Using money, weapons or its oil power, Saudi Arabia will intervene to prevent Iranian-backed Shi'ite militias from massacring Iraqi Sunni Muslims once the United States begins pulling out of Iraq, a security adviser to the Saudi government said on Wednesday. [...] "To be sure, Saudi engagement in Iraq carries great risks -- it could spark a regional war. So be it: The consequences of inaction are far worse," Obaid said. [...] Vice President Dick Cheney held talks with Saudi King Abdullah in Riyadh on Saturday. Details were not disclosed. [...] Obaid listed three options being considered by the Saudi government:
- providing "Sunni military leaders (primarily ex-Baathist members of the former Iraqi officer corps, who make up the backbone of the insurgency) with the same types of assistance", including funding and arms.
- establishing new Sunni brigades to combat the Iranian-backed militias;
- or the Saudi king "may decide to strangle Iranian funding of the militias through oil policy. If Saudi Arabia boosted production and cut the price of oil in half ... it would be devastating to Iran ... The result would be to limit Tehran's ability to continue funneling hundreds of millions each year to Shi'ite militias in Iraq and elsewhere."
The whole 'bring peace and democracy' to the Middle East is an even bigger lie than Saddam's WMDs.
So Bush, (the Chimperor), is meeting with Abdullah, (the King), (after being stiffed by the elected leader of Iraq, al-Maliki), to discuss 'democracy' in the middle east.
Irony abounds. Freedom doesn't. And Death never takes a holiday.
[...] The Antikythera Mechanism, sometimes called the world's first computer, has now been examined with the latest in high- resolution imaging systems and three-dimensional X-ray tomography. A team of British, Greek and U.S. researchers was able to decipher many inscriptions and reconstruct the gear functions, revealing, they said, "an unexpected degree of technical sophistication for the period." [...] They said their findings showed that the inscriptions related to lunar-solar motions and the gears were a mechanical representation of the irregularities of the moon's orbital course across the sky, as theorized by the astronomer Hipparchos. They established the date of the mechanism at 150-100 B.C. [...] Historians of technology think the instrument is more complex than any known device for at least a millennium afterward. The hand-operated mechanism, presumably used in preparing calendars for seasons of planting and harvesting and fixing religious festivals, had at least 30, possibly 37, hand-cut bronze gear wheels, the researchers reported. An ingenious pin-and- slot device connecting two gear wheels induced variations in the representation of lunar motions according to the Hipparchos model of the moon's elliptical orbit around Earth.
The functions of the mechanism were determined by the numbers of teeth in the gears. The 53-tooth count of certain gears, the researchers said, was "powerful confirmation of our proposed model of Hipparchos' lunar theory."
Excerpt: Violent death itself does seem to be a strong influence in our ability to recall past lives. Research involving more than seven hundred cases in six different cultures, sixty-one percent of people who recalled a past life, remembered having died violently. Traumatic deaths seem to manifest themselves not just as psychological conditions but also physical ones. During his forty years of research in the field, Dr. Stevenson examined over two hundred cases where children born with scars, birthmarks, even serious birth defects such as absent limbs also have clear memories of past lives where corresponding injuries led to their death.
(Hey! Maybe since I have Chiari, it means I had my head chopped off or bashed in a previous life!)
Excerpt: For more than two decades, Udo Wartena, a Dutch immigrant living in the Western U.S., kept what had happened to him one spring morning in May 1940 a secret, not even telling his wife. Before dying in 1989 he finally confided in two friends and then wrote the details of his experience down so it would not be lost.
[...] Why would Shell Oil Co. simply close its Bakersfield refinery? Why scrap a profit maker?
The rumor seemed to make no sense. Yet it was true.
The company says it could make more money on other projects. It denies it intended to squeeze the market, as its critics would claim, to drive up gasoline profits at its other refineries in the region.
Whatever the truth in Bakersfield, an Associated Press analysis suggests that big oil companies have been crimping supplies in subtler ways across the country for years. And tighter supplies tend to drive up prices.
The analysis, based on data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, indicates that the industry slacked off supplying oil and gasoline during the prolonged price boom between early 1999 and last summer, when prices began to fall. [...] _During the 1999-2006 price boom, the industry drilled an average of 7 percent fewer new wells monthly than in the seven preceding years of low, stable prices.
_The national supply of unrefined oil, including imports, grew an average of only 6 percent during the high-priced years, down from 14 percent during the previous span.
_The gasoline supply expanded by only 10 percent from 1999 to 2006, down from 15 percent in the earlier period. [...] A 2001 study by the Federal Trade Commission reported that some firms were deciding to "maximize their profits" by crimping supply during a Midwestern gasoline price spike. One executive told regulators "he would rather sell less gasoline and earn a higher margin on each gallon sold."
This year, the FTC reported that some oil companies were storing oil, instead of selling it right away, to await higher prices anticipated in the future.
The industry has shelved an average of 21 percent more unrefined oil from the start of 2004 through last June, the AP analysis indicates. Last spring, stocks of shelved crude reached their highest level in eight years, despite the fabulous riches at hand in high prices then. [...] Thanks to mergers, the top 10 companies now control three-quarters of national refining capacity, up from half in the early 1990s.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich yesterday said the country will be forced to reexamine freedom of speech to meet the threat of terrorism. [...] Gingrich spoke to about 400 state and local power brokers last night at the annual Nackey S. Loeb First Amendment award dinner, which fetes people and organizations that stand up for freedom of speech.
Yet another example of the 'we had to destroy that village in order to save it' thinking of Republicans.
