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Monday, June 30

Well, Now We Know

Wes Clark will not be the Vice Presidential nominee for the Democratic Party. Too bad, I like him a lot, and he has the kind of foreign policy and military affairs gravitas that would have lent some heft to the ticket. But he's become just the latest on an ever expanding list to be thrown under the bus by the presumptive Democratic nominee. And why was General Clark run over? For telling the simple truth that, while being a prisoner of war does entitle John McCain to our respect for his service, it does not entitle him to claim that the experience somehow makes him qualified to be the Commander-in-Chief. Nuthin' wrong with that.

I won't sit at home this November, but I may end up just voting down ticket. This is getting ridiculous.

9 out of 10 Americans see gas prices causing hardship in family

Not long ago I watched End of Suburbia and saw the writing on the wall. Now I see the writing on the yahoo news home page: 9 in 10 see rising gas prices causing family hardship
and Oil prices pass $143 a barrel; US gas hits high

Mustang Bobby found an interview with John McCain where the presidential hopeful says he doesn't remember when he last pumped gas or how much he paid for it. He also said he didn't think it really mattered. Oh but it does matter, Senator. You are out of touch with reality.

I've paid $4.29/gal for the past few weeks and I imagine it will be going up today or tomorrow.

Your Decisions Are Not Conscious

Studies Show the Value of Not Overthinking a Decision
WSJ June 27, 2008; Page A9
Fishing in the stream of consciousness, researchers now can detect our intentions and predict our choices before we are aware of them ourselves. The brain, they have found, appears to make up its mind 10 seconds before we become conscious of a decision -- an eternity at the speed of thought.

Wow. Is free will an illusion? Read more.

What a crock of politics

But at least the GI's got their college benefits.

From Think Progress: This morning, President Bush signed a war supplemental spending bill which included a doubling of GI Bill college benefits for troops and veterans. The Bush administration had resisted Sen. Jim Webb’s (D-VA) strong bipartisan effort to pass the bill, going so far as to warn of “harm” that might come from giving expanded educational benefits to soldiers who served “only” 2 years.

But today, Bush was all too happy to pat himself on the back for the GI Bill, and to laud the work of senators (like McCain) who tried to stand in the way of the bill’s passage:

The bill is a result of close collaboration between my administration and members of both parties on Capitol Hill. … I want to thank members who worked hard for the GI Bill expansion, especially Senators Webb and Warner, Graham, Burr, McCain. This bill shows that even in an election year, Democrats and Republicans can come together to stand behind our troops.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Liar.

As much as I oppose all these wars and military involvement in sovereign nation's affairs, if we are going to send our kids to fight in these wars and illegal overseas activities, even for 2 years, the least we can do is provide them with an education, for-god-sake. I'd be happy for my tax money go to educating those kids who survive their ordeal. After all, if they had been better educated in the first place, they wouldn't have enlisted in the first place, would they?


Today's Reading

The Bush Administration steps up its secret moves against Iran.
by Seymour M. Hersh

excerpt:
Clandestine operations against Iran are not new. United States Special Operations Forces have been conducting cross-border operations from southern Iraq, with Presidential authorization, since last year. These have included seizing members of Al Quds, the commando arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, and taking them to Iraq for interrogation, and the pursuit of “high-value targets” in the President’s war on terror, who may be captured or killed. But the scale and the scope of the operations in Iran, which involve the Central Intelligence Agency and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), have now been significantly expanded, according to the current and former officials. Many of these activities are not specified in the new Finding, and some congressional leaders have had serious questions about their nature.


Read how the bushistas undermine the military strategists who actually know what they are talking about.

Military and civilian leaders in the Pentagon share the White House’s concern about Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but there is disagreement about whether a military strike is the right solution. Some Pentagon officials believe, as they have let Congress and the media know, that bombing Iran is not a viable response to the nuclear-proliferation issue, and that more diplomacy is necessary.

A Democratic senator told me that, late last year, in an off-the-record lunch meeting, Secretary of Defense Gates met with the Democratic caucus in the Senate. (Such meetings are held regularly.) Gates warned of the consequences if the Bush Administration staged a preĆ«mptive strike on Iran, saying, as the senator recalled, “We’ll create generations of jihadists, and our grandchildren will be battling our enemies here in America.” Gates’s comments stunned the Democrats at the lunch, and another senator asked whether Gates was speaking for Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney. Gates’s answer, the senator told me, was “Let’s just say that I’m here speaking for myself.”

As usual I find Hersh's articles in the New Yorker most enlightening and learn more about what's really happening than anywhere else in the media. This is definitely worth grabbing an ice tea or coffee and reading.

See also at AFP: Iran to ready thousands of graves for enemy soldiers

Obligatory Friday Sex Post

This most was moved up from Friday June 27th per reader requests.


Research shows that women have not adapted to casual sex due to reported negative feelings after one night stands. Findings show that generally women prefer quality to quantity, are motivated by a man's high genetic quality but are more willing to have casual sex when there's a chance of forming a long term relationship (but that is highly unlikely.) Men generally felt better about themselves after casual sex while more women felt "used," which I guess they are if those men were out to simply make themselves feel good and not the woman. In fact it was revealed that women after a one night stand felt very unappreciated. Read more.

hat tip to Dirruk

Sunday, June 29

'nother gubmint hoax!

Aw Joisey,
Hate to burst your bubble but you’ve been sold a bill of goods by Brother Love’s Travelin’ Salvation Show!

If’n you and youse friends are plannin’ to go “up there” to get some good property, you might as well invest in Florida Desert! Because…….

It’s all a hoax! There’s no northwest passage! What there is, is a hole…an entrance to the inside of the earth! Yes sir! All these years we’ve been duped by our gubermint when all the facks are right in front of our eyes. This here foto shows the actual North “Hole”; the picture NASA doesn’t want youse all to see!

Remember all those old stories about ships sailin’ off the edge of the world? Well, here’s proof, ‘cept they just sailed into the insides of the earth, never to be seen agin, ‘cause there’s an advanced race o' legal aliens in there what don’t want’s us to know about them yet!

Hollow Earth






And while we’re on the subject of things the gubmint keeps from us, here’s ‘nother site that explains EVERYTHING!
Boy, those ‘fficials sure are good a keepin’ sekrits!

An Eye on Our World





These faks ought to quiet ALL those gubmint types tryin' to debunk real, honest to Goshen Theories!

Whatta say we all invest in some property in the North Pole?

The North West Passage is now open for bidness!


Let's blow this popsicle stand here and head North and get in on some frozen assets for our children!



Cold, but gorgeous!


From Skynews yesterday - 6/28/08
Will the North Pole be ice free this summer?

oh wait -

This is old news -
From Nationalgeographicnews - last year - Sept '07
The famed Northwest Passage—a direct shipping route from Europe to Asia across the Arctic Ocean—is ice free for the first time since satellite records began in 1978, scientists reported Friday.

Also, don't forget that Russia put its flag up there last year....Russia leads race for North Pole oil

We better hurry up!

From the NYTimesblog yesterday:
What’s Really Up With North Pole Sea Ice (great comment section - interesting discussion about the possibility that all the volcanic activity that's been going on under the oceans of the north pole is producing vents of superheated water)

Oh what to believe, what to believe.

As usual, I'll digress to a song

Melt with you - Modern English


I'll stop the world and melt with you
You've seen the difference and it's getting better all the time
There's nothing you and I won't do
I'll stop the world and melt with you
(You should know better?)
Dream of better lives the kind which never hate
(You should see why)
dropped in the state of imaginary grace
(You should know better?)
I made a pilgrimage to save this humans race
(You should see why)
What I'm comprehending a race that long gone bye
(I'll stop the world)
I'll stop the world and melt with you
(I'll stop the world)
You've seen the difference and it's getting better all the time
(Let's stop the world)
There's nothing you and I won't do
(Let's stop the world)
I'll stop the world and melt with you

The future's open wide

(Let's stop the world)
I'll stop the world and melt with you
(Let's stop the world)
I've seen some changes but it's getting better all the time
(Let's stop the world)
There's nothing you and I won't do
(Let's stop the world)
I'll stop the world and melt with you

The future's open
wide

Viva Espana!

