Tuesday, October 31, 2006


posted by The Vidiot @ 3:47 PM Permalink

the good news is, if we manage to impeach Bush or somehow manage to survive 2 more years with him at the helm, we might be able to get rid of some of the judges he appointed.
Excerpt: At least two dozen federal judges appointed by President Bush since 2001 made political contributions to key Republicans or to the president himself while under consideration for their judgeships, government records show. A four-month investigation of Bush-appointed judges by the Center for Investigative Reporting reveals that six appellate court judges and 18 district court judges contributed a total of more than $44,000 to politicians who were influential in their appointments. Some gave money directly to Bush after he officially nominated them. Other judges contributed to Republican campaign committees while they were under consideration for a judgeship.

Brooklyn Photo Blogging

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:23 PM Permalink

The Sailor does his sailboat blogging, always upstaging me with those photos of the boats, the water. Huh. Well, take this: Brooklyn Blogging!

This is one of my favorite things to see in Brooklyn. It's the Giant Inflatable Rat. They blow him up and park him in front of non-union construction sites. This particular site is not paying their workers minimum wage and not paying them overtime and working them really long hours. It's a TwoTrees project (I think) called 75 Smith St. Yeah, exactly what we need in Brooklyn, more luxury apartments that normal people can't afford to live in.

Oh yes,

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:20 PM Permalink

And manipulating people using the false and distorted specter of 'terrorism' and 'islamo fascism' isn't manipulation at all.
Excerpt: Laura Bush on Michael J. Fox: ‘It’s Always Easy To Manipulate People’s Feelings’
Get real, lady.

I'm shocked!

posted by The Vidiot @ 8:29 AM Permalink

Shocked! How could this have happened!
Excerpt: The Interior Department has dropped claims that the Chevron Corporation systematically underpaid the government for natural gas produced in the Gulf of Mexico, a decision that could allow energy companies to avoid paying hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties.

The Bible is a novel

posted by The Vidiot @ 8:27 AM Permalink

when you get down to it. So go to Amazon and read some of the reviews!
Excerpt: As a book 'The Bible' starts well, but you soon find yourself bogged down in the backstory and unable to grasp everything before you end up launched into the main plot almost half way through the novel.

As the main storyline goes there's not much to distinguish 'The Bible' from many other mainstream works of fiction or fantasy, there's betrayal, war, death, birth and lots of moral messages (some of which tend to contradict each other) but it's enjoyable to read. Unfortunately the ending is a little forced and almost seems like the whole 'End of the World' thing was tacked on to make the book sell. That said, however, it does show a good impression of Armageddon, though it does get a bit biblical in places.

I would recommend that younger readers be warned away from this book as, from the way it is written, they may have a tendancy to take it literally. Also there is a lot of sex (or 'Begatting') only a few chapters into the story. Overall the whole thing could use a sequel to tie up all the plot holes and contradictions, but it's still an enjoyable read.

If you loved this, try reading 'The Koran', it's a laugh-a-minute riot of a novel!

Holy crap, Batman!

posted by The Vidiot @ 8:16 AM Permalink

I just 'got it.'

I just got what's going to happen in this upcoming election.

The dems will win, and maybe even win big. They will definately be in control of that part of the system. And the Bushies might even 'let' it happen. And you know what will happen then?
Excerpt: One of President Bush’s be-very-afraid lines this campaign season is that Democrats, if elected, will raise taxes. What he doesn’t say is that if you are one of tens of millions of Americans who make between $75,000 and $500,000 a year, your taxes are already scheduled to rise starting next year — because of laws that Mr. Bush championed and other actions he failed to take.
Yup. Taxes will go up and dems will get blamed, because, well, most 'mericans won't really make the connection between Bush's past tax policies and the new taxes that will hit them while the dems are in control. And as for all the trouble the dems are going to cause the Bushies what with all the subpoenas and all? No worries. All the mechanisms have already been set up to counter all that bullsh-t. They disregard just about everything now, a dem controlled Congress will be ignored just as much, and more.

Oh, they're very clever. Very clever, indeed.

Well done, Satan. Well done.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Yet another example of the 'roo ... ination of our media

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:50 PM Permalink

our hometown paper sucks so bad even puppies won’t pee on it.

Who's monkeying around with affirmative action?

posted by The Vidiot @ 6:41 PM Permalink

SteveAudio has the goods:
Who Is Paying to End Affirmative Action? High-Ranking Bush Officials, Rupert Murdoch

In just eight days, Michigan will vote on the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI)—an anti-opportunity proposal that would end affirmative action in public education, employment and contracting. The MCRI has raised $2 million thus far, $450,000 of which was donated by long-time affirmative-action foe Ward Connerly.
Just another 'I got mine, FY' from Bushco.

All that trouble in Mexico

posted by The Vidiot @ 3:46 PM Permalink

over the elections? Well, seems like there was a good reason why the Powers That Be wanted Calderon to win (and therefore, probably made it happen).
Excerpt: Even as popular pressure grows around Latin America for a stronger state hand in developing natural resources such as oil and gas, Mexico's president-elect Felipe Calderón may be forced to consider putting more power in private hands.

The country's flagship oil company Pemex, has been a point of pride since the industry was wrenched from foreign hands and nationalized in 1938. Its revenues alone cover one-third of Mexico's budget.
But the most laughable part of the article was this:
Excerpt: Experts say that American companies are watching oil production in Mexico, but because of politics, cannot interfere by pushing for more foreign participation. If the US needed to purchase oil from more-distant countries, additional transportation costs would be passed onto the consumer, Baker says.
I barely got through that whole paragraph. The bit about politics keeping them from interfering made me do a spit-take.

Latin American does it again.

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:41 AM Permalink

Brazil's left-leaning president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, was re-elected. He won 61 percent of the vote. The other guy was a right of center guy.

You know the Bushies have to hate this.
Excerpt: But the leftist president had the firm support from Brazil's tens of millions of poor voters, who have benefited handsomely over the past three years as he increased social spending without raising taxes. Lula da Silva also overcame corruption scandals that tarnished the image of his administration.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Must-read of the Week

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:08 PM Permalink

Matt Taibbi's article in Rolling Stone is awesome. It's called "The Worst Congress Ever" and boy howdy, does it explain just how f-cked up Washington is.
Excerpt:There is very little that sums up the record of the U.S. Congress in the Bush years better than a half-mad boy-addict put in charge of a federal commission on child exploitation. After all, if a hairy-necked, raincoat-clad freak like Rep. Mark Foley can get himself named co-chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children, one can only wonder: What the hell else is going on in the corridors of Capitol Hill these days?
And that's just the opening 'graph. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and then you'll get pissed.


posted by The Vidiot @ 11:58 AM Permalink

Don't these people ever get tired of bieing manipulated?
Excerpt: As Campaign Days Dwindle, Marriage Issue Heats Up in Va.
N.J. Ruling Sparks Action on Amendment Question

Now THAT'S Disingenuous

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:29 AM Permalink

As you may or may not know or remember, Venezuela's Chavez is battling it out at the UN, trying to win a temporary seat on the security coucil. His major challenger hails from Guatemala, which, as you also may or may not know, is a Bush crony. The voting has gone on for round after round, neither guy being able to garner the necessary 2/3 vote. It's deadlocked. There's been badgering and promise-giving from both sides, but you can be sure that the US' methods include more bludgeoning, using the threat of withholding economics and aid to make their point.

Now, this article in the UK's Telegraph, a conservative paper, says that the reason Chavez is having such a hard time garnering the necessary support is that anti-Bush rant he gave at the UN last month.
Excerpt: Hugo Chavez's tub-thumping tirade against President George W Bush and the United Nations at the General Assembly last month has backfired in a humiliating way for the demagogic Venezuelan president.

Venezuela's campaign to win a seat on the UN Security Council — key to Mr Chavez's aim to secure influence on the world stage with his country's petrodollars — seems doomed after a series of votes ended in deadlock last week.
Yes, yes. It's a few nasty sticks and stones tossed out there by Chavez that has incurred the US' wrath.

Honestly, do you really think it has anything to do with Chavez' speech? Isn't that just a little too reductionist and simplistic to explain it?

The fact of the matter is that Chavez challenges US hegemony on every front. He's very good at pointing out the contradictions of our system and he does it in a way that most people can understand. He's a common man, and he communicates these things in a common way, a way that is well understood by many. And if he gains enough power, he'll cause large chunks of it to crumble. Our, meaning the US', lofty position in this world is tenuous at best, with a lot (though not all) the credit going to the Bush administration's follies in the Middle East. It wouldn't take much, even a tiny little guy from the southern hemisphere, to cause it to crack and crumble. The US, using the UN in its usual way, cannot let Chavez get onto the security council. It threatens the very foundations of our hegemony. (I'm not overstating that. It really does.) And they're doing everything in their power to make sure that doesn't happen.