The thesis draws on a survey of 69 psychiatric outpatients in three Connecticut locations during the 2004 presidential election. Lohse’s study, backed by SCSU Psychology professor Jaak Rakfeldt and statistician Misty Ginacola, found a correlation between the severity of a person’s psychosis and their preferences for president: The more psychotic the voter, the more likely they were to vote for Bush. [...] "Our study shows that psychotic patients prefer an authoritative leader," Lohse says. "If your world is very mixed up, there’s something very comforting about someone telling you, 'This is how it’s going to be.'"
The Bush administration pleased farmers and frustrated environmentalists Monday by declaring that pesticides can be sprayed into and over waters without first obtaining special permits. [...] "Requiring (federal) permitting would unnecessarily disrupt the effectiveness of (pest) control operations and adversely impact hundreds of business," the South Carolina Aquatic Plant Management Society warned.
The EPA decision gave the pest operators what they wanted. It also closely parsed the English language for what the all-important word "pollutant" means.
EPA officials concluded that a pesticide, when it's deliberately applied, isn't a "pollutant" under the terms of the 1972 Clean Water Act. Consequently, after considering nearly 700 public comments, officials ruled that federal "discharge" permits aren't necessary when using pesticides to control waterborne pests.
So if you do it on purpose it isn't poison!? And who cares if businesses are impacted adversely (by having to get a permit) if more people, especially children, the elderly and pregnant women, will be poisoned? And the jury is still out whether the pesticides are effective.
Seven former juvenile boot camp guards and a nurse have been charged with aggravated manslaughter in the death of a boy whose rough handling by the guards was videotaped, a special prosecutor said Tuesday.
Martin Lee Anderson, 13, collapsed on the exercise yard at the Bay County sheriff's camp in Panama City on Jan. 5. Guards said he was uncooperative and refused to continue participating in exercises that were part of the camp's intake processes.
Excerpt: "The peace sign has a lot of negativity associated with it," he said. "It's also an anti-Christ sign. That's how it started."
The 1972 edition of Symbol Sourcebook: An Authoritative Guide to International Graphic Symbols, a major reference work by Henry Dreyfuss, admits to uncertainty about the source of the "crow's foot" design.
"Controversy surrounds the origin of the ubiquitous peace symbol," Dreyfuss wrote. "It was introduced by pacifist Lord Bertrand Russell during Easter of 1958, when he marched at Aldermaston, England, campaigning for nuclear disarmament."
Dreyfuss said the symbol, designed by a British commercial artist, most likely represents the convergence of the semaphore symbols for the letter N and D and the circle symbol, for total nuclear disarmament. Others claim the symbol represents an upside-down cross with broken arms and is therefore anti-Christian or Satanic.
In addition to that nonsense, it seems the teacher's association has turned down an offer of 50,0o0 free copies of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth because it might cause key financial supporters to withdraw funding... financial supporters like Exxon. Yet another example of how corporations control what we eat, see and hear.
So, in summary: The first example, the peace sign incident, is a result of ignorance. The second example shows how the ignorance gets there in the first place.
posted by The Vidiot @ 2:07 PM Permalink
I'm a big fan of Jeopardy! When I watch the show I'm such a nerd I respond out loud with my guess, (phrased in the form of a question of course;-) I even tried out for the show once, (didn't make the 1st cut.)
All of the above is just a long-winded intro to saying: Prisoner of Trebekistan is one of the best books I have ever read!
It's about living, dying, love, not-love, losing, winning, the brain, the body, celebrities, us reg'lar folks, charity, selfishness, the journey, the path, memory and uhh, uuh ... forgetfulness. Sheesh, The book has everything!
And all of it done in a seamless, seemingly effortless style and humor that compels you to read 'just one more chapter' before going to sleep.
Full disclosure: Nothing to disclose really except I really liked the book and I'm going to buy more copies for my friends. And I hope to get Bob to sign my copy sometime, somewhere.
posted by The Vidiot @ 3:50 PM Permalink
I usually don't see whatever it is that Storm over at surfingtheapocalypse.com points to on the Mars photos he/she is looking at. Sometimes he/she says "Look! It's a skeleton!" and I look, and all I see is a rock. That being said, this post sparked my interest. I downloaded the image he/she pointed to and looked at it in Photoshop, and well. Honestly? There was some obvious clone spots. I mean REALLY obvious. Look for yourself.
See, if you look at the digitized detail, there are spots that are, well, not digitized and very, well fuzzy. That's what happens when you clone with the wrong brush. I know. I've done it a gazillion times.
So, my question is: What is MSSS cloning out in the raw images? It's obvious that it's being done. I mean, just look at it. So, WTF?
Asked what lessons the war in Vietnam offered for the war in Iraq, Bush's response suggested a need for patience and determination—a nod toward the U.S. decision to abandon Vietnam after a protracted and unsuccessful war there.
Their report, based on an analysis of records of military hearings of 393 detainees, comes as the U.S. government seeks to severely restrict detainee access to civilian courts, arguing that the Combatant Status Review Tribunals should be their main legal recourse. [...] The report is based on transcripts of tribunals that the government first released earlier this year in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by The Associated Press as well additional records provided by lawyers for 102 Guantanamo detainees. [...] Among their findings:
The government did not produce any witnesses in any hearing. The military denied all detainee requests to inspect the classified evidence against them. The military refused all requests for defense witnesses who were not detained at Guantanamo. In 74 percent of the cases, the government denied requests to call witnesses who were detained at the prison. [...] The Military Commissions Act, which President Bush signed on Oct. 17, strips all non-U.S. citizens held under suspicion of being an enemy combatant of their right to challenge their detention in civilian courts with petitions of habeas corpus.
