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Wednesday, October 31

UFO's. Oh my.

I missed the news earlier that it was brought up in the Dem debate last night that Dennis Kucinich was asked about seeing a UFO. The wingers are having a field day with that one because he questioned bush's mental health when his should be in question (they say.)
Tim Russert asked the question:

"Shirley MacLaine writes in her new book that you sighted a UFO over her home in Washington state," Russert said, "that you found the encounter extremely moving, that it was a triangular craft, silent and hovering, that you "felt a connection to your heart and heard directions in your mind."

Kucinich said yes, all of that was true. And he defended it as a solid policy position.
I would like to note that in other accounts of this story, he didn't say Yes, all of that was true. There are various versions of this out there. So take the news with a grain of salt.
More Americans have seen UFO's, Kucinich quipped, than approve of Bush's presidency. He deadpanned that he plans to open campaign offices in Roswell, New Mexico.

Moderator Tim Russert helpfully noted that 14 percent of Americans report having seen a UFO.

"Thank you," Kucinich said, nodding at the ackowledgment that he is not alone.

But the exchange led to a serious crush of questions for Kucinich in the post-debate spin room.

Reporters sought details: When exactly did Kucinich see this UFO?

"Twenty-five years ago," he said, sounding perturbed. "More than 25 years ago."
Oh you shouldn't hang out with Shirley if you have political aspirations. Her notions are as way out there as religious fanatics I know.

I would have to disagree with that UFO poll as most people don't report UFO's because others will think you are nuts. In fact, Kucinich's sighting only came to light when MacLaine released her new book.

A couple of years ago in December around 1am, this tremendous triangular metallic orange glowing thingy flew right over my home as I was walking up the driveway towards my house after checking out Orion. It was flying low and at least as big as a house. It traveled rather slowly and made no sound except for a low frequency hum. I made a mental note of it as I observed it so that I could draw it when I got inside the house. I saw that it was foreshortened as it traveled away from me which helped me conclude that it was not much higher than the trees.

I didn't call the cops (as it wasn't shooting death rays) but I went on my local astronomy yahoo group immediately to see if anyone saw it because everyone was out that night photographing the Orion Nebula. No one saw it and a few asked me if I had been taking drugs that evening. Since the thing was flying so low, it was unlikely than any of them saw it unless they were in the immediate area. I checked with 2 air traffic controllers I know who work a mile from me. Nope. Nothing on the radar. Oh well. Probably something 'stealth' I surmised. It didn't look completely unlike some of those crazy flying machines that the AF comes up with, but I have not found a match as of yet.

Anyway, I mentioned to my doctor what I saw and showed him the sketch which was more detailed than I could describe it in words then as well as now. I was very matter of fact. It was a creepy experience and it's silence was unsettling. A month later he asked me if I was still seeing 'flying spacemen'. I never suggested that it was an alien spacecraft or mentioned aliens.

So there you go. A perfect example of why people don't always report what they see- because others are quick to put words in your mouth that you had never uttered and quick to label you a quack when you experience something a bit out of the ordinary unless it's a religious vision that tells you to bomb another nation or tell the country that a hurricane is a specific punishment from god because of homosexuality and abortionists.

And another thing, I didn't see anyone in the media knocking those Republican candidates who proudly raised their hands when asked who didn't believe in evolution.

UPDATE: Thursday Nov 1:
I should have posted my description of the eerie sighting ages ago. But then again, I was sick of people thinking I was batshit crazy.

Thanks to reader and commenter Patriot, I believe that I may have identified what I had seen that cold December night- A B-2 stealth bomber. Or something like that. The orange glow it took on in one of the pictures at wikipedia and the drawing of the underside of it sort of match my drawing although there were angular protrusions on the sides of it. Patriot mentioned that it flew silently at a low altitude. aha!

Since the air traffic controllers that are responsible for the whole NY metropolitan area work within a mile of my house and they didn't see anything, it definitely made me think of a stealth bomber which I had read about but hadn't seen pics of the underside.

Plan to Require Evolution To Be Taught in Florida Public Schools

Well thank God.

I had no idea that Floridians were denied proper life science classes. I'm floored.
Read the story here.

Highlights on the arguments from the story:
Jonathan Smith, a Lakeland resident and a representative of the National Center for Science Education, a nonprofit group critical of intelligent design, helped write the new standards.

"It (new standards) closed the door on any ambiguity" about evolution, Smith said. "There isn't both sides. There is only one side as far as science is concerned." That side is evolution, he said.

But Mickey Carter, pastor at Landmark Baptist Church in Haines City, said the revisions will be a disservice to students.

He said there should be a balance between both intelligent design and evolution.

"We are denying freedom of ideas, speech and shutting down one side," Carter said. "The kids ought to be able to study both sides of it so we don't just turn out a bunch of rubber-stamped robots in the classroom."
Obviously Mr Carter didn't learn science and must have been looking in the mirror when he spoke of 'rubber-stamped robots.'

Well is waterboarding torture or not?

Politics be damned.
Either you think it's torture or you don't. Our nation's reputation worldwide is at stake.

Mukasey Calls Waterboarding ‘Hypothetical,’ Dodges Legal Question Of Whether It Is Torture

Senate Democrats say that if he doesn't say that waterboarding is illegal that we will not get the Attorney General nomination.
Let's see if the Dems live up to their threats.
Or cave.

Taking on Hillary

Sorry I missed the Democratic debate last night. It seems that some issues needed to be addressed and Clinton's Democratic rivals brought up a few things that have been on many people's minds. She does seem to change her opinion to suit her audience and it leaves me wondering what her stance on important issues are exactly. She's leading in the polls, so it's about time her flip flopping was addressed.

Obama, the Illinois senator, began immediately, saying Clinton has changed her positions on the North American Free Trade Agreement, torture policies and the Iraq war. Leadership, he said, does not mean "changing positions whenever it's politically convenient."

Edwards, the former North Carolina senator, was even sharper at times, saying Clinton "defends a broken system that's corrupt in Washington, D.C." He stood by his earlier claim that she has engaged in "doubletalk."


Clinton defended her Senate vote in favor of designating Iran's Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist group. Obama, Edwards and others have said Bush could interpret the measure as congressional approval for a military attack.

Edwards caustically challenged Clinton's claim that she stands up to the Bush administration. "So the way to do that is to vote yes on a resolution that looks like it was written literally by the neocons?" he said.

"In my view, rushing to war — we should not be doing that — but we shouldn't be doing nothing," Clinton said. "And that means we should not let them acquire nuclear weapons, and the best way to prevent that is a full court press on the diplomatic front."

Clinton also was the main focus during a discussion of the Iraq war. Again, Edwards leveled the toughest charges against the New York senator.

"If you believe that combat missions should be continued in Iraq" without a timetable for withdrawal, Edwards said, "then Senator Clinton is your candidate." Edwards vowed to have all combat troops out of Iraq "in my first year in office."

Clinton replied forcefully, saying "I stand for ending the war in Iraq, bringing our troops home." She added, however, that "it is going to take time," and some troops must remain to fight al-Qaida in Iraq.

"I don't know how you pursue al-Qaida without engaging them in combat," she said.
Hmmm. She lost me.

Go Kucinich

He questioned Bush's mental health and quite frankly it's about freaking time that someone did it publicly.
"I seriously believe we have to start asking questions about his mental health," Kucinich, an Ohio congressman, said in an interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer's editorial board on Tuesday. "There's something wrong. He does not seem to understand his words have real impact."
Then he got some heat for his comments and said:
"You cannot be a president of the United States who's wanton in his expression of violence," Kucinich said. "There's a lot of people who need care. He might be one of them. If there isn't something wrong with him, then there's something wrong with us. This, to me, is a very serious question."

Of scythes, pitchforks, and axe-handles:


"Former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld fled France today fearing arrest over charges of "ordering and authorizing" torture of detainees at both the American-run Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and the U.S. military's detainment facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, unconfirmed reports coming from Paris suggest.
"U.S. embassy officials whisked Rumsfeld away yesterday from a breakfast meeting in Paris organized by the Foreign Policy magazine after human rights groups filed a criminal complaint against the man who spearheaded President George W. Bush's "war on terror" for six years."

Entire article at link.