Spain beat Germany, 1-0 to win the Euro 2008 Football Championship. This is the first international trophy Spain's hoisted in 44 years, longer than nearly all of its players have been alive.

Torres scored for Spain in the 33rd minute on a beautiful little flick of the ball that went over German goalkeeper Jens Lehmann and into the side of the net. After that, Spain kept up a forward offense and a dominating defense that rocked Germany back on its heels.

Spain dominated in shots on goal, as well. With King Juan Carlos and Bundeskanzlerin Merkel looking on, it was a well-played match. Both teams were even in terms of bookings, with two yellow cards apiece.

And that's all from the M2C Sports Desk.

"The last official act of any government is to loot the nation."

FROM TELEGRAPH.co.UK..


Barclays warns of a financial storm as Federal Reserve's credibility crumbles

US central bank accused of unleashing an inflation shock that will rock financial markets, reports Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

Barclays Capital has advised clients to batten down the hatches for a worldwide financial storm, warning that the US Federal Reserve has allowed the inflation genie out of the bottle and let its credibility fall "below zero".

"We're in a nasty environment," said Tim Bond, the bank's chief equity strategist. "There is an inflation shock underway. This is going to be very negative for financial assets. We are going into tortoise mood and are retreating into our shell. Investors will do well if they can preserve their wealth."
(story continues...)


IINVESTORS WILL DO WELL IF THEY CAN PRESERVE THEIR WEALTH......


ya got that last sentence of this story I hope???????????!

I figure I'll do well also - cause I got nothing to lose - right??


I just got back from the Cape and don't have the energy to get in a pissy way right now. I decided to check out a few e-mails and found the above story from Peter. He must be FED up too. I couldn't believe he didn't post this.

The comments are worth a read also. It's interesting to read how the folks in the UK are reacting to this. I'll put a few of the comments in our comment thread when I come back. (There's a line forming to use the computer right now)


We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.

One more quote --

Economics is political story telling. Nothing more. 


Anyone who tells you otherwise is an economicst, or more precisely - a Liar.
(no offense my dear Dark one)

Crossposted at BigBrassBlog

Casting Out Demons


Texas Supreme Court rules church can't be sued in Exorcism
By Max Baker - Fort Worth Star-Telegram

" A divided Texas Supreme Court ruled in favor of a former Colleyville church Friday, saying church members who were involved in a traumatic exorcism that ultimately injured a young woman are protected by the First Amendment.
In a 6-3 decision, the court ruled that the Pleasant Glade Assembly of God staff’s efforts to cast out demons from Laura Schubert presents an ecclesiastical dispute over religious conduct that would unconstitutionally entangle the court in church doctrine.
Schubert described a wild night in 1996 that involved casting out demons from the church and two attempts to exorcise demons from her. The incident left Schubert physically bruised and so emotionally scarred she later tried to commit suicide. She was 17 at the time.
Read the complete story at star-telegram.com"

Saturday, June 28

From the Sports Desk

Well, the two sides for the final match of the Euro 2008 Football Championships are set.

Germany faced off against Turkey on Wednesday. The Germans were confident, but the Turks played with a great deal of heart and actually drew level with the favorites 2-2 very late in the match. It looked like another session of extra time for the Turks when Philip Lahm, in the 90th minute, put one into the back of the net for Germany. Final, 3-2 Germany, but Turkey has nothing to hang their heads about.

Russia took the pitch against Spain on Thursday, in filthy weather that degenerated into a driving downpour complete with lightning. A scoreless first half was followed by Spain simply exploding offensively while their defense kept the Russians at bay. Final, 3-0 Spain, setting up their first Euro final match in 24 years.

My pick for the final match on Sunday afternoon? Germany.

What Was This Guy Thinking?

When I read this, it made me laugh so hard I thought I would bust something:

Right-wing pedophile bomb-maker jailed

A right-wing extremist and pedophile, who wanted to secure a future for white children and kept explosives at his Yorkshire, England, flat, has been jailed for 16 years.

I guess he wanted to make sure he went to jail.

Friday, June 27

I'm Just Stumped. Seriously.

Could someone explain to me the 'logic', and I use the word loosely, behind statements by conservatives that the US will be attacked by 'Islamists' if Obama or any non Republican for that matter becomes president?

Is there anyone out there who can put on their flag lapel pin for us and wrap their brain around such "logic?"

If I even believed for one second that it was 'Islamists' who attacked us on 9/11 under their own volition, they did so under a Republican president who went into war mode against them. Are the 'Islamists' on the side of the very profitable war and oil machine or what? Who are those 'Islamists' anyway? The CIA? Seriously. And somehow I feel that Israel plays into this.

What kind of dumb Americans buy this conservative crappola and how to they wrap their brains around it?

Quote of the Day

"We have found the weapon of mass destruction in Iraq. It is oil. As long as the oil companies control our government Americans will continue to pay and pay, with our lives, our fortunes our sacred honor."

Dennis Kucinich on the secret meetings in early 2001.

Thursday, June 26

Fired Nuclear Physicist Sues Government over Free Speech

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


As Steve Allen said:
"This could be the start of something big."

Excuse Me ...

But I just had a minor Tinfoil Hat Moment that fed into my native paranoia.

Try this on for size:

1. George Bush and his cronies are doing their utmost to destroy America
2. John McCain is doing his utmost to lose the 2008 election
3. The Republicans are acting as dazed as baby seals after the baseball bat comes down
4. Barack Obama is having a public tussle with James Dobson, and is winning
5. Obama is courting the evangelical vote
6. Obama will not fight the revised FISA Rape Our Constitution law
7. The telcos are footing the bill for 94 of the Dems who turned coats

Now ...

Could it be, do you think:

1. That Bush has been allowed to do these things deliberately
2. That McCain is doing this to his Party deliberately

In order to make Bush and the GOP brand so vilified that Obama will be swept into office with a supermajority in both Houses coupled with the extraConstitutional powers Yoo and Addington have proposed. That would mean that things are fixed so Obama is hailed a savior, when instead we will be merely looking at More of the Same but with prettier packaging.

I await the flames.

HFS! Holy Cow!

John Yoo is currently testifying before the House Judiciary Committee. John Conyers asked if the president can order someone to be buried alive and John Yoo evaded the question. Good Lord.

From Think Progress:

CONYERS: Could the President order a suspect buried alive?

YOO: Uh, Mr. Chairman, I don’t think I’ve ever given advice that the President could order someone buried alive…

CONYERS: I didn’t ask you if you ever gave him advice. I asked you thought the President could order a suspect buried alive.

YOO: Well Chairman, my view right now is that I don’t think a President — no American President would ever have to order that or feel it necessary to order that.

CONYERS: I think we understand the games that are being played.

SC overturns DC's Gun Ban

I just heard on NPR that the SC ruled that citizens in the District of Columbia have the right to own hand guns for their protection and that it would violate the Second Amendment to put restrictions on gun owners. More at Raw Story and more at Think PRogress

Is this a slippery slope? What does this mean for cities like New York where there are very strict gun laws? Will everyone start packing? Will it be a blood bath? When a simple, "fuck you, you fuckin' aye-hole," if someone accidentally bumps into you on the subway would once suffice, will citizens start whipping out their weapons?

Waddaya think?

See Also Rewriting the Rules at Newsweek:
The Heller ruling was the first major Second Amendment case decided by the high court in almost 70 years and hung on a 5-4 majority. The amendment states that citizens' rights to own guns are necessary to form a "well regulated militia," but the city's lawyers argued that the Constitution's framers probably didn't have D.C.'s high gun-violence rate in mind when they wrote the text. Attorneys for Dick Heller, the federal security officer at the center of the case, who was prohibited from keeping a loaded gun in his house, argued that the text is very clear, and that Heller's rights had been unconstitutionally infringed.