The Bush administration has appointed a new chief of family-planning programs at the Department of Health and Human Services who worked at a Christian pregnancy-counseling organization that regards the distribution of contraceptives as "demeaning to women." [...] Keroack, an obstetrician-gynecologist, will advise Secretary Mike Leavitt on matters such as reproductive health and adolescent pregnancy. He will oversee $283 million in annual family-planning grants that, according to HHS, are "designed to provide access to contraceptive supplies and information to all who want and need them with priority given to low-income persons."
All I can say is F**k Bush ... but make sure you wear a condom!
The U.S. government has vowed that Americans will never be hungry again. But they may experience "very low food security."
Every year, the Agriculture Department issues a report that measures Americans' access to food, and it has consistently used the word "hunger" to describe those who can least afford to put food on the table. But not this year. [...] The USDA said that 12 percent of Americans -- 35 million people -- could not put food on the table at least part of last year. Eleven million of them reported going hungry at times. Beginning this year, the USDA has determined "very low food security" to be a more scientifically palatable description for that group. [...] The number of hungriest Americans has risen over the past five years. Last year, the total share of food-insecure households stood at 11 percent.
Gee, I wonder what happened 5 years ago? [/snark]
Snark aside, this isn't funny. I've been hungry, and all I had to do was put food in myself, not on my family.
What the hell is wrong with Bush that he can ask for $127 Billionmore for Iraq, but all he can do about Americans going hungry is redefine the term!? [/rhetorical question]
posted by The Vidiot @ 7:38 AM PermalinkThis is BY FAR the most ridiculous example of everything that's wrong with globalization.
Excerpt: Young’s, the seafood company, plans to ship the prawns from the West Coast of Scotland, where they are caught, on a 12,000-mile, nine-week round trip to Thailand, where they will be hand-peeled by workers earning 25p an hour.
They will then be shipped back to Scotland before being breaded and packaged as premium “Scottish Island” scampi for British supermarkets.
Thomas Friedman just peed a little from the excitement.
No one asked Michael White to count the dead soldiers in Iraq.
He is not a military man, and he has no friends or relatives who serve. He is a guy with a Honda Civic, a mortgage and a job in a suburban office park. A guy with a wife and a 7-year-old daughter who has soccer games to go to.
But for almost 3 1/2 years — for no pay and no glory — White has kept a meticulous tally of every U.S. and coalition military fatality, posting the names and the numbers on his website, http://www.icasualties.org . [...] "The concept from the get-go was to get an accurate count," White said. "I'd pick up the morning paper and it would say the number was X, and then I'd hear a news report that said five more troops had been killed. But the next day in the paper the number was still X. It was always behind, and I wanted to know what the immediate tally was." [...] On Oct. 19, USA Today used icasualties.org's numbers to show the five deadliest days in Iraq thus far in 2006. (The deadliest was Jan. 7, when 18 U.S. troops were killed — nine of them in a helicopter crash).
Marine Corps Maj. Stewart T. Upton, a Defense Department spokesman, said he hadn't heard of the site before. "People should look to the Department of Defense for the official numbers," he said. [...] White has kept his site free of politics — largely because he has learned how much the families of troops rely on his numbers.
"It's awful hard to read those e-mails," he said. "You have to acknowledge their loss in a nonpartisan way. That's one reason the site's agenda is separate from my politics. It's documentary. It doesn't have a political agenda. It answers a question I want answered."
The widows of two Wiccan combat veterans sued the government Monday, saying the military has dragged its feet on allowing the religion's symbols on headstones. [...] It claims that the VA has made "excuse after excuse" for more than nine years for not approving the symbol and that by doing so, it has trampled on the plaintiffs' constitutional rights of freedom of speech, religion and due process. [...] The VA issued a statement Monday that outlined the procedure under way to create uniform standards under which new symbols can be accepted, but did not comment on the lawsuit itself.
I'd have to agree, after nine years they are dragging their feet.
And more importantly, if you die like this:
are brought home like this:
The least they could do is bury you according to your beliefs. Like this:
(Apologies to the sources and photographers I didn't credit. I googled so hard for those pics I lost track of where I got them. I'd be happy to remove them on request of their copyright holders.)
posted by The Vidiot @ 1:22 PM PermalinkDefinition: Poetic justice is a literary outcome in which bad characters are punished and good characters are rewarded. Think: "What comes around goes around." In its purest form, poetic justice is when one character plots to undermine another and then ends up caught in his own trap.
Excerpt: A lawyer plans to use a legal precedent that allowed President Bill Clinton to be sued while in office to force Vice President Dick Cheney and presidential adviser Karl Rove to testify in a lawsuit brought by former CIA operative Valerie Plame and her husband.
Every November 25, for 24 hours, we remember that no one was born to shop, we make a small choice to participate by not participating. We call it Buy Nothing Day, and judging by the huge successes seen all across the globe last year – with thousands of activists and fed-up citizens taking part in dozens of countries – this year’s festival of restraint could be the biggest yet.
If you’ve never taken part in Buy Nothing Day, or if you’ve taken part in the past but haven’t really committed to doing it again, consider this: 2006 will go down as the year in which mainstream dialogue about global warming finally reached its critical mass. What better way to bring the Year of Global Warming to a close than to point people in the direction of real and effective alternatives to the unbridled consumption that has created this quagmire?
Email us at BND [at] ADBUSTERS [dot] ORG as your plans, posters and photos start to come together. We’ll try to feature the best and brightest right here as this year’s BND takes shape here. In the meantime, take a moment to check out our wrap-up of BND 2005 below to see if you can get inspired.
Excerpt: 'Man flu' - the psychological condition by which men claim to suffer more from colds than women - really exists, according to a new poll.