Tuesday, October 30

What's Your Favorite Hymn or Gospel Song?

Have we done this one before?

Blondie says below that her favorite hymn is: "What do we want? Peace. When do we want it? Now." I'm pretty sure she's kidding (but then again, maybe not).

I'm not a religious person, and I've never cottoned to those protestant "Shall We Gather at the River" type hymns. Some of the Catholic hymns are alright, but most are just boring, boring, boring. But I do love a lot of black gospel music. Have you ever attended an African-American church in the south on a Sunday morning? If you haven't, you should definitely try it. You'll never think those folks on American Idiot are great singers again. Black gospel music comes from a place in the soul that's way down deep; it moves me. My personal favorite is "Oh Happy Day".

What's your favorite? Feel free to be as creative as you want (as if we could stop you!).

On The Evangelical Crackup

I'm not gloating after reading this article in the Sunday NY Times Magazine about the emergent theology rising from the ashes of the conservative evangelical movement.

I'm happy. Welcome back to humanity!

I secretly prayed that the millions of sheep would awaken and begin to think about what they were reading in the Gospels and compare it to what their so-called leaders were telling them to believe in. Religion is not a matter of what you are against but what you are for. Banning stuff you don't like doesn't change hearts and minds. Being negative all the time breeds more negativity. Mixing religion and politics gives you politics.

After all, if you consider yourself a Christian then you are supposed to ally with Jesus Christ whose main concern was social justice and looking out for one another. I haven't seen that in the Republican Party in years and years and years. All you get is more politics and elected officials who may have meant well at one time eventually succumbing to the party and not what is in the best interests of those who actually voted for them.

Young evangelicals are heeding Jesus' call for social justice, peace, love, ecology and human rights. What a better world it would be if more people stood for these positive things. Looking out for your earthly brothers and sisters makes you feel much better than constantly pointing out the sins of one another- and it makes others feel better about themselves too. How can it backfire if millions and millions of people participate?

What do we want?
When do we want it?
-My favorite hymn

Same Sex Marriage - One of These Things Is Not Like the Other

Via Pandagon comes this little nugget from country & Western singing 'star' John Rich:

"I think if you legalize that, you've got to legalize some other things that are pretty unsavory. You can call me a radical, but how can you tell an aunt that she can't marry her nephew if they are really in love and sharing the bills? How can you tell them they can't get married, but something else that's unnatural can happen?"

Rich was voicing his opinion of gay marriage when he let this priceless little nugget drop from his mouth (probably with no stopover in his brain for vetting first). He equated same-sex marriage with incest, yet another example of hyperbole, the same type of stupid logical fallacy that ended up with Rick Santorum equating gay marriage with zoophilia.

Unlike homosexual relations, there are good reasons for incest being both illegal and taboo, starting with basic genetics. For those of you playing along at home, here goes:

Thanks to increased mobility, Americans practice exogamy - they tend to marry outside of their own geographical or familial group. This promotes genetic diversity and makes the resulting population more resistant to environmental pressures. On the other hand, endogamy (marrying exclusively within one's geographical or familial group) narrows that diversity, making the resulting population weaker.

Endogamy is also called inbreeding. The ancient Egyptian royal family practiced it, as did the Hapsburg Dynasty. Endogamous relations and marriages resulted in the famous 'Hapsburg chin' becoming so pronounced that King Charles II of Spain was unable to chew his own food (leaving aside the fact that he was prone to diseases and was insane and impotent). His death enabled Louis XIV of France to install his grandson on the throne of Spain, resulting in the Spanish Bourbon Dynasty. Upon such things the wheel of history turns.

To equate incest (which is illegal and taboo under our culture) with same-sex relations is absurd on its face. For starters, same-sex relations are no longer criminal, thanks to the US Supreme Court decision Lawrence v Texas; second, there is no danger of an inbred result from such a pairing. As the Comte de Sade (he's mistakenly referred to as a Marquis) pointed out, sodomy is a sterile act; there are no children produced.

Now to our country, and the delectable irony of John Rich's remarks. A standard joke is that inbreeding is rampant in Appalachia and certain parts of the rural Deep South - with the linkage of country music being their favorite musical genre. It's an unfair and obsolete joke, but still used nevertheless. Further, Mr. Rich (of the group 'Big & Rich') owed his career to contacts within the Nashville music scene, some of whom are gay and probably deeply resented Mr. Rich's statement.

So we have Mr. Rich backpedalling via his spokespersons, and he's most likely lost some of the goodwill he's accrued in The Business over the years.

What do you think?

(Cross-posted at My Two Cents.)

Shouting at the Devil: "FUCK YOU Capitalism!"

Now this is MY KIND OF RANT! (socialist that I am....)

by Jason Miller of Cyrano's Journal

Capitalism, capitalism. How do I loath thee? Let me count the ways….

Monday, October 29

NYSE Eliminates Trading Curbs Dating Back to 1987


From Today's WTF File

The Supreme Court has decided to take up review of the fine levied against Exxon Mobil for the Valdez oil spill. Mind you, we are thirteen (!!!!!) years after the fact, and an appeals court has already cut the fine in half. Purportedly, the justices are going to decide whether it is an 8th Amendment violation (the ban on cruel and unusual punishment) in requiring The Big XX to pay any punitive damages at all.

With a market capitalization of a bit more than $520 billion, yearly sales of $375 billion, and yearly income of around $40 billion (or $10 billion a quarter), it's hard to see how the argument that the fine of $2.5 billion was excessive even passes the straight face test. But I'm sure the Roberts court will take the argument very, very seriously.

What are you going to be for halloween? (I hate halloween, btw)

I found my halloween mask!! I can just print it from my computer. kewl...

Coal in demand despite global warming

As China's appetite for coal is booming, American investors and businesses are cashing in.

American pension and mutual fund money is being invested in the Chinese coal industry, which is lucrative but in general has a poor record for pollution and worker safety.

The biggest Chinese coal company is China Shenhua Energy Co. of Beijing, which produces about 170 million tons of coal a year from 21 mines and builds power plants. While about 80 percent of the company's stock is owned by Shenhua Group in Beijing, the rest of its shareholders reads like a who's who of U.S. investors: Fidelity Investments, OppenheimerFunds, Merrill Lynch, even the Teachers Retirement System of Texas............, blah, blah
.............................blah, blah blah
...........................BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH:
Faced with increasing opposition from environmental groups, U.S. coal companies have begun pushing technology designed to reduce pollutants, including the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. They've also been working with electricity producer China Huaneng Group on FutureGen. The planned $1.5 billion (€1.05 billion) experimental coal-fired power plant would serve to test carbon capture and underground storage, among other things.

and how IS FutureGen coming along? I hope they've broke ground. Time's a running out -- better get going ---


(oh, looks like they're still talking. HEY! TX is in the running to host this project - well whattayaknow - Surprise, surprise, surprise .......said Gomer!)

Nice Website!!

Nice report from energy dot gov back in 2003!!!
(oh - I see an up-date in 2006!! - yeah!)

Oh my god, yessssssss!!!!!!!

As a frustrated amateur astronomer living in the severely light polluted suburbs of NYC, this would be paradise... alas it's too far for a weekend getaway.
Ga. astronomy village fills up quickly
SHARON, Ga. - The most important rule at this remote vacation spot is simple: no white light. Even a sliver of the pupil-contracting rays coming from the window of a cabin at Deerlick Astronomy Village could ruin a neighbor's view of the Milky Way. The 96-acre village in rural Taliaferro County in eastern Georgia is designed for amateur stargazers looking for total darkness and wide-open spaces to build weekend homes. (continued)
See also
Chiefland Astronomy Village (Florida)
Arizona Sky Village

An omen?

So uh, God's own baseball team was swept by the liberals from Boston.

The problem with anti-drug campaigns

I know that drug addiction is no laughing matter. It has killed several dear friends and my younger brother when he was just shy of his 21st birthday. I just wanted to get that out of the way before I proceed.

I remember when crack was the huge public menace in the 80's, although I didn't know anyone who used it (as coke was the designer drug for yuppies.) On the news one constantly heard of the fabulous euphoria that you felt if you smoked crack. They couldn't describe enough how great it made you feel. I often thought that the media was trying to actually lure new users.

