Thursday, July 28, 2005

Going Among 'Em

Going to Wash.DC this morning for the weekend. Wife's HS reunion. Not really much for me to do but stand around and smile. Staying at a Hilton so I should have Internet but don't know how much time I will have to post. It is always a hoot flying into Reagan since they make you stay in your seats the last 30 minutes or so of the flight. I can't imagine what they think this accomplishes but it seems to make them feel better. Will definitely have to ride in the cheap seats as the bride is not a premimium traveler and it is considered bad form for me to upgrade and leave her in the back. Oh well, short flight. Maybe I will be able to upgrade out to San Jose next week and that is a good thing on a four plus hour flight.
Anyhow, everyone have a nice weekend if we don't see ya!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Name Change to Protect the Guilty

The New York Times is reporting that the "GWOT" has ended and we are now in the "GSAVE"

In recent speeches and news conferences, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and the nation's senior military officer have spoken of "a global struggle against violent extremism" rather than "the global war on terror," which had been the catchphrase of choice. Administration officials say that phrase may have outlived its usefulness, because it focused attention solely, and incorrectly, on the military campaign.

Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the National Press Club on Monday that he had "objected to the use of the term 'war on terrorism' before, because if you call it a war, then you think of people in uniform as being the solution." He said the threat instead should be defined as violent extremists, with the recognition that "terror is the method they use."

Although the military is heavily engaged in the mission now, he said, future efforts require "all instruments of our national power, all instruments of the international communities' national power." The solution is "more diplomatic, more economic, more political than it is military," he concluded.

Did we win?
Was the "Mission Accomplished"?
Did we "Smoke 'em Out"?
Is Osama still the bad guy or did someone else take over?
Do we reset the casualty count?
Do we get to fuck over another country or two?
Is this one going to be cheaper?
Who's going to be in the coalition of the bribed and threatened?
Do I have to have a coupon to play or will my "loyalty card" do?

Now back to work.

Criminally Stupid

I'm busier than a five dollar hooker at a Christian Coalition convention right now but I just wanted to stop in an comment on the latest from Senator Pat Roberts. He actually made the comment that he couldn't understand how Valerie Wilson could be considered covert when she drove to the CIA everyday in plain sight. Does the GOP recruit from the Institute for the Criminally Stupid?
I guess he didn't know that sometimes the high speed, underground shuttles that lead into the vast underground complex under Langley sometimes are over crowded or are shut down for maintenance. I know in my experience that everytime I wanted to catch the shuttle from Ft. Meade to Langley there was some delay or problem and I wound up having to drive myself. It was especially nerve wracking too! Having to drive with the hood over my head with only two little holes to peak through...ruins your peripheral vision not to mention the hood getting "cattywampus" an blocking your sight altogether. Yeah, I know there are the crawl tunnels that you can use but, if you have every been in one, they are damp and dirty and poorly lit and I can imagine a lady as well groomed and attractive as Valerie wasn't too keen on crawling for a couple of miles to get to work. Do you know what those damn hoods do to a hairdo?
What a maroon!
As usual Billmon and Firedoglake are on top of it so I can go back to trying to make a living.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Fat Lady Hasn't Sung Yet

On Friday I posted on the "Dying Bill of Rights" and I hope I didn't leave the impression that there was nothing left to do about the Reauthorization. I did not mean to imply this. Shakespeare's Sister has an excellent summary of the status of the process as of Friday posted by Thom Haslam @ Societas

Let's set the record straight if we can.
First of all the Patriot Act has NOT been reathorized and there are still ways to make an impact on the outcome. There are currently two bills before Congress, one in each house:
H.R. 3199: USA PATRIOT and Terrorism Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2005: passed 257/171 on June 21 2005 and

S. 1389: A bill to reauthorize and improve the USA PATRIOT Act: passed unanimously by the Senate Judiciary committee but still pending a full Senate vote

Both of these bills are different and therefore must be reconciled in conference. This means that there is still time for you to act.

Opportunity One: The Senate Bill Contact your Senators
and express your concerns about the Patriot Act. Ask them to ensure
that the 4th and 1st Amendments are not compromised. Ask them to
endorse and strengthen the efforts by the Senate Judiciary committee to
better protect civil liberties.

Opportunity Two: House-Senate reconciliation process
After s. 1389 is passed by the full Senate and goes to the House-Senate conference committee, contact your Congressional representative.
Please firmly but respectfully inform him or her that you prefer a
final bill that does a better job restoring checks and balances,
ensuring meaningful judicial and Congressional oversight, and
protecting civil liberties.

Lastly, Go and read the whole post at Shakespeare's Sister it has a bunch of links that will give you the whole scoop on the Patriot Act and what it means.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Birthday over at Firedoglake

Happy Name Day Jane! I hope there are many repeats. Still think the strip needs to see the sunshine. FM

No Worries?

According to Philip Giraldi, writing in the new issue (not online) of the American Conservative, it's to nuke Iran:

The Pentagon, acting under instructions from Vice President Dick Cheney's office, has tasked the United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM) with drawing up a contingency plan to be employed in response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States. The plan includes a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both conventional and tactical nuclear weapons. Within Iran there are more than 450 major strategic targets, including numerous suspected nuclear-weapons-program development sites. Many of the targets are hardened or are deep underground and could not be taken out by conventional weapons, hence the nuclear option. As in the case of Iraq, the response is not conditional on Iran actually being involved in the act of terrorism directed against the United States. Several senior Air Force officers involved in the planning are reportedly appalled at the implications of what they are doing--that Iran is being set up for an unprovoked nuclear attack--but no one is prepared to damage his career by posing any objections.

First of all I thought the President was the one who specified these things. Maybe he deferred the destruction of the world to Cheney. I don't doubt that these plans are in place, after all this is what they really wanted to do first but Saddam was easier and actually had more oil. The scary part is that the MSM is probably not going to pick this up.
This is actually even scarier when you put it in parallel with Juan Cole's latest article in Salon in which, in very clear terms, he spells out that for all intents and puposes the war in Iraq is over and that much to the chagrin of Bush and boys it is Iran that has actually won. It is a very well written article and well worth the day pass hassle.
Finally, to top it all off, our boys in Congress, in conjunction with dismantling the Bill of Rights have created a new crime called Narco-terrorism which marries the WOD with the WOT and basically gives Bush and company the right to hook any crime to the WOT and therefore put you in jail forever with no trial and no recourse.
As someone used to say "The world is turning to shit and the pigs are eating it!"
Have a nice day.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Reminder of a Dying Bill of Rights

Via Billmon - Societas reminds us not to ignore the fact that the 4th Amendment to the Constitution is currently being buried by the House and Senate while we wring our hands over KKKarl and "The Distraction".
Congress will vote to renew and possibly expand PATRIOT today, tomorrow or early next week. This will all be over long before Roberts has a hearing, before Fitzgerald finishes his investigation.