And I'll tell you why there's no such thing: It's because men, when it comes to internal, general, physical discomfort, are pansy asses. Let's face it, the ladies give birth and have regular menstrual cramps. If men even just had menstrual cramps, how long do you think it would take them to find a cure for that? Years? Try DAYS. Sure, they can carry more through a desert wearing combat boots. But that's different. That's muscular and masculine. But make those same muscles ache from a teeny weenie little fever and that same man is flat on his back, swearing the the end of his life is nigh.
posted by The Vidiot @ 8:01 AM PermalinkThis is an excellent idea: If you don't appreciate all that packaging the grocery store puts on food, unwrap the food at the counter and let them deal with it.
Excerpt: Shoppers were urged yesterday to take direct action to force supermarkets to cut the excessive and wasteful packaging that goes direct from the shop shelf to the household bin. The environment minister Ben Bradshaw advised food shoppers to leave excessive wrapping at the tills and to report the stores to trading standards in an attempt to cut the amount of unnecessary plastic sent to landfill sites.
Excerpt: During an appearance with his wife Barbara on Fox News last night, George Bush senior slammed Internet bloggers for creating an adversarial and ugly climate, echoing the rhetoric of fellow Neo-Cons and the White House itself in trashing the reputation of the world wide web.
a major research institution has just announced the discovery of the densest element yet known to science. the new element has been named "bushcronium." bushcronium has one neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons, and 224 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 311. these particles are held together by dark forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons. the symbol for bushcronium is "w".
bushcronium's mass actually increases over time, as morons randomly interact with various elements in the atmosphere and become assistant deputy neutrons in a bushcronium molecule, forming isodopes. this characteristic of moron-promotion leads some scientists to believe that bushcronium is formed whenever morons reach a certain quantity in concentration. this hypothetical quantity is referred to as "critical morass". when catalyzed with money, bushcronium activates foxnewsium, an element that radiates orders of magnitude more energy, albeit as incoherent noise, since it has 1/2 as many peons but twice as many morons.
I just have one small quark to add: They left out the spin the kleptons provide, which is in an opposing dimension to truth, beauty and charm.
A Republican-led legislative panel says in a new report on illegal immigration that abortion is partly to blame because it is causing a shortage of American workers.
The report from the state House Special Committee on Immigration Reform also says that "liberal social welfare policies" have discouraged Americans from working and have encouraged immigrants to cross the border illegally. [...] All 10 Republican committee members signed the report, while the six Democrats did not. Some of the Democrats called the abortion assertion ridiculous and embarrassing. [...] "Suggestions for how to stop illegal hiring varied without any simple solution," the report states. "The lack of traditional work ethic, combined with the effects of 30 years of abortion and expanding liberal social welfare policies have produced a shortage of workers and a lack of incentive for those who can work."
Gee, where does one start with such imbecilic aspersions? I'll start here: There are over 13 million Americans out of work (the actual number is much higher due to the way the stats are munged) and these freakin' Republicans (notice that no Dems agreed) say it is because of abortion and we're just too lazy! ... ... ... (sorry, I had to take a moment to stop screaming epithets and calm down enough to type again.)
Americans are out of work because the government (Dems and Repubs) are happily shipping our jobs out of the country. (Hey, the politicians have work, mandated cost of living increases, health care for them and their families, very generous retirement, and can give themselves raises ... you'd almost think they're out of touch with the way the rest of us live.)
The minimum wage in this country hasn't increased since 1994! At $5.15/hour you would make less than $11k/year. With no benefits. A person might be able to survive on that (if they don't get sick, want to go to college, have a family, or even date in hopes of having a family.)
posted by The Vidiot @ 4:49 PM Permalink
but this is too annoying for words. After meeting with dems, they agreed to let him keep his seniority and gave him the chair of Homeland Security committee. And why would they do such a thing?
Excerpt: During a talk show interview this weekend, Lieberman floated the idea of participating in Republican caucuses if he felt unwelcomed by Democrats. But with Lieberman in a leadership position, the party can maintain its 51-49 Senate majority.
Well this just shows once again that politics is little more than "mine is bigger than yours" and "if you don't let me do what I want, I'll take my toys and go somewhere else!"
I sure hope than when the dems take even more seats in 2008, they kick Lieberman out of the party. Right now, the dems need him, but they won't need him forever.
Excerpt: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (HSA) has proposed that all airlines, cruise lines-even fishing boats-be required to obtain clearance for each passenger they propose taking into or out of the United States.
Excerpt: Patricia Johnson-Holm claims in 1985 her 12-year-old-son, David, was kidnapped by the much talked about "Bush pedophile ring," using White House power as a cover for their evil and satanic activities with young children.
Johnson-Holm, 59, has not seen her son since he mysteriously disappeared. David is now 33-years-old and she thinks he is still alive but can't be completely sure.
Recently, a photo turned up on the internet, Johnson-Holm saying it came from a whistleblower who released the photo from a subscription-only porno site. The photo shows David as a young teenager bound and gagged, lying on a double bed between two other boys also bound gagged, the one to the right of David being Young Johnny Gosch.
Besides Johnson-Holmes coming forward, Johnny's mother, Noreen Gosch, has recently gone public, trying to alert the public of the higher-up officials involved in the pedophile ring. Her website trying to get to the bottom of her son's kidnapping is at www.johnnygosch.com but be prepared for some pictures which may turn your stomach.
Gosch's story has been documented on her site, Noreen even claiming her son may actually be Jeff Gannon, but she has been unable to get a court order for DNA testing in light of possible White House involvement.
Further, the Gosch story gets even stranger since some investigators relate it to the suspicious death of writer, Hunter Thompson, who was said to commit suicide the day after Gosch and Gannon were connected publicly.
Excerpt: Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut said yesterday that he will caucus with Senate Democrats in the new Congress, but he would not rule out switching to the Republican caucus if he starts to feel uncomfortable among Democrats.
