August 31, 2005

Isn't there a terminal velocity?

How can it be that it has come to this? The Fall seems to get faster every day. Isn't there a terminal velocity?

Armed looters in New Orleans; Bush gives yet another reason for the war in Iraq; there are few National Guard troops to help out in the disaster area; soon the nation will pay $4+ for a gallon of gasoline; if you are against the war then you are labeled unamerican; if you disapprove of the current presidential administration then you are labeled a hater of America and are told to leave; the Iraq war has cost nearly $2 billion (you can't fathom that much money); Pat Robertson calls for killing people; the value of the dollar seems to be falling daily; the U.S. poverty rate is 12.7% (the fourth year in a row there has been an increase); Americans have accumulated unimaginable personal debt; the housing boom is about to bust; there seem to be an infinite number of "reality shows" on television; there are worse torture pictures from Abu Ghaib that have yet to be released; academic libraries are eliminating books.

The list goes on.

So again I ask, how can it be that it has come to this? When did we take the offramp from civilization and end up on the road to chaos? Don't get me wrong, I am well aware that there has always been some chaos in one form or another, it's just the chaos we are witnessing today is growing exponentially as we speak. I dread reading tomorrow's headlines.

Is there a solution? I do not know. One would like to think that man-made problems could be solved by man. I am beginning to wonder. Humanity seems to thrive on conflict (small or large). So much so, we invent reasons to hate each other and then kill each other.

We have enough problems dealing with Mother Nature. Will New Orleans shine again? It doesn't look good today. One thing is for certain, though, this is just another example that shows the true nature of a good number of the population. Many people are taking advantage of a horrible situation by looting homes and stores. This happens during every natural disaster (and some that are not natural disasters). Is it really human nature? Can these people not control themselves? Would you or I do the same thing if we were in the same situation?

What will you do when a gallon of gas costs $4 and you have to drive 40 miles a day round trip for work? You're looking at spending $6 - $10 a day, which means around $120 - $200 a month, just so you can go to work. And that estimate is a little conservative. Now, count up all your other errands/pleasures that require driving and your monthly gas bill could more than equal another car payment and in some cases approach a mortgage payment. What happens to the economy when this happens?

I will read the headlines tomorrow, it's an addiction, and I will post them like I have been. All the while I'll be looking for something to slow down the Fall. Again, isn't there a terminal velocity?

News - August 31, 2005

Reuters Photo

Bush gives new reason for Iraq war - "President Bush answered growing antiwar protests yesterday with a fresh reason for US troops to continue fighting in Iraq: protection of the country's vast oil fields, which he said would otherwise fall under the control of terrorist extremists." -- Why do we continue to let this administration stay in office?

How to Identify Misinformation - "How can a journalist or a news consumer tell if a story is true or false? There are no exact rules, but the following clues can help indicate if a story or allegation is true." -- I think it's been proven that conspiracies happen.

Pot, Kettle, Black: State Department Tells Us How to Identify Misinformation - "We all need to be extremely grateful that the State department has it's own advice section on what we should and should not believe. I for one find it incredibly difficult to believe straight facts, even when they put the government in a bad light. Thank goodness that everything the government does and says is accurate. It is important to have a bench mark of truth against which we can formulate our beliefs. Of course I am being sarcastic."

Breaking: Thousands dead in New Orleans - "Mr Nagin said there were significant numbers of corpses in the waters of the flood-stricken city, while many more people may be dead in their homes."

Mayor: Katrina May Have Killed Thousands - "Police officers were asking residents to give up any guns they had before they boarded buses and trucks because police desperately needed the firepower: Some officers who had been stranded on the roof of a motel said they were being shot at overnight."

The National Guard Belongs in New Orleans and Biloxi. Not Baghdad - "The men and women of the National Guard shouldn’t be killing in Iraq. They should be helping in New Orleans and Biloxi. The catastrophic hurricane was an act of God. But the U.S. war effort in Iraq is a continuing act of the president. And now, that effort is hampering the capacity of the National Guard to save lives at home."

`Engineering Nightmare': Water Keeps Rising in New Orleans - "Army engineers struggled without success to plug New Orleans' breached levees with giant sandbags, and the governor said Wednesday the situation was worsening and there was no choice but to abandon the flooded city."

Officials Helpless Against Looters - "With law officers and National Guardsmen focused on saving lives, looters around the city spent another day Wednesday brazenly ransacking stores for food, beer, clothing, appliances _ and guns."

Nation of Fools - "My entire family is being played for fools by the power brokers in Washington; and they don't even have a clue about how they are being manipulated. I am embarrassed for them. The truth is out there; but no one is bringing it to our door step. You have to look hard. You have to want to know the facts. You have to care about social justice; and that requires effort; it requires living with a troubled conscience and trying to set things right. It requires that you inform yourself and make an effort to change things. The trouble is that most Americans don't want to know the truth because it would make them uncomfortable. So they turn their heads the other way and allow themselves to be distracted from their civic and patriotic duties. It is easier to display the flag and plaster their cars with 'Support our troops' stickers. This mode of being requires no real effort; nor accountability. ... Most of my fellow citizens would be as angry as I am about all of this if they knew what I know. But they don't want to know, damn them! It would threaten their comfortable existence. It might even activate some spark of hidden conscience that would force them into action."

Hurricane hits just before homosexual event - "Hurricane Katrina walloped New Orleans just two days before the annual homosexual "Southern Decadence" festival was to begin in the town, an act being characterized by some as God's work. Southern Decadence has a history of "filling the French Quarters section of the city with drunken homosexuals engaging in sex acts in the public streets and bars," says a statement from the Philadelphia Christian organization Repent America." -- Christ in a basket, these people.

Truck stops ration fuel - "Two days after Hurricane Katrina struck the oil-laden Gulf Coast, many of the nation's truck drivers are encountering unprecedented fuel rationing as they brace for a spike in prices."

Reuters cameraman to be held in Abu Ghraib - "A cameraman for Reuters in Iraq has been ordered by a secret tribunal to be held without charge in Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison until his case is reviewed within six months, a US military spokesman said today. ... The US military has refused Reuters requests to disclose why he is being held. He has not been charged. His brother, who was detained with him and then released, said they were arrested after Marines looked at the images on the journalist's cameras."

Christianity taking over planet? - "What is the fastest-growing religion on Earth? Most news reports suggest it is Islam. But a new book makes a compelling case it is a new, or, perhaps, old form of biblically inspired evangelical Christianity that is sweeping through places like China, Africa, India and Southeast Asia. ... "The growing core of Christianity crosses theological lines and includes 707 million born-again people who are increasing by 8 percent a year," he says. So fast is this group growing that, under current trends, according to Rutz, the entire world will be composed of such believers by the year 2032. "There will be pockets of resistance and unforeseen breakthroughs," writes Rutz. "Still, at the rate we're growing now, to be comically precise, there would be more Christians than people by the autumn of 2032, about 8.2 billion.""

