July 31, 2007

Death and dying: When is it time to let go?

End-of-life issues top the list of ethical dilemmas hospitals face as medical progress enables doctors to extend an endangered life to the hard-to-determine point where they may actually only be dragging out death.


These patients used to just die naturally, but now it might be doctors, hospital ethics committees or courts that decide if and when to let them. The more science discovers, especially about the brain, the harder it can get to make that decision.

Read more.

New bill backs prison time for piracy 'attempts'

Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) introduced a bill last week that appears to take its cues from controversial proposals circulated by the Justice Department chief in recent years, which include stiffer prison sentences for copyright-related crimes and creation of entirely new categories of punishable activities.

Notably, under Chabot's bill, called the Intellectual Property Enhanced Criminal Enforcement Act of 2007, it would be a crime not only to commit copyright infringement but also to "attempt" to do so. Such an offense would carry the same penalties as actually committing infringement--as would engaging in a "conspiracy" with two or more people to carry it out.

As of now, there are no co-sponsors on the bill.

Read more.

U.S. vehicles rank at bottom in world fuel efficiency

The United States ranks at the bottom of industrialized countries in vehicle fuel-economy standards, but would jump far up the list if legislation to boost mileage requirements clears Congress and is signed into law, according to a report released on Monday.

If fuel-economy is too efficient, then it's more difficult to make as much money.

Read more.

Executive Order criminalizes humanitarian work

President Bush's recent Executive Order "Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq," effectively criminalizes humanitarian work in the war torn country, the ACLU warned today.

Read more.

California City to Transform Red Light Cameras Into Spy Cameras

Privacy advocates have long viewed red light cameras with the suspicion that the devices were the first step down a path of increased surveillance. Those fears may come true as the city of Oakland, California has revealed that it is working with the state legislature to secure a change in the law that will allow red light cameras to become full-scale surveillance cameras.

Be watched here.

Paulson: US should boost debt limit

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson on Monday said the United States may be unable to pay its bills this fall unless Congress raises the government's borrowing authority, now capped at $8.965 trillion.

Now think about that.

The government may not be able to pay its bills unless it borrows more money.

There is no logic to the madness.

Financial responsibilty is really very simple: do not spend more than you bring in.

Never get out of debt here.

July 30, 2007

More churches saying "amen" to credit cards

But is it really Christian to collect frequent-flier points on the way to heaven? Are churches that take plastic contributing to the nation's credit-card-debt crisis? Does tithing by automatic assessment rob from the thoughtfulness and spirituality of giving?

Read more.

Co-defendant says he wasn't offered sentence deal to cooperate

One of Michael Vick's co-defendants pleaded guilty Monday to federal dogfighting conspiracy charges in a plea agreement with prosecutors.

Read more.

Gangs Spreading In The Military

Evidence of gang culture and gang activity in the military is increasing so much an FBI report calls it "a threat to law enforcement and national security." The signs are chilling: Marines in gang attire on Parris Island; paratroopers flashing gang hand signs at a nightclub near Ft. Bragg; infantrymen showing-off gang tattoos at Ft. Hood.


The rise in gang activity coincides with the increase in recruits with records. Since 2003, 125,000 recruits with criminal histories have been granted what are known as "moral waivers" for felonies including robbery and assault.

Read more.

World Net Daily Attempts to Debunk Tillman Murder Evidence As Leftist Conspiracy Theory

World Net Daily today sought to dismiss clear evidence that Pat Tillman was murdered by attempting to marginalize the issue as a leftist conspiracy theory and by suggesting Wesley Clark and Keith Olbermann didn't lend credence to the murder angle - when they clearly did.

Read more.

Why the Pentagon's Guantánamo Study is a Joke

On the one hand, the administration commissions its boys to come up with a report stating that 73 percent of the detainees were a "demonstrated threat," and 95 percent were a "potential threat," and on the other hand the administration itself has released, or cleared for release, 75 percent of the detainees because they were "not or no longer a threat" (and that's not counting the 201 detainees who were released before the tribunal process began). How are we supposed to take these clowns seriously?

Read more.

Fox Attacks Bloggers

Fox News is out to smear the blogosphere with a slew of unsavory tactics, such as comparing liberal bloggers to the Klan and Nazi Germany. It has already met with some success, prompting JetBlue to pull its sponsorship from the YearlyKos convention.

Watch the video.


Researchers have discovered a protein that blocks the pathways that cause allergic symptoms such as wheezing, runny nose, rashes and potentially lethal allergic shock.

They believe the new drug, which has almost no side effects, could completely eliminate allergy symptoms – from hay fever to potentially lethal nut allergies – that blight the lives of up to a third of all Britons.

Learn more.

Russia leads race for North Pole oil

The Arctic's untapped resources include huge reserves of fuel and minerals. Now Moscow has raised tensions by dispatching an expedition to annex a vast expanse of the ocean.

Read more.

Revealed: why slim people dislike the overweight

Researchers say the immune system can be triggered into action at the sight of obesity because it doesn't like the look of what it sees, and associates it with infection.

Just as it orchestrates attacks on viruses and bacteria and triggers nausea at the hint of bad food, so it sends out signals of disgust in some people at the sight of an obese body that is designed to encourage avoidance and survival.

Read more.

Elderly to be cared for by ‘clever homes’

INTELLIGENT homes that can track old people’s movements and monitor their health via sensors and global positioning satellite trackers are being pioneered in Britain.

Read more.

Sentences Vary When Kids Die in Hot Cars

Since the mid-1990s, the number of children who died of heat exhaustion while trapped inside vehicles has risen dramatically, totaling around 340 in the past 10 years. Ironically, one reason was a change parent-drivers made to protect their kids after juvenile air-bag deaths peaked in 1995 - they put them in the back seat, where they are more easily forgotten.


Not an excuse. How do you forget your kid is in the back seat of your car?

What about penalties?

Mothers are treated much more harshly than fathers. While mothers and fathers are charged and convicted at about the same rates, moms are 26 percent more likely to do time. And their median sentence is two years longer than the terms received by dads.


Apparently Orwell was right: some animals are more equal than others.

Read the rest.

Company Rents Pets to Animal Lovers

I can't quite put my finger on why this bothers me.

From the state that popularized purse puppies, drive-thru dog washes and gourmet dog food delivery comes the latest in canine convenience—a company that contracts out dogs by the day to urbanites without the time or space to care for a pet full-time.

But it does.

Read more.

New infrared camera aims to catch car share cheats

Scientists have invented a roadside camera that can count the number of people inside a moving vehicle. The technology could be used to catch lone motorists who abuse congestion-easing car-share lanes.

I'm sure that's all it will be used for.

Be watched and counted here.

Surveillance Cameras Win Broad Support

This is just plain sad.

Given the chief arguments, pro and con — a way to help solve crimes vs. too much of a government intrusion on privacy — it isn't close: 71 percent of Americans favor the increased use of surveillance cameras, while 25 percent oppose it.

Apparently, freedom is free as the majority want to give it away.

Read the rest.

July 29, 2007

Fake Fly Will Be Spy In The Sky

A spy in the sky not much bigger than a fly has been developed by a top American university.

Check out the picture.

July 27, 2007

The Death Mask of War

It is a short psychological leap, but a massive moral leap. It is a leap from killing – the shooting of someone who has the capacity to do you harm – to murder – the deadly assault against someone who cannot harm you. The war in Iraq is now primarily about murder. There is very little killing.


They tell us war is a soulless void. They have seen and tasted how war plunges us to barbarity, perversion, pain and an unchecked orgy of death.

Read it all.