I can't STAND Lieberman. It's visceral. I can't even look at the guy. He's such a turncoat. When he kept his name as Senator on the ticket when he was running as Gore's VP? That REALLY got me. Then there was that lame comment he made during the recount fiasco and I knew he was worthless. I have no problem with the fact that he was elected by Connecticut republicans. And by switching to the GOP, he'd only be doing their bidding. (That's if you believe the machines didn't give him the win.)
But hear me now; here is my prediction:
If we pressure our reps to start impeachment hearings, if it looks like, ON ANY LEVEL, Bush and/or Cheney could end up facing serious charges, Lieberman will run, not walk, to the GOP side and shut down the democrat-led committees.
I hope I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure I am not.
Update: A post over at Josh Marshall's blog suggests that Lieberman will stay right where he is, knowing full well that in 2008, the GOP will lose and lose big and he would again be a member of the minority, something NO senator wants.
posted by The Vidiot @ 8:22 AM Permalink
Every other day, I read about some legislative assault on the constitution. Here's another one.
Excerpt: A new law moving through Congress threatens to classify non-violent civil disobedience carried out by animal-rights groups as terrorism. The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA), already passed unanimously by the US Senate, expands on a previous law aimed at activists who protest the treatment of animals. It reclassifies common activist tactics as terrorism based solely on the cause pursued.
Honestly. It just keeps getting worse. And yet, I don't hear anyone commenting upon it on the street. (I don't seriously expect the talking heads to mention it. THAT would be just insane of me to even THINK that they could.)
So here we are. Citizenship won't protect us, the Military Act took care of that. And now, even peaceful protest will cause a person to be charged with terrorism. Which will then invoke the Military Act and bye-bye baby.
Yes. It's no wonder that Giuliani thinks he can be president in this environment. He's as big a nazi-type as they come. He ripped the heart and soul out of NYC and turned it into a white-washed, commercial Disney world. Let me tell you a little something about Rudy. His father was a loan-shark. He married his first cousin. Then, cheated on her. Divorced her and married his mistress. THEN, he cheated on his second wife. Divorced her and then married his mistress. He's either delusional or he "knows something." Those are the only explanations for why he thinks he can be president.
Excerpt: “I’m worried about bloggers,” says former New York Times reporter Judith Miller. “(A post) starts as a rumor and within 24 hours it’s repeated as fact.” Miller said blogs “don’t post corrections when they learn that what they have posted is wrong,” but added that she was “glad to welcome them as long as they agree to the standards.”
This week's seizure of both houses of Congress by the Democrats means that two key Republican opponents of action to confront climate change - Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma and Richard Pombo of California - will lose their positions as the chairmen of Congress's two environmental committees.
Mr Pombo, who lost his bid for re-election, will leave the House altogether. Mr Inhofe, who once said the threat of global warming was, "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people", will probably be replaced by the California Democrat Barbara Boxer. She has promised to curb carbon emissions and strengthen environmental protection legislation. [...] On Thursday, Mrs Boxer, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, told reporters that in addition to pursuing a policy shift in regard to climate change and environmental protection, she would also seek to do more on cleaning up toxic waste. [...] Under President George Bush the US government has been strident in resisting international and domestic calls to act on climate change. One of the first things Mr Bush did on coming to office was to withdraw support for the Kyoto treaty, which called for 35 industrialised nations to cut emissions by 5 per cent below their 1990 levels by 2012. Mr Bush said it would be too damaging to the country's economy and would cost five million jobs.
Bush unsigned a treaty that would help the whole world. His excuse is BS, just the health costs will take more lives than jobs. Besides, he's always been ready to ship jobs overseas, including our port security, which he wanted to go to a Middle East country with ties to terrorism.
My take on the election ... or ... the view thru rose colored (shot) glasses
posted by The Vidiot @ 3:33 PM Permalink
Lincoln was right, you can only fool all of the people some of the time. The majority of Americans who voted are sick of their children dying in an illegal and mismanaged war. They don't agree with secret prisons, warrantless wiretaps and torture. They think they should be able to afford health care and make a living wage.
Democrats took back the state houses, the house and the senate because they fought for them and they had something to offer besides 'stay the course.' The DNC's (Dean's) strategy worked ... and the DLC's didn't. Fight every race, municipal, state and federal. Say what you mean and fight for what you believe in. Even if you lose, you fought the good fight.
Bloggers and the internet also had a huge impact, locally and nationally. They raised a $hitload of money in races the national structure gave up on. They publicized races that didn't get national attention from corporate media and helped establish a real grassroots network and gave a voice to folks (like me) who had despaired of ever being heard by our leaders or the corporate media.
And I'm sick of reading the pundits saying dems won because they moved to the center. The dem candidates were all the way from the right to the center to the left and back again. Dems have never had a lockstep voice and I hope they never do. Pundits have no special skills or insight and no knowledge of anything outside the beltway. Screw 'em.
But this isn't the time to relax and definitely not the time to compromise. This was just the first step. Roll back the unconstitutional WOT laws that gutted our freedoms. Take back the power that king george claims for the executive. Fight back against politicians and the political process that makes our leaders beholden to corporations that have no allegiance to America, Americans or the principles that America was founded on.
We proved we can make a difference, now let's make that difference count.
posted by The Vidiot @ 10:08 AM Permalink It's really looking like the dems made a pact with the Devil. First it was Pelosi and Dean, then it was Conyers, now, it's Waxman!
Excerpt: Republicans have speculated that a Democratic congressional majority will mean a flurry of subpoenas and investigations into everything under the sun as retaliation against the GOP and President Bush.