Blogger Faces Lawsuit OverComments Posted by Readers - "In a legal case being watched closely by bloggers, an Internet company has sued the owner of a Web log for comments posted to his site by readers.",,SB112541909221726743-IJjfoNnlaZ4nJ6tZXqJaqaCm5,00.html

Quote of the Day
"New Orleans is sinking man, and I don't want to swim."
~ The Tragically Hip

August 30, 2005

News - August 30, 2005

AP Photo

Hurricane could turn city into toxic cesspool - "Though Hurricane Katrina didn't deliver a direct hit on New Orleans Monday, there still were fears that the storm could turn one of America’s most charming cities into a vast cesspool tainted with toxic chemicals, human waste and even coffins released by floodwaters from the city’s legendary cemeteries."

Bush 'very optimistic' about Iraq - ""I'm very optimistic about Iraq because, first of all, I believe, deep in everybody's soul, is the desire to be free," the president said." -- Was that the reason we attacked Iraq?

Does Anyone Know What We're Doing in Iraq? - "Does Bush think he is a dictator? The polls show that it is the American people's resolve that Bush bring his Iraq venture to an end, an orderly end if possible, but to an end. Every explanation Bush has given for his invasion of Iraq has proved to be false. Yet, Bush still speaks of "our noble cause," while taking great care to avoid Cindy Sheehan and her question, "What is the noble cause?" Perhaps Bush supplied the answer in his reference in his weekly radio address to "our efforts in . . . the broader Middle East." What are our efforts "in the broader Middle East"? ... The neocons' belief that Israel is made more secure by US military aggression in the Middle East is delusional. How is Israel made secure by an invasion that turns the Muslim world against America as all polls show and Iraq into a training ground for al Qaeda, as the CIA says has happened?"

Nuremberg Lesson for Iraq War: It’s Murder - "This month marks the 60th anniversary of the London Charter of the International Military Tribunal, the basic legal document for the trial of the major Nazi war criminals that commenced in November 1945. One of the great innovations of that charter was the charge of "Crimes Against Peace," defined as the "planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances." In a famous passage from their judgment of the following year, the four judges of the tribunal (American, British, French and Russian) declared the crime of aggressive war to be "the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole." ... The crime of aggression is nowhere to be seen in modern international criminal codes, and leading the charge against including it has been the United States itself. It's easy to see why. The war in Iraq, for one example, constitutes the quintessential war of aggression, falling very far short, rhetoric apart, of any justification in self-defense or authorization by the Security Council of the United Nations, the only two accepted legal grounds for war in international law."

Why supporting the troops means you have to oppose the War in Iraq - "Extremist broadcasters such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, the mouthpieces of the Bush Junta, have embarked upon a smear campaign that revolves around one simple argument, namely that you cannot support the troops and be anti-war at the same time. The notion that all anti-war supporters are also by association of belief, anti-military, is at first, a logical argument, however, upon closer examination, like most propoganda built on lies, it tends to fall apart very quickly."

Here's the Funny Part - "Here we have Pat Robertson, ostensibly a Christian, judging by the number of crosses he surrounds himself with, calling for the assassination of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. Parsing the gibberish that pours forth from this fraud of a holy man has been a parlor game in my home for a while now. My favorite remains the statement made by Robertson in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, when he said the attack was God's judgment on America for our tolerance of gays, feminists and the ACLU. After you get past the immediate disgust that comes whenever you hear something so vile, you are left with the Robertson pretzel-logic. Think about it: If the attacks of 9/11 were the righteous judgment of the Lord, as the false priest told us, then the terrorists were acting on behalf of and to the purposes of God. In other words, they were doing holy and important work, and are therefore above reproach. Call off the War on Terra, folks, and let's bring the troops home. We're waging war on a bunch of dudes who were only seeking to follow Jesus' direct orders. ... George W. Bush coughed up his latest rationale for continuing the Iraq war - I think this is the fourth or fifth one of these to this point - by saying that because so many American soldiers have been killed, we have to keep sending American soldiers to get killed as a means of honoring the American soldiers who have been killed. Big talk from a guy who spends more time on vacation than a French aristocrat."

Why Pat Robertson is an idiot - "I've heard that the Vice President of Venezuela is calling Pat Robertson a terrorist for this type of talk and is calling for the US to take appropriate action. Personally, I wouldn't mind if he was treated as such. At the end of the day, we have to do what's right, don't we? We can't let those who have the charge of leading run at mouth irresponsibly without calling them out on it."

Gonzales Faults Senate Version of Patriot Act Legislation - "Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales yesterday criticized a Senate bill that would place new restrictions on law enforcement in the USA Patriot Act, saying the legislation would hamper the government's ability to prevent terrorist attacks. Gonzales, during a meeting with editors and reporters at The Washington Post, said he favors a competing House version of the antiterrorism law that includes fewer restrictions on the government."

Looters turn New Orleansinto 'downtown Baghdad' - "Defender: 'It's an opportunity to get back at society' for those who've been oppressed."

Dumping of US dollar could trigger 'economic September 11' - " There is a potentially fatal flaw at the heart of the global economy: the strong possibility of financial meltdown following a collapse of confidence in the greenback. The nightmare scenario that haunts global strategist Clyde Prestowitz is an economic September 11 -- a worldwide financial panic triggered by a sudden massive sell-off of US dollars that would lead inexorably to the collapse of economies around the world.If that happens, Prestowitz predicts: "It would make the Great Depression of the 1930s look like a walk in the park."",5744,16416680^28737,00.html

New law could mean death penalty for doctors - "Texas doctors who perform abortions without parental approval or after the third trimester could face capital murder charges because of a new law that takes effect this week, a prosecutors group says. ... "I think it's a little bit of a stretch," said Elizabeth Graham, director of Texas Right To Life. "The legislative intent clearly was not to incarcerate doctors or execute doctors who are performing abortions, illegal or otherwise." The chances are "very slim" that a district attorney would try such prosecution, she said." -- Ah, but "slim" is not zero.

From foetus to full term - without a mother's touch - "Artificial wombs, to bring a foetus of a human being to full term outside a woman’s body, could become a reality within 20 years, scientists have predicted.",,2-1755908,00.html

U.S. Poverty Rate Rises to 12.7 Percent - "The nation's poverty rate rose to 12.7 percent of the population last year, the fourth consecutive annual increase, the Census Bureau said Tuesday."

Wholesale gasoline hits $3 on Gulf Coast - ""This in many ways is the worst-case scenario that the oil industry has been fearing," said Geoff Sundstrom, spokesman for the AAA motorist group. "Production, distribution, and refining has slowed to a crawl through the whole area and that will mean higher gasoline prices throughout the entire United States.""