One morning as hubby was driving to drop me off at the railroad station for my daily trek into New York City in 1980-something, the news guy on the radio was going on and about about the wonders of crack, I snarkily asked hubby if he wanted me to see if I could score some on my lunch hour in Battery Park since we were both disenchanted with our career choices and frustrated. Most people my age and in my line of work at the time were druggies who could afford the "good stuff." Many were burned out by the time they were 30. We were securities brokers and traders on Wall St. (Note: I vented my frustrations by playing in a punk band after work and drinking beer.)

These memories came flooding back after I read this post over at the Dilbert Blog: Why You Can’t Take Me Anywhere. Scott Adams recounts his evening at the local school where the local police were warning parents about the dangers of drugs, particularly meth. I don't know, maybe they ought to leave out all the descriptions of how good it makes you feel...
"A parent asked why anyone would take meth, given all the downside risk and side effects. One of the policemen answered that meth releases 50 times more serotonin in the brain than an orgasm. Then they showed a before and after picture that looked a lot like this one.

"So I’m sitting there, doing the calculations in my head: Okay, that’s 4.5 years of meth use, once a day, 365 days in a year, 50 times more serotonin than an orgasm…that’s the equivalent of 80,000 orgasms.

"On the downside, your teeth rot out, your skin itches until you scratch it off, you vomit, have withdrawals, possibly burn down the neighborhood, and roll around in your own filth while your life becomes a living Hell. And there is the jail thing.

"Still, 80,000 orgasms…

"I wanted to raise my hand while the “before and after” pictures were up and ask, “Isn’t that what anyone would look like after 80,000 orgasms?”

"Or maybe, “So, on balance, you’re saying it’s totally worth it? Or am I doing the math wrong?”

Qien es mas mucho? Fred o Rudy?

I'm a rambler, I'm a gambler, I'm a long way from home
If you don't like me, Just leave me alone
I eat when I'm hungry I drink when I'm dry
If moonshine don't kill me, I'll live till I die
-The Moonshiner by the Clancy Brothers

So anyway, I couldn't get this song out of my head after reading the headlines at Huffington Post, "Thompson: I Prosecuted Most Of The Major Crimes In Middle Tennessee", I clicked on the link and found this fascinating story at the LA Times: Fred Thompson vs. the moonshiners
He was "attacking crime and public corruption," boasts a video played at his campaign events. During a candidate debate this month, Thompson said he spent those years "prosecuting most of the major federal crimes in middle Tennessee -- most of the major ones."
Out of his 88 cases he prosecuted in the U.S. attorney's office in Nashville, from 1969 to 1972, 27 of his cases involved moonshining. Many other cases according to the article were routine: gambling, mail theft and, in one instance, talking dirty on CB radio. While the article is rather disparaging of Thompson, I found it quite interesting nevertheless- his rise into Republican politics (which looked like no big deal actually,) and the liberal judge he was up against.

I also didn't know a whole lot about moonshining before reading it except from what I got from songs and Burt Reynolds movies- although I knew that we wouldn't have NASCAR today if it weren't for the "major criminals" in Tennessee. I'm not knocking what Thompson did for a living during those times but I really think that being in competition with Rudy Giuliani for the presidential nominee, he ought to play down his time fighting crime in central Tennessee because Rudy Giuliani clearly beats him in "coolness" by going after the mafia in New York.

Neither one of them quelled the crimes in their states. We still have the mafia in NY and moonshining faded because of the sharp rise in sugar in the 70's and the popularity of marijuana (musician's choice).

Check out the truth about Rudy at the Village Voice. His secret 9/11 testimony isn't supposed to be released until after the elections of 2008 but it's online. Mr Nine-Eleven didn't know sh*t. His speeches contradict the truth... like that's a big surprise.

Sunday, October 28

For Jersey,

Not quite the YouTube flick.

From Our "Well, DUH" Desk ...

This neat little article comes to us from the BBC, as a teaser for a two-part series on the Iraq War and the United Kingdom's (specifically Tony Blair's) role in this whole sorry affair.

The article points out the woeful, even criminal, lack of postwar planning on the part of the United States. It seems that no one in the US government gave the idea of "Okay, what happens next?" any thought at all.

According to a textbook I own, Planning in the Public Sector, the State Department had done some planning, coming up with a fourteen-volume set of plans that covered all the aspects of postwar operations. However (I hate that word - it lands in a discussion with a thud like a mass of wet cement) postwar planning was handed over to the Defense Department, who essentially threw out what the State Department had put together and chose to 'wing it.'

So we ended up with incompetents (but good Party members) running things.

So we ended up with a worthless apparatchik named L. Paul Bremer as Viceroy.

So we ended up disbanding the Iraqi Army, throwing roughly 2 million men out into unemployment, giving them a grudge that they could use their military technology on.

So we ended up killing roughly 100,000 Iraqis and now there are 4 million Iraqis dispossessed and exiled.

So we ended up with 4100 coalition deaths, and a butcher's bill on borrowed money that our grandchildren will be hard-put to pay off.

Didn't anyone ever teach Dear Leader and his Cabinet the "Five Ps?"

Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.

This has turned out to be once of the worst Administrations this nation has ever had. Khrushchev said (I believe) that the United States would destroy itself from within, and it certainly looks like it from my vantage point, folks. And the worst thing is these rubes didn't fall through a portal from another dimension - they're the product of American schools, universities, business schools and were elected by people who should have known better.

I pray before Hecate and Ereshkigal that some day there will be a reckoning.

(This is cross-posted at My Two Cents.)

you have GOT to get up, GO OUTSIDE ....and take a look to the east!

I can't believe my eyes!!

read all about it!!!

6:15 am -- (i'm baaack)

here come some more pics!!!
(Liz - I'm having a blast -- I never knew how simple it was to load pics (I can finally show every one pictures of my cats oh noooo!!!! ) thanks for those great instructions - you're such a good teacher - I wish I knew how to make the music play on MOG (that music blog that I belong to) cause I have THE perfect song........

you know the one -
it's about jupiter aligning with mars

maybe it IS the dawning of the age of america (?)

I was just reading up on mars when I came in from the deck. I forgot that Mars was the god of war. He was considered to be the second most important Roman deity, Jupiter was the 'chief.'

and did you know where Jupiter lived??

His temple was on the Capitoline Hill.

(crap - blogger won't load the pics now. you can check out these scary dudes at the link)

A BEAUTIFUL SIGHT!! - Thousands protest

Thousands Protest Iraq War Across U.S.

Thousands of people called for a swift end to the war in Iraq as they marched through downtown on Saturday, chanting and carrying signs that read: "Wall Street Gets Rich, Iraqis and GIs Die" or "Drop Tuition Not Bombs."

The protest was the largest in a series of war protests taking place in New York, Los Angeles and other U.S. cities, organizers said.

No official head count was available. Organizers of the event estimated about 30,000 people participated in San Francisco. It appeared that more than 10,000 people attended the march.

In the shadow of the National Constitution Center and Independence Hall in Philadelphia, a few hundred protesters ranging from grade school-aged children to senior citizens called on President Bush to end funding for the war and bring troops home.

Saturday, October 27

A Marriage made in D.C.

In honor of:
The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007

I"m not sure where they're registered...

Short Quiz:

This is a photograph of:
1)A tawny seductress
2)A brazen hussy
3)A sultry vixen
4)The woman who will probably be the next President of Argentina
5)All of the above

GOP Base Planning Session Transcript

(Theme music)

Narrator: Welcome to another episode of REPUBLICAN PLAYHOUSE, the only open theater for Real Americans. When we last saw our two red-blooded American heros, Clem and Ewalt, they were taking a break from the hard work of defending our fair country from their secret base in Ewalt's mother's basement . . .

SCENE: Suburban house, front porch, exterior – DAY

Clem: Know sumpin’, Ewalt?

Ewalt: What, Clem?

Clem: We’re in-TAYNSS-lee ignorant, ain’t we?

Ewalt: (laughs) Yeah, we sure are!

(Both laugh)

Ewalt: Clem?

Clem: Yeah, Ewalt?

Ewalt: What’s “ignorant” mean?

Clem: Dunno – but we’re IT!

(Both laugh)

Ewalt: (sighs) I’m bored.