And to add even more insult to outrage....

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:21 AM Permalink

Companies don't like their investors getting mad at them.
Excerpt: Now that corruption cases like Enron and WorldCom are falling out of the news, two influential industry groups with close ties to administration officials are hoping to swing the regulatory pendulum in the opposite direction. The groups are drafting proposals to provide broad new protections to corporations and accounting firms from criminal cases brought by federal and state prosecutors as well as a stronger shield against civil lawsuits from investors.
They want more protection from the people they're supposed to be benefitting in the likely event that they're caught doing something wrong. Not only that, they're going to wait until after the election to present their proposals.





Companies run amok!

Will nobody stop them!??

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Holy Crap!

posted by The Vidiot @ 9:36 PM Permalink

How desperate can they get? This is by far the most outrageous piece of crap I've EVER read.
Excerpt: Federal officials are investigating whether Smartmatic, owner of Oakland, Calif.-based Sequoia Voting Systems, is secretly controlled by Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, according to two people familiar with the probe.
So, basically, if there's a problem with the machines (which there will be) then it could be the evil Chavez manipulating the American electoral process.



Whew. That one really got me.

Here's Why Torture Doesn't Work ...

posted by The Vidiot @ 6:19 PM Permalink

I've previously written why torture is wrong, now here's the best example of why it isn't effective:
Confession That Formed Base of Iraq War was Acquired Under Torture: Journalist

Iban al Shakh al Libby told intelligence agents that he was close to Al-Qaeda leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri and "understood an awful lot about the inner workings of Al-Qaeda," former FBI agent Jack Clonan told the broadcaster.
"What he claimed most significantly was a connection between ... Al-Qaeda and the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein. This intelligence report made it all the way to the top, and was used by (former US secretary of state) Colin Powell as a key piece of justification ... for invading Iraq," he told the broadcaster.

Powell claimed in a UN Security Council meeting in February 2003, weeks before a US-led coalition invaded Iraq, that the country under Saddam Hussein had provided weapons training to Al-Qaeda, saying he could "trace the story of a senior terrorist operative", whom Grey alleges is Libby.
"Like hundreds of other people arrested after September 11, he's vanished into a sort of netherworld of prisons where astonishingly, President Bush now says the prisons have emptied."
We've always known we invaded Iraq for a lie ... now we know that lie was produced/corroborated by torture.

We not only went to war on a lie, we went to war on a lie that was tortured from someone. And that torture was/is approved by Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld and now legislated by Congress.

I'm nervous

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:15 PM Permalink

The latest assualt on the Constitution, the one I mentioned below, where Bush can now declare martial law and utilize any state's national guard at any time, no matter what, has been playing in the back of my mind like a dripping faucet.

What is going on? Why am I so nervous?

If you look back on everything this administration has done -- the eavesdropping, the manipulation of intelligence, the torture, all of it -- taken in toto, it's obvious that they have had this plan all along, a plan to wipe out the Constitution as we know. In fact, if you read about the possible pocket veto of the Military Commistion Act.
Excerpt: “The Military Commission Act is not law!” the man barked. “The ‘pocket veto’ clause of the constitution has already nullified it.”

He then pointed out to the national radio audience exactly what the part about “pocket veto” in Article One, Section 7 of the U. S. Constitution means. Indeed, it appears that President Bush’s signing of the infamous “6166,” which in effect eliminates the 4th Amendment protection of citizens in their homes and a whole lot more, is moot. He was too late.
It's almost as if he's gotten to a point where he's challenging anyone to bring it to the Supreme Court. Like "I dare you. G'head."

Why could they be doing such a thing, I mean, beyond the usual "power wants no constraints" sort of thing? Is it about the creation of the North American Union that some of the websites have been going on about for years? I haven't a clue. But the Constitution, if it still exists, is inches away from being unplugged. And if the American public continues to act like the Constituion has a DNR (do not resuscitate), then, well, the US as we know it (or at least how we think we know it) is a goner.

Saturday Sailboat Blogging

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:35 AM Permalink

Friday, October 27, 2006

Why did we attack Iraq?

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:38 PM Permalink

Bush says: "I view this Iraq conflict as obviously incredibly vital for our immediate security
I believe when you get attacked and somebody declares war on you, you fight back. And that's what we're doing."
Heckuva job Bushie.

BTW, if you think I quoted out of context, read the whole transcript of Bush's chat with rightwing commentators. He's even stupider than I thought.


posted by The Vidiot @ 5:15 PM Permalink

And I thought losing Habeas Corpus was bad.
Excerpt: Public Law 109-364, or the "John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007" (H.R.5122) (2), which was signed by the commander in chief on October 17th, 2006, in a private Oval Office ceremony, allows the President to declare a "public emergency" and station troops anywhere in America and take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities, in order to "suppress public disorder."
So long state sovereignty. hellooooo police state.

We went to see "Hell House" last nite

posted by The Vidiot @ 1:57 PM Permalink

"Hell House" is a sort of evangelical version of a house of horrors, only instead of vampires and ghosts, you have botched abortions and gay marriage. Here's a review of it in the Village Voice (second story down).

I have to say, it was very creepy. Towards the end, when you're walking through hell, and the teenagers that had just 'killed' themselves were mourning their eternity in hell, it got very claustrophobic and tight. At the end, when you're offered 'salvation' and led out of the darkness, it's such a relief. I can see how kids or teenagers who had grown up listening to "Jesus is Lord" etc. etc., that after going through that, the relief you feel after all the darkness and noise is extreme and could very well motivate a fence sitter into being "born again."

Now THAT's some scary crap.


posted by The Vidiot @ 1:52 PM Permalink

Just FYI.
Excerpt: The new U.S. intelligence czar is developing a computer system capable of data-mining huge amounts of information about everyday events to discern patterns that look like terrorist planning. The technology is reminiscent of the axed Total Information Awareness program. Civil liberties and privacy advocates criticized the effort, called Tangram, which is being developed by contractors working for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

The Torturous Path of Liars

posted by The Vidiot @ 1:20 AM Permalink

Scott Hennen [R-Limbaugh wannabe] Would you agree a dunk in water is a no-brainer if it can save lives?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: It's a no-brainer for me, but for a while there, I was criticized as being the Vice President "for torture." We don't torture.
I'll just ignore the fact that the question was a fluffier softball than Jim Guckert finds in a reach around. The 'dunk in water' that these bastards are referring to is 'water boarding.' A form of torture that drowns the victim just short of death until they'll say anything to make it stop. Salem used it in the 1600's to make witches confess. How appropriate for the Hollween season.

And as big a lie that the "we don't torture" remark is concerned, it's backed up by an even greater lie "The Bush administration has agreed to apply the Geneva Conventions to all terrorism suspects in U.S. custody"

Here is what the Geneva Conventions say:
(c) Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment
Anyone else remember when 'name, rank & serial number' was the standard that we expected our prisoners of war expected to be held to?

Bushco says 'we don't torture', 'we apply the Geneva Conventions' but they are lying. Secret prisons, not allowing the Red Cross access to or even names of our prisoners, killing and torturing these secret prisoners, are all against the Geneva Conventions!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

UPDATE TO: Another one of those things I just don't get ...

posted by The Vidiot @ 6:55 PM Permalink

UPDATE: The article also said:the court, in its 4-3 ruling
That isn't true. The court was unanimous in saying (warning link to PDF): "denying the rights and benefits to committed same-sex couples that are statutorily given to their heterosexual counterparts violates the equal protection guarantee of Article I, Paragraph 1 of the New Jersey Constitution. "

New Jersey Court Backs Rights for Same-Sex Unions
In this case the NJ Supremes got it close to right:
"At this point, the Court does not consider whether committed same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, but only whether those couples are entitled to the same rights and benefits afforded to married heterosexual couples," the court wrote.

"Cast in that light, the issue is not about the transformation of the traditional definition of marriage, but about the unequal dispensation of benefits and privileges to one of two similarly situated classes of people."
Good decision, but it doesn't go far enough.

Why doesn't the state (every State) get out of the marriage business? They can stay in the contract business, and issue contracts that meet their laws to any parties that ask, but just like any other contract, they don't get to decide who enters into the contract, just whether it is legal.

Churches can then decide to marry anyone they feel is fit under their religious guidelines.

That's a true separation of church and state.

So now they say a mushroom cloud is better than a smoking gun ...

posted by The Vidiot @ 6:35 PM Permalink

Remember when Bushco was blaming North Korea having nukes on Clinton? Ehh, not so much ...
On her trip to Asia this week, Rice has come close to saying the test was a net plus for the United States. She has tried to deflect criticism by saying the test was an affirmation, rather than a failure, of the Bush administration's policy of trying to draw China deeper into negotiations on North Korea.
Before North Korea announced it had detonated a nuclear device, some senior officials even said they were quietly rooting for a test, believing that would finally clarify the debate within the administration.
[Rice said regarding the recent UN resolution] "Not bad for a couple years' work."
They worked for 2 years and the result is NK has nukes!? How can NK having nukes possibly be a successful foreign policy!? Members of Bushco rooted for the test!?