The Internet again in the political crosshairs - " Social conservatives helped to re-elect President Bush last year. Now his administration is returning the favor with a crackdown on sexually explicit material. ... Now Martin has hired Penny Nance, an antiporn religious activist, to be his adviser. Until a few weeks ago, Nance was a board member of Concerned Women for America, which has a mission statement of bringing "Biblical principles into all levels of public policy." ... Calling for a crackdown on sex sites through new taxes, regulations or prosecutions might make headlines--but it's just political posturing. Sexually explicit material isn't limited to the United States, and persuading the Dutch to pull the plug on sites based in Amsterdam is as likely as persuading France to endorse the invasion of Iraq. ... The second problem is that antiporn laws are touted as targeting smut, but they end up being used to suppress unpopular ideas." -- Maybe that's the point.

Saturn moon delights and baffles - "Using the instrument-packed Cassini probe, they have confirmed that the 500km-wide world has an atmosphere."

Comic of the Day

Quote of the Day
"If the Nuremberg laws were applied, then every post-war American President would have been hanged."
~ Noam Chomsky

August 29, 2005

News - August 29, 2005

What boneheaded design guides Dubya's moves? - "How does one explain all the misguided, unwise, sometimes outright boneheaded things the Bush administration has done since taking over nearly five years ago, and continues to do on a pretty much daily basis? How is it possible for a group of supposedly intelligent, experienced individuals to take this many wrong turns? Wouldn't you think that once in a while, even by accident, that George W. Bush and his advisers would make a decision that made sense? Can this much mismanagement happen totally at random? Would the occupants of the Bush White House have us believe that all these things, these missteps, these miscalculations, these attempts to deceive, that they all, you know, just kind of happened? I'm not so sure. And I'm not the only one starting to ask questions. More and more, it seems unlikely that mere human beings could make this many mistakes without some sort of misguiding force, a kind of supernatural entity that has trouble remembering where it put its car keys.
That's where unintelligent design comes in. Once one embraces the concept of unintelligent design — a kind of doofus-like cosmic force — it becomes much easier to get your head around the operations of the Bush administration."

"All terrorists are Muslims" - "Progress Party leader Carl I. Hagen sees the fight against terrorism as a fight against Islam. "I know that not all Muslims are terrorists, but we have seen that all terrorists are Muslims," Hagen told Aftenposten after an appearance on TV 2 on Thursday, referring to the attacks in London and New York."

A National Emergency - "Well, we are being invaded, and the president of the United States is not doing his duty to protect the states against that invasion. Some courageous Republican, to get the attention of this White House, should drop into the hopper a bill of impeachment, charging George W. Bush with a conscious refusal to uphold his oath and defend the states of the Union against "invasion.""

BUSH UNBALANCED AS POLLS PLUMMET - "I get it. Here's what's wrong with America these days: freedom of speech, the freedom to peaceably assemble, and the right of people to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Those items found in the Bill of Rights are the scourges of our nation. Get rid of those damn freedoms at home and the Iraqis will start tossing rose petals at our troops."

Equity Is Altering Spending Habits and View of Debt - "As they happily watch their houses swell in value, Americans are changing their attitudes toward mortgage debt. Increasingly, a home is no longer a nest egg whose equity should never be touched, but a seemingly magical ATM enabling the owner to live it up or just live. " There is no longer an incentive to paying off your mortgage," said Levy. "The only way I'll ever pay mine off is if I win the lottery."That's probably the only way he'll ever be able to stop working, too. "I'm never going to be able to retire, because I'll never have enough money in the bank."" -- Ah, now there's something to be proud of.,0,6044251.story?coll=la-home-headlines

Strategizing a Christian Coup d'Etat - "A group of believers wants to establish Scriptures-based government one city and county at a time. ... Christian Exodus activists plan to take control of sheriff’s offices, city councils and school boards. Eventually, they say, they will control South Carolina. They will pass godly legislation, defying Supreme Court rulings on the separation of church and state. “We’re going to force a constitutional crisis,” said Cory Burnell, 29, an investment advisor who founded the group in November 2003. “If necessary,” he said, “we will secede from the union.""

In TV tirade, Rangel calls Cheney a 'sick man' - ""Sometimes I don't think Cheney is awake enough to know what's going on," Rangel said. "He's a sick man, you know. He's got heart disease but the disease is not restricted to that part of his body. He grunts a lot so you never really know what he's thinking."",0,355414,print.story

Retired Sen. Jesse Helms Publishes Memoir - "Jesse Helms, writing with the same passion that made him the archconservative of the U.S. Senate for 30 years, renews his criticism of abortion in a memoir being published this week, comparing it to both the Holocaust and the Sept. 11 attacks."

Now we can live to 130! - "AUSTRALIANS now aged in their 20s and 30s could live to be up to 130 years old, an anti-ageing expert has predicted.",10117,16407363-13762,00.html

Japanese Robot Knows Words, Can House-Sit - "The "Wakamaru" robot can recognize the faces of up to 10 people and talk to them. When linked to mobile phones, it can also work as a monitor to check situations at home, such as a burglary or someone falling ill, Mitsubishi-Heavy Industries Ltd. said in a statement Monday. Mitsubishi-Heavy said it would be the first time a robot with communication ability for home use has been sold. "This is the opening of an era in which human beings and robots can coexist," it said."

Camera Phone Has Life After Theft - "A New York stock clerk who had his camera phone swiped from his car this month says he was able to peer into the life of the gadget's new owner. The thief evidently didn't realize the copious photos and videos he was taking with the hot phone were accessible through a web account.",1848,68668,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_3

You can use the f-word in class (but only five times) - "A secondary school is to allow pupils to swear at teachers - as long as they don't do so more than five times in a lesson. A running tally of how many times the f-word has been used will be kept on the board. If a class goes over the limit, they will be 'spoken' to at the end of the lesson."

Comic of the Day

Quote of the Day
"Liberties are not given; they are taken."
~ Aldous Huxley

August 27, 2005

News - August 27, 2005

Withdrawal from Iraq, or the greater mistake - "President George W. Bush said in Idaho, "I think immediate withdrawal from Iraq would be a mistake." Immediate withdrawal might well be a mistake. But withdrawal will come, and the greater mistake is in delaying it too long."

'There's something happening here' - "Those of us who are old enough have seen this movie before were reminded of other presidents, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon, who were haunted by another war and dogged by war protesters and a nation that lost confidence in their leadership and wound up divided against itself. Will history remember this week as the tipping point for George W. Bush and the Republicans who control Congress? Can they stay the course as they head into mid-term elections next year?"

Love Your Country? Demand Impeachment - "It was Theodore Roosevelt, twenty-sixth President of the United States and a Republican, who famously said in 1918, "To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." Put differently, and in modern context, blind, unquestioning faith in President Bush is not only foolish and obsequious, but it is also contrary to the fundamental principles of this country, as set forth in the Constitution. Indeed, those who would merely sit by, without protest or question, while our President sends our armed forces off to kill and die in a nation which did not and could not do us any harm, are more than simply slavish sycophants. Those who refuse to acknowledge, much less criticize, the wrongs committed by this President in the name of the United States, while simultaneously denigrating those who do dare protest, betray this country and the promise it stands for. In short, they are positively un-American. They are traitors."

