lipstick shade?"
Ok , I'm done.
by: Father Tyme (contact) - 20 Jul '07 - 13:15

One more:
"No nurse. That's Lieberman's!"
by: Father Tyme (contact) - 20 Jul '07 - 13:16

The Dark Wraith is supposed to have a license to run a comedy club in this town.

Police State?

It's pretty frightening when a Reaganite, Paul Craig Roberts (the father of Reaganomics, former assistant secretary of the Treasury), warns Americans that the neocons are capable of turning our country into a dictatorship and police state if Congress doesn't immediately act to impeach Bush and Cheney. He appeared on Thom Hartmann's show on Air America yesterday. Listen here.

Roberts starts by asserting that the Executive Order that Peter refers to below has no checks. It doesn't have to be ratified by Congress and there is no recourse to the judiciary. Executive Orders are a form of one man, absolute rule.

Roberts says that Americans don't understand the dangers we face. Historically, unpopular presidents lose votes for their parties in subsequent elections and the Republicans could be wiped out completely in 2008. Some think that Democrats are relying on this. Roberts says that some think the bushistas are content with the GOP losing power after they inflict their damage on the US Constitution. He asks how likely could it be that Republicans are content to lose their party for Bush to have his fling? Indeed!

Roberts thinks it's more likely that Cheney and Rove have something in the works to stop the Republican party from going down. Perhaps something orchestrated... something that when it happens, all of Bush's executive orders are already in place and implemented. They could create a dictatorial police state where congress and the judiciary have no roles. Maybe the terrorists have something in the works and the neocons will just let it happen like they did in 2001.

Roberts also brings up the Nazi term the neocon's use for America: Homeland. Of course you have all thought about the use of that term when it was first brought up by the Bushistas. Hartmann plays a clip from the Nazi's first use of Homeland when it replaced Fatherland.

Roberts thinks that the NIE and Chertoff are preparing us for another "event." If al Qaeda doesn't do it, it will be orchestrated by the neocons in desperation. The Republicans are praying for another 9/11 in order to reconsolidate their power.

Hartmann asks what we can do about it save for impeachment? Roberts answers that The majority of the American people have to be more aware of what's really going on and how these attacks can be orchestrated. Americans, if more suspicious and alert, can make it harder for the neocon's to pull this off. We can't expect for the media to help us out as they are tools for the government.

Roberts asserts that after the "attacks" Bush will say that if more Americans trusted their government that this wouldn't have happened. He will blame the Democrats and civil libertarians. This is the strategy that the Nazi's used.
"Americans think their danger is terrorists. They don't understand the terrorists cannot take away habeas corpus, the Bill of Rights, the Constitution. The terrorists are not anything like the threat that we face to the Bill of Rights and the Constitution from our own government in the name of fighting terrorism. Americans just aren't able to perceive that."
Roberts mentions Pat Buchanan's piece that I linked to the other day where he warns that we are due for another Gulf of Tonkin event. Roberts doesn't think it's out of the question.

Roberts explains further that neocons did not take over the Reagan administration and they were fired because Reagan didn't like them. The Neocons decided then that we needed a new Pearl Harbor (PNAC). A person like Cheney would not stop at orchestrating an attack on our country. It's been on the agenda all along. The fact that the neocons let 9/11 happen shows that they are desperate for their goal of absolute power.

Well that's what Roberts thinks.

Read the article Impeach Now Or Face the End of Constitutional Democracy
and Robert's My wake-up call: Watch for another 9/11-WMD experience
and listen to the interview

Lots to think about.

I thought about Napolean: "Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence."

Perhaps we are dealing with malicious incompentents in power. That could be worse.

The point is, DON'T BE QUIET.
Don't be afraid of hurting the troops by speaking the truth.
Question everything. Write letters.
Get a generator and stock up on food and water. (If the terrorists or Cheney don't get you, the weather has been pretty fucked up lately.)