Giant prehistoric tusks found in Greece

Researchers in northern Greece have uncovered two massive tusks of a prehistoric mastodon that roamed Europe more than 2 million years ago — tusks that could be the largest of their kind ever found.

Check out the picture.

Giant prehistoric tusks found in Greece

Researchers in northern Greece have uncovered two massive tusks of a prehistoric mastodon that roamed Europe more than 2 million years ago — tusks that could be the largest of their kind ever found.

Check out the picture.

Survey: Math courses aid science studies

Students who had more math courses in high school did better in all types of science once they got to college, researchers say.

On the other hand, while high school courses in biology, chemistry or physics improved college performance in each of the individual sciences, taking a high school course in one science didn't result in better college performance in the others.

Learn more.

N.C. flag law rarely enforced

Charges against an Asheville couple mark the first use of a 90-year-old North Carolina law on desecration of the American flag since the Vietnam War era, a state court official said Thursday.

They had the flag upside down.

Read more.

Sentient world: war games on the grandest scale

The DOD is developing a parallel to Planet Earth, with billions of individual "nodes" to reflect every man, woman, and child this side of the dividing line between reality and AR.

Called the Sentient World Simulation (SWS), it will be a "synthetic mirror of the real world with automated continuous calibration with respect to current real-world information", according to a concept paper for the project.

Learn more.

Womb-on-a-chip may boost IVF successes

Can conception, the most intimate of human experiences, be automated?

Teruo Fujii of the University of Tokyo in Japan and his colleagues are building a microfluidic chip to nurture the first stages of pregnancy. They hope, eventually, to create a fully automated artificial uterus in which egg and sperm are fed in at one end and an early embryo comes out the other, ready for implanting in a real mother. They say using such a device could improve the success rate of IVF.

Which brings us one step closer to the human farms in The Matrix.

Learn more.

Shell makes £1.5m an hour

Shell has produced a stunning financial performance over the second quarter of the year with profits soaring by 20% to $7.6bn (£3.7bn) on the back of very high refining margins and despite a fall in production.

Read more.

Report warns against too many 'Net rules

"Speaking out has never been easier than on the Web. Yet at the same time we are witnessing the spread of Internet censorship," the report said.

Read more.

Smoking just one cannabis joint raises danger of mental illness by 40%

A single joint of cannabis raises the risk of schizophrenia by more than 40 per cent, a disturbing study warns.

The Government-commissioned report has also found that taking the drug regularly more than doubles the risk of serious mental illness.

Read more.

Smoking just one cannabis joint raises danger of mental illness by 40%

A single joint of cannabis raises the risk of schizophrenia by more than 40 per cent, a disturbing study warns.

The Government-commissioned report has also found that taking the drug regularly more than doubles the risk of serious mental illness.

Read more.

Rich Man, Boor Man

There are good things and bad in the Gilded Age, pluses and minuses. I write here of a minus. It has to do with our manners, the ones we show each other on the street. I think riches, or the pursuit of riches, has made us ruder. You'd think broad comfort would assuage certain hungers. It has not. It has sharpened them.

Read the rest.

July 25, 2007

Service Civilians and the Wounds of War

As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan strain the U.S. military, the Pentagon is sending civilian workers such as Helms into war zones to provide critical support to the troops, raising questions about their status and treatment.

Read the rest.

Climate Engineering Is Doable, as Long as We Never Stop

New research indicates that hacking the atmosphere -- pumping microscopic particles into the stratosphere or clouds to block sunlight and offset global warming caused by greenhouse gases -- is imminently possible. The problem is we could never, ever stop doing it.

Learn more.

Does the religious majority rule?

With church-state issues, the answer is often ‘yes.’ In six communities where public religiosity was contested in court, an unfortunate theme emerged: ‘Insiders’ who crossed the majority view quickly became ‘outsiders.’

Read more.

Congress: P2P networks harm national security

Politicians charged on Tuesday that peer-to-peer networks can pose a "national security threat" because they enable federal employees to share sensitive or classified documents accidentally from their computers.

At a hearing on the topic, Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said, without offering details, that he is considering new laws aimed at addressing the problem. He said he was troubled by the possibility that foreign governments, terrorists or organized crime could gain access to documents that reveal national secrets.

So, the technology is to blame, not the person using the computer? Hmmmm.

Read more.

US Army to Invade Southern Colorado

The US Army is planning on taking from 500,000 to 1,000,000 acres from thousands of landowners in Southeastern Colorado in order to expand the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site (PCMS) into the largest military training site in the United States. The army claims that this is necessary to train more soldiers to fight in Iraq and in future "robotic" style warfare, to be able to strike, from long distance, "at anyone, in any country, at any time".

The current plans of the army are to try to find willing sellers for these hundreds of thousands of acres or, that failing, to seize the land by force, that is, through the condemnation and seizure of the land. The army will not answer questions from private citizens or from elected reprentatives about the reasons for the expansion plans, the timeframe of the seizure of the lands, the economic impact to the local communities involved, the alternatives to the expansion, the environmental impact of the military exercises, the compensation to the landowners, the lost tax revenues for the counties involved, or any other information.

Read more.

DOD seeks builder for shape-shifting military robot

Creative scientists have until next week to submit proposals for creating a shape-shifting military robot that can shrink and then reconfigure itself to normal height and shape.

The description of the robot, at a high level, is somewhat reminiscent of the villainous liquid-state cyborg of the sci-fi movie Terminator 2 -- except that this robot would be dispatched to save lives on the battlefield.

I'm sure that's all they will be used for.

Learn more.

Patriot Abuse

We were therefore not allowed to testify to Congress about our experience with the letters - which seek information, without court review, on people like library users.


Reportedly hundreds of thousands of security letters have been sent out. The recipients remain gagged and can never speak about their experience, under threat of a five-year prison sentence. They can never describe the scope and nature of the information they give to the FBI.

Therefore, it is laughable to assume that no abuse has been made of the security-letter provision. The secrecy under which the provision is administered guarantees a lack of oversight.

But these things don't happen in this country.


Read more.

Gonzales Digs a Deeper Hole

Just when it seemed that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' reputation on Capitol Hill couldn't possibly get much worse, he showed up Tuesday for yet another hearing. And as with so many of his recent appearances before Congress, his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee raised a lot more troubling questions than it answered — not just about his own conduct of and honesty about the U.S. Attorney firings, but also about the Administration's domestic intelligence gathering programs.

Read more.

July 24, 2007

Halliburton Income More Than Doubles

Halliburton Co. said Monday second-quarter net income more than doubled to $1.5 billion, lifted largely by a $933 million gain from the separation of its former subsidiary, KBR Inc.

Of course they don't want an end to war. It's profitable.

Read the rest.

President Bush Tells Congress, Because I Said So

The beauty of the White House's latest claim about executive privilege is its simplicity. All President George W. Bush has to do is utter those two words and his underlings can ignore congressional subpoenas without fear of jail.

Why? Because the president says so. Who decides whether the claim is constitutional or bogus? He does. Who can challenge it? Nobody.
No check. No balance.

No way to bring in a judge. See? Simple.

Read the rest.

'Holy grail' drug reverses devastating symptoms of Alzheimer's

A revolutionary drug that reverses the devastating symptoms of Alzheimer's disease is being developed by British scientists.

Described as the "holy grail" of Alzheimer's research, the drug can improve memory in brains ravaged by the condition that affects millions around the world, including 500,000 Britons.

Although existing pills can delay the progress of symptoms including memory loss, none is capable of repairing the damage to the brain.

Finally some good news.

Learn more.