Poll: Many Back Right to Protest Iraq War - " An overwhelming number of people say critics of the Iraq war should be free to voice their objections — a rare example of widespread agreement about a conflict that has divided the nation along partisan lines. ... The AP-Ipsos poll found that Republicans are the most likely to disapprove of people voicing opposition to the war." -- I think people who support the war are just too weak to admit to themselves that they fell for a lie. Life is easier when wearing blinders.

US heading for house price crash, Greenspan tells buyers - "WALL STREET shuddered yesterday after Alan Greenspan, the United States’ central banker, warned American homebuyers that they risk a crash if they continue to drive property prices higher. He said that the US house-price spiral had become an economic imbalance, threatening stability like the country’s trade gap or its budget deficit.",,16849-1752866,00.html

JFK was ready to use nuclear bomb on China, tapes reveal - "There are crackles on the tape but the message is clear. President John F Kennedy and his advisers considered using nuclear weapons against China if the Communist nation attacked India a second time."

Girl's story of dad was a hoax, paper says - " For two years, Carbondale residents have been riveted by the writing of a little girl imploring her father in Iraq: "Don't die, OK?" Only now are they learning there was never any danger of that. ... In fact, the newspaper will report today, the man identified as the girl's father was never in Iraq, and it was the woman who apparently wrote the letters and regular columns that were published under the little girl's name - and even impersonated the girl in telephone interviews." -- The pro murder crowd (aka, the pro war crowd) will apparently stop at nothing to convince others that murder and mahem are legitimate actions of civilized beings.

Adam, Eve and T. Rex - "Dinny's new owners, pointing to the Book of Genesis, contend that most dinosaurs arrived on Earth the same day as Adam and Eve, some 6,000 years ago, and later marched two by two onto Noah's Ark. The gift shop at the attraction, called the Cabazon Dinosaurs, sells toy dinosaurs whose labels warn, "Don't swallow it! The fossil record does not support evolution." The Cabazon Dinosaurs join at least half a dozen other roadside attractions nationwide that use the giant reptiles' popularity in seeking to win converts to creationism. And more are on the way.",0,6894033.story?coll=la-home-local

Humans on Display at London Zoo - "Caged and barely clothed, eight men and women monkeyed around for the crowds Friday in an exhibit labeled "Humans" at the London Zoo. ... "A lot of people think humans are above other animals," he told The Associated Press. "When they see humans as animals, here, it kind of reminds us that we're not that special."";_ylt=Auu5OSQkBuEzndgcWYsImJQuQE4F;_ylu=X3oDMTA3MXN1bHE0BHNlYwN0bWE

Hollywood's horrible summer - "The summer holidays are almost over, kids are heading back to school and in Hollywood, movie executives are pulling their hair out. That's the picture being painted by industry insiders and the trade dailies after a disastrous summer of cinema which saw box office receipts drop by 9% and attendance fall by 11% over the same period last year. ... Many industry executives believe the age of cinema might be coming to a close." -- Put out better movies.,,2-1225-1243_1760017,00.html

A Doll That Can Recognize Voices, Identify Objects and Show Emotion - "Judy Shackelford, who has been in the toy industry for more than 40 years, has seen a lot of dolls. But none, she says, like her latest creation, a marvel of digital technologies, including speech-recognition and memory chips, radio frequency tags and scanners, and facial robotics. She and her team have christened it Amazing Amanda."

Quote of the Day
"Everybody knows that the world is full of stupid people."
~ The Refreshments

August 25, 2005

News - August 25, 2005

Bush's Obscene Tirades Rattle White House Aides - "“Who gives a flying fuck what the polls say,” he screamed at a recent strategy meeting. “I’m the President and I’ll do whatever I goddamned please. They don’t know shit.”"

Pat Robertson Calls for Murder, Twice - "The Christian minister called for the murder of the President of Venezuela, in an apology he repeated the call for murder: is this the voice of Christianity?"

Robertson apologizes for assassination call - "But he compared Chavez to Iraq's Saddam Hussein and Adolph Hitler and quoted German Lutheran theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer: "[That if a madman were] driving a car into a group of innocent bystanders, then I can't, as a Christian, simply wait for the catastrophe and then comfort the wounded and bury the dead. I must try to wrestle the steering wheel out of the hands of the driver.""

CBS Affiliate Will Not Air Sheehan Ad Because There Is “No Proof” Of Absence Of WMD In Iraq... - "Sheehan “claims the President lied about, among other things, the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq,” said Jeff Anderson the Vice President of sales at Fisher Broadcasting Inc., which owns KBCI (CBS). “There is no proof that we are aware of regarding the truthfulness of her claim. We require proof of claims such as this. Until that is provided, our station will not carry this ad.”"

Anti-Iraq war parents to take protests across nation - "Parents of soldiers killed in Iraq' plan to follow President George W. Bush around the country in the coming months, hoping to generate nationwide anti-war sentiment after camping out at his Texas ranch.";_ylt=AtRLmyqvRLNo2_h_yeQcHg4DW7oF;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl

An American Wants To Know: What Is "Our Way Of Life?" - "See, I've always thought that the American way of life had a lot to do with civil liberties, separation of church and state, freedom of speech – that kind of stuff. But under the Bush administration, all of those things have been steadily eroding. Even though dissent has always been an important part of our most basic rights, disagreeing with any U.S. government policy now puts you on a one-way train to Smearsville. These days, if Americans exercise their freedoms in a way that differs from Bush administration policy, they risk being regarded as un-American or unpatriotic. But I would think the clear decline in our true Americans values over the last five years would make the enemies of our country happy. As you can see, I'm totally confused about why the terrorists don't like me and my way of life."

Breast Milk of Oregon Women Contaminated - "The breast milk of Oregon women is contaminated with a high level of toxic flame retardants known as PBDEs, researchers say.",0,364962.story?coll=sns-ap-nationworld-headlines

Brigitte Bardot calls for halt to use of puppies as shark bait - "Brigitte Bardot, the 1950s and 1960s film star turned animal rights campaigner, has called on the French government to halt the reported use by fishermen on the island of Reunion of live puppies and kittens as shark bait. ... According to Clicanoo, a newspaper in Reunion, a French island located in the Indian Ocean, a six-month-old puppy was found last month with hooks implanted in its snout and one of its legs. The French Society for the Protection of Animals (SPA) told the daily the dog was the victim of cruel fishermen who attract sharks by throwing puppies or kittens into the water, tied to fishing lines, and wait for the predators to swallow the thrashing animals."

Sperm donor reality show? - "Billionaire television producer John de Mol, behind the pioneer show Big Brother, will test the limits of reality TV with a program in which a woman searches for a potential sperm donor to conceive a child.";_ylt=A9FJqYabdQ5Dfm0B4gMSH9EA;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl

Cartoon of the Day

Cartoon #2 of the Day

Quote of the Day
"Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes. And armies and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few."
~ James Madison

August 24, 2005

News - August 24, 2005

U.S. to Send More Troops to Iraq - "Anticipating an increase in insurgent attacks, the United States plans to send more troops to Iraq in advance of an Oct. 15 referendum on a new Iraqi constitution, which is considered unlikely to halt the country's violence, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said today."