Not so, Waxman said.
"A lot of people have said to me, `Are you going to now go out and issue a lot of subpoenas and go on a wild payback time?' Well, payback is unworthy," he said. "Doing oversight doesn't mean issuing subpoenas. It means trying to get information."
I beg to differ Mr. Waxman. People understand the subpoena. As a publicity stunt, it speaks volumes. A flurry of subpeonas will let the people know that A) you're doing your job, that B) finally, someone is going to challenge the power of Mr. Giggles and his pasty sidekick and C) you are worth of being elected and then beign RE-elected come next cycle. You can't "politely" go around and "ask some questions". You gotta' grill 'em. Hold their feet to the fire, demand stuff they don't want you to see. That can only be done with a subpeona.
These idiot dems had better realize that if they want to keep peoples' faith in this already cracked system, they had better do what the people want and that is IMPEACH THEM AND THEN JAIL THEM. Otherwise, there will be hell to pay, at the polls and perhaps otherwise.
Not that I'm a conspiracy theorist or anything but...
posted by The Vidiot @ 4:43 PM Permalink
is this how the GOP let the dems win this time? Was there a backroom deal cut somewhere where the dems said "OK, if you don't fiddle with the machines this time, we agree to not impeach you" and the GOP said "sounds good to me." Because everyone, even Howard Dean, has said there will be no impeachment. Even though Bush and Cheney deserve WAY more than Clinton did and I'd say even more than Nixon did. Is this the trade-off the dems made for power? Because if it is? It totally sucks.
Listen, I don't want Bush and Cheney impeached for shits and giggles. Those two REALLY deserve it. Take your pick: Lying us into war in Iraq, incompetence (if not conspiracy) with regards to 9/11, energy papers, pharmaceutical deals, Halliburton, KBR, Abu Garaib, Tora Bora, KATRINA!, I mean, I can't even list all the things they could possibly be impeached for and not run over my bandwidth. It's justice I want. Not vengeance.
And if the dems insist on playing the game this way, I'm going to be just as pissed at them as I am with the GOP.
Though, it does prove Mr. Vidiot's point that both parties are the same, that they're both in it for power and neither one of them gives a rat's ass about the people.
posted by The Vidiot @ 7:42 AM Permalink
The dems now control both houses of Congress. AP and NBC just called it for Webb in Virginia. And all of Europe, and perhaps the world, are breathing a sigh of relief. But now is the time for the American people to step up to the plate. It's kind of like moving into a new apartment and swearing that you're not going to let the kitchen floor get as dirty as the last place. The American people have to stay on top of this bunch and make sure they don't get as 'dirty' as the last bunch. Upon their swearing in, they should be called, daily, and monitored, daily. Anytime they do something stupid, you tell them. Anytime they do something good, you tell them. The system itself is a fallacy, but, the people are not. Let these idiots know that their jobs are temporary and can be made more temporary if need be. Let them know that there decisions should benefit people and not corporations, should benefit our communities and not other countries. And if they refuse, let them know there's a bucket of tar and a bag of feathers, both with their name on it.
And I say F-CK bipartisanship. I say take the f-ckers down.
John Conyers (D-MI) becomes chairman of the powerful House Judiciary Committee. His portfolio to investigate election fraud and Patriot Act abuses may result in possible impeachment articles being put forward.
John Dingell (D-MI) becomes chairman of the House Commerce Committee. His committee has oversight for energy (Cheney's secret energy task force is under the gun), telecommunications (media consolidation issues could be on the table), consumer protection, and public health.
Barney Frank (D-MA) becomes chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. Minimum wage increase on the agenda.
Charlie Rangel (D-NY) becomes chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Rolling back tax cuts for billionaires as well as corporate offshore tax havens will be on the agenda.
Henry Waxman (D-CA) becomes chairman of the House Government Reform Committee. He will exercise subpoena power to bring witnesses (friendly and hostile) before his committee to investigate Pentagon contract fraud (watch out Halliburton and KBR).
Ike Skelton (D-MO) becomes chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. Will also investigate Pentagon contract fraud.
Alcee Hastings (D-FL) may become chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Look for real fireworks here with former members of the US Intelligence Community being called to testify on pre-war intelligence cooking.
Neo-conservative ally Tom Lantos is slated to take over the House International Relations Committee. This is the only committee where the Bush administration will have anything close to a safe haven. Lantos was a supporter of the Iraq war.
In the Senate, the Judiciary Committee under the chairmanship of Patrick Leahy will be able to bottle up any right-wing nominations to the Supreme Court, if any should arise. Bush will be forced to submit the names of moderate consensus judges.
Joe Biden will become Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where Iraq will be at the top of the agenda.
Jeff Bingaman becomes Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, where gasoline price gouging and Interior Department scandals will feature prominently.
Jay Rockefeller becomes Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence with subpoena power on pre-war intelligence cooking. Pat Roberts, who has stonewalled for the White House, will be relegated to ranking member.
Carl Levin becomes Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Max Baucus becomes Chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee.
Robert Byrd takes over as Chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, Byrd also becomes President pro tem of the Senate, fourth in line for the White House after Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Dick Cheney.
posted by The Vidiot @ 1:06 PM Permalink
The 2 senate seats that are still being dealt with, VA and MT, are more important than is being discussed. Sure, if one breaks dem and the other GOP, then we'll be more or less even, and along with the independents caucusing with the dems, the dems will have weak control. HOWEVER, Lieberman is the wild card here. If it does break with a split, with one going dem and the other going GOP, then, if I were in the executive branch, I'd sure as hell be trying to figure out a way to appoint Lieberman to something, ANYTHING (Sec Def?) just so the GOP governor of Connecticut could appoint a solid republican to his vacated seat.