Don't Let the Media Destroy Ron Paul

You see, it doesn’t matter if Paul wins or not. What matters is that his anti-government message is a hammer-blow to America’s biggest powerbrokers---and they don’t like it. They'd rather he just shut up and go away. They’ve heard enough about the Military Commissions Act, martial law, and the fraudulent war on terror. They’ve put a lot of money and energy into the new American police state and they aren’t about to let some libertarian party-pooper destroy all their hard work.


But what is Paul saying that rattles his rivals so much? Is it because he stands out in a crowd of plaster-hair phonies and talks about liberty and non-intervention instead of fear and torture?

This is how Paul summarized 9-11 and our misguided war in Iraq:

“They attack us because we've been over there. We've been bombing Iraq for 10 years. We've been in the Middle East [for years]. I think Reagan was right. We don't understand the irrationality of Middle Eastern politics. Right now, we're building an embassy in Iraq that is bigger than the Vatican. We're building 14 permanent bases. What would we say here if China was doing this in our country or in the Gulf of Mexico? Would we be objecting?

Or this:

“I believe the CIA is correct when it warns us about blowback. We overthrew the Iranian government in 1953 and their taking the hostages was the reaction. This dynamic persists and we ignore it at our risk. They’re not attacking us because we’re rich and free, they’re attacking us because we’re over there.”

Yep, they are definitely afraid of Ron Paul. I think it's great that he is stirring the pot and telling it like it is.

Read the rest.

CNN Censors #1 Youtube

CNN is congratulating itself profusely for its YouTube debate, and they showed a lot of excellent questions. But they refused to show the #1 video as voted on by visitors to CommunityCounts. The hands-down winning question was on impeachment.

Read more.

'I'm going nowhere' says Churchill after firing

The University of Colorado Board of Regents voted to terminate controversial professor Ward Churchill on Tuesday evening.

Read the rest.


"Certainly it is highly constitutionally questionable to empower the government to destroy someone economically without giving notice. This is so sweeping it's staggering. I've never seen anything so broad that it expands beyond terrorism, beyond seeking to use violence or the threat of violence to cower or intimidate a population..." Bruce Fein, Justice Department official during the Reagan Administration.


Bush's justification for this latest EO: He doesn't want anyone threatening the stabilization and financial reconstruction of Iraq. The war in Iraq is immoral, it was built on a mountain of lies, it was/is an unconstitutional invasion. The almost one TRILLION BORROWED dollars thrown at another, predictable failure at nation building is clearly nothing more than rape and plunder of the people's treasury, not to mention the loss of precious life - our military and innocent civilians who know nothing of the games evil men play. Soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan are not fighting for my freedom, they are fighting for a new world order and establishment of the U.S. as a bully empire.

Read the rest.

Total Hypocrisy Of New Bush Executive Order

President Bush's newest executive order states that any American citizen who threatens the peace and stability of Iraq and undermines efforts to promote reconstruction and reform there may have all their property and interests seized by the Treasury department without warning. The hypocrisy on display here is astounding given that the only persons in America who are doing these things are the ones who invaded Iraq in the first place and continue to sow chaos and destruction in the face of all time high public opposition.

Learn more.

Is this the real president of the United States?

He rarely speaks in public and closely guards his privacy. But there's a growing consensus in America that it's Dick Cheney who calls the shots at the White House, on everything from the war in Iraq to climate change policy.

Read the rest.

Another human civilization may live inside Earth's hollows

One should know that the idea of hollows inside Earth appared dates from great antiquity. Seventy five years ago, the map of the North showed that a third of its territory was still unexplored, and it means that God knows what ideas about the mysterious North could exist at that time.

Read more.

NFL commish puts bandage on Vick situation

The NFL and the Atlanta Falcons, already lacerated by the indictment of one of the game's most high-profile players and likely to suffer even more severe hemorrhaging by the end of the week, got a Band-Aid on Monday night when commissioner Roger Goodell ordered quarterback Michael Vick not to report to training camp.

Read more.

Cheering Men Lead To 'Professional' Cockfighting Operation

Officers raided a rural area of Polk County Monday and found a massive grave of freshly killed roosters, drawers full of sharp fighting spurs for birds and $25,000 in cash.

Humans are such a disgusting lot.

Read more.

Microchips mulled for HIV carriers in Indonesia's Papua

Lawmakers in Indonesia's Papua are mulling the selective use of chip implants in HIV carriers to monitor their behaviour in a bid to keep them from infecting others, a doctor said Tuesday.

Be monitored here.

U.S. Is Seen in Iraq Until at Least ’09

While Washington is mired in political debate over the future of Iraq, the American command here has prepared a detailed plan that foresees a significant American role for the next two years.

Never getting out.

Read the rest.

July 22, 2007

In the Name of Objectivity, Media Clouds the Reality of Terror Report

The NIE report represents the consensus view of all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies and is a stark and unambiguous repudiation of the Bush administration's counterterrorism strategy and its contention that the war in Iraq has made us safer.

Indeed, the report suggests that it's just the opposite -- that the war in Iraq has fueled a growing hatred of America, spread Islamic extremism, and spawned an expanding crop of newly inspired jihadists around the globe. And it eviscerates the Bushies' bedrock notion that we are fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here. It turns out that the odds of us having to fight them over here have greatly increased precisely because we are fighting them over there.

Stating the obvious for those who are not paying attention.

Read the rest.

Iraq on My Mind

Having spent a fair amount of time in occupied Iraq, I now find living in the United States nothing short of a schizophrenic experience. Life in Iraq was traumatizing. It was impossible to be there and not be affected by apocalyptic levels of violence and suffering, unimaginable in this country.

But here's the weird thing: One long, comfortable plane ride later and you're in Disneyland, or so it feels on returning to the United States. Sometimes it seems as if I'm in a bubble here that's only moments away from popping. I find myself perpetually amazed at the heights of consumerism and the vigorous pursuit of creature comforts that are the essence of everyday life in this country -- and once defined my own life as well.

Here, for most Americans, you can choose to ignore what our government is doing in Iraq. It's as simple as choosing to go to a website other than this one.

Read the rest.

The Coming Conflict in the Arctic

The 2005 BP World Energy Survey projects that U.S. oil reserves will last another 10 years if the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is not opened for oil exploration, Norway’s reserves are good for about seven years and British North Sea reserves will last no more than five years – which is why the Arctic reserves, which are still largely unexplored, will be of such crucial importance to the world’s energy future. Scientists estimate that the territory contains more than 10 billion tons of gas and oil deposits. The shelf is about 200 meters (650 feet) deep and the challenges of extracting oil and gas there appear to be surmountable, particularly if the oil prices stay where they are now – over $70 a barrel.

Learn more.

Earmarking the war machine

It gets worse in a defense budget that is zooming to $648.8 billion. The nonpartisan budget watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense last month analyzed 309 Senate defense earmarks. Four of the top five "earmarkers" were not Republican hawks but centrist and liberal Democrats.

Not good.

Read the rest.

I told you so: Bush's damage staggering

Indeed, there are many Republicans joining the growing chorus that wants to impeach Bush and Dick Cheney and get rid of these two guys now before they do even more damage to this great country of ours.

Frankly, it's remarkable how total the damage has been. The lies to get us into a war with Iraq and then the incompetence in handling it were bad enough. But the war is just a piece of the utter devastation that this administration has caused in everything from the administration of justice to the stewardship of our national parks, from the reputation of the Food and Drug Administration to the nation's ability to respond to emergencies.

If shortsighted ideology didn't get in the way of working for the common good, incompetent cronies did.

Read the rest.