Clem: You’re SMART ENOUGH to be bored, Ewalt?

Ewalt: Reckon so. Know what we oughta do? We oughta think up sumpin’ to piss off dem hippies, y’know?

Clem: Man, I hate them dirty hippies. They don’t talk like us.

Ewalt: Uh-huh.

Clem: And they ain’t got the everlastin’ love o’ Jeezus in they hearts like we do.

Ewalt: Uh-huh.

Clem: So what d’you think we should do?

Ewalt: Endorse that there OH-Bama fer Prez’dent.

Clem: OH-Bama?! Why, he ain’t no true Amurkan – he’s – he’s –

Ewalt: I know, Clem, but here’s the great part of it.

Clem: I’m listenin.’ Gimme a beer.

(Sound of beer opening)

Ewalt: See, OH-Bama might endanger that true Amurkan, Roo-dee Joo-lee-anni, so if’n we endorse him, none o’ the dirty hippies’ll vote fer him. See?

Clem: Ewalt?

Ewalt: Yeah, Clem?

Clem: We’re gonna need more beer. I’m startin’ to sober up, an’ you’re scaring me.

(Musical sting, with soap opera organ music over Narrator’s voiceover)

Narrator: Will Ewalt borrow his mom's car and get more beer before Clem sobers up? Are these two rubes as ignorant as they seem? Will their scheme to discredit Obama succeed, or will someone look up Giuliani’s skirts and spoil everything? Stay tuned to the next action-packed episode of . . . REPUBLICAN PLAYHOUSE!

(Country-style theme music to croon about the Flag and Baby Jeezus by.)

"Lengthy SWAT Standoff Over Foreclosure Ends in Suicide"

Houston Chronicle:
"A 12-hour standoff ended this morning with a north Houston man lobbing Molotov cocktails at Houston Police before taking his own life rather than vacate a home he'd lost to foreclosure."

Guess the "Compassionate Conservatives" slipped up on this one.

More Americans believe in ghosts than in their president

It's October.
Cue the ghost stories on the Discovery Channel.
Cue the latest AP/Ipsos poll.

Poll: American Belief in Ghosts, Spells, Superstition
By Audrey Barrick
Christian Post Reporter
Sat, Oct. 27 2007 08:54 AM ET

A third of Americans say they believe in ghosts, a pre-Halloween poll showed.

The same proportion, 34 percent, say they believe in unidentified flying objects, according to a poll by The Associated Press and Ipsos, and 23 percent say they have actually seen a ghost or believe they have been in one's presence.

Those most likely to have experienced that are single people, Catholics and those who never attend religious services. Three in 10 have awakened sensing a strange presence in the room.

Nearly half (48 percent) believe in extrasensory perception, a drop from the 66 percent who said they accept ESP in a similar question asked by Newsweek in 1996. Those with a higher education were found to be more likely to accept ESP - 51 percent of college graduates compared to 37 percent with a high school diploma or less.

Nineteen percent believe that spells or witchcraft exists. Urban dwellers, minorities and lower-earning people are more likely to believe in spells and witchcraft.

A 2006 Barna Group poll found that the supernatural world is more readily believed by teens. In the midst of the Harry Potter phenomenon, the Barna report revealed that 73 percent of America's youth have engaged in at least one type of psychic or witchcraft-related activity beyond media exposure or horoscope usage. Moreover, 30 percent of all teens claimed they had supernatural encounters. Evangelical teens (26 percent) were nearly three times less likely than the non-evangelicals (69 percent) to have engaged in witchcraft or psychic activities.

More than 10 percent of youth claimed they communicated with the dead.
I find it not surprising that Catholics are among believers. I grew up Catholic. We were expected to believe in fantastic happenings in accordance with our religion. Therefore other unexplained phenomena was easily chalked up to the supernatural and the spirit world. In fact, it's easy to engage in a conversation about a brush with the spirit world with most any Catholic (even Republican Catholics). I have dozens of stories.

speaking of fires

Mysterious, unexplained fires plagued residents of Sicily 3 years ago. Electrical appliances were bursting into flames. It seems that an explanation has finally been arrived at: ALIENS

Aliens caused Sicily fires, say officials

Dozens of experts including scientists, electrical engineers and military boffins, arrived in the village 60 miles east of Palermo to investigate the phenomenon.

Arson was quickly ruled out and at one stage an amazed scientist was interviewed after he described how he saw an unplugged electrical cable burst into flames.

Locals were quick to blame supernatural forces and at the time the Vatican’s chief exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth backed up their fears and said: "I’ve seen things like this before. Demons occupy a house and appear in electrical goods. Let’s not forget that Satan and his followers have immense powers."

Now in an interim leaked report published by several Italian newspapers it has emerged that the Civil Protection Department has concluded the most likely cause was "aliens".

The report was ordered by the Italian government and brought together dozens of experts including a NASA scientist. Their two year investigation has cost an estimated £1 million.

According to the report the fires were "caused by a high power electro magnetic emissions which were not man made and reached a power of between 12 and 15 gigawatts."

The report also detailed a possible UFO landing close to the village, citing "burnt imprints which have not been explained were found in a field."
So there you go. Proof of aliens.
Thank you.

BS is a full service blog keeping you abreast of all important world wide developments.

and a special hat tip to Peter of Lone Tree.

speaking of fascism...

I found this post over at DU and it correlates with the blueprint for fascism by Naomi Wolf (see my post below) and Naomi Wolf's 10 East Steps to Fascism: #1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy. (That would be us. Seriously.)

Only six members of Congress voted against fascism. How the hell did they get this past us

On Tuesday Congress betrayed the American people. They passed H.R. 1955: The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 by a vote of 404-6. What is HR 1955? Well lets just look at the text:

  • `For purposes of this subtitle:
  • `(1) COMMISSION- The term `Commission' means the National Commission on the Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism established under section 899C.
  • ←→
  • `(2) VIOLENT RADICALIZATION- The term `violent radicalization' means the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change.
  • (3) The Internet has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens.

Obligatory Friday Sex Post- 4 headed monster

NewScientist: Exhibitionist spiny anteater reveals bizarre penis

Excerpt: Four-headed phallus

Then Steve Johnston of the University of Queensland in Gatton, Australia, and his colleagues inherited a male spiny anteater that was not so shy. The creature had been ‘retired’ from a zoo as it produced an erection when being handled at public viewing sessions.

By filming this animal, the researchers have been able to describe the unique spiny anteater erection and ejaculation behaviour for the first time.

The spiny anteater's four-headed phallus had been puzzling scientists. "When we tried to collect semen by [electrically-stimulated ejaculation] before, not only did we not get a single drop, but the whole penis swelled up to a four-headed monster that wouldn't fit the female reproductive tract, which has only two branches," says Johnston.
Well thank god for science. I never would have guessed. And thank god they retired the little critter for being sexually aroused in public or we'd never know this.

hat tip to Paul A. via BoingBoing via New Scientist

See also Man arrested for having sex with his bicycle in a hotel room.

Friday, October 26

And now for something completely different...

Are you smarter than a C.I.A. Agent?

The truth will not set you free in the US

Today in the sinking democracy of the United States, academics, civil rights and social justice are notions deemed "anti-American" by the radicals who have taken control. Good people who hate the fascists and war pigs are deemed "dangerous" and bad people who hate good people are called "Christians." Pretty ironic. The truth is on the side of the "radical left" these days.

For example, FEMA held a fake news conference today. FEMA employees posed as reporters and asked softball questions. Shame shame. Sounds like the USSR.

But in good news, Rummy ran into some trouble in France today. He was slapped with a torture lawsuit. I heard it on the news on my way home from happy hour. I remained happy.

PS, I was wondering since the PTB have lumped everyone who doesn't agree with the dismantling of the US Constitution as the far do we refer to actual far left radicals?

Error Message

I was wrong.

I'll admit it, and the admission depresses me.

Not enough to swallow the business end of my shotgun, but close.

Back in November 2006, I had hoped (Oh! Foolish Hope!) that the incoming Democratic majority would stand firm against the Dear Leader and his merry minions, bring some sanity back into the government and make some of these people accountable for the way they've messed up my country.

Well, here it is almost a year since the election, and I have to admit I was mistaken.