If Congress renews or expands Section 215, as they seem intent on doing, you can kiss the 4th Amendment good-bye . . . What two World Wars and a Civil War could not accomplish, al-Qaeda and the cowardly leadership of George Bush will. (emphasis added)

While it is probably too late to do anything about it... I'll just remind you what Section 215 allows the government power to do:
* Order any person or entity to turn over "any tangible things," so long as the FBI specifies that the order is part of an authorized terrorism or intelligence investigation.

* Obtain personal data, including medical records, without any specific facts connecting those records to a foreign terrorist.

* Prohibit doctors and insurance companies from disclosing to their patients that their medical records have been seized by the government.

* Obtain library and book store records, including lists of books checked out, without any specific facts connecting the records to a foreign agent or terrorist.

* Obtain private financial records without a court order, and without notification to the person involved.

* Conduct intelligence investigations of both United States citizens and permanent residents without probable cause, or even reasonable grounds to believe that they are engaged in criminal activity or are agents of a foreign power.

* Investigate U.S. citizens based in part on their exercise of their First Amendment rights, and non-citizens based solely on their exercise of those rights. (Naturally, decisions about what constitutes "in part" are left to a secret court, meeting secretly.)

* Those served with Section 215 orders are prohibited from disclosing that fact to anyone -- even their attorney. (This provision was struck down by a U.S. district court last year.)

Section 213 of The PATRIOT Act allows federal agents to:

* Conduct secret “sneak and peek” searches of your home.

* Enter your home or office and seize items for an indefinite period of time, without informing you that a warrant has been issued.

And finally Section 216 lets the feds:

* Seize records that could show the subject lines of your e-mails and the details pf your Web surfing habits.

Ain't we got Fun?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Plus ça change

DrMax reminds us that the more things change the more they stay the same by pointing us to some quotations by Mark Twain. You would think that a different place and time would produce different problems but...

Diseased Liberal

Billmon has two excellent posts up. Both deal with what he calls the “Liberal Disease”. He is discussing something that I have touched on numerous times and, being a professional writer, does it better than I could have. The subject is summarized in the following quote:
That's pretty much the last ten years of American political history in a nutshell. While liberals sift and weigh the evidence, debate alternative points of view, and reach for that ever elusive "fairness," the conservative machine sifts and weighs alternative propaganda points, debates the best way to manipulate public opinion, and reaches for power -- first, last and always.

or even better he quotes from David Horowitz’s Art of Political Warfare
You cannot cripple an opponent by outwitting him in a political debate. You can do it only by following Lenin's injunction: "In political conflicts, the goal is not to refute your opponent's argument, but to wipe him from the face of the earth."

I guess the question is … are we on the left mentally, or psychologically capable of dealing with intercourse at this level? Do we want too? The ultimate question, of course, is…Is it worth it? Do I want to get down in the gutter and roll around in the slime? Do I want to enrage my fellow humans and denigrate anyone who doesn’t agree with me? Can I afford the damage to my psyche? My Karma? Do the ends justify the means?
Would I trade my life, right now, to spare the lives of all my fellows who have died in Iraq or to save the thousands from lifetimes of pain and disability? Would I trade my life to spare the tens of thousands of Iraqi’s that have died or been maimed as a result of Bush’s Folly?
These, however, are the wrong questions. The only people being asked to give their lives are our poor sons and daughters that Bush has sent on his big adventure. You and I are the ones facing the questions on a daily basis. We are the ones that have a choice about whether we get our hands dirty or not.
It may not be someone we know but it will be someone we care about, that will benefit if we don’t give up. Regardless of all the warts and scratches the founding principles of this country are still valid. They are not valid because they are American but because they are universal. Somewhere, some when, somebody should realize the promise and that is why we should not stand by and wring our hands while the christofascists destroy the universal dream embodied in the Declaration of Independence, too many have died and suffered, on both sides, for us to give up now.
Yeah, you can call me Don Quixote and you can sneer at my beliefs and you can call me liberal and laugh at my ideals, but in the long run my ideals will win out. They will win because people yearn to be free, happy, unafraid and peaceful. It is the natural way. It is the Tao. You can force it down with fear and greed only for awhile before it wins again. If I have to crawl down into their miserable hellhole existence in order to encourage a little peace and understanding, and Goddess forbid, Love then “Bring It On”.

Beam Him Up Lady

LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- James Doohan, the burly chief engineer of the Starship Enterprise in the original "Star Trek" TV series and motion pictures who responded to the apocryphal command "Beam me up, Scotty," died early Wednesday. He was 85.

Thanks for the memories Scotty.

Bush-ravaged Heart

Mark Morford's latest epistle just showed up in the inbox and it has some worthy quotables that deserve to be repeated.

Rove, with his meager education and porcine sheen and this-one's-for-all-the-girls-who-shunned-me-in-high-school revenge demeanor, essentially reinvented American politics, created a new language of hate and fear...

Here's the bottom line: Scandal notwithstanding, Rove's nastiest and most valuable work for this lame-duck president is now complete. And Bush is flopping all over the place: Social Security reform is a disaster and Iraq is an appalling catastrophe and the economy is running on fumes and this nation is an international punch line and Bush's poll ratings are sinking faster than Jenna Bush can slam down a Bud Light.

he'll merely go underground, move his big pink nail-encrusted throne to a different bunker where he will continue interviewing GOP presidential hopefuls for 2008 in an attempt to gauge whose body he can most easily invade, who has the least amount of humanity

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

One More Time

This quote from Howard Dean in Idaho is worth repeating and it points out a key strategy that we should all keep in mind if we expect to make in progress in the upcoming elections. Attack their strengths. It is right from KKKarl's playbook but we want to do it honestly and upfront.