More Images Of Abu Ghraib - "There's a new batch of photos from Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, and these are reportedly far worse than the sickening originals. Naturally, the Pentagon is trying to block their release."

American Legion Declares War on Protestors -- Media Next? - "The American Legion, which has 2.7 million members, has declared war on antiwar protestors, and the media could be next. Speaking at its national convention in Honolulu, the group's national commander called for an end to all “public protests” and “media events” against the war, even though they are protected by the Bill of Rights."

Our mission in Iraq has mutated - "One of the oddest features of our strange, strange war in Iraq is that we're still trying to figure out the mission. Oil? Religious zealotry? Revenge? Glory? What?"

Britain's Itemized Hate List - "The Home Office today published a list of "unacceptable behaviours" which will lead to the deportation or exclusion of any foreign national who commits them from the UK. According to the Home Secretary the list is indicative rather than exhaustive and covers any non-UK citizen whether in the UK or abroad.",,22989-1748674,00.html

MTA earmarks 212M to beef up security - One thousand new video cameras. Three thousand new motion detector sensors. A new police command center. These are the key elements of a $212 million security enhancement meant to make New York commuters safer from terrorist attacks. But will they work?

Is Pat Robertson Out of His Mind or in the Loop? - "On Monday the iconic American Christian using the language of gangsters endorsed the assassination of Hugo Chavez so we could save 200 billion dollars. The assumption was that the only two alternatives to dealing with an elected leader who is critical of the military industrial complex running our country is to "take him out" or to wage a war. He presents the options and then chooses the less expensive one. One does pause to wonder if he is not a loose cannon but that the direct line to the White House runs both ways. If in fact Venezuela and Iran are considering an oil embargo against the US, this may not be a random Christian perspective from the baby- faced aw-shucks father figure for the consumers of sign-on-the-dotted-line religion. Could this be a request from the top?"

'Gas rage' leading to thefts, violence - "With gasoline prices soaring, industry experts predict the number of drive-offs — and violence — will increase."

Obesity in America Continues to Expand - "Obesity rates continue to climb in every state except Oregon, and government policies and actions offer little hope of reversing the trend, according to a new report Tuesday from the Trust for America's Health. ... More than 25 percent of adults in 10 states are obese -- Mississippi, Alabama, West Virginia, Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas, Michigan, Kentucky, Indiana and South Carolina."

The Climax of Humanity - "Demographically and economically, our era is unique in human history. Depending on how we manage the next few decades, we could usher in environmental sustainability--or collapse."

Academic libraries empty stacks for online centers - " When students wander into the former University of Texas undergraduate library this fall, gone will be the "Quiet Please" signs, the ban on cheeseburgers or sodas, the sight of solemn librarians restocking books. The fact is, there will be no more books to restock. The UT library is undergoing a radical change, becoming more of a social gathering place more akin to a coffeehouse than a dusty, whisper-filled hall of records. And to make that happen, the undergraduate collection of books had to go."

Warner Music readies CD-free 'e-label' - "Warner Music's chairman and CEO, said Monday that the new mechanism will be called an "e-label," in which artists will release music in clusters of three songs every few months rather than a CD every few years."

Unified DVD format effort reportedly kaput - "Groups headed by Toshiba and Sony offering competing technologies for next-generation DVDs have given up efforts to develop a unified format."

Quote of the Day
"As long as people will accept crap, it will be financially profitable to dispense it."
~ Dick Cavett

August 23, 2005

News - August 23, 2005

Iraq draft says laws must conform to Islam - "A draft constitution for Iraq to be presented to parliament on Monday will make Islam "a main source" for legislation and ban laws that contradict religious teachings, members of the parliamentary drafting panel said."

Army Planning for 4 More Years in Iraq - "The Army is planning for the possibility of keeping the current number of soldiers in Iraq _ well over 100,000 _ for four more years, the Army's top general said Saturday."

The Trillion-Dollar War - "THE human cost of the more than 2,000 American military personnel killed and 14,500 wounded so far in Iraq and Afghanistan is all too apparent. But the financial toll is still largely hidden from public view and, like the suffering of those who have lost loved ones, will persist long after the fighting is over."

GOP Senator Says Iraq Looking Like Vietnam - "A leading Republican senator and prospective presidential candidate said Sunday that the war in Iraq has destabilized the Middle East and is looking more like the Vietnam conflict from a generation ago. Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel, who received two Purple Hearts and other military honors for his service in Vietnam, reiterated his position that the United States needs to develop a strategy to leave Iraq. Hagel scoffed at the idea that U.S. troops could be in Iraq four years from now at levels above 100,000, a contingency for which the Pentagon is preparing."

Iran, Venezuela discuss oil embargo - ""Oil is the lifeline of the West, and most of the West's military industries are dependent on it,” the Tehran Times suggested in an editorial last week. Irritated by a recent resolution by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that called for a halt to Iran’s uranium conversion program, the newspaper suggested that oil-rich states form a united front and use oil as a tool to confront "western neocolonialist countries." In Venezuela, Pres. Hugo Chavez has taken the idea a step further, threatening to halt oil exports if alleged attacks on his country continue, according to Agence France Press."

Pat Robertson calls for assassination of Hugo Chavez - "Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson suggested on-air that American operatives assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to stop his country from becoming "a launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism."" -- Is this a Christian thing to do?

Imparting Faith in Christ? -- You'll love this.

UTAH RAVERS TREATED LIKE TERRORISTS! - " This was one of the scariest things I have ever witnessed in person. I can't even begin to describe how surreal it was. Helicopters, assault rifles, tear gas, camoflauge-wearing soldiers.... why? Was that really necessary?"

Frist Backs 'Intelligent Design' Teaching - "Echoing similar comments from President Bush, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said "intelligent design" should be taught in public schools alongside evolution.";_ylt=A9FJqYOHOQZD4EcBew5vzwcF;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl
Footage Contradicts London Police Reports - "A Brazilian shot to death a day after botched bombings in London had walked casually onto a train before being gunned down by undercover officers, according to leaked footage that appeared to contradict earlier police reports that said the man disobeyed police orders.";_ylt=AhPplBvLpPYRYHcwRXplLf69Q5gv;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl
Big game 'could roam US plains' - "If a group of US researchers have their way, lions, cheetahs, elephants and camels could soon roam parts of North America, Nature magazine reports."

Scientists Mess with the Speed of Light - "Researchers in Switzerland have succeeded in breaking the cosmic speed limit by getting light to go faster than, well, light. ... Using a technique called Stimulated Brillouin Scattering, the researchers were able to slow down or ratchet up the speed of light like the gas pedal on a car. They succeeded in reducing the speed of light by almost a factor of 4 (although that’s still plenty fast at 46,500 miles per second), but even more dramatically, the team was also able to speed up the speed of light. Light in a vacuum travels at approximately 186,000 miles per second, but a popular misconception is that, according to Einstein’s special theory of relativity, nothing in the universe can travel faster than this speed."