Bush refused to talk to NK and called them a member of the 'axis of evil.' Bush refuses to talk to Iran, while they are allegedly developing nukes, and labels them a member of the 'axis of evil.'

I am no fan of any repressive regime, but after Bush has attacked a country that didn't posses WMDs, (see Iraq), if you were in charge of the other 2 legs of the axis of evil wouldn't you want to defend your country against a repressive regime that refuses to negotiate and has WMDs?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

More on Bush in Paraguay

posted by The Vidiot @ 8:02 AM Permalink

The Guardian has an article on the rumoured Bush family land-grab in Paraguay.
Excerpt: The rumours, as yet unconfirmed but which began with the state-run Cuban news agency Prensa Latina, have triggered an outpouring of conspiracy theories, with speculation rife about what President Bush's supposed interest in the "chaco", a semi-arid lowland in the Paraguay's north, might be.
My theory? They know the planet is f-cked. They know that the Northern Hemisphere will either be covered in ice, a la "The Day After Tomorrow" or it will be too arid and erratic, that the only tolerable living conditions will exist south of the border. The land the Bush is rumoured to have purchased is smack dab over an aquifer as well as dead close to a good source of natural gas. On top of that, there's a huge chunk of land right next door that's owned by the Bush family good buddy Sun Myong Moon of the infamous Moonies. (Mentioned on Wayne Madsen Report, scroll to October 23.) It's perfect. They will have water, they will have gas, they have a military contingent there to fight off the locals, they could do whatever they wanted AND not get extradited to The Hague.

Yes. Perfectly and respectably evil.


posted by The Vidiot @ 7:46 AM Permalink

When I first heard about Ken Lay's death, I thought it felt, well, kinda' funny. I'm not the only one.
Excerpt: Kenneth Lay -- the disgraced CEO of Enron who was convicted of 10 counts of fraud, conspiracy and lying to banks in two separate cases related to the collapse of the Houston-based company he founded, who died of heart disease July 5 while vacationing in Aspen, Colo. -- isn't really dead, either.
OK. Just a little conspiracy to go with your morning cup of joe.

Must-See Video

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:44 AM Permalink

Grab yourself a beverage. Sit yourself down and watch this video. It's not gross, nor is it violent, but it speaks volumes to the futility of our "mission" in Iraq.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Birthday Wishes for Pat

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:18 PM Permalink

After Pat’s Birthday

By Kevin Tillman

Editor’s note: Kevin Tillman joined the Army with his brother Pat in 2002, and they served together in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Pat was killed in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004. Kevin, who was discharged in 2005, has written a powerful, must-read document.

It is Pat’s birthday on November 6, and elections are the day after.  It gets me thinking about a conversation I had with Pat before we joined the military.  He spoke about the risks with signing the papers.  How once we committed, we were at the mercy of the American leadership and the American people.  How we could be thrown in a direction not of our volition.  How fighting as a soldier would leave us without a voice… until we got out. 

Much has happened since we handed over our voice:

Somehow we were sent to invade a nation because it was a direct threat to the American people, or to the world, or harbored terrorists, or was involved in the September 11 attacks, or received weapons-grade uranium from Niger, or had mobile weapons labs, or WMD, or had a need to be liberated, or we needed to establish a democracy, or stop an insurgency, or stop a civil war we created that can’t be called a civil war even though it is.  Something like that.

Somehow our elected leaders were subverting international law and humanity by setting up secret prisons around the world, secretly kidnapping people, secretly holding them indefinitely, secretly not charging them with anything, secretly torturing them.  Somehow that overt policy of torture became the fault of a few "bad apples" in the military.

Somehow back at home, support for the soldiers meant having a five-year-old kindergartener scribble a picture with crayons and send it overseas, or slapping stickers on cars, or lobbying Congress for an extra pad in a helmet.  It’s interesting that a soldier on his third or fourth tour should care about a drawing from a five-year-old; or a faded sticker on a car as his friends die around him; or an extra pad in a helmet, as if it will protect him when an IED throws his vehicle 50 feet into the air as his body comes apart and his skin melts to the seat.

Somehow the more soldiers that die, the more legitimate the illegal invasion becomes. 

Somehow American leadership, whose only credit is lying to its people and illegally invading a nation, has been allowed to steal the courage, virtue and honor of its soldiers on the ground. 

Somehow those afraid to fight an illegal invasion decades ago are allowed to send soldiers to die for an illegal invasion they started.

Somehow faking character, virtue and strength is tolerated.

Somehow profiting from tragedy and horror is tolerated.

Somehow the death of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people is tolerated.

Somehow subversion of the Bill of Rights and The Constitution is tolerated.

Somehow suspension of Habeas Corpus is supposed to keep this country safe.

Somehow torture is tolerated.

Somehow lying is tolerated. 

Somehow reason is being discarded for faith, dogma, and nonsense. 

Somehow American leadership managed to create a more dangerous world.

Somehow a narrative is more important than reality.

Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is.

Somehow the most reasonable, trusted and respected country in the world has become one of the most irrational, belligerent, feared, and distrusted countries in the world.

Somehow being politically informed, diligent, and skeptical has been replaced by apathy through active ignorance.

Somehow the same incompetent, narcissistic, virtueless, vacuous, malicious criminals are still in charge of this country.

Somehow this is tolerated.

Somehow nobody is accountable for this.

In a democracy, the policy of the leaders is the policy of the people.  So don’t be shocked when our grandkids bury much of this generation as traitors to the nation, to the world and to humanity.  Most likely, they will come to know that "somehow" was nurtured by fear, insecurity and indifference, leaving the country vulnerable to unchecked, unchallenged parasites. 

Luckily this country is still a democracy.  People still have a voice.  People still can take action.  It can start after Pat’s birthday. 
I stole this from Truthdig. I didn't mean to, I just kept reading it over and over and I couldn't help myself.

The Republican Strategy for Winning the Mid-Terms: Part 3

posted by The Vidiot @ 6:24 PM Permalink

Mailed Diebold Disks Raise Voting Machine Fears

Disks containing what appears to be software code used in Maryland's touchscreen voting machines in 2004 were delivered anonymously to a former state legislator, raising fresh concerns about the reliability of the voting system.
Gov. Robert Ehrlich has questioned the reliability of the machines and suggested that voters use absentee ballots if they have any doubts that their votes will be counted accurately.

A statement issued by Diebold said it would "take years for a knowledgeable scientist" to break the encryption used on the software disks delivered to Kagan.

But Ari Rubin, a computer scientist at Johns Hopkins University who reviewed the disks for The Washington Post, said the data files were not encrypted on the disk containing the software that runs the machines.
Diebold has always claimed that their 'software' is proprietary, but there shouldn't be anything about counting votes that is a secret.

People counting hand written ballots in open view has been the method we've used for over 200 years. Why should software that counts the votes have less visibility?

Open source operating systems have fewer vulnerabilities than Windows because more experts can weigh in. Compared to a modern Operating System, software that counts the click of a button is simple ... and should be bullet proof.

If you'd like to learn more about the problems with Diebold and other eVote companies just Google Diebold voting problems.

My new favorite search engine

posted by The Vidiot @ 3:20 PM Permalink

Meet Ms Dewey.

Must-Read Article

posted by The Vidiot @ 2:26 PM Permalink

Read this, from Daniel Ellsberg. In Harpers. No excerpt provided because the whole damn thing should be read by everybody.

Pelosi Sucks

posted by The Vidiot @ 2:06 PM Permalink

File this under "What the F-ck!"
Excerpt: In an interview with CBS' 60 Minutes, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) pledged that impeachment of President George W. Bush was off the table should Democrats gain a majority next month.
She goes on to say it would be a waste of time.

I beg to defer. No other person(s) on the face of this planet deserve to have their asses handed to them, and THEN have them AND their now detached asses handed over to the International Court in The Hague.

Pelosi should have her ass handed to her in response to this.

Deja Vu, no?

posted by The Vidiot @ 8:15 AM Permalink

Remember way back when, during the Florida 2000 election fiasco, how smug GW Bush was in his confidence that he had been the one to win Florida?

Now read this:
Excerpt: Bush said he did not know whether four Republican resignations — including the latest from Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., amid the release of sexually explicit e-mails first reported by ABC News — would reduce Republican turnout.

"I don't worry about it," Bush said.
You know, I see so many people trying so hard, parsing the polls, donating money, doing whatever they can, yet I see it as an excercise in futility.