Oh and maybe a military coup could save us if we don't impeach says Roberts. I'm not holding my breath.
---------

"But I know now that there is not a chance in hell of America becoming humane and reasonable. Because power corrupts us, and absolute power corrupts us absolutely. Human beings are chimpanzees who get crazy drunk on power. By saying that our leaders are power-drunk chimpanzees, am I in danger of wrecking the morale of our soldiers fighting and dying in the Middle East? Their morale, like so many lifeless bodies, is already shot to pieces. They are being treated, as I never was, like toys a rich kid got for Christmas.": Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. Author

Tucker makes me throw up in my mouth


When I see Tucker Swanson McNear Carlson on television, I involuntarily throw up a little in my mouth. I can't help it. Before I can change the channel, I feel the burn.

Carlson's askeered of wimmin. He thinks that they are out to git him and kick him in the nuts. He likes to say, ad nauseum, "When Hillary comes on television, I involuntarily cross my legs." Hey, he gave me an idea!

Boys like Carlson believe any woman who thinks for herself is a nut crusher. He pretends that his masculinity is at stake so he cowers like a little girl in the presence of a woman who isn't shy. So be it. Maybe he hates women because his mom named him Tucker and growing up with a name that rhymes with fucker gave him untold grief in his childhood which he refuses to get over. But he is laughing all the way to the bank by giving other "he-men" a forum for their fears. He's allowed to go on television and malign women who have something important to say for no other reason than that they are women and he fears for his balls. This says a lot. Perhaps it is he who is a metaphorical nut-crusher. Hey, if the jockstrap fits...

Speaking of Hillary, I have long suspected that the men on the so called "right" hate her guts because she didn't dump Bill for cheating on her. He sure did make a fool of her, but for whatever personal reasons, she didn't divorce him. It's none of my business. Personally, I think that not leaving is the best vengeance if you have the stomach for it. After all, Republican politicians expect to be divorced, forgiven by god and then marry the chippy who they banged on the side until the next chippy comes along. It's called serial monogamy. Someone ought to write a book about the GOP wives scorned. (This is not approved by Jesus however. According to the New Testament, your spouse would have to be dead before you marry again. Second marriages are just as adulterous as cheating if your original spouse is still alive if you are a "christian." No matter what the circumstances are. And don't knit pick with me on this. I know my shit.)

All this brings me to Mrs. Vitter. Wendy Vitter. Buzzflash gave her the title of GOP Hypocrite of the Week. Quite frankly I am tired of all this woman bashing when it comes to how a woman deals with the infidelity of her husband. It should be the cheating husband who is under fire, if you have to put someone under the gun, and not the wife.

Women just don't really know in advance how they will deal with infidelity because circumstances differ in every case. Sure Mrs Vitter mentioned she'd castrate her husband if he ever cheated on her during the Clinton impeachment while her very own husband was supposedly seeing prostitutes on the side... and maybe that can be seen as hypocritical because she is standing by her man while he is under fire for similar indiscretions almost 10 years later... but who knows, maybe she spoke in the heat of the moment. Maybe after all the crappola in the news lately about married but closeted homosexuals in the Republican party, she reconsidered her former stance because, hey, at least he's not gay! Or maybe she has a little intern on the side now. Or maybe she really loves him in spite of his failings. Imagine that?

I would not bash Wendy Vitter for standing by her man or expect her to live up to her word and cut his penis off or divorce him just so she can prove that she's not a GOP hypocrite. Her husband is the GOP hypocrite in this case and that's all there is to it. Bash him if you have to bash someone.

... which brings me back to Hillary Clinton. Hillary was damned if she did and damned if she didn't. She was a woman who had some ideas and that is simply not acceptable in this white man's corporate world. So the hell what if she had political ambitions? This is a representational government and there are simply too many men representing us. She's is expected to raise money in order to run for office because that's how it works in this country. I dare anyone to go ahead and try it while still sticking to their principles 100%. Sometimes you have to play the game in order to get to the strategic position that could change things. Bush did. He pretended that he gave a shit. Do you think Hillary would stand a chance by acting like a Stepford wife? She is expected to be twice as "fabulous" as a man in order to garner any respect and it is unfair, it's sucky and it stinks. Why do we expect so much more from a woman than from a man? Don't answer that- I know the answer.