"I'm tired of Republicans telling us we're pro-abortion. I served on the board of Planned Parenthood for five years. I don't know anybody who's pro-abortion," he said. "Most people in this country would like to see the abortion rate go down. That includes Democrats and Republicans. The difference between the parties is that we believe a woman makes that decision about her health care -- and they believe Tom Delay makes it."

I like this guy!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Blog Birth and Death

A new group blog is born from the cosmic dust named Cosmic Variance the bloggers include Sean Carroll formerly of Preposterous Universe world famous blogger from Orange Quark the dashing Mark Trodden, a former Preposterous Universe guest-blogger Risa Wechsler, and two blogging newbies, JoAnne Hewett and Clifford Johnson.
While all of these folks are physicists I wouldn't let that bother you. I have read Sean's blog for some time and while there is the science there is a lot of other good stuff too. Not to often do you get to pal around with guys that get to play with particle accelerators. If you play nice they may even let you borrow the keys some afternoon.
Welcome to the blogosphere.
Oh! as to the death part, Sean probably won't be posting stuff over at the PU anymore and I don't know about Mark and the Quark.

You're Surprised?

Several blogs I touched on this morning have mentioned the revelation that the FBI has been spying on Left Wing organizations including the ACLU and Greenpeace. John at Americablog, and Mustang Bobby over at BBWW have posted on it. John points to Pam Spaulding and Bobby to the NYTimes.
I guess the title says it all, but I will reiterate. You're surprised that the most paranoid, morally bankrupt, dishonest, lying misadministration in the short history of the U.S. of A. would spy on it's citizens for no reasons having to do with national security or criminal activity? I guess I didn't think about it very much but I assumed that all of us on the left knew that we were being watched very closely by this pack of rabid dogs that are in charge. I know I was absolutely sure that my name had been picked up off one of the online petitions, political contributions, something somewhere that I had put my real name on and that I was on more than one list. As I have mentioned before here, I spent about 8 years in the late 60's and early 70's in the intelligence world and at the highest levels there were. I spent quite a bit of time gathering domestic intelligence when it was supposedly against the law without a warrant. I tapped telephones, monitored telegrams, you name it. We were military but that didn't stop us from working for the DEA, FBI, NSA, DIA you name it. We didn't question our tasking, we just did it.
Maybe someone without my background and aware of just how much capability there was back then and capable of extrapolating to the technology of today wouldn't be quite as paranoid as I, but you really do have to remember who you are dealing with here.
While I blog anonomously I am not kidding myself into believing that if or when someone with only some of the resources of the government behind them could figure out my real name, address, occupation and hat size in an hour or two if they decided they needed to. I have revealed enough disparate bits on this blog over time so that someone with a little diligence could ID me in a heartbeat.
Let me see...they know I live in Roswell, GA and that I travel internationally on business. They know that this year I have made several trips to Lyon, France and one to London. They know I was in the Navy stationed in Hawaii in the early 70's. Need I go on? There is a lot more that could be used but how many people match the above profile? If two people do then add one more data point like my daughter is a firefighter/paramedic or that my wife and I married while I was in Hawaii. That's if they wanted to do it the old fashioned way...Blogger can probably tell them where I am logged in from for all that I know.
Anyhow, to get back on point, if you believe you can remain anonymous in today's world then you are sadly mistaken. If you use the web or email at all. If you use a cell phone or a land line. If you use credit cards or have a driver's license. If you have voted or paid taxes or have a SSN then you are blind-folded and spread eagle on the ground and the man can examine everything you have.
It used to, in most cases, require a judge's consent and a warrant to really look under your kilt but after the Patriot Act its "Hello Sunshine" to coin a phrase. Smile your on KKKarl Rove's camera.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

We the Enemy

MandT over at Adgitadiaries has an excellent post discussing the continued painting of the Muslim faith with the broad brush of terrorism. With the latest bombings in London the Bush misadministration seem to be trying to ratchet it up a notch or two higher. Anyhow, worth reading the whole thing.

The Bush administration should take a clue from Sir David Manning, British Ambassador to the United States when he described Islam as a faith of "peace, reconciliation and tolerance." This important outlook, according to Youmans, is largely absent in political rhetoric on this side of the Atlantic.

A pathetic case in point is the California National Guard, who has been spying on its Moslem sympathetic citizens and issuing flyers suggesting "that dippin bullets in pig's blood and burying dead terrorists with pig entrails" is an effective means to deal with terrorism. Incredible!

"As British officials know, supporting the inherently moderate voices of most moslems serves to undermine the violent agends of fringe extremists. The first step to doing that is to de-link Islam from their terrorism."

Although president Bush has on rare occasion dignified his Office by not painting the entire Islamic nations with the same terrorist brush he has done virtually nothing to discourage his dominionist Christian fundamentalist administration from characterizing Islam as fanatical and evil. Bush's war is about colonialism, spoils of war, and compliant vassel states riding above a sub text of Christian Crusade.

Moderate Islam is turning away, not because of evil religious beliefs, but because of sound ones that define now what America has actually become in its brutal drive for oil supply--a satanic reflex, whose Fire of Freedom is a sham. Until true Americans wake up and see the truth we will see the loss of the only true weapon we have against terrorism----decent Moslem peoples.

"Yep, son, we have met the enemy and he is us." POGO

Remember Social Security?

This summary is not available. Please click here to view the post.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

No Pain Please

You know I really would like to get excited about KKKarl Rove becoming some swinging dick's boy toy in a Federal lock up somewhere. It would be so good to anticipate the march up the road, the steel doors slamming shut, the cavity search, the day-glo orange jumpsuit but Kerist I don't want the same depression and soul leaching experience I had had after the last election. Jeebus I was hyped. I had gotten involved, donated money, spend a fortune in Kerry signs only to be shafted. I don't need it and want it. I will just wait until it is a done deal and then party.