Summer Classes for Men

Summer Classes for Men
at
THE ADULT LEARNING CENTER

REGISTRATION MUST BE COMPLETED
by Friday, June 27th 2008

NOTE: DUE TO THE COMPLEXITY AND DIFFICULTY LEVEL
OF THEIR CONTENTS, CLASS SIZES WILL BE LIMITED TO 8 PARTICIPANTS MAXIMUM


Class 1
How To Fill Up The Ice Cube Trays--Step by Step, with Slide Presentation.
Meets 4 weeks, Monday and Wednesday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM.

Class 2
The Toilet Paper Roll--Does It Change Itself?
Round Table Discussion.
Meets 2 weeks, Saturday 12:00 for 2 hours.

Class 3
Is It Possible To Urinate Using The Technique Of Lifting The Seat and Avoiding The Floor, Walls and Nearby Bathtub?--Group Practice.
Meets 4 weeks, Saturday 10:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 4
Fundamental Differences Between The Laundry Hamper and The Floor--Pictures and Explanatory Graphics.
Meets Saturdays at 2:00 PM for 3 weeks.

Class 5
Dinner Dishes--Can They Levitate and Fly Into The Kitchen Sink?
Examples on Video.
Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM

Class 6
Loss Of Identity--Losing The Remote To Your Significant Other.
Help Line Support and Support Groups.
Meets 4 Weeks, Friday and Sunday 7:00 PM

Class 7
Learning How To Find Things--Starting With Looking In The Right Places And Not Turning The House Upside Down While Screaming.
Open Forum
Monday at 8:00 PM, 2 hours.

Class 8
Health Watch--Bringing Her Flowers Is Not Harmful To Your Health.
Graphics and Audio Tapes.
Three nights; Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 9
Real Men Ask For Directions When Lost--Real Life Testimonials.
Tuesdays at 6:00 PM Location to be determined

Class 10
Is It Genetically Impossible To Sit Quietly While She Parallel Parks?
Driving Simulations.
4 weeks, Saturday's noon, 2 hours.

Class 11
Learning to Live--Basic Differences Between Mother and Wife.
Online Classes and role-playing
Tuesdays at 7:00 PM, location to be determined

Class 12
How to be the Ideal Shopping Companion
Relaxation Exercises, Meditation and Breathing Techniques.
Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM.

Class 13
How to Fight Cerebral Atrophy--Remembering Birthdays, Anniversaries and Other Important Dates and Calling When You're Going To Be Late.
Cerebral Shock Therapy Sessions and Full Lobotomies Offered.
Three nights; Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 14
The Stove/Oven--What It Is and How It Is Used.
Live Demonstration.
Tuesdays at 6:00 PM, location to be determined.

Upon completion of any of the above courses, diplomas will be issued.
----------------
If the above were real, I'd send the men in my life to class 3, 6 and 7. Especially 3. My bathroom smells like the subway.

But guys, if there were classes for women, what would you suggest for the curriculum?

hat tip to Pat B.

FDA Globalization Act of 2008

I have a petition to sign, linked at my business-related blog. I don't usually do this kind of thing. But I have to now; my part-time livelihood is at stake, as is that of many people like me. Some of them do this full-time, and they're looking at going out of business if this overreaching piece of shit is passed in its current form.

It's about the FDA Globalization Act of 2008, which in its draft form is poised to drive a buttload of small businesses out of business, through a schedule of registration fees.

I think we're all cynical enough here to just roll our eyes at the FDA. They've proven time and again to not be on the side of the consumer, to be stretched and underfunded, and to really not give a shit about small business in this country. Big Pharma money talks, they listen.

My original post about it is here.

My current post is here.

The petition and information about it is here.

We're hoping for 100,000 signatures. So, feel free to copy post linkages liberally. Donna Maria (the gal running the trade org I belong to) has a video on the petition post as well, that she is inviting people to embed and link to on their blogs and sites.

The natural response to a petition is always, "So, how does this affect ME?"

Well, it is going to eliminate your choice in the marketplace, for starters. And it is going to mean diminished quality of products in the marketplace. Small businesses like me are copied and 'borrowed from' by bigger businesses. Get rid of me, you get rid of a single source of creative inspiration. Get rid of me and all my crafting friends, and you don't have to break too much of a sweat to stay ahead of the curve.

Secondarily, if you know any soapmakers or perfumers (like moi) or anyone who makes balms, unguents, bath products, etc, they're going to be negatively impacted unless they have a HUGE business. And maybe we don't want to factor in $2,000 to $10,000 fees for every unique product into our overhead, because we have a conscience and don't want to lose customers to crazy high pricing.

Thanks for reading this far.

Wednesday, June 25

George W Bush Sewage Works

San Franciscans are so cool. From the Times Online:

San Francisco is to hold a vote on whether to rename one of its largest sewage treatment facilities after George W. Bush, in what supporters describe as “a fitting monument to the President’s work”.

More than 8,500 signatures have already been gathered in support of the plan — 1,300 more than the minimum required to get the proposal on the November ballot. The scheme was devised by an official-sounding group called the Presidential Memorial Commission of San Francisco. continued

Welcome Back!

It's hard not to get discouraged sometimes, or to keep yourself from feeling like you've said everything there is to say on your blog. When that happens, sometimes you're tempted to say, "the hell with it" and walk away. But when you care about what's going on in the world, and you've got something pertinent to say, and you can say it pretty damned well with some keen insight, sometimes you just have to admit that, like Bocephus, it's in you and it's got to come out.

So, welcome back to Blogtopia (yes, skippy coined the phrase) to our friend and ally, the blogger formerly known as Mimus Pauly, who now just goes by his given name, Jim Yeager. I've missed you, friend, and I'll be looking forward to hearing what you have to say.
Every once in a while, it's good to remember...

American Patriot

Senator Feingold Will Filibuster FISA

at least someone's got a backbone

Quote of the Day

"We're relying on the responsibility of the consumer to follow appropriate legislation," said Keefe Leung, Chrysler's engineer for wireless internet access which will be available in all 2009 models.

Apparently, Chrysler intends for only the passengers to be able to web surf in cars and not the drivers.

Israel is getting antsy for war

So Israel is prodding the US to strike Iran according to CBS news and their message is "If you don't, we will." Funny thing is that they don't have strategic bombers and cannot eliminate Iran's supposed nuclear program. They need the U.S. Airforce to accomplish that goal, if in fact that is the goal. Other stories in the news indicate that the US may pursue diplomatic negotiations with Iran before they go bombing the shit out of them. The bushistas want N. Korea off the terror watch list. It would sure be nice if we could negotiate with Iran and tell Israel to keep their missiles in their pants.

Tuesday, June 24

Quote of the Day

"I am disappointed that policy makers and analysts continue to talk about Fort Leavenworth as a place to house detainees without visiting the facility. In person visits will confirm why the Disciplinary Barracks do not meet the security requirements necessary to perform this mission, even if Guantanamo Bay were to close."
From Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) after the Center for American Progress released a report advocating closing Gitmo and moving prisoners to Ft Leavenworth. Interestingly, when John McCain suggested closing Gitmo and moving prisoners to Ft. Leavenworth, you didn't hear a peep from Sen. Brownback. hmmm

Left Hand and Right Hand

An article today in the Washington Post caught my eye, concerning two rather divergent views of how things are going in Iraq. The first report, put together by the Government Accounting Office (the investigative arm of the Congress) said that while the level of violence has indeed gone down - and that's a very good thing - the country remains little more than a basket case and many of the Bush Administration's political goals for the surge as set forth in January 2007 haven't been met.