The machines are broken. Votes are rigged. Voters are disenfranchised. The media is already setting us up for a disparity between exit polls and results. Whatever happens, I cynically believe that it will reflect the will of Big Business and the Bankers, and NOT the will of the people. Unless the killer B's go against Bush, and I doubt they will, then the Senate and Congress will remain under the control of the GOP.

And I'm not even going go into the lack of difference between the Dems and GOP. At lest if the dems were to win, there's a SLIM chance that we'd be treated to Zigfeildian show of impeachment and hearings.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Saturday Sailboat Blogging

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:58 PM Permalink

Here's why you need to read past the headlines

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:13 AM Permalink

Staffer suspended over leak of intel report

Democratic House staffer suspended over Iraq leak

Democrat staffer suspected leaker
And what evidence was there that the staffer leaked it? Admittedly, none!
"I have no credible information to say any classified information was leaked from the committee's minority staff. . . . This may in fact be only coincidence and simply 'look bad,' " LaHood said in his letter, but he requested a formal inquiry.
So maybe there was another reason? Ahh, here we go:
LaHood Admits He Was 'Playing Politics' When He Asked For Intel Staffer To Be Suspended

This week, on the request of Rep. Ray LaHood (R-IL), Intelligence Chairman Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) suspended a Democratic staffer’s access to classified information. Hoekstra said the suspension would remain in place pending a review to determine if that staffer leaked a classified National Intelligence Estimate to the New York Times.

Today on Fox News, LaHood said, "I'll tell you why I did it. The reason I did it was because Jane Harman released the Duke Cunningham — who sat on our Intelligence committee — report."

That report, which detailed the misconduct of Cunningham, who is now serving a jail term, was not classified.

A Fox anchor asked, "So, it’s payback?" LaHood responded, "There are some of us on the other side who can equally play politics, and I’m not afraid to do it."
That would be the unclassified report saying this:
The dispute appears to result from the argument over the report on Mr. Cunningham, which Michael Stern, a special counsel appointed jointly by Mr. Hoekstra and Ms. Harman, wrote. That report found that Mr. Cunningham had used his committee position to help steer $70 million in contracts to favored companies.

Friday, October 20, 2006

I'm Falling with iTunes

posted by The Vidiot @ 6:01 PM Permalink

Suddenly Last Summer 3:38 The Motels

Time Of The Season 3:31 Zombies

Crimson & Clover 5:28 Tommy James & Shondells

Harvest Moon 5:02 Neil Young

Mood For A Day 2:53 Yes

Goodbye Blue Sky 2:48 Pink Floyd

If We Make It Through December 2:40 Merle Haggard

A Whiter Shade of Pale 4:06 Procol Harum

Saved by Zero 3:43 The Fixx

Sail Away 4:09 Sonia Dada

April Come She Will 2:37 Simon & Garfunkel

The Republican Strategy for Winning the Mid-Terms: Part 2

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:09 PM Permalink

Bin Laden, terror imagery focus of latest GOP ad

VIDEO: "What is yet to come will be even greater" -- Osama Bin Laden, Al Jazeera, Dec. 21, 2001

"With God's permission we call on everyone who believes in God...to comply with His will to kill the Americans." -- Osama Bin Laden (The World Islamic Front, Fatwa, Feb. 23, 1998)

(Text Fades: "kill the Americans")

"They will not come to their senses unless the attacks fall on their heads and...until the battle has moved inside America." -- Osama Bin Laden (Interview, Al-Jazeera, Oct. 21, 2001)

(Text Fades: "inside America.")

"We sent our people to Moscow, to Tashkent, to other central Asian states and they negotiated. And we purchased some suitcase bombs." -- Ayman Al-Zawahiri ("Al Qaeda: We Bought Nuke Cases," (New York) Daily News, March, 22, 2004)

(Text Fades: "suitcase bombs.")

"Our message is clear -- what you saw in New York and Washington and what you are seeing in Afghanistan and Iraq, all these are nothing compared to what you will see next." -- Ayman Al-Zawahiri ("Al Qaeda Threatens More UK, U.S. Attacks," www.CNN.com, Aug. 4, 2005)

(Text Fades: "nothing compared to what you will see next.")

"'What is yet to come will be even greater.' These Are The Stakes. Vote Nov. 7 -- www.GOP.com."
I'm not sure reminding voters that Bush and the Republicans haven't been able to find Osama Bin Laden in the 6 years of their rule is such a good strategy.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Republican Strategy for Winning the Mid-Terms

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:41 PM Permalink

FBI to Join Probe Into Colo. Attack Ad

Atty. general says GOP campaign linked to intimidating letter

Hearing to address Strickland's residency

New Laws and Machines May Spell Voting Woes

Watching Ashcroft on Daily Show

posted by The Vidiot @ 8:26 AM Permalink

And my blood is boiling.

Overall, he's quite the disingenuous guy. At one point he says "There those noble wars, like the Civil War, that one where we were fighting to release people from oppression." (I paraphrase) And my blood just started to go. I mean, the very premises of the Iraq war, what they base our presence there, democracy, liberation, etc., is such a load a crap and they BASE that kind of thinking on the false belief that something like the Civil War was noble because of the slave issue and we're quite in the habit of fight for noble causes. Well, helllooooo, the Civil War had VERY little to do with the slaves and everything to do with trade issues. The south had free labor and could undercut the north every single time. They were trading with Europe and winning because their overhead was so low. THAT's the "nobility" of the Civil War folks. It was only ostensibly about freeing the slaves. But as long as we, as a people, cling to false glorifications about previous wars, we'll never overcome anything, because maybe so many of us believed, way back in our tiny little brains, that we were doing SOME good for the Iraqis by getting rid of Saddam. That there was some nobility to it, and THAT'S why we let this happen. why we didn't fight the Bush regime hard enough.

War isn't noble. War is about economics and power. And not our economics, but the banker's economics. And not our power, but our ruler's power. And now we have no constitution left. And now we have a veritable police state and a half million Iraqis are dead and the middle east is covered with depleted uranium, and China is pissed, and now Kim has the bomb and, and, and, {POP!}

Read Billmon while I clean up the mess of my exploded head.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

There must be an election coming up soon...

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:45 PM Permalink

Excerpt: CNN is currently reporting dirty bomb threats targeting specific NFL stadiums.


posted by The Vidiot @ 8:35 AM Permalink

You mean, this hasn't happened already?
Excerpt: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.
I'm sorry. That was mean. But it's hard to not think that way with this guy having been "elected" into office.

Sunday Sermon on Wednesday

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:41 AM Permalink

I don't understand the 'debate' on torture. I don't understand why there is a debate. I just can't see it. It's wrong, it's immoral and it doesn't work. You can make anyone say anything you want if you torture them long enough. That's not proof, it's just desperation ... on both sides.

So here is my humble offering. I was reminded of it while surfing thru blogtopia (y, wksctp!) and came across a post at Sisyphus Shrugged that I think sums up my feelings about the so-called christians that voted for, support and signed legislation that condones secret prisons, torture and sham trials where the accused can't confront their accuser, can't see the evidence against them and 'evidence' that was obtained thru torture is allowed.

I didn't have a religious upbringing. We were taught to do the right thing no matter the personal cost, but that had nothing to do with any particular belief system.

But tell me you can't read the following passage from Corinthians and not wonder where the hell we went wrong:
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
These aren't just words, any more than our Constitution is just words, or our Declaration of Independence was hyperbole, or the Geneva Conventions are 'quaint.'

They all speak to a basic humanity that we all share and we all need to keep first in our thoughts and deep in our hearts.

It is time to put away childish things. 'Axis of evil', 'dead or alive', 'they hate our freedoms' are all things from the playground, slogans designed to inflame the ignorant and sway the weak.

America has always been an ideal. An imperfect, flawed ideal, but one that Americans have cherished and people throughout the world have strived to reach. Our 'shining example' may have always been tarnished gilt, but the guilt that corrodes us now, from our acceptance and legislation of torture, will be our legacy to the world and our children.

BTW, if the above isn't maudlin enough for you, think of the children!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

"We'll give him a fair trial and then we'll hang him." ... or ... The November Surprise

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:27 PM Permalink

Court to give Saddam verdict on November 5

A court trying Saddam Hussein for killing Shi'ites in the 1980s could deliver its verdict on November 5, officials said.

The U.S.-backed court was due to announce on Monday a final date for verdicts on the ousted Iraqi leader and seven of his former top lieutenants for crimes against humanity, a charge which carries a maximum penalty of death by hanging.
The verdict of the US backed court was delayed from October 16th to just 2 days before US midterm elections.

I'm sure it's just a coincidence.