All Relative I Guess

Bush is touting his fiscal gravitas this weekend. It is absolutely amazing to see these folks spin a $333 Billion deficit like it is the second coming. The spin is that this is so great because they thought they were going to fuck up to the tune of $450 Billion.
I can't imagine why they are neglecting to remind us that it was not that many years ago that Bush was promising a $250 Billion surplus by now and that the miss is, in reality, more like $600 Billion. I guess it is all relative after all.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Rovegate Be Damned

All this crap about KKKarl Rove is tending to push the ongoing disaster in Iraq to the back of the burner. Just so no one forgets the death toll for American troops now stands at 1758. The good news? is that are only averaging 1 a day this month, so far, as opposed to almost 3 per day last month.
The other news is that it looks like the death toll among Iraqis is higher than thought and trending up especially since the elections. The average is 800 per day over the last 10 months.
While toasing KKKarl is important, all it will do is remove him from his "official" capacity. You and I both know he will be behind the scenes directing any sliming required. Then again you must admit that, if nothing else, this whole affair seems to reminded the MSM that they have a job other than that of kissing Shrub's ass.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Goddess Winks and Shimmies

Mark Morford has some fun today at the expense of marketers who are frustrated
that men aren't exactly conforming to typical behaviors and stereotypes and maybe, just maybe, there's some sort of evolution going on
the world is drifting toward a more feminine perspective, many of the social constructs men have taken for granted are undergoing significant shifts or being outright dismantled,

Because while many men (red state boy-men in particular) may be confused as to their exact role as the divine feminine continues to re-assert herself in the new millennium and pump the conscious male genome with the hot spark of yonic awareness, for most of us with a sense of wry hungry yearning, this cultural confusion means one thing and one thing only: fewer boundaries.
(Oh and btw, you want incredibly obvious proof of the divine feminine's re-emergence? That's easy. Just look at the current sociopolitical climate, the raging right-wing intolerance and sexual dread, the desperate clinging of the GOP to old, stagnant, misogynist roles. Notice the frantic machinations, the fear of nipples and dildos and gender fluctuations, the uptight homophobia of the Christian evangelical sects, the frantic refusal to let go of sexist, prehistoric '50s mentalities. This is the biggest sign of all. When the most morally rigid among us get scared, something divinely juicy is always afoot)
All while the divine feminine winks and shimmies and slides deeper into the cultural consciousness, as cliches and stereotypes crumble for both genders and the old neoconservative guard flusters and whines and morally masturbates itself into oblivion and utter irrelevance.
marketers appear more like Christian Republicans at a Wiccan festival. Which is to say, lost and angry and vaguely threatened, unable to decipher the symbols, baffled by the raw manly funk, blanker than George W. Bush staring at a Shakespeare folio.

I did take some liberties with the order of quotes but this is an especially good Morford column.

Homeland Security: Fat Cats Get Fatter

For the vast majority of Americans, the chances of dying in a terrorist attack are close to zero. There’s a higher probability that you’ll die by falling off a ladder than getting mixed up in some terrorist plot. So why is the U.S. Department of Homeland Security constantly telling every American to be afraid? That’s a strategy that creates widespread fear without making America any safer. U.S. homeland security efforts should focus less on what is possible and more on what is probable.

So says a very interesting article from Foreign Policy by Benjamin Friedman

The odds of dying in a terrorist attack are minuscule. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the odds are about 1 in 88,000. The odds of dying from falling off a ladder are 1 in 10,010. Even in 2001, automobile crashes killed 15 times more Americans than terrorism. Heart disease, cancer, and strokes are the leading causes of death in the United States—not terrorism.

People overestimate risks they can picture and ignore those they cannot. Government warnings and 24–hour news networks make certain dangers, from shark attacks to terrorism, seem more prevalent than they really are. As a result, the United States squanders billions of dollars annually protecting states and locations that face no significant threat of terrorism. In 2003, Tulsa, Oklahoma, received $725,000 in port security funds. More than $4 million in 2005 federal antiterror funding will go to the Northern Mariana Islands. In 2003, Grand Forks County, North Dakota, received $1.5 million in federal funds to purchase trailers equipped to respond to nuclear attacks and more biochemical suits than it has police officers.

The article has some thought provoking conclusions and I must say that for the most part I tend to agree. The British are much more experienced and prepared for terrorism that we are and I am pretty sure they are not throwing money after it as we are. We haven't done much of anything except create a huge new government money hole that, as far as I can tell, isn't doing that much more that what was done pre 9/11. I read, and posted awhile back, on the fact that about a BILLION dollars of the money spent so far on "homeland security" was wasted on poor technology and will have to be re-spent. Seriously, for those of us that travel a lot, there really doesn't seem to be much difference.
I have thought about terrorism quite a bit over the years. I have been around it since the late sixties in the middleast where I had to get frisked before getting on the plane. I have monitored the communications of Black September in Jordan while they held American flag planes and murdered my colleagues. I have been shaken down in bars and cabarets from Spain to Manilla by spies and probable terrorists looking for information so I am not a babe in the woods here. So, that said, I am pretty much of the opinion that we ought to disband the TSA and take all the money we are spending on "homeland security" and start spending it on things that will actually have a chance on making peoples lives better. Crazy idea I know but I though it was worth mentioning.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

New Toy! And FREE!

Oh Jeepers! Google has evidently gotten hold of the Keyhole product and turned it into Google Earth which is the slickest new thing since slice bread. It requires loading an app on your machine but what it returns is something absolutely fascinating. Being the sucker for technology that I am I can see that I will be wasting hours playing with it. What's neat is that the basic program and access is absolutely FREE. If you want you can upgrade for a fee of 20 bucks a year but the basic program is pretty slick.

In the Crossfire

Professor Juan Cole
warns about Arial Sharon's latest attempt to trigger the next phase in the jihad against the west. If you are not a regular reader of Informed Comment then you should be. Professor Cole is always on target with his analysis of the events unfolding in Iraq and the region. In this case he is warning of the Muslim response to Sharon's illegal and morally corrupt plan to wall off a part of Jerusalem and why the "feces will hit the rotary ventilator" as a result. We won't be able to say we weren't warned.

The Ariel Sharon government in Israel has announced that it will build a huge wall on someone else's land through Jerusalem, cutting off 55,000 Arabs from the city (they'll have to go through nasty Israeli checkpoints every day to get into their own city!)

This is land theft on a massive scale. Worse, it is theft on a stage of sacred space that affects the sentiments of over a billion people. Whether Westerners like it or not, Jerusalem is considered by Muslims their third holiest city, and Israeli theft of the whole thing drives a lot of them up the wall. A partitioned Jerusalem where the Arab east is connected to the West Bank is the only route to peace. Sharon in his usual aggressive, grabby way, is trying to make that forever an impossibility.

And, folks, this sort of thing, which the Washington Post didn't even notice, may very well get you and me killed. I think what Sharon is doing is morally and politically wrong to begin with. But I sure as hell resent the possibility that I or my family is going to get blown up because of it.