Those goals included the passage of certain laws, which haven't been passed. Iraq's oil production targets also haven't been met, and the Iraqi government seems to be spending less money (giving rise in my suspicious mind that people are skimming from the till and squirreling the money away offshore).

Particularly damning seems to be the revelation that there didn't seem to be an plan in place for what to do after the troop escalation was done, whether to draw down the troops or to give the Iraqis even more Friedman Units in which to meet the goals.

Now, the Pentagon unveiled its own report, which paints rather a different picture. It concedes that the drop in violence, while a very good thing, is still very tenuous at best (witness the recent killings of US troops - six in the past week). It also criticizes the GAO for not taking into account the possible bad influence Syria and Iran might have for the continuing violence in parts of the country.

The Pentagon's report also states that there is no need to change the plan as it sits right now.

The article has a very interesting line in it: "In many respects, the two reports seemed to assess wholly different realities."

Indeed. Which got me thinking about a little passage from the book Vietnam: A History, by Stanley Karnow (Penguin Books, 1983). In 1963 President Kennedy sent two aides to South Vietnam on a fact-finding mission. One, an optimist, spoke mostly to US and South Vietnamese military officials; the other, a pessimist, spoke to urban bureaucrats and politicians.

When their reports were given to JFK on September 10, 1963 he asked, "You two did visit the same country didn't you?" (p. 293)

One might put the same question to the GAO and the Pentagon.

US Banking System is Doomed

How's that for an attention-grabbing title?

A very interesting article in The Age posits exactly that - that the banking system in this country, fed by numerous bubbles of bad credit and faulty deals, is about to go into the tank.

But don't take my word for it. Read the whole article, for which these few bits will suffice:

"The US banking system as it exists now will not survive and its death throes will be painful. Details of its demise are in evidence everywhere you look. The fall of Bear Stearns, the collapse of Lehman Brothers and rumours circling the future of market super-heavyweight Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch attest to the end of the broker-dealer form of banking that cannot survive without securitisation, a system essentially built on kickbacks, big bonuses and the movement of money dressed up as industry."

"The US, like all of us, conditioned itself to believe in economic cycles and the inevitable bounce. But each correction has seen the creation of a new and less stable bubble. On this fact, several authorities are now coming to the same conclusion."

"Increasingly, independent analysts like Whalen and Hudson are blaming deregulation, especially the repeal of the 1930s Glass-Steagall Act that was passed to prevent a recurrence of the practices and results we are seeing today, and repealed by Bill Clinton, leading, as Hudson observed, to insufficient, or non-existent, oversight."

In matters economic, I defer to experts such as The Dark Wraith to confirm the arguments made in this article.

Heckuva Sendoff

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife were wrapping up their trip to Israel today when they had to be hustled aboard their plane.

No, it wasn't because they didn't pay their bar tab at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.

Apparently, a border police officer shot himself at the airport. They're still investigating whether it was a suicide or not.

I guess he was bored to death - politician's speeches can do that, y'know.

McCain's captor speaks

John McCain's VC captor speaks to the BBC news.
Navy pilot John McCain was shot down during a bombing raid over the North Vietnamese capital, Hanoi, in 1967.

He ejected from his aircraft and parachuted into a city lake - only to be dragged out by an angry crowd, barely conscious, and with two broken arms and a broken leg.

From there he was taken to Hoa Lo prison, known to its American military inmates as the "Hanoi Hilton".

McCain has since described enduring months of solitary confinement and systematic torture which drove him to try to kill himself.
"I don't know how he'd react if he met me again," said Mr Duyet, flicking through old black and white photographs of himself and his American prisoners at Hoa Lo.

"But I can confirm to you that we never tortured him. We never tortured any prisoners."

Mr Duyet reminisces instead about how he often summoned the future US presidential candidate to his private office for informal chats.

"We used to argue about the war - about whether it was right or wrong," he says.

"He is a very frank man - very conservative, and very loyal to his country and the American ideal.

"He had a very interesting accent and sometimes he taught me words in English and corrected my accent. I have followed his career since he left prison."

So is Mr Duyet implying that that Senator McCain lied about his treatment at the Hanoi Hilton?

"He did not tell the truth," he says.

"But I can somehow sympathise with him. He lies to American voters in order to get their support for his presidential election." continued
At this point in time, it would be hard to prove who is lying. Since Mr Duyet keeps tabs on the US news, he would also know what would have been considered torture at that time in history probably isn't considered torture by bush administration standards. This could put John McCain in a very precarious situation, couldn't it? Maybe he was waterboarded in Vietnam, but by today's standards, he wasn't tortured. hmmmm. This could be a very juicy story, but certainly not in this country.


See also: Gore Vidal asks: "Who started this rumor that he was a war hero? Where does that come from, aside from himself? About his suffering in the prison war camp?"


George Carlin on the 10 Commandments



GEORGE CARLIN ON THE 10 COMMANDMENTS
from "Complaints and Grievances" (HBO special) from this link

Here is my problem with the ten commandments- why exactly are there 10?

You simply do not need ten. The list of ten commandments was artificially and deliberately inflated to get it up to ten. Here's what happened:

About 5,000 years ago a bunch of religious and political hustlers got together to try to figure out how to control people and keep them in line. They knew people were basically stupid and would believe anything they were told, so they announced that God had given them some commandments, up on a mountain, when no one was around.

Well let me ask you this- when they were making this shit up, why did they pick 10? Why not 9 or 11? I'll tell you why- because 10 sound official. Ten sounds important! Ten is the basis for the decimal system, it's a decade, it's a psychologically satisfying number (the top ten, the ten most wanted, the ten best dressed). So having ten commandments was really a marketing decision! It is clearly a bullshit list. It's a political document artificially inflated to sell better. I will now show you how you can reduce the number of commandments and come up with a list that's a little more workable and logical. I am going to use the Roman Catholic version because those were the ones I was taught as a little boy.

Let's start with the first three:

I AM THE LORD THY GOD THOU SHALT NOT HAVE STRANGE GODS BEFORE ME

THOU SHALT NOT TAKE THE NAME OF THE LORD THY GOD IN VAIN

THOU SHALT KEEP HOLY THE SABBATH

Right off the bat the first three are pure bullshit. Sabbath day? Lord's name? strange gods? Spooky language! Designed to scare and control primitive people. In no way does superstitious nonsense like this apply to the lives of intelligent civilized humans in the 21st century. So now we're down to 7. Next:

HONOR THY FATHER AND MOTHER

Obedience, respect for authority. Just another name for controlling people. The truth is that obedience and respect shouldn't be automatic. They should be earned and based on the parent's performance. Some parents deserve respect, but most of them don't, period. You're down to six.

Now in the interest of logic, something religion is very uncomfortable with, we're going to jump around the list a little bit.

THOU SHALT NOT STEAL

THOU SHALT NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS

Stealing and lying. Well actually, these two both prohibit the same kind of behavior- dishonesty. So you don't really need two you combine them and call the commandment "thou shalt not be dishonest". And suddenly you're down to 5.

And as long as we're combining I have two others that belong together:

THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT ADULTRY

THOU SHALT NOT COVET THY NEIGHBOR'S WIFE

Once again, these two prohibit the same type of behavior. In this case it is marital infidelity. The difference is- coveting takes place in the mind. But I don't think you should outlaw fantasizing about someone else's wife because what is a guy gonna think about when he's waxing his carrot? But, marital fidelity is a good idea so we're gonna keep this one and call it "thou shalt not be unfaithful". And suddenly we're down to four.

But when you think about it, honesty and infidelity are really part of the same overall value so, in truth, you could combine the two honesty commandments with the two fidelity commandments and give them simpler language, positive language instead of negative language and call the whole thing "thou shalt always be honest and faithful" and we're down to 3.