The Democratic Representatives and Senators have shown themselves to be just as, if not more, complaisant and willing to grant Bush whatever he wants.

The polls say it all, but all you have to do is watch the news (preferably out of the UK or Canada - you can't get much from any of the US press combines). We're in trouble, ladies and gentlemen.

We are fighting a war in Iraq for no good reason except for oil, a war that is fought on borrowed money and was started based on lies, bad intelligence, and the most targeted ad campaign since William Hearst started the Spanish-American War.

Our total war against terror has destroyed our moral standing in the world. We have become what we deplore.

We have watched as our government has fallen apart, one branch thinking that its authority trumps all others in the name of "defending the country,' and the other two branches perfectly willing to let this once-great Republic slide into the dustheap of history.

So, I was wrong.

The "Godalmighty, maybe the stupidshit isn't as stupid as I thought he was" quote of the week:

It's by Henry Paulson. In a REUTERS article about oil reaching $92/barrel, he says, "It's not a positive for the economy". Whuddja expect Henry? With the way your fellow gobbledongers in the administration have been running off at the mouth about what a threat Iran is to world peace and stability, I'm only surprised the price hasn't already passed $100, but I'll wait a few days.
Uh, it's not some sort of "fix", is it Henry? You know, boosh and shamey ranting and raving about attacking Iran, with no intention of actually doing it, just to drive the price up on oil and all energy products with Winter coming on?

(Shit! There I go again with another conspiracy theory. Maybe Joizeygoil made me do it with her Blackwater Post down below.)

BlondeSense Action Alert

Does your Democartic representative or senator suffer from that horrible medical condition commonly known as Bushicus Cavinicus? If so, give 'em a hearty dose of Spineocrat.

Don't wait! Send them some today!

The world may depend on it.

H/T to the ever lovely chicago dyke of correntewire.

War For Fun And Profit

David Brookswas the Long Island guy who made so much money selling crappy flak jackets for our troops that he threw an $8 million dollar bat mitzvah for his underdeprived daughter, complete with rock stars and celebrities, but that the only thing the news had to say about it at the time was that it was excessive... nothing about the fact that he was a dirty filthy war profiteer.

Why did the feds crack down on him now? Not because he looted the government, but because he looted the company and his investors. sheesh. Well yeah, that's serious, but more investigation turns up information that our troops were screwed over... but nevermind, that isn't in the story.

The story is that he lived a very lavish lifestyle and charged it to his company which really charged it to his country, thank you very much.

Sure he's a criminal but the real criminals are Bush and Cheney. When will they be charged?

No, Seriously. We have to wake up America.

We are running out of time. I think we ought to read Naomi Wolf's "The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot" and "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism"

Time is running out for our democracy. The revolution had better happen soon. We are much further along than most Americans realize. In fact, I have met learned people who say that they don't fear the government's intrusion into our lives because they believe that they have done nothing wrong. Tell that to the Long Island woman who died in the Phoenix airport. Oh, if only we could dig up innocent people who suffered under Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, Pinochet... We can read all the history books, but there isn't time. So let's listen to Naomi Wolf.

There is a blueprint for a dictatorship. It's time tested and it's happening. A quick read is Naomi Wolf's Fascist America, in 10 Easy Steps

And you can watch this video of a talk by Naomi Wolf author of "The End of America: Letter of Warning To A Young Patriot" given October 11, 2007 at Kane Hall on the University of Washington campus... Nothing else is really all that important in the grand scheme of things. I took notes as I was watching it, which are below.

These are my quicky notes on the video (excuse the lack of sentence structure as I was typing as she spoke):

There is a blueprint of 10 steps every would-be dictator puts in place whether left or right. The history of Mussolini, Germany in the early 30's, etc.

Our founders knew in their bones that an American despot could easily arise and oppress the citizens. They wrote out of fear and knew what tyranny was and set a system of checks and balances- it was a radical but they knew that if power went unchecked, it was human nature for despots to rise.

Invoke a terrifying internal and external threat. Hyped threat- Stalin talked about sleeper cells described as capitalist agents who were dressed like Soviet citizens waiting for the moment to rise up and strike. It's as if the Bush admin followed this playbook.
Goebbels embedded journalists. Goebbels staged book burnings. Remember the Dixie Chicks?
Pinochet told Chileans about insurgents and used faked documents, plan Z, to blow up their democracy. Much like the US produced fake documents- yellow cake uranium.

Secret prisons. Military tribunal- No due process. Lenin was the innovator- confino. Eventually turn the abuse against its own citizens. History proves it.

The State uses terror against an individual group to push to end democracy. In early Germany, the anarchists and communists were the target group. Then there is a blurring of the line- always the journalists, labor leaders, educators, activists are next... Starts out little and then grows. People accepted it at the time. Most Americans don't even realize that the president claims that he can deem you an enemy combatant and nothing will protect you. He can deem any one of any party, of any persuasion an enemy combatant. Innocence will not protect you. You will be put in a brig and kept there indefinitely- up to 3 years. Prolonged isolation makes you insane.

Democracy closes down in a series of tipping points, not a smooth steady progressive line. At the end, it goes fast though where a democracy can no longer heal democracy.
The first time the state made it legal to torture people was a tipping point.
When the kid was tasered in the University of Florida, it was a tipping point. The university reported to the Board of regents, which reported to the state legislature and ultimately to the governor.

Goebbels pioneered the use of state legislature top put pressure on state universities and academic institutions. Ms Wolf says that the day she reads in the NY Times that someone whom she identifies with is declared an enemy combatant is the day she will stop talking because she will be too scared. That's how society closes down and it will happen really clearly. That's why we should worry about secret prisons.

Create a para-military force. You can't close down a democracy without one. They can be used to intimidate the citizens. Italy was a democracy when Mussolini sent black shirts out to scare civilians and make them drink laxatives and then Hitler copied it by sending out brown shirts to make citizens drink gross liquids. In Portland last summer, the TSA forced travelers to drink baby formula and breast milk after the liquid scare on planes. They weren't a majority party in Germany when this happened.

The founders knew the dangers of a para military force and that's why there is a Second Amendment. King George's men were roaming around the colonies bullying people, breaking into their homes and taking their stuff. In our country, Blackwater, which has close ties to the administration was patrolling the streets of NOLA after hurricane Katrina. They got a billion dollar contract to work IN AMERICA recently. A new law says that the president can declare state of emergency on his own say so and a new law says that the president, by federalizing the national guard can declare martial law and send national guard troops from say Alabama to another state to enact curfew over the objections of the governors of the states and not tell congress about it until after the facts. This is exactly what the founders were worried about.

Create surveillance apparatus against ordinary citizens. You don't even need to surveill everyone if everyone thinks they are being surveilled. The US is driven by profit motive, not ideology motive as in Germany and Italy. When Berlin wall fell, the defense industry (third of US economy) was losing its global enemy so it had to invent a new one- terrorists. Weapons manufacturers who used to make cold war weapons shifted their manufacturing to what's called security industrial complex technologies. Surveillance and security is a multibillion dollar industry. While other countries like Spain and England don't consider terrorism a global war, the American profiteers have to ensure their profits by creating an enemy which is us-- That we're in need of surveillance.

Naomi Wolf, for a year and a half, every time she flew, got an 'SSS' on her boarding pass. High risk, security threat. She got extra searches by the TSA and was told she was on the list. Richard Murphy, a Princeton U constitutional scholar, the leader of Code Pink, Greenpeace, ACLU, a decorated war hero's family is on the list... the level of surveillance is so high that they know what you read, who you sit next to, where you're going... Ms Wolf said she found a letter from Homeland Security in her suitcase when she arrived at her destination. (May I add that DHS did something similar to my luggage when I traveled to Texas in the spring. If I suddenly shut up, you'll know why.)

Arbitrarily detain and release citizens who are involved in totally non terrorist groups, like environmentalists and anti-war groups. They infiltrate citizens groups and then citizens lose trust. They target individuals like artists, journalists, celebrities. Words like Treason are thrown about. In a strong democracy, treason isn't such a big deal, but when you read about Stalin in 1937, an editor of a paper like the NY Times was actually charged with treason and executed. In a closing society, there is much talk of terrorists and traitors. When a law was passed in the US recently to expand the definition of a terrorist, 6 months later animal rights activists were deemed terrorists.