So Tucker, go ahead and cross your legs. You big baby.

How to create an Angry American

It's time for me to force my entire family to sit down in front of my computer and WATCH THIS VIDEO

ALL LIES - MORE LIES - STILL LYING - STOP THE LYING - STOP THE WAR

THE PRESIDENT WHO DOES NOT LIE!
(and How the American media use euphemisms, substitutions, and muted language to re-define and soft-pedal the word LIE!)

IT's MAGIC!!

From TVNewsLIES

FUCK YOU GWB!

Can ya tell I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore?????

Thursday, July 19

I Feel So Much Cleaner Now

I don't know about anyone else but I am far more concerned about the loss of habeas corpus, thousands of lives lost in Iraq, our civil rights disappearing right and left, etc., etc. than I am about possibly hearing shit or fuck on the airwaves. Limbaugh, O'Reilly and Coulter do much more to foul the airwaves than those two words could ever do.

Heckuva job Congress.

I knew they weren't fucking around:

Copied directly from
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/07/20070717-3.html

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 17, 2007

Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq
White House News

Message to the Congress of the United States Regarding International Emergency Economic Powers Act

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, as amended (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.)(IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.)(NEA), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code,

I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, find that, due to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by acts of violence threatening the peace and stability of Iraq and undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq and to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people, it is in the interests of the United States to take additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 of May 22, 2003, and expanded in Executive Order 13315 of August 28, 2003, and relied upon for additional steps taken in Executive Order 13350 of July 29, 2004, and Executive Order 13364 of November 29, 2004. I hereby order:

Section 1. (a) Except to the extent provided in section 203(b)(1), (3), and (4) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(1), (3), and (4)), or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the date of this order, all property and interests in property of the following persons, that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of United States persons, are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in: any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense,

(i) to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, an act or acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of:

(A) threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq; or

(B) undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people;

(ii) to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, logistical, or technical support for, or goods or services in support of, such an act or acts of violence or any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; or

(iii) to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.

(b) The prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section include, but are not limited to, (i) the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order, and (ii) the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.

Sec. 2. (a) Any transaction by a United States person or within the United States that evades or avoids, has the purpose of evading or avoiding, or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.

(b) Any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.

Sec. 3. For purposes of this order:

(a) the term "person" means an individual or entity;

(b) the term "entity" means a partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, group, subgroup, or other organization; and

(c) the term "United States person" means any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States.

Sec. 4. I hereby determine that the making of donations of the type specified in section 203(b)(2) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(2)) by, to, or for the benefit of, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order would seriously impair my ability to deal with the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 and expanded in Executive Order 13315, and I hereby prohibit such donations as provided by section 1 of this order.

Sec. 5. For those persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order who might have a constitutional presence in the United States, I find that, because of the ability to transfer funds or other assets instantaneously, prior notice to such persons of measures to be taken pursuant to this order would render these measures ineffectual. I therefore determine that for these measures to be effective in addressing the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 and expanded in Executive Order 13315, there need be no prior notice of a listing or determination made pursuant to section 1(a) of this order.

Sec. 6. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, is hereby authorized to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this order. The Secretary of the Treasury may redelegate any of these functions to other officers and agencies of the United States Government, consistent with applicable law. All agencies of the United States Government are hereby directed to take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of this order and, where appropriate, to advise the Secretary of the Treasury in a timely manner of the measures taken.

Sec. 7. Nothing in this order is intended to affect the continued effectiveness of any rules, regulations, orders, licenses, or other forms of administrative action issued, taken, or continued in effect heretofore or hereafter under 31 C.F.R. chapter V, except as expressly terminated, modified, or suspended by or pursuant to this order.

Sec. 8. This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right, benefit, or privilege, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, instrumentalities, or entities, its officers or employees, or any other person.

GEORGE W. BUSH

THE WHITE HOUSE,

July 17, 2007.