THOU SHALT NOT COVET THY NEIGHBOR'S GOODS

This one is just plain fuckin' stupid. Coveting your neighbor's goods is what keeps the economy going! Your neighbor gets a vibrator that plays "o come o ye faithful", and you want one too! Coveting creates jobs, so leave it alone. You throw out coveting and you're down to 2 now- the big honesty and fidelity commandment and the one we haven't talked about yet:

THOU SHALT NOT KILL

Murder. But when you think about it, religion has never really had a big problem with murder. More people have been killed in the name of god than for any other reason. All you have to do is look at Northern Ireland, Cashmire, the Inquisition, the Crusades, and the World Trade Center to see how seriously the religious folks take thou shalt not kill. The more devout they are, the more they see murder as being negotiable. It depends on who's doin the killin' and who's gettin' killed. So, with all of this in mind, I give you my revised list of the two commandments:

Thou shalt always be honest and faithful to the provider of thy nookie.

&

Thou shalt try real hard not to kill anyone, unless of course they pray to a different invisible man than you pray to.

Two is all you need; Moses could have carried them down the hill in his fuckin' pocket. I wouldn't mind those folks in Alabama posting them on the courthouse wall, as long as they provided one additional commandment:

Thou shalt keep thy religion to thyself.

America is Tyranny......R.I.P George Carlin



“I’m talking about the real owners now… The big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions. Forget the politicians. They’re irrelevant. They are there to give you the idea you have freedom of choice. You don’t. You have no choice.

They own everything. They own all the important land, they own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the state houses; the city halls. They’ve got the judges in their back pockets. And they own all the big media companies so they control just about all the information you get to hear. They’ve got you by the BALLS.

They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying, lobbying to get what they want. Well we know what they want: they want more for themselves and less for everybody else."

Monday, June 23

Coming To Your Town Soon!

Right now in Milwaukee they're calling it an "unruly crowd."
But maybe, like those folks in Haiti and Egypt it'll become a starving mob.

The headline and lead from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Order restored among crowd seeking food vouchers
"Milwaukee police said they have restored order this morning but will remain outside of the Marcia P. Coggs Human Services Center after a crowd awaiting free food vouchers - which never were to be distributed - became unruly this morning."

Warning to conspiracy theorists: Starvation of the population is (probably) not the method that the neo-cons will use to create cross-country riots, thus enabling boygeorge to declare martial law and cancel the elections. From the studies I've done, people dying from starvation and thirst just really don't give a shit who's elected.

Too much of nothing...

Thanx to 2Truthy for the inspiration:

Nothing is free, so far, which is why we have so much of it lately, mostly given to us by those in the Government. They feel generous toward us so much so that they are willing to give us nothing by the truckload. It makes them feel good to give us all this nothing. Yet to them, we're greedy to take all the nothing they want to give us and ask for something in return.

For years we’ve asked for help with the environment, jobs, education and healthcare and other necessities of life and our Government and business has actively responded by giving us record amounts of nothing, but for a price. It does take a lot of money to allow Congress to see that we get nothing. But you have to give them credit. For the money they get, they really do go out of their way to give us nothing. Our Congress passes lots of laws to give more and more of us nothing, which some on the right side of the aisle say is more than we deserve. They even have people lobbying to see if we can get more nothing.

Too much of nothing may cause inflation and our Government doesn’t want that. Prices for nothing business is providing us are going up too fast. People seem to be accumulating nothing at an increasing rate. We are spending more to buy nothing. More and more people are working for nothing, especially student’s with summer jobs. And employees are earning more nothing for longer work hours. Senior citizens get so much more nothing from social security now than they did years ago. Our homes are filling with nothing. Our gas tanks are filling with nothing. Our stomachs are filling with more nothing than we can hold. Some people have so much nothing to eat that their stomachs can’t handle it. Even our brains are filling with as much nothing as the Media can give us. Our students get a great deal of nothing for their education; not like the immigrant students that have to struggle with something provided by their own governments and sometimes by ours. Our president and Congress now graciously give nothing for Bush’s monumental idea of NCLB. Disaster victims get a lot of nothing from the government..

It’s not even possible to judge the amount of nothing we all get from the healthcare industry. Seems nothing’s too good for us when business needs to diagnose us with any problems. That must be why they do everything they can to provide us with as much nothing as they can give us.

Business still hasn’t learned, though. They still make us pay for nothing. Their price for nothing keeps rising.

The poor are the most fortunate ones. They’ve been given nothing by the Government and upper class for so long that they need nothing and have come to depend on getting it.

It seems Congress wants to make sure that every sector of our society gets nothing. Soon we'll have more nothing than we could ever have in a lifetime.

Nothing's quite as sure as change. And change is needed...at any cost.
Sometimes the only thing that will make a person see the light is to keep him in the dark for a while; either that or a 2x4 to the back of the head. A friend suggested that the less there is at the top, the more there is for the bottom.
We must remember the lesson of the French resistance in the 1940s before we have too much of nothing.



Too Much of Nothing by Peter, Paul and Mary
Words by Robert Dylan


Now, too much of nothing
Can make a man feel ill at ease.
One man's temper might rise
While another man's temper might freeze.
In the day of long confession
We cannot mock a soul.
Oh, when there's too much of nothing,
No one has control.
Say hello to Valerie
Say hello to Marian
Send them all my salary
On the waters of oblivion
Too much of nothing
Can make a man abuse a king.
He can walk the streets and boast like most
But he wouldn't know a thing.
Now, it's all been done before,
It's all been written in the book,
But when there's too much of nothing,
Nobody should look.
Say hello to Valerie
Say hello to Marian
Send them all my salary
On the waters of oblivion
Too much of nothing
Can turn a man into a liar,
It can cause one man to sleep on nails
And another man to eat fire.
Ev'rybody's doin' somethin',
I heard it in a dream,
But when there's too much of nothing,
It just makes a fella mean.
Say hello to Valerie
Say hello to Marian
Send them all my salary
On the waters of oblivion

NEWSFLASH!! John McCain Aware of Internet



McCain aide Mark Soohoo made this extraordinary statement today while fielding questions during the Personal Democracy forum in New York.

"You don’t actually have to use a computer to understand how it shapes the country"

"John McCain is aware of the Internet," says Soohoo. "This is a man who has a very long history of understanding on a range of issues."


When contacted, The Internet said that he was aware of John McCain….but had dismissed him years ago.

George Carlin - RIP



Damn. Just damn. George Carlin – one of the seminal comic voices of my generation has died. He was 71. That’s just 20 years off my mark. Talk about scary. I met him once, you know - more than thirty years ago. He was promoting his album "On the Road". I had a friend who worked at our local Tower Records – and he got me in for the early meet 'n' greet. I was bowled over by the man - barely able to muster a coherent 'hello'. I was so flustered in fact - I forgot to ask him to sign my album cover.

Before he left - he got out some chalk and scrawled the outline of a body on the cement in front of the store (it was the cover of his album). Tower preserved that until the store was demolished a few years back. That alone was heartbreaking for me. Tower Records was the place to be in the 70’s. Everybody who was anybody in the recording business toured their albums at Tower Record stores.

God I'm bummed about this. I grew up listening to Carlin - and Pryor, and Redd Foxx….not to mention Cheech and Chong (I can still recite 'Basketball Jones' in my sleep). They're all gone now – and who’s around to replace them? Comedy has changed. Oh – I like the satirists (Stewart, Colbert) – but it’s not the same. The irreverence is gone – replaced by a world-weary wink. We were more innocent then – more easily shocked and dismayed by work events. We still believed humanity was basically good, you see. Carlin and his fellow troubadours punctured cynicism’s trial balloons – pointing out where and how the ‘you can’t do that’ people were wrong. Oh George – we are so going to miss you! The world is suddenly a sadder place.

The clip I’ve put up is one of his more recent tirades. Nothing pissed Carlin off more than mendacity at its slimiest. I’d have to agree.