I can read you like a book: Swedish library launches 'borrow a person' - "If you're one of those people who thinks all lesbians are sexually frustrated or all animal rights activists aggressive, then a Swedish library project that allows you to "borrow" a real live human being rather than a book may provide some useful insight.";_ylt=A9FJqag1OgZDsM0A_Qp4hMgF;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl

New house-sitter robot hits stores in Japan; will cost $3,100 - "Worried about leaving your house empty while you go on vacation? Japan has the answer: a house-sitter robot armed with a digital camera, infrared sensors and a videophone."

Project aims to create 3D television by 2020 - "Imagine watching a football match on a TV that not only shows the players in three dimensions but also lets you experience the smells of the stadium and maybe even pat a goalscorer on the back.";_ylt=A9FJqZH9OAZDCkwACgESH9EA;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl

Quote of the Day
"Violence is as American as apple pie."
~ H. Rap Brown

August 17, 2005

News - August 17, 2005

Chavez makes US oil export threat - "Oil exports to the US could stop amid growing tensions between the two countries, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has said." -- Is a U.S. invasion imminent?

Babies Caught Up in 'No-Fly' Confusion - "Infants have been stopped from boarding planes at airports throughout the U.S. because their names are the same as or similar to those of possible terrorists on the government's "no-fly list.""

Montana Supreme Court justice warns Orwell's 1984 has arrived - "Believe it or not, it's perfectly legal for police to rummage through your garbage for incriminating stuff on you -- even if they don't have a warrant or court approval. ... What's remarkable is the concurring opinion of Montana Supreme Court Justice James C. Nelson, who reluctantly went along with his colleagues but warned that George Orwell's 1984 had arrived. We reproduce his concurring opinion in full:" -- Worth reading for those of you who think you have privacy.

Bush makes history - a five-year streak without saying 'no' - "Like pardons and executive orders, vetoes are among the cherished privileges of the Oval Office. Ike liked them. So did presidents Truman and Cleveland - and both Roosevelts. But apparently not George W. Bush. In fact, well into the fifth year of his presidency, he has yet to issue a single veto. It's a streak unmatched in modern American history, one that throws into question traditional notions of checks and balances."

Roberts scoffed at equal-pay theory - "As an assistant White House counsel in 1984, John Roberts scoffed at the notion that men and women should earn equal pay in jobs of comparable importance, and he belittled three female Republican members of Congress who promoted that idea to the Reagan administration."

Phone message from doomed plane was hoax - "Greek police on Monday arrested a man they said had hoaxed TV stations by saying he had received a mobile phone message from a cousin on an airliner which said the passengers were freezing cold shortly before it crashed."

Are the Bush Twins AWOL? - "Thanks in large part to Cindy Sheehan, people are starting to raise the issue of why Jenna and Barbara Bush aren't serving in the military. It's a tough question, but I think it's a fair one. The President of the United States is calling on American young people to volunteer to go to war, but his own daughters, who are certainly of the appropriate age, are better known for their drunken nightclub escapades than for any acts of patriotism."

More homes in U.S. go solo - "Single-adult households have displaced two-parent families with children as the most common kind of U.S. household, the Census Bureau reported yesterday. The change demonstrates "the growing complexity" of American households, researchers said in a new report, "Examining American Household Composition: 1990 and 2000." "It's breathtaking how many people still think that the 'mom, pop and two kids' is the majority of households," said Peter Francese, the founder of American Demographics magazine."

Debate opens on choosing baby's sex - "The issue of couples being allowed to choose the sex of their babies to "balance" their families is to be discussed in a public consultation. The Government's review of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act of 1990 said it was seeking views from the public on sex selection for non-medical purposes. It asked whether the practice should be banned - as it is currently - or be allowed for family balancing reasons."

Requiem for the Future - "Where Are the Interplanetary Wonders We Read About When We Were Kids? Where'd the future go? You remember it, don't you? It's the one with moon bases and intrepid Mars colonists and asteroid miners, with spaceports and space elevators and sprawling habitations up at the Lagrange points. The one we read about when we were kids, the one written about by the likes of Arthur C. Clarke and Robert Heinlein, with thrilling chronologies that had us on Mars or beyond by now, or at least heading that way. You know, the future.",,SB112370259710910021-MHWdDdhTjCAvoB3BCDKqqc1aJcU_20060814,00.html?mod=blogs

Thin skin will help robots 'feel' - "Japanese researchers have developed a flexible artificial skin that could give robots a humanlike sense of touch. The team manufactured a type of "skin" capable of sensing pressure and another capable of sensing temperature. These are supple enough to wrap around robot fingers and relatively cheap to make, the researchers have claimed."

Scottish scientists grow pure human brain cells - "Human brain cells have been grown artificially in the laboratory in a world first for Scottish scientists. A team at Edinburgh University managed to turn embryonic stem cells into stable nerve stem cells used in the brain by adding a cocktail of chemicals."

Why the US wants to end link between time and sun - "Word of the U.S. proposal, made secretly to a United Nations body, began leaking to scientists earlier this month. The plan would simplify the world's timekeeping by making each day last exactly 24 hours. Right now, that's not always the case."

Bush administration objects to .xxx domains - "The Bush administration is objecting to the creation of a .xxx domain, saying it has concerns about a virtual red-light district reserved exclusively for Internet pornography. ... "The Department of Commerce has received nearly 6,000 letters and e-mails from individuals expressing concern about the impact of pornography on families and children," Gallagher said in a letter that was made public on Monday."

Quote of the Day
"A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider God-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side."
~ Aristotle

August 15, 2005

News - August 15, 2005

Get Ready for World War III - "The Bush administration is insane. If the American people do not decapitate it by demanding Bush's impeachment, the Bush administration will bring about Armageddon. This may please some Christian evangelicals conned by Rapture predictions, but World War III will please no one else."

How Bush would gain from war with Iran - " A plausible spin could be that America and Britain must act where the international community has failed, and that their action is the responsible alternative to an Israeli attack. The conventional wisdom is that, even if diplomacy fails, the US is so bogged down in Iraq that it could not take on Iran. However, this misunderstands the capabilities and intentions of the Bush administration.",12858,1549335,00.html

Have Leading Figures in the Bush Administration Really Been Indicted? - "Sources close to the jury probe have allegedly told Heneghen a host of administration figures under Bush have been indicted, including Vice President Dick Cheney, Chief of Staff Andrew Card, Cheney Chief of Staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, former Attorney General John Ashcroft, imprisoned New York Times reporter Judith Miller and former Cheney advisor Mary Matalin. Heneghen also allegedly told sources White House advisor Karl Rove was indicted for perjury in a major document shredding operation cover-up."

Iraq veteran arrested in killing - "When Matthew Sepi returned from Iraq a few months ago, he spoke to his family reluctantly of gunbattles and the "weird noises" children make when they die."