It figures

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:26 PM Permalink

The UN has been the US's go-to puppy since it's inception. Is it any wonder Venezuela, with it's popular support, is having a hard time gaining the non-permanent seat on the Security Council that it probably deserves? (from Wayne Madsen's website)
16th round ballot (restricted )
Total # of ballots cast -- 192
Invalid ballots -- 0
Valid ballots -- 192
Abstensions -- 8
Required two-thirds majority -- 123
Votes obtained:
Guatemala -- 108
Venezuela -- 76
Much strong-arming and threatening of withholding money and whatever is going on behind the scenes, I'm sure. Just like it always does.

Still think I'm paranoid?

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:21 PM Permalink

Still think I shouldn't be worrying about the awful bill Bush just signed today?
Excerpt: Disaffected people living in the United States may develop radical ideologies and potentially violent skills over the Internet and that could present the next major U.S. security threat, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said on Monday.

"We now have a capability of someone to radicalize themselves over the Internet," Chertoff said on the sidelines of a meeting of International Association of the Chiefs of Police.
Yes, yes. That's it. It's those people on the 'net. You know, the ones who use it to get non-government-approved information. They're the troublemakers.

Irony of the Week

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:20 PM Permalink

Without comment:

Bush declares National 'Character Counts' Week

Put a stake it it.

posted by The Vidiot @ 8:02 AM Permalink

It's done.
Excerpt: President Bush, keeping his election-year focus on national security, is to sign a bill into law on Tuesday that allows tough interrogation and prosecution of terrorism suspects.

The Military Commissions Act of 2006 sets standards for interrogating suspects, but through a complex set of rules that human rights groups say could allow harsh techniques bordering on torture, such as sleep deprivation and induced hypothermia.
Here's an explanation of what we've lost, included here to save you time.

- Doesn't suspend, as is accommodated for in the Constitution, but completely abolishes Habeas Corpus permanently - the right of the detainee to see the evidence against him and not be locked up for eternity based on the arbitrary will of the state.

- Contains a definition of "wrongfully aiding the enemy" which labels all American citizens who breach their "allegiance" to President Bush and the actions of his government as terrorists subject to possible arrest, torture and conviction in front of a military tribunal.

- The definition of torture that the legislation cites is US code title 18 section 2340. This is a broad definition of torture and completely lacks the specific clarity of the Geneva Conventions. This definition allows the use of torture that is, "incidental to lawful sanctions." In alliance with the bill's blanket authority for President Bush to define the Geneva Conventions as he sees fit, this legislates the use of torture.

- Destruction of any property is defined as terrorism, which is deemed punishable by any means of the military tribunal's choosing.

- Any violent activity whatsoever is defined as terrorism if it takes place near a designated protected building, such as a charity building.

- A change of the definition of "pillaging" turns all illegal occupation of property and all theft into terrorism. This makes squatters and petty thieves enemy combatants.

- In light of Greg Palast's recent hounding by Homeland Security, after they accused him of potentially giving terrorists key information about U.S. "critical infrastructure" when filming Exxon’s Baton Rouge refinery (clear photos of which were publicly available on Google Maps), sub-section 27 of section 950v. should send chills down the spine of all investigative journalists and even news-gatherers. It defines collecting information clandestinely which is then used against the interests of the U.S. government as terrorism.

- The bill allows hearsay evidence (obtained via phony confessions after torture) to be considered by the military tribunal and bars the suspect from even having knowledge of the charges against him - making a case for defense impossible. This is guaranteed to produce 100% conviction rates as you would expect in the dictatorships of Uzbekistan or Zimbabwe and other torture protagonists who are in many cases allied with the Bush administration and provide phony confessions obtained from torture that allow the U.S. government to scare its people with the threat of imaginary Al-Qaeda terror cells waiting to kill them.

- All of these provisions apply to American citizens. Yale Law Professor Bruce Ackerman states in the L.A. Times, "The compromise legislation....authorizes the president to seize American citizens as enemy combatants, even if they have never left the United States. And once thrown into military prison, they cannot expect a trial by their peers or any other of the normal protections of the Bill of Rights." Similarly, law Professor Marty Lederman explains: "this [subsection (ii) of the definition of 'unlawful enemy combatant'] means that if the Pentagon says you're an unlawful enemy combatant -- using whatever criteria they wish -- then as far as Congress, and U.S. law, is concerned, you are one, whether or not you have had any connection to 'hostilities' at all."

- In section 950j. the bill criminalizes any challenge to the legislation's legality by the Supreme Court or any United States court. Alberto Gonzales has already threatened federal judges to shut up and not question Bush's authority on the torture of detainees.

Just a simple question ...

posted by The Vidiot @ 3:20 AM Permalink

QUESTION: [White House Reporter]: Just the simple question: Are we winning?

ANSWER: Tony Snow [White House Spokesman]: I don’t know. How do you define winning?
... ... ... ... ... I'm speechless.

(Special thanks to John Aravosis for being gracious enough to help with attribution. That's just one of the reasons AMERICAblog is on my daily must read list.)

Monday, October 16, 2006

They know no bounds

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:38 AM Permalink

For the neocons, war is the choice, no matter where.
Excerpt: Welcome to a radical new vision of space and the future, from the same crowd that brought you Iraq. In a little-noted policy document, the Bush Administration has unilaterally declared its right to conduct pre-emptive attacks on foreign spacecraft and on any objects or installations that might support them from the ground. It has also declared its opposition to international treaties that might restrict space exploration to primarily peaceful purposes.
They're like TOTALLY out of their minds. I mean, I can't begin to wrap my head around this one. Mr. Vidiot and I have been watching a lot of TCM lately, mostly because everything else on TV is crap. And several of the movies have been those really hokey 1950's alien invasion things. When viewed in the context of the era, the cold war and all, the paranoia and fear of "the other" is understandable. Man, in those movies, they shoot at EVERYTHING. Our favorite was "The Day the Earth Stood Still" [Klaatu Barata Niktu!] which just epitomizes everything from that time. The alien was totally cool and they shot him. (And as a side note: We laughed heartily at "Plan 9 from Outer Space." Oh my.)

Well, the Bushies are just like those people in the 1950s alien movies. Everything not them is their enemy. SHOOT 'EM!

Hey! Idiots! It's 2006! Get your evolution on already!

More stuff I love

posted by The Vidiot @ 9:06 AM Permalink


Can't get enough of 'em.

My favorite here is Girl on the gravestone.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

What the hell!

posted by The Vidiot @ 6:04 PM Permalink

Is this a tactical nuke going off in Iraq during the ammunitions fire? Watch the video. At about 3:56, there's a HUUUUuuuge explosion. Looks like a nuke with a glowing mushroom thingy to me.

First, WHAT THE HELL! Why, on God's green Earth, are we even mucking around with nukes to begin with, let alone storing them in a vulnerable area. And Kim Jong Il, in North Korea? What do you want to bet his nuke test had less to do with learning how to detonate a bomb and more to do with mucking up the fault lines and creating earthquakes?
Excerpt: The earthquake pattern between October 9 and 13 in East Asia, geologists say, was due to a disturbance in natural stress conditions of the subduction zone extending from Kuril island in the north to Phillipines islands in the south.

They said it was apparent that the nuclear explosion did create stress along the trench. In the last two months, such earthquake "clusters" were not observed in the zone, according to geologists from the department of earth sciences in the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) here.
Why not? I've heard crazier crap on the internet. And there does seem to be a few earthquakes that followed the test. What if he blows up a bigger bomb and that sets of more earthquakes that reach, oh, I dunno, LA? I mean, that's an act of war, right?

Yeah yeah. I know. I always go just a lilla bit too far.

File this under "odd"

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:34 AM Permalink

The rumor is the Bush family has bought almost 200,000 acres of land in Paraguay. The question is if so, why?

Remember, the US military quietly went down there some time ago and even then, nobody new why. There is lots of water and natural gas there. Initial speculation was that it was a sort of pre-Iraq buildup of troops since it within striking distance of Boliva and Venezuela. But keep in mind that Paraguay has given immunity to US troops from the international criminal court. As commander-in-chief of the military, that would include Bush, no?

A comment on the first link said it all:
I have said for years that when it all goes south for Bush and the country, the first thing we do is close the airports so the bastards can't get out.

Ney Bobs for more Republican contributions ...

posted by The Vidiot @ 2:03 AM Permalink

Ohio's Ney admits accepting bribes
Lawmaker caught in Abramoff scandal won't step down

And the beat goes on ...

posted by The Vidiot @ 1:47 AM Permalink

Bolero 14:48 Ravel

Get Ready 2:51 Rare Earth

Sing Sing Sing 8:41 Benny Goodman w/ Gene Krupa

Slow Ride 3:58 Foghat

I Need A Man To Love 4:55 Janis Joplin, Big Brother And The Holding Company

Fever 3:19 Peggy Lee

Breakdown 2:42 Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Hush 4:25 Deep Purple

No More Tears 7:24 Ozzy Osbourne

Love To Love You Baby 3:24 Donna Summer

Reasons 5:00 Earth, Wind & Fire

She Drives Me Crazy 3:37 Fine Young Cannibals

Surrender 4:12 Cheap Trick

Spooky 2:35 Dusty Springfield

Try A Little Tenderness 3:51 Otis Redding

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Saturday Sailboat Blogging

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:01 PM Permalink

20kt+ winds, 4 foot seas, 1k sq ft spinnaker, $3k damage ...
DNF, but a good day none the less;-)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Well, well, well.