If you're really into this stuff, you should be clawing and screaming that both VA and MT are dem wins. Period. Insert it into the reality and repeat often until it's the truth.
Oh, and Kos is going off on just how "progressive" some of the winning dems were last night. While I agree that Bernie Sanders is a bit more left than most, just to even BE a politician in this country means that you have to hover around the middle. Progressive just means that they're the teeniest bit more likely to help out the middle class. That's it. American politics is conservative. So even the most left politician, when compared to a real lefty, appears to be conservative.
posted by The Vidiot @ 7:29 AM Permalink It seems the dems actually did it last night, huh? (Good results tracking here.)
For one thing, how the hell did that little puke Lieberman win? Are people in Connecticut a bunch of morons? And Reynolds in upstate New York? WTF? I really think upstate NY should just merge with Connecticut already and be done with it. They have no business being part of the NY I know. Blackwell in Ohio is out and that's good. Katherine Harris spent her entire fortune to lose big-time. That's good. Santorum is out. That's just deelightful. But all of that's just silly stuff.
Best thing about this is for one brief moment in time, a bunch of incumbents just got told "here's your pink slip." Though, we all know that by the time the new guys get sworn in, the old guys will have jobs on K Street and they'll be making more money and will have just as much power over our political system.
I don't want to be downer, but we really have to look at what we've really won: A broken economy, a broken social system, a broken tax system, a broken war.
Yes, revel if you must. The dems have won and won big. (So big, the machines couldn't fake it.) I too am experiencing some schadenfruede. But let's not lose our perspective -- centrist dems are no different than moderate republicans. Our government's policies will still favor the rich and will still favor big business. The only difference being that a few more cookies will be tossed at the middle and lower class and the assaults won't be as "in your face" as they have been.
The only thing that will make me completely happy about this result is if there is such a flurry of subpoena action that the white house is literally buried in paper and when Bush and Cheney finally climb out of the pile, they will be greeted by handcuffs and escorted to The Hague.
I think it should be a national holiday with fireworks and picnics and patriotic speeches. I think we should stand outside polling places and cheer.
I think voting is one of the very coolest things in the whole world.
I'm off to cast my ballot. It's not much of a walk to the school where I vote. On the way I'll be thinking of Alice Paul who was imprisoned, and force fed during a hunger strike, in support of women's suffrage.
I'll be thinking of James Cheney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner who were killed while working in Mississippi for the rights of black men and women to vote.
I'll be thinking of nameless, unknown, men and women who fought in the American Revolution because they wanted to govern themselves.
I'll be grateful to the people who made it possible to vote without owning 'real property', paying a poll tax or passing a literacy test.
It's pretty easy to vote these days cause people devoted their lives to the idea that voting is important.
All you have to do to honor their vision and sacrifice is show up and pull a lever.
I agree with the sentiment (tho it's a bit hard to take seriously from a blog called Miss Snark;-)
In a number of states, including California, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Utah, voters reported that electronic voting machines were not working properly.
An ABC News undercover investigation showed Army recruiters telling students that the war in Iraq was over, in an effort to get them to enlist.
ABC News and New York affiliate WABC equipped students with hidden video cameras before they visited 10 Army recruitment offices in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
"Nobody is going over to Iraq anymore?" one student asks a recruiter.
"No, we're bringing people back," he replies.
"We're not at war. War ended a long time ago," another recruiter says. [...] During the ABC News sessions, some recruiters told our students if they enlisted, there would be little chance they'd to go Iraq.
But Col. Robert Manning, who is in charge of U.S. Army recruiting for the entire Northeast, said that new recruits were likely to go to Iraq. [...] ABC News found one recruiter who even claimed if you didn't like the Army, you could just quit.
"It's called a 'Failure to Adapt' discharge," the recruiter said. "It's an entry-level discharge so it won't affect anything on your record. It'll just be like it never happened."
Manning, however, disagrees with the ease the recruiter describes.
"I would believe it's not as easy as he would lead you to believe it is," he said.
Sue Niederer, whose son, Seth, joined the Army in 2002, said she was all too familiar with recruiters' lies.
"They need to do anything they possibly can to get recruits," Niederer said.
Seth was sent to Iraq and was killed by a roadside bomb.
Niederer said she was not surprised by what ABC News had found. She believes it's still a widespread problem. She said that recruiters told Seth he wouldn't be put into combat.
"Ninety percent [are] going to be putting their lives on the line for our country," she said. "Tell them the truth. That's all. Just tell them the truth."
That's just one of the many lies that killed her child. The 'all volunteer army' is a sham if you have to lie to get new recruits.
The Bush administration prodded Vietnam on Tuesday to fairly try three U.S. citizens facing charges of attempting to prompt a rebellion against the communist government. [...] "What we would ask is that any judicial proceedings proceed in a free and in a fair and transparent manner," McCormack told reporters.
posted by The Vidiot @ 1:54 PM Permalink Here is an example of what I like to call Bizarro Infill Development. Infill, as you might recall, was coined by Jane Jacobs and it means to take vacant lots and develop them in a way that increases the availability of affordable housing in a neighborhood. It's a sane alternative to developing outside of a city, which would create urban sprawl and whatnot.
Anyway, in the above picture, you see Bizarro Infill. Here, a yuppie has put a thriving deli out of business (it used to be the ground floor), displaced at least one tenant and is probably (though I'm only guessing) terribly inconveniencing the remaining tenants while at the same time internally redistributing the floor space to create an extra large duplex with parking by raising the ceilings in the basement. (Basements in these buildings are usually not more than 6 or 6.5 feet) The end result is less available housing and less neighborhood-friendly business in exchange for an increase in yuppie breeding space.