From Our Sports Desk

I didn't even know we had one.

What do you make of this?

In Russia, sometimes it rains cement

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian air force planes dropped a 25-kg (55-lb) sack of cement on a suburban Moscow home last week while seeding clouds to prevent rain from spoiling a holiday, Russian media said on Tuesday.

"A pack of cement used in creating ... good weather in the capital region ... failed to pulverize completely at high altitude and fell on the roof of a house, making a hole about 80-100 cm (2.5-3 ft)," police in Naro-Fominsk told agency RIA-Novosti.

Ahead of major public holidays the Russian Air Force often dispatches up to 12 cargo planes carrying loads of silver iodide, liquid nitrogen and cement powder to seed clouds above Moscow and empty the skies of moisture....

How Patriotic Are You?

Take the independence day quiz here.

h/t Americablog

What's in the news while the Iran war drum beats louder and louder

UPDATE: Read Bomb Iran? What's to stop us?

While the bushistas are beating war drums for Iran, the Today Show on Friday featured a woman whose cornea was bruised because a little blue rhinestone heart flew off her Victoria's Secret thong panties and hit her in the eye causing excruciating pain. Her lawyer also appeared on teh Today Show. Let that be a warning to you.

But if you were watching Faux News this weekend, which I wasn't thankfully because my panties would have exploded and caused serious damage to myself and others within a few mile radius if I had seen this live, you'd learn that the bushistas (and Israel) won't decide to attack Iran until they find out who the president elect will be. The whole thing is purely political and no one tries to hide that.

Kristol and Bolton agree that bush will have to strike Iran if a Democrat wins the election.
Anti-American traitor and subversive Faux News commentator, Bill Kristol, suggested that the bush junta should be worried if Obama wins the election because he wants to negotiate with Iran and maybe bush will have to strike between the election and bush's exit from power.

Then on the phone with Faux News, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton also suggested that who wins the election will determine whether or not Iran is attacked before bush leaves office.
"I think if they [Israel] are to do anything, the most likely period is after our elections and before the inauguration of the next President. I don’t think they will do anything before our election because they don’t want to affect it. And they’d have to make a judgment whether to go during the remainder of President Bush’s term in office or wait for his successor."

Bolton added: "I don’t think you’d hear the Arab states say this publicly, but they would be delighted if the United States or Israel destroyed the Iranian nuclear weapons capability."

Meanwhile....
People who do not stand to profit from a war with Iran have a different take...
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Mohamad ElBaradei will quit if Iran is attacked: "A military strike, in my opinion, would be worse than anything possible. It would turn the region into a fireball," he said, emphasizing that any attack would only make the Islamic Republic more determined to obtain nuclear power.

Bush’s chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Michael Mullen disagrees with the bushistas and believes that a dialogue with Iran should happen. There is no word if bush has decided to fire this unAmerican appeaser or charge him with using reason before missiles.
MULLEN: I would like to have a healthy dialogue with Iran, but many different administrations over a period of decades have been unable to achieve that. But I do think engagement would offer an opportunity, certainly, to understand each other better.
No one has mentioned whether or not congress has to declare war before the US can attack a sovereign nation based on hearsay and/or lies. Oh wait, nevermind, we don't have that rule anymore.


Dammit

George Carlin

Comedian, Gadfly, Author

1937 - 2008

Rest in Peace


Notable quotes:


"Ignore these four words."

"Christians must be sick in the head. Only someone who hates himself could possibly think of the pleasures of masturbation as self-abuse."

"I have no regrets in life. Although I am kind of sorry I never got to beat a man to death while wearing a tuxedo."

Sunday, June 22

Obama vs. McCain


Obama vs. McCain
Two Dictators: Choose Your Weapon



“Might as well face it: we’re addicted to oil.” Click here to listen to the Capitol Steps salute George W. Bush



Why is it always about the oil?

Zippidy doo-dah! So much havoc to wreak and so little time…McCain wants California to drill for oil off the coast of California, and even our Republican McCain supporting governor, The Terminator, says “Hasta la Vista, Baby” to that one. So far, so good. But what’s up with Dubya wanting to bomb Iran? What do they got that we don’t got? Oh, I get it…Nukes! We don’t have THEIR nukes (and here I thought King George was out to righteously bomb global warming…) and we want to stop Iran from having their own nukes so Israel can continue its Palestinian purge with no fear of Iranian intervention and we can make more weapons and Halliburton can profit from more wars and create even more of a “reason” to be near the globe’s known largest oil fields. Oh – and the people of this country can of course all go straight to hell after the elites bail and move their asses and bank accounts to Dubai and Paraguay.


In the meantime, House Democrats, led by uber wealthy “impeachment-is-off-the-table” Nancy Pelosi, this week heaped more dung upon that other outhouse known as the Democratic Party by passing a bill that shields the Bush regime from punishment along with the telecommunications corporations that the Bush regime coerced into committing felonies under US law for Bush’s illegal spying on American citizens. So how do “good Democrats” respond to yet another nail in the Dem coffin? They try to resurrect the beastly corpse, that’s what. Do these grave diggers question authority, as the status-quo questioning bumper sticker goes? No.


Instead, they look for a messiah, hit the denial button and throw all of their blind support behind another corporate welfare backed elitist, (Obama) because to them, that’s all they care to do. Plus, it feels damn good for many to be in the company of many and every vote counts -- even if it is for a candidate who pledges to sell out your job and those of your kids, sidle with insurance companies to prevent you from access to healthcare, support budgets that funnel money away from infrastructures, rip up the constitution so that laws are only made to protect corporate elites against you, all, of course, at your expense. (You know, that old “you and whose army” thing…or rather, you get what you pay for?) To them, there is no choice, goes the thinking, since good consumers of leading brands always operate on the senses, based upon emotion and not reason. To them, there is no hope – hope is a four letter word used by savvy political marketers to advertise a brand (candidate). To them, there is only blind faith – not in religion (however zealous) but in the collective groupthink that would rather fervently identify with the familiar aggressor, hoping to blend in. To them, the blind “trust” that maybe this time, just like at the craps table, things will be better despite proof of otherwise. After all, to label oneself a “Democrat” used to mean identifying with “The People’s House” --even though it’s been sold off to corporate elites and right now, the people need each other --- because their corrupt politicians have sold them out to corporate whores. To them, there is no thinking outside of the box, for that would ultimately betray and truly freak out Axelrod and the O Man’s marketing peeps and financial backers (Oh Penny Pritzger and that ominous, collective zeitgeist pulling O’s strings known otherwise as the Israeli Lobby and Tech Lobby enablers, take me now, Lord) knowing that the sheeple will do en masse what they have always done: choose only – only between the leading two brands. So it’s down to Charmin or Scott. McCain or Obama.

Choose your weapon.

In his article A Totally Lawless Regime, Paul Craig Roberts writes that “Obama would make no difference” but that the “American people could make a difference by rejecting the Republicans.”



“If a Democratic House of Representatives will pass a retroactive law in order to legalize the criminal violations of a Republican regime, the same House will pass a retroactive law making illegal what you did legally yesterday. No one is any longer safe in America. By abandoning the US Constitution, Republicans and Democrats have made America as potentially unsafe as Zimbabwe for anyone who takes exception to the government. The total collapse of the Democratic Party and the House of Representatives signals the end of liberty and democracy in America.”




Roberts concludes that we are gravitating toward the “beautiful regime of energy in the executive” that has been achieved by another dictator, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe.


Choices indeed! BTW, my brand is Target (read this article if your dare…) “Every Day Products for Everyday Moms!”

-2Truthy
Losing The War On Humor



No You're Not Crazy

This is the beginning of something from the AP that Peter caught:

Everything seemingly is spinning out of control
WASHINGTON - Is everything spinning out of control? Midwestern levees are bursting. Polar bears are adrift. Gas prices are skyrocketing. Home values are abysmal. Air fares, college tuition and health care border on unaffordable. Wars without end rage in Iraq, Afghanistan and against terrorism.