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:22 PM Permalink

So, do you STILL think I'm paranoid or overly dramatic?
Excerpt: Internal military documents released Thursday provided new details about the Defense Department's collection of information on nationwide demonstrations last year by students, Quakers and others opposed to the Iraq war.
The documents, obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union under a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, show, for instance, that military officials labeled as "potential terrorist activity" events like a "Stop the War Now" rally in Akron, Ohio, in March 2005.
So my little diatribe against the Military Act thingy that was recently passed doesn't seem so crazy now, does it.

Like I said:

We are all detainees now.
Excerpt: Anti-US and anti-globalization sentiment is on the rise and fueling other radical ideologies. This could prompt some leftist, nationalist, or separatist groups to adopt terrorist methods to attack US interests. The radicalization process is occurring more quickly, more widely, and more anonymously in the Internet age, raising the likelihood of surprise attacks by unknown groups whose members and supporters may be difficult to pinpoint.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Send in the (neo)Clowns ...

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:40 PM Permalink

U.S. Neo-Cons Call For Japanese Nukes, Regime Change

Encouraging Japan to build nuclear weapons, shipping food aid via submarines, and running secret sabotage operations inside North Korea's borders are among a raft of policy prescriptions pushed by prominent U.S. neo-conservatives in the wake of Pyongyang's nuclear test.
"With our intelligence on North Korea so uneven, the doctrine of pre-emption must return to the fore," wrote Dan Blumenthal, an Asia specialist at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) who worked for Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld during Bush's first term, in the NRO Tuesday.
"Any talk of renewed talks [...] must be resisted."
"This crisis is not just about North Korea, but about Iran, Syria, Venezuela, and Cuba as well," according to Rubin. "Bush now has two choices: to respond forcefully and show that defiance has consequence, or affirm that defiance pays and that international will is illusionary"
Sheesh, 'international will is illusionary' isn't just illusional, it's delusional! One thing the neoclowns and Bush's evangelical supporters have in common: they all want to bring on The Rapture.


posted by The Vidiot @ 3:40 PM Permalink

Why do "the bad guys" always pick on New York? Don't they get that the vast majority of us can't stand GW and his policies and that hitting NYC only strengthen's GW?
Excerpt: "Everything will be settled in a week," said Kim Myong-chol on KBS Radio. "That is, whether we, Korean people, will remain as we are now, or lose, or New York will lose, or Washington, D.C., will lose, it will all be settled once and for all."
Of course, if this is one of those "made up" propaganda things by World Net Daily, which, you know, they're likely to do, then saying that NK is targeting NYC makes perfect sense. It's wishful thinking on the part of the PTB.


posted by The Vidiot @ 3:04 PM Permalink

Do bears crap in the woods?
Is bacon really tasty?
Is Micheal Jackson's face f-cked up?

Rice: Does anyone really believe I'd ignore terror warning?

Though, there is the chance that perhaps she didn't ignore it so much as she is too incompetant to have realized the warning's importance.

And bears do occasionally crap in somebody's back yard.
And not everyone loves bacon.
And to some delusional girls, Micheal Jackson is still hot.

My minimum wage thought

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:10 PM Permalink

Raising the mimimun wage is sort of a red herring. Sure, it sounds good. Give people more money and more money will be spent. BUT just how many of those getting the increase would no longer qualify for aid? In some areas, I'm sure they'd make "too much money to qualify" and where would that leave them?

Until someone credible does a cost/benefit analysis on how this would effect those at the lowest end of our economy, I'm not sure how I feel about it.

Then again, maybe I'm stupid.

Alternate title to this news story

posted by The Vidiot @ 8:32 AM Permalink

Young shoppers are too stupid to understand the ramifications of their actions.
Excerpt: Young shoppers want to pay with chip in skin

The stench of desperation.

posted by The Vidiot @ 8:26 AM Permalink

FOX news, spinning the plane accident in Manhattan.
Excerpt: On Fox News' Your World With Neil Cavuto, Cavuto suggested during a conversation with Republican Congressman Peter King that the event would possibly affect the upcoming mid-term election by reminding Americans of the horror of 9/11.

On a similar note, I could not find ANY good information about it on my regular local news sites. NY1, 1010WINS or CBS880. They were all down, probably due to traffic. My girlfriend in Cleveland of all places was the one who gave me the information on it. With all this power of information we have at our fingertips, it's pretty damn pathetic that we can't access any of the local information when we really need it.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Let's reflect for a moment

posted by The Vidiot @ 8:14 AM Permalink

on the fact that this war and Iraq, a byproduct of the neocon plan to militarily dominate the planet and its resources, has caused the death of well over a half million Iraqi lives.

That's OVER ONE HALF MILLION people who were alive before the US started bombing.

But what shifts the votes of this electorate away from Bush and the GOP? Is it the tanking economy? The military failure in Afghanistan? The creeping police state? The death of the Constitution? Their failed foreign policy with N. Korea? The overt corruption? Or any other of the follies of this administration?

No, none of that. What soured the electorate on this administration is a congressman's diddling with an underage page.

Sort of ironic when you think of it, in light of what they did to Clinton.

Monday, October 09, 2006

I really don't want to have to spell this out for you ...

posted by The Vidiot @ 9:22 PM Permalink

Saw in on TBogg
Beyoncé: That Fresh Feeling Tour.
Sponsored by Summer's Eve™

Cute cover...
...but the most awkward CD title this year.
Funny, she looks a little flushed to me.

You may have missed this when they dumped the Friday night trash ...

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:55 PM Permalink

Top Rove Aide Resigns in Lobby Scandal

The top aide to White House strategist Karl Rove quit Friday, a week after congressional investigators portrayed her as a key link between senior officials and the now-disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff — brokering deals for his clients as she accepted premium tickets to sporting events and concerts.

Susan Ralston had worked as Rove's executive assistant, functioning as a gatekeeper of sorts for President Bush's most trusted political advisor. She was an aide to Abramoff before she joined the White House and became what the lobbyist called his "implant" there.
White House spokeswoman Dana Perino, [said] Ralston "played a very valuable role in advancing the president's agenda." Perino said Ralston would leave within the next couple of weeks.
The bipartisan investigation documented more than 400 lobbying contacts between Abramoff's team and the White House between January 2001 and March 2004, including dozens with Rove's office and nine with the top strategist himself. The report was based on thousands of pages of billing records and e-mails obtained from Abramoff's firm.
"The vast majority of lobbying contacts and meals with White House officials documented in the report were with White House officials other than Ms. Ralston," Waxman said. "It is ludicrous for the White House to say it considers the review of the committee report 'complete' when it has not provided answers to any of the most important questions involving Mr. Mehlman and other senior White House officials."

In an interview Friday, Mehlman said he did not recall any specifics from his dealings with the Abramoff team.

"I can tell you that as political director I was always very careful to make sure everything I did was above board and consistent with the rules," he said.
That would be a first for this administration.

Keep in mind

posted by The Vidiot @ 2:59 PM Permalink

that the effects of this decision by OPEC to cut output will not, I repeat WILL NOT be felt until after the election.

That is all.

I kid you not

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:14 PM Permalink

This is the weirdest thing. Mr. Vidiot and I were sitting on the couch watching TV (desperately trying to find something that wasn't crap, BTW. The month before sweeps is the worst.) and he turns to me and said "Man! My right ear just rang like BIG time." And I said, "My right ear did too, like just a minute or so ago!"

How weird is that? Our right ears rang, loudly, at about the same time. And guess what happened around that time? North Korea set off it's nuke!

I think we heard it. Is that even possible? Or am I too crazy for words.

Don't answer that.

Update: The ringing that both Mr. Vidiot and I heard might not have been a nuke, but it MIGHT have been Kim Jong Il yelling "CRAP! It's a dud, dude!"