I wish I had a before picture so you can see just how very different it is. This is like a mini-mcmansion with two rental units plopped on top of it.
To make matters worse, this little project of theirs is taking forever. It's been going on for what seems like 6 months or so. And the inside is still a mess. Every now and then I see a woman drive up, talk to the workers, not look very happy and then climb back into her white SUV.
My prediction: they'll run out of money and/or run into issues with the buildings department and it will remain in an unfinished state forever.
The government says in new court filings that those interrogation methods are now among the nation's most sensitive national security secrets and that their release -- even to the detainees' own attorneys -- "could reasonably be expected to cause extremely grave damage." Terrorists could use the information to train in counter-interrogation techniques and foil government efforts to elicit information about their methods and plots, according to government documents submitted to U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton on Oct. 26. [...] The government, in trying to block lawyers' access to the 14 detainees, effectively asserts that the detainees' experiences are a secret that should never be shared with the public. [...]
Can I see a show of hands of how many people think you can be trained to resist being drowned? Having your genitals shocked? Being strung up, hooded and forced to stand on a milk crate with your arms outstretched thinking you will die if you slip!?
And those are just the methods we have pictures of. I can't imagine the techniques the government wants to keep secret.
Holding people in a secret prison while you use "alternative interrogation methods" on them and then asking a judge to stop those people's lawyers from being told about it is un-American.
posted by The Vidiot @ 9:51 PM Permalink
Fall Foliage Edition This pic is from last week, the last week of sailing season in my home port. Sorry about the late, and lack of posting, I've been in warmer climes setting up a sailboat for the winter season of sailing. Pics from that trip next week.
Here's a clip of my favorite musical number. The actor playing Rutledge is John Cullum, the bartender from Northern Exposure.
There. See? I'm a geek.
I guess they're showing it to remind us why we need to vote tomorrow. My advice for tomorrow: Vote against the incumbent and when possible, vote 3rd party. I will be voting along the Working Families party line.
posted by The Vidiot @ 12:42 PM Permalink
I don't know how effective this would be considering the recent comments by Pelosi and Dean about there being no impeachment planned in the event of a dem takeover of Congress, but hey, what the hell. You don't know if you don't try.
Excerpt from comment: STOP WAITING FOR YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO ACT FOR YOU.
You can initiate the impeachment process yourself by downloading the memorial, filling in the relevant information in the blanks (your name, state, etc.), and sending it in. Be a part of history.
The federal government's "no sex without marriage" message isn't just for kids anymore. Now the government is targeting unmarried adults up to age 29 as part of its abstinence-only programs, which include millions of dollars in federal money that will be available to the states under revised federal grant guidelines for 2007. [...] Abstinence education programs, which have focused on preteens and teens, teach that abstaining from sex is the only effective or acceptable method to prevent pregnancy or disease. They give no instruction on birth control or safe sex.
The National Center for Health Statistics says well over 90% of adults ages 20-29 have had sexual intercourse.
So they aren't exactly preaching to the choir. Besides, or more to the point, if they're already f**king wouldn't one think that telling them about birth control and safe sex would be a better approach?
Wade Horn, assistant secretary for children and families at the Department of Health and Human Services, said the revision is aimed at 19- to 29-year-olds because more unmarried women in that age group are having children.
Government data released last month show that 998,262 births in 2004 were to unmarried women 19-29, the ages with the most births to unmarried women.
I'm sure it cums as a shock to these people, but lots of folks want children, (please, no Catholic priest or Congressman Foley jokes), they just don't want a husband or a wife, not to mention the folks who want children but aren't allowed by the State to have a husband or wife.
Sarah Brown, director of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, says abstinence programs are among many messages that have helped reduce teen pregnancy rates. But "the notion that the federal government is supporting millions of dollars worth of messages to people who are grown adults about how to conduct their sex life is a very divisive policy," she says. [...] "I think the program should talk about the problem with out-of- wedlock childbearing — not about your sex life," Brown says. "If you use contraception effectively and consistently, you will not be in the pool of out-of-wedlock births."
She almost had me there with the talk about not interfering with adults' sex lives, but the pool of out-of-wedlock births for 20 to 29 year olds probably contains more chlorine than the pool of in-of-wedlock births.
1.(sometimes capital letters 'V' and 'S' with no space) a style of writing or saying something using emotion and/or logic and snark, esp. in order to elucidate the obvious while pretending to be objective.
2. anything written by The Vidiot, The Sailor, Mr. Vidiot and anyone else they allow to post on the blog “vidiotspeak”
[Origin: loosely based on new + speak, coined by George Orwell in his novel, 1984 (1949)]
And for godsakes, stay away from FOX, MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, and NBC.
It's ALL CRAP!!!
Watch the BBC news or ITN news instead.
"POSSE COMITATUS ACT" (18 USC 1385)
A Reconstruction Era criminal law proscribing use of Army (later, Air Force) to "execute the laws" except where expressly authorized by Constitution or Congress. Limit on use of military for civilian law enforcement also applies to Navy by regulation. Dec '81 additional laws were enacted (codified 10 USC 371-78) clarifying permissible military assistance to civilian law enforcement agencies--including the Coast Guard--especially in combating drug smuggling into the United States. Posse Comitatus clarifications emphasize supportive and technical assistance (e.g., use of facilities, vessels, aircraft, intelligence, tech aid, surveillance, etc.) while generally prohibiting direct participation of DoD personnel in law enforcement (e.g., search, seizure, and arrests). For example, Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachments (LEDETS) serve aboard Navy vessels and perform the actual boardings of interdicted suspect drug smuggling vessels and, if needed, arrest their crews). Positive results have been realized especially from Navy ship/aircraft involvement.