Radical Islam is being fueled by the United States' unflinching support, both political and economic, of Israel and especially of the the Jews' intent to deny Jerusalem to the Muslim world while the Islam considers it one if its three holiest cities. If Sharon and Israel move forward on this plan for Jerusalem all hell is going to break loose and the U.S. is going to be caught in the middle.

Raising Sheep

Via Mustang Bobby

From the Miami Herald:

A music video that features Barney, Big Bird and SpongeBob singing a message of family and togetherness will not be distributed in Broward County schools, after members of a diversity committee deemed it objectionable.

Some members of the diversity committee said the We Are Family DVD, intended to teach tolerance to preschool and elementary kids, could confuse children about the difference between family members and strangers and open the door to discussion about sexual orientation.


Officials with the Broward County Christian Coalition, who viewed the video after hearing from a diversity committee member, said the underlying message of the DVD and accompanying teaching material promoted a homosexual agenda.

"We didn't think it was appropriate for such young children," said Barbara Collier, chairwoman of the coalition, which sent an "e-mail alert" to members about the matter. "They wouldn't be able to understand what it was about."

The controversy stems not from any explicit mention of homosexuality in the video -- there isn't any -- but from its theme that people are all part of one big family, a message that, critics contend, could be construed to include pedophiles and other criminals. They also fear that the video could blunt other important messages for kids of that age, like the importance of being wary of strangers.

These people are so afraid that their children will get any information that might allow them to think for themselves that they will even pretend that messages of love and tolerance will confuse the child and inhibit its ability to not recognize a stranger that is threatening.
I guess the better idea is to so isolate the child from the world around it and keep it completely defenseless. Don't give the child the ability to sense danger from a stranger, better to insure that it feels all strangers are bad. Don't socialize the child and give it any survival skills, better to wait until it is no longer under the mother's skirts and let he or she learn the hard way. Maybe wait until it graduates from high school and let some strangers in Aruba do the job.
Raise them sheep folks. I know George Bush is looking for some more babies to feed into his machine.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Rainy Day Memories

Nice and rainy here as Dennis comes our way. Had to go downtown last night for a big todo wedding at the Biltmore. Very posh and nice. Had to battle a big storm on the way and traffic was so bad on Georgia 400 I decided to exit and go Piedmont all the way. What a trip. Try and imagine heading down Peachtree Street in Atlanta in the middle of a frog strangler and with all the traffic lights out. HolyMoly. We made it and the storm was all gone by time to go home.
So while none of you needed to know that little bit of information I thought I would share another picture with you since I was successful with the last one. This one is in honor of MandT and Jane, Adgitadairies and Firedoglake, respectively, since we have been talking about BBQ and all.
I dedicate these baby back ribs to the memory of Ike and I forgive Jane the "one good thing from the South" comment. Enjoy!
The apotheosis of dead pig. July 4th, 2005

Super Photo

I don't often post photos but this one is so great I couldn't resist.

The Union Jack is reflected in raindrops on a car window from the electronic message sign at the NASDAQ Market Site in New York's Times Square July 8, 2005, which has been displaying the flag as part of a tribute to victims of Thursday's bombings in London. Explosions in London's mass transit system early yesterday killed at least 50 people and injured more than 700 during the morning rush. (Mike Segar/Reuters)

Breathtakingly Stupid

After returning from the summit on Friday, Bush visited the British Embassy in Washington and signed a book of condolence and laid a wreath in front of the ambassador's residence.

Bush said the London attacks were a reminder of the "evil" of the Sept. 11 attacks and underscored that the United States and its allies were fighting a "global war on terror."

"We will stay on the offense, fighting the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them at home," Bush said.

I didn't make this up!

Not Linked to Global Warming..Right!

Wow, I'm sure glad we also don't have to worry about global warming in addition to all these storms!

Arlene, Bret, Cindy and now Dennis. Storm hunters don’t expect to be hunched over their radar screens and dispatching chase aircraft until Labor Day. But 2005 is no normal year.

Martin Nelson, the lead forecaster at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, says this is the first time the Atlantic hurricane season had four named storms this early since record-keeping began in 1851. The season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.

The first three storms never grew beyond tropical storms that dumped rain and cut utilities from Louisiana to the Carolinas. Dennis got its name on July 5 and two days later it had morphed into a Category 4 monster with winds reaching 150 mph.It also is the earliest occurrence of a Category 4 hurricane in the Caribbean, and possibly the U.S., meteorologists say

Link here

Keep Low Profile Around Wolcott

Please Goddess never let James Wolcott read and take issue with one of my posts.
Here is a sample of the polite poison as a takes a bite out of Glenn Reynolds over comments about Oliver Stone and the making of the 9/11 movie.
Instapundit, displaying the gift for comedy that's made his colleagues avoid him in the faculty lounge, writes: "Hollywood probably is that out of touch with America, which may have something to do with its falling revenues. But hey, the inevitable scene of Jewish office workers staying home will be well received in some other parts of the world. . . ."

and then neatly segues to Mickey Kaus
He links to Mickey Kaus, who because he lives in Los Angeles and has seen more than his share of billboards behind the wheel thinks he knows something about the movie business weightlessly weighs in with this trail of chicken scratchings...

all together now...
Whenever a non-controversy galvanizes the bleary eyeballs of America's sentinels of freedom at their computer screens, depend upon Glenn Reynolds and Mickey Kaus to clarify the vital issues involved into clear mud.

Probably best to keep a low profile around Mr. Wolcott, eh?

Mindnumbingly Painful to Read

Riggsveda has a very important post up over at Corrente that is very, mindnumbingly painful to read and think about. It is something everyone should read. Sorrowfully the people who should read it most are the most likely not to. The article comments on an article in the July Harper's (only available in print)by Ronald Glasser, A War Of Disabilities:
"Some 12,500 American G.I.s have been wounded in Iraq. Eight soldiers have been wounded for every one killed, about double the rate for Korea, Vietnam, and the Gulf War. The percentage of soldiers who have undergone amputations is about twice that of any of our past military conflicts; nearly a quarter of all the wounded suffer from traumatic head injuries, far more than in our other recent wars...The true legacy of this war will be seen not in the memorials to those lost forever but in the cabinets of files in the neurosurgical and orthopedic wards at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, in the backlog of cases at Veterans Affairs."