Under the Radar: Ten Warning Signs for Today

1. Protest war, lose your property?

On July 17th, The White House quietly announced an Executive Order entitled “Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq.” Among other developments, it gives Bush the power to “block” the property of people in the US found to “pose a significant risk of committing” an act of violence which might undermine “political reform in Iraq.”

The terms “significant threat” and “act of violence” are unclear. If you attend a demonstration against Bush’s definition of “political reform in Iraq” would that count? How about writing an angry letter to the editor?


Similar to the Patriot Act, the potential implications are staggering.

Check out the other 9.

Ditching God

"People who are not religious are finding themselves marginalized, and they think it's time they spoke up and fought back," says Scott Keeter, director of survey research at the Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C. "There is a sense that the pendulum has swung too far."

Read more.

Restoring the Draft: No Panacea

Bringing back mandatory service has been the refrain of many who want to put the brakes on the Iraq war; if every young man is suddenly a potential grunt on his way to Baghdad, the thinking goes, the war would end rather quickly. It's also an argument made by those who are uneasy that the burden of this war is being unfairly shouldered by the 1.4-million-strong U.S. military and no one else. But a new report from the Congressional Budget Office this week makes clear that resuming the draft would be no panacea.

Um, leaving Iraq...that's the panacea.

Read the rest.

Microchip implants raise privacy concern

Chipping, these critics said, might start with Alzheimer's patients or Army Rangers, but would eventually be suggested for convicts, then parolees, then sex offenders, then illegal aliens — until one day, a majority of Americans, falling into one category or another, would find themselves electronically tagged.

Read the rest.

Federal minimum wage to rise on Tuesday

Fast-food waitress Fawn Townsend of Raleigh, N.C., knows exactly what she is going to do if her salary goes up with Tuesday's increase in the federal minimum wage: start saving for a car so she can find a second job to make ends meet.


I wish her the best.

Read the rest.

The Antiwar, Anti-Abortion, Anti-Drug-Enforcement-Administration, Anti-Medicare Candidacy of Dr. Ron Paul

Alone among Republican candidates for the presidency, Paul has always opposed the Iraq war. He blames “a dozen or two neocons who got control of our foreign policy,” chief among them Vice President Dick Cheney and the former Bush advisers Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle, for the debacle. On the assumption that a bad situation could get worse if the war spreads into Iran, he has a simple plan. It is: “Just leave.” During a May debate in South Carolina, he suggested the 9/11 attacks could be attributed to United States policy. “Have you ever read about the reasons they attacked us?” he asked, referring to one of Osama bin Laden’s communiqués. “They attack us because we’ve been over there. We’ve been bombing Iraq for 10 years.” Rudolph Giuliani reacted by demanding a retraction, drawing gales of applause from the audience. But the incident helped Paul too. Overnight, he became the country’s most conspicuous antiwar Republican.

This side of Paul has made him the candidate of many people, on both the right and the left, who hope that something more consequential than a mere change of party will come out of the 2008 elections. He is particularly popular among the young and the wired.

Read the rest.

July 21, 2007

Marine loses rank for role in killing Iraqi civilian

Cpl. Trent D. Thomas was found guilty Wednesday of kidnapping and conspiracy to commit several offenses -- including murder, larceny, housebreaking, kidnapping, and making false official statements -- for his involvement in the April 2006 death in Hamdaniya, Iraq.

Thomas will be demoted to the rank of entry-level private and will receive a bad-conduct discharge.

But no jail time.

Read the rest.

Canadians Completely Unaware of Looming North American Union

In just over a month’s time, on August 20, the most powerful president in the world will be arriving in Montebello, Quebec for a two-day conference. President George W. Bush will be meeting with Stephen Harper and their Mexican counterpart, Felipe Calderon. So far, the silence from the Canadian and American media has been deafening.


The purpose of the upcoming conference is to ratify the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, which was initiated by Bush, Martin and Fox in 2005 in Waco, Texas. Essentially, this so-called ‘partnership’ will result in what the politicians refer to as ‘continental integration’-newspeak for a North American Union- and basically a harmonization of 100’s of regulations, policies and laws.

In layman’s terms, it means that once this ‘partnership’ has been ratified which is a fait accompli; we will be following in the footsteps of the European Union. It will mean that Canada will become part of the North American Union by 2010, and that our resources, agricultural, health and environment issues, to name a few, will be controlled not by Canada, but by the government of the North American Union.

Read the rest.

Fourteen Defining Characteristics Of Fascism

Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Britt found 14 defining characteristics common to each:

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.


4. Supremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.


7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

Check out the other 11.

July 20, 2007

This Is How Empires End

With a U.S. defeat in Iraq, U.S. prestige would plummet across the region. Who will rely on a U.S. commitment for its security? Like the British and French before us, we will be heading home from the Middle East.

What we are about to witness is how empires end.

Everything comes to an end.

Read more.

President of the Christian Action League, 74, Is Arrested after Paying Hooker with Checks

From the "There is nothing nothing to say" department we get this gem:

Rev. Coy Privette, the president of the Christian Action League, a North Carolina ultraconservative Christian political organization based in Raleigh, has been arrested for soliciting prostitution:


Privette on two occasions allegedly paid the prostitute with checks then reported those checks as stolen, officials said.

Really, there is nothing to say here.

New Executive Order Stomps on the Fifth Amendment

By executive order, the Secretary of the Treasury may now seize the property of any person who undermines efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq. The Secretary may make his determination in secret and after the fact.


What's it say, you ask? The White House will decide if you are in any way “undermining efforts” in Iraq, or related to Iraq or pretty much anything else, the Treasury Department is authorized to seize your money, property, stocks, etc.

Although good in overall notion (stop terrorist funding), the ridiculously broad language in this order takes the 5th amendment, and flushes it down the toilet. As an example, if it appears that if you, say, donate to a charity that the Bush administration determines, without any proof, is trying to undermine the Iraqi government, all of your assets can be frozen. No due process, do not pass go.

Read the rest.

NBA referee in point-shaving probe

The FBI is investigating allegations that a veteran NBA referee bet on basketball games over the past two seasons, including ones in which he officiated.

According to a law enforcement official, authorities are examining whether the referee made calls to affect the point spread in games on which he or associates had wagered.

Read the rest.

College Republican Convention

Many of the young GOP cadres I met described the so-called "war on terror" as nothing less than the cause of their time.

Yet when I asked these College Repulicans why they were not participating in this historical cause, they immediately went into contortions. Asthma. Bad knees from playing catcher in high school. "Medical reasons." "It's not for me." These were some of the excuses College Republicans offered for why they could not fight them "over there." Like the current Republican leaders who skipped out on Vietnam, the GOP's next generation would rather cheerlead from the sidelines for the war in Iraq while other, less privileged young men and women fight and die.

Which means it's really all about money and nothing else.

Read the rest and watch the video here.

Bush's Cognitive Dissonance

One hopes the leader of the free world hasn't really, truly lost touch with objective reality. But one does have to wonder.

Of course the word "free" is a relative term.

Anyway, I read on:

It's almost as if Bush were trying to apply the principles of cognitive therapy, the system psychiatrist Aaron T. Beck developed in the 1960s. Beck found that getting patients to banish negative thoughts and develop patterns of positive thinking was helpful in pulling them out of depression. However, Beck was trying to get the patients to see themselves and the world realistically, whereas Bush has left realism far behind.

Ok, that's true.


At a news conference last week, someone tried to point this out. Bush replied with such a bizarre version of history that I hope he was being cynical and doesn't really believe what he said:


Let's see, we have learned that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. That means Bush is claiming that Saddam Hussein "chose" the invasion -- and, ultimately, his own death -- by not showing us what he didn't have.