Dumb Ideas don't work in fantasy either.

posted by The Vidiot @ 10:08 AM Permalink

Releasing nano tech into the world could be a VERY bad idea. Even the FDA is beginning to think twice about it.
Excerpt: A former FDA deputy commissioner for policy has denounced the agency's capacity to properly regulate nanotechnology products including supplements, a criticism that could inflame debate leading up to the agency’s first major public meeting on the atomic technology.
Want an idea of what COULD happen? Look at the Second Life online game. Someone released grey-goo into the system, maybe in an effort to replicate rampant nano regeneration, and it's making quite a mess of things.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Guest Post: What can we do about Islamic Terrorism?

posted by The Vidiot @ 6:43 PM Permalink

Guest post by Edger, (sponsored by The Sailor):

The Department of Defence defines Al Qaeda as "a radical Sunni Muslim umbrella organization established to recruit young Muslims into the Afghani Mujahideen and is aimed to establish Islamist states throughout the world, overthrow 'un-Islamic regimes', expel US soldiers and Western influence from the Gulf, and capture Jerusalem as a Muslim city."

They're probably right. I think that's a good assessment. But, it's pretty much on a par with defining the objectives of groups like Fred Phelps and his band of christian (?)nutbars, or Aryan Nation, or Ann Coulters or Pat Robertsons followers, and bears no relation to these groups status or non-status as representative of the thinking and intentions of all people in their respective societies - Al Qaeda in Islamic countries, and the groups I mentioned in western Christian societies.

There are crazy fringe fanatics in every society. Al Qaeda is probably a little bigger that the three I just mentioned, but is probably not anywhere the size of the group that supports bush's hegemonic fanaticism. There are no hordes of billions of insane Islamic killers out there about to wash over us in a tidal wave of massacre.

Maintaining some perspective is important here, I think. There is a fringe group of fanatics, called Al Qaeda. That is what we are dealing with.

So, what are some things we as a society can do about them? How can we stop them and live peacefully with Islamic countries?

On June 23 this year Salman Rushdie was interviewed by Bill Moyers. The video is here. Transcript here. Rushdie drew a very apt and instructive analogy to the long history of 'terrorism' troubles Britain had to deal with from the IRA that can be of help in understanding what we are dealing with when considering how to deal with Al Qaeda:
SALMAN RUSHDIE: There are people, as I say, you have to defeat, you know. But I'm talking about the enormous culture of which they're the pimple on the nose of it. And I think in the end the way in which radical Islam will be defeated is when ordinary Islam, you know, when the regular world of the Muslim faith comes to reject the idea that they will be represented by, defined by that kind of extremist behavior.

BILL MOYERS: But many people say that that kind of extremist behavior is part and parcel of the ideology of the heart of Islam. What do you--

SALMAN RUSHDIE: I don't think necessarily. I mean, the IRA was not intrinsically-- was not somehow arising from something intrinsic to Catholicism. And actually the IRA is a relevant example. Because when the Catholics of Northern Ireland became disillusioned by being represented by the IRA that is what brought the IRA to the peace table. At that moment their power disappeared. And that's why I'm saying that it is in a way incumbent on the Muslim world to reject Islamic radicalism, because that is what will remove the power of Islamic radicalism.

BILL MOYERS: Is America doomed to live under a fatwah as you did? Under the threat of terrorism for a long time, as you did?

SALMAN RUSHDIE: Yes, I think. But I mean, I think everywhere is dangerous now. You know the world is not a safe place; and there are no safe corners of it. And actually, there probably never have been. I think, in a way, America was insulated from that for awhile by the enormous power of America. But even that no longer insulates. So I think we do have to accept that the world is like that now. And I think ' one of the reasons I can say this is that, having lived in England during the years of the of the IRA campaign ' it became something that people, in a way, came to accept. That every so often a bomb would go off in a shopping mall, shopping center, and in the end, people refused to allow that to change their daily lives and just proceeded. And I think that refusal to be deflected from the path of normality also played a great deal of the role in the defeat of the IRA, that they didn't achieve their goal. And I think it is, I mean, it's something I've written quite a bit about, that the answer to terrorism is not to be terrorized, and it becomes important to continue--
The craziness that's been quoted from the Koran by many about 'Islamofascists' with the goal of either converting the world to Islam or killing all infidels is just that, craziness on a par with nutty stuff in the bible, and is no more representative of the thinking or of the intentions or of the desires of the average person in Islamic countries than Phelps' or Pat Robertsons' or Aryan Nations' or Ann Coulters' idiotic interpretations of the bible are.

Stephen M. Walt - professor of international affairs at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, writing for the Boston Globe in his article Misreading the tea leaves: US missteps on foreign policy on October 5, 2006 observes that:
JUST WHEN YOU think that US foreign policy couldn't possibly get worse, the Bush administration manages to take it down another notch.... These setbacks occurred because the Bush administration's foreign policy rests on a deep misreading of contemporary world politics. Conducting foreign policy on the basis of flawed premises is like designing an airplane while ignoring gravity: it won't get off the ground, and if it does, it is bound to crash.

Independent surveys of global opinion and separate studies by the Defense Science Board and the State Department showed that anti-Americanism is primarily a reaction to specific US policies. Yet Bush and his advisers never considered whether a different set of policies might reduce global opposition and enhance US security.
To reiterate Rushdies point: "...it is in a way incumbent on the Muslim world to reject Islamic radicalism, because that is what will remove the power of Islamic radicalism., but if our foreign policies, taken beyond all reason by bush, continue to drive the average person in Islamic societies to supporting Al Qaeda because they see them as opposing the bush administration and US foreign policies pursued by all administrations left or right, democrat or republican, of the past half century, then it is going to take them that much longer to "reject Islamic radicalism".

The Council on Foreign Relations recently commented that:
The declassified judgments from the National Intelligence Estimate on terrorism caused a stir in the political world this week, but for most 'we would guess almost all' scholars of jihadist terrorism, they are largely uncontroversial. The war in Iraq, the lack of reform in the Muslim world and anger at its endemic corruption and injustice, the pervasiveness of anti-Western sentiment 'all these have long been identified as major drivers of radical Islamist terror.
In fact, you don't need an NIE to demonstrate the most controversial judgment 'that the war in Iraq has worsened the terrorist threat. The official coordinated evaluation by Britain's domestic security and foreign intelligence services noted that the conflict in Iraq has exacerbated the threat from international terrorism and will continue to have an impact in the long term. This conclusion is echoed by interior ministries, law enforcement agencies and intelligence services in every part of the world.
All of which leads inescapably to a rather uncomfortable and paradoxical conclusion:

It's been said many times that they attack because "they hate us for our freedoms".

Not only is that a ridiculous statement on its face. It is absolutely untrue and misleading, and in fact is in diametric opposition to reality:

They attack us because they want the same freedoms we enjoy.

Or used to enjoy. Until lately. Until the dismantling of those freedoms began under the current administration.

As Rushdie observed: 'the answer to terrorism is not to be terrorized, and it becomes important to continue'. Dismantling freedoms here is not the way. Working together peacefully with the enormous Islamic societies is the way to live peacefully with those societies.

Far from appeasing Al Qaeda, doing so will eliminate Al Qaeda.

- Edger

List of the week

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:25 AM Permalink

Treaties revoked by GW Bush and NOT reported by the media.
-The Biodiversity Treaty (continued non-support)
-The Geneva Convention
-The Forest Protection Plan
-The Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty
-The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
-The 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty
-The 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention
-The 1979 UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women
-The UN International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
-The Chemical Weapons Convention
-The International Criminal Court

* Honorable Mention: The U.S. Constitution!

Rhetorical headline of the week.

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:22 AM Permalink

Should Corporations Control Online Communication?

Uh, do politicians always tell the truth?
Is the price of gas unmanipulated?
Do bears crap in flush toilets?

I often suspected

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:20 AM Permalink

that whales and dolphins were more than they appear to be.
Excerpt: Group living, in fact, is at the centre of cetacean existence, perhaps because the sea has few refuges from predators, and many species "have nothing to hide behind but each other". It has led to the evolution of many types of sophisticated co-operative behaviour, from hunting, to young males banding together to secure mating partners. And there is an "emerging but compelling argument", Mr Simmonds says, that some cetacean species exhibit culture - behaviour that is acquired through social learning.

The stock market explained.

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:18 AM Permalink

Those recent record highs? Not so high, really.
Excerpt: The Dow closed at its highest level ever today, and the mainstream press will certainly have a field day celebrating. This is BIG news - the kind you see recycled every half hour on CNN Headline News® until you're both thoroughly sick of it and also thoroughly brainwashed. Big, shallow news.

A must read.

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:16 AM Permalink

When you think of a marine, the word "eloquent" doesn't usually come to mind, but it does happen.
Excerpt: All: I haven't written very much from Iraq. There's really not much to write about. More exactly, there's not much I can write about because practically everything I do, read or hear is classified military information or is depressing to the point that I'd rather just forget about it, never mind write about it. The gaps in between all of that are filled with the pure tedium of daily life in an armed camp. So it's a bit of a struggle to think of anything to put into a letter that's worth reading. Worse, this place just consumes you. I work 18-20-hour days, every day. The quest to draw a clear picture of what the insurgents are up to never ends. Problems and frictions crop up faster than solutions. Every challenge demands a response. It's like this every day. Before I know it, I can't see straight, because it's 0400 and I've been at work for 20 hours straight, somehow missing dinner again in the process. And once again I haven't written to anyone. It starts all over again four hours later. It's not really like Ground Hog Day, it's more like a level from Dante's Inferno.