The net result is that with all of our advances in combat medicine and protective armor we are helping more and more soldiers avoid deadly injuries and we are keeping them alive longer. The fact that we are saving what, in a past war, would have been a dead soldier is wonderful news but it is coming with some additional pain. Evidently the ceramic plates inside the Kevlar vests have been very effective:
"This body armor protects the chest, back, and upper abdomen, preventing damage to the torso and allowing many soldiers to survive other serious injuries."

while we continue to focus as wring our hands over the dead I am concerned that the wounded and maimed are getting short shrift. It is obvious from news stories that that the VA is overwhlemed and underbuget by probably billions of dollars. The article later quotes Max Cleland,
"The VA can't handle what they have to do now; how are they going to handle the flood of physical and emotional casualties, many of whom will be the responsibility of the VA for the rest of their lives?" (Emphasis mine.)

Bush and company have made and will probably continue to make cuts in social programs and other entitlements that directly and indirectly have an impact on these men and women maimed by Bush and his minions. Where is the support going come from for these people? Maybe if some of the blogiverse contiue to write about this tragedy it will have some impact. Regardless you should read Riggsveda'a piece.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Gird Thyself

This post is a little more on the whole flypaper, fight 'em there meme.
It's looking more and more that the London bombings were retaliation against Britain for its role in the Iraq war and we should all just step back an review the bidding so far.

First of all, attacking Iraq had nothing to do with fighting terrorism and everything to do with revenge and oil.
Secondly, Saddam Hussein was never going to provide weapons of mass destruction to "the terrorists". He was, however, a bastard son of a bitch.
Thirdly, The completely unjustifiable invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq has failed to make anyone safer and has, in fact, made us all a lot less so.
So that is pretty much the game as it stands and so what can we expect the response from Bushco to be?

Wellll, we are already seeing calls to crank up the fight against terrorism.
You know the assholes in charge are going to crank up the volume and try and get us to buy into "let's keep at it" meme. We will be told that we need to have resolve and that we must persevere. Rove and Cheney will call those of us that dissent traitors or worse and accuse us of capitulation and giving "aid and comfort to the enemy".
They have demonstrated their willighness to wrap themselves in the flag and use the tragedy of 9/11 to further their own political ends and greed. If you think that the carnage in London is somehow off-limits for the same purpose you are a fool.

Those of us skeptical or critical of Cheney's foreign policy are going to have to realize that they have just gotten a second set of numbers 7/7 to add to the 9/11 and can now wrap themselves in the Union Jack as well as Old Glory. We are going to have to hunker down and prepare ourselve for more accusations of traitor, quitter, and lily livered liberal.

Better and Better

While we all knew this was reality, it's good that we are getting some hard proof:

A company indicted in a Texas campaign fundraising case says it was told that by giving a Tom DeLay political committee $25,000, company officials would get access to the U.S. House majority leader to influence legislation.

In court documents, Westar Energy of Kansas says that to meet with Mr. DeLay in 2002, company officials "were told they needed to write a check for $25,000" to Texans for a Republican Majority, known as TRMPAC.

It's the first time a company has said it donated to the Texas committee created by Mr. DeLay in exchange for a meeting and legislative help.

Can we say good news for the guys in the white hats?

Haven't Tried That's All

Even while Mustang Bobby over at Bark Bark Woof Woof hunkers down for Dennis he finds time to point us to Leonard Pitt's column in the Miami fishwrapper. Leonard points out the fact the "fight them over there so we won't have to fight them here" excuse is just another feeble attempt to justify an unjust war.
I was thinking last night about the attacks and it just points out that Al-Qaeda or whoever has just not tried to attack us here otherwise we would have experienced some flavor of what London saw yesterday. I travel around quite a bit and I can't see where things, from a security point of view, are that much different. I used to have to go through the magnetometer before 9/11 and I still had to get everything scanned, take the laptop out, etc. Granted now I have to take off my shoes occasionally but it used to be required in Miami even before 9/11 which is where I had just flown into the morning of 9/11. Unless the powers that be are very subtle in their precautions or I am totally oblivious I can't see where we are that much more secure.
We haven't had an attack here in the U.S. because they haven't tried and not because they have been thwarted by impregnable security.

BTW thanks Bobby for adding me to your blogroll.

UPDATE: I guess even the New York Times wonders why we haven't been hit.
There are, of course, some protections in place. But, said one high-ranking New York law enforcement official, "If you absolutely wanted to, you could do it. My feeling is, it's a matter of time."

Thursday, July 07, 2005

London Bombing

I got through to my friends in London and they report that it is understandably hectic. They have had reports from all the children and only one was in London proper this morning and she is stuck in Hyde Park trying to get either to work or home but otherwise unaffected.
If you are not familiar with London inner-city transport at rush hour you can't imagine the potential for confusion and the density of people moving about. Two of the stations struck, Liverpool Street and King's Cross, are also major transition points for the inter-city trains which would explain why they were targets.
Reports that this is Al-Qaeda are probably incorrect and it is more likely some anti-globalization group that timed this to coincide with the G8 and London since Blair is chairing. If there is any bright side to this tragedy then it would be that it didn't happen yestersay when the city and Trafalgar Square was crowded with Olympic revelers.
I just pray to the Goddess that this is an isolated incident and that the death and injuries are not as high as I fear they will be.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Florida is Doubly Blessed

More fun in Florida...You know you guys are really doubly blessed. Not only do you have George Bush as President but you have his brother as your Governor. I am not sure I could stand so much good fortune personally.
Here is the latest good fortune bestowed upon you. Ain't you got fun...

TALLAHASSEE — Just before Father's Day, Gov. Jeb Bush announced that he wanted every public school in Florida to host a Christian-based program designed to increase fathers' participation in their children's lives.

The program, All Pro Dad, combines a biblical foundation with the draw of popular professional athletes to promote the belief that "the father is the head of the household" and that men should rely on God to help them be better parents and keep their marriages intact. It also encourages Bible reading.

"This is a really great program," Bush said at a news conference last month, though he did not make any reference to the project's Christian foundation. "The response of this program has been a success, and I hope it expands throughout the entire state to every school in every school district."