Regular people become terrorists. You know from history that the first people to be tried under a military commissions act that the first people to be tried were white, English speaking. The last time the espionage act was used was in the run up to WWI and critics, journalists, activists, people fighting against child labor were rounded up, without warrants, mass arrests happened and people were beaten. The arrests happened when people talked about the constitution. Journalists today are being held in abusive prisons and detained in Iraq. The arrests quieted dissent.

People who criticize are viewed as traitors and treasonous.

The government will Subvert the rule of law- martial law. Leading up to elections during an unstable time, you're likely to see acts of provocation, hyped threats, protests will be upset by agents provocateur who will spark violence which will give an excuse for a crackdown

If you know the blueprint, when something happens you can almost predict what is next. Wolf was reading Goebbels when she predicted that the US attorneys in the scandal were from swing states. It turns out that the emails that the WH will not turn over to Congress will show that they were planning to fire ALL of the US attorneys all at once in a mass purge. Night of the Long Knives. Had this plan not been outed, and the attorneys had been fired, the end of our democracy would be that much closer. This is because US attorneys prosecute voting rights violations.

A closed society and even a violent dictatorship can give the appearance of a civil society. There are still elections. But they are corrupted. Men dressed like you and me were harassing vote counters in Florida. There's still a judiciary but they are not free to adjudicate freely. Academics and newspapers still exist, but they don't act freely.

What can we do?
History shows that the window is closing on democracy and if the people rise up in time, they can push back on this tyranny in the US. We have no time to waste in America to insist on the rule of law. We can't do this legislatively alone. The violence is escalating now. The state department is protecting Blackwater in Iraq. There are increasing taser and pepper spray incidents. Women like the one at the Phoenix airport are being shown in eerily good quality video are being dragged away... these keep popping up on AOL. National Socialists did the same thing.

We need to ratchet up our efforts even as they ratchet up their efforts to squash grassroots activists.

History dictates that a national uprising is incredibly urgent at this time in America. But it will take more than that.. impeachment isn't enough... we need to prosecute.

If we all take on the patriot's task and have a revolution from within, we can can restore liberty. The founders did not intend us to delegate responsibility of holding to the constitution to a special class of people like pundits, lawyers, politicians. It was meant for ordinary Americans to assume the patriots task and lead the fight to restore democracy. It's our job to channel the founders faith in us and to stand up in order to give our children and grandchildren freedom. We must stand up now.

There are also more videos at this youtube link. I hope you'll take the time to watch at least some of it or ask your friends to check it out.

Thanks Patriots.

What Would Jesus Do?

Do you have questions in your life and need guidance? Are you spiritually troubled and don't know where to turn for answers? I think I can help.

For only $20.00 (plus shipping and handling), you can have a hotline to the Big Guy himself with your very own Answer Me Jesus. Prepare yourself for divine guidance to questions such as:

Should I take that new job? (Answer: Let me ask my dad.)

Will the Red Sox win the World Series? (Answer: I died for this?)

Is George Bush actually the Spawn of Satan? (Answer: Yes, my child.)

Also, do you feel left out of all those divinely-inspired eBay items, kitchen cabinets, trees, etc. depicting (variously) Jesus and the Virgin Mary? Then feel free to join in the fun, and potentially rake in the dollars, with your very own Holy Toast Bread Stamp.

Finally, since Blondesense is non-sectarian and entirely non-judgmental about religion, we do not want any of our non-Christian readers to feel left out and bereft of spiritual guidance. Such readers should feel free to avail themselves of the Answer Me Buddha for the same low price.

All together now: Hallelujah!

H/T to my very good friend Kathleen.

Blackwater to California: Hire us to put out your fires (by Rick Jacobs)

First, a little background from NPR - Blackwater's San Diego-Area Plan Spurs Protest:

Blackwater USA wants to build a 200-acre training facility in San Diego's backcountry, but growing controversy over the private security contractors' behavior in Iraq may hurt the proposal's prospects for approval.

Bitter divisions are emerging in the small, unincorporated community of Potrero, 45 miles east of San Diego.

I had no idea that this community had been working for months to stop Blackwater from building a mercenary training facility in Potrero.

Oct. 24th Rick Jacobs writes this piece in the California Majority Report:

Beyond the damage and destruction to life and property, the timing of this wildfire could not be much worse. This fire exploded just as the people of Potrero were preparing for a recall election on December 11 to kick out the planning group members who approved Blackwater's base. With ballots scheduled to be mailed in early November to less than 600 registered voters in this historic vote-by-mail recall, Potrero residents were preparing for an intense campaign over the next six weeks.

And now, Oct. 25th, he writes this piece (title of post) for huffpo:

We couldn't make this stuff up. Brian Bonfiglio, vice president of Blackwater West, "I see a tactical operation center for East County fires," said Bonfiglio, noting that Blackwater's proposal includes water tanks capable of holding 35,000 gallons. "Can you imagine how much of a benefit it would be if we were operational now?"......

Fires of historic proportion break out all over southern California, including an as yet to be contained fire in Potrero, hundreds of yards from where Blackwater wants to open its 824 acre base including eleven live fire ranges.
Continue reading....

Is anybody thinking what I am thinking?

I don't like what I am thinking.

Am I reading too much between the lines here?

Thursday, October 25

This Weeks "Fool on the Hill"

One of the requisites for becoming a Democratic member of Congress is that they have to undergo a Ballectomy. You see, we can’t have any (Democratic) men in Congress with more testosterone or balls than Nancy.

Since Rep. Stark was to be censured for having the audacity to bitch about the assholes on the Right and thus offend, by using the obsolete First Amendment for whatever reason American Gladiator Malibu (Nancy Pelosi), she (it) was downright pissed that us Democrats would say naughty things, bad things about the Right. So he agreed to apologize to the poor offended Republicans who can’t take criticism (if they can’t take it from the Democrats, how can the possibly stand up to Al Qaeda?).

With apologies, or not, to Keith, I present this weeks

Fool on the Hill


Down with tyranny


In another blatant maneuver to get the nation's eye off the ball, Republican obstructionists in the House forced a vote on condemning California Congressman Pete Stark. Aside from being a colossal waste of Congress' time, this blatant show of Republican partisan hypocrisy was an opportunity for Americans to see the minority party at its sickest and most pathetic. Not a single Republican voted for the motion to table this embarrassing resolution. The motion to table (kill) John Boehner's attempt to bring further disrepute to Congress passed 196-173.

You might be interested in knowing that 5 Democrats voted with the Republicans on condemning Rep Stark and another 8-- mostly reflexive reactionaries-- voted "Present," refusing to come to Stark's defense. You can probably guess the names of the disgraceful 13 Democrats. But just in case... the 5 who voted-- as they so often do-- with the GOP:

Jason Altmire (PA), still not kicked off the DCCC Front Line list
Chris Carney (PA), still not kicked off the DCCC Front Line list
Joe Donnelly (IN), still not kicked off the DCCC Front Line list
Brad Ellsworth (IN), still not kicked off the DCCC Front Line list
Heath Shuler (NC), still not kicked off the DCCC Front Line list

The 5 worst freshmen, none of whom have earned support from Democrats for re-election, these are the guys who consistently support the Bush Regime agenda inside the Democratic caucus. The 8 who insultingly voted "present," are 6 Bush-Dems and two progressives (Dave Loebsack of Iowa and Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri) who probably had their own crazy reasons for their bizarre votes, although in the context of their entire records should just get a role of the eyes and a pass on this. The other 6 are:

Dan Boren (OK)
Lincoln Davis (TN)
Baron Hill (IN)
Tim Mahoney (FL), still not kicked off the DCCC Front Line list
Charlie Melancon (LA)
Dennis Moore (KS)

After the censure resolution was defeated, Congressman Stark made a dignified apology to those who were offended by his remarks and asked the House to get back to the serious business of getting S-CHIP approved (Thanks to TPM for the clip.)

A Firedoglake reader called Stark's office to complain about the apology. "The person answering the phone told me that Stark had no choice; Stark was told before the vote was taken that should he not apologize, the vote to censure would pass. According to his office, that is the only reason he apologized." Anyone want to guess who forced one of the best congressmen in America to humiliate himself and put himself on a level with someone like Mean Jean Schmidt? Was in Rahm? Hoyer? Madam Off the Table?