Liars have to believe their lies.

Read the rest.

Broader Privilege Claimed In Firings

Bush administration officials unveiled a bold new assertion of executive authority yesterday in the dispute over the firing of nine U.S. attorneys, saying that the Justice Department will never be allowed to pursue contempt charges initiated by Congress against White House officials once the president has invoked executive privilege.

They really do believe they are above the law.

Read the rest.

Window on a cruel world

Until this week, dogfighting was something many Americans heard about in passing and quickly forgot.


Because much of the public has been unaware of the details, enthusiasts have gotten away with calling dogfighting a sport and themselves "fanciers." What they really fancy is cruelty.

The dogs, typically American pit bull terriers, are bred as killing machines. At fight sites shrouded in secrecy, two dogs are placed in pits, usually 16-by-16 feet. Spectators wager, sometimes thousands of dollars. The dogs do battle, tearing into each other's flesh until one is dead or can't move. The loser is sometimes shot. Those are the lucky ones. Others are electrocuted; it makes less noise.


Educating police and the public on the horrors of dogfighting is the surest way to spur stronger laws, tougher penalties and more prosecutions.

For now, the dogs born into this brutal world have little hope. Those rescued in raids — including many of the 50-plus found on Vick's property — are almost always euthanized. Dogs bred to kill dogs can't be adopted.

Read more.

Swedish woman gets superfast Internet

Lothberg's 40 gigabits-per-second fiber-optic connection in Karlstad is believed to be the fastest residential uplink in the world, Karlstad city officials said.

In less than 2 seconds, Lothberg can download a full-length movie on her home computer — many thousand times faster than most residential connections, said Hafsteinn Jonsson, head of the Karlstad city network unit.

When do I get that?

Read more.

Archaeologists dig up Roman bath complex

The exceptionally well-preserved two-story complex, which extends for at least five acres, includes ornate hot rooms, vaults, changing rooms, marble latrines and an underground room where slaves lit the fire to warm the baths.


"The Romans had more leisure time than other people, and it's here in the baths that they typically spent their time," Arya said. "Because you could eat well, you could get a massage, you could have sex, you could gossip, you could play your games, you could talk about politics — you could spend the whole day here."

However, he added, "to have a bath complex of this size, this scale, it's very unusual."

Wash up here.

Ga. high court hears teen sex appeal

The courtroom was packed with supporters and cameras Friday as Georgia's top justices heard arguments over whether a young man serving a 10-year prison term for consensual oral sex with a fellow teenager should be freed.

Well, I wonder if I'm going to be pissed off later.

Here's the link.

Ask to allow anonymous Web search

Search site Ask is launching a new tool that will let people search the Web anonymously, the first major search engine to offer that functionality.

By using the new AskEraser tool, users will be able to set their privacy preferences so the search engine doesn't retain their Web search history. Users will be able to see what the privacy setting is on the search results pages.

Read the more.

How to create an Angry American

Critical security flaw discovered in iPhone

Because the Apple iPhone only displays the first few characters of a URL in its Safari web browser, it makes it much easier for phishers to hide a fraudulent URL at the end of the link without arousing suspicion, Fortify Software said.

The way that the Apple iPhone connects the web browser and the phone also makes it possible to embed scam telephone numbers, which you may be prompted to dial, within websites that you access.

Learn more.

Everything's Terror In The United States Of Hysteria

As soon as news filtered out of a steam pipe blast in Manhattan yesterday evening, everyone's first thought was terrorism, proving once again that in the six terror free years since 9/11, the Bush administration has created a United States of hysteria - and handed the terrorists a victory they could never have achieved alone - changing our very way of life.


There hasn't been a terror attack inside America for nearly six years and yet everyone's first thought whenever something's amiss is that it's terrorism, when in every case since 9/11, be it Corey Lidle's errant Cirrus SR20 plane striking a Manhattan apartment block or the ridiculous farce of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force advertising campaign, nothing is going on except the runaway paranoia generated solely by our government's promise that a new attack in inevitable and imminent.

Keeping fear alive and in your mind 24 hours a day. Now go shopping.

Be very afraid here.

Spy camera identifies polluting drivers

Drivers of vehicles that emit unacceptable levels of pollution could be targeted by a new weapon in the fight to improve air quality.

A spy camera capable of analysing exhaust fumes and recording number plates is being tested and reviewed by London transport bosses.

I think there's a camera for everything in Britain.

Be constantly watched here.

July 19, 2007

If This Is Such a Rich Country, Why Are We Getting Squeezed?

While the rich are getting richer, they're slashing social security, medicare and other social programs for the rest of us. What gives?

Read more.

Ten Politically Incorrect Truths About Human Nature

The implications of some of the ideas in this article may seem immoral, contrary to our ideals, or offensive. We state them because they are true, supported by documented scientific evidence. Like it or not, human nature is simply not politically correct.

Check out the list. It's rather, um, interesting.

Was the Boy Wizard the Charm That Made Children's Books Fly?

The chief spokesman for this gloomy view is National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Dana Gioia. "This one series of popular novels has not been enough in itself to reverse the overall decline in reading," Gioia says, citing an NEA analysis of government and private studies his agency will release this fall. The problem isn't that kids aren't learning to read. It's that "everything in their society" conspires to make them read less as they become teenagers.

And that is concerning.

Read more. No really, read more. ;-)

We're All Terrorists! Watch List Makes 20k 'Matches' in '06

They may never know it, but U.S. air travelers and others set off silent terrorist warning alarms nearly 20,000 times in 2006 when their names matched against the government's centralized terrorist watch list, according to a statistic buried in a Department of Justice document.

The number represents a 27 percent jump over 2005, and points to the growth in the federal Terrorist Screening Center, a joint FBI and DHS operation that controls the government's master list of suspected terrorists. Agencies from the FBI to the NSA nominate names to the database and assign threat level codes to each name. The criteria for inclusion is considered classified.

The list now reportedly includes more than 500,000 names, according to a similar document reported on by ABC News in June. (The Justice Department has since removed that document from its website.)


The effect of those matches is also unclear, since the FBI won't reveal the number of people who have been arrested or denied visas, boarding passes or entry to the country due to the watch list system.


Getting off the terrorist watch list is not a simple procedure, given the government won't confirm if a person is on a list or not, and the TSC doesn't take responsibility for names placed on the list by a law enforcement or intelligence agency.

Sure looks like this power is being abused.

Read the rest.

The Hottest Field in Physics Is Ultracold

Once you catch an atom, you can do quite a lot with it. You can make a powerful computer, track infinitesimally small changes in gravity, even model the big bang.

That's what scientists in a field called ultracold physics are doing. Their tools are atoms cooled to near-absolute-zero temperatures, slowed just enough to let physicists harness their quantum properties.

Pretty cool. ;-)

Read the rest.

The Business of the Catholic Church

In this great and diverse country, one is always proud to see their own city on the front page of the national newspapers, so you can imagine my pride yesterday when Los Angeles turned out to be the place where the Catholic Church has had to pay the largest fine ever for diddling kids, $660 million. (Full disclosure: I was raised Catholic and I was sometimes alone with priests, although none ever tried anything. Which is a little insulting.)

Read the rest.

Studies: Restless legs syndrome a 'real' condition

New studies published this week in two top medical journals are being called the first to identify specific genes responsible for restless legs syndrome symptoms.

Learn more.

Dogfighting a booming business, experts say

An estimated 40,000 people in the United States are involved in professional dogfighting, an illegal blood sport with fight purses as high as $100,000.


But, Goodwin adds, there could be as many as 100,000 additional people involved in "streetfighting" -- informal dogfighting, often involving young people in gangs.