Horatio Alger, twist in your grave.

The can-do, bootstrap approach embedded in the American psyche is under assault. Eroding it is a dour powerlessness that is chipping away at the country's sturdy conviction that destiny can be commanded with sheer courage and perseverance. and it goes on about how we feel like we're losing control because of the reality of today's world.
It's not seemingly out of control. It is out of control. Nature is acting like a tyrant. The tyrants are acting like tyrants to the nth degree. The US tyrants must be blackmailing leaders of every other country on the planet. Everyone complains about our leader and how he's screwing up the world, but so far, no country arrested bush on his European farewell tour. (I was secretly counting on that because I know that we won't have a Normandy invasion to save us) The British tried to protest but got nowhere. I make dozens of phone calls but usually get nowhere. What do they say about people who keep doing the same things over and over again? man oh man... How discontent do people have to be in order to rise up collectively?

I wonder if the lack of sunspot activity has anything to do with it.

Is anyone out there content? Let me know. I should like to live vicariously through you.

"Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself." -1984, George Orwell

Saturday, June 21

I love not camping


The kids went camping in New Hampshire this weekend. Gawd bless them but it seems like so much work and aggravation. There's no such thing as a leisurely drive to NH from the NY metropolitan area... and to have to set up a tent after hours of grief on the highways, completely baffles me. I kept my mouth shut and helped supply them with gadgets and duct tape. Last summer they stayed in a rental house on Oahu and surfed. I thought renting a house seemed like to much work for a vacation. Checklists really matter when you're roughing it and you have to be prepared for everything that could go wrong and probably will. Thank god for credit cards and motels. But maybe I am just getting old.

My son will also be roughing it for the month of July on Kauai on an archaeology dig, but for some reason that seems more inviting. Well at least we got all the camping equipment out of the garage and know that most of it is in good working order. I wonder how much the airlines will charge him for his bags.

The war was worth it afterall... well at least for big oil

NY Times: BAGHDAD — Four Western oil companies are in the final stages of negotiations this month on contracts that will return them to Iraq, 36 years after losing their oil concession to nationalization as Saddam Hussein rose to power.

Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total and BP — the original partners in the Iraq Petroleum Company — along with Chevron and a number of smaller oil companies, are in talks with Iraq’s Oil Ministry for no-bid contracts to service Iraq’s largest fields, according to ministry officials, oil company officials and an American diplomat.


And that's what it's all about

Saturday Rant Corner

One of the things I like to do in the mornings is to read the local newspaper. National and world news is usually covered by the Internet when I go online; local and state events (particularly stuff that happened while I was asleep) are the province of the local paper.

One of the features I read is the reader's poll, which poses a question and lists some of the more printable responses.

The question du jour was "Do you think America is on the wrong track?" 441 people responded, with 85% saying Yes and 15% saying no.

Two of the responses, one a Yes and the other a No, leaped out at me.

The Yes response: "Yes, the people do know it was when our sin-sick government changed the laws in this country that we were founded on to satisfy their sin-sick hearts. No one man can change it all back but our prayers can."

Uh, huh.

I'm guessing that this person has a problem with gay marriage, legalized abortion, with blacks counting as more than 3/5 of a human being for voting purposes (and women and Native Americans not counting at all), with Miranda rights and the application of due process to the states. We are a nation of laws, and people wrote our laws. Our law and government derive from the sovereignty of the people, not from God or from some ruler.

Laws must change to reflect changes in society and respond to real events. However, there is still a law on the books in the State of Florida that makes it a misdemeanor to live together outside of the marriage bond.

So this person has some problem seeing basic civics.

Just like the person who penned this No response: "No, but the Bible says that God appoints our leaders and if we go against our leaders, we're going against God."

I nearly spit out my tea when I read this. Apparently this person not only has no grasp of basic civics, but also still believes in the Divine Right of Kings. May be a predestinarian as well, who believes that no matter what we do, it's all been mapped out before the creation of the universe and nothing we can do can change it. No free will, you see.

This person probably voted for Bush, too.

If we don't like our leaders, we get rid of them by means of the ballot (other countries use the bullet method). That's why we have elections.

So, what's got you ranting today?

22 year old munitions dealer arrested


The Miami Herald reports that the 22 year old munitions dealer with a $300 million Army weapons contract, Efraim Diveroli and 3 of his employees were arrested for selling Chinese made munitions to the DOD. Apparently the DOD employees can't tell where stuff used to kill people was made. Oh and it's really old stuff too. The munitions were to be sent to the forces in Afghanistan to fight the Taliban. He and his employees are charged with violating the Arms Export Control Act. He misled the gubmint by saying that the munitions were made in Hungary and not China. It's illegal to use Chinese made weapons and cartridges.

Diveroli started selling munitions to the Army when most kids his age needed a guardian's signature to get a wisdom tooth extracted. He has a delightful history with the Miami-Dade police. He beat up his girlfriend, he beat up the valet parker at his condo, carried a fake license and most recently was arrested for drunk driving. But I'm sure he's just a very nice young man.

Friday, June 20

It seems I was a trifle too easy on 105 of the cow-patties that claim to have been elected to defend the Constitution, the country and the Rights of the people who voted for them.
With absolutely no respect for these vermin, please remember that calling and being polite gets you this; increased spying on us and immunity for those who fill the pockets of the most deplorable scum since the founding by the Republican traitors of that "Contract with America."

These "things" who call themselves Democrats are worse than the dog-shit on the bottoms of your shoes; worse than the full ditch beneath an outhouse;maybe even worse than the Republicans themselves. At least we knew the Republicans were lying pieces of shit. These asses stabbed us and our country in the back...and for what?

Nice to see there are no cries of sexism, racism or bias in this vote. These 105 Democratic traitors have done Benedict Arnold a great service by making us and future generations forget his treason.
Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels would look upon these 105 Democratic Quislings...and smile, just like Rove, Cheney and Bush must be smiling!

Let's give a big round of applause to Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer for showing us that kissing Bush's ass is more important than protecting the Rights of Americans.
Hip! Hip! Hurray!




Click to enlarge the picture to see names
your children and grandchildren will learn to despise.

So much for the Democrats

Less than 24 hours after introducing a controversial measure to expand President Bush's authority to spy on Americans, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives on Friday voted to approve the administration- and Republican-supported bill, sending it to the Senate where it will likely be adopted.

George Orwell must be rolling over in his grave

This morning's email from color of change got me to thinking about something that happened last Saturday. I was confronted by someone who obviously watches Faux News and who thought it would be hilarious if he repeated Faux' talking points just to freak me out. I was pretty calm for most of the time, but boobism is difficult to combat. When it comes to attacking Barack Obama however, you can't come across as racist, god forbid, so Faux News watchers have other ways of smearing the hell out of him... and it has nothing to do with presidential issues or even truth.

It turns out that the Faux News watcher overheard the tail end of a private conversation I was having with a woman about how the media ripped Sen. Clinton a new one for her outfits, her wrinkles, her cleavage, her hips, her pants, her age, etc... the end of the conversation was about how the media kept quiet about John McCain's obvious physical distortions and that thang growing out of the side of his face (which appears to be a threat to national security.) If you got half the conversation, you'd think that I was just ragging on McCain for being one ugly mofo, when in fact I was comparing news coverage of 2 candidates. And so? It was a private conversation.

The point of the matter was that this man only overheard two women lamenting the sexist coverage of Senator Clinton while ignoring the overt ugliness of one GOP candidate and went on a tirade towards me a little later on. He started by saying that on election eve, it would be broadcast across America, Michelle Obama's using the word "Whitey" to describe white people and McCain would win. I suggested that it would only be fair then that the world would know that McCain called his wife a cunt in public. That devolved into a discussion about how "whitey" is a terribly racist thing to say while I maintained that whitey is not a racial slur and who the hell cares about that story since it isn't even true? Well it supposedly matters a lot to white men. (Doesn't it seem that a lot of "conservative" white men have an awful lot of issues with black people and women of all colors? I think so. It's like they are guarding their balls or something. Well they actually should guard their balls.)