Rescued soldier: I was used - "JESSICA LYNCH, the former US army supply clerk who became a national icon after her capture and rescue during the invasion of Iraq in 2003, says she was “used” by the Pentagon to “show the war was going great”. Ms Lynch, 22, told Time magazine: “I think I provided a way to boost everybody’s confidence about the war . . . I was used as a symbol. It doesn’t bother me anymore. It used to.” Ms Lynch says that her book, I Am a Soldier, Too: The Jessica Lynch Story, will “set the record straight”.",,7374-1726992,00.html

Bush slaps down top general after he calls for troops to be pulled out of Iraq - "The top American commander in Iraq has been privately rebuked by the Bush administration for openly discussing plans to reduce troop levels there next year, The Sunday Telegraph has learned."

What Fox News Channel Would Have Done to Rosa Parks - "Cindy Sheehan – in case you’ve been living in a box or you only watch the mainstream media – is the mom of slain Iraq War veteran Casey Sheehan. She is protesting in front of George Bush’s Crawford ranch this month. This grieving mom has been characterized as a flip-flopper, accused of putting on a public circus, lambasted as a publicity seeking grandstander and criticized for not truly speaking for her family since an aunt and a godmother Matt Drudge found somewhere in the Sheehan family disagrees with her. The conservative attack machine is in high gear in the efforts to tear this woman down. That made me think of how it would have been in the Civil Rights era if Fox News Channel, Rush Limbaugh, Matt Drudge and the rest of the gang were around back then: O’Reilly: “To question the government of Alabama and implicitly the entire United States government by defying the political order like this has to be considered treasonous. Civil disobedience is a code word for I hate America. These people are criminals, simple criminals. It's ridiculous that they think they don't have to live by the same rules as the rest of us.” ... Limbaugh: “What did I tell you folks? These libs like Parks would rather live in France where they can sit anywhere they want on the bus. They hate America. They want special privileges to be able to sit anywhere they want. They hide behind the color of their skin to try to undermine this country. Coulter: “Rosa Parks is a dyke!”"

Change might not be good for Iraqi women - "In a chilling irony, women may actually have fewer rights under Iraq's new, ``democratic'' constitution than they did under Saddam Hussein. ... ``It appears Islam will be a major source in the constitution,'' said Ahmed Al-Rahim of Boston, whose parents were born in Iraq and who served as adviser to the Coalition Provisional Authority. ``And under Islamic law, it appears women won't necessarily be equal.'' Iraq has been governed by civil law since 1959. And that law guaranteed women most of the same freedoms their Western counterparts enjoy. But during the past year, Shiites have applied mounting pressure to replace the civil code with Shariah, under which questions of education, work and marriage are decided by male guardians, said Coughlin."

Masculinity Challenged, Men Prefer War and SUVs - "Men whose masculinity is challenged become more inclined to support war or buy an SUV, a new study finds. Their attitudes against gays change, too."

Are Half of All Americans Mentally Ill? - "According to experts, severe mental illnesses like schizophrenia, dementia and manic depression are relatively uncommon. But the updated Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (search), or DSM — the standard survey for mental illness — lists conditions like adjustment disorder, passive-aggressive disorder and female sexual arousal disorder as mental illness, reflecting what are claimed to be advances in the mental health profession. Critics say that's crazy, and that it won't be long before all human quirks and flaws are classified as mental disorders.",2933,165646,00.html

Quote of the Day
"Nothing just happens in politics. If something happens you can be sure it was planned that way."
~ Franklin D.Roosevelt

August 13, 2005

News - August 13, 2005

Myers: Release of Abu Ghraib prison photos could cause riots - "General Richard Myers contends in recently unsealed court documents that the release of such information would aid al-Qaida recruitment, weaken governments in Iraq and Afghanistan and incite riots against U-S troops."

Dubya on the Defensive - ""The economy is good, but it hasn't improved for everybody," said Mark Zandi, chief economist of, an economics research firm. "The gains have predominantly gone to higher-income and higher net-worth households. Lower net-worth households are still struggling.""

Germany rejects Iran military option - "German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has rejected the threat of military force against Iran, hours after US President George Bush said he would consider it as a last resort to press Tehran to give up its nuclear program. ... "This morning I read that military options are now on the table. My answer to that is: 'Dear friends in Europe and America, let us work out a strong negotiating position. But let's take the military option off the table. We have seen it doesn't work'," he said."

"Thank You for Your Sympathy"? - "After my office was destroyed on September 11, 2001, the people of Tehran, Iran left their offices and homes. They gathered in the streets holding candles to demonstrate condolence, sympathy and goodwill towards us, the people of New York, and indeed, all of America. I remember the film footage from Tehran at the time and will never forget. Now, the Bushling and his puppet-masters plan to bomb them."

War Plans Drafted To Counter Terror Attacks in U.S. - ""It could be a challenge for the commander who's a Guardsman, if we end up in a fairly complex, dynamic scenario," Keating said. He cited a potential situation in which Guard units might begin rounding up people while regular forces could not." -- Rounding up people?

Pentagon to host 9/11 march, concert - "The Pentagon will hold a massive march and country music concert to mark the fourth anniversary of 9/11, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in an unusual announcement tucked into an Iraq war briefing yesterday."

Letter From an Iraq War Vet - "I participated in the invasion, stayed in Iraq for a year afterward, and what I witnessed was the total opposite of what President Bush and his administration stated to the American people. The invasion was very confusing, and so was the period of time I spent in Iraq afterward. At first it did seem as if some of the Iraqi people were happy to be rid of Saddam Hussein. But that was only for a short period of time. Shortly after Saddam's regime fell, the Shiite Muslims in Iraq conducted a pilgrimage to Karbala, a pilgrimage prohibited by Saddam while he was in power. As I witnessed the Shiite pilgrimage, which was a new freedom that we provided to them, they used the pilgrimage to protest our presence in their country. I watched as they beat themselves over the head with sticks until they bled, and screamed at us in anger to leave their country. Some even carried signs that stated, "No Saddam, No America." These were people that Saddam oppressed; they were his enemies. To me, it seemed they hated us more than him. At that moment I knew it was going to be a very long deployment. I realized that I was not being greeted as a liberator."

Rumblings Increase About Trucking Protest To High Gas Prices - "Truck drivers are telling KOMO 4 News they are hearing increasing discussion about parking rigs to protest high diesel prices. Several drivers say the talk is "all over the CB" across the country."

It Takes a Village to Smear Cindy Sheehan - "The right wing attacks on Cindy Sheehan -- desperate, pathetic, and grasping at straws -- expose much less about their target than about the attackers. I mean, trying to slime a grieving Gold Star mom because she is inconveniently questioning the reasons her son was sent off to die in Iraq? Why that would be like trashing a much-decorated war hero or outing an undercover CIA agent…Oh, right…How much longer can the Bushies get away with mauling the very values they profess to stand for before their supporters start getting wise to the fact that the only value they really value is power?"