"It's far more pervasive than people think and it's definitely been on the upswing in the past five to 10 years," he told CNN.

The Fall increases its speed.

Read more.

Debate on Child Pornography’s Link to Molesting

Experts have often wondered what proportion of men who download explicit sexual images of children also molest them. A new government study of convicted Internet offenders suggests that the number may be startlingly high: 85 percent of the offenders said they had committed acts of sexual abuse against minors, from inappropriate touching to rape.

The study, which has not yet been published, is stirring a vehement debate among psychologists, law enforcement officers and prison officials, who cannot agree on how the findings should be presented or interpreted.

Read more.

75 percent of Americans overweight by 2015

If people keep gaining weight at the current rate, fat will be the norm by 2015, with 75 percent of U.S. adults overweight and 41 percent obese, U.S. researchers predicted on Wednesday.

Read more.

July 18, 2007

Senate set to approve record Pentagon budget

By Friday, the Senate is expected to authorize a record-breaking $648 billion in defense spending for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.

Even adjusted for inflation, the Pentagon budget for the coming year would be the largest tab for national defense since the end of World War II.

Now think how much good that money could bring elsewhere.

Read the rest.

Sex Ed for Kindergarteners 'Right Thing to Do,' Says Obama

"But it’s the right thing to do," Obama continued, "to provide age-appropriate sex education, science-based sex education in schools."

Read the rest.

July 17, 2007

Legal odds against Vick just got much longer

Would Vick be sent to jail if he is convicted?

Yes. It's hard to imagine any other outcome. The charges are serious, and the evidence against Vick presented at trial will be nasty. The government's case includes evidence that Vick and his cohorts "tested" pit bulls for ferocity. If the dogs failed the test, the indictment charges, they were executed by hanging or drowning. In one case, with Vick present, the indictment says a dog was slammed to the ground until it was dead. In another incident, a dog was soaked with a hose and then electrocuted. Those aren't the sort of transgressions that lead to probation and community service. It's the kind of behavior that results in punishment, and the punishment will be jail time.

Fucking disgusting.

If this turns out to be true and Vick was involved, then he better see jail time.

I better shut up now because I'm quite pissed off.

Read the fucking rest.

Fruits, veggies don't stop cancer return

Hopes that a diet low in fat and chock-full of fruits and vegetables could prevent the return of breast cancer were dashed Tuesday by a large, seven-year experiment in more than 3,000 women.

Learn more.

Bush office is anti-Muslim, group says

A Muslim civil rights group today blamed Bush administration policies for promoting "Islamophobia" and said the "war on terror" won't stop terrorists.


"Terrorism is a tactic. You cannot eradicate it by declaring a war against it. The war on terror is causing us infinitely more harm than the terrorists could have ever imagined."

No shit.

Read the rest.

Chimps on treadmills offer evolution insight

Chimpanzees scampering on a treadmill have provided support for the notion that ancient human ancestors began walking on two legs because it used less energy than quadrupedal knuckle-walking, scientists said.

Learn more.

Cigarmakers in a panic

The federal tax on each cigar could rise from 5 cents to $10.

Read the rest.

Falcons' Vick indicted by grand jury in dogfighting probe

The Falcons quarterback was indicted for conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District in Richmond, Va. Three others -- Purnell Peace, Quanis Phillips and Tony Taylor -- also were indicted by the grand jury on the same charges.

Vick, you're an idiot.

Read the rest.

Why did Americans support Bush?

It has long intrigued me why the German people supported Adolf Hitler and his Nazi regime. After all, every schoolchild in America is taught that Hitler and his Nazi cohorts were the very epitome of evil. How could ordinary German citizens support people who were so obviously monstrous in nature?


In fact, there is a remarkable similarity between the economic policies that Hitler implemented and those that Franklin Roosevelt enacted. Keep in mind, first of all, that the German National Socialists were strong believers in Social Security, which Roosevelt introduced to the United States as part of his New Deal. Keep in mind also that the Nazis were strong believers in such other socialist schemes as public (i.e., government) schooling and national health care. In fact, my hunch is that very few Americans realize that Social Security, public schooling, Medicare, and Medicaid have their ideological roots in German socialism.


While the American people faced these three crises — the Great Depression, the communist threat, and the war on terrorism at three separate times, the German people during the Hitler regime faced the same three crises all within a short span of time. Given that, why would it surprise anyone that many Germans would gravitate toward the support of their government just as many Americans gravitated toward the support of their government during each of those crises?

Read the rest.

July 16, 2007

Another Dubious Osama Tape Appears When The Neo-Cons Need It Most

Whether it's to justify a war, win an election or divert from a scandal, Bin Laden can always be relied upon to come up with the goods and save Bush's bacon.

Read more.

Campaign Contributions Change Priorities, Not Beliefs

Sure, there are always going to be sleazy politicians who think of donations as bribes. But these are the exception, not the rule. By looking at the issue of money in politics in moralistic terms, Hall says, both politicians and the public fail to recognize what is truly insidious about these donations.

Read the rest.

Breast-Feeding: Private Act or Public Right?

But now, 46 states allow woman to nurse in public or at least exempt them from prosecution.

But, public opinion hasn't caught up with the law. A recent study found 57 percent of Americans said women should not have the right to breast-feed in public. Seventy-two percent said it was inappropriate to show a woman nursing on television.

Why is this even a topic for discussion? The human race would have died out long ago if it were not for breast feeding. People need to get over their hangups about breasts and understand that their one purpose is so mothers can feed their babies. Our society has made womens breasts sexual when in reality there is nothing sexual about breasts at all. They serve a function, and without that function we would not be here today.

Read the rest.

Human stem cells may be produced without embryos ‘within months’

Japan’s leading genetics researcher could be “a matter of months” from reaching the Holy Grail of biotechnology – producing an “ethical” human stem cell without using a human embryo, he has said.

But in an exclusive interview with The Times, Shinya Yamanaka urged the scientific community: “Do not stop stem-cell research with human embryos, because patients will die if you do stop.” Although his work could transform the stem-cell field, speaking on the eve of his arrival in Britain to present research to geneticists, Professor Yamanaka emphasised that “right now, embryonic stem cells are vital to medical research”.

Learn more.

Human stem cells may be produced without embryos ‘within months’

Japan’s leading genetics researcher could be “a matter of months” from reaching the Holy Grail of biotechnology – producing an “ethical” human stem cell without using a human embryo, he has said.

But in an exclusive interview with The Times, Shinya Yamanaka urged the scientific community: “Do not stop stem-cell research with human embryos, because patients will die if you do stop.” Although his work could transform the stem-cell field, speaking on the eve of his arrival in Britain to present research to geneticists, Professor Yamanaka emphasised that “right now, embryonic stem cells are vital to medical research”.

Learn more.

8-Year-Old Boy Held From Plane for Appearing on No-Fly List

"They almost got me scheduled in and then the lady just bowed her head and said, 'We can't get you on this plane, you're a terrorist,'" Moore said.

Jesus Christ these people.

Read more.

Commentary: Pope's comments irrelevant to non-Catholics

Non-Catholics who are up in arms of the proclamation by Pope Benedict XVI that the only true church in the world is that of Catholicism shouldn't even bother getting upset. Just chalk it up to an old man trying to get a little attention.

For him to even suggest that only the Catholic Church can provide true salvation to believers in Christ shows that he is wholly ignorant of the Scriptures that I have known all my life.

Sorry, let me take that back. I've really only known the Bible for the last 13 of my 38 years. That's because those first 25 years were spent as a die-hard Catholic.