Father Tyme

Future Shock

BBC News: Human species 'may split in two
Humanity may split into an elite and an underclass, says Dr Curry

Humanity may split into two sub-species in 100,000 years' time as predicted by HG Wells, an expert has said.

Evolutionary theorist Oliver Curry of the London School of Economics expects a genetic upper class and a dim-witted underclass to emerge.The human race would peak in the year 3000, he said - before a decline due to dependence on technology.

People would become choosier about their sexual partners, causing humanity to divide into sub-species, he added.

The descendants of the genetic upper class would be tall, slim, healthy, attractive, intelligent, and creative and a far cry from the "underclass" humans who would have evolved into dim-witted, ugly, squat goblin-like creatures. (continued)
Dr Curry predicts that "humans will evolve in 1,000 years into giants between 6ft and 7ft tall, while life-spans will have extended to 120 years." Men will have bigger penises and women's breasts will be pert. We will be coffee colored as well. In 10,000 years, humans will look like domesticated animals due to reliance on technology.

Who will you be when you reincarnate?

Love and Hate. Why I am Rooting for the Red Sox

How dare I root for Boston in the World Series?
Why not? It's a northeastern team. Don't we usually root for the team closest to us in proximity? I said usually. That's why I am a Mets fan primarily.

But we HATE the Red Sox because we're New Yorkers!
Hogwash. Why should I root for the Rockies when no one in the northeast could even name a Rockie before the playoffs? And would the die-hard Yankees fans root for the Mets if they were in the series?

Poo on the New Yorkers who shun me for rooting for the Red Sox. And if the Rockies win, then good for them... but I guess I am not such a rabid sports fan.

Can we really hate something unless we cared about it in the first place?

Cue al Qaeda

You can't turn on the TV without seeing the horrific tragedy taking place in California. Men fighting against nature doing what it does is no easy task and there is no mercy. Fire is probably the most scary thing. You can't hide. You can't climb up a tree or on your roof. You have to run and even when you think you might be safe, a fire tornado could happen and all bets are off.

I saw this story on Countdown last night, but I just love Buzzflash's account of it:
"This morning on Fox News, hosts of the show Fox and Friends blamed the wildfires in California on a new culprit: al Qaeda." This is called demagoguery. It is the stuff that lynch mobs are made of. But if FOX is right -- which it isn't -- then Bush failed at fighting them over there so that they wouldn't attack us over here. If so, then just bring the troops back, because they are needed in California. 10/25

The stupid idiots at Fox and Fiends pointed to a 2003 FBI memo that didn't even mention California as a target... but hey let's just make this event scarier, why don't we? Actually to make it scarier, all they had to do was mention that it may have been home grown arson.

The LA Times has a lot of stories about the situation.

Anyway, I am rooting for the Bush administration and hope that they won't fuck up whatever they need to do for the people of California. Please. Not another Katrina.

George Carlin with Keith Olbermann

Here's the link from onegoodmove

h/t toj-walkblog

WWSD (What Would Santa Do) - The Race to the North Pole

From each according to his ability, to each according to his need

That's what I think Santa would say.

I don't know where to begin here folks. I'm all over the place trying to get a grasp on this morning's headline in my e-mail:
Coast Guard Plans to Set Up Arctic Base

and now, all of a sudden, I can't get that Door's tune When the Music's Over out of my head --

What have they done to the earth?
What have they done to our fair sister?
Ravaged and plundered and ripped her and bit her
Stuck her with knives in the side of the dawn
And tied her with fences and dragged her down


I'm pretty sure that setting up an Artic base has something to do with that flag the Russians placed on the sea bed under the North Pole back in June:Kremlin lays claim to huge chunk of oil-rich North Pole
The President's Statement on Advancing U.S. Interests in the World's Oceans back in May

It has to do with the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST)

The United States has signed the treaty, but the Senate has not ratified it. Mr. Bush wants it ratified.

What do you think?

Here are some links that I found while searching this topic:

The Law of the Sea Convention: The Case for Senate Action (from Brookings Institute)

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
(A historical perspective)

Who owns the north pole (from the Socialist Courier)

Who owns the north pole (from the new scientist)

Bush wants Law of the Sea approved, but some conservatives balk (from msnbc)

Nations Dispute 'Arctic Sovereignty' (from NPR)

Seward's Folly (The Alaska Purchase - from wiki)

I hear a very gentle sound
With your ear down to the ground
We want the world and we want it...
We want the world and we want it...

So when the music's over
When the music's over, yeah
When the music's over
Turn out the lights
Turn out the lights
Turn out the lights

Well the music is your special friend
Dance on fire as it intends
Music is your only friend
Until the end
Until the end
Until the end!

crossposted at BigBrassBlog

Wednesday, October 24

On Friendship

Thank you to Father Tyme for the humorous comments in the thread below. And in a similar vein, I would like to offer the following:

A friend will help you move . . .

A really good friend will help you move the body.


UN Chief: Violence Against Women Surges - The Council also demanded that women be included in decision-making positions at every level of peacemaking

Just when I was giving up on the United Nations. Let's hope it's not just all talk and wishful thinking.
This is EXACTLY what the UN is good for.

Can you imagine this really being put into action???? What a wonderful world this would be.

From AP writer EDITH M. LEDERER:

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. secretary-general warned that violence against women has reached "hideous" levels in some countries trying to recover from conflict, and the U.N. Security Council demanded an end to impunity for rape and other sexual abuse.

The council expressed deep concern Tuesday that despite its repeated demands for an immediate end to violence against women caught in armed conflicts, "rape and other forms of sexual abuse, as well as all other forms of violence, ... remain pervasive, and in some situations have become systematic, and have reached appalling levels of atrocity."

"The council stresses the need to end impunity for such acts as part of a comprehensive approach to seeking peace, justice, truth and national reconciliation," it said.

The council statement was read at the end of a day-long open meeting on implementation of a resolution adopted in 2000 that called for the prosecution of crimes against women and increased protection of women and girls during war. It also demanded that women be included in decision-making positions at every level of peacemaking and peacebuilding.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said "violence against women has reached hideous and pandemic proportions in some societies attempting to recover from conflict." He did not name any countries.

"Together, all of us need to strengthen our collective and individual response to it," Ban said. "This is essential if we are to reverse the damage done by conflict, and to build more inclusive, accountable and cohesive socieites, underpinned by viable democratic institutions."

U.N. Undersecretary-General for Peacekeeping Jean-Marie Guehenno stressed the U.N.'s "zero tolerance" for sexual exploitation and abuse by its more than 80,000 peacekeeping troops.

"While rape is used as a weapon of war in situations such as ... Congo and Darfur, addressing this war crime requires going beyond political compromise, power and resource sharing agreements," he said. "Instead, combating rape and other forms of sexual violence calls for concerted, robust and ongoing action on the part of both national actors and also the international community at every level of engagement."

Assistant Secretary-General Rachel Mayanja, the secretary-general's special adviser on gender issues, urged all governments, parliaments, international organizations and civic groups to join a worldwide campaign on violence against women and girls that Ban will launch later this year.

"Impunity for perpetrators and insufficient response to the needs of survivors are morally reprehensible and unacceptable," she said. "Sexual violence in conflict, particularly rape, should be named for what it is: not a private act or the unfortunate misbehavior of a renegade soldier, but aggression, torture, war crime and genocide."

crossposted at BigBrassBlog

gee, I never thought of it that way

If so many American women didn't abort their babies since 1973, we wouldn't have Mexicans coming here to pick fruit. The unwanted kids would have gladly taken those jobs. hmmm

Mike Huckabee before a summit of "values" voters:
"Sometimes we talk about why we're importing so many people in our workforce," the former Arkansas governor said. "It might be for the last 35 years, we have aborted more than a million people who would have been in our workforce had we not had the holocaust of liberalized abortion under a flawed Supreme Court ruling in 1973."

He forgot to mention that they would have gladly fought in the wars too.

Tuesday, October 23

Sharp Drop Seen in US Deaths in Iraq

Here is the AP story written by Steven R. Hurst

Forgive me Mr. Hurst, but this is one poorly written article, IMHO.

Maybe it's just me?