The Amish thing

posted by The Vidiot @ 10:43 AM Permalink

Those people are amazing. Such a different reaction to violence, a juxtaposition if you will, to the Bush administration's foreign policy.
Excerpt: The evening of the shooting, Amish neighbors from the Nickel Mines community gathered to process their grief with each other and mental health counselors. As of that evening, three little girls were dead. Eight were hospitalized in critical condition. (One more girl has died since.) According to reports by counselors who attended the grief session, the Amish family members grappled with a number of questions: Do we send our kids to school tomorrow? What if they want to sleep in our beds tonight, is that okay? But one question they asked might surprise us outsiders. What, they wondered, can we do to help the family of the shooter? Plans were already underway for a horse-and-buggy caravan to visit Charles Carl Roberts' family with offers of food and condolences. The Amish, it seems, don't automatically translate their grieving into revenge. Rather, they believe in redemption.

At least someone looked into it.

posted by The Vidiot @ 10:41 AM Permalink

My iPod seems to love the Beach Boys, Pet Sounds in particular.
Excerpt: Steven Levy really liked Steely Dan, but so too, it seemed, did his iPod. Like a lot of people, he began to wonder about its shuffle - was the random function really random or a result of dirty tricks, blunders... or even telepathy?

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Saturday Sailboat Blogging

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:05 PM Permalink

This scene could have been worse ... it could have been happening on my boat!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Habeus is Corpus V2

posted by The Vidiot @ 8:46 PM Permalink

Bush says he can edit security reports

President Bush, again defying Congress, says he has the power to edit the Homeland Security Department's reports about whether it obeys privacy rules while handling background checks, ID cards and watchlists.

In the law Bush signed Wednesday, Congress stated no one but the privacy officer could alter, delay or prohibit the mandatory annual report on Homeland Security department activities that affect privacy, including complaints.

But Bush, in a signing statement attached to the agency's 2007 spending bill, said he will interpret that section "in a manner consistent with the President's constitutional authority to supervise the unitary executive branch."
Bush's signing statement Wednesday challenges several other provisions in the Homeland Security spending bill.

Bush, for example, said he'd disregard a requirement that the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency must have at least five years experience and "demonstrated ability in and knowledge of emergency management and homeland security."

His rationale was that it "rules out a large portion of those persons best qualified by experience and knowledge to fill the office."
Bush's rationale is just so stupid it burns.

Habeus is Corpus V1

posted by The Vidiot @ 2:52 PM Permalink

Bush Signings Called Effort to Expand Power

President Bush's frequent use of signing statements to assert that he has the power to disobey newly enacted laws is "an integral part" of his "comprehensive strategy to strengthen and expand executive power" at the expense of the legislative branch, according to a report by the non partisan Congressional Research Service.
Under most interpretations of the Constitution, the report said, some of the legal assertions in Bush's signing statements are dubious. [ED: classic understatement] For example, it said, the administration has suggested repeatedly that the president has exclusive authority over foreign affairs and has an absolute right to withhold information from Congress. Such assertions are "generally unsupported by established legal principles," the report said.

Despite such criticism, the administration has continued to issue signing statements for new laws. Last week, for example, Bush signed the 2007 military budget bill, but then issued a statement challenging 16 of its provisions.

The bill bars the Pentagon from using any intelligence that was collected illegally, including information about Americans that was gathered in violation of the Fourth Amendment's protections against unreasonable government surveillance.

Bush also challenged three sections that require the Pentagon to notify Congress before diverting funds to new purposes, including top-secret activities or programs. Congress had already decided against funding. Bush said he was not bound to obey such statutes if he decided, as commander in chief, that withholding such information from Congress was necessary to protect security secrets.
Bush has used signing statements to challenge more than 800 laws that place limits or requirements on the executive branch, saying they intrude on his constitutional powers. By contrast, all previous presidents challenged a combined total of about 600 laws.

In light of the recent fiasco in the Senate

posted by The Vidiot @ 2:35 PM Permalink

the shenanigans, the bad legislation, the dirty politics, watch this clip of George Carlin talking about who really owns this country.

Yeah baby. THAT'S what I'm talking about.


posted by The Vidiot @ 1:22 PM Permalink

Papa Bush is ascared of what would happen to his son if the dems take over Congress.
Excerpt: "I would hate to think what Arlen's life would be like, what Rick's life would be like, and what my son's life would be like if we lose control of the Congress," said former President George Bush in a reference to Pennsylvania's two Republican Senators. "If we have some of these wild Democrats in charge of these committees, it will be a ghastly thing for our country."

"They'd be pushing through all kinds of crazy legislation," he added, "And they would be issuing the subpoenas, dragging people in just to be getting headlines."
I have to agree with him... if of course I define "crazy legislation" as this
Excerpt: Day One: Put new rules in place to "break the link between lobbyists and legislation."

Day Two: Enact all the recommendations made by the commission that investigated the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Time remaining until 100 hours: Raise the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour, maybe in one step. Cut the interest rate on student loans in half. Allow the government to negotiate directly with the pharmaceutical companies for lower drug prices for Medicare patients.

Broaden the types of stem cell research allowed with federal funds _ "I hope with a veto-proof majority," she added in an Associated Press interview Thursday.
and "headlines" as this:
Excerpt: Articles of Impeachment of
President George W. Bush
Vice President Richard B. Cheney,
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice,
Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, and
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales

Then yes, GH Bush is right. He should be ascared for his son.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Foley Fallout part 2

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:18 PM Permalink

It's not called a "compromising position" for nothing. Another aspect of this "scandal" that's not being discussed is how Foley was compromised. How many times did he vote the opposite of what he wanted because this sex stuff was hanging over his head? Not only that, each and every person who covered for him was compromised because finding out who covered up what is practically as damning as what was covered up. And then, how many congresscritters and senators have done things that THEY wouldn't want known? The bigger the secret, the easier they are to manipulate.

Let THAT worm its way around your noodle for a while.

Foley Fallout

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:38 AM Permalink

I was listening to NPR's "Morning Edition" while showering this AM and heard a report on a poll of Republican and Independent rural voters on what the Foley thing will do to their vote and the poll showed that the Foley thing means nothing to those people. One was quoted as saying "I don't think what Foley did is what's important. The Iraq war is important and when I go into the booth, I have to put all that aside and vote for where I want this country to go." Another woman said "I'm pro-life and morals and that's what the Republican party stands for, despite someone like Foley."

Now, on the surface, one might think these people are idiots. If you consider yourself a "moral" voter, how can you vote for a party whose leaders apparently have no morals. If you vote on the direction you want this country to go, how can you vote for a party whose every move indicates they don't care what you think and will do what they have to to win.

But dig a little deeper, and the poll actually clearly reveals what we all already suspected: that the majority of people vote the way they vote with very little critical thought. There's no way you can look at what's going on in Congress right now and not extrapolate their behavior to other things, like the leadup to the war with Iraq, the medicare system, social security, etc. If they're so hell-bent on hiding something like someone's sexual peccadilloes, when it comes to something REALLY damaging, just THINK how coordinated their actions would be to cover that REALLY damaging stuff up. Look back at the Monica thing. While what Clinton wasn't all that perverse, what really got him into trouble was all the parsing and spinning. Had he just come out and said it, there may have been no problems. But his parsing and spinning was indicative of his entire presidency. He parsed and spinned everything all of the time. (Well, to be fair, all politicians do. But Clinton was the master.)

But, the lack of critical thinking, whether it's due to the poor schooling, too much TV, bad media, whatever, will keep the majority of the people in this country from really thinking about this government and their role in it. And the same idiots will end up in office over and over and over again.

Orwell strikes again

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:09 AM Permalink

They call this hell hole FEMA camp outside New Orleans "Renaissance Village."

Another nail in the Constitution's coffin

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:08 AM Permalink

Think it can't happen to you? Well, it happened to this guy and he had his 7 year old son with him.

Excerpt: A Denver-area man filed a lawsuit today against a member of the Secret Service for causing him to be arrested after he approached Vice President Dick Cheney in Beaver Creek this summer and criticized him for his policies concerning Iraq.

STILL think I'm paranoid?


posted by The Vidiot @ 7:05 AM Permalink

Excellent little lamps

Baby pandas galore. (They sound like cats)

Odd architecture

Steven Colbert in "Battle of Wills"

Billmon is a most excellent blogger

Deliciously salacious celebrity oriented blogs I love to waste my time reading: gofugyourself, thesuperficial, perezhilton and defamer