Fight amongst yourselves please. ;-)

Read the rest.

An Atheist Responds

However, it is his own supposedly kindly religion that prevents him from seeing how insulting is the latent suggestion of his position: the appalling insinuation that I would not know right from wrong if I was not supernaturally guided by a celestial dictatorship, which could read and condemn my thoughts and which could also consign me to eternal worshipful bliss (a somewhat hellish idea) or to an actual hell.

Implicit in this ancient chestnut of an argument is the further -- and equally disagreeable -- self-satisfaction that simply assumes, whether or not religion is metaphysically "true," that at least it stands for morality. Those of us who disbelieve in the heavenly dictatorship also reject many of its immoral teachings, which have at different times included the slaughter of other "tribes," the enslavement of the survivors, the mutilation of the genitalia of children, the burning of witches, the condemnation of sexual "deviants" and the eating of certain foods, the opposition to innovations in science and medicine, the mad doctrine of predestination, the deranged accusation against all Jews of the crime of "deicide," the absurdity of "Limbo," the horror of suicide-bombing and jihad, and the ethically dubious notion of vicarious redemption by human sacrifice.

Read the rest.

Area atheists put a friendly face on their convictions, but don't avoid debate or confrontation

But, while they may hail Harris and company as sorely needed opposing voices in a world beset by the fallout of religious fanaticism, many atheists eschew verbal assaults and online gimmickry, saying they are far more interested in illuminating the nonbeliever's view than casting aspersions on faith.

Read the rest.

Cheney pushes Bush to act on Iran

The balance in the internal White House debate over Iran has shifted back in favour of military action before President George Bush leaves office in 18 months, the Guardian has learned.

The shift follows an internal review involving the White House, the Pentagon and the state department over the last month. Although the Bush administration is in deep trouble over Iraq, it remains focused on Iran. A well-placed source in Washington said: "Bush is not going to leave office with Iran still in limbo."

Read more.

Families Separated by the State

Families can no longer feel safe, because a state child protective services agency, often generically referred to as “CPS,” may decide to swoop in and take their children into captivity at any time, for any arbitrary reason. Once the children are in their system, it is difficult or impossible to get them back. It usually does not matter if the condition that led to removal is resolved, because there is money to be made in warehousing children — lots of it.

Learn more.

The new TV detector which can reach into any home

Kate Fisher, of TV Licensing, said that the new detectors will work alongside existing vans 'to enhance an already effective enforcement operation'.

She added: 'The message is clear. We have the technology to ensure that anyone watching TV without a valid licence can and should expect a visit, wherever they live.

Read more.

Brat Nav... the GPS that can tag your teenager (or errant husband) absolutely anywhere in Britain

A device the size of a large matchbox is being launched that exactly pinpoints a carrier's location through a global positioning system accessed by computer or mobile phone.

The gadget, called buddi, can be clipped to children's clothing or carried in their pockets. Parents then log on to see their child's position on a detailed map via satellite tracking.

All for the "safety of the children" of course.

Read more.

July 15, 2007

An Open Letter to CNN from Michael Moore

I bet you thought my dust-up with Wolf Blitzer was just a cool ratings coup, that you really wouldn't have to correct the false statements you made about "Sicko." I bet you thought I was just going to go quietly away.

Think again.


We are now going to start looking into the veracity of other reports you have aired on other topics. Nothing you say now can be believed.

Read the rest.

CNN's response to Michael Moore

Moore recently posted and open letter and two so-called "Truth Squad" statements on his Web site. This document responds to the specific points Moore lays out:

Read more.

The Reality of Race: Is the Problem That White People Don't Know or Don't Care?

A recent study exploring white peoples' understanding of the black experience in America reveals that whites still drastically underestimate the cost of being black because they don't want to know or can't face the consequences.


White Americans are mean and uncaring, morally bankrupt and ethically flawed, because white supremacy has taken a huge toll on white people's capacity to be fully human.

My reasoning is simple: Given all the data and stories available to us about the reality of racism in the United States, if at this point white people (myself included) underestimate the costs of being black it's either because (1) we have made a choice not to know, or (2) we know but can't face the consequences of that knowledge.

Read more.

Climate Change Debate Hinges On Economics

Here's the good news about climate change: Energy and climate experts say the world already possesses the technological know-how for trimming greenhouse gas emissions enough to slow the perilous rise in the Earth's temperatures.

Here's the bad news: Because of the enormous cost of addressing global warming, the energy legislation considered by Congress so far will make barely a dent in the problem, while farther-reaching climate proposals stand a remote chance of passage.

Read more.

Lock terror suspects up indefinitely say police

One of Britain's most senior police officers has demanded a return to a form of internment, with the power to lock up terror suspects indefinitely without charge.

The world we live in...

Read more.

Convict sues God for broken contract

A man serving a 20-year sentence for murder has been rebuffed so far in his effort to sue God for breach of contract by failing to protect him from evil and turning him over to Satan who encouraged him to kill.

Pavel Mircea, 40, filed his lawsuit in the western Romanian town of Timisoara, charging God with failure to fulfill an agreement Micera alleged was made at his baptism.

"He was supposed to protect me from all evils and instead he gave me to Satan who encouraged me to kill," he charged.


God's alleged dereliction, according to Mircea including fraud, breach of trust, abuse of a position of authority and misappropriation of goods – all crimes, the plaintiff noted, under the Romanian criminal code.

Micera said that God had accepted his prayers and sacrificial offerings without providing any services in return.


Read more.

The truth is, we can't ignore the sun

Looking at annual global temperatures, it is apparent that the last decade shows no warming trend and recent successive annual global temperatures are well within each year's measurement errors. Statistically the world's temperature is flat.

Learn more.

Marine testimony: All Iraqi men viewed as insurgents

A corporal testifying in a court-martial said Marines in his unit began routinely beating Iraqis after officers ordered them to "crank up the violence level."


"I don't see it as an execution, sir," he told the judge. "I see it as killing the enemy."

He said Marines consider all Iraqi men part of the insurgency.

And this is why the US must get out of Iraq.

Read more.

White House Manual for Silencing Critics

So the truth comes out.

After a myriad of stories about people being excluded from events where the President is speaking, now we know that the White House had a policy manual on just how to do so.


In another section, entitled “Preparing for Demonstrators,” the document makes clear that the intention is to deprive protesters of the right to be seen or heard by the President: “As always, work with the Secret Service and have them ask the local police department to designate a protest area where demonstrators can be placed, preferably not in view of the event site or motorcade route.”

Read the rest.

'New' al Qaeda tape may contain old clip of bin Laden

The videotape, titled "A Special Surprise from As-Sahab. Heaven's Breeze Part I," was made in the last four weeks, but the clips appear to be old, said Octavia Nasr, CNN's senior editor for Arab affairs. There is no indication of where it was shot, and CNN cannot verify its authenticity.

Emmanuel Goldstein is once again paraded in front of the masses.

Read the rest.

Straight-talkin' presidential candidate Ron Paul

Forget the "Straight Talk Express." Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, a Texas congressman, is the real deal when it comes to politics-be-damned bluntness.

Read more.

Found: the giant lion-eating chimps of the magic forest

They are actually a population of super-sized chimps with a unique culture - and it seems, a taste for big cat flesh.

Learn more.

Doctors Discover New Worm, One That's Lethal to Humans

The worm had molecular biology resembling that of a tapeworm but acted more aggressively in the body than most tapeworms.

Learn more.

Nev. Couple Blame Internet for Neglect

A couple who authorities say were so obsessed with the Internet and video games that they left their babies starving and suffering other health problems have pleaded guilty to child neglect.