Erotic and Violent Images Cloud Vision, Study Finds - "When people see violent or erotic images, they fail to process whatever they see next, according to new research. Scientists are calling the effect "attentional rubbernecking.""

Scientists' Belief in God Varies Starkly by Discipline - "About two-thirds of scientists believe in God, according to a new survey that uncovered stark differences based on the type of research they do. The study, along with another one released in June, would appear to debunk the oft-held notion that science is incompatible with religion. Those in the social sciences are more likely to believe in God and attend religious services than researchers in the natural sciences, the study found."

Mutant mice helping cure diseases - "They're being bred now by the millions, the mutants, created to carry the ghastliest of diseases for the benefit of the human race. ... There's the Schwarzenegger mouse -- injected with muscle-building genes. The marathon mouse, which never seems to tire. Researchers recently engineered some mice to be extremely addicted to nicotine, and others to be immune to scrapie, a close cousin to the brain-wasting mad cow disease. And scientists are in hot pursuit of a Methuselah mouse, able to cheat death long after its natural brethren meet their maker."

When meat is not murder - "Would you eat steak if it had been grown in a petri dish? ... Researchers have published details in a biotechnology journal describing a new technique which they hailed as the answer to the world's food shortage. Lumps of meat would be cultured in laboratory vats rather than carved from livestock reared on a farm." -- Soylent Green?,2763,1548451,00.html

Quote of the Day
"My son joined the Army to protect America, not Israel."
~ Cindy Sheehan

August 9, 2005

News - August 9, 2005

Military Draft or Latte Cafe? - "This is the first protracted war of the all-volunteer military. Of course much of our all-volunteer military is prohibited from leaving the military, but they’re still volunteers. Others are being thrown huge wads of money not to leave, but we detest mercenary armies. Still others are civilians, but they are in our military. Anyway, how is our all-volunteer military doing? On the battlefield, it appears to be doing. Not winning, but that’s not its fault. In Iraq the mission is, we're told, “complicated.” It is so complicated no one knows what the mission is, except to kill whoever and protect the oil where ever -- but not necessarily in that order. With that mission, to win the war would require a budget-breaking and economy-destroying amount of humongous resources. Considering we’re already broke and our economy is teetering, this would put an ugly crimp in U.S. corporate profits. Like, why fight the war then?"

Secret terror courts considered in UK - "Special courts sitting in secret for pre-trial hearings in terror cases are being considered by the Home Office. Security-vetted judges would weigh up sensitive evidence against suspects before cases went further. In a separate move, judges may oversee plans to allow terror suspects to be held for longer before being charged."

Pentagon Plans to Send More Troops to Iraq - "Although much public attention has been focused recently on the prospect of reducing U.S. forces next spring and summer, defense officials foresee the likelihood of first increasing troop levels.",1280,-5198129,00.html

War Plans Drafted To Counter Terror Attacks in U.S. - "The war plans represent a historic shift for the Pentagon, which has been reluctant to become involved in domestic operations and is legally constrained from engaging in law enforcement. Indeed, defense officials continue to stress that they intend for the troops to play largely a supporting role in homeland emergencies, bolstering police, firefighters and other civilian response groups. But the new plans provide for what several senior officers acknowledged is the likelihood that the military will have to take charge in some situations, especially when dealing with mass-casualty attacks that could quickly overwhelm civilian resources."

Half of all Americans support a national ID card - "Fifty percent said the introduction of a national form of identification would be very or somewhat positive, while 32 percent viewed it negatively. However, 79 percent of Americans either strongly or somewhat support inclusion of biometrics in passports, 75 percent in Social Security cards and 74 percent in driver’s licenses, the survey reports. ... Almost half said biometrics in a government-issued national ID card would make the nation more secure. About 81 percent of respondents chose fingerprint as the most acceptable form of a biometric identifier to prove their identity. That was followed by an iris scan (58 percent), hand geometry (50 percent), voice recognition (48 percent), facial recognition (44 percent) and DNA (34 percent)."

A credible plan to take down the Internet - "At stake is the exploitation of flaws affecting the once-invincible Cisco router hardware, which currently carries most of the Internet's traffic on a daily basis. Once a working exploit for the Cisco IOS Shellcode is available on the Internet, it'll be only a matter of days before someone finds a way to craft it into a network worm. And then it's going to be a rough ride for everyone who uses the Internet. Unless, of course, the forces of Good prevail. Hyperbole? Perhaps, but a credible threat to the infrastructure of the Internet does exist. All indications suggest that the clock is ticking toward some kind of showdown between criminal hackers and the good guys. Unfortunately, the bad guys have a head start."

Brit License Plates Get Chipped - "The British government is preparing to test new high-tech license plates containing microchips capable of transmitting unique vehicle identification numbers and other data to readers more than 300 feet away.",1848,68429,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_1

Army Whistleblower Draws Fire - "She has asked many questions: Why is Halliburton — a giant Texas firm that holds more than 50 percent of all rebuilding efforts in Iraq — getting billions in contracts without competitive bidding? Do the durations of those contracts make sense? Have there been violations of federal laws regulating how the government can spend its money?"

Surviving Chicago's sex slave trade - "To Z, Mishulovich's offer was exhilarating. It was also a lie -- something she discovered shortly after landing at O'Hare Airport. Put up in a cramped apartment with other Latvian women, she was watched constantly, beaten and threatened with being sold as a prostitute. Her passport was taken away. And the dancing? Really it was stripping. For maybe $20 a night. She was a virtual slave -- a sex slave, a victim of "human trafficking.""

Stealing your neighbor's Net - "Forty bucks for high-speed Internet access? Not a bad deal. But how does free sound? ... One study by Jupiter Research said 14 percent of wireless network owners have accessed their neighbor's connection. Yet anecdotal evidence suggests that more and more people are logging on for free. "I haven't paid for Internet since I've been in New York City," said one friend of this reporter. "Ditto," chimed in another. And as the practice of using someone else's connection without paying for it expands, it raises the question: Is there anything wrong with that?"

'Thoughts read' via brain scans - "Teams at University College London and University of California in LA could tell what images people were looking at or what sounds they were listening to."

Scientist: Men do have trouble hearing women - "Men who are accused of never listening by women now have an excuse -- women's voices are more difficult for men to listen to than other men's, a report said."

Jagger mauls Bush - ""Sweet Neo Con", one of the tracks on the band's forthcoming LP "A Bigger Bang", is known to be fiercely anti-Bush. ... An extract from "Sweet Neo Con" features the following lines: "You call yourself a Christian, I call you a hypocrite/You call yourself a patriot, well I think you're full of sh*t." Speaking to Newsweek, Jagger explained the background to the track. "It is direct. Keith said (adopting Richards' voice), 'It's not really metaphorical.'"

Quote of the Day
"Liberty has never come from government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of government. The history of liberty is a history of resistance. The history of liberty is a history of limitations of government power, not the increase of it."
~ Woodrow Wilson