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Changed the Header

As you may have noticed I have changed the header. Thanks to Mustang Bobby for reminding me of the quote from JFK. I was thinking last night, as I sat in the crowd waiting for the fireworks, that probably 80 per cent of the people around me(we're talking northern burb of Atlanta, SUV, Lexus, Beemer, Benz and Hummer city here)voted for Bush and Cheney and here they were waving their flags loving America.
It pissed me off. I love America too, but they are trying to make me feel guilty of loving the America of John Kennedy. They are blissfully watching their sons and daughters run around with sparklers and I don't think it has dawned on them that their precious children are possibly only a few years away from dying on the sands of Iraq, Iran or Afghanistan. Are they starting to have any buyers remorse yet? Do they ever think about the children in Iraq, Iran or Afghanistan that are or were the same age as little Josh or Heather? Are they concerned at all about the orphans they are creating on a daily basis?
Well, we all know how I feel about all this but I just felt the need to say it with a little more force and to remind myself and any other visitors everyday.

YES! I am a god-damned liberal and don't you forget it. Liberals are who made this country what is was just a short time ago. The most respected and powerful nation on earth that tried to be an example of what hard work, acceptance, strong morales and a respect for life can mean to a people and the world. It can be again if we can just eradicate the culture of hate, lies, selfishness, greed and intolerance that has overwhelmed this country. I'm doing what I can and will try and do more. With any luck next 4th of July I can be even prouder to be an American.

BTW the JFK quote in the header is from his Acceptance of the New York Liberal Party nomination (14 September 1960) via Wikiquote

Fast Shuffle

Ok I get the drift now. Have conservatives blast Gonzales as too moderate and have Bush defend him as a good conservative. Shift the camera angle to the left and make him seem like a moderate so that everybody thinks he is the "consensus" candidate.

WASHINGTON — President Bush said Monday that special-interest groups running TV ads and mobilizing supporters for a fight over his choice of a successor to Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor should "tone down the heated rhetoric." He forcefully defended Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, a prospect criticized by conservatives.

A Good Read

MandT has a beautiful story posted over at his Adgitadiaries. It should remind us all of what our responsibilites are in this universe besides what we are actually doing. I would hope that I could have been a friend to this band of brothers had I been in their neighborhood.

The Greatest Crime

You tell them Patty!

Democratic Senator Patty Murray of Washington accused the Bush administration yesterday of turning a ''blind eye" to the rising costs of caring for thousands of wounded veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In the weekly Democratic radio address, Murray noted that the Veterans Affairs Department last week admitted it was more than $1 billion short of funds for this year.

She said lack of funding for veterans was ''the latest in a long line of White House failures to level with the American people about the cost of war," citing cases of troops using scrap metal to armor their Humvees and families raising money to buy bulletproof vests for soldiers in Iraq.

''The president has an obligation to our troops, their families, and to the American people, to tell the truth about the costs and sacrifices necessary to win the war in Iraq," she said, urging Bush to map out a clear plan.

It's bad enough that we are wasting the lives of heroes like Holly Charette but the ones we just wound or disable we effectively ignore. I must be naive because I cannot imagine how Bush, Cheney or Rumsfeld, or any of the rest can sleep at night. Try as I might I cannot imagine being responsible for this kind of disaster and living with the knowledge of the tragedy and pain I have caused will continue to cause for years and years.
Where is the outrage from the American people over this unmitigated failure to lead, plan or even respond effectively to the results of one's incompetence? I am more amazed everyday.
One other thing, if this were truly a justified and righteous war you would be turning true patriots aways from the recruiting centers and not trolling the low income high schools for desparate children to feed into the cannons' maw.

Finally, while I am not religious in the classic sense I pray every day to whatever God's that may listen that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and all of their minions from hell are returned there poste haste with prejudice.

Hail Eris! All Hail Discordia! Go BVM and Yay Jesus. Who Loves Ya, Baby? Thank you, thank you very much.

Update: I would have asked Buddha but that his not his gig and it is quite obvious that Kali is already fucking with us. You don't want to overdo it and as Mandt probably knows by calling on Eris and Discordia at once I am already playing with fire not to mention the two second order curses tacked on the back.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Two Prayers for the Price of One

Via the Rudepundit
According to a poll over at Fox "News," Republicans love America a fuck of a lot more than non-Republicans. 'Cause, see, while 52% of us "are more proud" to be Americans this happy Fourth O' July, 63% of Republicans are feelin' the pride bulge in their pants, compared to a pathetic, traitorous 44% of Democrats. (Independents, never able to figure out if they should shit or get off the pot, are at an expected 50%.) As for the converse, feelin' "less proud"? 14% of Dems, 2% of Repubs.

When people challenge my patriotism or question my pride in America I am always reminded of the following by Mark Twain. It was written about the U.S. crackdown on the Phillipines at the turn of the last century. It is worth reading again and again.

"It was a time of great and exalting excitement. The country was up in
arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism;
the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the
bunched firecrackers hissing and sputtering; on every hand and far down
the receding and fading spreads of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness
of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide
avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and
sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion
as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to
patriot oratory which stirred the deepest deeps of their hearts and which they
interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears running
down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion
to flag and country and invoked the God of Battles, beseeching His aid in our
good cause in outpouring of fervid eloquence which moved every listener.

It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half
dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast a
doubt upon its righteousness straightway got such a stern and angry
warning that for their personal safety's sake they quickly shrank out of
sight and offended no more in that way.

Sunday morning came-next day the battalions would leave
for the front; the church was filled; the volunteers were there, their
faces alight with material dreams-visions of a stern advance, the
gathering momentum, the rushing charge, the flashing sabers, the flight
of the foe, the tumult, the enveloping smoke, the fierce pursuit, the
surrender!-then home from the war, bronzed heros, welcomed, adored,
submerged in golden seas of glory!

With the volunteers sat their dear ones, proud, happy,
and envied by the neighbors and friends who had no sons and brothers to
send forth to the field of honor, there to win for the flag or, failing,
die the noblest of noble deaths. The service proceeded; a war chapter
from the Old Testament was read; the first prayer was said; it was
followed by an organ burst that shook the building, and with one impulse
the house rose, with glowing eyes and beating hearts, and poured out
that tremendous invocation --"God the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest,
Thunder thy clarion and lightning thy sword!"