The blame-anything-else-but-me society.

Read more.

July 14, 2007

Benefits of faith

Religion does offer some worthwhile benefits, of course, like a sense of community and incentive to be charitable, but such things can be obtained without abandoning reason. However, religion does bestow one unique benefit unavailable to rational thought.

Religious beliefs excel at providing a reassuring and human-centered worldview most people seem to emotionally crave. Through religion, the faithful see precisely what they desire to see: a universe imbued with ultimate purpose and profound meaning - featuring humanity at the center of a grand plan.

How egocentric.

Read the rest.

Release of tape in teen sex case may violate child-porn law

Yes, I am still pissed off about this case.

The tape was used in the prosecution of Genarlow Wilson, a Georgia man serving a 10-year prison sentence for a consensual sexual encounter he had as a teenager.

Wilson, now 21, was convicted of aggravated child molestation for having consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old girl when he was 17 during a New Year's Eve party in Douglas County, Georgia, just west of Atlanta.

Apparently, the Georgia District Attorney has been giving out copies of this tape to "reporters, lawmakers, and members of the public."

However, David Nahmias, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, said earlier this week: "We have advised that the videotape at issue constitutes child pornography under federal law and should not be knowingly distributed, received or possessed outside of law enforcement and judicial proceedings."

Read the rest.

See the Film That Pops Gore's Bubble

In the name of "saving the planet," an international fascist movement has been created with the intention of reducing the world's population on a scale greater than Hitler dared dream of. Environmentalism is just a new name for the policy of Malthusianism or eugenics, long promoted by the Anglo-Dutch finanical system. The purpose of the fraud known as global warming is to justify the slashing of living standards in the developed world, and to condemn billions in the developing sector to a sub-human life, without access to even so elementary a benefit of modern life as electricity.

Read the rest.

"Stranded Polar Bears" Global Warming Photo (Hoax) Exposed

July 13, 2007

New FOX show: When Women Rule the World

What if it was “a woman’s world”? What if women made ALL the decisions? If men were their obedient subjects?

These questions and more will be explored when a group of strong, educated, independent women, tired of living in a man’s world and each with a personal axe to grind, rule over a group of unsuspecting men used to calling the shots on WHEN WOMEN RULE THE WORLD.

I'm thinking this series is designed to show (make?) women fail at being able to make "ALL" the decisions. The subliminal message: therefore the country would be in big trouble if a woman was elected president.

It's unfortunate that Clinton is the female "choice".

Read the rest over at Feministing.com

Sex to Earthquakes: What Causes Heart Attacks

Anger really can trigger a heart attack. But then, so can getting sick, being too hot, being too cold, air pollution, lack of sleep, grief, overeating, natural disasters, exercise and sex.

In fact, simply waking up is the worst thing you can do if you're trying to avoid a heart attack.

Hmmm. Mornings no longer look so good.

Learn more.

Bush asks for more time

President Bush yesterday said that he realizes that the American people are suffering from "war fatigue" but that the U.S. military must stay in Iraq long enough to give fighting Iraqi factions a chance to reconcile politically, or Iraq will become a haven for terrorists and will destabilize the region.

First off, it's not "war fatigue". It's we know you lied to get us in this mess and finally, more and more people are waking up to your lies.

Second off, it's your fault if Iraq becomes a haven for terrorists. Your. Freakin'. Fault. The region is already destabilized. And guess what? That's right. It's your. Freakin'. Fault.

Read more.

The Religion-Industrial Complex

The 2008 presidential election is probably the first in American history that has spawned a veritable faith and politics industry.

Read the rest.

Christianity and Atheism: A Conversation

I confess that I often get the same question from Christians, who always seem to believe that somebody somewhere always needs saving – especially a deaf boy like me.

Some humor for the day.

Scared Straight

This pisses me off:

"You're not homosexual," Alicea repeats, in the same stupefied tone an astronomer might use if someone suggested the Earth were flat. "You are just s-e-n-s-i-t-i-v-e."


At age 10 Sarah lusted after the players on her school's girls' softball team. At 17 she had her first sexual encounter, with a female. At 21 she met the love of her life — a woman. But for God to love her, Alicea teaches and Sarah believes, she must live righteously. And that means becoming "clean," stopping the scythe of shame slicing and scarring her life. She must wipe the stain of homosexuality from her soul.

It's unfortunate so many people need a "god" like that to love them.

I kept reading:

"About one-third has a life-changing experience and never goes back to a homosexual lifestyle," he adds confidently. By that measure, Exodus has made tens of thousands of gay people straight.


Cases of reparative therapy (also referred to as conversion therapy) documented by Mel Seesholtz, Ph.D., in the Online Journal, involve attaching electric sensors to the genitals and then administering a shock at any sign of arousal by same-sex images. Other cases cite exorcism, sedation, isolation, physical restraints, and hypnosis.

I had to stop reading. Blood pressure was too high.

Continue reading if you must.

Texas adds 'under God' to state Pledge

More than 50 years after the words “under God” were added to the national Pledge of Allegiance, Texas has made the phrase part of its oath.


The revised pledge, which went into effect immediately, is now: “Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one state under God, one and indivisible.”

What kind of "pledge" is that?

And pledges seem so cultish to me.

From webster.com: "6 a : a binding promise or agreement to do or forbear b (1) : a promise to join a fraternity, sorority, or secret society (2) : a person who has so promised"

So, is Texas a fraternity, sorority, or a secret society? I'm betting it's the latter option. Seems my "cultish" idea might not be far off from the truth. ;-)

And what about those that don't believe in a god? Does that make their pledge lesser than those that do? Or are they forbidden to say the pledge? And BTW, what's the purpose of saying the pledge?

You know, I'm tired of this pledge thing now, so I'll stop ranting.

Grab a dust cloth and get your pledge here.

Conrad Black found guilty of fraud

A jury Friday found former media tycoon Conrad Black guilty of mail fraud and obstruction of justice, determining that he and three co-defendants defrauded shareholders of Hollinger International and skimmed $60 million from the newspaper conglomerate.

Yes, Virginia, conspiracies do happen.

Read more.

Bush: Insurgents in Iraq same as 9/11 attackers

President Bush, defending his troop surge in Iraq, insisted Thursday that the insurgents attacking US troops in Iraq "are the same ones who attacked us on Sept. 11."

And we let him get away with this shit.

I'm beginning to wonder who's more pathetic: Bush or we, the American people, for letting him stay in office.

Read the rest.

The Real Nuclear Threat

Specifically, the fear is that Iran will have nuclear weapons, which just might be used by Islamist terrorists against Americans or US allies. Supposedly, Iran is one of the very worst regimes in human history. Its evil has risen to levels unparalleled since the Third Reich. It is a chief sponsor of terror, the command center from which our enemies conspire to strike. It is lying about its nuclear ambitions. It is thumbing its nose at the international community, and so on.

How can anyone fall for this nonsense? It’s the exact same propaganda we heard five years ago, except the last letter in the name of the enemy nation.


The US government has thousands of nuclear weapons. Americans worry about Iran getting one or two. But only one government has ever used them against civilians, and it happens to be the one that continues to maintain and modernize its enormous arsenal and claims the right to preemptively use them against other nations that it considers a threat. It also happens to have a tragically bad record at determining what constitutes a threat. Furthermore, it happens to be the government whose nuclear policy Americans have the most business being concerned about, as well as the most chance of changing peacefully. After all, these demonic weapons are financed with our tax money.
Why is there so little outrage about this? By what respectable moral standard can the US claim the right to own and brandish such unspeakably petrifying ordnance?

Read the rest.