A writer I am not, but I do read a lot and this was very difficult to follow.

Maybe I've just been reading too much.

SHOWDOWN WITH IRAN -- Tonight on Frontline (PBS)

As the United States and Iran are locked in a battle for power and influence across the Middle East -- with the fear of an Iranian nuclear weapon looming in the background -- FRONTLINE gains unprecedented access to the Iranian hard-liners shaping government policy. In Showdown with Iran, airing Tuesday, October 23, 2007, at 9 P.M. ET on PBS (check local listings), FRONTLINE examines how U.S. efforts to install democracy in Iraq have served to strengthen Iran's position as an emerging power in the Middle East.

"You will not find a single instance in which a country has inflicted harm on us and we have left it without a response," deputy head of Iran's National Security Council Mohammad Jafari tells FRONTLINE in his first television interview. "So if the United States makes such a mistake, they should know that we will definitely respond. And we don't make threats."

Read the rest of the press release here...

crossposted at BigBrassBlog

Cheney's Law -- Frontline (PBS)

For three decades Vice President Dick Cheney conducted a secretive, behind-closed-doors campaign to give the president virtually unlimited wartime power. Finally, in the aftermath of 9/11, the Justice Department and the White House made a number of controversial legal decisions. Orchestrated by Cheney and his lawyer David Addington, the department interpreted executive power in an expansive and extraordinary way, granting President George W. Bush the power to detain, interrogate, torture, wiretap and spy -- without congressional approval or judicial review.

Continue reading....


watch the full program online

I missed the program last week. Did anyone catch it? I just learned about today from a friend who cannot stop thinking about it. She said it was the most frightening thing she ever saw.

crossposted at BigBrassBlog

Too many criminals? Build more prisons! Buy more beds!

Let's hear it for the war on drugs- it's created a multi multi multi billion dollar industry.

Prison Crisis: Will California Spend More on Jails Than Universities?
"There's no strategy behind the incarceration," says attorney Sara Norman of the Bay Area-based prisoner-rights group, the Prison Law Office. Her colleague Don Specter goes further. The state, he says, is all-too-quick to incarcerate, but is "unwilling to pay for the humane treatment" of those it locks up for years and even decades at a stretch.

While more and more dollars are being devoted to corrections, the amount of money available per inmate for programming (such as education, drug treatment, vocational training, mental health care and so on) has declined as a percentage of the total cost of incarceration. In June, the state senate subcommittee in charge of overseeing the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's budget reported that a mere 5 percent of the $43,000 California spends on each inmate each year currently goes toward rehabilitation programs.

To understand what has gone wrong, one has to go back more than 30 years and examine a generation's worth of flawed criminal justice policy-making at both the state and federal levels. It's what freelance journalist and one-time editor of the Boulder Weekly Joel Dyer once pungently termed a "perpetual prisoner machine."
I thought the whole article was pretty informative and eye opening. What struck me after reading it was this pervasive attitude that many Americans have of a disposable society- you don't like something, then get rid of it- kill it, put it away. Out of sight, out of mind.

The war on terror works that way. Rather than do something to help fight socio-political injustice in the world that causes many to feel so helpless that they resort to violence in order to get attention, world powers (especially ours) find it profitable to just go and bomb the shit out of the so called "bad guys." How will we know when we've won the war on terror? When we've killed all the terrorists and scared the shit out of everyone else? That seems unlikely.

The war on drugs, the war on crime, and the war on everything we deem socially unacceptable is being solved by locking up those who violate the laws. It doesn't seem to dawn on anyone that with some creative thinking, there may be ways for the PTB to make money in preventing many citizens from ending up in jail in the first place. Oh I don't know... maybe if there was a good and fairly honest educational system in this country and if jobs paid a living wage at the very least, perhaps half the people who are now incarcerated wouldn't be. How will we win the war on drugs? When there are more prisons than schools?

What is with this gated community and more prisons mentality? It's so anti-social. Pretty soon we'll all be locked up one way or another.

The rich and powerful are getting away with murder. Once they have disenfranchised all of those living on the fringes of society now, who do you think will be left on the fringe? Does anyone in their right mind think that disenfranchisement will stop?

This whole disposable mindset effects everyone in every social class in America. We have disposable products, disposable values and disposable income- we use and abuse. We create landfills with items and scraps that could probably lift a third world country out of poverty. It's really not that shocking to learn the gory details at what goes on in our prison system when you think about how we live and what we throw away.

Carbon Dioxide in Atmosphere Increasing

WASHINGTON (AP) — Just days after the Nobel prize was awarded for global warming work, an alarming new study finds that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is increasing faster than expected.

Carbon dioxide emissions were 35 percent higher in 2006 than in 1990, a much faster growth rate than anticipated, researchers led by Josep G. Canadell, of Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, report in Tuesday's edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Increased industrial use of fossil fuels coupled with a decline in the gas absorbed by the oceans and land were listed as causes of the increase.

"In addition to the growth of global population and wealth, we now know that significant contributions to the growth of atmospheric CO2 arise from the slowdown" of nature's ability to take the chemical out of the air, said Canadell, director of the Global Carbon Project at the research organization.

The changes "characterize a carbon cycle that is generating stronger-than-expected and sooner-than-expected climate forcing," the researchers report.

Monday, October 22

Holy Sheepshit, Batman

Hard on the heels (in relative time) of the revelation by the US Air Force that it briefly - yeah, 36 godsdamned hours - lost track of six nuclear weapons, comes this little story out of the US Navy:

Nuclear sub crew faked inspection records

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Six Navy personnel on board the nuclear-powered submarine USS Hampton have been punished for forging inspection records for the cooling system of the ship's nuclear reactor, Navy officials said Monday.

The misconduct was discovered on September 17 but was made public after completion of an initial investigation.

One officer and five enlisted personnel received a "non-judicial punishment" after other Navy personnel discovered their actions, Navy officials said.

The crew neither maintained inspection records nor conducted the required inspection of the chemical levels associated with the cooling system, the Navy officials said. The crew then went back and falsified existing records to make it appear the work had been done, the officials added.

"There is not, and never was, any danger to the crew or the public," the Navy said in a statement.

A fact-finding investigation is under way, and further action against Navy crew members is possible, a navy official said.

In all, the $900 million vessel's crew is composed of 13 officers and 116 enlisted personnel.

It is not clear if the disciplined personnel were still on board the vessel. The Hampton remains in port in San Diego.


Falsifying records is an old story, no matter if the business you're in is running a Kinko's or the largest and supposedly best-trained military machine on the planet. But there's a huge, staggeringly fucking huge difference between a copier and a nuclear reactor.

A copier is less inclined to give you that healthy glow in the dark if it malfunctions. For the Navy to say that there was no danger to the public or to the crew is a lie. Pure and simple.

Reactor safety is a major problem, as it runs at high temperature and pressure. The fissile material can't blow up, but it can really ruin your whole day if anything bad happens. Skipping safety inspections and then writing false reports can lead to that something bad happening.

You might see a number of people lose their rank and jobs; it's probably a lead-pipe cinch that the captain of the boat will lose his command over this.

Off topic, but relevent

So how is the autumn going in your neck of the woods?
I hear that the colors aren't as glorious as usual in New England, that Malibu is on fire and Georgia is dry as a bone.

If your neighborhood isn't aflame, what kind of fall decorating are you up to?

Makes you wonder

if there will ever be peace when the most incompetent people are running things.

Turns out that Valerie Plame's job was to prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon. Did Darth Cheney know that? And if so, would that ruin his plans to invade Iran?

Rumsfeld in a hissy fit back in 2004 forced the state department to rush to Blackwater for military security... and the hilarity ensues.

Seven army national guard brigades with 18,000 troops were alerted Friday to prepare for deployment to Iraq as replacement forces beginning next August, a Pentagon spokesman said.

Why even bother being in the reserves or the national guard nowadays? You may as well enlist in the Army or work for mercenaries because you know that you will land in Iraq eventually and your home, your family, your life, your values and everything you work for now will be compromised. And so much for guarding the home front:
The DHS warns that IED's are a rising threat to America.
"But lawmakers and first responders say the Bush administration has been slow to devise a strategy for countering the weapons and has not provided adequate money and training for a concerted national effort.”