Then came the "long" prayer. None could remember the like
of it for passionate pleading and moving and beautiful language. The
burden of its supplication was that an ever--merciful and benignant
Father of us all would watch over our noble young soldiers and aid,
comfort, and encourage them in their patriotic work; bless them, shield
them in His mighty hand, make them strong and confident, invincible in
the bloody onset; help them to crush the foe, grant to them and to their
flag and country imperishable honor and glory -

An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless
step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body
clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair
descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face
unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness. With all eyes following him
and wondering, he made his silent way; without pausing, he ascended
to the preacher's side and stood there, waiting.

With shut lids the preacher, unconscious of his presence,
continued his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words,
uttered in fervent appeal,"Bless our arms, grant us the victory, O Lord
our God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!"

The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step aside
-- which the startled minister did -- and took his place. During some
moments he surveyed the spellbound audience with solemn eyes in which
burned an uncanny light; then in a deep voice he said:

"I come from the Throne-bearing a message from Almighty God!"
The words smote the house with a shock; if the stranger perceived it he
gave no attention. "He has heard the prayer of His servant your shepherd
and grant it if such shall be your desire after I, His messenger, shall have
explained to you its import-that is to say, its full import. For it is like unto
many of the prayers of men, in that it asks for more than he who utters it
is aware of-except he pause and think.

"God's servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has he
paused and taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two- one uttered,
the other not. Both have reached the ear of His Who hearth all
supplications, the spoken and the unspoken. Ponder this-keep it in mind.
If you beseech a blessing upon yourself, beware! lest without intent you
invoke a curse upon a neighbor at the same time. If you pray for the
blessing of rain upon your crop which needs it, by that act you are
possibly praying for a curse upon some neighbor's crop which may not
need rain and can be injured by it.

"You have heard your servant's prayer-the uttered part of it.
I am commissioned by God to put into words the other part of it-that part
which the pastor, and also you in your hearts, fervently prayed silently.
And ignorantly and unthinkingly? God grant that it was so! You heard
these words: 'Grant us the victory, O Lord our God!' That is sufficient.
The whole of the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words.
Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for
victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow
victory-must follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening
spirit of God the Father fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He
commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!

"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts,
go forth to battle-be Thou near them! With them, in spirit, we also go
forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe.
O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with
our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of
their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the
shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their
humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of
their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out
roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of
their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun
flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn
with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it
-for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives,
protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way
with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet!
We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and
Who is ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and
seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.

(After a pause)

"Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The
messenger of the Most High waits."

It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic,
because there was no sense in what he said."

-Written by Twain during the American military's brutal and senseless
crackdown on the Philippines (1899-1902), which resulted in the deaths of
4,600 Americans and 272,000 Filipinos.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Unbelieveable...U.S. Made

I am happy to report, and much to my surprise, that I was able to buy a pair of athletic shoes just now that were made in America. I have been thinking that it was impossible, pretty much, to buy anything like clothes or shoes that were still made in the USA. New Balance 766 Athletic Shoes are and the tag on the shoe says so. As a bonus I got 4 pair of ankle length white socks and those guys are American made as well. Granted most of the other shoes in the New Balance store were Chinese made but these were the ones I was looking for to replace my old NB 765's so I lucked out in finding them.
Kinda neat to find them on the 4th of July too!

I used to sort of make it practice to buy U.S. made stuff when I could find it and I used to go out of my way to see if I could find it. It got so frustrating to not find anything anywhere that I kind of got out of the habit. Looks like I abandoned my fellow American workers too soon. I apologize and will once again make a genuine effort to find American made stuff.

Happy 4th Everybody...

Another One-A Liquid Man

While we are at is another flash animation that is hypnotizing. I find myself just dragging my cursor around the screen for minute after minute watching the liguid man follow. It kind of gives you a sense of control or power but it also drifts over into caring and insuring that you do nothing too radical. It seems most beneficial to move slowly in large circles. More good time wasting therapy.

again via BoingBoing

Fascinating! I Think!

This flash animation is very cool, but also it is also kind of creepy, if you know what I mean. The mannequin seems to follow all the rules of physics she falls through an infinite collection of randomly shaped and spaced spheres. If the mannequin gets stuck, you can help her along with the cursor.) Watch for a few minutes and you seem to begin to identify with her predicament of falling without control, her only assistance being when you help her if she becomes lodged in some uncomfortable position and even your help seems degrading in a way. Still, all in all, it is fascinating in a kind of weird way.
See what I find when I have too much time on my hands!

Via BoingBoing

Friday, July 01, 2005

SCOTUS: Do Something

Via DavidNYC at KOS

Whatever happens with the Supreme Court nomination battle that is about to ensue, it's going to happen fast. Here are some things you can do right now:

* If you have a cell phone, sign up for People at the American Way's Mass Immediate Response site. This way, you'll be able to receive text message action items instantly as events break. (If you signed up during the nuclear option fight, you'll need to re-sign up.)

* Also sign up with the Save the Court, another PFAW website devoted specifically to this issue.

* Recruit friends and family members to the cause.

* Write to the President, telling him he should choose a consensus candidate to replace O'Connor.

* Contact your Senators to tell them the same thing.

If you have any other action items, please post them in the comments below, with links.

Trouble for Moderates

Whoever gets the nomination to replace Justice O'Connor will have a huge impact on the United States for most likely a long time. For the last 20 plus years, Justice O'Connor has been the only vote stopping a major shift to the radical right championed by Tony Scalia and Long Dong Silver Thomas. Her departure spells big trouble in the war against the radical right's complete take over of all three branches of the government. Yes, she is a conservative but she is moderate and a woman. Anybody appointed that is any further right than she will spell big trouble for reproductive rights especially if it is a man. Abortion Rights could be the biggest issue surrounding the nominee and people with a uterus could wind up the big losers.
The Bumbler in the Big House is effectively a lame duck and will not have to face the American public again regardless of his nomination. The yahoos in Congress, on the other hand, have an election coming pretty soon and you can expect devisive issues such as abortion rights to be a major issue in Congress' decision on a nominee. Most people in America are in favor of abortion rights and this can be definining issue for democrats if they will just go after it and quite letting Rove define them on every issue.
I won't be surprised to the see the right try and paint O'Connor as too liberal making it easier for them to try and justify someone further to the right. It's going to be a battle for sure and the fallout could set the U.S. human rights back a hundred years.

Update: Armando over at KOS has some much more definitive information