Then came more accusations that the Democratic candidate is a Muslim would swear on the Koran if he became president, that he uses "terrorist fist jabs" to communicate with his allies, that his middle name is Hussein, that his last name rhymes with Osama, etc etc. It was useless to even argue with such nonsense during this onslaught of carefully orchestrated lies by Faux News to scare "whitey" into voting for McCain. Oh there were a number of ridiculous topics to discuss last weekend.

I had all my arguments and actual facts at hand and used them well when I could get a word in edgewise, but when you are arguing with someone who only uses lies as facts, it's hard to keep your blood pressure down while re-educating such a tool. Later on he said he was only having fun with me, but I sincerely doubt it. I tried to tackle actual issues after that, but it was to no avail because false character attacks on Obama seemed to be the order of the day. I had never even said that I supported him for president or not, but I ended up defending the hell out of the candidate.

Again, no actual issues were discussed. I tried to bring up a few and was met with a blank stare, a pause and then more ad hominem attacks. Yay. This is the state of trying to talk to my fellow Americans. I am going to sign this letter to Faux news over at colorofchange.org


These are the references used in the colorofchange.org email and this is pretty much the type of crap that McCain supporters use to disparage those who aren't voting for him for whatever the reason.

References:

1. "Fox News' E.D. Hill teased discussion of Obama dap: "A fist bump? A pound? A terrorist fist jab?" Media Matters, June 6, 2008 http://mediamatters.org/items/200806060007?f=h_clips

2. "Fox News in trouble again over Obama smear: 'baby mama'" Los Angeles Times, June 12, 2008 http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2008/06/baby-mama.html

3. "Dems cancel debate over Fox Chief's Obama joke," CNN.com, March 10, 2007 http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/03/10/debate.canceled/index.html

4. Liz Trotta on Fox News Channel, May 25, 2008
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjYpkvcmog0

5. "Fox Attacks: Black America," FoxAttacks.com, June 2007
http://foxattacks.com/blog/572-fox-attacks-black-america

6. "Fox Attacks: Obama, Part 2," FoxAttacks.com, June 2007
http://foxattacks.com/blog/32376-fox-attacks-obama-part-2

7. "Fox News and its problem with African-Americans," ColorOfChange.org overview, March 2007 http://www.colorofchange.org/cbci/message.html

8. "SMEAR: Obama's Books Contain Racially Incendiary Remarks," FighttheSmears.com, June, 2008 http://my.barackobama.com/page/invite/therealquote

9. "Schlussel: Should Barack Hussein Obama be president "when we are fighting the war of our lives against Islam"?," Media Matters, December 20, 2006 http://mediamatters.org/items/200612200005

10. "Tennessee GOP Smears Obama With Alleged Ties to Anti-Semitism and Farrakhan," TPM Election Central, February 27, 2008
http://tinyurl.com/28y72j

11. "Obama, Clinton to skip Fox-backed debate," MSNBC.com, April 10, 2007
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18035439/

Thursday, June 19

Remember when most of us wanted Murtha but Nancy wanted Steny?
Well, now we know where Steny has had his head.


FISA




Fraking Quisling!

Breaking News From Impeachbush.org


Breaking news. Army General says Bush administration guilty of war crimes. Bush is on a war crime spree, and only impeachment can stop him.

 Over the last three days, many tens of thousands of impeachment supporters have written and called Congress demanding accountability for Bush's war crimes. In a Physicians for Human Rights report published yesterday, entitled "Broken Laws, Broken Lives," two-star former General Anthony Taguba, wrote, "After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts, and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account." Publicize the message of impeachment, including the powerful words of General Taguba about war crimes. We are in a full mobilization mode printing leaflets, posters, organizing lobbying teams, and much more. We can't do it without your help.
What we can all do right now The impeachment movement has hit the streets with a new flyer to let the American public know about the necessity of impeachment. We've been calling our representatives, sending letters, and building up our resources so we can carry this historic movement forward.

Gen. Taguba's words could easily have come from of an impeachment activist, or excerpted from the 35 Articles of Impeachment introduced last week. But instead they came the Army general who led the investigation into the detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib. Taguba's comments shed new light on the horror of Bush's crimes, and are a striking confirmation of what the impeachment movement has been saying for years. Taguba's report comes right on the heels of a McClatchy newspaper report that showed gross abuses of human rights occurred under Bush's watch, primarily at prisons in Afghanistan where detainees were held en route to Guantanamo — and that many of the prisoners were wrongly detained. In the report released yesterday, Taguba said, "This report tells the largely untold human story of what happened to detainees in our custody when the Commander-in-Chief and those under him authorized a systematic regime of torture." After submitting his original report, General Taguba was predictably forced into retirement. Taguba closed his comments with a direct call to action: "These men deserve justice as required under the tenets of international law and the United States Constitution." There is only one way for the Constitution to be brought into force and restore justice to the Bush administration's many victims: impeachment. The House Judiciary Committee has the power to initiate impeachment hearings immediately, and act on the 35 Articles of Impeachment for George W. Bush. This is a time fraught with not only great challenges, but great opportunity. The impeachment movement has hit the streets with a new flyer to let the American public know about the necessity of impeachment. We've been calling our representatives, sending letters, and building up our resources so we can carry this historic movement forward.


NOW IS THE TIME FOR ALL GOOD MEN AND WOMEN TO COME TO THE AID OF THEIR COUNTRY!

Kuchinich threatens even more articles of impeachment

While you have your congresscritter's office on the phone this morning, tell them to listen to Kucinich or he'll come up with twice as many articles of impeachment. This could bode poorly for congresscritter's who gave bush the go ahead to illegally invade Iraq. To hell with politics and the upcoming election. Oust these knuckleheads before they start WWIII. Raw Story:

Kucinich tells us he’s giving the House Judiciary Committee 30 days to act on his resolution proposing 35 articles of impeachment against President Bush or else he’ll raise even more hell on the House floor. Thirty-five articles was just the tip of the iceberg. If Judiciary does nothing, he’ll go back to the House floor next month armed with nearly twice as many articles.

“The minute the leadership said ‘this is dead on arrival’ I said that I hope they believe in life after death; because I’m coming back with it,” Kucinich vowed in an interview with the Sleuth this week. “It’s not gonna die. Because I’ll come back with more articles. Not 35, but perhaps 60 articles.”

House Votes TODAY (Thursday) on Iraq $165B - Call NOW

From Democrats.com

Late Wednesday, House "Democratic" Leader Steny Hoyer announced a deal with George Bush to give him $165B more for Iraq without bringing a single soldier home. And Hoyer wants the Democratic Congress to pass the bill today (Thursday) - before the 68% of Americans who oppose the disastrous occupation get ourselves organized.

So please pick up the phone right now and tell your House Representative to vote NO on wasting $165 billion more in Iraq.

Call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for your House Representative (not Senators) by name, or find your House Representative's name and direct dial by entering your address on the right side:
http://usalone.com

On May 15, your passionate calls persuaded 149 Representatives to vote NO, and we shocked Steny Hoyer by winning that vote 149-141. We can win again if you call today.

Don't accept any excuses from your Representative. If (s)he says (s)he is voting yes to fund new GI college benefits, flood relief, and unemployment benefits, tell your Representative those programs have overwhelming support and should be passed separately, not combined with $165B for Iraq. Tell your Representative you will only accept a NO vote on Iraq funds.

Helloooooo, it's me again...

I'm voting republican..........NOT!

Pass this one along to those who may be considering a vote for the republicans



(3:28)

Wednesday, June 18